World of Tomorrow

What is your desire? To fight crime? To stop natural disasters? To create a better system for the downtrodden? Good gumption if it is; the problem is that there is an entire world, an entire solar system, hell if you believe the hype, an entire multiverse standing in your way. Don’t let any of that stop you though, the world needs its Heroes. Superheroes came to the rescue; they were symbols of peace and prosperity. They helped humanity when they needed it the most. They went away with the war. They became symbols of everything wrong in the world. After the war, the supers were gone, the world was in ruins. But we rebuilt. We built a world of wonder. Today we have sports, entertainment, robot servants and job security. I work as a Steward in a factory, where I handle 150 robots. Everything was great until last month. That was when they returned. The Alterpunks. Something different this time around. Hopefully it doesn’t end the same way as last time.

The first time I saw an Alterpunk. I had to go visit a sick friend, someone living down in the Grunge. First time I was outside my arcology-home in over a year. Enforcers had the entrance to her arcology sealed. As my skycab dropped me off near the sliding walkway I saw the armored enforcer vehicle land. From it came twelve of them wearing armor, stuff I had never seen. Before they even reached the door a blast of fire erupted from the entrance. I dropped to the ground, feeling the wave of heat spread over me. In that moment all hell broke loose. I looked over the top of the recycler. The enforcers in the front were on the ground, smoke rising from their armor. The other enforcers were just recovering when the Alterpunk stepped outside. The figure was huge, at least twenty feet high. The entire figure glowed in bright flames. 

Ah, the city. The place where dreams die, and the spirit flees. It’s not that things aren’t good, they just aren’t good everywhere, for everyone. It’s not even the case that this city fell to become the cesspool that it is today, it’s the case that it has always been a dump. It never was one of those damned golden age cities. Since the beginning it has been a calling ground for the criminals of the federation. Don’t even get me started on those bums. They say that they are creating a better world, however I don’t see it. Sure, we see the vids of a better life. Heck, I can see Metropole from my arcology apartment window. The one thing I look forward to waking up to in the afternoon. Metropole, one of the Golden Age cities. Sure, for some it might be the dream. But for most, for people like me, it’s just a tease. A way to get us to cooperate with the system. It just seems so impossible to get anywhere in this life. Sure, it is possible to slip even further in the cracks, to lose even more. We have food on the table, a place to live, a job. A job I absolutely hate. Nothing changes. It’s the same damn thing every day, and for what? Next to nothing! Seemed like it was going to end this way. Then everything changed the day the Alterpunks appeared. 

It started with a plague, which certainly wasn’t news. There is always some sort of plague, terrorist, or bombing somewhere. Especially for those living in Pillar. But this time the plague stories were different. No videos, at least no new ones. Then we started to hear stories of Enforcers blocking up the streets. They started to close off arcologies. Then things got bad. Rumors was that they nuked an arcology, they haven’t done that in years. 

Then we started to see them, on the news. People throwing vehicles, people flying, people with fire shooting out of their hands. It took fifty years for it to happen, but it finally did! Just when I thought that the stories and tales of the superheroes was just a myth, like the federation said it was. Just when I had decided to give up hope and face the reality that life wouldn’t matter. Just when I had given up hope for my children to live a better life. The heroes had returned!

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