Dec 12, 2743
The following was automatically-generated by The Fold.
Legacy, New York December 12, 2743 23:42 hours The night was dark, as it had been in Legacy for centuries since the Incident. This night was particularly ominous, casting no moonlight through the ruined atmosphere above. Snow fell in waves, shining blue and gold and green in the light of the empty streets. A light dusting covered all paths in the snow, melding with dirt and concrete to create an ever-changing sea around Malcolm’s feet. It had been a lifetime since he had seen the sun; longer, since he had felt its warmth. This empty wasteland bore little resemblance to the city of dreams it used to represent. Indeed, Malcolm was not certain that the city ever existed as described in his history books. What little could be seen of the fading night cast absolute clarity on just how bleak his situation was; it was as if the entire city had simply packed up and left. Indeed, this may have been preferable to the truth. Malcolm reflected upon what used to be New York City; the tall, blackened symbols of prosperity now lay eerily vacant, made ominous by years of neglect and a heavy fog forever masking their summits . Flickering apartment lighting and neon signs still painted much of the barren streets, though little else had survived the looting and harsh winters. Few would brave these streets at this hour. Few cared enough about their own life to avoid them, too. It is said that a witch roams the streets at this hour, a beautiful young harlot that preys on the hearts of foolish men made desperate in this forlorn city. Some would say that she lures her prey into a dark alley, where she actually takes her puppet’s heart and leaves them to die in the falling snow. Others say that the witch is but a tale, conjured by rival parties or used to scare children of the outdoors. Still others tell of men disappearing into the night, only to return years later with no recognition of themselves or their past life. Whatever the case, Malcolm worried not. As he approached the compound, Malcolm could not help but marvel at the persistence of his kind. It had been nearly 75 years since the Incident that forever changed his world. In one instant, the sun was blacked out. In one day, the global temperature had dropped 10 degrees. In one month, billions were dead and billions more starved. It is unfair, Malcolm reasoned, that he should profit while the rest of the world would suffer. Yet here he was, living on the cusp of that which destroyed his planet, salvaging what remained for the highest bidder and struggling for every cigarette just to keep himself sane. Now approaching his complex, and ever thankful for a reprieve from the cold, he stomped out the remainder of his cigarette and gazed into the massive glass panes stretching ominously 120 stories into the sky. At first impression, the crystal doors giving way to wide, twisting staircases looked the same as any other vacant hotel: expensive, a relic of times long past, and utterly without a practical use in the world’s current state. However, beyond the security checkpoint and up just three floors lived one of the largest and most influential of Freedom’s refuges. Over the past hundreds of years, men and women of the legion worked to retool this monument to human resilience, yet the world at large was none the wiser to its existence. Stepping through the front doors, Malcolm marvelled at the way blue, gold, and green was amplified by the glass panes and light of the streets. Dancing pools of color decorated the marble floors and ornate fixtures, giving a natural, tranquil feeling to the hall. To one not accustomed to the effects, the phenomenon would seem natural, safe. It was in this moment of clarity that Freedom would rely, because at any given time the front doors were protected by not less than eight riflemen, trained on keeping those from the outside world where they belong. Those not mindful of procedure would be dead before they reached the stairway. Ascending the carpeted landing and into the lift, Malcolm swiped his badge across the touch panel. Placing his hand next, he was greeted by the familiar ding of acceptance. Within seconds he was on the third floor where he was to meet with Benju. The third floor - indeed, the lower twenty - were nothing like one might have anticipated from outside. Walls had been knocked down, floors had been torn up, and each new floor now served as a balcony, held up by exposed structural beams and overlooking a massive fountain in the center of the room. Each floor served as a district - sometimes spanning across several floors - with rooms on the outside refurbished for specific uses. The lower floor, where Malcolm now stood, housed some of the most varied restaurants and cafes that he had ever heard of. On one wall alone stood an exotic italian bistro, a chinese buffet, a couples dance bar and a 50’s-style burger joint. Three other walls were just as full, save for the open lift up the middle of one side. Neon lights and music mingled with the spray of the water to create the impression of a thriving economy, but Malcolm knew how misleading this assumption was. Each owner struggled to gather enough for their families, let alone the hundreds of others in the stories above. Most asked nothing in return, and still each had their needs met by the community with which they lived. Malcolm was on his way higher, to the 24th floor being used as the office in charge of this facility. Stepping into the foyer, Malcolm checked his pistol with the guard, and tracked his way through the cafeteria to the elevator along the eastern side. Again scanning his badge and hand, past the busy shops, empty theater, gym, and electronics, it was not long before he came to his destination, the Office of the Liberation Front. It was here that he would meet with Benju, an indian chemist with whom he’d grown up with in the lifetime spent in this winter prison. Again checking his pistol, Malcolm entered into the hall and made his way past the various offices on this floor. Each served a specific purpose, filled to the brim with screens and electronics, paperwork, bustling employees and future soldiers. The one-bedroom apartment wasn't much – just a couch and a broken television, an empty kitchen and a pile of dishes, and a small bed that he hadn't shared in ages – but it was more than most could hope for. Something like half the population lives on the streets nowadays. He removed the soaking boots from his feet and tattered trench-coat from his back, grabbed a Coke and sprawled out on the couch with a laptop to journal the day. They say old habits never die. Six years since he'd returned from duty and he still documented every day like it was his last. If ever somebody were to find the journal, he wanted them to know that he had a conscience - a side not marred by the actions of his employer or haunted by the scars of his past. He hoped he'd still be around to see the results come into fruition. Now realizing that he was staring blankly at an open laptop, Malcolm securely connected to the hidden “Darknet” and proceeded to check his messages. With the recent terror attacks, this was the only contact he had with world outside his company. Any other attempts at communication were met with government blockades or password-protected firewalls. “A vaccine for all, to treat the sickly few,” they said. Temporary, they said. It had been... well, about six years now. Countless contacts had been taken for questioning; few came home. Malcolm would take no such risks. Among the spam and ads to “increase your size in just forty-eight hours!!”, Malcolm happened upon a message from a man he hadn't heard of in months. Hiding behind an alias of “Zero,” Roger Lambert was an old war buddy from back in the middle east. He'd gone missing months earlier, leaving those he knew to wonder if even he were still alive. Apparently, he was. - Wardog listen to me, I dont have much time. ive gone undercover to explore some leads, and well, to be honest, im over my head here. look, i know that you don't owe me anything, and youre probably pissed that I didn't tell you where I went, but this isn't the time to argue that now. Something big's going down in Fort Lee, like BIG, big. You gotta get over there and check it out. I can't tell you where I am, but I'm not close. Just check it out and get a message to Billy – he'll let me know what's going on. I promise i'll make contact soon. do this for me Malcolm... this is going to affect you more than you know. - Zero Malcolm sighed, “Goddamn, I need a vacation.” Pressing his thumb and forefinger into his eyes, Malcolm lay back and thought about the last few months. It seemed like only yesterday that he was fighting back crowds of protestors ... [THE RECORD ENDS HERE]
data.stats.symptoms = [ - determination ]
In your heart lies a devotion for starting pyres
To drown your brother within the mire
You pledged allegiance to gold
In your art, your words laid out in a vacuous manner
The mind is there but the soul is absent
With smoke and mirrors you reign
— from Soen - “Opal”
The past proves the future.