Phoenix Rising

The year is 2102, welcome to a world drowned in chaos and nuclear fallout. Humankind lay dessicated, what remians of us are conserved in bio dome cities, driven into risk, governments and military crippeled. I'm just a man, I don't know anything of my past, but I know about my future, and the future of this planet that was once ours. A story about a clan that looked out for everyone, human...or not human. A clan willing to risk anything to ensure survival, with the best technology and tactics at their disposal. A clan, that saved me, and made me something I tought would never be possible, I am a member of Phoenix Rising, I am Alec Shard, this is my story, this is our Earth, and what remains of it.

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7. Reconciliation

(PR training hangar, Bolivia, 6:30am, Sunday 13th august, 2102)
His eyes levered open, his eyes towards the ceiling, a weird sense of satisfaction spiralled through his bones. A sudden gust of wind travelled through his throat, and he felt a huge release of breath throw him upwards, pain outlined his skull. "Gah!" He lifted up from where he lied, Nikita grasped hold of him by his shoulders. "Calm down, you've only been out a few hours". Alec, lying up from where he lied, he looked around, he was within a huge tunnel, made completely of mud, supported by huge metal struts, a long hollow tunnel, in front of him, several soldiers in heavy armour, and Nikita pinning him to the table. Continuing to pant, he felt pain on his back, something was between his back and the table. "What happened? Is it done?" Nikita grunted. "Yeah, you got that thing in your back now, we attached limb mandibles so its power stays connected to your arms and legs, as well as your head". Alec lifted up further, the pain eased away, he felt a force within, much stronger potential within him, he felt heavier in the back, as his feat touched the ground, his body became weightless, completely balanced.

He looked down at his legs, noticing the increase in size, he even admired his arms, huge metal pipes aligned him, perfectly fitting around his shoulders and connecting to his back. He walked a few steps forward, the feeling was exciting, he felt it flow through him. A voice echoed from the other side of the tunnel. "You like it?!" Dom said, approaching with his huge footsteps crushing the ground, Barret following right behind him. "It feels......awesome". Barret walked aside Alec, as he examined his exo-suit, they had matching sets. "Well then, we better get started, its early morning, your gonna need the whole day!" Alec shuddered up, in sudden shock. "Wait...now?!" Barret nodded his head hastily and gave a menacing smile. "I hope you have all your stuff, most of it is already integrated into your suit". Alec looked around the tunnel. "Where am I even going?!" Suddenly, a huge pass of wind blow behind him, a metal wall of panels held together, as they separated and opened a pathway to the outside. Alec turned and walked towards it, he saw trees, massive trees, that pitched the sky, and a fog shrouded the ground.

A beautiful sight, a huge jump down, it must of been at least a kilometre from where he was looking down from. Areas that had little fog had a vast range of exotic creatures, huge plants seemed to move, they're living killers. Alec could not catch up with everything he was looking at, he looked back to see everyone standing, facing him. Nikita walked up to him, in an intimidating posture in her shoulders, and on her face. She grabbed Alec tightly by the neck, her mouth laid next to his eye, as she hashed a whisper. "When you jump, I hope you don't come back". She said as she shoved Alec back and stormed off through the chambers, out of sight. Alec eyed at Barret. "What's with her!!?" Barret walked towards Alec, pledging by the side of the hole. "She's a bit edgy to strangers, but I've never seen her this negative to a new one". As Barret walked away, standing aside Dom, and two other soldiers, they looked almost identical, one with a helmet forming a lion, another with a helmet forming a shark. "Oh and this Mathias and Keegan, the two youngest here. Mathias the shark, Keegan favours the lion".

They both waved without a word spoken, and walked away, Alec looked at Dom, signalling him to jump. "Well Alec, we've done our best to make you one of us, now do your best to be one of us, welcome to Phoenix Rising". As Dom said that, Alec fell backwards, he looked up, as Barret and Dom leaned over the edge watching. Alec felt the wind push against him intensely, as he flipped himself over facing the ground beneath him. He looked down at the crushing heights, he felt the pressure pushing against his face, his skin deceasing into his skull. He could only manage to think terrifying thoughts and swift decisions over the sound of gravity dragging him and his heavy exo-skeleton to the Earth. "How the hell do I control this thing??!" He worried to himself, his arms curling round his back, punching his spine. The ground and trees were less than a hundred meters within reach. He looked at his arm pad. A huge metal shell wrapped around his arm with a computer like interface, reading out the words "Grapple swing" He looked at the text, just barely from his watering eyes.

