Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project Happy

George Weber stopped to look at the name on the door before he entered. "Mayor Frederick von Haast," it proclaimed. He mused over the events that had led them to this point, where they had successfully taken control of the city. He pushed the door open and entered the mayor's office.

The mayor sat behind a mahogany desk, stroking his mustache, his German heritage quite evident in his face. George couldn't help but think of the game Monopoly when he looked at the mayor. The mayor was always dressed like that, top hat and all.

The office was nearly bare except for the desk, which was kept spotless. One wall had been converted into many monitors, which Mayor von Haast could use to look at most places in Dayspring. Another wall held a few monitors that were tuned to world news channels. The mayor was ignoring both walls at the moment, focusing intently at the computer screen in front of him, smiling slightly.

The mayor looked up at George and his smile went away. "What news, Mister Weber?"

George looked at his notes and began. "There are rumors of another vigilante rising up in sector G11. I have told the others to notify you if there were any sightings. The military is still camped on the banks of the river. They are still waiting for us to make the first move. Our genetic manipulation programs are proceeding well. Soon you will have many powered soldiers under your command."

The mayor steepled his fingers. "very good. I have something new that I want to try on this vigilante when he shows himself. I believe we will be ready for the next phase within the month. How many soldiers will we have under my command before the month is out?"

George checked his notes. "We currently have approximately two hundred soldiers awaiting orders, and should have approximately three hundred by the end of this month."

As soon as he said that, a message flashed on the mayor's screen. The mayor grinned. "Wunderbar! It appears that you will be able to see the new project in action. Our vigilante has been spotted." He pressed a button. "Doctor Card, prepare Project Happy for sector G11. We have a vigilante to dispose of."

The mayor zoomed in on sector G11, the sector now taking up several monitors on the wall. A person wearing green body armor was fighting several gang members at once, a sword in one hand and a gun in the other. Three of the gang members had already fallen.

Four more fell as they watched, a scowl now showing on the mayor's face. As the green vigilante was about to take down the last one, a wall collapsed behind him. He turned quickly, now facing what appeared to be a cyborg bear. The bear had a metal mask covering one side of its face, a green light shining where the eye should be. It also had a cybernetic arm and wires poking out of its fur in various places. As its gaze landed on the vigilante, the green eye began to glow brighter until it burst forth as a laser.

The vigilante was quickly cut in two by the laser. As his body fell, the bear turned and shambled through the hole it had entered from. The final gang member rose from the ground and ran.

Mayor von Haast zoomed back out from the scene, the monitors all reverting to their proper sectors. "I would say that the project was a success, wouldn't you, Mister Weber?"


Michael flipped through the various cameras, making sure that there was nothing suspicious on the perimeter. He sat back, his arms resting on the edge of the desk. He spun suddenly, holding the sword that had been concealed in the desk's edge to an intruder's throat.

Michael glared at the masked invader. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

The intruder raised his hands. "My name's Maverick. I want you to come back."

Michael pressed the blade harde to the intruder's neck. "Come back to what?"

Maverick turned intangible then stepped through the sword blade. "I think you know, Redline."

Michael shook his head. "Redline is dead."

Maverick gestured to the news on the television. "Look what his death brought. How many people died because he's no longer fighting for them? We need him now more than ever."

Michael scowled. "Redline couldn't save anyone. Not even those closest to him."

Maverick pulled the mask from his face. "He saved me."

Michael recognized the scarred face. It was a blond-haired young man that he had rescued from Calculator's lab once. "What do you think Redline could do, anyway?"

Maverick placed his metal mask over his face again. "He could train us. He could teach us how to fight back. Right now, they only have me, and I'm not half the hero you were."

Michael frowned. "He wasn't when it mattered the most. How did you find me, anyway."

Maverick laughed. "Redline appeared shortly after your wife was murdered. He disappeared the night your son died. The next day you went into seclusion and started building this fortress. I'm surprised more people haven't figured it out."

Michael nodded solemnly. "How did you get through the defense systems?"

Maverick turned intangible again and stuck his arm through the wall. "When you're a ghost, they don't even see you. We need you, Redline. We believe that they are going to try something soon, and you could be instrumental in stopping it."

Michael slid the sword back into the desk. "No. Redline is dead. I'm just a man trying to protect my daughter. Leave."

Maverick sighed and placed a small object on the desk. "In case you change your mind. We're all just people trying to protect something. How will you protect your daughter when they gather even more strength and invade your fortress?" He then slid through the floor, leaving Michael alone with his thoughts. Michael didn't notice as Karen slid out of her hiding place and snuck back to her room.


