• July 14th, 2040:
     
    - Intruders! Hitori!
    «  Who is Hitori? » asked Alys to herself. She gave a pat on the shoulder to Mikael to conduce him to wake.
    - Who are you? Asked aggressively someone.
    Alys startled and looked around. From a metallic footbridge a masked young man in his thirties was staring at them. It felt careful not to use their real identities but their official names:
    - My… my name is Sam Suung. He’s…. Maa Kintoche, Alys stammered. Where… are we?
    - You are in a waste factory that is used time by time as a warehouse; it’s all I can tell you. Where do you come from?
    - It’s a long story.
    - Try to justify yourselves about your presence here. By the way how did you enter in the factory without being noticed?
    - We have to defuse a nuclear weapon to ensure humanity’s survival, Mikael intervene restraining a yawn.
    Alys shot glance at her brother giving him a nudge:
    - Be careful, we don’t know yet whom we are dealing with, she uttered. Just you wait I’ll get you!
    - What the… Don’t go mad at me it hurts! I’ll get even with you for that… he responded rubbing his elbow.
    - When you would have finished arguing, may you grant me some explanations? Hitori inquired.
    - We’re not arguing! Alys and Mikael exclaimed.
    There was a silence then Alys spoke the first:
    - You don’t seem to be working for the government but are you trustworthy?
    Surprised Hitori sketched a smile:
    - You got it right. I’m the leader of a revolutionary environmentalism. Seemingly our goals are the same so are you willing to join us?
    Mikael jumped on his feet:
    - By… by any hazard are you calling yourselves the Lonesome?
    Gaping Hitori glanced at Mikael then at Alys and went down the footbridge to stand squarely in front of them:
    - You’re pretty well informed for strangers. May I know what has exactly driven you here?
    - We come from the future, Mikael avowed.
    It was undeniable and Alys nodded with resignation.
    Hitori remained impassive not smiling:
    - Let’s pretend, can you prove it?
    - Maybe we are telling the truth maybe not. However we have a mission to accomplish:
    Many people of our time count on us so we can’t fail nor abandon as stupid cowards.
    We all share the same dream. We don’t want this world to be destroyed all over again: fortunately we can still make everything to change so don’t lose your mind with regrets and guiltiness.
    - Guess you’re telling the truth but it’s physically impossible to travel through time so…
    - We trust in you Hitori! Alys exclaimed. No longer let the government bully you at any time for no reason…
    Her voice fainted but she smiled warmly and added:
    - Be aware, you’re really a great man!
     
    Hitori chose to trust the impossible and offered them to join temporarily the revolutionary.
    - Don’t expect us to babysit some newbies that will get in the way on the battlefield! Someone observed when Mikael and Alys were introduced in the secret headquarter of the Lonesome fighters.
    - Silence! Hitori responded. It has been said that the bomb will explode tomorrow so we have to build up a new strategy.
    - How would you know this?
    - Let me introduce Sam Suung and Maa Kintoche. According to them it is what will occur if we do nothing to prevent it from happening. I must mention that they come from the future so they should be fair.
    - Anyway all we need for now is a real plan of action! A revolutionary yelled.
    Hitori sighed and switched on his computer. A map of the city appeared on the wall as a hologram. Hitori pointed a finger at the nuclear power plant located in the city’s surroundings:
    - Tomorrow at the same hour as we’re talking now, the bomb will explode and this will be the end of all… Unless we defuse it on time! To achieve that we’ll have to dodge the security barriers set around the station by the Official people and infiltrate the machinery room. Fate won’t give us a second go, we’ll have to manage everything in a single and last try.
    “History will be repeated” Alys thought with sorrow while Hitori was explaining the next stages of his strategy. She stood up:
    - Have you anything to comment on, Sam Suung? Hitori asked.
    - History will repeat and it can’t be helped. The bomb will explode accidentally and it will leave the entire world in a dying wreck. This world you know so well and cherish so much will collapse into ashes. A lot of people will die. So it’s up to you to make the right choices.
    Hitori sighed with weariness:
    - Honestly, the events completely go beyond me. I’m just trying my best everyday to fight for my beliefs and to protect the ones I love most.
    - I can’t shut my mouth and let you reproduce the same failures! You deserve all my respect Hitori but you’re going on the wrong way.
    Hitori looked at her with astonishment: how could this girl coming from the future see through him so well?
    By any standards he didn’t wish to become a revolutionary at first. His reason to fight was a woman called Isha whom he deeply loved. She was the only child of two famous healers unfairly accused to have created an uncommon medicine meant to cure amnesia.
    Thus, scandalized by this parody of trial he decided to vow his life to the cause of those presumed to be political opponents who never had the right to speak and were compelled to submit to the Official people’s authority otherwise they were ruthlessly persecuted.
    Isha was arrested as well as her parents and since that day he was cursing his coward self to have abandoned her by helplessness.
     
