|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 5: Necessary for Survival
"Good morning, it's a beautifully chilly day here in the capital as we wake up to the fantastic news that the World Government have announced that-"
Whatever it was that the World Government had announced, Leon did not want to know. Despite what the ridiculously optimistic radio announcer had been saying, anything they did was bad news for him. He shut off the alarm, before quickly getting showered and dressed. He'd been told by Jasper that he had to be dressed as casually as possible, in order for this mission to be successful they had to be able to navigate the streets of London in broad daylight with arousing suspicion. This meant that they had to look presentable and neat but not too presentable so it looks like they are trying too hard. That wouldn't have been something that Leon would have thought of previously but he supposed that it made sense.
He'd woken up an hour early in order to mentally prepare himself and get some warm up sparring in. He remembered what he'd learned about channelling his energy through his body in order to sharpen his reflexes and improve his speed. It definitely worked; even he could tell that he had become far quicker than he had ever been before.
"It's not enough," he thought, as he sat back down on his bed. "How can I not use my element? Am I really that inept? The son of famous parents yet I can't do shit, sounds about right."
Leon's self defeating inner monologue was interrupted by three loud bangs on his door. It was enough to startle him and instantly bring him to his feet. He went to go towards the door but hesitated for a second. The team had scheduled to meet downstairs in another 15 minutes so there would be no reason for any of them to visit him now. He couldn't really think of anyone else that would visit him early in the morning.
"How long are you going to let me stand out here?" a voice called out in familiar Irish tones. Confused, Leon quickly walked over and opened the door only to see Jasper smiling back at him.
"You do remember that you're living in a secure underground facility rather than an abandoned office don't you? You don't have to be so jumpy all the time."
"I'll keep it in mind" Leon muttered. "So, what are you doing here? I thought we were all meeting at the exit?"
"We are, but I wanted to see you about something first" Jasper said excitedly. "Now, last night I did some digging around, asking a few of the older guys around here some things. Anyway, what I managed to find were these."
From behind his back, Jasper pulled out a pair of swords similar to the one's he had been using previously. Even though he was by no means an expert on such things, even Leon could tell that they were a high quality pair. The handles had a wooden look to them with what appeared to be Japanese kanji written in black ink. They were obviously sharp and lethal yet reasonably light when compared to the swords he had used with Linda. It was a nice surprise, but still didn't explain why Jasper had come to him in private like this.
"Yeah, it was Warren who gave me them actually" Jasper continued. "Turns out he'd been keeping them aside for when you joined us, they were used by your father."
Jasper had clearly been saving that information for when Leon had his hands on the blades. A complex mix of emotions arose within him. In a way it was strange that he had such a reaction, after all he already had a watch that belonged to his father so it wasn't like it was the first memento he had been given. However, this one was different. Whereas the watch was too big for him to wear just yet and was completely busted, these were in perfect condition. He could actually use them, fight the way his father fought and for the same organisation. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he knew him somewhat.
"This is amazing," he gasped, trying to hide the tears welling up in his eyes.
"Yeah, probably the second best set I've ever seen, just behind my own personal set of course" Jasper joked. "I don't know much about him but it's clear that he had style in the least and by all accounts you've got a lot to live up to. I figured that having something like this would give you a kind of motivation; I know that I could have used a memento from my parents during my first mission. Anyway, I hope you like them and we have to go."
Leon chuckled as he locked his door, Jasper didn't really seem like the type to engage in an emotional conversation and apparently saying that his Dad had style was the best he could manage. Still, he appreciated the effort and strapped the swords to his back and underneath his jacket.
His feelings of pride seemed to disappear quite quickly as they made their way to the meeting point. Instead, Leon realised how terrified he actually was about taking part in a mission. What would they have to do? Was he really good enough to go into battle? What happens if things go wrong? All these questions ran through his head, as he thought of every worst-case scenario possible. Of course, he wouldn't dream of telling anyone about this and he made sure that he at least looked calm when he met Devon and Lexi at the exit.
"So, this is it huh?" Lexi muttered. "We're actually doing this?"
"Hell yeah!" Devon yelled, practically hopping with what appeared to be genuine excitement. "I can't wait, I'll be taking out Hunters two at a time!"
"I highly doubt that" Jasper said, as he checked his watch. "Anyway, I don't expect that there will be any fighting going on here, not that kind of mission."
"Well, what kind of mission is it?" Leon wondered.
"It's what we like to call a basic living mission."
Leon spun around to see whom the voice was coming from. The man appeared to be around Jasper's age and height, although in contrast to Jasper's suit he wore an Adidas tracksuit and a pair of white trainers. He wore a baseball cap in reverse, with the fringe of his brown hair sticking out of what should have been the back of the cap.
