Matsumoto: Rising Star (revised)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
lots of added information, maybe too much info in some cases and still not enough in others but this is still not a completed draft, I'm willing to hear any feed back as to any improvements that can be made.

Submitted: January 14, 2017

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Submitted: January 14, 2017

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My name is Mathew Stone, one night at a bar in Toronto with friends from work; I was drinking a cola and having wings with the others, most of them drank something more hard, but I hardly ever drink like that and I like cola’s better anyways. We’ve only known each other for a few weeks but we get along really well. We were talking about TV, movies, video game, making jokes and junk. Watching a ball game, Blue Jays were currently ahead by two, normal life style. Someone talked about a flyer they saw about a training academy, way outside the city, he was pretty over weight so he got a few light hearted jokes at his expense, some saying, the trip there and back would help him lose the gut, I actually wondered why the flier was so far away from the facility, someone would have to be pretty determined to turn their life around, little did I know this would be my last carefree, normal night and I may regret hearing about the Rising Star Training Academy.

 

The next day on a construction job, I did what I was paid for, holding stuff in position while the other guy welded it together, I was pretty glad the place we were working on wasn’t more than five stories tall and I hardly ever had to go higher than the second floor myself, I was freaked by the height and lack of ground under me as it was. I only agreed to take this job which my councillor found, temporarily, if only I could have found another job somewhere else, but for now this was a survival job to keep my account in a good position until they found something more up my alley. I had regular conversation, asked necessary questions mostly to keep my mind off how high I was, thankfully the job didn’t need a ton of focus so I wasn’t too much of a distraction, still we kept up a good pace until the wind picked up and rain started to come down; we kept working for a bit since it was mostly just spiting then it quickly got much worse, raining much harder within minutes, so we decided to shut down for safety reasons, while evacuating one of the men was trapped by a falling girder. I went back up to help him, I got there and took the proper lifting position, looking back and seeing no one, I positioned myself under and started to hoist it. Obviously having trouble lifting it, trying not to break my back, wishing more people had come with me, as I was gradually lifting the object off him, the other end of it is struck by lightning and I was thrown away, as was the beam so the other guy was dragged to safety by co-workers who finally came and tended to us both as the foreman called for an ambulance.

 

Elsewhere in Willoway Bay, several miles from Toronto, a man named Devin run’s his operation (selling large ammunitions), making sure everything is in order, he does whatever needed to keep the men in line,  he doesn’t care if they like him or even if they fear him, as long as they do as their told. Sure he was pretty broody a lot of the time but in this line of work, one could never be truly happy. His top guy’s guided the men as they loaded a truck, keeping an eye out. But given it was so late at night and an out of the way place by the edge of the bay, it was still rather surprising to see a random fisherman unexpectedly happen by and see the goings on, as he had walked a little too far down the pier. He tries to run but one of the men blocks his path and he grabs the man by the throat “Where do you think you’re going? I’m sorry to say you’ve met your end.” the man could barely make a sound before the silencer is fired above his eye “Well, almost sorry.” the killer said with a smile “Nice work.” Devin said to his man “Now dispose of the body under the dock.” once there, the body is burned to get rid of evidence. The crew close things up and drive their trucks away, Devin tells the driver he’s doing a good job and to continue handling any unwanted interference. Back in Toronto, I woke up in the hospital; all bandaged up but as far as the doctor was concerned I had healed quite well, especially considering what had happened. After a few days I was fully healed and you never would have known anything happened to me, the doctors couldn’t believe how fast I healed, but they kept me there for observation. I hated it, I was missing work which meant I was losing money.

 

A few days later I felt I needed to get away from everyone asking me if I was ok and all the other questions, many of which, like “How was my quick recovery possible?” I didn’t have a legitimate answer for. I was glad they cared but I honestly didn’t know what to tell them. Was I ok? The doctors said so. I checked myself out and took a walk in the valley, just needing some alone time and enjoy nature in general since I had been cooped up in that room for so long. Along the way, when I was a ways down the path, I tripped and accidently knocked over a tree. At first thinking it must have been a very old and hollow tree but looking at it, it was in very good shape. I decide to do further testing since I was pretty puzzled as to why that happened and went over to a large rock grabbing it from the bottom, making sure I was doing the proper lift method and starting to lift, I was shocked to see that I was able to lift it with relative ease right over my head, I was simply trying to budge it an inch or so. I still couldn’t quite explain it and the only thing that made the slightest sense was that it had something to do with the storm, I didn’t care to ask any questions I wasn’t going to get answers to, simply saying “Alright, I have greatly enhanced, inhuman strength now….cool.” dropping the rock. Freaked out a little still, breathing deep to calm myself down, and knowing, this is something I have to keep to myself, I couldn’t know how people would react.

