Xander was breathing hard, and he had a stitch in his side when he finally stopped running.
Today was not going well for him.
Yesterday had not gone too well either, but at least he had eaten breakfast. Even if it had only been one of the day old doughnuts found in the dumpster behind a doughnut shop.
This morning the cops had found out where he had been staying. Six-thirty AM and he had been running ever since. Now it was almost nine.
He leaned against a dumpster, catching his breath and hoping the stitch in his side would subside. It didn’t.
Sirens blared at the end of the alley, making him jump and swear. He stumbled away from the dumpster, holding his side, but another police car was already pulling across the other end of the alley.
The cops would not be so intent on catching him if he had not accidentally sucked a couple of their cars and part of a building into one of his black holes before he was able to close it. Luckily no one had been killed.
A new siren blared over the first, and a large, dark armored vehicle pulled up behind the cop cars, DPA plastered in bold blue letters on it’s side.
“Shit,” Xander muttered. If the DPA caught him now he would probably never see the light of day again. He did not want to be locked up. Not again. Maybe if he could open just one more portal…
He concentrated and dragged his hand across the air, pulling open a rift through space, one that would get him another head start on the cops and the DPA.
He came through on the other side of the street from the DPA vehicle and split, not waiting to see if they had noticed him. They had and followed. He heard the rumble of the armored car crossing the street behind him and coming into the alley.
One more portal, c’mon you can do it…
He pulled space open, black spots popping in his vision as he did, and stumbled through, not even looking where it lead him. He was hoping for that coffee shop, several blocks away. He ended up only at the end of the alley, feeling like he was about to pass out.
The jump had not gotten him far enough to evade the DPA. Then he heard voices. There were shouts coming closer.
“Get on the ground!” A DPA agent said. When he did not, one of the agents took the liberty of tasing him, dropping him to his knees.
Not getting out of this one…
A boot slammed into his back forced him down onto his stomach and his arms were dragged behind him and locked in cuffs. He was too tired to resist.
“You have the right to remain silent,” The DPA agent cuffing him said, “If you know what’s good for you, you will.”
“Excuse me,” A new voice said, “I think there’s been a miscommunication, but the kid is my business. The DPA doesn’t have jurisdiction here.”
Xander craned his head back to see a middle-aged man in a grey denim jacket stepping into the alley. He pulled out an ID and tossed it to one of the DPA agents.
“Fine,” the agent said begrudgingly, tossing the wallet back to the newcomer.
“Don’t worry,” the man said, “he won’t be a problem anymore.”
Xander did not like the way that sounded, but the DPA agent dragged him to his feet and sent him stumbling toward the stranger. The man stepped quickly away from Xander, avoiding contact.
“Thanks, agents, stellar job you’re doing. We’ll be going now,” He motioned for Xander to follow him, and once they were out of sight of the DPA squad the man took the cuffs off.
“Who are you?” Xander asked. “Why are you helping me?”
“My name’s Vincent,” was the reply, “I work with the Guard… Sort of. ”
“The Guard? The superhero team? What do they want with me?”
“You have powers,” Vincent said, “Ones that could hurt normal people. They want to train you to put them to use. Interested? It’s either that or you go with the DPA.”
“Does this mean I get to be a superhero?” Xander liked that idea, and was trying to hide his sudden excitement.
Vincent gave him a look, then, “Yes, you get to be a superhero.”
“Hell yeah!” There it was. No hiding it now.
“Kid,” Vincent said.
Vincent showed him to a small jet and again Xander had a hard time showing how impressed he was.
“So am I going to be part of the Guard?” Xander asked, taking a seat.
“No,” Vincent said, “Put your seatbelt on.”
“So what am I going to do?” Xander buckled his seatbelt.
“I’ll explain on the way, IF,” Vincent glared at him as he brought the jet up, “you calm down.”