"Jo, what the hell are you saying?!" I ask as I grab Zach by his hand and back away from Jo. My palms immediately start to sweat and my heart starts to race as my thoughts run rampant in my mind.
Has he been a member of the Government this entire time? Was asking me to join Revenant just a way to have the Government keep tabs on me until they were ready to capture and kill me? Were Eden, Vex, and the others all in on this as well? Was them getting close to me all just a lie? I grip onto Zach's hand even more tightly as I start to look for a way to escape. But before I can even make a move Jo appears in front of me without me even noticing and he puts his hand on my shoulder.
When he does I can feel my body start to shut down on me. As I fall to the ground I can see Jo throw his cigarette into the dirt as he stomps it out.
"Hiroshi!" Zach yells as he gets onto the ground and starts to shake my body.
"I would highly recommend that you be quiet Zach. I promise you everything is going to be alright. Neither Hiroshi nor you are in any danger." Jo says as he pats me on my head.
Zach swipes at him but Jo easily deflects it as he grabs Zach's arm and sits him down next to me.
"I promise that I'm not going to harm either of you. In fact, we're still on the same side, I just need you two to listen to me for just a couple of minutes. I promise after I finish explaining everything it will all make sense, and then you can decide whether you still want to work with me or not. That goes for both of you. You two are the most important pieces of my plan. Hiroshi as the present, and Zach as the future."
I try my best to release my Echo to try and negate the effects of Jo's abilities but it's no use. I can't feel any part of my body. I've gone completely numb all over.
"You bastard! How the hell could you do this to me? I thought that we were working towards the same goal! Are you telling me that everything that you had me do was for nothing?! You said that Eden and the others don't even know about this, are you just toying with them too?" I growl at him.
"I'm not toying with anyone Hiroshi! If you would just calm down and listen to what I have to say then you would understand!" Jo yells at me as Zach shrinks away from him. "So to answer your question no. I am not working with the Government. Nor have I worked with them since I started Revenant. I'm not going to turn you in or kill either you or Zach so you can get that out of your mind right now."
I can feel myself calming down a little bit, but not enough to where I don't want to punch him in the face. I take a deep breath in and out as I nod my head.
"Fine. I'll listen to what it is that you have to say." I say to him. "But if I don't like what I hear, then I can't guarantee that I'm not going to try and hurt you after you free me from this body paralysis you put me under."
"Jo, you're not going to turn us in, are you? I mean you're not lying to us?" Zach as Jo as he grabs onto my hand. "I don't want to go with the Government, please don't make me go. I don't want to leave Hiroshi by himself."
"Zach, I promise on my life that I'm not going to turn you into the Government. You don't have to worry about Hiroshi, he's going to be perfectly fine, and because he's going to be fine I can promise that you'll be fine too alright?" Jo says as he kneels down in front of him.
As Jo reaches his hand out to touch Zach I can feel my Echo flare up as for a split second I break free from the paralysis that Jo put over my body. It's only for a split second but I release enough of my Echo to blow Jo away from Zach and me before I fall under his paralysis once again. Sparks of black and red lightning crackle off of my body as the hair on top of Jo's hair is raised a bit. I can see the shock on his face as he fixes his hair. He quickly regains his composure as he stands up off of the ground.
"Don't you fucking touch him," I growl at Jo. "As far as I'm concerned you're still the enemy until you prove otherwise.
Jo nods his head as he laughs.
"Of course. This is you we're talking about. You're the one who's angriest at the Government. You want to tear down any and everything that reminds you of them as do I. After seeing firsthand how they treat people, even Hybrids I made the choice to leave them, even at the threat of losing my own life I still did." Jo says. "I couldn't tell this to Eden, she's so enamored with me that if she found out about this that it would crush her will and spirit to fight. Kevin, on the surface he's so calculated with everything that he does but on the inside, I know that he truly cares for people even though he tries not to show it. I want him to open up more to people and if he finds out before I feel that he's ready then I fear that he'll never open up to anyone again. Vex, he finally seems to have found his place at Revenant, and most importantly he seems to have found a friend in you Hiroshi. His family has somewhere to live and I can see on his face how happy he is that that's the case. I don't want him to lose that."
"So when do you plan on telling them?" I growl at him. Jo chuckles a bit as he turns to me.
