I wake up to find myself wrapped up in about three to four covers. My entire body feels unbelievably sore as I try my best to turn over on my side to try and figure out where I am exactly. As I take a deep breath in and out I can see my breath appear in front of me. I look outside the window and I see that it's the middle of the day. The winter season must be rolling in. My body starts to ache and scream as I pick myself up out of the bed. But when I try to leave I can feel a hand pull me back down. I jump a bit as my face is filled with nothing but the unmistakable color and smell of Eden's hair. Just where the hell are we and why is Eden keeping me in this bed with her.
I can sense Vex and Zach in the room next to Eden and mines so knowing that they're safe calms my nerves a bit. I close my eyes for a bit as I start to feel Eden's body heat up against mines. I blush a bit as I feel her chest press up against mines. She clearly isn't awake and If she wakes up and sees us in this position I already know that she is going to flip out and burn my body to a crisp. But for some reason I don't pull away, in fact, I can feel myself starting to move towards her. The way her hair shines in the sunlight and soft feel of her skin against mines is almost enchanting. I can feel my heart rate starting to pick up in speed as she moves her hair with her hand exposing her face even more. She starts to mumble something in her sleep and as I listen closely what I hear freezes my blood.
"Hiroshi... Hiroshi...." Eden moans softly as I feel my face start to turn as red as her hair. Why is she moaning my damn name? I remember Leo talking about how highly she thought of me or something like that, but there's no way he could've meant that she actually likes me. As her eyes start to slowly open I quickly jump out of bed and I lay down on the floor and I cover myself with one of the covers as I pretend to be asleep.
I can hear Eden get up out of the bed and when her feet hit the ground I immediately tense up. I can hear her walk over to me as I close my eyes and try to slow down my breathing to keep up the illusion that I'm actually asleep.
"Hiroshi, are you awake?" Eden asks me in a soft voice as I continue to keep my eyes closed. I can feel her run her hands over my body as I start to shiver a bit. It's damn cold on this floor. I definitely didn't think this through at all.
"Whoever the hell brought us here is so damn inconsiderate," Eden yells as she stomps her foot onto the floor. I jump a little bit as I hear her rummage on the bed for something. I can feel the room start to quickly heat up and cool down. After a couple of seconds of silence, I can feel another layer of covers and warmth run over my body. "When I find out who did this to you I'm going to burn their faces off." She growls as she leans down next to me.
I can feel her breath bouncing off of my skin as she takes a deep breath in and out.
"As much as I hate to say it. I want to say thank you for getting me back from those Government soldiers." She says as she runs her fingers through my hair. "You risked your life to save me again because I was too damn weak to do it myself. I promise that this will be the last time that you'll ever have to save me. So, you're going to take this as us being even." She says as she tilts my head over to her. I know exactly what's she's about to do. I can feel the air in the room change as Eden puts both of her hands on my cheek. I can feel my face starting to warm up a bit as her breath washes over my face.
But right before she can kiss me the door to the room bursts wide open. I quickly open my eyes and back away from Eden as she does the same to me. I can still feel the heat radiating off of her body as I make eye contact with the person at the door, and who it is causes me to burst out laughing. It's Laura, the little girl that I saved from the group of Hybrids.
"Hiroshi!! You're finally awake!!" She yells as she runs over to me and wraps her hands around my neck. "I was beginning to think that you wouldn't wake up! You were asleep for like a week! I used my abilities to heal all of your wounds but the best that I could do was numb your body for a bit. I wrapped a cast around your leg so that you wouldn't put too much stress on it when you tried to walk. I did the best that I could I swear."
I pat her on the head as I wrap my arms around her.
"You did more than I could've wanted Laura. I'm just happy to see that you're alright." I say to her. She gives me a warm smile as she turns her head over and glares at Eden. Eden is taken aback by this for a couple of seconds before she glares back at Laura.
"Hey, come one Eden. Don't be like that. She's just a little kid." I say as I put my hand up to her.
"Don't put your hand up at me." She says as she slaps my hand away from her. "Don't you forget that I'm your squad leader. You are to show me my proper respect." I immediately start to mock her as she slaps me across my face.
