So the time has finally come" Said a familiar elderly voice
Axel stood up and rubbing his eyes. Everywhere he looked was white as far as the eye could see. There were white tables, white chairs, as well as the walls and floors of the room. Even the clothes he was wearing were white. The only that did not appear to be white was the huge door that he had come tumbling through earlier.
As he marveled at the weird setting he was surprised to see an old man with long white hair and a beard sitting across from him at a long table.
The old man was picking up flash cards and examining them and then placing them back down.
"Who … are you...and where am I?" Axel asked
"Well that's one way to act act after barging into someone's home!" The old man bickered.
"What?" said Axel confused.
"You boy are in my mind!" And let me tell you things were confusing enough before you showed up!" The old man yelled
"What…? I'm in your mind? What do you mean?"
The old man just continued to shuffle through the cards, lifting up each one with a look of disappointment as he placed them back down.
As Axel observed his strange behavior he realized there was nothing on the cards. The old man was picking up and examining cards that had nothing on them.
"Hey... old guy…. why are you looking at pieces of paper with nothing on them?"
"It's not about what's on them it's about what's going to be on them!" He yelled arrogantly. Picking up one paper and putting it down.
"What are you talking about?" Axel said puzzled
Letting out a sigh the old man slid a piece of paper and a pen across the table to Axel.
"Okay, now I want you to write something on that paper"
"Okay…." Axel said, giving the old man a strange look. He began to write the letters AX before he was interrupted
"You are writing your name aren't you?"
"Yeh how did you know that?"
"Write something else for me and the answer will become clear," The old man said smiling. "Write something that only you would know."
Axel reflected on the memories of the day. The dream of the square, O'Brian's appearance, his run in with Lance. There were so many things to choose from.
After reflecting on his peculiar encounters with O'Brian he began to write the quote that O'Brien had mentioned earlier.
"In this world" Axel began to write.
"Of magnificence both beauty & chaos are in the eye of the beholder" the old man said.
Axel looked at the old man finally seeing the point he was making.
"So...you can read my mind?"
The old man rubbed his forehead and sighed before correcting Axel.
"No... Unfortunately I was not blessed with that gift." He grumbled picking up another blank piece of paper.
"I was given the misfortune of being able to see the future"
Axel's jaw dropped onto the floor. He knew Shifters were capable of truly amazing things but never thought this could be a capability. Controlling time and space was a power so incredible he could barely fathom how anyone would marvel at it.
"That's awesome!" He exclaimed. You could travel back through time…... or travel to the future!"
"Like Spiderman!"(Old man)
They said in unison.
Somewhere in Axel's reaction the old man had been copying the words Axel was speaking in perfect synchronization. As amazing as this was the old man seemed to be annoyed and bothered, made apparent by the childish voice he used to imitate Axel.
"Imagine every conversation, no every event in your life" He said sighing. "Was repeated in an endless cycle. No matter how hard you tried. Everything you did, you had to do twice. And depending on how bad you wanted to understand a situation, sometimes you could do things ten thousand times before you actually did it once!
Axel leaned back in his chair feeling attacked by the old man.
"Let me tell you!" He grumbled, "This conversation has a level of dullness I can't even begin to explain to you! It's like I'm repeating myself out loud and then hearing you repeat what I've already heard you say reacting to what I am going to say which I already know!
Axle's eyes begin to spin around in circles.
"Who are you exactly?" Axel asked
The old man stopped shuffling cards and looked up at Axel. His face was tightly held together in a disgruntled expression.
He let out a sigh before addressing Axel.
"I'm just an anxious old man who's waiting to die" "But enough banter you want to awaken your powers correct?"
Axel had a look of astonishment and opened his mouth before being cut off by the old man.
" Yes yes it's amazing I know that... now let me give you all the conversation of how I know without going back and forth I really like to save myself from repeating that conversation in my head out loud."
"Instead there's a door behind us can you see it? It is the only thing in this room that is not white." "That is the door to your mind. Open that door and you will find what you are looking for inside,"
"Uhhh and Yes is the answer, it really is that simple, however in order get what you want you have to make it all the way through your door without waking yourself up. If you fail to do that you'll fail to reach the other side.
Axel slowly approached the door. It was a dark black double bolted door with two doors on each side. On the door the word "Memories" was written across the top.
He looked back at the old man apprehensive about what lore on the other side.
"Good luck!" The old man said
Axel took one final breath before opening the double doors to see what was on the other side.
He arrived in a peaceful section of a city. A few feet in front of him he could see his child self walking with his mother. The sun was setting filling the horizon with a purple glow. As they walked holding hands child Axel and his mother came to a bridge with a beautiful lake below it.
" Axel honey, how many times do I have to tell you... you can't use your powers, we have to stay here, where it's safe."