It's that time again... Let me know where you want the story to go next and I will choose the general plot to write up on Thursday. I will write the next section by Saturday and post it then. For those curious, the two submissions were...

And then! A laser bear!


Maverick and Michael speak, but Michael's mind is not changed...

Thank you!

Until Next Time,
Your Fearless Writer,
C.R. Hopkins

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Fall of Dayspring

He knew it was over as he cradled Jack's lifeless body in his arms. He could no longer be a superhero. He had slain the villain before his daughter's life was claimed, but he was too late to save his son. There could be no more Redline, not while he still had one child left to protect.

Tears streamed down his face as he ripped the black mask from his face, the red lines running down his arms standing out in the bright lights of his home. All of his secrecy, all of his strength, all of his gadgets, it had all been useless in keeping this criminal from finding out who he was and protecting his son. He screamed into the air as the sound of sirens began wailing in the distance.

He lowered his head, briefly looking at the charred corpse of a villain he hadn't recognized. He turned his head and saw his daughter huddled in the corner, shivering and crying. It was too late to save his son, but he would do everything in his power to protect his daughter.

He stood up, lowering his son to the floor, and shed his costume, revealing his sleeping clothes underneath. He then opened a secret compartment in the room, tossing the costume inside and quickly closing it. There was no Redline now, only Michael Gladstone and his daughter, Karen. Michael went over to his daughter and held her close as they waited for the cops to arrive.


Three Years Later

The news reports had gotten progressively worse as the criminal element grew more powerful in Dayspring. The police did little to curb the crime, as most of the few remaining were on the payroll of one overlord or another. That situation worsened when a former supervillain was voted as mayor after running a campaign of change, control, and an end to the gang wars. Former criminals now had positions of power in the city.

The mayor had ended the gang wars, mostly through bringing the gangs together and giving them common purposes. This strengthened the gangs, as they no longer had to worry about attacks from the others. They could also operate more openly, since the police wouldn't dare to oppose them. The streets weren't safe to walk alone during the day, much less the night.

The bridges out of Dayspring were destroyed during the gang wars, causing the deaths of people who were trying to leave Dayspring as the city grew more dangerous. The airport and the docks were shut down, effectively cutting the city off from the rest of the world. There were whispered rumors that the mayor was behind that, but none dared to try to prove it.

Many parts of the city were in great disrepair due to the gang wars. Buildings threatened to collapse throughout Dayspring. People were crowded into the structurally sound buildings, some apartments holding three or more families.

Many people tried to continue to live life as normal, though the fear of the city was so strong that it could be felt. Some had tried to become heroes after Redline disappeared, but most were killed quickly. One hero, Maverick, had some moderate success, but he had disappeared and was presumed dead.

Cries for Redline to return had diminished, partially because it now seemed obvious that he had abandoned them, and partially because there was now a law making Redline's name and likeness illegal. More people were jailed for saying Redline's name or dressing like him than for all other crimes combined. The mayor had laughed as he signed it into law.

The military discussed trying to impose martial law, and even sent advance troops in order to prepare for such. When the advance troops were crushed quickly by the large superhuman population, the plans for military occupation were quickly scrapped. Other than supply drops from some organizations, the rest of the country avoided having anything to do with Dayspring.

Michael Gladstone watched all of this unfold through news reports, as neither he nor his daughter left the fortess they lived in since it had been built. Michael had made sure that it was stocked with enough supplies for fifty years and had a garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Karen had not said a single word since her brother's death.


That's the end of the first section. Now it is time for you, the reader to tell me where the next section is going. I will accept your suggestions for the plot of the next section on this blog, through Facebook, through Google+, through email, or any other way you have of letting me know. I will choose a plot to write on Thursday, and will have the next section written on Saturday. I look forward to seeing what I will be writing! Challenge me!

Until next time,
Your Fearless Writer,
C. R. Hopkins

Friday, October 21, 2011

The project begins...

This blog is about to become the home of a truly interactive story. Here's how the story is going to work. I'm going to write a section of the story each week, then let the readers dictate the general plot for the next section. I will choose one of the plots given (and votes will be considered), then I will proceed to write that plot, filling in the details of the story.

This will provide an interesting and challenging project for me, and hopefully a fun read for all of you.

Until next time,
Your Fearless Author,
C. R. Hopkins