Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
“Woooaaah!” Cecilia jumped up and down trampling the chair she stood on top. She was watching a martial artist demonstrate strength and inhuman stunts on the hologen. A watch with the holographic capabilities to act as a computer and a phone all in one. Truly, it was one of the first devices that paved the way towards their technological world.
“Shh! We’re in a hospital.” said Ren. Startled, she gave Ren a guilty look and quietly sat back down in her chair.
The police arrived at the parking lot shortly after Ren had his slip of mortal coil to inspect the commotion and gunfire. They were taken to a hospital as soon as the officer on site saw the blood.
Dr. Walmsley (The orphanage’s child doctor) chuckled as he finished his check-up with Ren. “She’s such a cutie pie. Make sure you take good care of her, you hear me?” The nurse wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and inputted some final notes into his hologen. “Y'all be good kids now, you hear? I don’t want to hear no complaints from the other patients. I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Daigo! Look!’ Cecilia pointed at the holographic video. On the screen was a blonde martial artist in a step-by-step tutorial on boxing.
“I see,” said Ren. “Do you like martial arts?”
“Yeah!” Cecilia stood up and mimic’d the stance in the video.
Ren smirked at how terrible and funny she looked. Her arms and legs were all over the place. A single kick and she’d fall over.
“You know, you can learn it too. You just have to practice a lot.”
Cecilia immediately turned her head towards Ren and let out an invigorating gasp. “Yeah! I want to learn it! I’ll practice a lot! Then I can become a hero like you!” She squealed.
“Shh!” Ren hushed again. Cecilia slapped her hands over her mouth. “Well…” he said, loathingly. “Why become a hero like me, when you can become even better?”
Air escaped Cecilia as her mouth slowly opened, and stared at her brother with longing eyes. “I want to learn from her!” She pointed at the screen across the room.
“Well, with any luck, we can find a dojo here.” Ren raised his hand in the air and pointed at the holographic screen. With a beep, and a green light, the screen zoomed in front of him, and ejected a holographic keyboard onto his lap. In this day and age, everything was created by holograms thanks to the discovery of solid photons. The examination bed that Ren rested on, the soft television in the corner of the room, the chair Cecilia sat on and the screen she was playing with- all holograms created from a solidified light. This technology however was only limited to an enclosed space. For the most part, rooms and housings usually remained blank and empty unless otherwise set by the user. Not only was this cost-effective, but the resident or guest can freely customize their stay to their style. Not only did this maximize space since you can simply delete your settings, but it meant no physical labor when moving or decorating the place.
Cecilia’s smile could not grow any larger. She jumped up and down impatiently at Ren’s bedside then climbed up to lay her head on his lap.
While Ren scoured the world wide web for a dojo in Honolulu, he asked Cecilia some questions regarding the time he was knocked out after he was shot. As he suspected, she had no idea what to do. He could not help but feel a wave of guilt flow over him. Since he never told Cecilia how to use her magic, he nearly made her suffer the death of family just like he did. It was for good reason though. He wanted to keep it a secret to prevent kidnappings like the attempt earlier. If people found out two orphans had magic, there were sure to be people to adopt them then sell them for money. Moving forward, apparently a boy appeared afterwards. Whether or not it was the boy that caused the blizzard, fingers were pointed at him. After all, Cecilia said it was only after the boy appeared that there was snow. The only physical feature that Cecilia described about him was that he had winter blue hair. He was the one that instructed Cecilia about her regeneration magic.
This put Ren on edge. Apparently this kid that magically appeared out of nowhere knew Cecilia had regeneration magic and how to use it. On top of that, he made the weather in Honolulu snow. As quickly as he appeared and taught Cecilia she could heal people, he also disappeared just as fast.
Under normal circumstances, Ren would dismiss Cecilia’s story as an accident. Chances were, her tears fell over his wound and healed him. However, the snow was more than enough proof that Cecilia didn’t simply make things up. Even then, what reason did Cecilia have to make up a story or lie?
He thought about taking extra precaution and lay down the decision to run away, but if the child had any intentions of harming them, he would have done so already. He had no idea how long that child knew about Cecilia’s magic, which was just regeneration. It was the same as just healing from a wound, except it was a thousand times faster. Her magic is possibly the most incognito magic possible, yet this child knew immediately what she was capable of.
Ren came to the conclusion that there was no need to do anything. If anything, it only gave him more things to think about.
In the meantime, he finally finished his search for a dojo in town. After scouring the world wide web, to his surprise, there was none. Articles after articles, link after link, his only successful searches were old and forgotten websites from hundreds of years ago.
His efforts weren’t entirely in vain though. Something caught his interest. All of the articles and websites that he searched all had one thing in common. A single variable that appeared no matter how specific or different he altered his search tags. A female martial artist, the one Cecilia watched earlier. Her name appeared in every single link that he clicked on. He tried to ignore it, but the amount of information on her was so overwhelming, he was able to learn about her career through quick skims.
