Chapter 3: Tonnet Tiffany
It's not everyday you meet a strange beautiful girl dressed like she's off the set of TLC's Unpretty video from back in the day that leads you underground. Tonnet must the same age as her sister and I assumed her sister was about 30 but there is something youthful about her. Maybe it's the tattoos that I catch on her sleeve. Maybe it's the multiple piercings in her ear. Maybe it's the funny looking rags she calls clothes. She walks into an an entrance of the subway station in Chicago.
I follow her down
the rails. I should be afraid. It's dark. It's scary down here. I
keep looking back wondering if a train is going to come.
This girl doesn't seem the least bit worried. She's looked like she's made this route a million times.
“This looks like the beginning of a horror movie,” I tell her.
She shakes her head, “Trust me. This isn't my idea of home though. It's the only place safe. They won't find us down here.”
She turns to me.
and her people...”
I've heard it before. I've heard it from piece. Small Queen. I look over at Tonnet. She says it as though its the most normal thing to say. I'm so confused.
Tonnet slows down her walking. She's tall. Not as tall as me but it's rare to see a girl that is 5'11”. She's crosses her arms and starts thinking. It rubs off on me that she doesn't really have to explain herself a lot.
We stop at that moment.
going to give me answers?”
“That's why I brought you down here...” she explains.
She's being straight forward. She's not like Piece talking in circles. She is going to give me what I want and while I'm looking at her I'm wondering if I'm ready for the answers she's going to give me.
people in this world,” Tonnet starts explaining, “People
like me who were born with a mutation. There aren't a lot of us.
The smallest percentage of the world. You see...normal people don't
have a receiver. Their minds are limited. In the 1970s,
psychologist Georgi Lozanov proposed the teaching method of
suggestopedia believing "that we might be using only five to ten
percent of our mental capacity. But what happens when you can use
more. What happens if you can receive more power from your mind?
There are people can. It's a small transmitter in our genes. We
call it the Receiver. Alone, he Receiver mutation is useless. It's
not until the receiver is triggered by an enzyme. It's a catalyst
and once it's introduced to people like us...with Receivers...things
change. We change.”
She's throwing out technical terms. She's losing me. She notices. She stops talking as though helping me take it all in. Mutation. Transmitters. Genes. What's the bottom line? What the fuck does it all mean?
“What does all this have to do with me?” I ask her.
“You have a receiver. And the catalyst is...”
She nods at that moment.
“Have you been feeling differently lately?” she asks, “Maybe feeling sick to your stomach. Does it feel like your going through puberty all over again? Objects moving? Anything like that?”
All of it.
“What's happening to me? Is this some kind of magic?”
“Not magic. Science,” she explains, “Two scientists started a corporation where they wanted to explore how to trigger the receiver in themselves and others. They were both named Adam. That's the name of the Corporation you work for. Adam and Adam Corporation. Together the two Adams came up the two Adams came up with something called Ambrosia, after the drink of the gods.”
normal people into Gods?”
“No. Not gods. Mutants. It mutates us. But that idea of what a mutant is caused a rift between the two scientists. One felt we were Gods and superior to regular humans. He wanted to go public. He wanted more power once he saw the things we are able to do. We can move objects with our minds. The other Adam. He wanted discretion. That's when the war began. The corporation was split into two. The ones who felt they were like Gods and the ones who wanted to hide in the shadows. The two Adams recruited more and more people...using the Ambrosia as a weapon to mutate others. In the end the two Adams destroyed one another.”
“They both died? So the war is over?” I ask.
“No still is happening...”
“How?” I ask.
The Adam with the God-complex was engaged to Victoria Cass. She
has active Receiver just like Adam. She is carrying out his
“What's his dream?”
“The neanderthals were the humans before us. When we came along...the neanderthals became extinct. It's how evolution works. Victoria Cass is creating more and more Ambrosia in her Corporation. She is preparing a team so powerful she might they may speed up evolution. And when the Receivers become strong enough...humans become the ones that are extinct.”
My mouth goes dry.
All of a sudden I realize that everything I thought was going on wasn't nearly as bad as what was really going on. I've been working for this company for years. I've been fixing their machines. I've been helping them.
And the head of the Company was some mutant who wanted to kill off the human race.
I look up at Tonnet.
“We have to tell someone.”
She's dead serious.
Tonnet laughs at that moment.
“Cops? You have no idea how powerful a Receiver is...do you? You have no idea how powerful Victoria is. They call themselves the Olympian Gods...they aren't joking.”
