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the update was for some mistakes i noticed, if you see anymore please tell me
* indicates a footnote; check the bottom of the page
"I don't see the need for all of you to be wearing fire proof suits" Yuri said, to the several scientists that were working to figure out how the radio-looking device worked.
"I'm not wearing a fire suit," Kotetsu pointed out from behind him.
Yuri snorted, "I'm pretty sure that uniform you're wearing is fire proof, is it not?"
"Well, yeah," Kotetsu scratched his head, "but it isn't a fire suit"
"Let's just get started," Dain said nervously, "we're going to see how far the radius of this device is, Mr. Petrov take this candle here, and go to the other side of the room, light it with your powers and walk back to the table, tell us when you can't light it anymore" Yuri took the candle from the man, and walked with Kotetsu to the other side of the ware house they were in.
"If those guys are so scared of me," Yuri stated under his breath, "why didn't they just find a different NEXT to do this with?"
"Because you're the only NEXT readily available on the base" Kotetsu said, "all the NEXT soldiers were called in for security detail in the city"
"Oh," Yuri grunted, "why aren't you on security detail as well?"
"Because the scientists wanted someone to be here if you tried anything," Kotetsu snorted, "I know you aren't going to do anything, but they don't know that"
"Hmm" Yuri said as they reached the far side of the building.
"Okay, light the candle and walk back until you reach the point when your powers stop," Dain called from across the room.
Yuri closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the candle sputtered to life with his blue fire. He opened his eyes, now rimmed with small flames, and started walking back towards the scientists, "does that hurt your eyes?" Kotetsu asked as he walked with him.
"Hmm? Oh no, not at all, don't know why it does that though."
"It looks like it would at least catch your hair on fire,"
"I've actually only burnt myself once with my fire" Yuri gestured to his face scar sadly, he had decided that wearing his makeup was pointless if they already knew it was there.
"Yeah I've been kind of wondering about that," Kotetsu said awkwardly, "how did it happen?"
Yuri shook his head, "It's a bad memory," he grimaced. He took a step forward, and the Yuri's flame went from out. He frowned and concentrated on the wick; but didn't relight, "I can't light it" he called to the scientists.
"Okay!" Dain said, he pulled out a field measuring stick and measured the distance from the device to them "20 feet, and 5 cm" he called out the measurement, "okay Mr. Petrov keep trying to light the candle, turn the device" he called out to the last part to the scientists. They kept tuning the device, checking to see if it was the same distance from each angle. When they had determined the affected area was about 20 feet in a complete circle, the scientists started to crunched numbers; ignoring Kotetsu and Yuri.
"I wonder if you can light the candle inside the radius if you're out of it," Kotetsu thought out loud.
"Do you want to try?" Yuri asked. He took a few steps back and lit the candle with his blue flames, "keep walking to the center," he said handing the candle to Kotetsu. Kotetsu took it and walked up to the scientists, the candle not even flickering.
"That's pretty useful to know," Dain said, seeing what they were doing, "I don't think we'll need your powers anymore today, Mr. Petrov. Kotetsu can you see him back to his room?"
"Sure" Kotetsu said placing the candle down on the table, "let's go," when they had walked out into the hallway Kotetsu suggested they go get something to eat.
"I'm pretty sure you're supposed to take me back to my room,"
"That doesn't mean we can't stop by the cafeteria on the way, I'm starving" Kotetsu said pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, he put one in his mouth, and started searching his pockets for something else, he frowned "damn, hey can I get a light?"
"Because smoking is a nasty habit, it's disgusting and fowl, and ruins people's health."
"You know every person who sees me smoke gives me that exact same speech," Kotetsu said rolling his eyes, he found his lighter in the bottom of one of his pockets, he was about to light his cigarette when his COM beeped. He was getting an incoming call from one of his team mates, "hold on, I'm getting a call," he said pulling his Head device back onto his ears, and flipping the glasses down,* "Yoh,"
"Kip here," the voice came in through the speakers, "are you watching HEROtv?"
