Part I Chapter I: The World
Have you ever felt the feeling of drowning? I have. It’s a feeling that crushes your body, yet relaxes your spirit. Your emotions. You begin to contemplate your existence, just like I am right now. ‘How’d I get here?’ is my first thought. This is my only memory: darkness. It’s all I know right now. But now I see a ray of light, pulling me towards it like some sort of holy tractor beam. It’s calling me with an angelic voice: ‘Wake up’, it’s saying, but without speaking. Is this it? Am I going to die here? It can’t be the end already. I try to rise up. And I do.
Rising up out of the water, I take in a huge gasp of breath and try and study my surroundings. There was a light blinding, but one that belongs in an operating theater. Is that where I am? I feel dazed and confused. I look to my right: nothing but empty filing cabinets, beaten and bruised. I look to my left: flashing screens that seem to be showing vital signs, most likely mine. They have a dusty plaque underneath them. I can just barely make out what it says. Flint. That must be my name. It has a nice ring to it. One of the screens reads ‘Condition: Stable’. That’s a relief. Suddenly, I hear a quiet echo from the dark room ahead of me. It sounds like my name. “Flint?” I hear it again. A figure emerges from the darkness. He is wearing darkened steampunk-esque goggles on his dark, bearded face. His hair is spiky and black, but not naturally. It seems like soot? Glancing downwards, I see he is wearing a green t-shirt, which is underneath a dirty white lab coat that reaches down to his ankles. He raises his arm and glances at what looks like a screen. “Hey Holly, come and look at this!”
“Yes, Ricky?” His name must be Ricky, then. Another person makes themselves known, most likely called Holly. She has long, blue hair, which is dyed of course. Across her nose is a plaster, and on the left side of her jaw is multiple stitches. She seems like a fun person. She wears a business suit that has been scratched away in places, like she had been in a fight. “Holy Christ!” she exclaims, “it’s him! It’s really him!”
“The data is going crazy! No wonder he’s a legend!”
“I’m sorry, who are you two? And what legend are you talking about?”
“So he’s British? I guess some documents we found were wrong...”
“Sorry about that, Flint. I’m Ricky, a scientist in the F.B.I. And this is my sister, Holly.”
“It’s an honor to meet a living legend.” she says.
“I’m flattered? Hey, do you guys know anything about this place? And why I’m here?”
“That’s exactly what we came here to find out.” answered Ricky.
“But we weren’t expecting to stumble across you here!” Holly said excitedly, “Now you can help us in the fight, and we can help you get your memories back!”
“Hold on, you can do that? How?”
“Well,” Ricky began, “on our travels, we found evidence suggesting that your memories were scattered around in the form of crystals. We found out that when you touch one, they’ll come flooding back, but you’ll pass out for a little while.”
“In fact, we actually managed to find the first one about a year ago! Look!” From a satchel, she produces and small shard of a crystal. It glows a faint blue. “Go on, touch it!” I’m reluctant to, but I’m desperate to learn anything about myself. I climbed out of the water, and slowly lowered myself onto the cold metal floor. I step towards them, reach out, and touch the shard.
Then I collapse and pass out.
As I slowly lift open my eyelids, all I can see is darkness. Again. I look down to see that I am calmly floating through this empty space. Nothing for what seems like miles. All of a sudden, a bright light appears behind me. I make an attempt to turn, and I greeted with large letters in the deep space, floating with me. They read as such: ’YOU HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE 2020.”
Regaining consciousness, I spring up and grab Ricky by the shoulders; “What year is it?”
“Hey, hey, hey! Calm down!” he replies, confused, “Why do you need to know?”
“The memory. It showed me that I’ve been in this place since the year 2020. What year is it now?”
“Oh, Flint,” answered Holly, with a sympathetic tone, “it’s 2050.”
I couldn’t make sense of it. Letting go of Ricky’s shoulders, I stumbled backwards, dazed. It isn’t possible! Is it? I’ve been stuck in that chamber for 30 years. Have I aged? I should be at least 50 or 60 years old. I walk over to one of the broken screens and take a look at my reflection in the glass. I see my face: about 20 or so years old. I have spiky, silver-grey hair, with some of it covering my right eye. My left eye has a scar, from some sort of blade, and the iris is deep blue in color. What shocked me the most was that a navy mask was covering the bottom half of my face. I was tempted to remove it, but I decided against it. Removing it now would likely affect my memory in an extreme way.
