Seeds of Justice

CH. 1: The Blossoming of Darius Greymoor

The crest of the rising sun rose above the skyline of the city, casting the front of numerous skyscrapers into sharp relief. In one such building, a black couple sat in their kitchen, a man, drinking a cup of steaming coffee, his gaze focused on the window pointed out into the city square. The woman, his wife, if the ring on her left hand was any indication, was fussing over the stove, where a large, full breakfast was slowly coming to fruition.

Her eyes shifted over to a clock above the sink to her left.

"Almost 6:30, Duncan." She said, shifting a carton of eggs a little closer to her.

The man turned his back to the window to get a look at the clock.

"Yeah, it is. You want me to wake Drake and Darius?" He asked.

"Please do, I think I'll have their breakfast ready in just a moment." She responded.

With a grunt of understanding, he left his chair and made his way to the door of the kitchen. Rather than opening it and walking through, he pressed his palms to the wall adjacent. Slowly, a large, black circle began to grow from beneath his palms, until it was large enough for him to walk straight through, where it brought him to the other side of a long, wide hallway with many doors.

Across from the door to the kitchen were two other doors. Compared with the other doors in the hall, these two in particular were odd. Where the other doors had several feet of space between them, these two only had a few inches between frames. Each had a wooden sign attached to their front, and each sign had a name carved into it.

"Darius Greymoor" was hanging on the left door. Duncan knocked on the door a few times before the occupant responded.

"It's unlocked." Called a deep voice from behind the door.

Duncan pushed the door open and stepped in.

There were two things that one might immediately notice about this bedroom. The first was the deep red paint coating the walls, giving the room the initial impression that its walls were covered in blood. The second thing one might see was the neat, immaculate state of the items in the room. Pictures were hung at perfectly equal levels with each other, shelves and furniture were flush with the wall. Objects on the shelves were all the same distance from the back of the shelf. Everything was cleaned down to the smallest molecule.

Darius was sat on his bed, stretching his arms out behind of him languidly. He stood up as his father came to a halt, making their similarities instantly apparent.

Despite being significantly younger than his father, Darius stood at the exact same height, just above six feet, and had the same stocky build. His face was, however, slightly thinner, with a more pointed chin, and his eyes were a much lighter shade of brown.

"What's up, Dad?" He asked.

"Your Mom's almost done with breakfast, she wanted me to come wake you up." Duncan explained.

Darius grinned.

"Appreciate it, I'm guessing you're heading over to wake Drake up, too?" Darius asked.

Duncan nodded, turning to his left, eyeing the wall that stood between the two rooms.

"You know if he's up yet?" Duncan asked.

"Not sure, haven't heard anything from his room, but, then again, Drake's not really a loud guy." Darius said.

He moved past his father, clapping a hand on his shoulder as he did so. Without a word, he opened the door and quickly slipped out. Seeing no reason to remain in the now empty room, Duncan followed, moving into the hall just in time to see his son disappear into a purple portal similar to his own. This came as no surprise to him, for his son's Quirk was nearly identical to his own, the only major difference being that he needed to touch a surface to create a portal, whereas Darius could summon them in mid air.

This time, he turned and knocked on the door next to Darius', whose sign read:

"Drake Greymoor."

Silence. It seemed like Drake was most certainly still asleep. He knock once more, then, still receiving no answer, he opened the door.

Drake's room was, all told, very different from his brother's. Rather than a deep, expressive red, his was a mute, cold grey that matched nearly everything in the room. His desk was gun metal grey, his bed frame was the color of steel, and he had sheets to match. Even his walls hadn't escaped the color treatment. They themselves were an off-white color that could only truly be described as a shade of grey. Even more unlike Darius' room, Drake's was nearly empty of decoration. Indeed, the only shelves in his room were large racks holding dumbbells of various weights, ranging from 30 pounds to 100. Racks like this lined the back wall of the room, leaving very little space for much else.