"No, what's happening" Kotetsu said motioning for Yuri to follow him, then walking quickly towards the cafeteria.
"Just find a TV and turn it on," Kip said, "The others and I are heading out to try and help now, I have to go, I'll contact you later."
"What is going on?" Yuri called after him, wincing against the complaint his hurt ribs made, but ignoring it. He followed Kotetsu into what looked like a Cafeteria. Kotetsu jogged over to a group of me watching a soccer game, he apologized and changed the channel to HEROtv. On the screen all the Heroes were facing off against several men with A-N printed on their shirts. The Heroes were obviously losing the fight.
"… the criminals seem to have taken away their NEXT powers, just like yesterday at the convention" the TV reporter said worried "though the Heroes are putting up a very good fight, but the number of enemies is overwhelming them," on screen, Barnaby punched one of the criminals in the face, knocking him back, only to be grabbed from behind by another one. Keith came out from nowhere, and wacked the man with what looked like a pipe, his helmet had been knocked off, it was lying behind him on the ground. His blond hair was askew, and he had a small trickle of blood coming down his brow, "Let's just hope they can hold out until help arrives!"
"God…" one of the men said quietly.
"Kotetsu, contact Agnes, if they can get Nathan at least 20 feet away from the brawl he can start covering them with fire, maybe sky high can too" Yuri said turning to the exHERO.
Kotetsu nodded, and then pulled out his phone, he nervously dialed Agnes' number, she answered on the third ring "Kotetsu, this better be good" she sounded very worried and stressed.
"The black device blocking their powers has a range, if Nathan or Keith can get far enough from the device, they can use their powers at a distance," Kotetsu shouted all in one breath.
"I'll let them know" Agnes said, and the TV screen suddenly turned into static. Kotetsu heard her curse very loudly; she hung up the phone.
"Agnes, what happened," Kotetsu shouted, "damn it she hung up," He shoved the phone into his pocket and turned to Yuri, "We need to get down there, now"
Keith saw the man grab Barnaby from behind, so he hit him in the head with a staff he had always carried with him, but never thought he would actually use. The man slouched to the ground and didn't get up, Keith didn't notice, he was busy fending off more attackers. Barnaby and he were back to back now, knocking back the enemies as best they could. He wished for the hundredth time in the last 15 minutes, that his powers would come back. He felt absolutely useless without them, like one of his arms had been cut off.
"We've lost the feed to the cameras" Agnes' voice came through their communicators, "Hang on guys, Military is almost there. The jammers for your NEXT powers have a limited range, if Keith or Nathan can get out of range, you guys could support from afar…"
"That doesn't seem to be a possibility," Barnaby huffed between punches, "to many of them"
"Not if we split up," Keith said, knocking out another enemy with his pole, "we go one way, Antonio and Nathan go another"
"They would just follow us," Antonio grunted, slamming two of the enemy's heads together.
"It's worth a chance" Nathan puffed, he was doing the worst out of all of them, he had never had to fight hand-to-hand without his powers before.
One of the enemies tossed something at both Keith and Barnaby's feet. Keith was about to kick it away when it emitted a huge electric discharge. Keith screamed as he felt the electricity race through his body, and he fell to his knees. Beside him Barnaby collapsed to the ground, with his armor on he had been more affected. Keith cursed, trying to stand back up, but one of the enemies kicked him down before he could. The last thing Keith before he was knocked unconscious was Antonio and Nathan falling to the ground through a sea of legs.
Kotetsu, cracked his neck, he was driving up on the bridge into Sternbuild and he couldn't be any more relived to see it. He was tired from the long day he had had; and it didn't seem his day was going to end anytime soon. He looked over at Yuri. It hadn't been hard getting the Man out of the Military base, he simply snapped the tracking bracelet, and they walked right out. Yuri was currently putting the finishing touches on his makeup, to hide the eerie hand scar on his face. He had made Yuri put on one of the spare operation uniforms, so he could pretend to be part of his own team if anyone asked. Yuri snapped the case of his makeup bag closed, and threw it into the glove box, "you're really good at that, I can't even tell that you have a scar" Kotetsu commented.
