The Shadow Knight Begins: Part 1 of 3

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Chapter 5: Shattered Lives

Rachel as I would soon find out was hiding her own pain, the rape had left her so scarred that she would never again ever be able to bear children. Her dream of having a child was taken from her, and I could tell she was hiding that pain to be brave for me, being a fellow survivor of near death.

Mariko was dead, and as we soon found out was that that extra voice I heard that night mocking me and Mariko's dead body was actually Derek Stevenson. Forensics had found semen in Mariko's womb belonging to that perverted sicko; he had raped Mariko when she was dead. He had done so before Jeremy came to our rescue.

Not that anything could be done about that sicko, two days later while I was in my coma, a wrecked car was fished from under the Huxley Bridge…the corpse inside was that of Derek Stevenson.

Me on the other hand, I came out unscathed…or so everyone thought.

I didn't come out of that attack with no marks, my marks; my injuries were in my psyche, my mind…my belief in humanity.

I had come out of this a changed man, a man who had a hatred of everything negative…and himself for being so stupid, careless, selfish, and cowardly.

And I knew who had done this top our family.

The brain of crime.

Turns out during my coma the brain sent a tape to my father, telling him that this was just a warning, if he kept on sponsoring the "movement for right" in lunar city he and his family would get worse. Then another tape asking, no, demanding my father to do little favors for him if he wanted his family safe from harm.

My father, feeling guilt and fearing for his family's safety obliged.

He pulled out from the movement, but his friend now newly elected district attorney Salvador hardy refused, he said the line had been drawn, and people like the brain are going to get what's coming to them.

My father wouldn't say it to me, but I knew he still thought I blamed him for what happened…but he was wrong.

It didn't matter how many times I told him, that's what he thought…but I didn't blame him for what had happened…I blamed myself.

I also found out who the other woman was in the room that day.

Her name was Alicia Silverstone, her daughter Alice was one of the black alley cat killers victims, my mother knew her because she was one of the founders of a type of M.A.D.D type organization that provided relief for serial killing, murder or victims of other criminal related tragedies.

My mother joined them, galvanized by what had happened with her babies.

Ignoring my father's pleas out of fear of the brain retaliating my mother kept supporting the program.

My father was no coward, if you the reader think so you are dead wrong… he was just a sane man doing what he thought was right, and now he was doing what he thought was the right thing to do to save his family…by being blackmailed.

Needless to say, none of this helped me.

I was on a four months sabbatical

If not for my friends Darcy, Mr.'s Darby and Marty… I would say I had no friends. But I was so angry at the weakling I believed myself to be, that I began working out most days in Mariko's now vacant favorite spot in the mansion, crying…mourning, trying to make sense out of why I had these powers that saved me and why I had even been saved in the first place.

But I remember that day I finally broke down, all of my guilt of surviving came lose after a crisis of conscious and being occurred.

The first out of three times I saw the avatars of my love for my family…and my want to punish criminals.

It happened One day while it was raining I went up to the special spot.

I was reflecting again, but the thunder and lightning outside the window seemed to take me almost back in time to that awful night, it all replayed before my eyes.

In anger I punched the wooden wall of the room hard.

I must have cut my knuckles for a second, but I ignored the pain because next I found myself perplexed as I watched the open wounds I had just inflicted on myself suddenly and miraculously healed in less than two seconds, and the place where I had punched the wall….there was an imprint crater the size of my fist.

"Super strength… as well as a healing factor" I asked rhetorically, "that's what saved me?"

I wasn't at all thrilled, so my being a superhuman was what made me the lucky one?

What good was I when I didn't use powers when I should have?!

Why did I live, why did I come out of this unscathed while the ones I loved were killed, raped and maimed in front of me, someone who could have done something and didn't.

Suddenly my head began screaming, and I grasped my head and screamed in pain as suddenly my most useful and hardly controllable power came to be…my crime sense as it would be called eventually by me.

I didn't see the dark realm this time, just flashes of it… but through those flashes scenes played before me…I saw everything, all the evil of the city, all of the good, and all of the suffering.

I saw the poor of the city, struggling to survive, or forced to be under the "protection" of the gangs who ran the streets under the hand of the brain of crime.

I saw the politicians…the cops, all of these people…and the newspapers.

I saw the crime going on in the city.

I saw all of the families of blackie's victims, and the sadness I could feel from them all was overwhelming.

And that's also when I first met…HIM.

You have to understand my other me, my conscious alter ego wasn't given form because I hadn't fully become what I had to become to fight against the worst scum of the city.

He appeared to me in the vision, a mass of black liquid, ghost like with glowing red eyes.

It may have been brain damage that had never fully healed, or maybe my powers during their forced trauma activation from that night created some kind of failsafe…whatever the case, I now had a guide… a benign split personality…that would only appear to me in times that were necessary, times when I was becoming lost.

Whatever the case, I could see him.

He looked at me scornfully; his voice…a voice that would eventually become mine spoke to me.

It sounded cold, demonic…but at the same time…almost as fatherly as my own fathers was.

"you can feel them can't you….feel their pain, smell evils stench…you hate it don't you…but you're not ready yet, you have to make the commitment…then you will be ready to punish those you hate, bring justice to the innocent" the entity said to me.

"I can't" I said.

