Part 1 of 4
Part 1 of 4
Los Angeles, California
Staring out the out at the view of Los Angeles, an older man in a blue suit, white shirt and gold tie, swirls his white wine in his bulbous wine glass. Standing at 6 feet tall, the older mans wrinkled face remains stern while his slicked blondish white hair and his blue eyes shine from the bright lights on the roof. Enjoying the cool breeze that gently sweeps by, the older man firms his face as he hears the glass door behind him slide open and slide shut with footsteps approaching him from behind.
Arriving next to him, a woman in a low cut black dress, stands next to him as she gazes at the city of Los Angeles.
"Good evening Mister Stein." says the woman as her large brown eyes glances over to Mister Stein as she tosses her jet black hair to the side.
As the silence grows, the woman glances back at Mister Stein as he says nothing in response as the tension seems to only increase. Breaking silence with clearing of his throat, Mister Stein looks at the woman, "Good evening to you Misses Minoru." he says with slight disdain.
With a smirk, Mrs Minoru leans on her left leg as she folds her arms while staring out at the city, "I was beginning to think that you were going to hold a grudge after all of that inside." she says, glancing up at him for a response.
"Hmf!" grunts Mister Stein as he turns away from the view, walks a few steps and than looks at Mrs Minoru, "Grudge? It would be betraying the code of the Pride." he states.
Mrs. Minoru shakes her head in agreement, "True. After all, it is Trial season, therefore, a very emotional time for some of us." she says as he looks back at the glass door that is covered with a sheer gold curtain behind.
Mr. Stein and Mrs Minoru stare at the shadowy sihoulletes that are seen behind the curtains as individuals are gathered between two individuals that are apparently sitting down.
Mr. Stein looks out to the city again as he drinks the last of his wine, "Emotional time for weaklings. That is why Mister Wilder has lost and Mister and Misses Hayes are disqualified from having their child participate. A runaway? Disgusting." he says as he throws his glass to the roof floor, shattering into pieces.
Mrs Minoru stands erect and puts her hands behind her back, "Am I understanding that you believe the current crisis to be...a sign of weakness Mister Stein?" she inquires with a playful tone.
Mr Stein turns to Minoru, giving her a very sharp look, "Indeed!" he says, resulting in Mrs Minoru's circumstantial smile to dissipate.
Mr. Stein looks at her with his steely blue eyes, "The Pride has been in effect for over a century, pass down by the founding fathers. We are strong because we manipulate the greater metropolis crime and turn it into profit by blending in with the weak. That is a strength Misses Minoru and do you know why?"
Mrs. Minoru looks at him and slowly bats her eyes, "Why is that?" she asks, wishing she took her drink with her.
"Because..." Mr Stein continues as he looks to the view of Los Angeles, "Because the man that shows brute strength without discipline can be defeated by the weakling who has a clear head. However the man that shows brute strength after plotting out his course and being intelligent enough to know when he should and should not show his strength...is unstoppable."
"Like Chase?" she interjects, to which Mr Stein turns to her, "Of course. He is a Stein. Unfortunately, is not the same said for Mister Wilder who has seen the horrors of having almost godlike talent in a boy but not being able to raise a man only...riff raff. A runaway at that. A disgrace to the Pride." he says as he takes out a cigar and lights it.
Mrs. Minoru watches Mister Stein light his cigar and the red ash burn at the tip and breath out a puff of smoke as part of the ash from the cigar falls off.
Mrs. Minoru gestures with her finger as part of the flaming ash suddenly turns into a fire ball in her hand than than morphs into a red rose with black tips! Mr Stein watches all of this and grunts, "Satisfied?"
Mrs Minoru smiles, "Never." she says as she crushes the red rose, opens her hands and throws a small bird out of her hand that flies away off the rooftop.
"Trials is a time for the next generation to show how well they have been taught." says Mrs Minoru, "For the fact that Alex Wilder was not able to pass the beginning portion of Trials, is just a testimony that he was not a true leader, as his father claims he was. The Deans, Hayes and Mancha's will have to prove their worth after tonight." she says. Hearing nothing said from Mister Stein, Mrs, Minoru looks at Mr Stein, "Please Mister Stein, please do not tell me I have left you speechless?" she says mockingly.
Mr Stein, who is just staring out to the city, glances at her out from the corner of his eye, looks back at the city, "Beside runaway childen, there are other matters that require concern and forethought." he says.
