Published at 8th of April 2020 02:40:08 PM

Chapter 32
Administering the flu shots went smoothly at Subangdaku Elementary School . Most of the kids cried when injected, especially the first up to the third graders . A few seemed to have allergic reactions as they experienced sneezing or shoot up of body temperature . However, a number of students had already colds and itchy nose earlier that day . Several had been sneezing on the streets and even inside the classrooms . Others were feeling weak, tired, and hot like the onset of a fever .

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By the afternoon, Jamie had been sneezing as well . His nose was beginning to get runny . His friends noticed it when boarding their bikes .

\"Hey, Jamie,\" Tonton called his attention, \"are you alright?\"

\"I'm not sure,\" he answered . \"I did not feel well after our fight with the thugs . I was not sick this morning . One of them must have transferred it to me . \"

\"Yeah,\" Kiko said . \"Or one of your classmates . People had been sneezing all day . They said it is because of the meteor, but we know that it is not . \"

\"It's just the flu season,\" Tonton added .

\"Thank you again, guys,\" Bogart spoke up . \"Sorry if I was not being totally open this lunch . \"

\"I understand,\" Jamie said . \"But we are brothers now . Call us whenever you need help . \"

\"And your enemies will be our enemies, too,\" Kiko concluded which made everyone chuckled .

They boarded their bikes and began their ride home, their pace slow and easy since Kiko and Bogart still had difficulties with their wounds . The sun was still up, giving the afternoon a hopeful and blissful brightness .

\"So what do we actually do now?\" Kiko asked them . \"I mean how do we investigate the real story about the alien?\"

\"We can start by roaming around the campus,\" Jamie said after a long thought .

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\"The scientists found nothing last time,\" Bogart reasoned .

\"That's what they said,\" Jamie answered him . \"They could be telling the truth or not . \"

\"If not,\" Tonton's turn, \"then we must find out what it was . \"

Kiko: \"How?\"

\"If something unusual happens in the school,\" Jamie said, \"then that's it . They would come back to the school after what they discovered in the second impact . \"

There was a moment of silence as the three pondered on Jamie's words . He had a strong point and that was there starting point .

\"So let's keep our eyes open from this moment on,\" Jamie said after a strong cough . \"Something off could happen in the school anytime soon . \"

Once again, Jamie coughed and they all paused biking . He coughed so hard that it seemed he would spit out his esophagus .

\"Hey, Jamie,\" Tonton worriedly said and went up to his friend and rubbed his back, \"try to relax and breathe slowly . \"

\"Have some water,\" Bogart offered his tumbler which Jamie instantly gulped .

\"Feeling better now?\" Kiko asked .

\"I'm fine now,\" he answered after catching his breathe . \"My throat was really very itchy . \"

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They rested for few minutes and then resumed biking . They soon entered their village and life seemed to be back to normal again . But what was not quite normal was the small crowd gathering in a corner . A man seemed to be preaching on the sidewalk while a group of not more than ten men were listening or watching around him .

\"Is that Mang Tomas?\" Tonton asked .

\"I don't think so,\" Bogart answered . \"He looks much younger . \"

Indeed, the preacher was a younger man, somewhere in his late thirties . He was Loduvico Gaspar . Nobody was with him as he delivered his words to a half-listening crowd .

\"He could be like Mang Tomas,\" Tonton said . \"He could see something in the future that could help us in our little investigation . \"

\"That's right!\" Kiko exclaimed . \"We'd better hear his speech . \"

The Biker Brothers stopped and walked up to the crowd . They squeezed through and positioned themselves right in front of Loduvico .

\"I am not lying,\" Loduvico said . \"I am who I am . My presence had been predicted and I am here to bring salvation to everyone . . . . \"

\"He is not predicting the future,\" Kiko whispered .

Bogart: \"So what is he?\"

Tonton: \"A prophet?\"

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\"I am not a propher, my child,\" Loduvico answered when he heard them . \"I am the promised savior . \"

At that, the crowd laughed .

\"So you are saying you are Jesus?\" someone

asked mockingly .

\"I did not say so,\" Loduvico said . \"You said so . \"

\"But that's what you are implying!\" another shouted back .

\"Someone had already came ahead of me to prepare the world . He told you of the things that were about to come but you did not believe him . So why would I expect that you would believe me either . \"

\"Is he talking about Mang Tomas?\" Kiko whispered again .

\"Yeah,\" Jamie whispered back after some thought . \"I think he is . \"

\"If you are the promised savior,\" someone challenged him, \"then show us some miracles . \"

\"How faithless these people are!\" Loduvico said in exasperation .

He scanned the crowd and most of them had a look of ridicule in their eyes . They were testing him and he was not going to back down . He sensed that two of the boys had injuries, and swiftly, he went up to them . He held both Kiko's and Bogart's hand and as if some powers flowed into him, he stiffened and looked up . He remained motionless for several seconds before relaxing and loosening his grip on the boys' hands .

\"You saw everything,\" Loduvico said in a soft tone . \"You know the truth and that's why you got these wounds . Fear not, my children, the merciful hands of heaven will free you of the pain . \"

A gentle wind blew and enveloped the sidewalk . A soft glow of light radiated from Loduvico's hands . As sudden as it came, the wind and light disappeared . Mildly, he touched Bogart's bandage . The boy resisted at first but after feeling warmth coming from his hands, he gave in . The man's hands stayed on his injured arm for several minutes while the crowd waited impatiently .

\"He's a fraud,\" someone whispered . \"Nothing will happened . \"

Feeling a little ease, Bogart rocked his arm back and forth . He felt no pain . Hurriedly, he untied the bandage with Jamie's help . To their surprise, his burn was gone and not even a scar was left behind .

Loduvico then knelt down and touched Kiko's knee . He also felt warmth flowing through the man's hands . Like Kiko, he also felt pain disappearing from the wound . When none was left, he took out the adhesive bandage, and alas, the graze was gone .

The boys were stunned and no words left their mouth . The crowd also gasped but after an initial shock, they began doubting again .

\"These are just kids,\" someone said . \"They could just be playing tricks to us . \"

\"Yes, just another fraud . \"

One by one, the people left, leaving Loduvico and the boys . For the boys, it was a true miracle . For the people, it was just another magic show to fool everyone . When the last one had left, Loduvico stooped low and gave the boys a piece of advice .

\"Search the truth because you will not only free yourselves but the people of Subangdaku as well . \"

The man turned around and walked without looking back, leaving the boys in uneasy wonder .