The eyes of the entity suddenly flashed, "It's that kind of thinking that took our sister from us…"

"My sister!" I yelled at the entity in rage, "not yours"

"You know I'm right. You know that it's your fault. That you cowardly refused these gifts and in doing so you left yourself vulnerable and also your family vulnerable…you couldn't save them, because you couldn't accept what you are…you've known all along what your powers are meant for. God gave you these powers…USE THEM! END THE CYCLES OF PAIN!"

"Get away from me…you don't know me, you're not real!" I screamed.

"I'm your conscious, I'm the truth…I'm as real as you want me to be but as much as you want to change the truth…you know you have to face what you did…you have to fix this…no one else" the entity suddenly revealed his face.

It was a she…even more; it was Mariko… my sister…back from the dead.

I couldn't believe it.

"Mariko?" I asked askance.

The Mariko apparition smiled, nodding.

"MARIKO'S BACK!" I screamed in joy.

I embraced her, God, forgive me…but she felt so real.

I began crying tears of happiness, she was back…she was alive.

She hugged me back.

But slowly I began to realize that this wasn't real.

"No…no… you're not Mariko, you died!" I said stammering.

"Just because I'm dead doesn't mean I don't still live inside you…" she pointed to my heart with her finger; I looked at where she was pointing "I always will"

"Why…why do you still care…I caused your death" I asked her crying.

"Because you're my brother, and for what awaits you later in life I will be here to help you…as he will" she said embracing me again, and stroking my white hair soothingly.

"Him? You mean god?" I asked her.

"him too yes, but I was referring to the other guy you just met…the one made of shadows before I removed his mask… he's here to help you too like I always will, I guess you would say I'm the good cop of your heart and mind and he's the bad but with good intentions cop of your heart of mind, your yin and yang" Mariko corrected me.

"But…who is he?" I asked my sisters ghostly form.

"You haven't named him or embraced either of us fully to have named him either. He and I are the fuel that you must use to find the courage to fight against the darkness and to never become consumed by it. Become the knight of twilight, using darkness as well as light against evil. But you'll never become the agent of darkness so long as you keep your family in your heart…. I have to go now…" Mariko suddenly began to vanish before my eyes.

"No…NO… STAY WITH ME!" I begged her.

"I'll always be with you Kagae…in your heart, remember that. People never vanish as long as you keep them in your heart" Mariko assured, "remember what I said, and become a knight. Its why you have these powers… its why god gave you these powers…use them…so no one will ever go through something like this again…. You're a hero Kagae, the only one who can do it… you just don't realise it yet"

And like that… she was gone, and I realised to my pain that all of that had happened in my head.

All the pain returned, and I saw all of the suffering and crime in the city for the last time.

My father heard my screams and came bounding into the room.

"Kagae!" my father said concerned.

"Stay back…." I yelled.

My father took that the wrong way, but he held his ground "no son, I won't. Not when you're hurting this much. I know you're hurting. Everyone's hurting in this family and it's my fault…"

"No its not…" I whispered under my breath.

My father didn't hear me, "I should have listened to you. You were right. My foolish pride brought this on all of us. I wouldn't be surprised if you hate me son…"

"I don't hate you. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND" I yelled, "I don't hate you. I don't blame you for all of this. I want you to blame me, don't you understand!"

"What…why do you want me to blame you son for what happened?" he asked astounded.

"Because I blame myself…. I want to blame myself… I feel it's what I deserve, my judgement. I could have stopped it" I explained.

"No you couldn't have son, no one could have" my father insisted, "You were shot and stabbed almost lost you due to blood loss son, you were lucky to be alive"

"Well why…why me…why was it just me who didn't end up like the others?" I asked, tears starting to form.

"Everyone says I'm alright, they're wrong!" I saw my father approach me, but I didn't care if he came to embrace me seeing how much pain I was in I was too busy letting go of what was on my mind, "why me dad, why? It should have been me, why did I live while Mariko died dad, why… WHY AM I ALIVE? WHY AM I ALIVE?"

My father's arms embraced me, and we both shared our grief.

"I don't know why son…but I do know Mariko would be glad that you are alive…and I promise, I will help you get through this…even if I have to hire someone to help you get through this" my father said.

Two weeks later….

My father had me see a shrink to help me deal with my loss. The shrink diagnosed me with survivor's guilt.

He was right.

But two weeks later I was different, I was no longer the crying, grieving boy before…now, now I had anger replacing my grief.

Anger that was aimed at the callousness of the city, its people who allowed this to happen every day and of the law system which let itself become used by criminals who have cash to pay.

I realised in this time how the circle worked.

Criminals pay their way into the system.

Criminals threaten people who speak against them with blackmail or death to subjugate them to allow their deeds to continue.

Bureaucrats, city councils and judges can be bought if they are filled with corrupt people.

No one cares about the destitute when they have money, allowing drug rings and extortion acts to be placed on the people who can't defend themselves…because they can't pay for it.

The people who feel it isn't their problem, and that leads back to problem one.

Add a circle path to that, and you have the circle of crime.

I was once one of those people, but not anymore…it became my problem that night in the far side.

The reason for my surviving was clear after I left the shrink for the last time.

It was so I could do what I should have done in the first place…using my powers for good…by eliminating crime.

By now I had realised that Mariko's ghost and the unnamed entity, the two parts of my conscious in that spirit quest type thing I went through were right… I was the one who could do it because no one else can….or will.

I frowned on that one…because I knew it was right to think like that.

