Lenoir The Devil Inside Me
”How do you feel? ”
”Was your family connected to the attack? ”
”Are Quantum and Night-Owl really your parents? ”
”Are you a variant? ”
”Oh! Are you sad? ”
A month had passed. Most of the victims and the school board stayed quiet about the attack, yet somehow the media were disclosed the location of the funeral. The graveyard had almost 300 bodies. The three known variants getting their dedicated spot; Quantum, Nimble, and Night-Owl.
Yami, Zen; my older brother, and I were under a large tree escaping the profuse rain. The two of them were huddled over on their knees embracing in between sobs. I held an umbrella over them allowing them protection while allowing my suit to get covered with the chilling rain, I didn mind it though.
The wind blew and something tickled the back of my neck, turning around I noticed my hair had grown a bit longer.
”Hmm, ” I whispered to myself. Mother was usually the one who cut and styled my hair.
The sound of crunching leaves filled our ears, respectively we all turned to the noise.
It was Dean Hiemsel. As he approached us he gave Yami, and Zen a quick smile before turning to me.
”How are you son? ” He asked me putting his hand on my shoulder.
”I- ” Before I could speak Zen sprang up.
Hes brow was furrowed with an enlarged vein on his neck. He seemed to be breathing heavily as well.
”Don you dare call him your son god damnit. You didn have any **in security? Or anyone with a gene for barriers? How the hell did you let a terrorist not only attack but also escape in only a matter of seconds? I mean it was a **ing drive-by! ” He said shouting as he put his face into the Deans puffing his chest out.
He then stabbed his finger into the Deans chest.
”You are the head of a school for Variants. Variants that will be molded into **ing heroes! And you didn think, well maybe someone won like that very much? Where the ** is the B.V.A? Its been a month and theres been no news of these guys being caught. ” Zen shouted once again.
The Dean simply looked down, seemingly ashamed.
”Ive been connected with them… Nothing has been found. Im deeply sorry, but I do need to speak with Kaine. ” He retorted. Meeting the gaze of Zen he spoke one more time.
”Your father and I have been friends for quite some time… If you believe Im not doing everything I can do to bring that motherf-
” He stopped himself glancing down at Yami.
”That man to justice then please know you
e wrong. ”
He scratched his head with his free hand as the other was also holding an umbrella.
”Seems like the weather has gotten worse huh? ” He asked looking at me.
I glanced up at the sky allowing the rain to now hit me in the face.
”Yea… ” I responded. He pat me on the shoulder and then pointed to a black SUV parked in the distance.
”Lets go. There are some things we need to discuss, especially with what happened and the approaching of the beginning of the school year. ”
I glanced back and flash a smile to my siblings before walking with The Dean. It took us about four minutes o get to the car. Once close I noticed that there seemed to be four other people in the car.
Hiemsel must have noticed as he glanced at me. He grabbed the handle and pulled the door open for me.
”Go ahead. ” He said, simply nodding towards the car. I followed his instructions and hopped in.
The SUV was quite spacious. Allowing a comfortable fit for about people. With two seats up front, two seats in the middle, and in the back a connected row of three. Hiemsel sat in the drivers seat with an older woman beside him in the passenger. Behind them were two others. Both seemed to be around my age. In fact, all beside The Dean and the woman with him seemed to be my age.
In the middle sat one girl and one guy.
She was quite pretty; her hair was I assumed dyed blue, her eyes a dark brown. She had light makeup on and was currently wearing a black and white tracksuit. Beside her sat the man.
He had black hair with matching eyes. On his face, he had stuble painted across his chin and jaw. He was wearing a jacket and dark jeans. Passing in between them I sat in the back of the SUV on the far side from the other guy in the back.
He took out his wireless earbuds and looked up at me. Smiling he said,
”Hi. Names Eliza, Eliza Espada. You can call me E, Eli, or Double E. I don really mind. ” He said reaching his hand out.
I looked at him, then his hand, and finally back at him. I shared the smile and quickly took his hand.
