Rei lay on the floor, trying his best to stop the constant bleeding from his chest. As Rei bled on the ground, he hoped the person responsible would see justice. He closed his eyes, knowing that he would die there. He had simply lost too much blood. He had just accepted his fate as his vision faded, when the door to his apartment opened, snapping him back.
Had they come back to finish the job? There wasn't much to finish anyway. He heard several voices. Had he brought friends?
"Hello? Is anyone in there? This is Detective Slaton, with the Jakéan Police Department." Announced one of the people. Rei was too weak to reply. After a few moments, Slaton had found him.
"Guys, I found the victim! Call an EMT!" He said, kneeling down and applying pressure to Rei's wound. "What's your name, sir?" He asked.
"Rei...Rei...Silver." Rei answered. He closed his eyes, as his vision faded to black. When he woke up, he was in a hospital bed, with a few officers by his bed. Rei sighed, sitting up, despite how much it hurt to move.
"Hey there. I don't know if you remember, but I'm Detective Slaton, and these are a few officers who were with me when we found you. Now, can you tell us what you remember from last night?" Asked Slaton, as he pulled out a pen and a notepad. Rei nodded.
"It was about three o'clock in the morning. I was cooking. I thought the door was locked. It wasn't." Rei said. The detective was confused.
"You were cooking...at three in the morning?" He asked.
Rei nodded again.
"Yes. I stayed up really late, and I got hungry. So I cooked myself some food. As it cooled down, the door opened, and next thing I know, I've been shot three times. The end." Rei explained. Slaton nodded his head.
"Why were all of the lights off when we got there?" Slaton asked as he wrote in his notepad.
"I don't know, I was turning it to get some paprika and the lights just suddenly cut off. Anyway," Rei said, "Where's the guys that did it? Was he arrested?" He asked. The detective shook his head.
"No, unfortunately there are bigger crimes that we have to solve before we get to him, I'm afraid. The crime rate just keeps rising, and that leaves us with more than what we can handle. I'm sorry, but we can’t do anything. Especially with the lack of evidence he left. No prints, DNA, anything. We also have to secure the parade for the Mayor’s birthday, and we don't have enough time or manpower to investigate this case with no leads. You survived, and we have more important things to do.” Slaton explained. Rei was furious.
"So you're telling me that the man who literally shot me, isn't being looked for? I can't believe this! How dare you? You are the ones responsible for the justice of Jaké! And yet, you yourselves won't bother to find an attempted murderer?" He said, malice in his voice. The anger emanating from Rei was palpable. The detective stood up.
"Sir, please calm down. Normally, we have every intention of seeking this man, but we have other, more important priorities to deal with first. The man was trying to kill you, but you lived, and the doctor said you'll make a swift recovery. Now, we need you to stay with a friend while we investigate your house some more. Do you have anyone you can stay with?" He asked. Rei nodded.
"Yes. Now, all of you need to leave. Immediately." He ordered, and with a sigh, detective Slaton and the other officers left. Rei looked up at the ceiling, thinking about how the justice system currently in place just isn't working. But then, he had a brilliant idea; He would take the law into his own hands. And so he made a vow right then and there, to try his best to change the world, for if he didn't, he'd be just as bad as those allowing the crime to happen. Rei was released from the hospital a few weeks later, but all that time, he was planning. Planning on how he would fix the world. How he would make society pay. And when he finally got out, he struck.
The Smallest Fallen Limb from the Tree
We met online by pure coincidence. Just two out of the fifty-something people participating in some random conversation about each others struggles. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a notification. ding! "Bòkko has sent you a friend request. [Accept] [Decline]
I remember seeing that username. It was one of the people in the online discussion. 'Hmm,' I think to myself after checking out their profile (which you should always do when you get a friend request online), 'They seem interesting enough, why not?'' I click [Accept], And no more than a split second later, they've sent a message.
"Hey there! :)" They said. Slightly surprised at their speedy messaging, I responded.
