I'm Nine Again Chapter 24
24 The Art Of Time
"How is he walking on water!?" Alice asked.
"I think I have an idea," I said.
The boat speed close to him as the geysers erupted to the left and right of us. June screamed as she dropped her face into Anthony's chest, Anthony cradling her tightly. The man driving the boat turned to us.
"He have something to do with you lot?" he asked.
Immediately as he finished his sentence, a wall of water rose up in front of us, meters into the sky. The driver evasively turned the boat, spinning us around two times before the boat came to a stop just before crashing through the wall of water which started to rain back down on top of us. The man with white hair stood only ten meters away, stretching his arms out and cracking his neck and knuckles.
"WHO ARE YOU!?" I yelled at the man.
"I'm sorry young Sean," he said with a small crack in his voice, "This isn't personal but I'm going to have to stop you right here. You're causing quite the uproar in my timeline and I can't allow you to continue."
"How do you know my name?" I asked, "And what do you mean your timeline?"
"As much as I'd love to give you a monologue of my life story, I'm afraid it would be pointless, because I'm going to kill you, and I don't want to waste my time," he said.
I glance back over at the driver of the boat.
"When I get out, keep the mission going," I said. I turned to Alice, "I'll meet you guys at the beach," I said, "Make sure Julia is safe. . . And take care of June too."
"Like hell you're going to fight him!" Alice said. She raised her rifle and pulled the trigger. The man with white hair raised his arms as the bullets fired rapidly towards him.
All 30 bullets sat suspended in the space in front of the man, not moving. With a sly smile, he lowered his hand and the bullets fell into the water like pebbles with small splashes.
"I will take pleasure in killing you as well Alice," he said, "As I was saying, it's nothing personal, BUT YOU BOTH NEED TO DIE!"
He started running towards the boat at top speed. I unclipped my seat belt and launched my self off the boat with my hand gun pointed at the man.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
He was too fast for me and had already stopped the bullets in the middle of the air as he was launching at us. Right before I hit the water, I used my time stop ability just above the surface of the water. I was right, by landing on my own time stop, I was able to suspend my self above the water. I didn't have much time to marvel at my discovery, as a fist connected with my face sending me skipping backward across the water.
As I was falling, I raised my gun. TIME SLOW. Time slowed down and I waited for the right moment to pull the trigger, as my sights aligned with the man's head. I pulled the trigger twice and I watched the bullets fly out of the end of my gun and directly towards him. He raised his hand in front of the path of the bullets. They curved around his body and started to fly directly back at me. I raised my hands in front of the bullets and stopped them with my time stop, just in time. I quickly used time stop on the water below me before I fell into the depths.
"GET OUT OF HERE!" I yelled.
The driver of the speed boat didn't waste any time before moving his speed control all the way forward and taking off at top speed.
"SEAN!" Alice yelled.
"I'LL CATCH UP LATER!" I yelled after her before turning back to the man with white hair.
"You're not as weak as I was hoping you'd be young Sean," he said.
"Who are you!?" I asked, "Why are you able to control time as well? How many other people are able to control time?"
The man stretched his arms back behind his head and started to laugh, "It's so funny young Sean," he said, "You are asking the right questions but in the wrong way!"
"You're not making any sense!" I said, "And why do you keep calling me young Sean!? Are you the enemy that I'm supposed to be training for?"
"So you have been training," he said, "That would make sense, but that would also mean you are in contact with someone from a previous divergent."
"If you really are my enemy!" I said, "The one I've been training to fight, then tell me! Why are you after me!?" I asked, "What is it about me that means I have to die!?"
"I've already told you!" he said, "It's nothing personal about you, specifically young Sean. BUT YOU ARE IN MY WAY!"
The man with white hair started running at me. I quickly braced my self and prepared for a fight. Time slowed down as he got close to me, running low to the ground, I could see the anger in his eyes as his clenched fist rotated and adjusted at a fast speed before the time slow ended and his fist came flying up towards my face. The impact sent me flying up in the air, the pain was immense as I could feel a few of my teeth break from the impact.
