1.1 - Not Just a Dream


Prologue:_________________
Die Letzte Stunde der Welt

The Society for Human Improvement of Nations, a former non-profit international aid and research organization turned world police. Its iron-fisted rule and draconian repressive policies have ignited an everlasting war for freedom. People were abducted and forced to live in BLOCKs, orbital slums for the “relocated” civilians. The world’s nations met with little success in repelling the ongoing assault, and one by one they fell. By the turn of the century, the SHION dominated the entire Eastern Hemisphere, and slowly began its advance on the west...

But where there is oppression, there will always be heroes to combat it. From the ashes of the former nations rose the Meridian, a resistance army comprised by members of a myriad of subjugated nations. For years, they fought the SHION and were battered down, only to rise up with doubled strength. Under the command of Austrian commander Suzanne von Meister, the Meridian gained a much-needed morale boost. Her stern and fearless personality led them to victory after victory.

23 September 2302. Under the codename of Operation Troia, the Meridian fought their toughest battle yet. Their objective was to take down the SHION’s satellite weapon, the HELIOS-01, and their leader, Dr. Alistair Stiles. After an all-fronts siege that lasted 49 days, the resistance succeeded. von Meister, however, disappeared after the confrontation with Doctor Stiles, who was possessed by his lust for ultimate power. All that could be seen was the HELIOS falling and exploding upon re-entry.

Both factions, now without a leader, agreed to a cease-fire, and for the next decade, the world saw an uneasy peace, shaken by guerrilla attacks here and there. All the while, they regrouped and garnered strength, and the gears of war began to turn once again...

Stage 1: The Rosario Campaign

June 2312. An ancient artifact of immense power lies hidden amongst the rolling hills of the quiet mountain town of Rosario, Puerto Rico. As it waits for the chosen one to hear its call, the SHION prepares to mount an all-out invasion on the island intent on claiming the sacred weapon for themselves. And in the center of this crisis is a young man who has yet to realize his destiny, not knowing he bears the weight of the world on his shoulders…

Stage 1.1:_________________
Not Just a Dream

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14 June 2312
Monte Estrella, Rosario, Puerto Rico
19:16 GMT -4
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Rosario. A small city located in the southwestern area of the island, split up from its metropolis, San Germán, over two centuries ago. The hills of Monte Estrella overlook the city, almost as if they were shielding it from harm’s way.

It is a bright, starry night outside. The city lights form a beautiful landscape, like thousands of firebugs on procession. A soft breeze blows through the trees in an almost foreboding manner.

A tall-ish boy with a pensive-looking face can be seen walking through the fields. He is wearing baggy jeans slightly bigger than his waist size and a navy blue shirt with an abstract pattern. The boy is Arturo Luna Morrison. Having grown up during countless battles, he has grown unattached and slightly weary of life.

Arturo stared down towards the city, then shifted his gaze up towards the stars.

-“I wonder what it would be like if all this never happened...”, he said in a defeat-like tone, “I really need to clear my head.”

-“It’s kinda cold out tonight...”

He tripped on an object hidden in the grass and fell flat on the ground.

-“Fucking... ow! What the... huh? What’s this?”, Arturo said with a curious look on his face as he grabbed the object which made him trip. It was some sort of spear, nine feet in length. It had a five-pronged tip, covered in dry blood. It had definitely seen many battles, he thought.

-“A... spear? Man, this thing must be ancient. Nobody even uses these to fight anymore-- Ugh!”

Everything went black. Arturo lay unconscious in the grass, still holding the spear in his hand. Meanwhile, a voice calls out to him...

-“Oh great. Another one of these emo fuckers. Why can’t I get someone, y’know, less wrong in the head?”

Arturo seemed to twitch in an attempt to gain consciousness.

-“Oy! Wake up! Lazy arse...”, the voice said, slightly irritated.

-“...nngh? What...?”, Arturo said, evidently still dazed.

As he opened his eyes, an endless view of white space emerged. Wherever he was, it looked completely empty, except for the figure standing right in front of him. It was looking down at Arturo, his eyes showing a particularly cynical expression.

-“...What the Christ?! Who are you, and where the heck am I?”, he said, the shock at his current situation getting the better of him.

-“Jesus, finally! Thought you were dead or something...” the figure said sarcastically.