Drake was obviously not in the room, as the bed seemed newly made and untouched, yet the laptop sitting atop his desk was emitting a faint glow, its screen having been left on. Duncan moved to it and ran his finger along its track pad. Lighting up fully, the screen held his browser, filled to the brim with several dozen tabs, each holding an e-book of some description. Duncan put the computer to sleep, then left the room, careful to lock the door behind him.

He returned to the kitchen to find Darius, already eating a large helping of the breakfast his mother had prepared. He only looked up for a moment as his father walked in, then turned back to his breakfast.

"Ashlyn, Drake isn't in his room, any idea where he'd-"

"He's probably on the roof, dear. He likes being up there for some reason. Use the fire escape at the end of the hall, I think that's how he usually gets up there." She said.

Feeling slightly perplexed, Duncan turned around and left the kitchen, moving towards the end of the hall, before almost being knocked over by an opening door. A small boy walked out, his eyes filled with sleep and his hand over his mouth, stifling a yawn.

"Morning, Dad, breakfast ready yet?" The boy asked.

"Morning, David. Yeah, your mother has it ready in the kitchen. Do you know if Drake's on the roof?" Duncan asked.

David turned and stared at the window just a few feet from them, a look of slight realization dawning on his face.

"Yeah… now that you mention it, a noise woke me up a little while ago, but I wasn't sure what it was so I just went back to sleep. Maybe that was him." He said.

Thanking his son, Duncan moved past him to the window. Looking at it, it was indeed unlocked, but it had been closed properly. Opening the window, he slipped out onto the fire escape. His face was immediately brushed with the warm air of a summer morning, a refreshing feeling washed over him, and he quickly started up the staircase to the roof.

Duncan stepped over the roof's edge, shielding his eyes from the glare of the rising sun. As his eyes adjusted to the glare of the sun, he glimpsed the outline of a small young man resting precariously on the edge of the roof. He was gripping the mouth of an empty water bottle in his teeth, small trickles of its contents slowly trailing down its sides.

Even from this distance, Duncan knew that his son would be able to hear him, so he called out to him.

"Drake?" He called.

The figure shifted over slightly, his head moving to see who had said his name. The bottle slipped out of his mouth, only to be caught by his outstretched hand. Without a word, Drake stood up, then walked towards his father. His closeness lessened the effect the sun had on his profile, allowing his father to get a look at him.

He was much shorter than his father and Darius, standing just shy of five and a half feet tall. He had a much smaller frame than the rest of his family altogether, yet his body was built much more powerfully, his arms and legs chiseled and tensed with strength. But the most striking difference, without a doubt, was the color of his skin. While his father's was a deep ebony, his own was a pale white, flushed red with the recent cool down from his exercise. His eyes were a murky, grayish blue, and his face and chin were both much thinner than Duncan's or Darius'.

"Morning, Dad." Drake said, slipping his empty water bottle into his pocket.

"Good morning, son. David told me that you've been up for a while. How much sleep did you get?" Duncan asked, as his son let out a silent yawn.

Drake pulled a small stopwatch from his pocket and eyed it.

"Uh, I woke up at 4:30… so about eight hours." Drake said.

Duncan watched his son for a moment, before gesturing downwards. "Your mom's got breakfast ready in the kitchen, I'm sure you've got to be hungry after being up for so long." He said.

Drake nodded, then went back to the low edge of the roof. He picked up a white hand towel that had been resting on said edge, then, with a smile towards his father, he hopped over the side.

This act lit a small flame of fear in Duncan, but it was immediately snuffed as he heard Drake land on the fire escape. Shaking his head, he turned back to the fire escape he had ascended from and headed down.

X

Drake landed as gracefully as he could on the fire escape beneath him, the sound of his shoes against the metal walkway ringing out into the early morning air. He spun around on the spot, turning to see his mother's shocked face just a few feet away. Smiling at her, he motioned toward the window, requesting that she let him in. She did so, unlatching the window and letting him past.