Mrs Minoru looks out at the city and than at her watch, "The Deans will fail. Their child is quiet powerful but Karolina lacks focus and emotional stability after the loss of her....friend." she says with a sour face.
Mr Stein firms his face, "That loss was necessary. Karolina should have known the Pride will not accept that sort of activity or lifestyle. Especially that of a woman with of...a mutant heritage." he says.
Mrs Minoru nods, "Precisely, save of course for the Hayes reasons considering but that is not the point. Speaking of them, The Hayes daughter, Molly, is quite strong but still too young to be a leader of any sort of group or use to anyone. She is a child with mutant parents that are useless as they are pathetic."
Mrs Minoru smirks, "With that attitude, I can see why the Hayes despise humans so much. In any case, there is Victor Mancha. In my opinion, he is the only real chal..."
"He is nothing." interrupts Mr. Stein, quite aggressively as his voice changes a little more deep.
Mrs Minoru raises her eyebrow, "Careful, you might show your disapproval over the boy."
"He is a dreamer. Nothing but a light hearted boy who listens to music and watches television for the majority of a day. He is worse than the Hayes daughter! At least she's twelve. HE IS SEVENTEEN!" says Mr Stein.
Mrs Minoru raises her finger, "Yet, he has shown his superiority in mathematics, logistics, statistics, science and physical superiority. As you have noted I am sure, his abilities over magnetic fields and devices, that is nothing to under estimate, should I not remind of you Erik Lensherr and those similarities?"
Mr Stein folds his arms, "Are you saying the boy is in fact more superior than your own daughter, Nico?"
Mrs Minoru shakes her head, "Nico has a gift that we all did not believe possible. She has the ability to be a goddess if she would like. She is smart, maybe not in the way like Victor Mancha might be, but in her own right, she has even baffled him on many occasion claiming she is transcending logic on basic levels with success. She is a physics bender in an oversimplification. A baseline human that has the fortune of having a genome over a time period of 6,000 years embedded in her system, manifest at 9 years old. Where her grandmother was endowed in the supernatural and her father engrossed herself in the forbidden arts, she not only understands them, she is far superior and has no need. She is truthfully...perfect."
"Perfectly unfocused you mean? She has no ABSOLUTE control over her own abilities. Which why she needs that silly sheep hearders staff..."
"The Staff of One was forged from the hands of the first Celestials." Mrs Minoru snaps, "It was to guarantee that power was accessed to atleast one mortal who could defeat one of the Deviants in case things should go wrong, which has been entrusted to my family for centuries. With the combination of Staff of One passed down and the natural evolution of my daughter, NOT POWER DEVELOPING DRUGS THAT SOME MIGHT HAVE TRIED..."
Mr Stein interrupts as he balls up a fist in anger, "THAT WAS NOT TRUE CHASE WOULD NEVER..."
"In anycase, Nico is the next generation of human. The laws of physics...heck the laws of everything on earth she can rewrite! For that reason alone, she has as much chance winning her trials as Chase does facing off against her in the finale with his mutant ipod. She is, in essence...perfect and you know it." says Mrs Minoru.
Mr Stein calms himself as he stares out at the city, "You put too much faith in your undisciplined daughter."
"And you discipline your son too much." Mrs Minoru retorts as she gazes out to the city.
With silence allowed to calm their tempers, both Mr Stein and Mrs Minoru, continue to stare out to the city.
Breaking the silence, "We both know, that in order to ensure the survival of the Pride, we must change gears. We have the Hayes a mutant couple, The Wilders a quite effective mafia couple, the alien resident Dean's, ourselves the Nico's a..."
"An unnatural couple." Mr Stein quips as he puffs his cigar smoke in the air.
Ignoring his retort, Mrs Minoru continues, "And yourselves, the bankroll, the couple who makes things. We need to ensure Wilder does not stay in control of the Pride." she says. Mr Stein looks at his watch, "Which is why Mister Wilder is heading back to his Loft at his company to find where his son may be as I told him that there would be the first place to search."
Mrs Minoru looks at him shocked, "But..." however she does not finish her sentence as Mr Stein looks at her and points to the penthouse, "His wife is here and can attest to all of us being here and not having left. It is just a regular night for Trials and an irregular misfortune that was used to my good fortune in that Alex Wilder has went missing, and a chance was taken. It will work, Mister Wilder has no idea what is in store for him."
