"I really hope that Satoshi is alright..."
The words came from a concerned Isoroku that was pacing back and forth in his small apartment complex.
"Knowing their dumb luck, I'm certain that him and V will be fine," Harumi responded as she flipped through a book on a nearby couch.
"After being trained by yours truly, he successfully infiltrated a New Era compound! He's more skilled than you give him credit for!"
"Even though a majority of our soldiers were completely drunk at the time of his attack," the girl spoke without skipping a beat. Isoroku remained silent in defeat until Harumi spoke up once more.
"But still... I can't help but wonder if they'll make it out alright."
The girl with jet black hair set down her book.
"When going through New Era's communications logs, the hex that they had sent to retrieve the two is particularly deadly..."
"It's a shame that Satoshi's phone cut out before we could warn them. He still won't pick up his phone."
"They better be ready. From what I can gather, this hex is unstoppable against other hexes. Though oddly enough was never used against the Peace Keepers..."
"Why am I doing this?" the white haired hex quoted V as he pondered her question for a moment. After a bit of posturing, the boy threw up his arms and shrugged.
"You're a fellow hex and you're helping out New Era..."
The boy took his gaze off of his prey as he looked off into the distance, prompting V to inquire yet again.
"Why would you help them out? Your skin is as pale as mine, certainly you've been a victim as well?"
Sighing, the hex kept his eyes on the distant valley as he responded.
"Similar to you, V-87, I too was given an identification number and have long forgotten my given name. We both have this deathly white pigment to our skin and we've certainly both seen our own fair share of torture. As a result, I have come to terms with my new nickname, the Empty Vessel. I hate New Era. I understand why you two are fighting against them. Captivity does a lot to your mental state of being..."
"Then why? Why fight alongside them?" still covered in bruises and lying on the ground, V's mind could not comprehend her enemy's motives.
"Like I said, I hate New Era... But what other choice do we have? You've been captured by them twice now, don't you get it? Us hexes can never live a normal life! Freedom is an illusion!"
V's eyes widened in shock.
"New Era is going to win out in the end and if you cannot win, then why bother to begin? Though by participating with them, I'll never truly be free... But as a hex, we'll never truly be free! We aren't people!"
Satoshi noticed silently that the hex's words were visibly hurting V.
"As a hex, I'm certain that you understand where I'm coming from. If I can strike a deal, I can stop being a lab rat. By taking the side of the eventual winners, then I can find my own peace. There is no god or hero... Or any good in this world!" cold words continue to pour out of the boy's mouth.
The girl slowly got off and dusted herself off.
"We're both the same..."
V reached for the boy's pale arms as her adversary's eyes widened.
"I can help you in the same way that Satoshi has helped me."
The girl rolled up the long sleeve of the boy's shirt. Silently, the Empty Vessel paused as he fixed his eyes on his previously hidden arm. The two hexes peered over the purple, scarred and deformed arm that clashed vividly with the otherwise pale white complexion of the boy's skin. In an instant, the boy's two eyes welled up with immense anger.
"Arrrghhhhhhhh!" the boy's sudden scream seemed to rattle the previously silent hill as the hex pushed the girl off of him. Hands shaking, the hex concealed his deformed arm once again.
"You and I are not alike. I may be a god forsaken animal, but perhaps taking away your life can lead to a life of my own!"
A pair of pale blue eyes once again formed in the boy's glaring eyes.
His eyes are no longer green! He's defenseless.
With sudden determination, the girl sprang to her feet and extended her index finger towards her powerless enemy. In a sudden flash of light, a lightning bolt leaped off of the girl's finger and impacted with the boy. In the sudden flash of light, the girl ran over to Satoshi.
"I did it, it's over! He ran out of power as he was talking!" the girl cheered for herself as she undid the boy's gag.
"V, behind you!"
The girl noticed a flash of green light in the corner of her eye. Suddenly, a familiar pulse of energy slammed into V and knocking her away from Satoshi. Before she could respond, a flash of lightning slung forward and enveloped her in electricity.
Doubled over in pain, the girl double clenched her stomach as her breathing became heavy. Laughing emerged in the distance as V slowly teetered back in forth in pain.
"H-How... You were powerless..."
The girl suddenly fell to the ground as her injuries got the better of her.
"Satoshi... It's over... He's invincible..."
"V! Get up! He's walking towards you!" Satoshi pleaded as he helplessly watched the Empty Vessel slithered towards his girl's badly injured body.
"Quite frankly, I'm getting bored of this battle. I guess you kept me entertained for long enough..."
Bright green eyes now staring directly down upon his prey, the hex licked his lips.
"I guess, this is the end!"
The boy pointed his finger down at the fallen girl as sparks of electricity began forming around it.
"I won't let you!"
Suddenly, the foot of Satoshi slammed into the hex's back. Falling forwards, the boy's trajectory was altered as he fired off the lightning bolt into the sky.
V's green eyes reopened as the girl blinked a couple of times to check that she was seeing the right image.
Her enemy had fallen face first into the ground and his attack had missed.
"Why you!" the boy propped himself back onto his feet with a fresh coat of wet mud clinging to his face. Recollecting himself, the boy slapped Satoshi across the face.
"I think I get it now..."
"Huh?" the boy turned around to V who was slowly getting herself off of the ground.
