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  1. Superpride

    Chapter Eleven

    And thank you for the comment!
  2. Superpride

    Chapter Eleven

    “Hey! Be careful with that!” I exclaimed, looking at the glowing tip of Kelley’s wand like it was burning a thousand degrees. “Answer my question. How do you have an instrument of the Will in your possession?” Kelly asked, his wand now only an inch from my face. “Okay! I got it from one of the abandoned mines under the town!” Kelly narrowed his eyes. “That’s the truth!” A moment passed and when the tip of Kelly’s wand suddenly changed from a bright yellow to the color blue, he sighed and finally lowered his weapon. “It seems the Will has detected that you’re telling the truth.” “What? What do you—You know what? Get away from me!” I pushed Kelly away from me, causing to take a few steps back and putting a safe distance between us. “Don’t worry. I was only pointing the Will at you to detect whether you were lying or not,” Kelly said nonchalantly. “And what if I was? What were you going to do then?” I asked angrily. Kelly frowned. “Just know that it was good that you weren’t.” “Who the hell are you?” I demanded, still dumbfounded that someone else possessed a seemingly rare object like the one that was now being inspected by Kelly. “Give that back!” “Not until you ask me a few more questions, like why exactly were you doing in the town’s abandoned mines?” “Why do you care?” “Just answer my question.” Raising my wand to the back-porch light from above for a closer look, Kelly then said, “It just seems too convenient for you to be just walking in the mines and stumbling upon an instrument of the Will by accident. I assume you know how to work this and where it came from, right?” “No. I actually don’t.” I sighed heavily. “And the way I obtained that wand, the Will, or whatever you want to call it, is a very, very long story. Okay? How the hell do you have one?” Lowering the wand, Kelly then chuckled and said, “I can say the same thing…but what I will tell you is that someone like Benjamin Bratt shouldn’t be in possession of something as powerful and dangerous as this.” “Oh? And why is that?” “You really don’t know, do you?” Kelly took a step forward, causing me to lean back against the railing. “You don’t nothing of where and when these tools originated from?” I shook my head. “No. I don’t. But it’s clear that you do. So, do you mind explaining to me what the hell is going on with you and these wands?” “Yeah. Not going to happen,” Kelly then pocketed my wand and said, “I think I’ve stayed too long. I should be leaving. Thank you again for the dinner.” “Hey!” I moved towards Kelly, but he quickly aimed his wand at me again, and I was smart enough to know that this was the kind of fight that I wasn’t going to win…at least physically. So, taking a step back, I then said, “Okay, fine! Keep my wand… I’ll just replace it with the other one I have.” Kelly froze, his hand right above the doorknob when he turned his head to look at me with a sneer. “You’re lying.” “I’m not. Go on. Point your wand at me again and see that I’m telling the truth. I have another wand in my possession, and it must be one of those limited-edition ones since it used to be black in color instead of white like ours and—” An unknown force unexpectedly lifted me off the porch, and my heart began pounding as I looked at Kelly from above whose wand was pointing back at me, somehow causing me to levitate. Before I could say anything, I was propelled from the back porch by a tremendous force that felt like a crashing wave of water that sent me to the dewy ground of the backyard. It took me a moment to regain my bearings and when I saw Kelly stomping towards me, I bolted. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to run far since something grabbed my ankles and caused me to fall to the ground once again. Looking at my feet, I saw plant-like growths that quickly ensnared the rest of my legs, and they only tightened when I tried to pull them off me. Kelly then crouched beside me and jabbed his wand on my forehead. “Tell me where the other instrument of the Will is, or else?” “Or else what?” I said, stupidly still be defiant despite the power that was being wielded by Kelly. Grunting, Kelly jabbed his wand against my temple and then a horrific pain started emanating from my head, like a powerful drill piercing through my skull and into my brain. I screamed, but Kelly covered my mouth with his hand, silencing me from being heard by anyone, like my uncle and tita. I had headaches before, but none of them compared to the pain I was experiencing, and I wondered whether this was the end for me. But then the pain subsided when he removed his wand from my temple. Dropping my head on the ground, I took deep, haggard breaths as I felt the area where I swore the wand must’ve bored into me. However, there was no wound or any signs of blood, and I looked at Kelly for some kind of explanation. “Don’t worry. My wand only gave the simulation of your head getting drilled by a power tool. Now unless you want another demonstration of that feeling, I strongly suggest you tell me where that other wand is. Now.” Looking at Kelly like he was a psychopath, I then looked at my legs that were still wrapped with the vines and knew I had to fess up. “Fine! It’s…It’s…shit!” “What? You can’t remember all of sudden?” Kelly said, pointing his wand towards my head again. “No! It’s not that! It’s not with me. It’s with…” “Come on! Tell me! Or I’ll literally drill a hole through your thick skull!” “Okay, the wand’s with Cash, you fucking asshole!” I yelled. Kelly’s wand glowed the color blue again, and he retracted it from my temple. “Where is Cash right now?” I sighed and gave Kelly his home address, and he just gave a simple nod before standing back up. As he walked away like he didn’t just cause me excruciating pain and threatened my life, I felt the vines loosen around my legs before retracting back into the ground. I sighed in relief since I thought I was going to have to remove those vines myself. But then fear rushed back into me like a crashing wave. This Kelly fucker was going after Cash, and who knew what he was going to do to him. It was my damn fault this confrontation even happened, and I needed to stop it now. However, I didn’t have my wand anymore as Kelly continued to walk away and I was weak from the remnants of pain in my head. All I could think of was to reach my hand out towards Kelly, towards my wand that was in his possession, hoping that by some miracle that it would materialize back into my hand… Then it happened. Well, kind of. I saw my wand slowly emerge from Kelly’s jean pocket, and I continued to raise my hand, slowly, to prevent that bastard from noticing. Then as soon as it was completely out of his pocket, I then began clenching by hand out of a hunch, and the wand zipped back to me. As this happened, my hand glowed the same light hue, and I believed I was the true owner of this mysterious object. I grinned like an idiot with my wand back in my possession. I then zeroed my eyes onto Kelly and with my wand pointed right at him like firearm, I released a force similar to the one Kelly used on me that propelled him to the railings of the back porch. I wasn’t going to be