Ch. 10: Love, Gravity and Other Things That Suck-
For the first several minutes the pair flew along in silence. While once, there had been a time when the silent concentration would have been necessary for them to effectively use their powers, that was no longer the case. Now the silence was birthed of a thorny thicket of bitterness, recriminations and romance gone horribly wrong. Of all their number, Kasimir and Emily were often considered the most even tempered. Dealing with others that may have been true, but with one another, the hostility was palpable.
After a while, Emily spoke. "Why?" Was all she said.
"Why what Catalyst?"
Kasimir ould hear the sneer in her voice. "Why would you choose me for this scouting mission Magnitude?"
"You're the logical choice."
She was combative, defiant. Once upon a time those were traits Kasimir had found incredibly attractive. Of course, once upon a time, when they were directed at him there was affection behind them. Now nothing but fierce loathing laced her words.
"Your ability to sense and discriminate between minds is invaluable."
The Esper snorted derisively.
"Is there any reason I shouldn't doubt you Magnitude? Got him! Head west toward Djibouti, Vlad is there somewhere." As the mentalist arced westward, the blind man paced her.
"You did just locate him."
"Jack could have done it."
"By scent? A bit inefficient, ja?"
"You didn't even know Jason was with us until he walked out of that portal with Lex. Besides, according to him, he can only mystically scry on locations visited by dead people whose bodies he possesses a significant portion of."
Emily grimmaced. "Okay, that's disgusting. However, he could hack a military spy satellite."
"Really? Whose military? What guarantee does he have of there even being a satellite in the necessary orbital proximity?"
"Don't be a smart ass. Your point is taken though."
Within scant minutes the duo was skimming above the waves of the coast, headed toward their destination. Once more they lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. Features obscured by his helmet, Kasimir frowned. Being this close to Emily stirred up feelings he'd believed long buried. He knew both Jason and Vlad would scold him for being sentimental, but he wasn't as detached as they were. He hadn't taken a lover since she had ended their affair. Unlike Vlad, who also remained celibate, the loneliness weighed on the young German.
For her part, Catalyst was fairly certain she could accurately read her former...schoolmate? Lover? Friend? Complication. Yes, that was it...her former complication. His body language was rigid and spoke volumes of tension. What bothered her was her inability to probe his mind. When she reached outward with her mind it was like Kasimir wasn't even there. The young Esper's eyes narrowed in suspicion as she studied the gravity controller. There was something about him that made her think that he knew what she was thinking about, and that thought made her head hurt.
"Ask me Emily."
She didn't even bother with any games this time. "Allright, how are are you invisible to my mind?"
"Did you ever see the X-men movies?" He asked with a sort of smug casualness.
"You have got to be kidding me. The helmet? Who are you...Magneto?"
"Wrong powerset." He deadpanned. "Plus, you're far too butch to be Professor X."
Emily shot daggers at him with her eyes. Not for the first time, she regretted his blindness. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing." Kas sighed. "Look, you're the best person by virtue of powers to be with me, but I'm having problems coping with having you here."
"You conscripted me for this remember? Besides, it's your own damn fault. You were the one who destroyed us."
"You left me." He objected.
"I caught you in bed with someone else."
"You said at the beginning of our relationship, you had no problem with my polyamory."
"If it had been Tatjana, or Eve or Kirstie or Ellen or even that psychopath Herta, I could understand, but what you did? Unforgivable."
"You said you were accepting of my bisexuality."
"Fine! You could have seduced Dag or Lex or Gaspar, but no! You...slept...with...Juozas! JUOZAS!"
"Diamond dust was deeper than you might believe."
"NO! No, what Diamond dust was, was a user who deceived and hurt me on multiple occasions. If you had respected me in the least, you would have chosen anyone but him. Therianthrope would have been acceptable. Hell, either he or Jack could float your boat no matter how you want your gender bent."
Kas almost rose to the bait, but clamped his jaw tightly shut, grinding his retort into oblivion between his teeth. His emotional distress was distracting...in fact it nearly distracted him to the point of ignoring what his senses had been telling him for some thirty seconds.
"Emily, I detect ships off the coast. Warships. Whatever Vlad stumbled into, it's big."
Catalyst looked across the expanse separating her and her former paramour with an expression that vacillated between hatred and pity. "Not so big. Just the UN doing what it must to keep control over your kind."
"What?" Kasimir Flaegler, the Neo-Sapien called Magnitude, manipulator of gravity and diplomatic mastermind of Free Somalia was not often caught by surprise. This was one of those rare times.
"My kind? Emily, you too are a super powered being."
"Yes, but I am not descended from hellspawn." The German mentalist snarled. "Neo-Sapiens need to be leashed Magnitude, for your own good. It's too bad you had that helmet made Kasimir. I can't feel your mind, so I can't control you."
"Emily, think about this. You are condemning your friends to prison or worse, just because..."
"Oh shut up!" She snapped. At the same moment, she pulled a razor sharp flechette from a belt pouch and launched it into Kas's chest with the full power of her telekinesis.
The attack was both unexpected and deadly. Magnitude clutched his bleeding chest and spun wildly out of control, crashing into the sea. Catalyst watched him thrash weakly, then with only a cloud of blood to mark his passing, sink beneath the waves.
She hovered over the spot for a few more minutes, waiting for him to come exploding from the water, lashing out with his gravitic powers, but the moment never came.
"One down." She muttered to herself. "Okay Vlad you're next." And with a thought, she was skimming toward the unsuspecting Candyman, hiding somewhere miles ahead.
Meanwhile, miles away, back at the Presidential Residence in Baki, Gae Bolg stood stock still, his senses flung far away, skipping from plant to plant. At the moment, his awareness resided in a mass of algae floating off the northwestern coast.
"You've revealed your true colors Catalyst," He thought. "now let's see if you're ready for the consequences."
Before anyone could react, his body lunged toward a scraggly thicket and vanished.
"Now what?" Lex groaned.