Super Is A State Of Mind ((Original Group Story))

Nobody ever means to do anything wrong. Nobody ever means for things to go spiraling out of control. But sometimes things happen, and sometimes things do, and it is up to you to make things right. One thoughtless act can send everything you know into a dark, dangerous place. And you have to fight to get free.

Kierie Bradner: littletoes32

Rose Arcus, chapters 2-10: RachelMarie1

Rose Arcus, chapters 12 and on: lighthousepaint97

Chapter 12

Chapter 11: Rose

As it turned out, Ree ended up in the ER with a concussion and wasn't able to go back to school for a week and a half. I think we all were relieved when she came back. I'd never exactly thought that going to a supposed "inactive" radioactive base was a good idea, but at least no one had gotten killed. Even without that, we all knew our situation could have been so much worse. Luckily, the government hadn't caught us for now, and thanks to a somewhat believable story, Ree's and Adam's parents didn't kill them. My dad actually never heard the story, since he'd been asleep when I came in and I decided to keep him in the dark about Ree and Adam's injuries. He didn't need to know that anyone got hurt. He'd just start worrying and probably forbid me from hanging out with them ever again. Even if they'd very nearly gotten us into a catastrophic situation, I didn't feel like sacrificing some of the only friendships I'd had over being overly honest.

It became an unspoken rule that none of us were to ever mention the incident ever again, not just to our parents, but we also couldn't converse about it. None of us wanted an intelligence agency trying to find us. So we laid low for several weeks. Nothing happened.

Well, I shouldn't say nothing. Those several weeks were filled with me worrying incessantly about an intelligence agency finding us and locking us up with the rest of our lives. And even as that fear faded, I couldn't help but feel that things weren't exactly the same as they had been before we went to Hanford. At first, it was just a suspicion with no solid evidence. But then Adam stopped coming to school.

The first couple days, I didn't think too much of it, although it felt strange to not have Adam gripe about me taking over his seat in Chemistry. Even lunch felt incredibly awkward without Ree and Adam constantly going back and forth teasing each other. Peter had started sitting with us, but he didn't exactly fill the Adam-sized gap. To be honest, he only made it more awkward for me. Oh, look, here's the hot guy you snuck to a nuclear base with and you can't even talk about that day. The three of us managed to have normal conversations, but we also managed to ignore the underlying questions that had to be nagging them as much as me, particularly what happened at Hanford?

A week passed and Adam still didn't show up at school. I asked Peter if he'd heard anything about Adam and after he told me he hadn't, we decided to question Ree. She had to know what was up with him.

"Hey, Ree?" I asked as I sat down at the cafeteria table. "Has Adam talked to you at all? He's been gone for over a week. Is he okay?"

Ree frowned. "I was going to ask you all the same question."

Peter sighed and started picking at the fries on his Styrofoam tray. "So, you don't know anything?"

Ree shook her head. "No. I don't."

"Maybe we should call him," I suggested. "Does he normally vanish from the face of the earth for weeks at a time?" I was trying to lighten up the conversation, but given our experience at Hanford with the implosion and all, it probably wasn't the best thing to say.

"It's only been a week, Rose," Ree snapped. "I'm sure Adam's fine."

I stopped questioning her after that, but there was no way I believed her. I don't think she believed it, either. She acted tense and defensive like that for the rest of the week.

But on Monday, it was like she was a completely different person. She was extremely quiet and solemn. That concerned me more than Adam's long-term absence. Ree wasn't the outgoing, sarcastic girl who could go back and forth with Adam for what seemed like hours. It was like a shell of her remained, one that resembled Ree but was nothing like her.

Ree didn't come right out and admit it, but I strongly suspected her sudden abnormal behavior had to do with Hanford. If nuclear elements could create an implosion, what other damage could they do? Finally, I worked up the nerve to ask her what was going on in Chemistry."Ree? What's going on with you? Is it Adam?"

For a moment, her eyes looked teary, but she blinked any signs of crying away almost immediately. "I can't say," she said. She suddenly winced and put her head in her hands.

"Ree, are you okay? You need some water or something?" Peter asked.

"I'm fine," she insisted, lifting her head up to glare at us. "Stop freaking out." She winced again. "Hey, Rose, can you grab me my bag?" Ree's purse, which she had set down on the floor earlier, had somehow found its way to my end of the table. I picked it up and slid it to her. She pulled out a bottle of Advil.

Normal, stickler-for-rules Rose would have been shocked simply at the fact that Ree had painkillers on her. At my old school, all medications had to be registered with the school nurse and students were forbidden to have any pills on them and I was pretty sure the same policy applied here. But at the moment, I wasn't concerned with why Ree had Advil, I was horrified by the quantity she was taking. She had five individual pills rolling around in her palm. I'm no doctor, but Ree was a smaller person and that was a pretty big dose.

Peter got up to get Ree some water and I stared at her in disbelief. "Please tell me you're not taking five Advil."

"It's nothing," she lied. "I get really bad headaches sometimes. It's normal."

"Shouldn't you go to the doctor about that?"

"I've seen a doctor about it. It's fine," she hissed through gritted teeth.

I don't know what possessed me to bring up the unmentionable, but I lowered my voice and whispered, "Ree, does this have anything to do with Hanford?"

"Shhhh!" Several classmates stared at us, but Ree didn't care. "Keep your mouth shut," she snapped. She gathered up her stuff and started to walk off, running into Peter and spilling the cup of water he'd gotten all over them. Ree snatched the cup out of his hands and swore under her breath before moving to another seat.

Peter just stared at me. "What happened?"

I could only shake my head in response. I knew exactly what had happened and why strange things were going on with Ree and Adam but I couldn't say anything else about it. Judging from Ree's reaction, I'd already risked enough by mentioning the name of the base.

Unfortunately, I learned that the Hanford affair, as I decided to nickname it, was not only going to directly affect Adam and Ree, but myself, as well. Later that night, I was struggling to study for a Chem test that was coming up but couldn't seem to focus. I was exhausted, probably from the lack of sleep caused by nights of me worrying about the incident at the base. Regardless of the cause, I felt completely drained of energy.

As if I already didn't have enough trouble concentrating on my homework, a mosquito decided to buzz around my head. I tried to swat it with my hand several times and somehow managed to miss with each attempt. Finally, I got so fed up with trying to swat the darn thing that when it finally landed on my desk, I just dropped my chemistry textbook on it.

All of a sudden I had this sudden boost of energy, almost like being on a sugar high, only the crash came about thirty seconds later. I couldn't help but wonder if I'd just imagined feeling that energy surge. Logic insisted that I'd gotten an adrenaline rush from chasing that mosquito around or that I was so exhausted that I'd started to imagine things that weren't real. However, I got the sensation that not only was it real, but that something other than the mosquito was to blame.

The Hanford affair.

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