Requiem of a Normal Life

Dreams are a strange thing. They can make you relive your past, or maybe they can make you see into your future. They can bring your greatest fear to life, or they can bring your greatest dream to reality. Or maybe they don't make sense at all. This one however, seemed to bring all three of the terrible sides of those four things to being. I guess when Annette reminded me of Zagiene made me relive my past so vividly…

"Arigato otoosan!" I cried in joy, hugging the new movie to my chest, finally the movie I had wanted to see after so long! A man with dark shaggy brown hair and glasses smiled down at me, ruffling my hair thoroughly. Conner Heartnet.

"Happy eighty birthday Train," A woman with long brown hair and golden eyes told me, giving me a great big hug. I grinned at them.

"Thank you!" I exclaimed hugging them both back. "Can I go watch it now?"

"Of course, I'm just finishing up dinner." Lilia Heartnet told both of the men. "I'll be done in a bit; you said you wanted to talk to me honey?" She addressed my dad, but I paid hardly any attention, too intent on watching my new movie, I raced into family room and shut the door, I was almost too small to reach the door handle. I was short for my age, and everyone in my class had always bugged me about it, I can't wait to be as tall as my daddy!

I stuffed the movie into the DVD player and turned on the TV, wondering what my mom was making me for dinner. Maybe… onigiri with spicy tuna in the middle! Or maybe tempura rolls! The movie came on, driving all thoughts but the movie from my mind.

I could hear my parents talking in the other room half way through the movie; they were talking in strained voices… They weren't fighting, but there was no doubt about it, there was something wrong. I glanced over the couch above my head, only just managing to see the door beyond the green upholstery. I would ask them at dinner…

Near the end of the movie the doorbell rang, I heard the usual clatter of my parents dropping things to go get the door. However I barely registered anything, the climax of the movie had begun and my full attention was needed on the screen. The main character was fighting the evil Dark Lord.

"Don't give up! Gambaru!" I cried at the television, as the main character was thrown into a wall and the evil villain was holding him up by the throat. A loud bang issued from behind me, making me jump, I spun around to look at the closed door of the living room. Running footsteps and a loud scream issued from the room. My eyes widened in horror. I grabbed the remote beside me and pressed pause on the movie, freezing on a zoom of the evil villains face.

Another scream, this one male filled the air. I slid off the couch as fast as I could, my heart pounding in my mouth. I couldn't breathe; I could only run to see what was happening. I reached up and opened the door a crack to see what was happening. Nobody was there, the kitchen was empty.

Slowly I walked across the tiled floor, my parents weren't on the balcony as they had always did when reading their books, nor was my mother finishing my birthday dinner in the kitchen… what was happening? Where was everyone?

I walked down the hallway to the living room, wondering where everyone was, and what the heck was happening. I walked by the door to dinning room and froze, a groan emanated from the other side of the brown door. Walking footsteps and then a loud crunch and the sound of a falling body.

"Where is it Heartnet?" Said a gruff voice, "I'm only gonna ask one more time until I start peeling off fingers!"

"I-I don't know! I honestly don't know what you're talking about!" My father's voice whimpered in pain, there was a choking gurgling noise that gave me insane courage. I pulled back the door and looked inside.

A large in a long black trench coat and a purple scarf had his back to me, not letting me see what was behind the long main of blonde hair. But I could see my father dangling in front of him; I could see the black eye, the bruised face and the broken glasses. And he could see me. His puffy eyes widened as he looked at me, he couldn't help it.

"D-Daddy…" I said very quietly, the big man turned to look at me; shock on his long angular face, hard purple eyes that told me quite plainly that everybody I loved was going to die. "DADDY!"

"Run Train! Run!" My father screamed at me. "Leave and—"

"I was never told you had a kid!" The big man accused my father shaking him like a badly behaved dog. "How many do you have?"

"Run Train!" My father ignored the man and yelled at me with brutality. I wouldn't move, in fact I ran forward and started pounding my fists into every inch of the big man I could.

"Let my daddy go you monster!" I screeched at him. "Leave him alone he never did anything bad!"

"You might be right kid. If that's the case then oh well." He dropped my dad on the floor, where he struggled to get up, but the big man pulled out his gun and shot him right between the eyes. Right in front of me. The big man was saying something, I wasn't listening. I screamed and ran to my daddy; I threw myself over top of his broken body hugging him, hoping by that touching him I could bring him back to life, hoping that by being there, it wouldn't be so. When I finally looked up, my eyes met the clouded over eyes, of my lifeless mother. Blood poured from her mouth, a bullet hole in her shirt too. I couldn't stand it; my entire mind seemed to explode.

"NOOO!" I screamed clutching both of my parents now, crying and screaming at the loss and the renting pain in my heart. Fear took over, got up and looked over my shoulder that the big man, he was looking at me with a very strange expression on his face. Was that pity? But then he raised his gun again and shot at me, I ducked and the bullet went over my head. I screamed and ran from the room, dodging more bullets as I went. I ran all through the house, behind tables and finally I saw the exit, our front door! I ran for it, trying to get to the door and out into the air so I could be free to find someone to help me.

As I turned the corner, my forehead hit something hard and metal. I had run straight into the barrel of the gun that had killed my parents. I froze, unable to look up at the man, or understand what was about to happen.

"Kid, where did you learn to dodge bullets like that?" The big man asked me quietly. I said nothing, I couldn't say anything, and my entire body seemed to have frozen. "Ah, silent treatment eh? See I don't usually kill people with families. I knew your dad had a wife, but I didn't know he had a son, so don't take it too hard, I didn't know what I was getting myself into here. Ah well, looks like it comes down to this." I felt him squeeze the trigger, I felt my heart stop.

"I've got one final question to ask you." I could feel my bottom lip quiver. "Live or Die?" My brow furrowed, he sensed my confused and elaborated for me. "Pick Die, and I pull the trigger sending a bullet into your brain, pick a Live and well I don't. Your choice kid. Live or Die."

I thought about my parents, my father with a black bullet hole in his brain, I thought about my mom, dead as a doornail too… I could be with them again if I picked die, but it would mean leaving everything, every last hope behind… I thought of the movie I had just watched. "Gambaru…" I whispered quietly. The man raised his eyebrows.

And that's when it happened. Everything inside of me shattered, I was suddenly not a kid anymore. I wouldn't cry! I would live like my parents. I WOULD LIVE!

I looked up at him with so much hate it could have pealed wall paper. He stared at me with a deeply disturbed look in his eyes, I glared at him so hard and so long that I felt the trigger being squeezed to kill me anyways.

"Live." I hissed at him. The man raised his eyebrows before throwing back his head and laughing heartily. I stood where I was, positively paralyzed with absolute loathing, I was actually shaking I felt such an overwhelming feeling towards this man. He finally stopped and looked at me with a very odd look in his eyes.

"You have the freakiest eyes I have ever seen kid." The man told me putting his dirty hand on my head! "I like 'em." Without another word, the hand on my head slipped behind my head to pinch the base of my skull, knocking me out instantly…

Chap2

Slowly, my brain processed that I was awake. I was lying on something cold and hard, I opened my eyes slowly to find out where I was. What happened? All I remembered was not finishing my new movie… Then it hit me. My eyes brimmed with tears, distorting the small cement room I was lying in, and my lower lip trembled horribly. I started to cry, sniffing and sobbing before I let out a howl of anguish at the loss of my parents. Why had they died? And why oh why had I chosen to live? Why was I not dead? Why couldn't I be with them!

I tried to wipe my over flowing nose but found my hands were bound behind my back. My feet also were tied, not to each other but to the metal stand of a hard iron bed. I tried to pull myself free as I continued to cry and shudder, but the shakiness of my being wouldn't allow for it. I began to shake once again, feeling my body rock back and fourth without my consent. That's when I heard loud boot steps coming from everywhere and nowhere all at once. I hid under the bed, crawling and rolling my way under it to shield myself from the scary man who had killed my family. I stayed there, huddled and terrified at the prospect of being discovered.

A door I had not noticed before banged open and a pair of black boots appeared there.

"Here kitty kitty," The mocking voice of the assassin crooned as though he was truly speaking to a scared cat. Without making a conscious decision of what I was doing, I launched myself at the big man from under the bed! It had been the sight of those boots that had spurred my new found insanity. They were still flaked with blood. My parent's blood.

My teeth found his knee and I latched onto him with as much force as I could, ripping into flesh, and tasting blood in my mouth. I felt feral; I couldn't control my eight year old self. I continued to cry and snivel as I shredded his pants with my teeth. The man growled in pain and grabbed my hair, ripping me off of his leg by pulling great clumps of my hair out of my head. I screamed as he threw me into the bed, right into one of its iron legs. Not able to catch myself because of my hands being tied behind my back, I fell flat on my face. My nose was beginning to bleed.

A black boot stepped on my head, crushing it into the cement floor, causing me to scream louder.

"Mommy!" I screamed, wanting desperately to see, to be held by my loving mother once more.

"You're mommy's as dead as a door nail kid." The huge man told me savagely, crushing my head even more. "Stop crying! You're giving me a headache you idiot kid!" He pulled his boot off my head allowing me to lay there, a small strand of saliva dripping from my mouth and onto the concrete by my head.

I lay there, totally sapped of all energy, hope and the desire to live. I felt a boot kick my side to turn me onto my back. I looked up at the big man with empty eyes, unsure what to feel towards this man anymore. Hate, fear or respect.

"…Enough…" I whimpered… tears streaming out of my eyes. "…I just want to die…" The man raised his eyebrows at me and then bent over to look me straight in the face. "…just kill me… please… I just want to see my mommy and daddy again…" the man stared at me and then a leer flickered across his face.

"Tell you what kid." He said. "I'm going on a bit of an expedition today; I'm not going to be back for a little bit. When I'm back, if you haven't killed yourself by then, I'll teach you how to."

"…how to… kill myself?" I asked quietly.

