Author’s note: thought I might give you guys an extra chapter of Mind Linker today. Here you go peeps. I hope you enjoy it.
“By the way, Simon.” Timothy asked, why aren’t you with your group and starting your own Enlightened beings cult?”
Simon gazed at Timothy strangely at the way Timothy said cult and laughed. “I never started that group. I only stated that’s what we are.”
“Then you’re not going to attempt to escape here, again?”
“I’m going to wait a bit on that. Something else piqued my interest.”
“I’ll tell you when I find out. Plus,” He leaned over and wrapped one of his arm around Marcus shoulder, “I wanted to hang out with my teacher once in awhile, so here I am.”
Marcus peeled away Simon’s hand off his shoulder, not liking the way he called him teacher. “I’m not your teacher.”
“What are you talking about. Crystal and I are your disciples, right Crystal?” Simon’s eyes seem to beg Crystal to tell him that what he said is true.
“Something like that.” Crystal shrugged her shoulders.
“You lost that privilege to call me that when you started deterring the new bloods away from what we need to do as an Ouroboros.”
“Come on teach, you know just as well as I that staying at this facility is a joke. We don’t have any freedom, and we’re forced to be used as a test subject. Now that one hundred forty-nine years have passed do you think we’ll get the same treatment as in the past?”
“I told you, leave that side to me.” Marcus waved his hand, he stabbed his fork into his chicken alfredo. “Things that you lot need to worry about is getting strong, we’ll get out of here when the time is right.”
“I’m not so sure about that.” Jones glanced over his shoulder, he was looking at the two security guards standing beside the doors. “I never seen those guys before, but the security around this place is no joke.”
“Wait. Wait. Wait.” Timothy raised up his hands, shaking it in front of him to stall the conversation from deterring to far. “Simon and Crystal are your disciples? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I inform of this?” He look back and forth from Crystal, Simon, and Marcus with a frown on his face.
“What are you talking about? Why in the world would we need to inform you of anything?” Crystal was stupefied by Timothy’s answer.
“Because I want to join.” Timothy replied seriously. “I know how badass Marcus is and he is no pushover. Learning from him is like learning from an highly trained master.”
“You don’t even know the half of it.” Simon chuckled, giving Timothy a smug smile. “He’s been in swat and in Navy Seals Special Ops Force.”
“Wha-?” Timothy mouth hang half open.
Simon leaned in forward, “I’ll let you in on a secret, he’s been chosen as one of the top candidates in the American Special Forces. You could say he’s cream of the crop.”
“Stop. Stop. Stop glorifying something that isn’t true.” Marcus waved his hand in front of him, trying to change the subject.
Simon snorted, and crossed his hand in front of him. “You know what I say is true. That’s how you’re able to bend half the people in Seventh Sanctum by their back without even lifting a finger. I’m not stupid, you know.”
“That’s old news.”
“See. He even admitted it.”
Timothy whistled. “Master, please let me be your disciple.” He started to bend into a bow.
“For the love of god.” Marcus let out an exasperated sigh. “This is just getting stupid.”
“What are you talking about, this is going to be the best day of my life. Kicking ass, and learning from a pro, sign me up.” Timothy snapped his finger in excitement.
Crystal sighed and shook her head at Timothy’s words. Simon had a smug look on his face, while he coyly look at Marcus. Timothy was staring at Marcus like a puppy dog that has found its new owner. Jones was completely lost in what was going on, while I just dipped my head downwards and ate away my fill of food that I desperately needed.
We continued to talk for a bit longer, Marcus was the first one to get up as the other followed after.
“Are you going to teach us something new today?” Timothy was begging Marcus with his hand shaking in front of his face.
Marcus eye’s furrowed, he then snapped around towards Simon. “Actually, I’m not, but my DISCIPLE Simon will. He’ll teach you guys the basics for awhile.”
“Hyuck. You can’t mean him?” Timothy wasn’t pleased that he was being trained by Simon himself.
“Are you a chicken?” Simon came over, slipped his arm around Timothy and chuckled. “Bwak. Bwak. Bwak.”
“No. I’m not.” Timothy stated offended. “I can take you on with my eyes closed.”
Jones was having a blast seeing Timothy being put in place by Simon. “You don’t mind if I join?”
“More the merrier.” Simon replied, then he glanced over his shoulder towards Crystal and I. “You guys in?”
