Chapter 20:

The Path of Destiny

Assassin's Hunter

I flew through the air with total control. My feet propelled me forward as I soared through the night. I cut around hover cars and drones swiftly with full bravado.

Keiffer’s last “Christmas” gifts were the upgrade I was nagging him about before. He made jet boots that gave me the power of flight and gloves composed of mini hover engines that would allow me to control my direction easily in midair.

I flew near the enormous Dygen Corp tower, spotting the power grid near the root of the building. I floated above the area, spotting all the generators and fuel cells. I dropped Keiffer’s B.A.E.M.P. directly in the vicinity.

My boots fired at full speed to the sky, climbing altitude as the E.M.P. fell to its landing spot. I needed to avoid the blast, so I wouldn’t lose power from my gadgets in hand, including my rocket boots. Finally, I reached the top of the building. Chilly, wet, and violent winds screaming in the air.

After a few seconds of hovering, from the tiny spot where I tossed the bomb, outshot a wave of an invisible explosion, diffusing light and electricity wherever it reached. I went up a few feet again for safe measure, but I was safe.

I lowered the power of my boots and fell into the darkness of the night. My body plummeted an infinite amount of feet, tearing through the updraft with gravity at my side. I stopped just short of the first portion of the tower, arriving at my destination … the two-hundredth and seventeenth floor.

Grabbing a charge from my pocket, I planted it on the window and backed away from the oncoming blast. The window blasted outward from the air pressure. Following after, the wind started to blow into the hole I just created.

I entered the breach and laned inside safely. The building was dark, except for a few red lights glowing along the ceiling. It was most likely a backup-powered emergency light in the event the building blackout. According to Keiffer’s cracked layout, the machine should be somewhere towards the east edge of the floor. Hopefully, Ava was there too.

Peeking into each room, I scoured the floor, searching for signs of life, I held my pistol high at the ready. I then heard a faint squeal up ahead, coming behind a door that was an assembly room. My feet lightly tiptoed their way over to the door, hiding my presence. Which was beyond difficult with these noisy rockets-for-shoes.

“Let go!” a girl’s voice cried out.


I entered the room swiftly to find a lecture hall. I was standing at the top of rows of seats, circling down what would be a stage. Instead, there lay a giant chrome machine built into the wall of the room. To the left was a large overlook window. It was the only source of light, with slight traces of neon bleeding into the dark room.

Ava was tied to a chair, wearing a black headband with frightening claws above her head. Looks like Dygen had illegally acquired a memory scanner after all. And I came just in time.

The sight of my daughter brought a stronger conviction to my mind. I had a new duty as a parent to protect her from harm. It was still funny, thinking those thoughts out loud.

Before I could run down and free Ava, Dygen, and the Hunter turned in my direction with shock on their faces. Except for the Bounty Hunter, for his face was still covered.

“You! Why is he still alive?” Dygen yelled at the Hunter.

“Can’t trust anyone these days. Gotta do everything yourself,” the Hunter shrugged, walking towards me.

“Ready for round two?” I taunted.

I aimed my gun at Dygen and emptied my magazine at him. The Hunter dashed in front, deflecting every bullet. To this, I pulled out my dual blades from their scabbards, immediately activating the new mode Keiffer put in: “Burning Star.”

The Hunter gave me no time to prepare. His muzzle fired off a stream of attacks all around me, now aiming for my vital spots. I danced around the bullets I could dodge and burn through the ones I could block. The intense new blade melted the shots, resulting in no backlash from impact.

I raised my arms in the air to bring down my blades at Hunter’s head, and he raised his metal plate to block.

I’m ready this time!

Making contact, my blades dug into the metal of his arm, melting away rapidly.

“AHHHH DAMN YOU!” the Hunter yelled.

His handgun dropped to the ground at the turning point of the fight. He tried to shake me off, but my blade clung to his armor as I drove him against the overlooking window. He used his other arm to push back mine away. I mustered all my strength into my final push.


The tip of the plasma blade hit the window and shattered at the intense heat. With the air now being sucked outward for a few seconds, the Hunter lost his balance and fell back out of the hole, falling to his ultimate death.

“Help!” Ava cried out.

I looked right next to me. Dygen was holding Ava near the ledge, threatening to drop her.

“I can’t die here. So put down your weapons, or I’ll drop her!” he commanded. But his demand held no weight now.

“Ava, I’ll catch you! Trust me!” I called over the winds.

Ava bit into Dygens hand, and he pushed her out of the hole. Dygen yelped in pain and snapped at me like a child, “Ha! You fool!”

I pulled out a tool from my belt and yelled a command as I jumped over the edge.

“Orb! Self-destruct mode!” I threw my more-than-mapping-orb straight at Dygen. The color of his face turned white, and his body was enveloped in flames. Falling, I could see the fire shoot out of the breach I made, shattering more glass around it.

Dygen… and now the time machine… were no more.

My rockets shot at full power downwards through the dark sky. I scanned the sky for Ava’s presence. My right ear picked up screams ahead. My arms reached for her tiny body, and I pulled her in close to me.

I floated in the air, holding my daughter in my arms.

“I’m sorry, Ava. I got you. I got you… I’ll never let you go again,” I cried in her warm embrace.

“I knew you would save me, papa! That’s what heroes do!” she giggled.

My arms wrapped around her as we spun in the air with joy. The beautiful neon lights of the city beamed around us as we danced. Now with Ava at my side and the resolution in my heart… Ultima City wasn’t as dark as I made it out to be.