LIBERI FATALI

Chapter 1

Junshin's life was upended with a single secret that his brother and his father kept from him. He thought that he would be getting a scholarship for a prestigious college (Tokyo U) with his great scores and everything, but ever since one of his father's contacts told him to move to Tokyo under the pretense of preparing for dorm life there, to tour the place and and see what it's like, Kazuki dropped a bombshell on him. That Junshin wasn't normal, and it was this very secret that made him transfer to another school because his old school wouldn't accept him anymore. Because of what he is.

How could this happen?

Why would his father and brother keep this from him? And it turns out that Kazuki is the same thing as he is. Of course he always knew that Kazuki was often away on trips, but when he found out that his brother was a super vigilante ANGeLS member, Junshin's jaw dropped in amazement. He was what Kazuki was, and Kazuki was part of a crimefighting organization? Ever since their father died and left them numerous amounts of money in their care, the brothers raised themselves. Kazuki was legally an adult now at eighteen and can take care of Junshin now.

But why did Kazuki have to outright tell everyone in his old school that he was a Psion?

Great, they probably thought he was some kind of freak of nature and were probably relieved that he was going now. His familiar circle of friends became more distant to him and probably deleted him from their contacts. Uncool, Kazuki.

Junshin got on his laptop and did face screen time with Kazuki. He must've looked peeved, as Kazuki grinned.

"I know that you're still mad at me," Kazuki said. ""But you'll thank me for this opportunity later. Besides, your real talents would've languished at that other school. Here's you're going somewhere else that will nurture your true potential—it's an exciting opportunity to learn more about the world and your place in it, Junshin."

"None of my friends want anything to do with me anymore," Junshin murmured.

"You'll make new friends, then," Kazuki said in a chipper tone and disregarded his feelings on the matter. He admired his big brother, but sometimes… "One of my contacts should get in touch with you."

"I don't want to meet him," Junshin groaned. He was acting petulant and childish, but he still wouldn't forgive Kauzki for upending his life like that. He still cared for his brother of course, but a big transition in the middle of his turbulent teenage years was a big deal. He was fourteen years old and that was an age where boys formed gangs and social pecking orders through status and physical strength, while girls formed gossip cliques and alliances against other girl factions in a constant information war that either let girls join their exclusive clubs or outright reject a girl who stood out too prominently How was he going to fit into the new school?

"I thought that we weren't supposed to use our powers," Junshin said, before Kazuki clasped his hands together.

"That was that, this is this. You're gonna train to become an ANGeLS member, little bro."

"What's the point of that? And why do I want to become one?"

"To safekeep the peace in Tokyo from criminals that want to take advantage over the population that can't defend themselves," Kazuki noted. "Come on, little bro, you're going to do great here. SeRAPH is a great place—they have great food, great people, and it's much better than your old school. You'll forget all about it once you come here."

"I suppose so," Junshin said with a sigh. "I've got no choice, right?"

"Anyway, get your things packed and move to Tokyo as soon as possible. Reito will contact you there and get your paperwork filed and everything."

Junshin let out a sigh before he closed his laptop shut and looked out the window of the train. The train system in Tokyo was sure convenient, that's for sure. Probably the best in the world, Junshin knew, and he marveled at the ingenuity and engineering and complexity yet simplicity and efficiency of the trains running throughout Tokyo. It was a labyrinth of networks that always seemed on time and people seemed to move about with army-like diligence and swiftness. He had no doubt about that.

While in the train compartment, a girl was lugging her things in and sat in his compartment.

"Excuse me," the girl said while bowing politely towards Junshin. "Is this compartment taken? The others are full, so there's nowhere else to go, really. Don't mind me."

Junshin flushed at his ears. She was a pretty cute girl, to be honest, but she was so forward. "Uh, sure, I guess."

"So what brings you en route to Tokyo?" the girl said, before she extended a hand and shook it enthusiastically.

"Business," Junshin said, before he realized something. "Wait…did you snatch my cell phone out of my pocket?"

"Already added my contacts and number in there too," the girl said with a wink, before Junshin looked at his phone when she returned it to him and saw that her name was Hina. "Don't worry, once you get to SeRAPH, little parlour tricks like that will be common place."

