The Vengeance of Hibagon is the fifth chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on January 5, 2016.
Right now, it’s weird.
All of us are on the airship, looking at the holographic image of the piece of the Kur Stone, again, even though my dad’s been studying it ever since we got it, and it’s pretty boring.
I was looking through a magazine of some kind, and Sarah and her family seemed just as bored.
“There, you see?” Dad said, gesturing toward the stone piece. “When I enlarge it, the projection of our Kur Stone piece, there’s a chip in the surface right here. What does that tell us?”
“That that’s where you guys separated the whole thing into three pieces?” Zack suggested.
“Or that it’s a very old rock?” Mom said. “You’ve been studying that thing for days, Doc. I think you’re seeing things. Take a break.”
He just shook his head. “Breaks are for people without mortal enemies searching for the key to ultimate power.”
“Not unless you have a family to take care of,” Raylee muttered, but he ignored her.
“What about showers?” I asked Dad. “Who are showers for?”
He stared at me.
“Somebody had to say it, Dad,” I said.
He lifted his armpit and smelt himself. He sighed, then turned back to the hologram. “This Kur Stone fragmentize our only hope of finding out Argost’s next move is. There’s no time to waste. Even for personal hygiene.”
“Hey, big man,” Mom said. “We all want to stop Argost, and we're going to. We’ll figure this thing out, but not by letting it take over our lives. You need rest, food.”
“Food,” he repeated. “Food sounds good. I’ll eat in here.”
Mom grabbed two slices of bread, and, for some reason, a pet brush.
She brushed some of Fiskerton’s fur, which he liked, pulled the loose fur from the brush, and laid it on the bread, making it a sandwich.
I started to smile and looked forward to what’s about to happen.
Sarah, Zack, and Raylee seemed to feel the same way.
“Ok,” Mom whispered to us. “A good scientist stays focus on all his surroundings, not just one piece of evidence, something your father seemed to have forgotten. So this should wake him up.”
She handed Dad the sandwich.
He took it without even looking at it, then he took a bite out of it.
“Thanks,” he said, completely oblivious to what was between the slices.
Raylee started laughing, but tried to stop by covering her mouth with both her hands.
All of us were stunned.
“Well, he’s lost to us now,” Mom said.
Then we heard the video phone ring in the background.
“Huh,” Mom said. “Maybe that’s Doc’s stomach calling his brain.”
Mom went to go answer it.
Raylee totally lost it there. Even Zack and Sarah couldn’t contain a few giggles.
“I’ll be right back,” Raylee said in between laughs.
She continued to laugh all the way out of the room.
“Your mother watches a lot of comedy,” Amber said. “Sometimes she laughs at the most stupidest jokes of all time.”
“I think she laughs at those jokes because of how stupid they were,” Shillow said. “Not because they were funny.”
“No, I think it was because they were funny to her.”
“No, they were stupid to her.”
“No, they were—”
“Alright,” Sarah interrupted. “It doesn’t matter why my mom laughed. And what Drew just did was a little funny. Besides, I know my mom, and she only laughs when she thinks it’s funny.”
“Told you,” Amber said.
“Stop it,” Zack said.
“Umm, ok,” I said, confused.
I turned back to Dad. “Dad, seriously. You need a break. Maybe we could go a couple rounds in the mini-gym, my claw versus your battle glove. You can help me work on my cryptid powers.”
“Zak, this is important,” he said without even looking at me.
I leaned back in the chair I was sitting in and sighed. “Promise me if I ever go super obsessive about something, you’ll snap me out of it before I eat a hairball sandwich.”
Sarah laughed. “There’s a good chance we’ll have you eat it first, and then snap you out of it.”
“Because it would be funny to see your reaction when we told you you ate it.”
I couldn’t help but smile at that.
I felt the airship move, and Mom and Raylee came back into the room.
“Why are we changing course?” Dad asked Mom.
“Oh. You noticed,” she replied, then turned serious. “That call was doctor Yoshico. Trouble in Japan. Looks like we’re gonna have to forget about Argost for a while.”
“What? But . . . is it really that important?”
“Well, it’s our kind of trouble.”
He sighed. “Alright.”
Mom smiled with satisfaction.
“So exactly what kind of trouble is going on in Japan?” Sarah asked.
“There’s a cryptid terrorizing the city of Tokyo,” Mom replied.
“What kind of cryptid?” I asked.
“I don’t know. But we’ll find out when we get there.”
After we arrived in Tokyo, all of us, except Komodo and Zon, got out of the airship and started walking through the city.
Everything seemed calm at the moment.