"Who is this little brat Hiroshi and why is she hugging all up on you like that? Is she your little sister or something?" Eden asks as she sits on the bed. I shake my head no to her question as I explain to Eden what happened with me and all of her siblings. From their parents getting killed protecting me all the way up to me shielding Laura from an angry mob of Hybrids. Eden looks at Laura for a little while before turning her nose up to her. She keeps her head that way for a couple of seconds before she finally gives in and wraps her in a hug.
"I guess I was right to put the two of you in a room together. Both of you seem so much like a married couple." Laura laughs as Eden's face turns red.
"We do not seem like that at all!" She says as she backs away from me. "What the hell gave you that idea?!"
"When I found the two of you, you had your arms wrapped around his chest. I couldn't even pull you off of him so I had to have your friend drag you here." Laura says as she starts to laugh.
Eden's hair immediately starts to flare up as Laura runs out of the room laughing and screaming at the same time. As the door shuts behind her Eden sits back down on the bed as she covers her face with her hands.
"Thank you for saving me again Hiroshi. I know that I'm supposed to be the one saving you since I'm the leader of the Phoenix Squad, but there you go, saving me again." Eden says as she continues to dig her face into her hands.
"You don't have to thank me for anything. We're a team, I'm supposed to save you when you're in trouble, and just because you're the leader that doesn't mean that you're not supposed to get helped. It's my pleasure to save you." I say as I put my hand on her knee. "And If we're really being honest here, you saved me back there. If you hadn't intervened when you did when I was fighting against The Deviant Killer there's no way that I would've been in the position to save Zach and Vex. It's because of you that we were able to complete our mission. So I should really be thanking you."
"You're such an idiot." Eden laughs as she raises her head out of her hands. "As the leader, I'm supposed to be the one that tries to make you feel better. Not the other way around. I feel so worthless. For two straight missions, I wasn't able to do what I needed to do. I was too damn weak to beat my sister back in Houston, and I was too weak to beat The Deviant Killer. He danced circles around me and made me look like a fool, and I'm supposed to be the leader? I'm really starting to feel as if I'm mot cut out for this Hiroshi."
"You're still human Eden. Becoming a leader doesn't mean that you have all the answers. I don't want you to ever think that just because you showed weakness that I think less of you. If anything it makes me relate to you more. To see you struggle and lose, it'll make when you reach your full potential all the sweeter." I say to her. "You put too much pressure on yourself, believe me. I know the feeling. There are two things that you can do to respond to that pressure. You either cave in and let it be the thing that destroys you, or you respond to it with everything that you have. You push everything to its limit. Your mind, body, and soul. I really learned that when I That Government Captain a week ago. When you're in the heat of battle and you know that the opponent that you're facing is stronger than you it is pretty easy to just give up and run away."
Eden looks up at me as I look out of the window. The screams and cries of Mariahs last moments bounce around in my head as I shut my eyes to try and forget them.
"With what we're trying to do we can't afford to think like that. I didn't have the luxury to choose to run away or to be weak. I had to respond to the situation at hand because that's what Zach and Vex needed. In some situations, you have no choice but to be strong. Not only for yourself but for the people around you, and even though you lost to The Deviant Killer, and even though you got captured by The Government you still made the choice to save me. You had the strength and the courage to sacrifice yourself for the betterment of this world. You had no idea what you were getting into with him, but you conquered the fear of the unknown and you fought, and even though that you lost you showed strength in your defeat, and you inspired me to do the same. As a leader, you made a sacrifice that I was able to learn from and succeed in my own mission." I say as I turn my head back to her. "So don't you ever think for a second that you're too weak or not cut out to be a leader. You learn from your mistakes and you come back better than ever, and when you do I'll be right there beside ready to follow and help you the best way that I can. I'm not cut out to be a leader, so the best thing that I can do is to try and make your job as easy as I possibly can. That's my role. As long as you keep fighting, and as long as you don't give up I won't either. For the sake of the future of this world, we have to keep fighting, and we have to win." I say extending my hand out to her as I stand up off of the ground. I wince as a wave of pain shoots throughout my body but I still manage to give her a warm smile.
Eden looks up as the tear that's forming in her eye disappears into a puff of steam. She quickly rubs her eyes and grabs my hand and stands up off of the bed.
