I rose wearily from my sleep to find myself being bathed by the tongue of a miniature mutt.
An empty look got it to stop as it frowned back and ceased all movement. Where the hell was I? And who was this damn thing for?
“Hm, I can definitely see the resemblance,” a voice spoke.
I turned as I met the curious purple eyes of a girl sitting left of the twin bed I was on. She appeared to be around my age, no older than 19, but she wore the look of a nosy five year old as her eyes examined me, and the over-sized bow between her braided pigtails did nothing to help her situation.
“Who are you?” I murmured. She kept her gaze but offered no response. I didn't care anyway. Glancing to my right I noticed my clothes on a dresser. A silky feeling seemed to have itself wrapped around me, and I turned my gaze to realize that I was wearing purple pajamas with cartoon cats and mice all over them. I looked back at the girl to find that she still held the same stare, and I decided that I didn't care enough to question how I got into these. They were comfortable. I dropped onto the floor and made my way to the only door in the small room.
“Where are you going?” the girl asked.
“Out for some fresh air.” I solemnly responded.
I made my way through the field until I found a lone tree at the edge of a cliff looking out to a dense evergreen forest below. I climbed onto the highest limb and relished in the tranquility. Six different colored moons encircled the area, each one adding to the blue auroric glow enveloped in the dark sky. A slight, but constant breeze kept it all at peace as the wind played melodies in my ears. I felt the energy source of the girl appear behind me. I didn't turn to face her, but I could feel the puckered lips and over-sized pupils gazing down at me like a baby squirrel.
“Are you going to tell me who you are or are you going to sit there like you've never seen a boy before?”
“I'm Candy,” she quipped, drawing a slight gaze from me in the process. Of course she had a name like Candy. If it weren't for the combat suit, she could have probably passed for a tall fifth grader in elementary school. I turned my focus back to the moons. Their forms were transcendent. Each one had a significantly different pattern from the rest. The one that stood out the most was directly in front of me. You could see a white gassy substance dance around it as if it were ice. Unlike the others, it didn't shine bright and vibrant. It didn't need to. The deep blue aura around it gave it all it needed. Absolutely beautiful.
The curious eyes of the girl appeared in my face, struggling as she attempted to search for something she clearly couldn't find.
“Do I make you angry?” she asked. I gave no response. As far as I was concerned my eyes hadn't left that moon.
“You don't like me?” she puckered on.
“I don't care about you,” I remarked.
“But you don't know me.”
“Exactly my point.”
“Can't we be friends?”
“That all depends on the people we are.” She folded her arms and added more to her slight pout as she kept her eyes concentrated on me.
“Blocking my view to make these ridiculous faces isn't helping your chances either.” I added. What the hell was she trying to accomplish with these faces anyway. Was it for attraction? Hell, I never understood what the hell other guys were attracted to, but if this was why they constantly talked about girls all damn day then I'm glad girls didn't talk to me. I'd have to punched someone in the face if I had to deal with that shit. It was reasons like this that Ka'Lyla was the only girl I'd ever wanted to come near me. Shit. There she was again. Her sight lingering in the front of my mind. Her touch giving my skin goosebumps despite her absence. Her sweet smell putting me in a trance and her words-
No, I can't allow myself to think about her. She's forgotten about me. Likely off with the upperclassmen to 'learn new skills' and 'work on her studies'. Fucking bastards, they weren't fooling anyone. I know what they were really doing, and they were probably all laughing every time she kissed me with that false sympathy. Laughing at my weakness. Telling of the times they'd jumped me in the alleys, demanding me to back off, and then pummeling me until I became almost unrecognizable to myself. That's why she always asked how I was doing. To get me to admit that they were stronger, and that I'd gotten tossed around like some weak pup so that she could give up her act. Finally end her fake feelings and then laugh in my face as she told me how pathetic I was. Fuck her. Fuck all of them. They think their goddamn bloodlines matter? I'll kill all of them. And then we'll see who laughs. We'll see who-
“Easy, now isn't the time to let it gain control.” I heard the voice of The Figure and snapped out of my trance. Candy had backed up to the end of the branch and held a horrified look.
“S-sorry...” she stammered. “I didn't mean to upset you.”
I unclenched my hands to see claws, and my tongue ran across sharp teeth. My energy level had risen far beyond my fight with the Predator. Was this my transformation?
“Now you see it for yourself.” The aura surrounding me had the same spiral effect as the one in my stomach when I was underground. Wait a second. I looked over my shoulder and saw a man instead of the ghastly being I was used to seeing. So this was his actual form. His clothing remained the same except solid black instead of smoky, and instead of a ghost, I could clearly see a bearded face that I could have sworn I'd seen a million times before. It reminded me of my own. Come to think of it, didn't that girl say something about seeing my resemblance in someone.
“You figure it out?” he held a slight grin as if I was putting on a show.
“You're my father.” I declared.
“Indeed.” But how did I know that? Come to think of it there were a lot of things I just kind of knew when I saw them. Without being told, I could just put things together.
“I'll give you the explanation you want, but first-” he put his hand on my shoulder, and the transformation was undone.
“What am I?” I asked.
“A boy. A human boy to be accurate.”
“I wasn't aware that humans could suddenly shapeshift and destroy cities.”
“Not all humans are advanced as you are. In fact you represent a new breed. A new wave to old tides. An apex.”
Considering my fighting record, I had a hard time believing that last statement. But still. This power. What was it?
“Back in the tunnels, you mentioned something about this power being bred into me,” I recalled. He closed his eyes and stood silent for a moment. Upon reopening them, the jagged purple lines in his eyes began glowing, and his aura turned dark. The hell had him so worked up all of a sudden?
“I'll begin the explanation from the beginning.”