The adoption process for the baby boy Thomas and Sarah named Kaiser took many months, and was a complicated one. The couple was allowed to keep him in their home, however, there were many visits from a social worker to ensure he was living in a safe and caring environment. As for the paperwork, it was as if the child didn’t exist- there were no records of him, no birth certificate- nothing. When they finally were able to adopt Kaiser, or “Kai” as they called him, they had to start completely from scratch.
Sarah, who was now many months along in her pregnancy, tried to be the best mother she could to Kai. She adored him, and he seemed to adore her as well.
Kaiser’s mental and physical well-being were quite unique. He never got sick, and he never cried for any reason. However, he seemed to have a temper and was fairly easy to anger. Still, Tomas and Sarah remained patient and loving parents.
“Hey little one, how’s it going in there?” Thomas and Sarah were enjoying some much needed time alone one evening, and the proud father had spent much of it excitedly rubbing and talking to his wife’s very pregnant belly. Sarah smiled at him. “I think it’s a girl,” she said. “What makes you think that?” “I don’t know, I can just feel it,” She said, tears suddenly welling in her eyes.
“What’s the matter, love?” Thomas didn’t like to see his wife upset. “Absolutely nothing. I could have never imagined it would be this perfect.” They embraced, and kissed passionately, until without warning, a feeling of guilt and fear washed over Thomas. Everything came rushing back to him- the man in black, the blank crime scene, the child who was supposed to save the world- he wanted to tell her, but he didn’t know how.
The next afternoon, while Kai was sleeping and Thomas was at a job interview at Doo Peas Corporate Towers, Sarah went into labor. “What’s…happening…to me!” She screamed in the middle of a painful contraction. Despite her pain, she was able to call a taxi and make it to the hospital just in time.
While at the hospital, Sarah safely delivered a baby girl the couple named Nala. Thomas, who showed up a few minutes too late, was awestruck at the site of his new daughter. “I think she has your eyes,” Thomas whispered to his wife, though it was too early to tell. They were discharged later that day, and took their new baby home. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
“Come in,” Aerori beckoned Heturi from her office. He stood directly in front of her, but tried to avoid eye contact. ‘It has been done.” “Ah, yes. The family has been disposed of?” Aerori’s smile was not quite kind. “The infant got away,” Heturiknew it was no good lying to Aerori, as she would just read his mind anyway and become even more furious.
“What?!” Aerori’s fingers froze on the keyboard, and her red eyes seemed to glow with hatred. “Why?” She breathed. “Why would you let him get away? How is it possible?” “Detectives came. I didn’t have enough time. The baby is with them now.” “Why didn’t you finish them off?!” “I- I’m sorry.” “Damn right you are!” She screamed. “If this happens again, I will kill you!”
“I brought the device,” Heturi lowered his head and closed his eyes. He was becoming frustrated and could use a drink “Good. At least you can do something right,” she chuckled. “Now, let me see.”
Fastening the strange-looking pair of goggles to her face, Aerori began to summon the power within her. She felt excitement rush through her as electricity filled her body and her hand began to glow. And then, just as she thought her power would reach its maximum potential- it stopped.
“What the hell is this?! Why doesn’t it work you…you fool!” “I’m sorry, I don’t know why it wouldn’t-” “Grr…you let the child get away, and now- this?” “Well, what can we do?” “For now, we watch the child and see if he develops any powers, however, I have some other business to tend to, and I expect that the device will be working properly upon my return.”
When he was sure she was gone, Heturi reclined at the computer desk, attempting to drown his pain and confusion with a strong alcoholic beverage. He knew very well what “business” Aerori was tending to-she had to feed. They needed the life forces of humans to survive, which he found to be one of the most difficult aspects of their existence. He saved the baby because he wanted him to live; he wanted to save this planet. He couldn’t explain why, but his heart told him it was the right thing to do. As for his parents, they were already turning into the horrible creatures they were destined to become, and he did them a favor by destroying them. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The years that followed were comfortable and joyful ones. Kai and Nala were raised as siblings, and seemed to share a very strong bond from a young age. As toddlers, the two had many a fun hour at the activity table. “I gunna build big towew with the bwocks,” Nala said, holding her arms wide open for emphasis. “Oh yeah? My tower will be huge compared to yours!” Kai retorted. He was older, bigger, and stronger, and he knew it.
Their friendship continued to grow and blossom throughout their childhoods, despite their differences. Kai was tough, outgoing, active, hot-headed, and somewhat arrogant.
Nala, on the other hand, was quiet, gentle, studious, and sensitive. The two enjoyed each other’s company very much and would often stay after school to play together.
