A Chaotic Arrival

From the Story Arc: Silence After the Storm

(posted Sunday, August 19, 2007)

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be in the middle of a war? Do you know the sound of a bullet ricocheting, or the feel of the ground shaking after a bomb has landed nearby, leaving a black crater where the ground used to be? Do you know the intense feeling of fear, adrenaline, rage, and anxiety as they all combine and make your heart nearly pound out of your chest? These feelings I felt as a young boy, but no more. Now, there is only instinct, there is only calm in the existing havoc that is war. The only new feeling I have is growing curiosity… curiosity after landing on a helipad in Peregrine Island and seeing the sky nearly as black as night.

“What time is it,” I ask the helicopter pilot, tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention. He’s nervous and I can smell it. Something is wrong, but what is it? “Th-th-three o’clock in the afternoon,” he stutters and starts to sweat. He looks up and around to the clouds as if waiting for something. “Sir, I really need to get out of here fast, so please step out of the chopper.” I throw my duffle bag on the roof of the building where the helipad is placed and jump out of the helicopter. Almost immediately, the pilot takes off and tries to ascend as quickly as possible. Then, I see it… a UFO, not like anything I’ve ever seen in a science book. A beam shoots from the UFO and heads directly toward the helicopter. I can almost hear the pilot scream as he and the helicopter are blown to pieces and disintegrated. “What the hell is that,” I mutter to myself. I grab my duffle bag and jump from the roof onto the street in the direction of Portal Corps.

I drop my bag to the ground, again, and stare in disbelief. Is this a dream? The sight before me leaves me speechless as I see 20 or more heroes battling Rikti forces right in the courtyard of the Portal Corps facility. A newspaper blows along the ground and onto my leg. I pick it up and read it, mouthing the words, “THE RIKTI ARE INVADING! WE ARE AT WAR!” Not again. Have they really returned to finish the job? I realize that there will be plenty of time for answers later as I crumble up the newspaper and run straight for the battle.

The chaos and colliding fist and gun blasts do not deter me as I run and leap into the middle of the action, landing a sweeping kick that sends many Rikti flying into multiple directions. I land as many punches and kicks as I can, but they don’t seem to be enough. Rikti forces continuously teleport into our mists as the Rikti ships rain down bombs from the sky onto the unsuspecting citizens of the island. “This has to end,” I mutter, and after 10 minutes, it is over. The Rikti forces retreat and the sky is blue once again. I look around to the others and nod in respect. No heroes were lost in the battle, but we pushed ourselves to the limit.

I hear over the radio of a nearby hero that there are more Rikti forces approaching several other parts of Paragon… St. Martial, Atlas Park, Steel Canyon… What has happened to this place? Why have the Rikti returned? As I stand with my eyes closed, thoughts racing through my head and the wind blowing across my face, I decide to go to the only place where I can find answers… my home, the CCCP.