The Twelve - Albuquerque and A Short Walk With a Stalker | Penana
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The Twelve
Writer ToriG.
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  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Twelve
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#10
Albuquerque and A Short Walk With a Stalker
ToriG.
Dec 5, 2016
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18 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!TVBoq1qfGn938qVN7P3qposted on PENANA

Simoncopyright protection55PENANA9DXWZIynuL

   The YouTube video is short, only a few minutes of scrappy security footage that cuts in and out. I squint and see a girl with tan skin and braided black hair standing in the middle of a semi circle in what looks like a town straight out of a western movie. I can almost taste the dust and feel the blazing sun against my skin. She closes her eyes as if in thought and then open them. The dust and sand beneath her begins to move, slowly at first and then all at once. Her hair sweeps out of the braid as a massive wind blows the old west town. She can control the wind, we need her. The video cuts out as the first Inimicus runs at her with a strange spear, she keeps a steady stream of air circling around her and blows the attacker back into a signpost that impales him through the chest. The footage stops.59Please respect copyright.PENANAAweIXaw40A
   I cross my arms and remember her face, I never forget a face. The video never showed if she lived or died but I would've felt it if she died. So she's alive. If I know where a Socius is and if I know they're alive, I'm going to find them and bring them to the team. That's why I'm in Albuquerque today and rolling around in an old Honda. I'm going hunting for a Socius to save and maybe if I'm lucky enough her partner will be with her.59Please respect copyright.PENANAv9ds6dbFAF
   I stop at an old Exxon and fill up my tank as I scan the empty lot. It's suspicious when it's this empty. I wipe sweat away from my forehead and take off my sweatshirt. It's dangerous to show my marks here, I'm a sitting duck; but it's too hot.59Please respect copyright.PENANArr38UPfp2C
   I stop pumping gas and grab a stack of money from my wallet. My inheritance left me dripping with dough but I have never really spent my money on anything stupid. I know better than that. I know that this money isn't mine, it's ours. This is the twelve's money and one day we'll need it. But now I need it to pay for gas so I can get the other Socius. I also need to get away from headquarters to post another blog safely. 59Please respect copyright.PENANAAC9Pl6ZSb0
   It still aggravates me that this BlueAnonymous12 guy told me to shut it down. No way, this is what I do. This is how I connect with the others. If this Socius tells me to shut this operation down one more time…. I need to find them. Whoever they are. 59Please respect copyright.PENANAsGaG9hTkWu
   I walk right up to the counter and lay my money against its cracked white surface. A broken cash register, some lottery tickets, and a banner that says "Feliz Navidad!" litter the counter. The overweight Mexican guy sitting on the counter blows a ring of cigarette smoke at me and sighs. He's reading a magazine and eating what looks like mangoes dipped in chili powder. "¿Qué deseas pálido?"59Please respect copyright.PENANA0nW3wRTLgV
   I cross my arms, I guess he doesn't think I'm fluent in Spanish but he's wrong. I happen to have a very wide vocabulary of Spanish curses and Spanish slang. I decide to be polite today though, even if he did call me pasty, however true it is. "Cuarenta, por favor. Hablo español."59Please respect copyright.PENANAoRxxGTDGLO
   He glares at me and takes my money, blowing smoke rings at me in anger. "Ahí tienes, ahora sal de aquí. ¿Comprendes?" I nod. He hands me a crummy receipt and goes back to eating his mangoes and looking at his Spanish magazine.59Please respect copyright.PENANAGdvQUE7OZ3
   A quiet voice beckons me. "Americano, come." I look to where a Mexican girl in dirty rags stares at me. I point to myself and she nods. "Come, hurry!"59Please respect copyright.PENANAiZrf3X6WJm
   "Can I help you?" I drop my Spanish and cross my arms.59Please respect copyright.PENANAR8dpGTjjA4
   Her words are barely recognizable as a blend of Spanish and English. "Esperanza you are looking for, sí? The girl, la chica from the video online?"59Please respect copyright.PENANA8giE6cje0i
   "How do you know about that? And where is she?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAijiJylHEir
   "I see you on television, they say you murder family. Come, come. I will show you her." She grabs my arm and I realize that she is a good two feet shorter than me. "Hurry. Rapido, rapido."59Please respect copyright.PENANA1azfzf9SzJ
