LATEST CHAPTER: Interlude 2. Void
FROM THE AUTHOR
Hey there guys! This is Jibsam Hinacay.
As you can see, the title of this story I created is The Sixth Legend, the same as AGIZZIOGrint's. Well, for starters, I'm AGIZZIOGrint. I created another account for two reasons. One, I want to write something under my own name so that people who know me before my writing career can easily identify it was me who wrote it (I admit I have popularity issues). Second, I forgot the password.
Not gonna make this any longer, so read on.
Twelve kids with very significant differences, will join into one to save the world. One by one, twelve extraordinary kids with horrible pasts were recruited by Alpha Organization, in order to turn them into soldiers that will use their powers against those who want to destroy the world. Because of their differences, these kids will have a hard time figuring out how to solve a problem.
But, they must first set aside all of these in order to obtain their one goal: to give justice to the people who sacrificed for their safety. They must travel around the world in order to defeat their enemies.
Filled with action, magic, friendship, loyalty, drama, and love, The First Act will take you to the first step to a world that is not just captivating, but horrifying.
- I don't have a finite schedule on posting new chapters, but I do hope you will be patient enough to wait for it.
- Please vote if you like the story in Wattpad.
- Cover art by @OkayLaughing [ver 1] and @romanceinthenight [ver 2]
Copyright © Jibsam Hinacay. All Rights Reserved 2013.
Chapter 0. From Zero to OneEdit
This is an intercepted transmission from unidentified caller Zero to an unidentified receiver, One.
One, this is Zero. I hope you're still there. I hope that when you will hear this message, you are living a happy life. Probably, by the time you’re listening to this voice mail I left, you have no idea who am I. I'm not going to tell you who I am, though, because it's very dangerous. Even this call is suicidal.
I just want to let you know that whatever happens to me in this final battle that I am about to face, I still love you. Yes, I do. I really do. You might not remember me. You might be wondering who I am. I am simply a man from your past. A man who longed to have your attention.
If you're asking why I think I know much about you, my answer is, we have been friends for years. I know, this history of ours makes things more complicated. Don't worry, we never got into a relationship, so don't get mad.
But to be honest, I wish we did have one.
It's too late, though. When I was about to ask you out, we were ambushed by a group of agents from ****** ***. We fought together, side by side, our backs against each other. We were like monsters. We were just . . . splendid.
I was wrong. I thought life was that easy. That was the most horrible mistake I ever did.
You lost your battle, I lost you, and so, I lost mine.
You were wounded so badly that I decided to retreat, brought you into the nearest hospital and tried to do everything. I wished. I prayed. I relied on everything that I can, telling myself that you will be alright.
Because . . . because I don't want to lose another important girl in my life, next to my mother.
After the operation, the doctor said that you will be put into coma and when you will open your eyes again, you might not remember anything. I never wanted it to happen, but our friends convinced me because it's the only good thing that's left. Two weeks after the incident, I decided to run away for some time. Try to calm myself down.
But this calming thing led me to the pursuit of your attackers.
Along the way, I decided to leave you this message. I'll keep the rest as a secret that you must find out.
I left something for you in Munich. I believe that you will still remember something.
I will be waiting for you.
I'll cut this now.
And . . . I love you, One.
End of transmission
Chapter 1. ShamanEdit
The streets of Madrid were filled with the wounded and the dead. What is happening? I stood on top of a chair, watching as the streets get filled with flying rocks, stones, and blood. My eyes tried to adjust. It was most likely trying to ignore the fact that these people are fighting, brawling over something that I don't know. All I understood was that they are killing innocent people, ending their lives in just one blow.
I was meant for this. I was born to heal those who are bleeding. Those who are dying. I was born to erase all the pains that a person is experiencing. But where am I? Here I am, concealed inside a small house that was barricaded for my safety.
Safety. Yes. That is the reason why my parents are very paranoid in everything that's happening. It's like they're keeping me from something that they don't want me to know. But, of course, who would let a 12-year old girl get out of the house all by herself in times like these.
"Can I go outside, mamá?" I asked my mother. My voice sounded like I was asking for more puddings.
"I told you many times that it's not safe out there, bebé." Her hands were on his hips, signifying that she's starting to get annoyed. "Can't you see what's going on out there?"
"Not very clear. If you want me to see what's going on out there, please let me out."
"Come here, my bebé." I walked towards her with my head bowed down. "I love you, Beatriz, and you know that. Mamá doesn't want you to get hurt. So, must listen to what I'm saying."
I nodded. But she doesn't know who I am. She doesn't know what I'm capable of. I wanted to tell her. But how? "Mamá?" I called out.
"What is it, Beatriz?"
"I want to tell you that . . ."
"You love me? You already told me that many times, my bebé. And I love you, too."
"It's not that. I want to tell you that I am not who you think I am."
"For a twelve-year old little girl like you, you sure do talk a lot." Then, she sighed. She wants to say something, something that will surely shock me. "Here's the truth. I know all about your abilities. I know that you can heal people. I know that you want to help people. But I can't afford the cost of losing you."
"I'm a big girl now, mamá."
"Being a big girl is not enough, Beatriz. You need this," she pointed at my heart, "and this," then to my brain. "I know that your emotions are very wonderful and you think like and adult. But you need something else."
"What is it, mamá?"
"You'll know someday."
The two of us smiled. Despite the chaos outside, the two of us were sharing our minds, our emotions, our thoughts, as mother and daughter. This is one of the times that can never be replaced.
Then, an explosion erupted a few blocks away from our house. My mother peeped outside through a small hole. "This has come out of hand." She turned back at me. "We need to leave." She held out her hands, waiting for mine to touch hers.
I was about to touch her hand when I remembered papá. "Where is papá?" I asked.
"Don't worry about him. He's out of town, so he's safe." Mamá replied. But her expressions - her eyes - told me the truth.
"Papá is fighting outside!" I screamed. Of course papá was working as a policía. He is trying to fend of those who are having a riot.
I didn't know what's got into me, but all I knew was I crashed on the door and fell outside. Once I was there, I stared at the streets, jaw hanging and eyes wide open. This has really gotten out of hand.
Not far from me, I saw an old man, resting his back on a lamp post. "Please, help me." He pleaded.
