Gender: Male Age: Secret Location: Illinois
|Introduction: This is NOT my story. I really liked the CAMP: Ron's Journey, and felt that the next instalment, CAMP: Sibling Rivalry, should be avalible on this site as well. By Eric Storm (Net Wolf). This is the second of his CAMP series books, and is still in progress. I will update whenever it is made avalible.|
Chapter 2: Nathan - 2
Nathan at least managed to make it back into his own bed before the nurse showed up the next morning. She fussed over Gina first, since she was still having to suffer through chemotherapy treatments. Once she was finished, however, she turned her attention to Nathan. She smiled warmly at him and asked how he was doing.
"I'm doing just fine," he answered with a smile and a sideways glance at Gina, who was trying not to giggle out loud. The nurse didn't quite catch the joke, but was just happy he was in a good mood.
"That's good," she said. She shifted her posture to block Gina's view, and then she bent down to give him a warm good-morning kiss. He returned the kiss with far more confidence today than he would have felt the day before. He even reached up to gently caress her tit. She stiffened a bit, but she let him do as he pleased. Finally, she broke their kiss, and gave him another, even warmer, smile.
"Breakfast will be in a few minutes," She told them both unnecessarily. "I'll be back later to check on you." She walked out of the room, and Nathan watched her go.
Gina, however, had something on her mind. She'd been awake for a good part of the night, thinking about a couple of things. Now, she turned to Nathan, and lowered her voice significantly.
"You're one of them, aren't you?" she asked.
Nathan looked at her a little strange. He wasn't sure who "them" was supposed to mean. "One of who?" he asked.
"You know, them. The psionics! I've been thinking about some stuff that's been happening around here lately, like when you got me back into bed after I fell. And your sudden remission. Then there's the nurse's new behavior... I don't know all of what a psionic can do, but you are one, aren't you?"
Nathan didn't even consider trying to hide it from her. He nodded. He climbed out of his bed, and went over to sit on hers.
"Why the hell didn't you tell me? Here we've known each other all this time, and I never knew..." he interrupted her train of thought.
"I didn't, either. It just started to come out a few weeks ago."
"You were... playing with me, weren't you? Without touching me, I mean? I thought I was going nuts!" She glared at him half-accusingly, and half-fondly.
"Sorry about that. I was trying to get better at it."
"And feel me up in the process!" she said with a grin.
"Well..." She reached over and hugged him. "I don't mind. It felt great." She lowered her voice even further, and whispered in his ear, "But not as great as last night." When she leaned back, he leaned in and kissed her, and she returned it. They couldn't kiss for long, because too many people came in unannounced during the day. Still, it felt good to kiss her like that.
She looked at him then, and her expression changed. "Did you really heal yourself?" He nodded. "Can you heal me?"
Nathan's expression became one of confusion. It wasn't that he didn't understand what she was asking, but he honestly didn't know if he could do it or not. "I don't know," he said. "I'd be willing to try, but I'm not even sure where to begin."
"Oh," she said, a little dejected.
"I tell you what," he said, wanting to encourage her, "while you're in chemo today, I'll... uh..." Nathan was unsure of how to explain his uncle's lessons to her.
"You'll what?" she prompted.
"You see, my uncle - he was a psionic, too - he implanted this message in my head when I was a baby. He's been teaching me how to use my powers, through the message. While you're in chemo, I'll see if the message covers anything about healing other people."
She threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. She whispered to him, "Thank you, Nathan!"
"I'd do anything for you, Gina." He kissed her quickly, but they both heard the breakfast cart coming down the hall; it had a bad wheel. He slipped back to his own bed, but they couldn't keep from smiling at each other.
"Welcome back, Nathan. I must tell you that, other than some battle-oriented material, I'm running low on things to teach you. I know what your question is, though. Yes, you can heal Gina."
"You need to make her body a part of your consciousness."
"Oh, believe me, her body is part of my consciousness!" he said with a smile. Ron laughed.
"Not that way! You need to become so aware of her that it feels as if her body and your body are one. Once you've achieved that, you would heal her just like you'd heal yourself. It will be tiring," Ron warned him.
"That's okay. Gina's worth it." Ron made no comment concerning that. "How do I make our bodies feel like one, though?"
"Well, it's not overly complicated. It requires physical contact. Once you're touching her, and anywhere at all will do, you simply let your mind flow outward and... 'engulf' her body. Your mind already engulfs your own body, so in essence you're expanding what your mind thinks of as 'you'."
"Oh. Is that hard?"
"It might take a try or two. I spent time working on this at CAMP."
"When are you going to talk to me about CAMP?"
"Later." That answer was very final.
"How am I supposed to know when 'later' is?"
"You're not. That's my business. You worry about 'now'."
"Okay... but I don't like being kept in the dark about things."
"That just means you really are a Chaffey." Nathan smirked at that. "Now, there are some exercises we can do to try to make your healing of Gina easier. Why don't we spend some time working on those?"
Nathan was busy until well after Gina returned from physical therapy, working on the exercises that would help him help her. When he finally did come out of his trance-state, which the staff took to be sleeping, he noticed she was back. It looked, however, like she was asleep, and so he wasn't going to bother her just now.
He lay back to think about what he'd become over the last few weeks. He was a psionic; he was different. He'd already gained weight since he'd gone off the chemotherapy, and he was starting to look like a normal, if short, kid. He'd asked his uncle about making himself grow, but what his uncle had told him hadn't seemed to work. At least, it hadn't shown any results yet. He returned to doing that exercise for another hour, until dinner came, just to have something to pass the time. As much as he hated chemotherapy, at least it allowed him to be bored in a different room. Now, he almost never left this room, except for tests.
