Guyver Fan Fiction ❯ Liberi Fatali ❯ Air Void ( Chapter 4 )

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

Author's note: Yeay! All four kids are now in! Oh, BTW, Chapter 2 has been revised. I suggest you read it, because some of the parts are vital for later.

Chapter Four: Air Void

"Vincent! You got a customer, front desk!"

Vincent Kantusu looked at the digital clock mounted on the wall and suppressed a groan. It was a quarter to five; he was off in fifteen minutes. But now he had to deal with a customer? He would be lucky if he was out of the garage by six. But it was also his duty to make sure that all customers were taken care of, no matter how close they were to closing. They were, after all, the only garage in town. He dusted his greasy hands off on an equally greasy towel, flipped a strand of silvery-white hair out of his eyes, and made his way to the front desk.

Just who it was standing at the desk made him want to groan again, and this time it was a much bigger desire to. Unsurprisingly, it was Will Trodden standing on the other side of the counter, as sour-faced and unpleasant looking as ever. The man had a natural mean streak in him, and when it came to knowing how to properly take care of his car, the man did not know beans. This was just what I need, Vincent thought bitterly. To make care of some stupid thing this moron did to his hunk of shit while getting chewed out by him the entire time. What a way to end the day…. Sometimes I think he screws up just so he can come down here to piss me off.

"What can I help you with, Mr. Trodden?" Vincent spoke in the tone of voice that was not necessarily nasty, but it did have that underlying hint that told that he was less than pleased to be helping him.

"My car's not working correctly." The man behind the counter said in an equally curt manner.

Well, duh.

"And what seems to be the problem?" It was a good thing that Vincent had a relatively easy day. That meant that, for the time being, he would not have to worry about his temper getting the better of him. In most cases, anyway. Trodden always had a way to push Vincent to his last legs before pulling out at the last moment.

The look that Vincent got was one that he had seen too often; a look that said well, you're the mechanic, so you tell me. At least Trodden had some sense to him. The last time he had said that Vincent gave him such a look that it would have sent a rabid wolf running for cover. It was nice to have that bit of fear installed into him, to say the least. "The engine's stalling. And it smells funny. I need you to look at it."

"Very well." Vincent sighed, walking out from behind the counter and brushing past his customer with just enough force to knock him back a foot or two.

There was a popular joke around town that said Mr. Trodden's car was too old to even be a relic; an antique of antiques. The sad thing was, it was true, and the fact that he never bothered to properly take care of it only made it worse. It was an old, rusty Oldsmobile back from the 1970s that was probably fairly nice in its time. Now Vincent wondered what it was that was keeping it running. There were several times when he thought about sabotaging the engine while he was working on it and putting the poor thing our of its misery, but the one time he actually tired doing that it nearly cost him his job. So, he did not have a choice but to keep working on it until the thing died on its own. Hopefully that would be soon.

Very soon.

Just as always, Vincent opened the hood to the engine first to check what would be the most obvious of sources of problems. However, if he knew Trodden, then it would be something so obscure that even in all his years on the job, it was continue to mildly surprise him. A blast of heat rushed to meet him as soon as the hood was open; if anything, it had just overheated, but just to save himself from an ear-full, he still continued to run a standard check-up. He checked the pistons, the fan belt, the oil tank, but when he got to the water tank…

Vincent felt like slapping himself more then Trodden.

"Mr. Trodden, there's oil in the water tank."

"So?" The old man snapped. "It's just a little bit."

Breathing deeply to control himself, Vincent dipped one long finger into the tank and when he pulled it out, it was dripping with the greasy black liquid to the knuckle. "This counts as a little more than just 'a little bit'. What were you trying to do?"

"What are you talking about smart-ass, my car needed more oil! It's better than brining it to some young punk and this dump."

"And you didn't bother to check both tanks? There are two different tanks for a reason, Trodden." Although Vincent kept his voice calm, the dropping of the formal address was warning enough to tell Trodden to shut up and listen. He took the time to wipe the excess oil off of his equally dirty jeans before continuing. "Next time you decide you need some work on your car, bring it to us. You've been in so much that we might give you a discount. It's going to have to stay here for the night. You can pick it up at ten tomorrow."

"Ten?" Trodden bellowed back. "Why the hell can't you do it now?"

