Season II Chapter 2: One's Potential
Making my way over early to the lab, I felt like a hot mess. I haven’t had any coffee in over a day. It was two days ago that I encountered Black Zero.
I’ve gotta say, thanks to school I haven’t had any time to practice lately. Summer was fine and I trained with Donte day and night. It was fun actually.
I’m faster than I was before with Crimson and I know I’ve gotten better. But I haven’t gotten any opportunities to practice wall running, saying as it’s best done on actual buildings and not the inside walls of some lab.
Donte on the other hand has gotten way faster than before. When he first appeared he was much faster than me. When I finally caught up to him in training, he surpassed his own limits, but I don’t think he knows that. No matter how fast he is, at the end of the day, he’s still a kid. And he doesn’t know how to unleash his full potential.
Thinking about Donte on the way over made me realize that I never questioned before how he got his powers in the first place. I pondered it the entire way.
As the elevator doors opened and I was graced with the soothing smell of air conditioning, I thought I’d ask Cassandra.
“Hey.” I said
“Good morning to you too.” She responded sounding slightly irritated
“Do you know how Donte got his powers in the first place?” I asked her
“Well..no. Now that you mention it, neither of us ever brought it up.” She responded
“Huh.” I went, wondering how we could’ve went 6 months without asking such a crucial question.
“Maybe you can ask him when he comes in.” She suggested
“Yeah, sure.” I agreed
After some minutes of anxiously waiting and trying to focus on something other than Donte or coffee, his voice finally echoed through the lab at the opening of the elevator,
“Guess who’s here!” He elated
I greeted him and wasted no time in asking the question of the day.
“Hey Donte, you never actually told us how you got your powers.” I asked
“Oh...uhh...” his joyful expression changed to a rather grim one,
“Well it’s a funny story actually,” he started, sounding happy, “I honestly just woke up one morning and everything was fast around me. And I had this awesome feeling of electricity coursing through my veins. And I just had the need to run, and run, and never stop.”
He laughed rubbing the back of his head like he felt embarrassed.
“Ok then” I said, laughing along with him
“Hmph” I could hear Cassandra grunt, sceptical as usual.
After Donte headed off to school before me and left us alone in the lab, I went closer to Cassandra and whispered,
“Do you have to be so sceptical about everything?”
“I’m just not going to take something as farfetched as that.” She responded firmly
She turned around to face me, looking as serious as always.
“What do you mean ‘farfetched’? It made sense and it seems like something that would totally happen” I pointed out
“Yes to an imbecile. Might I remind you that the X-Gene is triggered via an extreme emotional stimulus?” She rebutted
“Yeah, ok fine. But what reason would he have to lie?” I asked her
“Don’t ask me that. You’re the one who should know.” She said
“Yeah well I know Donte and he would never lie.” I defended
“Hmph.” She went turning away
I groaned before giving up in defeat. It makes no sense arguing with her. I know Donte has no reason to lie and I stand by it.
When it was time for me to leave I gladly took my stuff and went off to school.
I went through the day with what Cassandra said stuck in my head. Why would he have any reason to lie? But at the same time, people don’t just wake up with powers. Hmm.
In my free time I decided I might as well have just spent it studying, or at least that was before Cassandra called me.
Sitting in class reading, I had a perfect view of the window to my left, revealing part of the city. Everyone was startled at the loud crash of a building tumbling down.
Soon more were to follow. The chaos that was stirring up in the city went on.
-“Romaine”- I heard Cassandra call over the comms
“I know I know. I’m not blind. Or deaf for that matter.” I told her off while walking out of the room with my bag.
I switched shoes and made it to the lab.
“What is it?” I asked
“Satellite images are showing a humanoid rock attacking the city.” She responded
“I’m gonna deal with a misbehaving rock?” I questioned sarcastically
“It’s not an actual rock” she said in frustration, “It’s obviously a normal human who’s had their X-Gene triggered. Now they have a rock-like appearance.”
“Aye aye no need to be so stiff" I said, laughing at my own joke
I went and changed before bolting out. Before I left I advised her,
“I won’t need it but, you better call Donte to come and help me. You know he’ll get mad if we don’t.”
I ran all the way into the town to confront my latest opponent. Watching him wreck the city was far from settling. I had to do something quick, but that guy looked like he was literally made of stone.
While his lower body looked practically normal..his upper body looked more circular -made of stone obviously- and he appeared to be hunchbacked. What a sight to see. That this disfigured man was endangering so many lives and destroying his own city.
I had to be smart about my move. He hadn’t spotted me yet and any physical attack would do more harm to me than him. I took what appeared to be the easy route and attempted to suffocate him.
I made several laps around him before a column of air began to form on the border. As the vacuum got stronger and stronger, he didn’t seem to be having any trouble breathing.
He took up building rubble and hurled it at me. As fast as I was my reflexes were off, causing me to end up running into the attack.
I could barely move and felt incredible pain in my torso. I was practically buried with rubble on my chest. I struggled to move as I begun to panic, seeing him come closer.
“So you’re the one they call ‘Velocity’...” he said as he approached, “You’ve made quite the name for yourself. Pity it ends here.”
“Where’s Usain when you need him?” I muttered
-“I already told you, my dad’s retired now and he’s not coming to save your butt. If you can’t save this city without relying on others then you don’t deserve to be a hero.“- Cassandra commented
“Look if you don’t have anything good to say then just don’t say anything.” I told her
“Did someone ask for help?” I heard a voice from down the road
Before I knew I Donte was standing right beside me, in his suit, staring at the villain.