I can't really explain the feeling of having cracked teeth repair themselves, but the closest I could think would be the feeling of biting into hard ice and having all those ice pieces washing around your mouth and then becoming whole again. I fell in reverse back to the water where my feet landed firmly in the time stop and the man with white hair had his fist withdraw from my face and watched as he pulled back a few steps.
Time returned to normal and a huge smile appeared across his face as he continued to charge towards me. I kicked backward and time slowed down again. I watched his fist turn into an open hand slowly as I was flying backwards, time returned to normal as he launched himself afterward, grabbing hold of my leg and pulling me forward with him. My body became like a rag doll as he started to use all his force to flip my body over and swing me down toward the water like a giant hammer.
Time moved backward again, to the point where I was jumping backwards before his hand had reached out to me. As I saw his hand reaching for me, I yanked my gun up as quickly as I could and fired. BANG, BANG, BANG!
The man with white hair clenched his fist once more and punched the bullets out of the air in front of him and landed on his knees over the water as I landed a few feet back from him.
"I thought you would be a lot easier to kill than this young Sean!" he said, "It seems I've underestimated you."
"I'm not that easy to kill!" I yelled at him, "And since I don't have your name, I'm just going to call you Prey!"
"Prey huh," he said, "And why is that?"
"BECAUSE I'M THE HUNTER NOW!" I yelled, dropping the magazine out of my pistol and clipping a new one in place and cocking my weapon.
"The fact you still use that toy," Prey said, "JUST SHOWS EXACTLY HOW WEAK YOU REALLY ARE!"
BANG! BANG! BANG! I fired my gun repeatedly at him, standing only a few feet from me. Prey punched each and every bullet out of the air in front of him. Strong punches, each of them, but I knew it was for show. Prey was slowing and stopping time sporadically with the timing of the gunshots.
"You have no idea!" Prey said, monologuing as he punched the bullets out of the air, "Your gun has absolutely no chance of ever hitting me!"
Time rewound, to the point where all the bullets were returned to my magazine. Prey started laughing and I broke into a sprint, running around the side of him, firing my weapon at him from all different angles. Prey continued to punch every bullet that I fired at him out of the air.
"You think you're being smart!" Prey said, laughing as he punched the bullets.
I wasn't paying attention, and after punching one of the bullets, Preys hand opened to a point in front of me and I ran right into a time space stop. My body stopped moving completely, frozen, I was unable to move a single muscle. It felt like running into a brick wall. Prey didn't hesitate and jumped toward me.
To the point where I'd fired my last bulled and came to a complete stop. This time though, instead of creating a time stop area, after punching the last bullet, Prey jumped toward me right away. His fist connected with my face and sent me flying backward. I could feel as the bones in my cheek broke on the impact of his fist. It sent me flying backwards and Prey didn't relent. He continued with his onslaught and through his body up into the air above me with his leg raised high before kicking me down into the water. I didn't have time to stop the surface of the water and broke through, splashing deep.
My body rose from the water, reconnecting with his foot as his kick in reverse looked like he was lifting my body out of the water with his leg. Jumping backward and me following him. If I could, I would wince at the sight of his fist coming back in toward me to un break my face. I felt my bones click back together, but then, my rewind ended.
Another large smile appeared across Preys face as time resumed and his fist landed on my cheekbones again, breaking my bones once more and sending me flying backward. Jumping after me again and lifting his leg up in the air for another kick.
Again, time went backward, but not far enough. My cheek bones were unbroken once again, only to be broken once more a moment later as my ability to rewind time came to an end yet again. I was sent flying backward as he jumped after me for the third time.
This was a punch that I wasn't going to be able to avoid. I was going to have to take it. No matter what I was trying to do, I couldn't rewind time to the point where I would be able to avoid his hit. So, this is what it means to fight with someone who has the same abilities of time manipulation that I do. There would be points where damage taken would be unavoidable. It wasn't a contest of strength, it was a contest of smarts and endurance.
