• Chapter 4

    Celica lay awake, knowing she should sleep before her next mission, but she had too much on her mind. She hadn’t gotten much sleep since she had joined the POCC. Even though she was given her own room, seeing as she was the only female in the entire organization, she was still insomnious while inside the walls of the enormous steel building.

    To pass the time, she threw a small, metal button, about the size of her thumbnail, across the room. Each time she did, it quivered at it’s farthest point for just a moment, and then whistled through the air and back into her awaiting palm. She discovered she could do this soon after finding it in Anders’ house, when she had tried to discard it. The scientists and doctors all told her that it was normal for a Jumper to have these kinds of effects on a certain kind of metal. It was unnamed, mostly because it was the rarest element in Terra.

    The button slid across the floor for a moment before finally lifting off of the ground and zooming back into her fingers. Thinking about the day when she had found it was a very depression train of thought for Celica. That was the day that Anders explained about the true purpose of the Unknown; to destroy the world using their powers to manipulate energy. Peter had been one of them, and Celica had trusted him. He was the first person she ever saw from Terra, and she would never forget her first few days there.

    Too bad every memory that was evoked was a bad one. All of their awkward moments, all of their disputes, her poisoned leg, her multiple losses of consciousness, all of which led to her own betrayal. Celica had liked Peter, and had even thought of loving him. What she got in return was a deceit and lies. The image of Peter’s face in her mind turned into a cackling, mocking mask.

    Losing her temper, she threw the button as hard as she could, but a hand caught it. Following his hand through her door was Anders, tossing the button up and down in his palm. “Still playing with this thing?” He asked, smiling as usual. No longer a recruiter, he had joined the task force of the POCC. Since then, he had gotten a massive haircut, reducing his mop of bronze-colored hair to a clean-cut shorter length. It made him look more official and at least 3 years older than he actually was, but some of his fun-loving spirit was lost with his swaying jungle of hair.

    “Yeah.” Celica replied simply, sounding grumpy and pushing a strand of black hair behind her ear that had fallen out of her ponytail during her forceful throw.

    “You’ve got quite an arm,” he chuckled, rubbing his palm. “That stings.”

    “Sorry. I was just thinking.”

    Anders had heard this a lot since joining Celica’s division of the organization, and walked over to a bed across the room and sat on it. Celica was grateful that he was more sentimental than most of her co-workers, but she still didn’t want to talk about it. Anders opened his palm, and the bolt returned with a soft whistle to Celica’s outstreched fingers.

    “It’s him, isn’t it?” Anders said finally, after what seemed like several minutes of silence. “Peter?”

    “Yeah.” Celica said again, rolling over to face away from Anders, lest she shed a tear and break her façade of strength and impenetrability. It wasn’t like her to seem like that, but she was in charge, here. She couldn’t let petty emotions ruin her reputation as a strict leader.

    “We’ve almost tracked him down, you know.” He said, and Celica heard him lay down on his bed. “We think he’s still near Dessintre.”

    “That’s good.” Celica said, aiming for sincerity but missing by a mile.

    “Listen, Celica, you’ve got to let him go eventually. He’s a criminal. He tried to bomb the headquarters. On top of that, he has a charge of murder.”

    Celica shuddered at the last word. She had known this beforehand, of course, but it still gave her chills to think of Peter as a murderer. Could someone really have died at his hands? No matter what scenario Celica imagined in her mind, no matter who she envisioned the target to be, the thought of Peter taking the life of another human being seemed… well, inhuman.

    “I’m going to bed. I suggest you do the same. Good night, Celica.”


    “Good night, ma’am.” He added patiently before slipping out the door quietly.

    “Anders?” A moment before the door had shut, it stopped cold.

    “Yes?” He asked, without opening the door again or even turning around.

    “Have you ever killed anyone?”

    He took a few moments to answer, thinking about his reply thoroughly before answering. “Once. All employees are required to carry firearms. Even as a recruiter, I was no exception. I was just walking down the street, making my door to door stops as I do sometimes, asking for recruits; what should I see but a woman getting mugged.” By this time, he was already back in the room, sitting on the bed, staring into the floor while recalling his story.

    “In was an Unknown, I could tell because when he yelled, the rocks and puddles around him quivered and shook. I yelled at him to stop, to leave her alone, but he used a pebble to make this.” He pointed at a hole in his left earlobe, still not looking away from the floor.

    “I only just ducked out of the way when it got me. He was aiming between the eyes. I took out my pistol, aimed it at him, and right as he picked up another pebble,” He cut himself off, and then sighed deeply. “Well, it was the only thing I could do. Someone else would have been killed if I had let him go. I’m still haunted by it today.”

    “Wow.” Celica had seen the small hole in Anders’ ear before, but she had assumed it was just a very roughly made piercing. “I’m sorry.” She added, sounding dumb.

    “Good night, ma’am.” He said, as he left the room, and closed the door a little faster this time.