Archives for posts with tag: Fiction

CHAPTER 2

The sounds were remote at first and became more prevalent as minutes passed. Te’ori was hoping to herself that she was just hearing things, that the sounds weren’t what she thought they were but looking over at the focused glare on Nana’s face as Nana kept her eyes glued across the clearing where the forest continued, Te’ori knew that something was coming. Nana kept looking, her eyes darted about waiting to see what would emerge. Maybe it wasn’t horses. After all this was a forest and various types of animals lived here. The sound drew nearer and it became very obvious that it was the hooves of galloping horses striking the ground, and not just one horse but many. Maybe it was wild horses Te’ori said to herself. She had heard that sometimes wild horses made their way into the Boki Forest and that some even grazed and lived further north of the Boki. As the sounds of hooves made their way closer to the clearing despair set in and Te’ori desperately thought of other possibilities. It was possible that it was lost travelers, yes indeed Te’ori said to herself. But in Te’ori’s entire time living in Hok Village she had never laid eyes on a traveler, not a one. The Boki was too dangerous and too large. Nana had told Te’ori that once she discovered the remains of a few lost travelers years back, but that was miles to the south far past Hok. Even a skilled traveler would would not survive if they traveled to Hok from outside the forest. That was why Nana chose the heart of the forest for the village to settle. The Boki was vast and many brown bears lived here, they were fierce and territorial. If not for Te’ori making a bond when she was a little girl with Bear the brown bears would’ve made it difficult for the villagers. Bear was a child of the shimana, and because he was a host of not only magic but also nanites he had gained higher intelligence. Bear was smarter, faster, and stronger than the other brown bears of the Boki and was also immortal. Bear had become their leader. And since Te’ori was also a child of the shimana the two seemed to hit it off well they were very close. Te’ori was six years old when Bear entered Hok Village, he had sensed Te’ori and peacefully came to investigate. Te’ori had to reassure the villagers that Bear would not harm them and that he was only there to greet her. It was then that the villagers held Te’ori in even higher regard, they saw her almost like a goddess. The child healer that also spoke to fierce bears and befriended them. Often Te’ori would go out and spend long hours with Bear. For this reason no matter how many times Nana would try to sway the villagers from believing that Te’ori was not a goddess the people including the Chief would not listen.

At last the first horse broke through the forest into the clearing at Old Pass, it was black. Te’ori’s heart stopped momentarily as she eyed the rider on the back of the horse. The rider wore a gas mask that came from the old world, it kept his face and identity hidden making him seem soulless. He was shirtless and his skin was grey with smeared mud. A brown leather strap went across his shoulder, that strap held a rifle. Te’ori had never seen one save for in her vision, but she had heard how easily the rifle could take a mans life from Nana. It was a single fire rifle that upon shooting had to be reloaded. That was why a belt of bullets were strapped around the soldiers hips for faster reloading. He wore dirty looking loose grey camouflage pants which was also something worn from the old world as well as worn black army boots. Attached to the side of the horses saddle was a machete resting in its scabbard. There could be no doubt now, this was a soldier of Law. Behind the soldier in a single file five other black horses broke into the clearing, all of thier riders wore the same garb as the first rider, the only thing that varied was the weapon that was attached to the horses saddle. But all of them had a rifle strapped to their shoulder. She had heard stories from Nana and other villagers how good at shooting those rifles Law soldiers were, that they were very accurate, and that Law soldiers were very skilled fighters with their battle weapon of choice. She had also heard they were skilled hand to hand fighters. All of this information that Te’ori had learned about Law flooded her mind making her become very afraid. The fierce killing machines that showed no remorse for their victims were now riding across Old Pass, to Te’ori’s delight they were not riding toward the hill but instead in another direction. Under her breath she repeated to herself like a mantra that the riders would continue on. If they continued their course they would very well get lost. But the soldiers had made it this far. They had gotten past the brown bears and the other dangers of the forest, and had indeed not gotten lost, Te’ori had realized this and her heart sank. Even if the Law soldiers continued on they would eventually make their way to Hok Village. She started to see why Nana wanted them both to leave. Te’ori hadn’t really taken this situation too seriously until she saw the soldiers of Law. Now this was all too real, and very dangerous. She would not fail the village, she would practice more to perfect her magic. She told herself that she would be the guardian of Hok Village, that she would make things right from her original oversight. Nana pulled her head back from the bushes as if avoiding something, she looked over seeing Te’ori was still looking through. She softly called to Te’ori who didn’t respond. She heard Nana calling but she was too focused on watching the soldiers casually ride off. It was then she felt eyes staring at her. Te’ori looked at the last horseman who was looking right at her. Nana pulled Te’ori back from the bushes but it was too late, she had been spotted. The soldier cried out raising his fist high above him, the others stopped their horses turning them around to face the last solider. Nana pushed the bushes apart slightly seeing the soldiers conversing, she looked over at Te’ori who had foolishly poked her head through the brush again, this time all of the soldiers started chanting a war chant when they saw her. They raced their horses toward the hill. Te’ori pulled her head back realizing this was where her vision started. Her heart was beating so fast, she was terrified. This was really happening now. Nana reached over grabbing Te’ori by the arm, the fear had grasped Te’ori so deeply she had almost forgotten that Nana was there.

