Chosen from a Certain Derivation of Time
"Code Name: Prometheus"
The robotic voice of a white colored computer was heard across the whole room as the doctor placed a blood sample in the small container of a device which looked like a coffee machine.
Benjamin was laying on that room's patient bed looking at the white roof, there was no sound at all except for that the doctor made with her actions.
Her name was Doctor Monica Sigourne, she displayed a long brown and curly hair alongside a distinctive lab coat that reached her feet. She was not like him, she was a normal human that travelled into Tartarus city to "investigate" more about the mutations in his and every other titan in the state. She specialized in theoretical Xenobiology, a major Benjamin never heard of. Like her, thousands of scientists with similar titles had come to call Tartarus city home even though they were never affected by the titan mutation.
There had been 4 months ever since he first arrived into his new home.
"Well, Prometheus" Monica said, breaking the awkward silence that there is always between a doctor and her patient, "Your life signs seem to be good, the mutation is running normally into your DNA without causing any exterior changes... except of course for the plasmic generation of burning yellow flames on your arms..."
Benjamin sat on that uncomfortable bed in order to hear better her diagnosis. She looked at him for the first time
"What about my passive?"
"Oh yes, you mean your... how do you call it? Absolute defense?"
The young man nodded.
"Well we can say that your ability to shift your fists and arms into raging fire fists is due to the titan mutation. However, the data about the Absolute defense is something that I do not fully understand yet."
Benjamin sighted, and stood up to proceed unto a white door that lied ahead of him. Monica stopped him and smiled.
"I may collect some new data if you let me see it again."
Benjamin looked at her suspiciously, "You know that nobody is aware this" he said.
"As always, testing will remain between you and me" She affirmed.
Benjamin looked at another door that spanned behind him, same color and type but different tag number and title.
He sighted again.
Monica's eyes shined and immediately directed him towards the door on their backs, she entered a security code and pushed the young man inside.
Benjamin entered the chamber. It was black and it had square markings in the floor, walls and roof. It was a square room designed for some sort of dangerous experiments.
Monica entered right after him and closed the door.
"All right then, please show me your talent Prometheus"
"Don't you think its time for you to call me by my actual name?" Benjamin noted.
"Not quite, this is a professional testing chamber, I would like to keep the titles above everything as much as we can, please."
She directed a revolver gun at him, loaded.
Benjamin closed his eyes, "We did this a thousand times already, doctor." he said, annoyed.
"We learn something new everyday my friend"
The gun fired at Benjamin at incredible speed. But it did not affect the man, not a single bit. Instead, a raging fire came in to absorb the small bullet Monica had fired at him almost instantaneously.
Benjamin had not move a single bit to block that shot.
That was the power of his "Absolute Defense" system. Every single time something would get dangerously close and at a piercing speed, that fire would come and consume all projectiles or attacks incoming to him. He did not understood his power, it acted involuntarily and passively. Simply put, he could not control it.
That was also the reason as of why he had survived the firefight on the airport of El Cairo, when he tried to stop the rebelled Titans. The firing range of the machine gun that blew the head of that gang member before his eyes was also in range to the same to him. Yet thanks to the inner passive that he possessed protected him from any bullet that was directed to him, at the end he had to be asked to join the plane.
Later on, when Benjamin met Monica, he named that ability Absolute Defense and he needed that to be an ace in the whole if he wanted to survive.
Aside from that, his titan aura was also different, normally all Titans in Tartarus city had a gamma of green auras. From cyan green to grass green, but there was always the same color. His was not, Benjamin had in his possession a yellow aura, displayed like flames across his body.
When the fire disappeared seconds later, Monica smiled and lowered her weapon, satisfied.
"Well?" Benjamin said, "Anything new?"
"I'm amazed, this time you did not even move to evade my shot, are you growing confident of this absolute defense of yours?" She said, opening up the room's door again.
"Well, it is thanks to you if that helps."
