Mirror [Reverse AU] [Completed]

Chapter 5

The death of the commander cascaded like a flash bomb. Now even the powerless were targeted, and there were no safe havens for them to escape.

It was a dark time for TAPOPS.

Two deaths. Eight powers gone without a trace. The tension was heavier than could possibly be.

“I can’t take this anymore,” Ying sobbed. “Why won’t you go back to Earth? It’s not safe here!”

Yaya placed her hand on Ying’s. “It’s alright. We’ll work hard to get your powers back. I know you want to help, but you’re in danger here. We can at least defend ourselves.”

Gopal bid Boboiboy and Fang goodbye. They promised that they’ll work hard to restore their powers.

Soon, the two disappeared back to their home planet.

“Must be nice to have a home other than here,” Fang murmured.

Yaya glanced at him. “Earth is your home too, Fang. You don’t have to stay here.”

Fang shook his head. “Kaizo’s death is still a mystery. I’m not giving up just yet.”

Boboiboy left without a sound. They didn’t notice until it was time for bed.

The meeting was tense, to say the least. With the captain and the commander dead and the admiral powerless—even though without his powers he was scary enough—no one could meet each other’s eyes.

Sai, Shielda, Cattus and Bellbot had returned to their respective planets, and so did Ying and Gopal. The meeting consisted of the remaining hero team and the active power spheres and the admiral, which to say, wasn’t a lot.

Fang glanced at Boboiboy and Yaya. The elemental manipulator wasn’t wearing his cap. Maybe it’s to respect the dead.

“It’s a dark day for TAPOPS,” the admiral boomed, expression solemn rather than strict. “This criminal must be brought to justice. He’d taken lives away. This act cannot be tolerated.”

His eyes swept over the crowd.

“For your safety,” he continued slowly, “you are discharged from TAPOPS until further notice.”

Protests immediately resonated throughout the meeting room. Even if they were afraid, they were fiercely loyal towards the organization. Death threat or no, they were not going to abandon the place.

“Admiral, please reconsider!” Yaya stood from her seat.

“We can’t just run from the problem!” Fang agreed. “If we run now, the culprit won’t just stop here. We can’t let him infect other stations!”

Tarung shook his head. “It is my decision, and it is final.”

Fang whipped to the brunette. “Boboiboy, say something! Don’t you want to find out who the culprit is? We can do this!”

The brunette glanced at the group, his eyes terrified but attempting to be brave. Fang wanted his support, but he wasn’t sure if he was willing to push Boboiboy past his limit like that. The last time Boboiboy had lost his powers, he was torn.

“I agree with the admiral’s decision,” Boboiboy said finally. “It’s for your own safety. Fang, if you like, you can stay with me and Tok Aba for a while. Wait till things calm down.”

Fang turned to him. “You can’t mean that! We can’t let this criminal hurt someone else!”

“Maybe that someone is you,” Boboiboy said evenly. “It’s only temporary. When things calm down, we’re going to return. Don’t worry.”

The gravity and shadow manipulator were concerned about his sudden change of behaviour, but said nothing more. If he said so, they couldn’t waver him. He was as stubborn as a mule.

* * *

Tok Aba was surprised to see them return from space. He hadn’t expected them to come back before school started, and they hadn’t informed him ahead of time.

“Sorry for not telling you earlier,” Boboiboy apologized. “There was no time. We left in a hurry.”

The old man patted his grandson’s head. “It’s fine. Why are you in such a hurry? School’s not in a few weeks.”

Yaya and Ochobot explained everything to him and their current predicament, with Fang and Boboiboy supplying as the visual aids and the occasional sound effects. After that, Yaya left to visit Ying and Gopal, and Ochobot returned to recharge.

Fang agreed to stay over at Boboiboy’s place, considering that Boboiboy was also stubborn about him not sleeping in that abandoned mansion—it was going to demolished anyway. In any case, having a proper head over his roof was a better deal than musty sheets in a room with holes on the roof.

At night, Fang couldn’t sleep. The hum of the station wasn’t there. He wasn’t used to it. There were no machines working in the background, only the soft breathing of his elemental friend and teammate.

He tossed and turned on his mattress. Boboiboy had laid it next to his bed, and he prayed that Boboiboy didn’t have Fire sleepwalking again. He was not eager to have Fire stepping on his face when he got out of bed to play with chickens.

Sighing, he sat up and decided to go for a late-night stroll. Through his walk, he could see three figures sitting by the meadow near Kokotiam. He recognized them as Yaya, Gopal and Ying. They seemed to be in a deep conversation, and a heartfelt one. It was probably about them losing their powers.

Yaya, being the most mature one of the group, was comforting them.

Fang didn’t want to intrude. He left them in peace.

With the risk of losing his powers and his only family gone, Fang was lost. Despite having his friends, the shadow of a lone wolf haunted him. The lingering fear of being alone pursued him and threatened to drown him.

He had tried to trust. He failed every turn. In spite of his insecurity, his friends gave them their trust. How can they believe in someone who’s betrayed them in the past? How can they see him as a close friend when he’s broken?

Taking in a deep breath, he returned to Tok Aba’s house.

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