Changing Tides, Part 3 (Conclusion)
Location: Danger Room - Townsend Tower - Atlanta, Georgia
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 9 January 2012
“A sensible approach, though, sometimes a little help when you’re first starting off, eases the transition,” Syn said. She’d seen so many mutants walk through the doors in her many years at the Tower, that she’d learned a thing or two about how to find little ways of helping new mutants settle into their new skin, as it were. “I will respect your wishes, though. Unless it becomes some kind of threat for those whose care that I am entrusted with. Then we’ll have to revisit the issue.”
“I understand.” Dom glanced over at Athena, who was standing with a terrified expression, looking between both Dom and Syn uneasily. “I’m sure you similarly have concerns over the connection with the entity. I would ask more about that, if I may?”
“About the connection, or my concerns about it?” Syn asked, an impish upturn of lip joined a slightly raised brow. “There are reasons that we’ve been concerned enough to keep you in a danger room, thus far.”
“Both.” Dom replied. “I assume the entity is known in some fashion. Its resemblance to creatures from Cthulu mythology cannot be a coincidence. What is it?”
Athena stared at them in terror, not understanding what they were talking about, but afraid not to hear what had happened to Dom. She’d missed whatever this ‘creature’ was during their escape, having been trapped within her protective cocoon. A part of her was glad she hadn’t seen it, even if the notion of a Cthulu-esque creature actually existing was utterly terrifying.
“Honestly, most awakenings are far more powerful than a mutant’s actual power base,” Syn said, taking up her tea cup. She sipped at it momentarily, then continued, “We call them explosive awakenings. Some are not so explosive, such as Athena’s. From what we’ve gathered, so far, your awakening opened a rift into another dimension. We are truly uncertain as to what the entity actually was, but it was rather like the tales of the Old Ones. Do you still feel this connection with the beast?”
“No.” Dom replied. “But I got a sense of its intentions when it tried to convince me that the world would be better off without humanity. It seemed to have been waiting for an opportunity to come here.”
“Well, I’m glad that you’re not feeling that connection anymore,” Syn admitted with a relieved sigh. “Humanity faces so many threats, from so many directions, as it is. Evil metas, determined to use their power for ill, aliens from other worlds. Hell, they’re even a threat to themselves. But we will do some research and see if we can find out more information and perhaps make some kind of potential game plan if something like that happens again. For now, I would ask that you only manifest any powers that you have, in a danger room, under supervision.”
“Our mutations seem to have manifested in a similar physical appearance. Is that a result of the Improvised Awakening Device?”
Syn looked between Dom and Athena, an eyebrow arched slightly. “It’s not just your physical appearances that are linked. Do you not know that you’re twins? The genetic testing indicates that one of your parents was a metahuman. You were both adopted by separate families within hours of being born, according to adoption records.”
“Bullshit.” Athena grumbled, trying to sound more confident than she felt. “Lorde tried that line, too. Prove it.”
“Very well,” Syn said, then spoke to the thin air. “OG, send a messenger with hard copies of Mister Dunny’s and Miss Singh’s records, including all genetic testing and adoption records.”
A disembodied, digital voice responded, “Having a hard time with them? Very well, though I could just do it all digitally.”
“No, OG. I want something that they can hold in their hands and look at, something not digital, or I would have done that myself,” Syn said, rolling her eyes, then chuckled. “I know that we’re used to our world being digitized, but this is different.”
“As you wish, Headmistress,” OG said, then went silent.
“It will take a few minutes to get those printed up and into your hands,” Syn said, looking back to Athena. “I have no reason to lie to you. I have nothing to gain by lying to you, either. If I lie to you here, you will never trust me, and I would prefer to avoid that.”
Dom kept deliberately quiet, but folded his hands in front of himself again.
“You have no reason not to lie to me, either.” Athena pointed out. “I have no idea what you want. You say you have no reason to lie, but the whole room was a lie you fucking admitted to.” she shook her head. “You might want Dom - he's powerful, from the sounds of it - Lorde wanted him, too. I'm expendable. I have no useful power, I awakened in a fucking cocoon. Lorde thought i was expendable, too. So, you tell me, lady, why should I trust you, just because you healed me and want me to believe you? What reason do I have to think you're any different from that freak you took us from? He said he wanted to help us, too. $20 says that in a few days, maybe a week, your game will be revealed and I'll be Dom’s fucking useless tag-along girlfriend - only you're trying to take that away from us, too, aren't you, by saying that we're related.” a tear rolled down Athena’s alabaster cheek, and was soon followed by several more. “Just admit the games. Tell me what you want from us and get this charade over with.”
Syn got up silently, went over to the door of the danger room and punched in a code. She then looked to Athena and said, calmly, “Leave then. Security will not stop you. Either of you. I’m sorry for what Lorde put you through, for what he did to all of us. He attacked this place first, if you don't remember. We are not exactly friends of his. But if you refuse to even listen, I can do nothing to help you. I explained my reasons for the way that I introduced myself, including the surroundings. I offer you the proof that you want, and you still do not listen. If you cannot accept the truth, then it’s on your head, not mine. I’ve done everything in my power to convince you that we mean you no harm. As a matter of fact, I’ve offered nothing but help to you. Both of you. I care not what your power scale is, nor Mister Dunny’s, save for the fact that we need to know your powers, the extent of them, to be able to train you properly. For your own sake, and the sake of those that trust me with their lives, that live, learn, work, and play in this tower. I will not put them at risk from an unreasonable metahuman that refuses to even consider the possibility that we want nothing from you.”
With a worried expression, Athena’s eyes moved from Syn to Dom. They lingered on him for a moment before hardening and turning back to Syn. “Fine.” She muttered, spinning on her heels and marching out the door.
“Perhaps the correct thing for me to do in this situation is apologise. My personality change will not have helped Athena. She is quite predictable, and her first response to a problem is usually either anger or fear.” Dom blinked slowly. “I will remain here, if you need to pursue her, my presence is more of a hindrance than help right now.”
He picked up his piece of bread again and ripped off another chunk, before beginning to chew it slowly again.
The diminutive headmistress gave Dom a small, mischievous smile. “She’s not the only new meta that has reacted in such a way. I do need to follow her, just to make sure that no one gets hurt. But they say that seeing is believing. The people here consider this their home and refuge. She needs to see that for herself, I think. I will return as quickly as possible.”
She turned to leave, then paused, looking back at Dom. “Oh, and try the stew. I’m really not so bad of a cook,” Syn said with a chuckle, then turned and made her way out of the room, following after the overly emotional part of the duo.