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    A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

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    Nathanael--0023
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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

    Post  Nathanael--0023 on 4/8/2012, 6:09 pm

    Four of the isotopes stood behind the sea of barbed wire; General Lakas nowhere to be seen. Beyond the sea of barbed wire, rolled a sea of rotting zombie flesh. The wind blew the foul stench directly at them. Everyone except for Vanessa and Magenta seemed unaffected by it.

    Soldiers preparing for the rapidly approaching battle looked to the isotopes with varying emotions. Some relief, some confusion, some glares, and some curious. The Shell ignored them and stared blankly out at the field.

    How were they even supposed to get out past the barbed wire? Were the British so stupid as to lock themselves in?

    General Lakas strolled up to them and announced, “We’ll be moving out with the soldiers. When the barbed wire is rolled aside, that’s when we run out with them. 0033, use your daggers at your own discretion. 0333, find a Halogen Original and make them fight for us. 0444, you stick with 0033 and fight with him.”

    “Sorry, General,” Gerald sneered, “But I work alone. Why don’t you stick Redhead with Mr. Comatose over there?”

    Lakas whacked him upside the head, “That’s an order, and you’ll follow it if you want to live to see the next hour.”

    Gerald muttered some choice words, but Lakas ignored them and turned to The Shell, “0023, same orders as him: use your powers at your own discretion, but for the love of God, make sure you don’t hit any of our own. Do I make myself clear?”

    A blank look was his answer, and though Lakas narrowed his eyes, he didn’t make any other comment. At that moment, the barbed wire moved aside. It was only then that they saw the barbed wire wasn’t stuck into the ground. It was on a moving plate that allowed the soldiers to move in and out when they needed to.

    “NO MERCY MEN!” A voice bellowed out, “FOR GOD, AND FOR KING WILLIAM! CHARGE!” The army bravely shouted its’ response and jumped forth from their position like a horse from the starting gates.
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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

    Post  Nathanael--0023 on 9/8/2012, 12:17 pm

    The Shell was swept along with the tide of soldiers without much resistance.

    Deafening sounds of screams, gunshots, and artillery shells had no impact upon It.

    Blandly, The Shell noted that at one time It may have been frightened at the outcome of these events. It hadn’t wanted to fight. To kill. Even if it was zombies, the action of killing seemed wrong, and not within Its’ capabilities.

    Looking to the gray skies above, The Shell pondered the orders it had been given. Use the weather against the enemy…and not hit their own.

    Why should It?

    They were fighting an enemy that so far, couldn’t be beat. Zombies outnumbered them in ludicrous amounts, and everyone expected four super humans to make a difference? Two of which could barely tip their scale in their favor?

    The Shell knew that General Lakas was one of the major scale-tippers, and It knew that Itself was the other one. Soldiers of the EAM were already dying around It, but the blood that splattered up onto The Shell’s face made no difference to It.

    So what? How many people were dying of starvation in the African Central Power? This was a useless, pointless, slaughter that would solve absolutely nothing, and they had absolutely no chance of winning~

    “FALL BACK!” General Lakas commanded over the noise of the battlefield, “FALL BACK TO THE BARRICADES!”

    Retreating so soon?” The Shell thought with a twist of cruel irony.

    Once again, It was swept along with the tide of soldiers. However, since The Shell was near the front of the soldiers in the beginning, It was now near the back. Whatever. It didn’t make a difference.

    The barbed wire panels would close in a few seconds, and they would lock everyone safely inside…safe for the moment, at least.

    A sound made everyone freeze, however.

    As a whole, the army turned to see a small child sitting in No-Man’s-Land; wailing helplessly as the Halogen army bore down. Many soldiers turned their heads the other way; giving up on the hopeless situation. Others looked and clenched their jaws; using what they were now seeing to add to their resolve to win the war.

    The Shell froze completely.

