Stormwall: Chapter 3

Again, it's been a fair while since I've posted anything new for this story. That darn muse keeps throwing other ideas at me, blame her!

**********

After we were allowed to continue on our way, dad and I headed for our departure gate at a brisk walk.

We still had most of an hour before the plane would be there, so we relaxed in a cafe for a while over two hot coffees and fresh doughnuts.

I got the occasional stare from other people and one guy looked like he was about to cause a scene at one point. Just as I was ready to get up and leave to avoid anything happening, one of the men who had been with Chief Agent Cargill told the guy to can it and settle down. When the guy became even angrier, the MCO officer bluntly told him that he couldn't handle a fight with me, and if that were true...

I turned to face the jerk and smiled sweetly at him, having heard the entire discussion; he dropped bonelessly into his chair, white as a sheet. Perhaps he realized just how close he had been to having his butt handed to him by what he would call a "little slip of a girl"?

It's kind of funny that I'm far more capable of dealing with stuff like that now than I was as a 5'11" athletic male just a few weeks ago.

I settled back into my own chair and dad and I finished off our little snacks before picking up our bags and walking to the departure gate.

**********

We were waiting at the appropriate gate when a warning came over the PA system that our flight would be delayed for a while. Dad asked an airport staff person what was going on and was told that there had been an air rage incident a short while ago on the flight.

Apparently, some guy up there had bitched about not getting served as fast as he thought he should be, and when one of the stewardesses made a polite comment to him that they were working as fast as they could, he slapped her tray out of her hands, then slapped her.

That brought a rather fast response from a pilot of the same airline who was heading in to pick up his flight and several passengers. The idiot all too quickly found himself pinned to the floor, then in handcuffs as an off duty LA police officer, returning home, was also on the flight.

Dad and I watched the plane land and taxi close to the terminal, then several airport security and police officers ran out to the plane. They returned about ten minutes later with the guy being pulled along by one of them, two others having grabbed the guy's items from the plane.

The rest of the passengers from the flight then left the plane, heading into the terminal building to go their separate ways.

**********

We had to wait another twenty minutes before we were allowed to board the plane, then wait again before it left the ground.

I must have been tired or something, because it was only a few minutes after the flight started that I fell asleep curled up in my seat.

I slept through the whole flight, dad had to thump my shoulder twice before I woke up enough to understand we would soon be landing.

Oh, drat, we're only in Atlanta right now. Damn airlines that won't do a direct flight but instead send you completely out of your way!

I used the time on the ground to use the facilities, then curled up in my seat again just as the plane leapt into the air once more.

I didn't completely fall asleep this time, but I was dozing for a good part of the flight, waking briefly every now and then.

Eventually, we touched down at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport, and within twenty minutes, we had our bags and were ready to leave. We had just stepped out of the terminal, and were about to walk over to dad's truck, when we heard someone behind us call out, "Mike!"

We turned around, at which point my dad laughed. The woman calling us was casually known in local super groups as "Light 'Em Up Lisa". Her actual first name was Lisa and her particular ability was to create a variety of light effects that could dazzle and confuse people.

Dad and I waited for her to catch up to us, and she joined us as we walked to the three year old light blue GMC Sierra 3500HD Dad had bought two years ago for use on the farm. The truck has an extended cab with a back seat and a decent length open bed behind the cab.

We don't have a big farm, but there is still plenty of work that has to be done every day, like feeding two dozen dairy cattle, four steers and a dozen goats, plus cleaning out the stalls, feeding the half dozen chickens in their pen and collecting whatever eggs they've dropped. The cows have to be milked, too, then let out into the main pasture to graze during the day. We also have one hundred acres in wheat and rye.

We would have turned northwest to go home, but Lisa politely told dad that we were expected at the Lexington super group's headquarters.

Dad shook his head, laughed, shrugged his shoulders and we skirted the northern edge of the city for a while. We eventually reached an area that looked to be slightly more run down than it should be, but that was simply a facade, the whole place was beyond specifications.

There were four warehouses fairly close together, two on the north side of the road, two on the south. Lisa directed dad into the lot for the second one on the north side. We parked at the side of the big building, then entered through the employee entrance, heading to the offices.

Although the building looked like your usual warehouse on the outside, on the inside, it was anything but usual. There have been attacks against supers in the area often enough that any super group here reinforces their place to be as secure as possible if an attack happens.

Dad has known about the group Lisa is in for several years, as Mom used to be one of the leading members of the group. Granted, I didn't find out about it all until just before we went out to the west coast a week ago, so it was interesting to see the place for myself.

**********

I didn't get much of a chance to look around at that point, as Lisa's "boss" entered the office and greeted us politely but somewhat stiffly. We soon learned that he felt that he was at fault for my mother's death, he had been busy fighting off three super villains when it happened.

Dad and I talked with Bart "SteamRoll" Larsen for about an hour, with Lisa just sitting off to the side listening to the three of us talking.

SteamRoll, you ask? You ever seen one of those roller vehicles they use to do the asphalt on a road? Well, he's like that when he fights. He curls up into a tight ball and literally rolls through his opponents, lashing out with a rock hard fist or elbow as he passes through them.