the helpless victim this time. I quickly got back onto my feet, the pain in my head suddenly gone and my energy rejuvenated as well. Running towards this asshole, I had my wand still pointed at Kelly who was lying on the ground and groaning from his loud impact against the newly installed back-porch railing. I then stood right above him, and I carefully turned him onto his back, I saw his eyes were closed…and his wand was still clutched in his right hand. Thinking he was knocked out, I reached for his wand, but then that object was pointed directly at me before I sent spinning into the air. Landing on the ground once again, I was completely dizzy and disoriented from my surroundings. And just as I was able to refocus my vision, I saw Kelly stomping back towards me. All I could do was aim my wand at him just as he did the same. When the tip of our wands unexpectedly touched, I felt like was falling, no, more like floating as everything in my vision became bright. What happened next was literally out of this world. Seeing Kelly in front of me, I quickly tried to aim my wand at him, but my wand was gone, along with my hand, and the rest of my body. I didn’t know what was happening, and I just looked at Kelly who was with someone else. They were facing each other, and I noticed the other person was Kevin, Kevin Conway. He looked at Kelly like he was in a dream-like state before they neared their faces and kissed. It looked like I was viewing the memories of Kelly and his time spent with Kevin. Then other visions of Kelly and Kevin were seen, like them standing together, side by side, under a wedding arch. I was confused as I watched Kelly and Kevin, both in tuxedos, smile and kiss each other. Then another vision of them with two children in their arms made me wonder what the hell I was experiencing. It was like I was seeing the future, a time when the two of them got married and have a family. Everything was so bright, like I was at the gates of Heaven. But then that same bright light soon dimmed when I saw a vision of the town of Sweetheart in flames. And when I saw Kelly holding a bloodied Kevin in his arms with him crying into the growing darkness, I truly wondered if I was traveling into the future. Then out of nowhere, I felt I was falling a great height until I was transported back to reality where I was lying on the ground once again. The same chill of the night air that caused my skin to form goosebumps returned, and I looked to see that I was really back home. I looked at Kelly who was on the ground as well. He was rubbing his head and for some reason I was viewing him in a different light. Yes, I saw that he had a deep affection for the town pastor’s son, possibly a love for Kevin in whatever I just experienced a moment ago. But I also felt like I couldn’t raise my wand at Kelly despite what he just put me through with threatening my life and possibly Cash’s as well. He then looked at me, and it seemed that he had a similar feeling when he huffed with what sounded like defeat before turning onto his back. He just lied there; however, I wanted answers, so I stood back up even though I still felt dizzy and approached Kelly. I couldn’t aim my wand at him, so instead I just nudged him on the shoulder with my foot. “Hey... Hey!” “What?” Kelly said, his arm covering his eyes. “What was that? What did I just experience?” I asked, kicking him lightly which caused him to quickly smack away my foot. “Look. I’m sorry for what I just did to you. If I had known…” “Known what?” I demanded, losing patiently with this man. Kelly sighed as he tried to stand back up. “It doesn’t matter. All I’ll say is that I completely misunderstood you and your intentions. Now. Can you help me up?” I hesitated for a moment but then extend my hand out and helped him back onto his feet. “I guess I’ve had you wrong as well…though, making me feel like my head was being drilled into was a little much.” “I apologize. It’s just that the Will isn’t something that you just own like a phone or car. It can prove to be very dangerous if in the hands of the wrong person, especially when it’s corrupted. I used to work at the mental institution at the outskirts of the town, and that place is where I first got knowledge about the Will and its dangerous potential.” My eyes widened. “Are you talking about the Towers Mental Rehabilitation Center?” “Yes…and I’m guessing that you already know exactly what I’m talking about. Ben…that mental institution is just a façade; it’s part of a bigger, corporate entity that has killed people for doing the smallest infractions. And if that is where you acquired that other wand, a corrupted one at that, I need to get it before the Covenant finds out.” “The Covenant? What are you—?” “Ben! Listen to me! The Covenant is a very dangerous organization. So, you need to tell me now if you did anything that the Covenant can trace back to you,” Kelly demanded with his hands clenching my shoulders. I didn’t know what to tell Kelly. It wasn’t like I just happen to have objects that this shadowy organization wanted and probably would kill people over. Just today I entered one of their supposed facilities with Cash where we encountered and fought against demon-like beings most likely created by this Covenant entity. Then I remembered the security cameras that Claudia used to keep track of our location and knew that those cameras had more than enough proof of our presence there. The only question now was when this organization was going to start hunting for Claudia, for me…for Cash. I looked at Kelly whose stare was just as deep as a drill and said, “You won’t believe what I know and taken from that mental institution.” “What is it?” Kelly asked. “It’s a who, and if what you’re saying is true, then we need to go to Cash’s place now before the Covenant does!” “Are you telling me that you helped a test subject escape the facility?” Kelley asked, shocked. “Patient, test subject, whatever! Yes, I helped her escape after the entire place was infested with demons. Is that enough information for you? Now let’s go! It’s urgent, right?” Grunting, Kelly then motioned his hand to follow him, and we quickly walked back into my house and through the front door. Tita Jane asked something about where we were going as she descended the stairs, but I didn’t respond. All I could think about was Cash and Claudia’s safety, and the possibility of them getting hurt by this unknown entity known as the Covenant was scary to say the least. “You tell me everything you know as we drive to Cash’s place. All right?” Kelly said as he unlocked his car. I agreed and after getting in Kelly’s car, he made a sharp turn and quickly got onto the road. As he drove higher than the speed limit, all I could do was call Cash’s phone to tell him that I was on the way to his place. But he didn’t respond to my phone calls or text messages, and I was already fearing the worst. Please be okay, Cash! *** I was awakened from my crude slumber on the living room couch when I heard my phone buzz on the coffee table. I groaned as I sat up and looked at the television screen that was displaying the news. After the events that happened earlier today, I needed the nap; though, I still felt groggy that only a full night of sleep could alleviate. My phone started buzzing