Sin City

May 5, 2013
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The year is 2029. Earth has been invaded by a vengeful alien race who call themselves the ‘Defiers’, refugees escaping their corrupted home planet to begin a new life without fear of persecution and to live peacefully with each other. However, humanity is seen as an abomination of war-mongering and vicious parasites, which destroy the world and themselves in their path to the so-called ideals of freedom and justice. Sickened by the bloodlust and annihilation the humans have for one another, the Defiers created a virus that would wipe out mankind and purge the earth of humanities’ blood and evil, leaving it for the taking.
But as natures’ quest for survival always seeks to overcome, there were humans who were immune to the sickness. Nicknamed the Scourge, due to its burning from the inside out of the host victim, the remnants of man went into hiding, vanishing from the earth until the virus passed and the Defiers stopped hunting and killing the survivors of the plague. However, the Defiers did not leave, and claimed Earth as their own, setting up permanent governments and systems across the globe.
For the first time in nearly forty years, mankind began to unite under a common enemy, and they rose up in defiance to take back their world from the Defiers. But their opponent was too strong.
In ten short months, the war was won, and the human population was decimated almost completely. The handful of survivors crept back into hiding, with nothing left to do but pray for either salvation or death-or both.
The Defiers continued to rule without opposition, and Earth fell into a state of decay. Humanity had all but disappeared, but their hate for the defilers who took their home continued to burn strong, and they waited in the ruins and the shadows for the day when the fire and the blood singing in their veins rose up and vanquished the monsters who had slain them, finishing the fight for mankind once and for all…

Chapter One
March 2048-19 years later

The gunshot pierced the air, a high whistle that seemed to deaden and muffle when it embedded in the human’s skull, becoming a disgusting symphony of shattered bone and exploding brain. For a long time afterward, the ring echoed around the empty site I stood in, the only remaining noise in the dry wind and smog-filled sky. The pistol I was holding in my hand smoked slightly, and I slowly lowered it, cautious in case the body decided to get back up and come at me. But it stayed dead, and after a few moments, I walked over to it, my pistol reloaded and held tightly in my palm in case others of its kind were lurking nearby.
I stood over the messy, emaciated figure; revulsion curled in my stomach as I looked down at once was a human, like me, but no longer. It had been a woman, a long time ago, as I took in her build and the tattered remains of a flowered dress, but she was ravaged beyond repair, sores and open blisters cracking and bloodying her already scarred skin from head to foot, and only a few scraggly, clumped pieces of hair stuck to her brainless head. The eyes that stared blankly up at the sky were wasted and a cloudy, white deadness that had been there even before I had killed her covered everything in a filmy web, except for the black veins that twisted and spread to the milky iris, carrying the poison in her body to her eyes, causing her to lose her vision.
Sorrow attempted to clutch at me, making me wonder what she had been like in her life before the hellhole we now lived in, if she had had a family, loved ones… Stop, I told myself firmly. It was no good to think about those things. She had been taken by the Scourge, and that was it. End of story. I couldn’t have helped her, and no one on this damned planet could have, either. That was just the way this world worked: No one could save you except for yourself, and sometimes, even that wasn’t enough.
“Elizabeth!” A voice shouted behind me, and I turned, instinctively raising my pistol higher even though I knew who the voice belonged to. A group of people ran towards me, five regular humans ranging from mid-thirties to barely teenagers, and I waited for them to come to me, lowering my weapon again.
“Elizabeth,” one of the humans, Blake, said, a big, barrel-chested black man with a shaved head and stone cold eyes, which took in the scene quickly, efficiently. “We heard the shot and came to see if you were okay. But,” he added, eyeing the dead body with brain matter and skull fragments splattered around it, “it seems like you’re doing just fine.”
“I caught her creeping up on me when I came in,” I reported, ignoring Blake’s compliment with a slight eye narrow. “I haven’t checked the perimeter yet, so I don’t know if there’s any more. We’d better check, just in case.”
Blake nodded thoughtfully. “The grounds have been clear all day, but it wouldn’t hurt to make another perimeter sweep. Jackson, you’ll be in charge of that.” Jackson, a scrawny, straw-haired guy a little bit older than me immediately straightened and nodded importantly, raising the shotgun in his hands. “And take Penelope with you; she hasn’t been on her first guard duty yet, and she could use the experience.” A skinny girl of about twelve with long black pigtails that had been standing silently at Blake’s shoulder instantly brightened and skipped after Jackson as they left, holding a small dagger in her hand.
I felt a pang of worry as I saw her bounce away, but I shook it off. Besides, it hadn’t been that long ago since I was her age and was going on my first guard patrol, anyways. Instead, I focused back on Blake, who didn’t seem all that tense about letting an armed twelve year old do a perimeter sweep where she could be attacked and killed at any moment. But that was just the way we were raised, all of us, and that was learning how to take care of your own self from outside threats.
“We just came back from a hunting patrol a few minutes ago,” Blake continued, his deep voice rumbling. I noticed the backpack on his shoulder and the same packs in the others’ arms as he added, “It’s not much, I’m afraid, but it’ll last us a good couple of days before we’re allowed to venture back out again. Now, c’mon, let’s get back to the others.”
He turned and walked away, the other two members of his party falling behind him, but I hesitated, looking back down on the dead woman. Maybe she hadn’t been sick that long, for she still looked like she had a shred of humanity left in her, but you could never tell with these scourers. The Scourge disease consumed everything in a human, driving them mad with pain until they became nothing more than a wild animal, savage and unthinking, the sickness burning them from the inside out until one day they just turned into piles of ash. It was a horrifying way to go, and I promised myself that I would never become infected and live through that agony.
I gave one last look at the dead scourer woman and shuddered, then hurried after the others.


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