The Omega Generation (Looking for 1-2 Players. Read first post and PM your CS to the admins)

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Dawn smiled, holding up her first finger and thumb close together. "Just a bit," she said, giggling softly. "But it's okay, it fills in all the holes I leave by not talking. I think I've knocked all the dust off now, if you wanna try a song or two."

Ben was right, they were going to be here for a while. He couldn't tell what was going on inside, but they weren't moving around a lot, he could feel that much. That much of his odd ability he was thankful for, the sense for omegas around him. It gave him a sixth sense of sorts, and it was because of that he could sit and spy on the omegas inside.

THree of them he was well familiar with now. The sonic, the crystal alterationist, and the chaotic. There were several more there though that he wanted to experiment with, and that firebug seemed like the easiest place to start. He focused his mind, closing his eyes as he looked into the house. Through the roof, several floors down to the ground floor, near the chaotic omega. Right there. It was...a warm feeling omega as was to be expected. And it was that warmth that linked him to it.

The warmth he felt from the firebug, like that of a candle, began to wash over him. He felt warm, despite sitting outside on the roof. And that warmth continued to grow. A smile spread over his face as he sat up a bit, looking down at his hands. The light wind moved over his body and barely phased him. THis omega had power to spare, apparently, and he was somewhat familiar with what she could do already. He just had to do it himself.

The warm feeling kept growing. It felt like a fire had been lit in his belly and his body had become a furnace. The more time passed, the warmer he got. Soon he was almost ready to take his jacket off he felt so warm, but he left it on anyway, reveling in the power growing inside him. But as the temperature kept climbing higher, so did a new scent in the air. It was faint, especially in the light wind, but it smelled remarkably like...smoke.

With wide eyes, Ben looked down at himself. Small whisps of smoke were rising from his jeans, and similar plumes were escaping his jacket from his t-shirt. Opening his jacket, he saw several small, smoldering holes appearing in the polycotton garment.

"Oh shit!" he exclaimed as he stood up. As quickly as he could he started patting his body down, starting over his chest and moving down over his legs. he couldn't feel the hotspots in his clothing due to his far above average body temperature. But the start and panic shook his focus, more concerned with smothering his clothes than the firebug omega. The hotspots in his clothing stopped appearing and the coolness around him was starting to leave. The power was vanishing and good riddance.

"Okay, might take a bit more practice to get, but not now..." he said as he sat back down. Pulling the now warmed jacket around himself, he closed his eyes and looked down into the house again. There were still a couple others that he wanted to work with.

There was that other alterationist. Alterationists were nothing new to him, they were suprisingly common after the omega event, but this one felt a little different, and he couldn't figure out what it was. He cleared his mind and focused on him as much as he could, but oddly enough, no matter how much time he spent or how much he focused, nothing ever changed.

"Come on, gimme a break here. Just what are you?" he said to himself, folding his arms over his chest. This omega was as much a mystery as that other one that felt like a morph. That one had him a bit concerned; morphs were different than other omegas. Their abilities couldn't be copied because they didn't work except at their full power. THis one wasn't a morph though, it was an alterationist that apparently didn't have an alter form.

Ben grabbed his jacket and pulled it tighter around himself. Since he got nice and warm with that firebug, now it felt all the colder. There were pinholes through his clothes now that let air through them. Just more marks now in his already tattered clothes. Opening his eyes, he gave it a rest for a moment and looked down at his pants. It's not like he could get any more. CLothing was hard to come by now, almost nothing in the undercity was new and there was very little of what there was available. And of course, it was expensive. The more he looked down at his pants, the more he wished he had some way to fix them. The holes weren't sewable, and he didn't have needle or thread. Nor did he have any patches. And the more he looked at his pants, the more he saw the holes...going away...

Sitting up a bit more, he leaned down further. They were going away. Smaller and smaller, the threads looked like they were knitting themselves together. It was amazing, it was miraculous, and it was this other omegas power. He was an alterationist, but not a normal one. He was like a cross between an alterationist and an enviromental, he altered things but not himself nor his enviroment. Just, like, anything he laid his hands on he could change. Like Bens pants, and...his shirt, his jacket, his shoes. They all touched him and they were all changing, repairing themselves. In just a couple minutes, his clothes were just like new.

"Wow, nice. Very, very nice. You're a handy one." he said to himself as he looked left and right over himself. Just like store bought. They weren't this good when he got them, which was out of a dumpster in the first place. He was definitely a handy one to have around, but now that he knew what he was dealing with, it's time to move on.

There were a lot of omegas, but this group seemed like the strongest around as far as he could tell. There was that cloaker but he was long since out of range. So that left the morph. Ben took a deep breath and zipped up his jacket for the first time since...ever. Being that he hadn't felt anything from the alterationist in the first place, it was hard to tell if the power was gone, but he went after the other one anyway.

This was it, the morph. THis was going to be a very delicate thing. If this omega turned into some kind of monster and he started to transform halfway it could be fatal. His organs could change and his body not or vice versa and the incompatible bodys not work. That would end his day real quickly. He had to copy enough of his power to get an idea without going to far.

He focused on the omega. This was much easier than the touch alterationist; this one he could actually feel. And he let that feeling wash over him, which is exactly what it did. It felt like he was suddenly doused in water. More than feeling it, he WAS being doused in water. His eyes shot open, looking down at his new clothes as they started to soak through. It was as if every pore in his skin suddenly opened up and were pouring out all the water in his body. Before it could progress any further though he moved his focus away from the morph and to the firebug again. The wet feeling went away replaced by that warm one once again. This time though, he embraced it fully, letting that fire burn inside him. The temperature around him rose as his body temperature shot up, the water in his clothes steaming off. Soon he looked like a plume of smoke coming out of the chimney, a good camoflage if a short one. A few minutes later, he was dry, and warm once again, dialing back the heat so he didn't burn his newly fixed clothes. Settling back again with the newfound knowledge of what this group of omegas could do, he let himself rest, warm, dry, and thanks to the morph, cleanly bathed.

This was a handy bunch of omegas.

"Heh, sorry. It's just that this stuff, music, always gets me going. It was most of what I did when I was little."

"I think I've knocked all the dust off now, if you wanna try a song or two."

Enapay raised an eyebrow. "You sure?" he said, feeling a tad relieved that he didn't have to actually ask for it and taking the instrument with the utmost care. He swung the strap over his shoulder and gently ran his hand across the maple wood finish, keeping his superhuman strength in mind at all times. He didn't want to ruin this beauty and risk Dawn hating him for the rest of his natural born life. As he moved his hands along the instrument, memories came rushing back. Dawn's guitar was for right handed players, but Enapay had trained himself to be ambidextrous. Still, it should have felt awkward at first, especially after all these years, but it did not. He figured that his powers must have had something to do with it.

"This is a nice Gibson. Very nice. I'm more of an Agile man, if only because they cater to lefties just as much as they do to righties.

"Hrmmm, what to play?" Enapay looked off into the distance and gestured his right hand as if checking through a mental playlist, keeping his left positioned in the middle of the neck. "Modern Meat? Nooo, not enough strings. Point to Point? Nooo. Never played it on a six string. Why am I even out to blow somebody's mind when I haven't even touched a guitar in years?" He was muttering to himself. Then it clicked. He made sure the tuning was standard EADGBe and looked to Dawn.

"Okie dokie. For you, pretty ladies, I will play one of my favorite songs in the whole world. Mouths Like Sidewinder Missles by The Fall of Troy. Leads are kinda hard and, on this ampless acoustic electric, won't have the umph that a pure electric plugged into an amp would have, but I'm gonna try and recreate it the best I can for you. Okay? Okay."

Enapay settled into his comfort stance, leaning forward slightly. He began slightly nodding his head, closing his eyes mentally counting the time signature. He took a deep breath through his nose and out of his mouth. With that, he began.

Near the end, Enapay's tounge poked it's way inbetween his white teeth as the teen began lightly banging his head to the progressive post-hardcore symphony in his mind. "Goddamn," Enapay said after he ended the closing riff, a smile on his face. He threw in a melodic descending sweep for good measure. "How was that? If it was good, you want another?"

"This is a nice Gibson," said Enapay. "Very nice."

"Thanks," replied Dawn. "It was a gift from my big sister. She taught me how to play." Her expression darkened for just a moment before snapping back to cheery with an audible *smack*.

"I'm more of an Agile man, if only because they cater to lefties as much as they do righties."

"Hehe. My family was almost exclusively right-handed, and even if we weren't, my dad had this thing against left-handed people. Some old superstition or something. I don't buy it, though."

She listened intently as Enapay played, watching his fretting hand leap all over the neck of the guitar. "Wow," she said as he finished. "I don't think I can do that," she giggled. "It... actually looks kinda painful. You're... really, really good."

She reached across to take the guitar back. "Hold on a sec, I wanna see if I can still multitask. Besides, I fell like playing some Green Day." She slipped the strap back over her head, set her fingers, readied her pick, inhaled, and began.

The sounds come free and clear from the strings, Dawn playing quite well. Then she began singing.

