June 12, 2774

I wasn't sure of much, but I knew it wasn't the end of the world…

There are many people who tries and forget about war and move on, but people like me…it stay with them no matter how much you would close your eyes and dream it would be gone, but like every dream you wake up into reality…

A crackle of lightning woke me out of my bed. The air felt dry and dense. I struggled to move around a lot. My body felt weak as if I had been completely drained of energy. I laid there for a few moments examining the dark room I was in the dark room around me; I gingerly sat up on the bed.

I could see the cityscape of New York; it was different; darker, it made you feel depressed too. I never saw a city in such agony like this since World War Three on Earth.

I approached the window in the room to get a closer look there were yellow lights everywhere, I looked further in the distance a saw NY Military Headquarters battered. At first I thought about the attack on the planet and New York Military, but I never knew the extent of the damage. However that theory was crossed out when I looked at a news craft dated June 12, 2774.

"No!" I exclaimed banging my hand on the window leaving a massive crack.

'Six Months' I thought I was out again for six months I figured I had enough sleep on the count of being stuck in that stasis chamber for 750 years. Now so much has changed here.

A gunship quickly flew passed the window. I jumped back I noticed the yellow and black symbol of Core on the side of the transport; it looked like it was heading for the roof too.

It didn't make sense sticking around I went into the closet looking for clothes to wear; I wouldn't be the best thing to go into the fire wearing a hospital gown. Inside I found my dark coat along with a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and dark boot.

I dressed quickly; as I started for a door I noticed an envelope next to the bed at first I was going to leave it, my heighten senses heard soldiers walking down the steps. I just grabbed it and ran out the door.

I tried to avoid certain areas in case Core took control of the security room by now. I looked around the corners of the hallways and pressed a button on the elevator. Hopefully I could escape without anyone noticing me, there was chatter behind me Two heavily armed Core troopers turned around the corner.

"You there stop!" they shouted.

The Elevator doors opened I rushed inside the soldiers opened fire shooting at the elevator I ducked over to the side as the door closed on the barrage of fire. My heart began to pump adrenaline; the bullets left holes through the elevator door and nearly grazed me. I descended rapidly down for brief while, around the 12th floor the elevator stopped. I repeatedly pressed the button hoping for a reaction. I knew that they weren't going to let me out of here without a fight. I gathered up a little superhuman strength and pried open an emergency exit. I slowly climbed out of the elevator into the deep hallow shaft. A little light came from the service lights around. I now stood on top of the elevator in between the 12th and 13th floor.

I felt the elevator move down several inches; I staggered almost losing my footing. I grabbed hold of the edge of the 13th floor door, and the elevator dropped. I held tightly on the edge, trying to at least keep up a firm grip on the thing.
"OK Dan this is just like training back at West Point except there's no net, elevator flying up and down." I spoke softly to myself. I slid over to the corner where a ladder was, the problem was it was at least a five feet leap. I couldn't get the momentum to just leap over instead I reached over for the elevator cable and caught it with the bit of momentum I could build. I pulled up my sleeves so my skin won't get burned off while I slide down.

"He's in the shaft, find him." I heard from above.

Immediately I slid down the cable I felt my hand burning through my sleeve, I stopped at the ground floor, yelping at the pain in my hand. I rushed over not touching anything with my hands, two Core soldiers stood next to the in front of the emergency exit, built to get out of the shaft.

I delivered a violent elbow to one of them cracking the visor on their helmet. The soldier released his gun and fell on the floor; I grabbed his gun from the ground and shot his partner in his breast-plate. I ditched the gun and grabbed one of the soldier's water containers and poured it in my hands. I picked up a rifle again and shot at another soldier, the bullets pierced directly through his helmet into his head. I broke one of the windows to the car, and a noisy alarm flared off. The noise became ear-splitting to the point where I shot at the control panel and the sounds went off.

I exhaled. "I guess that's why no one hijack in the year 2774." I said to no one in particular.

I examined the parking garage and I saw a motorcycle. There were Core soldiers closing in behind. I hopped on and a virtual interface appeared in front of me I pressed the start button and the large interface compacted into a small visor. Core began to open fire at me; I gas the bike and zoomed out of the garage into the city.

