Dark Angel

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Chapter 1

I returned to my district after a long day’s work. I found the boy outside playing with the neighborhood kids, in some street game where they set themselves up as couples. The kid didn’t have a partner, but that didn’t matter to the others; even if there were an odd number of people since the boy arrived, usually the odd one out didn’t partake in their type of play. One of the young teenagers was paired with his girlfriend, as he always was when they played this particular game. I strolled past them, over to my house, so I could unwind from the day’s events.

One of my negotiations went awry. Since my skin was impervious to bullets, I didn’t have any visible wounds, but I was sore from where they hit me. I ended up having to end the lives of the ones who attempted to kill myself and the woman I was with, but that didn’t matter much seeming as the other party wasn’t there to talk. The woman I escorted survived the assault, and went back to the government with the dreadful news. It seemed like there wasn’t going to be any chance at peace with the way things were going.

As I entered the house, both of my parents busied themselves with spring cleaning, though it wasn’t spring at all. The umbrella was on the porch, anchored to the chimney that was now inoperable. Most of the vents were sealed shut, especially the ones that led to the outside so the fumes couldn’t penetrate the walls. We kept a filter on the chimney just in case, and a monitor in the hall to alert us to any change in the air levels, both inside and outside the house.

After cleansing myself of the toxins in my clothing, I changed for the day into comfortable clothes; a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I slipped my feet into my running shoes and planned to go for a walk. But I ended up helping out with the cleaning effort. Towards the end of the night, a special report about a storm highlighted the news screen in the eating room. Wind speeds were up to sixty miles per hour. I pushed the button on the wall, to lower the solar panels into the docking bay. Night wasn’t too far off, and if the storm hit early, the panels could be ripped from the house. I didn’t want to spend another month’s salary on installing more of them. My paychecks kept us living well, but solar panels were hard to come by in the new age. Most of the workers died during the war, leaving our Empire with a shortage. Several unnecessary industries shut down, until the companies could find enough workers to reopen them.

The storm hit earlier than usual. I hung around the house, making sure that my entire family was indoors at this time. My mother’s grandparents were uptown on Third Street and completely sheltered from the event, so I went through the portal to check up on my great-grandparents. They were having tea and coffee in the living room. Once I knew they were settled I headed back into the portal. Upon arriving, I discovered my mother and father were out on the porch, screaming against the wind. Something had gone wrong. I leapt out of the door and into the gusts. I caught them turning the umbrella against the brick wall and pointing out towards our neighbors across the dead field.

Several of the kids and teenagers from the street game before surrounded a man in the doorway of the mansion past the cemented path. It was their caretaker, Roberto Roderick. I ran against the wind and yelled for my parents to seek shelter. No doubt the windstorm would cause the toxins in the air to rise to peak levels. They obeyed as I ran up to the house.

The going was slow and rough as I fought to reach my destination. Upon arrival, the man lay face down on the floor. The kids stated he clutched his heart before he fell over. I rolled him onto his back and started CPR. I didn’t get very far in my efforts before someone touched my shoulder and pulled me back from his corpse. The perfected blond kid was here and he was the one who stopped me. He pulled me up with such amazing strength that I couldn’t react at first; I was caught by surprise. The other teenagers that were around us bowed their heads to him in reverence.

The floor opened up beneath us, and we disappeared into the basement.

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