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test
And don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson
Learned in time

It's something unpredictable
But in the end it's right
I hope you have the time of your life..."

Her voice not only complimented the acoustic riffs of the guitar, but even seemed to improve them. Her voice was soft, and yet energetic, and every syllable carried weight. She never faltered or missed a note.

She finished and inhaled, apparently a bit short of breath.


Erica didn't respond to him directly. Instead, she gave a blanket order for everyone to follow her. For a second, Alex hesitated and thought of hanging back and trying to talk to the police. He hadn't been fully involved in the aftermath fight, aside from throwing his jacket over someone's face. No one had spoken up to him either.

"Hey." said a voice nearby. It was Dawn, holding what looked like an instrument case. "What are you stalling for?"

Alex looked back as the cars began to arrive, their red and blue lights making him question his conviction. Eventually, he saw the officers arriving with pump shotguns and dropped his idea of trying to talk to them. He had no idea if he could mend flesh with his abilities, but he knew what kind of damage shotguns could do. "Alright, I'm coming. Wait up." Alex then picked up his pace, following the group away from these scene. The event ended badly, but at least they had done something good.


After nearly two hours, Erica had lead them to what seemed like an orphanage. It was in pretty good shape on the exterior; the paint was very fresh, the grass mostly green, and the sidings intact. He then realized that he hadn't had much interaction with kids over the past five years. Everyone he knew was a college kid, or at least high school.

Inside wasn't what he expected; there was no one there. Looking around, he stepped a short distance away from the group, only to be surprised by the voice of a girl about Erica's age. She was quick to hug her, then asked about the group behind her, Alex hearing that her name was Lauren. During that time, several other orphans were quick to come out of their hiding places, taking notice of the group. One even had something on his wrist that caught Alex's eye and made a grin spread over his face.

Being separated from the motley crue, he waited for everyone to finish their introductions to Lauren before he walked back over. Holding out his gloved hand, the girl gave him a quick look and shook it, though not very strongly. "Alex Bismark." he said in his usual deep voice.

"Glad to meet you." Lauren replied. "I was just telling the others that you can stay here as long as you like."

Alex nodded. He was fairly certain she didn't suspect he was an Omega, but she was nice enough, and Erica was one like him. "Thanks, but if you don't mind, I'm going to hang with the children for a bit. That OK?"

"Oh, sure. They like company." Lauren replied.

Nodding again, Alex then heard what sounded like the crunch of plastic behind him. The kid he had seen with the wrist strap toy had set it down, only to have it stepped on just seconds later. As the kid held the broken toy, Alex could tell he was on the verge of crying. Checking to make sure the knife he had made before was still tucked away, he got in close to the crying child.

"Hey, pal." he said in a cooing voice, sitting with his legs folded next to him. The kid was young, maybe 10 or 11, and looked over at him. "What's wrong?"

"It''s...broken." the orphan stammered. "I can't fix it. I loved this toy."


"Well then, let me help you." Alex offered. "I can fix it, no problem."

The orphan suddenly began to perk up. "How?"

Alex chuckled. "My secret."

"You an Omega like Erica is, mister?"

Alex was floored. He didn't expect the question, but he and Erica were both human in appearance. "Yes, I am." He then held out his hand to the orphan, who was still clutching the toy. "Can I see it?" Once he had it in his hands, Alex examined the damage, his grin growing even more. It was a basic stress fracture on the back. Removing his gloves, he focused on the object's plastic hull and as he did, the sounds of it's plastic repairing told him the job was complete. To be sure, he put it on and tested it; everything worked. "Pretty cool, huh?" he asked.

"You like it?" the kid asked.

"Do I?" Alex said, his voice getting lighter in tone. "I've never seen one before, but I like the show it comes from. I watched it for a while after the Omega Event, and I really grew to like it."

"Do you want that, then?"

Alex looked over at the orphan. He thought about it for a second, but as much as he liked the morpher, this wasn't his. However, the kid suddenly wouldn't take no for an answer, pushing his offer and the toy away when he tried to return it. "You keep it. You'll take better care of it."

Alex stared at the morpher for a second, flipping it open once with a satisfying click. "Well then, I accept. Thank you."

"Are your friends playing something over there?"

Looking over, several of the group were trying to play a tune on a guitar Dawn had brought with her. "Yeah. Looks like a guitar." He then stood up from his cross legged position. "I'm gonna go see if they need something though. Thanks again."

Roar had finish taking his old mask on and put on the new mask. Thank to a new strap at the back it is quick to put on and secure tightly and firm onto his face.

Mizu "Even though it's now a hinge movement, it still got the same facial reading technology. It will detect when you are talking but keeping it shut and when the hinge open out to match your lower jaw so you can use your roar. So how does it feel?"

Roar "Very comfortable. I assuming that it isn't just for comfort and look?"

Mizu "Well duh. The new muffler is far more enduring then the old one, it can't be damage easily. Oh don't worries thanks to the new ally on it, it's more fire proof. Also you should be relief that it's not a power upgrade but it does give you a variety upgrade."

Roar "Variety?"

Mizu "You remember when you used your roar to stop those alter deer animals and those agents came in to capture them and suddenly that huge one charge at them. You had no choice but to use the roar again at it but doing so those agents heard your roar as well."

Roar "Yeah."

Mizu "Well the new muffler will allow you to narrow your sound wave into a narrow sonic bean."

Roar "Sonic bean?"

Mizu "Well your notice that I replace the dials on the ear with a control knob, that way it easier for you to control it then to move the finger on the dial. I had added new functions on it."

Roar "Go on."

Mizu "Ok I will remind you on the options on the control knobs. Your left knob is the range of your voice. From now on the lowest setting your voice range will be like a narrow lineal sound wave aka the sonic bean. Middle setting will be your normal voice as in everyone near you will hear your voice and the max is just what you did to stop the riot but I adjust it so that it is now only a wide frontal sound wave so anyone behind you will not be affect by the fear aspect of your roar."

Roar "Got ya and my right control knob is the strength?"

Mizu "Correct. Lowest setting will not break any solid object no matter how loud your voice is, normal is your standard setting and the maximum is still powerful enough to break solid object like a rock, well depend on the material and thickness. Oh also remember that the strength will never make anyone deaf."

Roar "OK I will remember the new settings."

Mizu "I must inform you however there is a major flaw to the mask."

Roar What?

Mizu "Since the way it open for you to use your roar now will be hinge base, should anything small get wedge in the hinge like sand, sticky gun or maybe even water will stop the hinge movement. Depending if you used your roar, your either have you month stuck open or it prevent you from using your roar. Don't worries it won't be broken, just take it off and remove the hinges by hand should undo the problem. I was trying to solve this problem until you decided to run away today so I will get stated on the mark 5.

Roar "Ok so is that everything?"

Mizu "Well one more thing, I chose a hinge jaw design since it also act as a restrainers."

Roar "What?"

Mizu "We all know that should your exceed your voice limit to the point of making your sore voice worst, it will automatically try to close your mouth by force. This also apply when your get angry. So please allow it to close for you to keep your voice intact."

Roar had remembered the laminated paper and had a closer look at it. He can only barely make what look like a blueprint of a basic mask design."

Roar "What the paper?"

Mizu "That the blueprint to a basic mask designs should you break both of them. I swear if you do break both of them, I gong to smack you on the head again for that!!"

Roar "I will take good care of them. I swear!"

Roar had unzip his holdall bag and place the spare mask, the extra neck fabric and the paper inside it and close the bag.

Roar "I can't thank you enough for that."

Mizu "I will keep hold of your old muffler."

Roar "Why I may as well keep wearing that till I wear it out."

Mizu "You've already did, it was damage when you use your roar to the max at the riot and it got damage further from the heat and when you drop it."

Roar "Oh... I got to ask, are they going to try to capture me?"

Prof Yuen "I have persuaded them not to pursuit you but I must warn you they will now watch over you. They will only apprehend you if you become a threat or harm others."

Roar "Can you persuade them again to focus on me only? I don't want the others will be involve just because I rebel."

Mizu "Don't worry they have no interest with people like the ones you just met, they know how lethal your voice get when you're enrage. However should they take action toward those other Omegas, it will be their own reason not because they are with you."

Roar "Ok thanks."

Mizu "Oh I place a tracer on it so I will always know where you are. It's only for me to use. Should it fall into the wrong hand, you will know when to remove it"

Roar "How would I know?"

Prof Yuen "Oh you will feel it when it happens."

Roar "Ok this is last question I have to ask before they start to wonder where I am."

Mizu "Go on."

Roar "Since they will only keep a watch on me, how will they deal with any invading alter animals without me?"

Mizu "My guesses is that they will finally get their lazy ass of the coach and deal with it themselves but I think they make get the Omega Breather to take over your job."

Roar "Him? I haven't seen him for years."

Mizu "He's different then the last time you meant him 3 years ago. He is still stronger then you. They may even use him to keep an eye on you or even capture you again. I know your friend with him but if you ever see him be caution."

Roar started to see a sad look on Mizu face.