Manhattan Sector, New York

I drove throughout the city astonished at the city, all around was multiple Core banner and insignia all over the place. I now had a closer look at New York Military Headquarters, it carried the Core insignia where New York one was once placed. There wasn't a single person outside, guessing from the planet-wide curfew imposed by Core.

I stopped near a high-rise building to catch a breath, from minute one Korr had me on the offensive. I got off of the bike sitting down in an alley, the rain poured down now more relentlessly than before. I tried to make sense of all that happened; how did the strongest military in The Colonies get defeated by a corporation? What happened to Athena, and Dahlia and the others at New York Military?

I sat there contemplating and the letter I found fell out of my pocket. On the front of it had my name on it, I found it strange that I would find literally a note when in the year 27-something everyone uses Holo-net to send messages where in the world would you even find a piece a paper to write it. I opened the letter and began reading:

Dan,

Meet me at the Infinity Bar from 6pm -13a.m. All your questions will be answered. Make sure that you are not followed.

I couldn't make out the rest of it or who wrote it. I looked at my watch panel it was a little after 11pm I figured I needed some information and fast, I got up and rode off into the lower city.

Infinity Club, Bronx Sector

I was familiar with The Infinity Club; it where all of New York's underground goes to party the nights away, hell a few nights that place was my best friend where I would go and drink under the table. That however was three years ago.

I strolled past the bouncer in front of the bar, who surprisingly just glared and nodded his head at me. I rarely ever come to the Lower Regions of New York, This whole planet was like a two sided coin; it's sprawling and prosperous lays faced up while the dirty anarchistic tail take refuge under. This place reminded me of rough slums that I fought in on Earth. This was the only thing that I hated about New York it was in denial; they claimed that they were above Earth calling it a utopia, but hold within more of the same iniquity than that which consumed the earth into a barren wasteland.

I stepped into the bar; it hasn't changed much since the last time I've been here. Ear-bleeding music, people dancing as if they aren't being occupied by a terrorist organization, and don't forget the maniacal drunks all over the place. I sat down by the bar table in the center of the club.

The Bartender glared at me for a long period before speaking. "Dan Ryan it's been awhile; you want your same poison?" he asked.

I smirked at him. "No, I came here looking for some information."

"If it's information that you want than I can't help you, but if you want a drink than I'm your man."

"I'll pass."

The man shrugged and walked away to the other side of the bar.

"Perhaps I could be of help." A woman said two seats away; I sat back in my seat I looked at her as she stared off into the bar.

"That depends, what exactly do you know that could help me?" I asked.

She looked over to me; her jet black hair slid down her back, she had light eyes perhaps bluish, and had to be no taller than 5'8 but maybe more with her stiletto boots. She wore a small jacket, and skirt with fish net stockings. She kind of reminded me of Claire, she was very appealing as she was, but her hair was shorter than hers. It doesn't matter she died a long time ago.

"I know that you are Daniel Ryan; 24 years old and you just woke from a coma." She said. At that moment I wasn't sure if she was a friend or a secretly an agent of Core.

For some reason I couldn't get over the feeling that she looked familiar to the point where I was going to call her Clare and see if she responds. She looked at me as if I was a total creep which made sense so I faced the bar as we spoke.

"What happened around here? Last I recall New York Military was in charge not Core." I asked.

"Well after New York Military Commander Reed was killed by the terrorist, you unconscious in a comatose state, and the entire planet in disarray Alexander Korr seized the opportunity and took control of the planet." She explained.

I was astonished at the idea. Even in disarray New York Military was the strongest of all the Colonies there was no way New York Military could be beaten by Corporate Private Military.

"But even in disarray the Acting Commander would take charge." I said.

"That would have happen if you didn't kill The Queen of Spades." she replied.

That's right she would have taken the place, but she was in league with Core from the beginning if she took power Core wouldn't have to wait until we were vulnerable enough to attack.

"But surely someone who was next in line…" I argued not trying to accept the fact that core could be defeated.

"There is another person, but…it depends."

"Depends on what?"

She looked at me and smiled. The woman grabbed my dog tags and examined them. "You fought in World War III right."

I nodded. "What of it?"

The Woman tilted her head at me. "I thought you of all people would recognize me Dan."

