Vigilante: The Timeless Monarch


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Chapter 1

A History Class To Remember

“I've heard this all before...”

Matt thought to himself as the seminar continued. His class was going over the optional mid-term for the Planetary & Social History class. He knew about the Three Almighty Baron's already, most of the class did actually. The Celestial Civil War, the creation of the New Laws and the Districts that employed Sentinels to police and enforce those laws made up the complex world of Gia. Matthew Vermillion however was indifferent to the world he lived in, his ambition nonexistent and waning even during something as normal as his Planetary History Class. Yet this was his story to tell and he was going to tell it whether he wanted to or not.

Our planet Gia, held the Chimera's, Leviathan's, Phoenix's, Woleer's and the strange hybrid shape shifters that have existed since the Original Barons were alive. But of course it was still boring me to death because it was the same material we went over our entire lives. When we were six it was interesting but now that I'm seventeen, repetition hasn't made any of the stories anymore interesting.

Well to me, because apparently everyone else in class seems to be really into Miss Tans little lecture.

“Does anyone here know what happened when the Native Lunar's took their first step in their rebellion?” Asked Miss Tan our teacher. Lunars are what we call the inhabitants of oubr moon. Our planet has two orbiting moons, one made of just water and the other was made of just rock. During the war the First Baron ended the conflict by splitting the water from Luna, our moon and creating one moon of water one of rock. Making the former celestial body uninhabitable for the species we were at war with. Theanna was the name of the First Baron, she had adept control over the Algorithm’s that dictate everything in our world, but she never had complete control over matter itself. The history books tell us that she reached true enlightenment and disappeared a few years after the hostilities of the war ended. Same goes for all the Barons actually.

Rachel raises her hand and begins to speak and recite the same information we had heard a few years ago as if this was her one and only moment to shine.

“Well when the Three Baron's learned about all the Native Moon creatures, I mean inhabitants, they tried setting up a kind of diplomatic system where The Second Baron would use his teleporting ability to transport goods back and forth.” Rachel answered.

“Not bad Rachel, I'm glad you called them inhabitants and not creatures. But honestly we are all creatures in the end, I'm glad you showed them some sort of respect.” Exclaimed our teacher Diana Tan with a motherly smile. “But was the Second Baron the only one that Transported goods back and forth? Seems kind of crazy for one man to be the postal service for two orbiting bodies am I right?” Tans smiled and so did all of us. She's right he wasn't the only one that teleported resources.

This is when Luke the guy that sits where ever he want's as long as its away from everyone else, kind of like me, adds his two cents to the conversation.

“No, Baron Two... The Teleporting Man, created shifting.” Luke said in his confident and nonchalant way.

“And what exactly is Shifting?” Asked Miss Tan.

“Well its when you use two Alchemny circles or two objects or two of pretty much anything that can set up an instantaneous bridge between two points. Then you lock those points together using your energy or a type of energy, you have a solid Algorithmic Formula to keep the link stable and presto you have two hubs that link to each other. It's the formula for our metro system, which is now instantaneous.” Finished Luke Jadam

“Perfect Luke, Baron Number Two or Aiden Qwahdah, which is his birth name. Is the creator of the Shifting system in the world. You can all thank him for the Shifting Ports that transport people from District to District and Continent to Continent.” She said with a obvious sense of admiration in her voice, she obviously has a soft spot for ole Baron Number Two.

Miss Tan continued. “But what makes Baron Aiden the legend that he is isn’t just the fact that he teleported goods from our Planet of Gia, to our moon Luna. Again he wasn’t a glorified Delivery Boy, why did he really get the title of Baron of the North?”

I couldn’t help myself I had to answer this part. Out of all the Baron's, Aiden is by far the coolest to me. Before anyone had a chance to answer my hand was up and my voice was already flying out into the room.“He could actually teleport without Rites or Alchemy from the very beginning. Stories of him tell us that once he master teleportation no one was able to even hit him, ever!” I answered, a little too enthusiastically.

“Oh Mr. Vermillion, you’re awake and spot on at that.” The teacher said. “But heres a tough one, how did he get to be a Baron?”

I answered with. “He Teleported from place to place building a following and eventually met up with the First Baron, Theana of Matter. She actually admired his ability, his way with words and his effect on people. So they were the beginning of the Legendary Three, the last guy, the Reaper joined much later.” I finished with a smirk on my face. How could I not it was such a textbook response.

“Ha, a textbook response!” replied Miss Tan. I swear she can read my mind sometimes.

“Not exactly,” She added as if to prove my point on the whole mind reading thing! “Reaper Guy? Hehe, good addition Matt.” I don’t care I know she can read minds. Wouldn't be the weirdest ability I've heard of. Saw a guy turn water into wine once, it was pretty cool.

“So now that we know about Aiden our Second Baron who was the Third?” the teacher asked with the same kind of enthusiasm you use when you find out your dying family member was just given a cure to their incurable disease. Excited is what she sounded like she was. A voice began to answer the question and it was a voice everyone was familiar with.

