Neel Dervin and The Dark Angel

He was a teenage super soldier.
There were certain questions that fourteen year old Neel Dervin had never thought to ask himself.
Like how much pain he could endure before passing out. Or how many times he could be shot and still keep running. Or how often he could lie to his friends and family without feeling remorse.
But then that one fateful day changed his life forever, and set him on a path towards immeasurable power as well as inconceivable terror.
Now the only people who can help him deal with the situation are complete strangers who are using him for their own ends. Trapped in circumstances beyond his control with abilities he barely understands, he must navigate a treacherous path mired in betrayals and difficult choices to take back control of his life


12. CHAPTER 6: Dangerous Games - Part 3


Neel returned home that day to find his mother already there. Usually her job required her to stay till at least six, which was why Neel carried the front door key with him to school.

"They let me off early today." His mother smiled at him. "How was your day?"

"Same as usual." Neel shrugged. "I didn't miss much while I was away from school."

"That's good." his mother said. "Go and get ready. Lunch will be ready in about ten minutes." Neel nodded and went to change his clothes.

"So you'll go to the coaching?" his mother asked him later as he ate his food.

Neel nodded again. "It's really helping me cope with what's going on right now." he said truthfully, and then added a vague footnote, "You know, math and stuff."

"Well, mind you don't overexert yourself." his mother warned him. "We don't want you back in the hospital with a relapse or anything."

Neel nodded thoughtfully. He wasn't really worried about exerting himself, mainly since he had no idea what the limits of his new found stamina were yet. The exercises he had done so far had been extremely vigorous, but he had not reached a point where he would be unable to continue from exhaustion. He wondered if he was even capable of being completely tired now, and whether he would ever find the answer to that particular question.

That day when Neel arrived with Arjun at Swan Labs, he was taken to Doctor Fahim's room, and found the doctor sitting there with Divya.

"Good afternoon, Neel." Doctor Fahim said, looking up as the two entered the room. "You will get back to your exercise soon. But first, I believe today was your first day back at school?"

"Yes, sir." Neel said.

"And I trust everything went well there?" Doctor Fahim asked. "No accidents of any kind? No unusual behavior your friends might have noticed?" He was gazing at the young boy shrewdly, and Neel did not even try to be evasive.

"I had some trouble with the sound level, sir." he said. "It was tough, but after a while I managed to stop paying attention to it. And I had some trouble keeping my mind under control some times. But no one saw anything weird."

"So your new abilities didn't pose a problem at any point?" Divya pressed. "You were able to act normally around your classmates?"

"Yeah." Neel said. He guessed that they wouldn't really care whether he was able to play football again or not.

"Good." Doctor Fahim said. "I might as well tell you that we had been planning to have you shifted to a more appropriate facility for your education, just in case it seemed that going back to your school might be causing problems."

"What!" Neel exclaimed in alarm. "No way. I was fine, sir, really! I don't need to be moved to another school."

"Then you can continue at Elvitar's." Doctor Fahim said with a smile. "And now you can get back to your training."

Neel left the room with Arjun and the two headed towards the gym. "I didn't know they were thinking about moving me." Neel said, looking up at Arjun.

"Only if it was absolutely necessary." Arjun said. "Like I told you before, secrecy is crucial to this project, and it would have been a risk letting you go there if your friends had noticed anything different about you."

"Well, I can handle school fine." Neel said.

Something in his voice made Arjun glance at him. "Then is there something else bothering you?"

Neel shrugged and was silent for a second. But finally, the urge to share his problems with someone who would understand was too much. "We played football today." He said finally.

The two made their way in silence to the gym. It was some time before Arjun finally spoke. "I take it the game wasn't a success?"

"I tried to play." Neel's voice had grown flat. "I almost crashed into two of my classmates. I would've broken their legs if I hadn't stopped myself in time. And if I'd played much longer, I know I would've lost control and speeded up in front of everyone."

"I'm very sorry, Neel." Arjun said in a low voice. "I tried to warn you about this from the start. You have incredible abilities now, but they come at a certain price. I told you that you would have to be careful around others. It's very easy for you to physically hurt them if you're not careful. Caution must become a part of your life now."

Neel shrugged. "Yeah, guess I'll just to learn to live with it."

They arrived at the gym, where Negi and Premi were waiting for them as usual. Neel left to change into his exercise clothes.

"He looks depressed." Premi observed, watching Neel walk towards the changing rooms.

"He had his first game of his favorite sport today since the accident." Arjun looked at the other two men grimly. "Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a success. I'm actually surprised there weren't any casualties in that game. But now he realizes he can't play with his friends anymore without putting them in danger."

"Poor kid." Negi said softly. "I couldn't imagine not being able to play games at that age."

"Power like his can't be an advantage in every situation of his life." Premi said. "At least he seems to have accepted the fact rather than trying to fight against it."

Neel returned wearing his exercise clothes, stretching his arms, neck and shoulders as he came towards them.

"Sorry to hear about the game, Neel." Negi called out to him.

