Guyver Fan Fiction ❯ Liberi Fatali ❯ Self-Arson ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Author's Note: Wondering about the title change? And wondering why it may look familiar to some of your, particularly those who have played Final Fantasy 8? The answer to that is that the translated lyrics to the song Liberi Fatali is just too perfect for this story to pass up. The word "Liberi Fatali" means "Fated Children", and that theme is exactly what this story focuses around. I won't say much more than that, because it'll ruin the story for later on. Oh, and first the phrase at the summary (Excitate vos e somno, liberi fatali, Somnus non eat) is "Arise from your sleep, fated children, the peace is gone". The second (Ardente veritate, Incedite tenebras mundi) means "Fiery truth, light the dark world". The song David and his friends sing later in the chapter is Silverchair's New Race.

Chapter Three: Self Arson

The sun was burning hot and relentless over their heads. Perspiration had slicked their hair to their foreheads, trickling down their faces and uncomfortably down their necks, but they did not seem to notice what would drive others crazy. The distant field shimmered in the heat and mirages covered the roads on either side, reflecting the summer sun uncomfortably in their eyes. Once again, it went unnoticed. There was only one center focus of attention, and that was on the black-and-white patchwork ball that spun wildly as it was kicked from one boy to another, weaving in and out through twenty pairs of legs scattered across the field.

Back and forth across the field they ran, a task that at any other time would have been time-consuming and pointless, now meant everything in the world; to keep up with the ball and prevent the other team from scoring. Or, if Lady Luck was on your side, perhaps even score a goal for yourself. If you were to explain to an alien that that what soccer was all about, then it might look at you as if you were crazy, unable to grasp the concept of something that was seemingly so meaningless. It would have been the same for all sports, no matter how different they were from each other.

But for David Barker, soccer was the most exciting and heart-pounding event in the modern world.

They were in the ending stretch of the second half, and David had never before played such a fast and furious game before. Well, not since last year, at least. This was, after all, the last game before the finals, and Almada High School was playing against their top rivals, LA West, so of course, everyone had turned up, rooting for their home team. And even though he was AHS's best player, he had to admit that LAW had gotten better this year, and were certainly giving them a run for their money. The score was tied at three-to-three, and time was running out. If it was a tied game, than neither school would be going to the finals. It truly was the most important game of the season, on both the gaming level and, for David, the personal level as well; his parents had been able to take time out of their busy schedules to come watch him play. And for David, that was one of the most important things in the world.

They were on the offense, racing towards their own goal at break-neck speed as the opposing team continued to desperately attempt to get it away from David's teammates. LA West may have gotten better since last season, but Almada High was still holding its own fairly well. David hung back, close to the other goal in case the other team got the ball. That was one of Almada's biggest defects; they would chase the ball no matter where it was, and if the opposing team ever got it back, there would not be enough people on the other side waiting to receive and try to send it back. But this time, David was waiting for them. They would not get past him.

As if on que, the tides of the game changed. Like a flock of birds avoiding a hawk, the players turned around as if one person as the ball was suddenly being rushed down the opposite side of the field, towards the Almada High goal. The opposing players who had remained behind to hopefully make a goal tensed, ready to move at a moment's notice.

David's sharp eyes picked up on something that would have moved too fast for anyone else to see; the player currently in possession of the ball hauling his leg back, ready to make a clean, clear kick to one of his teammates who had a clear shot of the goal. A curse nearly escaped David's lips. If they made a goal, the Almada had no chance of making one before the game was over, much less two, and they would loose the finals to LA West. Over my dead body, he growled to himself, and launched himself into position just as the ball was kicked. It was perhaps a little higher in the air than the player expected it to be, but this was all the more perfect for David, despite the white-and-black ball was speeding straight towards his head.

With the speed and grace that would shame a cat, David twisted at his heel the last moment, facing the other way for the space of a heart beat before falling backwards onto his back. The sky came into his view as his foot connected with the ball with such force it was sent screaming back to the other side. The cheers of the Almada supporters rang in his ears as David hit the ground, only to kick his legs up with such force that it put him back on his feet again. Undoubtedly the fastest player on the team, anyone else who would have attempted that move would have never reached the ball in time before it was in their goal.

"Nice save, Barker!" His coach barked at him from the sidelines. "Now get after it! I want to see that ball in the net before the clock goes off!"