Nobody cares about crime or criminals unless their own family was involved and if it was some other family that was involved, they would brush it off as "that's so sad" and resume their lives…not truly feeling sorry.

It was all part of the cycle of crime and evil…a cycle I refused to be part of… that I knew had to change. But I wasn't fully over the fact that it was all possibly my fault; I began thinking about my powers growing with use. Then I realized I couldn't avenge my family and free them from the brain…if I wasn't ready.

I had a hurricane rage in me, and rage can cloud the mind in battle…I had to find a way to calm it, master it…someway to use it to my advantage on my enemies…somehow.

I decided to try and wait till summer, then try and train myself and my powers.

But I was still in mourning, and I was still angry.

I began to wonder if lunar really deserved help.

After going through something like that I couldn't help but wonder if a city that allowed the killer and rapist of my sisters to walk free in a couple months due to lack of evidence against him.

Apparently the testimony of a "severely traumatized victim who is possibly dangerously psychotic due to what happened to him who would want ANY criminal to receive the death sentence if it would make him feel better" blackie's lawyer had said during the trail.

When that scumbag was finally found, I thought I would get my justice in getting this monster sent to a supermax for life or even lethal injection. But that didn't happen during the trail.

There was nothing but my word against blackie's and for the courts of course that wasn't enough…not when the sole witness was someone who could have been hallucinating during a huge loss of blood.

The jury bought it, the court audience bought it…and good Alice cooper…was forced to approve his release on parole in two months, newly appointed district attorney Salvador hardy assured me on that day that he would not stop until blackie was put where he belongs…he believed me.

In the past two weeks since that time, Salvador hardy has done decent job in rooting out corruption in the police forces…but is still a long way away from getting the leeway with the council to upgrade the forces.

The council…I know how corrupt they are…I remember them, three councilman and the grand councilman, coming to our mansion home to offer condolences…when my parents and I went around…I could hear them.

One said "serves him right"

Another said "the guy and his family definitely got what they deserved with their humanitarianism"

The city council…each member, voted in by the people of the city.

And the people…. The people are the worst.

I'm here walking down the way to school, I'm finally allowed to go to school again.

My hatred of crime and apathy remains, but today my day was feeling different.

This mourning I got in my mail a letter from oxford university…I had been accepted.

It was news I couldn't wait to share with Darcy and Marty.

Maybe their college applications came in as well?

I hoped so.

As happy as I was, I couldn't ignore what was happening around me.

Two things happened on my way home from school.

I was passing a burger king when this slob of a man in stained clothes, fat as could be believed to be for anyone obese and smelled of stogies, he was carrying two big paper bags and my hyper sensitive sense of smell I could smell a lot of hamburgers in those bags.

The big glutton slob of a man saw me and said, "Move it kid"

"Whatever fatso!" I thought in my mind.

I watched as he walked away, he passed a beggar man on the street.

The beggar man saw his bags of burgers.

"Sir please…spare a few of those, please…" judging by what he was asking for and the tone of voice I could tell this poor man was starving.

But the fatso just looked at the beggar in contempt, "get away from me filthy destitute…go get a job somewhere why don't ya!"

"I can't…the council has made it so someone like me can't get a job in this city, please…I'm starving… have a heart" the beggar begged.

"Like I said…" the fatso said sneering, "go find a job SOMEWHERE…ha ha ha"

I watched the fatso walk off, laughing his fat butt off at what he had just done.

Out of sympathy I secretly tossed 400 bucks at the beggar's feet.

He looked up to see me, a smile on his face…. He was going to thank me but he noticed I was busy looking at the TV screen in a nearby electronics store.

From that distance I could hear what was being broadcasted, it was a news report on my returning to school.

There is a serious lack of privacy in the world media when you're rich.

"after surviving a major crime related attack, son of now dishonored philanthropist and humanitarian Martin Kishi and Machiko Kishi whose now been chastised for being irresponsible in his attempts at changing the city, Kagae Kishi is now cleared at being allowed back to school.

While some agree he's ready, some others have their own take on the situation. The Long-time feuding family patriarch Manson Deering, of Deering manufacturing had this to say.

"I think it is completely irresponsible for martin to send his son back to school. I singlehandedly know his son. A hooligan of ill repute, completely anti-social, and gets his kicks out of harassing kids, my darling boys included. And I hear from them he's approached them trying to sell drugs. With a kid like this can we really believe that that night was really the cause of the black alley cat serial killer, and not this deranged son of the moron Kishi…" came the familiar sound of the voice of Mr. Deering from the TV.

I really felt like punching the TV there, but I continued on.

But before I did, out of the electronic shop emerged a frustrated girl almost my age, and her confused apologetic mother behind her.

I assumed it was a simple girl on girl problem…I was soon to find out I was wrong.

"I said get the 10 gig iPod, not the 6 gig mother, why did you have to be so stupid!" the daughter screamed.

"But Charlene" the mother said calmly, "all you told me was get the pink one, it was the only one I could find, you never told me anything else"

"yes I did…you just never listen, how can you be so stupid" the spoiled girl known as Charlene screamed, slapping the iPod out of her mother's hand and then stomped on it with her foot "now go get the RIGHT one"

Her mother just stood there, trying to hold back her tears "I just spent 300 bucks to get that for you…300 bucks of my hard earned money to get you something special and you do this to me? I didn't raise you that way"

"Well maybe you shouldn't have let dad go off to Iraq, he was more understanding than you. Some days I wish dad was here instead of you!" Charlene said to her mother's face.


