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The Psychic Circle: Chapter 9

by deleted3


The Angel Club settled to it's usual hum of conversation as Nikki stared at Viper with her intense eyes. He began to remember her. Not all at once, but gradually her energy began to feel familiar to him, like a dream that was about to slip away. He ordered her a drink, and analysed her as the memory of a night over a year ago, when he had been on a job, came to him...

The warehouse had been empty that night. Sty had made sure of that. Viper had known it would be a good night - he could smell it. It would be a messy job of course, what with Bulk ripping off the enormous doors from the main entrance, as well as anything else that may have been in the way. But Viper was sure they would make a clean getaway. His certainty did not run on merely instinct either. Viper had the Sense. Some would refer to it as the 6th sense, but Viper simply thought of it as the only Sense. At least the only one that really mattered on a night like this. It was one of his many psychic gifts.

Still, now that he thought about it, he had sensed something else that night. Something that lingered just short of being considered a problem. Like a thin film of smoke, thin enough to let you know that the fire was far away...

As soon as Bulk had the doors ripped off their hinges, Viper set the men to work. Bulk, Ace and Sty were ordered to find a way up to the highest level of the warehouse - that was where the vault would be. The three Jonson brothers would act as lookouts, each triplet on one of the three open sides of the building.

They were quick, he would give them that. Even Bulk, who would probably be able to arm wrestle a full grown gorilla and win within 30 seconds. Bulk and Sty used the elevator, while Ace, the athletic one (also claustrophobic)climbed his way up. Each level was open and had a banister so that a person standing on any one of them could see the ground floor.

The ground floor was where Viper was. He was sure he had surveyed the floor carefully on that midsummer night. On the other hand, there had been piles of boxes scattered around the length of the floor. But even now, he could have sworn that there had been no one there.

He recalled hearing Bulk and Sly's woops of victory when they reached the top level. "Boss, you should see 'er! She's a real beauty!" yelled Bulk.

"Alright boys, bring her down!" Viper called back, unconsciously rubbing the black streak on his blond head. He had just glimpsed Bulk's arms grasping the large vault, which was the size of a refrigerator, over the edge of the banister before he let go. What followed must have happened quickly, but at the time it felt like several eternities.

He saw the girl.

She just stood there, as if manifested from thin air. As soon as he saw her he knew, using that reliable certainty of his, that she was in the direct path of the one thousand pound vault.

Fear struck him as it hadn’t done for years. She stared directly at him with those hollow eyes of hers, not flinching in the least.

Move girl! He remembered thinking as he watched her watching him - as the vault grew ever closer...

Finally - and it felt like finally - he flung his arms up in the direction of the vault. His mind instinctively searched upwards, searched and searched until - yes! The vault contained iron. A small amount of it - it was only part of an alloy, but enough. His mind forced the iron upwards as hard as he could.

Nothing happened. At first... then Viper could feel the vault slowing down. And now he could see it slowing. He forced it back even more, hoping to detain its date with gravity. Just long enough for the girl to escape...

The girl.

He let his gaze waver for a split second. Long enough to realise that she was gone. His mind was blank as the adrenalin bubbled down. He didn’t remember how long he had stood there gaping, but Bulk's voice broke his shocked trance.

"Boss, is there a problem?" Bulk had sounded worried as if trying to figure out where he had gone wrong. Viper realised that the vault was still hovering two metres above the ground. He dropped his hand, releasing it from his mind, and it crashed deafeningly onto the floor.

"No. No problem Bulk." He glanced around the place once more. There was still no sign anyone else had ever been there at all. He didn’t know what to think, but he certainly wasn’t going to tell his men that he thought he had seen a ghost.

The last thing he imagined was seeing her again, here, now.

***

From the moment Rex had mentioned the voice in his head, Alexia knew she was dealing with the effects of a psychic. She figured the girl was an Inner, who affected the mind (as opposed to an Outer, who affected matter). Also that she produced a reverberation in her... victims (Alexia couldn’t think of a better suited word). She shivered as she thought of the dark psychic waves she had felt coming from Rex's mind - even though Alexia not a Mind Reader but predominantly a Communicator. This was one of the reasons why she had been the leader of the Psychic Circle, despite the fact that she was the youngest of all the members.

These thoughts occupied her mind as she stepped out of a taxi for the third time that day. After she paid and thanked the driver (noting with a sinking feeling how empty her purse was becoming) .

She stood still, her head slightly raised to the air as if searching for a scent. Following psychic trails was definitely not the best of her gifts - she had already completely lost the trail twice. But now she felt that she was getting close. She let the thought ring in her head once more.

"Angels."

She saw the image in her mind even clearer than when she first captured the thought from Rex. It was a simplified version of an angel - and now she could tell it was done in neon lights. Probably a club sign, she thought. The neighbourhood looked shady enough to make her bolt in the opposite direction if she hadn’t been so determined in her mission.