"I really don't know. I'm really a coward." Jo says as he takes a deep breath in and out. "But enough about that. Hiroshi, It's time for you to learn about everything that's lead up to the world being the way that it is. If after hearing this you decide to leave Revenant then so be it, but I won't stop you from trying to accomplish your goal, if you don't learn about your past then you'll be doomed to repeat it. That is an integral part of life, so let's begin." Jo says as he snaps his fingers. When he does that everything turns black all around us for a second, but after that initial darkness a desolate wasteland comes into view as the shadow of one man standing on a giant hill fills my vision.
"What you're looking at is the start of the era of superhuman abilities Hiroshi. This man who was born roughly one thousand years ago is referred to as The First." The first man who's body gave birth to abilities." Jo says as a group of people below the shadowed man all bow down to him. As I try to take in what Jo is showing me I can feel my body starting to get lighter and lighter as more and more people come into view. I'm in awe at the number of people that are actually bowing down to this one man.
"His abilities are unknown to us but what we actually have recorded are old testimonies. What's been passed down about his abilities is that he was powerful enough to have entire countries bow down to him." Jo says as lightning strikes around the shadowed man. "The First was born a Hybrid and using his powers he stopped all wars, ended world hunger, and single-handedly united every nation under him in the first twenty years of his abilities being awakened."
"And you're telling me that no one could stand up to him? Even after more people were born with abilities?" I ask Jo as he snaps his fingers and everything turns dark around me again. After he snaps his fingers once again a couple of beams of light shoot into the darkness as they orbit around a huge collection of light.
"At this point in time, The First was heralded as a hero and the savior of all of humanity. So fighting or going against him wasn't on anyone's mind. Since he was the sole leader of all of humanity while he was alive if a war were to be started up I'm positive he would either shut it down or snuff it out before it became a problem." Jo says as more lights start to appear and orbit around The First. "As more people awakened their abilities they sought to help keep the world the way that it was. The First would pick and choose those people who he thought would help him rule over the world the most."
"This guy doesn't even seem that bad. Even though he was in complete control of the world I'm surprised that he didn't do the whole take over the world cliche sort of thing." I say.
"From what I've heard about The First, he was a being pure of heart and good. He was beloved by everyone that he met and brought smiles to those around him. He didn't use his powers to rule those weaker than him. He used them to help those in need." Jo says as he looks at the ball of light. "He had an aura that drew powerful people to him. People that wanted him to help him create a better world than the one that they were living in before."
"Let me guess. They were all Hybrids too weren't they?" I ask Jo. Jo nods his head yes as he draws a line from the collection of light orbiting around The First and he extends it way down deep into the darkness. "Deviants didn't come into existence until long after The First formed his collection of Hybrids. The hierarchy that was established was that he had two extremely powerful guards and three powerful representatives that were spread out across the planet to act as his muscle and to reinforce the laws that he put out, and then below that obviously small-time Hybrids that either was strong enough to use their abilities for combat if need be and then those who weren't powerful enough and were regulated as a kind of police force, and some humans when there we some still around would join as well."
"So basically what you're describing is The formation of The Government," I say as Jo nods his head.
"Yes. Even though it wasn't called that at the point of its formation yes, The First was the one responsible for the formation of The Government. It wasn't originally meant to be the way that it is now but that's what happens over the course of time." Jo says as he swipes his hand. The course of hundreds of years past in front of me as the string representing Deviants starts to get pulled up as time passes in front of me. "After the death of The First his second in command took control of what he left behind and he continued his legacy of ensuring peace and happiness across the planet, even though he didn't have the kind of power The First had, he carried on his spirit and he commanded the same amount of respect that The First had and in doing so the world stayed a utopia, but of course this state of peace and tranquillity did not last long."
Jo raises his hand as time stops in front of me. When I look down at the string that is supposed to represent Deviants it stops short of the timeline that we're looking at right now.
"After many generations passed and the formation of The Government after the leader of the time passed away the new one who stepped in his position sought to disrupt this peace and to not serve this world, but to have the world serve him. So as a result his first decree as the leader of the world was to wipe out any and all people who weren't Hybrids, and those who chose to stand against him were wiped out as well. This man is regarded as The Reaper."
"The Reaper? What the hell? I've never heard about him or any of this. Why the hell am I just hearing about this now?" I ask Jo as he starts to chuckle a bit.