    Even from the distance, It could tell the child was a boy. He had dark brown hair that fell into his eyes as he rocked back and forth from the terror of the zombies coming towards him. Looking around, The Shell realized no one was going to even attempt to save him.

    No one.

    Promise you’ll be back? Cross your heart ‘n hope to die?”

    “I promise.”


    Who had that conversation been with?

    “…Joshua.”

    The shell slipped from the man…no, it exploded from him. The dull, emotionless covering was blasted away with the force of everything that made Nathanael Willow the man that he was.

    The resemblance to Joshua and this boy were too similar. That’s what Nathanael would say later as to why he recovered at that moment. It was as though he were trying to save his little brother from something that he was obviously too late to save him from.

    Nathanael sprinted for all he was worth as the barbed wire closed in around him. It was at least as long as a football field, and it wasn’t going to stop for him. In the background, he thought he heard Lakas shouting at him to get his ass back there RIGHT NOW.

    Ever true to his college bachelor, young, rebellious ways, Nathanael completely ignored the authority figure. He didn’t quite make it out of the barbed wire. As a result, vicious cuts were carved into his chest and arms as he dove out of it (his face somehow miraculously escaped any harm).

    Nathanael skimmed over the bloodied ground; barely breaking stride for the dead bodies that littered it. The race between him and the might of the Halogen army…the winner received the helpless boy.

    It was nearly a tie.

    The Aussie didn’t have to worry about running into other soldiers. The zombies were slowed by each other; which allowed him to scoop up the boy about ten seconds before the first few rotting flesh bags got there.

    “Wait!” A voice shouted, “Everyone stop!”

    Surprisingly, the entire army stopped. There was a ripple in the masses, and Nathanael knew that someone—or rather, something—was about to emerge. He set the child down on his feet gently and pointed to where the British army was waiting.

    “I-I’m small e-enough to crawl through t-t-the wire.” He blubbered out. Nathanael nodded and jerked his head in that direction. It was a motion that said, “Run as fast as you can.”

    The boy ran, and the isotope couldn’t help but notice that he looked as though he were about seven years old. A few years younger than Joshua.

    Nathanael straightened just as the army parted in front of him. A Halogen with a large rotting hole in his chest greeted him first. Blood covered ginger hair was noticed next, followed by the small rotted spots on his face.

    “Hello there,” The Halogen said with a sadistic smile, “You risked an awful lot coming out here. You know the boy?”

    His answer was a head shake.

    The enemy tilted his head to the side, “Then why save him? You just threw your life away, you realize that? Who do you think you are?” He laughed, “Do you really think you can defeat us? I am Magnesium! You cannot hope to beat me! Now tell me, little man; before I kill you, what is your name?” His smile turned cruel, “Or are you just a number?”

    Raising his calm, cool, collected (but not emotionless) Bambi brown eyes to the monster before him, he spoke for the first time since arriving home from his family’s funeral, “My name is Nathanael Willow. And I have beaten the shit out of bigger, badder, and better fuglies.”

    Magnesium’s cocky attitude disappeared, “You dare to speak to me like that?” He seethed, “A worthless lump of flesh like you? I think some lessons in manner are in order. Right boys?” The zombies behind him grinned with a crazed air.

    “Come at me, jackass.”

    The first punch Nathanael avoided with ease. It was the following series of kicks, chops, and punches that were more difficult to block. He was in no way a fighter. Sure, there had been a few brawls back in college, but those experiences didn’t help him here. A slip-up in college meant carrying around a black-eye for a week or two.

    A slip-up here meant death.

    That, and Magnesium was at a huge advantage. Being a zombie had its perks, and one of them what that he was nearly invincible. Nathanael could punch him all day and not make a blind bit of difference.

    However, after a few minutes of rapid ducking and blocking, he realized something crucial. Magnesium wasn’t a fighter either! Nathanael finally saw it in the way that he over-swung his punches, how his feet sometimes crossed each other, and when his fingers would move uncertainly when he was thinking about what he was going to do next.