Both of them got out of the strange test chamber, and Monica indicated him to sit down again.
That was his weekly check in the Xenobiology. Europa. Lab. (XEL) in Tartarus city. Once the huge city-state was declared independent by the United Nations, scientists from the theoretical and alien investigation began to immigrate to the Tartarus city-state and established their labs in the city to help the affected by the titan mutation to thrive and use their abilities to be part of them.
He had learned a few tricks himself, but only a few. Benjamin had been a person with a low social profile until now and wished to keep it that way. He knew that if other titans discovered his ability to defend himself, a lot of challengers would come to duel him.
Instead, he tested his abilities with the Xenobiologist before him. After all, he was the only one with a yellow aura and with a unique ability.
"From the data that we've collected so far" Monica continued, "I cannot say that the absolute defense mechanism in your body is due to your thinking capabilities... You are not as sharp as your think"
"Oy..." he complained.
"But, the human brain is in control of any functions in your body, keeping your immune systems up and running and keeping your nervous system on check..."
"Well, it could be that your absolute defense was a more powerful and expanded version of your nervous system as a whole. Probably your body adapted your yellow aura to protect your body from any danger before this one can actually harm you"
"But this is only a speculation?"
"Yes it is, it could be anything else, I need more time to investigate your power, it is really unique Prometheus."
"Tell me something I don't know" Benjamin said arrogantly.
Monica returned to the monitor of the room's computer and started typing on the keyboard, saving all information taken from Benjamin to a mobile memory which she put away in a black leathered suitcase.
Once she extracted the data, she directed the young man towards the door.
"You know where to find me in case you need something... okay?" she said, a little bit more serious on her tone.
Benjamin could notice a slight sign of a worried side in Monica's personality, but she quickly changed to her arrogant and high looks as she crossed through the door, with Benjamin following behind.
Benjamin smiled, she was actually his only acquaintance close enough to be called a friend.
Both of them stood on the verge of a very large corridor where more people with common ropes and lab coats came in and came out of those white doors. The presence of young people like him and adults with lab coats made him always feel as if he was part of something really important. But he could not determine wether that was significant or not, he just felt it.
His thoughts were interrupted, by the sudden appearance of an unknown person.
"Master..." she said.
Before them was a short girl, asian face with glasses, with a warm black coat and winter jeans and long hair. She was beautiful, very very beautiful, if Benjamin had to describe her, she would have been easily the prettiest asian girl he had ever met.
Both Monica and the young man known as "Prometheus" stupidly looked backwards, realizing there was the door they just crossed and them. Even though, Benjamin was having a hard time trying to understand what he heard.
"E-excuse me?" he said.
"Master!" she cried, and purposely ran towards him and hugging the man in the process, her tiny body was dwarfed by Benjamin's tall size, but that was not what he thought. His mind suddenly went black.
Benjamin, Monica and the people who were passing by looked with their jaws dropped at the young girl as she hung unto him.
Monica stood with a disgusted look, and Benjamin felt an invisible and heavy aura emanating from the doctor beside him, "Prometheus, I didn't know you were into that kind of thing."
"OY!" Benjamin hopelessly cried, "Be reasonable, I've never met this girl in my life!"
"Yeah right, as If I would believe you saying that with the girl hugging you like an enamored flower!"
"I said I've never seen her in my entire life!"
Benjamin glared at the asian girl again, she looked happy, hiding her face from the world in his clothes.
"Get away from me!"
The young man grabbed the girl's arms and pushed her away with extreme difficulty, she was grabbing his clothes as if her life was depending on it.
The girl regained her balance right after and stood a meter away from him with an innocent look. Benjamin looked to his surroundings and noticed that, as much as he tried to avoid it, he was already the center of many eyes, which looked either surprised or jealous.
Benjamin throbbed and swore in silence.
He looked at the girl who was standing in front of him, as beautiful as she was, he could not afford to have presentations first, hugs would come later.
