Short Story

Existential Angst (Act II) – Esteban Mayorga

3 months later…

Act 2: A Whole New World

Well, hello there. It’s been awhile hasn’t it? A great deal of shenanigans has been going down, and I haven’t really had time to tell stories.

But, the final push is planned for tomorrow, and there’s a break in the fighting as both sides prepare; so I guess i’ll just have to take this time to tell you what’s happened so far.

I went back to Valentina and told her about my change of heart, and she lit up like a christmas tree. She actually hugged me. I’m not saying it wasn’t nice, but it was just such a sudden shift from her usual stony demeanor, it caught me off guard.

She really believed what she was doing was right. With all her heart, you could see it in her eyes. She gained my respect right then. She started talking about her plans to free the rest of us, and what she would do after we won, and she said it all with a smile on her face. Admittedly, the smile was a little disconcerting when she went into details about how to best massacre government forces, but the sentiment was still there.

So I asked her, “what now”? Her response? “You have no idea what you’re in for”. And she was right.

Every day, instead of going to our lonely apartments after school, we met somewhere on the city. It was usually either an abandoned building, set to be torn down soon, or at some of the larger apartments owned by members of our little army. We trained, and we planned, and we gathered equipment in secret, preparing for war. There were only about 20 of us in all, and most of us were college aged or seniors in highschool , but there were only about 200 government officials all in all, and the majority of them weren’t powered.

Training was hard at first, and I wasn’t exactly trusted by the rest of the group. After all, would you listen if some supposedly crazy powerful kid showed up and you had to treat him as a leader? Of course not, people have to be shown their leader’s capabilities. Well, after our first raid, they never questioned my ability again.

We had been preparing for our first operation for about 2 weeks; a small raid on a supplies warehouse. If all went well, it would look like some Private Military Company or Research Corporation had ransacked the place, and the government would have no idea they had a revolution on their hands yet.

Unfortunately, things did not go well.

A security guard went for a bathroom break at exactly the wrong time; he found davey and I climbing in through the ceiling vent. I knocked him unconscious in less than half a second, but the government are clever bastards, as it turns out. They had these implants put into all the guards, and if any of them experienced excessive physical trauma or unconsciousness, an alarm would be set off.

So the alarm went off, and the stealth operation turned into a war zone. Everything was on fire, then it was all frozen, then electricity flowed through the ice and metal support beams like a raging river. We used our powers without control, causing maximum damage to everything around us. I didn’t kill anyone, but i’m one of the few that can say that. The whole world was chaos after we got rid of all the guards, and we knew there were more coming, but half of us couldn’t even walk. My legs were fine, so I had to carry each person individually back to one of our hideouts, and then run back for another. In the end I carried all 19 other members a mile back to base, and then I threw up and fell over.

When I came to, Valentina gave me a rundown of what happened after I passed out.  We won, but all of us were injured in some way, and our excessive display of force caught the eye of the government. They didn’t know exactly who we were, but they knew someone was planning to take them down.

“But hey,” she said, “at least no one is going to give you crap about being a kid anymore”. And she was right. Finally, they accepted me as one of them. It was pretty wonderful. The only short jokes I heard were affectionate, and I felt like I finally had a family.

So we carried on. We refused to give up, instead, we declared full scale war on the government that oppressed us. We got sympathisers to set put up posters advertising the movement when no one was watching, we took territory on the edge of the city for ourselves and stopped going to school altogether. The government tried to label us as terrorists, but it wasn’t working. We were winning the hearts of the people over, and our numbers were growing. The total student population was only about 2000, and the members of our little club swelled from 20 to 30 to 60 to 100 quickly. That doesn’t mean we weren’t without our losses. Davey got killed early on, and Valentina only has her left arm still attached now. There have been others, but I don’t want to go through their names. It still hurts.

We’ve taken more than half the city now, and the only thing left of any importance is the high school. About a quarter of the student body sided with the government. A couple people who hold their convictions high and believe they’re doing right. A whole lot of psychos that just love killing and see the government as their best possible employer. And a few that just don’t know anything else in their life or how they could get on without big brother watching over them. Those are the ones I really feel for. But nothing is going to stop us now. We’ve come too far, and I still haven’t taken a single life.

I’ve never wanted to kill, or even hurt others. I hold it as one of my highest moral achievements that I haven’t killed anyone in this bloody war.

But tomorrow, if anyone gets in my way, if anyone gets in the way of the freedom my family has died for, that my family has sacrificed life and limb for, I will put them in the ground.

And I won’t lose any sleep over it.

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