Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Geez3r

Stars and Bars (IC)

Recommended Posts

Every rumor you've ever heard about how much jail sucks is true. Life in Blackstone is a bit better than what a normal prison would be just because the chance that another prisoner will be in a position to harm you is significantly lessened. By the same token however, the guards are quite strict about security polices. Each individual cell is checked every day, along with random searches whenever the guards feel like it. But you can get by. At the end of the day, every pyscho and ever guard you see is a person, and they really don't want to be here. It forms a really weird bond.

You can see that look in the eye of the old timers. That look that just says that they have been down here so long that they don't even remember what the sun feels like. It's little things like that that hit you the hardest. The smell of freshly cut grass was the first thing Eric noticed he missed. After that it was the wind. The sun and the lack of space hadn't hit him yet. He was a nerd at heart. Sitting hunched over a small little desk for hours on end was normal. That's why a prisoner never turns down a visitor. To look into the eyes of someone who still knows what the sun looks like, or to catch the smell of anything from the outside off their clothes is one of the very few pleasure people get.

So Eric walked down the hallway towards his visitor a bit slower than normal because his body was not used to taking this many steps in a single direction.

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star waited calmly, 'sitting' on a chair, waiting patiently. He could have simply come and gone through the walls but that wasn't the way he did things when there was another way. So, like any other person, he had called ahead and made an appointment. He sat through the lecture about proper behavior and the rules for interracting with a prison though most really didn't apply to him. Not being solid limited that. The fact that he was here at all seemed to be something of a surprise to some of the good men and women working here but not to him.

Everyone deserved second chances. Anyone could change their way and become a better person. Despite the bitter words thrown at him by Malice the last time they spoke, during the cleanup of the Explosion, he believed in the potential of Eric Micheals. Changing the man might have be a long shot, a highly unlikely occurance, but that didn't mean it shouldn't be attempted. Admittedly, Dark Star had been a little busy of late with one thing or another so it had taken much longer than he'd expected to make this visit. But he was here now to do his part to help Eric Micheals and see the man's good side win out.

Share this post


Link to post

Eric wasn't too surprised to see Dark Star, he had figured he would come to see him at some point or another. Eric was however a little disappointed to see him though. Dark Star didn't really have what he would call eyes, and neither did he carry with him any smells of the outside. But the reason Eric would look past the fact of what Dark Star was, was his heart. Dark Star was one of the very few down to earth, honest to goodness, decent people that inhabited this world.

Eric gave Dark Star a small smile as he sat down opposite him. "It's great to see you again. I didn't get to say it before you left, so I'll say it now: Thank you. You set the record straight, regardless of how you personally felt about me. I would have wrote you a letter of gratitude, but as you can probably surmise, my penmanship is still quite terrible, and it is very hard to send a letter to someone without an address. So, what brings you by?"

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star nodded but waves the thanks away. "True enough. But no thanks are required. I simply did what was right and told the truth." He looked the man over. "I wanted to see how you were doing honestly. You might have committed various crimes and then had your life turned upside down in short order, including almost dying. I was hoping you were adjusting well. Perhaps even working on reform. Everyone should get another chance to fix their mistakes," he said quite honestly. "And I thought you could use a friendly face, such as it is," he said, gesturing vaguely to his mostly featureless energized face, "now and again to remind you of that."

Share this post


Link to post

Eric broke and chuckled to himself while shaking his head. "You're quite an odd fellow." Eric slid his chair a little closer up to the table. He placed his arm up on the table and looked like he tried to interlace his fingers out of habit from the way his hand groped the air. Eric frowned a bit and hung his head for a moment and sat in silence. "Yeah... it's been a little rough." Eric took his hand off the table and placed it at the stump of his right shoulder. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"I didn't really feel the pain when I lost it... so I kind of forget it's not there some times. But if I hadn't lost it, I think this whole transition would have driven me mad. I mean literally bat-shit insane. ...But I don't know... losing the arm... it kinda snapped everything into perspective, ya know? Showed me what was important in my life. But at the same time, it also showed me that I'm probably a little crazy. See, I've been torn between drawing designs for a robotic arm for myself, and then building a massive gun because I know have the space to keep it. Screwed up ain't it?"

