Twins 99 Volume 1 – How Heroes Start Chapter 7: Instruction Adjustments Rough Draft
We return to our house and rest. Dad didn’t say anything. It was past midnight, so it was already the 8th of May. After what happened, Dad probably figured that we needed to sleep. It was difficult to sleep because our injuries were bothering us. That didn’t stop us from sleeping though.
That entire day, we didn’t train at all. We wasn’t ready to. Our bodies were in horrible shape. I couldn’t even open my left eye because a scar was created on top of it and it covers my whole eye. We just ate and rested. We relaxed the next day. And, the day after that. And, the day after that. We continued this schedule for the rest of the week and Sunday. Today is now Monday, May 12th. It is morning, Jovan and I are chilling in his room.
“Dude, how are you feeling?”
“I’m fine. How about you? Can you open your left eye?”
I attempt to open my left eye, still it doesn’t budge. I hate this. My left eyelid looks like a bloody stain. All of my injuries healed except for my left eye.
“Damn. That sucks.”
Jovan feels bad for asking.
“But, with your condition, you can train.”
“I don’t know. The last time I asked, Dad said no.”
“He is just trying to make sure that you’re okay.”
“I am okay. My wounds are gone and I feel as active as ever.”
“Then, you should ask him.”
I reply with a low tone of voice and bow my head in sadness.
“I’ll ask after he is done in his private area of technology. I hope he actually listens to me.”
This is terrible. It feels like my career ended. I’m only lazing around in the house. That practice really took a toll on me. I wonder if the injury would be this bad if I didn’t turn around when the vigilante shot me. I underestimated her. I went easy on her and this is the price I paid for it. A guy with superspeed lost to a girl with guns. I bet Sonic and the Flash wouldn’t have lost to her. It seems that Jovan got over the vigilante beating.
He didn’t get over it. I know he didn’t get over it. Dad told me that the vigilante overpowered him in close combat. That must have got to him. He either is depressed on the inside or he is inspired to get stronger. I say the first option. Just like me, he lets this kind of thing get to him. That is just the type of people we are. We are used to doubting ourselves. We used to be the side characters, the ‘other guys’.
Everbleed’s appearance changed our roles in life. We are now considered the main characters. I’m not sure if I can get used to this new change. That was the first time I ever hit a girl. After fighting the vigilante, I don’t know if I’m cut out for this.
Dad sets foot in Jovan’s room.
“You two, come with me.”
Dad demands. We follow Dad out of the room and downstairs to the basement. We enter the door that leads to Dad’s futuristic room.
“Based on everything I have seen from you, I have decided two things.”
“For now, you won’t be going out as vigilantes.”
“I realized one very important thing that you two don’t have. That is. Experience.”
“And? We knew that coming in. That didn’t affect you then. Why is it affecting you now?”
“Because, it is affecting YOU.”
That sentence stuns Jovan and has him speechless.
“Before facing Bane, have you ever fought anyone?”
I got in a fight in elementary school. However, that doesn’t mean anything right now. It didn’t mean anything back then. All it proved was I have anger issues.
“No, but I almost got in a fight.”
“Almost doesn’t mean anything. You have never been in a fight before Bane.”
“So? I was still holding my own when I started fighting.”
“No, your blue eyes were doing everything for you. The moves you did with them surprised you, didn’t they?”
“Well, yeah, of course, they did. But, it is not like I didn’t know what I was doing.”
“That makes no sense. You were surprised by your movements, but you knew what you was doing? That is what you’re telling me. That is the same as a basketball player saying that he will score, yet he doesn’t know how.”
“I mean I knew I was going to come back with something. I just didn’t know what.”
“That’s pointless. In the end, you still didn’t know what you was going to do. Before you became vigilantes, have you seen a gun?”
“You were terrified when the gun was pointed at you, right?”
“A gun was never pointed at me.”
“You would have been terrified if a gun was pointed at you. Javon, weren’t you terrified?”
Dad says to prove a point and include me in the conversation.
“Yeah, I was terrified.”
I answer as I remember when the thug, with a knife through his hand, almost shot me. I thought I was going to die. If it weren’t for Dad, I would have already saw the light.
“Jovan, a thug almost cut your throat. You weren’t scared.”
“Yes, I was scared. But, I never gave up.”
“No, you gave up.”
“I didn’t give up.”
“One thing I realized about your blue eyes while I was watching you is they don’t react either when you don’t expect something to happen or when you don’t have the will to go through with your actions.”
“You could have broke out of that thug’s grasp without me. You just lost hope, so your eyes didn’t react.”
