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10% A New Beginning in a Mana Apocalypse / Chapter 9: Chapter 9 - Preparation for the Storm

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Chapter 9: Chapter 9 - Preparation for the Storm

We decided it would be best to be fully dressed when the others returned so we couldn't play for long.

Megan had no idea what my waist measurement would be once I activated my body ability, so she decided to go the safe route and bought medium sized sports equipment. It fit and met the requirements of social norms so I had no complaints, except that each one of them were pure white. Taking one look at the clothes I had glared at Megan but she just kissed me in return.

My all white attire stood out almost as much as Jessica's bright yellow pikachu. Should I do a pokemon theme too then? Seel and Dewgong were all white, but that would be too close to the whole white whale joke.

"You're thinking of something stupid aren't you." Megan commented.

"Huh?" I asked astonished.

"You get a look on your face when you are thinking about something stupid. It's not the same as when you are thinking about something seriously." she told me.

"Am I really that transparent?" I asked worriedly.

Megan smiled at me then sat down next to me on the chair to look into the changes that the awakening had created in her. It is surprising how much more space there was on the chair with my girth reduced, but even then she was practically sitting on my lap.

When the others returned I expected them to be surprised, instead I was surprised by their somber mood. They greeted us pleasantly, and showed some shock at my change in appearance, but it felt lacking. Even Michael was the same. He stopped dead in his tracks the moment he walked through the door and spotted Megan sitting on my lap my arm intimately wrapped around her waist. It was easy to see the anger and denial on his face, but after a moment he just bowed his head in resignation and walked by us.

Glancing down at Megan she seemed as surprised as I was. I had no idea what to do. I had mentally prepared myself for a argument, and possibly even a fight. This wasn't like Michael at all.

To my surprise Jessica didn't come back with the group which made me fear the worst with everyone's somber mood.

They also brought food for Megan and I. I was thankful and while I dug into my burger and fries Arnold explained everything. "Jessica got a call from her family while we were at the store. Then she had to take off immediately." Arnold informed me.

That alone was a surprise. I usually assumed that if they are at a foster house they an orphan. Arnold had to remind me that there were all kinds of reasons why someone could be placed in a foster home, being an orphan was only one of them. Seems Jessica wasn't. I wondered what her story was for a moment but pushed it aside. It didn't matter, and I could just ask her if we met again. If we didn't… oh well. With Megan practically sitting on my lap I didn't think it would be such a great idea to take too much interest in another woman.

"What else happened?" Megan asked neither of us could believe that Michael suddenly had a change of heart in regards to interfering in Megan's personal life.

Arnold sighed as he shook his head. "I'll be honest Daryl, when the news wrapped up the attacks from the beings we all thought it was over. We were willing to go along with what you said just to be safe, but we didn't think anything else was going to happen." he told us.

"So?" I asked.

"On our way back we ran into another being. The police had just arrived and handled the situation, but we couldn't find anything about it on the internet or news sites. Beings are still appearing, but they are covering it up!" Arnold told us angrily.

Before I could say anything Arnold stormed off in a huff.

We watched him go then Megan looked back at me. "He probably thinks it will be safer for me to stay close to you." she told me.

I nodded, maybe that was it. Hard to ask me to protect his sister after telling me to keep my hands off her.

"Are you worried about her?" Megan asked.

It took me a moment to realize that she meant Jessica. "No." I told her shaking my head. "With her dark fire she should be fine. If she has family here she will want to protect them. Though it would have been nice to have another awakened around."

Megan nodded then closed her eyes again while I got up to check on the supplies they bought.

What Arnold had told me was reflected in the supplies. There was some good stuff like painkillers, bandages, and spare clothes, but most of it was junk food you would get for a party. I stored it all anyways then returned to sit with Megan.

I closed my own eyes while ignoring the glare Michael was shooting my way. As long as he didn't say anything I would leave it be. I had slept with Megan because I wanted Megan, not because I wanted to rub it in his face.

For training I wanted to work on my ice and lightning techniques, but I decided not too. With the number of awakened in our groups the elemental abilities could be covered by the others. As the only one who seemed to have the space ability I thought it would be best if I tried to explore its use more.