"Yep." He then looked a little bit sad as he said clearly. "I don't kill children. It's my policy. That's why I don't take on family killings. I didn't know your dad had a family. If I had, I wouldn't have killed them." I stared at him with overflowing eyes. "I'll bring you back a little something if you choose to accept this offer. How's about that?"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "You'll… buy me something?"

"Yep."

I didn't buy it.

"You've just kidnapped me haven't you?"

"Yep."

"Why didn't you leave me there?"

"You're a witness aren't you? If I had left you to the police you would have described me, that's why I didn't leave you. Besides, I always wanted a pet." He grinned and flicked my nose before getting up and wiping his boot on my already blood stained shirt. "Be back in a few days then kid." Without another word, he swept out of the door and slammed it shut…

I lay there for a very long time, perhaps more than two hours. Long enough for my skull to register it was in a lot of pain from the constant pressure of the cement against it. Slowly, I staggered to my feet, using the bed to get up. I looked around my new holding cell in spite. A toilet and a small sink sat in the corner, along with a wardrobe and a bed in the other corner. The door, I noticed, had no handle on this side, it had a miniscule crack at the bottom, maybe enough for a very small ant to fit under. The room had no windows, only small vent in the roof in the middle of the room. A naked light bulb burned in the far corner of the room, casting a lot of light in every direction.

Crawling up onto my bed, I realized that the man had not given me any food, and he had said that he would be gone for a few days… did he expect me to starve? I lay there on my bed, arms still tied behind me and fell asleep…

I had no idea how long I was alone, long enough for me to have been so hungry that I had begun to eat my own shirt, especially the bloody parts, I had discovered that the bolt that bind my legs to the bed was sharp enough for me to cut myself free of the bonds that bound my arms backwards. The sink had saved my life from dehydration. I had drunk until I had caused the illusion that I was full from water. When I could pull my strength to do it, I would sit under the shower and let the water pound into my head, allowing me to think of something else other than the predicament I was in.

I would have tried to get out of the room, except for that the bed was heavy, I couldn't pull myself even close to the door to even attempt to inspect it for weaknesses. The farthest I could reach was the trash can beside the sink in which I had searched for scraps of food, with no luck.

Finally, one day I lay in the middle of the room, having just thrown up into the toilet the empty contents of my stomach, I lay sprawled on the ground. My heart and mind were empty, realizing that the man had been lying all along. He wasn't coming back… he had left me here to die… I was so empty inside that I couldn't even bring myself to cry any longer. I just lay there, my body shaking from the battering it had received from its lack of food. I knew I was sick. I could tell by the cold sweat running down my forehead. I could actually feel my body digesting itself, pulling nutrition from its self to try and sustain my pitiful life.

Once again I wished for nothing more than my parents comforting arms… I wanted them… more than anything in the world. I was so full of despair that even if I looked at them one last time, I would be full once again…

Was that? No. It couldn't be, I had been hallucinating. Great, I was hallucinating, that was one of the signs of a high fever wasn't it? But no, there it was again, now it was getting louder! The sound of boots coming from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Before I could even decide that I was seriously sick, the door banged open and the man came in, a new scar cutting across his face. He stopped in the doorway to stare at me. My head turned slowly towards him, empty eyes taking in his appearance. He was the same as before, with the exception of the new scar and a bag in his hand. Frowning at me, he stalked over and grabbed me by the collar, hauling me upwards like a cat. I was as limp as a doll in his grasp. He looked angry with me, but my eyes were empty, unable to take in anything else.

"You came back…" I whimpered. "I thought you'd left me to die." Without answering he set me down on the bed and rummaged in his bag for a large rice ball, which he handed to me. I leapt on the food and wolfed it down, feeling tears roll down my face even more than before. Food. I had forgotten how glorious it really was.

"My name is Zagiene." The man told me seriously, his eyes searching mine. "You will address me as Sensei, or Zagiene-sama. If not you will be severely punished. Got that kid?"

I nodded, half listening. Zagiene reached into his bag again and pulled out something red. I barely had a chance to look at it before Zagiene fastened the thing around my neck, not only that, but he pulled out a lock and fastened it around the fastening rendering it impenetrable.

"A collar?" I inquired touching the red leather with confusion.

"I told you I'd get you something." Zagiene snickered. "I wouldn't want my cat to become a stray would I?" I glowered at him.

"I'm not a cat! I a human being!" I told him in an angry voice.

"Not any more you're not. You lost that privilege when you entered my house."

"I didn't enter anything you---" I broke off as the words were drown in a scream, the collar around my neck had given off an enormous jolt of electricity, causing me to drop my rice ball. It was over quickly and I stopped screaming almost as fast. I sat there panting staring at Zagiene in awe. He grinned and winked at me, holding up a remote control.

"I have to keep my kitty behaved don't I? My pet will always be obedient, where he likes it or not." He told me with a malicious smile. I couldn't speak, I was lost for words. This man was evil. No matter what the façade about not killing children had been. "I'm gonna teach you a few tricks too, how does that sound too?" I said nothing, simply stared at him before diving for my rice ball again, I grabbed it all off the ground before, shoving everything into my mouth. I realized that I was even starting to act like pet! Where was the world coming to? The collar zapped me again and I fell backwards.

"You may be my pet!" he scowled at me. "But refrain from eating off the floor."

"I haven't eaten anything in I don't know how long!" I protested still shoving the rice into my mouth. "I'm digesting myself!"

He shocked me again! I fell backwards again away from the food. I threw the best swear at him I knew and he punched me in the face. I could feel something splinter under his fist. I folded myself onto my bed and shook with unyielding tears. I had no tears left to cry.

"I…want to go home." I choked sadly.

"You have no home you stupid child." The assassin said harshly, grabbing my feet and unlocking the chains that tied me to my bed. "I'm going to teach you how to be useful to me. I decided that I'll teach you how to go on missions for me, get rid of people I don't like. I know you will have a potential of it because of what happened a week ago."

"I've been in here by myself for a week?" I exclaimed, I had had no means of knowing the time because of the lack of a clock, or a window. He slapped my bruised face and I fell silent at once.

"You will speak when you're spoken to and only when I ask it. You will become a little soldier of my own." He explained to me. I looked at him with as much hatred as I could suck up from my empty body.

Zagiene then threw me to my feet and made me walk with him to the door. I stumbled, having almost forgotten how to walk properly after spending a week of shuffling or crawling only as far as the sink or toilet. He pushed me out into the cement hall, passing two doors and finally got a staircase climbing upwards into sunlight. I cried out and shielded my eyes from the sunlight having spent a week with no more light than the incandescent bulb in the basement for the past week. I stumbled backwards slightly and Zagiene shoved my back making me fall forwards rather than backwards. He grabbed my hair and dragged me up the last few steps into a tiled area. I stayed on all fours for a long time, wondering what to do, every time I opened my eyes, even just a sliver, my eyes burned like fire.

"Get up." Zagiene tapped me with his foot I shook my head, pain still vibrating through my body. "Fine then, while you're down there give me twenty pushups kid."

"What?" I must have misheard him.

"Push ups brat! Do twenty pushups right now!" I heard the click of a gun and felt it pressed against my back. "Go on!" so I did pushups, eyes closed, not stopping in fear of the sound of a bullet, the feeling of lead going into my body, the terrible fear of life ending. Panting, I fell, finished my pushups finally. Zagiene snorted and grabbed me by the collar, dragging me to I don't know where since my eyes were still closed. I heard a door open and felt the glorious sensation of fresh air caress my face. It was a blessed gift after so much time in a stuffy concrete box. The happiness was short lived however, Zagiene stood me up and forced my eyes open. I was staring at an endless blue horizon, the sun just breaking over the curve of the hills in the distance. I was instantly blinded, I screamed and struggled to shut my eyes again, clawing, tooth and nail to relieve myself of the burning in my eyes. The assassin did not yield, I was finally becoming a blubbering mess of pain, everything had gone bright white.

"The sooner you face the pain, the sooner it's over." Zagiene told me brutally, after about a minute, and he let me go. Allowing me to close my eyes, when I did so, my brain registered the injury to my retinas, I had indeed burned them. "You can't see now can you?" I shook my head, opening and closing my eyes in horror. There was no difference when I closed or opened them. "Good. We'll start like that." I felt something metal being pressed into my hands, as soon as I felt the curve of the heavy metal, I knew I was holding a gun. "This is a single action revolver." He put my hands on the handle and told me, "this is called the grip, this is the hammer, the barrel, the sight, the muzzle, the ejector, cylinder and the trigger. This one doesn't have a safety feature because I don't like safety." I let my hands go over the entire thing again.

"Trigger… barrel… hammer… grip… muzzle… cylinder—" I felt a slap make contact once again with my bruised face.

"That's the ejector, not the cylinder, get it right!" Zagiene bellowed at me.

"S-sorry. Cylinder, ejector, barrel and sight."

"Good, now I was planning on blindfolding you to do this, but being temporarily blind works good too." I heard a scraping and then I was forced into a chair, the gun still in my hands, I heard the pangs of metal on wood as Zagiene dumped a whole bunch of what felt like bullets onto the table. I felt one being shoved into my hands. "The outside of these bullets are just steel. Some have Teflon on them, but these are basic, the bullets are made out of lead and delaying powder."

Soon I was learning all about guns and bullets, how the action of shooting worked and how it would help me to know the delay and how the entire thing would work. He got me to load the gun without seeing anything, and about an hour later he gave me a timer, and I had to load all of the slots behind my back, blind. If I got something wrong, or dropped a bullet, I received a shock from the collar, or a simple slap to my now puffy face. It happened often because my hands were shaky lack of food, my hands were prone to fumble slightly, but after the first three shocks, I was sweating in my effort not to drop any of the hard metal tubes.

