Side: Justice

Excerpt from Chapter 1


Unfortunately, fate wasn't kind enough to close the curtain just yet. As soon as I returned to the world of the living, a hammer pounded into my brain. Blips as steady as a metronome, accompanied by static ambient noise, filled the room. People shuffled around muttering to themselves, although I couldn't make any sense of their words. Sounded like an emergency room.

I opened my mouth to ask what was going on. Instead, I let out an unintelligent gurgle. Way to make a first impression.

Their divided conversations solidified into unified silence. Nice way to say hello.

I finally managed to open my eyes. Yep, I was right. I was in an emergency room that looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. Naked white walls. Machines that could have only been dreamed up in the mind of a techno geek. Doctors dressed to match the background. An emblem of a lion proudly roared on each of their coat pockets. I would recognize that emblem anywhere. It belonged to DANDY. Defence Against Negative Dynamism.

Yay.

Being within DANDY's clutches meant that my dyna had gotten out of control again. One thing was certain: I sure wasn't going to school today.

I attempted to stand, but thick, metallic bands held me firmly in place. Tender, loving care. A nearby scientist quickly pushed my shoulders down, even though I was already sitting.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

My attempt to answer was an even wittier groan.

"Just relax," he responded. "This procedure is very standard. It'll be over before you know it."

Procedure? What procedure?

"Once we finish analyzing your dyna, we'll go ahead and begin. Then we can talk about your treatment," spoke another scientist. A female.

You guys answered nothing.

The scientist to the left looked at something that obviously excited him. "This is amazing! Not only is he blessed with a multi-faceted dyna, look at that power! No doubt he's an S-Rank for sure! Telekinesis, teleportation, the ability to create shockwave energy ... even the shape of his dyna is a telltale; it looks like a static ball. It symbolizes a vast amount of power barely being contained."

An S-Rank? What the hell was an S-Rank? Last I heard, dyna ranks went from A to D, unless DANDY proclaimed some law behind my back where S came before A. The last I heard, I was an A-Rank. Bah, whatever. Too many questions that DANDY would probably never answer.

"According to these reports, he was born with an S-Rank dyna," said the female scientist. "His dyna first manifested at birth when he destroyed one of the wings of Celestial Hospital. He has been under official DANDY orders to check in with a qualified magic limiter practitioner every three months. DANDY believed that his dyna would stabilize over time, so they have been issuing him magic limiters since he was baby. If this report from the investigation team is accurate, today marks the first incident where his powers had caused such widespread damage. Almost like something-or someone-had curbed the damage up until now."

I swallowed. My sinking gut knew who they meant.

"Let's focus on the task at hand." The male scientist frowned. "The replacement dyna won't even be close in rank, but it'll be safe and compatible."

Replacement? They were gonna take my dyna just like that? Deciding these things without asking for the sake of the greater good? Like hell!

Throb.

The ground shook. The scientists scrambled around the room as they attempted to stabilize their machines. Several metallic utensils clattered together in unison. I clenched my teeth. C'mon, relax. They weren't out to kill me. They were just pretending to make a positive impact on society.

The room calmed down.

"I thought this room was dyna-proofed," the female scientist panted.

"This is a dyna-proof room!" The male scientist flailed an arm in agitation. "It's a sign of how powerful-no, how volatile he is. That just proves that he needs to have his dyna replaced."

"Extracting it will take all of our energy. I suppose after this, we can call it a day."

"If we even have the energy left to call it a day."

The female scientist hovered overhead and beamed a fake, plastic smile. The other scientist appeared on the other side, matching the fake smile.

A glowing ritual circle appeared in between the scientists and me. Although I had grown all too accustomed to them, I didn't recognise this particular one due to the unfamiliar language lining the spaces in the circle. The female placed her hand over her colleague's palm. The circle grew brighter. Several more circles spawned from the center, joining 'hands' to symbolize harsh reality.

This was it, huh? Fate had decided that I was to become a faceless member of society. Out of all the gangs, all the criminals on the loose, all the crime that happened in Teretial, fate, in the form of DANDY, had chosen this path. Common sense dictated to resign to fate's decision. Let DANDY have their peace just so they could feel good about themselves. Yet, a voice that sounded like a young child murmured in the back of my mind.

I know I'm not perfect. I know my dyna is unstable, but at least I try to do something. If my dyna is gone, who's left to take care of Aunt Jocelyn? I know I'm just one guy, but I have to do something. Anything ....

I swallowed. My mouth had gone dry. A searing hotness burned deep inside as I felt my energy ebb away. Static electricity crackled. My body felt like it was hovering in the air. A glowing sphere crept out from the center of my chest. My dyna.

Get lost! You're not taking my dyna alive!

Tremors shook the room once again. Fear and anger reached out, seizing everything and everyone in its path. The throbbing migraine, which had temporarily calmed down, now cancelled its truce.

"What's this ...? Is ... his dyna ... resisting ...?" I heard the female voice say.

"He's just reacting. This is normal. Keep going!"

"Can you really call this sort of reaction normal?!"

More electric crackling joined the noise. Crashes. Short-circuits. Explosions from machines falling to ruin. Walls cracking and crumbling.

"We can't continue! Abort! Abort! Evacuate the premises immediately!"

The light shining through that dreaded ritual circle split cleanly down the middle. I saw nothing else as the migraine covered my eyes. I could only listen to the sky falling around me.

"Is his dyna this strong ...?"

In all honesty, I had no idea either. Since the day I was born, my dyna has taken out everything it could find while I was helpless to stop it. I wanted relief from this pain. I wanted out of fate's chessboard. And most of all, I wanted a good punch in the face. DANDY had done something right for a change. They had taken in the most dangerous criminal after all.

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