Wait, what the hell was he thinking? He shook his head sideways, feeling the uncomfortable look Monica had placed on him when he did that. Benjamin could not help but smile to his short-lived fantasy like a small kid. He regained his composure and took a deep breath at the same time as Monica opened her mouth to start the now unstoppable interrogation towards the girl in black winter clothing.
"Who the hell are you?" the young doctor said.
The girl looked at her gently with a defying glare, then took a more japanese like stance and traditionally bowed her head.
"A pleasure meeting you, my name is Mori Susuka"
"Susuka..." Monica repeated, with a suspicious look as she examined the girl "You are definitely Japanese, how come you know english that well?"
"I worked as a translator of my previous master before actually coming here" Susuka said almost immediately without hesitation.
"What is your relationship with Prometheus?" Monica asked, going straight to the point.
"I don't have a relationship with him" the girl responded.
"See?" Benjamin shouted, loud and clear for anyone in that corridor to hear.
"What is your relationship with master, doctor?" Susuka suddenly asked.
Monica remained silent, a little bit confused as to why she was asking such a thing.
"Stop. calling. Him. Master." she threatened," And well, if I had to describe our relationship, I could say that he's my lab rat"
Benjamin looked at her.
"Yes! He would be my great, tall lab rat ha ha ha!" she confirmed before she actually blasted the corridor with laughter.
"I think that you are confusing the experiment with a relationship." Benjamin whispered in his thoughts as he looked at the joyful doctor.
"Anyway" Benjamin interrupted, "Why are you calling me master and why did you hugged me all of the sudden"
A sudden growl interrupted Benjamin's words, he looked down towards Susuka's stomach. The growl appeared again.
Susuka looked embarrassed as she kindly smiled.
"I haven't eaten in the whole day..." she said playful as she turned her backs on them.
"That's one hell of a stomach you have..." Monica surprisingly added.
Suddenly, Benjamin looked at the time, and remembered that in fact, he had not eaten breakfast because of the long examination. He looked at the girl before him and a gentleman's thought crossed his mind.
"That reminds me, I've not eaten as well, and we are already in mid day"
Susuka's eyes shined, as if her opportunity had just arrived.
"Will master treat me some food?!"
The man scratched his hair and adjusted his own glasses.
"Well, I do have questions for you so... yeah let's go."
Monica grabbed Benjamin's arm.
Susuka started walking towards the exit of that corridor, but Monica was not finished on what she was saying.
"Prometheus, be careful with that girl."
"Why?" he asked, surprised to see his friend worried again, "Is she dangerous?"
"Not dangerous, but I believe I had seen her face before in some files, go with her, you have your ability that will protect you from any known attack so far. But still, be careful."
"And I will do my little research about her, and inform you of anything suspicious, again please be careful, something tells that while she might be interested in you, a lot of people might be interested in her."
"In that case, I will be more careful" he said, anxious of going with Susuka.
Monica smiled and gently tapped Benjamin's shoulder before walking on the opposite direction Susuka went.
Benjamin took another deep breath and went out of the XEL facilities to meet Susuka.
It was snowy that day.
Benjamin always liked the look of a city under the snow, he had only grasped a few days in the calmness of a cloudy and snowy day when he was a child. But after four months, he had get used to it.
In what was North East Asia, snow was something very common.
He looked behind him and saw the japanese girl he had encountered at XEL a few moments ago, she was following him a meter behind with her head down and with a humble look.
To anyone that could be called a girl with low esteem, but Benjamin knew exactly what was going on.
"E-Em..." He annoyingly mumbled, "Quit that will you?"
"What?" She said. Benjamin noticed that she was no longing calling him master.
"That servant-master stuff..." He clarified, "It's annoying and completely awkward."
"O-oh yes, I'm sorry..."
What the hell is wrong with her, she was all lovely and energetic a few minutes ago he thought.
She reached Benjamin's spot and started walking his pace, but with her head down and with a more shy look on her face.