“Prepare yourself!” Nana said looking Te’ori directly in the eyes. She led Te’ori back through the pits as the sounds of the horses made their way up the hill. Standing behind the last pit Nana let go of Te’ori’s arm keeping her eyes fixed on the bushes where they were just standing. The sounds of the galloping horses slowed eventually coming to a stop. The Law soldier brought his horse up to the bush then pulled his machete from its scabbard and proceeded to hack away at a portion of the bush in front of him until he made a small clearing. Slowly he urged his horse through to the other side stopping inches from the first pit. The other riders slowly came through lining up side by side. The soldiers waited and silently stared at Nana and Te’ori, Nana tried to understand what was going on.

“Why aren’t they attacking?” Nana said out loud. She had hoped that at least a few would’ve fallen victim to the pits but none had. This was not happening as Te’ori’s vision had predicted. The soldiers seemed to know that the pits were there but how? A deep growl came from their right catching Nana and Te’ori’s attention. From the bushes came a large feline looking creature with thin reddish fur. On all fours it stood five feet tall. It was thinly built and looked like its relative the wolf. But the renwolf was a far superior apex predator. Like Te’ori it was birthed of the shimana. The nanites that it hosted gave it intelligence and the usual heightened abilities that went along with being part of the shimana. But the renwolf had taken on a vile mentality which made it truly sinister. The magic of the renwolf made its host have completely silent steps, it moved undetected by its prey. This made it very dangerous and a perfect creature to be used by General Juma in hunting and tracking enemies of Law. When Te’ori caught sight of it she saw the intelligence in its eyes, it was terrifying to see. “Now would be the time to show me what you have been bragging about.” Nana said but Te’ori did not hear her, the renwolf had her full attention; she was paralyzed and that wasn’t what Nana wanted to see. Nana reached out placing one hand on Te’ori’s should and shook it vigorously as the renwolf lowered its head sniffing it’s way around the hidden pits. Raising its head the renwolf trotted faster coming closer, it’s eyes were locked on Te’ori as being its first victim. “Te’ori do something!” Nana yelled nervously, the soldiers found the spectacle amusing and they began laughing. The renwolf went from a trot to a much faster pace closing in on Te’ori. She could not move, all she could do was stare at the large creature as it made its way toward her. Finally the renwolf leapt at Te’ori, it’s claws came out prepared to grip her flesh. She saw its mouth open, saliva dropped down its fangs eager to taste her flesh. It was so close Te’ori smelled the odors that came from its breath. The renwolf turned its jaws sideways to lock onto Te’ori’s throat, Nana cried out but Te’ori still did not move. Nana pushed Te’ori out of the snapping jaws of the renwolf by seconds and reached out with incredible speed gripping the surprised renwolf by the throat. It yelped momentarily as it gasped for air. Now it was the renwolf that was concerned for its life.

Te’ori fell to the ground from the force of Nana’s push, she looked up seeing Nana holding the renwolf by the throat swiping its paws at her. With ease she avoided the swatting paws. With a quick motion of her wrist there was a soft snapping sound at which point the renwolf’s body went limp. Nana tossed the renwolf’s body to the pit in front of her where its body became impaled on the steaks below. The Law soldiers were caught off guard as they scrambled for their rifles. Nana raised her bloodied hand string at it. Her hand flipped inward toward her forearm with a mini gun flipping from the other side replacing where the hand was, there were four small holes on a circular shaped silver barrel that came to a point facing outward. There was another larger hole in the center, it started spinning. Nana pointed the mini gun at the soldiers who realized all too late what was going on. Laser fire released from each outside hole per second at the barrel spun. The lasers struck the bodies of the Law soldiers with great accuracy and in turn each of them shuddered before falling back off of their horses hitting the ground lifeless. Smoke rose from the holes in the soldiers bodies. The mini gun flipped back being replaced by a hand again. The horses ran off as Nana turned to Te’ori who was staring at Nana’s hand.

