By Jordan Myers
An English project
All those who do evil hate the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But those who live by the truth come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
To read this novel properly, it is good to know a few important things. Every time you see a name before a paragraph, the point of view is from that person's perspective. The best way to enjoy this story is to follow this rule. Otherwise, it will make no absolute sense whatsoever.
Part One: Omega- The Organization
“Everyone receives a gift, but it's what you do with it that matters.”
By reading the first few pages of this book, you may think think that the following is one of those detective stories or revenge stories that everyone reads nowadays. No. This is a story about me running for my life from an evil thing that will show up eventually. Once in a while, you may think, what the heck am I doing? or what just happened? Well, I thought the same throughout this entire book. First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Jake Sreym. I'm somewhat of a normal teen. I like to ride my bike and play video games. Being at the top of my 11th grade class, and having perfect black hair to match my skinny build should get me some attention, but I get none of the sort. I am actually friendless and alone most of the time. Even my parents don't care what I do with my time. I could smoke, drink, or even go out late at night. But I choose not to. My life may have not been perfect, but I chose not to run it into the ground.
This book, or novel, or thing, is comprised of the inner thoughts of the four of us, of whom you'll see when the name comes up right about
Of course this technically starts with my part, so I'll start at the beginning of the worst day of my entire life, to the end. It will occasionally be interrupted by the other three, but that provides other viewpoints of my story. So sit back, relax, unless you're reading this somewhere unfavorable, and see what the heck I'm talking about.
I had woken up on a cloudy day, one of those days no one wants to get up on. I rubbed my eyes, crawled out of bed, and got ready for school. I hated school for being what it was, and wished that the day would end better, or at least be not like every other day. Turns out I was about to get my wish, one way, or another.
I walked down from my room, passed my parent's room, and then went to the kitchen with a hungry belly. If my parents' were like any regular ones, they would've helped me with breakfast, or at least lunch. But they slept in everyday, and left me to my business. The last time I tried to wake them up this early was the same day I got grounded for a week. I learned my lesson. But I would wake them up everyday if they would be more involved. I unbelievably like the punishments. Attention is what I would've liked instead, but I get the most I can with what I get.
Grabbing a bowl of Corn Flakes off the shelf, I started eating without hesitation. I forgot to eat the day before, so I was starving. I was turning 16 in a month and a half, so I let this be a test for maturity, smarts, or even to try not to be late for school again. Gazing around and daydreaming, my eyes wandered to my fridge. I looked through the hung up kindergarden papers of my past and chuckled how far my handwriting had changed. My sight then reached the bus schedule hung up on at the top: 7:30. On my watch read 7:35. I was late. Yet again.
I ran outside with my backpack hanging on me by a single strap. Hoping not to miss the bus, I chose to jump over my neighbor's fence and to sprint through the back yard to the other side. I needed to get to the bus quickly, so I climbed over the last fence with too much speed and almost fell while I got down. But unknowingly, I woke up Mr. Gates and his dog. Mr. Gates is the oldest dweller in our community, but I wish that would've applied to his speed. Or his dog. Since I woke both of them up, I had to run across his yard while his dog came barking up behind me while he himself came out with his shotgun.
Mr. Gates hates only one thing. When someone, or something, even thinks of touching his precious grass, he goes all bananas and decides that the law doesn't matter. He is willing to go to all means to keep his yard all nice, even to keep a shotgun next to his back porch.
Mr. Gates held his gun and shot randomly at different places across the yard, leaving large holes in his fence and in the landscape. "Get off my lawn you piece of cow patty!"
I did make it over the other fence before he shot again, but my luck was not on my side since the bus had already started driving away. Nothing could be worse, except that a minute later, a downpour of rain came. Followed by hail. This day was not over, but I sure wished that I stayed in bed. My school wasn't too far from where I stood, but the bus would've helped me with the falling hail. Yet I was still glad for a few things. One, I would get the exercise I needed in a short amount of time. Two, the bus smelled like puke mixed with stuff that even the bus driver wouldn't want to know. And finally, I wouldn't need a shower and gym started first period.
I started with a slow jog until the hail fell harder, then I ran a full blast sprint the rest of the way with only my backpack to cushion the hits from the painful ice. Could it get any better?
"Hey look who's here, Jake please take a seat after you've hung up that towel. Now I expect you to stay after class so I can talk to you."
My homeroom and chemistry teacher, Mrs. Katy, always had me stay at the end of class to talk, but all she would say was that I should try to get school earlier than second period. Since I miss the bus almost everyday, she should've let me slide. Should, but won't.
"Now I hope that everyone finished their homework, right?" Mrs. Katy said as she drew up the classwork on the whiteboard. Everyone mumbled except me as I headed to my seat, and being the goody-two-shoes of the class, I had finished mine during study hall the day before.
The people around me stared enviously and awkwardly, but mostly angrily. They didn't care if I was the smartest guy, only if I did their homework for them. And I did that a lot. When I reached my seat, I found that someone had spit a layer saliva all over it. The kind filled with mucus and coughed-up phlegm.
I looked at the seat horrified and revolted. "Man, I wish I had that towel now. Mrs. Katy, may I get a washcloth or something?"
"Don't you always?" she said, writing more on the board without looking back around. "You know where it is, Jake."
Yes, everyday I would have these problems, and even more. But today could be the start of a new path, more or less for the good.
Once lunch break came, I was already exhausted. I was picked on every class that day, almost a new record. Usually it was only between classes, but I was pushed around and given homework left and right at every passing second. Other people's homework. By third period, the amount of homework in my possession was gargantuan: twelve math assignments, ten which were pre-calculus, four english papers, and the rest was a mishmash of elective assignments. The bullies and lazy snobs crowded me constantly with random work from months past, unfinished, and terribly overdue.
Since lunch was an "off" time for me, I finally was able to eat lunch in peace. But it was just wonderful when yet another random kid came over to my table and sat down. Usually sitting alone was my forte, and since someone came over, it would've became maddening once he tried to talk to me. "Hey Jakey-poo, do you need more work to do since you never have any?" they would say with an arm around my back, smiling, ultimately ending with them leaving me with more work to finish. Without fail, I can tell if someone wanted to take advantage of me the moment they touch my back with a pat or a rub to butter me up with confidence. But I never like to be touched without my consent. It freaks me out.
I didn't look up at the kid since the stacks of paper blocked my view. But thankfully, the kid let me to my work, and I didn't notice who it was until the dismissal bell rang. But all I saw before he left was a blur of golden hair. Alone I was, yet again.
After a day of hail, dodge ball, pencil throwing, and two dunks in the toilet, I walked home soaked from both the swirlies and the lingering rain. The storm had passed over, so I didn't mind walking home again. Letting my mind wander the clouds was the only thing that cheered me up from the terrible ending of school. Floating through my unconscious desires was a thing I did often when I was depressed, or just feeling like I needed something to change my mood. Daydreaming can help you have a better imagination, and it allows subjects to become easier to remember. At least to me. But a sudden strong blast of air did knock me out of it, from a passing car perhaps. I didn't pay attention to it, though it was a bit odd since it came from behind, and I was on the side of the street where the cars came at my direction at the front. It was odd indeed.
It was almost 4:00. I've had contact with him, but I couldn't find him again after school. I headed back to the safe-house instead and waited for tomorrow to come. Tomorrow. But I had a strange feeling of anxiety crawling up my spine. The feeling that someone's watching you is unbearable if you have it constantly. Why did I feel this way? I didn't know. I made it to the house, but I wished that I wasn't alone like that. I wished I could've fond him sooner so I could've headed back home.
My mind was stopped again because I heard noise coming from a house at my left, the same direction of the blast of wind. I ignored the thought at first, but then someone screamed.
"Help! Please someone help me!" the voice yelled.
I didn't know who it was since I didn't know the owners of the house, and I couldn't call for help since I didn't have a cell phone. Even if I did own one, the police wouldn't have come in time. So instead I mustered up the courage I had, if any, and ran straight for the front door. Through the door's window, I could see a teenage girl on the floor, lying still. I had to get inside to help. I tried the handle, but it was locked, so I tried the window at the door's left. Luckily it was only a screen, so I easily pushed through.
Inside, I could see the girl up close. She seemed to be familiar, with long blonde hair and eyes filled with tears. Her height, well, I was the inferior. Even on the floor she looked like she was at least five-foot ten, compared to my five-foot four. I was short for my age. I thought that she may have been the person at my table earlier, but I dismissed the idea when I heard a muffle from the nearby hallway.
I looked around and was careful not to make squeaky noises with my wet shoes. Another noise came about, a voice, but it didn't come from the girl. I paused and noticed two silhouettes on the hallway's sides. I needed to get a weapon of some kind, since they probably had guns. I thought over my situation. I had the element of surprise with me, but what good would that have done? They seemed to be talking to each other, so I creaked over as close as I could to the wall and eavesdropped their conversation, though it sounded disfigured like they were using digital voice-changers.
"We have to do this quick," one of them said. "You know we can't finish off the organization without finding the third."
"Sure, but what aboot 'er?" the other asked with a strong Canadian accent. "Could she figure out who we are before we finish?"
