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The Battle of the River

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    The Battle of the River

    {Inspired by the author's poking around in the Champions universe. The initial parts of it, at least, will be taking the form of journal-like "entries" from one of the characters.

    Usual disclaimer follows:

    "This is entirely a work of fiction, and any resemblance to events past or present, persons living or dead, are entirely coincidental as the content of the story is pulled from the author's gastro-intestinal region. Don't try what you are about to read at home. EVER!"

    Bitching and other comments go here. -Ed.}

    Sometimes, I have to wonder... How did we miss the signs?

    Oh, the rest of the world missing them was obvious. With all of the trouble being caused world-wide by various members of the "criminal element", and other entities and organisations of that manner of bent, what was happening in the shadows of one small, insignificant Midwestern town in the United States would likely rate extremely low on the list of things to pay attention too. When nearly every major city world-wide is being threatened with total destruction at the hands of madmen, what else matters? How important can one town full of retiring farmers, country music fanatics, and borderline in-bred teens and children really have in the grand schemes?

    Quite a bit of importance, apparently. That's the only reason I've ever been able to determine for what ended up happening. Of course, the outside forces at work caused perhaps as much problems as the more internal ones. I suppose, in case someone else every ends up reading this, that I should make an attempt to explain what happened. At least, as good of an attempt as I can, given all the cloak and dagger, as well as general chaos, surrounding what has apparently become known as the Battle of the River. The area had been, unfortunately, known for some time as a source for drugs, meth in particular. Probably since about the late 1990's or so. Coupling that with the little issue of about ninety percent of the surrounding county being related to one of two, if not both, major families, and there's a pretty big recipe for trouble. And yes, both of those families had intermarried at least a half a dozen times throughout recent history. I suppose that in retrospect, it was only a matter of time before that cartel formed.

    While the drug cartel was often pinpointed as the main antagonist in that little fiasco, from a local's perspective, I'm not so sure. While a "turf war" between that cartel and the local cops, many of whom I was strongly suspective of being corrupt anyway, would certainly have been a serious conflict, there was simply no way for it to have exploded into a nigh-cataclysm that destroyed at least two whole counties. Of course, most official sources seem to overlook the events that created the "Chimney" as it's become known, and in all honesty, it's probably better that way. But someone has to remember. Someone has to know. It's the only way I know of to prevent the cataclysm from happening again.

    Then again, it probably was the Cartel's attempts to force the entire county into addiction to its new designer drug that sparked the initial chaos. It was certainly the catalyst for those few of us locals who'd begun to notice the signs of major trouble taking up arms... or whatever else we had available, truth be told. While the cops were busy trying to prevent the Cartel agents from reaching the water treatment facilities, those of us who'd taken up the old, perhaps trite, mantle of "disguised vigilantes" waged a bit of a shadow war of our own. While the Cartel's enforcers and the cops waged firefights in the streets, we hid in the shadows, tracking down and eliminating the Cartel's drug labs. Granted, there was no "protect the innocence", or "defending justice", or any other such noble motivations behind us. As far as most of us were concerned, the firefights were culling the locals, many of whom, some of us felt, really had no business living or breeding in the first place. However, we all knew what that drug could do to a person, and none of us wanted that to happen to us. It was self-preservation, pure and simple.

    It was when we discovered the occult maniacs trying to use the chaos for some supernatural plan for either world domination or apocalypse summoning that our actions began taking on a more "heroic" bent. Once we confirmed that this bizarre cult actually had some kind of functional dark ritual and the means to successfully complete it, that was when we knew that there was more at stake than just severe drug addictions. Of course, we had to find the bastards first. Not the easiest of tasks, since they knew their fieldcraft as well. As it turned out, though... We weren't the only ones after this cult. It seems that somewhere along the line, those bastards had managed to piss off some kind of well-funded criminal empire... or perhaps some major terrorist group, I'm not sure which at this point.

    It was at the time of discovering the second brewing conflict that those of us trying to hold out against these odds finally got our first major break. The Avalon Corporation, specifically their security and defense technologies division, "randomly selected" our little group to field test some of their new equipment. It was also around that time that the first major support came in from outside. Federal specialists, granted, but at least they were willing to negotiate a sort of a truce with us. Yet, even with their aid, I can still remember the uncertainty of survival, much less victory.
    Last edited by ShadowWolfSBI; 29th March 2014, 13:54.

    Re: The Battle of the River

    Rain. It'd been happening a fair amount recently. Enough that some of the others to joke about the almost noir-esque feel to things. The man who would become known as Fatewatcher felt differently, however. To him, it seemed as if there was something of a menace to the storm. Some of the small group's members thought his feelings, intuitions, and hunches bizarre, possibly even dangerous. Others knew that those flickers were often the group's best chance of survival. Then again, sometimes it did come across as a hassle. Like the brief vision or dream he'd just had about an old journal, written with his own handwriting. Even like mentioned in the entries, the group had already begun to find possible hints of a deeper plot than this 'gang war' between the new drug cartel and the local government. Perhaps it would be wise to poke around some more about those clues...

    Shaking off the approaching internal debate, Fatewatcher turned away from the window he was staring through, and spoke to one of the others who'd just started to pass by. "When Vigilant and his team return, inform them of my congratulations. Also, let Vigilant know that I'll need to speak with him immediately."

    'It had to be the new member,' he mused as he headed for the "war room". The person he'd spoken to seemed a bit confused at first, then out-right surprised as the radio came to life, announcing the code-phrase that meant that the active field team had completed their assigned raid successfully. They had to be a new recruit. Any of the more experienced members knew about his flashes of foresight by now.