Re: Ascension – A Community Development

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(Collaboration between myself and Alexander Of Limbo)

Ascension: The Conduit Log
“[Please, don’t kill me.]”
The sky was dark, night had fallen over Hong Kong, the only light was provided by the searchlights of the invasion craft hovering overhead like giant insects. In a small back street a man is dragging himself along the floor, looking obviously worse for wear. The most striking thing about this man is the long spikes that run down his spine and arms, culminating in two long horns that protrude from his forehead. One of his horns is snapped off half-way up and the stump is a bloody mess. Blood drips down onto his face. His words are mumbled and quiet, he has obviously been running.
Someone appears in the street behind him, a man of medium size and quite decent build. It’s hard to see much of him due to the darkness and the fact he is wearing a hoodie with the hood up. He advances slowly on the horned man, rolling up his sleeve as he does so. He is wearing some sort of device on his wrist, which he touches, clicking some sort of cartridge into place as he stands above the horned man. The man looks up, a pleading look on his face.
“[Please]” he says. The light from one of the searchlights illuminates the assailant’s face for a brief moment. He is a youngish man, in his early twenties and his lower face is covered by a skull-patterned bandana. His eyes look sad, even remorseful.
“I’m sorry,” he says as he raises his hand and punches the horned man in the face, knocking him out. Lifting up the horned man’s left arm, he locates a small square scar on his elbow. Without a word he flicks a needle out from the device on his wrist and inserts it into the scar, drawing a strange fluid from the wound. Slowly the man’s horns and spins start to recede into his body, his skin growing paler, until the man looks normal. The assailant drops the now dead mans arm and rises to his feet, walking back the way he came without looking back.
Later that day, aboard the largest of the invasion craft, we find this man in what appears to be a cell, all be it a highly futuristic and clean cell, not like a prison cell, but like the sort of quarters you’d expect on a battleship from a few years in the future. The man is curled up on his bed, shaking, obviously having a nightmare. He is muttering under his breath franticly, his words barely audible. Inside his mind, he sees flashes of numerous dark alleys, numerous people just like the horned man, all of whom he had deprived of their lives that night. A tear forms in the corner of his closed eye.
“Welcome Commander Reischek.”
A number of levels above the cell is the bridge of the craft. It looks similar to the multitude of sci-fi control bridges, a multitude of screens and monitoring stations on a number of levels, each manned by a person completely focused on their station, all situated around a captains chair situated in the center of the room. And sliding into the room with an aura of malevolence to take his position in that chair is Jonathon Reischek, commander in chief of Ascension. His face is horribly scarred and his lower jaw missing, replaced by a mechanical one, but still he has a commanding prescience that suggests he is in complete control. One of the officers approaches him and salutes.
“Make your report captain, Reischek says, his voice not fully human, given a grating edge by his artificial jaw. The captain drops his salute and stands to attention.
“Commander, we believe we have located four of the five priority targets. Three are congregated in Times Square whilst the fourth is in the dockland area. We have sent a battalion to each location but the dockland battalion isn’t responding. We believe this is the work of the lone rebel. Should we dispatch any further troops sir?”
Reischek ponders this for a moment, his metal jaw resting on his hands.
“This rebel is priority two is she not?” He asks quietly.
“Yes Commander,” the captains said, looking quickly at his notes.
“Then she must be dealt with immediately.” Reischek sinks back into his chair. “Bring me the conduit.”
The captain salutes again and turns for the door. Reischek closed his eyes. These rebels must not be allowed to get in the way of his perfect world, in the way of his world peace.
A few minutes later, the man is brought before Reischek. He looked awful. It is fairly obvious that his sleep was not a happy one and he carries scars from numerous dangerous pursuits, as well as his more recent battles. Reischek studies him for a moment before addressing him.
“Your services are required again.” He says menacingly. “We have located a high priority rebel in the docks and she must be eliminated immediately. She is heading towards observation post 7.”
“She?’ The conduit looks uneasy at the thought of this; all of his previous assignments had been men or large groups. Going after one lone girl bothered him.
“Yes, she. That shouldn’t be a problem should it?” Reischek leered, menacingly. The conduit shook his head.
“Good,” Reischek rests back in his chair. “Remember, you are only alive because you are useful to us. If you are no longer willing to work, then you are no longer useful. Do I make myself clear.”
The conduit nods. He’d seen enough to know not to go against Ascension.
“Good,” Reischek said with a nasty smile. “One last thing you need to know before you go. This target does not seem to have a fixed power set, which may cause some complications. You must deal with this swiftly. No mess.”
“Yes sir,” The conduit said as he saluted weakly, before turning towards the door. How, he wondered, had his life got to this?