My name is Phil Thomas, and I'm an ordinary man in a world gone mad. About three months B.G I was celebrated as an American war hero. I remember after the craziness that I had suffered through nothing would have been better than to spend time with my sons if I could travel back. My name is Phil Thomas, and I'm an ordinary man in a world gone mad. About three months B.G I was celebrated as an American war hero. I remember after the craziness that I had suffered through nothing would have been better than to spend time with my sons. If I could travel back in time, I probably would slap myself. Three years in the desert is nothing compared to what I have to deal with now? For you see, I'm a member of a team of helixes and humans designed to be champions of the planet and bring humanity back from the brink. And today was the most important mission yet. For a week now the mayor of our city Max Greene had issued a public meeting to discuss the passing of a bill on Helix insurance. So on June 18th A.G. hundreds of people were at city hall. Including my allies and me.
From up above they were a couple of drones that were monitoring everything in a 2-mile radius. The creator of Genesis Chelsea Danvers piloted all of them. She was the creator of this little group. And so far we've done good work. We even have a formerly invisible girl giving us cookies bi-weekly. Then in the massive crowd "we" communicated on our comms.
"Derek are you ready to move?"
"Yeah give me the signal but make it quick. Because I just learned cotton and spandex aren't very comfortable."
That was Derek Lewis a.k.a Wildfire the hero of Philly. The kid had a lot to learn, but his passion and potential were admirable. He was getting stronger and faster every day. I think now he can run up walls and Chelsea said he could maybe try water next. I thank him every day for his service that he was doing. It was undoubtedly one of the strangest arrangements ever conceived. I only wished that I could do more to help him in the field. But here I am on the sidelines looking at a computer screen while a boy almost half my age risks his life.
Anyways as soon as the mayor started to appear the crowd grew even louder. A lot the people here were pro helix advocates or Purifiers. I could tell of the latter due to the fact they had black flags with a white flame. The only reason I could think of was that the new Helix tax would be worse than directly funding antihelix technology. If you want my info on it, I detest the Purifiers and their mission. Because if it comes to pass then, that means that person you hang out with every Sunday, your brother, your mother someone in your life who is just trying to live theirs will forever be afraid of you. When Genesis came, I was relieved that I found my ex-wife and my sons alive. Life is precious enough, and it saddens me as a human to have so many forget that fact.
In minutes Max walks out to silence the crowd. He walked in a formal suit with his Caucasian skin and ruffled black hair and green eyes.
"To all of you who are listening here today. I'm truly sorry. When Genesis came, we didn't do enough to calm the masses. When Helixes had lost control of their powers and themselves we didn't do enough. When I became mayor I promised to support and defend the Constitution of United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. I still intend to do everything in my power to quell the scars Genesis left on us. But I need your help. I need for all of you to look inside yourselves and see the best part of yourselves because that is the only way we will finally move forward as one. I'm not on one side of this petty squabble. I do not choose helix or humanity. I only choose unity. Now fill free to ask any questions of-. "
A part of me wanted to hope so badly that something didn't go wrong. If this helix insurance gets adequately implemented, it could change everything. After hearing the dribble of Thomas Davidson, it was nice to listen to solutions. It was nice to see helixes as not monsters or plague but as something we have to live with now and forever. You'd think someone who used to be in the field would be used to things going to shit, but this world still finds ways to surprise me. A beam of light from out of nowhere managed to partially hit Max's head as he immediately falls to the ground. The entire crowd exploded into pandemonium instantly. Through the chaos, I navigated through the wave of people. The fear and hysteria spread like a plague. Some were fighting and running blindly. I barely managed to stop a little boy not much older than my youngest son from getting trampled. A couple of minutes later Chelsea is ringing in my ear.
"I managed to slow down the camera feed and track the trajectory of the shot. Sending to your nav now Wildfire,"
"Okay, I'm already at least a mile away from the carnage. Send me the location." I managed to slip away from the stampede as I turn on my phone, which started to give a real-time feed of what Derek is doing. In a second Wildfire hits a blurred figure so hard I could feel it. When he slows down, I see a gut covered in black and orange body armor.
