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(HS) Some Call it Fate

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12/28/2011 0:50:42   
Jessa K

(You can discuss the story here)

All characters are copyright to their respective owners. Herosmash and its characters are owned by Artix Entertainment. Thanks to AE for use of the Herosmash settings, characters, names and concepts. A big thanks to everybody who has given me support and advice! 

This story takes place about five years after the events of Comedy and Tragedy by Clown the Jester and Gray Silhouette. I strongly suggest you read this story before reading mine. If you wish not to... 


Long ago in a city, there was a woman named Pandora. Pandora has super powers, a gift granted by a stone called the Malachite. Pandora did everything to save her city. When an ancient evil awakened, she sacrificed herself to save the city, along with the world. The threat was destroyed, but along with it the Malachite was split into several shards. At least one of these shards somehow transferred its power to the people of the city. Ever since, people in the city have been born with or developed special and powers. Some use these powers for good, others for evil. These people are referred to as Smashers. 

In Comedy and Tragedy, the city, renamed Super City, is in a general time of peace. It is overall protected by an incredibly strong Smasher by the name of Drakkoniss. He is a reality warper, with the ability to do almost anything. For quite some time Drakkoniss had been at battle with his arch enemy, an incredibly chaotic Smasher called Clown the Jester. Clown was also a reality warper, but Drakkoniss tended to keep the insane criminal in control.

Then, the Clown made a terrible plan. You see, the Clown had a very large clan of followers called the Chaos Carnival. Some members were Smashers, some were regular people. Clown, tired of always being defeated by Drakkoniss, devised a plan. He found a shard of the Malachite, a terrible weapon in his hands. He absorbed its power, becoming the ultimate powerful being, capable of literally anything. At the same time, he and his followers unleashed the prisoners at LOCKDOWN, a special prison designed to contain all the evil Smashers even caught in the city. From there, the city fell into complete chaos. Thousands of innocent people died, and most of the city was destroyed. These events and those that followed would in the future be referred to as the Chaos Riots.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

(And this is what Jessa looks like)


Jessa Elaine Kevlar grew up just like thousands of other kids in the city. She lived in a small-ish apartment with her mom and dad. She went to school, had friends, and lived a completely normal life. When she was younger, at least.

It first happened when she was 11 years old. Her father had been frustrated with the results of her math test. She had been both angry and annoyed. All the lights in their apartment popped.

When she was 13, she had been playing a game of soccer with her friends on a very hot and cloudless day. Nothing but endless sun and record temperatures were predicted for weeks. She had been extremely exhausted. A thunder storm blew in out of nowhere and it started raining.

A few days before her 16th birthday, Jessa had a fight with her parents. They couldn’t afford a birthday party that year. They left to go out to dinner, leaving Jessa home alone still angry. Then two men wearing suits came to her apartment later that night to explain ‘the accident’. With horror Jessa realized what she had done.

She knew what would come next- an orphanage, or foster care. So she did the only thing she could think of. She ran. Jessa was hardly surprised when all the street lights went out, enabling her evade the suited men who tried to chase her. She escaped into the night.

Chapter One: Darkness

Her tennis shoes slapped against the wet asphalt as Jessa sprinted down the dark and deserted street. She could hear the shouts of the men behind her, telling her to stop. She refused, and instead ducked into an even darker alley. The half-full moon was the only source of light. The street lamps gave off none of their normal luminosity.

She leaned against the cold brick wall, breathing heavily. It was eerily quiet, with nothing but the sound of her own breath for accompaniment. The sound of the men faded, it seemed they had given up the chase. A soft and cool breeze blew through the shadowy alley, reminding Jessa that she had neglected to grab so much as a jacket before bolting down the fire escape.

Jessa looked down into a puddle, observing her reflection. Wavy dark brown hair about armpit length, parted to the side. Lightly tanned skin, void of freckles or other marks. Eyes with such a light and vibrant color that her mother said it was like looking at blue diamonds.

The thought of her mother wrenched the girl’s heart. Dead, her mother and father both. Worse than that was the fact that it had been all Jessa’s fault. There was no way to prove it, of course, but Jessa knew. A simple emotion, a thought of hatred for such a simple and pointless want. That was all it had taken.

I didn’t mean to, Jessa tried to comfort herself. It was a lie, one she found impossible to believe. She had to have meant it in order for it to happen. A thought that tore her apart.

They’re both dead. The thought ripped through Jessa, and the adrenaline of the chase wore off. She eased down into a curled up position against the wall. A car drove down the dark street, momentarily breaking the silence before it set in again. The shock was wearing off too, and Jessa took a deep, shuddering breath. Tears welled up in her eyes, and before she could do anything she was sobbing quietly.

What would she do? What could she do? Jessa wanted nothing more than to bring her parents back, to erase the terrible night as if nothing had happened. She tried to summon her will, to bring them back, but something told her it was pointless to even try. I can have everything I could want, except for what I do want, she thought miserably. What did this mean?

The reality dawned upon Jessa. Like so many others in the city, she was a Smasher. The sacrifice Pandora had made long ago, that had given so many heroes and villains power, had given Jessa power too. A part of her was stunned- Smashers were for the news, for legends and stories. A game she played with her friends when they were small. Although she heard about them all the time, Jessa had never really given them much of a second thought before. Now, she was one.

Jessa still cried, although she wasn’t exactly sure why. Her parent’s death? Her newly discovered power? Her complete and utter aloneness? Most likely a painful combination of all three.

Jessa shivered in the cold, again regretting the fact that she was only wearing jeans and a tank-top. It had been nice and warm in her apartment, she wished for that warmth again.

She didn’t notice it at first, but gradually Jessa realized that the breeze had shifted from cool to warm, like a summer night. She stopped shivering, and although she wasn’t exactly warm, she was no longer cold. She wanted to hate her power, to cast it away with disgust, but she couldn’t. She needed it too much.

Jessa tried to think of what she wanted next, but she just couldn’t. The tears started falling again with renewed intensity, in the shadowy alley under the stars.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:36:33 >
AQW  Post #: 1
2/1/2012 19:28:36   
Jessa K

( this is what Mila looks like, although a bit skinnier now)

Chapter Two: Light

Jessa wasn’t sure how long she sat there, weeping in silence. After a while, the street lamps came back on. Their glow felt harsh and unnatural after she had been in the dark for so long. She moved deeper into the shadows, for fear that somebody would see her.

