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If it's dark, I like it. If it's unusual, I like it. If it's funny, I like it. If it's sexy, I like it. If it's true, I like it. If I understand it, I like it. If it likes me, I like it. If not? ...F'k it.
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This is the beginning of my book: Dreams of Nightmares...
Journal entry 1404
"It's incredible, how one can wage war; against others, as well as oneself. It is the battles outside, the ones that are not my own, that I've been fighting long enough to stop caring about. My own battles have been raging long enough for me to forget what it's like to feel... anything. Every victory is someone else's loss- Every time I loose, the warfare digs deeper- Every time I win, I dig deeper. We're both slipping a little farther into the darkness. I hope I don't live long enough to see the light slip completely from my view- There will be no helping me then, or anyone else for that matter. I've lost too much already- Everyone has. It will never satisfy anyone, myself included. I spend my waking life hoping this day, the next, and the last, will all be a nightmare. I want to wake up, but I've forgotten what it's like to be awake. I've become one with this nightmare- I am the nightmare."
Voice recording ended- 2:14 AM
Kingdoms within kingdoms...
Two hundred years ago, as religious influence crept further into the world's darkest corners; the power of military giants gave way to growing economic entities. While the economies of old invested their waning riches into fallen countries of potential value along the pacific rim, in the middle east, and of the South American and African continents, the commercial entities of these new, and greater economies set root into the worlds of politics and power. Soon after the greater Mid-Eastern conflict, with the world facing the verging collapse of several young, but major economic players, a silent understanding swept the political field; that the threat and presence of an army could only provide but a hollow presence in the geo-political field; one of assassinations, tactical strikes, and remote warfare. These things allowed groups with the advantage of such abilities and resources to skirt international laws, and conveniently interpret foreign policies to suit their goals while the political leaders struggled to keep up with the overwhelming advancements in military ability. They desperately wrote laws that would lay sufficient regulation as to maintain their own influence over such power. Warfare did not end, but the reasons changed, and the methods soon after. Instead of a contest of attack and defend, warfare became a balance of attrition and obligation...
Of course the political wheels continued to turn; often at levels outside of national governments. More and more power fell into the waiting hands of those who had provided these once powerful governments with the power they wielded so freely, Multi-national organizations and influential conglomerates. These entities had quietly grown well beyond the borders of the countries that contained them... As each corporation grew, so too did the governmental desire to possess what they had to offer or to prevent anyone else from having it. In turn the power of these commercial entities to decide whether to provide these products and services and to whom- could also determine the fate of any one country's economy or national influence.
In the public eye, the threat of nuclear proliferation, or open war, eventually gave way to the fear of a fallen economy. The true goal of global warfare, while still displaying incredible ability to deal death, became about laying a killing blow to a nation's economic prowess. Slowly, each nation's government, economy, and people became increasingly more dependent on the profitable corporations who provided for them through both taxes, and technology. In time, it was the governments, and their citizens that found, it was they who were held hostage; hung by their own dependency on resources, money, and goods; caught in the balance between a tangled web of public opinion, the strains of maintaining supply and demand, and the price that came with the desire to control both.
In two hundred years...
These are war torn times; when civilization remains only in the confines of the incorporated sectors, areas of the populous are divided, like flocks of sheep among the corporations as both consumer and resource. The world beyond these sprawling corporate kingdoms has eroded, into civil uprising, and Governmental neglect. The national leaders are now helpless to stop what eventually reduced them to puppets. Only the enormous conglomerates that profit from the struggles hold the strings to power now. In a world like this, armies are bought and paid for. Mercenaries have become the building blocks of enforcement- Hired out to the highest bidder, to kill, or be killed for a cash sum.
One corporation, Heaven's Gate holds the keys to numerous corporate bank accounts. They've taken the elite of the mercenary fold under their wing; a specialized type of mercenary, one who has undergone their N.C.R.L. implant surgery. This allows them to become part of a powerful weapon, widely known by survivors, as an Angel- Heaven's Gate provides these deadly mercenaries with the facilities and equipment they literally kill to have. They grant this in exchange for their lives, and loyalty, to not only the company, but also the contracts they take.
The men and women who become Angels are given the choice; one of the last they are free to make; to choose an allegiance to a corporation, country, or organization, or to abstain from any loyalty and be designated as a freelancer. Those with allegiances- the allied Angels, often called "Guardian" Angels, are bid for, or sold to their perspective associations for a sizable usage fee. Heaven's Gate will arm and supply these Angels while it is the employer's responsibility to support them and keep them alive, assuming the Angel was bought with the intention of survival in mind. These Freelancers, commonly called "Gunslaves" are sold to any buyer for a significantly higher price, this is due to the fact that nowadays, many of these particular Angels never return from their first, and last assignments. However, any surviving Freelancer generally has extensive experience or enough know-how to be highly effective in combat. Even so, due to their continuous usage, and usual mission requirements, it is generally assumed that the average life expectancy of these Freelancers will be dramatically less than that of any allied Angel.
Heaven's Gate maintains several of its own Guardian Angels, awarded the title of "Archangels"; These proven few oversee the sanctity of Heaven's Gate's facilities worldwide, and it is through their own reputations alone that have stayed the efforts of many organizations that would gladly see Heaven's Gate destroyed. It was such an attempt that is now widely referred to as "Seven Fall"...
