Prologue: Hauntings of a Bygone Era


"There are two ways to solve a mystery: uncover it, or eliminate it."

- Andrew Ryan


"You're a dork, a fucking geek! Nobody loves you!"

One falls to the floor, his blood staining the sterile white tile floor. His eyes slowly close as darkness envelops his consciousness.

"Fucker! You'll pay for that!"

"What ya gonna do about it, huh?"

The floor trembles as another comes crashing down like some defeated Titan of old and the recreations of the great oceans start to blot out the cold ceramic, casting shimmering crimson reflections of the harsh fluorescence that illuminates everything. His ear touches the floor and hears the constant vibration of life's activities continuing on without them, hundreds of feet all moving in differing rhythms to the same general beat. The toll of a seemingly distant bell rings out and the beat transforms into a frantic cacophony of stumbles and pushing that is over within a matter of seconds. The vibrations regress into an eerie silence.

"Psh, they're both a bunch of weak pussies."

"You got that right."

Two pairs of footsteps echo across the floor, their tapping on the tile growing fainter as their hosts rejoin that vibrant fabric of activity.

"Sorry we're late Ms. Crocker, our Algebra teacher wanted to talk to us at the end of last period..."

The door slowly closes, and there is silence once more. His ear no longer registers noise, and the second one falls into the darkness just as his comrade had done moments before...


"GAH!"

Zack awakens with a jolt in his bed. The soothing motions and sounds of the sea comfort him. It was all just a dream, the bullies, Cody being hurt, Zack himself being hurt, all just a figment of past memories of Boston.

"Thank god. Just a dream."

Zack settles back into an uneasy sleep, wary of the echoes of the past, a past he would rather soon forget.

…Zack! Honey! It's ok, you'll be alright. Take it easy; your nose was broken! Who did this to you?"

"Who did this to you son?"

The harsh light shining upon him reminds this one of the environment that his consciousness remembered from moments before. A caring, familiar face is joined by a serious one, with a gleaming silver reflection of authority blinding him further.

"I… I don't remember…"

"Sweetie, can you please try?"

"Son, they caused two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in your brother and broke your nose. Is there anything you can tell us? Anything at all?"

"I… I…"

The sensory overload is too much. He falls back onto the cushions of his make-shift bedroom and observes to the side as his brother is wheeled past the window, oxygen mask on, his innocent face marred by scars and a cold, hostile clinical reality. The scene goes white, and all is silent once more.