Part Three - 24 - Kala

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"Log entry 67. Kala Acker speaking. Today I arrived too late...The Expansers invaded this colony that had signed a treaty with Europa the week before. The people there found a new fossil fuel and wanted to trade. Now they won't trade anything; they are all dead. When I arrived the entire atmosphere was thick with smoke. The Expansers had destroyed the infrastructures and burned most of the forests. Now the planet's terraforming is set 20 years back, and not fit for human colonization. Everyone is dead, and the planet doesn't interest anyone anymore. This petty war between the three nations is destroying the universe. (silence) Next time I need to be on time. If I could do something. Anything... (sigh) Log entry over."

ran. She had been running for three days, never resting for more than a few minutes. A normal human would have fallen from exhaustion a long time ago. But she wasn't normal. Her body was filled with the energy that kept her going. She could not stop. If she stopped, she was doomed. The whole mines were awake now and after her. Hundreds of slaves were crawling in the underground. She had tried everything – to talk to them, to fight them, to show them. But nothing worked. They were all filled with a strange kind of rage that was born deep within the darkness of their world, ready to tear apart any outsider, to tear her apart. So, she ran.

Her breathing was ragged, her throat dry. Her canteen had run out the day before. She knew it, even a mutant as strong as she could not go forever like this. She could not fight forever, especially against other mutants resistant to her powers. She needed to find a way out, a way to the surface. How she missed the light of stars. But the mines extended deeper than the expected and were a deadly maze. Up, up she kept going but still could not feel the energy of the ocean above them.

Kala ran. Thanks to her steps echoing on the walls of the tunnels, she guessed that she needed to turn. The first day, she used to light her way. But now, like the inhabitants of this underground world, she learned to orient herself in the darkness. She might not have their red eyes, but she had something similar. What she called her third eye, her capacity to read the energies around.

A little farther down the tunnel, she felt faint energies. She knew to recognize it by now: slaves, waiting to ambush her. Five of them. She didn't slow down and ran straight for them, arms outstretched in front of her. When they were about to jump on her, she sent a shock wave their way. They were pushed on all sides. She knew she could kill them if she wanted to. They were resistant to her powers, but not immune. She could burn their brains just like any human, but it required a massive amount of energy to run through their bodies, energy she could not afford to waste at the moment. Also, she avoided killing any slave as much as she could. She came here, hoping to help them, maybe even liberate them. She refused to be the enemy.

But sometimes, like now, they gave her no choice. One of her attackers wasn't as shook as the others, and when she ran close by, he grabbed her. He was heavy and she lost her footing. She crashed on the rocky floor, with him falling on top of her. With deadly efficiency, he put his hands around her throat and started to choke the life out of her. She was wheezing as air tried to pass her trachea. His fingers were digging in the pale skin around her throat. Once again, if she had been a normal human, she was pretty sure he would have broken her neck already.

Kala was pinned down under him, she could not move anything besides her hands. He gave her no choice. She acted and put her two thumbs in his eyes, digging in the softness with her fingernails. He roared but didn't let go, strangling her harder. So, she sent a huge electrical charge down her arms. It crossed her fingers and went on inside his body. She saw the Lichtenberg figures scars appear all over his face as his skin resisted the assault of her energy. He was screaming in pain now, but still, he didn't let go. Glowing lightning burned its way until it finally arrived in his skull. She was frying his brain. She felt his grip loosen and he fell to the side, without making a sound this time. Kala felt sick.

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