The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Warriors fan fiction created by members of the forum.
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GramercyRiff99
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The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Yes, it's true. I am ditching the Easy Aces story I started again and rebooting it again. There is a good reason for this. I ditched the story for a while to concentrate on other things, then I got back and realized, to be honest, it really wasn't very good compared to what I'm doing now. So I'm redoing it.

It is the same universe and all, so people who have read the other stories and stuff all know about it. Same second great depression, same flash epidemic, etc. Same gang even. The difference is that the story is a hell of a lot more detailed, and a hell of a lot darker. It even has different characters, since I based the originals on me and my friends and, to be honest, I don't want to associate our names and personalities with the characters here. They are going to be doing some seriously bad stuff. I hope that this is a better read than the other version. Like I said, my writing evolved and the original didn't.

There isn't a map yet for this one (working on it), so just use your imagination (or GMaps... or if you live in the GTA, personal experience). Please do not try to use the subway map I posted in the first thread for this story. It will make no sense and you will be horribly lost, as per the map I'm working on. I'm gonna warn once more that this story might start getting into disturbing territory for some people. Just a heads up. Please remember that this is the same universe as my other Aces stories, so it will still fit into the canon.

Without further adieu, welcome to the world of 2045 Toronto...
Chapter One: The Worst of Times
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

It was the morning of June 12th, 2045, and Toronto's University Avenue was being watched. Nobody knew it, but it was the truth. Someone was watching, a single eyed optical-cyclops of sorts. As the early morning light began to filter through the clouds, the watchers became more alert. They were waiting for something. The first birds began to sound their beaks, and the occasional car engine started up in the distance. The screech of streetcars passing on nearby Queen Street became more pronounced as their frequency rose to the one per minute of the morning rush hour. The watchers were becoming impatient.

The sun began gleaming off the condo towers, the pinnacles of luxury rising above the streets below. A car or two passed by, though certainly not many. Most cars were powered by clean-burning fuels, but they were prohibitively expensive for most of Toronto's citizens. The clock turned to six, and the watchers finally saw what they were looking for. There was the low, insignificant sound of a knob being adjusted, followed by the loud crack of a rifle going off. The watchers were gone as fast as they had come, leaving nothing but gunshot residue floating through the air and a panicked street below, all staring at the corpse in their midst.

*****

"We clear?" Alex asked, a low voice in the silence. "Looks like it," Sydney replied, his black hair matted to his head by sweat. "Get it out of sight. We'll wait a few minutes for things to calm down, then we'll head back to Clairlea." The two were crouched in a maintenance hall in the Toronto Hilton, both armed. Sydney, a black haired teenager of seventeen, was carrying a Karabiner 98k rifle with a scope attached to the top, which he was in the process of hiding in a guitar case. Alex, a young man of nineteen, had drawn his pistol, a Beretta M92F, and screwed a homemade suppressor onto it, "Get your piece out, but conceal it. Last thing I want is getting busted around here for showing a gun off." Sydney closed the guitar case up and pulled his CZ-85 out. After checking it, he slipped it back into his jacket.

They crept down the stairs to the third floor before realizing that it would look suspicious for them to come strolling out of a maintenance passage. As such, Alex slid the door open and stepped out into the hall. It was empty, and they proceeded to head for the elevators. Upon taking it down to the first floor, Alex took off the suppressor and jammed the gun into the back of his wasteband. The lobby was fairly lightly populated, and the two left without arousing any suspicion. The street outside was a madhouse, with police holding back the crowd as they covered up the body of the man that had been shot. Alex and Sydney ignored it and kept walking, eventually reaching Queen Street. They walked across the street and headed down into Osgoode Station.

They waited for the train, then got on it southbound. A few stations later, they got off and headed for the other platform at Union. As they walked, Alex pulled out his cell phone, dialing as he walked. They stopped before going down, as phones didn't work in the tunnels, and stood for around a minute. The other end was finally picked up, and a disgruntled "Hello?" filtered through. "Hey," Alex said, "Where's Roger?" The voice on the other end spoke to someone else, then replied "He's... indisposed." Alex slapped his forehead, "He's f*cking high again, isn't he Andy?" "Hey," the voice, now identified, yelled, "You do not question him! He's leader, he knows better. You'd be well of remembering that." "Yeah, whatever. All I know is that I'm starting to get tired of doing all the work while that flash-head sits around tweaking all day." "Look," Andy said, "We'll speak about this when you get back. Is the target dead?" "Yeah," Alex said, "Sydney got him in the first shot." "Good. Where are you now?" "Union. We're gonna take the Downtown and the Danforth back. Depending on how the bus is running, we should be back within a half hour." "See you then." With that, the conversation was over.

