Allies & Adversaries

Anthony Jackson (Jax)

Chaos. The one true force. Well, at least in my life.

I grew up with a hard life. The neighborhood was bad. Real bad. My parents, well, as long as they lived anyway, were drug addicts. Bastards. Luckily, life wasn't so hard for my mom before she had me, so I didn't come out with a bunch of fuckin' defects. Anyway, back to me. I grew up in New York City. Not a bad place, but I wouldn't wanna live there. The area I lived in was full of crack-heads, junkies, miscreants, and the lowest of the low. Come to think of it, there were a lot of lawyers, too. Hmm.. I'll muse about that another time. I managed to stay alive on the streets with street smarts and cunning. Even avoided the gangs, luckily.

On my thirteenth birthday, I was sitting on the edge of the roof of the squaller where I lived (if you can call it living), musing about life and whether it needed to continue and smokin' a cigarette. This car comes screeching around the corner and stops, right in front of the building. I jumped back onto the roof, looking over the ledge (hey, I ain't stupid, I know the area). Three…things…I guess that's the best word for 'em… jump outta the car. One of 'em, a freaky looking guy, I think he was an alien or something, there's been a few of those around, looks around. He had skin like stone and his eyes looked like obsidian. The other two looked more human, but one of them moved more like a cat stalking its prey. The last one, he was human looking, but he has a metal arm. I didn't understand it at the time, but I know he was a bionic. Replaced half his fuckin' body with mechanical do-dads. But I digress.

The three of these things, the bionic with a Glock 9mm in each hand, walked inside. They all seemed to be following the big stone guy. Well, they walked in, I could hear scuttling around on the inside, people moving out of the way, shit like that. Of course, there was the occasional thud as someone who didn't move quick enough got moved, but it stopped soon enough. I didn't worry about it until I realized they were on the third floor, right below me. I heard these three things bust down a door. My eyes widened when I realized that the door they kicked down came out the window and crashed into the street below me. That meant they were in my apartment. I heard my Mom grunt, then she came flying out the window too. She hit the street with a sickening splat and the blood started to ooze away from her body and pool in the street. I heard my dad start begging for his life. The spineless simp probably deserved whatever they had planned for him.

The next few seconds, regardless of how much I despised my parents, are etched in my brain till eternity. My dad just started screaming, like they were inflicting every pain he'd ever inflicted on me, but all in the same three seconds. A short moment later, I'm not sure how long, it seemed like forever, but it was probably only a few seconds, the screaming stopped. I heard one of the three supers (that's what I've come to call 'em) chuckle real nasty. There was some crashing as they ripped up the apartment, probably looking for something. Ten minutes later, the cops still hadn't showed (they don't like to come into this area of the city with anything short of the National Guard backing them up) and the three supers walked out and drove off. I waited a few minutes to make sure they were gone, then went down to my apartment.

I almost puked. It looked like my dads intestines had been ripped out through his nostrils. What parts of him weren't lying directly around him, had left a bloody trail as it had slid down the wall. I checked the place out and they'd found the stashes of drug money my dad had kept around. Guess he'd finally crossed the wrong drug lord. They didn't take any of the weapons, though. Shrugging to myself and figuring they'd probably deserved it anyway, I picked up one of the guns, a few boxes of ammo and slid them in to a backpack and walked out. For good.

I got arrested a few times over the next couple of years, mostly I was able to keep outta of juvy, though. No foster family would take me; they couldn't keep me in the house. I kept leaving after cleaning up and robbing 'em blind. While out on the streets, some guy decided he'd try to take me out. Apparently, I'd been noticed by some of his buddies or somethin' like that. Had I known he'd had backup I mighta ran, but then I would have missed out on the best thing that ever happened to me. I killed the first guy real quick, bullet right between the eyes and all that. Too bad his friends sneaked up behind me. Got tackled and the next thing I knew I was in some corporate building. But I showed them. Heh heh…

The trained me in all kinds of things, including who they were. Big mistake on that last part. Sure, no one would believe me if I told 'em, but I can fight them to the ends of the earth anyway. I learned how to kill, and I don't mean any of that petty shit I pulled when I was a kid, neither. I mean kill. Quick and easy. They taught me specialty devices, gimmicks and how to modify shit to do what I needed it to. After I learned all that, I left. Now, they didn't want me to, you can be sure of that, but I wasn't gonna allow them to keep using me like a pawn. I'll let them save that for the stupid people. 'Course, there are those in the organization that probably think I'm stupid for walking out. I may be marked for life, but I know how to survive. And I have their knowledge to use against them. Guess we'll see if knowledge truly is power. Damned Illuminatus.

Now, where was I. Oh yea, I left the Illuminatus after about four years of taking their shit. Became an independent. I could start over. When I joined the organization, they erased my identity. I could do whatever I wanted and get away with it. No law enforcement agency in the world could find me in their database. I guess that's the one good thing that came out of my time with the organization.

When I first left 'em, I did easy stuff. You know, the stuff you have to do to get a good rep. Then the bigger offers started to come in and I needed help. Figure I need to find some friends before I can get into some of the jobs the employers want, but I need to do it soon. Burglary and theft ain't payin' the bills. I need those wetworks jobs. They pay the big money.