Author: Black Aces (Marc)

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-AP Students and/or students who have taken the SAT

“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself.  But he can put himself into such shape that when or if opportunity comes, he is ready.” -Theodore Roosevelt

For years and years, high schools across the nation emphasize the aptitude test known as the SAT.  There are those who have the necessary funds, those who know which direction to go in life, and those who are backed with the many scholarships they have earned who may just shrug off the difficulty that comes with nothing more than another qualification for college.  For many, however, comes its blatant needlessness.  There will be those who have an interest in vocational schools, those who work straight out of high school, or those who pursued an alternate route.  Why must they receive the same emphasis if it’s not of their interest?

The SAT, in a sense, is an unnecessary test that has burrowed its way into high school life.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be needless if something like junior college was not made available as an alternate route.  Junior college, otherwise known as community college, is arguably the most efficient and helpful way to get into any four-year university.  Unlike a generalized test such as the SAT, community college can provide students with a more specific goal for when they reach any of the local Cal-States or UCs.  This is imperative to those who have yet to decide what they wish to pursue in life, what they know they’re good at, and what they’re the most comfortable with since it provides an extended two years of experience and flexibility that isn’t limited to mandatory classes in high school.

In hindsight, passing the SAT, ACT, or any form of aptitude test can prove a student’s worth in college life.  However, in today’s society, debt has become the accepted snake that crawls up and down everyone’s spine.  It almost always begins with student loan debt.  As opposed to what the SAT promotes, unless the student pursued scholarships, they are walking into the loan traps set in place by a majority of colleges.  Why must a student pay for general education classes in a four-year college?  These classes do not favor their pursuit in their occupation whatsoever, yet they are still paying the full price for courses and semesters.  Why isn’t it advertised that community college also covers general education classes?  You can complete said classes for a fraction of the cost all while figuring out what career you want to pursue.  Not to mention that transfers have a greater enrollment rate than freshmen going in straight from high school according to the statistics found on

As mentioned before, unless a student has access to adequate funds and/or scholarships, the SAT should NOT be emphasized in high school life without the consultation of alternate methods.  Students should be aware and should know what they must endure if they decide to go directly into a four-year college directly from high school.

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About fifty or so years ago, the future was envisioned as flying cars, robots, and amazing technological advancements.  It’s the time and place, so where exactly are we?

Elon Musk, a very intelligent and efficient businessman with a vision that those people fifty years ago had.  He is making it a reality, albeit limited because of the skeptics of the 21st Century.  Musk is easily recognized as the chairman of Tesla Motors and the founder of SpaceX.  With both of these businesses under his belt, he is able to make all of those visions, those dreams, and those hopes a reality for the future.

Particularly with SpaceX, Musk has gained public attention by announcing his plans for a human expedition and colonization of our neighboring Planet Mars.

SpaceX began as a privately funded company and ever since it’s beginning in 2002, has become one of the more prestigious aeronautical companies with historical achievements.

According to Yaabot, SpaceX’s achievements are as follows:

Image courtesy of SpaceX's Twitter page.
Image courtesy of SpaceX’s Twitter page.
  • The first privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket, called Falcon 1, was able to reach orbit (28 September 2008)
  • The first privately funded company to successfully launch which was Falcon 1 once again (28 September 2008)
  • Orbit and recover a spacecraft called Dragon (9 December 2010)
  • The first private company to send Dragon to the International Space Station (25 May 2012)
  • The first private company to send a satellite into geosynchronous orbit

When will it become as simple as flying to another state as compared to a flight to Mars?  An even bigger question arises: when will be able to go to the next planet over?

Musk has narrowed down the many questions he has had for his expedition, but only one truly remains a mystery: when?

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“Honor, courage, and commitment.” -NJROTC

NJROTC - Roll Call

The Corona High NJROTC Program follows this motto with vigor and motivation throughout the school year.  The Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps holds many sports, academic, and honorable events each semester.  Among the program, cadets make up a majority of the class while the staff, which are usually juniors or seniors, help the instructors organize each cadet.

One of the most important events of every year of NJROTC is Mini-Bootcamp which prepares new cadets for their future in the program.  This allows for students to experience a taste of actual training of our nation’s naval military branch.


NJROTC - Karen Pancanins“The Mini-Bootcamp was a great first time experience for me, freshman year.  The second time around, it was fun to see the incoming cadets’ beginning,” says Karen Pacanins, Senior (left).

Some staff members such as Sara Johnson, Senior (right), is “going as a pusher for all the cadets.”

When  it comes to cadets, many of the Seniors part of staff speak their opinion about the motivated newcomers.  For many people entering NJROTC, it can be a life-changing experience or a dreadful drag throughout high school.

“The cadets are waiting to shine and grow, it’s refreshing to meet them from time to time.  They can only improve from here; it’s like the beginning of a new person,” Melissa Zavala (left), Senior.

“It’s the one event I always want to go to every year; I never want to miss one.” Angelica Brena, Junior.


One event has risen up in prominence in the past few years known as the Neptune Olympics is held by NJROTC at the Coronado Navy Base every year.  Several of the events include as follows: a surfboard race against other school’s JROTC programs, a Zodiac raft boat race, and a sandcastle tournament.

Throughout the year, NJROTC is populated with sports days where cadets can practice physical training and drill meets to rehearse their marches.  However, one event remains the aspiration for all JROTC.

The Annual Military Inspection is the most sought after and prestigious event that happens every year.  This allows the NJROTC program to be inspected for their efforts and performance of the year.

“AMI was one of my first staff meetings; the entire program is evaluated and the best of us are rewarded.” Kanwar Latif (right), Senior.

One of the final events of the school year for NJROTC is the Military Ball.  This formal event allows for each cadet and staff to enjoy the company of a guest speaker while awaiting the promotion of a new Commanding Officer.

For honor, courage, and commitment, the students of our school shine as the cadets of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps through the many events happening this year.img_2094

Detective Deadlock – Chapter 4: Big Alexander

Officer Winston stepped out of a doughnut shop holding several sugar-coated pastries in his hands.  He approached his police car and attempted to reach for his keys.  Instead, his keys fell out of his pocket and into a nearby sidewalk gutter.  The heavy rain began pushing it further down the street.  He set his doughnuts on the car and chased after the keys.

“No, no, no!” Winston held onto his buckle as he ran toward the keys.  He reached down to pick it up only for it to slide loose from his hand once again.

Every huge step he took, his body jiggled a bit.  He ended up chasing the keys down to a nearby street.  When they finally came to stop at a piece of trash stuck in the gutter, Winston heard gunfire erupting in the distance.

One of the bald men fell to the floor electrified after Annika lined up a perfect shot.  Deadlock on the other hand was locked in close quarters with the other goon.  Both of them had their hands on the rifle as the opposing kept trying to push it to the other’s face.  Annika charged up her tazer again and aimed at Deadlock’s adversary.

The man kicked the detective down and knocked Annika’s tazer out of her hands.  He grabbed her neck with his bulky hands and lifted her up into the air.

“It was a foolish move to have a child fight me, detective!” he sulked.

Suddenly, the man’s kneecaps popped open.  Several powerful bullets pierced through, causing him to let go of Annika and tumble to the ground.  Winston held a magnum revolver with a smoking barrel in his hand.

“Man, it sure has been a while!” Winston said excitedly.

“My legs!  I can’t feel my legs!  I can’t!” the goon cried.

