The day was a strange one with clouds fogging up the sky drastically with utter gloominess. Trees swayed helplessly against the hounding winds and the fierce, cold spitting rain. The temperature just dropped, making anyone who dared walk out shiver in the bitter-cold terrain. White flashes of lightening streaked viciously across; thunder pounded its drum-like resonance.
Yet there was warmth in that day that made families smile. A day where one member was greatly appreciated for what he had done for his family. A wonderful day to remember.
However, there were a few families who didn't appreciate this day. They probably either didn't have the gratitude or the time to be giving gifts and hugging and saying their thanks to the head.
Sometimes, though, a few families just didn't have the choice, or the chance…
"Hyperforce," The sterling simian's usual deep, loud voice declined to a quiet, softer tone. He made quick movements with his hands, hoping that every monkey would understand and come closer. They did.
"What's up, Antauri?" Otto whispered, jumping very slightly to the boom of thunder outside the robot.
Antauri slowly moved his face to the calendar that hung gently from the wall. The inquiry was responded with yet another question, "Does anyone know what today is?"
The hyperforce at first stared at him in complete confusion, until gradually they began to understand. Gibson realized first, running his finger down the rim of his helmet with his expression wrinkled and deep in thought. Nova figured it out as soon as she turned to see what Antauri was staring at. Otto was still very puzzled, but Gibson whispered it to him and he finally got it. Sprx stared dimly at his hands, wondering what the heck everyone was going on about.
"The third Sunday of this month?" Sprx questioned sluggishly, starting to inspect his other hand. "What's wrong with that? Is there like a special Holiday or something?"
"I'm afraid it is," Gibson nodded, moving away from Otto after explaining to him. He added, very grimly, "It's Father's Day."
"And...?" Sprx perked up a brow, taken aback by the stares his teammates gave him. He took the time to ponder over the grave words the scientist had said to him. A dark red blush suddenly covered his cheeks and he found himself gawking awkwardly at the floor. "…Oh."
"I suggest you do not bring up the affair with Chiro," Antauri murmured, closing his eyes at yet another thunder clap. He cleared his throat and spun around, excusing himself. He attempted to make his voice return to normal, but in this gloomy atmosphere he just couldn't bring himself to do it; "I'll be… in my chamber, meditating… I… have a lot of stuff to go over my head."
Once his footsteps retreated, all the monkeys let out a huge sigh, emphasizing their thoughts into emotions. They stared out the same window, watching the clouds darken, the lightning spark, the winds howl, the thunder roar.
"Alright," Nova replied softly, feeling the need to hug herself. "Um… so what do we do?"
"I… don't know," Sprx shut his eyes tightly together. "I guess we just go on with the day as usual. We don't have to bring up the subject in front of Chiro. We'll just pretend today's not Father's Day."
"Um…That may be a little simpler said than done, Sprx," The beryl scientist's finger began the small adventure down the rim of his helmet again. "But it's not like we have other options. It'll be very… uncomfortable… for the boy, and us, as well…"
"Poor Chiro," Otto's gaze at the gray, heavy clouds bypassed and returned to Gibson. "He's an orphan... right?"
"I believe Antauri just told us not to bring it up, Otto," Gibson growled, suddenly feeling angry amidst all this confusion. He picked up a random book and flipped to the last page, not even paying attention to the words. He closed it again and stared at the cover, his lost eyes showing that he was obviously deep in thought. "Please... it… would just better for all of us..."
The leader jogged down the hall, jerking his head down to his watch here and there until he reached his destination. He bounced a little eagerly, a white envelope in his gentle grasp. He knocked on the door, crossing his fingers in absolute hope that the psychic might still be in there.
"Chiro… is that you?"
Chiro's eyes glittered in excitement, darting toward the envelope and then back at the door. "Yeah, it's me. Can I come in?"
There was a small, tight pause, as if the sterling male didn't want to reply. Antauri cleared his throat again, just praying that his voice sounded normal. "Alright. You… you can come in."
Chiro pressed the button and strolled in casually, as if he had been putting up a sort of act as well to look normal. Antauri blinked, looking up and down at the boy. He had a thick sweater on, with an umbrella swirling in his hand. The other one hid in his pocket, concealing the precious present within.
