Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Twenty-Four

February 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()

 

Eclipse Star: Chapter 24

“Cracking Under the Pressure”

 

Recap:  Last time, Jack lead Lindsey, Chris, and Kyle on a desperate rush back through the Demon Regime’s military complex after the alarms had been triggered.  Finding themselves way over their heads, they were trapped with nowhere to go and finally taken down by a swarm of the Regime’s soldiers.

 

Commander:  (From his vantage point high up in the ridges near the complex).  It is done.

 

Subordinate:  Commander, have they been taken care of?

 

Commander:  As far as I can tell, they separated into three groups.  Two of the groups made it out, although I doubt they’ll make it back to the city any time soon.  The third group has been captured.  You’ll be happy to know that Jack is in the third group, so we won’t be seeing him again.

 

Subordinate:  Should we return to headquarters?

 

Commander:  We don’t have any rush.  We know the whereabouts of the Regime’s base; it’s not going anywhere.  We’ll leave when our troops get here.

 

-Night falls.  Meanwhile, inside the main building of the complex, Jack, Lindsey, Chris and Kyle are being held by guards as Atlas and a number of other high ranking officers pace back and forth.

 

Atlas:  Are they awake yet?

 

Soldier:  They’re finally coming to sir.

 

Atlas:  Excellent.  (Walks over to Jack and taps him on the cheek).  Welcome back.

 

Jack:  (Groggily coming to).  Uhn, where…?

 

Atlas:  It was impressive how many members it took to take you four down, but rest assured, you have all been thoroughly beaten.

 

Jack:  (Shakes his head and looks around the room.  He notices that Lindsey has a black eye, Chris is bleeding from the nose, and Kyle has a gash on his forehead.  They are all covered in painful looking bruises).  Leave them out of this.

 

Atlas:  (Amused at Jack’s request).  What was that?  Leave them out of this?  You must be joking.  They did almost as much damage as you did; I don’t think they’ve got any right to just walk out of here.

 

Jack:  I made them do it, they’re innocent.

 

Atlas:  They’re members of the Legion; they can be held accountable solely for that fact.

 

Chris:  (Chris comes to).  Ahh…Jack…

 

Atlas:  Aha, another mighty warrior has awoken.  (Walks over to Chris).  I suppose you want to be let free?

 

Chris:  (Weakly raises his head).  Let her go…

 

Atlas:  Her?  (Looks over at Lindsey).  You should worry more about yourself.

 

Chris:  Just let her go…  I don’t care about myself…  (His head droops down again).

 

Jack:  Let the three of them go, please.

 

Atlas:  No I don’t think I’ll be doing that.  You see, I have all the bargaining chips.  What have you to offer me?

 

Jack:  I have nothing.

 

Atlas:  Exactly.

 

Jack:  Which puts you in a dangerous position.

 

Atlas:  (Raises an eyebrow, curious).  How so?

 

Jack:  I have nothing to lose.

 

Atlas:  (Continues pacing, feeling powerful).  Oh you have something to lose alright.  Three somethings.  You’ve already made it clear that you highly value their lives.  You’re not about to make any rash choices.

 

Jack:  (Struggling to keep calm).  What is it that you want?

 

Atlas:  (Spins back to face Jack up close).  Information.

 

Jack:  Information about what?

 

Atlas:  Any piece of information is useful.  (Gets up and starts pacing).  Maybe, something about the Legion?  Or perhaps the purpose of the mission?

 

Jack:  We don’t know why we were sent here.

 

Atlas:  I think that you do.

 

Jack:  I’m a little surprised that you’ve been elected to lead the interrogation.

 

Atlas:  (Angry).  What’s that supposed to mean?

 

Jack:  Interrogation takes wit, intelligence, and a fine knowledge of how to push people’s buttons.  (Narrowing his eyes at Atlas, challenging him).  I doubt you possess any of those talents.

 

Atlas:  Push people’s buttons, eh?  (Walks over to Jack and smacks him hard across the face and laughs).  I think you’ll find that I can be quite persuasive if the need presents itself.

 

Jack:  (Shakes his head and spits out blood).  Touché.

 

Lindsey:  (She finally wakes up, squints her eyes a few times and shakes her head out).  My head…  Jack, what’s happened?

 

Atlas:  You have been beaten my dear.

 

Lindsey:  (Looks up and finally sees the room clearly).  Ah crap.

