Disclaimer: I do not own any of the series featured here, all credit goes to CN and their original creators.
Chapter 3: Tears and Cheers
"They always said that if you wish upon a shooting star, that wish will come true. I'm not one of those people that believe in legends, but I'm willing to give it a try if it ends my suffering."
Marcus turned his head. He let out a sigh as he sat down, looking disappointed. "Nothing but black…just great."
"Release the seal."
The red head jumped back to his feet the moment he heard a voice. He started wandering around the dark realm, trying to find something in the area. He figured that he would die if he couldn't find the exit, but it truly felt like there was no escape for him. It was like fate decreed him to do nothing but run forward until the day he died. Why was he in this realm to begin with? Sure he fainted, but did someone really go through the trouble of carrying him to this weird place just to torture him? If they truly wanted him to suffer, all they would have to do is make him remember that scene that scarred him greatly, no need to bring him somewhere like this.
Thoughts like those continued to disturb the boy, who was still running to who knew where. He had witnessed death for the first time, in addition to seeing that fearsome creature for the first time only an hour ago, and it completely messed him up. He was still shaking as he vividly remembered each drop of blood that covered the man inside the car that was struck by an Eruption attack. The boy fell over and held his head the moment that the face of the creature flashed right in front of his eyes. Just thinking about that…that…creature frightened him beyond belief, and him remembering what that thing looked like wasn't exactly helping him keep his cool while trying to escape this black void.
Suddenly, the void transformed from a blank location into a crappy looking area of a big city. No longer running, the boy was amazed at this sight. This place seemed so familiar to him, and yet he just couldn't figure out where he had seen it before. The buildings that looked like they were about to crumble, the birds that were chirping on top of the power poles, even the calm blue sky, none of them could help the boy figure out what was going on right now. All he was focused on was trying to come up with a reason for why he was suddenly here.
At that moment, two people appeared before Marcus, making him realize what he was seeing exactly. The shorter of the two, a boy with orange hair that covered his right eye that was wearing black shorts and a white sleeveless shirt, was smiling as he extended his fist out. The other person a boy that looked eerily similar to Marcus except for the fact that his red hair was mostly shaved off, let out laugh before touching the fist with his knuckles. The boys quickly ran up to a basketball court and picked up a basketball, ready to start a quick game. At that moment, Marcus scratched the back of his head before letting out a sigh.
"Why am I seeing this? What does this have to do with anything?" the boy asked himself, slowly approaching the scene. He turned his head in confusion when the boys completely ignored his presence, just continuing with their game even though Marcus was standing in-between the both of them. He decided that he should begin experimenting. Yelling at them, trying to trip both of them, and even attempting to tip the ball out of their hands; they all failed to get the boys attention. Finally, he tried slapping one of them in the face, something he really didn't want to do but felt he had to do. To his surprise, his hand went right through the boy's face, as if he was a phantom.
He figured the best course of action was to think about these discoveries, which he was about to do over on the bench on the sidelines. However, the boys began talking about something, peaking Marcus' interest. He walked over to the boy with orange hair, who still had a grin on his face while the boy with a shaved head was beginning to frown. Marcus began holding the bridge of his nose, as if he was on the verge of remembering something. At that moment, the boy with orange hair put his thumbs down and immediately followed it up by placing his right index finger on the side of his head.
"Leon, why do you always do that when you make three shots in a row?" the boy with the shaved head asked.
"Marky, I've told you this at least twenty times! Every player has a move they do when they're on fire. Someone puts their fingers in rings and then over their eyes, and another guy points to the sky and pounds their chest. Isn't that so cool?!" Leon answered. There was some kind of aura coming out of him; it was as if no one could be upset if they saw this kid talk right now.
Marky looked at the ball before giving Leon a sad look. "Yeah…but do you have to do it when you play with me? It just makes me feel bad that I can't ever beat you."
The orange head let out a laugh before placing his arms behind his head. He began walking in place, trying to contain his excitement. Eventually, he moved next to the taller boy, looking at the sky as he took a breath. "Come on, Marcus, you just gotta have faith in yourself. Just because I'm older doesn't mean that I'll always be better."