There was a pause, like guy one couldn't make up his mind. "Don't worry about it; I'll get some answers from her. But if she gives me trouble, I'll finish her off. "
I realized that I had to do something before they did, but what could I do? Fortunately an idea came to me. I searched around and saw a chair, a side table with newspapers and magazines, a coffee table, a paper basket, and a fireplace. I realized the best thing was there the whole time, fire. Fire can both hurt and do permanent damage. So I grabbed a newspaper off the living room table, rolled it up, and lit the end of it from the fireplace.
But I still needed something else, like hairspray, and it was a good thing that I found the house had some air freshener. I grabbed the can off the coffee table where it rested, shook it and ran into the hallway with my little homemade flame-thrower. The men in the hall wore plastic masks, and were surprised of me being there, but they thought that they could simply overpower a skinny teenager. Of course, that was a big mistake.
"Eat this!" I screamed, spraying the flame with the flowery mist. Immediately it lit into a blazing brushfire.
The goons then knew that I meant business, so one grabbed his gun out of his pocket and fired two shots at me as I swayed the flame back and forth. Both shots missed, and they ended up running out the door having fire lit on their backs. They kept running, and soon they were out of sight.
I slapped my forehead dumbly."The girl!" I said as I ran back into the room. I saw the girl was still on the floor, so I shook the newspaper out and headed over to her. I smiled to see that she was breathing and gently nudged her shoulder.
"It's okay," I reassured.
She looked up startled, but was relieved when she saw someone else. "Where'd they go?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Let’s just say, they left in a hurry," I smirked.
The girl returned a smile, but grimaced once again. I saw that she was hurt more than I could see, so I asked for a phone. She obviously couldn't answer, so I had to find one. But seeing a square bulge in her pants pocket, I grabbed the cell out and called 911.
The police arrived soon with ambulances. One officer did ask what happened, so I explained all I knew since I barely understood much of the situation myself. But while I talked, I saw the girl on a gurney and cut off the conversation.
I ran over to her and was a bit excited by the adrenaline still flowing. "Hey, I forgot to ask you, what's your name?"
"Heather," she coughed. "But what of your name, I might ask?"
"Jake, Jake Sreym."
Heather smiled and closed her eyes. "Thank you Jake, thank you..." But she feinted before she could even finish her sentence. The paramedics came over and wheeled her into an ambulance.
Then I realized something; I kinda knew her, in a way. My mind drifted again, but I was called back by another police officer.
"Look kid, we can't find your two guys," he said, looking a bit winded. "But we've had a lot to do today, including a double homicide. But we'll try the best we can. We need to know where you live so we can tell your parents where you are."
I paused and answered confidently. "I live at 22nd Maple Street, 1234."
My address was simple to remember, but the officer was somehow shocked at it. "Kid, I think that there's been a problem," he said, brushing his hand through his short hair. "You see, the double homicide, it happened at that same address."
They brought me into the ambulance by gurney, roughly bandaged me up, and gave me a transfusion. I had lost almost a quarter of a pint, but I thought it was unnecessary. It really hurt when it started flowing. I wished that these medical people had let me be, so I told them off, but they asked me to stay still or the wounds might open.
"These wounds are the least of my problems," I shouted at them. "I need to see Jake Sreym."
But they laughed at me, and answered that I wouldn't be going anywhere for a long time. Some grown-ups. They make me sick of how dumb and naive some of them truly are even when the answer is right beneath their noses. I looked around the ambulance for something I could use to incapacitate the medics, and I smiled when I saw a nearby water-bottle.
"What- what are you saying, that my parents were murdered?" I said worriedly
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news," the officer started. "But there was no other people living in that house that we know of other than you, and, by saving that girl's life, you may have also saved your own."
My eyes started to water, but I didn't want to show it. Now I was truly alone. No friends, no family, no one to give me a reassuring hug. If I had gone home or stayed in bed before, I wouldn't have been alive. But now I wished that I was dead also, so I wouldn't have to deal with the pain inside me. I would no longer get the attention I sought after. It was even more painful than all the times I was beat up altogether. The loss of a loved one is a heartache that can never be healed.
I was offered a drive back to my house, but I said I'd rather walk. The half-mile was painful, and my eyes were sore from tears. I slowly walked towards my house, dragging each step as I was filled with up aches in every joint. When I reached my front porch, I wasn't anxious or excited, but I didn't want to go in the house now that my parents weren't there to greet me, even though they never did. Yet I needed to, like most things, I needed to face that they were gone.
I opened the door, and saw the crime scene unfolded already. Investigators taking pictures of a taped floor, cops unrolling caution tape, and detectives examining the area. Some were doing their duty, but most didn't pay mention to the skinny boy standing in the doorway. None of them could bring comfort, in fact none would. I was just ignored like the rest of my life. Or at least until one investigator told me to get out of the house, since he thought I was just some kid putting his nose in my own family's business.
“Why can't I go in?" I asked, slightly annoyed. "They're my parents after all.”
The man walked over and asked what my last name was, so I told him. The man was shocked for trying to kick me out, so he apologized and let me inside. The man offered me a doughnut, but that couldn't help anything I was going through. The officer from the incident before then came in. His warm eyes moved toward me, and they gave me some attention.
“So, Jake, you're one brave kid for saving that girl's life,” the man complemented. “But you didn't have to walk all the way here. And, I must know. How'd you do it? I mean, how'd you get those men running? You aren't the fittest guy around.”
I hated to brag, but I explained the method I used for the small flame and air freshener.
The officer laughed at how clever it all was. “That's all, eh? Good thinking, but did you see the girl's parents?”
I hadn't thought of that when I was at the house since I was more interested in Heather's safety. “I didn't see if she did, I don't know I-”
“It's alright,” he said, halting my clumsy words by placing his hand on my shoulder. “But I think those men might have done the same to her parents. We couldn't find anything so I guess she was alone for a while. Hope she works out okay.”
I leaned against the side of my front door, thinking about everything going through my life. As usual, I thought of things like what am I doing? or what just happened? My thoughts brought more tears and more depressing aches, but then I felt a different kind of ache. It was cold, and it hurt worse than a normal sad hurt. I looked around and everything suddenly became blurry. I bent back and felt a sharp pain. The officer lifted his head up and looked over to me worriedly. My hand went to my back, and when I looked at it, even though everything was fuzzy, I could easily see that it was stained red with fresh blood. My blood.
I was just about to feint, but something stopped my fall to the ground. It was the kind officer's arm. The man had picked me up and knew something was wrong. He ran me to his car, threw me in the front seat, slammed the door and blasted the siren.
“Kid can you hear me? Stay awake!" he yelled, slamming on the gas. "Stay awak-! -ay -ake!”
Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep.... Beeeeeeeeeeeeep. PZZAAPPP! Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep...
I did hear a few words as I drifted in and out of consciousness, but I heard only a few.
“Is he okay? Jake can you hear me? Let’s get him back to headquarters.”
"But he can't be moved in his current state.”
”I don't care you stupid doctor, wrap him in a full-bodied cast if you have to, just do it now! He needs better treatment, and he can't get it here, quickly!”
Otherwise, it was nothing but silence.
I woke up dazed. I was in a crisp, white bed with a large bandage around my waist. I couldn't tell where I was and all I could see were shapes and bright light from the ceiling. The room I was in smelled like soap, disinfectant, and latex. Was it a hospital? But then again, it didn't look like one at all. There weren't any windows. I felt a little numb, but I was completely terrified. I couldn't remember anything that happened.
A voice came from the shapes of a door, but whom it was I couldn't tell.
“What happened?" I gasped, hoping to find an answer from the mystery voice. "Where am I?”
The voice cleared its throat with a slight cough. “To answer both questions, you had been on the critical list, and you have been in a coma for about a month. Your body was so fragile so the bullet caused no pain when it hit the artery. But you are now off life support, and you're doing well thank God.”
The voice from the door then came in. My sight only picked up some colors, but it wasn't enough to identify.
“As for where you are, you'll find out in a bit. All I can say is that you're in an infirmary. "
I rubbed my eyes, but to no avail, they were still blurry. “Okay, but who are you?”
“Well, I'm someone you met, well helped, Jake.”
“H-how do you know my name?” I gasped.
The person walked closer and put her hands at her waist. “Duh! You told me! Now, I bet you just can't remember yet what happened, but you will.”
I felt confused but I figured it out. The person had blonde hair.
“You're Heather, I think, I can't see for sure.”
“Oh, that's why," Heather realized. "Well your sight will come back in a few minutes. The anesthetic must still be working. I'll tell the care-woman.”
I was relieved to know that she was okay, but I shouldn't have been worried of her as I should've been for myself. I then remembered something key to what she said. “Heather, what bullet?”
She raised an eyebrow and tilted her head back at me. “Excuse me?”
“You said something about a bullet, but I don't remember being shot.”
“Well," she started, stepping back into the room. "When you dodged those bullets from those goons, one ricocheted and hit you in back. You don't have to worry, you'll live, but the bullet was lodged into your lower back. Now, I'm sorry to say that... you're paralyzed from the legs down.”
I finally sat up in bed two hours later with the kind of headache that comes with getting up after lying down for a long time. My sight was clear so I looked the room and saw it completely empty. Being in a strange building, not being able to walk, and having no one telling you where to go can be a freaky situation. But once I got my head together, I tried to get some clean clothes on. But to my surprise I found a catheter strapped to my limp leg and had the trouble of removing it. Luckily, Heather soon showed up with an industrial wheelchair and helped me out of the room with decent clothes and wheeled me down the hall.
