Chapter 8:

Untapped Potential And Uncontrollabe Power


Jo drags me into his office and he locks the door behind him as he rushes over to his computer. He quickly types something up on his keyboard and a hologram of child pops up. He can't be more than thirteen or fourteen years old.

"Jo... if you have something you need to tell me I'm here for you. But I may need to get the police involved." I say to him. Jo starts to mock me as he throws a stapler in my direction that I easily dodge.

"Now is not the time for jokes Hiroshi. Now is the time for business. The Hybrid that we're going to recruit this time is hands down the most powerful Hybrid to date." Jo says as he turns his computer to me. "He's a ten out of ten on the star ranking system. A ten out of ten means he's a threat to the entire planet as a whole, and his name is Zach."

"A ten out of ten? What the hell can this kid do?" I ask Jo. "What kind of power does he have that gives him a ranking like that?"

Jo starts to pace back and forth as he scratches his forehead. He has a mixed look of excitement and horror on his face as he turns his computer back around to him.

"If you really want me to explain it, the explanation would be too long and hard," Jo says to me as he types something up on his computer.

"That's what she said," Kevin says as I slightly jump out of my seat. I hold onto my chest as Kevin and Jo give each other a high five as they start laughing. "But all jokes aside basically what this kid can do is warp the surrounding reality around him."

"Warp the reality around him? Wait, do you mean like an illusion of sorts? Why does that warrant him getting a ten out of ten?" I ask Kevin.

"No, not like an illusion Hiroshi. What I mean is that he takes everything around him and he can turn it into whatever he wants. Like, take this computer for instance." Kevin says as he waves his hand over it. When he does that he rearranges Jos computer into a toaster. "Where I can only turn technology into another piece of technology this kid could turn it into something like a tiger, a flower, or he could erase it from existence altogether," Kevin says as he rearranges Jo's computer back together.

"This Zach. If his power continues to grow unchecked and untrained, he could wipe out all the life on this planet and there would nothing any of us could do about it. He's dangerous, and that's exactly why we need him on our side." Jo says to me.

"I'm completely against having this kind of power in this facility Jo. Like you just said if he loses control there won't be anyone that could stop this boy, and let's remember he's only twelve. His abilities haven't even reached their peak and he's already warping, distorting, and destroying reality around him." Kevin says as he puts some video footage of the effects of the boys' abilities on the computer for us to see. It's almost impossible to make out what's going on but I can see what Kevin means.

Everything within a one hundred to two hundred yard radius is in between this state of existence and non-existence. Lightning is striking everywhere as I hear a loud yell in the background of the video before it's cut off by a huge wave of electric energy. I start to feel a bit sick to my stomach as I sit back in my chair.

"I think I'm going to have to agree with Kevin on this one Jo. No one has the power to fight against that kind of power, and even if I could negate his powers I can only do so for as long as he's in my sight, and I feel like the damage my body would take if I tried to copy an ability like that would kill me." I say as I rub the burn marks left on my body.

"So basically what you're saying is that you're too weak right now? Am I hearing that correctly?" Jo asks me.

"As much as I hate to admit it, yes. I wasn't powerful enough to protect Eden from that Government Captain, and if you hadn't shown up she would've killed the both of us." I say to Jo. "If she was more powerful than Eden and Vex And they're what? Six and seven? That would make her an eight, and now you're telling me that there's a little kid out there who is a ten and he hasn't even reached his full power yet? Jo. Are you sure that we have the kind of power to combat or even try and contain someone like that?"

Jo takes a deep breath and out as he gets up out of his chair. He flips his scarf around his neck as he takes a cigarette out of his pocket.

"Yes and no," Jo says as he lights up the cigarette.

"What the hell does that mean?" I ask him as I stand up out of my chair.

"What I mean is that you are the person that we will have to keep his abilities in check. You're going to be the counter to what he can do. But not at your current level of strength. You need to get stronger. Not only physically, but with your Echo as well." Jo says to me. "This boy is the key to winning this war against the Government, but you. You're the it. That X factor that will get us over that hump. You're the perfect counter to anything that they can throw at us."

