Chapter 5:

Phoenix Part 2; Hiroshi vs Vex


The sound of gunfire and explosions spur me out of my sleep. I run out of my tent to see what's going on and what I find makes my heart drop. I see Eden, Eric, and the rest of the Phoenix force fighting off Government military and Hybrids. I knew that letting that one guy live yesterday was a mistake. I should've killed him when I had the chance, and now we have the Government on our backs. I frantically look around for Jo as I bob and weave around soldiers and their gunfire. I catch a glimpse of Jo in the distance surrounded by a group of five Hybrids. Before I can run over to help him three Hybrids step in between me and the route I need to get to him.

"Hybrid Killer. I'm sure you remember me." One of the Hybrids says to me. He flips his brown hair in the wind as he tears off the cast from around his neck. "Don't think that I forgot about what you did to me and my friend yesterday. You're going to pay for killing him! I'll rip your head right off of your shoulders!"

As he digs his feet into the ground I take a deep breath in and out as I allow my Echo to manifest out of me. Black and red lightning crackle around me as the brown-haired Hybrid speeds towards me. Once he gets within range of my Echo aura he immediately slows down and loses his speed. The other two Hybrids behind him notice this and they immediately take action. One of the points their hand out towards me and when he does that I can see ice starting to form on his arm. I draw in my Echo and I glare at his arm to copy his ability. A huge gust of wind blows around us when I do this. After I copy his ability I can start to feel ice starting to creep up both of my arms. When I feel this I immediately grab the brown-haired Hybrid by his face and I blast him at point-blank range with a full dose of cold air. I can feel his face freeze up instantly under my hand as I take it off his face. I push him away from me as I roundhouse kick his head off of his shoulders. Blood starts to spray everywhere as the other two Hybrids start to slowly back away from me.

"So is anyone else feeling like an avenger? If so I'll be happy to take on all of your anger and frustration right now!" I yell as I throw my hands into the sky. No one makes a move for a couple of seconds. So I take that as a no. "Fine then. No takers? Wrong decision!"

As both of them start to run away from me I slam both of my hands into the ground. When I do that huge sharp chunks of ice sprout from the ground. The sharp ends of the ice pierce the two Hybrids through their back and chest. Blood flies everywhere as the two Hybrids immediately die from their wounds. As the ice melts away both of their bodies fall to the ground.

"If you don't have the will to fight then you don't need your lives. You're just taking up space." I say to their unmoving bodies.

As I run past their bodies and over to help Jo with his fight I'm shocked by what I see. All five of the Hybrids that were circling around him are all on the ground writhing in pain with their hands over their eyes and faces as they cry out in pure agony. Jo lights a cigarette and he blows the smoke into the air as he looks at me.

"Hiroshi. Nice of you to join the fight. I hope you were able to get a good night's rest." Jo says as the ice defrosts from my arm. "Have you seen Eden anywhere? I'm sure she's fine I just want to confirm that everything is going smoothly with her."

I look behind me and I see a huge wave of fire accompanied by what sounds like laughing about twenty yards away. The heat from her flames is so intense that I can feel it all the way here where I am. Sweat starts to pour down my face just from the heat alone. If It feels like that from here I can't imagine what it feels like around her. Let alone getting caught in one of her attacks. I can hear Eden starting to laugh maniacally as she fires off more flames of her body.

"Come on!! I'll take all of you on right now!!" I hear her yell out as a huge wall of flames shoot out of the ground. Even with the enormous amount of heat that I can feel, I can still feel chills running down my spine.

"Hiroshi. I know that Vex wanted the two of you to meet up later today. I'm going to leave this mission in your hands." Jo says as he fights off a Government soldier. I hear a couple more running towards me from behind me. I plant my foot into the ground as I turn around and punch one of the soldiers in his face. His mask cracks under my fist as I grab his gun from his hip. Using his body as a shield I block all of the gunfire that the other two soldiers fire at me. Once both of them start to reload their guns I aim and shoot both of them in their heads killing them instantly. I drop my body shield onto the ground as I take the bullets out of his pistol.

"Wheres Kevin? is he alright? Can he fight? Does he need help?" I ask Jo. Jo shakes his head no.

"I'm sure Kevin is holed up somewhere looking for a way to get us out of here. The Government must be jamming our communication systems. I haven't heard from him since the attack started. Knowing him he's probably going to try and get those up and running before we try to do anything else. We can hold these guys off for another half hour at the most. So I would recommend that you get Vex on our side as quickly as you possibly can."

