Chapter 3; Drals

Drals; Just like with Trons, there are some animals that had also been affected by the Genesis all those years ago. But unlike Trons who gain specific powers, the Drals are just destructive beings with no real ability that makes them stand out like Trons. Levi watches as the event seemed to only be occurring at the main gate from the village but notices that it began to spread inward. “Damn it.” Without much thought, Levi leaps out of the window, lands on the solid ground and races across the field before flipping over the fence around his home to help handle the situation.

“Levi!” Rose shouted as she barged into his room but once she saw his empty bed and the opened window, she understood what happened. “No.” She said as she rushes out of his room with a concerned expression on her face.

Meanwhile, Levi was already back on the village floor and speeding across the barely lit roads while residents ran away from the action ahead of him. As he approaches the danger area, he catches the sight a burning roof which suddenly collapses and falls……in the direction of fleeing lady.

His bare feet skid across the solid ground as he changes direction and tackles the lady out of the way of the falling building but before they hit the ground, Levi flips and skids to a stop with the lady safely in his hands. “Are you okay?” He asked the lady and she was about to answer when she freezes in fear at a large figure behind Levi. He then jumps out of the way when he senses the threat and lands some distance away with the lady still in his arms as the large figure collides into another building. 

Levi drops the lady and points to the direction he just came from. “Get out of here!” He shouted out and the lady nods in fear and flees to safety just as Levi turned to the beast emerging from the now burning building.

Levi had only seen a Dral once when he was 9 and it attacked the village but the security team managed to neutralize it so he only got to see its dead body. 

But this is the first time Levi has seen a live Dral which was a ten-foot boar. It’s head, horn, feet and back were however covered with a black-reddish metallic armour. Some aspects of its fur also had a dull red glow which matched its glowing bright red eyes. 

“So you’re the one causing a mess…” Levi mumbled as he slipped into a strange combat pose with his fingers stretched out. The Dral snorts loudly as it drags its hoofs on the ground and suddenly charges at Levi. But Levi moves with superior speed as he weaves past its charge and rams his fist into its side but it doesn’t flinch as it runs past him.

“Wow, that’s hard.” He grumbled as he watches the Dral change direction and charges at him again but before Levi could move again, a large blast of blue energy collides with the beast sending it skidding across the ground.

“Hey Levi!” He turned to see John holding a large futuristic gun with blue energy pulsing through its outlines and steam rising its muzzle. “We got this.” Several men then circled the beast each with different variants of blasters and fired at the beast which thrashes and smashes everything around it as the weapons break past its armour and inflict damage.

Levi gives John a concerned look as he hurriedly approaches him. “What’s going on?”

John sighs as he stares at the growling beast. “5 Drals managed to slip past the outer posts and suddenly attacked the main gate.”

Levi’s eyes widen in shock at the situation. “All at once? That’s strange.”

John chuckles a little as he glances at the Dral before turning back to Levi. “We managed to get one earlier just as it broke past the gate but our other forces are still moving to handle the rest.”

Levi looks at the Dral which seemed very weak from the men’s relentless attacks. Then as John points his gun at the creature and its magazine began to glow with energy, Levi turned back to John with a determined stare. “Where are the others?”

He glances at Levi’s face and shakes his head when he realised why he asked. “Oh no, Levi. Your folks aren’t going to like that.”

“Come on, John.” Levi said as he stepped in front of him to get his attention and he lowered his weapon. “You know I can help.” 

Before any of them could say anything else, the walkie-talkie on John’s belt gives out a loud screech before a voice comes. “We’ve got a stray Dral heading west. Requesting backup!” 

Levi raises a brow at John who look between Levi and the now neutralized Dral before sighing. “If these Drals won’t kill me, your folks will.” He turns to Levi with a commanding expression. “Head west and get that Dral.” Levi nods and runs towards the direction just as John calls out to him and he stops to look back. “Watch your back, kid.” Levi flashes him a thumb-up and sprints away as John faces his men. “Let’s move!” They nodded and headed in another direction for the other Drals.

Levi runs some distance before leaping onto a building to get higher view of the area. He was able to see through the dark because of his eyes which were also capable of clear night-vison. <Where are you?> He thought just as he notices another loud crash some distance away and jumps down towards the direction.

