Jess, Bernie and I walked for a while without much talking or action. However, that's what I was wanting for now, I was deep in thought as we walked. Questions ran through my head like running water.
A stop stopped my thoughts "Stop!" I looked up to see a square building with fences on both sides. The voice belonged to a young blond haired man wearing a military suit and hat that stood next to another guy wearing the same thing,this one had a brown beard.
"What?" I asked
"Terry? Jake? Is that you?" Asked Bernie stepping in front of me to get a better look at the two men.
The young blond man, the one called Terry, suddenly smiled and said "Jess! Bernie! You're back!"
"What are you guys going on guard duty?" asked Jess.
"Uh, never mind that." Said Terry
Jake then spoke, smiling as well "Hurry! Gets your asses in here before anything shows up!"
"I agree!" I muttered now waiting in front of the thick steel doors. The doors opened and me, Bernie and Jess walked in quickly. A hand stopped me from going any farther.
"What?" I asked Jake who had stopped me and was now standing in front of me.
"Stop right there, buddy. Time to scan you." He said
"I'm not infected..." I said in a semi-annoyed tone.
"Joey, this is standard procedure. Just stand still." Said Bernie.
"Fine but if this hurts, I'm blaming you!" I said
"It doesn't hurt!"
"SCANNING SUBJECT..." I just sighed softly as I was scanned then the scanner said "ERROR. PLEASE SCAN SUBJECT AGAIN." I raised an eyebrow.
"Error?" Asked Terry "That's new. Scan him again."
"SCANNING SUBJECT... SUBJECT IS FREE OF INFECTION. WELCOME TO NEW HAMMERSTON."
"Well! You heard the machine!" Said Jake "Welcome to New Hammerston, uh..."
"Joey! Just call me Joey for now." I said smiling and took my first step into New Hammerston. "Is there any place where I can grab a bit to eat?"
"We can go to Rosa's Cantina."
"Sounds good to me!"
"Sounds like a plan. I'm hungry, too." Said Bernie turning to leave the building out the other end but Terry stopped him.
"The mayor's going to want to see you, Bernie. Where have you been all this time?" He asked
"We were trapped on the other side of the bridge. Didn't you get my transmissions?" Said Bernie, I would just heard him frowning.
"No..." Terry said with a small frown himself "We were never told of any message from you guys."
"Hm... I smell that something is up..." I muttered but of course, nobody heard me.
"Hm... weird." Said Bernie.
Quiet suddenly, my stomach decided to grow loudly "Can we discuss this over some food?" I asked rubbing my belly.
"We'll catch up late, guys. Meet you at Rosa's tonight?" Said Bernie
"See you there." Said Jake.
"Have fun at the rest of guard duty, Terry Berry!" Said Jess, teasing Terry a little.
He made a face and I held back a laugh."don't call me that while I'm in uniform, Jess!" He said then turned to look at Bernie "See you later tonight."
We walked into New Hammerston and boy it was kind of busy! There were people walking about, getting the things they need to run a normal, everyday life or as close as normal as possible. After Bernie and Jess undressed from there suits.
They took me on a tour. However I was slowing down and soon stood alone in the middle of the street, holding myself. Never before I felt so out of place, like I didn't belong here.
"This is New Hammerston, Joey!" Said Bernie then turned to look of me "Joey?" He spotted me and totted over. "Joey what's wrong?" He asked, worry creaking in his voice.
"What it always this crowded?" I asked softly.
"This is a survivor's colony." Said Jess, standing next to her brother. The look on her face was held the same worry as Bernie "This is one of many places that are trying to rebuild humanity."
"I don't like it..." I said closing my eyes. "It's so loud... Noisy..."
"Hey," Said Bernie placing his hands on my shoulders, causing me to look up. "You're just probably not used too this many people before!"
"That could be it..." I muttered, tilting my head to the left ever so slightly. "C-can we go somewhere quiet?"
"Sure thing." Said Bernie "Right this way." The more I walked into the city the more I relaxed and soon didn't mind the people.
"Plant puppies! Plant puppies for sale! Only 500 credits! All the pet with none of the mess!" Said a man standing between to boxes with the most interesting creatures I've seen so far. They look just like a dog but with some plant
characteristics. They were looking at us while they wagged their tails in glee. The green plant puppy barked at us happily as we walked closer.
"George!" Said Jess smiling at the man.
"Jess! It's good to see you, young lady!" Said George smiling
"It's been a while, George!" Said Bernie.
"Yes, it has Bernie! How are you kids?"
"It's been a tough few weeks. We only just got into town."
"well, it's good to see you two are safe."
"Sorry to interrupt," I said "But what are plant puppies?"
"Who's this young fellow?" Asked George, looking me over.
"This is Joey." Said Jess "He helped us get through the bridge barricade."
"Hello, Joey! Always nice to meet a new survivor!"
I simply nodded "So what are you selling here?" I asked again looking down at the green plant puppy, who was giving me the puppy eyes.
"These are plant monster pups! I picked them up on my last trade mission." Said George, petting one of the puppies.
