Volume 9, Chapter 1-2: An Unexpected Hero

Training Facility

“Jacque, you are officially a hero,” Shan announced, clapping with passion.

“That’s great and all, but I turn into a rock. Bro, seriously, I’m a rock. Come on, I can’t do s***,” Jacque lamented.

“Hey, I managed to throw you and inflict damage. You’re more useful than you think,” Shan argued.

“How do I even get home?” Jacque glanced around the facility.

“I’ll drop you off, don’t worry,” Shan offered.

“Thanks, that’d be nice,” Jacque nodded.

“You’re pretty chill for someone that just saw weird s***, Jacque,” I observed.

“Eh, I’ve been captured before. That’s how I first learned everyone had powers,” Jacque revealed.

“What? No one told me anything about that,” I accused Shan.

“Yeah, kind of forgot about that. Better leave this mask for Tess to check out,” Shan dismissed, dropping the mask into an evidence bag and leaving it in a secure box.

“Want to tell me how you got captured the first time?” I questioned Jacque.

“It’s a pretty long story, Tomo. And boring too. You don’t want to hear it,” he responded, shaking his head.

“I’m really interested actually,” I pressed him.

“He can tell you next time. Jacque’s pretty tired after everything that’s happened,” Shan interrupted.

“Sorry Tomo, next time,” the artist said.

I walked over to Zhuyu. His face complexion was back to normal. Now, time for him to explain how he stopped Stacia.

“Zhuyu, what did you do back there?” I asked.

“Something I’ve been working on. Applying the zero vector power to a magical situation, but it’s pretty difficult. Takes a lot of focus and energy. I only managed to barely stop Stacia’s wind and Steph. Enough time for Shigetzu to finish it off,” the man answered.

“How’s that enough to let Shan use his powers?” I asked.

“Steph’s a natural world user so his powers worked. As for Stacia, her magic levels were unstable. Shigetzu, nice work,” Zhuyu complimented.

“Anytime. Wish Darryl were here, would have been nice to have some support from the rear,” Shan insulted his friend.

“You leaving too, Lau?” Shan asked the water elemental user.

“Those two woman, tell me more about them,” I requested.

“Steph manipulates sound waves. When she locks onto the natural frequency of something, she causes resonance, breaking things. Xi is pretty much a defensive fortress. She repels most attacks, minimizes damage done, and creates barriers,” Zhuyu answered.

“She seemed to stay back for the most part though,” I recalled.

“The current limitation on her powers make it so she can only protect one target. That’s probably what happened,” Zhuyu replied.

I didn’t want to trouble Zhuyu any further and headed down to my car. I dialed the Gatekeeper’s number, informing her about the situation.

“One of Shan and Zhuyu’s friends, Jacque, awakened. Champ captured him and I guess that triggered it. I don’t know how it works but I’m afraid he might target Felicity’s sister next,” I updated her.

“That is indeed a grave matter. I’ll handle it. As for Jacque, I’ll initiate him, once I’m free. Thank you for telling me. I apologize, but I must go now,” Tess hung up.

I inserted my key into the ignition, feeling better. Champ was willing to go so far as to kidnap a potential hero. This made me uneasy, especially for Yuka. Hmm, what should I do? If anything happened to her, I would feel responsible. It might be a good idea to speak with everyone, before deciding anything. Yeah, that was a good plan.

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Friday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 9

“Everyone, this is Jacque. He just awakened so be nice to him,” Zhuyu introduced our newest member.

“Nice to meet you. I go to the same university as Long. Um, not really much else to say,” Jacque said.

We convened around a table in the training facility. Well, this wasn’t very riveting. I thought there might be more fanfare involved.

“Jacque already knows most of us,” Kisai pointed out.

“What do you want me to do? Tess requested this. I’m sure as hell not saying no,” Zhuyu said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Kisai agreed.

“Anything else I should do? I’m pretty afraid I’ll screw up,” Jacque asked.

“Just be you. Seriously, do you see any of us here being super dedicated?” Shan replied, giving a smile.

“Damn, that’s perfect. I can definitely pull that off,” Jacque responded.

We talked for awhile and everyone left, going their separate ways. Zhuyu called me over as I headed toward the exit. Today was a day off from school, and I really wanted to go home.

“Tomo, sorry to take up your time, but you’ll accompany us to the research lab,” Zhuyu informed me.

“Us?” I questioned.

“Jacque’s coming along. We’re getting him checked by Shane and Emily. Make sure there isn’t anything wrong,” Zhuyu revealed, pointing at the man.

“You can just take Jacque by yourself, right?” I stared at him in confusion.

“Tess wants you to get a checkup too. It’s not my call. I’m just carrying out orders from her,” Zhuyu answered.

“Fine. I might as well be sure nothing is wrong, than go out with faulty powers,” I relented.

Research Facility: Shane and Emily’s Lab

“Long, something wrong? It’s rare for you to pop in like this,” Emily asked.

“We got a new member, just awakened. Tess asked for you to give him the entire run through. Do a quick checkup on Tomo too,” he replied, gesturing toward the both of us.

“Sure. I’ll get it set up,” Emily nodded, walking over to the pods.

Zhuyu walked over to Shane, taking out a piece of paper from his dress pants. He pointed at the sheet of paper and Shane reacted with surprise and wheeled over a whiteboard. Zhuyu wrote down equations involving matrices. I wasn’t going to ask, beyond my understanding right now.

“I’m pretty nervous,” Jacque confided, looking around everywhere.

“I guess it’s pretty shocking the first time around. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt,” I assured him.

“That totally makes me feel better. What exactly will they do?” Jacque pointed at one of the pods.

“Hook you up and look at brain waves, something like that. You just relax and take a nap,” I answered.

“Oh, sounds good! I definitely can use some rest,” Jacque nodded with enthusiasm.

“You’re pretty tired every time I see you at school,” I recalled.

“That’s because I push things back too much and I end up doing homework late into the night. Totally my fault,” Jacque revealed.

“Sounds like something Kisai does,” I remarked.

“Except that Jin is lazy and smart. I’m just lazy and dumb. Doesn’t exactly make for a good combination,” Jacque countered.

“Yeah, I can see why you would be pretty sad,” I understood his pain.

“Exactly, Tomo,” Jacque nodded.

Emily called us over. I glanced at Zhuyu, who still conversed with Shane. The zero vector user pointed at the board and Shane looked up at the ceiling, thinking. They were probably discussing his powers, modifying them for effectiveness against magic.

“Tomo, I talked to you about this last time, but you might see a continuation,” Emily informed me.

“You mean the doppelganger thing?” I asked, sticking wires to my head.

“Yeah. I am really curious to see the results. It’s an anomaly, but if it happens again, I’ll have to spend more time looking into it,” Emily nodded, closing the pod cover.

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