When I had started to be able to see fuzzy shapes and outlines, the sun had climbed up into the sky to mark about ten o'clock by the chiming of the clock in the room behind us. Zagiene sighed and held up fingers in front of my face, trying to see if my vision had returned to me. "Five?" I asked.

"No, four, but its pointless to continue right now. You'll need your eye sight soon." He pulled out something from his bag and held it to my face. It was a dark green blindfold, which he wrapped around my face. "Keep your eyes open under there though. The green will help your eyes, and I'm switching that light bulb in your room for a red one."

"Why?" I asked confused.

"Red helps night vision, green is a good colour on the eyes." He exclaimed after he'd slapped me for asking questions. He then dragged me to my feet once again and pulled me back inside the house. I was pushed into a chair and a pair of chopsticks shoved into my fingers. My stomach gave a rather large and prolonged growl at the prospect of food. "there's no point teaching a hungry butter fingers. I'm going to tell you this now, the more you work the more food you'll get. If you work hard, you'll get three square meals a day, if you don't, then you'll be lucky to get anything at all. No junk food, that's for free kids. You're my prisoner, don't ever forget that. You're here to be turned into my personal assistant." I felt a shudder going up and down my spine.

"… am I going to have to kill somebody?" I asked quietly.

"Of course you are, you're going to kill a hell of a lot of people actually!" Zagiene chortled. I clenched the gun still in my hands, before bringing it up and pointing it at the sound of my mentor.

"The only person I'm going to kill is you!" I screamed and tried to pull the trigger. It was harder than I had thought it would be. My fingers wouldn't squeeze it fast enough, and by the time I had shot the bullet, the kick back was unbelievable. The gun actually came back and hit me in the shoulder hard. I cried out in pain and dropped the gun, feeling all my arm muscles crying in disbelief. It felt as though I had dislocated my shoulder.

"You moron. I told I was going to teach you how to shoot. It's not just pulling the trigger you idiot!" Zagiene had activated my shock collar again, making me momentarily forget the pain in my shoulder. "You have to build strength in your upper body before having a hope of shooting. By the way, don't shoot with your eyes closed, its stupid, and is only for people who want to die. If you think it's cool, you can go stuff yourself in cannon and see how that feels." I felt his big hands on my shoulder as he snapped it back into place, I began to cry again. He stuffed another rice ball into my mouth. I ate it hungrily, forgetting my shoulder pain in attempts to eat my food.

Chap3

Weeks were spent building my body strength. Each morning I would wake up to be put through a series of drills involving pushups, sit ups, pull ups on a bar and balance via handstands. It was hard and it hurt a lot. I had never done anything like it before. Moreover, once I had been able to do three hundred pushups with ease, I had graduated to one handed, and finally one handed on one thumb.

"244… 245….246…" I shuddered and panted, my thumb slowly breaking as I did this horrible exercise. I paused for a fraction of a second, trying to regain normal thinking through the pain of it all.

"What? Are you gonna stop now Train?" Demanded Zagiene, and a bullet embedded itself into the floor beside my face. I was startled, but too used to this to fall over. I looked up at Zagiene, calling him all sorts of nasty names in my head. He sipped a cup of tea while lazily putting his feet on my back and pointing his gun with such ease at me, it was as if he were holding a book. "Don't stop or else I'll shoot you." It was always what he said, and I would never put it passed him to actually do it. In fact I had been shot twice already, once in the leg and once in my left arm. I had been left handed before, which was mostly the reason I had been shot in that arm, I suspected he wanted me to become ambidextrous, and his method had worked. My right side had developed quite easily after words, since now everything I did was with my right arm. Although he had made a point of recuperating my left arm.

"253…254…" He shot at my right arm, which I quickly jumped out of the way and landed on my wounded left hand, and began on my left arm, more laboriously than my right. "256….257…" he shot again and I switched arms. This continued until there was a knock on the door, this meant I had to hide behind the couch. I wasn't allowed to come out of hiding until I was 'ready'. Ready for what, I did not know, but the one time I had attempted to call for help, had been the time I had been shot in the leg. The men who had come to the door had been killed for witnessing the shooting, and I hadn't had been given a meal for four days. I knew not to do it again.

"I've told you this before Number II, Chronos can kiss my ass for all I care!" Zagiene slammed the door in the man's face and waited for a moment to make certain he was gone before calling me out to continue my exercises.

After exercises, I would practice reloading a gun, with and without a blind fold. My eyes had cleared up within two days, the red and green colours had really helped my eyeballs. Then would be lunch, and after that, Zagiene would mysteriously vanish to wherever he went, and I would be left to complete a task. It would either be something as trivial as 'make dinner' or it would be something like 'learn the vital organs of the body'. I knew not to try and escape because Zagiene had told me about two other tricks the shock collar could do. He had set it up so that if I tried to get out the door, into Zagiene's room, out of a window, or out onto porch, it would zap me until I retreated, or died. The phone and computer both had passwords on them; I couldn't call or get onto the computer to call for help. I had once banged on the walls and screamed, but looking out the windows I realized that Zagiene's house was nowhere near anyone else. I was totally alone.

In those times alone, I had decided on my goal. I was going to train hard and become stronger than Zagiene so that one day I would kill him. One day I would shoot him between the eyes, just as he had done to my father. One day I would have him sniveling on the floor like he had forced me to do so many times. I would kill Zagiene! And so even when he was not there, I trained myself, took the gun he'd given me and practiced shooting it. I was horrible at it at first, and the kick back was as violent as ever, but I'd learned to put a brace on my elbow and wrist to absorb some of the shock so that I wouldn't dislocate anything again. Zagiene had showed me the shooting gallery he had created for himself and I used it when he wasn't there. I'd practice shooting at the paper targets, pretending that each target was Zagiene's face.

The morning of the fourth day of the second month dawned, I thought maybe that I'd be able to shoot this time. Maybe I'd be able to handle the kick back… just maybe…

I slowly walked forwards to the door leading to the kitchen, the gun Zagiene had given me in case I ever wanted to kill myself clutched tightly in my hands.

"If you ever feel the need, don't hesitate. End it if you no longer have a reason to live." Zagiene had told me grinning at the rapt attention I had given him. Every time he spoke now, it was words of pure gold. His words were precious, if he gave me any hint of a weakness, I could concoct a scheme to use that weakness against him!

So now I was in front of the kitchen door. The gun raised, I opened the door an inch to see Zagiene sitting there, drinking a cup of green tea and reading his book 'War of the Modern Age, and How to Take Advantage of the Confusion'. Clenching the grip as my captor had taught me, with my heart thundering in my mouth, I threw open the door and roared, pointing the gun at Zagiene's face and shooting. The kick back was so violent that it threw me backwards, I had not planted myself properly, therefore it had made me lose my balance, fall over and possibly dislocate my shoulder again. I heard the sound of breaking glass and hoped that I had at least hit his tea cup. I lay clutching my shoulder before a foot stepped onto my head and squashed my face into the ground. Zagiene was holding his cup of tea and sipping from it calmly; as if he had not just been shot at.

"Far too reckless." Zagiene told me sharply, "If you aim to kill somebody, don't aim at their heads, it's too small a target. Aim for the heart instead because even if you miss it, you'll rupture a few other organs at the very least. We'll need to do something about your wrist strength too. That kickback was nasty eh?" I looked over and saw a vase far to the table's right had exploded, sending pieces of pottery and dried flowers scattered in every which direction. I had missed by a lot. My eyes rolled back to look at Zagiene, hate pulsing through my very veins.

"One day I'm gonna kill you!" I screamed the vow as if my entire being depended on it, my pupils were dilated with loathing. Zagiene chuckled. He bent low so that his and my faces were an inch from one another. His leer of a smile split his face and his eyes sharpened like sabers as he looked into my cat like ones.

"Heh, you have the eyes and spirit of a killer my kitty, but I'd like to see you try." He hissed.

After a long moment, Zagiene released my head, he kicked me to roll into the door frame and continued to kick into my gut, causing me to scream at the definite break of several of my ribs.

"Defeat me kid! Fight and you'll live, become stronger every day!" Zagiene bellowed with crazed laughter. I was overwhelmed with horrible pain, nothing I could do, would be able to stop him! He was the strongest man alive after all! Everyone of my instincts kicked in at that point, I grabbed Zagiene's in coming foot, and redirected the kick into the wall beside me before leaping backwards and grabbing hold of the gun again. With my injured hand I shot it again and missed brutally, while Zagiene laughed at my attempts I simply threw the gun right at his face. Zagiene's swears were followed by laughter at my petty attempts. I rushed down the hall, throwing everything I could see at my pursuer.

"What's the matter kitty? Afraid of me are you? You must become stronger and survive! Don't let anyone get in the way of that boy. Not me, not anyone else!" I heard the shot before I felt it, the belch of the barrel of the gun as it emitted its deadly secret. I could almost see Zagiene shooting at me, that freaky smile that was his favored look when glanced at me. I was ready for it this time though, I threw myself forwards and felt the bullet touch the hairs on my head as it flew past. Mid dive, I pulled myself into a roll and got to my feet and kept running. "Good job cat! Now keep doing that job, dodge every bullet I shoot at you!" I spun around terrified that he was going to do what I thought he was. He did.

A hail of bullets ascended at me, I leapt this way and that, ducked, jumped and rolled, all of this with a throbbing disconnected left arm. I felt each part of my body as if it was a sore thumb sticking out in this dangerous rain. I felt a bullet cut across my nose, drawing blood it was so close, I even got hit twice. Once in the disconnected arm and once through the shoulder! However Zagiene did not yield his volley so that if I stopped then I was as good as gone. I felt a sickening feeling in my stomach as I was shot through arm. Finally I had been driven into the back of the hallway where the opening to the living room was, I dived into the temporary safety of the living room, bleeding profusely and my brain screaming for me to stop so I could tend to my wounds. I fell to the ground and stayed there, waiting for that final shot to finish me off. It didn't come. Instead Zagiene bent over me, grinning that evil grin of his.

