#1 Posted by 1146Abel (461 posts) - - Show Bio

Harsh rays of sunlight crept its way through the shoddy cast iron shutters, laying its glaring fingers upon the form of an older man. Unkempt brown hair half-disguised a gaunt face riddled with scars and wrinkles. As if a corpse rising from the grave, his form stood, still clad in the clothing from the previous day. His eyes, unblinking, stared at the wall for a few moments before standing and walking to the restroom. It was a filthy place, and nothing short of a miracle considering how devoid of roaches it was. Grabbing a comb, he peered into the mirror and fixed his hair so it looked semi-presentable and grabbed his rusty lunchbox. Opening the rickety metal door, he stepped out into the world.

Immediately, his body took in a lungful of unsanitary air. It was early morning, but there was no sunlight. Just a permanent gray haze that hung below the cloud level, projected by the pollution produced by the factories. Some superstitious folk said that it was not pollution, but a long-term defensive measure set in place by the I.S.A. to weaken the citizens. There was a reason it was called superstition. The I.S.A. didn’t have to go to such elaborate methods to control its citizens. All it took to get someone to surrender nowadays was the slightest hint of a visit from the Enforcers.

As the old man walked, the sound of doors being kicked in echoed throughout the neighborhood, followed by glass shattering and people screaming. MCU (nicknamed ‘Man See You’ by some of the less educated citizens). Nobody on the streets, the old man included, even stopped to look. Such sounds were commonplace. It simply meant that another metahuman birth had popped up on their radar. Thing was, the I.S.A. had figured out how to delete metahuman traits in someone, but they’d yet to figure out how to stop more from being born. So, the Metahuman Containment Unit was created a short while after the fall. They were responsible for ‘neutralizing’ any metahuman newborn threats, as well as detain any discovered metahumans. Those like the old man had been lucky enough to escape their sight thus far.

His form continued onwards, eventually coming upon the same factory he had to appear at every day. Standing still as red beams traveled up his body, his eyes stared forwards. All workers were assigned their jobs. You could not pick if you wished to be a lawyer or a coal miner. The I.S.A decided what you could do best and you either took the job or went up against the firing squad. The old man in particular was a gun manufacturer. One of the better ones in his district.

The scanner finished and he walked on into the abysmal place. It was as if there was a screen that ripped his soul from him when he did, as he felt that familiar hollowness. The defeat that he had grown to accept. Silently, he walked to his supervisor, another older man with hollow cheeks. When he spoke, his voice was raspy from dehydration. “Alright, Robby. What am I doing today?”

“Mornin’, Heller.” Jaime Heller was the name the old man had adopted after the fall, to avoid detection. If he’d stuck with his actual name, it would have been easy for the I.S.A. to find him. “We got you workin’ on three dozen batches of H-18’s. I got the first done for ya. You’d do the normal two, but Howard got sick.” The minute pause in between ‘Howard’ and ‘got sick’ indicated that he’d been executed. And both men knew why. Howard had been sympathetic to the revolution that was being spoken of in hushed tones. Howard had been one of its biggest supporters, and just stupid enough to protest in public. ‘Jaime’ had been staring off into the plant when he began to speak. “Any sign of Ambrose? That girl should have been here by now.” There was a touch of concern to his voice. He’d promised a long time ago to protect that green-haired girl with his life, as he’d owed a debt to her father. Robby’s meaty hand rested on Jaime’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Jaime. Enforcers found her with Howard. I.. I made sure she got out safe, but I dunno where she went.” Jaime looked down in silence, nodding as he turned to go to work. That girl had been discovered over a dozen times. Her name wasn’t even Ambrose. It was Fleur. She was arguably one of the revolution’s biggest supporters.

When he reached his station, he noticed that one dozen had already been done, just like Robby had said. When he went to work on one, the doors to the factory were burst open. Shouts echoed through the building. I.S.A. Enforcers. Howard must’ve given Jaime up during the interrogation as ‘Ambrose’s’ guardian. Grabbing an H-18, he fitted a clip of ammo into it and took off, just as he heard Robby being arrested. “Sorry Robby..” Four troopers clad in black armor ran out onto the floor. Seeing the old man run, they shouted. “Citizen! Cease your movement and drop your weapon!”