I ran towards him immediately, kneeling down before him. I placed my hands on top of his bare chest. His body was bleeding, covered with bruises. "Don't worry. I'll heal your wounds." My hands started glowing. A bright light formed a circle on my hand. I can see the hesitation on the old man's face. Of course, he never saw anything like this in his whole life.
As I slowly passed my powers to him, I can feel a strange sensation of being slack. This is my first time using my abilities, if you exclude healing my little cat.
The man's grim expression was slowly replaced by a relaxed one.
The light on my hand started blinking, and eventually, it faded. "I'm sorry. That's all I can do."
I admit I was expecting a "¡Gracias" from him, but all I heard was: "Monstruo", which means monster or freak.
I was scared of what he will do to me.
"Beatriz!" I can hear my mother calling me. She's looking for me. "Don't run. Come back here." She wasn't angry. She sounded so worried.
I ran again. I must find my father.
Suddenly, I froze. There is someone who is looking right at me. That person was wearing a brown cape with a hood that covered his face.
Then, everything dawns on me. My mother was right. I am not safe outside. People are afraid of me even though I can help them. I turned back. I will return to her.
By the time I saw my mother, another explosion happened. Right in front of her. I ran very fast, faster than any speed I've ever took, while calling for her name. No answer. Please please please please . . . And I kept on repeating that word over and over again.
When I reached her body, lying on the ground, I immediately started doing the trick that I was good at. I tried and tried, but she still wasn't answering. I was crying. Tears were dripping from my eyes. I was shouting very loud.
"She's gone." A voice from behind me said.
I turned around and saw that it was the hooded person. And it was a she, not a he.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Dinx Flora." Her voice was sweet, but not as sweet as my mother's. "I'm here to give you this." She pulled something from her pocket. A card. She held it out towards me and I took it. It said:
Head, Alpha Organization
Dear Ms. Marquez,
We are honored to inform you that our organization, Alpha Org., has decided to recruit you as one of our agents. We will disclose the rest of the information for the excess giving of information related to our group will cause us much trouble. We need your immediate response.
Please confirm you allegiance to us through Ms. Dinx Flora.
"What is this?" I asked. "You saw what happened to me and you just came here to recruit me?"
"There's more that you don't know about. The whole world needs you, Ms. Marquez. Madrid is not the only place that's suffering. Your ability will help return the world back to the way it was. Your mother may be gone, but she'll want you to do this."
"You know her?"
"More than anyone else in the world."
My mind was filled with confusion. All these information can't fit in my mind right away. Why is my life so difficult? Why do I need to lose? Why do I need to choose? "I guess I'll say yes."
"Then, let's go." She held out her hands, the same thing that my mom did before I left her - before I did the thing that, now I realized, I never wanted to do.
I slowly placed my hand on top of hers. She led me out of the chaotic Madrid. There was a long moment of silence between the two of us.
Then finally, she said, "The two of us are very much alike."
Chapter 2. GladiatorEdit
The clock was ticking very fast. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds have already passed and father is still not here. On one side the table is my mother and on the other is my sister. Their faces are blemished with impatience. We have been waiting for father to return from his trip to Munich, since today is the next schedule for our family dinner. Meals together with the rest of the family are served once every two months, making it six dinners a year.
“Where is daddy?” My sister keeps on asking that question. She won’t stop screaming and screaming, even though she already sounded like a silly poodle. What a spoiled brat.
“Keep your voice down, Katya.” I said. “Have some respect, you snot.”
“Stop minding my business, aardvark.”
“What with me being an aardvark?” I looked straight at her eyes, trying to intimidate her. “How ‘bout you? You’re a silly little immature bald eagle. Seriously. A bald eagle.”
“At least my nose is not like an elephant’s snout!” She screamed this time.
“Why? Want me to spray water on you? I think you have never taken a bath since you had your recital.” Then I let out a small smirk. “Or did you?”
“I did. If only you didn’t spill your drink that was full of cow dregs on my dress. It could have been the best day of my life.”
“That wasn’t enough for the thing that you did to me when we visited Rome. You--”
“THAT’S ENOUGH!” Mother was leaning on the table, her face red with anger, so stern, so fuming. Her teeth gritted. “Back to your rooms,” she said as she pointed her finger towards the door that will lead us out of the dining hall.
“It was Daroo’s fault.” Katya exclaimed.
“My name’s Darvin, not Daroo, and I am not an Egyptian sycamore tree.”
“It was obviously your fault.”
“DID YOU HEAR ME?” Now, I can see mother boiling up. “BACK TO YOUR ROOMS!”
And that was the first time that the whole mansion got silent. We usually had musicians to play on the background, even in those times when we are not around. It’s what mother calls as “the Anakovs’ version of yoga”. But now, even the birds that sing in the night went silent.
I started walking towards the door, my feet were unsure of where I was going. Part of me wants to go back to my room because I feel very exhausted and sick, while part of me wants to remain and ask mother what the matter is because just by looking at her, I can tell that something’s wrong.
As I walked past a big grandfather’s clock, thought about father. Where is he now? If only he went home on time, this would have never happened. (And if only my sister never started that petty fight, I should by eating by now.)
It’s 46 minutes past 8 already. Father still didn’t show up nor presented any call or sign that he was coming home. I faced the elevator door, waited for a call from the dining room - a confirmation that father has arrived, but all I heard was silence and the soft worried voice of mother saying, “He’s not coming home, Dinx. And if he will, we’re in serious trouble.”
Who’s Dinx? I asked myself.
“Yes . . . Yes . . . I think Alexei betrayed us . . . Yes. Right now . . .”
Is she talking over the telephone?
“Just the kids – Darvin and Katya . . . I’ll be fine . . . Don’t worry, I can handle myself . . . Okay. I’ll wait.”
Then she never talked back again. Why is she mentioning Katya and me into someone on the other end of the line? Who is this person she’s talking to? And what about father betraying them? What is happening?
The door of the elevator ringed and opened. Inside was one of our bellboys named Arman Richer. He’s an American writer who had a very serious history in his career that he decided to run away to Russia and work as a servant. Arman had his usual smile on. On his left hand was a tray with a bottle of amontillado – the drink that my father was supposed to drink tonight. “Leaving dinner quite early?”
“Cancelled. Dad’s not coming home.”
“Really? He never misses family dinners.”
