Author's Note and Rating
Once again, thank you very much! The last chapter got 2+ upvotes and 3 views, with one of those views being me, so everyone voted it up who read it. I would've expected at least 3 upvotes or some more views, but it's okay, you guys have been good to me with my fiction anyway. I hope you enjoy this chapter, and you can suggest characters. AlbiSeli's character, Aito Fukuda, makes some appearances, and so does JD2005's character Chame. Also, KnightStar's unnamed character (I named her Kago) is here too. If you'd like to have a character in the story, please post a request with your character's position, power, appearance, and personality, or you can comment below with it. Enjoy! This story is fictional, so many elements may not be scientifically correct, LOL.
RATING: This chapter contains violence.
Sometimes I wondered if Cheryl was keeping a secret from me. And now she's proving my theory in full, plus interest. "The point is, you're special," she says, shoving her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "The solution reads one's DNA and then produces something that would suit that person. It was developed before the 2028 Bomb, 8 years ago, and we only used it for military purposes. But now it's being used for the Arena to produce superhumans. Also, there's something the Arena doesn't want you to know. Those who develop "nature" powers, as they call them, have different DNA, connected to the elements. It sounds corny, I know, but the codename for the nature users should explain it all." she takes a deep breath. "The Individuals."
I'm blank. "What?" All of this was swimming around in my head. It's all odd, how is this possible, what's it have to do with me?
Cheryl sighs. "There was an organization several years ago, when the Bomb first hit. That's what they called themselves. They tried to create superhumans, by becoming them. Injected themselves with our solution so they could fight the monsters. They ended up being the government's own private army against Akkirasetsus, but then they died off and people tried to create new ones by going around and injected young children with the solution." she bites her lip again. It almost makes it bleed. "The real purpose of the Arena is to train soldiers. They offer freedom to those who aren't the Individuals, and if they survive the Arena, they live in peace. They do that to cover up their real motive of training, testing, and then deploying the Individual soldiers."
"So you're saying that I'm one of them?"
"Yeah. We know that these soldiers were all injected within a year of each other. With that logic, you would be 13, and you would've been injected at age 5 due to the fact that the Bomb hit that year," her eyes are glowing now, as she puts the pieces together for me, so I can view the whole puzzle.
"I don't get what any of this has to do with me," I say. I shake my head and sink to my knees.
"Well, we've got you, and two other kids who are like you. Aito and Chame. Those two boys you were just being tested with." Cheryl says, finally pulling me out of the corner and walking me back down to my room.
"I thought one of those boys already found his solution power thingie?" I say, a little weary. All of it is being rushed on me way too fast. Break it down, piece by piece, and feed it to me little by little, don't stuff the entire cake into my mouth!
"That was Aito. Yes, he did, but just like how your increased agility was a side effect, his flying was his. Sometimes those with different DNA get more than just one power. You could easily have more." she looks like she's about to say something, but she holds herself back. She smiles, and opens my door. "We'll come get you when it's time for your first class."
F.F.F.A Journal Notes: Cheryl Rannai
Her DNA is very flexible. It disconfigures itself on a daily basis as she sleeps, then connects again when she wakes. What this means, I don't know. I just know that, even though her DNA keeps the atoms from before, with the same memories, it always changes in appearance. She retains her appearance, her personality, everything that makes her, her, but her DNA changes, and with it, the solution.
I stare at the ceiling, sprawled back on my plain white cot. I am allowed to decorate and get pins, despite being "special", but I don't have anything to decorate my room with, and only one pin. I sigh. Maybe, to pass the time, I'll go shopping. Yeah, Kiseki, right. You've never gone shopping, and maybe you shouldn't. You'll be overwhelmed by everything you see, and you'll probably end up being a fool.
Shut up, voice in my head. I'm going shopping.
I contemplate my surroundings. What do I need? I look at the bare walls, and shake my head. Those can wait. I walk over to my small, white dreeser and peer inside. I only have 2 extra pairs of the same uniform I'm wearing, along with another pair of Arena-issued PJs. Maybe I should get some more clothes, or something.
I pull on some socks. I had thrown the pair I had on to the side when Cheryl had left me in here, so I knew it would be best to put on a new pair if I left. I get up and leap across the room as I yank on some flat shoes, managing to get them on once I reach the door. I peer outside the door, like someone's watching, and stroll casually out.
The clothes and hair shop, Bee's, is a 5 minute walk. As I walk, I start to realize the layout of the compound and remember that I never got a map. I'll try to describe it best I can: one half of the compound are the rooms, with 4 halls branching off to the halls that have the rooms. These halls connect to a main hall, which leads off to the other half of the compound, which is like a shopping mall, which I think you can relate to. A huge one. What's odd is that this mall has one level but the ceiling is much higher, allowing 4 more floors of glass rooms for the people living in the compound to live. It filters in natural light into the compound. Then connecting to the mall section is another hallway, leading who knows where.
I look around, entering the mall area. Where's the Arena?
"Wondering where the Arena is? I am, too."
