“Hey, Crystal.” Alexus walked over towards her workspace on floor 12, room A22. Everywhere he looked, from right to left, was a complete mess. Scraps of metal were stacked like skyscrapers, soldering saws were hanging on the side of a table, swinging a bit dangerously for his taste, strains of metal and wire littered the ground, and a large furnace was closed, making the room feel unusually hot. Tools were scattered on desks, blue diagrams were posted with pins and tapes, and even overturned chairs were used to prop up her Dragon Scale Armor of different prototypes.
She wasn’t in her usual white scientist clothes but blue jeans with a gray tank top. Goggles were placed on her forehead as soot-covered around it, making her face a bit black. She pulled her hair backward with her finger and looked up towards Alexus.
“What’s up?” She casually stated, looking over her papers.
“I got a couple of things I need to tell you about the Dragon Scale.” Alexus came over to see what she was doing.
“Oh?” She asked, looking at him interested. Her hand was still busily moving around, drawing up a picture on the blue diagram. “What is it?”
“There are some kinks in it. I recommend it before the next use.”
“Such as?” She faced him, wondering what he had to say.
Alexus walked over towards the Dragon Scale Prototype she had upon a mannequin. “First thing first, make it an inch thicker if you can.” Alexus gently rubbed his fingers on the armor cuff. The impact from falling from a two-story building wasn’t pleasant, and he felt he would be having a lot of those possibilities in the future.”
“Wait, did you say falling out from a second-story building? What the heck were you doing to fall out of one?!” Crystal asked, flabbergasted at what she had just heard. Even he would’ve been stunned to hear that for the first time if he didn’t go through it personally.
“Let’s just say that the damn cat demon played soccer ball with us and whacked us out.”
Crystal’s eyes became big. “Okay, what else?”
“More protection on the spinal area and neck, thick plates around the stomach’s side, arm, and legs. Hand gloves, I recommend attaching them, so they’re more secure, same with the footgear. I don’t quite like how lose it feels.” He could remember it sliding around on his body a couple of times, making it very uncomfortable. “My last concern is the helmet. Please, get one ready by the next one, they were way too many encounters where I had my head almost chopped off, cut off, or broken off.”
“It’s that bad?”
“Yea.” Alexus sighed; just thinking about what they went through made his headache.
“Nothing on the armor, but I was thinking if you could, you know, make me a specialized weapon when you have the time.” To have one made his mind giddy, mostly because it was a new toy to play with. The sword was decent, but he felt it was a bit lacking.
“You don’t like the katana? Honestly, I’m surprised that you even use it instead of the gun.” She chuckled.
“I love it.” Alexus replied, “You don’t know how many times it saved my ass. When fighting Demons, I noticed that they can dodge the bullets effortlessly if they see them coming. My theory is because the trajectory of the bullets can’t be changed, giving them the ability to bypass it at inhumane speed, while with the sword, I can change the trajectory of my own free will, giving it a more erratic path.”
Crystal thought it over about what he had just said. “That does make sense. I might have to take up a weapon and use the gun for a sidearm after what you just said.”
“Well, you don’t need to completely give up on it. The guns are doing some kind of damage to the Demon. I believe we need to change the type of rounds that goes into it.”
“I’m not getting what you’re asking for.”
“I think you might have to talk to Timothy about that. He’s the enhancement wizard.”
Crystal groaned. “Why him? He’ll mess up my babies!” Alexus remembered when Timothy did mess up a few times, which caused a few large mishaps.
Alexus wondered why she disliked Timothy so much, but he knew that working with Timothy was the best solution to the measle firepower. Regular bullets barely did much damage, and the Demon Cat just ate it like a pro during our fight.
“I know you don’t like it, but the watch you made with him worked.” Alexus raised his hand in front of me, where the watch that I used was brought forth. “The demon was shown to the people, but with a side effect.”
“A horrible migraine.”
“That’s not a bit; that’s bad.”
“Yea, that was the third thing I needed to ask you guys to work together to figure out. I’m not a blacksmith or a techy, so it’s not my specialty.” Alexus replied, shrugging his shoulders. “I believe the others will come over and tell you their problems with the suit.”