"The only people that really know this story are high Government Officials. Captains who were being trained to be Generals, obviously Generals, and The President as well." Jo says as he fixes his glasses.
"So were you a Captain or a General?" I ask him as I brace myself for the answer, but it never comes.
"The answer will come in due time. By the time I finish my story, you'll have the answers to your questions." Jo says as he swipes his hand in the air. When he does that a slideshow of a great war starts to play out in front of me as the string that represents Deviants completely disappears into the slideshow of war.
"Over the course of the next thirty years, a great war was raging across the planet. The Reaper and his three Captains and Two Generals slaughtered humans and even Hybrids alike that didn't stand with them, and then during that great war, the first generation of Deviants was born." Jo says as a picture of a woman with purple and blue eyes appears in front of us.
"This woman right here is the very first Deviant that was ever born. Her name was Athene, and with her birth, she brought about a new age of history." Jo says as the slideshow of war appears to be picking up in intensity. "This is around the time when abilities of incredibly powerful people started to be recorded, and as the first Deviant I'm sure that you can figure out that she was someone who was one of a kind and someone to not be trifled with."
"What could she do exactly?" I ask Jo as my mind starts to wander thinking about the possibilities. Was she someone like me? My abilities by themselves aren't really all that powerful, but in a group of people, I can become easily the most dangerous and annoying person to deal with in a fight.
"Her abilities truly matched her personality and what she stood for," Jo says as he taps on her forehead. When he does that a large picture of her appears in front of us of her fighting and slaughtering what appears to be Captains and Generals of the Government. I can feel a tingle run down my back as a slideshow of her fighting all of these people at once plays in front of us. "Named after the goddess of war her abilities granted her near invulnerability on top of incredible strength, stamina, speed, and probably the most important thing of all, will."
"After her birth and the birth of the new generation of Deviants the world that once only knew Hybrids and Humans had been flipped on its head," Jo says as a slideshow of people kicking, beating, and killing Deviants plays in front of me. I can feel my chest starting to tighten up as I watch this. Even back in the day Deviants still went through the same thing that we go through today. Nothing has changed in these past couple generations and it makes me sick.
"Going back to the war that was taking place The Reaper and his army were starting to lose ground on their grip on the world, so taking advantage of the world's unrest at the emergence of Deviants, The Reaper turned his attention to them, and most importantly Athene. The Reaper was afraid of Athene and the Deviants. He was afraid of their potential and the power that they could possibly develop and use against him. So what he did was turn his attention and his forces to the Deviants and using his status as the leader of the world and his abilities as well he managed to turn rally the entirety of the world onto his side and to turn them against Deviants."
"Rally the entire world to his side?! How the hell did he do that?! Didn't he just spend the last thirty years killing anyone who didn't go along with his plan to rule the world?!" I yell as I feel my anger starting to rise up inside of me. "How stupid could these people be? Those Deviants weren't bothering anyone at all. They didn't deserve any of what they're getting!"
"Believe me Hiroshi, I agree with you. I do. But you have to realize who was in control of the world at that point in time. The Reaper was the most powerful man in the world, in regards to abilities and status. When you have someone who can rewrite the memories of others the possibilities are endless. He can make you think that your own father murdered your entire family. He can make you think that you're an assassin that was sent to murder a Government official. His hands are clean, he doesn't kill anyone. He just lets his power do the work. That's why he's called The Reaper. A lot like the Grim Reaper he has never personally killed anyone."
"So what happened? How did this war end?" I ask as I start to feel my stomach starting to toss and turn. Jo takes a deep breath in and out as he snaps his fingers. After he does that a photo of what looks like a giant war between Hybrids and Deviants appears in front of me.
"After The Reaper rewrote the memories of everyone on the planet except for Hybrids and the humans that remained. He convinced everyone that Deviants were the cause for the great war that he had caused, and in throwing the blame on them he sent his entire army after Athene and any Deviant that existed. But of course, Athene didn't stand for this. She rallied those Deviants who had the strength to fight and in turn, a great battle that waged on for ten years ensued. Athene leading the Deviants, and The Reaper leading his army of Hybrids."
"So what happened? Who won the battle?" I ask Jo.
"You remember the picture that I showed you earlier of Athene covered in blood and fighting those Captains and Generals?" Jo says as I nod my head yes.