 

The next day, back in Willoway Bay, by the water the police look over the burnt body left by Devin’s crew, as hoped, there isn’t much evidence to work with. Closer to the mid-west end of the city Snake, a long haired balding thug with one of the dumbest mustaches anyone has seen, crosses out an old gang tag and replaces it with his own, one of his crew, Bull Dozer, a rather large guy, looked at it and said “Cute worm boss.” Snake looked at him and said “It’s not a worm you block head, it’s a snake, we’re the Snake gang, my name is Snake, why would I draw a worm? And it’s not cute.” “Then why is it smiling and razzing people?” “It’s hissing, it’s supposed to be scary, will you stop thinking it cute?” the rest of the gang snicker a bit cause it wasn’t a very good tag to them, Snake told them “I’m sick of this, we’re a laughing stock, we’ve been wreaking havoc for like, a year and no one seems to care, just once, I’d like to see our gang’s name on the front page newspaper.” Bull runs off, everyone is puzzled, he knocks over a paper box, bends over for a bit and brings it back “Here you go boss.” Snake looks at the paper and sees a copy of his tag and the gang name spray painted on it, he looks at it blank faced for a bit and looks up at Bull who is grinning like a goof, Snake sighs, pats him on the shoulder and says “Good job Bull.”

 

I had taken a trip outside Toronto by bus to see my new potential; lifting, pushing and smashing large heavy things, I was deffinetly no where on the Superman level but I could probably match Captain America. I start thinking I need to do something with this, this could be helpful used the right way, of corse there would be sertan thing’s I’d need to figure out first. It would certainly make work a whole lot easier, not that I wanted to go back to that job. I can’t let this power get out of hand or go to my head, maybe if I learned to fight I could gain control and balance and all that, simple thing like pushing buttons or opening a door could prove difficult if I end up just breaking them. Also so I didn’t hit something and smash it to bits or lift something that would normally otherwise be impossible. Well that would be more simple but maybe I can do a lot of good with this new power but I didn’t want to be a brute force punch and slug kind of hero, if I ended up doing that, I wasn’t really a fan of causing violence, nor did I really want to be special but I had to live with the fact that things were never going to be normal again.

 

After thinking it over for the day, I packed up my stuff, moved and I went to the Rising Star academy in Willoway Bay for training (advertised in the poster). Again I took the bus, reading a Batman graphic novel along the way, it was a very long rind but it was cheaper than the train and the moving van, new apartment was going to cost enough as it was. I could only hope I could find a place at such short notice. I changed my name to Matsumoto Silverstone. The name Matsumoto actually picked up from a video game I played a lot, I’m not really sure why I took that extra measure but I did and after leaving the bus depot and making my way to the facility I met Gabriel and Kevin Marcus, Jessica Luv, Aiden Clark, Tetsu and Zackiria Niethchi (And four other characters who are unimportant to the story). Zackiria immediately made a bad impression saying “I expect greatness and if you can’t handle it get out now and don’t waste my time.” then “Just so you know, this isn’t the typical training facility, you won’t learn any of those fancy fighting styles you may or may not have heard of, I train you to be strong, physically as well as mentally and spiritually, so you will dive head first into any danger and pulverize it. We need to give you the strength, the drive first then you learn attacks and skills.” I figured he must know what he’s doing but he wasn’t much of a people person. The academy itself was huge, two floors and taking up a quarter of a block, loads of special rooms and a pool, weight area as well as living quarters, which worked out great for me, one less expense and no stress of searching. In his office Zack gave me my study guide and training uniform, I saw loads of books on his shelf, The art of War, nearly every kind of mythology book and bios of fighters and as well as lesson books. I was a little surprised to see so many of James Paterson’s stuff as well. Another wall had a pair of swords and an ancient map as well as an odd demon like skull sculpture on another table. Behind his desk was a painting of an angel, I assumed Michael, spearing the devil, not everything there seemed to suit the man but I did just meet him. He asked if I wanted any of the books for help but I declined, mostly because those ones would be hard for me to read.

