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Fantasy Kaizoic: First Emergence

Sub Genres
Action, Adventure, Dystopian

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The year is 2299, fifteen years after the fall of most national governments in mass world war and the establishment of the United Global Republic. Much of the world is now war-ravaged, (save for the rebuilt coastal metropolises ruled by the Republic). Those loyal are granted refuge in these walled havens of technological splendor, while many others are left to endure the scarred and near-desolate conditions inland. Lately, in the wake of the latest boost to Republic support, many places across the globe had been reporting seismic activity from unknown sources. Much of this has been dismissed as rumor, and so uninvestigated for the most part.

New Atlanta had been a beacon of Republic ingenuity ever since its final construction in 2267, built on the East Coast to support trade between the dozens of other coast cities between the American coastlines and the Western cities on the European and African ports of the Republic. To those yearning for a life within its walls and the benefits of modern technology now a rarity elsewhere, New Atlanta was a dream of Eden made real in a world forever scarred by war and the devastation of the weapons built for it. In reality, there was strife, crime, and political corruption that plagued parts of this paradise of rebuilt civilization.
Victor Stiles was one such man caught in the seedy life of the new age of metropolitan crime. A young man hired to be a courier for a group of smugglers operating inside Atlanta's walls, his reputation of reliability with his superiors had been dashed to the ground on a delivery gone horribly awry. Now left at the hands of the Republic jurisdiction, the delinquent now had a sentence of labor before him. He and dozens of other prisoners had been taken far from New Atlanta to the ruined roads and towns inland. Their assignment was to assist in clearing the rubble of the highways and old transit tunnels to hopefully reestablish continental trade and further colonize America for reconstruction.
**********************

Dust and darkness were all Vic could experience as he hauled brick after brick, stone after stone, handing one bucket of rubble to the inmate behind him as he awaited the next haul from Roland, the man who occupied the cell across from him back at the detention facility. Dust and darkness once he had to trek down the old monorail tunnel with only a measly headlamp to guide his way. No chance of simply turning back since there would undoubtedly be a Republic Vanguard droid waiting with a loaded weapon to ensure no prisoner attempted to flee from his duties. Even if escape was successful, there was no place to go from this point. Even an Outsider town was too far away to have any hope of escaping to.
Soon however, Vic caught up with Roland still piling stones and bricks into the next mounted hover cart for the younger man to take back to the entrance. An older man who had been incarcerated for soliciting a prostitute, his skin was wrinkled and tanned from a life of labor. His head was smooth from hair loss, which he tried to conceal with a ragged cap. Apparently it was once a style worn in old days at a sporting event called "baseball".

He grunted after hauling a piece of stone with a bit of rebar poking from its side, and saw Vic approaching.

"i'll say it again, kid . . . They're putting us up to this . . ." he panted after dropping his arm load into the cart, which was closer to the ground from the weight. The faint hum of its propulsion jets blew dirt upward in a small cloud. "Because they don't want to spend the money to execute us . . ." He lazily pushed the cart toward Vic. "I mean . . . They have fucking bots aiming fucking guns at us. You'd think they'd have some to at least break up this shit to make it easier to carry.
I get that it's a punishment, but they could be smart about it.

Bastards."
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
"And what do you think will happen when a droid is damaged from helping us. Either we get blamed for it or they take the money to repair it out of our rations . . . or simply kill us because we're too much of a liability. I hate being a prisoner as much as you but I enjoy living."
In his heart though, Vic was a wreck. He especially loathed being associated with other prisoners he always veiwed as scum. He looked down at his simple cloth jerkin and breeches, and the layer of grime and dirt on his skin. He again missed the fine suits he was accustomed to, and the daily bathing. The filth of the tunnel's stagnant air was appaling to his senses, but he blamed himself for it all. If he had just followed directions he wouldn't be in this mess. Vic wasn't about to make that mistake again, he would do his year of service and get out. He ground his teeth and prepared himself to haul the load back to the entrance.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
"Pfft." Roland scoffed at Vic's response and returned to breaking apart clusters of rubble with his given sledgehammer.
Even as Vic was departing, he had more to say on the matter.

