Chapter 2: Cole and Matthew
Three days earlier...
The woods outside of brothers Cole and Matthew Taylor's house only lit up by moonlight. The wind rustling the branches of the old oak trees and throwing leaves into the air like confetti. They each take a fighting stance only a few feet away from each other.
"You ready" said Cole.
"Let's do this!" said Matthew.
"Don't go easy on me, full force!"
"I thought you wanted this to last? If I go full force you will be done in seconds."
"That's what you think!" exclaimed Cole as he reached for his chest to reveal a necklace and medalion that displayed two small daggers.
"Bring it little brother!" shouted Matthew as he thew his left arm forward to reveal a bracelet made of leather that sported a medalion as well. They both grabbed their medalions at the same time and matching red orbs appeared before them as their eyes flashed the same color red. Their weapons came to life Cole's weapon two daggers make him both a formidible long range and close range attacker while Matthew's weapon manifested into a double edge curved blade that could slice through just about anything in its path. The brothers ran towards eachother displaying both weapon and fighting skills that persisted no one brother showing any signs of weakness or giving up. Their blades contacting over and over. Cole throws one of his blades at Matthew missing his face by an inch and into the nearby tree. A quick raise of his arms the the blade came flying back to him, and the battle continued. Their weapons connect again in a gridlock neither one of them letting up in the slightest.
"Getting stronger I see little brother, been practicing without me?" said Matthew.
"Now to finish it!" Cole responded.
"Not so fast!" Matthew retorted. With that he lurched forward throwing Cole off guard and a swift kick to the stomach sent Cole backwards gasping for air. Matthew reacting was down at Cole's throat blade against skin in seconds. "Looks like I win again." he backs off Cole and extends his hand to help him up.
"One of these days, I'll show you." he said panting and grunting in defeat. Takes his brothers had and is helped off the ground brushing leaves and dirt off his body. "Let's go again!" he said eagerly.
"Five times is enough Cole, besides I would just win again." He looks at Cole and mutters "Release" and his blade glows and reverts back into the medalion on his bracelet.
"Fine...release!" His daggers glow and revert back to his necklace.
"You rush into battle too quickly and don't allow yourself time to think of a defensive strategy, keep that mindset up and you will never become a Guardian Corps. member."
"You say rush I say acting on intinct. I fight better in the heat of the memoent. I don't have time to think of a defensive strategy." Cole said mocking Matthew.
"Mock me all you want, without offense and defense you will never win against me."
"We'll see...come on Matthew let' go again!" Cole reaches for his necklacec when he hears his mother's voice in the distance.
"Come on in guys you have been here all afternoon, time for dinner so get yourselves cleaned up and be ready for dinner in twenty minutes."their mother said after wiping some dirt off Cole's clothes.
"Yes mom" they both repied in unison.
Cole with his short brown hair and muscular stature makes a dash for the house leaving Matthew behind. Matthew with his dirty blond hair and taller than Cole by a few feet made a dash for the house as well catching up with him in seconds. Matthew got to the front door first and opens the door for his mother in gentilemanly fashion.
"Why thank you dear." his mom replied graciously.
"You're welcome" he said flashing her a smile of perfect white teeth. Cole begins to make his way for the front door when Matthew steps in front of him closing the door in Cole's face locking him out from the inside. Cole glares at Matthew as he has a giant smirk on his face. They both laugh and Matthew releases the lock on the door and they both go upstairs to washup for dinner. Their mother continues to make dinner for her family while their father is beginning to set the table. In the background the local news was starting:
The Guardian Corps. was released today after a bank was robed by individuals who showed the ability to manifest weapons came in and attacked the employees and hostages. Seven are reported dead and many are in critical condition. A tatment was releaseaed by the Regime President Mason earlier this evening.
A man was at the podium surrounded by newscasters. He towered over the microphones and cameras that were in his face and proceeeded to make his statement. " The Guardian Corps. were dispacted as soon as the crisis appeared. Appropriate actions will be taken to bring these criminals to justice. " his voice loud and clear.
"Mr. President." The newscaster began. "This is the third time in two weeks that people with abilities have made themselves known and have used their power for their own personal gain, any comments?"
He cleared his voice "More and more people are beginning to develop powers and using them for their own selfish agenda. That is not what this regime stands for and anyone abilities or not acting out against the Regime is committing treason and will be persecutied to the fullest extent of the law." His look darkened and his voice got more serious. "We live in a time where peace is beginning to fall apart thanks to these people and abilities. They are not gods they are not better than anyone...they are just humans, just as vunerable as we are, and it is time they began to know that." The television flashes back to the reporter,
"Thanks to Regime Preident Mason and the Guardian Corps. we will hopefully have some better news about this tragety in the near future. To wrap up tonights news, all citizens and are encouraged to attend tomorrows dedication to the neverending sacrifice of the Guardian Corps. and to President Mason who has preserved the peace of this nation since his reign began almost twenty years ago. If you or a loved one possess the ability to manifest weapons we also encourage you to sign up into the Guardian Corps. training program. Join the ranks of the elite who fight to preserve the peace of our nation. The festivities begin at noon at the town's public square, until then I am Maddie St.Clair, have a great night everyone."
