Red and white lights explode over my head as I back away and look into the sky. My eyes can barely even keep up with what's going on between those two. The only thing I can really make out is that Crystal; the woman who claims to be Eden's sister is the one who's in complete control of this fight. I can hear Eden grunting and screaming as she gets beaten and tossed around by Crystal. I cover my face as both of them clash in a brilliant display of power. Fire and lightning explode everywhere as both of them continue to fight one another.
"You haven't changed a bit, Eden! You're still the same girl that you were while we were growing up!" Crystal yells as she hits Eden with a barrage of punches to her face, chest, and gut. "Even just exchanging a couple of punches with you I can tell that you're still not sorry for what you did to us!" Crystal yells as she grabs Eden by her throat and throws her into the ground.
Eden quickly picks herself up off of the ground and flames explode off of her body as I cover my face to shield myself from the heat.
"You're wrong Crystal! I am sorry! I feel bad every day for what I did to our family! How could you not see that?!" Eden yells as Crystal appears behind her. She kicks her in her head and Eden goes rolling through the dirt as Crystal flips her hair.
"So your way of showing how sorry you were was to burn down bot only our home, but our entire town as well?!" Crystal yells as she disappears into a stroke of lightning. She reappears directly in front of Eden as Eden fires a blast of fire at her. Eden easily dodges it as she appears again right above her and grabs her by her head. Crystal's eyes start to light up as both of them are enveloped by lightning.
Eden lets out a pained yell as Crystal grabs her by her mouth and punches her in her gut. She throws Eden away from her as Eden struggles to pick herself up off of the ground. The smell of burned clothes enters my nose as Crystal starts to walk towards Eden once again. I can tell just from this exchange alone that Eden is exhausted. She has blood dripping down a
her face and her breathing are ragged as she puts her guards up again.
"Eden, you're hurt. I understand that she's your sister but you have to let me fight!" I yell at her. Eden shakes her head no as she looks on at Crystal.
"No Hiroshi. This is my fight. I appreciate you wanting to help but you're in bad shape as is. I don't want you to get more hurt than you have to. You completed your mission. This is mines." Eden says as her body explodes into flames. She rushes towards Crystal again as she begins to chuckle. Both of them disappear into streams of white and red once again as they clash back and forth with one another.
"You're willing to risk your life for him? Really?!" Crystal yells as she starts to hit Eden with a barrage of lightning bolts over and over again. Eden starts to cry out in pain more and more with each stroke but she continues to fight even though she's clearly outmatched. "Why didn't you show this kind of heart when you set our house on fire and left our parents to die Eden?!"
Crystal punches Eden in the chest so hard that I can hear the cracking of her ribs over all of the lightning and yell. Eden is sent crashing to the ground once again as Crystal follows after her. Lightning strikes around Crystal as Eden picks herself up once again. She wipes the blood from her face as Crystal stops a couple of feet from Eden.
"You killed mommy and daddy Eden," Crystal says as she starts to tear up. "You killed our parents and you didn't even try to save them. You didn't even say sorry!!" Crystal yells as she hits Eden right in her face. Eden goes flying over my head as I run over to try and help her but Crystal fires a bolt of lightning at my back and I go flying into the air. I land hard on the ground as Crystal walks past me.
"Stay out of this Hybrid Killer. This is between Eden and me. The next time you try to butt in I'm going to kill you." Crystal says as he disappears into a lightning bolt and reappears over top of Eden. Crystal picks Eden up by her throat as she covers her fist with lightning and hits her in the face. Eden is sent flying back as I call out to her.
"Please. Crystal. I'm sorry. I was only eight years old! I couldn't save them!" Eden says as she puts her hands up to shield herself from
Crystals attacks. But it's not in the way you think someone would in a fight. It's almost as if she's pleading with Crystal to stop attacking her.
"You were old enough to manifest your powers when I couldn't. When your abilities manifest you take responsibility for what you do with them, and you still haven't done that!" Crystal yells as she strikes Eden in the face over and over again.