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star nodded, and smiled. Or at least his tone semed to. "You are not the first to say that nor, I expect, will you be the last."

He would have offered to try healing the arm again even though the first time he'd had little luck with all those energies fluctuating in the area. But it seemed the injury helped the man somehow. "Acknowledgement of an issue is the first step in addressing it. You said you realized what was important in your life. What revelation have you had?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I don't know if I would call them revelations. It more like the world's not exactly how I imagined. It's like if you needed glasses, but didn't know it. You got along fine and did everything pretty much as normal. But then you get yourself a pair of glasses and you realize 'Oh, I can see. That's new.' And suddenly you have a whole new perspective on things. And then you notice that anyone you would read a label, you would hold the box a heck of a lot closer to your face than you really should have.

People lose themselves in the hectic day to day struggle and don't even ask if they're doing what they should be doing. But now that I'm here, all of my essentials are covered for me, so I can just spend the whole day thinking. I started to ask myself if Darts was what I should really be doing. When my father died, all I wanted was revenge, to unleash my anger on the world. Darts was the easiest way to meet that goal. But I never planned things out in the long term. I was just living from one battle to the next. So before I get out of here, I gotta make some new, I don't know, life goals or something.

Share this post


Link to post

That sounded rather nice to Dark Star. Until Eric got to the end anyway and hadn't exactly recanted his concept for revenge. Now it seemed more like Eric needed to plan farther ahead in his revenge. Definitely not the direction Dark Star was hoping for but then, it wasn't exactly unexpected either.

"Such as what? You could have done mankind a great service with Dart. Researching new technologies, helping your fellow man. There is no denying your intelligence and ability. You clearly have a gift for it. But what will you use it for now? What life goals are you looking to attain?"

Share this post


Link to post

"If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn't be sitting in this jail cell." Wait, did he just say that the only reason he's still in jail is that he doesn't know what he's doing once he gets out. "You're right, I have the potential to do a great number of things. But where do I direct that energy? What specifically am I after? Look at you.

As far as I know, you're some sort of living energy thing. That in and of itself just boggles my mind. And not only that, you wield gravity and radiation itself - the most powerful forces known to man. Period. If we slapped you into a battery, boom. We now have 100% clean energy for pretty much the entire civilized world, forever. And, yet here you are, talking to a one armed, self professed mad-man. What I can understand is why? What makes you tick? Why do you do what you do? What drives you to be a 'hero'?"

Share this post


Link to post

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are drempt of in you philosophy," he quoted. "The universe is full of wondrous and amazing things. I do not think anyone truly understand how everything works. Nor should they. Part of the joy of the science is that mystery. Learning and discovering. All part of growing as a species."

He nodded slowly. "Indeed. I could power and fuel a significant portion of the population. But why would I? Humanity would have no need to learn, grow, research and develop. I am here to help, not stunt human potential." He gestured to Eric. "I'm sitting talking to said man, because he could be one of those to help humanity grow and learn. To be more than another individual who uses violence." He tilted his head slightly. "Why does any sentient do what they do? I feel I can help. I believe that I can and should be here to help. Whether that involves doing my part and keep people safe or simply assisting in humanity's growth and learning. Humanity has such potential. I would like to do my part to help it reach it. When I'm no longer needed, I suppose I'll leave and assist someone else," he said with a slight shrug.

Share this post


Link to post

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are drempt of in you philosophy," he quoted. "The universe is full of wondrous and amazing things. I do not think anyone truly understand how everything works. Nor should they. Part of the joy of the science is that mystery. Learning and discovering. All part of growing as a species."

