It’s a quiet night. The corner of Willard and James is ominously dark. The traffic lights that we demanded have finally been approved by the city, and are set to go up tomorrow. As soon as people saw what happened to you, they rose up like a tsunami. I had eight hundred and fourty seven signatures within a day of your wake. I only needed five hundred. The city, of course, responds much slower, so it’s taken another year for it to actually get put into effect. The whole ordeal has brought the town together. People are friends again. Neighborhood parties. Just like it used to be. I just wish you were here to see it, brother.
One year ago.
Darren and Theresa are made for eachother. They have been together for over a year, and nothing can break them up–not for lack of trying. They have made it through a number of trials and tribbulations. Throughout the worst that life could throw at them they have survived. On this particular evening, they are taking a walk through their favorite forrest preserve. They sneak in once a week, and camp out. They’ve only been caught once, but the guard was a fan of Darren’s, so they pretty much have free reign. They pull up into the parking area across the preserve. Darren comes out, and opens the door for Theresa.
“You know, even after a year of that–it still doesn’t get old.”
“What woman wouldn’t want to be treated like a princess every day?”
“Well this woman must then be the luckiest in the world.”
“I wouldn’t say that–you’ve got me as a boyfriend.”
He looks at her with shock on his face–but quickly falls into laughter. They both laugh as they cross the street. They put on their headphones, when Theresa realizes that she doesn’t have batteries in her player.
“I’ll get a pair.” Darren puts on his headset–“Oooh! This is my jam!” He blasts it in his ears, as he goes back across the street.
Theresa proceeds to stretch for their walk. She hears the roar of two engines, going full-barrel. “Ricers. Eclipse and…STi?”
She turns to see Darren coming back across the street holding the batteries in his hand. He waves it and does a step back and a spin–in tune with his song. At that instant, the two cars–closer than she thought they were drift into the turn–twenty feet behind Darren. As he finishes his spin, he sees the cars barreling toward him. He tries to focus…to protect himself. The two drivers notice him, and slam on their brakes. The Eclipse–on the left from Darren’s viewpoint, starts to slow, as smoke from the burning rubber rises around it. The right car–a Subaru STi, as Theresa foresaw–does not slow–Darren hears the snap of the brake cables, and the driver–in desperation, turns to the right…at his fellow racer, to avoid the pedestrian. The collision of the STi’s front end into the Eclipse seperates the underbody spoiler of the STi from the car. It bends around the front end of the Eclipse, and half of it snaps off, and flies towards Darren. As he is almost ready to defend, the piece of carbon fiber spins, and the broken, jagged edge tears into his body like a hot knife through butter.
They say that you died instantly. Theresa, she blames herself. She thinks that if she had just put batteries into her media player, you would still be alive. She doesn’t believe in the Sisters, as you did, and as I do now. The STi spun out away from the Eclipse and took Terry down. She’s paralyzed from the waist down. She’s gone into a deep depression. It’s going to take some time and work, but she will hopefully get better–at least mentally. She still loves you, brother. We all do. I wish you were here. The gift you left me–your journal–you knew it was coming. You knew you were only meant to be here long enough to start a domino effect that would give rise to the First. You told me about that once.
Two years ago.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to tonight’s World Championship Fighting bout! Tonight we have the reigning champion fighter of the world–Terrance “The Terror” James defending his title against possibly the youngest challenger ever to make it to the Title bout, “The Daring One”–Darren Thomas!” The announcer’s voice thunders through the concert hall.
The entire world is watching–ever since the Great Fight began five years prior–a master effort between all the fighting corporations to just end the world’s “who could beat who?” curiosities. Boxing, wrestling, kickboxing—it was all put to the test all at once. In the first six moths, a champion was crowned, and stayed there–no one ever beat “The Terror”.
“Daring” Darren Thomas entered the competition in June–and still beat out every fighter ahead of him in line for the title. He–and his crew of fighters–brought into the mix the aptly named “mind-kata”. All over the world—a new martial art came into play.
The Mind-Kata is a trained ability to forsee your opponent’s moves. The longer you train, the more you can do with it. The highest level recorded was Darren.
