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The Twelve
Writer ToriG.
Writer
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
PG-13
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The Twelve
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#3
Symbols and More Explosions
ToriG.
Nov 15, 2016
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140
18 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!VYZGsroVh87F9LG9RuDbposted on PENANA
        Ash144Please respect copyright.PENANAYmokS0BL62
   It worries me that she's muttering in pain and holding her hands over her eyes. Maybe I chose the wrong person? I hope not, the gift is only redeemable once. I stare down at her writhing body and at mom and dad both trying to make her wake up. I just stand there over them leaning in and looking at the reflections of my marks on her arms.144Please respect copyright.PENANA0200Jss7oJ
   I see four symbols in grey, the dead four. My symbol is glowing and pulsing. I wonder if it's doing that for the other eight Socius. I can see her heart through her shirt, glowing blue. I can see each systole and diastole. Her eyes are glowing blue through her eyelids too. It's so strange to see this, it's strange even for me.144Please respect copyright.PENANAfvpph5y8Ac
   "Hey, Danny come here!" I shout towards the hallway. "You might want to see this."144Please respect copyright.PENANAjyyITrIvcP
   I listen as feet pound against the wooden floorboards and watch as my twelve year old  brother runs into the room. "Trash, what's going on?" His deep brown eyes stare into mine and he smiles. "Happy birthday by the way."144Please respect copyright.PENANAxdRxdA0FIp
   "Come here, I want you to meet my partner once she wakes up." He jumps over the couch and beside me. "Her name is Valerie and you better not say anything around her."144Please respect copyright.PENANApYUOobUXjv
   Danny smiles and raises his eyebrows. "Is she your girlfriend?"144Please respect copyright.PENANA9D3IlXa4sm
   Mom and dad both turn to me in anticipation. "I just met her when we moved here, I have all classes with her except for second period. Don't look all accusatory at me."144Please respect copyright.PENANAT0zKxNlyt4
   Valerie stops moaning in pain and opens her eyes squinting. They're still glowing blue. "My eyes hurt a lot." Her hazel eyes are glowing blue and her heart still glows blue in her chest. "How long was I out?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAXS3SHr4Con
   "Just a minute," mom says in her compassionate voice. "How are you feeling?"144Please respect copyright.PENANA7y1bgm8qqB
   "Like I'm going to barf," she says. I scoot a small trash bag beside her with my foot. "I think I'm okay. No- no I'm not." She sits up quickly and pukes. Mom rubs her back and she pukes. 144Please respect copyright.PENANANkBn59arID
   I kneel beside her and smile. "So how does it feel to be superhuman?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAvGwyyeZCQo
   "Not good, not good at all. I expected more glory than this. I feel terrible." She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and stares at the symbols. "How am I supposed to hide this from people? And you, and your eyes? How did you do that? How did you hide your eyes?"144Please respect copyright.PENANA0XW18dohDO
   I laugh and see dad concealing a smile. "We don't have to hide it from Normals. Normals simply can't see it. Only Socius and Inimicus can see the symbols. It's just like how Normals can't tell the difference between Inimicus and other Normals. But we can tell them apart easily. This my brother Danny by the way."144Please respect copyright.PENANASr9uOeDYFl
   "Hi? So I don't have to wear long sleeves wherever I go? When will I get my ability? What are these symbols?" 144Please respect copyright.PENANACa29JAnJdd
   "Slow down," Danny says and kneels beside me. "Let's take this slowly. These symbols are the twelve. You should've realized by now that if each Socius has a receiver, there should be twenty four symbols but that's not how it works." He points to the pulsing symbol on my wrist. "This is Trash- I mean Ash's- symbol which is also yours." He points to the grey symbols, "grey is dead."144Please respect copyright.PENANA7eb4fjhDAV
   "Valerie, your ability will come soon enough," I butt in so we don't linger on the death of my people. "No, I don't know what it will be. It could be anything from mind reading to flying. Until then, we train. We train until you don't think you can walk and then we train some more."144Please respect copyright.PENANAstnBXbPBau
   "Yay," she says. "Call me Val by the way, it's easier to say. Is there anything else I need to know?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAXNFZWpAj8N
