Zer0-G

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    Lord Vicious
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    I’m seven chapters into the book I’m writing and I have made the prologue open to all. Since my writing falls into the categories of modern writing, superhero fiction AND science fiction, I figured I’d post the prologue right here… That no one else has posted here had something to do with me posting here too. Anyway I know very few will read it but for the few who do, I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think as feedback is always helpful.

    PROLOGUE
    The sun used to be a permanent resident in the sky here. Now the only sunlight that did get through was filtered through thick layers of dark clouds and sheets of rain, bullet hail stones and raging winds. When nature attacked like this people scattered like pigeons after a stone was thrown. But their pattern of escape was easy to see. They all flowed the same way and moved to the same melody.
    Lightening danced across the sky and for a moment, peeled back the dark silhouette that blanketed the city, revealing twisted and broken buildings from battles past. Many structures had yet to be repaired. Others were too far gone and needed to be replaced. Tall cranes reached up into the clouds, and other structures in the process of being built or rebuilt dominated the city’s skyline. The city sloped back into its dinge as the flash faded.
    A second flash lit up hats, umbrellas and coats. The thunder rumble that followed had the people below quicken in pace, all in sync except for one that didn’t follow that pattern.
    Wrapped in a long dark trench coat with collars up high to hide his face, the flow of this one was against the river of people, but at the same time he seemed to have a goal of remaining inconspicuous despite his obviously larger than average size. The elements behaviour allowed for him to go unnoticed by the people around him as he weaved through and bumped into others who kept their heads ducked and shielded from the harsh weather themselves.
    From his vantage point Ochi could see the patterns change. He could see the flow and the rhythm of the people below. And he could see when those patterns were interrupted and broken. Ochi watched as the one he was tracking changed direction with a second crack of thunder, and duck into an alleyway, completely against the patterns of anyone else.
    Ochi knelt silhouetted on the ledge of an apartment building roof and peered over. The wind and rain lashed down all around him but Ochi remained somehow dry. He wasn’t under any shelter, but as the rain came down towards him, it didn’t hit anything then veer off, it seemed to bend around him, like an ant trail bending round a rock that obstructed their path.
    Ochi rose to his full height, around six feet tall with a well-toned but slender physique. His invisible field moved with him and continued to shield him from the downpour. It was a good thing too as he wasn’t dressed for the weather.
    He wore the same tactical gear he always wore whenever he was out on the hunt. Heavy shock absorbing boots that came up to just below his knees, spray painted metallic grey, His skin was visible from just below the knee to low thigh. Above that he wore skin tight padded shorts in black with dark blue trim. Around his waist was a metallic sectioned belt and at the buckle there was a circular blue powered light that glowed faintly. He wore black leather combat gloves and had the fingers cut off. His top matched his shorts, black with a dark blue trim and was skin tight also with padding bulging from beneath the surface at the shoulder area.
    On his chest was the symbol, simple and elegant, three circled gold rings intertwined with each other forming a triangular shape, it all complimented Ochi’s dark skin and strong angular jaw line. He had a broad nose and slightly angled eyes to suggest he had a mixture of someone from the Far East and someone from right here in Africa, a handsome mix. And finally, a clean shaven head.
    Ochi was far from your pristine hero type on this night. His face had bruises, his arms had scrapes and his tactical gear was scuffed, scratched and torn. The hunt was often turbulent.
    He began to walk along the ledge as the communicator in his ear crackled to life.
    ‘Did you sight him Zero?’ asked the voice in his ear.
    ‘Why do you bother to ask Lens? We both know you can see me’ responded Ochi.
    ‘True but I’m looking at you, not what you’re looking at’ Lens replied. ‘I feel I should tell you, this is the same one you’ve been tracking for a while now. Not one of the others’
    ‘I know’ Ochi responded, Lens continued ‘He’s evaded you three times already’
    ‘I know’ stressed Ochi again, with agitation in his voice this time. Lens ignored it and continued ‘He might be too much for you, are you sure you don’t want any back up?’
    ‘I don’t need back up’ Ochi said as he approached the corner of the ledge. Ten stories high and he was completely comfortable this close to the edge of the building, walking as though it were sidewalk and not a less than half metre wide strip of concrete that he could easily misstep and fall to his death.
    ‘Zero seriously, the fact that he has gotten away from you three times already suggests he might be really difficult to bring down. Please be careful’
    ‘Stop worrying, I can handle it. He’s going down, tonight.’ Ochi assured him, as he began to jog towards the corner of the building, splashing water with each step.
    The problem with responsibility is that it often feels like it should be a solo effort. Ochi had yet to learn that it didn’t have to be.
