Instead of rushing JJ decided to just walk casually to the proving grounds. This gave him time to reflect and focus. He knew he could do this, he just had to keep the doubt from seeping in. It took him 15 minutes to walk to the proving grounds, he saw Professor Fredricks holding his tablet in one arm, Brent stood beside him, both were glued to the tablet. JJ thought it was interesting that neither addressed him when he approached.

“Watching porn?” JJ joked. The professor touched a button on the tablet, it lifted from his arm hovering. Adjusting his glasses he looked at JJ. JJ knew that something serious was up. Brent looked concerned, this was not good.

“Fusion was detected flying at a casual speed in the direction of the White House. Four Air Force pilots engaged but were easily destroyed. He’s going to make good on his promise of bringing down the White House.” Professor Fredricks said. JJ walked up watching the tablet screen along with the others.

“This is just data, I thought you were watching footage.” JJ said.

“We’re beyond that JJ.” The professor said grimly. “Thousands of soldiers are converging on the White House to protect the President, it’s too late to evacuate. Fusion would just catch up to Air Force One and destroy it.”

“They won’t even slow him down, it will be a slaughterhouse.” Brent said.

“Then let’s go! This is what I’ve been training for!” JJ said excited. Professor Fredricks didn’t want to tell JJ that he didn’t know if he was really ready, not yet.

“I need to see your numbers first. Which means you have to do the ribbon test. Pass it and you go. Fail and you stay.” Professor Fredricks said firmly. JJ started pacing.

“I thought you said I could take Fusion, what’s the big deal?” JJ said irrated and impatient.

“Fusion has an output of 500 which means…”

“That you don’t think I can take him! Why did you lie to me if you didn’t think I had a shot!”

“I didn’t say I didn’t think you couldn’t take him, but maybe you need more training.”

“So if I fail with the ribbon test, what then?”

The professor gave a blank expression then brought his hands up hopeless. “We go into hiding until you’re stronger.”

JJ turned his back to the professor and Brent, this what not what he wanted to hear. “What? Pfft! No chance in hell I’m going to fail! Let’s do this!”

Brent walked up to JJ placing a hand on the back of his shoulder. “So you’re ready to do this then?”

JJ looked over his shoulder. “Yea I’m read…”

Brent punched him across the face, then kicked him in the stomach, there was no warning. JJ stood up, Brent was gone. “The clock is ticking, you have 2 minutes.” Professor Fredricks said pointing to the clock. JJ looked over at the timer, it was already counting down.

“Damn…” JJ said. He took off after Brent. He leapt into the air, he wasn’t going to run, he decided to fly. Any means for victory. He whizzed through the sky catching sight of Brent who was already on the beach about to untie the ribbon. JJ couldn’t have that. He picked up more speed blasting himself into Brent sending him rolling into the water.

JJ landed untying the ribbon he heard a splash, looking over his shoulder he saw Brent flying at him. JJ side stepped as Brent swung at him missing, Brent’s arm ripped through the tree sending it into splinters, he meant business; he wasn’t holding back. Brent quickly turned facing JJ and he threw many punches at him, the first 50 missed, the last 20 got through hitting JJ’s face head on. JJ still held onto the ribbon as he was getting punched in the face. Brent threw a front kick into JJ’s stomach then grabbed JJ’s wrist on the arm that held the ribbon then struck JJ a final time in the face with a ripping elbow followed by a side kick that sent JJ flying into the water.

JJ recouped quickly standing in the water wiping the water from his face, Brent had already took off but this time he was flying. JJ saw the ribbon in Brent’s hand. JJ took off so fast into the sky he caused the water to push away creating a circle of dry ground where JJ took off, the water remained suspended for being pushed back from sheer force for eight seconds before finally collapsing inward again.

JJ collided with Brent who didn’t even have time to response, that’s how fast JJ was moving. The two grappled in mid air spinning around violently, both trying to hold onto the ribbon. Hands moving faster than the human eye could track the men came to blows striking each other in any way to fell the other. The sounds of their blows filling the air giving the illusion that missiles were exploding.

Finally Brent grabbed JJ by the throat with both hands releasing the ribbon so that he could choke JJ with greater success. He pushed JJ to the ground, both hit with a loud thud. Dust swirled around carried by violent winds from the impact. When the dust settled the two men were in a clench, Brent’s hands still firmly around JJ’s neck. JJ brought on arm over top of Brent’s which broke the grip. JJ executed a front kick to Brent’s stomach sending Brent sliding back, his feet digging into the ground for traction. JJ bolted towards Brent bringing down 100’s of blows before turning and taking to the sky. In seconds he covered the entire distance before landing at the pole on the proving grounds. He put the ribbon around the pole and started tying it.