" But mommy I see those people in the SPA use their powers all the time I want to be just like them!" Axel said
" And you can be, but not now…. right now we have to be safe! Right now we have to stay hidden until we can get somewhere safe only then can you use your powers you got it?" His mother ordered
"Yes, mother" child Axel answered
" Good now be a good boy and run to the corner store, here I'll give you a few dollars to buy a few treats."
" Thanks!" Axel said gleefully running off towards the store.
"How much longer can you keep this up?" a teenager said. He had red hair and a bandana with a V on it.
"Vincent?" Axel thought seeing a younger version of his older brother.
"Everyday you stay here it's going to become riskier" Vincent said
"I know.. But I dont want to live in the badlands with lawless bandits always coming after us" Hera explained.
"The best place to hide is here in plain sight, upper Atlantica the land of the humans."
"Id be there for you! Ill protect you until the end!" Vincent said valiantly.
"Vince, you have been so helpful all this time… The way you look over Axel he sees you as his older brother!" Hera said smiling "And even though you are not my child I still think of you the same!" She said smiling
"Heh, I dont think of you guys as family" Vince said crossing his arms.
"You guys are my family, silly" He said shaking his head
As Axel walked down to the corner store he walked under the bridge in the distance he saw a strange movement in the water. Running down the steps to the water's surface he saw in the distance a young girl flailing around in the water.
"Heellpp" She screamed.
As she stretched her arms towards Axel she was engulfed by water falling to the bottom of the river.
Wasting no time, child Axel jumped into the water trying to save the young girl.
"Wait a minute.." Axel said
"Why does this seem so fimiliar? Is this a memory?"
"Also… If I remember correctly Vincent didnt teach me to swim until I was"
Axels body began to overflow with power as a white light enveloped him.
"Thats right!" Axel said nodding his head.
"On this day I saved that girl!"
As child Axel sunk below the surface of the water, the water began to twist and turn. An enormous amount of pressure burst upward as a spiraling column of water spout out from the river. Water spouted out, covering the area in water as child Axel and the girl sailed across the sky.
After traveling some distance they landed on a grassy lawn near the rivers walkway. Axel leaned over the girl to check if she was ok. She was breathing but didnt seem to be cpnscious.
"What do you do again?" child Axel said shaking his head. "Is it mouth to mouth?" He lowered his head to reach the girls lips.
"Hey Whats the big idea!" The girl said punching him in the face.
"Ow… that hurt" Axel said rubbing his face.
The girl was quite strange looking. She seemed to have most of her face covered in a dark makeup that was very gothic. The water had smeeared all over her making her face hard to make out. One thing Axel could make out was the glistening gold pendant hanging from her neck. It looked very similar to his.
After taking in a breath and realizing what happened, she calmed down.
"Thanks.." She said getting up. "If you hadn't done… well whatever you did… I would have never got to finish my comic book!" She said hugging a comic that said "Wonder Woman"
"It fell into the lake and I jumped in to get it… but I cant swim…" She said rubbing her head.
"Then why did you jump in!" Axel yelled in disbelief.
"Thats none of your business!" She said crossing her arms. "You cant swim either! Why did you jump in to save me!" She said
Child Axel blushed, he wasn't ready to answer that question.
"Because I want to be a superhero! Just like Spiderman!" He said proudly.
"Why you want to become a superhero?"
"Because I have power… and If I don't use that power people will suffer just like you did!"
"What you have powers? What are you talking about?"
"Im a Shifter! I saved you with my water powers!"
As he spoke the words the girls eyes popped open wider than ever.
"Your a… SH-"
"SHIFTER!!! it's a Shifter! Theres shifter shifter is here! get him out of here! Within moments Axel was picked up and grabbed by humans and was being dragged off the bridge.
In the next second he heard a loud crash and was free from his captors grasp.
"BIG BRO!!! Axel shouted as Vincent picked him up running out of the city.
"Axel!" His mother cried following close behind.
"Times up Hera" Vincent said "We go to the badlands Now!"
""How much time do we have?" Vincent asked Axels mother. They were sitting together in a one room hut hiding.
"It's nighttime now… but as soon as the morning comes he'll find us…. And after that…. There's no telling what."
Knock knock knock!
The room filled with silence as someone approached the front door.
Vincent looked through the peephole to see who it was.
"SHIT!" He yelled "The New Human Alliance is here!"
"Hera! Take Axel and leave through the back door! I'll hold them off!" He yelled scrambling to his feet.
"We can't…" She sighed as she peered through the windows finding the other half of the home surrounded by SPA agents.
Before they had time to react the both doors were kicked down with an old man smoking a pipe walking through one side and a blond haired human on the other.
"I finally found you" A blond haired man said slowly approaching Axel's mother.