"Hello! Nice to meet you :D" I reply. Somehow, we instantly clicked. We spent the whole night talking and joking, and that night, after about three week's worth of restless sleep, I slept soundly. Perhaps too soundly, because the next day I woke up at 1:13 in the afternoon, with five unread messages from Bòkko. Over the next few days, we seemed to get to know each other quite well. She was an open book, and if you know what to look for, so am I. They are a great friend, and we compliment each other like burgers and fries (an odd comparison, I realize as I look back and edit this). I know it's only been a few weeks since I've met them, but I may like them more than just a friend. Maybe it's too soon to tell. Regardless, they are my friend and I love them for putting up with my nerdy shenanigans.
Lieutenant Young stepped aboard the ship, looking back at her fiancee, Rei. He smiled, and nodded, as she took her final steps on the I.S.S Yamamoto. A single tear ran down her cheek, as the doors slowly sealed, along with her fate. They were on a voyage to the Andromeda galaxy, millions of light years away. Everyone knew what to do; step inside the cryo pods, and count to thirteen. That's about the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and go into metabolic stasis, and then they'd awake a hundred years from then, when they are close enough to their destination. Sumara did just that, and began to count.
"An, be, kho, śen, jo, sei...ka...te...nùr...lei...leán...lebé...lekkò." She said, getting sleepier and sleepier after each number. "Sláre, Rei. Goodbye..." Sumara said weakly, as she drifted off to sleep, hoping this would all be over soon.
When Sumara woke up, she opened her pod, expecting to see people bustling around, preparing for the landing on Idèle, their target destination. But what she saw terrified her more than anything; She saw nobody. Everyone else was still in their pods, unmoving, still in metabolic stasis. She got up from her pod, and frantically began to look around the large room, desperate to find someone, anyone who was awake. Perhaps it was an elaborate prank? She laughed. They must have been planning this since they left.
"Haha, very funny guys. You can come out now, jokes over. I said the jokes over, and as your Lieutenant, I'm ordering you to come out now." She said, now upset. The joke had gone too far. But when nobody but the silence drowning the room responded, she began to worry. What if...what if she was the only crew member awake?
'Wait,' She thought, 'There's a computer system aboard. I can just ask how much longer we have until we land. Hopefully they wake up soon.' Sumara thought.
"Atlas!" She said, speaking the computer's name. It responded.
"Yes, Lieutenant Young?" It asked. She nodded. At least the computer was active.
"How much longer until we land on Idèle?" Sumara asked.
"At our current velocity, the landing on Idèle is approximately...ninety-seven years from now." Atlas answered. Sumara couldn't believe it. They weren't even halfway to the planet. She fell to her knees, and sobbed. She sobbed because she realized that she would probably die on that ship. That she would never see Rei again. Never get married to him. She'd be stranded in space...forever. Through her sobs, she somehow found the strength to ask Atlas another question.
"Atlas, h-how long ha-has it been s-since t-takeoff?" She said, her voice catching.
"Two and a half years, Lieutenant." It replied. When he said that, she could feel herself slipping, and she fell to the ground, as everything around her began to fade to black.
"I'll carry on your legacy." I promised. I wouldn't fail him.
I couldn't believe it, my fiancé had to go. I looked around the room, everything broken and messy. Those bastards took him by surprise.
"Now, be careful, and be cautious. People can be very unpredictable, and we have to account for that. You have to account for that. I don't want to go, Sumara, but I have to. The assassins said I had to, or you and our friends could be in danger. King Beckette sent them, and he always gets what he wants. If I could stay here with you, I would. But there's too much at stake. Someone has to stay alive to keep the tests going." Said Rei. I sighed, and nodded.
"I will. I love you Rei, don't die on me." I said, hugging him tightly. He hugged even tighter, and then let go.
"I love you, too. I'll probably be gone for a few years. But when I get back, we'll get married, ok? I promise. Cross my heart and hope to live," He said. He handed me one of his wands, and one of his hex blades. "Here, in case you ever need them. But I have to go now, so this is goodbye." He said, giving me one last hug before he left to fight a war in a world full of magic.
Four Weeks Later
I was constructing a machine for practice, when I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, nobody was there. But on the ground in front of my door, there was a letter. It bore the crest of New Monochrus, the country Rei was helping in the war. Maybe he's being let off early?
I read the letter out loud to myself, barely managing to contain my excitement as I opened it.
