"Here we are..." Pixel muttered to herself. She zoomed in on the image on the screen, it was a line drawing of the layout of the cavern with red or green dots at certain points. She flicked it around until she found a green dot in the middle of a white block that must have been a room.
"There you go; block C, room four." she said to Shimmer.
"Thanks, Pixie." Shimmer said, smiling and led Philip through the glass door closest to the lift.
Don't call me that!" they heard Pixel shout as the doors closed.
Shimmer laughed quietly and stopped outside a metal door marked '4'. "This is where I leave you. See you around, Falcon." she said and continued down the corridor, turned right and out of sight.
Philip gulped and knocked.
"Mm-hmm?" came the call from inside.
Philip opened the door to find himself in a large, yet rather plain, room.
It's padded floor was bouncy and made from some sort of cream coloured foam. The walls were a pale wood panelling and when Philip looked up he saw the ceiling was padded too..
"This used to be where your father trained. He added all the foam as he wasn't the most... Coordinated at first." Beam said from the centre of the room where he was sitting cross-legged on the foam floor. "Come sit down, Falcon, I need to talk to you about control." he said, looking at Philip.
Philip shut the door and sat on the floor next to Beam.
"Right, Dragonfly - your father - told me that memories or feelings can control your power. I've never found that it worked with another power, just flight so far."
"He could fly too?" Philip asked.
Beam nodded. "We think the powers may be genetic but they often skip a generation, like with Shimmer. There was no power in her family until her and before her was her great-great-grandmother. Anyway, your father said that happy memories could make you fly, take off or whatever while sad or hurtful memories would make you 'fall like a rock', as he said, so don't think of anything too bad." Beam warned. "When you don't think you need the memories any more, try without but I don't think that will be for a while. So, give it a go." he said.
"Um, right, okay." Philip said, a little unsure and self-concious. He tried to think of a happy memory and decide on something recent - the look on Andrew's face when Kyle had exposed him. Philip felt himself leave the floor and start to rise, slowly at first then gathering speed and a few seconds later his head bumped into the padded ceiling.
"And back down." Beam said.
Philip chose a bad memory from the pool that always lurked at the back of his mind. The one he chose was when he had first arrived at JMA and discovered he was the subject of most of the jokes. Philip dropped quickly and landed roughly in a heap on the floor. "Ow..." he groaned.
"I think that memory was a little to strong." Beam said, smiling slightly. "Anyway, you'll be fine but you should get going - it's nearly half six and you're mother will be worried."
"Half six? I was out cold for a while." Philip said, standing up and rubbing his head then he remembered. "Half six?! I've got to revise for an exam tomorrow!"
"No, you won't need to do the exam, you've got to come in for training tomorrow." he said, smiling fully now. "You'll need sleep however so get going." Beam said and stood up too.
Philip shook Beam's hand then opened the door and walked back the way Shimmer had led him, a small spring in his step.
Chapter 7 - Return Home...
Philip walked down the straight corridor and back into the main cavern. Everyone was still working on their computers and tablets. He was walking towards the lift when Pixel called called to him.
"Falcon, hey, wait a sec. Let me just finish up and I'll be right over, I've gotta go back to Hayfield too." she said. She flicked some images round in a seemingly random order then called to someone below. "Doctor McGregor, I'm giving you control." she said, tapped her console and the green light faded while a man sitting at one of the computers nodded.
Pixel ran over and got in the lift with him. "Where about in the Haystack do you come from?" she asked, pressing the black button.
"How do you know I come from Hayfield?" he asked then instantly regretted it - it made him sound stupid.
"Really? You're asking me that? Well, A: your accent and B: I read your file." she said with arched eyebrows.
"I should've guessed." he mumbled.
"Yeah, you should have." she said as the elevator opened onto the windowless passage. "Anyway, which part of the Haystack?"
"Um, Riverside," he said. "Well, Rose Street." he corrected.
"That still classes as Riverside, I think." she said, walking with confidence through the maze of corridors and into an opening with another set of elevators, except these were not hidden. "I come from Central. Rough place, not fun." she said as she got into the elevator on the left.
Philip got in next to her and she pushed the button for floor seven. "So, do your family know anything about the power, tech, thingy." he asked.
"My ability? No, it's just me, my dad and his mum now, they don't know anything about it. I don't know what happened to my mum and they don't talk about it but I think she mught have had abilities, apparently it's genetic." she said.
"Yeah, Beam said otherwise I would have to put it down to radioactive mutations or aliens or something."
Pixel laughed. "Yeah, aliens shot us all with some kind of mutation ray."
Philip joined in laughing as the elevator door opened. They were in one of the skyscraper stations. At the moment they were in the lobby, it had two large, black, metal desks at the end of the hall on Philip's right and at the other end was a set of large glass doors that clearly led to the waiting platform. There were small shops that lined the walls and rows of seats in the centre of the hall. The large clock above the timetable which was behind the desks chimed a quarter to seven.
Pixel walked left towards the doors and Philip followed. "You got your train card?" she asked.
Philip patted down his pockets. "Uh, no." he said.
"Okay, come over here." Pixel said and led him over to a ticket machine. She reached out her right hand and placed it on the screen. "This would be easier with Probe here." she muttered. "Right, picture your card in your mind." she said and placed her finger on his forehead.
He pictured the annual train pass in his mind; the light blue card, his picture showing his dark, mousy hair, icy green eyes and pale skin, everything, right down to the small rip on the top left hand corner.
Pixel closed her eyes and a moment later an exact replica of his train card whirred out of the machine. She pulled it out and handed it to him and opening her eyes again. "There you go."
Philip took the ticket. "Wow, thanks." he said.
"No probs." she replied and walked out through the doors. Philip went outside too just as the monorail-style train pulled up. The platform was just a small landing of metal with ticket scanners and glass fences. He crossed the few metres of metal, scanned the ticket and got onto the train.
He sat besides Pixel and away from the other passengers as she placed her ticket back in her pocket. "You coming in for training tomorrow?"
"Yeah, why?" he asked.
"'Cause we're having a League meeting tomorrow. You'll get to meet the rest of us 'supers'." she made the marks in the air around the word.
"Yay?" he said, raising an eyebrow.
She laughed. "Oh, you're gonna fit right in." she said.
"Yeah, if I can find my way back." he said, as the train stopped at the Redbrook station.
"Oh, right, you won't know the way. No matter, I'll walk down to Riverside and wait for you." she said.
"Thanks, that'd be great." he replied as the train went underground.
"Yeah, I wouldn't want you to have to go through what I did. I got lost three times before I found my way." she remembered.
"Ouch." The doors dinged open and Pixel and Philip got off.
"Mm-hmm, not fun. Especially when it was Morph who found me." she continued as they walked down Riverside.
"Morph?" Philip asked as they turned onto his street.
"Yeah, him and his brother are both self-centred pricks but you'll have the joy of meeting them tomorrow." she said. "See ya." she called over her shoulder as she carried on walking as he opened the door to his block of flats.