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"You are right, Yun. Jailbreaks do happen often. But a prison break has not occurred once in the last 1000 years. To escape, he either used outside assistance, or he gained a special ability."
— Qasim Desmo

Blue Tiger
A Tiger In The Grass
Details

Series

13th Dimension

Chapter

3

Status

Completed

Next Chapter

IV: The Chase

Previous Chapter

II: The Power Of The Fist



Xena

I really hate hangovers. Without them, getting drunk is so much more enjoyable. Ugh, I cannot even remember anything from last night. Oh well. At least I got free food. That's always nice.

"Hey guys," says Yun. "It looks like the drunkest girl at the party has finally returned to Earth. Hahaha!"

Yun is such an asshole. I wonder how the other two get along with him so easily. Maybe they know something embarrassing about him. Or maybe they've learned to ignore him.

"Don't tease her, Yun," Ivy scolds. "You were the one who gave her way too many shots. You could have gotten us all arrested."

Des interrupts both of them. "We have a much bigger problem on our hands than underage drinking. Have you two heard of a teenager named Aaron Blake?"

They both respond at the same time.

"Nope!"

"Well, he is very dangerous. I suspect that he wants revenge after Xena and I humiliated him at her New Year's Day party."

"He can't be that dangerous. Jailbreaks happen often. If he finds us, we'll just kick the shit out of him," Yun, clearly unfazed, retorts.

"You are right, Yun. Jailbreaks do happen often. But a prison break has not occurred once in the last 1000 years. To escape, he either used outside assistance, or he gained a special ability."

"How can someone just 'gain' a special ability out of nowhere?" Ivy asks. "You sound really paranoid, Des. Maybe you need to sit down for a bit."

"No, I don't. Ivy, I'm dead serious," Des says sternly.

"But, how is that even possible?" she asks.

"My father told me about this phenomenon. Occasionally, a program can give humans special abilities through electron transfer. He didn't give me all the details, but somehow, Aaron must have used this method to gain his own special abilities. And then, he most likely used those powers to escape from prison."

"And now he plans to use it to kill me," I conclude.

Des gives off a long sigh. I can read the fear and anxiety on his expression. There is a very long silence after that. I think we all realize that we are now on a race against time. If Aaron catches up to us before we can stop the robots, then all hell will break loose.

Part of me is eager to see Aaron again. Beating him up is always fun. But part of me is, oddly… afraid. What if Des is right? What if he really is some sort of super human now? If I see him again, how will I face him? I wish I had a way to go back in the past so I could fix this mess before it started. Maybe if I had just said yes, none of this would have happened.

Des walks up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder.

"Xena, we now have two purposes: destroying the robots, and protecting you," he says. Everyone else nods in agreement. I smile to show my appreciation. You have a great taste in people Des.

"Hey. Since we are going to be on the run now, we should give ourselves code names. It would make it harder for others to find out our true identities. Call me Bushido," says Ivy.

"I'll be Transit," says Yun. "It's dumb, but it will be easy to remember, because of my role."

"Electrode already has his nickname. I'll be IQ," Des announces.

"I wanna be called Rogue. You guys ok with that?" I ask.

They all nod in unison. I will miss being called my normal name, but if it will keep Aaron off my back, then I can deal with it.

"I guess now is an important time to tell you guys of the change of plans," says Des. "As I mentioned earlier, the land stage's main priority is gaining easy access to the Digital World. Because we have a homicidal maniac on our tail, we will have to leave immediately. Where my dad works is about 100 miles from here. With our van, we can get there in about 3 to 4 hours. Yun, how are you feeling?"

"I feel fine. I didn't have too many shots unlike a certain young blood," Yun answers, sarcastically, while giving me a condescending look.

"Yun, shut the fuck up," I fume. I am so sick of him constantly berating me.

“Ignore him. He was like this to me too when we were getting to know each other,” Ivy says with a friendly smile. I’m so glad she is around. If it wasn’t for her, I would have slapped Yun by now. But slapping Yun would probably result in him hitting me back, and I do not want more bruises on my face.

“We should start off now. The sooner we get there, the better,” says Des.

We make our way to the van. It isn’t state of the art, but it should get us to our destination without much issue. Should being the keyword.

“Shotgun!” I yell. What I hear afterwards doesn’t surprise me at all.

