I hated control class.
Ok, well hate may be a strong word, but still, there was no love between me and the long pointless sessions. Don't get me wrong, it was a good idea, an open forum for people to practice and show-off their powers was sort of like our school's version of The Purge. The hope was that we would get most of our power-related shenanigans out of our systems, and more importantly, gain a better control over said powers.
Please tell me how one practices hearing? I mean, it's not like one does it every da- oh wait.
I wasn't the only with those sentiments, a lot of the older kids, the ones who had more time to master their powers, were just as restless. Sadly it was rare that ones abilities evolved into anything more extraordinary.
As we walked in, Alex and Eve excitedly began to throw together a plan to mess with Mr. Robyns in the event that he showed up. Naomi looked like she was trying to keep a little distance from Al. I took that as a sign that they hadn't talked yet. Or maybe they had.
I grimaced at that thought. Possession or not, Al did like Naomi, according to Annie, and as his friend, I wished him the best. I would have given him some advice, maybe even played wingman, but I wasn't any better off. My experience was just as lacking.
I turned, a friendly greeting on my lips. Then came the hesitation as I recognized the speaker.
"Hiya Makenna," came the oddly quiet reply. My mind seemed to have gone rogue, and taken control of my mouth.
"So..." she started, and I seized up, fearing the inevitable topic of conversation. "How 'bout them Yankees?"
Sports? I usually wasn't a sports guy, but it was better than the alternative, so I immediately launched into a surprisingly detailed analysis of the Yankees. One that showcased great interest and knowledge on the team.
"They're... doing good this season?" The statement came out more as a question, and neither of us could keep from laughing.
"I couldn't tell ya, but that was all I had in my repertoire at the moment." The conversation came to a grating halt, leaving both of us grasping for a conversation prompt. Makenna eventually settled for the classic, "So, how have you been?"
A good question. One that was rarely ever answered honestly, but I decided to go against the grain. "A little odd actually," I replied. Makenna motioned for me to continue by way of raising her eyebrows. "I think I was possessed by Annie the other day, after our..." and I trailed off, unsure of what to say to next.
"Marathon?" supplied my classmate, and I nodded gratefully. "And what was that like?"
"Cold. Invasive. Oddly alien."
Makenna snorted, "Sounds like quite the experience."
"Good way to put it," I said with a nod. Al appeared in my field of vision, and I stood abruptly. Excusing myself, I ran after my friend, glad for an exit from the awkward moment.
"Al!" I shouted above the din of chattering students. His head perked up, and I waved my hand to catch his attention. He shuffled over, the look on his face reflecting how I was currently feeling.
"Hey" he said quietly, "Gotta love control class."
"Who doesn't?" I replied sarcastically. "At least we get to skip class," Al nodded in agreement. We were both silent for a moment, though it wasn't the awkward silence that had permeated my talk with Makenna. It was comfortable, a mutual hiatus to dwell on whatever thoughts were bouncing in our heads. I didn't like the ones that kept coming to my own head, so I decided to break the silence.
"Had any more incidents with Dante?"
"No, thankfully. How about you with Annie?"
"Well..." Al, looked at me sharply, "It was nothing really. No big deal," I protested, but my friend was no longer looking at me. He was looking to his left, muttering angrily at the empty space that I assumed was occupied by Annie. The conversation was over in short order, it sounded like Annie had left, effectively rendering it moot.
"Sorry about that" Al said, turning back to me, "She's young."
"Yeah I know," I put on a smile, "it wasn't too terrible," and again the silence pervaded. This being Control Class, and me having no powers to practice, my mind began to entertain possibilities with Al's powers.
"Speaking of possession," I said after a minute, "Is there any way you could, I don't know, control it? Like, use a ghost, or soul to help you do something that you couldn't do normally?"
Al's eyebrows furrowed as he too began to think over the possibilities. His head perked up, probably to listen to something Dante was saying.
"Well, according to Dante, I could if I had the willpower to control the possessor."
"Could you try on him?"
Al was silent for a moment, then he sighed, annoyed. "Dante says it probably wouldn't work on him because he knows me too well. Knows I'm not-..." another sigh, "Not very intimidating."
"Well what if you-" Al held up a hand to shush me, a curious look on his face.
"Dante says that while I couldn't control him, he would volunteer himself for an experiment. He seems just as intrigued as we are."
I rubbed my hands together, "Sweet! What is he going to do?"
Al's growing look of excitement suddenly faded away, "You've got to be joking."
"What?" I asked, not wanting to let this chance slip away.
"And...?" I prompted. "Why is that a bad thing?"
"Well, who am I going to use them on? I can't just attack people."
A singularly wonderful idea popped into my head just then. "What about me?" Al quirked an eyebrow doubtfully. "What? Have faith! Remember, I have super-senses... and I think, though I've never had a need to look into it, that applies to reflexes. It could be a learning experience for both of us!"
My friend stared hard at me for a long moment. Then to my delight a smile broke out onto his face.
"Let's do it."
The two of us stood and moved until we a few steps apart. Al nodded, to Dante I assumed, and then his body went rigid for a moment. Dante was possessing him, I could tell from my own experiences. He shook his head a few times then gave me a thumbs up. I smiled, and gave him one in return, before settling into my own version of a fight stance.
It wasn't until Al lunged at me that I wondered: Exactly how good was Dante? In the brief moment that I had before contact, I hoped that he wasn't a black belt in anything.
Al's hand shot out at my stomach and I twisted, albeit clumsily, out of the way. I watched my friend carefully, allowing my senses to hone in on his body. My eyes caught the twitch of a muscle, my ears heard the rustle of fabric and I ducked to avoid the next blow. I struck out with an elbow, but a deft touch from Al set it off course, and the jab went harmlessly past his head. I followed the strike with my body, stepping around my possessed friend and turning to face him.
I was a tad too slow, and felt Al's arms grab my shoulders and pin me in place as he brought a knee up. There was the rustling of pages as an oblivious student read a book next to me. I snatched the textbook from the table and brought it around to block Al's knee. Muttering quick apologies, I gave the book back and the grabbed one of Al's arms. I pulled on him, attempting to throw him into the wall with it, but what happened next was enough to make my mouth drop.
My shy quiet friend stuck a foot out and ran up the wall. One impressive flip later he was once again facing me. Taking advantage of my awe he punched out at me. I managed to intercept the fist and held it fast in my own hand. His other fist came out and met the same fate, and for a brief moment the two of us struggled to push the other back. I was totally about to win when-
I dropped Al's hands as a surge of electricity jolted my body. Al was twitching, and by the jerkiness of my vision, I guess I was too. I couldn't look though because my body refused to respond to my mental commands.
Slowly, very slowly, the jittering stopped and the two of us fell to the floor. Our friends were standing over us. Eve was looking down at her own hands, Alex was laughing, and Naomi and Makenna were looking at Al and I in concern.
"Dude..." I managed to croak loud enough for Al to hear, "That was awesome."