Waves of raw emotion flowed through Jessa. No complete thoughts, just grief, regret, and unbearable misery. It wasn’t until the sky lightened and the stars began to fade that she stopped crying. Then Jessa just sat there, doing nothing, with her legs tucked up against her chest, her chin resting on her knees.

Suddenly, Jessa hear quiet steps on the still-wet pavement in the alley. She looked up and was surprised to see a person walking towards her.

It took Jessa a moment to realize that it was a girl. She looked close to Jessa’s age, perhaps a year or two older. Her eyes were a light chocolate brown, as was her skin. Her hair was dark brown or black; Jessa couldn’t tell. She might’ve been a very pretty girl if she wasn’t so thin. She approached Jessa slowly.

Jessa hastily wiped away her tears and looked up at the girl.

“Are… you okay?” The girl asked hesitantly, frowning.

“No,” Jessa replied coolly. What a stupid question- did she look like she was okay?

The dark-haired girl came closer, despite the glare Jessa gave her. She slowly sat down near Jessa, who never took her eyes off the girl.

There was a moment’s silence before the girl spoke again. “My name’s Mila. Mila Thesant.”

“Jessa Kevlar,” she responded. For few minutes neither girl said anything. Mila seemed to be trying to make up her mind.

“Where are your parents?” Mila asked.

“Dead,” Jessa replied shortly, looking away.

“Oh.” Mila seemed lost for words. If you say you’re sorry, I’m going to make you sorry, Jessa thought bitterly.

“Mine, too,” Mila said quietly. Jessa looked up at her in surprise. Their eyes connected, and Jessa could sense a level of understanding.

“Do you have anywhere to go? Relatives, or something like that?” Mila questioned, although she seemed doubtful. Jessa only shook her head.

“What are you going to do?” Mila softly asked. Jessa shook her head again and sighed.

“I don’t know.” Jessa had to fight another onslaught of tears as she spoke.

Mila looked over Jessa, as if she was evaluating her. “Are you a Smasher?” The girl inquired after a moment.

“Yeah,” Jessa said. Mila nodded slightly.

“What’s your power?” Mila asked.

“I don’t really know. I can make things… happen. Things I want to happen.” Good or bad, she added to herself.

Mila seemed to be considering something carefully. Then, she spoke. "Maybe you could..." She paused as she looked up at Jessa and their eyes met again. "Maybe you could live with us."

"Us?" Jessa looked past Mila into the alley, but nobody else was there.

"I'll explain later, if you want to come," Mila said. She looked at Jessa expectantly.

Jessa hesitated. For all she knew, Mila could've been lying. But where else did she have to go? The streets of Super City were far from safe for a girl, even if she was a Smasher. Jessa slowly nodded. "Sure."

"Let's go, then. They'll wonder where I've been," Mila said as she got up and began walking away. Jessa quickly got up to follow. She ached all over from being in the same position all night.

"So, who is 'us'?" Jessa asked when she caught up to Mila.

"Not yet," the taller girl replied. Jessa frowned, but said nothing. Where was this girl taking her?

They walked for a few blocks along the mostly deserted streets. Once they passed a man dressed in dark clothes. He made Jessa nervous, but Mila continued walking. Jessa followed.

The sunrise was a rosy color when Mila stopped in front of an abandoned warehouse. As far as Jessa could tell, there was nothing special about it. From the looks of it, it hadn't been open since the Chaos Riots five years ago.

"Here we are," Mila said with a small smile. She walked to the front door and turned the handle slowly. The rusty door made a squeaking sound as Mila opened it and went inside. Jessa took a deep breath and followed.

It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the sudden light and heat. Then she stared in surprise and wonder.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:37:46 >
AQW  Post #: 2
2/5/2012 20:59:34   
Jessa K

( This is what Luke looks like)

Chapter Three: Secrets

Scattered throughout the warehouse, staring at the two girls, were several youths. In the middle of the large room, was the source of the light and heat. A boy, about sixteen or seventeen with tan skin and black hair, who was on fire.

A Smasher, Jessa realized after her initial surprise. She watched, entranced by the way the flames danced across his skin. “Luke!” Mila called out. The Smasher boy looked up suddenly. His concentration seemed to break, and the fire was extinguished. Even from halfway across the room, Jessa could see that his eyes were a bright forest green. He stood up, rather stiffly, and slowly walked to Mila and Jessa. His eyes were full of questions as he approached them.

“Jessa, this is Lucas Knox. He’s sort of our unofficial leader,” Mila introduced. “And Luke, this is Jessa Kevlar. She’s another orphan.”

“Luke,” the boy corrected, “and for the last time, I’m not our leader.” Mila grinned, and Jessa had the feeling it was a common topic.

“What happened to your parents?” Luke asked. Jessa would have felt offended, but his green eyes seemed to fill with compassion and understanding, rather than blunt curiosity.

“They died in a car accident, last night.” Jessa winced painfully as she said the words. She neglected to mention the fact that she had caused the accident, though.

Luke nodded his head slowly, sadly. Jessa looked around the warehouse. Besides Mila, Luke, and herself, seven others were in the room. Most of them seemed to be teenagers, although one girl looked eight or nine. They were spread all over, on blankets or mismatching chairs.

“So, who are you?” Jessa asked, motioning towards the people throughout the warehouse.

“Orphans and runaways,” Mila said.

Luke nodded again, this time in agreement. “We’ve gotten bigger over the years. It used to be just Mila and me, almost five years ago. We found each other after the Chaos Riots.”

“My parents had both been killed,” Mila added softly. “Luke’s mom, too, and his dad left.”

“He thought we were both dead. He didn’t know I had made it out in time,” Luke said quickly.

Mila continued. “We found each other, and we decided to stick together. Luke’s power is really useful, he can create all sorts of fires, and so we always had heat and light. He was pretty powerful, for a twelve-year-old.”

“I trained with Professor Smash when I was younger,” Luke explained.