   "I'm just going to say this now and get it over with. You might die a horrible death because of this. This mark is a bull's-eye for the Inimicus. The last two that died the other day died from torture. After the standard brutality, they killed her partner by stabbing him in the heart. They killed her by slowly cutting her throat." I shake my head and press a hand against my throat as I feel the intense memory come back. He kept shouting my name and the others as he killed her. It was so painful that I can't imagine what the poor girl must've gone through.144Please respect copyright.PENANAxg1Ikh2CUD
   "Okay, what now?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAyn6VY47OFh
   I shrug, "I didn't think I'd live this long. I thought that I was going to die back in Texas." I shudder at the memory again. Cold metal burning and searing through my shoulder. Pain. Unbearable pain. She might not have been able to kill me, but a Normal could've. And then… mom and dad saved me but… it was close. And she died.144Please respect copyright.PENANAjD4ZC1oclw
   "Okay, now you need to go home and rest. Don't overwork your brain." Dad grabs her arm, "and do not tell anyone about what you are. As soon as you tell someone, you send out a flare for the Inimicus to find us. And if they find us, they kill us. There's no doubt about it. Also no using your abilities on Normals, that means both of you, Asahel."144Please respect copyright.PENANA0SN2B8kDLf
   "Ash, can you drive me home because I'm not feeling up to walking. I'm a bit dizzy and such." She starts to stand and I help her up. "I don't know how I'm going to do this AP homework of mine. I need a good grade in there." 144Please respect copyright.PENANAhjCofBsnp8
   In the scheme of things, it won't matter because eventually the war will come and destroy our old lives. We'll have to fight and some of us will die. I'm prepared to die for my cause. I've been ready to die for this since the day I was born.144Please respect copyright.PENANAFJLKIoL7B6
   I help support her and walk her to the truck. I lift her into the seat with telekinesis and carefully buckle her up. "You might want to skip school tomorrow. You probably won't feel too good." She nods and rubs at the new marks on her arms as if to rub them off. "I'll come and see you tomorrow to make sure everything is okay, it should be by then."144Please respect copyright.PENANADCZrEBzYfk
   "I'm just really dizzy and weak feeling right now. I don't feel nauseas anymore but it could return with a vengeance." She smiles and touches the marks on my arm, I jump at her touch. "So do you know any of these other Socius?" 144Please respect copyright.PENANAewEQUUsmhR
   I shrug, "nope. There's one though, he likes to live dangerously. His initials are SV and he tends to post things all over the place about 'The Twelve' as he calls it. I keep waiting for him to die because he's either brave or stupid. In fact, he should be posting something today. As for the others, I've only heard their names spoken by the Inimicus before they died." 144Please respect copyright.PENANAvWBgGkEsrg
   "So what do these here Inimicus look like? Typical large headed little green guys?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAy5Syww95vo
   "No, they look human and are difficult to tell apart. Pray that you'll never have to find out. I've only dealt with the stupid ones, if I ever get captured by a general, I'm probably dead." I start the engine and pull away from the house. 144Please respect copyright.PENANAqJU5APZ2bg
   She's quiet for a single second before clearing her throat. "So if your whole family is a family of Socius, why don't they have abilities too? That would mean that there'd be more of you to fight against the… aliens."144Please respect copyright.PENANAUHdvXUQCmh
   "It's hard to explain," I sigh and make a hard right turn. "You only get an ability if you're the generation of the war. And we're the generation with the powers so… that means we're heading off to war. That reminds me, if you hear any of the Inimicus talking about something called 'The Time Of Seeing', they're talking about the war. Supposedly, humans are supposed to rally beside us because they can see what the Inimicus actually look like. Another reason the Inimicus want to kill humans. I honestly don't know what the war will look like or if I'll make it that far."144Please respect copyright.PENANATVmLtSiCYN
   She narrows her eyes at me, "I will not have your pessimism. You will live, I will live, and earth will prosper. Wow… I feel like I'm in a sci-fi book."144Please respect copyright.PENANA1pxWu8LtbX
   "You are." I say and shrug, "you are about to embark in something even better."144Please respect copyright.PENANAK5EYBCSrff
   "Can I first go home and sleep before we get into the whole 'embark' thing? Like I said, it's been a rough day." She leans her head against the window, probably thinking, what have I just done?144Please respect copyright.PENANAI8a5TDYbgW
