‘So,’ said the silent man as the old tavern creaked in the harsh Siberian winds. ‘This was the time he started to realise his powers. This was not too long ago. He surely can not be too strong then.’ He wasn’t talking directly to the stranger, but the rougher man replied all the same.
‘You might think so, but he is a fast learner apparently. Here, let me tell you.’
‘Rhys, move!’ Yun’s voice bounced around Rhys’s mind. He was still groggy, even after a heavy sleep. What had happened? He’d used the energy, his powers, and blasted through a glass window and managed to stop himself from falling to his death. Was that a dream?
Rhys opened his eyes and realised he was in bed. After a moment, he recognised his surroundings as one of the safe houses. An apartment that they had rented and could use in the eventuality their main base was compromised. This one was only a few blocks from where he had raided Descartes’s base. Descartes wasn’t there; there was someone else, dead. Yun had helped him to his feet, had managed to stumble somewhere. It was a blur.
But his energy, his powers. Could he use them as a weapon?
‘Wakey wakey,’ Yun’s voice emerged from outside the small bedroom. He entered and gave a mock bow; the foodstuffs on the tray clinked a little as he did so. ‘Budda says, to sustain the mind, you must sustain the body.’
‘Yeah, but he said a lot of stuff. I know it would be wise to eat after falling out a window.’
‘How profound.’ Rhys grunted and sat up in the bed, noticing for the first time that he was naked. ‘Wouldn’t be the first time,’ he muttered.
‘No, you keep getting injured, and I keep getting familiar with your anatomy. You’re not my type. Now eat up.’ The tray was placed on his lap and contained eggs, rice, cooked vegetables with what smelled like garlic and oyster sauce.
‘You missed your calling,’ Rhys groaned again, his head still ached.
‘No, all Asians can cook. Some stereotypes are true. Here,’ he handed Rhys two tablets, ‘with a head like that, it should ache. But maybe not that much.’ He sat down on a rickety wooden chair by the bed. ‘I watched you for hours; you were lucky you didn’t scramble your brain. If you’d hit the pavement headfirst, that would have been the end of you. Seems your shoulder took the brunt.’ Rhys could indeed feel the effects. His left shoulder protested with the slightest movement. ‘So,’ Yun said as Rhys took the tablets without water and began eating without pleasure; he needed fuel. ‘Let’s talk about you being a superhero.’
‘What?’ He mumbled around his food.
‘I saw you hit the deck. I came to check on you; lucky I did. The guards were slow, but it was still a bit of luck to get you out. But you can shoot lasers now?’
‘Hardly.’ He had spent the past few years improving his mind and body, turning himself into a living weapon. He utilised rudimentary arms as well, blades, small firearms, explosives. But all this time, could he have been using his own inner strength? It was a tantalising idea.
Yun was about to say something when there was a knock at the door. The two men looked at each other, instantly on edge.