Back in the Hill Atton awaited a report from Marty.
"Have you found her? Tell me you've found her," Atton
"We found her boss, we found her." Marty gave him the
coordinates and it led him to a familiar place, 817 Depriest
"No, you've got to be lying," Atton said reeling in
"No lie boss. Berzerk can inhabit bodies an' she's n
one uh dem," Marty continued.
"Well which one is she?" Atton nearly shouted.
"We don't know," Marty said timidly.
Atton swore under his breath. "We just know Berzerk is
in da house," he said trying to cover up his mistake.
Atton let out an exasperated sigh. "I saw AJ today;
face to face and he saw me. And that Chris has me running all
over the world."
"Yeah I heard about dat. He had ya in Guam, huh." He
changed the subject. "So how ya gonna catch Berzerk."
"I'll watch them closely and see who acts out of
character," Atton said confidently.
"You really tink it's dat easy?" Marty chuckled.
"Berzerk's a sly one."
"No, but it never hurts to have a plan," Atton said
The next morning Nirvana had an appointment with Minerva, her
therapist. Nirvana had been seeing Minerva for years with her
frequent visits. Minerva was the one who convinced Nirvana that
Atton was not real.
"Why have you come to see me?" Minerva asked.
"Everything is falling apart," Nirvana admitted. "Chris
is gone and I keep thinking about-"
"Oh, so this is what it's about. You are feeling regret
in kicking Chris out," she deduced.
"No I'm - well yeah but… that's not what this is about.
It's about a dream I keep having, actually a nightmare, and a
lingering daydream. He's all I can think about," she confessed.
"And what happens in this dream of yours?"
"I'm being choked," she began, "but I can't see who's
doing it; all I can see is him."
"Who is 'He' Nirvana?"
"Atton," she said as if it was obvious.
"No such person," Minerva snapped. "We've been through
this, Atton is not real. He is simply a figment of your
imagination. He is a scapegoat your mind devised to satisfy
unfulfilled needs. You need to find a boyfriend -a real person
that can do that."
"I'll never love anyone else," Nirvana said sadly.
"What's love got to do with it?" she snapped. "I just
said you need someone to be there for you. You don't need love."
"I do need it. I've only loved one person in my entire
life; and do you know where he is?" Nirvana asked.
"No," Minerva replied.
"Me neither," Nirvana said coldly.
"Atton is not real," she continued.
"No," Nirvana shook her head in dismay, "he was real; I
"Must we go through this ever session? There is no such
person as Atton Brown," Minerva told her.
"There is no such person as Atton Brown," Nirvana
"Again," Minerva ordered.
"There is no such person as Atton Brown." Nirvana still
was not convinced. "Prove it," she whispered.
"Prove he is," she retorted.
Nirvana did not reply. She could not prove it, but part
of her knew he was real. Still, another part wondered if she had
simply imagined it all. Nirvana was torn in confusion.
"Never speak his name again," Minerva commanded.
With those words said, a fire ignited in Nirvana. She
took orders from no one.
"Or what?" Nirvana questioned.
"I'll -I'll," she stuttered.
"Let's get one thing straight, Atton may or may not
have been real, but either way; I take orders from no one!"
Nirvana wanted much to fight the woman at this moment.
These feelings were becoming more frequent, the lust for a good
fight, even a small one would suffice. Nirvana had learned to
restrain herself; she was saving up for a battle to come.
"Our hour is up," Nirvana sneered "and don't expect to
be paid. By the way, this will be our last visit."
"You can't just run away Nirvana," Minerva called after
her. "Sometimes, you just have to face the truth."
Ahem.... excuse me! Can I have the attention of the class for
one second? -Marshall Mathers
It'd been a month since the incident with Leroy. Ever since then
Buzz and Spike had moved because they feared AJ would do
something as rash as Leroy. Today in AJ's homeroom there was a
new student, Wesley. "Class, this is our new student Wesley
Adams. He used to live here in Airosfield but due to his parent's
careers, he moves a lot. And lucky us he ended up back in
Airosfield," she said with a fake smile.
In front of the class, they saw a goopy looking child.
He wasn't exactly tall for his age, five foot six. Wesley's hair
was slopped to the back and his nose continuously ran. Wesley
wore a dusky gray jacket, a worn out white t-shirt, and baggy,
ripped blue jeans that most likely belonged to his father.
"Wesley your seat is beside Mr. Jacobson here," Mrs.
Taylor said pointing at AJ.
AJ made a disgusted smirk as Wesley sat next to him. He
forced a smile when Wesley looked at him. "Hey," he said wiping
"AJ," the teacher began, "he has all your classes so I
expect you'll show him around," she said sternly.
"Whatever," he mumbled.
"AJ," she repeated.
"Sure I'll show him around," he said reluctant and
True to Mrs. Taylor's word Wesley followed AJ to all
his classes. His last class was art. The teacher, Mr. Cohol,
wasn't there today so they had a substitute. He didn't really
care what they did so everyone walked around and talked to their
friends. AJ looked around for Malik, but he remembered Malik
always skips his last class. AJ was tired of sitting there alone
so he went to talk to Wesley.
