Cameron couldn’t remember what letter had been inscribed on the pill she swallowed.
It cleared her mind, taking away the fog the alcohol she drank casted. Red was a special color. It killed any regular human that took it or sometimes activated their powers if they had the potential for powers and hadn’t gotten them yet. For superhumans, it boosted their power. There had been a quite a few cases of superhumans dying shortly after ingesting a pill. No one knew why or if they did no one felt like sharing it with the general public.
Whatever caused them to die apparently didn’t affect her which she already knew from the times she took it in the past.
That would have really been a dumb way to die, by her own hand in an act of recklessness. Though it wouldn’t be a great loss to anyone. She liked it better this way.
She straightened and turned to look over at Ian. He was grinning wider than she had ever seen him. The green ones… They were happy pills, if she was remembering correctly. The person became incapable of feeling any negative emotion.
The world started to distort again. The leaves on the lawn changed colors, nearly vanishing before her eyes as they became almost as black as the night. The people around her became more vibrant, as if they were absorbing the leaves’ color. They practically glowed as bright as neon lights.
Ian was red. Scenes were playing out all over his body, as if it was a television screen. She saw herself in a few of them. Those ones were located close to his heart and his head.
Cameron didn’t know what to make of that.
“This is really fucking weird,” she mumbled. Did this happen last time too?
Ian was too busy bouncing on the tips of toes to hear. He would be no help in figuring out what the hell she was seeing. Those wacky images were playing on the surface of nearby cars too, and on trees, even the house.
While it was interesting, it didn’t make anything easier or better.
She took out her phone and held it flat on her palm. She teleported it an inch above her hand and watched it land. It didn’t come any easier than it typically did but then again, it always had come easy.
Damn, this red pill was boring. She should have taken a green one like Ian. He seemed like he was having a blast, more than she could say for herself.
Cameron drained the cup of its beer, every last drop.
She saw something move in the corner of her eye, a bright explosion of color. It was predominantly yellow with a few hints of orange and red. She turned to look at it head on. Cameron found hard to make out the person hidden within the cloud of color but she could tell a person was in there. She saw its silhouette. The cloud had taken several steps in her direction, stopping when she turned.
It had images on it too and in many of them she saw the guy she met at the table, the older brother of the host.
She approached it – him – slowly, careful to not trip and fall. She was still a little unsteady. Ian didn’t seem to notice, too wrapped up in the effects of his drug. This was a bit of a gamble. If she was wrong the worse that could happen was someone thinking she was really weird or really high. “Hey, I fucking see you. Where did you go? I was looking for you.”
Cameron stood, waiting.
After a moment, the cloud faded until she could clearly see the person hiding underneath. Somehow, she saw the images playing on him and him. Two layers, side by side, and she saw both.
“I didn’t see that coming,” he said.
“You’re following me and you didn’t answer my question from earlier,” Cameron said.
He smirked and she was reminded of a wolf, baring its teeth for the first time in the presence of sheep. The images suddenly changed in the same instance, different scenes taking their place. “Will you let me go if I don’t?” he questioned, gone was the playful edge to his words.
Cameron smirked right back at him and didn’t say a word. Silence was better than speaking when she couldn’t come up with a good line that would sound threatening enough.
“Well, okay, I tried.” He shrugged, more to himself than to her. “I was hired to follow you around for awhile. Only really started this week. Somebody is real interested in you, Cameron. He went by Missile, I think.”
Her heart went from jogging to an all out sprint. She couldn’t believe it. “Missile?” she repeated.
“That’s what he said in the emails he sent to me. Paid a hefty sum for me to keep my lips sealed.” He mimed zipping up his lips.
Missile hired someone to track her down. Either this was one big coincidence or he already knew she was behind the attack on the Automatons. “Then why the hell are you telling me this?”
“He paid me a hefty sum but someone else called me up and paid a heftier sum. I do whatever the money wants me to do and the someone else doesn’t care if you found out you’re being watched or not as long as I do my job and not tell Missile what he wants to hear.”
Creed? He was the only person she could think of with money and resources to do something like that on her behalf. The pressure she almost always felt pushing at her from all sides lessened if just a bit. More evidence to add to the ‘he’s in hiding’ pile.