"These are plant monsters?"
"That they are! But these little pups are cute, cuddly, and are guaranteed to not rip you apart when you sleep! All you feed them is water and all they poop out is oxygen! They're the perfect pets!"
"Wow! I've never seen a plant monster that was so... adorable." Said Bernie smiling down at the puppies.
"They're so cute!" Said Jess doing the same thing but with a bigger smile.
"Yes! As you know, some plant monsters are doppelgangers. These little guys must have been in close contact with dogs." Said George
"I want one!" I said "Can I?"
"I see no reason why you shouldn't have one." Said Bernie "Alright, the Base could use a pet, I guess. How much, George?"
"Oh, I wouldn't dream of charging the kids of the man who saved my life!" Said George with the smallest frown.
"No, no. Please, let me pay."
"Ah, bless you, lad. We need more people like you out there. For you, 200 credits!"
"Thanks, George." Said Bernie handing the credit over to George
"Which one should we get?" Asked Jess.
"Hmm. They're all pretty awesome. What do you think, Joey?" Said Bernie looking at me.
"Hm..." I took a step closer to the puppies, trying to decide. "Pity we take all of them..."
Then the green pant puppy spoke "Joey! Joey!"
"Whoa!" I said "This is one!" I petting the green plant puppy and it made a weird purring weird which only made it cuter.
"I think it likes you! Doppelgangers are kind of like parrots, they tend to repeat what you say!" Said George
"Awesome!" I said "We're taking you home, little guy!" It barked happily
"Well, not right now, Joey." Said Bernie "We need to meeting. George can you keep him for the time being?"
* * * * * *
We walked into a apartment room. "Where are we?" I asked looking around the simple room.
"Welcome to our apartment, Joey." said Bernie.
"You have an apartment, too? Not as nice as the Base, though."
"This is our old apartment. We lived here with our family before The Pocalypse hit."
Jess sighed and said "Yeah. Those were simpler days. We help the town out with whatever Pocalypse-problems they have while we're here."
"Our dad also started working on Harry here." Said Bernie
I crossed my arm and gave them a look. "Okay. You dad isn't really a supermarket owner is he?" I asked "He can't be this successful can he?"
The two looked at each other before Jess said "I think we can trust him now, Bernie."
"Yeah, you're right. We've been through enough." Bernie said and motioned me to sit on the couch with him. I sat down with him. "Forgive our secrecy, Joe. We can't give anybody information about our dad, unless its to someone we trust."
"Why? Is there people wanting information?" I asked
"Yes." Said Jess taking her place next to Bernie "We can't let the vampires or their spies know anything that might lead them to our dad."
"... If he's still alive." added Bernie, looking down at the floor.
"How could you say that, Bernie! Of course he's alive!" Said Jess.
"What happened to him? Why isn't he here with us?" I asked
"Our dad, Bernard Senior, was an engineer and inventor before The Pocalypse happened. He designed military equipment for the government." Said Jess, looking at me.
"Years ago, just before The Pocalypse hit, he discovered something that made him quit his job and leave our home country." Said Bernie
"We don't know. He never really spoke about it and he would always change the subject whenever we asked." Said Jess
"He changed our family name and moved us to Hammerston. Jess and I were kids and our mom was still with us then." Said Bernie. I looked down at the floor, closed my eye and thought about the information I was getting. I could see the events as
they were told to me. "Dad opened up the supermarket and started programming Harry. He must've known that something was coming.Years passed as the world began noticing the zombie outbreaks. Tiny groups of infected started to grow into
unmanageable swarms. Dad finished Harry and they began working on the Base."
"These years were the hardest for us. Dad began to teach us how to defend ourselves as he and Harry finished up the Base." Said Jess, frowning. "We learned a lot in those years. Mom home-schooled us and Dad taught us how to kill
"It wasn't the best experience, we had our share of troubles, but we did manage to defend our home and survive until the Base was finally finished.That was when the zombie infestation reached its peak in Hammerston."
"We were about to enter the Base and seal it up, but we couldn't make it in time... The swarm smashed through our defenses and... and..."
"They took Mom..." Finished Bernie. I was silent, there was pity in my heart and for a sec, I felt their pain stabbing into my soul. For some odd reason, I understand the feeling of loosing a loved one. "Dad, Jess, and I were able to
make it into the Base and seal it up. "
"We were all devastated when we lost Mom. Dad blamed himself for not saving her."
"He just worked. He kept making weapons. All day, every day."
"He barely talked. He used to be so happy and light-hearted, but losing Mom changed him."
"He created Sentinel, Stinger, and... Obliteration, his battle suit."
"It was extremely powerful, but Dad wiped Harry's memory of the design, so we can't recreate its technology."
"Together, we began to rid Hammerston of the infected. Though, Obliteration did most of the work."
"We were very effective - thanks to Dad - and we started finding survivors."
"Dad and the survivors began to build the New Hammerston colony."
"That's when the vampires showed up."
"With humanity vulnerable, they came out of hiding and began to hunt us."