"Watcha drawing?" He showed him the drawing and AJ's
"It's a scythe," Wesley told him.
"Heh," AJ said, "like that show."
"Show; what show? Wesley wondered.
"Uh… The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy," AJ told
him, "that show is hilarious."
"That show is a farce," Wesley snapped. "The Reaper
could not be capture by children."
"You do know the Grim Reaper isn't real… right?" AJ
said, wondering if Wesley thought he was.
"Well my dad tells these stories about him. He says
that every ten to twenty years he is replaced and when an heir is
found I events fall into place so they can meet," Wesley said,
extremely into his own story. "My dad tells a lot of stories,
like he was there."
"Is it really that serious? It's just a myth or legend
or whatever," AJ shrugged it off.
"My dad talks about him like he's real. You wanna meet
him? I know you'd like him."
"Well," he began.
"We're havin' one of his old friends over. CJ McCoy, I
think," he tried.
"CJ McCoy. That's my uncle," AJ realized. Why would
Wesley know his uncle? And why wouldn't CJ tell them he was in
"Really; cool, so we'll meet at my house?"
"Okay," AJ gave in. "Just let me call my mom and tell
her where I'll be."
When the bell rang to go home, AJ stayed in the hall
and called his mom.
"Hey, Ma, I'm going over to a friend's house after
school," AJ told Nirvana.
"What's his name?" His mom asked.
"Uh… Wesley. He said he knew Uncle CJ," AJ made sure to
"What's his father's name?" Nirvana said curiously.
"Uh… hold on. Hey Wesley come here?" AJ called to
Wesley and he came over. "What's your dad's name?"
"Werly, Werly Adams," Wesley told him.
"Okay. Hey Ma, his name's Werly," AJ said oddly. The
name sounded so weird to AJ but not to Nirvana. Nirvana put her
hand over her mouth. "So mom, can I go?" AJ said awaiting an
"Yeah," she agreed, "but I'm coming with you. Tell your
sisters to wait with you."
"Okay, bye." He spotted his sisters in the hallway.
"Hey Winter, Willow hold up. We're goin' home with Wesley."
There was an extremely awkward silence when everyone was in the
"So," Nirvana finally spoke up, "Wesley is it? How are
you liking being back in the Field?"
"So much has changed," he told her. "I mean it's been
fifteen years since I've been here. It seems a little brighter
than when I left but some of the people; they're so reserved,
like they're hiding something."
"You talk funny, kid," Willow noted, "like you're old."
"Na," he shrugged, "it's just how my dad tells it to
me. He tells me all these stories about what this place used to
be like, how dark it was."
"You know anything about that Ma?" AJ wondered.
"How come you never tell us stories?" Winter asked.
"Maybe her stories are too scary," Willow suggested.
"Is that right Ma?" AJ laughed. "What, were you some
kind of freaky warrior in a past life?"
You have no idea, Nirvana thought. I was the best. She
wanted to tell them everything, but in her mind, it wasn't the
"Ha," she faked a laugh, "you kids know your mom was
nothing more than a teacher."
"A teacher?" Wesley contested, "Why did you stop?"
"It just wasn't for me," she shrugged.
She was actually a little mad at herself. A teacher;
that was the best lie she could think of. Nirvana honestly barely
remembered her teachers.
"Where do I turn from here?" Nirvana asked Wesley.
He directed them to a quaint little house in
Upper-Airosfield. They rang the doorbell and May answered the
"I have no skin," Atton said stroking his skull.
"Iss been like dat fo a while boss," Marty noted.
"Skin protects your organs and your bones," Atton
continued. Marty listened attentively and nodded. "It's connected
to nerves that help you feel, but…I can't feel. I can't feel the
wind against my head or the grass beneath my toes." Atton inhaled
"I can't even smell anymore, Marty. Not the scent of
flowers or the soft smell of Nirvana's hair; I can't taste. I
taste nothing, not wine or the sweetness of her kiss. God, I miss
her kiss Marty."
"But ya can feel some stuff, can't ya boss?" Marty
"Yeah, Marty," Atton said almost angry. "I can feel the
blood spew onto my face when I kill them. I can smell their fear
as I draw closer. I can hear their cries as I'm slicing off their
heads," the fury in his voice intensified. "But I will never feel
the sting of death, even though I deserve it most of all."
"Boss," Marty started.
"I'm a murderer, Marty!" he snapped. "I'm the one
everyone fears and I'm the one everyone hates. I am Death but I
don't get to die. Every day now, I wish I could. It's so hard to
keep going every day. It's hard to think I might have to give
this fate to someone else. I am a killer, a run of the mill
assassin. Yet I was given a throne, as if I'm some sort of king!
