Titans on Earth
"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 we still not fully understand."
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.
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.
The radio then began its regular weather broadcasts.
"We interrupt this program to inform you that the cold storm that generated in the Northern Siberian region will be hitting Tartarus city in approximately 2 hours from now as planned, we advise that people will remain indoors during the passing of the storm as freezes are to be expected..."
He had forgotten about the storm to begin with, he was very focused on getting to his apartment and lock himself away from any problem outside. He swore, he didn't took the time to purchase a battery for his heating generator, he would freeze at night without it.
Moreover, his mind started to think on the girl.
That brief message was enough to spark Benjamin's level of concern towards Susuka, he didn't know if she was still there, but what if she didn't had a place to stay in all along?
He heard a swift noise on the other side of the door, the sudden and notorious sound of someone sneezing.
Benjamin's mind stopped, suddenly receiving yet another revelation, his heart was forcing him towards the door and opening it eve though that he started to think this was all a trick to make him feel bad for his actions.
Susuka was there, cleaning her nose after she sneezed, her body slipped at hit the ground due to her back being supported by the very door Benjamin had opened.
This time, the young man did not bursted in anger, this time he felt compassion for the girl that had followed him all the way to the very doorstep of his apartment. It was probably right to say that her actions were childish, but no adult person would go to that extent if she or he would actually need it.
Benjamin extended his hand, with a gentle smile in his lips. Susuka grabbed the hand and used it to stand up, her face had perfectly drawn lines where tears normally take their course. Benjamin felt really bad at that moment. He was only trying to be reasonable with her, but he would never go to an extent where he would have to make a girl cry, specially for something ridiculous.
"Come in" He said, and stepped back for her to enter his apartment.
"T-thank you" she said, and stepped into the apartment.
She removed her shoes and left them in the corner side of the door, as japanese people would normally do in any house they would enter.
Benjamin directed himself towards his small kitchen and opened the gate of a small fridge he had placed at the corner, took out some water and offered it with a glass to his guest. Susuka remained silent, and went to lay on the floor near the bed.
"Why the change of heart so suddenly?" she said, as she took the pillow from Benjamin's bed and placed it on the floor.
Benjamin took a seat on his bed and raised his head to look at the roof.
"Look, I'm not sure wether to believe everything that you said at the café or not, but one thing is believing all that crap, and one thing is letting you die frozen by the upcoming storm."
Benjamin noticed that the girl was glad to hear that, and he stupidly smiled as well, Geez he thought, Now I feel like some sort of gentleman casanova
"Thank you again." she said and smiled over to him. Benjamin's heart started racing so fast when he saw that beautiful face dedicating a smile to him that he had to look another way.
"A-anyway" he began, "There is something I wanted to ask you..."
"What is that?"
"You said you knew me, but why did you chose me instead of any other person on this city?"
Susuka closed her eyes and lowered her head.
"Well I... took a guess"
"Yes, the truth is that, I was being pursued and you were the first person I could see to look for help."
"So you don't know anything about me?"
"No" she said, "When I said that I knew you, I was expecting you to be a powerful Titan... but now I have my doubts...."
Benjamin laughed briefly, thinking on how she had no idea of what she was saying.
"You never introduced yourself... by the way"
"Oh, so you don't even know my name?"
"No, like I said, I took a risk."
Benjamin recalled that in fact, she never mentioned his name at all.
"Well, you are right." he said, "It is considered disrespectful to be speaking for hours now and not know someone's name. Forgive my manners."
He stretched his hand.
"My name is Benjamin Voight"
She stretched her hand as well, "A pleasure meeting you, Ben."
"Ben?" he repeated, only a few people close enough to him had enough trust call the man Ben.
"Is that a wrong nickname?"
"No it's okay... its just that" he was mumbling again "Ah you know what? Forget it, call me Ben."
"O-okay." she said.
He stood up from the bed and walked towards the door.
"I forgot to buy the battery for my heat generator, I'll go to the closest store here in the district and I'll be back."