"That was some fine dodging. I knew it, you had the makings of a murderer. This just proves it. I haven't taught you dodging skills for this very reason. You're unbelievably talented in timing and prediction at where the bullets are going to land. I will hone those skills for you so that you will be untouchable." He dragged me by the collar of my shirt back to the kitchen where took off my shirt and, with a pair of tweezers, pulled out the bullets from the holes. He told me how to bandage my broken ribs and reconnected my useless shoulder saying "It's a good thing your ambidextrous now eh?" and "Forgoodness sake you idiot, why did you shoot again?" It took longer to reconnect it this time because of how badly damaged the ligaments were. He made me put my arms into a sling and gave me a salve to rub on my broken ribs so that I could rub it on while he cut a length of bandage. Zagiene showed me how to bandage my chest so that the bones wouldn't move. After all of that, I started my one armed pushups on my knuckles. Zagiene told me that that was the best way to build wicked wrist connection. I felt sweat mixed with blood trickle down my nose, forming a small pool beneath me. I had to force myself to pretend it was Zagiene's blood to stop myself from throwing up.

When Zagiene left that afternoon, I was forcing myself to continue with my one armed push ups until my arm actually started collapsing from the fatigue. I decided against practicing shooting that night, partly out of spite, partly because I couldn't move my arm which had become a wet piece of linguini after the two thousand pushups I had forced upon it. I was looking around my prison wondering what I could use to kill sneak up and kill Zagiene with next. I'd tried a knife, but that had been stupid to begin with, Zagiene had told me he could sense people from their smell and aura. I knew what to do now! I quickly sat in the middle of the kitchen, my linguini hand on my knees while my broken arm rested carefully in a sling. I took a few calming breaths before closing my eyes…

When I had asked him, Zagiene had told me that auras looked different for everyone, they were unexplainable yet it was impossible to miss it once you could sense it. So I decided to try it out. I closed my eyes, knowing full well that there was nobody around for the next mile or so, and listened…

My own breathing magnified along with the steady pulse of my heart, it was soothing to hear those noises, especially after so much pain had happened that day. I emptied my mind of those things however, I needed to dig deeper… the hum of the refrigerator… the slosh of the dishwasher… the bangs of the boiler… the fidgeting of a thrush on the tree outside. I stopped there, listening to the thrush with my entire mind, wanting to see its aura just like Zagiene. As I listened hard to it, I began to put a picture of it into my mind. Small, with twiggy feet and a sharp beak… definitely searching for bugs in the tree… suddenly a small brown fire burned where the thrush was on my window, it seemed to becoming from the thrush itself! I could have whooped with glee, but as soon as I thought that, fire was gone… I had lost it. Swearing with Zagiene's choice swear words, I felt myself become bitter, and as soon as I was bitter, all of the other noises ceased immediately. For a while I just sat there before I was able to calm myself down and feel for another aura again. This time I sent my hearing through our door; I was so startled by what was there that I jumped up into a standing position and ran from the kitchen. As soon as my foot cleared the kitchen three huge men broke down our door.

The police.

"Come on out you butcher! We know you're in here!" Called one of the police, I felt my heart hammering in my mouth for some reason. Why was I scared? At long last the police had come to save me!

Did I want to be saved any more? the fact that I wanted to stay and to learn more from Zagiene hit me like a brick wall. I wanted to prove myself to him, and here at last was a perfect opportunity to do just that! I would kill these police men for trespassing on my master's house!

I felt my pupils become slits as I remembered all that Zagiene had taught me. Quickly I ran around the living room to grab the knife my master kept under the couch. I shoved it into my mouth and climbed up onto the sofa, wedging myself into the crevasse on the roof, a great place for falling onto someone. I waited, my linguini arm screaming with the effort of keeping myself up there, but I heeded it no attention. I waited.

"We've got this place surrounded Butcher! We know you're in here!" the first police man called again. I heard something clank against the door and swore again, quickly I covered my mouth with the bandage for my arm so that I wouldn't breathe in the pepper gas. I closed my eyes and used my new found skill to see what they were doing in the kitchen. I sensed three men, and two my astonishment, they were all different colours, blue, green and a lime green. Zagiene hadn't been kidding when he said they all looked different. Blue seemed to be in charge, he put his hand down to send them in all three of the different corridors. Lime was coming my way. I focused on both, mine and Lime's auras, waiting for them to match up. My aura, to my confusion, was a crimson colour to match the colour of blood. I felt as he looked under the dinning room table, behind the cabinets as though he would find Zagiene crouching like a child behind either of those. My master wouldn't do such things; he would come out guns blazing and kill all three of those men in one stroke. Slowly Lime got closer, I cracked open an eye and was terrified to see a drop of sweat soaked blood dribble from the open wound on my nose, and fall right in front of Lime's face. Lime looked around for the source; he had come right under me.

Lime looked up and saw me, knife in my mouth, limp arm hanging uselessly, and my body rigid. He swore and brought his gun up; I fell onto it, smashing it into the ground, it vibrated beneath my feet as he desperately tried to shoot at me. I took the knife from my mouth and slashed it across his throat. He crumpled like a toy, blood splattering me like rain. My aura increased as his vanished. I felt nauseated by what I had done, yet at the same time I felt a strange feeling of accomplishment.

"Rodo? Rodo what happened?" I heard one of the police, Dark Green cry right behind the kitchen door; I quickly hid behind the door as he ran in to see his fallen friend. "Rodo!" He screamed. I felt tears rush to my eyes as I realized truly what I had done, before Lime had been a colour, not a person, and now he was Rodo, with a name. This made him a person. Dark Green spun around to see me behind him, in my fury and confusion I screamed and stabbed his gunning arm, I snatched up his gun and let my arm relax, then shot him in the face before I could stop myself. He crumpled like a marionette off of its strings. I screamed and fell to the floor feeling a confusion break over me that had nothing to do with the burning sensation in my right arm.

As if to make matters worse, Blue came storming into the room guns blazing, I dove down and flattened myself under Lime to make sure I was hidden from his rain of fire. Lime's body shook violently as he took the spray of bullets that had been meant for me. The bullets stopped coming after a few moments, I could tell from the fumbling sound that the man had stopped to reload his gun. I grabbed the knife from Lime's throat and jumped out of my hiding spot, I threw the knife that missed Blue by inches, but I had another attempt up my sleeve. I pulled the gun from my jeans pocket and shot at Blue with the gun in front of me, allowing it to hit the cushioning of the bandages on my chest rather than risk damaging my arms any further.

Blue was better than either of the Greens had been. He ducked and dodged, grabbing out his walkie talkie as he did so.

"I need back up! We were wrong this isn't the Butchers house, but there's some crazy kid in here with unbelievable—Ahh!" he didn't finish his sentence because one of my bullets had hit his shoulder and buried itself into his collar bone. He dropped the walkie talkie and stared up at me, transfixed.

"Leave me alone!" I screamed and released one last bullet. I saw it burry itself into Blue's goggles as if in slow motion. Almost instantly, the blue aura vanished.

I'd killed yet another man.

I sank to the floor sobbing and shaking uncontrollably, discarding the gun with a despicable air. Another aura pulsed behind me, this one a deep shade of red. I grabbed the gun and spun around, shooting without looking. Zagiene stood there grinning, brining up his own gun to shoot at me as well. Both our bullets met in mid air and clanged to the ground with a clunk of heavy metal. He laughed and clapped at the same time, smiling at me as if I was a trophy he'd just won from a country fair.

"What a kill Train! I've never seen such a raw spirit of the killer in all my life, especially in one as young as you!" Zagiene strode over to me, and I raised my gun again, ready to take off his head. This was my chance! Right when all the adrenaline and blood was raw and fresh, ready to kill anything that a came across me! "However, you still have a lot to learn. Aim first of all, that's a virtue, you should only have to shoot once to kill a man. Twice to torture him and three times to make a point. This is the simple truth." He pushed my gun down towards the ground and grabbed me by the hair, bending my head backwards and staring into my wet eyes. "I can see it in your freaky eyes kid. The killer waiting to jump out and become a fear to the world. I can help hone that killer, refine it until that is the only part of you that is left."

"I-I-I" stammering incoherently now, I attempted to pull myself from his grasp, but he continued to bend me backwards, drawing closer until we were almost nose to nose.

"You want to kill me right?"

"…"

"Right?"

"Yes."

"You're not going to kill me the way you are right now. You've hurt yourself again haven't you? I can give you all the tools you'll ever need to kill me. Do you want to learn?"

"More than anything."

"Then," He flipped out the knife that I had tossed at the police man, and held it to my exposed throat just above the shock collar, I could feel Blue's and Lime's blood dripping onto my throat. "You must give me everything you have. Practice nonstop and never attempt to escape or become sloth? Understand?" I could only whimper in agreement since nodding or speaking would aid in slicing my throat wide open. "Good." He let me go, and I toppled over backwards, back onto Green's corpse.

Zagiene went around inspecting all of the dead police, looking at all the fatal wounds I had dealt out. He commented on the neatness of Lime's sliced throat, and on how I could have killed Blue better. The only one he didn't comment on was Green, and I had a funny feeling why. I had hurt my arm again, but I had gotten him right in the face without too much difficulty. This interested him; I could see it in his face.

After a few more minutes of critiquing my killings, he dragged off all of the dead bodies outside, telling me that he had already killed the two other police on the street and disposed of them. I was left to clean up the blood stains and all the other messes. Finally after about two hours of constant scrubbing Zagiene and I sat down at the table and he poured us both two glasses of milk, knowing full well that I hated the stuff.

"Drink it." He ordered, shoving the mug at me. "Its milk."

No duh captain obvious, I thought grimly, but said "I don't want it…"

"Drink it kid! It tastes great and it's great for you." Zagiene pushed on, "If you want to kill me you better drink it up."

"To become stronger?" I asked, my interest perked, he nodded grinning that evil grin of.