"Whats this...erm...grappl...grapple swing?" Suddenly, a loud mechanical clank vibrated his arm, a long rope shot out of his arm, spiralling towards the ground, as he fell closer....and closer....and closer. The rope latched around a tree branch, as Alec gave his final breath before coming inches away from touching the ground, he felt the momentum in the rope swing him back into the air, as he shot out of the trees. "Its voice-activated" He thought to himself, as he looked ahead, he was atop most trees and had a clear view of the jungle, only though he slowed down and began falling again. He began panicking, as his feet touched the edge of the leaves. "Thrusters!" Heat repelled from his backpack as it emitted blue fire and pushed him forward across the trees, maintaining control. He began gliding through the air, a clear view of the horizon ahead of him, very few trees blocked the outstanding sight, birds thrusted out of the trees, cawing in the distance. The wind slowed down to a more calm pace, a swift breeze that blew past Alec. He felt himself being pulled down again, he had such little knowledge of the variety of equipment he had been outfitted with.

He pulled his hands out in front of him, hoping his gifted strength would condemn his fall, and pushed through the leaves that whistled chimes upon impact. Moments before he knew, the gloves he is wearing had a metal cable connecting to his exo suit, as it wrapped around his wrist and smaller cables contracted around his knuckles, and each joint of his fingers. Turning his hand around, he noticed circles with glowing red outlines highlight his internal knuckles and joints of his fingers, he pulled it closer to his face, he noticed how it flowed into one circuit, a patch of text "nano-gloves" He read it out, a loud electronic noise beamed from his hands. The red circles transmitted to a glossy green color, Alec felt the gloves tighten around his wrist, like some sort of effect had happened. He saw himself coming into impact with a large tree, it covered his estimated landing path. A large suspenseful feeling crashed before his mind, like him seeing how he was gonna crash into the tree. He was barely a few meters away, he hardly saw much from the layer of vegetation blocking the sunlight above him. 

He stopped his thinking and threw his hands in front of him, the gloves still indicating green. Closing his eyes, he felt a smacking pain push through his arms and through his body, but the pain was quick and seamless, it lasted less than a second, splinters surfaced his hands. Opening his eyes, he was off the ground. It worked, his hands were stuck to the trunk, only a couple feet from touching the damp grass beneath him. He struggled to move around quickly, pulling his right arm off from the tree, and spinning round and reattaching onto the tree, his body facing outwards, observing the shaded dense landscape. He looked around him, all he could see were dark openings, with just grass on the ground, and decaying corpses, these seemed like popular hunting grounds. He felt a rustling from the bushes that blacked way between two trees and the darkness ahead. Snarling followed the rustling, then out came a small creature. It was relatively small, a length not much bigger than Alec's leg. The creature had its eyes fixed at Alec, as he calmly stayed stuck to the tree, his arms spread wide open. The creature had a long skinny torso, 3 pairs of strong inverted legs, the back pair were much bigger.

A black skin with blue dotted patterns, the creatures legs had a red tint on the end, a long wolf replicated face with serrated teeth, and vile yellow eyes glowed in the perpetual gloom of the forest. The creature immediately rushed towards the tree Alec was in, it jumped up, our of reach of his legs. Alec climbed higher until he was unable to move, he looked back, watching the creature maliciously tear at the bark, standing on its hind legs. Alec kept grip of the tree, as he pulled over his right arm, browsing through his tac-pad, cycling between the equipment he had with him. One option holographically displaying 2 large icons that appeared together, displayed in a 360 rotation. One image took the shape of a bullet, the other was some sort of shield, but the plates were not always connected to make it a solid looking piece of armor. "What happens if I press this?" Pressing the hovering buttons, they quickly sinked back into his tacpad, which stopped glowing and went completely out of power. The piece of metal wrapped around his right arm began to shift its shape. Small parts extended as if it was trying to bring out something inside of it. A huge barrel or some sort of bullet-inducing weapon extended from the tacpad and stuck forward. 