"You are going to leave me alone?" Susuka said, worried.
"Don't worry, you are safe here" he assured.
"But what if they break into your apartment?"
They? he said, all that "chasing the special girl" stuff was really starting to annoy him again, but he decided to play along instead.
"Fine" he started, "Why don't you give me your phone number so that you may contact me in the case of any emergency?"
"I don't have a cell phone"
"I don't like them" she said self-assuringly.
"Well then, we do have a problem." he said, scratching his head.
Susuka's eyes then shined with the fire of idealism.
She waived her left arm horizontally and a light green butterfly magically appeared, floating across the room in a delicate way. The butterfly flew towards Benjamin and rested on his left arm.
"I can see through that butterfly were are you going, if I ever need your help, I will cancel the butterfly."
"Okay..." He said as he looked at the glowing insect waving its wings in a captivating way, "That is smart... I guess?"
"Don't be such a jerk" she said, "Now go and be back here soon"
"Whoa" he stopped, "Since when did you became the house's keeper?"
She looked at him with the face of an angel again.
"Please? I don't want to be alone"
Shit he thought, I'm letting myself being manipulated by a girl!
And so he was, because before he could realize, he had already closed the door and was walking the stairs down.
The wind was more aggressive by the time Benjamin had reached the battery supplier.
He had some difficulty opening up the doors due to the wind's current. He entered and started looking for a couple of batteries that would suit his heat generator.
His mind was troubled, puzzled to put it in a better way. The very existence of Susuka moved his daily routine to a new whole level. His mind was revolving around over and over through the same thoughts as he picked two batteries and took them to the shop vendor.
"What if she's right?" he thought, "What if all that stuff she told me about her pursuers was true?"
The very thought of thinking in a possible confrontation made him bite his lips and swore. He was not afraid of a confrontation, he was afraid that the slight show off from his power would restart the supremacy fights across the city, all to defeat HIM.
He cleared his throat as the vendor checked the batteries.
The ring tone from a phone was heard, and he slipped his right hand into his pocket, directing the phone to his ear.
It was Monica.
"Hey Prometheus!" she said, her voice calmed Benjamin's heart, he needed to hear a familiar voice and in Tartarus city the amount of friends he had was almost null.
"Doc" he said, as he cleared his state card through the cashing machine to pay for the batteries.
"Is your date with the japanese girl over?" she asked jokingly.
"Wha-...? I really don't think you called me just to mess with my life!"
"Hur hur, You know me darling... actually no, my time is too valuable to even consider to call my lab rat." she said, and bursted on a brief laughter. Benjamin only sighted as he started walking to his apartment again, "Actually I wanted to tell you what I found out about that Mori Susuka of yours."
"Well, did she asked you for help by any chance while having breakfast?"
Benjamin's body froze.
"Well, then you should know by now she's been pursued by a very strong group that belongs to the city's underworld."
There was the very strong group story again. Benjamin started to get nervous as Monica began to narrate the same story that would come out of the oldest mystery novel in existence.
"Listed doc, you are not taking me anywhere, tell me something I don't know already because to be honest, I've been forced to listen to this crap all day now."
"I would say its more than crap Prometheus." she said in a more serious tone.
"You see she was revived by the Titan's fall and given a very rare ability, much like you Absolute Defense thing."
"Again tell me something I don't know, she died and moments after the Titan's fall revived her, Monica, I've been ahead of you for like..."
"Who said that she died moments before the Titan fall?" Monica interrupted.
"She did!" he yelled.
"Maybe because she lost track of time and for her it was just a few moments, I would actually want to see how does it feel to die and then be resurrected and have a completely different world around you!"
"Wow wow!" He stopped her, "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that she was fossil pile of bones when she was revived by the Titan's Fall!"
Fossil? he thought, the new information he was receiving from Monica was even more confusing but deep in Benjamin's heart everything Susuka told him started to make sense.
"Wait a minute" he added, "How much time was she actually dead?"