Sydney had been standing off to the side the whole time, watching and listening, choosing this time to speak, "Can you tell me why exactly we killed this guy now?" "Right," Alex said, walking down the stairs to the lower platform, "Roger is a paranoid f*ck, so he told me to keep it quiet till it was done. The guy was some businessman that had a side business in flash production. His business was encroaching on ours, so Roger wanted him dead." "Doesn't sound like a very good reason to me," Sydney replied after a moment's thought. "Yeah, that's what I said. But anything I say that can be even moderately construed as anti-drug gets me shot down by that asshole." Flash was a very powerful and very addictive derivative of crystal meth created in the late 2020s. It was distilled using cocaine, leading to it's very addictive properties and high potency. A train came hurtling into the station at that moment, and Alex stopped talking due to the futility of being heard over the screeching of the rails.

After wrestling past the crowds and getting on, they resumed their conversation. "What the hell do you mean anti-drug?" Sydney asked, "Last night you were snorting lines of coke off a hooker's ass!" Alex snorted with laughter, "There's a difference. Coke is one hell of a drug, but flash makes it look like bunk weed. You ever done flash?" Sydney shook his head. "Don't. I did it once. Worst experience of my life. It was like coke, but like it was infecting the very depths of my soul. It felt like fire was running through my blood and stabbing me all over. It evened out after a few minutes, but I was erratic, hallucinating, and it was generally a terrible high. The day after, all I could do was crave more of it. Sh*t's addictive as hell. I ended up having someone lock me in my room for a few days until it worked it's way out of my system. Seriously, it's not worth it."

They sat in silence until Pape, getting off and switching to the subway eastbound. On the way back, they were back to their regular selves, joking and making fun of the others in the train. Nobody dared talk back to them, as they had the tags. Dog tags that each wore around their neck, to be specific. There were two on each chain. One was designed to be a miniature metallic ace of spades. The other tag had the initials of the wearer on it. This was the sign of the Clairlea Park Aces, known in slang as "The Easy Aces". A gang of around 100 members, the Aces held the area from St. Clair Avenue to Hollydene Road in the north and south. Their western border was generally accepted to be Pharmacy Avenue, but their eastern one was more ill defined, usually considered to be behind the final row of houses before the Providence Centre Apartments.

The train came onto the elevated track just before Victoria Park Station, giving a view of a very different Toronto from the one that they entered the subway in. It was only a split second view, but it confirmed to Alex that they truly were home. While a few areas of Toronto had become havens for the rich, the rest had become anything but. The two left the train and headed for the bus platform, hanging out and scouting the area. Alex was naming details off, Sydney taking them down on a scrap of paper as he spoke: "Crescent Town Jammers dealer over by the 24 bus platform. Three Blantyre Park Broadsides waiting for the 13, look armed to me, not sure though..." At that moment, the Pharmacy bus pulled in, and they boarded.

The bus drove through the streets, passing scenes of hopelessness the whole way. It would have shocked anyone to have seen the area fifty years before, then see it again at the present. Dentonia Park Golf Course, formerly well used, had transformed into a hobo encampment. Tents and makeshift shacks filled every inch of ground, interrupted only by piles of used needles and vials of flash. Junkies hung out by them at all hours of the day, digging through in search of any remaining product, not caring about the syringes stabbing them. The drugs were provided by the Dentonia Park Rangers, a gang mostly headquartered in the apartments to the south of the park. Every year or two, the police would sweep through and evict the squatters, but the place would always be full again within a month.

The road the bus was on was barely holding together, as the last maintenance that had been done on Pharmacy Avenue occurred when Alex was in grade school. Makeshift patch jobs had been applied to some particularly bad areas by local residents, but it was far too little. They drove over an open manhole, the cover missing. Probably stolen and pawned for drugs a few years back, as it had been like that for a long time. They went past Regents Park Public School, a building that was beginning to feel the wrath that years of ill maintenance tends to have on things of it's nature. Most of the windows were broken and covered with plywood, as the board didn't have enough funding to replace them. Someone pulled the request stop cord, and the bus pulled to the side to let the man off. Before the doors could open, a gunshot went off nearby. The bus driver took off, not even stopping as a bullet smashed through the door window. Sydney jumped up and drew, firing a shot out the open window next to him. He had hoped to scare whoever was shooting off, but the bus were already moving away, the driver screaming for him to put the gun away.

Among all these specific instances was nothing more than abject poverty and social strife. The homeless littered the broken streets like just any other piece of trash. Most of the houses were squatted, with few properties actually being owned. Those that were tended to have entire extended families crammed into the same space. Drug dealers sold openly, not fearing the police, as they were stretched far too thin to have much of an impact on the drug industry. The scariest thing was the fact that most of Toronto was the same. Downtown, Yonge and Eglinton, Scarborough Town Centre, Etobicoke Centre, and North York Centre. These, with a few other areas, were the domain of the rich. The rest was left for the poor.