There were a lot of posters, action figures, balloons, and other things of Argost everywhere we looked.
“This is suppose to be us forgetting about Argost?” Dad asked.
“What?” I said. “Japan is Weird World’s number one fan base.”
“Look at this garbage,” Dad said, gesturing to the people buying the posters and action figures. “Are they blind to what Argost is really after?”
“My answer is yes,” Raylee said.
“How can so many people fall for that lunatic’s act?”
“Well, do they really know him like you guys do?”
“I guess because their lives are just so very empty,” I said. “I’m gonna take a moment and be sad for all those Argost fans.”
“What?” I asked him.
“You’re weird,” Sarah said.
“What’s weird about that?”
“It’s just—never mind,” Zack said.
“No, really. What?”
“Nothing, Zak,” Sarah said.
I decided not to press her on telling me.
We walked past a guy selling Argost action figures. My family and the Hollingers continued on without paying too much attention.
“How much for the talking Argost figures?” I asked the guy. “Now, I warn you, I’ve hackled with street venders from Cairo to Cawala Lamoure, so—”
“For you, free,” the guy said.
“Really?” I asked, surprised.
“Of course not. This is a business. Give me twenty dollars.”
“I’ll give you ten.”
“You just said twenty.”
“My time is valuable, and you are wasting it. Thirty.”
“Ok, ok, I’m paying—”
Suddenly, the blade of a sword appeared out of no where.
But it wasn’t pointed at me.
“Don’t pay him that, Zak,” Sarah said, standing right next to me, holding her sword’s blade inches from the guy’s chest.”
“Sarah, what are you doing?” I asked, but she ignored me.
“Listen here, you ass,” she said to the guy. “He’s going to pay you your original price, which is twenty, and you’ll never see us again. Deal?”
“Ok, ok,” the guy said, clearly frightened.
Sarah turned to me. “Go ahead, Zak.”
I quickly got over my shock, gave the guy twenty dollars, picked up an Argost action figure, and put it in my backpack that I was carrying.
Sarah sheathed her sword. “Let’s go.”
I looked at the guy. “Sorry.”
Sarah and I ran in the direction to where both our families were headed, who still hadn’t noticed are short absence.
I caught Sarah’s arm. “Why did you do that?”
“He was ripping you off, Zak,” she replied. “He kept raising the price for a stupid reason, like he didn’t have better things to do then just stand out here selling useless crap. Now that’s a waste a time. And it’s not like he had much, if any business, anyway.”
“That doesn’t matter, Sarah. You could’ve gotten yourself into a lot of trouble for threatening him like that.”
“Oh, relax. If something bad did happen, my mom would’ve taken care of it.”
“Well, we have powers that can do almost anything, so she probably would’ve erased the guy’s memory of ever seeing us.”
“Ok. But why did you call him an ass?”
“Because he was acting like one. Now can you please stop asking questions and forget that it ever happened?”
I sighed. “Fine.”
We got back to where are families were, which was at the corner of a street.
“Alright,” Dad said. “We’ll do a quick look around. If we don’t see anything soon, we should head back. We’ve got more important work to—”
Suddenly, Dad burped. “Pardon me.” Then he clutched his stomach with both hands. “Oh. Stomach.”
Mom was trying to contain her smile, but no one else was.
“I think his stomach finally got through to his brain,” Zack whispered to Sarah and I.
Dad burped again, and a small piece of Fisk’s fur flew out of his mouth. He caught it in his hand, looking confused. “That’s odd.”
“Yes,” Mom agreed. “That’s very strange. So Yoshico said the creature sightings were all over the Hiroshima District. I’m sure if we poke around a while, we’ll run into—”
Suddenly, the animals started growling.
“What is it?” Raylee asked them.
“Something’s coming,” Shillow said. “Something big.”
Suddenly, a man ran right past us, knocking into Mom. She stumbled into me, and I caught her.
We heard stomping down the street where the man was running from, so we looked behind us and saw a big gorilla coming our way.
Most of us were in its path, and it was coming fast.
Something wrapped around us all and pulled us out of the way just in time before the gorilla barreled past us, chasing after that guy.
“Thank you,” I heard Mom say.
I noticed the thing that wrapped around us was a tail. It retracted back to where it came from.
“You’re welcome,” Amber said. “Gotta look out for my cubs.”
I remembered Raylee saying that one of the animals powers was the ability to extend their tails to as long as a mile. It was a little weird.
We focused back on the big gorilla.
“Zak, see if you can calm him down,” Dad said.
“Cryptid powers on the big guy,” I said, pulling the claw out from hanging on my belt. “Got it.”
