December 31, 2016
365. THE ALPHA RESISTANCE
Part 1 of 2
A cosmic message relayed to Lt. Rashard Bonds from Hosho, through ninja grandmaster Danzo, sparks Lou to recruit the Alpha Resistance; Early 22nd century (Core Reality)
It seemed all was lost. Despite the hundreds of noble heroes and brave souls who had battled and pushed against insurmountable odds, Emperor Kako had achieved his goal of obtaining the three pieces of the triplos asteri, and gaining the status of Supreme God of the Multiverse. Could anyone truly push back? Could the might of an all-powerful entity be overcome? Well, there were some who were determined to set out and answer that question. This is their story…
The surviving members of the crew of the Starship Stratalight (Placebo, HyperThrust, Marco Crux, Powerline and Euphoria) were shocked when they returned to Earth and found that Kako had obtained all three stars, as they had spent nearly a year in the furthest reaches of space, attempting to hide the final star from him. The war on Earth preceding the Stratalight’s departure between Kako’s Tromokratesian army and the combined might of intergalactic allies, led by General Tixus, Delilah Fray, Lt. Rashard Bonds and the Alpha Initiative, had been devastating. But it was eternally more disheartening to learn that a situation they’d thought resolved, was now more dire than ever.
The Stratalight Crew was immediately taken prisoner aboard the Tromokratesian Command Ship orbiting Earth, and God Kako showed off his new powers by toying with and torturing them. These heroes – some of the most powerful beings in the universe – were now merely trinkets, subject to the whims and will of an omniscient overlord, The Father of Death.
Before long, God Kako departed, leaving newly crowned Emperor Ramses and his Empress, Shefali Chisisi, to do with the prisoners as they pleased. The rulers taunted and disrespected the crew, before ordering they be detained in solitary confinement inside of The Enclosure: a remote facility, specializing in imprisoning people with hyper-abilities through power-muting Ebb-cell technology. The Ebb-pods the heroes were already in got boarded onto a cargo ship, and flown down to the penal facility. On the trip, the Stratalight crew became even more disheartened as they looked down upon the planet they called home, and saw how much everything had changed.
Tromokratesian aircrafts were everywhere. The landscape had been terraformed as far as the eyes could see. Many of the buildings were altered with additions and extensions made from Tromokratesian technology. Large Tromokratesian structures had been resurrected all around, seemingly operating as guard posts and surveillance stations. Placebo could not believe how quickly their enemies had colonized Earth. It was apparent the Tromokratesians, with their incredibly advanced technology, were extremely adept at conquering other worlds and converting them to colonies in no time at all. Having the god of the universe as their ruler was also a huge help in facilitating the transformation.
Soon after landing, the heroes realized the Tromokratesian presence was ubiqitous. Their warriors were omnipresent, especially at The Enclosure. They reinforced the penitentiary to make sure all the hyper-being prisoners of war, and those who posed the greatest threats, were securely locked away. The heroes all looked for potential weaknesses in the facility or the Ebb-cells, with the hope of planning an escape. However, the buildings and the technology were without flaw. There was no hope for them. Once their Ebb-cells were locked with them inside, Placebo, Hyper Thrust, Euphoria, Marco Crux and Powerline were prisoners of The Enclosure. The upgrades their enemies made to The Enclosure and the Ebb-cell technology, along with the massive force present, saw the Stratalight crew permanently condemned.