"You're right, you're fucking right!" She yells as she punches me in my chest. "You know what I'm going to do when we get back to Revenant? I'm going to train my ass off! I promise that after I'm done you won't ever have to worry about saving me again! I'll get strong enough to beat my sister, I'll get strong enough to beat The Deviant Killer, and last but not least, I'll get strong enough to serve under Jo and to give him my all so that I can make the world that he envisions a reality! I swear right here and now that I will never, ever lose again!" She yells as her hair explodes into flames. She clenches both of her fists and she raises them into the air as a smile spreads across her face.
I stare at her in amazement as she looks out of the window and into the sky. Her determination and her will to become someone that we can rely on is shining off of her brilliantly. I can't help but to smile and feel motivated by her as I slowly get up off of the ground and imitate the pose that she's doing. Eden and I both stay like this for a little while before we both start laughing and collapse back to the ground as we groan in pain.
"You seem to have a ton of energy for someone who has all of those cuts on your body," I say to her as I start to tear the cast-off of my leg.
"You're one to talk," Eden says as she helps me pull the cast fully off of my leg. It still hurts a bit but I'm able to bend it and move it around with relatively no problem. "When I saw how bad of a shape you were in I was honestly convinced that you were going to die. To think that you put yourself in harm's way like that for the sake of that kid against a Captain no less and win is something that I was expecting you to do when I first met you. These past couple of missions that we've been on has made me really happy. To not only see Jo's dream actually start to take shape but to also have someone that I can compare myself to and someone that will motivate me to get stronger is honestly all that I could ask for right now."
I start to rub the back of my neck as I blush a little bit.
"You don't have to say any of that. I'm just doing my job. The only thing that I want to get out of this is to make sure that all of us get back alive and to one day make this world a place where Deviants can exist without the fear of being discriminated." I say to Eden as I stand up off of the floor. I extend my hand to her and I help her off of the ground right as I hear someone knock on the door from behind us.
As the door opens up Zach peeks his head in the door, when he sees me his face immediately lights up and he runs up to me with a wide smile spreading across his face. I smile back at him as I pat him on the head.
"I thought that you had died." He says as he wipes the tears that are starting to form in his eyes. "Laura said that we couldn't come in because she didn't know how bad the radiation was tearing up your body. All of the rest of the kids outside were worried too. When they had heard about what happened they were camped at the bottom of the stairs just waiting to hear any news."
I hear the door creak open and I see Vex walk in followed by all of the kids that I had saved from Leo and his Hybrids. They all start to crowd around me as they grab onto my clothes and call out to me with tears in their eyes.
"I'm so happy that you're alright!" One of the boys says as he wipes the snot coming down his nose.
"We thought that you were going to die!" One of the girls says as she wipes her tears on my hoodie. I grit my teeth a bit out of irritation but I quickly get over it as she puts her head up and smiles at me. "Andy was sure that you were going to die, so we beat him up until he said otherwise."
The Andy kid raises his hand up into the air as he rubs the bruises that are on his face.
"I didn't mean to be negative. I guess while I was asleep I had a dream of you dying." He says as his eyes start to glow a bit. I don't think anyone catches it but I definitely do. "I'm sorry for thinking that. Especially after you saved our lives. I hope that you can forgive me." He says as he bows his head to me.
I walk over to Andy and I kneel down in front of him as I pluck him on his forehead. The rest of the kids start to laugh at this but I raise my hand to them to get them to stop laughing immediately. I look him in his black and blue eyes for a little bit before I give him a smile.
"You're a bit of a negative one aren't you?" I ask. Before he can answer I put my hand on his head as I get up off of the ground. "That's good. You keep the rest of these guys grounded alright? It may sound a bit weird but people like him are the ones who are going to keep you safe and look out for you. If everyone was optimistic all the time there would be no progress made. Fear is what drives humanity forward, the fear of something bad happening is what makes us want to improve and get better, as Deviants we have to turn that fear of something bad happening to us and turn it into motivation for protecting our own and to become strong enough to stand up for ourselves. If you learn anything from me today I want it to be this. As long as you keep fighting, as long as you never waver, you'll eventually win. Do you understand?" I ask as I get up off of my knee and turn to the kids.
