David and Stacy quickly descended the stairs they were standing in. They had started climbing down from the 52nd floor of the skyscraper, and had a long way to go.
A few minutes later they reached the bottom, David having drawn some of his Stored Energy to keep going while Stacy was fine, using energy from her own unique super power, her ki Core.
They arrived at the bottom floor, looking around at the disaster that had struck the skyscraper. The floor was in trash and was damp, as if a large flood had come through and wet everything. The glass doors where the entrance should be were completely destroyed, a large gaping whole opened to the outside world. David motioned for Stacy to follow him as he snuck through the opening.
David looked out at the outside world from ground level for the first time since the System came. The city was in ruins. Cars were scattered around the road, many of them burnt husks of metal. On the building opposite of the skyscraper David had just exited, a huge crater had formed in its lower half. It looked as if some enormous force had crashed something into the great building, caving it partially in. Rubble was strewn across the streets, parts of buildings and cars everywhere.
However, David noticed something that was outside of his expectations. Signs of battles and death were everywhere but he had yet to see any bodies. David searched the ground carefully, seeing bloodstains on the sidewalk and other areas. But, no bodies. He noted the curiosity in his mind and decided to ignore it for now, dealing with the present situation first. David motioned at Stacy, having her run over and join him.
They slowly made their way down the street, hopping over burnt cars and moving around grounded power lines. Though the city was badly damaged, the infrastructure practically unusable, it still seemed like an easily habitable place.
David and Stacy crossed several blocks, walking south across the downtown area, looking for signs of humans.
As they continued walking, David heard the sounds of gunfire to the south. He motioned at Stacy, indicating the direction. She nodded, having heard the noises too. The duo rushed down the next corner and ran across several blocks, towards the noise. Soon, however, the gunfire stopped, and silence resumed. Stacy and David exchanged glances.
They crept carefully around a bus that had turned over, glass shattering everywhere on the ground. David saw movement and motioned at Stacy to freeze. The duo stood absolutely still, unmoving. Suddenly, some type of creature blasted away above them, moving deeper inside the city at an incredible speed. Glass windows in nearby buildings shattered at the force of the wind it created as it flew by. David watched as it took a sharp turn and oddly considered an office building before turning away. David and Stacy stood still, unmoving.
A few tense moments after it passed David motioned for Stacy to follow him as he finished circling the bus and ran inside a nearby deli shop. He gasped, sitting down on one of the few remaining chairs and looking around. The deli shop was badly damaged, all the glass on its front side destroyed, the rest of the shop completely looted. However, several chairs remained screwed in to the ground, offering Stacy and David a place to rest.
“What was that?!” Stacy exclaimed, catching her breath. She had seen the giant monster fly by and was terrified.
David shrugged and said, “I’m not sure. It looked like a Dragon, from like movies and books.” He had watched it fly by and noticed a few things about it.
The way the dragon looking at the office building, in a considering manner, had seemed unreally human. If David had to venture a guess, he would say that someone had the power to transform into a Dragon, probably on the enormous list of super powers available. He made a mental note to check and see if that power existed in his mind, when he had the time.
Stacy suddenly called out,
“David! I can see people moving over there!” She pointed out the window and down the street in the direction they had been walking in.
David walked over, peering down the direction she had pointed. In the distance he could make out several figures moving around in formation. They were dressed in faded camo trousers and green shirts. They had assault rifles slung over their shoulders and looked like they meant business. There were about 20 of them walking down this street. David looked at them for a moment, considering. The way they moved and were dressed was in a strict formation, one very similar to the marching he had done at military school. Deciding to take a small gamble, David walked out with his arms in the air.
“Hello! Help! We are citizens!” He yelled out, careful to keep his arms in the air. He jerked his head at Stacy, making her follow him and do the same thing.
The soldiers walking down the street immediately came on guard, all of them dropping down and aiming their rifles at David. David and Stacy froze, not moving.
One of the soldiers yelled out.
“Don’t fucking move! Stand fucking still, do you hear me?” The green clothed soldier quickly walked forward, the rest of the soldiers moving close to them. Soon he arrived next to David, looking at him closely. He looked at the floating balls flying around David’s head suspiciously.