Gina didn't touch her dinner, and she was very quiet throughout the evening. Nathan figured she wasn't feeling well, which was no big surprise. It was impossible to predict, on any given day, whether someone on the treatment she was on would feel good or bad. In this case, she felt bad, and Nathan decided to let her be, at least for the time being.
When bedtime came around, however, and the staff turned off the lights, Nathan moved over to her bed. He lay down beside her, and stroked her side. She didn't turn over, but she reached up to take his hand in hers, to let him know she appreciated him.
"I'm not feeling very well tonight," she said, trying to ward off any requests for sex.
"I know," Nathan said. He leaned down and kissed her softly on the cheek. "I'm going to try something, but I don't know if it's going to work. You don't have to do anything but lie here."
"I think I can manage that," she said with a smile. He didn't let go of her hand, and she was smiling about that, too. He made her feel wonderful just by being with her. Her family never visited, and Nathan was very close to being all the family she had, at least while in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Nathan closed his eyes and began to focus. He pushed the boundaries of his mind outward. He let his consciousness flow into his hand, and then forced it across the barrier into Gina's body. He worked for over an hour, just to get his mind to fully encompass her body. He had expected this to be easier, the way his uncle had described his own experiences. He knew that each psionic was different, but still...
Gina had, of course, fallen asleep long ago. He could feel her body making desperate attempts to repair the damage done by both the cancer and the chemotherapy. He sought out the cancer in her body, and began to destroy it. He felt as ill right now as he had a month ago, when he'd been in the midst of his own cancer. He felt for Gina, and he wanted to heal her as quickly as he could. He spent half the night healing her body, and he didn't even notice when he drifted off to sleep, still holding her hand.
Nathan repeated his actions every night for the next week. Each day, the nurse would find him cuddled with Gina, the two of them asleep, but holding hands. She teased Nathan about it unmercifully, but strangely never mentioned it to Gina. The nurse made no negative remarks about their relationship, however. She had even seen her way to give Nathan two more blowjobs while Gina was in chemotherapy.
The day that things became exciting was the day that Gina had her first set of tests run since Nathan had begun healing her. He was nearly done, and another night or two would probably have her fully cured. He'd also taken care of the rest of his own illness, so that he was now a recovering sick child, rather than just a sick child. Gina, too, felt stronger and looked better. This had resulted in more than one encounter at night before their healing sessions began, and Nathan didn't object at all.
When the doctor came in, he looked at Gina oddly, and then he looked over at Nathan. "Gina," the doctor said, "I think we need to re-run your tests. We got some odd results, and I'd like to verify them. The orderly will take you back down to the lab."
After Gina left with the orderly, the doctor moved closer to Nathan. Nathan looked up at him mainly with curiosity; they hadn't run tests on him in a few days, and he was wondering if the doctor was going to have him tested next.
The doctor lowered his voice. "I know what you are." His tone was not menacing, but merely factual. "Two unexpected remissions in the same room, within the same month, is hardly to be expected. Unless, that is, there's a psionic around." The doctor saw Nathan's eyes narrow. "Don't worry, I won't say anything. They won't let us use psionics here in the hospital, but I've always felt they should. You just proved my point. I won't tell anyone, but I will warn you. You need to be more careful. The vast majority of regular people are going to want you dead." Nathan nodded at the doctor, understanding the threat imposed on him by his Ability. The doctor said, "I'm not going to bother running any more tests on you. I'm going to send you home in a little over a week, because I figure you'll be strong enough then. You cured Gina, too, didn't you?"
"She's my best friend. I had to."
"Oh, I understand that. Personally, I wish I could ask you to go through the ward and heal everyone, but that would get both of us in deep shit. You be careful, Nathan. The world out there doesn't like your kind."
"You take care."
The day finally came when Nathan was to go home. The doctor had arranged it so that both he and Gina would go home on the same day. Gina's parents were there to pick her up, and Dawn was waiting with Nathan. He wouldn't leave until Gina did, and his mother had not objected, since she knew the two were friends. How close of friends they had become, she was not aware.
When Gina's parents finally showed up, smiling at the good fortune of their daughter, they paid little attention to the others.
"C'mon, Gina. Let's get you out of this place," her father said with a smile.
Gina nodded, and then turned to Nathan. She embraced him, and the two hugged strongly for a long moment. His shorter height meant that he was resting his head against her breast, and he was quite happy with that. She leaned down and kissed him on the cheek, in lieu of what she wanted to do, since the adults were watching.
Gina whispered into his ear, "I love you." Nathan blushed, and nodded in such a way to reciprocate her words without saying them. She stepped back, and said, more loudly, "Will I see you again?"
"I don't know," he said. "I hope so."
"Well, you're always welcome," Gina's mother said. She wrote down their address on a slip of paper and handed it to him. She smiled and said, "We need to get going. It was nice to see you again, Nathan."
As Gina and her family left, Nathan turned to his mother.
"You ready to go, Sweetheart?" she asked him.
"More than ready. Let's go home."
For the first two weeks after his return home, Nathan just settled into his home life. While he was trying to adjust to not being in the hospital, he realized just how much his mother hated psionics. She didn't let a day pass without commenting on what the "evil people" had done to her, to the country, and to the world. She was forever in fear that the psionics would openly take over Knoxville.
It was clear to Nathan that revealing who he was to his mother would not be a good idea. Whatever had happened to her at the hands of psionics, she would clearly not believe that he was a 'good guy'. He still managed to practice, however, in order to hone his skills.
After those two weeks were up, Nathan was enrolled in school. By then, he looked like a normal, but short, child of his own age. He was uncomfortable to be around all of these other people all of a sudden; he'd always been in special classes before, because of his health. Now, sitting in a mainstream class with fifty kids in it, he was horribly intimidated. A discussion he was about to have would not help things.