    Think, Nathanael! Think! Self defense stuff from the internet!”

    Steeling himself, Nathanael threw a wild punch at the enemy’s face. Magnesium barely flinched from it, but it was nevertheless an opening. The pair fought like a whirlwind on the battlefield; duck, swing, kick, chop, pivot, step, block, recover from the enemy’s blow, and launch one of your own.

    Nathanael, after taking a painful kick to his thigh, saw an opening. Darting forward, he drove his palm into Magnesium’s nose, and his first thought was, “Oh God, that is grody.” The bone offered little resistance and snapped on contact. Worse though, was the skin-crawling squelch that sounded when the bone jammed up into the Halogen’s brain.

    Some kind of bluish-green liquid (Nathanael assumed it was blood) spurted out from Magnesium’s face, and he roared in pain. The rest of the army, which had been standing by until the moment, stepped forward with various growls and hungry noises.

    “NO!” Magnesium shouted, “HE’S MINE! BACK OFF!”

    Nathanael, now feeling like the cocky one, asked, “What’s the matter? Did your muscles rot away at the same time your brain did?”

    “Fool,” Magnesium spat, “I am no copy. I am one of the five-hundred isotopes that Helli0n tested. They used us and discarded us. Well, we’re going to show them that they were wrong. I am a superhuman. You, are nothing. NOW DIE!”

    Magnesium burst into flames, but he didn’t die, as he just commanded the bachelor to do. Nathanael was oddly mesmerized by the flaming man, and how he could still see a distorted face of rage through the roaring blaze.

    The moment came to a painful end when Magnesium slashed a fiery hand across his chest. Nathanael’s torso, already covered with lacerations from the barbed wire, shrieked in newfound pain as a far more intense pain raked over it.

    Nathanael was knocked back from the blow, and the next thing he knew, he was on his hands and knees in the bloodied soil; facing a dead British soldier.

    The Halogen thought he had won. His enemy was on his knees before him, no one was coming to his aid, and he thought he was just one puny human.

    “The world will be consumed by me,” Magnesium boomed as he watched the Aussie struggle to get upright, “The world will end in fire!”

    “Actually,” Nathanael replied as he looked up, and Magnesium was shocked to see a hint of mischief dancing in those eyes, “I think it will end in ice.”

    There was no time to ponder what he said, because at that moment, lightning shot across the sky, and the once gray and lifeless clouds were now thick, swirling masses of dark gray. A combination of rain and hail then unleashed itself from the heavens.

    It was almost as though God Himself was spurning the Halogens.

    Magnesium roared in a rage when the pouring rain extinguished his flames, and was even further pissed by the golf ball sized chunks of hail that were hitting only him and his army. The Aussie stood, and water flattened his hair to his skull before running off his face and into the ground. In no time at all, the rest of his clothes were soaked.

    And he had never looked stronger.

    “I think the world will end in ice,” Nathanael repeated to his enemy, “But I know you won’t be there to see it.” Using the bayonet from the dead soldier on the ground, he beheaded Magnesium with a single stroke.

    His rotting head fell to the quickly muddying ground; still wearing a look of surprise at the turn of events. The body fell after a second, the bachelor looked up to the rest of the army, and thought, “Son of a bitch.”

    While the super humans had been fighting, Nathanael hadn’t paid attention to the army of zombies. Now with their leader dead, and no one ordering them to stay back, they surged forward. Hunger gleamed in their eyes, and the bachelor suddenly realized how a turkey felt on Thanksgiving Day.

    He turned and ran; not really sure why he did. The Brits wouldn’t open the barbed wire for him. Not with an army of Halogens right on his ass. Maybe it was just to by more time. Either, way, Nathanael could never figure out why he did.

    Upon reaching the sea of barbed wire, he turned around and surveyed the situation. The army was still there, but he had put a bit of distance between them and himself.