"Jackass warden." He grunted as he swung the hammer. "Take us all the way out here." Clang. "Toss me in here." Clang.
Vic was now returned to the blackness of the tunnel.
Another swing, and another clump of decade-old wrecked tunnel tumbled down for collection.
One more swing, and this time an echo of tumbling rock came from elsewhere.

Roland stopped to make sure there weren't any signs of a cave-in, and searched for the source of the sound.
***************

Vic soon returned to the light of the service tunnel's entrance, where the imposing silhouette of the Vanguard stood. Over 7 feet of leanly built metal in an armored humanoid frame, it's blue right eye was double the size of the other for targeting purposes. It looked at Vic upon his approach.

"Inmate 88-C." The automaton greeted in a low digital voice. The AI was simple, but not easy to fool. "Please leave your haul until given further orders."

This had been the exact same response this bot gave every time Vic emerged with a cart full of rubble. He was to wait until a guard checked it for anything suspicious, then a load-bearing droid would come collect the rubble until the cart was ready to use again.
Over a nearby ridge where a building stood once, the guard approached with a stun rifle in tow. Republic guards took no risks.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic took a step back as the guard approached, he didn't want to be anywhere near the stun rifle in case the droid mistook a simple gesture as a threat. Looking back into the darkness of the tunnel Vic felt apprehensive. The refreshing wind and sunlit sky beckoned to him with a vibrancy he never seen before. As the guard inspected the cart for contraband Vic could hear the distant ringing of hammer on stone as the other inmates gathered rubble. Vic took a deep breath and decided to test his luck. " Officer, mind if i take a break i've pulled 10 carts out so far, I just need a breather." He stood still and silent waiting for the droids response.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The Vanguard remained still, and the newly arrived man in police armor sneered at Vic.
"You keep hauling these carts until I tell you to stop, boy." He growled and looked at the Vanguard.
"Get another one."

"Affirmative." The robot saluted before stomping away to fetch a new hovercart.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic stared daggers at the officer, he knew this type all too well. A idiot with a parcel of power and a inflated ego. Simple labor enforcement and the occasional prisoner beating was all this man was good for.Even now on the job Vic could smell the cigar stench that clung to this pig like a tumor on a leper. The officer met Vics stare and his body posture yelled for a challenge to his authority, but Vic knew better either he would get beaten or killed and a longer sentence no doubt. Clenching his fist he turned away from the officer,grabbed the next cart and with a stiff "yes sir" walked back into the darkness of the tunnel to collect more rubble.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The sounds of the tunnel's stale air was quieter this time. Hammer no longer struck stone to fill the void of silence.
Once Vic had returned to the work spot, instead of the aging inmate to greet him, there was a collapsed wall on the right side with a pile of cracked stones piled atop each other.
Protruding from the breach was the limp arm of Roland, coated in dust and buried beneath a pair of stones.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic was still as stone his body yelling at him to run, but his mind favored reason over instinct. He was not in his element underground but even he knew the slightest shift in rock could cause a massive chain event. Slowly picking up Rolands sledgehammer he backtracked the way he came. Vic understood that if the walls collapsed a hammer would do nothing for him, but ever since he was a child whenever he was nervous or jittery holding onto something kept him calm and reasonable. Back when he was working with the smugglers that something would be his pistol, there was nothing special about it just your run of the mill gun, but it was his and whenever he needed it, it was always there. He didn't have it now so the hammer would suffice, slowly and steadily he made his way back to the entrance until he again saw the familiar silloute of the vanguard droid.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The moment light reached his eyes outside, the Vanguard noticed him approaching with the sledgehammer in hand. Immediately, the white and blue lights on its shoulders began to flash, and its weaponized arm aimed at Vic.

"Halt." It boomed, it's large eye targeting. "Drop your weapon or be considered hostile."