"Joey!" Jasper exclaimed, walking over to his friend and extending his fist. "About time you got here slacker, late as usual eh?"
"Ah, you know I'm worth waiting for" Joey responded, taking Jasper's offer by bumping his fist with his own. "Besides, waiting a little lets the newbies get all nervous before they go out in to the big bad world."
"Aye, that's true enough" Jasper laughed, as he shot Lexi a wink. "Still, I want to get this done before lunchtime so we should get going."
"Get what done? What are we even doing?" Devon demanded to know, seemingly still annoyed about the unlikelihood of any action.
"Let's walk and talk, Jasper here is apparently eager to get going" Joey said, as he led them out of the exit door and into the same hallway that Leon had came down just a couple of weeks before.
"This mission requires some deception and an ability to blend in with your surroundings" Jasper began. "You need to be on alert all times, you never know when things might go wrong. Also-"
"All right drama queen that's enough" Joey butted in. "What we're actually doing is going to meet a guy in an old warehouse so we can pay him his bribe for the month."
"What do we need to bribe him for?" Lexi asked.
"Well, it's kind of boring but we need to so we can keep this place running" Jasper explained. "You see, the World Government in their genius have combined all of the utilities into one company which they control. I'm sure that part of the idea was so that they could restrict it's use and stop our activities, but this just made them even more vulnerable."
"How so?" Devon questioned.
"Less people that we need to bribe" Joey answered simply. "This way we don't need to contact several people for one service, we can just go through one guy who has access."
The group continued to walk through the tunnel and Leon noticed that they were taking several turns that he hadn't even noticed were there last time.
"How does that even work?" Leon suddenly wondered. "Surely they would notice if you were to re-route electricity cables and add in new pipes for water and stuff?"
"They would if that's what we were doing" Jasper responded. "It goes back to the base we're using. You see we didn't build it from scratch, nothing of the sort. It was a secret underground bunker built in World War II by the British Government, just in case the Nazi's managed to decimate the country the important guys had somewhere safe and secure to hide. Of course, it never got used and the plan was to get rid of it some years later. However, Warren had other ideas and was able to pull some strings and had the entire thing transferred to him but the official records still state that it no longer exists."
"Ah, I get it now" Lexi said in awe, while Leon and Devon still remained confused.
"All connections for water, gas and electricity were already installed and are still connected to the main lines, the official directive from the government was that it was too expensive to do the works to disconnect them" Joey said. "With everything already set up, it's less difficult than you think to get everything running through them again."
"So, this isn't even directly fighting against the government?" Devon moaned.
"Actually, there is an element of that involved" Jasper said, as they began to walk up steps. "Keeping these guys sweet could be essential in the future. If we ever get into a position where we could attempt a coup d'état or an assassination on the President, cutting the power supply at the right time could be very important and be of great assistance to us."
Without even breaking stride, Jasper simply lifted up his arm and seemingly made a hole in the roof above them. As it turned out, he merely opened a door above them all that already existed. The group stepped out into what looked like a basement of a house.
"Where is this place?"
"122 Harrogate Terrace, one of five properties in London owned by Warren" Joey answered Lexi's question. "These are the five places where the tunnel ends and we can get out, this one just happens to be closest to the rendezvous point."
They made their way through a rather ostentatious and expensive looking house, which looked suspiciously well maintained despite only being used as cover for an exit.
"Members of the Resistance are allowed to use the properties from time to time" Joey commented, giving Jasper a sly sideways glance. "This one just happens to be the favourite."
"Let's just say that girls like guys who appear to be rich and leave it at that" Jasper chuckled. "Now then, we'll have Leon up front with me and you three about five paces behind?"
"Five paces eh? Feel like living dangerous?" Joey responded jokingly. "That sounds fine, it's not a long walk and the police should be on a shift change soon."
Leon's confusion over what they were talking about was soon cleared up as they reached the city and they split up into two groups, with the other three behind Jasper and Leon. The reasoning behind this was obvious; a group of five would certainly look more suspicious than two or three people walking separately. Despite this, Leon could shake the feeling that he was being watched. Every lingering stare from strangers on the street, every suspicious glance just raised the terror alert in his brain. The deadly blades strapped to his back suddenly felt ten times heavier than before and every few seconds he glanced backwards just to make sure that they weren't making an imprint in his loosely fitting jacket.
"You know, acting suspicious isn't going to help avoid suspicion," Jasper said. "Just looking at you is making me nervous."
"How do you do it? How do you walk around so calmly?"
"Well, I suppose that it comes from knowing that on the off chance a policeman suspected something, I could kick his ass before he could do anything about it" Jasper replied. "Anyway, here we are."