"What're you saying Jo? That we send Hiroshi out to the front lines against someone like that? We don't even have all of the data on this kid. How do we even know that if Hiroshi gets stronger that his ability will even be able to stand a chance against that kid? We could lose two important pieces in one go if this doesn't go how you think it is." Kevin says to Jo. "I'm sorry, but I refuse to risk his life when we little to no data on what we're going up against."

"Kevin. I appreciate your concern for me." I say as I look at Jo. I can tell just from his facial expression how sure he is that his plan will work. He's the leader of Revenant and basically whatever he says goes. He could easily just have said fuck Kevin and whatever he had to say, and from an authoritative point of view there would've been nothing Kevin or I could've done. But he cares for us so much that he was willing to share this information with us before anyone else. The least I can do is get stronger for the sake of this cause. If Jo believes in me then I'll believe in myself too.

"Jo. I'll go through with the plan. I'll get stronger so that we can turn the tide in this war." I say to him. "You have my word. You have nothing to worry about. By the time I'm done with my training there won't be anyone who can stand against me."

Jo lets out a sigh of relief after hearing what I have to say.

"Thank you, I really appreciate it. I promise you if your potential is as much as I think it is you won't have anything to worry about." Jo says as he wraps his arm around me. "You heard the man Kevin. Let's fire up that training simulator you were telling me about."

"It's still in the prototype phase Jo. I don't know if it's ready for testing as of right now." Kevin says as he takes out his phone. "I'm pretty confident that if Hiroshi pushes the simulator to its limit it'll be almost impossible to repair."

"You said almost impossible. That's all I needed to hear." Jo says as he leads me out of his office. "Kevin! Let's go! We got some work to do. Grab Vex while you're at it. He's going to be of use to us!"

Jo leads me down a series of hallways and doors as Kevin calls Vex downstairs to this huge white room. Jo has me take off my bandages and hospital gauze as he opens up a door to an all-white room. I look inside and I expect to be immediately bombarded by guns, and traps but when I walk into the room nothing happens except for the door closing behind me. I can feel a slight breeze flow throughout the room as I stretch my legs and arms.

I can hear Jo cough over the microphone as I look towards the giant mirror that he's looking at me through.

"Now Hiroshi, I want to welcome you to a little project that Kevin has been working on over the last couple of years. He mentioned it briefly before but just to extrapolate on his earlier explanation I'll tell you what will be happening here." Jo says as Kevin types a couple of things on his keyboard. "What this room can do is it can basically simulate any kind of battle conditions that you could possibly be in. Be it in the middle of a desert going against an entire army or fighting mermaids in the middle of the ocean without a life vest."

"That is the level I hope to get the system to, but as of right now all I can do is simulate people and the abilities that they have on top of a couple of places where you can fight freely," Kevin says as he types a couple more things on his computer. After he's done doing that something like a pill comes out of the ground and I bend down to pick it up. "I'm going to need you to eat that Hiroshi. What that will allow you to do is to experience the battle simulation and all of its effects without your actual physical body experiencing any of the pain."

"What's the point of this training then? How am I going to get any stronger if I don't work my body out? Isn't that like the entire point of it?" I ask Kevin.

"Hiroshi. Someone's Echo is the literal manifestation of their will and soul. It's basically what you call the human spirit manifested." Jo says to me.

"See, you're right and wrong at the same time Jo. With an Echo, it is about Ninety percent mental and ten percent physical. That's exactly why when you were fighting Crystal and Vex you were able to keep producing your Echo. Your body was long past its limit. But your mind and your will to keep fighting kept rising. Your Echo is as much a part of you as your soul is. As long as you don't give up, your Echo will stay up." Jo says as he talks over Kevin.

Kevin lets out a deep sigh as he takes the microphone away from Jo.

"As much as Jo is correct none of that matters until you're able to call your Echo out on command. From what Jo has shared with me you were only able to bring it out while you were under extreme stress. That is exactly why we have Vex here." Kevin says. "We're going to implant Vexs' data and his abilities into the simulator to recreate a scenario where you'll be forced to bring your Echo out, and then we're going to keep doing that until you and your body can learn to control it at will."