"Quiet down!" Junshin winced when she mentioned SeRAPH. "If you already knew where I was going, what was the point of the whole charade?"

"Mm…" Hina said as she put a finger to her lip and cocked her head a little cutely at Junshin. "You looked a little lonely, Junshin-kun. As your first friend en route to Tokyo, I will tell you that it's not a scary place. SeRAPH, I mean."

"I didn't really want to go," Junshin said while sulking a bit. "And my old friends want nothing to do with me anymore."

"Goes to show that they weren't real friends in the first place," Hina observed, and Junshin winced. She didn't need to state it like that, did she? "Your brother Kazuki wanted me to look out after you during your stay in Tokyo."

"So you're a glorified babysitter or something like that?" Junshin said, while Hina grinned.

"I'm more than just an over glorified babysitter, Junshin-kun. I'm actually a Medic of SeRAPH."

"A Medic? At your age?"

"Training underneath Gin-sensei, but yes, I'm a Combat Medic."

Junshin didn't know whether to be impressed or scoff. He wasn't likely to believe everything that anyone told him, though there was something about the girl that told him she was earnest and wasn't inclined to lying. She obviously had brains on top of good looks on top of it all, and he wondered if everyone at SeRAPH were as inpressive as this girl. Maybe that's something to look forward to when he went to SeRAPH, though some chilidhs part of Junshin didn't want to admit that maybe Kazuki had the right thing in mind when sending him off to this school.

Before Junshin could ask something any further. The train stopped. Hina frowned, her long brown hair swaying with her movements as she went outside of the compartment to check what was going on.

Hina ushered him to be quiet, and Junshin zipped his mouth shut. Overhead, he heard the bus jacker say to everyone in the train, "Nobody move and nobody gets hurt. I've got a nice gun here that will do the talking for me if any of you disobey my orders."

Junshin hovered in his seat and lowered his head.

However, Hina didn't seem to be intimidated at all, and stood where she was.

The bus jacker noted this, and pointed the gun straight towards Hina.

"You! Turn around nice and slow like."

Hina turned, and the male whistled appreciatively with a wolfish grin.

"Nice and busty for a high school girl, aren't you? Now come over here, darling, and you will inform all these people that I'm looking for money. Empty all your valuables and money, and I will come collect them."

Hina remained calm, until the man came up close and leered at her.

Hina pretended to look frightened—before her expression changed completely and she smirked towards the hijacker. Before he had time to react, she effectively wrenched the gun in his hand from his grasp, effectively disarming him and used telekinetic pressure to hold him in place.

"Well, now that you've confessed to doing a bus hijacking, I can take you in, can't I?" Hina said with a smile, to which the man cursed.

Junshin looked towards Hina, slowly uncovering his head from his hands. Hina winked at Junshin, before she turned to the male in question.

"Now, will you come quietly or are you going to put up a struggle?"

"You bitch," the bus jacker swore. "You're one of them, aren't you?"

"Very perceptive of you, Sir," Hina said cheerfully. "Let's wait till the police get here and get you settled in jail. Well, actually, I'm kinda/sorta like the police, aren't I? Man, I have my work cut out for me, it seems."

The male stuttered, and Junshin, upon the pressure and the stress of having his friends abandon him and moving to a new school and also the current busjacking take place, started to leak out invisible energies that emanated from him. Hina turned to Junshin curiously, before muttering out a curse as Junshin unleashed a bonfire of energy from his being.

Junshin passed out. The next thing he knew, he was awake again though the bus seemed to have crumpled in on itself and people were panicked. The busjacker had been tied up and put out of the way, though Junshin couldn't recall during the time between the busjacker coming into the bus and after his faint. How did the bus end up distorted like that?

"Junshin-kun," Hina said calmly as she healed the busjacker, who took the brunt of a psionic beating, it seemed. "You've seen the kind of work that I do in action. This is a responsibility that you need to take on, with seriousness. Your powers were unleashed for the first time…but you also hurt a living human being. Thank God it wasn't an innocent, but…"

"What…happened?" Junshin said with a groan, while Hina looked at him in some mute disbelief.

"You…don't remember what happened?"

Junshin shook his head.

