-Chapter 3-

-Fight or Flight-

Walking home, pondering on the events that occurred earlier that day, Francy slowly walks home. His jacket is zipped all the way up to hide his bloody shirt, so that nobody would raise suspicion about him being stabbed, he doesn't want that kind of attention right now; he needs time to think, and this solitary walk home is providing him with that.

As he walks home, he thinks about his childhood and all the Heroes he once cherished.

"Were they all a lie? Were they just pretending to fight for justice?" He thought to himself as he passes an electronics store with TV's showing news of the Hero Air Master receiving an award for outstanding display of heroism. The memory of Magnus the Iron Knight still playing back over and over in his mind and all of these emotions coming over Francy makes him stop to collect his thoughts.

-"Heeeey!"- Francy looks around as he looks for the face the feminine voice belongs to. "It's probably not towards me." He thinks to himself.

-"Heeeey you! Yea you sulking there in that corner!"- It's the girl from the alley. Francy's face turns white as if he had seen a ghost.

-"What's wrong? I just wanted to thank you for earlier today. Words cannot express my gratitude for what you did for me earlier today." – Her face lit up, Francy hadn't seen someone smile like that for a while. He recalled the last time he remembered his sister smiling like that, it was so long ago.

As the girl drew near, Francy caught a glimpse of the girl's hospital bracelet, he could only see her first name "Cecil" and his eyes were drawn away from the bracelet to two scars just above it, one horizontal, the other vertical; indicating that she had tried to commit suicide in the past.

The girl invites Francy to sit on a nearby bench, and they speak as multitudes of people walk by them. Francy catches a glimpse of her chocolate brown eyes and notices a hint of sadness despite her genuine smile. "So does that kind of thing happen often in this city? I mean what happened to you?" he asks.

-"Unfortunately…. Yes it does, you would think that you would see less muggings and kidnappings and rape cases with all these so called Heroes watching over us." Cecil lets out a low sigh "I've always wanted a way out of this place, it's not like it was when I was a kid, but then again as a child you are ignorant to your surroundings."

As Cecil is speaking Francy thinks about whether she remembers about him being stabbed in the stomach. "She probably doesn't remember that part…. Good." He thinks to himself.

Their conversation is cut short by the ground shaking, and then screaming in the distance. As Francy gets up to look, he sees smoke.

-"Wait, where are you going?!"- Shouts Cecil as Francy runs towards the smoke.

"Fight…." A ringing voice whispers in his mind as he Sprints towards the smoke.

As Francy draws close, he sees that the side of a building had been blown open, he sees bodies scattered around, probably as a result of the debris from the explosion. Then from the dark hole blown through the building, he sees red eyes peering at him. "I need to get help!" He thinks to himself, but the red eyes leave him paralyzed in fear. As the red eyes draw closer, he struggles to move his legs from the fear, but then he hears the ringing voice get louder "Fight….Demon." Then he snaps out of the paralysis and he quickly reaches for the mask in his bag.

As soon as he grabs the mask a green tentacle lashes out from the hole and wraps around Francy's leg and pulls him inside the building. As Francy is being pulled into the burning building, he puts on the mask. The creature lets go of Francy and lets out a screech as if it was in pain, then it retreats within the building.

Francy kneels down, his face is in pain. The pain gets more intense and starts to disperse throughout his body, he lets out a cry of pain "Ah… Ahhh!" As he is experiencing this, he thinks about how he was tricked by Echoes into wearing the mask "Damn you Echoes!" he cries out.

-"You rang?"- Francy looks up and it's Echoes! "The pain is temporary, since it has to get used to your body, the pain will subdue once it merges with your nervous system."

"My Nervous system?! And what do you mean by "It"?" Uttered Francy while in pain.

Echoes look at Francy, then looks at the burning building "The symbiotic mask has chosen you to fight against the Demons that plague this city. If it hadn't chosen you, you would have died as soon as you put on the mask." He then turns his gaze back to Francy "Many have tried seeking the mask and it's power for centuries, but their greed and hunger for power prevented them from ever attaining that power…"

Then another tentacle lashes out from the inside of the building, but Echoes smacks the tentacle away, and the force of the smack causes a shockwave that makes a bubble of air within the cloud of smoke. "I'll explain in detail later, first we have to take care of that thing."

Francy regains his sight, as he stands up he notices he has different clothes on "Agreed, but how will we do that?"

Echoes grabs Francy by his collar "We start by chasing after it!"

"No, wait… WAIT!"

Echoes tosses Francy into the burning building and he smiles as he says "Now our adventure finally starts!"