"Chiro… are… you going somewhere?"
"Oh, yeah, Jinmay invited me to her place for a while," Chiro responded, grinning sheepishly. "Um… She thought today would be a good day to just, you know, step out for a while." He glanced toward the window, his attention now to the sky.
"Alright, Chiro," Antauri nodded, his thoughts and conscience now full of relief. "But don't forget to come back at three; you have some training to do with Nova."
"Alright," Chiro swiftly slipped something under the pillow of the Antauri's bed and flew right out the door. "I'll be back soon, then! See you, Antauri!"
"Hm," Antauri managed to smile curiously at the boy. He turned to do the rest of his meditating but stopped, suddenly having the strange urge to walk out and watch Chiro's disappearing figure…
...As if it was his last chance to see that happy grin walk run right out of his life.
The sterling monkey's eyes opened into slits, staring at the door, waiting for a certain yellow combatant to appear. When she did come before him, he noticed her eyes were glittering with vex. Her brows were creased deeply, and her knuckles turned almost white as the gripped the door.
"Where's Chiro?" Nova growled, her pink eyes almost reddening with the wrath of her anger and irritation.
"He's probably still at Jinmay's," Antauri chuckled softly, slowly starting to return to his calm position.
"Yeah, but it's been a LONG TIME, Antauri!" Nova rolled her eyes in exasperation. She planted her hands on her waist. "Three hours. He told me he'd be back before three. It's five. Besides, I already called her. She said that he was on the way-" She looked at the time. "-one hour ago."
"Relax, Nova," Antauri slowly floated back down and landed on his feet, placing a hand on her shoulder. "If you'd like, maybe I could sense him for a while and see if I can communicate with him through the wrist watch Otto made him." He began the stroll with Nova to the computer room, where the other Walkie-Talkie Watch lay unused. He picked it up and entered a few combinations, pressing this and that. He then turned the dial and entered his voice through it, "Chiro, Chiro come in. Nova's waiting for you." He waited for the expected "Oh, right, sorry guys" reaction but heard nothing. Antauri pressed the response button. It buzzed noiselessly.
"Huh. Maybe he didn't have the watch with him."
"No…" Antauri concentrated deeply and caught the few traces of what Chiro was wearing. "He did have that watch on when he left. And I highly doubt that he took it off…" He paused, his insides suddenly feeling very cold.
Antauri jumped to his feet and ran passed a very befuddled Nova. Something was wrong. He could really feel the scary sensation that the boy was not okay. He halted abruptly, really hoping in his chest that he was just inside the robot. He started toward the three monkeys who were working on a little doodad placed carefully on the gray tiled floor. "Gibson… when was the last time you saw Chiro?"
Gibson quickly averted his sight toward Antauri. The beryl scientist drifted the back of his hand against his forehead, gazing up thoughtfully. "Hm. That's strange. Nova was here a moment ago asking the same thing, only, of course, a little more aggravated." He chuckled a little nervously, of course stopping when he felt the fear and seriousness in the eyes of Antauri. "Well, I hadn't seen him all afternoon, Antauri. Just this morning."
Something was very wrong.
"Why, what's up, Antauri?" Sprx inquired, suddenly popping out from the ceiling, black grease staining his crimson fur face, a wrench in hand. He pounced off, accidentally releasing it and dropping it onto whatever Gibson and Otto were working on. Surprisingly, even in the midst of all this silence, they never noticed.
"Something has happened," Antauri closed his eyes, biting the bottom of his lip. He concentrated deeply on Chiro, using the Power Primate to hopefully catch any trace to where he had gone.
Nothing. The plated monkey began to feel a rush of panic surge through his body. He received nothing.
"Something is very, very wrong," Antauri immediately shot them open and mumbled anxiously. He straightened and said in a more confident manner, "Come... we must search for him."
"It's really cold outside, isn't it? Antauri heard Otto say restlessly under his breath. The silver simian felt really cold, too, but it wasn't because of the blistering winds. Several times he had closed his eyes and prayed... prayed for his sins, for the team's luck.... for Chiro to be okay.
"Antauri..." He snapped out of it and shot his head toward Otto. "What do you think happened?"
