August 17th, 2013
A young man, around 17, wakes up in his room, located in the cold basement of his house in sunny, superficial San Diego. He is home alone, for now.
He sleepily trudges to the bathroom, removes his boxers, and proceeds to take a shower. After he was finished with that, he put on a plain white t-shirt and black sweatpants, remembering that he had to buy a new keyboard since his overbearing, over religiously Christian nephew of thirteen, Noah, had broke it after he heard him playing a song by Avenged Sevenfold, a band which Noah considered "satanic" and "unholy". He had also had cut Jake's guitar strings, for playing a Meshuggah song on that. Anywho, it was Saturday, and all Jake Daniels wanted to do was relax and plat Grand Theft Auto V. Jake went upstairs, made a bowl of cereal, and had breakfast, planning on what to do. He could have practiced a song by Avenged Sevenfold, but Noah had broken it, as Jake were to say, "in the name of God".
Jake went back into his room, opened up the game case holding Grand Theft Auto V... to see that the disc that Jake would have played the game off of had been snapped in two.
"Motherfucker!" Jake utter this with anger, for he knew who had done this.
This was the last straw for Jake. He got up, went upstairs to the kitchen, and waited for his Aunt Heather and Noah to come home.
And he waited. And waited.
About forty-five minutes later, the two in question had arrived.
"Did your brat of a son break my game disc?" Jake, who was trying to remain calm, said this.
"Which one?" Heather said this curiously, trying to hide the fact that she knew he did. Jake looked at the obese, red haired woman.
"Don't lie to me." He then turned ever so slightly to Noah. "Did you break my game disc?"
"What, the one filled with sin?" The short, red-haired, pudgy boy said this.
"Alrighty, now that you've fessed up..." He then turned to Heather. "I want reprimanded."
"Why should I give you money for a vile game that God would detest?" She grew a bit angry.
"Because your son did it, and since he can't legally work, you have to pay me. I could also make you pay for a new keyboard, or I can take this through the fucking court system." Jake said this, his rage growing.
"I'm not going to pay you; and don't you dare use that tone of language at your guardian!"
"You're fucking jack shit, I didn't sign anything!"
"I'm your guardian, like it or not, and you'' be what I want you to be, and I want you to be a good Christian!"
Jake's face finally scrunches with anger as a dark aura glows around him.
"The thing is, you won't get away with that." His eyes flashed a crimson vermilion, a cinnabar color flooding his irises.
"I'd rather be dead then a brainwashed follower!" The aura burst into an obsidian blase.
"You can't change me, and you won't break meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Dark tendrils extended from Jake's hands, grabbing Heather. With another scarlet flash, her head exploded with a bloody pop!
"Mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Noah wailed this. Jake then grabbed Noah with his hand, the body part squeezing deep into his temples.
"You know what they say..." Jake said this as he swung him into a wall of the kitchen, slamming into the portion of the wall where a stud was."
"All religion does is crash us into buildings!"
With a terrifying, soul-rending splat!, Noah's head has splattered against the wall. The blazing aura, along with Jake's fiery temper, had died down. He then realized what had happened.
"Oh shit. Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shitshitshitshiiiiiiit! I killed them! What the hell happened? What did I do?!" He said this with fear just as four members of the the San Diego Police Department came in, and slammed Jake into the ground.
"You're under arrest for mur-"
"Dering these guys' chances of arresting you. A man who sounded like he was in his 20s came in just after the police, interrupting the police officer. He then handed him a thick was of crisp $100 bills. "Now go back to the police department, and pretend this never happened. Nothing gets out to news officials. Nothing."
"Ok..." the officer grumbled this as the other three walked out with him.
"Thank you so much, I-" Jake said this as he was interrupted.
"No problem. We're sure to meet again." The young man said this as he summoned a black void which seemed to have no end. The decapitated cadavers, blood and all, were sucked into this void, and the man's medium brown hair moved in the direction of the void.
"Who are you" was the burning question that came out of Jake's mouth.
"I'm Rick Stevenson, leader and founder of STU." With that said, Rick left.