Jaime kept running. His chest was heaving. While he was still in great shape for someone his age, he hadn’t run this fast in several decades. Warning shots wizzed by his head, which he replied to by terminating two of the Enforcers. A bullet grazed his shoulder as he found the window he’d been looking for. Jumping, he tucked his head down into his body and threw his body through the glass. Whether or not he’d survive was a question in and of itself.

Looks like he’d be a revolutionary before sundown.

#2 Edited by .Longshot. (5264 posts) - - Show Bio

A long, narrow stone corridor blocked off every few yards by a hefty steel bulkhead stretched for what seemed an eternity, every inch another pound in the crushing grip on a man's soul. A detail of guards, each clad in heavy black armor, their faces protected by thick glass, walked along the desolate concrete hall, each door breaking its lock and sliding open before them. Finally, the last door opened and the guards were immediately struck with the pounding of caged fists and the howling of broken men. The hall came to a cross at the very threshold on which they stood, diverging in three directions, each lined with black metal doors, braced by a variety of locks. There were holes in the ceiling to allow tear gas to fill the place on command, and countless other security measures, each more insidious than the last, were lurking beneath the stone.

The guards took a sharp left and passed down the hall, smacking their batons on the doors of prisoners who got too far out of line. This entire wing had been dedicated to containing the failures of the old world, the former metahumans who had brought the world crumbling down. However, the tragedy grew only deeper when one read the names painted across each door. Almost all of the names inscribed on the doors were the names of men and women who would once have been called heroes. They had built the world up only to bring it crumbling down, and they had to be punished. Stripped of their masks, their powers, and their freedom, they were locked down here beneath America's most secure prison, left to live out their days in this man-made perdition.

They reached the end of the hall, the final dismal, black door. The name stenciled in white read simply, 'UNKNOWN'. He had no name to give them. There was a slight dent in the heavy metal where the prisoner had tried to punch through years ago, when his youth and his outrage inspired him enough to rebel. After he was sent to the infirmary with both hands broken, he was cast back into the darkness. That was the only time he had been allowed beyond the threshold of his cell in all of his time inside. They were denied exercise time to keep them weak, and to keep them from organizing. A guard, who had retired several years ago, was sent to the hospital when a shard of concrete flew from the tiny sliver in the door and shot directly into his thigh. Of all the dishonored heroes locked away in the left wing, this one was among the most difficult. Unlike many, he was accustomed to living without powers. He had been able to hang on to the few 'powers' he had, seeing as that heightened senses and reflexes were impossible to scan, and easy to keep secret. His imprisonment had been filled with sleights of rebellion and aggression, but in these past fifteen years, his fire had died down. While the others carried on in their protests, from his cell came only silence, the sound of a broken will.

The guards unlocked the door and swung it open on tired hinges. Inside, a dark figure sat on the damp, cold floor, legs folded and hands pressed gently to the cement. He had felt them coming. His eyes did not move to them. Instead, he simply stared down at where the ground met the wall, entranced in quiet contemplation.

"It's your lucky day, archer." one of the guards stated gruffly. As he spoke, the prisoner finally turned and looked up at them, eyes cold, yet at the same time, smoldering with disdain. The guards patted their clubs on their gloved palms, signalling for him to get up before they beat him again. The prisoner reluctantly rose up and walked with them, legs trembling as he stepped beyond his little world. He listened to the cries of every outraged inmate, every survivor of the great fall, most of which he would once have called his allies. Each of them shook him to his core. His scarred, hideous face had only worsened with age. His eyes were sunken in by sleep deprivation and his features had become distorted by years of sorrow.

A jab in the back with one of their clubs kept the prisoner from dragging his feet, and before long, they had escaped the underground gulag and risen to the ground floor, where ordinary humans lived out their sentences. He was brought to the processing room, a gray brick room whose only features were a steel table and a plastic trunk. The officer stood on one end of the table, the prisoner stood across from him.

