Heroes Fail

The Look in Their Eyes

Melody diary entry

Hi Diary

Yeah, it’s been a while since I wrote in you. A long while. Too much has been happening, too much pain, too much sorrow, too much happiness. I’ve fled Refuge Point with the Powers and then we’ve come back home, found out that my best friend’s Powers have returned like a spigot that she has no control over with a nice new finesse of vampire life sucking when her body draws down too hard and everything green around us has started mutating into Miracle Gro plants on steroids. My son has developed the mirror reflection of my old powers; organic manipulation with a twist of teleportation. And to add to the mess of those two, Maddy has hers back as well but is acting strangely, even for her, and Ang isn’t quite right either.

Langston, thank heaven, is still Langston. (Although how I find that fact calming, I don’t know. Tells you how messed up things have been, huh.)

We’ve got new people stumbling into the door every few days and although Nat has calmed down a bit, I was beginning to be afraid that she’d re-activate the whole damn group of us including the normals. As usual dammit it all, Langston’s theory of latent abilities being the key to how the survivors survived is correct I beginning to believe. Which means the whole planet is evolving or Nat’s lighting up and mutating genes in everyone she touches like no tomorrow. I’d prefer to believe Langston is right. . .I don’t think Nat’s sanity could handle the other.

You know, I cringed away from her, diary. Hurt her really badly in the way that heals the slowest. Emotional hurts are so slow to heal and I showed her how afraid of her I was. Not because of what I’ve seen her do. She is Nat. She is the most selfless person I know. I think that’s part of her fear. She could choose to give until she had no more to give but her power now says no. It has an almost cognizant realization that self needs to be preserved, even at the cost of undoing the good healing she’s done. That’s a lack of control that Nat’s never had. Hard to give everything if your power overrides that to take it back.

But that’s not why I cringed. She asked. Admitted I’d hurt her. I’m terrified she’ll heal me and re-activate me. I teased her about that when I admitted that was why I was frightened, told her I wouldn’t worry about her opinion because Toby and I would be able to re-make the world to what we wanted and have people who loved us unconditionally. And to my horror, I saw the unease in her eyes. (You know eyes, those lovely windows to the soul? I’m very aware of them lately, so very aware of looks, hidden and open, cut sideways to friends and allies as well judging and cold. Eyes of the crowd, eyes of friends, eyes of strangers, all showing something when their owner isn’t paying attention. I’ve become fascinated with them, how much can be gleaned.)

I couldn’t blame her at all. Nobody knows what happens when I come back online as it were. Langston seems to think I’ll be some kind of eco-warrior, healing the planet with Toby. But will we? What is matter, inorganic and organic but atoms, electrons, neutrons and fermions, all charged, all changeable with a tiny tweak of shells and spin. What happens if Toby can teach me what he can do and I teach him? What isn’t beyond our grasp but consciousness itself? And if consciousness is just the ordering of nerves and electrical impulses and re-arrangement of those nerves can make a new person, then well? What is the devils’ bargain that the world makes in being healed by Toby and I? He and I argued over the extent of what I could do. langstonseemed so very certain that I hedged what I could do. I’d never admit it to him, but he was right.

How did he know? Uncertain. But I’ve found out that Ryan kept secrets from me, so did Jared. (yes, he’s back as well) And Langston’s admitted circumspectly that he and the “others” kept metrics on us all. So, chillingly, I’m beginning to accept that “they” knew what I could do better than I did. I didn’t want to know. I knew what I could do holding back. I know what I could do when my powers first showed. I’ve never told anyone, not even Ryan. When you’re a tween, the world is a balance between wishes and reality and my reality was my wish in so many ways until I began to understand I shouldn’t do certain things. Thank God that children have such selfish little needs so easily fulfilled. No one knew what I could do until there was almost no world left to fear it.

You know I write around trying to avoid the most terrible of things.

Toby is frightened of me. He found Ryan alive and I felt the most joy I had since Toby was newly born and placed into my arms. . . and then he told me what I had done. . .Ryan is a coral at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Somehow, he thrives at that depth. I, somehow, made his environment and put him there, stable and stuck, against all laws of nature. Toby can’t figure out how to undo it. He tried to make light of it, asked me if I had ideas. ( I mean, the water pressure alone is a bear to figure out how to handle much less the transformation of the state.)

But he is scared, no doubt. Of losing his father to a mistake, of not being able to fix what I’ve done, frightened that time is running out since we don’t know how long this state of being for Ryan can last without my powers to sustain it. And of me. Because I did it and did it in a far too short moment of precious time. Oh god, oh god, oh god!! He’s scared of me. I saw it in his eyes!!!! My son! Of his mother! Dear God in Heaven, I never thought I’d see that. I never thought about what that would feel like. I hurt to the bottom of my soul. Awe of what I’d done and yes, fear. I couldn’t let him see what daggers that put through my heart. What will I see in Ryan’s eyes if Toby can get him back? So many eyes and so much potential fear.

I don’t know how I can take it when they really see the monster that I am inside, can become, was tempted with each day.

I found another minute piece of metal at the corner of my eye the other day. I’m not telling Langston or anybody. He’ll tell me my power is shifting and purging the nanobots, that if I work at it, I can force them to shift states like any other metals I played with before and be free of them. I can already see the unemotional appraisal in his eyes, the flat facts pounding their way to his wholly unarguable rational conclusion.

But I don’t want my Powers back. I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t want that temptation. I don’t have the strength anymore to resist. Not now that the world is like it is. Now that I have lived without the worry, without the fear of myself, I can’t go back. I like normal. I’m working myself to exhaustion and hardly sleeping. I can’t let my body have the energy to heal itself, can’t let my power do what it can. Jared talked of nanobots in a syringe for Toby. If I could, I’d inject myself. Those little buggers can’t lose because I can’t win. I know I’ve put a happy spin on it for Nat, but I’m scared and no amount of acceptance or planning will change that.

God forbid that I reactivate. Based on what I’ve seen of the others. . .well, hopefully Ang will just shoot me and put me out of their misery.

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