[BACKPOST] Coming for Melissa Part 3
Posted on Tue Feb 20th, 2018 @ 4:42pm by Academy Physician Seamus Edwin M.D. & Senior Aiden Edwin & Senior Headmaster Absynthe "Syn" Drake & Freshman Dominic Dunny & Unawakened Melissa Wilson & Unawakened Lauren McArthurs & Civilian Faustina (Tina) Cyparissus MD
Location: Wilson Home
Timeline: 9th Jan 2012
Aiden knew what he heard, but he went to a nearby window that still had the curtain drawn. He placed his claws on the glass and let the sound seep through. He could have gone with a creepy or funny way of announcing Syn’s arrival. But instead he held his fingers to the window, picking up the conversation from inside the Tower’s supersonic transport. Even that was faint.
“Mr. Wilson, in order to keep things on the level and honest here, I want to reveal my true form.”
“Your... true form?” Anthony Wilson asked warily
“It's okay, Dad,” Melissa said quietly.
Hesitantly, Anthony nodded.
Aiden had Munir show his wings. Slowly they slid into view. His armor slid off his body.
Anthony paled slightly, his hand coming to rest on Melissa's shoulder.
“It's okay, Dad,” she said softly. “Aiden is a good guy. A hero. Like... like Hulk or Captain America... just... with wings.”
“Now keep in mind, my wings are not who I am. They are a part of me. They are like a suit or shoes. They don't define me. They complete me.”
“Maybe like Iron Man, then... or Angel?” Melissa offered.
“Well, they are connected. They are a piece of me. I can't remove them. But they are not me. They are a small part of who and what I am.”
“I... see,” Anthony said, though it was clear that he didn’t.
“My boss is here. Sounds like they are going around back,” Aiden said to Melissa and her father. “Wait for a knock, though. And it's not my place to answer.”
Melissa and her father exchanged a look.
A knock came at the back door to the house, and Syn, Lauren, and Seamus waited. She had decided that less was better in this instance, and had left most of the people on guard at one point of the neighborhood or another. She was hoping that a familiar face, like Lauren’s, might help to ease tensions, in case the doctor wasn’t there already. But with the idea that Nexus could be a player in this particular game, she wanted as many eyes watching out for them as possible.
The back of the house was through the kitchen, which meant that Talassa was the closest. “Coooomiiiiiing!” the woman sang. Working with food had brightened her mood somewhat, as it often did. The smells coming from the kitchen were already tantalizing with savoury Greek flair.
“Dad, Mom is going to freak out if she knows who is here.” Melissa’s whisper was insistent, her dark eyes panicked as they stared down her father.
Anthony frowned, rushing for the kitchen. “No need, darling, I’ve got it.”
“Thank you, Anthony,” Talassa replied. “My hands, cover in rice. I have fresh dolmades soon!”
“They smell delightful, dear,” Anthony answered as he pulled open the door.
“Anthony.” Lauren smiled warmly. “Always a pleasure.”
“Lauren?” Anthony frowned and looked confused. “It’s been some time. Have you done something with your hair?”
The woman’s purple-streaked hair began to glow, the purple strands brightening as she blushed. “Ah, erm, yes... I suppose you could say that. Could we come in?”
“Yes... Yes, of course... of course.” He stood to the side of the door, gesturing the trio inside. “Talassa, we have three more guests.”
“Oh.” Talassa frowned a little. “I make more dolmades then. Anthony, take tray out to boy who is hungry.” She gestured to a small platter, loaded down with olives, feta, warmed pita bread, small triangles of baklava, and little wrapped filo pastry bundles with some sort of undefined filling.
Anthony nodded quietly as he picked up the tray and headed for the other room with the newcomers in tow.
“Smells wonderful, Talassa.” Lauren smiled.
“Lauren?” Talassa blinked with surprise. “Good to seeing you! You need my Melissa to babysit again soon?”
“Soon, I’m sure,” Lauren offered. It seemed simplest for the moment. “I’ll let you know.”
“Good. You let me know. Melissa need saving the money for college next year.” Talassa nodded and went back to her dolmades.
Melissa watched the new arrivals from her chair, tired, as the adrenaline from the attack had started to fade. She blinked with surprise at the sight of Lauren, though she wondered who the other two were. “Which one is your boss?” she asked Aiden quietly.
“The shorter lady. My father is the other one. He is a medical doctor,” Aiden whispered back.
Ushebti, who had demolished the plate at seemingly record breaking speed, had stood up and nodded his head in a slightly reverent way at Syn, before resting against the chair close to Melissa.
Whilst his stance suggested he was being casual, Melissa got the sense that he was assuming a more protective position. Don’t be fooled by her size. Some of her kind have been worshipped as gods in antiquity. I don’t think Set will risk coming near her. The voice was distinctly Ushebti’s, but she knew nobody else would have heard it.
