Septifiria; The Becoming: Chapter 25

Septi finally decided to return to the main building after several hours of solitude spent mentally berating herself. I can’t afford to let my guard down like that, she’d thought as she climbed into the tree that had been her hiding spot when she’d attended the school.
When Septi sat up there she always calmed down. She was away from the world and away from the problem, and could always make herself relax. This time, as she straddled the branch, she began to lecture herself. Running away won’t solve the problem, she thought, tired from crying. Her throat felt like it was on fire, but she didn’t want to be around people for a good long time. You know you have to go back and see them all again.
A bird flapped past the tree and Septi watched as it settled itself in its nest. I must get over this. Forget my slip of composure. I can’t afford to get hurt anymore, she thought. There’s no time for emotion. Just get over it. Be tough. Be a good, strong leader.
She jumped slightly as she heard laughs and the murmur of conversation coming from the buildings. Closing her eyes her hand tightened into a fist, her nails digging into her skin and cutting deeply. Relax, she told herself forcefully. Just calm down. Leaning against the tree, she took a deep breath. Finally she let herself begin to calm down and she spent the next several hours listening to the sounds of nature.
When Septi returned to the main building she felt better, much more relaxed, and was sure that her emotionless mask was firmly in place. Gin was watching her oddly, but Septi assumed that it was par for the course. After all, she had just reduced herself to a useless lump of tears in his presences. Not the best move to make to enforce her position, but there was nothing she could do about it now.
The move soon sucked everyone into a whirlwind of motion, and Gin seemed to have forgotten about that emotional scene in the gym, a fact that Septi was extremely grateful for. It was finally beginning to look up for the VI4C, and they began to move on with their lives.
The four VI4C members that were still young enough for school were enrolled in the local public school, and Septi enrolled in college, determined to finish her education. Life fell into a comfortable pattern that fall, and everything went as planned.
It wasn’t until the following winter that there was anything odd or unusual, and that was only the arrival of two new mutants in the VI4C that stirred things up. Ferinequell had been tracking one of the two since they’d moved, while the other just seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
It was January when Septi came across her, a young teen with iced blue hair. It wasn’t the hair that had made Septi look twice instead of just moving on, it was the way the girl acted. She was jumpy and constantly glanced over her shoulder, as if watching for a pursuer.
Curiously Septi watched as the girl darted into an alley. Septi paused with her hand on the door of the Starbucks that she had been about to go in just as the girl screamed.
Without thinking about it, Septi vaulted for the alley pausing only briefly in the shadows once to slide her dirks, which were hidden in her boots, out. She knew that she wasn’t dressed for a fight, but that was unavoidable. Carefully, she made her way into the alley, her eyes darting as she tried to find the girl.
A big hand grabber her upper arm and jerked her around. As she spun she reversed her grip on the dagger so she wouldn’t cut whoever she hit. Her fist met with her attacker’s face and he took a step back, releasing her.
“So it’s a fight you want, hm?” he asked, spitting on the ground at her feet.
“Not particularly,” Septi said, trying to make out her surrounding without looking away from him. “I just want to know what happened to that girl who came this way. That’s all.”
“What, that mutey?” he asked, his tone dismissive. “Thought she could steal my wallet, that brat. I showed her that you don’t mess with me.” Septi’s heart jumped inside her chest, and she reversed her grip on the daggers again.
Apparently he won’t think twice about killing or maiming, she thought as she sized him up. He didn’t look like someone she’d want to meet in broad daylight on a crowded street, and she would guess that he made his living by selling drugs.
“What did you do to her?” she asked, trying to keep her voice steady.
“Aw, c’mon, lady, you don’t wanna get involved in matters that don’t concern you,” he said, watching her blades.
“You chose to mess with me,” Septi said. “When you did whatever you did to that girl.” He cursed and Septi changed her footing, her entire body tense.
“Lady,” he began again, starting to edge away from her. “Look-” Septi took several steps closer to him.
“You’re afraid of me only because I’m armed,” Septi said, her temper flaring. “You’ll hurt innocents when they aren’t armed, but you run when someone does stand up to you. Do you have any idea of just how wrong that is?” He didn’t say anything as he turned to run. Septi threw one of her daggers, the blade cleanly slicing through his right calf. He didn’t scream, exactly, as he staggered and then fell, cussing Septi out loudly.
That was all the invitation that Septi needed to run toward him, grabbing him by the shirt collar and slamming him face first into the wall, her other dagger at his neck. She could hear her heart beating and the blood rushing in her ears. She wrinkled her nose as the unpleasant scents of BO and stale alcohol wafted off of him.
“Now, you have a choice. Either tell me what I want to know, or I will drain you of all the blood in your body.” He whimpered slightly and Septi nicked his neck slightly to let him know that she wasn’t messing around.
“She ain’t dead, if that’s what you wanna know,” he muttered sulkily.
“Then where is she?” Septi asked through gritted teeth. Her desire to protect the girl was completely irrational; she didn’t know her, nor was it any skin off Septi’s nose if the girl died, but she couldn’t not protect the girl, especially after hearing him call her ‘mutey’.