They all stare at me in amazement and nod their heads to me as I smile back at them.
"That's good. You keep that in your hearts and I promise that one day I will make a world where you won't have to live with that fear. So until then, you guys be strong for me long enough so I can make that world a reality." I say as Vex taps me on my shoulder.
"Hiroshi, we have to get going. We can't stay here much longer or the Government is going to be all over us. I've been in contact with Jo and he's worried sick about us. We have to leave now." He says to me as he nods his head to Eden. She nods her head back and she immediately starts to pack up her things as she starts to make a phone call. As she kicks all of the kids out of the room I wave goodbye to them as they all whine out my name.
Over the next twenty or so minutes Vex, Eden and I spend our time getting all of our stuff together and tending to any lingering injuries from our last fight. I after I finish bandaging up my ribs I look over at Zach and I notice him shaking his leg nervously as he stared at Eden and Zach, but before I can talk to him Eden walks over to me as she throws some of my dirty clothes in my face.
"Kevin will be here to pick us up in an hour Hiroshi. Our mission isn't complete until we get back to Revenant." Eden says as she hands me my bag of stuff. I put my book bag on my back and as I sit on the bed I think about how ravenous Mariah was. All this time after our fight it's finally hit me that she's actually gone.
The little girl that I saved all of those years ago is dead by my hands. It hurts to know that I was the one that swore to protect her and to ultimately be the one to take her life hits me like a bag of bricks. I can feel my throat starting to get dry as I think about those nights that we spent laying together talking about a world where Deviants would be free from discrimination, and even the prospect of us having kids came up on more than one occasion. I know that it was just silly immature daydreaming but it was moments of peace like that that made me hope for a world of peace.
President Atlas. The way that she spoke about him it was almost like she viewed him as a god. I only met the man once but even thinking about our one interaction sends shivers down my spine. He's the man that made her a Captain. He made her kill Deviants for him. He took a girl desperate for hope and made her into a pawn for his own agenda. I clench both of my fists and I grit my teeth as his face flashed through my mind.
As I stand up off of my bed I look down at Zach as he stares at me with a concerned look on his face.
"Hiroshi, is everything alright? Are you feeling sick?" Zach asks me. I shake my head no as I give him a smile.
"No Zach, I'm perfectly fine. If anything I'm feeling better than I ever have." I say as I turn my head to Vex and Eden. "I know what my goal is. Vex, Eden. I swear on my life right here and right now that I will kill President Atlas before my life is over."
I fully expect all of them to either start laughing at me or try to deter me from doing so but they don't do either.
"Do you actually think that we're going to let you do that?" Vex asks as he starts laughing. "Atlas is the reason why my family has known nothing but poverty their entire lives. He made my brothers and sisters who were Deviants believe that the reason that we were poor was that they were born. I'll never forgive him for even putting that thought in their heads."
"I called dibs on that asshole long before you joined Revenant Hiroshi," Eden says as her hair starts to flare up a bit. "That son of a bitch has my sister wrapped around his finger. Even though she's angry at me I still want to have a relationship with her, and as long as he's in the picture and she's under his influence I'll never get that chance."
As Eden and Vex argue back and forth between one another Zach finally stands up off of the bed and breaks his silence.
"How can you sit there and make bold statements like that? You're talking about killing the most powerful man in the world like it's nothing! How can you do that?! Aren't you scared?!" Zach yells as he looks at the three of us.
I turn to Vex who turns his attention to Eden who turns her attention to me. I look at Zach and then I look back to Eden as I extend my hand out to her.
"Well, Eden is the leader of this mission. So I feel like she's the most qualified to answer that question." I say as I back away from Eden a bit so that she can talk to him.
Eden takes a deep breath in and out as she walks over to Zach. The way that she towers over him makes him look extremely nervous but when Eden notices that she softens her face and fixes her hair as she pulls him into her body.
"Alright Zach, I know that you're new to all of this so I'm going to try and explain this as simple as I possibly can." She says. "The generation of Deviants and Hybrids that came before you have fucked this world up to almost irreparable levels. Why aren't we afraid? Because we don't have the luxury to feel that way. We don't have the luxury of being able to run and hide from the problems that we caused, especially the ones that my predecessors were a part of. So If we don't have time to feel fear the only thing we have time to feel is courage, and if you're going to join us and be a part of the change them you cannot show any fear. Do you hear me?"