"That's the point, There was no record from this century from any Susuka Mori, I actually had to look into the Titan Scale database and look up for her profile... I got mind blown sweetie, mind blown!"
"How many years?!"
"One hundred years!" she answered.
There was a dramatic silence after she said those words. Benjamin was clear now of what was happening.
"So that means, this group..."
"That group wants her not only because she was alive 100 years ago and came back from the dead, she has also a strange capability of revitalizing anyone who has been given a small portion of her power, something she registered as the Butterfly."
Benjamin looked his left shoulder, the glowing green butterfly was still with him.
"So they want her for them to take over the city or something like that?"
"Even if they wanted her for that they could not use her, she's still not fully developed, this group wants to exploit her and develop her power further in order to be invincible."
"That's the worst rip-off villain plan I've ever heard" He said, thinking on what could happen to Susuka.
"I know..." Monica said, "Unfortunately I won't advice fighting them to protect her"
"What?" he said, surprised "Why?"
"Because I'm not sure if you would survive a confrontation with them, their abilities are off the charts and they make some ugly stuff that Tartarus has not registered yet"
"What do you mean by not registered?" he said, "Are you saying that there are Titans in this metropolis that have not been registered in the Scale database?"
"They are not Titans, they're... FSZSK!"
Monica's voice cut off by some serious interruption that even hurt his ear.
"Damn it, they're what exactly?" Benjamin said, hitting a wall next to him with his fist. He looked far above the clouds, thinking that the wind may had caused interference.
He took a knee, and listened to the wind, trying to get calm.
When he had organized his thoughts, he realized about a possible purpose for him on that city, a purpose for his powers.
He knew that he had to protect the girl, Susuka Mori, at all costs.
"So basically, this group is not Titan, and uses unorthodox methods?" he whispered, "Wait for them to know my resolve as well."
"And I'm dying to see that" said a voice far in front of him. The wind stopped for a moment and the snow began to fall in the same fashion that a few hours in the morning. Benjamin knew it was the warning of nature telling them that the storm would arrive soon.
He saw then the author of that voice, an adult man, wearing white leather coats and showing off a big forehead with golden hair stood before him.
Benjamin put away his cellphone and stared at him as hi stood up again. There no people there, no other Titans that he could possibly ask for aid, everyone was waiting for the freeze storm by that time, safe and sound in their beds or around fires to keep their bodies warm singing songs to keep their hearts happy over the depressed scenario of the freezing storm.
He looked at the blond man with a rather serious look, there was no way he could be a Titan, Titans were between ages fourteen and twenty-three, its been always been like that since the start of all this trouble.
No, he knew this man's identity.
"You are one of them right?"
The man smiled.
"Them?" he repeated, "Oh yes, them" he clarified.
"Don't play with me"
"Easy going brat, yes I'm one them. My name is Cervantes, so what?"
Benjamin cleared his throat and faced the guy standing in front of him. The man looked at him arrogantly and superiorly, which cleared any doubt he may had.
"I'll say this once" Benjamin said, "She does not want to be with you, so stop chasing her like she was a criminal."
The man closed his eyes and his smile got wider.
"So naive, if you have talked to her, you may know that she's no normal person."
Benjamin was loosing his patience, all those four months he had been in Tartarus he had resolved to hide his abilities. Now he was facing a situation where force was needed in order to understand each other.
"A remnant of the times passed, miraculously revived so as to have a power that may help humanity in improving our lifespan and make us more..."
"Don't bullshit me man" Benjamin interrupted, "Where are her rights? Are you really going to martyrize her and force her into use that power even though she doesn't want because she may die?"
"She doesn't understand and you don't understand... I gift that powerful should not be sealed in one person, it should be shared with all of humanity and help advance our species!"
"Quiet..." Benjamin shut, "Susuka told me that she doesn't want to be with you guys, and I'm ready to shout for more Titans to beat the likes of you if you persist."
Cervantes bursted into laughter.
"And how are you supposed to do that if my mission is to make you disappear before actually retrieving her?"