As soon as we activated our abilities it became a part of us and was as easy to use as swinging our arms. Just like our arms though we needed to learn what we could do and practice, there was a difference between punching, pitching, juggling, swinging, and shooting. We needed to discover what we could do with the abilities then practice them until we were comfortable using them in an emergency. I had no idea how much longer we would have until the beings reappeared, or something worse happened, but my sense of something coming was growing stronger almost like a timer ticking down.

When it comes to space abilities I always think about the storage capability first, probably to many days of having to lug around a backpack full of heavy books. However there were other common uses I had run across in books and games, offensive abilities like spatial slash, capturing skill like spatial lock, and of course the movement ability teleportation. Of the three teleportation seemed to be the most interesting and useful especially if I could use it to move others with me.

Scanning through the information I searched for the other uses of my space ability, and while I found everything I was looking for and more, most of it would require me to have a higher level space ability to use. Teleportation was possible, but the range was fairly limited, however when it came to movies one of the most impressive abilities I had ever seen was blink. With that set as my goal I started.

Thankfully the abilities came with a sort of walk through in there use, like an old mentor who was sitting in my head instructing me what to do step by step. The only issue was he was a stubborn mule of a mentor who would tell you the steps but wouldn't correct your mistakes, and at best answered all your questions vaguely until you stumbled on the right question. It made me wonder where the mana orb and abilities came from and why we had them. I didn't wonder for long as I had too much to do. Yet it seemed odd that there was a built in guide for all of the abilities. Worse, I was getting the feeling that only the basics were covered deliberately so that we had to figure out what we wanted to do with our abilities on our own.

It took me a while to get a feel for how I was supposed to use my space ability to move from one place to another. The best I could describe it was opening two gates in space and connecting them with the same space I used to store things like making a tunnel, then compressing the space between the gates until the two gate became one. As there was so many steps to it I doubted I would be able to use it quickly, and definitely not in a fight.

Disappointed that I wouldn't be able to start teleporting all over the room immediately I set it on the back burner. I needed to have something I could use now instead of later. I turned back to the electricity and ice techniques. Between the two I felt electricity was cooler looking so I concentrated on that. As I had experimented with it a bit before I already knew what I needed to do, I just needed practice to generate a bolt of lighting.

After shocking Megan the second time I decided to take my practice into the back yard.

Michael, Courtney, and Karen were already back there as Michael practiced with using the wind to make a blade he could slash with. I watched him for a moment then found my own place as I started to create lightning bolts. Initially I wasn't able to do much beside create static and a few sparks, but after couple hours of practice I was able to conjure a ball of electricity in my hands and shoot a bolt of lightning at the wall in the back leaving a few blackened spots on the wall.

Megan came out a bit later and asked Michael for advice on how to use her wind ability, she was a quick study and was soon shooting wind blades better than Michael. Then she startled all of us by fusing her body and wind abilities to jump over the back wall with ease and back again. Seeing that Michael and I both began to imitate her until we were jumping higher and running faster than we ever had before.

As Marshal didn't have an elemental ability there was little he could do so he kept Emily entertained. Rebecca had a water ability so she practiced conjuring water. To my surprise she became rather adept at using a water whip ability, so well that I had to wonder a bit about their personal lives. One crack of that whip was enough to keep my questions to myself.

However as I contemplated what else I could do I remembered Jessica's shadow fire, as it was hard enough learning lightning I didn't want to learn another technique right now, but I wondered would I be able to add another element to the lighting, light or shadow should be usable.

With light maybe I could create something like heavenly lightning, yet with shadow I might be able to create black lightning. As I sat on a chair contemplating which element to try fusing with it. As I didn't have either ability at the moment it was more of a theoretical debate while I rested.

I watched as Megan chatted with her brother about the uses of the wind ability. Karen and Courtney despite not having any abilities of their own were close by watching and listening to every word. As much as I hated to admit it he resembled the classic white knight in not just looks, but also temperament, and especially women's response to him. Even his sister was hanging on his every word despite the fact that she seemed to be better at using the element than he was.

That settled it. I couldn't be a white knight, if I tried I would feel like I was trying to copy Michael. When I had the shadow ability I would attempt to make black lightning. I would become a dark knight. No that one was used already, I would have to think about it more.

Arnold came out of the house a moment later. "Hey guys they are announcing something!" he told us. As he had no abilities he had stayed inside and kept an eye on the news.

Glancing at my phone I saw that it was almost four in the afternoon.


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