Silver Reincarnated

Chapter 3: Coping with The Legacy

I opened my eyes only to close them back after being met with a blinding light. I covered them with my hand just enough for some of the light to seep through my fingers. Once I had adjusted, I realized that I was on a bed; my bed in my room. And I wasn"t alone.

It was the smell that came first: a fairly clean smell mixed with the scent of old books. While still lying on the bed, I turned my head to see Professor Crown sitting in a chair. I didn"t say anything because at that same time I realized that ever since my fight with Chase"s gang my sense of smell was better.

"How long....?" I asked as I tried to right myself up.

"Not long. You were just exhausted is all." Said the professor.

My eyes drifted to my arms and-- "The heck! Where did these tattoos come from!?" Sure enough, there were tattoos that went up to my arms. On the back of my hands was a design that looked like a circle with five triangles around it. A thick line that split in two where my wrist was continued up my arm.

I was scared. I held up my arm so that Crown could see the tattoos. "Did you do this?" I asked him, not trying to hide the emotions that I had. "Why? And who are you?"

The professor raised his hand to signal me to stop. "Let me make something clear." He said as he looked me in the eyes. "I understand you have a lot of questions, but I will not be able to answer all of them. This is not because I"m trying to hide anything. To answer your first question: I had nothing to do with the tattoos on your arms. Those manifested there during your fight with those leatherbacks."

I was going to ask him what a leatherback was, but he continued while answering my unspoken question. "They"re a type of monster."

"Monster? Do you mean like the ascended humans?" I asked.

"Not humans. Monsters."

I looked down at the tattoos that covered my arms. "So what does that make me? Am I still human?" I was afraid. What had I become; why was this happening to me; will I be hunted for what I was now? My thoughts were clouded with these questions and paranoia. I didn"t believe in monsters but didn"t deny the fact that whatever happened with Chase was real. To think that I could be like them...

Regardless, I had to know.

"No, you are no longer human." He said.

I was breathless for a moment. "Then what does that mean for me?" Thoughts of every monster movie I"ve seen came to mind. I remembered how every creature was hunted and feared by everyone. I imagined myself running from special forces with their special weapons that were used to kill special things like me.

I felt a hand being placed on my shoulder. I looked up to find that Professor Crown with a comforting smile. He told me, "I know that you don"t understand what is going on. You want answers, you want to know what all of this means. The truth is all of this doesn"t have to mean anything. Your life will not be the same, but if you so choose, you can go about your life without having to worry about what has happened today." He took his hand off my shoulder and sat back down in the chair.

I started thinking again, but one question kept surfacing. "What will happen to my family if I take your path?"

"That depends on you and you alone. Just remember that I am not rushing you." He turns to look out my window. It was getting late. "Well, I best be off. I shouldn"t overstay my welcome." The professor made his way to the door. Before he left, I asked him how would I contact him if I had more questions. He said that all the information I would need would be on the brochure I got in the mail.

Even after he left my sites, I continued to look forward. My mind felt blank and empty. I didn"t hear him leave the house(actually, I don"t even think he used the door). Looking down at my arms again, I saw that the tattoos were still there. Seeing them gave me a sense of confusion and fear and soon after, I felt like I didn"t know who I was.

The sound of the door opening downstairs jolted me back to reality. I put on a long-sleeved shirt and made my way to see who had entered my home. Only two other people could get in, but the thought of someone capable of getting in and out of my home with ease scared me. I felt stupid when I saw mom at the door.

As soon as she saw me, she smiled and said, "Hey Joe. How was your day today?" She closed the door behind her.

Well, mom, you could say that my day was active. I was called to the office again only this time to inform me that I"m qualified to enroll in a school of monsters. "Uneventful," I said instead.

For a moment, she gave me a look that told me she didn"t believe that. "Well, as long as nothing bad happened." She made her way to the kitchen to find something to eat. "So, when did you get home?"

"Not too recently," I replied as I followed her.

"That"s good." She opened the cupboard and grabbed a bag of chips. "I got a call from the school," she turned to me, "and, no, it"s not bad." I allowed myself to relax. "They told me that you were getting a scholarship for a university called White Castle. I can"t say I"ve heard of it, but it was nice of them."

Almost instinctively, I looked down at my arms. I was sure that under the shirt the tattoos were still there, and yet my mom had not mentioned anything. Good. I didn"t want to explain.

"Joe?" I looked up at my mom. "Are you ok? You zoned out for a bit."

