Chapter 18:

Hiroshi And Zach; The New State Of The World


"Jo. Effective immediately. I am no longer a part of Revenant." I say to him as I grab Zach by his hand and I start to walk away from Jo. I can see the nervousness is Zach's eyes as I look down at him.

Zach didn't see or hear any of what Jo told me about basically everything, and in all honesty, I don't think he would actually be able to process all of what he just told me, I can barely even process everything that he just told me myself.

"I understand your decision Hiroshi, believe me, I do, but are you sure that this is a decision that you actually want to make?" Jo asks me as I stop walking away from him. "The moment you leave from this park you will be out of the range of my Echo. If someone sees you they will see you as Hiroshi; The Hybrid Killer. I will not be able to protect you if a General shows up. Please, Hiroshi. Reconsider before you make a decision that you will regret. If I go back to Revenant and you aren't with me, you will truly be all on your own out here."

I start to chuckle a bit after he says that.

"I think I remember telling you this when we first met," I say to Jo as I turn around and face him. "I was able to survive and take care of myself long before I met you, and I'll be able to take care of myself after the fact too."

"I believe in you and your ability to make due on your own. You obviously have power that rivals that of a Government Captain, but what about Zach? Do you seriously believe that you'll be able to take care of yourself and him at the same time?" Jo asks me. My mind immediately goes back to the time that Leo and I spent taking care of one another while we were younger. Those long days where we would hide out on rooftops under the hot baking sun and those cold restless nights where we would find warm places to sleep while we hid from police. I managed to survive that at a much younger age than Zach is. I've gotten a lot stronger since those days as well. We're going to be just fine.

"Zach and I will be just fine, the only thing that you need to worry about right now is figuring out how to tell Eden and the rest of those guys what you told me," I say to Jo as I glare at him.

"Speaking of Eden and the others this is what you're going to do? Are you just going to abandon your friends and comrades like this?" Jo asks me. I can feel my eye twitch after he asks that. "You're really going to abandon Eden, Vex, Kevin, and the rest of those guys who you've just started to build relationships with? All over a stupid choice that I made?! Is that really all it takes for you to give up?!"

"I'm not giving up on them and don't you dare try to make it seem like that's what I'm doing!" I yell at Jo as I walk up to him and grab him by his collar. "I'm not leaving them, what I'm leaving is you, Jo! You asked me to put all of my trust in you but in return, you didn't give me the same courtesy. In this world trust is something that I value highly and it's something that I don't give lightly. I was actually beginning to trust you, and right before we were actually about to achieve something great you go and throw it all away."

"I told you only because I knew that the only way that you would fully buy into what we were doing would be if you knew. I want you to be the next leader of Revenant and I know that telling you all of this will eventually matter in the end, but from the looks of things it seems like my words won't be able to reach you as of right now." Jo says as he puts his hand on my shoulder. "If you're really going to go all out on your then the least that I can do for you before you go is this."

After he says that I can feel his grip on my shoulder getting tighter and then quickly loosen up as he tears himself away from me.

"An Echo derives from a higher dimension. We don't know how or why but above all else that is an irrefutable fact. You're powerful Hiroshi, but I feel more power, infinite power bubbling on the inside of you. If you are truly going to venture out on your own consider this as a thank you for the work that you've done for me." Jo says as he closes his eyes.

I can feel my body starting to get lighter for a second as I back away from him. I have no clue what the hell he just did to me and to be honest, I'm afraid to ask.

"I mentioned before that your potential is limitless Hiroshi, I don't know if you're body is ready for you to take on that level of power, but the least that I can do is give you a fighting chance out there on your own," Jo says to me as he slowly turns his attention to Zach. "I trust that you'll do your best to train him up so that when his time comes to change this world, he'll be ready."

I pull Zach away from Jo as I glare at him.

"Don't you worry about Zach or me. Both of us will be perfectly fine. Both of us are going to tear this society down in our own way. Without the help of the Government." I growl at him as Jo chuckles and nods his head.

"I guess you're right about that one," Jo says as he fixes the scarf around his neck. A cold wind starts to blow around the three of us as Jo lets out a deep sigh. "So I guess this is goodbye for now. Hopefully, the next time that we cross paths it will be as friends and not as enemies."

I don't even say anything to him as he takes a cigarette out of his pocket and lights it up. He stares up at me one more time before he puts his hand up to me and walks away as I sense his Echo starting to lessen and weaken around me. I guess he wasn't playing when he said that he wasn't going to use his Echo to shield us anymore. I start to chuckle a bit as Zach and I turn around and walk towards a collection of buildings.

"So what are we going to do now Hiroshi? Are we ever going to see Jo again? I don't know what he did exactly but it made you so angry." Zach says.

