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Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:47 am
Dust rose and the little girl sneezed. Rubbing her nose slightly, the little girl looked around as she sat in the middle of the street. She was a bit hungry, but she pushed those thoughts out of her mind for the moment, as she was working at the moment. The tourists were coming in droves to Johannesburg in South Africa, and that meant that business was going to be good. She wanted to make a decent amount of money that day. Already, she’d been able to grab about twenty euros. That wasn’t that bad, especially since she’d managed to grab it in one fell swipe from an unsuspecting tourist’s wallet. One bill, they wouldn’t miss it.
As the little girl looked around, she kept her eyes open for a good mark.
Someone who wasn’t paying that much attention to the people in the busy market, someone who was looking at everything instead of keeping their belongings safe. That was the person that she was looking for. She kept a weather eye out for someone who she could pick pocket. That’s what she was, Behati Shay. She was a pick pocket, a street urchin, who ran the streets of Johannesburg.
It was a difficult life to live, and making any kind of money was so hard. The little girl, only thirteen, had been caught a number of times by the police, but she had been able to escape every time. Every time though, her fears had been astronomical that she would have been put into the system. The system tried, but she didn’t want to be a part of it. Behati watched as people walked by where she sat, on a bevy of rugs. The salesperson didn’t mind her, but then again, Behati had befriended the old lady some time ago.
Every once in a while, she got a few coins from the shopkeeper or a piece of fruit or something like that. Little things that would help her get by. Many years ago, Behati had been given a beaten up toy doll. She’d loved that doll, but one day one of the other children had stolen it. One of the other children at the center.
The center was a small little hovel, like a hole in the ground. It was run by a man named Ahmad, and he was the one who sent the children out to be pick pockets. He didn’t care about their education or their health or anything like that. Barely feeding them enough to keep them alive, he felt that the raggedy appearance made their marketability that much greater, and he used some of the money that they brought in to bribe the officials who otherwise would be taking a much closer look at what he was doing.
Behati was worried, though she kept the thoughts in the back of her mind. She was a girl and she had recently turned thirteen. She knew what would happen. Sooner or later, Ahmad would send her away to one of the pleasure houses that dotted the darker parts of Johannesburg. That was something that she wanted to avoid. Somehow, but she didn’t know what she was going to do in order to keep that from becoming reality. The girl knew that the clock was ticking and there was only so much time left. Every time she stole, she put a little bit away, so that she could try to finally escape from the life that she had been born into.
A mother who hadn’t wanted her, a father who she had never met.
Behati brushed a hand through her long, matted, black hair. With that motion, she saw her target and then she moved. Her movements were quick and swift, and within moments, she had her prize. The man’s wallet. He had been trying to read one of his travel guides and impress upon the woman who was with him, his knowledge of the area. That had been the key that given her impetus to make her move. His attention had been elsewhere and in the throng of people, he hadn’t even realized that he had been pick pocketed.
Reaching into the wallet, she smiled. American. While she wasn’t that good at identifying a lot of different currencies, Behati was excellent at identifying the general design of euros, and the design of American currency. The only problem was that all of them were the same size, so one had to take a few moments to see what exactly the haul was. This one wasn’t that great. About forty dollars. Still, it was better than nothing, and another tourist would taken heed in the future when warned about keeping one’s valuables safer.
Tossing the rest of the wallet away, she kept moving. No need to stay in one place, not after she’d just grabbed from someone.
Before she left though, Behati made sure to pass along to the shopkeeper a few one dollar bills, as thanks.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:55 am
Behati flinched. Not because she was being hit but because watching the girl in the room getting beaten was not something that one wanted to watch. But watch it she had to. That was the rule and she couldn't afford to break the rules. Ahmad kept an iron fist on things and he refused to let anything challenge that. Everyone understood that it was the way that things worked and they didn't challenge it. Ahmad was sitting in a chair watching the girl getting beaten. He spoke as there was a lull in the rhythmic hitting of the girls back.
