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An Oath of Blood & Thunder
Part 1/4

It’s funny who ends up a hero. Loser turns into a juggernaut. Crook turns into a guardian. A misfit become and idol. I fall in the last category. My name is Kenny Harkenson, a student at Paragon University in Croatoa. I’m majoring in journalism. But most people know me as Spark’s. so, if you don’t mind me talkin’, let me tell you my story. My tales beginning starts about two years ago in May, when I was 16 and...well...a dweeb. I know shocking. I remember 2 days before my accident, I had a run in with a friend...

               Actually, I was just being hassled by a Skull. Ya see, I live in the Gish, Kings Row. Rough side of town. Everyday when I did my paper route, I always ran into a pack or two and I could charm my way out of it. But today...I ran into Cross Bones. Cross Bones is really Eddy Kaine, a local punk who’s looks like he’s on steroids and probably is. He’s been bulling me since pre-school and always advantage being two years older than me. But now he was a Skull. So this made him cool. Pfft. I always knew he’d get his ass beat by a hero. Oh, but let me go into script mode for a bit.

Cross Bones: come on dweeb. I need a twenty. Just hand it over.

Kenny: Ya know, I would, but you seem to be holding me upside down___

Oh. He was hanging me upside down from my leg. He’s that big. Then again, I’m 5_8.

Cross Bones: *throws me to the ground and takes the money. Examines it* lovely as sin.

Kenny: well there ya go *I turned to leave, but Cross Bones grabs me*


For our younger readers, I suggest you stop imagining this. The guys punches me full in the face and sends me into a dumpster. In one punch. No way he wasn’t on ‘roids. So he leave with my 40$ and leaves me with a black eye and bruises. At this point, I’m worrying about my weeks pay and how my mom will react to the bruises...oh I forgot to tell you about my parents. My dad’s gone. Case closed. My mom, she had the hardest job in the city. She’s a...was a hero contact. Ironically, she helped heroes fight the Skulls. Huh. “God doth love his little jokeths”. A saying my Uncle Pat has. I’ll get to him later. Anyways, I head home with half my head and borrow a few bucks from Mr. Raif. He’s the classic looney Vietnam veteran that lives in our apartment building. Cool guy though. Has one eye and enough weapons to got to war. So I head to apartment 26-d on the 4th floor. Good old home. I walked in and there was my mom in the kitchen starting dinner. Oh, did I mention I’m Irish? Well, I’m Irish and damn proud of it. So, this is the first view you’ll get of my mom, Delia Harkenson. Imagine, if you will, the most beautiful Irish woman in her thirties. Now imagine her with the temper of a Warwolf...I know, she can get that mad. But today, she gave me pity. Script time...

Mom: KENNY_ What happened to your face?_

Did I mention she had the classic Irish accent? She did.

Kenny: ma, I just got roughed up I’ll be fine. Stupid Skulls. Can’t you sic one of you heroes...

At this point, I look into our living room. In there is a man wearing a tan fedora and vest. A black dress shirt with a green tie and khaki pants. His fiery red hair seeped out from the sides of his hat and his Sinatra blue eyes looked up at me.

Man: heya boyo. Any ass kicked?

Say hello to Uncle Pat, on my mother side. Patrick McClog(my moms maiden name) is a classic tough guy. He loves the peace of law though. So much in fact, that he volunteered to infiltrate the Irish branch of the Family, the Shamrock Gang. He was in for 5 years, but then the feds went in and took the Irish down. We lost track of him for a year, but he came back to Paragon and back to us...

Kenny: UNCLE PAT_ * I threw him a handshake and family hug*

Uncle Pat: how ya doing boyo? By god, what happened to yur’ face? Dem’ Skulls given ye trouble lad? I’ll hand them their head if ye want.

Kenny: naw, ma will get when of her heroes on them I hope. So, where have you been?

During dinner, he explained he had to go underground for a few and he decided to come home to us. He had asked my mom if he could live with us and she had told him he could stay in the guest room, which doubled as her office. So, as he and I cleaned our plates in the kitchen, he made me an offer

Uncle Pat: *in a whisper* Oy’...I know this place in Steel’s a new club heroes use to get from zone to zone, but most civies(that’s civilians for those who are slang impaired) go there to rave...wanna go tonight? Might meet a few good gels...
Kenny: Chicks. We don’t speak British in this house, Uncle Pat. Sure. Midnight?

Uncle Pat: ye’ read me mind, Boyo. Sneak out when yur Mam’ goes to bed.

Mom always went to bed at eleven, because she liked to work late and get herself ready for the morning. I put on my dungaree jacket and jean and snuck out with Uncle Pat to his Cadillac. As we left, we saw something...weird. On the corner of our street, we saw 3 men in white, pinstripe suits talking with Death Head’s. I didn’t recognize the suits, but I knew one of the Death Heads...good old Eddy up to no good. As we passed one of the suits looked at us and so did gave me an uneasy feeling...

So, when we got to Paragon dance party, we drank ourselves silly. Now, I don’t normaly drink underage, but I felt like celebrating. After 13 bar fights, we stumble out to the parking lot and chilled for a bit...then..I’m still not sure exactly what happened. We heard screaming coming from inside the Club. We ran back in, hoping for a fight...but what we found was far more shocking.

The Lost. I had heard about these creeps from mom. Homeless folks mutated in monsters. They were blasting apart the club with some stolen Rikti weapons, grabbing people and generally blowing the living crap outta the place. We instantly dived in, trying to help...but instead, we got zapped in the back and knocked out. The last thing I remember seeing was this ugly face...and these 5 words:

“Hey, I got two Mics_”

About 2 hours later I woke up in a huge laboratory, strapped to a table, full of sedative to the point where my arms were useless and I couldn’t move my tongue. My Uncle Pat was next to me on my left, also strapped to a table still asleep. Then I heard a door unlock and open. Strange metallic steps echoed across the floor, getting louder with each step. Then, it was right above me...and I swear to god I would have screamed if I could move my tongue. Above me stood a Rikti alien. To those more familiar with the Rikti, they’re not that scary. But to me, I thought I was looking at death. It’s face was zombie like and triangular with glowing green eyes. It wore blue body armor and stood over me, like a student looking into a petri dish. And then...he spoke in a hollow mechanical voice...
Rikti: I am Sobek. You will remain for experimentation, human. Central, begin subject mutagen injection.

“God doth love his little jokeths”


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