“He used to.” I bowed my head and walked straight inside as Arman exited. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. The door closed. I looked at the buttons on one side of the elevator. The buttons lined up like marching ants. B3. B2. B1. G1. G2. KATYA. DARVIN. ANASTASIA. DMITRI. COMMON ROOM. My hands unfalteringly pressed the button with DARVIN.
Apparently, each of the four us has our own floors. I own the fourth. I have never entered the rest except for the first floor and the common room. Anyways, the elevator shook gently and the next thing I knew, I was facing the main hallway of my floor.
I headed straight for my room without looking at anything particular, aside from the Japanese sword collection that I started gathering when I was 9 years old.
What is happening to this family? Why are we falling down when we are supposed to help each other in our problems? I thought complicated relationships are for lovers only.
I left the door ajar so I scrambled towards my bed, plunked my head on the sheets and cried. I never wanted this. I don’t want all these fortune. I want a family. One that is real. One that tells me what does the word “family” really means. The Anakovs are not members of a family. We are like members of a poker club that meets once in a while, play our favorite game, eat some foodstuff, and have a little talk. Actually, we were worse than that. The Anakovs hold dinner six times a year just to show to father’s business partners that our family is staying strong.
Right. It was all for a show. Nothing in this family was real. Even right from the start.
Tears were streaming down from my eyelids. I shouldn’t be crying. If they will all forget, I’ll stay here and remember everything for them.
Then, the sound of the screeching tires reverberated from outside. Even though I’m on the fourth storey, the stillness of the night made me able to hear anything as far as the wide lawn. Father is finally here. I rushed towards the window to watch what was going on outside.
A big white Lamborghini just parked in front of the mansion. The door near the driver’s seat opened and the driver exited the car. He rushed towards one door on the side of the vehicle and opened it. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, in a spur-of-the-moment, he fell on the ground, throat slit open. Blood dripped out from his gash.
I started trembling. A murder? Inside our premises?
A foot appeared. Then another. Then a black fedora. The man held a cane on his hand. He was facing sideways, that I can’t see his full appearance. But I know who he is. Dmitri. Father. It was him. No doubt.
But why does he have to kill that innocent man – a man who worked in order to keep his family alive? Of course, father will never feel this way. He doesn’t care about us. Is this the true nature of the man I respected – used to respect – and called father? I started to get dizzy. This sudden bombardment of revelations can’t enter my mind gradually. They want to be squeezed inside until I feel raw. Until I feel bare.
Slowly, father faced the mansion. His eyes – his darn eyes – were red. They were fiery. Even more furious than mother’s.
Wait. Is he looking at me?
Yes. His stare looked murderous. It gave me the creeps. The trembling got faster and faster. Then, he retrieved something out of his inner jacket pocket. My heart beat fast as he slowly pulled back his hands, holding out a dagger.
“Come on. Let’s have some fun, son of Dmitri,” father said. Son of Dmitri? H e said that like we have no connection with each other. “If you really are the son of the Bomber, you will have no difficulty in defeating me. And . . . NAH!!!” Father, or let’s just say, that man, sounded like a complete halfwit. “You really have the chance because I’m not accustomed to this body.”
Is it still him or not? What is this monstrosity that I’m witnessing? Was father possessed? Was I imagining things? I hope I just did.
I didn’t answer.
I was afraid.
“Master,” called Arman who was breathing heavily as he approached me. “Master, I need to transfer you into somewhere safe immediately.”
“Where are mother and Katya?”
“Katya is already running towards Basement 3. Your mother . . . she refused to be sent away to the safe house until the two of you are safe.”
“I’m not leaving.”
“I said, I’m not leaving. Father wants to fight me. I must settle this.”
“But you don’t know what you are facing. You have no idea who this guy is. You don’t even have the slightest knowledge of what he’s capable of.”
“Then tell me everything.” I was raising my voice. I was panicking. “How can I entrust my life to someone if he won’t even tell me what’s happening?”
“That guy is really your father.”
“He was never like that.”
“You’re wrong. That is his true self. Your mother was a part of a group of individuals with superhuman abilities that fought the evil forces. One of her missions was to pacify and erase the memories of one of the most dangerous people. His name is Alexei Dostoyevsky. He was under a type of subconscious interrogation.”
“What about us? Did they just adopt us so that Alexei will think that we are his true family?”
“I’m afraid I can’t answer that. All I know is that the mission started ten years ago.”
Ten years? I am fourteen years old, which means . . . by the time the mission started, I was four years old. Does that mean I’m not their child?
I was crying the whole time. I was worried of the state my family was in. And now, I learned that I am not their legitimate child. Maybe Katya was.
“What happened is still a mystery for now.” Arman continued. “He was supposed to be under the spell for another ten years. But the effect just wore off.”
“Why do you know so much?”
“You don’t know who I really am.”
Unknown identities. Unrevealed realities. Undecipherable mysteries. What more could I ask for?
Then, from the outside, Alexei called, “What ARE YOU SLACKING FOR, DARVIN? COME DOWN AND FIGHT ME.”
“Master, we must go.” Arman motioned for me to go outside the room and flee. “Your safety is what we’re all here for.”
“I must do something.” I insisted.
Arman sighed. “This was never a part of my job, but I’ll follow your request.”
“HEY, DARVIN! ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?”
I looked outside again. Alexei was playing with the dagger. Then he threw it on the ground, in front of the entrance. When it wedged on the ground, a wide circle surrounded it. Another seven circles appeared around the dagger.
“IF YOU WON’T GET OUT, I’LL TRY USING THIS. ONE . . .”
“TWO . . .”
“We must go now. There’s no time to explain to you what your skills are.” Arman uttered.
“TWO AND A HALF . . .”
“. . .”
“THREE! HERE I COME!” Alexei crossed his two arms with the pinky and ring fingers folded, and swiped them towards his side. “David’s Blast!” The Star of David appeared on top of me.
“Look out,” screamed Arman. He pushed me out of the symbols reach, replacing me in my position. The symbol exploded, letting everything from the floor above us fall on top of Arman.
“Arman! Arman!” I pushed all the rubbles, searching for Arman. Searching for the person the only person that I can trust now. The first thing I saw was his hands. I uncovered him, working faster and faster, while I kept on calling his name. “Arman, are you alright?”
