Don’t you dare look out your window
Darlin’ everything’s on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Curled up to this lullaby
Even when the music’s gone, gone
Just close your eyes
The sun if going down
You’ll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light
You and I’ll be safe and sound - Taylor Swift Safe and Sound
The phone call is as unexpected as they come, the phone really only being in his pocket for the gravest of emergencies. This emergency would only register a four on the danger scale on its own, but its the details that get Jeremiah’s attention.
“I wasn’t even aware you had a daughter, sir... a healer? Are you sure? Of course sir, we’re only a half day’s drive away, we’ll be there long before Orycalcos gets the chance to nab her.”
19-year-old Tai Daishar managed to catch the last portion of the conversation on his way out of the shower. “Is this going to be a rescue attempt, sir?”
Jeremiah nods with a happy smile, unwilling to let his student see any fear in his features. “You betcha! And get this, she’s a healer! It’ll be great to have another one of those around for the winter, won’t it?”
Tai says nothing. Jeremiah isn’t half as good at hiding his emotions as he thinks he is.
The incident happened only last night, but by morning the entire city knows the mayor’s daughter is a freak. Orycalcos was likely called during the night and would already be on their way, and no way is Evan going to be here when they do finally arrive. He did everything right, he signed all the papers and was released from their hold but all that had been with the presumption he’d lost his gifts, and that his child had been born without gifts. If they knew...
“Erisia I do not CARE what she means to you. You’re marching straight upstairs and packing your things and we are leaving immediately.”
“Daddy why are you making such a big deal out of this? Orycalcos is here for Dawn, not us. No one even knows we’re freaks, do they?”
“So? She won’t tell.”
“I don’t care if she says she won’t tell anyone about you! Erisia, she is just a child and Orycalcos has ways of making people talk! Hell, she won’t even need to talk, she’ll just need to think of you and they’ll know you can read minds! They’ll know I lied about losing my gifts and they’ll drag both of back! Now GO. UP. STAIRS.”
She marches upstairs with a final glare and shortly after her follows her, heading into his own room. In a few moments she’ll likely sneak out of her window and out to the jail to say goodbye. There won’t be anyone anywhere near Dawn’s cell until Orycalcos gets there so Evan isn’t worried about that, he can only hope she’ll have sense enough to come straight home after wards. Ten years ago when Erisia was just a child her mother, his wife left to go visit a friend in the next town, she called to say she wasn’t coming back and left Evan to pick up the pieces. When Erisia had expressed her wishes to move to the city he’d worried she’d just disappear as well, which was why he’d been so supportive of her decision.
All that was over now though. Once they were out of this city he was never letting her out of his sight. If Orycalcos caught them... he couldn’t think about it. They’d have to leave soon, and keep traveling until Orycalcos gave up, not that they ever would.
Only a thin wall separates Erisia’s room from her father’s. She can hear him rustling around, packing the few materialistic items he keeps near his heart, her baby photos, an old portrait of her mother...
She’s sure he’s listening to her, waiting for her to start packing or throw another fuss. He might even be listening and waiting for her to try and run off so he can stop her. But she can out wait him any day.
Her chance comes when he knocks on her door, tells her he’s going to be taking a long bath before they head off. The bath will probably cover any noise she could make. Just saying.
He’s letting her say goodbye? Erisia can’t hide her smile as she finally sits up, she’ll do more than just say goodbye. She’ll break Dawn out, and then they’ll both leave with her dad. It’s perfect!
To call the cell “minimalistic” would be an insult to minimalistic designers everywhere. The cell is underground, with the only access door going through the police chief’s office. Two lightbulbs light the room day and night, leaving Dawn with a headache from lack of sleep. If she’d had some sort of offensive power she might have been able to shoot the bulbs off but there was no escape. Every city had at least one cell built to withstand every type of Freak known to mankind. What kind of hope did Dawn have of escape?
At first, a part of her had hoped her father’s position as Mayor would give her leniency, but instead it had made things worse. The look on her father’s face, fill of sadness and her mother’s screams of fear. She’d stopped being their daughter the moment they’d realized she was a freak.
She wishes the fire had taken more than just her hair, she wished it had been able to kill her. Instead Orycalcos was on its way to take her, and then she’d have to live with the decision to hide her gifts. She knew Orycalcos would read her mind, they’d know everything she knew, how long she’d been able to hide from them, who’d trained her, they’d know about Erisia and her father and there was no way for Dawn to protect them.
In all of Dawn’s ideas for escape, the one thought that never crossed her mind was the possibility of someone coming to break her out. But Erisia has the spare key to her father’s office, and with her gifts no one even spares a look her way as she walks through the police station confidently.
“Risi!” Dawn isn’t sure if she should be relieved or even more scared. “What are you doing here? You have to go!”
“I’m here to break you out, dummy.”
“Oh.” Dawn looks at her in surprise. “Well, do you have a key?”
Erisia looks down at the ground. A key. Of course. That would have been a good idea. “Uh... no.”
“Didn’t think this through, did you.”
“Shut up, Dawn. I’ll just pick the lock, it can’t be that hard, can it?”