“Good thing, too. We lived alone for a few months, and then one day we saw a couple of punks chasing Lily,” Mila said, pointing to a girl of about sixteen with pale blonde curls. “Luke just blasted them and saved her.”

“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” Luke muttered, although his eyes showed a hint of fierce pride. “Lily joined up with us, and over the years we’ve found others.” He pointed out each of the children and told Jessa their names. Jessa had a feeling she would have to relearn the names of most of them, although she made an effort to remember Kira, the little girl.

“Oh, Luke, I almost forgot!” Mila said excitedly once the introductions had finished. “Jessa’s a Smasher, too.”

Luke’s eyes lit up. “What’s your power?”

“I make things happen. Things that I want to happen, like storms, wind, and lights going out,” Jessa responded. “I’m still learning how to use it.”

The black-haired boy looked thoughtful. “That could be… useful.” Mila nodded.

“Here,” Mila said suddenly, handing Jessa an old blanket she had been carrying. “You can go find somewhere to make your bed, I’ve got to make brunch, and Luke’s got to make fire.”

Jessa accepted the blanket. After a bit of roaming around the warehouse, she settles on a spot between two empty storage crates. It offered a bit of privacy, but still allowed her to see a large portion of the room. She spread out her blanket, which had a few holes and smelled funny, and sat down.

Jessa went over the morning’s events in her mind. Had it been pure luck that Mila had found her, or was it her power? Jessa was unsure. Then again, there were so many things she was unsure of. The most prominent of these things was if she would tell what had happened to her parents. If I tell them, they wouldn’t want me here. Jessa was certain of this. They would know how dangerous she really was, and then they would make her leave.

I can’t leave. I have nowhere to go.

Jessa leaned against one of the crates, sighing. Tears threatened to start falling as her thoughts wandered to her parents. She had never felt so alone, with only her secrets for company.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:39:32 >
AQW  Post #: 3
2/10/2012 23:30:19   
Jessa K

(The warehouse looks similar to this)

Chapter Four: Preparation

“Food’s ready!” Mila’s voice called out a short time later. Jessa stood up, taking a deep breath before heading out from her secluded spot between the storage crates.

The youths were crowded around what appeared to be a back door as Mila came in, carrying two plates. Jessa ventured over, curious.

On the plates appeared to be some sort of cooked meat. As Jessa came closer, she was able to make out just what kind of meat- two cooked rabbits. Everybody else looked rather excited, but Jessa frowned slightly. They were eating rabbit?

“Get back, let her cut it up first,” Luke commanded, getting up from his position in the center of the room. The children obliged, some of them grumbling slightly. Mila set the plates down on a small storage crate, where several other plates were stacked along with various mismatched silverware. As Jessa watched, the dark-skinned girl carefully divided the meat. She dispersed it evenly between them, although each portion seemed small.

Jessa was passed a plate with her serving of food, along with a fork. She looked around, unsure of where to sit.

“Over here, Jessa,” Luke called out. Most of the teenagers seemed to be gathered around him in a roughly shaped circle. Jessa sat down between two girls, who both looked about 13 or 14. Everybody else was already devouring their meals, so Jessa followed suit. The meat was tough and distinctly gamey, but it tasted amazing to Jessa, who hadn’t eaten since early the night before.

“How did manage to get this?” Jessa asked after swallowing a large bite. Her question was directed to all of them, but Luke responded.

“We take turns going out hunting. Some parts of the city, especially the outskirts, have wild animals. Most of the time we can get one or two rabbits. Then I make a fire out back and Mila cooks and serves them,” he explained.

The little girl, Kira, spoke up. She had straight brown hair and hazel eyes, as well as a large amount of freckles. “Usually we have canned food too, but supplies are low. We’re going on a raid soon, right, Luke?”

Luke nodded. “Today, probably.” There was an excited murmur among the children.

“A raid?” Jessa questioned, one eyebrow raised.

Luke nodded. “Every once in a while, we go out on a raid. We take stuff, mostly food but sometimes other things.”

Jessa frowned. “You go out and rob stores?” She didn’t realize she had joined a group of thieves.

Luke nodded with a small sigh. “I know, it’s wrong, but we have to. None of us have money, and we don’t have any other choice. It’s either a raid every once in a while, or starve.”

Jessa said nothing, but her thoughts were troubled. The idea that they stole bothered her, but that wasn’t the only thing. Looking up at Luke, she did not see a regular teenage boy hanging out with his friends. His green eyes were full of concern, and unlike the other teens he did not smile. He seemed to be thinking deeply. As Jessa watched him, he looked up and their eyes met. Neither one of them looked away, until Luke gave an uncertain smile and they both looked away.

The meal was over faster than Jessa would have liked. “We take turns washing dishes,” Mila explained to Jessa. A basin was on the floor below a window, half full with water. The teens placed their dishes in, and one boy began to wash.

“Now what?” Jessa asked when they were done. Most everybody seemed to be milling around, doing nothing in particular.

“Now, we prepare for the raid,” Luke said, coming up behind the girls. “There’s always tons to do on raid days. We have to decide who to take, who to raid, our plans, and loads of other things.”

“Speaking of that, who do you plan on bringing this time?” Mila asked. Jessa noticed that Luke said ‘we,’ but Mila spoke as if it was entirely up to Luke. She wondered how much power the boy really had over the youths.

“Well, you of course,” Luke started. Mila smiled. “Probably Emma and Will, too.” He then looked up at Jessa, and their eyes met again. “And Jessa.”

Mila looked surprised. “Jessa? But…”

“Think of her power, Mila. We need that,” Luke explained. “The raids are too dangerous. We almost got caught last time.”

Mila bit her lip, nodding. Jessa could tell that she didn’t exactly like the idea. “She’s had no training, though. It might be more dangerous to bring her.”

“I can handle myself,” Jessa spoke up. “My power could be really useful for something like this. I want to help.”

The black-haired boy almost looked relieved. “It will be fine, Mila. I’ll make sure of it.”

“Okay, then,” Mila said, turning towards Jessa. “I hope you’re a quick learner.”

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:40:13 >
AQW  Post #: 4
2/14/2012 23:12:19   
Jessa K

( This is what Will looks like)

Chapter Five: Necessity

“I’ve gotta go talk to Sam,” Luke said. “He had an idea about where to raid.” He smiled at the girls and went over to a boy across the warehouse.

