A chirping sound of birds tweeting their usual song could be heard as I slowly woke up. The warm sun heated up my skin, telling me that everything was okay. Fresh air wafted through my nose, even ruffling my hair and skin, telling me to get up. I opened up my eyes, staring up into the crystal blue sky that welcomed me. The beauty of the sky and the sunlight warmed up my soul that I never thought it would, it was just too beautiful that I couldn’t help but sigh pleased.
This was life, living for the purpose to experience the simple and little things in life. Listening to the sweet songs of the birds, letting the wind caress me with loving embrace, and feeling of the soft green grass of nature under my skin. Just as I was enjoying the moment, the sudden memory of what happened slammed into my mind, jarring me completely awake.
I bolted upright into a sitting position and stared around completely confused. I looked over my entire body just incase anything was wrong with me, and found the same gray ugly clothes that I had wore as usual. The last thing I remembered was that I made it into the pod just before I was almost swarmed by the dragonfly drones that descended towards me to kill me. Then the flash of memories of running away, fighting against Gluttony, and surviving filled every corner of my thoughts.
Why did Sloth, wait I mean the demon girl, just left? Damn it, why did I give her a name too? Maybe it was just easier to call her Sloth than little demon girl in which case the little demon girl was a mouthful. Luckily, I didn’t speak out her name out loud and actually give her the name of Sloth in her face, just like how I did to Gluttony.
Either way, knowing that they were newly born demons that were already considered so powerful made me feel small and weak in comparison to them. Just from naming them, they became even more powerful than before. All I could do was sigh, hoping that Gluttony was dead after what Sloth had done. I was glad that fight was over for now, and I hope dearly in my heart that I didn’t have to meet them again, but I had a feeling that fate didn’t play the way that I wanted too.
“Hey, Alexus.” A sweet voice called out towards me, I turned around to see Crystal walking over with two cans of drink.
“Crystal?” I tilted my head, surprised that she was here.
“Here you go. Glad that you’re awake.” Crystal came over and took a seat next to me, she handed me an orange soda.
I gladly accepted it, realizing how thirsty I was. With a pull, a hiss of foam erupted out from the can. Quickly pulling my head towards the drink, I downed the drink before it could spill all over my fingers. Ah~ The refreshing cold taste of orange soda.
“It’s natural, waking up being thirsty.” Crystal replied, she clicked open hers and took a sip.
“I’m sorry? What?” I didn’t understand what she was talking about.
“You know, waking up after being stuffed in a pod.”
“Oh,” My lips stayed into an O for a moment. “Wait, who took me out?”
“The usual employees that works at Seventh Sanctum.” She replied as she stared out into the distance. “The others woke up here on the rooftop as well.
I noticed that we were on top of the roof, just like she said, looking out into the bustling city life of the city itself and I was laying on top of a garden like area. There were small trees, flowers, and plants neatly trimmed and decorated every nook and corner of the roof, leaving not a single open space of bricks or metal. Other people was also up here on the rooftop, looking just as confused as me.
“We been sleeping for one hundred forty-nine years now.” Crystal dropped the bomb as if it wasn’t a big deal.
“One hundred forty-nine years?!” I cried out in alarm. One hundred forty-nine years of my life gone in a flash just like that without me even noticing it. It just sounded to foreign as if it never happened. “What the hell for?!”
“Well, that what happens when you sleep in the Garden. We all go into hibernation to allow our souls to train and become stronger. This is the Animus Progressium project, to allow an unique and safe experience for our souls to rest without putting too much of a burden on it.”
“Sleeping and training doesn’t mix together.” I flatly replied. One hundred and forty-nine years, why not one hundred and fifty? Why an odd number, never mind, sleeping an extra year sounded just as bad. Wow, I couldn’t believe it at all. “It’s a contradiction in itself.”
“Actually, it’s not. People who have the ability to train their mind in their dreams is how one can get stronger. This allows them to have full control over their body with their mind.” Crystal turned towards me, her hand raised up as her finger tapped her temple. “The brain is a powerful tool and this tool can do anything that you put your mind to it.”
“Look, right now, you should feel a bit more stronger. Things like your abilities should be easier to control.”
When she said that, I did notice a slight change of my powers. It felt like I could now will a bit of my power of my own will then hope for the best. The string of power that seem to coil at the base of my stomach, wrapped and twisted into a constant spiral, telling me that I had quite a bit of it.