The look that the man received made him feel as if the world had just suffered an instant ice age as Vincent looked at him dangerously from the corner of his eye, the silver irises flashing the glaring sun. "Ten o'clock tomorrow morning, or you can take it home and try to solve it yourself."

The old man swallowed, his sour expression giving away to one of fear. The silver eyes, the pale complexion marred by dark marks slashed across his face, and the fact that Vincent was a good six feet tall made him someone to be feared when he was upset. "All right…ten it is." And with that, he turned on his heel and all but ran back down the dusty street.

Vincent sighed, calming himself down. At least he did not completely loose his temper, but it still did not hurt to put Trodden back in his place every now and then. Walking around to the driver's side of the car, Vincent leaned in, released the parking break, then proceeded to make his way around the back to single-handedly push the car to the empty garage as easily as it were a toy.

"Trodden's car again?" Vincent's fellow mechanic and closest acquaintance, Mark Alster, asked with the raised eyebrow when he saw Vincent pushing the car effortlessly into their garage. Vincent only nodded as he got the car over the nearest lift, locked the wheels in place, then proceeded over to the sink to wash his hands. "What is it this time?"

"The moron put oil in the water tank."

"As opposed to when he put anti-freeze in the water tank?"

"This is worse, and a lot more stupid."

"And I take it that you're not going to work on it now?"

"It'll take an hour to finish, but that I'm reserving for after we open tomorrow. We're closed for the day, so therefore, I'm going to act like it. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Alright…take care, man." Vincent only waved over his shoulder before walking out of the garage entirely, leaving it up to Alster to clean up and lock up himself. And since his coworker could tell Vincent was already in a bad enough mood as it was, it was not wise to call him back at the moment. Anyone who knew anything about the silver-haired youth knew that when Vincent needed his space, it was just best to let him have it.

Vincent finished washing up, changing out of his work clothing and changing into his casual clothing, which were relatively the same except they were much cleaner, grabbed up his keys and the long, thin case by his locker and exited the garage.

The hot summer sun glared down upon Vincent, making him squint as he peered down the long broken asphalt road, which was now more dirt than pavement. The distant, bleak landscape beyond the outskirts of the run-down town shimmered in the afternoon heat, still sweltering at 5:30, the distant mountains rippling like water as they rose out of the scorched desert sands. He had been living in this wasteland for nearly seven years now, and he still wondered how anything could survive out here. It was practically in the middle of nowhere, literally cut off from all other contact in the world with only the radio to keep the population updated on all current events. But despite the lack of resources, the choking summer weather and the deadly cold nights, the town still had a healthy population.

Vagabonds. Runaways. That's what they all were. People who did not want to deal with the hassle of the outside world, of the war that raged since as long as Vincent remembered. Some would consider them cowards, too afraid to stick up for themselves and join in the fight in reclaiming the world that the damned mega-corperation was taking away from under their very noses. Others were living in denial here, not wanting to breathe a word of any outside activities. Vincent was here for neither of those reasons. He was not afraid, or in denial. He just did not want to get caught up in a world where he could be used again.

Some people called this place hell. Others called it heaven. Whatever it was, it was still a sanctuary, nonetheless; a small section of land in southern Nevada untouched by the war between the UFF and Chronos that gave those who chose to be uninvolved a chance to live a somewhat normal life.

No Man's Land. A fitting name for a place that the world forgot.

Shaking his head, Vincent continued over to the spot where he bike was secured next to the garage. The sleek black body of his Yamaha YZF-R1 gleamed in the sun, the silver lining reflecting the sunlight in blinding radiance. It was easily the nicest vehicle in the whole town, as well as the best running, and everyone who lived there knew that it was, besides what was in the case the was slung over Vincent's shoulder, his most prized possession. Strapping down the long case over the back of the seat, the silver-haired boy put on his helmet, mounted the bike, and kicked it into gear. With a roar and a blinding cloud of pale dust, he took off at break-neck speed down the road, away from his house, and out into the desert.

He needed peace right now. He needed to think.

The world became only two colors as he rode out into the desert, that of dusty yellow earth and blindingly blue sky, with only scattered, rocky hills and a shimmering horizon breaking the monotony. The bike roared as it topped a low-rolling hill, and below him stretched the great dry lakebed, a solid stretch of earth three square miles of stone, long ago shattered like glass. And, to his surprise, completely empty. This was a rare thing, indeed. There were no rules in No Man's Land, and therefore, no excuse to make kids go to school, nor to make adults go to work, so usually the dry lakebed was teeming with other people; racing bikes, shooting, most likely. Seeing deserted land below was an alien sight to him, but not one that made him question his own being there.

