ATLANTIS IS DEAD...But her daughter-cities live! PREPARE for the Triple Rising (Completed)
|New York City, USA
Jag sat in the loaded subway car and tried to focus on his cell phone and the photos he scrolled across his Instagram page. The pictures and words kept blurring. Another yawn stretched his mouth as he fought against the relentless fatigue. It wasn't that he was unable to sleep. From the time his head hit the pillow until his alarm clock rang, he slept like the dead. But when he woke, he felt as though he'd just run a twenty-six mile marathon.
He raked his fingers through his scruffy black hair and rubbed his face; the rough stubble on his jaw reminding him that he hadn't shaved that morning. His history teacher, Mrs. Montsy, had reprimanded him in front of the whole class for looking like a "vagabond."
He didn't know about vagabonds, but there were some old men and a couple of thugs in the same car that looked a lot scruffier than he did. With the exception of the two tattooed guys making their way up through the car in his direction, most of the other people were just ordinary.
He felt it. The strange zing that shot from his temples down to his feet in an instant. He'd been feeling it for a few weeks now. Every time he was on edge it came, a surge, sort of like waves of energy, coursing through his muscles. Like he could physically feel them grow denser and tingle with an almost tangible strength. He didn't know why or how the sensations had started, but with the passage of time, they were getting stronger.
One of the tattooed guys slouched into a seat next to a teenage girl, who huddled deeper in her coat and tried to appear invisible.
"Hey baby," the guy said, nudging her with his shoulder.
"What's your name, baby?" The other guy asked, leaning down in front of her, close enough to breathe in her face.
The girl looked away, around the train car as though for help. Most people averted their eyes. That's how it was in the city.
Jag pushed his body tighter against the back of his seat and shoved his hands into his pocket, intent on doing the same. But his eyes wouldn't budge from the scene playing out in front of him. It wasn't that he cared one way or the other about the girl. What he hated was that her problem spilled over into his space. If he wanted to deal with crap, he could have gone home. He was sure his dad would still be sober enough to dish out some.
"Aw, come on baby," the guy sitting next to her slid an arm around her neck and the girl tried to shoulder him off.
"Please stop," she murmured, prompting a round of coarse laughter from her two stalkers.
Jag's muscles twitched and tightened, making him want to crawl out of his skin. A painful throbbing joined the energy surges shooting down his arms. Ignoring the compelling sensation wasn't an option. Words clawed up his throat faster than he could stop them.
"Leave her alone."
The mixed crowd of passengers sucked in a collective breath. the older black man next to him, and the two little girls riding with their mom a few seats down jerked their heads in his direction. The teenage victim stared at him through dark green eyes that looked overlarge against a colorless complexion.
"What did you say?" The guy leaning over in the girl's face straightened and lazily turned in Jag's direction.
Disjointed thoughts ricocheted through Jag's mind. Stupid. Asinine. The zinging had already reached a fever pitch. The strange energy pulsed through him, throbbing to the tempo of his accelerated heartbeat.
"I said," Jag stood, almost despite himself, to face the guy. "Leave her alone."
He could feel moisture beading on his forehead. Whatever he was experiencing didn't feel natural, a fact that spooked him a lot.
"Hey, you don't talk like that." The tattooed guy rose next to his friend and put a hand out to shove Jag's shoulder.
Faster than he could have imagined, Jag's hand shot out to meet the guy's arm. Just like that, he had the guy turned around, his arm twisted behind him.
"What the he-" the bigger guy reached for Jag, but Jag's left hand thrust forward and caught him by the throat.
"Come on man, let me go, you're breaking my arm." the guy whose arm was twisted whimpered.
In that moment, which felt like hours, Jag felt power like he had never known before. He could feel the sinews and bones of the arm in his grip, he could sense the hollow space of the windpipe held in his other hand. He knew, in that instant, that he could crush them. It wouldn't even be hard. Just a tightening of his muscles...the strength was unbelievable.
The fingers of both hands tightened on his prey as his mind fought to control the explosive energy. He'd never felt so physically powerful, or so shaken. The need to finish what he'd started gnawed at him like a ravenous dog.
The subway train jarred to a stop and with a muted ding, the doors behind Jag slid open. Nobody around him moved.
Jag shoved the two guys to the floor and, Scooping up his bag, he exited the subway car and disappeared into the crowd of strangers filling the loading platform. As he walked, he tightened his fists. Something...he didn't know what...was wrong with him.