 

Kyle:  (Wakes up and looks around).  Huh?  Oh, so I’m the last one?  You guys could have been nice enough to wake me up before the trial started.

 

Atlas:  I am certainly glad that you are all awake now.  Maybe we can get down to what I want to know.

 

Jack:  (Angry, retraining his anger as best as possible).  We don’t know anything.

 

Atlas:  I’ll repeat my first question:  Why were you trespassing on the Demon Regime’s property?

 

Chris:  (Shakes his head).  We really don’t know.  We were told to come looking for a base hidden somewhere out here and we stumbled upon this complex by luck.

 

Atlas:  Why did the Legion want you to go looking for this base?

 

Jack:  I’m assuming they felt threatened there was a rogue military base hidden in the area surrounding the nation’s capital.  There, now you know as much as we do.

 

Atlas:  What did you find out since you’ve been here?

 

Jack:  Nothing.

 

Atlas:  (Sneers, annoyed).  Quit lying to me.  You found out at least something, did you not?

 

Jack:  No, we did not.

 

Atlas:  What do you know about the Eclipse Star?

 

Chris:  (Getting agitated at the mention of the Eclipse Star).  Why do you want it so badly?!

 

Atlas:  (Smiles).  Oh, I see that I’ve hit a hot word.

 

Chris:  We don’t know anything about it; I just want to know what you plan to use it for.

 

Atlas:  You personally?  Or you as a group?

 

Chris:  Both but mainly me.

 

Atlas:  Hmm, well I’m the one asking the questions.  What do you know about the Eclipse Star?

 

Jack:  (Finding it harder to restrain himself).  Obviously he doesn’t know anything, nor do any of us.  We’re all curious as to why that rock is so damned important.

 

Atlas:  (Getting serious and in Jack’s face).  That rock is more valuable that you could possibly imagine.

 

Jack:  So, you understand that we’re clueless?

 

Atlas:  (Backs off).  Hmm, apparently so.  Back to the Legion.

 

Jack:  The Legion has done it’s best to keep us out of the loop.  They hate us.  I can only imagine that the purpose of this mission was to get rid of us for a while until they can officially transfer us to another branch.

 

Atlas:  Why do you think they hate you so much?

 

Jack:  (Very annoyed).  I.  Don’t.  Know.

 

Lindsey:  I think it has to do with how fast we’ve progressed.

 

Atlas:  (Turning around to listen to Lindsey).  What?

 

Lindsey:  You saw yourself how strong we were at the tournament.  Well, we couldn’t do anything like that no more than a month ago.

 

Atlas:  Who trained you?

 

Jack:  I trained them.

 

Atlas:  Who trained you?

 

Jack:  I trained me.

 

Atlas:  (Laughs).  Hah!  That’s ridiculous.  You’d had to have learned it from somewhere.

 

Jack:  I’ve overheard techniques from higher-ranking officers in the Legion and did my best to create what I’ve heard them describe.

 

Atlas:  What kind of techniques have they talked about?

 

Jack:  Nothing more that I’m sure you teach your new recruits.

 

Atlas:  What does the Legion plan to do now that they know where this base is?

 

Jack:  Communication was lost with the Legion before we found the base.  There’s no way they would know where it is.

 

Atlas:  Then why did they know to send you here?

 

Jack:  They dropped us in the middle of nowhere and only God knows how we found this place instead of dying first.

 

Atlas:  How did the Legion know that there was a base in these ridges at all?

 

Jack:  They never told us.

 

Atlas:  No, there must be a reason.

 

Jack:  There is no reason.

 

Atlas:  (Angry).  No excuses!  (Punches Jack).

 

Jack:  (Spits blood again).  You can beat me for as long as you’d like, but you’re not going to learn anything new.

 

Atlas:  I’ll have to test that theory.  (Continues pacing).  What more did you find out while you were here?

 

Jack:  What part of nothing don’t you get?

 

Atlas:  Maybe I haven’t been hitting you hard enough.

 

Jack:  Go right ahead.

 

Atlas:  Fine.  (Looks towards some men behind him and nods to them.  They walk over to the other three).  I’m using my leverage over you to make you speak.  (Snaps his fingers.  The three men punch Chris, Lindsey and Kyle repeatedly).

 

Jack:  (Panicked).  Wait wait wait!  Leave them out of this, they don’t know anything!

