Psychic Volume 1: Chapters 1-8 (Exam Part 1)

July 28, 2013
By Ray_Aiden GOLD, Granby, Connecticut
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Ray_Aiden GOLD, Granby, Connecticut
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Favorite Quote:
"If you don't try, then it absolutely won't work. If you do try, then you at least have a chance."


Author's note: My first volume of Psychic. I plan on making it an ongoing series, and I thought that putting the chapters into small chunks would be kind of cool, so hopefully you guys will like it. Any criticism is VERY appreciated in order to enhance my writing skills. Enjoy!

On this planet , there are people, but not all of them are exactly normal. You have different races, languages, religions and beliefs, which is normal. Then there is the abnormal. The abnormal is something you cannot attain overtime, learn or discover. It is just something that happens. These people, the abnormal, are called psychics.

Psychics have been around for more than 2000 years now, dating back to ancient time periods. Despite how long they’ve been around, the reason that they have these supernatural abilities are unknown, and even after 2000 years, not even the most intelligent people could figure out the psychics and what they are. Researchers all across the world still try to find out the secret behind these powers, but the only people that can truly discover the secrets behind these powers are psychics themselves.

Psychics are devastating creatures to all of the normal ones out there, and some psychics have even been called monsters. This is with good reason, though, as some of the most powerful psychics in the world can wipe out an army of 1000 men within seconds. If this power is placed inappropriately, then disaster is sure to strike. Anyone can have these powers, good or evil, and Knox Blood was just another abnormal. He is a psychic.




Knox lay in his bed quietly, trying to ignore the high pitched twerps of the birds sitting in the fake trees around his house. To be more precise, his house was more like a shack, considering that it was a three roomed, unstable piece of trash. As the light peaked through his window, he was well aware that it was time to start the day. He slowly dragged his lazy body out of bed and into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

In the kitchen, Knox cleaned off the dirty pans from last night’s dinner. He grabbed a full box of cereal to the right off him, along with two bowls from his shaky cabinets. Though cereal wasn’t much for him and his 9 year old sister, Celia, it was better than what they usually had every morning, which was nothing at all. After his father left, permanently, to be exact, he’d been working a minimum wage job at a market in the center of South Mercury City. He never had to chance to go to school or even hang out with other kids his age, which he always found odd, only because his dad constantly reminded him that school isn’t necessary. Even with minimum wage, after paying for the house and other bills for the mayor, Paul Vauhan, he barely had enough money to feed the two of them for dinner, let alone breakfast.

From the left side of the room, the rotting wooden door started to squeak open, revealing Celia, who was still dressed in her pajamas. Her eyes were still tired from morning fatigue, and her short, brown hair still messy. “Morning, Knox,” she said, tiredly.

Knox smiled. Even though his life wasn’t very good, his sister always made him feel happy. “Good morning. Hey, look. My boss from the market let me take home some cereal from the market yesterday. Here, eat up.” Knox handed the bowl to the excited Celia, who hadn’t eaten any type of breakfast for months.

While eating the cereal, Celia looked up to Knox and asked, “Hey, do you think daddy will ever come home?”

Dad. Knox always felt his stomach quirk whenever he heard the word ’Dad’. It had already been 2 years since Knox’s father left Mercury city to head to Kiruku island for a special job. Without his mom, who died right after Celia’ birth, his dad was the only person he had left to look up to. He could still perfectly picture his dad talking to an old man, dressed up in a black suit and tie, which meant he probably worked for the Mercury City Government, or MCG. After that, his dad left, without even saying goodbye. However, Knox wasn’t worried. His dad wasn’t just some normal guy, he was a psychic, and a strong one, too. Knox had seen his dad take out a group of fifty people in under a minute. He was sure that his dad was still alive.

“I don’t know, but dad’s no loser. I guarantee you that he’s doing great on his mission. It’s just taking him a while, that’s all.” Knox himself had some trouble saying that to his sister, but all he could do was hope.

“Well, back then, when dad was still around, we had a really nice house and lots of money. It’s because he’s a psychic and he’d always do secret mission for the government, right?”

Knox nodded. “Yeah, that’s right.”

“So, well, you’re a psychic, right?” Knox nodded once again. There was no getting around it, Knox is a psychic.

Celia started to continue. “If you do jobs for the government, we won’t live like this anymore.”

“I know that, Celia, but you’re missing the point. You have to understand that dad didn’t do his jobs to get money. The money was just an addition. He did his jobs to help people. You know, protect them from bad psychics and stuff like that. Dad told me a few months before he left to only use my psychic powers when absolutely necessary.”

In a toned down voice, she replied, “Well, this is kinda necessary.”

Knox chuckled. “Maybe you’re just too young to understand. It’ll come as time goes by.” Knox looked outside to see that the sun was rising quickly. “Damn,” he muttered. “I might be late.” He rushed into his room, put on his only clean clothes, which was a pair of white and black checkered shorts and a long, plain red t-shirt, and darted out the door. While outside, he yelled, “See ya later, Celia! Have fun at school!” Knox smiled as he looked back at his house, seeing Celia waving at him through the window.


There are 4 parts of Mercury City. There is North Mercury City, which is where wealthy businessmen, and even some famous celebrities, reside, East Mercury City, which is the downtown area, including skyscrapers, stadiums and many other various buildings, West Mercury City, which is where the middle class residents live, and finally, South Mercury City, where the poor people are forced to live in the worst conditions imaginable, including scrap metal shacks, decaying log cabins, and for the truly unlucky people, on the dirt streets.

Connecting these 4 districts is an incredible sight. Something that people around the world pay thousands of dollars to see. A monument that took over 2 decades to finish. This is known as the Mercury Pillar. The pillar is a perfect square, made out of pure earth, that rises higher than the clouds. A top it lays a large, pure white manor, known as the Blessed House. In it lives the mayor and his family, and only government officials, such as world leaders or mayors of other major cities, are allowed to enter.


Inside of the Blessed House, Mayor Vauhan, the leader of Mercury City, sits back in his fine leather chair, with a nervous, yet excited, look on his face. Across the table from him is his top combatant, the leader of Mercury City’s powerful army, Mia. Vauhan lit a cigar and inhaled a large puff of smoke before speaking to Mia.

“Mia,” says Vauhan, scratching his rapidly graying hair. “this is it. You do know what today is, correct?”

“Yes sir,” she responds. “Today is the day of your daughter’s wedding.”

“Spot on. And you know that for this day only, I’m allowing every legal citizen of my town to come up here to witness Momo’s wedding. This means that anyone, including some of the real weirdoes that we’ve produced, from serial killers to rapists, to come and witness this wedding. You must realize that she’s getting married to the son of Randy Horton, who’s uncle is married to the queen of Porenzio. In the end, I’m happy because I get closer to Porenzio, and it makes my baby happy because she gets married!” Vauhan starts to push his nails into his desk. “Mia, you’re my best soldier. You MUST make sure that nothing goes wrong, do you understand?”

“Yes sir,” said Mia. She was confident that nothing could go wrong. Mia was well aware how dastardly she could be. From the outside, she looked like a normal, pretty 23 year old women, but on the inside, she had the soul of a warrior. She walked out of the office and into the hall that was connected with the balcony, waiting patiently along the fuzzy, red carpet next to several other soldiers for Momo and her fiancé to come out.

After a few short minutes, Momo, who had her normally long, brunette hair in a bun, came down the hall, her right arm locked with her fiancé. She used left arm to pick up the ridiculously long dress from the ground. She slowly made her way to balcony, greeting the tens of thousands of people who were stuffed on the perfectly flat ground of the pillar. Most of the crowd had actually only come to the wedding to be able to go on top of the pillar. The people who actually cared for Momo were all up in the front row. A large sigh came gasp came from the crowd. They were astonished by how beautiful Momo looked.

She waved at them a few times until the guards forced everyone to be quiet for the priest, who had just started the ceremony. Vauhen stood behind them with other members of his family, smiling in glee. Today was a great day for him, and he couldn’t deny it.

Back at the ground, standing at the very edge of the pillar, stood a man. A suspicious man, to say the least, who rocked a blonde, slicked back hairdo, a pair of raggedy jogging pants and a button up baseball jersey. The jersey was striped, with alternating red and black colors, and on the back, in orange print, said, ‘45 Rain’. The man looked around the crowd, spotting out the guards as they slowly moved back towards the end of the crowd, trying to shut up the occasional noisy person. Now’s my chance, he thought, as he raised his right hand, with his palm open and sweaty from the beating sun. He focused his mind for a second, and within no time, a light blue ball of energy was forming in his hand. Every second it grew bigger, until in completely covered his palm.

“This party ends here…” he muttered to himself. He smiled deviously as the blue ball lit up his hand. The ball generated such blazing heat that the man could only hold it for so long before he felt the skin on his hand start to sear. In the end, though, he knew it was going to be worth it. He deserves it. He deserves to feel loss.

In the blink of an eye, the ball rocketed out of his hand in the shape of a laser, and was aiming directly for the beams of the balcony. Before the priest could finish talking, the ball connected with the beams, completely shattering them. As the beams fell, so did the balcony, which easily stood at 30 feet in the air. In just a matter of seconds, the stone from the balcony busted into smaller pieces and quickly shattered until there was no more support. The entire floor of the balcony fell below Momo and her fiancé, leaving them falling towards the grounds. Momo and her fiancé should’ve been scared, but the scene happened so fast that they had no time to fear for their lives. They quickly hit the ground, causing a loud boom.

In shock, the entire crowd started to panic, some even bursting out into tears. The citizens were pushed out of the way as members of the Mercury City Government moved towards Vauhan’s daughter. Mia reacted the same, quickly sprinting towards the fallen balcony. She quickly turned back to see Vauhan, who was on his knees. His expression was heart breaking, and even a person as tough as Mia was devastated to see him like that. Vauhan sat in awe, with tears forming in his eyes. He wanted to cry so badly, but he had a hard time believing what was happening. Without thinking twice, she jumped off of the hole that was left by the balcony. She landed on the ground without feeling a bit of pain and rushed over to the victims, who were surrounded by at least 40 people in black suits.

“Get out of the way! Let me in, you idiots!” She shoved the men out of her away and examined Momo. Momo’s neck was clearly broken, which just made things worst. Mia was scared to do so, but she slowly placed her two fingers on the side of Momo’s neck, looking for a beat. She felt absolutely nothing. The other soldiers also confirmed the death of the priest and Momo’s fiancé.

“She’s…dead…” murmured Mia. She was in disbelief that someone had the nerve to do something as vicious as this. “Listen up!” yelled Mia, grabbing the attention of the soldiers immediately. “Find whoever did this right this instant! When you find the target, kill him and anyone who has to do with him on sight!”

“Oh, do you mean me?” Mia quickly turned to her left, finding herself staring into the eyes of the man with the blonde hair. “I did it. I killed that precious girl, and it was all due to me being, as you people would say, abnormal.” Mia’s eyes widened. It started to make sense now, how a balcony collapsed so easily. It was because…

The man raised his pointer finger and formed a small blue ball, similar to the one he attacked the balcony with. “It’s because I’m a psychic. Let me explain myself, if you don’t mind. This is just a simple warning to Vauhan. I’ve sent many letters to him where I clearly state that he should give up his spot as mayor to me, or lose someone ‘special to him’. It just happened to be his daughter. Talk about a real shame.”