It was finally the last track meet of the season. After a surprising comeback the week before, the Oakley girls track team was tittering with excitement. Word of the miraculous comeback of the 4x400 relay team had spread around the school, and they were subsequently enjoying a more plentiful audience than what was typically found at a girl’s high school track meet.
As expected, this made Lindy somewhat nervous. Last week, she had offhandedly asked her teammates and her parents if they saw anything unusual from their vantage points. No one seemed to have noticed the odd events surrounding their victory, only that the girls ran significantly faster than they ever had before.
She had shrugged it off as being a freak occurrence. The weird beams of dust particles were probably a trick of the light, or the result of too much sun and not enough water. That is, until the race started. Lindy watched the first girl line up at the starting line. The starters’ pistol was fired. Almost immediately, the beams of dust and light appeared in her peripheral vision, gently nudging at the feet and legs of her teammate. Lindy blinked, shook her head, and then blinked again. But they were still there, compelling the runner forward. This happened twice more, affecting her other teammates in an identical way, before the baton reached Lindy. “Go,” she heard Katie yell. Lindy started to jog forward a few paces before feeling the cool aluminum in her hand. She grabbed it and began to race forward. It’s happening again, she thought to herself as she saw the dust swirl around her, and felt it radiate throughout her entire body. It seemed to settle in her hips and ankles as she pushed herself forward slowly.
She didn’t hear the excited screams of her teammates as she crossed the finish line. Instead, she stopped and looked up at the bleachers. The majority of people were sitting there, shocked at seeing these four young women run so much faster than any of their peers. But what had truly surprised the spectators was seeing this little redheaded, sixteen-year-old girl run a 400 meter dash in less than a minute. The timer looked down at his watch, looked at Lindy, looked back at his watch, and back at Lindy with his mouth agape. Her coach and teammates had rushed over to her and were enveloping her in a gigantic group hug. Lindy looked back at the bleachers where Oakley supporters were cheering, looks of excitement and astonishment were still visible on everyone’s faces. All except for one person.
Lindy looked to her left, only to meet the calm gaze of an unfamiliar man. He was young, appearing to be in his twenties. Aside from this, and the small smirk he was giving her, he was a fairly nondescript individual. Had he not been holding her gaze, she doubted she would have remembered him. But after a few seconds of staring at her and smiling, he stood up and gave her a friendly nod. His medium brown hair was rustled by the wind as he walked sideways from his original seat, only breaking eye contact after he had exited the bleachers and disappeared into a large crowd of runners and onlookers.
The pop of the starters' pistol could be heard from afar. School was over, but students were still hanging out and loitering around the campus. There were sports teams prepping, gamer geeks chilling with their hand-helds and laptops, and the rest. Eun-jung was not in a team at school, nor was she really involved openly in geek groups or clics. She was with the art club though. The duration of lunch was much too short for a meet up with the art club, so the president had decided that right after school would be best. Today, the club decided to do some sketching on campus. Everyone had their sketchbooks and graphite drawing pencils or pens out. Eun-jung had an expensive grey Copic marker and a few pencils. She walked with another friend, Grace, who usually tagged along with her during club meets.
Both finding spots, they sat and started to sketch. Eun-jung saw the school field and decided she'd work on that. She used the Copic markers first to lay out a grey scale. But the moment she set the tip of the marker down, a burst of sparks followed down her skinny arm. A ball of white energy would gravitate around her hand and marker. It'd shred her hand-woven bracelet and disassemble the marker from plastic surface to ink core. The sphere would pop like a bubble and fizz away, leaving a huge grey circular blotch of ink on her sketchbook page. The marker pieces fell to the ground. "Fuck! Not again... what the fuck...", she exclaimed. Grace would perk her eyebrows. "What's wrong, Eun-jung?"
