Chapter 2: Fresh as Water

Plain City, Ohio is one of those little town where nothing ever happens. The city is mainly composed of suburb houses almost all similar one to the other, and the downtown is ridiculously small. Almost all the people living there have simple lives, and care more about the next softball game than anything from the outside.  But there was one exception in the lot; a young girl that was meant to an extraordinary destiny…

Faith was born and spent nearly all her life in Plain City; she never really wanted from that simple life and was always dreaming to travel around and to see the world. She was feeling that she has a lot to offer to the world as a person, and her life in Plain City was only a waste of her potential and a barrier to her dreams. But eventually, things didn’t stay this way for too long.

Faith left Plain city for College and successfully graduated in Journalism, She then left for New York and got a job as an investigation reporter for the New York Time. When she first arrived to New York, she felt that a new life was beginning for her with new perspectives  and opportunities; and she wasn’t wrong about it. Her life did change indeed as she was the subject of a quite strange phenomenon.

During this period of the beginning of the 21st century, some parts of the human population were subjects to strange mutations. The phenomenon was still quite limited at the time, and Faith was one of those early mutants. It all happened during the first week she arrived at New York, she was then living in a small apartment in the Queens and was spending her days searching for a job. One night she was taking a shower when she felt that the water wasn’t having the same contact with her skin; she felt that the sensation was completely different so she stopped the water. She then saw all the drops quickly melting with her skin, like absorbed. She didn’t really understood the first time and didn’t give to the phenomenon any attention, but something even stranger happened the next day. When she woke up, she directly went to take a glass of water, but when she opened the tap, the water refused to go into the glass; instead, it started to float into the air, going in the direction of Faith’s sight. Her reaction was quite normal in view of the situation; she dropped the glass and freaked out. Her quick and strong surprise panicked her which made her body react in a weird way; she was starting to liquefy. In no time, she was completely turned into water; it was the strangest feeling ever for Faith, like being born again and feeling all the surrounding in every little drop of her new being. She was also able to move easily and to float in the air. Being near water made her feel it as well and she absorbed feeling each new drop as a new extension of her self. But it didn’t last long and she quickly switched back to her original form.

Once back to the flesh, she was knowing how to do it; it was like a new capacity that she was able to perform as easily as walking or moving her arms. She didn’t really understood why it happened but she just acknowledge it. Being completely transformed into water gave her a brand new perspective of what she was able to perform and she just accepted it as we accept to walk or to talk, and she decided that until having very good reasons, she wasn’t having to tell anybody about it.

Few months after she began in the New York Time, she was assigned to investigate on a series of abductions that was simultaneously performed in New York, and many other Cities all around America. The abductions were very various as the people aimed weren’t identical or forming a pattern; the only common denominator between all the cases was the culprits them selves. Many witnesses have affirmed that those people were publicly kidnapped in random areas and times by masked people wearing black clothes with a red X on the left shoulder. But the kidnappings were all done in improbable areas where the police is not present; they started many years ago and were still present at the time. The frequency between each kidnapping wasn’t stable and the kidnappers weren’t leaving any traces behind them which made it impossible for the police, the FBI or the CIA to catch them. They were ghost, appearing quickly to abduct and disappearing without leaving any trace.  The FBI used to call them the red cross ghosts, and recently there activity was becoming more frequent. Faith started her investigation in New York but just one month later, the reports showed that the activity of the red cross ghosts has dramatically increased in LA. Faith convinced her superiors to go investigate there, and two days later she was in a plane for LA.

Faith was really happy to have such a case for her first report, and she was really enjoying the travel that it involved. Since she was a kid, she always wanted to visit the city of Angels, and she was finally there for real. She took the first day to enjoy being in the city before starting her investigation. It was really sunny that day and she went to all the places she wanted to see: Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, the Los Angeles Central Library and many other places. But something that she wouldn’t think possible happened; she saw the red cross ghosts, and they were coming for her. Everything became clear in her head in the few seconds between the moment she saw them and the moment it was too late. It was people like her that they were aiming, people with those new capacities. The red cross ghost took her and put a bag on her head; they then went into a dark alley, but they weren’t alone there. While they stopped for a moment, something started to move on the walls, a shadow that approached the ghosts. It didn’t take them long to perceive the presence and one of them unsheathed a gun and started shooting in the shadow. He missed it as it was moving faster and directly went under him. Once the shadow was under his feet, he felt into it  like absorbed. The ghosts that was keeping faith trowed her aside and with the remaining ghost tried to shoot the shadow as well, but they quickly end up like their mate. absorbed into the darkness. The shadow moved then to a wall and became larger, then started to take a more multidimensional shape until it completely turned into a young man with long black hair.  He then got the bag out of Faith’s head.

– Who are you? Asked faith. And, where are the red cross ghosts?

-You can call me Nightmare, You’ll understand that someone that could get rid of governmental task forces can’t reveal his name, or at least not now.

-Governmental task forces! You mean that the red cross ghosts work for the government? This is insane! The police, the FBI and the CIA are tracking them!

– I can understand that it’s hard to believe, but just think. They were active for years, and never not even one of them was caught.

– But they leave no traces!

– They were kidnapping people in public, in broad day, with tons of people around. They were never caught because they were never meant to be caught. Like an urban legend, striking and leaving rumors. You might know by now who they are aiming.

Faith chocked, everything in this man’s discourse was insane, but this thing that happened to her was more insane than anything before and she thought that after all, it might be possible.

– Do you know why we have those powers? simply asked Faith.

– We are what we can call mutants. Our DNA is different from the majority of the other humans. The reasons of those alterations are still unknown to me as well.

– How do you know that?

Nightmare stayed silent for a moment than answered :

– I know because they kidnapped me, a very long time ago. At the time I was only six, but many of us escaped recently. That’s why they are more active than ever. They are trying to get all of us before we become too strong, but too bad for them, the revolution is already on.

– Will they come again for me? Asked Faith.

– They won’t leave any of us, and as long as we are by our own, we are vulnerable…

Faith then started to think quickly. She wasn’t knowing that man, what if he was also with them?

– Show me what you can do.

Nightmare smiled and moved to the wall of the alley. His right hand became completely black and he used it to touch the wall. The black of his hand went into  the wall and formed a large circle of nearly two meters wild.

– Well this is… interesting said Faith.

-It’s not all, this is a portal. Another one similar is now on the wall of the mutant fugitives Headquarter. So what do you think? Do you want to Join the revolution? You can’t hide alone much long anyway.

Faith then Just closed her eyes and went into the shadow circle. Nightmare went after her and the circle disappeared in the night…

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