Years have passed.
I live an unsettled life, hopping from town to town. I avoid
connections or ties, and focus on developing my fighting
abilities and developing my Legacies. Invisibility was
followed by telekinesis, and in recent months I’ve
discovered a new ability: I can control and manipulate the
I use that Legacy sparingly, as it’s an easy way to attract
unwanted attention. It manifested months ago, in a small
suburb outside Cleveland. I had been following a lead on
one of the Garde that didn’t go anywhere and, discouraged,
I was ambling back towards my motel, sipping an iced
coffee. My leg burst into searing pain, and I dropped my
drink on the ground.
My third scar. Three was dead.
I fell to the ground in pain and in rage, and before I knew
what was happening the sky above me filled with clouds. A
full-on lightning storm followed.
I am in Athens, Georgia, now. It’s a cool little city, one of
the best I’ve passed through in the past couple years.
College students everywhere. I’ve got a bit of a vagabond
roughness to my appearance that stands out in suburban
areas, but surrounded by college-age hippies and music
nerds and hipsters I don’t look quite so unusual. This
makes me feel safe.
All of my leads have gone dead, and I have yet to
discover one of my kind. But I know it is coming. Time to
assemble the Garde. If my Legacies are developing at this
rate, I am certain the same is true of the others like me.
There will be signs soon, I can feel it.
I am patient, but excited: I am ready to fight.
I wander the street, sipping the dregs of an iced coffee. It’s
become my drink of choice. I have resorted to
pickpocketing to finance my appetites, but it’s become so
easy that I never have to outright fleece anyone. I just take a
few bucks here or there to get by.
I am suddenly knocked by a gust of wind, practically off
my feet. For a second I think I’ve lost control, that it’s my
own power that caused it. But the wind ends as soon as it
began, and I realize it did not come from me. But it has
swung the door of another café open.
I almost keep walking, but my eye is caught by an open
computer terminal at the back of the café. I use internet
cafés to keep tabs on the news, looking for items that could
turn into a lead on my kind. Doing it makes me feel closer
to Katarina. I have become my own Cêpan.
I chuck my empty cup in the trash outside and step into
the air-conditioned chill of the place. I take my seat, and
begin scanning the news.
An item from Paradise, Ohio, catches me. A teenager
was seen leaping from a burning building. New to town.
Named John. The reporter mentioned how hard it was to
get solid information on him.
I stand up so quickly I send the chair flying out from under
me. I know in an instant he’s one of us, though I don’t know
how I know. Something in that gust of wind. Something
about the way butterflies are now fluttering in my stomach,
brushing my insides with their wings.
Perhaps this recognition is a part of the charm,
something that lets us know that a hunch is more than I
hunch. I know.
I just know.
My heart races with excitement. He’s out there. One of
I run out of the café and onto the street. Left, right … I’m
not sure which way to turn, how to get to Paradise as
quickly as I can.
I take a deep breath.
It’s beginning, I think. It’s finally beginning.
I laugh at my own paralysis. I remember that the bus
station is a mile down the road. I make a habit of
memorizing all transport routes into and out of any town I
visit, and the bus route out of Athens returns to my mind.
The beginning of a plan to get to Paradise starts to
I turn and begin the walk to the station.