He looked out of the window seeing the helicopters approach to the island. The news media complained about having to travel so far for a press conference, but what media outlet would miss the opportunity to question billionaire Marc Vega. CEO of Velocity, one of the worlds leading weapons manufacturer that specialized in making weapons that could capture or kill a non human. This brought him great popularity with humans making him a savior of the people. The backstory of his childhood made him even more popular to humans springing him to legendary fame. His father was a well known mercenary who made millions by accepting contracts on humanites. In the end Marc’s mother was killed by a humanite in retaliation, Marc was only a baby at the time. Because of what happened to his mother many humans believed her death fueled Marc to be the ambitious leading weapons maker that he was today. The weapons that Velocity made leveled the playing field with humans, this made him a target from dark humanites that saw him as a great threat. A human that a humanite feared, that was something unheard of. Marc was no fool, having the press conference on one of his private islands was the best and safest way. The island had its own military, and housed various hidden weapons installations that were easily capable of taking down even the most powerful of humanite, or mutate. A soft beep went off in his earpiece. Touching it he heard the voice of the pilot. 

“We’ll be landing in twenty seconds sir.” The pilot said. Marc looked out of the window cautious of their approach. He looked down at the mass of reporters who eagerly awaited his arrival.

“Do one more pass of the island, just want to make sure it’s safe before landing.” Something made him feel cautious. After all he was the most hated human among humanites.

“Copy that sir, making another pass as requested.” The pilot said. The pilot aborted the landing which caught the news media off guard, they watched the helicopter fly overhead without landing going away from the island. Marc’s earpiece buzzed again, this time it was Darren Jules the publicist and spokesman for Velocity industries. Darren was responsible for keeping a positive image of Velocity and its CEO. He had a tough job. 

“Hey Marc what’s up bro? You’re leaving before the party even starts?” Darren said lightheartedly, but he was also very serious. Marc was known for doing things like walking out of press conferences, or jumping into the audience to fight a reporter who asked the wrong question. But bad press was also good press and made Marc even more popular with his cocky attitude. Humans needed to see this type of behavior in a world where humans were now considered the second best species. He was always in the news for his crazy attitude, and for keeping company with the worlds most beautiful women. It was common to see Marc post videos of half naked women online in social media partying it up with him, sometimes more than one at a single time. Human men and women alike admired him, this only fueled his companies popularity. To support Velocity was to support mankind. With one finger on his chin he eyed the crowd below while checking the sensors through a hud display on his glasses.

“No, not leaving Darren. Just being safe. Besides, what I have to show the world is very important. They are going to love my latest tech, it’s going to make me billions.” Marc said.

“Ah another few billion dollars in the bank. Any of it going to charity?” Darren jested. 

“Charity only causes more people to stick a hand out. The world is not for the weak, natural selection is our ally.” 

“Damn Marc that’s pretty cold, but hey; money makes the world go round. See you once you put your panties on.” Darren said, he was always the one with the jokes. Marc smiled finding Darren’s humor amusing. The news cameras watched the black helicopter circle around the island before it finally landed on the helipad. Security guards stood at the side of the helicopter door as Marc exited it. Camera lenses flashed making sure to get every motion of Marc while he walked over to the podium. Darren greeted him, the two shook hands before Marc stepped up to the stand. Immediately questions started to burst from the crowd of reporters, Marc waved them to be silent. 