What she said made something snap inside me, I reached in my pocket and pulled out 600 dollars and tossed it right at Charlene's face.

While she recovered I yelled, chastising her "there…go by more iPods by yourself spoiled brat. That's all you care about right? That's all anyone cares about. What they want. If I had talked to my mother like that I would be spanking MYSELF"

Charlene looked at me, "who do you think you are?"

"Someone who has had his eyes opened in the worst way, and who has no tolerance for greedy, self-absorbed, ungrateful teens who think their mothers attempt to do something special for you is meaningless, and who knows for a fact brainless…. Electronics can be bought again, family members can't…so I doubt you really understand what you're saying." I said as I continued walking.

"Wait…" Charlene pursued me against her mother's pleas to leave me alone.

"What are you following me for?" I asked sarcastically, "I thought all you cared about was an iPod"

"I know who you are, your that freak Kishi boy!" Charlene said to me.

"And what makes you think I care about who you think I am?" I asked the brat.

"I think your dam liar and a psychopath and this proves it, I'll call the police" the brat Charlene said sneering at me.

"And what makes you think they'll care about me throwing money at you?" I asked her, "they'd just laugh, you know it and I know it"

"Why don't you admit the truth, I know it, my friends know it… it wasn't the black alley cat killer, you murdered and rapped you own sisters you sicko" Charlene hammered the nail.

I stopped right there, rage boiling inside me…it took a lot for me to convince myself that this was just a spoiled teenage daughter who only seemed to believe in gossip.

"Then you're an idiot, and so are your friends" I said walking away not looking back.

"Is that supposed to make me change my mind on you freak?" demanded Charlene.

"No…" I said simply, "is your accusations supposed to make me NOT think your being a selfish, uneducated fool who believes only what others tell you about people who survived murder, and like your friends you accuse them of crimes they didn't commit because the fiction surrounding my sisters murder and rape is more credible than the truth? Do you act this way Just to make you feel better about yourself over what happened to you father which you know your mother had nothing to do. You think your actions will bring out a shred of sympathy with people who know the truth; you think I believe you think I raped my own sister and the chained myself and cut myself and left myself to die? You think I give a dam what morons like you think" I waited for the answer, but there wasn't one, "good….because it didn't work."

I didn't know why the little brat didn't answer back, but I didn't care…I was late for school.

Maybe I touched a nerve…if she had one.

I was so engrossed in this I didn't notice Marty and Darcy waiting for me on the top steps of our high school.

"Hey Kagae…" Marty smiled, welcoming me back.

"Thanks…" I said, and I looked at Darcy.

Darcy looked apologetic, and I could guess why.

"Kagae…" she began.

"No, don't apologize… you were right" I said to her, then I hugged her, surprising her, "what you said about me was right, and I'm sorry for what I said"

Darcy returned the hug, "I'm still sorry for what happened to you and your sisters"

"So am I" I answered.

Marty joined in with the hug, I was so lucky to have friends like them.

"but soon, Salvador hardy and judge cooper will fix things…it will take time but it will happen Kagae, no one will have to go through what you went through again without missing justice" Darcy assured me.

"That's right pal" Marty assured me.

"Not without a stern kick and blow against crime it won't…" I muttered under my breath.

"What was that?" asked Darcy.

"I said not until I get back…" I lied, pulling out my scholarship to oxford to show them, "from oxford"

Darcy was ecstatic, so was Marty.

I was then told that both Marty and Darcy that they both got scholarships as well to oxford.

I was more than pleased to be going to university with my two best friends.

I just wish the rest of my day had been that good.

It was when I was at my locker at the end of school that my day spiraled down to paving the way for what I became today.

I was just opening my locker door when suddenly my defense radar came on and I barely ducked before brawns fist slammed into the door of my locker, leaving a good dent.

"Well, lookey here. Our punching bag is back" Barker said behind his brother.

I rolled my eyes, no longer intimidated by these losers, "oh brother don't you have something better to do, like swing from the trees"

"Did you just call us stupid?" brawn asked me incredulously, "puny Kagae?"

"No I called you a bunch of drugged up, hormone imbalanced, high on yourselves, politics with a fist based bullying thugs…." I said, smiling smugly.

"Well smart freak boy does think he's better than us like dad says…." Barker jeered, "He always said Kishi's were losers, ha ha ha ha!"

"I don't give a damn what your father thinks or says. He's a vile, cruel, self-absorbed, withering old jerk with a heart of granite and coal. And you two are just pathetic!" I growled, showing no fear in my eyes at them.

"Oh now you're going to get it" brawn said putting up his fists, "he's mine, you can have what's left little bro!" he called to barker behind him.

Already by now the traditionally and not to be unexpected in high school chanting of "Fight! fight!, Fight!" circle of chanting teens who wanted to see a show had formed around me and the deerings brothers.

"You'd better take back what you said!" brawn warned me.

"I'm not going to" I said bored at his attempts to get me to fight.

"Then you'd better get ready to fight!" brawn said taking a swing.

Out from the crowd emerged Marty and Darcy Williams, and they were not pleased with what was happening.

"Whatever he's done, leave him alone…" Marty tried to reason with brawn, "he's been through a tough time, I wouldn't do this if I were you"

"Well you're not us are you, friend of Kishi?" barker sneered at Marty.

"Do as he says leave him alone!" Darcy said glaring at barker with contempt.

