Charlotte reappeared in Adam’s room, collapsing on the floor next to his bed. She clawed her way up onto the mattress, realizing he was not there.
“W-Where is he?”
Being exhausted to the point where her vision was blurred, Charlotte stumbled out into the living room, trying to search for Adam. It was then she noticed that the front door was wide open.
She approached the door, making sure to shut it before falling down.
“I… I can’t… d-do anything… right… now…”
Charlotte shut her eyes as she began to cry.
“Where… are you? B-be safe… please…”
Adam sat up, realizing that whatever took hold of him had now vanished. He regained his focus, finding out for the second time that night, he had been brought to a location against his will.
Although, this new area was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
He stared in disbelief at the landscape before him. Blue, blue, blue as far as the eye could see. This color took the form of random rock-like structures at his level and a sky above him.
Unlike the usually blue sky one would see upon looking up, this one felt gloomy as if it was cloudy instead of clear. The stones surrounding him shared this feeling.
Adam understood that this was not the world he was familiar with.
“Pretty shitty place, huh?”
Adam glared at a pillar of stone off to his right, where a boy around his age stood at the top.
“Sorry for dragging you in here like this, but really!? What kinda shit was that!? You’re definitely not a Unity member I know of, and you’re throwing your Ability around like that in public!? You should be thanking me. I’m sure those freaks were on their way.”
“Who are you?” Adam clenched his fist, keeping his eyes on the strange person who captured him.
“Oh? I’m a guy that should be famous—but isn’t famous. Alexander Strauss. Nice to meet ya!” Alexander leaped from the pillar, landing on his feet with no issue.
“I was looking around this place for hours trying to find something worthy of a challenge, but nothing freaky was popping up, like usual. Then I see you as soon as I go to leave, and you’re out there fighting… I don’t even know. Normally, I’d be more curious as to whatever that shit was, but—”
Alexander pointed at Adam, an ominous look starting to form.
“I could tell right away. Your power isn’t normal.”
Adam walked forward, not hesitating to get right into Alexander’s face.
“I just wanted to sleep tonight. So much has gone down. I’m in a bad mood. I’d suggest you get me out of wherever the hell this is.”
“Oh!? Ya mean you’re not interested in the Blue World!? Gasp, that’s a first!”
“I’ll be sure to look into it once I go home and go to bed.”
“Well, your priorities sure are interesting! Yeah, you interest me a little. So, I can’t really let ya go—”
Adam’s fist lit up in a flash, launching directly at Alexander. The contact was fierce enough to shatter the pillar that stood behind Alexander. As the light of the World Mirror dimmed, Adam was shocked to see him still standing.
Alexander had formed a wing, made up of mysterious pink energy. It had shot out from his back, blocking Adam’s punch with ease.
“That’s some good power ya got there!” Alexander knocked Adam back with the wing, who regained his balance using his left hand as he slid a few yards away. His right hand had broken to the point where a finger had fallen off of him.
“What the hell, I didn’t do that. Did you do that to yourself? Oh, I get it. You lost control trying to get through my wing, huh? Well shit! That’s no good—”
Alexander went silent, analyzing Adam’s hand as it regenerated itself.
“I haven’t had this power for long. It’s been hard to get used to. Luckily, it can heal me. I’d be long gone if it couldn’t.”
“Oh, now you’re starting to converse with me.”
Adam smirked. “If you’re not gonna let me go, then I guess I’ll have to humor you. I can tell you’re strong, so I shouldn’t hold back.”
“More like I can’t hold back… there’s something about this guy…”
“Good, good! Who needs sleep when we can have some good ol’ fun! Why don’t I train ya, as I learn more about that power of yours!?”
“Train? What the hell?”
“Yeah! Why not!? I’m no enemy! I’m just a dude who’s got a strong Ability and nothing to do!”
“I can gather you’re not involved with Unity, is that right? How is it you’re managing to do that?”
“Now that would be boring if I just gave loads of exposition on that crap! How about ya impress me, and I can give ya some info?”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Huh? Don’t worry about me, you’ll find that I don’t have to worry about too much.” Alexander grinned wickedly. “Come on, come on! Show me what ya can do?”