“I wasn’t lying earlier when I told you to go home and forget about whatever you’re tangled up in. Those two people who talked to me are dangerous. I wouldn’t mess with them if I could help it,” he said. “You could still do that. People hire pay me when they want people followed, not dead.”
He looked bigger and stronger than her but his power had to be invisibility or cloaking or some shit, teleporting combined with this vision upgrade trumped that. “I’m dangerous,” Cameron said. Her excitement grew and so did her smile. She might not need to deal with Vanessa and Phantom at all. “So you be a good mercenary and tell me what you know about Missile.”
“I know less than you do, probably,” he assured her, shaking his head. “He contacted me through email, heard about me from an old client. I don’t know what he looks like or where he sleeps or what he likes in his coffee in the morning.”
“You know his email,” she pressed.
He raised an eyebrow and a few scenes flickered then changed. “If I had to bet money on it, I would say it’s going to be impossible to trace the email.”
“I know that, I’m not dumb. Having his email is still useful.”
He stared at her for a solid minute before holding out his hand. “Got something I can write it down on?”
Cameron unlocked her phone and opened a note application and gave it to him. He took out his own and tapped the address onto the note then returned her phone. “You didn’t get it from me, obviously,” he said.
“I don’t even know your name,” Cameron said, pocketing her phone.
“Great, nice working with you Cameron.”
“It would be nicer if you agreed to stop following me.”
He shrugged. “The someone else wants to keep an eye on you and I do what the money tells me to do. Are we going to have a problem?”
She was okay with Creed knowing what she was up to. It gave her comfort that he cared enough to bother checking on her at all. There was no guarantee this guy’s real boss was Creed or that he had another boss in the first place. “You have a way of contacting the someone else?”
“Why, do you want their email too?”
“Unless you want to have a problem, yeah.” Cameron wondered why she went to the trouble of threatening him when he didn’t have the decency to look suitably threatened by her.
Instead he looked amused like she was some adorable puppy barking. He passed his phone to her, open to a blank email, the email address already filled in for her.
Cameron didn’t know what to write. If this really was Creed then this would be the first words they exchanged since his disappearance. It should be a good message, something to make him smile or get another good reaction from him.
“Are you going to write something or will I be standing here for the next hour?” he asked, hands on his hips.
She glared at him.
But she started to tap out a message anyway.
this is CAMERON PIERCE the chick you’ve decided to spy on like a creep. while i think i may know your identity, i would like a CONFIRMATION. send a message to my email pronto or i may i have to do some HARMFUL and ILLEGAL things to your latest employee. in the email, you will provide proof of your identity. if you don’t answer fast enough i’m going to assume you’re not who i think you are and PROCEED with my current plan of DEATHLY actions.
Cameron hit send.
There was no rhyme or reason with the all capitals. It something that might annoy someone who thought it was a secret code waiting to be deciphered. Villains could be paranoid and preying on that for her own amusement was not beneath her. She didn’t need to witness it for it to be amusing.
“We’re going to wait until I get an answer and then you can go do whatever you’re doing and I can go enjoy the rest of my night in peace,” she said.
Nobody said anything for awhile, the sound of music and people filling the silence.
“So, how did you even see me?” he said. “Out of curiosity.”
Better not to say especially when her new-found power would fade away when the drug wore off. It was good to keep him on his toes.
She shrugged. “What the hell is your name? Since you obviously know mine.”
He stroked his beard, pondering. “What is a name, really? Would a rose not smell as sweet if – ” He stopped, his eyes glued to the glowing screen of her phone.
Cameron felt the vibration and looked down at the phone. An email from an unknown email address, different from the one she had just sent an email to. She typed in her password and read.
Dear CAMERON PIERCE,
It would be a terrible shame if my newest employee was harmed through your actions or others but yours especially. So I will comply with your instructions and prove my identity to you.
March 14th, 11 years ago.
I assume that will be enough to satisfy you, Miss Pierce.
Seeing that date on the screen, she couldn’t breathe. It was an important day for her and one very, very few people knew about. Other than Creed, the only people who knew the significance was her father. For obvious reasons, this couldn’t be him.
She let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding.
“You can go,” Cameron said. “No problems here.”
No problems ever.
She had something to live for now, after she got the revenge her dad deserved. She would have purpose.