Trials of the Junsuikaoni: Beginnings (Book 0)

Noah Gremory never wanted much out of life and has always enjoyed living humbly with his mother and older brother Caleb in their small textile district of the Wakaba Prefecture. You can say his life is nothing other than ordinary with the exception of just one thing…he lives in a post-apocalyptic world of demons. 450 years after the end of the “Cursed War” of the Junsuikaoni demons, which took the lives of billions and destroyed most of the planet, the world has been reborn, but the threat of the Junsuikaoni still remains, leading to a strict system of control for those afflicted. Noah never paid much mind to these things, as it had nothing to do with him, or so he thought. However, on the day of his 12th birthday, something changes in him. This leads to a series of events that propels Noah into the center of this world of demons that he doesn’t really understand and sets him on his path of destiny. Will Noah come out of this journey unscathed or will he succumb to the darkness?

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5. Night of Blood Stained Tragedy

 

 

# (Tekisu Enforcer Station, East Sector, Tekisu District)

 

Mikael shoots volley after volley of concentrated air blasts at the door, but his efforts are useless. Surrounded by a room full of thick metal, there’s no way his air blasts would pale in comparison. He bangs on the door relentlessly; praying someone will hear. However he’s certain that all the deputies are out responding to the massacre that’s sure to be going on right now and so wouldn’t be there. “Arghhhh!” He shouts out in frustration as he plops down into the chair. He places his elbows on the table and rests his head in his hand as he slightly slouches forward. “What a cruel fate. I’m probably the only one who could save them right now, yet I’m stuck in here.” He looks up at the ceiling, speaking as though to a person. “Have you forsaken them already Father?”

Just as he’s prepared to accept their miserable fate, the door busts open, sending it flying to the other side of the wall, making a loud clang as it makes impact; leaving a deep impression into the wall. “Oh, did I do that?”

Mikael looks up at the man in front of him. He’s tall, muscular and wears a hooded uniform, so his face is barely visible. This doesn’t prevent Mikael from knowing just who he is as he sucks his teeth. “You’re not going to let me have him now are you?” He chuckles. “This worked out just in your favor didn’t it?” He stands and looks at this mysterious man wearing an expression appearing as though he’s looking at a bug. Just as the man begins walking away, Mikael says, “Thank you for getting me out, even if you only did it so I’d be in your debt and you could get what you wanted. I won’t try to fight you on this, but please just tell me this, will he be able to find happiness there? Do you really think this is the best for him or is this all for your sake?”

The man looks back and finally changes his expression to one of a smirk. “Ask me again in six years.” Saying nothing more, he walks out, clutching his rifle; previously hoisted on his shoulder, as he goes.

Mikael sighs as he flips his hood up and exits the station. He faces the forest, trying not to take notice of all the screams. His heart aches for them, but he was never here for them and he couldn’t risk getting involved now; he’d never allow it anyway. He twirls the knit bracelet around his wrist, remembering how he’d finally been able to hold his son again after all this time. He sighs. “I would have liked a bit more time with him, but I guess watching him grow from afar might not be so bad, I’ll trust in his plan.” He finally looks back towards the village that’s burning, lighting up the night sky. “What kind of man will you become I wonder? Where will your destiny take you? I look forward to finding out and I pray you will be strong and not succumb to the darkness. See you again…son.” He walks into the thick of the forest and like a passing breeze; he’s gone.


                                         # (The Gremory Home, South Sector, Tekisu District)


Noah looks at his mother and Caleb staring at him with faces full of terror as they tremble before him, but he can’t understand why. He starts walking towards them, but stops when he sees their terror intensify. They look as though their looking at some monster. “What’s wrong, why are you looking at me like?” They don’t respond. He looks to his mother and leans forward. “Mom it’s me, don’t you recognize me?” She recoils away from his outstretched hand and it hurts him. “Mom, why are you….” He looks to Caleb. “Caleb, can’t you recognize me?” He reaches his hand to him and he too backs away. He feels as though he wants to cry, being rejected by his family, but then he notices his hands. He examines his fingers, which now look like razor sharp claws. “Huh?” He catches a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye and turns to look at it. As his eyes connect, he screams and jumps back. He wants to run away too and hide from the monster staring back at him, but then he realizes…it’s not moving. It’s just standing there staring straight at him, but it’s not attacking. In fact, it looks really familiar; as if it’s someone he knows. He walks carefully towards it and it returns his stride. As he reaches out his hand to touch it, his fingers finally make contact with glass. It’s a mirror? He’s suddenly struck with fear as he finally comes to the realization of the monster’s identity. The monster is me. He cries out. He backs away from the mirror as he continues to look at the monster he’s become. Now he understands why his family had been looking at him in such terror. He looks at his hands as tears start to flow freely down his face. He turns to his mother once again, who looks as though she’s torn between wanting to nurture him and wanting to run away. “Mommy.” He falls to his knees. “What’s going on? What am I? Why do I look like this?”

Maggie looks up at her son with tears in his eyes and realizes that despite how he looks and despite being terrified, he’s still her Noah. She finally finds the ability to calm down and starts to stand up and comfort him, but just as she gets to her knees, they hear a familiar voice call out. “Maggie are you and the boys alright?”

