[[Chapter One: The Asian Festival]]
Kaden Abendroth strolled leisurely from tents to booths admiring the performances and merchandise while nibbling on some traditional Japanese sweets. Men in suits of samurai armor patrolled passed him with no particular destination and women walked about in kimonos both modern and formal in style. A few women masked their faces with fans and giggled as they caught Kaden’s eye. The interaction brought on Kaden’s nervous habit of adjusting his glasses as he immediately broke eye contact, forcing his attention on another part of the festival. The remainder of the festival guests were New Yorkers enjoying the immersion into Asian culture. Kaden was glad he decided to attend the festival tonight, even though he was attending alone. No one else from school seemed terribly interested, and despite his mothers insistence to socialize and make friends, Kaden didn’t feel the desire to persuade anyone to join him. Just then a ninja rolled out from a space between two tents in front of Kaden causing him to laugh in surprise. A few other festival guests shared Kaden’s astonishment as the black clad rouge crouched low avoiding a few samurai walking passed before diving into the tent shadows. As Kaden returned to his slow pace and his quiet thoughts he began looking absentmindedly around the festival. Kaden was always looking for a chance to learn more and the festival certainly provided a chance to experience Asian culture, but something else also brought Kaden to this festival. He couldn’t describe it, but a sense of urgency overcame Kaden when he heard about the festival, as if he needed to be here for something.
Kaden’s attention snapped back to the present as a quick movement in his peripheral vision drew his focus. Two men were darting from tent to tent as a means of cover. Kaden followed their line of focus to a womanly figure wrapped in a trench coat. The trench coat lady moved with ease and determination through the crowd toward another figure that grabbed Kaden’s attention. The man was wearing a crisp white suit and appeared to be Japanese. A chill went down Kaden’s spine as he saw the man who stood with an aura of power in the crowd. As the lady in the trench coat approached the Japanese man in the white suit she threw off her trench coat, relieving a red outfit. In one fluid motion the lady lunged at the Japanese man. A flash was the only warning of two blades in the lady’s hands aimed directly at the Japanese man’s torso. Just before the blades found their mark, the Japanese man side stepped the lunge and grabbed the lady’s wrist. with inhuman strength the Japanese man threw the lady off to the side. Before the woman in red hit the ground, a man advanced on the Japanese man. The woman in red rolled with grace out of the throw, pivoted, and reengaged the Japanese man. At this point, Kaden’s belief that the fight was staged wavered and a gut feeling told him to run. The crowd panicked as they became aware of the violent encounter between the the man and the woman in red against the Japanese man. Kaden, somewhat running and somewhat pushed by the crowd, began to move away from the fight. A sudden explosion from a nearby tent caused fireworks to launch in every direction, forcing Kaden to turn and run the other way. Kaden made out the entrance to the festival in the distance and ran straight for it, but before he could reach it half a dozen ninjas emerged from the shadows with swords drawn. The screams and panic of the crowd intensified as the ninja began attacking any member of the fleeing crowd within the ark of their blades. Kaden froze with fear as he watched a ninja mercilessly cut a man from shoulder to hip. A woman running and screaming frantically ran into Kaden and knocked him out of his state of terror and onto the ground. His glasses flew off and out of reach as he hit the ground. Kaden barely avoided getting trampled as he crawled half blind under a tent. He frantically stood up and attempted to run to the other side of the tent only to fall over again, knocking over a table of merchandise. Kaden picked himself up and pushed through the flaps of the tent looking around wildly for an exit to the festival. All around more ninja attacked from the shadows and blocked off any chance of escape. Kaden only managed a few steps before getting the wind knocked out of him. He crumbled to the ground as a ninja towered in front of him. The katana blade dripped blood as the ninja raised the sword to deliever the killing blow. Kaden squeezed his eyes shut knowing that death was imminent. A bright light seared through Kaden’s eyelids and a roar left his ears ringing. A shockwave from an explosion behind Kaden slamed him face first into the hard concrete. So this is what death fells like Kaden thought as he felt his consciousness slip.
“Hendrix, I need you to slow down. Try to think my speed.”
“Okay I’ll try … I’m so bored!”
“What the fuck just happened?” Kaden groaned as his vision began to clear. Over him stood to men the voices belonged to. One man was covered in what looked like a hard, rocky substance, while the other kept appearing and disappearing above Kaden.
“Well, there was a huge explosion and we won” Said the rock man as he slowly lifted Kaden into sitting position.