again, and I wondered if the person calling was Ben. Just as I reached for the device, I heard the all-to-familiar sound of a key being jabbed into the keyhole of the front door. My attention was redirected at the door that eventually opened and revealed a very gruff man close to his sixties with his gray hair, bent figure, and a resemblance that made me fear for my future. I grunted upon my father stepping past the threshold, and I stood up from the couch despite my aching body protesting. “Dad. What the hell?” “Oh. Hi, son. I didn’t know you were here,” my father said with his hands in his coat pockets. “You didn’t know? Didn’t you see my car outside on the driveway? And what would you have done if I wasn’t here? Snagged the rest of my beer in the refrigerator and passed out soon afterwards?” I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. “Dad…you shouldn’t be here, especially not now. So, I strongly suggest you get out of here and save yourself from the trouble that is about to happen if you don’t leave.” My father frowned and was about to open his mouth but then closed it, most likely knowing better. Then my phone began buzzing again, and my father had to say, “Who’s that? Is that one of your male tricks calling to see if you’re available? Is that why you can’t have your own father visit right now?” I faced my father again but with narrowed eyes and my patience thinning out. “Get out, Dad... Now!” “Kicking your father out for some strange man? Especially when that Benjamin Bratt boy is back in town and is probably planning to start a killing spree at any moment? God, what would your dear sister Claudia think?” My father bowed his head in sorrow and that had to tug at my heartstrings. Placing a hand on my father’s shoulder, I said, “Dad—” My father looked at my hand and immediately smacked it away from him. “Don’t touch me! Who knows where that hand has been?” I should’ve expected this pull at my feelings was just another form of manipulation by my father, and I had more than enough when I pushed my old man back. “Just get out here, Dad. And if you ever come back to my home, I’ll make sure that you’re arrested for trespassing among other charges.” My father’s eyes widened. “Would you really—?” “Try me,” I said, taking a step forward and crossing my arms. With undeniable satisfaction, my father stumbled backwards towards the door. “But…But…” I shook my head and was about to seal the deal when someone behind me said, “Dad?” Cursing, I turned my head to see Claudia poking her head from the corner of the hallway that connected the living room to the guestroom. She then stepped fully into view and before I could say anything, our father rushed past me and approached her. I watched as the man who was so distant for the majority of my life suddenly be filled with emotion as he hugged her, his only daughter. Claudia hugged our father back and as I viewed this scene of a father and daughter reuniting after years of separation, I had to pull back my own emotions to focus on the complications that would now arise due to our father being a intruding bastard. “Claudia! I haven’t seen you since… Oh, God! It’s so good to see you again!” Claudia didn’t say anything, just smooshed her face into our father’s chest. Turning his head around, our father looked at me with wet eyes and said, “Son…why didn’t you tell me that my Claudia is back home?” Taking a deep breath, I said, “She just came back, and she needed the rest. Is that a good enough answer for you, Dad?” My father then pursed his lips and turned his full body around. “For some reason I don’t believe you. Is this why wanted to get me out of your house, so I wouldn’t see my own daughter?” Holding back anger that was quickly rising inside me, I just said, “Look. This is a surprise even for me, all right? I wasn’t going to keep you in the dark about Claudia’s return…besides, I didn’t know you cared.” I instantly regretted saying that; my father clenching his fists and spitting out, “What’s that supposed to mean? Are you saying that I don’t love my daughter?” “Dad, please stop,” Claudia said, gripping the sleeve of our father’s jacket. “Cash didn’t mean that at all.” I couldn’t stop myself from letting out a laugh. “Sorry if I had that assumption, Dad? Visiting Claudia was only a thirty-minute drive as I told you constantly for the past five goddamn years and not once have I heard her say that you came to see her. I was there for her, Dad! You weren’t! So, don’t hate me for my decision not to tell you anything!” My father didn’t try to refute my point about him being a horrible parent; he just lunged forward and tackled me to the floor instead. I would’ve been lying if I said that I didn’t expect him to attack me, but I knew it was going to be inevitably from the years of built-up restraint I erected like a wall that cracked every time we talked in which his slanders involved everything from my sexuality to my capability as a police officer. Now the wall had crumbled, and I wasn’t holding back anymore. I guessed I wanted to happen. I remembered my father always pushing me down whenever he was drunk after my mother died but now the roles were reversed. After we were on the ground, I used my police training to pin him below me. I then grabbed the front of his shirt and wailed at this excuse for a man and father with my other hand formed tightly into a fist. I knew what I was doing was inexcusable, that I should’ve withheld the fiery anger I had against him since he was family…but he was only connected to me by blood which now spilled on his face. I was the Devil for the endorphins I felt from seeing the man who used to be bigger than me and was hardened by the drunken brawls he got into at the town bar now crying for me to stop. I didn’t want to stop. Instead, I wanted to— “Cash! Please, stop!” The voice I heard was a whisper at first but when that voice kept repeating the same phrase that got louder every time, I then felt someone hitting my shoulder, and I turned to see Claudia. Her face was so scrunched that I almost didn’t recognize her with tears running down from her eyes. She was pleading for me to stop hurting our father, that I was going to kill him. My sanity then returned, and I dared myself to look back at our father whose face was stained with blood, blood that was mixed with tears as he too begged me for misery. Looking at my hands, they were bloodied as well with cuts on my swollen knuckles that caused me to stumble away from the person I was never supposed to hurt. Claudia took my place, kneeling next to our father and crying him to stay conscious. My entire body trembled, I didn’t want this to happen. Yes, I started punching him, but I then lost all control and now my father looked like he was knocking on Death’s door. I didn’t know what to do, and Claudia was starting to panic as well. I was about to run to the kitchen to get some paper towels when my damn phone started buzzing again. Then I saw it. The wand that Ben left behind that was on the coffee table next to my phone. I thought it was longshot, but I pushed back my fears and went for the wand. In my hand, a ring-shaped interface rotated around the device, and one of the applications had a medical-looking symbol. So, I tapped it with my finger and somehow, I knew that