Mizu "I'm not surprise that you're running away. You were a caged Canary being told when to sing until you grew tried when to sing and sought freedom for yourself."

Roar "If you think I didn't care about you then you're wrong. You're always important to me."

Mizu "Yeah I know, I figure it was too risky for you to see me after you left...."

She step in closer with her arms out and hug him. Roar had a warm feeling when hugged. Moments later she stops the hug and withdraws her wrap arms but her hands are now on Roar shoulder as they stare each others in the eyes.

Roar "I will see you again some day but it won't be me being capture."

Mizu "We shall see. So see ya!"

Roar "Good bye."

Mizu took the empty briefcase as she walks out at the other end of the alleyway. Roar wanted to follow her but he knew that he can't. He picks out his bag and walk back to the orphanage.

Roar Great, How am I going to explain the new mask I'm wearing? I haven't even told them I used to be with the Government.

He walk inside and heard the new music being play by Dawn.

She listened intently as Enapay played, watching his fretting hand leap all over the neck of the guitar. "Wow," she said as he finished. "I don't think I can do that," she giggled. "It... actually looks kinda painful. You're... really, really good."

Enapay smiled humbly, replying, "Aw. I'm alright. Thanks, though. I appreciate that a whole lot."

She reached across to take the guitar back. "Hold on a sec, I wanna see if I can still multitask. Besides, I fell like playing some Green Day."

By she had finished, Enapay was slowly nodding with his eyes closed. "That was really nice. You have a good voice," he said opening his eyes. "I can sing, too. Want me to?"

THis was actually pretty nice for the moment. Warm, clean, new clothes. He hadn't had it this easy in...well, probably about five years before the omega event. Before that he had a pretty easy life, go to school, come home, he worked a part time job on the weekends and pretty much didn't have a care in the world. How things change...

Surrounded in the aura of heat borrowed from the firebug he had time to relax, but his focus was waning. He was clean and warm, but there was a nagging in his belly, followed by a twisting feeling and a rumble. Resting a hand on his stomach, he remembered: he was hungry.

"Oh right, that was kinda the whole reason I came up here in the first place." he said out loud to himself. He came looking for food and then got caught up in the riot and subsequently lost all that food, and then went chasing after the group of omegas. He hadn't eaten all day, which wasn't really that different than any other day. As a matter of fact...when was the last time he had something to eat. Obviously not today, yesterday? No...yesterday he was lurking around block 497 looking for things, so it'd been at least two days. Giving a shrug, he gave up trying to remember. He'd gone so many days without food these last several years he was used to it, which was a depressing comfort at best, and downright just depressing at worse.

However, nothing was going to change just sitting there. He picked himself up and brushed off his jeans, knocking the dirt and pebbles off his pants. He looked around the roof he was on. This place was a wreck, especially for a building in the overcity. It was a little suprising; he didn't think there was such a thing as a slum up here. People up here were rich, powerful, afluent, educated, they practically had success as part of their blood type. Why this place was here...

It didn't matter though. Slowly and quietly he crept around the building's roof, looking around for possible entrances. This was hardly his first break in, but he normally didn't do it while the building was occupied. Still though, if there were people, there had to be food. As he slinked around the edge of the roof crouching low so no one on the street noticed him, he came upon a hole in the roof. This was almost too good to be true. Here was an entrance inside that more than likely no one was watching. The only problem that might come up was if one of those lesser omegas could sense him, but being lesser omegas it was unlikely they could even use their powers. This was about the only shot he was going to get.


Carefully, he got down on all fours and crept on his fingertips and toes to the hole, lowering his head through and looking around. The hole went straight down to the ground floor through the attic, and the attic was dark. Perfect for concealing him. he slipped inside and walked along one of the roof treses, heel-toe over the two-by-fours and crouching in the shadows. Down below, he heard guitar playing and the voices of that chaotic omega and the firebug. Guitars? Well, you really are carefree, aren't you? So this is what you do when you're not threatening other omegas...

THis was it, standing just above the cieling. Peering around a bit he could see downstairs. There were children down there running around and playing, meaning this really was an orphanage. A sudden pang of guilt hit him. He was a thief, but even he had standards. Stealing from children was low even for him. But...he was hungry, and there weren't exactly a lot of options available. Closing his eyes as he weighed the morals in his head, he came to a decision. He was going through with it, but just a little bit. Just enough to tide him over til he could find more food.

Confident in that decision, he moved. From his perspective, he could tell roughly where the kitchen was. So he moved across the roof treses on all fours like a monkey moving through a tree. It was a lot of guesswork, picking out the kitchen without being able to see it, but then he didn't last as long as he did by being dumb. Very carefully, he moved to the outer wall. If there were going to be cabinets, they'd be on the walls. He listened hard in the darkness and strained his eyes, but when he was sure he had the right spot, he moved his focus to the other omegas. The tactile alterationist.

The warm feeling faded from his body, sending a chill up his spine for a moment in the cooler air. That meant that he was copying the right powers, or at least it was a good indication. He still couldn't feel anything from this alterationist. After picking out the spot where the cabinets were though, he pushed the fiberglass insulation aside to expost the bare wood. His hands itched from touching it but he ignored it. The promise of food far outweighed a little itching. Pressing his hands on the wood he tried to think like he did back when he repaired his clothes...

He focused his mind and pictured a hole in the ceiling just in front of him. He made himself picture it, actually imagining the wood with a hole in it. With his hands pressed against the wood, very slowly it started to shift, the fibers pulling apart and weaving together in an expanding ring. The wood thinned and then finally broke through in a pinhole that grew. Larger and larger, first the ceiling and then the top of the cabinet, until he could at least fit his hand through, then he let up on it. Taking a deep breath and feeling a bit proud of himself he reached through and started feeling around.

There was no light, so he couldn't see what he was grabbing, but it felt like there were a lot of cans and jars. Some were glass, most were plastic, and on one side there were a couple rows of aluminum cans. Rather than waste time looking he grabbed a can and two jars, one plastic and one glass trying not to take too much of any one thing that might be noticed. Keeping the three things in his arm, he moved away and crawled to te other side of the attic away from his point of intrusion. Hidden in the corner, he looked at what he'd managed to take.

"Let's see here..." he said in a whisper as he held up the plastic jar, "...peanut butter, and about half gone. Good protein though. And..." he said, setting it aside and held up the glass jar next, "...prunes., you'll thank me later, trust me. And lastly..." he said, setting the prunes aside with the peanut butter and picking up the metal can, "...yams." he said, shuddering with a look of disgust. He was hardly in a position to complain, but that didn't mean he had to like it.

Still though, food was food. And unwilling to wait any longer, he cracked open the jar of peanut butter, using his fingers to scoop it out and lick it off as he let the alterationists power go, content to sit and eat in peace.

Seeing the group sitting and playing some tunes, Alex quickly noticed that one of their group was missing. Roar wasn't in the group. "Huh. Where did...?"

"Is something wrong?" Alex turned to face the voice. It was Lauren.

"I'm just wondering where Roar went."

"You mean the young man with the metal mask?"

Alex nodded. "Yes. Him."

"I've been wondering also." Just then, the two of them heard a rumbling growl coming from Alex's stomach. Embarrassed, he covered a laugh. "Heh. Don't be ashamed of it. If you're hungry, I can make you something. From what Erica told me, you all have had quite a day."

"We have. An explosion, fires, and this guy who could copy our abilities."

"You don't say. How about you tell me more about it while I fix you all something?"

"I appreciate that ma'am, but if it's alright, I'll help you. I have a lot of cooking experience myself." Lauren smiled and accepted with a nod.

As they walked towards the kitchen at the rear of the building, Alex snuck a look at Enapay, who was now taking the guitar and looping the strap over his shoulders. After his act at the scene of the explosion, he had a bad feeling about his character. He felt like a worse version of Feron.

The room that was the kitchen had a lot of signs of aging, and what seemed like parts which had yet to be fixed since the Omega event. Some of the windows were self replaced, judging by the caulking job, and a few of the cabinets were working on old hinges, the woodwork watered down in a few spots.

"Wow. I haven't seen a kitchen this big in years."

"Yeah. I do my best to keep it in shape. Not easy, let me tell you."

"I know. My campus's kitchen is the same way."

"Campus?" Lauren said as she began getting stuff from the fridge.


"Oh, yeah. I live at what remains of NYSU." His voice dipped in volume as he said the next part. "I was there on the night of the event, and I haven't heard from my folks since." Alex said, letting out a sigh to let go of some of the old emotions he had from that time.

When he came closer to Lauren to assist her, she stopped what she was doing and hugged him at his torso, her arms wrapping fully around him. Alex suddenly felt flush with emotions, anger, sadness, and more like them. He hugged her back, trying to ignore the idea of him hugging his own mother. "You're a strong kid." Lauren said. "I know that's hard to live with."

"Not really." Alex replied. "I never accepted that they're dead, and I won't unless I can see them and confirm it. I believe they are alive though. Just...deep down, I know it."

Lauren then released him. "Keep that enthusiasm, Alex. This world needs people like you."