I turn in a quick spiral. A young boy stands before me. I recognize him as the bat-wing boy, Aito. He has short black hair swept over his left eye, and I realize his eyes are an usual red color. He also has already bought himself some clothes: black jeans and a black leather jacket, which is open to show a plain white T-shirt. I shiver. The most unnerving thing about him are his eyes.
"Er, yeah," I say, not wanting to look at his eyes more than I have to.
"Hey, I won't bite," he says, smiling widely. "You're Kiseki, aren't you? I'm Aito. I saw the instructor guy take you and Chame off to another room."
"Yeah," I say. I feel a little uncomfortable. Aito is the first guy my age whose been nice to me. I force myself to look at him. Kiseki, he's just being friendly, it's not like he's gonna try to fight you like Odoso.
I haven't thought about Odoso for the last day, so it's like bile coming up in my throat as I remember everything that happened. I swallow the memory that I know is going to give me nightmares one of these days. The blood, the screams... all fresh in my mind, like a new tattoo.
"When did you get here?" asks Aito, following me as I walk to Bee's, my bronze pin clutched in my fist. He's still smiling.
"Yesterday," I say. "What about you?"
"About a week. My parents and my sister are here too." he looks around for a minute. "I don't know where they are right now. My parents work here, so they let me and Youjo- that's my sister- come. How about you, you have any family here?"
"No," I say, standing outside of Bee's now. "I came alone."
"That must be hard. No one to be your friend or anything," Aito says, a little sadly.
"Yeah," I say, realizing for the first time how lonely I actually am here.
Aito starts to grin again. "I could be your friend," he says. "You'll have someone to talk to and stuff! What do you say?" he extends a hand. I consider, and I shake it, pushing away the thought that his red eyes are still the most disturbing thing about him.
"Are you getting a haircut?" Aito says once we enter Bee's. He picks up a section of my hair. It's so long, even after being cut to back length, that he can hold it without being too close to me. "You have nice hair. I like the color." he says.
I smile, trying to get used to this "friend" thing. Everyone I knew back home was rather my enemy or they were neutral. No allies. There were a few older kids who showed me some sympathy, but they always left when I got in fights. I was always a one-woman army. It's odd with Aito, he acts like everyone is his friend. He greeted the hair stylists like he knew them, when he assured me he didn't.
"You shouldn't cut it," Aito says to me.
"I was thinking of finding some clothes or something," I say, a little meekly. I know enough about boys that they don't have the same fashion sense as girls.
One of the stylists smile at me. She's a tall, heavy woman with a motherly demeanor. "We offer a trainee's pack for a bronze pin. You only get one once everytime you climb a rank as a trainee, so be careful. You may wanna consider it though."
I look at her, a little suspiciously. "What's it offer?"
"Two pairs of clothes- being a shirt, shorts/pants, a jacket or coat, and then some shoes- and then a haircut with the option of coloring it, and then a tattoo if you want." she smiles. "It's quite popular."
"That's very nice of you, but-"
"She'll take it!" says Aito. The stylist smiles and hurries off, mentioning she needs to get some things ready first.
"What the heck, dude?" I say, glaring at Aito.
"It sounded like you needed some help," he says. "They don't cheat you here. Mark my words, okay?" he smiles his smile again as the stylist comes back and beckons me forward. Aito walks with us as she speaks.
"What type of haircut do you want?"
"Erm…" I say. "I sorta wanna keep it at this length."
The stylist glances back. "Okay. Come over here," she pulls me gently to a comfortable chair. I nervously sit in it as she pulls out a pair of scissors, and begins spraying my hair down and then cutting the strands.
"I don't notice much change," I say a little quietly. Speak up, Kiseki. It's not like you'll get punched here. I say it again, and the stylist smiles.
"I only trimmed the edges," she says. "By the way, your friend went off to find some clothes for you. He left ten minutes ago." she looks around. I had just realized that Aito wasn't here anymore. "He's a nice guy."
"Yeah, he is." I sigh, and get up.
Aito comes back with some clothes that I approve of, and I hand my pin to the lady at the cash register. "Come again," she says, grinning at us both like she had some dirty secret or something. I look back at her as we walk out of the shop and continue down the mall floor, to another hallway on the other side.
I peer at it, like I'm scared someone's gonna apprehend me. I inch towards it and push open the door. Aito stays close behind, but I don't go into the black expanse. I feel like it's an intrusion, like I'm breaking the rules.
"ALL TRAINEES REPORT TO THE MALL AREA," says a voice, loud, over the P.A. "THANK YOU."
I look about the mall area, but it's only Aito, a few stranglers, and me. Atfer a minute, Cheryl comes in. "Aito, Kiseki, come with me," she says, and leads us to an elevator. As we go up, she starts to talk. "You two are two of the children we have found as being Individuals. We have found three more during your little mall adventure. I am pleased to know you two have met and gotten along on your own terms. This is essential for us all, because you kids will be trained to act as a unit. An army unit against the monsters and whatever else we deem appropriate." she's lost the air of personable-ness that she exhibits when she's with me. She's now stiff and calm and collected. "You will meet a few more children when we reach your private training room. You'll receive more information when you get there. Good luck." she stops her rambling and lets us out on a high platform that leads to a stairwell. We walk up it, and emerge into a large white room.