The sterling psychic's artificial heartbeat quickened as he saw the scenario; a large mob crowding in a circle, uttering frightened things as they gripped their shirts and pants from freezing temperatures; a tipsy man sobbing uncontrollably, words coming out in extremely apologetic and confusing chokes; a car that had been totaled and banged up in the front.
"Hey... it's the Hyperforce."
Uneasy stares petrified the monkeys, making them jump nervously and stare back at the crowd. Leisurely the mob began to descend, causing a small entry to whatever they were around before.
The monkey team held their breath, their throats caught up.
A young boy, about the age of 13, laid on the floor, his hair the color of shadows, his skin fair.... his chest unmoving. Gibson didn't think twice as he fell on his knees and gently patted the boy's neck with two fingers. The blue scientist pulled back in shock, and lowered his head to the child's breast. He abruptly sat up and began to press it with his palms, pushing it in and up, and gently back out. In and up, gently back out.... in and up, gently back out.... He continued this procedure about fifteen times before he stooped down to his chest again, holding his breath. He squeezed his eyes tight and muttered, "Breathe.... breathe.... Oh, please, breathe...." He shot his head toward Otto, yelling at him to quickly get some supplies from the robot, and in response the mechanic flew off in a flurry, pushing past the people who held their hopes high for the young boy.
Eventually Gibson's own breathing briskly became abnormal. He continued to drastically help the boy, even when Otto had given him the supplies. In the few hours it had started to rain, in which some people descended, while others stayed and offered support for the slight possibility that the leader might be okay. Gibson never stopped doing the same procedure to Chiro. Once or twice he even blew air into his mouth, still quickly pounding his chest.
Although he himself couldn't accept it, Antauri slowly walked over and placed his hand on the scientist's shoulder. Drops of water and sweat cascaded down the blue simian's back, shuddering down as the feel of cold metal touched his fur. Gibson slowly and quietly began to cry, his muscles and fists tightening in the utter sense of failure.
"I could've saved him," He muttered, he clenched fist pounding mercilessly at his face. "His heartbeat was still there… I could've saved him…"
Antauri's artificial heart slowed, his hope falling with the rain.
"…Gibson?" Otto whispered, watching the scientist get up and wipe rain and tears from his face.
Gibson's voice sounded very shattered and defeated as it rose to outmatch the thunder, the wind, and the pouring uproar of the rain."No heartbeat.... no pulse. I'm afraid... he's not with us anymore."
For that moment's second... their entire world had collapsed.
Antauri was still in total impact, his mind knotting into fits of denial and dishonesty. He paced back and forth his room, his mind refusing to even think straight about the entire matter. His mentality just went blank. Another leader, lost, and the worst part is that they probably could've prevented it. His values and beliefs about fate were obliterated.
He sat on the bed, the comfort zone where all the monkeys had retreated since the incident. Antauri couldn't stand this sickening feeling of defeat. He pushed his head against the soft white pillow and slid his hand under it, squeezing it in the process. He paused and tapped his fingers against an unfamiliar object. He straightened and pulled off the pillow, staring at the envelope that had been wrecked a bit in his bouts of depression.
He picked it up curiously, feeling the ragged shape. Eventually he turned it around, staring in awe at the handwriting that spelled out "From Chiro to Antauri". He swallowed uneasily. Chiro. He gently ripped the edges, already knowing what to expect. As he had guessed, inside was a pretty silvery card, golden swirls embroidering the cover, the card worthy enough after searching desperately for the perfect gift. He looked up, taking a deep breath.
Finally, he opened the card. The argent monkey's hands quivered as those navy eyes swam with slight tears, savoring every thoughtful word the leader had written down. Antauri dropped the card, unable to hold it any longer. He walked out and turned off the light, leaving the card wide open on his bed sheet…
Most orphans don't have dads to send presents and cards to on Father's Day, huh?
Guess I'm lucky.
To be honest with you, I don't really need a father...
...That's 'cause I have you.
Happy Father's Day, Antauri
Here you go. I redid the story. I kinda got a lot of reviews saying that in the previous story they couldn't imagine Antauri being so rude to Chiro. Well I redid that as well. I'm sorta proud how this turned out... hope you like it.
SRMTHFG doesn't belong to me. The Gibson reference is from Art's "The Little Things".