Alex chuckled. "I know, especially considering today."

Lauren then began making a small meal, one Alex recognized from his time in the kitchen. Spaghetti. Given the size of the pot, it would likely feed all of them once.

"Oh, Alex, if you could, reach up in that cabinet and..."

"...get the oregano and salt?" Alex finished.

"Not bad. You do know your way around."

Opening the cupboard's doors, he reached for the two jars containing the respective spices. Only one was labeled, the oregano, but he had zero trouble finding the salt. As he grabbed it, since he had that glove off, he felt his hand start to itch. Setting the containers down, he shook his hand, trying to shake off whatever was on him.

"Something wrong?"

"I was grabbing the jar, then my hand just started itching."

"What?" Lauren then walked over to him, taking the container and checking it. "That's ceiling insulation."

"Wait, you mean like fiberglass?" Lauren nodded at hearing his question.

Looking in the cupboard again, he then noticed a hole about the size of his head at the top. "What the?" Climbing up on the counter, Lauren tried to ask him down but Alex wanted to know where that had come from. "Hang on, Lauren. Let me see this." Up close, he felt the rim of the hole to see what had made it. It was as smooth as if someone had sanded it down.

Then, he had a strange thought. Had the copycat followed them? He had done similar things with rough surfaces before, and there was still insulation near the hole, so this wasn't an accident.

Instead of leaping down, Alex climbed down slowly, trying not to make any noise. He then gestured to Lauren, telling her to keep her voice low. "What is it? What was up there?"

"A hole." Lauren looked surprised. A hole, in her cupboard? "I think I know where it came from. Where's the ladder to the attic?"

Lauren was slightly worried at what Alex was thinking, but even more so at what could have made what he was talking about. She thought about it for a second. "Follow me."

Alex kept close and followed her out of the kitchen. He hoped he was wrong, but even if he wasn't, something had made that hole. And he wanted to know what.

Marcus leaned against a nearby wall and watched the guitar playing with interest. He didn't have much of an opportunity to learn an instrument where he was from, and no one to teach him. The skill with which Dawn and Enapay played amazed him. He considered joining them when one of his voices interrupted saying "I'll bet Sonny is really worried right about now."

Marcus cursed silently, Sonny had no idea where he was or what happened. Marcus decided to forget about waiting and talk to Lauren right away, but when he turned to look for her he saw that she was gone.

"Must be inside..." Marcus thought and he stepped into the building. He made his way through the orphanage to find Lauren and Alex as they were just leaving the kitchen. Marcus wondered why Alex was inside and assumed he was there to help in the kitchen.

"Hey Lauren, I need to ask you someth-" Marcus started to say then paused when he saw their facial expressions. "What's wrong?" Marcus asked.

Hearing a voice nearby, Alex almost jumped. It was Marcus, likely wondering what exactly they were doing.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

Alex gestured to Marcus with his hand waved in front of his throat. "Just stick close, and keep quiet." he replied. "I'll explain in a minute."

"Sure, go ahead," Dawn replied, handing back the guitar again. "Wow, I'm getting karaoke night flashbacks," she added, giggling. "So embarrassing..."

She looked up and saw Alex and Lauren walking past. She wondered what the look on their faces meant, because they had the same one, and were walking like they had somewhere they had to be, and they were running late.

She decided to let it go for now. Besides, she wouldn't say it, but she still didn't quite trust Enapay enough to leave him alone with her beloved guitar. Especially after his little display with the copycat earlier.

Enapay didn't seem like such a bad guy, though. Kinda nice, really. Very nice, in fact. At least now that he's not freaking out. And he's a really good musician, not unlike Dawn, herself. Likely, he was also in much the same situation she was. He'd understand--

She shook her head. None of that, she told herself. You look like an idiot. Um... say something. Ask him a question. Yeah, conversation, that's good.

"So, uh," she stumbled over her own words, "wh-where, um, where'd you learn to play?" She was blushing slightly again.

"Sure, go ahead," Dawn replied, handing back the guitar again. "Wow, I'm getting karaoke night flashbacks," she added, giggling. "So embarrassing..."

Enapay laughed as he pulled the strap over his head, fixing his hair afterwards. "Karaoke? Really? That's pretty awesome," he said, suprisingly devoid of sarcasm. It was evident that he wasn't very judgemental of people.

In the back of his mind, he felt like a few people in his company were being judgemental of him at this very moment, but disregarded it. If any of them could work up the nerve to be up front and voice thier concerns, he'd try to make them understand. He couldn't really blame them, considering that he'd had one of those superpowered tantrums at the fire. Or maybe he could, considering he was dragging helpless people out of that fire before. In any case, he'd just be himself, and, hopefully, that would be enough for them all to see him in a more positive light. And if they didn't, he just wouldn't worry. The opinions of other people only matter so much.

"Not really my cup of tea, but I've never actually done it. I can imagine that, like everything, it'd be fun once you find that groove. Me? I was more of a band guy. Performing with my friends in small clubs and dingy dives was the time of my life." He began testing out the strings.

"So, uh," she stumbled over her own words, "wh-where, um, where'd you learn to play?" She was blushing slightly again.

Enapay raised an eyebrow at the sudden awkwardness, but his expression melted into a small, knowing smile soon after. "Well, I play more than one instrument. My dad actually got me to start playing guitar when I was just six. He was a really radical dude, and not in the 'Dude! That was totally radical!' sense, but he was a really open-minded individual, totally accepting of others' feelings and beliefs. It showed in his guitar playing, as he was always taking in these new ideas. To me, he was the best guitarist in the world. An older, Native American Tosin Abasi in my own living room and a great teacher. Thanks to him, I could play Mouths Like Sidewinder Missles when I was just ten. Anyways, I try to be like him in my playing and in life, which is very multi-dimensional and multi-faceted," he said in an admiring tone. He paused for a few seconds.

"Anyways, I was also a naturally a competant drummer, but my mom turned me on to some new stuff. A new style. Her style. It's weird, y'know? Seeing your mom drumming, only as a hobby, mind you, and tearing it up better than like, ninety percent of the drummers in the bands I usually listened to at the time. Her style was so progressive. Like, very assymetrical and technical, with aggressive precision and all these time changes," he continued. "And I learned to play the euphonium or baritone in the schools band program, which I was in for about three years. Sure, it was a horn, but I dug it."

"Then there's Brandon, who was my best friend in the whole world. He was something else. His taste and talent was leaps and bounds above anybody else at that age. So intellegent in his playing. He taught me to manipulate time and rhythm on the fly and make it beautiful, which I could do to a degree before, but I just wasn't doing it until I started playing with him, if that makes any sense. He also taught me to play bass and seven-string and eight-string guitars very well. He'd be twenty if he was still alive," Enapay said, a pang of sadness and guilt hitting him, resulting in a frown. The teen had gotten ahead of himself with that last statement, but he wouldn't let himself dwell on it.

"But when I was thirteen, we started this band, When Death Becomes Escape, lame name, I know, and that's when I started really improving in ability and taste. I mainly the vocalist and me and Brandon co-wrote all the music, but if Brandon wasn't there or there was an acoustic song to be performed, I'd play lead. Anyways, all these bands I listened to before, who I now consider okay at their very best, like A Day to Remember, The Devil Wears Prada, and Escape the Fate, suddenly seemed so trivial. My taste evolved to stuff with alot more, I dunno, intellegence, I guess. It had a lot more substance and took tons more talent than that other crap," Enapay said with a small smile.

He, for a moment, went back to the days of playing in his band. All the teenage angst and aggression disposed of, right there, on stage. All the flailing of guitars, singing, yelling, screaming, complex and melodic riffing, headbanging, and the wild crowd. Every once in a while, the music would tone itself down to a more mellow sound, that almost anyone could get behind. The image made him smile. He then looked down and strummed the guitar strings once.

The boy then consider how much he had just said and smiled apologetically. "Sorry, I guess I'm just a long winded guy. But it's a little charming, right?" he joked.

"Anyways, this is a song that I think you'll love, or maybe have already heard. It's more of a 'sing song' deal. Riffs aren't hard, just empathic, complementing the singing. It's called 'The Girl' by City and Colour aka Dallas Green. My voice is a good bit younger than his, more whiney at any rate, but I'll do my best, which should prove satisfactory. Wish me luck," he chuckled. Despite this, he was not nervous, but at peace, sitting here. He liked the small, homey audience of a few friendly children, Erica, and Dawn, who he found that he had bit in common with. It was nice.

Enapay brushed a stray bang from his right eye and set himself once again. The bang returned, along with others, but he didn't seem to mind, as his eyes were shut. He handed Dawn her pick back, lightly and soundlessly tapping his foot for the tempo. "I'll finger pick this one."

The teen began, strumming passionately.

"I wish I could do better by you,
Cause that's what you deserve.
You sacrifice so much of your life,
In order for this to work.

While I'm off chasing my own dreams,
Sailing around the world,
Please know that I'm yours to keep,
My beautiful girl.

And when you cry a piece of my heart dies,
Knowing that I may have been the cause,
If you were to leave, fulfill someone elses dreams,
I think I might totally be lost.