"Yeah, I"m fine. Mrs. February told me about it. I just don"t believe."

"I guess it is a lot to take in." Too much if you ask me, I thought to myself. My mom continued, "I"m not surprised, though. Your smart, hardworking--"

"Hey, mom."

"Yes."

"One of the professors from the university actually came to tell me about the scholarship to see if I would like to attend himself."

"Really?" She asked, almost not believing what she was just told.

"The university isn"t in the state though. I was wondering how you and dad would feel if I said I wanted to go." I didn"t know where the school was located, nor had I decided whether or not I wanted to go to this "school". To my understanding, I would be subjected to a dangerous environment filled with dangerous creatures and a bizarre way of life--at least, I assumed. And yet, somewhere deep in my heart, I felt drawn to say yes to the offer. I just want to make sure that regardless of what I did, I would feel no regrets about it.

My mom smiled warmly at me. "Joe, it doesn"t matter what you choose to do. Your father and I love you and if going out of state gets you closer to your goal, then we support you." She made her way towards me and rested her free hand on my head. The chip bag was held in the other hand.

When I was younger, my parents liked to ruffle my non-braided hair. I always hated it and I think that"s why they kept doing it. As I got older and life got a bit harder, however, what started as a joke soon became a comforting gesture.

We spent the rest of the time talking about the day that had past. I did my best to dance around the almost-dying part. Every so often, I would look down at my arms. Mom still hadn"t pointed them out or even seem to have noticed that I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt.

By the time we were done talking, my dad was pulling up in the driveway. After I greeted him, I went to my room. I figured I would get started on my homework considering I didn"t get a chance to start after I got home. Plus it was a good way to get my mind off the day"s events. I opened my backpack and dug through my papers to find my assigned worksheets. The thing was I couldn"t find them at first. It wasn"t until the third scan that I found the sheets of paper I was looking for. Turns out they were already finished in what looked to be my handwriting. I was confused at first but then was immediately overcome with annoyance because I knew it was the professor who did it.

Weird, I thought, why am I annoyed that my homework was done. Actually, wasn"t my stuff thrown on the ground by Chase and his friends?

I put everything back into my bag. From there, I was left with my thoughts until I got ready for bed. I need this day to end.

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Chase hated getting stitches. He hated the fact that his friends needed stitches. This hate didn"t come from a fear of needles or pain; both things he could handle. They reminded him of the similarities his kind(leatherbacks) had to humans. Unlike vampires or werewolves, they didn"t have fast healing or naturally re-attachable limbs. Even among the humans, they were still weak compared to the ones that had their blue gen activated.

That"s why it was so relieving to pick on kids like Joe. Why did he have to gain that power and ruin their fun? Why was he the one who got chosen?

While it is unclear how the power of Silver is passed down, Chase has heard his fair share of crackpot theories. One said that the person must be a werewolf born and is randomly chosen by Claymore"s guard to be infused with the power. The big problem with that was Joe was not a werewolf before today. The other most popular theory was the power was its own entity that would randomly choose who it would bond with and only reveal itself under certain circumstances. While much more believable than the former, it left Chase with questions and loopholes to fill. Were there rules and/or restrictions? Could he have been chosen? If not, what made Joe qualified?

Chase continued to think as he watched his girlfriend stitch up the last of the cut wounds. From the corner of his vision, a dark figure appeared; a man, maybe. Even looking directly at it, the figure was shrouded in shadow.

"Guys," Chase said, his voice reaching everyone"s ears. They all turned to him. "Someone is here." He extended his claws followed by the more battle-ready leatherbacks.

The figure began to move towards Chase"s gang while being mindful to stay in the shadow. It was easy to deduce this man was a vampire, which only made Chase feel defeated. He knew that whatever happens next, he couldn"t stop it from happening. To make matters worse than worse, when the vampire reached them, it was clear this wasn"t a random vamp given he only had one arm.

"Greetings." said the vampire in soothing tone vamps are known for. "I am--"

"We know who you are." Chase interrupted. "I just want to know why you"re here." Sequentially, the rest of the gang looked at Chase with concern and dumbfoundedness. On top of being infamous, the gang could feel the heavy and menacing aura coming from the vamp. Chase could feel it too, but he was not going to be scared a second time that day.

The vampire was unfazed. "I am aware that you have come across a less than fortunate event. I came to offer you an opportunity you can"t refuse." His eyes began to glow red revealing to the leatherback gang that this vampire had no ordinary master.

Tense and unmoving, Chase asked, "What do you need?"