ALTERED HISTORIES ERA
POWER GAMES ERA
The Great Struggle
The scene began on a futuristic battle-field as a young man with short black hair ran towards a large fortress alongside several other figures, all dressed in black uniforms and firing wildly with small machine-pistols as laser-cannons rained down over them, sending many of them falling onto the ground as smoke rose up from what remained of their remains.
The young man's eyes narrowed with determination as he leapt onto one of the walls of the fortress and began to scale it, the deafening sound of cannon-fire ringing across the area as he braved the pain and struggled onward, losing his footing and quickly scrambling back up as others were not so lucky and fell to their fates below.
Finally reaching the top of the fortress the young man's eyes burned with fanatical zeal as he reached into a side-pocket and pulled out a small device - which he held high into the air and switched a small button: forming a large hologram in the sky depicting a black flag and a golden fist.
"FREEDOM!" the young man yelled out before he was struck from behind and fell down onto the cold ground below..
"..Malcolm, wake up.." a woman's voice called out from the darkness.
The young man stirred, slowly opening his eyes as he sat up and looked around - finding himself in a camp full of other injured resistance soldiers, sitting by his side was a young woman covered in dirt and looking badly cut as if the veteran of several skirmishes.
"W-what happened?" he asked, though he feared the answer - feeling a pain in his head he raised his hand and found himself brushing against a large bandage that barely covered a large wound caused from a heavy fall.
"The raid failed, the resistance was forced to flee.. I'm sorry, Malcolm.." the woman said.
"No! NO! bring me news of victory! not this!" Malcolm yelled, standing up despite his injuries and flinging a table full of surgical instruments aside in a fit of rage as several guards rushed in and struggled to subdue him.
"I won't give up! I won't! you hear me?! I will have freedom! I will have justice! I WILL HAVE ORDER!".
Several months past by and Malcolm eventually moved out of the camp, taking what few personal possessions he had with him and headed for a small town not too far from the camp - overlooking the same fortress he had tried to raid not so long ago.. he knew it was a risk yet he had little option as his allies had all but deserted him now..
Upon entering the town Malcolm found himself greeted by the sight of several children forming a circle around another younger child - mocking him as they poked and prodded while skipping around like a pack of wild dogs tormenting their prey.
Malcolm moved forward and chased the children away, kneeling down as he observed the younger boy - who sniffed slightly and shivered.
"Do not be afraid, they're gone now.." Malcolm said, extending a hand for comfort.
The young boy took Malcolm's extended hand and was lifted to his feet, smiling a little "..t-thank you, sir".
"No need to thank me.. what is your name?" Malcolm asked, standing up himself and looking the boy over.
"I.. I am Peter.." the young boy said, looking up at Malcolm and his black suit with curiosity.
"Well, Peter.. I am Malcolm.. would you like me to take you home?" Malcolm said, offering his hand again.
Peter nodded and took Malcolm's hand as the two began to walk down the street, "..are you a soldier?" the boy asked, still looking to the black suit.
"No Peter, I am something far greater than that.." Malcolm said.
"Oh? so.. you must a hero?" Peter said.
"Yes, Peter.. some would call me that.." Malcolm replied "..now, let's get you home..".
The New World
It was not long until the "Great Struggle" came to an end and Malcolm finally watched as the regime he had fought against most of his life crumbled - the world was now free to choose its own path and Malcolm was determined to make the most of it.
Three long years went by and Malcolm took to the streets as he often did, followed by several uniformed men who he had labelled his "Keepers" - the militia flag hanged high above several homes as Malcolm made his way to a corner and set up a stand, his "Keepers" standing either side as he addressed the crowds that had already began to gather.
"My people! Three years have passed and the world still lacks a Voice.. without the Voice of Man to unite them humanity is doomed to fall back to the old ways of oppression and cruelty - we must not allow the chaos within us to prevail as it did in the dark past! Join with me, brothers and sisters! Together we shall bring a new era to this world and the Voice of Man shall echo across the nations!" Malcolm said, his speech growing more and more passionate as the crowds began to cheer.
"Glory to the Voice!" the crowds cheered, some waving small flags depicting a closed golden fist atop a black background - others held their children high in the air in celebration.
"For the glory of man!" others yelled as the crowds continued to cheer.
"We have a year by which to think on the future of our world, for in that time the militia shall choose its new leader - too long has the Voice of Man been silent! Yet I can not do this alone - unite with me and let the world hear our cry!" Malcolm yelled out, raising his clenched fist into the air as the "Keepers" followed.
