Chapter 16:

One Man Vs The World; Overwhelming Pressure


As Selena drops us off on a building towering over the city of my hometown Sacramento, Jo flips his scarf over his shoulders as the wind blows our hair back. The sun is just starting to rise over the new day as Zach falls to the ground. He must be afraid of heights as shown by him quickly backing away from the edge of the building.

"Now why'd you go and drop us off all the way up here Selena?" Jo asks as he laughs and helps Zach up off of the ground. He pats him on the head as the wind starts to blow even more ferociously.

"The last time that I dropped Hiroshi off here the Government wound up chasing us. So I figured that this would be a better place to land." Selena says as she glares at me and crosses her arms. I glare back at her as Jo puts his hand on my shoulder.

"You're definitely right about that. Hiroshi does seem to have a knack for drawing a lot of unnecessary attention to himself so I get where you're coming from." He says to her as he gives her a warm smile. "So, two days. You are to meet us back on top of this building in two days at six-forty five AM. No earlier, no later. Do you understand?"

Selena nods her head yes as Jo hands her a chocolate bar. Selena smiles at Jo and sticks her middle finger up to me as she snaps her fingers and teleports back to Revenant.

"Alright. Now that she's gone we can start our little vacation." Jo says as he stretches his arms and legs.

"What did you have in mind?" I ask Jo as I stand over the edge of the building and look over the skyline of the city. I can hear people starting to get ready for their day from below as cars start to fill the roads.

"Nothing too special," Jo says as he takes a cigarette out of his pocket and lights it up in his mouth. I can see the smoke starting to make its way over to Zach and when I see that I immediately walk over to Jo and I take the cigarette out of his mouth and I crush it in my hand as I drop it onto the floor. Jo glares at me for a split second before he realizes why I did that. He shakes his head as he puts his pack of cigarettes into his pocket. "We're just going to walk around the city for a bit. Do a bit of touring. I feel like after the events that just transpired something not as demanding as walking would be a nice change of pace."

I go to argue with him but before I can even get my words out of my mouth I hear Zach start to run towards us after he hears that.

"I've only ever seen America in pictures and in magazines! Are you telling me that I'm finally going to get to see it with my own eyes? Really Hiroshi? You'll take me won't you?" Zach asks me as he grabs onto my hand. I can see the fear that was once on his face completely change into excitement as he overlooks the skyline.

After looking at him for a couple of seconds I finally cave in and I let out a deep sigh as I lower my head. I really wanted to try and stay out of public as much as possible but I guess just for him I'll deal with it. Jo believes that he's going to be the one who changes the world for the better so it would make sense for him to get to know the world that he's going to be saving.

"I know that look on your face more than you could possibly think Hiroshi," Jo says as he wipes his glasses off with his scarf. "Let's head on down there so we can get started."

"Wait. Hold on a minute Jo." I say as I grab onto his arm right as he goes to jump down off of the building. "You know damn well that I can't walk around the streets like I didn't just kill a Government Captain."

Jo bursts out in laughter as he wipes the tears from his glasses. I can feel my eye start to twitch as Zach joins in beside him.

"You know what? You're right about that." Jo says as he picks himself up off of the ground holding his stomach. "You did do something so hilariously stupid a week ago."

"Some damn leader you are," I say to him as he starts to laugh even more.

"Don't you worry about that Hiroshi. I have that covered." Jo says as he snaps his fingers. I can feel his Echo explode off of his body as I lose my breath for a bit. I can feel it starting to expand out to the point where it feels as if it just completely encompassed the entire state of California. "There. Now you don't have to worry about anyone recognizing you as the Hybrid Killer or the man who killed a Government Captain. I manipulated the sight of everyone obviously except for us to see you as someone who won't draw too much attention but is completely adorable as well."

I can feel my irritation starting to rise up inside of me as Jo smiles at me while he tries to keep his laugh under control.

"Who the hell did you make me look like Jo?" I say to him as I walk over to him and grab him by his collar.