He nodded slowly. "Indeed. I could power and fuel a significant portion of the population. But why would I? Humanity would have no need to learn, grow, research and develop. I am here to help, not stunt human potential." He gestured to Eric. "I'm sitting talking to said man, because he could be one of those to help humanity grow and learn. To be more than another individual who uses violence." He tilted his head slightly. "Why does any sentient do what they do? I feel I can help. I believe that I can and should be here to help. Whether that involves doing my part and keep people safe or simply assisting in humanity's growth and learning. Humanity has such potential. I would like to do my part to help it reach it. When I'm no longer needed, I suppose I'll leave and assist someone else," he said with a slight shrug.

Although he had been keeping pretty much a neutral face what Dark Star was talking, his eyes widened quite a bit. From that point on he looked at Dark Star as if he was truly seeing him for the first time. He sat in rapt silence for a few minutes after Dark Star finished speaking. "I... I have misjudged you." started Eric slowly. "You seem to have a greater understanding of your position here than a great number of your peers. You're self awareness is something to be admired and aspired to. The mantle of hero rests quite well on your shoulders. Far better than it ever did on mine."

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star nodded slightly. "Thank you. I just try and do my part." He was, as always, quite honest. But he was here to talk about Eric, not at him. And giving the man some view and example might be nice and helpful, this wasn't about him. "And what about you? If you feel you have not done well, how could you be more constructive and helpful?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I had thought, that if I had given people a way to defend themselves, then they wouldn't need to depend on heroes to pull their butts out of the fire. I had painted my armor red, white and blue so I wouldn't be seen as just a person, but rather as a symbol. I wanted to be recognized as what everyone could asprire to be. What they could really accomplish if they truly applied themselves. I wanted that even more than I wanted revenge for my father, and I just failed so horribly."

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star nodded. "It would be nice if people didn't need to rescued or fight at all. But this world is far from the safest out there. And there are many who use violence too freely. In general, people wish to be safe and do not want to experience such dangers. There are a select few, heroes all, who make it their daily jobs to put themselves in harms way in order to provide that protection. Not individuals such as I but regular folks who do it every day. People like policemen and firemen. They stand up and 'pull people's butts out of the fire' as you say even when they know how risky it is. They have no powers. No special ability to survive dangers. Yet still they proceed. They are the true heroes."

He shrugged his shoulders. "Giving people an example of violence to use as a basis for defense or improving themselves is not the most constructive example I would think. That teaches fear and resentment. Violence begets violence is a another saying I believe. I would think that as Eric Micheals you could be a far greater symbol for good people to apply themselves. Knowledge and advancing humanity constructively. Helping to guide humanity and work to reach their, and your own, potential. All without resorting to violence."

He paused and looked at the man when he spoke of revenge. "I'm sorry; I had no idea you father had passed. What happened, if you don't mind me asking?"

Share this post


Link to post

"My father was a stock trader, one of the few honest ones. I know this because he lost his shirt every now and then. My father, never missed a drink in his life. Or a joint. Or a party. Or a chance to get laid. He also never missed a day or work, or a house payment or a car payment. And I never went hungry, although he did a couple of times so I wouldn't.

He gave me my start in life, pointed me right in the direction and made sure I had my head on straight. I got through college, and landed a job at Darts and moved into Freedom city. I was still getting settled in my new house when me and my parents met up so I could show them the neighborhood. It's a day I'll never forget."

After relating the story, Eric stops talking for a few minutes, though it's plain he's not done yet. "My father had such faith in me, that he took every last penny of his savings and bought as much Darts stock as he could afford, confident that I would make the company profitable. As of March 28th, his investment had appreciated by over $150 million dollars. In that regard at least, I know I did him proud.

...But, at the end of the day, you were right Dark Star; violence begets violence. But I don't see another way. Violence is part of the human condition. There will always be struggle, conflict and strife. If humans aren't fighting humans, they're fighting metas; if they're not fighting metas, their fighting demons and monsters; if they're not fighting demons, then they're fighting the Grue; if they're not fighting the Grue, they're fighting Omega. The fighting isn't going to stop, not in our life time.