“Girls sit in the back,” says Yun.

I think of a clever comeback to say to him, but I never get the chance to use it. We get a transmission. It is from Electrode.

“Code has changed to green for your area. Be careful,” it says.

“That’s good to know,” says Des. “We better move before it changes again.”

Aaron

I look everywhere for her, but if there is one thing Xena is good at, it is being sneaky. I don’t have a clue where to search next. I check at our school. I go through all her usual hangout spots. I even go to her house. All those searches gave me no fucking results! What good is having this power if I can’t even use it for my revenge? I become so frustrated with my failed searches, that I consider giving up. On my way back home, I hear the same voice that always comes from the pixilated head in my dream.

“Quitting so soon Aaron?” it asks.

“Yeah. I’m done. I can’t find that bitch. It’s no use,”

“Fool. You can’t quit.”

“Yes I can. And I will. Right now.”

As soon as I say that, this excruciating pain surges through my entire body. It is so debilitating, that I just fall on the floor and curl up in agony. I yell, but that doesn’t help at all.

“Pathetic child! You have no choice. We made an agreement. You said that as long as I helped you to destroy Xena, you would do whatever I needed.”

“You lying program! You never helped me destroy Xena! You broke the deal first!”

“You never let me help you. You have no idea how to fully use your power. Let me show you!”

The pain immediately stops. At first, I feel relieved. Then, I feel my heart stop. I can’t breathe . . .

I am sure that I am dead. I see a bright light, and I assume it is because I am in the afterlife. I quickly change that thought when I realize I am surrounded by robots. They have revived me.

“Sir, we have come to assist you,” says one of the robots.

“We heard your call, and we immediately came to your aid. Give us the word, and we will follow,” says another robot.

I am really confused after they tell me this. I never called them. All I did was scream when I was in pain. Then it hit me. When that voice told me how to fully use my power, it must have meant that I didn’t know how to control robots. I decide to continue my hunt for Xena.

“Do any of you robots have data on a girl named Xena Modom?” I ask.

“I have plenty of data on her, X.E.P.H.Y.R., sir. She is sixteen years old, and her current position is on the Chronos highway. She is with three others, and she appears to be heading south. We can intercept her at this location.”

I am elated with all of this information, but why the hell did it call me that? What the fuck is a X.E.P.H.Y.R.?

“Thank you, but why did you call me X.E.P.H.Y.R.?” I ask.

“Sir, that is your name. You are the ultimate program.”

Now things were starting to get a little weird. I know programs can give humans special abilities, but what the hell did they mean by the ultimate program? This X.E.P.H.Y.R. program must be the thing that controls all the robots. It has to be super powerful. But, why does it want to help me destroy Xena? Something isn’t right. I do want my revenge on her, but what if this thing is planning something bigger than that? Whatever this program is, it doesn't want to help me. It wants to use me.

“Aaron, don’t think of me that way. I am completely on your side,” the voice says.

Shit. This thing reads minds. I can literally never be alone. I will have to figure out what this program was up to later. For the time being, I had coordinates to follow, and a girl to destroy.

Xena

If there is anything I hate more than hangovers, it is road trips. They are so long, and boring. Being in the back seat with Ivy is the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind. She knows how to keep a good conversation going, unlike Yun. Des is the lucky one. He falls asleep about five minutes into our trip. Still, I can’t really complain. Yun’s drives surprisingly smooth.

“Look out!” Ivy screams.

Yun looks over his shoulder, then immediately swerves into the right-most lane. The jerking motion awakes Des, and it makes me want to throw up. Seconds later, a red ball of electricity zips by our van, and blows up about 100 feet away.

“What the hell was that?!” I ask, anxiously.

“I don’t know,” Ivy responds. “But whatever it was, it almost hit us!”

“Yun, floor it!” Des yells.

“Don’t need to tell me twice,” Yun replies. He accelerates, and the second electric blast blows up right behind us. Ivy turns around to see who is chasing us. Out of curiosity, I look too. It is a medium sized car with three robots inside, and one teenage boy leaning out the window. I turn to look at Ivy, and her face is so pale that one could believe there is no blood under her skin.

“Hey,” she says, stammering. “Isn’t that . . . him?"

“Yes,” I answer, reluctantly.

To be continued . . .

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