“What are you?” Te’ori asked, tears flowed down her face. Of everything that Te’ori had just witnessed, the coming of Law and watching a renwolf coming at her to take her life it was seeing Nana as she’d never seen her before that shocked her the most. Nana reached out with her hand to comfort Te’ori who smacked the hand staring at it as if the hand were poison. Te’ori backed away. “What are you?” She asked again. The first time she asked her voice was weak and faint, now her voice was filled with anger and disbelief. It hurt Nana to see Te’ori look at her that way, she now saw in her beloved Te’ori’s eyes the start of the decline of her loss of innocence. What hurt Nana most was that it was because of her that it started. Te’ori went from a saddening cry to a rage filled one. Her breathing was rapid, fists balled up with her arms to the side. “Are you even human?” Te’ori yelled out. Nana lowered her head closing her eyes.

“No…” She said. She had to fight to even say it. There was shame in her words. She turned off her emotion sensors in hopes to hide how she was feeling from Te’ori. Or perhaps she just wanted to hide from herself. The guilt of lying all of those years to the child she has grown to love as a daughter was heavy upon her. At first Nana knew it was just part of her mission, it was in her programming to lie to Te’ori for her own good. Over time she developed the guilt but was able to lie to herself that it was ok. She had told Te’ori that she had come from a long dead race of people and that she traveled the lands aimlessly until she stumbled upon Te’ori as a child and found her in the middle of a burning village where all the people had been slain, by who she didn’t know. Te’ori had asked of her origins when she was ten cycles old, and another when she was twelve but no more after that. It seemed a bit much to swallow that her parents and people had been wiped from the earth, that she was the only one left. There was comfort in knowing that Nana and her were the same in that regard, the only two of their respective people left, and for this their bond was un breakable. The realization of Te’ori being lied to now threatened that bond.

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Prologue

The world of the five races of humans, humanites, feya, the mutates, and artificial intelligence would rise up against a power none of them had ever expected or seen before. A power that came from the heavens crashing to the earth below and instantly wiping out millions upon entry. The elites of the humanites came first against the Mad God and were easily dispatched. Mutates that were elite also tried but failed. But it was the feya with the greatest among them coming together under the leadership of their most powerful Papa Jinx a spell to bring down the Mad God was created and released on the world to protect the world. The spell worked and brought down the Mad God down and he fled deep underground to escape his fate by magic. He went into a self induced sleep to keep the magic at bay. But the magic that was meant to bring down the Mad God swept across the world instantly wiping out the humanite race, the A.I. And destroying all technology. But the spell did not stop there. To the horror of the feya the self proclaimed protectors of mankind the spell that they set loose on the world to save humanity wiped out ninety persons of the human race. The feya went into seclusion after this in shame. And over a few thousand years in a strange twist of evolution, the nanites that fled thier human hosts doing much like the Mad God going deep into the earth had somehow bonded with the magic that destroyed most life and all technology. This merging brought about the shimana. Ten thousand years has passed since the Day the Mad God fell from the heavens. The world has much changed parts of it reshaped by the shimana itself. New creatures have emerged living alongside those of the original ecosystem. Small villages or clans are sprinkled across Old America. Over time the history of the old world and the five races were forgotten by most. And even the name of the Mad God had changed. He was now known as the Dark Dreamer. And the Dark Dreamer was still a threat to humanity. He would bide his time until his strength returned. And when it did, woe to the earth.


