Children of the Earth

Alexine and Brogan are what people call abnormals. They have the power to manipulate fire, water, earth, and air. Alexine is A 16-year-old girl who goes to TYTC. Brogan is a 35-year-old man who lives in Chicago. When the leader of the abnormals asks Brogan to be a double agent the two of them meet up and they discover that not all is as it seems

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9. 7 Brogan

“It’s been three days.” Brogan heard the voice when he was still sleeping. He felt a light tapping on his face. Just before he could drift back into his coma like state, there was a harsh sting across his face, and he sat up. Nerissa stud next to his bed with her arms crossed. She wore jeans with holes in them with converse and a plain navy blue long sleeve sweater.

“Did you just slap me?” he asked, with his hand on his face.

“Yes.” she admitted. “What’s done is done, no time to waist.”

“What time is it?” he asked.

“Time to go.”

“Really.”

“Eleven.” she responded.

“What?” Brogan wasn’t one to sleep in very much.

“I know right. I figured I would let you sleep in until you woke up, but I couldn’t wait any longer.” she said ecstatically.

“This is not family vacation day, or christmas morning. You should not be exited.” he said, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. “You should be nervous, or even better. Scared.”

“Joy kill.” Nerissa muttered, then walked out of the room. There was one window in his room, the blinds were shut so the room was pretty dark. He stood up and got dressed. When he walked out of the room Nerissa was there.

“Ready?” she questioned him.

“Can I eat?” he asked with his arms in the air. She groaned loudly. And walked into the kitchen. He followed right behind her. She sat down hard on one of the stools next to the counter.

“Did you eat?” he asked her.

“Yes.” she responded.

He nodded. “What?”

She sat up strait. “McDonald's. There is some in the fridge for you.” she told him.

“You went out?” he asked. He went to the fridge and grabbed the bag. “Where did you get the money?” My wallet. Brogan thought.

“Your wallet.” Nerissa answered.

Brogan ate and tried to think of a reason to not go and just move to Greenland or something. The only thing he could think of was to just eat very slowly. Whatever he came up with he knew it would never work. Narissa watched him eat. It was a little creepy, but that was just Nerissa.

“Hurry up.” Nerissa told him.

“Why?”

“I don’t know. Nether do you.” she said. Then she sat back and crossed her arms. When she seen that he was confused she spoke again. “We have to be ready for anything. That might require being early.”

“Oh.” he said with his mouth full.

“Hah.” Nerissa laughed.

“Well. You ready for this?” he asked standing up.

“I was born ready for this.” Nerissa responded standing up with him.

“Well. Let’s do this.” Brogan sighd.

The two of them walked out the door and down the pathway. Brogan wondered if they would be back at home tonight. He also wondered if they would ever be back. The beginning of the bus ride was silent, but Nerissa spoke up. “Where is Than’s territory?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Barely anyone does.” he told her.

“Who does?”

“Than. Maybe a few of his followers.” Brogan responded.

Nerissa frown. “We won’t know, will we?”

Brogan frown too. “Probably not. A little worried to see how that works out.”

“Thrown into the back of trucks. Pillow cases over our heads. Blow Darts in our butts.” Nerissa thought up. “My money's on the last one. What say you, pal?”

Brogan laughed and shook his head. “None of them hopefully. I still am having a very hard time believing that man would be able to contact Than and convince him that we are trustable in three days.” he told her.

“Yeah, I thought about that.” Nerissa said.

“And?” Brogan asked her, hoping she had come up with something that make sense.

“Three days is plenty of time to contact someone with a name that means a little more to Than than his does.” she told him. Brogan frown at her, not exactly understanding. She seen this and continued, “Than has hundreds of followers right?”

“Yeah.”

“He probably doesn't find them by himself. So, he probably has some people that find people for him. Like someone he trusts. What I’m saying is Terry might have talked to someone that’s job is to deliver him people.” she finished. Brogan nodded.

A boy about Nerissa’s age turned and looked at them frowning. Nerissa narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s rude to eavesdrop.” The boy looked at her for very long time. “Turn around!” she told him. He turned around fast.