"For some reason I thought that you had some sort of shield up around you. You have been absorbing all of my attacks but despite your eyes still glowing green, Satoshi was able to harm you."
The boy's eyes widened.
"You can't use your own energy from the Hex Grid!"
Lunging forward, the girl threw her fist into the boy's chest.
Gasping for air, the boy stumbled backwards a few steps before recollecting himself.
The girl took the offensive again as she ran forward towards the hex. As V readied her attack, the bounty hunter emitted another bright green flash of light that served to blind her as it did previously.
As V wandered around disoriented, the hex ran over to his bag and produced a strange looking device. V's vision still blurred, the boy stuck a strange needle into his wrist, producing a small green flash of light.
As V regained her sight, she honed in on the hex once more and ran in headstrong.
"V look out!"
A bright burst of energy and chunks of the earth thwarted the girl's assault as her opponent's eyes were glowing brightly once more.
It seems as though every time he blinds me, he somehow regains access to the Hex Grid... But how?
In the distance, the hex threw up a small orb into the sky. All eyes of the battlefield's combats looked upward into the sky as the green orb disappeared into the night. With a small hand gesture of the Empty Vessel, thousands of similar projectiles fell onto the hill like rain.
As V focused on warding off the mass attack, Satoshi watched in the background as the hex ran back over to his bag and produced another energy syringe. Injecting it into his wrist, the boy surged forward towards V as his previous attack had ended.
In evasion of the hex's assault, V leaped into the air with her adversary following suit. The two looked into one another's green eyes yet again as her opponent began to berate the girl.
"Your attacks won't effect me, it's the end of the line!"
The girl's attention was shifted from the hex to her lover. Satoshi's head tilted repeatedly towards the hex's bag that he had kept going to every time that V was distracted.
Nodding in response, electricity began to form around the girl as she floated in midair.
"You know what your attack is going to do! Are you a masochist?" the boy laughed to himself as a stream of lightning fired down to his side.
"Ha! You missed! Clearly your brain isn't processing things properly anymore!"
The girl cracked a smile as the boy looked over at where her attack had landed in confusion.
The hex screamed upon realization that his supply bag had been reduced to a pile of steaming ashes.
Satoshi was snickering in the corner, prompting another angry reaction from the hex.
"It doesn't matter, you still can't lay a finger on me! You can try hand to hand combat, but you're still too weak from all of the punishment that I have dished out!"
The boy sprinted forward at the girl as she effortlessly dodged his assault with an energy assisted leap to the side.
"V may be in a very weak state, but if you spent your whole life in prison too then your physical state without the Hex Grid is in no better shape!" Satoshi taunted the boy as V willed up more electricity.
She already destroyed my access to the Hex Grid, what on earth could she be trying to accomplish?
As the boy thought to himself, the attack came crashing down from inches in front of him. A small fire and a thick cloud of smoke welled up as the girl electrocuted the ground in front of the hex.
Before he could realize it, V had outflanked her dazed opponent and was now undoing the Satoshi's bindings.
"H-How did you?" the boy's eyes widened in shock.
"I may not be able to hurt you with my power, but as long as the energy itself doesn't touch you then I'll still find a use for it!"
"Damn it!" the boy placed both of his hands onto his head and doubled over. His now pale blue eyes twitched in severe pain as V looked on in confusion.
"Of all the time for a migraine to happen..." the boy muttered to himself as he sunk down to his knees and shook in pain. Moments after all of the Hex Grid's power left him, the boy was seemingly immobilized by a splitting headache.
Too distracted by his sudden headache, the hex hadn't noticed that a newly freed Satoshi was now standing in front of him.
The boy's head felt a sudden physical trauma. Satoshi's fist had sent the hex crumbling towards the ground.
"Consider that payback for earlier!"
How could I have been bested by these two... There's no way this is possible...
The hex rose back to his knees once more as his eyes twitched. Satoshi's fist sent the hex back to the earth once more as V looked on in pity.
"You know exactly what these hexes are going through and yet you chose to do what you do."
Pale skin stained by the earth, the hex teetered on the edge of consciousness as the boy berated him.
"You're disgusting. Does your life not have any purpose?"
As the boy finished his last remarks, his foot planted itself into the boy's already traumatized head. With the enemy clearly defeated, Satoshi walked away from the scene and towards V.
"Come on, let's get out of here."
"Huh?" the boy looked over at the injured V in confusion.
"Don't forget your phone!" the girl grabbed the cellular device off of the muddy ground and handed it to the boy.
Filled once more with rage, the boy split the device in half and spiked the remaining fragments of it onto the injured hex.
"That phone is the reason that the bounty hunter found us, New Era was able to track our location with it! Without it, we can move about undetected... Come on, let's go."
The girl nodded as she put an arm around Satoshi who helped guide the injured girl down the hill. As the effects of adrenaline wore off, the bitter cold reminded the two what time of year it was. Covered in various bruises and muddy stains, the two returned to town leaving behind the defeated hex.
There's the conclusion to the series' long overdue first hex vs hex fight! I hope that you enjoyed it! Thus ends the arc featuring a cat and mouse game between Satoshi and his father. But what will happen next? What will Satoshi and V find north? What's New Era's next move? Will we see the Empty Vessel again? Are we going to be able to see Tadao, Isoroku, and co. again? Stay tuned for these answers and much more! :)