JJ finally agreed to the contract after adding that he needed to video chat with his mother daily and said services must be provided to him and his mother for such services. So his room had a monitor that with video conferencing, his mother had the capability already throughout the estate where she stayed, and both were given a mini tablet so either could contact the other whenever they wanted. It was safe to say that JJ settled into his role. For him everything was fine, his mother was safe and well protected, his bank account had more money than he ever imagined, even more than the pro football contracts he envisioned that he’d have one day. When this was all over he told himself he’d live the life. He planned on being a one time hero, nothing more.

Months had passed and JJ continued his training at The Eye. And although his numbers were good Professor Fredricks felt that they could be better. He decided to change up the mornings events. JJ walked out onto the proving grounds feeling really good, the professor stood waiting for him silently going over numbers on his tablet. JJ walked up with a more than cheerful greeting.

“What’s up Pro Fed?” JJ said. Pro Fed was his name for the professor, Professor Fredricks didn’t mind. The professor kept swiping and typing on his tablet.

“Although your numbers are satisfactory over the last two months I am looking for you to achieve higher than this. You’re training as if content.” The professor said. JJ looked over Professor Fredricks shoulder staring at his training specs.

“I don’t see anything wrong with my numbers.” He replied. The professor could not contain himself. He knew the numbers that JJ was producing thus far were not enough to beat Fusion, he was careful not to say that.

“When you practiced football, did you just train for satisfactory numbers? Or was there a goal for continued improvement?”

JJ waved the professor off feeling a tad irked by where the conversation was going. “I didn’t have to do jack dookie! I was already better than everybody else!” He replied defensively. Professor Fredricks turned adjusting his glasses from the side.

“Ah yes, you were cheating. But that didn’t require much work. They were human, you were humanite. You had superior abilities, they did not.”

JJ took insult to the truth Professor Fredricks spoke. Before he had a chance to respond he caught sight of someone flying above him. JJ kept his eyes transfixed on the form until they landed right in front of him. JJ’s eyes widened with admiration.

“American Warrior!” JJ said in awe.

“Brent has been healing up nicely since his battle with the villain Fusion. I felt it was time to test out how well he has been healing while putting you through the paces.” Professor Fredricks said. 

Brent Locke extended his hand shanking JJ’s. “Good to meet you kid, I’ve heard a lot about you. By the way, when I’m not on the battlefield you can call me by my name Brent.”

JJ smiled like a little boy. He could not believe he was standing in front of such an iconic humanite. “So we’re gonna be training side by side sir?” JJ asked Brent.

“Not exactly JJ.” The professor interjected. “He’s going to be the one who sets your pace, and other times he will be your sparring partner.”

JJ saw where it was going. “Sparring partner? But I thought you said my P.D.A. was way higher than his? How will he be able to put me through the paces let alone spar me?” JJ said arrogantly without even realizing it.

“Well kid you might have high numbers but you have zero skill. Let’s put your money where your mouth is shall we?” Brent said with a smile. It was amazing that although Brent just gave JJ a challenge there was no arrogance in his disposition. JJ laughed slightly, it was a sign of nervousness. The professor may have said that by numbers he was more powerful than American Warrior, what Brent just said was true, but JJ wasn’t about to back down from the challenge.

“Ok, I’m game.” JJ replied.

“This is no game kid.” Brent said winking an eye at JJ.

“I’ll leave you two to the task at hand, good luck JJ.” Professor Fredricks said as he walked away looking at his tablet.

“We run to the east end of the island, untie a red ribbon that’s around the tree on the beach. Bring the ribbon back here and tie it around that pole.” Brent said pointing to the pole behind JJ.

“Sounds easy enough.” JJ said.

“One other thing. We must prevent one another from getting to the east end of the island. We must prevent one another from getting that red ribbon. We must prevent one another from getting back to the proving grounds. We must prevent one another from tying the red ribbon around that pole.”

JJ all of a sudden put his game face on, starting to see the challenge, but he wanted to make sure. “When you say prevent you mean?”

“I mean stop me however you think you need to. I will be doing the same to you.” Brent smiled. The wall on the left of JJ was a large square digital timer, it had five minutes on it. Brent then pointed to the timer. “We have five minutes to get up and back and complete the task.”

“Ok.” JJ said nodding his head. Five minutes to run across more than 10 miles one way. He knew was fast enough to accomplish the task, and even in a faster time than five minutes.