“Sure.” I replied, wondering what he would have to teach, especially since he personally learned from Marcus himself, making this a special case.
“What about you Crystal?”
“Great. Let’s go to one of the training rooms.” Simon pulled away from Timothy.
“I’ll leave you guys to it and meet up with you later,” said Marcus.
“Wait, then what are you going to do?” Timothy asked Marcus.
“Going to do some personal business. I’ll see you guys later.” Marcus left first, leaving all of us behind.
“He’s in quite a hurry.” Jones replied.
“Leave him be. We got work to do.”
Everyone walked out the cafeteria, they headed towards the elevator and went on the twenty-fifth floor.
“You know what’s strange.” Jones replied. “Is that even after one hundred and forty-nine years nothing has changed. Everything just looks too brand spanking new as if they renovated the building just for us.”
“They probably did it so we don’t get to overwhelmed,” said Crystal.
“Kind of considerate of them. Though, is that really the reason?”
“I’m not so sure, but I feel like something fishy going on here, and I can smell it a mile away.” Jones was dead set on his thoughts, he glanced around the hallway, giving every new employee of Seventh Sanctum a weary glare.
“Calm down, you’re always on edge for no apparent reason.” Timothy replied with a roll of his eyes, it’s not like we’re all going to be ferried away to get put under the knife right now.”
“We don’t know that.” Jones replied, not liking the thought of being put under the knife. “It is one hundred forty-nine years. It’s strange that we’re not all locked away and experimented on right now.”
“Oh, please. Don’t jinx what we already have going for us.”
Jones grumbled and shook his head. “Too many good things always need to balance itself out. Mark my words, there’s more to this then meets the eyes.”
“Uh, huh. Just keep dreaming. I’m going to be badass like Marcus, while you go hide in your little corner and whine like a child.”
“What did you say?” Jones stepped up and grabbed Timothy’s shoulder.
Simon stepped in, he grabbed Jones by the arm and shook his head. “Don’t let him get to you. It’s not worth your trouble.”
Jones clenched his fist, took a deep breath, and let out his stress. “You’re right.”
I was quite surprised on how easily Simon dealt with Jones, but what was more surprising was that Jones took Simon’s words quite well and didn’t push the subject any further than necessary.
“Wimp.” Timothy whispered.
Simon snatched Timothy by the collar, and spun him into a choke hold. “Be careful of what you say.” He lowered his head towards his ears. “Because one of these days that mouth of yours will get you into trouble, and when it comes nobody is going to save you. This is my warning, during my classes, don’t start something that you can’t finish.”
Timothy grimaced as pain shot through his arm. He was suddenly pushed forward, stumbling until he caught himself. “Sheesh, what got stuck up your ass?” He rolled his shoulder to loosen the pain that Simon had given.
We finally arrived in front of the door to an empty room. It was a simple room with mirrors lined up on all corners of the wall. Spread out on the floor was blue pads that could cushion a simple fall, and even in one corner were wooden weapons and weights for people to use neatly in a row.
“What do you have plan for us?” I asked, walking into the room and glanced around.
Simon replied as he stood in the middle of the room. “We’re going to go over some basic fighting forms and go from there. The thing you must remember is that your posture, form, and balance is important in any given fight.” He stood still with his hand in front of him. “Right now, I’m in a relaxed stance. In the majority of your life, you’ll be in this form, going on about your business. Now the thing is, on very rare occasions people get pulled into a life threatening situations, but us as an Ouroboros, we are always going to be living one foot in death and other other in life.”
I walked over towards Simon to get a better look at what he would do.
“The reason, is because of Demons. At least one out of a thousand people are either possessed or in the process of being possessed. People who are in the process of being possessed aren’t fully possessed, meaning that the human soul is still there.”
“Does that mean we can save them?” I asked, the thought of helping these people out of this predicament from a demon possession made me feel a lot better than killing people.
Simon turned towards me, he nodded his head. “Yes, though we haven’t found a way yet.”
“We’re still looking for an answer. While the people that are completely possessed are a lost cause. The original body’s host had their soul devoured, and there is nothing we can do but to kill the body, so the demon doesn’t wreck society any further than they should.”
“How do you know from fully possessed and in the process of being possessed?”
“That is a good question, the answer is simple. You just know.”
