5 AM. Twenty giant projectors fastened to the inside of the massive dome are slowly starting up. They emit sunlight-emulating light, giving those lucky enough to live above ground a healthy tan. Below, you settle for what light you can get. Seen from above, the city is quite beautiful at this time of day. Chrome-like skyscrapers and streets glistens in the light, technology brimming behind every reflective surface. It is an ideal time for morning strollers to take a walk, breathe the relatively fresh air provided by massive fans at each end of the city, as the morning noise of humming hover vehicles and human chatter rises up. But there is none this morning. There are few people out about in the city in general, most being Cytek officials.
It has been five days since the biggest surge incident in recent history. Eyewitnesses say they saw a presumably renegade surger being hunted by a guardian squad at ground level, followed by a massive crackle from the grid below the road, and a large, completely black mass appearing. The surge itself only lasted a couple of second and testimonies conflict on what exactly it did. According to the government, public surveillance have been of little help either, most knocked out by the electronic damage of the surge or showing little comprehendable detail. The after-effect was clear enough, however. Several smaller, middle class, housing complexes were severed near the base and crashed into the streets. Buildings as old as Athana itself, built to shrug off earthquakes and bombings, simply fell over from one moment to the next. The destruction was staggering, a small sector of the city collapsing on itself. While a final death toll has yet to be given, it is up in thousands as the last rescues are being made. The response from Cytek has in all ways been swift and efficient.
It has been four day since martial law was declared. The day after the incident, the current President of Cytek and thus, the government, Elias Torvald, appeared in a public address, broadcasted on every screen and receiver in the city. A man not much liked for his harsh rhetoric and policies, he spent only a token amount of time grieving the lost lives before drawing attention to the culprits:
“...We cannot tolerate this situation any longer. Surgers with unfathomable power run amok in the streets. They will tear our city apart should we let them. We promise to pool all our resources into saving as many lives as we can after this terrible tragedy and after that, make sure it never happens again. For that purpose, we are declaring a state of martial law. A curfew is instituted in the hours from 10 PM to 6 AM, effective immediately. Anyone not at home in the nightly hours will be arrested for creating public disorder. More information will be available through public channels. Remember, we are doing this to protect you, the rightful citizens of Athana. The coming weeks will be a trying time, but we cannot ignore this problem any longer. All unregistered surgers, consider this your final warning. Turn yourself in at your nearest police station, or be taken in by force.”
On this fourth day of martial law, the tension is thick in the air. As sector B-1:4, the one in which the incident occurred, have become more or less stable, Cytek is expected to move against the surgers soon, likely in the form of city wide raids. While official channels have yet to confirm if the perpetrator was a member of the terrorist group ‘Blue Sky’, they too are expected to make a move, having stood up for surger rights in the past. Public opinion is split on whether the situation warrants martial law and conspiracy theories about both Cytek and Blue Sky abound. It is a fact that the number of surgers and even the strength of their powers have been increasing in recent years. This incident was simply the culmination of the chaos growing within Athana, though the worst may yet be to come...
~Cytek Barracks: Marx, Roland, Christopher~
The “Barracks” was perhaps the most secure place in all the city. Surrounding the massive tower that was the Cytek headquarters, it worked as an extra buffer of security for the most desirable terrorist target of all. It was the home to the Cytek military and a very busy place in the wake of martial law having been declared. Much combat-ready personnel from other divisions had been temporarily been transferred into the military, much like a draft from their own ranks. Already this early in the morning, the place was brimming with activity as people paced back and forth between secured bunkers, labs and administrative buildings, military vehicles constanly moving in and out of the base.
Four in particular individuals had, for their exemplary work for Cytek, been chosen to form a special anti-surge squad, meant to bring in some of the more resistant surgers. Or so the memo they had gotten fore hand claimed. They were to meet with Guardian Commander, J. Stavoris, at 0500 hours inside his office for briefing for their first mission. Stavoris was a well respected veteran of the military, having seen much action in his time, now holding the highest position in the guardian corps. He was recognizable by his stiff, grey moustache, large enough to hide his mouth underneath, and a standard issue blue uniform overdecorated by metallic pins marking his achievements.
His office was surprisingly small, monitors lining one wall and himself sitting behind a wooden desk in the middle, which was somewhat rare in a city where it was cheaper to synthesise plastics than grow a tree. An odd purple potted plant were placed on the desk as well. Stavoris himself just sat quietly by the desk, perusing information from a console integrated in it as he awaited the arrival of the soldiers now under his command.