One Friday evening, the two decided they would satisfy their curiosity and explore the graveyard. “Did we have to come here at night?” Nala asked. “What’s wrong, are you scared?” Kai challenged. “Not at all,” Nala smiled with false bravery. “It’s just that it would be easier to see during the daytime.” Kai took her hand. “Come on, lets check it out.”
Y As soon as she entered the graveyard, Nala was no longer afraid. She took in the marble stones, the water, and the tranquility of the yard, and was in awe of it’s beauty. “You’re it!” Kai tapped Nala on her arm, bringing her back to earth. “Hey, no fair!” She yelled, giggling and chasing him. They two played Tag for quite a while, until taking turns being “it” was no longer entertaining.
When Tag had ended, the two settled on a stone bench behind the large monument. “Hey Nala, do you ever think I’m weird?” Kai asked, trying to sound casual. “Only when you say things like that,” she teased. “Seriously though,” his smile faded. “Sometimes I…I feel like I’m different than other people. I know it sounds weird but…it’s just how I feel.” Nala stared off, lost in thought. “Actually,” she began. “You seem like one of the most normal people I’ve ever met. You’re always smiling, you’re outgoing, and you’ve got tons of friends. Sometimes I wish I could be more like you.”
a “You really mean that?” “Yeah!” she smiled. “You’re the best brother I could have ever asked for. I hope were friends forever!” Brother. Something about that word bothered him. It seemed out of place, just like he felt. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Once in their teens, the “strange” feelings Kai had for Nala intensified. Hanging out with her became more awkward, but also more important and satisfying for him. He became convinced that he actually needed time with her, if only a few times a week. He didn’t know if she felt the same way, but he decided it would be important to find out, no matter how much the idea of telling her how she felt scared the living crap out of him.
He stopped her just as they were about to go home for the night. He took both of her hands in his, and she smiled at him awkward. He cleared his throat. “There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time.” He began. “Umm…okay. What’s that?” “Well actually, there’s something I’ve really wanted to do…”
They kissed deeply for several minutes, all the while Nala was feeling very weird about it. It had to be wrong- they were supposed to be brother and sister! To Kaiser, though, it was just right. He didn’t ever want to let go.
“Enough,” Nala finally pulled away, though they were still standing very close. “What are we doing?” “I-I think I love you,” the usually charismatic Kai stuttered uncharacteristically. “I love you, too. But…this is just wrong!”
As he watched her walk away, part of him wanted to stop her, but a larger part of him was too deeply hurt to even try, so he stayed rooted to the Earth.
“Dammit,” Kai thought. He was angry at himself for even trying. He took his frustration out on a rock near his foot. He kicked it into the air, sending it flying across the schoolyard until it shattered a classroom window. “Oh well,” he sighed, deciding it was time to go home anyway. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
After years of guilt and anxiety, a now elderly Thomas decided it was time for a certain important conversation he’d been putting off. So, he called his family to the dining room table. “Alright,” he began matter of factly. “I’ve put this off for too long. Some of this is going to sound a bit bizarre, so please keep an open mind.”
He told them all about the blank crime scene, the tiny baby that was Kaiser lying alone in his crib in the empty house, and the mysterious man in black. When it came to the destiny the man spoke of, the whole family became silent and serious. Kaiser spoke up. “How is this possible?” “I think it makes sense.” Nala said quietly. “You were always saying how you felt different.” Sarah began crying quietly. This was all too much for her.
“Now son, please-” “No Dad,” Kaiser interjected. “Please don’t say anything else. I don’t want to hear any more. I’m going to my room, so please leave me alone for a while.”
They left Kai alone in his room for two hours before it was decided that someone-namely Thomas-needed to talk to him. So, Thomas knocked on his door and hoped for the best. “What?” Kaiser’s muffled voice replied from inside. “I’m sorry for upsetting you Kai, may I please come in?” Silence. “Whatever.”
He took that as an invitation, and went inside. Kaiser was lying on his bed when he entered, but stood to face him as he approached. “I want to know where I can meet this man,” Kai said calmly. “I don’t know, son,” Thomas sighed. “I’m sorry, I have no idea how to find him. I...actually think he might not even be human.
“What do you mean not human?! Does this mean I’m not human? Am I some kind of supernatural freak?!” “I’m sorry son, I-” “Stop calling me that! You’re not my father!” As soon as he said the words, Kaiser knew what he did was wrong. “I’m-I’m sorry Dad. I didn’t mean that.”
“it’s alright, I understand. I’m sorry I can’t give you answers, Kaiser, I really am. But I’ll always be here to help you. I wish you didn’t have this burden.” “Thank you, Dad.”
As the two embraced, a new bond was formed between them. “There’s something else I want to say,” Kaiser said. “Of course; anything.” They separated, facing one another now. “I’m in love with Nala.” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
An hour later, Nala found Kai on the porch. She cleared her throat. “Father told me to come talk to you,” she said. “Yeah? What else did he say?” “That it’s okay, and to follow my heart. He said I would understand after I talked to you.” Kaiser smiled to himself.
