Streams of electrical current spewed from the side of both Apaches, soldiers standing behind the cannons trying to hit thier mark. They were taking no chances. But just as General Mace brought to Horacio Griffin’s attention, the soldiers were too slow Jai showed this truth. He effortlessly zig zagged each attempt before flying though each copter causing them both to explode. More were coming, Jai saw them in the distance. He would easily take them down as well.

“Mr. Jai Simmons, may we talk a moment?” Said Valhalla. His voice came from below. Jai looked down seeing the metallic form of the Head Hunter.

Jai flew at the Head Hunter crashing into it sending it flying into the side of a corner store. He landed to check his handiwork. The dust settled, the sound of motion ensued. From the rubble the Head Hunter emerged undamaged. “I wish to speak peacefully Mr. Simmons, or do you prefer the name Bullet?” Valhalla said calmly.

Jai looked at the Head Hunter with disgust. “So they send a robot to try and kill me?” He said with anger.

“I assure you Mr. Simmons I would like to avoid all of that. We both have cause to hate Griffin Core do we not?”

The helicopters flew overhead Valhalla waved them off to stand down. Jai took notice that Valhalla did not attack, and from his signal the Apaches flew off, it caught his attention. He could feel that he was dying, maybe they could help him before that happened. He wanted to live.

“So you’re not here to take me back? Or to kill me?”

“Griffin Core has done a great disservice to you and I. I was only told some of what they did to you. You were merely a test, and they put you through much, as they did I. At least you have your humanity. Griffin Core killed my human body then stuck my brain into this metal form.”

Jai cringed momentarily at the thought. “You are human underneath all that metal?” He asked.

“Yes, but just clinging onto the memories of my humanity. I see this as natural selection. Both of us really. But first please let me help you, I am detecting the nanites within you going critical mass in less than two minutes. I can reprogram them to not do that if you let me help you.” 

Valhalla’s voice was kind and understanding. Jai knew Valhalla spoke truth, at least in regards to the nanites; Jai could feel them. As for the rest of what Valhalla said Jai did not know if he could trust. He looked up seeing Shanikia looking down, upon hearing the action outside the soldiers left her apartment unit she was safe. She looked at him with love. Desperation took over, he decided to risk trusting Valhalla. Walking up to him Jai spoke.

“So you can communicate with the nanites? You can make them stop before they go critical mass?” Jai asked.

Valhalla raised his chromed shiny hand in front of Jai’s chest, sunlight flickering from it. “May I?” He asked softly. Jai looked briefly at Shanikia without attracting attention to her, then nodded yes. Jai had not noticed until now the many flickering hues of various colored lights on the faceplate of Valhalla. Valhalla placed his hand on Jai’s chest.

  “I am telling the nanites to desist with critical mass.” Valhalla said, making sure to keep Jai in the know. After a few moments Jai felt it. His eyebrows raised in wonderment.

“You… You did it. I felt them shut down!” Jai said excitedly.

“They have not shut down yet, I have merely caused them to pause their work to give us a moment to talk. If I let them resume it would give you an additional ten minutes maybe more of life. Without wasting time let me say what I must, and when I am done speak your mind. I have a proposal.”

“Proposal…?” Jai asked confused.

“We have both been wronged by Griffin Core as I have already said, but I feel that the theory of natural selection has come into play with us both. Through our wrongs we have been unknowingly elevated to superior levels beyond mankind. I am immortal now, death can no longer hover above me; and I can see that if these nanites do not go critical they would continue to repair your body making your life eternal as well. Just as I have made your nanites rest I have awakened the other 42 specimen who came before you.”

Jai was confused, curious, and suspicious all at the same time. “You awoke the other 42?”

“The test subjects who took the Golden Elixir serum before you. The nanites remained dormant within them all save for you. I asked Mr. Griffin to let me inspect each individual so that I could get a better idea of what I was going up against. He was hesitant at first but General Mace pushed for it. Of course I had resistance from Professor Fredericks to release them to me, but in the end I got my wish thanks to Mr. Griffin.”

