Chapter 7: A Well Deserved Meal
My third day of training was brutal and exhausting, due to practicing the Rosna attack simultaneous times, while increasing the caliber put into the blast in every attempt. The big killer though was the Thunder Strike, because it is a series of movements, unlike the Rosna attack.
I practiced the Thunder Strike at least a hundred times, causing the citizens of Salt Lake City to think that there was a large, continuous thunderstorm. My muscles were sore, along with my head, due to having to increase my anger in each Rosna attack and Thunder Strike.
In some attempts at the Thunder Strike, I would mess up and accidentally hyperextend a muscle, or punch myself in the face, kick myself in the groin, and every time, would draw blood. I would even be even lucky to be able to have a child someday, due to kicking myself in the groin countless times.
Up against the mesa, I stood bent over. My shirt is off and is being used as a belt, tied around my waist. Sweat was dripping off my chest, chin, and forehead onto the orange tinted mesa base. My hair is the same as usual- brown, with a short spike coming from each side of the head, and three large, extended spikes on top.
It wasn't greasy, but the same as it has been my entire life. I never have had a haircut, and what's weird, is that when I was born and crashed here on Earth, my hair was as it is here-and-now. I sat down on the base of the mesa, slowly breathing in-and-out, so that I could support myself. I wiped the dirt from my eyes and mouth, then unwrapped my shirt from my waist to wipe my entire body down. This was not what I considered a shower, but out here I needed to impersonate a lot of things, just to keep myself going.
I wish I could have a shower, but I knew that Black Matter might be watching my every move somehow, and that if I were to go back to the orphanage for a shower, he may deceive me again and do who knows what. My entire body was wiped down, clean of sweat and dry blood. However, the open cuts and wounds on my body still leaked blood.
I put my shirt down on the mesa's base next to my bag, then sat on the base while looking at the sky. All I thought of, was a shower, drink, and enough food to last me awhile. I licked my chops thinking of a fatty steak with BBQ sauce to the side, mixed with a baked potato sprinkled with salt, spices, and finally butter rubbed deep into the potato.
My stomach rumbled, due to the thoughts of all this food, with a Pepsi to drink with it. My body felt empty of energy, and immediately I thought that the lack of food and drinks is what may be causing me to mess up on my techniques. At that moment I knew that I needed food and water, if I was going to succeed in this training.
"Is it safe to go though? Black Matter might have spies on my every move." My stomach rumbled again. "I'll do a Rosna attack, and try to hit a rock as a target. If I miss, I go. If I hit, I stay." I grabbed a medium-sized rock from the ground and set it on a mesa far from me. "Here goes." I walked back to my position and prepared myself. I rose my anger only a little then led the energy from it to my palm. "Rosna attack!" The small, blue orb shot out toward the distant mesa, where my target sat on top. Without looking, I heard the blast explode into the mesa, then the blue haze appeared and faded slowly. In the distance, I could see a mesa no longer, but the rock was on the ground. "Miss. I go."
I put my shirt back on, grabbed my bag, and finally set out toward Salt Lake City, hoping that Black Matter's deception wouldn't strike again.
* * *
The city was same as before, except for a banner hanging over overpasses, announcing an upcoming event. People looked at me funny, and made expressions saying "Where the hell is he from?" "Do you ever wash yourself?" Do you have a home?" I just ignored them and kept walking to the orphanage in the town's center.
As I neared the orphanage, I came across a spot that looked like it had been re-paved, like a wound turning into a scar. An information platform stood before the sight, so I decided to find out more on the sight. The information platform stood, nailed into the pavement, and before I could begin to read the info, I saw a picture of a small baby. This was my crash-landing sight.
"In 2054, this crater was made by an unbelievable crash-landing. At first, all thought it was a meteor crash, but instead it was a small baby boy that made the crater. It was 2:34 A.M. when this happened on September 25, 2054, it shook all of SLC. Scientists were the first to arrive, but luckily the small boy was taken in by SLC's own geography expert "Reese Williams" How a boy was able to survive the impact is unexplained and remains as SLC's greatest mystery to all. The boy's whereabouts are unknown, for Reese Williams did never confess to where he took the boy, due to protect the boy and let him live out his life as a normal boy should."
"Great. I'm famous." That was just what I needed; to be recognizable to all. I walked away from the information platform, and accidentally ran into someone. At first they yelled at me, but then when I turned my head to say sorry, they yelled "it's him! The boy from the crash in 2054!"