“No, there just weren’t any options in that situation.”
Why is Jovan being difficult? He knows Dad is right. Why won’t he admit it?
“Okay, let me give you another example. When the vigilante picked you up by your shirt, your blue eyes were still activated. You could have used that chance to hit her, however you just let her beat you up.”
Jovan doesn’t respond.
“What am I getting at is your fear isn’t going away. And, that is because your mindset is still the same as it was before Bane came. The fact that you give up when hope seems lost proves that. Your inexperience will be the death of you.”
Me and Jovan are speechless. So, there is another reason why I am struggling with this new life. I haven’t changed at all.
“Dad, we just became vigilantes. You really expected us to change overnight?”
“Yes. I needed you to change drastically and quickly. We have no idea when someone is going to come for the Aquos Crystal. You need to be ready for that moment. I thought that improving your bodies would make you more confident in yourselves. I was wrong. You both are still scared of the entire situation.”
“You are absolutely right.”
I speak up and support Dad’s argument.
“Jovan, you have to admit that he is right. Before Bane came, we were quiet, shy, and unpopular. And, we were fine with that. Our attitudes don’t blend in with all of this power and responsibility we have. We don’t know how to act like the main characters we see in anime. Actually, we can’t act like them. We are too different. We are not used to being in the spotlight. We can’t be vigilantes. We can’t protect the Aquos Crystal. We can’t be apart of this anymore.”
We don't belong in this world.
“Whoa, you got the wrong idea. I just said you won't be vigilantes for a while. I didn't say that you'll stop doing this as a whole.”
Dad states. What? We aren't quitting?
“Then, what are you saying?”
“I'm changing your training. You need experience and to get rid of your fear. So, you will practice in the Simulation Room.”
“Didn’t we already try that?”
“I only had each of you do one simulation. Those were easy simulations. There are hundreds of simulations you can do. Each one has you in a different situation.”
“Okay, when will we start?”
“You'll start today. Javon will start when his left eye is better.”
Jovan says with a determined expression on his face.
“Follow me to the Simulation Room.”
Dad begins walking back to the basement and Jovan goes with him.
“I may be shy, but that never stopped me from trying. You're using it as an excuse to stop trying. We just started and you already gave up. Everything you said describes yourself, not me.”
Jovan utters in my ear as he passes by me. Dad and Jovan leave me in this large area of technology. I am at a loss for words.
“Why are we in the Training Room?”
“Because, this is where the Simulation Room is. We were here when you first entered it.”
Dad replies to Jovan's question.
“You two forget things so easily.”
Dad puts in a code and the door opens. They go through the door and into the Simulation Room.
“What kind of simulation am I going to do?”
“A realistic one.”
“They're all realistic.”
“You'll see. This is a lot different from the one you usually do. This is isn't a game and you're not just beating up thugs. Computer, activate Hostage Heroics.”
“Processing… Computer does not recognize.”
Dad’s computer responds.
“Again? What is it called this time.”
Dad takes out his phone and sighs afterwards.
“Computer, activate Normal Mortals.”
“Normal Mortals activating.”
The computer readies the simulation.
“That is a dark title.”
“Yeah. I wonder how she came up with that one.”
Dad smirks as if he knows why the simulation is called that.
“Why was the name of the simulation on your phone?”
“She sent a bunch of names the simulations might be called.”
“Yeah, that word got me too. She said it on purpose. I'll have to change all of these names to the ones I originally had. That is only if I can remember them.”
The Simulation Room commences changing its surroundings. The floor separates into pixels. The pixels all start to combine into one and expand to appear as a black hole.
“I hate this process.”
Jovan shivers as it looks like he is about to fall into the black hole.
“You're still not used to it!”
“Of course, I'm not used to it! I can't stand seeing what looks like my doom.”
Jovan declares in his head and closes his eyes while he goes through the black hole. Even though he can't see the process, he can hear the the pixels working their magic.
“I don't hear anything. Is it safe?”
“OPEN YOUR EYES!”
Jovan opens his eyes right away and gets punched in the face.
“Oww, what the? Was that Dad just now? How did he yell into my simulation?”
Jovan looks around and notices that he is inside of a bank with several thugs with guns.
“What is going on?”
“You know what is going on! What is the password to access the money of this bank?”
A thug orders Jovan while holding a gun to his head.
“I'm the hostage!”
Jovan gathers in his mind from the situation.
“There is a gun next to my head. A gun! Okay, think. What is the password to access the money of this bank?... I don't know!”
“I'm not playing games. Tell me the password!”
“I don't know.”
