|ZeroVerse: Origin of Leon
Author: ZeroVerse PM
An orphan who lives in a time ruled by a dictator finds a group who are willing to fight for their freedom. Part of a larger universe featuring many different characters from different authors, the rest of which will be uploaded seperately at a later dateRated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 5 - Words: 16,332 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-18-12 - Published: 05-12-12 - id: 3021717
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: Resistance
Sunlight shone in through the small corner of the window that the curtains didn't quite reach. Due to the lateness of the year, the blinding light brought only discomfort to the young boys eyes and none of the warmth that he would normally expect. Most people would get around this problem by either moving their bed or repairing the curtains. Unfortunately, neither of those solutions was possible for him. He didn't have a bed to begin with, he merely slept on the on the floor wrapped up in an old blanket. He had to sleep in that area, as it was closest to the fireplace and consequently the only place in the entire house that had any warmth. As for the curtains, he wouldn't know where to buy them and didn't have any money to buy with them regardless.
As the light had already forced him awake, the boy decided that it was time to get up. He walked over and opened up the curtains to be greeted by the same miserable view that lay in wait for him every morning. All he could see was the derelict buildings that surrounded the abandoned office tower that he lived in. The sunlight poured in and revealed the small room that his life had been reduced to. Stained blue carpet was all that was left of the room's former inhabitant and the rusting fireplace, as well as the cracked mirror in the corner of the room, was the only furniture to speak of. A small pile of clothes was neatly folded next to a small bucket of icy cold water. He walked over and examined the liquid for a moment, before frowning at the misty reflection that stared back at him.
"I can't wash with this," he thought, before picking up the clothes. "I guess that I'll have to go and see Jasper today."
He rummaged through the clothes and deliberated over which combination was the least dirty. He smiled when he realised that all of his favourite clothes were at least somewhat clean, which was a rare moment of happiness for him. He quickly got changed and went to check on his appearance in the mirror.
Leon had to brush the blonde hair out of his radiant green eyes, two features that he was particularly proud of. His tight fitting, dark blue t-shirt was mostly covered by his stone grey jacket, which had the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His light coloured jeans drew attention away from the beat up Adidas trainers that he wore on his feet, the only evidence that he wasn't your average 15 year old boy.
After deciding that his appearance was as neat as he was going to get it, he packed all of his clothes into a backpack, as well as the several photos and watch that he kept by his bed. He opened up the window as far as it would go and peered down at the street beneath him. As usual, it was deadly quiet and there weren't even any cars driving by which was unusual in most parts of London. Satisfied that he wouldn't be seen, Leon quickly climbed out of the window and held on to the ledge. Effortlessly, he made his way down the side of the building, having memorised the various cracks and footholds months ago. The ten story drop had bothered him during his first few attempts at this, but that fear was long by now. Within half a minute, he had reached the relative safety of the pavement, where he zipped his jacket all the way up to battle the cold temperatures. He gripped on to his bag tightly and set off towards the heart of the city. He put his hands in his pockets and desperately tried to warm up, wishing that he could afford a pair of gloves.
Within minutes he had reached a more highly populated area and the contrast couldn't be more obvious. Swarms of people went about their daily lives, shopping in the city and going to work with seemingly no care in the world. Dotted amongst the crowd were physically imposing men in black uniforms, silently judging the masses that tried to act as if they weren't there. Within a minute, Leon had been able to locate the five policemen in the area and did his best to stay out of their sight. Neat clothing was mandatory in public and he was quite sure that his trainers wouldn't pass an inspection. Eventually, he came to the store that he had been heading towards.
"The Comic Store" was an unimaginable name for the local comic book store that Jasper ran. Of course, the name wasn't his idea as The Federation decided the name for all businesses. The shop was very small and dimly lit, only big enough to fit four shelves on each wall. The laminate flooring was a throw back to a simpler time and the fact that it hadn't been replaced was a testament to Jasper's laziness. Compared to most retail outlets in the city, the shop was poorly maintained, as dirt and dust covered the comics sat on the shelves. Then again, it didn't need to be as the only comics that were allowed to be printed and sold practically told the same story and the last thing that anyone wanted to read was more propaganda from The Federation.
"For a moment there I thought I had a customer. Should of known it was you, you're the only person that comes here. What do you want today?"
The appearance of Jasper's store certainly didn't reflect on his own. He wore an expensive looking black suit, complete with a white shirt and black tie. His hair reached down to the bottom of his neck and it was obvious that he used some kind of product to help straighten it. However, like Leon his shoes sort of ruined his look. The black Converse, while not being dirty or wrecked, did look out of place. Despite this, it was the sunglasses on his face drew the most attention due to the fact that he didn't take them off no matter how dark it was or whether he was indoors.