“Well most knew her as the Reaper but contrary to popular belief she was the most patient and kind out of the three. Despite the first part of her title. She was such a peaceful and loving woman. She was so different that they started calling her the 'Benevolent Cloud' because of her selfless acts and airy personality. Zadaine Rolstein healed the sick and trained Medical Algorithm users for the future.” Recited Micheal Akat who was sitting at the outskirts of the the room staring outside beyond the window pane.

“Okay nice Michael, can you tell us anything else?” Tan asked in a much more cautious tone then she used for the rest of us. He turns his gaze towards Tan. Mike's hand moved from holding up his chin to its new home in his short afro and he begins to play with his hair as he continues.

“Well uh, she's just kind of traveling around Gia going around healing the sick to the point where she was, uh, known as the 'Reaper'. They say that if she likes you and your family she would bring a loved one back from the dead for you, for just a few day's. She kept spirits from passing on, exorcised curses and was basically a master of life and death itself.” Mike finished but kept his hand behind his neck.

Honestly nothing keeps Mike down, I don't know him personally but to see him daydreaming is weird. Maybe its just the school day getting to him. Maybe he's thinking about his parents who passed away who knows. Parties I've heard are a whole other story for Mike. Having his parents pass away hasn't stopped him from being one of the most popular and sought after young men in the Violet District, where we all live. That goes for his older brother Noah too.

The sentinels that are supposed to just police the laws, went out of their way to protect the house him and his brother lived in. The Akat brothers grew up without either of their parent at a very young age. Their parents went missing randomly one day. Its been rough for years in the Violet District. The news doesn’t seem to have anything else to talk about, its all horrible and depressing. Kidnappings left and right, the Hooded Terrorist running around and laws trying to instate currency and restrictions into society. Its all pretty tragic here and its going to get worse, everyone says it.

“Nice job Mike.” Tan smiled at him, she smiled as if it meant more then just, 'good job for having the answer' it was more of a maternal, I'm here for you smile.

“The bell is going to go off in a few more minutes, any questions on the material?” Tan's asked the rest of her class of fourteen, well only fourteen people showed up.

Rachel was the first one. “When are we going to get into the material on the Lunar War? Next class?”

“Naturally Miss Kyle” Replied Tan.

Next hand up was Shannon's. “What else will be on the optional Mid-Term? Will anything on Algorithms Runes, Rites, or Alchemy come up?”

“Good question's, Just the Lunar war and the Barons for now. The history of Algorithms, Runes, Rites and Alchemy will be covered in there respective course specific classes. But if you want I can go over them for you guys?” A devious smile creeped onto her face. Then the entire class laughs while saying no, most of us were shaking our heads in disapproval on top of that.

Even the coldest of students in the class couldn’t escape Tan's charm, that went for me and Luke. At that moment the bell went off and the students all dispersed except for Micheal, who stayed behind to talk with Miss Tan. Many of the teachers had supported Micheal and his brother Noah, the community loved their parents so much. In a world where anything can happen, everyone really does come together when a tragedy happens.

Tan waved at me while I walked out and said. “Matthew, say hello to your mother for me please! I'll be hanging out with her later okay!”

“You've got it Miss Tan.” I said to my teacher. Miss Tan and my mother grew up together and were very close with each other. Best friends actually.

I'm not saying the brothers don’t contribute either. If anything they were one of the best investments in Violets future. Mike is into playing Totem our most popular physical Sport. Mike works with the coaches and makes sure our school wins the District Games. He's known as a prodigy when it comes to that sport. But I can't say whether or not he actually is. I've never seen him play.

Noah is a bit more complex. He works at the clothing store Empire Against, helping the master tailors create clothing for the district. I think he started just so he could learn how to make clothing and bring out his own designs. If he's as smart as everyone says, he should see if he could get good enough so that he can live in a better District.

It's actually easy to travel between Districts. At least its possible to leave but man is it difficult to leave this place when you have no plan. Apparently my Dad left Violet, I don’t remember seeing him leave though. I think he wandered outside the wall of our District and never came back. I don’t know why he never came back or sent a message. I'm convinced he died, It's been years. But missing is all the sentinels will say on the matter. Its all they ever say on it.

Well since History is the only class I felt like going to today, I walked out of class and onto the second floor bathroom.

Only Mike saw me enter the second floor lavatory so I didn't think it would matter. I turned to look at myself in the mirror, my hair looked like it always does sides lowered and the rest of it doing whatever it wants. My skin that light brown color. Skin color is such a small part of life and everyone around me's life. I feel bad for any civilization that believes that skin color is a viable source of information or reason for discrimination.

Now I've realized that I've been staring at myself in the mirror for far too long, if someone walks in I wouldn’t want them to think I was some weird vain narcissist that just concerns themselves with their appearance. There's nothing wrong with that but again that isn't me... well not all of the time.