The heavy stomps of Matthew and Cole running to the kitchen drowns out the television and their father gets up from his chair and turns the televison off.
"It's just awful to hear about all those people, I'll have to say a little prayer tonight for a speedy recovery and hope that the Guardian Corps. can find these criminals." Their mother said while passing out the dishes to her children.
"If I ever find out that you gys have used your abilities for such crimes like these I'll take those medalions away myself." Their father said harshly. Matthew and Cole looked at their father and stiffled a laugh.
"Here." Cole said taking off his necklace and presenting it to his father. "Take it, see what happens." Their father walked slowly and takes his necklace from his hand and is shocked when he sees it begin to glow and then disapears from his grasp. The necklace now glowed back around Cole's neck. They began to laugh a little harder. "We told you so many times dad, its connected to us. Until the day we die they will always be bound to us."
"I know, I know. But I hope we have raised you well enough to know you would never harm another peron with your gifts." their father stated.
Cole walked over and hugged his father. "We know dad, you both raised u well, and that's why tomorrow we are going to sign up to join the Guardian Corps to train with the best and to protect this nation."
"But you guys are so young, an't you just wait a few more years before joining. I mean don't get me wrong what you guys are doing is so admirable and I am so proud of you guys but I won't get to see you guys for like ever!" their mother said.
"Relax dear, training last only a few year and from the way I have seem them train, they ight as well be captians of the Guardian Corps." their father reasured all of them.
"Well regardless I am very proud of you both and I for one will be cheering for you both at tomorrows festival, so be prepared!" their mother ran up and kissed both her boys.
"Here here!" their father exclaimed and raised his glass in the air.
* * * The Next Day * * *
Cole and Matt were getting dressed in their rooms before the festival. Each both eager for what awaits them at the festival. Where they will put their talents to the test to become a member of the Guardian Corp. Cole putting his necklace under his t-shirt leaves his room to check on his older brother.
"Matt! Are you ready to go?" he said impatiently.
"Where is mom and dad?" he said checking himself in the mirror.
"They already left, something about wanting to get good seats for the festival. Come on we are going to be late." Cole said leaving Matthew's room. He walks downstairs waiting for his brother at the door. "YOU LOOK FINE!" Cole exclaimed. Matt fixing his hair in the mirror chuckles to himself.
"I'm coming!" Matthew said in a huff leaving his room.
The town is decorated in banners and flags representing the Regime and the Guardian Corps. The townspeople are littered everywhere trying to find a place to sit for the opening ceremony. Vendors and merchants are yelling and shouting hoping consumers will buy their products on this momentus day. Cole and Matt are mesmerized by the beauty of the town. Matthew puts his arm around Cole's shoulder and they walk into the town's public square to begin their journey as Guardian Corps trainees. They approach a white tent that has a huge banner with the Guardian Corps motto "Protect. Serve. Honor." written in gold letters. They approch the tent and the two regime guard at the front table and are asked to show prrof of their abilities. Cole and Matthew simultaneously grab their medalions their eyes flash a blood red as their lifeforce manifests their weapons. The surrounding crowd cheers with oohs and ahhs as their weapons appear.
"Good, please write down your names and proceed to the left." the regime guard says.
They both write down their names and smile at eachother their dream of becoming a Guardian is almost within their grasp. The deafening sound of cheering from the townsfolk drown out all other noise at they approach the center of the town's square. A stage is lit with hundreds of flashing bulbs and flags and banners fly with the regime colors and silver and green and the red flags of the Guardian Corps. displying their insignia of three circles interconnected to show the three principals of the Guardian Corps., to protect the citizens of the nation, to serve the regime and President Mason, and above all to have honor in yourself and your ability. Standing on stage in the center is President Mason with a full smile on his face waving and greeting his townspeople. To his left and right are the current members of the Guardian Corps. of all different shapes and sizes. Some proudly display their medalions for the crowd to see. Swords, daggers, even someone with a bow and arrow. Large TV screens behind the stage are displaying each member of the Guardian Corps. along with their name, their weapon, and a small video of what they can do. A muscular tan male was being profliled on the screen with his weapon, a giant hammer that was able to break through almost any surface. They showed him bringing his weapon to life, his eyes flashing black before a black orb appeared and his weapon manifiested. They showed him gripping his hammer and obliterating a building with two swift swings. The crowd yells even louder and the man in the video is on stage smiling and waving to his fans. Cole and Matthew take in the atmosphere knowing that in a few years they will have a video of their own and the crowd will be cheering for them but until then they acted along with the hysteria of the townspeople and cheered for all the members. The crowd erupted with cheering when the next person was profiled. A young girl no more than sixteen was shown in her Guardian Corps uniform. Her name was Alexis and she was a captian.