“Now I can answer of where you are Jake," Heather said, pushing the chair. "You see, we can't let anyone know of what we are. We are highly secretive, and very hush hush. Kinda like area 51, but waaaaay better. This place is called Omega Headquarters, home of some of the greatest things you will ever imagine.”
A man in a fancy suit came up and interrupted her. It wasn't like a tuxedo, but like a futuristic, synthetic, skin-tight outfit. After Heather rolled me next to a nearby railing, they talked for a bit, looked at me occasionally, and made the situation incredibly awkward. Heather came back with a frustrated expression.
“Sorry about that, but there was an emergency in sector 2,” she said as she pulled out a small microphone. “Matthew, go to sector 2 immediately. You know what to do.”
“Sure, sure,” Matthew answered, sounding a bit muffled over the built-in speaker. “But why can't someone else do it this time? I always have to do it.”
Heather sighed and finished her statement. “Matt, just do it. You're the best one who can, and we don't want the same problem as before.”
“Fine your majesty. But you owe me one.”
“I have no time for this," she said angrily. "I have a newcomer to show around.” She smiled at me awkwardly once the words passed her mouth, but with her smile and soft face, I didn't mind.
“A new guy, huh?" Matt echoed in the mic. "After I'm done you should introduce me to him later at the meeting. Over and out.”
“You don't have to say that every time you say bye you Call of Duty geek,” she said before turning off the mic and looking at me again.
“Well, that was interesting,” I said, resting my head on my hand. “I guess you run a tight schedule.”
Heather nodded. “Yeah, especially today now that you're here.” That last sentence made it sound like I was a problem, but Heather avoided the moment by continuing onto the previous subject.
“As you see, we keep things low key, and you made a good choice of entering that house. Now I'll return the favor.”
Heather led me to the end of the hall to a solid black door with silver letters that read: MAIN ROOM ENTRANCE, THE THREE ONLY.
“The "three"?” I asked.
“Well two out of three," Heather replied as she helped me move towards the door. "But now that we've found you, three.”
I looked back at her feeling more confused than ever. “What?”
“Jake, you ask way too many questions. Just wing it, and go with the flow.”
Heather opened the door and led me through with one arm on the chair and the other to close the door behind her. Inside was a small circular room that had nothing but doors on both ends, but the door on the far end had no handle, no sensor, or any way of opening as far as I could see. Yet, just as I was about to ask what was wrong, Heather stood in the middle of the room and stomped the ground. Suddenly, a lit barrier surrounded her, like a holographic film. Pressing against the lit panel, she pushed the button that read “OPEN”. A “bong” sound confirmed she did it right followed by the sound of the doors from the farther end slowly opening on their own, much like elevator doors.
“Alright, let's go in.” Heather said as the light lowered back to the ground.
I was rolled through the elevator doors only to see that it wasn't an elevator at all. It was a glass staircase going up for a distance. With each step so clear, it must have been hard to climb it without tripping over at least one of the steps. I got up, forgetting that I couldn't walk, and set myself back down with a sigh.
“What do I do now?” I asked miserably.
“You know you don't have to climb it," she laughed. "The entrance is right here!”
I was at a loss of words. “But- but that's- how's that?”
"If you tried to climb that thing, you would find it leads to a sudden ceiling," she said as she walked over to the door again. But before she went through, she touched the side of it with a ring she wore. It was like a key of some sort, for the doors opened again, but this time, instead of an open room, it was something else entirely.
I was led once again through the doors, but I found it wasn't the room we came in from. The room was now all high-tech: full of monitors, screens, and stuff I could only imagine in my daydreams. The stuff, however, was more futuristic, very sci-fi like. And another thing, something that could make any nerd's fantasy become a reality, was that the room was filled with holograms. Holographic people, screens, and even furniture. They were talking like they were actually there, that is until Heather came into the room. Once she did landed one step, every single, well, almost all of the fake people came over to her and asked how she was doing from the incident from the month before like she wasn't present until I was better, which made me think that she cared about me, for some sort of reason.
“Hey Jake!” Heather called. “There is someone I want you to meet.”
I rolled over nervously, since I had no way of knowing what would happen if I walked into a hologram. The fake person that Heather was introducing to me was a guy named Chuck. Chuck was a burly man that looked like he was in his late twenties early thirties. His position in this Organization was as a researcher, someone who comes up with new stuff that people can use. He was also like an uncle to Heather, and his comforting, square face made you smile. But the smile also gave me some vague thoughts. An omen of something about him gave me chills. But then I saw someone else who was also down here that wasn't a hologram.
“Hey,” he said. “Who's this, the new guy?”
I realized from his voice that he was Matt, the guy that talked to Heather about a half-hour ago. He had dirty-blonde hair, was a little chubby, and wore wires all over his gray Fender hoodie. We came over after Heather dismissed two other holograms.
"Matthew, this is Jake," Heather said. "Jake, Matthew."
“Call me Matt," he said. "Hey Heaths, you didn't say he was going to come down here. You know that only one of the three can-”
Heather shushed him. “He is.”
Matt followed suit. “What, you say he is? How can you tell?”
“Well, while he was under the anesthetic, I did some tests, and he is stable after being near it.”
“Fine," Matt huffed, unzipping his hoodie revealing even more hidden wiring. "But why didn't you tell me that the guy that saved you is one of us?”
Heather was surprised when he said this since I was right next to them, and she figured that I heard everything they just said, so, it was the most awkward moment of the day. But I smirked, then wheeled myself away with a wide grin, the first one I had in two years.
“You like him,” Matt accused.
“No I don't,” defended Heather.
“NO, I DON'T!” Heather yelled.
“He saved your life, a big part of this organization, and you like him like him.” Matt laughed, but he stopped after Heather punched him in the arm.
“Fine, you love him.”
I felt amazed of what was in that room. Heather however called everyone out for a meeting alone.
Matt instinctly went over to a switch near a computer. “Lights out,” he said, flipping the switch, which turning off the holograms. “Now that they're gone, let's get to business. Heaths, start it up.”
And like clockwork, Heather went over to another switch, but she didn't activate it. Instead she pushed it into the wall, and then she pushed a button with her ring. And just like the elevator doors, a switch was activated.
“Now Jake, here's what this place is all about,” Matt said.
Heather walked over to me, since I was still mystified over everything happening and was still a little slow rolling myself around. The switch did do things, many things. It activated the floor and the walls unfolded out like a pop-up book. The elaborate mechanisms started to form into three pillars. On two of the three pillars there was nothing, but on the last one there was a ring, one just like the ring Heather wore. And then as I thought about it, Matt also wore one that was similar.
“You see,” Heather explained. “It was like fate. You're the one we've been looking for. You're one of us.”
She walked towards one of the metal pillars and pressed an unlock button. The button released a pressurized lid of the pillar, letting go of the latches. Matt came over, smiling, like he'd been waiting for this moment for years. In fact, they both probably had.
Heather nodded and pushed back her hair over her ear. “Now, we found all of them. And you can help us out too,” she said, taking the ring off the pillar in a ceremonial fashion. “Okay, now all you need to do is put on this ring, and you're one of us, no do overs, or take backs, bla bla bla.”
She then came over to me and before I could blink, she'd put the ring on my finger. The ring slid on, but instead of being like a normal ring, it started to sting. It felt like the ring was drilling through my flesh and bone.
I held my hand up in pain. “Ugh, you didn't say it would hurt like this,” I complained.
“It's okay,” Matt reassured, “The ring is just bonding to your internal structure, the pain will go away in just a bit.”
And almost instantly, it did.
“What was that?” I gasped.
Matt grabbed the ring and tried sliding it off. “It was the ring bonding to your finger.”
“Well, why can't I get it off?” I asked, since I couldn't no matter how hard I tried.
Matt shook his head and laughed at my foolishness. “You can't no matter how hard you tried, so don't strain yourself. Not unless you go into surgery, which you won't.” He went over to the pillar and grabbed a pair of sunglasses from it and gave them to me.
“Now put these on for awhile. They're like training wheels, only it's on your head.”
I held them, inspected the lenses and put them on. They snugly fit into place, they felt fine, but they made me look like I was in the movie The Matrix, which I started to think I was in every passing second. The glasses, however, were more sophisticated than the off-the-shelf dime-store brand. On the lenses were complex targeting systems that told me information on certain everything I looked at, which displayed across the bottom. First I chose to look at Matt. It read: MATT, WALKER> ENGINEER OF OMEGA HEADQUARTERS< ONE OF “THE THREE”. CONTAINS ABCDEF...Etc. Etc. ERROR. ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!&#*$^*&@&$@#%#$&@#*$&#*$8@*@7@4************* _____________ ctrl alt del_______________ REBOOT> :(... :)
“Matt," I said, taking the glasses off. "These sunglasses went haywire once I looked for information about you.”
“It's okay, Jake," he said. "It should reboot in a few seconds. But next time, don't look at people too long, there can be too much about one person.”
“Or none at all,” Heather joked. "Put them back on."
Looking around, the screen was fuzzy for a bit. But eventually, the targeting was back online.
“When can I take these off?” I asked.
“Not until you're ready,” Matt answered with an unexpected belch.
”Alright Mr. Gross,” Heather said, wafting the smell away with her hand. “Now that it functions properly again let's get to training whatever you have.”