War is inevitable until all of those cosmic horrors out there are vanquished. Can you bear the burden of a war raging across creation all by yourself? No, of course you can't, so you join forces. Scarab, Arrowhawk, Divine, Avenger, and the Freedom League, and you lighten each other's loads. But what about us? What about the 6 or 7 billion humans who call this place home? Most of them are conent to sit on the sidelines and watch this war. But, if I were to give them a reason to get off the sidelines, to feel like they can actually do something with their lives? What if I rallied them to war? We could finally achieve peace."

Share this post


Link to post

He nodded as Eric finish the tale. "I'm sorry. I wish such events never happen. But you need to rise above them and strive to improve and repair life, not seek revenge."

"You agree that violence begets violence. Yet you seem to think that using violence will cause the people to rally against those who aid them? I do not argue that struggle is an integral part of the human condition. Violence is very common sadly. But it doesn't have to be. Defending oneself does not mean thriving or perpetrating violence. Fighting is not likely to ever stop. There will always be those, be they human or otherwise, willing to force their views on others. To hurt and take from people. Just as there will always be those willing to stand up and stop them. But true peace? That will come when humanity is ready for it. But you can't have peace by rallying for war. Being able to defend oneself is not the same thing as war." He shook his head. "People rally around good causes. To do violence is not really one of them thankfully. If you want to rally them, get them to be more active participants in protecting themselves and their fellow sentient, you will need to find another way besides violence."

Share this post


Link to post

"I am talking about protecting all life on this planet, what duty could possibly be more noble? Arts, science, literature, philosophy; do you think any of that would exist without war. Look at any golden age in history where these things reigned supreme. Then turn the clock back to how those nations were formed. They were bathed in blood. The Romans conquered most of the known world, Greece battle the Persians, and the United States fought the world. You either survive or you die. When you don't have to worry about someone coming to your town and murdering you, you can focus your attention on the more wholesome aspects of the human experience.

But as my father proved, and as was proved to all those people in Riverside; you aren't safe, no matter who or where you are. One day, you could just wake up and loose everything. I wish the world was as whole and idealic as you believe it to be, I really do. But I can't see the world like that."

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star nodded sadly. "War is a significant impetus for change and growth sadly. But it is far from the only one. You seem to be advocating people being afraid for their lives so they can grow. It seems like a flawed premise to me." He shrugged his shoulders just a little. "I'm sorry you can't picture it. I can. That's why I act as I do. I try to be an example for people; showing that it is possible. I know it isn't as idealistic and noble as I wish it to be; I'm not delusional. But I know that is can be. I do not expect to change the world, just help people get there. If my example helps a couple people behave nobly, they will influence a couple more. And they will influence a couple more. And so on. All without resorting to some simple base reaction such as violence."

"I'm not advocating complete pacifism; that would be rather hypocritical of me. Sometimes it is necessary to fight. But fighting should always be the last resort. Never a standard course of action. Humans still have a long way to go before they reach that potential as a species. But that growth has to begin somewhere. Why not now? Why not do our part to help it get there?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I... I really don't understand you. You have such an idealic view of the world, but you don't expect to change the world? You just want to influence one person at a time to be a little bit nicer to their common man. Maybe it's because you don't see the world like I do. While you wear your rose colored glasses, you can't see all the blood that's being spilled.

And yes, I am trying to scare the people out there. "Fight or Flight" The most basic of all reactions that humans have. Or have you forgotten that by being untouchable for so long? Fighting is something hardwired into the very core of our being. But after decades of having heroes solve all our problems, people are defaulting to Flight more and more. They think to themselves "Let's just hide until a hero shows up to save us." But what happens when no one comes? Especially if heroes share your mentality of violence being the last resort? Can you honestly look me in the eye right here and now and tell me that you or someone depending on you has never once been harmed because you hesitated to use violence?"

Share this post


Link to post

He shook his head slightly. "You misunderstand. I'm not trying to change humanity. It isn't my place. Does it look to you like I'm a member? Change needs to be internal to mean anything, to 'stick'. External forces do not last."