Maybe there was just a test today; nothing that he could not easily avoid. Besides, he had more sense to believe that the UFF would perform a test so close to the sanctuary, but he supposed that being cautious about the situation was not necessarily a bad thing. It just meant he did not have worry about any stupid kids getting in his way when he was practicing that day; besides the occasional brainless customer, an interrupted chain of thought was one of Vincent's pet peeves.

Vincent rose his bike down the hill, towards the very outskirts of the lakebed where a very familiar lone rock stood at its outskirts; the one thing stable enough for Vincent to shoot at without it getting obliterated in a few rounds. It had already survived longer than he expected, although it was evident that it was well worn-down; the face was riddled with bullet holes and the edges had been badly chipped away. Shooting was one of the few things that Vincent could do to relax his mind, to keep it occupied enough to keep him from thinking about… other things…

Stop that. He told himself harshly. There's no point in getting upset over nothing. It's done and over with.

With a final roar and a cloud of dusk, Vincent stopped his YZF-R1 a good four hundred feet before the stone, turned off the engine and slid off the seat, taking the long, thin package with him. He undid the zipper, and pulled his second most prized possession from the case; a long, thin rifle, complete with sniper's scope, gleamed in the sun, so polished and well-maintained that just the look of it would have made the bravest of men antsy. From a small side pocket Vincent pulled out a good handful of bullets, most of which he stuck in his pocket, but skillfully keeping two between his fingers as he withdraw from within the case a pack of rolled-up papers, all with a target and numbers printed on them. He made a quick trip to the rock to pin up a few of the targets, loading the rifle as he made his way back, holding the remaining papers in his teeth. Once back at his bike, he tucked the last of the papers away, then turned swiftly, raised the rifle to eye-level, and fired a round straight at the rock. The sound of the gunshot echoed across the lakebed, scattering the silence as the bullet pierced through the center-most score of the target.

After plugging off a few rounds into the boulder, Vincent lowered his rifle and sighed. For some reason, this was just not working for him today. Whereas going out a shooting for an hour or so did wonders to calm him mind, his back and shoulders were still tense, a strangle sort of tingle running up his spine. Not taking his eyes from what lie before him, he fully lowered his rifle and reached out with his mind, probing the landscape around him within a mile and a half diameter. He frowned.

Dammit. He cursed inwardly. How many… Eighty? No… at least a hundred. Well isn't this just fucking fantastic. Might as well get it over with… They all seem to be pretty standard… Vincent returned to his bike, unloaded the remaining shells in his rifle and returned it to its case. Then he set his watch to count down from five minutes, putting it on standby. Let's see if I can't break my old record… Then raising his head, he called out to what seemed like nothing: "Why don't you stop slinking around and show yourselves? You obviously know that I know you're out there."

They rose like ghosts, like mirages, out of the shimmering desert landscape, in ranks of ten across, seemingly human, for now, but the silver-haired boy knew better than to think such petty thoughts. Vincent felt as if ice had slid down to his stomach as he realized what was going on. Why didn't I see this before? I am today's test.

"Stop wasting my time!" He yelled to the on coming army. "If you've come for me, then let's see what you go!"

As if rising to the challenge, the mass of people coming to hi suddenly broke into a full-out charge, heading straight for him…and they began to change. Change from human-sized beings to something much larger, much more monstrous, covered in thick fur or bony plates are armor, topped off with horns, claws and razor-sharp teeth. Zoanoids, and a lot of them. Even after Chronos had been exposed to the world so many years ago, grown men were still known to give way to their own fright when confronted with the ungodly troops of the cooperation. Anyone who saw Vincent, standing there, unmoving and completely unprotected against his seemingly oncoming doom would surely think that he was insane, that he was facing his own death right in the face.

In the barest of movements, Vincent bent his knee - ever so slightly - before breaking hard right in a dead-sprint from his complete standstill. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him, which, if seen from afar, was rather impressive. There was no doubt that he could easily leave the most esteemed sprinters in the world in his dust, but that hardly mattered. Vincent ran, his already dusty shoes becoming further stained with the desert dust, with only one real thought on his mind…

If they as so much scratch my bike, there'll be more than hell to pay.