   I move suspiciously alongside her and she takes me out back. I scan my surroundings and find too many hiding spots to be comfortable around. There is a chain link fence overlooking a drought worn field, a few rusty green dumpsters, and a little shed that contains something gas related. The girl knocks against a dumpster three times and grabs my arm tight. I know then that it's a trap.59Please respect copyright.PENANAXIZfm6sFkt
   I throw her away as the first group of Inimicus appear from inside of the dumpster. They wield guns and wear thick Kevlar from head to toe, their gun barrels train on me. Adrenaline flows through my veins and fills me with energy. I can't help but become sarcastic, sarcasm is y first line of defense and probably my last.59Please respect copyright.PENANAYCMgmlC40U
   "Good to see some old pals again, How are you liking New Mexico? It' s wee bit hot for my tastes. Besides, I sunburn easily." They press forward, snapping back something in their native tongue.59Please respect copyright.PENANAv245hElqxU
   I hold up my hands and slowly bend the barrels of their riffles down so that they're useless. "It's a fair fight now, no weapons vs. no weapons."59Please respect copyright.PENANA9uD9KZgcFA
  Another group pops out from around the corner and then another from the shed. There are quite a few aliens here. Can I take them all? I pull out a small bottle opener keychain from my pocket and brandish it as a real weapon. The confused Inimicus laugh at me in unison.59Please respect copyright.PENANAFDdsTzOwDO
   "Surrender Simon Valere! Surrender or die!"59Please respect copyright.PENANAq9Qve89zyH
   "How about neither! You want me? Come and get me." I flash into the first group, the metal bending to my will and becoming a keychain dagger. I manage to take out three of them before on of them kicks me in the ribs with steel toed boots. It takes everything I have in me to not puke. I kill him with the keychain and let the black sludge consume my keychain.59Please respect copyright.PENANAuIb8SW788N
   I disappear into thin air as the Inimicus whose guns weren't destroyed begin to pepper the area I was last in with a barrage of bullets. I quietly climb onto the dumpster and casually have a seat. I crack my knuckles and shift positions because the metal is hot against my butt. I start picking them off one by one. I lift one up into the air and slam him down against the ground. A different one suffocates and another one is crushed in my grasp. This is boring, I am really surprised that they aren't trying a different tactic.59Please respect copyright.PENANAIOqVhkv5Q8
   As soon as I think it, a cold gun barrel presses against my back. "Simon Valere, prepare to die. You thought we couldn't kind you SV? You thought wrong." They all pick up on the cue and circle me. If they were smart they would've shot me on the spot, but I've come to realize that Inimicus like big flashy and painful deaths. I also realize that if they all shoot at the same time they'll kill me and themselves. I shrug my shoulders and feel the barrel adjust so that it's still tight against my back.59Please respect copyright.PENANAUhiLMwTW6r
   "I won't make a long speech but… Long live Glorious l-" a wind picks up and the dust starts swirling around us. Inimicus are fighting to keep their ground and their guns. I take the opportunity and throw the barrel on my back away from me and bend it so that it won't ever work. I stab him in the stomach with his own gun barrel and watch him disappear into sludge.59Please respect copyright.PENANADBaPJ2LRbU
   Two people appear as if from a mirage and begin to fight the dwindling army. A boy and a girl. The girl is directing winds towards the army and the boy is doing something that I can't tell. Whatever it is seems to be messing with the Inimicus heads. It gives me a good distraction. I disappear and move up to the rooftop. I concentrate hard and slowly lift the metal dumpster and throw it onto the nearest Inimicus group that approaches where I was. Trash flings out and scatters all around. The Inimicus flatten like a sludgy black pancake.59Please respect copyright.PENANAEUJ4Q0pl6f
   The few remaining Inimicus are running and the people let them go. I jump down and reappear with a flourish. The girl shakes my hand roughly and I grin. "Hi. My name is Simon Valere."59Please respect copyright.PENANAu0xMLjjEgp
   Her eyes are glowing yellow along with the marks along her arms. "And mine is Esperanza, but you can call me Esperanza. You are SV? I read your blog and think that you are insane for doing it." I stare at her eyes, her thick black hair, and then at her tan toned muscles. She grins and I notice that she is the Socius girl from the video. 59Please respect copyright.PENANA6U0gJKjvBu