"I broke another Copic today. I'm not buying anymore of these. They're like five bucks a piece. Fuck....", she cursed. Moments later, a shadow would approach from behind her. "That's an interesting sketch. It looks quite abstract.", said a male voice. She turned back to see who it was. To her surprise, it was an older man. Maybe someone's older brother? He seemed like her was in his 20s, but not 30s. "Er, thanks. My marker kind of exploded. I guess it looks alright for abstract art.", she smirked at him, shaking her head looking back at her sketchbook. "Why? Are you an artist?", she said, turning back. The man was gone. It was like he just vanished into thin air. Eun-jung raised her eyebrows, but forgot about him.
"Fuck... My Copic marker! Argh!", she grumbled.
"Hey Jackal-face!" An irritatingly high pitched voice called. "Try actually being useful next time! Maybe you could really help the team by warming up the bench or getting us some water!" Jay grit his teeth as the quarterback of his team and his posse of idiot goons laughed. Every day they picked on the same kid, a new student and teammate named David, who generally claimed he didn't need Jay's help and could handle the quarterback on his own.
"I don't need someone to protect me!" He had claimed after Jay had stood up for him the first time.
"Whatever." David muttered, picking himself off of the ground which the quarterback, Michael, had just thrown him onto.
"I'm sorry, what was that? Did you say something Jackal-face?" The name "Jackal-face" wasn't actually far off. One would only have to look at the boys face for a moment to see the resemblance between his face and a certain animals, but it still obviously bothered the smaller boy.
"I said whatever! Just leave me alone you f-!" He said louder, looking at Michael in anger.
"Well would you look at that? The kid actually has a spine!" Stepping towards him, Michael smirked. "Whatcha' gonna do tiny? I don't think you're in the position to make me."
"Just leave him alone!" Jay called out in frustration. Four weeks. Four entire weeks he had been dealing with this crap! Needles to say, he was tired with it.
"Oh, stay out of it mister holier-than-thou! This isn't your fight!" Jay looked up to see both Michael sneering at him and David glaring at him, clearly angry from Jay's interference.
"Oh just shut up!" Jay snapped angrily, his temper from the past few months of dealing with the bully quickly rising.
"I said-" Michael started to retort.
"Oh just stop being such a frikin' shithead!" The large defensive captain shouted, cutting of Michael. Silence. There was silence from the entire team, not because Jay had insulted him particularly terribly, in fact it wasn't much of an insult, but the fact that Jay had cursed stunned them into silence. Despite the entire school being fairly foul mouthed, Jay was notorious for being uncorruptable and never cursing. At least, until now.
"Look at that." Michael gave a low whistle. "I finally brought him over the edge."
"Oh, shove off." Jay growled, clearly upset for what he had done.
"Oh, now I want you to make me!" He chuckled, walking quickly towards the other boy. "C'mon, lets see a little more of the badboy Jay-!"
"I said shove off!" Jay shouted, putting his hand on the quarterbacks pads and lifting him into the air effortlessly.
"What the he-!?" The boy started to shout before Jay pushed his hand forward, flinging Michael through the air and crashing him into the bench on the side of the field, breaking it in two.
"What the hell is going on here?!" The head coach asked, running onto the field. Widening his eyes, Jay quickly walked forwards. "We got in a fight." He explained quickly. No use in hiding it, the entire team saw. "I threw him into the bench." He heard the amazed mutters of his team in the background.
"And you broke the bench in half?" The coach asked incredulously. "Don't be an idiot Jay, someone tell me what really happened!" There was complete silence as everyone stared at Jay in wonder. And though he didn't know it, there was another pair of eyes from the bleachers on Jay that day as well. A man in his late 20's, who seemed to be around a large amount of strange occurrences recently.
Darkness... there is nothing so puzzling and yet straight forward as the darkness. What's more there exists no area so dark as that which lies between the between of worlds, tucked far beyond the sight of most any man. It is a relatively unknown place which has known only one inhabitant in its existence; the energy presence of a man long torn from his physical plain. Within the darkness there lie would be 'threads' of pulsating energy, holding such great number even he would not try to count them individually and resorted only to focusing upon those with the strongest pulsations.