 

Atlas:  (Puts his hand up, the men stop).  So what have you learned?

 

Jack:  (Grits his teeth and winces as he speaks).  I heard about Project Locust.

 

Atlas:  (Smiles).  Aha, that would definitely be something that you could have learned here.

 

Jack:  But all I’ve heard about it is the name; that’s it.  I don’t know how it works or what it entails or anything like that and the others know less than I do.

 

Atlas:  You don’t know anything about it?  I can show you.  (Walks casually over to a table.  He picks a large needle up off the table and walks back over).  This is a sample of Project Locust.

 

Jack:  (Squints in disbelief).  A needle?

 

Atlas:  A virus.  Let’s see, you’ll only talk if someone is in danger…(Points around at the other three).  Eeny, meany, miny…(points at Chris).  Moe.  (Walks over to Chris).

 

Jack:  (Worried).  What are you doing?

 

Chris:  (Also worried).  Yeah, what’re you doing?

 

Atlas:  Where is the Legion’s headquarters located?

 

Jack:  What?

 

Atlas:  We know it’s somewhere in Trillium City, but we don’t know exactly where.  It would seem a bit overkill to decimate the entire city, so where should we centralize our primary attacks?

 

Jack:  I can’t tell you that.

 

Atlas:  That is the wrong answer.

 

Jack:  (Angry and panicked).  Thousands would die if I told you!

 

Atlas:  Fair enough, then just one dies.  (Stabs Chris in the chest with the needle and injects the solution into him).

 

Chris:  YAAAAHH!  (Screams with the pain from a large needle piercing his skin, closing his eyes and tilting his head back).

 

Lindsey:  (Worried).  No!

 

Jack:  (Clenching his teeth, pleading).  Stop this now!

 

Atlas:  (Smiling to himself, almost laughing).  Too late, the Locust Virus is already in his system.  He should be dead in the next few minutes.

 

Chris:  (Slumps over, his body convulsing, his speech deteriorating already).  What…what did you do…?

 

Atlas:  A taste of Project Locust.  Sorry to say but there is no cure to the virus.  Too bad he wasn’t giving me much useful information.  (Shrugs uncaringly).  Hopefully the rest of you can think of something.

 

Jack:  (Frantic).  But we don’t know anything!

 

Atlas:  Well then what does it matter whether we kill you or not?

 

Kyle:  We could be used as a ransom!  The Legion is sure to pay big money for our return!

 

Atlas:  Money is not an issue.

 

Jack:  Then let them go!

 

Kyle:  Yeah, let us go!

 

Atlas:  Hmm…seems that you’re not helping much either.  (Walks over to Kyle).  Unless you can tell me something useful of course.

 

Kyle:  (His eyes frantically shift around as he thinks of anything to say).  Project…Eclipse…tournament…Legion…um…no, I’ve got nothing.

 

Atlas:  Too bad.  (Snaps his fingers.  The guards behind Kyle clock him in the back of the head, knocking him out cold).

 

Jack:  Enough!

 

Atlas:  You should thank me.  That one is just unconscious.  The Locust Virus costs too much in its current form to kill everyone I’d like.  (Looks back over towards Chris).  Him however, he doesn’t have much time left.  (Chris is completely gone.  He is quivering and no longer coherent of what’s going on, eyes rolling around, unable to focus).

 

Jack:  (Freaking out, eyes closed in a panic).  Why?!  Why why why?!

 

Atlas:  (Fully enjoying this, smiling and getting in Jack’s face once more).  I could ask you the same thing.  Tell me everything about the Legion.  Tell me their secrets.  Tell me who leads it.  Tell me everything you know.

 

Jack:  I don’t know anything worth telling you!

 

Atlas:  Yes, we’ve established about that much.  Here’s the part of interrogations that I find rather fun.  (Walks over to the table and picks up a handgun).  If you don’t know now, maybe this will entice you to know later.  Where is the Legion’s headquarters?

 

Jack:  Trillium City.  (Atlas shoots him in the leg).  GAHH!!!

 

Lindsey:  (Extremely concerned).  Jack!!!

 

Atlas:  (Unamused).  Don’t be cute, more specific.

 

Jack:  (Trying to hold it together).  Eastern portion of the city.  (Atlas shoots him in the other leg).  RAARG!  That’s as good as I can describe it!!!