”Kaine, Kaine Lenoir. ”
Eliza was some form of British. Hes accent was thick but not annoying. He had probably been in America for some time. He had a darker skin tone, with curly hair that was twisted into locs. They dropped down to his ears.
”Those two are Donovan and Myla Summers. They
e siblings and were friends. Known em since we were in like third grade. ” He paused as he waited for them to say something. We both noticed that they too had earbuds in. He soon went back to introductions.
”Me and Myla are 17, Dons 18. How about you? ” He asked.
”Im 17 too, ” I responded. Looking back at the front of the car I asked another question.
”Hey, do you know who that is? ” I asked pointing to the lady up front.
He scratched his head, thinking to himself.
”No… Can say I do. She was the one who picked us up though. She drove us from the airport to the school where we met up with The Dean. Then we drove here. ” He responded.
Eliza then tapped Mylas shoulder. She didn respond until the third tap. She quickly took her earbuds out and whipped her head around.
”Hell do you want. ” She groaned out, looking at Eliza. Her eyes met mine and they seemed to brighten up.
Her cheeks flushed as she snapped back to Eliza.
”Who is that? Do you know? ” I asked pointing to the lady up front.
”Yeah, thats Minami Yukiko. Chief of the B.V.A ” She responded.
Yukiko? So thats his daughter? I asked myself learning this new information.
”Is that it? If so please don talk to me until we get to where we
e going. ” She finished, correspondingly putting her earbuds back in.
Hmm… I turned to Eliza preparing to ask another question but he beat me to it.
e going to the Academy, a bit before the school opens all the students who can attend go to get their skills evaluated. It plays a part in deciding what class youll be put in, even though your personality at the Appasiel Test plays an even bigger role, its good to see where you stand amongst your other classmates. ” He informed me.
It does make sense, but why so early? There are another two months. Well with thousands of students and a previous terrorist attack itd make sense why they would want to put the new generation into high gear.
One thing was bothering me still…
I glanced at the lady upfront, she claimed to be the chiefs daughter.
Interesting. I brushed my hands on top of one another, brushing my fingers over a ring that was neatly placed on my finger. It was a simple silver band with a blueish tint.
2853 people were gathered at the entrance of the school. It was placed in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts. The campus sat on a 22,000-acreage plot of land.
We arrived at what seemed to be the main school building. It was made of pure brick and towered over the surroundings. We had been inside a massive parking lot that had housed hundreds of vans, SUVs, and dozens of busses. The walk to the main building was about fifteen minutes.
It sat on flat ground with other school buildings surrounding it. Ahead of us was a marble staircase.
The car ride to LAX was silent, and that was also when the Dean left. Leaving us with the lady.
A large holographic screen projected itself from a slab of brick n the middle of the front to the building.
It was a video feed from the school board, or most importantly Dean Hiemsel.
”Greetings students! This is the Dean speaking, welcome to HGVU. Dr. Grant, a renowned scientist, family man, and most importantly the worlds very first Variant! Although this is the first year opening our facilities have some of the deepest variant knowledge and roots in the world. ”
He snapped and the feed changed to multiple open areas; A large grass field, a simulated city environment, a forest, a simple school gym, and a large river.
”Now, lets get into what you really want to know. All of you gathered today plus the ones who could not make it are already 100% guaranteed to be able to come to this academy. This test is for combat purposes only. For many heroes, it is brain over matter. Still, with the growing hostility and the increase in the rate of villains, it is imperative that we test the physical capabilities of our students. With these five areas, you will be placed into five groups. ” He paused for a moment, the feed switching again showing the same sort of area in a different location.
”I know what you were wondering. Theres almost three thousand of us and only five areas? No way we could get anything done. There are five environments. Yet there are 28 variations of these areas leaving just about 20 per group. ”
The feed once again changed showing a ranking system, going from one all the way down to 2853.
”Is this public? ” Someone behind me asked.
That was a fair question, itd be a massive ego boost to those who score high but what about the ones who score dead last?