Crystal sighed. “Yea, Marcus did. He didn’t tell me as much information as you but had a couple of pointers about the watch and the suit aligned with what you said. I might have to tailor the suits to accommodate each of you guys. I’ll keep all the major flaw points fixed in all of them, but anything different, I have to change it around.”
“I see. Wait? Then can I ask for one or two more things on my suit?” Alexus’ interest was piqued by what she had said.
Crystal didn’t look too happy when he asked for extra. “What is it?” She crossed her hand in front of her.
“I want a couple of daggers, on both sides of my legs on the exterior parts, hidden away from prying eyes. Same with the gun, the size of a Glock 19, near my boots.”
“I can do that.” She was slowly thinking it over in her mind, mulling different ways to make the designs she wanted.
“Oh, and if possible, if you can, you know, somehow work some magic with my sword and the suit. Maybe something cool?” Alexus asked hopefully, giving her the best smile I could muster, hoping it would sway her mind.
She groaned, but Alexus could see a twinkle in her eyes. Her body didn’t show she didn’t like what he asked for; instead, she was pretty excited about it. “Fine. It will take a bit of time; I will need a while to redesign the suits and come back in another month.”
“Thank you so much!” Alexus went towards her and happily squeezed her, picking her up like a rag doll and swinging her side-to-side. The thought of getting his suit and weapon made him so excited that he forgot what he was doing.
“Hey! Put me down!” She cried out, struggling hard in Alexus’ arms.
Alexus let go, completely embarrassed about what he had done. So the warm feeling was still lingering in his body that made him slightly flush in embarrassment. His hands raised, pushing back his slicked-back hair. “I just…you know….”
“Got a little too excited, their buddy.” Crystal snickered, straightening herself back up.
“Yea, a little.” Alexus coughed a few times to clear away his embarrassment, “I’ll leave you to your work.”
Crystal nodded; she grumbled some incoherent words that he didn’t quite catch and whistled a happy tune as she returned to work. He couldn’t help but smile as she dived back into her drawings. He knew that she was an expert in what she did, especially since what she had created had saved his life too many times to understand how precious the Dragon Scale suit was.
Walking out the door, Alexus headed next to Timothy’s workstation, making his way towards him on the same floor not too far away from Crystal. A loud blast of music smacked him in the face when he opened the door, jarring his senses. He had to hold his hands over his ears to stop them from pounding into his head like a sledgehammer.
Timothy’s workspace was clean. Not a single thing was out of place. Superhero action figures were on shelves, twenty different monitors were placed all around him, while some were on walls, the others not too far away from metal arms. A giant TV was plastered on the opposite wall while playing the recent news with no sound.
A large workstation with five monitors and a computer was on a glass table in the middle of the room. Different headsets and game gears were neatly tucked in the side, wrapped in plastic. Other trinkets of his, so-called gadgets, were neatly put on shelves like trophies. Some were strange, while the others were some kind of mechanical gadget that I couldn’t quite put my fingers on.
“Tim!” Alexus shouted. “Lower the damn volume!” He walked annoyed through.
Timothy was jamming to the music as he shook his head up and down, letting his hair go everywhere. Then, suddenly, he stepped backward and jumped into his rolling chair, skidding across the room.
Alexus’ feet shuffled forward and stopped the rolling chair with his foot. Timothy glanced up from the chair, surprised that he was there. One of his hands reached over towards his wrist, where he had on a watch, and clicked it. The music turned off, allowing him to hear once again. He frowned at his ear-deafening choice of music, wondering how he was not dead by now.
“Yo,” Timothy replied with a goofy grin on his face. He twirled around in the chair and pushed away from him to create distance. “What are you here for?”
“I wanted to talk to you about the watch.” Alexus handed him the watch as Timothy took it.
“Yea? What about it?” Timothy looked it over to see if anything was wrong.
“Didn’t you use it on the mission?”
“Actually, no. I got too sidetracked, trying to stay alive and all.”
“What about Marcus?”
“Nope, but we expected that one of you guys did. Words have been going around that there has been a Demon Cat sighting in Chinatown. It’s been blazing across the news for hours. That was all the proof that the higher-ups needed to know that my experiment worked, giving us the leverage we need not become some kind of crazy science experiment.”