The two then led me throughout the main room. There was a kitchen, a living room, and living quarters. But still no windows though. I couldn't see a single one around anywhere. Secrecy was definitely a part of the regime.
“Now, let’s see what you've got,” Heather said, setting me up by a wall. “Go ahead.”
I shrugged, feeling uninformed. “Here goes nothing.”
What did I do anyway? I tried concentrating, but it looked like I just stood there, thinking really hard or like I was constipated.
Heather placed her hands on hips. “Well? Do you feel anything?”
“I feel stupid,” I said, getting dizzy from a head rush. “What's this about?”
“It's about you trying to figure out what you can do," Matt said. "It should be simple to figure out. Watch, I have the ability to control the earth, and Heaths has, um, hey, Heaths, what do you have?”
“Water, you dipstick,” Heather said sounding annoyed.
Matt shrugged. “Yeah, water. So, as I was saying, I have the power over earth, one of the most important things in living, thank-you very much.”
“No it isn't,” Heather tutted.
“Uh, yeah it is, Heaths, watch this.” Matt then put up his hand and waved it in a circle toward me like a Jedi from Star Wars. Suddenly, the ground below him started rising and changing shape. And right before my eyes, a silver golf club appeared.
"What the? Wha- how did you?” I muttered, but my glasses explained: MATT HAS THE POWER OF EARTH & STONE < MINERALS< CONTAINS CARBON, ZINC, Etc. Etc. Etc. ERROR. ERROR! ERROR! ERROR! @&#*$^*&@&$@#%#$&@#*$&#*$8@*@7@4*************_____________ctrl alt Del _______________ REBOOT> I pulled off the training glasses feeling that they were more of a hinderance than a help.
“Matt, it happened again. And so, you just controlled the earth. Great. How is that possible?”
With my mind being a bit overwhelmed, Heather explained for me. “Our rings can create objects out of the element the ring uses.”
“Cool, huh?” Matt bragged, swinging his golf club over his shoulder.
“Sure," I said, rubbing the back of my head. "But I still think that was freaky.”
Rubbing off the feeling I got at the back of the main room, I had accidentally rolled into one of the chairs and I went right through it. “How am I supposed to sit on light projections?”
“You don't,” said Heather. "But we have real chairs in the living room area."
“It's okay,” Matt assured. "You'll be able to make a chair to sit on when you get good enough."
Heather shook her head. I couldn't understand what was happening, but for some strange reason, the two teens had brought me to this place, put a ring on my finger, and expected that I would have some sort of ability to control, something. And the ring still hurt, even after Matt said it wouldn't .
“So you say that you can control water, right?” I asked.
“Well, yes," Heather frowned. "To an extent.”
“What's the use of that?”
“Our rings can only do one object at a time," Matt added. "And after that, if we try to do something in our power, it goes a little nuts.”
I began to become nervous. “Nuts meaning...”
“What we do effects our energy. And once we run out of steam, the thing we made can change into something we can't control.”
“Example?” I asked.
Heather snapped her fingers and paused for a few seconds. Then she snapped her fingers again being a bit annoyed. She sighed and went over to Matt. “Matthew! That means show him the video!”
Matt held up his hands. “Oh, I'm sorry for not obeying to your every whim.” He then opened up one of his laptops and loaded something on a projector.
The light flickered until it showed a slightly clear picture of Heather or of someone that looked like Heather. It showed her at a waterfront. What she was doing, I couldn't believe. Heather was controlling the waves that had been crashing at the shore. Anyone could've thought it was just a windy day, but I could definitely see that her hair wasn't moving. Either that or she used a lot of hairspray. It seemed like Heather was doing fine, but then she ran towards the camera and past. The camera followed, but then turned back to the ocean. For some reason, which seemed to be hers, the waves grew more after every swell. But suddenly, the feeling changed.
“Move you idiot!” screamed Heather. The person handling the camera started to run a few yards behind. The camera went out and the projector also.
“Okay, what was that?” I asked, feeling confused. “What just happened there?”
“Well,” Matt started, not being like his normal, cheery self. “That camera man was my dad. And the girl was Heather's mom. Heaths, I hate it when you make me show that tape!” His recent melancholy phase was now replaced with anger. And all around him, his computers and screens started to go up in smoke, turning into twisted forms. His “powers” were to blame.
Heather had gone over to him despite the chaos. “Matt! Calm down!” The room started to crumble and shake as smoke filled the room. More and more, I had a feeling that the powers were dangerous when you lost your nerve.
“Why did that happen?" Matt cried. "Why? I never knew them!”
Soon the shaking and bending of metal stopped. Once the smoke from the overheated electronics cleared, I could see heather wrapped around Matt. And in his eyes tears rolled down his cheek.
“I'll have to clean this up, right?” Matt said amid the sobbing.
Heather wiped some of his tears. “Yep.”
I was really tired after that single day. After finding out that I was supposed to be some sort of super hero, the destruction of “the base”, as Heather called it, and having to sleep in a new bed that folds out from the wall, the worst thing was sleeping with the thought of a new life I was supposed to have. But the pain I felt from the ring never went away. It was so bad I couldn't sleep a wink in my new room.
It turns out that over the past month I was out-of-mind, the organization had gathered my belongings from my old house to the living quarters. I turned on my old lamp, but I wished that they hadn't brought it with the rest. That was because it was my old lamp from when I was two. My parents never got rid of it and I never had the time to do it myself or I was just never in the mood. The lamp had little teddy bears hugging bright plush hearts on its shade, and the shade was very thin too, so the walls were projected with red and pink hearts. But the good thing was that “the People”, as I called them since he didn't know their names, had also brought my books. The books consisted of some random series like The Henderson Boys and Cherub, which was most abundant. Others were some common books: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Captain Underpants, Harry Potter, (that which I completely disliked) and Alex Rider which I hadn't started on yet.
Other things that were there was my night-stand, which on top was the pink lamp. The night-stand had a single drawer that was always locked, and it could only open with a special key. I hadn't figured it out where it was yet, but after trying for two hours one time trying to pick the lock, I gave up. One time I shook it, and heard that there was something in there, but I never found out what.
Off the side of the room was a closet, but the doorknob was broken so I couldn't open it. When my eyes were closed, it felt like I was back home.
The first night, I had trouble sleeping since the pain of my ring still kept bugging me awake. I opened my eyes to find the area around the ring was bruised, so I grabbed the ring and started to move it around, forgetting it was still attached. I thought I could sleep off the pain, so I reached my hand to the light switch to turn it off. But once the light went off, the pain became worse. I turned the light back on and the pain stopped. I fell asleep with the light on that night.
“Good morning sleeping beauty!” Heather called as she came in with such a loud bang, it rang in my ears.
“You have a nice room little girl. Now get up and have breakfast. It's 10:30.”
I was still new at headquarters, but it seemed that whoever worked at “the base” stayed there for long periods at a time including for all of the meals, bathroom breaks, showering, school, or just about everything else. The problem of me being in a wheelchair was forgotten, and it became routine. My first breakfast in “the base” was eggs, maple sausage, and two cold pancakes. They were cold since I woke up late, so I nuked them in the microwave.
“Good morning sleeping beauty,” mocked Matt. He had already finished his breakfast that contained waffles instead of pancakes.
“Late night? Or were you doing something you don't want us to know? I hope it was just reading. You don't have much in your room so we'll pick up more later.”
I was about to object, but who could blame him. His parents didn’t spoil him; he didn't even know them. I was just ignored.
“So tell me,” I said with a mouth full of eggs. “When did you two first meet?” There was some hesitation, and Matt just looked down and ate.
“Why would you like to know?” asked Heather after the pause.
“It has kinda been bugging me since last night, actually,” I replied, “I thought of yesterday, of the video. It made me wonder why you knew how to calm him down.”
Heather smiled. “Isn't it obvious?” Heather said, like somehow I could've known. But didn't.
“Just tell him,” Matt said, like he was annoyed.
“Where's your sense of drama?" Heather asked, displaying a little girl pout. "You see Jake, Matthew and I are, well, twins. Fraternal twins.” Matthew Walker.
The new kid Jake was the talk for the past few days he was present. Always having to teach him new things, how to prepare food, to get his clothes clean, all that was my responsibility. I wished that he would be more productive so we could get along better, but his sappy attitude was bugging me most of the time. It was even worse when I showed him around. We had absolutely nothing in common, so as soon as I was done giving him the tour, I let him be on his own for once, to see if he would bug Heaths instead.
I had gotten used to the ways of “the base” in the first few hours to the next few days. I had found that the large room I was in yesterday was like a chat-room. It let in anyone at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and at that point, all the holographs would crowd all three of us giving us direction of all things happening in the outside world. Most of it was news, some was about casualties or death -this I was most sensitive about- and other things were about boring politics. None of us liked that.
Soon I came accustomed to the lavish meals, learning about the Omega Headquarters, and having to sleep late for many sleeping problems. Heather suggested for me to see the headquarters' psychiatrist, but I didn't really need it. The problems consisted of pain from my ring were nightmares, tossing and turning, cold sweats, shivers, spasms, and piercing headaches.
The only way I could sleep well was if I put on a night mask, and left the light on. It was troublesome, but I managed to get used to it after a few days.
