Episode 0: New Game Start

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alouette has had total and absolute command over gravity since she was six. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to command her own luck which has finally taken everything from her. Now seeking to command her own fate, she has ventured forth into the world of Terra alone. Will she find her purpose in life in the 81st District, where the rich and famous play?

Submitted: May 30, 2014

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Submitted: May 30, 2014

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~~Alouette looked out over an endless expanse of gold and red. The bright white and yellow circle that hovered above the water turned the water crimson as if the water had been turned to blood and the sky a deep shade of scarlet as if a nuclear bomb had been detonated beyond the horizon. A path of gold lay upon the surface of the water like a road leading directly to the sun. The crashing waves against the beach and salty air brought an even more relaxed atmosphere to the near empty beach. The wind from the ocean had been blowing continuously, tossing her hair this way and that ever since she had arrived.
 It wasn’t a date or pure enjoyment which brought her to this place, but her string of bad luck. All throughout her life, she had seriously believed that she was at the amusement of some malevolent force. For school, no matter how prepared she’d come, she’d forget her bus fare and end up late. A trip to the movie would end up cut short because the “free” tickets she got wasn’t meant for that particular theatre chain and trips to the zoo ended because she wasn’t old enough at 16 to go in alone. If she wanted to buy something, she’d just come up short. She’d be a quarter short for a drink or a dollar short for something else. Now, a few months short of turning eighteen, she was fairly conscious of this force she called “Madness the Magnet” that seemed to make everything that could go wrong, go wrong and had thought that she was prepared for just about anything… but there was no way she could prepare for a lightning bolt from a storm setting her house on fire. She wasn’t there at the time. In a cruel twist, her fascination with lightning had led to her go outside so she could better witness the bright flashes of light crisscross the sky. By the time she decided to go home, soaked and in high spirits, emergency services had already taken her mother to the hospital. The burns were extensive, but the official cause of death was due to smoke inhalation. In an attempt to comfort her, the doctors did say that her mother didn’t feel anything in her last moments.
 Alouette was cursed. She knew that her chronic string of bad luck had something to do with her status as an Aberrant. It was this ‘affliction’ that turned her eyes the color of an amethyst gemstone and deprived her of a normal life. At the same time, it also provided her with the ability to bend natural forces to her own will, something she generally had no desire to do. She was certain of this because she had met another Aberrant, purely by coincidence and was soothed by the fact that she wasn’t the only one whose life had been so ruined. Aberrants were never ‘born’ that way, she was told. Rather, at some point in time to some stressful situation it would just happen and that small child would find themselves doing things they had never done before…like screaming so loud buildings shook or suddenly punching holes in steel.
 In Alouette’s case, this formula sounded too familiar. It was a near car accident that caused her to undergo that dramatic transformation. It was the first of her many misfortunes. The only upside of her new abilities was the interest in science that came with trying to learn more about it.
 Gravitation, she discovered, was the fundamental force she commanded. At first, she was a little excited. When playing sports at school, she no longer had to try to physically keep up with the boys in gym class. In baseball, she could make the ball come to her and make any ball she hit literally go into space like in cartoons. She didn’t need to carry heavy things; she could just have them orbit around her like a planet did to a sun. It was great, for a time. Eventually, people started to complain to her about ‘cheating’ and ‘showing off.’ Looking back on it, Alouette understood where they were coming from, but to this day, she feels as though it was similar to counting cards in a casino. She was just using something that was now natural to her as a tool. If she had four arms, would they complain if she used the extra two win a fight or if she wings would they complain then if she used them to catch something that was too high for her to reach by just jumping? Now, maybe it would be a little unfair if she did that when playing tag or hide or seek, but she didn’t think there was anything wrong with it then. Eventually, she stopped using it altogether, even for the most mundane things. It had been four years since she had used her abilities, but to her shock, she found that she was more proficient at it now than ever as she pulled a stream of water from the ocean and collected it into a small spherical shape big enough to fit into her hand. She did this several more times until there were two dozen of those small water balloons hovering around her.
 She wasn’t sure, why, but she decided to look around to see if anyone was watching her. She wanted to make sure that, without a doubt, she really was alone. Alouette wanted to make sure that her mother wouldn’t suddenly appear behind her and congratulate her doing something so impressive or scold her for using her powers in such a wasting manner.