Zach pulls himself away from her as he wipes a bit of sweat from his forehead. He turns his head to me as I cross my arms. This is the moment that we've been waiting for. If Zach decides to join us then we'll be one step closer to changing the world. But if he doesn't and the Government gets their hands on him and turns him into a weapon to use against us, then it's all over. Atlas and The Government would have won.
"So what will your decision be Zach? Will you throw away your fear and help us make the world a better place? Or will you give in to it and forever live in a constant state of anxiety?" Vex asks.
"Zach don't be afraid to make your own decision. Regardless of whatever choice you make I promise to make sure that you won't ever have to feel what you felt back at that house ever again alright?" I say to him. Zach nods his head yes as he takes a deep breath in and out.
"I'm going to join you guys." He says as he sticks his chest out. This is the first time that I've seen him stand tall like this without any fear in his heart. It brings a smile to my face to see him grow this much in such a short time. Eden quietly mouths the word yes as she fixes her hair and gets her composure back.
"Alright then. Kevin should be here any minute. Let's meet him at the rendezvous point and head on home." She says as all of us grab our things and start to head outside.
Zach grabs ahold of my arm as we head down the stairs and outside of the house. As the four of us start walking down the street we can hear the goodbyes of all of the kids as we all turn back and wave our hands to them. I can hear Laura cry louder than anyone as I put my thumb high into the air. She does the same thing back and it's the last thing I see before we four turn the corner and head onto the main street.
"Do you think that they're going to be alright?" Zach asks me as I put my hood over my head.
"I believe they will. They don't really have the option to not be. They've been given a second chance at life and I believe that they'll do what they need to do in order to survive." I say to him as I place my hand on his head. "You don't have to worry about them."
Zach breathes out a sigh of relief as Eden nudges me with her shoulder.
"Look alive Hiroshi," Eden says as she points at a television that's hanging up in a window. "It looks like someone managed to get their hands on the footage of you and The Deviant Killers interaction yesterday."
I can feel my stomach drop but to avoid drawing attention to myself I don't look over at the television.
"It looks like propaganda is already starting," Vex says. "From what I'm seeing it looks like they're trying to paint you up to be the villain. You're going to have a huge target on your back man."
"Good. That's how I wanted it to be." I say to him as I look up into the sky. "As long as the target is on my back then Jo can safely operate behind the scenes while I do all of the fighting for him. That's the role that I'm best at and that's the one that I'll continue to play to the best of my abilities. I'll bear the weight of The Governments wrath on my shoulders so that the Hybrids and Deviants that come after me don't have to experience it for themselves. No one deserves to live in a world fueled by hate."
"Knowing Jo, I really don't think that he's going to like you diverging from his plan like that," Eden says to me as she checks her phone. "Speak of the devil. I just got a text message from him, and I'd rather not repeat what he said in front of the kid."
Even if Eden never told me that I can feel how angry he is with me. An overwhelming sense of anger and disappointment starts to wash over me. The image of Jo flashes through my mind as I feel my hands and legs start to shake out of nervousness. I look at Vex, Eden, and Zach and I can tell that they're feeling the same thing as well. Is this really the power of Jo's Echo? I can feel it damn near halfway across the planet. As I start to look around I can see that none of the citizens have passed out. When I let my Echo off everyone around me besides Leo was knocked out. Does Jo really have that much control on top of this raw power as well? His level of power is starting to really intimidate me a bit. This was a good reminder as to why he's the leader of Revenant. As I start to calm myself down a bit Eden picks up her phone as it starts to ring.
Zach starts to pull on my arm as his body continues to shake.
"What was that feeling? I know you felt it too." Zach asks me as I start to laugh.
"Yeah, I Did feel it, but you don't have to worry. It wasn't directed towards you. If anything you should feel happy. The person who's energy that belongs to is actually the leader of the group that you just joined, and I can assure you that he will be very happy to see you." I say to him as the four of us walk to the pier that we rode into on our boat.