"Dad hunted them back and soon captured Andrius. During their search for Andrius, a group of vampires viciously attacked New Hammerston and killed most of its citizens."
"Dad lost it. We'd never seen him that angry. He blamed himself for not being with the colony when they needed him. He rushed to the colony without even telling us."
"When we found out, we rushed to New Hammerston to help, but it was already over."
"Dad killed every vampire he could find until the town was safe... Then he said goodbye. He said that he was proud of us and that he loved us."
"He left us with the Base and told us not to follow him."
"We haven't seen him since. It's been three long years."
I remain silent for a full minute before I spoke "Odd..."
"What's odd?" Asked Jess
"It's odd... I... I think I know him..."
"You do?!" They said at the same time.
"Yes... I think." I said, opening my eyes and rubbed me head "The name sparks feelings and very, very faint memories but not strong enough to take a hold. Hm, I wonder where he is right now. I hope we run into him again one day."
"I hope so, too." Said Bernie "For now, let's find out who you are, maybe you can help us find him in a way." The phone rang. "I got it. Hello? Mayor Ludo! ... We'll be right there." He put the phone back "The mayor wants to see us. He
probably has a mission for us."
"What about Joe?" Asked Jess.
Bernie looked at me "It's up to you, Joe. We've made it to New Hammerston, so you can start a new life here. We can set you up with an apartment and a job in town. I'm not going to force you to help us with our missions. But, if you want
to stay with us at the Base, you're welcome to."
I thought about it "NAH!" I said waving a hand and smiled "I want to help you guys out! You've done so much for me and I want to repay you some how!"
"Thanks, Joe. Missions won't be so dangerous with you around." Said Bernie with a smile as well."
"All right then." Said Jess, smiling as well "Let's go see the mayor."
* * * * * *
After much walking, I was sitting in a sat in front of a aging man named Mayor Ludo. "Thank you for coming, Bernie and Jess." he said. However I wasn't paying much mind to him. I was looking at a man in front of a bookcase. There's
something that I don't like about him.
"Of course, Mayor Ludo. It's great to see you." Said Bernie
"Lieutenant Cross insisted on joining us."
"... I'm glad to see that you two are alive and well." Crossed said, I narrowed my eyes at him, I didn't like the tone of his voice.
Bernie must have picked something up too, he was frowning when he said "... Good to see you, Lieutenant Cross."
"And this is?" Asked the Mayor looking at me.
"Please call me Joey." I said, not taking my eyes off of Cross. Cross was eying me as well.
"He helped us through the barricade. You know, the one that we were trapped behind! Why didn't you send help?! After everything we've done for you!" Said Jess with an angry edge to her voice.
"Calm down, Jess. Mayor, didn't you get my distress signals? I sent them out at least twice a day." Said Bernie, trying to calm his sister.
"Distress signals? I was not informed of any transmissions from you. Lieutenant, aren't your men in charge of outside communications?" Said the Mayor, surprised.
"Yes, that's right. I am in charge of all communications." Cross said. I watched him, walk so he was standing a few few away from the Mayor "Hmm, now that you mention it, I do recall receiving a few distress signals from you..." I saw
something silver and lunged at him. There was a bang and the bullet hit the Mayor in the arm. He yelped in pain and grabbed his bleeding arm
"Cross! What the hell are you doing?!" Yelled Jess as she watched me pinning him down and took his gun away.
"You're supposed to be dead, you little fucks!" He roared, struggling against my powerful grip. I didn't see two armed men ran into the room and puched me off. Now I was standing in front of the Bernie and Jess. Bernie had the Mayor behind him.
"Lieutenant! what is this?!" Yelled Bernie.
"Private... kill them all." Said Cross, getting up and brushed himself.
"Yes, sir!" The Private said.
"Kill this piece of shit first. He helped them get through the barricade."
I glared at him "Coward..." I said
"What did you say?" Growled Cross, walking over to the two men so he was in front of them, he pointed his gun at me.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Can't hear me, old-timer? I said "Coward"!" I smirked at him "Come on, shoot me yourself – if you've got the balls."
"You've got some mouth, kid. It's going to be a pleasure killing you. Lights out, motherfucker."
"We'll see about that." He fired and the bullet hit me in the head but didn't kill me, it just bounded off all dented. "Ow!" I said rubbing my forehead.
"You shot me in the forehead, you asshole! That hurt!"
"MY TURN ASSHOLE!" I charged at them
"Don't kill him, Joey!" Said Bernie
With one punched, I knocked Cross and his men back. There was a cracking sound and Cross began to couch. "You... fucking... you broke my ribs."
"Well you just Crossed the line!" I said, smiling at the joke I made.
"Jess, call the hospital." Said Bernie walking over to Cross
"What... What are you?" He asked
"I'm the last guy in the world you want to shoot. I would've cracked your skull open if Bernie didn't stop me." I growled.
"A hospital crew is on its way." Said Jess.
"Why, Lieutenant? Why did you you this?" Asked Bernie
"You got our distress signals and you didn't do anything?! You left us to die?! I'm going to kill you!" Snarled Jess.
