Mike Classon is a man who really likes his job. As a security guard at Omnicorp he mostly needs to confirm that the right person goes in and out from the building. Most of the work is done at 8am as most of the employees get to work, and at 4pm when most leave. During the rest of the time he is allowed to do whatever he wants, as long as he stays at his outpost. The pay is good, he gets to pay his rent every mouth and even has some credits to spend on personal stuff. The only problem with the job was that he was required to wear his uniform during work hours. And his was one size too small for the two meter long man.
And this morning was like every other morning. Mike came to his outpost, threw himself on the chair and pulled up the daily paper. Life was good for Mike, as it always tucked along at his own pace. As Mike were reading about how the Quantic All-stars had won the local tournament for the third time in a row, there was a knock on the door.
“It is open” Mike grunted, not looking up from the paper. He could hear the door open and close again.
“Mike, good to see you again.”
”You too Jack” answered Mike still not looking up from the paper. Have you read todays news? The All-stars are rocking the world with its ball skills. Should have made a bet on them last Sunday“.
“Right Mike. You know that I don’t get down to your outpost without any reason”.
First now Mike looked up at the man standing next to him. Long, slim and with a massive amount of sideburns, the man Jack was looking at mike. In his hand was a black envelope.
Jack was the chef behind the Security division “Black Flag”, who worked towards ensuring the company’s safety both for its employees, but also making use that the building and all its machinery would not be threatened by the slums. Jack more or less worked under the CEO and had during numerous occasions given Mike some extra jobs to do.
Mike pulled out two bottles with the label “Omni C”. With is bare hand, he pop the cap for both bottles and gave one to Jack.
“So what does Mr. Sideburns have in store for me? Do you need an extra guy to guard the trucks or guard so that nobody will enter an evening meeting?”
“Nothing like that Mike.” Said Jack, while handing over the envelope. “It is an order from the boss himself. Something about some unwanted visitors who sleep at one of our warehouses.”
“Really now? Does not the Omnicorp have guards at these who could do a much better job?”
“We did… however, due the recent layoff, they were the first to go. I assume they’re people snuck in during that time”
“Right, right.” Said Mike, looking at the sweet number at the end of the letter. “I assume it is the same procedure as other works. Scare them away, get the extra paycheck by morning?”
“Yes. As usual.”
“And no uniform requirement?”
Mike started to grin and chucked down the drink. The best part of the job, getting and extra cheek without being forced to wear his small uniform.
The sun had just set when Mike arrived at the warehouse. He pasted the empty outpost and started to work his way into the big magazine. He had put up his badge just in case that would be enough to scare those who stay here away. He opened the door and flipped the switch. The lights did not turn on. Mike cursed, he had not brought his flashlight as he thought that he would need it for this. He considered going home to grab it, but decided to go on without it. Darkness would not scare him from getting the job done. With heavy steps that echo in the building he started to search after the slum residents.
Quantic Haven might be the most advanced city in the world, but it had a huge problem with the poor, forcing them to live in the slums and curse all normal going people as a Mike problem with them stealing goods from bigger company’s or organizing raids in certain districts. Mike grew up in a working family, meaning that he had avoided that style of life, but some of his close friends had after the school years descended into the slums.
Mike suddenly stopped his movement. Another set of footsteps was heard a second after his and then they stopped. He was being followed. He turned his head towards where he had heard the echo. The darkness obscured his view, making it hard to see if there was a person or just some goods standing there.
“I know you are there!” said Mike with the most threatening voice he could muster. The dust around him flew up as he was talking. “I have heard some rats are here. And I am here to catch them all!”. He took a step in the direction of the footstep. A shadow suddenly started to move, quickly away from Mike. Mike cursed and gave chase. Whoever it was, they knew the place better than himself, and they had started to throw down stuff to delay Mike. However, thanks due to Mike massive body size and training as a bodyguard the stuff just bounced off him and he was quickly on top of his target.
Then a flash of lighting, and the smell of gunpowder filled the building. Mike felt something in his right shoulder and felt how the pain started to craw though his arm. With an enormous rage he punched the shadow right in the stomach. Mike heard some ribs crack behind the fist. The force of the punch made the shadow flew across the room until it hit the wall next to the door. Mike heard someone’s couch and scream in agony. Still enraged he walked towards the shadow intending on smacking the hell out of it. But as the city light streamed into the doorway he could finally see what the shadow was.
It was a kid. Not any older than 7-8 years old, dressed in what some could assume were cloths. It seemed more like a patchwork of trash sown together. In its right hand it was holding a rusty gun. Its index finger seemed to be broken due to the force that body had taken from Mike. A thin red stream where running from the kid’s mouth. Miraculously the kid was still conscious.
“… Omli trash…” the kid said, spitting out blood from its mouth.
“Hey kid… I am just doing my job, ” said Mike confused. Nobody had told him that the kids were going to be involved in this. He took his still working arm and punched the fingers into the bullet wound and pulled out the bullet. He felt the pain, but suppressed it. He could feel that the bullet itself did not feel as smooth as regular ammo felt. It was most like homemade by smelting scrap into a mold of some sort.