Nothing had happened to the ring according to Matt. My cell structure was the same since it was put on. I was put through a couple of tests, but with no luck. I had no such powers that the twins spoke of, unless the ability of getting no sleep was al it did. For some reason, even if for folly, the two kept on trying. No luck had emerged after many hours of trying this and that. Nothing could come from the ring of black.
It had been a total of two weeks since I was brought to the base, and half of those were agonizing, long, or just really boring. But one day, about half a month after I was brought to the Headquarters, it was my birthday. I was finally 16.
“Morning B-day boy,” Heather said, shaking me awake on the morning of my birthday. Her blonde hair tickled my face.
"Resisting? Fine. No breakfast. No hash-browns.”
Once the words "hash browns" passed her lips, I opened my eyes and sat up. “Okay, okay! I'm up! I'm up!” I replied, still tired from the pain.
I got in my wheelchair and went down to the main kitchen of the base to scarf down my all so favorite meal. At the table we ate at every day was Heather, but Matt was nowhere in sight.
“Where's Matt today?” I asked.
Heather shrugged. “Have you seen him?”
I shook my head. “No, but did something happen?”
“Not really, except... what happened last night.”
Last night was a bother. Matt tried to convince Heather to let him use a new technique he developed, but Heather disagreed. In the end, Matt stormed off to his room and locked the door.
"He came out early this morning all quiet like," Heather said, putting her used plate in the nearby sink.
“Don't tell me he went into a practice session,” I huffed.
Heather looked sad for her brother. "It is they way he deals with his anger issues. He's probably destroying the training room."
Matt's practices weren't a pretty sight. Every time he was upset at something, he would go into his training grounds. It had alot of fresh earth, so he would come up and make something large, and then he'd destroy it into dust. He developed some things days before anyone would ever see it, and then, alone, he would crush it until it was nothing. Heather and I rolled me into the area after we finished eating, only to find new surroundings.
Usually, Matt changed the landscape with his power slightly, but today, we found it completely reorganized. Suddenly the sound of rock exploding shook us out of our trance.
“Heaths, what are you doing here?” Matt's voice came from a structure beside us, but he wasn't anywhere.
“Matthew, where are you?” Heather said as she looked around.
”Oh, one sec.” Matt's head then came out of the rocks, slowly, like he had trouble doing it.
Heather ran over to him. “Matthew! What are you doing?” she exclaimed with widened eyes.
“Nothing, just trying a new method I developed.” All of his body finally came out of the side, but he still was having trouble doing so.
“It turns out that we have more power over things than we thought. I can move through the ground, and I bet you can do the same with water or ice.”
“No, I won't do it,” Heather said icily with her voice more worried than before. “Don't you remember what happened to Mom and Dad? They went too far with their power! I don't want you to do the same.”
Matt looked like a young child doing something wrong, but he had the look of like he knew what he was doing. “Look, Heaths, I'm not going to go overboard with the control, but this isn't something like teleporting, this is just moving faster with the element. It's okay, see?”
His reassuring expression convinced Heather of no danger, but she still had the feeling of doubt.
The new method of using our powers Matt had found was dangerous, but interesting. I mean, only using the power of morphing objects is boring since I can't do anything else. But to do even more, I had doubts. But I think I had too many already. I let it go at first, but I didn't want to lose my only family. To think, it was only a few years ago when we first met.
Jake was a little annoyed by the little progress we've had with him. He began showing contempt towards us, and I understood why. For some reason, his ring did nothing like Matt's and my own, and ours did something the instant we put them on.
“What's the use of me being here anyway? Huh?” I asked, feeling frustrated. The subject of me trying once again came into play, but over the time passed with the ring on, I've got nothing but pain.
“The ring's useless,” I said, pounding the kitchen table with my hand. “What do I have to do in order to get it off?”
Matt worriedly looked at Heather, and, sadly, I understood. The twins had made a big mistake. I was never supposed to get the ring in the first place.
“We're sorry Jake,” apologized Heather. “But the signs that you've been having have shown that these “all nighters” you've been having is linked to the ring. We don't know what to do.”
“Geez,” I huffed. “Am I just going to have to deal with this stupid thing every night until you both find a solution? What an adventure this had turned out to be.”
Heather came over to me with a smile of reassurance, like somehow, in some way, some hope would come. Our eyes met, and suddenly, I felt like I needed to cry. Using her power of water, Heather went over to the sink and turned on the water. Concentrating her hand near it, the water started to stop flowing. Then, out came a piece of tissue.
“Here,” Heather said, handing me the tissue. “All you need to do is concentrate. First, you picture the object, then you have to picture the element into the object through your hand.”
I held the tissue, blew into it, and handed it back to Heather, who was a bit grossed out by me giving the snot soaked hankie back to her. She threw it into the sink, and it dissolved into water once again.
“But we do need to find what the ring controls,” Matt added. “We never found that out.” He then took out a computer out of the ground and started typing.
“Listing the places we found these rings, we found that each place was linked to stabilizing the element it used.”
Heather came around the table and looked at the screen. I did the same, and we saw three pictures of where each ring was found. The first was a temple in Egypt, supposedly where Matt's ring was discovered. Next was an undersea cave, which also had a temple. Heather's ring here. And a temple deep in the ground, my ring.
“We know what my ring is, and Heaths',” Matt said, “Earth, water, and the like under each category, but yours is a mystery.” A moment of deep thought came over Matt, his eyes closed, fingertips on his temples, and his teeth grinding made it look like he was a dumb person trying to figure out what two plus two was. Suddenly, he stopped, and a wide smile came over his face.
“I have an idea. It may take some time to do, but I know how to find your control.”
The following hour was only focused on Matt looking at the file of the underground temple. He typed down some figures, smiled a lot more than usual, and talked to himself. Once in a while, he would get up and get a small drink. Otherwise, his mind was on finding the specific element of the underground temple other than ground.
“I've got it. I think I know what it is!” Matt laughed, standing up in his accomplishment. “Follow me to the training room.”
Matt's excitement of finding the specific element was increasing every second. His eyes were fixed on the landscape of the training room. Taking deep breaths, he raised the ground to the lights and the ceiling blocking all source of light. I was lost at this, but Matt explained.
“I made this place just like the cave, so do as Heaths told you.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“Move your hands into a shape of an object,” Heather said, “Try something simple like a stick or a ball.”
So I closed my eyes, which wasn't much difference since it was pitch black in the training room, and moved my hands around, picturing that everything around me was becoming something in my hand. Something of any kind, anything, even a speck. But something happened while I was concentrating. My hand with the ring started to sting again.
“I think it's working!” I gasped. But suddenly, my thoughts went into fear when my hand started to throb, worse and worse, and the pain continued until it was unbearable. The ring then started to squeeze my finger, more and more it was weakening me. It was like the ring was trying to kill me. My hands became numb, my arms were limp, and my heart pounded inside like it was about to implode. I was dying, and with the blood in his limbs escaping, I had no energy to move. I couldn't move.
All that I felt was the pain in my hand. All that I saw was darkness. Until, far away, I saw something else. It was a tunnel of light. Was I dying? I knew I was. My soul slowly escaped my body, and went toward the light. I was on the verge of leaving the world. But something was wrong. The closer I was to the tunnel, the more everything hurt, the darker it got, and I knew, I wasn't going to join my father in heaven. Full of fear, I knew I was going to Hell. Then, by chance, my soul stopped. I was no longer moving towards damnation. I knew I had one chance. I had to do it.
On my knees in my spiritual state, I prayed that this wasn't the end of my life, the end of a mistake, a wrongdoing, a sin. Hands in the air, I screamed for His help. Then as my last resort, I let my soul be dealt by God. Feeling that this was the end, I prayed again. Thanked him for everything. I never felt doing it. But I felt it was necessary. I asked for my sins to be forgiven again.
The pain I felt started to wane, blood flowing again. There was no more hold on my arms, so I dropped them, feeling exhausted and thankful. Just as the pain came to me, it left the same way, leaving nothing but sweet bliss and comfort. Why the ring did this was a mystery. Looking at my sides, I saw Matt and Heather coming toward me.
“Jake, what just happened?” Heather asked. “Are you okay?”
I took a deep breath like a heavy weight was lifted from my shoulders. I sat up again, clenched my fists, and spoke.
“It's okay,” I said, calming the twins. “Just something that had to be done. Now let’s have some more hash browns.” I smiled as I started to leave the training room, but before I did, I threw something towards the twins. Matt pulled down the cave to let the lights shine again. Heather picked up the thing I threw. It was a stick.
“You can control darkness,” Heather said, feeling jealous. “One of the most abundant things in the universe. You are too lucky.”
I smirked with a hash brown half down my throat. The breakfast was great according to my standards, but Matt didn't have a single bite.
“Why won't you eat with us Matt?” I asked.
Matt sighed and put his legs on a chair across from Heather. “I've already eaten. Now that we found your power, you can help us with duties.” Matt went from his seat to the sink. Turning on the water, he whistled the tune of camp-down-ladies. Drying his hands in the air, he muttered to himself, and left the room.
“I still have that stick you made,” Heather said opening her palm. Inside it was the same stick. “You need to make it go away before you make something else.”
I picked it up from her hand, holding it tight. I pictured it in my mind, then pictured it disappearing. Nothing happened. I breathed in and out and relaxed, but it stayed.
“How do you do it? You guys make it look so easy,” I said as I placed the stick on the table. I closed my eyes, rubbed my temples, and started to daydream.
