Chapter 17: A Familiar Voice

Sydney woke up the next day, his body vehemently protesting any attempted movement. The hospital floor was far from the most comfortable place to sleep, but he knew that anything resembling a bed would be best utilized elsewhere and after the day he had, he was just glad to be given the ten seconds he needed to fall asleep. He gazed out the window, seeing that the sun had already risen high into the sky making him wonder how long he has been asleep. Forcing his arm to move despite the pain and stiffness coursing through it, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. '11:23' the clock read. It had been a long time since he slept that late when video game tournaments hadn't been involved.

He lifted himself onto his knees, his arms being pushed to the limit, not ready for that much of a workout that early in the morning. He was amazed, though not surprised, at how much the battles he fought yesterday took out of him. Still, he knew it was a miracle he got away with as few injuries as he did. Even pushing himself as far as he could, he still hadn't managed to land a single blow on Trey, and there was nothing he could do to stop Trey's attacks. He knew that Trey was holding back and had no idea what the dimensional was truly capable of. He killed those solders with such ease, that Sydney knew that not even his guardian powers would be enough to save him if Trey wanted him dead.

Knowing that sitting on the floor wouldn't do any good, he got to his feet, holding onto the wall to steady himself. He began feeling dizzy, his vision blurry. He closed his eyes for a second, waiting for his head to steady itself, and upon opening them, his vision was back to normal. Tuning his ears to the faint sounds of the hospital, he heard several doctors conversing with nurses and patients. He wanted to do something to help, though knew next to nothing about medicine. From his brief time in scouts, he vaguely remembered a few things, but nothing that would help in a time like this. Even so, he thought he might be able to help move stuff around or do something to free those who knew what they were doing.

He stepped down the hallway, glancing both ways, looking for another Guardian, knowing that just telling a doctor he wanted to help might not go well. Not seeing anyone, he sighed, but walked down the hallway, though was stopped when a patient called out to him.

"You need something ma'am?" he asked uneasily. He saw she was hooked up to several IVs and had several bandages wrapped around her body. Her leg was held in a cast.

"Could you tell me if my son made it here?" Her eyes stared up at him, pleading.

"I don't really know where to start looking," Sydney admitted. He wanted to help, to find her son and reassure her that everything would be all right. "What happened to you two?"

"We couldn't get out of the city during the evacuation, and we had no idea what was going on. We tried hiding in our house when the monsters invaded but they attacked us. We tried running, but we were caught up in the battle. I was knocked out and woke up here, not knowing what happened to us."

Sydney's eyes glanced down, not wanting to look at the despair in this person's eyes. He didn't want to think about the pain she was going through, to be separated from her family. He thought about his own family; his mom must be worried about him, he knew he'd have a lot to explain. When he left with Kensei, he thought it would just be for a short training session, something that he could easily explain away. But now he was caught up in a war with things he didn't even know existed, and no clue when he'd be back home.

"Have you seen him?" she asked, breaking the young Guardian out of his thoughts.

"I wouldn't know him if I saw him."

"Oh, I'm sorry for thinking you would." She took a deep breath.

"If you could describe him, maybe I could look for him." Even if he had no idea how to find a single person out of probably thousands, he still wanted to do what he could.

"His name is Nate. He's twelve years old, about this tall." She held her hand about four feet off the ground. "Blue eyes, short little black hair, and the biggest smile across his face when he laughs," she said with a sense of content, thinking about her boy and this person who would find her son.

"Okay, I'll see if I can find him."

Sydney then left the room, and looked down the vast halls. He had absolutely no idea where to start, heck, he doubted he could even find her room again if by some miracle he did find her son. Still, he thought he might as well see what he could, at least until he could find one of the Guardians who could tell him what to do.

He somehow found his way to an elevator, and saw that he was currently on the third floor, which didn't really give him any information. He figured he'd take it a floor at a time. If he could find Nate, he could take him back to his mom, or at least tell her if he was okay. Her room was 342 if he remembered right. He knew he was crazy to think this would work, but there wasn't anything else he could bare to tell her.

Pressing the fourth button, he felt the elevator slowly go up as he leaned against the wall shaking his head at his own craziness. Before he could contemplate it further, he felt a vibration in his pocket. 'My phone?'

Taking it out, he saw Cole's name flashing on the screen. He knew it had only been a couple days, but the last time he saw his friends seemed to be years ago. "Hey, what's going on?" he asked casually.