"It isn't anything too bad. If anything you should be flattered. I made you look like a miniature version of me." Jo says as he puts both of his hands into the air. "But not exactly like me. Something sort of like a little brother. People won't really think twice about that."

I think about yelling at him for doing that but the look in his eyes that he's giving me shows that he's actually trying to look out for me, and in his own way this is how he's showing it. I take my hands from around his collar and I take a deep breath in and out as I back away from him.

"Alright, Jo. I'll let you do this. But the second I feel like you're making fun of me I'm leaving." I say as I cross my arms and lean over the edge of the building. I extend my hand out to Zach and he grabs onto it just as I jump off of the building and onto the ground with Jo not too far behind me.

After we land on the ground I take Zach out of my arms and I put him on the ground as Jo fixes his glasses and scarf. He pulls what looks like a map out of his back pocket as the three of us walk out of the alleyway and onto the sidewalk as we blend in with the rest of the people that are going about their day.

"So I was thinking since it's early in the morning that we stop by a coffee shop and get something to wake us up," Jo says as he rubs both of his hands together. "What do you think?"

"But I don't drink coffee." Zach says as he walks in between Jo and I. "Do they sell hot chocolate? I've heard that it's pretty good. I've never had any before."

"You've never had hot chocolate?! Are you serious?!" Jo asks as he bends down next to him. His eyes start to twinkle with excitement as he picks Zach up and puts him on his shoulders. "Don't you worry Zach! I promise that by the end of the day you would've had the best hot chocolate that you've ever had in your life!"

After Jo yells that a group of people all turn their heads over to us to see what's going on and I have to grab Jo by his ear and pull it to get him to calm down.

"Jo, I thought that we were supposed to be keeping a low profile. You can not be screaming at the top of your lungs like that." I say to him as I deeply exhale. "We can not draw unnecessary attention to ourselves. You have to keep your excitement under control."

Jo clears his throat as he takes Zach off of his shoulders. I can see the disappointment on his face as Jo does this.

"You don't have to take him off of your shoulders. Just be more careful with outbursts like that man." I say to Jo as I pat Zach on the top of his head. Jo and Zach both smile at me as they walk down the street humming some song that they heard in a car that passed by us. It sounds like something from an anime and after hearing them hum it for a while I ultimately find myself nodding my head to the melody before I know it.

After about ten minutes of walking down the street, we find ourselves outside of the same coffee shop where I found my wanted poster hanging on the door. I chuckle a bit as the three of us all walk into the shop. The smell of coffee and other pastry items find their way into my nose as I feel my stomach beginning to growl. God damn, I had no clue how hungry I am. I try to think back to the last time when I had an actual decent meal.

"Trying to remember the last time you actually ate a full meal aren't you?" Jo asks me as he sits down at a table. All three of us sit down at the table as one of the customers calls for the television to be turned up.

The manager comes out from behind the counter and he turns the television up. After he does that a group of Deviants all starts to crowd around the television as the local news station appears on the television.

"They got to talk about the Hybrid Killer again today." One of the guys says.

"It's been one week since the supposed death of Mariah Jones; The Government Captain of the western world and there has yet to be an official statement from the Government or President Atlas in regards to this video that was released of what appears to be a Deviant holding the body of Mariah." The news reporter says as she wipes some sweat off of her forehead. The video of me holding Mariah by her neck starts to play on the screen as my heart drops into my stomach. My body is completely beaten and broken and my clothes are completely drenched with blood as the cries and screams of citizens in the background fill the audio.

"Since there has been no official statement that Mariah has actually been killed the calls for the death penalty for The Hybrid Killer have been put on hold but permanent jail time is still on the table for him is that correct?" The male news reporter asks the female one. She nods her head yes as she puts the papers that were in her hands on the table.