Zagiene looked out the window as I drank, he was watching me chug the mug with a strange look on his face. Between amusement and pure sadness.

What, I wondered putting my glass down and licking off my milk mustache, could make him look like that?

Chap4

Bang! The shot ripped the corner of the piece of paper, the smoking gun in my hands made me feel proud! I'd hit it finally!

"I hit it!" I exclaimed excitedly, Zagiene sighed.

"You idiot Train, what are you celebrating for? You only nicked it!" Zagiene told me exasperatedly. "Here I'll show you what hitting it looks like." He took the gun out of my hands and shot at the target about fifteen times; all of the shots not only hit the centre, but took the bull's eye clean off the paper. "That's hitting it."

I goggled at him, absolutely in awe of his marksmanship.

A month had passed since the police had come, they had showed up again a while later, but we weren't there any longer. We'd moved into the dorm of Zagiene's work place, in the centre of the city. Zagiene knew now that I wouldn't try to escape, but he still kept the shock collar on me so that I would behave. We had our own part of the building to ourselves since only three other people beside us lived in the dorms. Zagiene's co-workers knew I was there, but all they knew about me was that I was some slave he'd picked up on a past assignment. They had no idea that Zagiene was training me to become an assassin.

Zagiene looked at the marks he'd made, with a strange look. His eyes revealed a bit of panic as he looked on through the hole he'd made through the paper. He didn't look at me, but he spoke to me, in a voice that was barely a whisper, and much less gruff than his usual tone. "Listen up Train… In this world, strength is everything, only the strongest have the right to live, to control others. The weak are powerless; they can't do anything, no matter how much the rest of the world tries to help them. Never rely on anybody else but yourself. When a moment of true need comes, the only person in the world you can rely on is yourself. That is how… I am able to survive in this horrible world."

I looked at him, at the serious look on his face, at the strain in his eyes and I realized that not only was he talking to me as an equal for that one second, but he was also warning me about something… something to come perhaps? I hoped not.

I practiced shooting for many days, wondering what life was going to be after I accomplished hitting the bulls eye straight on. Wondering what would happen once I actually killed Zagiene, would I move on to become an assassin? Or maybe become something else? My once upon a time dream of becoming a reporter just like my daddy seemed millions of years ago. I barely even thought of my parents these days, so consumed was I in taking out Zagiene for them, that I barely even thought about the people I was avenging any longer. All I knew was that I was no longer the little kid who watched anime, cried all the time and got C averages in school. I was going to become a cold blooded killer.

That night, as I munched on a apple and drank a glass of hot milk, wondering if Zagiene was going to come home that night, and if it was a good idea to sneak a candy I knew he kept in the top shelf, when the door banged open and Zagiene struggled through the door. At first I thought he had been shot in the stomach because of the way he was doubled over, but soon however I saw that he was dragging a brown haired someone through the doorway. He turned around to face me and I saw the person that he had captured. The man he was dragging had a narrow face with a pair of glasses on, yellow eyes gleamed out from behind the frames. His messy brown hair tumbled down onto his face in long strands. The jacket he wore over top of his white shirt made him look even more intelligent than before. His arms and legs were bound with long thick ropes that connected his wrists and ankles so as to make doubly sure he couldn't move.

I dropped my apple.

I actually knew him! My uncle Akito! I stared incredulously at him, he looked back at me, and for a moment seemed confused until he recognized me and bellowed in shock.

"Train Heartnet?" Akito exclaimed in momentary enthusiasm. "Where were you? We thought you were dead!"

I couldn't speak; I stared dumbly at him, unable to comprehend what was happening.

"Where were you?" Akito exclaimed again. Zagiene stared from him to me and then back.

"You know him?" He demanded of me. I nodded slowly. "Who is he then?"

"I'm his— " Akito began but Zagiene pulled out his gun and pointed it at his head. I got up quickly to try and help my uncle but Zagiene merely shot my leg, I fell over backwards, knocking my chair over. My uncle cried out in horror, but I however was more startled than hurt, Zagiene hadn't shot my bone or anything, merely the outside of my leg, plus I had been shot so many times over the past three and a half months that I hardly felt it any more. I swore and pulled the bullet out of my leg with the pair of tweezers on the table, shook it off and stood to face Zagiene again. My uncle stared at me in awe.

"What did he do to you?" I demanded viciously. Zagiene shot at me again but I ducked that one.

"I asked you who he is." Zagiene demanded, before bringing out the remote control for my shock collar. I shot him a filthy look before answering.

"He's my uncle." I told him angrily.

"Ahh, I see. This makes it even more worth while then." Zagiene told me, his evil grin lighting his face once more, filling me with a sense of absolute foreboding. "Do you remember what it felt like to kill those police men and those Chronos agents?" He asked me in a soft voice. I narrowed my eyes, instantly recalling the disgust and the confusion deep in my soul that murdering had caused.

"What of it?" I demanded this made Akito's jaw dropped unable to believe what he had just heard.

"You've killed—" my uncle began, but I interrupted him, holding up three fingers.

"I've killed three police officer," I held up two more fingers, "And two men wanting to kill him," I pointed at Zagiene. "I should have let the stupid idiots just finish you off."

"But then where would you be my little pussy cat." Zagiene laughed, I swore at him.

"Why is here Zagiene?" I demanded a little louder over my master's ludicrous laughter.

"I didn't know you knew him, but all in all, it works out better that way." Zagiene began to explain when he had paused for breath. "I'm going to get you to practice killing Train; you will kill this man right here and now." Zagiene tossed me the gun on the counter, continuing to smile maliciously at me. I caught it numbly unable to believe my ears.

"What?" I demanded, hoping against hope I had heard him wrong.

"You know what I said." He told me softly, still smiling. "Kill him, right here; if you try anything on me, you know what will happen." He raised his own gun at me pointing the barrel directly at my knees. I dropped the gun and stepped backwards, sweat pouring down my face.

"N-no." I said staring into the now pale face of Akito, who had given me a birthday present of anime action figures only days before my birthday… My dead father's younger brother. "I- I can't!"

"Pick up your gun Train." Zagiene ordered, pressing down on the button to activate my shock collar. I instantly felt the collar shock me until I had fallen to my knees in agony, screaming as my nervous system was given an overdose of signals. My arm jerkily stretched out on the ground to take my gun in my hand once more. The shock stopped immediately. I jumped to my feet and my familiar stared at me in awe.

"You've changed so much Train…" Akito whispered, and I felt tears coming to my eyes. "I understand why I must die, so don't worry, I tread on waters too dangerous and now I must make you pay the price, I'm so sorry. I'm only grateful that you are still alive. Don't take revenge Train, don't! It only destroys you on the inside! It helps no one, and won't end in satisfaction, but merely it will end in rage." he hung his head in resignation. I screamed and felt myself change once again, into that cold blooded killer from the day of the first attack of the police. I wanted to kill myself, but I couldn't! I had to kill Zagiene!

"If you kill him it will make you stronger Train." Zagiene hissed and immediately I opened my cat-like eyes and stare at my awestruck uncle with eyes that only saw the blazing colours of grey aura of my victim before me.

This was it, he was not my uncle anymore, he was just a colour now, and he was not my uncle Akito who had always given me candy and extra money on New Years. He was just a colour; no… it was just a colour!

"I'm sorry…" I sobbed and my uncle smiled at me before I pulled the trigger. I was no longer hindered by the kick back; my arms had strengthened enough to not only handle the kick back with both arms, but now with one arm. The shot seemed to move in slow motion, before smashing into my uncle's temple, making him fall over sideways, his broken glasses spinning off onto the ground with a soft clinking noise. Blood splattered me and Zagiene, spraying the ground and the table as well. I fell to my knees clutching the gun with trembling hands. My insides felt as though someone had passed it over a cheese grater.

Zagiene looked at the dead man before walking over, taking the gun out of my hands and smiling at me with that nasty smile I despised so much. I let him take it from me as I knelt there, my heart empty now that the gun was gone. I didn't even notice Zagiene drag the body out of the room to who knows where. All I knew was that another person was dragged in by his green hair, and the gun was given back to me. This time I didn't even look at the person, I only saw a pale green colour that was the man's aura before shooting him between the eyes.

Over the next few days, my heart remained as empty as a discarded tin can; I barely registered what happened over the next week. All I knew was that I was no longer eight years old; I felt more like a very old man who had done many terrible, terrible things. Zagiene continued to bring more people in for me to dispose of. Some of them screamed and begged me to forgive them; some of them told me that they had families to return to. I didn't see them, I couldn't bear to. I could only see colours passing in front of my eyes, colours that I didn't like and had to wash them away.

But soon I became so accustom to all this, that I began become numb to it all, and slowly I stopped turning on my aura and watching the life leave their eyes. I did it so much that I soon came … I soon came to feel satisfaction in the killings.

"You like it don't you?" Zagiene sneered at me over a dinner of canned soup and small potatoes. I said nothing, no matter what I felt no matter how much satisfaction I felt in the deaths, I did not like it. I hated killing people. "I knew it." He laughed under the impression of the opposite. "My cat you really are a true hunter eh?"

"I only have one mouse to step on now…" I murmured before bringing up my pistol and shooting at Zagiene, he had been ready; he flipped his metal cup into the air with his fork, not only blocking the shots but also dousing me with wine. I spluttered as a fork flew and stabbed into my right shoulder.

"Can you think of any time to kill me other than when I'm eating kid?" Zagiene demanded almost angrily. "It's getting repetitive. Don't become repetitive; if you do then when you go up against a real opponent then you're as good as dead. Repetitive people are wide open to murder. Don't forget that either."

I pulled the fork out of my shoulder and licked some of my blood off of it before stabbing my food with it and shoving it into my mouth. "Take your own advice Zagiene-sama." I whispered. His sneer flickered into a frown for a fraction of a moment before looking inquisitively at me. "I noticed when you leave you to where ever you go, you never check to see who's following you."