"Dammit!" Exactly the opposite of what I wanted to happen. The people nearby turned to the man's yell, and looked up to me like a king. I felt somewhat worshiped and scared at the same time, because I didn't know what was going to happen next. Sudden stampede? Question-after-question? I wasn't going to stick around to find out, so I ran as fast as possible, hoping they wouldn't run after me.
The orphanage was in my sights, as the people chased after me yelling "Please tell us how you survived! Your name! Where you came from!" I couldn't lead them to the orphanage, so I went to my second option and ran toward Reese's shop across the street from me.
I found Reese behind the front desk, so I jumped over and ducked.
"What the... Vern'e!"
"They're after me."
"Them." I pointed to the front entrance, where the people chasing me entered, while toppling on top of one another to get to me.
"People!", yelled Reese. "You leave this young man alone!"
One of the people spoke. "You hid him from us! Now we'll ask questions that have unanswered for a long time!"
"I took him in! He is mine to care for; not you savages!"
"Why can't we know the truth about the boy?"
"He's been through a lot lately for starts!"
"Let's just say right now this young man is working at something inhuman to save your sorry asses!"
"There you go again. Keeping secrets from us all."
"Even if I told you, you wouldn't believe me."
"No, because all you'll do is tell scientists and put this boy in an institution for tests that give you money. Am I correct?"
The person talking above the rest got a stupid look on his face. "I suppose, but never would I use the boy for science just to make my own free money. Please. I, along with all these others are not that greedy."
"Then if aren't as greedy as you say, you will leave, and forget all about this."
"Can we at least know his name?"
"No. One piece of evidence of this boy's identity is too risky to tell. Besides, you'll know soon enough in years to come. Trust me on this."
"Understood. We shall leave now."
All of the people left Reese's store, to not be seen for a long time. I stood up next to Reese, still stricken and scared. My face was pale as a ghost, and I felt as if I were concealed in a closed environment with no way out. Reese patted me on the shoulder, I guess to calm me down. I let out a long breath then wiped the sweat from my forehead.
"Thanks Reese. I needed that."
"Your welcome. People can be irresponsible and act as if they were children sometimes. Greed is a very powerful adversary and can dominate you easily."
"Greed is one of the deadly sins, so there's no doubt it is powerful."
"Agreed, so what are you doing in the city?"
"I need a shower and a decent meal, because my energy levels are very low, and I cannot concentrate correctly on my training."
"Where were you headed to?"
"Then I suppose you go, but come back here afterwards."
"Just trust me."
"Okay. I should be about an hour or two, because I would like to say hello to everyone before I leave."
"Okay. Don't rush."
"Good. Now, go take a shower."
I nodded my head with a smile on my face. With one last look, I turned from Reese and exited the store onto the open streets. The orphanage was only a few more steps ahead, so I walked quickly up to the open lot in front of the orphanage. Finally, I opened the door to the orphanage and entered the lobby, where an orphan sat eating.
Without drawing attention, I rang the bell on the front desk, to call the computer program. It took a moment, but the computer program showed up at the desk.
"Visiting hours are... The computer paused. "Vern'e!"
The orphan in the lobby jumped out of their seat and ran over to me. "Vern'e is it really you?"
The orphan smiled then hugged me tight. The computer interrupted the reunion between the orphan and I. "What are you doing back here so soon?"
"I need a shower, very badly."
"I'd say. Your entire face is covered by a full layer of dirt along with the rest of your body."
"I am very aware. I can feel it."
"True. Well, here are the keys to your room."
"Thank you." I grabbed the keys.
"Vern'e, another thing I noticed is your body size. Your muscles have more detail to them, and are much larger in size."
"I know, and it really feels good to have muscles of this size."
"Happy to know that."
I chuckled a little laugh then walked toward the stairs that led to the upper level where my room was. On the way up, I saw parts where Black Matter's pawns attacked. The walls were burnt in some places, while in some areas there were dents in the walls, and even some areas were just completely demolished to nothing.
In my mind, I saw flashbacks of that night. Fire burning down the walls, the teen's scream of death, the thumping footsteps, Black Matter's laughing, etc. All of these flashbacks caused me to shed a tear on the midnight blue carpet. As I approached my room, I began to feel different, because this was the spot where it all happened. Where I met Black Matter, learned of my origins, and shot my first Rosna attack by instinct, as an attempt to kill Black Matter.
I opened the door to my room and entered. The room was exactly the same as before, and nothing had been moved or even touched. The bed wasn't made, the towel from my last shower sat on the floor; it was all still the same.
The bathroom was no different either. The shower was still set on the amount of hot and cold water I like mixed. That was easy for me though, because I didn't have to bother setting the water temperature how I like it. I undressed, started the shower, then finally stepped in under the hot water.
