IMPORTANT NOTES! PLEASE READ: This piece was originally done for a school project, (which I got a 98 for,) and due to that fact I was limited in spacing, some context, and certain choice words--among other things-- I didn't get to do everything I wanted. Also, I was forced to make some changes that I didn't agree with in the editing process, and they may be noticeable. Anyway, enjoy the fic and just keep these two things in mind: One, the spacing on paper was designed to work with the ending, incase it doesn't flow well and you read over it too fast; and two, my name's Ford, and I wrote this fic. Ford, just remember that.
By F. D. Guarino
The sound of his own breathing scared him. It was heavy, very heavy.
How much longer can I keep this up? Does it really matter? No, can't think about that now! If he was running under normal circumstances, he would have stopped by now. But he couldn't afford to stop; he could never stop. Not now, not ever.
The boy did a quick, sliding turn and plunged into the alleyway he had almost run past. Unfortunately, all that greeted him was a dead end. He turned to leave, but the one thing he desperately wanted to get away from appeared in his way.
Now, boy, you come over here! I'm sure you had a reason for this, but that means nothing now. Why, when I get through with... Thud. The plump woman fell to the floor as a grungy-looking guy carrying a baseball bat rose from a crouching position.
Sorry ta scare ya like that, Nathan, but I had to make sure I'd hit her on the way down.
Nathan stared at the limp body. Acid, did we really have to.... ah, forget her!
Yeah, could you believe her? laughed Acid, You got da purse, right?
Why would a fat lady like that run after me if I didn't have it?
Why would a fat lady run at all!
The two friend laughed, leaving Liberty City's paramedics to deal with her--that is, if they ever come. Their joking continued as they made their way uptown to the Liberty Campus area, the neighborhood they lived in.
remarked Nathan, Let's go buy ourselves some blue suede shoes!
Late at night, Nathan returned to his apartment. It wasn't big, and it didn't cost much. It appeared to have only one dirty room, with pizza boxes, clothes, and other objects generally lying around, with an unusually clean toilet. But it did have a concealed storage closet big enough to constitute as room, where Nathan kept all sorts of important or illegal objects. It also had a nice fire escape view; or at least as nice a view as geographically possible.
The apartment was accessed by an inclining alleyway which led into a more open area with a fairly large single garage and a service elevator that went straight to the apartment door. Apparently, it was modified somewhere in it's life to be a safe house. Its last owner couldn't stand the place. It had since been totally trashed and nothing worked. Needless to say, Nathan got it cheap. He had fixed the place up somewhat, hot-wiring the garage door (in case he ever got a car to put in it), repairing the holes in the wall. He had found some interesting little minutia such as the closet and had buffed out all the old signatures, replacing them with his own tag, Nothin.
Nathan was smiling as he entered the room. He and Acid had been out all evening, writing up and down walls and laughing their heads off. But Nathan's happiness escaped him, and he sat there on his mattress, his silence parallel to the sirens blazing through the night. He was alone. The spray can fell to the floor with an empty ring.
Yo, Nothin! Waz up, man? Acid had a small duffel bag across his chest.
Nathan rubbed his eyes. Hm? Oh.... what kinda job did you get us into this time?
Don't worry, man, it's an easy job!
There are no easy jobs.
Well, this one is! All we gotta do is pull a little number on da campus!
Great.. So what kinda number?
Some competitive freak wants us to steal some chemistry experiment from another competitive freak. Gave me some equipment, too!
Sounds like a scaled-down gang war. At least it's pretty low risk, right?
Well no, you gotta watch my back from outside. Otta wise, I'll never get da job done.
Nathan sighed and gave a big gaping yawn. It almost seemed as if he was already in position by the time he opened his eyes. Acid walked, a little too briskly and nervously, into the Science Department. Piece o' cake, thought Nathan, There's practically no way he's gonna mess this up. Confident in Acid's ability, he began to walk around campus, admiring the scenery. Wasn't the most luxurious campus in the world--but then again, Liberty City isn't the safest place in the world either. But still, it had such a nice....