"You keep saying that, but everyone says you're the one that's going to make it to the pros. Everyone just laughs at me whenever I say that I'm going to be drafted someday."
"Marky, don't let others bother ya like that. We made a promise right? We'd both make it to the pros and face each other for our first championship."
The Marcus that wasn't noticed by these two kids suddenly snapped his fingers, finally realizing what the scene he was witnessing was supposed to be. He quickly ran to the other side and checked the poll that held up the other hoop. Looking around, he noticed a sticker of a black cross with the letters L and M on the ends. This was something that he made with his brother when they were both eight years old. That was all the confirmation that he needed. Without a doubt Marcus could say that he was watching the time that he was encouraged by Leon on the day before they moved to the States from Australia.
This memory was very important to him since it was one of the last times that Marcus could remember that his older brother acted like his older brother. Once they settled in Endsville, Leon started to distance himself from his younger sibling. The only way the red head was able to communicate with his twin now was when they were busy trying to formulate a plan to win a basketball game. Marcus placed his fist over his heart and looked to the sky, noticing that it was beginning to turn orange. He yearned for the days that he and his brother could have actual conversations and play games for fun again.
"Yeah, you're right, Leon. Sorry for being sad again."
The adolescent versions of Marcus and Leon were both smiling when the older brother began dribbling again. Laughter could be heard as he started driving towards the basket, only to get his lay-up attempt blocked by the jovial red-head. The younger of the two twins threw his fist into the air and started jumping, happy that he was finally able to stop his opponent from scoring. Leon looked up to the basket and let out a grin. He walked up to his younger brother and wrapped his arm around his shoulders. Both of the boys were starting to laugh as the orange head started to rub his fist on top of the younger boy's head. He was real proud of his sibling right now.
"See, Marky? You just gotta trust yourself. That was the first time you sent my shot flying."
"Yeah…you're right, it was! As long as I keep on holding on to the hope in my heart, I won't fail!"
At that moment, everything began to revert to its original form. Leon and Marky, the court, all of it was pitch black again. Marcus was all alone again, except this time he wasn't focused on trying to escape. Rather, he was sitting on the ground, trying to figure out the reason he saw that memory. It was very dear to him, but it was a part of the past that he hadn't thought about in years. He held his held in confusion, not able to think of a solution to his question.
Marcus turned his head as soon as he heard the voice again. He was certain that he was the only person here…and yet he felt like someone was watching him right now. The only thing he was certain about right now was that this voice was beginning to agitate him. Marcus thought the voice sounded familiar, but he just couldn't think of the reason why it did at the moment. The boy stood up and began wandering again, determined to find the source of the voice this time. He was ready to search every possible area in the void if that's what it took.
While searching for anything of interest, Marcus began thinking about other times he spent with his brother in the past. After seeing the last time he played a game with his brother for fun, the boy wanted to think back and remember if he did something to cause Leon to distance himself from the red head. The result of this reflection wasn't what he was expecting however. Instead of finding anything that gave Leon a reason to drift away from his life, Marcus found himself with a teary vision. He fell to his knees, crying because he missed his brother.
"You realize what you were missing…awaken."
Blood was splattered throughout the concrete in a way that it formed a smiley face if it was looked at from certain angles. The place was completely abandoned, which was why Antonio Hoshi decided that the warehouse located in the Pimpleback Mountains would be the best place to take a nap. He didn't expect the Urban Rangers, who were normally stationed in the Suburbs district, to follow him all the way into the wilderness just to capture him. On the flip side, the Urban Rangers didn't expect the man that was accused of crashing the Mandark Industry Carrier Ship into the Firepits to be such a challenge. If they weren't already dead, the people that came for him were all very close to biting the bullet. Every single one of the surviving Rangers had blood flowing down their face in addition to heavily damaged clothes. They all turned their heads in order to find their target when they heard a sinister laugh from the man with orange bangs. The only blood on him was of their fellow Rangers that died trying to catch him.
