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Strange Tales From Hadean

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Strange Tales From Hadean

Tips: 0.25 INK Postby Lord Saethos on Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:02 pm

Image


Stories are strange, aren't they? We treat them as little islands, disconnected and separated from each other, existing in whole other planes of reality and existence. But that’s not really true, is it? The Odyssey or the Iliad, Beowulf, or Shakespeare, stories that have influenced authors for centuries, and sometimes millennia. Across the world, throughout time, one story inevitably sparks the creative innovation for another, and then another, and then another, almost like a ripple effect. But a ripple, whatever outcome it may have, always disappears. Stories, as much as humans can protect and preserve them, are always left behind as new ones are created, like an intricate web, or a tapestry.

Stories unite us as a species, they unify history and mythology, religion and philosophy. They are not at all like islands unto themselves, but like a map of our universe.

And no matter where you look, or when you look, you can always find stories, always find history even, that is a little…

Strange.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


It’s early June, around 3am, and it’s incredibly rainy outside. You’re in a diner situated up on a hillside, looking out over the Oregonian shores being lapped at by the Pacific. Giant shards of rock are jutting out of the dark waters, and darkened green trees and plant life stretch across the hill, up towards the highway adjacent to this diner. While it is still dark outside, the mountains that rise up behind the diner have a faint, dark blue hue beginning to form above them, the first signs of pre-dawn’s approach.

You consider that it seems odd for a place like this to be open so early, but it’s popular for truckers in the midst of a long haul, though currently the only living souls in there besides you are the cook and the waitress.

From inside the kitchen, you can hear the distant echoing of the radio starting to play the intro of “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas. Perhaps it feels a little too early in the morning to be listening to something so melancholy, but you supposed there were worse things you could be dealing with.

Just then, a bell rang out as the door to the diner opened. As you turned and looked in that direction, a figure dressed in a fine, three piece suit walked in.

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)


As your eyes meet his, lingering on that hollow and predatory grin, you can’t help but feel as if the Devil himself walked into the room.

Actually, it felt as if the Devil had been in the diner, he’d have quickly paid and left already.

I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)


You begin to get up to leave, but as you do, his hand gently lands on your shoulder.

“Hey there friend, mind if I take a seat with you?”

There’s no time to argue with Peter Radovan, and with the slightest, almost imperceptible push, you’re back in your seat. His hand comes away from your shoulder and back onto the counter. He looks you over a moment or two before taking his suit jacket off, loosening his tie, and rolling up his shirt sleeves. Had formal attire ever managed to look so menacing before? Likely not since American Psycho…

He reached into his jacket, and produced a lighter and a pack of cigarettes. “Mind if I smoke?” Peter asked rhetorically as he lit the smoke without anyone’s permission. Or protest for that matter.

“Looks like you’ve been on the run or something eh? Got some bags under your eyes. Hmm…” He looks you up and down, letting smoke billow out of his mouth like a dragon. Peter smirks contentedly once he feels he’s sized you up properly.

“Y’know, you strike me as someone who likes stories! I don’t wanna talk myself up too much either, but I can tell you I’ve got LOTS of stories. Some good, some bad, but that’s what you get with quantity.”

A cup of coffee is slid to him by the waitress, and he begins to add his fixings to it as he locks eyes with you once more. “At any rate, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands. How about I regale you with a couple?” You instinctively know you should refuse and run. But that smile, and those eyes, cutting into your soul…

You both know that you can’t.

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Lord Saethos
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Re: Strange Tales From Hadean

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Lord Saethos on Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:45 pm

Steam continues to gently rise up from the coffee cups on the counter, but one quickly has it snuffed away as its picked up. Peter takes a few sips, enjoying the dark, burnt flavor that passes his lips. He's looking over the counter, watching a few glimpses of the chef hard at work in the back, though it seems his mind is elsewhere.

"Can I level with you about something pal?" He asked with a darkly wistful grin.

"I hate heroes. A lot. Strange given the job I have, which despite what the conspiracy theorists may say, does involve trying to work with Supers and recruit them. Anyways, heroes always think the absolute world of themselves and their self-righteous morality. Don't get me wrong, we both know their morality can be pretty often spot on, but its incredibly inefficient."

He turned to face you, eyes locking with yours again. "I'm not just talking about supers either, you know. Honestly, at least with supers around it makes regular people think they can't make a difference. Then again... They rarely can even if they tried. Same with supers." He cackled as he took another sip of his coffee, giving a slight shrug as he set it down.

"Some people would say that's pessimistic, but really that's just the way people with power like to keep things. And I should know a thing about that, wouldn't you think?" The grin softens into a smirk, something patronizing and confident. His eyes linger uncomfortably on you, like something out of a nature documentary, some kind of mountain lion toying with its prey.

