This chapter was a little harder for me to type up, since touching on Bloodshed too much will completely spoil the story. However, I did avoid the important points and left holes in the plot for you guys to figure out yourselves. Good luck finding them!
Chapter 10 : Bloodshed ; The Prelude
"AAGHHH!!" a scream broke out in the middle of the night. On top of a flat skyscraper, a small shack was built, made out of wood. Inside it, a lamp was lit, lighting the small shack from the inside. And laying down on a table inside that shack was Daryl, clutching at his right eye.
A hand hovering over his eye retreated itself. "Jared, please hold your brother down so that I may administer first-aid," a voice spoke in the hand's direction.
Jared, who had been standing on Daryl's other end, looked up at the person speaking and snapped, "yeah, yeah, I got it, you bucket of bolts!" He carefully held down Daryl by his shoulders and Daryl relaxed. Daryl retracted his hand and revealed his severely marred face, which was caused by Kumiko earlier. The hand from earlier went straight back to Daryl's eye and glowed a bright green as it hovered over it.
"NNGGHHH!!" Daryl gritted his teeth through the pain this time. The wound was miraculously folding in on itself, and Daryl's face started to slowly return to normal.
"This treatment should help his wound," the voice from earlier announced. "With my healing abilities, it won't be completely back to normal, and it will take up to approximately 2 months, 13 days, 42 minutes and 17 seconds to fully disappear. Still, this way it will not cause him harm."
"I don't need an explanation, Tin-head!" Jared snapped. "All I need to know is that he'll be fine!"
"He'll be fine."
"I KNOW THAT ALREADY!!"
Meanwhile, outside of the shack, The other two members of the Holy Guard were conversing near the edge of the skyscraper. "...So, the clergyman has asked that we cease our activities until he gives us permission. He believes this will be fine?"
Adam ruffled his hair. "I suppose I was the best one to tell this to, am I right?"
Lara nodded. "Daryl is currently under surgery, and the one treating him can't be bothered either, since he needs the most concentration. Jared would probably take this hot-headedly, moreso with his brother's injuries."
Adam sweatdropped. "I suppose that's true. Jared could probably take it the wrong way. Well, thank you. I'll tell the others later," he nodded to her and she nodded back. However, afterwards she didn't move an inch, and kept staring into space with a worried expression on her face. "Um... Lara?"
"Adam?" Lara's voice almost sounded timid as she asked him. "Is... Daryl going to be okay?"
Adam smiled reassuringly and patted her shoulder. "You don't have to worry. His face is going to be that way for a while, but he'll be fine." Inwardly, he was close to grinning. I just wonder which one she likes more? And more importantly, do they like her back?
Lara smiled back in response, but lowered her head to hide her face. Adam noticed that she was shaking. "I hate her," she muttered, clenching her fists until they were white. "She wasn't supposed to have done that."
Adam nodded. "I know. I had no idea that Kumiko had such developed Arch techniques..."
Adam visibly winced as he realized he just gave her name away. "Ah... yeah. I heard her name being spoken during the battle, anyway."
"Ah, I see." Lara seemed content with that and started to walk away, facing her back to him.
Adam silently sighed.
"...You know what? You are the most horrible liar ever. No one ever spoke her name during that battle." Lara turned around, glaring at her leader with scorn. "I know. I was there, remember? Perhaps you forgot because you were losing your nerve shouting at out target?"
Adam almost took a step backward. So she knew about that, too. He sighed and ruffled his hair with his hand. "I guess I've been caught."
Lara walked up to him and stopped a few feet in front of him, now curious. "We've never been told of your reason for taking on this mission, even though you're the one who recruited the four of us." She turned and looked at the moon as she continued. "I understand if you do not wish to speak about it, but if you do, I would like to hear it."
She waited for a few moments and believed that she wasn't going to get an answer. She half-wanted to walk away and forget this happened, but before she could act on it, Adam walked up beside her and sighed again. "I suppose since you're so curious, I'll have to tell you." He turned towards her with a serious, yet impassive stare. "But I'll have to tell you later. There are too many things on my mind right now, and I want to be level-headed when I tell you."
Lara nodded, acceptingly. "Very well. I shall watch over the operation until then." After that, she left and entered the building on the roof.
Adam smiled and watched over the shed for a few moments before he turned to the moon like Lara did moments before. He leaned against one of the roof columns' and let his mind wander.
To think that all of this began in Infinite City...
"I had moved into Infinite City just that morning, and I was very upset that I had moved away from my old town. I used that against my own parents on that day."