 

As it turns out everyone is given a room to stay in, or more a small bed two per room (Jessica was on her own and since everyone was already paired up so was I) I put my bags down and looked around, it was a fair sized room but before I was able to get settled we were called for our exercise. We did every work out under the sun, push ups, sit ups, chin ups, squats, suicide runs, bench presses, curls and then we had to throw the medicine ball around. I tried to throw as lightly as possible. It reminded me of a show called Tough Enough, a recruitment camp type thing for upcoming WWE superstars, but that was a reality TV show and I didn’t see any cameras. I was actually surprised, I was pretty tired and worn out after the three hour work out and couldn’t imagine how exhausted everyone else was. It was somewhat horrifying to hear that we did this workout twice a week, I was a little happier to hear from Kevin and Aiden, separately that every other day we started off with what’s called a lumberjack breakfast, three eggs, anyway, lots of bacon, sausage, ham and two pancakes.

 

Later I went out to find a place to do more personal training, having trouble finding the proper power level so no one finds out right away what I can really do, still getting the hang of hitting things and not instantly destroying it but still making the hit look like a real attack, the most annoying part about that was it only matters in a place like this. I also knew I had to pretend things I lifted were heavy, for all I knew I’d have to fake pain and injury too, thank goodness for my old improve classes. I was still unsure if this was a great decision but it was a bit too late now. I talked to Kevin and Jessica at a free time in what I can only call the socializing area, since it was a place everyone would be with working out or training. Kevin drove a privately owned taxi cab, he was licensed but not with any company so he could just go out at any time, when he had time, he seemed well adjusted, intelligent and insightful for someone trying to be an ultimate fighter or whatever. I asked how long they had been there and what I should expect, Jessica had been there seven months and honestly couldn’t stand Zackiria for a number of reasons that she didn’t want to get into, Kevin had been there months longer and despite being the top student also didn’t get along that well with Zackiria but they had apparently come to an understanding long ago. I asked “If you hate it here, why do you stay.” Kevin said “Unorthodox or not he gets results, soon you’ll learn to appreciate the push. This kind of training…is definitely not for the faint of heart. Everyone here I would say shows great character.”

 

I finally set up my room, having no trouble positioning the bed, bookshelves, dresser and a chair, I didn’t hook up my TV and PS4 in fear of trying to use the remote and controller I’d break them but I put some books, DVDs and a mix of Marvel, DC and other lesser known comics on the shelf, I put up Bret Hart and Donavan Bailey posters a few other paraphernalia. Later, Zackiria set up a little sparing match for me. I almost wanted to say “I don’t know any moves yet.” but remembered he said this wasn’t that kind of academy, the first training match was set up, I would duel Kevin Marcus, he was a very cocky son of a gun, despite this I found him somewhat likable, he seemed to only act like a pompous blowhard during a fight and he had earned a medal from Zackiria so he must be able to back up his claims. Still knowing only the basics I felt this was a little unorthodox for the master to put a new recruit verses the top student and actually expect it to be fair, or maybe they want to beat some sense into the new recruits, I don’t know. Kevin said “Just try to last long enough to learn something.” the match began and I mostly avoided contact as much as I could, I did throw one punch but with not much momentum force and it failed to make contact anyways, which I was actually relieved about. Kevin then took a quick step in and hit me with a belly to belly suplex, even with my enhanced power and durability I still felt it, but like a light tap and decided to stay in the downed position. Zackiria, of course was unimpressed but felt he could help to build up my ability, “You need to get rid of that fear.” he said, as if he knew I was holding back, I’m not sure what he was expecting out of me.

 

Aiden took me aside and asked about my comics asked whether I was in favor of DC or Marvel, I told him I liked both and was kind of glad I now had someone I could talk comics with which we did for the next hour. Coming back to our rooms, I walk past Jessica’s, where it seemed like she was levitating, I walk back because I’m not sure what I saw but she was on the ground when I looked back so I think nothing of it, just my mind playing tricks. Finally the long day was over, I fell into bed and just lay there till I went to sleep.