"Hey, guys? Something is strange about our resident mercenary," Wildfire said.
"Regular strange or Genesis strange?" we both said.
"Well for starters he doesn't have any guns only binoculars. I'm going to try and interrogate him," he said.
He then put his boot right on top of his opponent.
"You've got .1 seconds to answer two questions. Who? And why? Or else you're going to have your ass knocked straight up the Statue of Liberty's crown."
The man answered.
"So you're the speedster that's been driving the criminal underworld into disarray. You'd be surprised how many people want you dead especially in six digits."
"That wasn't an answer! Besides I'm only getting started," he said as he started to stomp harder.
"Oh no, Wildfire you're playing with the big boys now. Sooner or later someone is going to stop you dead in your tracks or-"
Out of nowhere a blast of energy hits Wildfire square in the face. As he rolls down, I managed to see that his left hand was glowing with golden power. Before he could recover another blast more powerful than the last hit Wildfire so hard that when the camera readjusts Wildfire was holding on to a piece of rubble about to crumble. The mercenary looked over Wildfire and simply stated.
"Maybe I should end you right now. If you're as fiery as they say then it's time to for you to be all good flames and be put out."
He raised his hands, and they are buzzing with energy. I rushed over in vain knowing that I was useless to help in any meaningful way. It's funny how life and death scenarios can cause people to regret so much. Like how stupid I was to let something like this happen. When Chelsea recruited us, we may have signed on willingly, but I realize the weight of our proclamation. I understand now that we just signed for a war. And we manipulated a young man with nothing to lose to sign up. Sure he may be powerful but this a world that has gone mad. How long can you keep running before that madness overtakes him?
When I run I see a once in a lifetime sight. Wildfire was running all across the building leading a trail of flame as hundreds of beams started raining down from our resident mercenary. My eyes are barely able to keep up, but then I see Derek get hit by a couple of those blasts. He managed to recover to hardly be able to hold on from making an intimate relationship with the ground.
"Hold on Wildfire, "Chelsea said.
"Not like I was going to let go anyway!"
I quickly formulate a strategy. Derek runs into the building and takes anything that can be carried up the staircase. Throw at him and rush him! Do not let up! Do you understand?"
I don't get a concrete answer, but he runs sadly at the same instant a massive blast of energy brings down the building! The building starts to crumble as I see about 4 of its stories collapse. The assassin escaped by flying away with trails of energy. I thought Derek was in trouble until he spoke.
"God damn motherclucking shit for brains! He got my leg! I can't run out of here," he said hissing in complete pain.
I quickly assess the scenario and make my play. The cops were going to be all over us in minutes. It was a gamble, but maybe I can make something work.
"Chelsea make a scan on the building and try and make it to where I'm about to go now. I make my way to the alleyway of the building that got destroyed. I pull out the dumpster while talking with Derek."
"Derek you need to power through the pain. I know it's hard, but you need to follow Chelsea's nav right here. Hurry before the authorities arrest you."
In a minute or 2, Derek gracefully crashes straight into the dumpster. I gave him a change of clothes that were in the said dumpster. I managed to get us to the Trophy Case. While smelling like rotten tuna and hairballs but that was beside the point. Derek's left foot looked like hell. It was like a blender went through it, but it seemed as if it was fine. Derek cells can regenerate so fast that my nightfall he should be fine.
While I rest Derek down Chelsea had that look that I hated. Her look was one that had an odd mix of sick fascination and retching horror. I had gotten good at reading our resident destroyer of the world. I remember precisely when she signed me up for this war. And all the things that brought me up to now. About four years ago I was an accountant. A pretty damn good one but that was beside the point. But as the days passed I didn't feel like it was I. Maybe, I was experiencing my mid-life crisis, but I was missing a sense of purpose. Then I saw a military ad. I remember my grandma would always tell about my grandpa and his time in the military. I was always attracted to the idea of being in service of others.
