The Twelve - Kenneth is Not a Good Socius, At All | Penana
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The Twelve
Writer ToriG.
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  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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#11
Kenneth is Not a Good Socius, At All
ToriG.
Dec 9, 2016
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57
14 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!jbAFNfq6p3iRETf6pNBGposted on PENANA

Val61Please respect copyright.PENANAaBhLh50Icq
   "Kenneth move! The Inimicus would've killed you by now! Your head would be on a silver platter and offered to the commanders!"61Please respect copyright.PENANALuhpoxvNl7
   "Hey, I'm going as fast as I can!" Kenneth is sweating big droplets of sweat and gasping for air. He's only been here for three days and I'm fairly certain Kara wants to kill him. He's accidentally called us aliens multiple times which really angers the Arete family.61Please respect copyright.PENANAuO9cETTTJc
   Heath makes him run a few more suicides for slowing down, as Ash and I focus on our abilities. I've gotten to the point where I can feel the texture of an object just by touching it with telekinesis. I can feel if it's prickly or soft, hot or cold, rough or silky, but I can't feel any pain or sharpness like grabbing a dagger. I can also stop a bullet now too, it almost caused my death but I did it. Ash can strike the tip of a match head from a hundred feet away. It's impressive.61Please respect copyright.PENANAZUOgF5mFNy
   My ability to start fires is under my control in a way. It's not a precise ability, it's more of a reckless I HAVE CREATED FIRE! type thing. Ash has his ability under control except when he loses his temper and accidentally electrocutes someone. Not like that's ever happened to him and a specific biomedical teacher…61Please respect copyright.PENANA6y3nYrVtfg
   "Alright, get a sip of water and come back. You have a literal minute and we're going to see what you can do!" Heath blows a whistle that echoes around in my head. He looks at me and shakes his head. "I swear I'm going to kill him," he mouths to me. I smirk.61Please respect copyright.PENANAAJ5KWJDQCm
   Kenneth finally stops panting as Ash and I take a couple sips of water and look at each other with the same thoughts. "He's dead. If the Inimicus come, he's absolutely completely dead."61Please respect copyright.PENANA2CgRTWWfBK
   "Hi guys!" His hands shake as he brings a bottle of water up to his mouth. "I don't know how you guys don't fell like you're about to pass out because me, I feel like I'm going to pass out and throw up." He sways on his feet and I grab him by the waist before he can fall. I sit him easily down on the floor and he nods. "That feels good. I might need a break from this. This is hard fighting."61Please respect copyright.PENANAOIiR6hi1Ky
   Heath has been going easy on him and Kara couldn't take it anymore so she walked out and went to the only remaining non-ghetto grocery store in Haywood county. (Ash's explosion at the Ingles has not been rebuilt so the only other grocery stores are in the dubbed "ghetto" based on the overwhelming number of small Mexican food trucks, closed and vandalized small businesses, and the multiple slightly abandoned ABC stores. Don't go there, it's sketchy.)61Please respect copyright.PENANAilhn5e7I4K
   Ash rolls his eyes when Kenneth isn't watching. "I can't believe I'm saying this but I want to go back to school. I can't take him anymore. And I swear I'm going to kill him if he calls me an alien one more time. Do I look like an alien to you?!" I smirk and he narrows his eyes. "No, no I don't. The correct answer is no."61Please respect copyright.PENANA57mlYfhUvT
   "You need to calm down, he's trying and it's the only thing we can do to get him not to squeal on us." I elbow him and smile as I see Kenneth, unaware that we're watching lift his hand and point it at a box. He concentrates hard, narrowing his eyes and furrowing his eyebrows.61Please respect copyright.PENANAFjBYaHftJZ
   "Kenneth, that's not how it works." I turn to see Danny step in the room with a gun in one hand and a Poptart in the other. "I can't do it, mom and dad can't do it, and you can't do it. You're a human and I wasn't born in the right generation. 61Please respect copyright.PENANA21lkpqyw9D
   Kenneth blushes, "it was worth a shot."61Please respect copyright.PENANAheKDAITSDo
   Ash smiles and leans into me. "Next time he tries to do it, I'm going to lift it up myself."61Please respect copyright.PENANAMiIogT6wnP
   I elbow him, "that's cruel. You'd break his little sci-fi heart. Asahel no." 61Please respect copyright.PENANAvpRQJghiNr