“We got a Super!” Immediately all the soldiers became even more alert, if that was possible, keeping David steadily in their sights.
“What are you, Physic? Why are you floating marbles around you?” The soldier said suspiciously, not aiming his weapon at David, but still watching him closely.
David responded, “These are called Life Orbs. They can replace my life if I was to die. That’s all they do, honest. I'm not psychic.” He kept his hands in the air, not wanting to aggravate the situation.
The soldier stared at him confusedly for a moment, as if trying to decide what to do.
Suddenly, a loud roaring could be heard, shattering several of the remaining windows on nearby buildings.
“Fuck!” yelled one of the soldiers, “It’s back!”
The rest of the soldiers looked forward nervously, waiting to be ordered. The soldier they were speaking too was apparently the leader of this group. David checked his shoulders and found his rank listed there as a Captain. The Captain turned back to the soldiers, ordering them,
“Split formation Alpha. Rogers, Kylie escort the civilian and the Super back to base for processing. The rest of you, focus fire on the Dragon.” The soldiers immediately split up, going into cover in several different directions. 2 soldiers split off from the group, motioning for David and Stacy to follow them. They treated David carefully, as if he was a time bomb waiting to explode.
David and Stacy followed the soldiers, being led down block after block, over a river at one point, to the outskirts of the city. After about 10 minutes of walking, they began passing by other groups of soldiers on patrol. They soon arrived at a huge campground. The camp was spread out among several large neighborhoods just south of Austin. Hundreds of Army soldiers guarded the perimeter, keeping watch on the surroundings. Large wooden stakes had been placed all around the large camp, barbwire stretched on the bottom. While the wall was by no means complete, it was a clear divide between inside the camp and outside.
David and Stacy, as well as the two soldiers that were escorting them, were brought into what passed as a gate for the camp. It was a small house, one entire side ripped open in some type of explosion. The soldiers had taken over it and used it to as a gateway to check people before they passed through.
David and Stacy were brought up to it while the two soldiers went off and talked to some of the guards. Immediately, all the soldiers came on alert, noticing the small blue orbs circling David’s head.
One of the guards ran off, heading towards somewhere inside the encampment while the rest stayed there with David and Stacy. One of the Army guards came up and started talking,
“Hello! My name is Sargent Gavin Trell. Welcome to the Camp Mabry Forward Action Camp. We are a small survivors rescue force and expedition force.” The guard seemed especially respectful towards David, nodding his head at him several times. He practically ignored Stacy.
As David was contemplating his words, another man walked forward. He was wearing regular clothes, non-military gear. He had a nice white shirt on and a pair of jeans and boots. He walked up smiling,
“Welcome, welcome! As I’m sure Sargent Trell has told you, this is Camp Mabry’s Forward Action Camp. We are a force sent out by Camp Mabry.” He smiled amicably at David. For some reason David got an oily feeling when he looked at this man. He wasn’t sure why, the man seemed nice enough.
“Ah, what are your names? My name is Roger, Roger McNeil.” He smiled at the two of them.
“I’m David and this is my friend Stacy. We live around here and were caught when the disaster happened. We only just managed to make it out of the city when your soldiers found us.” David lied through his teeth, unwilling to trust these men yet. He was, however, still curious as to what they were up to.
“Good, good.” Roger suddenly focused on David’s floating Life Orbs, “So this is your power eh? It can save your life once an orb?”
David nodded, not giving out any more information.
“Useful, very useful. If you need a place to stay, or someone to work for, consider working for our Camp Mabry.” He flashed David a winning smile, “We are currently focused on securing the city, and clearing out the elements that stayed there. There’s a few people that all gained some sort of monster transforming super power that have taken up the entire city.” He said, gesturing towards the city behind him.
“There’s room for hundreds of thousands of people there, as well as food and supplies to keep everyone fed. Once we retake the city, we could use a man like you on our team.” The man brought out a card and handed it to David.
David looked down, reading it.
Camp Mabry: Bronze Level
It didn’t have anything else written on it.