 

In a dank underpass, Snake got his crew together and asked what kind of bad shit they’ve been up too, two guys had smashed up a store and robbed it, leaving the gang tag on the front door, one of them was still drinking the slurpee he took, they dumped their loot bag, another relieved several individuals of their wallets and left the gang tag on several walls on a ferly populated street, Snake was happy to hear this though not everyone was impressed, they were still rather small time stuff. Then Manny Rameirez, the Spanish member, drove up the pathway with a fancy new stolen car, with several TV’s, game systems and boom boxes in it. Snake and the rest heartily congratulated him on his haul, which they could turn around and sell. Then after a few seconds of collecting their loot together, Bull Dozer comes up with a large bag, Snake smiles at him “What did you bring me Bull, something good?” “Oh, it’s great boss.” He reached into the bag and pulled out…a kitten, other kittens climbed out of the bag and flopped around and did playful things, some of the men let out an “aww” but Snake was not amused, “Why the hell would I want kittens?” Bull looked at him, shocked “Cause their adorable boss.” “No one cares about kittens, we’re trying to look bad, make people fear the name Snake, Manny here did great and you rob a freakin’ pet store? Like that’s gonna get attention.” He then turns on the radio in the car and flicked it to the news “Let’s see what they have to say.” The only crime they mentioned was the stolen kittens, the rest of the gang tried not to laugh at this total backfire for Snake. In a remote, rundown factory, Devin was also giving details to his crew, about a train carrying military goods they would rob in the next four hours, he seemed to have a great deal of information.

 

In Rising Star that night, about two to three hours after we fell asleep, we were awoken and had a minute to get dressed and ready. Zackiria set up a large obstacle course that went through the academy, on the street, through a park and back with all kinds of hurdles, walls, rope courses, water hazards, and other stuff to get by, (which may or may not have included blades and large heavy objects dropping out of nowhere for all we knew) part way through the course Gabrial and Tetsu started to feel cramps in their sides. Once again I was glad for the strength and endurance enhancement because I would have been winded within the first few seconds. As the group came to the last hundred feet or so, Aiden started to kick into another gear, passed me and was catching up with Kevin who was in the lead, Jessica came along side me and we were even for the next bit. Kevin tried not to look back but was unable to stop himself, he missed the last hurdle and went down. Aiden leaped over him and made a brake for the finish line, Kevin had gotten back to his feet and was able to cross just before me and Jess but Aiden had won. Finally someone had beaten Kevin at something “Well done Aiden.” Zackiria said, he was shocked and Zackiria said “Oh, don’t act like I’m an uncaring tyrant. I’m always glad when my students succeed.”

 

We had our lumberjack breakfast once we came back and later, I learned some actual moves, attacks and counters. Zackiria again stating that we would not learn any specific style because every style has strength and weaknesses. In some cases the weaknesses where greater than the strengths, so we learned a little bit of everything and used whatever we felt suited us. People where teamed up to work together (Gabrial and Kevin where never paired cause that would be too easy for them) in one fight I watched as Tetsu was teamed with Aiden, they had already built a close friendship over the last few months or so, while Gabrial was teamed with Jessica. Zackiria told everyone to fight as if they were facing an enemy, to show no weakness or sympathy and not hold back. The fight started with Aiden locking Jessica in a double underhook arm hold while Tetsu and Gabrial throw some heavy hits at each other. Having enough of trying to struggle, Jessica stomps Aiden’s foot and nails him with a hard groin shot, he goes down to his knees and she follows up with a roundhouse to the back of his head. I look to Kevin and say “Remind me to stay on her good side.” “As long as you return the favor.” He said, Tetsu puts Gabrial down with a headlock driver immediately after her attack and as Jess is charging him, he does a rolling snapmare on her followed by a kick to the ribs. The fight was declared over, though no one knew why. Zackiria commends Testu but states next time Aiden should not give any leeway to an opponent, no matter what, because they will not likely do the same. He tells us all we’re doing well but still progressing rather slow, that we could be so much more than we already are.

