“I can’t say for sure, but there’s no such thing as a power watch having the ability to steal other powers,” Ochobot concluded. “Such method of extraction would be impossible. Your powers are fixated to your personality only.”
Fang frowned. “But what about—”
“Sai and Shielda’s shields don’t qualify,” Boboiboy interjected. “They’re not power watches, anyway.”
The raven-haired alien nodded grimly. He assessed the form of Sai and Shielda’s powerless shields. The disappearance of their powers was a mystery, and Sai and Shielda couldn’t reminisce any strange events occurring, eradicating the witness of the Commander’s belly dance.
“We’ll have to see. I’ll have their power sphere run some scans.” Ochobot dismissed them.
Fang nodded. He and Boboiboy left the evidence room, heading to their respective dorms.
“What do you think of this?” Fang asked.
Boboiboy hummed in thought. “I don’t know. We’d lost our powers before, but that’s because we didn’t have our power watches.”
Fang grunted. They bid each other good night and called it a day. If Boboiboy didn’t have the answer to power-related inquires, they might as well try to get Gopal to commence a diet. The guy had more experience and mishaps with his abilities more than everyone else combined.
Turning off the lights, Fang nestled into his bed. The soft hum of the organization’s operations echoed in the metal craftsmanship, the sound that reassured him. That they were still standing.
* * *
The next morning, a new case occurred.
“I can’t turn Cattus big!” Bellbot cried, jingling wildly like a windchime in a hurricane as Cattus burst into the command centre. “I can’t use my powers!”
“What?” Ochobot scanned Bellbot. “It’s gone!”
“What happened?” Fang paled. First Sai and Shielda, now Bellbot? What was going on? “Anything weird happening to you when you last checked?”
“No!” Bellbot swung around Cattus’s neck frantically.
Fang turned to Ochobot. “Do you have any leads?”
Ochobot shook his head. He sighed deeply. “I’m afraid not. The disappearance of everyone’s powers had been quite abrupt. There’s no pattern, no symptoms and no reports of abnormality.” He turned to Bellbot and Cattus. “Calm down. We’ll try to figure this out.”
Cattus’s ears drooped. He hopped out of the command centre.
Ochobot and Fang exchanged glances. Both of them wore the same expression. What if their powers disappeared as well?
Fang couldn’t imagine living without his powers. He’s attached to it emotionally. It was a part of him and he was a part of it, no matter how sinister it might be. It was symbolic. It represented his personality.
As the day went by, there were no more reports of powers’ disappearance. It was strange how energy would suddenly disappear, but there was no explanation for any of it. At this point, they could only hope that this was a temporary mishap. TEMPUR-A was filled with countless power spheres. A power outage could cause a riot, letting power sphere hunters target its vulnerable state.
Despite the Commander’s attempts, the news spread like wildfire. It was every man for himself. No one desired to fall victim to this power disappearance. Everyone was frantic and paranoid, avoiding one another. This led to mission mistakes and accidents. The first injury was caused when a recruit fell from a construction site and no one was close enough to save him.
Kaizo was dragged into this. In spite of the news, he still treated everything like usual. He wasn’t going to let some rumours affect him. After all, he was the infamous Rebel Captain.
Three days later, his powers disappeared like everyone else’s.
* * *
“We can’t let this continue,” the Admiral declared in a conference.
Everyone shifted in their seats. Everyone with powers or had lost their powers were present, including Kaizo, Bellbot/Cattus, Sai and Shielda.
Fang shifted in his seat uncomfortably. Everyone was eyeing each other in suspicion, wary of the stakes. The people present were: Boboiboy, Yaya, Ying, Fang, Gopal, Motobot, Ochobot, Ramen-Man, Emotibot, and Databot.
The disappearance was random; on the first day, it was Sai and Shielda. On the next, it was Bellbot. After three days, it was Kaizo. For now, it was too early to consider this a pattern. They had to be sure.
Kaizo had discovered his powers’ disappearance in a brutal method. He was up against pirates when he discovered his Energy Manipulation was absent. He barely survived.
Boboiboy drummed his fingers on the peripheral of the table. “Is there a power sphere capable?”
Databot, who had been linked to half a dozen of top-notch computers processed the question. Coding obscured the screens, processing faster than the human eye could register. Two seconds later, the answer popped up on the major outlet.
Yaya frowned at the screen. “No?”
“It makes no sense.” Shielda balled her fists. “Why would our powers disappear like that? Even if there is a culprit, why wouldn’t security alert us?”
“Perhaps he or she has access towards the rooms,” Fang offered. “A traitor.”
A sharp inhale could be heard from everyone. Whether it be due to surprise or confirmation, it wasn’t a positive sign.
“Or it could be some malfunction,” Gopal argued, releasing a fraction of the tension. “You don’t just go around stealing powers! What is the guy gonna do, huh? Turn a piece of fried chicken large into having infinite portions?”
Yaya rolled her eyes. “Wouldn’t you like that?”
“Ay, let’s not fight.” Ying turned to the group. “We have to remain in high alert. Travel in groups.”
The admiral sighed. “For now, it’s the only solution.”
Fang glanced at Boboiboy, who was meddling with his watch. His cap seemed to obscure more of his hair than before. Was it because his Air form is showing?
“Meeting adjourned.” The admiral dismissed them.
After they left the conference room, Fang accosted Boboiboy. He must be more worried than everyone else. He was the most attached to his powers.
“Are you alright? You weren’t speaking much.”
Boboiboy nodded. “Yeah. I just had nothing to say. What if you guys lose your powers, too? I’d rather it happens to me than you all.”
Fang shrugged. “Who can say?” He was moved and genuinely surprised by Boboiboy’s selflessness. He was the most powerful, but the one that was willing to let his powers go for their wellbeing. “Look, we’re going to find out what’s going on. No one’s going to lose anything. Maybe that’s temporary.”
“I hope so…” Boboiboy’s voice faltered. “If it’s not, everything will fall apart.”
Fang agreed silently with him. Looks like they shared the same opinion.
“Come on. We still have to return to the training grounds.”
“Yeesh. You do realize I count as a walking septuplet-bomb, right?”
“Dude, we’re heading the same way.”
“Great, ’cause I’m not gay.”