"I've had years of practice, how do you think I've avoided being caught all this time? If anyone even thought that I had the scar, I'd have been turned in"
"But you had the scar before you were Lunatic. Why didn't you get laser surgery and have it removed; it isn't that uncommon an operation these days"
"It's… a reminder" Yuri said quietly, he was silent for a second, then suddenly jumped as if he had been scared and hit his knee on the consol. He gasped in pain, and doubled over, clutching his knee. Yuri's sudden movement made Kotetsu jump as well "Are you okay?!" he asked.
Yuri muttered something about his father under his breath, then turned around in his seat and yelled at the back seat "Go away you miserable-" Yuri cut suddenly, and gave the seat a fierce glare. Kotetsu was afraid Yuri would actually set it on fire for a brief second, but then his companion turned back around in his chair, "sorry," he said catching Kotetsu's stare.
"W-what was that about?" Kotetsu said nervously glancing in the rear view mirror at the back chair.
"Just seeing things again" he huffed, running his hands through his long hair, "fucking haunt nearly scared me to death"
Kotetsu stared at him in disbelief for a few seconds, and then turned his attention back to the road, "is it gone now?" he asked glancing into his back mirror at the back seat.
"Yeah…" Yuri sighed, "no matter what anyone ever tells you, seeing things is not, in any way, a gift."
"I would think so," Kotetsu said sweat dropping, "what did it say this time?"
Yuri shifted nervously, "nothing, just the usual nonsense"
"You know, it might just be your subconscious trying to tell you something" Kotetsu said trying to be helpful, "maybe if you actually listened to it, you'll stop being haunted" he looked over at Yuri, who was looking at Kotetsu as if he had just suggested that Yuri grow an extra arm.
Yuri shook the look off his face and pinched the bridge of his nose, "I could never- I know that you're just trying to help Kotetsu; but everything that you say just confuses me,"
"Oh," Kotetsu frowned, "how so?"
"Take the advice you just gave me. The ghost said… that I don't keep the scar as a reminder, but because it can't forgive myself. But how can I forgive myself if what I did was unforgivable?" Yuri asked honestly.
Kotetsu thought about this for a while, "Maybe It just seems unforgivable to you?"
"But I know what I did was horrible, I know without a doubt it's unforgivable"
"Well, could you tell me what you did? Sometimes just telling someone can ease the burden. I won't think any differently of you, I mean I know you now, and that's all I really judge people by. I'll understand if you don't want to tell me though."
Kotetsu fell silent and waited for Yuri's answer, after about a minute Yuri turned off the radio and took a deep breath, he looked like he was about to say something then fell silent again, they sat in absolute silence for another minute, then Yuri finally decided to speak, "My father… was a NEXT. He… was a very good man… the best father in the world. He was…" Yuri looked at Kotetsu sadly, " " he said really quickly and then winced.
Kotetsu's eyes went wide, "Your father is THE LEGEND?!" he said in disbelief, turning to face Yuri.