As they crossed St. Clair onto the dividing line of their turf, one of the aforementioned drug dealers caught Alex's eye. He wasn't wearing a pair of tags, but he was on their side of the street. "You see that?" Alex gestured towards the errant dealer. "Yep," Sydney replied, fingering the trigger of his pistol, "Take him?" "F*ck yeah." Sydney pulled the cord and the bus stopped at the nearby stop. The two walked up, concealing their tags in the collars of their shirts. "Hey man," Alex called, "You sellin'?" The dealer grinned, "Hell yeah man. Flash, crack, meth, whatever you need I either have it or know somebody who does. What you lookin' for?" Alex and Sydney grinned, "We're looking for one dumb f*ck who's dealin' on Aces turf." As he said this, the two pulled their tags out. The dealer went for his gun, but before his hand could get there he was getting whipped by the butt of Alex's gun. He hit the ground, moaning in pain. The two laid into him, kicking the dealer in the ribs and head. He was screaming for mercy after a minute, so they gave him mercy via the business end of Sydney's gun. With a sharp crack, it was over. They stripped his body of anything useful, including his gun (a badly made .22 pistol), his cash, and his drugs. As they were doing this, the street had cleared of people. The residents knew when to pretend they didn't exist. As they left, Alex tossed the flash into an open sewer, first making sure that there were no Aces around to see him do it.

They headed to the end of Rosita Crescent, walking through the footpath to Clairlea Park. It functioned as a sort of open air hangout, though their official hangout was in a block of eight houses at the north-western corner of the park. They had all been abandoned, so the Aces made them their own. Four faced west and four more faced north. A few Aces were sitting on the delapidated playground equipment of the park, passing a joint around between them. Marijuana had been legalized in 2017 after huge amounts of political bickering, so they had nothing to worry about. The guys nodded, beckoning for Alex and Sydney to come over. They obliged, offering the joint. Alex declined, given how it was barely seven in the morning, but Sydney took a drag. "So," said the one with the weed, a burly lieutenant named Rick, "I heard a shot. Story?" "Dealer on our turf. Looked to be an independent. We took care of him." Alex said, pulling out the drugs, "Anyone want some before Roger gets to it?" One of the others reached out and took a few bags of the crack, saying he could flip it for some cash. The rest shook their heads. Alex and Sydney walked away, heading for the hangout. They entered the house on the far right, which was reserved for lieutenants only. As they were both in that capacity, they strolled in and each grabbed a beer. "Roger!" Sydney yelled, dropping the guitar case with the rifle in it, "You here?"

There was the sound of someone stumbling around upstairs, the sound of a muted "f*ck" as he ran into something, and Roger finally half walked-half tumbled down the stairs. "Hey," he said, picking himself up. Roger was a white guy of about twenty-one. He was tall and muscular, but beneath that lay the obvious signs of drug addiction. There were pockmarks on his arms from heroin injections and dried blood under his nose due to snorting flash. There was a gash on his forehead, obviously from the night before's partying. Alex doubted that he even noticed the injury yet. "We did it. Took him out, then got the f*ck out of there." "Good, good..." Roger said, drifting off at the end to rummage around for some liquor, "You two seen where they put the forties?" Alex pointed to the case of malt liquor bottles right in front of Roger's face. "Right, right, thanks. Anything else?" "Yeah," Alex said, pulling out the drugs, "We caught a dealer on our turf, an independent I think. We offed him. Got a few hundred off him, plus this stuff and some piece of sh*t .22 he was carrying." Roger snatched the drugs, looking them over and pocketing them. As an afterthought, he pulled out some of the coke, "Want some? Since you got it and all, y'know?" "Nah man, thanks," Alex said. Sydney responded in kind when offered, so it all went back into Roger's pocket. He then folded through the cash, handing fifty each to the two and putting the rest in his pocket for the safe.

"Anything interesting happen while we were gone?" Sydney asked, sitting down and flipping on the TV. "Nah, not much," Roger said, "Early morning, y'know." "Yeah." Sydney turned to the seven o'clock news, which had begun shortly before. The news anchor was speaking, "...the White House can not confirm or deny whether or not they were involved in the bombing in question. In local news, a deadly sniper attack occured about an hour ago in the downtown core..." They watched intently, but the reporter gave no indication that they were suspected. After the story was done, Alex and Sydney drifted upstairs to find somewhere to sleep. Alex settled on a mattress that was sitting in the middle of the hall and Sydney grabbed a pillow and headed to the bathtub. They needed some damn sleep.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

adam88
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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by adam88 »

=D> excellent reboot.  Your writing has absolutley matured, and the story is very dark and grim, with more of a depressing reality.  I am also glad that you didn't ignore the other stories that exist in the esay aces universe.  I like the fact that this story doesn't depict them as heroes, but more of misfit anti-heroes trying ti find their pace in this world.  Very good.  By the way does the new anchor saying "The white house can not confirm or deny whether or not they are involved with the bombing..." have to do with anything, or does it just merely involve more misery in the world?  any way, great improvement.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