"Stay out of this…" barker yelled at Darcy, and he struck her to the floor with one hand.

Marty instantly began wrestling with barker of striking Darcy, but too little success.

Darcy was too stunned to see what was going to happen next.

I watched as Marty struggled against barker, and I knew how futile it would be because I knew from the smell I could smell coming from these two losers breath…they were high on steroids.

"Leave him alone….he's not the one you want, I am!" I tried to negotiate.

And then brawn said it

"Too bad about you sisters" he said sinisterly.

The barker while he was holding Marty in a chokehold said the one thing that pushed my berserk button.

"Yeah, your sister Mariko was a real dish…too bad someone got to her and the other one before I did…although I still do screw her…in my dreams!" Barker sneered.

In that instant, all the rage I had bottled inside me snapped.

Yelling bloody murder I charged past a stunned brawn who still had his fists up and I charged at barker plowing into him and knocked him to the ground much to his partner Brawns surprise.

Marty was free from the chokehold when I knocked barker down, but now he was staring dumbfound as his best friend just knocked down a bully twice his size by just running into him!

When I had him pinned, I began punching barker.

The image of my sister's killer in my mind and all the horrors I saw behind it and the rage I felt toward this unsympathetic scum of a bully who dreamed about screwing my sisters, and whose only remorse for her death and Rachel's rape was that someone beat him to it.

I felt like making him go through what I went through; see if he would be so intent on continuing on picking on me then!

But then I saw his face, it was of fear, with a bloody nose.

I froze, and looked at my bloody fist.

I let him go, horrified with what I had done.

I backed away from the stunned bully, looking around at the faces of the crowd that had gathered to see the fight.

All around were faces of surprise at what I… the scrawny Kagae had just done to one of the schools strongest bullies.

"Jeeze Kagae, you are a freak!" brawn scowled at me as he tended to his brother.

I felt Marty's hand fall on my shoulder, defending me, Darcy's following "he's a traumatized person, you deserved that Deering, and you should never have brought up his sister!" Marty defended my actions, "or attacked him"

Suddenly from the crowd of students emerged my teacher Mrs. Darby. She saw the new cut on my face from a punch from barker I didn't even recognize being thrown at my face during my rage and the blood on my knuckles as well as Barkers bloody nose and his bruised chin.

Not saying a word she grabbed me by the arm and led me away from the fight scene and into her classroom, locking the door as she did.

"Sit down" she said sternly.

I did what she said, contemplating on what I had done…and preparing to accept any judgement she had on me for my actions.

But instead she said these words that I will never forget "Kagae. Why do you act so alone? I understand why you've been so distant these past three months, why you've refused so much help from your friends and family about your grief and your pain. Your sister Rachel is in the hospital. Barren, never will have children due to the rape and the other one…" she chocked on a sob, I knew how much my sister Mariko had meant to my own teacher "you think you're the only one hurting because of her death and you blame yourself for it…for what happened… I know it. I can see it in your eyes, that pain turns into anger, and the anger swells in you until you see anyone who says anything negative about your loved ones as someone who deserves to be punished the same way your loved ones were…and you won't know how to stop…and cant believe anyone could care about how you feel or understand… I know Kagae; it's how I felt when my mother was taken from me during 9/11. I was mad at the world, I pushed myself into a depression like you are now, didn't want to listen to the fact that it wasn't my fault, and if it wasn't for my family and my boyfriend john whom I later married god rest his soul…I wouldn't have given up my unnecessary guilt, because it all really wasn't my fault. It didn't matter what people thought of my mother… I leaned to fight it. You have to fight your anger and guilt as well Kagae, or they will consume you just as certain as death can"

I looked up at her with tears in my eyes, saying the first words I have said in a long time since the attack "I hate them, the ones who hurt me, killed Mariko, made barren my sister Rachel, and stole from me my innocence of never witnessing death and pure evil by being a victim of it, and for me letting myself become a victim of it by not doing what I should have done! I should have done something! I know I should have done something and I will forever be scarred for it. I will pray for them as Christians do but not like they do… just the same, I will pray for them, but not for forgiveness for what they did, but for them to be delivered to justice, I want everyone who wronged me to feel my pain…at least for a few, but those bullies…I used to want them to feel my pain. But they don't matter to me anymore."

"Why is that?" Mrs. Darby asked.

"Bullies are small potatoes. All they do is just use their brute strength and intimidation to rule the hallways, but I found out that very horrible night there are a worse minority than bullies out there in the world…criminals!" I explained, "those are the ones who deserve punishment for all that they do to innocent people. I understand that some criminals steal to survive, but it wasn't that kind of criminal that did this to me and my family… so I don't care about bullies anymore, I was defending myself from them which is something I SHOULD have done a long time ago…my only grief is that I got his blood on my hands…I didn't want his blood, I wanted him to hurt like me… to see I was done with his bullying…but I didn't want this" I began to cry angry at myself, "but part of me did!"

"I know you didn't really mean to break his skin" she said, tears coming to her eyes.

"You can't understand my pain Mrs. Darby; I could have stopped this just as I could have stopped the murderer! It's all my…" I stopped when Mrs. Darby embraced me in a compassionate hug.