    An hour later the brainstorming was declared over and everyone went to bed in small capsular bedrooms piled up in huge containers.
    No favoured treatment for Hitori who usually slept in one of them as well as his comrades. Exhausted, Alys and Mikael fell asleep as soon as they had finished settling.
     
    - Muster!
    Alys woke up with a start and blinked. She hadn’t recovered yet her spirits to know where she was that she has already gone down the ladder to join the other fighters in the center of the warehouse.
    His arms crossed Hitori was impatiently waiting for the last belated people.
    Unlike the last night he wore military clothing with a gun hanging at the belt. Unmasked, he wore also a pair of half moon shaped rimless glasses equiped to be used as a communication device.
    When everyone has gotten ready their headphones put and set, he adjusted the frequency and smiled:
    - Things will get serious as soon as you step out this warehouse. Be cautious if any of you is caught by the police before our arrival at the nuclear power plant, it’s all over. I won’t hesitate to leave this person behind if necessary. For now, let’s go!
    - Let’s go!
     
    The birds sang in harmony as the sun was rising up. People did the things they normally do. Some were still sleeping. Some others were doing early their daily footing.
    A perfume of carefreeness and holidays fluttered in the air.
    No one could already expect that these halcyon days were going to come to an end in no time.

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  • July 17th, 2050
     
    « Loading localization system… 100% completed »
    Hid in his laboratory build in the back shop of his store Sen Maa Kloud felt relieved that the time capsule incorporated in the watch was running well. It was the only way he could communicate through time with Alys and Mikael and track their movements. He turned on the visio webcam with nervosity.
    If it didn’t work he was sure to be forever curse by Sempai and Moto Rorola.
    An overview of a waste factory showed up on the screen.
    « Nobody’s around! It was supposed to work! » He winced.
    He was about to reload the searching engine when he heard the doorbell ringing outside.
     
    July 15th, 2040- 8 AM: H-12
     
    Candid CCTV cameras witnessed a group of weird people riding motorbikes. They didn’t seem to be terrorists but they were up to something great judging by their equipments and where they were heading.
     
    - I must confess something to you before we get to the nuclear power station, Alys avowed to Hitori while the streets unfolded fast around them.
    Because she never rid a motorbike before unlike Mikael, Alys was sat on the back of Hitori’s.
    She held him tightly, putting her arms around his waist.
    - What is it? Hitori inquired.
    - We might feel the same way. Both of us have lost once someone dear.
    Hitori increased his speed:
    - The sooner we reach the station, the better.
    Alys gave a faint scowl, exasperated:
    - It’s all right to show your weak side when you’re not feeling well instead of carrying everything on your shoulders. You want to become a hero but you won’t make this world to change on your own. You should rely on the ones that fight by your side.
    - I do have faith in them.
    - You haven’t changed, always so dedicate to others.
    - What?
    - Never mind, I was thinking loud.
    « - You should tell him Alys. »
    Alys startled and almost fell off her seat:
    - Mikael, you idiot! She yelled.
    « - You’re easily influenced, be careful. »
    - What’s up?
    « - I didn’t notice earlier but I think the watch Moto Rorola gave me is more than a timer. It makes me think of a weapon to control time. What should I do? »
    - What do you mean?
    « - Its creator was probably Sen Maa Kloud so I’m not sure as to activate it wouldn’t cause damage to the flow of time. »
    - What of it? In any case be sure that Sen has carefully completed his job otherwise i know of some people who would go mad if he hasn’t.
    « - I think so. Well, it’s activated. I wonder what will happen, for now it does nothing else than shining and sparkling. »
    - Don’t tell me it’s a tracking device!
    « What do you mean? »
    Alys smiled gently:
    - I bet its main use is to communicate with us and track our movements. We haven’t randomly come into the factory: we’re not alone in the fight to come.
    « - Are you falling in love with Sempai’s ten years ago self? »
    - What- what- what are you thinking about, you idiot? Alys screamed turning scarlet.
    « Calm down, it’s understandable at your age my dear little sister. »
    - I’m twenty; don’t call me your dear little sister! I’ll get even with you for that stupid joke!
    « - I was not joking, just asking… »
    - Arguing again? Hitori intervened. Everyone can hear your conversation through the headphones you know.
     