    Nathanael clenched and unclenched his fists. There was nothing he could do.

    “Well, at least the kid is safe,” He thought to himself, “That’s what matters.”

    Closing his eyes, he relished the feeling of wind on his face; knowing it would probably his last pleasant sensation on this world. After that, it was sayonara to this polluted dump and onto the Promised Land.

    First it blew against his left cheek, then his right. It somehow managed to swirl around Nathanael’s wet hair before dying down again. Inspiration struck.

    That’s it! The wind!”

    Nathanael swallowed the lump in his throat. What he was about to do was dangerous. As in, extremely dangerous. What if he lost control? Worse, he could die from trying to sustain what he was about to brew up, and he could destroy what was left of London.

    But it could save them all.

    The Aussie inhaled deeply, and winced from the intense pain in his chest before closing his eyes. Above them, the sky took on a dangerous green tint, and the wind, which until now had been moderate, turned into a powerful howling noise.

    Nathanael’s insides twisted in pain as his efforts already began to take its toll. The funnel cloud was now in formation. He just had to finish it off. His arms raised as he summoned all the strength he could, and a yell of pure adrenaline ripped from his throat as the wind roared like an approaching freight train.

    The tornado sucked up everything in its path before hurling its victims out of sight. Nathanael was able to guide it, but it felt as though he were putting a dog leash on a great white shark. He was barely hanging onto his control.

    Shouts of panic could be heard from both sides of the battlefield. The Halogens scrambled for some kind of cover, yet to no avail. Nathanael was merciless to the mutated monsters and didn’t stop until the field was cleared.

    Now came the hard part: dissipating his creation.

    Black dots closed in around Nathanael’s brown eyes, and his muscles were shaking uncontrollably, but in one last ditch effort, he destroyed the tornado. Actually, he more like made it explode from the inside out. It sent one last hyper-blast of wind in all directions before silence eerily descended across the blood soaked field.

    Not even the entire army behind the Aussie made a sound.

    Nathanael’s legs folded fawn-like underneath him, and his back hit the ground with a muted thump. Rain drops hit his skin lightly; as though the heavens were caressing his face. As his eyes closed, and before unconsciousness took him, the last thing he saw was a brief ray of sun peeking out among the rolling dark storm clouds above him.
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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

    Post  Nathanael--0023 on 20/8/2012, 9:37 am

    Beep…beep…beep…beep.

    The sound of a (in Nathanael’s opinion) noisy machine roused him from the depths of his unconsciousness. He managed to crack open his eyelids, and light immediately blinded him.

    “Urgh.” The bachelor groaned as he tried to shield his eyes. However, the movement had an unexpected backlash. His chest suddenly felt like it was on fire.

    Nathanael now shouted in pain, “Enemy! Danger! It’s Magnesium! He’s burning you!” His mind shouted at him. The Aussie thrashed around; trying to find some way to fight his unseen enemy.
    “Zero-zero-twenty-three! Settle down!”

    The male voice did nothing soothe him. Nathanael threw a wild punch in his direction, and was rewarded with a satisfying solid thwack of violent skin-on-skin contact. But he was still hurting him…his chest…his arms…

    “I need some help over here!”

    Nathanael managed to catch a glimpse four burly men before they all but tackled him to the bed. An agonized shout of pain sounded across the infirmary, and heads turned. Due to the white privacy curtain around the bed allowed the bachelor to remain a certain level of dignity.

    “You’re in the infirmary,” The same male voice informed him, “And you have multiple second degree burns across your chest, as well as multiple lacerations along your entire torso and arms. You need to lie still.”

    Oh. So that’s why his chest felt like it was on fire.

    Gasping heavily from the pain, Nathanael opened his eyes enough to confirm what he was told. Looking to the voice who had spoken, he saw a man in a white doctor’s coat. Well, mostly white. Blood splatters were all over his front.

