Fabula Imperium (Story of Power)
Author's note: This is an idea that I've been kicking around for a while. I hope you get a few laughs out of it, at least.
ConscientiaConscientia (Chapter 3)
Thankfully, Arcus’ arm stopped spitting out voltage just as they got in the car. He had a feeling he would blow the engine if he sat in it while electrified. He was with Leo and Shadix in one car while Mila and Annie rode in another. Now that his adrenaline had worn off, he felt absolutely exhausted. No, not tired… more like drained. He rested his head against the window, and slept almost immediately. He began to dream…
He dreamt that he was with his parents again… before the tragedy. His father looked happy to be with them. Then his dream changed. He was running in slow motion. His father was in his police uniform, cuffing a gang member on the hood of his cop car. It was strange seeing it, as he wasn’t even there when it happened. He saw the gang member on the car smile evilly as another crept up behind his father with a knife. Arcus couldn’t cry out, and he couldn’t run any faster to warn him. The other gang member thrust downward-
Arcus woke up, and almost punched the officer in the passenger seat with those fifty thousand volts. He stopped at the last second, breathing hard. Leo and Shadix were napping as well. He quickly willed his arm to stop doing the electric thing, and it worked. Apparently he didn’t have enough power yet to blow the engine. He laid back in his seat, thinking. What must his mom be thinking? He should probably find a phone or something and contact her, tell her that he was okay.
The car stopped in front of what looked like a laboratory. He remembered what Mariam said about Callidus, and he figured that’s exactly what it was. She rushed Arcus, Mila, Shadix, and Leo inside. It was your stereotypical laboratory, with beakers full of chemicals. It reminded him of his science class, really. He saw a man with a white lab coat on holding a jagged piece of some red material. When he saw it, he began to feel dizzy again. He supported himself on the lab table. The others seemed to be in a similar situation.
The scientist stood up straight, and looked at the strange group of high schoolers. “Ah, so these are the test subje- ahem, people you were telling me about, Mariam?”
“Yes indeed,” Mariam affirmed. He put the shard down, came over to them, and started looking them up and down. He seemed like your stereotypical mad scientist, except without the spiky white hair. He seemed sane enough, though.
“How’s it going?” he asked.
Mila, Shadix, and Arcus all elbowed each other. “So, you may be wondering what happened to you. Well, I can tell you. It’s a long explanation, though. You may want to sit down,” Callidus suggested.
He took them over to what looked like a lounge area where there were several couches. Arcus thought they looked strange in a place like this, however he wasn’t complaining. They all sat down. “Why don’t you tell me your story,” Callidus inquired.
Arcus began at… well, the beginning. Mila and Annie jumped in to add some details if he forgot anything. Callidus didn’t seem surprised at what had happened. “Okay, let me explain what the cube is first. The official name is the Mobius Cube. How you found it is irrelevant, however I have an interesting idea how. Basically, all of you have a specific gene in your DNA. It’s called the Imperium gene,” explained Callius. “Imperium is the Latin word for power.”
“I remember Aston Exitium calling us… imperials?” asked Shadix.
Callidus nodded. “That’s the term for the people who have the gene, yes.
When you pushed in on the handles, Arcus, it activated the function of the cube. It’s an extremely advanced device. Why or how it teleported you here, I have no idea. Anyway, what it does is drain the neuro-electric energy from normal humans in a wide radius, depositing it into all Imperials in the vicinity, giving them superhuman abilities. The activation, however, creates an extremely large concussive force that no regular human could survive,” he explained.
They stared blankly at him.
“Oh, all right then,” he said, annoyed. “Think of it like this: it drains the life force of normal humans and gives it to you, so you get superpowers, and a side effect is that it blows up. Got it?” They nodded. Callius became serious. “Like I said, it’s extremely advanced. It was created by the owners of multi-billion dollar corporations, of which Aston is one… probably CORRUPT multi-billion dollar corporation owners. I am reasonably sure that this was not the only Mobius Cube out there. They wouldn’t be stupid enough to only make one; after all it explodes when you use it. It would be logical to assume that Aston has been exposed multiple times, increasing his powers exponentially. Anyway, even I don’t fully understand how it works, but rest assured that it works.”
Arcus got a sick feeling in his stomach. “So… the people lying in the crater were…”
“Dead, in fact,” Callius finished.
“That’s terrible!” cried Mila.
“I’m inclined to agree with you, however there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Callius said firmly. “What you CAN do is figure out a way to increase your powers, and defeat Exitium. If he’s still around, and some of your friends are with him, the city is in danger,” Callius warned. “One other thing…” he continued. “When the Mobius Cube detonated, it split into tens, possibly a couple hundred shards,” he said.
“Like the one you have over there?” inquired Leo.
“Yes, very much like this one,” Callius said, standing up and walking over to it. He picked it up and brought it back to the table. “Arcus, why don’t you hold it?” he said.
As Arcus touched it, he felt that strange guiding force coming back to him. He held it in both hands out in front of him in a vertical fashion, and dumped at least a couple amps into the thing. It disintegrated in his hands. No, literally, it disintegrated INTO his hands.
“Aha! I thought that would happen,” Callius declared triumphantly. He became serious. He looked Arcus in the eye. “The more shards you collect, the more energy storage you will have. The more you use your powers, the more powerful they will become. Think of it like this: You have a battery. More shards increase the capacity of the battery. Draining and charging the battery will let the current flow easier, and faster. Get the picture?”
Arcus nodded. “So…” Arcus said. “Our to-do list: 1. Find out what our powers are. 2. Collect Mobius shards to improve our charge capacity. 3. Practice using our powers as often as we can. 4. Find and defeat Aston Exitium, probably the most powerful Imperial in existence. Yeah. Yeah, we can do that .”