It was more me working in that the USA is still very much involved in world events, and they're still using unorthodox means to achieve their goals. Anyway, I'm working on chapter two now. It should be up in the next day or two, maybe less.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by Hector »

Excellent! I'm becoming a big fan of this Easy Aces universe, it's great! And who better to write it, than the forum's best writer, GR99! This is great and I hope the tension grows in the second chapter...as it has in the first.Great job!!
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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by adam88 »

Ok cool, thanks GR((, its good to see your taking it more seriously

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Here's chapter two. Hopefully you guys don't kill me for the cliffhanger ending. :lol:
Chapter Two: Inferno
"Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind; and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Mother of f*ck!" Alex yelled, slamming his hand of cards down. Sydney let out a loud laugh, throwing his hand down on the table. Royal flush. Alex grudgingly handed over twenty dollars, then laughed at the situation. It was a week after the assassination, and things had settled down to normal again. The cycle of gang life was rarely broken in that week. Wake up, go on patrol, beat up dealers who are on Aces turf, get drunk/high, fall asleep. Occasionally members of another gang would wander over the boundaries, but this was rare. Most other gang members knew that it was dangerous to leave your own turf, as the Aces had no qualms about laying a beatdown. Most of the time they would just scare the other soldier off though, as confrontation always lead to retribution. As I said, constant cycle.

The Aces were sitting around in the hangout, playing cards, video games, and junkie-baiting. It was a game that Roger thought up where you find a junkie, then see what the most outrageous thing they will do for drugs is. The current junkie was in the process of being pelted with eggs in the backyard, and the one before had gone all the way up to having relations with a tree before they finally gave him some flash. Alex was disgusted by it, but he couldn't exactly say much. Most of the lieutenants were on Roger's side when it came to flash dealing, so he would just be rebuked. The ranks of soldiers, on the other hand, were more receptive to Alex's viewpoint, even if just because they didn't care either way. Alex didn't particularly give a damn about the junkies; he just didn't see the point in giving them the means to destroy themselves.

Of the fifteen lieutenants, almost all were there currently. Two had gone to Eglinton Square to meet with the head of the Leahurst Land Mines, a gang bordering on the Aces in the north, in order to work out a dispute in dealing rights. Eglinton Square was a shopping mall in decline, but it was used as neutral territory for area gangs to discuss their matters. It was a lot easier than trying to work out a meeting on one of their turf's, since you'd always have to watch your back. Instead, the Square was deemed to be neutral ground, with no dispute tolerated upon the property. The only violence that ever occurred there was done by independent parties, making it one of the safer areas. On top of that, one lieutenant was sleeping off a hangover while another was off trying to find recruits, leaving eleven.

Roger came walking into the room from upstairs, a prostitute that Alex recognized as Katie at his side. She was one of their better ones, and always got a bigger cut of the cash than the others. Seniority at work. She walked by, greeting each guy on the way, and left by the sliding glass door in the back, which was not so much of a door as an opening in the wall ever since an incident involving a drunk new blood and a loaded shotgun several months before.  Roger walked up and sat on the third side of the table, looking at Sydney and Alex, then speaking, "You two up for a patrol?" "Sure man, I'm down," Alex said, Sydney responding in kind.  "Where to?" Sydney asked. "Not far," Roger replied, "Right over on Rockhelm Road. Some bitch bought some flash and said she could pay the next day. I went and trusted her, and that was three days ago. Ima head over and teach her a lesson, but I want some backup." "Alright," Alex said, holstering his pistol and checking his blade, "Lead the way."

*****

Travelling anywhere in Toronto was, at this time, an adventure. Traffic laws were never enforced, so even crossing a street could be your life. Not that there were many cars on the road, but those that were driving were akin to boulders rolling down a hill, indiscriminately flying across lanes and running stop signs where they still existed. Stop lights were still in place in some intersections, but they rarely worked. Most of the time they were just ripped down by junkies who sold the metal for drugs.

The sun was in the process of going down, so the streets were lit mostly by the fires of the homeless and the occasional streetlight. The Aces took it upon themselves to keep the electrical network on their turf running, mostly through illegal connections to the grid, as well as keeping the streets lit. This was mostly in their own interests, as you can't go help a fellow soldier who's in trouble if you can't see where the hell he is or which one is a friend and which is a foe. The night was hot, as per the usual for the time of year. Even during winter, snow was rare, a far cry from the harsh winters of the new millennium. Years of disrespect to the environment was taking it's toll.

Alex, Sydney, and Roger walked through the park, occasionally being hassled by a junkie or a hobo, ending up on the street they were looing for. The walk was mostly uneventful. They had a good laugh at a junkie who was sleeping with his head half down a sewer grate, and Roger kicked him on the way by. He jerked his head up, smashed it into the curb, then screeched in pain while rolling around on the pavement. The Aces just strolled away. Finally, they reached their destination.

