Aiden looks for America: Pit stop at home
Location: Townsend Tower
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 8 January 2012
It was past eleven in the evening, the day after Aiden had left the Bayou, when Aiden glided into the Airspace around Atlanta. “There’s my big Peach.” He said and couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the huge city lying in front of him. “Munir, warn the tower I’ll be landing and entering the building via the top.” He had taken his time in leaving the Bayou. Halfway to New Orleans the night before, he started to feel drowsy, so he found a nearby underground group, who put him up for the night. While he had thought he could make it, In truth Aiden hadn’t been ready. He had spent the afternoon of the seventh working around the Island for his grandfather. So at least this way he got some well needed sleep.
Telling them now.
“And don’t keep mom out of the loop. I’m sure she’d be very pissed off.”
Aiden began the slow climb over Atlanta. He had to get high enough to reach the tower’s roof, but almost stay low enough till he was at the tower to not be seen by ATL’s radar, if it could track him.
Without his sonic boost, the flight seemed to take forever. The one advantage was he got to see the town spread out like a giant Christmas tree. Slowly he gained in elevation as he closed in on the tower. It was late at night, so he was hopeful that no one would be looking up. When he got to the tower, he kept flapping, but also used the updraft from the building as he circled the giant structure. Minutes passed as he got the great view of both the tower, the ruined mall and Atlanta.
He landed on the roof and the first thing he noticed was the corner he was on was dark. “We only pay half the electric bill?”
Tower control says to get inside quickly, incase NEXUS is still out there. Stay in the dark. Remember, you’re number one on the capture list currently.
Aiden snuck over to the door, keeping to the shadows. He stopped at a doorway. He paused at the voice controlled door panel. “ He spoke clearly. Security clearance Ouroboros: mu epsilon one.”
The door beeped and popped open just a bit. He pulled it open, stepped in, then shut it behind him.
“Muir, set the hud to Atlanta time, please.”
Done. Are we stopping in to see Syn first?
“We need to see her, but that could wait. I need to clean my old clothes and I really need a shower.” Aiden walked down a small hallway to the elevator. “Besides, it’s not like we have any kind of mission report to give. I just want information about underground stops and that's it. Plus to let them know we’re alive.”
Aiden, it’s eleven. Waiting for you to shower would make it midnight.
He stopped at the elevator and pressed the button. “You’re right. Let’s head to her office.” It only took a moment for the elevator to arrive and the doors opened. He stepped inside.
She is in charge now. So head to the headmaster’s suite first.
“Is she awake?” Aiden asked.
As far as I know. Believe it or not, we don’t peep on her while she rests. Just you.
Aiden ignored Munir’s comment as he pressed the button for the floor with the Headmaster’s suite. “So who is number two?”
Your mother is. She took over the day we left.
Aiden sighed as the doors parted. “Guess we get to talk to mom too.” He stepped out and headed for what was now Syn’s suite. He paused at the large doors and knocked.
The headmistress was awake, and she answered the door. “Aiden, I’ve been expecting you. OG told me that you were here. Please, come in. Want some coffee?” Syn stepped aside and motioned for him to enter her suite. It was a grand affair, decorated in black and white, with a huge patio on the other side of a wall of glass.
“Well, water would be fine. I love the Island, but the well water is a bit iffy out there, after Deepwater had it’s problems.” He said as he stepped inside. He paused long enough to place his pack by the door.
“Fair enough,” Syn said, then retrieved her cup of steaming coffee and a glass of water for the winged young man. She motioned for him to sit on one of the overstuffed pillows on the floor surrounding a low table in the living room. “Your mother has been worried about you,” she said as she settled onto one at the head of the table. “You left rather suddenly.”
Aiden unfolded his wings as he sat down. He hated sitting this close to the ground. With his wings out, he was easy to push over, not that he expected Syn to shove him backwards. “I got tired of the news shows that said I was attacking the president and brainwashing the goons from NEXUS. I didn’t mean to worry her, I just needed to think.”
“I think we’re all a bit tired of that,” Syn said with a nod, grinning a bit impishly at Aiden as he settled on the offered pillow. “We’re still counting our losses. I’ve been notified that there will be hearings. I definitely have a lot of work ahead of me. How has your trip been? Have you figured anything out, yet?”
“Well, not much. I spent my first night on the island meditating in the family cemetery. I had dinner with the family, but no big epiphanies were made.All I seemed to do was just rehash the same stuff over and over.”