Arturo took a closer look to the human silhouette standing above him. It had deep purple eyes; swirly dark hair to shoulder length, a whitish-purple halo, and a pair of angel wings, though not white; rather a light gray of sorts. The typical image of a fallen angel, he stood there, smiling, with a curious look on his face.

-“So, are you going to get up, or are you just going to lay around all night?”, the angel said, laughing.

Arturo regained his composure, and got up rather sluggishly; he was aching all over, as if he woke up from a very long sleep and his joints had fallen into disuse.

-“You still haven’t answered me, whatever you are,” Arturo said with a trace of hostility. -“Well?”

The fallen angel’s expression suddenly gained in seriousness.

-“Of course, how rude of me. My name is Cirvante. I am the guardian of the Lance of Longinus, the holy spear. Your body is still unconscious where you fell, don’t worry.”

-“The Lance of Longinus? But wasn’t that just a biblical legend?”

-“Not quite. The Lance is very real, I assure you. You’re holding it right now, in fact. If it weren’t real, why would I be talking to you right now?”

-“But what does it mean--?”

-“It means the world is in danger. Some of the stronger Aleph are growing self-conscious; some actually began to rebel against their hosts... Worst of all, it seems the SHION has figured it out as well and are trying to use it to their advantage.”

-“Aleph…?”, Arturo said, intrigued and worried at the same time.

-“Surely you’ve heard about all those freak accidents, yes? Tsunamis hitting in land-locked towns, blizzards in tropical areas, objects moving on its own... And in every one of these cases, people start disappearing shortly afterwards.”

-“You don’t mean...!”

Cirvante nodded his head.

-“To the SHION, Aleph are just another military weapon to further their goals. I do not think they know what they’re dealing with, however... Time after time, they have attempted to control their powers. Each time they failed, and the consequences were dire.”

-“But… You haven’t really explained much, just what are these Aleph, anyway?”

Cirvante sighed. He was used to over-enquiring people before, but this one took the cake.

-“The Aleph are spiritual manifestations of the Creator’s power. They cannot roam freely, however, and are bound to different objects found in nature. A tree, a rock, a weapon, even an alarm clock; anything can be a suitable habitat for an Aleph.

When a human touches an object inhabited by an Aleph, he or she gains its power, as well as the soul of the Aleph itself. The two are then bound until death, when the Aleph inhabits the last object of significance its human host touched.”

Arturo raised an eyebrow.

-“So, if I’m hearing this straight, you’re saying you’ll be stuck in my head until I die? That’s fucked up, man.”

-“Pretty much.”, Cirvante said, regaining his usual wit.

Arturo just stood there, giving a blank stare. Poor guy had swallowed too much information all at once, it seems.

-“Uh... you okay there, kid?”

-“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. This is probably all just a sick dream anyway. I’ll wake up soon.”

Cirvante chuckled.

-“If I had a body for every time I heard that... Oh wait, I did. Hah hah hah!”

“Oh geez. This guy is fucking loco!”, Arturo though to himself, hoping to God he would wake up soon.

-“So, now what? What am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to go save the world or something?”, Arturo said, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

-“Hah hah! You’re a funny one, aren’t you?”, Cirvante said, laughing. “That, I’m afraid, you must find out on your own, Arturo. Don’t worry, kid. You’ll be fine.”

Suddenly, muffled explosions could be heard. The ground started rumbling beneath their feet.

-“ I believe that’s your cue to wake up, kid. Later!”

Cirvante vanished, and the whole bright whiteness along with him. Suddenly, Arturo was back laying face-up in the grass, struggling to wake up from what he thought was a dream. The muffled sounds of gunfire were getting louder; the smell of explosives filled the air. There were voices screaming everywhere, some louder than others.

Arturo then realized one of the voices was nearly screaming in his ear.

-“...spierta, chico!... Leván... e!”

The voices got more recognizable now. The gunshots and explosions were getting clearer. Arturo was sitting on the grass, clinching his head in pain.

-“Whuh....? What’s going...on?”

Arturo gasped as he looked at the landscape. Explosions and muzzle flashes everywhere; the ruins of collapsed buildings blocked the roads. The screams of innocent civilians being driven from their homes and shot formed an orchestra of despair as one by one they collapsed on the cold ground, the life drained out of their eyes.

The battle had begun.