But you don't ask for no diamond rings,
No delicate string of pearls,
That's why I wrote this song to sing,
My beautiful girl..."

Throughout, Enapay never once looked his guitar, or anything, for that matter, as his eyes were closed for the duration of this. His hands operated as if the song was second nature and he effortlessly played every note and chord perfectly, singing in a light, mellow, cooing tone that was almost, but not quite, sad. He paused and opened his amber, almost golden eyes, the light of the room shining on them in an odd fashion. Then, the boy looked down at nothing in particular.

Suddenly he gently stomped the tempo, making a very soft but audible thud, perfectly in time.

"A one, a two, a skoodilly skoodilly doo," he said, hoping that some one else watched Spongebob and got that. He started back with a brighter, faster-paced riff, which caused the children to rock side to side, like most did when they heard music they liked. The dark-skinned teen then began sing, for the second time, his lips curled into a small smile.

"I wish I could do better by you,
Cause that's what you deserve.
You sacrifice so much of your life,
In order for this to work.

While I'm off chasing my own dreams(my own dreams!),
Sailing around the world ('round the worllld!),
Please know that I'm yours to keep,
My beautiful girl.

And when you cry a piece of my heart dies,
Knowing that I may have been the cause,
If you were to leave, fulfill someone elses dreams,
I think I might totally be lost.

But you don't ask for no diamond rings (diamond ring!),
No delicate string of pearls(string of pearls!),
That's why I wrote this song to sing,
My beautiful girl.


But you don't ask for no diamond rings (diamond ring!),
No delicate string of pearls(string of pearls!),
That's why I wrote this song to sing,
*higher pitch than all the others*My beautiful girl..."

Unlike the original ending, Enapay began doing some shred improvisation, before ending on a strongly strummed chord, which he let reveberate for a few seconds before abruptly cutting it off.

He looked to Dawn with a toothy, playful grin. "Heh. So. That tickle your fancy any?" he asked nonchalantly.

Marcus walked quickly and quietly over to Alex and Lauren. "What's going on?" he asked, hoping that trouble hadn't found them again.

Roar is standing near to the entrance but he is not exposing to the outdoor. He didn't want to bring attention to himself with the new mask he is wearing. He thinks he can just slip back in and hope that no one really notices that he was outside. He just stood there listening to the music which had eased his thought. He is feeling calmer now that he is somewhat "off the hook" for the time being depending what his future action will bring danger to himself or to anyone around him.

Dawn listened to Enapay playing the song, and actively had to stop herself tearing up. She'd remembered hearing this song somewhere, but she didn't know where. She promptly decided it wasn't important and decided to applaud softly instead.

"Wow," she said, "you've been practicing a lot, haven't you?" She ineffectually moves some hair behind her ear. "I've been told I have a bit of an Evanescence-like voice, but I think they'd be jealous of that!"

"By the way, Spongebob is seriously underrated," she added, smiling back.

"Wow," she said, "you've been practicing a lot, haven't you?" She ineffectually moves some hair behind her ear. "I've been told I have a bit of an Evanescence-like voice, but I think they'd be jealous of that!"

"Really? Hah. I don't know about all that...Even now, I sing to myself, every now and then, when I'm bored, but I don't really consider that practice. I guess it's kind of natural for me. People, mostly my mom, would say that I have a pretty singing voice so I just ran with that."

"By the way, Spongebob is seriously underrated," she added, smiling back.

"You caught that? Haha, yeah. I loved that one marching band episode, but they all were pretty great. Dad said that they were beating the series into a fine paste when 2015 came around and there were still new episodes being made, though. Heh," Enapay said with a grin.

After a moment of contemplation, the teen went on to say, "Wow. You know what? Thanks to you and your guitar, I've had one of, if not the, best experience I've had since I've been aware of everything that's been happening. Since I've been awake. Thank you so much for it." After this Enapay found himself looking into Dawn's eyes for a brief moment, before looking away.

Slowly and gently pulling the strap over his head, the boy handed the guitar back to Dawn."I think I'm done for the time being, but we should do this again sometime." His eyes looked tired, but became alert as he listened, like an animal that felt a disturbance. He found himself wondering what Marcus, Alex, and Lauren were worked up about. "They can surely handle it," he thought. "Besides, if it escalates, I'll know."

The look of concern faded when his eyelids drooped once more. Enapay yawned lazily and reclined on the bench. "I wonder if they have beds around here. Probably not. But if so, I hope they have some open ones."

Erica sat back, listening to Enapay and Dawn talk about music. It was interesting for a bit, but then she got bored and decided to go walking around.

As she got up, she noticed that some of the others were gone, so she asked one of the children if they had seen them.

The child, a young Omega by the name of Richie nodded from behind one of the armored plates that covered his body.

"I think I saw one of them go inside, Miss Pixie." he said quietly.

Erica nodded. "Thanks, kid." She said, and went into the building to find them, only to come across Lauren, Alex and Marcus (whose name she had learned just recently) standing around looking concerned about something.

Almost immedietly, she knew something was wrong. "What is it?" She asked, discretly prepping for a fight in case one popped up.

The post is a collaboration of efforts from AgentBJ09 and ShadowKatt.

Ben sat in the corner with the food he'd gotten eating for the first time in days. it was dark up here, but he didn't need light, and out of the wind it wasn't so cold. Downstairs he could still hear the guitars going back and forth. "Dinner and dinner music. Not bad..." He leaned back some, taking in and enjoying the sounds, despite his slight nervousness.

Meanwhile, Alex and Lauren, along with Marcus, were making their way through the orphanage to the attic's ladder. Looking over his shoulder, Alex spoke to Marcus and Lauren in a low tone, just in case the person he thought was nearby was trying to listen for them. "I found something in the kitchen. Looked like someone used my powers."

"You can make holes in things?" Lauren said without any hint of joking around.

"No. I can reshape matter. That hole was too smooth to be a hack job, though."

"Say what?" Marcus said, sounding surprised. "Someone..."

"Yeah. It could be our copycat friend from before."

Evetually, the group reached the ladder. The paint job was cracking, as was the rest of the ceiling, but it still looked like it would function. Lauren then reached for the rope attached to it. "Here. Just pull this down..."

As she gripped it, Alex suddenly called for her to stop. If he was right, the ladder opening would scare whoever was upstairs off. As Lauren looked back in his direction, questioning why he changed his mind so fast, Alex began peering around for a section of the ceiling he could work with. "Let me try doing the same thing elsewhere first."

Taking a nearby footstool, Alex began feeling around the ceiling, looking for a good spot to work with. "OK. Just need a..." He then tapped the ceiling twice, not too loudly but enough so that he heard a solid 'thunk' from thick wood. "crossbeam. Bingo."

Upstairs, Ben's head shot up when he heard the two knocks. They were not part of the music he was listening to, and he hadn't heard the kids downstairs making any big fuss or throwing things at the roof. Was that it and he was just acting on nothing? Either way, he licked his fingers clean, resealed the jar, and got on his hands and knees, watching for any signs of activity that could get him caught. His adrenaline spiking didn't help matters, nor the fact that there was only one way out through the roof. Thankfully, he could only feel one Omega very close by, the water-based alterationist.

At the same time, Alex removed his gloves and stuffed them into his jacket's pockets. Placing his hands under what he knew was the crossbeam, he concentrated on what he wanted to make and slowly the hole began to take shape, the wood grain bending and melding as he worked. As he continued to shape the wood ceiling, he gestured for Marcus and Lauren to find something taller for him to stand on. If he was going to avoid making too much noise, he had to go this route.

Eventually, the hole was large enough for his head, but as it formed, some of the insulation began leaking over the edges. "Oh, damnit." he thought as he started reforming the wood to catch the falling shards of material.

Ben froze when he saw light starting to come up into the attic from below. He'd heard no door open for the attic access which meant that either there was a hole in a closet someone opened, or...the touch alterationist used the same trick he did. Panicking, he began moving back into the corner, staying low and quiet.

"Here. Use this." Lauren said as she set up a bar-stool next to Alex's waist. He nodded to her as the hole reached the best size for him to fit through. " it." he thought, the hole now able to allow his shoulders through. With Lauren and Marcus by his side, he put his fingers over the edges of the crossbeam and began pulling himself up, the stool and his partners holding on.

As he peeked through the hole, he quickly noticed a dark shape near the place where the kitchen's hole had been, one creeping along like a cat. The attic was nearly pitch black, making it almost impossible to see anything clearly. It was likely a medium sized figure though, which made him certain that this was the copycat from before.

As he looked around the attic for a switch for a light, another hole, this one in the roof itself, was slowly revealed as outside the overcast sky began to make way for the sun. The light shone through the hole, illuminating his end of the attic and making it a bit easier to see in front of him.

"I know you're up here." Alex said into the darkness. "If you're scared, don't be. Mr. Raging Bull isn't going to do anything to you." Waiting for a response, Alex kept his eyes on the spot he had last seen the dark shape.

