A young man's mother has gone missing and he is about to lose everyone he cares for. The city has recently passed a law allowing the removal of anyone who shows signs of being special, like him, and it won't be long before they are all found out. Someone needs to take charge and take down the city's leader- but how much would you be willing to sacrifice for the greater good?
W i l l i a m
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It had already been three hours, seventeen minutes and 34 seconds since he exited the bus smack in the centre of the big city of New Montrose with Archie.
Not that anyone was counting..
The tall man looked down at his phone and gave a small frown.
He only had a couple more hours before the effects of the city would really interrupt his behaviour. Before a lot of other really uncomfortable things would start to happen. But hey- for now- he still had time.
He was all finished now. He had made his runs, purchased all he could without seeming suspicious and even had some time to spare. As he walked down the sidewalk he watched people. He loved watching people actually. It was part of the reason he was sometimes so quiet- sometimes forgetting to socialize and getting caught up in the beauty of others. While he watched, and walked he wondered who of them all was like him. Statistically, many of these people should have a power; an ability. But here they were- like him too, pretending to be normal and going about their day without too much eye contact. As he walked past the third bank in a row he made a sharp turn and walked right into a construction site. Another skyscraper on its way to join his brothers in the sky. A truck emptied cement onto the foundation. The exhaust of the truck facing into the sidewalk where he walked. Workers controlling heavy machinery. A couple smokers standing by the ‘Construction’ sign. Talking loudly and watching people... women... mostly.
William stopped dead in his tracks. He observed the scene, looking for an escape route from the smoke, and the suffocating air bubble he was being consumed by. Breathing had become more uncomfortable but maybe he was panicking? He stood still, letting himself become accustomed to the pain in his chest. Readying himself, he held on to his bags tightly with his left hand and used his right to drape his hair over his nose. He then walked back where he had come from and took another route to where he was headed. - There was a small park near his last destination and he stopped to grab some fresh air and catch his breath back. It calmed him at least- here in the big city. With respects to the thick air of smog and pollution, he was never sure how much he could physically bear, and how much his mind was too scared to find out. William sat on a steel bench, his flip-flops resting beside his feet and his toes lightly digging through the too-short blades of grass. He could taste the pesticide. He closed his eyes slowly and turned his face up to the sky slightly expecting the warmth from the radiant sun, but he was disappointed. He slowly opened his eyes and watched the clouds move gently up above, parts of the tops of the many skyscrapers blocking the sun from doing its job. He sighed and extended his arms on the backside of the bench. He needed this. After hours of being in busy shopping centres, surrounded by pristine floors and dry counters, he was starting to get overwhelmed and paranoid. He had seen a couple Task Force officials patrolling entrances and on the streets which was enough to drive anyone like him a little paranoid.
His hair moved with a life of its own when the cool breeze came, It was long and dark, almost reaching the middle of his back. When was the last time he’d cut it?. He ran his hand through it to calm it and returned them to the backrest of the bench. William didn’t look out of place- many people with powers looked like everyone else. Physically, he didn’t have any visual signs of being different. His hair was usually a source for stares, but still- bearable. His physique was slightly muscular and defined, and this was no secret, since William made no attempt to cover up much when he was with his group. Here in New Montrose though, he tried to dress more appropriately. There was nothing great about being the centre of attention, or standing out in these kinds of environments. He looked up again and closed his eyes as he tried to let the time pass — When he opened them it was obvious to him that his schedule had fallen back into place. Taking a quick glance at his phone he smiled. It was time to meet with Archie, if anything, he was running late. He stretched slowly as he slipped back into his flip flops, frowning slightly at the lost immediate connection between him and the earth. It was time though, and he didn’t want to keep him waiting.
He could feel the difference- it was always so shocking -the feeling of leaving the park, and separating himself unofficially from nature. William walked alone, down the busy sidewalks until the sign from Coffee Bean was starting to come into clearer view. As he neared the shop, he spotted Archie, through the large windows, sitting alone in one of the circular booths. He caught his eye and grinned as he waved. William walked in, the small door making a delicate ring when he did so. He made his way across the place, excusing himself when he walked too close to someone and slid easily into the booth. He laid his bags down and turned to look at his friend.
“Hey buddy, I’m glad to see you!” He said with a large smile. Trips like these where already straining with having to worry about the Task Force finding you, but not knowing if Archie or anyone that tagged along had been so lucky was always a worry in the back of his mind, like he was sure it was for Archie as well.
“You’re late,” Archie stated and looked across the table at William with a stare that said it all.
“Oh… Thank you,“ William had only just noticed the steaming cup before him. His favourite, ready and waiting. He ignored the comment because he didn’t really want to get into it. He looked up at Archie past his thick eyebrows and winked once, then he closed his eyes and took a long breath in of the coffee’s scent.
“I was starting to wonder if I should be calling a search party, maybe even install a tracker to your ankle so next time when you’re late again I don’t think about finding you in a ditch.” Archie’s words were cold, they were always cold, but William sat unphased. He sipped on his coffee with delight. This was the purest magic. The smell of freshly brewed coffee was something he couldn’t get enough of. Organic and pleasant- if done right. He drank with eyes closed and sighed quietly to himself, hearing Archie talk. His voice was pleasant, and unforgettable. His sarcastic and cold tone doing nothing to his trained ears. He smiled, deciding to apologize first, because he always apologized- it was his thing.“I’m sorry I’m late - again - but,”He lowered his voice slightly as the realization of his following thought made him grow a little more serious than he wanted to be, “I couldn’t wait.. If I showed up on time, and something beyond your control happened and you were really late, I’d… ” Not be able to handle it. Die. Have a full out panic attack.. The idea made him uncomfortable. At least this way they knew Will was always going to be late, and it created order and expectations he could deal with. It was one of the more selfish things he did. ❀