"MOOOOOOM! I'm bored! I want to go outside and play!" a small boy whinned, stomping his foot on the wooden floor. He miraculously had silver hair, different from anyone else, and his eyes were a chillingly red color.
"You're free to go outside, Adam," his mother told him while wrapping up some sandwiches in small plastic wrap. She was short, had short brown hair, and was wearing an apron over her blouse and long skirt.
"But I want you to play with me!" Adam continued, lifting a stuffed toy animal while he raised his fists. It was a dinosaur that was an assortment of colors, all of them bright.
His mother turned around and smiled at him. "I'm sorry, Dear, but I can't at the moment. Why not ask Dad?"
Adam stubbornly crossed his arms, disregarding the stuffed toy entirely. "He dosen't have time for me! He's supposed to be preparing for tonight, whatever he's doing." He suddenly became interested, mostly because he had nothing else to do, and asked his mother. "Hey, Mom? What's Dad going to do tonight? Is he going to have a party?"
"If I was only a bit older, I might've seen that pained look that crossed over her face for an instant before it was replaced with a cheerful one. But I was a child, and as such, ignorant."
She smiled and shook her head at the boy. "No, Dear. Your Father is working on a way to better humankind. His work will make a lot of people happy one day."
Adam's face lit up from this. "So, Dad's going to be a hero? Is he? A hero?"
A nod. "Yes... a hero."
The toddler laughed and ran around in circles, pretending to be a hero that he always saw on TV.
A snarl crossed Adam's face as he turned towards the person. "I told you not to call me by my last name, even if it is your so-called 'custom'. Adam will be just fine."
"...Adam. Daryl's wounds have healed to the point of a scar. It will undoubtedly ache for the next 6 hours, but if he were to get some rest, the pain will be gone by the time he wakes up." The figure who spoke was wearing a modified uniform similar to everyone else in the Holy Guard. He was slim, and not very muscular. His eyes didn't have pupils.
"All right, thanks for the update, ---"
Before Adam even had a moment to say his name, the boy covered his mouth with his hand, although in a non-threatening way. "Please do not call me by that name. Out there," he motioned towards the city, removing his hand from Adam's mouth, "it is my name. But here, my identity is Japan Undercover New Order #281709--"
Adam interupted him. "Yeah, yeah, the really long name, I get it." He sighed as he looked out on the horizon as his gaze settled on a single building in the distance. "Hey. What is your reason for joining the New Order?"
The boy blinked once. "I believe I told you. Being a part of the New Order is my destiny. It is something that I was bo--... What I was raised to believe in."
Adam studied the boy's face as he spoke. Not catching any lies, he looked back to the city. "It dosen't seem like it's your only reason for joining."
"Of course it's not. I have other reasons for joining, but those will remain a secret to everyone but myself. All of you only need to know my primary reason."
Adam widened his eyes at the boy. "...I never thought I'd hear you say that. They must be rubbing off on you."
The boy looked down for a moment, and Adam swore he almost saw a glimpse of sorrow. But it was gone as soon as it was there. "I... will probably have to reveal my true identity to them soon, correct?"
"It's... strange. I want to reveal my true identity to them, but at the same time, I do not." The boy looked down at the concrete roof, almost questioning it. "...This is unacceptable. Such a phenomenon could never occur."
"I don't know about that," Adam mutters, "humans... people are naturally indecisive when it's something important. But, that just means that they are weighing the consequenses of the choices, whether there's two or more. In that way, you're taking this pretty seriously."
"Taking it seriously or not, I must do it." The boy turned around and started to walk away.
"Why is that?" Adam asked him in a light shout.
The boy turned around, revealing his emerald eyes once again. "Because... it is destiny."
"I never questioned if what my parents were doing was right or wrong; they simply did their jobs, and all I had to do was stand still for them. They ran scans, blood tests, X-rays, even the recent Devia tests. I can clearly remember crying through a lot of them, but whenever I did, my parents would be there to comfort me. Because of that, I had thought that whatever they were doing, it was right. Being with them was all I wanted, so I didn't care what they did to me, as long as I could be with them..."
The young Adam stood in front of a large door. He looked past the edges of the doorway, and saw that the building was very, very wide. He was holding onto the hem of his mother's skirt and her hand as well.
He heard a loud CREAK as the doors in front of him opened very slowly.
He suddenly felt himself being led forward as his mother walked through the opening doors. "Come on, Adam. Let's go see your father."
Adam's grin appeared immediatly and he nodded quickly. They both walked through the doors which slowly closed behind them.
It took quite a few minutes to get to the lab that Adam's father was in. He was busily discussing ideas with the other scientists.
