21 July 2011 at 17:43
In the city center, more specifically on Flinders Street, a 17-year-old boy named Philip Mrown was walking along with his best friend, Andrea. He is of average height, with short slicked back hair, delicate features and a slim body. She is tall and slender, with mature looks, waist-length light brown hair and dark green eyes.
Grey clouds covered the sky and dusk was fast approaching.
Although winter had only just begun, the cold had already been hitting the city for several days. Andrea didn't seem to be affected much, as she was wearing only a light jumper. Philip, on the other hand, was wearing a synthetic sheepskin jacket.
—Today's date was fun, wasn't it? —Andrea said, smiling, as she bent her body forward a little to slow Philip's steps, so that she could look him straight in the eye.
His answer was short, his voice choked. The two continued to walk side by side, in silence, though occasionally she would start a new conversation.
—How did you see Touch? He seemed more cheerful than usual —she said, laughing a little.
Philip smiled a slightly wistful smile before replying.
—Yes, I think my brother has been in better spirits since we started visiting him frequently.
—That makes me very happy, it's something I've been looking for years -she replied with a beaming smile.
At the sight of that smile, Philip's feet stopped and his breath caught.
They had arrived at their destination, the station on the banks of the Yarra River. Centrally located, Flinders Street Station is one of the busiest parts of the city and a frequent meeting point. However, none of them were going to the huge old building, but to the tram stop in the middle of Flinders Street. There, Andrea would catch the last tram, which left at 18:00.
As they walked, Philip pondered over something that was not quite clear in his head. For much of the journey, he had a strange expression and was silent, except for the times when Andrea would start a conversation.
A feeling had been welling up inside him for a while, but he hadn't been able to make it clear, and that bothered him a lot. There was something he wanted to tell his friend and, although he could have told her at any other time, something in his heart forced him to do it now.
What do I want? —he thought, and then shook his head vigorously to clear his thoughts.
When they reached the corner of the station, she took a few steps forward and then turned and waved gently to Philip, —I hope we meet again soon— she said before turning and crossing the street again, but as she tried to do so, something grabbed the sleeve of her jumper. It was him.
—What's wrong? —Andrea asked, cocking her head to one side.
He looked down in embarrassment, stammered, his face twisted, but he couldn't say anything at all.
—Nothing. Please take care of yourself.
He released her. She smiled slightly, various feelings seeping from her expression.
—Yes, of course.
Finally, they parted. Philip leaned against the metal fence surrounding the entrance to the station as he watched her cross to the stop. He sighed and looked up at the sky, trying to suppress the strange feeling that was tormenting him. At that moment, he noticed something that stole his attention and made him forget his confused feelings, replacing them with absolute terror.
There was a small patch of purple color strained between the clouds.
It was barely visible because it was getting dark, but there it was. A shiver ran through the boy's body.
A few seconds later, the stain on the street in front of him extended several blocks into the city center.
He looked around, but no one else had noticed what was happening. When he looked up at the sky again, a force pushed him backwards, his body flew out and landed on the stairs leading to the entrance of Flinders Station, about ten feet from where he was standing. A little dazed and disoriented, he managed to lift his torso off the ground. At that moment he was able to analyses the whole situation.
A huge translucent, purple-coloured barrier fell from the edges of the patch of sky. He couldn't fully appreciate it due to its sheer size, but he estimated that the barrier enclosed a significant portion of the city center.
—DARK ENERGY! RUN! —someone shouted from nearby.
Panic spread throughout the place. Everyone outside the barrier fled as quickly as possible. The impact of the falling barrier also shattered part of the surrounding buildings, crushing some people with the debris.
There was one thing that distracted him from everything going on around him, though.
—Andrea is inside!
Bearing all the pain and fatigue she was in, she forced herself to get up quickly and ran towards the barrier. While the people outside were running with all their might, those inside still didn't seem to realize what was happening. —Time seems to run slower in there," he concluded.
He rolled up the sleeves of his coat, revealing a tight metal bracelet on his right wrist with a light blue button in the center. When he pressed that button, a small holographic screen was projected, he placed the pad of his index finger on that screen and, from underneath the bracelet, a silver-coloured metal unfolded and covered his entire hand, forming a sort of glove.
As he was about to reach the barrier he could see Andrea, who had turned around, looking at him with a frightened expression. Enough time had passed for the people inside to learn of the situation.