   "Alright, times up! Kenneth, you're going to be shooting riffles, because it's the only thing you're good at. And is that Danny? Good, he can help Kenneth." I see Danny mutter a curse and Ash glare at him.61Please respect copyright.PENANAV4FGHgpB82
   Heath grabs my arm. "I hope your comfortable with your abilities because they're about to be put to the test." He drags me along to the gun range and stands me up right in front of a target. "Stay."61Please respect copyright.PENANA0UlIiCBo8Z
   "Kenneth come here and bring that shotgun!" 61Please respect copyright.PENANAeEo5v8lNq9
   My stomach turns. He's going to make Kenneth shoot at me and then I have to catch the bullet. Kenneth isn't very good with this whole fighting thing. This isn't going to work out well for me.61Please respect copyright.PENANAemdU3Vaswj
   "Alright Kenneth," Heath says as Kenneth strolls into the range, "you're going to shoot to the right of her head. Do you understand?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAvweQfxtRWC
   Kenneth's smile fades as he lays the shotgun down and looks at me. "Sir, I don't trust myself to get this right. Can I just shoot at a blank target?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAQahegNnCAN
   Heath shakes his head, "you both need high stakes practice. Now go Kenneth. To the right of her head."61Please respect copyright.PENANALPaYJdTUFq
   "I'll try." Kenneth mutters and presses the butt of the gun against his shoulder. He presses his cheek against the stock and lifts it to the right of my head where a little of the black target is visible. He clicks the safety off and shuts one eye tightly. He mutters to himself very quietly so nobody can hear him.61Please respect copyright.PENANAebXs2c0v3W
   My heart is pounding in my chest making me feel the need to run. There's nowhere I can run and not have to come back and do this though. So I stand there as Health looks back and forth between us.61Please respect copyright.PENANA8U7p8ndwZN
   Kenneth pulls the trigger.61Please respect copyright.PENANAjLCuJmIDgo
   I hear the explosion ripple through the air, echoing and tumbling against the small space. I focus as I see the slug coming at me, faster and then faster. I dig in my heels and shove what feels to me like a wall of telekinesis at the bullet. It takes more to stop it though. I build more walls and the bullet merely taps my forehead as it falls to the ground with a fat ping. 61Please respect copyright.PENANA4vz1YBeY6i
   I break my focus and breathe, I forgot that I needed to breathe in the few seconds that Kenneth pulled the trigger. My heart calms down in my chest and I wipe away sweat from my forehead.61Please respect copyright.PENANAVfc2FlqSRq
   "Kenneth you're not supposed to aim for the center of my forehead!" I pick up the slug and hand it to Heath. "What did you not get about to the right?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAGbbiFVFoyW
   He shrugs, "did you die though?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAMDrlEpWTn3
   I bite my tongue to stop myself from saying anything. I've known Kenneth since first grade, of course I know all his deepest fears and darkest secrets (which is really a lie because Kenneth has no dark secrets, just embarrassing ones that he really hates for me to bring up).61Please respect copyright.PENANAbiinlYJLQA
   Heath claps me on the back, "you're getting better. Soon enough you'll have enough precision to challenge Ash. That'll be funny to see." He snaps back to trainer mode and points to the range behind us. "Kenneth, I want to see ten shots in the middle. Don't stop until you do." Kenneth playfully kicks my leg as we walk past, winking and laughing at me as I roll my eyes.61Please respect copyright.PENANAbxLnQrivPR
   Ash isn't training, he's looking down at his phone and muttering. "…believe one has been kidnapped? How would you know? Nobody's kidnapped. They can't be."61Please respect copyright.PENANArBuTW8iT2G
   "What are you talking about?" I say and sit beside him, staring at his phone. It's on the blog. "What's he saying now?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAWdZfBkdk64
   Ash sighs. "SV thinks that someone's been kidnapped. And now he wants us all to come together and fight them. He wants us to join the other Socius but, I can't leave and neither can you."61Please respect copyright.PENANAUiBGFr7YXX
   I nod, "can you get him here? I mean you do have a sweet training room that they could use."61Please respect copyright.PENANAPpzjivsBou
   "It's not that simple." Ash turns off his phone and sighs again, "there'd be unseen consequences of having us all together. I mean, if we're all fighting at once and one of us dies… then we all die because you can't concentrate when you're dying with someone. Not to mention we'd be a magnet for any and all Inimicus. We'd be an easy target and an easier kill."61Please respect copyright.PENANAilIhAjCNDJ