"It wasn't your fault understand!" she said to me, "you aren't the only one who has lost anything in the world and wanted revenge for it, remember what I just told you? To be angry and to grief over love ones lost is human, but Kagae, what makes a boy a man is to do the right thing for the right reasons, sometimes one must walk away from situations and sometimes he must fight. Roosevelt said once "anyone can handle adversity, to truly test someone's character…give them power". We all have our own powers; the problem is most people decide towards choosing not to use them. But the ones who do, they help make the world we live in a better place"

"And Voltaire said "every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do" I added sadly.

Mrs. Darby sighed in defeat, "Kagae you can blame yourself all you want, it won't make it your fault"

Two minutes passed as she called my father to come pick me up, and I thought about what she said…and I had to wonder…did she know?

About my powers?

"Kagae, your father will be here to pick you up in the hour" she said to me.

"Forget it, I'll walk home" I growled, picking up my pack and left the room.

She called me twice, but I ignored and took the steps to the south exit.

I wasn't surprised when I saw barker and brawn Deering there waiting for me.

"Oh no here he is again" Brawn mocked, "Be careful he might attack us like the dog he is"

"What do you want?" I asked annoyed.

"Payback Kishi" Barker answered, pounding his fist.

I just continued walking; as if they weren't there…I spoke while I walk toward them "you think your muscle scare me? After what I've been through you think your threats matter to me? Go ahead and pound me…I don't care anymore" I expected them to jump me when I was close enough.

But they just let me go through, unharmed…you see, they were stunned that I had shown no empathy for being severely beaten by these bullies.

I was almost out of the alleyway when I heard their footsteps, slow but soon the pace between them sped up, I realized they were getting ready to pounce on me.

But I was one step ahead of them, I dove into the dumpster nearby and using the shadows in the dumpster's trash I warped myself into the shadow realm as I now called it and came out of the shadows of a ventilation grate above the schools back service gate.

I heard barker yell "where did that freak go?"

I turned in his voices direction towards the alleyway I had escaped from, I saw barker searching the dumpster for me, his brother brawn was tugging at him worriedly "forget him man, we need to get the money before the brains dealer shows up…hey, there he is!"

Barker looked up to where his brother was pointing, "What…how did he get up there!"

"Who cares, GET HIM!" Brawn yelled.

I scoffed at their attempts to get me, them running down the alleyway heading for the ladder to the junior high schools roof.

I turned away, getting ready to use my powers to leave to somewhere else and wait for my father to come and pick me up.

They couldn't beat me up any more because I now had ways to avoid them…permanently.

But before I shadow walked away. I heard the sound of screeching tires.

I turned around out of curiosity to see to my surprise a black car barreling down on brawn and barker.

Now those two obviously knew who was in the car, and I could tell they were scarred.

And the fact the suddenly took off running like rabbits for the safety of the schools back door.

But the car managed to cut them off and pin them beside a nearby brick wall that couldn't be climbed due to the barbed wire at the top, and before I knew it a sleazy tattooed man wearing a long coat exited the black car and drew a pistol aiming it at the Deering boys.

After all I had heard from those two losers in the past four months I wondered…was this the brain of crime?

"Hey dipsticks!" the gun holding thug greeted the Deering boys.

"Hey duke" brawn said simply.

"it's that time again…" the thug now known to me as duke spoke while making a motion with his fingers that I knew meant "payment".

"Okay, okay…take it easy with the piece. He's what we got from selling ecstasy to those girls on the cheerleading squad for the keg party tonight, and here's the steroids and cocaine from the rest of the sales from today, and all of this week" Barker said, handing the gun thug a big wad of cash!

Drug cash!

So that's the job they had!

The sold drugs under the brains payroll, just like that Stevenson jerk, may he burn in hell.

Duke the gun thug watched as Barker handed the cash, he counted it, looked up from his counting and looked at brawn, and then he aimed his gun at Brawns kneecap.


I'm really amazed no one in the school heard that scream as the bullet went through that bullies right knee.

Barker quickly went to his brother's aid, "what the heck man!" he shut up when he saw Duke aim his gun at him and his brother who was on the ground clutching his knee, blood flowing through his fingers.

"The boss is asking you guys the same question" duke the gun thug said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a recording device.

He placed it on the hood of his car, and turned the volume up very high and pressed play.

It was so loud that if I didn't have my enhanced hearing I would have still heard it.

"ahhh…duke, if you're playing this right now that can only mean one thing" the tape of the brain of crime came through the tape recorders speakers, "these little Deering punks have been taking a dip in the inventory of steroids and marihuana, and also…these runts think I don't suspect them of taking a 3% bonus from money due me from their sales to the poor milksops of this high school. When I've been generous in paying them both 200 per amount of cash payed to them from their "customers" as well as payment for vices with money I know is taken from their father's bank. If so I ask you two idiots this. Did you think I wouldn't find out about this, you think you can steal from me? Cheat me out of profits due me? I'm the brain of crime, knowledge is power, and I make it my business to know. Now you two are going to find out what happens to those who cheat me….kill them" the tape ended.

While this was happening I already realized what the brain was going to have this guy with the gun do to these two jerks.

Jerks they may be, but I couldn't let them get killed…not when I knew what was happening.

I quickly ran for one of the maintenance pipes of the school roof and pulled it free with my superhuman strength and without hesitating ran and jumped from the roof, aiming for duke the gun thug.

"HEY LOSER!" I yelled as I soared through the air down towards duke the gun thug.

I got his attention, he looked up to where the mocking voice came from and was surprised at first to see me falling towards him with a metal pipe in my hand, he tried to aim his gun at me but I fell to the ground to fast.

