James Hazen- Convenience Store, Honolulu, Hawaii
October 31st, 2012
The affairs of Hawaii went on much as it always did. Slow, steady, and in James Hazen's eyes, boring as hell. You would think that the discovery of the Atlanteans would have changed something there, and you would be dead wrong. It was almost the same as when the events of September 11th hit New York, or when a new pope was appointed to the Vatican, or when the swine flu outbreak began in Mexico. Even though the events were severe and had major impacts, if they didn't occur in the area, all it was, was pass-time news. That was the sad truth of life there. People weren't concerned much with the troubles outside. Or perhaps they were concerned, but instead of confronting or addressing the problem, they figured the problem may never reach them there, and eventually the problem would somehow be corrected. And for most people, that would be alright.
But James Hazen was different. He hated this false sense of security and tranquility that existed here. He hated that nothing was taken seriously, and nothing was ever seen as a serious matter. Even the latest event was just a hiccup in these people's lives. Sometimes, James had to actually imagine things happening, just so he wouldn't drive himself crazy. It usually would be some small imagining, like a car crash at the corner of the street, or an individual holding up the store where he worked.
But lately, his imaginings grew even bolder. This began to occur after a strange tattoo appeared on his neck, one in the shape of distorted arrow, pointing outward in an unbalanced circle. It was an Atlantean tattoo. Soon after, he discovered he had an ability, just like the people in the newspapers he would read about. Now, the big news didn't seem so far away anymore. It was right here, right in front of them. None of them knew, but James intended to show them. He just needed the right sign. So for now, he simply imagined doing it, sending a spark in the convenience store where he worked, causing a light bulb to burst. Shut off the power in an office building floor, if he can manage it. For a while, that suited him. But as the desire to actually do something about it grew, so did James's patience withdraw. A boiling point would eventually be reached.
James swept the floor at the corner of the convenience store where he worked. He had no idea why he still worked there. He hated the job. The pay was crap. His boss was an a$$ hole. He assumed he needed the money, but sometimes no amount of money was worth it. Harold, James's acquaintance and coworker managed the cash register as a few customers wandered the store. Then suddenly, there was breaking news on the television which was attached to the wall on the adjacent corner to James.
"Evidence was found today that the cause of the Berlin Explosion was the work of Atlanteans. André Cabrillo, brother of Leo Cabrillo, member of the Atlantean Royal Family, was suspected to be the cause of the explosion as survivors claimed to have seen the 20 year old in the streets on Berlin that day as well as physical DNA evidence at the heart of the chaos. Other members of the Royal Family have made no comments towards his disappearance but together with the United Nations have rushed an international bill, calling all Atlanteans to register themselves and their abilities with the local Atlantean Relief Centres in all capital cities. Anybody now caught using Atlantean Abilities without being registered or carrying a registration card will face detainment.
"More on this story soon..."
"Holy sh*t, man." Harold said in his typical surfer accent. He turned to James, who had stopped sweeping and looked intently at the TV. "Can ya believe it? I mean, I heard the news, but to think that they're like, here. It's just crazy, man, ya know?"
"Yea...crazy." James said softly. He wondered what he should do. Obviously, he would have to register, or get detained. But did they really know who among them was Atlantean? He was sure nobody knew he was one. But it might be safe to do so anyways. Suddenly, the manager of the store came into the room from the back, while James and Harold still watched the TV. James hadn't noticed him come in, while Harold had, and quickly went back to work. Seeing that James wasn't doing his job, but was instead watching the TV, the manager walked up to James from behind, before slowly clearing his throat to let James know he was there.
At the sound of the throat clearing, (which James had been hearing a lot lately due to the number of times he had snuck out of work, or took longer breaks to practice his ability secretly) James's eyes snapped away from the TV and to the manager.
"Mr. Hazen, this is the second time I've had to get you back to doing your job today. What is with you? Over the past month, there's been a dozen cases of you arriving late, leaving early, not doing your job, and everything in between! What the heck is going on?"
James didn't reply. He began sweeping the area, hoping his manager would just walk away.
"Mr. Hazen, are you even listening to me?"
"Remotely...." James said quietly, continuing to sweep the floor.
"Excuse me?" The manager said, crossing his arms as he gave James a disbelieving look. Harold, as well as the rest of the customers stared back at them, wondering what was going on. This was the type of thing that caused the most attention among people in the area. It was a sad fact that for so many, this would be the highlight of their day, an argument in the convenience store. "James, I'm talking to you. Look at me when I'm talking to you!"
James sighed and stopped sweeping as he turned to the manager. "Do you mind? I'm trying to do my work..."
"Oh, now you're interested in doing work? Well if you were doing your job before, I wouldn't have to be having this unpleasant conversation with you right now."
"Listen, man. Just back off..." James said softly.
"No. You don't get to make that call. I have a business to run, and when little sh*ts like you don't do your job, it makes me lose money!"
James looked at the man irritatingly. He clenched his fists, and closed his eyes, trying to calm down. The manager continued to scream in his face.
"You think you're so special? You're nothing. Nothing but a waste of a person. If I wanted, I could fire you and hire a retard and he'd be doing a better job than you!"
James could feel his heart beating faster. A light bulb flickered for a moment above the two. Nobody noticed.
"You are a worthless piece of sh*t, and you're lucky you even have this job to begin with, and you disrespect me and think you're badass? You're just a prick who thinks he's hot stuff!"
James's breathing became more uncontrolled. Light flickered above in the store, but the manager was too busy screaming to notice.
"Why don't you do us all a favor and either get the hell outta here, or go drop dead somewhere, cause it's obvious you can't do sh*t here anymo-"
The light bulbs above all shattered, minus one which flickered on and off uncontrollably at the end of the store. The manager never had a chance to finish his sentence. It all happened so fast, even James wasn't sure what happened. He just knew he stuck out his hand to the manager's chest, and the released all his anger out through his hand. Sparks of lightning flickered around the area from the aftershock. James looked around, noticing the customers and Harold all were on the ground, their hands covering their heads, many in shock and fear. The manager lay motionless on the ground. Whether he was unconscious, or worse, James didn't know, but he didn't bother finding out. He didn't look at anyone else, but ran through the outside door. He didn't stop running, turning the street corner and heading down the first smaller street he could find, and then kept on running. A taxi cab was driving close by. James hailed it, and got inside.
"Airport." He said to him, the only words he needed to say before the taxi driver took off. Luckily, he had been prepared to leave, all of his cards and passport on him always since the day he discovered his powers, on the off chance he had to leave. Now, he had no choice. Whatever happened in Berlin was irrelevant. He didn't know what the deal was with the Atlantean Center, but knew there was no way he was going to one now, not after what he did in the store. If he got into the system and they found out about his power, they could easily trace the same power to the incident there. No, he had to get out. He didn't know where he was going, and he didn't care. All he knew was it was time for a change. A big one. This was the beginning for James Hazen.