“Behind the dumpster,” he said, sweating slightly despite the chilly weather. Septi glared at the back of his head, and then swung him to the ground before turning to the dumpster. She rounded the corner with her blade raised, not wanting to get jumped.
The girl was lying still, obviously unconscious and Septi glanced around before kneeling by her, satisfied that the man wouldn’t try anything. Carefully Septi sheathed her dirks and picked the girl up, surprised by how light and frail the girl seemed. She carried the girl to her car carefully and slipped into the drivers seat.
Quickly she made her way to the VI4C’s new hide out and carried the girl into the living room. Mes and Raram were sitting on the floor by the coffee table they’d brought from the school, talking and laughing. When Septi walked in though, they fell silent, and Septi felt a twinge of jealousy. Brushing it away, she spoke to them.
“Do you know if Ferinequell is at work still?” she asked, laying the girl on the couch and carefully checking the girl for wounds and broken bones.
“Yeah, he is,” Mes said, moving to help Septi. Nothing seemed to be wrong with the girl except for several bruises and small scrapes. “Who is she? And what happened to her?”
“I don’t know, and she got beaten up by some guy who doesn’t like her very much for whatever reason,” Septi said, glancing at her watch. “I have a class in twenty minutes, so I have to go. Can you take care of her?”
“Sure,” Mes said, straightening up.
“If you could find out her name, that’d be great,” Septi said, moving to the door. “I’ll see you later.” Quickly she made her way to the campus slightly upset that she had to leave the girl. She felt responsible for her and she wanted to take care of her. Distractedly she made it through her classes for the day and as soon as she could she rushed back the hideout. Stowing her back and goat in the closet by the stairs, she hurried into the living room, where she heard people talking and laughing.
The girl was sitting up now and was holding a glass of something, looking slightly better. She was talking to Mes and Raram quietly, and Septi couldn’t help but notice that Raram especially seemed drawn to this girl. Mes glanced up at that moment and caught sight of Septi.
Quickly she excused herself from the conversation and came over to Septi. Raram and the girl looked up at Septi, and Septi decided that she needed to talk to Mes in another room.
“Let’s go to the office,” Septi said quietly, turning and leading the way, with Mes trailing behind. As soon as the door was closed firmly behind them she began questioning Mes. “Did she say anything about who she is or where she came from?”
“Yeah,” Mes said, leaning against the desk. “She calls herself Frigid and she’s been refusing to say where she’s from.”
“How old is she?” Septi asked, beginning to pace the floor. “And is she a mutant?”
“She says she’s fourteen,” Mes said, watching Septi steadily. “And yeah, she is. She told us so by way of threats that she’s a mutant. She seems to have ice powers.”
“Does she know that we’re mutants too?” Septi asked.
“Yeah, she does,” Mes said casually. “And she knows about the VI4C too.”
“Will she be thinking about joining the VI4C?” Septi asked, pausing in her pacing and staring at Mes, weighing her own options.
“She doesn’t seem to have anywhere she can go,” Mes answered. “Raram and I were asking. You might want to tread carefully, though, in what you say to her. She’s got a temper.”
Septi smiled, slightly amused. She knew that her own temper could be extremely explosive at times. If this girl’s temper rivaled her own, there would be huge fights if Frigid joined the VI4C.
“Alright,” Septi agreed moving to open the door. “I guess it’s time to go to talk to our guest.”
Tiredly Septi made her way back to the living room, wondering what Frigid would be like. I guess I’ll find out soon enough, she thought. As she walked into the room, she felt Frigid’s stare.
“I’m Septi,” Septi introduced herself, feeling slightly awkward. “So how are you feeling?”
“Fine,” Frigid said watching her with a certain amount of distrust in her eyes. “So you’re Septi, hm? The one who brought me here.”
“Yeah,” Septi said, slightly surprised that Frigid had heard about her. Quickly she shot a surprised and inquisitive glance at Raram, who shrugged and glanced away. “That would be me.” Instantly she bit her tongue, realizing how cliché-ish she had sounded.
“So, I suppose you want me to join this club, or whatever it is? The VI4C, right?” Frigid’s voice and body language matched her name, shocking Septi with the cold hostility.
“You don’t have to join if you don’t want to,” Septi said evenly. “But it doesn’t sound like you have anywhere to go, and I would have to let you go off to the streets.” Frigid flinched, and then gave Septi a glare.
“Whatever,” she said, looking away from Septi. Silence fell and Raram squirmed. The mood in the room was decidedly awkward and Septi sighed, making her way to the other side of the room, heading for the kitchen.
“Who’s making supper tonight?” She asked.
“Ryan,” Raram said, toying with a throw pillow.
“Alright,” Septi said, before she turned to address Frigid. “You can stay for dinner, if you want, while you figure out what you’re doing next.”
“Thanks,” Frigid said, not sounding thankful at all. Septi sighed and left the room to find somewhere she was welcome.

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