They got off the bus and walked a block to the alley. They proceeded down the alley and to the door. Nerissa knocked once paused, then knocked three times. The door swung open seconds later. Terrence had a white tank top on that exposed his strong arms that were covered with tattoos and blue jeans.

“Good. You guys are here.” he held the door open and they walked in. Terry took out a cigarette and lit it.

“What’s the plan?” Brogan asked him.

Terry puffed smoke then spoke, “I know a guy. He’s a good man, and Than will take you without a question if he gives him the word.”

“Who?” Nerissa asked before Brogan could.

“His name is Alexander Wells. He moved here from Nebraska not to long ago. If you listen, he’s got a hell of a backstory.” Terry told them.

“He’s a contractor right?” Nerissa asked.

“That’s the one.” Terry told her. “He doesn't live far from here.”

Brogan new that name well. It gave him chills. He was right, Alex was a great man. It wasn’t Alex that gave him chills. It was his daughter. Mara Wells was probably the most deranged chick to live on the planet.

There was only one person with the same job as Brogan (to keep control over the abnormals) that lived in Nebraska. He was a good friend of Brogan’s until they lost touch. He was younger and less experienced than Brogan. His old friend, Noah, had kept calling him asking for help. He couldn’t figure out if these killings that kept happening in a small town where the work of an abnormal or not. Brogan had looked into it. It had been hard to tell. The killer switched back and forth with ripping the person apart or burning them alive. It was impossible to tell.

The killings came to an end after one tragic night. Five people were killed by Mara. By the time Noah had gotten to the small town, Than had taken Mara Wells. Mara had killed a lady by burning down her house while she was sleeping, a local police officer by burning him, the lady’s son had also died by being ripped apart. Mara also took the lives of another boy by shooting him, and another was terribly injured. It was a miracle they had survived. And Mara also took the life of Alex’s wife/her mother. Brogan found Alexander in Chicago and he explained abnormals to him. It was against the law, but Brogan felt he had a right to know.

“Alex is connected to Than?” Brogan asked, not believing it for a second.

“You know him? Very good, that will help a lot.” Terry said without explaining a thing to Brogan.

“How is Alexander Wells connected to Than?” Brogan asked again frowning.

“His crazed daughter.” he answered.

“No. He is nothing like his daughter.”

Terry sighed deeply. “Beats me. Don’t know the whole story. I guess Than just suspected he was like his daughter.”

Brogan knew that was not it, but he nodded. “Well? Then what?”

“Well, I can’t do much more for you guys than that. I contacted Alexander Wells, a man that will get Than to take you. From there, all I can do is give you a little advice.” Terry told them.

“What’s the advice?” Nerissa asked eagerly.

“Hold your horses, Blondie. I was getting there.” he said taking a step closer to the two of them.

“What is it?” Brogan said, getting annoyed.

“Well. For starters, it’s a place full of crazy psychos. To blend in you’ll have to play the part.” he told them.

Nerissa’s face brightened. “We get to act crazy?”

“You won’t have to act.” Brogan told her. She shrugged.

“Do we get to make up, like, insane backstories and that kind of stuff?” Nerissa asked Terry.

“Yes, But there’s a problem with that.” he paused, puffing his cigarette. “They say Than can instantly tell truth from lie.” Terry informed them.

Nerissa narrowed her eyes and frowned. “How?” she asked.

Terry shrugged. “Don’t know. I bet there are plenty other things up his sleeve.”

“That puts a slight kink in the plan.” Brogan noted. “How will that work?”

“Simple. Don’t lie.” Nerissa told him, half joking.

“That’s for you two to figure out. Whatever you do. Do not lie to Than.” Terry warned. They both nodded. “I suggest using your own names. Most likely he don’t know who you are. Also, when he asks who you are tell him something shady about your past. That way Than finds you more believable.”

“So. Point out the bad things about yourself?” Nerissa asked.

“Yeah.” he answered. She nodded.

“Anything else?” Brogan asked.

“Yeah, do me a faver. Don’t mention my name.” Terry said, leaning against the wall.

“Sure thing, thanks for the help.” Brogan thanked him. Brogan walked to the door and Nerissa followed.

“Also!” Terry stopped them. “Than favers air. He’s pretty good at it too.” he told them. “Be careful.” he nodded to them. Brogan nodded back.