The officer opened the trunk and set a duffel bag down on the table and began laying out his government supplied civilian clothing. "One t-shirt, gray. One dress shirt, white. One pair of pants, gray. Three work jumpsuits, gray. One pair of shoes, black." He zipped up the bag and handed it over to the prisoner, who had already changed into civilian clothes, a black t-shirt, jeans, and a brown leather jacket. The officer extended his hand and said in a monotonous tone, as if he had repeated it a thousand time in the past week, "Enjoy your new life, 45816." The prisoner hesitantly accepted his handshake, and just as he did, he heard the sound of thunderous footsteps outside. The door burst open and a group of guards came rushing in. They had warned him of their presence well before their arrival, but he did nothing. He had no reason left to fight. They struck him in the knees and back with their clubs before forcing him face down on the table. Instinct took over and he began to struggle, almost breaking free, but unable to overpower them. They made way for a doctor, face hidden beneath a haunting white mask. He pulled back the collar of the prisoner's shirt and jacket. He took a scalpel and cut a short horizontal line where his neck met the back of his head. The doctor crammed a chip under his skin and stamped a device on the wound, instantly sealing it shut. The guards let go and the prisoner fell limp against the table, gasping for air. "In case ya go wandering." said one of the guards. They left, and the guard murmured resentfully, "See ya 'round, hero." before slamming the door.

The prison gates opened and the prisoner walked out with his bag slung over his shoulder. He peered up at the vast world around him. For so long, his entire universe was that cell. After toiling for decades in unending darkness, the light of the outside world was blinding to him. Even if his eyes weren't as sharp as they were, it would be absolutely striking after so long festering in the black. But, at last, his eyes adjusted, and he took his first look at the world he left behind. The sky was choked in smog, the air was sour with pollution and poison and smoke. His first glimpse at the sky in over thirty years, and Longshot couldn't see the sun.

#3 Posted by Bloodcroft (158 posts) - - Show Bio

Fera leapt from a roof her slender frame rolling as she landed on the roof two streets below. Tazer and tranqalizer darts passed over head whistling through the air as Fera just barely avoided the attacks. Raising to her feet she turned and raised a set of cross bows to the security units. She wasn't the sharpest archer, hell she wasn't even that great of an archer. She had however started to use bows and cross bows after the things she had been through. Her leader Longshot used one and taught her sister Lupo to use one. They were gone now however, her boss was in a prison, her sister Lupo Fera last saw taking a forty five calibur slug in the back of her head. Her father Wallcroft was killed presumably in one of the first riots they used C4 on him, hard to regenerate from being blown apart. Her mom could of but they burned her at the stake, a rioter taking a very zealous aproach. Only family member she had left was her sister, rumor however said that IF she were alive, and IF she could be found, she would be a weak feable test subject of the I.S.A's best. Technically it was a taught principal that she should never kill. That a hero stood for more and wouldn't use such barbaric methodology.. After the loss of everyone, being droped into a circumstance of rebelions and living on the run she had no love for these people.

Raising the weapons she fired two consecutive bolts one from each of the cross bows. Each brought up a recticle on her visor. A small device resting over her right eye, it glowed red a homage to her leader who for so long seamed lost to the world. The view red cross hairs doubled in number as she fired a thought and they were locked. Each arrow spliting into two halves and then striking the four men in the center of the head. A new arrow loading into the chambers a feral smile creeping along the womans face as the bodies fell. The twenty six year old vixen cared little of the who, they were killing and depowering people for what next to thirty seven years. They deserved anything that came to them. Holstering the weapons she turned to see four more of the guards of the tyrants exiting the doors and steping onto the roof. Figures, they were like roaches insects that deserved to die. The vindictive woman thought as she pulled her mothers katana free. She was well armed the two cross bows on her hip with ammo cartriges near by. On her back her sisters bow at its side a quiver filled to the brim with arrows. Beside that though was her pride and joy. Sure the grapling hooks in her wrist gauntlents could also work as wrist blades and that was really nice, as wer her abilities. She loved the katana though, perhaps it was all the ninja and samuri movies she liked watching.