"Thanks." Neel said with a small smile. "It's no big deal. I'll learn to live with it."

"Besides, you already have quite a lot of physical activity in your life." Premi observed. "None of your friends from school know what it feels like to run at ninety miles per hour and jump thirty feet in the air."

"Yes, you may not be able to play football anymore, but you can throw the ball out of your school grounds if your classmates annoy you." Arjun said with one of his rare smiles.

Neel's grin widened as he assumed the correct posture and prepared to punch. "I'll keep that in mind."

Dusk was already falling when he returned home that day. He unlatched the front door and parked his cycle inside. He found his mother in the living room, poring over a paper.

"How was coaching, Neel?" his mother asked him as he entered.

"Fine." Neel called out from the kitchen as he went to get a bottle of water. "I'm really starting to understand what they're trying to teach me now."

"Good." his mother said, returning to her paper, a pen poised in one hand.

"What are you writing?" Neel asked, sitting on the sofa near her. He uncorked the bottle and drank from it deeply.

"An article about the state of the park in Delhi Hart." his mother sighed. "How am I supposed to write an exciting article about litter responsibility?" Neel nodded sympathetically.

Neel's mother worked for a local newspaper called Jagaran. At the start of her career she had been an investigative journalist, travelling the country in search of news. Neel's father had been a journalist as well. Nikhil Dervin had had an adventurous nature and a love of travelling, and often took assignments in foreign lands. It was while covering a political strike in Srinagar in Kashmir that Neel's mother and father had first met, and discovered that they both had worked for the same local channel at one time. Neither had planned on a relationship so soon in their careers, but amidst all the turbulence in that area they had gotten closer. Not even all the strikes and violence could take away the majestic and heartwarming beauty of Kashmir, popularly dubbed 'Paradise on Earth' by tourists. They had explored the beauty of the Vale of Kashmir and the Jhelum River together, and had grown to care more for each other every day.

Their friendship had ripened rapidly. On returning to Delhi, Neel's father had accepted a position with his mother's news channel. They had dated for a year, and then after a short engagement they married. Twelve months later his mother had become pregnant with Neel. In the middle of her seventh month of pregnancy Nikhil had been called away to cover a series of riots in Africa among the immigrant Indian population there. He had hated to leave his wife in her pregnant state, but accepting the assignment meant a huge bonus, and very possibly a position with a national news channel which had shown interest in him. The extra money would come in very handy now that they were starting a family. Neel's grandmother had assured him that she would look after his young wife, her new daughter in law. Nisha Dervin had not wanted him to leave either. But she understood how important the assignment was for their future together. And so on a quiet, peaceful morning they had stood outside their house in the fresh blowing breeze. Nikhil had kissed his young wife one last time and left, promising to come back in time for the delivery with enough money, he hoped, to move them to a better house.

For more than three months after his departure there had been a period of silence that seemed to stretch out to eternity. And then finally they had received news. Nikhil Dervin had died in Africa after being caught in the middle of a gang war on the streets of Somali in Ethiopia.

Neel had been a month old at the time. His mother had been devastated and had gone into shock for days. Neel's grandmother stayed on with them, looking after her daughter as well as her grandson. Eventually the news had sunk in fully. The world and her responsibilities could not wait for her to grieve, and Nisha Dervin prepared to take care of her infant son on her own.

She had never returned to active journalism. There was no time to travel when she had a son to raise. She had worked as a part time reporter and freelancer for two years. And once Neel was old enough, she had applied for and secured the position of a journalist for Jagaran.

"Maybe you could write about the effects of non bio degradable wastes on the ground, like what we're learning about in class." Neel suggested. "Mrs. Jha keeps telling us we'll be left with barren soil and not have anything to eat but worms and insects in a few years. That sounds pretty interesting."

"It's an idea." his mother said, smiling at him. "And I'm glad to see you're paying attention at school."

Neel grinned. "I have to catch up on a bunch of homework now." he said as he rose.

"I'll call you when dinner is ready."


Neel went up the stairs noiselessly. His mother liked to have peace while she was writing. He entered his room and closed the door softly behind him.

A few minutes later, Neel stared at the homework spread out in front of him, on his desk and his bed. Five pages of compositions. Two historical and four geographic maps. Two chapters worth of exercises in math. Four chapters in science. All together, he was looking at roughly four solid hours worth of work.

He sighed wearily, drawing out his pen. He grabbed the English book and his notebook, and bent over them.

One and a half hours later, he sat back, stunned, his entire work complete.

He stared at the work he had done. He had known his speed would help him get the work done quickly, but he had not hoped for anything this dramatic. He also found that he could remember a large amount of what he had written down.

He picked up a page of composition. The writing had become erratic and blurred in parts, difficult to read, and some of the areas had holes driven in them where he had pressed the nib in too hard. His new abilities were definitely going to be useful here, once he learnt to apply them properly. Like Arjun had said, the technique wasn't perfect yet, but now it was all a matter of practice.

A big grin slowly forming on his face, he bent over a fresh page and set to work more carefully.



Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...