“We can tell
“You just don't get it. Come here. Let me show you...”
I hesitate. All of a sudden I'm breaking out in a cold sweat. Why did I think I was being taken to Hogwarts. Why the fuck did I think I was about to join some magical adventure? This wasn't a magical adventure. There was nothing fun or cute about this shit. I was scared as fuck and right now I didn't want to see anymore. Right now I wanted to go home. I remember what Annabelle had told me before. Curiosity kills the cat.
She was serious.
I'm reluctant to see anymore. But I do it anyway.
I follow Tonnet down another path. The rails here are more modern. As we walk it seems hotter.
“What are we
“You hear that?” Tonnet asks.
My mouth gets dry.
I do hear it. A train. A FUCKING TRAIN IS COMING! The crazy bitch
is just standing there.
I find myself about to run but I can't move. I'm stuck in place. She's keeping me there! She's keeping me there against my will.
“STOP IT! LET
I'm stuck in place. The train is coming. Tonnet is calm though. Nothing seems to matter to her. In a matter of seconds I see the train heading our way! My mouth dries. I can see the lights in the tunnel as the subway heads towards us. I'm screaming. That's the only thing I can do at this point. I'm just screaming at the top of my lungs.
And I watch as Tonnet raises her hand.
And the train comes to screeching halt.
These people can't just move balls. No. These people can stop trains.
I turn to see a boy standing there. He's light skin. He has gray eyes. His eyes are mesmerizing. His skin is a bronze copper tone. He has a faded hair cut. His hair transitions from jet black to a silver gray. He's handsome and young...probably around my age. He comes out of no where but he's standing behind us.
He raises his hand and I feel a push on my body.
It's a hard push.
I'm not the only one being pushed. All three of us are up against the walls now. We are pressed up against it and the train begins to move again pushing right past us.
“He has a receiver too?” I ask.
The boy doesn't look as friendly as Tonnet. He crosses his arms and he's staring at Tonnet as though upset about something.
Tonnet. Now is not the time.”
Tonnet rolls his eyes, “This is Bombard. He lacks manners. Nevermind him.”
“Tonnet. Now is not the time.”
Tonnet shakes her head, “I brought Jamison. We activated his receiver. Antietam wanted to meet him. She wanted me to bring him down to the hideout. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.”
“Now isn't the time to be playing with this fucking KID!” the guy says.
He's rude as fuck. He glares at me. He glares at me hard as though he has some personal issue with me. I've never met this guy a day in my life and he almost coming at me.
“Whoa...I'm no one's kid,” I tell him.
“Never mind him Jamison,” Tonnet says, “He's just mad that he has some competition now when it comes to Piece. Bombard here has been having a crush on Piece for years now. Haven't you Bombard?”
She laughs. How the hell did she know that I had a crush on Piece?
How long has she been watching me?
I'm not the only one embarrassed though. Bombard clearly is just as embarrassed. His high yellow skin turns red. I can't help but to compare to myself to him right now. He's handsome. His body is muscular. He's fit. He's a little bit shorter than I am. His biceps are little bigger though. They are stretching out the tight black shirt he has on. He's attractive. I can't lie. If he does like Piece as well I do feel a little intimidated.
“TONNET! Benedict Photoni has been killed!” Bombard says, “So like I said...now is not the time...”
I don't know who this Benedict person is but Tonnet and Bombard walk away for a second. They start whispering to one another. I watch them from a distance. Bombard looks like a typical urban guy. His pants are sagging a little underneath his butt. He is dressed in all black. A tight black t-shirt aond some black jeans that have rips in it. They are so different from the people with the gray hair at the corporation.
I look over at Tonnet. She is in...tears by the time she is done talking to Bombard. Whoever died must have been close her. She can barely open her mouth to talk.
“It's ok. I'll find my way out of here,” I tell her.
She pulls a pen out from her pocket and grabs my hand. She writes down a phone number on it. Tears are still in her eyes but I can tell she wants me to have it.
sorry about your friend.”
She can hardly speak. She just nods. Then she turns to Bombard. The two of them have a goal in their eyes and they turn and run away...leaving me in the darkness.
It takes me longer than I expect to get from underground. By the time I get home I am beyond tired. I walk in the house to see Aunt Gloria. She is watching her shows. After seeing what I saw today it's hard to sit there and really be normal. Aunt Gloria doesn't have a care in the world. She doesn't know there are mutants running around fighting a secret war in the city.