   "I am insane, but insane people are the best."59Please respect copyright.PENANApfo9kf9JAf
   The boy beside her grabs my hand. He has crazy long black hair that is fit into a braid all the way down to his waist and his dirty untrimmed fingernails slice into my skin accidentally. He doesn't notice that the cut on my hand heals as soon as a small drip of blood beads up on the pale skin. He smiles a white smile. "I am Raul, it is nice to find another crazy one out here."59Please respect copyright.PENANAY5fwR1QbF6
   I smile, "it's good to meet some Socius that aren't afraid to fight. Now come on, we need to get out of here. I'm going to guess they have more squads out here waiting for us. How did they know I'd come here?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAAM0B2KlmgX
   Esperanza shrugs, "lucky guess? Have you ever been here?"59Please respect copyright.PENANARGcgPwvZg6
   I look at the field and feel a familiar painful memory pull at my brain. "No," I lie, "they must've guessed that I would come by this way."59Please respect copyright.PENANAefbuL3vBeb
   "They are smart creatures," Raul agrees, "they almost killed us a day ago but we got some help in escaping when the cops showed up to arrest us for trespassing. Where are we going now? You do have a plan, right?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAHPXIq0tMnK
   "Follow me," I laugh because in reality, nobody has a plan. Nobody just pops up out of bed and makes a schedule for this type of thing. "I have no plan, but I do have headquarters. Esperanza, Raul, it's time for your induction to the freak show."59Please respect copyright.PENANAKerWvgt0fJ
Ash59Please respect copyright.PENANA6uZiZKlulz
   "Valerie Carmen, you are not allowed to climb trees!" I pull her away from the base of a large oak and she falls back into me, sending us both crashing into a pile of leaves. "You're going to hurt yourself and by doing that, you'll literally hurt me!"59Please respect copyright.PENANAG3oEMPFgC2
   She turns and grabs my arm, letting heat sear from her fingertips to my exposed forearm. I let go of her and frantically rub my arm. "Ow! Val, that freaking hurts! You burned me, literally burned me!"59Please respect copyright.PENANA0mhrjMINMY
   She laughs and scuttles around the base of the tree. "Then, don't touch me, Az-shell Ar-ete."59Please respect copyright.PENANAxTswcrgxWC
   "That's not how you pronounce my name!" That always makes me so angry. Why can't people just sound out the letters? "Az-a-hel A-re-te!" I start to stomp off, knowing she'll follow.59Please respect copyright.PENANA7CFwhrmWHY
   "Wait, Asahel…" she says my name right and grabs my bad shoulder with her newfound ability. "I'm sorry, I was just jabbing at you."59Please respect copyright.PENANAYIlfaE1SrO
   I turn and smirk. Before she can do anything, I suspend her a few feet above the ground. "I know, I'm just overdramatic."59Please respect copyright.PENANAQYIivUKLrG
   I hear something small come from my right. I jerk my head back and catch a slight movement on the periphery of my vision. I let Val go and she gracefully falls on the bed of autumn leaves. I quietly walk and catch a flash of camo out of the corner of my eye. I extend my palm and in one quick movement tase the intruder. I drag them back towards us as they begin to overcome the initial shock and fight through the leaves to get away.59Please respect copyright.PENANAnzj25Ausxc
   I flip them up into the air and turn them to face me. He starts to scream but Val closes his mouth. I almost crush him in anger when I realize who it is.59Please respect copyright.PENANAqvVLL5qMXS
   "Kenneth? What are you doing? Are you watching me?" Val walks closer to him and he jerks away like a plump earthworm on a fishhook. "I'm going to let you talk if you promise you won't scream. Understand?"59Please respect copyright.PENANABNRj6mdR7F
   Kenneth nods his head once and Val lets his jaw go loose. His dark eyes are wide in fear. "What the hell are you? Val, you're my friend. I trusted you. And you betrayed me all this time?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAxvfRyls3NZ
   "How much did you see?" My anger is the same one that caused me to torture the Inimicus. I see his face turning bright red and turn him right side up again.59Please respect copyright.PENANAfduaZgfq2d
   "What are you?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAiE09X7vbYD
   I slam him against the tree just to our right and he moans. "Answer my question Kenneth Marconi. Answer. The. Question!"59Please respect copyright.PENANARw86nHrQKe
