Serena follows the stranger into an open room with a half-oval table of four men staring at her without any expressions. The man of bronze that she followed taps on the metal chair away from the table and sits down at the open seat in the center of all the men. Serena sits in the seat and examines all of the burly men hunched over like bears that refuse to let her out of their sights. Scars are on their arms and some of their faces from battles she’s never heard of. Everyone has a monstrous physique except for the man that led her into the room. His is more of a slender shape with obvious muscle definition showing through his skin tight shirt.
The man in the center leans forward so that his face is heavily shadowed like the rest of the men because of the one light above them. He says, “They call me The Devastator. These men beside me are my Legions; and they aren’t the smiling type as you can see. I invited you here because you showed an interest in protecting people that you know nothing about through our exchanged emails; just like everyone in this room before you.” He points to the man at his far left and says, “That’s Ballrug. He came to me about two years ago after his brother was slaughtered in the streets by some gangsters. He was a wreck until he personally bent their heads back until he saw their spines; one by one. So now he’s vowed to protect this city with his life, and his scars on his face remind him to always have his guard up.” The Devastator points to the main next to Ballrug and says, “This black beauty is Koda. He saw me taking out some robbers in my personal fashion, so he joined me instantly and has never looked back to his old life. He was a little skinny to join me at first, but after I finished beefing him up, he’s quite a warrior.” Devastator points to the man directly to his right and says, “This is Bear. His wife and child were taken away from us in a brutal car accident. He came to me because he said he no longer has a reason to live, so I showed him that there’s a reason to protect the innocence of others. You could say he’s become quite fond of it.” The Devastator points to the farthest man to his right and says, “And finally you have my good friend Jerry. He kept his real name because he doesn’t care if the corrupted officers of this city find him. He’s personally taken out fifteen officers and too many criminals to count. Believe it or not, he’s very skilled in remaining unseen.” The Devastator stretches his arms out to say, “And together, we’re the unknown protectors of this city of Demsy. Do some crimes slip through our fingers? Unfortunately, yes. But we make sure that we watch over our sectors as closely as possible. So I ask you Abigail, or should I say, Serena… what makes you think you can join us?”
Serena takes a deep breath and says, “Well… even though I don’t have the size that you men have or the ability to run a secret alliance like you’ve been able to do Devastator… I know that there’s a desire within me to help others. The only difference with my help, is that I tend to help with violent actions. Most girls grow up watching pretty princess stories and believe the lie of a fairy-tale where everything works out and everybody lives happily ever after; while I grew up with a mother that always showed me that violence will leave a mark on someone’s heart, no matter how intense the beating. And my father was always a good guy until I found out that he was poisoned by my mother because she wanted the insurance money. I never turned her in because I was just a little girl, and the beating she gave me for finding out was enough to keep my mouth shut until it was too late for any officers to collect any evidence. I’ve never been able to forgive myself for that, so I feel that killing some criminals might ease the pain. How many? I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t have the desire to live without taking out as many criminals as I can before I go. So I’m willing to always follow your commands and I will undergo any training that you require.”
The Devastator nods and says, “Is that right?… I’m sorry to hear about your father. Have you done anything to your mother for what she’s done to your family?”
“Well, I put a cigarette out on her head at my wedding and then hit her face with my motorcycle helmet.”
He laughs and nudges Koda with his elbow and then clears his throat. “Nice. But ok… if you really think you have what it takes. Let’s see if your body does as well. Anybody can have the will of a warrior, but, not everyone has the body of a warrior.” He looks at his men and says, “Gentlemen” so they stand up and surround her in her chair. She stands up and looks all of them in the eye cautiously before The Devastator says, “Follow me” and leads her to the next room to their right with his men still surrounding her.
They enter a green room that’s lined with mats all around and has gym lights all across the ceiling. Devastator points to the circle in the center of the room, so Serena steps into it and turns to face him as his men continue to surround her in the form of a square. Devastator smiles as he says, “Are you ready?”
She replies, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be ready for.”
“You’ll know when we start. But first, I need you to take out all of your weapons and hand them to me.” He walks over to her and holds his palm in an upward position in front of her chest. She looks down and sighs before she takes out the knife in her boot and hands it to him. He clears his throat and bounces his hand, so she rolls her eyes and takes out the miniature pistol from her hip, the other knives at her sides and the pole at the side of her left leg. He says, “That’s better” and calmly turns around and throws the weapons on the ground in a corner. He stands at a safe distance and crosses his arms. He stares her in the eyes with a grin and says, “Are you ready?”
She says, “I guess-” and feels her stomach caving in from a kick by one of the guys. As she begins to hunch over, she feels her left cheek knocking into her right cheek as she’s punched by Koda. Her body falls limp, but then she’s kicked two feet outside of the circle by Bear from her side. She rolls over herself until she stops and screams in pain. Jerry lifts her by her hair and punches her face from his grasp. He wiggles his knuckles to see her blood dance on his hand before Ballrug picks up her body and punts her like a ragdoll. They remain motionless as they stare at her screaming in pain on the ground. She spits out some blood as her clinched eyes hold back the welling tears of pain. She stairs at the men who hit her and picks her withered body up with trembling arms. She wipes the blood from under her nose and slowly backs into a corner to try and eliminate an attack from behind. Yet as she’s stepping back, she realizes that she has no idea where Jerry is. Her eyes flare open as she feels her back bump into something other than a wall. But before she can try to defend herself, she feels his arms wrap around her thin waist as he drives her to the ground and skids her face on the mat below them. She lies motionless with her heavy breathing as her only comfort.