    By any standards Hellmet Pitsbulk was known to be a dishonest and shameless politician who always achieved his aims manipulating other people with money.
    He desired power. He desired profitability. He had a bunch of hit men in his pocket to blow away anyone that get in the way.
    His current interest was all about a new prototype of nuclear bomb nicknamed the “Shovel of Death”: it had cost him a tremendous amount of money to buy this powerful weapon to get to expand his mighty influence on the worldwide money market.
    So when his cell phone rang he jumped on his feet to answer. Indeed he had hired a couple of policemen to work for him as sneakers just in case this troublesome guy named Hitori would make his move first. His aim was to annihilate the “Shovel of Death” in the purpose of avoiding a possible third world war. Pitsbulk snirked: all those pacifist people had praiseworthy goals but they were too naïve. The world was awful; the world was run by the dictatorship of money. He Hellmet Pitsbulk held the lives of thousands and thousands of people between his hands.
    He chuckled madly. His right hand man, a merciless policeman had reported about some weird people riding motorbikes held in the sight line of the city’s CCTV cameras: he was awaiting his orders.
    Without any hint of hesitation Pitsbulk ordered to send the troops on the battlefield.
     
    The motorbikes were crossing the city in formation as fast as their motors could handle it when the first gunshots blew.
    Hitori immediately ordered his people to retrograde to dodge the bullets.
    For Alys’ safety he had entrusted her to the responsibility of Mikael because as leader of the opposition he knew he was the primary target.
    Alys was right it was not time yet to have regrets or to feel guilty. Their objective was to achieve the defusing on time before all.
     
    July 17th, 2050
     
    Under strict surveillance Sen Maa Kloud felt cramped in his cell waiting for an interrogatory. He was tremendously anxious: the policemen sent by the President to capture him had destroyed his laboratory and found out strong pieces of evidence that he was implicated in the risky sabotage of the nuclear power plant of Pitsbulk City, especially the tracking device whose hidden function was to repatriate Alys and Mikael in case of an emergency. If the device was to be destroyed they would never come back what would damaged irreversibly or even turn upside down the flow of time.
     
    July 15th, 2040: 9 AM- H-11
     
    All around the city advertising panels showed emergency messages telling citizens to evacuate as soon as possible.
    To each nuclear shelter was affected a healing squad. Among the healers mandated by the government to manage the Evacuation there was Isha. Going by her thirties she was praised as a skilled surgeon by most people.
    For the time being she was told as well as her comrades to guide citizens to the shelters.
    Rumours sprang up about a troublesome and unconventional group of revolutionary folks.
    She sighed with a pale smile: in the end Hitori was truly reckless but she loved this rebellious and brave side of him. Not everyone would have the guts to show opposition to the regime of Hellmet Pitsbulk.

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  • Fritz Davis was a lone wolf, only interested by machinery. His job was to guarantee the smooth functioning of the nuclear power station’s machinery room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This peculiar room felt like a second home for him. He used to have a girlfriend but they parted as a consequence to Fritz’s irresponsible behaviour. Indeed they couldn’t build anything serious because they never get to see each other: he woke up early and confined himself in the machinery room, eventually his personal laboratory, all the day long until late in the night. In fact he cared more about his experimental weapons and his tools than other people: no wonder if his former girlfriend decided to break with him the day she realized machinery was his first love.
     
