Artana: Part 2

She made her way to a towering grey brick building, and went through the glass doors into the lobby. She nodded to the receptionist as she walked by, and pressed her purse up against a black panel adjacent to the elevator. A light on the panel turned green, and the doors opened up. She repeated the process on a panel inside the elevator, and hit the ‘7’ button.

She sighed with relief as the doors opened, and went for her apartment. She once again repeated the ritual with the black box on her doorknob, and the black box once again complied. She had previously questioned the idea of having 3 layers of security that are effectively the same thing. If someone finds a way around one black box, they have their way around the whole system. However, the landlord wasn’t particularly interested in talking security.

“Hey, Ash! You home?” She called into the apartment, but received no reply, as expected. She sat her purse down on the couch, and plopped down next to it.

She relaxed for a moment, before removing the necklace and book from her bag. The book was reminiscent of one of those pocket bibles they gave everyone at school, the ones that everyone threw away. It was dark red, and on the front it just had an eight-spoked wheel, like the necklace.

She opened it up and began reading. Immediately she noticed the book was written in Cyrillic, most likely russian. She thumbed through some more, to see if there were any pictures or anything comprehensible. While she could run the whole book through a translator, she would really rather not.

She eventually found an image of a man making hand gestures, while wearing the necklace. She looked briefly around the apartment, to ensure she was alone. She wasn’t about to start doing weird Russian yoga poses if someone was going to jump in on her.

Once she was confident, she put on the necklace. It was a regular necklace chain, with a latch on the back. The pendant was a simple eight-spoked wheel of some kind of metal. She glanced back down at the book, and struck the pose. She went to a comfortable standing position, into a lunge. She held both of her arms straight out. One of her hands was open palm, facing forwards, while the other was closed fist with her index finger pointing. The open palm was on top of the pointing hand.

A fine red beam of light erupted from her finger, and went forward onto her wall. This was physically impossible. She didn’t have any kind of powers, but she was doing something like this. She held the pose for a moment, in awe, but a small flame erupted where the light was hitting.

Arte swore, and leapt into action. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, and her heart raced. She grabbed a towel, and set about to beating the flame into submission. There was a charred black spot about the size of her spread hand. Upon further examination, it appeared that the light had burned a hole in the wall. She tried to clean off some of it, but she couldn’t make any significant progress, so she gave up.

She couldn’t believe what had happened. Ashley was gonna kill her. That security deposit wasn’t cheap.

Arte waited another half hour, until she began to feel hungry. She glanced down at her phone, and saw Ashley still hadn’t replied to her texts. She began to feel worried. This wasn’t like her, to be so late with no communication. She pressed the call button. The phone rang for a moment, then went to voicemail.

“Hey Ash, it’s me, Arte. Where are you at? You’re running kinda late. Give me a call. Love you.” She hung up the phone and sighed.

She waited five more minutes before deciding to make dinner. She rummaged through the cupboards, pantry, and fridge for a moment, then decided on pan-fried chicken with some macaroni and cheese. Real food wasn’t too expensive, if you were willing to put in a little effort. She decided to go ahead and make enough for two. Worst case scenario she gets leftovers for tomorrow.

About twenty minutes of cooking later, she was finally done. The chicken was a little on the done side, but it still looked edible. The notification light on her phone flashed in the corner of her eye. She ran over, but it was just an email. Another company wanting to offer her a ‘deal’ on car insurance.

She decided to give her another call. She was more than an hour late now, and radio silence wasn’t like her. She pressed call, but was met with the same result.

“Hey Ash, it’s me again. I made dinner, and there’s enough for you. I’m getting a little worried, so give me a call. Love you.” She hung up the phone.

She sat down at the table and began to eat. There was no sense in letting both of their dinners go cold. She pulled out her phone, to browse some good distracting social media. It quickly became apparent that there had been some kind of shooting.

Her mind immediately rushed to the worst possibility. She reassured herself that it was basically impossible, and set about doing some research as to what happened.

She began to gather some bits and pieces of what happened. Evidently it was an attack on an office, in her city no less. She finally found a decent article about what happened. That was Ashley’s office.

Tears welled in her eyes. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t make a sound. The world fell to pieces around her.

She jumped to her feet and ran out the door.

 


 

< Previous Part ——————– Where’s Superzeroes?

 

Hope you enjoyed. That’ll be it for this, for now. It will be back, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Artana: Part 1

Arte was walking home from her internship. It had been a grueling day, and she just wanted to get home. She knew engineering would be hard, but this was something else. Not even hard problems, just stupid stuff wearing her down. Then again she didn’t actually expect to be entrusted with anything of importance.