It had been several days since Hiro and Luana escaped from the VCI reserve, and without incident. They were able to stay under the radar of Overwatch Prime who searched for them. They avoided cities where they would be noticed, and stuck to traveling through smaller rural areas where people tended to mind their own business, but even that was still a risk. Luana stole a vehicle and destroyed its GPS tracer, and the onboard insurance camera so that the vehicle could not be traced. And yet again Hiro wondered what she was that she could tinker and manipulate the electronic devices, was she a mutate, or humanite? It was frustrating to him that Luana was so guarded about herself, he helped her escape VCI, the least should could do was open up and give him more information about herself. He knew nothing about her save for that she came from VCI and was possibly a test subject as he was. The cause of his frustrations were that he found himself attracted to her, and no matter how much he told himself it was a bad idea he ended becoming that much more attracted to her. The stolen car was fine until they were spotted by a police car, a chase ensued and Luana eventually lost their pursuers thanks to her fancy driving. The car was heavily damaged though so they had to ditch it and walk on foot. The duo found themselves walking out in the country in green wide open hilly fields. The one and only goal was to get out of Kentucky and as far away from VCI as possible. They did not realize how difficult that would be. They were still in Kentucky, and only a few days away from VCI. It was time for Hiro to replenish again, he could feel his power slowly fading. He stopped walking.

“Wait.” He said looking around. Luana stopped and looked back at Hiro impatiently. 

“What are you doing?” She asked.

“Searching for any body of water. A creek, river, pond, or lake. Anyplace I can replenish.” 

“So you have to be immersed in water to do that?” Luana asked. Hiro closed his eyes sniffing the air for traces of water sources. Luana thought he looked foolish.

“Depends on my level of weakness. The way you found me the other day on the VCI reserve? That time I needed to be immersed in water, I was too drained. Right now a nice tall glass of water would suffice as it has since we left the reserve because I replenished. But if I don’t get a glass soon, I will need more than just a glass of water in a few hours. I don’t want to get at that level of weakness again ever!”

“So you can maintain your power levels like you had back at the lake against the Black Squad?”

“No. The only time I have that kind of power is if I am immersed water. But I’m not a weakling either even when I am not in water, just not at that level.” Hiro shook his head realizing something. “Why am I telling you things about me when you don’t say shit about you to me? How about let’s not have a double standard? I have busted my ass to help a damn woman I don’t even know!” Hiro said enraged. Luana looked at him with focused temper. 

“Did you forget that if not for me you’d still be laying on your ass back in the reserve waiting for Black Squad to pick you up?” 

“You won’t guilt me with that, because you needed me! That’s why you came to me to begin with! In fact Black Squad caught you pretty quickly! That damn gun you had didn’t even do anything for you to stop them, and swinging a tree trunk at them was useless as well! You say I would still be laying on the ground back on that reserve? But I freed you from your shackles! Or did you forget? You have done nothing but treat me like a piece of shit and talk down to me! But maybe you’re the piece of shit! Did you ever think of that? You’re nothing but a cold hearted bitch!” His words were hurtful to her, she tried to wave them off but found all she could do was lower her head and catch her breath trying to digest it all. Hiro expected Luana to lash out angrily at him, he waited. She grabbed the zipper that was in the middle of her VCI jumpsuit and unzipped it by pulling the zipper down to her midsection. She then opened the suit exposing her breasts, Hiro stepped back in shock. “What are you doing?” He said bringing his arms up defensively, he did not realize he was doing this but he had never seen a woman’s breasts before. Luana remained silent. Pulling her arms out of the jumpsuit she lowered pushing it down off of her hips, once she did that the jumpsuit fell to her ankles. She stood back up to reveal that she was fully naked. Hiro stared at her body taking it all in. She was flawless, so beautiful. 

“I owe you for helping me escape, fuck me.” She said in a saddened voice. Hiro looked up at her eyes his own wide in disbelief.

“What?” He gasped. Luana did not blink, her face was bland.

“I said fuck me.” She said without emotion. Hiro turned his back to her feeling flustered. 

“No!” He said sounding like a little boy, there was shame in his voice for the desires he was now feeling. 

“You know you want to, I can tell.” She said calmly. “Your heartbeat is elevated, you also have an erection.” 

“You don’t know what I’m feeling!” He said defensively, he kept his back to her. 

“I know exactly what you’re feeling, I was created for the pleasure of men. And right now I know you want to fuck me.” Luana stood there waiting patiently. It was then Hiro realized what she just said to him, he quickly turned around staring into her eyes starting to understand.

“You said created. Everything that you have done so far, it makes sense. Hacking electric equipment, listening in on radio communications, enhanced strength and speed. You’re an android aren’t you?” Hiro could see in Luana’s eyes the pain of the reality of what he just said. She fought down her emotions and kept her eyes locked on his.

“This will be the last time I ask you. Do you want to fuck me or not? I can assure you that I can bring you great pleasure, it was why I was created.” Upon saying that Luana’s eyes began to well up with tears, but her face showed no sadness. Hiro had now calmed and took pity on her. 