"A CAPTIAN!? THAT PIPSQUEAK IS A CAPTIAN!?" Cole screamed to his brother over the roaring of the crowd.
"She must be something else!" Matthew said completely in shock. Something else indeed, her video showed her bringing her weapon to life. Her weapon both suitable for long rang and hand to hand combat was a ring fashioned with multiple spikes that were shown slicing through objects with just a lunge of her arm and a percise throwing instrument when given a target. Her video ended with her throwing her weapon at a stone maniquin slicing the head right off. She called back her weapon and Matthew noticed her smile was not one of acomplishment but one of desire, hunger, a look that said I kill for a living and I am not afraid to do it again. Matthew shuddered at that thought because Guardian Corp members where forbidden to kill unless there was no other way. The screen went blank and then live to the middle of the stage where President Mason was about to begin the opening ceremony.
"Thank you everyone and greetings to all of you and thank you to our special guest the Guardian Corps." President Mason throws his arms in the air and confetti burst out of the sides of the stage and the crowds enthusiam reaches a new level of excitment. "Countless years of dedication and service our nation has never seen a longer period of peace in its two-hundred years!" The crowd applauses in agreement. "Today we take time to honor and commorate the members of the Guardian Corps who rih their lives everyday to ensure the afey of our nation. We pride ourselves on three principals which are what?"
"PROTECT! SERVE! HONOR!" the members of the Guardian Corps exclaim.
"That's Right" President Mason says with a smile on his face. "But now we are here to celebrate the people who make this happen! Those chosen people lucky enough to be granted such a gift, to use to combat the injustices of the world. Those people wanting to create chaos in this world are brought to justice by these men and women. Given recent events more and more people are being born with this gift, and more and more are begining to use these gifts for their own personal gain. These gifts are not yours to ue for yourself. These gifts are used to protect this nation, and those who use these powers for personal gain like the ones who slaughtered innocent people at the town's bank have been brought to justice today!" The crowd cheers and boos are uttered when two people are brought on stage. "These people think they are above the law, and to act against the regime is an act of treason, and will not be tolerated." The president paused, the look on his face from triumphant to serious causes the crowd to stop cheering. "People with abilities today are becoming greedy, thinking they are above the law and NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW! These people choose to ignore this, and I am sadden to show what now must happen because of these turn of events. It only takes one person to set off a revolution, and it must be stopped here and now. I am implimenting a new decree as Richard P. Mason PResident of the Regime that all people with abilities be hunted down and exterminated. It is time we take back the regime from these people with abilties who think they can do anything they want! More and more people will be born with tese gifts and use them for their own speical needs."
Regime guards surround the stage and front area blocking in the Guardian Corps members and potential members. "The time of the new regime starts today and anyone who opposes will be considered a traitor and be killed on the spot!" the President exclaimed. At that moment the regime soliders picked up their guns and fired on the shocked members of the Guardian Corps members. They began to drop one by one as the crowd began to scramble in panic. A few members of the Guardian Corps were able to evade their killers and make a run for it. The man with the hammer doged his killer and with one fluid movement summoned his weapon and swung his hammer at the stage crumbling it to pieces. The regime guards fell and the remaning Guardian Members either made a run for it or helped protect the other members and potential members that were being slaughtered in the public square.
Matthew takes Cole's hand and pulls his through the crowd as people are being shot left and right, those who were able to summon their weapons attack the guards some succeed but some are no match and the brothers watch as the dying people with abilities weapons fade along side of their users as they lay there lifeless. Two guards focus in on Matthew and Cole and raise their guns at them. They both quickly summon their weapons only to not need them as the guards fall down to the ground and reveal a small blonde hair girl behind them with her spiked weapon in the back of the head of one of the guards.
"Get out of here now!" Alexis ordered Matthew and Cole.
"There's no way out!" Cole says with fear in his voice.
"MARCUS THE WALL, DESTROY THE WALL!" Alexis ordered the man holding the hammer. Marcus acknowledges the command and pushes through people in the crowd striking a guard sending him flying into the rubble that was once the stage. With one loud grunt and a swing of his hammer the wall explodes into a million pieces of fragmented stone.
"THIS WAY---" Marcus is cut short by the bullet that went through his head. He falls to the ground instantly and his hammer disapears. Dozens of people make their way through the rubble and into the roads desperately hoping not to be caught by the regime guards who are rentless, shooting into the crowd of unsuspecting people both abilitiy and innocent people. Bullets fly by Matthew and Cole grazing buildings and hitting pavement.
