Of Pain and Hate.
city spread out before her, twenty stories below, looking like an ant
farm. Cars streamed by on the streets
of Steel Canyon, the sun glinting off the bright paint and glass. People scurried around their pathetic lives turning
their blind eyes to all that occurred around them, maybe even hoping and
dreaming of getting a glance of one of Paragon’s famous heroes.
bile rise in the back of her throat.
These people turned her stomach.
began to fog, an angry red cloud filled with voices and visions and hate. She bit down on her lower lip, trying to
focus the anger, keep from slipping completely into her delirium. She hated that, too. She had to control it, because she knew what
lurked there. The visions were the
worst when she lost herself, seeing Ron, her husband, burned to death over and
were encased in gloves made especially for her, cestus of sorts, with three
razor sharp retractable alloy blades housed along the backs of her forearms. She drew one of the blades over the scarred
tissue of her upper left arm, biting harder on her lip at the pain, tears
welling in her eyes as she fought against her inner demons.
from the street, or even only a few feet away on the ledge of the building,
nobody would have seen Evisceral Shadow, the scientifically created shroud of
nothingness she kept around herself making her nearly invisible. The only noticeable part of her presence
were the spattering drops of blood flowing from the cuts she dug in her arm.
circled overhead, their rotors beating a heavy staccato on the air. Flames billowed from high rise office
buildings, apartment complexes, convenience stores, and homes. The members of the gang known as the
Hellions had tried to light Paragon City on fire one summer day, rampaging
through the city setting bombs and fires everywhere they could. Citizens crowded the streets, fleeing the
flames and murderous gang members.
the police had set up barricades around buildings and were in desperate
firefights with the Hellions, bullets and grenades flying in both
directions. Without apparent purpose
the Hellions would fire sprays of gunfire into the surrounding crowds of pedestrians
as well as at the police as though all they wanted to do was kill.
came out of the woodwork. The skies
filled with a choking black smoke, cut by the currents of a passing hero,
rocketing through the skies to the hotspots of trouble, trying in every part of
Paragon City to suppress the Hellions.
and Ron fought through the pressing crowd, trying to make it to the parking
garage where they left their car everyday for work. The twenty story office building that held the brokerage firm
that employed the couple had been attacked by the Hellions, the few employees
who had arrived before the trouble began fled the building as the gang members
streamed in through the front. It was only through the loading dock at the back
of the building that Cassandra, Ron, and a few others had escaped being gunned
down the same as several of the buildings tenants.
around the building was thick, many people pressing in to actually try to see
what was going on, to give in to that human condition that made people stare at
car accidents. Pressing through the sea
of bodies Cassandra looked back to see Ron staring up at the building.
A hail of
bullets sprayed from a middle floor.
Citizens screamed and ducked and tried to run but there was no
room. A grenade bounced under a police
car and detonated, sending the officers hiding behind it flying.
Guard!” a voice shouted.
ebony skinned woman landed near the police line and began weaving force fields
around the fallen officers.
Skida Marink!” Came another cry.
woman dressed in white landed next to the first, a green aura spreading over
the police, healing minor wounds.
streets two other heroes hovered, blasting the gang members in the building
with blue bursts of energy and orange flame.
Arcs of power danced around the energy blaster, shrouded in tightly
fitting green and black armor. The
other wore red and black, was red skinned with white hair.
the heroes gathered wore the same emblem on their chests; a circle containing a
this is intense,” Ron said, stopping to watch, pressing closer towards the
hell are you doing?” Cassandra asked.
“We have to get out of here.
You’re going to get killed.”
heroes have it under control,” Ron said.
“I want to see this.”
A mass of
Hellions rushed from the front of the office, firing weapons at the heroes
hovering above. Some of the gang
members turned on the crowd, mowing down civilians in an attempt to divide the
flames struck into the mass of gang members.
Fireballs flew back from the Hellions as they retaliated in kind.
around Cassandra exploded in chaos.
Bullets flew in all directions.
Explosions detonated all around.
Fireballs and flame. Energy
blasts. People panicked. Cassandra was hit by a concussion wave, sent
her flying like a rag doll, hitting the ground hard. Pain exploded in her right arm.
her feet she looked frantically around for Ron, found him and a few others
struggling to their feet. The explosion
that had sent Cassandra flying backwards had knocked Ron and those near him
forwards, within yards of the embattled Hellions.
One of the
gang members began shooting the group around Ron. A Hero rushed into the group
from nowhere, a katana in the small woman’s hand.
lashed back with fire and bullets. More
blue blasts of energy, orange flame, bullets.
A fireball exploded around the hero, barely touching her but spreading
out, engulfing those near.
scream filled her head as the flames washed over him and the woman standing
next to him. For only a brief instant
she saw him writhe in the flames before he collapsed and broke apart, a statue
of burnt ash.
The blade bit
deeper, the scars around the fresh cuts a course for the rivulets of blood
flowing from her arm. Quickly the cuts
healed to scars, but the pain remained.
poured over her knotted brow, breathing in heavy gasps, Evisceral Shadow
watched over the city, a feral creature filled with hate and anguish.
aftermath of Ron’s death, she had sought out one of the Arachnos scientists,
seduced him, convinced him to augment her, create her gloves. Her healing recovery had been accelerated
ten-fold, her strength a magnitude beyond that. She could slip through the city unseen by any unless she chose to
strike, and when she did it was lethal.
scientist who had created her had been the first to die upon her blades, killed
for having been so easily manipulated.
come to hate everything. The world was
a mass of anger. She was disgusted by
it, by all of its inhabitants. She
gathered those she could manipulate into following her, her minions
growing. Eventually she would kill
them, too, pathetic weak minded fools.
But not before they helped her rid Paragon of those she hated the most.
bore the symbol of the cresting wave: The Onami Strike Force.