“Kid you do NOT want to try picking that lock. If that lock is tampered with it automatically hits the bars with enough voltage to kill anyone near it!”
... Erisia did not know that.
When she turns around it takes him a moment to recognize her. “Aren’t you the police chief’s daughter?”
“Stay away from her you jerk!” Dawn yells from behind the bars. She hasn’t seen this man before, so he must either be from Orycalcos or on loan from the city.
Tai ignores her, instead giving Erisia a suspicious look. “Listen, kid, you really shouldn’t be down here. Go home and I’ll pretend I never saw you, your friend here is a Freak and you aren’t safe around her. She’s a monster!”
“I’m a monster!” Erisia cries out in anger, holding up a hand to shut his mind down.
... It doesn’t work.
“I take it you’re a telepath of some sort? Sorry kid, I’m naturally immune. Be happy you can even think around me, I’m usually pretty hard on the newbies. But the real question is what am I going to do with two Freaks instead of one?”
Survival mode: Activate! Erisia backhands him once, and then grabs his face with her hand, covering his eyes with her palm for what feels like only a second.
When the darkness passes she’s gone, and Tai’s head is still ringing.
“How did she...”
“She’s stronger when she touches you.” Dawn sighs, still in her cell. Erisia tried to get her out but there wasn’t enough time. She ran off when Dawn told her too, but Dawn still wishes she’d tried harder...
“I’m a leech! No one an use their gifts around me!”
Dawn can’t help but scoff. “Guess what, Erisia can.”
“So I see...” Calmly, he takes out his phone and makes a call. “Jeremiah? Yeah, I had a bit of a complication. Didn’t you say the Johnsons were out of commission?... They’re not. I just ran into Evan’s daughter. She knocked me blind for a few minutes!”
He listens to Jeremiah’s instructions before nodding. “Yes sir, I’ll deliver Dawn to home base myself. See you there. And good luck.”
When Evan hears the front door slam open he expects to see his daughter int he living room. Instead he finds a terribly familiar face.
“Jeremiah... good to see you again. I wish you’d called first, I would have made tea.”
“Cut the crap, Evan.” Jeremiah growls. “You lied to us. Kurt said you weren’t a threat. Said you were powerless. So how the fuck was your daughter able to take down a leacher on her own?”
A shiver of panic makes Evan’s blood run cold, but on the outside he shows no reaction. “I do not recall ever telling you or your organization that I was powerless, but for what its worth as far as Orycalcos is concerned I am no longer a viable heir. Kurt was correct, I am not a threat, and as long as you leave my family alone I will remain an asset rather than a threat. My daughter does not concern you.”
“Your daughter fucking concerns me when Orycalcos finds out! And they will find out, you stupid dog. They always do! We had everything planned out! Your slut of a sister is dead, you were supposed to be powerless, your family had no heirs left! We just had to wait for the old coot to die and we could have stopped this stupid war! But if your father finds out about your kid it’ll fuck everything over!”
He doesn’t realize the furniture is beginning to move until the books start falling from the floating shelf, but that distraction is all Evan needs to freeze Jeremiah where he stands.
Evan leans back with a satisfied smile as Jeremiah fights for control of his body. “You’re such an idiot, Jeremiah. Your plan was doomed from the start. Once my dear father dies his ministers will just proclaim a new ruler from one of the loyal families. I hear the O’Connors have a little princeling they’ve been grooming for the job. Why don’t you go after him and leave us alone?”
“And don’t you ever call my sister a slut. She was 15, you insensitive asshole.”
Evan turns towards the door to leave, pausing as the movement of the rising miniature greenhouse catches his eye... mother fucker, this is going to hurt.
It hurts like hell when the greenhouse smashes into Evan’s face, knocking him to the floor and fully breaking his control over Jeremiah.
“Oh my head...”
Jeremiah doesn’t smile at the victory. The fight isn’t over yet.
Evan cringes in fear as the heavy couch levitates over him. “Jeremiah, don’t-”
Jeremiah sighs. “I really am sorry to do this to you, Evan. You’re a good man, but your family has led Orycalcos for too long.” And then he lets the couch drop.
“NO!” Erisia screams, a moment too late as she sends her will straight into Jeremiah’s mind. Her father taught her these kinds of attacks for self defense, but never imagined she’d perfect them so easily.
Or that taking a life would have such little effect on her.
Jeremiah’s limp form joins her father’s after only a few seconds.
Erisia runs over to her father, arms trembling and weak as she struggles to lift him up. “Daddy?... daddy please wake up, don’t do this to me!”
She prods at him mind gently, trying to speak to him telepathically but is only met with dead air. He’s gone.
This chapter should have been up a month ago. I got up to the photos of Dawn in her cell when the save game just refused to load for me. I figured I'd just remake the characters in a new save once I had time since I had them all saved but my legacy game started lagging so much I just didn't have time to make a new save!
Then when I got my new computer I transferred over my old save on a whim and lo and behold... 2 minute load time. So here's the chapter.
I hope no one hates Tai. I love him.