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Dawn of the Neo Human Empire

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A hot summer breeze came in through the window of Saburo's room. He yawned sleepily. The dead silence was nice and peaceful, after all the chaos and drama he had experienced in just the past month or so. For now, though, things were quiet. He leaned back in his desk chair, arms crossed, eyes closed against the light of the full moon. It had almost been too quiet lately. Neither Kong nor Kontaibo had anything for him lately, hadn't even asked to hang out in a while. Perhaps it was the silence that made him too restless to sleep this hot night. Despite it, one thought gave him comfort: At least Miyo is safe.

A sudden barking startled Saburo from his daze, and he accidentally let his chair, already leaned far back, drop. A few inches from the ground, however, the chair stopped, and slowly rose back to a normal seated position. "Phew... doesn't matter whether or not I use my psionic powers, that always makes my heart stop, hehe..." Saburo stood up, patting the back of the chair, grinning stupidly to himself. He ran to his window, looking down to the streets below. Sure enough, Hachiro, that mangy mutt, was outside his house, barking at him.

"SABURO!"

Saburo massaged his temples. "Jeez, Hachiro, no need to yell..." He sighed. Of course, talking to the dog wouldn't get anything done... he had to use telepathy. "Quiet down, what's the matter? Ryuko still mad you buried her toy?"

Hachiro growled. "There's a psionic nearby. Feels powerful."

Saburo jumped down from his window to the streets, a cloud of dust rising from where he landed. "Just one this time? Where at?"

"This way!" Hachiro took off at a full sprint down the streets, panting.

Saburo kept close behind, running at full speed. Thank god, the town where he lived was boring and dead at night. Nobody had ever seemed to see him, despite him running across the roofs, a bolt of lightning fighting the evils of the Neo Human Empire. His feet pounded the dusty road, sweat making his unruly bangs stick to his forehead. Hachiro came to a stop near the docks, and Saburo, huffing, came up beside him, unbuttoning his sweat soaked shirt. "Hachiro, why did you have to run the whole way here! It's way too hot for me... to..." He slowed to a stop.

"Do you feel it, too?"

Saburo nodded. "It's like there's static in the air... There's definitely a powerful psionic here. Hachiro, I want you to stay outside here."

Hachiro whined, but obediently sat down. Saburo patted his head, scratching behind his ears and leaving his shirt with him before approaching the warehouses near the docks. An unearthly muffled scream arose from one of them, prompting Saburo into a run towards the nearest building. He slammed himself against the door, only to find it locked shut. He tried again, this time adding to his strength with psychic power, and the door flew inwards off its hinges. Only a few meager bulbs lit the place, which stank of fish. Not paying much attention, Saburo walked further in, only to find he had stepped atop a body. "UGH!" He jumped back, looking down to see some middle-aged man in a bussiness suit, a hole clean through the center of his forehead. "Jesus..." Saburo knelt down to inspect the body, but between the unnerving sense of an enemy nearby and the trickling of blood from the still freshly-dead man, he couldn't bring himself to, and stepped around the body instead. The lights flickered, making it even more difficult to see anything in the already dim building. Saburo sneered. "I KNOW YOU'RE IN HERE!" he yelled. His voice reverberated slightly in the mostly empty warehouse. He sneered. Closing his eyes to focus a moment, he attempted to pinpoint where the strange energy seemed to be coming from.

..... There!

Saburo swept his hand out in an arc in front of him, throwing aside a few boxes near the far wall, when the lights went out a few seconds. When they flickered back to life, a figure in bizarre costume stood before Saburo. They were clad in black, with a flowing cape and strange white helmet-mask, with huge eye sections covered in red glass. "If you know what's good for you, kid," they said, voice low and serious, "you'll leave right now and not tell anyone about this."

Saburo stepped back in surprise, but he wasn't about to back down. "Who the hell are you?"

The mysterious masked figure smirked. "How much do you value your life?" The voice, although masculine in timbre, was a bit high and whimsical.

"I said, who the hell are you?!"

"Heeheehee. I'm a dead man... nobody you should worry about."

Saburo frowned. "Tell me," he demanded, "are you part of the Neo Human Empire?"

Their smile faded at this. "... No."

"You know about them?"

"Recently, yeah."

Saburo offered his hand to the strange individual. "If you're also a psionic looking to fight them... why don't you join the Youth League?"

They scowled. "Get lost, kid, I don't want to be part of your dumbass club. Hmph. But first..." They stepped closer to Saburo, "you never saw me here!"

"Urgh-!" Saburo felt a presence in his mind, trying to root through his thoughts and memories, and quickly shut it out of his head, squeezing his eyes shut. "Nice try, you bastard, but that won't work on me. Now, I'm not leaving until you tell me who you really are!"

"Tatsuo, speak to him, he may be useful!" a soft voice came from all around them. Saburo looked around, trying to pinpoint the source, but he felt no other presences. The other man, however, simply looked up slightly.

"Maya," Saburo heard the man's thoughts, "we don't need some kid to babysit, I'm fine working on my own."

"Who's Maya?" Saburo asked.

The man seemed to snap back to reality. "Humph. He knows too much, now!" He took a gun of some sort from a belt around his waist.

"I fuckin' dare you," Saburo growled.

"Tatsuo! Give him a chance. Don't kill him. He's just a child."

The man slowly put his gun up. "... I'm Skullman, a messenger from hell here to punish sinners and redeem myself."

"Skullman? You're the one who killed the man back there, weren't you?" Saburo motioned behind himself with his thumb towards the body near the entrance.

Skullman nodded. "Yeah I did. Got a problem? He deserved it. His company's been dumping chemicals in the water near here. Heavy metals, poisoning the fish. If I were you, I'd avoid Kazeta fish market a while longer, you hear me?"

Saburo said nothing. He had his concern's with his father's fish market for some time now, but hearing it from this smug, rude bastard infuriated him.

"Sounds like you're after the Neo Human Empire too, though. Maya seems to be interested in you, and I trust the judgement of that dear sister of mine, so I'll leave an open invitation to you. If you want to join me and strike at the heart of the Empire, you can join up with me and my pals. Or you can stay with your kiddie league. It's all up to you. Unlike that kiddie league of yours, however, I'm inches from the center of this... and shit's about to get wild, okay kid?"

"... Whatever. We don't need you."

"Then, go back to your family and tell them you love them, because I'm going to have to keep an eye on you now."

Saburo did his best to convince himself this was some hollow threat, but from the man's outfit to his demeanor to his high-tech looking gun, he knew he couldn't dismiss it, but he decided he'd want the help of the Youth League before approaching this man. Without another word, he went to the door, stopping briefly over the body once more. "May you rest in peace, you poor S.O.B." he muttered, before leaving and going back to Hachiro.

Hachiro growled. "I can still feel him."

"I know, boy," Saburo patted him, and tugged at his collar to direct him back home, "let's go.

The silent night air was even more unnerving now that Saburo was filled with questions. The mysterious Skullman was shaping to be another formidable enemy, and if he was indeed watching, then that put Miyo in danger. For all his teasing, he really did like her, and far too often she had been caught up in his confrontations. He groaned to himself. "That creepy bastard better not pull anything..." Saburo kept his eyes on the street. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion, and Saburo swiveled around to see the falling debris from the warehouse he had just been in. Heat and light swept through the streets as he watched in horror, flames reaching out seeking more destruction, cries and screams from nearby. Hachiro barked.

"Saburo, we have to catch him!"

"Shut up!" Saburo tugged once more to pull him along, taking off for home. "We're going to need help first, but trust me, we'll take care of that sonuva bitch!"