“First of all welcome to my home, I hope you all were received well?” He said in his usual charming way. The reporters nodded in agreement that they all enjoyed the expensive wine and food that was served before Marc got to the island. He was always the entertainer. “Good, good.” He smiled his billion dollar smile. “I’m sure you’re all wondering why I had Darren call this conference. As you know I’m not one to waste time, yours or mine so what I have to show you is very important so let’s get to it. Please save your questions until after the presentation.” Marc grabbed the microphone holding it with one hand he strolled across the stage casually. “What is the one problem that humans have with detecting a humanite?” He waved his hand about. “They look like us. Which makes sense, after all they were originally human. So how can you detect a human from a humanite with the naked eye? You can’t! And that has been the greatest weakness of humanity, we simply do not know who is human, or who is humanite or even mutate. Yet humanites can detect one another, and even know that we are humans. Think about the assassination of President Martin twelve years ago. He was murdered by one of his own cabinet members who happened to be a double agent for The Dire! A humanite walked among humans at the highest level of our government undetected! Now if there were some way for humans to detect humanites President Martin would be here among us today.” Marc walked to the edge of the stage looking out among the crowd. “Human life could be spared if we had such technology that could do such a thing. Assassination attempts would be more difficult.” He raised his arm. “This would make it a lot harder for when humanites attempt to take my life as well!” He squatted down at the edge of the stage staring right at a reporter. “For instance.” He said his eyes locked on the reporter further back in the crowd. “As you all know, all of my press conferences are for humans only due to the unrest I have caused in the humanite community due to the weapons my company Velocity makes. Over the past few years three assassination attempts have been made on my life.” Electric waves shot down right over the reporter that Marc was looking at surprising everyone in the audience. An egg shaped silver machine broke from its cloaked program, this was where the electrical waves originated from. The reporter was immobile unable to move, he was lifted above the shocked audience. Cameras were fixed on what was taking place. Marc stood back up waving his arms to calm the crowd. “Relax folks.” He said calmly. The reporter was taken away but the crowd was still buzzing with as to why. Marc casually paced the stage one hand in his pocket. He waited until the audience calmed and was quiet before continuing. “When my helicopter approached I happened to spy with my little eye a humanite in the crowd.” The audience started to become loud again, Marc waited, this time he stood looking out at the audience as a father who was annoyed by his loud children. The crowd took notice once he crossed his arms. They silenced he continued. “Now you all might be wondering, how did I spot the humanite in the crowd?” He took off his glasses showing them to the audience. “I did it with these. Velocity’s newest tech. I call it the Eagle Eye. These glasses can track nanites within a humanites body. I was merely going to have a presentation today, but after I spotted the humanite from the helicopter I decided to give a demonstration. I’m sure you have questions so I’ll open the floor now to the audience.” 

The questions flew hectically each reporter was desperate to have their questions answered and they yelled over one another to make this so. Marc looked out and pointed to a reporter. 

“Jerry Brewer from WNN. My question is, was this invention solely for your protection seeing as how the humanites have a long standing hate for your father the mercenary Raymond Vega who hunted and killed their kind, and also for you carrying on his legacy of hunting humanites?” 

Marc rolled his eyes. “Ah WNN, always out for the hippie news instead of real news.” He put the glasses back on staring at the reporter mockingly. “Just had to make sure you were not a humanite too.” The audience laughed. “Let me tell you what my father did, I’m sure most in the audience already know, but just in case someone was living in space I’ll continue. He was a mercenary for hire. He killed humanites who for the most part were bad people anyway. Did he kill any innocent humanites? I don’t know. But I am not a mercenary, I merely make weapons that help protect humans from non humankind. Or have you forgotten how many humans have perished by the hands of either mutates or humanites?” Marc looked around the audience and pointed at another reporter, many in the crowd applauded what Marc just said. The reporter spoke over the applause.

“Leslie Thurman, WAN. Will your incredible invention be available for commercial use? And if so how much will these glasses cost to the public?”

“Well Leslie that’s something I haven’t decided yet. For certain it will be used for our various branches of the military and local law enforcement after we have discussed pricing. I’d say after that time has passed I will sit down and think about mass production for commercial use but only after crunching numbers of success rates. Haven’t thought about a commercial price though.” Hands raised and voices called out desperately trying to be heard. Marc scanned the audience pointing to another reporter.

“Ginny Bates National Network. Are you concerned about the privacy of humanites that are law abiding citizens, and what this could do to their lives if citizens purchase your glasses if you decide to go public with them?”

Marc smiled softly then laughed under his breath. “Good question. The National Network has millions of humanite followers so I can see your concern. And I’m sure you’re talking about the privacy of the millions of humanites that live among humans who do not divulge to their human neighbors that they themselves are not human?” He began pacing the stage. The audience fell silent waiting for his entire response. “Upper level government does know where each humanite lives as part of a rule handed down by The Twelve, a council of six humans, and six humanites. And these Twelve deem it ok for humanites to live privately among us. But there have been cases where teenaged humanites have unleashed on their human peers. There have been many cases in fact, but the most popular was the case of Zach Montesino that occurred just six months ago. He was an average high school teen until two bullies picked with the wrong kid. Zach lost his temper, and now two kids are dead. Granted they were bullying but did they deserve death? Did the parents of those slain teens deserve what they are still going through? I say at least starting on the military and local law enforcement areas they should be able to detect and know who is human, and who is not. Situations can be prevented if we know humans from humanites, it’s kind of like having a mine detecter in a mine field. Don’t forget, four police officers who were called to the high school were seriously injured by Zach as well. None of them knew that Zach Montesino was a humanite. Only The Twelve and a few higher ups in government knew. Don’t you think that should change?” Marc stood with a serious glare at the audience. 