The young man took some seconds to contemplate the girl that was walking beside him. From a closer perspective, Susuka was very beautiful and her hair was long and black as the oil. Her glasses gave her a smart but innocent look and her black leather coat and pants gave the impression she was someone very important.
Benjamin could not stop noticing the band on her right arm with a blue cross in the center displaying in her arm.
"I do understand the situation I placed you in."
The sweet and almost childish voice came in from her thin lips, Benjamin was moved by listening to that voice, maybe he hadn't noticed due to her embarrassing actions. Susuka continued:
"I will explain everything once we reach the Commercial District."
"E-m okay" Benjamin mumbled again.
Benjamin swore in silence, those words had turned on his suspicious, he was not stupid at all, Susuka looked in trouble and he was willing to help her. Yet he had no idea of what was happening, no idea on who that Susuka Mori was, but he had a gut feeling that he may had enrolled into some serious trouble by accepting to help her, even though he was just going to invite her to have breakfast.
The two took some stairs that led to a second floor like bridge, where they found a train station. Benjamin payed for two passages and then waited for the train to take them to the Commercial district.
Tartarus city was a big metropolis that had thrived from the presence of all those with the same type of abilities than him, thanks to that, Astronomy and Scholars had moved their workplaces to Tartarus.
Little he knew of the foundation of that city other than it was specifically designed for two things: To harbor Titans and to be independent from any country. In other words, Tartarus was a city-state independent from the World wide community, also regarded as the greatest prison of all time.
Yet, residents at Tartarus were not having a hard life, they could dedicate themselves to whatever they want. If they were scientists, they would work for the technological and lifestyle improvements of the city and its boundaries, if it were teachers, they gave particular study sessions at their homes or at any other place designed for learning and study. It was like a normal city with excessive military presence from the Tartarus state.
Going out was not an option, not because the city's administration wouldn't allow it, simply because the countries that had sent them to Tartarus did it so that they wouldn't have to deal with super humans.
The train arrived to the station, and the young pair boarded alongside a handful of people. The heavy flow of people was early in the morning for work and other practices, now at barely 12 o'clock, there were just a few souls who were wandering in the streets looking to occupy themselves.
The train's rail system was built over the normal streets in order to have the city's inhabitants walk in the level below it. As a matter of fact, there were no cars in Tartarus city, the train and automated buses moving on electricity were the only means of transportation.
Benjamin was getting more nervous as their destination drew closer, there had been an awkward silence with Susuka all this time, and that was killing his patience at a rapid rate.
Five minutes later, the train arrived the Commercial District's station and both walked out. They descended through an identical set of stairs and arrived to what it looked to be a shopping center. People was selling all kinds of things, Food, clothes, toys, Tartarus city was a prosperous place to live in, except that Benjamin could not communicate with the world outside.
That world had abandoned and despised him.
They walked into a cafe where they sat near the door. Benjamin asked the waitress for a coffee and waffles, he was really hungry and his body needed sustenance to keep on going to what Susuka was about to tell him.
Susuka asked for waffles, coffee, chocolate milk, vanilla ice cream and a sandwich.
The young man looked at her, with no comments to come out from his mouth. He swore in silence, he wouldn't tell his guest to have a limited ration of food.
Instead, he worried about the fact that Susuka's tiny body would not sustain too much food.
Once the Waitres had gone, Susuka placed her hands on the table and looked at Benjamin with a more serious tone than the one with shy and humble look.
"Well then, I shall explain myself now"
"You were being pursued?!"
Benjamin tried to express those words as silently as he could.
Susuka and him were sitting on one of the tables next to the window that showed the street and the people passing. Though they were really close to the glass, Benjamin knew that the windows kept the noise from outside quiet, and vice-versa, so there was no way one suspicious person could hear them from outside.
Susuka finished her waffles and moved the dish away, continuing with her coffee and chocolate milk.
"That is right" she said, "Apparently I have something important within me, in my genes, that cannot let me die of natural causes"
Benjamin was having a hard time understanding what his new friend was trying to say.