Two other people stand before us, obviously the ones we need to make friends with.
A man walks into the room after us, shutting the door with a loud snap. He walks steadily to the front of the room, and looks confidently at us. He's an older man, maybe 40's or 50's, but he exhibits an air of bravery and wisdom. "Hello, seedlings," he says. "Today is just a normal day. We will get to know you, your abilities, and your history. You are required to at least forge a friendly relationship with everyone here. The name of the game is teamwork!" he claps his hands, and everyone jumps. "You know why you're here. You're to become an army. An army with superior powers to everyone else. Superhumans, in other words. And if you can't be friends, you can't work together smoothly. Now get to it!"
Everyone stays where they are, nervous. I twist my hands together, but Aito pushes me forward, like an nudge.
"Erm, I'm Kiseki," I say. "I lived in what used to be Tennessee's Nashville region." I glance at the man. He nods, allowing me to go on. "Um... I don't have any family. They all died in the 2028 Bomb raid. Well, except me. Um... that's really all."
'What do you like to do?" prompted the man. "For fun?"
"For fun?" I say questionably. I did nothing back home 'for fun'. "Back home, it was fight or die, sir. I was born into the slums, with nobody. Nothing was done 'for fun'." He nods.
"What about abilities?"
"I'm good at fighting I guess. And I think the solution gave me power over wind, if that's also what you mean, sir." I say formally, still uncomfortable.
He nods. "You don't have to call me sir. I'm George. Everyone can call me George. I'm going to be training you for quite a long time, so you might as well. Anyway, good job Kiseki. Who wants to go next?" he pointed to a girl who had raised her hand. "Kago, you go."
Kago's green eyes flick to me, and she moves, her shoulder-length brown hair catching the light. Her black skirt and dark grey jacket swayed with her movement. "I'm Kago. I'm normal, I guess. My parents work overseas in Asia, trying to raise funds to help rebuild the world. I don't see them much. I live in what used to be Florida, but I have some money, so I have a house. I don't have any siblings though, so I'm a single child." she pauses to catch he breath. "My power thing is controlling the earth, like the ground. So I guess I can mae earthquakes and that sorta thing."
"Thanks, Kago. Aito, you care to share?" George asks.
"I'm Aito! Normal family and everything. They live here. I love my little sister and I'd protect her from anything," he grins widely. "Her name is Youjo. I'm not really wealthy, but the F.F.F people take care of us alright. My power is fire-based." he smiles. "Matches my eyes, I guess." I take care not to look at his eyes when he points to them.
"Thank you, Aito. How about you, Chame?" George asks a boy with black hair a little longer than Aito. Chame's also taller than Aito, with shiny brown eyes and causal clothes on. Otherwise they look a little similar.
"I'm Chame, and my parents are back in what was Boston," he says nervously. "We have some money but not the best life, so yeah. I can do karate, if that means anything, and my power is water. Doesn't really suit me, eh?" he glances at me. "I think Kiseki would be better suited for it." he laughs a bit, but not like he's being mean.
"Your powers aren't all what they seem," says George. "For example, Kiseki can use wind and make it any temperature she wants. Therefore, she can easily find water and turn it to ice, and use it that way. She could combine her power with any of you and make something greater. The possibilities are endless, and we are gonna help you see those possibilities and learn how to make and use them." He takes a step forward, and presses a button on a remote he's carrying. I just noticed it. Four targets drop down in front of us, and he begins to pace between us. "Spread out. Try to hit the target. Be creative."
"How do we do that-" Kago begins.
George looks at her. "What's your weapon of choice? Not your fists, but like a gun or rifle?" he asks me pointedly.
"I'd say, a bow-and-arrow?" I say timidly. Kiseki, focus! What if he jumps at you? I stiffen.
"Okay. Act like you're pulling one back. Imagine it, in your hands. Try it!" he says at me, getting louder by the minute.
I pull my arms back, imaging a heavy bow in my hand, pulling back the arrow with my left hand. In a instant, a bow of wind, swirling around in my hands, is resting in my arms. "Shoot!" says George, and I let go. The wind arrow pierces the target, and disappears at the other side. "That's what I mean when I say be creative," says George, grinning.
"We're going to train you to be the best solider you can be. You are an army, and you are our army. Chame, you did well today. Here's some pins." George hands Chame 2 pins. "Your performance with the ice gun was nice. Next time, ask Kiseki to help you turn it to ice, okay?" Chame nods, and George turns to Kago. "Your power is a bit harder to manage, but you did well. Your light-wood rifle is also a good choice as a weapon." he hands her 2 pins as well, and gives Aito the same amount as he turns to him. "Good job with the crossbow. Keep it up." he turns to me, and drops 3 pins in my hand. " Excellent," he says.
"Okay, everyone, end of class. Come again tomorrow at this time," he says. "I can't wait to see you improve. You can attend the assessment at the end of the week. See you tomorrow, kids!"
Kago raises her hand. "When do we get code names?" she asks. Chame nods.
"We'll decide at the assessment. But I think I have good ones for you," he says. "Good night to you guys. Thanks for coming."