I needed to press the tip of the wand on my father’s neck. So, I scrambled to my father’s side and did so. “What are you doing?” Claudia cried. I didn’t answer Claudia, just pressed the wand harder against our father’s neck until a quick beep sound was heard, and the wand glowed a soft hue. Then the color drained away like a liquid in a syringe before disappearing at the tip of the wand. Looking at his face, I was shocked to see his face completely free of blood and when the small wounds sealed themselves, he took a deep breath. His eyes remained closed, and I was completely mystified by what just happened. I knew the wand that Ben possessed could fire beams and balls of light that were able to take down those demon-like beings back at the mental institution. However, I didn’t know the one that I possessed was able to heal wounds and bring a man back from Death’s embrace. What exactly was this technology? Claudia looked just stunned as I was, and I was then brought back to the current situation at hand. I beaten my father to the point that he could’ve died and most likely he would’ve if it wasn’t for the wand that acted like a syringe that regenerated his wounds with something that was like miracle drug. I was a monster. Looking at my sister, I said, “Claudia…I—” “Cash!” That familiar voice caused me to look towards the front door where Ben was. He looked panicked, and I didn’t stop myself from jumping up from the floor and embracing him. My own panic that surged through me just a moment ago quickly dissipated upon holding Ben, his very presence by itself soothing my soul and making me forget for a moment all the trouble in the world. “Thank God you’re okay,” Ben said, his voice muffled against my chest. “I was trying to call you, but you didn’t answer. I assumed the worst.” “I’m sorry, Ben. I heard my phone buzzing, but a lot just happened before I could answer.” Reluctantly taking a step back, I looked back at my father who was still lying on the floor…and Claudia who was looking at both of us with furrowed eyebrows. Shit. No doubt Claudia was wondering why her brother and ex-fiancé were hugging each other like lovers who missed each other’s touch. Mixed with almost killing our father with my bare fists, I didn’t know where to start first. Then to complicate things even further, someone stood by the front door as well, and I turned to see a man with blond hair and vine-like tattoos that covered both of his arms. I looked at Ben for an explanation; however, Claudia was the one to speak first, well scream as she stumbled away from us. “Claudia? What’s wrong?” I said, approaching my sister who then pulled me close to her. “I know him! I know him from the mental institution! Get away from him, Ben!” Claudia exclaimed. I looked at this guy who looked more like a freaking model than someone who worked at the mental institution but looks could be deceiving as I moved Claudia behind me. “It’s okay, Claudia! He’s not here to hurt you,” Ben said, looking back at the man who simply nodded. “No. No more lies,” Claudia said, her fingers clinging onto the fabric of the back of my shirt. “It’s okay, Claudia. I’m only here to help,” the man said. “Who exactly are you?” I demanded, keeping my sister behind me to prevent any trickery from this man. “I’m Kelly. Kelly Montgomery. I used to work at the Towers Mental Rehabilitation Center as one of the interns there. And right now, I need you both to listen to me. Ben told me all three of you were at the center earlier today, and it’s a real possibility that the Covenant are in the process locating you all since every inch of that building is recorded by the security cameras.” “Oh, God. I haven’t thought about that,” Claudia said. “So, I have to take you all to a more discreet location before they arrive. Understood?” I nodded since I could tell that this Kelly guy was being completely serious and said, “We can go to my old trailer in the old camping ground of the town. It’s only ten minutes away from here.” “Perfect. Now let’s go now before… Who’s this?” Kelly asked, looking at my father lying on the floor. I crouched to the floor and began lightly tapping my hand on his cheek; however, he didn’t budge. He was still breathing normally though, so at least I knew he was alive and not in any serious condition. “It’s a long story,” I said to Kelly. “Well, that’s something that will have to wait. Bring him along if you want to, but we need to go now!” Kelly said desperately. “Someone, take him into my car.” “Don’t worry. I’ll carry him,” I said. Kelly looked at me, specifically at the wand in my hand before and said, “Keep that safe.” I just nodded and placed the wand securely into my jean pocket. Kelly grimaced but quickly walked out through the front door and was followed by Ben. I was about to lift my father into my arms, when I felt Claudia grab my shoulder. I stood up and looked at my sister who was looking at the front door where Kelly just exited through. “I don’t trust him,” Claudia said. “He was there sometimes when the other doctors ran experiments on me. He still could be one of them and is trying to lead us to them.” I couldn’t imagine how anyone could do anything horrible to Claudia, and I was skeptical of Kelly’s intentions, but Ben seemed to trust him and that somehow was enough for me. For my sister, however, I knew that I needed to say something to assure her that she was protected. “Don’t worry, Claudia. If anything bad happens and Kelly tries something, he’ll have to deal with me first before he even dares to touch you.” “Oh, God, Cash. I don’t want you to get hurt just to protect me,” Claudia said and grabbed my hand. “Does it look like I get hurt easily?” I said, trying to lighten the mood. Fortunately, Claudia chuckled. “No, and it’s because you’re so thick-headed.” She then looked up at me and said, “You promise?” I nodded confidently and said, “Yes…and I’m sorry for what I just did to Dad. I just—” “Come on, you two!” Kelly called out from outside. I sighed, wanting to talk to Claudia, but she walked away from me to our unconscious father and tried to lift him up. I knew I couldn’t just leave him here in the state that he was in, so I helped her, and we managed to carry our old man with his arms slung over our shoulders. He was lighter than I expected, so carrying him to Kelly’s car was an easy task. Lying him at the back of the car, Claudia and I then sat at the backseats, while Ben sat at the front passenger’s seat. With Kelly in the car as well, he then started the engine and swerved out of the driveway without looking back, which I as a police officer was willing to overlook. As Kelly drove out of the neighborhood, Claudia sat close to me with her head pressed on my shoulder. How she wasn’t cowering away instead perplexed me; though, I’m glad that wasn’t the case. Ben looked at me through the rearview mirror and nodded, assuring me that everything was going to be all right. And with the wand with untold powers resting inside my pocket, I somehow knew that we were going to be safe.
  3. Hello!  I'm currently working on the next chapter of Sweetheart, West Virginia, and I will hopefully have it posted by the end of the week.  I also updated the wiki page for Hero Wanted with new pages and information, so you check that out as well.  😄