"So basically what you're saying is that I'm going to be able to kick Vexs' ass all over again?" I say as I start to stretch again. "That's all I needed to hear. Fire up the simulator whenever you're ready." I say as I take the pill.

"Vex. Now, this is where you come in. You can make yourself as powerful as you want. The whole point of this simulation is to push Hiroshi to his absolute limit. In doing so not only will his body get used to the stress that his Echo will put on his body but it will allow him to be able to strengthen and control it at will." Kevin says as he puts a controller into Vex's hand.

"Oh boy. I'm really going to enjoy this." Vex says as he starts laughing. He starts to input something into the control pad as the room starts to warp and change around me.

"Hiroshi, last thing before the simulation starts. Time flows exponentially slower in the simulation than it does in real life. It could take weeks or even months for you to completely master your Echo. So don't worry too much if it feels like it's taking too long. A year in that simulation is like an hour or so out here. So get as powerful as you need to be." Kevin says as I'm completely engulfed by the darkness of the simulation. After a couple of seconds of complete darkness, I open my eyes to find myself in the middle of a huge city.

I get up off of the ground and the first thing I notice is that I'm surrounded by a series of large buildings. I hear something crash behind me and when I turn around I immediately drop to the ground as a car goes flying over my head. A huge explosion fires off behind me as I pick myself up and get into my fighting stance as Vex walks towards me. He takes his mask off and almost immediately the gravity in the city immediately increases by ten times. I collapse to my knees as Vex rushes towards me and knees me in my face.

I go flying back as blood comes pouring out of my mouth, the weight from the gravity smacks me right back into the ground as Vex gives chase to me once again. I grit my teeth and I try to release my Echo again but it's no use. Before I even have time to defend myself Vex rams his fist into my gut. I almost blackout by I quickly regain my composure as I grab him by his arm and I throw him over my shoulder. The ground cracks underneath his back as I pick him up by his face. I slam my leg into the side of his chest but he doesn't move an inch. He grabs me by my arm and he starts to grip it tightly. I let out a cry of pain as my arm seemingly snaps under his grip. I'm forced to release him from my grip and when his feet hit the ground he digs them into the dirt and he blitzes me. He slams his hand into my chest and using the gravity from his hands he sends me crashing through multiple buildings. I crash into the ground as sweat starts to pour down my face.

"I guess we're going to be here a while," Vex says as he floats down to the ground a couple of feet from me. "You aren't moving on from this part of the simulation until you can call your Echo out of yourself at will."

I immediately get up off of the ground and I run to punch him in the face but I don't get very far. Vex raises his hand and I'm immediately slammed face-first into the ground. I fight my way through the weight of his gravity and I manage to stick my right hand out to him as I copy his gravity abilities. The second I do that I swipe my hand and I throw Vex away from me. He goes flying through a series of buildings as I pick myself up off of the ground.

"If that's the case then how about you not try to kill me huh?" I ask as I rip my hoodie off of my chest. I get into my fighting stance as Vex and I run towards one another. We clash at the center of the city with enough force to blow all of the surrounding buildings around us away as we clash fists with one another. I can feel the bones in my arm start to crack as I cry out in pain.

"You're still too weak!!" Vex yells as he cocks his fist back and swings it at me with all of his might. I notice the slight change in the way the light from the sun bounces off of his fist. It's almost like it's bending around his fist. All of my instincts and senses are starting to go off in my head as his fist gets closer and closer. My body is basically screaming at me. Do not let this attack hit you! I can tell just from feeling the gravity alone that If this attack hits me head on it could shatter all of the bones in my body.

I have absolutely no way to defend myself from something like that. Unless, unless...

"Who the hell are you calling weak?!?!" I yell as black and red lightning explode off of my body. the clear aura that radiates off of my body pushes Vex back away from me as sweat pours down my face. Vex quickly picks himself off of the ground as he starts laughing.

"Yes. That's good. You sensed that the punch I was about to hit you with hand enough force to shatter an entire planet. There was no way that you could've survived a hit like that. Even if you can't die in here the shock from the pain would've definitely killed you on the outside." Vex says as he starts to roll up his sleeves.