"Please. Crystal stop! I'm begging you!" Eden yells as Crystal kicks her in her gut. Eden goes rolling through the dirt as Crystal gives chase to her. She picks Eden up by her hair with one hand and she raises the other in the air as lightning starts to crackle off of her body. I can feel myself starting to feel sorry for Eden as Crystal beats on her even more. The look and aura that she's giving off are that of someone who has lost all sense of humanity. If I don't do something now, She's going to kill Eden.
I put my fingers over my eye just as a bolt of lightning comes shooting out of the sky. I glare at Crystal as black and red lightning crackle off of my body.
"I knew you would try something like that Hybrid Killer. That's why I wasn't aiming for the lightning at Eden. I was aiming it at you!" Crystal yells as the bolt quickly change direction and it pierces me in my chest before I even have time to react.
I can feel my entire body go numb as I collapse on my back to the ground. I can hear the muffled screams of Eden crying out to me as I struggle to catch my breath. It feels as if the lightning struck one of my lungs as I continue to fight for air. I start to cough out blood as I start to wheeze for air. I lay there for what feels like an eternity and I eventually lose consciousness.
I see what people mean when they say your life flashes before your eyes when you're close to death. I'm able to see the earliest memory I can remember to things I thought I had forgotten long ago. Spending time with my mother and father as they push me on a swing. Birthday parties, My mother singing me to sleep, and then I see their deaths. Them protecting me from Hybrid soldiers and them yelling to me to run away. To save me. I see myself finding and killing the soldier who killed my parents and an array of more soldiers over the years. I see myself killing them in so many different ways. Tossing them off buildings. Bashing their skulls in. Snapping their necks and every time I did that the way I felt didn't change. I was still angry that no matter how many Hybrids I killed they wouldn't leave us, Deviants, alone. We were still targeted by the Government.
My mind skips ahead to meeting Jo, and him trusting me unconditionally even though he just met me. My mind flashes in between my fight with The Deviant Killer and talking with Eden. The two of them both put the meaning of my life into question. Forcing me to think about and answer what is the endgame for my life and what do I want to be remembered for. My mind goes back to Jo; the one who gave me a chance to change my life for the better. I'm guessing he saw something in me that I didn't see in myself. I feel sorry that I wasn't able to live up to his expectations. Whatever he saw must not have really been there after all.
"Hiroshi! Get Up!" I hear Eden yell. "Don't die on me! Not yet! We're going to change the world remember?! We're going to make it a better place for Deviants to live in right?!"
My eyes open immediately after hearing those words from Eden. It's almost like she's pleading me. The tone that she's speaking in is one that you would hear when someone desperately needs your help. Even though my body is still numb from the lightning strike I manage to pick myself up off of the ground and I find myself standing on both feet staring directly at Eden right as Crystal punches her in her face once again. Edens's eyes roll into the back of her eyes as blood trickles from the side of her mouth.
"You really sit here and call out for someone to save you? When I did the same to you for you to save our parents you just sat by and watched them burn!!" Crystal yells as she hits Eden over and over again. With each strike, you can hear lightning strike somewhere in the distance as I start to walk over to the both of them.
"You... You leave her alone right now!" I yell at Crystal. "You're blaming her for something that she had no control over! Look at her! You can't tell that she's sorry?! What kind of sister are you?!"
"One that wants the bitch who killed my parents to die!" Crystal yells as she raises her fist into the air. Edens's entire arm explodes into flames and I immediately copy her ability.
My arm does the same and I fire a blast of fire at Crystal that encompasses her entire body. She's sent crashing into a building as Eden crawls her way over to me. I help Eden up off of the ground as she places her hand over the hole in my chest. Her hand heats up but not to the point where it burns my skin. She uses the heat to close up my wound a bit so that I don't bleed out.
"Eden. Are you all alright? Do you think that you have enough strength to run and get help? I can stay here and fight her if that's what you want to do." I say to her. Eden shakes her head no as she wraps her arm around my shoulder to help her stay on her feet.
"I can't do that Hiroshi. I would be disobeying a direct order from Jo if I went back there without you." Eden says to me. "I told Jo that I would bring you back safe and sound and that's what I'm going to do. He trusts in you and like I said before I do too. So put your trust in me and let me get you back to Jo and the rest of Revenant safely okay?"
