Chapter 3

Two Months later

Jon woke up early in the morning and found himself at the breakfast table eating. He couldn't remember getting up and getting dressed, or cooking an egg, but he didn't care. Ever since the girl, Kate, had left, his life had been dull and boring. Every morning he would wake up, get dressed, eat, go to work, come home, watch television, stare out the window of the balcony hoping to see her coming, and then go to bed. The cycle quickly began to wear on him. This particular morning showed no hope of anything getting better. At least, not until his brother showed up on the front porch carrying a napsack and a rifle.

"Ryan?! What on earth are you doing here?!" He said, stunned at the sight of his brother who hadn't been in town for over two years.

"Haven't you heard the news? There's a huge bounty on a manhunt going on right now! Some creature has been killing people and they need it taken down. The prize for her death is incredible!"

"How much?"

"Fifty thousand!"

"You've got to be kidding me! Why on earth is it so high?"

"She's a meta human"

"Meta human?"

"Yeah, here's the reward poster." Ryan drew a sheet of paper out of his bag. "She's already been wounded. She won't last long. We'll have to hurry if we want the reward." He unrolled the paper. Pictured on the front was the Pikachu girl. The girl he had saved two months before. Jon could almost feel his heart stop beating in his chest.

"Kate...." He murmered under his breath.


"Sounds like a good idea to me! Lets go make some cash!" He exclaimed, getting his rifle out of its case. He followed his brother outside and locked the door behind him. He knew that somehow, he had to find Kate first.

"She was last seen ten miles north of here!" Ryan explained over the roar of his four wheeler. "We'll leave the vehicle in the lot at Gisa Pass and try to pin her up against the river."

"Sounds like a plan!" Jon yelled back over the engine's roar. The vehicle topped its speed out at seventy miles per hour and delivered its passengers at Gisa Pass ten minutes later. Ryan parked his four wheeler behind a Cypress tree and put the ignition key in his pocket. He and Jon both checked their rifles and set out into the woods.

"I'll head up along the river, you go through the middle of the trees." Ryan said, motioning a course for Jon to follow. Ryan eagerly sprinted off towards the river, hoping to find his target their getting a drink, at what would likely be her weakest moment. Jon on the other hand, carefully stalked through the forest, hoping to be the first to find Kate. He kept his eyes peeled for other hunters. Other hunters who were willing to kill Kate, but also might shoot at him or his brother in order to increase their own chance at the fifty thousand. He finally did see another hunter bunkered down behind a log. He crept up behind the unsuspecting man and beat him over the head with the stock of his rifle. The man groaned then slipped silently to the ground. Jon stepped over him and continued through the woods whispering "Kate! Kate!" as loudly as he dared, hoping that her superhuman hearing would be able to pick his voice out of the dozen or so other men that were likely in the forest. He finally spotted her, asleep in a very small hole in a rock wall. He probably would not have seen her if it were not for the drips of blood on the path leading to it.

"Kate!" He said quietly, she stirred slightly and peered out of the small cave. Her frightened expression gave way to a weak smile upon seeing him. He helped her out of the cave and looked her over. She had a moderate wound on her right shoulder where a bullet had grazed her. Other than that, she was unharmed.

"Oh Kate! I'm so glad to see that you're alright!" He said, hugging her. She hugged him back, but suddenly released him, pricking her ears. Her eyes darted back and forth, looking for something. Jon knew immediately that this meant trouble and quickly raised his gun. Ryan came out of the forest slowly, his rifle raised only partway.

"Jon?!" He said, his mouth agape and his face ashen. "Y-you let it touch you?!"

"Ryan she's not just some freak. She's got emotions and right now she's afraid, very afraid. I didn't come here for the money. I came here to help her. Now you have two options. You can leave quietly and let me take her away from this place, or you can go with me and help me get her out of here. Either way, lower your rifle."

Ryan lowered his rifle, still looking stunned at the sight of his brother showing emotion for such a bizarre creature.

"I uh I guess I'm going with you then." He said shakily.

"Good, I knew you'd make the right decision. Come on, Kate seems to think that there are more hunters nearby. If we head east from here we'll hit thick trees and can make our way back to the four wheeler without being noticed. After that we'll just have to run for it and hope to make it to the cabin in the mountains without being intercepted."

Ryan nodded in agreement. Kate and Jon turned and headed east through the thick undergrowth with Ryan trailing slightly behind them.

"Strange little thing ain't she?" Ryan asked.

"Some idiot scientist hosed around with her DNA before she was born."

"Wow.. who?"

"I dunno, I'll kill the jerk if I ever meet him though. What right does he think he has to go tampering with people's DNA with their conse... OOMPH!" A fist crashed into the back of Jon's head, cutting his comment short. He stumbled and fell to the ground, knocking the wind out of him. Ryan came down to hit him again, hoping to knock him out.

: "Sorry Jon, but I can't let you throw this chance away for us. We could make those scientists pay anything for her! We could be rich! You'll understand later. You just don't understand right now, that's all. You'll be thanking me when we're" "Chuu!!!" "Unghh..." Kate cut Ryan's speech short with a sharp blast of electricity, knocking him out cold. She helped Jon get back to his feet. He shook off his dizziness and looked down at his brother.

"No, you're the one that doesn't understand." He kicked him sharply in the ribs once and stole the keys from his pocket before leading Kate off through the undergrowth. They stole the four wheeler and blazed away from the forest, heading for a newer cabin that Jon had just recently built, one that Ryan did not know about. Perhaps there they would be safe.