Applaud erupted, Marc allowed it continue until it died down. Darren stared on in admiration in how captivated Marc had the audience. When the audience quieted Marc pointed to another reporter. 

“Jim Williamson Columbus Colorado Daily News. Since Columbus is your hometown, and the main base of operations for your company Velocity, does this mean you could possibly use these new glasses to find the vigilante humanite Midnight Blue?” 

Marc nodded his head in agreement before he even spoke. “Oh I had that very idea when I created these glasses. This Midnight Blue is a law breaker! Some see him as a hero, sure he fights crime and takes down the bad element. But The Twelve have publicly come out and said that he is not a registered humanite, that they don’t even know who he is! They have marked him as a criminal, so why shouldn’t I? The greatest insult is that he wears a police riot uniform, that is a disgrace to our officers!”

Marc did get some applause, but the audience had mixed feelings when it came to Midnight Blue. Midnight Blue was a masked hero who had saved many lives in The City Of Columbus Colorado. Many looked up to him for his vigilance in cleaning up the city. And although there were humanites assigned to that city, they only were called when a humanite element was involved. Midnight Blue involved himself in both humanite and human criminal affairs. This was against The Twelves sanction that humans dealt with human affairs, humanites dealt with theirs. There was also the issue that Midnight Blue refused to register. Humanites could have hero aliases, but only as long as they were registered with The Twelve on Moon Base. He was now on The Twelves most wanted list and was to be brought in for questioning, but he had yet to be found or apprehended. Marc made sure he stayed and answered as many questions as possible to appease the audience. After which he made a hasty retreat to his helicopter leaving Darren to deal with the crowd. As the helicopter flew away from the island Marc’s earpiece beeped, he touched it with a smile, it was Darren.

“That was kick ass! You just propelled Velocity’s popularity numbers through the roof with that new gadget!” Darren said excitedly. Marc sat back in his chair staring out over the ocean. 

“Like I said Darren, my next billion.” 

*******

The thief walked with unnatural silence down the darkened hall, he was headed toward the bank vault. His face was painted black, three small white lines painted horizontally on both cheekbones were visible, it appeared to be tribal markings. His hair was braided into corn rows going halfway down his back. He wore only a black loincloth that had more tribal art on it giving even more of a tribal appearance, he carried no weapons. Walking up to the bank vault door his dark eyes glowed a soft watery blue. Stepping forward his body seemed to turn into a transparent shadow while walking through the vault door to the other side. He smiled upon seeing all the money in containers. He uttered something under his breath before a large cloth bag appeared in his hand. Calmly walking around he tossed money into the bag that never seemed to get full. After about 30 minutes he cleaned out the vault, he smiled with satisfaction.

“Smooth.” Midnight Blue said startling the thief who turned seeing him standing in front of the vault door. “I just want to know how you pulled off that trick with the bag. Do you mind?” He pointed to the cloth bag. The thief knew who stood before him. Midnight Blue wore a police riot suit with the white letters Police written across the front of his chest. “I’m guessing you’re Feya. I watched all that mumbo jumbo you did to get in here. And the banks night watch guards are fast asleep, a spell of some sort no doubt. Well at least you didn’t kill them.” 
“They are human, not an abomination as you! Our war is not with our fellow brothers!” The Feya said staring at Midnight Blue with great disgust. Feya were another branch of mankind, they claimed they were the first of mankind. They were users of magic, some more powerful than others, much like humanites and mutates were. But Feya were tricky, humanites could not sense when they were around like they could humans and mutates. It was believed that Feya had something magical a border of sorts around them that kept them hidden from humanites.  Midnight Blue rushed forward grabbing the bag from the Feya so quickly that he didn’t have time to respond. With a quick leg sweep the thief fell onto his back, Midnight’s foot was on his chest holding him down. 