 

Later I talked to the others. Gabriel says he finds the training to be exactly what he wanted to push himself, already showing he was a bit of a teacher’s pet. Telling stories that he heard or things he learned since joining with his brother, he might not be as self-absorbed as his brother, or maybe he is, just in a different way, but there was still just something about him, his attitude, which I did not like. He was the typical macho guy, not exactly dumb but not overly intelligent, he recently quit a job as a bouncer at a club after three years because of to many arguments with his boss who probably thought he was too rough with the guests. Whereas Tetsu and Jessica where not expecting it to be this extreme, but it has helped in making any real fight that much easier to get through, nothing could hit us harder then what was thrown at us here. We start making jokes “Is he trying to make us the Justice League? Should I go out and get a Cape and blue suit with an S on it?” I say, realising that’s exactly why I’m here, sort of, I mean now that I was here, that’s more or less how it would go, just no suit and definitely no cape. Aiden then tells us he’s here because he wants to be a cop like his dad; Kevin asks “Isn’t this kind of training over doing it for a cop? I mean I saw two of them but, still. You train like this more like the army or some extreme security team.” Aiden says that seven cops in total had trained here and now work under Chief Joseph Alexander, making us think, is crime really that bad here?? I asked Kevin “If you’re not gonna join the army police mortal kombat task force why are you doing this? Get back at a bully?” “I just enjoy being awesome… And sometimes a dirt bag needs his butt kicked.” I scoffed but I was sure there was more to it.

 

I check out Aiden and Tetsu’s room, Aiden had a job at a Tim Horton’s, I almost felt sorry for him, I had been in customer service before but serving food and drink is, I’m sure more annoying than a grocery store. Tetsu had built a wide array of battle type gadgets and weapons. Before coming to Rising Star he had taken courses in metal work, cybernetics, computer teck and just generally does a lot of tinkering. Obviously strengthening more than just his body, he was currently unemployed (for some reason) but would likely not have too much trouble finding something if he actually started looking, (though I thought that’s what he said to cover up his government spy job). I look things over, with him insisting I not touch anything. I had to resist reaching my finger out just to aggravate him for fun. We all got ready for some routine exercise, where poles would pop out of the ground and we’d have to hit them, trying to get the course done as quickly as we could. I was actually able to do better that some of the others who had been there a while. Even Gabrial who still managed to dodge one coming up right from under him and clocking with an elbow. Naturally Kevin had the best time. He turned to us all and said “Don’t worry, you don’t need to outdo me. You just need to outdo yourselves.

 

Sometime later Zackiria sent the Marcus brothers, Aiden and Tetsu to fight the Snake gang, a group who have caused minor trouble for close to a year, I had to question why we were doing that when the cops should be dealing with them. Zackiria said the cops have better…bigger things to deal with and his good friend Joseph lets them go after gang’s and whatnot as training, they wouldn’t be too much trouble. As Aiden said before seven police where trained here and now protect the city, at this point I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” I had half expected that this was more the “learn to fight so you don’t have to fight” type training but here they were looking for bad people to fight, it was more something out of an anime or the old martial arts movies I wondered why there wasn’t any discipline training through meditation and breathing, since it too was pretty big in many of those as well, maybe we just hadn’t gotten to it yet. Kevin told me later, before he left, that things where actually worse before until a confrontation between Zackira and himself and in all honesty he felt Zackiria wanted to push them all much much harder. I said “Man, this place is too serious, we need more fun and comedy.” and I invited everyone to come to some comedy improve show that night….well, not Zack, I’m sure he would have said no anyway.

 

