Chapter 2 - 'The Powers That Be'
When Jason awoke, he was lying in a white bed with silk sheets. He had the vague memory of being carried from the car and then voices talking over him. He sat up and looked about him, the room had white walls with soft lighting. The room's only features were the bed and white door. Jason was about to stand when he realized he was naked. He cast about him and found his clothes, folded in a neat pile on the floor, the soot and grass stains had been cleaned away.
Jason pulled on his clothes and crept to the door, he pressed his ear against it and listened. There was no sound. He eased open the door and stuck his head out. The corridor was empty. Still everything was made of the same white, nondescript material. There was a full wall window at one end of the hall, which Jason dashed to and peered out.
"What the--?" He stared out on a sheltered valley surrounded by enormous hills. The trees were leafless and a thick layer of snow covered everything. He looked down and gasped, a sheer drop was below him, plunging hundreds of feet to the ground. He moved back from the window and looked down
the hall, a few other doors marked the corridor, and an archway at the end. A faint sent of lilies and jasmine wafted through the air, accompanied by the almost inaudible sound of trickling water. Jason headed down the corridor, trying the doors as he passed, none of them opened. He reached the end
of the hall and silently slipped through the archway.
The room was large and circular, with walls made of fine, white marble. To his left, the room overflowed with exotic vegetation and several white marble boulders. A small stream trickled down from atop one of the uncut boulders and into a large pool filled with lilies that took up the centre of the room. Steam rose from across its surface and spiraled up to the ceiling.
Jason inhaled sharply. A tall, naked man was just ascending the few steps that led down to the pool. He had his back to him, but Jason could tell, even from the far side of the room that he was extremely muscular. He had short blond hair, tanned skin and a tapered waist. He couldn't have been
more than twenty Jason estimated. The man reached out and plucked a thick towel from a hook and wrapped it around his dripping waist. As Jason stared, he felt himself slowly hardening in his boxers.
The man, still unawares of Jason, walked to a nearby door and placed his palm against the marble door. It sighed and slid softly to the side, closing as he passed through the threshold. Jason padded up to the door and reached out to touch the door, a noise from another open door made him turn. He stalked around the pool and paused by the open door, listening.
Jason heard the click of glass on stone and then something being poured, then another, heavier clunk and footsteps moving away from the door. Jason slipped through into the room and stopped dead.
"Ah Jason, glad you've finally woken up. I'll call Matt then." Professor Wolf stood by a long window, holding a martini. He walked to a chime dangling from the ceiling and gently tapped it.
"P-p-professor Wolf?" Jason stammered.
Wolf gestured to one of the large white armchairs in the centre of the room, "Please have a seat. Matt will be along shortly." He walked to a small bar along one wall and asked over his shoulder, "would you like a drink?" Jason nodded, dumbstruck and Wolf turned again and quickly poured a glass of whisky. He carried it over to Jason and sat down in another armchair. 'Wonderful place this," he nodded at his
surroundings, "they have everything you could need. I always wish I could spend longer here. Unfortunately these short visits are all I'm allowed."
They sat in silence for a moment, sipping their martinis. Wolf suddenly spluttered into his drink and looked past Jason.
"For heaven's sake, Matt! Do you have any sense of modesty?"
"I'm wearing a towel." Came the slightly bemused voice from behind Jason. Jason turned and found the man he'd seen earlier wrapped in a towel, standing just inside the door, his eyes flickered like blue lightening. If looks could kill, this guy would have been number one on the 'America's Most
Wanted' list, Jason found himself thinking.
"Look, just put some bloody clothes on will you?" Wolf glared at him.
Matt closed his eyes and concentrated. Bands of flowing silk curved up from his back and wound themselves into a tight white T-shirt and white trousers, before weaving up around his body into an alabaster trench coat. He opened his eyes again and looked at Professor Wolf.
"You know, I'm still naked under these clothes?" Then he shrugged and muttered softly, "I'll never understand them," before moving over to stand before the window, looking out.
"Pr-Professor Wolf?" Jason stammered.
"Oh, sorry. You're probably wondering where you are and what's going on--" Wolf started. Jason couldn't help thinking 'Yeah, with maybe a few expletives shoved in there as well...'