“Ah thank goodness, you’re a lesser Feya.” Midnight Blue said. Had the Feya been of a higher level there would have been a serious battle taking place. “Let me guess, you’re stealing for the cause?” Midnight Blue said mockingly. The cause was something all Feya believed in. It was the only thing they believed in. The Feya uttered a word conjuring up a spell that transformed his body into a silverback gorilla. He swung his long muscular arm at Midnight Blue who quickly leapt back avoiding it. Standing up the silverback beat its chest yelling out it’s challenge. The Feya felt that if his own strength was not enough against humanite strength, then maybe the strength of a silverback would make it even. The silverback charged at Midnight Blue running on all fours. Midnight Blue raised his front leg when the Feya was close enough and kicked him in the stomach sending the silverback onto his back. The silverback shifted back to human form, he was balled up fighting to catch his breath. The fight was over. 

Outside the bank floating down from the night sky was an elite, he was scanning the area before he moved on but his heat vision caught suspicious motion within of what appeared to be a man in the vault fighting someone, but there didn’t seem to be an opponent. Quickly scanning the rest of the building he detected two unconscious night guards. A robbery in progress no doubt. It was time for War Pain to intervene. War Pain was one of eight elite humanites in the United States, his power was equal to American Warrior the current Alpha Magnus but with less battle skills and speed, yet he still was a force to be reckoned with. Invincible skin, super strength, he wielded great power, dark humanites dreaded his name due to his blood lust for battle. He was one of the more violent of the elite.  Landing at the front of the bank he gently tapped on the front door which blew open the locked front doors causing the alarm to sound. War Pain kept his heat vision on the heat signature in the vault, but it was cooler now and unconscious now. Who ever caused it had to still be in there. War Pain prided himself in having no fear, to focus on only the battle, he had no caution when walking toward the vault, it had been a quiet night; he was eager to find a fight.  Upon coming to the vault door he found only the unconscious body of the Feya. Looking around he searched for another but found no one. 

“This has the work of Midnight Blue to it…” he said to himself. He knew that the vigilante was gone now, but he would find him one day. 

*******

High above Vega Tower, the highest building in Columbus’s skyline, Marc stood in front of a large glass window looking down at the city. He was nude. A large bed with red silk sheets and imported covers was behind him, the room was full of expensive exotic art hanging from the walls. The WAN reporter lay naked on her stomach, her head resting on her hands. She stared at Marc who continued to stare out of the window in deep thought. With a wicked smile she licked her lips. 

“I enjoyed the last few hours, ready for round two?” She asked suggestively. Marc kept his gaze outside. 

“You enjoyed yourself correct?” He said.

“Of course.” 

“As did I. But I’m afraid that my mind is distracted elsewhere. I have a meeting with the President in the morning and I must prepare.” He crossed his arms behind his back, Leslie Thurman sat up on the bed looking very interested in what he just said.

“So the government is already wanting to bid on your wonder glasses aren’t they?” She waited for his response eagerly. 

“Miss Thurman I’m sure you would love first dibs on the next great story but I’ve already said too much in which case still gives you first dibs so to speak on this matter. Please get dressed and kindly leave. Thank you for the lovely evening. One of the guards at the entrance will see you to wherever you need to go.” He continued to stare outside, Leslie frowned slightly. Was she insulted by being told to leave? Or was she upset that she wasn’t going to get the full scoop? It was hard to tell. The room began flashing red and a protective metal shield quickly closed over the front of the windows blocking Marc’s view, turning he glanced over at the bedroom door seeing a red light flash at the door knob before a metal door slid down creating a protective barrier barring entrance into the bedroom, the security system was in full swing. Leslie got out of the bed hurriedly looking around.

“What is it?” She asked worried. A focused look came to Marcs face.

“I believe another attempt on my life is in progress.” He said calmly, he walked over to a wall close to the bed. “Guardian, spray guard suit, authorization code four, eight, nine, sigma. Genesis Z.” 

A thin arm extended from the wall scanning Marcs body.

-Scanning host request, host confirmed! Applying guard suit. Application activated!- A robotic female voice said coming from the wall, it was his A.I. Defense system Guardian. The arm sprayed a black looking material all over Marcs body within seconds save for his face. Leslie walked over looking at the material before looking at his shoulder and touching it.