"We hypothesize that once the gene is connected to his, the synthesis will take over from there."
"If that's true, which will become the dominant gene?"
"Both. Neither will become greater, nor lesser. They will become a complete harmony."
Adam's mother took this oppurtunity to reveal herself with her child. Anthony, Adam's father, immediatly noticed them both and walked towards them.
"My dad was a brilliant scientist; he could simplify uncommon phenomena as if he were reading a newspaper. It all just came naturally to him. Everyone who knew about him said he was a genius. They said he had the uncanny ability to talk with his experiments. ...They didn't know how true those rumors were."
"Hey, squirt." Anthony called down to his son.
"Don't call me squirt, dad! I've grown a whole inch since yesterday!"
He widened his eyes in mock suprize. "Really? One whole inch in one day? You keep that up, and we'll have to throw you outside!"
Adam's eyes widened, but he went back to grining. "Liar! You'd never do that!"
"Oops! He caught me." Anthony reached down and lifted Adam up into the air. "I guess that means that it's time for the
A flock of birds flew over Adam's head as he licked his ice cream. He watched them flap away into the endless blue.
"...Hey, Dad? I want to have wings one day."
Anthony spit out the soft drink he was gulping out through his mouth and nostrals, which earned him some laughter from Adam. Immediatly, the carbonated drink kicked in inside his nose. "ACK! It burns! It burns!!"
"HAHAHA! That was stupid, Dad!"
After getting paper towels from the waitress and wiping his face and nose clean, Anthony looked down at his son. "Why'd you say that, anyway? That you want... wings?"
Adam grinned up at him. "'Cause it'd be cool to fly through the sky! I mean, without being on an airplane. That's why I want wings." He looked down into his soft drink for a few moments. Anthony almost believed he was crying, because he couldn't see his face. But he continued. "You think I can?"
Anthony was put on the spot. What do I do?, he wondered. Do I lie, or should I tell him the truth...? After a few moments of thought, he turned towards Adam.
And grinned. "Oh yeah, sure. You'll get your wings one day."
Adam's grin flared. "Really?! You really mean that, Dad?"
Anthony chuckled. "Would I ever lie to you?"
Adam surveyed the district as he walked aimlessly around Tokyo. There were fewer people around now, but still enough to make a crowd. He eventually found a bench and sat down on it. Sighing, he settled into it and drifted off; not going to sleep but not entirely awake either.
He wasn't sure how long he stayed there. When he opened his eyes the moon was still in full view, but closer to the edges of the tall buildings than before. It was still as bright and mysterious as ever.
"I guess it dosen't matter what happens here; the moon will always be the same and it will always be there..."
Adam suddenly stopped and stared at the moon absentmindly. What he just said brought back a saying that his mother used to say. "What did it go like... Oh yeah!" He lightly punched his open palm. ""The moon is the one thing in the world that will never change. It's an observer, but also a protector. A guardian for all eternity."" He sighed and closing his eyes, hanged his head down for a while.
BEEP! A large ring suddenly broke the silence. Adam opened his eyes and searched his pocket. Pulling out a cell phone and switching it on, he put it near his ear. "Adam Seraph, go ahead."
"Jared Glyph reporting, oh fearless leader." He could practically feel the sarcasm through the cell.
He chose to ignore it. "Is Daryl healed, or did something happen?"
"Both. Ol' Boris arrived half an hour ago. I called you earlier, but you wouldn't pick up."
Adam cringed. I was probably asleep by then. Just how long was I out? "What doe's he want?"
"Oh, you know. He's just pissed that we fought those Bounty Hunters without his permission, is all."
Adam grinned, imagining the grown cleric throwing a fit. "I suppose you got some entertainment out of that."
"For the first five minutes, yes, but now he won't shut up! It's so damn annoying! You better get here pronto, or I'll find you and drag you here myself!"
"Alright, I'll be there soon. See you all in a bit." He flipped his phone shut and pocketed it again. He looked up and down the street for any witnesses. "Hmm... There's hardly any, but I still think I should use the alley." With that, he walked into one of the alleyways towards the tower.
He was scared.
He was inside a large glass capsule with various wires and pads attached to his skin. Outside the cylinder there were countless scientists, randomly checking the equipment for any errors. Up on the wall was a clock, which read 9:53 and was abnormally loud. Adam had previously tried to talk with some of the scientists, but none of them were paying any attention to him.
At least, none except his parents.
His mother was standing next to the capsule, placing her open palms opposite of his own. His father was talking with the other scientists, but was also standing right next to Adam.