”Only the top 100 will be visible to students, out of those hundred they will compete in front of all of you. Heroes need to understand that they are not only protectors but as unfortunate as it may be. Also, products, each of you needs to be able to perform with eyes on you, not losing composure. ” He finished allowing the students who were less sure of themselves to breathe out in relief.
I looked around taking in as many faces as I could. Some were nervous still, while many others looked extremely excited seemingly wanting to let loose.
Being a variant wasn the easiest. Even those with strong powers couldn truly be free to use them in a law-abiding way.
So far the stronger ones finally are able to let off some steam it was game-changing to them.
”I know all of you got rid of personal items before you came here, and I very much know all of you are missing your phones. So if you would please check your right pocket. ” He informed. At that same moment, a weight appeared in my pants.
I looked down as I pulled out the foreign object, It was a Q19, The Quantum phone line my father had created. It was currently in the 19th generation.
”This device has a real-time 3D map of the campus, every number, and contact of each student here. Now, of course, the burden to scroll through 3000 names is a hassle but after the first week of admission, you can tell your homeroom teacher to remove any name or names youd like. And if you choose to add a name let them know as well. ”
”Whered the phone come from? ”
”Thats the USs number one Variant right there. ”
The students were awed at the ”magic trick ” performed by Mr. Miracle.
I turned the phone on and was quickly greeted by a facial ID scanner, after swiping around I got the gist of the apps; There were some video streaming services, movies and shows, a map, and contacts but what caught my eye the most was an app called QuestHub.
The monitor again switched to the Dean appearing with a smirk on his face.
”It seems as if someone has taken interest in our new app. QuestHub is a state-of-the-art app offering real-time school-wide challenges, citizen-posted help needed, and even crime, for when all of you are ready. ”
A new foreign weight was discovered on my body as I looked down, there was now a silver band with a single black button in the middle of it.
Once again the masses of students yelped in surprise as the silver bracelet appeared on their wrists as well.
”This device will be used as your new ID, wallet, and keys for the facilities around campus. Please understand, this bracelet is your lifeline. With a built-in tracker and heart monitor if you
e found out of school-permitted grounds, or you seem to be in trouble as in your life is in danger, it will send out an alarm to either your assigned professors or to campus security. ” Hiemsel took a deep breath as he began again.
”Now, if you could tap the button in the middle. ” He instructed.
After watching a few people around me tap the buttons I soon followed suit. An 8Hx5V inch holographic screen popped out from a light on the bracelet.
The first slide had a black screen with bright white lettering that read:
Name: Kaine Lenoir
Instructor/Building: N/A N/A
And in the middle, there was a large grey box with a white outline of a person and a question mark. At the bottom of this screen, there was a barcode, which was what I assumed would be the actual Identification system.
After around five minutes the screen hosting Dean Hiemsel appeared once more.
”Now, there are two options. You can either use your finger and swipe on the hologram or you can say NIA, next slide and it will change. ” He once again instructed.
As he spoke out, the word NIA caught my ears, making my eyes go wide.
The NIA? When I was younger working with my Father I would often go to the B.V.A office building and there worked a young woman named Nia Strom, whose main and sole focus was on the use of artificial intelligence in the battlefield.
Being able to deal with variants without risking lives. After years of work and trying her experiments continued to fail, and eventually after all that negativity she took her life. Little did she know that had she kept trying only a day later her artificial helping program would come online.
The team of scientists working with her dubbed the AI with the respective name of N.I.A; Nexus-Induced-Assitant. Or NIA, what surprised me was that the B.V.A would allow the school to use this tech with a group of hormonal teenage supes.
After calling NIA forth I ordered to change screens and then a deep blue screen flickered with black lettering with the number in big bold at the top: $50,000.
As I saw this a smile appeared on my face as the sound of the students around me rose once again.
No way, no way in hell did they sanction this. I chuckled slightly as the Dean appeared once again.
”As none of you are assigned rooms yet, theres no need to go through the final screen.
That will be unlocked after the testing has subsided… Now one more question.
Whos ready to be a hero!? ”
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