“Are you okay, Flint?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m alright” I wearily sighed, “I just want to find my next memory. Fast.”
“We know how to get it, but we need to tell you about a little problem...” All of a sudden, there was a booming crash from the other side of the lab. Someone was trying to knock down the entrance.
“Who’s doing that?”
“That is what I was going to warn you about...” Ricky paused, “An organisation trying to stop us from finding you: Black Star. They want to use you to take over the world.”
“And destroy everything that we hold dear.” Holly chimed in.
“And I’m meant to fight them? Right now?”
“Not shirtless! We found your own clothes that we thought would suit you.”
“Give me them.” I asked, “I’m gonna stir up some shit.”
Another blow to the door shook the entire laboratory. Black Star agents were ready to go when the order was given, but they didn’t expect me to open the door. The looks on their faces were priceless. At least, they would be if not for their full face masks. Pointing their guns at me, their leader screamed: “Ready!” An electric rush flowed through my body, like a surge of power. “And fire!” Bullets sprayed at me with vicious intent. But they all seemed to slow down the closer they got to. I blinked. Once. Twice. They continued to crawl through the air. How? I don’t know, but I need to take this as an opportunity to strike. As I move forward, time seems to move around me. My momentum is normal compared to everything else. I push the bullets from out of my way and sprint towards my assailants. I make contact with the first soldier; the force from my punch blows his head clean off his shoulders. My other opponents whip around to face me again, and I turn too, roundhouse kicking them across their faces. They all fall to the ground, covered in blood. Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain in my back. Bullets. I join them on the ground, being riddled with bullets.
“Kill his friends, too!” I hear as I open my eyes. How have I survived? Those questions are for Ricky and Holly, after I save them. Crawling over to the soldiers, I grab one mercenary’s leg and pull him down, using his weight to throw myself up. My thighs wrap around the second’s neck; I slam him into the ground, breaking his skull and ribs. I palm thrust the final enemy: dead in one strike.
“Fucking Christ, Flint,” Ricky whispered, in shock, “You did this?”
“Maybe? It isn’t that big of a deal...”
“Yes it is!” cried Holly, “It is! You’re crazy powerful!”
“But how? How could I slow down time? How could I heal from those bullets? How could I fight so well?”
“Well, your fighting comes from your experiences in the past,” Ricky answered, “but even with our research, we don’t have a clue what that past is.”
“But we have an idea on where your powers are from. You see, through analysis of your blood records, there are traces of some sort of special serum.” She pulls out a wad of paper from her satchel, “It says here that it has regenerative properties, and you aren’t slowing down time, you’re speeding yourself up.”
“To build on what she is saying, the serum seems to speed up your blood flow, your adrenaline flow, your cell regeneration and your immune system.”
“Well, I WAS going to say that...”
“But you didn’t.”
“OK, stop arguing, you two,” I interrupted, “remember the more important task at hand? I have amnesia!”
“Yeah, yeah. Follow us.” They lead me through a forest and into a clearing, where a small, blue Volkswagen Beetle sits patiently. “Flint, meet Emilia! Our pride and joy!”
“Shit the bed...”
“What’s so bad about Emilia, huh?”
“It’s just, how are we going to get to my next memory in this?”
" It ain’t just any car. Hope in and you’ll see.” I decided to trust Ricky and Holly. After all, they rescued me from that damp, dim laboratory. What could possibly go wrong?
“So, is this car super fast? Like me?”
“Close. Just watch this!” She put the vehicle into gear and pushed a couple of buttons. Ka-Shunk! Ka-Shunk! Ka-Shunk! Ka-Shunk!
“W-What are t-those noises?” All of a sudden, the car lifts into the air.
“Flint, what you’re sitting in right now is THE original flying car. Developed by yours truly.” answered Ricky, with smug grin across his face.
“So where is my second memory?”
“The White Tower, London”
“The White what now?”
“You do know what the White Tower is, right?”
“Of course I do! But my memories are crystals, correct? Does that mean...”
“You’ll have to steal one of the Crown Jewels.”
“We’re approaching London, Flint.” Ricky said as I woke up from a short nap, “now be warned: it is a little different than in 2020...”