Yuri nodded, his face downcast, "Yes, and… I killed him," Yuri said quickly, and then looked away, as if ashamed to look Kotetsu in the face. Kotetsu stared blankly at Yuri, his mind as blank as his face, Yuri didn't meet his face but continued talking, "I don't know if you know this or not… but his powers faded just like yours did…"
"I-I knew that," Kotetsu said stupidly, he turned away from Yuri and looked at the steering wheel, "They were staging captures with him, up until his death… because if he had just retired the whole HERO program would have gone under…"
"He didn't like it, the whole staging thing," Yuri's nodded continuing, "he… started drinking, he wanted to capture real criminals, not just be some side show… He just kept getting worse and worse. He wasn't a pleasant drunk. He got so bad one time he became violent… he always told me to never let anyone get away with doing anything bad… and mom… I tried to stop him. But he just turned on me…" Kotetsu looked at the other man. He was looking at his hands in his lap, he the blankest look in his eyes, "W-we didn't know I was a NEXT then," he said his voice chocking, "I-I just threw up my arms to keep him from hitting me, and…" He looked back down at his hands, and conjured a small flame. He let it go out and looked away, "I… got the scar from him, he grabbed my face while he was on fire, I… didn't have enough control to stop it from… burning me or him" Yuri looked up at the road ahead, "Mom saw the whole thing," he said his voice sounding more solid, "she just decided to act as if it had never happened, that dad was always just busy with work and would be coming home any minute, she… just created her own little world," He fell silent, looking anywhere but at Kotetsu, "and I can't forgive myself for doing that, it's unforgivable, what I did, even if I did technically act in self-defense"
Kotetsu turned away from Yuri and looked at the steering wheel, "Feel any better?" He asked, not really sure how he should feel.
"It didn't change anything,"
Yuri looked out his window, they were now crossing the huge bridge into Sternbild and the sight of the sun setting looked remarkable "Maybe a little lighter,"
Two hours after Sternbild witnessed the defeat of their HEROES, the broadcasting network was hacked, causing all the channels to broadcast one video:
A tall, skinny man with blond hair and a black mask on stood in front of a bunch of other men; they all were wearing black uniforms with A-N printed on their shirts, "Hello fellow citizens, yes my dear people, I am the one who has captured your so-called 'Heroes!' You call it a crime, but you shall soon be thanking me. For my dear friends, you have all been disillusioned. The so called Heroes are not what they appear to be! As well as any other NEXT you might know. You see they are not human as they claim to be. They are but DEMONS! Sent here to foul our world, make a mockery of our noble race!" the man was now pacing around the room, clearly mad, in more ways than one, "but fear not for god has spoken to me, he has shown me how to nullify their demonic powers. So that we may cleanse the city of their kind!" he walked off to the left side of the screen, the camera followed him. All the citizens around the city gasped in horror at the sight they saw. Each of their HEROES, including Origami, blue rose, and Dragon Kid, was chained to a white wall; their feet were standing on the ground, but there were shackles at their ankles. Their hands were attached to shackles high up in the wall, so they were immobilized. Each of them had their masks and helmets taken off, and which were lying at their feet so the viewers could see who was who, "these seven HEROES" the masked man spat the word out, "have been leading you blindly into a false sense of security, they pretend to protect you so that you come to depend on them for your safety. But as soon as you let your guard down enough they planned to turn traitor and attack you instead!"
"That's not true!" Blue Rose, who apparently was actually a brunet yelled, "You're just some a man with a demented mind!"
The blond man walked over to the teenage girl, and slapped her across the face, "LIES!" he yelled, and then turned to the audience "she only says this to deceive you! Some of you are thinking that she is right, but that is only because she had blinded you with an illusion! NEXT are evil creatures. Look at most of the criminals in the jail, they are mostly NEXT! Those are not able to resist their true nature, and are therefore caught. But there are more, that are even eviler than the ones in jail that are living among you! God has given me the ability to wipe their powers so we will face no resistance when we flush them out to cleanse the city. Brothers and sitters join my cause by calling out those among you who are demons! My men and I will gather these NEXT up, and then kill them all at once! The first execution will be tomorrow at noon! See you then! Farewell my brothers and sisters!"
*The communication device Kotetsu and his team wear looks like high-tech head phones (not ear buds), but has black glasses that flip up and down that act as a HUD (heads up display), they also have a mike that goes in front of their mouth. The part covering the ear has several buttons on it, like Barnaby's 'ears' on his power suit. Kotetsu has the glasses up and head phone part of the device just behind his ears, because he isn't using it.
Thanks to all who reviewed and read! Sorry for the long wait, I'll finish the story though so don't worry