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Monday, August 7, 2017

Lawbreaker - Chapter 5 by Azriel Johnson

    Peter grunted and pulled the syringe out of his leg and sat back.  Justin, his client looked at his social worker and grunted back.  “It’s what you get for....”  His speech dropped off and he realized what he’d done.
    “Oh, shit.  I’m sorry, Pete.  I just woke and you were there.  I thought you were... shit.  What can I do?”

    Peter pulled his phone from his pocket and called his office.  A brief explanation of what happened ensued and Peter stood, limping, sort of.  “Dammit, Justin.  I can’t believe you would do something like that.  You’re positive for gods sake.”
    Justin pulled his legs to his chest and rocked back and forth with no response.
    “Dammit,” Peter said under his breath again as he walked to the exit of the hollowed out building.  He made his way out of the complex through the fence and flagged down the ambulance that approached.
    The ambulance slowed down and Peter collapsed.
    He awoke in the hospital.  He wasn’t sure exactly how long it had been.  He inhaled, tugged at his blanket and tugged up his gown.  He saw a huge blue bruise at the injection point.  He breathed out and laid back.
    The nurse entered his room.  “You’re awake I see.”  She checked his temperature and blood pressure.
    “How long has it been?  What exactly is going on with me?” Peter said.
    “The doctor will be in with you in a moment.”
    When the doctor arrived, Peter asked, “So what’s going on?”
    “The paramedics got you here quickly, but as you were unconscious we didn’t know exactly what was wrong with you.”
    “How long has it been?” Peter asked.
    “About 72 hours,” the doctor said.
    “So no one started PEP?  Someone from my office should have told the ambulance I was exposed to HIV.”
    “No,” the doctor said.  “Nurse, we need an HIV test, Truvada and Raltegravir.”
    The nurse rushed out of the room.  The doctor said to Peter, “Peter, you’re familiar with PEP so you know we’re going to start you on a regimen daily for the next four weeks.  This combination is highly effective, but it isn’t 100% effective, especially this long after exposure.”
    The first test was negative.
    Four weeks later, the test was negative.  Peter thought he was in the clear.
    Three months went by.  Another test.  Negative.  Things looked brighter.  Peter worked as normal.  He hung out with his niece during her ordeal in the hospital.  They both had their mental and emotional trials.
    The six month mark, the moment of truth.  If Peter was clear this time, he was likely in the clear for good.
    The blood draw was relatively painless, aside from the prick at the beginning.  Peter watched the purplish-red blood drain into three tubes.  Peter smiled at the nurse taking his blood.  He felt an itch.
    He turned his face and sneezed.

~ * ~

    Justin followed the greyish-beige man through a doorway to a wide expansive room.  Standing in the center, a man pointed to different window trimmings.  He ordered people to do different things around the room and using various abilities including telekinesis, the room moved and changed to suit the whims of the man.
    “Sir,” the greyish-beige man said.  “I’ve brought him.”
    “Thank you, Nix,” the man said.  “Stay close, but not too close.”
    Nix, the greyish-beige man nodded and stepped back.
    “My name is Enos,” the leader said to Justin.
    “Why should I care?” Justin said.
    “Because, if I wanted to I could have had you killed.”
    “How do you figure?”
    “Hrm,” Enos stopped.  He moved completely into Justin’s personal space.
    Justin stepped back.  “Hey man, that’s too close.”
    Enos stepped forward again.  “Makes you uncomfortable, eh?”
    Justin stepped back again.  “No, I just don’t want to have to hurt you.”
    “Hrm,” Enos said again.  “You don’t even understand your power yet, do you?”
    Justin said, “I can hold things down or make them raise.  Seems pretty simple.”
    Enos sniffed.  “Try it on me.”
    Justin put a hand on Enos and concentrated.  He felt the power move through him, but nothing happened.  Enos swung his right hand up and around and chopped down on Justin’s arm.  In the same motion, his left hand struck Justin in the center of his chest, knocking him 10 feet away and onto his back.
    Justin extended his hand at Enos and nothing happened.  “What the hell?”
    Enos took two steps toward Justin and offering his hand to pull him up, revealing a bracelet.  Justin took Enos’ hand and grunted.  “You’re blocking my power somehow.”
    Enos smiled.  “You’re learning.  But enough about me.  You need to learn about yourself.  I can help you, but you’ve got to be willing to reign yourself in.”
    “Why should I listen to you?”
    “Because I know a thousand ways to kill you right now with just my bare hands, let alone the multitudes here who would have no problem ripping you apart mentally or physically.  I’ve been alive a long time.  I’ve learned many things and made many loyal allies.  I am willing to include you in that ally-ship, or kill you.  Makes no difference to me, but I see potential in your abilities if you are willing to control them.  If not, then there is no use for you.”
    Justin took Enos’ hand and Enos pulled Justin to his feet.  Enos turned to Nix.  “You can resume your search, bring me back any potentials as you recover them.  This was a good find, thank you.”
    Nix bowed and turned away.
    Justin said, “I, have a question....”
    Enos nodded.  “Ask.”
    “What if I can’t control it?”
    “You’re new to the power, is that correct?”
    “Yes.  I was just injected yesterday.”
    “Remarkable, I haven’t seen any injectors gain their powers so quickly, though I suppose with your particular power it makes sense.”
    “If my power isn’t holding things down or raising them up, what is it?  Do you know?”
    Enos smiled.  “Of course I know.  But I ascribe to the philosophy, give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you feed him for his life.  Then he owes that life to you.”

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