[In-Character] Truth & Justice, Episodes 23-24

I feel empty, empty as a high school student. I should be feeling all kinds of things right now.

Raz and Sam left for Utah, intent on doing detective work or some such to find Raz’ mother. I went out for a long ride around the city, to clear my head. I took long enough that they’d already left. It was somewhere along the Embarcadero that the numbness set in.

It turned out Raz’ actions forced the monks to move up their schedule. We were teleported to a safe house, which was the ultimate in spartan living. Raz and Sam were brought there too, though they weren’t really happy about it. They’d apparently gotten lots and lots of guns from somewhere and, unsurprisingly, they turned out to be worse than useless. Worse, because for some reason Sam decided to shoot the tire of the van. I remain of the opinion that superheroes shouldn’t need them, and experience has yet to prove otherwise.

Anyway, our mission went relatively smoothly, considering. Raz went off on his own, which proved every bit as pointless as the gun and grenades he brought with him. We wound up side-by-side on the same stairway anyway, after all. He calls that his “insurance policy,” whatever that means.

The guards were just normal humans, and bored, tired ones at that. The real problem was in the office. It was Razmus’ mother, sort of. The woman there was definitely the one in the photo, except the she didn’t smile once. She threw a punch that sent me flying, and had no qualms about sparring with Raz, easily deflecting each and every attack he brought to bear, while the rest of us freed the imprisoned metahumans.

Then, this woman gave us more pieces of the puzzle, but unpleasant ones. She’s part of Project Perseus, and one of the Beast Race aliens, a Devourer. She’s working to help protect Earth, but apparently purely for her own selfish reasons. She showed us the true face of the enemy: she is cold, inhuman, and vicious. And according to her, everything Raz has believed was a lie. He and the others like him were created by fusing the DNA of Rekemi herself and a human, a living weapon intended to protect Earth from the invasion. He is unique only in that he is the pure, general-purpose model, while the other, of which there are over 100 remaining, have been more extensively modified. She feels nothing more towards him than she would a laboratory specimen. His childhood, his adolescence, that town in Colorado, everything until about 10 months ago, was a fiction.

I can’t imagine what he’s going through. What would it be like if everything I thought I knew about myself was a lie? I don’t know. He used me up, and I can’t make myself care right now. We’re as close as he’s ever had to family, and like a family there was little choice involved. Even now I can’t abandon him, but I also can’t be what he needs right now. Sometimes not feeling is convenient, but sometimes the yawning cavern of silence presses down too hard.

No future, no name, no hope. No choices, just someone else’s script.

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