Deadlock got up to his feet.  He looked around at the situation; Winston holstering his revolver again and Annika grasping her neck to try and soothe it.  Behind both of them he saw Detective R pointing into the building where the men were unloading the crates of guns.  Detective R walked into a nearby alleyway out of Deadlock’s view.

“Annika, follow me.  Winston, make sure no one gets out of here. Call for backup,” the detective ordered as he rushed into the building through its open garage.

Deadlock held his gun closer with his sights aligned with his eyes.  Annika was behind him, looking for anything suspicious.

“Did you see that boy run in here?” the detective asked about the teenager from earlier.

“I-I’m not sure.  I lost sight of him.”

Deadlock held his hand up and gestured the rookie to stay silent.  He overheard someone’s voice down the hallway.  The ceiling lights flickered as the two detectives moved in.  The voices were heard behind a solid metal door.

“What do you mean Darren and Joseph were captured?  Why weren’t you there to help them!” a strong-toned man shouted.

“I’m sorry, boss.  The officers-Deadlock is with them!” the teenager warned.

“So what?  A cop with a good nose ain’t worth nothing in these parts.  He’s as good as dead if he expects to take someone like Big Al down!”

Deadlock kicked down the door and scanned the room with his gun in hand.  He noticed a bulky man wearing a thin striped grey suit and the teen from before wearing a black hoodie.  Annika and him aimed both their weapons at the two.

“You led them to me, you useless mutt!” the man smacked the back of the boy’s head.

“I’m sorry, boss!” the boy dashed toward a high up window and climbed through an opening.

“Annika go after him!  I’ll take care of Mr. Meat here!” Deadlock ordered.

The rookie ran right after the teen and followed through the same opening.  The detective in the meantime, held his magnum steady on the bulky figure.

“Tell me, Al…Where’d you get the mutation serums you’re handing out?”

The bulky man held his hands up and started circling around the room as Deadlock opposed him.  “Handing out?  I think of it as kind of a charity.  Giving the loneliest souls a brand new power and purpose.  Stirring up havoc in a city like this, it’s an anarchist’s dream!”

“Is that your plan?  Causing mayhem like some kind of joker?”

“Of course not.  What good is spreading chaos if you can’t be the boss anymore?  I run the streets below you, I have connections that go far beyond the city, and it’s just your police department and that random psychopath that keep my plans from going through!” Big Al shouted.

“Psychopath?  Tell me if we’re talking about the same person…mohawk?  Checked shirt?” Deadlock asked.

“Dark blue jeans, not really much of a mohawk anymore, more or less she just braided the side of her head.”

“Oh the coincidences are finally adding up.  Was it your goons that were shot up the other night?”

“Yeah…yeah!  Were you there too?  Maybe we can work together and compromise, say?” Al suggested with a condescending tone.

“Sure.  When hell freezes over.  You’re coming with me, Al,” the detective kept his magnum fixed on the bulky figure.

Then he noticed Detective R right behind him.  He was pointing toward the window that Annika and the teen escaped from.  A slight scraping sound was made followed by the entire window shattering.

“I was afraid you were going to say that…” Big Al said disappointingly.

Several mutants bashed through and snarled at Deadlock.  They jumped right at him while Big Al ran out the door.  One of the mutants had a maniacal laugh as he clawed at the detective’s overcoat.  The other two grabbed the detective’s legs and began pulling.  Frustrated, Deadlock stuck the magnum’s barrel in the first mutant’s nose.  He shot the high powered round, silencing the laughter and sending the now headless mutant off of him.  He grabbed another mutant with his mechanical arm and wrapped his fingers around his skull.

“You pull my leg one more time, I will bash your head open, got it?” the detective aimed his magnum at the third as they both stared at him.

Officer Winston entered with several other cops.  They pried the mutants off of Deadlock and helped him up.

“Winston, where’s Annika?” Deadlock asked.

“Hey you!  Stop!” Annika shouted as she chased after the teenager down the empty sidewalk.

“Forget you, lady!”

“Stop right now!  I’m a CCPD Officer and you are under arrest!” Annika said panting.

The teenager climbed up a few dumpsters and grabbed onto the fire exit of a brick building.  Annika fired her tazer but missed and hit a brick near the teen’s head.  The teen pulled a firecracker from his hand and threw it at Annika.  It popped near her feet and sent her tumbling back in shock.

“You little!” Annika stood back up and followed him up the fire escape.

Annika reached the roof and spotted the teenager make a dash for the edge.  She tackled him down and got in an arm lock.  The teenager forced the rookie’s hand away from him before she could charge up the tazer and fire it again.

“Big Al says you cops shouldn’t get involved here!  Even one of your own got down to our level!” the teen shouted.

“What!” Annika kicked the teen’s shins.

As soon as he tripped, the rookie took the opportunity and fired the tazer at him.  He shuddered as the electricity surged through his veins.

“What do you mean one of our cops got down to your level?” Annika asked.

“I-I ain’t no snitch, y-you ain’t gettin’ nothing outta me!” the boy responded.

“Well, let’s see if my superior has anything to say about that…” the rookie remarked as she handcuffed the teen and pulled him toward the fire exit.

Detective Deadlock – Chapter 3: Detective R

“Knock, knock.”

Officer Winston walked into Detective Deadlock’s office.  He closed the door behind him and took in a deep breathe as he stretched out his fixed tie.  Deadlock was searching through multiple papers, his coat on his chair and his fedora hung on the coat rack next to the door.  He had thick framed reading glasses as he analyzed any bit information linking to his case.

“What do you need, Tommy?  I’m in the middle of a case here…” Deadlock held two papers that could have information about the woman he saw in the park to a location.

“About that.  You reported the shootings in the park, right?” Winston asked.

“Yeah, there was, what?  Like forty casualties from this one woman, possibly more,” Deadlock fixed his glasses.

“Deadlock, Jean.  How long have we been in the same squad?” Winston said the detective’s real name as he sat down in one of his chairs.

Deadlock shrugged, “I don’t know, probably five or six years.  You’re the only officer that still remembers me joining.  All the other guys here don’t even know where I come from.”

“Jean.  How are the mechanizations coming along?” Winston stared at Deadlock’s arm.

“I’m getting by, Tommy, get to the point, I’m busy.”

“Deadlock there was no woman,” the officer said abruptly.

Detective Deadlock smiled.  He looked at Winston expecting to see a similar expression but instead he was given a very serious look.  The detective still chuckled to try to shake Winston’s seriousness, but nothing budged.  He reflected the serious look and stood up from his office chair.

“What the hell are you telling me?”

“The woman.  There were no traces of her being there-“

“She could have ran away!” Deadlock objected.

“There was no one in Central Park, it closed several hours after you showed up, how you got in without alerting any security is the only mystery there!”

“The security could’ve been patrolling another part!”

“There were no bullets from a chain gun.  There was no one else in that park other than you and those men!”

“No, no, no, no!  I know what I saw!” Detective Deadlock became frustrated.

“There was no one there!  Deadlock, in all the years I’ve worked with you, you have never acted this crazy!  Please tell me, is the medicine the mechanics giving you messing with your head?”

Deadlock looked at a bottle of pills he had taken out of his cabinet from earlier.  He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.  Before Deadlock could even mention anything, Winston spoke up again.

“Chief gave you a new case.  The ‘mutant’ you helped catch earlier is in interrogation downstairs.  He wants you to find out where this guy came from.”

Winston left the detective in his office.  Deadlock was in a quiet rage, but he kept it together before heading out to the interrogation.  He stepped out of his office and spotted Annika setting up in her new desk with office supplies and photo frames.

