“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome”
~Booker T. Washington
Indigo City, it’s a place where the “not every day” seems to happen every day, and you would think this would be the last place where you would might find a guy working a nine to five in the office of a lawn chair factory. Yeah sounds a little “too normal” right? We’ve got really cute guys who can teleport and break wind at the same time, oversized fuzzy creatures that aren’t exactly cuddly, dudes that can make thingys with fire, and of course zombies. That’s right zombies! Well not so much zombies anymore that was about a year or two ago...not sure which, I don’t keep track of these kind of things. Anyway, so yeah like the comics you read in the 5th Column of the newspaper we’ve got all this crazy stuff going on here, and if you’re looking for tales of superheroics or the not so much talked about super-villainy (which I know nothing about by the way) then you better look elsewhere, because this is a tale of the most boring man you will ever meet. You really should be looking at me instead, but if you insist then keep on reading I swear you’ll fall to sleep before you get past the first sentence, and if you don’t then I really question your choice of reading material.
You’re still here, wow you people suck. Fine, I hope you all enjoy reading about this loser.
~Becca waz ere ;-P
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Visitor
Walt Whitman, a poet, once said that simplicity is the glory of expression. When Alan Chance looked back on the past year, he had to say that he had been pretty fortunate in that he had been able to live a pretty simple life. He was living in Indigo City, and about year or so ago there was this thing called “the great impact”, and it was a nightmare. According to the media UFOs crashed inside the city, and the gas that leaked from the crash sites turned the majority of the populace of Indigo either into undead creatures or super powered beings. Then one more media scandal later, it was released to the public that apparently our government lied to us about the super powered beings who had helped to calm the “blight” menace, and that they were locking them inside concentration camps and had been experimenting on them. It was pretty crazy, and what was even more crazy was that his work, Lucky Lawn Chairs, was still in business.
It was just his luck he supposed, not that he wanted the place to close down, just that he wished that the plant was located just another mile to the southeast. That way, whatever the hell it was that had crashed, would have landed right on top of the place, and the corporation would have continued to pay him, so that he would come back when the factory was rebuilt elsewhere. That way he would have been able to use that time to write that novel he always wanted to write, or to go to school, to travel, or to get a girlfriend. When he thought of all the missed opportunities that he could have been presented with it made him want to just break down and cry. Alan was a humble man though, so he wouldn’t complain.
He was the company accountant, so they couldn’t afford to let him go, and so he was grateful in the fact that he had job security. Only if the job wasn’t so damn boring. He came in at seven in the morning, seven days a week from seven in the morning till seven at night, sometimes eight, and during that entire time he sat in his tiny windowless office and stared at a computer screen. He had no internet, so he couldn’t goof off, and the only means of connection he had to the outside were an old phone and a fax machine. There were so many aspects that he had to keep track of it kept him pretty busy the entire time, at least two days out of the week anyway. If you had told him before he started working at Lucky Lawn Chairs, that Lawn Chair manufacturing was a very lucrative business he would have laughed in your face. Still it paid well. A whole $10 an hour.
On this particular day though, it was a Wednesday, something happened that didn’t normally happen. Alan sat at his desk twirling his pencil, as he waited for Miss. Browntree to bring in the next stack of invoices for him to put into the company journal, there was a knock at his door at 4:30 in the afternoon.
“It’s open” he called out, expecting the old crooked nosed bitty to hobble into his office, but he was met with surprise when instead the person who entered was a tall, balding man that just so happened to be his boss.
“Ah,” Alan cried out, “Mr. Braggen, I didn’t think it was you sir.”
“Good evening Mr. Chance. Do you have the Quarterly reports that I called about this morning.”
“Yes sir” Alan replied thinking quietly to himself that he actually had finished those reports two weeks ago, and that the old fart had never called, and that he would do the world a favor if he would just jump off a bridge, get hit by a car, or heaven forbid die in a lawn chair related accident. Still all the same Alan reached in the drawer and handed his boss the two thick files. Mr. Braggen took the files and thumbed through them. Then he paused and looked up at Alan, which made Alan feel a bit uncomfortable.
“Mr. Chance you’ve been with us for a while haven’t you”
“Seven years sir. Started working here fresh out of Indigo Community College.”
