[Google-Font <link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Quicksand" rel="stylesheet">][Quicksand [size14 On most days, Persephone made it by as someone who could [i talk] by mouthing words in an effort to [i pretend] to speak, while communicating mentally to others. It avoided a lot of obstacles that would come with the other few options she had for communicating with others.
Without mouthing the words, people would realize that they didn't actually [i see] her speaking, which meant she was either an aspiring ventriloquist who spent her days confusing everyone, or that she was different, than others. Unfortunately, most people's descriptive term for this wasn't [i gifted] or [i unique], but rather that she was some sort of [i freak] for having a different way of effectively communicating with others. Sign language was an option, and she was comfortable with sign language, however most people who were not handicapped in the sense of speech, or hearing didn't know sign language. This meant that while some people would understand her, many others would not. And the final of her options that wouldn't work out well would be taking the time to write things down for those who could read it. But this method was far too time consuming for Persephone to find it as a viable option.
The young woman wasn't always incapable of talking, but for life as far as she remembered, that was the case. Her parents said that there was an accident when she was young. She had head the story plenty of times, it seemed like her parents had a harder time dealing with having a completely healthy daughter who one day was doomed to never speak again. It wasn't until Persephone learned of her telepathic abilities that her parents were able to hear her voice anymore, and from that point forward they just opted to not talk about their daughter being mute to others, to avoid trying to explain to them that their daughter was extraordinary, and for them to react in a way that wasn't [i harmful] or potentially harmful to their daughter's confidence or in her decision to use this ability to aid in her day-to-day life.
In the present moment, however, Persephone had been out browsing some of the local storefront's in search of a gift for her mother for her upcoming birthday. So far her day had been relatively calm. But in the blink of an eye, it seemed that some chaos began to form due to an inexplicably tragic event which seemed to be taking over and consuming many people throughout the area, when in reality this event was affecting the world.
Persephone watched as a few people in the store had become essentially petrified, before their bodies began to lose all essence of color and life, crumbling away as ashes in a breeze. While this as a whole didn't make sense to her, her eyes were quick to find a young boy who seemed to stare in horror as a woman he was facing did the same, fading away into nothing. [i How the hell is this even possible?] Was the first thought as she had been watching in horror, but as soon as her eyes locked on him, she knew that this wasn't the time for her to think on the events happening.
Panic struck the store, as people tried to run away from an invisible evil. There was nothing to face, nothing specifically for them to fear or escape from, and so with everyone scrambling in different directions it very quickly turned into fights. shelves being tipped over in bystander's attempts to [i escape the invisible death.] She quickly crossed the distance between her and the boy, reaching her hand out to him and trying to give a reassuring smile, despite the concern and tinge of fear in her eyes. In a situation as pressing as this, Persephone normally might forget to mouth her words, mimicking speech, but in order to prevent him from becoming more fearsome than he must have already been, Persephone needed to make sure she focused on mouthing words while projecting. [#C70039 "Hey, I know this is really freaky, and I know I'm a stranger. But trust me, we need to get away from here before this gets more out of hand. Come with me, okay?"] He looked up at Persephone and nodded, before taking her hand, despite the fear that still lingered along his face. She could understand where that fear was well grounded, she wasn't even sure how through this she managed to compose herself and avoid being paralyzed or fleeing in fear, but seeing a child watch as the adults around them just [i vanished to nothing], someone had to help. What she didn't understand was that his fear was much more similar to her fear of forgetting to mouth her words.
He knew that people [i in general] aren't very accepting of [i gifted] people, and in a situation like this? Not a chance. [#C70039 "I'm Persephone. Just call me Seph, okay? What's your name? In case we get separated."] [b "Jordan."] [#C70039 "Just stay close to me, we're going to try and make it to the door and get some help."]
As the two tried to manage their way to the front door without getting trampled, a trash can came flying through the front window, she wrapped her arms around him and turned her back to the window as it shattered, From that point, people began flooding in and out of the now shattered storefront window, and most people seemed to ignore the main door to get in and out of the store. Persephone darted out of the door, with the boy in tow close to her.
In the time it took Persephone and Jordan to make their way outside, there were so many people panicking that she almost couldn't see a man in what looked like a police uniform. But she wasn't close enough to [i connect] with him to make sure she would get his attention especially with all of the commotion going on around them. She would need his attention on her, or to be able to really focus in on him. They couldn't make enough of a path to get more than a few feet from the store front, so the woman wasn't sure of what other options she had. [#C70039 "Jordan. I need you to call for that police officer right there. Yell for help, he'll have to notice your voice compared to all these adults."]