"HELP ME! HELP ME! PLEASE! GET ME OUT OF THIS MESS!"
The Rangers all looked absolutely disgusted when they finally noticed Antonio. With a demented grin on his face, he was holding a boy wearing the uniform of the former scouts with a retainer as an accessory over the rafters. Tears were falling down his face as he desperately tried to cling onto something despite the fact he was surrounded by nothing but open space. These tears made Antonio even happier, causing him to tighten his grip around the boy's right ankle. Screams of pain echoed throughout the warehouse, hurting the Rangers just observing the scene since they couldn't do anything to stop it. None of them had the courage to even utter a word anymore…they were all at the man's mercy.
Out of nowhere, there was a loud crash. Laughter could be heard from the rafters as the Rangers just sat there, completely stunned by what they just saw. "Woopies!"
Marcus slowly opened his eyes, noticing that he wasn't crying anymore. He stared at the ceiling with a confused look. He might not have remembered exactly where he fainted hours ago, but he was certain that he was outside when he did. Pain rushed to his head, forcing him to hold the side of it as he sat up for the first time in awhile. He was having trouble trying to stay conscious right now, but he figured that taking another nap wouldn't be the best option exactly.
While Marcus was trying to not fall over, a boy that looked to be around the same age as him walked into the room. The way he was staring at all the strange containers on the tables with his grey eyes indicated that he was searching for something. He scratched his light blue shaggy hair before letting out a sigh. The red head was going to say something when the stranger turned his head and noticed him. He was slowly approaching the bed-ridden Marcus, observing the boy very closely once he reached the side of the mattress and bed frame.
Marcus assumed the boy was a doctor since he was wearing a white coat over a blue shirt and because he was holding a clipboard. He started jotting down something on the piece of paper, tapping the eraser of his pencil against it after every fourth stroke. The red head let out a gulp once the one with blue hair walked over to the table and placed the clipboard on top of it. He couldn't tell if the expression his face was good or not. His worries began to disappear when the boy closed his eyes and let out a small smile. That smile didn't last long however, as a message appeared on some strange device attached to the boy's right arm. He let out a second sigh before running out of the room and leaving the red head alone.
Marcus took a deep breath before throwing off the sheets on top of him. He positioned his feet adjacent to the floor and attempted standing up, only for pain to suddenly attack his legs. For the first time, he realized that he had white tape around his left leg. While he wondered what caused the injury and who wrapped it, the main thing Marcus was focusing on was walking over to the clipboard and reading what was written on it. He was determined to not lose to his hurt limb.
The strange room that Marcus had been sleeping in wasn't that bad in all honestly. Sure the place looked kind of bland since the walls were white and bare, but this boring look gave it some kind of charm that most places couldn't. The medical tools were all either neatly placed in plastic bags or they were hanging off the edges of open drawers. The two beds in the room were parallel to one another and looked very comfortable. The red head wouldn't mind coming back here if he got injured again.
At that moment, a loud crash sound roared in Marcus' eardrums, causing him to crouch down in pain. Covering his ears, he slowly stood up again and approached the door, wanting to see if the source of the sound was anywhere near him. His heart began racing as he made his way to the doorway. Would he find anything on the other side? What will happen once he walked out of the room? Would his leg be able to endure all this pain?
Once reaching the door, the boy took a deep breath and grabbed the door knob. With slight hesitation, he began turning the thing, closing his eyes before taking a step outside the room. When he opened his eyes, his jaw dropped because of the first thing he saw.
Bodies lied all over the empty warehouse, all of them no longer moving. The floors, walls, even some of the left over machines were painted crimson. Smiley faces were drawn near every one of the corpses, some of them also saying 'I am God' over their crosseyes. Besides the smiley faces, each dead body had a blue fabric that appeared to be a hat tied to their face, covering most of their features. Most of them also looked like they had broken arms, as if someone forced the limbs right out of their sockets. Something had killed every single one of the Rangers that came to capture Antonio Hoshi, and that something was dragging a corpse to the wall.