No matter how much she wore, she couldn’t get warm either. The sky was grey and crappy, and the crowd of people did nothing but bump her around. The streets smelled like sewage all around today, for whatever reason. It matched the tone of her day.

She looked over in an alley to her left. There was a pulsating neon sign, which she didn’t remember seeing before. She broke through the throng of people, and got a closer look. The sign looked weathered and dirty, despite the fact that it had to be new. Arte had an eye for detail, and this wouldn’t pass her by. The sign read simply ‘PUB’.

She was curious, but not stupid. She pulled up her phone to shoot a text to her girlfriend.

Hey Ash, I’m stopping in at a new bar. I’m sending you my location in case I get snatched, lol. I shouldn’t be long, but if it looks good, I might grab dinner here. I’ll text you if I do.

Satisfied, she turned to the door. It was a faded green metal door, with a stainless steel handle. She pulled it open, and stepped inside.

As she entered, she was astonished. It looked like something you might see in a fantasy movie. There were neat wooden floorboards, with sturdy wooden tables and countertop. The bar was devoid of people, but for Arte and the barkeep.

The barkeep was actually cleaning out a metal mug with a rag. He smiled as she approached. “Welcome to my pub! What can I get for you?” He spoke in a heavy Russian accent. He was thin, dressed plainly, and had a thick mustache and beard.

“Hey, how long have you been here? I swear I’ve never seen this place before, but it’s very nice.” She laughed.

“Well, I suppose I have lost track of time.” He put the mug down and stroked his mustache. “It hasn’t been very long, by your time.”

“Well do you have food here, or just drinks?” She looked around behind the counter, and saw a stove and fridge. All of the older aesthetic meshed pretty well with the newer equipment, much to her surprise.

“We have food, but if I’m honest, I am a bad cook. This is something of a hobby for me.” He looked below the counter for a moment, and pulled out a glass, setting his cleaning mug aside. “Now, one drink on the house. What would you like?”

“Oh, just a whiskey and coke please.” She smiled as he made the drink. She debated for a moment if she should really drink it, but decided it would probably be too rude to refuse. “Thanks.” She nodded as he slid it towards her.

“Now,” He placed a bottle of clear liquid on the table. “Let’s get to business.” He opened the bottle, and the smell hit Arte like paint remover. He drank straight from the bottle. “If you have found me here, that means you are probably my chosen one.” He reached out his hand. “If I may have your hand?”

Arte obliged. She was definitely glad she hadn’t drank yet, as this man was clearly crazy. Then again, in a world of supers, was a chosen one that farfetched? Although, her being a russian barkeep’s chosen one was pretty unlikely.

“Ah yes.” He rotated her hand in his. “Definitely the chosen one. Judging by your face, however, you don’t believe?”

“Not quite, no.” She took her hand back, and ensured her rings were still there. She angled herself slightly away, preparing to bolt for the door.

“Very well, I’ll show you.” He crouched down under the counter.

Arte debated running now, but she elected to just stand. The man did have her curiosity, after all. She fingered the gun in her purse.

“There we are!” The man slammed a wheel as big as her on the counter. It was eight-spoked, and made of some kind of metal. He looped a chain around it, and beamed.

Arte backed away slowly. Her heart was racing. She supposed she wasn’t necessarily in danger, but she didn’t like it nonetheless. This wasn’t like the kind of stranger danger they tell you about. What are you supposed to do when a russian guy in a sketchy pub slams a wheel on the bar?

The man snapped his fingers, and the wheel and chain vanished. Arte looked closer, and saw that it was actually still there, just smaller. The man tossed it to her, and she barely caught it. “Alright, since you want to leave, I have manual.” He pulled a phone sized book from his pocket and tossed it to her as well. “Popular request. It makes the learning phase go quicker.”

Arte backed a little more towards the door and booked it. She just wanted a quick drink, not whatever he was pedaling. She crammed the necklace and book in her purse.

“Oh, by the way!” The man called after her. “Learn quick, someone else wants it!”

She sprinted out the door, and out of the alley. She moved as quickly as she could manage through the throng of people, but she was still slowed. Once she felt safely away, she pulled out her phone again, and texted Ashley.

That was WEIRD. I’ll be home soon.

She noted that Ashley hadn’t responded to her previous text, but wasn’t alarmed, as she was probably still at work. It was still a little unusual, since she usually answered at work, but it wasn’t unreasonable to think they got busy. She caught herself overthinking and giggled.

