Chapter 9:

Caught In Between Hope And Despair


I wake up to find myself laid out on the ground in the white training room. My head starts to pound as I pick myself up off of the ground. I look over to the mirror where Vex, Kevin, and Jo are and I see the three of them taking headsets off as Jo waves at me. Kevin motions for me to leave out of the room and I do just that. As I leave out of the training room Kevin hands me a bottle of water that I down in one go. I didn't notice when I woke up but all of my clothes are completely drenched in sweat. It must be one of the side effects of that pill that was given to me.

"Well. I can say that the test run was a complete success." Kevin says as he extends his hand to me. I shake his hand loosely out of exhaustion as Vex and Jo laugh at me.

"You did well Hiroshi. A lot better than I had originally anticipated." Jo says as he puts his hand on my shoulder. "You not only unlocked the full power of your Echo but you learned how to control it as well, and pretty quickly I might add. When I was teaching Eden about her own Echo it took us about two to three years. Now that I think about it there might still be more things that she can expand upon."

"So what would you say? Do you think Hiroshi has surpassed Eden?" Vex asks as he leans his head into our conversation. Jo puts his finger over his mouth as he thinks about that question for a couple of seconds. After that time passes he turns to me and smiles.

"Nope. Not at all." Jo says as he continues to smile. I tilt my head to the side and I smile too, but I ram my fist into his face as Vex and Kevin both start to laugh. "Now that was unnecessary Hiroshi," Jo says as he tries to hold his laugh back while he holds his nose.

"No. I think it was. I never actually hit you like you wanted me to while we were training. Now you can say that I've done everything that you've asked me to do." I say as I cross my arms.

"He got you there Jo," Kevin says as he starts to pack his things up.

"I was going to remind you that you needed to do that. But it looks like I didn't need to do so." Vex says as the four of us leave out if the training facility. "I don't think that I could've dealt with Jo's ability the way you did. I mean being able to manipulate the five senses? Really? Jo, that ability may be more powerful than anyone here. Why don't you fight more often? With you, we wouldn't even need that Zach kid. We could win this war with you alone."

"I appreciate the compliment Vex, but an ability like mines is one that I really try to use sparingly. I may not be able to kill on a whim like you or Eden, but what I can do to people is a fate worse than death itself. To be able to control what other people can see, hear, taste, smell, feel. Power like that in the wrong hands could rule the world, and who would be there to stand against him?" Jo asks as he looks at his hands. "And even if you managed to stop him how do you know that you truly did? How do you know that what you're seeing isn't just what he wants you to see? For all, you know you could just be lying in your bed hundreds of miles away from the nearest human being."

"Jo. Are you okay? I didn't mean to bring anything bad up to you or anything. I was just thinking that having you fight a lot more would really help us." Vex says.

"I understand Vex. But you have to trust that the actions that I take are for the betterment of not only Revenant and everyone here, but for the sake of mankind as well. I know all too well the kind of monster I could become if I allow myself to succumb to my abilities again." Jo says as he walks ahead of the four of us. "I recruited each and every one of you guys because I believed that you could help not only the world but maybe you could do what I just cannot do. What's going to be necessary if we do eventually end up coming face to face with the leader of the Government and this world; The President."

I don't know why, but when Jo talks about The President I imagine this huge grotesque monster behind the scenes controlling everything with strings. I chuckle a bit at the thought of that.

"Speaking of The President, Jo. We need to meet with Cerberus and discuss what we're going to do about this new development." Kevin says as he types something into his phone.

"Yes, yes, that's right! Assemble them all at once!" Jo says as he starts to run off up the stairs. I've never seen him this excited about anything before. What is it that he found out that could have him acting like this?

"Since Jo was so excited that he ran off before he could tell you what has happened I'll tell you," Kevin says. "My team has intercepted a radio signal from the Government. Not just any radio signal. One that sounds like it's a direct line of communication between two Generals and The President himself."

I can feel my heart sink into my stomach after hearing that.

