After my conversation with Lorrie, I made my way to Tiamone's room.
"Wanna train?" I asked.
For a moment I couldn't hear anything, then the door swung open, and I stood face to face with Tiamone.
"Would you like to train?" I asked again.
Tiamone shook his and closed the door.
For someone who seemed so concerned with our ranking, he didn't seem to want to win very much. If we didn't practice then we would dangerously close to losing, just like Apex and Shard.
I trudged downstairs to the practice room and slipped inside.
I had lightning and telekinesis down pretty well, what I needed to practice was my breath power. But first I had to think so I didn't kill myself.
What did I know about this power?
I could breath in harmful gases, and breath the exact same gas out. That was it.
But that couldn't be it.
I thought back to just after I had gotten my powers. A hole opened in the wall and spewed out fire.
I couldn't breath fire or ice on command so far as I knew... maybe I had to breath something in first?
But that wasn't very helpful. I'd fighting someone with their own power. There had to be more.
I spent the next 30 minutes visualizing myself breathing fire. I didn't produce a single spark. Frustrated, I punched the ground. My hand sparked with electricity an-
The air around me combusted. I didn't have too much of a problem, other than singed eyebrows and burn patches on my clothes, because I could breath despite the lack of oxygen... but what the heck had just happened? It was just like my arena fight...
I stood and instead of trying to breathe fire, I thought of exhaling Co2. I created a small spark with a snap of fingers and...
I breathed again, this time visualizing the gas from the other day. I created a spark...
I was now a living flamethrower.
"Computer can I have an ice cube?"
A small square chunk of ice dropped into my lap. I lifted it with telekinesis and held it in front of my face. Then I tried to breathe in, visualizing a an inhale so powerful that it sucked in things around it. Sorta like Kirby.
The ice cube shot into my mouth as I literally inhaled it. It felt weird going down into my lungs, but it didn't choke me. Then, focusing on a blizzard, I exhaled.
A cold wind came from my lips, and few snowflakes came with it. It wasn't quite as spectacular as I was thinking, but it was a start.
It seemed like I needed to inhale something to be able to exhale a related product repeatedly. I could still exhale the gas from the other day... so I knew I kept the ability to exhale a specific substance for at least 24 hours.
I hoped there wasn't limit.
I practiced for another 20 minutes. I was having fun, but I was itching for an actual battle. I didn't want to kill anyone, I just wanted to be able to practice with another person. Apex was recovering, Tiamone wasn't in the mood, Shard... yeah right. That left the girls.
I stuck my head out the training room doors and called out,
"Quiet down!" came Newt's telepathy, "Apex is sleeping!"
Lorrie was was in the common room just outside of the training so she stood and walked over. A moment later, Newt came running down the stairs and she skidded to a stop in front of me.
"What's up Visp?" Lorrie asked.
"I was wondering if you guys wanted to do a training fight with me... Tiamone won't come out, and I need to practice."
"You think that's a good idea?" Lorrie said, while at the same time Newt replied,
"Umm I don't know..."
"Please?" I asked. "It'll give you some to time to work with Lorrie in preparation for your own fight, and there will no blood. I promise."
I saw Newt sway a little when I said "blood."Apparently Lorrie did too, because she rolled her eyes.
"Computer, bring up Arena map please."
The floor and walls shimmered for a moment, and then I found myself looking at the hard packed martian dirt floor of the arena, complete with a force field and a virtual crowd. The countdown started,
"10, 9, 8,"
"Visp!" Lorrie called as we took up our positions. "Are you going to be ok by yourself? There's two of us you know... not that you aren't macho enough to handle us I'm sure but..."
I wasn't worried. "Yeah I'll be fi-"
Lorrie leapt forward as soon as the match started, catching me by surprise, and I was knocked to the floor as soon as the practice match began. I tried to swing at her, but she took a deep breath and stepped through me. My heart skipped a beat, and I shivered. I hoped she didn't do that again.
I spun left, trying to land a blow, but she ran right and by the time I had spun all the way around she was back next to Newt. She smirked, and to my surprise Newt had her arms crossed and was smiling too.
I stood up and brushed myself off. If that's how they wanted to play, then so be it.
I rolled forward and launched a bolt of lightning at Newt, who started floating and rose right above it. I looked back to see Lorrie throwing another punch, and I stopped her hand with telekinesis. I let some static build up around my fist, and launched my own punch.
Newt was suddenly in between me and Lorrie, and as I looked at her eyes, my fist began to slow, and then stop, and then drop to my side. I couldn't move.
I received two punches in the stomach from Lorrie, and one in the chest from Newt. They hurt, but I couldn't even double over in pain. Not unless Newt told me to do so.
No! That was a stupid ide-
My hand started to move on its own volition. I tried to fight it, but there was nothing I could do. My hand reared back, and shot towards to my face when-
My hand froze.
"Sorry Visp... I thought you said you could handle us! Are you ok?"
"Nice going superman. Now do you want a partner or not?" said Lorrie with a smirk.
"Fine... fine... You were right. Computer, assign virtual copy of myself to my team please."
A robotic skeleton rose from the ground next to me. Parts began to glow and reshape, and when the light subsided, I found myself looking at my clone.
"Ok. I'm ready. Time for round two!"
We took our places again, and the countdown began once more. This fight went much better. Lorrie tried to phase through me and punch, but my clone spun and stopped her with telekinesis. I gave her a small shock and turned to face Newt... who was nowhere to be seen.
"Ah!" came my own voice. I spun and found my clone grappling with Newt who had fallen from the sky onto his back. Lorrie was free once more, and I gave my breath power another try.