Arman smiled. “You’re joking, right? Can’t you see I’m dying?”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“No. If only I listened to you, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“You’re stubborn. I know. You don’t need to tell me that.”
The two of us laughed.
“Sor.” He said. His voice was muffled. He’s losing his life.
“I can’t hear clearly.”
“Sword? Why do I need a sword?”
“Just use a freaking sword.”
“Okay. Okay.” I replied. I stood up and tried to run towards my sword collection, but Arman stopped me.
“Before you go, I want to ask you something.”
“What is it?”
“Nothing. Just . . . go.” Then, he closed his eyes. He was gone.
I picked up the best sword that I saw. It was a long slender sword made up of tungsten. On its blade were several markings that I never had the time to decipher (because I never really knew how to decipher texts). And I ran towards the glass window, bending my body to prepare for impact.
The glass fragments crashed on the ground, right in front of the magic circle that Alexei created.
“Finally, after an eternity of waiting, you faced me.” Alexei declared. “You’re shaking. You can take a rest. I still have plenty of time.”
“Eat your pride.”
“You sound so hilarious.”
“I don’t know who you are. But I’ll finish you off.”
“In one condition, everything behind me, the people and the mansion will be left unharmed.”
Then, Alexei laughed. “I don’t suppose you meant these.” He stretched his left arm forward, letting the palm of his hand face the mansion. “Detonate 102!”
The rest seemed like a dream – a dream that felt real. The house exploded into tiny bits in front of me. Everything just disappeared. Fire enveloped the rest that served as evidences that there used to be a family who lived here. My life – my whole life – is gone.
“You, dimwit!” I shouted.
“Thanks for the compliment. But I expected more than that word . . . what was that? Was it dimwit?”
The sword! Maybe I can do something with the sword. There is a reason why Arman told me to get my sword collection. I raised the weapon on my hand, pointing its sharp edge to the night sky. The tip of the sword released a diminutive amount of bright light. “Heavy Bludgeon!” The white light covered the whole sword and extended, making it five times longer than its original length. I swiped the weapon but Alexei evaded my attack.
“Was that all?” he said with arrogance.
“Of course not. Disassemble!” The sword separated into tads of sharp objects and raced headed for Alexei. One by one, he deflected them. All my attacks were blocked by him. I stand no chance.
“My turn. Bomb Cyclone!”
Bomb!Is he serious?
From above, big grayish orbs were falling down. One, not far from me, landed on the ground and caused an explosion. I stepped back from the place of impact. There are still more that’s coming. Left. Right. I tried to dodge the bombs, but every one that landed on the ground sent small sharp objects towards me. I started to have serious wounds. My left cheek was bleeding. I had a cut on my head. Blood was coming out of my mouth.
Then one bomb dropped in front of me, pushing me backwards. I fell on the ground, just enough for another orb to fall beside me.
My vision went dark. I knew I was flying, tossed up in the air.
I can hear a sinister laughter. “I never expected this fight to be this lousy.”
“I’m not done yet.” I said. I began to concentrate; trying to focus my energy into something that I hope is still there. I can feel them. Of course, objects like those can never be burnt easily with fire. The rest of my collection. They were still there. The swords were made of metal alloys that can never me melted. “Rage of Mars!”
The swords appeared. Their designs were of very wide varieties. I focused even harder. The weapons circled around Alexei. I wanted them kill him, but my energy wasn’t enough.
“Foolish, little boy. You can never defeat me.”
“Then, you’d wish you’ll never see him again. Someday, sometime, he will take you on again, and you will be no match for him.” A woman said.
“Who are you?” I asked?
“It’s been a very long time, Dinx!” exclaimed Alexei.
So this is Dinx. The one mother was talking about. I said to myself.
“What are you here for?” asked my assailant.
“None of your business.” Ms. Dinx replied. The next thing I saw was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. The water from the ground rose up and formed a very large sphere around Alexei. “That’ll shut him up.”
“Why did you help me?”
“I thought you heard your mom and I talk over the phone?”
“H-how did you know?”
“I know kids like you.”
“Why are you here?” I asked. My mind is already filled with questions. Like a cup full of tea that can never be added again unless you empty it.
“To get you because we need your help.”
Interlude 1. IlluminatorEdit
“Come in, Base Ops. This is Agent 21L-ILLUMINATOR.” I said as I touched the invisible gadget that was place on my ears. “Come in, Base Ops. This is Agent 21L-ILLUMINATOR.” I repeated.
I waited for the confirmation from the base if they were still active or was I still an operative of Alpha Organization. “This is Base Ops Center 2L. Please state Agent Protocol Confirmation Code.”
“Agent 21L-ILLUMINATOR. APCC. Affirmative. Status report?”
“I have the first two rogues. One lost mother in a riot. No idea of real parentage. The other fought with Prisoner CE-BOMBER. Lost but survived. Other agents stationed in Novosibirsk MIA. I also have Bomber. Base Ops, can you confirm my activity in the map?”
“Illuminator in AO HQ Number Two.”
“Please send men to put Bomber back to prison.”
“Illuminator logging out.”
I turned my back, facing the room where the two kids were confined. Both of them weren’t saying a single word. Both of them looked afraid of what’s going to happen next. If these kids are not ready yet, what will our future be?
Our future. The words just made me laugh. Why do I think about my future if I’m already someone from there? Maybe what will happen today will affect my life in the future. Yes, that’s right. I must find Erik before everything gets worse.
Beatriz was still shaking. Darvin was staring into nothingness. Both of them were crying. The trauma of what just happened to them is still there. It will take time.
I was sent by the head of Alpha Organization to recruit twelve extraordinary kids and convince them to pledge their allegiance to the group. I already got the two from Spain and Russia. There are still ten more of them.
The mission just started, yet I am feeling tired and dizzy. I have been chasing them, in fact. It’s like, whoever was guarding them are trying to prevent the hands of the Organization from touching the kids.
Of course, we’re doing this not just for ourselves and the world, but for the kids themselves. Without us, they will be left, scattered throughout the world, without the chance of surviving and having a peaceful life.
I walked slowly towards the door. My hands went stiff as I touched the doorknob. The feeling of isolation hit me. Yes, I am alone in this world, in the sense that I don’t really live in this time. I miss Erik. He’s the only one who knows me. Then I thought, What if Erik and I had kids? What would it be like?