   Val touches my arm and stops me from causing more harm to Kenneth. "Ash stop, you're going to hurt him. Kenneth," she sighs and looks at the boy, "just please answer the question because your life is in danger." 59Please respect copyright.PENANAPZskasAqSD
   He looks like he has seen a ghost. "I saw enough to know why the school caught on fire Val. Or can I even call you that?"59Please respect copyright.PENANADbhDkeLQqK
   She bites the inside of her cheek to stop herself from growing angry. "Stop that. My name is the same, I am the same person I was when I met you. If you promise not to run I'll make Ash put you down."59Please respect copyright.PENANAuhgDnEkPu4
   His dark eyes glare at me angrily. "If I run, he'll electrocute me. I don't have a choice." I set him down and he covers his face with his hands. "This isn't real, this isn't real."59Please respect copyright.PENANA4j4wEfZeFS
   Val touches his arm. "So first of all, why were you here?"59Please respect copyright.PENANARi39WonHeO
   Kenneth's face blushes, "you wouldn't answer my calls so I called your mom. She told me you were with Ashley, but we don't have an Ashley in the school. So I spent last night pondering who you were with and so my best guess was Ash. I was right. So I followed your phone-"59Please respect copyright.PENANArJ5ImtmGiQ
   "Wait, you stalked me here?" She looks shocked and betrayed. "How did you gain access to my phone?"59Please respect copyright.PENANALnaQTO5T3K
   "Simple software, but that's not the point. I think you guys need to tell me what I have seen or I'm going to call the cops."59Please respect copyright.PENANALV2O4YcsGr
   I start to throw him against a tree but he smiles. "You can't touch me, Val said that you had to put me down. Checkmate Asahel." 59Please respect copyright.PENANAg8amQwPdd8
   He's making me angry with his little attitude. "Kenneth, you're pissing me off. Just to remind you that I can electrocute you to dust in a few seconds and I could also let you fall pretty hard." I stab his shoulder with telekinesis.  "Don't. Jab. Me. Do we have an understanding?" 59Please respect copyright.PENANA3ZvePp3Uj6
   Kenneth's eyes laugh at me. "Yes. Alien boy."59Please respect copyright.PENANAE42HT6G5zm
   I can't help it, I rush forward and punch him in the face. Kenneth falls backward, trying to fend me off. My blows fall on him like rain. Val's shouting at me, but I'm not backing down when he insulted me like that. 59Please respect copyright.PENANAxPvHble1zs
   Kenneth's face is bloody and bruised, but I don't care. I keep hitting him in the face. He puts his hands up in a vain attempt to stop me and kicks his legs sporadically. He stops fighting and goes completely limp with his eyes closed. I stop. Oh no, please don't let me have killed him.59Please respect copyright.PENANAaDrGRg5Vap
   Kenneth roars back to life and I realize I wasn't lucky enough to kill him. He manages to grab my fists and roll so that we're now a few paces away, snarling insults, throwing fake punches. "Don't like that word, Alien?" He ducks one of my punches and tries to kick my legs out from under me. I jump over  knee him in the gut and he moans.59Please respect copyright.PENANA1Pt4wmacsK
   "I am not an alien!" I grab him by the collar and slam him into a tree. I rear back my arm to deliver the knockout punch and watch him flinch. I let my fist fly but something holds me back.59Please respect copyright.PENANAz0z4ILqWNZ
   Val grabs my wrist, her fists searing the already burned skin. "Ow, frick! Val that hurts!"59Please respect copyright.PENANApXCQDu7Jpi
   "It's not supposed to feel good." She still grabs my wrist, applying heat as she drags me off.59Please respect copyright.PENANA8r7CvEZGRr
   She grabs Kenneth's arm and drags him away. "Valerie Rachel Carmen! Ow, ow, ow! What the hell?! You burned me?!" He's a bloody mess from his nose which I don't think is broken, but bloody. His eyes are already looking like a raccoon but that doesn't stop me from hating him. I do, I do hate him.59Please respect copyright.PENANAqqr0v9LW6z
   "You two are in trouble. Pull a stunt like that again and I'll make you both hold hands." Val snarls.59Please respect copyright.PENANAWvwzma4tTt
   "You can't do that!" We both shout. My face is red from embarrassment and from the heat Val's body radiates.59Please respect copyright.PENANAL2VTEryD7p
   "I can and I will. Now, are you both going to be civil about this?" She lets go of our hands and the heat disappears. "Shake hands, make up. Asahel Arete and Kenneth Marconi, I will burn you."59Please respect copyright.PENANA5yQxzmHliN
   I extend my hand and he looks away as he takes it. We meet eyes and I can almost read his thoughts. If I ever see you alone, I'm going to pummel you. I give him a narrowed eye look and turn to Val who has somehow gotten a hold over both of us.59Please respect copyright.PENANAUfjqPFBT9v