  4. Superpride

    Chapter Five

    I did re-edit a portion of this story, but there's definitely still errors that need to be fixed before I ever consider publishing it. Regardless, thank you for liking my creativity with this story. This is actually the third iteration of this concept of humans deriving their superhuman abilities by some technological or mythical phenomenon, the first two being scrapped before I decided to post the third version to this site. I also liked the concept of a hero growing up from a background of adversity but overcoming that to save the world from the malevolent. So, I'm really happy that like that as well 😄
  5. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    Yes, getting shot isn't something that anyone can recover from easily; however, let's just say this is going to be the beginning rather than the end for Ryan 😉
  6. Superpride

    Chapter Two

    Thank you for commenting! Yeah, eventually I want to find an editor to help me fix the errors in this story since I'm still an amateur when it comes to that. But hopefully that doesn't distract you too much from the story that I really wanted to tell that editing all the errors was an afterthought 😋
  7. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    Yes, Doctor Miyamoto definitely has ulterior motives with the project
  8. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    And let's not forget that the entire project wasn't even commissioned by HERO and was basically done in secret until it was exposed, and they had to cooperate with the organization. Also, the cores of the nodes that were mentioned in the doctor's speech are soul-like as described in the first part of the story, so they're basically cloning souls to produce these new version of nodes which is definitely uncomfortable to say the least. That is just one of the risks that Project Labour is doing and more will most likely be revealed as the story continues. Thank you for commenting!
  9. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    Entering the large ballroom, Ryan could not believe he was still in the Japanese research facility based on the lively surroundings, like the white-clothed, round tables that were evenly spaced from each other and held varieties of foods from many cultures. This was likely to accommodate for the equal variety of Champions from around the world who were all dressed in diverse attire that made them all very distinguishable, like the Champions from India, China, and Russia. Because of both the cuisines and the people, Ryan felt more like he was in a five-star hotel than a facility that conducted experiments on node technology. Then again, he could only imagine what being in a ritzy hotel would be like, so what did he know? “Fancy place,” Ryan complimented as he continued to look around the ballroom in astonishment. “Eh. I’ve seen better. Hopefully the indoor beach proves to be more interesting,” Chris commented as he looked forward with stoic expression on his face. “An indoor beach?” “Yeah, apparently this research facility constructed a small-scaled version of the Seagaia Ocean Dome from Miyazaki just for us, Champions,” Chris explained. “And why would they do that?” “Oh, come, Ryan. You’ve been around the academy. A majority of Champions come from wealthy backgrounds since the cost of acquiring nodes is so high due to their rarity. They can’t give those expensive forms of technology to just commoners, so they implanted them on rich kids instead. And to compensate for Mommy and Daddy having to let their children become Champions, the governments built military academies and bases more like luxurious hotels to pamper their children, while they go through agonizing training to defend this world from the Colossus threat. This research facility is no exception, which I’m glad since this is the closest we’re getting to an actual vacation any time soon.” “I see…” Ryan scratched his chin in thought. “But let’s not think too deeply into that. Instead we should enjoy this all-you-can-eat buffet,” Chris said with a smile. Ryan smiled back and nodded, following Chris to a table that had Italian cuisines, including spaghetti with pork bolognese, which he wanted to scoop up into a plate. However, it appeared that no one else have decided to eat yet, so he did not want to be the odd one out. So, instead took a piece of cheese from a cheese plate and ate that for now. And there were so many other foods to try on just that table that were organized into tiers, and he wished he could try all of them without the limitations of his average-sized stomach. As Ryan tried another piece of cheese, he saw someone waving at him. He then noticed the person was Josephine who approached him and Chris with a smile. She was also followed by Kipp with an equally bright smile and Knox who looked down with his hands in his pockets. Both Ryan and Chris waved back at them and soon all the Champions from the United States were together by the Italian cuisines. “How are you two?” Josephine asked cheerfully. “We’re doing great! What about you?” Ryan asked. “I’m doing great as well. I mean, can you believe where we’re at?” Josephine said as she looked around with child-like wonderment. “We’re at a place where the top-ranked Champion cadets from around the world have joined together as a statement that everyone is united to fight against the Colossus.” “Couldn’t have said it any better myself,” Kipp said. Josephine giggled. “Anyways, sorry if I sound too excited. It’s just nice to get a break from the academy and being in Japan is one of the best vacation spots in my opinion.” “Cheers to that,” Chris said as he raised a small wedge of cheese that he then popped into his mouth. “And maybe I can get a few autographs, while I’m here. Plenty of powerful Champion cadets are in this ballroom as we speak.” “And to think that we were selected as the most powerful of the USA,” Kipp said before laughing. Josephine joined Kipp in his laughter, while Knox looked aimlessly around the ballroom which made Ryan wonder whether he was still upset about taking Delilah’s place to come here. Kipp was the complete opposite, most likely attributed to his close proximity to Josephine which always made the man try to throw out the funniest quips. Looking around again, Ryan then asked, “So, are we here just to eat and talk, or is there another reason why—?” Before Ryan could finish his question, all the lights in the ballroom dimmed and the many voices speaking quickly ceased as well. Ryan turned his attention to the stage that was the only area being lit that also had a podium. The clicking of heels were then heard, and a woman entered through the left side of the stage and stood behind the podium. Adjusting the podium’s microphone, the woman then cleared her throat to test the volume before a large screen from behind her displayed her face. “Hello, Champions from around the world,” the woman said with a thick Japanese accent. “Thank you all for coming here, and for bravely being humanity’s one and only defense against the Colossus threat. My name is Dr. Miyamoto Haruhi, and I am the chief scientist of the project being conducted in this