Chapter 2; Isolated

Levi takes the back door and enters the house but he deactivates his power when he sees a familiar figure in red with some maids working in the large kitchen. He hesitates a little before taking a deep breath and walking into the kitchen. 

The maids turn to their attention to the new presence in the room and smiled at him. “Welcome back, Levi.” The most elderly of the maids said and Levi waves at her but he flinches when he realised a particular woman staring at him.

She was 42 years of age and she was basically the same height with Levi. She had a small x shaped birthmark on her forehead at the left side. And based on her similar Afro-Asian bronze skin-colour, brown eye and long black smooth hair which reached her back, you can tell that she was very closely related to Levi.

“Hi, mum.” Levi said, sheepishly as she approaches him with a scary look on her face and she stops in front of him in silence.

She suddenly gives him her signature scary-sweet smile and speaks. “Your father told me about your little hunting secret… Care to explain, Levi?”

Levi freezes up in fear when one of the younger maids approached Mrs West and lightly squeezes her shoulder. “Please go easy on him, Mrs Rose.” Mrs West gives the maid a quick glare and the maid avoids eye contact as she walks away.

Rose visibly takes a calming breath and Levi takes a gulp as she gazes at him again. “You were using your powers, weren’t you?” He hesitates at first before nodding solemnly. “Your father and I agreed that you can use your powers in the village but using it outside…” She trails off with a headshake and all Levi could do was stare in shame. “What if someone else saw you and you get discovered or if the-” She bites her lips to keep herself from saying anymore and Levi finally builds the courage to say something.

“I’m sorry, mum. It’s just that…” He hesitates for a moment as she glares at him before continuing. “I can’t help it. It’s like it’s becoming more and more second nature every day.”

As if on cue, a maid passing them with a tray of ingredients accidentally knocks over a glass bowl of chili which had begun to spill out and Rose was about to shout out just as Levi’s eyes glowed blue again. Then in barely a moment, he grabs the bowl and uses it to grab the chili still mid-air. Rose stares at him in shock and his eyes return to normal.

“See?” He said as a maid approached to collect the bowl from Levi and he turns to Rose who was now contemplating about it.

“Alright, fine.” Rose said after a moments’ hesitation and Levi lets out a sigh of relief. “But you’re not going hunting again.”

Levi suddenly stops his celebration and stares at his mother in shock. “But-”

“No buts, young man.” She grumbled in frustration and Levi remains silent. “I know you’re being helpful and your power is certainly helping us…” She said with folded arms and lets out a sigh before finishing. “But I think it’s safer for you if you just stay in the village until you can control yourself.” Levi was frustrated with hearing that phrase over and over again but he bottles up his emotion and nods in agreement. Rose stares at Levi’s disappointed face and her expression softens for a moment.

“Oh Levi…” She suddenly wraps him in her also usual tight motherly hug and unconsciously strokes part of his hair. “I know we’re being hard on you but if your identity is revealed…” She shudders and her eyes became christen with tears as she squeezes him a little. “I just don’t want to lose you. Is that so wrong?”

Levi’s expression softens as well when he notices Rose wiping the tears from her eyes as she releases him. “I guess not. I’ll…stop hunting.” He sighed and she gives him another motherly hug.

“That’s my little camel.” She chuckled with the ‘embarrassing-mummy’ expression as she gives his cheek a quick kiss.

Levi rubs his cheek with an embarrassed look as the maids around him tries but fail to contain their laughter. “I’m 17 now, mum. Can you please stop calling me that?” He mumbled and Rose lets out a hearty laugh while shaking her head.

“Blame your dad for first calling you that when you were a baby. Now go get ready for dinner, dear. No offence but you smell like the jungle.” She said as she turns him around and shoos him out of the kitchen. 

An hour and a half later, Levi had already taken his bath, changed into a pair of jade-coloured pyjamas and was in his room on the top floor. After he finishes brushing his hair, he grabs his tablet and walks towards his opened window. He decides to climb out and sit on the branch of the tree just outside the window.

He takes in the cool air and beautiful sight of the village as every home celebrates the yearly feast. He then opens his tablet and began reading some stuff on the internet when his eyes suddenly glowed again as he notices a presence close-by. His mind immediately creates a holographic image of his surroundings……including a male figure sneaking in his room behind him. He smiles a little and refuses to turn around when he recognised the figure but as the man was about to reach out from the window…… 

“Nice try, Uncle Mark.” He looks over his shoulder with his glowing eyes and the man chuckles as he makes eye-contact.