"No, Jess! You know we don't kill other people. We're on the same side, Lieutenant! We're at war with all the horrors of this world, we can't fight each other!"
"I am the hero of this city! Not some punk kids! That useless mayor assigns my elite team of soldiers to fuckin' guard duty! And when you show up he gives you a mission! A mission that was meant for me! Not some fuckin' children! I am Lieutenant James Cross! The hero of Hammerston! I have more medals and honors than you'll ever have! You and your fucking father!"
"This isn't a popularity contest, you idiot!" Said Bernie "If we don't work together, we all die! We're not in it for the glory, we're fighting for the survival of humanity!"
"Bullshit! You're hogging all the power! Your suits, your weapons, your base... and now this... this freak!"
"Who, me? Fuck you!" I snapped at him, I was standing next to the Mayor, just in case something happens.
"I will have your power, mark my words. Even if I have to rip it from your dead hands, I will have your power!"
"I'm done speaking with you, Lieutenant. Enjoy your prison cell." Said Bernie and punched Cross in the face, causing him to faint.
"Aw, I wanted to do that." Said Jess.
"The emergency crew should be here any minute. Are you okay, Joey?"
"Yeah, I'm alright. That bullet hurt. It'll likely leave a mark but it'll go away soon." I muttered
"I'm sure training toughened you up a bit, too." Said Jess.
"Thanks, Joey. You saved us. I'm sorry about the Lieutenant. I had no idea he was thinking all this."
"People change." I said with a shrug "For better or for worse."
"Cross was always an asshole, but I never thought he'd do this." Said Jess.
"Now how about we end this meeting and lock up Mr. Cross here, Hm?" I asked clapping my hands and smiled.
"Yea, let's do just that." Said Bernie.
* * * * * *
Later that night, me, Bernie and Jess meant up with Terry and Jake at Rosa's Cantina. It turns out that Jess had a boyfriend. His name is Nick, a doctor, he seems nice and Jess looked pretty happy being with him.
"I missed this place!" Said Jess.
"This is Rosa's Cantina, Joey." Said Bernie.
I nodded "Likes all right to me." I said.
"Best food in all of Hammerston!" Said Jake smiling.
Then walked out the most stunning woman I have EVER seem. "Hi guys! Welcome!"
"Sweet... mother... of... Betsy..." I said, staring in awe at the beautiful woman that stood before me. I fell for her in a heart beat.
Jess shook my shoulder "Joey!" She said
"What?" I asked looking at her.
"I said this is Rosa, the owner."
"Hi Joey! Lovely to meet you!" Said Rosa.
I didn't have the guts to say much but a weak "H-hi...!"
"Come, have a seat, everyone!" Said Rosa and lead us to our seats.
Once we were seated and Rosa was off to make our meals, Bernie told our adventures to Terry, Jake and Nick. "... and then we met Terry and Jake at the gate." Finished Bernie.
"Then the whole mess at the mayor's office." Said Jess.
"That's quite a story!" Said Nick
"Amazing... Joey, you've got some amazing abilities!" Said Terry.
"I'd love to fight beside you and see you in action!" Said Jake.
I smiled a little. "Maybe." I said
"Do you remember anything before you woke up at the hospital?" Said Nick.
I shook my head "I have amnesia." I said "I can't remember a thing..."
"Hm..." As all he said
"I think we may be able to get some answers after some examinations. If you don't mind, Joey." Said Bernie
"As long as I don't feel pain of any kind..." I said "I maybe seem indestructible, but I can still feel pain."
"We'll take you to see the Doc tomorrow."
"I thought Dr. Nick here was the Doc!" I said looking at Nick.
"Oh, no. The Doc is New Hammerston's medical researcher. He's a little... eccentric."
"Eccentric? The Doc is fuckin' insane! Haha!" Said Jake with a laugh that made me shift in my seat.
"Yeah, but in a good way." Said Terry added quickly, seeing my discomfort.
"What did the mayor want to see you two about?" Asked Nick, looking over at Bernie.
"I assume he wanted to give us a mission. We didn't get any details." Answered Bernie.
"A mission? Hmm, I think I know what he wanted you to do." Said Terry, he too looked at Bernie
"Alright, but keep this a secret. I don't think the mayor wants the people to know. Vampire attacks have gone up recently. I think that's why the mayor has been keeping all of us soldiers on guard duty. We've heard rumors that a group
of vampire leaders has settled near the colony."
"How does anyone know that?" asked Jess.
"They sent a letter to the mayor, I heard. It said something about a half-vampire, half-zombie creature that they want destroyed. The vampires think that this creature is somewhere in New Hammerston. They're ready to burn down the colony
to find it."
"So the mayor wants us to take out the leaders, before they attack the colony." Said Bernie, looking thoughtful
"Probably." Said Terry with a shrug
"Half-vampire, half-zombie? That's Andrius!" I said, slightly but at the same time not surprise.
"Who's Andrius?" Asked Terry
"Dad captured a hybrid years ago. We still have it in captivity at the Base." Said Jess
"The vampire leaders want Andrius." Muttered Bernie.