“YOU WORK HERE! You are the only person who works here! Of course, you know! Stop playing!”
“Dammit, I don't work here. This is a fake situation that Dad created.
Jovan murmurs to himself while quivering with fear.
“You still think we are playing.”
The thug puts his other hand near Jovan's neck. His hand has a knife through it.
“There's a knife in his hand! Wait, is he the same thug who Javon wrote on? Yup, the only difference is the writing isn't on his hand.”
“Tell me the password!”
“Why would Dad put me in such an impossible situation?” If I trying, I will either get shot or cut in the throat. What options do I have?”
“Okay, what, bank boy?”
‘I'll tell you the password.”
“About damn time. You life was almost meaningless.”
The thug stays in his position like nothing happened. A thug goes to the computer and sits there like he is waiting for something. Another thug even whistles in the meantime. Everyone else just walks around like kids on a field trip.
“What are they doing?”
Jovan is very confused with what the thugs are doing. The thug, who is whistling, starts spinning his gun and throwing it in the air. Another thug is even on his phone. And, there is another thug, who is looking at himself in his mirror and making weird poses.
“Didn't I say that I'll tell them the password? Is the simulation glitching?”
Out of the blue, a gun is fired and the bullet hits the ceiling.
Jovan responds to the gunshot. Small bits of the ceiling plummet to the floor.
“Dude, watch how you handle your gun.”
“My bad, it's a reflex.”
“You dumbass, you call that a reflex.”
“What would you call it, smart guy?”
“Something only a kid would do.”
“I'll show you what a kid would do.”
Two thugs prepare to punch each other.
“You two need to chill.”
A thug gets in between the thugs and points his gun at one of them. Yet, he gets punched by the other thug.
“What the hell?!”
“Oh, that's on me. You know me, Jaquel. Once I pull a punch, I can't bring it back.”
“I'm about to pull the trigger on your ass, Shayshawn!”
Jaquel, the thug who tried to break up the fight, points his gun toward Shayshawn, the thug who hit him.
“You better not.”
The thug, with about knife in his hand, demands while directing his gun in Jaquel’s direction.
“My bad, I lost my cool. It's all good. Right, Shayshawn?”
Jaquel puts away his gun.
Shayshawn gives Jaquel a handshake.
“Did Dad create those retarded names?”
Jovan wonders in his head.
“What are you waiting for?”
The thug, with a knife through his hand, asks Jovan.
“Tell my man the password.”
Jovan spots the thug at the computer and the thug waves to him.
“You don't want me to go to the computer and type it myself?”
Jovan speaks, looking nervous.
“2. 0. 9. 6. 3. 6. 2. 1. 4. 5.”
Jovan pauses after he says a number.
“That's the password?”
The thug, at the computer, questions Jovan.
“I don't know! Maybe, the amount of money is the password. I just guessed the amount of money this bank might have.”
Jovan confesses to himself.
“It says that the password has words, numbers, and symbols.”
The thug confirms. Jovan is stunned. He can't even respond.
“That's it, I'm putting a hole in your head!”
The thug, with a knife through his hand, shouts.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!”
The thug shoots Jovan in his head and the simulation ends. Jovan returns to the original Simulation Room.
“What the hell was that?”
Dad appears in front of Jovan.
“Uh, I died.”
Jovan replies because he doesn't know what else to say.
“That was AWFUL! You actually acted like a hostage.”
“That's because I was a hostage. Dad, what did you expect me to do? Take advantage of the thug’s stupidity? I couldn't do anything. I had a gun to my head and everyone else had guns.”
Jovan glares at Dad with a frustrated face.
“You are not like everyone else.”
Okay, then you tell me what I could have done in that situation.”
“For one thing, you could have used your blue eyes.”
Dad’s sentence leaves Jovan dumbfounded.
“You were so terrified that you didn’t think to use your blue eyes. You subconsciously thought they were useless in that situation. You were wrong. You didn't even bother to try.”
Jovan remains quiet and in shock.
“You lost hope from the beginning. Your way of thinking needs to change. I hope you learn from this.”
Dad saunters out of the Simulation Room. Jovan clenches his fists as tears run down his face. Later in the afternoon, Jovan goes down to the basement and ambles toward Dad.
“Let me try that simulation again.”
Jovan requests with a unwavering expression on his face.
Dad escorts Jovan to the Simulation Room.
“Computer, activate Normal Mortals.”
“Normal Mortals activating.”
Dad's computer reaffirms. Jovan closes his eyes and calms himself. He is putting himself in a focused state. The floor breaks into pixels and swirls together to appear as a black hole. Jovan drops into the black hole and instantly is in the bank. He is a hostage again.