Her reasoning for that went beyond [i a child's voice in distress would get an adult's attention,] but she wasn't wrong, was she? She could see that Jordan was becoming paralyzed with fear, as the distress, chaos, and horror of this once calm day turning into a full-fledged riot.
She didn't want to do this, with people dying and fading into ash with no tangible force to blame for their deaths, seeing someone with [i powers] was absolutely not a smart idea. But Jordan just watched many people literally drain of life, turn to ash, and crumble into nothingness. He needed help, and this wasn't a safe place for anyone to be, including a young boy.
[i I'm going to help you, Jordan.] Persephone thought to herself, before taking in a deep breath. She lifted her hand, and began flicking her wrist in either direction, sending people in the direct vicinity flying out of her path to the police officer. But this wasn't working. Sending a few people out of her path wasn't getting the results she needed. And it wasn't drawing the officer's attention, while gravely draining her of the energy she needed to make this work.
While possessing the ability to use telepathy to communicate to others consistently, Persephone also inhibited the ability to control the real world, [i telekinesis]. The difference between her use of telepathy, and her use of telekinesis was that Persephone could use telepathy without issue to enter the minds of others to communicate, or to inflict their judgement to help her. Using her telepathy would normally be effective to sway someone's judgement but she wouldn't have been able to maintain basic will swaying on this volume of people, which is why she needed her telekinesis.
Controlling the physical world, however was very daunting on the young woman. And unless these tasks were things she could physically do [i with ease], they were short lived and usually caused her to lose the ability to do simple tasks that she does on a normal basis, like walking and carrying her own weight.
[i They'll kill you if you make this more obvious. You saw what happened in the store, you see what people are doing right now.] She knew she had a point. [i But I need to do something.] Her eyes searched quickly, before she found the perfect thing. [i The light pole.] The sound of the steel light pole being wiggled out of the ground itself was enough to catch people's attention. She lowered the light pole, almost as if she were going to lay it horizontally on the ground, before using it to sweep everyone that she could out of the way, clearing a path between her, Jordan, and the police officer.
People gasped, and screamed as they saw the workings of these abilities, an underlying panic of [i this is the freak that's going to kill us] seemed to take over. Her legs began to shake, as she began gently lying the pole back in place, but at the last moment, it just dropped to the floor. With the attention of everyone on her, she locked eyes with the police officer. Just the focus she needed for him to hear her.[#C70039 "Help him."] She projected, before her legs gave out beneath her and she gently pushed Jordan in his direction.
The boy stood close to Persephone for a moment, but when those previously filled with fear and hopelessness at the thought that she was going to kill them began moving in on her, Jordan ran over to the police officer to avoid getting trampled.]]
[i Hot desert sand on his hands, grinding and sticking to the webs between his fingers, hardening and congealing from sweat and blood. The sand was still hot under his stomach as he dragged himself over dune after dune. But when he thought he could barely handle the sweltering heat, night came and so did the cold. But when he saw it, his senses were dulled by the desperation. A pyramid. Salvation! He just had to-]
“Are you listening?” And Marc blinks at that, his feeling of being somewhere faraway disappearing as he's brought back to the present. He blinks again, focusing on the room he was in. Four other people were in the room, two of them crammed around a long oak table with Marc, one of them standing in front of the table pointing at a projector screen. The last person was standing off to his side and a little behind him, a gentle hand on his shoulder. It squeezed lightly. He looks over his shoulder to the blonde woman giving him a small scolding gaze. Marlene. “Pay attention, [i Steven].” She whispers as the man in front drones on. Right, right.
Board room, Grant Industries, downtown Manhattan. He was in a small board meeting at his company. Marc had more than one identity, one of them being [i Steven Grant], a reclusive billionaire playboy philanthropist. His more [i docile] alter ego. Marc Spector himself had too many enemies from his past—too many skeletons in his closet—so this allowed him to hide in plain sight while being able to fund his [i side hobby].
“Just one of the many swift investments that Grant Industries has made. I'm happy to say the money was well spent as Daelus Sequencing has just successfully patented a process for sequencing DNA. Any DNA. Quickly, efficiently, and cheaply.”
[b “And?”] Marc inquires.
“Well, Mr. Grant. It means that when Daelus goes public later this year, you're about to become rich, or at least a very, very wealthy man.” And he grins slightly at that. He was already rich, but he could see that everyone in this room was also very excited to make even more money. The man at the front then bends down and brings up a rectangular box. “I didn't want to get too ahead of myself, but I figured why the hell not.” He pulls out a bottle of champagne and some glasses. “This calls for a celebration!”
Everyone whooped as the man popped the cork, and the small object sped towards Marc. Reflexively his hand came up and he caught it without thinking. Immediately he looks up to see if anyone had noticed but... What the hell?