"We'll have to give Andrius to them, then. If it'll keep the colony safe." Said Jess.
Just then Rosa walked out with my plate of tacos. "Your tacos, Joey!" She said sweetly. I smiled and took a out of one of them. By Goerge, it was tasted like HEAVEN!
"This..." I said "...Is the great thing I have ever tasted!"
"I'm glad you like them!" She said smiling.
"I LOVE them! Who made these culinary masterpieces?"
"I did, of course. Only the best for my customers!"
I stared at her then said "Please marry me..."
She laughed softly "Haha! You're cute. Keep this one coming, Bernie."
"Heh heh. Will do, Rosa."
* * * * * *
"That was fuckin' amazing!" I said, rubbing my now full belly.
"Rosa hasn't lost her touch." Said Bernie
"That was fun, guys! I'm gonna go hit the sack. Let me know if you need anything and I'll come running!" Said Jake
"Thanks, Jake. Have a good night." Said Bernie
"See you around!" I said and waved as he left.
"I'm gonna head out, too. Let me know how it goes at the Doc's tomorrow." Said Terry
"We will. Good night, Terry." Said Bernie
"Nighty-night, Terry Berry." Said Jess, smiling.
"Yeah, yeah. Sleep well, everyone!" He said and walked off
"When will you stop teasing him like that?" I asked Jess.
She smiled and said "When I feel like it!"
"I'm going to head out, too. I'll meet you at the Doc's tomorrow." Said Nick
"Good night, Nick." Said Jess.
"Good night, babe." He said. They kissed and I just smiled softly.
"It's been a long day. Let's head back to the apartment." Said Bernie
As we started to walk, a hooded man said "Hey." We stopped. "Yes?" I asked, eyeing him he had a graying beard and a scar across his face much like mine. "need something?"
"I heard you talking in there. Super powers and zombie-vampire hybrids, eh?" He asked.
"What? How could you have heard us?"
"Let's just say I have excellent hearing." he said
I sneezed. "Bless you." Said Jess. I sniffed "Thanks..." I muttered
"Who are you?" Asked Bernie
"... Call me Greybane."
"Please don't tell anyone what we discussed in the restaurant." Said Bernie
"Don't worry, your secrets are safe with me." He said
I sneezed again. "Geez! Bless you." Said Jess. I sniffed again "Thanks..." I muttered
"What do you want?" Asked Bernie, looking Greybane up and down.
"Nothing, yet. I'll be watching you, though. Stay safe." Then he walked away
I sneezed once more. "Are you okay, Joey?" Asked Bernie
I sniffed "Yea, I think I have some kind of allergy." I said "Dogs maybe? I don't know..."
* * * * * *
I was aware that I was in the dream world. So without moving, I simply shaped the darkness into a beach at night. I listened to the waves as I curled up into a ball in a hammock that was the couch with a blanket.
I started to driff off when I heard a voice "Joey..."
I whined a little then opened my eyes to see Andrius standing in front of me. "Greetings, Joey. It has been some time." He said
"It has..." I said with a yawn.
"They have you sleeping on a couch?"
"I didn't want to sleep with Bernie nor Jess in the same bed..."
I sat up and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. "Hey, we were talking about you tonight."
"Is that so? What did you and your friends have to say about me?"
"There's some vampire leaders near New Hammerston now. They're looking for you."
He didn't say anything for a minute, I lay myself back down on the hammock/couch "... I knew I could feel their presence." He said "They are indeed here for me, Joey. You know that they want me destroyed."
"Mhm..." I too tired to take anything seriously right now.
"You must free me, Joey. Now."
I just groaned out "No way, man. I'm not walking all the way to the Base. I'm tired... Maybe another day, eerr, night..."
Andrius didn't say anything for a minute "I shall continue your mind-training, then."
"No.... Not that either..."
"Joey." He said with a firm tone
"I'M TIRED!" I whined
I didn't say anything. I was determined to sleep. Suddenly my hammock was flipped and I was laying down at the sandy floor. I opened my eyes and glared at him "FINE!" I snapped, I got up stretched then looked at him.
"Follow me." He said, I could just hear smiling as I followed him. "Have you been practicing your mind-accessing abilities?"
"I'm not gonna lie to you, Andy. I haven't done shit." I said "There was a lot happening. I was pretty tired for a while so I was unable to do much."
Suddenly two armed men appeared "Stop! No one is allowed out after sunset!"
"... I have created them. This is an exercise. Access these minds and destroy them."
"All right, if you say so." I said with a shrug. It was easy work. I could feel my mind slip into there and crush them. I let a small smile appear "I did it!"
"Well done, Joey. You are improving."
As we walked, I asked "Who are the vampire leaders that are after you?"
"They are very powerful. They belong to an ancient order that governs the vampires of this world."
"So, these guys mean business."
"Yes. They have traveled across the sea to meet me face-to-face and destroy me themselves."
"They must REALLY hate hybrids..." Suddenly, a platform must like the one at base appeared. "What's this?"
"Another exercise. We must travel to the depths of this dungeon. Get on the platform and press the button there."
