Kid and Amanda sit side by side in office chairs in front of an empty desk.
“The moral of the story is that you should never underestimate your opponent and never assume you’re unstoppable. You never know what the other person has up their sleeve to destroy you. It just takes a split second for the battle to turn in the other person’s favor. Your goal from the beginning of the fight should be to kill as quickly as possible,” Kid says.
“I still like my way better. Second chances are important. If I can avoid killing, I will,” Amanda says.
“Sounds like something the savior of the world would say,” he says.
Richard walks into the room and sits down in the chair behind the desk. “Alright, welcome to my home office again. Congratulations on your victory. Everyone performed well. Kid, sorry you lost your arms. As soon as we get a technology department and a medical team, I will get you some.”
“I hope so. I’m already over having to sit on the toilet to pee.”
“Right. Amanda, the higher-ups have forgiven you, and you’re going to be working for us full-time,” Richard says.
“Good. I’ll sit around all day like Kid and do nothing and get paid. That sounds good to me.”
“Not exactly. You’ll be a ticket-pusher for acolytes who use their powers stupidly, every day, sixteen hours a day,” Richard says.
“Wait! What? So, all I’m going to do is sleep and work?” Amanda asks.
“Dude, we’re short staffed. Be happy you’re not getting the death penalty. Now, let’s move on from that.”
Amanda crosses her arms. “Okay. Well, all the weird things that happened in the city—how are you going to explain that to the world? I mean there was a skyscraper higher than airplanes fly.”
“That particular skyscraper was destroyed in your fight, so getting rid of it was half the battle. Anything acolyte-related will get erased from the people’s memories. We’ll do that by emitting a sound wave through every electronic device in the world, erasing all humans’ memory. The sound waves don’t work on our kind, so our memories will be fine. Then, we erase all video footage or alter it and create a narrative that will suit the event that occurred. Anything we missed will just get written off as a hoax, like photos of Bigfoot—which is real, by the way. We’re so good at our job, people can’t tell what’s real or fake anymore,” Richard says.
“So, my sister was right all along.”
Saira teleports into the office with the girl who claims she is from the future. “Richard, I have an acolyte from the future here that demanded to speak to all of you.”
“Dude, you can’t bring random acolytes into my home. Now that she knows where I live, she can kill me in my PJs. Watch this: I’m from the future. See, anyone can say it. You can’t believe what everyone tells you!”
“Are you from the future?” Amanda asks the girl.
“I come from a future that no longer exists, a future where you were killed by the acolyte you were just fighting by self-destructing,” the mysterious girl says. She glows green from Amanda’s perspective.
“She’s telling the truth. Let’s hear what she has to say,” Amanda says.
“Well, my name is Zerah, and I’ve come from one year in the future. For a while, there was peace on Earth, and all the acolytes were put in check by the agency after it was rebuilt. Then, from out of nowhere, this witch-like acolyte showed up and wreaked havoc on the entire world. The agency tried to stop her but failed. No one knew what she wanted, and humanity was on the brink of extinction. I came back to this time to keep Amanda alive, hoping that would be enough to stop her or prevent it from happening,” she says.
“What is this acolyte’s name?” Kid asks.
“Yeah, we’re doomed. She can’t be stopped. Her eyes make her unbeatable,” Kid says.
“Things are different now. I’m alive, so maybe she won’t even go on this rampage,” Amanda says.
“Maybe. Whenever I change the past, there’s always a fifty percent chance of things becoming better or worse. Changing one small thing can change the fate of many. For example, keeping you alive caused Kid to lose both of his arms. He had them in the time I came from,” she says.
“So, why go through so much trouble to keep me alive if you didn’t know if it would change things?” Amanda asks.
“The only thing I could think of changing was keeping you alive. As far as I know, you’re the only thing that was missing,” she says.
“I had some type of premonition of me self-destructing. Do your powers cause that?” Amanda asks.
“It’s possible for some people to see ahead of time whenever I go back in time? I believe it’s called déjà vu,” she says.
“Why not just rewrite history so that person never existed?” Richard asks.
“Erasing someone completely would change too much in the timeline. You have to think about all the people they’ve encountered and how they affected their lives. Erasing someone completely could cause even greater problems. The only person immune from the effects of time traveling is me. So, let’s just say I’m the past, present, and the future,” she explains.
“It seems like you thought about this for quite a while,” Amanda says.
“Whenever I rewrite history, I automatically transport to that time, and the future I was in is completely erased. This is only my third time going back in time, and I’ve only done it to try and stop Ana. What sucks is I have to wait an entire year to see if what I changed works.”
“Well, I’m around now, baby. I won’t let you down.” Amanda winks at her.
“I’ve heard enough. We know who she is. We know how to find her. We talk to her, find out what she’s doing, and stop her from doing it—world saved. Just out of curiosity, are you looking for a job? You’d be a valuable asset to the team. Especially since, you know, we might need a redo at this,” Richard asks.
“Where do I sign up?” she replies with a smile on her face.
In a hot desert lies a black pyramid, and inside is a room made completely of gold and lit with torches. Chigaru and a battered Jamie with bandages around most of his body sit in silence.
“In the end, it didn’t even look like you were trying. If I hadn’t pulled you to safety in time, you could have died. Why didn’t you destroy them, boy? You could have killed them all,” Chigaru says.
“I lost the will to fight after my son died and Amanda said what she said. She beat me with her words in the end. The girl was right about everything. My yin side corrupted my mind and made me blind to other possibilities. I shouldn’t have killed all those people, and I deserve to be punished. Being here in this hot desert with you is the worst thing that could happen to me, but this time won’t be wasted. I spoke to my kundalini about unlocking my yang side, and he said I could have unlocked it in the beginning if I’d turned down his offer to kill. It’ll be much harder to unlock now, but I haven’t given up hope yet. When I do unlock it, my son will live again. I just have to snatch his soul from the heavens and place it back in his body.” He places his hand on his child’s glowing purple body that’s completely wrapped in bandages.
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