"What are we going to do? I'm going to show you why I was given the name The Hybrid Killer. I'm going back to my old roots. Helping Deviants in need of it." I say to Zach. I can see his face start to light up after I say that. I can feel a huge weight lift off of my body and mind as I look up into the sky. "But in regards to me being angry at Jo, I'm not really angry at him. If anything I'm just incredibly disappointed at some actions that he took. But I can assure you that everything will be fine. As long as you stay with me we'll have the opportunity to make things right in this world. Me as the bridge for the next generation and you as the future."

Zach nods his head with a smile on his face as I give him a warm smile back. I lower myself to his level and he jumps onto my back as he wraps his arms around my neck.

"You strapped in?" I ask him as he nods his head. "Alright, hold on tight!" I yell as I jump off of the ground and onto a building rooftop.

"So, first things first what we're going to do is look for people who need help," I say to Zach as he starts to look around for someone to help. The sun is slowly starting to rise on the day as I notice a large influx of police cars and Hybrid and Government soldiers starting to patrol around the streets of the city.

"It looks like things are going to be a bit harder than I had expected," I say to Zach as I start to laugh. "It looks like that Adrian kid was really serious about killing me wasn't he?"

"You're not worried are you?" Zach asks me as he starts to play with my hair. I shake my head no as I put a big smile on my face. Even though I'm putting on a brave face for Zach I can feel my hands starting to shake once I remember the feel of that kids Echo. I still have no idea what he's capable of or the lengths that the Government will go to to get rid of me. As these thoughts race through my mind Zach hits me over my head as he points to a group of Deviants yelling and crying the distance.

"Hey! Look over there! There's a group of Deviants that looks like they need our help! They're just a couple of blocks away from here!" Zach says as I look over into the direction that he's pointing, and when I do what I see makes my stomach drop.

A building a couple of blocks away is starting to smoke up in flames. I can smell the smoke and feel the flames starting to rise up from the building as the cries of people start to fill my ears. Why the hell aren't there any firefighters or police officers on the scene trying to help them?

"Hiroshi! We have to go save them! I can sense some kids trapped in that building! I don't know how long they'll be able to last if we don't do something now!" Zach yells as he starts to climb over the top of me. "We have to go now! We have to save them!"

I grab Zach by his collar and I throw him back on my back as I pat him on his head.

"You're right, and we're going to save them, but we're going to do it my way and we're going to make sure that everyone gets out alright," I say to him as he starts to punch me on top of my head. I can feel his enthusiasm radiating off of his body as I start to jump from building to building.

I have no idea where all of this energy is coming from but I'm all for it. The quicker that I can get his mind off of Jo and Revenant the quicker that I can get him on the right track to helping me take down President Atlas and The Government. I can't help but smile a bit as I hear him shout at me to hurry over to help these Deviants as I arrive at the scene of the fire.

"Please! Someone save my children! They're trapped in that burning house and I can't get them out!" The mother yells as a group of men grab on to her to try and prevent her from running into the burning building.

"Zach. I'm going to need you to stay up here for me while I go down there and try to help those people alright?" I say to him as I sit on the ground.

"I can't help you if I'm just sitting up here on this rooftop Hiroshi! I know that I can help you more if I go in there with you!" He yells at me as I start to laugh a bit.

"I know how much you want to help me, but right now you'll be at your best right now if you keep watching out for me. If any Hybrid or Government soldiers show up while I'm in there you just release your Echo and I'll be able to sense it alright?" I say to him as I pat him on the head. Zach goes to argue with me but before he can get his words out the building shoots up in flames even more. The mother starts to cry out even louder as I jump off of the rooftop and down to the mother and the two men that are trying to hold her back from running into the burning building.

"It's you! The Hybrid Killer! I can't believe you're here!" One of the men says as a look of relief spreads across his face.

"We don't have much time to talk, what floor are the children on?" I ask the mother as she starts to calm down and clean up her face.

"I have a son and a daughter, they're both on the fourth floor! The door number is four twenty-two! They're probably huddled in a closet somewhere in their room, I don't know how much time they could have! Please! You have to save them!" She says to me as I nod my head to her.

"Fourth floor, four twenty-two. Got it. I'll have them back to you in no time at all!" I yell as I immediately turn and run into the burning building.

When I enter the building the first thing that I do is release my Echo out of my body and throughout the building for two reasons. One, to find out if this fire was caused by someone with a pyrokinetic ability and two to try and get a location on the children. With this fire just going up the stairs won't be an option, the best thing to do would be to try and find a shortcut to get up to the fourth floor. After my Echo returns to my body I can determine that this fire wasn't caused by someone with abilities and something else too. That mother gave me the wrong information. I got a read on two Deviants coming from the second floor, not the fourth. Something feels off about this, but I don't have time to think about that. I have to get moving now!

