The Guardian’s Potential 11

Chapter 11: Corruption

The hospital was quiet and the halls were empty. Barely any of the staff could be seen outside of their posts. A scream could be heard that echoed through the empty halls. Grace and Jason both stood over Aaron. A large red welt in the shape of a hand was imprinted on Aaron’s face. “What the hell, Aaron?! You were supposed to teach him a few new skills, not push him to passing out. What were you thinking?! They can’t even wake him up now.” Grace then walked away from Aaron’s bed to the other side of the room. 

Jason then leaned over the railing of Aaron’s bed and looked at his severely bandaged hands and pale skin. “Hang in there bud, she’s just worried cause Vlad is the only person we can trust in your hierarchy nowadays. Besides you gotta remember, these new guys were never trained the way you, Ivan, Ace and I all did. You gotta go easier on the kids when you train.” Jason stood back upright, looking at the calming Grace and began to move towards her.

Aaron gripped the back of Jason’s shirt, stopping him in his tracks. Jason turned around and saw an extremely worried look on Aaron’s face. “Jason, my brother. You didn’t see him. The reason why I didn’t stop…” he paused. “Vlad’s aura… It looked just like Ace’s back in middle school when his power evolved.” Jason stared at him for a moment, processing this information. 

“So, Vlad unlocked an enhancement? But then why would his body collapse if he enhanced his powers while fighting you?” Jason sat down on a nearby chair, his massive body barely even fitting between the arms of the chair. A female doctor then walked in and stared at Jason confusingly and pointed over to an armless chair that sat in the corner of the room. Jason struggled out of his original chair and into the new one. 

The doctor walked over to the two of them and sat in the now bent armchair. “Hello, I’m Dr. Faith and I’ve come to speak to you all in about the injuries sustained by both parties. I’ll start with you, Aaron. You have a minor concussion and a total of 14 broken bones in your hands; Which I have to say, is a much better position to be in than the other guy.” She then covered her mouth with her hand. 

Grace then walked forward, her eyes glowing as she put her hand on the doctors shoulder. “What could you mean by that, Doc? Is there something we need to know?” She then squeezed the Dr. Faith’s shoulder lightly before Jason threw her hand off, shooting her a disapproving look.

The doctor sighed before continuing. “Yes, actually; There is more to all this. You two boys believe what happened to you was an enhancement?”  Both Aaron and Jason nodded. “Well, it is, but it also isn’t. You see, in recent years children have been pushing themselves beyond what their body is normally capable of to become stronger. At first, it does assist them. But the more their power is used, the larger toll it has on their body and spirit. We have come to call this Corruption, and it is very dangerous. It affects a person’s mind as well, clouding it and sending them into a more… primal state.” The doctor then fell silent, waiting for an answer, but the three of the teenagers, too, were deathly silent. 

The silence of the room was then disrupted by the crumpled opening of a bag of chips. In the doorway was the blindfolded behemoth, Ace who was now munching down on the barbecue covered chips. He then moved past the crowd in the room and placed the half-eaten bag on the bed next to Aaron, leaning against the wall. “So, is there anyway we can help the poor boy in the ER who is going through all of this or are we just gonna sit here and mope about?” 

“Well, all we can really do as of right now is to keep your friend from using his ability. In trials, it halted the progression of the Corruption throughout his aura.” The doctor adjusted her coat while making sure her hair was in place as she spoke. “But if you need me, here’s my card. Use it to contact me if the boys ability changes at all again.” She walked out of the door.

Aaron could be seen staring at the Ace who sat there as silence filled the room again. “She wasn’t very helpful at all. All she did was push her job onto us.” Ace said in a snarky voice while criticizing the doctor.

“So… Ace, are you gonna tell us the real reason why you’re here. Because obviously it isn’t for neither Vlad nor I. What is your agenda?” Aaron declared as he shakily got onto his feet.

“No, none of you outrank me in any way, so I don’t have to tell you anything.” Ace responded flatly as he turned and walked out of the room.