So with that I focus on that Algorithm I know all to well and transfer my body into my Gray World. A metaphysical plane where time stops and I can bend space to my will. Everything in the bathroom looks exactly the same but with a slight gray scale filter thrown onto everything. Gravity no longer has an effect on me and I am beginning to float off the floor of the bathroom. It feels like a few seconds for me but it would seem instantaneous to others.

I use to set up two watches, one in this Gray world and the other one in the place we call reality. Just to test the time difference. It's funny when I realized time stopped in my gray world. I would just use it to get extra hours of sleep or to cram for a final while sitting with the test in front of me. Hell I've probably spent months in this Gray World. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started getting use to bending space in this world.

It requires a lot of planning. A reasonable understanding of coordinates, not to mention the amount of energy required to do something like this. If time didn’t stop when I was in this realm in seconds our star would have already taken our orbiting planet of Gia from where it is now to somewhere else in it's orbit. Leaving me drifting in space.

Everything is a constantly moving object in space and time. Except here, I'm the only thing here that moves, well me and anything foreign I bring in here that I let move, like my two watches for example.

One I called my 'Life Line Watch', which constantly ticks away as I do. The other one I called my 'Reality Watch' that I've programed to only tick when I'm outside of the Gray. The Life Line Watch is in the Pendant around my neck and the Reality Watch is wrapped around my left wrist with the face of the clock on the same side as my palm. Surprisingly the Gray didn't affect my body, I didn't age, or feel hungry in here. So that experiment never really mattered. Now I keep the watch pendant just to remind myself of how little time can really matter.

The only person I've ever brought in here was Sonane my oldest friend and she lost her mind just trying to wrap her head around the Algorithm that went into making something like this Gray world possible.

Me on the other hand, I don’t like those restraints. If they once said anything is possible then I guess it is, theres no reason I should listen to the Sentinels and their enforcer Maske, The Tall Ebony Faceless Golem that arrives when a situation is too dangerous for the Sentinels to take care of. Maske is what they call it. It seems like its programed to protect and serve.

If anyone I knew ever joined the Sentinels then we would be enemies on just those bases alone. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there. It's not like relationships are known to last forever.

In that time the space between the second floor bathroom of my school and my bed in my house had become one and I am able to float into that familiar space I call home. I look behind me as the school bathroom moves out of my room and dissipates and in it's place my moving picture poster of the Laughing Chimera band welcomes me. Then I make sure that there isn't anything to get in the way of my entrance back into the real world. I teleport back in.

Just like the ole Second Baron Aiden would have done...

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Chapter 2

A Life Without Limits Still Has Limits

The travel time was instantaneous as it usual was and my pendant watch that I wear around my neck was still ticking away as if time had accumulated while I was drifting in the Gray. I don’t like to think of all the time I've lost or gained depending on how you look at it. If you think about it, I'm technically older than everyone who was born on the same day as me because of this Algorithm I created. But I don’t age at the same time. I remember when I started writing the Algorithm’s for Teleporting, I wanted to get into a Laughing Chimera concert without anyone seeing me. I mean its not like it's hard to get in, no one stops you and its not like you have to pay to get in. Everything is free in the Violet District after all.

But it was just a rite of passage getting into a concert not using the main entrance. It meant you were cleaver and thought outside of the box. Plus I was young, around ten or nine, I had even dyed my hair from black to blonde, it was the style for any Laughing Chimera fan and I was a weird ten year old.

I snapped my fingers and presto I was floating in that Gray Abyss. Not much else to the story honestly, but as my mind wandered on, I realized that I hadn’t seen if the rest of my family was home. So in the safety of my own residence I teleported downstairs into the kitchen. I had become really good at shifting into the Gray, bending space and coming out at my destination over the last year that I didn't lose more then a second when doing this. I had teleported right into my Grandma, scaring her half to dead.

“What Matt! Holy! By The Baron!” She shrieked as she dropped the pot of rice on the ground. “The hell is wrong with you?!” She screamed, she tried to grab me but I hopped away from me. Once she realized she couldn't grab, me she started levitating the pot and returned all of rice back into the cooking pot she was using. While simultaneously swinging her fist at me. I teleported a few feet back to dodge her swinging hands.

“Don't you look before you go teleporting around the house?!” She shouted and swore quite loudly. All I could do was stand there with my eyebrows and hands raised in a surrendering gesture as she went on. Just because Sonane was the only one to come into the Gray with me doesn't mean that she's the only one to know about it.

“Damn Matthew you could give someone a heart attack like that!” At that moment all of the rice was back in the pot that she had dropped and she was just walking past me over to the table across the room. At that instant I decided that it was a good idea to verbally defend myself.

“Look I just forget how jarring it can be when someone appear out of nowhere.” I said while trying to hide my grin. “Besides you'd understand if you let me show you what it looks like in the Gray.”

“And get stuck inside your unstable Algorithm, or whatever that Gray world your always going on about is like? No thank you Matty, I'm old and don’t want to be stuck between realities for the rest of my days! It's not like I have a lot of those days left after all!” Granny Lane finished her rant in her over dramatic way. I was a little insulted by that, I was only stuck in there for like half a day once, or maybe it was a week... either way it was a long time ago! I swear they never let it go. Its not like they felt time slip by or anything like I did.