 


 

Where’s Superzeroes? ——————– Next Part >

Earth 2: Season 1 Epilogue

A man sat crosslegged on a white rug, in a dark room. Scattered around him were open notebooks and writing instruments. There were several low lamps, shining down on the pages, but not onto him. His black robes contrasted with his pale white skin. His brown hair flowed over his ears, and collected behind his shoulders. He looked as though he hadn’t shaven in a week. He arched his fingers and closed his eyes, as if he was praying.

His eyes shot open, and he immediately began to sift through his notebooks. Once he found the correct one, he began to write.

Vanessa murders Jamal, likely for perceived kidnapping of Paul. Her construct was red this time. Will follow up. Unless proven wrong, arrangements will be made for justice. Still need one more low profile super for Takeo.

-F. Weston

He capped his pen, and laid it on the notebook. He sighed, and closed his eyes again. After a few moments, he opened them again, and scrambled for a different notebook. He scribbled down a name.

Ashley Dodson: F Atlanta, 20ish, enchantment powers?

 


 

Jean stood over Jamal in the sewer. His breathing could still be heard, which made for a slight problem. He got out his phone and dialed Mr. Smith. It rang for a moment, before someone picked up.

“Hello? Is it done?” Mr. Smith asked.

“Well, there’s a complication.” Jean hesitated. “The injury wasn’t fatal. He could likely pull through. What should we do?”

“Him surviving wasn’t a part of the plan. Take care of him.” The phone clicked off, as Mr. Smith hung up.

Jean looked down at Jamal once more. He turned away, and knelt down to pick up his gun. He turned back, and leveled his gun.

 


 

 

Earth 2: Part 50 (Season 1 Finale)

You are joining an ongoing story.

Click here for part one.

Click here for the recap.

Jamal collapsed to the ground, and, for a moment, all was silent.

The silence was shattered by a quiet gasp for air, followed by a low groan. Jude and Anastasia rushed over to his side, and knelt down by him. Vanessa remained silent, with her shaking hand still outstretched.

Deven stared down at his friend, and took a slow step forwards. “Jamal?”

Jean burst into the room, pistol at the ready. He stopped in his tracks, and surveyed the room. Without a word, he holstered his pistol, and ran to Jamal. He pushed Jude and Anastasia out of the way, and lifted Jamal’s shirt over the wound. He threw off his jacket, ripped off his shirt, and set about fashioning a bandage. A moment passed. Everyone looked in anticipation, as Jean opened his mouth to speak. “I’ve done all I can. He doesn’t have long.”

Everyone was quiet.

“Jude.” Jamal groaned. He waited for him to return to his side before continuing. “Take care of Deven. I’m all he has.” Tears welled in his eyes, as he added on a final word. “Please.”

Jude glanced up at Deven, and then at Paul. He nodded his head. “I will.”

“Promise.” His lip quivered and his voice was noticeably weaker.

“I promise.” Jude took Jamal’s shaky hand in his own, and shook.

“Thank you…” Jamal looked over towards Deven, and waved him forwards. Jude stepped out of the way to let him near. He sighed and wiped his tears, as Deven approached.

“Jamal?” Deven’s voice was wavering now.

“Hey buddy.” His voice seemed a little stronger now, but he grimaced as he spoke. “I have to go away now. I’m not gonna be able to stay with you anymore.”

“No…” Deven whimpered.

“It’s gonna be okay though. Jude is gonna take care of you.” He forced a smile, but it was short-lived.

Deven’s went blank for a second, but then his face contorted, as he came to grips with reality. “No!” He shouted, and slammed his fists into the ground, leaving behind impressions in the concrete. He began to bawl. “No, no, no!”

“Deven, buddy. Hey.” His voice was much weaker again. “You’ve grown up. You don’t need me anymore. Jude will be way better for you than me.”

“I don’t want you to go…” He laid his head on Jamal’s shoulder, and Jamal rubbed his back.

“I know, but you’re strong enough to let me.” He smiled weakly, as tears flowed down his face. “You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love you, man.”

“I love you too…”

“I need you to be strong for me, can you do that?” He turned his head to look Deven in the eyes, and was met with an eager nod. “I need you to go with Jude, and listen to him. He knows what’s good for you. He’s a good guy, and remember, the good guys always win.”

“The good guys always win…” Deven nodded and stood up, but didn’t take his eyes off of Jamal. “The good guys always win…”

“Jude, don’t leave him…” He whispered. His face went slack, but he was still gasping for breath.

Jude looked to Jean, who nodded. “You should go. Take the others back home. There’s a doctor there for Paul.” He motioned for Jude to come close. “Nobody speaks of what happened to anyone outside of the house.”