“Annika, meet me downstairs, there’s an interrogation and I need you to soak up some experience,” Deadlock headed toward the elevator as he straightened out his fedora.

“Okay, okay.  I’ll see you down there!” she tripped on her desk with some of the office supplies.

The police station consisted of three different departments.  The top floor was headquarters for Homeland Security, the second floor was the ‘Deadlock’ department, otherwise known as Anarchy Control, and the bottom floor belonged to the Private Investigation Bureau.  In the corner of the bottom floor were several interrogation rooms.  The rooms themselves were small, blue brick compartment-like storages, furnished with a single hanging lamp and several metal chairs accompanying a table.

The mutant that was shot and captured earlier was handcuffed to the table.  His wounds were only minor due to his sped up healing, leaving only one enormous bandage covering what use to be his hand.  Deadlock entered the interrogation room and sat in a chair opposing the suspect’s.  He looked all around the room, jerking his head to each corner in a sarcastic fashion to sort of mock the mutant.

Quietly, he heard a voice in his head, “Find out where the mutant came from.  His answer will lead to more…”

“So, how did you end up all like that?” Deadlock asked the mutant.

“Like hell if I’m going to tell you.”

The voice spoke again, “Get the answer.”

Detective Deadlock thought recklessly.  He grabbed the mutant’s head and slammed it on the table.  “Tell me where you got these mutations, now!”

“Go to hell!”

“More intimidation.”

Detective Deadlock stood up from the chair and headed directly to the door.  The mutant looked at him in shock.

“So is that it!?  You bash my skull and just leave?!” the mutant shouted.

Deadlock paused before leaving.  In a heartbeat, he pulled out his handgun from his holster and pressed it against the mutant’s head.  In fear, the mutant stumbled back into the corner of the room, dragging the metal table with him and knocking over the chair.

“This isn’t the 21st Century, scumbag!  With your mutations you are not getting any trial!  The person who mutated you not only corrupted you with power, but also took away your future!  The people of each neighborhood take one look at you and then you have CC Military crawling up in your business.  You either tell me who mutated you or I’ll save the military’s trouble by just ending it right now!” Deadlock shouted.

“Okay! Okay!  I got the mutation from a guy named Alexander!  They called him Big Al!  I never actually met the man in person, I just got the injections from one of his contacts!  I swear I don’t know where he is!” the mutant shouted back in pure fear.

“Alright.  The guys here will take you to the hospital to pick at your mutations.  Afterwards you should probably see a therapist…or a bartender…or both…” Deadlock holstered his gun, “Thank you for the info.  Have a nice day!” Deadlock waved back at the mutant as he left the interrogation room.

After closing the door, he was faced with an impressed Winston and a completely shocked Annika.  They stayed silent as Deadlock sighed and stared back at the mutant through the one-way glass.

“Wait was that it?” Annika asked.

“Yep,” the detective shuffled his collar, “Al, anything on this guy?” Deadlock asked Winston.

“I’ll check the data files.  I do remember someone ran an operation with him near East Road.  Maybe you can take the rookie out for her first run,” Winston smiled.

“Sure, sure.  East Road is halfway across the city, maybe I can cover a few more things with her.”

Annika and Deadlock shared glances.  Winston entered the interrogation room with the mutant while the other two went off to East Road.  The rain was still pouring outside, the signature weather of the city.  There was barely any traffic that day on the highways.  Annika looked away from the detective, trying to avoid conversation.

“So.  Tell me a bit about yourself,” Deadlock spoke up.

“O-Oh, um.  I…what did you want me to tell you?” Annika asked.

“Where are you from, family, how’d you make it into Anarchy Control?”

“I…I’m from Province 62, my mother and father were killed in the 62 Bombing.  Terrorists struck the city, so I moved here with my brothers hoping to find a new start.  I graduated from this city’s academy about a few months ago, I went into Anarchy Control because they had good detectives and officers like you-“

Annika was interrupted by Deadlock hitting the brakes.

“Listen, newbie.  I’m not the best teacher, I’m not the best older brother or father-figure or whatever you look up to me to be as.  I’m sorry if I’m flat out rude or do things recklessly.  Just warning you now, I will stop at nothing to get the bad guys off these streets and to keep the city safe, alright?”  Deadlock looked at her as she nodded back.  “One more thing, what was the weapon the academy assigned to you?”  he asked as he began driving again.

Graduates of Cohld City Police Academies are assigned weapons designed on three factors: their mental state, accuracy, and their final score on their graduating test.  These weapons consisted of tazers, magnum revolvers, handguns, and in extremely rare cases; a fully automatic PDW (Personal Defense Weapon).  Deadlock’s score had exceeded most other police officers and he had received a prestigious revolver passed down from the former detective he had replaced.

“I was assigned a tazer, sir.”  Annika revealed a battery-charged electrical disperser.

“Was the test really that difficult?” Deadlock rolled his eyes.

“With all do respect, sir, it’s not easy for everyone…” Annika put away her tazer in a smaller holster similar to Deadlock’s under her arm in her gray coat.

“No worries, I’ll look out for you as long as you have my back,” the detective cracked a smile.

“Right turn.  Alexander is right around the corner,”  the ominous voice spoke in the back of Deadlock’s head.

He made an aggressive right turn just barely dodging a taxi cab and sliding along the rainy asphalt.  Annika held onto her armrest trying to keep her head in place.

Deadlock turned to Memoir Street, twenty miles away from East Road.  This area of the city was known for being incredibly worn down and left to be a dump, a perfect place for gang activity.

“Building to our left.  First floor.”

“Sir?  What are we doing here?” Annika asked.

“Al is in this building, we’re going to pay him a visit,” Deadlock smiled.

“How are you so sure?  Sir, the mutant didn’t tell us he’d be here!” the rookie said worriedly.

“If you want to stay here you can, just call for backup the minute you hear gunshots.  Keep your eyes open, this might be your first firefight!” Deadlock got out of his car and rushed into the building, his revolver at hand.

The detective kicked down the door to a worn down brick building.  The wooden floors rotted from its bright brown color to a light decaying gray.  Deadlock wiped the brim of his fedora and straightened it out.  His eyes scanned around the living room; everything looked usual for a derelict of an apartment.  Toppled over dining room tables, a rotting couch, rats and rodents scurrying across the floor; everything was what normal would be.

Deadlock sighed.  He had realized that he was getting careless with his work.  His ambition always counteracted his professionalism.  The entire department knew that, they knew he had to be looked after.  The detective acknowledged this fact, it didn’t help to realize that he had left his new rookie in the car outside without even informing her of the detour.

“Are you going to keep bashing at yourself?” the voice inquired.

“I knew there was more to this.  Who are you and what are you doing inside my head?” Deadlock asked calmly.

A few old papers rustled in from the kitchen of the bottom floor.  Deadlock kept his eye on them, but turned away as soon as he heard footsteps behind him.  Nothing.  When he turned back, he was faced with a taller man in a black suit with a dark blue tie.  His eyes were a shining gold and his hair a distinct combination of black and gray.  Deadlock stared for a moment, memorizing his face and its structure, how his posture was, and even managed to get a hint of his emotion.  Doing so allowed him to track this man again anywhere among crowds of people.

“I’m someone sent to keep an eye on someone like you.  You are in no means in any trouble, but, my superiors required me to keep constant checkups on you.  Do not be alarmed, I’d rather assist than hinder,” the man said in a slow, monotone voice.