Devastator walks up to her and asks, “Had enough yet?” She remains a panting mess until she opens one of her bloodshot eyes in his direction. He smiles at the rage within her as her shaky body picks itself up. She spits more blood on the ground and winces when she brushes her hand on the mat burn on her cheek. He walks away with the same grin on his face and watches from a safe distance again.
She looks to her left and locks eyes with Koda before she feels Bear punch her in her chest. She flies back to the ground, so the men rush over and kick her repeatedly as she covers her face and stomach with her beaten arms. After weakness drops her guard in front of her face for a second, she feels a foot connect with her head. Her arms drop from their protective position, so Jerry picks her up by the skin at the side of her hip and flings her behind his body. The skin that was grabbed hangs over itself with an oozing wound trickling down her leather pants. She remains motionless, so Devastator holds up his hand and walks over to check her pulse. Her heart’s still beating, so he nods at the men and walks back to his position.
The men attacking her walk towards her and surround her to hit her again. As Ballrug is lifting his right leg to stomp on her, her eyes flare open and she jams her fist into his privates. He winces as he grabs her hand that hit him and throws he body into Koda. Koda catches her and slams her to the ground. After she bounces with pain, she quickly turns and bites his leg to make him yell. He rips his leg away from her teeth before Jerry kicks her legs and spins her withered body on the ground. She rolls and leaps into him, but is slammed without any struggle. Jerry lifts his right leg to stomp on her, but she swivels around and kicks his other leg to send him to the ground. As Bear’s charging at her, she kicks his face and turns his head. He turns back to her and smiles before he hits her in her face. She falls onto her back and lies in her panting mess. Devastator yells, “That’s enough!” so the men stop their next charge and stare at her on the ground.
When Devastator walks up to her, he picks her up and hears her wincing within his arms. She asks with her beaten voice, “How come you didn’t fight me you pussy?”
He laughs as he carries her into the next room and says, “Because I can’t hit a girl. No matter what.”
“Afraid I’d take you down?”
He tries to keep from bouncing to much with laughter to keep her pain as minimal as possible. He then says, “I’m sure you noticed the scars on my men. Well I’ll tell you they didn’t get those from their acts of being a vigilante with me. I initiated all of them, so they know they should never attack me.”
“Well, they’re not so tough.”
“I think your withered state says the opposite.” She chuckles but then grunts in pain to stop her laughter. He says, “But you did very well. Now the second part of this test is to see if you heal completely. If you do, you’re in. If not, I give you a parting gift of five million dollars and you’re sworn to secrecy. I was seeing if you would hit my men even though there was no way that you would win… because a true warrior will never give up in any battle. Even if they know they can’t win. Also, you never know when you may be attacked, so I couldn’t let you know when the battle would begin. So great job Serena; now prove to me that you’re woman enough to join us.” They make it into the room next to the matted room that’s full of beds and oval holes in the ground the size of a body. He places her body in one of the ovals and pours alcohol on her. She screams at the top of her lungs, so he says, “This is to kill all of the bacteria that might be resting on your wounds.” The alcohol drains below her, so he steps back and opens a closet door and holds a big bag of sugar above her. She looks up and then closes her eyes when she sees him pouring it on her body. She trembles with screaming pain as he says, “And this is to help with the healing process… Don’t move from this spot until I come and get you. I know it hurts, but all of us had to do it.”
She yells, “Fuck you!”
So he chuckles and says, “I know. But just give it a little bit because after it’s finished with it’s job, you’ll feel better.” She trembles until the pain adds up too much in her brain; so she passes out. Devastator nods and then gets on his knees to clean her face.
After she wakes up in a couple hours, she looks down to see that she’s in some new clothes on one of the beds in the room. She picks up the white gown at her hips and then looks around to see no one around her. She winces as she turns to the side and stands up from the bed. She walks over to the door she came into and enters the matted room. She sees Devastator waiting in a chair outside of the door with a smile growing on his face. Her eyes widen as she scans the room quickly to see if she’s about to be attacked; so he chuckles and says, “Relax, they’re not here right now. No one is going to harm you from this group anymore. You have my word.”
She asks, “Where are they?”
“Duty calls. But… how do you feel?”
She takes in a deep breath and says, “Is that all you got?”
He chuckles and says, “Welcome to the Legion, Serena. Your training starts tomorrow, so rest up.”
She finally smiles as she says, “Thank you Devastator.” She looks at her grown and then back at his face as she asks, “Did you change me?”
“Yes, and call me D. You’ve earned it. And I have to admit that I was doubtful of your will to fight. A girl with your physique isn’t usually able to handle a beating like that. And when I offered you the five million dollars you didn’t even consider it. So nice job. Did you play soccer or volleyball or something?”
“I did both. How’d you know?”
“You all have the same type of body for the most part. Very pretty; and far from the brute type.”
She curtsies as she says, “Thank you. But… how do you get the funds for this… operation?”
“Let’s just say that I may have been the creator of many inventions and they’ve allowed us to have an endless supply of income. But enough about that. Get some rest so you’ll be ready for your training.”
“What kind of training.”
“I’m going to teach you how to fight now. There’s no reason to send you to your grave out there. Because battles are very one sided out there; and my buddy Koda was successful in taking out sixteen men by himself. The others have taken out a multitude on their own as well, but they don’t confess as much as Koda does to me.” She blinks rapidly and shakes her head, so he smiles and says, “I’ll see you tomorrow” before he gets up and walks out of the room.
She turns back into the room and eats the food that she sees on the tray to the left of her bed. She then lies down and goes to sleep.