Mia was speechless, and at the same time frightened. So many things were going wrong right now, with Momo dying and now an attack by a psychic. But this was not an ordinary psychic. Mia had faced some in the past, and while they were tough, she could tell just by looking at this guy that he was much more powerful. Fighting against him would be suicide, plain and simple.

“Can’t talk, b****?” he asked as he arched both of his eyebrows. “Well, you get the point. I’ll give you some more time to think about it, maybe a month or two.” He smiled the same way he did when he attacked Momo. “You better convince that idiot Vauhan up there to hand over his power, or else I’ll have to take out another relative.”

Though Mia was still petrified, she had gained enough courage to speak up. “I-it doesn’t matter anymore. We have at least 200 soldiers up here blocking all sorts of exits. You die here.” She started walking towards him, with her fists clenched. She didn’t want to take him on, but with all the soldiers with pointed guns behind her, she felt secured.

The man sighed. “Guess I gotta go. What a bummer, I was hoping to stay around long enough to talk to the mayor.” He slowly started walking backwards, up until the point where he was one step from falling off of the pillar.

“That guy can’t be serious!” said a soldier. “I don’t care if he’s a psychic or not, no one can survive a drop that far!” As soon as he said that, the man dropped down, and quickly fell out of everyone’s line of sight. The soldiers started rushing to where he dropped off. When they looked down, they were all confused, and for good reason. Even on a clear day, with not one cloud in the sky, he disappeared. There was no body or evidence of him disappearing. He had completely vanished.

Most of the crowd had already left by now, with a couple of groups loading onto the elevators at a time. With that, Mia rubbed her eyes in disappointment, walking into the Blessed House. Today was supposed to be perfect, but one man found a way to ruin it all. She wanted to know his name so badly, just so she could curse him. She ascended to the top floor of the house, waiting outside of the mayor’s office. A soldier quietly exited the room, giving Mia a nervous look that signaled her that the mayor wasn’t doing well. “Did you tell him the news yet?” she asked.

“Yeah, he took it much worst than we expected.” replied the soldier.

Mia sighed once again. “I’ll take it from here. You tell the rest of the soldiers to start rapping up the victims.” The soldier ran off as Mia entered the room, finding that the once neat room had been completely torn to shreds. Every piece of furniture was flipped, the painting and vases were smashed and scattered all across the room, and there were several holes in the wall. In the middle of it all was Vauhan, who was face down on the floor weeping.

“Sir, w-”

“Shut up!” yelled Vauhan at the top of his lungs. “Everything was ruined! My daughter, my sweet Momo, she’s gone because of a terrorist attack. A psychic of all people! My father was right about psychics, they’re good for nothing!”

“Sir, please, we need to discuss what we’re going to do about this. We need to make sure no more attack happen ever again.”

“It doesn’t matter anymore!”

“It does matter, sir!” screamed Mia, shutting Vauhen up. “This guy isn’t an average psychic, he’s much stronger. He can do so many harmful things. We have no intel on this guy, and as far as we know, our soldiers aren’t going to be able to stop him.”

“Then what will?” asked Vauhan.

“I was thinking about it after the attacks. When our men were too scared to fight, it hit me. We need to fight fire with fire if we want to kill this guy.”

“In other words?”

“We need to recruit our own psychics to fight that psychic.”

Vauhan glared back at Mia. The idea sounded insane to him, but at the same time, it could work. “Psychics,” said Vauhan, in a toned down voice. “I’ve never liked them. I was raised by my parents to hate them. Why should we just start to trust these people after one just killed my precious daughter? It’s unthinkable!”

“Sir,” replied Mia. “I know you didn’t see what happened, but that man got away from 200 of our best soldiers. I can tell you want vengeance just by looking at you, but we have to face the facts, here. This man is one step ahead of the average person. We’d be wasting lives to just send soldiers to find him. This guy can only be stopped by his own kind.”

Vauhan finally gained enough strength to raise his weak body off of the ground. He rubbed his eyes, which were stained red from crying, and wiped the dust off of his uniform. “I still don’t understand. How are we going to get psychics to just start fighting for us?”

“It’s simple. I thought of it on the way up, sir. An exam.”

Vauhan arched his eyebrow. “An exam? What are you talking about?”

“We should hold a test that applies for all psychics. We’ll gather as many psychics as possible. Of course, recruiting them all would be a waste of time, so we just need to test them. You know, find the best of the best.”

“Best of the best…,” muttered Vauhan.

Mia nodded. “We’ll get the best of the best, and they’ll be the ones to find that man and eliminate him.” Mia looked into Vauhan’s eyes and could still see that he was unsure of the fact. She couldn’t blame him, of course, considering he grew up in a world that discriminated psychics. “Please, sir. This is the only chance we have.”

Vauhan stared down at the carpet, ignoring the shattered glass and flipped furniture that was caused from his anger. He had to decide now. Could he really trust any of these guys? Vauhan took a deep breath, taking his time to exhale. “3 days,” he said. Mia gave him a confused look. “You have 3 days to devise an exam and gather the best psychics you can possibly find.” He looked away from the carpet and into Mia’s eyes. “This will be the first and only time that I can trust those people. If anything more catastrophes occur because of those animals, I won’t forgive you for this.”

With no response, Mia left the room and walked down the stairs, where Momo, her fiancé and the priest covered in white bandages. Mayor Vauhan is right, she thought, this is our only hope, and I don’t even know where to begin.

“Listen up, maggots!” she yelled, grabbing the attention of everyone in the room. “We’ve come up with a plan to avenge Momo, and as confirmed by Mayor Vauhan, we will be holding an exam to find the strongest psychics in the city.” The crowd of soldiers all started whispering to each other, surprised by the mayor’s choice. They couldn’t believe he’d let anyone come up to the top of the pillar ever again, let alone psychics. “I want all of you to spread the word of this exam across every last corner of Mercury! Make posters, call up broadcasting stations and newspaper companies. I don’t care what you do as long as we get the word across the city.”

“But, what about Momo?” asked a soldier.

“We’ll keep her and the other two wrapped like this and kept in the cellar until further notice. For now, I’m heading down to the lower level to help spread the word.”

“And the test?”

“I’ll come up with something tonight, but that doesn’t matter now!” In a rush, Momo pushed the soldiers out of the way and started scurrying across the pillar to the closest elevator. South Mercury, she thought. That’s where I’ll go first.


The sun was beating down ferociously, and that didn’t make the day any better for Knox. He was grateful that he worked in market, where he could at least stay inside with the shade most of the time. Knox turned the corner from the dirt road onto a large stone path, that stretched for a good 2 miles. Along the stone road were buildings that had barely any space between them. Most of the buildings were constructed with bricks, and were no bigger than 3 stories at the most. A majority of the people from the North, which is where the rich people live, consider the stone path to be disgusting and poorly put together, but in the south, you were considered rich among those citizens if you were living on the main road. Even the smell of rotting garbage and brick houses are better than the shacks that some people from the South live in.

Along the way, Knox occasionally kicked up some stones from the path, moving slowly through the road, which was flooded with peasants all across the district. The crowd wore mostly light brown rags, and sometimes there would be a man or two who could afford decent clothing, such as Knox, but it was rare. Something seemed off to him, though. Not only was the street more crowded then ever, but the crowd was in a massive uproar. Usually stuff like this happened when there was terrible accident, but today it seemed pretty bad.

Knox finally arrived at work, which was the Main Street Market, a run down green shack that was stocked with nothing but fruit and some canned food. Despite its low quality, it was still a very popular market.

“Oi, you made it on time for once, mate!” A large shadow surfaced over Knox. He turned around quickly, looking up at his tall, but fat, boss, Mr. Lans.

“Morning, sir!” said Knox, grabbing an apron off of a workbench. “Pretty hot day, to say the least.”

Mr. Lans grabbed a few crates of fruit and dropped them on the ground. “Yeah, it’s pretty bad even for June. But, hell, that’s the least we can worry about right now?”

Knox gave Lans a confused look. “Why, is something up?”

“Boy, didn’t you hear? You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard what happened!”

“Well, it must be pretty bad if the crowd is in such a panic today. What’s up?”

“You know that snot nosed mayor of ours, Vauhan? Well, the rotten man’s daughter was assassinated!”

At the sound of those words, Knox dropped the fruit he was packaging in shock. No wonder why everyone was freaking out. “You’re kidding? By who?”

“They don’t got the culprit yet, but the man’s supposed to be some psychic. Guess the guy could make this fancy blue energy stuff and fire it. It packs a huge punch if it can take down that balcony!”

“So, he can emit energy, huh?” Knox had always been pretty good with figuring out psychics and how they use their powers. “That’s a pretty powerful man, then. They don’t even know if he was using a full power attack, either. For all we know, if he charged up long enough, he could’ve taken down the entire Blessed House.”

“Entire thing?” said Lans, in a shocked tone. “Man, you psychics are crazy people. I’ll have to make sure to stay on your good side, boy.”

Knox smiled as he finished packaging the fruit. Nevertheless, it was mind blowing to him that someone could’ve taken down an entire balcony like nothing. Knox thought to himself, I wonder if it’s possible to become that strong. Then again, is it even worth it.

The day passed by fast as always, but it wasn’t closing time yet. Knox was in the back of the shop, cleaning out garbage like he did before he went home every day. Right before finishing his duties, a loud bang came from inside the shop. Knox quickly came in through the back door to see what the commotion was.

In front of the check out counter stood a gargantuan brute, easily standing at 6’6”. His muscles were buff, and his large chest could barely keep the wife beater he had on secured. The man had his fist through the rotting counter. His veins popped out of his head and arms, showing that he was angry.

“You freaking asshole!” yelled the giant, directing his anger towards Mr. Lans. “What the hell are you trying to do, feeding me outdated fruit?”

“I apologize, good sir,” replied Lans. “It’s just, well, we haven’t gotten many sales with the fruit lately, and wasting it would be kind of unfortunate.” It was kind of entertaining for Knox to see his boss try to talk in a fashionable manor.

“I don’t give a s*** about your sales, you fat retard! I want my money back this instant.”

Mr. Lans pointed to his right at a sign that read, ‘No Money Back Guarantees’. “Please read the sign, sir, it explains everything.”

The veins on the man’s head started to expand, just like the crowd around the scene. “I’ve had it, you piece of trash. I’m gonna mess you up real bad.” The man cocked his right arm, and at full force, slammed his fist at Mr. Lans. Mr. Lans went flying onto his back at hit the ground hard, moaning in pain.

“You need to relax, Johnny!” said a woman in the crowd.

“Shut it, this man deserves to pay. If he won’t give me money, then he’ll just pay me back by letting me beat the crap outta him.”

Johnny started to slowly walk towards Mr. Lans, who still was on the ground. “Take this, fatty!” Johnny threw another punch right for Lans stomach. Suddenly, he stopped halfway through his punch, watching as Knox grabbed his fist and stopped him in his tracks. The entire crowd was in disbelief that a teenager could stop a brute with just one hand. “What the hell?” replied Johnny.