"Morning, Mom. Morning, Dare." He said, letting his mother kiss him before sitting down at the table.

"Morning, Drae." Darius said. "We getting started today?" He asked, tossing a carton of orange juice over the table towards Drake, who caught it, and poured a generous amount into the empty glass in front of him.

Ashlyn tipped eggs and bacon on to his plate, and he hurriedly began to wolf it down, stopping just once to respond to his brother.

"That's the plan… hey, Mom? Did you remember to pick up that thing I wanted?" Drake said, washing down a large bite of his breakfast with an equally large swig of orange juice.

Ashlyn opened the cupboard beneath the sink and pulled from it, a small, red box, filled with white balls.

"Golf balls." Drake explained, and, with a nod of thanks to his mother, he took the box and pulled a golf ball from it.

"See, my plan." He began, throwing the golf ball over the table. "Is to get you some practice using your Quirk in more… stressful situations, per se."

Darius caught the ball easily, its pearly white surface gleaming orange in the morning sun.

"I know you're comfortable with your Quirk, but I'm concerned that you might not be as comfortable using it when you need it most." He continued.

Darius nodded, passing the ball back over the table to his brother.

"I guess I can see why that's important." He agreed.

"What about you, Drake?" Duncan asked.

Their father had returned to the kitchen, but had remained quiet so his sons could discuss their plans.

"What about me?" Drake asked.

Duncan moved back to his chair in front of the kitchen window and sat down.

"Well, what about your Quirk?" He asked.

Drake laughed, then took another swig of juice.

"You know full well that I haven't figured out what my Quirk is yet. Believe me, you'd know if I had, because I'd probably have blown up my room with whatever it is." He said.

"So… you're not even worried that NUSAH might pass you up because you haven't figured your Quirk out yet?" Duncan asked.

"Honestly, Duncan. You know that Drake's not Quirkless. Even NUSAH can't pass up someone as dedicated as Drake, even if he doesn't know what his Quirk is." Ashlyn said.

"I know, I know. But it would be a shame if they didn't realize how valuable he could be to them." Duncan said.

"I'll be just fine, Dad. I have an idea of what NUSAH's entrance test is going to look like, so I think I have a good chance of doing well, Quirk or not." Drake said.

Breakfast passed without further discussion, as all involved were far too interested in their food. Drake finished first, and after washing his dishes, he returned to his room to gather a few things that he needed. He and Darius met on the first floor of the building a few minutes later. Drake handed Darius a backpack filled with water bottles.

"You need to keep hydrated." He said simply.

He wasn't wrong. Half an hour into a long, ten mile run, Darius' mouth felt as though it had never tasted water in his life. He drank down three bottles of water before he felt ready to begin again. As for training his Quirk, it was surprisingly difficult. Every thirty or so seconds, Drake would toss a gold ball into the air, then, as it fell down, Darius had to judge the placement of a portal to intercept the ball before it landed. As Drake had predicted, it was something that Darius truly needed to work on.

Drake and Darius continued their exercise for another four hours, at which point Drake suggested that they return home and have lunch. Exhausted, thirsty, and unbelievable hungry, Darius quickly agreed, and they made the long walk home, talking excitedly about the coming entrance evaluation.

As they arrived home, they found their father waiting in the kitchen, holding two thick envelopes.

"NUSAH Commitment Program. They came today, and it turns out you were right, Drake. NUSAH doesn't seem to be too concerned with your Quirk problem." Duncan said.

"So… we fill these out and… mail them off to NUSAH?" Darius asked, ripping open the envelope and pulling out the paperwork inside.

"No, you have about two weeks to fill them out, then, once you've finished,you bring them up to the middle school and give them to your principal." Duncan explained.

Thanking their father, they retreated to their rooms to complete the forms. Sitting down at his desk, Darius read through the questionnaire. It was as boring as he expected, asking about his Quirk, his aspirations as a hero, and what benefits he felt he would eventually bring to the American Hero Association. He worked quietly on it for a little over an hour before coming to the final sheet of paper. This one, it turned out, had a rather interesting question.