“No, it would be wrong to do so.” He said softly.

“I can assure you that your moral code would not be scarred if you fucked me. Or do you mean your moral code would not be left in tact if you fucked a pleasure droid?” Tears streams fully down the sides of her face. 

“I merely meant that it would be wrong to take advantage of a woman in such ways.” Hiro looked to the ground. Luana reached down and pulled her jumpsuit up dressing herself. She zipped it up then spoke.

“Since you said that you did not want to fuck me I am no longer obligated to pay you for your services. This is where we part ways Mr. Oda.” She said. Turning around she walked off going down the winding hills, Hiro watched her walk away unsure what to do, he was in utter disbelief. The biggest disbelief was that his heart had not changed in regards to the feelings he felt for Luana. But now this new series of events most certainly made things a triffle more difficult, and that was an understatement. 


Valhalla sat in the chair in his penthouse watching the news from a large monitor on the wall, Director Biyase stood silently with his arms crossed in front of him, he stood in front of Valhalla’s office desk. After the news went off about Hiro, Valhalla laughed a hearty laugh standing up clapping his hands, the monitor shut off. 

“Sacred? Overwatch Prime is sending Sacred to bring down H2O?” He clapped his hands once excitedly while walking around his desk toward the director. “This will be a full out test for H2O, let’s see if he comes into the realization of his true power. I need some damn popcorn for this battle!” He patted Director Biyase on the shoulder, Biyase did not seem amused. It was a strange friendship between the two indeed. 

“So everything is going according to your plans then?” Biyase said looking at Valhalla blankly. 

“I honestly won’t know yet. But this battle? H2O has true power, and I think he is more than a match for Sacred, but he just has to come into his power before then! A true battle of the gods indeed!” Valhalla giggled like a little boy, Biyase just stared at him with almost debatable disgust, Valhalla took notice. He calmed himself, the smile wiped from his face, the laughter now gone from his voice. Valhalla walked over to the viewing window looking out over the city. “You don’t understand all of this my friend, but it is all necessity. I have seen things that maybe I’ll tell you one day, maybe even today.”

“And what if I do not really care to know?” Biyase said coldly. Valhalla turned looking at Biyase with a half smile.

“If someone knew the day of your death, would you want to know the day you died and how, so you could avoid it?” The two men stared at one another in silence upon Valhalla’s question. Finally the director spoke.

“It would not be important to know, what is meant, is meant.” Biyase said with calm conviction.

“Oh come now, you don’t really believe that bullshit do you? You make it sound as if you believe in fate. But you’re a humanite, your kind don’t believe in such things. But then again, Sacred believes in God so who knows?” 

“A belief is an opinion, what I know to be factual is that one can not stop what is meant to be!” Biyase said it firmly. Valhalla turned back around looking out of the viewing window crossing his arms. He chose not to bicker over this, there were more important things to speak of.

“I stand corrected. One can not debate facts? But maybe one would stand a better chance if he understood the facts!” Valhalla said. 

“And what is there to understand if you see the truth before you?” Biyase asked, now it was Valhalla’s turn to be silent for a moment before speaking.

“Excuse me, I misquoted. Let me rephrase.” Valhalla turned facing the director again, he placed both hands into the pockets of his suit pants, he was very serious looking. “If someone knew the day that most of the people on this planet died, would you want to know how so you could avoid the end of mostly all life on this planet?” Valhalla’s eyes went serious, and for the first time Biyase showed the emotion of curiosity. Valhalla’s words had drawn him in. 

“What is it that you know?” Biyase asked very seriously, he knew that for Valhalla to say what he did he had good reason. 

“Oh, so now I have your attention? Maybe after we see how this ordeal with H2O turns out I will tell you.” Valhalla walked away, Biyase did not try to stop him, or ask anymore questions. He knew there would be another time. 


