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Old April 14th, 2013 (6:52 AM).
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Minerva Sirmais - Riga, Latvia: Atlantean Center

"What happens next is entirely up to you," River responded, a bit cryptically at first. "You can exit through that door with your registration card, and try to return to the life you have left, otherwise you can take up my offer to join me and a whole lot of other Atlanteans and learn to control your ability. I am with the Atlantean Royal Family, we train and prepare younger Atlanteans to better control their abilities and to aid us in the coming future. We're based in Britain, but we have people from all corners of the world studying and learning with us. Minerva, you could become a valuable member of our rather extended family, and I would love to have you become a part of us."

Atlantean Royal Family? She had heard about that. It sounded more like a cult from what the news said, but River made it sound much more appealing, like a big extended family. Then again, she had never been good with families. It still did sound appealing, and learning to control her ability would be a big plus. Minerva had no idea what she would use if for at all, but it would be nice to actually control it for once. But to leave everything else behind? She wasn't sure she could do that. She had friends, and a degree to get, and things she had to do. Just dropping everything and going on a crazy adventure, it just seemed a bit much.

River paused for a bit, taking a bite out of her apple, "So, would you like to join us?"

Minerva thought for a few more seconds before answering. "I don't know River, its just that I have so much going on here, I really don't know if I could leave. I don't mean to be disrespectful or anything, but you are really asking a lot right now. TO just pick up everything and leave? I don't think that I can do that. In a year or two, maybe, but now?" She took a deep breath and slowed down. "As much as I would love to be able to control my ability, its really just not practical to just leave everything behind. I have priorities, and I have sacrificed a lot to get where I am. I'm thankful for all of this, but its just not right for me I guess."

River seemed a bit disappointed, but there was understanding in her face too. "I see what you mean, and I understand completely. Perhaps some time in the future you can join us. In case you decide to change your mind, here is my business card", she pulled a small card out of her pocket and handed it to Minerva. "Just call that number, whenever you want." After a few more formalities, and receiving her "official" Atlantean I.D. card, Minerva was standing out on the street in front of the Atlantean Center. She was surprised by how much time had passed, it was almost eleven o'clock already, and there was a chill in the air with the absence of the sun to warm the city. Street lamps illuminated the sidewalk, casting light in some places and shadows in others. As she began the walk to her apartment, she continued to think of her decision. As she walked farther away, she began to doubt herself, but she steeled her resolve. She would figure this thing out on her own, nothing to worry about.

A hand grabbed her from behind, covering her mouth and dragging her into a dark alleyway. She tried to scream, he voice muffled by the man's gloved hand, but the man poke something cold and circular into the back of her head, and she stopped, now completely silent. The man spoke, his voice gruff and demanding. "Hey there pretty girl, listen up now. You scream, this little pea shooter of mine is gonna poke a hole, right through your head. Completely silenced too, so no one will hear a sound!" Minerva whimpered softly. If only I could use my ability, maybe that would be of some use here... she thought. The man spoke again, "Now then, both hands where I can see them...good. Now, one hand, drop your purse and hand over your phone."

Another man coughed in the back of the alley. "Ah come one Jamie, lets have a little fun. She looks might fine." The figure stepped out of the shadows, light playing across his eager face.

A woman called out now, following the other man. "Could be some fun. Whadayya say boss."

Minerva was filled with dread, imagining what the three companions would do. Jamie, obviously the leader of the gang, had allowed Minerva to turn, and stood looking at her. "Alright, why not. Nothing wrong with a little fun I suppose. Come along miss", he gestured with his gun. Timidly walking forward, deeper into the alley, looking back hopeful that someone would see her situation, but there was nobody. Nobody to help her. She tripped over an errant pipe lying on the ground, and the gang member behind her grunted with impatience. "Come on, lets go." As she started to stand, her vision slowly retreated, darkness creeping into the edges of her sight.

