The Diary of Morris Oaks Part 3
By Zack Bouis

I got the new one day as I showed up at my house. My daddy had been killed. I was in shock, I didnít want to believe it, I mean things had been going so well for us. He had been working security at a bank downtown. The place was pretty well stocked with cops working security for the place, when some guy busted in with his own personal army and gunned down everyone in sight.

After that, a lot of dadís friends from the department came by to "give their condolences," I wasnít much interested in what they had to say, about how sorry they were, or how they really felt for our loss, or, he was a good man and a credit to the force. None of that mattered. I didnít take any notice until one of them started talking about the guy who had busted into the place. I went to him and I eventually got him to show me the security tapes from the bank. He acted all friendly, like I was just some curious kid who wanted to see what went on in "the grown up world," now I wasnít gonna say anything about that, since I needed him to show me the tapes but it still pissed me off.

I saw the bankís security tapes, It starts off with everyone walking around the bank going about their business, and the security guards walking about all normal like, I notice my daddy walk by the camera too. Then suddenly the doors fly open and 5 guys bust inside the place guns going like crazy. The first three were dressed in normal grey military duds, and one wore all this fancy looking equipment and had his face covered, and the fifth one... well the fifth one scared the hell out of me. He wore dark armor with a spider web drawn across his chest, he had a long flowing cape that swirled around him cause he moved so fast, and he wore a helmet like the ones you see some Arachnos soldiers wear. It was black and came down just enough to cover his eyes, with two black spikes going just below the line of the helmet so that they looked like fangs. This guy was the first supervillain I had ever seen in my life. He looked like he could of been one of Recluseís top men but he didnít have any powers, he only used that assault rifle he carried and ordered his troops around as he tore through the place gunning down all the people in the bank.

I saw him go after the cops in the bank. He would pick out the targets and his men would back him up. The first cop was drawing his gun as they came in the door and the leader put a round in his head, and while he was falling backwards, the troops that were tagging along behind the armored guy put down another cop as he was trying to call for backup. One man standing in front of the tellers got out a call for backup and by the time he drew his gun, the head guy rushed forward lifted the poor cop clear off the ground and slammed his back into the tellers desk until it snapped. There wasnít any sound on this tape of course, but I could tell that that man was screaming.

Then with a little jump in my gut I noticed as the armored bandit turned on the only cop left in the room. My daddy. My daddy drew his gun faster than the crook could get his up and fired off three shots. Catching all of them off guard one hit one of the soldiers following behind the leader, dropping him to the ground dead. The other two shots went straight for the big man in the armor. One hit the Arachnos style helmet and just bounced off, the other put a long cut in the manís cheek.

They were still caught off guard so my daddy was diving for one of the stone pillars for cover, when suddenly, it happened so fast the camera almost didnít catch it, the leader man spun around and blew off my daddyís gun hand. While he was on the ground, defenseless, the armored man and his goons came up to look at him. He said something to him, before unloading his clip into my daddyís chest. I had to look away, Ďcause water was starting to fill up in my eyes. Needless to say, the gang of crooks got away with the money.

Afterwards, I went to all the cops I knew at headquarters, I asked everyone who had any info and even snuck into the Police Department one night to look at the file on the killer.

The criminalís supervillain name was Red Fang, once one of the top soldiers for Arachnos, but he was betrayed by someone in his team and forced to go rogue. No superpowers, but was an expert on weaponry and had his own little private team of mercenaries. I thought to myself, "maybe thatís what they can say in the eulogy."

I took up the only thing I really knew. Guns. I went to the gun store that I had my job at, my plan already formed, and as I stepped into the place I noticed the owner was lying on the counter, a bloody handkerchief in his hand. I was already feeling too much grief, to really feel sorry for the guy. If anything I found kind of amusing that someone else I knew would die in the same week as my daddy. I locked his body in the back room and got to work. I picked up the largest hunting rifle in the store. Built for big game, some rich asshole would probably take this on a lion hunt, or to shoot elephants for the ivory. It was probably the most penetrating weapon we had in the store. I loaded it and pocketed some ammo. I also tied some sort of assault rifle on my back and put on a belt holster for two 9 millimeters. I decided I was going to want some kind of a disguise, so I put on a brown cowboy hat that was hanging on the wall and tied a brown bandanna around my mouth. Yeah, I was ready.

I started tracking Red Fang, I had never done this sort of thing before but it took weeks, The Rogue Isles might be small, but I had to follow every time he moved from an area, and it could take me days to find out about it when he did. I had to use contacts who knew of his movements and since I had no history or reputation in the underworld it was difficult to get information. Eventually I caught up with him in Sharkhead Isle.

I made friends with a few Scrapyarders living on the beach. I stayed in one of their huts for a couple of days until he showed up. He was walking along one of the cliffs above the beach. He didnít have his mercenaries with him. This was my chance.

I had him in my sights as he walked along the ridge, I had the crosshairs aimed just below his head, Ďcause I knew that helmet was capable of stopping a bullet and I was hoping to take him out at the only unarmored part of his body, his neck. I fired the weapon, and he was thrown forward and landed on his face. I was exhilarated, I had finally done it, I had carried out my revenge! But, that was only to last a split second, as I saw him stand up and I realized my mistake. The bullet had just missed his neck and hit his helmet. With the force of the gun, hitting him in the back of his head was enough to throw him forward, but, he hadnít died, and now he was coming straight for me.

