Chapter 3: A New Life and a New Foe
To say that the world ended in the year 2024 would be melodramatic.
The world as we knew it ended that cool August night. By the time we were ready to leave the cabin and reintegrate into society, we found a very different world.
Countries fell, leaders changed, industries died, and as we stumbled out of the woods in the spring of 2025 we found ourselves in a very different Canada and very different world.
The night we were abducted there had been four other alien events. Each had been in remote towns and each had killed several thousand, sparing 4-6 teens or young adults. All of the kids had powers.
The first Abductees to get back were Russian. They’d been met with military force and reacted in kind. An atomic bomb was dropped on their location after military action had proved futile.
The other three groups disappeared, either they did what we did and tried to hide in plain sight or they were dead.
When we left the cabin, we discovered we had been declared dead. I’ll skip the next few months since it was mostly us trying to get our identities back. Which is essentially months of paperwork and meetings with overworked government officials.
Our excuse of hiding off in a cabin seemed to not attract any attention. No RCMP or MIB visited us. We worked really hard to hide our powers from everyone. It wasn’t as easy for James as it was for the rest of us. I could hear a constant hum of electricity, Mel stopped drawing monsters and concentrated on slash or chibis, and Jane had to fight not to disappear at every odd noise, but James had gills and webbed hands. He was amphibious but needed to sleep in water.
We did what our parents had always joked about and pooled our inheritance to buy a house, except instead of being in the middle of nowhere like some hippy commune, it was in downtown Toronto. We thought living together and in a big city were our best choices. It was much easier to be a weirdo in Toronto than in a small town.
Our inheritance wasn’t big enough to live off completely, especially that our powers seemed to amp up our metabolisms. We each got jobs. Once she had better control of her powers, Mel started her own online comic. It’s vividness made her an instant favourite. Jane got a job at a travel agency, often checking things out in advance for clients. If she had a maximum range, we never found out. James preferred freshwater but could handle sea water, he couldn’t deal with pools unfortunately. He got a job as a ticket seller for tour boats and spent more time in Lake Ontario than selling them.
I had a hard time controlling how electricity reacted around me. The only reason we didn’t need a lightning rod on our house was our proximity to the CN Tower. I tried to do electrical work but the electricity jumped out of the wires towards me. It was hard finding something that didn’t require me to constantly be near a computer or electrical device, although I could deal with a computer for a little while. I ended up working at one of the last independent bookstores ironically named Cover Stories.
The bookstore had four parts; the main space where they had new books, the used books area in the basement, the event space used for book launches and Friday Night Magic, and the lounge. The lounge was a large area with old furniture and lots of windows. The owner of the store had bought the space out for cheap from one of the old department stores but I’m still not sure how he afforded the space so close to the downtown core. Most importantly, he used a small tablet powered cash. For some reason tablets and phones were okay but I did fry any full sized computer.
It was fall again and everyone in town was selling maple or pumpkin drinks. I was on break in the lounge sipping a large pumpkin coffee when I heard an explosion. I looked longingly at my chocolate muffin and ran out to see what was going on.
As I ran I shuddered at the memory of the alien green fire that had started all this. What I saw outside wasn’t aliens. It looked like a giant cardboard dinosaur was shooting cars with laser eyes.
Jane appeared beside me and said, “I can get people out, you distract it.” Despite our many protestations, Jane had a habit of appearing a little too close. She said that she could find any of us anywhere. She knew I worked downtown and she must have seen the news. It was great timing anyway.
I looked around to see if anyone could see us and created my electric sword and shield. I made myself glow bright enough to be seen in the afternoon sun.
“Stop!” I yelled projecting my voice in the way that Frank had taught me. I missed Frank; that day was the anniversary of us getting abducted and he was heavily on my mind.
I expected it to screech and shoot its lasers at me. I hoped my shield would stop them. What I didn’t expect was for it to shout at me, “Your city will burn unless you bring me one ton of gold by the end of the day.”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. The deep menacing voice coming out of a building sized cardboard dinosaur was surreal. Its little hands flapped in the wind as it talked.
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial story: