The girls sat at the Roswell dinner table, chowing down on multiple pieces of pizza. Faith could barely catch her breath as she consumed her food like a vacuum cleaner.
“Save some for us, Sis!” Emma took away a box of pepperoni and sausage pizza that her sister was hogging. Faith pouted but understood she had to share.
“I have yet to see a human that can eat as much as you, Faith,” Charlotte remarked. “It seems you are a huge fan of meat?”
“Oh yeah! I’ll eat anything that has meat in it! But this right here works too!” Faith pointed to a piece of plain cheese pizza, which she instantly consumed.
Emma sighed. “Why did my mind go there when Charlotte asked that?”
“Go where?” Charlotte asked, nibbling on her pizza as if she was a tiny rabbit.
“Don’t worry about it.” Emma took a sip of her drink that was on the table. “Anyway, what do you guys wanna do next?”
“Video games! I got Super Swordsman 6 the other day! Wanna try it out?” Faith looked around the table, eager to hear her friends’ thoughts.
“Didn’t you say Super Swordsman 5 sucked?” Emma questioned. “What’s different about this one?”
“Oh, no, no! I didn’t say it sucked! They just went away from their roots in the fifth one. Some games can do that, but I don’t think it works too well with the Super Swordsman series. This new one luckily goes back to the normal formula and has quite the plot twist, I hear.”
“I haven’t played Super Swordsman since the second one,” Winona commented. “Do I need to know anything about three to five?”
“Nah, you’re good. They all have different stories.” Faith placed a piece of crust on the table. “Damn, I’m getting full!? How is this possible? Curse you, thick crust!”
“Probably for the best. We don’t want you to explode.” Emma stood up from the table. “Michelle told me she had a few minutes to talk on the phone, so I’m gonna go do that. I’ll be back.”
Emma walked away, going into her room. Faith stretched her body out as Winona and Charlotte started to clean up.
“Oh, no! You two are guests, you don’t have to do that!” Faith sprung up from her seat and grabbed their dirty plates.
“Nope, it’s fine.” Winona took the plates back, grinning at Faith. “We got this. Go boot up the game!”
“All right, if you say so.” Faith smiled and walked into the living room.
Winona turned to Charlotte. “Let’s do this!”
“Y-Yeah…” Charlotte, flustered, helped Winona pick up the remaining plates.
In the living room, Faith walked over to the television and leaned over, attempting to press the button to turn the console on.
While doing this, she noticed that her left eye felt funny. Standing back up, Faith tried to blink a few times. This was when the vision from the eye had vanished.
The first thing Adam felt was bitter cold. He could barely open his eyes but could shift his body around. Doing this, he realized the cold came from dirt that he had been lying in. His memory was fuzzy of what had led him here.
He was able to get his eyes open after struggling for a minute. Adam noticed sharp pain now in his neck, and especially his throat. Although he felt like he was about to start coughing, he didn’t. He simply noticed the ghostly aura of the World Mirror form from below his field of vision, healing up the damage that had been done.
“I…” Adam attempted to figure out what had happened, despite being in a dazed state. A calming blue glow above him is what snapped him out of his stupor.
Adam had winded up next to Nexus City. The tall, black skyscrapers and other tall buildings filled the sky. Glowing azure obelisks were scattered across the city, calmly lighting up the night.
“The obelisks that run the Nexus Network… this has to be Nexus City. But… how?”
He noticed ahead of him a building that dwarfed the others in height. Unlike the other buildings, this one glowed in bright yellow light. The top had a structure that was identical in appearance to a modern-day satellite.
“That’s Heart Tower, for sure. Soul Tower… I can’t see from here. That’s its twin to the south, which would have white lights on it. So, I’m north of the city? All right, so that means…”
Adam looked behind him, where a giant lake greeted him. This was Lake Ouderkirk, which reflected the lights of the city beautifully, making the water seem legitimately blue in color. A small yellow light could be seen in its waters, which was from the Heart Tower.