Suddenly, the secound tacpad on his left arm began moving. The display screen on the arm jutted upwards and began an intense glow. It was emitting a very bright blue color, he watched as electric static generated on his arm, and started curdling around it. It was physically touching him, but it didn't hurt, not at all. The electric was spinning around, as it glowed brighter, and brighter, until it pulsated and shot huge floating plates of blue energy that stretched wide both ways. It was forming a shield, and covered most of Alec's front view, and was completely weightless, as he moved his arm freely, the shield followed with his arm, and had a repellent reaction when he hit it against the tree, which almost ignited the wood. Looking down at the creature, still rampant at trying to get to him, he aimed his right arm down at it. "Fire right arm?" He said as the barrel shot a burst of 4-5 bullets in quick succession. The bullets tore through the creature and bought it to a quick death. As it fell to the floor, Alec stuck to the tree, a smile of relief. He heard more sounds, more creatures, similar to the one he killed darted out of the dark horizon. He almost fell out of the tree in sudden surprise. 

Pointing his right arm at the ground. "Fire right arm" He began spamming rounds at them, taking them out one at a time. They're were about 5 spread out in his area, all evading his shots, one shot into the air, high enough to tear at him. His eyes focused on it, he wasn't fast enough to point his weapon at the creature, inches from point blank. He closed his eyes, and covered his face. He could only hear howls of agonizing pain. Opening his eyes, he saw the creature trapped in the shield, he covered his face with his left arm for protection, and creature got electrocuted to death. He shaked his arm until it fell to the floor, the creatures surrounded the body and looked at him in anger. Alec pointed his weapon at them. "Fire right arm" He said once again, nothing happened. He looked at the display above the barrel, the ammo count reached zero. "Oh shit" He said as he looked down, more and more creatures jumped out of nowhere, at least 20-30 were surrounding the tree, they were all hissing and growling. 

"Time to move" He turned back to the tree and began to climb it, after about 10 meters, he stopped and looked back, the creatures were following him, gripping into the bark and pushing up the tree. He panicked and turned back to climbing, higher, and higher. He felt his gloves lose power, and his climbing slowed down. He looked left, and saw another tree, a wide gap between them. Jumping back, he looked down and kicked a leaping creature, which knocked out unconscious. "Thrusters!" His backpack emitted more fuel and pushed him forward to the tree. The speed was incredible, he failed to reach his hands out in time. "Nanogl...." He smacked against the tree, and landed on a branch, as it was becoming loose from his pushing weight. Standing up, he bent his legs and began to jump. "Thruste..." The branch snapped and his jump sequence was quickly silenced. Landing hard against the ground, struggling to pull himself up, he felt teeth dig into his legs, piercing through his armor. Shaking them off, he jumped to his feet and ran, not long until he fell over his own weight and lied face down into the ground. His exo suit failed to keep up with his voice commands, he lifted his head up in stress and pain. "Why doesn't this thing work?! Your not listening to my commands!" 

Another voice spoke, a robotic voice. It was the exo-spine itself, it could speak. "I am connected to your mind, and thats where I respond from, your thoughts, you need not speak them out, since the combination of you thinking certain commands but shouting out completely different ones wont configure the system properly". Alec listened to the voice, and could here the padding of light footsteps reaching him. "Wait, I have to think it out?" 
"Yes, you must be aware of everything going on around you, and you must think fast, think about what will keep you alive, the fastest and most wise decisions, and you will become a true agile and derivative warrior, a true member of PR". Alec did nothing but nod, assuming the suit understood that he was agreeing. Getting up to his feet, he looked behind him, hordes of angry beasts charging at him, he stood there and watch them get closer and closer, waiting for the perfect moment. He used his thoughts selectively, as the first creature leaped out, with its jaws wide open. Alec thought hard, then released, dashing far to the right, he looked back at the creature miss him and run into a tree unconscious. More came towards him, jumping at him, one by one. His suit pushed air both ways kinetically, he pushed sideways left and right, each one missing him. The last one jumped at him, he reached out and grabbed it by its throat, the strength his exo-skeleton provided made the creature almost seem as light as a pillow, and thats how he used it.

