They’d been on the road for close to two hours and only stopped once and that was for gasoline. Deacon Marino had been silent the entire time much to the disappointment of Tarik, he’d hoped to get more information out of him about this new private world that he had become part of. Deacon Marino asked Tarik not to bother him until his mind was ready to answer questions what was that all about? Tarik was unaware that the entire time the Deacon’s mind was dwelling on him. Deacon Marino was surprised by a few things concerning Tarik, for starters Tarik’s gift manifested much earlier than the average gifted child. Tarik was ten years old, most children’s gifts didn’t manifest until around twelve to fifteen years of age, and even then it would take a few years for their gifts to gain any true power. Tarik killed Rollins with the power of a full blown telekinetic on an adult level, and he did it accurately. It took from age sixteen to age twenty for Rollins to learn how to focus his bullet fist, and that was with training from a Shroud instructor. Tarik had never shown before that he knew how to use his gift yet there he was striking down a Shroud agent with ease and precision. It didn’t disturb Deacon Marino but it did make him wonder, it meant that Tarik was exceptional. The Deacon was also concerned with the level of rage Tarik kept inside of him it was unhealthy, he was hopeful that Judge Moses could could heal him of this. It was something that Deacon Marino never asked or talked about, but the rage was obvious, it would always boil in Tarik’s eyes whenever the Shroud was mentioned. It would be another day or so before they reached sanctuary, the Deacon looked over Tarik and saw a sad and disappointed face on the child. Tarik had his head tilted, his forehead resting against the driver side window his face forward, eyes averted off to his right unfocused. He was missing his father, he wanted so badly to hear his voice, to be in his arms in a loving embrace, he always felt safe there. Deacon Marino reached over and was about to touch Tarik’s hand to soothe him and clear the psi for awhile. “Don’t…” Tarik said. “I want this to stay real, I don’t want to run from it anymore” Deacon Marino withdrew his hand placing it on the steering wheel. “It’s good that you want to face your pain, but you shouldn’t use it as fuel to keep you going” Tarik glanced over at the Deacon with a condescending stare. “You’re white, it’s easy to say that” he looked back out the window away from the Deacon. “That’s not fair Tarik, what does me being white have anything to do with what all gifted have to go through? You being black doesn’t make your survival any harder than mine. That’s a human trait, to make color an issue, this saddens my heart to hear you say this” Tarik pretended not to listen, he knew he was wrong for saying what he did, in fact he didn’t even mean it. He just wanted to lash out because he felt frustrated. “I know you didn’t mean that Tarik, so how about we start over? I’m ready for your questions now” Deacon Marino cracked a little smile trying to lighten the mood. “What time is it?” Tarik asked. Deacon Marino looked at his watch. “It’s six forty, the sun is starting to come up” he pointed off into the direction where the light was coming through the dark sky on the horizon. “Is that your only question?” He followed jokingly. “Can I just call you Deacon instead of Deacon Marino?” Tarik asked. “It is my title so I suppose so.” Deacon maintained a smile on his face, something he was a natural at. Tarik looked over at him his mood hadn’t changed but now he was willing to ask more questions. “So you teach the bible?” Tarik asked. Deacon kept his focus on the road while he talked. “It’s mostly a front so I can help our brothers and sisters when they need it. I don’t follow our human brothers religions if that’s what you’re asking. They manipulate truth for their own agenda. There is only one God yet how many religions are there claiming to be the path to the One True God? Humanities religion to me is merely arrogance, humans coming up with their own ideas mixing in culture and using God to enforce the laws of that culture. That’s why religions vary depending on where you live”
Tarik had a serious look on his face. “I just asked if you taught the bible, I didn’t need to hear all of that” he said coldly. His rudeness just rolled off of Deacon, he was aware that Tarik was being rude, but he also understood that Tarik was not in a good place at the moment. “I just felt it was important for you to know not to get involved in our human brothers ways, our way is different” He said. “Sometimes I would see my dad pray at night, do all the gifted believe in God?” Tarik asked. “For the most part I’d say yes, the Shroud on the other hand believe in evolution” Deacon responded. “Evolution?” Tarik said. “Yes, the Shroud feels that they evolved into something better than their human brothers. That’s why they look down on the humans. They teach their young that no Devine hand had a part in the creation of all things”
“Is evolution evil?” Deacon asked.
“No. After all God created humans to be able to adapt and evolve. Pretty much like how humans have made computers to be updated. To me God made humans to be able to evolve as a way of survival. But it’s foolish to think that we just evolved into being humans”
Tarik remained silent, to him it didn’t make sense that there was a God, if there was his father wouldn’t be dead or his mother for that matter. And furthermore wasn’t it just as foolish to say the Shroud had no findings if there was or wasn’t a God when in reality neither had Deacon Marino discovered God anymore or less than they. He decided not to make a choice on that issue just yet. “What will sanctuary be like?” Tarik asked. “It’s peaceful, and it’s the most beautiful scenery. It’s located near the Rocky Mountains. Way out there in the forest, hidden, undetected by anyone”
“Even from the Shroud?”
“Yea, you see Judges have this certain power where they can go undetected by anyone. If they don’t want to be seen you won’t see them. But they also have the ability to hide a entire area, not just them. Since they are the protectors of their sanctuaries they keep the grounds hidden”
“Wow..” Tarik answered. “So Judges are pretty powerful?”
“Yep. They are one of the most physically strong among our kind. But they are also very powerful telekinetics. For instance you are a telekinetic, but even at your most powerful, it would still pale in comparison to a Judge”
“Are all Judges telekinetic?”
“Yes they are”
“What can they do? Shoot telekinetic bullets out of their fists like me?”
“A Judge can do that and a lot more. They can move objects, they can manipulate objects too, and levitate themselves and fly about” Deacon said, Tarik took in what was said.
“If Judges are that powerful why don’t they just go after the Shroud and stop the bloodshed?” Tarik asked.
“Well they are sworn by a pact handed down by the first Judge Shongu. No Judge is to ever interfere with the affairs of others including the gifted. But they can offer sanctuary and teach them. Another ability of a Judge is to be able to sense any other gift, and believe me they know everything about any gift. That’s how they’re able to teach someone how to use it properly. They also teach you how to fight, Judges are great warriors”
Tarik looked over at Deacon Marino his interest just peaked. “Judge Moses will teach me how to kill Shroud agents?” He said.
“That’s a bit extreme, Judge Moses doesn’t and will not teach you to just go out and kill.” Deacon Marino said, Tarik smiled an ornery smile.
“Why not? If I knew how to kill, I’d be going after them, not hiding!” Tarik said, his voice raised. Deacon Marino nodded his head in disappointment.
“You need to let go of that rage son, it’ll take control and eat you from the inside” Deacon Marino’s face looked saddened. He was truly concerned for Tarik. Tarik decided he talked enough for today. His father always taught him not to lie, and right now he’d be lying if he said that he could let his rage calm. He crossed his arms and sulked privately, but he wasn’t fooling Deacon Marino.