The town of Laguna was busy today; the Outlaws had executed some wanderers looking for shelter and safety. Now, ironically, they are safe and secure underground. The people of Laguna were practically slaves to these outlaws' accomplices, whom lead the construction of an idol in the middle of town while the five men occupied Mayor Manor. There were other constructions going on as well, like a new ranch for the slightly-mutated horses. These were all visual schemes of the Five Bandits, and Kye could see right past them.
The Outlaws promised the townspeople safety and reassurance, but so far nothing has gotten better even though new things have been done. Everything that has been created or will be created is for the Outlaws and what they call 'The Iron Roses'. Kye had invaded the minds of the weaker individual outlaws and collected this information, but nothing new had come to their minds since then. Everything was for their cause; but what was their cause?
Kye sat in a vacant room in what used to be the theatre. A hole in the roof let in some light that reflected off of shards of glass on the ground. When the theatre was open, they didn’t have movie rolls, cassettes or DVD's, but they did have some talented actors. Those actors were also executed slowly for screwing up their roles out of fear. Everything in this town was played by fear, and Kye thought that the town had had enough.
Kye placed his hand on the guitar case sitting next to him and sighed. He then opened the case and stared down at the guitar. Such beauty in an ugly world... He looked up onto the desk at his gasmask and hand guns, then shook his head and directed his attention to his papers. I've got a map to Haven drawn out here.. The few people that passed through two weeks ago had alot of information from there.. May they rest in peace. He looked down at another paper while throwing the map into his guitar case and narrowed his eyes. These men, Logan and Marshall, he sighed and rubbed his forehead, then stared at the sky through the hole in the roof, They better be as good as those travelers thought.. He threw the rest of his information into the guitar case and closed it.
He locked his case and stood up, taking a long look at his gasmask. I wonder how long I'll have to stay hidden under that thing.. I hope I reach Haven before something bad happens. He picked up the two handguns and hid them in his hand-made holsters, then picked up the gasmask and put it over his face. After securing the mask, he picked up his hat and placed it firmly on his scalp.
"Let us dream of a happy ending," He said softly, then walked down the stairs and out the back door of the building.
It has been a while since Kye had even left Laguna. If Kye kept track of the years behind him, he would have guessed it had been five years or so. Everything looked so barren and all he could see was dirt and mountains. When a stranger passed him, he could not trust them. He tried the best that he could to not invade the minds of every person that passed him by. When a problem occurred, he would stop, clench his fist, and wait for the figure to pass him.
How am I going to talk two strangers into helping me out with my town? He thought, I guess if I tell them there are five Outlaws for them to wipe out then they wouldn't have a second thought to it. But it's more than that.. He took off his hat to let the sun beat on his sweaty scalp instead of the black leather. He continued to walk south until he noticed a group of figures not fifty-feet away from him. They seemed to mind their own business until one of them turned his head to see Kye.
As soon as he saw the man's face, he had invaded his mind. Oh sh*t.. Outlaws.. Kye stopped walking and attempted to wait for the group to pass him by. The outlaws eyed him, then started to walk towards him. Through his gasmask, Kye could see three men holding bats and other blunt objects. Not good.. Not out here.. He waited patiently, but was still nervous about the situation.
"What do we got here?" said the man on the left. Kye read his mind and assured himself this man was the leader of the three," Some kind of nuke-freak, this one!"
"Excuse me, sir," Kye explained," But I am no freak compared to the rest of the world."
The man on the right spat on the ground in front of Kye," What makes you so sure the rest of the world is freakier than you? I mean, look at you! Hiding yourself in that mask under 100 degree weather. What kind of person would do that?"
"Oh, so you're just a smart-ass?" The man in the middle asked. The leader was playing with his bat," We can teach you to talk with manners!"
Kye managed a small laugh," Where are manners in a time like this?"
"Why you little.." said the man in the middle, but the leader cut him off. He pushed his friend back and wiped sweat off of his forehead, then looked at the sky and chuckled.
"You're somethin' different, ain't ya?"
"You're somethin' different, aren't you?" Kye responded in mimicry," Three men picking on one in the middle of nowhere. Don't you have something else you could be doing?"
The leader swung his bat against Kye's head, and he fell to the side. Note-to-self: try not to be a smart-a**. Kye could feel himself bleeding out the ear and on the left brow of his face. While the three men stood and laughed, Kye managed to pick himself up. I guess they leave me no choice..
"So I have to ask," Kye coughed and felt his head, then stood straight and firm," Did your mother die by rape or the knife?"
