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The Ability Halt

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Lilith Adams loved to pretend that her powers didn’t exist especially since they were most times inaccurate but the only time she had believed her visions - which showed her brief flashes of people's misfortunes and death even with the slightest physical contact – and tried to prevent it, someone she loved had died. Mikhail Smith, an alpha of a werewolf pack in the city of Springfield was at loss when he began to hallucinate and started seeing a strange girl in visions, right after a strange phenomenon started weakening his pack members, to the extent it left even the strongest pack members helpless as their abilities began to 'halt'. What would connect these two strangers who are desperately seeking answers to their problems? Will sparks fly as they go through these challenges together and will they prevail?

Chapter 1

Lilith Adams sprang up from her bed with a loud gasp, clutching the sheets and for a few seconds, she was confused about where and who she was. She finally came to after a while, holding a hand to her chest as she looked out the window. Outside held the beginnings of a brand new day filled with promises and opportunities, the bright sunlight muted slightly by the mauve half-open curtain and she watched as dust motes danced lazily into the room through the exposed side of the window.

It was that dream again. The one that had been plaguing her for months on end without any reason or cause. It just started suddenly and no amount of sleeping pills could help. She tried again for the umpteenth time to remember what it was that she had seen that terrified her so but she was left without any recollection and a burst of migraine.

She muttered a curse with a sniff and as she climbed out of bed, she heard a loud thud coming from the room next to hers.

“Oh, for the love of God”, She said loudly as she jumped off the bed and sprinted out of the room into the room next to hers. As she swung the door open she was met with the sight of her best friend and dorm mate, Cassandra Owens, sprawled on the floor of her meticulously designed room with her legs spread wide, her mouth hanging open and still blissfully asleep.

Lilith stifled a laugh and said, tapping her, “Casey, wake up!”. Casey scrunched up her face and rolled around still with closed eyes.

“Casey, you have class today, don’t you?”, Lilith said. Casey just groaned and rolled again. “You have a class at eight. Don’t pretend like you’re still asleep”.

Casey groaned loudly and sat up, holding her waist. “Why do I feel like I got beat up?”, She said, glaring accusingly at Lilith.

Lilith rolled her eyes. “Get ready, I’m not letting you skip class again”.

Casey got off the ground, frowning as she peered at Lilith’s face. “Are you okay? You look pale. Did you have a nightmare again?”.

“No, I’m fine. Just have a bit of a headache. An aspirin should do. Have you posted the ad for the empty dorm room? I can’t keep paying for a room I barely use”.

“Yeah, I did last night. But what are you talking about? You’ve turned that entire room into your personal storage unit”, Casey told her with a raised brow.

Lilith pursed her lips, “I’ll get rid of my things when I get back from class. Oh, and don’t ride your bike out to school today”.

“Why? Did you see something?”Casey asked with a worried look on her face.

“Something minor, don’t panic”, Lilith said.

Lilith Adams was special. Her mum had told her so before she passed away in a tragic accident Lilith had foreseen. Or she thought she had. She could, on occasion, peer into people’s past, present, or future, glimpsing into near or distant misfortunes that could or would befall them and it only required a touch of the hand, a hug, a bump when passing someone in the streets, any form of physical contact would allow her entrance into other people’s past traumas and future tragedies. But they weren’t always imminent or accurate, just like her mum's.

Casey knew to take her words seriously. They’d been best friends since elementary school and she had avoided terrible things because of the visions that Lilith had seen.

“Maybe I should just skip class altogether?”Casey asked, with a cute, wide smile.

“No. You’ve skipped enough classes already and you know that a 75% attendance is required for you to take your exams on this course. Wash up, it’s almost eight”.

“Tch! Fine, I’ll go. You’ll probably call my mum if I don’t”, Casey said with a playful sneer as she began to put her bed in order.

Lilith rolled her eyes again and exited the room to prepare for her class. She showered and styled her long brown hair into a messy ponytail and dressed in a long chiffon shirt, baby blue jeans, a tote bag, and a pair of gloves, she left the dorm, after making sure that Casey really was leaving for class.

*************

Mikhail Smith sat heavily on the swivel chair in the Victorian-styled office with his hands balled into tight fists as his guest left the room and shut the door behind them. This was the fifth complaint this week, of a member of the pack having halting episodes to their powers and it had almost cost someone their life.