 Actually, there was one person watching her. Standing just a few feet off to the side, with a really large and expensive camera over her eye, was a well-dressed girl with short black hair and bangs. She couldn’t have been older than Alouette, but she was dressed in a fancy red sun dress and rolled up shorts. Judging from the jewelry around her wrist and the yellow shoes she wore, Alouette was sure this girl was loaded.  Alouette stared at the girl until finally the girl removed the camera from her face and spoke.
 “Could you go back to staring out at the ocean please?”
 “Huh?” Alouette raised her eyebrow. “Hey, that’s a five thousand credit charge for each picture.”
 “Five thousand?” the girl asked. She pouted her lips thoughtfully and then nodded. “Fine, just can you turn back around?” The girl then immediately sighed and lowered her camera so that it hung around her neck. Pouting she said, “Never mind, the natural feeling’s gone now.”
 “What are you talking about?”
 “It was absolutely perfect! A work of art!” the girl said enthusiastically as she walked over. She brought up the images on her camera that she had taken.
 Alouette wasn’t sure how she felt about having her picture randomly taken without her knowledge, but she had to admit that the pictures were rather good. Alouette didn’t get what all the fuss was about with taking pictures all the time. She saw herself in the mirror every day. In it though, from a different perspective, she couldn’t believe it was the same girl.
 The girl in the photo with long straight black hair that was being tossed back in the wind had the saddest smile ever. There were two other pictures of her that had been taken from behind with the red ocean and sky as the backdrop that made it look more like a painting than a picture.
 Alouette sighed and handed the girl’s camera back. “Humph, that’s not a work of art. It’s just depressing. Make sure you delete it.”
 The girl protested strongly. “What? No way! It’s a really beautiful picture…”
 “What’s so beautiful about it? It’s me I’m looking at and I even feel sorry for myself.”
 “But that’s exactly why it’s so beautiful. I’ve been taking pictures all day of people smiling and posing, but immediately when I saw you I knew I had to capture you.”
 Alouette sighed. She was in no mood to argue and the girl photographer seemed as if she were unwilling to move from her position. “Fine, whatever, I guess…” Alouette turned away and faced the ocean, but she kept an eye on the girl.
 The girl turned away for a moment, but then looked back. Their eyes met.
 “What now?” asked Alouette, sensing that the girl wanted to say something.
 “Oh uh…well, the money you wanted. I can pay you if you want…”
 “I was only kidding. I don’t need the mon…” She stopped herself in mid-sentenced when she remembered something important. “Hey…” She turned and faced the girl.
 “Yeah…?” the girl asked cautiously.
 “Are you serious about paying me?”
 “Yeah…” The girl answered cautiously. “You’re not going to charge me extra are you? I’m only keeping the one picture.”
 “Well, no, the pay is fine…I was just wondering…”
 “…Wondering what?”
 “I was wondering if you needed a model. If you paid me, I could model for you…”
 The girl twisted her lips in thought. “A model, huh…?”
 “If you can pay me, you can take all the pictures of me you want.
 “…Are you…are you joking right now? I’m only fourteen you know. I’m not a professional photographer…yet. I’m not going to sell your pictures for money or anything…”
 Alouette sucked her teeth and turned back to the ocean. “I guess that’s a no, then. I don’t care what you do with them; I was just asking if you’d pay me.”
 “What do you need the money for anyway?” asked the girl curiously.
 “…It’s nothing really.” Alouette shrugged. “Nothing urgent anyway, it hadn’t even occurred to me until a moment ago.”
 “What is it then?”
 “I suppose telling you won’t hurt.” Alouette decided. “It’s for my mother. She died a few months ago and she wasn’t buried. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I feel she deserves more than just being given a number and buried with other unknowns. I don’t know how much it costs or if it’s even possible, but I want to give her proper burial…if I can.
 “Oh…uh, I’m sorry to hear that...” said the girl. “My mother died too when I was younger so I kind of know how you feel.”
 “‘Everyone feels the same pain.’” said Alouette. “My mother used to say that a lot to me. I don’t have a whole lot of good luck thanks to being an Aberrant and all that so she made life a little more fun for me…I never really got to say goodbye her.”