"You see the pain that she endures? Why? Because the choices she made were not for the family. We are a family. When one member doesn't do what they're supposed to how am I, the father, to react? With righteous fury." Ahmad said. "I give protection. I give care and love. How do I get repaid for this generosity? With this?" He asked pointing. "Having to do this. Such a shame." He added, rising
Begat I watched as Ahmad walked over to the girl and cupped her jaw in his hand. Then he struck, full force, with his free hand. He cracked his hand over her face, driving her down to the ground. The girl's cry of pain was subdued, muffled.
"We are done."
Wordlessly everyone in the room started to file out, leaving and heading back to their respective rooms. Behati followed in silence, the shuffling of footsteps the only thing heard in the hallways and corridors. Opening the door the children filed into the large room. Dirty bunk beds dominated the decor. They didn't really have closets but then again they didn't really have clothes either. Behati slid into her bunk and tried to close her eyes. The other children did the same. Maybe it was just her but she couldn't get the images of the naked, battered and bruised little girl out of her mind.
She'd gotten that beating because she had tried to take more than the normal allotment of food that the children usually got. That was against the rules. Behati had gotten a beating like that in the past. The girl understood the pain and the hurt.
As she lay there, trying to escape, Behati wondered what it was like for children in other places around the world. Was it like this? So much pain and suffering? The stories that she had been told of life in other countries, like England or America, they seemed so perfect. She'd never seen a tourist with the same sadness that she saw in the eyes of those who were under Ahmad's care. Life had to be perfect there. It just had to.
That was where she wanted to go. America.
But first she had to find a way out of this hell hole. Behati didn't know how to do that but there had to be a way. Realizing that sleep was not something she was going to get, the young girl got out of bed, walking out of the large room. The corridors were deserted and empty and no one challenged her as she walked around. She was headed to one particular spot on the roof that had a great view of the city. The view was amazing, and it always gave her hope for the future. She was up there for about twenty minutes, when something caught her eye.
It was going to change her life forever.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Sat May 24, 2014 6:56 am
Behati’s eyes widened as she saw Ahmad talking to a man, a well dressed man, who was wearing some kind of dark, pinstriped suit. She had seen white people before, but this man was different than any that she had seen before. He had a determination about him that she couldn’t understand. Maybe it was because even Ahmad was deferential in his presence. That was something that the girl hadn’t seen in her entire life. As far as she understood, Ahmad was the closest thing to Allah, and often times his words reached the all-powerful deity. The children who lived in the compound had been taught that Ahmad had been sent from the heavens and so they needed to obey him.
Which to her contradicted what she had read and learned in the Quran. Behati didn’t consider herself a scholar on the subject or anything like that.
She wanted to know more about what they were talking about. The windows to the room were open, to let in the cool night air. So she started crawling along the rooftop of the compound building, in order to get a better vantage point so she could hear and see what they were talking about. There had been white people who had come to the compound before, some of them officials. But if they looked like officials and carried themselves like officials, then this man looked and carried himself like he was the President of South Africa.
“…I understand what you are looking for, Mr. St. Germaine.” Ahmad was saying, in French.
Behati thanked her lucky stars that she had picked up enough of French while on the streets that she could understand parts of the conversation, but not all of it.
“I don’t think you do. You have the girl I’m looking for, here. But you won’t turn her over to me.” The man was saying. “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation that you are in. I’m a busy man, and I don’t like having to fly all the way from London just to come deal with you, in person.” He said.
London! The man was from London. Behati’s mind filled with images of a magical place. She had heard of London before. Before she could think of London more, the two men continued to talk.
“Mr. St. Germaine, there is a certain way that business is done in my country. You wish to do business with someone, then you speak to them face to face. Now, you want to take one of my girls, and leave with her. I don’t know what you want to do with this girl, and you’ve been very particular about which girl it is. I care about the girls a great deal and I don’t want anything unfortunate to happen to them. I don’t think-“
“I don’t rightly care what you think.” This St. Germaine man said. “If you really cared about these girls they wouldn’t live in the destitute conditions that they do.” He said. “All of that is immaterial. I want that girl, Behati.” He said.