"Okay, class," the teacher asked, "who can tell me the names of the leaders of the opposing factions in the Psionic Rebellion?" Nathan understood that this was the name being given to the Great Psionic War.
A classmate raised her hand, and said, "Ron Chaffey and Zinaida Dostoy... Dostoy... Dostoy-something." The rest of the class laughed, and the teacher chuckled.
"Dostoyeva. Yes. Do you know which of them was fighting for America?"
"Neither of them," someone said in the back. The teacher didn't contradict the voice right away.
"General Chaffey was the leader of the Provisional Psionic Army of the United States. Now, the PPA's stated goal was to defend the country against foreign psionics."
"Yeah, right," another student said. "That's why the psionics rule the country now, right?"
Nathan listened intently to the conversation, but he didn't entirely understand everything, so he raised his hand.
"Yes, Nathan?" the teacher asked.
"Why did the Psionic War start?"
"Because the psionics wanted to rule the world, of course," the teacher said seriously.
"But... why did it start when it did? I mean, weren't there psionics before then?"
"Well, I imagine there were. However, it is impossible to understand the actions of such... 'people'." Nathan could hear the quotation marks around the word. That angered him slightly.
"Miss Chalmers, from what little I've learned, all wars started for a reason. Why did this one start when it did? I don't understand. You say that all the psionics are bad people, but if that's true, why were they fighting each other?"
"Bad people fight all the time, Nathan. They were fighting for control of the decent people of the world. Look, just because your uncle led the PPA..."
"I've never met my uncle," Nathan interrupted.
"Good for you," one of the kids in the back said.
"I'm not trying to be difficult, ma'am. I'm just trying to understand. All of this is new to me. We didn't talk about the war while I was in the hospital, and it never came up in my few times in school, either. Who was the PPA fighting?"
"It was a gang called the Filitov Council. They were from Russia, and they wanted to turn the whole world back into the Soviet Union, only with them in charge. The PPA said they merely wanted to fight off the Council, but..."
"Didn't the PPA disband about six or seven years ago?" Nathan asked.
"So they say. They don't have any official offices anymore, but you can't really tell with psionics. Who's to say where they might be hiding now?"
"But if they have that kind of power, why did they wait until now? Well, I mean, wait until when they started?"
"Listen, Nathan, I've already told you that it's impossible to predict the mind of a criminal. Even the normal ones are difficult. Trying to predict the mind of something like a psionic... it's just too foreign for any of us decent people to consider. Now, we need to move on."
"Yes, ma'am." Nathan sat back and listened for the rest of the day, keeping his mouth shut, even though he had many questions about things that were discussed. He didn't know how much of it was truth, and how much of it was emotionally-driven propaganda. Surely not all psionics were bad, because they were just a different kind of people, and no group is entirely evil. After all, he was a psionic, and he did not feel himself to be a bad person.
Later that day, in the schoolyard, Nathan learned why he should have kept his mouth shut instead of asking questions.
"Hey, you!" Nathan could tell the voice was directed at him, so he turned around to see a group of older kids approaching. He could tell that they were unhappy about something.
"So, you're related to the guy who destroyed our country, huh?" the biggest one said. He would probably have been a football player, if the school had a football team. "My family used to live in New York. Your uncle killed them."
Nathan was caught between not wanting to challenge this angry teen, and standing up for his uncle. He didn't know one way or the other what had happened at New York. He stepped back, but the group circled around him.
"Look, I don't even know what happened at New York. I've never met my uncle."
"Yeah? Well, when you do, give him this for me!" The boy swung on Nathan, who was just fast enough, and just short enough, to duck out of the way of the swing. Another kid, however, managed to connect with him, and sent him tumbling to the ground.
Realizing the danger of that position, Nathan quickly struggled to his feet, but he was completely surrounded by angry, dangerous boys. Nathan wondered how he would get himself out of this. He heard no teacher yelling for them to break it up, and he didn't know if one was even paying attention. And even if one were, what if they sympathized with these boys? The teachers might be of absolutely no help here. Nathan came to a decision.
He looked the lead teen square in the eye and said, "All I want is to be left alone. Get away from me."
The boy's face lost its smirk of superiority. He nodded, but did not move. Nathan looked at two other boys, who were looking to their leader for instructions. He said to them, "Get out of my way." A mental push, and they stepped aside. The rest of the group did not come after him, for they were too caught up in why their leader had not turned him into pulp. He walked a significant distance away, and sat down. He looked back at the boys, who were walking away, but still shaking their heads, as if not sure what had happened. Well, that's what my uncle meant about saving my ass. I'm glad I listened to him.
When Nathan got home, his mother was there. That was odd, as she normally worked pretty late.
"Hey, Mom. How come you're home so early?"
"There's a problem at the mill. They had to shut down. It won't be open again until tomorrow. How was your day?"
"Not great. Mom, why does everyone hate Uncle Ron?"
Nathan saw his mother stiffen at the mention of his uncle's name. She wouldn't face him while she spoke. "Your uncle is responsible for the destruction of most of the United States, and the death of over a hundred fifty million people. I think that would be reason enough for him to be somewhat unpopular."
"But what about the other guys? The... um... Filitov Council, I think they said it was. What about them?"
"If your uncle had just left them alone, we would have been okay. Maybe they would have hurt Russia, but that's not really our concern. But your uncle couldn't do that. His ego was so big that he had to take on another country all by himself, and the destruction around you is what we got for it. Now, I don't want to talk about your uncle anymore. Do you have homework?"
"Then get to it. Now."