“What’s your name?  How did you get into my head?” the detective aimed his handgun at the mysterious man.

“My name, well, isn’t really important.  I am a friend.  As I said before, I am only here to observe.  If you really must need a name, you may call me Detective R.”

“Which police department do you serve?  Why am I even talking to you!” Deadlock holstered his gun and rushed to the door.

“I only serve the greater good.  Whoever the superior is..  Now, the superiors are taking your favor.  The foe known as Alexander is located on East Road talking to one of your police officers.  If you request any assistance at all, feel free to ask me when you do happen to notice.  Good luck.”

Deadlock rushed out the front door and back into his car.  Annika was asleep leaning next to the passenger door.  The detective smiled as he put on his seat belt and started the engine.  His assumed to be hallucination claimed that Al was at East Road at this instant so he sped up his car.

Annika slowly awoke after one of the turns, “Huh? What’s going on?”

“Thanks for listening for any gunshots.  Next time fill up on some caffeine or something, can’t have you sleeping on the job,” Deadlock explained as he focused on driving.

“I’m sorry, sir.  I didn’t get any sleep last night.  My first day on the job, not to mention one of the most dangerous, it makes you lose some Zs,” the rookie rubbed her eyes.

“Well, might wanna hold on tight.  Speeding plus rain does not equal smooth driving,” he said as his car slid across the shining asphalt of the road.

“Get your tazer ready.  There might be some surprises ahead,” Deadlock warned as he activated his car’s police sirens.

In a matter of three minutes, Detective Deadlock had dodged traffic and sped through stoplights reaching East Road.  He slowed down and turned off the sirens as soon as he saw several men unloading a truckload of wooden crates into a warehouse.  The detective turned a corner and parked.  He and the rookie got out and peeked around the corner of a concrete building.

“See anything out of the ordinary?” Deadlock asked.

“Not something too noticeable, sir.  What am I suppose to be looking for?” Annika inquired.

“Didn’t the academy teach you anything?” Deadlock sighed, “Look at what those guys are unloading.”

Annika noticed the crates were unmarked.  One of the men tripped and dropped one of the boxes.  The top fell open revealing multiple machine guns and rifles.

“There are no military outposts here.  Get your tazer ready and make sure they don’t get a shot on you,” Deadlock hid his magnum in his trench coat’s side pocket.

The two CCPD officers approached the three men.  Two were bald, well-built men while the third was a scrawny-looking, long haired teenager.  One of the bald men picked up a rifle the minute he noticed Deadlock.

“Evening, gentlemen,” Deadlock spoke softly.

“Is there a problem, officer?” the teenager noticed Annika’s police badge on her belt.

“May we ask what you’re loading here?”

“Just some…stage props, you know, musicals and plays and stuff like that,” the other bald man explained.

“Then you wouldn’t mind if we just took a look, right?” Deadlock reached for one of the rifles from the opened crate.

The first man revealed the rifle and aimed it directly at the officers and prepared to fire.

  Brian sat on the couch in his condo of Crown Villas. He was bored out of his mind, and he did have some stuff to do. He finished the chores around the condo, did his daily exercises and finished his three book reports for school he had to do over winter break. It was “No Phone Day” so he couldn’t use his phone on Sundays. His friends Joey and Chris were at church. His other friend, Mike was still at home trying to beat his new game Dead Space. He had no contact with any humans for the last twelve hours.
Brian wanted to play with his Proto X; a tiny palm-sized quad copter he got for Christmas, but his dad took it to his workshop to install a camera as a surprise. He also finished reading The Lost World by Michael Crichton and he didn’t have anything else to read.
He was about to collapse on the floor from boredom when he heard a knock at the door. He opened it and saw Joey and Chris were back from church.
“What’s up you guys?” said Brian. He gave each of them a bro hug and they came inside.
Joey sat on the couch and asked, “How was your day so far?”
“I was bored for the last hour.” He sat next to Joey. Chris went to the kitchen and grabbed a water.
“Didn’t you read your book?” Joey asked.
“I finished it an hour ago,” Brian responded.
Chris sat at the kitchen table. “Thanks for bringing that up. I need to finish my third one.”
“Where’s your Proto X?” asked Joey as he smiled bigger than when he walked in.
Chris smiled the same way. “Yeah. I want to fly that thing.”
“My dad took it to his shop,” Brian said.
Their smiles faded quickly. It was a cool toy for teens and everyone wanted one.
“You really need to get out of this condo more,” said Chris. He drank the last of his water and threw the bottle in the recycle trash. He always made it. Brian thought that he should try out for basketball.
“I agree,” said Joey. “We all need to. We need to go have more adventures. Run around, get dirty, hop some fences, getting into trouble would be a goal that we should accomplish.”
Brian looked like he was going to agree with them. It was fun to go out and have adventures. You make more friends, learn more about the world, and are more creative, the list is endless. “I don’t know. What if we get into trouble or something?”
“It’ll be worth it.”
Brian did remember his mom once saying, “Get into trouble for crying out loud, Brian!”
“Well, what do you say?” Joey asked.
Brian nodded. “Okay.”
Joey and Chris high-fived Brian and gave him a few pats on the back. He felt happy now. He was the new adventure boy. But one question still crossed his mind: “Where should we go?”
“Do you have any places that you’ve been interested in seeing?” Chris asked him as he twisted his hat backwards.
Brian thought for a moment and said: “Follow me.” He got off the couch and walked out the back door of his condo. Chris and Joey followed.
The back of the complex was all dirt with a few tall trees and a small clearing. To the left was a cliff, to the right was a fence and straight ahead was some sort of tower. They didn’t know if it was a work tower or a water tower. Brian led Joey and Chris to the cliff. It was almost completely vertical. There were some pipes at the bottom and some tall trees that prevented anyone from seeing the ground below.
The city of Corona was so peaceful, and the mountains were so green and Brian somehow found them very mysterious. Maybe because they were so quiet all the time or that no one ever went on them.
The three boys looked down the cliff. About fifty to one-hundred feet down was a small building. It was said to have been a water purification building that helped control the pool machines for the surrounding houses. There was an overturned police car near the front gate. It had been there since Brian moved in a year ago, maybe a little longer. There was a lot of graffiti on the walls and trash all over the place. It looked like a haunted house.
“I don’t know man,” said Chris. His voice sounded deeper. He was already getting goose bumps. “I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about that place, and it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all to seek adventure.”
“You’re the ones who wanted me to seek more adventures and get out more. Now you back out on me!”
“Come with me,” said Chris. “Let me show you what I’m talking about.”
They all ran from the cliff toward Chris’s condo. He lived three buildings away from Brian and next door to Joey. He walked in and led his two friends to his dad’s office. Chris was also curious before about that water purification building, so he went online and looked it up. He printed the articles soon after and has kept them ever since. He pulled the articles out of the closet and handed three to Brian and the other three to Joey.
Each article was about some major events that happened at the building years before.
The first was set thirty years ago when a few workers said they saw paranormal activity (doors slamming on their own, women screaming even though there were no women working there, strange shadows, and glasses dropping from shelves) and a death of one of the workers by gas fumes.
The second was the same except there was more paranormal activity and an increased amount of deaths.
The third was set a year before the boys were born when the building closed down from too many deaths and strange activity. Some reports said that some policemen entered the place to find out what was wrong with the place, but when they did, they never came back out again.
The next two stated that the security system still works for some unknown reason, even though the power was cut and no one set foot there for so many years. It was mostly on during the night. The reports were made only a month ago.
The last one stated that the disappearance of a group of teens who went into the building and never came back out. The only evidence found was some blood of three of the boys and two wallets.
“Sound’s tough, Brian,” said Joey as he swallowed loudly. Both boys handed the articles back to Chris.
“You know those newspapers make up stories like that to get people interested in reading it,” explained Brian. Chris and Joey agreed with him. Just about 80% of the stories the newspapers make are all made up. “Come on guys, I think we can do this, unless you’re chicken.” Brian made chicken noises and flapped his arms like wings. He could see they were getting annoyed with him. “You would be doing the same thing to me.”
Joey and Chris knew that he was a hundred percent right. “OK,” they said simultaneously.
Brian quit the chicken noises and the flapping. He was happy his friends agreed to go.
“We should know more about that place before we go in there,” said Chris. He put the articles back in the closet. The goose bumps on his arms and legs didn’t seem to be getting any better.