“Well let’s find out later after breakfast,” Heather said, putting the last of her hash-brown in her mouth.
Thinking of other things and savoring the last taste of my favorite meal, I fantasized of more. Realizing that I looked odd, I came back to reality. But on the table, the stick was gone. I laughed at my discovery.
“That's it! You just think of something else! It's so easy now!”
Excited, I closed my hands together, creating a ball. Bouncing it off the wall, I caught it and threw it again into nothing. Only to have the ball fade into nothing but a smoky cloud of black. Then, gone.
”Okay, let’s start training right away,” Matt said. He looked onto me, and I nodded. I then walked over to a water hose, pouring tons of water into a ditch in the middle of the training room.
Matt started moving around the earth into a couple of objects, of course one at a time, into some that were a bit complicated. Like a laptop computer or a deck of cards. I went over to the water and lifted some into objects such as a lamp, a fancy desk, and a giant stuffed animal that I ran into with joy. Jake got the idea of practicing his own power with shadow. Closing his hands together once again, out came a pencil.
“So Heaths,” Matt called. “Are you going to try moving across water?”
I gave a nervous look at Matt, but I reluctantly nodded. Slowly I stepped into the water, moving it around and splashing a bit.
“Go on, you'll be okay,” Jake assured.
Closing my eyes, I went under the water feeling worried. I swam around and concentrated, then I sprang out of the water like a dolphin, splashed back in, and started swimming fast at about twenty miles-per-hour. Moving around the built pond swiftly, I again jumped out of the water then onto land, perfectly dry.
“That was great!” Matt said, putting his arms around me.
“Fine, it works, but please get off of me,” I said, shrugging him off. Jake saw this, so he wanted to try the same sort of method with power, but I disagreed for the dangers of using powers after only one day. But I reluctantly agreed to promise after he begged that if he practiced for at least a week, he could try it. But not today.
The past few days were of intense training to tame Jake's power. Creating objects of greater complexity or of large size were the hardest to do for him. They required a ton of concentration and memorization of detail, and I think that Jake had a hard time doing it. Otherwise, Jake's days were busier than ever. Using the amount of shadow around him, he was able to do most of what Matt and I could do. Except for a few objects like a cup of water or a marble. The trick of using the element was trying to mold it into basic shapes then adding detail. The best thing that Jake did make was a wooden table. A very nice piece of furniture, with an antique's style of carving, but you could still tell it wasn't really made of wood. It was gone in an instant once Jake removed it from his thoughts.
He had mastered his power to such a great extent, it was enough for Jake to convince me to let him travel using the power of darkness. I wondered if his power was really that strong, but if not, it could lead to major fatalities. What could be better than that?
“Do it slowly, since traveling by darkness is very unpredictable,” Matt warned, “The training room is the best place for you to try, a pretty closed off environment.”
Built to the specifications of Heather, the room had small caves for me to go into, then I would have to travel to a similar one and at least get to a normal state.
“Here I go,” I said, heading toward a cave. “Make sure to remind me to tell you of what I saw.”
I went closer channeling my power to the starting point of the darkness. Reaching toward it I pushed my hand into it, then back out. But as I did, my hand had not materialized fast enough, leaving it in the same shadowy mist I had seen before. Yet as I started to freak out, it came back to normal. It was very different than anything I've felt before, so I wanted to try once more. Again putting my hand into the dark cave, I felt a mist of shadow moving around it, if shadow can actually be felt. More and more I went closer inside, all the way until my whole arm was inside the darkness. Closing my eyes, I held my breath and rolled into the shadow.
My body inside the darkness felt numb, and not as mobile. The shadow I had walked into had led me into a different world, a very white world with a few dark clumps of mist here and there. I looked where I came from and saw Heather's head, or the vague shape of it. But it was different. Her face was carved inward like a bowl, and two outward bumps in the middle seemed to resemble her eyes. The face was horrid, but it still had the look of a person's face. The color of her skin was blackish-blue and her eyes were red. It was a very strange sight.
It was like being inside my dreams, but it was all too real. I spun around and I forgot which mist would get me out of the white area to the cave's entrance. Something that was right next to the old cave entrance looked right, for in it I saw something like Matt's backward face. Moving towards it, I saw that I was walking on nothing, nothing from below I stood and yet still I slowly moved toward the chosen mist.
I called into the cave after a minute, but Jake didn't answer. “Where are you? Just come back out!” My eyes were a bit watery from sitting next to the cave for the past ten minutes, hoping Jake would walk out or even crawl out.
In a state of desperation, I put my hand into the cave, thinking it would help him find his way back. No luck came from this for a moment. The sound around me was focused with me, like a silent raven watching you and waiting for something no one could understand except the bird itself, saying only "nevermore."
Another still second passed, closing off the first faster than the next. The waiting hurt me while I sat patiently with Matt at my side, holding my hand. His hand was crushed by mine as my sorrow built up. Time flowed. Tears flowed down my face. At the end of the first hour, Jake had not returned.
I finally stepped out of the darkness to find myself not at the Headquarters or the training room at all. Where I was I couldn't recognize. There was a city instead of the room I was in, and the cave I came out of was out a toppled trashcan. There were no people around other than the ones in the occasional speeding cars. I wasn't even in the same state as before, I think. I didn't remember where the headquarters was located. In fact, no had told me. But I knew exactly where I was. The lights, the empire state building. The city where most super heroes are drawn in. I was in New York City.
I would've thought of just going back again and retracing my steps, but once I tried, my wheelchair was still in the trashcan I came out of, and it was gone.
My manner of crawling out of the trash was a bit awkward, but I thought that I wouldn't be noticed much. But I was wrong. Someone did see me. Standing a couple of feet away was a boy, similar in size and probably close to my age. Maybe younger. He held the trashcan in his hands, moving it around back and forth. Puzzled, the boy walked over to me and placed it down with a thud.
“How'd you crawl out of this thing?” the boy asked. “There isn't anything to crawl into. Are you a ghost?” The boy started to shutter, mocking as if he'd really seen one.
“I'm not a ghost,” I denied. “The trash can was, um, well, I... can't really... I can't really explain it to you, um...”
“Peter, the name's Peter. But you should give me your name before you get back to your trashcan adventure.”
”Jake. Now can you give me my wheelchair? I need to-”
“Need to what?" the boy asked with a chuckle. "Crawl back into the dirty wastebasket? You make me laugh!”
I felt a bit annoyed. “Just let me-”
“Go inside the land of used gum-wrappers and half eaten cheeseburgers?”
“No, let me explain-”
“How to get the stench off of you? Try a bath.”
Peter's way of manipulating sentences was really starting to bug me, and making me getting back to headquarters rather difficult. But while Peter was laughing at his own fun, I decided to quickly make a handgun in my pocket, pulled it out, which wasn't real since I couldn't figure out how to make a working one, and aimed at his head.
Once Peter looked up from his giggling, his face turned serious at the nose of a gun. “Now let's be easy about this,” he said nervously. “I was just foolin', I didn't mean no harm, I was just-”
“Save it,” I interrupted, “Now move along before you make me mad.”
Suddenly, the boy just fell on his knees crying. “Please don't shoot! Please! I didn't mean it!”
I did tell him to leave, but then I thought I could at least do more justice. “Fine then. Apologize!”
“I'm sorry! So sorry!” Peter wept.
Since I did have him on the edge, I let him off with the trick. “Good," I said with a dominant voice. "Now Peter, be a good boy and go tell your mommy that you shouldn't talk to strangers with toy guns.”
“Okay,” Peter said, trembling with his hands up. He started to move away, but then he realized what I just said.
"Hey, wait a minute!"
Peter was an interesting fourteen-year-old. He went to a prep school just a week before we met. Of course the real reason why there was a meeting was that he got expelled from school on the subject of video games. He didn't bring any to his classes or even at his school in general. He just talked to his friends about some shooting game and ended up in the principal's office for mentioning the word “gun”. It wasn't on any right grounds to expel him, but his school's head master thought otherwise. “Just saying the word “gun” can place violent interest in our students” is the only reason Peter received. An instant later, he was sent to his locker to remove his belongings.
“It was totally unfair,” he said to me after he gave me my wheelchair. “I mean, what am I to do now? Go home to an abusive father and tell him that I got sent out of school after being in it for three days? Seriously.”
Peter's voice was very high for his age. Obviously his voice didn't crack, or it already did, but his voice way higher before. Hard to imagine that. His clothes were of a fancy uniform, with the school blazer and dress pants. He had to wear the same thing every day, the wool jacket and a pair of green pants. I sympathized with him, but I couldn’t get back to headquarters with him venting his feelings to me.
“I don't know what to do,” Peter continued. “Should I run away? Should I get horribly beaten by my father? I don't care. I can't go back. Do you have any advice?”
“No,” I answered, finally getting a word in. “Except that you go home and tell your parents that you were expelled on unfair grounds.”
Peter sucked air through his teeth. “I don't know," he said he stroked his hand through his hair. "But can you come with me so I have back up? I mean, I need some help if my dad won't believe me. Pleeeeeease?"”
“Okay, okay, sure," I said, rolling my chair down the road. "It's not like I have anything else to do.”
“I can't believe that he's gone forever,” Heather cried, still upset about Jake not coming back. Sure, I was a bit worried, but Heather was like a sobbing puppy that was left alone on the first night with a new owner. My thought of her liking this guy must've been very accurate.