Nathan walked back to his room, very uncertain of how his mother could be so hateful of her own brother. The two had never discussed him before, and truly, if Uncle Ron were not appearing in Nathan's head from time to time, he probably wouldn't care about him one way or the other. The problem was that his uncle's behavior in his head just didn't connect with the person that everyone was talking about. Uncle Ron had repeatedly encouraged him to consider his actions carefully, and to take into consideration what they would mean for those around him. The person being discussed in class, and by his mother, sounded like a hideous tyrant who cared for no one but himself. That just didn't make sense to Nathan, and he had trouble focusing on his homework because of the confusion.
Nathan made sure to avoid the other students as much as possible for the rest of the week, while he tried to come up with a balance between running from them and wiping them out for their ignorance. He was finding it very difficult to come to any conclusions, because he didn't understand the dynamics of what was going on around him. Since Nathan had always been somewhat protected by the fact of who his relatives were, he had not suffered so miserably as had others.
He wondered if talking to his uncle, his real uncle, would help, but he had no idea where to find him. He could ask his mother, but he'd already decided to avoid the subject with her at all costs. It left him with no real options, and that was disturbing him.
On Sunday, he decided to take a walk, just to get away from the house, and maybe to become more familiar with the area in which he was living. Only fifteen minutes found him in a park, and he noticed a large gathering surrounding some kind of gazebo. He wandered over in that direction, to see just what was happening.
"Yes, friends!" the man up front called out. "It doesn't matter your sins, God can forgive you! There is a path back to righteousness!" Nathan realized he was seeing a preacher. Nathan had never paid any attention to religion before, and he was intrigued by the man. He moved along the side of the crowd, moving closer to get a better view. When he was as close as he could get, he climbed a nearby tree, which gave him a completely unobstructed view.
"Are you a thief?" the preacher asked. "Are you a rapist? Are you a murderer? God can forgive all of these! Yes, my friends! All you have to do is turn back to him, and all is wiped clean by the blood of Je-sus!"
Nathan was astounded by the obviously overdone tone of the man's speech, and the way in which the audience listened to him in enraptured silence. Nathan watched the man more closely.
Suddenly, Nathan felt a tug at his mind. He turned to find out where it had come from, and his eyes fell upon a man standing off to the side, nearly in the bushes. It was obvious he was doing his best not to be seen while still being able to observe the audience. Nathan realized that, if this man was tugging at his mind, then he must be a psionic. As such, Nathan didn't fight back; he didn't want to start a fight that he was ill-prepared for. He did, however, circumvent the controls the man was trying to exert on him.
"...and yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, friends!" the man continued. Nathan couldn't believe that they would fall for this crap. He held nothing against religion, but it was so obvious this man was acting... Nathan began to wonder if the psionic he'd felt was, in fact, enslaving the crowds to his own will. He rejected this option, because he saw some people leave, and he didn't sense them to be psionics. Of course, they might be hiding their true nature, and he wasn't going to press them to reveal it to him if they were. Still, something told him that the people here were remaining of their own free will.
"There is, friends, one sin, one hideous sin, that the Lord your God cannot forgive! That sin will damn you to the infernal fires of Hell and the Fiery Pit for eternity! My friends, that sin will condemn your immortal soul! And my friends, that sin is the sin of consorting with the demons that rule the land! Yes, friends! You must avoid those that call themselves psionics at all costs! These demons will steal your soul, friends! These demons will pull you down into eternal darkness with them! These fiends have come to destroy the world, and the end-time is close upon us! Soon, the Almighty God, the Great and Wonderful Conqueror shall descend from on high, and he shall destroy those demons! He will send them back into the darkness and save us for eternal peace!
"But, my friends, hear me! If you consort with these evil creatures, you, too, will be cast into the shadows, into the fiery pits of Hell, for all time! If you see one of these demons, you must flee! Destroy them if you can! This is not murder, my friends, but Holy Justice! These evil ones would cause us all to descend into immorality and debauchery! Your Father in Heaven has told you to cast out the demons!
"And my friends, I know it is a hard thing I ask of you, but you must also cast out all influence of the demons. Friends, few of you may realize it, but you carry among you the influence of these demons, in your purses, and in your pockets. These demons, in their effort to destroy the Faith, have provided you with an evil coin, a wicked promise of services. You must rid yourself of all influences! Only by burning these coins can you be cleansed! Only by ridding yourself of every vestige of the evil demon psionics can you return to righteousness!"
At this point, the preacher walked over to a large, circular, steel pit. In it, Nathan saw nothing. He realized, however, that if he concentrated, he could make out an image. The image was of a pile of wood. The preacher waved his hands in such a manner as to appear to be setting fire to the wood, and the image being projected suddenly burst into flames. Nathan realized it was the work of the psionic, and that his natural defenses had cut right through such imagery. The normal people in the audience, however, would have no way to realize it was fake without falling into it.
"Friends, come down! Bring those evil likenesses, those graven images, and come down! Throw them into the pit! Destroy them, and return to righteousness! You cannot be cleansed until you are rid of their influences!" The man continued his spiel, and Nathan watched as dozens, then hundreds, of people came down and threw PPA favor chits into the pit. None of them seemed to be interested in watching the items burn, but of course, the preacher had said that doing so was a sign of weakness, of a desire to return to that life.
Nathan watched as the chits piled up within the steel circle. By the time everyone had come forward, it amounted to a rather large pile. Nathan was disturbed by this; he wondered what these people would use to buy things with. He understood that the favor chit had become the coin of the realm in Knoxville. He didn't understand how anyone would give up their money just because someone else said it was "bad". What would they live on? Knoxville Currency? That monetary system was only good within the city, and even some vendors inside Knoxville wouldn't take it.
The preacher, having collected the favor chits, spoke for only a few more minutes. The service wrapped up with several songs and then a benediction. As the audience walked off, the psionic from the bushes stepped out, and moved toward the preacher. Neither of them apparently noticed that Nathan remained in his tree.
