RAYNMEN CHRONICLES are short stories based on characters of the main story RAYNMEN. RAYNMEN is a serial novel, to be released in parts, an episode at a time. Periodically between episodes I will release one of two types of character pieces, either RAYNMEN CHRONICLES or RAYNMEN ORIGINS. CHRONICLES will typically deal with the adventures of atleast two characters as the focus, ORIGINS are short stories that tell of an individual characters beginnings and how they became superhuman...Read More.
CATALYST: RAYNMEN ORIGINS
Futako-Tamagawa, Japan – Hashi Family Home
ICHIRO HASHI: RYO! RYO!
RYO HASHI: Yes, Father.
ICHIRO HASHI: Come with me, Ryo…quickly!
My father was wearing a tuxedo because he and my mother had gone to a big banquet to celebrate his new building right outside of Downtown Tokyo. It was all my father talked about for weeks, he was so happy but at that moment he didn’t seem to happy…he seemed scared. He grabbed my hand and we dashed out of the kitchen, up to the foyer through the hallway, and over to the base of the stairs. That’s when I heard a loud crash in the kitchen…it was the backdoor. I was startled by the sound and so terrified, I inexplicably yanked my hand away from my father and moved back toward the foyer and poked my head just a few inches past the hallway wall to see what was making all the noise. All I could see were shadows, all I could hear were angry and impatient voices.
ICHIRO HASHI: RYO! Come with me now!
My father ran to me and picked me up, then we began to run up the stairs. I cried as I looked over my father’s shoulder to once again try and see something; and once again all I saw were shadows that were now in the foyer. My father makes it to the top of the stairs and burst through his office doors that were right in front of him at the top of the stairs with me in his arms. Once inside he tosses me into one of his office chairs and closes the doors. There was a bookshelf by the door; he moved around to the far side of it and pushed it to the ground. Then he went to the other side of the room and began to push a dresser toward the door as well. All of sudden I hear a loud bang on the door; the shadows were trying to get in. My father began to push harder on the dresser even though he looked to be completely out of breath and he pushed it into the bookshelf to complete his barricade.
ICHIRO HASHI: Ryo…come.
I went over to him and he picked me up again and ran me to where the dresser was before he moved it. He kneeled to the ground and began punching numbers on a key pad; it was a floor safe. He opened the safe and he put me in it.
ICHIRO HASHI: Don’t worry, Ryo…You’ll be safe in here…I love you, princess. I will be right back. Just stay in here and don’t come out until someone comes to get you, okay?
Before I could respond, he closed the safe door. I could still hear what was going on but the sound was faint. So I cracked the safe door a little and saw my father at his desk pouring himself a scotch with a look of panic in his eyes every time the shadows would bang against the door. He quickly drank his scotch and went into his desk drawer and pulled from it, a handgun. Then he went over to his wall and grabbed one of his collector samurai swords and laid it on the desk. Then he took both hands and cocked his gun, held it in his left hand, and then took the sword into his right hand. After doing so he looked up for what seemed like only a split second before one of the shadows came bursting through the doors; it was a man.
I noticed he was wearing a tuxedo just like my father as they circled each other, glaring at each other. Two other men came into the office through the hole in door the first man created and suddenly my father began to attack the three men. I watched at first but then one of the men cut my father with his blade, my father fell to one knee holding his abdomen. I became more frightened and closed the safe door; I couldn’t watch anymore. Once again the sound in the room became faint but I could hear my father yell full of anger and pride. He was back on his feet and fighting again. I wanted to look but I could not, I was too scared.
Before long all I could hear was silence. No more crashing, or banging, or grunting, or gunfire; just complete silence. I cracked the safe door to peak into the room. I know my father said not to come out until someone came to get me but I was terrified and worried for my father. The parts of the room I could see through the crack in the safe door seemed harmless. I could not see my father or any of the three men he was running from. I could feel a draft in the room even from inside the safe. When I opened the door and stepped out, I could immediately feel the wind in the room rushing across my face, my hair blowing in the breeze.
It had begun to rain and the winds were very strong. Most of the windows had been broken in the room which explained the breeze but I wondered what could be the reason for why the room was so warm. I moved toward the doors which were still being blocked by the makeshift barricade my father had made with the bookshelf and dresser. As I moved in front of the hole in the top half of the door, I was overwhelmed. The heat coming through that hole made me feel like I was standing in front of an oven but I proceeded to the opening anyhow.
I climbed up the front of the tossed over dresser and down a short step to the side of the bookshelf and directly in front of the hole in the door I stood. I placed my hands on the broken pieces of wood and hesitantly looked through the hole. I looked left, I looked right…and then down. So shocked by what I saw, I fell backward down onto the bookshelf siding and grabbed my mouth with both hands to prevent the sound of the loud gasp I made from carrying.
The three men were still here. One laid dead on the floor at the base of the large decorative glass table we had in the center of the open area. Another on one knee in front of the door, toying with some sort of machine that looked like a big alarm clock. And yet another stood in front of the glass table, arrogantly smoking a cigar as he looked up, smiling at the sight of my father’s half dead body hanging from our large glass chandelier. The entire lower level of our house was on fire.
The clock man arose to his feet, he walked over to the cigar man and said something in his ear. The cigar man responded but never broke eye contact with my father and then the clock man walked out. The cigar man slowly walked toward my father and began to speak to him. The way he paced back and forth, looking up and down, stroking his hand holding the cigar in a circular motion reminded me of my father leading a meeting at his office building. I think I recognize the cigar man; but before I can begin to think about how, the cigar man tossed his cigar at my father’s feet which lit him on fire.