"Kevin said that he should be here any minute," Eden says as she looks up into the sky. "But is her seriously just going to fly here in a helicopter? Won't that attract a ton of unwanted attention?"
"Yes, Eden. You are right about that. That's why I had this girl teleport me here instead." Kevin says from directly behind me. I almost jump out of my shoes as the girl starts to laugh. When I turn around I see that it's the same girl that teleported me to Sacramento that one time while I was still recovering from my fight with Crystal.
"Vex!!" The girl yells as she runs over to him and gives him a big hug. "Everyone was so worried about you! We had no idea what to do with ourselves while you were gone!"
Vex wraps his arms around her as he pulls her into him. I forgot that almost every member operating under Vexs' Cerberus Squad is compiled of his younger siblings. The Cerberus Squad doesn't do much aside from offer protection for Revenant, hence the name of the squad Cerberus, the watchdog of Hades.
As they pull away from one another Vex looks at his sister up and down as he straightens out and fixes up her Cerberus outfit.
"It looks really good on you Selena. I'm so proud that you've embraced this place as your home." Vex says as he rubs his hand on her head. "You're setting a good example for everyone else. Keep it up alright?"
Selena nods her head as she smiles at him. This was touching to see. Slowly but surely it appears that the next generation will be the one that helps rebuild this world back up. But for now, Vex, Eden, Jo, Kevin, and I have to focus on tearing it down first before that can happen.
"Alright, guys. We're on a tight schedule. Jo has something incredibly important to tell all of us and I really do not want to keep him waiting." Kevin says as he places his hand on Selena's shoulder. "Everyone grab onto me so that she can get us all back to Revenant safe and sound.
After he says that everyone grabs ahold of Kevin. Vex grabs onto his shoulder as Eden squeezes his cheeks. I grab onto the collar of his shirt as Zach holds onto my arm.
"Alright. We're all ready to go." Eden says as Kevin nods his head.
"Alright, just like we practiced. Deep breaths in and out. Focus all of your energy out of your body and into the people around you. Allow your Echo to flow through you and expend it out enough to encompass everyone." Kevin says to Selena as she nods her head to him.
"Focus my energy out and around everyone close to me. Deep breaths in and out." She says as she starts to slow her breathing down. After a couple of seconds of doing this, she opens her eyes back up and slams her hand onto the ground as everyone is immediately teleported back into Revenant.
After everyone gets their bearings about them Selena deeply exhales and starts to jump up and down excitedly as she starts to cheer.
"I did it Kevin I did it!!" She yells as she jumps around him. "Did you see that Vex? Did you see that?! That was the most people I ever teleported at once! Aren't you proud of me?!"
Before Vex answers her question he quickly shoots a glare over at Kevin before Vex extends his hand out to Selena and starts to congratulate her. As both of them start to walk away from us Kevin fixes his collar as he starts to smile a bit.
"If this keeps up then the next generation of Hybrids and Deviants may actually be able to coexist," Kevins says as all of us watch a mixture of Hybrids and Deviants sitting at a lunch table talking with one another. "This place may seem small but the message behind it is huge. Revenant is proof that the world doesn't have to be this way. Eden, Hiroshi. I trust that the two of you will continue to serve Jo so that he can make his dream a reality."
Eden and I both nod as I put my hand on Zach's head. Kevin nods to me as Vex walks back over to us followed closely behind by Jo. I can feel my blood start to run cold as he looks at me with a smile on his face. Eden and I both bow to him as Jo gets down on one knee and introduces himself to Zach.
"Zach, it is such a pleasure to meet you. My name is Jo Juzo and I am the leader of the organization that you see here, Revenant. I am happy to see that you managed to make it here safely. Did my team cause you any sort of trouble?" Jo asks him as he extends his hand to Zach. Zach looks up at me and I nod my head yes as he goes to shake his hand.
"Whatever Hiroshi did to make you angry I'm sure he didn't mean it!" Zach says to Jo as Jo slightly raises his eyebrow. "Hiroshi did everything that he could possibly do to protect me and get me here safely! Please forgive him!"
