In his bedroom, Ethan is resting at an angle on his bed, showered but without clarity in his mind. The day had been so long and Las reminded him of Charlie, which took an immediate emotional toll when he was left to recollect on his own.
It was a memory he didn’t like to relive. Charles “Charlie” Michaels, now ex-captain of their football team, and the first person that Ethan met after moving to the city. He didn’t really want to make friends after his Mom died, and though he had some, making anymore was a struggle. Charlie found him and dragged him into his optimistic pace, and somehow Ethan managed to keep up. It wasn’t surprising that someone as enthusiastic and outgoing as Charlie had become a leader.
But during practice one day, Ethan had one of the worst headaches of his life. It was the anniversary of his mom’s death and he lost focus, and one swinging kick at the ball to make the goal found Charlie’s shin instead. A fire burned through Ethan’s leg, rippling up his veins and into his spine. The pain was momentary but unbearable, and the next thing he knew, he was standing over Charlie… whose bone was protruding the skin, and - and…
He sat up, back snapping straight, arms swinging to get the hand away from him like a bug in his ear.
A dream. Again. Again and again. He must’ve dozed off…
Exhaling to calm his nerves, Ethan turned on the wing still in his ear, activating the device and pulling up all the windows he had opened earlier in the day. He then reached over and took a pair of gloves from his nightstand. They were skin tight and transparent aside from the small black dots that fitted over his fingertips.
“Touch.” The windows stretched further in front of him until he could press his fingers into the images. The gloves connected and he began to close most of the windows using his fingers instead of just his eyes as he had on the way home. He stared at a search window, and a brief sense of dread washed over him for what he was about to research.
He typed it in: Entity
The endless flood of information was about as he expected. Many news articles about arrested Entities or major improvements in the field of Entity extraction therapy sprung up to the front. Ethan scrolled through the results.
One link: “Take this quick test to see if YOU have an Entity (and which one)!”
Another: “Worried about Entities in your neighborhood? The five things to watch out for!”
And another: “Clinical trials underway for Entity Extraction Phase 3.”
He didn’t really know where to begin. Entities were always something you didn’t really talk about, but something everyone knew to avoid. Stay away from the infected. He swiped through a couple more pages of similar results and found one that sparked interest: “Entities: What We Know.”
He opened up a government article that looked like a rather long and boring medical student’s thesis, but even if his eyes were glossing over just seeing the wall of text, he was going to make an attempt.
“Okay, Ethan, time to hunt for keywords. It’s what got you through English class.” And hunt he did, trying to find words a little closer to his vocabulary level and reading on from there.
Entities amplify the subject’s natural abilities and can also equip them with unnatural abilities. For example, the Orange Entity infuses its subject with physical enhancements once the infection has passed its incubation period. This is considered an augmentation-type Entity. Similar Entities are Green, which greatly enhances the mental faculties, and Blue, with what can best be described as an increase in spatial perception (i.e. Can determine how something is constructed or operates with minimal sensory intake). In short, these Entities impact their subject’s body directly with little to no changes in appearance and rarely affect anyone else.
Black, Purple, and Silver qualify as Manipulation-type Entities. These Entities are able to modify either their own bodies or the bodies of others. ...
Ethan began to space out a bit, shaking his head to wake himself up. He rattled his eyes over to another paragraph, forgetting where he left off.
Emission-type Entities are Red and Yellow. These types have the ability to excrete pheromones that erode the senses of those around them. Reports have shown in these cases that side effects ranged from increased ecstasy to paralysis to erratic and/or violent behavior …
Ethan looked away from the screen for a moment to let much of that information sink in. That’s more incredible than anything… isn’t it? The thought distracted him back to his search results. He isolated his query to news and looked over a number of headlines.
“Entity Indicted on First-Degree Murder Charges”
“Suspected Entity Wanted for Robbery”
“TU reports Entity Crime Increase by 1% from Last Year”
Those few headlines alone spoke volumes, however. The longer he skimmed through them, the more he realized that not a single article had anything good to say about Entities. It’s like anyone that gets infected just goes crazy.
He stares at it for a little while longer before turning the wing off with another sigh. Zoning out on the clock on his wall, he read the time several times over before he cursed. He was going to be late to Las’s party. Soaring around the room and preparing himself, Ethan was getting ready to leave when he caught a mirror beside the door to check himself.
For a moment, he swore he saw a flicker of orange, but when he watched it longer and nothing happened, he rubbed his eyes and shook his head. Hand through his hair one last time, he left.