|Game Over. Would you like to try again?|
The fading soul laughed. A second chance? Scratch that, thousand plus chance? Would there really be that much of a difference? Who knew how many times this screen had appeared before him. His unique little power being so much more than anyone could imagine. Over and over again, likely for eons but with a memory wipe at the start of every rewind nothing ever changed. Only here in this void between the end and after did bits and pieces of his past attempts reach him.
Pain, grief, and anger mixing into an unholy concoction of emotions.
Little did it matter, but there would be no end for him as long as he still had the will to continue. For no one was as stubborn as Andrew Silver, regardless of the World.
“Run it again!” Insanity lace voice screamed soundlessly.
|Permanent Titled Gained! The Unyielding. You have experience true futility, with no chance of ever overcoming the destined outcome, yet you spit on this predetermined fate. You shall not falter, you shall not break, you shall not yield. Time will run out its course before it changes you. The Unyielding are eternal.|
|Permanent Title-Born from the Soul this title is permanent transcending even death.|
|New Game + Unlocked! This is the last chance. By giving up your restart ability this new run will allow you to grow stronger quicker but at the same time increasing the difficulty in ways you will only understand as time passes.|
|While no memories will be allowed to return to the past, one portion of your Will may be instilled in your past self this time. You have 30 seconds before the return.|
If the soul could smile its lips would be stretched until they split.
“Stronger! Stronger! Don’t laze around, don’t go with the flow, don’t allow yourself to be trampled upon!” Screaming and chanting to his past self over and over again he put his everything into those emotions.
Let him be damned to whatever hellish afterlife might call for him if he were to let anyone he love die again!
|Will imprint recorded. Commencing wipe and transfer.|
From the void, the soul winked out of existence. Its final challenge now having commenced.
Balton, Island City 5:50 am. The Atvern neighborhood. The Silvers Residence.
Drew woke up startled and sweating, his lungs struggling to even take in a single breath as his head drummed away to the beat of his rapid heart rate.
“Stronger, stronger, stronger.” Drew found himself whispering hysterically the words coming out of their own violation putting fear into himself.
The sound of footsteps could be heard coming from the hallway as his door was thrown and open a tall handsome man followed by a woman suddenly entering his room.
“Drew! We heard you screaming!? Drew’s handsome father Anthony’s eyes scanned the decent size bedroom for intruder or any other danger that might be present but finding non his sharp eyes focused in on his brunette son finding the ten-year-old to be soaked in sweat and struggling to breathe.
“His inhaler!” Drew’s beautiful mother rushed to his bedside looking for his inhaler but growling in frustration when she found nothing but toys on it. Mind working quicker than her still stun husband she disappeared from the room and returned in record time holding Drews’s spare inhaler.
With a practiced movement Drew found the inhaler in his mouth finally giving him the oxygen his body so deeply craved.
The pain and headache began to fade, his body relaxing enough in his mother’s arms to fall into her embrace.
“You stupid child.” The worried voice of Eris Silver filled his ears while he felt his bed sink in further as his father sat at the edge.
“I’ve told you multiple times to keep your inhaler at hand even when sleeping. You might not be getting as many attacks as you use to but that’s no excuse to become reckless like this. What if your father and I had been out on an emergency mission?” Drew felt warm tears from his mother fall onto his face her forehead connected to his own, but he found it hard to focus on anything, a sense of unknown dread tightening his heart in worry that he’d never experience in his entire life. Even when he found out his dog Skipper had been run over and killed the previous year.
“E…..” Anthony layed an arm around his wife’s shoulder while his other hand found its way to the back of Drew’s head where it gently rubbed his head of brown curls.
“No Anthony, just because we can afford to be reckless doesn’t mean he can. He’s not like us, if we want our baby boy to survive in a world like this he’s got to learn to be more cautious.”
Drew went still in his mother’s arms as he heard her words. Not like them. It’s been a while since he heard them say anything like that.
A sickly powerless boy born to two of the North-Easts most powerful Hero’s.
“What a cruel joke on life’s part,” The errant thought coming from somewhere he couldn’t quite understand, all the while holding and failing to prevent himself from leaking tears until all pretenses were dropped and like an opened dam he found his tears mixing with his mother’s.
Eris and Anthony wince, knowing exactly what had brought to fruition the waterworks.
Still, Eris steeled her heart and looked at her husband to make sure he did the same.
Wiping away the tears on her own eyes before doing the same for her son Eris waited while gently rocking Drew to calm him down enough to stop crying.
It took a while but eventually, only soft whimpering remained.
Laying her son down on her bed Eris signaled for Anthony to get closer.
Scooting up the bed and adjusting his arm around Eris and Drew had a perfect view of his two loving parents.
“Drew, where’s your inhaler?” The voice was gentle but still carried a tone of authority. His mother unwilling to let such a dangerous event just be swept under the table.
“I lost it…..” Drew looked away while answering, easily giving away his lie to his mother.
It wasn’t like he could just tell them the larger kids took it and broke it. He’d already transferred schools three times in the last year and he couldn’t take it anymore. The light pranks and annoyance that the bullies were incomparable to the stress of picking up everything and plopping down on some new city.
He was sure even his parents who weren’t even stationed at Balton found the constant moving frustrating even if his mother could fly herself and his father anywhere on the upper east coast within an hour for their missions.