Elsewhere on Earth, the Tromokratesian colonization thrived. Under the ultimate rule of Emperor Ramses, the new form of government was structured by those who had proven their loyalty to Kako and his empire. Shefali Chisisi, along-time soldier for Ramses, who had also become the object of his affection for some time, became his wife and ruled at his side. The rest of his hyper-mercenary crew – Askari Badru, Qadira Azizi, Jamad Musa, Fahim Nuru, and Shafaf Ottah – all became top generals in Ramses’s militia, and each ruled over one of the seven continents. Askari Badru ruled over Africa, Qadira Azizi ruled over Asia, Jamad Musa ruled over Antarctica, Fahim Nuru ruled over Australia, and Shafaf Ottah ruled over South America. The other two continents were split between the other two highest ranking members of Ramses’s leadership court, Edgar and London Omega. Edgar ruled over North America, while London ruled over Europe. Meanwhile, Cairo, Egypt – Ramses’s place of birth and childhood – was where his massive fortress called “The Grand Pyramid” was located. The city also became the capital of the world.
Every person on the planet was not forced into slavery, though. The people were given a choice: acknowledge Kako as god of the universe, pledge unwavering loyalty to Emperor Ramses and Empress Shefali, and agree to live and abide by the rules of the Tromokratesian Empire, or face imprisonment, with the possibility of slave duty or execution. The choice was crystal clear to almost all that survived the invasion, and that was to fall in line and become worshippers of God Kako, and loyal subjects of their Emperor and Empress, on what was now being called New Earth.
With mankind’s subjugation came many benefits. Humans were not left without a voice, as the United Nations actually became the single body of representation for all mankind. Every country was allowed to elect an individual to represent their interests in the UN, which then in turn would use democratic processes to decide the messages and issues of which they chose to collaborate on with the Tromokratesian leadership. And while they may have lost their former ways of life, one thing they did gain was the absence of separation and fighting amongst mankind. Racism, prejudice and hatred directed at one another greatly faded in the face of being dominated and ruled by an alien species.
In addition, the presence of Tromokratesian warriors worldwide decreased the crime rate drastically. That is, the crimes of those who were not already associated with the ruling faction. The criminal organizations, unlawful individuals, and businesses across the globe that remained loyal to Edgar Omega and Ramses, were allowed to continue operating as before – feloniously, and with impunity.
Another seemingly beneficial aspect of colonization was the implementation of the far superior Tromokratesian technology into every aspect of life and existence on Earth. Electronics, healthcare, finance, software and hardware tech, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, preservation, all of it, and much more, was vastly improved. People were healthier than ever, were making more money from open trade with other planets in the Tromokratesian Empire, had access to the best technology available for entertainment, personal and professional usage, forms of transportation became more efficient and faster, food production and quality was at an all-time high – so much so that world hunger greatly decreased, and maybe most important of all, the planet was completely repaired by the terraforming the Tromokratesians performed. All in all, colonization offered a plethora of desirable benefits.
In all of this, however, the tragedy of what had led to this could not be ignored. By the time God Kako reigned supreme over all, and the Tromokratesian colonization was complete, it was calculated that just over two billion humans and hyper-beings lost their lives during the invasion, the war, and the aftermath. Being a warrior culture, one thing the Tromokratesians always afforded their newly conquered planets was the right to properly bury their dead and pay their respects. The same would be true for humans on Earth, and with this, the UN was able to negotiate a deal to properly pay homage to those who gave their lives for their species and planet.
All over the world, monuments were erected in honor of those who lost their lives. None was grander than the Mount of Heroes in Platinum City. It was where the majority of the soldiers, police officers, and hyper-beings known to have been killed defending Earth during the invasion and colonization were memorialized with elaborate, ornate displays and constructs.
However, all paled in comparison to the enormous statue and memorial made to honor Captain Noble, who had spent years as Earth’s Hero of Heroes, before relentlessly battling the invading Tromkratesians, and ultimately losing his life during the mission to hide the final triplos asteri deep in space. A giant, steel-enforced, white marble figure was sculpted to perfection, and placed inside a gorgeous hall with numerous two-story columns and open walls. Tales of his conquests were etched into the large marble slabs surrounding the statue for all to read. As the centerpiece to the massive landmark of tribute, it was an awe-inspiring site. And while people came from all over to mourn the fallen and pay their respects, the Mount of Heroes meant the most to one man above all – Lt. Rashard Bonds.