I nod to him as I take off in the opposite direction. I'm typically against running away from a fight, but if it's for the sake of this mission and the grand plan that Jo has in store then ill make this exception. As I start to run towards the town where Vex is I hear a loud explosion. I turn around and I see a huge wall of flames. I can hear the screams of a lot of people but I can't quite make out who the screams belong to. Every bone in my body is screaming to run back. Jo, Eden, and Kevin are in trouble! You need to go help them! No. I need to trust them. Trust that they can take care of themselves. I have to trust that Jo made the right decision to send me off fo get Vex by myself. I close my eyes and I shake my head as I run towards Vex and the town that he lives in at full speed. I get to the town in under a couple of minutes and when I run into the city I'm greeted by Vex who's looking off into the direction of where the battle is taking place. He pets a dog on its head and it runs away from us as Vex turns towards me.

"I'm glad that you could make it Hiroshi. But do you think that leaving your team to fight a battle like that was the right decision? Things must not be going well for you guys." Vex says to me. I clench my fist after he says that to me. I can feel my eye starting to twitch a bit as I look up at him.

"My team is risking their lives so that I can take part in this fight that you want us to have Vex. I won't let you stand there and let you make fun or mock the people who could be dying right now!" I yell at him. "I won't allow the sacrifices that they're making right now be in vain!"

"Your conviction is worthy to be praised Hiroshi," Vex says as he throws his jacket off of his back. "But unless you don't show me a repeat of what you displayed yesterday than yes. The sacrifices that they're making will be in vain. Show me the power that you have! Show me this strength that you have that can change the world Hiroshi!"

"A couple of minutes is all I need. I'm going to have you on your knees begging to join us before you know it." I say as I take a deep breath in and out to release my Echo aura.

"Your optimism is to be applauded, but if optimism is all you have then you might as well give up now!!" Vex yells as he raises his hand into the sky. When he does that the ground around me starts to crack and rise up around me.

I jump off of the piece of ground that I'm standing on and I roll away from all of the debris that's shooting into the air. I dig my foot into the ground and I sprint towards Vex with my fist aimed at his face. I ram my fist into his mouth right as he puts his hand up to try and block me. I drive my fist down so that his head is sent rocketing into the ground. The ground cracks under his head as I pick him up by his throat. Before I can hit him again Vex puts his hand on my chest and I immediately go flying back away from him. As I go rolling through the dirt I can feel my body getting lighter as I get lifted off of the ground.

"I guess your physical strength wasn't a fluke!" Vex says as he slams my body into the ground. "But the difference in strength when it comes to our abilities is clearly noticeable!"

Vex continues to slam my body into the ground over and over again as I try my best to get him in my sights. But he's making sure to stay out of my line of sight. Vex starts to throw me into buildings. Pieces of glass and debris start to fly everywhere as they get caught up in his gravity. Looking at one of the pieces of glass I'm able to see his reflection. I take that opportunity to try and negate his ability. I can feel my eyes starting to glow as black and red lightning crackles off of my body. When Vexs gaze meets mine the effects of his gravity wear off and everything returns to normal. My body falls to the ground and I quickly turn around to keep him within my sights. As I dig my feet into the ground Vex does the same and we rush towards one another with our fists trained at each other.

As I swing my fist at his face my fist whizzes past his face as he ducks under my punch. Once he does that he slams a knee into my ribs as I go rolling back through the dirt. I get off of the ground holding onto my chest but Vex continues his assault. I try to release my Echo from my body to slow him down a bit but for some reason, it doesn't activate. Vex takes this opportunity to kick me right in my mouth. The weight and power behind his kick feel as if he's using his gravity abilities to add weight to his attacks. My entire body shudders as I go stumbling back away from him.

As he rushes towards me with both of his fists I put my guard up and I prepare to counter any attack that he throws at me. When he gets within range of me he throws a punch at my chest that I easily dodge. My eyes start to widen as I see that he's leaving his body completely exposed. I take this opportunity to swing my fist at the back of his head. When my fist gets within a couple of inches of him he completely disappears from my view. Wind and debris start to fly everywhere as a result of the power of my punch. But before I can even retract my punch I feel Vex grab me by the back of my head and he tosses me into the air.