In one swipe I brought the metal bar down on duke's hand, knocking the gun from his hands.

As duke was stunned howling in pain at his broken wrist, I quickly took a swing towards his stomach, and then the coup de grace, in the forbidden zone.

I had placed the attack so well that duke was left stunned, on the ground, and clutching the space between his leg with both his hands despite the broken wrist…gasping for air.

I got on him, pinning him down.

"Get over here and help me barker, I can't hold him for long!" I yelled at the stunned bully who couldn't believe what he saw.

He snapped out of his funk and came and helped me pin down the man who had tried to kill him and his brother, I reached into my coat pocket and dialed 9-1-1…even though the nearest cop station was six blocks away, I wasn't going to run and leave this guy to barker and let him screw this all up somehow.

After I made the call I realized barker was still scowling at me, "this doesn't change anything, filthy Kishi"

Once the cop showed up, he had the school alerted and soon Mrs. Darby and the principle were out. No students came out to see what was happening, they had all gone home.

An ambulance

My father after hearing the sirens of the police car and seeing it pull into the alleyway behind my school as he was pulling up from the street in the Mercedes to pick me up. He got out of his car and followed the sounds to where I and the deerings were being looked at by the E.M.S

I told him what I did, he chastised me for doing something so stupid… engaging a man who had a gun, but then he embraced me, glad I was all right and that I, unlike him wasn't intimidated by death to look the other way.

I told him, "you're a stronger man than I am father, you are"

We both hugged each other, both happy in the moment.

When Mr. Deering showed up in his limo, he emerged finishing a phone call with someone, and holding out a fax.

"Deering, I'm glad you're here too" my father welcomed sympathetically after he heard my side of the story.

"Oh save me the false sympathy Kishi!" Mr. Deering barked, "This is all your fault, your kid is a menace, and now this incident proves it"

My father was shocked, but then he became stern "what are you talking about? My son saved your sons lives"

"That's not what they told me…" Mr. Deering said looking at his boys, "my little angels said that he stood there egging the thug with the gun on to shoot my boys before he knocked him out with a metal pipe"

I looked at barker and brawn, both of which were standing by the limo, Brawn being held up by crutches due to his injured knee, the both sneered.

They were lying.

"Did you son?" asked my father.

"No, NO! I didn't. I stopped HIM…" I pointed to Duke the thug who was being lead into the cop car handcuffed, "from shooting him I didn't egg him or anything to kill them, I didn't dad!"

"I believe you" my dad assured, "this is just typical Deering/Kishi "gratitude" my father said with narrow eyes at Mr. Deering.

"I believe him too!" Mrs. Darby said in my defence, "you boys do nothing all day but bully this poor boy…"

"Shut up harlot!" Mr. Deering said snarling.

"He beat us up!" Brawn accused me, "he gave barker a bloody nose!"

"After you guys tried to punch me, said you wanted to knock up Mariko and Rachel! It was self defense!" I yelled at these two ingrates, "It was a case of a bully going too far…by following…" I looked up at Mr. Deering, "the orders of their father to torment the "psycho" Kishi boy"

"why you little!" Mr. Deering raised his hand to slap me, but my father grabbed it and showing his courage that I had once thought had been destroyed by the brain of crimes threats said to Mr. Deering "touch my son and your son over there won't be the only one with a limb cast!"

Mr. Deering took my father seriously, but then composed himself "doesn't matter Kishi, the deal is done."

"What deal?" my father asked.

"Due to the evidence presented here and my own testimony, I've convinced the school board that your son is a dangerous nuisance to the school. I was just filling for your son's expulsion papers on my way here, and now with this incident I am surely justified in your son being a danger!"

"He's no more a real threat to your family or any other family whose kids go to this school and you know that!" my father yelled in my defense.

"The noble deerings don't have a criminal mastermind holding their balls and chains now do they now, and my boys certainly aren't possibly deranged and psychopathic due to a most tragic event now are they" he said looking at me scornfully.

"You and your family are a danger to mine, and the very children of the family's that go to this very school, your son must go…it is done" Mr. Deering said showing my expulsion paper in the air like he was holding a trophy for victory.

"What…he can't do that!" My father Objected then asked "can he?"

"I'm afraid so… the board has judged that your sons become a menace to the school, getting in fights, nearly beating these two boys to death, and then standing back while the other was being beaten, and for trafficking drugs as the deerings boys say." the principle of my school said solemnly, "I got my notice on it two hours ago…I'm sorry martin, there was nothing I could do. The school board found Mr. Deerings claim justified when he severely beat the Deering boy; some kids say he looked like he was going to beat him to death!"

"I was not going to beat them to death! Just beat them, for all the times they beat me. And that drug thing, that wasn't me!" I shook my head, "it was them…it was brawn and barker! He's been buying drugs from one of the brain of crimes goons, using money from your pocket no doubt! He was also selling drugs under the brain of crimes payroll to kids at school. Also taking a little extra from payments, When the brain found out he had been cheated he sent his hit men to take it out of their hide…it had nothing to do with me and my father or what happened to me and my sisters that night. The brain targets anyone who doesn't do what he asks…and for such a skinflint such as you I'm amazed you didn't notice any strange deductions in your accounts Mr. Deering!" I said scowling smartly at the man who had just cost me my scholarship.