"Now. It's time for me to actually let loose and have some fun." Vex says as he clamps both of his hands together. "Your Echo seems to have manifested itself only when you truly felt that your life was in danger. So how about I ramp up the pressure a bit?" Vex says as he starts to give me a crazed look.

"What the hell do you have planned?" I ask him.

"Oh, nothing too serious. Just a continuation of our last fight. I never got to show my full power. Let's see how your Echo stands up against the full force of a black hole!!" Vex yells as he opens his hands back up. When he does that a black mass of energy appears above his head as he starts to laugh maniacally. "We're going to have some fun Hiroshi! Let's see how long you can hold this off until you succumb to my infinite well of gravity!"

I let out a loud yell as I release my Echo from my body once again. I dig my feet and hands into the ground as the gravity from the black hole starts to pull me closer and closer to it. I can feel my legs starting to get pulled closer to the black hole as I try to pull myself away from it but I know it's no use. If I get to close to the black hole it'll rip me to shreds and kill me before I even have the chance to negate it. The only thing that I could do is negate it from afar. But how the hell would I do that. As far as I know, my negation range only extends out to about a couple of feet.

Vex and the black hole are about twenty feet away from me, that's nowhere near my range. I can feel my heart starting to beat faster and faster as I'm drug closer and closer to the black hole.

"So what're you going to do now Hiroshi?! Are you just going to stand there and die or are you gonna continue to fight and find a way to live?!" Vex yells at me.

"I won't allow myself to lose here!!" I yell as the face of the little boy that I spoke to yesterday flashes through my mind.

"When I grow up, I want to be just like you. I know you aren't just a killer. I know that you're doing this for the sake of Deviants everywhere."

I can't let people like him down. If I die here now, who's going to protect Deviants from the Government and Hybrids? No one will! I can't die here!

"I won't die here Vex! Do you hear me?!" I yell as my aura starts to grow in size and cover more ground. "I won't be taken down by something like this!!"

"You say that but my black hole is still here Hiroshi! Why don't you stop talking and actually show me how strong you can be!!" Vex yells as he pours more of his power into the black hole. Everything around me except for what's under my aura starts to get sucked into the black hole.

I let out a loud yell as more black and red lightning crackle off of my body, I turn my head around to face Vex as I release all of my energy out of my body. When I do that my aura immediately evaporates the black hole in its entirety as Vex lets out a pained yell as he is caught in my negating aura. The world around us all turns completely white as my body collapses to the ground.

I can hear Vex start to laugh as he picks himself up off of the ground.

"Oh, man. That was fucking great!" Vex says as he walks over to me. He helps me up off of the ground as I wipe the dust off of my clothes. "Now that I know the conditions under where you can actually materialize your Echo it's time for us to actually get to work."

I can feel my face turn white after he says that.

"What do you mean by actually get to work? You mean to tell me that wasn't us actually working?" I ask.

"Hell no! We have all the time in the world Hiroshi!" Vex says as he puts his hands together once again. "We're going to keep going until you can call your Echo out without your life being in danger. But for right now. We're going to get your body used to the stress that your Echo put on your body!"

Over the next four to five months I train my mind and my body to draw out my Echo whenever I want. I manage to extend the range of my negating aura from only a couple feet to about one hundred to two hundred yards without putting a lot of stress on my body. Vex and I train my body as well. We spend most of the waking hours sparring with one another. I learn how to control his gravity abilities as well. I manage to increase my physical stamina so that I don't tire easily in the middle of the battle as well. I sometimes spend weeks at a time training myself under the weight of Vexs gravity. I train my body to be able to withstand up to thirty and forty times the normal weight of Earth's gravity. In turn, I greatly increase my overall physical strength; including my speed, durability, and overall strength as well.

After another grueling day of training, I collapse onto the ground covered in sweat and blood as Vex sits down next to me. He hands me a bottle of water that I down in no time at all.

"To be honest I'm surprised that you actually managed to survive all of that training. You once again have exceeded all of my expectations." Vex says to me. "But. Your training is nowhere near done. You've completed your training with me, but that just means that you're ready to train with Jo now."