She concentrated on the angel image and tried to find a match in her surroundings. She turned and suddenly felt a tingling, almost like an auditory humming coming from her right. There was no doubt that she was close now. But her excitement was choked as she gazed in that direction.

The buildings were cramped together in a slum-like fashion and the cracks between them were dominated by shadow.

"Why do I get all the luck?" Alexia muttered to herself before she apprehensively approached the area. She soon found that she had nothing much to worry about, as everyone she passed was minding their own business. But they all looked as though they could cause quite a bit of trouble if provoked, so she carefully avoided eye contact and tried to focus on her mental tracking.

Suddenly, a loud buzzing 'noise' filled her mind making her yell. She quickly wiped the angel image from the front of her mind and looked up to see the real thing. The effect of mixing the psychic image with the reality was like putting a dialing cell phone next to a radio. They seemed to clash together disagreeably and ended up horribly disorientating Alexia.

She staggered towards the entrance, and it was only when she was leaning against the wall to steady herself that it occurred to her she had no plan beyond finding the place. All at once she had a flashing thought - it's a good idea not to be seen. She quickly crept around the side of the building as the door of the club opened, and she leant flat against the wall.

As she steadied her breathing, she heard a voice from the other side of the wall that caught her attention.

"So, Nikki. You can make others feel what you feel, hmm?"

There was a response that was too low to hear.

"I see. That makes you distinctly unique in our world, no other psychic can do that you know."

That was enough to make Alexia squeeze into a relatively comfortable position between two garbage cans and listen very carefully.


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Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:03 pm
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ThereseCricket says...



I won't be reviewing this one, as everything that I would have said, has already been said by previous reviewers. I'll just be moving on to the next chapter! :D




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Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:18 pm
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there! I'm getting closer and closer to the latest chapter! :)

Oh gosh, Viper knows Nikki?? I never would've guessed that one! From the way he reacted, I was sure that they had only just met that night. But that flashback that he had was more than revealing. I really like seeing and using flashbacks because they help us learn so much more about the characters. They're part of that whole "showing vs. telling" argument. You could have just as easily told us that Viper had met Nikki before and was terrified to see her again, but instead you showed us. We got to see some of Viper's history, especially the parts that linked him to Nikki. And that's the important part, really.

Now I can see how Nikki fits into the whole picture. I knew that she was going to be important later on in the story because she's at the very beginning. And really, you're smart enough to create characters that will fit into the story. Now I'm left wondering if she's going to be helpful or harmful to Alexis. I have a hunch already seeing as Alexis decides to hide and eavesdrop on the conversation. I'm wondering if Alexis will try to recruit Nikki to the Circle. Hm, we shall see.

I really like how you're writing this. At the beginning, you had one character per chapter, mostly all Alexis. But the latest chapters have been a mixture of two characters per chapter. At first, it was a bit annoying to be honest. As things go on however, I come to enjoy it. There is not too much focus on one character and less focus on another character. It's all balanced out well. Not only is it well balanced, but it also keeps me on my toes. The second I get used to seeing a character, they go away and are replaced with another. I'm forced to sit around and wonder what is happening. It's like one never ending cliffhanger xD

Right, I'm on to the next chapter now. Sorry for the such short reviews, but there really isn't much that I have to comment on! This story is great! There's nothing here that I can nitpick and your setting and characters are great. Amazing work.

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




deleted3 says...


Thank you for your honesty in telling me which parts annoyed you! Although the fact that you warmed up to the technique I used made me think perhaps it was worth it? I wonder if it's the good kind of annoyance I get when a great book keeps me up way longer than I planned and my eyes are sore, and I have work tomorrow, and I just want things to be concluded so I can sleep! *burst into tears*

Again, I'll think about the flow of it, although I was writing instinctively and a lot was based on my own feelings of missing a character myself, so I'd bring them back in the next chapter. Selfish I know, but I read somewhere that I have to write the first draft for me, second draft for the fans, and final draft for the haters lol. By the time I'm done even my haters have to grumble and complain that they found nothing wrong.



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Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:01 pm
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AstralHunter wrote a review...



Salutations. (again...)

This chapter is more satisfying than the previous one, not because of decrease in quality, but simply since it contains a little more action.

That Viper is also a psychic is an interesting twist. I appreciate how you explain why he finds Nikki intriguing, as insight into a character's mind is always useful. Your brief description of the different psychic abilities is also much appreciated. (And no that those are still very much beyond our reach, as far as I know.)


The Angel Club settled to it's usual hum of conversation as Nikki stared at Viper with her intense eyes.

I think you meant to say "settled down".

His certainty did not run on merely instinct either.

Incorrect word order. (At least, I am sure of it...)

At least the only one that really mattered on a night like this.

A comma is missing here.

Even Bulk, who would probably be able to arm wrestle a full grown gorilla and win within 30 seconds.

Though this is obviously an exaggeration, it serves your purpose well. It is fully grown, however.