    Then the pressure of the four men became excruciating, and Nathanael managed to grind out, “Please. Get. Off.”

    The doctor nodded, and the men stood; though they didn’t leave the bedside, “Well! That couldn’t have felt good.” He said brightly

    Nathanael wasn’t amused, “You think?”

    Stepping forward, the doctor gently cut away the bandaging that the Aussie hadn’t noticed around his chest, “By the way, I’m Doctor Gilson, but you can call me Paul. And of course, you’re zero-zero-twenty-three.”

    “Nathanael. My name…is Nathanael.” Weariness at the whole number/name issue suddenly swamped him.

    A possible sympathetic look briefly flashed across Paul’s expression, “Okay, Nathanael, let’s see how you’re healing up.” With practiced hands, he removed the light bandaging around his patient’s chest.

    Looking down at his torso, Nathanael couldn’t believe what he saw before quickly looking back to the ceiling. Angry red blisters covered most of his chest. Magnesium’s work when he had pushed him back. Long crimson lines criss-crossed down his stomach and across his forearms from his dive through the barb wire. It was almost as though a madman had decided to play tic-tac-toe on him with a kitchen knife.

    Paul inhaled deeply at the sight, “Well, it’s a little better than before, but not much. I’d say your brief tousle with me and the boys here made you backslide a little.”

    Nathanael looked to the guards with tight, pain-filled smile, “You guys would make great rugby players.”

    One of them returned it with a wistful smile, “Once upon a time. I was about to be drafted to the Chelsea Blues when the zombie apocalypse came down on us.”

    Though Nathanael wasn’t responsible for the actions, he felt guilty by being associated with it. He was one of the five hundred test subjects. He played a part in where the world was now. He still had that connection to the end of the world.

    Paul broke through Nathanael’s thoughts, “Well! The best way to help along second degree burns is cool water. However, since soaking your stitches would not be good, why don’t you hop in the bath before I stitch you up?”
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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

    Post  Nathanael--0023 on 20/8/2012, 9:45 am

    Thankfully, the Aussie was allowed to undress himself in private before sliding into the tub of cool water. At first, the sensation hurt just as much as when he had been burned. Only a tight reign of willpower allowed his jaw to remain tightly clenched as a scream rose from his chest and throat.

    That was only the initial feeling though. Nathanael’s breathing went from sharp to easy, and his burning chest soon felt caressed by the cool water surrounding his body. The peace and silence in addition to the soothing sensation felt marvelous after everything that the bachelor had been through.

    “Wait a minute…holy shit…”

    Nathanael sort of remembered the last two months. It felt hazy; as though he were trying to peer at his own reflection in a steam covered mirror. The hours, days, weeks, and months wound through his mind. Following the zombie-like behavior back through those two months, he remembered what made him enter that mode.

    His family. Sally. Dead.

    Submerging his head completely underneath the cool water, Nathanael screamed his agony. He knew if he hadn’t gone underwater, doctors and nurses would’ve come running in, and his solitude would have been destroyed.

    Having run out of air, Nathanael’s head broke the surface, but it was only to draw in one great, ragged breath before going under again. The stream of bubbles that rushed past his face went unnoticed as his oxygen supply went low once again. Dimly, his muffled voice could be heard in the water around him, but like the bubbles, the sensation was ignored; lost in the emotional maelstrom.

    Nathanael rose and ducked a third, fourth, and fifth time. He was left gasping wildly as he half choked on the tears and water that ran down his face. His chest, which had been feeling better, matching the burning sensation in his eyes.

    Lyrics that had long since been sung came into Nathanael’s mind. They came from a very old song; written very, very early in the century. So old, most everyone would have thought that the bachelor had written them himself. Not true, but the lyrics described his thoughts and emotions down to his core:

    How could this happen to me?
    I’ve made my mistakes, got nowhere to run.
    The night goes on as I’m fading away.
    I’m sick of this life. I just wanna scream;
    How could this happen to me?