    ‘Ok Och… Zero G’ Lens had almost used Ochi’s real name over the communicator, a rookie mistake ‘Go get him’
    With that Ochi reached the corner of the building and stepped off. He fell below the ledge before he shot skywards towards the building across the street. He wasn’t flying, more like multiple jumps on barely visible suspended spheres. He was still protected by his own invisible shield that matched the spheres he bounced off of, and the spherical blue light on his waist shone brighter with the exertion of his power.

    I just want to be left alone He asked the heavens as he stumbled through trash cans, spilling rubbish and catching his foot in one of the black bags. He yanked his foot clear and the bag tore, releasing the rancid smell of two day old garbage. The odour filled his nostrils and his nose flared in disgust. A few steps further down the alleyway and he ducked behind a dumpster. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut and begged to himself I just want to be left alone. Enochlophobia, the fear of crowds, can have a paralyzing affect, and having just weaved through a pack of humans, he was trying desperately to bring his heart rate under control. He slowed his shallow breathing, took two large deep breaths and waited, till all he could hear was the sound of the rain from above. Only a few drops managed to penetrate the narrow alley he had chosen to hide in.
    His trench coat was soaked from the wet weather but the sleeves of his coat were also stained, and it wasn’t just with rain water. Blood dripped from the sleeves.
    Ochi splashed down in a puddle hard near the entrance of the alleyway. His heavy metallic boots sent water cascading outwards. He recovered and checked his surroundings, he saw only the typical darkness of an alley at night, but he knew his prey had come this way.
    From his hiding spot the sound of something splashing in a puddle startled him. Whipping round to take a peek from behind his dumpster caused pain to lance through his body. He ignored the pain and peered out from his hiding place, but there was no one there. At least, he saw no one. He ducked back behind the dumpster.
    ‘All right dammit’ announced Ochi, his voice somehow amplified ‘This ends in one of two ways, you go back in your cage, or you’re going in a box, your choice?’ Ochi waited a moment with his hands on his hips. The blue light on his waist dimmed slightly as Ochi stopped speaking.
    He peered out again, this time he caught a flicker of movement. A man, Ochi, was standing maybe twenty-five feet away, but he wasn’t standing on the floor. He stood on the wall, sideways, defying gravity. Ochi stood there, with his feet on the wall and his hands on his hips, as if standing on a wall like this were completely natural.
    Slipping back behind the dumpster he pleaded again I just want to be left alone. At this point though he knew it wasn’t going to be an option. He began removing his coat.
    Ochi wasn’t interested in waiting to see what happened. He had said what he wanted to say and expected an immediate response that never came. Waiting was something for people to do that had to it, and Ochi hated waiting. He reached his left hand forward, spread fingers as if grabbing the dumpster from twenty feet away and squeezed his hand closed. The spherical blue light on his waist lit up brighter as the dumpster began to squash and pull in on itself until it was no bigger than a basketball. A simple flick of his wrist sent the mangled dumpster flying into the opposite brick wall with a dampened clang that should have been much louder, but wasn’t. The light on Ochi’s waist dimmed to a low glow as he put his hand down by his side.
    With the dumpster removed Ochi was able to properly see the prey he had hunted clearly for the first time as the creature turned to face him and rose to almost seven feet tall. Its long trench coat slipped off and danced down the alleyway carried off by the wind.
    The creature had human characteristics, but looked like it would be in more pain than an average man could bare. Its skin was stretched beyond breaking point, torn at the joints and rounded areas of its body like the top of its head, around its ears, on its cheeks, and all large muscle areas. The height was unnatural to the skin, like a growth spurt had occurred but the skin didn’t get the precursors alerting it to that growth. At its forearms a different kind of pain was caused. An unnatural sheet of bone pierced through its skin along its forearm causing a cut that dripped blood continuously. The bone fanned out flat and became as sharp as a blade.
    The creature growled a low guttural sound. Blood and drool dripped from its deformed mouth. Ochi wasn’t intimidated in the slightest. He stepped forward on the wall to show this.
    ‘I guess you’ve gone for the second option’ Ochi quipped as the creature launched itself at him.
    Something Ochi hadn’t noticed before. He expected the creature to crash into his protective field then go crashing to the ground. Ochi hadn’t considered that his field could merely be cut through by the protruding bone of this creature, so as his field dissipated, the blue light on his waist flashed out and Ochi fell to the ground, narrowly avoiding being sliced in two by the creatures bladed arm.
    It was on him so fast, grabbing him by the throat and tossing him down the alley.
    He had to recover quickly before he hit the wall. The creatures size was easily matched by its strength, maybe more so. Ochi rotated in the air. The light on his waist winked back on and Ochi eased himself against the wall instead of the heavy hit it could have been.
