Afflictions: Part One

Welcome to Season 3 of Earth 2! Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

Vanessa sat in the living room with Deven, Paul, Anastasia, Arte, and Ashley. She’d been living with them here for a bit less than a year now, and it had been pretty good. It definitely was a little tight, but it was considerably better than living with her dad. After everything that happened last year, she hasn’t spoken to him once. Not that that had stopped him from sending her texts and voicemails.

It was a Friday night, and that meant that everyone got together to hang out. Despite living together, they were usually out and about, doing their own things. At least one of them usually had a mission or something from the DSR, and the rest had a lot going on. Jude, Anastasia, and herself particularly did a lot of public appearances for publicity, since they were part of the original team. The others would occasionally come along, or sometimes had their own things. Being a super seemed a lot more like being a celebrity than being a cop or a government agent.

“So yeah, the desk should get here some time soon…” Ashley trailed off, and the conversation went quiet for a moment. “What about you, Vanessa?”

“Sorry, I zoned out. What are we talking about?”

“What did you get up to this week?”

Vanessa thought for a moment. This week had been a little light for her, and she couldn’t particularly remember doing anything besides shopping, baking, Netflix, and drinking.

“Well, I guess a little bit of baking, some stuff around the house… Ignoring my dad’s phone calls I guess?” She laughed nervously. At least she’d probably done about as much as Paul normally did.

“You should talk to him.” Paul said flatly.

The whole room turned to him. He hadn’t really been talkative lately. He’d mostly hole himself up in his room, mess with random things, or go on sudden outings with Deven. Needless to say, his advice was unexpected.

“I’ll talk to him when I’m ready.” Vanessa regretted bringing up her dad at all, since she wasn’t really ready to deal with that.

“It’s been almost a year. Still not ready?” He stared up blankly at the ceiling.

Vanessa was about to reply, but Arte cut her off.

“What’s your deal?” She was usually the first to call Paul out. She gave him quite the talking to last week when he destroyed Anastasia’s shoes, and refused to explain why. He was going on about how it ‘didn’t work anyways’.

“I mean-” He reached forward, grabbed a chip, and continued to speak as he ate. “I feel like this is kind of important information. What exactly did he have to do with the super concentration camp.”

“Paul, can you not bring that up?” Ashley forced a smile, but she really hated talking about that.

“What if your dad’s a super villain?”

“That’s enough.” Arte stood up, and everyone went silent.

Paul slowly reached for another chip, and sat up. “She’s never gonna do it if you don’t stop coddling her.”

Vanessa was boiling with rage, but at the same time felt a little bit of doubt. While he was being a jerk, he was right about her dad possibly having important information. Maybe she was just being a coward.

“You wouldn’t understand parent issues…” Vanessa mumbled.

“I do understand intelligence issues, and I think you’ve had plenty of time to get your shit together and figure out what his connection was.” Paul shrugged.

“I’m done listening to this.” Vanessa shotgunned the rest of her wine, and went towards the stairs.

“Leaving the bottle for the rest of us?” He called after her.

Vanessa stormed upstairs, and slammed her bedroom door behind her. She jumped into her bed, and buried herself in her blankets. She would talk to him soon, but Paul had no right to say anything about that. It was her business, and her business only. Her dad obviously had connections to the prison, but she didn’t know that. If she didn’t know for sure, that meant that her dad still had a chance of innocence. He’d been doing really well before all of that happened, and she didn’t want to ruin that image of him.

She heard some shouting downstairs, and some footsteps of someone coming up the stairs. A few moments later, there was a knock on the door.

“Can I come in?” Anastasia asked.

Vanessa wiped her tears away, and unburied herself a little. “Fine…”

Anastasia and her had been doing a lot of stuff together lately, and they’d become a little close. It was surprising to see this side of her, since before she’d mostly just been jealous and mad. Yet another awful thing she’d done, but was too scared to talk about.

She opened the door and closed it quietly after she came in. Vanessa could make out the sound of Ashley begging Arte to calm down.

“Things got a little intense out there, huh?” Anastasia laughed a little, and sat on the foot of her bed.

“Do you think Paul was right?”

“Well, no…” She hesitated. “Maybe a little, but he’s still way out of line. You can talk to your dad whenever you’re ready.”

“Maybe I should just get it over with. I don’t think anythings gonna change…” Vanessa paused for a moment. “I’m just scared that we’re right about him.”

“Well, I’m not sure if this will make it any better, but, if you want, I can go with you whenever you decide to go.”

Vanessa’s heart fluttered. “Really, you would?”

“Totally!” She moved in closer. “I’ll do whatever you need me to.”

“Okay… I’ll do it.” She nodded, trying to convince herself. If she had a close friend with her, then she could definitely do it.

She pulled out her phone, and scrolled through the contacts. She finally found ‘Dad’, and clicked call. The phone rang for a moment, until someone finally picked up.

“Vanessa, is that you?” He sounded somewhat groggy. She was a little worried he was back on the drink.

“Yeah, dad…”

Next Part

Hoo boy! Here we go! Welcome to Afflictions everyone, strap on for the ride. I am unbelievably hyped to be here.

Photo Credit: Original

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