“Amelia,” Frank said and Kya was shocked to hear him use her friend’s name. “Make sure you’re using your listening ears, sweetheart. You could die. A sixth power, even Will, can seriously mess you up.”
Kya reached out and tried to grab her friend’s hand, but they passed right through each other. She tried to yell at Amelia, hoping her words of advice could be heard, but there was no sound, no notice of Kya’s efforts.
Amelia shook uncontrollably and her features continued to change at will. “I get it, Frank.” Kya knew her short and curt tone meant Amelia was angry. “I’ll be back with the money.”
Amelia took her phone out of her pocket and started texting as she walked away. Kya couldn’t explain how, but she knew that Amelia was sending her that last text. You know what, K? I can handle this. I’ve got an idea. It’s all good. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. A shiver ran down Kya’s back and she tried to chase her friend, but the alleyway around her began to get dark and all of the details faded away.
It only took a moment for her perception of the world around her to begin to brighten again and for everything to come back into focus. Kya was still in the alleyway which was now illuminated with morning light. Amelia had just materialized about twenty feet away. Frank was still to Kya’s right. He leaned against the brick wall behind him, cleaning his glasses. His clothes had changed from the previous scene. His dress pants were now jeans, and his suit jacket was far less formal looking. Despite the change in clothes, he looked tired. Frank stared over his right shoulder at Amelia as she walked towards him.
“Frank! What is going on?” Kya tried to yell at him for answers but again her voice made no sound. Neither Frank nor Amelia acknowledged her presence and Kya felt the all too familiar bubbling of anger inside her. She noticed a few garbage cans just down the alley, she walked over and reached for the lid of one of them, intending to throw it at Frank. “Great!” She screamed silently as her hand passed through it. She tried to kick the can, but her foot passed through. Kya gave up and turned her attention back to Amelia and Frank.
Amelia’s face was gray, as she stood a foot away from Frank holding out an envelope. She stared at him with her lips pursed in what Kya recognized as her ‘brave face’ which she reserved for times when she was most afraid. Kya could feel a piece of her own heart breaking for her friend.
Frank took the envelope and nodded. He bounced it between his fingers and without opening it, he grinned for a moment, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Right then.” Frank said, his voice rough and lacking all the vibrancy he had used earlier. “One last chance to back out.”
“No.” Amelia said. Kya noticed a maniacal fire seemed to burn behind her eyes.
“I can offer you a payment plan for the extraction.” Frank said with his eyebrows raised.
“No.” Amelia said again, and as she said it her hair turned short and red, as did her eyebrows, making her take on a demonic aura.
Frank closed his eyes and bowed his head. “Right.” He took a deep breath. “Then, come on. We’ll go see my boys.”
The world faded again, and then once the fog was lifted, they were near a small grocery store. Kya wondered if it was the place where Amelia had talked about getting her Supers. She walked with Amelia and Frank as they went around to the delivery entrance to the building. The blue metal doors swung open and it looked like a generic store room. There was an exit to the rest of the grocery store. On metal wire rack shelves along all of the walls, a variety of goods were stored. Near a fully laden shelf of beverages, Frank waved his hand, and slowly the rack twisted open, the wall moving with it.
Behind the opening, were two younger men sitting behind desks. Their computer displays illuminating their faces as they peaked over, quickly looking at Amelia and Frank as they entered.
“Relax guys, it’s just me. This little lady is looking to get a sixth Super.” Frank said. His tone was one of confidence, and command. He walked with more of a noticeable swagger as he entered the hidden room.
“I knew this place was here. I knew it!” Amelia said more to herself than to anyone else. “What do these guy do, just sit on their computers all day? I swear, they were in the exact same position last time.”
“My dear, they are here to make sure no one sees this place unless I want them to. They are paid handsomely to make this room imperceptible, especially to the Supers on the police force. The twins have such amazing talents and I couldn’t do any of this without them.” Frank was absolutely glowing as he passed the two guards.
“So, is that why I couldn’t get in here on my own? Why I couldn’t find the place?”
“Yes, lovely. It’s safer for everyone that way.”
Kya noticed one of “the twins” twitch a small smile as Frank spoke.
“Right.” Frank said. “You know the drill.”
“Do I have to be strapped down again?”
“That’s the drill.” Frank said with a shrug.
Amelia walked over to the table, climbed up and laid down. Frank walked slowly behind her and strapped down her ankles and wrists. He shot Amelia a disarming smile. He walked over to mirrored cabinet on the wall which looked like a regular household medicine cabinet, and took out a vial of deep blood red liquid, and a needle. He attached the two as he walked back over to Amelia.
Amelia’s features were still morphing at random, and she still twitched from side to side. “Man! Guys! Could you shut up!” She yelled. It took Kya a few seconds to realize that she must have been talking about their thoughts.
“The twins have to keep their minds active, I’m sorry they’re so noisy. Here, how about some music?”
The twin on the left looked over at Frank, then they both nodded and music began playing throughout the room.
“Alright, sweetie, I need you to do me a solid. Can you concentrate on being just you for a minute? This is gonna be hard enough without your veins going all over the place with the shape shifting.” He grinned at Amelia.
“Ok.” She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Kya watched as her skin took on it’s normal porcelain complexion, and her hair returned to it’s normal black colour. Kya felt a pain in her chest as she stared at her old friend.
Frank gently grabbed Amelia’s left wrist to hold her arm still as he stuck the needle into the inside of her arm just below her elbow. The blue vein that the needle entered immediately began to glow dark red, and Amelia’s breaths quickened. The red pulsated and flickered like fire or lava as it flowed outward through Amelia’s body and every vein and artery could be seen deep red. Kya felt her heart quicken and though she wanted to, she could not pull her eyes away from the painful but mesmerizing scene before her.
When the procedure was done, Amelia was still twitchy and not in control of her appearance.
“Thanks, Frank.” She said and suddenly disappeared.
“Teleport.” Frank said to the twins, and they both nodded.
The scene changed again. Kya and Frank were at his booth in the tavern, fuzzy dice overhead. Frank was in a suit again, and Amelia burst into being directly in front of the table. She looked worse than Kya had ever seen her. She looked around and began mimicking the dance moves of the people around her. Her skin being marked with tattoos that faded in and out. She smacked the dice and sent them twirling.
“That’s right, Frank. You’re doing business with me right now!” Amelia yelled and several people turned their attention toward her.
“Amelia,” Frank began and put his hand on her left arm.
“What the hell did you do to me?” She screamed, pulling her arm from his grasp.
Frank slowly stood. “Let’s go to my office.”
“The alley?” Amelia screamed. “No!” She pulled back her right arm, hand clenched in a fist, and punched Frank square in the face. Then she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
Kya took a deep breath as she found herself standing back in the alley way. She felt dizzy, and would have fallen if Frank hadn’t reached out to catch her.
“What-” Kya heard her voice and was taken aback. She began again. “What was that?”