“You’ve already caused enough damage,” said Knox. “Just leave the poor man alone.”

“Why should I? There’s no one here to stop me.”

“That’s a lie. I’ll stop you if I must.”

Before Johnny could continue talking, he busted out into laughter. “You gotta be kiddin’ me? You, try and stop me? Well, if you really want a fight, don‘t start crying when I‘m beating you into the ground.”

“Fine, get outside. But I’ll warn you, I’m abnormal.”

“Pfft, I already know that. It’s obvious that something’s wrong with that brain of yours.” Knox laughed to himself. Following Johnny, Knox walked outside into the middle of the stone road, forming a circle with the crowd as the barriers.

A little further down the street, Mia was walking, exhausted from trying to tell the citizens about the exam. Despite her hard work, not one psychic had emerged to talk to her. What a waste of time, she thought. What am I even doing down here in this piece of garbage district? I need to get out of this junkyard. As she prepared to turn around, she couldn’t help but notice something strange. The long lane of people were moving to the side, going around a circle of citizens. From past experiences, she knew that there was a fight going on. She felt bad about slacking off at suck a vital time for the mayor, but maybe something interesting would finally happen. She squirmed her way through the crowd, finding herself in the front row. To her surprise, this wasn’t just an average street brawl. It was a fight between a monster and a teenager.

“Go get em’ boy!” yelled Lens, who had finally resurfaced. Johnny looked down at Knox, who had a blank expression on his face, and gave him a smirk. Knox wasn’t even a bit intimidated by the monster.

“This is going to be a lot of fun!” Johnny jogged towards Knox, with his right arm ready to swing. The crowd grew more and more tense as Johnny got closer to Knox. As he approached, he threw a straight right, but it was useless. Knox ducked below him and shifted to the right. 2 more punches came flying at Knox, but he blocked both of them at ease. Johnny continued to spam straight punches one after the other, but none came close to connecting. Finally, out of boredom, Knox jumped back, stretched his arms, and positioned himself in a fighting stance.

“You’re too predictable,” said Knox. “All you do is throw the same straight punches, one after another. Dodging them isn’t even considered a challenge.”

“You little s***,” murmured Johnny. He ignored the laughs of some of the people from the crowd and said, “Think you’re all that just because you can dodge, don’t you? How about you try attacking me for a change?”

“Fine, have it your way, Johnny.” Knox slowly walked over to him, exiting his stance. Johnny could barely see the logic in his strategy. Before Johnny knew it, Knox threw a punch right to his abs. It was so fast, that he had no time to even try and dodge. Knox moved to the right, and threw a powerful roundhouse kick straight to his ribs. Johnny, even with his muscular body, couldn’t believe how strong the attacks were. Knox finished it off by dropkicking into a back flip, making Johnny fly onto the stones, which dug into his skin like needles.

Mia watched from the sidelines in total doubt. She bounced her eyes back to Knox, who looked like any average teenager. As a matter of fact, Knox actually looked kind of non-athletic to her. How could someone like him be so strong, she thought. I’ve never seen someone his age be able to pull of such perfect attacks. It took me years to perfect my punches! Johnny picked himself off of the sharp surface, picking out the stones that stuck into his body. He wiped off the small blots of blood that surfaced onto his arm. “Eh, you’re pretty good, kid. Must be a karate expert or something. The thing is, though, I got a few things up my sleeve, as well. How about you try me one more time?”

“Alright, I hope you can actually impress me this time.” This time, Knox came running towards Johnny. Before he could land an attack, Johnny jumped to the left, closing in near the crowd. Knox quickly changed direction and came flying towards Johnny with an uppercut prepared. As soon as Knox started to swing his fist, Johnny grabbed a young woman from the crowd and placed her in front of him.

Knox’s eyes widened, stopping the uppercut just an inch away from the woman’s chin. He was disgusted by how cowardly and sickening Johnny’s ‘trick’ was. “Now’s the time, baby,” said Johnny, punching Knox directly in the nose. Knox flew back onto the ground, feeling small drops of blood leak out of his nostril. Knox clenched his fist in anger and took a deep breath. Knox lay on the ground and looked up to the sky, thinking of what his dad would say to him right now. He closed his eyes and saw an image of his dad, as if he was standing right next to him. The image of his tall, buff body and his easing, brown eyes. Knox wished that he was actually here to help him, but then he remembered something that his dad said a few years back, words that Knox always remembered. You can’t let people bad people boss you around, thought Knox. You should never harm the innocent. Well, unless the truly deserve it. If that’s the case, then don’t hold back. Knox smiled and nodded. He didn’t want to do this, but he no longer had a choice. “Alright, dad,” he whispered. “I’ll do it.”

Knox immediately got up from the ground and gave Johnny an angry look. An angry look that told him that he wasn’t playing around anymore. “Do you remember when I told you that I wasn’t normal. I’m going to show you what I mean.”

Knox slowly shut his eyes and dug his short nails into the palm of his hand. He took a deep breath before veins started to surface all over his body. The crowd, along with Johnny was deeply confused.

“What the hell is this, some Dragon Ball bullshit? What are you doing?” Slowly, a red aura started to outline Knox’s body. It was barely visible, but within a minute, the aura was sparkling and could be seen from far distances away.

“When I said I was abnormal, I was being literal. Normal people call the abnormal psychics, correct? You should be careful who you mess with next time.” Johnny stood and watched the magnificent red aura in shock, but he wasn’t alone. The entire crowd was silent, and some people were even frightened. “Quit now or prepare to take a trip straight to hell.”

Johnny snapped out of his petrified state and got back into battle mode. “I’m not scared of a little s*** like you. Bring it!” Johnny sprinted full speed at Knox. Johnny tried to think of an attack on his way there, but it was useless. Knox jumped into the air and swung his leg right into Johnny’s neck. The impact was so brutal that Johnny went flying to the left, smashing through the market. He connected with the wall, which completely shattered. With that, Johnny was knocked out cold.

“If you weren’t so damn hasty,” continued Knox. “I could have told you that this red aura enhances my strength by five times, making me much more powerful than before.” The crowd was speechless. There was no cheering or excitement, only fear. There was one exception, though, and it was Mia. She stared at Knox until the red aura diminished into thin air. It was only one attack, but she had a great feeling about Knox. A feeling that told her that he wasn’t just an average psychic. He had the potential that she was looking for. I’ve decided, she thought. He must take the exam.

Though it took some time, the crowd quickly stopped paying their attention to Johnny’s unconscious body and continued on with their normal lives. However, Mia still stood in the middle of the road, watching only Knox, who was a bit exhausted after using his powers.

After checking on her short blonde hair, she walked in a mannerly fashion, as every guard in Mercury City was instructed to do, over to Knox, and bowed. Knox was oblivious what was going on. Normally, most of the guards paid more attention to the other districts since they had more significance to the city, and the only time they bothered to come to the south was for very serious crimes, such as serial murder cases. It was obvious to Knox that Mia was a higher classed soldier from the way she was dressed in a light brown uniform, covered in various badges, rather than the pure black one. This was probably the first time someone important has come to the south in a good 50 years.

“Good afternoon, sir,” said Mia, try to be polite as possible. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mia Rose of the MCG, taking the role of 1st in command under our leader, Paul Vauhan.”

Knox’s eye popped open and his back straightened up. He knew that this woman was important, but he would have never guessed that she was the number two in command of the entire city.

“I-I’m sorry, Mrs. Rose!” spurted out Knox as he dropped onto one knee in an attempt to make a good impression. “I hope I wasn’t being rude.”

“It’s fine,” she said as she pointed at Johnny, who was just beginning to wake up. “Anyways, I just want to talk about that little scene you had with that muscle head over there.”

“I’m not under arrest, am I?” asked Knox, nervously. He usually had a cool head, but could get very shaky around officials. “I mean, if you wanna know, he’s the one who started it all.”

Mia giggled. “No, I just wanted to say that I’m very impressed.

Knox raised his eyebrow slightly. He stood baffled for a second, but quickly came to his senses. “R-really?”

“Yeah. Not many boys your age can take out a man like that. I couldn’t help but notice that trick you played off at the end, with the red aura.”

“Well, in the end, I guess I’m just a psychic.” Knox didn’t want to get into much more detail than that. He had learned from his father that Vauhan discriminated psychics for unknown reasons, but he wanted to play it safe. Knox had no idea whether or not the guards were trained to like or hate psychics.

“And one with a lot of potential,” added Mia. He didn’t want to sound cocky, but Knox was well aware that he had the chance of becoming powerful psychic, just like his father. But for now, the only thing that mattered to him was taking care of Celia.

“Oh, how rude of me,” said Mia, getting off track. “I never asked for your name.”

“Uh. You work for the MCG, correct?” asked Knox. “You might know my dad, he’s worked for you guys forever.”

Mia laughed. “Possibly. It is a 50-50 chance, since psychic traits are passed down from generation to generation to at least one predecessor, meaning that your mom had to be the psychic of the family. Mayor Vauhan discriminates psychics, and for as long as I could remember, we’ve never had a psychic join our forces.”

Knox gave Mia a very confused look. He had no clue that the mayor didn’t want any psychic in the army. If so, then how did his dad work for them? “Are you positive?” asked Knox. “I’m positive that my dad’s a psychic, and he worked for you guys for quite a long time.”

“You have to be making it up,” said Mia, in a raised tone. “We even use advanced technology to determine if someone is a psychic or not. There’s no way that he could have passed it if he was a psychic, plain and simple.”

“I swear to god, I’m not lying. Maybe you guys didn’t have that technology back then.”

“We’ve had it for 60 years, I’m pretty sure he had to take it.”

“Maybe he skipped it?”

“No man has ever skipped it, period!” Mia was starting to get moody with Knox’s stubbornness.

“Well, maybe he was such a strong psychic that he found a way to conceal his power. I know that it‘s possible, it just takes a long time to perfect.” Mia was on the urge of beating the crap out of Knox, but it wasn’t worth it. She had to stay on his side, at least until the exam.

“His name. What was his name?”

“Let’s see,” said Knox, looking up into the sky. “Man, my memory’s foggy. I never remember calling him by his real name ever, to be honest. Along with that, I never heard any of his friends say his name. We never had any family visit, either, so yeah.”

Mia sort of felt bad for Knox, not only because he never met any outside family, but he didn’t even know his own father’s name. She had never met a person who didn’t even know the name of their own father. Deep inside her, however, she had an alternative belief, which is that Knox is a total retard.

“You at least know your last name, right?”

“Yeah, it’s Blood.” Hearing the words Blood, she was in shock. A chill went down her spine, goose bumps started emerging on her arm, and her mouth simply plops open. She thinks about it for a second, and in her mind, says, It actually makes perfect sense.

Mia bowed down to Knox. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I’m so sorry for ever thinking bad of you in any ways.” Knox didn’t know what to think of her at that point, but he just went along with it. “Your father,” she continues. “His name is Ryder Blood. Ever since I joined 7 years ago, he was always the one person I looked up to.”

“Really?” asked Knox.

She nodded. “He’s a real hero to the people in the army. He’s so strong and brave. He’d never turn any assigned mission down, even if he thought that he couldn’t complete it. But, well, what was so awesome about him was that he went out of his away to protect and avenge people, even if it meant risking his life.”

“Sounds like him,” added Knox. “Even when he was home, he always kept reminding my younger sister and I that the lives of others come before the lives of you, and if you can’t protect them, then avenge them. Ever since he left home, I’ve been following that statement of his to the fullest.” Knox stopped for a second and glared at the ground, with a sad feeling arising in him. “You…you worked with him, right?”

“Yeah,” replied Mia.

“Do you know where he is right now?”

Mia started to get the impression that Knox was getting sad. It took her a second before she could even talk. “All I know is that he went on a mission to Kiruku island, somewhere in the south. We haven’t gotten word from him since he left.” Knox didn’t replied. He just felt depression overcome him as he stood in the middle of the road, eying down the descending sun in the west. He didn’t know how much hope he had left of his father still being alive, but he knew the chances were rapidly being lost.

“Well?” asked Knox. “Did you just want to compliment me on beating up that oaf or what? I need to be getting back.”

Mia shakes her head, knowing that she has gotten off track. “Oh, yeah. Anyways, like I said, I was very impressed with your skills, and I wanted to ask a favor of you.” Knox gave her a curious look. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the recent assassination of Mayor Vauhan’s daughter, Momo. We found out that the assassin is an unidentified man. The only important information that we’ve gotten on him is that he is a psychic, and a powerful one.” Knox couldn’t deny that. He knew very well that a psychic that can use his abilities to destroy something as strong as the Blessed House’s balcony is above average.

“I hope you don’t plan on sending normal people out there. They’ll get blown away in a second.”

“You read my mind, uh…”

“Knox,” he said in a solid tone.

“Knox, got it. You’re right, we can’t send our normal soldiers. I talked to the mayor already about it, and he most definitely wants retaliation. All we can do is fight fire with fire. We’ve decided, even though the mayor dislikes them, to recruit psychics.”

“So you’re just going to recruit a bunch of psychics, even after one just killed someone as important as Momo? Psychics have tons of different intentions, both good and evil. Trusting them again so quickly is just going to lead to some more problems.”

“I’m aware, which is why this plan is a bit…luck oriented. Of course, we’re not as stupid as you may think, Knox. We aren’t just going to take a bunch of them and have them fight for us. They’ll be taking an exam, and only the best psychics will be recruited. The ones who will pass get the luxuries of living in the Blessed House, including meals whenever ordered and personal servants that obey them whenever they please.”

“Alright, a psychic exam to kill this dude, I understand. And I’m guessing that…”

Mia quickly interrupted him. “Yes, Knox. I want you to try the exam.” Knox stayed silent. He looked back at the sun, which had descended a little bit from before and sighed. All he could think about was his dad in situations like these. Either leave his sister to protect someone important, or keep his normal life.

“I’ve decided,” said Knox after some painfully long minutes. “I can’t” Mia was on the edge of flipping out from his response. W-what did he say? she thought to herself. Did he seriously turn me down?

“W-why?” she asked ferociously. “How can staying in this crap hole district be better than living in the Blessed House! Look around you, kid! I don’t know about you, but all I see are a bunch of poverty stricken animals in rags with rows of crappy brick buildings? Even the biggest idiot on earth would leave this place!

“You don’t get it,” said Knox. “Sure, living in a house that isn’t made out of sheet metal would be nice, and so would having a personal butler, but I made a promise to my dad. If he were to ever leave, I had full responsibility over my sister. It doesn’t matter what offer I’m made. I plan to stay here, in what you people call hell, but as long as I keep my sister safe, I don’t mind living in this hell.”

Mia took a deep breathe. “I’m sorry,” she said, admittedly. “I didn’t mean to explode on you, but you have to see how desperate we are! I’ve searched all day for good psychics, you know, ones with potential like you, but you’re the only one that has stuck out to us. We need you, please!” Knox could hear the desperation in Mia’s voice. He also couldn’t help but notice her legs wobbling and preparing to fall to the dirt.

“Sorry, but the answer’s no. I keep my promises.” With nothing left to say, Knox quickly turned around and headed home. Mia watched his every step until he was completely out of sight. She dropped her desperate act and started to rub her foot back and forth in the dirt for a minute.

“Little asshole,” she muttered. “I’m not giving up on that kid that easily.” She whistled a short jingle, and from a rooftop of a building right next to her, two men, both dressed in the normal soldier’s outfit, jumped down and landed behind Mia, who were instructed to follow her in case anything went wrong.


“Unfortunately, things didn’t go too well,” said Mia.

“Well, what are we gonna do now?” asked the man to her left.

“I’m not giving up on that boy yet. I’ll do anything to recruit him.”

“I still don’t understand.”

“It’s not too hard, you imbecile. We just have to force him to come and work for us.” Mia went into deep thought while she thought of a plan. She went back through the conversation briefly, remembering that Knox mentioned his sister.

“That’s it! I have an idea!” She turned around with a fierce look in her eyes, staring at the two soldiers. “Listen up. I want you to follow that boy. He shouldn’t be too far from here, so you should be able to catch him. Just don’t get caught, we can’t have you guys being found out by him, understand?”

The two nodded, and immediately afterwards, they sprinted down the street, following Knox’s path. I will do anything, thought Mia, to get you to take that exam, Knox Blood.

Night had quickly fell upon Mercury City. The loud steps of businessmen started to disappear as the night thugs and gangsters started to emerge. Most of the buildings were closed all around the city by this point, with the exception of some skyscrapers, and the city was now lit up with the exterior lights that ran across every last inch of Mercury.

Mia sat down on a bench in the East Disctrict’s park, which wasn’t too far from the Pillar. Her brain was beating every second or so from a dreadful headache. She tilted her head up, eyeing down a zeppelin that flew high above the city, but moving at a gradual pace. After a long day of no progression, Mia felt nothing but despair.

“Ugh,” she said. “What a waste of a day. Not one of those worthless peasants from the South was worth it. And of course, the one that was actually useful has to protect his ‘precious’ sister. Honestly, I felt like beating the crap out of that jerk for telling me off like that! I swear, if I ever see hi-”

“Talking to yourself again?” Mia turned away from the zeppelin and looked to her left. She spotted a well built man with a completely clear face and sparkling eyes. Like Mia, he wore the higher classed brown uniform. He whipped out a smoke from a newly bought pack of cigarettes.

“Here, take a cig,” he said.

Mia rolled her eyes. “I’m not gonna risk becoming an addicted smoker like you, General Aster.”

He laughed to himself. “Just call me Rend, sweat heart.” He took a seat next to Mia and lit up a cig with his lighter. “So, looks like the boss got in a pretty bad situation today, no?”

Mia looked over at Rend, annoyed. “It would’ve been nice to have you there with me, you know. It’s kind of hard having to deal with such a big situation all by myself. Where were you anyways?”

“Well,” started Rend. “I thought that going on duty during some wedding seemed kind of boring, so I found a good lookin’ babe and took her out on a date.” Idiot, thought Mia. “Anyways, I couldn’t help but overhear some guards talking about your new, well, idea?”

“The exam?” she asked.

Rend slapped an annoyed look on his face as he blew smoke out of his nose. “Yeah, that. It’s funny that you’re allowing psychics, you know, the same psychics that killed Momo, into the blessed house, where they have the chance to kill the mayor of Mercury. Honestly, Mia, I thought you were smart, but I guess I was wrong…”

“I know it’s risky,” said Mia. Rend could hear the nervous tone in the back of her throat. “But really, what other choice do we have? We can only hope for luck from this point on.”

“Yeah, yeah, if you say so. Christ, for all we know, the same psychic that killed Momo will probably show up.”

Mia looked away, aware that her face was blushing from embarrassment. Conversations like these are why she hates being around Rend. “I doubt it. As a matter of fact, I actually met a really strong, trustworthy psychic earlier today.”

“Really?” asked Rend. He was starting to get interested now. “He’s really gonna show up, huh?”

“Well…” Mia hesitated for a second. “He said no, but I have a good plan to get him to come to the exam. You’ll see. I mean, I’m number one in the MSG for a good reason.”

Rend grinned and, once again, took another huff of his cigarette. He got up and lightly patted Mia’s short, blonde hair. “You’re only number 1 because you can fight so well. You still don’t know how to use your brain.” Mia’s face blushed up completely. This guy, she thought. I want to beat his ass so bad right now. “Well, I have to be off. You know, the regular ‘I have a date so I’m going to blow off my job’ kind of deal. See ya!” Mia would always be annoyed that he got his position despite his constant slacking. Mia said nothing as she kept thinking about how she was going to get Knox to take the exam. She couldn’t waste such potential, it just wouldn’t be acceptable to her.



Knox entered his shack, examining the broken down wooden furniture. Almost everything was made out of wood in his house. His doors, tables, cabinets, floors and ceiling, and all of it was getting eaten away by termites. He wasn’t sure how much time this house had left before it was gone. At the table, Celia was sitting quietly, doing her homework. She glanced up to Knox and smiled. “Welcome home,” she said.

“Thanks. Sorry I was so late, had some problems at work.” Celia got up from her chair and examined Knox very carefully, up until she noticed a long cut going diagonally down the back of his neck.

“How’d you get that cut?” asked Celia.

Knox became stiff and gulped. He waited a second before giving an answer. “Just some complications at work.”

She gave him a long frown. “You were fighting again, weren’t you?” Knox hated admitting to Celia whenever he got in fights. She hated any kind of physical harm to any living thing. She even hated when she sees someone step on a plant.

“Sorry, I know you hate when I fight, but this dude attacked my boss, and he was asking for it, so I couldn’t back out.”

“You at least won, right?”

Knox nodded. “I never lose, trust me.” That wasn’t always the truth, but he liked to give Celia the idea that nothing could harm Knox, Knox scurried over to the counters and pulled out some pots and pans. “Mr. Lans let me take home some spaghetti yesterday, does that sound good?”

“Yeah, definitely,” she replied.


Outside of Knox‘s shack, behind a puffy artificial bush, the two soldiers that Mia sent after Knox stood silently. Both of their heads peeked above the bush, watching in one of the few windows, where they could see Knox and Celia feasting on their dinner.

“So, uh, what do we do?” asked the first soldier.

“Let‘s just contact Mia,” replied number 2. He whipped out a flip cell phone and dialed in some numbers quickly. The phone rung for only a few seconds before, though it was fuzzy, Mia’s voice came in from the opposite side.

“What’s going on?” asked Mia.

“The two are still awake.” said the second soldier.

Before responding, Mia looked at a clock near the bench, where she was still seated. 7:30. “Alright, you guys should get going in 4 hours. Remember to leave the letter in the kitchen, too. You got it?”

“Right, at 11:30, We strike.” Mia hung up the phone and grinned. Her plan was destined to work out perfectly.

The second soldier looked slightly nervous as he looked at the letter. “How did she know we wrote a letter to the boy?”

“Damn, I dunno. The b**** must be crazy or something. She knows a lotta stuff that we don’t tell her about.”

“Whatever, just check it out to see if it’s alright.” The soldier’s partner snatched the letter from his hands and quickly read over it. It was messy, but it would do.



