Running for Fire: Chapter 7

“Ok so what do we know?” We were sat in our crumby hotel room, Mel and Pete sat next to each other at the end of the bed, me and Cas each sat on a stiff chair. Pete’s question hung in the air for a minute, and I suddenly felt slightly helpless, because I had no idea what was going on. I could see the tension that had arisen since I had shot the three men, because all three of them understood why I had done it, and they were all annoyed and secretly relieved.

“Mel, why didn’t you tell us they were TJP soldiers?” Pete looked at Mel, his features taut.

“I didn’t know! It was like there was some sort of fog or pressure or something around all of their thoughts! When I looked I saw that they were looking for us and that they didn’t understand why. I saw that they were from the police or some sort of authority, and disappeared before they could find me! I didn’t see that they were with TJP, but I guess didn’t want to think that.” Mel’s desperate tone was covering up her own self-doubt.

The name ‘TJP’ hung in the air slightly, and I supressed a shiver. TJP stood for ‘The Justice Programme’ and they were a terrorist group intent on destroying anything strange or supernatural, even technology. They were intent on keeping things the same, slowing growth, stopping change. Mel, Pete, Cas and I didn’t know how we had become what we are, and at first it had been a thing that plagued us endlessly. Metropolis hadn’t known either. They may be part of the government, but they were also very secretive, making sure no one could exploit us, or anything else they knew. We had loads of theories about how we came to be the way we were, science experiments, tampered with genes, the list goes on. None of us would be able to find out of course and that of course lead us to the question, who were our parents? We all came from different parts of the planet, but we had all moved to England when we were tiny. Metropolis had told us that Pete came from West Africa, Mel came from America, Cas had come from England, and I had come from Italy. That was where I got my coffee coloured skin. Metropolis had also told us that they had not taken us by force, and that our parents gave us up, which made us rather angry with our “parents”. In retrospect, however, I wouldn’t have want to grow up anywhere else, and not with anyone else.

I turned to Pete, who was the oldest out of us (I was the youngest), and who was a natural born leader, and said “But they can’t have known- they can’t have had some sort of training could they?”

Pete looked grave. “Hypothetically, yes. They have nothing to do against Cas or me, but Tallie, they can simply acquire fireproof clothes for you, and Mel, well, they’ve evidently learned how to change your information.”

“But that means I’m useless! Nothing will be reliable anymore if it comes from me!” Mel looked distraught. She had always been the most “in control” of her power, the most reliable out of us. She had herself completely sorted, and that allowed her to help sort others out. Like me.

“Don’t be silly Mel! You’re stronger than them, and you can do so much more than read people’s minds and you know it! You can read peoples moods, their hopes dreams personalities! And you know you can break down any mental defence, Jay showed you.” Cas was looking at Mel with a kind of furious kindness, his eyes open and fierce.

“You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for, Mel.” I added.

“You could never be useless Mel.” Said Pete quietly. She sighed, blushing slightly and relaxing, just a bit. What Cas had said had been such a reflection of his personality, he understood the world around him, I guess that was a perk of being psychic. He told her the truth which such a fierce kind of brother-ness, while Pete, his added comment had a slight edge to, it, something I couldn’t quite place. It was like… sadness, anger that she could ever think she was useless. Despite what we had all said, and the tone in Pete’s voice that had made her blush, she was still as taut as a tight strung wire.

“What else do we know?” asked Cas?

“We know that Tallie is a lunatic, and that that particular hunting team are not going to be giving in any reports any time soon… how long do you think it will take for someone to try and contact them? We should leave here first thing tomorrow, anyhow, in fact we should have left ages ago. Jay would, will be so mad.” Pete finished, glancing away.

I just grinned. “Okay, so plan made? We crash here tonight, and leave first thing in the morning, heading… where?”

At this Cas just grinned and said, “onwards, dear lunatic, onwards”. Which made me hit him with a pillow.

“Okay, okay, cut it out you two. Who’s sleeping where?” Mel asked.

“Well obviously the queen of idiocy gets the bed.” Said Cas, which made me resume hitting him with the pillow.

In the end Mel and I took the bed, with Pete and Cas sleeping on the floor, evidently trying to be manly. It took me a long time to sleep though. I could still feel the weight of the gun in my hands, the way it had felt to kill those three men. I didn’t even know their names! I knew Mel was awake as well, and the other two, probably. I turned over, to see that Mel was shaking slightly, not crying I don’t think, just shaking and worrying. Wordlessly I reached out for her hand, and she clung to it for dear life.

[omnia in finem ardebit]


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