    - Hands up! You’re under arrest!
    Hitori startled and looked around. The voice came from the roof of a skyscraper in front of him. He looked up and realized they were defenceless, surrended by a whole squad of policemen armed to the teeth. He wondered how they could have been so easily trapped. It was abnormal that they encountered Official troopers so early.
    It felt weird that the main part of Hellmet Pitsbulk’s fighting strategy consisted in facing them head on. He assumed it was only an attempt of diversion.
    He switched off his vehicle and raised hands above his head:
    - Maybe we should negociate. It must have been a misunderstanding we don’t mean to declare war.
    - Really?
    Ten guns took aim at his neck. Hitori gritted his teeth:
    - On our times we shouldn’t solve crisis with wars. We need to find new ways of living and new resources other than nuclear energy or fuel…
    -  Such stupid and empty words! You pretend to be a revolutionary but you’re not cut out to carry out such duty if you refuse fighting.
    - It has been always my third law of mediation. I don’t put up a fight when I could avoid using my fists as a mean of negociation… according to circumstances obviously. This goes without saying.
    - Sorry to disappoint you but you need to mature up a bit, religious brat. Your natural kindness won’t be of any good for your credibility as leader of the revolution.
    Hitori took a deep breath and let his gun fall on the ground. Arms outstretched he looked deeply at his enemies:
    - Release fire on a weaponless man if you can. Everyone is watching. But before pushing the trigger make sure that you won’t regret it later on. You will endure the suited punishment for your worst crimes. I don’t mind sacrifice myself for the sake of those you oppress and you persecute that seek for freedom and equality.
    He straightened his neck eyes closed, waiting at the same time for nothing and everytbing to happen.
    The assembly, the troopers as well as the revolutionaries, was silenced. Seeing him in that posture was absolutely breathtaking.
    Alys shook her head speechless, unable to express how shocked she was. It was far beyond imagination that Hitori had to go through such extremity to lead the uprising. Mikael embraced her in his arms:
    - Don’t be sad, he’s a great man. It’s all about resolve: he will take it out only if he never betrays the values in which he trusts. Failures shouldn’t be reproduced once more…
    - I know… I know but it’s completely unfair… such a strong sense of justice shouldn’t be repayed with death…
    - Me too I admire him for that. But still and unfortunately, to make things to change sometimes a sacrifice is necessary. You are no longer a crying baby Alys you should have understood that through the years. So please don’t cry.
    - I’m not… crying…
    Her voice fainted. Unstoppable tears climbed over her cheeks.
    She couldn’t help but to let her frustration and her sadness get out, sobbing like a child.
    One by one ten bullets slashed the air.
    At the very last second the watch exploded, emitting a bright and blinding ray of light.
     
    When Mikael opened his eyes all he could see was white. The shapes were faint, the colors bleached. Most of all he was still holding Alys but she was heavier, almost motionless. Her movements have been slowered to the point he could see her veins moving below her skin as crying deformed her face.
    In one word he was scared. He’d like to know what the heck was happening, where he was but his senses were all of a sudden blurred and disoriented.
    And then thousands of neverending red threads coming from nowhere popped everywhere. He stepped back to dodge bunches of them but there were too many.
    Overwhelmed he grabbed a few to look at them searching for a hint.
    Silky type bodies remained overlayed upon them. It looked like a foreign language or coding samples: in fact it was usual numbers. After a while he could read a date of departure near a precise timer. The flow of time that was it! The ability he gained from activating the watch was to control the flow of time.
     
    July 17th, 2050:
     
    - Who are you?
    - I’m a silly mechanic who owns a quirky hardware store located in Society’s suburbs.
    - Stop kidding me, who are you?
    - I think I’ve answered this question just before.
    The policeman shot glance at Sen Maa Kloud, clenching his fists:
    - I’m not used to go rude or to go mad at prisoners but if you insist I’ll be compelled to make sure you’re a man by myself…
    - You don’t need to. I tell you the truth.
    - I’m not sure it’s time for joking and blabbering uselessly. Who the hell are you?
    Sen Maa Kloud remained silent.
    - It will sting a little.
    The jailer held out a lighter.  Tiny but still fluffy the flame fluttered in the air.
    - I’ll… I’ll explain everything you want to know!
    Resigned and desperate Sen Maa Kloud wished he could escape sooner that way.
    “ Everyone… I’m sorry, so sorry!” he thought.
    He was ashamed of himself for being such a coward but he had to make a choice fast.
    The flame brushed against his chest:
    - Tell me everything said the voice over him.
     