Jude nodded, and walked over to Paul, who seemed to be semi-conscious, but not saying anything. He scooped his friend into his arms. Jude went for the way they had come in. He looked to Deven, who fell in line behind him, but looked over his shoulder the whole way. He cast one last glance at Jamal before heading out.

Anastasia lingered for a moment, opened her mouth to speak, and decided against it. She turned to see Vanessa, who stood, mouth hanging open, in the same spot she had been since she threw the disc. Anastasia hesitated for a moment, but placed her arm around Vanessa’s neck. Vanessa jumped, but after a moment embraced her.

The pair released their embrace, and followed Jude, Paul, and Deven out of the sewer.

 


 

⇐ Previous Part —————————– What’s next? ⇒

 

Hello, all! This is the finale! I hope you liked it as much as I did. Please leave any thoughts you have about anything this season in the comments. Suggestions for next season are welcome! I also welcome website design tips, from those that may have them.

If you’re curious about what’s next, check out this post!

Thank you all so much for reading. It means the world to have people who care enough to read my stuff. I wish you nothing but the best. See you next time!

Looking Forwards

Hello all! This is the previously mentioned blog post, discussing things to come. Firstly, I just want to thank everyone for reading and sticking with me. 49 is a lot of posts, and 36,000 is a lot of words.

In regards to Earth 2, I’ve decided I will structure the plot in ‘seasons’, like a TV show. Season 1 will have its finale on part 50, and I’m planning on taking a short break between. This break will be 1 month, and during it, I will still be uploading every Friday at noon. I will upload some one-offs, an epilogue, and maybe some other miscellaneous things. I plan to use the break to plan and build a backlog of posts for season 2.

Season 2 will be a continuation of the current story, much like you would expect from a TV show. It will have about 50 parts, but the parts will be longer.

Now, big announcement time. Not really, but it was fun to say. Little announcement: I am working on a full length novel! This will take place in a completely different world to Earth 2, with completely different characters. I’ll have more details when I’m a bit closer to being finished. If you’re curious, this will not affect the serial.

With regards to Season 1’s posts, I am hoping to conglomerate it into a novelette. I am as of yet unsure if I will be able to do that, but I’ll look into it. Regardless, as of right now, I don’t intend to do much editing on Season 1, so they’ll likely stay how they are. Let it serve as a barometer of my improvement as a writer.

I intend to write another summary for parts 26-50, once they’re completed, like how I did for parts 1-25. I also plan to go through, and mark some of my posts that stand particularly well on their own, so as to provide a better taste of my writing style, without the requirement of reading 50 parts.

Now, with all of that being said, thank you so much for all of your support. This blog has really grown, and I’m super proud of it. I really can’t thank you enough for reading.

Have a good weekend, and remember, the finale is next Friday, January 18th.

Earth 2: Part 49

You are joining an ongoing story.

Click here for part one.

Click here for the recap.

Vanessa gripped the roof handle of the car, as Jean flew around a curve and squealed to a halt. They had made it to the sewer, likely not too far behind Jude and Anastasia. She jumped out of the car, and looked around. Light rain fell onto her uniform. There was a manhole, with the cover thrown to the side. She looked behind her, and saw Jean getting out of the car.

“Don’t wait for me! Go!” Jean shouted, as he clambered out.

Vanessa hesitated for a moment, but her resolve held. She descended the grimy ladder, and found herself ankle deep in sewer water. It was dark and the smell was horrendous, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her. Electrified had taken Paul and humiliated her, and she wasn’t going to let him win this time.

She took off running, not checking to see if Jean was still behind her. The smell faded relatively quickly, and an aura of determination took its place. She hadn’t been going for long when she came across a man lying in her path. He was a large middle aged man, and was completely soaking wet. He wasn’t with her or Jude, so he must be with them. His chest was bloody, but he seemed to be moving. A swift kick to the head knocked him out… Probably.

She felt uneasy, as she stepped over him. The thought entered her mind that he could’ve been just some guy, but she pushed it back. He was injured, which meant he put up a fight, which meant he was no good. The uneasiness was pushed back with a tidal wave of anger. Electrified and his whole crew could die for all she cared. They preyed on the weak, like that man who had attacked her a few months ago, and they were standing between her and Paul.

She took off running towards a light. She sprinted the whole way there, and came to a halt as she entered into a much larger room. Jude ducked out from behind a pile of stuff, which upon further inspection proved to be her stuff, and a blast of lightning narrowly missed him. He didn’t notice her, or if he did, he didn’t acknowledge her entrance.