We ran after the big gorilla.
He turned a corner a block ahead. When we caught up to him, we found that it lead to a dead end by a brick wall, trapping the guy he was chasing. He had the guy in his huge hand.
I slingshot my claw onto his shoulder.
“Good, gorilla,” I said, then activated my powers. “Now let’s just put the dirty rude man back down, ok?”
I didn’t feel any connection to him through my powers.
The gorilla threw the guy at us, knocking us all to the ground. Then he jumped over the brick wall behind us and he was gone.
We all got up from the ground.
“There was nothing,” I said. “He didn’t even flinch. That’s never happened before.”
“That’s because he’s not a cryptid,” Sarah said. “At least, not on the inside, he’s not.”
“What do you mean he’s not a cryptid?” I asked her.
“Well, my aura can attract an animal, or cryptid, and it can also tell whether a creature is an actual creature, or a human being wearing a costume. And that gorilla is not a real gorilla.”
“Then what is it?” Zack asked. “A human?”
“I’m not sure,” Sarah replied, looking troubled.
“Let’s find out,” Dad said.
He jumped over the brick wall, and the rest of us all followed, doing the same.
We caught up with the gorilla. He was running into the streets with a lot of cars going by and people walking on the sidewalks.
Mom jumped onto a truck, unslung a Cortex disrupter from her shoulder, and fired up a blast, but Dad pushed it down.
“Ok,” she said. “That is really throwing off my aim.”
“Too many pedestrians for the cortex disruptor,” Dad said. “Wait until he moves to a less populated area.”
We ran after the gorilla.
He jumped onto a car, smashing it flat, then climbed up the bridge, going to the train station.
“Wow,” Mom said. “I guess he’s got a train to catch.”
A train was passing by the gorilla, and he jumped onto it.
Mom and Dad used their grappling hooks to get up the bridge and onto the train. Then they continued to chase after him.
Raylee and her pets followed behind. The rest of us were a little slow.
“This is going to be weird,” Sarah said.
“You got that right,” Zack agreed.
He wrapped his arms around her waist, and up they went, flying as if he had wings.
I climbed onto Fisk’s back, holding on as he climbed up the bridge, and then jumping onto the train.
We ran toward the front of the train, since that’s where our parents were chasing the gorilla. We noticed a train going the opposite way right next to us, and the gorilla was on it.
Still on Fisk’s back, I slingshot my claw toward him. It latched onto his back, which was a mistake, because it got him to notice me, and he began running toward the other end of the train.
Unfortunately, the claw was still latched onto his back, and it pulled me along with it.
I was holding on for dear life.
The gorilla jumped off the train, and continued to run beside it. I hit a trash can, which really hurt, but I was able to grab the lid from it, and slide it under my feet, using it like a sled.
The gorilla stopped suddenly.
He grabbed the cable of the claw from his back, swung me around, the lid flying out from under my feet. He let go, and I landed on the train tracks, right in front of an on-coming train. The claw had slipped out of my hands, and was lying next to me.
I noticed my family and friends coming toward me.
I was seconds away from being hit by the train. I stood up, but it was too late. I was out of time.
I closed my eyes, and braced myself for impact, hoping for a miracle.
“Zak!” I heard Mom call.
That was probably the last time I was ever going to hear her voice again.
Then something knocked into me, pushing me over, and I landed on the hard ground. I heard the train run by right next to me, but I didn’t feel it hit me.
I was lying on my back, and something was on top of me.
I opened my eyes and saw Sarah looking down at me. Then I realized what she did.
She knocked me over to the other tracks where there wasn’t a train coming so that I wouldn’t get run over.
That was brave.
“Are you ok?” Sarah asked me, looking down at me.
“Yeah,” I said.
She was still on top of me.
We were looking into each other’s eyes, our faces only inches away, and I don’t think either of us wanted to move.
That is, until, someone cleared their throat.
Our families were standing next to us.
Sarah stood up and offered me her hand. I took it.
Mom embraced me in a hug. “I’m so glad you’re ok.”
“Yeah, thanks to Sarah.” I turned toward her. “Why did you save me, anyway?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” she said. “It’s not like I hate you or anything.”
“That was risky, Sarah,” Raylee said.
“I know. But I guess you could say it’s in my blood.”
“Well, you are the Protector of America, aren’t you? You do risky things all the time.”
“I guess that’s true.”
“He’s here,” Shillow said.
I didn’t know who she was talking about. Then Fisk pointed, and I noticed the gorilla hanging down from the bridge above us.