“I see, and this entire time you’ve never really missed a day of work or left early?” Braggen asked as he tucked the reports under his arm.
“Only a couple times here and there, sir. You know due to illness or something similar.” Alan replied wondering where this was going, and wished that the future heart disease victim would disappear.
“I see. Well then Mr. Chance I want you to go ahead and pack up for today. You look tired, and I know you’ve been working hard for quite some time, so go out tonight. Enjoy yourself.” Mr. Braggen said with a half cocked smile.
“Thank you, sir.” Alan said, feeling a bit shocked.
“You’re welcome,” Mr. Braggen said, before turning to head out the door. He was just about to open it when he stopped and looked back. “Before you leave though, Mr. Chance, clean up your office it’s filthy.”
Alan turned and looked at his desk which had nothing on it but a couple pencils, a coffee cup, and three invoices, and the trash can which sat to the side empty.
“Right away, sir.” Alan said with a smile, and began envisioning a scenario where he was stabbing the bastard repeatedly in the eye sockets with a the pair of rusty scissors that he kept in his desk, but then he didn’t think about it any more, because Alan was a Christian and Christians didn't do that.
Four hours later...
It was just his luck. So much for an early night, because when he had left work he missed the five o’clock bus, and then had to wait another hour before the next one because his apartment was on the far side of Griffith just bordering Niswander Heights, which took nearly two hours to to walk when leaving the Iron Circle on the southwest side of Golden Roads, and he would have been too tired to do anything. Then on the way, the bus broke down, which delayed him another hour, and then he had to wait behind a police barricade because of the CBTF had some carrier cornered in one of the nearby buildings. There was no telling what that was all about, he would probably read about it in a newspaper or something later. If he had time, which he usually didn’t.
Alan sighed as he looked up the rickety metal steps that led up to his second story flat. He hated the climb. The steps were step, usually slick from the damp air in the air, and always shook with every step like they were about to give way. It was the result of an overrun of the Blight right after the great impact. The original stairs had fallen, so they had replaced the destroyed stairs with a temporary fix while the apartment complex waited to get a contractor in to put in a more permanent solution. Of course that was about a year and a half ago.
Alan took out his keys and made each careful step of the climb. When he finally reached the door he froze. His door was open. The lock was busted, and the knob itself was completely gone. A chill ran up his spine, and his breath caught in his throat. Completely uncertain of what he should do, whether it was run back down the stairs or to call the police, he instead just simply stood there frozen to the spot. Could it have been a burglar? If so then he couldn’t see what they would have taken other than an old crappy TV (still had the analog antenna), and a VCR (he didn’t have time for DVD’s). He hoped they didn’t take his toaster. He really needed it. It kept him fed on most days. Oh dear god, not the microwave, anything but the microwave.
Knowing that a smart and slightly more sane person would have just called the police, Alan Chance, so horrified over the thought of losing his microwave instead threw open the door, and hoisted his briefcase over his head preparing to clobber some would be criminal.
“I don’t know who’s in there, but I’m warning you, I’m armed!” Alan cried. He knew better, but he wasn’t thinking clearly. He was afraid. He should turn tail, run down the stairs screaming and calling for help, because it might not just be your typical robber. It could be a carrier. There was that blockade down the street. What if the carrier had got away, and made it to his apartment and was hiding out. He should have turned around and headed back out the door screaming, but like the brave fool he kept creeping into the apartment, his weapon slash briefcase ready to strike.
“Hello! Anyone there! If anyone is there, I’m warning you again! Leave or I’m going to call the police!”
“Could you keep it down! I’m trying to sleep.” a woman’s voice spat out from the darkness, and suddenly the light was flipped on startling Alan causing him to stumble backwards, fall over his coffee table, and slam his head into the wall. He slumped down on the floor, and something fell and and hit him in the head.
“Ow! Dammit!” He cried, holding the spot on his head where he had been hit.
“God, you’re such a loser.” the woman spoke up again. This time, thinking a little more clearly, aside from the alarming pain in his skull, he realized he recognized the voice. It had been a year or so since he last heard it, but he knew it all to well. Had known it most of his life. He opened his eyes, and sitting on his couch scowling at him with half closed eyes was a young woman with bright red hair, and that young woman just so happened to be his sister, which consequently meant that right at this moment Alan Chance was the unluckiest man alive.