Jai was starting to understand. “So with each of the 42,  you turned the nanites on. So they could trigger…” He said calmly. 

Valhallas head tilted slightly. “Yes, they too can now cause the trigger effect. But I told each one of them if they truly wished to be free to not reveal this to Griffin Core.”

“I can understand that, but what are you planning?” Jai asked. 

“It is simple, we have become the new lords of earth Mr. Simmons.”

Jai laughed. “So you want to run shit now, is that it?” 

“I control all the earths computers, my knowledge is infinite. You are the most balanced of the nanite warriors. I have read all of your nanite programs. Some can turn to fire, while others to water, or some who carry incredible strength or speeed. The only true similarities betwixt are the invulnerable skin. But while some can fly, others can not. Whilst you can fly, and have incredible speed, and so on. You see my point.”

“I am able to do all what the nanites were programmed to do…” 

“Yes! For this reason you are the best, the most balanced!” Valhalla said excitedly. 

“So you want a super army, that’s what you’re getting at.” 

“In essence. But to put it in better terms they would all be Generals ruling a specific area of the planet. You would reside over all of them.” 

“And you over me.” Jai remarked. 

“Try not to put it in such negative tones. Every plan starts with an organizer. But make no mistake, you would all be rulers in your own right! And from each of your thrones the breeding would commence, and the new far superior stock would be born.

“I see where you’re going with this, but I don’t get the new stock stuff. Professor Fredericks said none of the 42 including me could ever have children, so you’re wrong about that part.”

Valhalla began to laugh. “You have been told a lie my friend. The good Professor attempted to program the nanites to shut down your sexual organs to keep you from the desire of procreation. But you are fully capable of carrying on your DNA.”

Jai nooded his head confused. “I don’t understand…” 

“If you inseminate a woman the nanites will flow with your sperm into a womans womb creating the next level of mankind. Oh the theories I have surmised! It will be a glorious new dawn of mankind! The new breed will dominate the weaker older breed!”

It was all tempting to Jai, he knew that Shanikia would be safe, and better yet she would live well as she should. She would be his queen and live under his protection. To finally live like he always wanted, this was truly what sounded good. But then his mothers voice echoed in his mind, he was was reminded that many would not have a true quality of life. That the life of the weaker breed would not be precious to the higher class that he would be part of creating. And by the sounds of Valhalla the lower class, they would be wiped out eventually. This was not what Jai wanted after all. 

“I see that your mind is stirring. This idea pleases you does it not?” Valhalla asked. 

“It does, but my morals can not allow me to follow through with it.” Jai said firmly. 

“So you are declining my offer Mr. Simmons?” Valhalla asked patiently. 

“I’m afraid so.” Jai responded. 

“A pity…” 

Jai took a step back touching his chest. He felt the nanites reactivate. They had now restarted their countdown to critical mass just as Valhalla had warned. This could only mean Valhalla was an enemy, he was no ally. He quickly glanced again up at Shanikia before he was struck in the face by Valhalla. The strike sent him flying back into a vehicle crashing into it causing it to absorb the impact, bending and distorting the vehicle. The tires screeching loudly while the vehicle was pushed several feet from its original resting place. Jai shook it off then slid out of the destroyed vehicle. 

“It will take a few minutes before you’re able to use your full abilities. At the moment you only have some invulnerability and your strength, but no speed. This greatly levels the playing field.” 

Jai started to run toward Valhalla realizing how slow he moved, he ran only as fast as any ordinary man. Valhalla laughed again at the spectacle. He moved forward in a bolt of speed striking Jai in the chest with his metallic fist, Jai was hurtled backwards hitting the ground rolling uncontrollably until a wall stopped his momentum. He got up slower than the last time. He was in no pain, but he felt weaker. 

“I ask you a final time Subject Bullet, is this what you truly want?” Valhalla asked grimly. His fists flickered charging up with a powerful electric surge. Jai know knew this was going to be the fight of his life, that would take his life even if he won. He could not help but to look up at his beautiful one once again before the battle kicked into high gear. He would not see Shanikia after this, he would be dead and gone then.