As I run up the stairs that lead to the first floor I can hear something crack above me. The second that I look overhead I can see a piece of the staircase falling right towards me. As I jump out of the way of the falling staircase I trip up on a piece of debris and a chunk of the staircase falls on my right ankle. I can feel a sharp pain shoot throughout my body as I bite my lip to keep myself from yelling out. I have to try and conserve as much oxygen as I possibly can. As I pull my leg put from under the rubble I can hear the cries and screams of those children. From the sounds of it, it's probably the daughter. I have to fight through the pain and keep going!

As I pick myself up off of the ground I put my shirt over my nose and mouth as I try to look for another to get to the second floor. With the staircase completely collapsed I have to find another up there. The heat and the smoke from the fire are starting to cloud my vision a bit as I start to cough. This heat is almost unbearable. It's not as intense as Edens was but the constant presence of it is unbearable. I'm going to have to find a way out of here, I turn my attention to the wall to the right of me and I knock on it a couple of times. Whatever the hell this wall is made out of is hollow enough for me to punch a hole in it. I take my shirt off and I wrap it around my fist as I cock my arm back and I punch a giant hole into the wall. When I do a wave of fresh air comes rushing into the building from the outside as I run to the edge and look above me. I find a ledge that I can grab onto that will take me to the second floor. I position my body in a way so that I can jump up and grab onto the ledge when I do I jump up and I grab ahold of the ledge with my left hand as I pull my shirt off of my right hand with my teeth. After I do that I put my right hand on the ledge as I start to pull myself up onto the short ledge.

"Please! You have to hurry! Please save my babies!" The woman yells at me from the ground. I ignore her yells as I start to slowly inch myself across the ledge into an open window. As I slowly lean back into a bathroom window I can hear a boy starting to cry out and yell for help as I quickly pick myself up off of the ground as I kick the door down and descend back into the flames as I put my shirt over my nose and mouth again.

"Hey, where are you?!" I cry out as the sounds of the boy and the girl starts to sound closer.

"We're over here!" I can hear a boy yell as I hear a door swing open a couple of doors down away from where I am.

"Stay put! Don't move alright?! I'm coming your way just give me a couple of seconds to reach you alright?!" I yell back to him as I run out of the apartment room that I'm in and back into the main hallway as a wall of flames comes flying out from a giant hole in the ground.

"Goddammit," I say underneath my breath as I feel my body starting to get burned up from the heat. I can feel the smoke starting to work it's way into my lungs as I start to cough out spit and saliva. "Hey! Don't worry! I'm about to reach you guys! Just hold on a bit longer!"

I immediately run back into the room that I came out of and I run as far left in the room as I possibly can as I start to knock on the wall. I can hear one of the kids knockback as a wave of relief washes over my body.

"Okay, guys! I'm going to need you to back as far away from the wall as you possibly can alright?!" I yell to them as I hear the shuffling of feet. "Alright, I'm going to punch a hole in the wall okay?! Cover yourself!"

As I cock my fist back and punch a hole into the wall I find both children huddled over top of one another as I walk into the room. When they look up at me I can see the look of relief spread across their faces as they run over to me. I grab ahold of both of them as they start to cry into my shoulders.

"It's alright guys everything is going to be fine. You don't have anything to worry about anymore. Your mother is waiting down on the ground for you so I'm going to take you down to see her alright?" I say to them. But after I bring up their mother they immediately start to shake their heads no as the son holds onto his little sister.

"I don't want to go down there with her. Our mother is the one that left us up here. She tied up our arms and legs and then set the house on fire!" The son says to me as the sister nods her head yes. "She had mentioned something about making ten million dollars off of The Hybrid Killer."

That bitch. I can't believe that she would actually do something like this. Risk the life of her kids for money?! What the hell has that Adrian kid done to the world? I don't say anything to the kids and I don't let them know who I am. The only thing that they should be worried about is getting out of here alive.

I nod my head to both of them as I pick both of them up in my arms. I carry them out through the hole that I punched to get to their room and back out to the bathroom window. I kick down the bathroom wall as chunks of the building start to fall down onto the ground. The building starts to shake underneath my feet as the kids start to cry and hold onto my chest. The damn building feels like it's about to come down on top of us! I'm going to jump down to the ground with both of them in my hands. God damn, if only my ankle wasn't torn up I would feel way more confident about sticking this landing!

