Jaeger Arc II: Chased by the Past
Three weeks later
White light burned my eyes, blurring my vision. I immediately held out a hand to block it out and froze, seeing blood dripping from my fingers. The light dialled down enough for me to see I was sat in a pool of the stuff. I lept up, the invasive scent clung to my skin as I tried to assess my surroundings. I went into echo and a low buzz intervened, like static on a transmission, and prevented me seeing anything.
“What are you scared of?” I spun at the voice to see a latina women with long black hair. Her image haunted me and I slipped into echo but she was still there, her hair curling as if on fire, her eyes burning me with judgement.
“Get away from me!” I yelled, turning. The white light blinded me again, forcing me to shut my eyes.
“You can’t run here,” a male voice whispered in my head, making me shudder.
“This isn’t real,” I said to myself, opening my eyes and lowering my arm. She was in front of me again, this time I could take in her torn clothing and a hole dripping thick blood in her chest.
“Well don’t just stand there,” she said, an unnatural grin stretching her features. “Or she’ll get you first.” She lifted her hand, pointing behind me. I hesitated before turning. A person was there but they blipped away before I could place their features.
“Who will betray who first?” the women said behind me. I gritted my teeth, turning to shout at her but it wasn’t her and the voice was much more recognizable all of a sudden.
“You really think the past won’t catch up to you?” I clenched my hands and realised I was holding a gun. A click made me look up and I realised the girl before me had one too, aimed at my chest.
“Kellen-” I began, then cut myself off. She looked exactly as I remember. Caramel skin, perceptive hazel eyes and I could see bright green nail polish on the fingers that held the gun.
“Do you really think I won’t break it again?” she whispered, quiet confidence in her tone and expression. “Do you really think we’ll forgive you?”
“Heppenheim left me first!” I yelled back but all she did was laugh, her upper body shaking with the movement and yet somehow that gun maintained a steady aim at me.
“Why wouldn’t he?” Kellen said. “After all, you’re nothing but-” before my eyes she morphed back into the other woman. “-a murderer.” she pulled the trigger and I cried in pain.
I opened my eyes to someone shaking my shoulder and immediately moved away from them, knocking the table as I stood. Ms Contreras paused in whatever ethical speech she was giving to regard our table with a raised eyebrow.
“Of course no parahuman got far by falling asleep in class,” she commented dryly, causing some giggles in the classroom. My face flushed with embarrassment as I sat back down.
“I tried to wake you sooner,” Sanjay murmured as the teacher resumed talking. I nodded, the nightmare still clinging to me and leaving me mute. I’d always had nightmares but ever since I got here they had been getting worse. However, despite Ms. Contreras comment, focussing on schoolwork was the easiest distraction. I was aware of Sanjay watching me as we ran laps but ignored it.
“Are you okay?” he asked. I rolled my eyes and sent him a ‘really?’ look. “Just checking,” he said. On the plus side there was only homeroom left and then the school day was done. There wasn’t much chance of falling asleep again all things considered. When homeroom finished Mr Martin asked me to stay back. I knew I was still sneaking off-site but it wasn’t telling me off for once.
“Take a seat Jaeger,” he motioned to the nearest desk as he took a seat himself. I did as he asked, wondering why he was hesitating. “I wanted to let you know ahead of the others, parent’s evening is soon.”
“Oh, okay,” I said on reflex then the implication hit me. “I’m kind of lacking in the parent’s department though, in case you were looking forward to giving me a glowing report.” He didn’t laugh at the joke, his expression remaining serious.
“Actually there is someone travelling here for you,” he promised. I frowned, even if they had caught Heppenheim, there is no way they would risk bringing him here. Not only would it reveal my identity but he would figure out a way to escape. If they had caught him that is. I somehow doubted he’d risk blowing whatever cover he had just to see me.
“Now head home, and don’t tell the others,” he said, standing up.
“Seriously, why keep it a secret?” I asked, standing up myself.
“So you can get a pleasant surprise. Besides your patience still needs work,” he replied, holding open the door for me. It took self-control not to flip him off as I left.
The moment I got back to the house I went into Sanjay’s caravan where I’d made a little corner for doing homework. The evening was much more predictable from there. A mixture of me telling Sanjay random zoology facts in exchange for his help from time to time with homework. Although we did get a surprise visitor, Yougen. I was still restless after the nightmare though but knew Leonine was busy tonight. So I settled for sneaking out again.