Chapter 14

Back to wandering around in this place's endless maze of passages…wee… Sure initially it was cool, but now the repetitive glass and metal lights and heavy metal doors along the equally metallic walls is getting kind of boring. Havoc seems to note my growing boredom, looking down at me and chuckling like he always does before trying to strike up a conversation.

"So, did you enjoy yourself?"

"Well yeah I guess, I mean I haven't had any real food or been able to walk around freely for the last big chunk of my life. The place is kind of claustrophobic though…I haven't been outdoors since I've been here. Is this underground or something?"

"Eh, in a sense I guess."

I give him a confused side glance at the way he said that, like he'd just cracked a joke or something. My confusion grows when I see he's smirking too; what the heck it he thinking? How can something be underground but not at the same time?

"So what, I'm going to be stuck indoors for the rest of my life? Don't you like…need the sun to live? And the plants, you need sunlight to grow fruits and vegetables too."

"You don't think we have other ways of making up for that? You seem to have forgotten that this isn't Sky City anymore, we're a fair bit more…technological…among other things."

I guess that's true… It wouldn't surprise me if they had their own mini sun made or something, maybe even multiple of them, heck it might come standard in people's houses just as much as a bathroom would. Crud, now I want to see where people actually live down here.

"Where do you live?"

"Where do I live? That's kind of hard to explain…it would probably be easier just to show you. It won't be too much of a detour to check it out so why not do it now."

"Detour? Where are we headed?"

"To get you your first biological amp of course, the one that'll let you use that new arm of yours without an issue."

Oh shoot, I didn't know that's where we were going… At first I had gotten excited about it, but after I thought about it for a little bit I realized that this mightn't be as good as I thought. I mean, having something like that could be awesome, but you've got to get it first, and if this arm was anything to go by along with Trix's reaction to my earlier question about whether or not I'd be going through anymore pain tells me it's not going to be pleasant. And what if it doesn't work right? Is it possible for it to mess up and do something bad to me? It's most likely permanent too, so if I even change my mind about it there's no going back…

"Gyro, it's all right, this is just a starter strength amp, it's not too painful and won't change you into some kind of monster."

Wow crud what the heck?!

"Is it that easy to tell what I'm thinking?!"

For some reason that throws him off, starring back at me like he hadn't realized what he was saying.

"Wait you hadn't said that out loud?"

"Said what!?"

"That you were afraid this was going to hurt or go wrong in some way."

"What?! No! What the heck, were you reading my mind!?"

He curses under his breath and averts his gaze, looking like he'd just invaded my privacy or something. Oh my god, I can't believe it, he did hear my thoughts!

"Are you serious!? Holy crud man, that's insane!"

"I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to… You really have to learn to close yourself off Gyro or anyone could do it; well anyone who has the amp at least. I honestly thought you were speaking out loud or I wouldn't have said anything."

"It's fine, just caught me off guard that's all. Reading people's minds hey… because that isn't creepy at all. How do you 'close yourself off'?"

"I don't really know how to explain it…I've heard that people have different ways of doing it. Me, I just have another amp that does it for me, but I've heard people say they either think so many things at once that it would be hard to understand them or they just try not to think about anything at all… Claude's a bit higher class at it though, he learnt how to build up a barrier he can put up and take down at will. He could never really explain it to me though…I guess it's not really something that's easily put into words."

Okay then…it might be easier just to get an amp for it like Havoc has. Unless it's expensive or something, which I'd say it is or more people would-wait! What did he mean he wouldn't have told me he was in my head?!

"You just said you didn't plan on telling me you could read my mind!"

That throws him right off, and he's suddenly trying to stutter out an excuse or explanation. It's not working out all too well for him though; all it's really doing is reassuring me that yes, he had planned on leaving me clueless to the fact that he could hear my thoughts. That sneaky little bugger, way to invade my privacy, not to mention lessen how trustworthy I thought he was. After a couple minutes he seems to find a distraction, looking around for all of half a second before letting out an 'ah ha' and calling out to someone down the hall. As he motions for them to come over to us I mumble something about him being a douche, but when they do come over I feel kind of insignificant all of a sudden. Oh crud, who the heck is this? He's almost as tall as Havoc, but built a good three times as much, crouched down slightly like he's ready to attack anything that moves with glowering red eyes, jet black hair and…oh my god what's wrong with his teeth?! Those things look vicious! More then a bit frightened despite the fact that Havoc seems perfectly okay with him, I back up a bit to distance myself away from the thoroughly evil looking man. If he's not a demon then I don't know what is…

"Alright good. Gyro, this is Acre, he's-Gyro!"

Backing up into what I thought would be a door into some room, when it opens and I take a step back my foot finds nothing to land on. Afraid that I'm about to fall down a set of stairs or something, when I look behind me and see nothing but open air for farther then the eye can see my heart stops in my chest. Before I have the chance to fall head long out into it though someone grabs me and pulls me up back onto solid ground and holds me to them. Oh my god, I almost died, I almost fell to my death…

"Shh, Gyro, it's alright, you're okay…"

It's not until he says that do I notice I'm shaking all over, latched onto his jacket like I still need something to hold onto or I'll fall right back down again. Slowly recomposing myself and looking up at my savior four times over now, I'm surprised to see he looks even more terrified then me about how close I just came to dying.


"You can't assume things around here Gyro! Not all doors are safe to walk through, especially if you don't know the city. I need to teach you as soon as possible…I can't lose you…"

Thrown off by his change in demeanor, I let him go and back up a bit, just noticing now that the scary looking guy's gone. Havoc doesn't seem to care though, looking more like he'd just had a heart attack.

"First thing you should know is this; green means good, yellow means caution and red means bad."

Confused as to what he means at first, when I look back at the door I just went through I see what he means instantly. It's painted a deep maroon color, not vibrant red but still in the same color family. Looking around at the other doors, almost all of them have a faint sage tint to them, something I hadn't really noticed until now because there were barely any other colored ones. Green is good and red is bad…shouldn't be too hard to remember… I don't see any yellow ones though.

"Okay…what the heck was that though? How is that possible if we're underground?"

"This is a floating island remember? We are underground, beneath all of it, on the other side of the island."

Not really understanding what he means, he straightens up and beckons me to follow him again. Doing as I'm told for my own safety, after awhile we finally reach one of his yellow doors. This one almost looks like gold, shimmering is the hall's artificial light.

"It's easier if I just show you, much like a lot of things down here. This is why we call this place Flip Side"

With that he opens the door, letting me step through onto the balcony it leads to and following shortly after himself. What I find leaves me stupefied.

"Oh my god…"