  At around six that evening, Brian called Mike and asked him if he knew anything about hacking into a security camera system.
“Are you kidding, of course I do. Have I been living under a rock?”
Brian asked him if he could hack into the security system and get control of it so they could sneak in without being seen by them.
Mike said he would do it, but he needed the serial number on the power box to hack in.
“There’s a lot more you need than that.”
“I already have everything else. I just need that, and I’ll take care of it.”
Brian said that he would try his best to get it before midnight, the scheduled time to start their investigation.
His father came home at nine-thirty with his new Proto X. The tiny camera was installed and there was a screen on the remote so he could see whatever the camera saw. He wouldn’t have to look at the X itself anymore.
He went down a much less steep part of the cliff and stopped about halfway down. He called Mike and told him he was going to give him the serial number with his Proto X.
He turned on the controller. The small light at the top blinked orange. He turned on the quad copter. The LED lights (two red and two blue) blinked once and they stayed on and a small BEEP came from it. The orange light stopped blinking and changed to green. It was ready to run.
He put the copter on the palm of his hand and lifted the throttle. All the blades spun and it made a sound like a mosquito on steroids. It lifted from his hand and was in the air. He turned on the camera and looked down at the screen.
The quad copter made a 180 degree turn and the building was in view. He pushed the other lever up and the Proto X tilted down slightly and rushed forward like a tiny jet. He stopped it and it was straight up again just five feet from the wall of the building.
The wall was white with brown spots, chipped paint, blood stains, and some weird writing written in the blood such as: IF YOU ENTER, YOU DIE!, BEWARE OF DEADLY GHOSTS ALL OVER, and WHOEVER ENTERS NEVER COMES BACK OUT. He swiped the lever to the right and the quad copter tilted to the right and jerked right as well. He immediately released it and it stopped in front of the cable box for the security system.   He called Mike and told him the number: LB777WED9823. Mike thanked him and he would let them know when he would be ready.
Brian hung up and looked back down at the screen on the remote. He turned the Proto 180 degrees again and saw something he would never forget.
The camera was focusing on what looked like a weird-looking transparent man. He was dark and he was wearing some kind of hood. He just stood there and stared at the quad copter like he was about to send it flying into space, never to be seen again.
Brian almost dropped the remote. He pushed the throttle up and the Proto sped forward like a jet and through the man. The camera went blurry and static ran through it for a few seconds. Brian had no idea where it went.
About five seconds later, he heard the sound of the rotors getting louder. Before he could turn to look, the quad copter struck the back of his head and landed on the ground by his foot. He turned off the remote and the Proto X. He hoped that what he caught was still on the camera and not his imagination. He put the Proto X in his jacket pocket, ran as fast as he could to his condo, and went to bed for a short nap. Before he went to sleep, he turned on a walkie and set it to the same channel that Joey and him had told each other earlier that day, and checked his watch. It was 9:36 p.m.


  By exactly 12:04 a.m., Brian was already sitting on his bed wearing black clothes, with all his gear packed in a small backpack: a flashlight, extra batteries, an air horn, a camcorder and his walkie talkie. His Proto X was fully charged and was safely in his pocket.
He heard static on the walkie and finally heard Joey’s voice. “Okay, it’s time. Don’t get caught. Over.”
Brian picked it up, held down the button and responded: “I won’t. Over.” He grabbed his backpack, stuffed some other bags and a pillow under the sheets, and placed a red balloon on his pillow. Watching those movies with kids sneaking out really payed off. He slowly opened the sliding glass door, and closed it slowly. He hopped over the small gate surrounding the back patio, and ran out to the clearing. Joey and Chris emerged less than a minute later. They were also carrying their own backpacks with gear in them. They were wearing black clothing as well.
“Okay, guys,” said Chris. “Here we go to the one place that’s said to be haunted.” He started to sound like a ghost before he was even done talking.
“What’s going on with Mike?” Joey asked Brian.
“He said earlier that he was almost ready he will give us a call when he’s hacked the system.”
“If he fell asleep, I’m going to kick his butt when I wake up after this is over.”
“Same here,” said Chris.
“Alright, let’s go.” Brian got up and ran toward the less steep part of the cliff he took a few hours ago. They went down slowly. Some bushes scratched their faces, arms, and legs. They walked until they made it to the chain-linked fence.
The building was fifty yards in front of them and it seemed like it was waiting for them. The lights were on, the cameras were panning back and forth, like they were searching for them, and the front door was open a crack.
Brian’s cell phone vibrated in his pants pocket. It was Mike.
“How’s it going Mike?”
“Good. I have hacked into the system. I can now see what the cameras see. I see you guys on the other side of the fence.”
There were some clicks from his computer.
“Okay, I’m passed the firewall. Now I can control the cameras. But only for a little bit.”
“How long?”
“Only about a few minutes every few hours from what I’m looking at right now. I’m fighting for the system control from someone else, but no one’s in there. It’s probably a temporary glitch, nothing too bad.”
“Good to hear.”
“Okay, Brian. I need you to do something. I need you to fly the Proto X by the camera that’s facing you, and get it to turn away from you then I’ll shut it down.”
“Why can’t you shut it down now?”
“Whoever was controlling the system got control again, but I can get it back again in a few seconds.”
“Alright, I’ll do it right now.”
He put the phone on speaker, and set it on the ground. He pulled the Proto X out of his pocket, turned it on, and flew it toward the camera. The small gusts of wind made the X drift off a little, but it fought the wind and stayed in view of the camera lens. Once he was in front of the camera, the X drifted to the right and the camera kept its lens on it like it was magnetic. Then the red light next to the lens turned off and the camera stopped following the Proto.
“Alright. I shut down all the cameras. You are good for ninety seconds. GO!”
The three boys climbed the fence like they were trying to escape a wild dog. They made it to the top and dropped down. They landed on the dirt ground and clouds of dust formed around all three of them. They got to their feet and sprinted to the door. Brian forgot the Proto X on the ground. The three boys ran into the building. Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind them.