"You still seem to have some flaws in your abilities Hiroshi!" Vex yells as he puts his hand up into the air. When he does that my body stops completely in mid-air. "You still have more room to grow! You still haven't even mastered your own abilities let alone your Echo!"

Vex waves his hand and I'm sent crashing into the ground. I wrap myself into a ball to try and cushion my fall a bit but I still manage to crack a couple of bones in my arm. The sound of my bones cracking resonates throughout the town as I let out a pained yell. I pick myself slowly off of the ground and I put my fingers over my eyes to try and copy his ability but it's not working. It looks like my hypothesis wasn't correct. He isn't using gravity to add weight to his attacks. But before I even have the chance to think up another strategy I look up and I see Vex cocking his fist back again and he rams my fist into my throat. I let out a pained yell as he places both of his hands onto the ground. When he does that I can feel an enormous weight descend onto my entire body as my I'm slammed face-first into the ground. I can hear Vex walk over to me as I struggle to pick myself up off of the ground.

"It seems as if your entire life you've skated by just by your name and reputation," Vex says as he walks around me. "The Hybrid Killer is a name that instills fear in a ton of people. Deviants And Hybrids alike. You're like a myth, even a god to some people and the aura that you have around you and the way that you carry yourself is, in fact, intimidating, and to people like me who don't care for your name or status, we can see the flaws in your skills and abilities, and the people that you're going to have to face when you finally do decide to face the Government those are the type of people that you will be going up against, and at your current level of skill. You can not win."

I can feel anger starting to bubble up inside of me as I fight and rise my way through his aura of gravity.

"Your tenacity and drive to continue to fight a losing battle are borderline insane Hiroshi! But I think it's about time we stopped playing around and we actually get serious! Let me see your full power Hiroshi!" Vex yells as he takes his mask off of his mouth. When he does that the weight of the gravity that he's emanating increases even more. "Removing this mask is a sign of respect. I've only ever used my full power against the man who tried to kill my family. It reminds me every day of the first person whose life I took. This person tried to come here and kill my family so this scar is the price that I paid to ensure that no one would ever try to threaten them again."

"So I'm guessing that you're coming at me with the intent to kill me right?" I ask as black and red lightning start to crackle around me. I can feel my heart starting to race faster and faster as Vex looks at me with a sinister grin on his face.

"If you can't beat me at my full power then you can kiss any chance of me joining you goodbye! If I'm too much to handle for you then this world that you have envisioned will remain nothing more than a dream! So show me your full power Hiroshi!" Vex yells as he rockets towards me.

I don't know if it's because I'm scared of him or if I'm afraid of failing this mission, but in response to his declaration I let out a loud yell as I release all of the energy that I have within me out of my body, and from the looks of it Vex and I appear to be equal in strength as I rocket towards him as well. Our fists make contact with each other as we fight back and forth. We both get blown back from one another as I dig my hands into the ground to stop myself. I look up and I see Vex sprinting towards me as I pick myself up. I put my left hand out and I copy his gravity ability just as he gets within range of me. He swings his fist at my face and using gravity I wave him out of the way. He goes flying into the side of a building and I chase after him. Vex lets out a loud yell as a wave of gravity sends me flying away from him. The blast feels as if it's crushed my chest as I'm sent rolling into the ground.

I quickly get off of the ground and I weaken the gravity around the building that Vex is in so that it is sent rocketing into the air. When it gets high enough into the air I increase the gravity and I send it crashing back down to the ground with all of my might. But before it can even reach the ground I lose my control on the building as it stops inches from the ground. I can hear Vex start to laugh as he steps out of the debris and the building starts to collapse around him.

"That's what I like to see Hiroshi!" Vex yells as he wipes the blood that's dripping down his forehead. "Let's keep this up! I'm not done yet!" Right after he says that rain starts to heavily fall on top of us as an abnormal amount of lightning bolts starts to spray across the sky.

As Vex starts to fly towards me I put my left hand out to slow him down a bit. He gets pushed back but not enough for him to get worried. I cover my right eye with my fingers and I glare at him to try and cancel his ability but it doesn't work and before I know it Vex is right on top of me.

"It seems as if you can't use both of your abilities at once Hiroshi!" Vex yells as he rams his foot into my throat. I go flying back away from him but before I'm even able to crash into anything he puts his hand out and he uses his gravity to pull me back to him. He slams his forearm into my mouth as I end up biting my lip. Blood gushes everywhere as he uses his gravity to lift me into the air and slam me back down into the ground.