It was a well-known fact to almost everyone heavily involved in the war against Chronos that Zoanoids were developed to be the perfect soldiers; stronger, faster, more efficient fighters than your average human. So how Vincent, a mere human boy of sixteen, was able to stay out and far away from their grasp was a mystery, even to him.

But still, running was running, and it seemed to be the only defense that Vincent had. He was, of course, only human, standing alone and defenseless against on oncoming army that had been known to tear apart a city within moments. And moreover, he had left a fairly efficient weapon back from the place he had once been, the rifle leaning untouched and forgotten by the side of his trusty bike.

That was because Vincent had something planned, something oh so much bigger up his sleeves…

No Man's Land had been specially set up as a refuge, protected by the UFF but not to be interfered with. It was a place where people could escape the harsh reality of the war and the ungodly methods of the Chronos cooperation. That meant that it was a very good thing that no one knew of Vincent's special abilities. Sure, some might have thought that his superior strength and unmatched speed were unusual, but if they found out what he really was…

For people with his abilities, his…powers…would no doubt be seen as an ally to Chronos, and in this place, that was more dangerous than a thousand, ten thousand of the monsters who were hot on his trail at that time.

Feeling secure that he had put enough distance between him and his attackers, Vincent dug his heels into the ground, bringing himself to a full and complete stop, immediately spinning around so he was face-to-face with the Zoanoids. Without a second thought he clapped his hands before him, closing his eyes part way as he concentrated.

Silken threads…the fine whispers of spider web…delicate strands of the light of the crescent moon…

His fingers moved just slightly so they were between each other before being folded over onto his hands, making it look as if the boy were praying for a miracle to save him. But then his hands pulled apart, separating so they barely touched each other, but in the glaring light of the sun, something very faint glimmered from the boy's long digits, tightening as Vincent spread his hands further apart.

Silver eyes snapping open, Vincent flexed his hands and spread them so they were shoulder-length apart, and something was definitely seen between them; an intricate pattern, as complex as a spider's web…

And the front rank of Zoanoids exploded before his eyes.

Well, they did not exactly explode, but it definitely looked as if they had run into a wall made of invisible razors. They fell apart in neatly cut slices, like pieces of meat under a butcher's cleaver. Vincent's cleaver little trick was enough to take down the front line of Zoanoids but still, they kept coming. Apparently his slice-and-dice method, which had never failed him before, was not as effective as he would like it to be, nor would it hinder their persistent charge.

Well, no one said you had to be smart to be a super-soldier. Just that you need to take orders. Oh well. Guess I'll have to take it up a notch…

With a sigh, Vincent let his mind-induced strings fall away, fading and drifting away on the wind like harmless spider-webs. Glancing down at his watch, he saw that he only had three minutes left to break his old record. Therefore, this was going to take slightly more strength that what he had originally planned…

Once again Vincent brought his hands in front of him, focusing in on the center of his powers, forming a mental image of what he wanted to do. But unlike his spider strings, which were light and delicate, this was a very different concept; that of a raging whirlpool, a violent spiraling hurricane, a vortex at the center of a black hole….

Something glittered in the palms of Vincent's hands, starting out as small pinpricks of light that began to swell, growing in size and luminosity. The very air around his began to stir, moving slowly at first, disturbing the dirt on the ground and creating fine ripples in the sand. A small breeze flipped Vincent's already fine hair across his eyes, but that breeze began to quickly accelerate as the very air around him began to solidify, becoming a solid, invisible mass that was pressing against the oncoming army of Zoanoids. At almost the same time, tiny beads of light began to collect in his hands, very small at first, but those two began to grow in size and intensifying light until it looked like five blinding white fireflies had gathered in his hands, forming a perfect circle. They began to rotate, slowly, but soon picked up speed, and the air surrounding him followed a similar pattern, beginning to rotate, like the water in a whirlpool, centering around the very middle of those glowing spheres, which were now spinning so fast it looked like a white, glowing ring…

With a howling roar that could rival that of a tornado, the wind created by the swirling wind accelerated to the speed of a cyclone, and the circle of light condensed and collapsed, forming a bottomless, blacker-than-black hole in the center of Vincent's hands…

Now the Zoanoids were unable to deny that there was definitely something more about this boy than what they had bargained for, and that he was far more dangerous than any of them could have suspected. Regardless of what they had been informed, this had not been in part of that information. They turned to retreat…

And found, in horror, that no matter how hard they tried to run, they found themselves being pulled backwards, their feet being dragged against the hard, rocky ground as the wind wrapped around them. The wind of the cyclone intensified, the roar growing ever more monstrous, and before any of them knew what was happening, the front ranks of Zoanoids were being lifted from their feet and were flying through the air, towards the black hole in Vincent's hands. Their bodies became increasingly smaller as they came nearer until they were no bigger than dolls to be swallowed into the void, disappearing forever.