“If you value your lives, you will pursue me no further,” he said. Then he jumped onto another on-coming train, and he was gone.
“Did that gorilla thingy just use the word ‘pursue’?” I asked.
Purrsuuuue, Fisk repeated.
“Yes,” Zack said. “And that makes me want to chase him even more.”
“I know,” Sarah agreed.
“What?” Toto asked, sounding a little offended. “You guys act like you’ve never heard an animal talk before.”
“Yeah,” Chewie agreed.
“Well, you guys can only talk because I made collars that allow you to,” Raylee said. “But how he can talk is a different story.”
“I told you he wasn’t a cryptid,” Sarah said. “Though he feels like one on the outside, but not on the inside.”
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
“It’s hard for me to explain.”
“Well, let’s see if we can find him with the airship,” Mom said.
“I can teleport us all there,” Raylee said.
“The faster we get there, the better,” Dad said.
“Ok. Brace yourselves.” She raised her hand, and it glowed white.
Then we were in the control room of our airship.
“That is so cool,” I said.
“Thanks, Raylee,” Mom said.
She smiled. “You’re welcome.”
Mom went to the controls, strapped herself in her chair, then she powered up the airship, and we were in the air.
We decided to follow the train that the gorilla jumped on.
“I wish we knew where that gorilla’s headed,” Mom said. “Then we could wait for him there.”
“My guess is that he’s going to Tokyo Harbor,” Kimbia said.
“How do you know that?” Sarah asked him.
“He must’ve heard that guy in the alley say that,” Zack said. “I did, too.”
“I didn’t hear him say that.”
“Neither did I,” I said.
“Well, we do have super hearing,” Raylee said. “So we would hear something before someone with normal hearing would.”
“Ok.” Mom turned to me. “Any match on the footprint scan?”
The controller was blinking.
I picked it up, and pulled it up on the big screen in front of us. It showed a picture of the gorilla and it’s cryptid name.
“Hibagon, from the Mount Hiba region,” I said. “It’s definitely a cryptid. So what happened with my powers?”
“Well, that Hibagon is a human,” Sarah said. “I’m sure of it. You can’t control humans, Zak. Only cryptids.”
“Well, then how do you explain the human inside a Hibagon body?” I asked.
“Well, my mom can turn into any kind of animal she wants. Can you demonstrate for me, Mom?”
“Sure,” Raylee said.
She lifted her hand, it glowed white, and suddenly her body transformed into a cheetah.
“See,” Sarah said, gesturing toward her mom. “She has an actual cheetah’s body on the outside, but she’s still a human on the inside.”
“So you’re saying that the Hibagon is like you guys?” I asked.
“He can’t be,” Zack said.
“No,” Raylee agreed. She turned herself back into a human. “Our powers can feel the strength of someone else’s powers if they have any, like with your powers, Zak. But Zack and I didn’t feel anything from that Hibagon. So he had to have been turned into an animal some other way. We Immortals can turn other people into animals, too.”
“Do you think another Immortal did just that?” Sarah asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t see why, but I guess you never really do know why the perpetrator does anything until he tells you why.”
“Maybe your dad’s run into something like this before,” Mom said. “I—” She stopped, narrowing her eyes. “Where is he, anyway?”
I looked around the room.
I guess none of us had realized he was gone until now, but I bet we all knew where he was.
Mom pulled up the video monitors in the airship and found Dad in the back, looking at the holographic piece of the Kur Stone. Again.
“Doc,” Mom called.
He was startled.
“I thought we were putting Argost aside,” Mom said.
“We are,” he said, turning the hologram off. “I—I just—Do I have to justify my every—”
The control right next to him started blinked.
“Now I lost my place,” Dad grumbled.
“Dad, Dad, Dad,” I said, shaking my head. “Do you want some pointers on how not to get busted for stuff your not suppose to be doing?”
“Darling,” Mom said to him. “Could you please focus at least some of that massive brain power on the problem at hand? We’re trying to track a giant here.”
“I’d start down there,” he said, pointing at the screen in front of him, showing a live footage of a forest outside with a line of a destruction of trees.
“Huh,” Mom said. “I think he found his stop.”
“Looks like it,” Amber agreed.
“He’s going to Tokyo Harbor, right?” I said. “Looks like gorilla man’s swimming the rest of the way.”
Mom sped up the airship, and we arrived there some time after the sun set.
She landed, and we all exited out onto the dock, waiting for the Hibagon to show up.
A little while later, he finally did, scaring the people that were loading supplies onto a ship. He picked up a crate and broke it with his bare hand.