The air was colder, and some good sized hail was mixed in this time. Lorrie raised her arms to cover her face and I leapt forward, giving her a push as I stuck my foot behind her. As she fell, I turned to help my clone, only to find him running at me with Newt on his back. He launched a few bolts of lightning, which I dodged, and then I felt myself being thrown by an invisible force.
"No fair!" I yelled as I hit the ground.
Lorrie was back up and advancing along with Newt, and my hypnotized clone. I gathered my power, and released a large shockwave of electricity. Lorrie phased past it, and newt levitated above it. My clone was caught in the blast and he crashed into the force field. I tried to avoid Newt's eyes, and I fought like a madman, but inevitably, I was once again forced to yield.
Lorrie looked down at me, "How did you win your first fight again?"
"Oh shush." I replied as I grabbed the hand she offered, and pulled myself back up.
We were all breathing heavily, and we were all a little sore, but we were all smiling as we left the training room.
"Ten! Nine! Eight!"
"I saw you get you butt kicked by the girls this morning" Tiamone muttered, as the countdown for our match began.
"Yeah well it might have been different if you had actually been there" I shot back. "The girls actually seem to know how to work as a team."
"Well unlike the girls, I don't need a partner to win a match. I thought you might be the same. Looks like I was wrong."
The people we were fighting were brothers. The older brother, Eric, had To-12, tornado, Fl-02, flight, and Ta-17, Talons. The younger brother, Brandon, had Wa-12, Water, Re-06, reflect, and Hu-23, hurricane. As the match started, Eric grabbed Brandon's shoulders unfurled a pair of wings, and took off into the sky.
Heh... see what I did there?
The arena grew eerily dark as clouds began to form, and I felt moisture on my face. A roll of thunder sounded and the ground just to my left exploded as it was hit by a bolt of lightning.
Lightning? That was my power! I aimed my fingertips at the flying duo and launched a few bolts of my own. The pair dodged the bolts with ease, but one or two bolts came close to finding their marks.
Tiamone hadn't bothered to plan with me, so we were both doing our own thing, and it was obvious that that needed to change or we would die. The pair dove at me and I saw Brandon grab hold of Eric as Eric released Brandon's shoulders, freeing up his own hands to srike at me with his talons.
Lines of pain were etched into my chest. My shirt was shredded as if it were paper, and three parallel furrows could be seen in my now exposed chest. I screamed and looked over at Tiamone to see him get knocked backwards as a bolt of lightning struck near his feet, sending up huge chunks of earth.
"Tiamone!" I shouted. "We have to work together!"
He scowled at me, but nodded. "This would a great time for a plan then Visp!"
I thought back to the explosions of earth caused by the lightning, and was struck with an idea. I shouted my plan to Tiamone, who accepted it with a nod.
The pair swooped down again and I prepared myself to dodge the sharp claws, but instead received a spray of water in my face. It felt like someone had pointed a fireman's hose at me.
The clouds began to rumble, and I tensed, timing would be critical. The sky flashed, and Tiamone acted. I could actually see the lightning bolt travel as it descended from the sky, and I knew that Tiamone had been able to slow time successfully. As the bolt hit the ground and chunks of earth flew, I reached out with both hands, and began to use my telekinesis to hurl the missiles at the pair in the sky.
They dodged the first few, and one of the chunks actually bounced off the younger kid. That must have been his reflect at work. But due to Tiamone's time slow, the pair wasn't able to evade them all. A piece of ground hit Eric in the wing, and his yell almost sounded like a squawk.
They hit the ground and were up on their feet in an instant. Eric ran for me, while Brandon went after Tiamone. A cyclone whipped up around me, whipping me around and leaving me very disoriented. Another scratch and my back flared in pain. I caught sight of Eric swinging his hand towards me again, and I threw up a telekinetic wall. His hand smashed against it, breaking some of the claws of his hand. He howled and leapt over my barrier. He knocked me to the ground touched my throat with one of his talons. He was tensing to end my life, I couldn't think, I couldn't muster my power, all I could do was stare at the face of my killer.
His eyes met mine, and he hesitated. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I could tell that he didn't want to kill me. He didn't have an alias... he had a name. He had compassion. He wasn't a monster...
He had a heart.
His lifted his claw from my neck and stood, offering me a hand. We had tacitly agreed: We weren't going to fight any longer.
Tiamone didn't get the memo. He had used his illusion power to distract Brandon and was now running towards me and Eric. He stooped to pick up one of Eric's broken claws and then he charged.
I held up a hand, summoning my telekinesis, and grabbed his fist with my invisible strength.
He looked at his hand dumbly for a moment, then turned towards me with a snarl. Before I could do anything, he had opened two portals, one in front of his fist, and the other directly behind Eric.
The part of him that wasn't protected by telekinesis.
He shoved his hand through the portal, reached around Eric's neck and cut open his neck.
As Eric's body slid to the floor, my fists clenched and my vision grew red. Energy began to crackle around my hands and I swung at Tiamone. He threw up a hand and my vision exploded like someone had set off a firework in front of my face. I didn't waver though, I felt my fist connect with Tiamone's jaw, and I immediately followed through with my left fist. I hit only air. My vision began to fade back in, and I saw Tiamone glaring at me. Brandon was sneaking up behind him, but he didn't notice. He was focused on me.
He wanted to kill me.
I pointed a finger at him and poured all of the crackling energy I had into my fingertip. When the buildup became so large that it began to hurt, I yelled and released it all at Tiamone's sneering face.
But then he smiled, and just like that, a portal was open in front of him.
I didn't need to look behind me to know that that was where he had opened the second portal. Brandon leapt at Tiamone but before I could see if he caught him or not, I was thrown forward as my own bolt of electricity struck me in the back.
There was no blood, at least not that I could see, but as I flew through the air, I briefly wondered if Newt was watching, and if she was, if she had passed out yet. Then I hit the force field.