At this moment the mans presence loomed upon a group of threads whose pulsation was rather less than average, they all held the same base image within the resonance of their pulsations. A bustling city teeming with a large number of lives of all different sorts however on the whole they all possessed absolutely no greater power, something which the man had become accustomed to finding; but the strong ones always put up a good fight. However the search in this portion had grown rather boring than most, surely there would be something better in another area and the man made to traverse his presence until one specific resonance caught his attention.
The resonance from this thread was relatively unattractive, it was the underlying echo which had captured his attention. As though there were something on its way to the world connected to the thread and something was about to change it in a very drastic way. The man began to pour his presence entirely upon the connecting thread which would cause a brief flash of red light throughout the entire thread as he forced himself into its structure. The light touched everything that one moment it existed, even within the shadows and darkest caverns upon the most backwood planet within the furthest solar system of that realm. In one instant everything there was to see and know of this place was known to this man and it allowed him to center himself upon the changes which would soon come about.
Meanwhile, within the halls of a nearby school named 'Oakley High School' there was a local asshole jock strutting his way to class. The young man had a large build as he was a defensive lineman for the schools football team. As usual he wore his football jersey to class, sporting a large '42' upon the back and the name 'Wolf' splayed across his shoulder blades. On his way to class he eyed a local would be geek with his arms full of books which he had just pulled from his locker. The jock couldn't help the smirk which came across his face before he reached out and smacked the books straight to the floor. The moment that his hand touched the books was when the flash of light would have come through the realm, stopping him momentarily and giving him a slightly dumbfounded look. Ordinarily most people would have held no physical reaction to the flash, but Wolf was something special... his 5'10 225lb build of solid muscle had made him a decent enough target. The natural asshole attitude made him absolutely perfect. However, the full change was going to be held off for now... somethings needed to be learned. His powers had to fully seep into this realm before he could make his move... Everything in due time...
The geek had been yelling something at the seemingly stunned jock, Wolf, before he was suddenly silenced by they steady stream of blood he watched pour from Wolf's nose. At this point he had fully regained his composure and looked at the other student with disdain, before he felt the blood dripping across his lip and chin which made him bring his hand up to investigate. It was strange for him to have suddenly had this nose bleed out of nowhere, but he didn't give it much thought and made off for the nearest mens restroom...
Jake sat in one of the wooden kitchen chairs.
"What the fuck is going on..." He uttered as he then transitioned to the restroom. He looked in the mirror and screamed. His had turned to a silver-black tone, his skin devoid of color, was now white as pure undisturbed snow. His eyes were as red as the blood on his face. He shuddered, and washed the crusty blood off.
He then sat on a couch in the living room.
School's soon... Jake thought this as thoughts shot through his mind. Images of the car crash five years ago flashed, disturbing his vision.
A vision of him sitting alone in his Pittsburgh.
Jake shook his head, and went back downstairs. He then put a game disc marked Soul Calibur IV in his Xbox, and started to play, his troubles receding rapidly into the back of his mind.
"So, boss," One of the thugs that Roy never cared to remember his name an expression of curiosity on his face. "What we going to do tonight? Rob a bank? Kill some people?"
Roy Sanders stepped toward the young man with a devilish grin and put his hand on his shoulder. "Well, buddy, that's for me to know and you to find out isn't it? Don't you just love surprises? I know I do. They're fun, and make good practice for improvisation."
The man blinked a couple times, but nodded. "Yes, sir."
Roy laughed a bit pulling his hand away and placing it at his belly. "No need to 'sir' me just go with the fun nicknames like Ventilator or The Back Alley Serial Killer, oh that was fun. You remember those artworks right?"
The man shook his head. Roy then remembered that he was a newer recruit to his force. This guy was arrest and incarcerated for murdering his family who had betrayed him over some complicated business Roy had no interest in listening to. There was a spectacular jail break caused by yours truly and this man became a recruit to Red Purgatory. Honestly, Roy couldn't remember his name for the life of him, but no one on his team had names that he cared to remember anyways. Before the man could open his mouth to speak. "That's alright if you don't. You might get a show later on tonight or maybe some other night. It depends on how I feel."