Question 157. Are there any others your age who are interested in attending The Northern United States Academy of Heroes that you would recommend to us?

Without hesitation, he scrawled 'Drake Greymoor' on the response line. It couldn't hurt to ensure that NUSAH had no reason to reject his brother. As he finished up the forms, a knock sounded on the door just behind him.

"It's me, you done?" Drake asked.

"Just about, we bringing them up to the school tomorrow?" Darius asked.

"That's the plan. We're done with exercise for today, anyway, so come get lunch." Drake called.

Darius left the paperwork on his desk and left the room, the call of food to appealing to ignore. Drake was already in the kitchen, tearing into a plate of sandwiches. Darius mirrored this, his stomach begging to be filled after the rather heavy bout of exertion that morning.

"Wow, Drake must have ran you hard if you're eating that much." Duncan laughed.

"What time's Mom getting off of work tonight?" Drake asked.

Duncan turned to Drake before responding.

"Probably just before dinner's done." He said.

Drake nodded and turned to Darius.

"Well, like I said at the door, I think we should go up tomorrow afternoon. I'm not sure how long the process will take, although I do hope we don't have to spend the whole day up at school." Drake said.

"If you two are done for the day, I suggest you go ahead and get cleaned up." Duncan said.

With that, the two of them returned once more to their rooms to get changes of clothes. With arms full of new sets of dress, they walked down the hall to the door across from David's room and opened it.

The bathroom was rather odd, rather than a single toilet or shower, a divider ran down the center of the room, three bathroom stalls lining the wall on the left side of the divider, and four shower stalls on the right, each shower with a frosted glass front.

Stripping out of his clothes, Drake stepped into the furthest right shower stall. Darius mirrored him, and stepped into the furthest left. Hot water sprayed from the two shower heads, filling the room with warmth and steam. Their voices echoed softly against the wall as they discussed the trip up to school the next day. Ten minutes had passed before they left the shower, dried themselves, and got dressed.

The rest of the day slipped by without incident, and, before they knew it, night had fallen. After dinner, the two of them sat in Drake's room, discussing, in detail, Drake's predictions for NUSAH'S entrance exam. Darius sat in the chair in front of Drake's desk, leaning its back against the surface of the desk. Drake was laying on his bed, propped up against his pillows.

"Well, I've been doing some research on the entrance exam that they do every year. Over in Japan, UA's exam changes somewhat each year, but over here, they keep it pretty similar each time they administer it." Drake began.

"How does it work?" Darius asked.

"Honestly, it's just a scenario that they run, and they judge us on how we respond to the different events that happen during it. There are three waves of human sized robots that flood a large urban complex that we have to deal with, either through fighting them or evading them. Then, after about five minutes, a series of larger robots are introduced. These are the actual targets of the event, and unlike the smaller ones who are worth a low amount of points for their defeat, these larger ones are worth significantly more, although it goes without saying that they are definitely more difficult to bring down. There's also an incredibly large robot that will be involved, but as far as I can tell, it's only there as an obstacle, so there really isn't any point to interacting with it." Drake explained.

"So I can just, well, teleport them into the air and make them fall to the ground?" Darius asked.

"I expect that'll be the best way to go about it. It'll show off that you can both attack and defend with your Quirk." Drake said. Then, looking thoughtfully at Darius, he added: "Your's and Dad's Quirks are really rare. There are very few Quirks that can teleport, and yours is especially powerful because the limit on the size of your portals and the distance from which you can spawn them are both massive."

"What about you? Isn't the point to show off what you can do with your Quirk?" Darius asked.

Drake waved his hand impatiently. "Yeah, but from what I've read, the robots they send at us are actually pretty flimsy all-around. I should be able to punch holes through them with no problem, Quirk or no Quirk." Drake said.