"Just the usual" Leon replied, as he opened his backpack. "Also, I think that I'll need to refill the water."
Jasper feigned annoyance as he grabbed the bag and took the clothes out to the back in order to put them through the washing machine. While he was gone, Leon picked up one of the comics. This particular series was based on the adventures of a schoolboy that had to fight the horrors of non-conformity. The consequences displayed in the comic were exaggerated and severe and any idiot could see that it was merely thinly veiled threats.
"Surely you don't want to buy that do you?" Jasper joked, his thick Irish accent making his statement difficult to understand.
"Why does all of this stuff go unchallenged?" Leon asked, as he threw the comic down in disgust. "No one even bothers to stand up to them."
Jasper simply shrugged at Leon's statements, clearly not wanting to get into another conversation about why The Federation are evil.
"Oh, you'll be happy to know that I got the next volume in" Jasper suddenly said, as he pulled out a brown paper bag from under his desk. "It's only just been released in Japan and my translator had to work pretty quick to get it to me. You want a read of it?"
To Leon's delight, Jasper pulled the latest volume of the Naruto manga out of the bag. Straight away, Leon grabbed the book and started to leaf through it as quick as he could read. They spent the next hour or so reading and discussing the series, amongst other things. However, conversation never drifted towards Leon's past or why he was living alone. In fact, Jasper had never asked about it which Leon was grateful for. He didn't want to discuss it with anyone and he supposed that his demeanour made that clear. Jasper even prepared them both a bowl of pasta each, as he knew full well that Leon would have to steal food if he wanted to eat. Finally, a loud beeping noise rung out amongst the shop which meant that Leon's clothes had been dried. Jasper placed the clothes back into the original bag and handed them over.
"Sure you don't want to use the sink here to wash yourself?" Jasper offered.
"You've done enough for me I couldn't possibly take anymore" Leon replied, as he picked up the bucket that he had just filled. "I'll probably come back within a week or so."
He gave Jasper a wink as he walked out which was returned with a wry smile. Jasper liked the kid, what else could he say? Which is why a sick feeling suddenly ran through his stomach when he noticed a pair of black hooded following Leon as soon as he walked out of the shop.
Leon had noticed the followers straight away. He kept walking forwards, trying not to make it obvious that he was observing them out of the corner of his eye.
"Who are they?" he wondered, as he began whistling The Federation tune in an attempt to sound casual. "They're probably not police, I mean they wouldn't bother going undercover to come after me would they?
Just to be sure that he was being followed, Leon made a couple of irregular turns through the city going nowhere in particular. His followers kept on walking right behind him though, obviously waiting until they were alone. Leon steadied his breathing and adjusted his shoulders to make sure that his bag was strapped to his back properly. He regretfully looked down at the bucket of fresh water and sighed.
"Sorry Jasper, guess that I'll have to be back and borrowing from you earlier than expected."
In a desperate attempt to distract them, Leon threw the bucket at his pursuers and bolted through the crowd. His experience of running away from the police helped him to keep up his speed while navigating his way through the crowd, something which he pursuers appeared to struggle with. After a couple of minutes, he appeared to be safe but just to be sure he darted into the nearest alley. It was a shortcut that they wouldn't think of taking but he decided it would be safer to go back home instead of returning to Jaspers. After all, there was still a good chance that he could run into them. The alley itself was small and narrow with brick walls up either side.
Leon took another couple of steps before he suddenly received a powerful kick to the face. He hadn't even seen anyone else in the alley so the attack came as a shock. When he picked himself off the ground, he was shocked to see the same two hooded men towering over him. Even though they were covered from head to toe in black clothing, they were obviously physically fit and their stature was intimidating.
"I see, that's how you want to play it" Leon said, a wicked smile appearing on his face. "You asked for it guys, I can't be held responsible for your pain."
Leon moved quickly, delivering a perfectly executed hit to the nearest man's face. Unfortunately for him, the attack was blocked with a lazy movement of his arm. A kick brought a similar result and left him unable to deal with a vicious counter blow, which left Leon on the floor once again. Frustrated, Leon unleashed an all out assault on his enemies throwing kicks and punches at a fantastic rate. Yet, it was useless and he was defeated without too much trouble.
"What's with these guys? How are they so good at martial arts?"
"You are coming with us," the nearest man growled, his deep voice adding to his general threatening nature.
Leon sat on the ground, paralysed by fear. He didn't bother resisting, there was nothing he could do about it. Like a child scared by the dark, he closed his eyes and hoped everything would be alright once he opened them. Unfortunately, he could still hear them walking closer to him, each step bringing him closer to defeat.