I just stared at him, thing was up. He just stared back. I narrowed my eyes a but but didn what I was told. I traveled down this 'dungeon' until I was standing in front of a door. "What's this?"
"This is the final exercise for tonight, Joey. Break down this wall."
"Do not question me, Joe. This is the exercise."
"No it's not!" I said
"Don't Joey me!" I snapped "If I am going to do something with this wall, allow me to do this..." I stared at the door. I gropped around with my mind until I felt something. Using only my mind I began to push the door down.
"WARNING! WARNING" Said a voice that made me jump
"Herry?" I asked
"Ignore it, Joey. It is part of the exercise. Focus on this wall." Said Andrius.
I narrowed my eyes at him however I pushed the wall down with my mind anyways. "There! I did it!" I said, putting my fits on my hips
"Well done, Joe. You have great power in you. That is all for tonight."
"I feel like I learned anything new, Andrius..."
"Return to your couch, Joey. I will see you again soon. Sleep well."
"Good Night...? I guess."
* * * * * *
I slowly opened my eyes. I sat up just in time to watch Jess and Bernie walk out of there rooms, fully dress.
"Morning." I said to them, scratching my head.
"Good morning, Joey." Said Bernie
"Moring." Said Jess.
"I guess we're going to this Doc's place today?" I asked getting up and stretched
"Yep." Said Bernie.
"All right then." After we ate a quick breakfast, which wasn't as good as Rosa's tacos oh well better than starving, we walked out of the apaertment and to the Doc's place.
* * * * * *
A uneventful walk later, we made it to the Doc's place. It was under a guarded building. Nick was waiting there for us. Bernie was pulled away from our small group by a guard.
"Moring, Nick!" Said Jess, smiling as she saw her boyfriend.
"Morning, my sweet Jess!" He said, they hugged. I inwardly Aw'ed.
We walked into the Doc's lab, boy it was messy! There were papers laying all over the place. There was a bunch of funny looking machines, a few desks, and two cells lined the wall next the stairs we just took containing Zombies.
"I wondered what happened last night." Said Bernie as he joined us.
"What?" I asked turning to look at him
"Two soldiers on guard duty were found dead this morning."
"Did something try to eat them?" I asked
"No," Said Nick "there was no sign of physical trauma."
"Well that's weird." I said,
"Indeed, it's almost as if their brains suddenly stopped functioning."
"Hm, reminds me of a dream I had..."
Just then, a aging man walked in wearing a pair of 3D glasses. "Who are you people? What are you doing in my laboratory?" He said and I kind of leaded back.
"It's me, Doc, Dr. Roth. I told you we were coming today." Said Nick
"Oh yes, yes. The one with the “powers”." Said the Doc, pushing the glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Is this the one?" His head turned slightly to Jess.
"No, not me!" She said quickly
"Are you sure? I would highly enjoy examining you."
I glared at him and I didn't hesitate to step in front of Jess in a protective manner then quickly said "It's me! I'm the one that same the powers."
"Hmm... not nearly as sexually appealing. Shame."
"What's that that?"
"Okay, boy, open your mouth and say “ahh”."
"I don't think that that's necessary, Doc." Said Nick, with the slightest smile of amusement.
"Joey has some unique powers. His skin is impenetrable."
"I can crush through a zombie's skull and made holes in thick walls in just one punch."
"A machine scout was unable to detect him." Said Bernie
"Fascinating, if true!"
"It's all true." I said
"We need to know more about his powers and maybe how he got them." Said Bernie
"Well, then a vivisection is in order! My favorite procedure!"
"WHAT?!" I yelped, leading back from the Doc "Hell no!"
"Vivisection? No, we need him! Joey is our friend!"
"This is for science, boy!"
"I figured we could at least perform some x-rays and administer a blood test." Said Nick quickly
"Oh, very well. I forgot how squeamish and lazy your generation is." Muttered the Doc then punched me onto an examining table.
I lay there and just semi-glared at the Doc.
"Stay still, Joey. I'm just going to draw some blood."
"Good luck..." I muttered watching Nick taking out a needle and try to draw some blood from my right arm but it didn't went through. It just bent as Nick tried to press harder, it was a weird feeling...
"Well, that's not going to work." He muttered looking at the bent needle."Doc, the needle won't pierce his skin."
"What? You have to put some back into it, boy! Watch me!" Said the Doc, pushing Nick out of the way. He did like to push it seems. He pulled out a needle from his pocket and tried to draw some blood, again the needle just got bent.
"My favorite needle!"
"Favorite?" I asked.
"I don't think we're going to get any blood from him." Said Nick.
"A urine test for now, then. Pee in this cup, boy."
"Uuuhhh... Ok... Can you guys turn around?"
* * * * * *
I was standing in front of an X-ray. This was boring, I thought as I stood there.
"Are you sure it's on, Doc?" Said Nick, scratching his head
"Of course it's on!" The old man said.
"Is there something wrong?" I asked
"The x-ray machine doesn't seem to work on you, Joe! All we see is a solid silhouette!"
