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Chapter 18

Eventually they reached the top and their cars are waiting for them. “Come, we have a long drive,” Andrei says to them. But before they can even start the engine, they hear the sound of helicopter blades in the distance. “What is that?” Takashi asks. “Shit!” Sergey exclaims. “Everybody get inside the house!” Then suddenly, an attack helicopter comes up and starts shooting at them. It fires a hail of bullets at them as they run towards one of the houses. It’s like a small minigun. Though they were able to safely make it inside, the chopper destroyed one of the cars and it explodes, sending it up to the air. They ducked down inside to take cover. The car falls back down, burning, as the fire rages. Takashi then points out to them that this is an old, dilapidated house and it won’t protect them for very long. It already has some holes in the rotting wood and the foundation is already half-crumbling. They carefully look through the window and see three other choppers incoming. One of them is carrying Dr. Edwards and General Leichthammer along with a few men. “You thought you could escape from us??” the general shouted. “Oh, shit. It’s that guy again,” Olivia says. “You know him??” Sergey asks. “Yeah, he’s a general or something and was chasing us all over Moscow before we met you guys,” Takashi explains, “he wants our power.” “Well, he is not going to get it,” Andrei cocks his gun, “take them out, men!!!” They go out of their cover and start shooting like crazy. They fly away for a moment to avoid it, but one of the choppers shoots the house in the process. Under fire, and the house crumbling down around them, Takashi quickly gets up and smashes through the wall to the adjacent building. “Aaarrggghh!! Come on!!” The rest hastily join him in the other building as it comes down. Smashing the wall didn’t really help either, but they are safe in the other building, at least for now.

The chopper pilot can’t see anything through all the dust, when suddenly Olivia comes flying towards him. “Oh shit!” he yelled. Boom! She smashed through the tail, sending the chopper crashing down. “Nice one, Liv!” he screamed. She gives him a ‘thumbs up’ as she hovers there, “Whoa!” she screams as she dodges the hail of bullets from another chopper. She flies away in an attempt to go around it. “Liv!!” “What the hell are you guys doing?? Help her!!” Andrei yells to his men. “Yes, sir!!” They start shooting at the chopper, and although they managed a few hits, it only reminded the pilot that they’re still alive. He turns to face them and prepares to shoot, grinning. Takashi stands in his way, protecting them. “Fool!” he says as he presses the trigger to fire. He creates a force field in front of him, but it starts to break up immediately. “Aarrggghhh!” He then recreates it and keeps recreating it with both hands and flies towards the chopper. He focuses his energy on the gun barrel, wrapping it in the force field as he gets to it, and it explodes. He was forced back and falls back down in front of the burning wreckage of the previous chopper. Though it lost its gun, it’s still able to fly around. He arms his missiles and prepares to fire when Olivia comes charging to him. The other chopper comes to its rescue and shoots her before she can destroy it. “Argh!” a bullet hits her. She screams as she barely misses the chopper and crashes down beyond, but quickly recovers, dragging the dirt with her right hand and kneeling with one leg. Sergey and the others race to help Takashi up, feeling the gust of the wind from the helicopter’s blades. “I’m fine,” he says. The two choppers then suddenly retreat slowly, heading in the direction of the quarry where Leichthammer’s chopper is. “That’s right, just bring them to us, please,” Julian quietly says, preparing the device. Sergey turns to Olivia and nods, signaling to her that they’re okay and she should go and get them. She nods back before looking at the spot where the bullet hit her, in her right arm below the wrist. There was blood, it pierced her skin a bit, but it didn’t go through. The bullet just hangs there and she pulls it out. “Ahhh,” she exclaims softly. She looks at it, covered in her blood and bent, and drops it down. “Haha, it worked,” she says, “the shield works.” Her expression changes as she gets serious, shit’s about to get real now. Boom! The shockwave from her flight boomed, something like supersonic. She’s heading straight for his chopper. “Olivia?” Takashi says. “Get out of the way everyone!” Julian yells. He points the device at her… “Aaaarrrggghhhhh!!” she screams as she prepares to hit him. …he joins her in screaming before firing the device. It shoots out a light blue aura and it hits her, immediately stopping her midflight. “Urrgghhhh!!” her screams a bit muffled. Then a flow of energy starts to flow from her through the aura and into the device. “Liv!!!” Takashi screams. “Got it,” the doctor says. He turns off the device and stops firing, letting her fall to the ground. Takashi quickly pushes Sergey aside and starts running towards her, “Olivia!!!” he screams again. The two attack choppers shoot at him, but he quickly repels the bullets away and destroys the two. He finally jumps off the ground and flies to her, catching her in his arms as the two choppers falls down and explodes behind them. “I got it, sir!” Julian tells Edward. Then their chopper flies away to the distance, but not too far.

