Once the Humanoid released him, Jason waited outside next to the tree earlier for Wings. Skylar had disappeared sometime during the day, but Jason had not noticed, and he straightened up as Wings hurried toward him. Her head was hanging down and her eyes downcast, but Jason could detect her eagerness from the gait she walked in, fast enough that her brown hair bounced on her back.
When she was within a reasonable distance, Jason spoke to her. “Now I know why you seemed so familiar.”
“What do you mean?” she asked gently, and let her school pack fall to the ground next to his. He noticed, with satisfaction, that her back was red, just like his. Mind you, it was a different shade of red, more of a muted orange to his deep maroon.
“In the game. I always had that nagging feeling that I knew you.” Wing raised an eyebrow as she began stuffing things into her pack.
“Really? And you know me now?”
“Um, well, if you remember…. Yesterday, I think it was, I ran into you at the commoner’s square.”
“Oh. So you are that rude guy at the square!”
“Rude? You are the one who stalked off like you had someone up your ass.” Wings rolled her eyes when he said this and Jason chuckled softly, and in response she punched his arm. Rather harder than you would expect a girl to.
“Shut up. It is not funny.” Jason stifled another laugh and watched her as she finished.
“So. How are you so high of a level again?”
“I told you.” She said contemptuously, finally getting Jason to get to the point of what he wanted to say. “The town I come from got the game nearly a week ago.”
“So you are not from here?”
“Obviously, didn’t I just say that?”
“No. And If you are not from here, then how come you are here right now? And where did you come from then?”
“Well, my parents got transferred here right after we were given our games. And where I came from is my own business, not yours.” Jason thought about that quietly, and Wings studied his face. “Any more questions?” She stated bluntly and Jason mumbled something that probably could have been take for a yes.
“Then out with it!”
“Your hair is brown.”
“So is yours.”
“That is because my mother had an affair with an elite and sadly enough I got his traits.” Wings scrunched up her nose as Jason said this. He said it in a blunt, obvious ton. “What is your excuse?” He fired at her, hoping to get some straight information from her for once.
Wings, as usual, didn’t answer right away. She waited a moment and when she spoke, Jason could tell that she took time and care at choosing what she said and in which words that she said it. “Where I come from, we are not separated from each other by our hair.”
That confused him. He could not think of anything else to classify you by. The only thing he could think of was Skin and Eye colors, but those were too controllable, too predictable. “then how are you separated?”
“By the blood.”
Wings rolled her eyes, and smiled softly. Obviously she found this slightly amusing. “People have different types of blood. Some are rare and others are very broad. Depending on your blood type you are said to be more sickly, or a harder working person. So they divided us into four different groups according to our blood type.”
“Wow, that sounds complicated.”
“Not really, but I guess it is if you have never heard of it before. Remind me to tell you about it in detail some time.” She said and leaned against the tree against him. Jason could feel her presence next to him as hot as a flame, and he was not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. He focused on a freckle on the back of her hand while she talked. “So Thief, how did your quest go?”
“Good.” Jason went on to explain what had happened and how he had met up with his assassin. Wings did not seem surprised to learn about Rapid, but she didn’t offer any information about him, so Jason decided to skip over the information about the guild and instead described in painstaking detail what the tree had tried to do.
“Oh my!” Wings said with a gasp as he told her that it had literally sucked him inside almost completely. “I am so sorry about that Thief! I had no idea it was so smart, otherwise I would have never sent you on the quest in the first place!”
“It is okay.” He said and put a hand on her shoulder. Jason just then realized how very short and small she was compared to him. His first impression of her, as a cocky girl of about fourteen triggered in his mind but he pushed it away. “I won so it is fine”
“Oh great! When we log back in later, You will have to show me what you have chosen!” she smiled and picked up her pack, and Jason thought that she must be as eager as he to log back into the game. Genesis Alpha had inhabited most of his thoughts throughout the entire day, and he kept wondering about how Nox would react to his sudden jump in levels, guild offer, and quest completion.
While Jason had been letting his thoughts trail off and he organized his stuff, Wings had wandered off away from him, no doubtfully heading back to her home. Jason caught the sight of a figure sulking in the shadows of a tree she was just about to pass, and he grabbed his knife quickly and braced his muscles to spring once the figure attacked.
He was not disappointed, and didn’t have to wait long either. As soon as Wings had gone into striking distance, the figure leapt from the shadows, and Jason lunged forward as Wings screamed loudly. The figure was a guy, not one of the three from earlier, who were trying to harm wings for trespassing or something, but a new rogue hat probably wanted Wings for other reasons.
Jason slammed into the body with a snarl, and he jammed his knife into Wing’s attacker’s side. He bellowed in pain, and Jason twisted it until he heard a crunch, indicating a fracture in the ribs. He pushed the rogue away from wings and yanked his blade free, then wiped it on his trousers. The opportunist moaned in pain at Jason’s feet, and he kicked him in the gut.