"Are you sure of that? The Trials being a backdrop as they are doing YOUR dirty work now compromises everything since now they may have to face a situation Wilder may have very well prepared for." says Mrs Minoru.
Mr Stein tilts his head, "Confidence in your daughter please is necessary I must say. Your daughter and my Chase can handle anything that Wilder may have as a back up from an inkling of deception from myself. I do not give him such credit though. Despite all of that, the Trials must go on no matter what the circumstance and the harder it is, the more skill BOTH our children will have to show, therefore, in a whole, showing their superiority over the rest of the children who will be nothing more than fellow yes men as your philandering husband Mister Minoru is comforting Mrs Wilder as he is surly happy to do so as one of those said yes men." he says.
Firming her face at his acid like insult, Mrs Minoru looks out to the city, "Wisely planned and bravely spoken." she says seriously.
Mr Stein looks at his watch, "In an hour or so, Chase and...perhaps your daughter...will complete her end of the trials and prove her worth..."
"As if the odds of Chase completing his assignment in trials is more than Nico's?" interrupts Mrs Minoru.
Mr Stein hesitates to answer but than looks at her, "Yes. He has more focused, that I can insure."
Mrs Minoru nods, "Maybe so, either way, they each must finish their assignments separately and whoever can present their objective to the Pride, is eligible to being sole heir of the Pride upon their right of age with that family starting their leadership immediately for the next hundred years. Upon that, after a proper sacrifice has been made and an extra sacrifice of a Pride member, than we are set for the next century to follow with our full task of taking the world into our control through commerce. However I feel i must be said that we must stand together in this secret alliance if we are to control things between ourselves. If the Hayes or Deans have their way, we are finished as is the Pride. They have no sense and are pawns in a game of Chess. They must be put in position first but not underestimated, neither their children. This is no time for a break-up of alliances." she says.
"Do you ever cease with your rambling woman? You are more unpleasant than your husband. I am completely aware of the situation at hand. The only ones not abreast to the situation are the children, as it is tradition they are unaware of anything in case they are to be compromised." Mr Stein complains.
"Like Alex Wilder. He knows to much. His intelligence is certainly far exceeding that of his fathers. How much he must know I cannot say but if the most dedicated and most threatening candidate to pass Trials, all of a sudden disappears with no reason, it for a certain tell me that maybe not his father, but his mother may have told him the results of failure of the trials in order to protect him. That much I am certain of." says Mrs Minoru.
"Misses Minoru, I fear that is the first sentence I have heard this evening that is of sheer intelligence uttered from your lips." says Mr Stein with a sarcastic smile.
Calming herself down from yet another insult, Mrs Minoru smirks, "Well I am one hundred and eighty seven years old. Its a tendency to ramble at my age but wisdom is still apparent. Blame the rambling as the price of beauty I suppose...since of course, you were once ever so intrigued by my beauty." she says staring at Mr Stein as he clears his throat and walks towards the far end of the roof.
Sensing his slight embarrassment, Misses Minoru wraps her shawl around her bare shoulders, "I'm catching a chill. Care to walk with me back inside? I would like to watch your alcoholically dependent wife make a fool of herself with my philandering husband as they try to comfort Misses Wilder with the Hayes and Deans at each others throats again." she says.
Mr Stein looks at his watch and walks towards Mrs Minoru as she puts her hand on her arm, "Why thank you. Don't worry, the children will be back in time. After all, I'm eager to see your tender reaction to your son being the sacrifice, that is if he fails his assignment, and all that discipline in the fire." she says as she opens the door. "After you." she says gesturing inside.
Mr Stein looks at her with his steely eyes, "Confident of yourself aren't you? And what if it is your daughter that is sacrificed tonight?"
"I believe Mr Stein, my daughter, is more hungry for this than your son as he can be a handsome yet bone headed individual with or without his fancy gadget toys." she says with a smile.
"I could say the same for your daughter." says Mister Stein as they walk in together.
Meanwhile....Downtown Los Angeles
Wilder Industries - Duel Building Annex
Walking swiftly in the yellow lit hallways, Chase Stein, with his blond hair slicked back, wearing a black vest, black tie and a pants, tries to quietly run down the hallway of an office suite. With the yellow carpeting cushioning his footsteps, Chase looks has his hand as he wears a metal glove. On the wrist of the glove a small screen shows a 3D map of the building with a red dot of his location and a blue dot of his destination which says 700 feet closer. Looking up he sees the doors with various numbers on them. "Three seventeen." he mumbles.
