3. Far From Acceptance

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Jett wondered if this was a bad idea.

He struggled to keep the friendly grin from slipping, taking a long look at the Crossfire gang members. There were a lot of them, more than he had remembered seeing when he had first encountered the gang. They easily surrounded him, trapping him within a large circle of their numbers.

"You've got guts, flyer," a dark voice spat. "Showing your face after what you've done here!"

Jett half-turned to eye the speaker, a scowling, bulky man who cut a menacing figure dual-wielding huge knives. Jett couldn't stop his gaze from dropping to those knives, and even though they appeared to be battered and slightly rusted, he was very sure that their edge was still keen. He dragged his eyes back to the man's face, his friendly smile slipping.

"But I didn't do anything."

"Oh? You're denying it now?" Jett had to turn the other way to look at the next speaker; this guy was slender, with pale straw-coloured hair. He hefted a bent piece of steel pipe, his darkly eager expression just begging for Jett to do something stupid so that he could put that steel pipe to good use. Or perhaps he was wincing from weight of the pipe – Jett wasn't sure which.

"You dare. . .!" hissed a woman, her gentle face twisted with rage. "Look around!" She made a jerky, sweeping gesture at the ruins encompassing them, before glaring at the small white flyer in their midst. "You've destroyed our home, killed our families, and now you've come to gloat about it?"

What. . . no! I wouldn't. . .! Jett unconsciously took a step back. He looked at the Crossfire gang about him, his eyes passing over face after face as he turned a quick half circle. Each face was the same, bearing the same pain and burning rage as the one beside it. They thought he did this? They were just like the other civilians from before!

Jett clenched his fists, gritted his teeth. "Don't be stupid!" he shouted, frustrated and annoyed. "I'm just one person! You think I took out this whole city by myself? I'm only seventeen! I'm not some monster that only has to fart to level giant buildings and slaughter thousands of people!"

Jett spun, levelling a glare at the guy dual wielding the knives. The man shifted, obviously uncomfortable. Or maybe he was just getting even more enraged. "Look!" The white flyer went on, his voice dropping into a quiet, yet determined tone. "I just came here to help."

"But you're a flyer," came the cold retort. "There is nothing you can to do help." There were several murmurs of agreement, and some began calling out for him to leave, to get out of their sight. Before he knew it, many were shouting at him, their words unintelligable in the mass of many voices. Various weapons were hefted, then aimed in his direction.

The white flyer's mouth dropped open in shock. Why? Why are they so stubborn?! I thought they'd be different that than the people from before! He turned, looking over to where Tarrod and his fallen friend were watching him with no small amount of confusion and apprehension.

Jett tried to smile. "Don't you remember, Tarrod? You guys helped me once, a while ago. I was trying to run away from the flyers then."

Tarrod started, eyes growing wide as something flickered into life within them. "You," he gasped, staring at Jett. "Were you. . . are you. . .Jett?"

The white flyer blinked. Then he grinned brightly, delighted that the teen finally recognized him. Perhaps there was some hope to this, after all! "Yes! It's me!"

"I thought you were dead," Tarrod spoke slowly. "That thing that took you away looked like some kind of monster. . ."

"Eheh," Jett rubbed the back of his head, wondering how Raven would react if he knew he'd been called a 'thing' and a 'monster' all in the same sentence. The guy would probably smile a creepy smile, and go ". . .Oh?" before he'd lunge at the culprit and -

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