Read Second Class Supers – Page 61
The sun had already set as Marge led Kya to the First Gen village. Shimmying along the fence, the entrance was even harder to find than before. They arrived at the wall at the same time as a trio of Shadow Striders.
“Callidus?” Kya asked the three covered figures.
“No.” A female voice responded. The girl slid her hood off of her head, revealing the sad eyes of Audentia.
A pit formed in Kya’s stomach, as seeing Audentia made Kya think of her brother Facilis. Kya had tried to bury his death in her memories along with the many others she had experienced recently. Her emotions were still so raw, she forced the memories back down, taking a breath as she did so.
Beside Kya, Marge shifted her weight from foot to foot, swaying awkwardly.
“Welcome back, Kya.” Audentia said kindly. The corners of her eyes crinkled in what appeared to be an almost happy way. The lower half of her face still covered by her scarf left Kya uncertain.
Audentia and the other Shadow Striders accompanied Kya into the city, and led them into a nearby house for dinner. It was small, and cozy. Sitting in the warm and rustic dining area with a fire, for cooking and for warmth, roaring in the hearth, Kya suddenly realized she hadn’t eaten all day. Her stomach growled in acknowledgement.
“What brings you back so soon, my friend?” A man asked and Kya immediately recognized his voice.
She smiled, and turned. “Nitor!”
Nitor smiled broadly. The wrinkles around his eyes stood out in the firelight, and the silver of his hair seemed to flicker like the flames. He opened his arms and bent to wrap Kya in a hug.
It took Kya a moment to respond. She was not used to such outward signs of affection being given so freely.
“Nitor!” Marge interrupted, “People in the city aren’t so huggy. Remember?”
Nitor let Kya go. “Sorry about that. Because it doesn’t affect anyone here, it’s kind of what we do.”
Kya nodded. She could feel the heat of blushing in her cheeks. A few others joined them in the room, sharing around a loaf of bread and a deep bowl of salad.
Over dinner, Kya recounted the events that led her back to New Eden: her confrontation with her boss, going to the police, and needing a place to stay until something was done about Don Georgetown.
“You are welcome here any time.” Nitor affirmed.
One of the First Gens that Kya had not been introduced to began playing guitar as the dishes from the meal were cleared. Kya sat and listened. She felt so calm, so relaxed. There was a special energy to New Eden, and through the music, she felt like she was tapping into it.
“Welcome back.” Callidus said from the doorway as he entered the house. He was dressed in an oversized plain beige top and a pair of brown pants with wear marks in the knees. Kya stared at him in his First Gen clothes.
She had expected him to be surprised that she was back, but in looking around, she realized that Marge was standing behind him. “Hey, Callidus.” She said, swallowing back a fluttering of nervousness. “Um, can we talk? In private?”
“Sure.” Callidus took a step back outside the house and extended his hand out and away, inviting Kya to walk outside with him.
A slightly offended looking Marge passed by the pair and back inside the house, where she took Kya’s seat.
Slowly walking down the sand and gravel path, the sound of the guitar faded. It wasn’t long until they turned a corner and were three houses down from where Kya had eaten.
The meal helped fight her hunger, but it wasn’t enough to satiate her. She had hoped for something more substantial, but quickly came to terms with the idea that she would just have to tighten her belt.
Callidus walked at a leisurely pace, his hands casually tucked in his pockets. “So, what would you like to discuss?”
Callidus stopped walking, removed a hand from his pocket, and ran it through the curls in his head of hair as he sighed.
“Why me and not Amelia? Why me and not some other random? Why did you pick me, Callidus?”
“I didn’t exactly pick you, Kya.” He now had both of his hands out of his pockets and held them palm up in front of him as he shrugged. “You were just the right kind of person.”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means, you have a hunger inside of you. A fierceness.”
Kya stifled a laugh.
“You might not see it yet but I know that you do. You asked questions, and you wanted answers. You called that bonehead, Frank, out on how what he had done to your friend and how it was wrong.”
Kya folded her arms across her chest, she wanted to say something, but she didn’t know where to start.
“You craved Supers, right?”
Kya opened her mouth, unsure of what would come out. “Because the world is not fair without them! Because it’s like people without Supers don’t even matter. Because I was tired of being ignored, tired of not being good enough.”
“Did you want to fly?”
“I don’t know.”
“How about to teleport? Telepathy? Strength? Did you have a list of Supers that you wanted?”
“Not as such. I had toyed with some ideas, but…” Kya ran her hands through her hair and sighed in frustration, “no.”
“Exactly.” He pointed both index fingers at her and grinned.
Kya raised an eyebrow.
“You wanted to be treated fairly. You wanted safety and you wanted the truth. That was what I saw in you. That is what made you the right kind of person.” Callidus began pacing. “We have this ability, us Shadow Striders. We could touch everyone, and give them random Supers, it could spread like an epidemic, and then die out, as each child born to one of those parents would be born with the power of a Shadow Strider. Because of that we are treated like lepers. You are a person who, I believe, will stand up for the fact that we are treated so unfairly.”
Kya stared at Callidus, a mixture of frustration and understanding washing over her.
“I touched you so that you can help us and hopefully help non-Supers as well.”
“But my Supers don’t even work right!” Kya’s voice sounded more like that of a whining child than an adult woman. “Invisibility makes me blind, Telekinesis is no easier than using my hands, I can’t even heal right. And they all get shoddy when I’m nervous!”
“So!” She screeched. She took a breath to compose herself. She began again in a more controlled voice. “So, what am I supposed to do? I can’t even be a proper Super.”
Callidus sighed. His face drawn in sadness. “That’s not the point, Kya.” His shoulders dropped and he began walking back in the direction they had come from. When he spoke again his voice seemed tired. “Supers have never been the point.”