Jason was a geneticist who had been working on a cellular regeneration program for the United States government. The program would help those who lost a limb during the 3rd Great War. But everything changed when he lost everything he held dear and he decided to follow a path of revenge.
Dark Lake City, 2082
After the third Great War mankind was divided. Many had suffered mutations due to the huge amount of radioactive material in the air and were kept way from the cities, left to wander in the wasteland, while others were safely kept away from danger inside the last remaining cities. The cities were protected by huge walls and torrents to prevent any mutant from getting in, and with time people began to forget the wastelands. But you cannot leave your past behind and hope it never comes back. Many of the mutants grew powerful enough to destroy the city defenses and people were forced to remember. A new war would be beginning soon.
Chapter 1 - DeathEdit
The long night working at his project in the lab had left Jason devastated. He had been working in the cell regeneration program along with Professor David since he graduated college. Lately there were some advancement since they could already regenerate lost limbs from rats; the next phase would be done by performing test results on apes before they could finally move to humans. Jason got home and his girlfriend Anna was already sleeping. She had long blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin. After 5 years Jason was still amazed by her beauty and she was the one person that could always make him smile. Jason walked slowly towards the bed trying not to wake Anna, but as soon as he got inside the bed she turned to his side.
"Working late again, darling?" - Murmured Anna half asleep.
"Yes, sorry Anna." - said Jason as he put his arm around Anna. "We're so close, I can feel it."
In the next day Jason decided to take a day off, it had been a while since he and Anna went for a walk on the city. The looks of the city gardens were simply amazing, no one would imagine all the pain and suffering those people went through, and no one could imagine what would happen in that fateful day.
After a long walk Jason and Anna decided to grab a bite at a restaurant by the name of Apolo. The restaurant was well known in the city and people normally went there on special occasions.
"Anna, I've been thinking... We've been together for five years now, and I think it's time for us to take the next step..."
Anna blushed as she couldn't believe what she was hearing; Jason was going to purpose...
Jason got on one knee and took a box from his jacket.
"Anna will you..."Before Jason could finish the front door of the restaurant blew up and some of the tables went flying. Five mutants were standing at the door yelling at everyone to lie down.
Jason grabbed Anna close to him, trying to protect her.
"Everyone just stand put and no one will get hurt, we just came for the food!" - shouted one of the mutants, who had half of his face burnt and was missing an eye.
Suddenly Anna's phone rang and she went for her purse to turn it off.
"What are you doing? Trying to call the cops?" - said one of the mutants as he caught Anna's arm and pushed her towards him.
"Stop! Let her go!" - Jason jumped towards the mutant with blue skin who was holding Anna, but he was caught by the mutant who held him up in the air by his throat.
"Pitiful human, you cannot protect her."
The mutant threw Jason against a wall. Near Jason there was a knife so he picked it up and went for the mutant one more time. But this time a mutant that was really fast and had one of his arms replaced with a strange sharp object caught him in the air.
"A knife? That's unfair don't you think?" - said the mutant as the sound of the police sirens could already be heard in the distance.
"Biran, we've got to go" - said the mutant with the burnt face.
Biran slashed Jason's arm off and released him.
Jason held the wound screaming in pain, before he collapsed he heard the mutants speaking to each other.
"What about the girl?"
"Bring her; we'll use her as a hostage"
Three days later in the Dark Lake City's Hospital
Jason woke up wishing that everything that had happened had been just the worst dream ever, but as soon as he looked towards his left arm he understood that the nightmare was very real and that there was nothing he could do now.
Days passed and Jason felt into depression, the news stated that the mutants had killed the hostage, Anna was dead...
With his arm cut out and the love of his life gone Jason only thought about revenge and suicide, until one day excellent news came from the lab. They had tested the formula on an ape and it worked. Seeing a chance to get his arm back Jason made his way into the lab.
When he got there he saw the lab strangely empty. He went to the computer and saw the advances the research had went through while he was away. It was amazing how it went so well, there wasn't a single side effect in five days of testing.
Without thinking any longer Jason injected himself with the formula. He felt his body burning and saw his arm being rebuilt. The bones, muscles and skin were all reappearing from out of nowhere. As he twisted in pain he gazed upon a terrible seen, lying on the ground behind one of the desks was David with his head ripped off.
