Authors: R.J. Ross
R. J. Ross
Copyright © 2014 by R. J. Ross
All Rights Reserved
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
~Other works by R.J. Ross~
Belle and the Dragon's Curse * Sundance's Syn * Missing: Witch * Destiny Thread
The Winstead Files Series
Courting the Beast * Snow White, Snow White * The Sleeper * Stiltskin
Arcadia Gamers Series
Croc Skins * Coyote Falls
Seasons of the Fae Series
Raven's Return * Death of a Dryad
Cape High Series
Super Villain Dad * America's Grandson * Hello Kitty * Don't Know Jack
Daddy's Girl * Aces Wild * Steampunk Time
The year is 1978. Yeah, I'm a bit stunned by that one, too, okay? I mean, I have no clue what's going on in this time, I think there's supposed to be this cold war between Russia--or whatever it is they call themselves right now, and America, right? But I'm sitting here with what's obviously a Russian superhero, with my two year old grandfather playing on the ground in front of us.
My name is Noelle Masters. I'm from the future
--FAR in the future right now. "So," Tatiana--she's the Russian hero I told you about--says. "Your name is Noelle?"
"Yeah," I say, sipping my hot chocolate. "Um... I..." Can't really ask Grandpa Nico
--Nicolas to build me a watch when he's still having trouble with Legos, can I? There's only one option. I need to talk to Superior. I shudder at the thought, trying not to make a face. I don't understand Great Grandpa Superior. He's the kind of guy that looks at you and sees every single flaw you've ever had. Like the fact that I'm thirteen--almost fourteen--and still not showing any powers whatsoever. I hate that more than he does, I swear, but he's the one that gives off the silent "I'm judging you" feel.
I couldn't wait until I got to school, couldn't wait until Grandpa hooked me up to the testing machine and told the world that I have powers
--that I have potential. So... um... well, I snuck into his lab one day and started searching through all his old devices. I found the time machine watch, but he caught me. I had to talk him into letting me use it as a prop--to play with. I went shopping with my mom, got a dozen adorable steampunk outfits that matched the bulky leather watch, ran around in leather high heeled wedges, did my black hair in curls. It was fun, for a month or so.
There I was, wearing a time travel watch, the perfect outfit, the curls just right--I'd gotten the most awesome brass goggles--they don't DO anything, yet, but I swore that as soon as my technopathy skills kicked in they would--and still had no powers. I couldn't go to Cape High with no powers! But at the same time I didn't fit in at norm school at all. I mean, people avoided me, or talked about me behind my back, or made fun of my new fashion. I hated it. I tried changing back to norm clothes for a day,
but then people made even more fun of me. I just couldn't get a break! I needed to know that someday I would have powers.
So... I messed with the watch until it came on. I set it to a year in the future--I thought. I would just peek in on the school and see how awesome I was when my powers came in! Except all of a sudden I was standing in front of a tattered looking yellow police tape, not the massively ornate entrance I expected to see--and two kids
were staring at me from through a filmy wall. I'd gone into the past, not the future. The past where my mother was still fifteen years old and my father was really short. And then--yes, it gets worse--my watch broke when I tried and go back to my own time. I get stuck in the past, rooming with a girl I've never heard about in my own time, and feeling even more lost than I had been in my own time. But I liked the girl--her name is Morgan--she was kind to me even when I was being a snot, so I tried to help her with her father problem. I... shouldn't have suggested using the watch, I know this now.
Well, her father turned out to be a really bad guy. He was so happy when Morgan and Justin got sent to the future, then he kidnapped me after fighting Grandpa Nico, and eventually knocked me out, then he sent me back to 1978. Now
, where I woke up somehow, to find myself with Tatiana, who I think might be my Great Grandma.
All caught up? I think I am. And now Tatiana is looking at me with a worried expression on her face. "Kitten?" she asks.
"I'm sorry," I say, putting the cup of hot chocolate down. "I've had a bit of... trouble lately, I didn't mean to drag you into this," I tell her. "I should leave--"
"Nonsense," she says sharply. "You are a mere child, I am a super hero--ah, I should not have admitted that," she says sheepishly. I feel my lips twitching, much to my surprise. That was funny, okay? "But I am! I am here to save the precious children of the world!"
I smile. I'm not sure why, but that statement strikes a chord in my heart. "Thank you," I say, looking down at my cup and squirming slightly.
"Of course, you are a super, too, aren't you?" she asks in a knowing tone. "The way you woke up--your eyes glowed, my little kitten," she says with a slight smile. "Oh, Nico
las, do not--" she starts out as Nicolas grabs my skirt and pulls himself into my lap. "He is strong for his age, and determined," she apologizes.
"It's fine," I say as he sits on my lap, staring up at me with familiar steel gray eyes. He says something I can't understand and grins at me, showing tiny pearly teeth and dimples. It's a bit disturbing knowing that this adorable little guy is the same guy that caused all of Central Hall to work together to catch him at twenty-three.
He’s the same guy that created a massive canyon with a single weapon of destruction--just so he could expand his work area. He looks so innocent right now, especially when he reaches up and touches my hair with a tiny hand.