The crowds bursts into riotous applause as they too raised clenched fists in the air, even small children perched on their parent's shoulders clenched tiny hands and rose them high.
The crowds continued to cheer as Malcolm left the stage and moved away, the "Keepers" following his every move like silent spectres.
As Malcolm moved along the street a young man dressed in black moved over to him, only gaining access due to Malcolm's gestures to the "Keepers" - who moved slightly to allow the man through.
"Malcolm! Thank the Maker.. I've been looking all over for you.." the man said, slightly out of breath.
"What troubles you Kevin?" Malcolm said as he continued walking, keeping his gaze forward.
"You know very well what troubles me, Malcolm.. you have gone far enough with this madness.. this "Voice" nonsense is driving the whole world mad.. we have lived long enough under tyranny without you promoting a second.." Kevin said boldly.
"Kevin.. I came to this town a wounded veteran of a war we both thought would never end.. now, for the last three years I've been watching as the militia rebuilds the world - only to see them commit the same mistakes that allowed the damned war to start in the first place.." Malcolm replies.
"The militia are doing no wrong Malcolm, they are giving freedom to the masses - that is what you and I fought for.. the stories of the Voice of Man is a fairy tale.. a dangerous one at that.. the militia abandoned it for a reason: one ruler, uniting the world? tell me Malcolm - what good can come from that?" Kevin said.
"More good than a world where men are free to make the same mistakes they have been committing since the dawn of time, Kevin - humanity is like a wild animal: if not properly cared for they will tear themselves apart.." Malcolm states.
"Oh? and who are you to dictate what "care" humanity deserves? We don't need your help to evolve, Malcolm!" Kevin replied angrily.
Malcolm didn't answer Kevin as he turned into an alley, away from the crowds, continuing to walk on as he stared straight ahead - the "Keepers" simply giving each other knowing looks.
"I lost many friends in the Great Struggle, Kevin - I saw them die.. I will not allow it to happen again.. I will protect this world at any cost.." Malcolm said.
"Don't try and use the deaths of those men as an excuse for your actions, Malcolm - they were good men.. you on the other hand are a fool and a madman.. a murderous wretch who -!" Kevin began, only to stop as Malcolm spun around and pinned him to one of the alley walls, drawing a blade to his throat.
"I am the Voice of Man! I am Order! I am Discipline! I am Glory!" Malcolm growled, spitting his words as he gritted his teeth - his eyes blazing with rage.
"This world is a foul and corrupt hive of depravity - fuelled by humanity's undying desire to destroy itself.. without a leader they are lost.. I am a Shepherd who shall guide the lambs and I am the Wolf who shall tear the traitor limb from limb.. a common man is a disease in need of treatment.. I am that cure.." Malcolm continued, seeming to be possessed by unnatural power as he tossed Kevin to the ground and put the blade away.
"Deal with him" Malcolm spat as he turned away and headed out of the alley, the "Keepers" closing in on Kevin and giving Malcolm a silent nod before they began to kick and punch the fallen man continually.
Malcolm dusted his uniform off slightly as he slowly regained his composure and looked over to a familiar face amongst the crowds, smiling slightly as he walked over to the young boy - who grinned back at him.
"Hello Peter" Malcolm said, offering the boy his hand as the two shook hands quite happily.
"Mother let me come to the speech myself today, she says I'm getting old enough to take care of myself.." Peter said.
"That's good - I trust she recieved the rations I sent yesterday?" Malcolm replied.
"Oh yes, sir! They were very good! Mother is only sorry she can't do more to repay you" Peter said.
"Peter, you tell your mother she need not worry about payment - now, I believe you have yet to show me your skill with a bolt-pistol.." Malcolm said, motioning Peter along.
"A bolt-pistol? but.. mother says I'm too young to -" Peter began.
"Peter, if you are old enough to take care of yourself I assure you that you will be able to handle a bolt-pistol.. besides, I shall make sure no harm comes to you.." Malcolm said.
"Okay - if you say so.." Peter said, the two moving along down the street.
A year passed by and a large crowd gathered outside what had become known as the militia stronghold - a large building that was once painted white but was long-since stained by decades of fighting and urban decay.
Standing above the crowds, on a balcony, was Malcolm - dressed in black and flanked either side by his "Keepers": the crowds were cheering and waving flags as a massive black flag was drapped over the balcony depicting the clenched golden fist.