“With that being said, that one hundred forty-nine years of hibernation did us more justice in helping us grow.”
“One hundred forty-nine years…..that’s impossible. Why one hundred forty-nine years. We should be dead.”
“Nope. We been in cold hibernation, slowing our aging process for a very long time till all of us were ready to come out from sleep. You can says time stop for us. The Garden’s controls was set to when everyone has evolved and grown a bit and when everything was safe that we would be let free.”
“How does it know that we’re ready?”
“That I don’t quite know. It’s old ancient technology that we found buried away in the bottom of Atlantic Ocean near the Bermuda Triangle. Luckily, we uncovered it and brought it here to use.”
“We’re stuffed in ancient technology that we don’t know what the hell it could do to us?!”
“We understand 89% of it.” She replied surely.
“Than what about the last 11% That’s a huge gap, you know.”
“I don’t like the sound of that.”
“That’s the best that we could do.” She replied with a sigh. “I know it’s not reassuring, but it got us to where we are now, thought that one hundred years wasn’t what we thought it would take us to get here.”
One hundred forty-nine years, completely unbelievable. Just the thought of it felt so surreal that the words just continually rung through my head over and over again.
“Wait, if its one hundred forty-nine years, did whatever happened in your dreams come true?”
Crystal was startled by what I had said, she look away unable to give an answer. Silenced followed, until she finally spoke. “I don’t know. I only can see glimpse of the future, and even then, things happen that change the course into a different direction.”
“So, what you’re saying that the direction of the future is still didn’t happen and the danger is possibly thwarted.”
“Yes, and no. It’s complicated.”
“Explain.” I crossed my hand in front of me.
“It’s like this, when one event happens or a person does a different set of action, it sets off a chain reaction to the other things that changes the event in the future. Something different could happen, but mostly it’s a slight different in colors of clothes or the person that is present. A hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have suspected that we would wake up now, all I knew was we would all wake up in due time, but that one hundred fifty years is a big giant plot hole that I don’t know what exactly happens. If I had stay awake during that first ten years I would’ve known.”
“That makes a little sense.”
“I need to be there to know what had happened, all the sporadic events that pass through my mind are just a possibility with a very high chance of it happening.”
I thought over what she had said.
“So, what was the ten years future or I mean past? You know what I mean.”
“The city was ravaged and destroyed by the Voracious and the Unmovable one.”
The city being destroyed sounded a bit farfetched, right now in front of me the city was fine as it is, nothing look any different. “Are you sure? The city looks fine.”
“That’s why it’s strange. It’s not supposed to be like this.” She waved her hand in front of her.
“I think you should be glad that it didn’t happen or maybe it’s just been pushed back.” I replied curtly, even though I didn’t like the thought of the city blazing in fire or being destroyed at all. “Though who is the Voracious and the Unmovable one?”
“I don’t know.”
I thought over what she had said, especially the two words. Voracious ment of wanting or devouring great quantities of food, while the Unmovable was given in the context of words. Then it hit me, “You don’t mean Sloth and Gluttony do you?”
“Sloth and Gluttony? Who?” Crystal tilted her head to the side, her large eyes stare back at me cutely that I couldn’t help but feel my heart beat a bit faster.
“Uh, that is.” My hand reached up towards my collar as I started to pull on it to cool myself down.
“Are you talking about the seven deadly sins?”
“Well, no….yea…I mean I’m talking about those Myth type demons.” I quickly replied. “Sloth was that little demon girl, and Gluttony was that demon boy. That’s what I call them because of how they acted.”
Crystal thought it over for a moment, her eyebrows furrowed, my words hit her like a sledgehammer. “Them?!”
“That can’t be right. They weren’t as powerful as the Myths that I saw.” She shuddered, “Their powers were considered diabolically out of this world and the ones we run into wasn’t considered half of what we ran into. I thought those child demons were Myth types at first, but now that I think about it they were more at the breaking point of Legend passing into Myth.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry about one of them.” I quickly replied, trying to help her calm down. “Gluttony’s dead that’s probably why your dream didn’t happen.”
Once again, Crystal faltered, searching my face for a hint of what I had just said. It didn’t click to her that Gluttony was dead and the reason why her dream didn’t come into reality.
“When all of you guys went into the Garden, I was the last one to see what happened to Gluttony that we were all fighting. He changed forms a third time, or maybe I could say that he evolved? Anyways, something happened, and at the last moment, he was injuried badly. Sloth, the little girl, came and killed him.”