Meanwhile, Ben didn't take any chances and kept his mouth shut. Clearly, whoever it was, sounding just like the touch alterationist, couldn't see him. As long as he stayed still and quiet, if he was lucky this guy wouldn't investigate further. If he wasn't...

"Hey, Lauren, get me a flashlight." Alex said with a quick glance downstairs.

Ben's eyes went wide at the mention of a flashlight. He wasn't yet caught, but he still had a chance, although he hated the idea of having his skin covered with fiberglass. He shrank back into the corner more, settling between the roof and the ceiling, pressing his body down into the insulation and hiding best he could behind the 2x4s, hoping the alterationist might overlook him.

"I'm not leaving here until I see you." Alex said. "I know someone made that hole, and no one else here has my power." Again, there was nothing, but he refused to back off. He knew he was right.

"Alex, all I have is a lantern." Lauren said when she returned.

"That's fine. Any light works."

Reaching down for it with one hand, Alex felt the weight of the lantern against his palm as he took it. It was an old Coleman fluorescent lantern, one he was quite familiar with. Setting it on a nearby crossbeam, he flipped the switch on the lantern, and as soon as he did, his glee at having a light source was squashed. The batteries couldn't hold any charge and the light died off in a second.

Wasting no time, Alex removed the bottom, letting him see the batteries: D-size ones. "Shoot. Lauren, find some fresh ones."

While Alex was frustrated, Ben was pleased at once again having luck on his side. No light source meant the Omega would be forced to search the area by hand to find him. He relaxed a bit, trying to focus his senses and wait the alterationist out.

When Lauren returned, saying she was out of good batteries, Alex swore openly at his luck. "Damn. Then..." Grabbing the sides of the hole he made, he pulled himself fully up and stood on the edges of the hole, slightly crouched to avoid hitting his head against the nails he was sure dotted the roof. "Look, I just want to talk to you. I'm not some sociopath who wants you dead, alright." Alex said, stepping away from the hole and onto a solid crossbeam. "I know I was coming after you earlier, and I'm sorry, but you hit someone when they weren't looking."

Ben suddenly started to panic. This guy was dead set on finding him. He heard his shoes come down on another beam, it creaking in response. This was it. His mind raced as he considered his options. This guy didn't seem to be a threat, but he wasn't sure about the others, especially the chaotic and sonic omegas.

"Just stay back!" Ben yelled as he thrust his hand forward. Unable to accurately pick one power, he instead fired a shot of sparks and crystal shards in the alterationist's direction.

As soon as he heard the shout, Alex's attention was drawn to a spot in the far corner of the roof, a short jaunt from the hole. Then, to his shock, he saw a packet of sparks and crystal shards flying his direction. Shielding his face with the cape of his jacket, he blocked all the shards, but the embers sat on his denim jacket longer until he brushed them away, putting them out with a quick sweep.

"No, and stop trying to toss fire up here. You'll burn this place down." Alex replied, his eyes not moving from the spot where he had seen the sparks come from as he made his way over.

Ben's panic escalated. As a result, he couldn't focus, and without focus he couldn't use any power at all. "Look, I didn't hurt anyone. Just stop it already!"

"I know that. Just calm down and talk to me."

"Talk about what? What is there to talk about?" Ben replied, trying not to expose himself anymore than he had so far. The insulation was itchy as hell and unpleasant to lay in, but it was better than being exposed.

Alex waited for his heart rate to slow some before he responded, taking another step in the copycat's direction. "For one, why are you so frightened of me? That other guy was the one who clamped your mouth shut; I got him to stop."

"So!? That makes us friends or something?" Ben snapped. "I don't know you. I don't know what you want. Although you're with them downstairs, so I can only guess."

"That's where you're wrong, kid." Alex replied, his voice deeping nearly an octave. "I don't know them. Matter of fact, I detest Enapy and what he was doing to you. I know that what you did wasn't meant to be an attack, and yet he flips out and tries to choke you to death."

"That still doesn't tell me what you freakin' want with me. How did you even find me? Why did you follow me all the way up here? I wasn't even bothering you!"

Alex smiled a bit as he replied. "I noticed the hole you made in the kitchen cupboard. No one could make a hole that smooth through insulation unless they had my abilities." He took another step forwards. "Look, if you were stealing food, just talk to Lauren. She'll understand."

"Who said anything about food?" Ben said, trying to get the conversation on something else. He was starting to stammer, and his sentence structure followed the change. "And how do I know you're not trying to draw me into a trap? I know omegas like you. You make weapons. What is it, a hammer like the one back at the building? A knife?"

"Insulation inside a food cabinet is a pretty good sign of theft. But, yes, I CAN make weapons, like the hammer you saw. That was not meant for you, I promise you." Alex then began catching his pulse, and took another step. "I know what it's like to steal, though. I did so for about six months after the Event. I lost contact with my parents, and I was living with two friends, college aged kids like me. We had to eat, so I stole stuff for a while."

For a moment, the other omegas words touched Ben. He wasn't the only one that suffered after the omega event; many did. But still, there were just as many that survived by preying on others, and they lured people in with promises of kindness. At the same time, if this omega was being honest, he could get more food. Then again, if he wasn't, he could be dead. Surely some of his teammates would be more than willing to jump on that.

Alex, for a while, got no response. "Look, I'm not buttering you up or lying to you. I've grown past that. If you're serious about meeting me on even ground, then I suggest we call a truce. I won't involve the others or tell them I found you, but in return, I want to see you face to face and talk."

Ben weighed the options. This was a risk, but then he was backed into a corner here. If he could focus his mind enough to alter the ceiling, he could drop through, but what then? Downstairs was a viper's nest, and once he fell through, he could be swarmed. The roof access was cut off, and he had no way of knowing if he could trust this omega. At the moment though, he had to stall for time while keeping a wary eye out. "Fine....fine, alright. Just back off. I'm coming out..."

Alex stood where he was when he heard the copycat's reply. Being a former thief himself, he had a nasty feeling this kid was wary of him. "Just take it slowly. I'm not going to threaten you unless you do so first." Then, he saw the insulation in the corner begin to rise. He had been hiding inside the fiberglass mesh. "Oh, man. You OK?"

Ben lifted himself up and shook off the bulk of the insulation, irritated at how persistent the alterationist was. The mesh had done nothing but make his skin crawl and his flesh itchy, making him even more aggravated. Brushing the rest of it off, he stood on the closest crossbeam, keeping his eyes locked on the other omega. "I've been through worse."

"I can relate." Alex then took one step back and to the side to encourage the Omega out more. "I'm Alex Bismark. You?"

"That depends, which name do you want?" Ben replied, not willing to repeat the action the other had made.

"I know you have a full name, but just your first if you can, please."

"Before the Omega Event, my name was Ben. Then, once word got out of what I was, the mafia or yakuza or whatever gangs are in the under-city started putting up rewards for 'Kagemira" around town."

"Ben," Alex began. "I know what happened at the blast site was horrible, and I really want to apologize for it. I didn't mean to come after you like that; I was just reacting to seeing you hit Roar like that."

Ben scoffed in response. "He hit me first. I'm used to it though. People don't like having their abilities used by anyone other than themselves."

"I suppose. Anyway, how come you followed us here?"

Ben thought about that for a moment. The truth wasn't liable to make him any friends here, and there was no lie he could think of this guy would buy. "I was running same as you were. I saw a hole in the roof here and ducked in for shelter. How was I supposed to know you were in here as well."

As soon as Ben finished talking, Alex knew what he was doing. "For one, I saw you fly away from us with one power." He began to reply, his voice straight and controlled. "If you can copy powers, my guess is you can sense them as well. And, if that's true and you didn't know we were here, what about that hole? I didn't make it, and it was too smooth to be someone with a saw."

Cursing himself, Ben hesitated again. That was twice now. First, the chaotic figured out that he could copy powers, and now this one was catching on that he could sense them as well. Judging by his tone and the way he spoke, he was watching for any blatant lies and responding to stop his own replies. Then, Ben thought of a loophole he could try. "Which hole? The one in the roof? That's been there. You think I broke the roof in to get in here and -somehow- you didn't notice?"

"In the cupboard." Alex replied matter of factually. "No one could make a hole like that in wood through insulation unless they used my power."

Ben shrank back a bit. That was how this omega found out. It was a sloppy mistake, the kind that nearly got himself killed at least a dozen times before. Coming here for a bit of food was a mistake, and he knew playing dumb wasn't going to work. He then switched his tone to a more direct one. "Fine, I used your power. What're you going to do about it?"

"Nothing." Alex replied, his voice still not changing. "You and I both agreed to meet on neutral ground, and I'm keeping my end of that bargain. Just don't confuse me with Mr. Raging Bull downstairs. I'm not that narrow-minded."

Giving a nod, though unseen in the darkness, Ben stood up under the peak of the roof as far as he could, somewhat hunched but mostly upright. He still had no reason to trust this omega, but damnit if he wasn't persistent. Either he was very honest or very invested in something. "No, I wouldn't confuse you with him. I already know he's a threat, and what's more he's down there while you're up here."