Trust is really important to these guys. They must believe in Jo because he trusts them wholeheartedly. Regardless of whatever background they have or the type of person that they once were he believes that everyone can change and make a difference in this world. He did that with Eden and he did it with me. So I nod my head and I allow Eden to take charge of this mission. Crystal bursts out of the debris and she lands on the ground as she wipes bits of dust and debris off of her body.
"So not only will you not take responsibility for killing our parents but you go and join some organization that would dare to stand against the Government? How far will you sink before you realize that you're a monster and that you always will be one?" Crystal spits at Eden.
"Revenant took me in when I had no place to go. After what happened back home I couldn't even face anyone. I knew that if I stayed I would be killed by the people who survived the fire so I ran away and I stayed as far away from people as I possibly could've. I was convinced that I would never be able to interact with anyone ever again without hurting them until Jo showed up and saved me. After all those years alone he saved me and he convinced me that I wasn't just someone who just burned things. He helped me realize that my life could have a purpose. What if I commit myself for a greater cause that helped people that I could be a good person and stop people like you." Eden spits back.
"So you're just as bad as the Deviants that we kill. They walk around as if they're all high and mighty. Throwing off the natural order. They're a threat not only to themselves but to the world as well. They need to be put in their place and kept there." Crystal says to her.
"So is that why you joined the Government? To kill Deviants?" Eden asks her.
"No. I joined the Government because they told me that they would help me find you. That I would be able to give you what you deserved after not only killing our parents. But after abandoning me. You don't think that after our parents died that I didn't need you? That I didn't want you with me? At a time like that, that's when I needed you the most!! And you left me all alone!! You're selfish and all you think about is yourself! But now all of a sudden you want to help the people in need? Bullshit. While I was all alone do you know what Deviants did to me? They beat me on me and they raped me for days, days!! They saw that I was going to become a Hybrid once I turned sixteen and right before they killed me I was saved by the Government. They nurtured me back to health, they gave me somewhere to sleep, they fed me but most of all they showed me how this world truly is. How truly disgusting Deviants truly are and here you are helping one over your own sister!" Crystal yells as lightning strikes all around her.
"Eden. There's no reasoning with her. Her mind is already made up. What we need to do is finish her." I say to Eden. "You can't beat her on your own and you know that."
"No Hiroshi. I'm not letting you fight for me!" Eden yells at me.
"I wasn't going to propose that. I was going to say let's fight together. One on one we can't beat her. But together I know we can. The one time we got a good hit on her it was when both of us were involved." I say to Eden. Eden looks at the hole in the building and back to me as she nods her head.
Eden's body bursts into flames as she takes her arm from around my shoulder.
"I'm going to show you how much I've changed Crystal. You're going to see why it isn't Deviants that you should be afraid of. It should be me." Eden says. "I'm the leader of the Phoenix Squad Of Revenant, and on behalf of our leader we will beat you here and now!"
After Eden yells that a wing made completely out of fire sprouts from her back. I look on in amazement as flames explode from my body as well. A wing made up of flames sprouts from my back as half of my face is completely covered in flames. I manage to catch a glimpse of us in the mirror and I get shivers as I see how both of us look. Both of our wings are flapping in unison with one another as the heat emanating off of us is so powerful that Crystal is forced to cover her face. I can see sweat starting to form on her forehead as she looks at us.
"It doesn't matter who or what you are, I'm never going to forgive both of you for what you've done!!" Crystal yells as she rushes towards Eden.
I intercept Crystal before she has a chance to get her hands on Eden. I grab her by her hair and I start to slam her body into the ground over and over again as Eden rushed towards us and rams her fist into Crystal's gut as she goes flying away from us.
"You stay back and cover me!" I yell as I dig my feet into the ground and rocket over towards her once again. Crystal lets out a loud yell as multiple bolts of lightning come flying out of the sky. But before they have a chance to hit me Eden fires streams of flames that block her attack.
I can see that Crystal is stunned for a bit as she covers her face from the flames.
"You left yourself wide open!!" I yell as I blast her with fire from my hands at point-blank range. Somehow a lightning bolt appears before the flames have a chance to hit her and when I look up Crystal is zipping across the sky. I blast into the sky and I give chase to her. Both of our clash with one another as flames and lightning light up the sky. Crystal moves all around me as her movements become harder and harder to track.