Melissa’s eyes snapped toward her friend, blinking in surprise. Her mouth hung open just a little. How had his voice popped into her head like that? She’d - almost! - gotten used to hearing Neferu from time to time, but Ushebti was right here! She was going insane, she knew it. A vague notion that he’d spoken to her this way during the fight passed through her mind, but she’d figured she’d imagined that. That was the only reasonable explanation... wasn’t it? “What kind? Who?” she whispered to Ushebti in response.
The dragon, child. Neferu’s voice echoed in her mind. The one who is not the father of Aiden. I know her not, but you may trust her safely.
Melissa’s eyes lost focus for a moment as she listened to Neferu. She blinked again at Ushebti. “The woman is a... dragon? Huh?”
I sense her protective gaze over many mutants. Best not linger on conversations in your head though. It tends to make you look distracted. Ushebti smiled at her before indicating towards the group with his eyebrow.
I am. she thought. Distracted and completely insane. She paled slightly, then tossed a concerned glance at Ushebti. Had he heard that?
“Please, have a seat.” Anthony gestured to the couch. “I gather that we have a great deal to discuss.”
“You are most kind to welcome us into your home, Mister Wilson,” Syn said, her voice calm, serene, steepling her fingers before her and dipping her head in a respectful nod to the master of his castle. She then settled into the offered seat, her eyes darting only briefly towards Melissa and her protective friend, an eyebrow raised slightly, knowingly.
The diminutive Asian woman, who looked to be somewhere in her early thirties, wearing flowing black robes with the image of a golden Eastern dragon embroidered within its folds. Her long hair was jet black and pulled up in a slick, heavy bun atop her head that was held in place with nothing more than two long hairpins, one silver, one gold, each one bearing a dangling dragon in a fighting pose. Her skin was tinged red, as though she had recently spent some time in the sun, and around her neck she wore a simple, thin, black leather choker that had a gold and silver yin yang in the form of two tigers in battle.
“My name is Absynthe Drake. I am the Senior Administrator for Townsend Towers in Atlanta, Georgia,” Syn began. “I am also the headmistress of Townsend Academy. I believe that you already know Lauren.” She motioned towards the purple-spiraled woman. She then motioned towards Seamus, saying, “And this is Doctor Edwin.”
Anthony glanced uneasily at Lauren, who flashed a sheepish smile and gave a small wave.
“Hello,” Seamus said with a smile as he eased into a seat.
“Townsend Towers,” Anthony repeated. “That was the site of the terrorist attack a few weeks ago, wasn’t it? We saw it on the news. I’m terribly sorry for the losses you suffered.”
“Thank you,” Syn said, dipping her head briefly. “Many suffered great losses that day. I’m just glad that we could minimize the damage in our local area.”
“I’m less familiar with Townsend Academy, I confess.” Anthony continued. “Though I believe I’ve heard it to be some sort of...elite private school? Is that correct?”
“It is a private academy, though we tend to specialize in teaching those that have been found to have...particular talents.” Syn settled back in her seat and continued, “I need to be honest with you, Mister Wilson. Aiden told us that there was something curious happening with Melissa, thus the reason for this visit. I’m unsure exactly what he’s told you, but in the interest of open communication, I’m going to drop the illusion covering my eyes.”
One minute her eyes were dark, nearly black. The next, they were red-reptilian orbs, shot through with yellow and orange, gazing out at the frazzled father. “I am a half-dragon mutant. My powers are over illusion, though I do have a dragon form that I can utilize if necessary. I won’t show you that just yet, however. I normally only break that out on an emergency basis.”
Anthony gasped, his eyes going wide as he stumbled back a few steps and reached out to steady himself with a hand on a nearby chair. It took a moment for him to regain his voice, but his eyes never left Syn. “He... um...” Anthony cleared his throat. “Aiden indicated that it wasn’t certain Melissa was a mutant. Are you telling me that... my daughter...”
“It’s okay, Dad,” Melissa said quietly. “It’s like Aunt Tina says, they’re not all bad, they...”
“What?” Anthony blinked with surprise as he turned to his daughter. “When did your aunt speak to you about this sort of thing?”
“When I first realized it was a possibility.” Tina Cyparissus’ voice was as quiet as the door had been when she’d let herself in moments earlier. The doctor looked a little worse for wear, her eyes red like she’d been crying and had put a small amount of effort into cleaning herself up before coming. Her clothes were a bit mismatched, like she didn’t really care what she was wearing and just grabbed whatever was clean and didn’t bother to care whether or not they worked together. She turned to the others. “Hey, Syn, Seamus, Lauren, good to see you.”