Fires and flashes lit the ground from everywhere. Chains of pops, and thunderous explosions echoed through the air. The night sky was shrouded in dense smoke; the fumes of burning fuel and the scent of spent munitions permeated the air surrounding a single soldier and a crackling radio-
"... Come in! This is Captain Dural! We are under attack! Repeat! Under attack! We're taking heavy fire from the north. Unmarked guerillas have breached the parameter! Please advise!
"This is Lieutenant Ians... -ver. They're breaking through! Can't... -ease respond!" The voice was lost in static and gunfire. A response was shouted but never heard- The deafening roar of a jet engine ripping through the sky not far above silenced every other sound on the battle field as it shrieked towards the horizon. The radio buzzed to life...
"Dropship! Poss...le Angel deployment! All... -orces... -ire at wi-" The transmission was cut off in static. An eerie calm settled over the battle field again. The soldier looked towards the sky, only a few twinkling stars shown through the fog of war... A brilliant white flash and a shocking pop ripped through the silent calm from nearly twenty feet above. The silhouette of a man could have been seen amidst the blinding explosion only just before the shockwave sent dust and debris tearing through the air in all directions. A quiet thump was heard as the soldier shielded his eyes from the dust.
A dark shape could be made out in the darkness as the dust settled; crouched and motionless. An Angel. The shape was unmistakable, the characteristic "wings" spread slightly in the darkness. The dark figure did not move. It sat there, waiting, watching. Two soldiers yelled through the haze off to the left of the lone trooper's hidden position.
Someone gave the order to fire... Instantly the Angel was on its feet, wings poised. A rain of gunfire exploded from the two soldier's riffles, but the Angle's left arm became a blur as each bullet ricochet off the angled face of the large ballistics shield that it carried. Each landing with a crack as the metal projectiles impacted the solid alloy plates. The sound was like metallic hail shearing off a granite slab, but before the barrage of fire had ended a shattering bang ripped across the ground. The Angel was gone. Bullets shot off into the distance behind where their target had been. Almost immediately after the soldiers stopped firing a series of strobe like flashes briefly lit the two men as a rain of heavy metal slugs tore into their bodies from above, throwing them to the ground. The shadows reclaimed the men as their cries of pain echoed into the darkness alongside the weapon's ominous report. The final click of an unloaded cylinder faded away with the groans of dying men as the Angel landed with another dull thump.
The figure rose up as the last empty shell bounced away. The Angel walked slowly towards the bodies of the men who died. From where the soldier was hiding, the Angel's weapons were clearly visible; the hard angled style of a Roman Scutum held fast to the left forearm, the sheathed harmonic blade slung behind the mercenary's lower back under its "wings", and the large caliber hand gun, a low-axis auto-revolver, gripped tightly in the right hand.
"This is Captain Dural! All units! Angel deployment confirmed at helipad beta! Converge on target and eliminate with extreme prejudice!" The radio crackled and popped once again as static ridden responses jumped trough the frequencies.
"-it ninete... Engaging the ene-"
"Unit for... three, enga-"
"Unit twenty one, targ... -ighted!" A half-dozen other responses echoed the same as more gun fire exploded through the air. The dark figure immediately dealt in chorus with each soldier as they opened fire. Bullets ripped past the lightning fast mercenary as each man fell dead in a rain of heavy metal slugs ripping through their armor, flesh, and bone. Every shot fired in its direction was either deflected or dodged; its reflexes were inhuman. The sound of another six empty shells bounced through the darkness.
The soldier's gun rested beside him on the concrete- Thoughts of death and fear whirled in the man's mind as he picked it up and took aim. The Angel was close now- A small group of men rushed the figure in an attempt to take the mercenary to the ground before it could reload its gun.
"Dissen... -age unit three! Ang... -quipped... -or C.Q.C.!" Scattered noise and chatter could be heard as the Angel holstered the unloaded hand cannon and a narrow blade was pulled from its sheath on the Angel's back. The hum of its vibrating micro serration stopped the men cold as the large shield claimed its first victim. It crushed his skull with a sickening sound as the blade effortlessly passed through the second and third victims in a spray of blood. One after the other, each trooper fell to the ground in a mix of yells and screams as the Angel pierced, stabbed and sliced into them with frightening speed and precision. As the last body crumpled to the ground, the blood almost jumped off the reciprocating teeth, leaving the weapon as clean as when it had been drawn.
The gun jolted in the trooper's shaking hands- A single bullet sailed into the night only inches above the Angel's right wing. The mercenary twisted towards the soldier's position. The gun vibrated violently as round after round blazed from its barrel... none hit their mark. Sparks blazed from the Angel's shield as it, and the mercenary moved at blurring speed. The soldier could only hold the trigger... Click. Click, click, click, click- Empty. The Angel's hand gun was slowly pulled from its holster, a set of six slugs was calmly reloaded, and the gun- steadily aimed at the soldier. The man's empty mag hit the ground with a deafening clatter. The second magazine was never loaded. A brilliant mussel flash lit the area, Angel and soldier one last time...
The sudden impact of the shot ripped into the soldier's chest, violently slamming the man backwards with a savage force. The sound of the shot reverberated like thunder from the surrounding structures as his body hit the ground- A gentle click could have been heard as the Angel's gun was holstered and again, the gentle hum of the resonance blade filled the air. The soldier's feet slid in the dust and debris, choking on blood, and wreathing in pain- The Angel closed quickly.
The shuttering last breaths and gurgled moans ceased with a startling silence that quickly filled the smoky haze drifting across the battlefield into the fire-lit night.
"Come in! An... -ody... Respon... -nybody?!" The radio chirped and crackled as it lay in a growing pool of blood...