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Balancing Entropies Part 2

Second part of my short story about a reality jumpers whose sole purpose is to balance the energies in worlds and between them at any cost.  Here’s the first part:

Not happening. Not happening. Not happening.

He was saying something, English now from what I could tell. I blocked it out. I spent months in school blocking his voice, especially his laugh when it boomed through the halls, because I’d know it anywhere. After he apologized and we were talking again, I still couldn’t hear it without my heart fluttering. Four years later and I knew it.

Four years and literally a different reality away…

“HECTOR” I screamed, the cavern bouncing mocking mimics back at me. “This isn’t fucking funny! Get your ass down here NOW!”

“Hey,” Die grabbed my arm, swigging me around but keeping his body between me and… him. “Deep breaths.”

Deep breaths? What? He’s trying to help me now?

Die grabbed my chin, forcing my face up and holding my eyes when he found them. He took a deep breath, and let it out as though he knew I’d follow it.

Like he thought he could order me around?

“I’m not a fucking child,” I hissed, teeth clenched so hard they should’ve broken. “I’m not one of your trainees. I don’t follow orders from some boy.”

“I don’t know what is going on here.” His voice was as quiet and even as before, but the look in his eyes changed. I didn’t know to what. “But you’re going to stop screaming before you wake the entire center. You were calm, you were fine with my gun on your head. This guy shows up and you panic. You didn’t just try to get away, you turned tail and ran. With a gun trained on you. With the knowledge that you weren’t supposed to move or you would be shot.”

The wall that had been at least ten feet behind us was now at my back. He was right. I didn’t just turn. I tried to run. And didn’t even realize it.

I spent a year training, on keeping control, on keeping myself together no matter what reality and what situation I was placed in.

And it all went to hell in the beat of a butterfly’s wings.

If this was a test from Hector, I’d just failed.

“Hector.” I spoke to Die’s face, keeping my voice low. If others woke or came running, they’d kill us. I read this book a year ago, but I still remembered the structure of this base. These were soldiers that started training as children. They learned to fight, to handle weapons, and to face their fears. They had machines and drugs that turned people’s worst memories and fears into holograms so the person could deal with the bad stuff, with the fears, and learn to fight them or at least live with them. They didn’t let any outsiders into their training facilities, and they were loyal to their city-state, a distopian future version of New York, until death.

Die didn’t say anything, just kept staring at me like I was a code he wanted to crack.

“Hector, I know you are listening. You wouldn’t just drop me here. So you get your ass over here and explain yourself.”

“Die, who is she talking to?” the girl, Elizabeth said. She earned the nickname of Death by the end of the book, so they were Die and Death. It was cute, in a demented sort of way.

“Mina,” he said before Die could say anything, “what’s going on? Where….”

“Hector, I am giving you until the count of three before I start causing problems. Balance be dammed!”

“Mina, you can hear me, right?”


“I thought we were past the point of you ignoring me.”


“Just tell me why she has a gun pointed at me? What did I do?”

“THR…” I didn’t finish.

I twitched my fingers and yanked the guns from the two love birds, holding them above their heads with my mind before tossing them across the room. I barely heard them hit the ground.

I conjured wind, churning the still air into a three foot tornado so fast the air snapped like a soldier I’d called to attention. I hit Die in the chest with it, the whirlwind spinning him around juuuuuuust enough to make him dizzy before I sent him sailing out with a glare.

Then sent the typhoon skipping to the computers with a flick of my wrist.

It died before it went a foot, going flaccid like a popped balloon.

That,” my teacher’s clipped New England accent cut through the suddenly quiet room, “was disappointing.”

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