"How'd we do today, Simon?" the preacher asked. The psionic stepped into the big circle, and gathered up the favor chits.
"I'd say we did damned well. You see? Controlling them isn't really necessary, when you can feed them the right bullshit."
Nathan had walked up to them silently. "You're not even a real preacher, are you," he said. It was not a question.
"Who are you?" Simon asked.
"Psionics aren't demons," Nathan said, ignoring the question. "And even if they were, you're doing exactly what you say is an unforgivable sin! You're a liar and a thief."
The psionic stepped over to the boy. He was a tall man, and towered over Nathan's puny height. "Listen to me closely, boy. You'd better shut your mouth, and get out of here. And you'd better keep your mouth shut, or I'll come and shut it for you. Do you understand me?" The man's voice was menacing, and his posture indicated that he was about to get violent.
Nathan didn't understand the man had limited power. He was afraid of him, as the man intended him to be. He nodded his head shakily, and backed away. He turned around, and ran. Someday, he promised to himself, Someday, I'll be back to challenge you.
Nathan made sure to pick a different park to visit the next weekend. It was strange, but being cooped up in the house with his mother just didn't feel right to him. He knew the tension was probably his fault, that he was trying so hard not to reveal himself to her that he simply couldn't relax.
School wasn't much better. He'd almost gotten into three more fights, just because of what his last name was. He hadn't realized that his uncle was this hated. Surely this level of disgust couldn't be real, not with what his uncle had seemed like in his visions.
You know, the doc warned me that people wouldn't like me, but he never said anything about how much they hated my uncle. I wonder why? Thinking about the doctor, and the hospital, made him think about Gina. I wonder how she's doing? If she didn't live so far away, I'd go visit, but that's a pretty long walk from here... at least a couple hours.
He couldn't help but remember the fun he and Gina had over the last few weeks of their stay at the hospital. He had not realized how enjoyable the boy-girl thing was going to be. He wished that they could be together; she was the only friend he'd ever really had, and it was lonely in the world without anyone to share your trouble with. Gina already knew what he was, and she'd not rejected him for it. That, in and of itself, was a special thing, and he wished he'd known enough to thank her for it.
As Nathan considered these things, he perched himself on a retaining wall. The drop off was over ten feet, and it gave him a good view of this other side of the park. He looked around, wondering how many of the people in his field of view were psionics. He didn't know how common the psionic powers were. Is there one out there? Ten? A hundred? Or am I the only psionic in the park? I wish I knew. The only psionic I've found so far, I don't want to have anything to do with.
Nathan thought back over some of his uncle's lessons as he sat on the wall. He'd taught him a lot about his Ability, and he'd tried to give him some thoughts on a proper outlook on life, given what he could do. It was Uncle Ron who had told him that changing everyone to meet your own expectations was inappropriate. His uncle also told him that using the Ability to get your way at every turn would keep him from maturing into an adult. Nathan wasn't sure he believed all of that, but Uncle Ron had been persuasive in his arguments, and so Nathan would follow those guides until he discovered differently on his own.
He was just about to begin to practice some of his skills when he heard someone crying. He turned his head, and looked over at the playground. He saw a young girl, perhaps seven or eight years old, lying on the ground, crying loudly. Without thinking, he hopped down off the wall. He cushioned his landing with his power, and moved quickly over to the child.
The young girl was crying fiercely, and Nathan could see that her knee was badly scraped up. He looked around for the child's parents, but he didn't see anyone. Turning back to her, he tried to console her. He pulled a rag out of his pocket, and he wiped off the blood. He took another look around, nervous about what he was going to do.
Seeing no one still, he looked back to the little girl, and then placed his hand on her shin. He pushed his consciousness outward, and took in the little girl's presence. He could feel the injury on her leg, and he set his mind to working on it, fixing the damage that had been done.
Nathan was focusing so intently that he didn't notice anything around him. Two or three people stopped to look at him. The little girl had stopped crying almost instantly when he'd started to heal her. It took him only a minute before her cut and bruised knee was healed. He opened his eyes to see her staring at him, wiping her nose with her sleeve.
"Is that better?" he asked. She nodded. He rose, and helped her up. "Where's your mommy?" The little girl didn't answer him.
Just then, a woman came up and snatched the girl away from him. "Get away from my daughter!" she shrieked.
"Mommy!" the little girl cried happily. "He fixed my knee!"
"I know, Sweetheart, now please hush." She turned to Nathan. "Get away from us, you freak."
"Ma'am, I was just trying to help," Nathan said, trying to remain calm. The woman's voice had garnered attention, and others were coming to see what was going on. It wasn't long before a crowd of men and women had formed.
'What's going on, Celeste?" one man asked the woman.
"He's one of them," she spat. "He touched my daughter!"
The clamoring of the crowd grew louder. Nathan said, "All I did was heal her knee!"
Someone from the back, apparently familiar with the preacher Nathan had seen, shouted, "He's a demon! We've got to kill him!"
Nathan backed away from the crowd, but they followed him. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. He knew he couldn't outrun them.
Nathan said, "If I'm a demon, why did I help the girl? Wouldn't I have been hurting her, instead?"
This did not help his case. "He's threatening the children!" It was the same voice as before. The crowd pushed in, coming closer and closer to him.
Nathan had to make a decision, and he only knew of one option that would save his skin. He'd never tried to deal with such a large mass before, though, and he was worried it wouldn't work. Suddenly, he felt a message from his uncle. It wasn't the typical message, but this one gave him information in an instantaneous manner. Nathan knew it would be a good idea to follow that advice.
Nathan formed his extension into a curved wall that surrounded his body. He then added energy to it, pushing it outward at a rapid clip. The wall soon contacted his attackers, and the force of the impact threw them backward and knocked them to the ground. Nathan continued to back away from them, occasionally looking over his shoulder to make sure no one was sneaking up behind him.