She gasped. They were talking about her.
Unfortunately, Behati hadn’t realized how close she had gotten to the windows, and her gasp was audible enough that they could hear it. Both men turned and looked, seeing her there.
“Behati?” Ahmad said.
“So that’s what she looks like.” St. Germaine said. He turned and spoke to a man who had been in the shadows, all this time. “Donal, get her.” He said, and the man rose from where he had been sitting.
“With pleasure, Sir.” The man said, with an accent that she had never heard before.
Eyes wide, she turned and ran.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:31 am
Her footsteps were loud, the only thing in the alleys and then the streets as she ran. Behati kept looking over her shoulder as she ran, trying to escape from an unseen enemy. She didn’t know how fast or how far she had to run, she only knew that she couldn’t stop her feet from moving. Her head whipped back around when she heard a sound. Behati’s eyes widened as she saw the man explode from an alleyway, knocking over a collection of trash bins in the process. Dropping down, she changed her direction. Though she would probably never realize it, Behati had an advantage over the man who was trying to capture her. He had never been to this city before, whereas these streets were what Behati called home.
She knew them intimately, like the back of her hand. Behati could visualize a map of the city, and as she moved, it came to her without her trying. Unfortunately, the man who was coming after her, had advantages of his own. Multiple advantages.
He had advantages that reared their head when Behati went around a corner and proceeded to skid to a halt.
“What…what…” Behati managed to stutter out.
“How you doing kid?” The man asked, as he stood in front of a crowd of men who looked exactly like he did, down to the clothing that he wore. There was no way that this was happening, and the shock of it all was evident on her face. “Ever heard of a mutant?” He asked.
She shook her head.
“Well, that’s what I am.” A voice said behind her and she spun around, her sandal catching on some gravel, the scraping the only other noise in the cold night air. There was another copy of the man standing there, arms folded over his chest. “Now, you can come quietly, or you can make this painful for yourself. Personally, I’d much rather not hurt you, I don’t like hurting kids. But at the same time, I take pride in doing my job.” He said.
There was silence for a moment, and then the copy that was by himself reached for her. Behati screamed, a cry that pierced the night and had lights turning on here and there. Diving, she ran between his legs and continued her frenetic pace as she sought freedom. The groan from the man barely registered. Her eyes grabbed a ladder and she reached for it, scrambling up the rungs. Soon she was on the rooftop of the building. Though she wasn’t sure where she was going, not really, Behati knew that she just had to put distance between herself and the man.
Just as she was about to slow down, and thought that she had gotten away from him, she had to scream again, as arms came around her. Another set of arms reached out, as a copy of the man clamped down on her mouth, to muffle the scream.
He had her.
“Got you.” The man said.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:45 pm
The screams were muffled, as Behati was carried through the streets. She was struggling against the man, but it seemed as though nothing she could do was going to get her away from him. He was too strong for her. Besides that, she was scared. How had this man been in more than one place at the same time? It baffled her mind, it didn’t make sense, and there was no way for her to explain it. That fact probably scared her the most, that something was happening that she couldn’t make sense of in her mind. Though she kept struggling, she knew that it was futile.
Behati resigned herself to the fact that she was going to die. Either that, or some worse hell awaited her than that which she had called her life for all these years. There was no other explanation for what was going to happen to her. This man, this brute, was going to hurt her, what else made sense?
Then something very strange happened.
It started to rain. A light rain, just a drizzle, it was not enough to divert the man’s attention. Rain was something that happened, there was no reason for him to be that concerned about it. Donal kept walking until suddenly he found himself staring up into the night sky, as he was on the ground, steam rising from his chest. He looked at his chest, and saw that there was a gaping hole in his shirt, and his skin was burned raw.
The pain hit him after that, and he looked around, trying to see where the girl had gotten to. He scrambled and saw her, a few yards away, a look of shook on her face.
“What…what happened?” He asked.