As the clock rolled around to five, he looked up from the screen and addressed to no one in particular with a gruff voice: “Christopher Jacob, Roland Stenberg, and Marx Peterson? All present?”
~Erroll’s Apartment: Erroll, Tacey~
A horrendous buzzing suddenly filled the apartment. Rather jarringly, given the hour. The sound itself came from the Erroll Vander’s main computer. “Incoming video call from Rose” displayed on the screen. Rose was not someone Erroll knew, and the awful ringing tone was not something he had configured.
~Cytek Headquarters, Central: Samuel~
Central was the name of the main computer system administrating most of Athana. Much of it was decentralized, built into the very structure of the buildings of the City as well as the foundation, as to make it less vulnerable to attack. Nonetheless, the massive complex of mainframes and servers underneath Cytek Headquarters was the heart of it. Being chosen to work there could be considered a promotion and the pay raise was indeed rather hefty. Then again, Samuel had not been given much choice in the matter. The hours were also quite early, him having worked there since four o’clock, but it did give him the privilege of exemption from the curfew.
The main job at hand was, of course, tracking surgers. Central had access to the all information of the power grid of the entire city. While the degree varied, all surges caused disturbance within this grid, allowing a trained eye to track the ones using them. The grid itself was always in flux, so tracking them was more of an art than a science, though the curfew keeping legimate surgers indoors helped. Specifically, Samuel was assigned to assist some specific military team going hunting. For now, things were fairly quiet, with not much to do but shoot the breeze.
~The Underground, newly dug tunnel: Joseph, Gael, Louis~
From the surface of the main city of Athana various elevators and entry points takes one into the Underground. Compromised of hundreds of tunnels, dug out in search of resources for the city and since retrofitted to contain basic housing, it is a easy place to get lost whether accidentally or on purpose. More newly dug out regions of the Underground were specifically made for residency and are thus less maze-like, one such being the “Column”, a many kilometer deep whole with housing built into the sides with large platforms suspended in between, giving giving it numerous “levels”. At the bottom of the Column, expansion were still pending, and currently on halt given the crisis. Plans for a second column was in the works, but currently there was simply a bunch of connecting tunnels, not yet actually connected to anything. The curfew had so far barely been enforced in the lower levels of the Underground, so these were ideal places for meet-ups of a shadier nature.
Gael Malagan had been snooping around for a while about Surgers and rebel groups, but it was Blue Sky that had contacted him first, two days ago. While keeping a fairly thick facade of mystery, they had offered him a mission. A mission, they said would give him a chance of finding the one that had inflicted his condition upon him. A monetary incentive had also been put on the table, 10.000 credits, a rather substantial amount for an unemployed man.
Similarly, Louis Logic had also been contacted by Blue Sky quite recently. Here, the monetary incentive was the primary one, and it was very ample, even for his standards and with ten percent up front. It was an open secret that Blue Sky was rather adept at securing funds and did hire mercenary help from time to time, which would be Louis in this case. Much stroking of the ego had also taken place, ensuring him that his skills were absolutely vital and without compare for the purpose.
Joseph Maxwell had already been a member of Blue Sky for a while. Though he got a sense that they did not entirely trust him yet, his powers had already been shown to be invaluable for the organization. He too, had received little information about what the mission was about, only that it was of crucial importance.
All three were to meet with a Blue Sky member in one such newly dug tunnel at the bottom of the column. In these lower places, it was always quite cold and an unpleasant smell of rotten earth hanging in the air. The small tunnel had only a couple of metal plates integrated into the loft to stabilize it, the walls consisting otherwise of rock and dirt. The Blue Sky member himself was a tall, burly looking sort, with a big beard and hairy arms. He stood there, learning against the wall, waiting for the three to arrive.
~Mat’s Apartment: Mat~
A knock on the front door. Shortly followed by another one, quite insistent this time. More knocks followed by a muffled voice calling Mat’s name from outside. At this early hour. Inside curfew.
~Upper city: Lucy~
As the buildings of Athana rose up high, the city had developed ‘layers’. Huge platforms stretched out and connected many of the sky-scrapers. These buildings had developed specialized purposes, industry, shopping, residential, so instead of going all the way to ground level when going from one’s job to the mall, you could simply walk or fly from one building to the next. There was a regular web-way of bridges and platforms between building in the mid-city and they tended to be as full of people and lively as the street below. But not today.
Lucy was standing on one such platform, a walkway and a road for earth-bound vehicles. It had not been much trouble getting up here, security being surprisingly low, despite the curfew. The place was completely empty aside from her. This was where her sister had died.
Last edited by Vegedus
on Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.