Six in the morning, a blue ray of light leaks from my window shades. Smell of bleach creeps up from the crack in the door. Eyes are wide open, but I can only see one color. White: the color of the ceiling. A figure walks in, the lights turn on.
“Foo, what the hell, I’m tryna sleep.”
“Are you gonna eat or what?” Mom yells. The relationship that I have with my mother became a pattern of silence, day in and day out. It’s been weeks since we’ve actually had a conversation. Although, her silence speaks for her. As I got further away from my childhood, so did the days of us spending our time together. It feels like I’m a tenant in her house, desperately trying to avoid an awkward situation. There’s just a general disconnect between us. Seems like everyday she gets harder to grasp. She makes me food, so there’s a sign she cares.
It’s hard to get up in the morning. Without motivation. My school was basically giving out gift cards for attendance. But why am I going to a school just to be babysat for eight hours? Before I get up I usually stare at the wall until I have to get up.
Not trying to eat cold food, so I better get up.
I get to the kitchen. Mom is standing there trying to pick at something that’s stuck on a dirty plate.
“Good morning,” I remark quietly.
“Good morning,” she replies. Doesn’t look at my eyes for an extended period of time. Her eyes point to a bowl that’s sitting on top of our table. It’s Huevos Rancheros, with a bottle of Tapatio to the side. There isn’t steam, so I guess I’m late.
“Thanks, mom,” she gives me a blank look, her eyes look tired. Then she looks away. Can’t help but wonder what she thought she was looking at.
The table has been in the same place for years. I look all over; stains, rings and scratches. It’s too quiet. It’s been a long time since multiple people took a moment to sit in these chairs. My sister stays at her father’s, he won half custody of her. The house is empty now. Actually, today I’m supposed to pick her up.
Dickies and a white t-shirt, this style can be called simple, yet if I ever walk into a store I get stared down. Things you notice when you put yourself in a group like myself. There’s a constant feeling of being watched. Eyes behind me following me everywhere I go. Either it’s paranoia, or the Asian lady at the liquor store follows me around when I enter her store. I’m kind of tired of this usual attire, so I’m going to wear my grey 501s and my Dodger bomber jacket.
“Creases so sharp, you’ll cut your eyes looking.” I don’t know who I’m talking to. God, that was corny. Bottom line, if you’re paying attention, I keep my sh*t clean.
On my dresser is a Jesus piece, yellow 14k gold, glistening like the stars when I hold it up in the sun. Wearing this has become so trivial, I forgot how much it was, I forgot what it represents.
Supposed to pick her up at 2, it’s 10. Don’t got the time to kill, better leave. The door is open. Sun is blaring in my face. No clouds in sunny West Covina, which is unusual, lately it has been raining. But, hey, no rain today, I’m not complaining. Heat waves rising from the asphalt, I can see cars swishing around, parking.
“Aye foo,” I hear a voice yell out. My homie Marco, he’s lived next to me longer than I can remember. Wouldn’t call him my best friend, but he’s the realest person I know. Also the only Mexican I know with blue eyes, which caused people to assume he was white. Truth be told he practices the culture more than me.
“Aye, whatcha doin’ out right now,” I yell out. Marco was always a night person, one of the reasons he lives in his dad’s garage. We’d be kicking it late at night, and he’d get mouthed off, soon as he took a step in his house. I guess his dad got tired of being awoken by a squeaking door and a marijuano scrummaging for food.
He nervously stuttered, “Got court today.” Swinging his hands back and forth, he scratched his head. “I’m not tryna get locked up foo, all I got is my freedom.”
“You ain’t even making money on the side?”
“Nah.” His eyes grew bigger, “Got fired for ‘bad customer service,’ some foo came in wanting a plain burger with no bun.” Marco has a low temper, doesn’t take much to push him over, “Foo told me I forgot the onions, I don’t know if he was playing, but I don’t like jokes foo. Hopped out and clocked the foo right there.”
“Yeah, pigs got called, now I can’t go to McDonald’s anymore,” he said, eyes flaring. You can tell that the wounds are fresh, I was picking at it.
“So, whatcha gone do?” At this point, I can’t tell what Marco’s options are. Homies been skipping court, but it just adds time.
“Don’t know, just gotta try to get my worth up before I go in,” Marco explained.
“Do what you gotta do, I’ll put half a hundred in your commissary.”
“Thanks G, but I’m not getting locked up,” Marco promises, as he stretched his arms up.
“Ight, late, gotta go pick my sister up.”
“Late, foo” He said, his voice faded and we walked away from each other. Life is short. Now it seems like more kids are ending up like us, new ones are getting churned out every year. Slew of kids trying to parade how down they are. Everyday, we would watch cartoons at my house because I was the one with cable. Fast forward, this foo’s coming to my house because his dad kicked him out. Scrolling through his phone talking about who got lighted, who got exposed as a lame, and who got jumped. Time changes all of us, come present, he’s all marked up, looking for a place where he hasn’t gotten inked yet.
