Six months prior:
Sounds of revulsion rang out as the lock was cut away and the locker spilled open. The contents were rancid, falling out into the floor, the smell overpowering. Amid the entire mess, her clothing stained by exposure to the waste and vomit, a slender brunette collapsed, twitching every once in a while. Silence filled the hall as the students that had gathered stared, some with derision, some with ill-looks, but most with worry.
"Ms. Hebert?" The school official who had accompanied the janitor spoke in a soft voice. "Can you hear me?"
Her lips moved, but he could not make out what she was saying. Carefully, he moved closer, grimacing as he picked his way through the debris. "Ms. Hebert?"
"i̧͞n̢̧v̴́ȩ̕͜͡͡r͢͢͜͟͢t͟͜t̴̶̀͠h̵͘͝͏̛èp̛͢͞͡á̵̸̶ţ̵̵̀͝h̷́r̴͘҉̛e̴̸͟͢͡v̨͠͡e̛̕͡͡ŗ̡́ş͟͝͝e͏̴̨̛d̶͟͏̀͘i̢͟͟r̛e̸̢̕c̸̀t̸̷̢͜͡ì̧ò̢n̸͠à̛͡l̷̨̢̕͢l͏̵͠a͡҉͜p̵͝͏̧p̴̛͡r̷̵͘͟͡ớ̀̕a̸҉̨c̛͢h͘͞͝e͘s̴͜͟͞b̷͢͏͏͢é͞͏n̷̵d̶̛́͜p̴͢҉l̶̨͟͟͞e̶҉̷̶͡a̶̶̕͜s̀̕͞e̵̶͡͞͞s͜͏̢͠͠t͜͠o̶p̵̨̨̀͘p̴̷̛͠ļ̵́͟ę̴̶̸á͞ś͏̨͞é̡̕͠͏s̷̵͜͝ţ͘͘͠o̡̕͠p̸̨̨ṕ̧͜l̡͘͟e҉̀́a͞͞͝s͡҉̀ę̷s͏̢̢t̴҉̶o̧̡p͏̶͢͡͡ " the official frowned at the incoherent stream of sounds from her mouth and his gaze flicked to her eyes. They were wide open, the pupils stretched until they seemed to almost swallow everything else.
He stepped back, swallowing. Whatever had happened to place her inside that locker, it had left her in shock, he gathered. Drawing in a deep breath, he straightened and looked around at the crowd gathered around.
"I believe all of you have classes," he said sternly. "Get to them, if you would." He cast a glare around until they had dispersed, then turned to the other staff that had arrived.
"Ambulance is on its way," the vice-principal said, turning a distasteful look at the waste scattered across the floor and the girl lying in the middle of it. "Is that sanitary?"
"No," the janitor said with a derisive snort, giving them both a dark look before crouching down and slipping his arms around the near-comatose girl. He lifted her easily. "I'll get her to the infirmary so the nurse can at least look her over before they get here."
"You're actually carrying her?" the assistant asked, looking queasy.
"What?" the janitor said, shaking his head. "I'm not going to leave her laying in the middle of a pile of bloody tampons and pads. Maybe you should consider exactly why she was in there, because if this was a prank, it's a pretty foul one. " He started down the hall, muttering to himself.
They hadn't stopped. The school still refused my requests to transfer. I tried to report what was being done and it was brushed aside. My lack of acknowledgement of their activities since the locker had just driven them to try harder.
I didn't care. They couldn't touch me now, but I saw the way Sophia eyed me with suspicion whenever some attempt went awry. She suspected, but I hadn't done anything to them, just used my power to deny them the ability to do anything. It was easy, now.
But it was worse than the antics of a high school students. Hookwolf had seen me. And now, word had spread within his group. Which lead to the situation now.
Stormtiger and Cricket.
"We have someone who would like to talk to you." Cricket said.
"Not interested," I reply, turning away. There was a rush of air and Stormtiger was in front of me, blocking my way. Aerokinesis, if I remembered my research. And Cricket had accelerated reflexes as well as sound manipulation.
"It's just for a talk." he tried again, irritation in his voice. I wondered why, if it was really for a talk, that they had sent someone who got irritated so easily to try and convince me. Then I decided I didn't care.
"I said not interested," I enunciated. "Could you move, please? I'd like to go home."
There was a sound behind me. Cricket had drawn her weapons.
"It wasn't a request," Stormtiger said, looming over me, apparently deciding intimidation was the way to go.
"You really don't want to do this," I said, taking a deep breath. Sound manipulation. Enhanced reflexes. Aerokinesis. I made an adjustment to the space around me.
"Just come for a talk and no one has to get hurt," he said, claw-shaped forms appearing around his hands.
A bully. He was another bully. Both of them. Just like at school. Now I had to deal with this outside of Winslow?
"I decline," I said tightly. "Now go away before you get hurt."
Cricket laughed behind me, but said nothing. They clearly didn't think me a threat.
Screw this. I stamped my foot and the ground erupted, with me at the epicenter. The asphalt and concrete cracking and shattering in a rapidly growing circle. Stormtiger launched upward, and the claw shapes he had called up shot toward me. The air he had shaped dispersed and I saw his eyes widen.
Behind, I heard Cricket dancing through the uneven footing, using her enhanced abilities to bridge the distance between us, intending to incapacitate me or something. I didn't even bother looking in her direction as my abilities caught her and reversed all of her momentum. She slammed into the nearby wall with a thunderous crack, the surface spider-webbing from the impact.
She didn't get up.
Stormtiger shouted angrily and slammed his hands down, the air visibly rippling as he attacked. I looked up as it rushed at me and then detonated, another aspect of his powers. Fire erupted in the air between us and I heard his shout of triumph even as my power immediately dampened any heat or sound from reaching me. I let him have a moment before I exerted myself and dispersed the fire and smoke.
His eyes went wide as he saw me standing there, unscathed.
I don't think my smile was very nice as I spoke.
I nudged a rock at my feet onto the top of my shoe, then kicked it into the air. It rocketed up at speeds my careless gesture could not have produced and he swore, barely avoiding the projectile.
"Hah, you missed!" he snarled. "Now I'm gonna-"
Whatever else he was going to say was interrupted as the rock changed direction and slammed with bone breaking force onto his shoulder. A choked sound emerged and one of his arms dropped to his side, useless.
"You're going to do ... ?" I asked, trailing off, then shrugged. He swung his other arm at me in an arc and I rolled my eyes. Again? When it didn't work the first time? How unimaginative.
I stamped my foot again and broken pieces of pavement shot upward. Too many for him to dodge. They pelted him mercilessly and exactly five seconds later, he dropped to the ground, unconscious. The way he landed made me think that his other arm was now useless too.
I waited for a moment to see if either was going to stir or if someone else was laying in wait. When nothing happened, I walked away. Maybe dad would make spaghetti and his special garlic bread if I asked.
I had not even gone a block when the street around me was flooded in darkness.