   "There. Now that's better." Val smiles a self-satisfied smirk.59Please respect copyright.PENANAmVxiOcJnQR
   Kenneth stares at her to avoid me and crosses his arms. "Okay, so what are you?" 59Please respect copyright.PENANAMVpDtYZaji
   There's no way around it, I'm going to have to tell him or he'll squeal to somebody. "Socius," I whisper and look around as if an Inimicus will appear by the mention of what we are. "I swear, I will find you and slit your throat is your sleep if you breathe another word to a living soul. Do you understand?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAXexhEmXgg6
   "So you're an alien right?" He looks genuinely confused and scared but it still infuriates me that he called me an alien.59Please respect copyright.PENANALC1iVQvEdl
   "No," Val says and touches my arm. "Superhuman is how they described it to me. Don't ever call us aliens, the aliens are the bad guys." She calmly waters down her own version of what we are and whispers to Kenneth. When she finishes I grab his arm and narrow my eyes.59Please respect copyright.PENANAv0hVDLTDVd
   "I'm not going to tell anyone." He's smiling. "It's like you were copied out of a sci-fi book. It's freaking awesome! You have to show me more!"59Please respect copyright.PENANAVTrta6Q7n6
   I stand and nod, "you'll have to talk to mom and dad and we're going to have to train. As my mother always says, 'an Inimicus could take you down without lifting a finger', you're pretty weak." I nod to his bloody face and his smile drops.59Please respect copyright.PENANAe8JgrE6Wjk
   "Well, I'm all good. You guys good? I don't care that I got beat to a pulp, I finally have something amazing happen to me. I'm finally a superhero!"59Please respect copyright.PENANAiOlAJZlDCh
   "You're probably going to die." I touch my shoulder as I remember the screams of pain and the betrayed looks on Erica's face. "So when it happens don't look at me with betrayal. I've been down that road and I don't want to live with killing you too."59Please respect copyright.PENANARyaj2lqTtN
   "Nobody here is going to die," Val says only half-certain of her words. "the Inimicus will be burned to death and electrocuted. There is no way they can win."59Please respect copyright.PENANAZHVJXmo4jI
   "So have you seen that YouTube thing?" Kenneth pulls out his phone. "There's this video footage from a highly Mexican part of Albuquerque where three kids take down a whole bunch of people that turn into sludge. The guy who posted the video didn't respond to any of the comments so authorities checked on him and found him almost dead. He tripped on a step and busted his head open. He could only say one word before he died, 'Inimicus'. Now everyone is saying that the video is cursed and that everyone who watches it will die. It's pretty legit."59Please respect copyright.PENANApCwLcgKyUn
   I take the phone from his hand and see a pasty blond-haired boy disappearing and re-appearing as a strange dagger slices through Inimicus. I watch until the other two Latino kids show up and decimate the rest of the Inimicus. 59Please respect copyright.PENANAQLW14YmvRQ
   I try to remember their faces and heights because other features are easy to change. Hair can be cut and dyed, contacts can hide eye color, and different clothes can change how wide a person looks. The blond kid I feel like I know from somewhere, but I don't know where. There's a good chance that he's been on the news for murder, because people die in our profession and we are accountable for them. My alias, Riley Stevenson also has a warrant for his arrest in the mysterious case of Erica's murder. They won't ever find me. I wore my hair long and dyed it black and used colored contacts to make my eyes blue. They can't find me because I'm a lie and that's all I'll ever be until I die… whenever that may be.59Please respect copyright.PENANAiRxdBvA0AT
   "I wonder what their names are," Val says. "I wonder if any of them are SV?"59Please respect copyright.PENANAIZvfLIvvhp
   I just shrug, "dad's going to be so angry. He's going to kill me. Val, I'm not kidding, he's going to kill me and then Kenneth." I run my fingers through my hair and sigh. "Well, let's all march to our deaths."59Please respect copyright.PENANAT7bP8gOvLG
   "They're really going to be angry about this?" Val sighs. "59Please respect copyright.PENANAl3xTh9oS9Y
   "So, I'm sorry I called you an alien. We can make up right?" Kenneth holds out his hand and smiles not a sincere one, but an exaggerated yearbook picture smile. "Allies?" 59Please respect copyright.PENANALSYh7K0Dgh
   I take his hand and nod. "Allies."59Please respect copyright.PENANA29peZxvN3g
59Please respect copyright.PENANAtok1hCbGul
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