Today I wanted to post an excerpt from the first draft manuscript of my previous project, Omnipotence.
This passage occurs as three of the Empowered come together for the first time at a meeting with the military to discuss their powers.
Miriam released an excited chirp.
“Hey! Maybe that’s why we can’t make electricity work? None of us understand electricity. And life? Maybe… maybe that’s why we can’t create living things. We don’t get it. We don’t fully understand what makes a living thing alive?”
Glen spoke as Danville broke the point of his pencil, “Hate to crap on your theory, but I was an electrical engineer before the Storm. I do understand electricity, and I still can’t get it to work. I think it’s another limitation.”
Danville shook his head as he clicked more lead from his pencil.
“That implies that this global cataclysm is governed by intelligence.”
“We don’t know that for a fact. We can’t even claim it’s a likelihood.”
Glen countered, “Look… we don’t know where our powers are coming from. We don’t know why we were chosen. We three in particular. It could have been random. But it sure as shit was intentional.”
“How can you be certain, Mr. Porter?”
“Because… we’re being observed.”
Roberto spun on his heel and looked at the back of Glen’s head. He moved slowly back to his seat.
Miriam looked quickly down to the table and studied her hands.
Danville lifted a brow.
“I came into contact with a being. A creature. It was observing me. I don’t know where it came from or how, but it wasn’t human. It had wings, I think, like a roach. Shiny and black, attached to its body. But the thing kind of looked human-ish.”
Danville dropped his pencil, and picked it up quickly.
“Mr. Porter… I’m at a loss.”
“It was watching me. Just me. I thought it was a looter or something, but when I tried to grab it, the thing, well, it didn’t seem to feel threatened. At all. Not even a little bit. But it was intelligent. It knew I had powers.”
“How… how can you know it had intelligence?”
“Well it spoke English well enough.”
Miriam snapped her head up.
“It spoke to you?”
Danville turned slowly to Miriam.
“Miss Idzi? Have you seen this being, too?”
She nodded sheepishly.
“He didn’t talk, though. He just… watched me.”
Roberto gripped the table, then added, “Me too. Just like you said.”
All eyes turned to him.
“I was surfing. Kind of. He was watching. Didn’t say anything, though.”
Danville slid his clipboard onto the table and leaned back in his chair with a huff.
“You’re telling me… the two of you have had contact with an extraterrestrial being, and you failed to bring this to my attention… why?”
“Didn’t think anything about it. Lots of weird shit was happening at that particular moment, dude. I was walking on water, for God’s sake. Some weirdo in a black trenchcoat doesn’t really rate.”
Miriam added, “Yeah… I just saw him. I didn’t ‘have contact’. Not like Glen.”
Glen flipped his hand over.
“I was yelling at it. Asking it if it was behind all of this.”
“And?” Danville demanded
“Well, it said it wasn’t here to explain what had happened to us. It said it was just here to observe. So, that’s it. But it didn’t say that it didn’t know. Which means it might.” After a long silence, Glen added with a dry smirk, “I call him Roachman.”
Miriam snickered, “I call him Kafka.”
“Nice!” Glen replied with a laugh.
Danville reached for his clipboard and muttered, “Can we focus, people? This is probably the most significant development in the last two months. It bears exploration.”
Roberto cracked his knuckles.
“Like the most important thing, right?”
“The most important thing about Mr. Kafka Roachman.”
The others stared blankly at him.
Roberto continued, “He ain’t here. He’s not watching us right now. So what does that tell you?”
“It tells us that he’s watching someone else.”
Miriam continued, “There’s others.”
Roberto pointed at her.
Danville gave the airman taking notes a tap on the shoulder, and stood up.
“Find the Secretary of Defense.”