"Believe me, Zach. I am not angry at Hiroshi if that's what you think. Your Echo sense is remarkable for someone of your age. I'm amazed that you were able to sense my distress from so far away." He says as he stands up off of the ground. "Do not worry. Your savior will be perfectly fine Zach. I'm more than happy to see him bridging the gaps between you two. So for right now what I'm going to have you do is to go with my friend Kevin. He's going to get you all settled in with a room and something to eat while I talk to these three guys alright?"
"Do you promise that you're not mad at Hiroshi?" Zach asks Jo.
"I pinky promise that I'm not angry at him." He says as he extends his pinky out to him. Zach examines his face and finger for a bit before he slowly wraps his pinky around Jo's.
Kevin grabs Zach by his hand and he takes him over by his computers so that he can register him into the database. Jo clears his throat as he fixes his scarf around his neck.
"Alright, you three. I have some big news to tell you, Let's step into my office for a bit." He says as Vex, Eden, and I follow him into his office. As I close the door behind me Jo sits down at his desk and he throws a couple of pictures on the table as he lights up a cigarette. "What you're looking at here is the first pictures of President Atlas that have been taken since he was sworn into office six years ago."
"To you guys, this may not seem like it's anything special, but to me, this is more frightening then I could ever imagine it to be." He says as he takes a deep inhale from his cigarette.
"What's the issue, Jo?" Vex asks as he picks the picture up and examines it closely. "He looks normal to me."
"You see, that's the problem. This man has no aged a single day since the last time that we saw him. This gives me something to work with when it comes to deciphering what his ability actually is." Jo says as he takes a picture off of the table and puts it back underneath his desk.
Eden picks up a photo and when she does that the picture immediately starts to smoke up as she grips onto the photo. I put my hand on her shoulder to try and calm her down a bit as small pieces of the picture start to burn underneath her fingers.
"Eden. I understand your anger and frustration but you must calm down. Getting angry will not bring us any closer to taking him down." Jo says to her. Eden immediately starts to calm down as she drops the photo onto the table.
"So what is this news that's so important Jo?" Eden asks as she folds her arms.
"This has something to do with the third and last person that I need for us to recruit to join Revenant." He says as he types something up into his computer and turns it around to us. "Her name is Malory and she's a Deviant with the ability to control the emotions of others as well as the ability to control sound waves."
"I'm not a fan of using abilities to change the hearts of people with free will, but if someone like her were to fall into the wrong hands. There wouldn't be too much that we could do to stop her." Jo says as he rubs his eyes. "She's located in Washington DC and she is going to be the first Deviant in history to be executed that will be broadcast worldwide, and can you guess who will be the one that will be doing the execution?"
"President Atlas," I say as I fold my arms. "My best guess is that he's trying to send a message to the world. That he won't tolerate any Deviants that try to stand against him. This might be his way of responding to what I did a week ago."
"You may be right about that Hiroshi but you know what that means right? We have a rescue mission on our hands." Jo says as he shuts his computer off. "The execution is to take place two weeks from now. That gives us plenty of time to train and to devise a strategy as to how we're going to go about saving her. Washington DC is THE most protected place in the world. It will not be an easy place to get into, and our window to save her will be short as well. This mission will require impeccable timing as well as great skill across the board from all of us. We have no room for failure here okay? With this mission here we have a real shot at putting Revenant on the map. This is the time where we make our introduction to the entire world guys. Remember what it is that we're fighting for, I promise you that we will not lose this fight alright? You have my word."
Eden, Vex, and I all nod our heads as he stands up out of his chair. I immediately sit down in the chair behind me as Jo takes a deep breath in and out.
"Eden, Vex, you're dismissed. Hiroshi. You stay behind. There is one last thing that I'd like to talk to you about." Jo says as he throws his cigarette into an ashtray. I can feel my heart skip a beat and my blood runs cold as Vex and Eden both slowly back out of the room. As the door is closed behind them Jo takes a deep breath in and out as he sits down in his chair. "You know why we're having this talk don't you Hiroshi?"
I'm trying to decide whether I should just play ignorant or if I should just come out and tell him why. But before I can open my mouth to give an answer He turns on the television and the first thing that I see is a still photo of me holding up the dead body of Mariah. The caption underneath the photo reads "Leader of Violent Deviant Rise Up?"