No matter what, whether it was body exercise, martial arts, dojos, any physical activity his search results all some form of information on her.
Deemed the strongest human ever to exist, as well as the only person to harness the internal energy of sentient beings, Ki. Aside from her video tutorials, there were recordings of her one-sided victories in martial art tournaments. Videos of her accomplishments that were impossible for a single human. She has lifted boulders the size of an apartment, moved too quickly for human reaction to keep up, and even ended a war at the age of sixteen.
From all her success, she was bestowed the title, “Legion.”
Her fixation on martial arts and exercise was beyond anything history had to offer. She accumulated fame and wealth during her time. The wealthy paid to see her techniques up close. Scientists conducted experiments on her body in an attempt to duplicate her efforts. Fans praised and sung her achievements throughout the streets.
But at the peak of her success, she retired-at thirty nonetheless.
Ren failed to understand why she would decide to retire at such an early age. Not with the amount of sponsors that supported her hobby.
What caught his attention most was not the fact that she retired at thirty, but that she disappeared shortly after. Right after the perfection of full-dive technology too. She didn’t just disappear from the media, or moved to some unknown location, she had disappeared from the face of the Earth. No matter how long and far everyone searched, she was nowhere to be found. Satellites, infrared, DNA trackers, scent tracers- no amount of search and technology was able to locate her.
Her disappearance occurred fifteen years ago. Ten years before the Bloody Holiday calamity, the beginning of virtual reality’s dominance. Possible coincidence? Thanks to virtual reality, nobody cared for the real world anymore. WIthout a doubt, Jennifer Reese must have loved the real world the most. After all, she spent all her life pushing herself to be the strongest and acquired her social status. She climbed her way to the top of the pecking order, only for all of it to crumble into dust. Then she attempted to destroy the world that had forgotten about her that is the Bloody Holiday. Certainly a poetic tale of a hero turned villain.
Ren shook his head and clapped his cheeks. It was probably nothing more than a coincidence. Just his imagination running wild. The only thing that lined up was the dates, nothing more. After all, Jennifer was only one person. There was no way she could cause genocide at such a global scale.
“Cecilia,” Ren finally spoke.
She perked up, and rushed to Ren’s side in a crawl.
“You found one?!”
“Jennifer...is retired,” he said lightly.
Ren pet Cecilia on the head, “It means she stopped practicing.”
The room fell silent, so silent, you could hear the holographic TV in the corner of the room that played the news all day at the lowest volume.
“Top story tonight, young orphaned child shot in the chest miraculously survives. Then, snowfall in Honolulu for the first time in history!”
Cecilia stood up over Ren’s legs, “I can do it !” She said all pumped up. She jabbed the air and threw a wobbly kick. “See?!”
Ren snorted amusedly.
“Then one day, when I become good enough, I can look for her and show her how good I am!”
The bed shook and bounced as Cecilia pretended to be in a fight.
The door slid open, Dr. Walmsley had returned.
“Okay little one,” Dr. Walmsley said gaily. “A few more check-ups and Ren will be free to go. Why don’t you wait outside?”
“His name--is Daigo!” Cecilia snapped with a stomp as she eyed the doctor with a sharp glare.
“She’s very assertive isn't she?” asked Dr. Walmsley as his eyes followed Cecilia out the door.
Ren smiled nervously at the doctor’s remark; he wasn’t wrong,
“I couldn’t help but overhear Cecilia get all excited about Jennifer Reese. You think she’ll become the next prodigy?” Dr. Walmsley asked with a soft chuckle at the end.
“If she does, I might just have to step up my game a little, ” said Ren. “I’m the big brother, I have to be the one protecting her, not the other way around.”
Once Dr. Walmsley finished the remaining check up, Ren hopped out of bed and rushed to the door.
“Ren!” Dr. Walmsley called to him right before he exited “I think it’s amazing how you’re taking care of your little sister. You’re much smarter, and much more mature than any other ten-year-old I’ve ever seen. But don’t forget that you, yourself, are still only a child. You should have some fun too.”
Ren smirked and left the hospital room.
Dr. Walmsley wasn’t wrong. He’s about to enter his teens in a couple years. If he didn’t enjoy his childhood now, he might not ever get the chance again. In his opinion, a small price to pay in exchange for a brighter future; for Cecilia.
That said, it didn’t mean he had no intention of having fun. He already had plans in mind. Plans in which he considered fun. It was simple. Cecilia had found someone she admired, a goal to strive towards. All he had to do was coach her, train her, yell at her, push her, and give her some juice.
Outside, Cecilia kicked her feet back and forth on a bench while watching her shoelace jerk up and down. As soon as she saw Ren, she leapt off the bench and ran up to him.
“All done?” Cecilia asked.