 The girl was silent for a while and turned towards the ocean. The sun had already dipping below the horizon.  With the silence between them dragging on, Alouette’s thoughts were making her feel gloomy again. Her hand being grabbed pulled her out of her dark thoughts,
 The girl squeezed her hand firmly and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything really cool to say. I know how you feel so… I won’t tell you anything that didn’t really work on me. It did feel good to talk about it, though, so if you want to talk about it, I’ll be more than happy to listen to you and if you don’t want me to say anything about I won’t.”
 Alouette wasn’t sure about how she felt about going into a long story about her mother. She looked down at where the girl was holding her hand and her unease wavered.
“My mother…one of the important things I remember her telling me was to be the master of my own fate. When I became an Aberrant and all those things kept happening to me, she told me one day that I was the master of my own fate…that I had these abilities for a greater purpose. It’s kind of weird now that I don’t have anyone to rely on anymore that it’s the one and only thing I am doing now.”
 “What do you mean by that? Where’s your dad?”
 “I don’t know.” said Alouette dismissively. “Honestly, I only realized shortly that I don’t know anything about my mother’s past. I don’t know where she was born, if she ever had any dreams or what she preferred to eat and what she hated eating. All I know is that she had me around my age and somehow managed to turn out alright. I know what kind of a person she was to me…but that’s pretty much it I guess. I’m old enough now to know that most of the stories she told me are just fabrications, but I believed them then.”
 “Hmm so…wait, so…who do you live with now?”
 “Certainly not a rich uncle I never knew I had. I don’t live with anyone. After my mother died, I had to go live in a girl’s dormitory with Providence. You’d think an organization like that would be fairly nice, but they refused to pay for my mother’s burial or funeral and living with them is no better than prison. They tell you when to eat, when to sleep, when to get up, what to wear, when you had to shower and pretty much micromanage your life. I know it sounds strange, but that’s when I really felt that I understood what my mother said about being the one in charge of my life. So, I left a few days ago.”
 “You left? They actually let you go?”
 “No, not really, though they didn’t really have a choice in the matter. I’m an Aberrant, remember? We were allowed to go outside and one day I just decided to fly away. They took my Telecomm, but I don’t have enough money saved up to buy anything anyway. I literally just landed her in the posh 81st District a few hours ago.”
 “That’s…interesting. So if you don’t have any money what were you going to do? Do you…do you have anywhere to live?”
 Alouette shook her head. Three months in that place was long enough for her. “I didn’t really think about that too much. I figured I would just sleep in a bench or on the top of a building until something happened…”
 “What about food then or baths? What were you going to do about those things? You would also have to wash your clothes…and school too.”
 “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know! That’s why I told you that you could pay me for my pictures. I figure five thousand credits should be enough for a cheap room somewhere around here…”
 The girl chuckled at Alouette’s ignorance. “Obviously, you don’t know anything about the posh 81st District. I wouldn’t say it’s entirely an Elitist culture here, but five thousand isn’t even enough to reserve a table at a restaurant. I’ve seen entree’s that cost more, actually.”
 “…Well that figures.” sighed Alouette. “Nothing ever goes the way I expect it too…” She asked the girl straightforwardly, “Are you part of that Elitist culture?”
 “It’s not something I like to admit, but yes. I’m not snobbish or anything. Most people I know aren’t, but there are some that I know that believe in entitlement.”
 “So you can pay me then? Don’t worry too much about my circumstances. I will manage somehow…”
 “You sound a lot like a girl I know whose always talking about money. I’m fourteen, you know, so I don’t really know if I can hire someone. To pay you for every picture would be kind of hard to do. This is more of a hobby right now…
 “Worth asking for, I suppose.” Alouette gave up on that topic. Asking a fourteen year old girl to pay for her mother’s burial wouldn’t leave a good taste in her mouth anyway.
 “If you’re looking for something to do, though…” The girl said after a lengthy pause. “I don’t know if you’ll be interested in it, but there might be a different job you could…for me.”
 “And what’s that?”
 “Well…you could be my bodyguard.”
 Alouette wasn’t sure she had heard that correctly. “What? You want me to be your bodyguard?”
 “My dad’s kind of a security freak. It’s not his fault, really. He’s kind of the Commander of the TDFHQ here in the 81st District so that’s basically his job to be a little paranoid. Personally, though, he’s kind of an overprotective father…even more since my mother died. He makes me call him every time I get home from school and if I don’t he actually sends his subordinates to check up on me. He’s only recently started letting me go out on my own, but I absolutely have to be back before sundown…”
 “Oh?” Alouette took a look at the sunset. “Then should you really be out here talking to me?”
