Unknown time. Unknown place.
Cassandra “Casey” Johnson couldn’t see the faces of the two people fighting, but she knew it was the Fawkes twins. From their outfits, their stances, and even their fighting styles, there was no reason for Casey to think she knew the two fighters at all – but she knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Parker and Natalie were the ones fighting.
She couldn’t tell which was which, though. Even as one grabbed the other by the throat, while the other punched the first as hard as they could. Even as the punches grew weaker, slower, more desperate. Even when the twin being choked to death managed to croak out, “Please…”
Even as she saw the first break the second’s neck with a twist of their arm, and fling them to the ground. All Casey knew was that she had just seen one of the Fawkes twins kill the other. The victor then moved to a throne-like chair hovering above the ground.
The chair was clearly visible. The metal frame was cushioned in the seat by purple and red pillows. Wires stuck out from the back in an orderly fashion, and two needles were held up by mechanical arms from the back. As the surviving twin sat in the chair, the needles moved to their temples and inserted themselves there – the twin had metal implants where the needles fit in perfectly.
As the vision faded to white, Casey heard a robotic female voice whispering from all around her: “Congratulations, Gamemaster…”
* * * * * * * *
Casey snapped back to the present, where a voice was calling her, “Earth to Cassandra? Did you get that?”
She was standing in the bar. Of course I’m still in the bar, she thought as she mentally shook herself from the vision. “I’m sorry, Robyn, I spaced out there for a second. What was that?”
Robyn, one of her waitresses, looked concerned. “A Jack and Coke, and a lime Tic Tac for the table in the corner. You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Casey assured her coworker as she prepped the order. “Just a little tired. Haven’t been getting much sleep lately.”
“Still having those weird dreams?” Robyn asked sympathetically. Casey had told her that she’d been plagued with dreams; she hadn’t told the other girl about her ability, though. Most people either freaked out when they knew, or else didn’t believe that Casey could actually see the future.
“Yeah; they’ve been getting weirder, too. Here’s the order.” Casey handed the girl the drinks. “Kyle will take over for me in a minute; he’s running a little early today.”
“Try to get some sleep, Case,” Robyn said as she put the drinks on her tray. “You look like a zombie.”
Casey forced a laugh as the waitress walked away. As predicted, Kyle clocked in two minutes before his shift was supposed to start. Casey handed the bar off to him and went to the back.
As the owner of the bar she knew that there was paperwork to be done, but first she had to make a call. She took her cell phone out to the alley, to make sure her employees and customers didn’t overhear, and dialed the number. She wasn’t supposed to save in her phone, given the secretive nature of her contact, but she’d called it so many times in the last few weeks that she had the number memorized.
The phone rang twice before the person on the other side picked up. “Hello,” he said in way of greeting.
“Agent, hi,” Casey said. “I just had another one. Whatever this Gamemaster business is, it’s pretty serious – I just saw one of the twins killing the other over it.”
“The twins? Are you sure?” The voice sounded skeptical, but Agent believed her. He was the only one who ever fully believed her visions, no matter how far-fetched they seemed.
“Mm-hmm. And last night I saw another girl entering an arena, like the one you described,” Casey added.
“Thanks, Sparrow,” Agent said. “I suppose you’re getting curious about the whole thing?”
Casey grunted no. “I have no idea about whatever this Gamemaster thing is, and I don’t want to know. You asked me to update you with my visions on the subject, but I’m retired. I tried the superhero thing before, and I lost my brother. I’m not doing it again. I’m not Sparrow any more; I’m a bartender now.”
“I’m aware,” Agent said wryly. “Just reminding you that the post is open if you ever want to come back.”
“Thanks, but no.” Casey hung up the phone. She knew that she would be calling him again in the morning with another vision; they’d been coming so often lately. She might not be able to stop getting involved at this rate.
Whatever the “Gamemaster” was, it was serious. They would need all hands on deck before long, and Casey knew it was a matter of time before she donned her old hero outfit again.
After all, she had seen it coming.
* * * * * * * *