The man at the front lost all colour. And not in the way someone might've if they thought they saw a ghost. But the entirety of his body turned an ash colour, and before Marc could react, he fell over and vanished in to a cloud of dust. Everyone was immediately up, but soon enough it seemed everyone in the room turned the same colour and flecked away in to nothing. It made no sense. Was this even real? It couldn't be!
[b “Morpheus!”] Marc shouted. It had to be him! He whipped around to Marlene and froze. She was looking down at her hands as the colour from her entire being began to fade to the same monochromatic colour. She looked at her hands in disbelief before she looked up at him.
“Marc?” And before he could reach her, she faded in to ash, his hand passing through it like the desert sand carried on the wind. It took him a second to fight through the sudden haze, desperately grabbing at of all of his mental faculties, and instead of losing his mind like he wanted to, Marc quickly sprints out of the room and up the stairs of the skyscraper.
The roof access was locked with the best security systems money could buy, but Marc used his keycard and was quickly on the roof. There was a familiar flash of silver to his left, but he ignores it as he runs across the roof. The edge lip of the building was raised about twelve feet for extra privacy and security, but there was a raised section of the roof conveniently constructed for such an occasion. He runs up the set of metallic stairs and on to the elevated platform, the wind whipping his tie and his blazer around as he peers over the edge. From up here he couldn't see the details, but the city was [i still]. [i New York City] was never [i still]. But he knew what this was. This was the breath everyone took before everything went to Hell.
And to Hell it went.
You wouldn't have believed him if he told you it was a regular day in Midtown. Well, as regular as it gets in New York City anyways. There was an alien attack earlier but it seemed like it was already getting cleaned up. So many super freaks have been popping up lately that it almost seemed part of everyday life. It just got louder.
Either way, today was just a regular day for John Walker, a police officer who liked to do everything he could by the books. Today he was with his partner, Murphy, who was an old grizzled cop, but the pair ended up working well together, balancing themselves out. They were driving their way back to the precinct after doing a minor coffee run, which was busy work really, but John had lost a bet earlier that week to another officer and this was it. Murphy had made a remark about how the real police work would get done after they were done with this errand. And oh boy, John didn't realize the half of it.
[+blue “Murph, you pulling a little too far to the left.”] John said as they crossed the line. [+blue “Murph!”] John shouted and looked at his partner. All he saw was the outline of Murphy fade in to nothing.
Then there was impact. Screaming metal on metal. The airbag like a shot gun blast. Then black.
He didn't know how long he was out, but when John finally woke up, it was to a splitting head ache. His vision was blurry for a moment but it quickly focused and he could see out of the shattered windshield. The front of the car was wrapped around a telephone pole and it looked like John was lucky to be alive. And then the thought struck him. [+blue “Murph?!”] And he turned his head to look at the driver seat to see that it was empty. He didn't believe it at first and then he stepped out of the car. People were standing around, looking at each other, and then the same thing that happened to Murphy began happening to many other people.
It was a surreal experience to watch as the city stood still, a number of its occupants turning in to dust. Perhaps it was because he had already seen it happen. Perhaps it was because he's seen many strange things in his life as a cop and in the military. Or perhaps it was because of something buried deep in his psyche that braced him for what happened next.
At first it was screaming and yelling at the disappearance of friends and loved ones. Then a well placed trash can through a storefront turned the panic in to a full scale riot. People were running and screaming, in no direction because there was no perceived threat they could run from. It became utter chaos in a matter of seconds, and John was the only person in uniform in the vicinity. It made him a beacon of stability and order... But it also made him a target in a riot.
A woman came running towards John hysterical about a child, and at the same time two men came his way as well. The second the woman was within range, he grabs the woman's wrist and yanks her behind him, quickly pulling out his gun and aiming it at the two men. At the sight of the weapon it seemed that the two suddenly had bigger fish to fry, turning around to rejoin the rioting.
“We have to find them!” The woman seemed to be less hysterical now.
[+blue “There's plenty of things that need to be done. Are you their mother?”] And the woman shakes her head.
“I'm Jordan's caretaker, we rotate weekly. You don't understand; Jordan is special... [i gifted]. Its important that we find-”
[+blue “Its okay, ma'am. We'll find Jordan.”] He says, trying not to look around at how not okay things were. As a lone officer in the middle of this, there wasn't anything he could do, so this gave him something more stable. Finding a child in this chaos would be messy, but definitely important for Jordan's safety. But John needed back-up.
Immediately he's on his radio, but no one answered. Just static and interference. [i Shit.] They probably had their hands full as is anyways. It looked like the whole city was affected by whatever the hell had just happened, and he was on his own. [+blue “I'm gonna need you to get somewhere safe ma'am. I'll find Jordan, don't you worry.”]