As he falls down however, his eyes widen when he senses a presence charging from behind but before his feet could touch the ground, a Dral busts through the building behind him and rams into him, sending his body crashing through a café. 

It snorts loudly at the smashed building…just as Levi steps out of the smoke without any injury but his jade-coloured pyjamas were partially torn and dusty. The Dral grunts and prepares for another charge but Levi suddenly zooms forward and gives the Dral a powerful smack to the head.

“How’s that feel?” The creature glares at Levi with its head armour now partly broken as it tries to ram Levi with its horns but Levi instinctively flips into the air and gives a powerful spin-kick to the top of its skull where a faint-glowing light could be seen. The force from his foot not only breaks the armour but also cracks the red-orb underneath it. Levi kicks off its head and slides backwards across the ground as the Dral falls with a resounding thud as the light from its eyes and the orb fade away. 

<To kill a Dral, you must destroy its core. Heh, thank you, internet.” He mumbled with a smile as he continues forward but not long after, he felt another attack coming and jumps aside as another Dral charges right past him.

He skids to a stop to face his new opponent which had already began its second charge. He quickly jumps back to avoid its deadly ram just as another Dral emerges from a building and Levi blocks as it collides into him, the force sending him flying several feet as he crashes to the ground and slams into the base of the fountain at the central park which breaks on impact. 

The two Drals now stalk with evil intent towards Levi as he gets up with a bleeding temple but barely a second later, the wound on his head was already healed and he glared at the two beasts as he wipes the small blood from his lips. 

“That…hurt.” He grumbled as he zoomed forward with his eyes leaving a streak of blue light and one of the Drals responded with its own destructive charge but Levi weaves past him and uses a strange martial art to send a kick to its side with enough force to send it rolling to the side.

The moment his feet touches the ground again; he turns to the other Dral which had already begun its charge at him. Levi braces as the Dral collides into him and his bare feet skid across the ground but he stands his ground, causing his feet to bury into the concrete as he forces the Dral to a halt. 

He then grunts loudly as he gives the Dral a punch to the face between the eyes and it groans in pain just as Levi rams his elbow at the same point further cracking its armour and it stumbles. Then Levi jumps up and with a shout, slams both fists on its weak spot, shattering the core and neutralizing the beast. It falls with a thud and Levi crouches down on its shattered skull with a huff. 

“Damn, this shell’s hard.” He then turns to the other Dral who rams its head and horns into the dead one, catapulting both Levi and the dead Dral into the air. 

In that moment, Levi groans as he breaks off one of the dead Dral’s tusks and flips to his feet as the dead Dral’s body lands with a loud thud behind him. The last Dral snorts loudly as it charges at Levi once again but Levi grunts as he grips the tusk in his hand and hurls it into the Dral’s head like a spear.

As it trips and skids across the ground towards Levi, he plants one feet in front of him with enough force to crack the ground and performs some weird hand-movement before smashing his palm into the tusk further driving it into the Dral’s skull, shattering its core and bringing its body to a complete stop with a strong breeze blowing from the sudden halt. Some blood spurts out from the point of damage with a few blood splashed on Levi’s clothes and face as he pants hard from exhaustion while staring at the now dead Dral’s eyes.

Levi plants both hands on his knees and stares at the ground as he tried to catch his breath. “Over here!” Levi turned to see John and his team who just arrived at the scene and were shocked to see him standing between two dead Drals. “Damn, kid.” John chuckled in complete shock and Levi also notices another group of men arriving at the scene with one man who seemed to be the leader stepping forward while taking in the scene.

He looks around the area, taking in the damaged buildings, shattered concrete and dented fountain with two dead Drals lying on the ground and a young boy in nothing but his pyjamas standing between them. “What the hell happened here?”

“I believe he just saved this village.” A man said and the men hesitated before cheering for Levi who slowly plants a grin on his face before suddenly sitting back on the floor as exhaustion hits him. 

John quickly rushes over and crouches beside him with a hand on his shoulder. “You okay, kid?”

Levi’s eyes had already returned to normal and he gives John a tired smile. “I’m good. Just a little winded… that’s all.” John chuckles as he pats Levi’s back several times and he glances at the Drals beside him with a proud smile on his face.

The next morning around 5am, the security and hunting squad had already gathered the five Drals outside the village and it was recorded that 16 people were injured with zero casualties. The village elders as well as the Chief were now holding a meeting in a conference hall. Luke and John sat on the high table with 7 more men with them.