“Change forms a third time?! Shit.” Crystal swore. “That would make sense, evolution type that grows over time. You sure that Gluttony is dead?”
“Well, I did see him turn into dust, and Sloth swooped down and took his gem.”
“Yea, it was weird. She ran away with it.”
“Then that means he might not be dead.”
Not be dead? I groaned, the thought of him being alive and well made me want to punch something. All that effort to fight against Gluttony and still fail was a hit to my pride. “Why do you say that. You know he could be dead.”
Crystal shook her head. “Sometimes the form a demon possess doesn’t always have to be a human body, there are cases where a Demon posses an item, and a jewel is a perfect conduit to house a powerful soul. Giving a possessed item to a human, allows the demon to possess a second body, while keeping its source safe. If you want to kill a demon that possess an item, destroy the item that house its soul.”
I let out a defeated sigh, that’s why Sloth took the emerald as if it wasn’t a big deal and ran away. Then does it mean that they were just staying hidden for now and possibly attacking later? That could be the the only answer that I know of right this moment, but the question was why? Why wait and for what purpose?
The thought of the city going under sounded like a bad case of horror film ready to happen. Almost like an post apocalyptic ready to start any minute now.
“We should go get yourself checked up. After waking up from cold sleep, the employees brought us up here to thaw completely under the sun. We found out that sunlight is one of the leading factor in bringing back a half dead man back to his old self and even stabilize their body.”
“So, that’s why we were all out here.” I replied, nodding at her words. “Then where’s Marcus, Jones, and Timothy?”
“They woke up three hours earlier than you, got their physical checked, and went to the cafeteria.”
“Oh,” I momentarily paused, “are you my physician this time as well?” The end of my lips went into a curl and my eyebrow went up and down.
Crystal stared at me for a moment, she burst out into a laughter. “In your dreams.”
“What? I can ask with a please?”
“I’m a patient this time too you know.”
“That’s no fun.” I felt a bit down, but quickly squashed the feeling and got up.
“Now, let’s go and get this over with shall we?”
“After you, my lady.” I bowed, motioning her to go ahead before me.
Crystal got up, and walked in front of me still chuckling to herself. “Asking with a please, seriously?” She mumbled to herself.
The sweet laugh brought an unusual joy to my ears, warming up my heart. Talking to her wasn’t a bad thing, maybe even being her friend sounded not too far away.
Eventually, we both blew through the physicals without much a problem, and headed straight towards the cafeteria. The moment we entered, the loud chatter of both female and male voices could be heard mixed in with each other.
I searched around and saw Marcus, Timothy, Jones, and even Simon there sitting next to each other conversing.The sight of seeing Simon with the crew was really surprising. Marcus was leaned over towards Simon, taking in every word that he was saying to heart.
Crystal and I walked over, she took a seat next to Marcus and I across from her.
“Hey guys,” Crystal replied. “Good to see that you’re all still here.”
“Good to see you Crystal and Alexus. Had a nice nap?” Marcus chuckled. The others glanced over, ackloweleding our presence.
“Yo, Alexus. Glad that you’re here with us.” Timothy replied with a chirpy attitude. “These guys are in some serious debate, you guys came just in time to change the subject.”
“I wouldn’t call what we went through a nap.” Simon wasn’t too pleased at the thought of sleeping for so long.
“Don’t be like that. We slept through the trouble without a hitch of a problem.” Marcus replied with a happy tone of voice.
“Sweeping the problem under the rug isn’t something you should be proud of.”
“I’m not, there were circumstances where we couldn’t deal with the problem at hand. Right now, our priority should be on how to make ourselves stronger, so something like what we went through won’t happen again.”
“And you have an idea on how to fix this issue?”Simon frowned, waiting for him to give him an answer that we all wanted to know. “We don’t have all our rights here, the real question comes down what rights do we even have.”
“He’s got a point you know.” Timothy replied. “We’re not a free man living under the Seventh Sanctum.”
“Don’t worry about that, let me talk with the higher ups.”
“You do know that owner of Seventh Sanctum is dead. It’s like what, one hundred and forty-nine years too late.”
“Like I said, leave it me. I’ll get the answers that we need to push the plan forward.”
“What else are we going to need and how are we going to get stronger.” Simon asked, tapping his fingers on the table, waiting for Marcus answer.