David flashed his brilliant smile at his coach, gave him a thumbs-up, and began to sprint down to the opposite side of the field. He did not get very far, however. Before he had a chance to react, he had tripped over the extended leg of the opposing team member and was sent sprawling face-first to the ground.

"Foul!" The crowd to the side of him screamed, and the whistle of the referee rang in his ears. David picked himself up from the ground, spitting the grass and dirt from his mouth as he heard the referee give him a penalty shot. Normally, the act of being tripped in such a manner would have outraged him to no end, but he smiled instead. Everyone knew that David was nearly flawless when it came to penalty shots, and rarely ever missed. The guy who had tripped him had done him a favor. This was their cleanest chance of winning the game.

Standing up and grinning like a fool, David made his way over to the opposing goal in a slow, teasing manner. The other team knew that tripping him has been a mistake, and his own teammates were trying their best to not dance with joy. From the corner of his eye, David could see the coach of LA West bury his face in his hands, shaking his head miserably. The soccer ball had been placed before him, directly in the middle of the goal; one clean shot to victory. He almost felt sorry for the goalie of the other team. The boy was pasty white and visibly shaking, knees clicking together and hands trembling as he continued to hold his defensive pose.

David stopped a good ten feet behind the ball, lining himself up with it perfectly. He calculated the speed he needed, the exact time he would have to kick it. One clear shot.

The muscles of his legs tensed like coiled and the boy sprang forward, sprinting almost immediately as if he never had to gain speed in the first place. He closed in on the ball fast, hauled back his right leg, and connected with the center of the ball perfectly, sending it screaming towards to goal like a bullet shot from a gun. The goalie never made an attempt to stop the missile; with a cry, he threw his hands over his head and dove to the ground as the ball missed him by inches, slamming into the net behind him. But it was not enough that it hit the net; with a loud SNAP, the ball kept going, flying into the grove of trees behind the field. The ropes of the net had been broken by the force of the ball as neatly and easily as if they had been made of glass.

"Dammit Barker, that's the fifth net this month!" One of his teammates jeered as he joined the throng surrounding David. He could dimly hear the roar of the crowd through the huge mass of his teammates, all of who were trying to embrace the hero of the game at once. LA West was defeated; Almada High was going to the finals. It was definitely something worth celebrating. Through the mass of bodies, he vaguely caught sight of his parents, both beaming at him. With a great deal of effort, he was able to break free of the tight-knit crowd and ran across the field to join his parents. Of course, he would have never hugged them in front of all his friends and fans, so he instead ran right between them, hooking both of his arms through one of theirs each and nearly sent all three of them sprawling to the ground. Although David was smaller than most boys his age, he was still incredibly strong, even if his physique did not show it.

"You know, if you don't stop breaking those nets then the school's going to make us start paying for it." Cori Barker said in a joking manner, ruffling her son's unruly blonde hair.

David looked up at his mom, his acid-green eyes flashing with excitement. "Oh yeah, like that's really going to be a problem."

"So what are your plans now?" Sean Barker asked.

"Well…if it's no problem, we were going to do our regular celebration pizza run. We have enough meal credits at Mikey's to get a free large combo and a twenty-four-pack of soda; the perfect way to kick off the finals season. But, considering the fact this is the first time you guys had off in ages, it wouldn't be any problem if I just went home with you."

"What, and just hang around with a couple of old farts like us? Go, go out and have fun. Enjoy it while you're young, kid."

"Hey, staying home with you guys isn't so bad. If I got bored, I could always take on Dad again."

"You wish, little man." Sean said with a laugh.

"And yet I still need to witness a time when you can actually defeat him." Cori asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow at her husband. Sean only grinned sheepishly and scratched the back of his neck. There was no way he would ever admit it aloud, as much as they all knew it was true.

"Okay, I have to hit the showers, I probably stink. I'll call you guess after pizza and let you know what's going on." With that he took off towards the direction of the locker rooms before the voice of his coach stopped him in his tracks.

"Barker! Could you go get that ball you kicked through the net? We're running low!"

"Sure thing, coach!" David said with a little salute, and ran off to the small grove of trees that grew just outside the soccer fields. It was cool and shadowy there, the scenery darker as compared to the open grassy field bathed in afternoon summer sun. His sharp eyes located the loan soccer ball right way, nestled comfortably among the roots of an old oak, as if waiting for someone to find it. Smiling at the sight of it, David jogged over to the spot where the ball rested and kicked it up into his hands…and paused.