Firming his face, Chase straightens his tie and starts moving as fast as he can down the long hallway looking for the right suite number.
However, before he can get much further, the sound of the elevator arriving behind him is heard. Chase looks at the clock on the wall and sees it is 12:51pm. Chase quickly hides against a deep indent in the wall as a tall plant covers him but sees the door he was looking for. '317'
Peaking out from the side of the wall, Chase sees four security men with flashlights come out the elevator and start kicking down the office doors. Chase leans back and firms his face knowing he needs more time. Taking a deep breath, Chase walks out from the side indent of the wall, "HEY!" he yells as he holds out his metal hand.
The men see him and immediate reach for the guns and pull them out.
Within seconds the metal from Chase folds out like plates over Chase body increasing his height to 7 feet tall while only exposing his mouth and nose as the metal plates cover his eyes, with only red lights where his eyes are located, glow brightly.
"SHOOT'EM!" yells one of the men as the rest are hesitant.
"Bad idea." grunts Chase as he charges them men fast!
"WE NEED BACK UP!" yells one of the security men as the others shoot at him.
With bullets bouncing off of his metal body, Chase races after the men with the momentum seeming of a freight train as he collides into the men with such force, one of the security men fly aback 30 feet right into the elevator door and is knocked out. Chase lifts one man with one hand and slams him to the floor as he bashes the other in the face with his metal hand, all in a matter of seconds.
Standing over them, Chase deactivates the suit as he smooths his hair back and steps over the men, running back to Suite 317.
As Chase opens the door to the office, Nico Minoru, in black jump suit stands there with a picture off the wall, a flashlight in her mouth and documents in her hand.
"WHAT! COME ON!" yells Chase as he throws his hands up in the air, "I WANTED TO USE MY NEW FEATURE ON THIS THINGAMAJIGG!" he says pointing to his metal glove.
Nico spits out her flashlight, "You don't plan on stopping me do you? This is a single effort trial." she says.
Chase narrows his eyes, "Do I have to stop you?"
Nico slowly puts the picture back on the wall and walks over to Chase and puts her face to his ear as she puts her finger on his lip, "Ssshhhh...you can chase me later for this." she says sultrily. Chase immediately blushes as he nods, "We-well ya...thats what I thought. We're workin' together" he says.Nico winks at him, "You'd think I was gonna betray you now? Come on, we only got each other in this, who knows what our parents have planned for us, we just got to get through this together."
Chase nods happily, "Right. Now lets get outta here." he says.
Suddenly all the lights go out!
"What's happening!" Nico says. Chase looks on the screen on the back of his metal glove, "Someone is cutting off all the power to the building."
Nico raises her eyebrow, "Why?! This is a simple extraction. We only have an hour left." she says.
Chase shakes his head, "No, no, no all the safety precautions we took are getting undone. Someone is on to us too well or we are in a trap but we gotta go now. Get ready to use that staff."
Nico look at him with a firm face, "You know I don't know how to control that!" Chase huffs, "You better know how to use that thing! You know this building was chosen cause it has a ex-military back up security force!"
Suddenly a TV behind them turns on as gates slam shut on massive windows next to them and a metal slate slams shut over the door out of the office!
Nico and Chase turn around and see the glowing television and see a bald African American man on the television wearing an open white shirt collar and a black suit, he continues..."Is not the only reason you were chosen to come here."
"Mister Wilder? Why are you interfering with the Trials! Your not suppose to do this!" says Nico.
Still on the Television, he yells "SHUT UP! From what I'm seeing your not suppose to be helping one another either are you? YOU DON'T THINK I SEE WHAT YOU ARE ALL TRYING TO DO TO ME! BREAKING THE RULES AND TARGETING ME!"
Chase and Nico look at each other confused.
[b]on the television Mister Wilder face appears as he starts laughing, "Its fine. You can pretend like you don't. You can say I'm paranoid, but you will be able to say nothing after tonight. I'm gonna send a message to your parents once and for all. The Pride is mine. Your lives will remind them of that.
Chase steps forward, "You realize that if you interfere with the Trials, you will be considered part of a new objective and one of us will have to kill you for this." he says coldly. Nico pulls his arm, "We are not killing him." she mumbles firmly.
Chase looks at her, "We don't have a choice, he interrupted the Trial which is absolutely forbidden and he found us helping each other and if he tells what else you think there gonna do!"
Nico shakes her head, "There's another way! There's always another way."