What could have happened? Who would do such a thing? Jason didn't have to wonder any longer as David's killer presented himself before him.
Chapter 2 - Dark PathEdit
Jason's eyes were set upon the simian creature. What was once a simple chimpanzee had become a killing machine. The missing leg had become completely black, darker than night and its eyes had become red. The creature looked upon Jason and sprung its attack. It jumped towards him and landed right on his chest making Jason spit blood. It tried to smash Jason's head into the concrete floor but before the simian could do it Jason grabbed his neck using his left arm. To his surprise his arm was also turning black.
Was that a side effect from the formula? And if it was, what caused it to manifest so fast if it took five days for the chimpanzee to become like he was now?
Jason didn't have time to think about what was causing the mutation in his arm, as the ape tried once more to go for his head. Jason pushed him back and got on his feet. He took a bistouries from one of the tables of the lab and prepared himself to face the chimpanzee. The simian ran towards him and jumped in the direction of his face, Jason grabbed him in the air and stabbed him in the stomach but the ape was still able to bite Jason's neck and shred his carotid artery, making Jason fall once more.
What was he thinking? He was a scientist not a fighter... He could never defeat such a monster, and now his life was fading away, as his blood created a puddle in the ground surrounding his head, he felt drowsy, he cold, desperate... Jason tried to stop the bleeding, but the artery was completely torn apart and the blood just continued to fall from the wound. But then something strange happened. The wound began to heal and the bleeding stopped.
Jason couldn't understand what was happening. If he could heal from such a deep wound, did it mean that he was invincible? Was he immortal? Questions filled his head, but no answered seem to came to his mind.
Looking for the simian he found that he had escaped through a broken window, Jason was safe now... but the people in the street would be in danger if that monster was to attack them. Leaving the building in a hurry Jason didn't take time to look at himself in the mirror. The wound that had just closed had also been covered with a black substance, similar to the look of his arm, and his eyes were red just like the chimpanzee.
He hurried to the street level and he saw the ape in the distance heading towards a library, just as Jason started to run he heard people scream. Did the ape already strike there? He look towards the source of the scream just to find that those persons were looking at him like he was the monster. Jason looked at his reflection in the window of a car-pod and understood the fear of those persons. He had to hide, the cops would be there soon and they would think he was some type of mutant.
Running through the alleys of the street and avoiding any crowded places Jason made his way home. Searching for a way to be normal again he had become a freak. He took a long shower and tried to relax. As he left the shower and cleaned the bathroom mirror to see his reflection he was amazed by what he saw. Jason was normal once more. No black arm, black wound or red eyes.
But what could have happened? A hour ago he was mutating and now he was normal again. The sequential chain of strange events was too overwhelming for his current state. Jason was depressed and tired, unable to do any research about his condition at the time, so he headed for bed.
The next day Jason woke up feeling just as tired as if he hadn't sleep at all, his mouth was dry and he was sweating. He went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water and turned the TV on.
"Yesterday, another mutant incident occurred. A strange mutant with red eyes and a black arm wondered through Callaway street and his location is still undetermined at the moment. The police managed to catch a simian with the same characteristics of the mutant and they believe there is some kind of connection between the two of them."
"They must be stopped, two invasions in two weeks is something we were not expecting. Measures must be taken to stop this menace, we must protect Dark Lake city from those freaks" - stated the chief of police.
"Freaks...That's what they are calling me now..." - said Jason as he looked to his arm. The mutation had disappeared completely but he was sure it would come back.
Jason headed for the lab to look into the research but when he got there he saw that the police was already there. He made his way to the commanding officer like he knew nothing about the accident.
" What happened here?" - asked Jason.
"Professor David was murdered." - the commanding officer looked towards Jason - "Lieutenant Matt Kullins" - the lieutenant extended his hand to salute Jason.
"Jason Mars, I used to work here, David was my superior."
"I see. Do you know of anyone who might have held a grudge against the professor?"
"No, he always kept to himself. He was a really nice guy once you've got to know him."
"Well and what has brought you here?"