"Retrieve her?! Is she an object to you or what?!
Benjamin bursted in anger.
"Enough cheap chat" Cervantes said, as he pulled a handgun revolver out, "Time to die stupid brat."
The gun fired, with the sound of the shot off, due to a silencer add-on that Cervantes had integrated into the revolver.
A flame appeared and ignited the bullet almost instantly. Benjamin smiled, completely resolved to beat that man's life out of Tartarus city.
Absolute defense had activated.
The yellow flames started to float all over Benjamin's body just like before, the young man's eyes were shinning suns determined to defend his newly made friend.
Cervantes backed, surprised to see that his bullet was disintegrated by the unannounced flames.
"What is that?!" he yelled as he started firing more and more bullets.
The flames intercepted and burned the incoming projectiles as they dangerously approached Benjamin.
"Why?!" He yelled, despaired, "Data has never been updated of a yellow aura Titan!"
The bullets ran out, the revolver was empty.
"I thought you said no more cheap chat" Benjamin mocked.
Before Cervantes could realize, Benjamin was already over him with a yellow flamed fist directed towards his face.
The punch hit Cervantes face so hard his body flew meters away from Benjamin. The young man looked at his fists, they were in the same shape that from the last time that he used them, back in El Cairo, to stop another selfish and crazy man.
Cervantes slowly stood up again, cleaning some blood from his face as he looked at the glowing flames that surrounded Benjamin.
For a moment, Cervantes eyes reflected that he was back to normal, but then bursted into laughter again.
"Oh?" Benjamin said, "Have you lost your mind or something?"
"Tsk, I Have no idea what kind of demon are you, but this city is full of surprises!"
Benjamin was starting to believe that the man was insane.
"Oh but I've come prepared as well, I knew you Titans wouldn't come so easily"
He grabbed his right arm with his left hand, and started pressing it like he was trying to remove it from the rest of his body.
"I'm going to have so much fun with you kid!"
The arm suddenly bursted in blood and slowly began to transform into a mechanized arm that enlarged itself into becoming a strong, metal arm with long fingers that slowly ate all that portion of his body like a gruesome viral worm that takes possession of a body. The transformation had turned most of Cervantes chest and neck pale like the snow. And the new mechanical arm that
It was a rather gross view, Benjamin felt disgusted to the point of taking a knee again to have a long breath and put his thoughts together.
Cervantes was there to end him, and to do Susuka horrible things, that's all he needed to know. The man with the newly formed mechanical arm walked towards him and faced him with a big smile.
"My my, look what I've become!" He said with a very aggressive tone, "Take responsibility boy, I will crush you like a cockroach to satisfy this arm for now, I can have it restored later."
There was no way back. He had displayed his power for a good reason, now he had to finish that man for good and save Susuka from Cervantes and the group he belonged to.
"Just shut up dude" Benjamin finally said, "Last chance, go away and never come back!"
He said that although he already knew Cervantes answer.
"Like I'll listen to a stupid and arrogant brat like you, go straight to hell!"
Benjamin crossed his arms, and the flames shined more.
He was confident that a mere robotic arm could not defeat the flames of his determination.
"Go ahead, crush me then."
The moments of silence before the confrontation had ended.
Cervantes charged at an inhuman speed, disappearing from the eye's perception of movement entirely. In one second he was just in front of Benjamin's body. Benjamin backed to avoid being hit at a superhuman rate.
"What the..." he mumbled, as Cervantes clenched his robotic fist covered in blood from his previous organic arm and directed it towards the Titan's stomach.
Yet, the Absolute defense did the job, intercepting the hit by engulfing the Robotic arm in flames.
Cervantes did not gave up, he launched another attack towards the head right after, his speed was incredible, a normal human would have succumbed to his punches by now, but Benjamin's yellow aura covered his life with extreme efficiency.
He was safe as long as Cervantes would continue to do that.
The half human, half robot backed a few meters.