I can hear a lightning bolt strike behind me signifying where she is. I swing my leg behind me as a huge blast of flames fires out of my foot but the flames don't make contact with anything. I hear another lightning bolt strike from behind me and I can hear an attack charging up as Crystal starts to laugh.
"It seems like you're the one who's left themselves wide open!" Crystal yells as she blitzes me. She hits me in my chest with an open palm of lightning. My body is sent rocketing to the ground but Eden catches me before my body touches the ground.
"I thought I told you to cover me!" I yell as Crystal descends to the ground and blitzes the both of us. We both backflip out of the way as she goes rushing past us.
"I couldn't track her movements!" Eden yells as Crystal rockets towards her with both of her fists covered in lightning. It looks like Eden doesn't see her coming so I go to intercept Crystal once again but when I get to her she teleports above me and she punches my head into the ground.
I ignore the pain that's shooting through my body as I wrap my legs around her neck and I throw her away from Eden. Eden twirls both of her arms and when she does that two wheels of flames appear from her arms and they start to chase Crystal as she runs away from the wheels of flames.
"The flames can track where she's going. As long as she's within a couple of miles of us they won't lose track of her heat signature. I can keep this up for as long as I need to. Just try to finish her off now!" Eden yells as blood starts to pour down her face once again. Whatever move this is it's draining a lot of her stamina, and on top of that she's completely exposed in the stance that she has to take to keep the attack up.
"You can trust me. I'll finish her off and we're going to get out of here alive!" I yell as I blast up towards Crystal. Flames fly off of my back as I catch up to Crystal and I ram my fist into her face. She goes rocketing towards the ground and one of Edens flame wheels is waiting for her there. Crystal is scratched by the flames wheel as she barely dodges it in time.
She uses her right hand to bounce off of the ground and she propels herself towards Eden once again. I can tell from the angle that I have the distance between us that I won't be able to make it in time, so I rocket towards the ground and I ram my fist into the dirt as a huge wall of flames comes flying out of the ground. Crystal is caught up in the wall of flames as she lets out a loud pained yell.
I blast my way over to her as the flames calm down. I ram my head into Crystals back as she goes flying over Eden's head. Crystal rolls through the dirt as Eden and I both rush towards her. I take the lead and I swing my leg at Crystal's face but she blocks it with her knee. I can hear the bone in her leg start to crack as Eden comes from behind me and she uppercuts Crystal.
"How can you even live with yourself knowing that you're fighting with the person who at any moment could turn his back on you and kill you?!" Crystal yells as a barrage of lightning bolts shoot out of the sky. I jump and dodge out of the way as Eden tries her best to predict where the bolts are coming from.
I fly over to Eden and I grab her hand and I pull her in close to me. As each bolt comes flying out of the sky I move Eden and my body out of harm's way. From the way it looks, you would think that we were dancing with one another. I grab both of her hands and both of us start to spin round and round as we start to pick up speed. In doing so we create a tornado made out of flames. I can hear buildings around us starting to tear apart as both of us continue to spin faster and faster. The lightning bolts stop striking around us as we let go of one another's hands and we fire the flame tornado at Crystal.
"I won't lose to the likes of you!!!" Crystal yells as she starts to release her Echo. Her body starts to cover itself in lightning as she waves her hand. When she does that the flame tornado completely disappears. "To think that a screw-up and a killer would force me to bring out my Echo. It's disgusting."
All of the hair on my body starts to stand up as the air becomes incredibly charged with electricity. It looks as if every strand of hair on her head has turned into a lightning bolt as she flips it over her shoulder.
"The will of our leader is absolute and just. I will not allow the two of you to stand in the way of what we have planned for this world. From this moment forward I'm going to face you with my full power. Hiroshi, Eden. You can consider your lives forfeit." Crystal says she immediately disappears from my view. "I was taking it easy on you before because I still considered you my sister even after all these years, but now after seeing how willing you are to help someone who isn't even your own blood I've decided that you need to die alongside him as well!"