“But that was when I was Ten Granny! Like you’ve never spilled a glass of juice with your telekinesis before.” I said defiantly.

“You're right Matt, I have spilled juice before,” Granny Lane paused as she put the pot of rice down on the table and began to clean off the rice by syphoning off the dust with her telekinesis. “But it didn't take me half a week and some serious therapy to clean that spilled bit of juice off of the floor.” Just like Granny Lane, always calling a spade a spade.

“Damn do you ever pull your punches?” I asked and she just smiled at me. “Always with the jokes, how have you been single all this time with a personality like that?” I shot right back at her. When it comes to me and my grandma this could go on all afternoon. We always have to out clown each other, this must be why I don’t take any flack from anyone.

“Cause no man on Gia can handle all of this!” Granny Lane said as she did a little dance while making the rice move in unison with her hip movements. “That's why Matty!” She said with a wink.

“Uh gross, thanks for that mental picture Granny. I needed a few more night terrors.” I said as I walked past her, the rice still dancing around her.

I walk over to the couch and sat down with my right elbow propped up on the arm rest and my hand holding up my chin. Ive always liked how soft these navy blue couches were. I began looking around for the remote for the projector. It wasn't to the right of me or on the table with the lamp. Is it on my left on the rest of the couch, nope. Maybe on the two seater couch to the far left corner of the room? Yup, I can see it from here, right on the seat.

I felt like this was as good a time as any to use some old fashion Telekinesis on the remote. The Algorithm's easy to learn, hard to master. I reached out to the remote and it flew towards my hand but missed and hit me in the nose. Easy to learn hard to master, like I said. My mom was walking in as it hit me in the face.

“Oh Matt are you okay?” She asked with a look of concern on her face.

“Yea I'm okay it just missed my hand is all.” I said as I gripped my nose. Out of embarrassment more so than the pain. “Miss Tan says hi by the way Mom.”

“Ahh thanks, I'll call her on my Mobile later. Also you should blame your Granny for your remote faux pas, she knocked the controller off course.” Mom said as she looked at Granny with a accusing glare. “I felt her attention shift as I walked through the front door. I knew she was up to no good.” my mom finished her statement by dropping her bag on the chair across the table from Granny Lane.

“Donna I have no idea what your talking about,” Lane replied. “I would never.”

“Oh save it Lane, just like you would never levitate a slice of cake into my face on my birthday?” My Mom retorted.

“I swear you do it once and they never let it go!” Lane said with her usual mischievous grin on her face.

“I know it's annoying how that happens right Granny?” I said mocking her with the same grin she has on her face.

“You two are too much I swear, one minute your both at each others throat. The next minute your grinning at each other like two friends after a game of Totem.” My mom said as she went further into the kitchen. “What are you planning on watching on the projector Matt?”

“I don’t know channel surf, maybe watch The Stewart News or South East Park? Why, is there something you were looking forward to watching?” I asked my mom.

“Yeah but put on the District News I just want to see the latest footage of the terrorist attack, but with none of Stewart's commentary right now.” Just like mom, whenever something happens she always watches the District New's, a network that focus on scare tactics and yellow journalism to get people to tune in. It doesn’t help that it's always showing people how dangerous the world is with powers. Its gotten to the point where members of the community are thinking of banning certain Algorithm's, Alchemy and Abilities in our District of Violet. Hell if they had it their way the entire planet of Gia would be neutered. I gave her a disproving look but obliged.

“Okay, the District News channel, have fun.” I sighed and stood up from the couch. As I did I immediately regretted it, the promotional program that had been showing a few seconds of some Advertisement for a deli shop in the northern portion of Violet ended and a news story dropped that caught my attention.

“Last night another Sentinel training facility was fire bombed. No one was injured but a chase did ensue between the members of the Sentinel's and the Hooded Terrorist. Footage was captured by one of our runners and I must warn you that some of the images are disturbing.” As soon as Peggy James finished her introduction to the story the reel began to play.

It starts with the Hooded figure jumping from roof top to roof top dodging lightning bolts from Sentinel Catalyst Guns. New recruits to the Sentinels use Catalyst Guns to preform most of their rites. Since the Sentinel's are conservative and are pushing for the Ban of Algorithm's agenda, they had to find a way around the limitations of a life like that by designing guns with formulas for specific rites. Like Guns for fire, ice and electricity to name some of the basics, they’re limited in power but easy to use.

The Hooded figure must have known this too because he redirects the bolts that should have made contact with him. Occasionally throwing the most beautiful and colorful fire bombs in his pursers direction. But there are more than enough Sentinels in pursuit of the mysterious figure, making it difficult for the Hooded figure to escape. This is when the newscaster Peggy decided to return.