"Well at the end of everything, when all seemed lost. And with almost every Deviant on her side wiped out. Athene awakened her Echo and fought the entirety of the Government higher-ups by herself. One by one she slaughtered the three Captains, and then she killed The Reapers two Generals, and then with her Echo protecting her she managed to fight through The Reapers attempt to rewrite her mind and she killed him as well." Jo says.
"Good, as she should have. This Reaper guy seemed like an asshole." I say to Jo as he starts to laugh. Jo swipes his hand and what looks like ten years pass in front of me before Jo stops the slideshow again.
"The Reapers death Athene took the mantle of leader of the world and named herself The President," Jo says as he fixes his glasses. "I guess in a funny way she was trying to bring back the old order that was lost in the wake of The Reaper being the leader of the world."
"So a Deviant being President. Yeah, I definitely never heard about that. I guess having kids know information like that would make them strive to be like her." I say to Jo as I take a deep breath in and out.
"With the defeat of The Reaper at the hands of Athene the effects of his abilities had worn off on those that he had used it on, but in the wake of the war after everyone's minds had been returned to their original state only one thing remained. The aftermath of the destruction and deaths of The Reaper and the rest of The Hybrids, and upon seeing these two things had occurred. The eradication of ninety-nine percent of the human population as well as being left to shoulder the blame of overthrowing the leader of the world, as well as being left to shoulder the blame of the death of every Hybrid that had been killed in that war, and once all of the people that survived the war came back to their senses The Reaper had managed to do one last thing before he had died, and that was awakening his Echo."
"What exactly did he do?" I ask as Jo snaps his fingers.
"Before his death, The Reaper had permanently etched into the minds of those all of the deaths that he was responsible for and the call to kill all Hybrids and Humans that didn't stand with him and he placed the blame all on Athene and the Deviants that stood with her. So in doing so The Reaper basically killed any chance that Athene had of leading the world back to the way The First had it."
I can feel my anger bubbling up inside of me as I think about that. All of the work that she put into saving the world from a damn murderer and at the end of all of that, the bastard didn't even get what he deserved. If anything it seems like The Government is protecting him.
"Wait, hold on a minute. If The Government knew about this why are we still treated like we're the ones that committed all of those murders? If anything it should be the other way around right?" I ask Jo.
"Do you truly believe that if word got out in the past and the Deviants were the ones on top and the Hybrids were the ones at the bottom that you would still be fighting for equality for both Deviants and Hybrids?"
"If you told me this story my answer would be yes. An entire race should not be punished for the actions of one man. Obviously, all Hybrids aren't evil. Zach, Vex, Kevin, Eden. Those are good people who've helped me even though I am a Deviant, and all Deviants aren't helpless and good either. I mean, look at me. I steal, kill, and I don't listen to anyone really. I killed someone that I grew up with and as a result of that, the entire world is after me. Both sides are bad, but that doesn't mean that we should destroy each other, if anything we should try to help one another. Not tear each other down, from the history that you're showing me doing that has done nothing but bad things."
"Even after hearing about all of this you still want to try and unify Hybrids and Deviants?" Jo asks me. I nod my head yes as he swipes his hand in the air. "Fine, then I guess it's time that I wrap this story up. Don't worry, we'll be getting to the parts of the story that have happened recently very soon."
After he says that he fast forwards a couple of years to what looks like The White House up in flames.
"As an uprising army of Hybrids stormed Washington DC, Athene was in The White House giving birth to a child. That child was my father." Jo says as I feel my heart drop into my stomach. "Julian Juzo, son of Athene Juzo."
"Wait, wait. Hold on a minute. Julian, Julian is your father?!?" I yell as Jo nods his head yes. The vision of Julian protecting Leo and I flashes through my mind as I look up at Jo. Now that he mentions it, he does look a bit like him from the side. The way that their backs are slightly hunched over, even their demeanor and speech patterns are the same. I can feel my head starting to spin as Jo continues with the story.
"Athene knowing that she had no way of protecting my father entrusted his life to her two Generals. Two married Deviants named Fatima and Hudson. From the digging, I did in the archives these two apparently had the strength to rival Athene. In the final battle of the war between Athene and The Reaper, those two were a part of the select few that actually survived the entirety of the war. They stayed by Athene's side as she tried her best to bring the world back to the peace and tranquillity that The First had brought about. Throughout all of the attempts to kill her, and the constant pushback that she got from society they stayed by her side and protected her."