   "It'll get better. I promise." Either that or you'll wake up with a chloroform rag around your mouth and nose, and before you know it some creepy alien will be dragging you into a torture room. It'll either get better or a whole lot worse. Hopefully better.144Please respect copyright.PENANAZhmxeQFZkQ
   "Your training will probably begin Saturday, since this is Thursday. Mom will probably go a little easier on you because you're a newbie and you don't have any abilities yet." I see the fear on her face and put my hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry. You get awesome powers, a cool hobby, some new friends, enemies that want to kill you, and you get to hang around me for a while. What could be better?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAW5WA3xcWZr
   She laughs, "I'm just thinking about how this is going to screw up school. I'll actually have a life now."144Please respect copyright.PENANAbIzmNtZLEg
   I smile but internally cringe. She doesn't know that it won't matter about school. It won't matter if you're dead or if you're fighting a war. They'll both screw up our chances of getting scholarships and both are distinct possibilities. 144Please respect copyright.PENANAIDy4bMVQLg
Simon144Please respect copyright.PENANAHIlDjpbvma
   I sit in the café of a Starbucks in Bridgetown, Missouri skimming the web on a stolen Ipad. I prop my feet up on the beige table and smile at the cute barista that's been eyeing me all night. I wish she'd go back to cleaning; I don't need her to see what I'm going to do. She could kill us, accidentally of course, but still kill us.144Please respect copyright.PENANAXxSxUG0TsF
   I take a sip of my bitter black coffee and purse my lips as I stare at another newsletter detailing the unexplained murder of a sixteen-year-old girl and a seventeen-year-old boy at an Arkansas warehouse. Andy, she was a friend and so was Jase. I knew I should've made them stay with the others. I should've at least come with her as backup. She wasn't strong enough. Now she's dead.144Please respect copyright.PENANAaajIfuubkg
   I look up from the electronic newsletter and see the barista turn away with a blush. The Starbucks is basically empty except for me, the barista and her coworker who seems more interested in the tip jar, a girl sitting in the corner sipping on a latte and reading a boring looking romance novel, and a large party of a couple of jocks and their cheerleader girlfriends. They all look half-wasted and one couple seems to be having an explicitly grand time making out. Normals, sometimes they make me sick. 144Please respect copyright.PENANAr2YMFhcRNy
   I turn back to the Ipad and open a tab in incognito. I pull up my blog entitled "To The Twelve" and begin journaling. 144Please respect copyright.PENANA2L6Uj0BkT3
   "To the twelve of us out there who are reading this, it's me, SV, again. There are two more dead now as I'm sure you're all aware. That leaves a total of eight Socius, one receiver that has been gifted with abilities, and five receivers. Also, I'd like to say happy birthday to the guy or gal who turned sixteen today and got to choose their receiver. Happy birthday dude (I use that term respectively), you're a step ahead of me."144Please respect copyright.PENANAZ4ejMtNhE8
   I stop typing and take a sip of coffee. Sleep is pulling at my eyelids for once, probably because I just drove straight here from the east coast of Virginia. It's not helping that the cool outside air is filling up the store and mixing the scents together. I smell the coffee around me and try to make the blood start pumping in my body again. Stay awake! I need to finish this entry. My entries could be the only thing keeping us sane and together. Okay, now I can write.144Please respect copyright.PENANAx5awSQO4HC
   "So onto our dear friends the Inimicus… I have heard an unconfirmed rumor that a great Sergeant has died today in battle with a single Socius. Whoever that Socius is, I salute you. And if an Inimicus is reading this, please confirm or deny this by commenting in the comment section below. If you are an Inimicus, I think that you should also get off this blog because I can track you down and kill you."144Please respect copyright.PENANACJoIEHIg2C
   The door to Starbucks slings wide open as a few people dressed in flannel and wearing sunglasses, walk toward the barista and her friend. I look down at my uncovered arms and tug on my sleeves so only my fingertips show. I grab a pair of sunglasses from my pockets and shove them on my face. I pull the hood on my hoody over my hair and make sure the shadow casts over some of my face. I stare at them as if simply curious before staring back down at the Ipad. They look at me for a second and then start examining their surroundings.144Please respect copyright.PENANAj1Gykt18KG