“And just who might you be?” The man asked Donte
“The game’s Excell and don’t you forget it! Because I’m the guy that’s gonna take you down.” He responded confidently
“Oh?” The man said before breaking out into laughter. ”You, stop me? Don’t make me laugh! Go back to your diapers kid.”
Donte’s expression fixed on the man before running down the road to a suitable distance. Before I realized what he was doing Donte had already baited him a good distance away from me. He then ran back down to me and laugh and said,
“Whoops, forgot to do this” as he helped take the rubble off of my chest.
Helped me stand with my hand around his shoulder and his around my waist so that he could support me. He then ran to the left, saving both of us from more hurled rubble. He turned around to the man and said,
“Nu uh uh. You wait until I get back k?”
He then went back to supporting me and brought me to the lab. He left me in the main room where Cassandra was and went back.
“Kid sure is excited.” I commented
“Overconfident is more like it.” Cassandra said as she came to help me up
It’s about time I got to fight some bad guys. I was starting to worry that the world had suddenly turned completely good. That wouldn’t be fun.
After dropping off Romaine I ran back to that ugly rock guy. I got there as fast as I could.
“Hey big ugly! Iiiiii’m baaaaaack!” I shouted to get his attention
He sounded really mad. He came charging after me to punch me. I dodged his attack and went behind him. He turned around and tried again.
I kept dodging his attacks and taunting him until I finally decided to attack. I went to give him a super speedy left hook. But as my hand touched him it felt like it broke or something.
“Dumb kid.” He said before trying to jump on me
I ran back a few feet and stared at him from a distance. Well..now that I made that mistake, I sure won’t do it again.
I tried touching my hand and it really hurt. My knuckles felt like they were gonna die.
Despite my training I don’t know any cool tricks like Romaine. We could train in the lab and they said that none of the moves could be practiced indoors or with Romaine. So I had to wait until there were bad guys to try out anything. And there were basically none.
At this point I know I can’t do anything. All I can so is stall for time. I’ll stall as long as I can. Hopefully Romaine recovers and comes back by then.
I ran around the place trying to confuse him. But looks like the guy has razor sharp focus. Everywhere I went his eyes followed me. He started throwing rocks and I dodged every single one.
Then I realized there were some people still in the area. For the rock that I dodged, if it looked like it was gonna hit someone then I had to go and push them out of the way.
Sometimes I was wrong and ended up pushing people for no reason. I wish I could do better but I’m not exactly strong enough to lift up a bunch of adults and run with them. And you better believe I’m tired after bringing Romaine to the lab. I was just helping him stand but that was still a lot. And I was the only one doing the running after all, it’s like he couldn’t keep up.
I stalled for five minutes before Romaine came. He didn’t seem to be in very good shape. I could tell that he got here as soon as Cassandra would let him leave. And that he wanted to much sooner.
“Are you ok?” He asked me
“Yeah I’m fine. But we need to find a way to stop this guy.” I told him
“I think I have an idea” he said
“Go on..” I said, knowing that the plan would be genius
“We have to give him a speed punch. But not just any one, this one has to be as powerful as possible.” He said
“Oh no no no.” I said, “I tried punching him already and it didn’t work.”
I showed him my hand but he didn’t seem to get it.
“Trust me, it’s gonna work.” He said
He started explaining the science behind it but I kinda zoned out, I didn’t really understand.
“...o..k...then.” I said
“So basically what we have to do is run around the city to generate enough electricity and while we’re doing that you siphon of my electricity by running directly behind me and absorbing my power. The you channel all that energy into your right fist and punch the guy as hard as you can in the chest. Got it?” He explained
I didn’t understand all of it but I nodded my head.
“Now when you’re siphoning my energy make sure that you relax yourself. Feel the energy coursing through you. And focus on the electricity.” He said
“Ok” I said
We turned and looked at the guy before both running off. We ran for a good while around and around the city before I heard Romaine shout to me,
I started to fall behind a little bit and the went right behind him. I couldn’t see where I was going anymore because Romaine was right in front of me and his lightning was everywhere in my face and all around me.
I started to so what he said and relaxed I could feel my energy, running all over me. Then suddenly I could feel more coming in, I felt my energy and his, together as one. It was so awesome it would make me want to run forever.
When we circled back around to might ugly then Romaine made a sharp left and got out of the way. Before big ugly knew what hit him I focused all my energy into my right fist and gave him one awesome PUNCH!
Immediately all the energy I felt went away and the guy got thrown back a bit.
I was breathing hard and barely able to stand. I looked up at him and he looked stunned. I watched as all the pieces of rocks on him started falling off.
I didn’t have any more energy to stand. As I started to fall Romaine caught me and helped me.
“Good job, kid.” He said, smiling
I laughed and said thanks. Then for some reason everything went to black.
I was really proud of Donte. As much as I don’t want to admit it, he’s got much more potential than me. Which kinda makes me wonder what he must’ve been through to get such a powerful gift. You don’t just wake up one day like this.
He had passed out so I brought him back to the lab. Schools in the area were evacuated Cassandra says, which includes Donte’s school. Sp he wouldn’t have to go back, and would be allowed to rest. He deserved it.
When I brought him back to the lab Cassandra seemed mildly annoyed that she’d have to attend to him aswell.
After about an hour Donte was still asleep. I was standing in the corner beside his bed incase anything happened. Cassandra was checking his vitals, as she was keen to do every 10 minuets.
“He’s stable so you don’t need to worry.” She said
“I know, but I still need to watch him” I said
She giggled as she started to check his temperature.
“Kid’s got spunk.” I commented
“Yeah. Maybe even more than you.” She teased
“You think I have spunk?” I questioned
“Don’t get ahead of yourself.” She said, smiling before leaving the room.
I laughed to myself before looking back at Donte and his monitor.