Adam focused on him, watching as the pink wing on his back faded away.
“I gotta figure out how to get around those wings of his…”
Kicking the ground, Adam leaped forward, the World Mirror giving him tremendous speed. He charged energy into his hand, although kept it at a weaker level compared to before. His lit-up eyes paid attention to as much as possible; every subtle movement of Alexander’s that could be noticed was registered into his mind. The full results of his training over the last few weeks were being put on display.
Although this was nowhere near enough to help him.
Before he could get close enough to Alexander to make any sort of move, large amounts of pink energy formed in between the two. Adam was stuck, unable to make a move. Alexander slowly raised his hands in front of him.
“I really hope ya didn't think that all I could do was form wings? Although—it’s fine. My power can go far beyond what ya can comprehend anyway!”
Alexander pushed on the energy that he had formed, causing it to explode with immense power. Adam was catapulted meters away, until he crashed right through a mass of stone, tumbling onto the ground on the other side.
Alexander bounced off of the ground using his power, quickly reaching where he sent Adam.
“Hey, not bad. You’re not a pile of mush, so that’s good! If I flung a normal person, that would have killed them no problem.”
Adam stood up, pain surging through his body. Although, he did not need to regenerate as much of his body as he thought he would.
“Having stronger phantons increases your physical capabilities, so people who awaken Abilities have a much better chance of surviving shit like that. Although, it’ll still hurts like hell—unless you’re used to it.”
Adam started to approach Alexander cautiously, slowly charging energy into his hands. Alexander smirked, beckoning him to attack.
Adam dashed forward, keeping his guard raised. As Alexander formed pink energy for the second time in front of him, Adam stopped dead in his tracks. He relentlessly chopped away at the substance before it could catch him.
“Even if this stuff is visible, I’m only making physical contact with it sometimes, while the rest of my hits go right through it. Just what the hell is he creating?”
“I like it! Trying to figure out how my Ability works, even though you’re swinging your hands around like an idiot!” Alexander swiftly charged up power and attempted to rebound Adam off of his Ability. This time, Adam blocked this with his arms, only being sent a few yards back.
As Adam returned his focus to Alexander, he noticed his vision was starting to blur.
“I have to concentrate too much on controlling the World Mirror’s power… I’m already reaching my limit. It’s far too soon to try to fight someone like this. Even if I manage to walk away, I’m not sure how my body’s going to be…”
“Having trouble there!? Want me to give ya a hint?”
Adam stepped forward, trying his best not to stumble.
“I thought I had to impress you to get information out of you? Wouldn’t that just be cheating?”
“Huh!? Did ya hit that rock too hard? Remember I said I was also training ya? Ya want information, but I want to toughen ya up. Why? Cause I want to be entertained! And you’re too weak right now to really do that!”
Adam sprinted forward, focusing his power toward his legs for increased speed.
“No hint? All right! I can respect that!”
Adam jumped at Alexander, tackling the pink energy that once again manifested. He had built up enough force with his run that he managed to get partway through, although he was stopped before he could clear it.
“Well, now we’re back to stage one! I caught ya again!”
“Nope, this is right where I want to be.”
Alexander’s eyes widened as Adam channeled his power to his hands, and with substantial force, managed to go right for him.
At the last second, Alexander caught Adam’s hands with his own, lighting up as white and pink began to clash.
“I see! Ya wanted to get to the point where I caught ya again, so you could force your way through the rest of the way before I sent ya flying! All right!”
“This is the only thing I can do right now. I have to just generate enough power to break through!”
“Oh?” Alexander smirked. “If it’s a power struggle, you’ll have to do better than that.”
The colliding energies burst, causing a tremendous explosion that shook the area. Adam flew out of the energy, rolling onto the ground. He immediately tried to stand back up, but could not, as both of his hands were gone.
A moment later, Alexander sprung out of the blast covered in pink. He then revealed that this energy surrounding him had actually been a set of wings, opening them up to show their splendor.
“I’m getting warmed up now! Come on! Let’s keep it going!” Alexander’s excited face slowly began to fade, and he started to contemplate on something.