Zagiene stared at me before his eyes flicked to my throat to make sure my collar was still there. It was my turn to laugh wryly at him. I stabbed my potatoes with the still bloody fork. "No it's not me, there's a man with a really weird tattoo that follows you from the roof tops every day. I noticed him from the windows and was going to shoot him before he took my kill, but he was too far away, and if I even get close to the window I'd get zapped wouldn't I?" I shrugged looking evilly at my master before leaning forward to look him in the eyes. "Did you ever notice them oh master gunman?"

Zagiene threw a knife at me, but I flicked my fork up and the knife got caught in the prongs was stopped an inch from my face by its own handle. I raised an eyebrow at the astonished look on his face. I spun the fork so that the knife stabbed down into one of my remaining potatoes. Zagiene look changed into that of great mirth.

"My goodness I never believed you would get so good so fast! It looks like you're almost ready kid." Zagiene stood up, stretched and started to walk away.

"Ready for what?" I demanded attempting to catch him off guard. Over all these months, and through all this, he'd never once told me what his purpose for holding me here was.

"Good night kid, I trust that you'll clean up eh? Oh and wipe that blood off the table, it'll give your scent away." Zagiene told me as he slammed the door shut to his room.

I stared at the dishes he'd left for me to clean up. He had barely eaten anything at all. Not that I cared much, it was just odd, he usually had about four servings of whatever we were eating, I wondered briefly what could be ailing him, and if I could use his distraction to my advantage…

Over the next week and a half I continued to pop up when he least expected me to, shooting, chucking knives at him or attempting to strangle him. I actually shot him once too! Unfortunately I'd missed his vital by quite a bit, although I had managed to make him limp after hitting his shin bone right though. He had shocked me so well after that, which had forced me to hide in the laundry basket for the whole day to avoid any more of his wrath. Zagiene had told me that it wasn't as much fun torturing me with the shock collar as it was by stabbing or shooting me. I knew that he could have sensed me any time he wanted with the use of his aura, but I had a weird feeling that what I had said about the man following him had greatly rattled him. Zagiene came back each day with a sweaty face and a look of determined calm.

The morning of the fourth month came bright and early; I slowly stirred, feeling groggy, for the first time in four months I hadn't been woken up by my shock collar. I had woken up all on my own. This came as a great surprise to me. I slowly got out from under the small towel I had been given as a blanket. I no longer had my own room, so I used far corner of the living room as my place to rest. I slipped out of my bed clothes and into day clothes, (after my clothes started to stink badly Zagiene had begrudgingly got me another pair of clothes) and went into the kitchen. Nobody was there. Rain pounded outside the window, pouring down as though someone had chucked the contents of a bucket off the roof of the apartment building.

I felt for my gun in my back pocket, feeling it there gave me a sense of security that I knew I needed. This may be one of Zagiene's tests.

The front door flew open and sopping wet Zagiene came in looking very angry, I hid behind the corner, I heard the fridge door swing open with a clattering of bottles and cans then slam a few moments later. Zagiene roared and ran into the living room. I was sitting on my towel looking at him with a raised eyebrow. He ran over to me and knelt down to look me in the eyes before putting his hands around my neck as though he was about to strangle me. He actually lifted me off the ground by my collar! I spluttered, bringing up my gun hand to shoot at him, but he grabbed my gun out of my hands. I punched him, he dropped me. I stayed there on all fours, spluttering and gasping for breath before I realized there was something missing.

My shock collar was gone.

I felt the burned flesh around my neck where the collar had been for so long, I rubbed my neck in amazement before looking up suspiciously at the man looming above me, his face grim.

"What the hell was that for?" I demanded not over looking the sudden attack, even if he had taken off my collar there had been no need to lift me that high off the ground!

"You want it back on?" He snarled, waving the red collar in my face, I saw the small shock box waving in front of my face and shook my head vigorously. "Didn't think so. I've got your first recon mission for you kid."

"What?"

"I'm about to send you out of the house." Zagiene snapped impatiently.

"Are you serious?" I demanded incredulous. I had not felt sunlight on my face for months.

"Yes I am. If you run away I will find you and I will kill you if you run away. You know I can and I won't hesitate. I want you to go get groceries, bread, fruit, eggs anything you can get your hands on." He told me in a way that seemed more rushed than it needed to be. I only stared at him blankly.

"B-But I don't have any money." I stammered confused.

"Steal it you idiot!"

"But that would be against the--" I paused realizing how stupid that statement sounded. I had after all killed at least twelve people, I was being held captive, and I was carrying a gun. Hmm. "Never mind. So steal it all then?"

"Steal whatever you can and bring it back here. Take your time. If you get caught by the police boohoo for you. I'm not bailing you out."

"Got it."

Leaping to my feet, I grabbed my gun, stuffing it into my back pocket before I rushed to grab a rucksack in which I could store food in, but Zagiene grabbed my arm. "No short cuts for you. You have to do that without a rucksack."

"But how am I supposed to steal anything—"

"Figure it out kid!" I looked dazedly at him before Zagiene actually brought his boot to my butt and kicked me out the front door. I scampered down the hall; all thoughts of escaping had left my mind. If Zagiene was in a towering temper, there was no chance of escaping when he was in one of his 'moods'. I'd just have to go run this errand and then figure out a way to escape later.

People looked at me oddly as I ran through the dorm section of Zagiene's work, some people even called out to me, but I don't think any of them really registered me. They knew that I was Zagiene's slave, but no one had ever seen me out and about without him before. Nobody chased me either. I supposed they had better things to do than babysit Zagiene's cat.

I snatched an umbrella leaning against the door on the way out and ran out with the umbrella stretched out. I ran onto the pavement and stopped for a moment. I realized then that this was the first time I had ever been outside in months. I closed the umbrella for a moment and looked at the grey clouds, letting the rain hit my face. For a moment I felt like the kid I was again. I leaped for joy, opening my mouth to let rain drops fall into my mouth. I spun in a small circle and actually skipped down the street, noting absently that I had no idea where the grocery store was but not caring in the slightest. The roads were narrow and cars flew past me as I rushed down the wet street, still not opening my umbrella but allowing for the rain to soak me. I followed road signs that told me where to go, but even then I got very lost.

I stood in the rain, pulling my wet hair, which had been plastered to my face, out of my eyes to look around for some sign of the grocery store. No signs told me what I wanted to know, and only a few houses crowded the area. A door opened and an older woman with a much younger brown haired girl stepped out of the house, both were wearing strange robe like garments that fell to their ankles. The little girl opened a small flowery pink umbrella while the older woman opened a blue one. They both turned around and saw me standing in the rain. I stared at them; the little girl had her grandmother's bright green eyes. She frowned at me before running over to me. My heart thundered and I reached for my gun, but she was suddenly so close to me that her umbrella covered me from the rain.

"You shouldn't be out in the rain like this!" She scolded me. "You'll catch a cold!"

"Saya!" The older woman called running over to put a hand on her granddaughter. "I'm sorry young man; she's a little bit protective when it comes to others."

The little girl named Saya looked at me oddly, before announcing. "Who are you? Where you going? Are you lost? You have such awesome eyes!" I could only blink incredulously at her. Seeing my look she grinned broadly. "We're going to the grocery store, do you want to come?"

I hadn't been in contact with anyone else but Zagiene for so long that I had forgotten how to talk normally to other people. "Uh… yeah I'm going to the grocery store." I said a little disconcertingly.

"Great!" She grabbed my hand and ran ahead of her grandmother, dragging me along without my consent. "You really shouldn't be out here in the rain; my daddy says it makes you catch colds. He has a cold; it's rather bad you see… I hope he gets better. That's why I'm going to the store to buy him tea! Momma says it's always good to drink tea when you're sick!" She kept chatting away as we walked, or rather; she walked while I stumbled along in her grip. I had half a mind to kill her right there just to be rid of her. However I realized that she knew where the grocery store was and I didn't. So I just stayed quiet and let her drag me along.

All the way there, I was aware of the fourth aura surrounding Saya, her grandmother and I. The man with the strange tattoo had followed me as well…

Chap5

"Tada!" Exclaimed Saya as we walked into the grocery store, she held her hands up and let the entire store know we were there. People looked up from their shopping to look at us, I felt my face grow hot and felt for my gun again, assured I could pull it out if anything arose. The smell of produce and cardboard casings hit me squarely, making me amazed that anywhere could smell of something other than blood and gun powder.

Unfortunately Saya seemed to think that we were still going to travel together. She grasped my hand once again and dragged me towards the fruit aisle. "We going to get apples, cucumbers, pears, bananas, peppers, beans, star fruit, dragon fruit, lychee and, and, and RAMUNE!" She squealed the last one as loud as possible, clearly delighted that she was getting this… whatever it was. Staring at my raised eyebrows she put her hands over her mouth dramatically. "You've never had ramune before?" She demanded incensed.

I shook my head.

"Haven't you ever gone to festivals before?"

I blinked, sure I had gone to festivals a million years ago… but I still had never had whatever it was before.

"Grandma! We have to get this kid ramune! He hasn't had it before!" She told her mother gesturing flamboyantly at me with her finger pointing directly at my nose. For some odd reason that had no particular rationality behind it, I was struck by a strong urge to bite the finger wiggling in my face.

"Really? Well we will definitely get you some if you'd like." Seeing my eyes glance over at the bread, partly because I needed it and partly because I didn't want her wiggling finger to poke my eyes out, she put a hand on Saya's shoulder and smiled at her granddaughter. "Saya, let the poor boy do his shopping, I'm sure we'll see him—"

"I'll come with you!" Saya interrupted grabbing a basket and passing one to me before taking one for herself. "We can get food together!" Seeing the-not-too-pleased look on my face, Saya pouted at me, grabbed my upper arm and pulled me to the bread section.