"Dear Sumara Young, we regret to inform you that your significant other, Commanding General and Head Tactician of the Imperial Army, known by the name of Rei Miyamura, is…dead. He was...slain in battle thirteen day ago, and…and was given a p-proper burial. We’re sorry for any sorrow this m-may cause you. Sincerely, Cerelia Wesley, King’s Assistant."
I couldn't believe it. Rei, my Rei...was gone. The letter fell out of my hands, and I fell to my knees, sobbing. We were going to spend the rest of our lives together. We were going to be happy, and keep our tests going. I need you, Rei. I don't know if I can do this without you. If I can live without you. I stood up, and I saw a photo of me and Rei working on our first test together. I looked over at the table, and saw the device that I was making a few moments ago. I had learned everything from him. Without him, I wouldn't be here. I picked up the device. It looked like a piece of metal rope, but it was much more deadly than that. I activated it to see if it would work, and it began to get smaller and tighten. It needs to go faster, but that's for another day. Looking at this device, it reminded me of one of the last things I said to Rei before he died. I went to the mirror, photo in hand, and wiped my tears. Rei wouldn't want this. He wouldn't want anyone being sad for him. He'd want everyone to act like nothing happened, like he was a stranger. I just know it. I look in the mirror, and make my promise again to Rei.
"I'll carry on your legacy." I promised. I wouldn't fail him.
That One Scene
Thomas closed his laptop.
"That's enough writing for now. I should probably check in on the Magium." He said, yawning as he sat down on his hardwood floor, cross-legged. Closing his eyes, he focused on his world, the Magium. He saw the main character, in the middle of a battle.
'I remember this scene. Damion gets his sword knocked from his hand, he gets some high ground, does a back flip and breaks the bad guy's neck and saves the- wait, hold on. What just happened? I do not remember writing the scene that way!' Thomas thought, as he witnessed his main character teleport away from his enemy using magic. He was shocked. He sprung up from the floor, ending the vision and frantically looking through old Google Documents to see if he had re-written the original scene. When he couldn't find anything suggesting that on his laptop, he searched through old notebooks, desperately trying to know how one of his own creations could go against what he had written.
He picked up one of the oldest notebooks he had started writing in. Even looking at it brought back memories of simpler times. But there was no time to focus on the good days, he had work to do. He scoured through the pages, until he finally found what he had written. He reads it aloud to himself.
"Damion picks up the sword. He doesn't have much knowledge of how to wield it, so he slashes at the man without precision or form, and the man quickly disarms him. Damion back away, noticing that he was backing into an incline. He turned around and ran, straight up the hill. He could hear the man's footsteps behind him, and his body, without thinking, reacted. He jumped, flipping backwards in the air, reached for the man's chin, and twisted as hard as he could. He heard a crack, and the man crumpled to the ground as Damion landed on his feet.
"He turns around, and cautiously checks the man's breathing. He was dead. Damion shakes his head, and leaves." Thomas said, confused. How had Damion derailed from the story he had planned? Suddenly, Thomas had an idea.
'If I go back in time, I can figure out a way to make sure he doesn't derail again. I'm a genius.' He thought to himself, as he sat down cross-legged once more, focusing on where in Damion's timeline he wanted to go.
"I want to go...here," He said, and suddenly, he was somewhere else. In the distance, he could see a hill. He must be in the place Damion will derail. "I'm not sure how many minutes away I am before Damion meets up with the mysterious man, but it's fine. Okay, so if I focus enough, I should be able to force Damion to not go off the plan. But I won't know if that'll work. Maybe I should-" He said, spotting Damion and the man. Thomas quickly turned invisible, to prevent being spotted himself.
"Here kid, I'm Quill. Take this." The man said, tossing a sword in front of Damion. He picked it up, and attacked. He failed. Damion backed up, and ran away from the man, who was quickly catching up.
'I know what to do!' Thomas thought, as he stretched his mind towards Damion's, and seized control of his body. He then flipped backwards, and broke the man's neck. Damion had saved the day. Or rather, himself. He stopped controlling him, and looked at the Timeline again. He went back, and found himself back in his apartment once more, cross-legged on the floor. He sighed, as that was not only a close call, but an encounter which drained him of his energy. He climbed onto his bed.
'Man, that was a stupid reason to go back in time.' Thomas thought to himself, as he drifted on to sleep, exhausted from the experience.