Short Story: Those With Wings (Part 9)

[Téras]

Black-Wings. I couldn’t help but think how strange it had been… we’d just run into each other… what had the odds been of that?!

It had been two days since I’d met the two Black-Wings. We all three practically squealed with delight when we realized that we were all Black-Wings, and the two had taken me around the wasteland, showing me little hideouts they had made and many other things. They told me that trash trucks often dumped their junk here, and that occasionally, after much searching, they would find something of good value. Besides that, the old warehouses and such buildings standing around the area still had some little hidden treasures in them, and currently, we had just finished foraging in one of them. 

The two Black Wings were twins, a year older than I, but both of their wings were still slightly smaller than mine. I didn’t know why I had such massive ones, but I figured it was just my luck. Joram was the older twin, and the more serious one of the two. Jotham was the younger, and much more relaxed than I ever thought possible for a Black-Wing. 

We were sitting out on what had been the old sidewalk of the wasteland; I was looking up at the sunset, and Jotham was reading a dusty, dingy old book he’d found in one warehouse, while Joram was checking his watch for the time — it was a dirty old thing with a cracked lens, but somehow it still worked. 

“Where are we going to put up tonight?” I finally asked Joram, as he checked the watch for the fifth time. 

“We should be going back to headquarters.” He answered. “If Natt will ever be here to pick us up!”  

“Natt?” I asked. Something about that name seemed familiar… but I couldn’t place it.

“Yeah, he’s our boss… kinda…” Joram answered again. “He takes care of us, and in return, we help him out. He usually isn’t late. He was supposed to be getting us transportation or something.” He glanced over at Jotham, who had his head buried in the book. “Jotham, what on earth are you doing?” 

Jotham looked up. “I’m reading! This book is doggone good, too! Do you know where we came from, Joram?” 

“What?” Joram scrunched up his face. “Where we… came… from?” 

“Well… how we got our wings, I mean,” Jotham said. 

Joram raised his brows. “Well… I suppose… we’ve always been around.” 

“I think we were made in a factory lab by scientists to take over the world!” Jotham said excitedly. 

“What… wait, why would they be trying to kill us then, if the scientists made us?” Joram asked, crossing his arms. 

“And what gave you that mad idea?” I asked.

Jotham shrugged and held up the book. “This book is about this guy who is a human but who got genetically modified to have wings I think, and they wanted them, the winged people, to take over the world or defend it or something, but he lost his memory and—”

“Okay, okay, that’s DEFINITELY not us.” I said, sighing slightly. “I don’t think they made me in a factory.”

“We weren’t. We had homes, that’s what Natt says. And he’s a lot older, and he was there when they attacked us… and killed our families…” Joram said coldly. “Natt knows many of the scientists who were in on the raid. He says that in a couple more years, we will go out and hunt them down, instead of them hunting us!” 

Jotham and I looked at him. “Are you sure uh… we’re capable of that?” Jotham asked.

“Natt says so. We HAVE to revenge our families! They were innocently and mercilessly slaughtered by those pigs!” Joram exclaimed. “If it hadn’t been for Natt, we’d have been dead too. He protected us, despite losing his wings because of it.” 

“L-losing his wings?” I asked. “Revenge our families? W-what… who is this Natt?” 

“Natt’s our boss. He lost his wings in the fire that the scientists lit after they thought they killed us all. He shielded us with them — ‘cause he had HUGE wings, but they got all burned off… but he lived, though he still has pain ‘cause of it. He wants all of us to go and eventually get all those monsters and kill them, like they did our families.” 

“And I hear someone coming now.” Jotham said, jumping to his feet. “In a car. Is it Natt?” 

“Best to be safe than sorry. C’mon.” Joram jumped up as well and ran to hide behind the walls of one of the warehouses, Jotham and I following. 

A slightly dingy, yet familiar car made its way up the abandoned, junk filled street at a very slow pace. I gasped. “That’s Auburn’s car!” I cried. “But…” As the car grew closer, I could tell that the driver was certainly NOT Auburn. He was dressed all in black, it looked like, and he had jet black hair, and wore a mask. 

“That’s Natt!” Joram exclaimed, and Jotham squealed as they dashed out. 

“Awesome, he got us a car!” 

“But that’s Auburn’s!” I cried, following after them. What had he done to Auburn?!

Jotham opened the back door and tumbled in, while Joram went along to the passenger’s side of the car and got in. I tumbled in after Jotham, and instantly recognized Auburn’s things in the back of the car… clothes, his phone, some food… he had been running away from the apartment too… but where was he? “What did you do with Auburn?!” I demanded the man in the front seat of the car. 

“Who’s he?” The man in the front jerked his thumb back towards me as he looked at Joram.

“He’s a Black-Wing we found. He says his name is Téras.” Joram said. 

“I asked you a question!” I shouted again at the man. “What did you do to my friend?! Where is Auburn?!” Now I wished I’d never left him… no matter what would have happened… he always stuck by me… encouraged me… and now I was riding in his car with some rogue who had stolen it, and Auburn was who knew where! 

The man in the front took off his mask and turned to face me. I gave a start of surprise. The corners of his face looked as if they might have been burned at one time, but the rest of his face looked completely fine, and his eyes… reminded me of my own. “Your name is Téras… and you lived with Auburn Prewitt?” His voice was icy when he said Auburn’s name. 

“Yes, I’m Téras Trómos and Auburn Prewitt adopted me! Now what did you do to him?!”  

The man stared at me, almost as if he was seeing a ghost, and then he said, “Y-you’re alive? H-he didn’t kill you?” 

“What? What are you talking about?! Auburn wouldn’t ever hurt me!” I cried indignantly. How dare he even insinuate that Auburn could have hurt me!

“Téras… you…?” He blinked a couple times, as if he was trying to keep back tears. 

I stared at him. What on earth was wrong with him?

“D-don’t you know me?” He asked in a softer tone. “No, I don’t suppose you remember me.” He cleared his throat. “I’m Natt Trómos… your brother.”

It suddenly hit me. The familiarity of the name Natt… why his eyes looked like mine… he WAS my brother… I had a brother… I wasn’t alone.

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