“How was your day sweetheart?” she asks me.
“You sure hunny? You look stressed about something.”
She has no idea. The innocence in her voice calms me. I turn and I smile. I nod. I'm lying though. I'm not ok. There so much that I've learned today and there are so many other questions that I have.
I don't plan on telling her anything. I don't plan on explaining everything that I've seen. I head to my room. I don't want to scare her.
MY HEART STOPS and I turn when I hear the voice! I almost scream out when I turn to see him sitting there. It's Piece!
“What are you doing in here?” I ask.
Piece looks at me. He's so fucking handsome. He smiles with his perfect teeth and I'm just stuck staring at him. He turns to the window and nods.
The window is wide open. A breeze comes through.
“I live on the 14th floor.”
He gets up at that moment and starts to look around my room, “It'll take a little bit more than height to keep me out of somewhere that I want to be. Did you mind me being here? Did you want me to leave?”
“No...no...just...fuck...I wish I cleaned up a little bit.”
I am running around the room at that minute like a mad man. I can't believe HE is here in MY room. I can't believe he's walking around. My heart is racing. I'm struggling to clean up. I have underwear laying around. I have shit just around. I should have listened to Aunt Gloria when she told me to clean up this morning. I'm embarrassed. I'm throwing shit in my closet as fast as I can. The room stinks a little bit. It smells like man.
The boy of my
FUCKING dreams is in my room and this is what he has to see?
“Pornhub.com...” he says, “I pictured you more of a Myvidster kind of guy.”
He's standing in front of my computer staring at it.
I can't help but to jump in front of him at that moment.
that's just a pop up. I was NOT watching that.”
I'm lying my ass off and I know he can tell. I'm too embarrassed not to lie though. He's still looking around my room. I don't know why he's here. I don't get it. I want him to be here. God knows I want him to be here but not now.
He is still examining my room.
“Whose this?” he asks.
He's standing next to a photo that I have on my wall.
I am busy shutting down computers, folding up clothes and straightening up my bed that it takes me a while to answer. I'm trying to seem calm but he definitely caught me off guard. I probably look like the biggest dumbass to this dude.
“She's pretty,” he says.
“Any pictures of your father?”
“No. Unfortunately not,” I explain, “He left us when I was just a kid. Um...I don't mind you being here...but how did you know where I lived?”
The boy has this air of mystery about him. Even though I know about the Receivers now it doesn't stop me from just being so interested in him. He blows my mind.
He interests me.
looks like Boris Kodjoe...just like you.”
Great. He thinks I look like Boris Kodjoe too. Why can't I just be Jamison Reid?
“Are you ignoring my question?”
“I was. I'm sorry,” he says, “I hate dumb questions.”
It throws me back.
He smiles as though he didn't just offend the shit out of me, “You work for my company silly. Of course I know where you live.”
He looks so sweet when he says it. Even though he's offensive there is something sweet about him. It's like hot and cold at the same time. I don't know how to describe the feeling he gives me. He makes me feel self-aware. Every time he looks away I'm staring at the mirror checking myself out. Maybe looking like Boris Kodjoe isn't a bad thing.
“I met with a
girl today. Tonnet Tiffany.”
He doesn't seem surprised. He doesn't even seem interested. He's still looking at my photos.
“You played football?” he says ignoring what I'm saying again, “I would have took you more for a basketball player. You're so tall. I guess I can see football though. All those muscles.”
He smiles again.
I want to have small talk with him. I really do but I just can't. Not with what I learned from Tonnet. The time for small talk just seems to have gone away.
“You're ignoring my question again,” I say.
“You didn't ask a question,” he tells me.
I take a deep breath.
explained Receivers to me. She explained the story of two Adams who
found a way to speed up evolution. She told me about Ambrosia. The
drink that you gave me.”
“Did she?” he asks, “Tonnet's good at answering questions. Why didn't you ask her questions that you wanted answered.”
She had to go away.”
“Oh right. Benedict Photoni was killed by Victoria's assassins. He was a good friend of hers. A member of the Sewer Lineage.”
“The sewer lineage?”
“It's what we call them. Tonnet and the others. They are the ones trying to stop Victoria. They are probably the only ones that can. I'd figured Tonnet would explain who she was.”
“She was in a
rush...like I said. Victoria is...a murderer?”
I worked for someone who had people killed.
“What do you
think her extinction plan is. It's murder. You're new though.
You'll learn just who the Small Queen is. Victoria Cass. Figures.