research facility. Before the commencement of this project, the material used to create nodes that grant you all with the abilities necessary to defeat the Colossus were always scarce, and only the children from wealthy backgrounds could afford to obtain this new form of technology and be endowed with the extreme burden of protecting the future of humankind with your own lives. I commend you all for your noble sacrifice. Now, though, you will not be the only people capable fighting in the frontlines against the Colossus. “Known as Project Labour, my research team and I have managed to develop a way to create nodes by cloning the cores that hold the structure of traditional nodes together. We then implanted these newly formed nodes into willing participants, and it is the job of you all to not only test the capability of these new Champions by participating with them in mock battles, but to also allow our research team to acquire samples of the cores of your own nodes so we can duplicate the power that you all possess into these future Champions. If this project proves to be successful, no longer will you fight alone in the war against humanity’s extinction; you will be joined by new Champions in the thousands, then the millions, and then the rest of humanity will be by your side with your participation in this project guaranteeing that dream. In the end, this is all for the continued existence of humanity and for this world we call our home. So, will you join me in fighting the good cause against the Colossus and for the betterment of the human race?” A few seconds passed with silence, and then an eruption of applause went through the entire ballroom with every Champion, including Ryan and his group, clapping their hands for the chief scientist of Project Labour. He was very moved by the short speech given by the doctor and wanted to do everything that he could to assist with the project. “Thank you again for your voluntary participation in this project. Please, enjoy the rest of the day by eating and conversing with your fellow Champions from across the globe since we are a united people. See you all in tomorrow’s mock battle!” The doctor waved her hand at the Champions who continued to clap before walking to the side of the stage and disappearing behind the retracted stage curtains. “Well, wasn’t that fantastic speech!” Josephine said. “If you actually mean fantastical, then I can understand that,” Chris said with furrowed eyebrows. “What do you mean?” Ryan asked, still feeling a sensation from that powerful speech. “This doctor actually thinks that her project will enable the creation of Champions in the millions? I’m sorry but possessing powers that can destroy beings that in return are capable of leveling entire cities is a tremendous responsibility. I don’t think equipping millions of people with nodes is a good idea even if it solves the node shortage issue.” “I couldn’t agree more.” Ryan turned his attention from Chris to a woman who walked gracefully towards them. She was wearing a simple dress that were puffed at the shoulders and was followed by her comrades who also wore simple attire. Many others in the ballroom noticed her presence as well with looks of awe, and he quickly recognized the woman who spoke to be— “Oh, my gosh! You’re Angelica Santos, aren’t you?” Josephine spilled. “The most powerful Champion cadet of the Philippines!” “In the flesh,” Angelica said with a wide smile. “I couldn’t help but overhear your comment about the chief scientist’s speech, which I can best summarize as ‘With great powers, comes great responsibility.’ Am I correct?” Chris raised his eyebrow and then nodded. “Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Extending his hand, he then said, “I’m Chris by the way.” “Yes, Christopher Shepherd, the most powerful Champion cadet of the United States and the son of Christian Shepherd, chief scientist of HERO. It’s great to meet someone of your status. I’m, of course, Angelica Santos, but you can just call me Baby,” Angelica said, shaking Chris’s hand with enthusiasm. She then looked at Ryan, and with wide eyes said, “And you’re Ryan Johnson, the son of the former US President who began the campaign against the Colossus threat.” “Uh…yeah,” Ryan said. “I’m ecstatic to finally meet you! It’s not everyday that you meet someone of your status as well,” Angelica said, extending her hand out and shaking Ryan’s hand. “Oh…well, thank you. I can say the same thing to you, the most powerful Champion cadet of the world’s most powerful Champion’s division.” “Oh, stop it!” Angelica laughed. “I’m just like every other Champion at this place who all have quirks that make us all powerful in our own ways.” “Well, the world ranking system begs to differ,” Chris said with a smile. Angelica just smiled and shrugged. “Anyways, it’s an honor to be selected to participate in this experimental project. However, like you, Chris, I’m having some difficulty wrapping my head around granting millions of people with the abilities of a Champion. Even thousands is a bit much. I mean, can you imagine a bar filled with people who all have superhuman abilities getting drunk and then fighting? Just replace nodes with a powerful weapon like an automatic rifle, and we might have a different view of this project.” Ryan had not thought about this project that way before. “Well, hopefully these new nodes aren’t just given to whomever if the project does prove to be successful.” “I’m sure there will some type of screening to see who are most compatible to become a Champion. So, I wouldn’t worry much,” Josephine inserted. Angelica nodded. “That better be the case. That also makes me wonder who decided to be the willing participants for this project, a project that has not been commissioned by HERO may I add.” “I guess we’ll find during tomorrow’s mock battle. I’m sure it’ll be interesting,” Chris said. “And HERO would’ve ended the project if their investigation found anything corrupt. So, I wouldn’t worry about that.” “That’s reassuring. Well, enough about Champions and this project. Have you all tried the excellent lumpia yet?” *** “That was a great speech you gave at the ballroom, Doctor.” Doctor Miyamoto smiled at her assistant. “Thank you, but it’s not difficult to stroke the egos of these Champions, all of them having been fed with silver spoons since they were born.” “Well, regardless, I’m confident you got all of them to fully support your cause and eliminated any possible defectors who could’ve arisen.” “That we can agree,” Miyamoto said as she accepted her tablet from the assistant. “Well, I’ll leave you alone now. I’ll update you on the status of our own Champions as soon as possible.” “Thank you. We’ll need them at their peak for the mock battle scheduled for tomorrow.” Miyamoto’s assistant nodded and walked away, allowing her to be by herself. Turning on the screen of her tablet, she then displayed live footage of one of the research facility’s room from one of the main surveillance cameras. Displayed was a figure suspended upside down in a large, cylindrical tank, and she smiled. She was going to make sure this project a success. By any means necessary.
  10. Superpride