She was rooted to the ground in shock.
“I asked you a question.” Donal said, rising.
She took a faltering step backwards and raised her hand out. A bolt of lightning descended down from the heavens, slamming into the ground near him, causing him to jump backwards, involuntarily. Even Behati flinched, totally unsure of what was happening and what it meant. The evening had gone from fear to something worse, something far worse than fear.
“Your powers…shit.” Donal said, realizing what was happening. He knew that he had to get to her and so he leapt for her.
Her response was another bolt of lightning that she wasn’t sure how she was controlling. It hit him in the back and knocked him onto the ground, knocking him all the way to unconscious. Seeing him on the ground, unconscious, it broke spell of fear that had gripped her this whole time. Her legs had felt like blocks on wood before, but now she could feel them again. Behati finally was able to turn and run, heading away from where he was in the city streets, beaten unconscious by what she considered divine lightning from the sky, come to save her.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:02 am
Her eyes fluttered open, as sunlight struck her. Making little noises, Behati looked around, stretching. The sunlight that streamed into the room was from a crack in the metal. Finishing her stretching, she rose and strode over to where the crack was, peering out of it. They had to be getting close. At least, she thought that they had to be getting close. Behati had no idea how long it would take, but she had snuck onboard a freight train going from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt. She had been dedicated to escaping the life that she had led in Johannesburg and last night had been her opportunity, so she had seized it, without a moment of thought or concern. Now, those thoughts and concerns were sneaking up on her.
She had left without most of the money that she kept squirreled away. All she had on her was a few bills, mostly American, which was good. American currency was always accepted everywhere. The only problem was that for a young girl like her, it was usually accepted while also raising some serious questions. But Behati knew the streets, and though the streets in Cairo would be different than that of Johannesburg, she knew that she would be able to make her way.
As long as nothing happened to her while she was on the train.
Ignoring the rumblings of her stomach, a trick that she had mastered long ago, Behati leaned against the sacks of grain that dominated the freight car and had provided her with her pillow and mattress the previous night. It gave her time to say her prayers. Long ago, she had met a Christian missionary, who had given her a copy of the Bible, along with some food, water, and money. He had wanted her to come to his church, but Ahmad had forbidden it. That was when she had still been foolish enough to actually ask permission from him for things.
He had gone to the missionary and had threatened the man. The missionary hadn’t taken that as the final answer, and had repeatedly come for Behati, until Ahmad had had a street gang beat the poor man up. Behati had done the only thing that she could think of, and had told the man that if he prayed for her, and prayer was powerful, like the book he had given her said that it was, then all would be well. He had called her wise beyond her years.
She still wasn’t too sure what that meant.
Ahmad had later taken the book from her, but she had been able to read enough of it to learn the basics of it. It was an interesting read when compared to what parts of the Quran she had also read. That Jesus fellow seemed to be in both books. Maybe she would learn more about it all when she got to the West. But before she did that, she would have to follow the code that had served her well all these years. Behati knew the morals of the underworld, at least that there could be some modicum of honor amongst thieves.
Her prayers finished, she turned her attention to the most pressing matter that she could think of, which was, what in the hell had happened the night before.
She didn’t know who the two men were that had come for her. She didn’t know why Ahmad had struck a deal with those two men. More baffling was the fact that the man who had actually chased her had been able to make copies of himself. Everything had been the same, down to the clothes that he had been wearing. He had called himself a mutant, but it had seemed more like the devil’s work to her. But nothing, nothing was more mysterious than the divine lightning that she had brought down upon the streets of Johannesburg last night. Was it God or Allah trying to protect her?
If so, why had the man said that it had been her powers? What powers did she have?
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:59 am
Donal Kilduff pushed the glasses up higher on the bridge of his nose. He hated being in this country, and he couldn’t wait until they were done with this place and he could get back to civilization. But he followed the orders of the Black King, and when St. Germaine said they would leave, then that’s when it would happen. In the meantime, he was still licking his wounds from that tiny wisp of a thing. The burns were starting to heal, and the suit he wore hid most of it. Taking a sip of the small cup of hot coffee in front of him, he looked out over the plaza in Johannesburg. St. Germaine was across the street, in the hotel, on a conference call.