"That vivisection is looking pretty good now, eh?"
"How about no?" I said.
* * * * * *
"Your urine sample is normal, Joey." Said Nick as the Doc hooked me up onto a weird looking machine
"Interesting!" Said the Doc as he started to read what the machine was giving.
"Judging by this sample, you're a normal human male!" Said Nick "You should maybe lay off the salty foods, though."
"It's hard to stop when they taste REALLY good, Nick..." I commented "Anyways what are we doing now?"
"You are hooked up to a monitoring device. We're going to check your vitals for any abnormalities." Answered the Doc
"Anything out the ordinary yet, Doc?" Asked Nick, walking over to us.
"Absolutely nothing! You are a boring specimen, boy."
"I wonder why that machine scout couldn't read your biological signs..."
The Doc was silent as he thought then he spoke "I have a theory! Dr. Roth, do you have your sidearm?"
"Yes, I do." Said Nick, pulling it out.
"Let me have it." The Doc took the sidearm then pointed it out me, I jumped.
"How many times do I have to get shot?" I said, feeling both angry and annoyed.
"Brace yourself, boy!" Said the Doc
"Doc! What are you doing?!" Said Nick, worry was writing all over his face.
"Relax. This bullet won't kill him."
"He's right, Nick. Joe, are you okay with this?" Said Bernie
"No, I'm not okay with this!"
"Cover your ears and genitals, boy!" I did just that. He fired and the machines exploded just as I felt the bullet.
"Ow! Fuck! I will never get used to that."
"By Hawking's voice box! Incredible! You overloaded the machine!" Said the Doc, looking at the destroyed machines.
"Yes, indeed. You ceased being a normal human being the EXACT moment that my bullet touched your skin!"
"What does this mean, Doc?" asked Bernie
"Whatever is giving you your powers, boy, is alive!"
"Alive?" Asked Nick
"Your powers are adaptive, maybe even intelligent! They are activated when they are required!"
"What?" I asked, pulling the wares off of me while looking at the Doc.
"It means that you're a normal human being until your powers are needed." Said Bernie
"That makes sense! When you need to lift or hit something, your super strength turns on." Said Jess.
"When an object tries to pierce your skin, you become impenetrable." Said Bernie
"When you need to run, you activate your super speed."
"... And when that hostile machine was trying to scan you, whatever is inside you hid your bio-signs!"
"Exactly right! You are a fascinating specimen, boy."
"But, what is it that's inside him?"
"That remains a mystery! For now, be glad that this power is working for you, boy. Use it to your advantage!"
"I agree! New Hammerston could use a superhero like you, Joey."
"A superhero? Me? Sweet... But for now, let's all keep this a secret."
"I think Joey is right about this one." Said Bernie "Let's go back to the apartment."
* * * * * *
"Hey, Bernie." I said. We were back at the apartment and I found some music DVDs "What are these?" I held up one.
"Oh those are music DVDs." He said walking over to me and took the DVD out of my hand "Here look." He placed the DVD into a stereo. Music began to play and man was it epic!
"What is this called?" I asked, "It's awesome!"
"I do believe it's called Globus - Preliator." Said Bernie, smiling at the happy look on my face.
"Is there more like this?"
"Oh a lot!"
Jess walked into the room to see what is causing the noice "Ah, I remeber this." She said sitting down at the table and watched me do a little jig in time with the the music.
That night, I listened and sang all the music created by Globus I then crushed onto the couch I so tired after my party-for-one.
I was standing in the dream world again. A voice, weak and in pain. "Joey..."
I turned and gasped "Rosa!"
"Where am I?"
Then Cross appeared next to her. "I got it. Let's go."
"Joe? Is that you? I can see you... Where are we?"
I ran towards her. I maniged to grab her hands but they were fading away "Rosa!"
"Help me, Joey. Please..."
"Don't worry Rosa!" I said, trying to keep her with me.
"What's happening to me?" I could hear fear in her voice. "It hurts... It hurts so much... Help me, Joey!"
"Don't worry Rosa!" I said watching her disappear "I'm going to find you! I'm going to find you can take away the pain! I PROMESE!" The moment she disappeared from sight, I woke. "Was that a dream?" the phone ring. "What now?" I asked pressing the speaker button "Hello?"
"Joey!" Said Jake's voice, he sounded panicked. "It's me, Jake."
"What's wrong?" I asked "You sounded like you're panicking."
"I am! Where's Bernie and Jess? This is an emergency!"
"One Sec." I took a deep breathe then shouted at the top of my lungs "OY! WAKE UP! JAKE'S ON THE PHONE!"
A second later, Bernie and Jess jumped out of there rooms.
"What the hell, Joey!" Said Jess, who was in her PJs.
"Are you all there?! This is urgent!" Said Jake, hearing them come out of their rooms and Jess's voice.
"Jake? What's going on?" Asked Bernie, with a tone that he was still tired.
"The Lieutenant has escaped!"
"WHAT?" Me, Bernie and Jess said at the same time.
"His cell is empty and he's killed two guards!"