“Sweetie? Sweetie??!” he yells shaking her. She looks a bit tired, but she’s okay. She wakes up. “I’m fine, sweetie,” she tells him softly, “but I do feel a little weird.” “What happened?” “I’m not sure, but let’s not worry about it now. We can’t let him get away, not this time. Let’s go.” “No, Liv. That…thing must’ve done something to you,” he says worried. “Really, I feel fine. Now let’s go.” She then jumps to fly, but immediately falls back down. “Urgh!” she exclaims. “What the--?” Everyone races to help her. “I knew it did something to you,” Takashi says, “are you hurt?” “Urgh, just my pride,” she replies. “What happened?” Sergey asks. “The thing, the…device, it must’ve took your powers away,” Takashi deduces, “it wasn’t meant to hurt, but to steal.” She looks a bit sad, but more surprised over the loss. How long has it been since she felt…”normal”, since she was “normal”. She looks at her hand and she feels a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. She doesn’t really know what to feel. “It’s gonna be okay, Liv,” he says. “Really? How do you know?” she asks half-smiling. “Well, if that device can take your powers away, then it must be able to give it back, right?” Sergey throws that out there. Takashi looks at him and nods, worried and unsure. Then suddenly Sergey is thrown back with great force along with Andrei and their men on both sides. “Argh!!” they scream as they hit the houses. “What the--?” he spoke. The helicopter returned from whatever they were doing in the distance, and Edward was standing on the side holding his right arm up. Takashi quickly imagined the worst—has it actually happened?

Edward then unbuttons his jacket and takes it off, showing his light blue button up t-shirt as he rolls up his sleeves. He extends his arms wide on his side and raises his head before proceeding to step off the chopper…and levitates. Takashi and Olivia both look at this feat as their eyes widen in surprise, “Oh no,” she speaks. He lowers his head and looks at them, “Now, we are on equal ground!!” he yells to them having a deranged look about him. They both tilt their heads to the side over the irony of what he said. Edward then shoots an energy blast at them with his newfound powers to which Takashi quickly deflected. “Sweetie, stay here,” he says to her before flying off to confront the general. “Yes, come,” he says grinning madly. Edward flies to meet him and they crash to each other, creating a mild shockwave. They were repelled back a bit, but continue their fight, which took them high into the air. “Follow them!” Julian orders the pilot. Sergey recovers from the crash and moves the pile of debris off of him. Olivia stands up, barely, fumbling a bit. “Are you okay, my friend??” he asks her as he stands up himself. She raises her head to the sky, tired, “Yeah,” she answers. He approaches her, “What happened to Takashi?” “I don’t know, he…he flew off to stop him,” she tells him, almost falling down. He catches her, “Whoa, my friend. Just relax.” Without the energy anymore, she feels strange now. The rest of the gang are just waking up themselves and step outside, still trying to shake it off, though some of them didn’t survive the impact. “Sergey, I don’t have my powers anymore,” she tells him. “I know. It is okay. We will find way to get it back,” he says to her. Suddenly, Takashi comes falling past them. “Argh!” Crash! “Takashi?!” Edward flies with speed towards him, helicopter behind, to finish the job, but he quickly flies back, sliding across the ground as his punch connects. It created a small crater. Takashi flies up, telekinetically bringing him along, and throws him into the building in the distance to the right. He quickly flies to it, not leaving any time for him to recuperate. He lands inside and sees him trying to get up.