“Did Jones come in here to talk about the watch yet?”
“No, I haven’t seen him all day.”
Alexus realized then that he was the only one that used the watch today. With a defeated sigh, he
crossed his hands in front of him. “We got a couple of problems with the watch.”
“You get a full-blown migraine when the effects are over, also a headache when you start it.”
“Really?” Timothy frowned, not liking what he heard. “That’s a problem to fix.”
“Were there any others?”
“Well, none so far, though…” Alexus raised his hand and stroked his chin. Then, suddenly, he had an epiphany that he wondered if Timothy could make it.
“You got something in mind?” Timothy could see that Alexus was thinking about it.
“Is it possible to put a demon detector on the watch?”
A smirk erupted on Timothy’s face. “I am already ahead of you. I believe I’ll have a working prototype in the next couple of days.”
Alexus thought it over and realized there was something else that he needed to ask. “I have a bizarre question to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Is it possible to use the Mind Linker program to dive into a person’s mind? We already can somehow force a link with people, showing them the Demon itself by projecting what we see. Can’t we use it the other way around?”
“That could be possible…though it’s not considered ethical.” However, Timothy didn’t seem highly pleased at the thought of jumping into someone’s mind. “The worst-case scenario is that we could destroy their mind or even ours if we’re not careful.”
“I was thinking more on the line to use it on a half-possessed person. Then, we link up with them to go slay the Demon that possessed their body. That could solve the case of helping partially possessed people.”
“That could work…like I said, there are some difficulties.”
“Can’t you put the safety on ours and the host? Maybe just entering Demon’s territory and blocking out the rest?”
“I think so,” Timothy was thinking hard. He scooted over towards the table and clicked through his computer, bringing up different maps and designs onto the big screen TV. I looked at what he brought up, wondering what he was thinking.
“Well, I have been thinking about two different methods to deal with semi-possessions.” He replied like a teacher, going through different pictures of possessed people on the other monitors. Some were strapped to the chairs, looking like mental hospital patients; others were normal people walking out in the streets looking as if nothing was wrong with them.
“Matching the demon’s brain wave, human brainwaves, and ours is more difficult than you think,” Timothy explained. “I was luckily able to figure out how to mellow out our high-level energy brainwave without shorting out the Normals quite easily, and that’s how I was able to tinker around and install a device for us to use in those watches that Crystal created. In which case, her prototype put shame on all digital watches known to mankind. But, do you know what she did?”
Alexus shrugged his shoulders, not sure where this topic was going.
“She bought it and fiddled with it to make it do what she wanted it to do.”
“There is nothing wrong with that.” Alexus quizzically looked at him, not understanding where he was going with this. Using other technology to accommodate one’s weakness wasn’t bad, especially if it meant to help improve something that she couldn’t do.
“There’s everything wrong with it! So she can make a souped-up suit that stops an Adult type Demon punch by half and even stand up to a Myth type but can’t tinker with a watch? What kind of messed-up bullshit is this? That girl is a genius in weapon and armor design, her brain and hands could conjure up a masterpiece that no Normal could think of, but when it comes to hardcore computer technology, she’s a complete baby. She can’t even use the freakin’ digital phone correctly.”
“I don’t think it’s that bad.” Alexus chuckled; now that he thought about it, Crystal did have trouble with the new up-to-date phones; she fumbled on them longer than anyone else.
“It is.” Timothy sighed. “I’m going to have to go over there and help her with the technological aspect of the suit. I bet she’s going to have a hard time thinking up a more modern-day use than stone-age type armor. But, come on, I rather have a cool sci-fi type of suit than the olden days.”
“Well, the olden day’s armor, on her standard, is already considered amazing in itself, you know.”
“Yea, but adding my touch to the suit will have some kickass functions that no Normals can imagine seeing. They’ll piss their pants.” Timothy wickedly smiled. “I played so many cool sci-fi games that I wanted to try and install some into the suit, especially into the headgear. Don’t you think it would look cool?”
Now that Alexus thought about it, it does sound pretty sweet. “Yea.”
