Eli's smile remained as the super young looking girl stared her down, but on the inside she couldn't help but feel tense. They don't believe a thing I just said. What the hell am I gonna do?
The blonde nodded, but gave no indication that she was going to speak. Maybe I should have told Archie to run. These girls mean business.
Sure, Eli knew that most of the parahumans that ended up on The Promise weren't goody two shoes, but she'd always managed to steer clear of the nasty ones. Well, there was that one "fight" she had with another girl her age in her freshman year of secondary school but that was nothing. Had her luck finally run out? These girls didn't appear to be the nasty type, but appearances meant nothing on the boat.
" Radvi began. He hadn't even been acknowledged by the three girls yet. Eli looked over at him and she knew by the look in his eyes that he was going to leave. "Yeah, Eli, I’ll talk to you later when you’re free, I should just get back to my patrol.
" Eli felt disappointed. Now she'd never get to hear about the goop. It had taken a month to see him, and she was trapped by this awkward situation now. For a second she felt like ditching Archie and his friends. She could just walk with Radvi and ask her questions. What did these girls offer Eli other than hard stares and scrutinizing eyes?
She was just about to get up and follow Radvi when the entire group was startled by another sudden appearance. Misters Black and White stood two feet from Radvi, facing the entire group as if they knew that they would gather here at this time. Eli froze in her seat, shivers crawling down her spine. She stared at the faceless men. In the four years Eli had been on board The Promise, she'd only seen these men (if they even were men) a few times. Each time they'd given her the creeps. They always seemed to appear when she least expected; when she was at her most vulnerable. The first time she'd met them, she had just begun counseling. It wasn't a fun introduction. Even so, the two were always harmless; they even guided her into realizing a few things about herself. But why did she always feel so uneasy around them?
The resulting chaos of the black and white men's appearance snapped Eli back into a state of awareness. Radvi cussed them out, which normally would have gotten a chuckle from Eli. Archie nearly threw himself out of his seat, his fight or flight response battling for control. The blonde girl's forearms began to glow like nightlights and she nearly attacked Radvi, "What the fuck is this shit, Anderson?
" Wait, is she blaming this on Archie?
She looked like she was, and Archie looked terrified.“We apologize for our sudden appearance.”
“Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“But we wanted to address all of you while you were still in one place.”
“Given everything that’s happened of late, it’s a rare occurrence.”
Eli's brows furrowed as she stared at the two. The creepy feeling these two gave her increased, with a little apprehension mixed in there too. While all of us are in one place? We just met.
The two continued, explaining to the newcomers who they were and what they did. Eli knew that this is what they did, but she always had a feeling that they were reporting their "attendant duties" to someone higher up. Someone that didn't want them to know who they were. “We have taken a special interest in the lot of you due to the events that took place a month ago - and shortly further back, on your first day aboard this station. We‘ve read all of the reports, you see.”
Eli gripped the back of her chair, her body tensing. She never wanted to be on these two's "radar"; it worried her that she was drawing the attention of the higher ups. When the people around her started to draw too much attention, they tended to disappear. Where they went, Eli had no idea. Maybe they were sent to a "stronger rehabilitation sector", or maybe they were just put in jail. Either way, Eli always feared that it would one day happen to her. Was this because she used her powers against the escaped inmates? That was self-defense, so that surely wasn't the reason... right?
And now the rollerskating bobble head fell from the sky and crashed into a table. What the hell was he doing up there? Was he following Radvi? Did he have the same questions for him as Eli did? She stared him down as he sat in a chair near Radvi. This was the second time she'd been this close to him. Something about him gave her the creeps like Misters Black and White did, but a part of him didn't seem threatening. I really need to find that article about this guy again.“...Right, then. Moving on...”
Black and White returned to facing the group.
“We consider matters that affect the Promise as a whole as matters that we must see to personally.”
“We apologize that this may come to you as an abrupt invasion of privacy, but we decided it best to be upfront in our conduct.”
“We see all of you, Mister Anderson…”
Eli held her breath after her name was mentioned. “...as ‘core components’ in these events.”Core components??“Things are happening aboard this station that have resulted in great harm, and even death, befalling its inhabitants.”
“It is in our best interests to assist in bringing this matter at large to a close, though we cannot act directly against it due to certain… physical, non-physical, limitations.”
“To be brief, we are incorporeal.”
Eli released an incredulous puff of air, staring as the two phased right through each other. Her suspicions were right. These holograms, if they were holograms, were nothing but two faceless pawns. “We cannot harm, and we cannot be harmed.”
“We can do nothing substantial to prevent further disaster from striking the Promise. The security force is also lacking in this capability, from what we’ve seen.”
“Not you Jacob, we know you’re trying your best.”
Eli looked over at Radvi with one eyebrow raised. Did he think that this was the weirdest situation he's ever been in too? That these two were just stating facts? Eli certainly felt that way.
By the time the two finished their little "speech", Eli didn't know what to think of them. Could she really trust them? Well, not them
, but the person controlling them? The wizard behind closed curtains? That was the only question she wanted to ask them.
The blonde girl suddenly released a slew of accusations, questions, facts, and a few cuss words in the mix. Actually, there were a lot of cuss words. Eli stared at her, in awe of her confidence to speak out against these two "authority" figures. She made some extremely
good points in the literal heat
of her argument. Eli's eyes darted towards the bobble head when the blonde accused him of assaulting kids, which explained why Archie looked like he was going to explode when he saw him. That must be how the others were connected, but where did Eli fit in here? Yeah, she'd met bobble head on the day of the prison break, but it was just a handshake. He knew Radvi much better.
The blonde grabbed Archie's shoulder and Eli prepared for the worst. To her relief, the angsty teen relaxed. "The disaster is everyone in this shopping mall dying because you dipshits thought it would be a good idea to jumpscare the human T. rex.
" Eli stared at Archie for a moment before looking around at the girls who knew him.Did she just say human T-Rex??
The girl spouted a few more things before storming off. Eli blinked for a few moments, as if stuck in a daze from the whirlwind of information that had just assaulted her peaceful evening. The girl had reasons to be distrustful of Misters Black and White. Really
good reasons. Was this what Eli needed to hear to realize how she felt about the two? Or was this girl just blaming The Promise's mistakes on a pair of incorporeal
men? She stared at the two as her curiosity grew. What was the truth, and what were lies?"I don't know anything that you don't. You already know so much. Why do you need our help? I came here because I'm mentally sick! Because I need help!"
Eli's attention slowly moved onto Archie's crush, who looked distraught. "I came here to get treatment! Because there was nothing Earth could do for me anymore! How am I going to be of any help to anyone else?! That's supposed to be your job!"
Her words made Eli's heart twinge. She was suddenly filled with empathy for this girl. What had happened to her to make her this way? Why did these two pawns think that she was going to team up and fight The Promise when she was fighting her own battles alone? Eli looked back at the two. It was just herself, Radvi, and Natalie now. Was it her turn to speak? She felt like it was.
"So," she began quietly, staring at the two beings standing before her. "You've been watching us, as you always have. You've taken interest in the way we've reacted to the absolutely terrible things we've seen here. You think we can dig up some dirt on The Promise because you can't. Even though you technically could because you've already snuck your way into the human space heater's interrogation?"
She shook her head and sat back in her chair. Her arms crossed in front of her, and she adjusted her jaw as she looked between Mister Black and Mister White. "I have questions. I've had a million questions in my mind since the day I came aboard. You know that. But-" She paused, hesitating for a brief moment.
"I want to ask the person that you answer to."