She ran forwards between piles and saw Electrified, Metal Man, and Paul. Paul leaned against a wall, motionless. She took a stance and readied a pink disk. She was stopped in her tracks, by a familiar portrait of her great grandfather. Once again, its eyes looked into her soul. She faltered for a moment. Before she could think, Electrified jumped back, and lighting hurtled towards her. Only this time, she didn’t freeze. There was a loud explosion as lightning bounced off of a large pink wall, into a pile of junk, followed by the shattering of ice on concrete.

She stared at Electrified, and time froze. Her whole body shook with anger. This was the man who robbed banks, and used innocent people as hostages. The was the man who put her in the hospital, and nearly killed her. This was the man who abducted her boyfriend, no doubt for leverage. This was the man who just tried again to kill her. This was no man, this was an animal, and his reign of terror had come to an end.

She hurled a red disk, full of anger and revenge at him. This was for Paul, for her, and for all of the people who were tired of being pawns in someone else’s game.

The disk sliced into his abdomen, and he fell to the floor.

 


 

 

⇐ Previous Part —————————– Next Part ⇒

 

Keeping the end message short and sweet this week. Hope you enjoyed, and I wish you a good weekend. Next week is the final part of this season!

Earth 2: Part 48

You are joining an ongoing story.

Click here for part one.

Click here for the recap.

 

Anastasia looked down at the man she had just defeated. She felt like she should know who he was, but she couldn’t quite recall. He was nothing special, a large balding man laying on the ground of an old sewer, but he just stood there and took it. Victory didn’t feel quite how she had expected it to. She felt almost a little sick.

“Good work. Let’s move.” Jude patted her on the shoulder, and brought her back to reality.

She turned her attention to the way they had been going. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, literally. She cast one last glance down at the man, before running off towards it.

Jude flew alongside her. “We can’t be sure if what he was saying was true, but unless it becomes necessary, I don’t want to use my powers for now. The sewer gas could blow us all up.” He glared forward as he flew. “Besides, he’s seen my powers. He hasn’t seen yours.”

“Okay…” Anastasia felt unsure, but Jude’s urgency pushed her onwards. Her thoughts went back to her previous fight, and how her ice had seemed to do nothing to him. It melted away before it could hit him. She wondered if she could actually do this. She moved her thoughts to Paul.

“Don’t do anything you’ll regret, just keep your head.”

His words echoed through her mind. She wondered if that previous fight had been what he was talking about, if that was what she would regret.

“Keep your head.”

She needed to focus on the task at hand. She focused on running. As she approached the light, she saw the hall abruptly open into a much larger room. The floor was piled with things. As they neared, she was able to identify many of them as things she had seen in the house. They entered into the opening, and immediately felt uneasy. All that could be heard was the distant sound of running water.

Jude looked to her, and gestured for her to wait for him. He began to hover over the rubble, and all was silent. The tension in the air was palpable. There was a sudden crack, and lightning arced over Jude’s head, leaving a black mark on the wall. Jude quickly ducked down behind the junk, and everything was silent again. He locked eyes with Anastasia, and gestured for her to move in quietly, before taking off.

“Enough is enough. Give me my friend back, and face justice.” Jude soared over behind a different pile, barely avoiding another blast.

“I can’t do that, man!” His footsteps echoed through the room.

Anastasia used this to begin her advance. She skirted around one of the larger piles, until she was more or less opposite of where she thought Jude was, and peaked out from behind.

She saw Paul’s captors standing a few feet off of him. Paul was sat up against a wall, not seeming to be awake. Electrified’s gaze darted back and forth between various piles, but mostly stayed on the ones near Jude, while Metal Man just seemed to stand there. Most importantly, their backs were turned. She was unsure what her powers would do to Metal Man, but she felt confident she could take out Electrified.

“Then you’ve left me no choice.” Jude’s voice echoed throughout the room.

“I didn’t want this! This wasn’t how it was supposed to go!” Electrified clenched his fists and turned to where the voice came from. Jude popped out and he barely missed him with another blast.

She had a clean and easy shot to take care of him, and he would deserve it too. The asshole who knocked her out, tried to kidnap her, and succeeded in kidnapping her friend, would be no more. She wound up, but began to feel uneasy.

“Don’t do anything you’ll regret, just keep your head.”

She knew what she needed to do, but didn’t know if it was right. Without time for thinking, she wound up and took her shot.

 


 

⇐ Previous Part —————————– Next Part ⇒

 

Hello, all! I’m very excited to say that I have finished writing the finale for this season, and I’m very happy with the result. Thank you so much for sticking with me through this.

I wish you the best in 2019, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.