"Wow! Are you serious? That's great! What did you hear exactly?" Vex asks Kevin.

"It wasn't entirely clear, that's what I have my team working on now but from what we could make out it was a long series of numbers. My best guess is that it's a date for something but we won't know until Jo, The Cerberus Squad, and myself actually start to dig into that audio and figure the entire thing out." Kevin says as the three of us walk back into the main room of Revenant. "I'm sure that Jo will be preoccupied with this so as the mission planner I will have the both of you and Eden head out to recruit Zach."

"Wait. Just the three of us? Why not send an entire squad out with us?" I ask Kevin. He takes a deep breath in and out as if the answer should be obvious.

"This boy is incredibly unstable. We don't even know the upper limits of his abilities. But what we do know is that he's scared. I'm sure that you could tell that's the case from what you've seen. Do you seriously think that sending an entire squad of soldiers after him is the best way to go about this? I would actually like to bring you guys back alive." Kevin says as he writes down something on a piece of paper and hands it to me. "Here. You take this to the doctor and you let her know that you are to get at least three days of bed rest. No fighting. No sneaking off to go to Sacramento, nothing like that alright? I need you and Eden at your full strength for this mission. It's important to Jo so let's make this a success."

Vex and I both nod to Kevin as he walks over to his desk. Vex wraps his arm around me as we walk into over to the infirmary.

"Man you're lucky. You get to spend the next couple of days resting and laying next to a cute girl. I'm so jealous." Vex says as he laughs at me. "I'm going to have to spend these next three days patrolling this entire facility while I wait for you to get better. So I'm gonna need to see the results of your training once you're all healed up. I didn't kick your ass for nothing kid." Vex says as he extends his fist to me.

I extend mines back as the both of us nod to one another. I wasn't expecting to bond with Vex so quickly. When I first met Vex he gave off the kind of aura that made you want to stay as far away from him as possible. I thought that when we interacted with one another that we wouldn't mesh at all but I guess I was wrong about him. These aren't words that really need to be said face to face. It's just an understanding that we have. I wouldn't say that we admire one another. It's more of a respect that's been grown through actions and deeds, and this couldn't have come at a better time either. This will be our first official mission together as teammates and to be honest, I'm glad he's on my side.

"You got it. I got some tricks up my sleeve for you." I say as I head into the infirmary. I put the note that Kevin wrote for the nurse on her desk as I climb into my bed. I can hear Eden snoring in the bed next to mines as I chuckle a bit.

As I close my eyes I try to calm all of the thoughts whirling through my mind. The President, this kid Zach who can warp reality, and my new strength, I'm just so anxious to see how everything turns out that I barely get any sleep over the next three days, and before I know it. The day of the mission is upon us.

Before I even have a chance to get up out of the bed Eden grabs me by my collar she pulls me out of my bed herself with a huge smile on her face. She looks completely refreshed and healed up as she shoves my clothes into my chest. She must be excited that she's getting to do something besides being laid up in a hospital bed all day and all night. As someone who loves to fight like her, I completely understand how she's feeling. This kind of ecstatic and overly happy aura would normally irritate me, but I give her a pass and I return her warm smile.

"It's nice to take a break every once in a while but damn am I excited to get back out on the field once again. If I have to spend one more day in this room I'm going to lose my mind." Eden says as she stretches her arms and legs. "What about you? You must be feeling refreshed. Getting to lay up in bed for a week. You deserve it after what you did on your first mission."

I chuckle slightly as I think about the past year that I spent training inside of Kevin's training facility. I'm still a little bit sore on my sides and I'm a bit tired but I'm more than ready for this.

"I'm feeling great. I'm eager to try out some new tricks that I've been thinking about." I say as I put my hoodie on. I rub the phoenix insignia over my heart as the door to the infirmary opens up. I hear a pair of footsteps coming down the hall as Eden and I open the blinds. Vex comes from behind Kevin as he gives me a fist bump. Eden and Vex nod at one another as Jo comes running in from behind Kevin. He's clearly out of breath as he looks up at the three of us.