“Exactly what do I have to learn?” Jessa questioned, turning towards Mila.

“Mainly the way we do raids, what to do if we get caught, things like that,” Mila explained. “Come on, let’s sit down, my legs are getting tired,” she grinned. The dark-haired girl led Jessa over to a few knee-height storage boxes. They looked half-rotted, but Mila sat on them, and Jessa followed suit. She then looked across the room, searching, until she seemed to spot somebody. “Will!” She called out.

A brown-haired boy of about 15 looked up from a small group of boys the same age. Mila waved him over, and he obliged. As he came closer, Jessa noted that he had the gangly look of a teenager not quite done growing. His eyes were hazel, and he had a few freckles.

“Yeah?” The boy asked when he was in front of them. Mila pushed a crate forward and motioned for him to sit, which he did.

“This is Will, he’s sort of our strategist,” Mila introduced. “This is Jessa, she’s going to come on the raid. I need your help explaining how we do the raids.”

Will nodded and turned to Jessa. “When we go on raids, we focus on keeping things easy and fast. We go in, grab as much as we can, and get out.” He spoke with the ease and practice of somebody who had explained this many times before.

“Mila unlocks the door- she’s the best at breaking in,” Mila smiled at this, “And then we go in. Usually we each have a bag, and we grab as much as possible. Five minutes later, we leave. Luke sometimes points out specific areas, like canned vegetables, but not always.”

Jessa nodded, taking in the information. Will continued. “The reason we’re so fast is because some stores have alarms, which alert the police. We make sure never to raid close to a police station, so usually we get away without even seeing a cop. Sometimes, though, the cops still come. We always have somebody on the lookout, so usually we can run away. A few of us know the streets and alleys really well, so it’s pretty easy to hide.”

“What happens if somebody gets caught?” Jessa asked, unable to retain the question.

Mila and Will shared a slight, knowing glance. It was for only a moment, but Jessa saw it. “It happened before, didn’t it?” She guessed.

Mila nodded sadly, but didn’t elaborate. There was a moment of awkward silence before Will continued.

“You’re a Smasher, right?” Will asked. Jessa nodded, rather resentfully. “Would your power be useful for a raid?”

Jessa thought for a moment. She had no idea what her capabilities were truly; only that things happened according to what she wanted. “I think I could be pretty useful,” she agreed. “When I really want something to happen… With my power, it usually happens in some way or other.”

Will grinned. “So that’s why Luke wanted to take you.”

“Hopefully, your powers won’t be needed,” Mila added. Will nodded in agreement, and then looked up. Jessa followed his gaze, to see Luke approaching them with a boy and a girl. The boy looked 16 or 17, the girl about 13. The boy was the same one Luke had left to talk to earlier, who Jessa assumed was Sam. He had curly dark brown hair and brown eyes. The girl had brown hair with faded blonde streaks and blue-green eyes.

“Jessa, this is Sam and Emma,” Luke introduced when he joined them. “They’re going to come on the raid, too.” Jessa nodded at the two in acknowledgement. They pulled up more storage crates and sat down, forming a loose circle.

“Sam had an idea to raid that drug store near the Aurora Park ruins,” Luke started, “it’s not too far, so we won’t have to worry about lugging our loot around for miles. It’s nowhere near the police station, too. There’s a lot of gang activity in that area, but if we’re quick and careful we should be fine.”

“When will we be leaving?” Mila asked.

“We’ll wait until after it gets dark,” Luke said immediately. It seemed that he had already carefully planned the raid.
Jessa looked out one of the windows set high up in the warehouse. Based on the sun, she guessed it was one or two in the afternoon. This time of year, it got dark as soon as 5. Only a few more hours, Jessa thought.

“So, we all know what to do?” Luke asked. There was a general murmur of agreement. “Alright, then. Try to relax a bit before tonight.” The group dispersed, and most of the teens seemed to go back to their beds. Jessa did the same, making her way back to her secluded spot between the two storage crates. Yet again, thoughts swirled through her head.

It had been only hours ago that Mila had found her, and soon she would be accompanying them on a raid. In some ways, it seemed unbelievable. She was still so unsure of everything, and painful memories of her parents kept popping up when she least expected them. She tried to push the memories away, but they just kept coming back. Jessa sighed, and realized how tired she felt. The day had been a whirlwind of unexpected activity, and combined with her sleepless night, that left her exhausted. Jessa leaned against one of the crates. She was asleep within moments.


“Jessa, wake up,” a voice said softly. Jessa stirred and woke, her diamond-like eyes opening quickly. She was confused- where was she? –until her gaze connected with familiar forest green eyes, and she remembered. The pain came back, a great wave of agony from the previous night. She had to bite her lip to keep from crying out. The wave of emotion passed quickly though, and Jessa stood up.

“Did you have a nice nap?” He asked, with a playful smile.

Jessa nodded, with a small smile in response. She had a deep, dreamless sleep. It wasn’t enough to make up for the previous night, but she felt a bit more energized.

“Here,” he said, handing her two cloth bags. “Remember, fill them as quickly as possible.” He led her to the group of raiders, who all looked ready to go.

“Can’t I come, please?” The young girl, Kira, asked. Will laughed.

“How many times do I have to tell you? When you’re older,” the boy responded. Jessa noticed how similar they looked, and guessed they were siblings.

“Alright, let’s go,” Luke said. He led the group of teens out the back door. It was dark, and cold. Jessa shivered involuntarily, although the cold didn’t bother her as much as it had the night before.

They made their way between the alleys. Jessa was surprised to see the youngest, Emma, leading alongside Luke. She asked Mila the reason.

“Emma knows the streets better than any of us,” Mila explained. “She’s one of the youngest, but she grew up on the streets. She knows every alley, every route, and every street.”

As Luke had said, the store wasn’t too far. They traveled silently through the ruins of Aurora Park. Jessa remembered when she was little. She had come here often with her parents… Jessa shook the thought away.

They soon stood in front of the store. It was a normal drug store, certainly nothing special. The lights were off inside, and the parking lot was empty. “Perfect,” Will whispered.