"Mom! Mom, what are they gonna do? What are they gonna do?" the young Seraph cried.
She simply smiled and hushed Adam. "Don't worry, Adam. Nothing bad will happen. Both Mom and Dad are here."
Adam sniffled, but eventually nodded. "O-ok..."
Then, it happened.
A sudden ache exploded in his head and he clutched his head in agony. "AAaaaAAAAGH!!"
All other voices around him started to fade. Eventually the only thing he could hear was his own shallow breath. The ache in his head didn't get any less painful, and pretty soon he even lost his sense of location. The lab he was in slowly dissolving from reality. What's... happening to me.. ? I...
Who are you?
A completely new voice came out of nowhere, which startled Adam. He looked around him, and he discovered that he wasn't in the lab anymore, yet the only thing that remained was the clock on the wall. No one was around.
Who are you?
Who... am I?
Who are you?
My name's Adam. What's yours?
Really? You have the same name as me?
No? What do you mean?
I am you.
Me? You can't be me! I'm me! He thought for a moment, and it suddenly hit him. Are you my conscience?
You don't know?
But doe's that mean you're really me? Who are you really?
...I don't know. I am you, so I am Adam. That is all I know.
We should give you a name, to tell us apart.
Why? We are the only ones here.
We just have to, okay?
Now, what should we call you?... Adam thought long and hard about it. Then, he decided on a name. I know! It's perfect!
What? What is it?
My last name is a class of the gods, and you're a part of me, almost like a gift. So based on that...
Your name is --!
Jared was scouting the buildings around their own, looking out for Adam. He just made the call minutes ago, and he doubted Adam would get here anytime soon, but anything was better that listening to the old fogey in the shack.
He cocked his head around and saw Lara standing a few meters away. "Hey Lara. You get tired of the old man, too?"
She smiled. "Yes, it was a bit much even for me." She paused a moment before she walked over to the space next to him and leaned on the railing. "Daryl's fine, by the way."
He grunted in responce. "Who said I wanted to know?"
Lara sighed. "It would be nice if you show at least a little concern over him."
"Why should I? It's his own damn fault for underestimating her like that." He looked over at the girl. "You saw it too, didn't you? That special glow that was forming around her blade?"
"...Um, no, I didn't see it."
"Aaah..." Jared suddenly looked very regretful. "...I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that."
"It's alright," she reassured. "You wouldn't be yourself if you thought before speaking."
Jared sighed. "Yeah, I supp-- Wait a second. You just insulted be, didn't you?"
She smiled slightly. "Yes. You aren't offended, are you?"
Jared ruffled his hair. "Even if I was, it dosen't change the fact that you're right."
"Ah, young love." A voice suddenly cut into the conversation.
"Nobody asked for your opinion!" Jared almost shouted out, turning to his brother standing a few feet away. The last member of the group stood behind him.
Lara also turned towards Daryl, but with a sympathetic face. "Daryl, is your wound alright? It looks painful..."
Daryl grinned and spanned his arms. "I am completely fine. Though I do have to admit, Jared is right." His eyes thined but his smirk didn't disapear. "She's much more talented than I gave her credit for. I certainly won't make that mistake next time..."
"There won't be a next time." The member behind Daryl came forward. "Because all of you ignored Boris' warning, he has prohibited any involvement with those four until further notice."
"That is correct."
Everyone looked towards the lone door on the rooftop. Boris stood in the doorway, still sporting his clergy clothing and walking stick. He came forward and Jared came out from behind Lara and Daryl.
"Why the hell, old man!?" he gritted, clenching his fists and entertained the thought of throwing one at him.
Boris looked over at the youth in disdain. "You were only supposed to gauge their strength anyway. Unless they force their way into our attention again, you will have no dealings with them."
"Like I said, WHY!?"
"It's because we have to prepare for the war to come."
The sudden voice threw everyone off-balance. There, standing on the very edge of the building, on top of a very skinny metal railing, was Adam. Questionably, there were a few feathers that shone in the moonlight around him. He looked over at Boris.
"...Isn't that the reason?"
A little shaken, Boris nods. "Yes, it is as Adam says."
Adam hopped off of the edge of the railing and walked over to the rest of the group. He stood next to Boris as he made his announcment.
"Soon, our enemies will make themselves known. We must make our preparations as soon as possible. To that end, all of our current missions are suspended." He paused for a moment.
"That includes the pursuit and capture of Nathan Weiran."
An hour later, the pale lights of the buildings windows still shone, but less were visible now. The moon still hung in the sky, luminating two figures on the rooftops.