"Kevin. You asshole. Did you really lock me in my office? Why'd you do that?" Jo asks him.

"You specifically asked me to lock you in your office a couple of days ago. I'm actually surprised that you're still alive. There's no way you could've gotten food or water inside of there." Kevin says as he hands Jo a granola bar. Jo snatches it out of his hand.

"I'm glad to see that the both of you are awake. The mission briefing will be, well brief. Since only the two of you and Vex are heading off on this mission I can tell the three of you while you're here and I can send you guys off." Kevin says as he hands each of us something to eat.

"As you all are aware, the next person that Jo wants to recruit is a Hybrid called Zach. We've out where he lives. He is located somewhere in London. We've been getting reports from the authorities in London that due to the constant outbreak of energy that he's outputting that they're calling in the Government to kill the boy." Kevin says as hands Vex, Eden, and I an earpiece.

"Wait. Wait. Kill him? They're going to kill him? We can't let that happen!" Eden says as she puts the earpiece in her ear. "He's just a kid! He has no control over his abilities yet. They know that right?"

"Yes, they do. But they don't care. They don't care that he's a child. The Government looks at a Hybrid like him two ways. Either as a weapon to use in their army or as someone who is a danger to everything that they've built. He is entirely too powerful to let walk around free like he is now. This new development has added an entirely different sense of urgency to this mission. You are the strongest people that we have here. That is why sending the three of you to find, save, and get him back to Revenant alive." Jo says to us.

The entire mood in the room changes after he says that. I look over to Vex and I see him clenching the both of his fists as he looks up at Jo. He nods his head to him as he puts the piece of paper in his pocket. I can feel the heat starting to radiate off of Edens's body as she starts to get more noticeably angry.

"To send people to kill a kid who has no control over his powers is the absolute worst thing that you can do. I'll never forgive them for that. Jo. I swear. We are going to get him back to Revenant safely. You don't have anything to worry about, I promise." Eden says to him.

"I know I don't. All three of you can relate to Zach in some way. There is no team better suited for this mission than the three of you. I know that you guys won't let me down. I look forward to you guy's return. Now I'll take my leave, I'm disheartened that I won't be able to come with you guys on your mission, but I'm very close to finding out a way to end this war once and for all. I promise." Jo says as he bows to the three of us. We do the same to him as he leaves out of the infirmary.

"I want to see the three of you outside on the platform in ten minutes. The three of you have a bit of a trip ahead of you, and the earlier you guys leave. The more time you guys will have to get Zach and bring him back." Kevin says as he leaves out of the room.

As Vex and I start to get our things together I hear Eden let out a deep sigh behind us. As I wrap my bookbag around my chest Vex and I both turn to Eden as she finishes packing her stuff as well.

"Guys. I really don't want to make this mission more stressful than it has to be, and I don't want to make this about me, but please. If it comes down to it. Please let me be the one to save that kid." Eden says to us.

"Eden..." I say as my voice trails off. I can tell that her not being able to beat Crystal on her own has been weighing on her. She takes a lot of pride in being the leader of our squad, and to have a rookie come in and to not only fight on par with you but to be the person who saved you, her pride must've taken a huge blow.

"Eden. I understand your feelings, but you must not forget that we are a team. Having pride is good but too much will be your downfall don't let that get in the way of what we're trying to accomplish." Vex says as he finishes packing his things up. "I want to save this kid too, but not at the cost of your or Hiroshi's life. Do you understand?"

"Do you seriously think that I would endanger any of your lives just to satiate some pride you think I need to fulfill?" Eden asks as she walks up to Vex. "Let's not forget you're the new guy here. You don't have any pull or say here and don't sit here and try to act like you know what my motives are. The only thing that you need to be worried about is keeping yourself alive and getting this mission completed. Do YOU understand?"