Antonio dipped the carcass' hand in blood and began writing something on the wall. After each stroke, the smirk on his face began to grow until eventually he couldn't help but laugh. Whatever it was that he was painting, it was taking the man a while to finish, though it didn't look like he was too bothered by the amount of time he was wasting. In fact, the look on his face and the sound of his laugh made it seem like that he was overjoyed that he got to do this seemingly mundane task for such a long period.
Once he decided that his 'work of art' was good enough, Antonio slammed the arm into the concrete floor and rested his head against the words on the wall. "Die Hoshi, die Hoshi, die Hoshi," he repeated, as if he was in some kind of trance. Out of nowhere, a beeping sound started echoing, a sound that the man ignored. After five minutes of silence however, the beeping returned, annoying him greatly. He quickly reached into his pocket and grabbed a phone. Answering the device, he placed his free hand over his forehead and sat back as if he was just lying back on a sofa in someone's house. Never mind the fact that he was surrounded by blood and corpses.
"What is it, Militia?" Antonio asked in an aggravated tone.
"Have you found a shard yet? Master told me that you were in charge of finding them, but we both know that Mr. Insane isn't the right person for a search mission like this."
"Shut it. We both know that I'm the only one that finds anything for Master. All you do is sit in your pretty Princess throne and take the credit when I get the thing we were suppose to find."
"Come on, Tony-Tony. Don't get mad for no reason. All I wanted was to get a status report." The tone of voice on the other end of the phone sounded like sarcasm. Whoever they were, he sure was brave if he was making fun of the insane man.
If the person he was talking to was standing right in front of him, Antonio would have stuck up the middle finger right in the guy's face. Since there was no one in front of him though, he had to listen to this crap without anything to take his anger out on. "You got five seconds to tell me something useful before I track you down and break your skull."
"Feisty are we? Alright, fine, I'll talk. There's a shard in Dexlabs that is being protected by the Kid's Next Door. You're going to have to subdue Numbuh One if you want to get it."
At that moment, Antonio threw his phone against the wall, shattering the device into many pieces. His smile began to return as he started stomping the corpse he used to write on the wall earlier. He was going to have fun taking his anger out on the scientists in Dexlabs.
"I feel the flow!"
Marcus was face to face with another Fusion, this one wearing a red cap that covered her eyes and a black shirt that went over her shorts. The incident involving Fusion Eddy flashed in his mind again. The boy attempted to start running, but the pain in his caused him to fall over. He let out a loud scream as the green monster started pulling out two guns. Smaller round green creatures started appearing from the end of the corridor. They all went beside the Fusion, making weird noises as the big green monster started aiming at Marcus. Things were looking extremely bad right now for the boy.
Lightning suddenly descended from the sky, destroying most of the smaller green creatures instantaneously. The remaining creatures turned around to see a boy with light blue hair and grey eyes slowly approach them. They all started trying to escape the moment they noticed a spark appear on the sharp object he was holding in his right hand. Before they could get away, the boy moved the sword in a horizontal motion, causing the spark to leave the object in the shape of a wave. He let out a grin before he pointed the object towards the big Fusion, revealing that the object he was holding was a sword.
Finally able to move, Marcus slowly got up and started taking a few steps back in order to get away from the Fusion. He couldn't help but observe the person that saved him though. That's when he realized something. "Wait…aren't you the doctor? What are you doing fighting this monster?!"
"I'm just studying to be a doctor. Dexlabs were short on people so they went to my school and asked for students willing to serve in the war. As for why I'm fighting this thing…let's just say that being a med student isn't the only thing I'm interested in."
The Fusion let out a growl, causing Marcus to shake even more. He really hated these stupid green monsters. "Are you crazy?! I know you just beat all the small fry easily, but do you have any idea how different the one's that look like humans are?! You'll die if you go through with this!"
"If I die, I die. I'll be satisfied knowing I saved at least one person's life." The boy walked up to the Fusion and started charging his sword with lightning again. "Fusion Numbuh Five, my name is Roy Sebastian…and this will be your last day!"