Bulk and Sty used the elevator, while Ace, the athletic one (also claustrophobic)climbed his way up.

You forgot to add a space here.

He was sure he had surveyed the floor carefully on that midsummer night.

You made it a midsummer night for a reason, right, and not just because you felt like it?

...even though Alexia not a Mind Reader but predominantly a Communicator.

Hey, where did the was go?

After she paid and thanked the driver (noting with a sinking feeling how empty her purse was becoming) .

She stood still, her head slightly raised to the air as if searching for a scent.

Did you accidently press "enter"? These two sentences should be joined.


The story thus far has been skillfully told. You have achieved a balance amongst the different aspects of a good story - characterisation, plot, setting, etc. - and it flows together to form a beautiful harmony of words. Continue making your linguistic music.

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Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:30 pm
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IamTraunt wrote a review...



Hey! IamTraunt here to review!
I can't get enough! Oh my gosh! So excited about this chapter!

Corrections!

His certainty did not run on merely instinct either.

This should be 'mere', I had to read that a couple of times to be sure, but I'm positive that 'merely' isn't right.

At least the only one that really mattered on a night like this.

This doesn't sound quite right, maybe if you put 'At least it was the only one that really mattered on a night like this' to sound more accurate.

Something that lingered just of being considered a problem.

This sounds really picky but I think you shouldn't put 'short of'. Personally, I would put 'Something that lingered enough considered a problem'.

Spoiler! :
Like a thin film of smoke, thin enough to let you know that the fire was far away...

Wow! I love this description. It give your story that much needed 'kick' so-to-speak.


Bulk and Sty used the elevator, while Ace, the athletic one (also claustrophobic)climbed his way up.

You just need to put a space in between the bracket and 'climbed'.

What followed must have happened quickly, but at the time it felt like several eternities.

You've got a good description going on here of the events happening, but you don't need to put 'several eternities' because eternity us forever, so you cant have several forever's or 'several eternities'.

She shivered as she thought of the dark psychic waves she had felt coming from Rex's mind - even though Alexia not a Mind Reader but predominantly a Communicator.

You need to put 'was' in between 'Alexia' and 'not'.

A stupid nitpick, but you don't need to have a space in between your words and a full stop:
After she paid and thanked the driver (noting with a sinking feeling how empty her purse was becoming) .


The neighbourhood looked shady enough to make her bolt in the opposite direction if she hadn’t been so determined in her mission.

The last part of your sentence is worded funnily, maybe if you put: 'The neighbourhood looked shady enough to make her bolt in the opposite direction if she hadn’t been so determined to complete her mission.'

Characters!

Yay! We get to learn about Viper here! I find Viper to be a very interesting character - he is a boss of a 'villian' team, a thief - and yet a Villian doesn't want this young girl, Nikki, to be crushed under the volt - I mean, she was sneaking about, snooping in his business and he saves her. He has a bit of a soft spot, right? I like it when that happens, especially in Mega Mind, which isn't the point-! But I think having a bad guy with that weakness is a good thing as that weak spot shapes events for future events. We also get to read more about his powers - telekinesis. I love that power. So cool. I'm just wondering where the 'Viper' bit links in? Is there any particular reason why he is called that? Just wondering :-)
In addition, we get to read more about Alexia's previous life, when she was leader of the Physic Circle - which is good, as we need to read more on a character's background as we get to see how that will mold future events (like Viper) and we get to have a glimpse at Alexia's character.

Storyline!

So, we get to read about the mischievous life of Viper in the first part of this chapter. We get to read more about his work and how he mets Nikki for the first time. We get to read about his henchmen: Sty, Ace and Bulk - all very vibrant and outlandish names. Bulk is certainly a good name for that particular villian - who has super strength I'm presuming. You also explain why Ace won't ride in the elevator, which I think is necessary as the reader would have wondered why he wouldn't have. Even though it is a little thing explained, it is good to do so.
Then we get to see Alexia on her journey to the Angel club. You explain the different types of powers in this section, from Inners to Outers, and certain powers such as Alexia's - which is a Communicator - and how this power effects her, which made her leader of the group. You tell us about the effects of mentally viewing an image and then coming close to the actual item and how it gives her a 'telepathic headache'. All the bits and pieces are coming together and your world is building up and becoming as real as it could possibly be.

Good job! Keep up the good work!




deleted3 says...


Thanks again for your corrections and comments!

You've asked a lot of good questions to help me develop the characters and the world further! Especially about how the psychic abilities function, and their relation to genetics. I also now want to think about each character's background in a lot more detail, since you asked about Viper's father.

You may not have noticed, but reading through the story again has alerted me to the fact that I sort of added new rules for Alexia's powers as I went along. I think I'd like to make them much better defined going forward.

I'm glad I aired out this story on YWS, I think as a result my block may be dissolving... :-D




Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
— Mark Twain