“He hasn't come back for hours. He could be stuck,” I thought out loud. “Or, maybe worse.”
In her rage of emotion, Heather pushed me back with such a hard shove, it toppled me over. “No! Don't you say that!”
“Don't be such a drama queen,” I said, dusting myself off. “Now, I don't say he's gone, he just got lost from his normal route.” I reached out a hand to allow Heather to help lift me up, but she turned around, feeling probably cross over what I said.
"Aw, come on, you know he's okay, he'll be back soon.”
“I don't know," Heather said, feeling unsure of herself. "I still haven't told him exactly where the headquarters islocated.”
“You what?” I gasped.
Heather bit her lip. “Still haven't told him it was in-”
“Why didn't you?" I asked, outraged. "Everyone here knows where we are! Like what if they wanted to go back home then back the next day? Why didn't you tell him?”
"It sort of slipped my mind."
"Look Heaths," I said seriously. "He has no idea where we are and he has one of the most controversial item in history. If we don't find your boyfriend soon, he might reveal our entire organization without knowing!"
Heather rolled her eyes and groaned. "He's not my boyfriend!"
"Sure," I laughed. "And there isn't such a thing as controlling the elements."
Following Peter to his house was harder for me to actually do. First Peter would hesitate when he had the thought of his father finding out what really happened at school. Then I would drag him back to reality and put him on the path again towards his house. This happened about five times, and it was so frustrating to the extent of me grabbing Peter's shirt threatening him that I'd put him in front of a moving bus. Finally, we both made it to the sidewalk in front of his house. We couldn't get in though, since there was some caution tape around the house, leaving a familiar sight in my eyes.
Peter's house was a crime scene.
It was almost exactly the same inside Peter's house as it was in mine. People taking pictures of the wrapped up dead corpse, people taking DNA samples, even the doughnuts were there.
As I struggled up to the front porch, Peter was already inside. “What is this?” he exclaimed. He wasn't taking the death of a parent as good as I did and soon he was on his knees, sobbing.
“This can't be! I- I never wanted this to happen, I just-” The rest of his words were drowned out in his tears.
But the very strange thing about the situation was that as I looked around avoiding the police officers, I saw an astounding sight. The house looked exactly the same as my own. Every piece of furniture, the floor layout, everything. But something caught my eye. On a mantle above a fireplace, there were a couple of pictures instead of it being bare like my house's. One was a photo of Peter, a bit younger then present. Next to it was couple of pictures of Peter's mother.
But what really made me shudder was the last picture on the end of the line. In the photo were my parents, another couple, and Peter's parents, all in a row, in the training room at Omega headquarters.
Somehow, in some way, my parents were linked to all of this, all the deaths, murder, pain and friendship; power being the main idea.
“Hey kid, you can't be snooping around here,” a police officer called. I turned around face down still shocked over this discovery. But my surprise grew more outraged by the man who called me away from the pictures. The officer was the same one from my parent's investigation.
Wide eyed, he stared at me in disbelief. “This- this isn't- this can't be true! You were at the other house! You're the other kid!”
I knew that my situation became a bit severe at once, so I turned around and high-tailed it out of the house.
Behind me came the officer but he stopped then ran towards his car. “Kid! Come back! Come back here!”
The only thing I could do then was wheel myself to the trashcan back at the bus stop. Rolling as fast as I could, I sped to my destination, only to be cut off by the cop's car.
“Kid I told you to stop,” the cop said as he stepped out of his car with a gun in one hand and a pair of handcuffs in the other. “Running away from a murder scene, resisting an officer, found near another murder; you need to come with me. Downtown.”
I was arrested and put into the car headfirst. I didn't resist my arrest, but the situation was getting worse every second. Being placed into the back seat, I sat still, not saying a word. But I fell over on a wide turn, so I was stuck face down with my hands behind my back. And the seat wasn't clean. "Why me" were the only words in my mind.
The officer drove for about ten minutes until the car was finally put in park. “Alright kid,” he said, lifting me out of the car. “Now we'll see how you fit in with this crime spree.”
I was led into a dark interrogation room, light above and still restrained. The room smelled of recent scumbags who were questioned also, and the wooden seat squeaked with every movement I made.
Suddenly the large officer came in and quickly shined the light into my face, blinding me. “Who are you, really?” he said. “Why were you at that crime and how were you linked to the murder?”
“One question at a time, please,” I replied, acting a bit smug.
“Fine, have it your way Jake Sreym. We remember you from the last, here's your file.” The cop threw it on the table in front of me.
I stared at the folded papers feeling nervous. "Okay, you have my file. What about it?”
“The strange thing here says: 'Five foot four, age fourteen, allergic to certain antibiotics, son of recently deceased Mr. and Mrs. Sreym. Born 1994.'”
“That's not strange; unless the words were blue every other letter.”
“I wasn't finished," the cop said. "'Born 1994; died September of this year. Cause of death: gunshot wound.' This says you're dead. You're not. Why are you not dead, Mr. Jake Sreym?”
I couldn't find a good enough excuse, so I started digging. “A typo?”
The cop made a “not believing you” face.
"I'm a ghost!”
Still the same reaction.
"It's a miracle?”
The cop shook his head. “Listen kid, I drove you to the hospital that day. I watched you slowly live. I watched you die. You can't be alive.”
“Fine, I'm dead," I said, shrugging. "What's your point?”
“You faked your death.”
”I didn't fake dying, but I'm not dead, as you can see.”
The cop closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “I've been in the force long enough to get some bumps in the road. But you're a hill to me, Jake. And you need to tell me the answer to my questions.”
“First, I am Jake Sreym." I answered. "Second, Peter, the murder's son, had me come with him to his house to help him with a personal issue. Thirdly, my parents were in somewhat the same situation as Peter's father. That's it. Happy?”
“Yes. I am indeed.”
This startled me. These words didn't come from the cop's mouth, and they were very different in sound. I couldn't see who said it; the light was still in my eyes. It was very low with a scent of menace mixed in. This voice came from behind the cop, leaving him confused as well.
“Who said that?” the cop asked, turning around. Behind him was someone I knew, or at least had seen before. It was the man who was in Heather's house. Mask and all. The murderer came in and pushed the cop away to the floor. The masked man's eyes showed through the mask as he took out his gun and aimed it at the cop. Me, still restrained to the chair, saw the killer start to pull the trigger before I screamed for him to stop.
“Kid, I'm on a schedule," the masked man said. "Let me do my business.” The man aimed once again, and I had to see every part of it. The gun clicked, but it didn't fire. I exhaled. He was out of ammo.
“You're lucky," he said. "But I have other ways to deal with pests.” The man pulled out a switch knife and clicked it open.
“You know what I do with pests?” He went closer to the terrified cop.
“You get them in a corner.” Blade shining.
“Block off the exits.” Aimed close.
“Then you find the heart.”
These were the final words the cop heard. Once the tip of the blade touched the officer's uniform, his fate was sealed. The masked man's eyes grew as the blade pierced skin right into the heart. The sight after wasn't much better. Blood dripped out of the dead man to the floor. Stains of life flowed until the blade was covered in the red liquid. The cop was dead.
"Now since that's done," the masked man said as he pulled out another knife. "I can deal with the rest of the people involved. Including you.”
I felt fear as I saw the shine of the blade, so I tried to stall. “Why are you doing this? Why did you kill my parents?”
The masked man laughed. “You want an alibi, don't you? Fine. I'll tell you. You know who I am.” The man then pulled off his mask with some difficulty, but the face under it was recognizable.
“Chuck?" I gasped. "You killed my parents?”
“Yeah, yeah. I'm the guy you would never suspect.” Chuck's brick face changed since our last meeting. It was dark and grim instead of happy and warm.
“You have been the biggest hubbub at headquarters since Matt came in. And now since the prophecy includes a betrayal, this works for everyone.”
I felt confused. “Prophecy? Since when was there a prophecy?”
“Oh goody, you don't know it. I've always wanted to tell someone of the end of the world.”
“The end of the- what?”
“You may not know it, but the 'fate' of you three meeting was foretold before you could ever think," Chuck started. "It was from the temples the rings were found in. The hieroglyphics said that the heirs to the rings would meet by fate. The Three would find their powers strengthen the longer they had their rings on. Once all of the Three met and used their power against evil, the world would flourish and prosper for years until death and another set of heirs were found.
"So far, it only happened once in history. Just think. Peace and harmony came in after World War 2. But two of the heirs died. And soon the last followed. First the parents of the twins died. And then the last one, your ring. Three heirs. Then the heirs were no more. Until Heather put on her mother's ring and the same with Matt and his father's ring.
“Then you came along, the last heir. And the anti-heir you will meet soon, making the prophecy complete. For the most part. In the last temple found, the shadow temple, it was depicted that someone in league of the Three would turn and take the rings for himself, making him the anti-heir. He would then create a final ring out of the first three, and the rings, giving him immortality, and power over all three elements, would rule a world by creating his own. A new world created for the one who helped create the rings. All I have to do is get all of the rings to do it.”
“Good luck," I smirked. "You can't take it off me matter what.”
“Yeah, unless you're dead," Chuck replied as he demonstrated the manner of a ring being pulled off. "Then it just slides off like butter.”
