2.6 Battle Practice

114 23 4

Margo watched Thomas speed away. He was acting more like her foster brother, more human, which had to be a good thing. At least, she thought so. If only he would direct his rage towards someone who deserved it--like the Torth.

"He knows you don't want to hurt him," she assured Alex.

"He has powers." Lynn sounded as if the words pained her. "He's a super-genius, a mind reader, and he has superpowers. Is anyone else not okay with this?"

Margo told herself that none of these things should matter. Thomas was still the same person who had invented a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. He had helped foster kids get their homework done, and he used to be a friend to silent Cherise.

But he had kept his powers a secret. His mother's crimes, also. He hadn't wanted to tell anyone. How many other secrets was he hiding?

"I'm beginning to see why the Torth invited him to join their club," Lynn said.

Kessa clasped her hands behind her back, looking contemplative. "The Torth do not trust Yeresunsa. They tried to kill Alex. Some of them must have wanted to kill Thomas, but they did not. I wonder why?"

She ambled in the direction Thomas had gone, no doubt seeking answers.

Margo almost followed, hoping to make sure Thomas knew that his friends cared about him. But Pung and Weptolyso were engaged in their own conversation off to one side, and if she left, Alex would be alone with his mother, who had planted her fists on her hips. She seemed to have regained a lot of grit along with her health.

"Was that cuff you tore off him full of inhibitor?" Lynn demanded.

Alex nodded.

"Well, you should have left it on him," Lynn said. "The last thing we need is Thomas with powers like yours."

"You trust me," Alex pointed out. "Why not him?"

"How is that a question?" Lynn ignored the piles of rock dust from the quake. "You're on our side. Thomas is more like ..." She appeared to search for the right words. "A little monster."

Alex drew away. "I'm the one who attacked him. Which one of us is the monster?"

Margo could hardly believe that Alex was beating himself up. He could have been more patient with Thomas, true, but that wasn't easy with a Torth army lurking above their heads. Time was running out.

"Thomas should be bending over backwards to help you," Lynn said with an edge to her voice. "He should be apologizing. Not that he'll do the right thing."

Alex sighed, a gust that sounded like the exhalation of a cave. "He just needs time to remember he's human."

Lynn clucked her tongue in annoyance. "He remembers everything, sweetie. He has no memory problems." She patted Alex on the knee. "Your heart is in the right place." She walked away. "I'm going to go check on Cherise."

That left Margo alone with Alex. He looked like he wanted to offer her an apology, perhaps for having a family argument in front of her. But he seemed to reconsider.

"I'm going to practice my powers," he said. "I need to learn better control."

"I could help." Margo went to the nearest supply bin, and pulled out stoneware bowls, needles, and other odds and ends. "We need to make sure you can shield yourself." She brandished a slingshot, and dug into a pile of round rocks. "I wish Thomas would teach us how to use that blaster glove. That's more like the actual weapons the Torth will use."

"I shouldn't have pushed him." Alex sounded ashamed. "When we were on Earth, Thomas told me how much he struggled against authority figures; people who pushed him around, just because of his age. And his disability. I shouldn't have treated him that way."

Colossus Rising [#SFF] [#Galactic] [#Complete]Read this story for FREE!