Darius considered this for a moment. It was true that Drake's strength was rather unusual. A few months ago, he had singlehandedly lifted the family car to allow their father to change a flat tire. More recently, he had carried their old washer and dryer several miles down the street to the man they had sold both to without stopping. As he considered the evidence in favor of Drake's strength, he found himself agreeing that he probably could tear apart several dozen robots without breaking a sweat. Filled with a renewed determination, Darius left Drake's bedroom a few minutes later and entered his own.

The next morning passed as quickly as midday had the day previous. David got on the bus to head to his weekend summer studying school, Ashlyn kissed her older sons and left in a rush to get to work, and Duncan left a few minutes later to get to the hospital to start his week's shift, muttering angrily about how little time off he was getting. This left Drake and Darius alone to get ready for the afternoon's events.

Showering quickly, they returned to their respective rooms to look over their forms to ensure they had filled out everything correctly. This, it transpired, took a few hours, as they each had the other look over them too, and the time for them to leave had arrived before they knew it. They reconvened in front of the building, dressed in their middle school uniforms, black pants and jacket with a light grey undershirt.

They set off, their forms tucked into their jackets as they made their way down the street. It was a path they had taken almost every day for the last three years, but now, faced with the fact that this was likely the last time they'd ever take this route, the length of the route seemed oddly greater than it ever had. They rounded the corner that set them on the path and froze.

Perhaps it was simply because it was a Saturday afternoon, but the street ahead was filled with people and vehicles. Some people were employing their Quirks to get through the heavy traffic, and the sight gave Drake an idea. Why sit and wait for traffic if they didn't have to?

"Teleport us to the other side of the street." Drake said.

Without a word, Darius pointed his right palm just in front of himself, forming a large portal. He did the same with his left palm, but aimed it above the heads of the crowd of people in front of them. Another portal appeared, and the crowd drifted slightly away from it, wanting to allow its creator the space to use it.

He stepped through and appeared instantly on the other side. He quickly made another set of portals, one beside him, and the other directly in front of Drake. Drake stepped through it.

A flash of white light reminded Drake about the other power that Darius' portals had. Ashlyn Greymoor had a Quirk called 'Memory Draw' which allowed her to pull a person's memories to the forefront of their mind. Darius' portals had a very similar effect on those who entered them as well.

An obviously younger Drake was sitting silently on a bed unlike his current one. He was, it seemed, only around five or six years old. He had a thick, leather bound book in his hands, filled with pictures of him and his family. A voice, oddly distorted but familiar, came from somewhere out of sight.

"What have you got there, Sweetie?"

Ashlyn sat down next to her son, looking down at the book he had clutched in his hands.

"Oh! You found my old photo album!" She giggled, but stopped at the look on Drake's face.

"What's wrong, honey?" She asked.

Drake pointed to a photo in the album. The picture showed an exhausted looking Ashlyn holding a rather large baby, swaddled in a light blue blanket.

"There's one of Darius." He said. His head tilted slightly to the side.

"Why isn't there one of me?" He asked.

Ashlyn considered him for a moment, then, with a smile, she pulled the album out of his hands, then turned to another page and pointed to a different photograph. The subjects of the picture were two young women, each of whom had their arm around the other's waist. The one on the left was absolutely Ashlyn, if slightly younger than she was at this point. She had a happy smile on her beautiful face, her light brown eyes alight with pleasure. On the right was a pale, pretty woman with long black hair and baby blue eyes. Her thin face was smooth and flawless, her own mouth turned upward in a pleasant smile.

"That's your mother, Ellen. She and I were very good friends up until you were born. She brought you to me while I was still pregnant with Darius, and asked me if I'd raise you, because she was terrified that she wouldn't be able to do it, what with your grandmother and all. Well, I took one look at you, all swaddled in your little blanket, and there was no way I could refuse, you were just too precious for your own good." Ashlyn's eyes lingered on the photo for a few seconds before she continued.