“Stay out of my way!” Jason snarled and spat on the ground in front of the boy’s face. “Out of my grounds, and away from my gang, got it?” The boy nodded, sobbing slightly and Jason looked up to wings, whose eyes were wide in surprise. Apparently where she ‘came from’ as she put it didn’t have gangs and such.
“Not to offend you or anything wings, but I think Skylar and I better adopt you into our gang. We are sincerely the toughest, though smallest, and most feared gangs here, and I think for the time being it would be safest for you to stay with us so nothing like that,” he pointed back at the not mortally but seriously injured rogue lying in pain on the grass, “happens again.”
Wings nodded, all too happy to oblige. Jason smiled and put an arm around her shoulder, much to her surprise. “Just stick close to me a for a few days and people will start getting the idea.” Wings shrugged his shoulder off and picked up the stuff she had dropped.
“Thanks again Jason.” She said in her characteristic soft voice, but her timbre changed into a playful and strict tone at the same time. “Just do not get any ideas, will you?” She winked and laughed, and soon Jason joined her.
When Wings had picked up all of her items, Jason stood with her and he took her through the woods and past the city on his safe, yet scenic, route to the Commoner’s Meeting Place. They parted there.
“I hope you can find your way from here.” He said when they reached it. She laughed.
“I am sure I can! Thanks again Jason, See you in a few.”
“Same to you!” He called to her as she started jogging off. He watched her for a moment, then turned around and headed in his own direction home, wondering how the evening would play out with his family and with Stephan.
He found out when he opened the door.
Stephan aimed a punch at Jason’s head and it hit the mark on Jason’s right cheek. The force of the blow slammed him into the wall. Stunned for a moment, Jason stumbled lightly and gripped the wall for support. His vision blurred slightly and he had trouble making out part’s of Stephan’s yelling.
“Son of a bitch am i? That is not nice to say about your own god damned mother!” Stephan’s voice rose higher in volume with every syllable. “And why do the hell do you have to get in MY DAMNED WAY ALL THE DAMNED TIME!?” Stephan punched Jason again, this time catching him in the ribs, and knocking his younger brother’s breath out.
Still stunned, Jason Gasped and stumbled slightly, and only choked in enough air to move to where his back was against the wall, and his eyes tried to focus on Stephan’s red face. “Shut up.” He manage to mutter, but it came out more like a breath, and Jason was not sure if Stephan had noticed it.
“That girl deserved what she was going to get, and you and your stupid body guard had to come along and stop us.” Jason could hear the background noise of Megan Reye Shouting something incoherent, and the thud of pounding feet as she ran towards the brothers.
“And for what?” Stephan went on raging, “For fun? Sport? Or did you think you could get something useful out of her? Damn, I would expect it. After all, that is all your father ever did. He had fun with our mother, then just left her when she was already having trouble making ends meet. Is that why you called her a bitch, huh Jason? Are you proud of your father? I bet you are. I bet you want to be just like him, and guess what, YOU GAD DAMN ARE!”
Stephan cast another punch at Jason, who now had regained his wits and ducked down, then jumped for ward and pined his brother against the wall. “SHUT UP!” He screamed and kneed Stephan in the stomach.
“Jason!” Megan Reye gasped as she reached the from hall. She rushed over and pulled Jason off of Stephan, each of which had all the intentions and motivation to kill one another. Stephan stay against the wall, and Jason tried to rip away from his sister. He knew that if he really wanted to, he could, but he didn’t want to hurt her and after a moment even stopped struggling and just glared at Stephan, murder spelt in his eyes.
“Jason, how dare you attack your own brother in this house! I heard about the fight at the schooling too, honestly I thought you knew better. He is your brother. Get over your stupid hot headedness and at least try to pretend like you can tolerate him.”
“It was not me, though.” Jason said calmly, eyeing his brother as Megan Reye let him go so she could chastise him. “I do not know if you noticed, Megan Reye, but I was not the one who was shouting like a broken ‘oid or the one that actually started the fight by attacking one of my gang members.” Stephan narrowed his eyes when he referred to Wings, and Jason wondered what it was that had ticked him off so badly and had gotten Wings on the top of the hit list around here.
Megan Reye stood there silent for a second, shocked at what Jason had said and how clearly he had dismissed her. Jason was always the one that got told off, from Megan Reye or his mother, and he always took it like a good little boy that knew he had been caught with his hands on a humanoid’s remote control. O it was surprising to Megan Reye at how fiercely Jason had fought back and she glance from Jason to Stephan, confused and unsure what to do.
Jason pushed passed his elder sister and stomped down the hall quickly before anyone could call out their mother, Amanda. When he reached his room, Jason shut the door quietly and went immediately to his game helmet. He kicked off his shoes and leaned back on the bed before putting the helmet on his head, but when he did, when felt the comforting and soothing rush of wind to smooth off his anger.
At least he could escape the hell he lived in when he played Genesis Alpha.