Luke looked up at the door, and frowned. “Security camera,” he muttered quietly. “Another step closer and we’ll all be seen.”

Will swore softly. “Should’ve thought of that. Guess we’ll have to find somewhere else.” Luke nodded, and turned to leave.

“Hold on,” Jessa said, looking at the camera. The little red light on it was blinking ominously. “Maybe I can, if I try…” She whispered, mostly to herself. She concentrated, thinking of how much she wanted the cameras off, so that her new friends could be safe. She focused her will, telling herself there was nothing she wanted more than for the camera to turn off.

There was a sudden and small crackle sound, and the red light blinked out.

There was a quiet cheer from the group. Jessa allowed herself a small smile of pride. Mila walked forward, with something small and shiny in her hand. She then pulled a can out of one of her bags and sprayed the lock. She then placed the can back in her bag and inserted the shiny object into the lock. In less than a minute, the door was open.

“Hurry! Batteries, canned food, and anything else we need” Luke urged. They rushed inside, spreading out across the dark store. Jessa headed towards the canned food, along with Mila and Will. She grabbed everything she could reach. She didn’t take time to look and see what she was grabbing. Her bag quickly grew heavy. Jessa slung one full bag over her shoulder and began filling the next one. The other teens did the same.

Suddenly, Jessa heard a girl’s scream. She looked up, her eyes wide. Over the top of the shelf, a few aisles down, Jessa saw flames.

Mila, Will, and Jessa rushed into the main aisle. “Luke?” Mila yelled, all attempts at secrecy forgotten.

Then Jessa heard a click behind them. It took her only a second to recognize the sound of a gun being cocked.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:41:45 >
AQW  Post #: 5
2/21/2012 18:45:06   
Jessa K

(This is what Jessa's room looks like.)

Chapter Six: Peaches

In an instant, a billion thoughts ran through Jessa’s head. What’s going on? Who’s behind me? Is anybody hurt?

“Don’t shoot,” Jessa whispered. Will and Mila turned, their eyes wide with surprise, which quickly turned to horror. Down the aisles, Jessa could hear tremendous crashes and shouts, as if somebody was in a very messy fight.

“Get out, or I will shoot,” a gruff voice answered. “Nobody loots this store but me and my guys. We don’t want no urchins stealing what’s mine.” It was clearly a man’s voice, and not a small man either by the sound of it.

“Okay, we’ll leave,” Mila said quickly. Will and Mila ran to the front of the store, Jessa quickly followed. She didn’t look back. When they reached the front door, though, Mila ducked behind a doughnut display. Will and Jessa did the same, although Jessa was unsure why.

“We can’t just leave everybody else,” Mila said quietly.

“What’s going on?” Jessa asked, voicing one of several questions.

“Well, looks like we picked the wrong night for a raid. Some other gang came, and apparently they were hoping to raid this store instead,” Will explained.

“We’ve got to go back and rescue them,” Mila said, peering out from behind the display. “Luke should be able to handle just a couple thugs, but if any of them are Smashers, he could be in trouble. Emma and Sam might need help, too.”

Will nodded. “Let’s go through the aisles, sneak up on them. See what the situation is first.”

Mila nodded in agreement. “Let’s go.” The three teens made their way down one of the dark aisles, towards the shouts and the occasional flames. As they neared the end of the aisle, Jessa heard a grown man’s anguished scream. She guessed that Luke had gotten at least one of them so far. They picked up their pace, until they were running.

They halted at the end of the shadowy aisle, viewing the fight. Luke was facing two men, and the charred body of a third was on a floor. Jessa tried not to look at that, instead turning her eyes to Luke. The men were wary, their handguns pointed directly at him. Sam and Emma watched fearfully from the side.

There was a moment of silence. Nobody was backing down, but nobody was willing to make a move either.

Then, almost as if in slow motion, Jessa saw one of the men bring up his weapon. Luke’s eyes widened and he brought up his hand, preparing to send a jet of flames towards his attacker. But Jessa could see it in those green eyes- Luke knew he wouldn’t be fast enough.

Jessa watched helplessly as the man pulled the trigger. No, she thought with anguish.


There wasn’t even time to comprehend what had happened before a wave of fire engulfed both men. The flames were a bright blue-white color, and the temperature in the room rose drastically. The men didn’t even have time to open up their mouths and scream before two more burned bodies littered the floor.

The stench of burnt flesh filled the air. Luke looked exhausted. As they watched, he slowly eased down to the ground onto his knees. The five other teens rushed towards him.

“Luke? You okay?” Mila asked, looking concerned. Then again, everybody looked concerned.

“Just tired,” Luke answered shortly. He took a deep breath and stood.

Suddenly, the distant wail of sirens filled the air, quietly at first, but quickly getting louder.

“The cops,” Mila muttered. “How convenient of them to show up, now that everybody’s out of danger.”

“We’d better leave. It wouldn’t look very good if the police found us here,” Luke said.

“Come on, we can leave out the back,” Emma responded. They picked up their bags, not as full as preferred, and followed the younger girl out the back door.

Emma led them through a roundabout way, which she said was safer. Jessa didn’t pay much attention to where they were going, until she started to recognize the area. My apartment’s up ahead, she realized. She could see the complex.

“Wait,” Jessa said as they reached the building. The others turned and looked at her in confusion.

Mila looked down the street, where the alley where Jessa had hid could be seen. The older girl quickly made the connection. “Your old place?”

Jessa nodded. “Just… give me a couple minutes? I could have some useful stuff in there.”

The teens looked to Luke, who nodded. “Go ahead,” he said. The complex was dark. Jessa slowly walked up to the front door. With a deep breath, she pulled the handle. To her surprise, it was unlocked. Jessa took a breath and went inside.

It was all so familiar. The beige-brown carpets, the elevator, the doors, the walls. Jessa looked to the elevator, but went to the stairs instead, for fear of waking somebody. Her apartment was on the third floor.

She climbed the stairs quickly, but quietly. Each step brought her closer to her old home. On the third floor, Jessa stepped into the hall. It was dark, but she could still make out the doors. Hers was the fourth one on the left. She walked up to it, slowly. A welcome mat was placed in front, their number on the door. Jessa knelt down and slipped the spare key out from under the welcome mat. She stood and carefully inserted the key into the lock. With a resounding click, the door opened. Jessa stepped inside. She was almost surprised to see everything still untouched. It was exactly the same.