 

Lindsey:  Stop it, he’s telling you everything he can!

 

Atlas:  How did the Legion find out that we were here?

 

Jack:  They…they…surveillance.

 

Atlas:  Surveillance?  What kind?

 

Jack:  (Sweating hard, and panting through the pain).  They just…kept track of all the activities going on in the area.

 

Atlas:  That’s the best you can think of?  (Cocks his gun again).

 

Jack:  They never told us during the mission briefing how they knew you were here!

 

Atlas:  (Raises an eyebrow).  Is there a spy working for the Legion?  Someone from our camp?

 

Jack:  I have no idea!

 

Atlas:  Hmm…you’re out of legs to shoot.  (Turns towards Lindsey and shoots her in the leg.  She screams).

 

Jack:  NOOO!!!  (Wrenches with all his strength to get free from the guards holding tightly to both his arms).  Leave her out of this, I’m begging you!

 

Atlas:  Aha, so you’ll talk?

 

Jack:  The Legion’s base is located ten miles West from Trillium Park!

 

Atlas:  Good to know.  And?

 

Jack:  The Legion didn’t know the exact location of the base, they had heard from an inside source that there was one out here and scanned the area from the air dozens of times without finding anything!

 

Atlas:  Well that still doesn’t tell us anything.  Where did the others in your group go?

 

Jack:  We split up; I have no idea where they are now.

 

Atlas:  Where would they be going?

 

Jack:  Trying to get back to Trillium City and from there the Legion’s HQ.

 

Atlas:  And when is the Legion going to make a strike on our base?

 

Jack:  As soon as one of us gets a chance to call them.  That’s all we know!

 

Atlas:  (Turns towards Lindsey).  You’re not lying to me, are you?

 

Jack:  No.

 

Atlas:  Because if you are, she’ll die.  (Grabs her by the face and shakes her around).

 

Chris:  (Looks up weakly).  S…stop…

 

Jack:  I swear to you, I’ve told you every last bit of information that I know.

 

Atlas:  How did the Legion train you all to fight like you did in the tournament so quickly?

 

Jack:  I already told you, I trained everyone.

 

Atlas:  (Beginning to grow rather angry at hearing this).  That’s just not possible.  (Points towards Lindsey).  You!  Tell me the truth!

 

Lindsey:  (Lindsey is trying her best to maintain through tears).  Jack taught us everything!

 

Atlas:  (Cocks the pistol and points it right at her face).  Not good enough!

 

Jack:  Don’t do this!

 

-Chris pulls his head up, his eyes are completely white.  The ground begins shaking slightly.  The guards holding him are unsure of what’s going on, growing afraid as they look back and forth between each other.

 

Atlas:  (Furious).  Why not?!  Tell me where you got this power!  You have the Eclipse Star, don’t you?!

 

Jack:  No!  We don’t!

 

Atlas:  Lies!

 

-Atlas pistol whips Lindsey in the face with a KRATAK!  She slumps over, unconscious.

 

Chris:  ENOUGH!!!!

 

The ground is shaking violently now.  Chris points his hands backwards and blasts the two guards in the face, leaving them without heads, yelping slightly before they go.

 

-The ground all around Chris explodes as he begins screaming uncontrollably.  A powerful white light begins radiating from all around him.

 

-He looks upward and the roof blows off as the light tears into the night sky.  The building is disintegrating all around them.

 

Atlas:  (Backing up, horrified).  What’s going on?!  You should be dead by now!

 

Chris:  (Chris is struggling to breath.  The entire complex is shaking and the rest of the guards have run off in fear.  An alarm has been triggered again).  I’ve…had…ENOUGH!!!

 

Atlas:  (Beyond terrified now).  No!  You should be dead!  (Opens fire on Chris.  The bullets have no effect.  Chris moves slightly forward and instantly he is in front of Atlas).  HOW?!

 

-Chris screams once more and lets loose a blast that incinerates Atlas instantly.

 

-His blast doesn’t stop there.  It keeps going, wiping out half of the Regime’s complex and rocketing out over the desert.

 

-Jack stares on in awe, being the only person to actually see what’s happening.

 

-Having accomplished all this, the light around Chris fades as he falls forward onto the ground, his eyes rolled back, completely unconscious.

 

Jack:  (Shocked beyond all reason with his mouth hanging open).  Oh my God…

 

To Be Continued…

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