I cried out to him and began kicking the door trying to get through but then the cigar man opened the doors downstairs and walked out. He left the doors wide open letting in the strong winds from outside into the house. Suddenly all sorts of debris from the fire was flying through the air in all directions. I still was trying to get to my father when I saw a piece of debris flying right at me; it was one of my mother’s calligraphy pens. I moved swiftly to the side but the pen still cut the side of my face. Bleeding and now scared more than ever, I jumped down off of the dresser and ran back toward the safe but before I made it back, the whole house exploded…I blacked out.
When I woke up, I was outside of my house. The safe was now in our driveway with the door open and lying flat on the ground; I was in it. Just inside of the safe I laid there with blurred vision looking up at my home which was still burning. My whole body felt like it was on fire, I reached up to touch my face and can feel the burns, I could see them on my arms and legs. I was deformed all over.
I looked up at the sky, the sun was rising. It created a beautiful bright orange glow set just behind my burning house, even with one my eyes burned shut I couldn’t help but marvel at its beauty, it looked like a gorgeous painting that was scene of great loss and death. I screamed in horror and pain, as I realized that this magnificent view is how I would remember the worst day of my life. I stretched my arms towards the house and though I could barely catch my breath let alone speak, I called out to my father; before passing out again.
I woke up alone in the hospital with bandages covering my whole body. I began to wonder how I got there, which frightened me so I began to cry and yell for help. Someone immediately came bursting through the door.
Kokoro: What is wrong? Are you alright?
I was so relieved and happy to see my mothers sister, my aunt Cherry. Her name is Kokoro but I always called her Cherry because her name means “Cherry Blossom”. I didn’t say a word I just reached out to her, she came by my bedside and gave me a hug, crying and sobbing, holding me so tight. Until she realized she might be hurting me because of my burns, she let me go and said, “I’m so sorry, I forgot you were hurt…my poor Ryo”. I replied, “I’m not hurt, I feel fine now that you are here”. She looked bewildered and started to examine my bandages. “How could that be?” she said. Then she began to pull the bandage on my arm slightly to look underneath. She gasped and covered her mouth because of what she saw. She began to look around to see if anyone was watching, then she said, “Come Ryo, we have to go before the doctor comes back”. I was confused but I didn’t hesitate to reach up and wrap my arms around her neck and let her take me. She seemed paranoid and scared all of sudden. Seemingly sneaking me out of the hospital trying not to be seen. She was acting weird but I trust her.
We almost made it out of the hospital when the doctor ran up behind us and said “Mrs. Enomoto…STOP!”. He signaled to the heavily armed security guard to stand between us and the exit. Then the doctor said, “We cannot let you take her, we know her burns have healed, it’s a miracle but we need to know how. We’ll need to run some test”. My aunt replied, “You have no right, she is my niece and I’m taking her home”. The doctor then signaled to the guard again, he and another guard proceeded to tear me from aunts arms and drag me back toward where my room was but we passed my room and went further into the back of the hospital. My aunt was hysterical, crying and yelling, begging someone to help. I was terrified and began to cry also. Then my whole body began to glow and the tears dried instantly on my face. I began to struggle with the guards trying to escape. One of the guards let me go and raised his gun as if he was going to hit me with it and knock me out. Everything seemed to go into slow motion and as the guard was swinging down prepared to assault me, I exploded…
Rayner Darwin: Excuse me? You what?
Ryo Hashi: I EXPLODED!
Rayner Darwin: And how old were you again ?
Ryo Hashi: I was eight.
Rayner Darwin: Okay…so what happened next?
The explosion killed everyone but me. The guards, the doctor, the nurses, everyone. My aunt was far enough away that she just got knocked down by the blast, her injuries were minor. I passed out for a few seconds and when I came to, I ran to her and we left.
Rayner Darwin: Well I have to say, that’s quite a story.
Ryo Hashi: Does it explain anything?!?
Rayner Darwin: Yes. It explains a lot. If I had to guess, I’d say the safe your father put you in to protect you did just that. It was likely energy absorbent and very sturdy. When your house exploded, you said you were just outside the safe but when you came to, you were in it. Correct.
Ryo Hashi: Correct.
Rayner Darwin: Well my best theory is that in that traumatic moment the FEONA formula that was in your body went from dormant to active. It must have allowed your body to take on the properties of the safe. Which is to say, the ability to absorb energy. That explains how you burns went away so rapidly, you didn’t heal, you body absorb it. Fascinating!
Ryo Hashi: Okay, I suppose that makes sense but how do you explain my whole body exploding, killing a dozen people, and leaving me without a scratch.
Rayner Darwin: Oh, well that’s simple. When you were being dragged away, you got scared which activated your gift. Fear is a great motivator. Your body was filled with a mass amount of energy. Your fear caused an imbalance, forcing your body to expel the energy, which explains why you exploded.
Ryo Hashi: That’s…horrific. I guess that answers my immediate questions. Thank you for your time, Dr. Darwin.
Ryo gets up from the doctors couch and slowly walks away.
Rayner Darwin: Hey, Where are you going?
Ryo Hashi: To find the son a bitch that killed my parents, and the bastard that infected me with the FEONA virus.
Rayner Darwin: It’s a formula, not a virus.
Ryo looks back at Dr. Darwin and just stares at him. He quickly gets the point, and falls back into his chair pretending to look through paperwork. Ryo then turns and continues to walk out the door. On her way out, Dr. Darwin says “When you find what you are looking for, will you come back and see me. I may have another piece of that puzzle when you do. She doesn’t say a word, just stopped briefly and continues to walk out.