After a painfully long 15 minutes, Knox finally finished washing the dirty dishes. He looked around and, despite the place being a total junkyard of a house, he was proud of the way it looked. He looked outside into the dark night, listening to the crickets fill up the empty noises, and from far away, a dog barking ferociously.

Knox turned to Celia, who was half asleep at the table after finishing her homework. Knox walked over to her and scooped her into his arms. “You know,” said Knox, in almost a whisper. “If you didn’t fool around so much, you could finish your work a lot faster.” He opened the door to Celia’s room and lay her in her bed. She quickly dozed off, beginning to breath heavily in her sleep.

Knox was tired, and as badly as he wanted to go to sleep, he couldn’t take his eyes off of Celia. Everyday, he warned himself over and over again, ‘Protect Celia for dad, protect Celia for dad’, and the thought of failing that request was terrifying for him. One thing he was certain of, though, was that he didn’t plan on giving up, even if his life was on the line.

Knox raised his exhausted body up and shuffled over to the door. He looked at Celia one last time before heading off to bed. “Love you,” whispered Knox.


The two soldiers were laying prone on the ground in the exact spot from earlier. They were both chattering their teeth from the abnormally cold weather, despite it almost being summer, and they felt artificial prickers, which they personally saw as being too sharp, digging into their skin. The worst pain of all, though, was the boredom of sitting there and doing nothing for four hours.

Soon enough, the second soldier opened up his phone, seeing that it just hit 11:30. He signaled his partner that it was time to go, and in seconds, they were off. They dove out of the bush and started fast walking towards the house with intentions of finishing the job quickly. Each step they took was a quiet one as they stealthily made their way to Knox’s shack. Soon enough, they lined their bodies up against the scrap metal walls and slid their way along the house.

As they turned the corner, it was obvious that there were two windows engraved in the house, giving them a warning to be extra cautious. The first soldier went slightly ahead, carefully maneuvering himself towards the first window. He ran his fingers across the bottom of the window, wiping off some dirt that stuck to the sheet metal. He peeked inside, and the first thing he saw was Knox, who was still wide awake.

The soldier panicked as the sound of his heart started to beat over his thoughts. He tightly wrapped his left palm around his mouth to block out any excess sounds. The second soldier became aware of Knox’s pressence, and in panic, threw his body to the ground.

From inside, Knox slipped off his shirt and threw it on the ground. He was about to drop onto his bed, but suddenly, a sound came from outside of his window. It was muffled, but he was aware that something was out there. He walked over to the window and looked out into the dark night, where Knox couldn’t even see 5 feet in front of him. He looked both ways, trying to spot what made the noise, but nothing could be seen. The soldier right below him, who could see Knox’s head sticking out, felt like his stomach was going to explode. If that kid looks down, he thought, I’m done for.

After a minute of scouting around, Knox grew bored with his search. He released a loud yawn as he shrugged in confusion, blew out the candle that just barely lit part of his room, and plopped into his bed. The 2 soldiers, who were still lying on the ground, waited a good 10 minutes before they tried anything else. The first soldier nodded to his partner, telling him it was time to advance.

The two quietly made their way to the other window. Though scared that someone could still be awake and in that room, the soldier raised his head just enough so that his eyes could see through the window. In the room, he saw Celia, who was sound asleep.

They climbed through the window and stepped onto the dirt, making very little noise. The two of them walked over to Celia and observed her. “This is her, right?” asked the first soldier.

“Pretty sure,” responded the second one. “General Rose told us that he only lived with his sister, so this has to be her.”

“Alright the-” In the middle of the soldier’s sentence, they could hear the unstable wooden bed squeak as Celia rolled over. Her arms raised into the air and started stretching, soon retracting to her tired eyes. She yawned once before opening her eyes. “Huh?” said Celia, who was too tired to be startled by the strangers.

“Oh crap!” The second soldier pulled Celia out of the bed and blocked off her mouth and nose with his elbow. He squeezed his elbow as hard as he could, trying to put Celia back to sleep. Celia struggled as hard as she could, trying to make as much sound as possible, but it was hopeless. Her vision started to fade away, and everything got quiet. Soon enough, she was out cold.

“You idiot!” whispered the first soldier. “You were talking to loud.”

“Oh, shut up! We got the girl as instructed, so don’t worry about it. Now go put that stupid note on the table to we can get out of this place!” The soldier did as he was told, and quietly placed the note on the table next to Celia’s homework. The job was done, and with Celia kidnapped, the two soldiers made off into the night.



The next morning came fast to Knox as always, though he wished he had some more time to sleep in. Like every morning, he woke up, got dressed, tried to tidy up his hair so he looked somewhat presentable, and went into the kitchen to start breakfast. Today, though, something wasn’t normal. Celia wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table every morning like she has done for as long as Knox could remember. He went into Celia’s room, figuring that she wanted some extra sleep, but her bed was empty, too.

“Celia!” called out Knox. The only thing he could hear was the slight breeze from outside. What was going on? Knox knew that Celia wasn’t the type of person who would just leave the house without permission. He sat down at the table, starting to feel a nervous twisting sensation in his stomach. He looked down at Celia’s homework, and next to it, he noticed a letter with his name on the envelope.

“Hmmm, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a letter,” said Knox, curiously. “Something isn’t adding up.” Knox ripped open the envelope, revealing a piece perfectly folded piece of paper. Before reading it, he glanced down at the bottom, and to his surprise, it was written by Mia Rose.

Knox looked down at the bottom on the note and stared at the writer. Mia? he thought. Why did she send me this letter? He quickly bounced his eyes to the top of the page and started to read.



‘Dear whomever cares,’



‘This letter has been sent to you for a reason that, by now, I’m sure you know off. Earlier this week, you may have come across a special invitation to take the psychic exam, being held on June 19th. This letter is a reminder that you must come and at least try the exam. The MCG is very serious about our business, and we are willing to do ANYTHING to ANYONE to get the job done. You might want to think about that.








Sincerely,









Mia Rose



Knox sighed. “Talk about being desperate,” he mumbled. “I swear, this woman can’t get over the fact that I said no.” Knox sat down on the wooden chair and leaned back. He sat at the table, spacing off out of the window as he thought about Celia and where she could’ve gone. It wasn’t like her to run off so early in the morning. It was too early for her to go to school, which she hated, so that must’ve been out of the question. She also had her share fair of friends, but she always asked for permission from Knox before she went out with them. Something doesn’t add up, he thought. Where could she have gone?

Knox slowly turned his head and looked down at the letter. It still sat there, with evident crease marks. The only thing that stood out to Knox was the one sentence, ‘We are willing to do ANYTHING to ANYONE to get the job done.’ Anything to anyone, anything to anyone. Knox repeated those words several time in his head before he felt his heart drop to his stomach. Sweat started bursting out of his forehead as he picked up the letter, which crumpled from his unsteady grip. It finally made sense to him, but it was the last thing Knox wanted to hear.

“They…took her.” whispered Knox. “Those bastards actually took her…” Knox stood in silence for a moment, standing completely still. He didn’t know how to react at first, but in the depths of his mind, he could hear his conscious telling him what to do. “Make them pay,” it said.

“Damn it!” yelled Knox as he kicked the wooden table at full force, shattering it into a dozen pieces. He turned around and slammed his fist into the sheet metal wall, making his knuckles bust open into streams of blood. Knox started to breathe heavy. He was about to tear his entire house down in anger, but he resisted. It took him a minute, but he started to calm down.

At this point, confusion came in. He was stuck with two hard choices. “Let me think,” he said to himself. “It’s either ignore the situation and hope they don’t harm Celia, or take the exam to get her back.” Knox looked up at his ceiling, taking his time to think about the two choices. “Of course, if I take the exam, I’ll have to pass for sure, but that isn’t the real problem. If I do pass, I’ll be forced to work for the MCG, or else they might do something worst to Celia if I drop out.” He closed his eyes and felt a sense of defeat overcome him. “I wish you were here, dad. You always knew what to do.”

Immediately after he said that, a voice rumbled in his ear. Knox turned around in every direction looking for it, but no one was around him. The voice became more vivid, and with time, he could hear it. It was his dad, and it was so clear that he could’ve sworn that he was in the room with him. It wasn’t a new message, though. It was a flashback, and the same words that Knox heard the day his dad departed. ‘You two, look out for each other always. No matter what situation you’re in, stay strong and keep your bonds.’

It was so obvious now. There was no second thoughts or regrets, it was just something Knox knew that he had to do. He knew his sister needed help, and even if he ends up working for MCG for the rest of his life, his sister will be alright, and that’s all that mattered to him. Knox raised from his seat and busted out of his house. He looked up at the rising sun and said, “I’m coming for you, Celia. I’m taking the exam!”


Far from Mercury City, in the a cave near the peak of a mountain range, there is a lair. It’s no normal lair, however. The entrance is blocked off, so no one can exit and enter as they please, and only 3 people sit there, with their only source of light being a dimly lit candle. Near the edge of the small room, the same man who killed Momo lay, with his head resting peacefully against the bumpy walls of the cave. On the other sides, two other men sit. One of them is a sparkling purple suit, with an orange bowtie and pants that are zebra colored. A top of his head lays a top hat, which covers most of his hair except for a few strands. “So,” asked the man in the purple suit. “Have you heard, Rain?”

Rain, the terrorist of only a few days ago, glanced over curiously. “No, I haven’t left this place since we last attacked. Continue, Magi.”

“Well, the MCG have come up with an interesting plan to hunt us down. An exam, from what I hear.”

Rain chuckled lightly. “No exam is gonna save their asses from what we have planned later on. That idiot Vauhan never learns his lesson. Why won’t he just give up already?”

“You don’t understand, Rain,” continued Magi. “This isn’t some ordinary exam, this is specifically for psychics! Snow told me about it a few hours ago. They gather as many psychics as possible from all over the city and make them take different tests. The ones who pass all of the tests get to help them search for us.”

“Sounds interesting. Maybe those retards actually got a good plan this time.” Rain shifted his eyes towards the other man, who was wearing a set of ragged clothing from South Mercury City. He looked calm and easy going, despite the blazing heat that circled around the enclosed room. His eyes were abnormally big, and they glowed a bright yellow. “And you, Kaden?” asked Rain.

“I suppose time will tell, master.” Rain wasn’t too fond of being called master, at least not until his plan was a total success, but for right now, Kaden was one of his most important allies.

“I guess, as long as those other idiots don’t screw up,” responded Rain. “You should get them back here soon, Kaden. It’s not safe to have any of our allies out in public right now.”

“Master, the exam.” said Kaden. “Don’t you want to do anything about it?”

“Pfft, I could care less about that. We’re already stronger than those fools already. After we kill them, it’ll just be another example of Vauhan’s failure.” Kaden wanted to speak up, but he stopped at the last second.


3 days flew by in no time for Knox, and he wasted not one second of it. Every second he wasn’t sleeping or eating, he was doing some type of physical training. From pushups and curl ups to lifting weights, he made sure that he was prepared for anything. He wasn’t going to risk losing his sister to the MCG.