After pushing the door open, I said, “Who’s up for a little snack?”
And apparently, no one replied.
Chapter 3. CraneEdit
I looked outside the window of the orphanage. All I can see are the rivers and the boats. The same. Just like yesterday. Today. And it will be like this even until the world ends. Children were running on the side of the rivers. You can’t actually call it a river since this is our principal transportation.
“What are you trying to look at, smart face?” Vittoria said, her hands crossed with her the usual smirk on her face. Beside her was Ada, her “best friend”. “You thinking of leaving the orphanage?”
I really – really – hate her. Just because you have the most beautiful eyes among the girls in the orphanage doesn’t mean that you can bully anyone you like. Vittoria is a spoiled brat. She is – was, accurately – a rich kid. That was before her parents died and everything that they own were sold. Vittoria’s relatives were asked to take her into custody but no one wanted to. Of course, who would?
I just stared at her feet. I can’t bear the sigh of her. I can’t dare to talk. I just sat there, doing nothing.
“Would you care to answer me?” she asked.
“You know she wouldn’t. Ever.” Ada spoke. “She’s a loser. L. O. S. E. R. You know that, right?”
“Shut up, Ada.” Vittoria said. “Why aren’t you answering, Iza? Don’t play dumb. I know you can’t talk, you Mohawk commoner.”
A commoner? Seriously? From whose pocket did she get that? This is too much. I endured her verbal battering since she came here, but this is too much. She can’t just call me what she want. I slowly looked at her face, in her eyes.
“What are you looking at, dumb gypsy? You want a piece of me.”
“I’d rather have a piece of cake than eating your pity existence.”
“What did you say?”
“I said, you’d taste better if you were chopped and not in large pieces.” I let out a soft chuckle, just enough for her to hear it.
“You, witch.” She launched, aiming her fist at my face.
It all happened in a flash. As her fist hit my skull, I felt dizzy. I lost balance and fell on the floor. As I started to regain my vision, I felt a stinging sensation on the right side of my head. I placed my hand on top of it, slowly. A wet substance covered my hand, and when I looked at it, I realized it was blood. I never realized that her frail body can land a strong blow as this. “What have you done?”
“Just as I thought. You’re all talk.”
“I guess, you’ve just started World War Three.”
“So be it.” She started advancing towards me.
I tried to stand but failed badly. What should I do? If only I have superpowers like those people that are on the television. I closed my eyes and wished and wished and wished.
The next thing I knew, Vittoria was screaming. She was under the cabinet that fell on top of her. “Please, help me.”
Ada was shouting.
I was flustered.
Then the room became silent. No one was shouting. Just two girls breathing heavily. Two girls.
An ambulance retrieved Vittoria’s body. The matron was very shaking. No one – ever – has died in this orphanage. The police investigated Vittoria’s death. Their findings said that the cabinet that fell on top of her had a weak stand. The matron said that the cabinet was older than her. That statement will be satisfied when you learn her age. They also knew about our fight before she died. Speculations said that it was I who killed her. It was proven wrong when they didn’t find any evidence. As to Ada, she was sent to the hospital, being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Disorder. She can’t remember anything prior to the accident, even her name.
Their story was plausible, but I still think that there was something unexplainable behind everything. How? I just know.
At dinner, all of us were quiet. Nobody dared to talk. No matter how hard the matron tries to open up our mouths and speak, nobody did. Except for the occasional ‘please pass this and that’.
After dinner, we went directly to our rooms. We used to be four in our quarters, but with Vittoria gone and Ada hospitalized, Adela is the only one left with me now. She slept so early, leaving me no other choice but to cope with this trauma all by myself. I talked to myself, often wishing that I never talked back and left the room. If I could have just done that, she could have followed me and the accident never happened.
My heart was aching so badly. Vittoria was mean but she didn’t deserve that.
The warm breeze of the night passed through the slits between the jalousies and swept across the room. I closed my eyes, feeling the weight of the accident.
Then I heard the sound of the glass breaking.
I opened my eyes and saw that the glass windows were broken. From below, I can here Adela crying. And I knew that she was hurt. What had happened?
When I focused my vision on front of me, I was surprised by the sight that I saw. Some glass fragments were floating in front of me like some force is keeping them from hitting me.
Am I a magnet? A magnet that attracts all metallic problems around me? Everywhere I go, somebody gets hurt.
I’m a freak. Is that what I really am?
The windows are open. Is this a sign that I am finally free? I could just leave this place and start a new life. Even find a family that can adopt me. But what about Adela? I couldn’t just abandon her. She’s bleeding.
What should I do?
“Madam!” I called out to the matron. “Madam!”
When I heard footsteps from the hallway, I climbed out of the room through the window. Luckily, the building only had one storey. I hid behind the bushes and looked back at the room. The matron was walking very fast, trying to find a way to help Adela.
“I’m sorry.” Tears were rolling down from my eyes. “This is the path I chose.”
I turned my back and walked away from the orphanage.
I never thought that it would be this hard.
The streets outside Venice were empty. No one listened when I cried for help. So I decided to sleep on the corner of the street.
Before I fell into slumber, I gentle hand touched my plastered head. “Don’t worry child, I’ll take care of you.” I saw a hooded person, reaching out her hands to me. Then I passed out.
Chapter 4. ArchiveEdit
Entropy is a thermodynamic quantity that measures how ordered or random a system is. In other words, entropy is the value of the disturbance of the system. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the entropy of the universe is increasing.
But it seems it’s getting less loud in here as the clock ticks. The sound of silence is deafening me like a stab to the back using a dagger bathed with the venom of a Belcher’s Sea Snake. Being the most venomous snake, just a few milligrams of its venom is enough to kill 1000 people. It’s not like I will get bit with that animal since the Belcher’s Sea Snake can only be found throughout the waters off South East Asia and Northern Australia, but I just want to be a precautious. Precaution is the best weapon of a man who wants to learn about everything that is capable of being learned.
Anyways, I am preparing for a small experiment that will cure my boredom. After all, dad is not here. My project for today is to create a blue fire. You need ethanol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, natural gas, and some compounds that I will mention later.