I can feel the tension in the air start to rise as the both of them stare at one another intensely. I think about getting in between the both of them but I remember back to when I went out on my first mission. How people like Jo and Eden trying to solve problems that I had with the Phoenix Squad only made the situation worse between us. So I decide to sit back and let them try to resolve the issue they have themselves. Eden's hair starts to glow a deep red as I start to back up from her. But the situation doesn't have any more time to escalate, Kevin calls all three of us to the helicopter platform.

"Guys. It looks like it's time for us to go. Like Jo said earlier we don't have a lot of time." I say as I pat the both of them on their backs. Eden and Vex both scoff at one another as the three of us make our way through the facility and up to the helicopter platform where Kevin is waiting for us with his phone in his hand.

"Alright, the coordinates are already set on the boat. The only thing that you need to do is not crash it." Kevin says as he tosses his phone in the air. When he does that he waves his hand and the phone immediately transforms and reforms back into a boat.

As Vex, Eden, and I jump into the boat Kevin tosses down a pack of food.

"That should last you a couple of days. When you get to London your first priority should be finding somewhere safe to go. I've made arrangements for you three to stay in a motel a little ways away from the last recorded wave of reality-warping energy. So you shouldn't have to worry about getting warped out of existence in your sleep." Kevin says to us.

"What about the Government l? Didn't you say that they were sending people to kill this kid?" Eden asks.

Kevin nods his head as he pulls another phone out of his pocket.

"You guys should have about a twelve-hour head start on them until their main forces arrive there. The only thing you may have to worry about is this person called The Deviant Killer. The name isn't too creative if you ask me but you should look at him as an equal or greater threat than Hiroshi. He specializes in not only killing Deviants, but he's also the Government top assassin as well. I recommend staying as far away from him as you possibly can." Kevin says to us.

"You don't have anything to worry about," I say as I put my hoodie over my head. "We'll be back before you know it," I say as Eden starts to boat up.

"We'll be back in a week tops," Eden says to Kevin. "Make sure that Jo eats while he's working. You know he forgets to do stuff like that when he gets into his work."

Kevin nods his head as the boat shoots off into the water and out into the sea. Three days. Three days until we encounter the strongest Hybrid to date. I can't stop thinking about what Leo said to me the last time we saw one another.

"The next time we see one another, it won't be as friends. We'll be enemies."

I close my eyes and I chuckle a bit as I lay my head back. The rays from the sun bounce off of my skin as water splashes into the boat. I don't know why but I'm giddy with excitement. I wasn't expecting to see Leo so soon after our last encounter, but here we are. I can't wait to show him how much more powerful I've gotten. Not only for myself and my teammates but for his sake as well. I made him a promise that I would save him from the Government and that's a promise I intend on keeping.

The next three days seem to past like months as the three of us sit on that boat. There's absolutely nothing to do except for eating and looking out into the seemingly endless ocean. Eden shoots her flames into the air and Vex plays around with the water around us with his gravity as the sun beats down on us. Sweat starts to pour down my face as Eden fires off a long continuous stream of fire right above my head. My eye starts to twitch as she laughs maniacally.

"Eden. For the love of God please stop doing that. It's already hot as is, you're just making the heat worse." I say as I raise my hand to stop her. When I do that I completely negate the flames that are coming out of her hand.

"Thank you for saying something. I didn't think that it would have to come to that because I would expect her to be able to read the situation but apparently, she isn't capable of doing so." Vex says as he takes his shirt off.

"What the hell is your problem Hiroshi?!" Eden yells as she yanks me up out of my seat. "Turn my fire back on right now!"

"I'm not doing it," I say as I tear her hands away from me. "Do you not know the kind of attention you're bringing to us? It's not normal for there to be flames shooting into the air in the middle of the damn ocean Eden. "Not only that but you're going to overheat the damn engines if you keep at it!"

"Are you trying to say that I don't know how to control my own flames?! If that's so then we can test that theory out right now if you want." Eden says as she pushes me to the ground. Sweat continues to pour down her face at an alarming rate as Vex comes from behind her and tries to restrain her.