As the still photo remains on the screen I can feel Jo's anger starting to rise up as the news reporters continue to talk in the background.
"This. This right here. This is not what Revenant is about Hiroshi." Jo says as he lights another cigarette. "You must keep this in mind. When you go out on missions, or even if you're going out to eat at a damn fast food restaurant, you are a representative on Revenant, and as a representative of Revenant your actions will reflect badly not only on you but on the rest of us."
"But Jo, I killed a Government Captain. That's an important step for us, isn't it? It shows that we aren't someone to be messed with, that we can actually fight back if we want to! We can strike fear into The Government and doing something like that was the right move into doing so." I say to him as I rise up out of my seat. I slam my hands onto his desk as I look at him directly in his eyes. "Now is the perfect time to take action! The world is reeling right now and all of the focus is on me. I can take whatever they throw at me, Jo! Don't you believe me?!"
"It has nothing to do with belief Hiroshi!" Jo yells as I stumble back from him a bit. "It has everything to do with you! It's you! Do you remember what I told you before you went out on your first mission? That one day there will come a time where your way will be necessary, but now is not that time! You are too important to Revenant and I will not stand by and watch you throw your life away on the grounds that you're sacrificing yourself for the good of Deviants!"
"What is it? You don't believe that I'll actually do it? Do you truly believe that I'm that selfish?!" I ask him as my eyes start to glow. Black lightning starts to crackle off of my body as Jo's eyes start to glow as well.
"No. If anything it's the opposite. It's because I know that you're willing to do it that I have to stop you before it actually happens." Jo says to me as he starts to calm down a bit. "I told you that you played an important role and I still believe that, but in order, for you to reach the potential that I need you alive."
I can feel his words hit me like a truck. I can see tears starting to swell up in his eyes as he uses his scarf to wipe the tears that are starting to fall down his face.
"You're a good person, and you have a good heart, and right now the world needs that heart. They need someone like you. You say that you want to change the world but you can't do that if you're dead Hiroshi." Jo says as he sits on his desk. "The world isn't ready for your sacrifice yet. It doesn't deserve it. Zach, think about him Hiroshi. I can tell that he looks up to you. I can tell that you give him hope. I hope that this world can become better. The only kindness that he's known has come not from a Hybrid, but someone who he's supposed to hate. You. A Deviant. You're both too important to let die, and I refuse to let both of you pay for the crimes that my generation committed."
"So what is it that you want me to do?" I ask him as my eyes start to calm down. The lightning that was making my hair stand up dissipates from around me as I place my hand on my forehead. "I don't know what to do with my life, Jo. The only worth that I find in it is giving it to others." The screams of all of those Hybrids that were insulting me and throwing stuff at me start to flood back into my head as I try my best to hold back my tears. "I try my best to be strong for those people but you're right. I am just one man. I bleed, I feel pain and fear. I'm a mortal and the only time that I feel like I have some worth is when I'm throwing my life away."
After hearing that Jo comes from around his desk and he places his hand on my shoulder as I feel my leg starting to shake.
"I understand that you've been through a lot Hiroshi, and not just since you've joined Revenant. You've been fighting this world your entire life and it looks like the pressure of it all is starting to weigh on you." Jo says. "Alright. You asked me what you need to do and here's the answer. For the next two days, I want you to relax and go back to your roots. No fighting, and no Government, and to assure that you won't be doing so I'll accompany you on this short break."
"What about Revenant? Won't they need you here?" I ask as I raise my head up. Jo starts to laugh as he fixes his scarf.
"If Revenant wasn't capable of being run without me then I would've failed my job as a leader. Kevin will be able to run things just fine for a couple of days." Jo says as he walks back behind his desk. "While we're at it why don't we bring Zach as well. It would benefit us greatly if we have the past, present, and future altogether while we relax a bit. We still have a lot of important information to discuss Hiroshi. Since both of us are Deviants we're the only two that will be able to understand the magnitude. Not even Eden and Kevin know about what I'm going to tell you What I'm going to say is very important and dear to me and my heart. I hope that you have an open heart and mind. The future depends on it."
"What do you mean?" I ask him but the only response he gives me is a calculated smile as he deeply inhales his cigarette and blows the smoke into the air.