Jonathan Alexander Vanderswift
On that Day: “Ninety-five and I can’t move. I think I crapped my pants and I’m so old that I can’t even tell.” He thought to himself dejectedly as he laid in bed. A small sigh passed his lips. Deep down he wanted to just die. However, there were people that needed him. His business for disabled vets had grown and thanks to the hearts and donations of others it was prosperous. “What is that noise?” His voice was raspy and airy. Slowly, as he sat up only to scream out as a blinding light washed over him. “Was this the end? Am I free?” Were the last things he thought while in his bed on the top floor. If his body were to be found later, he would have died with a smile on his face. Always the laughing man.
From a bright light to complete darkness. Slowly he can feel as if everything was just turned on. For a moment it felt like there were parts missing. As if there was a hole in his heart. “Impossible.” was the first thing he thought. He had died and now this is his afterlife.
The thought was erased by the laughter of two men. They had their backs to him. Blood dripped from their weapons. One had a spear and the other had a sword. Weapons dripping with what he assumed was his blood. There was a small girl that they were walking towards. The way they spoke and moved it looked as if they felt she was going to just lie there and die.
It was easy to assume he was lying on his stomach, his head cocked towards them. She was smiling while looking at his face and then it faded as he let out a breath. Dust billowed in a small plume near his head.
“Netro com de dras!” One of the two men said as they moved closer to her. The more they spoke the stranger it sounded.
“ALEXANDER!” She screamed out, her voice crossed and filled the entire colosseum.
“Your Alexander is dead small one.” One of the men clarified and somehow he knew what was being said. It was as if a switch in his brain flicked on and allowed him to understand. In that moment they looked back at him. Alexander’s sniper training from earth kicked in. Lying there like the dead as they couldn’t quite see his face.
“See he doesn’t move.” The other pointed out as he looked at his weapon. His sword was covered in blood. One could see that the initial thrust was about a foot and a half deep. A killing blow depending on where it was placed.
She moved like lightning as their backs were turned and sliced the Achilles tendons on the spear wielder. Another blade moved to the inner thigh severing the common and deep femoral veins with the precision of a skilled doctor. After that, she backed away and started laughing.
Slowly he rose making sure not to make noise. His weapons were in his hands and he knew what to do. Quickly and silently he crept up on the one that wasn’t injured. His knuckles whitened as his grip tightened around his weapons. Once he was close enough he stood to his full height of six-foot-something?
“I will not stab my foe in the back!” Alexander yelled, surprising himself as much as the man. Any noise coming from the crowd was silent as everyone held their breath.
“FACE ME!” He yelled again and again seemed as if possessed. Both men turned to him, mouths agape. That seemed enough for the body to respond. He sprang into action throwing his trident into the neck of the wounded man.
“Rest now my brother.” He said as he continued to move towards the other man. The shock was still written all over the remaining man’s face. However, his ritualistic fighting style kicked in as he parried the thrust.
“Alexander!” The crowd was now standing and cheering.
Spin, thrust, kick, parry, glance the blow. These were things coming to mind as he fought his foe. Eventually, they broke from the fight and Alexander bowed. His sword arm tucking under his stomach.
“Thy name?” He asked and then moved over to the fallen. In a swift motion, he pulled the trident from the neck of the dead. A moment later, he stuck it into the ground.
“Quintus Burrienus Blandus.” He stated as Alexander pulled the helm off the other fighter. Gently he closed his eyes and mouth. After that, he made sure the man was holding his weapon and placed the helm on the trident as if it were a grave marker.
“My name is Alexander.” He nodded to the man and looked to the crowd.
“Two coins!” He yelled at them. This was something that they could purchase from the vendors. As much as this seemed like the past, it wasn’t. He could tell by how the crowd was seated. It wasn’t in the older Roman fashion. Everything was bright and there were adds floating around the colosseum.
For a moment the crowd was silent and then coins from all portions of the stadium filled the battlefield. Alexander caught two out of the air and avoided being hit by all others. He placed the coins on the man’s eyelids and offered a small prayer.
“This fight is over!” He yelled to the people and cameras. Quintus flinched as he knew it was. The man took a step back and looked at the crowd.
“My foe is defeated, in spirit and in body!” Alexander pointed out and the camera fell upon his wounds. They all seemed like they weren’t too bad to the untrained eye. However, they wouldn’t stop bleeding.