The problem he faced was that this did nothing to deter the crowd, but merely made them angry. Soon, they were back on their feet, and they were even more intent on doing him harm now. He knew this was a time when he would need all of the skills his uncle had told him about, but he had never tried, because he'd not needed them. He formed a ball of mental energy in his hands, and he unleashed it at the crowd. Two of them went flying, and were knocked unconscious by the force of the blast. Unfortunately for Nathan, that still left a dozen of them.
Nathan felt more information pour into his mind. It was as if his uncle was dumping information wholesale, so that Nathan could use it. He wasn't sure of his ability to pull off the techniques that were being suggested, though.
The only thing he thought he might be able to do was what he tried. Forming his extension into an invisible pillar for him to stand on, he raised that pillar off the ground. Nathan was suddenly thirty feet above the heads of his attackers. As he stood there, looking down at them, he wondered what he should do. He could issue mental orders for them to never attack another psionic, but wouldn't that just validate their fears?
In the end, Nathan decided to rain down small droplets of painful mental energy on them. The attack would cause no real injury, but it was very painful, causing headaches, blurred vision, and sore spots on their body. The group drew back, but Nathan merely expanded the reach of his attack. Soon, the crowd broke, and they all moved away. Nathan tried to think of how he could get out of the park safely, without being accosted by the mob again. He tried to move the pillar of energy he was standing on, and it slid easily across the ground. When he reached the retaining wall he had been sitting on earlier, he lowered his pillar enough so that he could step off onto the ground behind the wall, and he made his way quickly out of the park, and toward home.
As Nathan began to make his way home, he grew angry. We're supposed to be the monsters, but they were the ones trying to do all the hurting! All I did was try to help a little girl! In fact, I did help the little girl! Sure, her injury wasn't serious, but now she doesn't even have one! What's the point in helping these people, if they're going to try to hurt you when you do?
As he continued walking, it was almost as if his mind took over the trip home, while his consciousness slipped into a trance state, where he ended up back in his classroom with his uncle.
"I see you've run up against one of the paradoxes of psionic life," Ron said to him.
"What's that?" Nathan asked, confused.
"Why should we bother helping those who want us dead? It's a question that we all have to answer in our own way at some point."
"Well, why should we?" Nathan asked angrily.
"That's something of a philosophical question, Nathan. The simple facts of the matter are that there are no facts of the matter. You can either choose to help these people, ignore them, or hurt them. You have those three options. What you have to concern yourself with is what effect each of those options will have on your conscience, your personality, and your happiness."
"Do you still help them?"
"If you mean do I help them in the time you're asking the question, I don't know. Remember, I was implanted in your mind many years ago. Did I help them then? Yes. I realized that it was my purpose to try to make them safer."
"What really happened in the war? Everyone says you're a monster and a murderer."
"That's a long story. Let me try to make it shorter for you. When I was a little older than you are now, I learned of an organization called the Filitov Council. They were Russians who wanted to turn back the clock, so that the Soviet Union still existed. More than that, they wanted to make World Socialism a reality. Of course, it wouldn't have been real socialism, because they intended to be a ruling party.
"They made the first attacks. They sank the USS Nimitz - uh, that was an aircraft carrier - and they also attacked the headquarters of CAMP. That's when the war started. I didn't even form the PPA until after those attacks happened. That was a mistake on my part; had I formed the army earlier, we might not have lost so many people. So, if I'm being called a monster for causing so many deaths, it's because of something I didn't do, rather than something I did."
"When are you going to tell me about CAMP?"
"Later," Ron said emphatically.
Nathan sighed. That was the answer he'd been getting for over a month now.
Nathan was upset when he arrived home, but his anger was trailing off. He wasn't paying a lot of attention to things as he came into the house. He went to get himself a glass of water, and that was when he heard the raised voices. They were coming from his mother's bedroom.
Since his mother had not told him about a boyfriend or even an acquaintance, he was confused as to why anyone would be in the bedroom with his mother. He walked down the hall, and entered the room.
There, he gasped. He saw two men in the room, and his mother. One man was holding his mother from behind. He had just ripped her blouse off to reveal her bare chest. He was groping her tits. The other man was on the other side of the room, with a camera.
"Stop squirming, bitch, or this is going to hurt even more! We've been through this half a dozen times, why do you have to be such a fucking cunt about it each and every goddamned time?"
"Let go of my mother!" Nathan yelled. The two men looked over at him, and openly laughed.
"Well, if it isn't the little prick." The man turned toward him, holding Dawn, and forcing her to turn her body fully toward her son. "You like what you see, little man? How about if we show you the rest?" The man reached down and yanked Dawn's skirt off, tearing it to shreds. He did the same with her panties. Dawn was now standing completely nude before her son. The man ran his finger between her legs, and she turned her head away in shame.
The problem for Nathan was that the sight was arousing him. His anger, however, was far greater. He took a running leap onto the bed, and then lunged at the man with the camera. His telekinetically augmented strength meant that his punch sent the man flying into a wall. Nathan was on him like a wild man, delivering punches and kicks. One of the kicks to the head caused a loud snap, and the man's head lolled sideways. Nathan wasn't sure what he'd just done, but he didn't think the man would be getting up soon.
Turning to the other man, he jumped back up onto the bed, ready to lunge at him, too. The man stepped back and withdrew a knife. He put it to Dawn's throat, and grinned wickedly.
"Come on, tough guy. What you gonna do? I can cut her to pieces before you can get to me."
Nathan was acting only on instinct now. His extension reached out and grabbed the man's knife-hand. He pulled out, and then pushed backward. The move was so quick that the man had no chance to react. The arm was dislocated in seconds, and the knife dropped from the now useless hand.