“You cheated.” He remarked as he motions to sit on the window while Levi turns to face him. He is man much taller than Levi and he strongly resembled Mr West with the same coloured skin, curly hair and facial appearance being that he was Mr West’s older brother. “You weren’t supposed to use that your sensory thing.” He grumbled as he placed his feet on the tree for support and Levi chuckles as his eyes returned to normal. They remained there, just taking the cool breeze and distant music from different homes when Mark speaks again. “I heard about your hunting ban.”

Levi glances at Mark before letting out a sigh with a hand on his neck. “Who told you?”

“Grace.” He added and Levi softly chuckles.

“How would my dad feel when he finds out that you’re seeing one of our maids?” Levi asked with a raised brow and Mark rolls his eyes. 

“Oh please…Luke has been married for 25 years unlike his big brother. I need to settle down someday, you know…and so far, I think I’m hitting it off with Grace.” Mark commented with a big smile while Levi makes a disgusted face which made Mark punch him but instead of getting mad, they busted into laughter. After another short moment, Mark gives Levi’s arm a gentle squeeze. “Are you okay with the no-hunting thing?”

Levi lets out a sigh and shrugs. “It’s not like I have a choice… I just have to find something else to do since I still can’t get into a normal college.” He leans back onto the tree’s trunk with his eyes on the night sky above them. “Hey Uncle Mark, do you think my parents are being too strict with this ‘no-power’ thing? I mean, they’ve already ordered the entire village to keep it secret and I always make sure there’s no witness when I use my powers outside the village.” There was a little silence so he glances at Mark who was now rubbing his bearded chin with a thinking look on his face.

“I admit that my brother and in-law are being strict but I can’t blame them…” He gives Levi a concerned look and Levi could already tell what he was going to say next. “What if the Index does find out about you?”

Levi remains silent on that note as he recalls the Index; The name given to the faction that governs the management and application of Trons worldwide. Although under the same name, the Index was divided into four separate factions indicated by the four cardinal points of a compass.

“You’ve seen the news updates, right?” Levi nods as he taps the screen of his tablet which revealed the news update related to the Tron and the Web. “It’s been ‘years’ and the Index still haven’t been able to completely eradicate the Web’s forces.”

Levi swipes to another page and unconsciously taps a contemplative fingertip to his chin. “Meanwhile, it seems the Web’s forces are growing again slowly.” Levi mumbled and Mark snapped his fingers at Levi.

“Exactly. We’ve been losing more and more Trons in battle while the Web only seem to grow.” Mark lets out a sigh and gazes at the village seemingly happy and ignorant of the issues outside. “If we want to finish this once and for all, then the Index needs more Trons and…that’s why they’re doing everything they can to get their hands on abled Trons.” Mark’s face saddens for a moment and Levi could tell what or who the reason was.

“Just like Uncle Matt?” He mumbled and Mark clenched his fists a little before responding with a solemn nod. 

“It’s been over 40 years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Our brother Matt just unlocked his Tron abilities by the age of ten. The very next day, the Index came and offered him a place in the tron army.” He lets a half-hearted chuckle and looks at Levi with a sad smile. “I was just 7 back then, but I tried to attack the men that came to take him away. Emphasis on the ‘try’.” He chuckled for a moment before continuing. “He was too much of a goody-too-shoes. Even though they didn’t force him… He still chose to go with them. To help stop the fight and give our family some peace.”

Mark lets out a heavy sigh. “He was really stupid for doing that…but he was still my big bro and it killed me when I never saw him again.” 

Levi remains completely silent as he listens intensely to Mark who seem to be wrapped up in his memories of that day. “I guess that’s why I’m such a mess now… I always left the thinking and work for big bro to handle. That kind of loss just messes with your head and it’s even worse when they call back to inform us that he died years later but refuse to send his body over for ‘research purposes’.”

Levi hangs his head for moment and reflects on Mark’s words which he has heard a lot of times but yet it’s still had the same sad effect. “Your dad didn’t go through all that because he was, like three then, so maybe that’s why he’s so composed now but for me…it still hurts like hell…especially for our parents. And that was when it was still voluntary. Not now that you’re taken away no matter what once they find you.”

Mark narrows his eyes at Levi as he continued. “And they won’t stop looking just like they came to take all the Trons still in the village 18 years ago.”

“I know; I know… Even if it’s a baby, they’ll eventually take it away for ‘its own protection’.” Levi grumbled with air quotes and Mark shakes his head.

“To be honest, I don’t blame them. The things trons are capable of are crazy. Even the things you do are crazy on its own and you’re not even connected yet.” Levi’s brows furrowed in thought and Mark shakes his head again. “It makes sense to train new trons before they get themselves or those around them hurt. And it’s not like they’re all forced to fight… There are Tron settlements for trons to try to live a normal life.”