“In the news today, there has been more information on the Mutate known as Hiro Oda. As National News Network reported first that two days ago the Mutate broke out of his containment water based cell at one of VCI’s private facilities in Kentucky. VCI immediately released that several guards were killed during the mutates escape from the facility. At a press conference the head of VCI Magnus Valhalla reported that he was deeply saddened by this series of troubled events. Valhalla also stated that quite possibly Oda might have suffered shock while in the holding tank which made him lose his mind sending him into the fury that made him want to break out of the containment cell. Valhalla wanted to stress that Hiro Oda signed a contract with VCI to undergo study so that scientists could better understand the DNA structure of the mutate which could help them better understand mutates in general. Oda was paid the sum of five million dollars for a one year study. It was believed by VCI scientists that Oda was just a lower level mutate but after Black Squad clashed with him on VCI’s private reserve in Kentucky, the battle left one of the members of Black Squad dead. We tried reaching Overwatch Prime for a statement but as usual they stayed pretty tight lipped. Yesterday we obtained a leaked video from an employee at VCI of the entire confrontation and we at National News feel that Hiro is not a low level mutate but in fact an elite level mutate. After we aired that video public opinion seems to be that many are worried the Oda could be the next Fusion, and in the minds of every American, no one has forgotten the death and devastation that Fusion caused. In a press conference this morning CEO of VCI Magnus Valhalla expressed that he was not aware of the power levels of Oda as his team was only a few weeks into studying Oda when the escape occurred. He further went onto say that Oda himself said that he felt he was only a lower power leveled mutate and showed no signs of elite levels, and that all of this comes as a surprise to Valhalla and to his team. Valhalla and VCI have promised to help local law enforcement and Overwatch Prime in anyway possible to aid in the capture of Hiro Oda. But it is come to our attention that Overwatch Prime who has fully taken over in this matter. In an official press conference over an hour ago Overwatch Prime released a statement confirming that Hiro Oda is indeed an elite level mutate, and that they are now sending an elite level mutate to bring him down. Overwatch Prime also released that they will be sending the humanite Sacred to bring down Oda. As many know the humanite Sacred is a devout believer in God, something that most humanites do not believe in since they are born of science. Sacred claims to have a direct connection with God and says all humanites detect the presence of God but choose not to see it, andgor this he has stirred much controversy. Whether or not one would believe what he says about God, it can not be debated the immense power Sacred has. It is said his power levels are above even American Warriors and maybe even giving Kinetic Balance a run for his money. We are sure at National News that Sacred was not just picked for his elite speed and strength. He can also generate high amounts of heat from his body and unleash that heat from his hands at his enemies. Heat versus water, sounds like Hiro Oda’s days of freedom are evaporating. We will keep the public posted on any new events as it occurs. This is Jay Marshall with National News Network.”


Luana seems to avoid Hiro’s question as to what she was. She obviously holds special powers. But what is she? Humanite? Or Mutate? 

Who will Overwatch Prime send to eliminate Hiro? Will Hiro and Luna ever escape and find peace? 

But wait a minute…

We already know what Hiro is running from. What is Luana running from?


Black Squad received a silent message that H2O was headed toward a water source for replenishing. While they jogged Alpha glanced around to his squad. The helmet was completely smooth as were all Black Squad helmets. To enhance the nanites in the humanities bodies a special helmet was made to better utilize what the nanites could do making them more sensitive to their surroundings. Taking away complete eye sight was the way to do this. Without vision the nanites would work for their host even harder. The helmet had sensors all over the helmet that the nanites communicated with giving the squad member the ability to see in any direction at will. This meant a Black Squad member really did have eyes in the back of their head, but also on the top of their head and the sides. Alpha reached out to his squad via the nanites, speech was not needed. This though was nothing special, all humanities could communicate this way, but most chose to vocally speak to one another most of the time. The squad had deliberately trailed behind Hiro and Luana for most of the half mile waiting to see if they would make the first move or the first mistake, neither had happened. But once the squad was alerted that Hiro was trying to make his way toward the pond and that they were close to it, Black Squad decided to finish this now before Hiro had a chance to replenish, they were told by VCI that they were not aware what would happen to Hiro or what threat level he would be if he were to replenish; Black Squad did not want to give Hiro the opportunity. Alpha alerted his squad to fan out. Beta, and Gama along with Alpha would continue to advance, Delta, and Epsilon would flank cutting Hiro off from the water source. Upon receiving their orders and plan of attack the squad moved with precision spreading out. Delta and Epsilon picked up speed each cutting off into the forest from the left and right moving into flank positions. 
Hiro could smell the water now, they were very close. He trailed behind Luana but started to pick up speed in the excitement of knowing that soon he would be immersed in water. He was not fully aware of what he could do, but he did know that water made it incredibly hard for Hiro to be hurt, he knew this from a series of tests that was done on him while in captivity. Luana sensed something and looked to her left then to her right detecting hidden motion. She knew that Delta and Epsilon had just passed them. She slowed looking out in front of her. Quickly extending her arm she halted Hiro who was confused. Pushing her arm out of his way he was about to force his way past her when Delta and Epsilon broke from their camouflage revealing shiny coal black armor. From their palms non lethal concussive laser fire was unleashed upon Hiro and Luana. There was no need to carry weapons, a Black Squad warriors armor was a weapon. Luana dodged the laser fire with cat like agility, Hiro was not so fortunate being struck in the chest several times sending him off of his feet smashing into a tree. Dropping to one knee Luana opened fire shooting at the Black Squad members, the laser fire that she unleashed struck Epsilon but was absorbed by his kinetic force field. She tossed the weapon aside knowing it was useless, then quickly went back to where Hiro was slow to standing. The concussive laser had knocked the wind out of him. He was hunched over gasping for air, Luana saw Alpha, Beta, and Gamma uncloak behind Hiro a few feet away. 