It was a two story house almost right on the border with the Providence Centre Plague Rats. Part of the roof was caved in, and the front lawn was covered in beer bottles. This was by far not unusual for the area, but the sheer volume of empties was overwhelming. The pile must have been three feet deep in places. The Aces crept up, each grabbing one of the handily available bottles. Roger stepped back and lobbed his through the front window, one of the few intact pieces of glass on the house. There was a massive crash, followed by a scream from inside. Within seconds, a rather burly looking man was standing at the window, lofting a shotgun. "What the f*ck was that all about!?" he screamed to them. "That," Roger said, "Was about your wife!" The three had drawn their pistols, the bottles dropped back where they were to start with. "What?" the guy yelled, "What the hell did that dumb bitch do this time!?" "Ripped me off on a flash deal is what she did! I gave her a bit of trust, and she never paid me for the stuff."

Immediately, the shotgun dropped and the front door opened. Realizing the invitation, the three walked up into the house, keeping their guard up. The man was nowhere to be seen, having gone into the back. There was the sound of a scuffle and a crash, followed by a woman screaming. The man came back out, dragging his wife by her hair. She was emaciated to the point where here ribs were clearly visible, and her face was a mess of scratches and pockmarks. She showed all the obvious signs of a flash addict. It was clear now in the light that the husband was drunker than a fish, as he could barely stand without leaning on something. The woman looked up, seeing them for the first time, and immediately put on a look of false-pleasure, "Oh, hey there Roger-" "Shut the f*ck up," he said, slapping her in the face, "Did you really think that I'd just forget about the money?" "Uh..." she said, trailing off, "You see, I was gonna get some money that day, but-" "No excuses dammit!" Roger yelled.

The room was dead silent now. For the first time, Alex noted that two children were looking in. Fear was quite evident on their faces as they watched Roger beat their mother. "Hey man," Sydney said, "Don't you think that's enough?" Roger was on top of the woman now, pistol whipping her. "Oh, I'm just starting!" Roger replied, punctuating it with the snap of her nose shattering. The husband had been standing off to the side until that point, but he now stepped in, "I think she's about learned her lesson, don't you think?" Furious, Roger jumped up, pointing the gun at him, "Back the hell off goddammit!" The man half-raised the shotgun, and that was enough for Roger. He pulled the trigger.

A deafening roar overtook the room, and the bullet slammed through the drunken man. An explosion of blood coated the wall behind him, and the guy fell into a heap. Alex wouldn't have cared much had it not been for the children in the room, who were now screaming and running for their father's corpse. Roger swung around, and with a scream of "Shut up!", punched the older kid (about nine) in the face. He soared across the room and smashed into the wall. His sister ran off, hiding behind the couch. Calming down, Roger turned back to the two other Aces, now standing there in a state of shock. He breathed heavily for a few seconds, just staring, before noticing that the woman behind was still alive. Without a second thought, he slammed his boot into the woman's throat. There was a crushing noise as her trachea was shattered, then she began spasming. She was asphyxiating due to lack of oxygen. Roger laughed, "This is why you don't rip me off, bitch."

Alex and Sydney were just staring, not believing the scene before them. With a last, shuddering sigh, the woman stopped moving, Roger still laughing at her. He turned back to the two, looked at them, and yelled, "What the hell are you waiting for? Ransack this sh*t!" Too dazed to do much else, they proceeded to go through the house grabbing anything they could use. The children were nowhere to be seen, and they had obviously run off to hide somewhere. The two Aces found almost a full closet of six packs of beer, so Alex sent Sydney to go find something to carry it in. They settled on the child's wagon in the backyard, and they loaded as much on as they could. Sydney found some flash in a drawer, so Alex emptied it into the sink, running it down the drain. Other than that, there wasn't much of worth in the house besides some shotgun shells and a cup of change. As such, they walked out into the living room with their pillaged beer, only to be met with a strange sight.

Roger was sitting on the couch and railing some coke off the arm. He noticed them come in, and said in a slurred voice, "Hey guys... found a bag in the dude's pocket... figured I'd hit a little..." He collapsed forward onto the ground and began laughing, getting up within seconds. Before anyone could say anything, he was spraying lighter fluid out of a bottle onto the couch, then the walls, followed by the carpet. Sydney put the beer outside while Alex tried to get Roger to lay off. He ran up to the second floor, still spraying lighter fluid, ending up in one of the bedrooms. The bottle ran dry, so Roger pulled out a match. Alex looked at it, "What the f*ck!?" Roger laughed again, heedless of the yell from Alex that they were still in the house. He struck it and threw the thing at the fluid-soaked bed.