"The Hybrid Killer up to this point has been a small-time criminal. Someone who has dedicated their entire life to trying to disrupt the lives of Hybrids that are just trying to make an honest living. He steals, he picks fights with Government and Hybrid soldiers, and on top of it all, he claims to do it for the betterment of Deviants. A race that makes up almost ninety-five percent of the poverty rate, a race that makes up almost eighty percent of the crime rate, and a race that makes up eighty-five percent of the homeless rate in the world. He claims his causes are just but all it is is just him lashing out in anger at the fact that he is a part of a race that is so violent and treated so poorly and to be honest rightfully so." She says as the male reporter nods in agreement. "Deviants need to find their place in this world, they need to go somewhere where they can build their own society and where they can thrive because it clearly isn't here with Hybrids. President Atlas wants to build a society where there is no crime, no poverty, no one is homeless and no one gets sick and this monster; this Hybrid Killer is someone who wants to stand against that. He not only hates Hybrids everywhere. He hates our freedom and future as well."

"If I were the Government, what I would do is send in a General to deal with him once and for all. Someone needs to teach him a lesson that he won't ever forget. A public execution is what I'm calling for." The male news reporter says. "To have a General come in and publicly execute a menace to this society would set the tone for any and all Deviants that may try to rise up and try something like this. Just the mere fact that a Deviant laid hands on a Captain is cause for execution."

I can feel Zach grab my hand as it starts to shake and tremble out of anger. How can both of them actually sit here on television and actually get away with saying things like this? After the reporters are done talking the news station goes back to playing the video of me holding Mariah by her neck over and over again.

"They've been talking about him non stop for the past week. The Government is in shambles right now. You can tell just by looking at these reporters. I'm pretty they don't even know what's really going on."

"Oh, I know what's going on. The Government is scared shitless that a Deviant has finally had enough of their shit and finally stood up to them." He says as he takes a swig of what smells like alcohol. "I'm glad he did this. He's gone from a vigilante to a full-blown hero. Maybe those damn Hybrids will treat us with a bit more respect now."

"I think that it's a load of bullshit." The manager says as he puts a basket of bread rolls on our table. Zach immediately reaches out and grabs a handful of them as the manager puts cups of water on our table. "This has to be a distraction from something bigger that's going on. Do you mean to tell me that a Deviant caught a Government Captain on an off day? Those guys are among the most powerful people in the world. Not only that, but they're also all candidates to be the next President after Atlas. The Hybrid Killer is good, but I don't think that he's good enough to beat a highly trained official like that. What do you think?" The manager asks Jo as Jo takes a sip of water.

"Well, have they released the picture of the dead body yet?" Jo asks. Everyone in the shop shakes their head no. "Then I guess it's safe to assume that this is a distraction for something that could be going on later in the future. I mean someone killing a Government Captain definitely isn't the smartest thing to do. You would have to be an idiot to actually go out of your way to ask for the entire Government to come after you. Don't you think Joseph?" Jo asks me as everyone turns their attention to me.

I know what Jo is trying to do. He's trying to rub in the fact that what I did was wrong. I think about slamming his head into the table as he tries to hold his laugh in like a little child. I can feel my eye starting to twitch a bit but I eventually get myself under control as I respond to his question.

"Yeah, I think you're right about that. It's one thing to think about punching one of those guys in their faces but to actually do it is something completely different." I say. "If The Hybrid Killer really wanted to make a change then he should've stuck to what he was doing before. Going around saving and helping Deviants."

I hear a couple of people in the shop agree with me as the rest shake their heads no in disagreement. I'm with them. I know that I did the right thing but what I did was definitely at the wrong time. After the manager takes our orders and brings out our hot chocolate I can feel Zach tug on my arm with a concerned look on his face.

"Hiroshi, you aren't going to die, are you? The Government isn't going to catch you are they?" Zach whispers to me as he leans in close to me.

"They haven't caught me yet have they?" I whisper back to him with a smile on my face. "Don't you listen to anything that those people or anyone have to say alright? I'm not going anywhere until I accomplish my dream of making this world a place where Deviants and Hybrids can live together peacefully and in harmony alright? I don't care who they say they're going to send. They can send all of their Captains or a General for that matter. I'm not going to stop doing what I believe is right."

I can hear Jo start to cough as he finishes drinking his hot chocolate. After he puts the cup down he slides me a credit card. I take it off of the table and I look at him with a confused look on my face.