Well now you know what's going on. It sucks doesn't it? If Victoria
gets her way. No more warm pizzas. No more football. No more boys
hollering at girls on the street corners and when they don't respond,
the boys get mad. They yell, 'Well forget you bitch'. No more
humans. And with no humans doesn't that mean...no more humanity.
You know what we should do. We should go get some pizza. Do you
want some pizza? Right now. While we still can...”
He's getting off topic. It's almost like he is trying his best not to stick to the topic.
later,” I respond, “I want answers.”
“I'm not good at talking about things like that. I like talking about things like pizza and romance movies. You like romance movies?” he asks me.
I'm getting frustrated talking to him.
did you do it? Why did you give me the Ambrosia, Piece?”
“You know my name.”
“I was told it. By Tonnet. Now please. Piece. Please answer my question.”
“Fine. We can have serious talk. That's all I hear nowadays. Serious talk,” Piece explains, “What was your question again?”
I'm so frustrated.
I'll stop messing with you. I gave you the Ambrosia as a favor to a
woman named Antietam.”
“Who is she?”
“Someone like me. Someone like you. She is the leader of the Sewer Lineage. She's was married to one of the Adams. She hates Victoria. Figures that you will help her take Victoria down. That's why she sent Tonnet to find you. Victoria thinks that Antietam stole her Ambrosia. I stole it though.”
“Don't you work for Victoria? Why are you stealing from her?”
He is laughing at that moment.
“Work for Victoria. Hell no I don't work for her,” he explains, “That is half my company. Adam & Adam Corporation is half mine. You hear me. My father split it in half in his will before he got killed.”
Piece seems offended at that moment.
“Sorry I just assumed since I saw you with her.”
“Freedom is important to me. I don't work for her. I don't work for anyone. I do what I want,” Piece explains and takes a few steps towards me, “I stole from Victoria because I wanted to. I gave you the Ambrosia because I wanted to. I snuck into your room because I wanted to. I do what I want.”
He's close to me at that moment. There is something so sexy about him. A wild child...
“You're trouble...aren't you?” I ask him.
He smiles at me.
“You drank,” he smiles, “I gave you an offer and you accepted. So if I'm trouble... then you must be attracted to trouble.
He lays down on my bed at that moment.
He's looking up at
me. He's so fucking sexy laying on my bed. He turns on my
pillow...facing down. His ass is in the air. Every part of me just
wants to join him on the bed but I don't want to seem like a weirdo.
I'm so reserved and he just isn't. I wonder if he knows how
attracted I am to him. Hell...Tonnet knew. Maybe Piece had an idea.
Maybe I was just that fucking obvious. I can't help even now
staring at his ass. He's laying on my pillows.
My dick is getting hard just staring at him. He feels so comfortable doing whatever he wants and I am mesmerized just watching him. Anyone else couldn't come into my home uninvited, look through my things and roll around my bed.
Piece wasn't just anyone though.
He was special.
“Do you have
any cares in the world?”
“I care about a lot of things,” he says, “But you'd probably think they were small and petty. My father thought that.”
“Your father is one of those scientists isn't he. Your father is an Adam.”
He nods, “Adam Aniston. Victoria's lover. He wasn't always power hungry when my mother was alive. Victoria changed him though. My dreams never matched up to his grand dreams. He wanted world domination. Human extinction. A new world order. He wanted all of that. I never been interested in that. I'm more interested in pizza maybe. Saturday cartoons. Romantic movies. Love making in the rain.”
Why the FUCK is he turning me on right now?
“You want to...make love in the rain...”
Fuck. He was getting me off topic too. It was hard not to go off topic with him. His mind was so...unique. It was almost like he was on the edge of madness. But there was something so beautiful about the words that he said. There was something so pure.
“Drenched. Cold. Wet. I want to make love in the rain. But I want to be in love in the sunshine,” he tells me.
He's staring at me now. He's just looking at me. He may not be meaning to do it. It may not be his intention. I'm seduced though. He is seducing me with just a stare.
“Why me?” I ask him.
“Why did you save me?”
He smiles at that moment, “Your father did look a lot like Boris Kodjoe. I know...because I knew him. Your father was the other Adam. Adam Reid. I knew him before he died. And regardless of how much your mother wanted to stay away and protect you, your mother was dragged into this war. So she faked her death. And she changed her name...from Tatum Reid...to Antietam...”
My swallow hard on my spit.
My mother was still alive...
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