More turned around and came back at him, he threw the beast and knocked several over like bowling pins. The creatures were smart, they began formations and preformed a circle legion, surrounding Alec. The first one approached Alec, he swung his right arm and broke its face, sending it flying across the glade. They all pushed forward, closing his area of space. He looked down at his ankle shafts, without a word spoken, they pushed more air and threw him into the air, towards another tree. Pulling his hands out, he stuck to it and looked back at the creatures, they're were so many. He raised his right arm forward, and shot out two metal balls with spiked ridges all over the surface. One stuck to a creature, within seconds exploded and fired spikes out, many shot forward and stuck to trees, and killing at least 4 of the creatures. He examined the area, they're were still at least 8 more, he counted, and the second ball exploded and killed another 3, some of the spikes skimming his legs. They're numbers have weakened, he took this opportunity and jumped down and landed on top of one, crushing it upon impact. 4 more left.

2 more jumped simultaneously at him, his ankle shafts pushed him directly in the air, as he grabbed both by the necks in mid air, several meters off the ground. He smashed their heads together, and threw them in different directions, he saw 1 more circle his landing path. "The ankle shafts can push me downwards as well as upwards" He thought, and that thought immediately reacted. The air pushed him downwards at rushing speed, and stomped the ground, the impact made ripples in the ground and stunned the animal. He pulled his feet out of the ground, leaving a crater behind, and punched the creature in the chest, he felt the cracking of broken bones and dislocated ribcages.  1 more stood before him, whimpering in fear, he approached it, and grabbed it high in the air with his left arm, he looked at his right arm, electric fused his knuckles. "Galva tasers" He thought, and his fist turned into a punching taser. He looked into the creatures eyes, it looked terrified, defenseless. Sympathy struck  Alec, he resisted from executing his final blow, he slowly released and gently placed it on the ground, it walked off slowly and out of sight.

Alec watched it disappear, happy about his judgement. He felt something behind him, turning around quickly, a huge creature, same as the others but much bigger had already leaped, his face inside its jaws. It suddenly fell to the right, and lied on the floor dead. Everything was happening so quickly, Alec looked back in confusion. Running to the dying creature, he noticed a large burn mark across its torso. He felt the snapping of twigs behind him, he looked back, and saw another creature. It looked like a wolf, with white fur, and a grey underbelly. It got closer to Alec, he was worried and curious to know why it wont shoot him. The wolf got closer, he noticed a huge cannon on its back, he leaned to the side, a vest wrapped round the wolf, with armor pads around its legs. He was confused, this is no wild wolf. He took one glare at the eyes, he recognized those eyes, those turquoise and purple eyes, displaying the stars and the universe within, a mighty glow that brightened up the forest around him. "Wait....Ne....Nebula?" The wolf stopped and sat on her hind legs, a few meters from where Alec sat. A smile of relief reached him, he got up and ran towards her, petting her head and rubbing her cheeks. "It is you! You saved me again!" He looked at everything Nebula was wearing.

"But who put this on you?" 
"I did" He heard the voice come from behind, a man appeared fro the dark, his face revealed in the sunlight, it....it was Mitchell. "Mitchell.....but...but how?" Mitchell walked up to Alec and Nebula. "I healed your wounds, and Nebula's, you were in serious condition, I followed to PR's hideout, they let me heal you, hours before you woke up, and I gave Nebula a......slight upgrade".
"Wait.....how the hell did you know I was out here! Tell me Mitchell! What do you know about PR, I want to know!" Mitchell felt threats in Alec's voice, a huge helicopter hovered above them, out of nowhere. Its rotors were on each side and huge blades span round, it was some kind of VTOL helicopter. He looked up, and saw Barret, standing out of the side doors, and floating ladders appeared out of the VTOL, and descended down to Alec, Mitchell and Nebula. Barret waved his arm upwards. "Get on!" Mitchell and Alec looked at each other. "I'll explain everything once we get back to the Headquarters, Alec, this is a long story, a very long story...."

Alec was silent for a moment, and then nodded, he picked up Nebula and hovered on the ladder upwards towards the helicopter, the doors closed behind him, and the warship flew off to the mountain, the mountain he jumped from, and became tiny in comparison with its colossal size... 

 

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