 “Well I was going home, but then I saw you and took some pictures and we started talking so…”
 “So, let me guess…you want to use me because I’m an Aberrant, right? I’m not a professional bodyguard or anything though. Actually, hanging around me might get you caught up in some of my bad luck…”
 “You said you were going to be the master of your own fate from now on right? My dad can pay you a lot better than I could and think of the benefits!” The girl began to swing their hands back and forth. Alouette wondered when she actually started holding hands with the girl. “You can live with me and my family and Providence will probably leave you alone. You can still moonlight for me as my model too.”
 “Does that mean I get two paychecks?” Alouette asked. “Well, this is all dependent on whether your dad will even give me the job anyway.”
 “You know, my mother used to tell me something: ‘You cannot lose if you do not play, but that also means you cannot win either.’”
  “Humph, well before all that... for a classy looking girl, you didn’t even introduce yourself to me. What is your name?”
 “Oh, right.” The girl chuckled. “My name’s…Blue…”
 “You’re name’s…what now?” The girl’s voice went quiet at the part where she was supposed to say her name and she looked away so Alouette didn’t catch it.
 “I said my name’s Blue…It’s Blue Ferro! I know, it doesn’t sound like a name at all so I don’t really like it. What’s your name?”
 “It’s Alouette…Alouette Calm. My last name is slightly ironic in that my mother’s easy to forgive, hard to insult nature rubbed off on me. As for my first name, it’s named after some bird that died off ages ago, apparently.”
 “Alouette…” Blue repeated the name and smiled. “I like that name. It’s very…beautiful I think. It’s better than ‘Blue’ anyway. I don’t think there’s any meaning behind being named that…people respond to my last name, though.”
 “Hmm, I don’t think it’s that bad of a name…Blue.” Upon saying the name, Alouette was surprised to find that it was actually a lot easier to say than she expected. “Anyways, the sun’s setting so…what are the odds of me getting an audience with your dad tonight?”
 “Good I’d say…if you’re willing to wait a bit at my place. He usually gets home late.”
 “Well, it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do…” Alouette answered with a dismissive tone.
 “Then follow me.” Blue finally let go of Alouette’s hand and began strutting off towards the boardwalk. Alouette held her hand. It was extremely warm from Blue’s palm. Before she started off after her would-be employer, she looked back at the sea.
 “Well, mother, I’m going to give it my best…wish me luck.”
 
 The Districts of Terra are generally divided into three separate areas called ‘Zones’. There is the Business Zone, where most of the corporations are located along with things like museums, courthouses and the Terran Defense Force Head Quarters. The Shopping Zone was generally where all the markets and malls were located. Finally, there was the Residential District where a majority of the citizens who lived in the District resided. The layout of where to find these Districts and how big they were in each District differed from District to District, but they were all more or less the same.
 In the 81st District, the Residential Zone was vastly different from the Residential Zone in the 34th District, where Alouette grew up. It seemed the concept of an apartment was abandoned and instead every home she was a gated property with either a fence or a wall or a large house with a garage and a driveway. The streets were clean and the grass was trimmed. It was definitely the home of the Elites of Terra.
 “So this is where you live, huh? It’s exactly how I expected it to be…”
 “It’s nice I guess.” Blue agreed. “My place is nothing compared to the estates of some of the others who go to my school. I’m more ‘affluent’ than ‘Elite.’”
 “I guess when you’re in a position where you can claim you’re not that rich is…a place I’ll never be. This place is too rich for my blood.” complained Alouette only a little envious.
 “You don’t like rich people or something?”
 “No, it’s just…something else. It’s nothing personal.”
 “Well…that’s good.” said Blue. “It’d be kind of weird living with people whose lifestyle you didn’t like.”
 They arrived at Blue’s house about a half hour after leaving the beach and Alouette couldn’t believe Blue had been trying to be ‘humble’ about her living conditions because there was nothing even remotely humble about it. It was a 4500 square foot posh house that was painted white. The lawn was green and perfectly trimmed to size with a few shrubs and a small tree. The property was surrounded by a red brick wall and the driveway was a like a miniature road. There wasn’t a garage on the property, but at the end of the road was a parking space with a roof. Inside it was a white car.
 “This is ‘affluent’ huh?” Alouette asked as she stood at the gate. Such a place was somewhere her old lifestyle would never have permitted her to visit. “How much does this place cost monthly?”