    Almost about to black out Sen Maa Kloud felt he was going to die. He raised a hand at his chest wondering how he could have got out the interrogatory room alive. Scarlet wound stains remained where the flame hit him.
    He barely cared: guiltiness was even more painful. He betrayed his comrades in the end.
    He didn’t deserve to be saved or forgiven anymore, no longer able to face Sempai.
    The cell door whined behind him allowing a slight glimpse of light to intrude in the room.
    He thought it was the jailer. It was not. A hand laid a bowl of soap and a piece of bread on the ground before him.
    He turned around. Moto Rorola disguised as a policeman . He couldn’t pronounce a word.
    She put her coat over his shoulders. All parts of his body were shivering.
    - Can you hear me? How do you feel? She asked.
    Such consideration in her eyes and in her words! Sen Maa Kloud never felt as much awkward as now. He had never bowed to someone before in his whole life but there was no other way to act right now. So he looked down to avoid Moto Rorola’s eyes:
    - May I ask for forgiveness?
    - Why?
    - How can you ask why? You know exactly what I’ve done. Now I’m a traitor.
    - Well it can’t be denied I guess but I’m asking why because if I were on your shoes I wouldn’t have had the strength to resist either. A very few people are able to do so if it’s almost no one.
    - But still I don’t think I’m worth to be blessed by anyone’s forgiveness.
    - Eat something instead of saying such awful and dumb things. Doing something wrong doesn’t mean to be forcibly a bad person. I would like to say don’t hate the player hate the game. In other words stop whining and think twice about the problem globally.
    You’re not the one to feel guilty; after all you’re human with your qualities and your weaknesses.
    - But…
    - Sempai offers you a second go to prove your loyalty to him. He can’t travel through time in his current state so he asks you to do so in order to watch over Alys and Mikael.
    - Roger, I’m grateful he still relies on me.
    - It’s your last chance though.
    Sen Maa Kloud nodded and stood up. He staggered because of the pain:
    - Owww… Let’s consider it was my fitting punishment…
     
    July 15th, 2040:
     
    The world appeared in black and white, as though Mikael was viewing an old movie. He was the only moving being. Suddenly time ran back in front of his eyes. It brought him back a few minutes earlier before the troopers pushed the trigger.
    From that moment, still anything could happen.
    One he could intervene in the fight.
    Two he would better stay in retreat to protect Alys at any cost.
    Three they could just run away.
    Four he wished a miracle happened.
    Five Hitori died and history repeated.
    - Let me handle it for you.
    That voice. That silhouette. That weirdo.
    Sen Maa Kloud was the last person Mikael expected to meet at such a critical moment.
     
    Fritz Davis was told to guard the door of the machinery room by his higher ups. He couldn’t fail. All of a sudden he felt a troublesome pain coming from his chest. Under his fingers a tiny scarlet scar appeared on his skin. It stirred up his anxiety: something strange was happening. How did he get hurt without noticing?

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  • July 15th, 2040: 10 AM- H-10
     
    Hellmet Pitsbulk chuckled madly at seeing how bad things had turned out for the revolutionaries.
    Left without their main trump card they were already made checkmate even before the real fight has begun.
    However it seemed like a victory too easily won. Upon the exchequer set in front of him the last man standing on the other side was still the fool, a piece that hadn’t play its part in the game yet.
     
    - Stay aside I’ll explain things later.
    Armed with a high volted shear Sen Maa Kloud was really an unpredictable man to Mikael’s eyes. He possessed the ultimate power long desired by most scientists: controlling time.
    The tricky matter about that ability was to guess what future was going to happen to avoid any time distortion or paradox. However it left no room to hazard: it was the affair of a single try requiring a really sharp intuition.
    And Mikael wasn’t able to do so or it would have taken much more time than necessary.
    Sen Maa Kloud grabbed a thread coloured in blue edging out the infinity of possible futures.
    Time reloaded at the minute Hitori was going to die.
     
    « Why am I feeling so cold right now? I must die another day! I have still so much to do, so much to share: I want to live even a few more years. What am I thinking about? It’s not time to look back at my mistakes. No matter if my future will come out darker or brighter I can’t fail my time will come to an end soon enough.
    If only I could close my eyes not to look at all these painful memories. I used to lurk for yesterday’s happiness but now it causes me only pain and sorrow. May you allow me to cry behind this faking smile I’ve been carrying since that day my dearest, my only one?
    Perhaps I’ve become the strongest but it doesn’t make any sense if I remained the loneliest on the other side.
    I remember what happened, what kind of man I appeared to be in front of your eyes: a coward, a stupid damn coward who didn’t have yet the strength at the time to repay you for your deep, sincere love. What should I do to be forgiven? »
     