There was a small explosion, and within seconds the room was engulfed in flames. "Jesus Christ!" Alex yelled, heading for the door. He smashed through followed by Roger. Less than a second later, the flames were spreading to the hallway. The flammable liquid acted as an accellerant, leading to the whole house being on fire within a few seconds. The two headed for the stairs, vaguely aware of Sydney screaming from the front driveway. Roger went to step on the stairs, but they caved in under him. Alex barely managed to grab him, dragging the now extremely high leader out of the inferno. The smoke was starting to get to him, and Alex's grip on reality was becoming tenuous at best. There was a scream from behind them. The scream of a child. "Aw f*ck!" Alex screamed, realizing that the kids must still be in the house. "Leave 'em!" Roger said, stepping towards the master bedroom. Alex wanted to listen to him, but something inside of him knew that there would be no fire department coming, and that he was their only hope. Leaving an adult to die was one thing, but children were a whole other matter.

Alex broke off and made a flying leap at the door to the third room. It was smashed off it's hinges, and Alex found it very difficult to get up after landing. His vision was getting hazy, but he could see the two kids plain as day in front of him. The boy was unconscious, either from Roger's punch or the smoke, and the girl was screeching like a banshee. Ignoring it, Alex grabbed them both and tore back out into the hallway. Roger was curled up on the floor, mumbling to himself. At that point it could have been either the smoke or the heroin doing it to him. Alex didn't really care to find out which. Alex managed to scream, "Roger! Get your drug-addicted ass off the floor before you burn to death!" As if only then remembering where he was, Roger pulled himself up... by grabbing onto the flaming banister. When he had been pouring out the lighter fluid, some had gotten onto his hands and wrists. This fluid went up instantly.

Roger stared at the flames almost inquisitively. It took a few seconds for the pain to get through to his drug addled mind, but when it did, you can bet that the whole world knew. He began to screech, beating his hands onto his chest. All this did was cause his shirt to catch fire. "Stop, drop and roll! Now!" Alex screamed. The pervasive heat was beginning to overcome him, and he could barely stay standing. He no longer saw Roger standing there. He saw a demon, flaming and screaming, cursing his soul. He thought back to moments before. The woman's death. Her husband falling to a gunshot right in front of his children. The boy being batted aside by Roger, as though he was just another worthless piece of junk. The drugs, the rape, everything he had ever witnessed Roger do was now pounding into his head. Roger truly was a demon now. His hair and flesh were on fire, and he was smashing himself into the wall, shrieking for Alex to drop the kids and help him. Alex made his decision.

With a massive effort, Alex spun and delivered a kick to Roger's face. He felt the jaw shatter, and the next several seconds went almost in slow motion. The now limp facial structure of his leader was flopping around in response to the kick. He sailed backwards, a look of shock in his eyes. He was now less of a human and more of a fireball, as he had managed to spray the lighter fluid down his front as well. Roger landed on the flaming floor, barely conscious. Before Alex could even think, the already weak floor beneath Roger gave in. He fell down to the first floor, which was as Hell itself at that point, and a second crash signalled his descent through there to the basement. Alex stood there for a second, staring at the hole in the floor. Flames were blasting through it, almost as though Roger had fed them. The girl's screaming brought him back to reality, and he realized that the floor under him was turning inwards.

With the last of his strength, he dashed for the master bedroom. He saw a window there, so he threw himself at it. There was a massive crash and he emerged into fresh air. It felt like ice to Alex, tempered by the pinpricks of shattered glass cutting into his skin. He felt an intense vertigo, followed by a sensation of falling. He looked down, only to see himself sailing over a wooden deck. Beyond that was grass. He thought, "If there is any sort of diety out there, anyone at all, let me miss this deck. I don't care if you're the Lord Xenu, or even the flying spaghetti monster. Just let me pass this deck." His perception of time had slowed again. Alex flipped around in midair so the kids were on top of him, then felt himself losing altitude.

There was a tremendous impact as he contacted the ground, and he barely stayed conscious. It felt as though he was in an ocean of icy water, and someone was trying to drag him down into the murky depths. Every part of him ached except his lungs, which burned with a fire equal to if not greater than that in the house itself. He had missed the deck by maybe five feet, barely passing the rail in midair. He struggled to breathe, but he found that he couldn't. A cough racked his body, and he saw a bit of black powder come out. He dimly percieved footsteps running towards him, but the ocean was becoming deeper. The burning in his lungs was more intense, and the lack of oxygen was shutting his brain down. He struggled to inhale, but it was a futile move. The Earth slipped away to a dim blackness, fading to nothing.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by Cowboy Is Cool »

Oh my God! This story is amazing! I was completely hooked as soon as I read the first few paragraphs of the story. This is just tremendous writing, the detail is great, and the action is really good too.