Hina let out a sigh, before she got her cell phone and texted someone really quick. "We got the bus hijacker at least, but…we'll have a talk about things later. Okay? For now, we'll have the police hand over this bus hijacker and imprison him for his crimes. The ANGeLS only handle psionic criminals. But as such, Junshin…the power you unleashed…was used against a normal human."

A sudden cringing guilt overcoming him. He hurt someone, didn't he? That was terrible, right? Even if he was a criminal—not even a criminal deserved that kind of damage, both physical and psychological. He probably ruined someone's life from the sudden eruption of power that overcame him, and Junshin, while feeling slightly awestruck at what came out of him, also felt deeply worried. This power was a huge responsibility.

"Well, SeRAPH is also a rehabilitation center of sorts," Hina said as she looked towards Junshin directly. "You will be trained on your powers more thoroughly there, but I wonder why you father and Kazuki kept you from SeRAPH for so long. If you learned at a younger age to properly handle your powers, then maybe this incident wouldn't have happened. Regardless…you did try to help, and I appreciate it, but it should never be at the expense of someone else, even if that person is a threat. That person was a normal human…"

Junshin remained silent. He sometimes wondered why his father and brother kept SeRAPH itself a secret from him and the fact that he was a Psion from him. Would it have made things easier if he knew things before? Or did they believe that he would abuse his powers and abilities if he knew? He didn't know the reasons behind their protection, but he honestly felt as though he was being coddled and he didn't like that. On top of the stress of going to a new school and new place and losing his friends…why did Kazuki suddenly decide to disrupt his peaceful life? But maybe…this was a lesson to him? That things couldn't stay the same as they were. And Junshin knew that it was his fault that he hurt someone, regardless whether they were a criminal or not. Hina was right. He was a normal human…

"Hina…" Junshin said, feeling a lump in his throat. "I'm…sorry…"

Hina gave Junshin a steady look, gauging his expression and eyes, before she fixed the wrapping around the person's arm. "You need to think about this, Junshin. How are you going to prevent this in the future?"

Junshin looked away. "I'm not…sure…"

"Listen to me, Junshin-kun, and listen to me well," Hina said. "Not knowing about the SeRAPH regulations is one thing, but having no control over your powers or emotions when you're agitated…this was something that Kazuki-san was worried about."

Junshin bit his lip. "What if…killed someone?"

Hina nodded, before she took both his hands in her own. "But Junshin-kun…you're among friends and people who will help you. You're not alone, you know? I already reported this incident to my superior and Kazuki-san already. There will be an intervention and rehabilitation team to help train you in the basics and give you some therapy."

"I see…" Junshin said, suddenly wishing to be anywhere but there at the moment. The girl that he was hoping to impress probably thought less of him, and Kazuki would probably think less of him after he got the status report from Hina, and even worse, his father was probably rolling around somewhere in his grave. This just wouldn't do, right?

Hina gave Junshin a bright smile and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder to help cheer him up, seeing that Junshin was rather subdued and quiet.

"Don't worry, when SeRAPH is through with you, you will be rehabilitated into a completely new person for sure. So work hard, grit your teeth, acknowledge your mistakes, be honest with yourself, and just move forward. All right?"

"Okay," Junshin said with a slight smile towards her, though the feeling of guilt wrenching his guts didn't abate in the slightest, he still put on a smile for her sake.

When they finally arrived to Tokyo on the train, Hina took her luggage (Junshin only realized just how heavy her baggage was at the moment—but considering her super strength from earlier, he wasn't surprsied that she was lugging around something as heavy as this, despite being a petite little girl).

"Well, I suppose that you'll be needing a tour of SeRAPH, right?" Hina said cheerily, noting Junshin's somber mood. "You'll get used to it in no time, all right? The rules and regulations are pretty easy to follow and once you know them, you'll memorize them like the back of your hand. Anyway, there is an entrance exam for entering into the top tier Academy, but you shouldn't be worried about that for the intellectual part. Your grades were good enough to get accepted into Tokyo U, after all. But what you need to know is the physical exam and then the psychic power exam."

"You need good grades, a fit body, and good control over your psychic powers to join, I assume."