"It's been well past your payday Joseph," Jo says as he rises up out of his seat. "So I figured now would the perfect time to give you your first check, and for all of the trouble you're going to cause me in the future I figured the least that you could do would be to pay for our breakfast."

"Are you serious?" I ask him as he and Zach both leave the table and the check with me. I take an exasperated breath as I hand the manager my card. After a couple of minutes, he brings me my card back and I meet Jo and Zach outside of the coffee shop.

"So where are we going next?" Zach asks as he walks over to me. I toss him a couple of bread rolls that I grabbed before I left out as Jo grabs a newspaper off of the ground.

"It looks like there's going to be a parade over on the northern side of town. Apparently, it's the one hundred year anniversary of the new Government regime. Typically all of the Captains and Generals would've made an appearance here today as you already know, that wouldn't be possible today because of certain circumstances." Jo says as he tosses the newspaper in the trash. "Sacramento would've been one of the stops that the Captains and Generals would've made on their countrywide tour. I wonder why they're going to a place that's mostly inhabited by Hybrids, but your guess is as good as mines."

I know he's joking but I still feel like I want to punch him in the face but I vote against it.

"So you want to attend this parade for what exactly?" I ask Jo as I cross my arms. "It can't be to just enjoy the atmosphere of it."

Jo puts both of his fingers together and he turns away from me as he starts to cry it sounds like. You can not be serious.

"Have you seriously never been to a parade?!" I ask him as I grab him by his scarf. He shakes his head no as I sigh deeply. I can feel Zach pull on my shirt from behind me and he's giving me the same look that Jo is.

"You've never been to one either have you?" I ask him. He shakes his head no as I facepalm myself. "Which one of you two is the child again? You're talking about going deep into Hybrid territory to see a parade, Jo. What if we get caught?"

Jo fixes his glasses as he clears his throat.

"I can promise you that we will not be found out. My Echo extends all over the state of California. As far as anyone is concerned we'll look like Hybrids to them. The same way how I made Zach here look like a Deviant I'll make us look like Hybrids. Don't worry." Jo says as he walks over the sidewalk and hails a taxi down.

As the three of us pile into the taxi and Jo tells the driver where he wants him to take us the driver gets noticeably more excited as he starts the car and looks at his phone. Talk about professionalism. As we drive throughout the street the man turns up the radio and the man speaking on the broadcast sounds pretty excited as well. Now my interest is piqued. What the hell is going on? Jo must be wondering the same thing because before I can ask the driver Jo jumps ahead and does it for me.

"I'm sorry for being nosy, but may I ask what is going on?" Jo asks as he taps on the window separating the driver from us. The driver leans back a bit so that he can talk and drive.

"It's just been announced that one of the Government Captains is going to be making an appearance at the White House to address the Hybrid Killer situation." The taxi driver says as we pull into some traffic. He raises his phone up for Jo to see and a picture of a Captain that I haven't encountered yet flashes on the screen.

"His name is Adrian Andrews. He's the youngest Captain to date at only seventeen years old, he joined the Government at only thirteen and now would you look at him? The closest Captain to becoming a General." The Driver says as the traffic starts to pick up a bit.

"Seventeen and he's already close to becoming one of the three most powerful people in the world? He's truly a pure-blooded Hybrid through and through." Jo says as he puts his hand on his chin. I can see the concern starting to swell up in his face for a bit before he calms himself down.

"What do you think he's going to announce?" I ask the driver. He shakes his head no as he throws one of his hands up into the air.

"I don't know. It could be a ton of things. But what I'm guessing is that they're going to confirm that Captain Mariah is dead. I mean did you see the video? It looked like she was crucified or something. It was just horrible. I knew the Hybrid Killer was bad but that was just horrible." The driver says. "These Deviants are starting to get out of control. That's why I'm happy that I was able to get you Hybrids up out of this part of town. Can't be having you guys going and getting gutted or something. We should let the Government handle them. They'll get what they deserve in due time."