"Yes, the truth is that I had a few moments dead when the 'Titan Fall' occurred, the Titan mutation regenerated my body and gave me life again, I'm the only case to be known for something like this to happen... So you could say my power is special"
"Whoa!" Benjamin interrupted "You were revived by the Titan Fall?"
"Yes, I was."
"Your life signs were dropped and stuff?"
"Were you buried?"
"You could say that..."
Benjamin cleared his throat and cleaned his sweat from his forehead, for a cold morning, he definitely was feeling hot right now. But he had to keep calm.
"And what is the power that you hold?"
"I... like many others here, heal people."
Benjamin lied backwards, confused.
"So, you were basically being pursued because of that power, the power of healing wounds?"
"You are able to cure cancer or something?"
"Not that I've known of..."
Benjamin had to clear his throat, this was so much information and somehow he felt that he still had nothing valuable.
"Then why are you running if they want to use it for good, probably heal their wounded?"
"Who said that they wanted to use my power for good?"
"Those guys following me, they are from a strange group here in Tartarus that believe to be the strongest Titans in the city, they wanted me to join their group and tried to force me but I got away."
Benjamin rolled his eyes, he sure had heard about gangs forming claiming to be the strongest of all. He remembered when he first got in there, the city was an utter chaos, the streets were composed of people fighting, proving who was the strongest. Benjamin had to avoid those fights and confine himself at his apartment like most of the inhabitants, though he only did it for the sake of his power's secret.
"Anyway, if they are the strongest group around here, what Titan scale are you?"
Susuka took an ID card from one of her pockets and showed it to Benjamin almost instantly. Titan scale was the level of power that each Titan had.
Benjamin took the ID card and felt mocked for the first time in that conversation.
Mori, Susuka. CODE NAME: "OMOIKANE": SCALE II Citizen of the Tartarus City-state
That was what the ID said. Normally the Titan Scale would have seven levels, level 1 being weak and level 7 being ultra powerful.
"You are making fun of me right?"
Susuka's face grew worried.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that you are just a Scale II Titan!" he yelled.
"I know its hard to understand the situation but..."
"How could a powerful underworld group in the city want such a weak Titan in their ranks, if you were on scale five or six I would understand, but TWO?!"
"Listen, I need your help!"
"Why would I face powerful Titans and risk my life?!"
Susuka's face transformed again, this time with a more serious look, as if she was being mocked by someone annoying.
"You dare say to me even though I know who you are?"
Benjamin froze, for a moment the japanese girl was saying something he would not take lightly.
"Y-you don't know me yet! We've just met over XEL remember?"
"I've known you before that Benjamin, I've been watching you, you are special."
Benjamin felt cornered, Susuka could've been bluffing but she may as well telling the truth and maybe she had discovered his true power.
No, there was no way she could know that, Benjamin had been careful of not showing off, he even had to run for his life and almost loose his breath when running away from bullies who thought of him as a weakling in order to conceal his ability and his "Absolute defense".
"I'm sick of this, I'm out"
That said, he took his leave and left the café to take the train home.
"Why the hell are you following me?!"
Benjamin yelled at the japanese girl which was a few meters away from him walking at his pace so obviously that even a baby would notice her presence. Whoever Susuka was, she wasn't a spy.
"I-I'm not following you idiot!" She gasped, "My home happens to be in the same way you are going, simple as that!"
"I thought you were being followed, wouldn't going to your home be considered dangerous?"
"L-Leave me alone!!" She mumbled, "I'll handle without your help... jerk"
An outburst of anger wanted to come out from Benjamin's heart. At this point any other Titan in the city would have deployed a creature or two and had punished the girl before the authorities intervened, but he could not do it. His power was different, he needed to be patient and serene.
Yet, that girl was really pushing him to the human limit of patience and serenity. One more comment of hers and his brains could explode.