"Professor called me a few days ago stating he made some advancements in the formula. I came by just to check it out. I never thought..." - Jason pretended that he didn't knew that David was dead, and if it was all a chock to him.
"You'll be able to return after we examine everything. It won't take more than a few days though. We've found no clues until know, and to tell you the truth I don't think we'll find anything"
A police officer came towards Jason and Matt holding some tapes.
"Sir, we found this tape. It seems the professor recorded everything that went down in this lab."
"Good, if we're lucky the killer was caught on one of those." - said the Lieutenant.
A tape? Just what Jason needed, he would be exposed as a freak if those images were to revealed to the public. Suddenly Jason began to feel like his blood was boiling, he couldn't understand what was happening to him. He bid the Lieutenant farewell and left as fast as possible, but trying not to make a scene. He headed for the nearest bathroom and he looked in the mirror. His eyes were red and his wound had already began to turn black.
What was happening to him? What was the trigger of that change?
Chapter 3 - A rush in the systemEdit
Jason wanted to find the answers for those questions but he had something he needed to do first. He had to destroy the tape before someone could lay eyes in it. He tried to cover his face with his shirt but he understood that if he was caught he would immediately be identified, so he was going to recur to drastic measures.
"There is no other way..."
Jason was in front of the mirror looking at his reflection. The memory of the day of Anna's death came to his mind, she was all he ever cared about. As a kid Jason was really problematic, he was an orphan of the war and he never knew the love of a parent. But then he met a girl in the orphanage, she was so beautiful and kind, like a dream come true. With time they became friends and Jason became much calmer. He went to college to study genetics, with a scholarship from the government since he was considered a genius and when he finished his course he and Anna decided to live together. But all of that were just memories now, and Anna was gone.
Jason closed his eyes and smashed his face against the mirror becoming unrecognizable.
"Come on, don't let me down now." - said Jason hoping that his face was also able to heal.
Suddenly his face began to heal forming a dark mask, making him sigh in relief.
He headed out of the bathroom and saw the police officer who had the tape. Jason was normally very peaceful and he was reluctant to attack a human being, but he had no choice this time. He run towards the cop and before the cop could get the change to pull his gun out, Jason punched him with brute force.
The punch delivered by Jason's left arm to the police officer's face echoed through the alley nearby and the police officer felt to the ground unconscious. It seems that the formula also increased his strength and he was now much stronger than he ever was.
"Sorry." - said Jason as he crouched to pick up the tape, but as soon as he had it in his hand he heard a gunshot that almost made his heart stop.
The bullet passed inches away from him, and the police officer who fired against him was aiming to Jason's head with a laser.
"Stop right there, you freak!" - shouted the police officer.
"You had to call me a freak." - said Jason as he picked himself up. Something was changing inside him, it was just like his primal instincts were taking over him and the adrenaline was pumping through his veins like a drug.
His eyes had a sadistic look in them and he began to feel strange. Suddenly the feelings of revenge he felt in the last couple of weeks were growing stronger within him. The mutants had killed his girlfriend; the girl he was going to purpose to and now a cop came and called him a freak, treating him like he was one of them. It was just unbearable, his heart raced even faster and he found himself punching that second cop even harder, making him fly straight into the wall.
The noise of the fight led the other policeman come down from the building and Jason ran before any of them could get to him. He hid in the sewers until all the darkness in him was gone. Finally he understood what was causing the changes in him. Every time he got angry or in a stressful situation the adrenaline in his system increased causing his mutation. It was all connected to his nervous system and his emotions, it was uncontrollable...
Chapter 4 - RevengeEdit
Jason had to test himself in his transformed state but the lab was closed due to David's death. He tried to devise a plan on his way home but nothing came to his mind. If adrenaline was indeed the trigger for his transformation how would he control it?
While making his way home he came to meet someone he didn't expect to see so soon. In the distance an explosion occurred, this time the mutants had attacked a shopping center. They were getting dangerous and had to be stopped.
The feelings of revenge started to grow inside him, he looked at his arm and watched as it started to become dark, but this time he wasn't going to fight this change. He would have his revenge against those who killed Anna, he would destroy them all.