“As you can see the Sentinels manage to corner the terrorist on one of the roof tops.” She relayed as if she was the narrator to an epic battle. The Hooded figure gets into a fighting stance, you could tell by the way he carried himself that he was no novice at using fire as an all purpose problem solver. I can tell just from the footage that he's gone up against much worse then a half a dozen Sentinels and thats a scary thought. If he ever decides to turn his attention from Training facilities to schools and the markets, Violet would be in serious trouble.

The Hooded Vigilante doesn’t wait until the Sentinels make the first move, the guy came out swinging and I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed. He went for the sentinel standing in front of him to the left. That particular sentinel wasn’t expecting it at all and was blown of the edge of the building by a multi-colored fire ball. His comrades closed in with dull-swords and gloves drawn on their flame wielding prey. Anticipating this the Flame wielder spun in a full 360 degree rotation, incasing himself in a sphere of multi colored flame. He was showing off at this point. With all of his pursuers backed up a good distance from him, he took advantage. He used the flames that once protected him to attack the two Sentinels behind him. The one on the left was hit in face with the flames getting knocked unconscious. The other one was hit in the chest and was knocked clear off his feet and into a chimney on the building across the street.

The other three sentinels, two in front of him the other one to his right went into a defensive stance and prepared for the flames. But just because they were prepared for them didn’t mean that they could handle the exotic embers. He would feign a punishing shot from his hand to his opponents head, only to fire a blast from his foot, like he was kicking a ball into the chest of one of his other two attackers. Purple, Blue, Orange, Burgundy the colors changed but the result was the same. Fire hits Sentinel, Sentinel eats its and gets blown off the roof. Six Sentinel and not one of them could touch this guy. Maybe the whole anti-abilities thing wasn’t a bad way to go. Especially for their particular line of work. The newscaster who I had completely forgotten was even alive at this point returned to give us her two cents and a run down from her perspective.

“As you can see six Novice Sentinel were seriously injured in the confrontation. Fortunately none of them were killed in the scuffle and their families are proud of their attempts at catching the Terrorists. The Hooded Terrorist is a high level threat to the District Manager and the well being of the residents of Violet. Our District Manager was at Violet Hall to discuss the resent attacks on District property.”

The projector cuts to a clip of our District Manager Omari Standson at the podium. He was wearing a slim cut suit on his commanding frame, his Pale skin was wrinkled at the forehead. He looked like he had been under a lot of stress from all the attacks. At his side was only one figure. The only figure that he needed. A hulking obsidian in color and simple in his appearance masculine figure named Maske. The Enforcer and Leader of The Sentinel's for the Violet District. His frame was that of a perfect humanoid male but lacked a face with any facial features for that mater. Some people, me included have come to call him “No Face”. Due to his lack of... well having a face, clever I know. The Manager who was an average sized male only came up to Maske's pectoral muscles. Maske was surveying the area while Omari spoke, Omari was the king standing with his most loyal knight.

“I know that these attacks haven’t stopped yet, its been over a year now and we've only been able to slow him down for a few month's. He has regained his strength and resumed terrorizing the people of Violet. Your mothers, fathers, sons, sisters and cousins are in danger! We need to stick together in these times now more than ever!” As manager Omari finished his sentence cheering, applause and whistling commenced, he was feeding the flock what they needed to hear after an attack like that.

“Now I know some of you do not like my policy’s on what I have deemed as dangerous Algorithm's and malicious Alchemy. Or my stance on regulating powers, but I fully believe that even the Sentinels our peace keepers shouldn’t have access to those powers. That is why I made sure that they would be trained in the proper use of catalyst's, low power, only strong enough to stun and subdue. But as you can see this terrorist is still on the lose, burning buildings and interfering with our way of life! Just because he has this power doesn’t mean he should use it!” The clip of Manger Omari ended and I could see where he was coming from, someone could get seriously hurt from all of this back and forth. But banning powers is a bit much and if I had to chose, I'd chose to believe that there is more going on here than just a random “terrorist” has just decided to blow up Sentinel safe houses. There have been no recorded death's either so at this point it just seems like extreme vandalism, I just don't want my Gray World to become illegal.

The news anchor Peggy, continued to speak but I was over her and was ready to go up stairs and work on a new algorithm on my tablet. As I walked over to the staircase I heard my mom say, “All of those poor families, that hooded guy has no idea how much trouble he's causing.” I know my moms stance on powers but it still bothers me whenever she brings up her opinion on the topic.

“But mom they’re thinking of banning what makes us special as a society. Our powers would be taken away you know that right?” I asked a little annoyed at her comment. Her of all people should know how important these power are to people, its how we created our society. Hell she's even created a few improvements on pre-existing ones and has written several books on power discipline, you'd think she'd be a bit more understanding!

“Ive written the books and studied the theories, but when someone takes advantage of someone else's weaknesses. Then they ruin it for the rest of us. Rules and Regulations aren't bad Matthew.” She said in a tone that screamed 'you have no idea what you’re talking about'.

“But what if they do ban all powers? Then whoever holds the leash of the Sentinel's wont have any reason to stop having powers. Let alone Maske that living tank? Will it get turned off? No mom it's not as simple as 'ban the powers'.” I said in a defiant but confident manner.