"Hiroshi! Jump! It's okay I got you!" I can hear Zach yell from across the street. After he says that a portal opens up a couple of feet under me. I don't hesitate to jump out of the building and into the portal. I close my eyes and before I know it, I find myself back on the ground. I can't help but laugh as I look up at Zach as he waves at me. Good shit kid.

After I stand back up off of the ground I can see the mother running over to me with her arms stretched out wide for her to receive her kids. I can feel the son and the daughter both tightening their grip around my shoulders as I glare at the mother.

"What's wrong? Are my babies alright? Is everything fine?" She asks me with a concerned look on her face. As I go to open my mouth and confront her about what she did I feel a sharp pain course through my back.

I let out a loud yell as I hear Zach call out to me. As I drop the son and the daughter onto the ground I reach back to feel what's wrong with my back, and when I find what's wrong I start to laugh.

"I guess all of you were in on it huh?" I say as I yank the knife that the son stabbed in my back out. I drop the knife on the ground as I wince in pain for a bit. "I really don't know who to be more disappointed in, a mother who would endanger the lives of her own children for money, or you two for not being able to realize that this wasn't a good idea."

"Are you serious? You have ten million dollars on your head!" The mother yells out as hordes of Deviants start to pop out from all over the place. Her two kids run over to her as a group of about six to seven men come from behind her holding knives and guns. They all train them at me. "Anyone with any brain cells in their head would at least try to capture you."

"You're making a huge mistake here doing this," I say to them as I put my hands up and start to back away from them. "You do not want to do this. I don't want to hurt any of you. I know that you're in a rough spot right now but turning me over to The Government isn't going to make your lives any better."

"Well, you sure as hell aren't doing us, Deviants, any good while you're here." She snaps back at me as her eyes start to glow a hot blue color. "You may save a couple of us here and there but what're you actually accomplishing? You killed a Government Captain and that hasn't done anything but make the rest of us look bad! You say that you want to help Deviants so how about you actually do something good for once and let us turn you in!"

After she yells that all of the Deviants immediately start to run towards me as I let out a deep sigh.

"I know that it may not seem like I'm helping you but believe me I'm trying," I say softly as I feel my eyes starting to glow a hot red color. Black and red lightning start to crackle off of my body as the group of Deviants start to get closer. "I feel bad for saying this but you're going to have to be strong and suffer for just a little bit longer. I promise that once I'm done, this world will be made right again."

After I say that my Echo explodes off of my body causing pieces of the ground to rise up around me. Black and red lightning sparks all around me as everyone within a thirty-yard radius are knocked unconscious by my Echo. As all of the bodies hit the floor I can hear Zach call out to me from on top of the building. I turn my head to him and I see him motioning for me to come back to him. I nod my head to him and I jog over to the building that he's on and I start to climb up the building until I'm at the top as he pulls me onto the roof. As I collapse onto the ground and close my eyes I allow my body to rest for a bit as I hear Zach sit down beside me.

"I think we need to get going. I saw a ton of Government looking cars and people headed over to us." Zach says to me as I open my eyes and slowly rise up off of the ground. My entire body is aching and screaming in pain as I stand on my feet and look down at the ground. I try my best to hide my pain from Zach but the concerned look that I see him give me out of the side of my eye makes me believe that I'm not doing a very good job of it.

"Hiroshi, are you going to be okay?" Zach asks me. "I haven't seen you actually have your body be seriously attended to since ever."

I start to laugh a bit as I place my hand on Zach's head.

"I can worry about resting when I'm dead. For right now, we still have some work to do." I say to him as I put my shirt back on. Even doing little things like moving my arm a certain way or even slightly turning my body sends a sharp wave of pain shooting throughout my body. I grin and bear the pain as Zach jumps onto my back and we run as far away from that burning as fast as we can.

Zach and I spend the rest of our day doing small things to help out people in need. We're obviously incredibly cautious approaching some of these people as to not have a repeat of what happened with the family and that burning building.

Throughout the day we encounter a bit of a mix of people. Some of them actually genuinely need help. Zach and I do small things like helping people find some clothes and food to eat for the night, while others are definitely more serious. I bust an operation of people that are kidnapping Deviant kids and I reunite a plethora of children back to their families. Some people actually try to trap and turn me into the Government like that last family but they're obviously not successful. Their plans aren't as elaborate as the other families but any attempt at trying to capture me is idiotic in it of itself. But I understand why they're doing it.

These people are in a bad place in their lives and any inkling of hope no matter how small it maybe is enough to spark something that with enough fanning becomes almost impossible to contain. As these events unfold in front of us I pay close attention to Zach as he takes all of this in. I can't tell what he's thinking but from the look on his face, I can tell that if anything he's afraid and a bit shocked at all of what's going on. After we get done helping a small family find their lost dog Zach and I find a quiet rooftop to sit on as the sun starts to set on the day.