“Will the fighters please take their stance? Gentlemen–you got in this to get in here now get in there and win! DJ–”
The theme from Mortal Kombat comes in, and the voice of the undying character of the game of the same name–Shao Khan–signals the beginning of the fight.
The fight goes on for an hour and a half. For every move, a counter, and for every punch, a miss. Evenly matched almost the entire time, even with the use of their respective Mind-Katas. Darren finally gets sick of pretending…and lets loose. He ducks under a left-moving roundhouse kick from his opponent, and creates a telekinetic field around his left fist. As he raises for contact, Terrance James turns and his face connects with the fist as it comes up.
“Holy Crap! Ladies and gentlemen…the HIGHEST MK rating ever recorded! An incredible blow! He won’t be getting up from that one!”
Darren stands above his fallen opponent. He is pleased with his victory. But with this application of power, he realizes that it is time.
“We have a new champion! “Daring” Darren Thomas!”
The crowd erupts in applause and cheers, but Darren’s thoughts are elsewhere.
As he is given the championship belt and trophy, Darren locks eyes with his little brother. At only 13 years old John Thomas has proven himself to be quite a fighter. Darren has been training him in the Mind-Kata, as well, and he has shown enormous potential. With his victory today, Darren knows that the beginning of the end has started.
An hour after the fight, at the celebratory dinner, Darren takes Michael aside.
“That was a great fight, bro!” Michael is still reeling from the excitement of the event.
“Yea, it was. Come outside for a second.”
“Is everything ok?”
“…” Darren doesn’t say anything. He moves through the sliding glass doors onto the balcony and waits for his brother. John walks out anxiously.
“What’s going on, brother?”
“There are three sisters,” Darren begins.
“Three! Throw a brother a bone!” John tries to lighten the situation.
“Shut up.” His expression is more serious than John has ever seen him, so he does as he’s told. “These three sisters follow every person from birth until death. Once in a great while, and only to a select few in the course of all history, these sisters reveal themselves to people. I’ve seen them.”
“Let me finish. I’ve seen them, and they’ve let me glance at my page of the Book. One. Page. Ever since then, I’ve simply been going through the motions. I know what’s coming, and I welcome it. I have to tell you, however, It would be nice to be surprised once. Just once. Excuse me, I have to meet my girlfriend.” Darren turns towards the door.
“Wait, what?” John almost doesn’t finish the question as at that exact moment, Terrance James, the loser of the final bout earlier that day, opens the door to the balcony.
“Hey, D. I want to introduce you to my sister.”
“Sure, man, good fight today.”
“Yea, definitely, I’m glad I lost to you, not one of those random jokers coming up the ranks. Theresa’s a big fan of yours. I think she’s got a little crush on you.”
As she turns around, Darren is awe-struck. He realizes that he had no clue of what she would look like. “Hi, I’m Theresa.” She extends her hand to shake his, but finds only air.
Terrance realizes what’s going on and nudges Darren. “Don’t be rude, man.”
Darren is snapped out of his daze, and shakes Theresa’s hand. “Sorry, I just…”
“I’m stunning, I know. It’s understandable.” Theresa smiles coyly, and winks at Darren.
“That you are,” Darren responds, and winks back. “Give me one second, I have to tell my brother something.” He walks back out to the balcony. “Ask and ye shall receive, brother. I was surprised. I didn’t realize how beautiful she’d be.”
John chuckles. “So what now?”
“Well now you wait until the party finishes, and you go to your room, I left a present for you.”
That was the last time we spoke of The Sisters. That was really the last real conversation we had. The amount of research that you’d done on The Book, The Sisters, the Great Order, and everything else, took me by surprise. I engulfed myself in it, and read every little bit. Even did some more research. Took me a year to finish it all. In fact, I finished with your journal. And I read the last page the night you died. I think you knew that was going to happen, too. I think you saw that on your page, and just didn’t tell me. I wish I had spent more time with you in your last days. But I guess that this is how you wanted it. I don’t know if you knew this, too, but I’ve joined the WCF Tournament. I have been training with your old crew. They say that I’ve got a shot at the title. We’ll see. I’m still in the Challenger series. Two wins under my belt, two losses. I wish I had that TKO move you pulled on TJ in your title bout, I wouldn’t have those losses.