Outside the silence was full. Birds gathered on electric cables deserting the surroundings of the nuclear power plant. Massive clouds were covering the sky so that sunrays could barely pierce through. In the city people stopped their current activities to look at the station afar. No one knew what was going on but an overwhelming feeling of fear was taking over people’s hearts. The world was coming to an end way too early.
A strong thunderbolt shook the world from heavens to the underworld causing a small earthquake. A giant time clock falling from nowhere appeared in the sky above wrapping the city in a protective light blue aura of energy.
They were losing hope when all of a sudden it started to show.
Near the end I had a sharper consciousness of my responsibilities in this mess because I knew it was a no return journey to the living world when I’d step beyond the doors of death.
I was not expecting things would stir up to cause a civil war. It was not what I was aiming for by engaging in my whole mind and soul in this fight for freedom I was supposed to take the lead. A painful burst of laughter escaped my lungs. I was not a hero all things considered and who could pretend to be a hero? There were amazing people who were acting for good, brave and determined. Me somehow I got caught up in the wave because I was the son of the late Prime Minister and it just suited me so well to be the figurehead of the opposition.
My body felt heavy all of a sudden. A sharp pain stirred up my chest so that I could hardly breath. Where were you Alys? I could not see you anymore my eyesight narrowed as my life was coming to an end anytime soon. My senses were switched off one by one as though they were candle flames. The world turned into a slow, overwhelming darkness. I could hear you calling for my name telling me everything will be all right soon but your words were unable to comfort me to my dismay. My whole body gasped for its last breath to tell you something important before I die, something you need to know to feel better. It is not your fault you who is always taking responsibility for things you haven’t done. I care for you. I love you so much as though I were your father.
You need to go on your own from now on no one will be more able than you to handle this hard time by yourself.
My chest feels warm. The bullet is still burning my skin. The blood spread fast. My life was drained along with each drop of red liquid dripping from the wound.
About death, about life there’s something I can’t get over.
Someone attempted to save me from death if not I would have died much earlier.
Who was it?
Who the heck?
Never mind. I did my part of the job I guess.
My eyesight blurs. Death is such a painful feeling of abandoning the loved ones to live with the sadness and the despair to see history repeat. Another Traumatism shall not happen. We were supposed to prevent it from happening and save the world.
All my strength is gone.
I want to live!
I can bear many things but not my own helplessness.
A few more seconds, just a few more but it won’t last.
Darkness. My senses are blurred
Pain. My last breath vanishes painfully.
Void. I’m swallowed by the silence as my soul quits my body.
Return. As though it compels me to live.
Light. I cannot only wait and watch.
Then I realize a flow of energy is draining my body what keeps my limbs alive though they are no longer irrigated by blood. It pulls me up and pushes me out the darkness. My eyes widened. My breath is fast and twitchy as if I was drowning but I can feel my heart beating by small bumps beneath my chest.
It is such a strange feeling to recover my senses. I raise my hand in front of my eyes and move it slowly in the air folding and unfolding my fingers. I close my eyelids blindfolded by the sunlight for an instant. I pull myself up to rest on my elbows and let go of the survival gold blanket wrapping my body.
I open the car door and jump outside on the ground. I stumble and grope for the hot metal of the car roof before I fall.
I feel a little better to take a walk around.
I’m amazed to be still alive. Hellmet is probably feeling victorious of knowing me dead but I’m enduring about many things. My will is strong I won’t lose to the wheel of fate.
I’m simply a hero in human body. The dead don’t talk.
Miracles can’t happen when the fight is about to end already.
I’m a man before all and I should be more relying on my people. They are strong and trustworthy. When I look around the way is clear, no gatekeepers guarding the door of the station. Though in my state I don’t stand a chance if I have to engage a fight.
The truth was revealed before everyone’s eyes: the Lonesome fighters had been fooled and it was now too late for them to retreat. The Judgment Of Time was nothing compared to this monster made of iron and most likely filled with nuclear energy.
Naomi started to realize her brother’s sacrifice was useless if no one understood that the real way of solving the crisis was to light up a long term uprising for things to change effectively. Destroying the Shovel of Death only solved the problem instantly. Thereafter Hellmet Pitsbulk had enough influence on the international political stage and the international money market all together to invest in the future by carrying further experimentations about nuclear energy applied to military matters.
Were the Lonesome powerless in front of that giant of steel and iron?
The thought crossed Alys’ mind with the beginning of an answer. She looked at her family and her comrades. Everyone was fighting for the same cause but each with his or her personal reasons from revolt to revenge.
She looked at herself barehanded. She had no weapon either. Her throat tightened. She was helpless only able to watch everyone fighting from afar. She felt a hand brush against her shoulder:
- No one will go mad at you if you feel powerless.
She turned around. Theodora smiled at her with kindness. “Heroes exist only in movies.”
Alys nodded and looked down:
- That is what I try to convince myself.
Her cheeks felt wet. She hovered a hand over her face to swipe her tears:
- But I can’t forget and just go on. I simply can’t.
Nine people, nine hearts beating like one.
Sixty minutes left before the beginning of the end.
