by Joseph Pandoli ’22
“Good Evening, what appears to be the newsiance gentleman?”
“You know the same old same old, Parker.”
“You better get him before there is more bloodshed, else you’re out of a job and the same goes for Hector.”
“Will do, Mr. Patterson.”
I can’t remember a single day where we had time to wind down and have a conversation with anyone at the association. It’s been so long since I was a police officer and it was surprisingly less stressful than this fairly new job. Even though this was more stressful than my last job, I enjoy working as a detective because it keeps my mind in check with what I need to do. At least I think it does.
Hector and I got to the scene as quickly as possible and when we got there, we got a terrifying scene. The victim was completely dismembered and it was hard to tell who it was. We found out from one of the friends of the victim that he had many businesses throughout Republic and Donland city. She escorted us to one of the nearest ones and found that the people in that place were also dismembered. The horror on her face led her to tears. Goosebumps were already filling up my entire body. Shivers throughout my spine and a cold feeling that we would be next. In the face of all this, Hector was as calm as a toad in the sun. He’s the one who is the most level headed out of all in the association.
“I assume we are off to the second business complex, right Hector?
“That is correct, we must go immediately.”
When we got to the complex, we found a clump of tissue next to the front door that had a location for one of the businesses that the victim owned.
“Stay here while I go to this place. Make sure you can handle yourself, Louis .”
“Yes,” I said nervously.
It was revealed to me that this place was the place where the person we are looking for was. I was scared of what was going to happen. When I walked in, I had no fear or shooting them and so I did, all of them with no remorse for their actions. Apparently after shooting all of them, I made the biggest mistake of my career. This was a setup according to the back side of the tissue note I found.
“Explode,” said someone near me.
Was this the end or was this the beginning? Instantly the building came crashing down with debris flying like it was a dust storm, and the sound from the walls colliding with each other made me ponder on something completely irrelevant to the mission.
“Is she going to be alright, sir?”
I didn’t know why I was thinking about this all of a sudden at a time and place like this, it was almost as if time was moving slower than usual. A picture appeared in front of me of Hector getting his first mission at the association, the first time and last time I ever saw him smile.
I felt a stiffness in my left hand and then a crack. Blood started to come out as if it were out of a drinking fountain for no reason. I turned to my left side and saw something I would only see if I were crazy.
I looked at my left hand and saw that I was missing half of my left hand. I saw this just before something hit me on the head and left me dizzy. Just then, an emotion came coursing through my whole body. Something I never felt before came over me, and it was the feeling of accepting something. Time was really moving slower than I realized and I could still think of all this while I was falling to my fate.
“Is this…the end…for me?”
It was the last thing I remember saying.
“So this is the place where all of this started, right Victor?”
“Of course,” said Victor calmly.
“One of the things I admire most about you is your effort, Hector. Your effort and ambition to do almost anything you set your mind to, but I know you can do everything and I assume you know that after losing her.”
“Dorsey was someone you could compare to…she was an angel,” said Hector, angrily with a stern look.
“An angel with no wings to fly, that’s how she died. She just wasn’t free enough to save herself, am I right?”
“Wow! A punch!”
“Make that a reminder for yourself that if you push me too far, I won’t show any mercy to you or your family,” said Hector.
“Don’t worry, you won’t be alive to do it. Now!” said Victor.
“Really, this trick? You’ve always had a big mouth, but you were always a loser.
“You’ll get what you deserve soon enough, Victor, I’ll make sure of that,” said Hector jumping from the collapsing building.
“Heh, not this time, Patterson.”
It was numb, my whole body. A migraine filled my head and pain everywhere except my left hand and a burning sensation that I could not figure out where it was coming from.
“Don’t worry, you’re safe with us, Louis Lawlet.
“Allow me to introduce myself, Mr. Lawlet. I am Akari Hikigaya, director of HRR in the association.”
“Ummm…what?” I said confusedly and still in pain.
“You might be wondering why you never heard of the HRR before in the association,” said Hikigaya.
“Let me tell you something. It was back 20 years ago right when this association started. The founder, who we still don’t know, wanted to split the association into three parts: HRR- which stands for Health, Repair, Redemption- is one of them. The founder of the association wanted all of the 3 parts to be fairly separated in work activities and jobs, but always be connected when such an event happens like this.”
I wasn’t comprehending all of what Akari was saying, but nonetheless gave me more insight into this agency that I heard very little about. The only thing on my mind was how I am still alive and what is going to happen to me, basically anxiety and fear of the unknown took hold of my brain.