"So I'm guessing your opinion on The Hybrid Killer isn't that high am I right?" Jo asks the driver. The driver aggressively shakes his head no as he starts to laugh.

"The Hybrid Killer has murdered tons of Government soldiers and Hybrids. He tries to disrupt the order of things by stealing from Hybrids and giving weapons to Deviants. I've even heard that he would sometimes breed with Hybrid women to try and make stronger kids for if the Government actually captures and kills him. You know, someone to carry on his legacy of killing and thieving."

"Wow. That is very interesting. I definitely didn't know about that." Jo asks as he tries to hold his laughter in. "Joseph. Have you heard anything like that before?"

I tap my fingers on the window to try and calm myself down before I answer that stupid question. I've never done anything that stupid or asinine. I've never even had sex before. Do these people really think I have that much time on my hands? I don't just go around stealing, and having sex with women like some Viking or pirate.

"Nope. I haven't heard anything like that before. I highly doubt he has time to actually do something like that." I say through my clenched teeth.

"Yeah, you're probably right." The driver says as we pull up to the sidewalk. I can hear the stomping and the trumpets of the parade starting to make its way down the street at Zach, Jo, and I step out of the car. Jo pays the driver with a smile and he drives off as the three of us are all handed balloons with President Atlas face on it.

I try to hide my disgust as I allow the balloon to leave out of my hands and float into the sky.

"So what are we gonna do now? We're going to watch the parade right?" Zach asks Jo as he grabs him by his hand.

"Yes. We're going to stay and watch the parade." Jo says as he picks Zach up and puts him on his shoulders. "In fact. We're going to find the perfect place to watch it right now."

I stay planted in place as hordes of Hybrids start to make their way onto the sidewalks. As these people walk past me a good majority of them are talking about the announcement that's going to be made by that Captain later on today. I find a table to sit at in front of the television outside of a small restaurant.

"It looks like the announcement is about to begin!" I hear a woman say from behind me. Immediately after she says that the television in front of me switches on as the picture cuts to the front of the White House. There's a podium that's surrounded by hordes of reporters and television crews as the doors to the White House open up.

A large security team of Hybrids all file out of the White House as they form a kind of half-circle behind the podium. I can feel my heart start to race a bit as a group of people start to walk up and stand behind me to get a good place to stand before the Captain makes his appearance.

"I heard that they've already confirmed that The Hybrid Killer did kill Captain Mariah. That monster. I can't believe he would do something like that." I hear a man say from behind me.

"My daughter looked up to her. She said that she wanted to be a Government Captain just like her. Someone who protects and saves people."

I can feel the eyes of one of these guys trained on me as I try my best to look calm. He puts his hand on my shoulder and I immediately go to think that Jo's Echo may have worn off. That my identity has been found out and that all of these guys are going to try and arrest me. But his hand doesn't feel forceful. In fact, it feels comforting in a way.

"You seem to be stressed out man. I feel you. Us Hybrids have got to stick together more than ever now." He says as he puts a figure of Crystal; Eden's sister on my table. Are you serious right now? Do they have figurines of the Captains? "Everything will turn out alright. As long as we have the Captains. We have nothing to worry about. The Hybrid Killer won't be alive for much longer anyway."

I nod my head in agreement as everyone starts to cheer all of a sudden. A boy with his hands in his pockets comes walking out of the White House followed by two more people that I've never seen before. They're both covering their faces with masks as Adrian, The Government Captain turns his head to the both of people. They both nod their head yes as he turns back and faces the news reporters and cameras.

"Oh my goodness it's actually him!"

"Captain Adrian Andrews has finally made his first official appearance as a Government Captain to the public!"

"I heard that he once took down an army of Deviants by himself while saving Hybrids that were in a burning building!"

"I heard that the only reason that he isn't a General is that he's too young. If he was twenty-one then he would've already taken a spot."

"That's a load of bullshit. Adrian is strong but the Generals are Generals for a reason. They're handpicked by the President himself to act as guards for the world."