Dad stalked toward him and shot a net around him to restrain him. Then the rest of us came out from hiding behind the crates and surrounded him.
Mom aimed her cortex disruptor at him. “Uh, hi there. If you can speak, I’m guessing you can reason as well. So let’s be reasonable.”
“I have nothing to say to the lucky’s of Shogi Fuzen,” the Hibagon said. “Tell your master my vengeance will not be stopped so easily.”
“Ok. We’ll be sure to do that,” I said. “Just as soon as you tell us who Shoji Fuzen is.”
“What?” he asked, sounding surprised. “But . . . he didn’t hire you to track me?”
Just then, and couple laser blasts went off from my left, hitting the weapons my parents were holding out of their hands.
We looked where the shots came from, and saw a group of men in suits with blasters on their wrists. Then we noticed a man standing on a ship behind them.
I’m guessing he was Shoji Fuzen, because the ship had the name Fuzen on it.
“Bring me the Hibagon alive and unharmed,” he said. “Deal with the others as you wish.”
“Fuzen?” Dad asked the Hibagon.
“I have escaped his men before,” he replied. “You will need me in this fight.”
“Actually, we really don’t,” Raylee said. “But I guess we could use the help.”
Mom unsheathed her fire sword and cut the net from around him.
Shoji Fuzen’s men started shooting their laser guns at us. The Hibagon jumped into the group of men and each of them ran in different directions.
The men that came after us we took care of. But the animals were nasty, clawing and biting them, leaving them with very bloody marks.
The Hibagon pounded the dock with his fists, causing a wave of wood to ripple in front of him, knocking a few men over the dock and into the harbor.
I liked that.
“Think you can do that again?” I asked him.
He didn’t say anything. He just hit the dock again with me, Sarah, Komodo, and Zack running toward the ship.
Once it passed under our feet, we were launched into the air and landed on the ship.
I kicked a guy in the face upon landing and knocked him out. Komodo and Zack tried to stop Fuzen from leaving in his helicopter while it was rising from the ground.
Komodo had turned invisible and bit his leg while Zack had grabbed onto his arm and tried to pull him out.
Fuzen somehow managed to kick them both off and out of the helicopter, and now they were free falling.
Zack used his powers to fly and grabbed Komodo. They flew down to the dock.
Sarah and I joined them.
For some reason, my talking Argost action figure popped out of the top of my backpack.
“Greetings and bienvenue,” he said, his usual catch phrase, then his evil laugh.
“What was that?” Mom asked while fighting one of Fuzen’s men.
“Just, uh, saving a baby,” I replied.
She had turned her head toward me, not noticing another guy coming at her.
“Behind you!” I said.
She turned just in time when he lifted a keg and threw it at her.
Mom held her sword straight up, and once the keg made contact, it separated into two pieces on either side of her, setting them on fire and just happening to land on the ship, setting it ablaze.
Fuzen’s men were all passed out around us.
We all gathered together.
“Wow,” I said to the Hibagon. “That Fuzen guy was kind of a jerk, huh? I can’t believe you thought we worked for him.”
“Who are you?” Dad asked him.
“My name is Professor Talu Mizuki,” he said. “At least, it use to be. My research was funded by Shoji Fuzen, a wealthy philanthropist, who turned out to be Tokyo’s biggest crime lord. A fact I learned much too late.” He told us about the invention he made that swapped animals and peoples brains into the others body, and how Fuzen meant to use it for evil. “I knew there was only one way to stop Fuzen’s plan: to take the Hibagon body myself. I stopped them, but the fire destroyed the device. Now I am doomed to live out my life as this . . . beast. At least I’m not without purpose. I will take out my revenge on the man who did this to me.”
Wow. That’s rough. I felt sorry for him.
“Professor Mizuki,” Dad said. “You have our sympathies, and we’ll help you anyway we can. But we can’t allow you to take the kind of revenge I think you have in mind.”
“I will not let Fuzen just walk away from this,” Mizuki said.
We heard sirens in the distance.
“Then don’t,” Mom said. “It sounds like half the Tokyo police force is on its way here. How much illegal merchandise do you think they’ll find in that big boat with Fuzen’s name all over it?”
“Let the police do their job,” Dad said. “Try it your way, and innocent people might get hurt.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “You’re an eighteen-foot gorilla guy now. Kind of tough to go subtle.”
“Yes,” Mizuki agreed. “Let him rot in prison the rest of his life for what he’s done.” He destroyed a crate right next to him with his hand, some of the debris hitting us. “It seams I now a creature without purpose. If you will excuse me, I would like some time alone with my thoughts.”