For some reason, David's senses - all of them, it seemed - were super-sensitive, more so than your average sixteen-year-old boy, always making him more aware of his surrounds around him than anyone else he knew, save perhaps his dad. And he knew, even from where he stood, that he was not alone in the area. He also knew that whatever it was could not be human.

That's impossible. He thought to himself. There's no way one of them could have gotten past the Gates. Still…

Very slowly, looking as if he himself were not moving hardly at all, David scanned the area using his eyes only. If it had been human, then he would have known their exact location without even turning around. But this - thing, whatever it was - was not even on the ground; it was up in the tree branches above him. And it knew how to hide, too. Thick branches or not, it was not very often that David's eyes missed anything.

Just to make sure, David straightened, and focused what his parents called his "unique ability", one of the only real things about him that he had to keep a secret from just about everything else. He clenched it in the trees around him, weaving it in and out of the very fibers of the living things around him, clenching them together like a fist. He held it steady for a few moments until it tensed, coiled like a spring, before letting it snap with the effect of a taut rubber band. The trees, the rocks, the ground under his feet gave one huge shudder, as if a small earthquake had shaken that one area alone. The branches swayed madly, leaves and debris rained down from above as birds took flight, squawking in fright. David waited for whatever it was to fall from the trees as well, but nothing else moved.

I must be over-reacting. He scoffed himself mentally. It's the leftover adrenaline from the game. As soon as I get with my friends, I'll forget all about it. Tossing the ball from one hand to the other, he turned on his heel and walked out of the grove, back towards the boy's locker room.

The cheering had continues into the locker rooms, which was full of not only the soccer players from both teams, but also the male students of Almada High who had come to watch the game. So, naturally, the locker room was very crowded, making it hard to get through. To make matters worse, there was a huge uproar when the hero of the game appeared, all thumping him on the back and congratulating him, making it difficult to wash up before he went out with his friends. After about ten minutes of this the Almada coach finally had to chase the non-soccer players out so his boys could get dressed in peace.

"Ugh…well, so much for a private party." David groaned as he stripped off his uniform and stepped into the shower, the cold jet of water refreshing against his hot skin. "We'll be lucky if we get our own table by the time we get there."

"Ah, be a little more optimistic." The kid under the showerhead next to him said. "Mikey's is a big place, it will be able to hold the lot of us. It's never that busy on a Saturday afternoon, and we'll be out of there before the nighttime rush gets there. Who's house is it at tonight, guys?"

"Not mine." David said, scrubbing his hands through his hair. "This is my parent's first night off in like, months. I don't think they want to spend it entertaining the entire men's soccer team."

"It's no problem." Another teammate by the name of Brendon said. "We'll crash it at my house. I just got the newest Halo game a few days ago."

"Halo Unlimited?" Another boy asked excitedly.

"The one and the same!" Brendon said, puffing his chest out as if he were proud of himself for owning it.

"I'm surprised they're still continuing it." David said, grabbing the nearest towel and throwing it around his waste.

"How so?"

"Well, for one, it's incredibly hard to find the time and resources to make new video games, what with the war with Chronos and all. A lot of people don't have time to be making stuff like video games, at least not any good ones. The first Halo was a classic, a work of art for it's time. Everything they're putting out now a days is only half-assed."

"Barker, you have no reason to talk." Another boy named Justin jeered at him from his locker. Out of all the guys on the team, David got alone with Justin the least. "All you play are those old dinosaur first-person shooting games."

"They're classics, what made the games great." David shot back with heavy emphasis. "You guys can't stand to play anything without a headset and a control that has less controls than an airplane cockpit. Sure the graphics are a little outdated and they don't have the emotion feedback system, but they're the father of all video games we see today."

"Whatever." Justin snorted. "And I still say that Ghostly Air is far more scarier than your little Silent Hill RPG, aren't I right, boys?" The other few gamers in the rooms whooped and cheered.

David rolled his eyes and made his way over to his locker. Although he did not admit it allowed, there was something about an icy cold hand being run down your spine and disordered faces being flashed before your eyes that turned his off to Ghostly Air. "Oh yeah, and you didn't scream when that zombie lunged at you from under the car in Silent Hill 2." Justin glowered, but fell silent. At least having his pride bruised was enough to shut him up for the time being.