Jason ran towards the shopping center through the middle of a scared crowd who was running away from the explosion. As he arrived he saw that the mutants were only four now, the one with the blue skin had disappeared, along with another one who had long red hair and a new one was taking their place. The group of mutants was carrying an operation similar to the one it carried on the restaurant.
Without warning Jason punched a tall mutant with red eyes, long black hair and hands twice the normal size. The powerful punch was enough to make him drop unconscious in the ground.
"What the...?" - said Pyro as he looked towards Jason - "Who are you?"
"Your worst nightmare!" - screamed Jason as he ran towards Pyro to knock him out. But from out of nowhere Biran appeared and grabbed Jason by the neck.
"Hmph...this seems familiar." - said Jason just before he kicked Biran in the face. He was much stronger since their last encounter.
"Do I know you?" - asked Biran as he recognized Jason's voice.
"Have you lost your memory? Well if you have I'll make things a little clear for you." - said Jason just before he started running towards Biran.
Once again Biran caught Jason but this time he gave Jason no chance to react, he shoved his sword arm straight into Jason's chest and ripped his heart out. Blood was pouring and he let Jason fell to the ground oblivious of what was to come. Jason regenerated and got back on his feet, Biran had no chance against such an opponent. Jason used his left arm to rip Biran's sword arm out, making the mutant fall to the ground screaming in agony.
"Do you remember me know? Do you remember Anna now?!" - screamed Jason just before he stumped on Biran's head, knocking him out. - "Two down, two to go."
"So you're the guy from the restaurant...I thought your voice sounded familiar" - said Pyro - "So this is all for revenge? You know nothing and yet you came here to kill us all... Typical human behavior. Your girlfriend, she..."
Just before Pyro could finish what he was about to say Jason grabbed his neck. - "Don't even talk about Anna! You have no right to speak to me about her! - said Jason while looking at Pyro with enraged eyes.
"We didn't kill her..." - whispered Pyro as Jason suffocated him, making Jason loosen his grip.
"She was shot by the police force, they were eager to catch us...they shot straight through her killing Tinman"
Suddenly the absence of the blue mutant was explained, did the police really killed Anna? The questions just continued to pop on Jason's head and no answer seemed to matter anymore. The police sirens could now be heard and Pyro demonstrated his abilities for the first time. Unable to get himself loose from Jason's grip, Pyro flicked his fingers, turned his hands into flames and grabed Jason's harm, making Jason release him because of the burns on his harm.
"What the hell?" - said Jason looking at Pyro
"You´re not the only one with abilities. Well gotta go, don't want the police catching me now."
"You're not going anywhere! You were the ones that caused her death, your actions were the cause of her death" - screamed Jason
"Well young friend, you can blame us all you want, but that is not going to bring her back, and you can't really keep us here, you see, my friend over there as an interesting ability."
"An ability? - asked Jason
The mutant in the distance always kept quiet, he wasn't present the last time they attacked the city. He was really tall, had white skin, yellow eyes and long black hair, and was wearing nothing but some torn jeans.
"Macro, get us out of here, we don't want any incident to happen this time."
From out of nowhere Jason tried to punch Macro but was stopped in midair. It seems that the mutant had some type of telepathic abilities. Jason stood motionless as Macro and Pyro picked up their fallen partners.
"Well mate, you're actually interesting but you know nothing of pain. Do you think you're the only one who lost someone he loves to this war?" - said Pyro as he and Macro disappeared.
Chapter 5 - PainEdit
The police stormed in, to them Jason was a threat, a mutant like all the others, and he had to be exterminated. With Pyro and Macro gone Jason became their primary target, he had just went through a regenerative process, due to the burns caused by Pyro, and he didn't know how much more he could regenerate. With so many policemen surrounding him, there was only one thing to do, escape.
Jason looked for a way out but the police had the building surrounded, what was he supposed to do? Fight them all and be considered just another threat to the society? He didn't want that, coming towards the back door of the building; he was confronted with the swat team, shotgun in hand and ready to blast his head off. It was there he was saved but an unexpected event.
Macro appeared before him and teleported him away just before he was executed by the police force. Why did Macro save him? They were enemies and yet he risked his own life to save Jason.
