“You’re too harsh on Boboiboy, you know,” Ying chided Fang during lunch. “He’s gotten a hold of his elements. Besides, if Fire was sleepwalking, the cameras should have picked it up. Stop living in your own world and stop pushing people who cares away!”
Fang raised his eyebrows. He avoided her azure glare, staring at Panto and Invisibot, who was the canteen caterer. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Haish!” Ying sighed in exasperation. “You’re hampering your friendship with him!”
“How did you know about this? Did he tell you?”
“No.” Ying crossed her arms. “I’ve noticed myself. Your voice is really loud, you know that? Not to mention your room is near mine and Yaya’s. Every time he comes to check on you, the first thing you do is yell at him. We need our sleep too, you genius.”
Ying left him in the cafeteria.
* * *
Boboiboy glanced at the clock on the walls. There was five minutes left, and he had nothing to do but stare off into space. Ochobot, Gopal and Yaya were by him, conversing among one another. As the three of his friends argued due to their diversities of food interests, he would just sit by and occasionally agree whatever question they threw at him.
Bored was off the question. This was a whole new level of boredom.
Standing up, he excused himself to have a quick walk to refresh his mind.
* * *
Fang didn’t get the chance to apologize. Boboiboy had left the cafeteria before he could talk to him.
Was he still mad? Or better—was he mad? He hadn’t seen the brunette be agitated ever since he had met him. No matter how mercilessly he had taunted him, no matter how dire the situation was, Boboiboy remained infuriatingly calm if he wasn’t in his Lightning or Fire form.
He can’t tell anymore.
“What should I do, Kaizo?” He looked up to space outside the window. “I miss you.”
Wiping a tear away, he rushed to the meeting that was being held for the power-users.
* * *
“Another one?” Yaya’s fists clenched.
Emotibot nodded sadly. He hovered by his powerless peers dejectedly, comforted by Cattus and Bellbot.
Fang bit his lip. “When did this happen?”
“I don’t know,” Emotibot mourned. “I don’t use my powers normally. Everything felt the same.”
As ironic as it was, another power sphere was crossed off the list.
Boboiboy frowned. “What of the beacon in Ying’s watch? Any leads?”
Ciciko shook his head. “Our engineers are still on the case. The coding is difficult to interpret.”
Databot was stumped. Even he could not provide information towards the disappearance of Emotibot’s ability.
Once again, the meeting was adjourned with no other explanations available.
The surveillance had gotten heavier. Nowadays, even their heart rates and breathing rates were carefully calculated, though it turned out to be a failure, taking everyone’s stressed states and nervousness into contemplation.
Few have considered leaving TAPOPS, such as Cattus, Bellbot and the former shield twins. They pushed the idea down after Boboiboy comforted them. (I went on the Cattus coaster a few days back. In one of the clips, it was Boboiboy (Galaxy) splitting into Gempa, Taufan and Halilintar. This is such a big spoiler before the movie trailer was released.)
“With this, we’re going nowhere,” Fang scorched.
Yaya and Ying exchanged concerned glances. They were also worried about the predicament. Ying didn’t want the same to happen to the either of them. They knew how losing their powers felt once and it wasn’t something they would wish to experience again.
“I understand you’re vengeful for Kaizo. We all are,” Yaya said evenly. “Sitting around is going to do nothing.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about!” Fang yelled. “It’s that Boboiboy is going to use himself as fucking bait!”
* * *
The day Kaizo died, Boboiboy had told him and Gopal his plan. Since he was the most powerful among all of them, he was naturally the biggest target. He hadn’t elaborated how, but Fang didn’t like to take chances.
That plan sort of backfired, because his powers were still intact but the culprit had not been unravelled.
But as soon as a scream rang out from the cafeteria, he and the girls bolted there. When they arrived, it was an absolute warzone. People screamed and panicked as Tarung went on a rampage interrogating everyone that was present. A power sphere the size of a ball of yarn was in his hands, deactivated.
In the corner of the room, Gopal, Panto and Invisibot were weeping uncontrollably as Boboiboy comforted them patiently.
That’s when Fang knew that the culprit had stepped up his game.
* * *
“Four powers in one day,” Boboiboy murmured. “It’s too abrupt. It’s only a matter of time before it reaches you two.”
Yaya looked down. As much as she was worried for the rest of them, most of her heart wanted to ensure her own survival. Not for herself, but for the rest of her friends. She had to remain strong to defeat the criminal.
If they could find him or her, that is.
“What about you? Aren’t you worried about yourself?” Fang demanded. Boboiboy didn’t mind Fang’s jabbing words and forgave him. “Stop being a hero. Even heroes deserve to feel selfish once in a while.”
“That’s not how a hero works,” Boboiboy said. “The job is to create hope for everyone.”
“Well, we’re heroes too,” Yaya argued. “We’ve saved the world together. If you won’t worry about your own self, we’ll do it for you.”
The elemental manipulator smiled faintly.
None of them noticed the scent of blood reeking from the commander’s quarters.