She lingered in the main room for only a short time. There was nothing in there of importance in there. Instead, she headed to her own bedroom. The walls were painted a pale blue, with white trim. The white blankets on her bed were still unmade. Her white desk was there in one corner, cluttered with jewelry, hair supplies, and schoolwork.

Jessa thought of school with a pain. Her friends, her teachers, her entire education, would be left behind. They would all wonder what had happened to her. No doubt they had heard of her parents. Jessa wondered if they knew also of her escape. She went to the desk and gathered anything valuable or useful. We can sell the jewelry, she thought as she placed the valuables in her bag. She hesitated as she saw her cell phone, but left it. Jessa knew she wouldn’t need it.

From there, Jessa moved to her dresser and closet. She grabbed her backpack, poured out all the school supplies, and stuffed it with clothes. She would share with the other girls, of course. She grabbed her black jacket and put it on.

From there, Jessa moved to the pantry. She found another bag and placed all the non-perishable food inside. After the pantry, Jessa stood outside her parents’ room. She had rarely gone in there in the past, but she pushed the door open and stepped inside.

Suddenly, there were tears coming to Jessa’s eyes. It was too much. Everything, even the smell, reminded her of her parents. She blinked away the tears before they could fall, but her heart was still filled with anguish. She set most of the bags down and ventured further.

She hesitated at her mother’s jewelry cabinet. There were many valuable things in there, but it wasn’t hers. A part of her refused to take it, but Jessa knew that if she didn’t take it, somebody else eventually would. She gathered the jewelry and placed it in her bag.

Jessa paused as she saw a picture frame with a familiar photo on the desk. It was of her parents and her, about six years ago at Aurora Park. The shining statue of Pandora could be seen in the background. All three of them were smiling. 10-year-old Jessa looked carefree and happy, with a wide gap-toothed grin. People in the past had said that Jessa had the beauty of her mother, but her father’s eyes, and for the first time Jessa could see the resemblance. A single tear escaped and ran down the side of her check before Jessa brushed it away. She placed the picture inside her bag, then gathered the rest of the bags and left.

She didn’t look back as she left the apartment. Will and Sam came forward and took a few bags to lighten her load, for which she was grateful. Nobody said anything, but yet again Jessa could see the understanding in Luke’s eyes.

They were greeted with cheers and smiles back at the warehouse. Jessa put on a small smile as she handed out some of her old clothes to the girls. None fit Mila, but the other girls were younger than Jessa, and the happiness on their faces brought a little bit of comfort to her.

“You look tired,” Luke noted when Jessa had finished. She looked up at him and nodded wordlessly.

“Go sleep. You earned it.” He let out a small laugh. “Heck, you’ve earned a thousand night’s sleep.”

Jessa frowned, confused. “What did I do to deserve that?”

Luke raised his eyebrows. “Wasn’t it you who stopped that gun from firing and saved me?”

Jessa’s blue eyes widened with realization. “Oh,” she said quietly. She thought back to that moment, her anguish as the man pulled the trigger. “I did.”

Luke smiled. It was a real, genuine smile, one that lit up his whole face. “Mind helping me bring some of this canned food over to the storage area?” He asked.

“No problem,” Jessa agreed. They each grabbed several bags, and Jessa followed him over to some storage crates near the back door. Luke set his bags down and pried one open, revealing an empty storage space. He poured the cans into the crate, and Jessa followed suit. When they were done, Luke reached for something on the top of a nearby crate. He then reached into the crate full of food and pulled something out. Turning towards Jessa, he held out a spoon and a can of peaches.

“Your compensation,” he explained. They laughed and Jessa accepted the peaches. “Go eat those and get some sleep.”

Jessa nodded and went back to her secluded ‘bedroom’. She pulled out her photograph from the bag she had left there and set it out. Jessa then pulled open the can of sweet peaches and began to eat, thinking of the past and future.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/23/2013 2:42:38 >
AQW  Post #: 6
4/4/2012 12:16:09   
Jessa K

Chapter Seven: Falling
Luke woke up earlier than any of the others, as usual. His biological clock had adapted long ago, so that he was able to rise early and heat the warehouse. It was somewhat exhausting, constantly keeping the fire alight until it was warm enough. They couldn’t make an actual fire, as that would smoke, so there was no alternative.

I don’t mind much, anyways, he thought as he sat down in the middle of the room. The concrete was cold, but it wouldn’t be for long. Luke took off his t-shirt (once a light green, now much darker and faded) to maximize the surface area. His skin may have been fireproof, but his clothes sure weren’t.

Luke closed his eyes and concentrated, falling into the half-trance state required to keep burning so long. He thought like Professor Smash had taught him so long ago. He felt the familiar rush of power flow through him, and his skin was alight.

By the time the early morning sun’s rays were peeking through the glass windows, a few of the youths were stirring. Mila was next up, as usual. Even with his eyes closed, he could recognize by sound when she got up. She always made a half-groan noise, followed by a small sigh.

Luke listened to the other teens awake as Mila went to start prepare breakfast. There was Will with his giant yawn, Emma with a whisper of a sigh, Carlie with her slight moan of protest.

Luke didn’t realize he was listening for Jessa’s wake-up noise until he heard it- the sudden sharp intake of breath, like somebody waking up from a nightmare.

The quiet buzz of conversation began to fill the air. Luke extinguished his flames with a feeling of relief. He slowly opened his eyes. Shocking green met bright blue once again.

She looked away shyly, and Luke realized a dire mistake; his shirt was still off. He hurriedly slipped the clothing back on before allowing a temporary moment of relaxation. He would have to get up in a moment, but Luke took a few seconds to ponder the newest member of their ragtag gang.

She was beautiful; there was no doubt about that. Her eyes, her nose, her mouth, everything about her face seemed almost unrealistic to Luke. He had no doubt she had been very popular at her school. Luke had once been popular too, but that was before his life fell apart.

He rose and stretched, enjoying the feeling after several hours in the same position. As soon as he returned to a normal standing position, Sam approached him.

