By Cassie Sweeney (Age: 22)
Copyright 04-20-2009

I never thought about the way I would die. I’m told that drowning is the most peaceful way to die, but how anybody knows this is beyond me. A bullet to the head would most likely be quick, but that’s just the easy way out. There’s no way I’m leaving this world without a scene. I’ll die fighting someone with everything I have left. Someday I’ll push that adrenaline rush too far and that’s when my hunter is going to attack.

I have this gift. I produce too much adrenaline in my body and not enough fear in my DNA so I tend to pick fights and not get tired, but in the end it seems I’m a prisoner to my own faults. Once I destroy the guy that pissed me off, I black out for a few hours until I can get the adrenaline and energy back. I don’t care how big or strong they are, I know that I can beat them. This is where my lack of fear comes into play. My father Loki taught me all the ways of karate and every type of self-defense known to man because of this. I don’t know competition. I have no threats. All I’ve ever known is adrenaline. He didn’t believe that was enough. He tells me there are people in this world tougher than me and if I pick a fight with them they will beat me. In this case, I have self-defense of every kind to use against my attacker. I am Ava Moon, and I will not lose.

I’m seventeen, born and trained in L.A. My mother died when I was born and my father left before Celest even knew she was pregnant with me. At least this is what Loki tells me. I have no relatives so when Celest died, he took care of me. Loki and my mother were supposedly really close friends and she told him if anything were to happen to her that my care would be in his hands. Loki’s the closest thing I have to a father. Someday maybe I’ll hunt down my real father just so he realizes what he’s done. Loki’s the only one that’s ever been around for me. Except for Kyver Moore, who has been my best friend all my life and always there for me.

Kyver is Loki’s only son. He’s watched over me just as much as Loki and we’ve grown into what you would call a somewhat close relationship. He’s the only one I’ve ever feared for. Being Loki’s son, he also trained in all types of martial arts including karate, taekwondo, Brazilian Jujitsu, Kendo, and Judo. He’s more skilled than I am in martial arts. Sam is the one that comes whenever I get in too much trouble for me to handle. I got ambushed by ten men that I just didn’t compare to in martial arts or any other self defense a few years back. I knocked out four of them and injured two. The last of them were too much for me. I did all I could to defend myself, but I couldn’t keep up. I get ambushed almost everyday, danger is drawn to me. They had me on the ground when I saw Kyver run around the corner as they spotted their newfound target. That was the most fear I’ve ever managed to build in my system. I was helpless and blacked out. I woke up the next day with Kyver next to me. No scratches or scars. I still don’t understand how he could defend himself while I couldn’t. I sit up here perched on the tree just off the Ohwia River every day trying to figure that kid out.

Kyver should be coming soon; he’s barely a block away. He’ll see me up in the tree and pull me off as I attack him and we’ll battle for a while and go home. This is the regular afternoon for us. Maybe a fight in an alley gets thrown in, but that’s about it. He’s walking toward me now, but he hasn’t got his daring smile at me like usual.
“Hey,” He says with a monotone. His expression is stale.
“Who kicked your ass?” I ask. He barely laughs.
“Never. Come on, let’s go.”
“You know me better than to just ignore your emotions.” He’s avoiding me.
“It’s umm, nothing. I’m fine. Let’s just go.” Nothing is ever nothing with Kyver. If it’s big enough a problem for it to show on his face then it’s definitely something.
“What do you mean I’m fine? What’s wrong then? Is Loki hurt?”
He chuckles an angry laugh like there’s an unbelievable inside joke in my words.
“Yeah, Loki is just fine. Now let’s go,” he says sternly with a grave tone.
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.” I argue.
“Ava, we are leaving here. Now.” There is anger and fear in his face.
“No,” I challenge.
“Fine. Just get out of here then! Come home whenever you feel like stop being stubborn.” He storms off into a run.

Whatever is up with him, it’s probably not good. Then again, he was pushing for me to leave here. He probably just heard it was going to be dangerous here tonight. He worries too much. I sit here thinking of all the possible things he could be overreacting about. I feel eyes staring at me from behind. Slowly I turn to look around, careful not to give myself away. Nobody. Just trees and brush. I walk around for about ten minutes to check out the north side and follow into a sprint to stretch my legs. This is it. I hear the bushes rustle and see seven men and three women appear. Two have guns. Cheap bastards. I feel the adrenaline start to course through my veins.

