Up the Ladder (Currently on Hiatus)

The year is 2310, the world long ago has been devastated by nuclear war. It took over a century for humanity to recover from the ruble and built cities known as the Havens. Clean water, rich soil, and clear skies. Only few could afford to live in that kind of valuable luxuries. The rest live in districts outside and underneath these Havens. This is the story of Rinsky, a mercenary who for his entire life has been working for anyone who will pay him money. His one and only desire is to live in the havens; not caring for anyone who stands in the way. Though he learns that his reward will be short lived; as he has made many enemies along his path to paradise.

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1. Remember

             I laid there staring at the sky. That clear blue sky. The sun stood in front of me as it's warm rays touched my rough battle-worn skin. I lay there on the grass near my ruined house; shot up, torn apart, dying, and fading away. The sun kept my body from becoming cold from death's grip. As strong as I was to get here, his boney hand is stronger than any force in the universe.

             "How did it come to this?" I thought "Why do I have to suffer for my reward? Is it envy? Is it for revenge for something I did to get here?" I didn't need this crap. I was done! Hell was my old home and moved to heaven! I just wanted a moments peace and what do I get?! More of the violence I should have been used to after living for years in the slums. Killing the most battle hardened son of a bitches, working for the sleaziest of slime balls. How could I have gotten so lazy over the past two years? "How could I be so careless. This was never going to over!"

 

             Today was just an average day. I woke up in my room and went out to get some breakfast. The home I was living in at the time was in the 3rd District under the Valhalla Haven. Rent in my apartment was decent and wasn't to bad, but it was no Haven. Living underground was pretty crowded as you can imagine, but there was always a job in my profession outside of the havens. And my job paid very well.

             I stopped over by Tony's above ground for some grub. I ain't taking food grub either it really is grubs. "Tony, the usual." He wore a unnervingly grin as he saw me showing the four teeth he had left in his mouth. "Rinsky, old boy! How are you doing today?" "Fine" "You want any bugs in your stew today?" "Wouldn't be Tony's without it." He got a good laugh out of that. Got me to laugh too. The guy loves to make people laugh. Even a stone faced man like me can't help but smile at his presence. Tony is full of life despite living in the toilet of a restaurant he owns. Surprisingly only he could take the such disgusting ingredients he uses and makes them taste good. In the 3rd District of any havens though, it was very common for restaurants to have many health violations that would be of concern in the 1st Districts.

            The Havens were the head of everything in this broken world. They somehow managed to clear the smog in their surrounding areas and purified the water long ago before I was alive. To us the Havens were are best accomplishments against the mistakes of our ignorant ancestors. Sounds great right? We fixed our problems and started a new better world? Well that would be if they only kept the smog out of the Havens, kept most of their clean food and water to themselves, only gave it to people who had the money to buy it, and have a ridiculously high cost to stay in the Havens.

             My heightened senses kicked in. I switched my special implants to ultraviolet and turned around. All it could see was something small in front of me. "It better not be." I turned it off to see the little kid who has been bugging me for the past year "Hey" he said "Beat it I'm not letting a kid join me" "But I can fight. throwing rocks at rats all week and killed lots of them." "He killed those giant fuckers with rocks?" I had to admit that was impressive for a kid with no biological enhancements. "Fine tomorrow. 4th District eastern ball park at 8:00 am. Now let me eat."

             The kid scampered off celebrating that he will receive training. "It's about time you had a little pupil to teach." "The kid is likely to give up anyways. Sure why not?" Tony chuckled as he handed me my meal and I gave him 2 Euros. "Hey you forgot the worm!" I called to him "We were out!"

            

            I received a message from my at the moment boss via communications network that the Havens set up throughout the districts. He told my to meet him behind the Arnold's Drugstore in the northwestern 2nd District. On my way there were all the hardships of humanity that are seen every day. People who were hungry, people who were sick, people who were getting beat up by other people; sometimes killed. The police force of the Havens helped try to keep order and people in check and hell knows you don't want to get on their bad side.

            The police are well trained, well armed, and don't take shit from anyone. If you try and bribe them they'd arrest you. They do live in the Havens and their pay is good, but not anyone in the districts joins them. Only people who currently live in Havens can join them. I may become one when I get there.

             I finally enter the drugstore and find the owner Arnold. Arnold was a lean blonde haired man. He made his living like any other pharmacist. He either made his own medicine by replicating it or bought it straight from the Havens. "Can I help you?" "I'm with Armond el Vastago." He then had the look that said 'I'm sorry please don't kill me'. This guy must be real afraid of Armond.

             He led me through a door (well there were only two doors) in the back into a small warehouse where he likely took stock of his supplies. There he was has sitting with his two goons who couldn't screw a light bulb to come up with an intelligent thought. Armond himself at a shady skin tone being Spanish and all. he wore his usual trench coat with his guild insignia crudely painted on the back; it was a pair of ram horns above a skull. Over all nothing physical about him, but Christ. The one thing that does stand out about him was his personality. I couldn't stand him. The guy speaks very fast as if he wants to trick you into doing something, and his voice. God his voice! The screech of a flock of buzzards would sound more pleasant.

            "Rinsky! glad you're here man." In his thick Spanish accent. "We got some trouble man. Some culos in Eden have been fucking up and getting killed by the Syndicates." Eden? I'm going down to Eden? It's probably one of the best Havens from what I've seen. Bloody expensive, but not even their districts aren't complete crap holes.

            "So what do you want me to do about it? Attack the crime syndicate?" Geesh the Crime Syndicate. Angriest, meanest guild in all the Havens. Cops even have trouble with them. "Exactamente. I know we ain't the best crime guild, but we have you friend. You said yourself you are in the legendary Vigilante Guild. Eh?"

             The Vigilante Guild I vaguely remember it. Those were my earliest memories. We tried doing things that cops couldn't, but many of us got greedy. We soon started fighting each other to obtain the riches of those we've killed. Like me they too wanted haven and did anything to get the money to go even if it meant killing other members.

             "Te vas ahora. Go now. I promise to pay you handsomely. Board a train to Eden. En mi. And my boys will meet you at the station." Dear god I hated Armond. Not only was he careless, but the guy has no plan other than 'Go there and kill'. What did his guys do in Eden? What do they look like? Anyways despite his simplicity in tactics he always came to hire me for any job he has. There was no one else in the warehouse too so that only means that I am on my own. That's good though. More money for me.

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