I wasn’t sure I liked that answer. It just was to ambiguous and went on complete instinct. The chance of my instinct being wrong was fifty-fifty and I didn’t want to kill an innocent. “I don’t think that’s good enough for me.”
“I understand.” Simon nodded his head. “There are three clues if one is completely possessed. The first is one’s gut instinct, that gives us a warning that person isn’t human. Second, is the strange smell that sticks on their body, and that’s death.”
“Wait, death has a distinct smell?”
“Absolutely and it’s more pungent on demons. We Ouroboros can actually smell it a lot more easily on a humans that are completely possessed. Its comes with being reborn, all of us have it.”
“Then the third one?”
I sighed, and felt stupid for even asking. Their eyes, really? “You’re telling me to stare at them to see if their demon or not? Don’t you know we’ll be look at strangely if we just stop and start staring at people?”
Simon shook his head, “It’s instantaneous. Once you lock eyes even for a split moment, you’ll know. The tinge of red, sometimes ghastly green color that they give off that no normal humans has. With these three signs, it’s a definite guarantee. I recommend that you kill these demons in their human form before they even attempt to change. When they change they become more powerful and their speed triples. That is why it’s imperative that you look past their human self and go in for the attack.”
I wasn’t so sure I liked the thought of that, but I knew it was either me or the demon. Also, seeing them change wasn’t something that I liked to see, especially of their true form. The croc lady was twistedly weird morph of human and crocodile. Gluttony was a whole step above that where his form made me want to hurl.
“So, in this relaxed state. There are different positions that we can attack from. We can either go straight into a fighting stance or use a hidden hand techniques that attacks when the person least expecting it. Those tactics are mostly used in Ninjutsu techniques. Almost all the martial arts out there goes into a fighting stance from their relaxed position, but today we’re going with the a regular fighting stance.” Simon replied, he stepped forward, tucked his head a bit in, and brought up his hand in front of him that reminded me of a boxing stance. “This is a regular fighting stance. From here you will be able to kick, punch, or go into techniques.”
Simon motioned Crystal over. Crystal nodded, and stepped forward. ”Attack me.”
With a strike to his face, Simon slightly dodged her fist, and moved a step forward. His distance was shortened, his own fist barely stopped to her face. “You can either go on the offensive like what I had just done, or you could go on the defensive depending on what Martial Arts you want to go into. This time just grab my arm.”
Crystal backed up, and reached over to grab his arm. Simon was in his relaxed form, when Crystal reached over to grab his arm. In the moment of contact, he stepped forward, and twirled around her, dragging her in a wide circle around his body. His hand fluidly rotated and with a harsh tug, he flipped her with just one hand. A loud thud could be heard on the mat as her body hit the floor.
“Woah.” Timothy whistled. “We been seriously missing out. All we ever done is gun training, where the hell was all this in the curriculum?”
“The organization don’t usually teach you these things unless you ask for it.”
Crystal rolled over, and got onto her feet as if nothing was wrong with her.
“That’s so weird.” Jones replied. “Another strange thing about this company.”
“Actually it isn’t, the past owner of Seventh Sanctum was a gun advocate, the majority of his employees had to learn it, but there were a few exceptions. Even his motto of all Ouroboros must know how to defend themselves against future Demon’s using gun’s is a must,” said Simon. He straightened his back. “He was a strange fellow, but not a bad person.”
“Then why did you want to suddenly leave?” I asked. “If he wasn’t such a bad guy, it doesn’t make sense why you want to leave this place.”
“Like I told you, freedom. That is the only reason I want to leave this place.”
I understood the concept of freedom well. The ability to go where you please, and do what you want not confined to these walls were a privilege that I was learning quite quickly.
“But, it seems there are a little bit more secrets about this place that I need to decipher, and it seems Marcus knows majority of them. So,” he clapped his hand in front of him. “Let’s get back to what we were doing. “First, we’ll start with simple punches and forms.”
Throughout the day, we trained until my muscles were aching. Even though it was simple forms without much techniques, the intensity, repetitions, and speed made it into a cardio that pumped up my heart. There were times when Simon came over towards me quite often, my forms were all over the place, and I didn’t quite get it as quickly as the others.
I had to stop myself from putting myself down, and focus with the task at hand. The more I thought, my form became sloppier.
“Keep your hands up in front of you even after you stopped.” Simon was beside me, correcting my flaws. “You want to make sure that your surroundings are clear from any other possible attack before you relax. That split second drop of your hands could cost you your life and in a fight seconds counts.”