“Yep, the lake. I’m definitely on the lakeshore.” Adam stomped his feet on the sandy beach below him. “That’s the ‘where’ part of things at least…”
Adam glanced off to his right, taking a look down the east shoreline. A tiny figure had begun to approach him.
“Who’s there!?” Adam raised his guard, preparing the World Mirror for action.
“Filthy human!” A child-like voice erupted from the figure. “I see the World Mirror saved you. How convenient!”
“Filthy human… Wha? Wait… you know the World Mirror and its name? Who are you!?”
The figure was finally viewable, leaving Adam speechless. It was a white, bipedal rabbit about the size of a five-year-old child. It wore around its neck a blue scarf, which blew in the light breeze coming off the lake. Blue, fierce eyes focused on Adam.
“I’ve been waiting so long for this day! The day where I can finally dispose of the Ouderkirk scum’s secret weapon!” The rabbit’s ears stood up, revealing blue marks on the top of them. Out of Adam’s sight, its blue, fluffy tail shook in anticipation.
“So. All right.” Adam sat down on the beach, completely dropping his guard. “What is this?” He seemed to ask someone who was not there, as if he was talking to an audience. “What is this?”
“Human! What are you doing? I’m threatening you, and you just decided to sit down!?” The rabbit stomped on the ground in a rage.
“Yeah. You’re just the icing on the cake of all the weird shit that’s been happening in my life recently. Just attack, or whatever. Hit me hard enough to knock me out of this crazy freaky dream, please?”
“It’s no dream, human!” The rabbit placed his hands over his hips. “I am Muraco! The hero who emerged from the hell that was the Ouderkirk’s cruel experiments, and am here to end things once and for all!”
“All right—” Adam sighed, placing his hand on his head. “So, Muraco. If you’re a hero like you say, why did you have to completely mutilate that innocent bunny and place it in front of my door?”
“What are you talking about?” Muraco seemed to suddenly have a change in character. “I-I didn’t do anything creepy like that, what the hell?” He pointed over to the ground next to Adam, where a blue rope was located.
“I had to get you away from that town in a way that the Ouderkirk demon would not sense me. So, I knocked on your door, waited for you to open it, and then grabbed you with that thing I whipped up. I then took you out of town. It was then that I used my powers to get you all the way here in a swift manner.”
“All right.” Adam seemed to go with what Muraco was saying. “What about the shadow in my hallway? And the blindness in my eye? And the weird dream I had?”
“I dunno, dude.” Muraco shrugged. “A-Anyway!” Muraco jumped in place a few times. “Human! Would you like to know the reason that I brought you here? And the fate that awaits you?”
“Sure.” Adam laid on the soft, cold sand, making it his bed. “I’m just gonna roll with this for now. Go on, give me something good.”
“W-What are you doing!? You’re supposed to be cowering in fear!”
“You’re not really doing well at all when it comes to that hero thing, huh?”
“H-Human!” Muraco pointed at Adam. “The reason I brought you here to this beach! This city has an interesting event that occurs at random intervals! Due to those blue things all over the place, portals will appear! I’ve predicted that one will form here on this beach in the next few minutes! All I have to do is simply throw you away in the portal, and the world will be saved!”
“Portals, huh?” Adam sat up. “All right, so I have many questions. But we’ll get to that later. I just want to focus on a certain thing you said. Ouderkirks and their cruel experiments? What experiments?”
“You know nothing of the monster you’ve been with the last few weeks? I’ve had to wait patiently for the opportunity to steal you. Once you’ve been disposed of, I’ll destroy her once and for all!”
“Well, that’s not gonna fly…” Adam stood up, taking a huge stretch. “I’m not letting you hurt anyone important to me.”
“Human…” Muraco raised his tiny fists. “Now you’re taking this situation seriously? Do you value others over yourself?”