“We have to help him,” she says. “Da, we will. But you remain hidden, it is dangerous for you now.” “No, I wanna help! I can help.” He looks at her, uncertain. Takashi walks up to him and picks him up, gripping his shirt with his left hand. But Edward quickly punches him, unleashing a small shockwave, and he falls back a bit. He quickly returns the favor, and another one, and another one. Edward catches his last punch with his left hand before retaliating by throwing a few of his own. Recovering, Takashi telekinetically pushes him back to the wall with great force. It breaks as he hits it, almost going through. At this point, they’re both already covered in wounds and blood. Then they all hear a faint roar coming from the distance, and the sky suddenly becomes gray and cloudy. Thunder can be heard. They all look up at the bleakness. “It’s happening,” Olivia says. “What is?” She turns to him, “We have to hurry.” “Hahahaha,” Edward laughs a little insanely. “Looks like things are about to go very bad soon,” he says too playfully. “Do you think this is funny??! Do you have any idea what’s going on out there??!” he yells to him. “Our alien friends have been busy…hahahahaha.” “You’re crazy,” he says looking tired and not knowing what to think. “Do not call me that!!” He charges at him with full force into the opposite building. Edward holds him down on the floor, gripping his hair. “I will kill you, and your little girlfriend, hahaha,” he says. On the helicopter, Julian prepares the device for its second and final use, hopefully. Outside, he sees Olivia and the others going to interfere with Edward and Takashi and orders the men to shoot them. “Yes, sir!” “Give me a gun!” Olivia says. “What??!” “Just give me one!!” Sergey does so, but as soon as she starts firing, the recoil pushes her back and she falls down. “Whooaaaa!” she yells. “Shit!” Sergey exclaims. “Take them down, men!” Andrei screams. And a firefight ensues as bullets fly from everywhere to anywhere.

“Urgh, get off me,” he says to Edward. “Make me.” “Okay.” He flies up and slams him to the roof with everything he’s got, and again, and again… But Edward counteracts and forces him down back to the floor, and then grabs his head and slams it down. “Argh,” he moaned. He breathes deeply, tired, and says to him, “Time to give back what you stole from me.” He then picks him up and drags him outside. As he sees the others, he forces them back, and then gathers and levitates them up and puts them back inside the quarry, or at least the road leading down to it. “Now, we are alone. Come.” He flies up and holds him there while he gets out of the device’s range. “Urgh, what?” he wakes up. Julian points the barrel at him and prepares to fire when suddenly the chopper gets tilted sideways making the shot go upwards instead. It then proceeded to spin around and around… A creature stuck itself to the side of the chopper, causing it to become imbalanced. In surprise, Edward lets go of his grip on Takashi and he falls down before catching himself. They both notice the pack of creatures coming their way, “Oh, come on,” Takashi says, really tired of this. They look at each other and he quickly shockwaves Edward away. The creature rips the other door of the helicopter out and the soldiers furiously shoot at it to no avail, until one of them shoots a grenade launcher at it. “Nooooo!!” Julian yells as the soldier was about to fire and jumps out at the last second. Boom! The creature was repelled, but the explosion caused damage to the chopper and even caused them to fall out as well. Unstable, the pilot has to make an emergency landing—all the blinking lights and the alarm and the whirring sounds doesn’t help at all. Miraculously, he’s able to land it safely though, sliding across the dirt a bit, but safely. He breathes a sigh of relief, though it’s too soon, as a creature quickly smashes through his front window and drags him out. “Aaaarrrggghhh!!!” he screams his last scream.

The men who survived hastily got up and start shooting everywhere. Julian landed stomach and face first, “Urgh!” he exclaimed as he ate dirt. He gets up and checks on the device to make sure it’s not broken, luckily it isn’t. Takashi looks to his direction and sees the device, realizing it can take the power back from Edward and gives it back to Olivia. With that, he rushes to him, repelling a creature behind him away and punches him from the distance, creating a psychic version of his hand besides Julian’s face. “Owwwww!” he exclaims. He lands beside him and proceeds to take the device from him as the men die slowly one by one in the background. He wipes the sweat and dirt off his face as wind speed picked up, breathing rapidly, struggling to take the device off him. It’s a bit bulky and heavy to carry. “I don’t think you’ll be needing this anymore,” he says to him. The good doctor can only groan in pain and tiredness, he’s not really a fighter.