"Get your hands off my mother," Nathan said viciously. He used his extension to pick the man up and slam him into the far wall. He then lifted him up again, and slammed him into another wall. He then threw him down the hallway. The man collapsed, but Nathan wasn't satisfied.
Walking down the hall to where the man lay, Nathan kicked him in the head the same way he had the other man. He heard the same ugly snapping sound, and he had the feeling he'd just killed for the second time in his life. He felt no remorse for the death of these evil men.
When he was through staring at his second victim, Nathan returned to his mother. His intent was merely to make sure that she was all right, but there was a problem he was not aware of. In his current emotional state, he was broadcasting emotions. If he had merely remained angry throughout the confrontation, this would not have been an issue, but he had been aroused.
That emotion had been broadcast to the person that had caused it. In turn, she had become highly aroused, as well. Her mental state was clouded by the lust running through her system, and she did not see her son approaching her, but merely a man. She was well beyond being "in heat". Dawn was lost to a sexual longing that could only be fulfilled by sex.
Nathan came back into the room, and walked over to his mother. She was currently kneeling on the floor, where the man had dropped her. Nathan was just about to bend down to check her over.
"Mom, are you okay? Mom? Mom, what are you-?"
Dawn reached out and grabbed her son, to hold him in place with one hand. She used her other hand to undo his pants. Once she had them undone, she took both hands and yanked his pants and underwear down. Nathan, horribly startled by his mother's actions, and now free of her grip, backed away. Unfortunately for him, he backed into the bed, and fell down onto it. His mother was there in less than a second, pinning him down.
Dawn's hand reached out and gently grasped her son's prick. She began to stroke it, watching it grow in her hand. Nathan had not yet recovered from his surprise when Dawn leaned forward, her mouth making its way toward his dick.
"Mom, what are you - UNGH!" Nathan could not make words as his mother's lips and tongue began to work over his prick. Dawn let her tongue dance along the underside of Nathan's cock as she slipped her lips farther down onto his shaft. She continued to work her mouth, sucking more and more of him in, until she had his entire length inside of her mouth.
Nathan was completely at a loss as to what to do. On the one hand, this was supposed to be wrong and immoral. On the other hand, his mother was making him feel really good. And, more objectively, he didn't think he had the strength to stop her without hurting her.
Dawn was unconcerned about her son's moral dilemma. She bobbed her head on his cock, sucking and licking for all she was worth. She was being driven by pure lust now, and she would have her satisfaction. Her hand began to play with Nathan's balls, trying to tickle the cum out of them.
Nathan held off as long as he could, but it was a losing battle, and he soon loosed his load of spunk deep into his mother's throat. She swallowed every drop, continuing to suck on him and fondle his balls, coaxing every last drop of his cum from him.
By the time Nathan's cock slipped from his mother's mouth, he was fully hard again, her lips and tongue working to bring him back to life, and succeeding. When she finally let his cock go, she leaned back, and looked up at him. Her mind still refused to see who he was. All that mattered was he was a man, he was here now, and his cock was hard and ready for her.
Dawn pushed Nathan further onto the bed, and then she climbed on top of him. She laid her body fully against him, and then pressed her lips against his. Her tongue forced its way into his mouth, and began to caress his tongue. Nathan could not help but kiss back, his body reacting to the stimulus while his mind tried to catch up with what was happening to him.
Dawn continued to kiss her son, rubbing her body against him. Nathan could feel her ample tits pressing against his chest, her firm nipples digging into his skin. Dawn sat up, and then she reached down to take her son's cock in her hand. Positioning it at her entrance, Dawn sat down on Nathan's dick, sighing in pleasure as she felt it penetrate her.
Nathan was lost now, his mind confused and his body succumbing to the pleasure of the moment. As his mother began to move on his dick, he reached up and cupped her breasts. Dawn moaned at the feel of his hands on her tits. His fingers rolled over each of her nipples, and she began to move faster on his prick, sliding up and down on him, her pussy muscles gripping his shaft like a million fingers.
Nathan was enjoying the feel of his mother's cunt gripping his cock, and he was able, for the moment, to ignore who was fucking him. His hips began to thrust back up into her, and Dawn began to moan and cry out in pleasure. Her hips began to gyrate as she came down on him, grinding her pelvis against him with each stroke. He continued to fondle her breasts, tweaking her nipples and molding the flesh under his hands.
The couple moved faster and faster, riding on toward their ultimate pleasure. Their cries and grunts filled the room, and their bodies rutted against each other. Finally, when she could take no more, Dawn let out a loud moan of pleasure, and her body began to spasm. Her head was thrown back, and her back arched.
The contractions of Dawn's cunt on Nathan's cock were more than he could take. He spewed his load deep inside of her, sending her even higher, which caused her pussy to clamp down on him even tighter. The cycle spun upward until they both passed out from the pleasure overload.
When Nathan awoke, his mother was lying beside him, on her side, facing him. He had another good look at her naked body. He turned his eyes away in disgust with himself. What the hell just happened? You pervert, you shouldn't be looking at your mother like that. God, was she good, though! Dammit, Nathan, watch your fucking thoughts! But what got into her? Besides my dick, I mean... Shit!
Nathan was fighting a war between his ethics and his hormones, and his hormones appeared to be winning for the moment. He turned his head back to look at her, and he smiled slightly, remembering how good the experience had been, once he'd given in to the inevitable.
His mother stirred just then, and she opened her eyes, to see him looking at her. She looked down at the two of them, and her face paled. She didn't remember what she had done, did not remember most of what had happened. She did, however, remember seeing her son attack two men.
"You're..." she said shakily, her voice quivering badly. "You're one of them!" Her voice grew stronger as she drew herself into a ball, pushing herself away from him. "Get away from me!"