Jasper casually turned the corner and they were stood before an old and abandoned building, which had become an all too common sight in London. It appeared to have once been some type of warehouse, all though unusually it had several floors. After glancing his surroundings a few times, Jasper approached an old rusting back door and forced it open.
"I'm tired of coming to this shithole," Joey groaned, as he followed everyone inside. "I get that we have to come somewhere secluded and all that jazz, but still."
"Even using the most convenient place for everyone still pisses you off huh?" Jasper laughed. "Oh well, you and I both know that if the worst thing about a mission is the fact that the place you have to go to isn't the most desirable then you can count yourself lucky."
"Another pearl of wisdom" Joey shot back. "Oh and what would you know, look who's on time."
Standing in the middle of the vast and empty room was an overweight man in blue overalls and a red cap. He was tapping his foot impatiently, although it was also possible that he was doing so through nerves. Whatever the reason, he was clearly glad to see Jasper.
"All right Jimmy, you can calm down now I'm here," he said, as he grabbed a roll of notes from his inside jacket pocket. "Here we are, you know the drill just keep everything ticking over."
"Listen Jasper, I need to talk to you," the man croaked. "I'm getting some serious heat on my back, I'm telling you they suspect something. I'm putting my life on the line here, if you want this to keep going I need more money."
Jasper shot Joey a sceptical look before turning back to the man.
"I understand, but we have nothing more to give. Remember, we exist to help you all, to free you from things like this so you can live your life in peace. Tell me something, do you believe in us?"
"Well of course but-"
"Well, that's all you need!" Jasper declared, spreading his arms out for full effect. "Now, while we're out there risking our lives fighting on the front lines, we need guys like you to help us with this. Now, can you keep this up or do we need to find someone else."
Jimmy sighed dramatically and brushed the sweat from his brow.
"Okay, I'll keep doing what I can."
The two shook hands and quickly parted ways, the efficient handover seemingly done. As the group walked out, Lexi whimpered out a question.
"Aren't you worried by what he said?"
"I'd be worried if he didn't say anything like that" Jasper replied, while Joey nodded his head in agreement. "We've had a few of these guys and they always try to scam us like this, it's human nature I guess. I've said that little speech dozens of times, just a way of letting them know that they aren't getting anything more out of us. All right, back in formation then. Looks like we'll be making it back in record time."
The walk back was much more calm, seeing how simple it was to deceive the government had filled Leon with much more confidence. They reached the house in a matter of minutes and quickly moved through to the basement. Once they were there, away from the danger of the outside world, they could all truly relax. Jasper and Joey must have sensed the lack of tension in the group as they started recounting their old stories.
"Oh man, if only you could have seen that guys face when I popped up behind me and asked him if he'd forgotten about me, I thought he was going to have a heart attack!" Joey chuckled.
"Well, you never saw his face either to be fair" Jasper pointed out. "Still, that was a good one. It was even funnier when he realised his element was weak against your earth."
"Oh, so you're an earth user" Devon commented, having finally found a part of the conversation he could join in. "That means that you probably use some heavy weapon to take advantage of your strength right?"
"Nope" Joey responded flatly. "Unlike the rest of these backwards people, I use guns much easier than close quarter combat for sure."
"I thought you said that guns were useless in combat?" Lexi said, looking towards Jasper.
"Most of the time they are, you just haven't seen his guns" Jasper replied. "Which reminds me of that other time!"
Joey began laughing as Jasper opened the door to enter the headquarters once again. However, they both stopped in their tracks as soon as they stepped inside. At first, Leon wondered what had caused this reaction from them. Then he noticed; it was deadly quiet in the room as everyone sat looking gloomy while others appeared to be crying.
"Fuck" Joey said under his breath.
Jasper walked over to a nearby woman and talked to her for a couple of seconds. During this time, Leon looked over to Devon and Lexi for answers but there expressions merely told him that they also had no idea what was going on. Jasper returned looking gloomier than ever, shaking his head as he did.
"Its Carla" he sighed. "Apparently she was jumped by three elites during a recon mission, she never had a chance."
"Wait so" Devon began, as he processed what was being said.
"She's dead?" Lexi finished, as her voice cracked.
Jasper's response said it all and hit Leon like a tonne of bricks. Carla, the toughest woman he had ever met, who he had seen just a matter of days before was dead. He just stood there, completely dumbfounded, listening to Lexi's sobs in the background and Devon's mutterings of how he couldn't believe it.
"I need a drink," Joey said, his mood having taken a complete 180 as he stormed off.
"You asked me how I keep it together during a mission" Jasper began, glancing back over at Leon. "The truth is, I'm absolutely terrified of this. I never want my friends to have to be told of my death, to shed tears for me. I can't afford to be scared and neither can you. If you three only take one more piece of advice from me, let it be this. We are at war and despite all of the joking around we may have you must never forget that."