It was almost time, with 1 hour until the opening speech that started off the exam. He felt more nervous than he expected as he walked out the door and departed for the Mercury Pillar. I can only imagine what they have in store for us, he thought. The MCG has been known to be crazy, but this is the most important thing to happen in years! They might even be prepared to do deadly challenges. Knox took a deep breath and released all of the tension that squeezed his bones. All I have to do is be determined, that’s all.

It wasn’t long before Knox arrived near the pillar, which looked a hell of a lot bigger up close than he thought it would. It was the first time Knox has ever left South Mercury, and being surrounded by well crafted buildings and people that weren’t peasants felt off, but in a good way. He found himself in line, with people of all types in a messy line that lead to a booth that was giving out the applicants tickets. The line was flooded with people of all types, from tall to small, fat to slim, buff to weak. Knox found himself looking a bit intimidated by some of the really buff guys, but on the outside he stayed relaxed. He pushed himself into the line and waited patiently to advance.

Soon enough, after a good half hour, he got to the applicant booth, showed off his power by summoning the red aura, and put on a sticker that said ‘184’. Already, almost 200 people have applied, and the line is still running. He checked the sun, which was still slightly tilted to east, indicating that it was close to 11 in the morning. A huge crowd, mixed with the psychics taking the exam, who were up front, the soldiers, who outlined the crowd in an orderly fashion, and then the normal citizens, who came just for the hell of it.

Up on the huge stage, and to the right of the podium, stood Mia, who was being glared at by Knox. She was well aware of him and the anger that resided with him, but she only replied with a devious smirk. After a few moments, mayor Vauhan walked onto the stage, receiving cheers from the crowd that could be heard from at least a hundred yards away. He waved back at the crowd just to please them, as he could care less about them, tapped the microphone, and started to speak.

“Hello there, residents of Mercury City and today’s examinees. I’m very pleased to be here with you today! As you know, today will be the start of the Psychic Exam, which is being held in the memory of my daughter, Momo, who was slain by an unnamed terrorist.” Knox could hear Vauhan holding back the agony in the back of his throat. “I’ve never been a huge fan of psychics, and after that incident, my hatred for them grew deeply!” The citizens in the back of the crowd started to gossip some trash talk about psychics that could easily be heard from the front, where the psychics stood. Knox noticed that some of the guys standing near him were getting pissed off. Their expression said everything. “Today, though, is a new day, and in the course of a day, something can be changed entirely. That is why I’ve decided to try and trust these psychics. I didn’t like the idea of it at first, but after some convincing, I realized that it was my only choice. Right now, I want to thank all of you psychics for applying yourself to this test. We finally have hope now!”

The back part of the crowd exploding with applause, but the psychics were another story. Some of them clapped, but a majority of them just chuckled to themselves. “What an idiot,” said a slim woman to the left of Knox. “We’re only doing this so we can live in the Blessed House. Who cares what happened to his stupid daughter.”

“Tell me about it,” responded the man who stood in front of the woman. “I just want to be able to live it up at the top of the pillar.” Knox had the urge to yell at them for being so greedy, but he came here for his own needs as well, so he was well aware that he would have been hypocritical. He shrugged it off and listened to the rest of the speech.

“Once again, thank you to all of the psychics who are using their own time and effort to assist the MCG. I also want to thank my first in command for our military force, the very beautiful Mia Rose, to my left.” The crowd once again went into uproar with a long barrage of clapping. Knox cringed when her name was announced. He had to resist himself terribly from going up there and beating the crap out of her. “Now, it’s my honor to kick it off. Let the Psychic Exam begin!”

Everything was over now. Mayor Vauhan had exited the stage and the guards escorted the citizens out of the crowded mob, leaving only hundreds of psychics standing curiously parallel to the Mercury Pillar. There were so many options for the first phase that it was unthinkable. Knox figured that the MCG were very simple people and wouldn’t add many twists to the exam, except for that each phase is going to be harder than the last. He felt confident in his prediction, but in the back of his mind he thought about the possibility of surprise. If they could capture his sister, they could definitely pull off something like that.


The soldiers, dressed in their usual button down black uniforms, stood in line with a perfectly straight posture. They practically surrounded every psychic competing, but they weren’t too threatening. Mia walked off of the stage and stood directly in front of the pillar. She coughed twice and cleared her throat before continuing.


“Well, welcome,” said Mia. She took a first good look at the examinees, and she liked what she was seeing. At least a fourth of them were very well built and looked tough, and usually that meant a lot to her. Those people alone gave her hope. Along the way, she noticed Knox, who stood close to the front. She couldn’t help but tell that he was giving her an angry glare. “We have a couple of rules to explain before we start the exam. Rule 1. There will be 4 phases in this exam. During the 4 phases, including the intermissions between each phase, you are not to harm any other soldiers or examinees unless I give you permission. Violating this rule will result in elimination or other consequences.”


A couple of examinees chuckled at the rule. They hardly saw it as a threat. “Rule 2. You are to follow every command that I give you. If I tell you to get on your knees, you get on your knees. If I tell you to eat the dirt right below your feet, you eat the dirt. Understand?” A deep synchronized ‘Yes’ came from the crowd, even though most people didn’t care. “Rule 3. This one isn’t really a rule, but more so a warning. I’m going to give all of you one last chance to leave, because the second this exam starts, you are putting your life in danger.” Rather than the normal response of a couple of random laughs mocking her, the entire crowd was silent, excluding the slimy noise of people gulping in newly founded fear. Knox looked to his left at the woman, who just a few minutes ago was acting all tough, and saw her face turn a white pale. He couldn’t blame her, because now the risks were much higher.


Mia smiled effortlessly. “Have fun,” she said as she signaled the psychics to follow her. She brought them to one of five make shift elevators that, while they were huge, looked sketchy. The bottom of each elevator composed of roughly chopped wood which was held together by four ropes that connected to each corner. From there, the ropes were tied to a much bigger, and certainly longer,rope, as it stretched to the top of the pillar. “We’ll begin at the top of the pillar,” stated Mia. “There’s about 300 of you, and five elevators, so do the math and get on.” Of course, as she expected, tons of people tried to squeeze onto the first elevator. In the end, at least 100 of the contestants stood on the large wooden floor of the elevator.



Knox, in a hurry, ran over to the next closest elevator, where only 7 examinees were on board. He got onto the elevator and waited patiently, counting one by one as another psychic would get on his elevator. After 10 minutes, after everyone decided, Knox counted 54 people on his elevator, which was still ridiculously crowded, but that was the least of his worries. The floor below him started to creak under the heavy weight, and those sounds alone gave Knox a shiver down his spine.


Soon afterwards, a cranking sound started screeching from the top of the pillar. Even from such a far distance, the psychics and soldiers on the ground could hear the painful sound. Knox felt the tallest rope above him start to rise, and with it, so did the elevator. The elevator moved slowly, but surely, and before he knew it, they were at least 20 feet off the ground. Knox stood close to the side and peered down in amazement. He was getting a little queasy as the elevator rose in altitude.


“What the hell are they doing?” asked a psychic wearing a blue baseball hat backwards. “Look!” He pointed down at the guards walking into higher quality elevators that were installed into the pillar. “How come they get to take normal elevators and were taking this crusty piece of garbage?”


A dark skinned man next to him answered, “It’s probably cause of Vauhan. I heard the man was raised to hate us.”


“So then why the hell does he want to hire us so badly? Who cares is his precious daughter died, I mean, s*** happens!”


“Maybe,” replied the dark skinned man. “I can’t blame his reasons for retaliation, though. I mean, wouldn’t you react the same way if someone you loved died?” Knox nodded at the man’s words. In a way, even though he didn’t know Vauhan, he felt the same as him. Without his dad and the possibility of never seeing Celia again, it was unthinkable. A lot of people saw Vauhan as a cruel, greedy man, but Knox had a different impression of him.


In the back of his head, Knox felt the rounded edge of someone’s elbow bump into him. He turned around, spotting a very tall man. He had a childish face, including his large, rounded eyes, so he couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17, but the rest of his body looked nothing like him. He had silky blonde hair that stuck out in all different directions. He stood at 6’2”, and his muscles on all 4 of his limbs popped out of the black cargo pants and an open tan overcoat that matched his skin, which he braggingly kept open to show off his abs.


“Sorry, man. I was just checking out this treasure right over here.” He started highlighting a girl’s ass that stood in front of him. Knox knew right away that this guy was going to be the immature type, but Knox selfishly ignored it.


“It doesn’t matter.” replied Knox.


“Heh, yeah.” A second passed before he spoke again. “So, uh, you got any dope on you? S***, I’ll pay double for a gram or two.”


“What?” asked Knox shockingly. “No, of course not! Do I look like a drug addict to you?”


“No, I was just wondering. You know, just for the hell of it” What a weird guy, thought Knox. Maybe he’s into steroids and that kind of stuff. That would explain the muscles.


“So, why are you here?” asked Knox. “Why are you taking the exam?”


“Well, I guess because I’m kinda bored with my life. I mean, damn, as much as I love bitties and dope, and of course there’s nothing better than beating the crap out of thugs on the street, but it’s the same crap over and over. I swear, I feel like I’m living the same day over and over again, and it’s really pissing me off.” The teen grinned lightly and looked up to the sky. “This’ll open up some real opportunities for me. You know, change things up?” Knox nodded. “The names Blake Rivers.” Knox thought to himself, He has pretty deep thoughts for a pot-head.


“Knox Blood.” Blake put his hand out and formed a fist. Knox stared at it confusingly. After living isolated from anyone but his family for almost his entire life, he knew nothing about how other boys worked.


“Dude, are you serious?” asked Blake. Knox shook his head back and forth. “Man, where the hell have you been living, under a rock? You gotta bump fists. It’s kind of like a way to represent, uh, friendship or teamwork in a way. At least, that’s how most guys do it.” Knox started to come to realize that the only other men he met was his father and uncle. His dad home schooled him and his sister up until he disappeared, and very few kids his age would ever go by his house.


“Right,” mumbled Knox. He bumped fists with Blake and smiled. He just met the guy, but he felt like he finally made a good friend. After being taught his whole life to protect instead of befriend, he felt oddly relieved and good. For now, thought Knox, he’s just an ally, nothing more. He won’t be bad to keep close. He looks pretty tough.


Knox glanced back down at the ground. Even at this point, the buildings looked like ants, let alone the people. They were close to the top now, and soon, the exam would begin. "Wow, it's amazing how high we've gotten so far."


“Ma----n, who give a crap?” said Blake, tiredly. “ I just wanna know how much longer are we going to be stuck on this crappy elevator.”


“It can’t be much longer,” said Knox. “Look up, we’re getting pretty close.” The top was visible, but it was obvious that it would be at least another 20 minutes. The crank at the top was so slow that it was painful to even think about it.


“Whatever, I would di-” Suddenly, a loud snapping sound came from behind Knox. The platform shifted slightly down, and Knox fell to his knees. He felt himself slipping as his knees and palms were being slowly dragged across the wooden floor. He quickly popped up and moved to the side with the rest of the psychics, who were shocked and in terror. They finally realized that one of the ropes have snapped, and the other ropes were following the same path.


“Holy s***!” yelled out the man with the baseball cap. “Those freaking soldiers, they set this s*** up!”