First, you need to add a small amount of water to copper(I) chloride to dissolve the salt. If you cannot find copper(I) chloride, it is possible to make this chemical yourself. Copper(II) chloride is more widely available, but it will burn with a blue-green flame. Next, soak a flammable material with the copper chloride solution. It would be better if you choose sawdust or pinecones. Lastly, allow the material to dry. When you light it or add it to a normal fire you will get blue fire.
That’s it! Just a small thing to kill the time. That’s sounds funny. Nobody can kill the time. Maybe we have the power to destroy the universe, but not time. It is the most invulnerable enemy of humanity, that no matter how strong our weapons will be, we will still be under its immense power. Even if everyone die, it’ not yet the end of time.
After cleaning the lab, I went straight ahead to the computer room. That chamber is filled with computers that are capable of viewing the whole world. No matter where you hide, the computer can still pick up your locations. It also matters with the one who inputs the data that needs to be analysed. This is just one of the creations of my brilliant father with the help of his humble assistant – me.
Using my account, I logged in to our personal database and started searching for some amusing things that I can do.
I can search for someone. I can look for any abnormality in the Earth’s conditions. I can practically do anything I want, but it will be limited with the walls of this room.
As I was enjoying my time, a pop-up screen appeared on the farthest from the left computer.
ALPHA ORGANIZATION MEMBER LOGIN
“What’s this?” I asked myself. Of course, who else would I be talking to? “Alpha Organization? Never heard of that group.”
I hurried down the desk at the far side of the room and picked up the decrypting device. Having it inserted on the USB port, the decryption began immediately. As I said, nobody can kill Time, so I just watched a video from this YouTube channel titled Vsauce while waiting for the process to be done.
There was a rule set by dad: “Never crack my accounts.”
Curiosity kills the cat, right? I won’t lose anything if I will do it just once.
The password appeared after almost twenty minutes of waiting. I logged in to the network and landed on the User Interface page. On the top-right side, there was a profile section with a picture of me and the word “Skylander” under it.
Why is my photo here?
At the center of the screen, there was a thread started by a person named Dinx Flora. It was titled “Recruitment of the twelve kids in 2 days”. Under it was the date 3 days ago. This means that the so-called recruitment started yesterday. Below that, there was the name of my father, labelled as the last one who replied to the thread.
Out of curiosity, I opened the thread and saw a lot of replies from a lot of people I don’t know. Maybe except for this person named Alex Finnigan. Dad introduced him to me as my uncle when I was still 8. That was the first and the last time I saw him. I never tried to ask more about him since dad is as busy as the worker ants.
Dad’s comment was: “Peter needs to decide on his own and not because I’m one of the elites in Alpha Organization.”
Elites? What does he mean by that? And why am I included in this? There are lots of questions that I want to ask. If you dad was here. We never really had a quality time together. A real one.
As I was contemplating on the fact that I looked like a celebrity for being featured in this post, someone rang the bell from the gates. I faced the computer that shows live feed from the gates and the nearby locations. All I can see is one man dressed in a delivery man’s outfit.
Why’s he here? I didn’t order pizza or something. Maybe he got the wrong address. That would be crazy. As far as I know, our house is a concrete scarecrow in the middle of a dense forest that, obviously, won’t be attacked by crows.
Another rule set by dad: “Never entertain someone when I’m not around, especially if they used the bell.”
My only comment is, “Seriously, dad? Why would you put a bell if you won’t even entertain someone who uses it?” My dad’s mind is just screwed up, as to what they say. By “they”, I mean those bullies in school that tells me my mind is screwed up also.
Will I be alright if I open the gate? Will I lose anything? Probably not. Probably he’s just some random delivery person who wants to be a role model to the whole world.
Or maybe not. Maybe I need to follow what dad says. Maybe I need to be a good boy. That’s what Santa Claus wants, right? He’s not real, I know. Wasn’t my fault either that parents insist kids should stay good so that fat Santa can get down through the tiny-holed chimney and give the poor lied kid a gift.
I turned my back from the screen and went to brew myself a cup of coffee. That would be nice since it so cold in here.
I can hear it. The footsteps of the man from the gate. This table is probably too small for me to fit in but thanks to it, the man would never suspect I am hiding here.
A few minutes ago, I was brewing my coffee when the gates suddenly exploded and the man entered the house. All security measures installed by my dad and I were bypassed by that man for some unknown reasons.
He was carrying a gun and he had a badge on his uniform (by the way, after the explosion, his clothes suddenly changed) like he’s from FBI or something.
I held my breath, trying not to make loud noises or even heavy breaths.
“He’s not here.” The man said. It seems like his talking to someone through a communication device. “I’m not pretty sure yet. Intel said he’d be here…yes…I’ll go look for him.”
What’s the meaning of all this? Why is an armed person looking for someone in our house? It appeared to me that he was looking for dad. But why? I took all the courage I’ve got and stepped out of the table.
The man pointed the gun at me immediately. “Who are you kid? Why are you here?”
“I should be asking that question.” I replied.
“I am Agent Aurum of FBI. I’m here for a person named Preston Andrews. D’you know him?”
“Yeah. He’s my father. Why are you looking for him?”
“I was sent here by the President of the United States of America to arrest him for treason against the country.”
What? I don’t believe this? Why would dad be accused for something that involves U.S.A. even though we’re Canadians? I know that U.S.A. is just below Canada, but this is too much. There is much involvement involved in this problem which creates a problem for those who need it not.
“That’s impossible! Why would dad be committing treason? We’re Canadians in the first place.”
“You’re father is an agent of the CIA. He was an undercover agent stationed in Ontario. In other words, you really are an American.”
“How would that answer my question?” My mind can’t process this. Computers function like our brains. It takes inputs data and gives output. My mind looks like it has a very narrow passageway from input to output that it seems like I’m about to explode 50 times the nuclear bomb dropped in Nagasaki, Japan.
“We just discovered that he’s working for a terrorist organization called Alpha Organization. He joined the CIA to get inside info for the organization.”
“What? That’s just impossible.” Why is Alpha Organization a terrorist organization? Why is everything so difficult to understand?
“I don’t believe you.”
“I believed you won’t.”
“Stop mocking me.”
“I’m no. Listen to me kid, I need to find him. It’s my job.”
“Well then, you’re fired.”
Agent Aurum laughed. “You think so?”
“YES!” I was crying, crying like a small kid who had his lollipop stolen. “Why would you arrest a man from doing something that isn’t even true?”