Bus stop is a block away and the walk is loud. Music helps with the noise. I'm quite resourceful with the album download Google search. Got thousands of songs downloaded, can’t afford $9.99 a month for no Apple Music. I can feel the bass of a truck at the front of the light. It flows through my body. I don’t know how a system can make the bass that loud. The bus is approaching. I grab my bus pass, there’s only 5 rides left. That’s one now, and two for my sister and I. Two rides, I don’t have the money for a new pass. Jesus, I only have a bus pass with barely any rides to my name.
The bus to San Gabriel, well actually the bus to El Monte Station, then to San Gabriel. Flimsy doors fail to open the first time, the musty bus driver is forced to get up and open the doors himself. He looks tired and annoyed, like he didn’t want this to be his career choice. I’m not the one to initially judge someone, but I just have this intuition about this driver. He sits back in his seat and his eyes indicate me to pay. My pass goes in once, then twice and a third time. I hate the feeling of keeping the bus from starting. Luckily, there’s a free seat. Now, I just wait.
There’s really only a few ways to make an escape: television, reading, denial, and what I use, music. Music is what yells in my ears when my mother ignores me. Music ain’t gone up and leave like my dad, that’s why I have it all downloaded. As a kid, music influenced me into who I am today. I don’t know if that was a bad thing, but I could care less, I love music.
Looks like I’m at the station. God dammit, I forgot to ask the bus driver for a transfer.
“Hey, I forgot to ask for a transfer.” It’s a gamble asking for a transfer. Nice bus drivers will comply, but most of the time I get shut down.
“Can’t do anything, you should’ve asked when you got on,” the driver persisted. In hindsight, I knew this wasn’t going to work. That’s one ride left I’m going to have at the end of the day.
Hopefully I’m not left waiting for the next bus for too long. Times my mom would promise me a ride, those same times I’d be sitting on the curb waiting. After hours I just gave up, you can't keep waiting on a promise. Rude awakening, nobody’s coming for you. Ain’t in my nature to wait on nobody. My patience was diminishing, down little by little, like an hourglass.
An older, frail looking lady fell to the floor, it took me a long three seconds to realize that there wasn’t anyone willing to help her up. I extend my hand to her. She looks scared, doesn’t seem like she processed what had happened completely. Her hand holds on to mine, feels like rough leather.
“What’s your name?” she asked. I noticed a tone of relief in her voice. Wonder what would have happened of her if I didn’t help her out.
“Tomas.” I never liked my name. The only thing my father bothered to give me.
“Thank you, Tomas,” she pronounced. Honestly, it might sound bad, But this is contrary to most old people who think I’m causing a commotion just by my presence. It feels good.
The intercom announced that the bus to San Gabriel was leaving, I didn’t notice it’d came. Running is the only option now. Run in front of the bus, trying to be Spider-Man and stop it. Ha, it actually worked. The doors opened, the bus driver made a sarcastic clap. The lady walked towards the bus.
She said, “Let me pay for this boys ride.” She smiled at me, “The least I can do. ” Gave her a smile back, head to my seat. I’ll have 2 rides now.
I’m tired of this bus ride, every single Sunday. It’s a lonely ride. The most entertainment that happens is everything I see out the window. Every time, it’s just me. Sitting, waiting, and thinking.
Wheels screech and the doors open, the hoard of fresh air is consumed in the area. Time to leave this moving hell.
It’s just another walk till I pick my sister up. Longest walk yet, I don’t particularly like my sister’s father. Maybe I’m just jealous, but envy isn’t it. He’s possessive, my sister isn’t a trophy, she isn’t something you can write off. It turns my head, how a court can make a child go through that. I watched her grow up, love her with all my heart. And this foo comes back after abandoning her for years, and he expects to be entitled to her. She’s only five, what happens if he wants full custody? What happens if she forgets me? I don’t want to be just a distant memory in her past. I just want to see my sister grow and do something good with her life. More than what I’ve done with mine.
It’s hard to knock on his door and look in his eyes. Probably the most difficult thing to do. I have to put my animosity behind me. The door opens, and a slender man looks at me. His arm extends, his veins bulging out.
“Hey, you got my sister.” I reject his handshake attempt.
“She’s in her room, I’ll go get her.”, He says, walking away. He heads deeper in his house, I can view him guiding my sister over here. Her eyes light up, she jumps up with all the happiness in the world and gives me a hug.
“Hey, you look taller.”
“I do?” she said, her eyes wide open. She lifts her foot up to show me her new shoes. I might not like him, but at least he’s keeping her happy.
“Yeah, how old are you now? Eight?”
“Nooooo…. I’m five,” she said with a slight lisp.
“Okay, c’mon let’s go.” I pick her up and put her on my shoulders. She waves to her dad as we walk away.
