English Rose

Author: Nick Wild

There was something different about the traffic noises outside, not louder, just different.

Rose Wild was so used to the usual noises from the main road outside her London Bridge flat, that she normally didn’t hear them any more except for crashes and near misses and they were frequent due to the road leading into the station.

After being discharged from the hospital, Rose decided to return to London, as the thought of her Grand parents empty home was too much for her to bare. Also the changes that had happened to her after the “Lost’s” attack were easier to ignore in the busy and anonymous area of Central London, Rose called home.

The doctors had said that the powers she had awoken with from her coma, were not caused solely by her attack but had in fact been latent in her, the attack just the trigger needed to bring them to the fore.

Of course ,Rose had grown up in a world where having “Strange abilities” was not so strange at all, but after the Rikti War many of the British heroes she had become accustomed to seeing around London’s landmarks had moved to America’s Paragon City to assist with increase in super-powered villains there.

But the noise was disturbing her and the hairs on the back of her neck were standing on end, yet still she couldn’t bring herself to cross the room to the window which over looked the street below. If she didn’t look then maybe it wasn’t happening, what ever it was that was happening outside.

Someone screamed outside and she could ignore it no longer, she ran to the window and looked down. There below her in the street was a gang of “Circle of Thorns” mystics. Rose had not seen them before herself, but she watched the news like every other person and their robes were unmistakable.

The first mystic didn’t even see what had hit him before he, himself smashed into the ground unconscious. Rose had launched herself directly from her bedroom window, using the power of gravity in her fall against the defeated foe.

Now she was at ground level, she could see the person who had screamed earlier, it was a young woman of about Rose’s age, she was struggling against the grip of a Mage who appeared older then the other mystics with him. He was shouting at the woman, telling her that she should be honoured to chosen and that trying to escape was useless.

Rose counted five mystics in total, including the unconscious man on the floor. What was she going to do? She didn’t even know the extent of her powers yet and here she was, smack-bang in the middle of four magic users, who obviously felt comfortable enough with their own abilities to attempt to kidnap people in broad daylight!

“You foolish freaks, always sticking your noses in our business!”, spat the lead mystic at Rose. “You think I can’t sense your filthy mutations, fool?”

Rose was shocked, it had only been after several tests that doctors had discovered her mutant genes and then only with the latest technologies available to them from “Crey Industries”. And here was someone who only by looking at her could tell she was “different”.

The element of surprise had worn off the remaining mages and the began to chant and run towards her, Rose couldn’t move, she could feel her fear growing in her stomach but she was stuck, standing helpless in the middle of these maniacs.

The fear that she felt, kept growing and it was as if it was fighting to get out of her itself, as if it had become sentient somehow and realised that being here was not a good idea. As the first mystic reached her and mad to grab her arm, Rose instinctively went to push him away and from her hands erupted a torrent of energy, pushing the man into a wall, instantly knocking him into unconsciousness.

The remaining three men stopped in their tracks, one decided to make a run for it and Rose was having none of that, she pointed both her hands at him and mentally reached into the pit of her stomach and willed the man to stop. He was out for the count before he even hit the floor, Rose’s energy attack, hitting the spot between his shoulders.

“Think you’re clever, freak?”, growled the older mage, “How clever does this make you feel?.
And with that he shot her with a blast of pure magical energy. Rose could barely believe the pain, she had landed in a pile of rubbish which had saved her from continuing on through a shop window. Despite that, she was still lucky to be alive, that blast had been so powerful, any closer and she would have been a goner.

One of the remaining creeps had produced a crossbow from somewhere and was preparing to aim it at her chest. Rose found the strength, somehow, to jump up and narrowly missed getting hit by his first shot. He had only just missed her though and she knew she had been lucky. She couldn’t allow him a second chance. She waved her arm towards him and a wave of energy flew from her and knocked the two men over, she knew she had to use this to her advantage and wasted no time in her next attack. This was going to be easier now, as the kidnap victim had managed to get way from the older man, when he had been thrown to the ground. Now there was nothing in Rose’s way, this man was her’s.

Reaching within herself with all her strength of will, she focused all her attention on this evil magician and in her mind all she wanted was for him to pay. He had not been responsible, to her knowledge for the disappearance of her Grand parents, he certainly wasn’t to blame for her developing mutant abilities, but he was going to pay none the less.

The ensuing blast of energy that came from her fists, made several windows shatter, car alarms were set off several streets away and Rose could barely stand from the exhaustion but she had achieved her aim, for there in a heap was the older mystic. He was a threat no more.

Rose dusted herself down and walked over to the last man who had made up this group of would be kidnappers, “Tell your Leader there’s a new freak to be dealt with and tell them her name is English Rose!”.

With this the man ran as if is very life depended on it.

Rose was preparing for a bath later that evening, the battle and the following media attention had left her so weary that she felt she could sleep for a week. She only managed to hear the phone because, Skip, her cat had pushed the bathroom door open.

“Yes, I’m sorry I’ve answered all the questions about today I want too, OK?”, she snapped into the phone.
“OK Mam, I’m sorry to disturb you so late, I realise that the time is getting on over in England right now but I wanted to thank you for your actions today.” the man had a rich, deep voice and an American accent.

“Oh, thank you, I’m sorry…. who am I speaking too?”

“Why sorry Mam, my name is The Statesman and I wanted to thank you personally for thwarting a plot to kidnap an American diplomats daughter this morning”. Rose nearly dropped the phone.

“It appears that the Circle of Thorns had planned to sacrifice her in one of their evil rituals and use the ensuing media frenzy to hide more of their kidnappings. Your interaction has set them back months in their plans.”

“I don’t know what to say, it’s very nice of you to call personally but I just had to stop them, there was no other thing to do.” Rose replied truthfully.

“That is why, English Rose, I have a request of you. I want you to come here, to Paragon City and join us in our fight against these wrong doers. Not only the Thorns but we also have a major problem with other villains here among those, the Lost, which I understand you have also had a recent run in with?”

“Yes but I had no powers then and…” she began.

“I am aware of the details, English Rose and that is why I have called. I believe that you Grand Mother and Grand Father have been brought here to Paragon City. At the moment we have no idea of their whereabouts or why they were brought here but we know they are here somewhere. Will you come?”

“Yes, I’ll get a flight tonight.”

“English Rose, I will arrange for you to be met at the airport, thank you and I will see you tomorrow.”

That was the beginning of “English Rose’s” adventures against the circle of thorns but for her origin you’ll have to read next months issue, “A thorny issue!”. Just what happened to Rose’s family? What were the Lost doing in rural England? Find out soon in the next issue of “The Wonderful English Rose”.

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