The first time this happened was to a small werewolf whose powers were just in development and it seemed like it was simply because they just weren’t mature enough to have their powers under complete control. The second and third cases were similar and had no cause for alarm.

That was until a powerful member of the pack went out to settle a crisis between smaller groups in the area and when the issue burst into a full-on fight, found that his telekinetic powers were only able to move small things in the area and trying to force it made his nose bleed and he gradually weakened. Thankfully, others around him noticed that something just wasn’t quite right with him and so they brought him back, bleeding and unconscious. And ever since then, people in the pack, irrespective of their strength or status began to experience halts in their abilities.

It was like something no one had ever seen before, even the doctors within the community couldn’t fathom what was the reason for the 'disease' that was affecting the werewolves in the pack. Information from other packs concluded that it was a widespread matter that wasn’t limited to just them. Some people wondered if the people affected would end up losing their powers and this rumor spread panic and fear among the people.

Mikhail was the leader of one of the strongest and most populous packs around and with this new development, the pressure was mounting high and he was gradually losing sleep. He got up hastily from the comfortable leather chair and had a bout of dizzy spell.

His eyes fell casually on the grand mirror to his right and in the split second, he caught sight of a person smiling at him before a blink of the eye caused the image to disappear. His brows scrunched up as he held onto the chair to stabilize his movement and looked back into the mirror. But all he saw was the frustrated reflection of a scowling man staring right back at him.

He groaned and rubbed his eyes with a yawn. “I should be getting some sleep. I’m seeing things already”.

*************

Lilith dozed off in her quiet favorite corner of the college library which people rarely went to and where she could stay unnoticed and undisturbed even by the librarian or the library assistants. Her head lolled sideways and downwards until she leaned forward slightly and her head went crashing down painfully on the wooden surface of the partitioned table. She moaned in pain, startled, and then scrunched up her nose to the thick smell of burning in the air.

She looked around but she couldn’t find any trace of smoke or fire but before she could properly investigate the horrible same disappeared as quickly as it came.

She frowned slightly but she couldn’t find the source of the sharp smoky smell. She rubbed a palm to her head only to find a small bump forming. She turned her phone on and began to pack up her things ready to head for her next class.

As she walked out the door, she bumped into someone and her books fell to the ground. Lilith cursed under her breath and bent to pick up her things.

“I’m so sorry. I should’ve watched where I was going”, came from the person opposite her who also bent to pick up their things. The voice was so silky and smooth that Lilith had to look up at the person who had just spoken and when she did, her breath caught in her throat. She was staring into the brightest blue eyes she had ever seen and she squat frozen as a small smile pulled at the girl's lips.

“Are you okay?”, The girl said and Lilith snapped out of the trance with a jolt and she blinked rapidly, trying to get a hold of herself. Her cheeks were stained with a pink hue as she cleared her throat and stood up.

“Yeah, I’m good. I’m sorry, your eyes are very… beautiful”, Lilith struggled to say as she blushed in embarrassment.

Thankfully, the girl shrugged it off with a grin. “So I’ve been told. I’ll be careful next time. Could you, please point me towards the administration building? I’m a transfer student and I am so confused”.

Lilith laughed and pointed out a building on the far left and the girl smiled her thanks, patting her on the shoulder as she left with a wave. Lilith watched her go until she entered the building and then she realized that after having had contact with her, she didn’t have the usual flashes of images or the slight headaches that came with them.

She’s an odder, Lilith concluded as she made her way to class avoiding as many people as she could.

**************

Mikhail sat on the mat on the floor of his personal gym in his home with a sigh as he placed his outstretched hand down on the ground beside him. He had caught it too, it seemed. The 'bug' that had been affecting the powers of werewolves in the city. He tried again to summon his elements of fire and lightning but all that came out of his palm was a little puff of smoke.

He buried his head in his hands and got up, this time, he moved away from the punching bag in front of him, trying as much as he could to infuse all his energy into his right hand. Whenever he did this, it would create a burst of blue flames that would consume whatever was nearby but all that was produced was a fire in the shape of a tiny teardrop that wasn’t even enough to properly light a cigar. This attempt was also followed by a stuffy feeling like his head was filled with cotton and a slight metallic taste in his mouth.

