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An Oath of Blood & Thunder
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*
Cross Bones: FORGOT YOUR PRESENT_
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 Canyon...it’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 Eddy...it gave me an uneasy
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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