Hey! Nothin, over here!! Nathan spun around as Acid ran up, knocking into him while at the same time passing the duffel bag. Nathan instinctively slipped the object under his coat, as two campus guards ran by, chasing Acid down a forking path between two buildings to the left. Another following behind quickly asked if Nathan had been mugged in the hit, and which way they had gone. Nathan calmly said he was fine, and amiable led the man off on a wild goose chase.
As soon as he was out of sight, Nathan bolted off, not thinking much about where he was going. Why do I always end up doing this? Oh God, why can't I ever just... shoot, is that a cop over there? Did he just.....? Thud.
Hello? Excuse me, are you feeling all right now? I'm very sorry if I woke you. Is there anything you need? The voice was so soft, beautiful, soothing, dreamy; like something from far away, a long time ago.
Nathan suddenly realized he was lying down. He opened his eyes so quickly, that he could barely take in the magnanimous pulchritude in front of him without a few moments of awe. It was as if she was surrounded by an aura of goodness, unlike so many of the dirty girls he'd met.
Hi, I'm Susan! she said
mumbled Nathan, still entranced.
You took quite a hit, ran straight into a plank someone was carrying into the Drama Pavilion.
What....oh....so that's what happened....,
Boy, you're a talker! At least you make up for it by being cute, you scruffy little rascal, you!
Oh, I'm sorry, I'm just a little startled...shock, I guess,
Well, I'm concerned about that, too... I don't want you getting hurt again, and who knows what kind of damage that caused!
Yeah, it hurt... so you work here or something? Nathan looked around. He appeared to be in an infirmary.
Oh, no, I'm a theology student, but I work here part-time. I just like helping people, I guess. And speaking of helping people, I'm gonna want to check on you. From the looks of it you don't seem to be taking care of yourself. So can I meet you later tonight?
That would be great! Nathan could hardly believe what he just blurted out. He felt really awkward and stupid, but Susan just smiled at him and said, Okay! So where should I meet you?
Nathan could hardly believe what was happening. How bout outside the shopping mall?
Sure, at 7:00. So what's your name anyway?
Oh, sorry, that's just a...um...nickname. he was feeling real embarrassed now. Yeah, um... have a nice day. Nathan put on his coat and began to walk out.
You forgot this! Susan held out the small duffel bag.
How could I forget THAT? thought Nathan, Oh, right...thanks. His voice was getting even lower by the second, so he decided to leave while the leaving was good. He walked out of the infirmary (glad it was that and not the hospital), still in a bit of a trance. He hadn't wandered far when a thought popped into his head.
Once again, Nathan found himself running. Why, why can't I ever stop? Why God?! WHY! Can't I just stop! Can't I just....no....not again....I can't face it again. Grrr!.... Why must I go on with life like... but...but..I......I...can't deal with that. Shoot....okay, gotta find Acid.
Nathan somehow knew where to look. Maybe it was just from past experience, but he had this feeling that told him that if Acid did make it out, he would meet him at Nathan's apartment. His guess was confirmed before he even walked down the incline: he could hear a spray can.
Nathan! What took ya so long?
Sorry, just hit my head on something, that's all. At least you didn't blurt out my real name, like last time!
Acid seemed only somewhat absorbed in his work.
So, paintin' a mural?
Yeah, yeah, just fer fun and all...so, you still got da bag?
Right here, man.
Great! So I'll go deal with this little thing, and then me and you can go club hoppin' wit da dough this guy gives me!
Sorry, Acid, not tonight... I've gotta go meet this girl.
Wow, hold on a second! Since when did you have a girl?
I don't, I just met her today, that's all...
Yeah, and what about me, huh?!
Sorry, but I'm sorta obliged.
C'mon, man!! No, that's it, no way you're going to....
you're serious about this..... see ya later...
Nathan was sad he had to leave him on his own, but at the same time was excited by the prospect of seeing Susan. His mind was racing so quickly with thoughts, it almost seemed as if it took him no time at all to get to the mall.
There you are! Susan was bearing a smile so phenomenal that Nathan almost cried.
So, you know of any particularly good places to eat?
Of course, silly! People gotta eat!
Right...well, the mall's not the best place in the world, how bout we go to OR-BIT?