“I ask you all here! Spare him as a request of your Alexander!” He lifted his arms. The crowd seemed undecided about this.
“Allow this man to live a normal life as he paid for it! Once he was your champion along with our brother here!” His words seemed to break the crowd and some started to cry out nodding and the others started to cheer. With a flourishing bow, he wiped off his sword and collected his belongings, save for the spear.
Alexander was forcing the corporation to allow this wrongfully accused military man to have a normal life. They would just love killing him and his foe. However, if they did then the crowd of millions if not billions of people watching would revolt. The little girl let out a sigh and moved in step behind Alexander.
She wasn’t as small as she looked. As they moved down the hallway she coughed and stopped. “Where are you going?” She asked as she pointed to a door.
“This is our room here. Did you forget?” She asked with an innocent look on her face. However, it felt like she was calling him dumb. She moved into the room and he followed. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he moved through the doorway. Reflexively he jumped and kicked off of the wall moving into a forward tumble. A small knife swished through the air around ankle height and another looked like it was aiming for the groin. The little girl stood there with a smile on her face.
“I’m sorry but what was that little girl?” Alexander asked her as she looked annoyed and in a huff.
“Don’t call me a little girl!” She yelled as she dove at him. His body moved as if this was an everyday thing. Open palmed he deflected or redirected the attacks until she was tired. Then he pulled her into a kind of backward hug. This was so he could hold her hands with the deadly weapons in them.
“Let’s just say that I have forgotten a good portion of my life.” He informed her as he disarmed her and sat her down. His hands moved over her small form pulling out hidden knives and the like.
“What is your name?” This question made her mouth drop open.
“How could you forget it?” She asked him with a puzzled look on her face.
“I’m not the man you know or knew.” He admitted. Her face was red in anger, almost matched her hair.
“You can’t just forget about my parents and me!” She pouted, loudly.
“I mean I’m not from this world. I thought I died in my hospital bed.” His words were raspy and withered with age. Eyes seemed to change slowly gaining the age and experience of a 90-year-old man. Not this 25ish year young body. Disbelief washed over his face as he moved around trying to get used to his body. Pulling up a memory of some youtube martial arts videos he started a martial arts Kata or tried.
The little girl started to calm down as she watched his movements. She looked as if she had never seen anything like that. After that, she let out a sigh.
“Alexandria.” She informed him of her name.
“As a team, we were Alex the underdogs. My parents wanted to name me after you but I’m a female so they named me Alexandria.” She said, letting out a sigh as she remembered her parents.
“The you, you were before you were killed.” She corrected herself trying to adapt to the strange situation.
“Why did you seem happy to see him, the other me, die?” He asked her.
“The original Alexander killed my parents.” She admitted with a small smile.
“I wanted him dead because of it. Deep down and didn’t know it.” Again she spoke the truth to him.
“Well, I’m not him. So I hope this face doesn’t scare you.” He said as he moved his hands around his face. Come to think of it, he didn’t know what he looked like. It took him a few moments to find a mirror.
A smile crossed his face after that he moved towards Alexandria and sat close. She went over a few basic things for him so he could understand some basics. A few topics on how the world works and how the other him knew her and her family. Due to this Alexander was rubbing his temples.
“So this is a war world?” He asked out loud knowing that she wasn’t lying.
“Yes.” She replied without pause.
“Do you hate me?” He asked looking at her.
“No. The man that killed my parents is dead. You are someone else.” She informed him as she sat up strangely calculative for someone so young. Alexander let out a smile as the door burst open and enforcers entered the room. Slowly Alexander stood up and looked them over.
“How may we…” His voice was cut off as one of them moved up and punched him in the stomach. It doesn’t seem to have done much to his stronger body and the fact that he breathed out doing a shout.
“Help you?” He finished his question looking down at the person trying to assert dominance.
“You are both coming with us!” His voice rang through the strange comms within the helmet. The man sounded somewhat robotic.
“Alright,” Alexander started as he held out his hands.
“Behind or in front?” He finished asking as he looked at him. Everyone takes a step back not knowing what is going on. They pulled out light band constricting cuffs and placed them on his wrists. Alexandria huffed and moved up with him. Her hands cuffed as well. They were taken to the roof where a chopper awaited. Once inside they were taken to a military base.