And in a couple of months, I was the other side of the world for three years on a tour that forever changed my life and also made me into a so-called hero by the public. However, the hero that the public saw was a scarred one. During my tour, a unique condition was brought, so I had very little communication with my loved ones. I felt like after I came back I didn't have the right to just suddenly come back into their lives primarily with finding out about her new husband. Even now it's still a little awkward, but I make it work. It was about four months of A.G. when I met Chelsea. It was only after the "New Dark ages" basically the first three months of hell that hit the world as helixes took the world by storm.
Helixes were losing control of their power and capitalized on the chaos. Philly wasn't hit too hard, but still, it was a mess. She told me of her plight her need for a champion. So I answered her call.
Anyways back to our regularly scheduled shit show. Derek continued recounting his battle to Chelsea.
"And then he shoots this energy blast like something right out of dragon ball."
"Hmph interesting we'll have to pull a pin on studying that later meanwhile I managed to track down our resident helix. During the beginning of Genesis, I've been running algorithms and searching on the dark web for helix based reports. It took me only 600,00 reports, but I found him. This guy makes Rebound look like a regular street punk again. This guy calls himself Marauder one of the greatest mercenaries on the dark web. He's wanted in at least 15 countries."
"Doesn't matter I can still take him. We need to catch him when he makes his next move. Wherever that is."
"I already know."
"Of course at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if you can see the future, I said."
"Well as much as I would love the power of prophecy I can't see the future. Max is stable for now. They're holding him up at Methodist hospital there are guards everywhere. If I'm right and I wish I weren't Marauder might be going to finish his mission."
Derek's eyes for only a second looked like an exhausted man and then said.
"I don't care if this a hole is the most powerful helix ever Max is staying alive, and I'm going to stop him in his tracks. Just give me a couple of sodas and chips, and I'm good to go".
It was at that moment that I finally spoke out.
"I'm coming with you."
"What," they both said.
"This guy is powerful and unlike you trained. Your leg isn't going to be at 100% again if he strikes again. You need me if not for help in the field or the very least support."
"Okay, I'm going to be brutally honest here no. You have no powers, and this guy can level buildings with his bare hands he nearly killed Max and me. I'm not letting you near him!"
"And I'm not letting you go out there to die knowing I can do something to protect you. You might be the most powerful man in the world, but you're still a young man. I'm a father damn it! How could I let you get yourself killed? You don't need to put all the pressure on yourself. I can help too. You don't have to be the only champion."
"And I told you I could-"
Chelsea's computer beeps as suddenly we hear reports of an attack going on at Methodist Hospital. He wanted to yell. I could see the anger that was building. But in need, he remembered I was a soldier as well. I joined this group for the same reason he wanted to help. And he relented.
"Fine but if you slow me down at all, I'm benching you."
We both looked at Chelsea for some unseen answer.
"You've been like a living McGuffin since day one doesn't tell me you don't have like a weapon or some suit for me. "
She was about to argue but stated, "If you go to the corridor on the right there is a small armory of weapons. In case you ever wanted to go in the field, or you were in danger okay?' she said dishearteningly.
I quickly put on a Kevlar vest a couple of pistols and flashbangs. I finally put on a gas mask to hide my identity and walked out prepared for battle.
"Okay then let's do this."
Next thing I know I'm already at the hospital with a severe case of whiplash. It turns out super speed wasn't the best way to travel. As my vision finally resets I see that the hospital was a mini war zone just from the outside. We motioned on, as we saw a couple of men were dead.
"Okay I'll scout ahead you find Max if Marauder is here then I'll take him out."
He ran off with his aura lighting up the entire room. I then heard a series of loud noises and ran towards the imminent danger like a moron, oh I mean hero. What I see is Derek hissing in pain a man in agony from a gunshot wound and another man lying down on the ground in motionless.
"Caught some guy in a police uniform about to commit friendly fire thought it was our guy."
"Well, I guess all that's left is moving Max elsewhere."
"Give me a couple of seconds my foot still feels like it's on fire."
Suddenly I heard a series of gunshots as Wildfire on conscious, and Marauder stood up I pulled out my gun as fast as possible, but a blast of energy completely knocks the gun away.