These words pierced my heart like a knife. My life was hanging on a string, and an evil world would be made unless I could stop Chuck. Luckily as the menace monologued, I had a slim chance to make a key without looking, and unlock the handcuffs. Slowly I did, but it was hard to make any key. As I was free, I kept my hands behind the chair, pretending to be still restrained.
“Now you just close your eyes so you don't see it coming,” Chuck said, putting more ammo in the gun he had. As the end of the gun against my head, I thought of what I could do.
“Now I'll count to three so each number I say makes you closer to death. One!”
I figured an idea, but it was gross and wrong. But it had to be done.
I readied myself for the jump.
Quick as the count, I made for the switch knife that was stuck in the cop, went through the gruesome sight of pulling it out, and stabbed Chuck in the torso, making him topple over in pain. I saw my enemy on the floor, screaming the pain, but then he stopped. Suddenly, Chuck started laughing psychotically with his screams, and then he stood up despite the pain he was receiving.
I stood in terror as Chuck smiled with a curl, while he slid the knife up his chest, neck, then through his chin. Blood dripped from the line cut out of his body, spilling a pool of more red on the interrogation room's floor. Then I realized, I was not in front of a normal human being; Chuck wasn't anymore. The mass murderer was there, but what was inside? The eyes of the creature were the key of what it was. Chuck was less human, worse than a monster, even worse than the things people only dream about.
Chuck had been possessed by a demon. A demon of supernatural powers and abnormal life. Chuck's body was probably dead, but the demon sustained him.
“Hello boy,” It said, smiling with the cut line through its face. “Now you know what you're up against. Not science fiction, but me. And you know what I am.” Its eyes yellow with puss and inflammation, the demon stepped closer. Its voice was a combination of Chuck's and something else, which made each word it said hurt.
”Little did poor Chuck know what he was holding inside,” It continued. “He thought he would rule the new world himself. He thought he was the anti-heir. But it was just the opposite. I clouded his mind leaving him in the dark, believing he could be powerful. How easy it was to do so with simple temptation.”
I slowly backed from the creature, eyes wide staring at me. Looking at one of the purest evils was one thing, but I was stuck in the room with it. What was worse was that Chuck's body started scaring up at the long line, making the twisted form even more gruesome than before.
“I can stop you demon,” I said, feeling confident in being Christian. “You're weak to the words of the Lord, and I-”
The demon laughed again, sending fear up my spine. “Your faith is strong, but it isn't enough to match up against me. You're a believer, and you were saved from the valley of the shadow of death, and my MASTER recently.”
I knew it was right, I saw the gates of Hell. But I had nothing against him. And he was fear.
“And now the prophecy shall come true," It laughed. "And my MASTER shall rule the new world before He comes.”
I didn't know what to do, with no one to help me, I was alone. But in my heart was the courage from my Lord and Savior. I knew that death wasn't in for me yet and I had to stop the demon from creating the new world. I put my hands together and prayed. As I did so, the demon started to tremble. He was getting weaker, and I knew then that I could expel it. I had to kill Chuck.
I grabbed the switch knife once again, and went for its heart. “I shall thrust this into you, demon, and let the dark perish.” These words seemed to make the demon shudder, leaving it to receive its weakness. The knife shined up through my hands.
"Though I may not know how to destroy you, I know how to expel you!”
As these words passed through my mouth, I stabbed it in the heart with the knife. This time, it didn't pull it out. Instead it screamed and laughed again from the top of its lungs and pushed me away.
“YOU SHALL PAY FOR THIS JAKE SREYM! YOU SHALL PAY! You're destiny is written, and it will be the end of you! Good bye...”
The demon's laugh and Chuck's scream rang throughout the station, pierced my ears and made my close eyes close. Around Chucks body came a dark shadow of mist, lowering into the earth. Light blasted through, blinding me even with eyes closed. Brighter and brighter, louder and louder, I opened my eyes again, but I lost sight of everything. The light disappeared, and all that was left was Chuck's hideous dead body.
I wheeled out of the police station and headed to Peter's house, where he was found on the front step, still sobbing his heart out. He was still a bit shook up by the news of his father dying though he was fine once he was given the news of going to get some ice cream. Peter started talking again about his feelings toward his father dying, being mixed with happiness and sorrow; I drowned out most of it. I led Peter to the nearest ice cream place I could find; though it was about a mile away.
Then something came back into my mind, which was very important. Since the police officer back at the station was killed, I would be in serious trouble since Chuck was also dead, and I'd used the knife, which killed both Chuck and the officer. I would be the only suspect to the new crime, though the perp being already dead would probably stump the police.
I slapped my head and put the ice cream in the garbage. “Peter,” I said. “We've got to go. Now.”
Peter, still licking his ice cream, looked at me, and asked why.
“No time to explain.”
“Oh no not this again,” Peter groaned.
“Yes, we have to go, seriously.”
Peter put the last bite of ice cream into hi mouth and gulped. “Fine, I'll go, but you'll have to tell me everything about why and how.”
I told almost everything about the murders and Chuck, and everything I remembered about the whole Omega Headquarters. I had to bring him with me back, so I told him that he was going somewhere cool and exciting.
Once we came to the bus stop, I told Peter not to look, just in case. The trashcan was still there, so I went through to the backward world again, but I couldn't find the way back and forth to Headquarters.
“Listen, I don't really want to do this,” Peter worried, “I'm sure you can get along without me, and vice versa.”
Feeling annoyed, I grabbed Peter's school shirt, and pulled him along towards the nearest subway station.
“You can't make me go anywhere wheelchair boy! Get off! Let me go!”
Heather and I were still figuring out how to contact Jake, though Heather’s hope had diminished over the past day. Sometimes her mood would brighten when she came over an idea of finding him, but she lost it after believing it was no use. I tried to cheer her up with her favorite things, which were her stuffed animals, but she pushed them back in my face.
Feeling helpless to do anything, I went to watch TV Flipping channels, I finally found my favorite program: Strange Mysteries and Crimes. Watching the show was almost the highlight of the day.
Heather, seeing me goofing off, started nagging. “How can you watch that? We live in one of the most high-rate conspiracy theories in the world!”
I shrugged her off and turned on the TV. “Can you relax? I can never do anything without you saying ‘no’.”
“Well, you always fool around, and I always have to correct you," she said, blocking my view. "You don’t even need to watch TV”
“Sure I do,” I replied, trying to change views by twisting my neck. “I need this to cool off and think. Unlike miss mood-swing, I like to have something to make me forget about stuff.” But as we were arguing, my show was interrupted.
“Why’d you change the channel?”
"Turn up the volume!” Heather said.
I did so and the following newscast was shown, starting with a middle aged woman reporter with gray hair:
"Today there has been a mass murdering here in New York City. The tragedy of fifteen people dead had started at the residence of Henry Philips, being found dead at twelve this morning. Later at a police station, a suspect named Jake Sreym had been brought to custody though he has been marked dead a month ago. As he was being interrogated, a masked man came into the station at around four thirty today." The picture switched to a surveillance video. "This man is suspect of killing every police officer inside, although Jake Sreym is found leaving the premises unharmed after the masked man came into the building, it still leaves remaining officers of New York wondering what has happened. DNA analysis confirms that the masked man had killed the officers inside. Among them is inspector Suds, the officer in charge of the Masked Murderer case, himself killed by being stabbed in the heart. Witness belief of shots being heard during the Murderer's entry. In the interrogation room, there had been a pool of blood found on the floor, though it matches the DNA of the officer inside and from the Murderer himself. Supposedly, there had been a fight between someone and the Masked Murderer inside the Interrogation room. The killer of the Masked Murderer is nowhere to be found, but we do have a suspect. Jake Sreym was seen again after the incident at the house of Henry Philips once again and left with Peter Philips, Henry's son. If you see this boy, call your local police station at once. The Masked Murderer is dead, so be careful of this criminal; he supposed as armed and dangerous. Do not try to apprehend him without caution .”
"The six-o-clock news? He is on the six-o-clock news?” Heather gasped, looking angry. "Well now do you believe that TV is bad for you?”
"Fine, but he must be in serious trouble. We have to find him or the organization can be over, hear me? OVER!”
"Yeah, but we have a worse problem than that,” Heather said as she looked even more worried than before. “Jake is a labeled murderer! We need to hurry!”
Jake and I were walking in the streets of New York at around seven. At eight, we went into Madison Square Garden. I always wanted to see it, but the sun’s shadow crossed over the Earth, bringing chills down the spines of Jake and me. I sat on a park bench with my knees touching my chin, while Jake had just fallen asleep.
What am I to do? I thought, putting my head downward, starting to sob. The only thing keeping me sane then was the thought of getting away from my terrible life, but my father’s image came in mind, and once again I cried.
The finale is coming. I have not been found again. He had been accused of kidnapping, murder. The world was depending on the Three to stay alive, but not I for I need all of the rings. The world must end, a new one must be born, all humanity will crumble. The Omega Headquarters would burn with all the corruption in the world, and all will end as a result.
He may have taken the chance from me, but the end will happen. Prophesy; the union. All is to be necessary. He will die, the world will be formed, and I shall rule over this pathetic race. No one can stop me. Not any of the Three, or of the Trinity. This world will die along with their dying lives and thoughts. The world shall perish. Perish.... all soon. Life shall end. End...
All according to HIS plan.