Oh man! December 21st!
What an epic battle! You guys TOTALLY should have been there!
Mercs coverin' the streets! Half-angel half-demon things engaging anything in sight in epic combat! All of them wanted us dead! Betrayal! Epic sniper shots! And...
...A giant frickin' tentacle monster! EW! KILL IT! KILL IT!
...in case you didn't get the joke, we were playing Borderlands.
You guys suck. Anyways, here's the next chapter. We don't own anything
Memoirs of a Forgotten Family
Chapter XXVII: Growth
It was several days after Maia's rescue that Vector was finally cleared to leave the hospital.
Throughout his entire stay, the only thing he could focus on through the rough interrogation was that little girl; all he really remembered about her abduction was the dull pain in the back of his skull, palpable even through the pain meds. He couldn't focus on a conversation longer than a few minutes. He couldn't hold down any food for the entire first day he was awake. All he could do was think back; try and try to remember, no matter how much it made his head throb. Only after he identified, buried in his fractured memory, the faint scent of citrus and deli meats did the questions halt, Shadow himself commanding the boy to get some rest before taking off.
The next day, he arrived during visitor hours with Maia hanging off his shoulders; the little girl grinning ear to ear, and even her father seemed happier than normal. He tried to apologize -it was his fault, after all- but neither parent nor child would have any of it. Maia told him with a silly grin that it wasn't his fault, and proceeded to give his snout a tiny hug. Shadow rolled his eyes at the boy. The hedgehog told him that the man he had gone up against was a highly-trained, highly-skilled EGO agent, and that he had been lucky to get out with his life. He still felt sorry, but knew better than to try and apologize again. They might hack into his computer and post his diary- er, journal entries online for the world to see. Well, Maia would, at least. The girl was sweet and kindly but had a mischievous nature to her when annoyed or angry. Which was why his MP3 player cooked toast and glowed in the dark instead of playing music.
The guilt gnawed at him even as the amnesia cleared and the memory of the fight came back to him. He had yet to tell anyone about it, instead pretending not to remember even after he was discharged. What was the point? It wasn't helpful in the slightest bit, now that Shadow had Maia back, and remembering it only served to remind him of his failure. How was he going to be a good cop when he couldn't even protect one little girl?
He had been afraid, almost, to accept when Shadow called and offered another babysitting gig. The teen was assured that the security in the household had been raised, and that the likeliness of this happening again was little to none. He accepted only when Shadow told him that Maia had asked for him and him alone, confusing as that was to the crocodile. But responding to this little request was the least he could do after all she had been through in the last week.
The evening was uneventful -unless you count the very specific and classified instructions about how to enable and disable the new security system that Shadow gave him before taking off at mach speeds. Maia had been put to bed on time, but as Vector curled on the couch, he couldn't help but thinking the new security system. If the alarms went off, would Shadow be here fast? Would other GUN forces? Would they be fast enough? And what about the EGO member who got past the old system? Could he get past the new one?
Searching the closet thoroughly, Vector managed to secure what appeared to be a baseball bat. It wouldn't be much if the opponent had a gun, but it would be something, right? He curled up on the couch, watching the front door for a good hour and a half before finally falling asleep, clutching the blunt instrument like a child's toy.
He was awoken several hours later by an unamused Shadow. Of course, he probably had been more amused before Vector, startled by the sudden touch of the hedgehog, attempted to hit him over the head with the bat. Said bat was currently being in Shadow's grip, held by its thicker end. He gave a nervous smile to the hedgehog and a blunt apology, scratching the back of his head nervously. When he looked at Shadow, his boss was massaging his temples with one hand, his other one using the bat to balance.
"Okay," The hedgehog sighed, "That's it. Follow me."
Vector hesitated. Understandably, considering how the last person to follow Shadow out of the house returned a brainwashed shell. But he ended up trailing the older male out of the household. The backyard was slightly muddy from the melted snow, but other than that was smooth and perfectly, one-hundred percent child safe. Of course it was, knowing Shadow.
The hedgehog turned and addressed him, "Alright. Get into stance."
A single sigh, "I'm going to show you how to fight. If you're so paranoid about screwing up again, then let me teach how not to screw up."
"Oh," Vector blinked. The hedgehog had never much been the... nice type. Were his feet not sinking into the ground, he might have believed this was some medicine-induced dream and that he was still back at the hospital, "Uh, alright," He took a second, then got into a position he figured he could fight from. Shadow looked over his form, appraising it with a master's eye.
The critique was swift, "Not bad. If your a fast fighter. But you're not," Shadow roughly pulled the scaly arms into a better position, "You need to be able to move and go back into this stance as quickly as you can. Judging from your muscle development, I would say that you need to focus more on your raw power than anything. It's your greatest strength," He moved behind the crocodile, "Alright, now give me your best punch."
With all his focus, Vector threw forth one fist, launching him forward slightly. Shadow moved into his peripheral vision, inspecting him.
"You put all your weight into your movement," Shadow noted, "That puts you out of balance for the next attack. Your opponent will swiftly be able to strike you down unless you can react before he does. But you do have the power I estimated," He hummed, clearly thinking as he stroked his muzzle, "I think we should try mixed martial arts training. It's full-contact and allows for an aggressiveness that lets you utilize your strength to its fullest potential. That and we don't have to go through any of that peace and harmony stuff," He rolled his eyes, as if the concept annoyed him.
Vector nodded dumbly, still not quite sure what was going on. He listened quietly as Shadow laid out an after-school schedule, something they could both work around. Maia woke up sometime in the middle of scheduling, sneaking into the kitchen and attempting to toast some bread. It was at this point that Shadow excused Vector giving him his pay and going to help the four year old before she burned the house down.
Seven steps out the front door and it finally sunk in to Vector's head that he was now being trained by the most fearsome person he knew, who had threatened to kill him when he was first hired. Vector gave a loud sigh, collapsing to sit on the porch as he asked himself, yet again, "Just what did I get myself into?"
...oh, you're done already?
We were just having an intellectual debate as to which video game series in our collection is the best futuristic shooter. MASS EFFECT!
BORDERLANDS! Ugh, ignore her stupidity and review, plz.