As I collapse onto the ground Zach does the same as both of our heads bump into one another's. I let out a loud groan of pain as Zach starts to laugh out loud. I softly punch him in his stomach as I start to chuckle a bit as well.

"So you do this every day all day with no rest at all?" Zach asks me as I nod my head yes.

"Doing stuff like this, helping people. This is really the only way that I feel like I can make a difference for Deviants in this world." I say to him as I let out a deep sigh. I can feel my bones starting to creak as I put my hand on my chest.

"But do you feel like you're actually helping the world as a whole? I mean you can only do so much here in this small town." Zach says to me as I close my eyes. What he's saying is true and I hate that he's starting to sound a lot like Jo.

"Don't worry. I have some stuff in mind so that we can actually start making some real progress to change the world." I say to him as I think back to that girl that Jo had told me that we were going to rescue before he sent Zach and me here. Her face flashes through my mind as a feeling of hope washes over my body.

"We have someone in Washington DC waiting for us Zach. If everything turns out right we could start our own group." I say to him as I chuckle a bit.

"And I'm guessing you're going to be the leader of it right?" He asks me as I nod my head yes. "Well maybe for a short while, but I'll just be holding that spot for you until you're ready to lead the new world."

Zach raises his eyebrow at me after I say that.

"Me? Be the leader of the world? Hiroshi, have you forgotten that I'm only twelve? I couldn't even make friends with kids my own age back home. What makes you think that I'm going to be able to lead an entire nation or world?"

"Zach. We have more in common then I'm sure you think we do. Even though right now I don't feel like I could lead anything I know that one day I'm going to be put in a position where I'm going to be forced to do so, and I know that I'm going to succeed at it. Not because I'm some natural-born leader or prodigy or anything like that, but because I'll be forced to do so. I won't have a choice but to succeed." I say to him as I raise my back off of the ground for a bit. The moon is starting to come into view as the cool wind starts to blow all around us. It's definitely a bit more intense then what I'm used to but the coolness hitting my hot body is definitely welcoming.

"I'm not a fighter like you. I'm not as strong as fast or as smart as you either." Zach says to me as he puts his face in his hands. "How can I compare to you? You're all of these people's heroes and all I am is just some kid."

"Zach. You don't have to be like me okay?" I say to him as I put my hand on his shoulder. "I'm going to do all of the fighting so that you won't have to. All you have to do is just stay alive long enough so that when your time does come you'll be healthy, strong, and smart enough to make sure that this world doesn't return back to where it is now."

"But what if I make mistakes?" He asks me.

"I'll make all of the mistakes for you so that you don't have to. You learn by watching me fail and get up and try again." I say to him with a smile on my face.

"What if one day I lose control of my powers and hurt people again?" He asks me. "I know that you won't be able to keep part of your Echo inside of me forever."

"You'll learn to control your abilities as you grow older. You want me to tell you something?" I say to him as I lean into him. Zach leans in close to me as I start to whisper in his ear. "I still haven't completely mastered my abilities either. I'm still not confident in copying other people's abilities. My body isn't strong enough to take on the toll of some of the other people's abilities, and my negating ability only works in short bursts in a small area. They're tons of people who are way stronger than me but you want me to tell you what that means?"

Zach shakes his head no as I turn my head up to the sky.

"That just means that we still have room to grow. Always keep that in mind. No matter where you find yourself in life never get complacent. There's always more for you to learn. Where you are right now isn't going to be where you are down the road." I say to him as I give him a warm smile.

Zach looks at me for a couple of seconds before tears start to form in his eyes. He walks over to me and he wraps his arms around me as I pat him on the back. Even though my entire body is screaming in pain I allow him to have this moment.

"No one has ever believed in me before, everyone that I ever knew looked at me like I was some kind of monster like I was a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment. No one has ever tried to help me and here you are, risking your life for me and we've only known each other for only a week. You don't know how much that means to me Hiroshi." Zach says as he pulls himself away from me.

After he does that a huge wave of cold wind passes throughout the air as I feel goosebumps starting to form across my body. I notice Zach is starting to get cold as well so I start to look for somewhere to spend the night. As I look for somewhere to stay I notice what looks like an abandoned warehouse a couple of blocks away from where we are.

"Hop on my back. We're going to head to that warehouse to spend the night." I say as I stand up off of the ground. Zach climbs onto my back as I jump from building to building until I get to the warehouse. When I arrive at the roof of the warehouse I notice that there's a giant hole in the middle of the ceiling, as I bend down and start to examine the hole I feel a huge wave of warm energy coming from inside of the building.