"I'm sorry, but Jo? Nah. Nope. I just spent months here with you. I would really like to go back to Revenant and lay in my bed for a bit." I say as I get up and start to walk away from Vex. But before I can get far Vex uses his gravity abilities to pull me back to him.

"Nope. You aren't going anywhere. You're going to wait right here for Jo to show up. You still have a ton of training to do, and believe me. You have plenty of time." Vex says as he completely vanishes from in front of me.

I know that Jo, Vex, and Kevin are watching me from their computer so I stick my middle finger into the air as I sit down on the ground and I wait for Jo. It feels like hours pass until Jo finally shows up in front of me. He sits down next to me as he lights a cigarette in his mouth. He offers me one out of his jacket pocket and I slap it out of his hand.

"Those things are going to kill you before anyone from the Government can get their hands on you," I say to him. Jo starts to laugh as he blows smoke out of his mouth.

"I'm happy to see that you're concerned for my well being Hiroshi. It's a nice change of pace from the whole I'm a loner leave me alone aura that you try to give off." Jo says to me.

"I've never seen someone try to get hit in the mouth on purpose as much as you," I say to him.

"I can think of someone," Jo says as he nudges me with his elbow. I chuckle a bit as I lay down in the grass. The funny is that he isn't wrong. "Speaking of hitting someone in the mouth let's get this training underway. I made a bet with Vex that I could get you up to speed quicker than he did."

"Thanks for telling me that. Maybe I'll make a concerted effort to make you lose this bet you have with him." I say to Jo as I stand up off of the ground. I wipe the dust off of my clothes and I stretch out my legs and arms as I let out a loud groan. "So what do you have in store for me? I know that you're a Deviant. Which means you have two abilities. You told me about one of them. You can read minds, what about the second one?"

Jo takes one last puff of his cigarette as he takes it out of his mouth and stomps it into the dirt. He takes a deep breath in and out as he walks over to a rock and sits on it. Once he does that the desolate land immediately turns into a lush green forest as I immediately put my guard up. I look around frantically as I wait for Jo to attack me. What the hell is his ability? Can he control plants? Is it some sort of nature-based ability? Should I expect something poisonous to come flying at me?

I turn my attention back to Jo as he crosses his arms.

"What I want you to do is very simple, and after you accomplish this I am positive that you would have mastered your Echo," Jo says to me. "What I ask of you is to just land one hit on me."

"Just one hit? That's it? There's no way it can be this simple." I say as I scratch my forehead. "What's the catch?"

"There's no catch at all. All you have to do is hit me one time. I can assure you that you will not only have mastered your Echo by the end of this but you will have learned what my second ability is as well." Jo says as a cup of coffee materializes in his hand. "Let's see how long this takes. Vex has you being able to hit me after a year. I'm giving you a week. But realistically it'll probably take you a couple of months or so. Let's get to work."

"That's fine. If you're just gonna sit there and not even defend yourself then I'll have this done before you can even blink!" I yell as I dig my feet into the ground. I rush towards Jo with my fist raised at his face and I swing as hard as I can at him, but right when I make contact everything around me shatters like glass. I immediately find myself falling through the air as I see Jo with his back towards me as he plummets to the ground.

"What the hells going on?!" I yell as I fly over to where he is. I flip my body around as I swing my leg at his head. Jo immediately dodges my attack as he turns his body around mid-air and he taps his finger on my forehead. When he does that an almost unbearable amount of pain shoots throughout my body as I cry out in pain. I release my Echo out of my body and I find myself in the middle of a vast ocean. I can feel something grab onto my legs and start to pull me under the waves as I try to fight against whatever's dragging me under the water.

"Don't tell me that you can't swim Hiroshi. How do you expect to fight against the Government if they throw something like a pool at you? You're going to be out of luck!" Jo says as he starts to laugh at me.

I cock my foot back to try and ram it into his teeth but when I go to kick Jo my foot goes right through him. His body becomes intangible almost like he's a ghost. I let out a loud frustrated yell as let out a loud yell. Black and red lightning explode off of my body as my Echo cracks the reality that I'm in. When I do that I find myself in the middle of a desert under the scorching sun.

"This is getting old Jo! Why don't you come out and fight me like the leader that you are! I'm getting tired of these games!" I yell into the air.