While the four were out I watched Jessica do some sword training, she was quite descent but definitely still needed work. I found she is generally soft spoken even though in a fight she is clearly a force to be reckoned with, also pretty intellectual and not overly obsessed with her looks. Though she was a model for some girly mag I never heard of, with extra short hair she still looks pretty cute. The four who went out after the gang, eventually found them robbing another corner store. At first only seeing three and thinking they did not need to send so many out to fight them. While hiding behind a truck, Kevin thinks about how they should approach when Aiden says “Why do we need any kind of strategy?” and charges forward. He flies at the biggest one he sees, Bull Dozer, with an elbow attack into a kip up, then trying to kick Manny, the others step out as Aiden gets his leg caught and bashed. Soon four more members round the block, increasing the odds more for the snakes “Way to rush thing’s Aiden.” Gabrial says. Tetsu rolls forward driving a kick into the gut of one of the oncoming gang men then standing into a back roundhouse. Kevin and Gabrial, annoyed at Aiden, fight it out with the remaining gang members, Kevin switching between Judo throws and Muai Thai kick boxing, going for the leg of one guy, locking arms and throwing him over and down, ducking an oncoming strike and nailing a roundhouse of his own, a third guy got a straight jab then an uppercut, finally having his leg taken out from under him, Kevin flipping over him, stretching the leg. Tetsu hit a double backhand combo on yet another gang member, Manny managed to get him with a few clubbing elbows before being shoved off, Tetsu went for a kick which was once again grabbed by Manny but Tetsu hit him with a flip kick while he had no way to defend, knocking him to the ground. The leader himself not actually doing anything, just yelling orders, his men seemed a glutton for punishment because they indeed kept getting back up for more. Gabrial irish whips one guy into his brother who goes for a powerslam. At this point Aiden has worked out the kinks in his leg and helps the brothers, finally being worthwhile, dropkicking one guy while hooking another’s head, he dropped him down for a neck breaker, Tetsu jumped up, hooked his legs around  a guy’s neck and flung him over, right on top of a car. Gabrial hooks another guy and drove his head into the bumper of another nearby car, Bull, gets back on his feet, gives his head a shake and charges at Tetsu who sidesteps him, sending Bull into a light post, earning a facepalm from Snake “Come on you idiot’s.” the others ask him why he doesn’t help if he thinks their doing such a bad job and he say’s “Why should I, I’m the leader, I have you guy’s to do the fighting, I thought you where touch, besides, even without me the numbers should still be in our favor.” Manny, who has a bruise on his forehead, doesn’t like the way things are going and starts to hotwire a car (one that hadn’t been damaged) while his comrades are tossed, dropped or kicked left and right. In the end the Snake gang escapes with only a few miner bumps and bruises and the stolen car. Only one member is left for the police to pick up. “That could have gone a lot better.” Kevin says “Zackiria’s not going to be happy.” He adds while looking at Aiden.

Late that night, after all of us got back from the comedy show, a warehouse fire was shown on the news.

At least we weren’t dealing with whoever was behind that, I thought.

 

 

The next day we were doing more training, I was surprised at this point that we weren’t made to break stacks of boards, concrete or some other super dense objects. Though, I probably could, wouldn’t that surprise Zackiria. The four that went out the day before, as punishment for letting their targets get away where put into a sauna like room and had to hang upside down while holding nearly double their own weight. The last one to drop the weight would be allowed to eat the next day. Zackiria passed before them saying “I’ve seen people be knocked out or even killed in one hit. There is no reason that gang should have escaped. Maybe you’re not taking this seriously enough. You think this is some kind of game. Well are you having fun now?” his response was nothing more than groans “I didn’t think so.” In the end, that was Gabrial who was very proud of himself and flexed and posed and junk to pretty much everyone’s annoyance. Zackiria stated “Don’t get cocky, there’s always someone stronger or smarter.” Before nightfall, despite the loser’s starve thing Zackira did bring the others a sandwich and drink, or so I was told. Partway through the next day Jessica, Aiden and I are told buy Zackira to deal with the Snake gang once again, since we couldn’t just let them go around. They were still only a minor annoyance but that annoyance could become a more serious problem if left unchecked. He told Aiden “I trust this new team is to your liking, please don’t do anything crazy this time.” I was not happy about having to go out like this. I was having a hard enough time holding back and all that sometimes, never mind being in a real fight situation, and I also had no idea how much energy Aiden had left in him so I told him just to hold back and stay out of the way. Trying not to make it sound like I was putting him down or didn’t trust him. Since Kevin had free time he went out with his car, a Hyundai Elantra GT sedan he got a taxi sign for.

 