Eris’s eyes sharpened to a dangerous degree, while Anthony did his best to calm down his wife who’s eyes were slowly beginning to glow, although he himself was griping his free fist with a frightening degree of force, the cracking of bone audible to Eris.
“Honey…. are you being bullied again? There was an edge to her voice that frightened Drew, his mother was a force of nature in itself, and while he knew deep down that anger would never be directed to him in such a manner he couldn’t help but shiver. Sympathetic to a fault Drew did not want the kids and their parents to suffer his mother’s wrath which is why he always refused to give names, forcing his parents to drop the subject by just simply transferring him to a new school.
Recognizing that answering wouldn’t improve the situation in anyway Drew chose to remain silent, unknowingly making his parents feel even more distressed.
Eris’s heart hurt to see her son unwilling to help them help him. She did her best to not show any more anger on her face but her insides boiled. She would have a conversion with the Principle the following day and she would find out those responsible.
Nightmares were especially more dangerous to her child and she would do her best to prevent any more from happening even if she had to tear that damn school apart to get her answers.
“Well get you a new one in the morning, ok honey?” Oozing motherly love Eris casually moved on from the subject her embrace tightening on her little boy.
“Hmmm, thanks mom,” Drew mumbled, his voice little more than a whisper.
Anthony watched the two most important people in his life relax. He wasn’t nearly as good as Eris when it came to calming down Drew, which many would find surprising considering out of the two of them Anthony was by far the more peaceful one.
Still, a mother had her instinctive tricks, and he as the father had his own ways to support his son.
“Drew, remember what it means to be a Silver?” Speaking towards nothing but knowing his head his son’s attention Anthony waited for an answer.
Drew found himself instinctively answering, years of hearing his father ask this same question programming the response so deeply in his psyche that it was unlikely to ever leave him till the day he drew his final breath.
“To stand smiling brightly facing on any situation with a readied fist and a laugh that would make those around you feel at ease…”
“That’s my little man.” Anthony’s arms move to ruffled his son’s hair inducing a coughing giggle out of the young boy.
“Anthony, it’s sweet to see the two of you bonding but please refrain from making our son cough anymore than necessary.” Eris had turned her head just slightly enough to glare at her husband, causing the man to shudder.
It was best to return to sleep now. They had a busy day in a few hours and though the two of them could go days without rest, it would be for the best to be in top condition.
With a final hug from the two of them Drew watched as his parents exited his room, closing the door on their way out.
Exhaustion quickly crept back into his mind, his eyelids growing in weight as gravity slowly brought them tightly together.
In those last few Drew would faintly remember a small box with text floating in front of him, but none of that would matter soon.
|03y:11m:30d:23h:51m Remain until System operations come back online.|
One week later.
Drew was laughing. Beaming. Crying………..
Crowds of individuals walking around him and giving their condolences but quickly leaving as unease took them at the sight of the obviously unhinged boy.
His father’s words ringing deep within him.
Face this head-on, laugh through it.
Yesterday, on an excursion within Earth-Three, (Eris Silver) Hero name-Plasma, and (Anthony Silver) Hero name-Bulwark a new phenomenon now coined as Void Storms ripped his parents from the fabric of Earth-Three’s reality and sent them deeper into the unknown depths of POND. Currently considered MIA with a high likelihood of KIA.
That was the pathetically short briefing that Stronghold had bother to give the now likely orphan. If the sudden news of his parent’s disappearance and potential wasn’t so strong Drew was inclined to have yelled every colorful word he’d ever heard come from his parent’s mouths to the agent who barely gave the young boy more than a glance.
Because who would care about a powerless boy, even if his parents were metahuman legends in their own right.
Drew smiled, grinned, smirked, beamed, his lips continuing to performing a ghastly dance that disturbed a great many that day.
“That’s quite the smile your wearing boy.” A deep gruff voice sounded behind in front of Drew but he couldn’t see. The tears staining his eyes, blurring out the world, which he found to be better than the alternative.
“Christ, you could scare a clown to death with that grin boy!” The unseen blur in front of Drew proceeded to laugh. A laugh much like his father’s.
Unknown hands found themselves on the young boy’s face. Two massive thumbs locating the corners of his eyes forcing them too close before putting some light pressure and wiping away the tears returning his world to clarity.
Before him stood a man who looked to be in his sixties but with the tall body of a well-toned grizzled veteran, but what really stood out was the rebalance between him and his father.
Shocked, the gruesome grin remained but the tears stopped.
“What didn’t brat of a father ever tell you about his uncle?” The man snorted, his smile drudging up Drews memories. His father laughing in this exact same manner.
“Uncle…?” The first word in days leaving Drews’s mouth.
“Atlas Silver in the flesh, but don’t let the ladies know ‘wink wink’ if you catch my drift, though I doubt some as young as you would. I’ll be having my hands tied with you from now on, so don’t be as much as a pain in my ass as your father was.” With a twinkle in his eye, Atlas bent down and scooped up Drew putting him on his shoulder.
“Now let’s ditch this depressing party. I've sadly got one more ward to pick up.”
Left speechless Drew got from row seats to the unstoppable charge of (Atlas Silver) Hero Name-Walking Castle.