He ran off the dock and he was gone.
The police arrived, and Mom and Dad talked to them, telling them everything that happened. Then we started heading back to the airship.
“A day and a half here, and all we did was keep the good guy from stopping the bad guy,” Dad complained.
“Doc,” Mom tried.
“It’s my fault. I let myself get distracted from finding Argost. Who knows who much closer he is to finding Kur?”
“Dad, it’ll be alright,” I promised.
“No, it’s not alright, Zak,” he said. “We just gave our archenemy a massive head start. Argost couldn’t have planned this any better. I can practically hear him laughing at our incompetence.”
The action figure in my backpack went off again, playing Argost’s evil laugh.
“Tell me I’m not the only one hearing that,” Dad said.
“Busted,” Sarah whispered.
Everyone looked at me.
“Unfortunately, no,” Mom said.
I tried to make a run for it, but she grabbed my backpack, unzipped it, and pulled out the action figure.
Mom was shocked and mad. “You saved a baby?”
“He was somebody’s baby once,” I said.
“Yes,” Raylee agreed. “And I bet his parents are just so proud of him.”
“Doc,” Mom said. “What are we going to do about this?”
He grabbed the action figure out of her hand, placed it on the dock, and blasted it with his power glove.
“Feel better now?” Mom asked him.
“No,” he admitted.
“I do,” I said. “That was awesome. Come on. Let’s blow something else up.”
Boom, Fisk agreed.
“It’s not that easy, Zak,” Dad said. “Kind of think of it, it never is. If you ask me, Hibagon gave up his revenge a little to easily.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Raylee said.
“Where?” I asked.
“We have the scent of the Hibagon and Fuzen,” Shillow said. “So we should be able to find them.”
“Alright,” Dad said. “Lead the way.”
The animals started running through the city, and we followed them. They led us to a tall building, looking up at it.
We followed their gaze, and sure enough, the Hibagon was climbing the building.
“Wow,” I said.
Zack snorted. “King Kong.”
“Yep,” Sarah agreed.
“Guess his vengeance wasn’t so easy after all,” Mom said.
“We need to get to the top of that building,” Dad said.
“Let me handle that,” Raylee said.
She raised her hand, it glowing white, and we were on the roof.
We looked over the edge and saw that the Hibagon had broken a window into the second-to-top-floor, and was now holding Shoji Fuzen out over the city.
“Put him down, Mizuki,” Mom said.
“A very poor choice of words,” he said.
“Yeah, that really was,” Raylee agreed.
The Hibagon let go of Fuzen, and he fell to the ground hundreds of feet below.
I climbed onto Zon.
“Go, girl,” I told her.
She launched into the air and dived down the building toward Fuzen. I was able to catch him.
“Hi,” I told him. “You’re going to jail.”
He may have been in too much shock, so he passed out.
Zon flew us back to the roof and put him down.
“Nice work, girl,” I told her.
She cooed in response.
The Hibagon climbed up to the roof, and I pulled Fuzen out of the way.
Zon kept flying in the Hibagon’s face, and he didn’t like it.
He hit her right into a window in the building next to us. Her wings looked hurt.
“Zon!” I cried.
“I’ll go check on her,” Sarah said.
She summoned her Charizard out of his Poké ball, jumped onto his back, and flew toward Zon.
Dad was carrying Fuzen away from the professor, who was chasing him. He handed him to Mom, but by then the professor caught up, so Fiskerton grabbed Fuzen and started jumping from building to building.
I slingshot my claw onto a building and swung myself to where Fisk was.
He handed Fuzen to me, and we landed next to a water tower. I climbed it with Fuzen unconscious over my shoulder and the Hibagon right behind me. Fisk got above him, climbing backwards, keeping guard of me.
Fuzen woke up just then. “What—what’s happening? Where am I?”
“You’re a jerk,” I said. “But I’m trying to save you.”
“I can save myself.”
He struggled to get off, and making it hard for me to hold on.
“Don’t do that,” I said. “I can’t hold—”
He fell off and the Hibagon caught him.
He jumped to the ground, and held Fuzen up against a wall.
Fisk and I jumped down, and the rest of us all tried to save Fuzen.
“Don’t come any closer,” Professor Mizuki warned. “It’s over. Especially for Shoji Fuzen.”
“Professor, don’t do this,” Dad begged.
“He took everything from me,” the professor said. “He made me a monster.”
“I know. You swore to take revenge on this man. I know your obsessed with stopping him. I know it’s all you can think of, all you can imagine doing. I’ve been there. Maybe I’m still there. But nothing good could come of obsession, even if the cause is just. Shoji Fuzen may have taken your human form, but only you decide whether or not you’re a monster.”