I threw away the rifle and pulled out my SMG and started unloading it at him. In his general direction is more like it. I had lost track of him as he came down the cliff and after firing off those shots I now had no idea where he was. My instincts gave it away and as I heard the movement of the sand and smelled the sweat covered metal I swerved around only to meet his gun butt with my face. I took a step back dazed from the blow, but I hadnít dropped my weapon and was able to think enough to know that he could have killed me by now. Heís probably making it a point to get me on the ground, injured, so he can say something badass to me before he I die. Using that I manage to raise the gun and fire off a round but heís able to dodge it and delivers a sharp, armor plated, elbow to the side of my head. I could barely stand now. I numbly tried to swing the gun at him and he tore it out of my hands and threw it behind him. Gaining a little bit of my focus back I go for the two pistols at my sides. As soon as I have them out I get a strong uppercut to the jaw. I fall back and slide along the sand a few feet. Quickly I look up and Iím able to get a shot off at one of the joints of his armor. Iím able to get a bullet in the little space between his shoulder and chestplate.

In the moment that heís distracted with that I stand up and point a gun at him but suddenly he swings his gun out in front of him like a club and manages to knock both 9 millimeters out of my hands. By the time I realize it heís got the assault rifle pointed at my heart and I stand there with my arms up. The scariest thing about this man to me is how I canít see any emotion in him at all. His body is covered entirely in armor and his face is covered with that Arachnos helmet. Heís the one who decided to draw this out into a fight when he could have killed me at the start, and here I am about to die anyway.

He says, "The world is going to be mine, little man, and there is nothing any teenage kid with a gun who thinks heís a hero is gonna do about it."

I hear the gunshots echo in my mind as everything else is blocked out. Everything except some little voice inside my head that keeps repeating, "Hero?"

"Hey thereís some kid here whoís almost dead."

"Donít take him unless you want to carry the body back."

"Chief thatís wrong, weíre supposed to be here to help people."

"Hmmf."

"He needs medical attention we can save his life if we get him to the hospital."

"Look out how heís dressed heís probably a criminal."

"No heís right, take him."
"Alright then, its your call, this is against protocol though."

Those were the voices I heard in my sleep before I woke up in a clean white hospital, laying on the most comfortable bed Iíve laid on in my life. I wanted to drift back off to sleep when I saw someone sitting at the foot of my bed.

I was startled but he looked like he was glad to see me, and like heíd been sitting there for a while. He was wearing a suit, had short blonde hair in a military sort of cut and, I noticed, he was unarmed.

"Good morning," he said looking me straight in the eye. I didnít respond.

"I found you shot up in the Rogue Isles, Sharkhead, and I was able to bring you back here for medical treatment."

I decided to speak to him, "Where am I?"

"Youíre in Paragon City, in the Steel Canyon Medical Center," he was a nice guy but Iíve got to say Iíve never really seen anybody smile quite that much.

And then it hit me, "Iím in Paragon City?!"

"Yep."

"But..." I thought I would have something to say to that, some objection, or complaint, or worry but I didnít. I had about a million questions going off in my head right now though.

So I started to ask them. This guy had been a medic with a Longbow squadron who had managed to sneak into the Rogue Isles through Sirenís Call and were being led by some swordsman hero named Gray Wolf. They were hoping to arrest one of the Arachnos Arbiters but had to scratch the mission at the last second and decided to pick me up. I decided to trust this guy and told him about me. About how I grew up in the Rogue Isles and how my daddy was killed by the supervillain Red Fang, who was the one who had shot me up when they found me.

This guy didnít know anything about Red Fang but he stopped by to visit me every day for the two weeks I spent in the hospital after that, along with some of the other LongBow operatives who had been there that day. I never did get to meet the Hero who led the team though. I was told that Gray Wolf was the one who told them to take me along and I was grateful for it.

No one came to visit me on the day I was allowed to leave the hospital but there was a gigantic looking gun at the end of the bed along with a belt with pouches full of all sorts of weird gadgets and even a brown cowboy hat and bandanna. I think they knew what I was gonna do.

I left Steel Canyon and took the train to Atlas Park, and throughout it I couldnít help but be amazed at how different this place was from the Rogue Isles. Sure, we both had tall buildings but here everything was so clean and efficient, where as in the Rogue Isles you could almost smell the corruption in the place. Sure there was the crime problem but I didnít have any problems going from Steel to Atlas and even if I had I donít think it would have stopped my amazement in the slightest.

I walked into City Hall and headed for the Hero Registration desk. The lady there saw a muscular, teenage boy wearing a white tank top, with a cowboy hat and bandanna, and a gigantic gun slung over his shoulder. In the Rogue Isles she would think I was going to holdup the place. Here she asked me what my Hero name was going to be.

At that I thought back through it all. I thought of my daddy, the Rogue Islands Policeman, who gave his life in the line of duty. Yessiree he was a member of RIP, the Rogue Islands Police, but I thought about the other meaning of those three letters, Rest In Peace, and with the silent prayer to my father completed, I told the lady,

"Iím... The Peacemaker."

END
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