One after another, as many as five at a time, the Zoanoids disappeared into the void as the world itself seemed to be pulled toward the vortex, helpless to stop the power.

Then, finally, when the last Zoanoid had completely from existence, Vincent once again let his hands drop to his side. The air void that he had created in his hands disappeared, and the wind died in the instant as the black hole was sealed.

Vincent drew a deep breath, running his hands through his hair, which had been somewhat disheveled in the whole ordeal. Before him, the desert stretched out for miles, completely empty and almost unchanged. Had he been in a more populated area, or a place with more structures around, then the damage that his little trick would have caused would have been much greater. There might have even been some civilian casualties… He cleared his mind of that thought. That was why he disliked using the Air Void; at least with his Spider Silk he could have some control in this situation.

A small beeping sound reached his ears. The timer on his watch had gone off. He had broken his old record. It would have almost made him half-smile, if he had once again realized that he was still being watched.

With a sigh, he looked up into the bleak landscape, turned to were the presence was coming from, and said in a loud, clear voice, "You have obviously seen what I am capable of doing. And since you don't feel like anything from Chronos, you might as well show yourselves. I am not in a very good mood right now."

For the second time that day, figures rose from the shimmering horizon; not zoanoids, but this time, two men, dressed all in black despite the heat of the day, and both wearing dark glasses. They looked like something out of a movie that he had seen a long time ago, when he was still with his parents, but as they drew nearer, Vincent's sharp eyes could see the crest of the UFF on the right breasts of their jackets. Now what can the UFF want with me? Vincent remained motionless until they were just a few feet away from each other and Vincent had a chance to fully look them over. They were both unarmed, and human.

"Can I help you gentlemen?"

"Kantusu? Vincent Kantusu, is it not?" One of the men asked.

Vincent narrowed his silver eyes skeptically. "Depends on who wants to know."

"We are members of the UFF, as you might have noticed, and we come to you with no intentions of struggle. We have been searching for you for a very long time, son."

"And what do you want?"

"To make a proposition." The second man said. "As you might have guessed, today's test was designed for one purpose; to see the full extent of your powers, and from what we have seen, they are unlike any we have ever witnessed before."

"Are you here for the reserved arms?" Vincent said quickly, cutting them off, his face slowly darkening into a dangerous scowl. "I will not be made into a soldier for your dirty war." But before he could stalk off, the first man spoke again.

"We are not here to recruit you, son. We are here to help you. Have you ever considered yourself or your unique ability to be a danger to anyone else? Has there ever been a time when you felt fear of your own powers, or when they might have gotten out of control?" This made Vincent stop and look over his shoulder, questioning. "If so, than we an offer to make. In the last five years, the UFF has been keeping track of children of your standards, as there seem to have been a growing number of them in the last few years. However, since there have been very few recorded cases of telekinesis or telepathy on such on active level, these children have no guidance on what to do with them, making them a potential danger to themselves and others."

"And what does this have to do with me? You saw that I'm in control."

"Maybe so…but how do you know that your powers are not growing?" The second man questioned.

"There is a school…" The first man pressed. "in Russia, funded by the UFF, specially set up to help children with growing powers. It was founded on research that your parents worked on, Vincent. To help children cope with these new abilities that, until recently, have only been speculations of the true extent of the human mind."

Now they had his complete attention. "What do you want with me, then?"

"To come to the school for the minimum of a semester." The first man said, somewhat relieved that he had finally lost most of his edge. "We don't want to monitor you, but maybe you can help us lead some insight on proper control. And, in return, perhaps we can help you if you ever need it. And in return to the gratefulness of your parent's work, free room and board. But, of course, no one's making you. What do you say?"

Vincent was silent for a moment, turning over the info in his mind. Finally, he gave his answer.

"Only if I can bring my bike."


To be continued….