The Start Of Something


She gasped and looked up at him her eyes glowing as though lit from within.

He put his hands up defensively.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you.”

She said nothing as he sat down next to her on the grass – but didn’t take her eyes off him.

“I promise you I’ll leave if you want. You don’t have to be angry”

She was confused.


He pointed at her eyes.

“It’s kind of a tell.”

She shook her head.

“Flash," She said pointing at her eyes, "means a lot more than that.”



Not exactly friendly, but at least she was talking to him.

“Like what?”

She met his gaze unflinchingly.

"I don't feel like explaining it to you."

Shocked, he almost laughed, "Wait, why not?"

She narrowed her eyes.

“Because you don't like us.”

He’d expected her directness even less than he’d expected a conversation, but he couldn’t really argue. Most of the other guards here were ex military, still bristling at having been replaced by Aegis like her, and they took every opportunity to make it clear.

Purpose grown to fight a war they'd ended up winning, She and the others were stuck in these camps until the powers that be got around to figuring out what to do with hundreds of superhumans they never expected to come home.

"Fair." he said.

She studied him for a moment, eyes still narrowed.

"Why did you decide to talk to me? Is this some kind of dare?"

"What? No!"

"Then why are you here?"

"Look, in our training they show us footage of you guys during the war, I guess to let us know what we're in for here, I don't know, but you're in a lot of the clips."

She tensed visibly – making fists in the grass.

“They said you were one of the Sang—”

I don’t want to talk about that.

Her voice shook and she’d dug furrows in the dirt with her fingers. The pain he saw in her eyes scared him. He raised his hands in defense again.

“Okay, okay I’m sorry.”

If she didn’t want to talk about the war, then they wouldn’t talk about the war. They sat together in silence for several seconds. She was obviously shaken, but he had no idea what to say.

“Look, I promise you I’m not deliberately trying to offend you, I’m just not used to talking to Aegis. This conversation is the first one I’ve had with one of—”

He caught himself.

“Okay, I don’t know your name.”

She stared at him for a few seconds, and then pulled her collar away so he could read the letters above the barcode on her clavicle. He had to lean in to see, and she found herself distracted by his closeness.

"Catherine." he read.

"Well, it's nice to meet you Catherine, I'm Alex."

She didn’t know what to make of him. He hadn’t panicked, and he’d apologized. She studied him for a moment.

“What else do they show you about us in training?”