“I’m sorry kid.”
“I won’t take your sorry.”
The next thing I did was difficult to comprehend. I ran towards the control room and pressed the red button that dad never wanted me to touch. Another one of his rules.
He said that one push can destroy the whole house. I told him that it needs someone to press it just to activate it; therefore, the one who will activate it will die too. He just smiled and said that he won’t let me be the one who presses it.
Now is another case. No dad around. Maybe ‘no dad’ forever if Agent Aurum can catch him. I need to sacrifice my life to protect dad.
As my hands touched the button, I felt chilly. Is this what you feel when you’re about to die? Is this the feeling of doing something good for others? Is this a good or a bad feeling?
Then I put pressure on it.
Everything else was a blur.
All I can see is fire… fire… fire… and a woman who extinguished the fire using water I had no where she got from.
I can hear her calling my name, telling me to stay alive.
Maybe this I my end. Maybe I was right. Even if someone dies, the others continue. The time goes on. So if I die here, at least I made the right decision to let someone dear to me live on.
My vision blurs and as I pass out, I said in a low voice, “That’s right. I never ordered pizza by myself in my whole life.”
And I smiled.
Extra Chapter 1. Alpha Organization File No. 8469532482Edit
TITLE: The Twelve
This file contains the list of the members of The Twelve, the proposed replacement team for the 1st League. Confidentiality is a must.
NAME: Beatriz Marquez [Shaman]
ORIGIN: Madrid, Spain
NAME: Darvin Anakov [Gladiator]
ORIGIN: Novosibirsk, Russia
NAME: Iza Angotti [Crane]
ORIGIN: Venice, Italy
NAME: Peter Andrew [Archive]
ORIGIN: Toronto, Ontario
NAME: Ariel Jimenez [Sensorium]
ORIGIN: Buenos Aires, Argentina
NAME: Veronica Chaisty [Clockwork]
ORIGIN: Dublin, Ireland
NAME: Venice Clarke [Phoenix]
ORIGIN: Honolulu, Hawaii
NAME: Genevieve McQuillen [Venus]
ORIGIN: London, England
NAME: Carlo Mac [Mirror]
ORIGIN: Cairo, Egypt
NAME: Melissa Springway [Vision]
ORIGIN: Sydney, Australia
NAME: James Moreau [Drift]
ORIGIN: Paris, France
NAME: Nick Galvin [Earthen]
ORIGIN: New York City, New York
Chapter 5. SensoriumEdit
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I never went klutz by just hearing the sound of the footsteps of an army of ants, meters away from me, until I started to develop my ability. It’s this thing that enhances my senses into scopes that are far from human capabilities.
It all started a week ago when I smelled something disgusting while we were having a class. I told the teacher that something inside the classroom is making a weird smell. They all laughed at me and said that I was being delusional and I read too much American comics. Francisco, the worst person I ever met, threw a crumpled paper at me shouted, “Get lost, booger!” I got enough of his hounding so I got myself a piece of paper, crumpled it and threw it at him. Well, that action had enough gas to fuel the engine of chaos inside the class. Minutes later, I found myself inside the principal’s office.
See? Having a special ability is not the same as the one in the movies. They can fly and become the world’s idols, but in real life, you just dream and wait for that moment where people can acknowledge even just a tiny bit of your value.
“I’ve come to get you,” said the man that I can’t see but with a voice that was very loud as if it’s amplified abnormally. I’ve been searching for its source for a lot of times yet I still found nothing, except for the very strong stench of blood. Something that came out of people who died many years ago. I also smelled darkness, like it was covering my whole body.
“Who are you? Where are you?” I asked yet nobody replied. The man still kept on saying that he’s coming to get me. Last time I checked, I’m not an orphan nor have I committed any crime, enough reason for me to be captured by somebody.
As I was nearing a public hub, the stink went stronger and stronger, almost like its source was somewhere very close to me. So I decided to continue searching.
People were walking very fast. Strange faces from foreigners who are eager of visiting our country. So many people to choose from. Who really is this person I’m searching for? I don’t have anything to make this hunt easier.
Oh, right! I do have the ability to expand the reaches.
I concentrated my powers to my eyes, putting the index and middle fingers of my two hands together and placed them on my temples. When I opened my eyes, the sight was very clear I can see the pimples of someone who’s fifteen people away from me.
Scanning the area, I looked like a total moron doing nothing but standing in the middle of a huge crowd while mimicking a Chinese’s eyes. Not entirely, though. I felt like I was Superman or Spiderman or Wolverine. I felt like I am the world’s number one hero.
For the first time in my life, I experienced being someone who’s not me. Someone who is capable of doing things that can be very fun.
And when I mean fun, I mean: “enjoying things while Mama Corazon is still not looking for me”. Speaking of which, was screaming my name shamelessly in front of the crowd.
“Ariel, come here,” she said, holding a baseball bat on her hand. “Who told you that you can sneak out of the house and play, huh? You naughty little boy! You never ever learn.”
“Mama, please listen. I don’t want to play. It’s just, every time I try to do something, I hear voices, loud voices. I can see things from far away. I can even smell them.”
“What are you saying?” Her eyes were stained with disappointment. “Are you taking drugs?”
“What? Of course, not. I know that they are very dangerous. It can cause hallucinations an--”
“Which is what is happening to you right now! Come here.” She said as she pats my shoulders very hard. “You are grounded. You are not to leave your room within one day.”
I flipped the pages of the battered biology book that I found in the basement of our house since it’s originally owned by my father’s parents. Father’s not here with us right now. Mama said he’s serving an underground group whose goal is to defeat darkness. That description was too general and to vague that’s why, I never had a clue what he’s doing. He left after I was born so I never had the chance to see him. The only thing that I have from him was his silver ring with the Greek letter alpha.
“Ariel, time for dinner.” Mama was shouting again. She was banging a wooden ladle on the butt of a pot.
Then, there it goes again. The smell of the blood. The voice that is calling me. My hairs started to grow. The fear was overwhelming me.
“Ariel, come eat your dinner while my mind is still not made up to let you eat pig food.”
I don’t know what’s got into me. I just knew that I should not reply.
“Ariel, are still alive or did your stupidity kill you already. Well if you dead, I’ll feel incredible for my burdens are finally lighter.” I still didn’t reply. “Ariel?”