"No need to get upset Hiroshi. I'll admit you almost had me a couple of times. But you're still nowhere near complete with your training." Jo says as he starts to laugh. His voice booms out across the desert as I start to run across the sand. The heat and dry air start to make me choke and cough as I collapse to the ground as sweat pours down my face and body. With my ear to the ground, I start to hear a rhythmic thumping sound. It sounds almost like a heartbeat. I lay there for a little while longer to try and catch my breath but the thumping doesn't stop. I can feel myself starting to get irritated as I pick myself up out of the sand to try and get away from the sound. But the noise just continues to get louder and louder the further I try to run away from it.

"What the hell is that noise?!" I yell as I start to punch the ground over and over again. While I'm doing that I can hear the thumping sound coming directly from behind me. Irritated and angry beyond belief I immediately turn around and I swing my fist at whatever's making that noise. My fist doesn't make contact with anything but what I do find surprises me.

I find Jo narrowly dodging my punch as he falls back into the sand.

"Oh wow! I wasn't expecting you to be able to sense me coming Hiroshi! That caught me by surprise!" Jo yells as he disappears back underneath the sand. When he does that I notice that the thumping sound is circling around me. I can even feel it reverberating under my feet as I release my Echo from my body.

Whatever the hell this is I know Jo has something to do with this. As the thumping sound gets louder and louder I immediately drag my right foot across the ground and I put both of my hands into the air as I channel my Echo into a large pillar exploding off of my body. The ground splits from under me as Jo appears right next to me. He pokes me in the face as I swing my fist at him but he dodges it effortlessly as he dances around me. The thumping sounds increase in their beat rate and intensity as I rush at him. I start to throw a barrage of punches and kicks as fast as I can at him but he dodges all of my attacks. It's almost like he knows what I'm going to do before I do it myself.

"That's good Hiroshi! You're getting it!" Jo yells as he catches my fist. He stops me dead in my tracks as my large pillar of negation energy is blown away by him. He plucks me on my forehead and I go flying back away from him at tremendous speed. When I land in the sand I land on my left arm in a weird spot and I can feel it snap back. I let out a pained yell as I try to pick myself up off the ground holding my broken arm.

"You're improving faster than I thought you would! Let's keep this up! I may be able to actually break a sweat in a fight for the first time in a long time!" Jo yells as he starts to fly towards me.

"What the hell? You can fly now?!" I yell as black and red lightning spark off of my right arm. I put my arm up to try and copy his ability but it doesn't work. Before I can even think of what to do next Jo rams his head into my chest so hard that I go rolling back through the sand. I shake the sand out of my eyes and hair as I look up into the air at Jo as he puts his hand into the air.

The thumping sounds start to pick up again as he summons a ball of flames from out of thin air. I can feel the heat from the ball as he raises it over his head.

"I can already tell that your senses are going to be your downfall in this fight Hiroshi! You're relying on them entirely too much!" Jo yells as he throws the ball of flames at me. I put my right hand to catch the ball but when I do it I'm immediately pushed back through the sand as I try my best to get my footing.

The thumping starts to get louder and louder the more and more I'm pushed back by his attack.

"This isn't enough to beat me!" I yell as I channel my Echo through my right arm. When my Echo meets the attack the flames immediately disappear as I collapse to my knee as I look at my charred hand. The thumping sounds continue as the smell of burned flesh finds it's way through my nose. The smell is unlike anything I've ever smelt and it causes me to throw up as the thumping sounds continue to boom all around me. I grab onto my head and I let out a loud pained yell as my head starts to vibrate from the thumping.

"I thought that you said that that wouldn't be enough to beat you Hiroshi!" Jo yells as he lands on the ground and rushes towards me.

Ignoring all of the pain shooting throughout my body right now I pick myself up off of the ground as I put my guard up. As Jo gets closer to me I notice something different. The thumping sounds have stopped. He isn't flying anymore either. What the hell is going on?

"It looks like you're starting to put the pieces together Hiroshi," Jo says as he disappears from my sight. The thumping sounds start up again as he grabs me by my neck from behind me. He picks me up and slams me back into the ground face first. I continue to hear thumping sounds around me as Jo throws me into the air.

