Hell Beneath Clear Skies

A fallen world. Corrupt men staying in power. Never-ending wars. Circulating wealth and power amongst the uneven masses. Society has never been so blind. For some, paradise has been found. For most, Hell has been unleashed.
For two of the world's finest, Paradise is meeting again after annihilating Hell to rubble.

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2. Hot Dog Stand

     The television screen displayed another failure on Russia's attempt to capture Israel's newly designed nuclear reactor. Few stood on the sidewalk to view the news, whilst the rest of the world walked by. Carts were scattered around the city, their mounted televisions displaying the same recordings: Russian forces were pushed back successfully, Israel's artillery annihilating any resistance. Such political news was accompanied by the pleasant aroma of steaming hot dogs.

   "Do you think we will ever get that nuclear reactor?", a young soot-covered boy asked his father in an imperfect Russian. "I am not sure anymore," the grizzled man spoke as he rubbed his shaved chin. "We've been advancing south since 2030. We ain't heading anywhere." He dug his bandaged hands into his worn-out pockets, his fingers hounding for any rubles. 164 rubles, enough for his son. "You speak of your motherland as a traitor." The crowd of 5 turned to the source of the empty voice.

     The burly man's boots pounded against the cobbled ground, the jingling of his handgun frightening the weak. The blood-red beret, as well as the golden grizzly head medallion on his collar, only meant one thing: he was a member of the Dragu-Bears, an elite member of soldiers trained for war's extermination. Feared for their skills in firearms and CQC, they were respected on the streets. Only those who dwelt in shadows had the stupidity to defy them.

     "You believe we cannot take Israel?" The soldier pushed the lanky father aside, placing 164 rubles on the cart's counter. "You lack faith in our abilities. America overtook south and north easily. We can do the same!" His gloved finger pointed towards the televised bombing of an Israeli business corporation. "We've got power, like the U.S. We will earn this hemisphere, and we will be bigger than America!"

     The soldier turned and walked from the cart, rounding a corner. "Why is he mad at the United States, if they are our allies?" A woman softly spoke this question, petting the gray cat she cradled. "Maybe it's a personal thing," the cart owner said while pouring melted cheese over fresh nachos.

     On the television screen, the battle-torn landscape was cut to a commercial of the newest Holo-Fone, the "holographic communication man waited for since its awakening".

   Its tune, a mix of rap and rock, was heard through the streets, and more citizens gathered around the cart like wildfire.

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