I raised my hand and created a time stop barrier between himself and me. Prey stopped dead in his tracks as he ran right into my time stop. I flew backward and landed on the water behind me, but not for very long. Time started to rewind to the point where he had run into the time stop and a moment before hand. I focused on my plan. Even if he was going to try and avoid getting stuck in my time stop, I'd still be able to use it to halt his advance. As time resumed as normal, I raised the time stop barrier between myself and him again.
He stopped dead in his tracks once more, but this time not because of my time stop, but his own. He'd used his own time stop to stop his body from flying forward into my time stop. He dropped his own and landed on the water below him.
"I got you to rewind!" I said victoriously.
"I broke your fucking face!" Prey said laughing, "How can you be proud of your self right now? Are you insane?"
"I got you to rewind," I said again, "Which means my actions made your actions unviable."
"I don't know if you understand what just happened here young Sean," Prey said, "I just broke your face! I have done damage to you and you have not done damage to me. Another way of saying it would be that in the game of life and death, I just scored the first point!"
"That might just be the case," I said, "But what you gave up for that point is invaluable."
"What are you on about?" he asked.
"I'm now starting to understand how this whole thing works," I said, "It's all about the situation. Positioning. Angles, opportunities, timing, and intelligence. I let you hit me once, but that gave me time to learn a very important lesson."
"You let me hit you?" he asked, "Please, you had no choice, there was no option available to you other than letting me hit you. There was a certain point in time where choice no longer played a part in how our futures are forged. Surely you realize that we are playing with fate!"
"Fate?" I asked.
"Yes, young Sean!" Prey said, "You and I, we are both masters of fate!"
"Then what is our fate?" I asked with sarcasm.
"As masters of fate, it is up to us to decide what our fate is!" he yelled.
"Are you hearing yourself right now?" I asked, "And you have the audacity to call me insane."
"I guess I was wrong," Prey said with a wicked snarl, "You aren't insane, you are just incredible naive!"
"I'm naive huh?" I asked.
"YES!" Prey yelled, "YOU ARE BY THE VERY DEFINITION OF THE WORD, NAIVE!"
"I don't know what kind of life you've had," I said, "But somewhere along the lines you have absolutely lost your senses. How you defeated Sean in the first divergent has me absolutely perplexed!"
"The first divergent?" Prey laughed.
"Yeah, I know about the first divergent!" I said, "How naive am I now?"
"The fact you call it the first divergent," Prey said as he started to walk towards me, "Just proves how much control I really have!"
"How much control you have?" I asked.
"I AM A GOD!" he yelled, "I AM THE GOD! I AM THE GOD OF THIS DIVERGENT!"
He launched himself at me, but his attack was halted by a barraged of bullets cutting in-between the two of us. I turned to see the speed boat, speeding back towards us with Alice standing on the front of it, her seat belt wrapped around her leg to anchor her to the boat. Anthony and June were ducking down in the seats as the driver of the speed boat screamed at the top of his lungs as the boat sped towards us. Julia poked her head over the side of the boat before pulling out an assault rifle and aiming it at Prey.
"INSOLENT FOOLS!" Prey yelled as he turned to the boat and raised his arms.
"TIME STOP!" I yelled.
I took advantage of the situation and trapped Prey completely in a time stop field. Right before he had become completely enveloped in the time stop, time reversed for a small moment.
"NO SEAN!" Prey yelled at me.
"TIME STOP!" I yelled again trying to trap him. Yet again it worked. He was unable to run. Time reversed yet again.
"STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!" he yelled.
"TIME STOP!" I yelled once again.
He had let his guard down. I finally understood what he meant about fate. There were certain decisions that we could make during the battle and some of those decisions would lead to fate. Something that couldn't be changed by our powers. Something that would determine the future with absolute certainty. This is what Prey had meant when he talked about fate. The moment Prey had turned to focus on the approaching speed boat, he had let his guard down and that determined his fate. No matter how many times we decided to redo this situation, it would always end with me stopping his time.
"DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW YOUNG SEAN!?" Prey screamed at me after another rewind.
"TIMESTOP!" I yelled again, unrelentingly.