"Have you cleared your mind?" Lara asked the other figure.
"...Yes." Adam's voice finally admitted. "I'll tell you. But keep this from the rest of the team. If they want to know, they'll ask me themselves."
Lara silently nodded. Adam breathed out a long drawn-out sigh.
"The reason that I'm taking on this mission is..."
"What's going on!? What's happening?"
"Extra frequency detected! It's rising in very large intervals!"
"Seraph, you bastard! You knew this would happen, didn't you!?"
"Frequency level at 60... 75! 115!"
"At this rate, the whole city will...!"
"160! 213! THERE'S NO STOPPING IT!!"
The shrill voices of the scientists flew around like wild swallows in every direction. The moniters on the walls and in the centre around the globe were malfunctioning, sparking yellow and white more and more frequently. Everyone in the room was in a panic, save for three individuals.
Adam, and his parents.
Adam, who was unaware of the recent events, suddenly looked up at his parents, who were smiling warmly at him from the other side of the globe. The globe surrounding him was the only thing seperating him from embracing his loving parents.
He suddenly had a very violent urge to smash the globe to pieces.
Because right before that urge, he had a terrible feeling that he wouldn't see his parents again.
"MOM! DAD!" he screamed at the top of his lungs, yet they simply stood there, continuing to smile at him. He stood up and banged on the globe repeatedly, yet never making a single crack.
Suddenly, he became aware of the time; 11:59 PM. With ten seconds short of midnight.
He saw his father's mouth move as he spoke. Adam listened carefully, even though he couldn't hear a word he said.
However, Adam understood every word spoken. And tears would have appeared on his eyes at that moment.
that moment, Adam's world was enveloped in a bright darkness as
The tears came too late.
His parents were no where in sight, as was no one else. Adam stood in the middle of the lab, now torn and sundered by the large force of the explosion. He looked around with teary eyes. From the spot where the scientists were hours before, to the now unrecognizable equipment, and to the spot where his parents were hours before.
In their place stood a silver blade with a cobalt blue frame that was the same size as him.
He stood up and walked toward the sword, dropping down from the now shattered globe that somehow protected him. He landed on his face and stayed that way for a few long moments. He shakingly stood up and limped to the sword.
Once he reached it, he gently placed his bare hands on the blade, marveling at how well the blade reflected his image.
Then, a feeling foreign to him welled up. He didn't know what it was, but it told him this; the blade was a replacement for his parents.
"NO!!" He gritted his teeth and shed his tears while he dropped to the floor. He punched the floor again and again as he cried out. "GIVE THEM BACK! GIVE THEM BACK! GIVE THEM BACK!!"
Suprizingly, the tiles and cement beneath shattered each time he landed his fist. He didn't notice it, however, and continued to strike, weakening with each throw.
"Give them back! Give them back... Give them... I want them back..."
The tears came too late.
"...Because I am the sole survivor of Bloodshed."
Out of all the answers he could have given, this one was the least expected. Lara could feel her legs quickly weaken, threatening to collapse. "...B-Bloodshed? You're the only one?" She furrowed her brows in confusion. "But I thought that--"
His very sudden and stern statement just about floored Lara at that point. She looked at him bewildered.
"Out of the million people that was killed in that incident, I am the only one who made it out alive. There were no other exceptions. Everyone there except me had died."
Lara looked down at the ground in silence, letting her thoughts flow. Bloodshed. A terrible accident that was caused by the nuclear explosion under the city, in a secret laboratory. Seconds before midnight, the energy in the reactor spiked and reached critical mass. The resulting explosion teared away buildings, broke apart the roads, and left no survivors, save for Adam. But then... Wait...
"Adam? Why did you say that Bloodshed was an incident?"
"Because that's what it was; an incident."
"But we have a detailed report from Boris! It very clearly stated that the cause of Bloodshed was a nuclear explosion! An accident!"
"Accident!?" Adam suddenly shouted, catching her off-guard. "It was no accident! Someone wanted it to happen! All to create some useless tool!"
Once again, Lara was too shocked to speak. Someone wanted Bloodshed to happen? But who? "Who, Adam? Who wanted to create that much devestation?"
Adam turned around and faced the moon. He clenched his fist as he muttered his reply.
"...Anthony and Sarah Seraph."
Lara couldn't conceal her gasp.
"My parents are the ones responsible for Bloodshed."
Nathan: Someone in Kumiko's high school is a spy for the people we met last night. But there's well over 5,000 people attending it. Who could it be? And will we have to fight them? Next time on Metal Wing Angel; Chapter 11: Image. Wait, no! It can't be you!