“I lost a tooth, I p-put it under my bed and I got a dollar.” she explained. I’ve always missed being a child. They say ignorance is bliss. I remember when I succumbed to reality, I walked in on my dad and a crack pipe. I didn’t know what he was doing back then, I thought it was just another day. He looked at me, his eyes began to twitch. Pouring out, tears out of his eyes. I couldn’t understand why. I felt maybe he was mad that I got home late.
“I’m sorry, mom didn’t pick me up, I walked all the way here,” My voice was frail. I was feeling guilty for something that wasn’t my fault
“I can’t do this anymore. I love you, Tomas,” my dad loosely said. His voice was frail as well. He was swallowing his words. He couldn’t look me in the eye. His feet patted on the floor, farther and farther away. The last time I saw that man.
I can’t tell you why he chose to never come back. I wonder what he thinks when he wakes up? Was that his fate, to completely dissociate with his child? Maybe, maybe not? I don’t know what someone else is destined to do, I don’t even know what I’m destined to do.
“Can I borrow a dollar?”
“No, it’s mine. We taking the bus again?” she questioned.
“Yes, how else are we gonna get home?”
“I don’t know. Where’s your car?” she asked.
“I don’t have a car. But I’ll let you know when I get one.” We’ve made it to the bus stop. All we got to do now, is wait. But my sister’s more impatient than me.
“When is the bus going to be here?” she yelled.
“Patience foo, it’ll be here soon enough.” Coincidently, I can see the bus lights flashing ahead. Timely, like that. I grab my sister’s hand.
I walk onto the bus and grab my pass, I’m tired of doing this. Maybe they’ll let my sister just go in, I mean, she is a child.
“Do I have to pay for my sister? She’s like 5.”
The driver responds with, “Nah, it's okay she can go.” Yes! That’s 3 rides I’ll have.
“Also can I get two transfers.” The transfers popped up, as fast as I can I’ll grab them. Sister already found a spot. I’m going to act like I don’t see her.
“Get over here!” she yells aloud. The whole bus turns quiet and looks at us. I sit down and doze off.
At the station, the other bus is already there. We hop in and put the transfers in. Find a seat and doze off again.
A couple of more blocks. Fresh off the bus. Just a couple more blocks till my day is over. The streetlights enlighten the path. All I want to do is get my sis and I home. My feet ache. You know what, I got three rides left. The high school career center is just a ride away. Least I can do for myself and my mom. A legal hustle. Years back, I used to sweep my uncle’s barber shop. Can’t be that hard. I want my mother to be proud of me, look into my eyes and see something she can brag about. Just watch, change is going to come.
My house is right there. 6 o’ clock. West Covina dark as hell, but it’s my home. I’m hungry, forgot lunch.
“Here we are.” I give sis a big hug.
“I love you so much.” She reaches in her pocket and gets a dollar out. She puts it in my hand and starts walking towards to the door.
“Are you coming?” she asked.
“I’ma head to the store real quick.” A dollar isn’t much. Those beef jerky things are fifty cents, though. Stop some grumbling. I gave sis a smile, she gave one back. Start walking away. Can hear the door open, and my mom starts talking. It’s always quiet walking at night, obviously but in alleyways that there’s no light in. My fears tell me the dark isn’t a good place. But only light can come from a dark place, right? I can hear every step I take. I feel something go against me, it’s cold.
“Give me that chain, foo.,” Aa voice mutters.
“You’re gonna have to catch a body to get this chain.” I usually carry a blade on me. Didn’t want to think of starting any drama in front of sis, so I left it home. The guy got in front of me, pointing a cuete [gun] in my face.
“I’m not gone ask you again,” the voice persists. His blue eyes light up the rest of his face, . Can’t believe.
“Give me the fucking chain foo,” Tthe voice yelled.
“Alright then, I thought you’d be smart. I’m gone take that chain.” He yelled and clicked the gun. Doze off.
Agent Coulson made it to the containment hanger as he walked by the cells till he made it to the one occupied by a young man with blond hair and a calm look on his face. He opened the cell and went inside as he closed it behind him and he sat down “so agent Carnifex or would you mind if I just called you by your name?”
“Go ahead I don't really mind and if you're here to interrogate me and ask me questions you're not gonna get anything out of me. Like I said to Mr. Fire I don't seek out friends. What he's told me is the opposite of what you believe, he knows what's right and you're all wrong.”
Coulson looked at him “and why do you believe him, is it just because he's a friend and a comrade? What if he's lying to you also.”
He looked away as he shook his head “he wouldn't do that, we've been through a lot together and I know he wouldn't lie to me like that, he fights for what he believes in and he's never steered me wrong before. He has my complete support for what he's doing, those kids aren't the monsters that you think.”
Coulson looked at him “kids? What kids?”
Josh looked at him and then realized that they didn't know about it and he regretted saying it “what kids are you talking about? I mean what kids are we talking about? I thought we were talking about some threat.”