“What is it?” She asked looking his body over. Marc turned to her. “It is a protective covering. It absorbs attacks and can withstand laser, bullet, or most weapon penetration.” 

She looked up at his face. “But your head isn’t covered.” 

“Yea, I am working on that.” He said walking away toward the bed. “Checkmate sixty-nine!” He said. From within the mattress a hand gun shot toward Marc he caught it mid flight. The earpiece went off in his ear, Leslie saw him patiently listening to all of the warnings Guardian was giving him. His silence worried her.

“What is it?” She asked. 

“The assassin has already gotten past ninety-six floors, four more floors and they will be at my door. This assassin is exceptional indeed. Miss Thurman it is time for you to make an exit. Please walk over to that corner and stand where the red dot is.” He pointed to where the red dot touched the floor. Without question and fear of her life she ran to the corner standing over the red dot. 

-Warning! Intruder has breached the one hundredth floor! She is standing right outside the bedroom door! Shutting down all defensive weapons!- Guardian said.

“What the hell?” Leslie shouted upon hearing this. Why would the Guardian system shit down it’s defenses? Surely they had been hacked. The metal door raised and the bedroom door opened on its own. A black clad assassin stood holding a sword in one hand, it was true what the computer said, the uniform was tight to the body revealing a females form. She was tall and thin, her face was covered in a Ninja style mask, only her eyes could be seen. 

“Authorizing escape hatch!” Marc hastily spoke. A cylindrical tube dropped where Leslie Thurman stood taking her by surprise. Miniature rocket boosts bellow the tube ignited pushing the tube upward in the direction it had dropped from the ceiling. She placed both hands on the protective glass watching the assassin sprint into the room before the tube disappeared into the ceiling escape shaft. Marc pointed his gun shooting at the would be killer who effortlessly dodged each shot coming closer to him with each step. When she was upon him she swung her sword across his stomach, he stepped back unharmed from the sword attack.He continued to shoot at her yet still missing even at close range. He cursed humanites speed and reaction. Stepping back he stumbled falling to the ground. She lunged forward bringing her sword down on his leg while he tried scampering away from her, and again the sword did no damage. Marc turned shooting at the assassin point blank range. She side stepped then rolled behind his bed as gunfire flew past her. Marc stood he kept his gun on the bed, he fired his weapon knowing that it would shoot through the mattress. He kept firing shooting holes in the mattress until the bed actually caught fire. He paused waiting to see if he had at least injured the assassin, both hands held his gun firmly pointed at the burning mattress. The fire alarm system shot down from the ceiling a type of white foam that instantly put out the fire. He felt a slight ripple seeing the smoke shift,  the assassin appeared out of thin air through the smoke, she had uncloaked herself just a few feet away from him her sword was swinging toward his neck. His instincts kicked in, his finger squeezing on the trigger, yelling loudly eyes wide with anticipation and fear. The gun did not make its mark, she merely side stepped again with amazing humanite speed which was far superior to Marc’s slower human reaction time. She brought her sword to his neck slicing through it, his head was taken clean off of his shoulders, he still continued to pull the trigger, the head still screaming as it hit the ground. It all happened that fast. 

Midnight Blue appeared striking the woman in the stomach as Marc’s body fell to the ground, she kept her sword in front of her catching her breath. 

“Wait!” She forced out. Midnight Blue stepped forward striking her across the face, she rolled with the punch moving to the side, she swung a well placed kick to the side of his head. Rolling to the ground she stood up quickly pulling off her mask. “Marc Vega stop!” She said raising her hand out in front of her. 

Midnight Blue paused hearing the name. “What?” He said. 

“I know who you are! I am Selena Vega, your twin sister!” Her words stunned Midnight Blue.

“Guardian run full system DNA scan on the intruder!” He said coldly.

-Selena Vega was able to override my systems temporarily due to having identical DNA on the touch controls Marc. This must be corrected for it is a fail in the system. Full DNA scans show that she is your sister however, otherwise she would not have been able to tamper with my security overrides- Guardian said. 

Marc took off his helmet and mask staring at Selena with a frown. “You owe me a personnel droid.” He said coldly.

End

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