“Always have.” With those two words, Adam dashed at Muraco, the World Mirror beginning to awaken. Before Adam could make contact, the strange rabbit vanished.
“What the—” Adam did not react in time, as Muraco planted his two feet into the back of his head. The force sent Adam catapulting across the beach, stopping after several rolls that kicked up loads of sand.
“The experiments done to me amplified my physical capabilities. And I am a rabbit, you know. There’s no way a human can keep up with me—”
With a wave of his arm, Adam blew the sand out of the way, clearing a path to Muraco.
“I guess I shouldn’t hold the World Mirror back then. Damn, well, guess I’m getting sick again.”
As the aura emerged from his body, Adam leaped at Muraco with a much higher speed than his first attempt. He clenched his fist, which began to shine brighter than the rest of his body.
“No matter what happens, I won’t let anything happen to the people who’ve accepted the shitty person I am!”
“This power… Gotta move!”
Muraco barely avoided Adam’s fist as it struck the ground. The force caused a massive gust of wind that formed a giant sandstorm. The rabbit raised his arms to guard himself as he was battered by the might of the attack.
Becoming partially buried, Muraco jumped out of the sand and landed on his feet. He glared into the mess in front of him, as the ghostly image of Adam became visible.
“This isn’t even close to your full power… I can feel it. I can’t let them use this! They’ll destroy everything!”
Adam raised his hand, which was twisted and ripped to shreds from the recoil of his power. It slowly began to reform itself as Muraco grew angrier.
“Do you know you’re just being used!? You and I have that in common! We’ve just been used for the Ouderkirk demons and their own personal gains! If you can’t accept that fact, then I need to make haste. The portal should be forming any minute now—”
“Do you know her!?” Adam shouted.
“What do you mean, human?”
“Charlotte! Do you even know who she is?”
“I… Well… I don’t know her personally, but her family—”
“Screw that! The family doesn’t matter! I’m talking about her!”
“All the Ouderkirks are the same! They’re simply selfish and cruel humans who get what they want out of something, then drop them! That’s what happened to me! I went through so much agony and torture being created… and after some horrific field tests, I was discarded.”
“I get why you’re upset about that…” Adam pointed his now healed finger at Muraco. “But what does that have to do with Charlotte? She’s scared, not remembering any of her memories. But she has a heart, and a presence here, influencing our lives. If you don’t remember her either, then what’s the point in dragging her into this!?”
“If she can’t remember, then how can you be sure she wasn’t just like the rest back when she had her memories!?”
“You’re right, I can’t be sure,” Adam admitted. “But I promised her that I would fight for the Charlotte that’s here, right now. And I’ll stick to that, regardless if it’s a stupid decision or not.”
“…You interest me, human.” Muraco sighed. “It’s too bad you were cursed with that power. I have to do this. I have to get you out of here. Even if I kill you, the World Mirror will remain in this world. I have to send you to another one. It’s the only way.”
“You know, once I knock some sense into you, you could help her out. We could work together to solve everything.”
“Why do you think I would want to do that, human!?”
“Because…” Adam began to dash at Muraco, ready to continue the fight.
“If you are a hero like you say, then you’d go down the path that makes everyone happy!”
Muraco hopped in his opponent’s direction, preparing his legs for a powerful kick.
“That’s not how the world works—”
“I know!” Adam’s hand started to glow for a second time.
“That’s why, before I leave this world… I want to make it start going in that direction!”
Adam’s words hit Muraco before his attack could. He was stunned that there was a human who could think like that. His guard was dropped, and Adam prepared to land a decisive blow on him.
Before this happened, a portal has started to form behind Adam. This was the portal that Muraco had been waiting for. Although he was not the one who would get him inside.
Multiple pink vine-like structures grabbed Adam instantaneously, pulling him with insane speed into the portal. Muraco could only watch as the gateway before him vanished as quickly as it had formed.
Next: Chapter 1.13
Previous: Chapter 1.11