He also has the ability to "vent" steam, which he self-generates and expels through his mouth fairly often as he rolls along.

It took a good chunk of that hour before we managed to have him see that he was no more at fault than my mother was at the time.

The last ten minutes of the chat was a run down of the various tests they wanted to do to determine any further abilities I might have. Dad passed over the info Jack and his people had put together and Bart spent a few minutes examining that information quite intently.

"Exemplar 4, Regen 4, Warper 3, primarily sight range teleports, brick, plus various kinetic abilities. Holy shit, girl!" Bart whistled.

Lisa perked up at that point, "What kinetic abilities, Bart? Anything interesting?"

Bart chuckled as he turned to face Lisa, "If you call TK level 2d, Electrokinetic level 3c and Aerokinetic 3b interesting, heck, yeah!"

Lisa grinned for a moment, looking at me, "What specific types for Electro and Aero, Melissa?"

I shrugged, replying, "Lightning strikes that can be lethal if a direct hit, compressed wind effects that can push people or things around."

Lisa nodded, "The lightning will make you a dangerous opponent. Being able to use wind effectively will help, but you obviously need training."

I winced briefly, Old Jack had mentioned that I needed to work on my kinetic abilities to make them more effective in fights.

I smiled for a moment, "I can also pick up about 90 kgs of loose small items and throw them with my TK fairly hard and fast."

Bart and Lisa both nodded, then Bart stood up, saying, "We'll be testing you starting tomorrow, you'll be staying here for now."

Dad frowned for a moment when Bart said that, then asked for a bit of privacy. I knew he was calling home to tell Rebecca we were fine.

**********

That was the start of a whole lot of intensive training of my abilities, training which lasted through most of that summer.

I did end up meeting someone at the MCO office the Thursday afternoon after we returned home and received my Mutant ID card.

Bart, Lisa, and a few other members of their group, including a guy called Tank, put me through my paces and were present when I went into the MCO office that day. I'd already improved the kinetic abilities a bit, mostly in the sense of controlling them. My TK had been upgraded in that one week of training to Tk3e, my Ek to 4e and my Ak to 4c. I still needed to work on that one a fair bit, winds aren't easy to control.

By the time mid-August arrived, Bart's group was having a hard time keeping me from laying them all flat in a fight. My kinetic abilities had been coming on in leaps and bounds over the summer, thanks to all of the work put in on them, and Bart's team was in rather rough shape.

Leaps and bounds? Well, yeah, my Tk now was 4f, my Electro 5e and my Aero 5d. That's a lot of change in three months of training.

Bart had called in the other superhero group in the area, run by a woman known as "Machine Gun Kate". She was a rather strong tank for the most part, but had the ability to morph her forearms into the aforementioned machine guns with an endless supply of bullets.

I have to admit getting through Kate's guns wasn't easy, but before the summer ended, I was hitting her most of the time with my lightning. She didn't like that very much, as the lightning strikes, if they did hit, would disrupt her guns, meaning she couldn't use them after that.

Even with Kate's group helping Bart's out, the nine supers were still a rather ragged bunch on that last day of training.

Dad and Mrs. Carson, the headmistress at Whateley, had been talking all summer, and had agreed I needed to go there ASAP.

**********

I spent a few days at home, relaxing if you can call it that by doing the usual farm tasks as needed.

Then, on a late summer Thursday afternoon, I boarded a train in Lexington that would take me most of the way to the school. I would have to change trains once, taking a second one to the small station at Dunwich, New Hampshire, where I would be met by a staff member.

The ride on the first train was a long one, nearly seventeen hours, so I took whatever opportunities I could to grab some sleep. The switch to the other train involved a wait of a bit less than an hour, as the train was running late, so I grabbed a Coke to drink and a muffin to munch.

The second train ride, once it arrived was shorter, about four hours or so, then we were pulling into Dunwich, New Hampshire.

A few other kids got up from seats in the carriage, grabbing bags from the overhead racks, then moved toward the doors.

One of the boys apparently thought he could get in on me, he sidled over and tried to chat me up, which I found trite but amusing.

"Hey, you're a pretty girl! My name is Barry, you going to Whateley, too?"

I laughed, a low, sweet chuckle that he thought was meant to be encouragement. "I'm Melissa Winston. Yep, I'm Whateley bound."

He smiled, moving a little closer, then tried to put his arm around my shoulders. That was going a little too far, I thought, so I smiled again, this one not so sweet, and spun around, twisting his arm up behind his shoulder. "Listen up, bucko, I like girls, not boys. Leave me alone."

Maybe it was my day for bad luck or something, because that was when a voice called out, "Students for Whateley Academy?"

I gave Barry one last look that made my intent quite clear, then released his arm, turned and faced the woman who had just spoken. She was standing there, covering her mouth to hide what I thought might be a smile as she waved us all toward a bus outside the station.

The ride to Whateley from the station didn't take very long. When we arrived, I was told to go to Poe House and see Mrs. Horton.



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