Benjamin decided to remain quiet with Susuka, he knew that she was desperately trying to find some one for help, even though he never believed the underworld group story or the fact that she held a special power her being a scale two. Scale two folks were always twice the stronger that scale one guys, but being twice stronger than a scale one meant being able to materialize and control two inert objects and one very small creature. Those facts were the reason of why the young man could not stand the situation Susuka presented to him.
He decided to just ignore her, even if she was willing to follow him to his very apartment.
They both boarded the same train, and travelled for twenty five minutes across the transport's system, passing through ten stations until the bell ringed and the train's automated voice indicated Benjamin's destination.
"Residential District Area, Code 15 Station 2" the voice said.
Benjamin stepped out of the train and directed himself towards his peaceful and quiet home. He looked over his shoulders after a few steps.
Surprise surprise, Susuka was still there.
Benjamin sighted and continued walking, hoping that for real, her home would be close by, but not too close to his home.
The residential area of Tartarus city was basically a district composed of apartment buildings that spanned across almost half of the city. The economy in the city was prosperous and, believe or not, honest with the pensions it gave to people. Tartarus city acted as a militarized state, you had to abide to the rules or you would die, but as long as you respected the city's code and etiquette, it became a happy place to live in.
Titans were allowed to work for extra winnings, but since all of them were youth in between fourteen to twenty-three years, only those with greater age and experience could actually afford to work. After the gang wars that happened two months after his arrival ended, most of the youth in Tartarus city decided that living alone was out of the question. Lovers moved with lovers, friends with friends and so forth... Those that are right now teachers in several house-schools welcomed the youngest, taking responsibility for all of them, those people received larger apartments and even entire buildings in order to accommodate their protégées.
Him, he could not afford to have someone he never met in his apartment. Besides that the fact of having a special power of his own acted on his favor, he needed also to keep a low profile, and entrusting his secret to someone he didn't knew was beyond the question.
Benjamin had practically restrained himself from loving someone, making friends or simply acquainting someone. That changed when he had to look for answers as to why he was different. He then met Monica, who has thankfully kept his secret and has gladly made him studies and examinations in order to understand his power.
He finally arrived to the building where the apartment was located, his apartment. He was finally home to deviate his thoughts from what had happened that morning.
He was about to step into the first set of stairs to get to his apartment (which was located on the third floor of ten) when he looked backwards again.
Susuka was still there, trying to look distracted by glaring at other things such as trees and walls.
"Yeah, the walls are really interesting" he said to himself, as a slight smile came from his lips.
The odds of her saying the truth about her home were now very slim.
He climbed the stairs and glanced down occasionally to notice a silent japanese girl slowly repeating his steps without loosing him from the normal human line of sight.
He sighted again.
When he had reached his apartment, he looked over to see if Susuka would finally say that she was following him all along, but she limited herself to just look at the sky and the place of the city before them.
"Such a childish attitude!" he thought, and entered his apartment.
His home was the exemplar of a messed room from a college student, Benjamin was not to be blamed, he had barely 19 years old and he was in the exact age of understanding the scholar philosophy of the mess in the room.
On the right, a complete bathroom and a small kitchen were placed accordingly while to the far opposite side of the apartment's entrance lied a rectangular window with curtains and a bed with only two coats for winter.
He looked back to the door, Benjamin heard a very low slip from a body who had laid himself against the door.
Susuka was there.
By that time Benjamin was pretty annoyed by the persistency of that girl. Benjamin sighted again, keeping his cool, and proceeded to turn on his radio provided by the government, once the normal stations began to sound lowly across his room, he laid down on the bed and decided to rest for a bit.
An hour passed.
His left eye opened and immediately looked to the door. The radio was still making noise, informing of music, movies, international news and so forth. His mind started to wonder if she would still be there.
He suppressed his thoughts immediately and focus on taking a nap.
Three hours passed.
"She should be gone by now" he happily assured himself after his eyes (both of them this time) opened and his heart felt tempted to open the door to check.