"Today marks the beginning of a new era, one ushered in by the Voice of Man - today I have become your leader and I suppose some would think of me as a savior.. however, Man has no need for another savior - no - what man requires is the undisputed leadership of his fellow man: so do not bow to me, do not serve me or worship me - no, the old gods had many commandments but man has but one: Obey" Malcolm spoke out, his voice amplified by several advanced speakers.
The crowds continued to cheer as Malcolm raised his fist into the air and clenched it, yelling out "OBEY!".
The crowds in turn raised their fists into the air and chanted "OBEY! OBEY!" - the black flag swaying in the wind as the chanting grew more and more intense as Malcolm left the balcony and vanished into the stronghold.
"Quite some speech, the crowds seem to love it.." a young woman said, dressed in a black skirt and sitting near a table as Malcolm moved over, sitting down at said table.
"The common man is deaf and blind, except to what he wishes to hear.. now be quick about your business, Ariel - I do not have time for games.." Malcolm said as he leaned back on his chair.
"Games? I simply wished to congratulate you on gaining the position of militia commander - you've come a long way from a doomed rebel washed up on a backward little town.." the young woman said.
"Watch your tongue, Ariel - you may of held rank in the old militia but here you stand before a new regime and a new master.." Malcolm warned.
"You make it seem as if I'm not welcome, Malcolm.." Ariel said with a smirk on her face.
"Continue to be useful and you shall be welcome, however if you do not.. then your stay will be short.." Malcolm replied.
"Of course.. "Master".." Ariel said with a slightly mocking tone.
Malcolm simply looked over a few files on his desk as the doors opened and a guard spoke out, "there is a Ms. Smith and her son Peter wishing to speak with you, sir..".
Malcolm's face lit up slightly as he sat up "oh! let them in - hurry!" - he made a motion to Ariel, who somewhat reluctantly moved to one side as Peter and his mother entered the room.
"H-hello Malcolm, I am glad to see things have turned out so well for you.." Ms. Smith said, looking around somewhat warily at her surroundings.
"Come now Martha, why the concern? You are safe here.." Malcolm said, noticing her expression.
"F-forgive me, it's just.. all so very sudden.. I.. I will get used to it, in time.." Ms. Smith said, smiling faintly.
"Of course" Malcolm said, nodding slightly as he looked to Peter - the boy looking around with curiosity.
"Oh, Peter.. I have something for you.." Malcolm said as he dug under the table, taking a small box out and placing it on the table.
"Malcolm, you shouldn't - you're spoiling the boy" Ms. Smith said, though she made no effort to stop the exchange as Peter moved over.
"Nonsense, Peter's a good boy" Malcolm said as Peter lifted the box lid, revealing a child's size uniform.
"Wow.. this is for me?" Peter said, taking the uniform and holding it out - his mother seemed a little shocked at this but dared not speak out as Malcolm nodded.
"I want you to have it, Peter - grow strong and make your mother proud.. with this uniform know that you are a part of humanity's future.. destined to do great things.." Malcolm said.
Peter simply stared at the uniform and nodded as he went silent - his mother seeming to wait on something, which Malcolm soon picked up on.
"Ah, yes.. you wanted to speak to me? what is it Martha? don't be shy.." Malcolm said.
"I.. I just wanted to see you, was all.. you have always been so kind to us as a family.. I simply wished to thank you.. before we moved on.." Ms. Smith said.
"Oh.. yes.. Colony-I? I'd of hoped you'd reconsider.. all things considered.." Malcolm said with a note of sadness.
"I am sorry Malcolm but my mind is set, I know Colony-I is not welcoming of the changes on Earth but there are opportunities there for me and Peter.. though I would not wish to sound ungrateful." Ms. Smith said.
"Martha, you are a good woman and I will respect your wishes.. go with my blessing and may you find what you seek.." Malcolm replied.
Ms. Smith smiled a little and moved out along with Peter, followed by a few uniformed guards.
Malcolm watched the pair leave before he sat back down at the table and gazed at the empty box, "..leave me.." he said, not even bothering to look in Ariel's direction and she knew better than to argue as she abruptly left the room.
Malcolm continued to stare at the empty box until the door closed then slowly lifted it and placed it under the table before resting his head against the surface of the table and sighing slightly:
"..now we see the reward of kindness in this world.." he thought to himself, frowning as he pulled himself up - clenching his fists.
"No more.. kindness.. No more mercy.." he thought - getting to his feet and walking over to the window overlooking the crowds, gazing down upon them.
"Now is the beginning of the end.. a new world has began and the old must now be purged.." he thought.
"..and so it begins.." Malcolm whispered aloud, continuing to gaze down upon the crowds..