   "Three men just walked into this place. They're dressed in black flannel and wearing sunglasses; they're obviously Inimicus. They're talking to the cashier now. If I don't log anything in four hours, consider me kidnapped.144Please respect copyright.PENANAgiMrPEhDJZ
   "Stay strong out there. We are humanity's last hope."144Please respect copyright.PENANAgmJE4omNEo
    I submit the entry and set the Ipad down. I nervously sip my coffee again. I'm going to avoid a conflict here so no humans get involved. I'll kill them in the parking lot later. I stand and sit beside the girl reading the romance novel. She holds a finger up for me to pause, bookmarks her page, and then looks up. So romance is her genre? I can do that. "Can I help you?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAqYq7wLBxTl
   "Okay," I lean in close to her and stare into her eyes, "so this is going to sound weird and it is… But, see I bet my friends that I could get a date and they're here. I don't have a date and a pretty girl like you was sitting all alone over here so I thought, 'I better hurry and make something up.' So can you just pretend that you and I are a couple?"144Please respect copyright.PENANAeaD0BtFS7o
   She smiles at the complement and then frowns. "The name's Scarlet and whatever. Are those your friends?" She nods to the Inimicus. "They don't seem to notice you."144Please respect copyright.PENANASnLB2PZpDD
   "That's the point. My name's Simon by the way. Thank you so much, you're a lifesaver."144Please respect copyright.PENANAO4Bec70NFU
   "I don't see why not," she says out of the blue. "I mean why couldn't you just quit law school?"144Please respect copyright.PENANA8U4MVGfAzm
   So that's what her novel was about. I always get to work with the awkward ones who can't act at all. "But… I want to be an attorney?" I say and watch as the Inimicus examine the group of jocks. They shake their head. I look at the table beneath me, it's made out of metal. Good, I can work with that.144Please respect copyright.PENANAZrKK2MA1ce
   Scarlet grabs my hand and looks back at my friends with a horrified expression. "Sim-"144Please respect copyright.PENANAF0jhfvpgi5
   "SIMON VALERE, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!" The Inimicus raise their guns and point them at me. I jump to my feet and grab the Ipad. I have to destroy the evidence. 144Please respect copyright.PENANAarZfeUVtvu
   "Simon Valere you are under arrest for theft, assault with a deadly weapon, and four counts of second degree murder!" The Inimicus are trying to circle me. I reach up and take off both my hood and sunglasses.144Please respect copyright.PENANAQvVBgYoR0A
   "Hello old friends, it's been a while eh?" I smile and look at the reflection of my glowing silver eyes in the window. "Why don't we just have a good old talk over some coffee? The humans don't have to get involved, Inimicus."144Please respect copyright.PENANA5FAoXQUm6c
   The one in the middle who I assume is the leader steps forward and growls. "Don't use our name in public, Socius. He has no receiver. Shoot to kill, fire at will."144Please respect copyright.PENANArgErwSlrmR
   "You're not even worth the energy to turn invisible over." The leader fires his gun, people scream. It whizzes to my head before I grab it with telekinesis and stop it four inches from hitting the bridge of my nose. "Why did you bring metal bullets to fight me. You should know that I'm a metal worker by now. Manipulating metal is what I do." I let the bullet drop with a ping and lift the nearest metal table. I smile and watch as the metal reshapes and forms itself into a perfectly sharpened sword and shield. It used to be hard to manipulate solid metal into different shapes but I'm getting the hang of it quickly.144Please respect copyright.PENANAWcmSNDRcuR
   I catch another bullet and hurl it back at the alien who tried to shoot me. I manage to throw it with enough force that it wedges in-between his clavicle and ribcage. Dark sludge oozes from the wound.144Please respect copyright.PENANAMzxnYudSQj
   I purse my lips and break out into a smile. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill you." I charge forward, ducking and dodging blows and bullets. I stab my new table-sword into the leaders body and watch the reptile eyes grow wide and then he sinks down and his body decays into a solid liquid mixture of clumpy black something. You got killed.144Please respect copyright.PENANA5iAJJ6B5yX
   I hear everyone screaming now. Cameras flash and somebody has pulled the fire alarm. I block the sound out of my ears and dodge a knife at my head. I manage to push Scarlet out of the way as she screams and almost receives a knife to the face.144Please respect copyright.PENANAWvajnYWeaq