 “It’s…like 12,000 a month…I think.”
 “Twelve thousand…” Alouette repeated that number and then did the math in her hand. “So that’s what, how much a year? If my math is right, then it’s about 144,000 a year right?”
 “I guess.” Blue shrugged. “I suck at math. Still though, if you think this is something, I can’t imagine what'd you’d think about Ysira’s mansion.”
 “Ysira? Is that a friend of yours?”
 Blue grimaced. “Friend is a bit of a stretch…she’s the girl I mentioned earlier, always talking about making money. Heh, I call her the ‘Capitalist Princess’.”
 “You don’t like her?”
 “It’s not that I hate her or anything…she’s just kind of hard to deal with. Well, if you ever meet her, you’ll know what I mean. She’s kind of amazing.”
 So, snobbish rich people do exist, Alouette thought. “Whatever, I guess. So is that your dad’s car?”
 “Actually it is.” Blue turned around and faced Alouette. “Are you ready for this?”
 “As ready as I’ll ever be.” Alouette said. “Let’s get this over with…”
 Blue nodded and turned back around. They proceeded forward into the house. After entering she called out for her father. Alouette felt like an outsider here even more so than she did back in the girl’s dormitory. The inside of the home was even more remarkable and beautifully decorated. The living room alone was three times the size of her bedroom. There was a fireplace, paintings hanging on the walls, a potted plant, lamps that sat on burgundy tabletops and a chandelier. There was also a television screen built into the wall.
 Blue’s dad, Commander Ferro, greeted them in the living room. He was a man in his forties and solidly built. He still had his full head of hair and it still had its original brown color. His goatee was fit his face perfectly and his eyes were blue and very much full of life. He was wearing a jet black suit, the uniform of all TDF agents. Taking almost no notice of Alouette’s presence, he began to chastise his daughter.
 “Blue, why didn’t you call me to tell me you were coming home late? Even if the time slipped away from you this time, surely you couldn’t miss the sun going down?”
 “Okay, okay, sorry! I’m fine, aren’t I? Why are you home so early?”
 “It’s because there was something I needed to tell you. Why are you home so late?”
 “Ah, well, there’s something I want to tell you too. It makes sense, I promise so you’ll have to hear me out first, alright.”
 At that point, it seemed the old man finally noticed Alouette –or rather noticed her eyes. “Who is this then?”
 Alouette started to introduce herself, but Blue was quicker to speak than she was. “This is my new friend, her name’s-“
“Ah!” Her father interrupted with a hand. He turned towards Alouette and addressed her directly. “Who are you?”
 “My name is Alouette.”
 “Alouette who.
 “…Calm. Alouette Calm.”
  “How old are you, Alouette?”
 “I am seventeen years old.”
 “Seventeen?” The man’s eyes narrowed. “You’re an Aberrant aren’t you? What are you doing around my daughter?”
 “Well…” Alouette started to answer, but the rude old man interrupted her again.
 “‘Well’ is not an answer! Don’t tell me ‘well’ just answer me. What is an Aberrant doing around my daughter?”
 “I asked her for help...”
 “And what does a seventeen year old Aberrant need from a fourteen year old girl? Where are you parents? Why not ask them for help?”
 “I don’t have any parents…”
 “Oh really? So aunts, cousins, grandparents why not go ask them for help?”
 “I don’t have any other family. My mother died and besides, Blue said you’re the big dog around here…so she told me to ask you.”
 “Ask me what? If you think you can use my daughter just because she has some money…and want to use me to let you stay here-“
 “I want to bury my mother!” Alouette interrupted the old man this time. She was getting rather annoyed with the attitude being taken with her. The way he kept calling her an ‘Aberrant’ was also making her feel pretty angry. “I don’t have the money to afford it. And yes, I am an Aberrant. Blue told me that you are…well overprotective of her so she suggested that I might be able to protect her for you.”
 Commander Ferro turned away from Alouette and faced his daughter then. “Is that true, Blue?”
 “Yes, dad, it is. I wouldn’t just take someone in like a stray kitten you know. She wants to bury her mother and doesn’t have the money to pay for it. If I had someone like her around me then you could relax a little and not have to worry about me so much…”
 The Commander was quiet for a while and stroked his goatee. He then turned back to Alouette. “Alouette, I don’t how serious you are about this. Protecting someone isn’t like babysitting you know. If something happens to her, it’ll be your fault. I don’t any seventeen year olds who are capable of that kind of responsibility.