“So what is actually happening, Mr. Hikigaya?”
“Please can me Hiki, but right now, we are going to change and repair your arm to make it more efficient and effective in your missions/assignments. Everyone in the HRR agency knows what happened to you and Hector and are working hard to have you both get back to your missions.”
I was still worried about what they were going to do with me, especially my left arm, but somehow I felt like I could trust these people even if I don’t know them well, all this while I was being put into something that was almost like a capsule thing.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the HRR agency, I present to you the next step in humanity, the next step in Evolution!” said Hiki with enthusiasm.
Right then and now, I fell asleep but still had control of my mind. I felt like I was in another dimension, or another world. However, it was hard for me to experience what was going on, on the outside. All of a sudden I feel that if I was experiencing the same event I went through at the business complex, then everything went blank.
“After six hours of long waiting, I present to you Louis the Etith #1,” said Hiki with no enthusiasm.
“Why do I feel new? Explain please, anyone?” I said in confusion.
Everyone was tired and couldn’t even speak, except Hiki.
“It took six hours for us to complete your upgrade on your arm, but for you it probably felt like six minutes. The reason being is that we used several quantum computers to help with our Etith #1 experiment on you for your hand and arm. Using the quantum computers for the purposes of the capsule-like pod, it made you enter another dimension for the allotted time it took to complete the upgrade, and that’s why it felt like six minutes for you and six hours for us.”
“Thanks Hiki, but I am still confused about what happened to my arm”
“Oh, it’s basically a normal arm with a color code, but with a few differences. Your arm acts like a separate brain. It is somewhat like muscle memory but much more intelligent. Now, your hand has more abilities at its disposal and can help you tremendously in your missions.”
At that moment, I felt amazed by my new arm and hand, but also worried if anything bad would happen. Then that’s why I worried about Hector and found out that he was in the HRR agency as well being repaired. He had the same problem as I did but on his right hand and arm. Thankfully he was alright; however, he was still distressed about something.
“I hope you are doing better Hector,” I said.
“We must go find Victor now,” said Hector with a stern look.
“Why are you so stressed, did something happen between you and Victor?”
Hector was apparently furious with what I just said and he walked out of the HRR agency. It wasn’t long until Mr. Patterson found us both and asked us some questions.
“Hello gentlemen, what seems to be the hurry?” asked Patterson.
“Well, I am just trying to get Hector to talk,” I said.
“There is no time to talk, only to assassinate,” said Patterson firmly.
“That’s right,” said Hector.
“If you are wondering where Victor has been hiding, look here,” said Patterson
It was in this file Mr. Patterson showed us Victor’s profile. I was amazed by how close this person is to Hector in terms of family.
“We have no time to waste, let’s go now Louis,” said Hector.
Hector rushed out of the door of the association and went for the other complex that Victor is hiding at. It was when I got there, I saw Hector build off with rage to the point where he screams so loudly that you could’ve heard it for miles on end. He went into the building with only one thought in his mind and that was to kill Victor, I could see it in his eyes.
“Don’t bother coming up here Louis,” said Hector with such malice and rage.
I couldn’t believe what Hector became. I was still in shock by how fierce he got all of a sudden. I was scared to go up with Hector because I wouldn’t know what he would do to me, but I am also afraid that he might be killed by Victor somehow, ughh so many thoughts and worries.
Suddenly I heard five bangs coming from the middle floor of the building. Then he came down ominously and said to me:
“It is finished, the deed is done”
I was scared for him because I didn’t know what happened up there and what happened to him. I was all but freaking out about everything.
When we both went back to the association, everyone started to cheer for the deed we’ve done. Everyone somehow knew that Victor was dead and that it was a major success in eliminating the victim’s enemy and avenging his death.
“Great job guys, you totally just got promoted,” said Tony with excitement.
“Soon you guys will be working with me,” said Julie with her face all happy.
Then suddenly, I heard Hector speak again, but in a much calmer tone than before.
“Yes it is finished. I am glad we took him out as soon as possible. Now the possibilities are endless for us, right Louis?
I was confused where all this nice attitude came from within Hector, but I was happy that he was back from his miserable state.
“Yes, you’re right, Hector. Let’s see what our next assignment is.”
“Yes, you both are right. All will be revealed soon enough,” said someone in the back.
“It’s only a matter of time.”