"Well, considering what ended up happening to your mother just a few months later, I became more and more glad that she had brought you to me." She said. "I think your grandmother had too tight of a hold on her, and Ellen didn't want her to have the same control over you." She explained.

"Was my grandma bad?" Drake asked, interestedly.

"Oh, yes, she certainly was. A villain since she found out what her Quirk was. 'The Matriarch', they called her. She had the ability to control people just by touching them. It gave the Heroes quite a bit of trouble, trying to figure out what her Quirk did and how to counter it. Well, even when she finally got arrested, she had so many people under her influence that she could continue her reign of terror from prison. Even to this day, I'll never understand how a man like your grandfather ended up together with her." She said.

Again, she looked down at the photo for a few moments before speaking again.

"He had a Quirk, too. He could absorb energy from other people, but only if they gave it willingly. He was a rather popular Hero for a few of years, especially after he brought down your grandmother. Even still, your mother had already been born at that point." She explained.

"What was my mom's Quirk?" He asked.

"Oh! That's right! I'm sure you'd want to know, since you'll probably have a pretty similar Quirk yourself. Well, your mom had an amalgamation Quirk. Do you know what that is?" She asked.

When he shook his head, she continued.

"It means that she had a Quirk that was a direct combination of her mother and father's Quirks. Her ability made her able to drain people of their energy, even if they didn't want her to. She ended up becoming a villain, too. 'The Succubus', she was called. Well, she's still out there, somewhere. Part of me doesn't think she'll ever be caught… she didn't have the same arrogance as your grandmother."

The vision faded, and Drake emerged from the portal next to Darius. Darius remained silent, saying nothing about the vision that Drake knew he had seen as well. Drake pointed to the left, and they returned to their original pace, weaving through the new crowd of foot traffic. Rounding another corner, Drake let out a groan.

"Looks like we're gonna need another set of portals." He sighed.

Nodding, Darius raised his hands and positioned them at his feet and across the street. He jumped through this new portal as it bloomed into being, then, once he had landed safely on the other side, turned around and made a new one. Drake leapt inside the new portal and let the flash of light over take him.

He was sitting on an examination table in a doctor's office, his short legs handing over the side while Ashlyn was speaking to a portly man in a doctor's coat. The doctor motioned to an x-ray on a projector.

"I can assure you, Mrs. Greymoor, that your son almost certainly has a Quirk. If you look at his little toe, you'll see that he lacks the joint that would signify him being Quirkless. Now, you tell me he's… adopted, yes?" The doctor asked.

When Ashlyn nodded, he went on.

"Would you happen to know if his parents had Quirks?" He said.

"Oh, uh, yes. His mother's Quirk let her drain energy from people by touching them. As for his father… well, I never actually met him, so, I'm not entirely sure he even had one." She said.

"I see… well, if he inherited his father's Quirk, and he's been using it without realizing, it might be some time before you recognize it at all. Not all Quirks are flashy, after all. Of course… he might be a Quirk Mess." He said, trailing off.

"A what?" Ashlyn asked.

"Well, Quirks are a bit odd, as I'm sure you're aware. They can be inherited, like any other trait. They can be completely new Quirks that have nothing to do with the Quirks a person's parents had. Or, in some, very rare cases, a person can inherit all of the Quirks that their ancestors had. There's a couple of records about it in places like China and India, but still, even in places like that with huge populations, it's incredibly rare. So rare that a medical term hasn't even been agreed upon for it." He finished.

Ashlyn looked down at Drake, who had been following every word of the conversation with rapt attention.

"Well, I highly doubt that he's some kind of Quirk Mess. I suppose we'll just have to hope that he figures out what his Quirk is at some point on his own." She said.

The vision was gone in another flash, and Drake stepped out onto the adjacent sidewalk. For a third time, they set off along the crowded sidewalk, and continued on a straightaway for almost an hour. Finally, the single story brown building that was there school came into view in the distance.

"About time." Drake groaned.

"Well, it doesn't look like there's many people here, thankfully. We might be able to get in and out in just a few minutes." Darius said, hopefully.