I decided to eat dinner but when I was standing in front of the door, I heard footsteps from outside. The sound of the grasses echoed in my ears.
“Come here, dear boy. I will bring you to Papa.” The man said again and again.
“Stop it!” I screamed, enough to let Mama hear it.
“Ariel, are you okay?”
I wanted to tell her I needed help, but all I can say is “STOP”.
The room started to darken. The lights were flickering. Then, there was a loud explosion. The next thing I knew, I was tossed into the air because of the force of the blast. I placed two of my fingers in hands again and said, “Thermal Vision!”
From an ordinary one, my vision changed into hues of red and yellow. From the door, I can see a moving figure, walking slowly. He had a red silhouette. Around him, all I can see is the color black. I thought I was hallucinating or my abilities are not working well. Then I realized, what surrounded him was death. When you’re dead, you get cold. The man himself was alive, but he’s carrying death like he’s the living representation of it.
“Ariel!” Mama called. She was kneeling beside me, tears falling from her eyes. “Ariel, don’t worry. You will be safe.”
I didn’t have enough energy to reply, not even sufficient to let me say a word.
Mama stood up and chanted, “Realm of Illusion!” Nothing happened. Mama kneeled down again and said, “It’s okay now. I made the whole room look like we’re dead. He can’t find us now.” Then she hugged me. “Just don’t make a noise so that he won’t know.”
I felt safe. I’ve never seen Mama as passionate as this.
Then the horror came back again.
“I know you are still alive. You can’t hide from me, Ariel.” I activated thermal vision for the second time and saw that the man was still approaching the room. He had a long sword on his hand.
I wished I had the power to warn Mama. I just didn’t have. It’s like I was paralyzed.
When I looked back at Mama, I noticed a man standing behind her. He had red eyes and a very pale skin.
Then, he raised his sword and shoved it on Mama’s heart through her back. The sword passed her body and reached my body. It pierced through my stomach.
Tears were streaming down from eyes. If only I can move. If only I was more aware of the man’s presence. If only I wasn’t this weak and I can fight.
The man pulled back his weapon, letting Mama’s lifeless body fall on top of me.
“That’s enough for today’s mission.” He pulled a device from the inside pocket of his jacket and spoke to it. “Agent Void reporting. Mission accomplished. Corazon and Ariel are dead.” After putting it back inside, he looked at me and said, “Lucky for you I got the idea of sparing you. We’ll meet again someday and I hope you’ll be able to defeat me.”
I answered on my mind, I will! And I will crush you even in the pits of hell even if Lucifer says that I’ve already destroyed the nine circles of hell and he wants me out of his place!
Then I passed out.
When I opened my eyes, I saw a woman with white hair sting beside my bed in what looked like a hospital.
“Welcome back,” she said. “You’re finally awake.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Oops. Sorry for forgetting to introduce myself. My name is Dinx Flora and I am here to offer you a chance to be a superhero.”
“I’ve been through a lot and you still want me to be a delusional person?”
“No. I just want you to face the fact the life is not a fairy tale but you can be someone people can rely on. I know you’ve been through a lot. That’s why, I want you to learn that after all miseries in life, you can still find justice.”
Interlude 2. VoidEdit
“Your highness,” I said as I kneeled in front of Queen Valentiene, the leader of Cosmic Era, an underground group whose mission is to intercept every move of Alpha Organization. Queen Valentiene’s throne was elevated from above the eye level, so high that even if you stand from afar, you still have to look up.
“Stand up, my knight.” She stood up and walked towards the table placed a few meters away from the side of her throne and poured herself a glass of wine. She sat back to her throne and said, “You did well in Buenos Aires. Finney and his useless warriors are really in chaos now.”
“Our plan is going smoothly, your highness. The agents in ranks 5, 6, and 7 are now on their stations.”
“Hmm. That’s sounds pretty good. What about those in Rank 4? Are they ready for the assault in New York?”
“Yes, your highness. More importantly, we already have a plan to execute the Galvins and it only requires your permission.”
Her face suddenly radiated a beam of light. The queen smiled and said, “Don’t be too hasty, Jaugger. We need timing. I’ve told you about the Alpha Organization recruiting twelve kids from all over the world in order for them to have more soldiers, right?”
“Yes, your highness. One was Ariel Jimenez, a 13-year old Argentinean boy who is capable of amplifying his senses. He could have been a very successful asset of Alpha Organization since he can see things from afar.”
“Well, that strategy of theirs is useless now since you’ve killed him, right?”
Kill him? No, I didn’t. I left the boy, dying, giving him the chance to live and grow up until he can have the strength to challenge me to a duel. Should I tell the queen the truth? Should I lie? Should I stain her loyalty to me as I have with mine to hers?
I never guessed the greedy habit of mine to find duels will result to the sophistication of matters.
“Yes, I did.”
I never noticed the queen drinking from the glass of wine until I saw her sip the last drop. “Oh no, you clever soldier.” She smirked. “I know what you did back there in Argentina. You left the boy, am I right?”
How did she know? Was she observing me in all of my missions right from the start?
I kneeled in front of her, shaking. Nobody knows what the queen can do to you, but all we know is anyone who fails his mission is never seen again. “I’m sorry, your highness. I should have never let the boy live.”
She didn’t reply. Instead, she drew the sword from the side of her throne and played with its blade using her hand. “You know, I have always wondered how I really look in front of my soldiers. I always try to be scary, sound intimidating, and look frightening, in order to straighten the minds of my soldiers. Yet, I have been disobeyed many times. And here I am,” she threw the sword in front of me, letting it penetrate the floor an inch away from my head, and continued speaking, “forgiving my best warrior because if I lose him, I might lose in this war.”
I was trembling. The fear enveloped me like a crocodile devouring a child’s body.
“Back to our conversation. We will attack the Galvins when Alpha Organization reaches them. Murder is never fun without competition.”
“Yes, your highness.”
“Very good. As for now, I have a mission for you.”
“What is it, your highness?”
“We have an agent held prisoner in Belgium. I want you to assassinate him.”
Alright! Another mission for me to prove my worth. “Who is this person, your highness?”
“I’m pretty sure you know him. You’ve been friends since you first came here. His name is Alexei Dostoyevsky.”
Chapter 6. ClockworkEdit