Macro and Jason reappeared in the middle of the desert, outside the city walls. It was the first time Jason set eyes on the wastelands, he could see the city in the distance, with the gigantic wall protecting it from the perils of the wastelands and the shield that filtered the toxic air, but now he was at the mercy of those perils and he was close to one of his sworn enemies, clueless about the reasons he was brought there.
"Why did you save me?" - said Jason as he turned towards Macro, but Macro remained strangely quiet.
"He can't speak." - The familiar voice caused a change in Jason's heartbeat, as he recognized the voice of Pyro.
"He lost his voice when he was a child, due to all the radiation in the air. You see the wastelands are a very hazardous place. We breathe the air without any filters and we become the renegades of your society." - Pyro's words seemed to carry truth in them and Jason felt strange as he watched his enemy speak like that.
"We are not the monsters your leaders made you think we are, we are human beings who have been kicked out and left to die in here. We do what we have to do to survive."
"That means killing innocent people? Anna was all I cared about and you took her away from me. Do you expect me to forgive you? Do you think that I'll ever let myself forgive you for what you've done?" - Jason shouted at Pyro who stood motionless looking towards him.
"What if I told you that Anna is alive?" - said Pyro with a serious look on his face.
"What?" - Jason's heart almost stopped. What were Pyro's intentions with this revelation? Was Anna really alive?
"Anna is at our village, and we've been taking care of her."
"You're lying, the burned her body two weeks ago..."
"It wasn't Anna..." - Pyro interrupted Jason's shouting. "Follow me..."
Pyro started walking away from the Dark Lake city. Where was he going Jason wondered. Only the whispers of the desert were heard as they all walked in silence. Jason was confused. If Anna was alive, who was the one that got burned in her place? Who was the one that died in her place? He saw her face countless times on the news, a martyr of the war they called her. His adrenaline levels dropped and he regained his normal appearance. After a long time walking they got to an entrance that led to an underground facility, they arrived at Mirror City, the city of the mutants."Welcome to our home." - said Pyro as Jason was amazed by the golden look of the city. The iron walls shined with a golden look, reflecting the light of the enormous crystal that hanged above the city. It was a truly magnificent place, of course it wasn't as clean as Dark Lake city, but the architecture of that place was something to be admired.
Jason followed Pyro and Macro through the city streets; everyone looked at him, he appeared to be normal.
"Why is a human here? - the villagers thought.
Suddenly Pyro and Macro stopped walking; they were in from of a small house that looked really old.
"We've arrived." - said Pyro as he placed his hand on the wood door and opened it.
Jason's heart beat faster with emotion. Behind the door was a girl with long blond hair, a beautiful smile in her face, holding a small child that was missing an arm in the air. The child was laughing as the girl spin him. At the doorway Jason watched this touching moment, with tears running down his face. He was now sure of one thing... Anna was alive...
Chapter 6 - The Real MonstersEdit
Turning towards the door Anna was overwhelmed with happiness, Jason was in the Mirror City. She wondered for a second if that was real or just trick from one of the mutants, but she couldn't stop herself from lunging into his arms.
Jason held her so hard that it seemed they were one single being at the moment, their hearts raced with joy and all the sadness they felt simply faded.
Smiling Pyro left taking the child and Macro with him.
"How is this possible?" - said Jason as he hugged Anna.
The question was inevitable and Jason couldn't hold it any longer in his throat.
Anna sat on the bed and Jason sat right beside her.
"They saved me...at first I didn't understand...they were taking me hostage and yet ...they cared for my safety while those who were meant to protect me tried to kill me to get to them..."
Jason couldn't understand their intentions, why would they save her, after all, she was just another human to them...until it hit him...they were also human. It didn't matter if their genetic code had been changed making them look different or making them carry new magnificent or strange abilities, they were humans, they felt love, hate, joy and sorrow just like any other human.
The war that changed their bodies, the war that changed their minds, that made them be rejected by their own society, was a war created and fought by normal humans. Humanity brought itself to the point where it would rather kill those who were different, because they feared them, instead of trying to help them.
