Re: Ascension – A Community Development

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Ok, recap time again. So my life just keeps getting better and better. My holiday in Hong Kong has now gone the wrong side of mental thanks to a cyborg invasion and I’ve been given this strange stuff called Empty Vessel which gives people superpowers. Problems are a) I don’t seem to be able to control my powers and b) the cyborgs keep finding me. And now I’ve been kidnapped by a group called the Crimson Hand and they don’t seem too friendly.

‘[Speak]!’ Quantou growls. His men have encircled me and there’s no way out. ‘[Who are you and what is your purpose here?]’
‘[My name is Kate Quinn],’ I say, hoping that the translator earpiece is translating my words properly. ‘[I’m looking for Ge Hong. I’ve been told he can help me.]’
I offer him the note left for me by the barista. One of the thugs grabs it from me.
‘[It’s not in Chinese sir]’ he says after looking at the note, before handing it to his boss. Quantou turns back to me and fixes me with a dark stare.
‘[What is you mother tongue foreigner?] He says with a tone of disgust.
‘[English.]’ I try to be polite as possible. It’s not wise to be rude to the obviously nationalistic psychopaths holding you hostage, especially when a number of them have weapons.
‘[Chen, come here,]’ Quantou barks. A younger Chinese guy, not much older than I am steps forward from the shadows. He is quite well built, obviously athletic, and, thankfully, not carrying a weapon. ‘[Translate it.]’
Quantou drops the note on the floor, making the younger guy pick it up before reading it out in what I have to assume is Chinese (having speech translated when it hits your ear is quite confusing in these situations). Once the Chen guy finishes, Quantou considers the situation for a minute before turning back to me.
‘[We know where Ge Hong is,]’ he says slowly, as if considering each word carefully. ‘[But we will not take you to him. This is a Chinese problem and we shall fix it ourselves. We do not need any foreign assistance.]’
I’m not really paying attention to his words though, because I can feel the vibrations through the ground. They’ve found me, I can tell, and my fears are confirmed a few seconds later by a thug rushing in to the room.
‘[Sir, Ascension are here, they’ve found us.]’
‘[How? We made sure we could not be tracked.]’ Quantou turns back to me. ‘[You. You lead them here.]’
I suddenly feel all of the weapons in the room focus on me. I try not to flinch but it’s quite hard when everyone in the room wants to kill you. To my surprise though, Chen approaches Quantou and puts himself between him and me.
‘[Sir, when we found this girl she had just taken out a squad of Ascension troops. She is against them as we are. If she did lead them to us it was by our actions, not hers, by bringing her here. Besides, she is MT-VS7 infused too, she could be an asset here.]’
‘Too?’ I muttered under my breath, confused. Quantou’s angry expression changed, but he still had a look in his eye that I didn’t like.
‘[Very well,]’ he said, signaling his men to go outside. ‘[She shall live, but if she betrays us, you will die as well Chen. As soon as the immediate problem is dealt with I want you both out of my sight. What you do after that is of your own volition, but as of now, Chen, you are no longer a Crimson Hand.]’
And with that Quantou left, leaving just Chen and me in the room. Chen helped me up as I started to feel the effects of the Empty Vessel bubbling up.
‘[Nice guy,]’ I say as we hurry out of the room. Chen smiles.
‘[Don’t mind uncle,]’ he says cheerfully. ‘[He’s just on edge at the moment, with the invasion.]’
‘[Uncle?]’ I throw him a quizzical look and he grins.
‘[Don’t worry, we’re not all like that. But he’s the senior, so he is in charge. Now, they will need our help.]’
We burst out of the building and the sight that greets my eyes is incredible. All of the Crimson Hand men all seem to be showing signs of super-powers. Super-speed, super-strength, transformation, each and everyone using and controlling a different power. It made me kind of jealous.
‘[Look out!]’
Chen barreled into me, knocking me out of the way of an Ascension laser.
‘[Good save,]’ I say dryly as we both clamber to our feet. He winks before rushing off into the fray. Amongst the chaos, I see him cutting through the cyborgs, washing them away using the water from the harbor as a weapon. Not bad, I thought to my self as I turned my attention back to my immediate surroundings, and the growing sick feeling within me.
‘Katherine Quinn, you are wanted by Ascension.’
God I was getting sick of that voice. Only five cyborgs surrounded me when I looked up, all of their guns pointing straight at me.
‘Only five?’ I say sarcastically. The sick feeling is building but, worryingly, nothing seems to be happening. ‘You guys know I’ve taken out twice that before now, don’t you?’
‘You will be eliminated.’
All of the guns whir and buzz as they charge up, the orange glow building.
Then I’m sick. Of all the things to happen when I’m about to get killed. The cyborgs look slightly puzzled, some even lowering their weapons slightly. Then one of them jumps out of his skin. His compatriots look at their companion in confusion and then I notice it. He was being dissolved, from the feet up, by my sick, which had begun to glow an eerie green. It was moving as well, which really freaked me, latching onto each of the cyborgs, eating them alive. Their screams were horrible.
‘That’s gross.’ I exclaimed, as the cyborgs were reduced to a gooey mess on the floor. I looked around. The fighting seemed to be growing, more cyborgs were showing up all the time. Smoke was flooding the scene, but I could just make out the shapes of three people heading towards me. I prepared myself to run, but luckily it was Quantou, Chen and another of the Crimson Hand members. All had various injuries and wounds and all had determined looks. They stopped just in front of me and Chen stood beside me, putting his hand on my shoulder.
‘[We need reinforcements,]’ Quantou said, addressing his two subordinates. ‘[Zhou, I want you to head to Macau and find Shan Zu, he will be able to help us.]
The Crimson hand saluted and headed off towards the mainland. Quantou turned his attention to Chen and myself.
‘[Chen, I want you to take this woman to Ge Hong and discover all he knows about Ascension. As the creator of the drug, he may be able to tell you where to find some others who can help us. He is in safe house five, area twelve. Be quick.]’
‘[Yes uncle.]’ Chen bows quickly before grabbing my hand and leading me off into the night. As we run I look over my shoulder. One of the triangle ships is hovering over the battle and I get the feeling that I’m being watched. The feeling sends a shiver down my spine as we run off into the blackness of the night.