Heat and the aroma of freshly baked bread rose in my face as we got close to the bakery; Saya pointed out different kinds of bread, told me her preferred kinds, and helped me choose out the best kind. By help, I mean she shoved the loaf in my basket without looking at me. I looked back at her grandmother with a pleading look before Saya pulled me onto a cans aisle. We were out of her grandmother's line of vision now, Saya's face immediately fell and she turned to face me, her eyes searching mine.

"You don't look very happy." She told me pointedly. I said nothing. Who would be with this weirdo pulling me around everywhere? "Is something wrong at home?" My eyes widened at this. My hand flew to my gun, but I didn't have time to draw it because she had thrown her arms around me, encircling me with her own body.

"I don't like it when people are sad…" She whispered, my hand was still on my gun, my heart had stopped beating. This wasn't an unfamiliar thing… what was this? I had felt this sort of thing before… a hug. This stranger was giving me a hug! And a hug that seemed to fill my empty heart with remorse for everything I had done, seemed to bring up all the memories and actions I had tried to suppress. I felt tears come to my eyes, but pushed them back.

I pulled away from her frightened. I turned away and stalked down the cans aisle looking for my favorite kinds of soup. To my astonishment, Saya came right up beside me grinning as though she had not just hugged me.

"I like this kind." She had pointed to my favorite kind, beef broth and noodles. "This tastes good with pieces of celery in it. Ooh and this one is awesome too!" She pulled off chicken flavored instant cup Raman and stuffed it into my basket; we took two other cans of soup off the shelf and raced to the next aisle, grabbing different kinds of vegetables. Saya made comments about each vegetable, announcing so that everyone could hear that she thought that yams were delicious. Even though yams weren't technically a vegetable.

Soon my basket was very heavy; my arms were getting tired from holding them. Saya looked over at the heavy basket and looked at me with surprise.

"Gosh, you're strong kid." She told me with awe. "I wish I was that strong, then maybe my daddy would get— hey look there's the tea!" She took a box of tea off a shelf and gestured exuberantly at the cover. It was an infusion of ginger and green tea; on the side it said that it was good for colds. "This is it!" Saya told me happily hugging the box to her chest. "This is the tea that'll help my daddy get well." I wanted to laugh at her for her ridiculous idea that tea could help someone stay alive. However the look of desperation on her face made me hold my tongue. She knew full well that this tea wouldn't help her father get well… she just wanted something to fool herself with.

"He hurts me a lot…" She murmured as if an after thought. "The cold makes him throw things and hit me… but sometimes he's a good daddy… he watches TV with me, he'll read stories with me… but other times… he … he doesn't like me. My mommy is the same, but she… she likes knives. She tells me not to tell grandma so I don't. The colds will pass I hope… when mama was well, she sang me a song. I always sing it to her, it makes her happy and it calms her down. Would you like me to sing it to you?"

I looked at her incredulously. She had just poured her heart out to me, and now she was offering to sing me a song? What was wrong with this girl? She was abused so badly, yet she loved her parents so much.

"I'll sing it to you if you want." She grinned and stood in the middle of the aisle, on top of a crate of oranges, and cleared her voice before putting her hands together in front of her chest and closing her eyes.

"Fuu ta woe

Fu ta, o o

Taijino, uta no

Tazewo, ida ko,

Hitari abite

Hoshiwa Matataki

Mochiwa kinameku

Fuwa, fuwa, fururin

Mena ii

Koto mete

Fuuta woe

Futa woe

Zekani no

Toko Made I ko

Zola no a o ide

Hikono Uruno eh

Mushi no, habataki

Fuuwa, fuwa fururin

Omoi Yoshete

Fuwa Fuwa Fururin

Ashi towa kito

Fuwa, fuuwa fururin

Solani, Todoku"

She finished with soft note; she did not open her eyes right away. I realized I was not the only one listening to her now. The entire store seemed to have stopped to listen to her sing. Saya had a soft voice that seemed to lull you into a sense of love. She smiled down at me and held up her finger as she jumped down from the crate.

She told me seriously. Did you like it?"

I could only stare at her, transfixed. She looked crestfallen.

"You didn't like it?" Saya asked quietly. I shook my head.

"It was great… I've never heard anything like it." I told her quietly. She beamed and threw her arms around me again, causing me to blush even harder.

"You talked!" She exclaimed excitedly, hugging me tighter. "I'm so happy you talked! See my voice just has that effect on people!" She exclaimed happily.

Finally we found her grandmother and got in line at the till. Her grandma was holding two bottles of Ramune for us both. She held them out to me and Saya, who took it excitedly and opened it up, taking a long drink from it.

"Ooh so it's good!" Saya exclaimed excitedly, dancing on the spot with excitement. "Try yours!" I looked at the bottle and opened it, remembering suddenly as I did so that I had no money to pay for anything.

My mission came back to me in a flash. The memory hit me so hard that I almost dropped the bottle. I looked up at the great clock behind the cashiers; almost an hour had gone by since I had left the apartment. If I wasn't back soon Zagiene would come and kill me!

"Is something wrong?" Saya asked, resting a hand on my shoulder. I looked at her briefly trying and failing to look as though there was nothing wrong before pulling the cap off of my bottle and swigging the fizzy juice. It tasted of a long forgotten drink, sweet and sour at the same time… the name of which resisted me for a moment before I remembered. Lemonade. It tasted like lemonade! I looked at my drink with amazement and almost smiled, remembering how my mother and I used to make lemonade stands to raise money for useless things. "Do you like it?" Saya's voice cut through my sweet memories. I nodded and she whooped again making my face flush once again.

We got in line at the cash register, me behind Saya and her grandmother, walking slowly up to the cash register. I felt my gun and slowly pulled it around to the front of my pants so that I could pull it out at a moments notice. Saya and her grandmother got passed the register and were waiting for me to come through. I looked at the lady behind the till, she raised her eyebrows at me.

"Where's your parents kid?" She asked rather rudely, before I could study her features, I changed my vision into aura. A bubble gum pink fire exploded before me, I winced.

"Dead." I said very quietly, the air suddenly became tense.

"Oh, sorry." I tried to walk past to attempt to follow Saya out the door like we were together. "Hey you need to pay for those!" She called after me.

"I'm with them." I told her seriously.

"But you still need to pay for those things." She told me. "They haven't paid for anything yet."

I broke into a run, rushing past Saya towards the open door. Two police men were standing there, looking down at me, purple and turquoise fires filled my vision. I didn't even bother stopping, I simply flung my weight backwards to back handspring right out of their arms. I glared at the two of them, giving them a full dose of my cat eyes.

"Kid what are you doing?" Saya's voice exploded in my ears, scaring me with her terrified tone.

"Shut up!" I screamed and reached for my gun, it wasn't there. I spun, switching my aura off so that I could look for my gun. Saya was holding it in her hands, her eyes bright with meaning.

"I know you're hurting, but that doesn't mean you have to make others suffer because of what's happened to you." Saya told me seriously.

The two police men grabbed my arms; I roared and surprised them with my strength by flipping both of them over my own body and smashing them both to the ground.

"GIVE ME BACK MY GUN!" Screamed at Saya who took a defiant step back. I was slightly frantic now, I was thinking forward to what Zagiene would do to me if I didn't return soon, and what he would do if I lost my gun, or was caught… that scared me so badly I started to shake.

"I don't want you to kill anyone!" She cried back. We stared at each other, and in my momentary distraction, I had forgotten that I had not knocked either of the police men out. I was wrenched off my feet and fell to the ground with an almighty smack. I cried out as my head fell with a crack. The two police men were still on their stomachs, and were dragging me by the ankle towards them. I helped them by leaping onto the taller one and punching every inch of him I could touch. The other one tried to help his comrade but I gave him an unbelievably powerful reverse back kick to the face which sent him flying into an apple crate, out cold.

Hands grabbed my midriff and yanked me off of the big police man. I attempted to elbow the person holding me until I realized it was Saya, and then I just turned around and shook her, wanting my gun back.

"Don't hurt anyone else!" Saya screamed.

"Give me back—" I stopped suddenly, knowing the sound that had clinked behind me like I knew my name. I threw myself and Saya sideways onto the ground and a bullet passed right where we had been. I spun around, and moved my head sideways to avoid another bullet. A man with sleeked blonde hair was staring at me; a spear in his grasp, on both the spear and the man's hand was the letters II engraved deeply.

"Train Heartnet?" He asked very quietly.

"What's it to you?" I asked quietly. "You were the one following my master and I weren't you?"

"No actually I wasn't. You can sense us?" He looked troubled as I nodded sneering. "Well that is interesting. How old are you?"

"Eight and four months." I snapped back.

"Well, well, now that is very interesting." Another man stepped out from behind the man with the II. He had an IV scratched into his forehead; his bright blue eyes were searching as he looked into my yellow ones. "You have freaky eyes kid."

In the heat of the moment, Saya's grip had slackened on my gun; I grabbed it out of her hands and shot at them with precision that had been drilled into me for four months. To my astonishment, none of the bullets hit, although it looked as thought the men hadn't moved. I now saw the difference; in IV's hand was a small knife with the letters IV scratched into its hilt. II's spear was held a little to the left of where it had been seconds ago.

They had both moved their weapons so fast that they had not only blocked the bullets, but tossed them aside like rag dolls. I turned on my aura to discover that IV was the one that had been following my master and I. He sneered at me.

"Do you know who we are kid?" IV demanded, I spun around and grabbed Saya as a knife embedded itself in the ground where she had been a millisecond before. "Nice reflexes, not easily distracted and amazing aim to boot… Belze, this kid could be a Time Guardian." II repositioned his spear to place it in a more threatening position, but only grunted. Saya was clutching the back of my shirt from where she was hidden behind me, she was shaking. I closed my eyes for a moment before turning around and pushing her so hard that she flew under a produce aisle and under one of the tables where she hit her head on a table full of oranges which knocked her out sufficiently. I didn't want her getting hurt.

