Jai’s mind reflected back to the start of it all. Before all of this chaos when he first knew he’d be going into the Army. He walked into the house hearing his mother in the kitchen, he gathered his words pacing slowly into the kitchen before he spoke to her. He entered making sure to telegraph excitement.

“I signed up for the Army momma, I ship out in two weeks for basic training!” Jai smiled. Mrs Simmons was cooking dinner, she stood by the counter chopping potatoes and looked up with one raised brow.

“Did I hear you right boy? Mind you I’m holding a knife?” She responded. Jai laughed hoping that she would not be angry.

“Listen ma, you’re always saying how I need to do better, and that you don’t want me being like some of these other fools in Barret Gardens who end up dead or in jail.”

She stopped cutting and placed the knife on the cutting board. “You can also end up dead in the Army, dying for a country who could care less for a black mans sacrifice. My father sacrificed his life you know? But I don’t see any movies on veterans day of black men who also gave their all for America!” She said argumentatively.

Jai waved his hands. “Ma that way of thinking needs to go, I don’t care what white people think of me. I’ll be in college not war. And one day I’ll have a good job to be able to pull you out of here! I want a better life, I can’t get that here!” He made sure to keep eye contact with his mother to let her know he was serious about his decision. She shook her head, her face in agreement. She knew this was what he wanted, and she knew he desperately wanted to get out of the ghetto. Who was she to deny him? There was a tinge of guilt in her expression as she looked to the ground then back up at Jai endearingly.

“I want whats best for you. You’re my only baby, the only precious thing I have in this world. Whatever you plan to do with your life I’ll be there to back it up.” She then smiled at Jai full of heartfelt love.

Jai kept thinking how much he loved his mother, and how badly he needed to see her. He was well rested, standing up he walked to the edge of the cliff the wind blew fiercely. He took off into the sky. The serum, the gold elixir he was given he was finally told by Professor Fredericks the day of his escape the true source of the liquid. The liquid itself had no true properties other than being colored water. But in the water was microscopic nanites. When Jai drank the golden elixir they bonded with his body. But the real trick was to wait and see if they would activate. They had not for any of the other test subjects, their bodies it seemed had rejected the nanites so they stayed dormant. But within days the nanites activated causing Jai’s skin to toughen. At that point the nanites took over Jai’s body but eventually his body took control of the nanites which was what the professor was hoping and wanting to happen. The full showing of Jai being in control of the nanites was his ability to trigger them to make his skin invulnerable, to be able to fly, to be able to move beyond super sonic speeds; and now to be able to navigate in the skies. The nanites made it possible for Jai to know his sense of direction. So much power. But it was that same power that was killing him. With each trigger the nanites were close to overloading. Professor Fredericks theory was that the nanites were fighting for control of Jai’s body, but his body had control of them. This struggle was making the nanites go to critical mass. Jai could feel it now, he could sense how many more times he had left until the nanites would explode inside his body, at which point would kill him.