I froze for a moment all I could do was look at her. "I'm Sorry I don't believe we met."

She chuckled. The woman reached into her neck and pulled out two similar dog tags to mine. I didn't know how to react; my body just...shuts down. I felt my face goes slack; my mouth stuck open.

"Clare." I whispered.

She grabbed my arm and pulled me out the back door into the alley, she pounced on me to the point where I almost lost balance. We embraced each other in the rain for a moment and broke aware to stare at each other.

"Oh my God, it's so good to see you Clare; you seem a little older than I remember though."

She chuckled. "I have gotten older in fact, but I'll tell you more about that later when we reach the hideout."

"Hideout? You're with the resistance now?" I asked.

"Yes, but..." She froze in mid-sentence staring off behind me.

"Claire is everything alright." I looked over my shoulder to see what she was looking at. There was a man who seems around my height; he had on a long black overcoat, dark sunglasses, and black steel toe boots.

Claire began to tug at me. "Dan let's get out of here."

The man stood there motionless with his hands behind his back. I didn't know who he was until I noticed the yellow stripe trailing down his left sleeve. "He's one of Korr's agents." I said.

"Not just any agent." Clare added.

The Agent drew out a steel staff and twirled in around and rested it in a backhanded form.

Clare pulled out a pistol and shot at The Agent almost instantaneously the man leaped and literally dodged the incoming danger hopping from wall to wall and quickly approaching us.

Clare swore. "Run!" She began pulling me along back into the club, we moved through the large group of people running out the front of the club. We dashed past the bouncer into the Lower City Streets.

I broke her grip off of my hand and slowed down. The agent rushed through the crowd of people. He glared at me through his dark sunglasses; his skin was a pale color, with strong nose almost like mine his hair which was silky and dark was out-of-place, possibly from the running.

I stood in a fighting stance in front of him he swung his staff at me I weaved out-of-the-way and delivered a backhanded swing to his face he flew back towards the huge crowd beginning to gather.

Apparently he became pissed off and began to charge Clare rolled up in a car and delivered open fire on the agent. He was incredibly elusive completely dodging every shot she fired at him that almost seemed supernatural.

"What the hell?" I mumbled.

"Dan, get in!" Claire shouted as the guy momentum put him towards the crowd. I hopped in her hover-car hastily. Clare floor the car down the street.

I sat in the chair exhaling softly I looked out of the back window as that agent stood there in the street glaring at us as we became less visible.

"He won't follow us Dan." Claire said, speeding past a stoplight.

"Who the hell was that Claire?" I asked.

She sighed. "He calls himself 'The Shade'; No family, no records, and no idea why he calls himself that ridiculous name."

Whoever he was he was able to dodge every single bullet thrown at him; the ability to dodge or evade a bullet was formally a feat only found in movies—until the Augmentation Program in 2017. Super-soldiers were trained to have the reaction time to evade almost anything, and a speeding bullet was the most hardest to do. It even took me a couple of years to get my reaction to the point where I could dodge rifle bullets.

Last I checked Alexander Korr told me that all the people who could have been a soldier died in the war or by one of his failed experiments.

"Where are we going now?" I asked.

"To the resistance stronghold now that you are awake we could finally turn the tide of this thing." Claire said.

"Claire I don't know how much of a difference one man could make." I replied.

"A lot if that one man is a super-soldier like you." She responded.

All that happened was a lot to take in with Core's occupation, this super-human agent trying to kill us, and Claire actually being alive. Despite that I doubt I my state I wouldn't last long against Core alone, so the resistance was my best bet.

"Alright I'm in, but I have one question."

"Shoot." Claire stopped at a light.

"Where is Athena?"

Her face went still for a moment when I mentioned her; she looked over at me then turned to drive again. "Athena she's with the resistance to." She replied.

The last time I remember seeing her was more like a dream; I was in her arms, I couldn't barely move or anything, she was crying which was a rare site for me. The last time we talked was on Liberty Island, where she told me I had a daughter. I was angry for briefly; she could have told me sooner than she did, but at the end I still love her.

Without warning my head began spinning, my body began to feel hot I could hear Clare voice calling out to me, her voice became less comprehensible, my vision blurred it wasn't until I fell unconscious.