“It’s so. I will go over and bother Crystal to let me design the spinal area and the headpiece. I’m already thinking of some cool functions to put into the suit so it can even possibly be used in outer space. We already started to have a moon base and another one on Mars to live in.” Timothy said excitedly, thinking about what could be done in the future if this suit was made possible. “Already moved 1.5 million people live on the Moon and another 900 thousand on Mars and increasing every month.”
“Outer space?” Alexus raised his eyebrows, staring at him strangely. He wasn’t sure that we would even be going out into space anytime soon, though he had heard about the past achievements that people could achieve while they were sleeping. Nevertheless, it was quite spectacular that it made him wonder when he might be able to go up into space.
“Why not? Can’t a man dream?”
“Well, yea.” Alexus shook his head. There was nothing wrong with dreaming about going out into space.
“Anyways, back to diving into a person’s head. The problem lay with the Demon’s brain wave itself.” Timothy tapped his head, “It’s just completely wonky that it’s hard to figure out what’s the best wave to match. I just don’t have enough data on their brainwaves to go into such details.”
“I hope you’re not suggesting we catch one, right?” Alexus nervously asked.
“Are you crazy? Why would we do that?” Timothy gave him an appalled look at the thought of going out there to capture a demon.
“I don’t know; you said you didn’t have enough data.”
“I have my ways. From the little mission, I gathered some data with the toys that I brought with me. Just a few more tests, I would have a better understanding as a whole.”
“I see. Then why don’t you put a scanning type thing on the watch? I feel that we will be going into more demon hunting missions soon.”
“You know what. That’s a good idea.” A large smirk appeared on his face. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Alexus peered over his shoulder and saw him typing away quickly like a madman. “Oh, and one more thing.”
“Yea?” Timothy stopped typing and looked over his shoulder towards Alexus. He wasn’t so happy that Alexus stopped him for a moment when he was getting back into his work.
“I suggest that you work on some bullet enhancement for demon hunting. The ones we have weren’t useful.”
“Gotcha. I’ll look into it.” Timothy waved his hand and reached over to pick up his headphones.
Alexus felt satisfied in telling both Crystal and Timothy about his report on their gadgets and looked forward to what other cool things they would come up with, especially if the mind Linking program worked with diving into a semi-possessed person. The amount of good they could do to save a person was astronomical. Nevertheless, this was a step forward in stopping the demons from taking shape in our world.
Turning around, he left Timothy’s room and headed straight to the room. This past mission allowed them to have a bigger room in the Seventh Sanctum. The higher-ups rewarded them with their rooms as a good job, even though they made a few blunders in not being able to stop the Demon Cat from causing havoc. Their new room was divided into four, with a shared living room and two bathrooms.
Light escaped underneath Jones’ door across from Alexus’s room. He was in his room, doing god knows what. Alexus didn’t knock and went towards him.
Alexus got the room towards the window, allowing him to see outside. He saw Daisy sleeping on his bed, curled up into a ball, as he opened his door. For a cat, she took over his bed as if it was her own. Daisy opened her blue eyes, stared at him for a moment, and meowed, welcoming him back. She then closed her eyes and snuggled, going back into sleep as if nothing was wrong.
Soft sunlight entered through the half-opened window, allowing the setting sun to bring in the warm sunlight. Alexus’ room was partially empty. It only had a queen-size bed, a desk on the side, a closet on the other, and an empty bookshelf. His sword was holstered onto the wall not too far away from the bed. He had plans to put more swords above him or next to him, whichever he felt like doing. There was a lot of redesigning to do, but he would leave that for later.
With a sigh, he took off his shirt, placed it on the chair, and crawled into bed. He needed some sleep, especially after what they went through today. Luckily, he didn’t have to go with Marcus to get briefed about our little mission.
Alexus was glad that he didn’t have to deal with the higher-ups; just dealing with the pricks sounded like an annoyance that he didn’t want to get entangled in. It was all about politics and money, and he wasn’t the type to understand political aspects of it all like Marcus. Right now, his worries lie in getting stronger by learning martial arts, weaponry, and practicing magic. He wanted to keep on living, which was the only thing he could do without feeling like he was useless to the team.
Alexus closed my eyes with a heavy sigh and let sleep drift into his mind as sleep overtook him.