AN: Nope, this ain't in my Fractured universe.

Ryan Morgan

Halo, Cloud District

I had wanted an escape. An escape from the hellscape I called home, from the constant abuse… from everything. Just an escape. That isn't too much to ask, is it? From the continuous beating that I receive from depression. Just… everything. I was merely 17, yet I never had a single piece of joy. I was at my breaking point. I felt as if I was teetering on the edge of a cliff and even just a single feather could make me lose my footing, making me plunge into the dark coldness below.

I was going insane. I knew I was. No matter what anybody said. "You're being overdramatic" they'd say, not really taking the time to understand if I was. I wasn't. Something in my gut told me. Almost as if I could feel my mind shattering, my heart wanting to stop beating.

I stared down at my old and worn clothes, a reminder of just how pitiful I was. It hurt. Everything does. From the veins in my feet to the neural receptors in my brain. Speaking of minds, I had learned a truth no one wanted to admit, to take responsibility for. No matter what, people will only look after themselves. I had not received a single bit of help since the day of my birth.

And this only worked to engrave the knowledge in my mind. I had been a lone wolf since the moment I could be. I had to. This city, Halo, was unforgiving. My scars were a testament to that, both physical and mental.

I was a cornered animal, pleading for mercy though no one would give a single shred.

I walked down the sidewalk, ignoring the rude and insulting bumps I got from the more well-off residents. Some were your everyday citizens that lived a perfectly happy and normal life, others were aristocrats rich beyond compare. They were both on the higher end of society. Sadly, I was the lowest you could possible reach. Rock bottom.

My mind is a prison, making sure that I would stay encaged until I turned into nothing more than a pile of bones or succumbed to insanity. The bright lights and night-life of the city was unsettling for me. An abrupt chuckle rumbled in my chest, bring my mind back to my worsening mental condition when I had tried to leave it.

Suddenly, I was pulled into an alley way. It was dark, a pitch-black shade of shadow. As my eyes adjusted, I saw the dumps of multiple stores with a multitude of puddles forming on the ground. In the back of the alley, there was an opening with a railing that allowed you to see out in the vast expanse of the sky. Oh, yeah forgot tell ya - Halo's a sky city. It was the original sky city, paving the way for hundreds more since it's creation, almost a century ago. I really don't know how it works. It just does.

Somehow, they managed to make all the buildings stay afloat over a mile in the air while still supporting all the roads, parks, and everything else a healthy town needs through what was a large ship. Tons of complications that could've simply been put to rest by building on the ground, but the designers must've been too snobby to build on the ground like a regular person. Fuck 'em.

"Alright, kid, give me all your money, or you get it," a gruff voice told me. I then felt the feeling of cool, hard metal against my head and the click of a loaded gun. Oh boy! What a great situation to be in! Being mugged in a dark and damp alley with a loaded armament to my head! Whee!

"I have no money," I said evenly, managing to keep my stirring insanity wrapped. "Listen, you dense-nut. You better give me something valuable or else that water ain't going to be the only thing staining the ground," he growled. "I'm sorry, but do you not have anything better to do than molest under-aged teens?" I asked, my tone bored. Yup. I was that insane. To the point where I didn't even feel a bit of fear from the gun currently aimed for a bullet to go through my head. "Listen, you little screw. You better give me something worth more than your shitty excuse for a life," the man grew increasingly irritated with my behavior, spinning me around. His face was wreathed in shadows, not allowing me to get a glimpse at his face.

I then started laughing maniacally, my mental degradation becoming evident. This unsettled the man slightly, judging from his posture. "Listen, buddy, if you want something more valuable than my life, get some garbage from the dumpsters. That's bound to get you a few more pennies than selling me," I said, my voice tinged with humor, though I was serious. "You're probably right. And you know what we do to that kind of people?" he asked, waving his gun in amusement. "Kill them?" I asked, putting together the pieces.

"Ding-ding! Now, you got five seconds to hand over anything that is worth more than a buck or else your body is going along with the trash in those dumpsters," he practically yelled, becoming even more frustrated. "Kill me, then. It's not like I got anything to lose," I mumbled, not being bothered by the fact that I could be facing my death. Not some videogame 'Game over!' screen where I could simply respawn and continue, but where it all stops. Where my life gets derailed and burnt to ashes.

"Shit… you're more fucked up than Josh… get the hell out of here!" he hollered the last part, running into a building after kicking me out of the alley fearfully. That meant be being pushed over a railing and falling three feet onto hard concrete. I ignored the pain forming in my neck and popped open a small cannister I had hidden in the inside of my worn hoodie. It was Chow, a highly addictive drug that was the sole founder of a billion-dollar industry. To others, it was known as a cause of death to the weak, and an enjoyable past-time to the people who could bear it. To me it was an escape. It dulled my pain. It was my coping mechanism, my only way to continue through the horror ride of shit that I called my life.

It was my oxytocin.