“I guess.” Levi mumbled and Mark smiles a little as he gives Levi a little shake.

“It took your parents 8 long years before you popped out. If the Index finds you and takes you away…” He trailed off and Levi lets out a long sigh since he already knows the answer. “So if you ask if your folks are being too strict? Then to me, they’re not being strict enough.” He chuckled and Levi remains silent but nods in agreement.

“I know they’re looking out for me but I can’t help it…” He turned to Mark and his eyes glowed blue again. “When I first got my powers 4 years ago, I had to consciously use them but now…” He stares at his hand with a stern look before noticing a guard moving in slow-motion to him downstairs. “It just happens.” He deactivates his powers and his eyes go back to normal. “Is that normal for a Tron?” He asked Mark who shrugs.

“Hey, you’re the scholar in the house. You tell me.” They shared a laugh and Levi swiped on his screen for something.

“I wish I knew but…” He shows Mark his research on Trons which was not more than a page. “…all information on Trons are all classified so I barely know anything them or…me.”

Mark chuckles a little and stares at the sky above them for a moment. “Well whatever’s happening to you… just know your uncle Mark’s got your back. Can’t lose my favourite nephew.”

Levi rolled his eyes with a smile. “I’m your only nephew.”

Mark lets out a hearty laugh and smacks Levi’s arm just as the door to Levi’s room swings open and they both turned to see Levi’s father glaring at Mark. “I thought I told you to bring Levi down for dinner 10 minutes ago.” He grumbled and Mark laughs as he steps back into the room.

“Sorry Luke. Got a little distracted.” Mark said as Levi climbs back into the room and drops his tablet on a table.

“Well. Let’s just go. Everyone’s waiting.” Luke said and he gives Levi’s head a little rub before all going back downstairs where everyone in the house were seated on the large and long dining table with many assortments of food staring back at them. Levi and Mark take their usual seats beside Luke and Rose. Luke then rises and holds up a glass of wine and the entire family follows suite as well as the workers there.

“We’re here to celebrate our 45th anniversary. For 45 long years, this village have enjoyed the bliss of being separate from trouble and war. And I pray that this village will see more of these joyous years as time goes go on. Cheers.” Luke said.

“Cheers.” Everyone goes and they all drink up just as a maid turned on the stereo to play some music as everyone in the house both family and worker dined and converse with one another.

The family included; Luke, Rose, Uncle Mark, Levi and two elderly people. About 30 minutes later, Levi was being ‘attacked’ by the elderly woman when Rose approaches them with a laugh. “I think Levi’s cheeks has had enough, mum.” Levi’s grandmother chuckles as she finally releases Levi and goes off while Rose gives Levi a smile. “Enjoying the party?”

“It’s great.” He chuckled as he glanced at Mark who dances with a beautiful maid across the room.

“Oh, I forgot to mention.” Rose said, immediately getting Levi’s attention. “Your shipment of books and anime came in today.”

Levi quickly puts on a grin and clenches his fists in excitement. “Yes! Love you, mum.” He said as he immediately hugs her and she chuckles as she rubs his back.

“I love you too, Levi. Besides I’m tired of you bugging me about new books after you basically cleared my library.” Levi chuckles and she gives his head a little kiss before dragging him to the dancefloor.

“Mum…” He mumbled in embarrassment and rolled his eyes as Rose swings him around.

“Don’t tell me you’re embarrassed to dance with me.” She chuckled and Levi sighed as he followed his mother’s lead with the rest of the family in complete merriment…

The next two days were still a little festive but Levi spent most of his days in his room switching between his new books and anime rather than his usual running around. After another family dinner, Levi decides to go to bed early and flips the light switch before crawling into his sheets.

Almost two hours later, he began to have a very strange dream…it was his holographic sensing technique which he normally uses but this one was fuzzy and strange as it seemed to extend outside his immediate environment…he could also make out some blurry figures which resembled animals…one of the creatures suddenly lunges for him and he shoots up from his bed. His eyes were glowing again and he holds his forehead as he pants. 

“That’s…new…” He mumbled with a shaky voice and after a moment, he decides to go to the bathroom when he suddenly gets a chilled feeling…just a loud explosion resonates in the air.

“What?” He mumbled as he runs over to his window where he sees the distant sight of a burning building just as a loud crash was heard and a building suddenly collapses. Before Levi could do anything else, all the lights in the village suddenly go out before switching into emergency lights as a loud siren sounds across the entire valley.

A siren which every resident of Asylum Bay knows…… <Drals.> Levi thought with a glare in his blue eyes.

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