"I don't think he's a threat so much as he is juvenile in nature. I mean, his music taste is the kind of thing I used to listen to when I was, what, 11?" Alex said, trying to get some ribbing going.

"I wouldn't know, I haven't kept up on music. Been kinda busy for the last five years or so." Ben told him, his tone reflecting his defensive posture.

"Nevermind, then." It was then that Alex recalled the idea of his speaking partner taking food from the cupboard. If that's what he was after before... "Ben, if I may, I have an offer for you."

Hearing the word 'offer' made Ben quiver some. Many times before, that word was the early warning sign of a potential beating or mugging. And many times, they were the same kind of people this guy was being, or pretending to be. "What kind of offer?" Ben eventually asked, trying to hide his nervous feelings.

"It's nothing bad." Alex said. "We were making spaghetti when I found your hole, and if you like, I will gladly make you a plate or two. I'll even bring it up here so you and I can sit, talk, and eat in peace without the others on your case. How about it?"

Ben's stomach growled at the prospect of food, but he did his best to fight it down. Bring him a plate of food to eat with him? For all he knew, this guy could try and poison him. "And in return?"

Alex took a breath and replied. "In return, once you're done, I'll let you decide if you want to stick around or leave. I won't stop you. If you took anything, I'll take the verbal beating for you and say I did it." Alex then held up his right hand, his left over his heart. "I give you my word."

While Alex meant every word, Ben was starting to regard the entire two way between them as redundant, and was growing more annoying with each sentence from Alex's mouth. Over and over, he was trying to make him drop his defenses, or at worst, treating him like a child. Still, he couldn't grasp why this guy was this invested. Ben wasn't strong, and he had nothing of value. Maybe he was being sincere. If he wasn't, there wouldn't be time to regret it though. "Fine, deal." was all Ben said in response.

"Alright, then. Wait here." Alex then began to shimmy his way back down to the ground floor, slidding through the hole he made. On the ground, Marcus and Lauren were waiting to catch him as he crawled out. He hoped Ben wouldn't flee until he had more time to talk, but that rested on the others and how well he could manage at keeping them from finding out about him.

As they headed back to the kitchen, Alex stopped for a second to think, Marcus and Lauren noticing almost immediately. Then he was met with Erica who quickly asked, "What is it?"

Alex shook his head, but then gestured for her to come closer. "Nothing. Just wondering how my friends are doing since I left." Then, he dropped his voice to a whisper. "Guys, listen. I was right. That copycat is here. Marcus, Erica, don't let ANYONE go upstairs. He'll only talk to me, and I don't want us to start something with him. Got it?"

Marcus frowned at learning that the copycat had followed them. He thought of how Enapay reacted last time and out of concern for his new friend and the children of the orphanage he decided that Alex was right and a confrontation should be avoided.

"Alright," Marcus said, crossing his arms. "So what's your plan then?

Dawn nodded at the mention of beds. "Yeah," she said, rubbing one eye. "I could use some sleep, too. Maybe we could ask Lauren. Hold on, I'll find her."

She slipped her pretty guitar back into its case and stood up, flexing her fingers. Her sister always said her fingers would get used to picking after a while, but they still hadn't. Maybe she just wasn't meant to play guitar...

She rounded the corner and saw Lauren, Alex, and Marcus standing underneath a hole in the ceiling and whispering to each other. She briefly considered hiding behind the corner and listening in, but for one, her hearing wasn't that sensitive, and two, she figured that would be rude. Besides, she had to build trust with these people (or at least felt she had to), and acting sneaky was a good way to break trust. So she stood there, looking confused and possibly a little worried.

"Um... is something wrong? Why's there a hole in the ceiling? Why're you guys whispering? And Lauren, do you have any spare beds for the night?"

She was nothing if not straightforward.




"Alright. So, what's your plan then?" Marcus asked. Before Alex could respond, Dawn was there next to them, asking about why they were whispering and about the hole in the ceiling, along with the availability of beds.

"Great." Alex thought. Hoping Ben wasn't getting too worried with all the new voices popping up, he replied to the group of now four people in a hushed tone, hoping everyone would get what he had planned. "I'm going to make a small meal for this kid, and then talk to him some more. Until that's done, do not let anyone go upstairs besides me, and..." Alex then sharpened his tone. "keep Enapay away. I don't want this guy leaving until I make sure he's just here by accident. Everyone OK with that?"

With Dawn and Enapay stop playing music on their guitar, the children turn their attention to him. They were staring at his new mask which they think it look cool due to the canine teeth outline. He wasn't too sure what to say to them when they ask where he got it from. He just said that a friend give it to him as a present. With that explain he started to play games with them. He realise that most of the others were not present in the room.

What am I the babysitter?

He then heard a faint creaky noise coming from upstair.

Do they got alter rats living in this place? Maybe that is why most of them are not here. Rat were already annoying before the Omega Event but Alter rats are even worse.

He told the children and he going to look for Erica and he walk into the next room. He enters into the kitchen and saw Erica, Alex, Marcus, Laurens talking about something and Dawn isn't part of it. He assume that they were talking about the alter rat problem.

He quickly said "I heard a faint noise coming from the ceiling, do you got alter rats problem? It won't be a problem for me to go up to the attic and scare them off with my voice! It's the least I can do for putting a roof over my head and I don't want those rats come any near to these kids!"

To be honest he is scare a bit dealing with the alter rats due to his last experience against them but he felt he rather be the one who is scare then let the children be scare of them. He also thought that the rat problem would be a good way to test out his new mask range and strength settings.

"That's a sweet new mask, Lloyd. Where'd you get it? That chick you were talking to at the blast site?" Enapay said to Roar as he walked into the room that everyone was in now, sitting alone on the bench. The boy removed the white bandana from around his head and neatly folded it, putting it into his empty back pocket.

He glanced into the hole in the roof above him. The clouds were getting more gray, which led him to suspect that they would be hearing thunder at any minute. He then looked forward to nothing in particular with a curious expression, subsequently turning to the doorway that everyone had just entered. "What's going on in there? Everyone's in there and I'm feeling left out, now."

"That's just suspicious. Better go see what's up," Enapay muttered to himself, standing up and casually walking to the doorway. He leaned against the frame instead of walking through like everyone else had. "Hey, guys." Everyone's eyes, with the exception of Roar, snapped to his person, almost nervously.

He raised his eyebrow at the small congragation in the kitchen. "Um...Something the matter?"

"No," said Dawn immediately, but calmly. "Lauren was just pointing me to a place we could put our stuff," she added, praying to God Almighty that Lauren would get the hint.

There was absolutely nothing about Dawn's tone or demeanor to suggest there was anything out of place.

Dawn had gotten this detestable ability to lie over the past five years when she was forced to scrounge and occasionally steal. She didn't like it, but she admitted it was useful at times, and now was a time when it might actually be helpful.

To the best of his memory, Ben couldn't remember a time he'd been more uncomfortable much as he hated to admit it, more scared. He'd had a long...or long with that tactile alterationist, and below him even though he couldn't feel that one, every single other one was on the move.

The music had stopped, something was happening, but he didn't dare look. What could they be doing down there? Were they massing to strike back at him for stealing their powers earlier? This was a touchy group. So what now? That alterationist asked for his trust, and now he could be rallying all them to his cause. That had to be it. He asked for peace just so he could move himself into a better position. Well the hell with him.

Looking around the attic, he seemed to have two options, run or hide. He could run out the roof easily, but he didn't want to. Oddly enough, he wanted revenge. It was granted that of the omegas in this place, he was the strongest, but nothing ever came down to just powers. No, he made it this long because he was smart, resourceful. And they were going to learn that now.

Creeping over the roof, he found the hole that he'd crawled up through. It was bigger than his, but then again they were his powers. he was better at it. Moving along the treses, he also found the attic access. This was going to be his likely entrance point. So he comes up here, and...

That gave him an idea. Moving as quickly as he could while still being quiet, he picked up the can of yams. They were his most expendable peice, he wouldn't be sad if he lost it. Closing his eyes, he focused himself on the tactile alterationist. This was getting a bit easier. Rather than reaching for an omega he could feel, he reached in the one spot in the group he couldn't, confident that he had him.

Looking up at the roof, he knew what he wanted. Pressing his hands against it, he opened a hole just like he did in the cabinet. It was a bit easier this time, peeling back the wood and creating a small hole. First a pinhole of light, and then enough to create a small spotlight in the attic. Backing away, he looked at the circle of light, just where he wanted on top of the 2x4.

Carefully, he placed the can of yams in the circle of light. It wasn't very attractive bait, but it would be at least enough to get his attention if for nothing other than sheer curiosity. Somehow he suspected that these omegas wouldn't be smart enough to second guess anything for a trap. So he comes up through that access, looks at the yams, and then...

Crawling over to the other side of the attic, the next part of this plan was him, and those alterationists power were going to serve him well again. Once he was over he looked up to the treses running along the roof. This he wasn't so sure about, but he blieved he could do it. Pressing his hands against the 2x4, he tried to make a hole again, but shaped differently. Rather than a round hole in a flat peice of wood, he slowly sheered the wood apart, seperating the fibers. It wasn't as hard as he thought. First one side, then the other and the peice of wood came free. A length of 2x4 lumber about two feet long. He hefted the weight and got a feel for it before crouching down in the insulation.