Back at the quarry, Sergey and the gang are rushing back up the road to rejoin the battle. They can hear gunfire and screaming. “What the hell’s going on up there??” Olivia asks. Then they hear a roar, “I give you one guess,” Sergey tells her, “hurry!” All of Edward’s men had already died. They fought to the very end, screaming as they were torn apart. Takashi takes a moment to stop and look at all the madness, the world slowing down around him as he does so. Then the creatures turn their attention to him. “Oh, shit!” He quickly runs away, but turns back. He can’t leave him there. “Ah, shit!” he says. He telekinetically pulls him, sticking him to his back. It’s hard and heavy to bring him along, what with the device on his back already making it difficult to do so, or to fly for that matter, and now he has to carry him too. “Why am I doing this??” he asks himself. With his reduced speed, the creatures quickly catch-up to him, almost, if Edward hadn’t bust out and distracted them. He’s gone full madman, charging at them without thought, though he seems to be winning. He’s able to get rid of a lot of them easily and quickly, creatures flying everywhere and shockwaves and energy distorting the surrounding area. Takashi takes this opportunity to get the hell outta there and runs back into town.

“Takashi!” Olivia calls him. “Hey! Urgh,” he struggles, “I got the thing!” He drops Julian down. “What is he doing here?” Andrei asks. “Oh, well I couldn’t leave him there. Anyway, I got the device,” he restates. He takes it off his back and kneels down, resting, putting it on the dirt. It’s rectangular in shape with a few rough edges, not many features to it, except for a gauge that reads “Energy Input” with a display below it to show that. It’s light blue in color, but it’s reading empty now. Of course, they haven’t sucked the power back from Edward yet. A long cable at the bottom connects the pack to the actual gun, which is quite small or about average size for a handgun, just built because it was necessary. It wasn’t made for anything but point and shoot. “We can use this to steal back the power from him and give it back to you,” he explains. Andrei then pulls out his 9mm sidearm and points it at the doctor. “Whoa! Whoa!! What’re you doing??” they all yell. “Finishing him.” “No, we don’t do that,” Takashi tells him. “Speak for yourself,” he pulls him up, “hey, wake up!! How do we use device?!” He comes to, still a little wobbly, and sees the barrel being pointed at him. “Hey, whoa,” he says, “there’s…no need for further violence.” “Did you hear what you just said??” Olivia speaks. “So how do we use device?” Andrei asks again. “You just…point it at the target…and depress the trigger. It will then…absorb the energy of anything that has energy to be absorbed,” he explains, still a little weak, “to redirect the absorbed energy outwards, just turn the knob on the side of the gun, that’s it.” “That’s it??” Takashi asks in realization of how simple it is. “I designed it so that it would be very simple to operate that even a monkey could,” he replies. “Thank you,” Andrei says to him. He then punches him to knock him out. “Okay, so you know what to do.” They nod. Takashi takes the device and is about to put it on again when Sergey stops him. “No, you have the best chance of beating him. I will take the device and use it while you hold him down,” he states. “Okay. Let’s go.”

Out in the fray, Edward is still busy kicking alien ass. His now unstable mind makes his power quite, well, unstable. Though that’s also what gives him his strength and makes it powerful. Energy distortions are present all around him cause of the instability and as wind speed picks up dramatically. It’s like a sandstorm. A small tornado starts to form around him, sucking and repelling everything as he laughs hysterically in the center. Takashi, Olivia, and Sergey raise their hands to cover themselves as they go through it. Dust and dirt keeps flying to their faces and eyes. “How the hell are we supposed to go through that??!” Olivia screams, barely audible. “Whaat??” they both reply, yelling. A few of the creatures are able and manage to hold on and resist the high winds, moving closer to him. He claps his hand together and releases a 360o energy burst that repels the wind away and destroys anything that touches it and the aliens die instantly. The repelled wind knocks them back to the ground. “Shit!” they exclaim.