  After the door slammed shut, Brian took out the camcorder, and turned on its night vision. Chris found a light switch, but only a few lights came on. There was a small flight of stairs in front of them leading down, and a concrete floor.
Brian suddenly remembered that he still had his cell phone on. He tried calling to Mike. All that came out was static and what sounded like Mike screaming. All that they could hear him saying was “Ge–…ou–…th–…” Then the phone went blank. It was the last time they ever heard from him.
Brian hung up the phone. He looked at Joey and Chris and shook his head. It was enough of an answer to them. They did try the door again, but it was still stuck like someone super-glued it shut. They were stuck in the building, with no possible way out as far as they knew.
They descended the stairs slowly, with their flashlights in hand. They reached the bottom and found what looked like some kind of lair with a giant swimming pool like at their high school. There were concrete pillars in one long row. The swimming pool was on the right side and there was a row of doors on the left. Above the pool was a giant glass roof overlooking the stars. There was just one problem. That wasn’t there when they first walked in. Something was wrong with the building the moment they entered it.
“I don’t know about this place anymore,” said Joey. He was almost panicking and he looked like he was going to drop down any moment.
“Just stay close,” said Brian as he wrapped his arm across the back of his neck.
They made their way over to the pool. It was as still and silent as a cemetery. They stared at the water and what looked like a dark figure standing on the bottom.
Brian’s jaw dropped. “Get away from there!”
But it was too late. The figure leaped out of the water, grabbed Chris by the shoulders, and dragged him under the surface.
“RUN,” shouted Brian.
Him and Joey ran from the pool and into one of the rooms on the other side and closed the door behind them.
It stayed quiet for about five minutes before they opened it again. Brian was almost in shock. He was in tears and he dropped the camcorder twice. Joey offered to take it and Brian thought it was a good idea.
They walked even slower back to the pool. It was still and silent as before, Chris was gone, and there was someone else with them in the building that was going to kill them any way possible.
“Chris.” The boys shouted that name for almost fifteen minutes before his body, soaked with water and the odor of chlorine crashed through the glass ceiling. It missed the pool and landed on the ground. They heard some CRUNCH, CRACK sounds when he hit.
“Oh my god, Chris.” They didn’t even get closer to him. They looked behind Chris’s dead body and saw the dark figure again with a skeleton-like face. He looked like he was staring down at Brian. He was more scared than ever.
“I guess some adventures aren’t worth it if it takes the life of someone you know,” said Brian as he wiped a tear from his cheek. It was the last good thing he said.
Both boys tried to run, but Brian tripped and felt like something was ripping through the back of his spine. He yelled out with all his might, and his eyes changed from a leaf green to fire red.
Joey got it all on the camcorder. He looked at Brian, and saw him change completely. He sat there like he was still in shock, his head turned 180 degrees, and faced Joey. Brian then smiled, and said: “Whoever fears me the most, gets their adventure.”
But it didn’t sound like a good adventure at all. The demon now possessed Brian and Joey was easier to kill.
Brian’s head turned back around, and he ran toward Joey.
Joey didn’t even think. He ran as fast as he could to the end of the long hallway and went into the door at the end. He held it shut as “Brian” tried to forcefully pull it from the hinges. He stopped after about ten seconds, but it felt like hours.
Joey held the camcorder at his chest. He was capturing everything. His heart felt like it was trying to leap out of his throat. Tears ran down his cheeks like rivers. “I have to get out of here,” he said to himself. He had to find another weapon to use against “Brian.” On the shelf beside him, was a jug of liquid chlorine. He held it in his hand tight, and slowly left the room.
Immediately, he looked to his right at the door beside the one he was in. There was a little girl about nine, and she was wearing a night gown.   She had her back toward him.
“Oh my god,” he whispered.
The girl turned around and looked at him with bright green eyes. Her eyes rolled back and she let out a demonic roar. Joey splashed the girl with the chlorine, turned away and ran off yelling. He could hear the girl’s demonic yells right behind him and very close. He was beside the fifth concrete pillar and he turned right hoping to not see the girl again but he saw “Brian.” “Brian” jerked forward and let out a demonic roar, and Joey fell backwards and the chlorine bottle rolled away. Joey was dead.
“Brian” picked up the camera, and stared into the lens. His eyes were dark and he had sharp teeth. There were also purple-like veins on the lower part of his face. He stared at the camera for a few seconds and turned it toward Joey, who lay lifeless on the floor. “Brian” turned the camera back to his face and turned it off.

  Outside the building, Brian’s Proto X turned itself on, and circled the building slowly. It made the same sound: a mosquito on steroids. It was now part of the security system. It circled forever, waiting for anyone else who wanted to find anything interesting in the building.

The End!

Detective Deadlock – Chapter 2: Little Missed

The detective witnessed dozens upon dozens of surrounding gunmen all aimed toward killing the woman he had just met.  She was unmoved by the numbers of guns pointed at her and showed no sign of backing down.

Detective Deadlock was crouched behind the rim of the fountain watching as the woman pulled the heavy chain gun to the top of the rim and revved it up.

“Light her up!” the man making the previous threats shouted.

Multiple bullets soared past both the detective and the woman.  Completely abandoning his calm behavior, the detective ducked down, putting his hands over his fedora and covering his head.  He managed to raise his head a little bit and saw the the woman hold down on a trigger handle and unleash a barrage of bullets against the attackers.

“This is the weirdest way to meet someone!  Freaking shooting up bad guys with bullets flying over me!” the detective said aloud to himself.

He noticed the gunmen from the opposite side of the woman were closing in.  If they were so adamant about killing the woman, what would stop them from killing him?  Realizing this, he stood up, just barely dodging incoming bullets and shot at each of the incoming gunmen.  The bullets from his magnum were more than enough to penetrate through their shoulders and legs to the point where the pain had caused a few of them into to go into shock.  He looked back and noticed that the woman was killing each of the men one by one with the behemoth of a gun.

 “Hey!  Don’t kill any of them!” Deadlock grabbed her shoulder.

She turned and looked at him.  His brown eyes locked onto hers.  She abruptly pushed him aside and shot up some more gunmen that were sneaking up behind him.  The woman made gestures to shoo away the detective.  In his panicked state, he had no other option but to run and call for backup.

He ran out of Central Park as fast as he could, just barely slipping through the water soaked sidewalks.  The detective spotted his car near the fast food place and rushed to open the door.

“I need multiple ambulances at Central Park!  We have multiple shootings and dozens of casualties!  Krishna!  Send backup!” Deadlock shouted into his car’s radio.

“Deadlock, calm down, I’ve dispatched several units to Central Park.  You have to get back here right away!” Officer Krishna exclaimed on the other end of the radio.

“I can’t right now when there’s someone shooting up Central!  I’ll try to subdue the suspect,” Deadlock hung up the radio and rushed back to the park.

His jaw dropped as he saw all of the dead gunmen surrounding the park’s fountain.  He looked around for the woman with the gun but found nothing.  Multiple sirens were heard off in the distance.  That brought relief to Deadlock, but it did not soothe the curiosity he had about the woman who went on with the massacre.

After the officers called for multiple ambulances, Deadlock headed back to the police station.  His stomach turned and gave him a sort of sick feeling, not due to the fast food or the sight of multiple corpses, but because of something else.  Deadlock was not one to ignore the obvious or give up on a case, he just had a major tendency to refuse to lose.  After going through the entrance, he briefly headed through the squad room and into his office.

He sat at his desk and took off his soaking wet coat.  After setting his fedora on top of the coat rack he rubbed his hands through his hair.  He returned to his intellectual and calm state, piecing every bit of evidence he had together.  His photographic memory spewed out information through sketches and exact descriptions of the woman he saw in the park.  He posted all of his information on a mobile white board and included all the entry and exit points of Central Park.

“Age, roughly in her 20s, white of some Germanic descent,” he began reading his information aloud, “Braided mohawk, maybe something from a gang?  No, no mohawks recorded… black roots, blue dyed tips, hair stylists in the area…” Deadlock accessed his computer and searched for each hair salon in the area.  There was only several in the entire city.