"Not tonight. Its both of you or me. And it will be both of you. I'm sending up all the reinforcements to clean the mess after you all go up in smoke. Your not leaving here alive." he says as red countdown numbers start to flash on the television screen, starting from 10.
"What the heck..." says Nico as her eyes get big at seeing the numbers hit eight.
Mister Wilder starts to wave goodbye, "I have enough C4 in this office to take out the entire building.
Chase shakes his head, "We are not going out like this!" he mumbles in a panic as he points his glove at the floor and blasts it, trying to get a way out but only reveals a thick metal sheet that glistens in the dark as the rug smolders from blast fire. Suddenly, the screen on Chase glove shows the through the x-ray mode of where the C4 is located.
Chase looks at Nico as the numbers hit six and points to the wall, "Remove the C4! Summon that stinkin staff! Thats the only way you can channel your powers and save us!" he yells, panicking.
"I can't i'm too stressed I need to focus!" she exclaims as she looks at her chest.
Angered, Chase grabs Nico by the shoulders, "WE ARE GONNA FREGGIN DIE NICO!!" Chase yells they both see the numbers hit five.
"STOP YELLING AT ME I CAN'T DO IT LIKE THAT!" Nico yells.
"DO IT!!!" yells Chase as they lock eyes.
As Nico turns and sees the numbers on the television go down to 1 and than zero.
Suddenly, as if the walls seem to jump, all the glass shatters as the walls crack like paint chips from a ceiling with a red glow of fire behind them.
Almost as if the room slowly started to lift from the opposite end of the hallway into the air and the opposite towards the floor, everything starts to shift to steep incline. Confused, Nico feels the room start to vibrate as she looks at the wall behind the television start to glow red at the center and slowly become engulfed in a seemingly never ending pit of fire!
As if fear and dread made a hole in his stomach, Chase eyes open wide as his hair starts to fly back from the force of the oncoming explosion and sees Nico remains motionless and in a trance-like state. As if something calmed Nico, she stares at the fire almost completely entranced by it its dancing flames engulf the wall and quickly spread along the flammable rug towards them with a bluish hue that covers the glass table ahead of them and shatters completely.
Tuning almost everything out as the wall gets brighter and brighter white with Chase yelling at the top of his lungs until he is red-faced for Nico to do something.
Instantaneously, a bronze staff erupts out of Nico's chest as she automatically grabs it with both hands. Her eyes glow bright yellow as she exhales white smoke from her mouth and nose, able to feel the fire and how it moves, feel the crackle and burn of the flames that are increasingly getting hotter and hotter.
"WINTER!!!" yells Nico.
Suddenly, Chase is slammed against the wall as fire fizzles out at his feet while he slumps to the floor. Holding his head, Chase, slowly opens his eyes as he sees Nico standing in the middle of the room with bright moon glow on her. However, as Chase gets his barrings, he rubs his eyes and sees Nico standing in the middle of the room with her staff in her hand, snow on her shoulders, ice on the floor and thick clouds floating on the ceiling as the moon glow from outside filters in through the blown out windows!
Chase staggers to his feet as he sees Nico turn to him with glowing yellow eyes.
"Magic?" mumbles Chase in pure disbelief.
Nico looks at him with her glowing yellow eyes, "No....my power from within." she says as all the snow starts to raise in the air and float.
Suddenly, Nico looks to the floor, "More are coming." she says eerily.
Chase stands up, but Nico puts her hands out to him, "Stay still." she says, but before he can say anything.
Suddenly the floor begins to shake as all the snow starts to melt and Chase feels as if the entire room is leaning over, until he realizes Nico is floating off the floor and the entire office room is turning over.
"NICO!" he yells.
Nico pays him no attention as the Chase falls onto the fall on his left as he feels gravity being readusted and some of the water from the melting snow rush towards his feet as he holds on to what use to be the floor, now becoming the right wall! Nico closes her eyes and lifts her head as she holds out her staff as the room becomes smaller and smaller! Chase starts to rush towards Nico as the shattered glass in the room turns to jelly beans and Chase sees the rug turn into a giant picture of Jack White and the hole in the floor slowly start to peel back more and more as a black nothingness starts to suck everything in the room into the hole! Chase grabs on to Nico's foot and looks up at her, "NICO!!! he yells but she just raises her staff over her head as the clouds in the room crackle with lightning, "Hold still." she says again as Nico clutches her foot, "NIIIIIIICOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
to be continued.....
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