    Sweetheart, West Virginia

    Thank you! I’m happy you’re enjoying my story. There’s definitely more to come as the mystery continues to unravel. 😀
  11. Superpride

    Chapter Two

    Definitely. Only a few weeks have passed since the Colossus invaded the United States, and there is already more to come with the conference happening in Japan that will host the top-ranked Champion cadets from around the world. Hopefully, Ryan and Chris will be ready if or when things go haywire.
  12. Superpride

    Chapter Two

    “Are you enjoying the flight so far, gentlemen?” Chris looked up at the flight attendant and smiled. “Yes, we are. Thank you.” The flight attendant smiled and continued walking, checking on the other passengers in the first-class area of the airliner. Chris then looked at Ryan who looked slightly pale as he looked through the window by his seat. Concerned, he placed his hand on Ryan’s who flinched before facing Chris. Ryan blushed and said, “I’m sorry. I’m…not used to flying on a plane.” “Is this your first time flying?” Chris asked, wanting to help Ryan with whatever he was struggling with. “No. I first flew from my home in New York City to the academy…but the flight only took two hours at most. It’s almost going to take a whole day before we reach Japan. I’m…I’m just a little nervous, Chris.” “It’s okay, Ryan. You don’t have to worry about the airplane suddenly crashing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or something thing like that. In fact, you’re more likely to get struck by lightning than be involved in an incident while flying in an airplane.” Ryan chuckled nervously as he rubbed his forehead. “Yeah. You’re right. I’m just being ridiculous... Sorry.” “Hey, it’s okay, Ryan. Just relax and enjoy the fact that we’re in first class. I can’t imagine enjoying this long flight while being crammed with the rest of the passengers in coach.” “Yeah, I had to take coach the last time I flew and let me tell you that having a baby cry from one side and a person falling asleep with his head on my shoulder from the other wasn’t pleasant in the least.” Chris smiled and said, “Yeah, I doubt that was fun. And hey, maybe later when everyone is sleeping, we can maybe, I don’t know, join a certain club when we have the chance?” Ryan raised an eyebrow at Chris, and then realization appeared on his face as he blushed heavily and looked away. “Uh, Chris…are you saying that we could…uh…” “Join the mile-high club? Hell yeah.” Ryan shook head but laughed also as he faced Chris again and said, “Yeah, I don’t think so. I want to be adventurous with our relationship, but I don’t think that getting caught by everyone within hearing range is a good idea, especially since you’re a moaner.” Smirking, Chris said, “I can keep quiet if that’s what you want. Gag my mouth, and we should be good to go.” Ryan just rolled his eyes. “How about we get to Japan first, and then we can discuss how I’ll shut you up with something else in your mouth.” “Oh, I’m looking forward to that, tease.” Laughing lightly, Ryan then leaned his head against the headrest of his seat and closed his eyes. Chris smiled, knowing that his lover has relaxed, but was still holding onto Chris’s hand as a form of assurance that they would make it through this twenty-hour flight to the Asian Pacific. As Chris admired the masculine profile of Ryan’s face, he then heard a sound coming from his tablet that was laying on his lap. Using his other hand to unlock the device, he then saw that he got a new message from his father that was sent through a private server. Opening it, he was introduced to a long list of the other Champion cadets who were going to attend the conference at Japan as well. He was impressed by the cadets who were selected, specifically one of the five selected cadets from Japan, Takahashi Tamako. He also saw Angelica Santos’s name in the list who hailed from the Philippines as the most powerful cadet in the Philippine Military Academy and possibly the most powerful of all the Filipino Champions. He recognized some other names of the cadets hailing from the European countries, and overall was impressed by the list and because of this, he was very skeptical of how these test subjects were going to fare against real Champions with their own unique attributes and abilities. He guessed that these test subjects had some untold powers that have yet to be shown and maybe used for their advantage. He was really looking forward to what they were capable of. Chris then looked to see a short paragraph below the list, written by his father who was stating his concerns with the recent discoveries in Canada and Mexico. Apparently, the Colossus remains dumped on Canadian soil was mutating wildlife to such a degree that some fauna and flora have developed clusters of tissue that granted them abnormal abilities similar to what nodes grant to humans. This was a very interesting discovery since the possibility that humans could also develop this node-like tissue would definitely alleviate the problem of the node shortage. However, more research would need to be done before human test subjects could be used since normal exposure to Colossus remains caused numerous adverse effects like cancer. And there were speculations that there was another source of the gold-like substance used to create nodes somewhere in Mexico otherwise known as the mythical El Dorado or the Golden City which would explain how illegal node technology was being developed there. And the more disturbing revelation was that this form of node technology gained its power by literally draining energy from other users. His father explained that this practice was most likely used in the form of human sacrifice in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations. The victims were still technically alive, but they were just zombies of their former selves, and it was becoming more of a pandemic in the country that the Mexican government was trying to downplay. These recent findings were very concerning to Chris’s father and to Chris as well. His father was especially worried since he believed that the Colossus could use these two phenomena to their advantage. How that would happen Chris was not told since his father always kept the most important details of his research and investigations a secret from Chris. However, Chris was fine with that since he believed that knowing too much about everything happening in this crazy world only worsened his outlook on life and his