Really, you have to continue (and finish) this story.
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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

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Yes I have to say this is a strong story. I can't believe they beat that woman like that and killed her.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Like I said, this story is gonna be more gritty than people are used to. Things are going to work themselves out though, eventually. [/vague statement]

Please note that there are some prior events alluded to in this chapter that people won't get. That's okay, you're not supposed to yet. They'll be explained later. This is a shorter chapter, more for plot development than anything. Enjoy reading.
Chapter Three: Returned from the Deep
"Death comes to us all; it is just a matter of when, where, and how." - Kaitlyn Woods

Alex felt as though he was suspended in a place that didn't exist. He was certain that he had been there once before, but he was not sure if it was necessarily the same nowhere that he had experienced previously. It was simply a place where there was no life or death. It was not so much blackness as a lack of sensory input to the eyes. You can not see blackness if you are blind, and this was the sensation Alex felt. There was no pain, as there was no sensation of any sort. Again, it was not as though he was feeling nothing, but as though there was no sensory input. Occasionally, he would leave the place and be immersed into dreams, but this was rare. Most of the time he just sat and waited for something to happen.

Very occasionally, he would find himself jerked out of it. For example, he remembered coming to for a split second. He was staring into the sky at the time. It was black, and there was a streetlight above his head. It was moving quickly though. He was moving, somehow. Horizontally, obviously, though lying on some sort of flat object. Someone was speaking, though he could not exactly comprehend what they were saying. Just as fast as he was there, he was gone again, back in the place that didn't exist. The dreams he would fall into sometimes would be sudden and violent. He saw Roger, the flames consuming his body. He saw Sydney, screaming for them to get out as he saw the house collapsing. He saw his mother, lying on the floor of his house, waiting for his father to dispatch her with the pistol he held clenched in his fist- "NO!" he screamed to himself. Well, he tried to at least, but having no physical body made it hard for him to scream. He just didn't want to be dredging back old memories at this point.

Time did not exist in the place he was in. The snatches of life he viewed came in short bursts, seemingly at random. Once, he found himself lying down once again. There was a bright light shining into his eyes, and he was vaguely aware of a pain in his chest. For a moment, he could have sworn that he heard Sydney speaking, but then he was gone, as was the rest of the world. All he knew was that he wasn't dead yet, and by god there was no way he was going to let himself go. He somehow knew that Roger was waiting for him, just on the other side of the barrier. That guy was terrifying when angry, even when constrained by earthly limits. Alex didn't even want to imagine what he was like after getting killed.

It seemed like only seconds, yet at the same time centuries, that Alex was in that place. Slowly, he began to feel sensation in his limbs. It came slowly but surely. He wasn't sure what he was feeling, but he knew that it was a damn lot better than nothing at all. Slowly, he slipped upwards into a state of unconsciousness, and began to hear low voices. He felt a great wrenching sensation in his head, and suddenly he was back. Light was filtering through his closed eyes, sound was reaching his ears, and the comforting sensation of not being dead overcame him. Alex was back.

He opened his eyes, only to see a white ceiling above his head. Looking around, he took in his surroundings. It was a hospital room, and he was alone in it; the other bed was empty. Nobody else was in there, but he could hear talking just outside the door. He fumbled with his vocal cords for a moment, trying to make a sound, finally letting out a noise similar to "AUGHADLAGH" or some similar onomotapaea. Instantly, the sound of running feet filtered in, and several people ran through the door. Sydney was at the front of the crowd, and he let out a loud woop upon seeing his friend's eyes open. The others behind him cheered as well, and the group crowded around the bed, all talking a mile a minute.

A voice echoed through the room, "Everyone shut the f*ck up!" Instantly, the room went silent. A figure elbowed his way through the crowd, looking down at Alex. It was a six foot tall man in his early 20s. He had a stony look on his face, but Alex couldn't resist grinning. The man did as well, and took his sunglasses off. "You think I was going to leave you that easily, Andy?" Alex asked jokingly. The man, Andy, laughed, joined by the rest of the people there, then spoke, "We thought so for a minute. Knew you'd pull through though. Isn't your type to die easily." There was another round of laughter, then Alex grew serious, "Where am I and what day is it?" Sydney spoke, "You're at Scarborough General. You've been out about a day and a half." "Damn..."

A thought struck Alex, "Those kids-?" Sydney interrupted him, "Don't worry, they're both fine." "Yeah, you broke their fall!" said someone in the back. There was muted laughter, then Sydney spoke again, "You nearly died of smoke inhalation. You were clinically dead when we got you here, actually. You can now tell people that you've been dead for six and a half minutes total. The doctor had to perform CPR four times before you stayed breathing." Alex stared with a muted look of shock, "How bad's the damage? I can't see any casts or anything." Sydney smiled, "You are one lucky motherf*cker. You landed in patch of fresh dirt. The people in the house next door were using that area to garden, since the people in the house obviously didn't care about much more than dope and booze. The dirt was freshly tilled, so it cushioned your fall. The doctor says you bruised your rib and came damn close to breaking an arm, but no bone damage. Your lungs got raped pretty hard by that smoke, but the doctor said you'll make a full recovery if you rest for the next few days. Overall, someone up there must really like you."