Takashi huddles together with them so they can hear, “Alright, this isn’t working!” he has to scream, “you guys stay here and hold on until I can knock him out! Then you come in and do your thing! Okay?!” “Okay!” they nod. He then gets up and continues on his own. He finally starts to see the tornado, and Edward inside. “There you are,” he says tilting and shaking his head, trying to avoid the sand and dirt. The closer he gets though, the stronger the force of the wind becomes. He struggles to press onwards, but finds it difficult. Finally, he decides to stop him from here. “Screw it,” he says. He thrusts his hand and releases an energy blast, but it’s quickly repelled away by the wind. “Oh, come on!” he shouts. He tries again, this time holding it back longer, focusing his energy into one big blast, and thrusts his hand again. The energy cut a path through the wind and all the dust and sand as it flies. It pierces the tornado and knocks Edward away, enough to halt his concentration and stop the distortions. The tornado disappears and wind speed slows down. He then quickly flies to him and gives him a good telekinetic punch to make sure he stays down.

“Guys, come on! Hurry up!” he shouts to them. Sergey picks himself and Olivia up, grabbing her arm, and they run to him. He prepares the device on the way, changing its setting to “absorb”. Takashi grabs Edward, picks him up and holds him up telekinetically so he can avoid the absorption process. “Hurry up, please!” he says looking very disheveled and exhausted. Suddenly he regains consciousness and sends them all flying away. He himself is worn out too though and fumbles at the spot with his insanity. “Urgh!” Takashi exclaims as he slides across the dirt. He really, really wants to just lie there, but picks himself back up and runs to Edward… He’s too tired to fly. He punches him as hard as he can and he falls down. Crash! “Hahaha, go ahead. Take it away. It doesn’t matter anymore. No one will survive anyway. Our alien friends will make sure of that,” he says as Takashi crawls to him. “We’ll see about that.” He crawls over him and punches him one last time, knocking him out.

“Sergey!! Do it now!!!” he yells. Sergey tries to pick himself up, and then walks to the spot. Takashi gets out of the way and he shoots, absorbing Olivia’s power back. Edward groans at the process and struggles around a bit. He exhales as it finishes. “I got it.” “Alright, just do it now,” Olivia tells him. He changes the setting to “redirect” and fires at her, giving her back her power. She slightly widens her arms and raises her head as she moves back a bit from the force. When it finishes, her eyes and body glow bright blue again, signifying the power’s return, and she looks at her hand and smiles. She jumps up and flies around, “Whoooooooo hooooooooo!!” she screams out. It feels nice to have the wind against her face again, to see the world from above, to feel freedom again. It does sound nice. “Come on, Liv!! We gotta go!!” Takashi screams to her, smiling. “Of course with all the flying and whooshing and wind, she didn’t really hear him. She’s too busy enjoying the flight, the moment. Even though the weather’s looking bleak, she flies through the clouds and through the rainwater. That feeling of lightness when it comes to flying… It’s something to enjoy. But she knows that they don’t have much time left and flies back down, and she does so gracefully. “Sorry, guys. It’s just…” she says. “I know,” he replies. Edward then grunts again as he lies there. “So what do we do with him?” Sergey asks. “I know what to do,” Andrei says, again pulling out his sidearm. Their faces flinch a bit, but after what he’s done, maybe he deserves it. She hugs him and looks away. Andrei points his gun to Edward’s head, preparing to paint the ground. “Wait!” Takashi speaks suddenly. “You want to let him live??” he asks, “after everything?!” “I…I don’t know.” “I don’t like it too, sweetie. But he’s dangerous, and insane. I mean, he killed Moscow for Pete’s sake. He’s a monster. Maybe…” she says to him.