    Why? Why had this happened to him? Nathanael knew he was a good kid (okay, maybe there were some drinking nights in college that resulted in a few fights), his family was completely innocent, and Sally hadn’t even wanted to come to the NAC.

    In those two months, Nathanael’s mind had been broken.

    Now his heart was shattered.

    Nathanael slipped under the water again with the intent to scream once more, but one sensation broke through his state. There was a single sound that repeated over and over, and seemed magnified underwater.

    His heart.

    His beating heart.

    Consumed by the sound of his pumping organ, Nathanael thought of everything, and nothing at the same time. His family was gone. So was Sally. His home was burned to the ground. So was his fortress of peace.

    He had lost almost everything.

    “Not much left,” Some piece of Nathanael’s heart agreed as it started to pull the shattered remnants of himself together, “But what’s left is mine.”
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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

    Post  Nathanael--0023 on 1/2/2013, 8:38 pm

    Nathanael sat up in the oak tree in the NAC base; looking out across the scenery through the gently waving leaves.

    Ever since his trip to the EAM, the bachelor had been spending a lot of time up there. Part of the reason was so that he could be alone; away from isotopes, doctors, nurses, and Helli0n officers. Another part was so he could think and be in peace.

    Another was because it was his.

    This was the tree that Nathanael had almost burned to the ground when he had struck it with lightning. Even now, two years from when he had first called down that bolt of electricity, he could smell the distinct scent of burnt wood. However, nature was doing its’ work, and the tree was healing.

    Two years since the lightning struck.

    One year since his return from the EAM.

    There would always be emotion tied to those years of life. Some would give way to laughter and fondness. Others would be happy, but remain tinged with sadness forever. A select few would always make his jaw clench and bring water to his eyes.

    It mattered a lot to Nathanael. Those memories, every last one of them, were something that couldn’t be taken away from him. They were his, and always would be.

    Nothing and no one could ever change that.

    Nathanael was closer to his old self than he had been in a long time. Instead of focusing on what was gone; he focused on what he had. Of course, one doesn’t go through the horrific events the bachelor went through and come out the same person.

    It hurts just to wake up, whenever you’re wearing thin.
    Alone on the outside…so tired of looking in.
    The end is uncertain; and I’ve never been so afraid,
    But I don’t need a telescope to see that there’s hope,
    And that makes me feel brave.

    Looking down at his iPod, he flipped to the next song of his choosing before leaning back once more against the old bark of the oak tree. Across the practice field, Nathanael could see an instructor shouting at a group of isotopes. Something about focusing…

    A mischievous smile spreading across his face, he turned his gaze upwards. There were already a few rainclouds gathering off to the East; threatening to spoil the lovely day.

    Not if the Aussie had anything to say about it.

    Gently nudging the clouds in the right direction, the instructor didn’t notice the darkening sky that only seemed to cover him. With no more effort and focus than it takes to lift a pencil, the skies unleashed their load of rain. However, since it was solely concentrated on one man, the downpour was magnificent.

    The isotopes on the field were doubled over in laughter as the instructor fought to remain upright in the deluge. Sadly, it only lasted for a few minutes, but even still, the man was left sputtering, gasping for breath, and soaking wet.

    While everything and everyone else remained perfectly dry.

    Who cared if the instructor knew exactly who had done it?

    Who cared if Nathanael would be caught and made to do chores?

    Who cared if he went through an hour long berating to not use his powers so frivolously?

    Nathanael laughed as the instructor screamed his number repeatedly; demanding that he march his ass over from wherever he was hiding and face the consequences. Screw it. No one knew where his hiding place was. He’d stay up all night if he wanted to.

    After all, it was Nathanael’s life.

    Carry on, my wayward son.
    There’ll be peace when you are done.
    Lay your weary head to rest;
    Don’t you cry no more.

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    Re: A Stormy Past--Nathanael's Story

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