Hope and Fire (competition version)

The year is 2018, four years ago, people started vanishing, mostly between the ages of 30 and 50. In the year 2015, the world descended into chaos. By 2017, the few people who were left were gaining powers. Houses were used as fortresses if they were strong enough, and monsters made their lairs in the places they managed to take over. People had to fight or make deals with mercs and self-proclaimed "Citylords" to survive. In all this chaos and danger, that's where one teenager manages to stay alive, with help from his brother, relying solely on their powers and teamwork. The old names have no significance any more - everybody calls this one the Pyro, he is one of the few who isn't enslaved to a Citylord, and hopes to make a difference. (cover by Secrets Unfold)


1. Prologue

2015: All around the world, people start disappearing - all between the ages of 30 and 50. None ever leave a trace of where they went or what happened. 

2016: There are very few people left between 30 and 50 years of age, with only those who live in houses protected in some unknown form being the only ones left. Those older than 50 are forced to act as educators for the young people of Earth. Some riots are reported around the world, with people saying that governments are not protecting their people properly. 

2017: Disappearances stop. People start exhibiting abilities beyond normal human capabilities, such as superhuman strength, flight, telepathy, etc, and people start to change their names and those of others to match their powers or personalities. Very few have any use for their old names. Governments are overthrown all over the world, and groups led by self-proclaimed Citylords take over cities and inhabited regions of the world. Monsters start roaming the streets, finding abandoned buildings and using them as lairs. Streets become less populated, as people rarely come out unless they need to. By the end of the year, criminal groups and corrupt Citylords are hiring mercenaries to hurt or kill those who don't pay for protection. Currency becomes useless, being replaced by a trade system. Citylords start trading between each other, forming alliances, and creating central markets in their cities, while black markets start to appear in some of the outer parts of many cities. 

Early 2018: Society starts to stabilise, as people become accustomed to the new system. However, attacks continue to happen on people, and staying outside for too long is still dangerous. While people are now more friendly, most are still cautious, and try to stay away from those they do not know. Many still use their powers for combat and mercenary jobs. They are usually found in the black markets. It is discovered that blood relatives can share their powers in close proximity. 

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