   I abandon the sword and lift an Inimicus the air with telekinesis. I slam him against the ceiling a couple times before dropping him. Someone in the background screams even louder than the Inimicus as he drops like a stone. As soon as he touches the floor, he instantly reduces to sludge.144Please respect copyright.PENANA6W0DkZ7xSY
   The last one keeps firing at me with terrible aim and screams. He starts to run away but I grab him telekinetically and pull him back up to me. He kicks and struggles against me, only landing one good blow to my chest. It doesn't hurt but I don't like to be touched, that means he's going to die painfully. I slam him against the wall and feel my hands tighten into fists, he screams hoarsely as I grip his throat.144Please respect copyright.PENANARXhrG1yi67
   "This is for Andy and Jase. You killed them. You killed them in cold blood."144Please respect copyright.PENANAf3CqmZojey
   "You can never win Simon Valere, the Socius can never win. Come to our side and there will be mercy. Glorious Leader is forgiving, Glorious Leader will forgive people who turn back. Come to the win-"144Please respect copyright.PENANAKkvLXPK5nD
   "This is for the twelve." I slowly make my fist even tighter, he screams in pain and writhes underneath my grasp. I hear my knuckles pop and his ribcage cracks, impaling his heart and other important organs. His eyes grow wide and he falls away as black goop. Easy enough.144Please respect copyright.PENANA4eAmGhnfAt
   I drop to my knees and begin sorting through the goop. Handcuffs, a bottle of what I'm guessing is chloroform, drivers license, and a small holographic device. I crush that and scatter the pieces amongst the goop.144Please respect copyright.PENANAmQxYgUXEdc
   The other piles of sludge yield the same findings, all except for the leader who has some sort of round baseball sized chunk of smooth metal in his pocket. I drop it and growl. A bomb. Of course he had a bomb.144Please respect copyright.PENANAdYwJJuyuzV
   I try to relax and turn to see Scarlet videoing me from behind the twisted and broken table. I pluck the phone from her hands, crush it and steal the destroyed memory chip. She cries out in panic and reaches futilely for the messed up hunk of metal.144Please respect copyright.PENANA7EaI0Q0o5A
   "No, I don't need any of them knowing what I am. I promise you all that there was a bomb on the Inimicus. I would start running and don't tell anyone about what happened or the Inimicus will come for you and pick you off one by one. You don't want that to happen or people will get hurt. And if any of you have cellular devices, I will be taking those up too."144Please respect copyright.PENANASsqpqHjolx
   I grab their phones and hold them in the air where they can't reach them. They look at me with panicked expressions. The only noise is the constant siren of the fire alarm. I should probably go now before the fire department shows up and one of the humans squeal.144Please respect copyright.PENANAAzw7ifBRKb
   They still stare at me with scared and panicked expressions. "Scram people, there's a freaking bomb on the table! You will blow up!" They start running and forget about the phones hovering above their heads. I steal the memory card and crush the bodies in my grip. I toss the metal shells into the black sludge and stow the memory cards in my pockets.144Please respect copyright.PENANAMSPXBQOBfU
   I smile and walk out of the Starbucks that won't exist in a few seconds. I walk out to my '65 Shelby and pick off a small circular object on the gas tank. Bugged, I know they always bug the cars. I learn from my mistakes because last time… I almost was killed.144Please respect copyright.PENANAc7mCwMjQaF
   I stare at the bug that blends in perfectly with the red Shelby and flick it into the grass. I take a seat in the driver's side and open up the Ipad again. 144Please respect copyright.PENANAoLfUSxatpV
   "I'm alive, they were weak. Scared a couple Normals to death though and stole couple phones. If you see any social media detailing what happened, please do me a favor and delete it. A million thanks. Now, here I am, signing off for today. We will not be defeated in this war. We can't lose or we die. Stay strong and thanks for visiting To the Twelve. SV out." 144Please respect copyright.PENANAEbNu9plX0B
   I submit my final answer and crush the tablet in my hands. I throw it out the window as a glob of jagged plastic, metal, and glass. 144Please respect copyright.PENANARdIdPf095b
   I drive away as I see the fire truck show up along with the ambulance. The Starbucks suddenly explodes before anyone can get inside. I watch all of this happen from my rearview. I push the petal all the way down and shake my head. So this is what I get for trying to get a sip of coffee? This is all getting too real too quickly. The invasion is coming.144Please respect copyright.PENANAPuW4oOCyi1

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