Losing people was nothing new to Lou. Growing up on the violent streets in the south side of Chicago exposed him to many deaths. Being in the military exposed him to exponentially more. He himself had even been forced to take down many of his close friends, as at the time an unknown powerful telepathic being had taken control of them, and were forcing them to do terrible crimes.
Yet, the death of Captain Noble hit him harder than any loss he ever had to live through. He and Noble were like brothers, even though their duties often kept them on the move. They shared many of the same ideals, the same interests, and the same missions in life, both militarily and personally. As warriors, they blended perfectly, creating a force so powerful they even gave Emperor Kako – arguably the greatest warrior to ever exist in the universe – a run for his money. This is why Lou often risked his freedom, even death, to visit the monument dedicated to the Hero of Heroes.
While the overwhelming majority of humans fell in line with the rules and stipulations of Tromokratesian colonization, Bonds was among those who did not. He refused to partake in the new world order, and because of his status as one of the greatest threats to Tromokratesian rule, he became the most hunted and sought-after enemy of the ruling state. A bounty was put on his head, with the reward totalling one million tromos – the equivalent of one billion dollars USD. Naturally, many tried to collect the reward, and as a result, many fell at the hands of the hyper-human super-soldier. Despite this, whenever Lou wasn’t battling Tromokratesians and bounty hunters, he continued to visit the Mount of Heroes to pay his respects to Captain Noble. Fortunately, he’d received extensive stealth and disguise training from the Iga Clan ninja hacker Interface, making it much easier for him to move freely and unnoticed through even the most populated and surveilled areas of Platinum City.
It was not long after the Stratalight’s return and the imprisonment of her crew, that Lou’s identity was discovered by an individual with even greater stealth abilities than his own. Lou was visiting the Mount of Heroes, and as he stood there paying respects, an old man came up next to him and began reading off names, all of which were very familiar to him. Lou initially figured the man was just some random tourist, so he left, and went to stand at the feet of Captain Noble’s statue. The old man, however, approached once more, and this time he began asking questions – most notably, asking if Lou knew the Hero of Heroes personally.
At this point Lou became alarmed. Not only did the old man read off seemingly random names that were actually familiar to the super-soldier, but being asked if he knew Noble was too direct to be a coincidence. Lou decided it was best he ignore the stranger, and leave as quickly and quietly as possible. However, when he returned to the secret passage he’d been using to enter the Mount of Heroes, the old man was already there!
The doddering geriatric picked up right where he’d left off, continuing to ramble on about Noble, and then uttering that he was new to the Mount of Heroes, and suggesting that Lou return to the monument with him and act as his guide. At this point, Lou was sure that this old man was not who he seemed to be, and was most probably another bounty hunter looking to collect the reward. The super-soldier could take no risk, and so he moved to attack and take the suspicious individual down.
Lou let off ferocious punches that would have caused instantaneous death to whatever man it came into contact with. The old man, however, smoothly parried both punches, shocking Lou. Then, as the super-soldier launched a kick, the old man released a flash of fire and disappeared, leaving the passageway smoldering with patches of flame.
The super-soldier immediately backed up and prepared himself for whatever was to come next. He had never faced a bounty hunter as skilled and powerful as the one before him. Well, that was because he was not facing a bounty hunter at all, for as the fire subsided, it was the supreme Iga Clan ninja grandmaster Danzo who walked through the flames!
Lou was flabbergasted. He had no idea the old man was actually Danzo in disguise. The ninja grandmaster knew who Lou was as soon as he saw him at the Mount of Heroes, though, a fact he relayed, before saying he was happy to see that the Alpha Initiative leader was stronger and sharper than ever. Danzo told Lou he needed to be more careful, as new developments required the super-soldier stay alive. Consequently, times of taking chances with his life, like visiting Captain Noble’s monument, had to become a thing of the past. Lou quickly asked what Danzo was referring to. The ninja grandmaster gestured for the two of them to get back to the super-soldier’s hideout, and with that, they disappeared into the underground tunnels of Platinum City.