That night Jason and Anna slept together for the first time in a month, all the pain and sorrow were long gone and though they were in the Mirror City, they felt safe and welcome.
In the next day Jason was awaken by someone knocking at his door. As he opened he saw Pyro.
"Good morning. I'm sorry if I woke you up but our leader wants to speak with you and he tasked me with bringing you to him." - said Pyro
"What does he want to speak to me about?"- asked Jason
"Beats me... I'm just the messenger"
Although Jason had a feeling that Pyro knew more than he was telling him, he decided to go. He looked at Anna who nod positively for him to go.
Jason was still amazed by everything that surrounded him, the people on the streets were completely different from what he was used to, and though he was a stranger to them he felt welcome. They smiled as they saw no anger in Jason's eyes. Unlike in the previous day, Jason had now relinquished all the anger inside him and he began to accept the mutants that lived there as humans, something that seemed to please them.
He watched as children played hide and seek and even laughed as he saw that one of the kids making himself invisible and sitting right beside the one that was counting. It was an amazing new world to him, full of possibilities.
The main building of the city wasn't the tallest like in the Dark Lake city; it was a three floor building with the biohazard symbol in it. The white walls didn't reflect the light from the crystal as the building was shaded by the other buildings nearby.
While inside Jason was guided to the office of the leader, in the door a name was engraved in a golden plate, Zephyro.
"Well this is the place, I'll wait outside." - said Pyro
Jason let himself in, he pushed the door and entered the room. Inside there was a shirtless man with long blond hair and pale skin facing the open window. Jason closed the door and walked towards the desk and was greeted with a strange welcome.
"Welcome Darknight." - said Zephyro as he turned towards Jason revealing his eagle eyes.
Chapter 7 - TruthEdit
"Darknight?" - asked Jason
"That's what they are calling you in the city." - said Zephyro as he tossed a digital newspaper at the desk, which Jason picked up and began to read.
"The mutant Darknight was once again able to avoid the police making two consecutive escapes in a week. The motives of this mutant are unknown but the police has made his capture their maximum priority at the moment."
"Maximum priority? But I didn't hurt anyone" - said Jason angered as he dropped the newspaper on the desk.
"That doesn't matter to them. You're different, that's all that matters."
Jason lowered his head; he couldn't believe that was happening. What was he supposed to do now? Although they couldn't recognize him, he could morph into Darknight at any minute and then his cover would be blown to smithereens. He couldn't risk putting Anna in danger, not after all they just went through. His thoughts were interrupted by a strange question from Zephyro.
"Have you ever heard of the Dark Lake City Trojans?"
"Trojans?" - Jason had never heard of such thing.
"Yes, they are soldiers who wonder the wastelands seeking for mutants. Apparently they work for Dark Lake, but their reasons for hunting us down are unknown so far."
"But what does that have to do with me?" - asked Jason who couldn't understand Zephyro's question.
"A month ago five of our citizens disappeared, I'm afraid they have been caught by those soldiers. Two of them had the same abilities that you have, they were named Poly and Castor"
"You're not trying to say that I am a Trojan are you?" - said Jason interrupting Zephyro.
"No nothing like that. I was just wondering how you came into possession of those powers."
"Long story short, something went wrong with the research my lab was doing back at the city... instead of regenerating my arm I ended up like this."
"I see. Well I think this will be all for now. Sorry to have disturbed you like this, but I have to protect this city from everyone and I had to make sure you meant no harm to us."
"Don't worry, I understand."
Jason left the room wondering, why would Dark Lake City be hunting mutants? He couldn't understand what was happening. Suddenly everything he ever believe in made no sense, the mutants weren't trying to take over the city, instead they were hunted down like animals and had to hide to keep themselves safe.
Meanwhile in Dark Lake City
A figure stands close to the window, looking over the city as a man dressed in a black and red uniform enters the office and kneels down.
"Sir, we caught three more of them."
"What can they do?" - said the person standing close to the window with a rough voice.
"Body expansion, Super Strength and Mind Reading."
"That's interesting. Send them to the building 82 for research; they'll make a nice addition to my collection."
The figure turns towards the soldier and reveals a bright red colored eye.
Chapter 8 - Jason and ArgoEdit
To be continued