“We’ve lost a lot of people, Aiden,” Syn said, setting her cup on the table in front of her. Her red-reptilian eyes scrutinized him. “We could use you here. But I do understand not wanting to be in the middle of it. You nearly died to save someone that doesn’t even really appreciate it. Demonized for doing the right thing. It’s a dirty job, with little thanks. However, you do have my thanks, for what it’s worth.”
“Thank you. But honestly around here I doubt I’m much good. Most I do is keep kids from running wild.” He said with shrug. He grabbed the cup in front of him, but didn’t drink yet. “It’s not that I hate this place. I just need to get away and think. Away from the city. Away from everyone. And the Island was a good starting place.”
“Even that is a worthwhile task,” Syn said with a chuckle, then took up her cup and sipped at it again. “You know that I won’t try to stop you. Your mother might, but I won’t. I do hope that you know that you’re still being tracked and monitored by your nano.”
“The thought of being tracked crossed my mind. I was kind of shocked I didn’t see Mom on the Island, or here when I landed.” Aiden replied. He took a quick drink of the water. After he swallowed, he looked to Syn. “I wanna go back on the road. Just for a little bit. I have a pair of people in Maryland I want to check up on. I stopped them from being attacked on New Year's Eve. I want to make sure nothing has happened to them. I also want to see some of America. But I promise I’ll come back. This is my home after all.”
“Well, I’m glad that you’re planning on coming back, at least. I think your mother would take up following you around in that van of hers if you didn’t,” Syn said with a chuckle. “And what happened in Maryland? I’m not sure I heard about that.”
“I'm sure Munir told OG, but we may have a problem in Shady side. I was waiting on Crystal when I seen a group of drunk teens attacking a pair of teens, male and female. I joined in the fight because it was five to two and the five were drunk and were handing the boy his ass. They were also trying to rape the girl. The leader was trying to strip her.”
He took a breath. “Syn, it's the niece of Doctor Cyparissus. But as she fought the drunks off, she was shocking them. Like static electricity. She also shocked my armor when I took her home.”
A slender eyebrow arched above one draconic eye. “Doctor Cyparissus? You think that her niece is glimmering? Is that why you’re going back?”
“Partly. I kind of threatened the drunk idiots to leave them alone. I want to make sure they are listening. I do think something is happening. Each time she touched or got touched, there was a spark. Plus I wanna go to Baltimore and see Crystal.”
“Well, be careful,” Syn said, her tone serious. “You know the risks though, so I’ll trust your judgement. Still, if there is something to your suspicions, call us. Let us deal with it. Alright?”
“Yeah. I’ll call and if she’s awakening, I’ll clear civilians.” Aiden replied. “I’ll find a way to clear them from her area. I did tell the good doctor. But if she isn’t doing anything crazy, I’ll have Munir touch base anyway, before going to Crystal.”
“Let us know if we need to arrange something. We can be there quickly, but a little forewarning is a good thing. I’ll have the jet and, a rotating extraction team on standby, just in case,” Syn said, trusting the young man’s knowledge and experience. At least she hoped he knew when he was in over his head alone. “You know we like to beat Nexus to the punch, so if you even suspect that something is off, call me. I have no desire to have to tell your mother that her heroic son keeps trying to sacrifice himself for the cause.”
“Not sure I’m ready to sacrifice for any cause. Does dying for the mutant cause get you the heaven filled with big breasted eighteen year olds who actually pay attention to you?”
Syn chuckled softly, then stood and stretched. “Is there anything that you need for your journey?” she asked, her eyes falling on him curiously.
“Well, I’m going to grab some more clothes, after I wash these. I'm going to grab my bigger travel pack. I’ll get me some food and I got that ATM card of mine. I really can’t think of anything I need, other than that. Not really one for a weapon. Not lately, anyway. I have a way to contact you.” Aiden paused for a moment and thought about his possible travels. “Other than maybe a listing of the different safe homes from here to Boston. In case I need to stop flying for the morning. I think I’m good without the harness. No plans on flying anyone.”
“OG, send Munir an up to date list with the passwords, and a marked map to go with it,” Syn said, and chuckled. “Easy enough. OG will keep you updated on any changes as well.”
The Tower’s digital overseer chuckled herself, “I’ll still be tracking you, so that makes it easy. If I didn’t, your mother would try to get into my realm through a light socket and strangle the life out of me.”
"Good. I'll have Munir send you daily updates, even if it's a message we're alive and feeling fine."
Syn approached the boy that she’d pretty much watched grow up over the last few years, and put her hands on his shoulders. “And don’t stay away too long, Aiden. You’re kind of useful around here,” she teased, giving the redhead young man a friendly smile.
“This is home. I'll always come back.” Aiden replied.