“Yo, I'm only going to say this once. What is the password to access the money of this bank?”
The thug, with a knife in his hand, puts his gun next to Jovan's head.
“I'm tired of being useless. I am not going to limit myself anymore. I admit that I was terrified against Bane. Against the steroid-powered pharmacist and the vigilante. That fear did make me lose hope. But, that was only because I considered myself inferior to them. I never thought if there was anything I could do. That won't be the case anymore. I will get stronger. I won't fear anyone. Not just because of willpower. Because I'm not your average person. I'm... SUPERHUMAN!”
Jovan activates his blue eyes with black pupils.
The thug, with a knife through his hand fires his gun.
Jovan shows up on the left side of the thug and elbows him in his chest. The thug, with a knife in his hand, is propelled to the ground and faints.
“He took down the gangster with a knife in his hand!”
“Yeah, that guy was so cool that he doesn't have a name!”
“That's not cool, you idiot.”
Four thugs mention as they aim their guns at Jovan.
“I would be doomed if I was a normal person. BUT, I'M NOT! I CAN DODGE ALL OF THEM!”
Jovan’s pupils change from black to white. He rushes toward the thugs while they shoot bullets at him. While he is running, Jovan eludes a bullet by tilting his head to the left. Another bullet heads toward his left arm, however he spins around it and moves on.
“Crap, I have to move!”
Jovan notices that a bullet is coming to his chest. He leaps up to avoid the bullet. He does avoid the bullet, but two more bullets fly at him. Jovan delicately spins around to evade the first bullet, then spins again for a 720° spin. The second bullet goes past his face and he lands safely on the ground. Jovan continues to dash towards the thugs and dodge their bullets.
“He isn't human.”
“He is like a superhero without a name.”
Three thugs comment and stop using their guns.
“Quit gawking and kill the guy!”
A thug adds, then gets punched to the earth by Jovan.
“You heard him. Shoot the guy!”
Three thugs, in front of Jovan, fire their guns at him while five other thugs shoot at him from behind.
“This is going to be tough.”
Jovan eludes all of their bullets by repeatedly sidestepping to the left and right. It looks as if there are two afterimages of him and the bullets go through them. Jovan is narrowly getting past the bullets. If he reacts a few seconds slower, he would be done for. Jovan has a nervous face on, still he is focused.
“How is he evading all of our bullets? It looks like it is going to hit him, but it doesn’t.”
“I don't know, man. All I can say is he is definitely the quickest guy here.”
Two thugs remark while shooting at Jovan. A bullet closes in on Jovan’s head. Instantly, Jovan moves to the left of the bullet and it misses. Another bullet nears Jovan’s eye and reaches his pupil. Jovan stares at the bullet and disappears to the right side. The bullet reached his pupil, yet it couldn't touch it. It is like the bullets can only get so close to Jovan.
“He can't keep this up for long.”
A thug assumes as he sees Jovan sweating and continues to fire shots towards him.
“I'm out of ammo.”
Three thugs confirm and toss their guns to the floor.
“Good, there are only five thugs with bullets. I just have to keep this up for a little longer.”
Jovan takes plenty of small breathers as he continues to sidestep from the left to the right. A bullet closes in on Jovan’s leg. He quickly steps away from it and avoids its touch.
“Dang. Well, that was my last one.”
A thug ceases to fire his gun. Another bullet soars past Jovan’s stomach and misses by a large margin.
“I was way off. My last bullet wasn't even near the guy.”
Another thug stops shooting.
A thug screams in pain.
“Holy crap, what happened?”
“You shot me!”
The thug is bleeding on the ground while holding his shoulder.
“Oh, my bad.”
“Don't give me that ‘oh, my bad’ crap, you asshole!”
“I don't know what else to give you.”
“Why don’t you give me a healing kit or an ambulance?!”
“I don't have a healing kit and I can't call the ambulance.”
“Me calling the ambulance is like asking to be arrested.”
“So, get arrested. That's the least you could do. I'm a victim!”
“I thought the least I could do was call the ambulance?”
Two thugs argue across the place.
“Judging from that incident, there should be only two thugs left with bullets.”
Jovan supposes while sweating. He spots a bullet approaching to his left arm and gradually steps away from it.
“Yes, I evaded it! Only one left.”
Jovan congratulates himself while being in the sidestepping motion. Another bullet flies toward Jovan and delivers a blow to his right arm.
Jovan drops to his knees and holds his bleeding right arm.