When he does that rain clouds appear in the sky right as I open my eyes. I can smell the scent of rain all around me as lightning crackles through the clouds. The hair on my arms starts to stand on end due to the electricity in the air. As I look to the ground I see Jo looking up at me as he swipes his hand towards the ground. The thumping in my head starts to beat louder and faster more than ever and right before the lightning hits me in my back everything clicks in my head.

I let out a loud yell I immediately release all of my Echo energy from my body. I manifest a black and red tornado from out of myself as not only the clouds and lightning, but the desert around Jo and I completely collapse and shatter like glass.

"There it is. You figured it out." Jo says as he starts laughing. After I hear him say I'm completely enveloped by darkness for a couple of seconds but after that, I wake up to find myself back on the forest ground from before Jo and I fought one another.

"Glad to see that you're finally awake. It took you long enough." Jo says as he pulls out his phone. "Would you look at that? Six months. You were sleeping for six months. That means I owe Vex a hundred dollars."

"Your second ability is that you manipulate the five senses isn't it?" I ask him as I stand up.

"You got that right. I'm surprised you were able to adapt to it so quickly without being overwhelmed. A lot of people tend to quite literally lose their minds when I get a hold of their senses. But not you. I threw a lot of stuff at you in quite a short amount of time and you adjusted beautifully." Jo says as he stands up off of the rock he's sitting on. "You seem to have also picked up on sensing other people's Echos as well."

"Yeah. It was like a thumping sound. I could feel it throughout my body and I could feel it in my head too. It only happened when you did something that involved my senses though. Like when you started flying out of nowhere. That was you using your Echo to manipulate what I saw, and the ball of fire. The thumping kept going even after I felt the burn marks and smelt my charred hand."

"Mhm, mhm, you got it," Jo says to me. "That thumping sound that you heard is the users Echo resonating off of your body. The intensity of said thumping could indicate how powerful an opponent actually is. That could give you a quick gauge on how to handle an opponent."

"Is there any way that I could cut that off? I can not fight to deal with that sort of noise in my head." I say to Jo.

"Yes, of course. That thumping is incessant. I guess if you really don't want to be able to sense other peoples' Echos you could just cut your own senses off." Jo says as he tries not to laugh. "I'm sorry Hiroshi I really am but once you unlock that portion of your mind and your body is introduced to the resonance of someone else's Echo you can not just ignore. That Echo is as much a part of you as your heart and soul is. There is no getting rid of it. Just like anything with your body you'll learn how to control and regulate the strength of the resonance that your body is receiving. You'll get used to it, and I promise it'll save your life one day. You have no idea how important it was for you to unlock your full Echo abilities.

"This kid that we're going after. He must be pretty dangerous." I say to Jo.

"The most dangerous that I've ever seen with my own two eyes. This kid. This Zach could be the key to making the world that we envisioned a reality. With him on our side when we decide to strike the Government we won't lose. I know it, and you'll be the one to help us get there. Both you and he are the X-factor. Him being the unstoppable force and you being the unmovable object with both of you on our side we can't lose." Jo says as he looks into the sky smiling. "Everything is coming together. Piece by piece. When we get out of here you're going to have a couple of days of rest before we start getting ready for our mission. Do you understand?"

I nod my head yes as both of us sit in silence for a little bit after that. Just looking into the sky, preparing ourselves mentally for what's to come. But this moment doesn't last very long. Jo gets an alert from his phone and when he looks at what it is his eyes light up and he immediately jumps into the air.

"Jo! What the hell is wrong? What happened?!" I ask him.

"You're never going to believe what happened. I managed to find a lead on the Government Leader. The President. He hasn't shown himself for years, but the Cerberus Squad picked up on something and it needs my attention now." Jo says as he walks over to me. "It's time for us to head back to Revenant. We've wasted an hour just watching you sleep so it's time to get up." Jo says as he taps me on my forehead.

Authors Note: "I had to fit a lot of training into this chapter but I promise you this will be worth it later on. We're really getting into the meat of the story now. These next couple of chapters are going to be insane. So stay tuned for that."

Ana Fowl