“I think we should go hunting today,” the younger boy said. Luke nodded in agreement. Although they had plenty of canned food, they still needed fresh meat. Since they had a rabbit yesterday, it wasn’t a must, but there was no reason not to.

“When should we leave, then?” He asked. Luke turned towards him. Sam was the closest in age to Luke, although still almost a year younger.

“Sorry, but I need you to stay and help take an inventory,” Luke explained. He felt a sting of pity when Sam’s shoulders fell, but it needed to be done. They needed to know exactly how much of everything they had, and Sam was the best when it came to math and numbers.

“Breakfast!” Mila called out. Everybody surged towards the shabby mass of crates that passed for their kitchen. Various assortments of canned fruits and vegetables, along with a single can of Spam. Practically a feast.

The children waited as patiently as they could manage while Mila dished out each meal. She handed Luke a fork and plate with canned pears and his portion of Spam. Delicious.

When everybody had their portion, they sat down. Jessa, after a bit of hesitation, sat beside Mila and Luke. He smiled at her.

“What’s for today, Luke?” Mila asked, digging into her meal.

“An inventory has to be taken,” Mila groaned at this, “and I’m going to go hunting.”

“Alone?” Mila challenged. She was almost like a mother sometimes, always afraid something would happen to him if he went anywhere alone.

“I’ll bring somebody else,” he conceded. He could hunt best all alone, without worrying about somebody else disturbing the prey, but he knew it was safer to not go alone.

Luke tried to ponder reasonably over who to take, but he already had a good idea who he wanted to bring. She needs to learn how we do things around here, he argued with himself. That sounded better than the opposition.

After breakfast, Luke helped Carlie and Will clean the dishes and silverware. Then he gathered his courage- why did he feel the need to gather his courage? –and walked over to where Jessa was standing idly.

“Hey,” he said, immediately mentally slapping himself.

She looked up at him and smiled. “Hi,” she replied.

Luke was perplexed for a moment. He had no trouble talking to the rest of the girls, so why did his mind go blank and his tongue feel like it was made of lead? She looked at him expectantly.

“I was going hunting today, and I thought it would be a good idea to show you how it works,” he said. He hoped he didn’t sound stupid, and mentally slapped himself again for thinking that. Who cares what she thinks I sound like? He reassured himself.

“Alright,” Jessa nodded in agreement. “When do we leave?”

“Right now, before it gets too hot and all the rabbits hide in the shade,” Luke replied. She nodded again, and he led her to the warehouse door. Mila watched them leave, and Luke could have sworn she was smirking.

“It’s a bit of a walk, because we have to go all the way to the edge of the city,” Luke said after a few moments.

The two teenage Smashers started towards the city limits. It was fairly cold, but at least she had her jacket this time. There was a bit of awkward silence.

Soon, Luke turned towards Jessa. “I’m guessing you don’t have any siblings?” He said, seemingly to start conversation.

“That’s right.” Jessa had to smile inwardly. Walking down the street in daylight, chatting, seemed extremely un-Smasher-like. Still, it was better than nothing. “How about you?” She asked.

He shook his head. “Me neither. I had a couple cousins about the same age as me, but they both died in the Chaos Riots.”

“Oh,” Jessa responded. Losing family members wasn’t an uncommon thing to Jessa. Almost everybody who came back to the city had suffered some loss. Still, with many people it was a sensitive topic.

They talked offhandedly on their way to the edge. The topics ranged from elementary schools- Luke had the same kindergarten teacher as Jessa –to pets. Luke found himself practically hanging on every word she said, and mentally slapped himself for the third time.

He held up his hand and motioned for silence when they neared the city limits. The area, not quite a forest, but not a plain either, seemed to stretch out endlessly for miles.
“Now we just wait for them to come out. It rained some last night, so the rabbits should be pretty active,” he whispered.

He was glad to be proven right when, barely ten minutes later, a rabbit came sniffing cautiously through the tangle of undergrowth.

Luke could have sent out a fireball, but he wanted to try something. It was a trick Professor Smash had promised to teach him one day, but never had.

With Jessa watching closely, he concentrated, slipping again into his half-trance state. He felt again the rush of power, and the rabbit literally dropped dead.

Jessa let out a small gasp of surprise, but Luke sat down. The trick had been more draining than he had expected. “Are you okay?” She asked, still whispering.

Luke nodded and stood. He was still quite tired, but didn’t want Jessa to see that. He wasn’t sure she was fooled though, judging by the concerned look on her face.

He went over and inspected the rabbit. From the outside, it looked perfectly fine. “What did you do?” Jessa asked.

“Well, in brief turns, I burnt its brains,” he said. It was a bit more complex than that, but he didn’t want to explain it to her.

“Ah,” she said shortly. He bent down to pick up the rabbit. It was surprisingly plump, and he smiled. Mila would be happy.

“SCIF! Freeze!”

The two teens did just that, their faces mirrored looks of horror as they realized just what was going on.

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 2/26/2013 0:39:15 >
AQW  Post #: 7
3/12/2013 0:34:52   
Jessa K

(Special thanks this chapter to a certain Smasher for the use of their character!)

Chapter Eight: Caught

Super City Investigative Force. The Smasher police, responsible for whoever the regular police couldn't handle. Jessa had never so much as spoken to one before. "Put your hands up and turn around to face me, slowly," the female voice commanded. The young Smashers reluctantly obeyed. Jessa's mind raced, wondering what they had done. If the agent saw Luke's trick with the rabbit, then it was obvious at least one of them had powers. Could she somehow have connected them to the raid the night before? 

Luke's eyes were full of fear, but Jessa was almost certain there was something stronger behind them too. "I don't want to hurt you," he told the agent quietly. Jessa knew he could, if he had to. Why would a single agent confront two smashers with nothing but a gun? The woman, tall and blonde with dark eyes, seemed to smile.

"Many SCIF agents have powers themselves, myself included. Mine happens to be perfect for the job, so unless you want to end up with a bullet in your head you'll walk back with me to the station." Her words were harsh, and something about her tone made Jessa doubtful. The agent sounded so confident. 