He had said it was Inner Circle club business, and that was all that Donal had wanted to know. It was enough for him.
Kilduff didn’t care much about the Hellfire Club’s day to day operations. When Barrington needed something, he called Donal and Donal got involved. Besides that, he didn’t give two shits about any of it. It was a bunch of rich people bent on controlling the world, and a group of mutants bent on controlling those people. Kilduff was more favorable to the simpler things. Like beating the life out of an opponent. He liked to fight and he liked to win and it so happened that he was very good at winning.
If it had been a dupe that had been injured and not the real Donal, then he would have been looking for some local street fighting or cage fighting to pass the time.
They had lost the girl, the reason they had come to South Africa. St. Germaine was upset with him, but Donal knew that Barrington had planned for this sort of thing. You didn’t become the Black King of the Hellfire Club for no reason at all. You did it through being shrewder than the competition. If you paid attention to Barrington St. Germaine you could learn a lot. Donal definitely respected the man that he worked for, and he strove to ensure that everyone who came into contact with Barrington shared that respect. Like that snake in the grass Paul Heyman.
There was no love lost between Donal and Heyman, that was for sure. Donal didn’t trust the American as far as he could throw him. Heyman was a snake and a liar and he was so very good at manipulating people. It was difficult for Donal to trust a word that came out of Heyman’s mouth, and despite the man’s track record with the Facility, he didn’t like the fact that Heyman was in the running for the White King position. More baffling than that to him was that Barrington was the one who was seemingly pushing for it.
There was a buzz on his phone and he looked down at the slim piece of technology. Barrington needed him to come to the hotel. The conference call was over. He was barely started on the coffee, which was supposed to be enjoyed slowly, over time. He had anticipated the call going for much longer, but that wasn’t the way everything had shaken out.
Tossing the rest of it back, Donal rose, grabbing the suit jacket that was folded over the arm of another chair at the table, and started crossing the street.
He had learned over the years that even though he was Barrington's Strongman, Barrington was indeed more than capable of taking care of things himself. It was not a department that he needed any help or tutelage in. It never was wise to keep the Black King waiting.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:42 am
So far, Behati wasn’t sure if there was any difference between Johannesburg and Cairo. The streets were the same, to urchins like her. She had taken up a place begging just as she had in South Africa, but here the language differences made it harder. Still, she was simply grateful to be away from the tender mercies of Ahmad. She wasn’t sure who that white man was who had been so interested in her, but she was sure it would not have been wise to go with him. Most importantly, she was very grateful to be away from the man who had been chasing her.
There hadn’t been cruelty in his eyes, but a determination to accomplish his task, which at that moment, had involved hurting her. Now she had to find a way to survive on foreign streets, but this was nothing new to her. It was another city, another place, but if you knew where to look and what to do, it was all the same.
Everything was always the same.
She had found a small hovel, that had been abandoned, and she had taken to staying there. Behati sat in the hovel now, looking at what she had managed to acquire that day. A few Egyptian pound notes, of varying denominations, a piece of cooked goat, and a dusty looking can of Mirinda. Her eyes were focused on the wall though, ignoring the food despite the pang of hunger that was in her stomach. There had been a thought running through her head throughout the entire day, even though she had been focused on getting the food and money.
What am I?
Behati didn’t know what she was. That man had said she had powers, but she wasn’t even sure how she had done what she had done. It had been amazing and astounding. Now she had to figure out what it was and how she had done it. Behati didn’t know if the man would be able to find her and she had to be able to protect herself.