“How did this happen? I was sure that I dodged the bullet. That had to be a different one. How did it hit me right after I dodged the first bullet?”
Jovan brainstorms as his blood drips on the floor.
“Heh, told you my plan would work.”
Two thugs fling their guns to the ground. One of them stroll towards Jovan.
“I bet you want to know how I knew when to shoot you.”
“Is he bragging?”
“I knew when to shoot you because you don't sidestep.”
That sentence immediately gets Jovan’s attention.
“It only looked like you were sidestepping because of how quick you were avoiding our bullets. However, you weren't that quick. If you were, you would have eluded our bullets earlier instead of letting them get as close as they did. What you were really doing was spinning around our bullets.”
Jovan's eyes fully open.
“You knew you weren't faster than a bullet, so you waited for an ideal time to spin past them. You used our bullets to appear as if you were doing something cool. It was just quick reflexes.”
Seven thugs encircle Jovan without their guns.
“He's right about me spinning around the bullets. But, I could care less. How am I going to beat these thugs?”
A thug tries to kick Jovan's face. It is held by Jovan’s left hand. He throws the thug to the ground.
“Since this is a simulation, I can give it my all. And, not worry about losing.”
Jovan’s blue eyes now have black pupils. He charges at the thugs and gives one thug a hard left hook to his stomach. The thug faints and drops like a stone.
Jovan arrogantly utters to the five thugs who are standing. Two thugs punch Jovan on both sides of his face. Both punches made him spit out saliva. Jovan counters with a punch and elbow to one of them. Then, he kicks the other thug to the earth.
The three other thugs triple team Jovan. One of the thugs knee him in his groin while another thug kicks his back, which propels Jovan to the hard floor. Another thug kicks his face to its right side while he is on the ground. That immediately made Jovan cough out blood and spread it across the rug. Jovan slowly pulls himself up, however a thug pounds his back and sends him back down.
“Even though this is a simulation, I still feel real pain.”
Jovan points out with a quiet voice. Regardless, he rises to his knees and uses them to stand up.
Jovan jumps in a spinning motion and delivers a powerful kick to a thug’s head that takes him to the floor with authority.
“I will go through pain worse than this.”
Jovan stands in a fighting pose with his black eyes and white pupils still activated.
“Weren't you a hostage?”
“Doesn't matter. He's going down.”
A thug strives to jab Jovan. Jovan leaps over the thug and lands a left punch on his back that quickly puts him down and makes the earth shake around them. After that, a thug backhands Jovan so hard that his face turns the other way and blood comes out of his mouth. Jovan slaps him back with the same impact, except the thug falls to the ground afterwards. Now, there is only one thug left.
“You're not going to knock me out like that.”
The final thug gives Jovan a right hook to his face that gets him to his knees. Next, the thug throws another punch to Jovan's face that has him automatically spit out blood like he put something disgusting in his mouth and drops him to the ground as if they are in a boxing match.
“Quick and easy.”
The last thug brags as he walks away from Jovan. He hears a step and pauses. He turns around and sees Jovan with his legs quivering and blood dripping from his mouth and right arm.
“Come on, kid. This is POINTLESS!”
The thug charges at Jovan and punches him square in his jaw. The thug’s fist broke a tooth out of Jovan’s mouth and turns his face around.
“He is down for the count.”
The thug assumes, glaring at Jovan’s plummeting body. He blinks just once and Jovan is gone.
The final thug quickly looks to his left and right and doesn't spot him anywhere. Blood suddenly gets on his left shoulder and he points his head up. Jovan's blue and black eyes shine bright as he emerges in the air and kicks the last thug in his jaw. The impact breaks some of the thug’s teeth, takes him to the floor, the earth, around them, cracks into several blocks, and creates dust. The dust clears right away and Jovan is the last man standing.
“Wow, he really completed the simulation.”
Dad remarks while looking at a computer screen that shows Jovan in the simulation.
I add with a stunned expression. I'm more surprised than Dad. I didn't think he could do it. He did it and struggled along the way. He didn’t give up. Dad saunters out of the room while I freeze in thought.
The computer confirms and Jovan returns to the original Simulation Room.
“It wasn't a game.”
Dad replies to Jovan's comment.
“Good job, man. You really pulled through.”
Jovan smiles and is relieved that the simulation is over.
“Your fear is gradually disappearing.”
“Go relax. I know you're tired after all of that.”
“I won't argue with you there. Alright.”
Jovan ambles out of the Simulation Room with a proud grin on his face.
“I'm just getting started.”
Jovan confidently says in his mind.
“You look like you have something to say.”
Dad observes and notices me in front of him.