overall optimism. And that was where he had some respect for his father since the man was burdened with all knowledge about everything related to the Colossus which would have drove any other person to insanity. Chris would rather live in ignorance on the more depressing aspects of the Colossus and their possible motives if only to enjoy his time with Ryan who boosted his need to live a happier life since they first met months ago at the simulation center back at the academy. The last sentence from Chris’s father stated that he needed to be careful during his stay in Japan since his father did not completely trust that the experiments being conducted were entirely for humanity’s benefit. Chris had the same sentiment as well; though, he just wanted to feign ignorance until something, or someone told him otherwise. Chris looked over the list one more time before switching to a movie on his tablet. He heard laughing, and he looked through the aisle to see Josephine and Kipp sitting together a few rows down. He also saw Knox sitting a row behind, sleeping with a pair of headphones on his head. They were also selected to attend the conference in Japan which was not surprising at all since they all were very capable Champions who demonstrated their powers during the most recent Colossus invasion. Though he wondered why Delilah could not attend as well, being the second-ranked cadet in the academy should have automatically granted her a seat on this flight to Japan. Instead Knox took her place and though Delilah seemed to be unaffected by the decision made by the academy, he still could tell that there was some hurt in her eyes. And it seemed that Knox felt guilty about taking her place since he has remained very quiet and closed off since they all met at the airport. Sighing, Chris decided to put on his own pair of headphones and turned on his playlist that contained his favorite song from his tablet. Resting his head against the headrest, he then looked at Ryan who was still resting and admired the man who he fell in love with before closing his eyes and drifting to sleep. *** Entering the hotel room, Chris was surprised upon seeing the area the they were staying at. From the king-sized bed to the open bar, he also checked the bathroom that was just as big as the rest of the room. It compensated for the fact that there were only ceramic stools instead of the classic bathtub which were common in traditional Japanese homes. He could not avoid his mind from circulating the many possibilities the bathroom offered with Ryan included in the mix, especially since he and Ryan did not do what he hoped for by joining the mile-high club. However, now that they were finally alone in a comfortable room that was part of the research facility in Japan, all he wanted to do was to enjoy this moment with Ryan. And unless a typhoon suddenly appeared, there was nothing that was going to stop him. Exiting the bathroom, Chris returned to the main area where his jaw dropped upon seeing Ryan, completely naked and sitting at the end of the bed with his hardened cock fully exposed. “R-Ryan?” Ryan smirked and said, “Don’t think you were the only one wanted to fuck on that long-ass flight.” Stroking his cock, he then said, “Well…what are you waiting for?” Chris smiled and took off his jacket before approaching his lover and jumping on him like a lust-starved lion. Their lips immediately connected, and Chris enjoyed having Ryan’s tongue in his mouth as Ryan aggressively took off his clothes, causing a few buttons to pop off of the placket of his shirt. However, Chris did not mind as he pulled off his pants, boxers and shoes, while Ryan took off the remainder of his shirt and throwing it onto the floor. Finally, with both of them naked, they went all in on each other, so hungry to touch and be touched with their limbs tangled around one another. As they made out, they both grinded their cocks together, both in rhythm so that the maximum amount of pleasure could be achieved. And it was not long before they both came together that sent stars in Chris’s view as they cried out in ecstasy. Ryan then rolled off his body and laid himself onto the bed, their release splattered all over Chris’s torso, the main evidence of what they just committed which was a beautiful crime that neither of them regretted. There was something that they shared, something that involved no guilt or shame that made this experience and the others they had in the past much more special and intimate versus the pressures that tried to separate them apart. Chris did not want to go back to that time, fully enjoying being immersed with Ryan, his boyfriend and no one was going to stop either of them from achieving what they believed as love. “You okay, Chris?” Ryan asked, looking at him with a concern. Chuckling, Chris neared his face towards Ryan’s and said, “I’m fine. Just thinking how lucky I am to have you.” Ryan smiled and kissed his boyfriend. “Same.”
  13. I'm thinking about writing a fanfiction involving Spider-Man.  The main reason is because of the Spider-verse, which gave me the idea of creating my own characters with unique abilities similar to Spider-Man's who are part of just one universe.  Do you all think I should pursue this?  Also, am I the only person who thought that Spider-Man's name never had the hyphen until just recently?  Is this the Mandela Effect in action?  😋

  14. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    I have the opinion that if you are defending yourself or someone else, by all means, go wild with whatever you have in your disposal. Those vandals definitely deserved what they got, getting their butts kicked by someone like Chip Andrews wasn't something they expected. Topher must share some history with the kid found in his house, and hopefully we'll discover how he and Topher know each other as the story continues. Also, with the possible hoarding situation as another issue, I think we can all agree that Topher staying at Chip's place was the better idea. We'll also see how Topher will handle the new living arrangements and Chet's, I mean Chad's reaction to the whole thing. I'm sure it'll be very juicy. 😋
  15. Superpride

    Chapter Three

    Very true, like from his car and house being vandalizing to his internal struggle with his feelings for Chip. Hopefully, Topher will discover the person responsible and reconnect with Chip even if they remains just friends...for now.

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