I stand still and wait for their approach as I watch their every move. There’s a tall man in front of them, their leader no doubt.
“Ava Moon, what a pleasure.” He smiles at me like a hunter stares down its prey. I give him a sarcastic grin and laugh.
“I’m sorry I can’t say the same for you, but apparently you know my name, yet I haven’t the faintest idea who you are,” I say with a fake politeness.
“Demetri. You don’t seem to remember me, do you?” Like I would remember every idiot that’s came after me.
“No Demetri I can’t say that I do.” He smiles a wide grin.
“We go way back Ava. Celest was a pleasant woman, but Loki, pure genius.” The ones behind him all smirked as he smiled though enjoying their own joke.

My jaw tensed. What was he talking about? He knew my mother? He was friends with Loki? Yet he was ready to kill me at any minute. This made no sense. “Why do my mother and Loki have anything to do with you being here now?” I demanded.
“Your mom loved you, Loki didn’t,” was all he said. He had a huge grin on his face now. Nothing more was spoken by the time he attacked and the rest of them joined in.

I had no idea, not an inkling of why they where here, not a thought of what he was talking about. I had a desire to know. I needed to know. I had a reason to fight these people now. I wanted answers. They knew something that I didn’t, and it was about my mother. I would be sure to find out.

I felt a new surge of adrenaline through my veins, this one more powerful. He stalked toward me ready to pounce. I awaited his attack, watching his every move. Three other men came up behind him and ran toward me. I dodged them and knocked them against the hard concrete as they struggled trying to target all of their strength into tackling me. They were trying to distract me, thinking that I would forget about the rest of them and use up all my strength on these losers and then they’d attack. They were underestimating me. I never lost my focus on the rest of them. These three were barely a workout. The first was already knocked out and the second down on the ground. The third man put up more of a fight. He had strength in every punch, but he never touched me. I kicked for his head and he was down just like the others.

Immediately, the rest came and attacked. Better strategy than the last. The women were swift, the men strong. They surrounded me. One woman thrusted toward me with a swift punch to the head. I dodged her and felt a sharp blow to my stomach. I had to be fast, I had to concentrate. I felt them all around me, I felt their threats. There was no fear in them. I felt their weaknesses and used them. One man had a bad knee, another with no focus. I quickly threw a kick at his knee and a punch as the other looked away. I could feel everything. I moved swiftly without thought. They fell to the ground one after the other when only one man was left.

He was strong. No fear in his eyes, no underestimating of me. He stared at me as though he knew what I was thinking before I thought it. I threw a punch and he dodged it. I kicked and he knocked me down. I knew I was thinking too much. I had to concentrate. I moved toward him, not thinking until I was ready to attack. He took longer then the rest, but he gave in to me after a fight. Then Demetri appeared. He stood there staring at me, no shock, and no emotion.
“You show great strength Ava, Loki was right.” And he fled without another word.

That was the end of it, but I was left with so many unanswered questions. How did this man know about my mother? Was he Loki’s…hit man? And did Kyver have any place in all of this? Did he know these people where going to show up? How had this all happened in a matter of minutes? I had to find out. I took off toward the woods to find Kyver. I had more adrenaline then Kyver could ever produce. I’d see him before he would reach home. I bolted in his direction waiting to see him. I sifted through the trees and was him. He was walking in the distance; he wasn’t far from the park. It hurt knowing he might have a part in this. Kyver, the one who‘d trusted with my life. The one that I’d had so many fun and caring moments with, and there might be a chance that it was all going to end now. He was waiting to see if I was going to leave or not. Probably wondering why I hadn’t left to the house yet. He missed the whole thing. I ran up to him and he knew that I knew something more.
“We need to talk,” I said to him.
“I know.”
“Loki killed…my mother?” I didn’t understand.
“I’m sorry Ava. I just found out. I was looking through some of my old birth certificates and old things that belonged to Loki and found some letters from your mom and Loki. She didn’t die when you were born. They knew about your fear gene. Loki wanted to use you as a lab rat and a shield when they were in danger. He didn’t care about you or your safety. You were just his weapon. Celest wouldn’t stand for it though. She fought for you but in the end she wasn’t strong enough to keep the both of you alive. By the time everything was over, you where too old for him to run tests, so he’s been lying to you about everyone that you’ve ever fought. He made you believe they were after you but they weren’t. He’s just been using you Ava.”

I couldn’t believe it, how could this happen? Loki’s always been there. He trained me, he was there when I was growing up. I trusted him. How could he kill her?