“That’s true,” Raylee agreed. “You’re the only one who decides who you are. No one else.”
The professor seemed to listen to Dad. “Go. Take him.”
He let him go, and he dropped to the ground.
We all sighed in relief.
Dad grabbed a rope from his pocket and tied Fuzen’s hands together with it. “I hope the Tokyo P.E. likes him gift wrapped.”
“You know,” I told him. “You’re pretty good at this when you’re actually paying attention.”
“Well, that ended good,” Raylee said, appearing out of no where along with her family and Zon.
We had to agree with that.
We all got onto the airship, delivered Fuzen to the local police, then we helped the professor rebuild his laboratory in a cave.
“Thank you for saving what was left of the man in me,” the professor told us. “And for providing the means to continue my research.”
“I’m sure you’ll have your machine rebuilt in no time,” Dad said.
“And if you’re in the market for a body,” I added. “I’m willing to talk trade.”
“Uh, no. No, he’s not,” Mom said, putting her hands on my shoulders. “But do please stay in touch. You don’t have to be alone up here.”
“I won’t be entirely alone,” he assured her.
A white tiger ran up to him, and he petted it.
“Wow,” I said. “That thing’s awesome. Can you make me one of those?”
I approached the tiger. “Hey, guy. Hey, buddy.”
I was about to touch his head, but he roared at me.
I backed away for it. “Uh, I’m cool with the pets we have.”
Sarah and Zack laughed.
We said our goodbyes and boarded our airship.
“Still wondering if this one was important enough?” Mom asked Dad.
“Ok, yes, you made your point,” he admitted. “And without the need for more Fiskerton-fur sandwiches.”
“Figured that out finally, did ya?” Mom said.
“I deserved it,” he said. “I let Argost take over my life as much as Hibagon did with Fuzen. I’m sorry.”
The talking Argost action figure started doing its evil laugh.
I had gotten another one.
My parents looked at me.
“It’s for combat practice?” I suggested.
“Yeah,” Sarah said. “Sure it is.”
We took off from the ground and headed home.
Today turned out to be a pretty good day.
Let’s hope tomorrow will be an even better day.
After we arrived back at the Saturday’s home, I went to my room, grabbed my phone out of my pocket, and dialed my best friend’s number.
She picked up on the second ring. “Hello?”
“Hey, Selena,” I said.
“Sarah!” she exclaimed. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re alright. What took you so long to call me?”
“Sorry. I’ve been busy. So what are you doing right now?”
“I’m playing a game with Jessica and Demi.”
“Oh. Put me on speakerphone.”
I heard Selena press a button on her phone, and when she spoke again, her voice sounded a little far away.
“Alright,” she said. “You’re on speakerphone.”
“Thank you,” I said. “Hey, girls.”
“Sarah, shame on you!” Jessica said. “How dare you not call us for days?”
“Well, like I just told Selena, I’ve been busy.”
“With what?” Demi asked.
“With helping the Saturdays stop their archenemy from finding Kur and destroying all humanity.”
“Who are the Saturdays?” Demi asked.
“And who or what is Kur?” Jessica asked.
“Guys, I already told you,” Selena said. “The Saturdays are the people who helped out Sarah.”
“Umm, yes, they are,” I said. “How did you know that?”
“Zack visited me the other day and told me about it.”
“Of course he did.”
Selena is my twin brother’s girlfriend as well.
“He also told me something else about you,” Selena continued. “And I want to talk about it. But first, you explain to us exactly what Kur is.”
“Zack didn’t tell you?”
“It was confusing. Maybe you can explain it a little better?”
“Not likely, because we’re kind of the same, but I guess I can try to.”
So I explained to them what the Saturdays do for a living.
They didn’t quite understand that.
Then I told them about Zak’s powers.
They were just as confused as my family is about how he was born with those powers.
Then I finally told them about Kur, and they didn’t understand one bit of what I said about that.
“Umm, ok,” Jessica said. “That’s just weird.”
“Yeah,” Demi agreed. “Why are you helping those people?”
“Well, for one, they’re much different from most families we’ve met, like my family is,” I said. “And what they do is interesting to us.”
“Why?” Jessica asked.
“I don’t know. It just is.”
“Or are you just saying that because you have a crush on Zak?” Selena asked.
The other girls gasped.
My face felt hot.
“I’m guessing that’s what my twin brother told you about me?” I asked Selena.
“Well, that’s actually why I called you,” I said.
“Because you want to talk about it?” Selena asked.