"When can I get out of here?" Alex asked. "Not sure," Andy said, "Yo Doc!" A man had been walking past, but he stopped and walked into the room. He introduced himself as Dr. Andrews, and he looked over Alex, "Well, you seem to be getting better faster than I expected, considering how yesterday you were literally dead for a bit. I'd say you'll probably be fit for discharge, say, tomorrow afternoon." There was a great cheer, and people started mobbing the doctor to shake his hand. Andy in particular leaned over and whispered something into the doctor's ear. He nodded, then left, followed by the rest of them except Sydney at Andy's beckoning. After everyone was gone, Alex spoke, "What'd you say to him there?" Andy snickered, "Told him that if he ever needed a favour, he could count on us." Alex nodded, and Andy spoke again, "Ima leave you two here and go get something to eat up at the Town Centre. If I'm not back tonight, I'll be here tomorrow." With a nod, he left, leaving Alex and Sydney alone.

The second the door closed, Sydney was all over him with excitement, "What the hell happened to Roger!?" Alex shifted, then said after a moment's hesitation, "He died." Sydney rolled his eyes, "No sh*t Sherlock. We found his crispy-ass corpse in the rubble of the place. How did he die though?" Alex's silence must have made him suspicious, so he narrowed his eyes, "What are you hiding?" Alex sighed, "I killed him." Sydney's eyes widened, and he checked to make sure nobody was outside the door listening. He then returned to the bedside, "What the f*ck do you mean you killed him?" Alex recounted the story to him in graphic detail, Sydney looking shocked the whole way through. By the time Alex was finished, he was slack-jawed. Gathering up his wits, Sydney asked, "Why the hell did you kill him!?" "Because he was an asshole!" Alex said loudly, "He was a junkie, he killed anyone he wanted regardless of whether or not they deserved it, and he was totally useless on top of that because he was high ninety percent of the time! You know that!" Sydney clasped his hands on his head, "Well, yeah, but I didn't kill him!"

Alex brought himself to his elbows, "The way that the gang was going, we were on a path to getting our asses killed. A good third of the ranks are addicted to flash, we deal to the people who will be our future members and get them addicted in turn, and all of this is sanctioned by the heads! We have got to put a stop to it!" Sydney laughed, "What the hell are you going to do? Stage a revolution?" Staring straight at him, Alex said, "Yes." Sydney's laugh tapered off to silence, "...what?" "You heard me," Alex said, dead serious, "There is no way I'm going to let this gang go down that road. I'm the highest ranking member who opposes the flash dealing, with you as the second highest. I know for a fact that a few other lieutenants are in the same position, and a decent number of a soldiers are as well. Enough to put up a good resistance at least!" Sydney sighed, "At best, the split will be 50-50. I don't like those odds." "Add the Straight-Edgers to that," Alex said. Sydney looked down at him, "Straight-Edgers?" "Yeah, the Edge Park Straight-Edgers. They operate out of the hobo encampment at Edge Park and the few streets north of there. They don't support any kind of drugs or drinking. If I tell their leader that we're trying to kick the flash-heads out of the Aces, chances are they'll help us out. They only number at about 40, but that'll be enough to tip the scales." Sydney thought for a moment, "You're crazy... and I'm hungry. I'm gonna go find something to eat. I guess I'll think about it while I'm out, alright?" Alex nodded, "That's all I'm asking." Sydney looked at him for a moment, then walked out, leaving Alex alone in the room. He laid back, knowing damn well that it would be a boring night.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by Cowboy Is Cool »

Dude, this story is just amazing. I love the idea of a street gang going downhill and one of it's dedicated members trying to turn them around. And you're right, it's dark and gritty as hell! And Roger totally deserved that! Sorry, I'm rambling now.  :lol:

BTW, I understood the whole third chapter! Didn't you say that we wouldn't get some of it?

Anyways, keep up the great work!
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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by Rembrandt_Swan_Ajax4ever »

i think its ok i like it

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Cowboy Is Cool wrote: BTW, I understood the whole third chapter! Didn't you say that we wouldn't get some of it?
I was referring to the unexplained flashback regarding his mother, which will be delved into later on in the story.

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by Hector »

I love this story. Great work GR99!!! The action is pretty grittty, but hey, it all adds up. Excellent story, Phenominal writer!
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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

Post by GramercyRiff99 »

Sorry for the delay in getting this chapter up. My teachers absolutely pounded me with homework for most of the week, and I considered getting good marks to be more important than furthering my e-cred. :lol:

Anyway, this chapter is a bit short, and it's meant as more of a bridge between events than anything.
Chapter Four: Shortcuts
“A shortcut is the longest distance between two pointsâ€

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Re: The Easy Aces: An Even Newer Iteration

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Amazing chapter! I can't wait till the next one!
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