"Well," Wolf continued, "I can tell you where we are. We're in a small valley in a secluded part of upstate New York. But as for why, I'm afraid I we'll have to ask Matt. Generally wards aren't meant to interact with their watchers, and they aren't meant to intervene. And by the way, please call me Tom, we're not in class anymore." He smiled warmly at Jason. Then cleared his throat and called, "Matt?"
Matt turned from the window and stared intently at Tom.
"Well, Matt, why is he here?" Tom asked.
"It's started." Was his simple reply.
Tom jerked his head up, wide eyed. "Are you sure? It's never started this early before."
"I'm sure. Twice already, on the first and second of the month." Matt paused, "That's why I brought him here, I'm not sure what to do..." He turned around again and faced the window. Jason just caught him muttering, "It shouldn't have started yet."
Jason looked bewilderedly between Tom and Matt, then set his drink down with a heavy clunk on the table and glared and them. "Look, first someone tries to run me down, then my house gets blown up and swarmed by militia and now I've been abducted. Someone better tell me what the fuck is going on
Jason heard Matt's voice beside him, "I wish he wouldn't swear so much!"
Jason looked around him, slightly confused. "Sorry," he apologized.
Matt turned around and asked "What?"
Jason looked at him and apologized again. Matt just looked at him with slightly narrowed eyes.
"Blowing up his house? That's a bit public isn't it?" Tom asked Matt.
Matt never removed his eyes from Jason who was beginning to feel uncomfortable under his scrutiny. Tom finally took pity on Jason and began to explain. "A while ago, the powers that be," He flicked his eyes towards Matt, "decided that there was too much evil and suffering in the world and it
needed to be balanced out. So they tried to create what would have been basically, a new Jesus -- the Second Coming. Only they ran into trouble. Not everyone believes Jesus even existed, let alone in the Second Coming. Among other things."
"Wait!" Jason interrupted, "Are you trying to tell me he works for God? Even if I wasn't an Atheist, I'd have a hard time believing that!" He looked over at Matt, who shifted slightly.
"Lets just say I work for a greater good." He said and then narrowed his eyes again and continued his study of Jason.
Tom cleared his throat and continued. "Any way, this 'greater good' began to breed certain abilities into the more prominent families of the world. Families that they believed could have the greatest effects on the world while not revealing their abilities." At this point Tom began speaking
to Matt. "How much should I tell him?"
Matt replied without moving his eyed from Jason, "Tell him what you feel necessary, but don't project anything else to me." Matt looked at Jason and began talking to him again. Jason just sat, bemused by what they were talking about. Only then did he realize that neither Tom nor Matt had opened their mouths during their exchange. Now it was he who sat looking startled.
After a pause, Tom began speaking again. "Most of the, ah, subjects never developed any powers, beyond a very kind, loving personality and an ability to bring people together. If you try, I'm sure you can think of a few people in recent history."
"What, you mean like Mother Teresa?" Jason gave a brief laugh, then stopped and looked curiously at Tom.
"Well, actually I don't know any specifics. Matt is forbidden from disclosing that information to protect them, but I have my suspicions. Anyway, the point is that your mother was a part of the program. That's why she's such a successful CEO, because she is kind and fair to everyone. Of course it helped that her father was also a very successful man, but that's the reason her family was chosen in the first place.
"Because of your heritage, it was decided that you should be monitored in case you developed any of the intended abilities. That's where Matt comes in. You're his ward. His job was to wait and watch you, but not to directly intervene." At this, Tom shot Matt a look of reproach.
Matt broke his stare from Jason and glared and Tom. "And would you have preferred that I had done nothing and allowed him to be killed?"
Jason gasped, "It was you then! You pulled me out of the way in the alley, and sent me the warnings! In that case, I'm very glad you did intervene."
Matt turned back to Jason and began to stare at him again.
"It never bothered you before." Tom muttered. He had meant to say it under his breath, but Jason could hear every word. Matt stiffened and stalked back to the window facing away from them, his fists clenched tightly behind his back. Jason followed him with his eyes and admired his muscular physique, until he noticed Matt still watching him through the reflection in the window. He quickly turned his attention back to Tom.
"But how are you involved?" Jason asked him.
"I'm just an agent of the powers that be, by acquaintance." Jason could tell there was more to it, but held his tongue.