"I don't know who you are, but your ally isn't going to wake up any time soon. I just doped him up with enough elephant tranquilizer to probably knock him out for hours. But after I'm done with you'll be sleeping for far longer."
"Well um, you'll be sleeping in jail when I'm finished with you," I said awkwardly.
Marauder quietly sighed and then pulled out his gun to start firing. I roll away just in the nick of time to use the wall as cover. It was by then I had a little epiphany. If he could destroy entire buildings early why is, didn't he merely vaporize the hospital? Maybe he was running out of juice? If my hypothesis was right then, I was officially the luckiest guy post-Genesis! I could die sure, but at least I won't be vaporized! Anyways the only thing that I could try was to outplay the master assassin. Here's to hoping. I rolled a flashbang straight at them. He kicked it upwards but it still provided me with the edge I needed to gain an opening. As a harsh light bathed the entire hospital, I rushed with adrenaline sharply tingling my very being.
I disarmed him before quickly tackling him into an arm triangle hold over his right arm. I put on all of my power into the choke attempting to end it fast. I had the advantage of about only a minute. He twisted his body to reverse the hold back to me. I could feel his sheer strength overpower mine as I started to see spots. In desperation, I pulled out a knife with my left hand and stabbed his arm twice! I threw him off me choking for air as I get back up. He followed suit and drew a look that had pure determination. His right hand pulsed with golden energy and he assumed a stance.
"I'm getting tired of you people getting in my way. I'm going to enjoy beating you to death."
"I don't intend to die anytime soon."
"But that's the thing no one ever intends to die. Our survival instinct rarely allows that. For all of our achievements all it takes is a simple struggle a simple accident and just as that life ends. It doesn't matter how much you don't want it death isn't fate or destiny but its nothing but an eventuality. A force if nature, I want you to remember that lesson. All the way to grave."
After his chilling speech, we both engaged in combat. I knew I couldn't afford to get hit by his hand at all costs. If I was going to survive this, I needed to outsmart him. I couldn't be predictable, so I needed to end this now. Marauder turned his hand into a makeshift blade as we ran towards one another. We engaged in a multitude of slashes that put me on the defensive. Every slight hit made my body wince in pain from the sheer power. He nearly manages to knock the knife off my hand, but I flip the blade around and aim it right at his left shoulder. He naturally caught it, but I give him a headbutt that throws him off. He quickly recovered and was about to end this with his right, but I surprise him by kicking him in his left shin. The kick threw him off enough to swivel out of his punch, but he snapped into an elbow that caught me off guard. He followed with a knee I could barely block and then I get hit with his right in the form an overpowering palm strike!
Everything fades to black. My body grows so heavy that I could barely move. The world soon became quieter. My surroundings started to fade to black. A part of me wanted to give up for how silly for me doing this crusade. I could find my purpose in a world gone mad.
That part of me, however, was overshadowed by that silly thing we call heroism. Because I was not about to let an innocent man with the ability to do so much die when I can still fight. We've lost so much over these past few months, and I was tired of us losing. I wanted to win this! With every fiber of my being, I get up and run towards Marauder. I managed to get the pistol that was on me since the beginning of the battle. I then threw a tear gas grenade right at Marauder who was seconds from opening Max's door. He naturally caught the grenade but I shot it, and it exploded. The room erupted in tear gas, but my gas mask protected me. I unfurl a series of devastating blows to make him scream yell gasp anything. When I'm done he had turned into a blind, coughing mess.
"Don't worry Marauder I have your anesthesia right here."
I socked him straight in the face, and the mess was finally over. I managed to get Derek out of there, and the news report says that Max will be fine in a couple of weeks. Derek slept for nearly a day but he was okay, and I managed to get myself a bit of medical attention. Chelsea also stated that she could turn me into an armory if I wanted to continue. And I think I will. I don't know what my purpose is in a world gone mad in the long run who knows what I'll accomplish. But if I can protect the men and women that will define the future of this brand new world the people who will build it up instead of tear it down. Then that's good enough for me. My name is Phil Thomas Tippie a.k.a Armory signing off.