“That’s not good.” Nerissa said walking down the alley. Referring to the air. “You can’t even do that.” Brogan nodded looking at the ground. Air. If you had enough skill to use air, you were considered a very powerful abnormal.

“Do you know where this guy lives? Terry forgot to tell us that.” Nerissa pointed out.

“Yeah, I know.”

“Okay, good.” Nerissa looked forward and was swept away by thoughts in her mind, and Brogan was alone. Honestly, he thought it would be much more complicated than it had been. It wasn’t over yet though. This was just the beginning.

“Is this it?” Nerissa asked looking up at the tall building.

“Yup.”

“Cool.” Nerissa smirked. She opened the push doors and lead the way. Inside was a big room with polished floors and fancy furniture. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. To the left, there were elevators and straight ahead were stairs. To the right was a big desk with a man sitting behind it. Nerissa, the man, and Brogan were the only people in the grand room.

“Can I help you?” the man asked.

“Yes.” Brogan approached the desk. “Does Alexander Wells still live here?” he asked.

“Yes he does. Is he expecting you?”

“No. Not really.” Brogan said. “Is he home?” he asked.

“Yes he is. I’ll contact him right away. You have a name, sir?” the doorman asked.

“Brogan.” he answered.

“Last name?”

Brogan shook his head. “No need.”

The man nodded. “Have a seat.”

“Thank you.” Brogan walked over to one a the chairs in the middle of the room, Nerissa followed. Brogan haddn’t seen Alex in a few months. Last time Brogan had seen him he lived alone and had a slight drinking problem. Who could blame him? His demented daughter murdered his wife that had been seeing someone else.

“-A man named Brogan is here to see you.” The man behind the desk said into a phone. “Okay. I’ll send him right up.”

Brogan and Nerissa stud. The man gave them the floor and room number. “Thank you, Roger.” Nerissa thanked. Then the two of them went to the elevator. The man smiled at them as the doors closed.

“How do you know him? I swear. You just go to every door in the city and befriend everyone.” Brogan said shaking his head. Nerissa started laughing. “What?” he asked, a little offended.

“Does my extreme amount of street smarts bother you so much that you are to blind to see the name tag on the man’s shirt?” Nerissa laughed.

Brogan blinked. Then laughed. “I guess so.”

The doors of the elevator opened and the two of them stepped out. They walked down the expensive hall and stopped at the door number the man gave them. Brogan stud in front of the door. He nocked. Then waited. Nothing happened. Nerissa stared at him with a look on her face. “What?” he asked.

“Man, you're out of it today.” she smirked. Then pressed a buzzer next to the door and there was a loud buzz from inside the door. Brogan ran his hand over his face and through his hair. She was right, he was out of it. So very far out of it he didn’t know what ‘it’ was. He needed a drink.

The door opened. Alex stood with one hand on the door and the other hand held a glass about a fourth filled with whiskey. He wore dress pants and a button up shirt. His hair was a mess of thick brown hair. His eyes were a greenish brown surrounded by dark eyelashes.

“Brogan Smith. How long has it been? Come in.” he stepped aside for them to pass through.

“To long.” Brogan said, looking around the fancy apartment. It wasn’t huge but it was more open than Brogan’s house, much nicer too. On the far side there was a large window and a slide door to a balcony that looked over the city. The kitchen was on the left and there was a hall to the right. There was a large living room filled with expensive furniture. On the counter there was a line of expensive alcohol.

“Don’t tell me you're here for what I think you're here for.” Alex said, voice filled with sorrow.

“I believe we are.” Brogan sighd. “Refusing Damon wasn’t an option.”

Alex nodded looking at the ground. “Very well.”

“You got a bathroom in this joint?” Brogan asked.

Alex nodded. “Down the hall, the door is open.” Brogan walked to the hall.

*****

Alexander Wells and Nerissa stood in the kitchen. Alex smiled at her. “You must be Nerissa. I have heard about you.” he put out his hand and Nerissa smiled and took it.

“That’s me. You’ve heard about me? Good or bad?”

Alex laughed. “Very good things.”

“Like what?” she asked.

