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Aberrant: 200X - [Gods of War Prelude] It's a Jungle Out There


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Eastern Congo, November 2010

The podium erupted in screams and the strange sights of corroding materials and people. Vortex swept in from the tree lines and grinned behind the twisted mask he wore as the governmental soldiers tried to reach for their rifles with fingers that melted away like snow, similarly to their now defunct weapons.

The villagers and media spokespeople (the latter were semi-sticking around, honestly) were fleeing like zebras from a lion pack, though many caught on the edges of his Chaos Factor attack had left anything from welts and cuts, to deep burn-like wounds that could potentially prove fatal in an area of poor access to doctors and medicine, even more likely considering the good chance of infection.

All the better at the moment for jamming up those Argus bitches who were supposedly guarding the press conference. Vortex's target, as given to the Elite by his Congolese Freedom Front paymasters, was the provincial governor, Mayi Ventouse, now currently on the ground wheezing through shredded lungs.

Perfect, now he could leave this sweltering shithouse and get back to his favorite whores in Ibiza... As the DeVries Elite started retreating away from the chaotic scene, feet cracked into the back of his head with tremendous force. Knocked about like a soccer ball, his instinctive entropic field protectively weakened the blow, but it left a mark, and the law of physics ensured he was launched into a tree.

Recovering and rolling head over heels to come back up standing, he whirled to face his attacker- and angry blue eyes faced his brown. Vortex promptly noted that the younger man's uniform had the logo patch of Argus, just as a fist plummeted into his stomach, driving the breath out of his body for the moment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Donald was, if he wouldn't care to admit it, venting as much steam as doing his job and protection the people around already harmed by this grandstanding Elite. It was petty and unfair to be upset about the poor facilities, the bad tasting food and rather heated and muggy environment, the various species and clouds of insects, the like. Of course, this was a far less privileged country than the US of America or Canada had been.

He still seethed from the restraint it had required for him to not get involved with the clearly unjustified police crackdown on a small knot of protesters in the capital. But Argus, aware of the moral difficulties with operating in the Congo, still gave standing orders to not get themselves arrested while on duty.

At least that was an acceptable brand of frustration, especially when his particular nova capabilities allowed him to practically ignore the negative aspects of the area's ecology or the need for food or sleep. But- so much for Terat theories- he damn well felt human still, and it was human to be petty about these matters.

And to cap the frustrations, though simultaneously providing an outlet, was the arrival of a paid Elite to assassinate Donald's charge, and given the moment of surprise... A familiar face, but Donald did not place the Elite's name. Still he recalled the hostile to be possessed of the experience to make the most of that free moment.

Then Donald was driven on the defensive again, as Vortex recovered from his pounding, and began a series of kicks and punches, randomly mixing targets and styles, what began with a karate block and kick soon morphed into a Muay Thai elbow chop as Donald ducked. Fast moves compared to Donald's power-focused methods developed from school wrestling and roughhousing, improved by training and on-job experience, but still outclassed.

Donald could easily have soaked up any blow Vortex dished out, but it was a natural reflex to dodge and evade and give space- which was Vortex's true goal. Once Donald had been driven a few good feet back, Vortex's snarl broke into a nasty grin. "Seeya, chump!" Thrusting his hand straightforward, a full burst of his famed corrosive blasts lashed into Donald dead-on.

Donald gasped as clothes shredded and skin melted away into a gory front of blood and bone. The pure kinetic force that somehow tagged along with the entropic energy sent him flying as well. Vortex, uncaring of whether that did the trick or not, whirled and darted back into the undergrowth, determined to skedaddle and survive to get paid.

Donald felt barely any pain, and the energy, for all the viciousness of the attack, hadn't harmed his bodily systems severely. Thank goodness for those duplicate organs, he thought briefly as he used quantum to heal the wounds in a manner that seemed nearly as visual disturbing as that which caused the injuries in the first place.

But the thankfulness vanished like smoke as the Elite made his escape. Escape, and get away with the damage he'd done? Fueled with brash adrenaline and frustration, Donald roared as hurtled into the morass of greenery after Vortex.

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