"So you really are immune to any kind of hits..." He said a little bit concerned, but then he smiled, as if he had some sort of idea, "Let us see if you can beat this!"
He immediately crushed his robot fist against the ground and his voice turned robotic and echoed.
"~Electrons Discharge. Activated~"
A chain of lighting came from that fissure and was directed towards Benjamin. The young man did not had any chance to avoid the blast. His body was projected upwards and crashed against the upper level where the train system resided. The power of that attack made Benjamin go through the thick cement floor of the train rail and reach the other side in seconds.
In a few moments, Benjamin was laying on the ground, trying to recover from that blast. He raised his head and realized that he had been pushed towards the train the station.
He checked his body to see if he was injured, he did not loose any member of his body and not a single drop of blood was on sight. His yellowish aura was still surrounding him, and the remnants of molten cement could be seen in front of him.
Absolute defense had did its job.
"Ha ha!" Cervantes yelled, who was just arriving to the second floor in one jump and stood near the floor's edge which showed a metal fence, "You survived that? A normal Titan would have died from that disastrous crash... But yet you are not a normal Titan."
Benjamin could notice Cervantes arm to be electrified once again, ready to use the massive discharge of electrons from before.
His body gave in and he could not avoid kneeling from lack of strength.
"What's the matter Benjamin?" he thought, "Why can't you move?"
He then realized, even though his body would remain untouchable forever during that fight, there was no way he could defeat a cyborg with superhuman speed and strength, that robot-man had probably more stamina and it would take hundreds of punches to get him. He just didn't had the human strength to accomplish it.
Besides, his resolve to protect Susuka was going down and down when he realized he could not afford to match the cyborg's speed. By this time another lackey from that group could've been attacking his friend.
"Ha!" Cerberus laughed, "Is that all you've got?"
Another charge of electricity hit him, this time not so strong, but powerful enough to push him a few more meters away.
"Damn" Benjamin mumbled, "Is there anything I can do to stop this guy from attacking me?"
"Come on Ben, don't give up!"
He heard a voice coming from his left shoulder, he looked at it and noticed that the butterfly of green energy was just arriving to stay at his side again, the fight had been so intense for him to care about a surreal insect.
"Yes, it's me" the insect voiced, "As long as I'm able to see you with this butterfly, I can be with you."
"Are you safe?" Benjamin asked, hoping for the best.
"Don't worry, I'm fine" she replied calmly, "He's the only one chasing me in the city, apparently the group he belongs to is way to confident."
"That's good to hear." he said.
"I'm trying to patch you up with my Butterfly ability, hang on." Susuka said.
The butterfly tried to attach its legs to Benjamin's shoulder, but they were rejected almost instantaneously.
"It's no use, it seems by healing abilities are useless with you!"
Benjamin smiled, he realized something while Susuka was talking.
He was not injured, he was definitely fine. The only thing that he lacked was the will to fight.
But hearing Susuka's voice, remembering the sweet smile that captivated him from the first time he saw her, all that started to revive his soul.
He stood up, and faced his opponent again.
Cervantes rolled his head, with his eye balls opened so wide that they could go off at any moment. His smile could be seen to be so wide and large that his cheeks were rotting, leaving a group of mechanisms on plane sight combined with flesh and cartilage instead.
"Oh?" He mockingly said, "So you still have some more strength to endure my hits?"
Benjamin was facing an opponent that transcended even the greatest imagination of a horror character. Cervantes broke completely his understanding of cybernetics and biology.
Yet he needed to fight, even though he could last forever trying to defeat Cervantes, he would continue fighting until Susuka could be safe.
"Is that all you've got?" Benjamin asked, mocking his opponent.
Cervantes smile was replaced by a jaw drop.
"Don't make fun of me brat!" He roared enraged.
His mechanical arm hit the ground again and the electric shock appeared.
"Not this time!" Benjamin shouted.
His own fist was set on the yellow flames, transforming his flesh fist into a yellow shaped fist that emanated flames out of it, this time his flames were not only circling around his fist, but the flames WERE part of his hand.