"Eden! What the hell is your problem?!" Vex yells as Eden throws him off of her. "The heat has to be getting to her. She's losing her mind being out on the ocean for so long, and her constantly firing those flames out of her hands isn't doing anything to alleviate that."

"Hiroshi! You turn my fire back on now! If you don't I'll force you to do so by knocking you out right now!" Eden yells as she raises her fist to me. "I'm going to give you until the count of three to do it. One, two,"

But she doesn't even get the chance to finish counting. Before she can get the words out of her mouth I jump out of my seat and I dodge her punch as I tackle her to the ground. I wrap my arms around her neck as she starts to try and break out of my grip. I try to put her to sleep but it's no use. She slams the back of her head into my face as I let out a groan of pain, but I don't let go.

"Eden! I'm giving you one more chance! Calm down right now!" I yell as I raise my left hand over Eden's face.

"No! I won't let you stop me from getting stronger!" Eden yells as flames come shooting out of her mouth. I can feel my face get scorched as I let out a cry of pain. Vex catches the flames in his pull of gravity and he pushes it into the water as I place my hand over Eden's mouth and face.

"That's it! I warned you!" I yell as black and red lightning start to crackle out of my hands. I shoot my Echo throughout her entire body as she scratches and punches me in my face. "Eden this is for your own good!"

As my Echo works its way through her body I can feel her body starting to go limp as she slips into unconsciousness. Black and red lightning crackle off of her body as she slumps over.

Vex lets out a deep sigh as he wipes the sweat off of his forehead. He picks up Edens passed out body and he lays it out across a couple of chairs as he pats me on my chest.

"Good job calming her down. Who knows what she would've done if you hadn't done that." Vex says as he sits down in a chair across from me. "What the hell did you do to her exactly? Could you always knock people out like that?"

I shake my head no as I pick myself up off of the ground. I pluck Eden's red hair off of my face and chest as I grab a bottle of water and start to chug it down.

"That's a little something that I picked up while I was training with Jo. I wasn't planning on using it until the mission started but plans change obviously." I say as I pour the water over my body. "Don't count on me being able to do that all the time though. I only have enough energy to do that twice a day tops."

"What did you do to her exactly?" Vex asks me.

"It's pretty simple really. I just over-rid her Echo flow with mines. I canceled out the flow of her Echo with my negating ability and in doing so, it knocked her out." I say. Vex shakes his head in approval as he looks over at Eden in confusion.

"What do you think made her lose her mind like that? You seriously don't think that it's the heat do you?" Vex asks me. "I mean, she can manipulate fire right? If anything she should thrive in this sort of environment. I turn around to look at Eden as I let out a deep sigh. I think back to how she looked at me back when we were fighting Crystal. Yeah, she accepted my help but it was definitely more out of necessity than anything else.

"Eden is incredibly prideful. I'm sure you remember the Government Captain that we faced when we were recruiting you to join Revenant. Eden stood no chance against her. She really took that loss to heart. I could tell. Adding on top of the fact that she couldn't fulfill the request that Jo gave to her I could tell from just being in the same room that it tore at her with each passing day that she was in that bed." I say to Vex. "She really looks up to Jo and she cares about how he views her. This mission is important to Jo, so I know that it's important to Eden as well. I can't get upset at her for wanting to get more powerful. Not only for her sake but for Jos' as well."

Vex nods his head as he looks over to Eden.

"I guess I can kind of understand where Eden is coming from," Vex says as he leans his head back. "My little siblings act like that all the time. Everything that they do is to impress or get praise from me. It's a good trait to have. To commit and better oneself not just for your own personal gain. But, let's hope that in doing so she isn't going to become a detriment to those around her."

"I feel like her heart is in the right place Vex. What she's doing is good for right now. The role that she plays in Revenant fits where her mindset is right now. Jo knows what he's doing with her." I say as I lean my head back and I allow myself to drift off for a bit. When I wake back up clouds start to cover up the sun as I feel a drop of rain hit my face.