"Well the ANGeLS aren't just a crimefighting organization," Hina said cheerfully. "They're also into espionage and spying and sometimes, of course, assassinations."

"Assassinations? Weren't you just telling me that I shouldn't hurt a regular human?"

"Don't worry, there's a special branch of people that are meant to carry out assassinations in secret, but yes, there are some assassins in our organization."

Junshin felt a little spooked. Though he might've had the potential to kill someone today, thinking about it left a wrench in his guts. But there were actually professional assassins around his age that were taking out other Rogue Psions or those who were deemed dangerous…the fact that it could look like an accident and the person would disappear off the face of the earth left a sour taste in his mouth. He wondered if he should wretch up his guts in the bathroom. This was suddenly becoming too much to handle, wasn't it? He didn't know what branch he would be when it came to the ANGeLS division, but…

Wasn't Kazuki a top rated agent in the ANGeLS team?

He wondered if his brother was in the assassination division or not. And if Junshin ever went out of control, was his own brother supposed to eliminate him…

Junshin shuddered to think about it.

"Junshin? Earth to Junshin-kun?" Hina said as she waved a hand towards his face.

"Oh, sorry," Junshin said while he shook himself out of his momentary stupor.

"There's nothing to worry about," Hina said soothingly as she took both hands within her own. "You're radiating worry."

"Well," Junshin said, wondering if she peered inside his mind or not. Or whether he was broadcasting obvious body language signals to indicate his mood. There was a certain dejection in his stance when he thought about the possibility of Kazuki being an assassin, but Junshin felt his worries melt away when Hina smiled at him. Gosh, she was so darned cute—didn't cute girls make everything better?

"Are you n assassin, Hina?" Junshin asked for a moment. It's not like she would tell him if she was or not, probably, but he thought that taking the direct approach would be the best ay to get answers.

"My job is to heal and mend people, not kill them," Hina said cheerfully. "Oh, but I'm known to break bones as easilly as I heal them, though."

"That's…not reassuring," Junshin muttered under his breath, before Hina stood in front of him and put her hands on her hips.

"We're honestly not that scary, I promise."

He wondered if the rest of the ANGeLS were as eccentric as Hina was. Whether Junshin must've fit in with his onw eccentricities or something. While he was musing in thought, Hina gave him a playful look before giving a tour of the place.

"First though, I'm going to take you to the research quarters where you'll go through a series of little tests. Height, weight, blood pressure, general health, and all that. It won't take long, it's quick and painless; I promise," Hina said.

Junshin blinked. Tests? Medical checkup? Was she taking them herself or? Suddenly Junshin felt self conscious about his too gangly body. He never exposed himself in front of another girl before.

"Rest assured, Junshin, I'm not the one doing your checkup," Hina said cheerfully. "However, you'll get to meet Gin-sensei, the doctor who I'm working underneath."

Junshin decided to say nothing on the matter, and simply allowed himself to be lead towards their destination. Upon their arrival, a doctor in a labcoat was tending towards the patients in teh Infirmary. When he saw Hina, he waved cheeerfully at his student and then he examined Junshin with a critical eye. A faint, perpetual humming sound reverberated from the walls, almost too low to hear except filtered through the subconscious level like something heard in a fever dream.

"I've been expecting you two," Gin said pleasantly. "Reito is busy with other things at the moment, but I would be happy to perform a checkup on our young charge here."

"Please do," Hina said, before she waved and departed. "He's all yours, Gni-sensei. I'll be waiting for you outside once you're finished."

After this brief exchange, the silver haired doctor wasted no time in leading him to a small, isolated room with complex machinery and apparatuses. Junshin winced at the glaring white color of the walls and the harsh illumination of the overhead fixtures reflected in stainless steel.

"All right," Gin said. "I'd like you to stand up nice and tall on that scale. Will you do that? Oh, and be sure to take off your shoes first, please."

Junshin nodded in response, slipping his shoes off as requested, before clambering onto the scale with surprising grace, despite his awkwardly long and gangly limbs. Gin murmured to himself while jotting down notes on a clipboard. Gin stared at him with contemplative expressions upon his countenance, appraising him. He supposed he didn't mind, however; anything else was better than receiving disdainful looks like the ones friends and complete strangers gave him before he resided in the sanctuary of SeRAPH. There had also been a brief glimpse of hatred, a certain desire or need taking root in the subconscious, a place where savage things grow. Junshin knew they feared him to some degree, perhaps on the same intuitive level as their antipathy. After a few moments, the second scientist then glanced at the weight and recorded it on a tablet with deliberate strokes of his pen.