Nathan, startled and scared by his mother's sudden change of behavior, fairly threw himself to the end of the bed, away from her. He looked at her in confusion.
"Get out of here! Get out of here now!" she screamed, looking at him wild-eyed. Nathan ran from the room, and down the hall into his own bedroom. He got dressed, but his mind was unable to understand his mother's sudden change of behavior.
Just what the hell is going on?
Dawn refused to come out of her room, and Nathan was too afraid to go in to talk to her, or to try to talk to her. He had a deep-seated fear that he would not be able to have a conversation with her about what had happened.
When darkness came, he had to decide what to do about the bodies. If they were found in the house, both he and his mother would get into trouble. He moved them, using his extension, to the front door, first. He stepped outside, and walked to the edge of the street. He spent five minutes looking for anyone around. He even used his mental powers to scan for activity. When he was absolutely certain that no one was near, he used his extension to grab the bodies, one at a time, and yank them out into the street. He put them both on the other side of the road, so to remove suspicion from him and his mother. He even set them down three houses away. If they could be tied to him now, he didn't know how.
Having done what he could, he went back into the house and climbed into bed. Sleep came hard, but he knew he would need it.
Nathan was very glad the next day was a school day. As hard as dealing with the kids at school was, it was nothing compared to the tension he had left behind at home. His mother had not come out of her room in the morning, either, and he wondered if she would even go into work today.
He walked in the front door, and nearly tripped over a small trunk, and a bag. He looked up, to see his mother standing at the door to the kitchen. The look on her face was one of pure hatred.
"Get out," she said. Her voice dripped with anger and fear. "I want you out of my house. I will not live with a thing like you! You're just as bad as your goddamned father!"
"Don't you ever call me that again! I have no son left! I can't believe you've turned into this! You even did the same thing your father did! Why don't you go live with him? I won't have you in my house!"
"Mom, I don't even know who my dad is," Nathan said, trying to remain calm, hoping to restore some sense of rationality to the conversation.
"You don't know... how can you not know? You're one of them! But fine, we'll play your little game. Your father is my brother. Your Uncle Ron, your precious Uncle Ron, is your father. He fucked me, just like you did! I walked away from him, and now I want you gone! I will have nothing to do with you!
"That trunk contains the last of those fucking chips of his. Take them, I don't want them. The rest is your clothes and your backpack. Get out of my house, before I tell the neighborhood what you are!"
"NOW!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. It was at that point that he noticed the large knife in her hand. He held up his own hands in surrender. There were tears in his eyes, and it was hard for him to speak.
"Okay, Mom. I'll go. But, Mom... I love you."
"GET OUT!" Dawn's voice had reached the point of screeching. Nathan picked up his backpack, and the bag of clothes, but the trunk was too heavy to lift. He hesitated, but decided there was little point in protecting his mother's feelings at this juncture, and so he grabbed the trunk with his extension. He moved back out of the house, and down to the sidewalk. He set everything down, to begin to sort things. He could see her watching him from the window, but the look on her face was not one of sadness.
The look on his own was one of despair.
It had taken Nathan a great deal of time to settle down, and to figure out what he was going to do. He had packed all of the favor chits into the bottom of his pack, and put his clothes on top of them. He didn't want to reveal just how many of them he was carrying, because the amount was substantial. He had taken a few of them and put them in his pocket, to pay for any expenses he might have.
Once he'd packed what he could into his backpack - he'd had to leave some less useful clothing behind - he began walking. He knew where he was going, but he wasn't sure how long it would take him to get there.
Two hours later, he reached the right house. He walked up, and knocked on the door. It took a long moment before anyone answered. Gina's mother answered the door, and Nathan could tell that she was upset about something or other.
"Mrs. Groden, can I talk to Gina please?" Nathan said softly. He didn't understand why she immediately broke down into tears, but he felt an icy ball form in the pit of his stomach. Just then, Mr. Groden came to the door.
"Nathan. Please, come in."
"Mr. Groden, what's happened? Where's Gina?"
"Nathan, you'd better sit down." Nathan sat in a chair, but he continued to look expectantly at Mr. Groden. "I know you and my daughter were close. I'm not sure how close, and I don't want you to tell me. Nathan, Gina was raped and killed three nights ago."
"What?" Nathan said, his voice shaking in rage and disbelief. "By who?"
"It was a psionic, the police say. Someone named Viper, or that's the name he's using. He... caught her on her way home from school, and... and..."
"That's all I need to hear, Mr. Groden," Nathan said, his voice full of grief. The anger was still there, but there was no outlet for it available to him. He had come here hoping for a place to stay, but there was no way he could impose upon them now. He did have one last request, though.
"Can you take me to Gina's grave?"
Mr. Groden nodded. He led Nathan out of the house and down the street. Cemeteries were numerous in Knoxville, and this one was a mere three blocks from the Groden home. Nathan knelt at the grave and ran his hands over the letters on the simple stone block. Tears were running down his face.
"Good-bye, Gina," he said, his voice cracking. In a tortured whisper, he said, "I love you."
Nathan spent no extra time at Gina's grave site. It was far too painful for him, and he needed to get on with things. He needed a place to stay, and since the Grodens were no longer an option, he had only one other hope left.
He'd retrieved her address from the hospital, and it had taken him another hour to find her home. He stood outside, wondering if she had a husband, or a boyfriend, or anything of the type. He scanned the house, and found only her inside, so he thought perhaps he was in luck.
Nathan walked up to the door, and knocked. In just a few seconds, she came to the door. At first, she was confused, but then recognition dawned on her. She smiled, and waved him in.
"Nathan! I never expected to see you here!"
"Hi, Teresa. I need a place to stay for the night."
Her eyes twinkled at the thought. "I've only got one bed, but you're welcome to share it, young man."
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