“You'd said kids, that they aren't the monsters we think……… that's what the threat is, isn't it? Those things were looking for are the children?” He stood up and started walking outside and as he closed the cell again he looked at him “thanks for your time, also you're allowed one visit from someone. Anyone, in particular, you'd like to see?”
He stayed quiet for a moment and then looked at Coulson “yeah I do, let me see agent Hazle if that isn't too much trouble for you.”
Coulson nodded as he left and brought out his phone to send a message to agent Hazle.
Josh watched as he left and he sat back down “damn it, I gave it away. Not they know exactly what to look for, I'm sorry Armando I blew it. Be careful with whatever you're doing cause things are gonna get hard for you.” He closed his eyes as he waited for his next visit.
Pyromaniac was inside the research facility with agent Simmons again as he waited for the scanning to be complete which was already at 85% completed. He also waited till the other agents arrived to discuss about their plans of locating whatever they were looking for and taking down armanhammer he watched as agents came in as he saw agent Y come in first and then he saw as the others came in including agent R, B, W, and all of armanhammer’s comrades. He thought it'd be better to have them on the case on his side.
Jackal walked forward “hola senior Pyro, what's the trouble? We came as soon as we got the message. We're all ready and accounted for the mission except por mi compadres Josh and Armando which I don't know donde esta y no contesta the phone.”
Pyromaniac stood up “well jackal that's just the case, agent Carnifex had been suspended from his duties temporarily for going against Shield. Also, the mission has to do with your other friend, we're hunting agent armanhmmer down and taking out whatever he's bidding because we suspect it to be a threat to the world and we can't afford to take risks or any chances.”
Chief came up next to jackal “we're hunting him down? But isn't he with us?”
“He had gone rogue and we want him found and stopped…….”
“Espera!” Jackal stepped forward to Pyromaniac as he interrupted him “Armando would never do something like this, maybe if we just reason with him he'll understand? He's worried you'll go after him, right? Deja me a ir and reason with him, this doesn't have to get violent, porfa senior Pyro.”
Everyone just looked at him and then there was a loud sound as everyone looked up at the large screen as it had 100% and agent Simmons got on the computer “we've got them, we have a direct match to our rogue agent and 10 more similar matches along with it. All in LA in the run-down part of it. It doesn't give their exact location but they're in that area.”
Pyromaniac looked at her and then back at the Hispanic agent and took a deep breath “you have one shot, try to reason with him and we'll see but if he resists tell us and we'll regroup and talk about this once more is that clear?” He looked at the Hispanic agent nodded and started walking off, he looked at all the other agents “we’ll all stay here and wait for a response, thanks to all of who came especially those who are his comrades and friends. We are up against an inhuman like no other so we can't take this lightly.”
Chief looked at him “what are we gonna do after we catch him, are we going to take him out?”
Simmons got up for her seat and stood next to Pyromaniac “we're hoping to bring him back here alive and in one piece because he is a very valuable and powerful agent. So no we're not planning on taking him out.”
Agent Y came over “and what is he hiding or keeping away from us exactly? What is the huge threat other than him.”
Coulson just entered the room as he heard the question “they're children, I got that much from our friend in his cell. These things are children who have the same demonic DNA as our other agent. These children are dangerous as for many murders have been done in that area and it seems we have our culprits.”
“So demonic children? Are they capable of what he is?”
“That's not clear but we suspect they are if these children were to become into their true demonic selves who knows what kind of Hell they'll unleash.”
Pyromaniac nodded “we'll begin as soon as we get the word from Jackal. You can all return to your duties but be ready to be called back.”
Back into the containment, Josh laid on the bed he had till he heard tapping on his door and it opened and there was a girl standing there “hello Hazle, glad you could come. Welcome to my cell.”
“What's going on Josh, why are you locked up and do you know where Armando is?I haven't seen him anywhere and he hasn't called back.”
“Well, you see………. I don't want to blame him but this is all sorta because of him. There's not much time for me to explain but you have to do what I say right now. He'll explain it to you when you get to him, just don't tell anyone where you're going at all and find a way to escape this place. Go to the run-down part of LA, he's in that area all you have to do is find him before they do. Help him with whatever he's doing cause it sure he'll need all the help he can get with those kids.”
“What kids, what's going on?”
He stood up “like I said there's no time to explain, just get to him before it's too late. As we speak sides are being chosen so it's either Armando and Shield. I chose mine so that's why I'm here, so if you wanna join Shield go ahead but if you're gonna help him I suggest you leave now!”
“Of course I choose Armando but I just….”
“I just said there's no time just go already!”
“Ok ok, you don't have to yell jeesh.” She left the cell and started running as fast she could to find her way out. She didn't know what was going on but if sides were being chosen well she definitely knew which one she was going on.
It was 7:46 and it was starting to get dark and Jackal was walking down the streets of LA looking around. He was thinking about what Pyromaniac was saying back in the research facility and shook his head “he’ll listen to reason, he wouldn't just turn his back on us like that would he?” As he walked he felt like he was being watched but every time he turned around he wouldn't see anything so he carried on. After a while, he was starting to get annoyed that he couldn't find him anywhere till he heard footsteps and lots of them and it sounded as if they were running, as he went to go see he fought the slimiest glance of his friend running and he started to follow them.