"Healthy weight proportionate to your height, though it wouldn't hurt to gain a couple more pounds. Let's take a look at your blood pressure, shall we?"

The doctor had a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer in hand, wrapping it around Junshin's arm before repeatedly squeezing the rubber bulb, tightening the band. A few moments elapsed as the pressure gradually loosened as a faint whoosh hissed in the unnatural silence of the room. Junshin watched the manometer gauge in fascination pinpointing the precise numbers, before the scientist nodded in silent satisfaction and started unwrapping the band.

"Low blood pressure, fit for an athlete. Do you play any sports, Junshin?"

"I've never been interested in sports," Junshin said, surprised he even answered the question. "I can watch them, I don't like playing them myself."

"Shame, you show a lot of potential in that area," the scientist commented, "Now, look into this device over here. Yes, that's right. Just keep looking straight into it until we tell you you're finished. You got that?"

He stared at a robotic device with a lens that captured the room's light and displayed it like a kaleidoscope. It flashed twice in his eyes, leaving a red after image winking in his vision. They kept on flashing the contraption on him several times, making him face different directions each time while something in the background clicked in a snapshot succession until Junshin's disoriented vision became awash in flickering red.

"We'd like to take a quick scan of you in order to make a complete analysis," the doctor said, "Just step over here, right below this camera; yes, very good. Look straight up and try not to blink when a light shines in your eye. All right, ready? Let's proceed then, shall we?"

A camera above Junshin's head revealed an optic lens that glared down at him and emitted an eerie green light that scanned his entire body up and down, before it flickered off. Overhead, a robotic eyepiece leveled at Junshin's face as a pinprick emission of green light flashed directly into his pupil. Junshin could feel it contract to a fine pencil-point as the light beamed through, before it clicked off neatly.

"Fujimoto Junshin, is it?" the man inquired, ruffling through various papers that shifted with a whispery, fluttering noise as his calculating eyes scanned through them with a measured expression. He adjusted his glasses with a single hand before he directed his gaze to Junshin once more. "You are an interesting case indeed. I would like a further analysis of you in the future, though keep in mind these examinations will be far more in depth than the simple tests we've performed on you today. Now go along with Hina-chan. She's shown you around most of the facility, I assume? She'll most likely introduce you to your fellow SeRAPH associates, I'm sure."

Junshin nodded, uttered a few parting words with Gin, before exiting out from the door. Hina awaited him, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed over her breasts.

"That wasn't so hard, was it?" Hina said with a broad grin. "You think you can handle being here at SeRAPH?"

Junshin paused for a moment, deciding. Thus far, everything proceeded as smoothly as they could. He had no doubt about that. As he took longer to digest his surroundings, Junshin then decided whether or not he was ready for a life here, to dedicate himself as a soldier of SeRAPH. For most of his life, he remained undetected by SeRAPH, living a life of his own rather than living it under the allegiance of another.

"Yeah, I think so," Junshin said as he and Setsuna started to make their way down the hallways, in the immaculate areas where sunlight filtered through the skylights above.

"Good, I think you should try going to the training room first, Junshin-kun," Hina said with a smile as she began leading him down that way. "It will be a fine place to test your mettle and make new friends that way."

Junshin nodded in response, setting his gaze forward as Hina guided him through the hallway and staring out the rows of windows. A picturesque view of water fountains and ponds graced the lavish garnish of flowers blossomed into colorful brilliance, lending a rather surreal element almost impressionistic in beauty to the messianic achievement of technological innovation that SeRAPH represented. Of course, the architecture of the school was a grand achievement in itself, a paramount to masculine beauty consisting of perfect geometry and symmetry.

After reaching the designated area, Hina ushered Junshin through the automatic doors.

"Yo, Hina-chan," Kazuki said as he greeted the pair entering into the training room. "Welcome to SeRAPH, Junshin. Your training begins here."