The kid was still staring at Mike with anger… no hatred in its eyes.
“… Just finish me off… Omni trash… like you have done with everyone else…”
“Kid, you need to get to a hospital, ” said Mike, who had started to walk towards the kid. The kid seemed confused, and then started to laugh uncontrollable.
“To a HOSPITAL! WHAT ARE YOU MAD? Do you think that after what you pieces of shits have done to all of us that we should expect mercy from you now! You are naïve OMNITRASH!”
Mike stopped in his track. It has finally hit him. The Kid was referring to him by the badge. What had this kid seen that Omnicorp had done? Killing people in the slums? Had all those extra jobs he had taken worsen the situation in the slums. Had he been responsible for all of this? Mike was confused. But he knew what needed to be done first. With one step he picked up the kid and with another he walked into the city, searching for a hospital.
Mike arrived at his office at 8 as usual. He pulled up his morning paper and crack open a bottle of “Omni C”. He was looking at the paper, trying to read, but nothing could make sense for him. He was only waiting for a certain person to arrive. A knock on the door.
Jack opened the door and closed it behind him. He had a piece of paper in his hand.
“Mike” said Jack. “Have you read the news? The All-stars are going to recruit a new member this week!” Mike did not answer.
“Mike… regarding the job yesterday… well done. It seems when we looked at the place this morning that everyone had left the building. Here, ” he handed the paper cheek to Mike. “We had some more jobs for you that we really could use a hand for”.
Mike grabbed the cheek, looking blankly at it. Then he took out a piece of paper from his back pocket and gave it to Jack. “Jack… I am sorry. I need to have some time to think.”
Jack looked at the paper. Then at Mike. “Is it because of what that kid said?”
“How did you-”
“We are Black Flag division Mike. We know everything we want to know.” Silence came between them.
“… I don’t know what to believe… I do not wish to know anything to be honest. But as of right now I need to figure out if this is what I want to do”.
Jack study Mike with his eyes.
“Mike… you need to understand. We cannot let you go. You know too much as of right now. Don’t worry, that kid won’t get to harm, but right now we need Mike Classon to stay as a security guard at Omnicorp. You don’t need to do more jobs for us. Your paycheck will be reduced for the time being. Until you have had your thoughts cleared.” Mike looked at Jack shocked. Jack had a cold stare in his eyes.
“Now get back to work” and Jack walked out of the room.
Mike just sat there stunned. What had just happened? Had I been treated by a man who is two times smaller than me? A rage started in him. A rage that would stay with him for the rest of his life. A rage that would contently be there, never to be stopped or never to be satisfied. At the end of the day he walked home, ate his dinner and went to sleep. The following day there was no security guard in the outpost, and when Omnicorp cheeked in at Mike, he was nowhere to be seen.
Mike had a grin on his face as he was walking down the street. It had almost been a year after he had “quit” his job at Onmicorp and started his new life. He had taken all the money and started a private business where he had created a home for those who did not have any. The year had not been easy as he had been struggling with getting the business started in the first place. Certain people had out right called him mad when he had offered them the business proposal. “The Queen” for example had started to laugh during their meeting and said that there was no money to be made in this. It was thanks to a certain girlfriend that everything could get up and running in. He now had around 50 people who had somewhere to sleep during the night. Most of them seemed like they could find jobs within the next year or so, another seemed to want to continue to help Mike’s business making sure that more would be able live a little happier life.
Tonight he had the plans to cook some meat for everyone and start playing the drums again. Tomorrow he would have a meeting with some guy called “El Bringo” seeing if he could not he could ensure some extra credits from him. It was not before he heard the shouts of men and smells the smoke of fire, then his grin started to fade.
He started to run towards the smoke and pushed through the masses until he stood in front of the business, raging in an inferno. The firefighters worked hard on trying to handle the fire, but it seemed impossible. Mike could not comprehend what happened in front of him. Why now? Why as everything seemed to go his way? And then he saw him.
Jack… standing in an ally way together with a dozen men, all with their black flag symbol visibility. Jack smiled at Mike and turned away from it all and walked in the alley way.
The rage that had started a year ago grew. It became as big as the inferno behind him. It overtook Mike, turning him into some sort of hideous monster. The last thing Mike remembers was him taking up a pipe and walking into the alley way.
When Mike wakes up, he could feel the pain acing though the body. The second thing he notices is that the smell of blood all around him. As he started to crawl up, he could feel how a couple of ribs were broken. As he was standing on his feet, he saw a lot of lifeless body’s around him. Some had their faces reformed, others had their body pushed into the brick walls. As Mike went out the street, he could see another burned corpse around the building that once had had his business. All of them had burnt versions of the Black Flag insignia. Mike did not know what to do… and so the man Mike disappeared from the world. And after the fall… the man known as Classon the Beast was born.