“As intelligent as beautiful.” he told her. “Help yourself to anything.” gesturing to the house.

“Thank you.” Nerissa smiled.

“You're very brave. Doing what you're doing.” he told her.

“You say brave, I say death wish.” Brogan said walking back to them. Nerissa smirked and Alex chuckled.

“Careful what you wish for.” Alex whispered in Nerissa’s ear and her smirk vanished. “Like I said to Nerissa, help yourself.” Alex said to Brogan.

“No thanks.” Brogan refused politely.

“Drink?” Alex asked, holding up his own glass. He wants it. Nerissa thought to herself, almost laughing out loud but stopping herself.

Brogan looked at the glass longingly. “On second thoughts.” he said still looking at the glass. Alex nodded and got a second glass. He handed it to Brogan.

“I have to make a few calls to a few people. They most likely won’t be here till tomorrow. Your welcome to stay here.” Alex offered.

“Thank you, but that’s-” Brogan started.

“I insist. There’s a futon in my office and the couch isn’t bad.” he insisted.

“I’ll take the office.” Nerissa spoke.

“No.” Brogan glared at her.

“How rude of you, Brogan.” Alex smirked. “Well you two figure that out I’ll make those calls.” Alex walked down the hall. He went into one of the rooms.

“Yeah, how rude.” Nerissa told Brogan.

“I’m not going to let you go snooping.” Brogan crossed his arms.

“I was not planning on snooping.” Nerissa said offended. It was a lie, she was going to snoop. It still was the plan and Brogan couldn’t stop her.

“Snooping is how you know who Alex is.” Brogan laughed. “Your a snooper.” She made a ‘Who, me?’ sort of face. “Fine, but if you find anything good you better tell me.” Brogan said walking to the window.

“You got it, partner.” Nerissa said following. Brogan looked out the window to the lights of the city. “It’s beautiful.” Nerissa almost whispered.

“Yeah. Not when you know the people who live here.” Brogan replied in the same toun of voice.

He was right in a way. Seeing the cars drive by and people on the streets and thinking about what kind of person those people are ruins it. “Sometimes you just have to forget all that and just look at the pretty lights.” Nerissa told him. He laughed and didn’t stop. It was nice to know he could still do that. “Who is going to watch the house while we are gone?” Nerissa asked. Brogan stopped laughing.

“Don’t know. Honestly. I don’t think we are coming back.” Brogan said looking at his feet. “Do Gretchen and Dorothy know your leaving?” he asked her. Nerissa smirked and tried and failed to hide it. Gretchen and Dorothy were the two very old ladies that not even in their younger old ages took very good care of her. “Nerissa! They will be worried sick.”

She laughed out loud. “No they won’t! Maybe if it was ten years ago. Last time I left for a couple hours and I came back Gretchen thought I had moved out and Dorothy asked who I was.” Nerissa told him laughing. When she went to their house she mainly just showered and sometimes slept.

“Their not that old.” Brogan argued.

“Ha! They were too old when they raized you.”

Brogan paused for a few seconds. “Yeah, maybe they’re a little old.” he finally agreed. They stood and looked over the traffic for awhile in silence. Nerissa slipped into her mind, almost like falling asleep. All the noises and lights dimmed and her eyes focused on nothing in particular.

She thought about her life. There was only a couple words she could come up with off the top of her head that described it. Shady. Unrealistic. Strange. Gray. She grew up in the hood after all. First years were spent in foster homes and other things of those sorts. None of those homes she had a clue how they passed the test to become a foster home. Her last home was the worst.

She was about eleven or twelve when she discovered what she could do. She had been at a lake camping with her many foster brothers and sisters when she suddenly ‘felt’ the water. Almost like it was calling to her. She had been about four feet into the water with one of her older foster brothers that was few years older than she was. She put her hand about ten inches over the lake and the water followed her hand and razed from the rest of the lake. Her brother had seen and told the rest of her foster siblings that were old enough to understand even though she had begged him not to. He told her to do it again and she did. “Freak.” Her oldest sister, Christina had said and all the other kids ran screaming and laughing. They had all told the parents but of course they didn’t believe them. Them not believing had made her angry so back at the house she had shown them with the sink water. They stared at her and that night she overheard them talking, saying that she was going to have to move to another home. As much as she didn’t want to stay. She didn’t want to move again. So she ran. Her older brother, Liam had tried to run after her. The foster parents grabbed Liam and let her run.

