Infamous Wars: Missing Moments
A/N: Just as a heads up, none of these are supposed to be in order. I felt some of these just wouldn't fit in the story itself but could give a broader experience to the reader as a whole. These can range from serious to playful and upbeat to tender. Feel free to comment or submit any ideas for a scenario that you would like to see happen in this series. I may change or combine a few, but be warned that not all can be accepted.
Chapter One: The Book
It was a clear morning in the city of New Marais when Zeke woke up. Rising from his bed, the burly man walked over to the kitchen counter and began making himself a cup of coffee. He had originally hated the stuff, but after the Blast in Empire City and with running water in short supply, the large amount they found eventually made its way into his cup.
"What a day this is going to be," he muttered, checking his calendar. Today was the day of the news conference that coincided with the release of the book "Cole MacGrath: Brother, Friend and Hero". As it was, there were reporters from at least twenty different news stations and journals waiting for him.
"Better get ready," he thought, walking into the bathroom after picking out a set of his nicest clothes. After a quick shower and shave, Zeke found himself about to leave the apartment he had been using as a base since he arrived with Cole. A quick combing-through with a brush made him look a bit more presentable.
"Here goes nothing," he said, turning the door handle. With a blink of his eyes at the sunglass-filtered light, Zeke walked to his waiting car: a dark, fairly non-descript but rather expensive-looking car. Getting in the back seat, he gave his driver the directions to the conference: it was in front of city hall, so it wouldn't be much of a problem.
After a few minutes of driving, the car stopped and a man opened the door for him. "Keep it running," he told the driver. "Just in case somebody doesn't like what I have to say." You could never tell with folks: some hated him for even associating with Cole, regardless of what he had done.
Stepping out of the car, he was greeted by a wave of lights and sounds as the gathered crowd, reporter and average citizen alike, tried to push towards him. Luckily the police lines held them at bay, with the occasional cop nodding his head in recognition: Zeke had gained something of a following as the man who helped steer Cole in the right direction.
Finally reaching the podium, Zeke had the supposed honor of shaking the mayor's hand. In reality he could care less: when the city was falling apart and running rampant with ice freaks, monsters, militia and the Beast, Zeke had been on the front lines more times than he could count. The mayor had never been near the shipping docks when he and Cole nuked the Beast after fighting off a massive amount of enemies. He wasn't there when Cole and Zeke freed the police from the Militia convoy and led them to a break-out of their friends and family at the old plantation.
"Thank you," he said into the microphone, looking out over the large crowd gathered just for him. "It gives me great pleasure to tell you all my book "Cole MacGrath: Brother, Friend and Hero" is on its way to the publishers as we speak. Are there any questions?"
A rather large lady stood up: "Sir, can you give us a preview of some of the things that went on in Empire City during the quarantine?"
Zeke scratched the back of his neck. "For most of the details you'll have to read the book when it comes out, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to give a preview."
He rested his arms on the podium, his hands clenching the sides for support. "Almost immediately after the Blast, things went to hell really quick. Gangs and turf wars sprung up overnight, and resources dwindled to the point where survival was king. One of the things I remember the most was when the police had captured the leader of the Dust Men, Alden Tate. Cole and I were on duty to help keep him prisoner so his army would dissolve. We were wrong: during the night the Dust Men launched a full-out assault on the prison, leaving us with one choice: fight."
He smiled at the memory: "You should have seen Cole. Firing round after round of rockets and grenades, he would not stop. Even after those giant golems showed up he refused to quit, pumping many of them full of bolts. The cops fought alongside us, giving it everything they could."
His smile disappeared and his head tilted. "Then I made a horrible decision, a decision that haunts me to this very day. I was inside, helping keep an eye on Alden to make sure he didn't wake up from the tranquilizers. But I just couldn't stand there and let Cole risk his life outside while I was safe. So I ran outside and joined the fray: soon after that, Alden woke up."
He looked down at the podium as several members of the crowd gasped. "When the smoke cleared and so many Dust Men lay at our feet, Cole and I rushed in to check on the police with Alden. They... they hadn't stood a chance. They were dead, tossed around the room by Alden's telekinesis like leaves. Alden had escaped, and it was all my fault."
"After a while Cole tried to comfort me, saying it hadn't been my fault. But I knew differently: if I had stayed there and let Cole do what he was the best at, those police would still be alive today and the world would be a different place for many people."
Zeke swallowed the grief threatening to consume him. "But enough about me: are there any other questions?"
There was silent for what felt like the longest time as the crowd digested the news he had visited upon them. Then a small man stood up, his glasses askew on his face.
"How do we know Cole made the best choice? That is, was he right in activating the RFI?" Several boos called out from the crowd, causing the man to hastily sit down.
Zeke looked down at the man with a mixture of pity and disgust. "He sacrificed himself for the good of humanity. Whereas thousands died because of the RFI, tens or even hundreds of millions of people all across the country and indeed the world are alive because he made the ultimate sacrifice. If you had been here and seen the chaos and destruction, and had the power to do what was right, would you make the same choice he did?"
For the next hour and a half Zeke answered many more questions, ranging from Cole's personality to his habits and what it was like to have been a best friend of the 'Electric Man'. After that followed an hour-long session where Zeke signed advanced copies of the book, with fans from all over the country showing just to meet him: it was rather flattering.
When that was all said and done, Zeke left the crowd and carried with him a single copy of his book to the waiting car.
"Back to the house, please," he told the driver. As the black car headed down the street, Zeke took off his sunglasses and looked down at the book. On the cover was a photo of him and Cole, taken years ago by Trish on a camping trip. The camera had been set on a delay, so Trish was in the picture too, smiling away and looking as beautiful as ever. Cole was in the middle, his arms thrown over the shoulders of his friends as he grinned like there was no tomorrow. Zeke's own image was on his right, the messy hair rising above his awesome sunglasses.
Zeke could still remember that day: the mosquitoes were everywhere, raccoons had eaten his marshmallows the night before and the next few days it had rained. But by God did they have fun, and if he could he would wish for that day again, if just to be free from this world for a moment.
A single tear rolled down his cheek and he looked at Cole's smiling visage. "I miss you, brother," he said as the tear drop fell and landed on the glossy cover. "You really were the best friend I ever could have asked for."
A/N2: Well, it was about time I gave Zeke a little writer love and a little back-story on what happened on Earth after Cole left. He was only in the first chapter of Infamous Wars, so why not give him some more screen time?
A/N3: This story will be uploaded weekly unless I fall behind schedule: college can be pretty demanding.