    The creature was already charging at Ochi again as he righted himself. It was bigger, faster, and stronger than Ochi, but Ochi was smarter and was capable of things no one else was capable of.
    As the creature bore down on him, Ochi simply waved his arm upwards. Three near invisible spheres appeared over the creatures head in a neat line straight up, moments before it reached, and pummelled Ochi. All of a sudden the creature lost its footing. In fact, it lost the ground altogether, and was shot up into the air at frightening pace. Ochi smirked, but as the creatures momentum dissipated and it began its descent back to earth, it jabbed one of its forearm blades into a wall. Ochi’s smirk turned to puzzlement.
    This high up the bad weather easily found ways into the thin alley, soaking the creature as it hung, slipping and trying to find its footing. It steadied itself, looked down at Ochi and snarled from ninety feet above. Turning round, it jammed its other forearm blade into the wall and began the ascent upwards, scratching at the wet wall and stumbling over the ledge as it reached the top.
    Ochi brought his left knee up and squeezed it into his chest with his arms as he watched the creature climb over the ledge above. His heavy metal boots made this a lot more difficult to do than he made it look, he was just making sure his limbs were up to what was about to happen.
    Ochi bore down hard and jumped as the device at his waist flashed brightly for less than a second as Ochi was propelled skywards, past the tops of the buildings that created the alleyway.
    The device at Ochi’s waist winked out and gave a simple grey dead look as Ochi cleared the roof of the buildings and the rain hit his face. A thousand street lights and lights from windows reflected off of Ochi’s now wet skin and armour making him seem almost angelic as he faced the sky.
    Ochi looked down to the creature below as it scampered towards the other side of the roof.
    Ochi flipped forward at the top of his jump as he began to descend, positioning himself towards the centre of the roof.
    As the creature reached the centre Ochi came down hard mere metres above. Ochi’s blue light flashed brightly as Ochi propelled back towards the sky. A repelling force between Ochi and the creature crushed the creature down into the roof of the building.
    Rain water splashed Ochi’s face as he reached the top of this second jump, flipped over and sped back down towards the creature below.
    The creature didn’t know what had hit him but it staggered to its feet angry as Ochi came crashing down again. The invisible force sent rain water cascading outwards in every direction for a moment as the bubble sent Ochi back into the air and the creature hard down into the roof, cracking the concrete.
    The creature moved sluggishly this time as it tried to right itself. It made it up to its knees when Ochi came down again, the sound booming outward as he sprang back into the air.
    The creature twitched as it lay on its back, crumpled into the concrete. Ochi stared down from his great height in the night sky. He was going to hit it again.
    Ochi accelerated downwards at a speed faster than even the rain was falling. The wind whistled all around him as his earpiece crackled to life.
    ‘Good job Zero, you got him. Let it be.’ Persuaded Lens into his earpiece, expecting Ochi to simply veer off. Ochi tucked his arms in instead.
    ‘Let it be man’ Lens said again in his ear.
    Ochi clenched his teeth.
    ‘ZERO NO’ Lens pleaded.
    The blue light on Ochi’s waist shone bright, brighter still until…
    ‘OCHI!’ Lens screamed into Ochi’s ear as he impacted one last time with the creature with a force large enough to bring down the building. Ochi shot up into the clouds and disappeared.
    The roof tore apart and collapsed inwards, which collapsed to the floor below, the weight of which started a chain reaction that reduced the building to a series of thunderous crashes as each collapsing floor caved into the next. Street lights shook and car alarms blared as a thick wet dust cloud roiled outwards and enveloped them.
    The rain began to subside and the wind began to calm as Ochi landed gently on the rooftop of a nearby building, across the street from and overlooking the building he had just destroyed. His earpiece crackled to life again.
    ‘Ochi what did you do?’ Lens gasped. He had stopped using Ochi’s code name but hadn’t even realised it.
    ‘I killed it’ Ochi replied solemnly.
    ‘Yeah, but there was people in there man. Families, children.’ Lens explained.
    ‘I know’ Ochi responded quietly ‘And they were all at risk.’
    ‘Ochi you can’t do this man, it’s wrong.’ Lens increased ‘What’s the point in killing the monsters to protect the people, if you’re killing the people you’re trying to protect as well?’
    Ochi turned away from the building as though he were turning away from Lens conversation. He knew Lens was right. He didn’t try to argue with him.
    ‘Ochi, the police are on their way, you need to head back’ confirmed Lens as sirens wailed, echoing into the night air in the distance. ‘We need to talk about this though. Your actions are out of control. You need to slow down.’
    ‘Lens please…’ Ochi said as he stepped off the building and propelled himself into the night ‘…call me Zero-G’.

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