Her eyes shifted color and apearence a feral red and cat like, a fear tactic making one of the younger ones step back. Then came the charge the four men advancing with electric batons, stun weapons. They were light easy to spam sevral shots in with quick fluidity. The electricity enough to put most anyone not imune to the effects down. "I hate you thlink you own the whole damn world" she remarked her words a growl as they offered some mediocre ultimatum. Some promise of things that was total rubish in all hounesty. Fera didn't pay enough attention to actually hear what was being said simply drew a imaginary line along the ground. They came all at once, typical at least from her view point. She had spent all this time fighting training trying to be the best she could. Used to be the wild eyed teen thinking she could take on the world and was invincibal a cub trying to be king. Now she was a wolf something to fear something that wasn't to be tamed or captured. The first guard aimed for the head the second the feet the other two brought their batons down to strike her dome or shoulders. Tacky a leap to the side and the attacks went wide Fera rolling to her feet slicing open one guards legs droping him to the ground. The rebel readying herself for the next assaults hurled her way.

Again they swung wide aimed at her ankles chest and skull, the prodigy laughed in her mind. "Real classy change up" she stated as she went to block off the mid and low blade leaning back watching the third baton humm pass her nose. As they retracted their swings she swung her own riping open the chest of one of the guards. A flick of the wrist and her blade slamed into the heart of another. A fist then being hurled towards the back of her head. She winced from the blow it hurt but it didn't slow her down and her healing recovered the wound before driving the blade into his wrist. The last guard slumping over from the wound. Quick brutal and highly effective now it was time to run. Fera droping to all fours and runing off from anyone who might come after her. She was a shape shifter naturaly in her element when in the most animalistic state as possible. The almost lupine girl traversing roof tops and alley ways to escape the situation.

Cars were stepping stones used to leap from get some added distance when posible. Light posts helped her round corners or flip her slim form to higher ground points. She slid under obstacles and ran up walls. Every imaginable trick of parkour put to use by the woman. She was trained by her mother and some from Longshot, she could traverse next to anything. And in this seting this bleak world of servitude it was best to always keep moving to make the streets her play ground. The rebelion was everywhere and it was nowhere. Homes randomly were offered up for help some buildings put to use some said to be but not. They were few small and scattered, they however had purpose and so they stood planing and preping. Leaping through a window Fera aimed her cross bows to each side and did a quick sweep.

Nobody was in the abandoned garage, well there was a cat but even she fled the scene once Fera entered. Perhaps she was dreaming, a star eyed dream of hope from a girl who never got to grow up just become a tool. Maybe one of the nefarious people were still in her head she was just seeing what they want. Fera had no way to be sure she was really apart of the Rebelion, she had no way of knowing she could trust the people who sent her text messages to do missions. When fighting, when runing, in the line of work she knew who she was. Bloodcroft the rebel and hero for the decaying world, when the adrenaline stoped flowing in her veins. When she had only the dark clouds above her head and the emptyness to be the only sound she was at a loss. Her auburn hair masking her sorrow filled eyes as she slumped to the floor leaning against the wall.

#4 Posted by .Longshot. (5264 posts) - - Show Bio

The man who had once been called Longshot walked down the street with his hands in his pockets, calloused from a long day's work. He observed the neon signs, the invasive lights advertising products and spewing propaganda. There were so many blaring signs that there was no need for a single street light. Was this the world that he and the others had left behind? Was this the future that sprouted from their spilled blood? When had altruism given way to totalitarianism?

"Looking for a good time, pal?" called out a woman behind him. He turned around to see a girl wearing an over sized leather jacket, and hardly much else. She couldn't be any older than sixteen.

"No." the old man replied, continuing to walk, all the while staying in the shadow.