The higher-ups liked Roy's success rate in the city and often times had him running jobs causing all hell to break lose in several places so their other operations could go less noticeably. Tonight there would be a concert of some new band that Roy had no care in the world to listen to, but the people there would be perfect to start a riot with. Especially when he'd have someone hack into the television screen that would be there and show some of the things that particular band did to get famous. From there, he himself would step onto the stage to incite the people to make acts of rage. He would even make a little show with his illusions.
Yes, tonight would be fun. Music. Mayhem. Murder. What else could he ask for in this job. This wasn't work, it was play.
It had been a long and tiresome day for her. Eun-jung had finished with her unintentionally abstract sketch and showed it off to the rest of the Art Club before heading home. She walked home since she lived about five to ten minutes away from the high school. Arriving home, she set down her backpack and went to grab some shrimp crackers. She managed to finish her homework within the next two hours and instantly logged onto League of Legends. Eun-jung would play a few games as Jinx, a new champion the game had released. Afterwards, she washed up and got ready for bed.
The next day wasn't any better. She was a few minutes late to her first period class since the back gate of the school was locked. This happened from time to time. "I'm sorry, Mister Carden.", she replied as he gave her a shrug. The rest of the class went fine as she had turned in her homework without any issues. Lunch time came quicker than she thought. Eun-jung made her way to the cafeteria and saw that they were serving cheese pizza and bread. She wasn't a fan of junk food, but there was nothing more that they offered besides small snacks and fruits. She lined up in between a few tall guys. It made her uncomfortable, but she quickly arrived at the front of the line and ordered the food.
Eun-jung then carried her lunch tray and walked around, trying to find her friends or find a table to sit at. It was so loud with everyone chatting and laughing. She almost ran into a football player as she tried to find a spot.
Three months after the events at the track meet, Lindy found herself starting a new school year. She was simultaneously relieved and terrified about this fact. There was something comforting about the promise of a set routine of classes, teachers, and homework. It was a lot more heartening, at any rate, than the events of the past few months.
Lindy first noticed something amiss a few days after the track meet. It started slowly: her pajama pants seemed to fit more loosely, her hair grew noticeably longer each night. But as the summer progressed, so did Lindy’s weight loss. She had always been on the slender side of average, but well-built and healthy looking. Track had developed some muscle in her legs, though she was far from bulky. But the small amount of fat quickly faded from her body, and the muscle mass soon followed. When her mother first noticed this change, she had shrugged it off as being a result of Lindy’s participation in a fairly intense physical activity. But after her daughter developed a sunken look to her normally healthy cheeks, she started to assume the worst. Lindy had been eating, this much her mother knew. Yet she was also getting next to no caloric intake. Her parents talked about it, and eventually confronted their daughter about the possibility of an eating disorder. Lindy, for her part, vehementaly denied this claim:
“You’ve seen me eat. If I was purging afterwards, my teeth would be rotten. I don’t know what’s going on.”
They were reluctant to believe her, and instead took her to psychiatrist in the area. The good doctor found nothing mentally wrong with her, and suggested that Lindy’s problem was very real and fell more into the realm of medicine than of psychology. This began a period of driving all across Southern California; talking to doctors and specialists about this strange metabolic disorder that no one seemed to know anything about. There were tests, observations, everything possible. But Lindy still seemed to loose weight. She was well under 90 lbs at this point, and nothing seemed to be helping. Finally, her parents spoke to a dietitian who developed a special high-calorie, high-protein diet for Lindy. The diet made her eat at a near constant rate, and often made her feel sick. But it slowed and eventually seemed to stop the weight loss. Towards the end of the summer, Lindy was still quite thin. She looked far skinnier than she had at the end of the last school year, and far skinnier than she should have been. But the school had been notified of her condition, and was willing to accommodate her.
But she was still nervous about her classmates’ reactions. She had gone from being invisible to being “that crazy fast girl”. It was still a moniker she was getting used to. The thought of again being accused of having an eating disorder combined with the copious amounts of steak in her stomach made her feel sick.