Looking at her hands, she breathed in and out a few times to steady herself. Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate, to conjure up the power that was apparently within her. When she opened her eyes, she saw that nothing in the room had changed. With a frown, Behati closed her eyes again, and tried harder, squeezing her eyes, but again nothing. Now she was staring to get worried. After all, how was she going to protect herself? As Behati’s mind started to race, about the dangers that could happen, her breathing started to get more and more erratic. Not to the point of hyperventilation, but definitely faster than it usually was. Her pulse started to climb, as she worried about the things that could happen to her.
That was when it happened. Her eyes shifted in color, becoming an opaque white, but of a brighter hue than normal. She started to lift into the air, and wind blew into the small hovel, wrapping around her and providing a cushion for her. Behati looked around, and then down as she realized she was floating.
Allah, what sorcery is this?
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:51 pm
She could be anywhere. Barrington closed his eyes as he thought about the notion. Being anywhere was a powerful thing. He had that ability. Often times, people acted with the belief that he was there in the room with them, watching over their shoulder, ensuring that he followed his bidding. He had a small white gold bar of five grams in his free hand, and he moved it over his fingers, flipping it as he went along. The gold bar bore the emblem of his family’s crest as it came from one of the mines they had purchased with the proceeds of working for Shaw Industries for years. Before Barrington had taken control of the company in the vacuum created by the Chrell, and made that wealth look like the pocket change given to a child.
His other hand held a scotch and he set it on the table next to him as his Strongman entered the room. “Donal, do we have any leads?” He asked.
“I spoke with the orphanage man again, and got what I could out of him. He don’t know nothing.” Donal said with his brogue. “I know where I lost her, but she could be anywhere. Anywhere in Johannesburg.” He said, gesturing around him at the city they were in.
“Maybe she found a way out of the city.” Barring stated, with a half-hearted sigh.
This girl was starting to get very annoying, very quickly and Donal wasn’t pleased about the situation. “Well, that’d be even better then, wouldn’t it? All of fuckin Africa.”
“Donal, while I appreciate your ability to solve problems and cut through to the heart of matters with efficiency, that tongue of yours is something we need to work on.” Barrington said, his eyes flicking up to his Strongman.
The Irishman closed his eyes. He knew how his employer liked things to remain genteel. For Barrington who had not grown up on rough streets, the edges that Donal possessed were constantly ones that he appreciated but also wanted polished and tempered. It was a strange thing when you thought about it. But Donal never bothered to think of it for too long.
“My apologies. You don’t think she’s really out of Johannesburg, do you?”
“At this point, I’d rather be safe than sorry. Make sure we’re monitoring everything we can, especially if it’s coming out of a large metropolitan center.” Barrington said. “I want to find this girl, Donal, and do it quickly.” He said.
“I agree.” Donal replied. “Do you want me to bring in any more assets in? We could call Fiona in. I’m sure she’d be willing to help out, if we need her to.” He said, referring to one of the freelancers that the Hellfire Club had used in the past. “We know we can trust her after what she did to Liam down in Mexico.” He added.
Barrington considered it. He knew he had to. Fiona had been a very useful operative for the Hellfire Club over the years. Known as Marrow, she had a number of talents and strengths that could be put to good use. “Fiona is a tempting option. But the fewer who know about this, the better. The last thing I want is for any of this to leak to anyone, particularly Weapon X.” He said. “I’ve had enough issues with them reneging on their word and I don’t want them to know what we’re up to. Noah Hirsch is looking for a reason to break the partnership between us.” He said.
“I’ll see what I can find out.”
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:26 pm
The girl had been trying to fight the hunger for a few days now. Behati had continued to beg in the streets, but Cairo was definitely different than what she was used to in Johannesburg. She wasn’t sure if she could get away with pickpocketing and had opted not to even try her luck with that here. The last thing Behati wanted was to risk something like that. But the begging wasn’t getting her that far. She had added a few more Egyptian pound notes, but she had to ration how much she could spend. The hovel’s true owners had come back, a family of three.
A husband, a wife, and a small child. Behati had tried to explain who she was and how it had come to pass that she found herself alone in Cairo, when she was from South Africa. They had been more than willing to listen to her, but she could tell that they themselves weren’t sure what to do.