"It feels so warm in there Hiroshi! This is the perfect place to stay the night!" Zach says as he jumps off of my back. As he walks over to the edge I grab him by his collar and I pull him back away from the edge as I kneel down over the hole.

"First things first. I'm gonna try to sense if anyone is hiding in here. Hybrid or Deviant. It doesn't matter. If there's anyone in here we have to find somewhere else to go." I say to Zach as he nods his head. After he does that I close my eyes and I start to sense out anyone's Echo that could be in this building or the Echo of anyone that could pose a threat to Zach and me.

After waiting a couple of minutes without sensing anything worth worrying about I let out a deep sigh as I grab ahold of Zach's hand as we jump into the warehouse. As my feet hit the ground the first thing I notice is how dark it is in here. Aside from the moonlight shining in from the giant hole in the ceiling, there is little to no light coming from inside of here. From what I can see the warehouse is definitely a lot bigger on the inside then it looks from the outside. This is a pleasant surprise. Zach runs off into the darkness with his hand lit up with white energy as I go off to try and fight a way to turn on a light or something.

"Hey, Zach! Don't you go off too far! I don't want you to get lost or anything!" I yell to him as he yells something back at me. I shake my head as I chuckle a bit as I start to run my hands across the walls to look for a light switch. After looking for a minute or so I finally come across something that feels like a light switch, when I flip it on I expect to maybe find some roaches or rats, but what I do find causes me to almost jump out of my shoes. A hooded man with a mask covering his entire face jumps out at me with a blade drawn and aimed at my throat. I quickly deflect the blade away from my neck but not quickly enough for it to graze the side of my cheek. Blood quickly comes pouring out of the cut as the hooded man throws the blade into the air and kicks me in my chest sending me rolling across the ground.

"So you're the infamous Hybrid Killer that everyone at The Government is talking about." The hooded man says as he takes a piece of paper out of his pocket. He unfolds it and holds it up in front of his face as he chuckles a bit and tosses the paper behind his back. "You definitely look like you've been through some shit, but that's alright, you just made my job a hell of a lot easier." He says as he catches his blade.

"Who the hell are you exactly?" I ask as I pick myself up off of the ground. I can feel my body cry out in pain as I wince a bit. "Are you a human? Why the hell couldn't I sense your Echo earlier??"

"You're asking too many damn questions. The real question that you should be asking yourself is how you're going to get out of this alive!" He yells as he rushes towards me. I barely have any time to react as he closes the distance between us before I can even blink. He swings his fist at my gut but I manage to catch his hand before he can make contact with me.

I twist his hand as he falls to his knee, but before I can knee him in his face he swings his knife at my face with his left hand. Shit! I have no way to defend myself from that! I let go of his hand and I jump away from him as he quickly picks himself up off of the ground and rushes towards me once again. He's fast! That's all I can think as I try to duck and dodge his attacks as I back away from him. As I'm backing away from him he quickly closes the distance between us and he slashes at my face with his blade again. I don't have any time to dodge so I channel my Echo throughout my fists and I catch the blade with my hand. He quickly swings his left fist at me but I catch his hand right before be can make contact with my face.

"I'm not going to lie I'm impressed!" He yells at me as he slashes my hand with his blade. I cry out in pain as I let go of the blade. The masked man head butts me so hard that sending me crashing into the ground. My head starts to spin and my ears are ringing as he picks me up by my collar and throws me into a wall. His speed and power definitely surpass that of Mariahs. My back lets out a loud crack as the man disappears from my sight. I look around to try and find where he is but it's no use.

"You still haven't figured it out have you?!" The masked man yells from above me as he shoots himself down towards me.

"I don't need to figure anything out!" I yell as I clench both of my fists. Black and red lightning explode off of my body. It doesn't matter what his ability or abilities are, leaving himself wide open like this is a guaranteed way to counter whatever his ability is. All he has to do is fall into the range of my Echo and I can finish him off!

"If you're counting on your Echo to help you out then you aren't going to last too long!" He yells as he throws his blade at me. I deflect the blade with my hand as he lets out a loud yell as he descends into the range of my Echo.

This is it! It doesn't matter what he can do, his weapon is on the ground and his abilities have been negated! I charge up my right fist with black lightning as I throw an uppercut aimed right at his chin. The ground underneath me starts to break apart as I let out a loud yell that shakes the warehouse building itself.

"Relying too much on your abilities is going to get you killed little boy!" He yells as he swings his fist at me as well, but right when our fists make contact with one another his fist phases through mines and he cracks me right in my face. The force from his punch sends me crashing into the ground as I let out a loud groan of pain.