Deadlock smiled as it narrowed down the search.  The smile quickly went away as none of the customers matched the information he had gathered.  He tried remembering the box she had with the chain gun inside.  It was unmarked; even the gun had the company’s insignia and name shaven off.  He thought very clearly, recreating the scene and moment; did he recognize her from somewhere else?  No.  Did she know or show any sign of recognition toward him?  No.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of his office door closing.  He looked up and saw a young woman who was around her mid-twenties.  The rookie.

She had dark-blonde hair and was very slender in appearance.  She carried a dark grey coat in her arms and wore a white striped blouse with suit pants matching her coat.

“H-Hi, I’m Officer Annika Charles, I-I’m the new recruit for the ‘Deadlock’ Department,” she introduced herself.

“Hello there.  I’m Detective J. Deadlock, I’m guessing Officer Winston sent you here?” Deadlock inquired.

“Y-Yes.  Is it alright if I may take a seat?” She gestured to the two chairs in front of Deadlock’s desk.

“Of course.”

“T-Thank you.  Did I-I interrupt something?” she looked concerned as she stared at white board.

“Tell me, Charles, are you nervous?” The detective asked.

“Very, sir.”

“Good, you have every right.  Because in this department, we handle murders, killers, and how to stop them.  We’re not some fairy tale from before the Pre-Apocalypse, we stop at nothing to get justice to this city and its people.  Disregard your own line of work, because in a place like this, your life depends on everything that needs to be done.  In this building are sixty officers willing to give up their lives for their work.  The officer you replaced, Officer Sarah Parkers, she was only second behind me and the chief.  She was close to becoming a professional detective such as myself.  Her life was cut short because she let her guard down, not when she died, when she picked who assigned her, which was a poor mistake.  If this is too overwhelming for you, if you are not cut out to keep your head on while also keeping track of what the hell is going on everyday in this office, then I suggest you join Highway Patrol or Wall Guard,” Deadlock held a very serious look on his rant.

“I-I am cut out, sir!” Annika stood from the chair and stood up straight in a militaristic style.

“Good.  I guess I have to put this case on hold and show you around.  Because every police officer is that ignorant and abusive to their job,” the detective said with a sarcastic smile.

Deadlock opened up his office’s door and revealed the squad room.  Four separate desks aligned each other in the center while multiple occupied office rooms made up the ring around them.

“Chair number one,” Deadlock pointed to Officer Winston, “Our senior officer Tommy Winston.  He has been here since back when the department was still called Anarchy Control.  He was the star cop of the day, catching bad guys was his passion.”  Annika was shown an old picture of Winston, bulked up in muscle, carrying tattoos on each of his arms and pecs.  She looked up from the picture and saw Winston now, a fat police officer who was struggling to get his tie unstuck after stapling it to his desk.

“Um, what happened?” Annika asked trying not sound rude.

“He lost a case and now he’s a fat, miserable guy.  But hey, he keeps up the department’s attitude, don’t think down upon him, he’s just an old dog who can still do new tricks,” Deadlock forced out another sarcastic smile.

“Chair number two, Officer Kevin Krishna.  He’s back here helping us out whenever he’s not at his COMs desk telling all the dispatched officers where to go.  Smart guy.  Smarts, yes.  Wits, no.  He doesn’t usually do field work, but he can be a tad bit too descriptive instead of cutting to the point.  He’s your eyes and ears to the city, listen to him, and listen to him carefully,” Deadlock pointed toward an Indian man with a headset on answering dispatch calls and giving directions to active officers.

“Chair number three, do you need me to slow down?” Deadlock looked back at Annika.  She shook her head and continued observing.

“This is good ol’ Archie.  Arch Tech as the department calls him.  Real name’s Archibald Severin.  He’s considered the x-ray of the department.  He knows every building we go into like the back of his hand, he knows every escape route a criminal is willing to take and where he might end up.  He’s, ahem, also my best friend,” Deadlock said his last comment quickly.

“How does he know about the building and such?” Annika asked.

“Retired architect or something.  Decided to join the force when his own building was ransacked and robbed.  Weird way he decides things.”

The detective and Annika looked toward Arch Tech who was a man in his late 20s with bright brown hair and dark brown eyes.  He wore a vest shirt with black suit pants and had rounded dark sunglasses with a brown lower cap.

“Chair number four, she won’t be here for a while, so in the meantime, this is your desk,” Deadlock pulled out the office chair politely for Annika.

“T-Thank you, first day on the job and already a desk?  I can’t wait to start!” she said happily.

“I hope you keep that motivation, you’re going to need it,” Deadlock smiled.

The detective stooped back into his own office.  He continued with his investigation with the woman at the park.  Something troubled him.  Suddenly, his arm reached out swiftly through the air.  He rubbed his shoulder and flinched as his arm straightened out.  Deadlock sat behind his desk and opened up one of his cabinets.

“Damn mechanics, if their product is defective, what’s so good about having my arm back?”

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Detective Deadlock – Chapter 1: Detected Deadlock

The rain pounded at the window of the police department office building.  Such weather was so common in Province 78, it had earned its name as ‘Cohld City’ and kept up the reputation.  A reputation of crimes on a scale of dozens a day, even for a sanctuary of the apocalypse.  The city was made out of a surrounding circle of towering concrete walls that kept out the even greater horrors of the outside world.  The officers of the CCPD did not concern themselves with what happened outside of the walls of the city, some refuse to do so out of principle; some refused out of fear.  In the walls were multiple forms of corruption and chaos, but each of them were monitored and controlled by the specialist squad of the CCPD called Deadlock.  Named after their lead detective, they strive to keep Cohld City peaceful and without anarchy.  Each of them specialized in their own rank.

There came a time when one officer had fallen.  To the lead detective, Detective Deadlock, that meant a new rookie was bound to show up.  Since it was only a matter of time before they arrived, Deadlock waited in his office patiently, spinning around in a leather swivel chair, phased out and looked toward the ceiling.

The door to his office creaked open.  “You know, for a brilliant detective such as yourself, you sure tend to daydream way too much,” Officer Winston commented.

“What do you want now, Tommy?” Detective Deadlock spoke.

“The new rookie.  Name’s Officer Charles, Annika Charles.  Since you’re our lead detective here, I suggest you train her for field work, got it?”

“Why can’t you train her?  I’m busy with other stuff.  Having a rookie is like walking a blind dog,” Deadlock remarked.

“Chief specifically picked you out, and come on, show some gratitude or something and stop being such a Smart Alec.  I’m going to send her in in a few minutes…” Officer Winston closed the door behind him.

Detective Deadlock let out a long sigh. “Rookies…then again, some people have to start somewhere.  I just hope the academy taught her something good.  Ugh.”

A slight beeping noise came from his desk.  The intercom from the COM-link station.

Deadlock pressed down on the answer key, “What is it now, Krishna?”

“Pursuit at Twelfth Street.  Possible gang member,” a man’s voice responded through the intercom.

“I thought that was Yuriko’s department?  Why are you calling me?” Deadlock asked.

“Gang member has ‘supernatural’ abilities.  Don’t really know.  Cut me some slack man and get down there.”

“Tommy just told me there’s a rookie coming in, what do I do about her?”

“I’ll tell her to wait for you, just go.  Yuriko’s department is having trouble subduing this guy.”

“Freaking Yuriko…I’m on my way…” he said as he put on a dark brown fedora.