It wasn’t much but it was their home. She had to come up with some kind of solution. Behati couldn’t go home, that she was pretty sure of. Ahmad was very powerful in Johannesburg, and she didn’t want to try to go back to a place where he would be looking for her or had people who would recognize her. She definitely did not want to meet again the man who had been chasing her. He had been quite scary.
She sat on the side of the street, with a rock in her hand, picking at the sidewalk. There were many people passing through this part of Cairo and she paid them no attention. Truly, she was barely paying attention to the rock in her hand or the markings on the sidewalk. Her mind was moving quickly, trying to figure out what her next step was. Survival was something she was used to figure out, and so a part of her wasn’t as worried as maybe she should have been.
Truly, she was more concerned with trying to figure out what was going on inside of her. Whatever experimentation she had done in the past was gone, now that the family had returned to the hovel. Behati didn’t want to scare them or upset them anymore considering they had offered her hospitality. She had figured out a few things though, about what she could do. Whatever these...abilities...were, they had granted her the ability to float off of the ground. If she concentrated, she could form water in her hand. How exactly it was happening, that was still a mystery.
The man who had chased her, he had said something, something about powers?
What had that meant?
She was sitting, mulling over the problem, when she felt a tingle go up her spine. It felt as if she wasn’t alone. Looking around Behati’s eyes scanned the area. There were people moving through the street, sure, but there wasn’t anyone who seemed threatening. That was something she’d learned long ago, to be able to tell from people’s eyes. But nothing flashed out at her.
It rolled over her, like a wave. It was like the temperature had dropped, but only in her head, as if she had had a brain freeze. Behati shook her head, dropping the rock and bringing her hands up to the side of her head. She wasn’t in pain, but there was something happening.
I know what is happening, my child.
She heard the voice in her head, which was impossible. Behati’s eyes widened and she looked around, trying to find the source of the voice, but with no success. Her eyes moved from person to person in the street, but everyone was going about their business, no one was paying her any attention.
I know what is happening, my child. I can help you.
“Who are you?” Behati stammered out.
The one who will save you.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:02 pm
Behati shook her head. “I can hear you. I-In my head. How?” She asked.
I am a powerful person. The voice replied, seemingly echoing throughout her head.
It was powerful, overbearing, yet seductive, ethereal. The voice was both male and female at the same time.
“Why are you going to help me?”
Because I can. Because you are a mutant. Because you can do great things if you have the help.
She shook her head. A mutant? That was what that man had called himself. She was like him? Was she a devil? Or an angel? Behati didn’t know what to make of what had happened to her. She looked down at her hands. “How are you going to help me?” She asked.
I will show you how to use your mutation. You were gifted with incredible skills and powers, Behati. You will learn how to use them. Once you learn how to use them, you will never be hungry again.
That was something she liked, something she could support. For so long she had spent nights hungry and for so long she had yearned to do something more, to be something more. This voice, it was promising that to her. But she didn’t know whether or not she could trust this voice. Who was this voice?
“How can I trust you?” She asked, with trepidation.
I am the only way for you to unlock your potential, Behati. Shall we begin?
She thought about it, trying to reason through it all. There wasn’t much she could do, the voice had a point. The voice had a way to help her. Ahmad had said he would help her, but he had only tried to take advantage of her and the other kids on the street. He had turned them into panhandlers and thieves, stealing from passersby. With this voice, she didn’t know what to think. But she had to try. If this person had a way to help her, shouldn’t she try?
“Who are you?” She asked again, her voice breathless.
I have many names, but you may call me the Shadow King.
“Okay.” Behati said nodding, even though it was to herself. “Show me what to do.”
Perfect, my child.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:43 pm
The wind was beautiful upon her face, sifting through her hair as she moved through the night sky. The feeling was incredible, but more incredible than that was the overall feeling of freedom that surged through her. She was learning so much about what she could do, and she had learned that this thing, this mutation, was a gift. It was amazing, and she could do so many things. From the Shadow King, her friend who was teaching her about her mutation, she had found out that her cells allowed her to tap into an unknown power, one that was generated inside of her.