"THIS IS A MINOR SET BACK SEAN!" Prey yelled, rewinding time once again.
"I WILL COME FOR YOU, AND I WILL KILL YOU!" he yelled after another time rewind.
"I WILL KILL ALL OF YOU!" he yelled rewinding time for the final time during our encounter. After the time rewind, he jumped back but I didn't stop.
"TIME STOP!" I yelled again, following him as he jumped backward. He was able to avoid it, but it had caused him to jump backwards once more. I continued my attack without a second thought.
"TIME STOP! TIME STOP! TIIIMEEE STOP!" I continued to yell as Prey continued to retreat backward. The boat was soon close to me and Alice reached out her hand toward me. I grabbed her hand as she pulled me onto the boat as it sped by. Julia taking aim at Prey and firing the assault rifle at him as he continued to retreat in fear of falling into another time stop which I was still using, following him along as he retreated from both my abilities as well as Julia's bullets.
Soon, he was far off in the distance behind us. Julia's bullets we're no longer reaching him, and my powers were no longer accurate, but he was too far away to be able to follow us. He stood up and dusted his slightly crinkled suit and stared looked up towards us. Time started to rewind. Only momentarily though, for less than a second. When time resumed as normal, he raised his hand with his middle finger in the air. His recent rewind was more of an insult that it was an actual threat.
"Sean," Alice said, "What the hell was that?" she asked as we all sat back down in the boat, keeping a careful eye on Prey who was not pursuing us, but instead strolling casually towards the shore.
"I don't know," I said, "But I'm pretty sure that's who Grey was talking about."
"You mean that was the guy who was hunting Sean 1.0 in the first divergent?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said, "That was Prey."
"Prey?" Alice asked.
"Yeah, he wouldn't tell me his name, so I've decided to call him Prey," I said, "Because from now on, we are the once who are hunting him."
"I like that," she said.
"I hate to interrupt your reunion," Julia said, "But when we get a spare moment, I would like you guys to tell me what exactly the hell is going on in this world."
"We will," I said, "We will."
* * * * * *
Prey stood shirtless by the window, looking over the city below him as he would intermittently sip on his glass of red wine. The television in the corner of the room played the news of the day. A story of gangland violence and the kidnapping of genius child, Mei Lui.
The woman with brunette hair and glasses stepped into the room, her high heels echoing on the wooden floor as she walked over to Prey. She placed a freshly pressed and Ironed shirt over his back as he eased his arms into the sleeves, switching the wine glass between his hands as he did.
"Is this okay?" she asked.
"It's fine," Prey said in a monotone as he continued to watch the city below him, on and off listening to the news report on the television. The woman with brunette hair walked over to the center of the room and watched the screen.
"You weren't seen by anyone?" she asked.
"Not by any cameras," Prey said, "I went relatively un noticed."
"Relatively?" she asked.
"Do you know what he called me?" Prey asked.
"What he called you?" she repeated in anticipation of an answer.
"He called me Prey," he said, "He called me Prey because he decided somewhere along the lines that he was the hunter and I am his prey."
The woman with brunette hair stepped back over to prey, her high heels still echoing across the wooden floor as she placed her arms over his shoulders and rested her head into his back.
"He has that so backward," she said.
"I let him win," Prey said, "I was stupid."
"You couldn't have predicted that," she said, "There was no way you could have known that he would have mastered that level of ability."
"I am from the future!" Prey yelled, throwing his wine glass against the same wall he had thrown it at many times before.
"You are from our future," she said, "But not his, he doesn't have a future yet."
"You're right," Prey said, "I underestimated his ability to learn."
"You did," said the woman with brunette hair and glasses, "And you won't let it happen again.
"No," Prey said raising his hand towards the broken glass, "I won't let it happen again."
"Stop," she said, "Don't use your power, I'll clean it up."
"I don't want you to," Prey said.
"I want to," said the woman with brunette hair and glasses.
"Okay," Prey said lowering his hands and continuing to look out at the city below him. Please go to to read the latest chapters for free