All of the air escapes my lungs as my body bounces off of the ground. Vex cocks his fist back and he punches me right in my gut as blood comes flying out of my mouth. I crash back down towards the ground but Vex doesn't let up his assault. I barely have any time to get my guard up before he appears in front of me again. He places his open palm on my chest and I go flying back into a building once again. Pieces of glass pierce my skin as blood drips down my arms and chest. I quickly pick myself up ignoring the pain as he rushes towards me again. I wipe the blood that's dripping down my face and I put my fingers over my eye and I act like I'm going to try and negate his abilities. When I do that he immediately drops to the ground and runs to me on foot.

He jumps into the air towards me and I roll away from him as he starts to run towards me. He blitzes me again and he manages to get his hand on my chest once more but I manage to cut his gravity blast off right before he's able to use it on me. I grab his wrist and I headbutt him into the ground. Vex quickly puts his hand onto the ground and pieces of the floor start to rise under my feet. I put my left hand out to him to copy his gravity ability once again. I pull Vex towards me as the both of us jump between the pieces of debris. We both land heavy-handed blows on one another as we jump back and forth between the rocks.

"You're definitely learning as you fight Hiroshi! But it seems like you're reaching your limit!" Vex yells as he teleports behind me. I immediately release a huge wave of gravity from my body as the chunks of debris start to orbit around me. Vex ends up getting caught in the orbit and he's bombarded by huge pieces of rocks and stray pieces of buildings.

"I don't have any time to play around with you Vex! I'm going to end this right now!" I yell as I throw him into the ground. I immediately release my grip on his gravity abilities as I land on the ground. He immediately starts to run towards me and I do the same. I can see him move his hand to try and blow me away from him so I put my fingers over my eyes and I act as if I'm going to negate his ability so that he switches up fighting styles and fights me a hand to hand. The last time I tried this I was able to get in a couple of good hits on him, I just have to predict what he's going to do right before he makes his move. I can beat this guy!

He drops his hand after he sees me cover my eye and he starts rushing towards me even faster now. He's probably counting on the couple seconds it would've taken for me to recover from negating someone to hit me while I'm still recovering but from the looks of it, he doesn't even know his abilities haven't been negated. So when he gets within range of me and he swings his fist I block his punch with my hand and I quickly punch him square in his face. Blood starts to trickle down his nose as he stumbles away from me. I rush towards him as he puts both of his hands up. I don't feel any changes in the gravity around me but I do notice the light from the lightning bending around Vex. He put up a shield and he's expecting me to run into it!

"Something that simply won't work on me!" I yell as I put my fingers over my eye again. Only this time I'm actually going to try and negate his powers.

"I knew you would try to negate my gravity shield! That was my plan all along! To get you close enough so I can trap you!" Vex yells as he pushes his hands out towards me. The shield of gravity starts to form its way around me and it acts as a sort of prison.

"I won't let you use those abilities of yours anymore! This fight ends right here and right now!" Vex yells as he puts both of his hands together. Almost like he's trying to compress something in his hands. I can feel the gravity around me starting to double, triple, and quadruple by the second. "I'm going to crush you until there's nothing left!! This is the power of my gravity well!!"

I put both of my hands on my head as I try to release my Echo to try and negate this gravity well but it won't manifest itself. Five times, six times. I can hear my bones starting to ache and groan. I try to pick my head up and look at him but the weight is too much. I can't even pick my head up far enough to look at him in the eye.

"If you're going to give up, now would be the time! You don't wanna get crushed down into a pancake do you?!" Vex yells as he puts his hands closer together. Ten times, fifteen times, twenty times. I can barely even keep my eyes open at this point. I fall to my hands and knees as the weight continues to grow on my back.

I let out a loud yell as I release all of the energy that I have within me. A clear aura explodes off of my body as the weight from the gravity starts to weaken on my back. I manage to slowly get back up on my feet as I continue to push out my Echo even more. Blood starts to pour out of my eyes and nose as I start to walk towards Vex. As I get closer to him he starts to chuckle, that chuckle turns into a full-blown laugh as he puts both of his hands together.

"This is it! This is what I like to see! I'll join your Revenant Hiroshi! But we don't have to stop fighting now! I haven't gotten this serious in so long!" Vex says as he gives looks at me with a crazed smile. "Let's see if you can take the full force of a Black Hole!" Vex yells as he puts both of his hands into the sky. But before he can even start to form his attack a series of lightning bolts come flying out of the sky.