"He seems to like your hair," she says as he touches the curls with a fascinated expression.
"Um... where's his dad?" I ask, hoping he doesn't pull my hair.
She hesitates, a slight frown on her face. "You... might have noticed my accent," she says slowly. "I am from the Soviet Union--I am an exchange super. In exchange, my husband, Superior, has been sent to my old home. Through this exchange we hope to encourage peace among our people, for the sake of our child," she says, looking at Nico
las with a little smile. "It means we do not get to see each other as much as we would like, though. I have hopes that it will be over, soon."
"Do they know?" I ask. "You know, that you and Superior are married?"
"No, of course not!" she says with a laugh. "This is a secret among us supers. You will keep it, yes?"
"Of course," I say. "He would be in danger if the norms knew, wouldn't he?" I ask, feeling extremely protective of the little boy. If he gets killed, I'll never exist, right? Oh, and he's cute. I mean--I probably should have switched those two. Oh well, at least I didn't say it aloud.
"He would," she says, looking me in the eye, “not only as our child, but as the child of supers in general. In this age there are threats to our kind--threats that would attack our young at the drop of a hat, so to say."
I look down, not able to meet those ice blue eyes. I've never felt threatened in my lifetime--even if I am the child of a super family. But things seem to be a lot less casual here and now. "Ms. Tatiana--" I start out.
"Please, call me Tatia," she interrupts.
"Tatia... um... I have a confession to make," I say slowly. "I'm not... from this time."
"Oh, yes, I figured," she says, waving it off. "That outfit, it does not come from this time. It was either you were an alien or from a different time. But we will get you back to your own time soon enough, I am sure. Now, we must go to the Hall, I am due to do my job," she declares, getting to her feet and taking my cup from me to take into the kitchen. "If you could grab the bag by the door, kitten, we will get Nicolas ready, as well," she calls to me.
She's planning on taking me and Nico
las on her rounds? That would be AMAZING! But how? I put Nicolas down and head for the bag next to the door, grunting with the weight. How much baby stuff do you need? This thing weighs a ton! I have to lean to carry the bag, and grunt as I drop it to the ground. Nicolas gets to his feet and walks over, looking at the bag for a moment before picking it up. It's bigger than he is, and weighs three times as much, but he doesn't seem to notice. I didn't realize Grandpa was born with his powers!
las, you silly boy," Tatia says as she comes out of the kitchen. "Do not fall over this time."
"No," he says seriously.
"Good boy," she says, patting him on the head. "Now! Out to the ridiculous automobile that my Clifford calls a family car."
Clifford? Superior's name is CLIFFORD? Like the big red dog? I look away, my shoulders shaking against my will. No, seriously, no wonder he goes by Superior even in his own family! I watch as she picks up Nico
las, who's still holding the bag, and heads for the door. When she glances at me I follow quickly, darting past her out the door so she can fight with the locks. There's this strange looking car with a weird behind--I mean back end sitting in the driveway. "What IS that thing?" I ask.
"It is called a Gremlin," Tatia
says as she walks over. "It is so ugly."
"It's terrible," I say.
"Do not tell Clifford. He is so very fond of it," she says, laughing as she shakes her head and puts Nicolas into the back seat. "I tell him, the seat in back is too small for when Nicolas is older, but he says we will worry about that when Nicolas is older," she says as I fight with the door to slide in. It's a really heavy door and almost closes on my leg before I manage to get in. She gets in the driver side and checks the mirrors. This car seems really small with her in it--I can't imagine how crowded it feels with both her and Superior.
"So... um, if your husband is in your country--when do you see each other?" I ask as we start down the road for the Hall.
"Oh, we can both fly," she says. "It is not too difficult of a matter to meet on neutral ground. It is the problem of finding the time to do so." She goes silent and I glance over at her, chewing on my bottom lip.
"You being here... is... um... are the two countries happy with this exchange?" I ask quietly.
"Hah!" she says, almost making me jump. "No, kitten. Neither my country nor this one is happy with the exchange. They do not trust what is not theirs. We are being used as weapons just like the lifeless metal ones. The Americans, they boo when they see me fly overhead, my people, they curse when they see Superior fly overhead. But from that vantage, they look very much the same to us in the air." She gives me a beautiful smile. "They do not see how very much alike they are, kitten. People are people, regardless of what language they are speaking, or what clothing styles they wear."
I can't help the frown pulling at my lips--no, not because of her statement about people being people, but because of people not happy to have her here. "Does everyone in America hate having you here?" I ask.
"The adults, they know what is happening between our countries," she says. "The children, though! They do not. I am not hated by the little ones. It is... refreshing."
"Does Superior know you're having so much trouble?" I ask.
"He has the same," she says. "But I am no weakling that I must run to my man when faced with adversity. I am Tatiana, an S Class super heroine in my own right. There is no reason for me to falter in the face of a little disapproval. You will learn that as well, I am certain," she says, reaching out and gently patting my head.
"Wh--what?" I ask, feeling stunned. How--why would she--