The man looked at him and opened his mouth to say something before Kye smacked him across the cheek with one of his pistols. The leader spat blood and lingered back, feeling dizzy and confused. His men looked at each other and broke off in two different ways. Kye kept calm and read their minds, predicting the moves they planned out. As one threw a punch from the left, Kye leaned back and easily dodged it. The other man jumped, lifted his leg and turned, finally bringing his foot down. Kye could not block it, as he predicted, and fell on his back.
As the leader held his enraged face, he twirled his bat, planning his attack.
Kye sensed another foot hover above him. Quickly, he grabbed it as it came down, then pulled it over his head and punched the man between the legs. He got up as the outlaw cried in pain and threw a headbutt directly to the outlaw's forehead, causing him to fall down onto his back and grow unconcious. Kye stared the other two down intently.
"You're quite the artist," The leader complimented with a laugh. He seemed not to care for his ally," but I'm more artistic." He motioned the other outlaw to attack from the left again. This time, Kye was prepared. The outlaw threw a volley of punches, but Kye had blocked the majority of them. The last two punches the outlaw had offered were wide, and Kye moved closer to his enemy. Before the second punch was fully-thrown, Kye had smacked it away and grabbed the outlaw's neck. Startled, the outlaw choked. Kye released his grip, then threw four punches: one to the left collar, one to the right, one to the stomach, and the last to the heart.
As the outlaw dropped, the leader charged full speed and lifted his bat. Kye turned his head to focus on the outlaw and when the bat came down, Kye had vanished like smoke. This outlaw was now out-of-reality and in his own mind.
Although in the outlaw's head Kye had vanished in thin air, he had actually hit him dead-on in reality. Fu-... He dropped to the ground and pulled his mask off. Kye spat out blood and breathed heavily, trying not to lose his concentration on the outlaw. He staggered back to his feet and put his mask back on.
"Now, what should we remind you of?" Kye offered. The man dropped to his knees. His eyes were a little foggy and he was not there anymore. Kye put his hand on the man's forehead and closed his eyes to start his fatal invasion.
You have alot of memories to consult with, and it's not going to be pleasant. For the next hour, you will feel all the pain of every being you have killed, every rush that you've felt, and all of the anxiety and stress that you've built to date. You may not survive, but if you do, you will not be the same. I wish you luck on your journey.
He removed his hand from the outlaw's forehead, then backed up. For a while he stood there, staring at the body of what will not exist anymore. I thought I'd never have to do that again.. He grabbed his hat and pulled it over his eyes before turning away and walking south. If I am correct, I will be at Haven by the end of the day. If not, then tomorrow..
Kye continued to walk south, his movement growing more and more resistant. He was tired, and he knew it. I can feel it... I'm almost there.. Just a little longer.. He exhaled breaths between each thought as if he was talking aloud. He wanted to take off his mask again, but found it important to keep it on. The outlaws in Laguna probably sent word out about him and he needed to remain anonymous. He looked around and saw no one. Relieved, he took his hat off and pulled of the mask, then sat down.
It feels like it's getting hotter every time I make a step.. He wiped the sweat off of his brow and felt inside his pockets. Luckily, before he had left Laguna, he had asked a child to pick-pocket someone in town for rolling tobacco. The child came back with success, handing Kye both rolling papers and a full Ziploc-like bag of tobacco. Kye smirked at the memory, hoping that he would see the child again to thank him properly.
He started to roll a cigarette, having no trouble with balance and coordination. Finally, he put the cigarette in his mouth and dug into his pocket for matches. He pulled some out and stroke a match, lit his cigarette, then inhaled. Much better... he waited three seconds before exhaling the smoke. Kye felt more relaxed, so he got up and continued to walk with his hat over his eyes and the gasmask hanging from its straps on his shoulder. More sooner than later, he caught something with his eye.
Is that....? He took a hit off of his cigarette and continued walking forward until he could see more clearly, then assured himself that he was near Haven. He stopped, managed to laugh, which would have seemed weird if anyone was around to see, then took another drag. Hope is on my side today, he thought, then started his way towards the town he had heard was protected.
When he finally reached the borders of Haven, he had returned his mask to his face and stomped out the cigarette. He was greeted by few vigilantes, whom thought he was just another survivor at this point, and he bowed to them respectfully. Concealed by his mask, Kye had a bright grin of relief. He let the vigilante group pass him and ended their greeting with a different gesture, tipping his hat and nodding his head. He turned around and walked down the street.
Everything looked so different compared to Laguna. The people were at least happier, there was more food and shelter, and the streets were real busy. He kept his ability inside because it would pain him; he had not had to deal with so many minds before. The pain in his head grew, though, and soon he found himself up against the wall groaning in pain. Aftershock.. He looked around cautiously, thinking people would be staring at him, but only a few even turned their heads. I’ve got to find somewhere to rest..