"I've got a story about this sort of thing as a matter of fact. It's a bit of a secret to be honest, but you look like the kind of person who can keep a secret." He cackled again, patting you on the shoulder gently as he did so, before returning his hand to the coffee cup.

"I call this one... We Don't Need A Hero."

....................................................................................................................................


July 5th 2032, 2:08am - Somewhere over the jungles of Colombia

The roar of the VTOL's jets was deafening, forced most of the occupants on board to wear protective headgear. Not for the heroes though. Super strength, among other things, seemed to make their ears more impervious to sound damage as well. This was a benefit both Captain Valor and Lone Star were enjoying.

A faint glow lit up the inside of the troop carrier, created by the fires and explosions overtaking the jungle below.

"Looks like the Jackboots are giving the Roobs down there something to worry about." Lone Star said with a smirk. "What are they anyways?"

"What? Rubra Morte? Pretty sure they're Colombians, Star, hence why we're in Colombia. You been hitting the sauce?"

"Cap, I meant politically. Are they Commies or something?"

Valor shrugged. "I guess? I mean they're a terrorist group sure, but doesn't really matter at the end of the day. The higher ups want the 'Granadian' General to become Colombia's Generalissimo, so I hear. Guess he's more politically stable."

Colombia's Civil war had started as a fight between the not-quite-democratically elected conservative party of the country, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). However, keen to put the nation onto a more 'manageable' path, resources and weapons have been funneled to a General in Colombia's military, one with more Far-Right leaning tendencies, and who has proclaimed to be set on re-establishing Colombia as Granada, and extending their borders into their 'rightful lands'. Lands which happen to be part of other countries, a fact that can be overlooked, so long as it keeps the Commies at bay.

Rubra Morte, however, was another story.

The VTOL's cabin was briefly lit up by a flash of light inside, followed by the bitter scent of a freshly lit cigarette. The figure smoking it was barely silhouetted by the glow of the cherry, and the battle below.

"Way I hear it, the Roobs have been around for quite a while. It's stuff that's not widely talked about, but back in the 1990's, they apparently had quite the conflict going on with some old corporation. Ultrox Incorporated I think it was."

Lone Star frowned. Why did a SINS agent have to get sent on a mission like this? What was he even supposed to be achieving here? Guy didn't even have any powers to speak of. "And how do you know about that Agent? Sounds like its before your time if it was the 1990's. Unless SINS does job fairs in maternity wards."

The agent cackled before taking another drag of his cigarette. "I'm a big fan of learning boys, education is one of the most important things you can have. And I gotta say, SINS has all kinds of educational materials to look at, if you know where to look in the first place. Anyways, Ultrox must have been involved in some shady stuff. They had a couple different divisions, from pharmaceuticals to industrial products, and even weapons development. But the Roobs, for whatever reason, took to trying to completely destroy their business. Might be that Ultrox was doing human experiments perhaps, that's a pretty solid theory. Can't really ask anyone though sadly, since the business pretty much did everything it could to erase itself before it went completely defunct and could get investigated by the feds. Scorched Earth. Burned the whole house down and locked the doors, so to speak."

Valor turned a steely gaze towards Peter, his own theories starting to form. "Based on what we've seen, you think Ultrox was trying to create man-made supers? Because I've seen quite a few Roob supes on the field."

As the smoke billowed from his mouth, the light of the fires outside illuminated the agent's toothy grin. "Who can say Cap. At the end of the day, they're a threat to American interests. I guess that's enough to assume Ultrox had quite a bit of shady stuff going on behind closed doors."

The agent finished their cigarette, dropping it on the VTOL's floor, and stamping it out. Coms came to life as the team was informed they were close to the drop zone, causing the agent to stretch their arms and shoulders before standing and approaching the side doors.

Peter Radovan gazed down at the fires below, and cast a menacing grin at Lone Star and Valor. "Well boys, time to make some war crimes happen." He tied a rappel line to his combat harness, giving a brief two finger salute to the two heroes as he gripped onto an assault rifle.

"And remember the number 1 rule: Have fun."

As Lone Star and Captain Valor followed, the fires began to snuff out, and swathes of trees sent toppling to the ground. Screams echoed through the air.

....................................................................................................................................


October 9th 2043, 11:23pm - Somewhere in rural Pennsylvania

Stewart Grant was an award winning journalist. He'd been to nearly every battlefield that had existed since his 20's, had gotten interviews with some of the most dangerous men and women walking the Earth at the time, had stood in the midst of protests and riots as they happened, and had been one of the first voices to identify a change when it was coming. All this and he'd even managed to avoid any substance abuse issues, while simultaneously still having some mental health to speak of.