The first day of school came and went. Lindy had tried to ignore the stares and whispers she received when she walked down the hallways, but it was difficult. She had a large water bottle that she had filled with several servings of protein drink. Her dietician had requested that she finish at least half of it before lunch. This was a regime that she had to repeat on the second day as well, though the smell of pizza and garlic bread was much more appealing than that of the strawberry-banana monstrosity.
She didn’t have too many friends in her lunch period, although there were at least a few people she knew. She sat down next to Amanda and Krista, two girls that she was vaguely acquainted with from the track team. Krista’s boyfriend Mark joined them soon after. They were all nice enough, but Lindy soon found herself zoning out of the conversation and people watching as she looked around the cafeteria. She was often accused of daydreaming. She noticed a small girl almost bump into a gigantic football player, but her attention was snapped back to the table when Amanda spoke her name, “So Lindy, what class do you have after this?”
“Oh…I’ve got AP US History with Mendez.”
“Yeah? I had him for homeroom freshman year. Isn’t he weird?”
Lindy laughed and nodded when Mark chimed in, “Yeah, I’m in that class too. Mendez looks like a constipated frog or something.”
After comparing her schedule with that of her friends, Lindy had begun to zone out again. Her day started out with Spanish, then Marching Band. AP Precalculus was third, followed by AP English. She had fifth period lunch, AP US History, and then a study hall. AP Chemistry was her last class of the day.
She was in classes with a few of her friends, and she especially looked forward to band. But there were a lot of unfamiliar faces in the cafeteria and she began scanning the crowd for other people that she might recognize. The were a few football players that she had met once or twice—her older brother was on the team and had graduated the year before—and a few people she had classes with. There were also some people that looked somewhat familiar from the times that she had worked the lights for the drama program. But she still felt a little lost in a sea of her peers.
Jake woke up on the first day of his junior year. He then sighed, as he realized that he had to deal with people. He sighed, and took a shower. When he went to turn on the water, a dark tendril turned it on for him. This made Jake jump a bit. He then cracked his neck, a terrible habit that had become involuntary his freshman year of high school. After he showered, he then realized that his eyes had turned red two days ago.
"Can I make them think I'm albino and I messed up a bit on dying my hair?"
This rushed through his mind.
He made it to school, and it flew by.
"Sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
"Bullying will not be tolerated."
"Usage of addictive substances will not be tolerated."
Those were the top three lies Jake heard that day.
The only memorable class he remembered was lunch.
He sat down at a table by himself. Jake had brought a bag lunch from school. It wasn't much; he had brought the leftover Chinese food he had last night, and a bottle of Mountain Dew. He noticed two girls, one talking with friends, and the other seemed nervous.
"Hey, mind if I sit here?" A girl said this. She was a little bit shorter than Jake, she had red hair that seemed dyed, and she had a rather... developed chest.
Holy shit, whatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo? This shot through Jake's mind.
"S-sure." He stuttered as he said this, and, "Real smooth Jake Daniels, reeeeeeeeeeal smooth" then raced through his mind.
"Yeah, I just don't really t-talk to people that mufh- much."
"Ah. So what's your name?"
"J-Jake Daniels." Jake felt his body shaking like an earthquake as he said this.
"I'm Nicole Lockbane. If I may ask, why oh why are you so nervous?!" She giggled a bit.
"I'm just really nervous! Is that not allowed?"
"It is!" She smiled,"But why are you nervous?"
"I don't really talk to people that much." He shook more.
"So you're a quiet kid, huh? I can be quiet if I want to." Nicole said this, and leaned in. "But you seem interesting."
"Alright, what makes me interesting?"
"From what I see, since I know squat about you, your eyes." She smiled as she said this.
"Thanks. So any hobbies?"
"Video games, playing bass guitar, and programming. I love anime, metal, C++ and Notepad."
Jake suddenly had even more thoughts racing around in his head.
"Well, a-as for me, I like singing, acting, playing guitar, and video games as well amongst other things. I also like metal and anime."
The two continued to talk, not knowing that they had formed a bond. A bond that will soon become stalwart.