Luke closed his eyes suddenly, and Jessa readied herself for the heat of his flames. But nothing happened. He opened his eyes, looking shocked. "My powers..." He muttered in confusion. He glanced down at his hand, worry clearly etched into his face. She waited for a burst of flames, a spark, something able to deny her fears. Looking around, she searched frantically for something to test her own power on. Her eyes landed on a tall weed nearby, and with a sense of urgency she urged a small gust of wind to move it. Jessa began to truly panic as she finally accepted the truth- their powers were gone. They were defenseless, reduced to nothing more than regular children. 

"Something missing?" The woman asked, her weapon still pointed steadily. "Complete power neutralization in about a fifty foot radius. Don't think about trying to run out of range either, because I will shoot." The way she spoke, Jessa didn't doubt it. "I will escort you to the station, where we'll talk about exactly what crimes you've committed." The way she said made Jessa wonder just how much SCIF did know. She'd never truly thought about it the previous night, but what they'd done had been far from right; they'd had no choice though.  

Her mind raced, trying to find a solution. They needed to get out of this. What would happen to the rest of their little gang, if Luke just disappeared? They would think Luke and Jessa had been hurt, or killed, or... Jessa shuddered at the thought, or that they'd simply ran off and left the children to fend for themselves. 

Something behind the agent caught Jessa's eye suddenly, flying towards them. She focused on the object, not quite understanding what it was. Her eyes widened as she realized what it was- not an object, but a person, flying towards them at an extremely high speed. The whir of a mechanical device alerted the agent as the figure flew closer, but before she could do anything, the person was upon her. He struck her across the head, and the blonde Smasher fell to the ground. 

Both teens watched him, eyes wide in surprise. Luke's hands were alight, proving the agent's power only worked while she was conscious, and Jessa was guarded carefully. The man's brown hair was on the longer side, his eyes covered with red goggles. His skin, the obvious proof that he was a Smasher, was tinted an unnatural green. He wore a silvery armor, complete with a jet pack, which explained how he was able to fly to the agent. "Calm down, I'm not here to hurt you," he spoke. The green-skinned smasher looked back at the blonde woman, almost regretfully. Luke extinguished his fire, but Jessa could still see the caution in his eyes. 

Luke had a good reason to be cautious, too. Jessa recognized the man from the local news, and he certainly wasn't a hero. "ND Mallet?" She muttered, more of a confirmation than a question. A villain with radioactive powers. He nodded, before turning once more to glance at the woman crumpled on the ground. 

"Perhaps we should move away from here," he offered, looking uncomfortable. Luke nodded and picked up the rabbit, which still laid beside them, before turning to follow the villain. They walked a few blocks among the deserted district of the city in silence, before Luke finally stopped. Jessa and ND followed suit. 

"Why did you help us?" Luke asked, his tone a mixture of confusion with a tinge of accusation. It was the same thing Jessa had been wondering. "We're not villains. If you're trying to get us to do something bad, we won't help you." 

The man sighed. He seemed tired, Jessa observed. "Everybody should have the right to choose their own fate, kid." He looked up at them. "You're both Smashers?" The teenagers nodded in confirmation, and he continued. "You see, everybody stereotypes us Smashers. You're either good or bad, and you don't have much of a choice in the matter. You say you're not villains, yet I've seen you and your little group before." Luke frowned in alarm, and Jessa too grew concerned with the though of somebody watching them. "You break into places, you steal, you even killed some people." She felt sickened at the thought. "Society calls that a villain."

"I told you, we're not evil," Luke interrupted angrily. The green man sent him a small glare before continuing. 

"I didn't say you were, because I know you're not. You kids are just trying to get by. You don't deserve to be called villains, if that's not what you want. Like I said, everybody should be able to choose their own fate." With that, ND's jet pack whirred to life, and he flew off, disappearing among the buildings. 

Jessa looked to Luke, feeling more than a bit overwhelmed once again. "I don't want to be a bad guy," she said, frowning. 

"We're not," Luke replied, but there was something doubtful about his tone. He turned away to the direction of their warehouse, brushing a hand through his dark hair. "Come on, one rabbit is better than nothing, and I don't want to run into that agent again."

"Think about it," she insisted. Finally, Jessa was voicing one of the concerns which  had lately been keeping her up at night. "We have these powers for a reason. I don't think that reason is stealing and killing. I know it's not." 

He turned back towards her, frowning. "You think I like doing that? Because I don't. It sucks. When I was little, I didn't dream of becoming a thief. I wanted to be a hero, fight crime, use my powers for good. When teachers asked me what I would be when I grew up, I told them a superhero, and they believed me." He sighed, shook his head, and started to head back home. 

Jessa followed wordlessly, unsure of what to say. She knew they had to raid and steal in order to survive, but that didn't make it right. "What's stopping us?" She finally said quietly, barely more than a whisper. 

Luke slowed and looked back at her, eyebrow raised. "We can't stop doing bad, but maybe, if we do good too, it'll balance out." She let out a half-smile. "We can be heroes too." 

Luke said nothing and continued walking, what Jessa took as a sign that he was thinking, which meant it wasn't a flat-out refusal. They walked the rest of the way in silence, through the ruined city, avoiding the crumbled buildings as they made their way along the barren streets. This part of the city was unfamiliar to Jessa, and so she simply followed the green-eyed Smasher boy ahead of her. 

When they reached the warehouse, Mila was there to greet them at the side door, with little Kira clinging to the tall girl's hand. "How was hunting?" The eight year old asked with a smile. 

"Great," Luke grinned, holding up their prize. The child laughed and ran back inside to tell the others. 

Mila smirked and snatched the rabbit from Luke. "Nice job," she said approvingly, but with a hint of sarcasm. "We'll all get a whole bite at dinner." She went back inside, and Jessa began to follow. 

"Jessa," Luke started. She paused and looked at him expectantly. "Can you... Not tell the others about what happened today? I don't want them to worry. That's my job." Jessa nodded and hurried inside, and Luke shortly followed. 

The rest of the day went peacefully. Already Jessa could feel herself falling into the routine of the group. But after a filling dinner, or at least as filling as they could come by, she laid in her makeshift bed, thinking. Can something good make up for something bad?

< Message edited by Jessa K -- 3/12/2013 0:36:28 >
AQW  Post #: 8
Page:   [1]
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