Hi. My name is Corey Baker. I'm 17 years old and a resident of Sanctuary #30. I'm an ordinary Guardian — oh, wait... you don't know what a Guardian is.
Guardians protect the Sanctuaries — safe havens or cities amidst the wasteland — from the Contaminated, strange mutants. The Contaminated only have one objective, and that is to kill you. Never trust one. They have no intelligence, just the pure and raw instincts of a ravenous wild animal.
The land outside the Sanctuaries is known as the Filth, named after its barren and overall filthy condition. The Filth is crawling with the Contaminated, affected by generations of radiation and strange energies. Sometimes people who somehow slipped out of their Sanctuaries wander around the Filth... only to be eaten by the savage Contaminated soon after.
How did this happen? A nuclear war broke out. Most of the world was desolated and few people survived. Some of these people became Contaminated. After generations and generations, our ancestors built the Sanctuaries for future generations to live in.
Gosh, you really don't wanna read this exposition, do you? Alright. Let's get to the r e a l story.
My story begins on a warm summer afternoon in the subway systems of Sanctuary #30. I was stationed there with my childhood friend, Jordan Klein; both of us were Guardians and had even trained together at the same school. Our parents said we were destined to end up together... and maybe a little part of me wanted that to be true.
Jordan's sky blue gaze was a careworn one, his brow furrowed as if deep in thought. He tucked a strand of flaxen blond hair behind one ear; I knew that was a nervous habit of his, but... there was nothing to be nervous about. He shifted, occasionally fiddling with his stun gun — stun guns were weapons administered to Guardians. Think of bright red blasters that send out short range shocks of electricity; they weren’t lethal, though. As the name implies, they’re only intended to stun you temporarily. They were only lethal if you used them in excess or repeatedly.
“What’s got you so tied up in a knot?” I snapped at Jordan, attempting to hide my concern.
Jordan sighed. “Just... Corey... I don’t feel so good about t... today. I... I feel like something bad is going to happen.”
“You said that when we were patrolling the streets a week ago and nothing happened, Jordan. I’m not entirely sure if either of us can trust your thought process.” I said jokingly, grinning.
Jordan briefly glanced at his Stun Gun before resuming eye contact with me. “I know, but...” he faltered, pausing. “There seems to be trouble in the air, y'know? I mean... there was an attack from the Contaminated just last month...”
I scoffed. “I’m sure that’s irrelevant,” I replied. “Besides, why attack when we've already driven 'em off?”
Jordan looked down at his feet, sighing.
... that’s when we heard the screams.
Our heads snapped upwards to attention, watching the subway stop. The doors slid open ever so slowly, yet hordes of people were able to quickly pour out.
I cocked my Stun Gun, rushing to the subway exits to help escort the civilians as Jordan clumsily dashed towards the subway, nearly tripping several times as he did so.
“Please, remain calm!” I yelled over the clamor of the civilians, attempting to carefully watch both Jordan and the civilians at the same time. The civilians became a blur to my eyes as I focused on Jordan, shaking as he entered the train.
That's when I heard it.
I pushed through the crowd, panting heavily as I entered the train and witnessed the scene going on. Jordan was pinned to the floor by what seemed to be one of the Contaminated; I could tell by the deeply tanned complexion, the slit golden eyes, and his — or it looked like a him, at least — thin and bony structure. He was wearing a black tee and a pair of denim jeans, along with what seemed to be a pair of beat-up converses. He had wavy, unkempt chin-length black hair.
“Freeze.” I said, restraining myself from letting my facade of confidence waver. Slightly quivering, I pointed my Stun Gun at the Contaminated.
Both the Contaminated and Jordan stared at me, before the Contaminated spoke — something I wasn’t expecting.
I never got to hear the end of his sentence; one strong arm gripped my left shoulder while the other held a rag up to my nose as the world faded to black.
I slowly backed away from the human I’d previously pinned down, turning to stare at my older sister Evah — she’d managed to chloroform the girl by holding a rag up to her nose, knocking her out almost instantly.
I studied the girl for a moment. She had a head of straight, light brown hair, cut neatly and ending at her shoulders. Her eyes were a blue-green in color, like the ocean. Her weapon — which she had dropped to the ground when she was knocked out — was the same color as the metal suit she and the boy were wearing.
Evah growled. “You’re lucky I was able to save your [bleep], Xhablot.”
I trembled, looking down. “I... I can... f... f... fight for myself...” I stammered, trailing off as I did so.
“When pigs fly,” Evah muttered, taking the Stun Gun and aiming it at the boy. She put her hand on the trigger and shot, causing the boy to be stunned.
Evah and I were identical in almost every sense but personality; Evah was confident. I was not. Evah is obviously better than me. I am... not better than anyone. See where I’m going with this?
Evah slung the girl over her shoulder, spitting on the ground. “C’mon,” she said, beginning to walk off. “I bet the rest of the group is waiting for us at the exit.”
“O... okay.” I replied meekly, scrambling after her.
The exit was a small tunnel we'd manage to find in the walls surrounding the city — or, well, one we dug underneath. Us mutants are pretty good diggers. Our fingernails are built like claws in a way, which allows us to dig efficiently; the downside is we have to keep our nails sharp, long-ish, and they have this slight yellow coloration like teeth that haven’t been brushed in a week.
Khen — a member of our group — leaned against the walls of the tunnel, smirking. “Who’s the girl, Xhablot?”
I simply shrugged in response; after all, I didn’t even know her name.
Khen chuckled, smoothing back his dark brown hair and sliding his black shades over his eyes. “Let’s just haul her through the tunnel already. Then we can get out of this [bleep]hole.”
I was puzzled for a moment. “Why a... are we... taking her?” I asked, cocking my head to the side.
“Because, you idiot, she’s valuable. We could use her for ransom.” Evah replied, grinning.
I looked down at my feet, but said nothing as Khen, Evah, I, and the rest of the group treaded down the tunnel.
Back to home.
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