“Oh, wow, Sarah,” Demi said. “You actually like him?”
“Is he cute?” Jessica asked.
“Can you send us a picture of what he looks like?”
“I actually do have a picture of him on my phone,” I admitted. “I’ll send it.”
I had taken a picture of Zak yesterday when he wasn’t looking.
Even though he looks like he’s looking directly into the camera, he wasn’t really. I’m surprised he didn’t notice.
I sent the picture to my friends.
After a few moments, they started talking again.
“Wow,” Jessica said. “He is cute. Do you think he likes you?”
“Umm, maybe,” I said. “But he’s kind of unpredictable.”
“Don’t you think that would be kind of weird, Sarah?” Selena asked.
“Why would what be weird?”
“Well, it’s just, he has the same first name as your own brother. Wouldn’t that be kind of awkward?”
“Oh my God, Selena. It’s just a name. I’ll admit, there have been a few annoying moments when some us call out their name, and it’s hard for them to know which of them we’re calling. But that doesn’t even matter.”
“Ok, ok. I’m sorry.” she said. “So what do you want to talk about, exactly?”
“Umm, never mind. I’ll just talk to my mom about it.”
“Oh,” Jessica said. “Do you want to ask us on how to ‘woo’ him?”
“What? No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
My rant was interrupted by a knock on my door.
“I’ve gotta go, guys,” I said into the phone. “Bye. Oh, and please delete that picture I sent you.”
“No, don’t,” I heard Jessica say right before I hung up the phone.
I laid my phone on my bed. Then I walked over to the door, and it opened automatically.
The person standing on the other side was none other than Zak, of course.
“Hey, Sarah,” he said.
“Hey, Zak,” I said. “What’s up?”
“Umm, well, I was wondering if we could have another sword lesson tomorrow?”
“I don’t see why not. How about nine o’clock?”
“That’s perfect,” he said. “Well, good night.”
“Good night, Zak.”
I stood in the doorway for another minute and watched him walk down the hallway.
It was so hard to tell whether or not he likes me.
“He’s great in some ways, isn’t he?” a voice behind me said.
“Yes, he is,” I said without thinking.
Then I realized who’s voice it was, and I turned around to confirm it.
I thought it was my mom who said that, but it was actually Zak’s mom.
My face felt hot again. “Umm, hi, Drew. By that, I meant—”
She held up her hand to stop me. “Save it, Sarah,” she said with a smile, which made me feel even more uncomfortable. “I know you like Zak, and it’s kind of obvious he likes you, too.”
“It is?” I asked her, surprised. “He sure doesn’t seem like he does.”
“Maybe not on the outside he doesn’t, but on the inside he does.”
I guess that kind of makes sense, but being told that by his mother was just weird.
“How did you know I like Zak?” I asked her.
“It’s kind of obvious with you, too,” she said. “Also, I overheard you talking to your friends just now.”
“So you were eavesdropping? And how did you hear me?”
“It’s my house, so I get to eavesdrop. And these walls are a little hallow.”
“Listen, Sarah. If you and Zak start dating in the mere future, I’ll allow it.”
“You will?” I asked, surprised again.
“Yes. You seem like a nice and smart girl, and I’m sure Zak will be happy with you.”
“No but. Just a condition. You’ll have to promise me you’ll never, ever, hurt Zak.”
“I promise,” I said without hesitation. “But if he hurts me or my family first, then I’ll have the right to hurt him back.”
“And I probably won’t blame you for that,” Drew said. “But if you hurt Zak first, he may or may not hurt you back, but I will. Understand?”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Good. Good night.”
“Good night, Drew.”
I went back inside my room and laid down on top of my bed.
That was actually kind of nice for Drew to allow me and Zak to date, with a condition, of course.
I wonder what Zak would think of that.
But at least I confirmed my suspicions that he likes me, even if it was from his mother. Now I have to think about what to teach him tomorrow.
I’m thinking . . . I don’t know.
I sat up, grabbed my scabbard, and unsheathed my sword. I swung it around a little bit, getting a feel of it, though I’ve used it many times for years.
You don’t learn by studying. You learn by doing.
I remember reading that from somewhere, though I can’t remember where.
I looked at my sword again.
I’m thinking . . . that it’s perfect.
It may be a little too soon to do that, but it makes it more interesting, and you do only really learn something by doing it.
I’m not going to tell you what it is I have in mind, but I will tell you that me and Zak could possibly lose some blood.
Or a lot.
I decided to go to sleep now.
I’m so excited about tomorrow that I could hardly wait.
It’s going to be bloody.
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