Even with my body screaming for me to stop I grit my teeth and I wrap my legs around his arm as I grab onto his wrist. I start to try and pull his right arm out of its socket but before I can even get any progress going the man slams his left fist into my face forcing me to let go of his arm. But as he jumps off of the top of me I notice the glimmer of the blade that he threw at me a couple of seconds ago out of the corner of my eye. He must see it too and he rushes towards the blade as I start to reach out for it.

"You made a big mistake throwing your only weapon," I say to him as I release my Echo off of my body.

"Didn't I just show you that your Echo won't work on me?!" He yells as he continues to run towards the blade and me.

"You're right, it won't completely stop you, but it can slow you down just enough for me to get a good hit on you!" I yell as the force from my Echo causes him to stop in his tracks for a split second, but that's more than enough time for me to roll over and grab his blade as he comes rushing over towards me once again.

Before the masked man can swing at me I speed blitz him and I slash at his face with the knife. Sparks fly off of his mask as I slice along the front of his face. The man doesn't move or even budge as I spin my body and swing my leg into his sides. What the hell is his body made out of? Steel? Before I can pull away from him he grabs onto my foot and starts to swing me around in the air as he lets out a loud battle cry.

He starts to slam my body into the ground over and over again.

"Even with your body beaten like this you still continue to fight!" The masked man yells as he grabs me by my face and rams me into the wall. He backs away from me and he puts his guard up as I do the same. "Let's see how good you really are!" He yells as he starts to swing at my face and body.

He swings his left fist at my ribs but I deflect it with my hand and I push his hand away ad I swing my left leg at his neck. He ducks under my kick and he rushes onto the inside of me as he lands a flurry of punches to my midsection. I get slammed back into the wall as I start to block my ribs with my arms and hands, but immediately when I do this he switches up his fighting style and he starts to throw a barrage of haymakers at my face and upper body. Each punch that he lands on me sounds like a shotgun going off as I feel my chest and ribs starting to crack.

Damn, it doesn't matter whether I block or if one of his punches hit me. He has so much power that I feel like I'm being hit by a damn truck regardless.

"Come on! Don't tell me that this is the limit to your strength!" He yells as he grabs both of my arms and head butts me back into the wall again, but before I can even react or recover he covers my entire face with his hand and as he rams it into the wall he starts to run my face across the entirety of the wall as he starts to laugh maniacally. Once we reach the end of the wall he tosses me into the air, jumps up, and kicks me back into the ground. As my body slams into the floor, the knife comes flying out of my hand. As I fight to pick myself up off the ground I can hear the man let out a disappointed sigh from behind me. As I turn around I see him raise his right fist up to me.

"You're definitely not as good as they said you were." He says to me as I deflect his right band away from me. I backflip away from him as I start to spin on my hands as black and red lightning comes flying out my legs. The force from my Echo causes him to stop in his tracks for a split second as he covers his face and chest with his arms. I jump off of my hands as I channel my Echo throughout my hands. I fire a bolt of black lightning at his feet causing him to jump away from me. In doing this he leaves his midsection completely wide open. Taking advantage of this opening when I land back onto the ground I plant my right foot into the ground as rocket towards him. I cock my fist back and swing it at his chest but right as my fist makes contact with his body my hand goes right through his chest. My eyes start to widen as the hooded man starts to chuckle as he quickly grabs onto my arm and head butts me right in my face.

I let out a loud cry of pain as blood starts to trickle down my nose. But before I can even recover from his attack I can feel him grab onto my face as he picks me up and slams my back into the ground. A huge wave of pain starts to shoot throughout my body as he quickly picks me up by my neck and starts to slam my chest and face with bone-shattering punches. Wave after waves of pain work their way throughout my body with every punch that's landed and I feel like I could pass out at any moment. My body and mind completely shot as the hooded man raises my body into the air and slams my face into the ground. I can feel my nose break underneath the concrete as I hear Zach call out to me from the darkness.

As I raise my head up I can see him starting to walk towards me as I raise my hand out to him.

"Go back! Get away from here now Zach!" I yell out to him as the hooded man stomps my head back into the ground.

"Oh, you don't need to worry about him!" The hooded man yells as he picks me up by the back of my shirt. "The only person that you need to worry about is yourself!"

This is it! The moment I was waiting for! Even though my body is beaten and battered and I can barely move I know what I can do.

The words that I told Zach a little while ago come back to me as I struggle to keep my eyes open.

"I still haven't completely mastered my abilities either. I'm still not confident in copying other people's abilities. My body isn't strong enough to take on the toll of some of other people's abilities, and my negating ability only works in short bursts in a small area."

This is the perfect place to use my Echo, even though my body isn't in the best of shape as long as I can negate his ability I could probably getaway. I don't sense much of an Echo coming off of him so if I can release enough of my Echo out of my body I can knock this guy out.