Liam. He was fourteen at the time and the only one of all her foster siblings that was nice to her. He was an adult now. She haddn’t seen him since, but it made her feel better looking out at the town and knowing he was out there somewhere. They looked nothing alike of course. They weren’t related, but he was the only other person that ever felt like family besides Brogan. Last time Nerissa had seen Liam he had red hair and blue eyes with a face full of freckles.

After she met Brogan, she moved in with Gretchen and Dorothy. The two old ladies were good to her, they were kind to her, but they never really payed much attention to her. She traveled from Brogan’s to the two ladies houses when she was nine years old with them barely noticing. The houses were about five blocks apart. When she was about twelve she chose to go mostly independent. She went where she pleased and slept ether at her room in Brogan’s house or in her room at the lady's house. When she was fourteen she got a small job at a fast food restaurant.

For learning, she was always homeschooled. Gretchen tout her mainly what she needed to know and every once in awhile she would find a tutor to meet up with. She also found online websites for learning what other kids her age were learning. She wouldn’t have ever gotten a diploma because of her way of schooling. She didn’t really even have a real legal guardian. Ha! She was technically not a legal person. Her life was screwed from the start. Nerissa had never left Chicago in her life. She couldn’t get a driver’s license or a passport because she technically didn’t have a last name. When people asked she told them Nerissa Smith. She had to get creative to get her job. She could call herself by her legal foster name: Nerissa Johnson, but then when people looked her up a missing person's thing would come up.

Her life was screwed from the start. Her life was shady, strange, unrealistic, and gray. To make it with the life she had she would have had to come up with something really darn good. She could have. Over the years she had discovered that Nerissa Smith, or whoever she was could pretty much do anything she put her mind to.

She new that pretending to work for Than would mean chucking their old life into a dumpster, and that was exactly the point. This was Nerissa’s chance to not only run from her old life but do something with it. There wasn’t anything she wanted more then to be something that meant something. She didn’t want to be Nerissa Johnson, the strange foster child that never knew her real family. Or Nerissa Smith, the strange girl who couldn’t do anything with her life because she was literally nobody. She had to admit, her life led to one hell of an uprising but she was ready for something else. Something bigger.

“Tomorrow morning.” Alex spoke suddenly. Nerissa almost jumped. He stood about five feet behind them.

“Thank you, Alex.” Brogan thanked.

“Anything for a friend.” Alex nodded.

“If you don’t mind me asking, how did you get involved in all this?” Brogan asked.

Alex sighed. “Not sure. Someone said something or Than just thinks I’m someone I’m not. I may not be one of you guys but I know enough not to refuse.” he paused, “I guess I’m one of the good guys, right? I mean I helped the three others in, and I’m helping you two.”

“Right.” Brogan told him.

“I have some things to do. Feel free to use the TV and eat whatever you want.” Alex told them as he grabbed his coat.

“Again, thank you.” Brogan nodded. Alex gave a fake smile and walked out the door. Brogan looked over at Nerissa. “Were never gonna get out of this.” he told her. She looked at him. “But you already knew that.” he sighed.

“How far will Than go?” Nerissa asked.

“Till the end.” Brogan answered.

“What’s the end?”

“Death.” he paused. “Then someone else will continue what he started.”

“More importantly, when’s the start?” she asked. Brogan shrugged. Nerissa looked back out the window. “It’s only one o’clock.” she said.

“Yeah? So?” Brogan asked.

“How far do you think Than’s territory is?” Nerissa questioned.

“Don’t know. Why?”

“Well. Than doesn’t seem like a person who would wait around. So. Ether he’s not even in this country, or something a little more important is going on. Like the beginning.” she explained.

Brogan shook his head. “That’s just a guess. There’s not enough evidence to make that statement even a little convincing.”

Nerissa shrugged and smiled. “Have a little faith.”

“Faith? Faith in what?” he laughed.

“Me.” she answered.

He shook his head and looked down at the glass still in his hand. “Some days all of my faith is on you.”