Knox looked back at the tilted side of the elevator and gasped. A chubby man who was standing near Knox was barely hanging his upper body over the side. No, he’s not dying! thought Knox. He leaped over to the man and caught his arm.


“Hang on!” yelled out Knox.


“I-I can’t! I’m not strong enough,” said the chubby man. Knox used his brute strength to keep the man in strength, but he was struggling, and even after a minute, his arms started to sore out. Soon enough, the man leaned over the edge and was held up Knox’s arm. Knox started to slip down the elevator and was closing into his demise. The splinters that were sticking into his skin and the hard wood ripping open the first layer of flesh was nothing compared to falling off. Knox looked over the man's soldiers and stared down at the ground in fear. The longer he looked down, the more his stomach started to twist.


“Just let go!” yelled the chubby man. “It’s not worth killing yourself over me.”


“Shut up!” yelled Knox. “I’m not letting you die.” Knox wasn’t thinking the same way as his waist started to slip over the edge. Is this really it, thought Knox. He gulped, knowing that he was going to fall, but he didn’t let go. He would never betray his father’s rule, the rule of going to any extent to keep people safe.


With his eyes shut, Knox waited to fall. A few seconds past before Knox realized that he wasn’t slipping anymore. He looked behind him and saw Blake holding down his legs. “C’mon, man.” said Knox. “Save that fat ass already.”


“Alright, I’ve got you,” Knox started to pull the man up, despite the feeling that his arm was about to be ripped off.


“No, these people are nuts…” The fat man had a petrified expression. “I should’ve known this was a deathtrap. They even said so in the rules.” Tears started to drip out and fall the thousands of feet below them.


“What are you talking about?” asked Knox. “If you’re so damn scared, just quit when we get to the top!”


“No, my life is over. I might as well face it.” The fat man began to punch Knox’s arm. Each punch was hell for Knox, and letting go sounded so good to him, but he wouldn’t allow it.


“Cut it out!” Knox, in anger, summoned his red aura and pulled the fat man up with ease. He slammed the man’s body to the ground and ignored his groan of pain. The man started to cry again, but it was fine with Knox. Regardless of what the man thought, he saved his life, and he could go on without feeling guilty. In a way, it was kind of selfish. Knox looked at the other ropes, and they were close to snapping as well. Looks like this exam is starting earlier than I expected.

Everything was over now. Mayor Vauhan had exited the stage and the guards escorted the citizens out of the crowded mob, leaving only hundreds of psychics standing curiously parallel to the Mercury Pillar. There were so many options for the first phase that it was unthinkable. Knox figured that the MCG were very simple people and wouldn’t add many twists to the exam, except for that each phase is going to be harder than the last. He felt confident in his prediction, but in the back of his mind he thought about the possibility of surprise. If they could capture his sister, they could definitely pull off something like that.



The soldiers, dressed in their usual button down black uniforms, stood in line with a perfectly straight posture. They practically surrounded every psychic competing, but they weren’t too threatening. Mia walked off of the stage and stood directly in front of the pillar. She coughed twice and cleared her throat before continuing.


“Well, welcome,” said Mia. She took a first good look at the examinees, and she liked what she was seeing. At least a fourth of them were very well built and looked tough, and usually that meant a lot to her. Those people alone gave her hope. Along the way, she noticed Knox, who stood close to the front. She couldn’t help but tell that he was giving her an angry glare. “We have a couple of rules to explain before we start the exam. Rule 1. There will be 4 phases in this exam. During the 4 phases, including the intermissions between each phase, you are not to harm any other soldiers or examinees unless I give you permission. Violating this rule will result in elimination or other consequences.”


A couple of examinees chuckled at the rule. They hardly saw it as a threat. “Rule 2. You are to follow every command that I give you. If I tell you to get on your knees, you get on your knees. If I tell you to eat the dirt right below your feet, you eat the dirt. Understand?” A deep synchronized ‘Yes’ came from the crowd, even though most people didn’t care. “Rule 3. This one isn’t really a rule, but more so a warning. I’m going to give all of you one last chance to leave, because the second this exam starts, you are putting your life in danger.” Rather than the normal response of a couple of random laughs mocking her, the entire crowd was silent, excluding the slimy noise of people gulping in newly founded fear. Knox looked to his left at the woman, who just a few minutes ago was acting all tough, and saw her face turn a white pale. He couldn’t blame her, because now the risks were much higher.


Mia smiled effortlessly. “Have fun,” she said as she signaled the psychics to follow her. She brought them to one of five make shift elevators that, while they were huge, looked sketchy. The bottom of each elevator composed of roughly chopped wood which was held together by four ropes that connected to each corner. From there, the ropes were tied to a much bigger, and certainly longer,rope, as it stretched to the top of the pillar. “We’ll begin at the top of the pillar,” stated Mia. “There’s about 300 of you, and five elevators, so do the math and get on.” Of course, as she expected, tons of people tried to squeeze onto the first elevator. In the end, at least 100 of the contestants stood on the large wooden floor of the elevator.



Knox, in a hurry, ran over to the next closest elevator, where only 7 examinees were on board. He got onto the elevator and waited patiently, counting one by one as another psychic would get on his elevator. After 10 minutes, after everyone decided, Knox counted 54 people on his elevator, which was still ridiculously crowded, but that was the least of his worries. The floor below him started to creak under the heavy weight, and those sounds alone gave Knox a shiver down his spine.


Soon afterwards, a cranking sound started screeching from the top of the pillar. Even from such a far distance, the psychics and soldiers on the ground could hear the painful sound. Knox felt the tallest rope above him start to rise, and with it, so did the elevator. The elevator moved slowly, but surely, and before he knew it, they were at least 20 feet off the ground. Knox stood close to the side and peered down in amazement. He was getting a little queasy as the elevator rose in altitude.


“What the hell are they doing?” asked a psychic wearing a blue baseball hat backwards. “Look!” He pointed down at the guards walking into higher quality elevators that were installed into the pillar. “How come they get to take normal elevators and were taking this crusty piece of garbage?”


A dark skinned man next to him answered, “It’s probably cause of Vauhan. I heard the man was raised to hate us.”


“So then why the hell does he want to hire us so badly? Who cares is his precious daughter died, I mean, s*** happens!”


“Maybe,” replied the dark skinned man. “I can’t blame his reasons for retaliation, though. I mean, wouldn’t you react the same way if someone you loved died?” Knox nodded at the man’s words. In a way, even though he didn’t know Vauhan, he felt the same as him. Without his dad and the possibility of never seeing Celia again, it was unthinkable. A lot of people saw Vauhan as a cruel, greedy man, but Knox had a different impression of him.


In the back of his head, Knox felt the rounded edge of someone’s elbow bump into him. He turned around, spotting a very tall man. He had a childish face, including his large, rounded eyes, so he couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17, but the rest of his body looked nothing like him. He had silky blonde hair that stuck out in all different directions. He stood at 6’2”, and his muscles on all 4 of his limbs popped out of the black cargo pants and an open tan overcoat that matched his skin, which he braggingly kept open to show off his abs.


“Sorry, man. I was just checking out this treasure right over here.” He started highlighting a girl’s ass that stood in front of him. Knox knew right away that this guy was going to be the immature type, but Knox selfishly ignored it.


“It doesn’t matter.” replied Knox.


“Heh, yeah.” A second passed before he spoke again. “So, uh, you got any dope on you? S***, I’ll pay double for a gram or two.”


“What?” asked Knox shockingly. “No, of course not! Do I look like a drug addict to you?”


“No, I was just wondering. You know, just for the hell of it” What a weird guy, thought Knox. Maybe he’s into steroids and that kind of stuff. That would explain the muscles.


“So, why are you here?” asked Knox. “Why are you taking the exam?”


“Well, I guess because I’m kinda bored with my life. I mean, damn, as much as I love bitties and dope, and of course there’s nothing better than beating the crap out of thugs on the street, but it’s the same crap over and over. I swear, I feel like I’m living the same day over and over again, and it’s really pissing me off.” The teen grinned lightly and looked up to the sky. “This’ll open up some real opportunities for me. You know, change things up?” Knox nodded. “The names Blake Rivers.” Knox thought to himself, He has pretty deep thoughts for a pot-head.


“Knox Blood.” Blake put his hand out and formed a fist. Knox stared at it confusingly. After living isolated from anyone but his family for almost his entire life, he knew nothing about how other boys worked.


“Dude, are you serious?” asked Blake. Knox shook his head back and forth. “Man, where the hell have you been living, under a rock? You gotta bump fists. It’s kind of like a way to represent, uh, friendship or teamwork in a way. At least, that’s how most guys do it.” Knox started to come to realize that the only other men he met was his father and uncle. His dad home schooled him and his sister up until he disappeared, and very few kids his age would ever go by his house.


“Right,” mumbled Knox. He bumped fists with Blake and smiled. He just met the guy, but he felt like he finally made a good friend. After being taught his whole life to protect instead of befriend, he felt oddly relieved and good. For now, thought Knox, he’s just an ally, nothing more. He won’t be bad to keep close. He looks pretty tough.


Knox glanced back down at the ground. Even at this point, the buildings looked like ants, let alone the people. They were close to the top now, and soon, the exam would begin. "Wow, it's amazing how high we've gotten so far."


“Ma----n, who give a crap?” said Blake, tiredly. “ I just wanna know how much longer are we going to be stuck on this crappy elevator.”


“It can’t be much longer,” said Knox. “Look up, we’re getting pretty close.” The top was visible, but it was obvious that it would be at least another 20 minutes. The crank at the top was so slow that it was painful to even think about it.


“Whatever, I would di-” Suddenly, a loud snapping sound came from behind Knox. The platform shifted slightly down, and Knox fell to his knees. He felt himself slipping as his knees and palms were being slowly dragged across the wooden floor. He quickly popped up and moved to the side with the rest of the psychics, who were shocked and in terror. They finally realized that one of the ropes have snapped, and the other ropes were following the same path.


“Holy s***!” yelled out the man with the baseball cap. “Those freaking soldiers, they set this s*** up!”


Knox looked back at the tilted side of the elevator and gasped. A chubby man who was standing near Knox was barely hanging his upper body over the side. No, he’s not dying! thought Knox. He leaped over to the man and caught his arm.


“Hang on!” yelled out Knox.


“I-I can’t! I’m not strong enough,” said the chubby man. Knox used his brute strength to keep the man in strength, but he was struggling, and even after a minute, his arms started to sore out. Soon enough, the man leaned over the edge and was held up Knox’s arm. Knox started to slip down the elevator and was closing into his demise. The splinters that were sticking into his skin and the hard wood ripping open the first layer of flesh was nothing compared to falling off. Knox looked over the man's soldiers and stared down at the ground in fear. The longer he looked down, the more his stomach started to twist.


“Just let go!” yelled the chubby man. “It’s not worth killing yourself over me.”


“Shut up!” yelled Knox. “I’m not letting you die.” Knox wasn’t thinking the same way as his waist started to slip over the edge. Is this really it, thought Knox. He gulped, knowing that he was going to fall, but he didn’t let go. He would never betray his father’s rule, the rule of going to any extent to keep people safe.