Philip struck the barrier with his metal glove, creating a thin, and five–foot-long gap inwards. He stretched his arm into the gap he had just created to reach Andrea, the time inside the barrier speeding up at that moment. She reached for his hand, but their fingers never touched.
Andrea's body was ripped from the ground and flew tens of meters to the spot in the sky, but not only her, all the people, plants, animals, buildings, light poles and even the ground were separated from their places, flying across the sky to the spot, where they were shattered and returned as inert dust. This is one of the best known characteristics of that mysterious force known as "dark energy", the disintegration of matter.
The barrier and the stain dissipated. Philip fell to his knees, on the edge of the huge crater that was once an important part of the city. He didn't understand what had just happened. His face contorted and from his mouth came a sentence that sounded like something he spat from deep inside himself.
—Dark energy is...
Beings physically the same as humans, but with the ability to partially control a force called "dark energy". This allows them to have powers beyond comprehension: teleportation, precognition, telekinesis and a myriad of other abilities. Everything seems possible for them.
Until the advent of the modern age, they were given names such as sorcerers, wizards or witches and were often violently persecuted by the rest of society because of the fear their powers provoked.
In 1986, in Melbourne, Australia, the Dark Energy Users Civil Protection Act was passed, which sought to legally protect any psychi who set foot in that territory. Thus came waves of millions of them from all over the world to seek a place of refuge and freedom from the discrimination and hatred they suffered in the rest of the world.
In 1993, the UK passed the Dark Reform Act, which sought to put an end to the disputes by curtailing certain freedoms for the Psychi in exchange for ensuring national security.
Data on the current psychi population:
0.09% of the population is Psychi (6,304,000 approximately). (2011 statistics).
65% of Psychis live in Melbourne (4,090,000 approx.).
20.6% (approximately 1,300,000) of Psychis live in the UK. Most live in the City of London.
0.5% (approx. 35,000) of Psychis lives in Argentina. Most of them in Buenos Aires.
4.5% (approx. 285,000) of Psychis live in the United States. Mainly in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
5.4% (approx. 343,000) of Psychis live in Japan. Mainly in Tokyo.
4% (approx. 138,000) of Psychis live in various parts of the rest of the world.
Psychi abilities and how they work:
Psychis modify reality through their powers, but this modification is not conscious, so they cannot play with reality as they please. Changes are limited to the power of the user, which is usually a power strong enough to alter what everyone in the immediate environment perceives and feels, but not beyond. To make big changes requires a lot of power, and no psychi can manipulate reality as a whole, only transfer what he perceives before and after a change to those around him (something called personal or proximate reality).
This is why most psychi abilities are combat or psychic, as these are the only ones they can put into practice. Although the process of "creating" these skills is not conscious, but is achieved after completing a stage called "activation", where after one or several psychological processes, usually related to a trauma, the user can start using a skill related to these processes.
This "activation" is achieved after an intensification of these processes, so if it is, as in most cases, a trauma, the activation of the skill in question can be somewhat violent and it can take a long time for the Psychi to control the skill.
Classification of psychic abilities:
Grade 1: The lowest grade of skill, or as they are often called, "default". These are the skills that any psychi can possess. These are:
-Low temperature resistance.
-Emission of dark energy currents.
To find a psychi that does not possess some of these abilities is very rare.
Grade 2: Psychic abilities.
These are very common abilities and do not represent a great danger. At most, they can affect a small group of people, or affect no one at all. Among these abilities are: Telekinesis, Precognition, Mind Manipulation, etc.
Grade 3: Medium complexity skills.
These abilities are slightly more complex than psychic abilities, but do not represent a high degree of skill on the part of the user.
High Grade: Unique and complex abilities.
Extremely rare and very strong in combat. They consume a lot of energy and can only be used very rarely in combat. To obtain a high rank skill, you have to train thoroughly with a Grade 3 skill until it evolves, when the user adapts to the training.
Dark energy amounts and consumption:
Psychis possess something they call themselves as "Container", this is their internal store of dark energy and limits the amount they can produce of it. These containers are divided into "Cells"; each cell represents the amount of dark energy needed to fly for half an hour.
An average psychi possesses between 80 and 140 cells. A grade 1 ability consumes between 1 and 10 cells per day. The amount increases on cold days.
A grade 2 skill consumes between 3 and 7 cells each time it is used, depending on the complexity of the skill.
A grade 3 skill consumes between 8 and 14 cells, again, depending on the complexity of the skill.
High-grade skills consume between 20 and 55 cells.
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