They make their way to the end of the road to see more and more regime soldiers filling up the town hunting down the people with abilities who got away.
"Over here!" shouted a citizen. "There's more over here! All hail the new regime!"
Matthew grabbed Cole's hand again and made their way into the open wood that surrounded the town. THinking that the coast is clear they get under the cover of the woods and lay low until night fall where they will then make their next move.
Night falls and Matthew and Cole are still hidden in the woods that surround the town. Every now and then you hear a shot echo through the air and wonder who had just been killed. Their thoughts were interrupted when a mother and small child, from the looks of it have been through hell and back and running through the streets begging for someone to take them in.
"Please help us, he's only ten years old!" the mother is sobbing while running frantically holding her sons hand. A small medalion is around the kids' wrist and people begin to back away slowly.
"Anyone found helping these people are consider traitors as well and will be dealt with the same punishment as these abominations." the regime soldier yelled into the streets before raising his gun and firing on the mother and child both dropping to the ground with a hard thump. Matthew closed his eyes and Cole moved away from Matthew and began to throw up.
"Get a hold of yourself Cole, you're going to get us spotted." Matthew rushes over to Cole and grabs him by the arm and vanish further into the woods. "It's not safe here anymore, we have to keep moving. We can take this path all the way to our house, get mom and dad and make a run for it." Matthew said to Cole.
They approach their house as silent as they can be to see the kitchen light on through the window of the house. A sense of relief floods them as they know their parents are safe at home. They enter the houe and head towards the kitchen.
"Mom....Dad" Cole says frantically.
"Mom...Dad" Matthew says as well. "You guys here?"
They make their way further in the kitchen to see them sitting in their chairs watching the news. Reports of today's events are replaying and comments from the PResident are being shown on the screen. Along with this decree anyone that is found helping or harboring people with abilties will be considered a threat to the regime and executed on sight. On top of this all that report or turn over people with abilities will be rewarded five thousand dollars per person, and with people greedy for money people were being turned in left and right.
"Thank god you guys are ok. I was worried for a moment that you might of been caught up in the chaos today." Matthew makes his way towards his parent. "How can they get away with something like this, it has to be an abuse of power right?" His parents didnt respond they just sat there with their backs away from their sons watching the television.
"Aren't you guys going to say anything?" Cole said furriously.
Matthew continues to walk towards his parents and is frozen in fear. For what he saw was every childs worst nightmare. His parents hands tied to the armrests of the chairs were not watching TV, they were dead. Each having a matching bulletholes right between the eyes. Matthew his voice shakey and in shock "Mom...dad.."unable to keep his composure dropped to his knees. Cole came running over and was instantly hit with sadness at the sight of his parents and brother.
"No no no no no no no no no no no, this can't be happeining. This isn't real, this is not happening!" Cole sobbing frantically. He clawed away at his mother's restraints while Matthew untied his father.
"Why would someone do this, they don't have abilities!" Cole said choking on his sobs.
"Don't you remember what the President said? Those who help or harbor people with abilities will receive the same punishment as traitors." Matthew said in a flat monotone voice. Shock and dismay had clearly taken over Matthew and he was holding his dad's hand. Cole with his mother wrapped around him began to cry even harder.
"But how did they even know where to find us, it's not like we blantely display our abilities for everyone to see?" Cole asked.
Matthew just knealt there still in shock closing his dad's eyes, the same hazel eyes that he had. His body numb soon began to shake in anger, rage filled his entire body as he laid his father on the kitchen floor and began to smash objects in the room.
"HOW COULD THEY DO THIS!" Matthew screaming at the top of his lungs. "They had no right attacking innocent people, people who couldn't defend themselves. Matthew gasping for air, he couldn't breathe, he slumped to the ground once again. Cole still holding their mother laid her down and closed her eyes and went over to Matthew. MAtthew burried his hands in his face as Cole came over and wrapped his arms around Matthew and just sat there for what seemed like an eternity. Cole's head bucked up.
"THE PAPERS!" he excliamed. MAtthew brought his head out from his hands. "The registration papers we signed at the festival. They must of used those to track down each person one by one to make sure we were all dead. They came here hoping to find us but found mom and dad, and when they refused to help they.....they.....they...." Cole's voice trailed off. Matthew wiping tears from his eyes got up to his feet.
"If they are using that paper to find people with abilities, to find us, then they must know we are still alive. It's not safe here anymore Cole and we need to leave before they come back. They must know that we would eventually return here." Matthew said, his voice getting back to normal.
"We can't just leave them here Matthew, it's not right. They need a proper burrial. Matthew they need a --" he was interrupted by the house going completely black. Outside you can hear the footsteps of people running towards the house, the sound of guns being cocked and ready to fire. The door is busted through and a half dozen regime soldiers infiltrate the house. The room is completly blacked out and through the darkeness all the soldiers can see are two pairs of glowing red eyes.