As for Aiden, Jess and myself, after a half hour of searching the streets, we found the gang at one of their usual hang outs, a member laying drunk at the doorway with the gang sign on it (couldn’t help thinking if they are this easy to find, why hadn’t the cops picked them up? It wouldn’t take up that much of their time) I kinda just wanted to call the cops then, but heck, maybe they would just laugh and say, that’s your job, I’d want to tell them, “No, it’s yours, what the fuck?” which would likely get me in trouble. We go into the long abandoned club, trying to be stealthy. But on seeing the group Aiden moves in a little too close, maybe because he wanted to get back at the gang or he was just over tired and knocked over a pipe. We were found out, they called out and some of the gang fought while others tried to run (including Snake and Manny), during the confrontation we heard a window smash. We look over and Jessica immediately recognizes her brother, Dan, who was snatching a duffle bag full of cash. Jess had not seen or spoken to her brother in three months and now to see him in this gang clubhouse or whatever, stealing their loot. She wanted answers and so she chased after him. The rest of the gang took advantage of the distraction and made a run for it, this was going downhill so fast I couldn’t keep track of anything. Aiden chased after them. I yelled after him as I did light attacks, knocking out the few gang guys left, telling him to just let the rest go it wasn’t that big a deal as he went out of sight. They all rounded the corner and Aiden was stabbed by Snake for his troubles. I rounded the corner a few seconds to late and see him lying there, bleeding and attack the one called Bull Dozer, who was either not fast enough or not bright enough to get away with the rest, leaving him with a broken leg and a cracked rib. The other’s got away. Meanwhile, Jessica was now taking advantage of the lack of witnesses and took to the air. Flying around to find her bother, she was extraordinarily graceful and would normally take joy in flying but her mind was on tracing her brother. She eventually spotted him talking with another girl, Sandra Genkins. Jess lands and confronts them. Sandra shows off her incredible speed, not quite Flash speed but way faster than any normal human, hitting Jess several times in a matter of seconds, taunting her after, “Do you know how many times I could have killed you there? You’re lucky I’m unarmed.” Sandra said she and Dan saw the three of them go into the hideout and goaded her away from her allies into this trap, now if things go well, there will be three less pests to interfere with their plans. Drawing out a knife to finisher her off now. Dan, conflicted, stepped between the two girls and let his sister escape. Not entirely surprising but still, he would likely face punishment afterword.

 

Back near the old club, I called the academy to inform the others what happened and called for an ambulance for Aiden and Bull, slightly more reluctantly for Bull. Sadly Aiden had died before they got him to the hospital, I felt bad for him. He seemed like a good guy if in a bit of a rush. That night I return and hear that Jessica had been expelled for her desertion. Tetsu wanted revenge on the gang for Aiden but Zackiria forbade it, saying it was Aiden’s own fault, he was stubborn and he should have trained harder and done as he was told, work as a team, been more stealthy and be more careful. Kevin is also pissed off saying this never would have happened if Zackira simply sent any other person other than a worn out and half-starved Aiden. Zackiria was somewhat conflicted once he was on his own, thinking maybe he should have just kicked Aiden out of the academy since he had proved to be such a failure before.

 

In the next part of training, which everyone but Gabrial was not overly enthusiastic to do, thinking, “shouldn’t we get some kind of grieving time?” we had to hold onto an electric wire to better our pain tolerance or something dumb like that. Zackiria walked up to it “Pain is like fear, it’s a matter of choice, you can choose to stand and face it.” He says as he grabs hold of the wire, showing no reaction at all “Or you can sit and cry.” He says as he releases “So who will be the master….and who the slave?”

A few days later the cops found several bodies including a LT. and other officers at what was an attempted raid of a human trafficking opp, no attempts at all to hide the bodies, much of them the people being trafficked, still there as if they didn’t matter, this time there is a bit of DNA evidence, the ongoing violence had become too much for Chief Alexander to ignore so he got together his men “Listen up people, we lost a lot of our own here cause we underestimated what we were up against, we will not make that mistake EVER again, we’re gonna go after them, hard, tonight, get out there and talk to your informant’s and any other lowlife willing to talk for a little slack…or at least a less painful takedown.” He also calls Zackira for help, his men grumble a bit. They were not happy with the set up as is, they felt they should have been dealing with all crime themselves and didn’t want help from glory hogging rookies. Apparently this was one of the “bigger problems to deal with” I was told about and we were still being called in for back-up. None of us were happy about this and Tetsu would obviously rather go after the Snake gang but was told he must follow order’s and to go after them alone would make him a vidulante, he questioned “Isn’t that what we are already?” but apparently that was not the case. The Marcus brothers and I begin to talk and somehow Gabriel is still defending Zackiria’s decisions, saying “He knows what he’s doing, we are all going to be much better fighters because of him. If this wasn’t cool Chief Alexander wouldn’t be going along with it. Hell, he’s practically begging for us to come help.” even his brother started to get annoyed by now, wondering where his brother’s common sense was.