As Armando ran with the kids behind him he ran to the one person he knew that lived near and would always be happy to help. He came close to an apartment building. He looked behind him as the kids were close behind and some of them still seemed to be trying to strangle each other for some reason “hey you two break it up before I come over there and break it up myself. Now behave all of you while we visit a friend of mine that will be able to help us.”
The kids all groaned and protested as they looked at the building.
Armando walked up to the door and pressed the buzzer, he waited for a bit.
“Yellow who's there?”
He clicked the button again “Hey Sam it's me, let me in won't ya? I got something to talk to about and something to show you.”
“Can't it wait until the morning? I'm sorta busy right now.”
“Doing what? You're never busy especially this type of season you rarely get any contracts.”
“Wow…….. that's harsh, yeah ok I'm not doing anything come on up fourth-floor third door on the right side of the hall. Just keep the noise down cause I actually like staying here.”
“With the company I got I'm making no promises but I'll see if I can keep them quiet.” He hung up and heard as the door unlocked and he went inside and saw as the kids ran inside running up the stairs. He closed the door behind him and followed them up.
Jackal watched as they went inside and went up to the door and looked at the buzzer to see which room he pressed. He brought out a paper clip that he always kept with him and started pick locking the door.
Once outside the door and knocking it opened up and he saw Sam as she was wearing what seemed to her pjs and she didn't even have her hair combed as usual but that was normal “good to see you again, now mind the company but that's what I'm here to talk about.”
She looked out the door to see all the children looking at her with their red beady eyes and she looked back at him as he was in his suit but had his hood and mask off and she glared into his eyes “this better be good man cause if this has something to do with adoption trust me I'm not up to be a mother. Especially if I'm on my own, just hurry up and come inside.” She opened the door all the way and watched as the kids walked inside and then he came in, she looked at all the kids as they all looked around and started sitting on the ground “so you've trained them, who are they? Have you been getting with other girls and if you have why haven't I been one?” She laughed afterward as she saw him glare at her.
“Very mature Sam, no these aren't my kids. They're all orphans pretty much, they've been abandoned and left to die out on the streets because their parents hated them for their condition.”
“Condition? What's that, they look normal to me or well……. their bright red eyes don't seem to be actually. Wait a minute……… are they hybrids? But we destroyed all lab equipment and samples, that's not possible.”
“It's not, they're actually cursed. You have the right idea but other than wielding fire and ice, they more demonic than those hybrids you're father created and to be honest I'm not sure what their abilities are. Also, the reason I'm here is that I need your help, you're the one person other than my friend Josh and Katie who knows their ways around technology and secret stuff. And right now I need you on my side for something cause I'm in a lot of trouble with Shield.”
“You're in trouble with Shield and you want me to help you? What did you do I thought you were on their side aren't you?”
“I had to go behind their backs to help these kids, I can't let them find them cause I have no idea what'll happen if they do. I need your help with one keeping them safe and helping me hide from Shield as best as you can, I mean you're good at covering tracks.”
She nodded “course I am so you came to the right person for the job also……….” She looked over at him as she looked at a screen and her eyes widened as she saw someone about to burst in and looked at him “Get down now!” she jumped to the side as the door burst and flew into the room.
Armando turned around as he saw the door fly in and knocked him down he looked at the kids who started panicking and getting up “kids get in that corner now! Huddle up and stay behind me at all costs!” he started getting up as he pushed the door off him and looked at the door as he saw the person enter the room with his machine gun out “John what the hell are you doing?”
Jackal looked at him and put the gun on his back as he stepped forward “yo quiero to ask the same thing.” Jackal stood there staring at his best friend as he stood there in front of the children and he took a step forward. He looked over at Sam who was standing up “stay down si sabes what's good para ti.”
Sam looked at him and then back at Armando who nodded his head towards her so she did as she was told and got back down.
Armando started back at making sure to stay in front of the kids hiding behind him “what do you want John? If you're here for the kids you can forget you ever saw them and walk away. They're not a threat……. they didn't mean to kill those people or the agents, just let them be, it's not their fault, they were cursed by Yama, all they need is help and teaching. I’m helping them.”
Jackal sighed “I'm sorry compadre….. no puedo hacer eso, besides all of Shield knows about them already, it'd be wise if you just turned los ninos over and nothing has to get ugly. Agent Coulson doesn't want to attack or fight you but si sigues con esto you won't be a shield agent any longer. Ya eres clasificado like a rogue agent already but there's still a chance to come back and fix it ygual Josh is in the containment area locked up for ayudando a ti. The team's been split apart once, it doesn't have to happen again.”