I look around the boat and I see that Eden is still passed out in the seats. I look to the front of the boat and I see that Vex is completely dressed up and ready to go. He looks behind him and when he sees me he tosses me my hoodie and book bag.

"Let's get everything ready to go. We're only a couple minutes away from our destination." Vex says as the boat starts to pick up speed. The closer we get to the shore the more pressure I feel on my chest. It feels as if someone is laying an anvil on my lungs.

"You can feel it too I'm guessing. This kids' Echo right? It's insane." Vex says as the boat pulls into the pier. The rain starts to pick up in intensity as Vex and I step out of the boat onto the pier.

"I'm going to stay here with Eden until she wakes up. I can't just leave her out here in the rain, and on top of that she's the only one that knows the location of the house that we're going to be staying at." Vex says as he digs in his bag and hands me a couple of things. "Here. Take these contact lenses. If you think that the treatment of Deviants in America is bad, wait until you see how they treat you guys here."

I nod my head as I put both of the contact lenses in my eyes. My eyes sting for a bit but I eventually get accustomed to them.

"What I need for you to do is to just scout the layout of the city for us really quick. If we engage in a fight out here we won't have any backup. It'll be just the three of us. I want to try and avoid that at all costs Hiroshi." Vex says to me. I'm taken aback for a second at how natural it seems for him to take charge of a situation and act like a leader but I remember that he's not only the leader of the Hydra Squad but he's had to take care of an entire family by himself for who knows how long.

I nod my head and I head into the city with my hoodie over my head. The first thing I notice as I walk around the streets is the fact that everyone dresses the same. It's a high-class uppity sort of look. Everyone is wearing either three-piece suits with an umbrella to cover themselves from the rain or extravagant dresses. Once again, why in the rain? I really don't know. But as I continue to look around I try not to draw a ton of attention to myself, and it works for the most part. When I go to turn a corner I bump into a couple of people. We all fall onto the ground as I curse under my breath.

"I'm sorry sir. I guess I wasn't watching where I was going." I hear the man say. I shake my head no as I look up at him. I start to pick myself up off of the ground and I go to apologize but when I realize who these guys are my blood runs cold. These are Government soldiers. Hybrid soldiers at that.

I don't think they realized who I am so I pull my jacket over my mouth as I shake my head no.

"No, no. It was my fault. I wasn't looking where I was going." I say to them in the best English accent that I could come up with. That seems to throw them off a bit as they both nod to me.

"Oh yeah, I'm inclined to tell you to watch out for that settlement of Deviants a couple of blocks down. They're a dangerous group of people they've been loitering and starting fights with any Hybrids that come near them." One of the Hybrids says.

"You shouldn't have to worry about them for too much longer. We're having a team come out and deal with them within the next thirty minutes or so, so you should clear out until everything is all wrapped up over there." The second one says as they both walk past me.

I know that Vex told me to scout out the city and not draw any attention to myself but I can not just simply ignore this. Those guys are going to kill those Deviants. It goes against everything that I stand for to willingly let them die. I pull my hoodie back over my head and I head over to where the group of Deviants is.

I can hear a couple of people cursing and yelling as I get closer to them. When I turn the corner I finally find them. They have the exact same living conditions as those in the US. Five to ten people living in a couple of tents. Barely any food or water to go around. No clean clothes or running water anywhere. A small group of kids plays in the dirt as the adults all hang around one another and pass around a cigarette. I take a deep in and out as I take my hoodie off of my head and I walk up to them. But before I can even say hello to any of them I can feel the cold blade of a knife on my neck. I stop dead in my tracks and I put my hands up in the air as a group of three Deviants pop up around me.

"Let me guess. The Government sent you here to try and get rid of us didn't they?" I hear a woman say from behind me.

"Janice, what the hell are you waiting for! Slit his throat right now so that we can be done with him!" One of the older men say.

"Get behind me kids! We'll protect you!" An older woman says as the kids all run into a tent. I can see them peek their heads out as I'm surrounded.