    Everything faded to nothing. The void drew away shapes, colours, feelings, senses, words, actions. Before his eyes appeared the infinite nothingness in its darkest and deepest black shade.
    Pointing to the horizon a tiny ray of light outlined the road to heaven, defined by thousands and thousands of reminiscent images picturing the flow of his memory.
    He heard voices endlessly calling out his name but the chains that bounded him to earth had just vanished.
    The light that endears all soothed every pain. Was it the end?
     He felt a lone tear falling upon his cheek. Wide opened his eyes blinked.
    Across his faint, blurred field of sight Hitori distinguished a face, deep green sparkling eyes, vivid red hair that belonged to Alys.
    He would like to ask « what happened? » but no sound could overcome his lips.
    - Are you awake? Alys gently inquired. I’m glad… so glad!
    - What… happened? Where… am I?
    - Don’t worry Official troopers have left to report. They think you are dead. You’re not in fact. All thanks to Mikael and Sen Maa Kloud…
    - Sen Maa Kloud? Who’s that dude?
    - He has come from the future as reinforcement. He possesses the power of controlling time.
    - Is that so?
     
    With anger Hellmet Pitsbulk hit the exchequer so hard that it ended up smashed to pieces.
    What a great Deus ex machina! What was he going to do now that the flow of events ruined his strategy? Who the heck was that redemptive angel coming from another time?
    Disappointed he gritted his teeth with resentment and looked back at the darkness itself behind him.
     
    Isha and her comrades rushed to gather the first wounded people. The noise of the gunshots had provoked panic everywhere. People were running destroying everything that got in their way. Heavily armed troopers shot at anyone they suspected of being a revolutionary or affiliated in any way to the Lonesome uprising
    Isha was especially nervous hoping she wouldn’t be targeted as well. To get out the prison she had to make up a cover identity in the purpose of being engaged by the government as a mandated surgeon to manage the Evacuation. However she was not selfless to the extent of denying publicly her love for Hitori.
    All of a sudden a red haired girl appeared in front of her:
    - Don’t get stuck on the way!
    The girl pointed a trembling finger that said “Over there!” at the threshold of a warehouse nearby.
    Isha had surprisingly a bad feeling about that pale close mouth girl who looked imploringly at her.
    In case of an emergency she couldn’t hesitate, her duty was before all to heal everyone no matter origins or political opinions. She would catch up with her comrades of the healing team later on.
    Even before entering in the warehouse she knew something serious had happened. Seven red motorbikes were roughly parked outside probably in a rush. A man wearing a futuristic armor armed with a high volted shear hanging at the belt guarded the main gate.
    He looked suspiciously at Isha when she walked into the building. She couldn’t help to sketch a pale grin trying to win his trust.
    - No problem Sen she’s reliable, the girl said.
    Her voice sounded familiar to Isha. She couldn’t tell why but she was almost sure she had already heard it before. The face of a young child came up to her mind. Could it be possible? Why was she starting to anticipate the future? Their encounter never happened or was going to happen.
    The girl guided her to the back of the waste factory. There, four people were at the bedside of a fifth person badly injured.
    She bent down and pulled away the golden survival blanket that covered his inert body.
    Beneath his jacket blood spread fast around his heart. She recognized him at his long golden brown hair and rimless glasses. Hitori.
    - No... no way! What happened? Why… him?
    Isha had just a first aid kit within easy reach. It was still better than nothing but she didn’t have the tools needed to replace the bullet from Hitori’s chest.
    She could only use bandages to stop the bleeding. Hitori definitely needed to be carried to a medical shelter to be healed properly. Still she refused to admit her helplessness and continued practising usual first aid gestures to bring him back to life:
    - Hitori can you hear me? Hang on… for goodness sake!
    His fingertips were stony. He had already lost too much blood. He was going to die.
    He was going to … !
    - Hang on!
     
    That nuclear bomb was just a mere toy according to Hellmet Pitsbulk. It was just a prototype after all. All the money he had spent to achieve his vicious and ambitious plan was invested to create the real “Shovel of Death”, an apocalyptic machine of war personified by merciless robot filled with nuclear energy acting under his almighty orders.
    As soon as he would launch the monster’s processors Hellmet Pitsbulk should be able to dominate the world like he had always wished to. He just had to push a single button and the entire world would submit to his authority.
     