Armando thought about it remembering the first time the team was being torn apart and it didn't end well, he didn't want that to happen again and he thought about Josh inside the cell just bored out of his mind, he didn’t want him to get in trouble but he never asked him to. He did it on his own just to help him and he couldn't let shield get their hands on the kids. He looked at the ground shaking his head, he noticed as John walked forward him and made him turn around.
He brought out a pair of handcuffs “nosiento amigo but you're under arrest for going against Shield and betraying us. Hazle’s gonna be so disappointed, but she'll understand…… mida I know you're doing what you think is right but we had orders and so do I”
As he grabbed one of Armando's hands and pulled it back, Armando pulled his arm away and spun around and pushed Jackal back a bit “No…… forgive me John but shield is wrong about these kids and if they won't protect them then I will, and if you're really my friend you'll let me leave with them without following or help me out, I don't want to fight you…. not again, but I'll have no choice if you don't stop”
Jackal brought out his sword “mal decision compadre…. stand down now!” He walked forward with his sword and looked at the kids as they watched with their bright red eyes cowering in fear behind Armando.
Armando walked forward “then I guess I'm no longer a shield agent from now on….. and you're not getting these kids!” Armando rushed at John and dogged as he swung his sword at him and grabbed his hands. Jackal tried to break free but couldn't, he couldn't overpower Armando and he knew that but he tried.
Armando wrenched the sword out of John's hands and threw it to the side, he punched him across the face and pushed him against the wall. He stepped back and took a deep breath as he looked at John who seemed a bit dizzy “I'm sorry pal” he brought back his hand and engulfed in flames and punched John in the chest and he broke through the wall and fell down three stories from the apartment building they were in. He looked at the kids “we gotta go now, c’mon Sam get up and grab the equipment you can, I can help you get more cause we're gonna need more help than just us two. We’re on our own now against a huge organization…… this basically reminds me of your dad’s organization 3 years back.”
She looked at him as she got up “hey I thought we agreed to never speak of that again and also ok and who are we gonna go for help? Isn't your whole team on Shield’s side now?”
He nodded slowly “yeah but I know someone who’ll probably join me and also about looking for help, well look like I’ve gotta make a call and see who’s available. Just trust me and hurry up and let's go, I've got a lot of ground to make and not much time, I’ll take you to where we’re hiding out.”
As jackal fell he saw as Armando turned around and walked away, he crashed into a car which started the alarm. He got back up limping a little as he got back into the room he fell from, Armando was gone and so were the kids. He walked over to his sword and picked it up and brought out his phone to call agent Pyromaniac. It rang for a bit then was answered.
Pyromaniac was in his office he was reading through the reports again about agent Armanhammer to find out everything about him and then he looked at his phone and picked it up “hello.”
Jackal took a huge breath “so yo Jackal, senior pyro.”
“Did you find Armanhammer with them
“Si pero those kids that shield was looking for, el los tiene. He's keeping them away from shield and I met him and tried to reason with him but he refused and fought back. He's declared shield como el enemigo and he won't let us near those kids.”
Pyromaniac looked at the screen as a picture of Armanhammer showed up and he glared at it “what’s your location so that I can come and pick you up?”
Jackal looked around “estoy en some run down part of LA”
Pyromaniac nodded to himself “understood, stay there and I will be there soon to get you”
Jackal nodded to himself as he put his sword onto his back again and sat down on the floor leaning against the wall “ok, aqui te espero pues”after that he hung up and looked outside as he took out a cigar and lighted it.
Back at shield HQ pyromaniac stood up and walked to the door as he put on his trench coat and thought to himself “Armanhammer, you're gonna regret this and wish you'd just completed with your mission or turned in the kids” he opened the door and walked out and closing the door behind him and locking it knowing he'd be gone for a while.
Armando sealed the entrance of the warehouse with ice and walked back to the kids sitting around a little fire that he made for warmth and light. He stood there looking at all the bright little red eyes looked back at him, he clamped his hands once to make sure he had all their attention “alright, so we ran into some trouble back there but we'll be fine, there's nothing to worry about”
Sam looked at him and shook her head “so when are we gonna go get the help?”
“He looked at her “I’ll be heading out tomorrow and I’ll be back soon, stay here with the kids and Kat. She’s probably asleep but she’s the one that found these kids and she’s helping us as well.” He looked at a little girl who walked up to him.
The little girl walked up to him and tugged on his pants a bit “t-teacher, that man back there…… was he your friend?”
Armando looked at her and nodded slowly “yeah he was….. best friend in fact, but he chose sides…… he'll be ok, trust me he fine, he has Shield and the team.”
They all kept looking at him and then a little boy walked up to him also “who's shield? Are they the bad guys….. do they want us d-dead”
Armando looked at and he took a deep breath “shield is a big organization like a huge team and I was a part of them and yeah they're the bad guys…… and yes they want you dead, they think you don't belong in this world and need to be taken care of immediately because of what you did”
The kids started protesting on how it was an accident but Armando put his hand up to silence them and the whites down and they looked at him.