They stepped into the entrance of the building and turned to their immediate right into the school's office. A middle-aged man, who was sat quietly behind the welcome desk, looked up expectantly at them as they approached.

"Uh, hi." Drake said, holding up the stack of papers. "We're here to see the principal and turn in our NUSAH forms."

The man nodded, then pulled the phone next to him off of its receiver and pressing one of the keys.

"Sir, got two for NUSAH for you." He grunted.

A door somewhere behind the man opened, and another man's head poked out. The man had wiry grey hair and a thin, pallid face.

"Ah, I thought I'd be seeing you boys at some point this month. Well, we'll start with Drake, if you don't mind." The man said in a reedy voice.

Nodding, Darius clapped Drake on the shoulder as he walked over to a row of chairs and sat down. Drake stepped through the principal's door and closed it behind him.

Darius had hoped that the time spent in the school would be minimal, but as the minutes passed without any indication that Drake had finished with the principal, he realized that there was likely an interview that they'd have to go through before NUSAH would accept them, and the principal was probably the one who administered said interview.

Thirty minutes had come and gone before the door opened again. Drake stepped out with a smile on his face.

"You're up." He said, and he moved aside to let Darius past.

Darius closed the door behind him as he walked into the cramped little room. He sat down in a chair just in front of the principal's desk.

"Well, Darius, it's good to see you again. You have your forms, I assume?" He asked.

Darius nodded and pulled the stack of papers from his jacket, passing them over the desk.

"Good, good. I must say, my boy, that the NUSAH board of directors were thrilled when you expressed a desire to enroll in the academy." The man said.

Darius remained silent, waiting for the principal to continue.

"Well, I'll try to take as little of your time as I can. NUSAH asked me to perform a short interview of potential students. If I may, I think he did very well, but his lack of a Quirk might outweigh any chance of him making it into the academy. Still, I'm sure they'll at least let him take the exam. Anyway, on with the interview."

Darius wasn't sure why the principal had even bothered giving the interview at all. He recognized every question as one that was on the forms he had just given to the principal. He thought with some amusement, that they might be trying to ensure that he wasn't lying on any of the questions.

He answered question after question, until it seemed that the principal had nothing left to say. He stood up and held out his hand, which Darius took, shaking it.

"I'm sure you'll do just fine, the both of you." He said. "But, eh… off the record, if you don't mind me asking. Why do you want to be a Hero?" The man asked.

Smiling, Darius pointed his finger into the air, and a very small portal formed just above his finger. He pushed his finger inside, but, rather than a memory overwhelming his senses, a picture popped up in the back of his mind. A young, pale faced boy was standing atop a playground set, looking out over the skyline at the setting sun. Although the image didn't move, Darius remembered Drake turning to him, a look of fierce determination on his face, and saying: "Who cares what my mother and grandma did with their Quirks? That doesn't have anything to do with me."

Then, after a moment, Drake nodded to him.

"You and I, Dare, we're different… we can do things differently, too. You know what? I think… I think I'm gonna go out, when I'm older, and become the best Hero in the country… heck, maybe even the world!"

Drake had grinned down to him, then said: "But, I doubt I'll be able to do something like that on my own, even if I do end up having a really good Quirk. So… will you help me?"

Without hesitation, Darius stood up and looked at his brother before speaking.

"You're my brother… of course I'll help you."

They had gone home, fantasizing happily about one day being the best Heroes ever. Yet that one childhood conversation had affixed them both on a path, and never once had either of them wavered from it.

Darius smiled at the principal, then stood up, and walked to the door.

"Well… I made a promise to someone, and I don't think I'll be able to fulfill that promise unless I become a Hero."

Without another word, he opened the door and stepped out. Drake was sitting in a chair just feet from him, but stood up at once.

"You done?" He asked.

Darius nodded. The two of them grinned at one another, then, with a single glance out of the front door, they stepped outside, ready to return home.