Elixir

In a dystopian society set in the future, the obsession with youth and defeating age has led to the mass production of an Elixir that prevents age from having any effect on anyone who drinks it.
With a world full of people in their late thirties at most, the world soon becomes overpopulated and under resourced. Murders are at an all time high as well, as that is the only way someone can die.
Kane; an ex mercenary who used to work for the company that produced the Elixir, decided he needs to destroy it before the world destroys itself.
Battling against the seemingly unlimited resources the company has, accompanied by his own childhood demons he struggles to suppress; Kane must stop the production of the poison before its too late. But will that be enough?

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1. Trapped

Kane threw the homemade explosive at the sentry; it wasn’t hard for civilians to get hold of weapons, even after control had made it punishable by death for merchants to sell anything that could be used for ‘violent actions’ as they called it. Many of the soldiers, including Kane had spent most of their childhood hunting for food and forging weapons from trees and twine or any other materials they could find in the open woods. The boys would spend hours on end in the woods improving their aim and honing their skills while the girls would learn how to sew and cook and clean with their mothers. For most of the boys, target practice with homemade weapons was the closest thing to entertainment they could get.

 

As he thought back to his childhood, Kane shuddered. You would think after two thousand years it would be much easier for a person to shut out pain, but as Kane found out, it always finds a way to seep back into your subconscious and rise to the surface when you least expect it.

 

However, if it wasn’t for those childhood struggles Kane realized, he probably wouldn’t be able to do the unthinkable act he had set his mind on doing for the past five years.

 

Kane’s memories evaporated instantly and he was brought back to the battlefield as the cold, hard glass shattered over the Inconel 625 metal shield casing protecting the machine. It was expertly and cold-heartedly built with the sole purpose of destruction and murder. Kane knew it’s weaknesses though and the carefully concocted green liquid oozed out enveloping the sentry. The acid slowly burned through the metal dissolving the exterior of the weapon and exposing it’s delicate insides. Seeping into the circuit boards and wires, the toxic green liquid mercilessly destroyed the sentry, reducing it to a seething bubbling mass spread out on the cracked floor. Kane marveled in his success before sprinting towards the stone wall encompassing the only city he had ever known.

 

As a young boy Kane’s naturally adventurous personality made living in Regura feel monotonous and uninspiring, he had longed to travel beyond the wall ever since his first encounter with Michael Waver.

 

Michael was a freelance journalist who at the time was working for the school Kane attended, Regura High ICD. He had spent a large part of his youth traveling around the world with nothing but a backpack containing only the most basic items and his own wits needed to survive. Naturally, through his lessons filled with adventures and stories and danger, many of his students found the world their parents had sheltered them from to be the most magical and wonderful place they just had to visit, though the intrigue was soon knocked out of them.

All of them, except Kane.

 

Kane’s eyes darted around the fort as he clambered up the stone wall and vaulted over the gate, shoving his right boot into a guard’s chest as he landed, knocking him over the side and breaking three of his ribs simultaneously. Kane was here, a few doors were all that stood between the wall and his goal. His head was shaking and he could feel the blood rushing through his tense, constricted body as he prepared himself. The adrenaline caused him to feel empty. He wasn’t sure what it was but Kane somehow felt separated from his body, he was witnessing someone else do the actions rather than actual doing them himself. It was quite a surreal feeling, he thought. Because of this detachment he decided he could do anything. He felt stronger, faster, smarter, better.

 

Kane felt a fist strike his left cheek; or rather he saw his left cheek be struck. It took him a few seconds to realize that a second guard must have sounded the deafening alarm signaling more soldiers to come, for he was suddenly being rushed from both sides of the fort wall. This was the first time he had actually registered the sound of the alarm and now it became far too real. It was a screeching wail torturing him, a constant reminder of how close he would have come to destroying the Elixir. Kane started to accept the fact he was probably going to die; in fact he was quite looking forward to it. There was a certain reassurance in that, for a brief moment he might actually feel human again, or at least mortal. The icy cold fists of the guards continued to strike mercilessly. In a way, Kane couldn’t blame the sheer ferocity that came with their pummeling blows to his face and now also his ribs, chest, arms and legs. In fact anywhere there was a bone or muscle the guards thought they could potentially break, they would beat it till it either snapped or made an equally gruesome sound that would satisfy their violent cravings.

 

Kane felt a forgiving empathy towards them. ‘It’s soul destroying’ he remembered, ‘being forced to leave your family at the tender age of eight, only to be molded into a soldier at ten and unwillingly trained to kill men by your fourteenth birthday. Men you didn’t know and if all went according to plan, would never know. The warm loving greetings in the morning off your mothers would soon be replaced by the shouting and barking of the training officer complaining that you got up too late or didn’t have enough muscle on your body. The soothing and familiar meals "often cool, yet deeply refreshing oxtail soup- would be replaced by a diet made up of chewy and undercooked red meat’. Kane had forced himself to swallow the undercooked lumps of red meat far too many times and on the day he escaped, swore he would never have to eat the rubbery animal again.

 

With a life like the ones the soldiers and guards were given, or rather forced upon, it would be inhumane to judge them for what they were virtually programmed to do. They were machines and this was their design. One of the guards battering Kane smiled, his broken and black teeth representing the dirty and unprotected life they had been forced to live. ‘If only the order had a better dental plan’, Kane almost managed a smirk before having another blood covered fist strike his jaw. Eventually he started to tire. The blows also slowed down as the men had started to feel the effects of fatigue from pummeling the intruder to the brink of death. Kane felt numb. First his arms lowered so he had nothing to protect himself from the half-hearted blows that came his way, then his head lowered and drooped, and finally his legs completely gave in causing him to collapse onto the blood stained cold floor. He closed his eyes and let his mind drift away as he was back in the woods as a child with his friends, making bows and arrows and shooting squirrels and foxes in the sun.

 

He wasn’t sure exactly how long he had been passed out when he woke. He estimated about three or four hours judging by the low son he could just make out although it barely penetrated the room through the iron bars and worn, rotten planks covering the window. It didn’t take Kane long to work out he was in some kind of prison, the fort’s prison. He hoped. It was a miracle he hadn’t choked to death on the pool of blood he found himself lying in. Kane slowly adjusted himself and tried to stand. No sooner was he on his feet than he fell to the floor. He repeated this process of standing and falling several times. The plan hadn’t entirely gone as he had hoped, Kane thought as he gently pressed one of his newly cracked ribs. But that didn’t matter. None of the injuries he sustained today mattered. He was now inside. He was almost there.

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