Looking out over the bottom of the attic, he put the attic access between him and the yams. So he comes up here for me, he seems the yams. He hesitates, comes up a bit further to investigate, and I take his head off in one, clean swing, along with every single other one that comes up those stairs.

"We have stuff?" Enapay said, considering that the majority of them didn't have much more than the clothing on their person, with the exception of Dawn and Roar, having the bags and her guitar. He nonchalauntly sniffed once and took a few steps into the room, closer to everyone else.

Roar reply back to Enapay compliment "Errr yeah she is a friend of my. She's the one who make my mask and had outdone herself with this new upgraded one."

Dawn had raised a good point about where to placing their stuff since he had left his bag where the kids were playing.

He said "Do you mind if I tag along? I've got a bag with me."

Ghost got up and looked around. No-one was about. He had been hiding for maybe half an hour, just staying still and not being seen. Of course, he didn't really need the cover for that, but it made him feel better. After rubbing his face a bit, invisibly and awkwardly, he decided to move on. He had some money now and was very thirsty. He walked out of the alley and into the street. People were walking around again, though nervous, they were getting on with their lives. Some disgruntled from the rioting, some scared by the explosion and the 'roar' that went through the city.

Davoren got on with what he was meant to be doing, not wanting to get distracted. He looked around to see if he could get any water, anywhere. Sure enough, there was, and he wouldn't even have to lose his money.

The same woman that had trouble with the last vending machine was trying a different one, one that sold water. This time, she seemed to be having better luck. When Davoren saw the bottle about falling, he grabbed her bag and threw it to the floor, pouring the contents along the concrete side walk. In a shock, she looked around, confused and shocked. Davoren then took the water while she picked up her spilt belongings.

Davoren twisted the cap off and drank it around the corner in another side street, out of sight. He was having a lucky day today, but that in no means meant that he would everyday. He thought as he took sips from his bottle. He needed to be with people. The drug lab that Pete left him at didn't feel safe, and just seeing it all made him feel sick. He could go back to the bar, pick up some supplies, but since Pete was already terrified, something told him it would be a bad idea.

But it was the only idea he had. After dumping his bottle down in the nearest bin, he walked along through New York city. He knew that this day was not going to get much easier.

Erica watched all the events going on around her with an air of disinterest and slight annoyance. After a moment, she opened her mouth, but then closed it.

Ah, forget it. She thought. All I wanna do now is sleep in a nice, warm bed... I sure hope Lauren has some open...


But unbeknownst to her or anyone else, a shadowy figure was watching them from outside, cloaked by the day's late shadows.

"This is Phantom," he said into his communicator. "I've found where the interlopers are holed up."

There was the crackle of static, then a cruel voice came from the small device. Good. Keep an eye on them, and be prepared to act as nesecary.

"Understood," the figure called Phantom replied, then faded away into the shadows.

Marcus uncrossed his arms and put both his hands in his front pocket. He could tell by Alex's tone that he blamed Enapay for what happened earlier today, but Marcus kept the disagreement off his face, whatever would get the copycat out of there faster. He got a little nervous after Dawn and Roar entered, not wanting for too many people to know what was happening. When Enapay showed up, Marcus attempted to quickly think up a lie but was beat to it by Dawn. He exhaled quietly in relief. Marcus still felt tense, if only a little. Not just because of the current situation, but because of an unsettling feeling of being watched.

Once everyone knew what he was planning, Alex then spoke to Lauren. "Lauren, I'm sorry if I'm imposing on your hospitality by doing this."

"Oh, no. You're not." she replied, patting one of his gloved hands. "But, just promise me this. I'm sure everyone's hungry, so if you could, please make enough for everyone."

Alex looked back towards the created entrance in the ceiling. "Enough for everyone?" There were seven in the group, including him, with Ben making that number eight. Was that all she was really asking of him? "What about you?" he asked.

"I'll be making something else along with you. The children's dinner time is almost here."

Alex then checked his watch. It was nearly 7:00 p.m. "Oh yeah, that's..." His stomach then interupted them again. "Oh, geez. I'm sorry." he said with a light chuckle.

Lauren just smiled and chuckled also. Patting his hand again, she then began to lead him into the kitchen by it. Alex couldn't help but smile a bit in response; she reminded him of his grandmother, who had done similar things with him since he was a teen.

While the kitchen wasn't in the best of shape, the electric stove was still able to produce a range of temperatures and get the water he needed boiling before long. Then began the quick-paced process of cooking the pasta and preparing the sauce at the same time. While he did so, he noticed that Lauren was only making ham sandwiches for the children, along with sliced fruit.

For a second, Alex started to feel pangs of guilt tugging at his heartstrings. This was someone else's food he was making for others, even though Lauren had told him it was fine. Then, his thoughts went back to Ben, and his promise of taking the flack for him stealing food for the orphanage. Now that he was no longer near him, he immediatly began questioning why he had made that offer. He didn't steal anymore, yet he was willing to take the blame for someone who was?

With a sigh, he reconsidered the situation. "So long as he doesn't do anything stupid with me." he thought as the alarm on the stove went off, signaling the final cooking time for the pasta.

"Is it done?" Lauren asked.

"Yep. I just need the collinder." Alex replied. Heaving the heavy pot, which contained about 2 pounds of pasta, he drained it of the remaining water, followed by enough sauce to make the noodles nearly swim in it. "Nice. That should be enough."

Once Lauren got the plates he needed, he quickly made the first two plates of it for he and Ben, setting them aside before he left the kitchen. "Guys, spaghetti's ready whenever you all are." Alex said to the group. Before anyone responded, he returned to gather the two plates he had made prior to the announcement, waiting for everyone he was sure would ask questions to file past him before he departed the kitchen with the two plates in tow.

Back at the hole in the ceiling, Alex tried to figure out how he was going to get the two plates up that high. The opening was ten feet off the ground, and he could barely reach two feet. None of the stools he had used before were high enough to even allow him to reach down. He would have to go with the balancing act for this one.

Taking two of the chairs that Lauren had stored nearby, Alex arranged them to border two sides of the stool he would use. Hoping it would keep it from moving around, he took the two plates in hand and began to steadily step up, first with the chairs, then the stool. When his feet were on both the stool and one chair, he felt the stool move thanks to a slightly shorter leg. The realization of that made his heartrate jump as he tried to find a sturdy standing position for it.

Once he did, he slowly stood on the wooden stool with both legs, straightening them out slowly to keep him from falling. He felt like a gymnast, but thanks to fear and adrenaline his pulse was racing faster than any professional athlete's would be in the same situation. When he reached the full stand of his trick, he slowly looked up, adjusting one of the plates in his hand. He then lifted the plate up into the hole, letting the sounds from the china's clunking on the wooden crossbeams tell him where he could put them down.

As soon as his hands were free, he grabbed the edges of the hole, and with a single quick move, hoisted himself up into the attic, sitting on another nearby beam to let his pulse drop. "That was a hassle. The stairs would've been better." he thought. Looking over to them, he saw that Ben had once again borrowed his powers and...made a hole to hold a can of beans? Alex raised an eyebrow before he realized where it was in relation to the stairs. "Oh, ho. That's clever." He though before he then spoke aloud, figuring Ben would hear him. "I sure hope that wasn't meant for me, Ben."

A hungry Enapay smiled as his nose was filled with the all too familiar scent of the spaggetti. He'd been used to the bland meals of the soup kitchen in Harlem, though he'd occassionally develop enough money to feast upon more luxurious meals, such as a fast food cheeseburger or a homemade meal made by the locals.

Grabbing a saucer, he scooped himself a rather generous helping of the spagetti, knowing his own hunger and how he metabolized his food at a faster rate than most people, Omegas included. After taking a sit at the modest kitchen table, Enapay inhaled the scent and dug in with a plastic fork he had procured.

"Hey! Alex can totally cook," Enapay said to the others after swallowing his first bite, smiling slightly.

Dawn also took a generous helping of spaghetti, and found some cheese to pour on it. She wouldn't admit it, but she hadn't eaten since long before she arrived in New York. She'd spent most of that time traveling. She didn't want to stay in one spot for too long in case she somehow caused trouble or was caught.

She was also very happy she finally had a hot dinner she didn't have to steal.

She giggled at Enapay's joke as she sat down next to him. She was too busy scarfing down the pasta to answer. She wasn't sure why, but she tended to burn through her food a bit faster than some ever since the Omega Event. Before, she hardly ate, and almost never ate meat.

Wait. "Burn"? Ohhhh. Why didn't I get that before? she thought. Man, I'm so stupid. Wait, why do I care? I have food! She continued eating, being extra-careful not to drop any.

Marcus was feeling hungry, but figured now would be as good a time as any to talk to Lauren. He went to her and said quietly "Lauren, I need to talk to you in private. It's really important."

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