Edward then suddenly screams and lunges towards Andrei, forcing him to shoot him dead in shock. The bullet goes through his head, splattering blood on the ground behind him and he falls dead. Everyone was holding their breath, eyes wide as it happened. Andrei is shaking a bit, still pointing his gun, blood splatter on it and a little along his arm. “Everyone saw…what happened, right?” he says looking at them. They nod, “Yeah,” she says still a bit wide-eyed, “I guess it’s karma.” “Well, whatever it was, it’s done now. We should get going,” Takashi says. He nods in agreement. He holsters his sidearm and orders his only man left to go check the downed helicopter. “Why are they doing that?” Takashi asks. “If the helicopter still functions, we can use that to get to the elevator faster,” he answers. “Right. Viktor, go with him,” Sergey says. “Okay, but what do we do with the doctor?” Olivia asks. “Just leave him here.” She doesn’t seem okay with the idea, even though she was feeling differently about the general, but she reluctantly agrees. Well, Edward was the evil mastermind behind it all, and Julian was just caught along for the ride…sort of. But they don’t really know that.

Viktor and Andrei’s man arrive at the downed chopper. It’s banged up a little, and the pilot side window’s broken with bloodstain, but it’s still looking pretty good and it looks like it’ll still fly. Sergey and Andrei arrive to assess the condition. “Well? How does it look?” he asks. “It will fly, sir,” one of ‘em says. “Good, good,” he says. “Hey, guys! Come on, we must go!” Sergey yells to the reluctant heroes. “Hold on!” she screams back. They’re still talking amongst themselves about the fate of the doctor. “Should we really just leave him here?” Takashi asks her. “I don’t know. If we bring him along, he might try something,” she replies. “Well, we can keep him knocked out,” he suggests an option, “I don’t know, I just don’t feel right leaving him here. We should check on him, at least.” “Yeah, okay. Let’s go.”

As they walk, tired, he suddenly feels that strange feeling again, that feeling of confusion and stress. Oh, come on, he thinks to himself, not this again. It might be just because he’s exhausted, he doesn’t really know. Maybe it’s just…natural for him, or it became natural. This time’s kinda different though. Yes, he’s confused and stressed, feeling the weight of the world on his shoulder, but he seems to be handling it well. He’s not freaking out or wigging out or anything like that. Olivia can feel it too. After all, the fate of the world really is at stake here. For the first time, she doesn’t know what to say. They reach Julian’s still unconscious body. He bends down and crouches and extends his arm to grab him, but as he turns his body towards them, they can see the blood on his neck reaching to a part of his shirt below and on the ground. Takashi closes his eyes and looks away while Olivia covers her mouth. “Well, I guess we didn’t need to do anything after all,” he says. “I can’t believe he actually did that,” she replies. Julian actually looks scared and confused, his last expression, and Takashi closes his eyes to lay him to rest. “So long, friend,” he says, “you don’t seem like the bad guy type. I hope you were…somewhat happy.” He stands up and wipes his hand together. “Come on, Liv. Let’s go.” She takes a moment before joining him to head back to the chopper. He put his right arm around her neck to comfort her. For once, he doesn’t let it get to him… Well, not too much, at least. Don’t get him wrong, he’s still very confused and stressing on the inside, but fuck all that. They’ve got a world to save.

She chuckles, “You seem to be handling this pretty well,” she says. “Well, it’s like what you’ve been telling me: I should stop thinking too much and focus,” he replies, “I told you, I don’t wanna feel like that anymore. I’m so tired. And who cares if we don’t get all of our memories back. I’ve got you here,” he smiles at her, “and besides, we’ve got a world to save.” She stops him and smiles back at him, “I’m glad you’re finally getting it.” She then gives him a kiss him on the lips. “I love you,” she starts tearing up a little, “we’re gonna make it through this, right?” “We will. I promise,” he replies sternly, wiping the tears away. Back at the chopper, Andrei is sitting in the pilot’s chair, one of his men next to him, preparing to take off. He activates the engine and the blades start spinning. “Haha, khorosho,” he says. “Comrade, you do know how to fly this, yes?” Sergey asks. “Relax, my friend. I will get us there in one piece,” he answers confidently. He then steps back out to see Takashi and Olivia arriving as the blades spin faster and faster, creating a small dust storm. “So I take it this thing’s still running?!” he shouts to overcome the sound. “What??!” “Nevermind!! Let’s go!!” They both get inside and strap themselves in followed by Sergey as he closes the door. “What about the doctor?” he asks. “He uhhh…he’s dead,” Takashi answers. He gives a nod to tell them that he understands. And off they go to the supposed space elevator as they rise from the ground and fly off.
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