Danzo was a sight for sore eyes, as Lou had not seen many faces of heroes he knew before the invasion. After the Stratalight Crew left Earth with the final triplos asteri and all of the Tromokratesians followed, the Alpha Initiative was left to lick their wounds during what they thought was a moment of victory. While the planet was repairing and rebuilding, the members of the Alpha Initiative – Lou, Liberty Star, Black Jag, Orenda Barefoot, Encore, Interface and Musashi – were lauded as some of the most elite heroes of the world. They were celebrated and cheered across the entire globe. That was, until Kako managed to get his hands on the star and become a god. He destroyed Armonia – the previous supreme being – and decreed one of his first orders as sole ruler of the universe was for Earth to be colonized.
The Tromokratesians returned with a vengeance, and eventually dominated the entire planet to complete colonization. Once this occurred, many members of the Alpha Initiative were broken. They had given everything twice, and it was not enough; not only that, but their enemy in Kako was now the god of the universe – a fact all on Earth witnessed with their own eyes. As a result, Orenda left to go back and be with her tribe, to fight until the end alongside her people. Liberty Star returned to her family to be with her husband, Brass Eagle, and their children. A part of her wanted to keep fighting, but with no direction and being obviously outmatched, she decided it was time to fold her hand. Plus, unlike most of the other members of the Alpha Initiative, she did not have natural hyper-powers or abilities. She was at a disadvantage more than ever.
Encore, Lou’s childhood best friend, also left. She quit the Alpha Initiative, despite the super-soldier’s efforts to convince her to stay. All Encore could think about was how, during the fight with Kako in Hollow Earth, she was wrapped tightly in Kako’s chain whip of razor-sharp blades, and hung from a wall. She had never experienced such excruciating pain and come so close to death. She told Lou it was not something she was willing to suffer again, and if Kako could do that to her and defeat all of them as a Tromokratesian warlord, then there was no telling what he could do to them as a god. And with that, she returned to Chicago.
Black Jag returned to Platinum City, and fought with Lou for a while. They battled valiantly against the enemy, but it wasn’t long before Jag saw the need to reunite with his fellow Platinum City Knights, Night Bird and Metro. He wanted to stay, but his companions needed him in trying to provide hope and stability to their people and neighborhoods as lawyers and as vigilantes. Thus, Black Jag departed.
Musashi returned as well. Yet, his future involvement in the resistance was much different. As the owner and head of a global business empire, the man known as Iori Miyamoto had to pledge loyalty to the Tromokratesian Empire. This kept his businesses operating, his employees with jobs, and all their families safe, but it also kept his enormous income streams alive. In turn, he was able to secretly fund Lou and the group of people he fought with. However, the super samurai that was Musashi did not return to combat.
Interface returned to the Iga Clan to check in with Faceless and the rest of her fellow shinobi. They had fought the enemy with great courage, and many of them were lost during the invasion. Interface had to pay her respects. Also, she sought the advanced healing of her master Danzo, who was able to bring her back to 100 percent, after her brutal encounters with the Tromokratesians. Additionally, she was able to repair her tech and weapons, allowing her to regularly battle alongside Lou as part of the resistance.
There was one warrior, however, who had remained by Lou’s side full-time, after returning to Platinum City – Major General Delilah Fray. She was dedicated to helping Earth recover after the Tromokratesians fled the planet in pursuit of the Stratalight and the final triplos asteri, and she did so with the super-soldier as liaison between Earth and the Galaxias Kyklos Force – the interstellar militia that helped them protect Earth during the invasion. Then, the Tromokratesians returned with God Kako to colonize the planet. As the embodiment of Kako’s greatest adversary, the GKF was immediately banished. Delilah remained dedicated to defending their world, though. She avoided exile, and continued to battle back with Lou.