"I thought I told one of your other guys that the next time one of you Hybrids are sent over here to us that we'll be sending them back in a bodybag. Did you think that I wasn't serious?" Janice says as she presses the knife against my throat even harder.

"If I heard someone say that to me I wouldn't come back here my damn self," I say as I chuckle a bit. "But no. I didn't get the message."

"I guess it's just not your lucky day then kid. I'm sorry that you have to be used as an example for the other Hybrids to leave us alone, but that's just how the world works." Janice says as she raises the knife in her hand. "Do you have any last words Hybrid?"

"Yeah, I do actually," I say as I blink the contact lenses out of my eyes. When I do that the two Deviants in front of me let out a loud gasp as they back away from me.

"It can't be."

"It's actually you. You're actually real! "

"What the hell are you guys talking about?" Janice asks as she walks around to look at me. When she sees who I am the knife drops out of her hand and she falls to get knees with the look of pure joy and happiness on her face. "It's you. Hiroshi; The Hybrid Killer!"

After she says that everyone turns their attention over to me. All of the Deviants run over to me and they all greet me with smiles and cheers as the older people pat me on the back.

"I had only heard stories about you! To find out that you're actually real almost brings me to tears." One of the older women says as she kisses me on my hand. "You're here to save us, aren't you? From the Hybrid soldiers?"

I nod my head yes as they all explode into cheers and applause. But the cheers don't last long at all. I can feel my chest starting to get heavier as my entire body starts to pound and vibrate. I collapse to the ground and I let out a cry of pain as I hold onto my head. I can feel the ground and air start to vibrate as the citizens of the city all start to run and scream.

"The wave is coming again!!"

"We're all going to die!!"

"We have to run!!"

"What the hell is going on?!" Janice yells as she starts to lead the elderly Deviants somewhere safe. But where really is the safest place to go? They have no idea what's coming. But I do.

"That wave of energy is coming from the south of here. A couple of miles from outside the city. We have maybe a minute or fewer tops until it gets here and wipes us all out." I say as I take my book bag off. I toss it onto the ground and I stretch my arms and legs as I take a deep breath in and out.

"So what're you saying? Are we really all going to die?! There has to be somewhere we can run and hide!" One of the older men say.

"There's no way that I can evacuate all of you guys in time to get out of the radius of the wave. The best place for you guys is right here with me." I say as I put both of my hands onto the ground. I start to channel my Echo energy throughout my body as I release it out of myself.

Black and red lightning spark off of my body as the group of Deviants let out a cry of surprise. I have to concentrate and pour as much of my Echo into this barrier as I possibly can. I have no clue how powerful this Zach kid is. Any slip-up and not only me, but everyone in this city are done for. I can't move from this spot at all. If I do, my concentration will be broke and that'll be it.

"As long as you guys stay within two hundred yards of me you should be perfectly fine until this wave is over," I say with a smile. Everyone looks at me with a sigh of relief as sweat starts to pour down my face. The only thing I can hope for is that my Echo barrier is powerful enough to take this kids' attack.

While everyone starts to settle down I hear a large number of footsteps and cars pull up to us. My heart sinks into my stomach once I hear the cocking of a gun from behind me. It's Government soldiers.

"Hybrid Killer! Put your hands up where we can see them or we will shoot! You have three seconds to comply or we will kill you and everyone here!" I hear one of the soldiers say from behind me.

You have got to be kidding me right now. But before I can even think of a way to get out of this I can sense the wave of reality-warping energy make its way into the city. I curse under my breath as my body starts to shake and shudder. How the hell am I going to get out of this? Vex and Eden are blocks away from here, and If I get up off of the ground now my barrier will disintegrate. But if I don't do that I'll be killed alongside these Deviants.

"Put your damn hands up where I can see them now!!" The soldiers scream at me.

"Save us Hiroshi! Please!" The little kids yell at me.

God damnit! For the first time in a long time, I truly don't know how I'm going to get out of this one. Is this what it feels like to be helpless?

Ana Fowl