Fair Warning: This chapter is not indicative of the other chapters, my writing style changes the moment you hit chapter two, this is more of a prologue.
I stare at the Temple of Athena. I just stare at it. The once great pillars brought to the ground, nothing but stone piles. Small fires rage around the rubble. I don't bother to put them out. They hardly matter, the smoke will just mix with the smoke from the factories, blotting out the blue sky of Paradise. I watch the temple because my other option is to watch the slaves. The once proud warriors reduced to manual labour. All under my command. All now hate me.
I punch the one standing pillar blindly. It quivers but doesn't fall. Of course not. I examine my knuckles, still not use to seeing them without a thick black glove. They're bloody. That at least, is familar.
No-one ever asks for life. It just happens. You don't get a choice. One second you're nothing, floating around in the nothingness that is everything, the next you're scrunched up in a tiny collection of cells screaming at the world. No choice. There are very few choices in life. Correction, there are very few important choices in life. You may choose whether to eat pastrami on rye or turkey on a wrap but that's hardly of consequence. The most important choice in life is made for you, or not made at all, depending on how you want to look at it. Still the last person who has a choice in the matter is the child, they just pop up in the world and are expected to learn to deal with it. Truthfully it rarely goes well.
However the second most important choice in life is not made for you. Death. Interesting isn't it, how the second most important choice of life is death. I suppose that's because death doesn't exist without life, or conversely life without death. I think about death a lot. Every second a person spends breathing is a choice for life, a moment chosen against death. Anyone could end their life at any point they want to, but they don't, usually. That's their choice. Where do the morals fit into that? I'm not sure, at this point morals are pointless to me. Perhaps many people think that death is not a choice, that it's inevitable. Ridiculous. There are always ways, again not all of them are on the moral side of the law, but they exist. One can cheat death, look around, you've got La Fay stealing youth, Savage with his meteor, Ra's with his Pits or even the Amazons.
At the end of the day when you're going to let yourself die is your only real choice. Let yourself get old? Finish it now? It's all about willpower. The only important question in life, do you have the will to live? I don't. But I don't have a choice. I bet that I'm the only person who wants to die but can't. In fact, if I had any real choice in the matter I would have elected to have never been born at all, much safer that way, less death.
But I didn't get that choice. I don't get any choice. I'm a piece of a puzzle. A pawn on a chessboard. From the moment I was put together my life was mapped out for me. I managed to make a few deviations, some intention, most not. I was considered a failure from the time I was two weeks old. Of course I was also a great success in the two weeks before that so maybe it somehow evens out.
So here I hide, trying to cover my shame, pretending that I don't know what's happening beyond this island. Consoling myself that I didn't kill anyone personally, but I know, I know that I'm just as bad as they are. The six of us, we're about to take over the world. It was so easy. We'd been made for this. With our abilities, the raw power, we couldn't fail. The Earth didn't stand a chance. I didn't stand a chance. They needed me. They got me. How could I say no to my own family?
Family. That's the key. Genetics. Love. Life. Faithfulness. What makes a family? This is my first family, the second died and I had to leave the third behind. I had to return to my roots. But sometimes, in moments like now, moments when every person I've ever had to be clash against each other with the strength of the gods themselves, I think back. To the one person I was that made a difference and I wonder. I wonder why I couldn't have always been that person. I wonder why I had to get tied up with these other five. Why I had to be the sixth. Whether deep down I've always been this person.
And like every good memory, this one starts with a Bat