“I’m sure it isn’t that...” I took in the scenery of the city, “...different.”
I can’t believe what I’m seeing! Everything is coated in ferocious flames and dense smog that’s as black as oil it’s burned from. Screaming from rioting citizens, Big Ben in rubble and ruins. Buckingham Palace with the symbol of a star on it; Black Stars’ insignia. “How awful. The entire city has been taken over by those terrorists.”
“Has been since 2035. We hope that, if you can take down Black Star, all the cities that have been overrun will be freed from their iron clutches.”
“You remember the plan, right Flint?”
“Sure. So, I drop onto the roof of the Tower, then cut a hole in the Western corner...”
“With the laser cutter I’ve given you” added Ricky.
“...and go down into the hallway. Once I’m inside, I attack a guard, steal his clothes and keycard and infiltrate the vault.”
“And once you’re inside,” Holly interrupted, “you use my EMP watch to fry the cameras and alarms...”
“...then I break the glass, and with gloves on, I grab my memory and jump back into Emilia.”
“Perfect! Now all you need is this.” From the glovebox of Emilia, Ricky pulled out what looked liked a metal sweatband. “It’s a grappling hook. You just think and it fires.” I put it on my wrist. Perfect size. “It can also double as a sword-type weapon if you press this button here.”
“And garroting wire as well.”
“Neat. Well, I guess I’ll see you with a memory.” I say as I open the door and fling myself down to the White Tower. The wind fights against my face and body as I fall. Trying to balance myself, I aim towards the roof to cut in. But I completely miss. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! OK Flint, think. Think! I raise my arm to the top of the Tower wall. I think. The grappling hook shoots out from my wrist. It attaches to the wall, pulling me up. I land on the roof and rush to start cutting through.
After about 90 seconds, I drop down through the roof hole. “Hey!” A guard cocks a shotgun and points it straight at my head. Before he can fire, I bend the barrel and smash his jaw in with the butt of the weapon. He falls to the floor, but I catch him and gently lower him so as to not cause a racket. Sticking with the plan, I steal his clothes and squeeze them over my own. I fumble around, but struggle to find a key card. I glance over to my left and see it on the floor.
Looking up ahead, I see a thick steel that likely leads to where my memory is being held. I press the key card up against the scanner, and with a whir, the door swiftly slides open to reveal a sparkling emerald reflecting in the dim light. It pulls me towards it, but I remember to activate the EMP. I turn it on, and emitting a low hum, every light and alarm shuts off. I need to act fast. So I do the only thing I can do: punch through the glass. I grab the emerald and shoot back into the hallway. But I had to screech to a halt. A group of armed guards had surrounded me from both sides, wielding halberds and spears alike. I charge at one group. Two of them thrust their spears at me, but I catch them, break of the points and sever their heads from their necks. A third stumbles back in fear, in time for me to steal his weapon and pierce his stomach. Blood everywhere. I hear a click. And a gunshot. I whirl my head around in time for time to slow down again. So I’m not freezing the bullets, I’m just faster than them. That’s insane! I move to push the bullet out of the way, but I can’t see a gun. Was it the spear? It is 2050, so it would make sense. I grab his spear-gun, stab it through him and fire into his chest. The other four down at the East side of the hall aim their spear-guns and are about to fire, but I sprint down and slice them across their faces with a spear. “Flint!” Is that Ricky shouting? “Are you good down there?”
“Yeah, I’m alright. I got the memory.”
“Great! But you might to hurry though, there seems to be activity headed towards the roof.” I jumped up out of the hole I cut earlier, just in time to see multiple guards storm out and fire at me. “Jump, Flint! Jump!” So I did. I slammed the door as Ricky slammed his foot on the accelerator.
“So now what do I do?”
“Well, now you touch it, learn more about your past, and we’ll take you to your next memory.” I gulped out of nervousness. I’m finally going to know more about myself! I take off my gloves and hold the emerald in my hands. It begins to emit a bright white light, of which I am sucked in to.
Opening my eyes, I feel the side of my face get really wet. I gasp and swiftly sit up to discover that I was lying in a puddle. In a musty alleyway. I stand up straight, but feel a lot shorter than before. Near a wall, a shattered mirror leans up against the black brick. I take a look and jump back in shock.
I’m a child?