“I am Alpha, commander of this Black Squad unit. I order you both to surrender immediately! If you do, both of you will avoid bodily harm or possible termination! This is your only warning!” 

Hiro fully stood catching his breath, looking behind him he saw Alpha, Beta, and Gamma with their arms raised, palms pointed in his and Luana’s direction. Turning he saw Delta and Epsilon with their palms pointed in his direction. Luana stepped close to Hiro. 

“The pond is below, right past the two Black Squad soldiers in front of us through that brush is a cliff. If you can make it past them all you have to do is dive into the pond!” Luana said softly. She knew that Black Squad could hear her even though she whispered. She looked Hiro dead in the eyes, he und that she had a plan.

“We can’t make it!” He said following her que.

“Then let me just take a moment to soak this all in. I was not looking to be enslaved again, but I suppose there is no other alternative but to give up.” Luana walked over to a thin tree trunk placing her hand against it before resting her head upon it. She took a moment to just calm and relax her mind, Hiro just stared at her along with Black Squad. 

“Enough! Comply or be overtaken!” Alpha ordered. 

“Yea…” Luana said under her breath. Quickly dropping she gripped the tree trunk with both hands. Standing she lifted the trunk from its roots totally surprising Hiro. “Run dumb ass!” She yelled at him as she rushed Delta and Epsilon with the small tree. The two Black Squad soldiers opened with a new hail of concussive non lethal fire from their palms. Luana swung the trunk smacking the lasers away but as she did so parts of the tree was cut and ripped to shreds causing tree bark to fly and scatter into the air. Hiro took off behind Luana he could feel the rest of Black Squad taking up pursuit. When she was near Delta and Epsilon Luana swung the tree at them, both of them scattered which caused a clearing. Hiro saw the opening and ran as fast as he could. Laser fire hit him in the shoulder, then he was shot in the legs causing a deep stinging sensation. He was close now and could not stop even with the pain that throbbed in his leg. When Alpha saw that Hiro would succeed he ordered all in the unit to proceed with lethal fire. Alpha placed his palm downward his fingers pointed at Hiro’s back. Palms were non lethal concussive fire known as the hammer hand, finger tips were lethal laser fire called the sword hand. Hiro ran not looking back, he broke through the brush finally seeing the pond below. He smiled with gratification just as a laser shot through the back of his head causing it to explode in a spray of red. The force of the strike sent Hiro’s body forward hurling it off of the cliff splashing heavily into the pond below. 

Luana’a eyes went wide with disbelief, her one chance of being free was gone. Hiro was eliminated. She was struck in the back by non lethal concussive force. She fell to the ground stunned, the electric shock made her body convulse. Black Squad had orders to bring Luana back unharmed and alive, it was only Hiro who they had the option to keep alive or dead. Black Squad gathered around Luana who was lying on the ground shivering as her body convulsed. Alpha ordered Epsilon to recover Hiro’s body while reported in to Overwatch Prime. Epsilon walked through the brush where Hiro broke through at his attempt. He stopped at the edge of the thirty foot drop looking down at the pond for Hiro’s body. A basic visual detected no body floating on the surface, Epsilon finally detected Hiro’s body at the bottom of the pond but something wasn’t right. He did a deep scan of Hiro’s body, it still showed signs of life, faint at first was the heartbeat, but with each passing second it was growing stronger. One beat of the heart passed and the next would be twenty seconds, then the next was fifteen seconds, and then the next ten. Luana was now shackled and ready for transport, now what Epsilon was detecting caught the attention of the rest of Black Squad. The others congregated around Epsilon scanning and watching what he had been for the past minute. The Black Squad transport flew overhead prepared to have Luana brought aboard, Alpha alerted the ship to hold position and await further orders. 