Time was decelerated immediately after, somehow, his Absolute defense system could give him awareness of the incoming attacks. At some point he had acquired the ability to slightly control the Absolute defense
Benjamin hit the floor with his flame fist at an incredible speed, and the electrons dissipated.
The "electro shot" was negated, displayed in just a little column of smoke that emanated from the ground and a little crater with black ash.
"Whoa!" Susuka yelled, amazed. The butterfly agitated its wings in sign of rejoice.
Cervantes swore and his facial expression changed from sadistic satisfaction to sheer horror.
Benjamin looked at his new transformation, amazed. But that was no time to rejoice of his discovery, he had to finish Cervantes.
He had a way to defeat his "electro shot" now, so he would not be pushed away flying like a pebble anymore. But the problem of his ridiculous speed was still standing.
"So... brat" Cervantes started, "Are we really going to do this forever, you have no way of reaching me and I have no way of hurting you!"
"Think Benjamin!" Susuka cried, "How were you able to match the lighting speed?"
Benjamin looked at his ignited arm. He was still feeling the acceleration from his power in all of his senses.
"We can end this by just giving me what I want, you'll be free to go, no remorse and no hard feelings between us." Cervantes stated, and the smile could be seen again, only that this time it wasn't an arrogant smile, it was more like a beggar smile.
The cyborg's voice started to sound slower for Benjamin.
He then realized, he was already on top of that half robot's speed.
"Right, sorry but I won't accept those terms."
Benjamin started walking towards Cervantes, whom sighted, disappointed.
"Sorry kid, I'm just busy capturing that walking corpse and take her to my base, I have no time to fight forever."
Benjamin charged towards the cyborg, leaving a trace of burning asphalt behind him. The speed was too great for Cervantes to avoid the attack.
In fact, Benjamin was too fast for him to even think of avoiding the attack.
The burning fist landed on his face in a split second, and Cervantes was sent flying towards the far side of that train station.
Benjamin prepared to continue his attacks, but at the same time the automated machine from the train system was heard.
"Warning, freeze storm incoming, blast doors will now start its security procedures."
That being said, thick walls of metal appeared from the top corners of the station's roof.
Before it was too late, Cervantes had escaped to the other side, and Benjamin was left inside that security metal box of the train system.
"If you are now inside any train station safe-zone, please remain there until the freeze storm is over"
"Damn it!" Benjamin roared, as he realized he had lost Cervantes on the other side.
The sound of a strong wind was heard from the outside, and Benjamin ran against the metal wall and hit it as hard as he could. The wall responded with a warm reflection of his power.
"Titan power?" He asked to himself. He knew that Tartarus city was designed to contain Titans, but he never took it too seriously.
"Hey brat!" said a voice on the other side, due to his senses being intensified, he could hear the wind and the sounds beyond the iron wall, "It seems fate has smiled upon me and not you, that was something impressive!"
Benjamin could not contain his rage any more, he hit over and over with his fists, only to receive outbursts of light instead, with the wall intact.
"They say this storm will last five hours until it passes, just wanted to let you know that I'll capture her and take her away from you, to where you cannot follow."
"Damn it Cervantes!"
"Oh yes, she will finally stop running from her destiny, and humanity will see the bright hopes of her power, once she's done with it, I'm coming for you, you piece of useless shit, I'll make you pay for this!"
Benjamin scratched his head, desperate.
"I can only imagine all he horrible things they would to her in order to extract her ability, my bosses are really inhuman when it comes to experiment with things like you... All right, see ya next time idiot!" Cervantes said, before bursting in a laughter that made the young man burst in a desperate cry.
His fists continued to punch through the wall with no effect, he had to go on and protect her. He wanted to see her again, he wanted to become her friend, to know her!
She finally had someone to protect!
He rested his back against that wall, the flames were still around him, his eyes still shined like the yellow star, and his right arm was still engulfed by flames.
He had the power to defeat that monster, but now he lied defeated by a mere coincidence.