I was able to keep track of her movements before she unlocked her Echo but now I have absolutely no idea where she could pop up from. I look down at my arm and I can see that the flames that I copied are starting to wear off. This is bad. If I can't finish her before this wears off I won't have enough strength in my body to defend myself, Vex, or Eden. They're both in worse shape than I am and I cannot allow them to get hurt anymore while I'm here.
"I guess I'll deal with The Hybrid Killer first!!" Crystal yells as she appears in front of me and grabs me by my face. She throws me into the sky as I'm struck by a barrage of lightning bolts.
"Crystal stop! This isn't between you and Hiroshi! This is between you and me!' Eden yells as Crystal kicks me in my face. I'm sent crashing into the ground as Crystal teleports behind me.
"You obviously care for this Deviant a lot of Eden. So as far as I am concerned this is between him and me as well." Crystal says as she rams her fist into my face. I let out a pained yell as lightning crackles off of my body.
I roll away from her as she puts both of her hands onto the ground. Lightning starts to travel across the ground as I push Eden out of the way. I release my Echo to try and cancel out her lightning but it's no use. Crystals lightning pushes its way through my negation field and it strikes me right in between my eyes. I cry out as I'm blown back into the ground. My ears are ringing and my vision is blurry but I put my guard up once again.
"Why do you continue to fight? You know that you're outmatched yet you continue to get up and keep fighting. Why??" Crystal yells as she rushes towards me once again. I know that I don't have a chance to block her attack or even hit her. But even if the odds are stacked against me all I know is that if I continue to fight that maybe, just maybe I'll be able to win. As long as I can protect Vex and Eden that maybe my life will be worth something.
"This is where you die Hybrid Killer!" Crystal yells as she hits me right in my lung with her fist. I can feel lightning start to surge through my body as the bones in my ribs start to break. Blood comes flying out of my mouth as I'm pushed back. But I don't allow myself to fall onto the ground.
"Don't tell me that's all the strength a Captain has. " I say as blood trickles down my lip. I wipe the blood away as I spit on the ground in front of her. "You're going to have to kill me first if you want to lay a finger on Eden. " I say as I clench both of my fists. The flames that were once radiating off of my body start to dwindle down in size as I cough out more blood. Crystal rushes at me once more with her fist aimed at my face. I close my eyes to try and brace myself for the punch but it never comes.
When I open my eyes I see Eden has blocked the punch for me by getting in between her and me.
"I can't let you die here Hiroshi. If you die then Jo is not going to be happy with me." Eden says as she starts to laugh. Her flames start to grow brighter and hotter than ever as she pushes Crystal off of her.
"I'm sure that you're aware that the hotter and brighter something shines the shorter its life span is right?" Crystal asks Eden.
Eden chuckles as she rushes towards Crystal once again. Both of them start to exchange punches with one another as the clash back and forth. While Crystal is preoccupied with Eden I run past the both of them and I grab Vex. Once I pick him up I start to look around for a way out. As I'm looking I can hear Vex start to cough. Thankfully he's still alive.
"Hiroshi. My family. Are they safe?" He asks me. "Has she destroyed the underground bunker yet? Please tell me she hasn't discovered it."
"No, no she hasn't. As far as she's concerned we're the only four people here." I say to him as Crystal goes flying over the top of me. She crashes into a building about twenty feet away from me as I start to run for the exit.
"Take Vex and get him to Jo! Don't stop running at all costs! Leave Crystal to me!" Eden yells as she rockets over to Crystal.
"If she continues to fight that woman, she will not survive," Vex says. "That woman is more powerful than me or anyone I have ever seen or faced. Are you sure that I am worth all of this bloodshed?"
"If our leader thinks so then yes, you are," I say as we continue to get closer to the exit.
"But is her life more important than mines? I can see the way you act for her. How ready you were to protect her even though you were in worse shape then she was. What your actions show are different than what you're saying." Vex says to me. "If you want to save her then do it."
As Vex says that Crystal starts to hit Eden with a barrage of attacks. I can hear her bones starting to crack as she cries out in pain. She's slammed into the ground as Crystal fires a barrage of lightning bolts at her body. It takes all that Eden has within her to dodge those attacks. I can feel my body starting to move on its own towards her. I drop Vex as I dig my feet Into the ground but right before I'm able to take off towards Eden I feel someone's hand on my shoulder. I turn around and the person I see is Jo.