    July 15th, 2040: 11 AM- H-9
     
    One hour had passed.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk received his soldiers’ first reports on his laptop. The revolutionaries had retreated due to Hitori’s death. Among them there was a weird folk armed with high volted shear but it had changed nothing much to the battle’s outcome given that Hitori has already died or was going to die.
    The Lonesome people were not prepared enough for the next round thus it was the proper moment to carry out everything while they were mourning for their lost leader.
    Isha had done everything she could. Now she had to catch up with her teammates not to be unmasked if her absence hasn’t already been noticed.
    She had entrusted Hitori to the care of the Lonesome movement’s members. He was their leader so they would protect him like he protected them.
    As long as this girl called Alys was alive she knew she had left Hitori between goodness hands.
    Interrupted in an experience Fritz Davis received a phone call from his higher ups. The orders were simple: when the time would come he had to push the huge red emergency button installed on the top of his laboratory’s main control panel.
    It was decided that Sen Maa Kloud would stand in for Hitori on the battlefield until Hitori has recovered enough to fight. In his current state it was the most reasonable alternative.
    The real battle was about to start.

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  • Wherever she went, whatever she was doing Isha thought about Hitori.
    Seeing his body covered with blood was heartbreaking. He was too fragile to carry the weight of such heavy cross upon his shoulders ready to break apart at any time.
    By dint of willing to protect everyone, with boundless self abnegate generosity, he offered himself as a sacrifice for world’s sake. Almost religious his infallible honesty had never known any misdemeanour, since that day.
    That day occurred five years ago in the middle of July.
     
    July 2035:
     
    Since dawn the President’s investiture speech rebroadcast had replaced everything else from the official radio that usually displayed classic music, news and literary programs between 6 and 10 in the morning.
    The sun had risen up but outside a dead silence weighted down the atmosphere. Birds had given up on singing. Footsteps were shifty. Cars went down the city slowly.
    All that echoed everywhere was the rough voice of the President and the slaunch applauses of his followers.
    Hitori and Isha had spent the night together, for the last time. Isha knew so well she had to move on as well as her parents, not to be arrested by the men dressed in black.
    Hitori lightened her against his chest trying to be reassuring and comforting. Any of them knew what future, what ‘new world” awaited mankind at the end of the road.
    - Let me go, Isha whispered picking up her favourite dress that looked like a cherry blossom
    She dressed up and looked by the window at her dear city of origin. She has been brought up there, made there her closest friends, fell in love at first sight with Hitori along that street sat on that bench. She didn’t want to move on so soon, just because a fool had just been elected as the head of the country the day before.
    He was the President. She was Isha.
    He said he could easily blow away any opponent to his regime. She was afraid.
    He said resisting to the regime was useless. She was revolted.
    He said a new world was coming. She was a political refugee from now on.
     
    They forced her to talk, they drove her in a corner but still she endured. She didn’t know where her parents had gone to, she knew anything about the medicine.
    Hitori was held prisoner, arms outstretched, at gunpoint.
    Shocked he couldn’t talk and even less make a single move.
    Isha was their prey but he could only watch.
    He blushed of shame in a fit of anger against himself, against his helplessness.
    He loved her so deeply, so sincerely thus why? Why was he not fighting at her side against those beasts that tormented her?
    The disappointment in her eyes killed him from the inside as though it was daggers
    He wanted to cry, he wanted to shout. No words could have described how he felt so ashamed.
    It was the last time they see each other until the trial, thirty days later.
    One could say it was a parody of trial; forces were way too unequal between the accusation and the accused: lawyers were under the accusation’s heel.
    The courthouse was almost empty. A bribed judge, mock lawyers, Isha, her parents and a few interested Official people were the protagonists.
    Hitori tied back his hair in a ponytail. He couldn’t fail once more. It was a matter of dignity.
    As a man he couldn’t put his own safety before Isha’s life when Isha was enduring the worst torment because of his helpless cowardice.
    Headphones put on listening to latest news he made secure his crash helmet. A gun was hanging at his belt.
    Fate had offered him a second go to prove to Isha the sincerity of his love for her.
     