Nerissa walked over to a bookshelf and scanned over the names of the books. She noticed that all the books were some sort of fantasy. She grabbed one and sat at the counter. She opened it to page one. Brogan took a seat at the couch. They stayed like that for a while. It was past four o’clock when Alex came in and shut the door and walked over to the TV.

“How was your day?” Nerissa asked surprised. He didn’t answer. She stood up. Brogan stud up shortly after. “What’s happening?” she asked.

“Watch.” he said, turning on the TV to the national news.

The news came on. The news anchor lady was talking in her, ‘something really bad is happening’ voice. “Today, at four pm here in Washington DC, nine pm in the United Kingdom, and eleven pm in Russia assistants and other workers were horrified to find all three leaders dead.” she spoke. Nerissa’s heart dropped to her stomach. “All three appear to have died from the same courses. The goal of the killer or killers is not clear and the mastermind was sure not to leave any clues for FBI and other agents from all over the world to find. All over the world people scramble to find any hints. At the moment no further information is being given to the public. As usual, any information on the subject will be deeply appreciated and you may be eligible for a cash reward.” Just then the screen cut to a shot in front of the White House. All over there were ambulances and swat cars, people rushed all over the place. Overlookers stud not exactly knowing what to do.

Brogan stared at the TV in astonishment. “You were right.” he said to Nerissa.

Nerissa, stunned herself, found it in her to take a deep breath. “Yeah. I guess I was.”

“What’s Than doing?” Alex asked.

“He’s just giving people a little glimpse of the new world.” Nerissa answered. The three of them didn’t really say anything much more for the rest of the day. They ate and sat at the couch in silence.

Nerissa stood in the middle of the office. On the left side there was a desk with a big computer and a laptop sounded by numerous papers. On the other side there was a futon that had been folded out into a bed. On that side of the room there was also a small table with a lamp sitting on it. Nerissa crossed the room and clicked on the lamp. Then walked to the main light and clicked it off. She turned to the desk and examined it. Her eyes scanned over the papers on the desk. She couldn’t make much sense out of any of them.

The thing that caught her eye was a framed picture that sat to the side of the desk. The picture was of a lady. Most likely his wife. The lady stood smiling in front of a tree. The girl had a very natural beauty. Her hair was long and brown. Her face was round with large cheek bones covered in freckles. Her eyes looked dark brown, but it was hard to tell in the picture.

There was something strange about the picture. Then Nerissa noticed, there was no sheet of glass over the picture. She picked up the frame. The picture of the lady seemed to worp. Like something was behind the picture. Nerissa turned the frame around and took off the back. Sure enough, there were quite a few more pictures behind the original one.

Nerissa looked through them. They were all pictures of the same person, the person Nerissa suspected was Mara Wells. Alexander Wells’s demented daughter. Nerissa had heard many things about Mara, and she was surprised to see her face. She had a very innocent face surrounded by smooth, thick, brown curls. Nerissa suspected a mean face. A face people would run from. Mara’s face was innocent and welcoming. Almost to welcoming. It was almost the same face as the ladies, but Mara’s was more perfected. She had big, brown eyes. In the picture of the lady’s Nerissa could not make out the eye color, but Mara’s facial details were very clear.

“You found those?” the voice came without warning and it made Nerissa jump.

“Sorry for snooping.” Nerissa apologized.

“No worries.” Alex told her.

“Why do you hide them?” she asked.

“Ha. I don’t know why I have them. I don’t even know why I have a picture of my wife. She cheated on me after all.” his eyes were filled with sorrow. “I can’t just throw them away. It doesn't work like that.”

“No it doesn’t.” Nerissa agreed. Alexander looked down into his empty glass that used to contain some sort of alcohol. Nerissa noticed this. “Did you find what you were looking for?” Nerissa asked him as he looked into the empty glass.

He looked startled by the question, then thought about it. “Nope. I didn’t.” he answered shaking his head. He swallowed. “Well, I’m going to get some more. Sleep tight.”

“You too.” Nerissa put the pictures back where she found them and walked over the the footon. She collapsed onto it humming to herself. She clicked off the lamp and closed her eyes completely ignoring the fact that the next day was tomorrow.

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