"You don't believe me well listen to this!" I said holding up the tape recorder duke the gun thug had and pressed the play button.

The brain of crimes voice repeated its message.

"ahhh…duke, if you're playing this right now that can only mean one thing" the tape of the brain of crime came through the tape recorders speakers, "these little Deering punks have been taking a dip in the inventory of steroids and marihuana, and also…these runts think I don't suspect them of taking a 3% bonus from money due me from their sales to the poor milksops of this high school. When I've been generous in paying them both 200 per amount of cash payed to them from their "customers" as well as payment for vices with money I know is taken from their father's bank. If so I ask you two idiots this. Did you think I wouldn't find out about this, you think you can steal from me? Cheat me out of profits due me? I'm the brain of crime, knowledge is power, and I make it my business to know. Now you two are going to find out what happens to those who cheat me….kill them" the tape ended.

"I'll need that for evidence kid…" the cop said as he asked for the tape recorder, I handed it to him.

Mr. Deering look surprised for a moment, I read his look as one of recognition… of realization.

So he had noticed some deductions in his accounts, he just didn't know why at the time.

Then he returned to his contempt full frown at me routine…he didn't care, he just wanted me, a Kishi…punished.

"Nice electronic forgery kid. You think I don't know a planned assassination when I see one. You payed that mook to hurt or kill my boys, you little monster! Just like a Kishi, try and ruin my name and legacy whatever way possible with supposed truths which are lies. The deerings are nobility, we don't do deeds like sell drugs or mingle with crime lords, there beneath us. And my boys don't lie…or steal from family and that is the end of it…YOU, BEGONE! I'll see you in court!" Mr. Dearing bellowed, pointing to my father's limo.

I look at Brawn and Barker, who looked at me with contempt… saying "dangerous loser… freak!"

I stare back in contempt, I then sigh in defiance "figures: I don't do the right thing out of the threat of a death by a gunshot and I lose my sister, and here when I do the right thing…saving someone who didn't deserve it, I get expelled for it!" I threw my school I.D card into the dirt, and entered my father's car, but not before giving a final goodbye to the tears coming from Mrs. Darby's eyes.

Content with having won, Mr. Deering and his sons returned to their limo in triumph.

I watched from the limo's window and the drug trafficker was put inside the cop car, laughing "you deerings are going to regret this…nobody stiffs the boss!"

When he said that I suddenly got that strange warning feeling again, that ability that was like spider man's spider sense…it was then I realized what was happening.

I bolted out of the car, yelling at the deerings limo "get out of the way! Get out of the car!"

Mr. Deering rolled down his window and barked in hatred "get out of here crime magnet!"

Suddenly it happened.

The limo that held the deerings burst into flames as an explosion occurred right there in the back of the school.

I was thrown back by the shockwave, nose bleeding from the pressure wave…ears ringing.

I had some shrapnel, but due to my healing factor…it was out in two minutes time flat.

I looked up from where I was, lying on the asphalt; I saw the deerings limo with their corpses inside, engulfed in flames along with the driver.

I bet you think I had satisfaction in their deaths, no…I did not.

I hated them, but I didn't want them dead.

Once again I couldn't save anyone with my powers, and that day got worse when I saw what the explosion had done to Mrs. Darby.

Shrapnel right through the heart.

As I ran to her, I stopped and looked up at the rooftops surrounding the school and sure enough I saw him.

Wearing a mask, and holding a RPG launcher…was the brain of crime!

Holding a bullhorn in his hand as well he said these words to my father, "these people crossed me and were given the same warning you have been given Kishi, you ever cross me again and you and your family will face the same fate as these slimes…no one walks away from a deal or a warning from the brain of crime"

He walked away laughing.

The police officer was recovering from the shock of the car explosion, so he couldn't have been able to stop the brains drug marketer from escaping his custody, exiting the car and running for his undeserved freedom.

I looked up where the brain of crime was, and then I realized he was still up there on the rooftop.

I could hear him!

My super hearing picked up him saying before he left to someone on a secure cellphone call "there. Martin Kishi…He and his family have been punished enough that they get the message and I have been supporting your vendetta against the Kishi's for my own fun long enough, it's time for you my little "corrupt cop" friend to start doing what I tell you to do now…or else….I'm glad you see it my way… look forward to doing business with you"

Did he say a corrupt cop with a vendetta against my family?


I shunned my attention away from the brain to help my father bring Mrs. Darby into the limo as the cop who had been brought he by the now deceased Mr. Deering called ahead for the hospital to be ready for a critically injured woman.

I wish I could tell whoever is reading this journal that she made it…she didn't.

Before she died in my arms in the backseat of my father's limo, she whispered in my ear "don't mourn over not saving me Kagae. You're just a boy, you couldn't have done much. Someday you might be able to do so much for people, but not now. Don't hate yourself for it…." She then placed a hand on my heart "use it, and use it wisely in all of your choices…promise me"

She died, before I could tell her "I promise"

I was devastated, first my sister…now the teacher who had taught me so much…both gone, and I was powerless to stop it.


I was wrong, I wasn't powerless.

I had a power.

A power no one else had.

A power I had never bothered to explore or use because I was too frightened…well, that ends now.

I was scarred…selfish…and look what that cost me!

It's no time to be scarred, now was the time to prepare myself for what I must become, what I should have become, in order to strike back at my mortal enemies.

Crime, corruption and evil!

I will never be powerless again!

My training begins now!

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