The hot water felt so nice pouring over my body, as if I were relaxing in a sauna. I ran my hands through my hair, watching the dirt and grime run down the drain. I closed my eyes and reached out for the shampoo button. While pushing the button, shampoo shot out of two tubes into my hair.
Rubbing the shampoo into my hair felt so nice and relieving. My fingernails dug deep to the surface of my scalp, then I scratched all over the surface of my scalp. I finished off by scratching my entire head clean of dirt and grime. I rinsed my head clear of the shampoo and began to do the quick wash process, where your entire body is sprayed clean of any muck and filth with a special formula.
I rinsed myself with a full body of water one last time then turned the shower off. I stepped out onto the floor, dragging a line of water along with me into my bedroom. I used the towel on the floor to dry my body clear of water, instead of using another towel. I leaned down near the drawer where my clothes were and slid the drawer out.
My only choice was a white shirt with a red logo on it, with a set of white pajama-type pants, so I grabbed them and slipped them on. I put on my old shirt and pants over my new clothes, so that I didn't have to waste them. I slipped my shoes on, and-with one last look-exited my room.
In the lobby, I said my last goodbyes to the orphans. "Well, I wish very dearly that I didn't have to leave, but I must to keep you and the entire planet safe from "him"."
"Then I guess this is farewell Vern'e."
"This may be my last farewell, so keep them all safe."
"I will, now go. The world needs you most now."
I exited the building, then stopped a minute and thought of what I needed to do next. I remembered; I needed to go back to Reese's shop for whatever he had planned for me. I walked out of the lot, onto the street that led down to Reese's shop.
As I walked closer to Reese's shop, I kept thinking if this was bad. Coming to Salt Lake City with Black Matter's deception at risk. By the time the thought left, I was standing before Reese's store.
Inside, it was dead. Not a sound was in the store, so I figured it was being closed down. Reese walked out of the hallway that led to the back and greeted me.
"You feel better Vern'e."
"So, why did you want me to come back here?"
"You said you were hungry for a meal, so I stored away an entire food supply that'll last you those five years."
"Yes." Reese then held out a cube with metal sides and a hole on the top. "All you have to do is say the type of food and drink you want, and the cube will do the rest, by extracting the food from that hole."
"Thank you so much for all you've done."
"You are mine to care for, so I must provide you with all you need, in order to succeed out there."
I grabbed the small box then tucked it in my bag. "Thank you."
"Welcome. If you need anything at all, just come here, and I'll do all I can to help."
"I will, just watch yourself, because I think Black Matter may be watching us now."
"Don't worry, I'll be just fine. Do you need a lift back to the Dry Wastelands?"
"No thanks. I'll just walk."
"Are you sure?"
"Then go, the world needs you now."
"Right." I waved one last goodbye to Reese then exited the building.
* * *
The Dry Wastelands were cool, due to night settling in. Once I set my bag on the mesa, I grabbed the small box that Reese gave me so that I could make myself a meal. I set the box down on the mesa, with the side where the hole was facing the sky. My stomach began rumble again, so I took a breath and began to say what I wanted.
"I want a nice fatty steak with the BBQ sauce next to it on a plate. Also, a baked potato mashed up next to the BBQ sauce Lastly, a Pepsi, fork, and a cutting knife."
The box shook, then the hole began to spit out the food I requested on a plate, with a fork, knife, Pepsi, and BBQ sauce. It was all cooked and sizzling, kind of like the Pop Rocks candy when it is put in your mouth.
I wasted no time and immediately dug into the steak by cutting it into small cube-shaped bites, being careful not to cut fat away from each cut. I grabbed the fork and struck it into a fatty piece, dipped it deep into the rich BBQ sauce, and finally stuck it in my mouth.
The taste was phenomenal. I nearly fell into my own little heaven but managed to keep myself eating the steak so fast that you couldn't see my fork devouring the steak to nothing. The steak was gone in a matter of minutes, then I moved onto the baked potato.
I opened the Pepsi, before I took a bite of the baked potato. I swirled the Pepsi in my mouth before swallowing, to sink into the Pepsi taste in my mouth. The Pepsi was gone in only about two or three minutes, along with half of the baked potato.
I finished off the baked potato by swirling it into the BBQ sauce then burped so loud it shook the entire ground. "Excuse me." My stomach was settled, as I began to get tired. Apparently, an imaginary symptom I called steakitis was beginning to kick in, so I walked over to the mesa and sat in supine position; facing the stars. In mere seconds, I was asleep into a sweet dream, instead of a nightmare.