With his eyes shut, Knox waited to fall. A few seconds past before Knox realized that he wasn’t slipping anymore. He looked behind him and saw Blake holding down his legs. “C’mon, man.” said Knox. “Save that fat ass already.”


“Alright, I’ve got you,” Knox started to pull the man up, despite the feeling that his arm was about to be ripped off.


“No, these people are nuts…” The fat man had a petrified expression. “I should’ve known this was a deathtrap. They even said so in the rules.” Tears started to drip out and fall the thousands of feet below them.


“What are you talking about?” asked Knox. “If you’re so damn scared, just quit when we get to the top!”


“No, my life is over. I might as well face it.” The fat man began to punch Knox’s arm. Each punch was hell for Knox, and letting go sounded so good to him, but he wouldn’t allow it.


“Cut it out!” Knox, in anger, summoned his red aura and pulled the fat man up with ease. He slammed the man’s body to the ground and ignored his groan of pain. The man started to cry again, but it was fine with Knox. Regardless of what the man thought, he saved his life, and he could go on without feeling guilty. In a way, it was kind of selfish. Knox looked at the other ropes, and they were close to snapping as well. Looks like this exam is starting earlier than I expected.

Knox pulled himself off of the bright green grass and helped Blake and Tokar up.


“Amazing,” said Tokar. “The top of the pillar is much bigger than I expected. Even the Blessed House looks tiny from this distance.”


Blake nodded his head in agreement. “Damn, it must take, like, days to mow the grass up here. I’d go crazy if I had to do the lawn work up here.”


Knox stayed silent while he enjoyed the breeze that pushed the blazing heat away from him. From his left, Knox heard the voices of the examinees that took the first elevator. Surprisingly, despite the amount of people on it, the elevator didn’t snap.


“I don’t get it,” said Knox. “They had at least 2 times our weight on their elevator, so how did it stay in tact the entire time.”


Tokar said, “Well, you kind of just have to think about it. I’m guessing that the woman, Mia, I believe, designed this phase to test if we can get out of bad situations. It could’ve also been bad luck or a poor design.”


“What the hell?” spurted out Blake. “What do you mean by that?”


“The whole point of this exam is to find psychics who can assist in finding the man who assassinated Vauhan’s daughter.” Tokar pulled the collar of his dark blue shirt and swiped the sweat that was forming on his neck. “You never know what kind of situation you may be in when hunting them down, so the MCG wants to make sure that the people who pass the test are smart and strong enough to do so. As for the elevator that didn’t snap, they tricked us into choosing an elevator that was further away from our starting point.”


“I guess that makes sense,” said Blake, who was clearly confused. His physical strength was always much better than his smarts. The 3 of them looked at the elevator station to their right, watching as a boy, close to Blake’s age, started climbing the rope, using the same technique as Knox’s group. The boy had a medium haircut, with small strands falling a bit past his ears. His hair was colored silver, which was odd to all 3 of them. He wore a pair of tan khakis and a button down white shirt, which was covered by a furry maroon vest that had a black outline.


Following the boy came a woman, who looked to be in her 30s. Even in the terrible heat, she wore a black overcoat and a tight pair of jeans. Her lips were bright red from lipstick. Her pitch black hair went down to her lower back.


The two of them jumped onto the pillar and stood completely still. Knox continued to watch them, but he didn’t see either of them say a word. He watched them for several seconds, specifically the boy, and felt queezy just watching him. "He's...really strong," whispered Knox. “Hey guys,” said Knox. “What do you think of those 2 over there?”


Blake and Tokar simultaneously looked at the 2 examinees and examined them closely. Blake snickered and said, “The only thing that I see is that woman’s big ass.”



“No, that’s not it.” Knox paused as he glanced back at the silver haired kid, ignoring Blake's immature laugh. “That guy, he’s not like the rest of the people here.”


“Why? Just cuz’ he has silver hair?”


“No, he sticks out more than everyone else. It’s like he’s a threat.”


“Eh, I think the heat’s getting to your head, man. He looks like a normal kid to me.”


Tokar watched as Knox and Blake continued to talk about the boy. How odd, thought Tokar. He can sense someone’s strength just by looking at him? Is that even possible? He may just be bluffing, but I can’t tell yet.


“Everybody quiet!” The small chatter from around the elevators immediately hushed after hearing the booming voice that echoed in the sky. Mia walked in front of the examinees who took the first elevator up. She stood with perfect posture and wrapped her hands together behind her back. “Listen up, I want you to make 5 perfect lines of people in one minute. If you fail to do so, the exam will end here, understand? Now get to it!”


Without hesitation, Knox, Blake and Tokar sprinted to Mia, along with the other examinees. It was messy, but the examinees quickly made their lines in under the stressful minute.


“Well, I’m glad to see we have good listeners,” said Mia, ignoring the rolling eyes from the smartasses. “Anyways, congratulations on passing phase 1.” The people in the first 2 lines gave each other confused looks.


“First phase?” asked a chubby man in the front line, who had balding brown hair and a 5 o’clock shadow. “I don’t get it, when did the first phase start.”


“You see, you were one of the lucky ones who didn’t choose a bad elevator. Actually, as a matter of fact, the only elevator that wasn’t rigged to break was the one closest to the stage. Mia looked towards to the furthest two elevators and smiled deviously. “It seems no one came from the back 2 elevators alive. What a shame.”


Some of the examinees, especially the ones from the first elevator, started to get nervous. They had a hard time dealing with the fact of how dangerous the exam could be. “Getting back on track,” continued Mia, “I’ll give you some relieving news, so stop being so tense, will ya? The second phase should be fairly easy.” After hearing her words, the tense examinees quickly loosened up.


“The second phase will go down like this. I will be coming to each of you and I will chop you on the side of your neck. Here’s an example.” Mia walked close to the examinee directly in front of her, who was a bald man with unusually pointy ears. She cocked her right arm above her head, and with great speed, she chopped the man in the neck. Without any sounds, he fell to the ground, unconscious. “Oh, too bad for him, but he’s eliminated.”


“This is retarded,” claimed an examinee in the back. “Why does this have anything to do with being a psychic?”


“Good question. I forgot to mention that you can use your powers in any way to assist you, so feel free. Now, let’s get this phase started.”


Mia slowly started from the far right. She went one by one to each examinee, asking for some general information, such as age and country of origin, before she attacked them. Surprisingly, only a few people actually used their powers to defend themself. It was a slow process, and a tough one to watch, too. In about 20 minutes, she took out the entire first row, which consisted of at least 40 people, and only 12 remained standing.


“Holy s***,” muttered Blake. “That b**** is crazy. Like, hot, but still crazy!”


Knox, despite having a grudge against her, couldn’t help but agree. Other than his dad, he’d never seen someone with such a strong arm. Even without psychic powers, she’s still very powerful. Of course, Knox still wasn't even slightly intimidated by her.


“Man, I’m so screwed,” said Blake. “My powers aren’t even useful for this phase. I really hope those guys up there were just a bunch of wimps.”


Knox said, “We’re all the way in the back, so she might be tired by the time she gets back here. You’ll still be in a lot of pain, nonetheless.”


Blake clenched his teeth nervously. “Don’t remind me.”


Knox chuckled. “Sorry, I’m just trying not to sugarcoat the truth.”


Mia soon cleared out the second row soon enough, with 18 people standing. Though they passed the phase, they were still in a dreadful amount of pain. It was hard for any of the examinees to watch. Mia continued down to the third row, walking up to the silver haired boy who stood in front of Knox, Blake and Tokar.


“Oh, it’s him,” whispered Knox. “I didn’t even notice him.”


“Yeah, same here.”


Mia got close to the boy and looked him directly in his eyes. The top of his eye lids covered about a quarter of both of his eyes. “Your eyes,” she said.


“What about them?” he asked, with a modest tone.


“They’re also silver, just like your hair. That’s a bit odd, don’t you think?”


“Only a little bit. It’s just a coincidence, I suppose," as he spoke in a regal tone.


“Alright, kid, what’s your name?”


The boy smiled and tidied up the collar of his shirt. “Well, I never really liked my old name, so I just call myself Silver.”


“I see,” said Mia, awkwardly. “Anything else that you’d like to share?”


“Let me think.” Silver looked up to the sky for a moment. “I’m 16 years old, I’m allergic to peanut butter, and my real name is Stefanos Rao.”


Mia widened her eyes. “Did you say Rao. Like the Rao family?”


“Yes, I’m from the Rao family, but I ran away. I felt the need to choose my own path instead of listening to my parents and siblings for the rest of my life.”


“Amazing,” whispered Tokar, who's eyes were also wide open. “I never would of thought that someone from the Rao family would actually be here.”



“And who exactly are these Rao people?” asked Blake.


“I’m shocked that you’ve never heard of them. The Rao are a very powerful and rich family of missionary psychics. For the last 10 generations, they’ve hunted down some of the most powerful psychics in the world and taken them out. Of course, normally the head of the household does that kind of work. Judging by Silver’s age, he probably isn’t even close to the level of, say, his parents, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s powerful. For all we know, he may be the strongest person here.”


Blake felt a shiver run down his spine. “Damn, Knox, you were right. That kid is dangerous.”


“Let’s get on with this,” said Mia. “You’re wasting my time.” She cocked her arm the same way she did with the examinees. She was about to swing down, but something felt off. From behind his back, Silver pointed both is middle and pointer finger to the right. The wind around her started picking up. From what was a slight breeze turned into heavy winds that almost swept her off her feet. The other examinees were in the same position. “Stop!” she yelled. Instantly, the winds stopped. “You pass.” Without any more words, Mia went onto the next examinee.


“Huh?” said Blake. “The dude passed? How?”


“Are you blind?” asked Tokar, rudely. “He was controlling the winds. Stuff like that doesn’t just suddenly happen in a matter of seconds. The scary part was that he was able to control it so well, yet he stayed still the entire time. We have to watch out for him if we want to pass this exam.” Both Knox and Blake nodded simultaneously.


“Look,” said Knox. “Mia’s at the woman who was with Silver.” The three of them turned their heads and looked at the woman.


Mia stood evenly headed with the woman. The woman had her arms crossed in an impatient form. Her facial expression practically said, ‘Can’t we get this over with already?’. Mia snickered. “I can tell you’re the impatient type, so just tell me your name so we can get this over with already.”


“I agree,” said the woman. “My name’s Keira, age 31. I like money and power. Now hit me, b****.” An equal number of laughs erupted as gasps, causing Mia to blush. Mia was just about ready to kill Keira from the disrespect, but she was able to resist. Mia gave a quick chop to Keira’s neck, and to her surprise, Keira didn’t use her powers to defend herself. She squeezed her eyes tight to help suppress the pain, but she was still standing.


“Wow,” said Mia, sarcastically. “For a w****, you did pretty well.” A few chuckles came from the remaining examinees as Keira’s face also got red from embarrassment.

"Looks like a rivalry is forming," said Tokar.

Mia moved on quickly, eliminating several more people as she advanced halfway through the 3rd line. “Halfway there, guys. And it looks like only 37 people out of around 100 have made it so far, so congrats to you guys. As for the rest of you, the only advice that I can give to you is to prepare yourselves."



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