"Oh, not much. Destroyed Greg at Call of Duty last night, Brittney turned me down again, and I don't know, you've disappeared of the face of the earth for the past two days and no one seems to notice or care!"

"Wait, no one cared about me being gone?" He figured he could get away with disappearing for a few hours, but he was sure by now his mom would have sent out a search party.

"Yeah, at school yesterday, everyone just acted like you being gone was normal. Greg and I were the only ones who cared. Heck, your mom came in the house right after you left, and just yelled at us for leaving the door open, but didn't ask about you."

"That can't be…" Even though the elevator door had opened, he just leaned against the wall, trying to take this in. Had Kensei done something so people would forget him? Even though he knew this would change his life, he still wanted to hold onto his old friends and family. This would be something that he could do when needed, but still go back home, hang out with friends.

"I know; this is freaky." A paused filled the line for a moment before Cole decided to go on. "So…what happened?"

"You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"After all that's happened, I'd believe anything, even Greg getting a date."

"Well, has the news said anything about the attack on London?" Sydney wondered if he was perhaps giving away some classified information. Then again, Cole could keep a secret. He hoped…

"Why would I watch something as boring as the news?"

"Google it or something then."

"Fine fine."

Sydney could hear Cole doing something with a computer, hammering the way on the keys, and cursing at the computer for it being so slow. Sydney thought about telling him he needed to be more careful about the sites he went on, but knew now was not the time.

"Whoa, this is freaky."

"You find it?"

"No, Alex sent me some pictures from her party last week. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't go. Apparently Jeremy now has a tattoo."

"Focus Cole!"

"Sorry, looking it up now…"

Sydney rolled his eyes and semi-patiently waited for Cole to get around to looking up the right information. "Okay, found it."

"What does it say?"

"Looks like the military ordered a massive evacuation."

"I guess, Kensei must have somehow warned them," Sydney mused to himself. He hadn't noticed it at the time, but looking back, there weren't any civilians around during the battle. He remembered that lady mentioning the evacuation. "Was there anything about the battle?" he asked.

"Doesn't look like it," Cole said, while Sydney thought he heard Cole clicking on various things.

"Maybe they evacuated the media too," Sydney said, though it seemed strange that there wouldn't be some kind of people staying behind to get information, and with the internet, the rest of the world would soon know about it.

"So, what happened there?"

"Well, after going with Kensei and a couple other people like him, we learned about some kind of supernatural attack on London, so we went to stop it. I hardly understand it myself, but I saw things that seemed straight out of a fantasy novel. There were people with black wings, those who could control fire and someone who could teleport around and pull swords out of thin air."

"Sounds cool."

"It would be if they weren't trying to kill me." Sydney could tell that Cole didn't mean it like that, he was probably even more confused them him. He couldn't blame him, a battle against evil angels breaking out in the real world sounded fun. Being in those battles wasn't so much.

"Oh, are you okay?"

"Got my butt kicked by one of the bad guys."

"What happened?"

"Well you saw how I used those light blasts when fighting Kensei?

"Yeah."

"Well, I got some new powers too, which I thought would make me unbeatable. This guy Trey though, he stopped all my attacks and sent me through several buildings. He probably would have killed me if he didn't leave after that."

"Damn, you must be hurting pretty bad then."

"I've been worse. Apparently my powers protected me too."

"That's good. So I guess you're gonna get stronger and be some big superhero now?"

"Maybe something like that. Man, this is all so strange." Hearing noises in the distance caused Sydney to walk out of the elevator.

"Well, go be a big hero then, just take care of yourself so you can come back and tell us all about your fun times."

"Heh, don't worry, I will. I better go now though."

"See ya."

Sydney hung up the phone and took a deep breath. He started walking down the hallway. He had no idea where he was going, no idea of what he was doing, but he knew he had to do something. Look for Nate, or help the doctors, or meet up with the Guardians, or just something. He was a hero after all. Maybe not the best one, but even the weakest heroes did what they could.


A/N: Sorry for the long wait, and then only giving you a filler chapter, but as I wrote this, I wanted to show some of Sydney's reactions and a little bit of my side characters before heading back into the adventure. I hope the next update will be faster, but I'm not promising anything.

Thanks to WaldoJeffers for betaing!