Marge and Callidus walked Kya back to the bus stop near Gennie’s Diner. None of them said anything, and so the silence was filled by the noise from their shoes hitting the pavement and echoing outwards into the empty streets.
When they finally reached the bus stop, Callidus nodded his covered head while facing towards Kya. His outfit was the same as Kya remembered from their first meeting. Even the wrappings on his arms and hands had been placed back perfectly. There wasn’t an inch of skin showing anywhere. “Thank you for coming to see us. And thank you for what you did for Facillis” His voice came sombre and heavy from under his hood and scarf.
Kya swallowed hard. No words came to her. Fear, sadness, confusion, and uncertainty wrapped around her, making it hard to breathe. She wanted to see into Callidus’ eyes once more, and feel his passion for their cause. She hoped that the discomfort she felt, having seen behind the dark curtain of the world, would fade away and that she could have a happy life. Kya took a moment to try to think back to when she felt her life was happy, but couldn’t pull out a moment from recent memory.
Callidus, with an extreme exaggeration in movement, opened his arms wide and bowed deeply as he shuffled back into the shadows of the nearby buildings and vanished from view.
Kya grinned at the sight. It was as though Callidus knew exactly what she had needed from him and did it in his normal, highly animated way.
“Yeah, that was for you.” Marge said and Kya knew that the woman had read hers and Callidus’ minds.
Marge waited with Kya until the bus came. The two stood in silence, exchanging occasional glances and Kya noticed that only after she was safely on board did Marge start walking back to the diner.
From the bus, Kya could see the glowing sign of Gennie’s Diner, and as she got further away from it, she felt more normal. It was similar to leaving an action movie at a theatre. She felt exhilarated, but also knew that there was something unreal about it all. The energy faded fast as the sun set, and she focused on looking for landmarks she recognized as being close to home.
Twenty minutes from her apartment, her cell phone vibrated in her pocket. “I thought I had turned that off.” Kya felt nervous as she looked at the display. She half expected it to be the government letting her know that they had seen what she had done. Thankfully, it was just an email message from a job she had applied to.
It took a moment for it to load, thanks to the slower connection speeds out at the edge of the city, but once it did, Kya felt her face turn red with rage. She held her breath, choking down a frustrated scream. The email message within let her know that the person they contacted at Starlife Technologies had helped them realize that she would not be a suitable candidate for their opening.
She growled, louder than she had expected, and in a deep rumbling tone, through gritted teeth she pronounced a short, three letter name, “Don!”
Kya knew that it was time to confront him, and not just for what he was doing to her, but for what he had done to Elliot. Without Supers, she knew that he would have just crushed her, but now, with her own set of Supers, she felt more confident. In her mind, she concocted a plan. She knew she would have to spend the night training with her Supers so that she could use them as needed, and not just as a reaction or accident. When she awoke, she would go to StarLife Technologies and tell Don to stop giving her bad references. Kya was feeling so confident, that she considered threatening Don. In her mind, she continued to play out the interaction that they would have. Kya’s creativity was working at full speed coming up with imagined victory after victory.
“Wow,” Sam said from his usual seat without looking at her, beer in one hand and tablet in the other with the big screen television on. “You’re home late -” He cut his thought off as he glanced up at Kya. “What are you wearing?”
“It’s a long and terrible story. But suffice it to say that my own clothes are gone and these belong to a First Gen.”
Sam raised an eyebrow and the corner of his mouth twitched as if he were debating whether or not to smile.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Kya said, heavily.
“Okay, well if you want to, you know where to find me.”
She walked into her room, and took off the sweater, she threw it in the laundry basket, then headed to her washroom for a shower.
When Kya returned to her room, the phone was flashing letting her know she had an unread message. It was Mattea.
>Hey, Kya. How are you doing?
She paced back and forth in her room deciding whether or not to respond. Her fingers typed the words before she was fully aware of what she was doing. She told Mattea about her experience in and around New Eden, but she left out everything about Facillis. She just couldn’t bring herself to acknowledge another death. With trembling hands she typed.
>Callidus says I’ll be safe. He says the government and corporations have more to worry about, but I can’t help but feel afraid. This whole system is more sinister than you think.
Kya held her phone, sitting on her bed. It seemed to take an eternity for Mattea to respond. Despite having her still damp hair twisted into the towel on her head, a single drop of water ran down the back of her neck, causing a chill to rush up her spine.
>I had a feeling, from my own research, that Supers and the Fertility Crisis were connected. I ran into the same dead ends you did. I saw the same types of disappearances. I don’t know what to tell you. I guess, just take comfort in the fact that Marge from the diner is still around. It sounds like she has probably been doing this for a while. I wish I could help more.
It was nearly an hour before Kya emerged again into the living room where Sam still sat.
“Better?” He asked gently.
Nodding slightly, Kya flopped onto the couch, and glanced up at the large screen. She was expecting some light, fluffy sitcom or reality television show, but instead she saw a news reporter. Beside the reporter was a picture of Myles Redwood from before he received his first Super.
A news ticker flickered at the bottom third of the screen and Kya knew that she had caught the start of it. Words slowly crept across the screen, revealing themselves to her one at a time, and she read them in her mind, over and over. Justice has been served. Myles Redwood is dead.