Dark Star looked at Eric for a moment, curious. "Do you really think heroes do everything? If so, you are not giving credit where it is due. Humanity does handle most of it problems. Heroes, like me, handle problems that are generally outside the ability of most people to deal with. Whether it is a lack of numbers, ability or even technology. We most certainly don't do 'everything' or even anything close to it. And again, I find your arguments are based on faulty premises. You wish to raise humanity up by bringing them down and making them embrace the most basic animal instincts. It doesn't work that way. At least not and maintain the freedoms you have or advance to better yourselves. People need to choose to better themselves. Not be forced or frightened into it."

Share this post


Link to post

"Fight or Flight is the very foundation of evolution, the million year struggle which resulted in our right to live on this planet. Our animal instincts, for better or worse are what we are. To turn our backs on that is to turn our backs on ourselves, on evolution, on progress itself. It forms our very foundation of self. If we ever want to be more than that, we need to build off of it, not ignore it. Where we come from gives us purpose, direction and understanding. If you kidnapped someone, blindfolded them and tossed them into the middle of the desert, they would have no idea where to do in order to escape. If they knew what direction was home, they could at least attempt to get back to safety.

Now granted, the "heroes" do tackle problems that are out of ordinary human's league. But what about the ones that are just out of their reach? If people are given the chance to fight, and to better themselves, then they can more properly defend themselves in the future. Isn't Blackstone now better defended than it was before Omega came? Didn't technology advance after destruction of the city. Yes, people will die. Probably by the thousands, if not by millions, but I say it is worth it. Those left alive at the end of the struggle will be better equipped to face the threats in the future and live every day to its fullest."

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Star shook his head, amazed at the man. Not unexpected, but amazed nonetheless. "You truly think causing the deaths of untold number of people and on the basis that reverting to pure animal instincts is evolution? That's not evolving. You're just expanding animals to a massive scale. Evolution is change Eric. Evolving to find a new way. And survivors? Your way seems like there might not be any survivors at all. And the ones that do survive? There won't be growth. Just hardened or broken people." He shook his head again. "Killing is never the answer. You already agreed, violence begets violence. It won't ever stop. People won't embrace life. It will break them down, crush them under the pressure of it. Look at those who survive wars. Even on Earth there should be plenty. It's a horror that none would choose if another option was available."

Share this post


Link to post

"For every age, there is a time of trial. The rocks faced such a fire before they were the strength beneath our feet. The plants braved vast winds before their roots could give us life. Conflicts creates strength. It creates hardened and broken and people, just as you said, but I believe that there could be no better world. Those that prove themselves can live on, and those that do not are swept from the board. Violence begets violence Dark Star, that in and of itself is neither good or bad. It is a law of the universe. I intend to use that rule to further my own race. I wish to turn these sheep into wolves. We should not fear the universe, the universe should fear us. I am not talking about savagery or barbarity; I am talking about the ability to fight without hesitation. Violence is not always the answer, but it could always be a solution."

Share this post


Link to post

Dark Shook himself, saddened by such insanity. "I'm sorry you can't see the reality of your own words. That violence is not the only way or even the right way. That there are so many other and better ways than fear and violence. Your idea will not result in humanities ascention but it's destruction. I've seen it happen. Find another way Eric."

He stood up. "I sincerely wish you could understand the truth of what I'm saying. But for now, this will get us nowhere. Perhaps some more time thinking will help you see and return to the right side. I certainly hope you do. For now, I think we're done here. I will try to visit again when I have some time." He nodded to the man. "Until then, I wish you well."

Share this post


Link to post

Eric let out a long and sad sigh. "Very well. I do invite you back to continue this discussion at a later date. All appearances to the otherwise, I really did enjoy our chat here today, and it did indeed give me quite a bit to ponder. However, I sincerely hope that I am not the only one doing any pondering before our next meeting. I do hope my arguments were at sound, even if you personally find their implications horrible. You now have a measure of what a "villain" is, do tell me how the other heroes measure up won't you?"

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×