“This is a disaster! How did those beasts even get through our defences?” An elderly man shouted out in anger and the head of security, Mr William responded.

“My apologies sir. It seems they managed to slip past the outer posts and we were also not prepared to handle an attack of this proportion at once especially Drals as strong at those variants.” William said and another elder scuffed at him.

“You mean, your men spent more time drinking than actually watching out for our safety.” William glared at the man and Luke loudly clears his throat to silence the room.

“I admit that it is disappointing that our security team were not able to keep the threat outside the village.” Luke said with a stern look.

William stands up and bows to Luke in respect. “I accept full responsibility for our poor response.”

Luke waves at him to stop and sit back down. “It’s alright, William. The good news is that no life was lost in the process.”

A young light-skinned woman in spectacles speaks next with a stern look. “But the damages to some property were serious as well as the loss of people’s homes and workplaces. This will take some time to fully recover.”

Another man in a brown suit and a funny moustache spoke with a stoic expression. “I’ve already requested for new supplies and materials for reconstruction of buildings and structures. They should arrive in a few days.” The man turns to Luke who nods in agreement and raises a brow at him. “Are you sure we shouldn’t inform the Index of this issue?”

Luke folds his arms and gives an honest nod. “Luckily, the Drals we encountered were all anonymous so that means they’re all strays and unconnected to the Index or Web. If they were still alive, then we could have handed them over to the Index but now that they’re dead, they serve no use.”

Levi’s grandmother turned to Luke with a serious stare. “And the Drals?”

“My team’s already carried them out to dispose of the bodies since they’re poisonous to us, humans.” John said and everyone at the meeting nod in agreement just as a middle-aged man with dark hair slammed his fists on the table. “Something wrong, Harold?”

“Yes.” Harold grumbled in frustration and stared at John. “I believe the real reason our Chief refuses to contact the Index is because of that ‘thing’ in his house.” He said with an evil eye on Luke.

Luke’s expression flinches for a moment and an another elderly man jumped up with a glare at Harold. “Don’t you ever talk about my grandson that way!” He grumbled in anger and Levi’s grandmother calms him back down.

Luke takes in a deep breath to control his anger before responding to Harold. “I understand your reasoning but I assure you that my decision is not influenced by my son’s condition. And besides, my son helped eliminate the threat if you weren’t aware.”

Harold glares at Luke and clenches his fists tightly. “Of course, I’m aware of our little ‘hero’ but I also know that as long as that boy stays here, we’re going to have trouble!” 

“Mr Harold, please calm down.” William said and instead Harold gets only angrier as he shoots up from his seat as he gestures to the window.

“My house is in shambles, William! How can I calm down?! For years we’ve been doing okay but ever since that child got his ‘gift’ we’ve been getting some dangerous signs lately. And we always had to deal with it ourselves because the Chief doesn’t want to lose his boy. What about us, huh? What about the other children that were taken years ago?”

Luke’s composure began to falter as he spoke out, his tone finally getting angry. “Mr Harold, please sit down.”

“With all due respect Chief, your decisions are clouded!” Harold blurted out with a finger pointed at Luke as John and another elder stood up to help calm him but he doesn’t relent with his harsh comments. “You said it yourself that you just discovered, he was hunting by ‘himself’. He’s been outside using his powers without supervision! For a whole year! What if those creatures that attacked us was actually here for him?!” John grabs Harold to calm him down before he actually goes physical.

“Calm down, man!” John shouted out and Harold shrugs off John’s hold when William suddenly speaks. 

“He does have a point.” The others including Harold turned to him in shock as he rubs his chin and explains. “I did notice something strange. As we were fighting one of the Drals, it suddenly just charged off into complete different direction and when we followed it back, we found it dead with the boy.”

John flinches when he realises that William’s theory could be right. “The same thing happened to us when we found another Dral.” John grumbled in frustration and murmurs suddenly break out on the table with Luke deep in serious thought.