Their rumors seem to be a bit all over the place. From what I'm hearing no one seems to know how strong this guy really is. It's hard to decipher whether this guy is actually as big a threat as they're trying to make him out to be or if he's maybe just a bit overrated. As he raises his hand into the air everyone stops talking and it feels as though everyone is leaning in to listen to what he has to sigh. Even I find myself doing that. Goosebumps run up and down my arms as the hair on the back of my neck starts to stand up. My heart rate starts to pick up and sweat starts to slowly form on my forehead as Adrian taps on the microphone to make sure that it's on.

"I only came out here to say a couple of things. I'm only going to say them one time so you better listen up." He says as he looks into the camera. "Captain Mariah has been confirmed dead. She died at the scene where these crimes were committed exactly one week ago today at three o' four am in London at the hands of the Hybrid Killer."

Almost immediately everyone lets out a loud gasp as Adrian puts his hand over his mouth. From the looks of it, it seems as if he's about to cry. I can hear people from behind me starting to cry as well. After he says that a video compilation of Mariah starts to play on the screen.

The video is a couple of minutes long and it basically shows Mariah going around saving people and kids. From the screenshots and the still shots, Mariah actually looks pretty happy. She has a group of Hybrid and Deviant kids surrounding her and they all have smiles on their faces as Mariah gives all of them a big hug. I can feel tears starting to swell up in my eyes as the video ends. Damn. I was not expecting to see that. Without even knowing it she was living out the dream that I had envisioned for this world. A smile starts to slowly spread across my face as a tear falls down from my eyes. God damn Mariah. Why'd you have to go and be like me so damn much?

"You're upset too huh?" I hear one of the women say from behind me. As I turn around to look at her I can see her makeup running down her face as she fixes her wig. It's a damn wig of Mariah's hair. This is ridiculous. I look all around me some more and I can see people wearing the masks of the two Generals as well as people wearing Crystals clothes.

Eden would probably lose her mind if she saw this. I definitely wasn't expecting to see all of this. I had no clue that the Captains were this important to the people. Seeing all of these people cry and comfort one another after hearing about her death really puts into perspective the weight of what I did. Adrian clears his throat as he wipes a tear from his face.

"I know that this is sad and trying time for the entire world right now but the world must remain strong. Not only for your sake but for the sake of the entire world as well." Adrian says. "The Hybrid Killer took something important from us. He not only took a pillar of this society from us, but he's also taken someone who was important to me. Someone who I loved not only as a Captain but as a person as well. Captain Mariah taught me everything that I needed to know about being a leader and serving the people. So yes her death is a huge loss, but it was not in vain. I promise you that."

After he says that I can feel an enormous amount of pressure radiating from the television. It's almost suffocating me the more I stand in front of it. Is this Adrians Echo? This is absolutely insane! He's all the way in Washington DC but it feels like he's standing right here next to me. I can feel his sadness and his anger radiating off of the screen as he stares directly into the camera. Is he really just a kid? From the feel of his power, he's just as strong as Jo, if not he may possibly be even stronger than him.

"This is what I'm calling for, and I'm sure the rest of you will agree with me as well," Adrian says as his Echo is starting to swell up even higher. It feels like a giant wave looming over top of me. Mere moments before it crashes down and I'm swept underneath the water forever. "I'm calling for the death of The Hybrid Killer, and not just from Government official. I'm looking to you, the people as well to help us. This Government was built on the principles of helping one another. Doing whatever it takes to ensure the betterment of those you care about, and this is your chance to do just that. All citizens, Hybrids, and Deviants alike are fully protected under the law to bring the body of The Hybrid Killer to your nearest Government Official, dead or alive."

Everyone around me and even far away from me let out a loud gasp as some people start to cheer. I was expecting them to call for my death but to give any and every one the power to come after me definitely did not cross my mind. I start to get goosebumps up my arm as I think about that. But wait. I have people who fully support what I did. There's no way that the people that I saved would try to turn me in even if the Government said that they could use force to do so. I shake my head and I clear my mind as Adrian continues to speak.