He held his hurting head and in a split second, he saw a familiar person with long brown hair and hazel eyes before it vanished right before his eyes. He staggered with a small groan and remembered where he had seen the face, the day before when he had glanced in the mirror.

Who was it? he mused. Was someone trying to tell him something?

Before he could delve deeper into his thoughts, his phone rang on the table in the corner of the room. He schooled his features and picked up the call.

“Anything new, Kevin?”He said, walking out of the gym into his spacious and elegantly decorated living room.

“Nothing especially new or good, Mikhail. We have two more cases of the werebug. Or at least that’s what they're calling it around here”.

“Are the affected persons strong and powerful people in the community?”.

“That’s the thing. The people who have weak abilities have fewer issues than those whose abilities are significantly stronger. If their powers are not too strong, they might experience weakness when they try to forcefully use their powers but the strong ones begin to bleed and are unable to move until their powers slowly begin to recover. It’s an incredibly strange phenomenon and affected people are being quarantined to see if the bug is contractible and if a cure can be made. That’s pretty much everything”.

Mikhail heaved a frustrated sigh, “Alright, continue according to the plan, for now, to see if there’s anything that can be done to slow the rate at which the abilities fade and quicken the rate at which they return”.

“I’m talking with Charles Higgins, who’s the best and most highly placed professional medical practitioner in the werewolf community and he and his team are working round the clock to find a cure or at least an improvement on these cases. Are you okay, though? Your voice sounds a little off”.

Mikhail panicked slightly but still managed to maintain his composure, “I’m fine, I got out of the gym. I guess I might’ve overworked myself”.

“Cool then. I’ll call you when there’s new development”.

With that, Mikhail hung up and rubbed his forehead with his fingers. He could feel a headache coming on. He couldn’t let anyone know about him having the illness because then the members of the pack would gradually lose trust in his leadership or he would be termed as weak and unfit to lead.

And leading the pack had always been a responsibility of him and his family, his father had been the alpha of the pack before he was born and he was obligated to make the pack stronger than it was under his father and he had prepared for all twenty-eight years of his life to lead the pack. He had to find a way to cure himself before anyone found out that something was going on with him. He just hoped the symptoms would come to play when he was on an important quest with others or a fight.

His thoughts wandered back to the lady he had been seeing. Was she involved in some way with what was happening or was she trying to pass a message across to him? He had to find her to see if she was human or not and if there was something she wanted to say to him. He picked up his phone and dialed a number.

*************

Lilith tossed and turned in her sleep and she seemed to be struggling desperately to get away from something, someone. In her dream, there were flashes of bright light and her hand was enclosed tightly in another’s who held unto her when she stumbled as they ran together.

There were flames everywhere around and everywhere she looked seemed chaotic she held up her hand to her nose to prevent breathing in the smoke as debris and ashes blew into her face. She wanted to stop running but she wasn’t in control of her body and all she could do was run.

From the left and right sides of her came panicked and painful screams that tore at her heart yet she couldn’t stop to help them out. Tears streamed down her pale visage and as she ran she heard a loud voice call her name. She knew she shouldn’t turn because whoever was behind was definitely the person chasing them and obviously didn’t have any good intentions but the voice sounded so familiar that she felt a strong impulse to prove herself wrong and so she turned around to glance at the caller and her heart went cold in her chest. She felt a stinging pain in her heart when she saw who it was. She was filled with an overpowering sense of sorrow and betrayal as her eyes met theirs.

Chapter 2

She jerked awake, the sorrowful, heartbroken feeling of pain yet to subside in her chest. Two drops of liquid dropped down onto her palms and when she felt for her face, her hands came off wet. She hiccupped and sat up, resting her upper body on the headboard as she drew her legs to meet her chest. She felt a conflicting mix of a cold and warm sensation in her heart and she took deep breaths to calm the riveting emotions rioting through her.

Casey knocked and opened the door to her room. She walked gingerly into the room after noticing her depressed disposition and sat on her bed. “Are you okay? You look deathly pale”.

Lilith smiled weakly as she glanced up at her. “I should be. It’s just the aftereffects of a dream I had. It’s ridiculous that I feel so terrible given that I can’t even remember why I’m this way”.

“You also don’t remember this one? I’m sure it’s not a big deal if you can’t remember it. I mean if it was of any importance you would remember clearly wh

Heroes

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