"The hell's going on over there?" The guard from before called out, most likely coming to investigate.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic lowered the hammer to the ground, the weight of the head kept it upright . He yelled to the guard " there was a cave in, I think Roland is dead."
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The armored guard appeared and stared at Vic at the top of the ridge. He leaned into his shoulder mounted radio and spoke into it. From the distance, it was unclear what it was he was saying through the comms.

"Vango-5." He said to the droid. "Go investigate."

"Affirmative." The robot stomped past Vic and into the tunnel.

The guard pointed a gloved finger at the inmate. "You stay right the fuck there."
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic wasn't about to test his luck, wiping his brow with his arm he sat down against the wall of the tunnel. The vanguard droid disappeared into the darkness. Taking a deep breath he tried to relax himself but only partially succeeded. The feeling of the security guards eyes trained directly on him left Vic feeling anxious.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
Silence lingered between the guard and the inmate for a few minutes. His eyes were hidden behind a digitally layered visor, but his stare could be felt regardless.
Static hissed from his commlink fainly, and he leaned to speak with the other labor guards once more.
The voice was muffled and indiscernable from Vic's distance, but a gut feeling would hint at something was wrong.
In the midst of the conversation, a triage of gunshots echoed from elsewhere.

They startled the guard, and he frowned at the sudden disturbance.
"Cease fire, goddammit. Who's shooting?" He growled into the commlink.

The reply was more static, and muffled shouting that came in sync with more gunfire.
"Say again? You're cutting off." He replied, tapping his helmet just as the static ceased.
"Shit." He spat and looked at Vic. "You. Get ready to head back to the transport.

VANGO-5! Report!" He hollered into the tunnel with growing impatience.

No reply.

"VANGO-5. Respond. That's an order."

Dust and darkness remained in the mouth of the bomb-damaged monorail entrance, and no sounds came from within.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic jumped at the sound of gunfire. His body tense, he was torn at what he should do. Being a prisoner Vic was unable to just react as he would if he was in danger. Looking back and forth between the darkness of the tunnel in front of him, and the guard yelling behind him all he wanted to do was run for cover. After what seemed like eternity the guard finally yelled for Vic to prepare for the transport. The transport being a raggedy old prison bus that was one wheel away from a collision was parked some distance from the entry tunnel. Vic cursed his luck, he would be shot if he reached for the weapon, and shot if he bolted for the bus. His options were not in his favor, all he could do was stay crouched by the entrance and await further instruction as the situation demanded. His body tensed the decision to fight or flight was on the basis on the orders of the guard placed over him.
 
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Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
Shouts came from over the ridge, as did more gunshots. Now Vic's guard was becoming tense.

"Delta-5 calling in for sitrep. What the hell is going on out there?" He demanded, not noticing the ground at his feet beginning to stir.
As though the dirt itself became conscious, the grey ground burst beneath him and clouded the area in dust.
His screams pierced through Vic's ears, and when the dust began to clear where once an armored Republic Patroman stood was now a crater of soil with a grasping hand sinking through.
Ever so faintly, his muffled screams came once more through the soil before ceasing permanently. Nearby, his stun rifle lay partially buried from the dirt explosion.

More and more gunshots came from distant work sites, creating a revived atmosphere of war in this place of rubble and ruin.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic stood in shock at what he just witnessed. The death of the security guard made the situation that much worse, but also gave Vic free reign to act as wanted. Though only seconds passed Vic was able to gauge his options and none of them were certain. He could either run to God knows where in this wasteland, avoiding the other work teams and patrolling officers. Or should he stay where he was and hope for the best. Then the last option, retreat back into the tunnel. Vic chose the tunnel, the surrounding area was a war zone, bullets and whatever the hell they were shooting at were coming from all directions outside and he couldn't just stay here. The tunnel was the only queit place in the area and so therefore meant the safest. Vic had no idea what killed the guard but he knew it was out here and not in there. Taking off his shoes and the helmet with the light attached , Vic slowly and quietly made his way back into the tunnel. His barefeet made no noise against the solid floor as he walked deeper underground. Keeping one hand on the wall his eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness as well. Vics only goal was to find a safe spot until the situation calmed down. He was almost to where he would find Roland s remains and could almost guarantee the remains of the vanguard droid too. He was almost there just a few more moments he held his breath in apprehension at what he would find.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The path back into the crumbling depths of what used to be an entire city were eerily new with the sounds of chaos outside. Halfway through until Vic once more reached Roland's worksite, he would encounter a new sight.