She looked at me then shook her head and said under her breath “Just like his damned father...”

“Well I wouldn’t know now would I...” I said in a clear and force full tone, while trying to also hold back my own anger. But I knew running away would be the better choice. So I teleported to my room. I could hear Granny Lane and my mom talking downstair's, probably about me no doubt. It didn’t really matter honestly, that kind of thing happens all the time, nothing to stress over.

I waited until everyone else in the house went to bed before I teleported back downstairs and ate the dinner they had left for me. It was a bit cold but I knew a simple heating Algorithm so I didn’t even need to use the substance heater or the S.H. I finished eating up the rice and meat and got ready for bed.

I think I'll go back to school tomorrow. After all it's free and all you have to do is keep going until you find your calling. Plus something tells me that I'll be finding my calling soon...

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Chapter 3

So This Is What All The Fuss Is About

I'm woken up by my alarm and to the sight of light shinning through my window. The rays from Gia's Blue Star illuminates threw the blinds and onto the objects in my bed room. I love the fact that the glow of the Star in the center of our solar system is the same as my favorite color. That sapphire jewel floating through space. But I couldn’t stare at it forever (not because I'd go blind, I could always go to the optometrist to fix my eyes. There are people in Violet who can literally reconstruct your eye from nothing.) But because I really wanted to make it to Mr. Sato's class for Alchemy on time today.

I put on a hoodie and some slim fitting navy jeans and went into the bathroom for my morning clean up. I ran my fingers from the front of my hair to the back. In that moment I decided that I'd rather not teleport right inside of the school or even near it like usual. I had slept enough that morning that it really didn’t matter how slow I would walk to school. I was going to be early no matter what. I could even eat breakfast.

After eating breakfast I walked out of my front door and began my trek through the streets of the Violet District. I passed by all of my neighbors homes in the neighborhood, once I was near the furniture shop I knew I was in the city center of the District. A few blocks down the street I saw two figures in an alley way. The shadows from the buildings were masking them till all that was left was their silhouette's.

“Hey Matt, whats going on?!” called the figure to the right of me. He sounded so familiar. He stepped forward into the day light and you could say I was way more than surprised.

“Mike? Is that you man?” I asked, and I was right it was him. But I was surprised to see that his older brother Noah Akat was with him. He was the same height as mike but looked so much older. He has the same three marks under his eyes, that he's always had. With bored eye's that look like they've seen way too much and a kinky afro that defies gravity and a bit of stubble fills in the face of the ideal 'Big Brother'.

Mike in contrast to his older brother, is the epitome of the little brother archetype. Some sideburns, not too much facial hair, shorter hair but the same caramel skin as his brother. If it wasn’t for the age difference and Noah's tired eye's you'd think they were twins. Noah is the coolest and most well known twenty year old that came out of his year. It was always well known around school that Noah wasn't someone that you wanted as an enemy. Mike is one of the most popular guys in our year, every seventeen year old knows who Mike is. He's the Totem Legend, I on the other hand, wasn't much of a sports fan and even I knew about the Prodigy.

“What's up Matt?!” Mike says with open arms. His years of playing Totem has turn him into a physically built, slim and intimidating guy, even when he's being friendly.

“Uh nothing just going to Alchemy class, I wanted to work on turning water into wine.” I said jokingly trying to lighten the mood.

“Thats really specific dude.” Said Noah with a smirk, I guess even that caught him off guard by how silly it was.

“Yea I'm like that, specific.” I said awkwardly.

“That's... Um... different, listen Matt, me and Noah were just taking a detour before we head to class today. Let's talk for a little bit, it's a nice day. ” Mike asked in that same friendly tone. “I've never heard of what you wanted to do with your life, whats your plan?”

“Uh I'm not sure yet, travel I guess, why?” I continued walking down the street but they didn’t follow me. So I waited for them to but to no avail. So I walked back to them. “Well once I learn a couple more rites and stuff, then get my traveling passport I plan to travel the planet.” I told them.

The only people to ask me that kind of question were super close to me. Like my girlfriend Sonane who is the one I plan to travel with. No one ever cared about me or what I was doing enough to randomly ask me that. So I would never think the two most popular guys in their respective years would ask these kinds of questions about me.

“Oh! Thats why you still go to class Matt, jeez I just thought you wanted to be a teacher or something.” Chuckled Mike, to be fair I can see why he would say that.

“Nope a nomad.” I said proudly. “Teacher doesn't sound that bad either.”

“How do you expect to get from place to place?” Mike asked with a look of sincere interest on his face.

“Um same as anyone else, shifting circles at the Metro.” I said with a nervous smile. I really hope they don’t know about the Gray World. How could they know about that though.

“But why use a shifting circle?” Asked Mike with an eyebrow raised. This guy might know about my ability ok damn, I have to play it cool. I cant have anyone know about the Gray World or teleporting. I wont have my privacy anymore after that.