"Still, can you guess imagine the time when our folks were kids when there wasn't only one company making games? It's crazy."

"What can we say, it was a different world before the Battle for Control, but I heard it was worse before the UFF was formed. Dad says that for a while, the earth looked pretty much doomed to fall into Chrono's control, even with him and those other two Guyvers involved."

"Hey Dave, have you ever met them?"

"Who?" David asked half-heartedly, messing with his locker combination. It was being stubborn again.

"The other two Guyvers, the ones who came from Japan. I mean, your dad's obviously one, so that means that he had to have talked to them."

"Oh, sure, he's met with them a few times, but I never met them; it's not my place. He works to free the world of Chrono's tyrannical control, and I'm a little-league soccer player trying to make it through the tenth grade. Two completely different worlds. Stupid piece of junk!" He added, banging on the locker with his fist when the lock jammed again. He hardly noticed the small burning sensation in his hand when he worked at the combination again. "Besides, he said he doesn't really like conversing with them; he only does it when the UFF makes him. He told me and my mom that one of them is way too passive to be fighting for world peace, and he doesn't like the other guy. Says he just has one of those airs of superiority around him, the real 'better than thou' sort of impression."

"Well, that's a real comfort. This world's best hope of saving us don't even get along." Justin said, apparently gaining back some of the composure that he had lost before.

"I didn't say they didn't get along. They're only human, you know. They're entitled to their own opinions. You can't expect them to get along the first time they meet, just like that." He snapped his fingers for emphasis.

The roar that echoed off the walls of the locker room was nearly deafening as David's locker blew apart into a million pieces of twisted shrapnel. The kids all hit the ground where they stood, covering their necks and the backs of their heads instinctively as they had been taught to do since they first started school without questioning the situation. When the dust finally settled, their coach was nearly on top of them.

"What the hell was that? Barker! Trimor! Evins! Are you all alright?"

"We're fine coach!" David said as he picked himself up off the stone locker room floor, wiping his eye with the back of his hand.

"So you say. You've seen batter days son. Get that cleaned up." David looked at the back of his hand; there was blood smeared across it. He reached up and touched his forehead and saw more blood on his fingers. Without so much as looking back at his ruined locker, he made his way to the bathroom to wash up. Once he was sure he was out of sight, he kicked a sink angrily.

He forgot that he could do that; or, better put, it has been a while since he made anything blow up. That was the second strange thing about him that David had to keep a secret from the entire school population. He was never sure what exactly it was that made it happen, or really why it happened. But over the last few months, he just knew if he touched something, and this could be anything, after getting wound up or upset, it would explode if he snapped his fingers a certain amount of time after physical contact. It did not happen very often; the first few times after he had been exceptionally careful to watch what he touched if he was feeling agitated. The little argument over video games, mixed with the excitement from the energy of the soccer match, was probably what led to it this time. He scorned himself mentally. He had to be more careful.

Leaning over one of the cracked school sinks, David turned on the tap, gathered some water in his hand and splashed it onto his forehead to wash away the blood so he could see how bad the wound was. Ah, it's nothing to be worried about. He thought, inspecting the small, almost paper-thin cut near his hairline. It'll be healed by the time we get to Mikey's. As long as no one else was hurt, that's all that matters. He tore off a piece of paper towel, dampened it, and as he cleaned it a bit more thoroughly he took the time to observe his own features.

David was not sure where he had gotten his hair. Both of his parents had dark hair; David was blonde. And not just your standard blonde; his hair was impossibly blonde, to the point where it was almost yellow, but that was how it grew. It also grew all over the place, giving him a ragged, wild look all the time, no matter what he did to try to change it. It seemed to be naturally spiky, the look that guys got when they put gel in their hair to keep it in place, and it stuck up in two points just behind his ears. But out of everything strange and unusual about his, his hair was the least odd.

People had come up and told him that his eyes creeped them out. That never bothered him, really. Personally, he thought his eyes were cool; they were always bright and acid-green. He would not have been surprised if they glowed in the dark, either. It was what was below his eyes that sometimes had him wondering. For some reason, he had a thin triangular slash mark under each eyes, mirror images of each other that nearly went all the way down to his jaw. He had markings like that too on his forehead, but these ones were slightly different. They were three small diamond-shapes, one that was set in the middle of his brow and the other two leaning towards it so their sides were almost touching. There were also marks on both his hands, two; two waving stripes that wrapped around his wrist, starting from his pinky finger. He also had pointed ears, to make it weirder. Overall, he would definitely say that he stood out in a crowd.