   "So what are you going to do?"61Please respect copyright.PENANASy1teHVmFS
   "Ignore him and hope that he's wrong about the kidnapping. Trust me I've been there, and strapped down to one of their torture chairs is not a fast or painless way to go." Ash touches his shoulder again. It's a natural habit I'm noticing more and more of. Whenever he mentions what happened to him in Texas he'll touch his shoulder, the scarred one.61Please respect copyright.PENANAjviTPApibO
   "Okay then stop looking so depressed."61Please respect copyright.PENANANu9vLJOoxr
   "Well, I can't stop thinking about them- whoever they are- sitting strapped into a torture chair screaming as one of those monsters stabs and experiments on them. I've heard of that too, SV said that they ran experiments on him when he was in captivity." Ash shakes his head slowly. "I don't want them to die. They're basically family, even if I don't know them. You know what I mean?"61Please respect copyright.PENANA7p09TeROAx
   I shrug. "Don't worry about it. Whoever it is out there is probably fine. SV might have exaggerated or he might have thought he saw something but didn't. You never know. SV sounds over-dramatic anyways."61Please respect copyright.PENANAHU2ZORAd9M
   "I hope you're right, I hope you are exactly right. If you aren't…" he looks at the grey marks on his arms. "If you aren't, somebody will go grey. There's only eight of us as it is, we can't afford to lose anyone else."61Please respect copyright.PENANA1Wgas2Ugqs
   I can only nod because his mind has wandered somewhere else. He'll be like this for a while. I think he's thinking about the war to come or the human he killed in Texas. He feels so guilty about what happened even though it's not his fault. It's not our fault. It's the Inimicus we need to blame.61Please respect copyright.PENANAIyRIILXzAx
   Danny bumps into me on purpose and laughs. He's sweaty from the drills Heath must've made him run and his big eyes grow even wider when he laughs. "Heard Kenneth shot you today."61Please respect copyright.PENANA7hs9hg1Stb
   I cross my arms, "Kenneth would make a terrible Socius. Oh man, he's worse than me."61Please respect copyright.PENANAEv8UGAXARn
   "Kenneth's a joke," Danny seems to be the only one laughing but his laugh if one of those infectious laughs. "He's just too awkward for this and it shows in everything he does."61Please respect copyright.PENANA2AWUiEFfef
   "I can hear you, I hope you realize that!" Kenneth shouts from somewhere in the range.61Please respect copyright.PENANANlxgvPxwH1
   "Good," Danny shouts back, "I wasn't trying to be quiet."61Please respect copyright.PENANAIlwQgcrdNi
   "Fight me Danny!" Kenneth sounds half angry and half joking.61Please respect copyright.PENANABPSyKbdprr
   Danny rolls his eyes and I realize that he is Ash's polar opposite. He doesn't seem to know when to shut up while Ash doesn't know when to speak. This is just a weird family not only because of the whole "fighting to save the world thing", but they just have weird values. Maybe it's just a Socius thing.61Please respect copyright.PENANAFfNcvi23PJ
   "So," Danny lowers his voice and pulls my head down closer to him. "Ash tell you why he's moping around?"61Please respect copyright.PENANA4x5BomNQAB
   "The kidnapping thing? That's just a rumor, and rumor's aren't always true." I narrow my eyes at him and he sight.61Please respect copyright.PENANA8cq1KbdXAE
   "Well, this rumor, this rumor is true. SV posted a few minutes ago and confirmed that his suspicions of the kidnapped Socius are true. We know that there are two situations that will play out."61Please respect copyright.PENANApgUdtqwvtl
   I touch his shoulder gently, "Danny, we still don't know if SV is mental or even if he's just making it up for a story."61Please respect copyright.PENANAfxTl9iHW8i
   "You don't understand," Danny says, "I can feel it. But either they're sitting in a cell with their partner getting ready to die, or they're waiting to turn sixteen so an Inimicus can kill them. Either way, they're going to die after a complex torture pattern."61Please respect copyright.PENANAyhuYjfawcK
   "Why are you so morbid?" I jerk away and cross my arms. "Why can't you cling to some sort of hope?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAbC15PuvmZY
   "I'd rather have the truth, because however wonderful and sweet hope might be, it turns bitter in the end. I once did believe that hope was alive in this situation but I know that was foolish. I saw them murder a human in cold blood and watched my brother writhe in agony as they tortured him. I had to cut into his shoulder and dig a piece of Inimicus metal from beneath the meat." His eyes take on a dark perspective before turning back to normal.61Please respect copyright.PENANAHewBAFUhC3