“Because it's the only way to travel those kinds of distances quickly. You two should know that, unless your the Second Baron or something.” I said, trying to joke around with them.

“Well at least he said it wasn’t impossible, so he's not completely full of it.” Commented Noah from my right. I suddenly felt like I was being pressed. Usually in a situation like this I would vanish out of the area and ignore the problem. However I think thats out of the question for me right now. I just have to play it cool right up until I can get out of this confrontation.

“Well I guess I'll see you in class Mike?” I asked trying to get myself away without using the Gray.

“What, you don’t want to hangout Matt? You don’t have to go right to class. You can always learn the material later. I mean the only tests that matter are the Quarterly exam's.” Mike wasn't wrong and I was getting pretty nervous. They wanted to know something and I really hope it had nothing to do with teleporting.

“But I have mid-term's so...” but before I could finish Noah spoke and when he did Mike's demeanor completely changed.

“Show him Mike.”

“Really? You don’t think I should wait until a better time?” Mike asked.

“Hey he'll learn about it eventually, just show him. We don’t have all day to dance around the subject.”

Mike nodded and snapped his fingers, and an impressive flame rose from the center of the snap. Mike is well known for his elemental control on top of being the Totem Playing Prodigy.

I was pretty confused as to why I was being shown this display of flame control. Then without even realizing it I noticed the flame wasn't staying a constant red, orange hue. It was changing color! Navy, green and other assortments of colors. Now that was an impressive understanding of how to infuse chemicals to a summoned element, creating fire from nothing is hard enough. Changing it's color as it's already flowing and dancing is mastery, but I've seen that exact trick somewhere before...

“Your!” I tried to say 'The Hooded Terrorist' but I couldn't speak. It felt like someone was inside of my head keeping me from speaking.

“Sorry about that.” Noah said to me, I was quickly learning that I was in a really bad situation. A really bad situation where I'm out matched and now paralyzed, unable to speak.

“But, yeah I am 'that'. I want you to help us Matt.” Mike said with a look of concern on his face. “Let him go Noah, we have to trust him. We know his secret he knows ours.” I felt my ability to speak return to me. I wondered how powerful that ability of Noah's was. It felt like some type of mind control. I was terrified to look into those bored, tired eye's of Noahs.

“What the hell guys!?” I said in one of those low yells as to not attract attention. “Your the guy Mike?!”

“I'm not the only one, the Hooded One is just a symbol okay. It doesn’t belong to just me, its a mask anyone can wear. You can stay anonymous while still getting what you need done. Make a difference.”

“How is fire bombing Sentinels 'making a difference' man? Sentinel aren’t great but they protect us.” I said in a whisper.

“How? Who do you need protection from?” Asked Noah confused. Don't you have everything you need to be safe and happy with the use of your powers? The Sentinels want to take those powers away from us. Neuter us, turn us into powerless cattle. Your okay with that?” When Noah finished, I knew exactly where he was coming from. It's why I didn’t agree with my mom when she sympathized with the Sentinels.

I shook my head and said. “If District Manager Omari gets to stay around and convince people to put more regulations on powers and Algorithms. We'll become powerless. Algorithm's are how we’ve come this far and I don’t want us to go backwards either. Although fire bombing Sentinels is a little much to me.” I said to the two brothers. “How does that help anyone?”

Mike replied with. “Hey it's the way we've been doing things in the Violet District for the longest. People disappearing and never coming back, homes were being fire bombed well before we showed up. It's not us thats the problem, we're just trying to fight back against them to the best of our ability!” Retorted Mike. He pointed at me. “What would you have us do, hide or run? None of us can Teleport like you Matt, so what are we supposed to do?” They both knew that I could teleport and now it made sense, I was just another pawn in their plot to push out the Sentinels. I could vanish right now, but they already knew what I could do so if I wanted to continue to live in secret I had to hear them out. Other than that invasive mind move by Noah I felt like I wasn't in danger anymore. Being swayed to join their side was the new problem I was going to have to worry about.

“You think I can Teleport? What are you going on about?” I said in a confused voice, but I knew I wasn't fooling either of them.

“The bathroom after class Matt, you never came out. Only an idiot wouldn’t be able to figure out you can Teleport. There aren’t any Sigils or Alchemy traces in the bathroom, so it's not like you Shifted or anything. That always leaves a trace behind and its easy to track it down.” Mike said. “Did you think no one noticed you Matt, do you think you're invisible?” He asked condescendingly.

“How do you know that invisibility isn’t what my power is?” I couldn't help but feel like I sounded childish.

“Invisibility is great too! But even an invisible person needs to open a door. Even an Invisible person can be sniffed out by Noah. Teleporting is the only thing that checks out. Nice try though.” Mike was clever... or maybe I was just that stupid and careless. I honestly did think I was invisible, to everyone but Sonane.