“The timer went out 34 seconds ago, I’m afraid you lost JJ.” Professor Fredricks said. JJ looked over at the timer, he was right it had counted down to zero.

“I’m going and you can’t stop me!” JJ said with rage, he finished tying the ribbon. Brent hovered above then slowly landed behind JJ.

“You need more training, if you fight Fusion now you will fail!” Professor Fredricks said firmly. JJ looked over at Brent.

“You gave it a good go kid, next time you’ll be ready.”

The professor looked at his tablet, he was visibly shaken. “Dear God no…” He said his voice faint. Brent walked up, he knew what had shaken Professor Fredricks.

“Fusion hit the White House didn’t he?” Brent asked.

“Yes. No survivors, the President and all staff are dead. The White House is burning, over two thousand soldiers Army, and Marines are dead. More are being killed now as we speak. Fusion promises to burn down the entire capital.” The Professor said sadly. Brent screamed his face tilted to the sky. His heart mourned the loss of so much life. His fear was gone replaced with rage and revenge. Fusion had to be taken down. It was at that moment that Brent lost his fear and doubt, he needed them no longer. He was ready to die just as so many already bravely did. 

“I’m going Pro Fed, you can’t stop me!” JJ yelled, cutting into Brent’s moment of resolve. Brent looked at Professor Fredricks.

“I’m suiting up and heading out if we’re done, American Warrior is needed.” Brent said to the professor. Professor Fredricks saw that Brent was truly intrepid, it was a proud moment to see that Brent had truly healed body, mind, and spirit. The last of the doubt and fear wiped away by the call of duty that Brent felt in his heart to help others. JJ was just as determined. Pushing on the professor’s shoulder gently enough to make both men face one another he made sure that his eyes locked with the professors when he spoke.

“Fusion has to be taken down!” JJ said dauntless. Professor Fredricks took off his glasses and pushed back the hair from his face before putting his glasses back on.

“If I recall months ago when we first met in Walden you said this hero business wasn’t for you. I know that you’re only here because of your mother, well that and the billion dollar contract.” 

“Well the world isn’t safe for my mother now is it? It’s not safe for a lot of people. My dad always told mom that a good quality of life for all people was important to him. Who would I be if I didn’t feel the same?” JJ had no fear in his voice, there was no ambiguity in what he said. 

Professor Fredricks reached out his hand, JJ took it shaking it firmly. “Your father would truly be proud!” He said.

Brent hugged JJ with one arm, he too was proud to see the determination in JJ that was not there at the start. “We need to suit up then.” Brent said. 

“I don’t have a suit.” 

The professor adjusted his glasses. “Um yes you do. I was going to give it to you when passed the ribbon test.” He reached up grabbing the hovering tablet swiping the screen then entering new information. “This suit was made with you in mind, I had a helmet made to protect your identity until you decided to reveal it one day.” He flipped the tablet showing JJ the uniform, JJ looked down nodding his head.

“Now that’s tight! I like it Pro Fed!” He tapped the professors fist, something JJ taught him in past months. “Now I just need a battle name, any ideas Pro Fed?”

“Your father was codenamed Bullet, because his speed was such that I’d never seen before. Then you came along with a perfect balance of kinetic power. A beautiful blend of kinetic balance I…” The professor was cut short by JJ who snapped his finger, he knew what his code name name would be.

“Kinetic Balance! That’s my name Pro Fed!”

The professor looked at JJ adjusting his glasses with one hand smiling, it was not the name he chose but it was just as good he supposed. 

“Let’s go KB, time is running short.” Brent said. 

“Uh you got really white on me with the KB Brent.” JJ said they both had a small laugh over the comment. 

“Duh…” Brent said. As both men walked off Professor Fredricks felt there was a good chance that the two heroes would emerge victorious. He swiped the tablet bringing up JJ’s P.D.A. readings. When he was being tested JJ’s levels reached the low 400’s. Just now when JJ left the professor scanned him again, the levels read:

Subject Jai Jay Barret:

Power Data Analysis:

Strength: Class 600

Speed: Class 600

Intelligence: Class 600

Endurance: Class 600

Shell: Class 600

Projection: 0

Output: Class 1,000

Power, Data, Analysis combined category total: 6,400…..-

Professor Fredricks smiled, he was hoping that acting as if JJ had no chance would make JJ even more determined, it worked. JJ’s levels rose more. He never told JJ or Brent that he did another reading on Fusions levels, the combined categories ranged but fluctuated around 8,000. Fusion still had more power than JJ or Brent. 

But JJ’s output showed promise, and he would also have American Warrior fighting at his side. Would it be enough? He hoped so. 

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