The Caller

Chapter 1

You could say everything about Virtus Vocatus was normal; he went to school, played the drums, watched a lot of anime, and hung out with his friends like a normal, Boulder, CO resident, anime-loving fifteen year old boy would. The things that separated Virtus from the rest of his friends was the strange mark under his right eye, shaped like an intricate cross, his eye color, a dark yellow, his hair color, white as snow, and his skin tone, a light brown-ish like a Peruvian. He just called the cross 'an unusual birth mark, that's all.' Other then that, he was considered as ordinary as anyone else. So, on that day, he was sitting at a bus stop, waiting for the RTD, listening to the song 'Resonance.'

"Ah...the bus is late," Virtus said to himself, checking his watch. He sighed, "I might as well just walk home." He stood from the from the bench and began to walk west down Canyon. Lots of cars flew past him like normal. The traffic in Boulder was always insane around 5:00, but he supposed today was a 'super rush hour day.' It only took a few minutes, and Virtus was already at the intersection of Canyon and 9th. He pressed the walk button and waited for the red 'don't walk' hand to be replaced with the white 'walk' person. It did eventually, so Virtus began the walk across the cross walk. What he didn't see was the black sports car rushing towards him, obviously not stopping at the light.

Someone screamed. Virtus looked at the last minute at the car that would certainly kill him. He shut his eyes, accepting anything that would happen to him. Suddenly, he felt something ram into his right shoulder and he was thrown out of the way. He toppled to the ground and the sports car raced past. He stood up slowly, examining his arm that he used to brace his fall. He realized he should never do that again for most of the skin on his arm had been all but torn away.

"Oww...damn, that hurts," Virtus muttered. He looked back at the way he was walking, the left hand curb on 9th street. No-one was there, but he swore that something shoved him out of the way. People began to rush at him to see if he was alright.

"Hey kid, you okay?" one man asked. Virtus nodded absentmindedly.

"Who was that driver?! He should be arrested!" a woman raged.

"What happened?"

"That kid was almost killed!"

So many voices...so many people... "Uh...I just need to get home and I'll be fine," Virtus said loudly so everyone heard him. He wasn't fond of large groups of people; it's a wonder he never broke down at an Anime Convention or at school.

"Ok."

"Do ya need a ride?"

"N-no, seriously, I'll be okay," he repeated. He started to run at top speed up the hill and didn't slow when he ran down. He arrived at the brick apartment building where he lived and threw the front door opened. He ran down more steps loudly ("Hey! Keep it down!" one of the neighboring apartment dwellers shouted.) and fumbled with the key to his own apartment. He finally opened the door and without waiting for a, "Hi, Virtus. How was your day?" from his mother, he charged into the bathroom and thrust his arm under running sink water. He gritted his teeth as the cool water ran over his burning wound. The cat, Sorrel, wandered into the bathroom to see what was going on. The cat was a gray tabby cat with a white underbelly. He had only one white spot on his back. Sorrel's eyes were opaque amber orbs.

"Hey, cat. Whatcha doin', crazy?" Virtus asked, pain still in his voice. Sorrel meowed lovingly. He strode to Virtus's legs and arched his back, purring loudly. Virtus bent down and and scratched the cat behind the ears with his good arm. He looked back at his left arm. "Ai yai yai...that's gonna leave a mark..." He always said that, but he hardly got scars anymore, strangely. He stopped getting them after he accidentally cut himself with a kitchen knife when he was twelve.

"Virtus? What are you doing?" a voice called from somewhere else in the apartment, his mother's voice.

"Eh, nothing! I'll be out in a minute!" Virtus called back. He was usually like that; not telling his mother about random accidents. He didn't want her to worry about him. Virtus hastily grabbed some medical supplies; gauze, a bandage, Neosporin, that kind of stuff. He rubbed some of the Neosporin into the wound, which burned worse than the water, and wrapped the injury with the bandage. He walked casually out of the bathroom into the living room/kitchen area.