This was quickly deteriorating however. A colleague of his, Stella Goodwin, had gotten him following a lead recently that he was now starting to heavily regret.

So much so that he'd cut off all contact with Stella and made as certain as he could that any ties they two had up till now were erased. Stella was a good person, and he wasn't going to let her suffer for him falling too far down a rabbit hole.

Supers could be dangerous people.

Supers that were the face of the United States of America were borderline untouchable.

In spite of all that, he was nearly done making all the connections, and though it would put him in the crosshairs of the government, and potentially millions of angry Americans, he was going to be releasing his findings soon. There was really only one last thing to figure out. The identity of someone who'd been reported being among the fighters in Granada.

The SINS agent.

The sound of glass shattering immediately jolted Stewart, and not long after that a searing pain through his right hand. Holding it up in front of him, he could see it was now mangled and bleeding profusely. He broke out into blood curdling screams.

The adrenaline kicked in, and he quickly switched into survival mode, flicking the lights off throughout his home as he bolted for a USB plugged into his computer. He needed to leave ASAP, and the best way he could see at this point was probably the forest. Stewart knew it pretty well, so he likely had the home advantage there, he just needed to stay low and-

A crashing sound erupted behind him as the heavy wooden front door of his home came off its hinges, and went to the floor. In strode a man in a fine three piece suit. Stewart's eyes widened in horror.

"It's... You!"

"It's me! And it's Stewart Grant! How you doing buddy? I've heard you've been a bad boy lately, snooping under mom and dad's bed for presents! Tsk tsk! Don't you like surprises Stew?"

Stewart slowly inched his way away from Peter Radovan, towards the shattered window, not taking his eyes off the agent. "So you knew then... About the investigation... They sent you to finish me off..."

Peter chuckled and wagged a finger at the journalist. "It's ah... Not quite like that Stew. Y'see, blowing the lid off of Valor and Lone Star is one thing, though to be honest with you they've still got some use to them. But subjecting me to the public eye and scrutiny? Well to be honest with you, I can't have that happening. No sirree. I've got a lot of work still ahead of me, too much for nosey journalists to be mucking around."

Stewart chuckled, though felt himself getting dizzier by the second. "You're an idiot. You think killing me is going to save you? You're going to be caught, oh so soon too. My death can be ruled a suicide, but my colleagues will know what happened, and they'll get the story. Then, best case scenario, you'll go to jail for life. If I'm lucky though, so upstart vigilante supers will tear you limb from limb you freak."

There was a look of maniacal glee on Peter's face as he heard the journalist try to fight back. "You're right about one thing Stewart, your colleagues will get the story, but not the one you're hoping for. Not a suicide, but a genuine murder, committed by a very ambitious member of the Intelligence community hoping to secure himself a spot as Director of National Intelligence. What a perfect way for Douglas McNamara to demonstrate what a skilled spy he is; uncovering a brutal, murderous traitor in our own intelligence community!"

As the realization set in, Stewart's heart sank. They were going to politicize his own death, and what's more... McNamara, the head of SINS, and this agent here, were going to fast track their own careers. No, it couldn't be like this.

The journalist dove out the window, bracing himself for the feeling of the ground hitting him, but instead was met by the sensation of a sudden jerk as he then felt suspended in midair. Peter was gripping onto his shirt, pulling him back into the house through the window.

"Now now, we still gotta have some fun, make this look real!"

With that, he threw Stewart with full force towards a wall. When he hit the wall, it sent an almost bone shattering pain throughout his body. How could someone so average looking be so strong? Was this guy a super after all? Before he could finish another thought, he breath was cut off as a hand gripped around his neck, and a pistol was pointed at his head.

"That's the thing I hate about guys like you Stewart, 'heroes'. Trying to make the world a 'better place' as if that means something. But it doesn't Stew! You don't matter! Most people don't matter! You're just chafe! Cattle! If you just kept your mouth shut and your head down like a good boy, you could just keep on chewing cud all the merry days, while the people who actually matter do the real work, the meaningful stuff. Instead, I've gotta come down here and get my hands dirty."

Peter threw Stewart at the kitchen island, connecting the journalist's back with the countertop, the force of which broke several vertebrae. He collapsed to the ground, wheezing as he struggled to get any air into his lungs.

The SINS agent cracked his knuckles as he approached his prey lying prone. "Of course, as you're probably starting to realize now Stew... I actually really enjoy getting my hands dirty."

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Lord Saethos
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Friendly Beginnings Promethean World Builder Group Theory Tipworthy Conversationalist Author Inspiration Lifegiver Person of Interest Novelist


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