One of the lightning bolts strikes Vex as the entire ground seemingly lights on fire. The power from those lightning bolts blows both of us back as I cover my face from any kind of loose debris. After the smoke clears I pick myself up off of the ground and I start to walk towards where Vex was standing and the smell of burned flesh enters my nose. I almost throw up from the smell as I kneel down to check on him. I put my ear onto his chest to see if he's still alive. When I do that I let out a sigh of relief after I hear his heartbeat. I pick him up and I put his arm around my shoulder as I start to walk away from the town.

"Hiroshi. How is everything on your end? Do you have Vex?" I hear Kevin say in my ear. I jump a bit at hearing his voice. I almost forgot that he gave us these earpieces yesterday. I press a button on the earpiece and I start to talk to him.

"Yeah. Yeah, I got him. But he's hurt. Bad. We're both pretty hurt. I'm bleeding pretty badly and I think one of my arms is cracked. Vex got hit by a bolt of lightning and I don't know how long he has." I say to Kevin. I can hear him type a couple of things on his computer before he responds to me.

"You don't have anything to worry about. I'm sending the remaining Phoenix squad members that we have over to your location." Kevin says. After he says that I start to hear the sound of a woman yelling in the distance. "Is that... Eden?" Kevin asks me.

I look into the sky and I see what looks like a huge meteorite heading over to me.

"Yes. She's already on her way to us. You can keep the Phoenix squad with you and Jo. I think we'll be fine." I say to Kevin. He lets out a deep sigh as he cuts out of the earpiece.

"Don't worry Vex. Help is on the way." I say to him as I start to walk towards the exit of the town. But before I can even get to the exit another barrage of lightning bolts strike in front of Vex and me once again.

Both of us are sent flying back away from the bolts continue to strike all around us. These kinds of strikes aren't normal. This is calculated and strategized. This is the work of a Hybrid and a powerful one at that. Someone who can control lightning, and they're good at it too. I look around me to try and find who the person is that's doing it but all I can see is the lightning striking all around me.

"There's no need to look for me because I've been right in front of you this entire time." A female voice says. After that, the lightning stops, and a woman with all white hair appears in front of me. Lightning still crackles off of her body as she stares at me with her piercing deep blue eyes.

"My name is Crystal and I'm a Captain commanding one of the three largest sub-organizations in the Government you may not know me, but I most certainly know about you Hybrid Killer." She says in a soft voice.

"A Captain? I don't think I've ever fought one of you guys before." I say as I lay Vex down on the ground. "But if it's a fight you're looking for. You've come to the right guy. I would love to tear your pretty little head off and keep it as a trophy."

"Bold words for someone who is about to die."

Crystal says as lightning starts to crackle off of her body. The air starts to feel charged and heated as the hair on my skin starts to rise.

I don't think I've ever felt or seen raw power like this before. I try to negate her ability but a bolt of lightning comes flying at me before I even have time to blink. This is it. I won't be able to get my guard up quickly enough to block her attack and I'm so tired I wouldn't even have enough energy to be able to draw out my Echo to try and negate it. All I can do is look at the stroke of lightning right as it is completely engulfed by a wall of flames.

I cover my face to protect myself from the heat and when I look up a wave of relief washes over me. It's Eden. She got here on time. I collapse onto my back as I start to laugh.

"I mean talk about the last-second save," I say as I take a deep breath in and out. "Literally one more second and I would've been a goner. Thank you, Eden." I say to her but she doesn't respond. I stand up off of the ground and I walk over to her. Her hair is lit up red as she stares daggers at Crystal.

"Aw Eden. It is so nice to see you. I am so happy to see that you've been taking care of yourself." Crystal says to her sarcastically. Eden spits on the ground in front of Crystal as the flames on her head grow larger.

"Eden. How do you know her?" I ask. She takes a deep breath in and out before she gives me her answer.

"Believe it or not. But Crystal here? She's my older sister." Eden says as Crystal starts to laugh maniacally. I remember how Eden sounded back when she was fighting at the camp and they sound exactly the same.

"Hiroshi. You're going to have to step back. This fight is mine." Eden says as she and Crystal both disappear and start to clash in a brilliant show of red and white light above my head and across the sky.

•Authors note: "Let me know who y'all think is stronger between Eden or her sister. Also, do you think that Vex or Hiroshi won their fight? 

Ana Fowl