There were lessons so hard learning. Alys looked alternatively at Mikael, Isha, Ashley, Theodora, Marcus, Shinichiro, Fritz, Naomi and herself. They had gone so far, through so many hard times together and simply being together was already a response to the revolution’s call for a more fair and equal world respecting itself and mankind.
At the price of huge sacrifices the Lonesome had realized that to make the breeze of change to blow on this new world they so wished for they had to act commonly for the same ideals instead of fighting on their own.
What’s more some teachings were to be learned from history’s heavy legacy about the consequences of nuclear energy on the environment and people. An end should be put to the use of bombs and other weapons of mass destruction to threaten other countries of declaring war to serve a questionable political interest.
Alys was no longer afraid. Talking with Theodora made her realize she was not powerless.
Her had not intervened yet in the battle but felt she could not stay back while her comrades and family were fighting. She had not a supernatural ability or political responsibilities but with her determination she could still take part in the uprising.
She took a step forward. On the ground she found Fritz’s weapon.
Her sorrow and despair decupled her strength. She pulled the shears off the ground in one move, one move of anger and resentment against the one who had shattered her life to pain and tears. She was hanging on by the strong filial bound that united her to the one who always cared for her as if he was her father, like a second family.when she was lost and looked for her bearings while adapting to live undersea between the walls of Society. She walked faster and faster then almost started to run, fighting head on.
Hellmet Pitsbulk frowned and snapped his fingers. The Shovel of Death moved so fast that Alys did not see the blow coming. The shears swished the air cutting through nothing but void while the cyborg grabbed Alys by the neck tight quickly disarming her.
She tried to break free with much effort in vain. Under everyone’s eyes in shock the Shovel of Death raised Alys off the ground as though she was weightless keeping her at gunpoint.
The red numbers, unfolding as the countdown was scrolling down to zero, were somehow fascinating. Only a few minutes left. The Lonesome came too late to hope they could do something to save the world. In front of them was the result of a whole decade of technology and scientific improvement out of science’s madness.
- She will be the first to die if you do not listen to my conditions, Hellmet Pitsbulk observed.
- She does not have to pay for the crimes you committed, release her right away! Ashley exclaimed.
Hellmet Pitsbulk turned to look at her and chuckled:
- No need to be afraid because my aim is not to kill her… What’s this?
A bright aura surrounded Alys’ body keeping her safe from the Shovel of Death. “What’s happening?” Ashley wondered.
The glow extended wrapping tenderly Alys’ body in a soft shimmering beam of light.
It was also healing the girl’s wounds. Around Shinichiro’s neck the flask broke suddenly apart responding to its master’s call. The Judgment of Time sparkled brightly transforming into a small blue orb that floated in the air. A new future drew shape among the thousand other threads Fritz could foresee thanks to his ability. Another time traveller had birthed somewhere in the world. He sighed heavily. It was a tough path that to be only able to watch and do nothing to modify the past that could turn the flow of time upside down.
The echo of footsteps resonated from the lower floors and then a silhouette emerged from the shadows. The orb flew towards the corridor and landed softly into the Judge’s palms emitting streams of electric blue energy.
Fritz smirked, satisfied by how things were turning:
- Perfect timing.
- I cannot stay back watching from afar.
The artefact split into small orbs. They grew shape and scattered giving birth to complex clock machinery.
- Your petty cyborg won’t do a thing to save your regime Hellmet. It will for the sake of the past, present, and future end up destroyed to bits of iron instead. I can’t afford to let you go on your own to cause another Traumatism in another time because of your power thirst.
I for a reason I can now explain survived death to bring peace to the living world and I won’t miss with my duties for the second time. Either you stop that machine of war by your own will or I will make sure to do it in your stead even if it might cost my life to complete the process. Yes because in the end like any other human being I will die but not before saving this world from destruction. It is the price to pay to have gained the ability to intervene in changing the flow of time.
Hellmet Pitsbulk frowned with a chuckle:
- You’re such an arrogant but intriguing brat. How come you always hide a trump card in your pocket when you’re supposed to be dead? Come over there if you have the guts to face me.
- Get lost. I’m not here to engage another fight.
The effects of body exhaustion alter my senses.
Time keeps my arms and legs alive and moving but I must admit I’m pushing myself too far. Being the Judge makes my wounds heal faster it won’t be enough to hold on for long however. I focus my attention on the orb sparkling between my hands and looked up. If I do nothing Hellmet will push that button at last.
I pull my spirits together and step forward leaving the safety of the darkness.
I summon the power within me to become Judge setting the machinery of time in action.
As I walk through the corridor with determination nine stunned faces turn to look at me. I stand silent for a handful of seconds staring at my old enemy. Then my eyes shifted to look at the Shovel of Death. So Hellmet was well hiding his main trump card until now although it was highly predictable that he had not been fighting at full strength.
He had planned everything to win. The red numbers were unfolding faster as the countdown was ending soon.
- What if you made the right choices for once?
- After all I’m the villain and you’re supposed to stop me from achieving my plans, Hellmet responded with an evil chuckle.
- Time does not allow one to change the past but persuade those who can to repair their mistakes and to prevent the world from collapsing again without delay.
- I’m not so good to admit my deeds by my own will without fighting.
One hand to judge, one hand to protect: I extended my arms setting a shield around my comrades to keep them safe from the battle:
- Let’s begin!