“Something’s off. By this point, enough info should have been sent to my brain as to where I could calculate how he’s using his Ability. I haven’t gotten a single thing. What’s going on? What is this Ability? Could it be that his is also…?”
“Hey, kid. Ya alive?”
Adam looked up at Alexander, while his arms attempted to regenerate.
“Good, good. I’m curious about something, so let’s chat while ya get those twigs of yours back.” Alexander landed with blinding speed in front of Adam, kicking up large amounts of wind.
“Ya know what the phantons inside someone do once an Ability awakens, right? They basically hack into reality itself. There’s no way a person can normally summon certain things or perform certain actions normally, right?”
“What are you getting at—”
“Shh! Let me talk. I don’t get to talk to people that much. Anyway, the phantons bend reality to the point where something like acid can form out of nowhere. It may be physically impossible to form it from nothing, but it still follows something that can normally happen in our universe. The existence of acid—that is.”
Alexander motioned his hands toward his wings, which started to slowly flap.
“This is what I call Psycho Matter. Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, energy; it can be any of those things. How? I simply think it, and it can change into whatever I want. There’s nothing like it in our universe! All other Abilities have something to do with our universe, except mine! Why is that!? I’ve been dying to figure it out!”
Adam had enough of his arms back as to where he could prop himself back up on his feet. “And you brought this up, because?”
Alexander chuckled, pointing at his head.
“I’ll give you a TLDR. Salem, Massachusetts. Witches. People wanted to do experiments based around the powers they had. I, along with many other kids, were hooked up and force-fed phantons that were assigned the potential to unlock various Abilities. It killed many, and drove others insane, as our minds were basically hooked up to a supercomputer at the time to calculate variables on the shit—”
“You know, this is certainly not a TLDR.”
“Shut it!” Alexander stomped on the ground, causing a burst of his Psycho Matter to rise beneath Adam, knocking him into the air. Instead of slamming onto the ground, Alexander fashioned two poles out of thin air, impaling Adam in each almost healed arm. They were inserted in a manner that kept Adam standing up. He screamed in anguish, while Alexander lightly slapped his face.
“Stay like that. Anyway, I managed to awaken an Ability. It wasn’t one those researchers planned on, however. My Psycho Matter went on a rampage, slaughtering all of those fools. I survived, yet my brain suffered. Once I was able to recover, I noticed that my mind could work just like a computer! All I had to do was use my Psycho Matter to interact with my surroundings, and I could learn all sorts of shit!”
“Are… are you finally at the point?”
“Yeah, as a matter of fact!” Alexander let out a rather frightening giggle. “I’ve fought people with Abilities before, and as my Psycho Matter can calculate things of this universe, I can figure out how they work. Here’s the thing—” Alexander stuck in finger right in Adam’s face.
“I can’t read your Ability at all. At this point, I should have something. But I have shit! Which makes me wonder… your thing might not be of this universe either!”
Adam wanted to know more about the World Mirror, for sure. If there was someway Alexander could figure things out about it, that would be helpful. However, he wasn’t feeling like getting hurt in a fight for things to be revealed.
At least, that’s what he wanted to feel. But it wasn’t what he actually felt. As pain surged through his arms, a familiar feeling crept upon him.
“I… I knew I was pissed about having so much happen on a night I wanted to sleep, and it seemed like I was not caring about my well-being, especially with Muraco. But… I did that act to cover the fear I was hiding. Right now, this feeling… it doesn’t feel like an act.”
“What do ya say, kid? Want to help me out? If I can get my Psycho Matter to calculate things outside this universe, then I can get closer to figuring out the Psycho Matter itself!”
“Do what you want.”
Alexander stared at Adam in bewilderment. “What the hell? The light in your eyes suddenly vanished. I was having fun with your cute little attempt to fight back! What the hell!? Do something! Get your freaking arms off those poles and swing at me!”
“I don’t want to.”
All reason and desire for Adam to get out of there was blanketed by darkness he could not control. The only thing in his mind now was a black emptiness that expressed itself to Alexander.
Alexander was furious. He bit his lip, causing it to bleed.
“Blue-balling me, huh!? Fine!”
Adam did not move an inch as Alexander smashed his wings down on him.