“I know it was a mistake and you were only protecting yourself but they don't believe it and they can go ahead and not believe it and do whatever but know that I believe you and I won't let them put a finger on you, if they wanna kill you they go ahead and try but they'll end up failing. I'll protect you and you….. all of you”
Sam walked up to his sides and put her arm on his shoulder and leaned on him a bit “I’m gonna be here to help too you guys so don’t any of you worry.”
The kids stood up and ran to him as they all hugged both of their legs, he smiled and he pet each and every one of their heads when they all pulled back and went to go sit down by a little fire and started singing a song.
Armando went sat down on a block of cement while he watched them as he thought to himself how he's betrayed not only his friends, his wife but all of Shield.
Sam went over and sat down next to him “hey it’ll all turn out ok, we can handle it and after you get help we’ll be good.”
He nodded slowly “right….. tomorrow take them down to the park, I’ll try to be quick and meet you guys there and I’ll introduce you to whoever comes to help us ok?”
“Alright, just be quick though cause with Shield on our heels now who know’s how long we have till they find us.”
“Yeah but till then let's make this a good time for them cause I don’t plan on failing these kids.” He thought about what the littlest girl said to him yesterday and when he talked to Kat about it.
“Hey so that little girl that just ran away crying, she just said that they would all die and I would fail…… is she ok?”
“Which one? You don't mean the smallest one right?”
He nodded “that's the one, she was crying and just said that I would fail them all.”
“Then it true, I haven't thought about it much but you might wanna know but she can tell the future somehow. She predicted about a gang coming here one day and they did, if she hadn't told us we would've been screwed but yeah…… what she says is true.”
He shook his head “no…….. I won't let that happen, they're not gonna die because I won't let them. I won't let it happen.”
As he remembered about it he was shaken looked over at Sam who was shaking him “w-what's wrong?”
“I don't know I was asking you what was wrong.and you just kept looking into space. Are you feeling alright? Well, what am I saying, of course, you're not I mean you're being hunted by Shield and your friends and team have gone against you.”
“Aren't you a ray of sunshine? Just get some sleep I'll keep watch.” He stood up and walked over to the kids who were sound asleep as well.
“Alright but I better be safe and not be messed with you perv!” She laughed and laid back as she closed her eyes to go to sleep.
He shook his head “no one annoys me like you do Sam.” He sat down again as he looked up at the moon.
As jackal waited he got up and looked at a clearing where he could get picked up and started making his way towards it slowly.
Little did he know he was being watched and she hid behind a wall peeking at him “Dr. Radcliffe are you seeing what I see? It's one of the agents from Shield, the lesser half-demon. He all alone and seems to be hurt, should I engage and take him out?”
“No, didn't you hear over their conversation? I think we have a bigger prize ahead of us and besides the greater agent isn't that far and you facing both of them won't go well and we both know that. Those children that they were talking about could mean a serious threat to us, in the hands of the half-demon they'll become our enemies and if Shield gets their hands on them then it'll be the same thing. We need to exterminate those children and don't let them get in your way.”
“What about the demon? Should I also take him out?”
“We've seen him in action, and he’s very tough but there’s one chance where he will be vulnerable. That is when he’s not expecting it, find him when he’s not wearing the stupid costume and attack when they’re in public because he wouldn’t dare use his powers without giving his identity away to the people. When you see that you are to engage and make sure to take out those children because we cannot let be in the hands of the enemy.”
“Understood I won’t let you down.”
He nodded to himself as he looked at the screen seeing what she could see “we’re counting on you agent May.”
LMD May watched as the agent disappeared and she left her spot and started walking to go prepare for the attack tomorrow.
A man alone with his thoughts can be a vicious entity. Especially if that man is the last one on Earth. A dark, creaky apartment building was all that was left of the Earth. The food, though plentiful, was filled with insects. The water had long since stopped running through the taps, leaving the only way to quench his thirst as the muddy puddles outside and the acid rain that came once every year. The furniture was ruined and uncomfortable. There was no entertainment, for the tv’s had stopped working and all the books had rotted away.
Why, you may ask, would one live like this? Although he did not wish to live like this, he still had one last reason to live. That reason was his own insanity. Whispering to him about the people that would come to save him; the explorers that had ventured out so long ago, into the stars, would arrive to see this broken Earth and whisk him away from it. He knew, deep down, that those explorers would not come. That the shape the Earth was in now was the reason they had left. But, the false hope his insanity gave to him let him cling to both life, and those maggot-filled pieces of bread.
So, he sat alone. His only friends being the insects and the rain that visited him once a year. His only comfort being the ripped up beds and couches. His only entertainment being the blank television. His only hope being his own insanity. Perhaps the hope his insanity gave him was reason enough to live. Perhaps it was right, just this once, when he heard the knock on the door.
Or perhaps, there was nothing there at all.