"Do you have any idea where he went? Is he still in the colony?" Asked Bernie, now fully awake.
"Two guards posted at the armory were killed and the two guards on gate duty were also killed."
"Cross! That piece of shit! He must've left New Hammerston." Growled Jess.
"We've got every soldier scouring the colony, but, yeah, it looks like he left."
"We've got to look for him. We have to bring him to justice." Said Bernie
"Wait... Rosa's missing, too."
"WHAT? Did he take Rosa?! " I shouted jumping off of the couch "That wasn't a dream.
"We found blood at the cantina..."
"I'm going to kill that fucker!" I dashed towards the door
"Calm down, Joey!" Said Bernie
"Calm down?" I asked looking at him "CALM DOWN? HE TOOK ROSA! How can you tell me to calm down?!"
"There's no telling what's out there, Joey. We need to be smart about this or we're as good as dead."
I didn't say anything, my hands were balled up tightly, my teeth were bared and I stared down at the ground.
"Look, I'm worried about Rosa, too, but if we go out looking for her unprepared, then we might all be lost out there!"
"Bernie's right, Joey. We have to believe that Rosa is okay and that Cross will keep her safe until we find them." Said Jess.
"Right! Lieutenant Cross would never hurt Rosa."
"Bernie... Jess..." I muttered "Let's get your suits and some ammo. I want to leave as soon as possible... I... I have a bad feeling that Cross did something to her..."
"You need to suit up, too, Joey." Said Bernie, I nodded "Alright. Joey and I will head to the armory and suit up. Jess, buy all the ammo you can carry and meet us back at Base."
"I'll go with you, Jess." Said Jake
"Thanks, Jake. What are you going to do at the Base in the meantime, Bernie?" Said Jess.
"I'm going to buy some parts and repair Harry's mobile unit. We're going to need all the help we can get out there."
"All right we have a plan set. LET'S GGOO!" I said grabbing Bernie and ran out of the room with him barely able to keep himself from being dragged along.
* * * * * *
Along the way there, we picked up more information. Once we were at the armory, Bernie Said "Cross must've had help escaping."
"Yea but who would have helped him?"
"I don't know, but I bet whoever, or whatever, helped him also killed the two guards on gate duty the other night. I don't know, but I bet whoever, or whatever, helped him also killed the two guards on gate duty the other night."
A guard jumped in front of us to stop us from walking into the armory "Stop right there!" He snarled, looking all flustered "Oh, it's you, Bernie. Sorry, all this shit has us all on our toes."
"I understand. Just stay focused and watch each other's backs." Said Bernie. We walked into the armory. There was a lot of lockers and guns in the room. "Here's your suit and mask, Joey."
Bernie walked over to some heavy looking lockers "This is where we keep Stinger and Sentinel." He muttered then said in a loud clear voice "Release locks. Voice authorization: Bernie." The lockers opened. His jaw dropped. "W-what?"
"Uh, I only see Sentinel." I said, something in my chest lurched horrible.
"S-Stinger's gone... Where is it?!" He roared, I never seen his so angry "Okay, calm down, Bernie... Focus... There must be a logical explanation for this."
"The only thing that I can think up is that Cross stole it..." I said.
He gasped "Cross! You piece of shit! You took Stinger!"
"Bernie please calm down!" I said
"That bastard..." Growled Bernie, his hands were fits. "All of the lives he's taken... Now Stinger, my father's gift to me... I'm going to put a bullet right between your eyes, Cross!"
"Let's go to the Base, Joey. I'm going to fix Harry's mobile unit and then we'll find Cross." He said facing me, I saw fire dancing in his eyes. "He's going to pay for all of this with his life."
"Bernie, calm down! One thing at a time! We need to be alive so we can find Rosa you know!"
"Look, you stubborn, incorrigible, pathetic excuse for a superhero, you're coming with me to the Base and we're moving out as a team!" He snarled and I jumped at the venom in his voice "You can take one of my rifle rounds to the chest, but can you take 50?! I know what I'm doing, Joey, so listen to me or I'll pulverize your ribcage! Got it?!"
"Let's go!" He said storming out of the room. I just stood there. There was pain in my chest. This pain. I placed a hand on my chest, why do I know such pain? I closed my eyes.
"Joey?" It was Bernie, I could hear the guilt in his voice for yelling at me like that. I didn't look at him "I'm... Sorry about all that, Joey... I didn't mean to yell at you. It's Cross who I should be directing my anger towards." I didn't say anything as I fought back tears.
I was remembering something.
Something that made the pain worse. I can now remember that I got into a fight with a loved one, it was pain fight.
"Just... please come with me to the Base. Trust me, we'll find Rosa and Cross." he walked over to me "Please... Joey, I'm sorry for hurting you like that."
"It's not your fault to feel like that..." I muttered as I swallowed my emotions. "Stinger seemed special to you." I look at him with the smallest of smiles "I'll still with you on this, Bernie. We're a team after all!"
"Thank you, Joey." Bernie said with a smile then walked out of the armory.
"Okay, there's the Bernie I know." I said following him out.
* * * * * *