 “I’m aware of the responsibilities.” Alouette replied. “To be honest, this is all for my mother’s sake. If anything happens to her, it’s my responsibility, I understand.”
 “You kids like discipline these days. What’s your domain?”
 “My what?” Alouette asked, but she quickly realized that was the politically correct term for the abilities of Aberrants. “Oh, it’s Gravitation. My domain is gravity.”
 “Gravity, eh…” The commander folded his arms. “We’ll have to talk about that more in private then and work something out.” He turned back towards his daughter. “I’m not done with you either, Blue. I’ll have a little chat with you too later…”
 “Sorry…” Blue said meekly. “Thank you though. We gave mother a funeral and a burial so I can’t imagine not saying goodbye to her…”
 Blue’s father lowered her hands to his side and sighed. “Right, I thought that was why. I’ll talk to you privately about this as well. For now, though, since we’re on the topic I suppose it’ll be easier to tell you know. I have a bit of a surprise for you too…”
 “Really? Did you get me a car early?”
 “No.” Her father said humorlessly. “He reached into his pocket and pulled a neatly folded piece of printed paper and handed it to Blue. “This letter came for you today. It’s from Wisteria.”
 Like a child with a new birthday present, Blue hastily opened the letter. As she read the letter, her face went through a few changes. She then reached out and grabbed Alouette’s sleeve and pulled.
 “W-What…?” Alouette was hoping to remain a bystander since she had no idea of what was going on, but to her chagrin was, quite literally, pulled into the situation that was developing.
 “They accepted me!” Blue declared victoriously. Her eyes were as wide as her smile.
 “Huh?” Alouette responded mindlessly.
 Alouette would understand later that ‘Wisteria’ was actually ‘Wisteria Academy’ a mega-prestigious school that any Elite who was anyone went to and that Blue had somehow managed to get accepted into it. Currently, though, she was a little distressed as she was pulled into a ‘family’ hug that Blue initiated.

 Once Blue finally calmed down from her excitement, Alouette was taken into his study room for their private chat. Once the door closed behind her, Alouette felt an unseen pressure weighing down on her. The last time she had seen a room like this was back in Providence. There were three tall bookshelves all filled with thick books ranging from legal books to medical books and a few about pictures as well. Commander Ferro sat behind a white desk which had two large computer monitors on them and beckoned Alouette to pull up a chair and sit down on the other side. After she had done so, he spoke.
 “Let’s just get straight to business, Alouette.” The Commander rested his hands on the table and clasped his hands together. “I do respect what you’re trying to do, but let’s be straight here. The memory of your mother means a great deal more to you than the safety of my daughter. I’m sure there’s some part of the story here that I’m missing…of which  you’ve conveniently left out of the explanation you gave me earlier, but I won’t harp on about that. I want to be straight with you now: the respect you have for your mother, is not as important to me as the safety of Blue. You understand this, don’t you?”
 Alouette nodded her head. “I understand.”
 “Good. As you said also earlier, I am the big dog in charge of this District’s safety.” He pointed at his chest and said boastfully, “This is my territory. I know what’s going on in my territory so I know which Aberrants live in my territory because, at some point in time or another, they end up getting into a lot of trouble. Trouble follows your kind like…some kind of magnet. Fortunately, I also happen to know that no Aberrant has ever used their powers maliciously. This is as much as a fact as you are sitting here. Keeping you around my daughter will undoubtedly drag her into whatever trouble finds you.”
 “I’ve already told her that…” Alouette said in her defense.
 “Which means you knew that agreeing to be Blue’s protector might put her in some kind of danger. We call that being rather counter-productive in life, you know? So I am asking you straight up: if it came to it…would you risk your life for Blue? Could you, if needed, take a life in the defense of my daughter?”
 Alouette had expected to be asked something like that. She had considered the unlikely event of her power being unusable and the only way to protect Blue being to essentially push her out of the way. With that, it was okay since she didn’t have anything else to live for. She hadn’t considered the option of taking someone else’s life, though. In some twisted way, dying was a million times easier to accept that killing someone else.