"Both of them sound like they were really good people," I say to Jo. Jo nods his head yes as he starts to laugh.
"Oh yeah, they definitely were. They managed to raise my father and in turn give birth to me so yeah, I think they did a damn good job." Jo says. I can't help but chuckle a bit as Jo snaps his fingers. After he does that a photo of The White House being ransacked and burned down appears in front of us.
"On that night President Athene was murdered. The rest of the Deviants that were in the White House escaped through an underground passage underneath of The White House. I'm guessing they either laid low or were killed off by Hybrids because there aren't any records of them in the archives." Jo says as he swipes his hand once again. After he does that the picture of a man hanging Athenes body appears in front of us. Charon was the name of the man who led the charge on The White House, and he was the one who murdered my grandmother." Jo says as he clenches his fist. "After he murdered her he took on the mantle of President and those in power who were close to him he gave the roles of General and Captains. This was the start of the modern-day discrimination against Deviants."
A picture of Charon appears in front of me and when it does I can feel chills starting to run down my spine.
"The very first decree that Charon ordered was the public execution of any and all Deviants that escaped The White House burning, as well as the imprisonment and slavery of any Deviants that were found. But to be honest, I can't really blame him for doing something like that, at this point in time he was still dealing with the effects of The Reaper, I'm pretty sure he was scared and in his mind, he was doing what he thought was right."
"How the hell can you sit there and try to make excuses for what this guy did? He not only killed your grandmother but he's the reason why Deviants are treated the way that they are now!" I yell at Jo as he nods his head yes.
"Yes, you're right. I should be upset. But here's why I'm not. Yes, he killed my grandmother and yes when I found out about that I was angry beyond belief and I did want to kill him and everyone else who was involved with him in any way, but what I refused to do was to let my anger cloud my judgment and get the better of me. My grandmother gave her life to show that even when the world is literally collapsing all around you, and even when all hope seems lost you can still overcome anything that stands in your way. She showed me that all hope isn't loss, that someone who rose from nothing can actually win as long as they believe that they can and as long as they have the heart and the courage to do so." Jo says as he looks at me.
"So after the order was given Deviants went into hiding to protect themselves, and because the world was against them Deviants rallied themselves around their own people and people who had great power. Like Fatima and Hudson. As they gathered more Deviants to their side and grew in age they began to tell Deviants about the story of Athene, and all that she did to try and make the lives of Deviants better. My father; Julian was enamored by the stories and he grew up with the mindset and goal to get the world to the place where his mother wanted it to be. A place where Deviants actually have a chance to make a good living for themselves. But of course, he couldn't do this alone. Fatima and Hudson had a daughter, and I'm one hundred percent sure that you know who she is."
"Why would you say that? I haven't heard anything like this ever before." I say to Jo as he takes a deep breath in and out.
"The girl's name was Selena Hiroshi. She was your mother." Jo says as he places a picture of her in front of me.
A wave of emotions washes over me as tears start to run down my face. Anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion all seemingly wrapped into one as the memory of her dying in front of me as a kid flashes through my mind. The feel of her fingers running across my face as my cheeks are stained with her blood. I can hear her telling me to run and to save myself as she's stabbed through the back by a Government soldier. I shake my head and I clear my mind as Jo appears to be wiping a tear from his eye as well.
"My father spoke very highly of your mother Hiroshi," Jo says but before he can continue speaking I cut him off.
"No, no! Don't you say another word I don't want to hear it!" I yell at him as I start to bang my swing my head all over the place. "Don't you dare start talking about my mother like she's some kind of war hero! She was killed because of some assholes who were afraid of what Deviants were capable of!"
"I wasn't going to say anything like that Hiroshi. Your mother was the reason why my father honestly stayed alive for as long as he did. They were best friends growing up, and he loved her like a little sister. She healed him when he was hurt, took care of him when he was sick, and scolded him when he did something stupid. I guess in a way she was just making sure that the two of us met one another." Jo says to me as I start to calm down a bit. "Selena kept my father safe, and even though down the line his and my ideologies clashed I am still forever grateful for what she did for my father. He can be an idiot, and stubborn and he put himself in harms way far too many times for the sake of a world that wants him dead but Selena, she kept him grounded and safe because she believed in him she believed in what he was fighting for. She was protecting the future in her own way. The same way that you appear to be doing so. You're right, she wasn't a warrior, but I will not sit here and keep my mouth shut about the things that she did for us."