“Then all that’s left is ready, set.” Brent took off running leaving JJ standing there feeling foolish, he looked up at the timer, it had started. “Crap!” JJ said taking off after Brent. By the time JJ caught sight of Brent they were already through base central running down a single road that would branch off in all four directions. JJ urged his muscles to move faster, but no matter how hard he tried he could not fully catch up to Brent. As they neared the beach finally he was just right behind Brent. He was caught off guard when Brent stopped abruptly and extended his leg tripping JJ who rolled falling to the ground. With the speed he was going he continued rolling until he hit a tree cracking it in half, that stopped his momentum. 

“As fast as we move, we need to have complete focus and control over our bodies. And if by chance an obstacle comes your way you need to avoid it. But if you stumble then you need to know how to regain control and quickly.” Brent yelled over to JJ. Then he jumped and kicked his hills. “Meep, meep!” He said before taking off.

JJ got back up and took up pursuit, now he was mad. His goal was to catch up to Brent and rough him up just enough to keep him from getting the flag. A grin came to his face but it was short lived, Brent ran past him going the other direction holding the red ribbon in his hand. Turning around JJ sped up, he refused to let Brent win. His anger helped him accelerate, he exploded into faster speeds easily catching up to Brent. He reached out with both hands, he was going to seriously body slam Brent and get that ribbon. Brent jumped into the air turning halfway toward JJ he delivered a side kick to the front of JJ’s face followed by a crescent kick to the side of his face as he spun the other leg around. JJ’s head jerked back then to the side. He fought to keep control of his body but he had gained too much momentum in an attempt to catch up to Brent. He went flailing before he started rolling again. This time he struck the side of an unmanned vehicle crashing into it with a thud. Brent paced onward. JJ kicked out of the side of the vehicle, his body was lodged in pretty good. Finally he screamed in frustration ripping the vehicle apart. He took off after Brent. He ran through central base with no Brent in sight. As he made his way into the proving grounds he saw Brent and the professor standing there talking, the timer stopped at 1:58. JJ made a bee line straight to Brent. He attempted to push Brent but failed due to so, Brent subtly side stepped calmly. JJ did not pay attention to his failure he was too angry.

“What was that out there man!” JJ yelled.

“Calm down kid.” Brent said cooly.

“You cheating ass! That’s how you beat me!” JJ continued yelling.

The professor remained silent as he typed in data on his tablet.

“I won, you lost. Had I been Fusion the world would be lost. Lord knows what condition you would be in.”

“I ain’t gonna lose like you did.” JJ was throwing a low blow purposefully. If he was going to be humiliated, then so was Brent. It was the first time Brent showed a reaction but it was brief. JJ’s words hurt him most certainly. Professor Fredricks redirected the focus on JJ.

“Brent’s full P.DA. is 586, that’s including the new category of energy out put. Your total P.D.A is 3,500 and he beat you. His speed is a class 100, yours is a class 500, yet he outran you. Do you see where I’m going with this?” The professor asked firmly. JJ did not reply, Professor Fredricks continued. “When I read Fusions out put energy level it was at 500. I read yours today you were barely pushing 150.”

“But you said the other day my readings were all at 500!” JJ debated.

“And they were, but since then they have declined. My guess is because your determination the other day was much higher. You felt threatened that I was there at the high school. But now you seem more relaxed.”

Brent rested a hand on JJ’s shoulder. “If you don’t want to go down the path I did with Fusion you need to pick up the pace. I rushed in there like a fool. I was hailed the mightiest of the humanites, and it went to my head. Then Fusion handed me my head on a platter kid.”

JJ lowered his head feeling shamed. “My bad for saying what I did about you losing and all, I didn’t mean it.”

“No worries. But if you want to beat Fusion you have to really put in the time and determination. Everything I did during our little run? I did it to show you how it is out there. You have to go into battle level headed. You have to know what your body can and can’t do. You can’t let the enemy in your head. You have a lot of work if you want to get to my level, and then you have to work that much harder to get to the level you need to in order to take down Fusion.”

“Go hit the battle room for a few hours, I usually put it at seven when you’re in there. Today it will be at a twenty. Do you think you can handle that?” The professor said to JJ. JJ gave a crooked sour smile.

“I have no choice if I’m going to get better.” He said.

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