"No, no, not now, please not now..." Minerva muttered under her breath, realizing that she was about to black out, again. Placing a hand on her forehead, she groaned. Jamie behind her kicked her from behind. "Come on, stop faking. Look, just come on, and we wont hurt you." Her vision continued to fade to black. Just before her vision fully retreated, she grabbed a metal pipe running along the side of one of the brick walls. She thought she must have been dreaming at that point, but she thought she saw the the pipe start to melt.


A pounding headache racked her head as Minerva came to. She stared, uncomprehending at the pure white curving walls in front of her. They looked so beautiful and perfect, but she couldn't understand what she was looking at, or why she was there at all. She laid there for a few minutes, waiting for her mind and body to stop aching. Then, shuddering, she slowly sat up, staring strangely at her shower curtains. How did she end up here? Shakily, she placed one hand on the edge of her low wall of her shower, and was surprised to find it was covered in a dark red liquid, mostly dried now. Staring uncomprehendingly, it took her a minute to realize that it was blood. And it not only covered on hand, but both, and there was a fair amount on her clothes as well.

She quickly searched her body for wounds, not finding any. Then her hand brushed against her upper left arm, where, under further analyzing, contained a neat circular hole that punched through one side of her arm and out the other. A bullet wound? How on earth did I get that? She though back to the last things she remembered, then recalled the events in the alley, and her blackout. What happened while she was out?

She tumbled out of the shower onto her bathroom floor, and pulled herself up to the sink where she scrubbed her arms to rid herself of the red stain that covered most of her arms. Eventually, she discarded her clothes and showered, finally ridding herself of the stuff. Coming to her senses now, she hobbled into the kitchen, putting a pot of coffee on. While she waited, she slowly walked over to the cabinet, holding her left arm against her chest, and pulled out her first aid kit. She had never been great at anything medically related, but the bullet wound seemed simple enough. She dabbed the wound with some disinfectant, then wrapped a bandage around her arm a few times, hoping that would suffice. Pouring herself a now steaming cup of coffee, she wondered what had happened. It was early morning now, light peeking through her shades.

Having nothing else to do, Minerva turned on the news, if mostly for background noise if nothing else. She slowly sipped her coffee, constantly thinking of what could have happened. Finally she turned her attention fully to the news. After a few minutes, the newscaster came on with what she said was an "urgent report". "Two men and a woman were murdered last night in an alley on Gaizina Iela (Gaizina St.), and were found early this morning by joggers. The three victims are described as having 'Lacerations across their bodies' and one of them is reported to have been skewered on a metal spike, suspended a foot off the ground. Authorities still do not know who the murderer is, but are convinced that the perpetrator will be found and judged. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the police immediately."

Minerva froze as she saw the pictures of the three people that were displayed on the television. It was the three people from the alley last night, all dead. Immediately, she came to the realization that she had killed them. It was logical, of course. She had been there, then they died. She woke up in the bathtub covered in blood, and had a bullet wound. There was no way it wasn't her. She never really knew exactly what happened in her blackouts, but if she had done that... Minerva nearly hurled as she realized that she had killed those three people. She had, no one else. She did it. Killed, dead deceased. She was a murdered.

Immediately, she though back to what she had done. Yes, there probably was some sort of evidence she had left behind, fingerprints, her own blood, something, to tie the crime back to her. She frantically thought of ways out of it. She could come clean about it, but even that would probably mean prison. She could play ignorant, but she had a bullet wound, which was pretty convincing. She could try to leave the country, but they might be expecting that. Searching for options, her mind remembered River. Maybe she could help her out. Would she help a murderer? Well, she didn't have to know. Minerva just wouldn't tell her. Yeah, that would be fine. Just leave, and live a new life. That would work.

She dug around in her purse, searching for the business card, pulling it out almost triumphantly. Quickly turning the news off, she steadied her nerves, tried to calm her voice, and dialed the number. River picked up on the second ring, and Minerva immediately said, "Hey River, its Minerva. Um, I changed my mind, I'd like to go with you."

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