Kye could not resist anymore. Because he had only learned how to read minds and create illusions as a child, he did not master the full potential of the powers. His concentration broke and all sorts of thoughts ran through his head that weren't his own. He clenched his fists and pressed his back against the wall in retaliation, although he made no sound and no visual contact had been brought to him. He groaned quietly under his mask.
Too much loss of blood.. Can't.. concentrate.. He managed to push himself off of the wall and take a few steps forward. Although he lingered, he continued in a slow pace. His body was all tense and he gripped the handle of his guitar case with power. He appeared to look fine enough to not be recognized. He continued his pace, slow and steady until he reached an alleyway. He looked down the path and saw another opening. Guess I'll take the back streets.. he thought, although he could not hear himself above all the other thoughts. He moved into the alleyway and placed his free hand against the wall to keep balance.
Did you hear about...I kicked that outlaw's..EsterCorp is...What the fu-...selfish... cure… hope.. Kye dropped his guitar case about three-fourths of the way down and fell to his knees. He placed his hands on his head and tripped backwards, his back hitting the wall.
Pain... I'll trade this... Vigilante.. All you want... Money for themselves.. Powerful people are...
He started to breathe heavily until he caught himself doing so, then took three deep breaths, holding in the last one as he helped himself up. He continued to stumble forward and out into the open, where a building with the sign 'Precinct' caught his attention. He walked up, pretending everything was okay with him, and entered the building. Once inside, he found a chair and sat himself down to rest.
Here's your sh*t! I'll be in the medical room.
Just what I needed to hear about now.
Kye could not hear any other voices now. Apparently he was safe in this building, with all of the chatter outside, so he could concentrate better. The people inside were solidifying themselves among groups and talking in private.
Hey hey hey hey hey!! Be careful with these!
Kye realized this man was not alone. He felt the patterns of another male in the room above. It's not easy to come by quality Viagra anymore. Kye's eye twitched under his mask. Oh my... he thought.
Excuse me..? What did you just say?
Kye tried to hold himself from laughing under his mask, but continued to concentrate with a grin on his face.
Let me just get this straight. You sent me into the desert.. alone, might I add, without a map, mode of transportation, or a fully charged radio, in the middle of the night to intercept a convoy "allegedly" in possession of a cure for a disease.. just so your tiny, flaccid dick won't blow lifelessly in the wind anymore..? Is that what you're trying to tell me, Captain?
Kye couldn't resist laughing at this point. He sensed that the frightened man grew nervous and could not think his words out clearly. As soon as things just started to sound interesting, a sharp pain grew in Kye's head. He groaned loudly and bent forward, holding his head. Someone seemed to noticed and walked up to Kye cautiously.
"Can you tell me where there might be a medical station?" Kye asked the man without looking up. Kye felt the man nod slowly, confused of the situation.
"Take the stairs up to the seventh level and to the right, you can't miss it," The man answered.
Kye finally looked up and attempted at standing," Do you mind helping me with that? It's hard for me to walk."
"Uh," The man replied," Sure, but most men take themselves up."
"I am grateful," Kye responded with a nod. The man slung Kye's arm around his neck and helped him to the stairs. While they started their way up, the man turned his head to say something, then left it alone. Kye eyed him through his mask.
"Out with it."
"Uh.. What's up with the mask?" he asked.
"To conceal myself," Kye replied.
Kye made the walk upstairs more awkward than it needed to be. The man would continuously ask why Kye wore his mask, and he always replied with:
"To conceal myself from the world."
The man obviously didn't know what that meant and would repeatedly ask what it was supposed to mean. Kye would deny to answer any further and silence broke between the two for a flight. Then the man would try again and accept the same answer.
"Look, I really don't feel comfortable describing this," Kye finally replied," Would it please you if I took it off?"
The two of them had stopped on the fifth level with a brief moment of silence. Kye sighed as he felt the man staring him down intently. He took off his hat and offered it to the man. He took it and Kye loosened the back of his mask and pulled it off. The man squinted his eyes for a second, then brightened his expression.
"I recognize you! I've seen your wanted posters! They're posted in a few spots north of here," He exclaimed," Don't worry, you're safe in Haven."
Kye stared at the man, then smiled softly with a nod. Kye opened the guitar case and placed his mask inside, then returned his hat to his head. The man slung his arm over his shoulders again and they continued to walk up the stairs. Finally, they reached the seventh floor and stopped. The man said goodbye and shook hands with Kye, then walked back downstairs.
Kye turned right and stopped at the door of the medicinal center, hearing sounds. They sounded like metal scraping metal, with grunts in between. He continued to walk in then looked cautiously to his left. There stood a man in black holding a metal rod. Next to him, on the bench, was a black helmet and on the ground were bullet shells.
"Are you," Kye said with a pause," Quite alright?"
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