Simon walked around the room, looking at the forms of everyone else. Jones was in front of me as we paired off, while Timothy and Crystal was together. “If you get punched deal with it, this is no friendly training that we’re having here, and the pain that you feel now won’t even compare to the hits that an demon can do. Pain tolerance is another thing that you must all learn to cope with and push through.”
I knew exactly what Simon meant, the life and death battle that I had went through twice wasn’t compare to anything I had felt before. When Jones accidently punched me a couple of times, I was able to shake it off as if it wasn’t such a big deal. Maybe getting kicked around a couple of times did wonders to pain tolerance so that it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
“Don’t let my few punches scare you.” Jones replied with a chuckle.
“I’m not so sure about that.” I replied, watching his movement as carefully as I could.
“Your goal right now is to dodge the punches the way I taught you. Not too much over movement that creates large openings, but small tight movements. Use your arms to block if you have too.”
Jones took a quick jab forward, I barely missed by a couple inches, using my hand to redirect the punch. Stepping in, I came in with a cross punch. Jones shuffled away as if there was nothing wrong. I realized that Jones had quite good flexibility for someone his size. He was quick on his feet, making my punches and jabs look like they weren’t even hitting anything.
On the other hand, Jones always seem to land in a couple of hits here and there, making me frustrated at how easily he was getting in my defense.
“Don’t get too frustrated.” Jones replied. “I had a bit of boxing in my younger days. With practice, you’ll get better trust me. Plus, I could see that you’re quite frustrated.”
“How do you know?” I was caught off guard by his statement.
“I can easily read you. Every time you mess up or I land a hit, your expression tells me.” Jones replied as he motioned his hand to his face. “You’re letting this get to you too much. Relax, and just enjoy the fight. Less thinking and more feeling.” He replied as we circled each other.
I took a deep breath, and let all the pent up frustration go. Emptying my mind wasn’t an easy task, but I tried to clear it as best as I could. Zoning back into the fight, I brought up my hands in front of me. Jones whole posture seem to change, he became a bit more tensed as he was watching me like a hawk.
My eyes darted around, trying to watch the movement of his shoulders and even his eyes. It wasn’t easy to read his movements, they were quick and difficult to dodge. I was hit a couple of times, even still, I traded a few blows with Jones. They weren’t as powerful as his punches, but it still slipped in his defense a lot more times than when I was frustrated.
This in itself was a another experience that I didn’t expect. My posture, forms, and even punches were becoming a lot sharper than before. I was thrilled that I was getting slightly better. My mind started to once again clutter, causing me to fumble in my form. Jones were able to snap in and take advantage of my disorganized thoughts.
A couple of punches that hit my stomach, chest, and arms slipped in through my defense as I stumbled backwards from the sharp pain. I quickly brought up my hand, cleared my thoughts as best as I could and went in for an attack. Jones shuffled backwards, trying his best not to get caught up by my pace.
I jab a couple of faints, and took his by surprise with a cross punch that he didn’t see. He stumbled backwards in surprise, without a second thought I pounced forward not letting my prey escape.We fought until both of our arms were starting to get black and blue, mine more especially after the number of blocks that I had to do.
“Nice~” Jones replied with a smile. “You’re getting better.”
“It’s all thanks to your advice.” I replied.
All of a sudden, I heard a shout of pain and a loud thump onto the mat.
“Damn it, Crystal! Did you have to do a shoulder throw on me?!” Timothy cried out pissed off.
“Yes,” Crystal without a care in the world.
“We’re supposed to be practicing punches, not techniques.”
“I felt threatened.” She replied bluntly.
“Feel threatened my ass! You purposely did it!”
“If you say so.” She shrugged.
Timothy grumbled as he got back on his feet, he glared at Crystal and clucked his teeth. “Fine. You’ll get it back one day. You’ll see. Mark my words.”
“Try me.” Crystal replied with a beautiful smile on her face. “I am available anytime for round two.”
“You better watch your back.”
“Don’t worry, I will.”
“Well then, our little class is over. Let’s meet up again, same time tomorrow?” Simon clapped his hands, dismissing the class
“Sure.” Jones replied.
“Good for me.” I said, while Crystal nodded her head and Timothy grunted in approval. My first lesson of the day was over, and my body was screaming in pain.