"The problem we face now," Tom continued, "is what to do with you now that Matt has intervened. We can't very well let you go, not when they're hell bent on hunting you down. I
suggest you stay here for a while with Matt while I contact with the Council of Elders. You should be safe enough."
Jason's stomach took the opportunity to give a particularly loud grumble. "I don't suppose you have anything to eat do you?' he asked.
Tom laughed, "Absolutely, the kitchen is the first door on your right, just place your palm on the wall next to the door. The fridge is usually well stocked."
Jason mumbled his thanks, stood and exited the room.
* * *
Out in the hall Jason placed his hand on the wall beside the door and it slid open revealing the kitchen. He walked in and collapsed onto a stool, trembling. He looked at his shaking hands at then slapped himself. "You better wake the fuck up soon, Jason, 'cause if this is a dream, it sucks." He
said to himself. After another moment of sitting he got up and set about finding something to eat.
When he'd finished, he went back out into the hall and back into the lounge. He stopped just inside the door. Matt and Tom were standing by the window, facing outwards, talking. Jason quickly slipped back around the door and stood listening intently to their conversation.
"Do you think we should inform his sister?" Tom was asking.
Jason started. What did his sister have to do with this?
"No." Matt said after a pause.
"Don't you think she ought to know?"
"We couldn't even if we wanted to. She severed contact with us two years ago when she found out about the full extent of the project. The only news we have had of her since, is that she has joined another faction."
"Not 'Them'?" Tom exclaimed.
"No, a third party. One opposed to both sides."
There was a short silence and Jason considered walking 'round the door, when Matt continued.
"Besides, if we did, we might lose him forever..."
Tom looked at him curiously before asking "But he's just one among hundreds what difference can he make--?"
"He can make all the difference!" Matt interrupted. He sighed and then continued more softly. "There's something special about him."
Tom just stared blankly and Matt gnawed his lip. Then with a sigh, he began to explain. "The point of the project was not originally to plant a bunch of people with abilities around the world. It was to reach a single end point. A single person who could restore the balance."
"So, like the Second Coming. I already know about that."
"No, not like that at all. The 'end point' would not be as public as that. But they would be able to re-set the balance. Wipe the slate clean."
"And you think Jason is this 'end point'?"
"I don't know." Matt answered simply.
"Don't you have some way of telling whether he is or isn't?" Tom asked incredulously.
Matt sighed again and shifted his weight. "It's not that simple. The aim of the project was altered after three hundred years. You see, the problem was that if subjects had too little power, too few of the abilities, then they were useless for the intended purpose. But if they were born with too much of the power, then they always burnt out. Like a flame, the power needs something to feed it. If the power was
too great then it would consume them, they rarely reached twenty.
"The Council decided that if we could spread enough of the subjects with lesser abilities across the globe, then when the time came it would be enough. That was what we spent the following two hundred years on."
Tom gasped as he realized the full enormity of the project. "five hundred years..." he said softly. "There must be hundreds by now, thousands even!"
None of this made any sense to Jason, but he filed it all away in the back of his mind for later use.
"And now he shows up and throws everything off." Matt was saying.
Tom looked confused, "But if he is the One, isn't that good for you?"
Matt shook his head. "You don't understand. A balance must be maintained. If he is the One, once he reaches his full powers he cannot co-exist with the others. The scales will be tilted too far in our favor and there will be a reversal of roles. It would start all over."
"What makes you think he is the one?"
"I think he can hear projections." Matt answered.
"When you projected to me, I was watching his face. He followed our whole conversation, without realizing we weren't talking. That's not all though. Before that even, when he swore, I couldn't help it, but all the old teachings kicked in again. You know, the 'thou shall be fair of mouth,' and all that. Anyway, I just thought, 'I wish he wouldn't swear so much,' and then he apologized to me."
"So what?" Tom shrugged, "He's polite, big deal!"
Matt shook his head, "No, it was more than that. He apologized directly to me. I didn't even project it, it was just a thought but he still heard it."
Tom gave a chuckle, "So that's why you were staring at him. You're sure you're not just infatuated with our new guest?" he asked glibly.
Matt glared at him. "You know it's forbidden with a mortal. No I was trying to probe his mind."
Tom looked very seriously at Matt, "He's blocking you? Can people do that?"