“Come on Matt I was honest with you man, I don’t know what else to say. I'm not good at this whole recruiting thing. I can't explain our plans and ideas anymore until you decide. Even if you don’t agree with us, we think you’re an intelligent guy. Anyone that even comes close to being like Aiden is someone I think we should listen too.” Mike was swaying me towards wanting to find out more. Despite saying that he wasn't good at recruiting people Mike was doing a really good job at getting me to hear him out.

“Sure I'll listen to what you guys have to say.” As I gave my answer I saw a Sentinel duo in the sky fly by us, I had a bad feeling about all of this.

“Don't worry Matt, Noah would hold them down and I'd hit them with those psychedelic embers.” Mike said with a smile. I couldn't help but be impressed by these two, I mean Mike's my age and he's mastered flames and who know's what else and has been rebelling against the Sentinels for who knows how long. It's terrifying to be around these two guys, mostly due to the fact that Noah hasn't even explained his ability yet. Honestly with something as effective as mind control how have they ever had a problem before.

“It's limited.” Said Noah seemingly randomly. “I can hear what your thinking for the most part. I tune out the sounds and visions most of the time, it gets annoying really fast.”

Mind reading and visions!? How aren’t these guy's on major watch lists? How are they allowed to just walk around with no problem? Who do they even know? Noah chuckled, I'm pretty sure he heard that.

“I did hear that.” He said with a smirk.

“Stop invade the man's personal sanctuary Noah. Jeez he did the same thing when we were younger, I could never beat this guy at any game that required you to keep secrets. Totem's the only game were I could get the fair one with this guy!” No wonder Mike's the way he is, when you grow up knowing your thought's aren’t sacred you just speak your mind. Explains his personality. Not to mention his brothers. He can keep all the secrets he wants and just hears everything. It's like night and day with these two.

“Well clairvoyance isn’t worth anything if you aren’t fast enough to change what you want.” There was a sadness in Noah's voice. Sounds like he was talking from a personal experience. Mike didn’t stay on that topic after that comment. We took a couple of steps down the block before Mike felt comfortable enough to speak again.

“So Matt whats up with you? What's your story other than the girlfriend and the quiet life with your mom and grandmama?” Asked Mike. I was happy to answer them, it wasn’t a question on my Teleporting power or whether I'd join there organization or not.

“Well Sonane is my girlfriend umm and is well, locked in her basement working on an Algorithm for creating the most delicious food from scratch. It's to help out the restaurants around the world, eventually she want's to leave the Violet District and got to Mikayla. Becoming a chief for the most prestigious District on the planet.” I told them.

“Ah so she has the same dream as a lot of other people, become the best so that you can get to live in the best District on Gia. So now I know why a girl like that would talk to a guy like you. Mister Aiden over here, teleporting up and down Violet for who knows how long!” Mike said with that same damn grin. I was a little ticked off by that comment, did he not think I was good enough for her?

“Obviously he didn't think you were good enough for her. But now he knows why you are so don't be so upset.” Noah said. For such a stoic and serious guy he seemed to have a lot of fun messing with me. A smile was plastered across Noah's face.

“Okay! One, Stop reading my mind Noah it's weird and creepy dude.” He was smirking like a tool and raised is hands in a surrendering motion and slightly tilted his head down. “Second, what do you mean until you found out about me?” I asked with a confidence that I didn’t have a second ago. We kept up the pace as we continued to walk through Violet.

“Well she's publicly smart, adept at using and learning Algorithm's. Pretty too, I mean I would have liked to talk to her if you guys weren’t together.” Mike said bluntly. “But how is any guy supposed to compete with teleportation? Tell me Matt? Cause I didn’t even think I'd have to worry about a guy who could do that in my lifetime.”

“I don't know man. Why do you guys even care that I can teleport?” I asked, just so that I could change the subject from Sonane to something else.

“It's obvious Matt, if the second Baron Aiden was known as the 'Man who was never hit in battle', obviously you have the potential to be him and that is useful.” Mike said turning away from me as he finished speaking. Yeah useful, this is why I never wanted anyone to know about the Gray World or bending space to teleport except for Sonane. She just wants to travel Gia with me, these guy's just want me to be the best terrorist in the District.

Noah sighed, I know he heard that but at this point I could careless about his feelings on the matter. He could just tune me out if he wanted to.

“So do I have a choice in whether to join you guys or am I basically a captive?” I asked sarcastically and Noah laughed.

“Yeah you're a captive. Don't teleport anywhere because if you do we'll never be able to find you again and that would really mess up our afternoon.” Noah said sardonically. For 'terrorist' these guys were really friendly. Well when you get use to them. It's no wonder they're popular.

“No stupid we just want to show you what our team is up to. We're taking a chance with you because we think you'd want to see change just as much as we do! Plus why wouldn’t you want to know about the “Hooded Terrorist” and the people 'under the hood' so to speak?” Mike said, and he was right.

“You're right...” I said out loud this time

“I know I am! But hey the place is just up here.” As Mike finished talking we finally stopped walking and we were in front of the Tablet Dealers shop. Please tell me this place isn’t a front.

“Oh it's totally a front.” Said a smirking Noah... I'll never get use to that guy.

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