The Vanguard droid lay before him with its torso unit shredded, and its limbs in twisted pieces separate from its ruined hall.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic looked at the wreckage of the droid. Seeing the twisted metal and tears he was glad he didnt stay behind. He looked around and noticed Roland s arm was gone, there was no trace of his former cellmate. A glint in the darkness caught his attention, he smiled.

"Finally some good luck." Vic thought to himself.

On the ground lay the droids rifle, undamaged. Picking it up he checked the droids torso again and found a single clip of ammunition. Vic sighesd with releif, then found himself a small alcove against the wall and sat there. In the darkness he waited not knowing the exact amount of time that passed. The darkness was not so smothering now that he had adjusted to it. Little peircings of light filtered through the shadows catching the random metal objects around the cavern making them glint in and out like fireflies.
Every now and then a small wisp of wind would pass through and tickle Vics cheek as it passed him by.

After what Vic assumed was an hour or so he decided to take a leap of faith and head back out. No sound could be heard. No one, and thank the fates nothing came back into the tunnel. Getting up Vic cautiously headed back to the entrance, back again into the light of the world which was starting to wane as the afternoon worn on. All was silent in the world no sound could be heard except the wind.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
The barren area over the ridge past the tunnel entrance was a ruined metro boarding station. Built above ground to house the city's interconnected monorail systems before the Rebellions when such technology was normal.
Already in ruins, on this day it had fresh craters similar to those that swallowed Vic's guard, and a few bloody stumps of limbs here and there. Beyond was the armored, albeit rusty, transport vehicle that brought them all out here.
Over the outer door was a still-wet bloodstain, but the locking mechanism seemed to be disengaged.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vics first priority was to check for survivors. Walking around the ruins, all he could find was the occasional crater and torn limb. Dirt caked everything in a thick layer, and was accentuated by the smearing of fresh blood in some areas.

"Seems im the only one left." He sighed to himself.


He went back to the transport as the sun started to drop near the horizon. Checking the door it came open with a satisfying click. The inside of the bus wasn't much different from your normal model. Seats lined the length of it from back to front on both sides, and a drivers seat up front. The only difference being the steel mesh wall, with a steel door that separated the driver from the passengers. Or in this instance the guard from the prisoners.

Continuing his search, Vic found a trunk behind the drivers seat assuming it was the emergency supplies the guards often brought he tried to open it. The trunk held fast. With it being locked Vic looked for a key, first he checked the dashboard with no results. Then he checked under the window viser, a single key fell loose. Picking it up Vic tried fitting it into the lock of the trunk. Clicking into place the trunk opened to reveal what it kept.

A bottle of water, a 6 pack of beer, a flare, and a blanket.

It wasnt much but Vic would make do. After taking a sip from the water he set it aside, wanting to ration it as best he could. Vic took the blanket out and layed it along the floor. The temperature wasnt too hot or cold as the night approached so there was no need to cover up. Laying down on the blaket, his newly acquired rifle within reach Vic relaxed himself as best he could and started to drift off to sleep.
 

Da Doofus

Veteran Geek
Rest would not come easily as soon, the ground began to quake and the crumbling of stone boomed within the metal walls of the transport as a nearbt tunnel collapsed.
The sun was still lighting the ground, so not much time had passed. Still, whatever activity was going on beneath the dirt was growing more intense.
Conveniently, one of the keys upon the chain that fell from the window would fit the ignition.
 

Raggle the Fraggled

Unlucky Member
Vic bolted up from his rest as the sound shattered the silence. Seeing the key drop Vic wasn't about to waste one more second in this hellhole. Jumping behind the wheel , grabbing the key, and placing it into the ignition, Vic started the bus and hit the gas. He had no idea where he was heading so long as it was away from here, and away from whatever was there.
 

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