"The reward for bringing The Hybrid Killer to us will be a hefty ten million dollars," Adrian says as he holds up what appears to be the check for the ten million dollars. "This kind of money would be life-changing, even for one of us Captains, we'll be on the lookout for him as well but we will not be doing it for the money. This will be a personal mission for all of the Captains and Generals." Adrian says as he focuses on the camera. "Hybrid Killer. I want you to know something right now. When I find you. I will make sure that you pay for what you've done. There is no forgiveness for the act that you've committed. There is nowhere that you can run, and there is no place that you can hide either. You wanted a target on your back so now you have it. You want to go to war? Now you have one on your hands. Hiroshi; The Hybrid Killer. Before this year is over I swear on my life that you will cease to exist in this world. You have three months left to live. I can promise you that you'll be seeing us really soon."

After he says that he walks back into the White House followed by the two Generals and lastly by the group of Hybrid and Government soldiers without answering any questions. Immediately after those doors, close everyone starts to lose their minds for a bit. A mix of cheers and screams fill the streets as the parade starts behind me. I rise up out of my seat as I feel myself starting to get a bit lightheaded. The effect of Adrian's Echo is still working its way throughout my body. Was Mariah really that important to them? To make him feel like she must've been. As I stumble through the crowd I can feel myself starting to fall over. I trip over someone's foot and before I hit the ground I can feel someone catch me right before my face hits the concrete.

"Wow. It seems like you've really messed up huh?" I hear Jo say from behind me as Zach and him help me up off of the ground. "You felt it too didn't you? His Echo?"

"Yeah. He's just as strong as you Isn't he?" I ask him. Jo doesn't answer my question but from the look on his face, I can guess that the answer is probably yes.

"I'm guessing you already know that we have to go don't you?" Jo asks me. "If a General shows up here in this town there won't be anything that we can do to stop them. Anyone with an Echo more powerful than my own will be able to see through my illusion and identity you right away. Those Generals and even that Adrian kid is no one to play around with. Odds are they probably already know where we are."

"They do?! How did they figure it out that fast?!" Zach asks as Jo grabs his hand and we start to walk away from the parade. I follow closely behind them as Jo leads us to a secluded park.

"Okay. Think of extremely powerful Echoes like sonars that dolphins use." Jo says as the three of us sit down on a bench.

"So basically echolocation," I say as Jo nods his head yes.

"One of the reasons why this extra ability is called an Echo," Jo says to me. "That Echo wave that he just put out was just that. To be honest, they probably have no intention of giving out the ten million dollars to anyone, but they'll give the impression that they are. They'll probably wait a couple of days or so before they actually send someone in to capture Hiroshi. But knowing the Government they'll probably spend these next couple of days looking for a new Captain to replace Mariah, as well as figuring out who they want to actually send after you."

I put my hands over my head as I try to process all of this information. I start to look around me and react to every single noise that I hear. I have no clue what this kids abilities are, or even what the Generals are capable of doing either. They didn't release their Echo so the scope of their true power is still a mystery to me. The only thing that I know for certain is that both of them are even more powerful than Adrian and Jo.

"Jo. You seem to know a lot about how The Government works." Zach says as he starts to laugh. "It's almost like you used to work with them."

I chop Zach over the head with my hand as he starts to tear up a bit.

"Come on Zach this is no time to be playing around about stuff like that. This is serious." I say as I cross my arms. "Now come on Jo. We have to figure out a solution to this. Even if I have to do it by myself I'll listen to what you tell me to do."

Jo starts to chuckle a bit as he takes a cigarette out of his pocket and lights it up. I let out a deep sigh as I go to take it out of his mouth, but before I can do that Jo glares at me with such anger and irritation that I flinch for a second and tear my hand away from him.

"I understand your concern Hiroshi but believe me. If I'm going to get through this I'm going to need this." Jo growls at me. The serious tone in his voice sends shivers down my spine as his Echo starts to seep out of his body. Zach starts to slowly back away from him as Jo starts to chuckle a bit. "I guess it's time for me to tell you the real reason why we came out here. Zach. The joke that you told earlier wasn't exactly that much of a joke after all."