"He's not blocking me. At least not consciously. I can touch upon his thoughts, but they don't stay still. They move too fast to focus upon them and then they change. His mind is like...." He paused and searched for words. "Imagine... imagine a trumpet vine, every year it grows and expands, and every summer it blossoms, with more flowers with each passing year. Now imagine that it's continually in bloom as it grows. If you took a hundred years of growth and sped it up into a few seconds, you might have a small portion of his mind for a few moments."
"Sounds like chaos to me" Tom grunted.
"Yes! Exactly. That's why I can't read him. I can sense the chaos of his mind, I just can't read any of it. But it seems he can read me without noticing and--" He paused and cocked his head and said to Tom, "wait one moment." Before calling out, "Jason, how long have you been listening?"
Jason froze and cursed silently, he composed himself quickly and stepped through the doorway, grinning sheepishly. "Um... just a second or two, you were talking and I didn't
want to interrupt."
Matt narrowed his eyes at him, "What did you want?"
Jason thought quickly, "um... is there a bathroom? I need to use it and I could use a shower too."
Matt continued to stare, narrow-eyed at him. Eventually Tom cleared his throat, "Ah, yes, there should be a bathroom in your room. But there's no shower. You have to use the pool there," he said and gestured to the marble lily-filled pool that Matt had used earlier.
Jason stuttered his thanks and quickly walked off back to his own room.
Tom looked at Matt again, "Do you think he was telling the truth?"
Matt looked at him darkly, "What do you think?" he snapped.
* * *
Having returned to his room and found that indeed, one of the 'closets' was a small bathroom with toilet and basin, Jason ambled back towards the pool. He stripped off his clothes down to his boxers and laid them neatly on the steps of the pool. He looked around and thought 'Screw it' and shucked his boxers as well before quickly entering the pool.
The steamy water had an amazing soothing effect on him, and Jason felt himself relaxing into the scented waters. The gentle currents washed across his body as he drifted and he felt himself becoming aroused. He dived down into the pool and let the sensations flow across his skin. He surfaced in
the clear waters, intending to enjoy the time he had and his hardness.
Jason splashed about in the water, startled and turned to face the stone steps. Tom stood watching him. Jason panicked. 'How long had he been there?' he wondered, and then suddenly seemed to notice just how clear the water was and tried to cover his groin with his hands. Tom chuckled.
"I just came to tell you that I'm about to leave. Susan will be getting worried about me." He said, meaning his wife. "I probably wont see you for a little while, but I'll sort it out for you at the university."
"What do you mean? Everyone probably thinks I'm dead, remember, my house blew up." Jason said, disheartened.
"Actually, 'They' probably fixed it all before the emergency services arrived, most likely no one knows anything even happened. I'll call your mother tonight and tell her...." He paused. "...something." Tom paused again and then said sincerely to Jason "I hope everything works out for
He turned to leave. "Wait!" Jason called. "What am I supposed to do? Where am I going to go?"
Tom faced him again, "I'm afraid you're gonna have to stay here for a while. Matt has gone to contact the elders about the situation. If you just look around, you'll be able to find something to amuse yourself. But whatever happens, do not leave. It's not safe for you right now."
"Well when is Matt coming back?" Jason asked anxiously. He noted curiously that he hadn't seen Matt leave the room, and there was only one door.
Tom shrugged, "That depends on the council." He sighed and then smiled reassuringly, "Don't think this means you get out of that paper. I expect it to be in along with the others."
Jason laughed. "No rest for the wicked, huh?"
Tom headed towards the farthest door around and placed his hand against the wall. The door slid open. He called softly back to Jason, "Be careful Jason. He's not like us." Then he was gone. The door slid gently back into place and Jason was left to ponder his last comment.
After a while, Jason slid up onto the steps and began to massage his hardness. As his right hand slid up and down his shaft, he reached up with his left and gently squeezed his nipples. He couldn't stop thinking about...
As he started to cum, he gasped out the name softly.
Ropes of his thick hot seed spurted out of his cock onto his chest and hands and dripped into the pool. He sighed in satisfaction and slid gently into the water to clean himself off.
As he was getting out, he realized he didn't have anything to dry himself with, and then noticed a soft white towel hanging from a silver hook by the pool. "Oh. Tom must have put it there." He commented out loud.
* * *