Rodney runs in to see what appears to be another of the several monsters he saw running her and reflexively goes on the defensive. He pulls out his gun; which is only allowed to be used in emergency situations such as these, and aims it at the monster, causing him to jump to his feet reflexively. This quick movement startles Rodney, causing him to fire a shot. “Stay back you monster! Maggie, take the boys and run while you can!”

“No! Rodney what have you done? That’s not a monster, that’s Noah!” She runs towards Noah, but stops short.

“Noah? No, what are you saying? That’s one of those monsters. It’s a killer! How could it possibly be…?” He suddenly remembers everything that wanderer had just told him and he has a realization. “I…I didn’t mean to!”

Caleb slowly gets to his feet as he looks warily. “That’s really Noah?” He joins them in staring in uncertainty.

They all stare on in shock as Noah just stands there, not reacting at all. “Why are you guys staring at me? I’m not a monster! You guys know that don’t you? I don’t why I’m like this right now, but I promise I wouldn’t hurt anyone.” He starts to shake. “I’m scared too you know! Mommy, I just want you to hold me.” Tears still fall.

Maggie steps forward slowly, but never takes her eyes off his chest. Finally Caleb speaks. “Noah, your chest.”

Noah looks down and sees why they were all so shocked. He’s got a bullet protruding from his chest, right around where his heart should be. I’ve been shot! I didn’t even feel it, how is this possible? He can hardly believe what he’s seeing, but as he stands there, the bullet slowly begins to stick out more and more, as though it’s being pushed back out. Am I healing? They all stand there quietly, unable to turn away. After about thirty seconds, the bullet finally makes its way out and falls to the ground. The hole has completely healed, if you didn’t see it, no one could ever know he’d ever been shot. They all look on in terror, unable to believe it.

“Noah….” Just as Caleb started to comment, two new voices could be heard as they ran into the room.

“Chief! Things are going crazy out there, its slaughter! We have to….” The two deputies finally notice Noah, though they only see him as a monster and act reflexively just as Rodney had. “Monster!” They take aim.

“Wait, stop!” Rodney tries to make them stop but they begin firing before he can fully say it, shooting Noah with several bullets, causing him to fall backwards against the wall. “That wasn’t the same type of monster!”

“Sir, what do you mean?” They look at him in confusion, not understanding what’s going on or why they were being reprimanded for it. They look at the monster and begin to notice it’s not very big. “Is that a kid?”

“Noah!” Maggie runs over to Noah, no longer afraid. That was her boy, no matter how he may look. “Noah, sweetheart, are you ok?” He sits, slumped over. “Noah, Noah!” She’s terrified that he’s actually dead, having been shot at least six times. She continues to shake him until finally she feels movement. “Oh yes, you’re….” Before she can finish, she sees Noah with eyes red with fury and a snarled expression as he begins breathing heavy. “Noah?”  He looks at her and suddenly she’s in fear again, looking into eyes different than before. Suddenly, Noah lets out a roar and swats his arm, sending Maggie flying across the room and into the dresser.

Caleb jumps up now and runs over to his mom. “Mom, are you ok?” She looks up weakly and nods. Caleb looks at Noah now. He’s stood up now and is looking at them all with blazing red eyes and a snarl really befitting a monster. Angry Caleb shouts, “Yo Noah, chill out! Look what you’ve done to mom, Look at her!”

Noah feels so angry he doesn’t know what to do, but somehow he understands what Caleb is trying to convey, calming himself long enough to look at his mom. She’s weakly propped against the dresser and looks to be in pain, tugging at Noah’s heart. This allows him to finally calm down and just as the final bullet falls from his stomach, he returns to his normal form. He wants to run to his mom and cuddle in her arms, but everyone is looking at him like a monster. He too, can’t forget how he looked in the mirror, causing him to be instantly disgusted at himself. Unable to stand the guilt as his mother lies in pain due to his actions, he runs for the door. “I’m sorry Mom, I’m so sorry!” He runs out after yelling this and is gone before he hears her call out to him.

Maggie weakly reaches up her hand to Caleb. “Sweetheart, you must go after him. He needs to know I’m not angry and I don’t blame him. I was scared at first, but I know he’s still my good boy and I want to help him. Please Caleb, tell him for me. Make sure he’s safe and they know he’s not a monster, not like those outside.”

Caleb clutches her hand. “I’ll go after him, but first we have to get you to a hospital. You contacted the dresser pretty hard and something could have been damaged internally. I want to make sure you get the help you need.”

Rodney speaks now. “I agree Maggie, you need to get some help. We’ll worry about Noah for you, but you should let Caleb get you to Hokkaido so you can be treated. We’ll be sure to keep the northern path clear for you. You need to make your escape right away though. The monsters have been cleared in this area, but more are quickly approaching, so we all must be swift. Do you understand? We’ll see to Noah, see to yourself now.”

“I understand. I’m trusting you Rodney, so please be sure to keep Noah safe and give him my message.”

“I swear on my life Maggie, I’ll do everything in my power to see that Noah is properly taken care of.”