   "Things aren't as they seem, Val. The world you live in now is a harsh place that will stomp on any of your remaining hope." He throws me a wayward glance as he walks away. "It'll only get you killed. And Val? I'm right, the kidnapped Socius is going to die."61Please respect copyright.PENANAAak49Djkaw
   I glance across the room and see Ash fast asleep in a corner with his head drooping down and his phone still clutched in his hand. Heath is polishing the butt of a Remington and oiling the barrel. Kenneth has just finished his target practice and is envying and staring at Ash. Danny is throwing knifes at a straw dummy, throwing in a few fancy flourishes here and there.61Please respect copyright.PENANA4l95rZAWlz
   Danny doesn't know what he's talking about, he's just a kid. Hope is the only thing that can keep us alive. What does he know about the reality of death? Probably more than me, but does he comprehend it? I don't know.61Please respect copyright.PENANAV2OsEo8zGL
   I sit beside Ash and he stirs awake. He almost drops his phone but catches it with his eyes. "Hi, I uh… didn't get a lot of sleep. I'm so tired."61Please respect copyright.PENANACgWWl6AFqL
   "You had the nightmare again?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAbv7lBykbvF
   "Well, it's that and these practices are literally hurting me mentally. My head hurts so much, it's straining my abilities."61Please respect copyright.PENANALrIzTmY2VF
   "You need to get up and go somewhere. You need to just get out of this place and get a life for just an hour." I grab his hands and drag him to his feet. "Just for an hour and then you can go back to moping. We can bring Kenneth and get a pizza or just wander around town."61Please respect copyright.PENANANyWJuhP5Wg
   He shrugs, "I don't know if that's a good idea…"61Please respect copyright.PENANAQ8LXtmwNx1
   "Why wouldn't it be?" I start to pull him towards the door and grab Kenneth by the collar. "I know your truck has some nitro infusion- I'm not stupid- and not to mention the strange riffles in the ceiling and the pistols everywhere."61Please respect copyright.PENANAtitbSnyRpu
   "It's not that…" He stops me for a second, physically holding me still. "I don't like going in public when I think a Socius might die. First, it means that I will break down in the middle of a store aisle or I will fall and the management will call the cops. Not to mention that you'll also feel the pain, and trust me, the pain hurts like nothing you've ever felt before. It'll be a glowing neon arrow to any Inimicus in the area. We'll be vulnerable with only Kenneth to protect us."61Please respect copyright.PENANAwd2tXwKNCH
   I grab his shirt collar and pull him closer to me. His eyes are wide and he smells like deodorant, which is a good thing. For a fleeting second, I feel like I should pull him closer and closer, until his face is right against mine and his lips, his soft lips press against- No. No, that will not happen. I will not let that happen. 61Please respect copyright.PENANA3sQOqkaW8I
   "Ash… You have to trust me; nothing's going to happen because we're dead if Kenneth has to protect us. You're going to have to…" I swallow my fears, "you have to trust me." I let him go awkwardly and he straightens out the collar of his slightly ruffled t-shirt. The second has passed and my desire to kiss him has faded, but not entirely. I can still feel it like worn Braille against my fingertips.61Please respect copyright.PENANAYB0rMSOkKe
   "Okay," Ash sighs in reluctance, "but if I feel anything strange starting to happen we're coming back." His eyes meet mine for a second longer than needed and I feel a redness fall over my cheeks. "Understand Val?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAOgrQJonubZ
   Kenneth nods for me and steps in-between us. His almond eyes narrow at Ash and he leans into me. "Phony. He's a fake. I finally meet a superhuman and they are a-"61Please respect copyright.PENANAcfs23SneOv
   I elbow him to shut up. "Well, where to go, group?"61Please respect copyright.PENANAWM6WeSP3dz
   "You wanna go to Walmart?" Ash laughs, "there's not many places I can go that I haven't blown up. Walmart's not on the list yet. Besides, you can usually find an Inimicus there. They are the type that wear pajama bottoms and scoop-neck white t-shirts. Kenneth might get some practice in or at least learn how to spot them. There's only one difference that human's can pick out."61Please respect copyright.PENANAh1QJSA7g5j
   I look at Kenneth and he nods eagerly, this is all a book to him. He doesn't understand it, I don't even understand it. "Okay, I guess it's settled. We can go to Walmart by Ash's request."61Please respect copyright.PENANAfhyHkCAIQo
61Please respect copyright.PENANAdMbjJqcztp
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