“You see?!” Harold shouted out and slammed a hand on the table as he glares at Luke. “As long as that child remains in this village, he’s going to attract more and more danger. He’s putting us all in jeopardy. If you don’t make up your mind and send him off now, people will die, Chief or have you forgotten the incident 18 years ago…” The moment he said that, everybody in the room suddenly tensed up because they knew what he was talking about. “He might-”

Luke finally snaps and slams both hands on the table as he stood up with enough force to topple his chair over, throwing the room into silence. John places a hand on Harold’s shoulder to keep him from saying any more. “Why would you bring ‘that’ up?” 

Harold smacks John’s hand aside and glares at him. “He needs to remember that as Chief, his duties come first to his people, not his emotions.” Before anyone else could say anything, Harold gives Luke one last glare before angrily storming out the room.

The room remains silent as everyone stares at Luke who hunched over and staring at the table in complete silence. Levi’s grandmother then clears her throat and gets their attention. “It’s been a stressful morning. Why don’t we handle this later in the evening?” Everyone agreed and decided to go, leaving Luke alone with her and Levi’s grandfather. She then goes over and wraps her arms around Luke. “It’s okay, son. Just get some rest, okay?”

Luke looks up with frustrated eyes and glances between his mother and father before nodding. “Thank you.” She nodded and his father smiled as they stayed in silence for a while… just as they turned to the loud rustling of the bush just outside the window. “Who’s there?!” Luke shouted out as he rushed to the window and looks around but he doesn’t find anyone.

Meanwhile, a few minutes later, a cleaned-up Levi sneaks back into his room from the window and closes it……just as his reading light switches on and he sees his uncle Mark staring at him from his seat.

“Isn’t it too early in the morning to be sneaking back into your room?” Levi flinches for a moment and Mark gives him an encouraging smile. “How was the meeting?” Levi avoids eye-contact and his expression darkens when he remembered how that man kept referring to him as an error. “Ah. Let me guess, Mr Harold went crazy about you again.”

Levi lets out a half-hearted chuckle as he sits on his bed. “Damn, you’re good.”

Mark gives a proud smile and shrugs. “I try.” He gets up from the chair and plops down beside Levi with a concerned look. “You okay, sport?”

Levi lets out a sigh and places his head between his hands. “Why does that guy hate me so much?”

Mark sighs and he crosses his legs with a focused stare at the ceiling. “I can’t exactly say I blame him. He lost both his wife and child years ago because they were both Trons. So I guess seeing you grow up with everyone trying to keep your secret just leaves a bitter taste in him and he’s taking it out on you. It’s still not right, though.”

Levi grumbles in frustration and gazes at the floor. “But he was right about last night and how those Drals seemed focused to me…” After a quick moment of silence, Levi turns to Mark with a pained look. “Do you think it would be better for everyone if I just leave?”

Mark flinches and gives Levi a long brotherly hug. “Honestly, kid. I don’t know…” He then releases Levi and stares intensely into his eyes. “All I know is that it will hurt your parents and me if they take you away. If I never get to see you again…” He trails off with a little sniff and Levi stares at him for a moment before suddenly chuckling. “What’s so funny?”

Levi stifles his laugh as he tries to answer. “You always look weird when you’re about to cry.” Mark blinks back his tears and punches Levi in the side as he continues to laugh. After a while, Mark joins in on the laughter before Levi suddenly gives him a warm smile. “Thanks, Uncle Mark.”

“No problem. Love you, man.” He mumbled as he suddenly ruffled Levi’s hair and gets up from the bed. “See you at breakfast.” He said as he walks out of the room but flashes him a peace sign before shutting the door.

Hours later, Levi as well as the rest of the West family sat down for breakfast. As they eat, Levi notices his father giving him worried glances and takes a gulp of his water before suddenly speaking.

“Hey dad.” He mumbled and Luke turns to him with the entire table suddenly silent to listen. “I’m sorry about last night.”

Luke stares at Levi for a moment before dropping his spoon to his plate and giving Levi a little smile. “It’s okay, son. In fact, I should be thanking you for saving our people.” Levi smiles as Luke gives him a little thumb up.

“That’s my boy.” Rose gives Levi’s shoulder a little rub before suddenly grabbing his ear and twisting it painfully. “But don’t you ever do something like that again.”

“Yes ma’am.” Levi blurted out in fear and pain just as Rose releases his ear and the table was filled with laughter momentarily. “Let’s just eat and forget about last night. Today’s a new day.” Levi and Rose share a smile and the family dine, leaving their thoughts of the attack last night behind.

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