Maggie smiles. “I knew I could count on you Rodney, just maybe when this is all over we could…” She coughs suddenly, a blob of blood sits in her hand. She suddenly looks as though she’s going to pass out.

“Mom! Just hold on ok, I’ll get you to a hospital right away. Let’s get you to the buggy. Can you stand?”

Rodney signals to the deputy enforcers. Well, what are you waiting for? Help them out!”

They jump at his sudden command, but quickly get to work with a simple, “Yes Sir!” They help lift Maggie to her feet as Caleb positions her arm around his shoulder, so she is supported by it once she’s on her feet. They all offer support as they slowly make their way to the enforcer buggy, which is an electric powered vehicle similar to a golf cart. They get Maggie in the passenger seat and Caleb takes helm at the wheel. It’s only a two seater, so they must go alone. Unlike the old fashioned cars though, they are easy as a go-karts to drive, so he’s fine.

“We’ll let you take it from here Caleb, I’m counting on you. You take care of your Mom, you hear?”

Caleb frowns. “I don’t need you to tell me, it’s MY mom, of course I will. Worry about your own problem.”

Rodney hates his smug attitude, but he knows now’s not the time and so he just says, “Understood, I wish you the best and Maggie a speedy recovery. I’ll check in when this is over. Let’s go men!” They run towards town.

Caleb looks at his mother, who’s now barely conscious. “It’ll be ok mom, just hold on. I’ll get you to the hospital right away!” He attempts to press on the accelerator, but nothing happens. “What’s this? It’s dead?”

He continues to try it to no avail, until he hears a voice suddenly come from behind. “Sorry, but it’s over.”

Caleb jumps around in the seat, whipping his head back to see who spoke, but he sees no one. “Over here boy.” This time the sound comes directly from beside his ear. He whips his head around to finally see someone. A woman with jet black hair down her back and wearing what appears to be a very revealing latex jacket, pants and boots smiles at him. She’s probably the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but she’s got a creepiness to her too that just spells bad news. He leans away from her as he says, “Where did you come from?”

She laughs in delight. “Oh how I just love the smell of adolescent lust and confusion wrapped in one delicious package!” She takes his chin between her fingers and raises it up, as though she’s going to kiss him.  She smiles seductively and says, “You’re quite the looker you know, it’s almost a bit depressing that I won’t get to play with you a little before dinner, but as it turns out, you’re not listed on my menu tonight. My son has already called dibs on you. Oh boys and their petty grudges, what’re you going to do right? I guess I’ll settle for her.”

Caleb finds himself so entranced by her that he can’t even look away, but he understands that she’s intending to hurt his mom. Is she one of them too? She doesn’t look like a monster though? Neither did Noah. She looks so young. She can’t be more than like 21. He hates that he feels so aroused by her when she’s clearly dangerous.

The woman smiles even wider noticing his arousal. Just like all the others, he is indeed a man. How disgusting!

Another voices speaks. “Mom, that’s my food! Don’t play with it like that! That old lady is yours, give me it!”

Caleb looks as a boy, seemingly around Noah’s age, approaches them. He sounds as though he’s an extremely spoiled brat, but he’s got the aura of someone far more sinister than the woman standing in front of him. He finally breaks his silence and speaks up. “Look, I’m not sure what’s going on Ma’am, but I’ve got to get my-.”

Her face suddenly twists in anger and she flings him, causing his back to slam against a tree, instantly immobilizing him. He can hear her yell out, “Don’t you call me that, I’m not some old hag! Do as you wish.”

“Mom! Look what you’ve done! You broke him! Now I can’t chase him! You stupid bitch!” She just scoffs.

“Please, as if you’re not going to have just as much fun devouring him bit by bit, be grateful I’m willing to give him to you and settle for this old bitch. If I cared to be a real mother I’d scold you for being a spoiled little shit.”

Caleb can hardly believe what he’s hearing. Are they seriously Mother and Son? She doesn’t look old enough to have a child that old and my mom and I would never talk to each other like that. Just what are these monsters?” Caleb watches as the woman approaches his mom, who’s now slumped over, completely unconscious. Just as he attempts to call out to make her stay away from her, he feels someone touch his side, causing excruciating pain through his back, causing him to yell out. He sees the boy standing in front of him through teary eyes and realizes why he struck so much fear into his heart. That’s the figure he saw in the forest. The one who was very close to killing him in that moment before that wanderer intervened. The fear in his heart was reborn once more.

The boy smirks. “Oh, so you finally remember me now? Good, now we can have lots of fun. I promised I’d get you next time. I never lose my prey.” The purple haired boy suddenly transforms, becoming a monster similar to Noah, though with more sinister intent. Unable to move, Caleb looks again to his mother, who is now on the ground, being mutilated by that woman. He watches mom be devoured, unable to help her.  I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you mom, or Noah. He finally goes numb, simply staring out until his conscious fades to darkness.


                                      # (Pathway between North and South Sector, Tekisu District)


Rodney faces the deputies. “I know what I said to her, but for our sakes, Noah must die. I’ll see that it’s done.” They nod warily and he continues walking forward, determined to “take care” of Noah, just as he promised.

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