Inside of her! It was too beautiful to be true.
For so long, she had been an urchin on the street, begging and stealing from people. But the entire time, there had been something amazing and magical inside of her, she had only needed to find out how to unlock it. Now she could fly.
Not well, but it was still flying. Her powers were linked to nature and the earth, and she could summon water. Never more would she ever go thirsty. That simply fact alone was a cause to rejoice. She opened her eyes, looking down over Cairo. The city was alive, even though it was night time. There were still people awake and moving about. None would have been able to see her, she was too high up. Behati was still getting used to moving through the air and being able to breathe at the same time.
That was something tricky. But it was a wonderful problem to deal with.
The Shadow King had been teaching her so much and showing her even more. One of the things he was having her do was experiment with her powers during the evening and night. During the day, Behati slept, tired from all the work she was doing. What was weird was that despite the fact that she could now slake her thirst with her powers, she was finding herself needing less and less when it came to food and water. Almost as if her happiness was food enough and every breath she took now a quenching drink.
She could feel so many things. All the life around her, it was so weird, so foreign. But the Shadow King was helping her connect with everything around her. It had been so overwhelming but thanks to his help, she was able to stop it from rushing her like a tidal wave.
If there was one thing that was for sure, she was grateful that he had found her. She was so grateful and thankful that he was here for her and helping her.
How else was she going to be able to deal with all of this?
God had sent him to her, that much was for sure.
Behati smiled, looking out as she slowed her path and simply floated.
For the first time in her life, it was an amazing thing, simply to be.
Re: Calm Before the Storm
Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:33 pm
Donal hung up the cell phone. He’d just gotten off the phone with a very informative caller. He had put out feelers through the Hellfire Club’s network. One of them had gotten back to him with interesting news. He turned to Barrington and smiled. “You were right boss. It’s possible she did leave Johannesburg.” He said.
“Oh?” Barrington asked, looking up from the newspaper he was reading. They were in Barrington’s hotel room in Johannesburg still. “Where did she get to?” He asked.
“Someone from our network has heard of some goings on in Cairo that look like they could fit the bill.” Donal said. “This could be what we’re looking for.” He said and rose from his seat. “I’ll check it out. You should stay here, in case it’s a wild goose chase.” He said.
Barrington merely raised an eyebrow and gestured. It was clear he wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Donal took that as his cue. He shook his head and headed out of Barrington’s room and towards his own in the suite they were staying in. Going to his closet, he opened it and grabbed the leather duffel bag sitting on the floor. While Donal wasn’t the kind of person who didn’t unpack, he always kept a go bag ready and waiting so he could get a move on if there was a rush. You never knew when you needed to move and move quickly. Barrington was a man who could change his mind quickly and you had to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Additionally, there had been more than one occasion when someone had tried to attack Barrington, and they had needed to get out of the area quickly.
It paid to be prepared and that was what Barrington paid him for. The Black King needed a Strongman who could properly protect him.
Heading out of the hotel, he got a taxi towards O.R. Tambo International Airport. While in the car, he placed a phone call to Barrington’s private jet. Technically they were there on official Shaw Industries business. That was one of the benefits of Shaw Industries, having the jet. By the time he got there, the jet would be prepped and ready to go. He knew this because he had been anticipating the call well over two hours ago and he had created three dupes of himself to go and make sure the jet was prepared.
That was one of the benefits of being Donal Kilduff.
When the car pulled into the airport, into the private area, he saw two of his dupes waiting at the base of the airplane. Donal got out of the taxi and paid the man, who was staring, his mouth agape. It made sense. At the top of the stairs to the airplane was the fourth dupe. Identical twins were possible, definitely probable. Triplets were possible, even. But four of a kind?
Now that was just crazy.
But it was a rather common thing in Donal’s world. He smiled to himself as he boarded the plane, the dupes one by one merging back into him.
Damn it was good to be Donal Kilduff.