Chapter 5

    Back in Texas, Thomas was tapping his foot on the Galveston seawall impatiently. He wanted to get back to California and find a way to warn the redhead and that cool guy that someone followed them from the bar. That he looked ok but something didn't sit right with the way he watched. Thomas was curious about the older guy he thought might be HCP. So Thomas followed him even faster than the red head had, in her defense he had to admit that he didn't have to change clothes. As part of the shadows Thomas wasn't entirely sure he had clothes, just so long as he had them going in and coming out was good enough for now. The reason he wasn't sure was that he speculated that he was skimming across one dimension or was completely out side the standard three dimensions of our physical reality. He wasn't sure yet.


    What he was sure of was three things, One; He had to learn to play guitar. The singing thing might be hopeless, he wouldn't know until his voice stopped squeaking. But the women in that bar looked at Darius like well.. Thomas didn't know a good simile for how they were looking at Darius, but he knew that was the butter zone. Two; the red head was living life dangerously if she didn't see how all the males leered at her. It was just offensive. And Three; whatever was going on with those, two trouble was on the way. Just from gauging how the one guy watched them almost like it was a hunger. Yeah that was it; like he was hungry


    “Put some more sunscreen on that nose Thomas Anthony Cole, or by this evening it'll look like fried bacon.” His Mom had insisted that she drive he and his friends to the Island for a spring break day at the beach. Thomas wasn't technically on Spring Break, since he was already graduated from high school, but his few friends were and his mom was doing her level best to ruin it.


    “MOM, we talked about the passive aggressive helicopter parenting, with Dr. Shmitz.” Mom didn't know her boy was sneaking out at night in the shadows. No one knew about his super talent, everyone knew a good super told almost no one his real name, or showed he had powers. It was in all the comic books. “You promised to back off a bit..” He said, his frustration clear..


    “Fine, but how you'll ever meet a girl with your nose half burned away is beyond me. You boys be safe and meet me back here at 6:30pm sharp! We'll pick up Mario's pizza on the way home..”


    To his relief, She drove off. He could feel the smirks of the people on the seawall around him. Geeze it was galling.




    Dawn Evangelina Walker(Angela to her mom),  rolled into Lander early in the afternoon, and wasn't impressed. She pulled over into a Burger Chute parking lot and put the kick stand down on her bike. It wasn't anything too fancy, just an old Ducati 996R, but it got her from place to place. Angela's bike was nearly as old as she was, but she'd kept it lovingly maintained since she'd stolen it from her father's garage six months ago. He hadn't ridden in years anyway and keeping it in a garage was just a sin.


    From what she picked up on her brother's trail, he had a bike too.  A high performance custom job. It was sort of nice knowing they both liked motorcycles. It was a connection of sorts, the only connection in a sense, seeing as how he was run off before she was even born.


    Momma had been very circumspect in getting Angela the note. In the last of her lucid days before the cancer finished her and the medically induced comma put her under to pass quietly, she'd asked Angela to read a passage from one of her favorite books after she died. The book was Emma, by Jane Austen, a book her father would never touch, but when Angela had turned tearfully to the page her mother had given her she found a folded letter. In the letter her mother told her of her older brother Darius, and why he'd been ran off. Why she'd made damn certain her father never found out that she had a super talent, but she hardly needed that one. Unlike poor Darius who was a powered, she'd been a super; and hiding that fact had been harder in some ways and easier in others. In the letter she begged her daughter to find him and tell him she was sorry for what she said, that she had known she was pregnant and couldn't of ran with him in any case.


    For most women that would sound like bullshit, but running with her son would of simply put Darius in more danger. Though the bigoted bastard might simply have loathed Darius's, and if he had known about her secret Angela's, existence on general principal. Had Jolene Walker left however, it would have been a personal affront to the old bastard and no place would have been safe for them. In a very real sense he had owned her mother and had enough power to back up the claim. She could see where her mother had no good choices. The Reverend Isaiah Walker ran an evangelical congregation that preached hellfire and damnation for the abominations known as supers and powereds. He was the most dangerous kind of zealot, the kind that drank his own kool-aid, and had a long line of loyal disenfranchised followers whom he was able to convince that all the bad in their lives stemmed primarily from supers and powereds.


    Thankfully, the bastard was sexist too. So he paid little attention to his wife or daughter beyond seeing to it that they looked like his view of proper ladies at all times, which was why her taut belly sported a navel ring she wanted a tattoo but since she food came through her skin she wasn't sure that was a good idea.


    He had thought nothing of it at all when his wife had taken her on a sudden retreat to their mountain cabin when she was nine, The part he didn't know was she'd started radiating light from every pore on her body. Her mother never flinched Simply wrapped her daughter up in a blanket and rushed her out to the SUV. They had been on the road within minutes. Thankfully her father had insisted his daughter be home schooled or there would have been no keeping it quiet.


    Apparently since Darius's revelation momma had kept a go bag and emergency supplies stocked up and hidden. Because they were away in minutes even before the house's servants had a hint the lady of the house had a problem. No one said boo about what Jolene Walker did except her husband, least not more than the first time anyway. Once in the secluded mountain retreat a full state away, momma had made a phone call and within an hour a tutor showed up. She didn't know the guy beyond a code name Mr. Grease. He had been a funny little guy with unfortunately large ears, who could with the wave of his hand cause surfaces to loose all friction, nothing she'd seen could gain traction when he didn't want it to. He could cause you to literally walk in place and be all but unable to make progress, you could hop, but heaven help your landing. He told her she was probably a “blaster type” worked her through basic exercises until she could get her radiance under control and focused her mind until keeping things under wraps was second nature.


    It had been a tense couple of hours when words like “powered” had been tossed around. Her mother sighed a huge sigh when she was finally able to work with her ability in minor ways. Now Angela understood she'd been afraid to lose another child. But knowing her mother Angela was sure she had some contingency for that too. A plan that always kept Angela and herself as safe as possible. She'd done her best for Darius on short notice. With Angela, she'd been prepared.


    Over the summers Mr. Grease would show up periodically to work with her, always not long after momma had taken her on some, one or two day trip. He taught her to focus the light into beams of astonishing power blasting cinder block targets to dust. And later to release powerful bursts of energy around her, or to focus it into explosive punches and kicks. Then three years ago he showed up in her hospital room in a flash of smoke, when she'd started to reject solid food. He was the one that figured out she didn't have to eat, and the only thing at all she could stomach was water everything else she needed to live she absorbed through sunlight or rather it's ambient radiation. That had been the tough part to figure out to hide. Which was why she was pulled over into the parking lot now, she was hungry.


    Angela shrugged out of her heavy riding leathers rolled them into a pillow of sorts and laid back across her bike in a bikini top exposing as much of her pale skin as possible to the sun. She wasn't pasty, she was pale with an almost pearl like luminescence, and of course she never tanned or burned. She thought her skin was quite striking with her raven black hair and blue eyes. Given that her food was the definition of light eating she had no reason to be self conscious of her willowy figure. Once she left her father's home for the last time, she'd decided she wasn't hiding anything anymore. Anyone who had a problem with supers in general or her in particular could go fuck themselves. Though she had been pleasantly shocked to find that her father's beliefs actually held little sway with anyone out in the “real” world for the most part.

    From what she could piece together from her brother's last known direction he was headed here. Not a bad place for a drifter to lite for awhile she guessed. Soon as she was done eating she'd start cruising around looking for likely haunts. Till then, the sun is high and she was hungry.