Suddenly, he heard two men yell out in terror and the sound of two bodies hit the floor. Confused, Leon slowly opened his eyes. The two men lay on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood. Standing above them was Jasper, who turned back towards Leon.
"Too bad you eyes were closed," he laughed, as he picked Leon off the ground. "Because what I just did to those guys was fucking cool!"
Leon just stared in disbelief at the bodies on the floor. They were quite clearly dead and it must have taken him a matter of seconds to do it. Was that even possible?
"I'll explain later" Jasper said, as if he had read Leon's mind. "Standing out here probably isn't a good idea, it wouldn't be safe for you."
Jasper lead Leon through the streets of London, acting rather calmly for someone who had just claimed it wasn't safe. Eventually, they arrived back outside the comic book store and casually walked back inside.
"Not yet" Jasper said, as he walked behind the desk. He then placed his fingers in a small crack in the floor, before pulling an entire section of it from the ground. This revealed a stone staircase that lead down to a dark passage. Jasper beckoned Leon to enter, who followed the instructions. The passageway was narrow and lit only by medieval style lamps on the walls, which used fire rather than electricity to make them even more authentic.
Jasper caught up to Leon and pulled out a small white box from his inside pocket. Inside, were several small sticks that were made from white paper and filled with some type of black substance. Jasper placed the tip in his mouth and lit the other end with a match. He appeared to suck on the end before taking the stick out altogether and blowing out smoke.
"Oh right, I bet you have no idea what this, eh?" he asked, while chuckling away to himself. "It's called a cigarette, The Federation outlawed them when they first came to power which was before you were born. Probably the only thing they've done right actually, not exactly a healthy habit. Still, there bloody good!"
While being fascinated by the cigarette, Leon had much more pressing concerns.
"Who were those guys? How did you beat them? Why were they were coming after me and where are we going?" Leon asked, blurting out every question at once.
"I'll start with the last question if you don't mind" Jasper said, before blowing out yet more smoke. "We're going to the headquarters of The Resistance."
Despite the importance that Jasper had given it, "The Resistance" meant absolutely nothing to Leon.
"We're a secret organisation," Jasper continued, having sensed Leon's confusion. "You might be too young to fully understand but The Federation has taken away all of our rights. Everyone has to act how they're told without question and the government decides how we live our lives completely. Everyone acts as if it's all fine in public, the police see to that. We lead the fight against them, looking to regain the freedom that we have lost."
Leon nodded along, knowing all too well that The Federation was doing nothing good for the world.
"Those men are known as Hunters" Jasper said gravely, as he flicked away the butt of his cigarette. "They are The Federation's highest security force and they mostly deal with hunting us down and killing us. The one's they sent after you weren't all that tough but they can be very dangerous. With super human strength and almost supernatural abilities, they are the strongest force ever to be seen on this planet."
"So, how did you take them on?" Leon inquired.
"Because we have all that as well," Jasper replied confidently. "We've been trained to fight that very enemy and as such we have similar powers. Wouldn't be much of a fight if we didn't."
"I suppose that part makes sense," Leon admitted. "Still, I don't get why these guys came after me."
Jasper laughed for a moment, a simple "huh" the only sound that could be heard after Leon's question.
"You've got potential kid, more potential then I've ever seen" he said, much to Leon's surprise. "We were watching you even when you were in the orphanage and we picked you out as one of the best there. You're performance in their training sessions was incredibly impressive which is why I've been watching over you since you ran away."
Leon shuddered as he thought about the orphanage. He had lived there his whole life, endured the cruel and sadistic carers and undergone the intense physical training daily for 15 years. The day he left that place was the first day that he had ever felt something resembling joy.
"However, The Federation must have had an eye on you as well" Jasper continued, explaining the final piece of the puzzle. "Those orphanages are basically training camps, used to measure the potential of as many children as they can get their hands on. They've probably been looking for you since you escaped."
"So, why did you let me live for so long on my own?" Leon asked, suddenly feeling rather neglected.
"We had to be sure" was the reply from Jasper who didn't seem too bothered about Leon's anger. "I was always keeping my eye out to make sure that they didn't catch you. The real world is different from training and we had to know if you could perform when it counts. I'm happy to tell you that you passed our little test with flying colours!"
Leon doubted that the test could be considered little but he let this detail slide. He noticed that a large metal door lay just a few steps ahead of them which must mean that they were at the end of their walk.
"As you might be able to tell, this is it," Jasper said, as he pressed his thumb onto an electronic pad next to the door and scanned his eye with a retina scan that sat above it. Finally, he hovered his hand over the keypad filled with numbers.
"You better prepare yourself kid, your life will never be the same again."