“So uh, what is it exactly that you wanted to talk about?” “I never got to finish what I was saying the other day at the Playground,” Kaiser said. “Umm...then maybe you should go ahead now.” “You’re not going to run away this time?” “No.”
“Nala Parry, I love you, and I feel like we’re meant to be together. Would you be my girlfriend?” As she gasped, Kai took the opportunity and kissed her. This time, he sensed no hesitation from her. She leaned forward, and whispered in his ear, “Yes.” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
On the night of his twentieth birthday, Kaiser couldn’t sleep, so he went downstairs to watch TV. “Hello Kaiser Parry,” a strange voice said from behind him. Kaiser jumped up from the couch, prepared to fight. “Who’s there?!” “Quiet or you’ll wake your family,” the man replied. Kaiser took in his appearance: pale skin, black hair, solid black clothing. And then he remembered: this was the man who knew of his destiny.
“Forgive me for not properly introducing myself. My name is Heturi.” The two men shook hands. “You know who I am?” “Yes, I know much about me. Would you be willing to come with me? I’d like to test your power.”
The two men traveled on foot across Sunset Valley to the Waterfall on the town’s North Side. Heturi led Kaiser to what he believed to be the exact center of the vast field. “If you ever see others who look like me, do not approach them. They are more dangerous than you could ever imagine. They believe you are a powerful being who may be a threat to our existence, and our plan, and they may decide to kill you. Do you understand?”
“Umm, yeah I guess,” Kaiser scratched his head. “But uh, what is their purpose and what exactly am I?” “My kind needs to feed on the life forces of humans to survive. Your parents were an experiment of ours that went horridly awry. One of us decided to test what would happen if we fed our blood to humans. We fed our blood to your parents, and observed them for years without their knowledge. Shortly after your birth, to our surprise, they started turning into one of us, with power and hatred, and the desire to feed. They had to be destroyed. The night before we disposed of them, I had a vision, and in that vision you were to save this world. You see, I don’t like who we are. I don’t like killing, so when I saw the chance to end it all, I took it. “You killed my parents. I shouldn’t trust you.” “No,” Heturi shook his head. They were no longer your parents; they were monsters. If you want this to end, if you want a future, you’ll have to help me stop them. Put this on.” He handed Kaiser what appeared to be an odd looking pair of goggles.
“Now, focus all your energy. Concentrate hard, and achieve your power!”
Power surged through Kaiser. He felt the heat all around him and felt compelled to direct this great force, so he pointed his fist to the sky and a burst of blue and white shot into the air and through the clouds. “Remove the goggles now, Kaiser!” Heturi yelled over the thunder. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“Wow, that was incredible!” Kaiser smiled as he sat the goggles on the ground to cool. “Yes, but this is no joke. You are, as we thought, very dangerous. You must use this power wisely.”
“What now?” he asked. “You will certainly be in danger now that your power has been discovered. Our leader is psychic and will be aware. If you stay with your family, you will be putting them in danger, too. You should leave home tomorrow and find somewhere secluded to stay until you are more able to control your powers.” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Kaiser was ready to leave the next morning, after very quickly informing his family. He was taking nothing with him. When it came time to say goodbye, Nala was still in her room, most likely sleeping, and he did not want to disturb her. He didn’t have the heart to say goodbye to her.
“Goodbye son,” Thomas quickly hugged Kai, knowing it was quite possible he would never see him again. “We’re always here if you need anything.” “Thanks, Dad.”
Sarah hugged him tightly, then smiled bravely at him. “It’s going to be just fine, dear. Your father and I are always here for you.” “I love you, Mom.” He kissed her on the cheek.
...And so he set off on foot down the road. Kaiser tried not too look back as he left behind his family, his home, and his love.
He had only gotten to the end of the road when he heard someone running behind him. “Wait!” Nala called. He turned and waited for her to catch up. “Nala.” His heart broke at the sight of her. “Don’t leave without me,” she pleaded.
He grabbed her and they kissed more intently than they ever had before.
“You can’t come with me, it’s too dangerous,” Kai wiped a tear from her cheek. “I don’t care if it’s dangerous,” she sobbed. “I don’t care what it takes. I’m coming with you, even if you say ‘no’. I love you Kai, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s what I want, and I know you want it, too.”
“Yes,” Kaiser said. “It’s what I want, too. But are you sure? I’m not a normal person, Nala.” “I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.” “Well in that case...” he got on one knee. “Will you be my wife, and spend eternity with me?”
“Oh Kai, nothing would make me happier!” The two embraced, and for the first time in Kaiser Parry’s life, he cried.