    Isha was afraid about the outcome of the trial: she could no longer handle the fear and the loneliness of those days spared in jail isolated in the security quarter.
    Her mother tried to be reassuring:
    - Don’t be afraid things will go fine as long as they have an interest about the medicine we have created. If they want to achieve the recipe they shouldn’t kill us. At least it’s our last hope to work out a fair deal with them.
    - Be unfair and unfaithful is their law. It’s thoughtless to think about making a contract with them.
    - How else should we act?
    - Darling we should wait, Isha’s father intervened. I’m sure there is still a chance for us to get out of that mess alive and safe.
    - Should wait for what or who? No need to remind you we’re not in a position that allows us to trust on never coming miracles and/or dreamt guardian angels.
    - I’m talking about a strength that only a few ones gain once in a lifetime, that smash every doubt, every fear to pieces, that gives us life, that light our resolve to the strongest flame, the power of people: a strength whose first name is love.
    It was unexpected Isha was surprised to hear those words from her father.
    It felt like he was not the one talking.
    He looked mysteriously at the main door: has he planned on something great to happen?
    Before the doorman had unlocked the gate, the guest announced his arrival himself.
    Hitori in flesh and blood stood in the threshold armed with a gun.
    The judge ordered him to retreat but Hitori walked to the accused bench instead.
    He threw away his weapon. Face down he bowed humbly to Isha offering his neck in sacrifice to her anger and her resentment.
    - I present you my deepest, my most sincere apologies. I won’t even dare to ask for your forgiveness. A coward doesn’t deserve your love, does he?
    Voiceless in shock Isha squeezed firmly her head. Deep was a word way too weak to describe how strong and respectful were Hitori’s feelings towards her.
    Eyes down he raised a hand at his heart with solemnity:
    -  I swear to protect you until death do us part at my own risk in the name of our love.
    My oath belongs to you before everyone else but not only, also the cause of those who had vowed their life to freedom and equity although they are persecuted.
    The eyes of law witnessed the scene. Even the most cold hearted were moved by such a proof of uprightness and loyalty.
    However necessity was at the root of law. The trial was still going on.
    The hands of coercition seized Hitori and pulled him outside. He could not fight.
    When it comes to fists, he could only submit unable to lay a hand on anybody.
    He believed in words. He believed in mankind.
     
    July 15th, 2040:
     
    And now he layed in his own blood half dead.
    How was such a self-denial possible?
    By dint of denying his weaknesses, Hitori was too self-confident: what about the nature of their relationship? He was human and wished to become a hero but was it really what Isha desired? He was her knight, she was his princess: she was always worried about him, about how he could lose his life at every turn because of his foolhardiness.
    Judging by his personality Isha stated Alys must kept the secret at any cost. He was going to be the first to die if he faced head on the troopers once more. He was going to experience unfathomable despair and remorse if he knew she ought her successful career to her position of mandated healer that granted her opportunities to restart everything from scratch by becoming an Official subordinate to the government himself.
    That way her parents were better treated, Hitori’s life wasn’t in danger for now at least.
     
    July 17th, 2050:
     
    Moto Rorola stayed by the bedside of Sempai.
    His state had gotten worse. He shouldn’t have awakened so soon.
    She placed him back to bed, applying a cold pack on his forehead.
    His wounds seemed reopened even if he had recovered faster than usual.
    She thought about the “Shovel of Death”. It should have never been created; it caused only pain and sadness, guiltiness and regret, injustice and wars.
     
    At the United Countries Committee the order of the day was all about the status of Society.
    After hearing Ashley’s report the ambassadors, members of the committee, became aware of the situation. It couldn’t have gotten even worse.
    As to know if the threatening of another Traumatism was near, they should act wisely. The first had almost destroyed entirely the world the second would smash life to ashes.
    Indeed they were aware “the President” had still dangerous and apocalyptic tricks in his pocket. If so, how to negociate unless declaring war to his regime, a war that might become endless and exhaust mankind as well as Mother Earth herself?
    Ashley’s report mentioned time travelling. It was an alternative but somehow it bothered the diplomats: defusing the “Shovel of Death” was something, but modifying the past didn’t mean necessarily the future would come out better.
    Politicians had failed at that time it was undeniable, now they could only look back at their failures, accept their responsibilities and make sure not to reproduce the same mistakes.
    For now it appeared clear that the fact the President had implicitely taken the leader of the opposition son of the late Prime minister in hostage had brought things to a head.
    It could be counted in hours before he followed through his threats.
    The countdown had already started.

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