I on the other hand, ordered a long sought after taste of pepperoni pizza. For some reason, I wanted grease that I definitely craved for right this moment for the lost of fat, sleeping in the pod. Now that I think about it, everyone here looked a lot thinner than they usually do.
“I understand the facilities, but what else do we need to do? What do you have in mind?”
“We’re going to have to practice on our magic. The only thing that seems to work against them instead of ordinary guns is the power that we each have been given. My fist did more damage than a shotgun, while Alexus’ sword cut through its body like butter. Half of you have seen him in action and saw what our powers can do.”
“Don’t forget the Dragon Scale suit.” I injected my opinion. ”You don’t know how many times, I had been saved by Crystal’s invention.”
“You mean that spandex?” Timothy chuckled at the thought of what I wore.
“That suit stopped it from putting a hole in my stomach numerous times, though I have to agree with you that it looks a bit ridiculous.”
“Okay. Okay. I get your point. I’ll fluff up the suit so it looks a lot more cooler.”
“Please put some kind of speed enhancer on it or something on mine. I keep running into the problem of the enemies being a bit faster than me.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Oh, and I suggest you find a way so it doesn’t dissolve in acid to quickly. Gluttony spewed out some kind of acid and it ate through half the material.”
“Okay, anything else that I need to know?”
I thought it over. Why not just go all out. “Something to protect my head maybe?”
“That can be done.”
“What the heck are you guys, trying to make? Superhero suits or something?” Timothy cried out in amusement, “because if you are count me in.”
“It’s not superhero suits.” Crystal spoke dryly as she rolled her eyes. “Its anti-demons suits.”
“Anti-demon suits, superhero suits, same thing. We should call ourselves the Exorcists.”
“Like the movie?” Jones asked not to happy with the thought of what he just said. “Sounds so cliche.”
“Then you have a better name for what we are?”
“I thought we were already called the Ouroboros.” Jones replied.
“I’m not asking what we as a being are, I’m talking about superhero group names.”
“Wait, we’re making a superhero group?” Crystal asked confused. “Since when?”
“Since today. Duh,” said Timothy.
“I actually like the sound of that.” Simon stated in amusement.
“I’m not so sure about this superhero nonsense,” Marcus stated uneasily. “We’re not exactly saving people, but eradicating demons and there isn’t a sugar coated heroism involved in all this.”
“We should name ourselves the Holy Vandals.” Timothy replied going off tangent. “Or the Challengers of Pixies.” He burst out laughing, holding onto his stomach.
Jones stared at Timothy amused. “Whatever you’re on, give me some of whatever you just had.”
“How about American Crusaders, or Demons of Hades.” Timothy was trying his best not to continually laugh, and answer in a very straight forward way.
“Stop. Stop. Stop.” Crystal raised up her hands. “Half of what you just named sounds like a bad cult. Holy Vandals? Demons of Hades? Are you sure that’s what a superhero group should even be named.”
“What? I’m trying here.”
“This is getting a bit ridiculous.”
“Sheesh, it’s not bad. If you don’t like it why don’t you just call yourself the Hate Pack.”
I snorted, trying to hold back a laugh.
“The what pack?” Crystal crossed her arm in front of herself clearly not amused.
“Or we could go with Enlighten Begins.” Simon spoke, trying not to laugh.
“That’s sounds too boring.” Timothy replied, scratching his chin a couple of times. “I’m starting to like the Hate Pack or the League of Hate Pack. Maybe even a Gang of Hate Pack’s or the Company of Hate Pack sounds good too.”
Jones snorted out water from his nose, trying to contain his laughter, but failed horribly. “Bwhahahahahah! Holy cow, you’re killing me.” He was gasping for air, while slamming his fist onto the table, making the table shudder. “Where do you get these ridiculous names?”
“Hey, I’m a genius with names. You can’t stop this awesomeness.”
“Fine. Fine.” Marcus sighed, trying to calm them all down. “Just pick a damn name and let’s get this over with.”
Just if it was like on cue, I finally gave my two cents. “Infinite Corps maybe?”
“Okay, that’s what it’s going to be.” Marcus stated with a slam of his hand onto the table, sealing the deal.
“What?! But we didn’t vote on this.” Timothy cried out in outrage. “I still like the Hate Pack you know.”
Crystal glared at Timothy, wanting to strangle him to shut up. Timothy just shrugged his shoulder as if nothing was wrong, and look the other way.
“Infinite Corps. We’re done now. That’s it.” Marcus stated with a final decision.
I look at the group of people and was rewarded with different expression