"You're so much like my father, that's how I know that you're so much like your mother. You may not have grown up your entire life with her, but her spirit definitely dwells down on the inside of you Hiroshi. That I'm certain of." Jo says as he waves his hand once again. A slideshow of my mother getting married flashes in front of us as I can feel myself starting to smile a bit.
"My father had made up in his mind that he was going to change the world, but before he permanently left the refuge that Fatima and Hudson had created; The Underground he watched your mother get married to your father Samuel, a man who had studied under your grandfather to be the next leader of the Deviants. He was a strong man with powerful abilities that are a bit reminiscent of yours. He could absorb and weaken the abilities of other people and as a result, he was heralded as the next leader of the Deviants after my father left."
"To be honest it's a bit weird seeing both of my parents so happy like this. When they were alive." I say.
"Shortly after I was born my father continued to fight against The Government. He would save people that were getting attacked, he would fight off Government and Hybrid soldiers alike all in the hopes that one day someone may see what he's doing and be inspired to do the same as him." Jo says. "You would think that after he had a kid that he would calm down a bit and focus on raising me, but no. That wasn't the case. He would leave me at random women's houses that I'm sure he was fucking at the time, go off and handle his business for days and sometimes weeks at a time, and then he would come back and get me. For the longest time, I hated him for that. I hated him for leaving me in strange places with strange people, broke and with no place to go home to. But as I grew older I understood what he was trying to do. He wanted to make the world a better place for me, and I'm upset that it took me this long to realize that. But that childish mentality is what made me choose to join The Government."
"Money? Power? Respect? What was the reason?" I ask him as I feel myself starting to get slightly more irritated.
"It was for security. Like I said earlier. I'm a coward. I wanted a better life for myself and I was afraid that if my father got caught or if people found out that I was related to him that they would come after and kill me." Jo says as he wipes his glasses. "So when my abilities manifested when I turned fifteen I enrolled in The Government under the guise of being a Hybrid soldier."
"When I told my father what I was planning to do, at first he seemed upset but after a short while he put his hand on my head and he just gave me a smile. No words, no arguments just his full support. In some way I feel like he knew why I was doing it, he just didn't want to be the one to send his own son off to the organization that he was fighting against. But he knew that me going there was the only way that I was going to make a life for myself."
"So what did they make you do?" I ask him.
"I was brought in under the regime of the daughter of Charon, Dea," Jo says as a picture of her appears in front of me. "This woman is probably one of the very few people that has instilled true fear into me."
"At this time people having Echoes weren't that common so she wasn't able to see through my ruse but there was one person who did. Her son, and at the time Captain of the eastern seaboard Atlas." Jo says.
"Atlas?! You mean the same President Atlas?!" I ask as Jo nods his head. A picture of Atlas shows up in front of me as goosebumps start to run across my body. Those same eyes that I saw when I first encountered him when Julian saved me still feel as though they're piercing me even right now.
"Yeah. Those eyes are intimidating, aren't they? When I first joined The Government he was the next person in line to become President even as a Captain. So that just lets you know the amount of power that he had and the respect that he commanded. He was ruthless and demanding. Wanting to live up to his mother's name he enforced the Deviant murder and capture laws more harshly than anyone." Jo says as he looks down at his hands. I follow his eyesight and when I do I see blood starting to pour out of his hands and onto the ground forming into a pool of blood around his feet. "If my Captain was anyone else I would've used my abilities to just make it look like I killed and captured those Deviants, but he had an Echo stronger than my own, He could see through what I was trying to make him see and when he did catch me trying to deceive him. He made me kill every Deviant that anyone had caught. Women, children, old people didn't matter. Eventually, I had killed so many that I had been promoted to the role of Captain, and in turn, Atlas was promoted to General."
I look at Jo with a hint of sadness coursing throughout my body. I can sense the sadness and regret in his voice as he continues with his story.