 

Reluctantly we all go, plus a dozen cops including several of the former trainees. We’re sent on another raid after finding Devin’s next job at one of three police evidence and ammo lock ups through an informant. It was very obvious the officers didn’t want us there but I couldn’t blame them really. Which made the apparent deal between us and them seem even more obscured. Kevin took us all aside in a huddle “Ok, they don’t want us here and it’s not like we volunteered our time but we’re here. And we’re going to make that count for something. We’re going to take care of business and you know what else, we’re going to be freakin’ awesome at it.” We felt more inspired by that and it became clear that Kevin was more complex than the self-glorifying perfectionist I took him for. He really did care about the others and I guess he wanted us all to know that at least someone felt we could handle this, that we had the same right to be here as the police. It was like he felt the guys under him needed him to be the way he is in order to make them all a better team. I didn’t have time to think more about it because we had to move in. When we got to the shipping facility everyone gets into positions, quietly talking over walkie-talkie before the call to strike is made. Inside Devin gets his five top trusted guys together, letting them know they might have to cut some of their lower guys. They don’t use the same people for very long. Suddenly an explosion goes off and smoke fills an area around the workers.

 

It doesn’t take long for things to explode out of control (and as to be expected from every action movie, a rookie officer is killed by a shotgun blast) the brothers are dealing with a group of ten guys, kind of enjoying putting the training to good use, using double team attacks or setting each other up for moves (also showing that with proper training and better stamina it was possible to fight overwhelming odds, as Zackiria said) Tetsu finally got to use his bo staff he had been working on for the last few days when facing off with a small group of his own, which go down rather easily, already thinking of changes to be made to the weapon.

The cops are firing and actually hitting their targets a lot of the time, though quite a few of them were taking hits too and the group and I were still pretty much thinking, we aren’t doing anything that the regular police couldn’t have done. In fact since they were armed they were better. Though I guess they wanted to take as many alive as they could. But did we really need to be here and if they need us so bad why they don’t just give us badges already. It seemed their real problem was with their chief who agreed to all this nonsense in the first place. I saw the leader, Devin sneaking out the back as his men laid cover fire, following behind soon after so I chased after them. Somehow working my way through the confusion to the back, catching up with Devin who started swinging at me with his shock stick. I slide under the first swing and dodge a few more but not every strike. I eventually grabbed the stick, thrust my palm into his chest sending him flying into some boxes and break the weapon in my hand, thinking “Wow, something I was trained to do actually came up in a real life situation.” the others who followed fired on me. I shoved a dumpster into them, knocking them out and pinning them to the wall. Devin started to get up from the pile of broken boxes, obviously he was not expecting to face someone like me but he showed something unexpected as well…

 

He didn’t actually not need the shock stick. His hands charged up from the electric powers he himself had “Well. That’s….gonna suck. But it won’t help.” I say, trying to be tough. The fight went on, him shocking me while he threw a punch or threw bolts at me, one of which I was able to dodge, (if only I could have dodged more cause they still hurt like a bitch), I never was that agile or had good reflexes. The attacks stunned me but, again, the training pays off. With me still trying to hold back it took a while and I wanted to finish it before I actually did pass out for all the electrical charging. I was soon able to subdue him by tackling him into a wall….but not demolishing it, thank goodness, but I did cause a crack. After I checked his pulse I couldn’t help but look over the wall as well and knew it could hold until it was fixed. I really hated the fact that I knew that but I still knew. I suppose it’s a good skill to have, not that I want anything in that field of expertise again. Somehow I had managed to keep my true ability a secret for now. The rest of his crew were also dealt with and all of them were locked up before nightfall, we all returned to Rising Star victorious and with next to no gratification or recognition.

 

Zackiria commended us on a job well done, even if no one else did. We had mixed feelings at this point but for the most part we felt pretty good. Except of course for Tetsu who decided to leave. He did not like Zackiria’s methods or the fact that he doesn’t seem to care about his students. Zackiria wasn’t going to stop him. He saw no point. His mind was made up. And everything went back to business as usual in just a few hours.

 

(After credits are shown) an ad for mayoral candidate Kosh Lyson is shown.


© Copyright 2020 Mathew Nicol. All rights reserved.

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