"Virtus, what did you do?" his mother asked sharply, her eyes resting on the bandage that Virtus wrapped poorly. Her name was Kristal and she looked as like she had no resemblance to Virtus at all, which was true. She was shorter, had black hair, pale white skin, and had crystal blue eyes, while he was taller, lankier, had white hair, darker skin, and had yellow eyes.

Virtus fidgeted nervously and said, "Uh...well, you see...I was walking from the bus stop so I could just walk home...when this car was driving waaaay too fast...and well, almost hit me...but wait I'm not done-" He said this to cut off the gasp that came from his mother. "-something or someone shoved me out of the way, so I didn't get hit. I fell on this arm, though." He pointed to the sloppily bandaged wound.

His mother sighed exasperatedly, "You make me worry too much about you sometimes..." She looked back up at him and smiled. "Well, I'm just glad you weren't injured more so than now, dear." She turned back into the kitchen and called back, "Do you have any homework, Virtus?"

"Nope, not today," he replied. He was glad his mother recovered so easily from bad situations, otherwise...well, he didn't want to think about that. Virtus went to his room to relax after a shocking day. His room looked like a tornado swept through it. Anime junk, clothes, old drawings, and other random things were strewn about the floor. His clothes never made it to his dresser only because that was were his cosplaying costumes were. He never kept anything that a normal, sane, non-anime crazy kid would in their closet; any cosplay weapon, prop, or just drawing materials lay on the ground or propped up against the wall. That was overflowing, too. His walls was decorated with various anime posters, wall scrolls, drawings, or any other posters he was given. Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Naruto, Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Yu-gi-oh, Bleach, and so many other animes hung on those walls. He walked over to his bed and flopped onto it, exhausted. His gaze drifted up to a poster of Final Fantasy X that had the High Summoner Yuna on it with some of her summons, Ifrit, Valefore, and Ixion.

He grinned and said to himself, "Ah...if only I could live in that world...fighting monsters and saving the world...then I could be a hero..." He slowly floated off to sleep, not waking until the next morning. His day started as it normally did, he got up, got dressed, and took the RTD bus to school. He was still really tired from yesterdays escapade. As he was walking to school from the stop, his friend, Lupus, ran up to meet him.

"Yo! Virtus, what's goin' on?" Lupus greeted cheerfully. He was tall (taller than Virtus) with odd silver hair and dark amber eyes. He always had a wolfish smile on his face and he didn't really laugh; he barked.

"Man...I'm so tiiiiiired..." Virtus yawned, "You would not believe what happened to me yesterday."

"Try me," said Lupus.

"Ok, so I was walking home from school yesterday and I was crossing the street, when a car nearly killed me. Something pushed me out of the way, though, even though there was nothing there."

"...No way."

"I'm not lying!" Virtus exclaimed.

Lupus thought for a minute as they both walked into the school and asked, "The car. What color was it? What type of car?"

"Uh...it was black...I don't know what type...some kind of fancy, expensive car," the white haired teen replied, "Why should you care, though?"

"Eh...no reason...just curious," Lupus muttered as they went in for class.

Elsewhere, in a tall, glass building, someone said, "You have failed me once again, Kalem." The man addressing Kalem was a middle aged man, already with gray streaks in his hair. He wore vintage sunglasses even though the room was almost pitch dark, and a fading suit. It was hard to tell that he was the leader of one of the biggest cultists in the entire world.

"I'm deeply sorry, meine Fuehrer," the man called Kalem said. He was young, not much older than 19, with dirty blonde hair and dark blue eyes. He spoke in a thick German accent.

"How many times have I told you not to call me that?" the leader asked sharply.

"Vell...I can't help it...it's sort off...natural," Kalem muttered. He shifted his position ever so slightly.

"Che. Not that it matters. We have more pressing issues to deal with. That boy that you failed to eliminate has noticed his powers awakening. We need to make sure that does not happen." The leader spoke briskly, like in a board meeting. "If you can't crush him with the car, use something else. Any method you want."

Kalem stopped looking at the floor and met the leader eye to lens. His blue eyes narrowed evilly when he said, "A-any method, meine Fuehrer?"

"Yes, anything it takes to kill Virtus Vocatus."