"After my father made a name for himself as someone who would stand against The Government there was a public execution called out on him by the current President of the time. The person that was sent to kill him was Atlas. Now I don't know if Atlas knew that he was my father or not but the way that he looked at me whenever he was called out to go after him made me believe that he definitely did know. Why he didn't say anything I still don't know. Maybe he was taunting me or something. But after he eventually caught my father and had him sentenced to death row. He is to be executed one year from now. Somehow Atlas was able to move his public execution back a couple of years. As a General you are not permitted to do public executions, that's a duty that is reserved only for the President."
"It makes some kind of sense. When I had encountered Julian and Atlas for the first time it seemed as if they had known one another for a long time. Like they were rivals or something. Atlas had mentioned asking Julian to join The Government as a General but he had refused. So I'm guessing he has some sort of score to settle." I say to Jo as he nods his head.
"Well, my father is a stubborn son of a bitch," Jo says as he starts to laugh. "So to end this story and wrap it up in a nice little bow let me explain what made me quit."
I take a deep breath in and out as Jo sits down on the ground next to me.
"After Atlas had captured my father he had basically punched his ticket as the next President, but here's the thing, and who knows you may be able to use this against him when you eventually run into him. He was incredibly impatient. His mother Dea was in great health and was nowhere close to resigning as President, so to speed up the process of him becoming President, Atlas killed his own mother. But not in cold blood. He used his Echo to do so, and since no one really knew what Atlas ability was, they just pinned her death on an unforeseen illness, and in the wake of her death Atlas was sworn in as President, and under his recommendation, I took over his spot as General."
"Killing your own mother? How heartless can someone be?! I would never even think about hurting my mother in any sort of way, but that bastard really killed his own mother for a damn title?! That's it?!" I yell as Jo nods his head.
"I knew that what he did morally was wrong but there weren't ever any laws that were put in that said that you couldn't murder The President. Was it frowned upon? Yes of course, but in this world, it's survival of the fittest. If you aren't powerful enough to hold your position then maybe you don't deserve it." Jo says as he rubs the back of his head "That's the mentality inside of The Government. Everyone in there is coming for your neck. You can't trust anyone in that building. You learn that very quickly."
"So I'm guessing after finding that out you quit?" I ask.
"I quit because I knew that I could kill everyone below me. If anyone tried to kill me I knew that they would have no chance of winning. So for the safety of myself and the people in The Government, old and new. I resigned. I did not want to have anyone else's blood on my hands anymore. After that, I made a promise to myself that I would never kill anyone else ever again. After learning about the violent past that this nation has been through I did not want history to repeat itself. So I took what I learned and I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to change this world without using violence. That's when Revenant came into existence. I already told you how and why I created Revenant, and then the rest is history. Here we are."
After he says that he snaps his fingers and when he does that the kind of virtual reality world that the both of us were in disappears and before I know it we're back in the park. As I look around me it doesn't seem like any time has passed. I can feel Zach still holding onto my arm as Jo sits back down on the bench in front of us. I can feel my body regaining feeling back as I slowly pick myself up off of the ground.
"Hiroshi! You're back to normal!" Zach says as he jumps up and down in the air.
"Yeah, man. Everything is good, but it's definitely not back to normal." I say to him as I pat him on the head. I look over to Jo who looks back over at me.
"I told you all of that because I want you to know the kind of road that you're about to go down. Whether you decide to stay with Revenant after learning all of this or not I just want you to be prepared for what you're going to have to go through if you continue after your goal of changing the world." Jo says to me as he lights up another cigarette.
"I have to ask. Why're you telling me of all people this? Why not Eden or Kevin? You've known them longer than me." I ask Jo.
"Because you are the only one that I believe can lead Revenant after I'm gone." Jo snaps back at me. "I've told you time and time again that eventually your time will come, and I fear that it's coming a lot sooner than I had originally anticipated. So I need an answer Hiroshi. Even after learning and hearing all of this will you stay with Revenant under my tutelage to be trained as the next leader?"
"Jo. I'm not mad at you for keeping this information from me. I can tell that it took a lot out of you to tell me all of this, but for right now I need to think about all of what you just said." I say as I grab onto Zach's hand. "I'm disappointed in you Jo. Disappointed that you would tell me first before Eden, or Kevin, or any of the people of Revenant who look up to you. I just need to take some time and process all of this."
Jo nods his head yes as he turns his back to me.
"So effective immediately, I'm done with Revenant," I say to Jo as Zach and I walk off in the opposite direction.