OR-BIT?! Oh, I love that place! It's better than any of those clubs, but not too classy!
thought Nathan, This is going better than I thought! She doesn't hate me, and I'm getting this great feeling from her. But what could it...hey! We're already here!
The two got a table, ordered two of those bicarbonate drinks the restaurant was so famous for, and sat down to eat.
So, I never go your real name, er...Nothin.
Oh, it's Nathan. I just use that name for...um..signing things,
Well, where did you get an alternate name like that?
I guess it just sorta fits me, that's all.
Fits you? I don't know Nathan, it sound to me like something's wrong.
Wrong? What are you talking about?! Nothing's wrong!
Well, I'm just saying that most people don't walk around thinking of themselves as nothing.
What?! What are you talking about! Are you trying to make me out as some freak?!
Sit down, Nathan! I'm trying to help you. Stop resisting me!
Nathan thought about his confrontation with Acid. I'm sorry. I'll try not to get worked up.
Another smile spread across Susan's face. Now, you need to think better of yourself. Something happened to you, didn't it?
I don't wanna talk about it....
Susan gazed at him with these magnificent pearly eyes,
Nathan let out a long sigh, All my life I've been an unwanted Nothing. My parents left me to live in this horrible world, alone. I grew up on the streets,..
Such a small boy in this huge megalopolis...
...living a life that just didn't seem right for me. I've always felt that way inside, but I've just...just...never let it show, I guess, never really stopped. I've got this horrible feeling deep inside me; it just makes me feel so low and miserable. And then there's this other thing...something.... I just...feel it sometimes. I can't explain it at all. Oh, whenever I talk about this stuff, I'm filled with this unbearable pain; this intolerable, bisecting pain!!! But, when I talk to you, it's like I don't feel that pain...just being around you makes me feel so....so...wonderful. You make me feel like I'm more than society's refuse, more than just another hoodlum, more than Nothin!
Thank you, Susan.
What followed was a kiss so powerful, so passionate, so intense, that it could have been the one single thing, that finally turned Nathan Graves' life around. The two were incredibly happy together, and they both wanted to live their lives together to the fullest. They made a unanimous decision to live in Nathan's apartment, more spacious than a dorm. Nathan stayed friends with Acid, but worked hard every day as a social worker in training, cleaning up neighborhoods and painting beautiful pictures for children, with a promotion in sight. All was well in Nathan's life. Or was it?
Nathan returned home one day to find every trace of Susan missing, her clothes, pictures, toe nail clippings, everything! After searching everywhere, he took the elevator back down, but when the doors opened, he saw Acid, lying in a crimson puddle. His horror was cut short, though, as the light's from police cars and a helicopter blinded him. With few options, Nathan sprang back into the elevator, grabbed a bullet-proof vest from the storage closet that shouldn't have still been there, and leaped off the fire escape.
Hitting the ground running, Nathan looked back in terror to see the cops and several black cars already in pursuit. He pushed every ounce of energy into running, desperately trying to make his legs move faster than they already were. Sweat trickled down his ear, all of its tiny hairs on their ends as the blaze got closer and closer. Suddenly, Nathan felt as if he was falling, with the heat and everything else jetting away from him. He landed in darkness, and all the horror, despair, and pain came back to him.
Why!? Why did you leave me!? Why did you abandon me!? WHY, WHY, WHY?!
Nathan's mind erupted with the return of the turmoil that had once been there, and he cried out, the noise mangled, distorted. The sound of his own voice scared him.
Damn it! exclaimed Hiranobu, Everything has gone totally screwy.
replied Ryu, There appear to be many problems that shouldn't have existed.
Oh, don't worry about it, guys, replied Ford, All those glitches during the test will just show us what to correct. By this time tomorrow, we will have completed the greatest video game ever!
Did you like it? I hope so. If you didn't, then please tell me what neads to be added or improved on. But either way please review this. Overal I've been upset that my orignal idea was not conveyed. If enough people like it, I may write a special edition with more action that also goes more into Nathan's gansta life and other ideas I had in mind, (Hehehehe....,). Also, remember the ending, another story featuring Nathan and Acid could easly be made taking place in a corrected copy of the game were diffrent events may transpire.