 “Blue is only fourteen years old and you are only seventeen years old. It’s not much, but I do expect you to have a little more sense than she does about how the world works. This isn’t simple babysitting where you show up for a few hours until I get back home. No, this detail requires you to go everywhere she does and make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid or that she doesn’t do anything stupid. You’re an Aberrant so I presume you have the capacity to comprehend what ‘responsibility’ is. There is more responsibility in this than in regulating the use of your domain.”
 “…I understand that.” said Alouette. “I don’t know if I can kill anyone or not…and really I can’t say what I’ll do if I have to make that kind of decision. Like you said, my mother’s memory is more important to me…” Alouette looked down at her legs. “…but my mother told me to be the master of my own fate so…I’m choosing to do this. I’ll keep Blue safe at all costs and if I do ever get to properly bury my mother, then I’m eternally grateful and I’ll have no problem protecting her for the rest of my life if I have too.”
 “Hmm, and you would throw away any other opportunities in life? Does life mean so little to you?”
 “I see your point.” Alouette looked up from her lap. “The fact of the matter is that I’m an Aberrant. When I was younger I’d get scolded for using my powers when playing with others. They’d say I was cheating since they couldn’t do what I could do and eventually they stopped playing with me. I don’t know what it means to be able to do what I can do and why other people can’t. To me, it’s like having an extra limb that I can’t even use because it isn’t fair. I know it sounds…pathetic, but I really don’t have any dreams of grandeur. I certainly don’t believe I’ll one day have a life like yours or be in your status. Basically, if it gives my life some purpose to live, I’ll do it.”
 Commander Ferro leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms over his chest. He was silent while he stared a hole into the girl sitting across from him. “I suppose you’ve got your whole life ahead of you to change your mind.” He sighed and nodded his head. “Very well then, I will allow you to protect my daughter, but you still answer to me since I’m your employer and, more importantly, her father. From this moment on, you’re essentially just another Terran Defense Force Agent under my command, you understand that? When addressing me, you will refer to me as either Commander or Sir, understand?”
 Man, this guy’s on a serious power trip! How am I supposed to be the master of my own fate with this guy bossing me around? “What about ‘Boss’? Can I call you that?”
 Commander Ferro smiled and nodded his head. “No.” he said deceptively.
 Alouette was confused for a moment, but realized that she was just supposed to do as he said. “I understand, Commander.” Perhaps it was just her nature to resist servitude, but it was very difficult to verbally bow her head.
 “Good. Now, then there’s one more thing I need you to do before we wrap this up. I have a long day tomorrow. Take of your clothes…”
 “Excuse me!?” Alouette nearly shouted.
 “…and change into this please.” Ignoring her outburst, Commander Ferro had steadily reached down behind his desk and presented a jet black uniform that was still contained within the plastic.
 Alouette’s face turned red and her purple eyes seemed to light up. “Why?” she said rebelliously looking away. “I’m not a member of the Terran Defense Force…”
 “…Because I said so. Besides, since you’re working for me, it’s only natural that you’re in uniform while doing so. I had gotten this in preparation for Blue’s graduation, but she decided to wear a dress instead, can you believe it? Well, you’re a bit taller than she is, but in terms of size you aren’t that much bigger.”
 “Oh thank you…there’s nothing as complimenting as being compared to a fourteen year old…” mumbled Alouette as she took the uniform and stood up.
 “Well, it’s not tailor made for you so I want you to go change and make sure it fits. I’m sure Blue can show you where the bathroom is. Oh, and don’t wear your hair down like that. Can you make a ponytail or something? Do something with your hair so it doesn’t sway everywhere.”
 Alouette’s brow quivered. This sort of treatment was eerily similar to another place. “Yes, sir, Commander, sir! Is there anything else I can do for you? Laundry maybe? Cook?”
 “Don’t get sassy with me, lass.” warned the Commander in his usual humorless tone. “If you want some extra work though…”
 “I’ll get right on changing, sir!” Alouette quickly excused herself from the study. Commander Ferro wasn’t the type of person to bluff, she realized.
 …Once the door closed Commander Ferro chuckled as he leaned back in his chair. “Ah~ Aberrants are always so lively despite the hardships they face. Humph, I hope she can teach Blue a few things about responsibility…just as much as Blue can probably teach her about properly enjoying life. Now then, I suppose I’ll have to punish Blue for trying to pull a fast one on me…”


© Copyright 2019 Tucker Pen. All rights reserved.

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