Once upon a time there lived an unusual girl named Riley. She was born in a forest filled with unimaginable things: magic, dwarfs, evil witches, werewolves, and great warlocks. Riley was the newest addition to her family of werewolves in over 100 years. Afraid of Riley being hunted and hurt, her mother made the choice to give her up, so Riley’s mom took her to her own mother’s house. “Mother! Mother! Are you in there? Please it is urgent.” Riley’s mom screamed as she furiously knocked on the door.
“I’m I'm coming my child, what is the matter?”
“ Mother I know this much to ask, but I'm afraid you need to be Rileys knew protector. It's to dangerous out there for her.”
“ Me? How could I possible protect her?”
“Please mother, raise her like you raised me…”
“Ok child, I will do my best to care for her”
Riley was then left with her grandma, this where she would grow up and realize who she really is.
Ten years passed, Riley was now 10. She was a kind little girl, always taking care of her grandma, going to the bakery to pick up bread, and doing the various chores around the house. Today was Riley’s usual trip to the bakery. Worried that she wasn't going to be back before the full moon tonight Grandma waited outside. Luckily Riley made it back before dark, Grandma let out a sigh of relief. “Granny are you ok? You seem a little tense?” Riley asked with caution. “ Yes sweetie there's nothing to worry about.” Granny lied to Riley, she couldn't afford telling her the truth. She was fast asleep in her room, Granny was wide awake. Tonight was Riley's first werewolf transformation. A shock of pain throughout Riley’s body woke her up, it was begging. “Granny what is happening to me?” Riley creamed out in pain. “It’s ok my child Grandam is here for you, everything is going to be ok.” Silence filled the room. “Please…. do something…. It hurts…” It was finished. Shattered glass surrounded the window after Riley jumped through it. “Be safe my child” Granny mourned. Smoke in the air, burning villages, chaos all around, all caused by Riley's new form. Granny thought to herself, “I must do something about this”
“Dark one, I summon thee.”
“Hello there deiry, what can I do for you.”
“I need something magical to stop Riley from destroying the village.”
“Magic always come with a price.”
“I’ll pay that price, please just help!”
“Here you a magic cloak, just put it on and poof she’ll be back to her old self.”
“Thank you, I am in your debt.”
“Don't worry that debt will be paid soon enough.”
Loud angry screams were starting to come from the village, a mob was starting to hunt down Riley, Grandma furiously ran towards the village in order to find her. It was too late, the angry mob was already chasing Riley towards their home. “NO NO NO….. This can’t be happening. Riley please where are you, come to granny.” Granny yelled in fear. Riley swiftly ran up to granny, she instantly wrapped the cloak around her and watched her turn back to normal. “Granny what happened….” Riley glances towards the village “ was that me?”
The mob approached the house, pitchforks, torches, and larges scythes swinged in rage as they waited to kill Riley.
“Please go away. It wasn't her fault she didn't know”
“We don't care she ruined our homes, destroyed our crops. Why does that thing deserve to live?”
The commotion stopped, Riley walked outside giving away her identity. Know one really knew who the wolf was. Everyone was shocked they didn't know it was Riley, one of the kindest girls in village was the wolf. They all thought to themselves, how could we possible kill her. Instead they decided to let her, from that day forever she was called Red and no one ever looked at her the same.
Many years have passed since that tragic night out in the village. Red, now 26 was picking up baked goods from the bakery as normal. A soothing aroma filled the room as Riley walked in slowly to enjoy the smell.
“Hi there Red, how’s your granny doing?” asked Bell with a smile “She’s doing ok, still very sick and it is only getting worse the older she gets”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Here take some bread for your grandmother, free of charge.”
“Thank you, you are so kind. I guess i'll be on my way now.”
Riley was taking her usual path home, when all of sudden she ran into a strange man. This strange man wore ripped grew pants, a red stained white shirt, his hair all over the place.
“Hi there, do you happen to be Red?” the stranger asked Red with a menacing smile.
“Yes that happens to be me. What can I do for you?”
“I’m looking for your grandmother, do you knew where I can find her? She’s an old friend and I thought I should pay her a visit”
“Well in that case she lives in the village over, her cottage is the one on top of the hill” she said with a kind smile.
This strange man walked the opposite way of the village, Red thought to herself that he might be stopping by later so she didn't think much of it. It was almost noon, Red had finally arrived at granny’s cottage. The door was slightly open, there were silent screams coming from inside. Red swung the door open to see only granny getting attacked by vicious wolf. There was only one thing to do, Red took her cloak off and quickly transformed to an elegant wolf herself. She lunged at the wolf attacking granny, with all her might Red scratched and clawed hoping she could win the fight. In the end she did, it was over. The wolf that had been attacking granny transformed back into none other then the stranger, Red met earlier in the forest. Red was proud of herself, something she thought was a cursed turned into a gift. She wasn’t scared of the her little so called curse, she embraced by wearing the cloak, as a reminder of all the good she can do instead of all the harm that it has brought.