A new generation of Heroes
Part III: Brand new day
Confession time; I have never been a morning person.
I woke up feeling exhausted, my whole body aching and my head was even worse, which was how I often woke up due to my illness. Thankfully I hadn’t stayed late, watching one movie with the others before going to bed. Still, it had to be about five or six in the morning. The sun wasn’t up yet and I contemplated going back to sleep but decided against it; there was no way I could fall back asleep in that state. Instead I put on pants and shambled my way downstairs, careful not to wake Rowan up, who slept curled up like a cat, their blanket only partially covering them which admittedly was adorable. They sort of weirdly blended in with the darkness, only visible because of the contrast the linens provided.
The house was filled with the smell of cooking meat the divine aroma of sweet, sweet coffee. When I arrived in the kitchen, I saw one of the girls; Caroline cooking enough to feed an army and looking alive despite how terribly early it was.She was apparently one of those mythical morning person I’d heard so much about.
“Morning! You’re Allison… right?”
“Uh-huh.” Was all I managed to answer. I took a seat at the breakfast counter and practically lied on top of it.
“Rough night, eh?” once again, I answered with grunting. “Tea or coffee?”
“Coffee…” I muttered.
“Coming right up. How do you like your eggs?”
With her questions satisfied she went to the cupboard and took out a cup, placing it empty in front of me. She moved her hand through the air and coffee rose from the pot and floated in a stream into my cup using her powers; which was a pretty impressive trick that revealed her as an hydrokinetic.
Coffee and I have a love-hate relationship; doesn’t matter what you add to it, I still think it tastes like pond scum… On the other hand caffeine was a sweet elixir that delivered me from headaches and drowsiness so it was worth it.
The infusion of caffeine jump started my brain and my cognitive functions slowly came back to me; allowing me to take a good look at Caroline. She was this lithe framed girl with impressive lean muscles showing on her arms and leg. Her hair was fairy tale long, dyed white and worn braided.
A third person soon joined us; it was the dark skinned Latina girl I’d seen with the second Raven the previous day. She wore a white tank top and black silky pajama pants, her short hair was a messy bush that stood up in all directions.
“Morning Charlie. How do you like your eggs?”
“Over easy.” She answered with a yawn, stretching her arms wide.
“Alright. Coming right up!”
Caroline gave me my breakfast; scrambled eggs, potato hash and bacon. Not kosher in the least but we didn’t really keep kosher much at home anyway. I got up and took the ketchup out of the fridge before pouring a generous amount on the side of my food before meticulously separating everything so it wouldn’t touch. That done, I started methodically shoving food into my mouth after dipping it in ketchup. Once my plate was clean, I turned over to Charlie who had just began to chow down on her plate.
“Say, weren’t you with the Raven yesterday when we arrived?”
“Yeah, that would be because he’s my dad.”
“The Raven’s your dad?” Caroline said, more out of surprise than as an actual question.
“Adoptive dad, but yeah.”
“How is it having a superhero for a dad?”
She shrugged. “It’s a lot of work; having to go into the family business and all.”
“So you’re doing the whole boomerang and kung-fu thing too?” Caroline asked again, I just let them talk, sipping more coffee.
“Not a lot of options for baselines and I flunked science class last year.”
“You don’t have any powers, like at all?”
“Nope. Niet. Nada. I got tested and I’m just a single positive for Von Neumann. Also despite being a cape kid, I’ve never stumbled across dangerous mutagens, alien artifacts or mad science experiments.”
The Von Neumann gene was responsible for the appearance of mutant parahumans, however to be a mutant you needed a matching pair. Mutants had first began to emerge in the months following the arrival of a big ass alien space ship who had then blown up for no apparent reasons. It hadn’t been exactly hard to point to the ship as related to the creation of parahumans but over fifty years later we hadn’t really gotten an answer.
Of course being a mutant wasn’t the only way to have powers; the imbued was the catch-all term for those who’d became a parahuman through accidents or experiments; which was a lot rarer than old comics made it out to be. Most people just got cancer.
I left the two of them alone and went into the bathroom. The house had only one large co-ed bathroom holding eight private stalls half of which were toilets and the other half showers, which was fine with me; it spared me the agonizing decision of choosing which gender I should pick and almost inevitably get stared, yelled at or being told I was in the wrong place.
I took a quick shower, making sure to keep my hair dry, before going back to my room to change. Rowan was still asleep so I didn’t bother pulling the curtain around my bed for privacy. I slipped out of my sleepwear and put on a band tee and a comfy zipper hoodie over my binder as well as simple jeans. That done, I tied my braids back into a ponytail. Satisfied, I walked back into the main room where a few more people had joined Charlie and Caroline, the latter of whom was still busy feeding everyone.
There was Amber; the grumpy looking girl dressed in black and dark grey from head to toe. She was rather oddly built; tall and thin, her body proportions were off like only part of her had hit a growth spurt and the rest hadn’t caught up. She had black tattoos ran across her arms and neck.
Next to her was Ahti; the Itharii. Itharii were kind of like tailless bipedal salamander, which lead to them being derogatively nicknamed newts by xenophobes. Like most Itharii Ahti wasn’t very tall; only about four and a half feet at most when standing. They had light orange skin covered with black spots, unlike most of their species theirs was cracked with lightly glowing blue lines. Thanks to my brother having Itharii as one of his special interests, I know Ahti was too young to have a gender yet; unlike humans Itharii chose what they wanted to be at puberty.
Rather than join them at the counter, I sat down on one of the big couch in the living room area. After a minute Caroline came to me, putting a fresh mug of coffee for me on the coffee table..
“Figured you’d like another cup, you look like you’re about to fall asleep.”
“Didn’t sleep well… And thank you.”
“Got a binder on, eh?” She observed..
“Yeah… It’s just one of those days. I just like having my appearance match how I feel inside or otherwise I just feel really awkward and today that’s masculine. I’m non-binary.”
“Well, It’s nice to meet another trans person in the flesh for once. Fist bump?” She raised her hand for it and I noticed she had both an ace and trans flag colored bracelets on her right arm. I obliged her and she returned to the kitchen.
Jaime walked into the room soon after, rather than join the others at the counter she grabbed some of leftover pizza from the fridge and sat in a corner of the living room.
“Morning.” Mace said, sitting next to me with his plate of food and lighting up the television. He was dressed in a simple shirt and jeans combo and had a sword strapped to his back which he propped against the couch.
“You were pretty quiet last nice.” He said.
“It wasn’t my best night…”
“Well, that’s a shame. I would have loved to get to know you.” He said, a smile flashing on the corner of his mouth.
“Oh, I know you would.”
My eyes drifted toward his sword; It was an odd construction; its hilt curved and looking organic, almost like it was made of chitin. I couldn’t tell what the blade itself was as it was hidden within a simple leather sheath that probably hadn’t come with it.
“Nice sword. Planning on stabbing anyone today?”
“Nah, I just don’t feel comfortable being separated from it.” He said. “It’s a long story. Better for another time.” He then added.
“One I’m sure you’ll tell me all about.”
“Maybe, that’d make for an interesting evening.”
“That it would.”
Mace’s flirting was about as discreet as a bull in a china shop, but I didn’t mind. We spent the rest of the time until our first class just making small talks.