“This card will allow you to come into our camp to talk or trade. We aren’t monsters that force people to stay, but not anyone can enter our camp.” He smiled at David again.
“Feel free to have a look around while you’re hear! If you decide to work with us, let one of the guards know and they’ll get me!” The leader of the camp turned around and left, walking over to a group of people near the gate to converse.
David and Stacy entered the camp, looking around. Hundreds of tents were spread out around the large neighborhood the camp had taken up. People could be seen walking and talking, many with worried expressions on their faces. Several soldiers could be seen standing on rooftops, keeping an eye on everyone. David saw a few soldiers that were floating in the air, apparently owners of some type of flying super power.
David and Stacy walked around, exploring and talking to others.
David learned what had happened after Austin was hit by the System. First of all, people were now calling it “S-Day” and on S-Day, several thousand people in Austin had powers. Several people began forming groups of “Supers”, people with powers that were similar, allying with each other. However, soon after people began forming groups, one group got in a fight with another. No one knew what caused the fight, but it soon spread across the city, shattering skyscrapers and destroying buildings. Thousands of people had died.
Many of the newly formed groups of Supers had simply left the city, unwilling to engage in a fight for supremacy.
However, two large groups of Supers had remained, each one intent on having Austin as their base.
The first group named themselves Psychic Crown, a group of eight powerful Psychics that used mental power to attack people or move heavy objects.
Opposing Psychic Crown was an organization of several former gangsters that had all chosen transformative powers. They named themselves the Legion of Monsters and declared Austin as their turf.
Naturally, Psychic Crown didn’t take this well and one thing happened after another and the two groups attacked. The battle had destroyed a huge tract on the northern side of Austin, completely felling two skyscrapers. The resulting explosions from some of the psychic attacks had blown out the majority of glass in many of the buildings in Austin.
However, after an entire 12 hours of battle, Psychic Crown was no more. Their leader, a man who used his mental abilities to manipulate massive tracts of ice, was last seen smashed inside an enormous crater in the side of a building.
Now the Legion of Monsters ruled Austin and had declared it as their own.
Camp Mabry was an Army base that was stationed near Austin. When S-Day struck, the base had gone on lock down, intent on self-protection. After a few hours of confusion, the leader of the camp had decided to go an expedition and rescue as many civilians as they could while bringing order to the countryside.
The current force David was with was the expedition force launched by Camp Mabry. The main force of Camp Mabry was located back at the army base. Over 500,000 refugees were currently overflowing there, trying to receive aid and protection. There were perhaps 25,000 soldiers in total, guarding the great fort. The base he was at now was Camp Mabry’s Forward Action Base, with a force of around 4,000 soldiers standing guard, with several hundred going out on expeditions inside the city, to gather supplies and intelligence.
It was Camp Mabry’s number one goal to retake Austin and provide a place for the refugees to live.
However, the Legion of Monsters was firmly opposed to this, and thus, a fierce struggle had broken out between both groups.
The members of the Legion of Monsters were all notorious criminals, with eyewitness accounts placing their number at 11. The reason David had been greeted so roughly was the fact that the Army group he had met had just encountered one of the members of Legion and was wary of being attacked.
Supers were welcome in the camp, and encouraged to return to Camp Mabry and join the Army force to help secure America.
After David and Stacy finished walking around, David pulled out one of the Instant Sending Scrolls and sent Shin a message, letting him know where they were.
In David’s opinion, while what Camp Mabry was doing was a kind and reasonable decision, he would rather create his own safe haven then rely on someone else to make one for him. He doubted the American Military would be able to secure the entire nation after what had broken out.
As David and Stacy patiently waited near the barbwire gate for Shin to arrive, the sound of gunfire suddenly broke out and an enormous roar sounded from where the gates opened.
Name: David Care Points: 0 Race: Human Lottery Slots: 0
Class: Life Orb Master (1/1) Energy Stored: 39.2 hours
Abilities: Life Orb Designate, Life Orb Create, Store/Expand Energy
Stored Inventory: Glock 17 Gen4 Handgun
Life Orbs: 19