I am no king. I'm just some crazy kid with some crazy life," he
was no longer angry, he had become sad and depressed. "I am no
"But ya gotta tuff it out," Marty encouraged him.
Atton looked off into the distance. He shook his head.
"You don't know what it's like Marty. I know people say that all
the time, but nobody knows what this is like."
Marty stared up at him. At first, his eyes were caring
and understanding but then he said, "Is ya lil moment ova boss?
We have work to do."
Atton shot him a quick glance. He didn't expect such an
impassive response. "Yeah," Atton said, somewhat depressed.
"Let's continue the hunt."
"Hey honey," she said to Wesley. "Who are they?" May eyed Nirvana
and her family.
"Mom, this is AJ, Winter, Willow, and their mom,
Nirvana," Wesley introduced.
"Oh. Honey Nirvana's here," May called to Werly.
"So," May started, "how do you know Werly?"
"Um - well, we," Nirvana stuttered.
"Old girlfriend?" May suspiciously asked.
"Oh, no," Nirvana spat out, "Nothing like that. We uh -
fought together?" She said unsure of how that sounded.
"Oh, you were in the army. I don't remember Werly
mentioning you," she realized.
"I-," Nirvana started.
Werly came to the door hardly believing his own ears.
"Nirvana? Nirvana." He approached the door and saw her.
"Long time no see, huh?"
"Yeah, you didn't tell me you were back in the Field,"
Nirvana smiled, happy to see her old friend.
"I uh, just got here yesterday. Oh, oh come in," Werly
"Nice place you've got," she said looking around.
Wesley took AJ over to a desk with some of his father's things.
"So I knew about Joy but you never told me you had a son."
"Oh, we adopted him about a year and a half ago," Werly
"He said CJ was coming over," Nirvana told him.
"Yeah I called him over to go over a new invention. I
haven't gotten any from you in a while," Werly said giving her a
"Oh I work on special weapons for Chris. I guess they
don't need patenting," Nirvana told him.
"So what have you been up to?" Werly wondered.
"I've been thinking," Nirvana started, "about something
Atton had said."
"Hmm, really, what?" Werly asked.
"He said that it wouldn't end with us," Nirvana
"Nirvana," Werly tried to stop her.
"No, what if Vigor's not dead," Nirvana beseeched him.
"What if, somehow, he comes back?"
"Nirvana, we all saw Atton kill him," Werly told her.
As they conversed, catching up with his each other,
Wesley showed AJ pictures and writings his father had.
"Hey, AJ, look at this. It's just like I said." He read
the text aloud:
The Reaper is a fascinating subject. It appears if
his heir isn't found within twenty years he will die. The passing
of the torch is simple; the next human who willingly grasps the
scythe and is has the stamina to contain the power is the new
Grim Reaper. Whoever grasps the scythe must hold it for a full
sixty seconds, or there will be no effects. If an appropriate
heir is not found in sufficient time, his closest servant will
receive the honor of the Reaper. I have also observed strange
ageing in the Reaper. He ages three times as slow as a normal
He continued to read. "Wow this makes it sound so
real," Wesley noted. They continued to search the old drawings
and writings. They saw sketches of Nirvana in the fight against
Vigor. Then they found a picture that shocked AJ, a sketch of
Atton and Nirvana when they were teenagers.
"Dude is that your mom? She's hot," Wesley said with a
small bit of drool.
AJ popped him in the head and said, "Keep those
thoughts in your head. Hey mom, come here for a second."
"Yes what is it?" He showed her the sketch. "Oh my God,
"What? Who's he," AJ asked.
"Werly, whose things are these," Nirvana asked.
"They were some old sketches from Kip when we were…" At
that moment, CJ McCoy entered the house.
"Hey, everybody, CJ's here," CJ said walking in the
"Uncle CJ," the girls said running to hug their uncle.
"Hey girls," CJ said surprised to see them. He had only
expected to see Werly and his family. "Where's my favorite
"Wassup, Uncle CJ?"
Nirvana hugged her brother. "Hey bro, been keeping in
touch, that's nice."
"Yeah, I was gonna surprise you all and drop in
tonight," he started, trying to figure out why everyone was at
"Uncle CJ, you know who this guy is?" AJ pointed to
Atton. "Mom says it's some dude named Atton."
AJ handed his uncle the drawing. "Hmm, it is Atton," he
"Who is Atton?" AJ asked confused.
CJ turned to his sister. "You haven't told him?"
"Told me what?" AJ snapped.
"Well AJ you're-," CJ began.
"CJ don't," Nirvana stopped him.
"Why not?" CJ wondered.
"He isn't ready," she whispered.
"Ready for what?" AJ said but he was ignored.
"He's not ready or you're not?" CJ asked.
"CJ-," Nirvana started only to be cut off.
"You can't hide it forever sis," CJ said trying to make
her realize that he was right.
"Does someone want to tell me what the heck's going
on?" AJ said with extreme aggravation.
"AJ that man is your father," his uncle told him
against his sister's approval.