And to add to the list of oddities, there was his powers. Not just the ability to blow things up; David was also telekinetic, and a good one at that. Ever since he was younger, he had the ability to move things using only his mind that most grown men strained to lift. As much as he would love to tell people about it, he decided long ago that his soccer career was more important than putting on tricks for his friends. True, his coach and teammates would think his ability was a gift from the gods, but no one else would have seen it that way, not even David. The word "cheating" made his stomach turn and besides, where would the damn fun be if he used his powers in the game? It was not worth it, he thought. He loved the game just as it was.

His mind was brought back to the present when he heard Brendon's voice. "You think it could have been a cherry-bomb or something? Like one of the jerks from LA West got in here and planted it in David's locker when non of us were looking?"

"If they did, that was a really long wick." Another boy said.

"Barker, are you done in there? Boys, if you're finished cleaning up, can you clear out? I need to speak with him alone."

"Sure thing, coach." David heard Brendon say as he dried his face off. Glancing back at the mirror once, he saw that the cut on his head was almost completely healed. At least he did not have to keep that a secret from everyone else. "David, we'll be outside when you're done. Mikey's awaits!"

"Alright, I'll be right there." David said as he stepped out of the bathroom, watching the last boy disappear. Before he went over to his coach, he took a glance at his locker, or what had been. It was completely destroyed, blown wide open and disfiguring the next three lockers on either side of it. He had known about this power for a few months, but he had never seen it so destructive before.

"David, son, do you think that this is some sort of warning?"

"Warning, coach?" David said in puzzlement.

"Because of…well…who your parents are. Do you think that there's anyone out there who's purposely trying to hurt you because of who you are?"

"I don't think this was an act of the anti-UFF, sir." David said in a more serious tone than his coach had ever seen him before. "I think that they are a little more mature than to be planting cherry bombs in my gym locker. If they wanted to get me, they would have bombed the entire school instead of pulling off some kid's prank."

The coach nodded slowly, taking in David's words. "Still…I don't like the idea of explosions happening in our school. I don't want to see you or any of the other kids hurt. I think that if anyone else was caught in that blast, they would be at the hospital right about now. I'm still having the police come to investigate. Until then, Barker…be careful, okay?"

"Sure thing, coach. See you on Monday." With a final nod, the coach went back to his office. It was about then that David noticed that he was still only wearing his towel. Laughing a little at his own vague observation, he retrieved his gym bag (which was remarkable unharmed besides being a little singed), put on his regular clothing, and left the locker room to meet his friends.

"It's about time, towel-boy." Brendon greeted him from the driver's side window of his pick-up truck when David stepped out into the seething school parking lot. "We were beginning to make bets to see if you remembered to get dressed or not." The other boys started laughing; the two that were sitting in front with Brendon and the other three who were in the flatbed of the truck.

"Well, no money today, boy." David grinned, throwing his bag in back of the truck and joined his teammates. Nowadays no one pulled some kids over because of joyriding in the back of a truck, as long as the kids were not doing anything reckless or dangerous, and Brendon was one of the safest drivers David knew.

Brendon honked the truck's horn to the other waiting cars, and they all took off towards Mikey's Pizza Parlor in a long caravan of hyper teenagers.

"Hey guys, how 'bout some music, straight from the masters themselves?" Brendon called to those in back, having to shout over the wind.

"Sounds good!" David called back before straightening up again, relishing in the feeling of the wind drying his damp hair and against his face. Down below, Brendon put in the CD, cranked up the volume, and they all started singing to one of their favorite Silverchair songs at the top of their lungs, rivaling the blaring music.

"There's gonna be a new race
Kids are gonna start it up
I'm gonna mutate
Kids are saying yeah

"Yeah, Hup! We're really gonna punch you out!"

"Sick of waking up late,
Gotta get some control,
Kids are gonna mutate
From an endless roll!

"Yeah, Hup! We're really gonna punch you out!

Yeah, Hup! We're really gonna punch you out!"


To be Continued…

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