Her heels clacked on the cold concrete as she followed after him. "Come on!" she goaded, "I can make it worth your while."

"Kid, there's not enough money in my wallet to make it worth yours."

"Whattaya mean?"

Reluctantly, he turned again and stepped into the light. At the very sight of his face, she jumped back. A scream tumbled silently from her lips and for some time after, she stood in silent disbelief, finally running off into the night. The old man lifted the collar of his jacket, keeping his head down as he walked home. The place was bigger than his cell, and he could leave during working hours, but somehow, after knowing what lay beyond his door, being able to leave made it worse. Last night, his first night of 'freedom', he had simply sat on his bed, his feet on the floor, staring into the darkness. His sharp eyes had been dulled with age, but his sight was still stronger than any man alive. Considering the world that now surrounded him, that was a curse.

The next morning, he threw on his jumpsuit and shuffled off to work. The cold air of dawn nipped at his cheek. The sky was a plain sheet of gray, and a darker shade billowed from the row of smokestacks that marched alongside the empty road on which he walked.

He arrived on a development site on the edge of town, a patch of bare earth he and dozens of other ex-convicts, orphans and former rebels had been slated to dig up, strip of its resources, and set the foundation for yet another growth to the ever-expanding metropolitan labyrinth. One could easily tell which among them were former rebels. They were marked by their shuffling stride, their empty eyes, and the deep, ugly scars on their foreheads.

For the first half of the day, the man known now only as 45816 operated the excavator, throwing aside mounds of dirt with the pull of a lever. There were officers overlooking the project, faceless guardians who kept a rifle in their backs to keep them working. After lunch, the dishonored champion was handed a pick axe and told to break up the rock. He jumped down into the pit he himself had dug and joined his fellow workers in chipping away at their task. Even though the sky was an endless gray, it was at the same time intensely bright on them. The sun was brutal to them, and each of them paused to unzip their jumpsuits and tie them off at the waist, even 45816, who's arms were covered in the same hideous tapestry of scars as his face. Within minutes, his white undershirt was soaked with sweat. He kept working. One had already been dragged away and beaten today for slowing down. He had no reason to stop.

Hours passed. The man's breath grew short and he dropped to one knee, laying his pick axe on the ground. Dirt and rubble showered his head and he looked up to see an officer towering over him. Another walked down the slope on the opposite end of the pit, walking up to him. "45816, why have you stopped working?" he asked sharply.

"I just... just needed a moment." the man answered, out of breath, "My... my hands..." he looked down at his soar, trembling hands, coated with dirt, withered by time, "They're old hands. How did that happen?"

The wind was taken from him again as the steel edge of a boot crashed into his ribcage. He fell to the ground. The sound of a rifle being raised forced him to look up at the gun aimed directly for his head. "Get up!" the officer ordered. The old man set his aching hands on the ground and slowly rose to one knee, grabbing hold of his pick axe as he stood upright once again. "Good." the officer said, shouldering his rifle and walking back up the path as the man returned to his work.

Suddenly, the worker's eyes shot wide open, filled with something primal he had not felt in a lifetime. Without thinking, without warning, without mercy, he flung his pick axe, flying straight on and erupting through the back of the officer's knee. He fell to the ground, crying out in pain as his blood stained the dirt. The officer up above loaded her rifle. 45816 ran at the lefthand wall of the pit, bounding back and forth between the two dirt walls until he landed on the surface, running straight for the officer. She discharged two wild shots before he lunged at her, driving his knee straight into her chin. Her face plate shattered The workers who still had the mental capacity to do so cheered him on. Other officers came running, shooting for the man as he ran. Not one could keep him in their sights as he weaved around the gunfire that struck the dirt all around him. To the inspired cheers of his fellow workers, he ran. Faster than a man his age, or any man, for that matter, should, he ran. Despite the severity of his situation, he couldn't help but feel a smile bubble forth, if only for a moment. The tense shock of muscles working in perfect unison, the vibrations of the ground beneath his feet, the sheer pounding of his heart, fit to burst with adrenaline, he felt young again.