I leapt up as they argued and landed between the two men, I placed my hand on the ground and kicked with both legs into the men's knees. I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder and knew, from obvious reasons, that II had just stabbed me with his spear. I however, had too much adrenaline pumping through my veins to stop. Slipping and sliding in a trail of my own blood, I raced for the door and burst through it into the sopping wet weather, knowing it would be useless to hide if these men knew how to use aura. I proceeded, with my bag of groceries to run through the streets, taking alleys, back corners and going completely off course to try to throw them off. Thunder rolled over head and a flash of lighting streaked across the sky like a white line drawn clumsily across a black canvas.

I tried to throw the image of Saya's happy face, of her beautiful song out of my head. I was in a serious situation here! I couldn't be distracted! For some reason… I couldn't shake her off; it was as though she'd been branded into my eyes with a hot poker.

How could someone with such a sad past and present be so happy? How could she love life so much? And why waste time trying to extend a hand to someone else? I wanted to see her again and to ask her all these questions, but at the moment, I was being chased by the light orange glare that had chased myself and my master for so many weeks.

As I headed through my third alley my hair now sticking to my forehead from the wet weather. I heard sound of metal cutting through the air and dove forwards with my bag held aloft so as to not break too many eggs. A foot stepped onto my back pinning me to the ground right beside a great big puddle.

"Kid was that really necessary back there?" asked the voice of IV, "I mean not that I object to killing, that's my lively hood for goodness sake. But I mean why would you even bother trying to fight us? You know who the Time Guardians are don't you? That idiot of a man must have taught you that at the very least."

I remained silent; rain pounding against the pavement seemed to talk for me. I clutched my gun in the plastic bag with all my strength as I attempted to muster my thoughts and coordinate a plan.

"You know you're quite good for and eight year old." IV continued, stomping on my back. "You might actually be eligible to become a Time Guardian one day eh? How does that sound?"

"I don't have any intention of guarding clocks." I grumbled, slowly taking the gun out of the plastic bag, hoping IV's attention was not fixed on my hands. IV threw his head back and laughed.

"Clocks? What are you serious? You're idiot babysitter Zagiene hasn't told you about us?" Zagiene… that name caught my attention and held it. This man knew my master. "We are, lightly put, the ones the Government calls to do the work they aren't allowed to do. There are twelve of us, and each of us is elite in assassination, when the government calls, we do it properly!"

"Don't care…" I grunted before twisting violently so that I was able to get out from under his foot and wheeled my gun around to shoot him in the face. Something went weirdly awry though. The bullet, instead of shooting straight, seemed to explode in front of IV's outstretched knife. The bullet exploded into fiery light and shards of metal and lead flew into IV's face and into his wide eyes. IV screamed a blood curdling scream clutching his face and eyes and screaming like someone had just put a fork in both eyes.

I stared transfixed by what I'd done for a moment, completely baffled by what had had happened. What had happened to the bullet? But that lasted merely a few moments as I recalled where I was and what I was supposed to be doing. Picking up my groceries I raced down the alley and back onto a main street.

I knew where I was now. This was the place where I had first met Saya. Feeling slightly disappointed that she wasn't here anymore I raced down the street to see II's aura up ahead on Zagiene's street. I froze and ducked into a nook as the sound of a gun blasted nearby followed by the soft zing of metal whipping through the air. That sound was followed by a splattering noise and a roar of pain, not to mention an awful gurgle. I felt my stomach lurch.

"We have ignored your threat for too long. Now you have raised a second to take your place to destroy Chronos haven't you?" Asked the deep drawl of II. A wicked laugh crackled, choked by pain. I felt my blood freeze. "Now you must pay the price of all the sins you've committed."

"What about you? Isn't it a sin to kill? Haven't you committed many sins as well number two?" That was Zagiene's voice, thick with constricted pain.

"It's all for the greater good of man kind." II's voice said seriously.

"Sure it is."

"I'll leave you to wallow in your pain you good for nothing scum bag. Maybe your cat will come home and see how far defying Chronos will get you." Another zing of metal and Zagiene grunted before the sound of footsteps thundered away and vanished.

I stood there for a long moment before deciding to face the inevitable. I had lost the race to claim Zagiene's life…

Walking slowly out from behind the building I went towards the building that Zagiene had worked in. At first I didn't see it, but after walking a little ways more, I saw a man covered in gore. I got closer my heart pumped faster and faster until it seemed to burst.

The gory man… was Zagiene.

I stood in front of him; he slowly looked up at me, blood seeping out of a wound on his chest and out of the corner of his sneering mouth. Even in this state, he was mocking me. I stood there for a long time looking at him incredulous, not believing it. Zagiene couldn't die! What would be the point of my life then?

"So, the cat did come back." Zagiene grunted, a blood bubble forming at the corner of his mouth.

"W-why are you covered in blood?" I asked softly. Zagiene chuckled.

"I… became one of the weak and powerless…" He told me smiling up at me. "The leg injury you gave me sure helped things though."

"No…! No this can't be possible!" I cried. The groceries fell to cement with a crash of tin and cardboard, eggs cracked and lay splayed in a puddle. "You can't die! If you die then I'll look like an idiot for wanting to kill you! I wanted to be just like you!"

"Heh, just like me eh?" Zagiene whispered, and then he threw back his head and laughed heartily. My fallen umbrella started to blow away in the small wind, but I took no notice. My mind was going through a kind of limbo. This wasn't possible! Zagiene, the strongest man alive, dead? It wasn't possible! It wasn't happening!

Zagiene stretched out a bloody hand and grabbed me by the front of my shirt, and pulled me close to him so that I could hear. "If you want to be stronger then me, you've got to survive kid… You've gotta rely on nobody but yourself, your own strength and your own will! Don't let anyone get in your way!"

I pulled away from him screaming.

"I-You can't die! I have to kill you!" I screamed at him furious at the scenario. "You can't die before I kill you!"

"Then kill me." Zagiene whispered, I froze my eyes growing wide. "I'm not dead yet am I? Finish me off Train. Kill me." I stared at him for a long time, wondering insanely if this wasn't a test as well. Zagiene raised an eyebrow at me. I pulled out my gun and for some odd reason, my hands were shaking.

"I might have just killed one of the Time Guardians …" I told him quietly.

"Really? Good job. The world's better without them. How did it feel?" Zagiene asked as though he were inquiring about the weather.

"Terrible." I told him.

"Hmm, maybe I'll feel better, after all I killed your parents, made you kill your own uncle and tortured you did I not?" Zagiene laughed, his pupils contracting. I swore, my cat like pupils becoming slits, I raised my gun, not bothering to turn on my aura. I wanted to feel his death; I wanted to see the life leave his eyes!

Without even thinking about a good battle cry, about an awesome last word, without anything interesting to say in this moment of victory, I screamed, the scream scared me, it was a scream of a someone who was about to do something they'd regret. I pulled the trigger, once, twice, three times, plugging lead into Zagiene's forehead. The laughter died from his eyes at once as the light left. I stood there tears streaming from my eyes, my brain churning itself into a confused state. I was happy that I'd finally killed him, wasn't I? It had been my goal for four long, tortured months!

"What will you do after you take revenge?" my uncle's words came back to me and hit me like a mallet. I knew the answer.

"Become stronger than anyone else…" I whispered, "Refuse to die no matter what, and become the strongest man on the planet… TRUST NO ONE!" I screamed the last words and shot several more rounds into the air. And with those last words, my cat like pupils seemed to freeze and become darkened. My mind seemed to churn with every rain drop that hit my head. I would become the strongest man on the planet, and if anyone got in the way, they were dead meat!

And all thoughts of Saya were driven right out of my mind.

Chap 6

"The city questions the use of the police officers as the mass killings continue, nobody knows who does it, only that its random and all done by the same gun and takes only one shot. The police are investigating thoroughly and the matter is not going unnoticed. Witnesses to these mass murders can say nothing but 'we didn't see anything'. The only connections that these killings have that the witnesses can all agree on is that they all were in range of a young boy— " The Television smashed as the restaurant owner smashed into it, he knelt, holding his injured leg and positively jabbering with pleas for mercy.

My boots crunched through the rubble of broken chairs, nails, shattered glass, blood, and bodies. I reached down and picked the man up by the collar, being as small as I was, I couldn't hoist him over my head, but I could pull him up from his laying position to look me I the face.

"I just t-t-told you!" the man blubbered, "I don't c-carry an-ny bullets. I can g-give you food though, you look hungry, I have lots of foo—"

"Shut up." I whispered in my hoarse voice, shaking him and he whimpered loudly. "I don't want your pig slop, I just want your bullets, I saw them being passed to you yesterday. Don't lie to me old man. I've killed everyone in here, don't think I'm keeping you alive for any reason other than giving me your bullets."

"O-of course not sir, b-but I don't have anymore—" I punched him in the gut, causing him to stop his blubbering and start choking in pain.

"Shut up! Just tell me where they are!" I reached around him and pulled out his balled point pen for writing down orders of the guests. I placed the tip of the pen against the man's temple and slowly drew a target on the side of his head. "Lets see if I'm as good a killer with a pen as I am a gun eh?" I hissed. I drew back the pen and the waiter cried out in terror as I aimed for the bulls eye I'd drawn in blue ink on the man's head.

Just then the door blew open and I spun around to put the man in front of me and he shielded me from every single bullet that whizzed at me. I sneered.

The swat team was standing there, in the doorway. Shields and helmets complete. There was about five of them in the doorway, staring at me in utter astonishment. I laughed maniacally and felt my stomach surge. Finally a real challenge.

"Well, well," I said throwing the dead man down. "This is interesting. The swat team has come to take out a nine year old? It's about time too. How long have I been ravaging your city? What, five months now?"

"Drop your gun." Said one of them, gesturing at my empty gun sticking out of my pocket.

"It's empty, but if you really feel you need me to then sure." I sneered