The surface of the pond began to ripple softly until waves violently pushed from its center. The earth shook then stopped abruptly. Alpha ordered his squad to go into defensive formations, this battle was far from over. Hiro broke from the surface of the water, it violently erupted around him. Hiro’s eyes were lucid, water flickering from them but not falling as tears do, the water stayed in place where his eye sockets were. Hiro moved with pure fluidity and incredible speed, the water pushed him upward with Hiro landing on the edge. He dashed forward grabbing Alpha at the neck with one hand. Alpha grabbed Hiro’s arm with both hands but found that even with the power of his suit and his humanite strength he could not break free from Hiro’s hold. Alpha pointed his finger tips at Hiro unleashing the full lethal laser force of his suit which struck Hiro and point blank range, Hiro smiled.

“The likes of you can’t harm me now! I am replenished!” Hiro said, and with that he snapped Alpha’s neck then dropped the leader of Black Squad’s body to the ground. The rest of Black Squad were no fools, they scattered into the forest. Hiro cared less to take up pursuit. The ship above raised high into the sky in hopes of being avoided, Hiro and Luana were now alone. 

“Are you going to just stand there, or are you going to get me out of these damn shackles?” Luana said looking up at Hiro as she lay on the ground. The two stared at one another briefly, Hiro looking at Luana’s blue eyes, and Luana looking at the watery blue fluidity that was Hiro’s eyes at the moment. Kneeling down Hiro reached out grabbing the unbreakable shackles that were around Luana’s wrists, his fingers dug into them causing them to crack and shatter freeing her. Hiro looked Luana’s face over admiringly, she took notice. “Don’t look at me like that!” She said coldly before standing up. He felt a little stupid after Luana put him in his place so he decided to recover.

“So what’s your story?” He asked. Luana turned her back to him rubbing her wrists where they had been shackled, she looked down at the ground. 

“What?” She said.

“You have agility that is off the scales, and last time I checked human women can’t pull a tree from its roots and swing it around with ease. So what are you? Humanite or Mutate?” 

Luana searched her surroundings scanning the trees.

“We need to get out of here.” She said avoiding Hiro’s question.

“Black Squad fled.” Hiro said proudly.

“No, they regrouped, there’s a difference. And right now they are chatting it up with Overwatch Prime discussing which elite they need to send to end you.” Luana continued to search her surroundings while she spoke. Hiro wondered how she knew that Black Squad was communicating with Overwatch Prime, it was obviously yet another power of hers, he decided now was not the time to press the issue, but there would be a time. 

“I am not worried about Overwatch Prime! As long as I am in or near water they can not harm me!” Hiro said defiantly. It was then Luana turned looking at him with an irked glaze in her eyes. 

“That’s nice for you, but you didn’t do so well against making sure I stayed out of those damn shackles!” 

“I was weakened, but now I am at full strength. Did you not see that they blew my head clean off? And yet here I stand!” Hiro was even amazed by this but didn’t want to divulge it. Luana looked him up and down.

“Yea I did see that, near trick. But what if they send down a shit load of elites to take you down? What if they drain this pond? You’d be fucked that’s what!” She turned pointing off into the distance. “The exit out of the reserve is ten miles that way. Until we get out of here they will be able to see our every move, the forest is filled with hidden cameras.” She looked back to Hiro. “How long before you get like you were when I first saw you? Being as helpless as a baby?” 

“I don’t know, but that is a rare situation. I had to use all my power to break out of VCI’s holding tank, then fight my way out of the facility.”

“What makes you think you won’t have to fight like that until we are someplace safe, if there is ever a place?” Luana threw her hands up. “So what do you know about your powers?” 

“I honestly don’t know much, in fact it seems to be a learning process.” Hiro said looking a little confused. 

“Just great…” Luana said before taking off running. Hiro took off after her. From a monitor in his penthouse high above VCI corporate Valhalla sat in his office chair. Luana was correct, there were cameras hidden all over the reserve, Valhalla had been watching everything take place. He zoomed in on Hiro and Luana as they ran, his eyes focused on both of them. He rubbed his chin playing the mathematical ratios of chance over in his mind.