"I think it's about time we end this." The hooded man says as I hear him draw his knife from his waist. "I'm just upset that your friend Leo had to be killed just to make this a reality!

Wait what? What did he just say? Leo is dead?

"What the hell did you just say?!" I yell at him as I start to try and free myself from his grip. "How the hell do you know that name?! Where is Leo?!"

But the hooded man doesn't answer my questions. As he draws his arm back I immediately start to feel my Echo starting to flow throughout my body as my eyes start to glow a hot red and black. I can feel all of my anger starting to swell up inside of me as black and red lightning explodes off of my body. The force from my Echo forces the man to drop me out of his hand as the entire warehouse starts to shake. Pieces of the ground start to rise up around me as the hooded man is pushed back away from me. I can feel my hair starting to rise up as black energy starts to seep out of both of my hands. The black energy starts to seep down to my right hand as something that feels like a scythe starts to form in my hands. I can hear Zach starting to cry out to me as I turn my head to him. When both of our eyes make contact with one another I can see fear starting to spread across his face as I manage to catch a reflection of myself in a couple of pieces of broken glass and what I see before the glass is shattered sends shivers down my spine.

Once I catch a glimpse of myself something that looks like The Grim Reaper appears behind me and drags me into a deep black void. As I try to let out a loud scream the cold hands of someone or something wraps their hands around my mouth as the whispers of a man enter my ears.

"This anger, this animosity, this bloodlust. I haven't felt anything like this since before the last moments of my life." The man says as the grip around my mouth gets tighter and tighter. "You want to kill these guys, don't you?! They took away something that was important to you right?! Your best friend?!"

As I shake my head yes the man starts to laugh as the grip around my mouth starts to get a bit lighter. I can feel my body starting to vibrate slowly as the blade of my scythe grows in length.

"Good, good. That's right. Allow my will, our will to flow through you. You are the only one worthy to carry on my will." He says as I feel what feels like cold hands working their way down my arms, these hands start to guide my hand across the blade of the scythe as my entire body starts to tingle with power. Black and red lightning spark off of my body illuminating the darkness a bit as I feel my anger starting to rise even more. "Yes! Yes! Don't you allow them to take what's important from you without facing consequences! You and I will make not only them pay! But we will make the entire world pay for our suffering!"

I can feel a low growling sound start to swell up from the inside of me as the lightning sparking off of my body starts to strike a tear this dark realm apart.

"Yes, we will make them pay." He and I say simultaneously as the dark realm around us starts to crack even more. The low growling sound starts to grow even louder as I feel my anger starting to grow even more. Black flames start to work their way up my face as a devious smile creeps across my face.

"We Will Make Them ALL PAY!!!!!" He and I yell as the entire dark realm completely shatters from around me.

"So it looks like you've finally shown us your true power!" The hooded man says as I look down at my hands. "From the looks of it, it seems like this is the first time you've actually allowed your Echo to fully manifest itself like that isn't it?! Damn! From the feel of it, you could actually rival some of the Captains! This is it! This is the kind of fight that I was looking for! Bringing your head back to The Government and President Atlas will definitely prove to them that I'm worthy of holding the title of the newest Captain of The Government!"

My true power? New Captain?! What does he mean by that? Leo, Where is Leo?! What happened to him?! I'm so angry that I can feel my body starting to shake as the hooded man claps his hands. When he does that five consecutive explosions occur all around me as four people with an Echo comparable to Mariah immediately appear all around me as the hooded man starts to laugh.

"Now that you've finally decided to show us your full power I'll return the favor." He says as all five of the Hybrid soldiers jump down into the warehouse and immediately start to surround me as my Echo continues to rise.

"First we kill your best friend, next we kill the brat that you're protecting and then last we turn you into The Government and have President Atlas execute you in front of the entire world. That sounds like a good plan doesn't it?" The hooded man says to me as I start to laugh.

"I don't know if it was your intention to come here and purposely piss me off but you've gone and done it," I say to him as I raise my head and slightly tilt it to the side as my eyes start to glow a bright hot red. "The only ones here that will be having their blood spilled here is all of you. I can promise you that none of you will leave out of this building alive."

"It's six versus one, do you seriously think that you stand a chance against all of u-

Before one of the Hybrid soldiers can even finish his sentence I speed blitz him and I ram my fist right through his chest as blood goes flying all over the place. The Hybrid soldier looks closely at me with fear in his eyes as he starts to cough out blood. As I pull my fist out of his chest the Hybrids body collapses to the ground as I turn my attention to the remaining four that remain.

"Now it's five on one. Who wants to be next?" I growl as black and red lightning strike and spark off of my body and all around me.