"You've done a good job on your first mission Hiroshi. But it's okay. Your job ends here." Jo says as he walks over to where Crystal and Eden are fighting.
"Eden. I'm so happy to see that you were able to control your fire in the heat of battle without blowing the entire town away. No pun intended. You continue to improve every day." Jo says as Crystal turns to him.
"Who the hell do you think you are interrupting our fight?!" Crystal yells as she rockets towards Jo. I can barely even keep up with her movements, but all Jo does is put his hand up and Crystal stops dead in her tracks.
"Eden. Your mission is complete. I just dropped by to say job well done." Jo says as he waves his hand at Crystal. When he does that Crystal starts to cry out in absolute agony as she drops down to the floor. She starts to claw at her face and body as she rolls around on the ground.
"Thank you, Jo. It was my pleasure." Eden says as she starts to collapse to the ground. But before she hits the floor Jo catches her in his arms and he lifts her up.
"You give too much for me Eden," Jo says as he waves his hand over her body. Once he does that Eden's face starts to calm a bit and she falls to sleep with a smile on her face. "Hiroshi. I think you deserve to rest a bit too." He says as he puts his hand out to me.
"Jo. I appreciate you coming to save us, but don't you wave your hand over me as you did to her. I'm perfectly fine, and I don't even know what you're doing to them. I'd rather deal with this pain over having you do whatever you did to them to me." I say as I help Vex off of the ground.
"Understandable. I would be cautious if I just witnessed what you did. You have a lot to learn about yourself and your abilities in Hiroshi. What this mission showed me is that I was right in having you join us. Your potential is endless. How far and how powerful you can get is entirely up to you and I cannot wait to see you reach your full potential." Jo says to me.
I look behind him and I see that Crystal is still writhing in pain on the ground.
"So what're you going to do with her? Are you just going to leave her like that?" Vex asks Jo.
"We could kill her now," I say to Jo. "She said that she was a Government Captain. If we get rid of her now we won't have to worry about her in the future."
"I think that's a decision that would be best left to Eden seeing as how that is her sister. I don't think that it would be right for us to decide that." Jo says as he moves Eden's hair from her face. "But. It appears as if she isn't with us right now so she can't make that choice. Hiroshi. You were the last person with her so I'll leave the choice to you. Kill her or let her live and we go home."
I can feel my stomach drop at that question. I wasn't expecting him to give me that option like that. But I don't hesitate as I walk over to Crystal. I channel the little fire that I have left in me and I aim my hand at her face. But when I do that the cries of Eden pleading with Crystal start to flash through my mind. I could tell while they were fighting that both Eden and Crystal were pulling their punches with one another. Despite the insults that they were spitting at one another. Despite the fact that they're on opposite sides something deep inside of them was holding them back from really killing one another. I look back at Jo and he nods his head to me. When he does that I allow the flames to die out and I walk back towards the three of them. Neither of them truly wanted to kill one another. If that's the case then it would be wrong for me to take Crystal's life away from Eden. I take a deep breath in and out as I fold my arms across my chest.
"That was a good thing you did Hiroshi. Even though Eden won't say it to you directly. I'm sure she appreciates it." Jo says to me as he calls Kevin. "Kevin. Our mission is complete. Hiroshi was able to get Vex to join us and I have Eden with me. Tell everyone to start packing up, and make some room on that helicopter if you can. We're going to have a couple of guests joining us as well."
Vex nods to Jo after he says that. As we make our way back to our base camp the only thing that I can think about is who Crystal mentioned during our fight. It was only a couple of times but she did bring up a leader. Someone that she's following. I get chills down my back as I remember the look that she had on her face when she mentioned whoever they are. It was for a split second but I could see the look of absolute ecstasy that she had on her face when she mentioned them. If she was that strong and that committed to wiping out Deviants who knows how powerful this leader must be. I wonder if even Jo has the power to stand up against whoever they are.
But for now, I'll rest my body and my mind in preparation for whatever comes next.