The sound of police sirens echoed off into the distance of the province.  The sound of clawing of bricks and windows came closer, bringing in several more police vehicles with their sirens on.  Long nails reached through the cracks of the bricks and launched itself forward.  A mutated man clawed his way along the walls of the building just barely avoiding the bullets of incoming police officers.

“How fast is this guy?” an officer exclaimed as he tried shooting at a maniacal man climbing along the walls of the block.

Another officer focused on driving and avoided colliding with pedestrians and other vehicles.

“He’s running out of block!  He’ll hit the main wall soon!” the driver shouted.

As the driver predicted, the man came to an immediate stop as soon as he saw the towering concrete wall that surrounded Cohld City.  He growled at the sight and turned toward the officers that pursued him.  Half a dozen CCPD officers had loaded guns aimed directly at the man.

The man was hunched down with his hands nearly touching the floor.  His face was mutated, covered in gorges and cuts.  His forehead was full of enormous bumps and his back covered in disorderly spiky hair.

“Put your hands in the air!” one of the officers ordered.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” the man’s tongue slivered from his mouth.

“If you do not comply we will shoot!” another officer exclaimed.

Instead, the man ran forward and lunged at two of the officers.  He grabbed their dark blue uniforms and pushed them to the floor, snarling and growling at them.  The other officers began opening fire.  One of the bullets hit some of the oversized acne on his forehead.  It exploded into an enormous amount of puss and yellow liquid.  The man let out a screech and jumped at the other officers.  He grabbed one of their faces and repeatedly bashed it against the police car.

The other three officers kept firing and unloaded several dozen bullets into the mutant.  He was unaffected by the weaponry and instead leaped toward the other officers and punched each of their faces.  The mutant grabbed one of the officers by his uniform’s collar and snarled at his face.

Suddenly, the mutated hand of the man exploded into bone and flesh.  The officer he was holding fell to the floor as the mutant grasped his hand in extreme pain.  Another bump on his head exploded, spewing puss all over the officer and police vehicles.

The officer looked around and spotted Detective Deadlock reloading his signature magnum handgun.  Deadlock had arrived in his own personal vehicle with a temporary siren on the roof.  His car was based on an ancient model from long ago.  Its matte black paint job shined in the rain and made it almost invisible at night.

“Detective?” the officer asked quietly.

“Yuriko sent you guys after this thing?  Such a waste of officers,” Deadlock said as he holstered his handgun.

“We were suppose to handle it.  Who sent you?” the officer inquired.

“Don’t let the suspect die, unless you want the explanation of how the hell he ended up like that to remain a mystery.  Cuff him and head back.  I’m going back to my office…” Detective Deadlock said as he yawned with a bored expression.

“What about the injured?  We can’t leave them here!”

“I called an ambulance already.  Arrest the man, officer.  Before he gets up again…”

Detective Deadlock drove away, leaving the dumbfounded officer to force the mutated man into the back of the police cruiser.

The detective made a quick stop at a local fast food place.  He ordered a small burger and left straight away.  The way Detective Deadlock thought was nothing shy of unorthodox.  It took him nearly half a decade to achieve such a calm and relaxed attitude to the point where even reporting back right away was too much effort according to him.  He never denied enjoying his job and spending time with his coworkers, but at the same time reflected a behavior opposite to it.

He bit into the burger before unlocking his car.  Something caught his attention past all the rain drops.  A voice.  He heard a subtle voice in the background of the pounding rain.  Figuring his department could rely on him coming back in one piece, he went off to investigate the voice.

Finishing up his burger, he came closer and closer to the distinct voice.  It became clear it was a woman’s, none that he recognized on the radio.  Only more reason to keep him intrigued.

He approached the central park of the city.  Following the pathway toward the center fountain, he spotted a woman singing to the rainy sky.  She stood on the rim of the fountain staring up the cloudy night.  Her attire was that of dark blue jeans and a red checker shirt.  She held both of her hands together against her chest, singing a tune that not even Deadlock heard before.  Her hair was braided up and toppled over in the form of some sort of mohawk with the darkest of color.

“Um, excuse me, miss?” Deadlock spoke up, his calm attitude slowly fading away, “Is it alright for me to ask what you’re doing out here singing in the rain?”

The woman ignored him and kept singing toward the stars.  Her voice slightly lightening up then simmering down to a quiet whistle, repeating the tune over and over.

Detective Deadlock saw no harm in this woman singing, seeing that there weren’t any local residents complaining at all and nothing was really being disrupted.  He sat on the rim of the fountain and dug into the fast food bag in search of any remaining fries.  A boom of thunder shook the entire park.  After it settled, the woman had stopped singing.  Deadlock heard footsteps, rushing ones from all entrances of the park.  He ducked down next to the fountain while still eating his fries.

Multiple suited men carrying heavy assault rifles and machine guns surrounded the woman.  They wore black suits with bright red ties and dark leather gloves.

“Missy!  This is your last warning!  Surrender all of your syndicate and we might spare your life!” one of the men shouted.

Instead, the woman raised her hand toward the man and lifted up just her middle finger at him.  Grunting at her, the man lifted his hand up and waved it down, signaling all the men around him to disable their guns’ safeties.

“These guys are serious?” Deadlock pulled out his holstered magnum.

The woman hopped down and headed around the fountain.  Detective Deadlock spotted her pulling a large wooden box.  She pried it open with her bare hands and revealed an enormous chain gun.  The detective’s eyes grew wide as he saw her lunge the weapon out and rev up each of its six barrels.

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With the sudden outbreak of Ebola in Africa, many U.S. Citizens fear the worst for what might happen here if this virus were to spread. Ebola is a severe, sometimes fatal disease. According to World Health Organization, Ebola is only spread through contact with an infected individuals’ body fluids. This includes blood, organs, and mucus. It is also noted that it is possible to get infected when said fluids are in bedding or clothes.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks in Nzara, Sudan and Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the World Health Organization, the outbreak in Yambuku occurred in a village near the Ebola River, hence its name. The virus was traced back to forest animals that could have spread the disease the same way it is transmitted through humans, contact with infected fluids.

Ebola has been contained before when it first arrived in 1976. However, it cost nearly 300 lives and startles many of its return. The Ebola Virus is currently being investigated by WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (Center of Disease Control). So far, the Ebola Virus has been confirmed contained in Nigeria according to USA Today.

There are many ways to prevent the Ebola Virus from spreading. The simplest way is to keep up with good hygiene and sanitation. Ebola is spread through infected liquid contact, staying clean and healthy is the first line of defense. Another line of defense would be knowing the basics of quarantine and to be aware of your surroundings according to USA Today. Remember, Ebola is only spread through bodily fluids, this includes blood and vomit.

The main symptoms of Ebola, according to Mayo Clinic, include: nausea and vomiting, red eyes, diarrhea, raised rash, chest pain and cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss, and bleeding from the eyes, ears, and nose. Usually all symptoms are present in a confirmed infected person. If this is the case, do not hide it and seek medical attention at the nearest Ebola treatment clinic or hospital. It is also recommended you do not make physical contact with unprotected individuals.

It is vital that any future outbreak is contained with ease. Equally important is that remaining calm in such situation will prevent violent outburst and spreading. Ebola is only spread through poor conditions, poor hygiene, and lack of updated medical supplies, all of which were present in the virus’s country of origin. Remember to keep sanitary, have a healthy hygiene, and make sure to learn more into preventing any spread of this virus. It is least likely for you to catch Ebola if you are calm and know what you’re up against.

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Horror films have arisen again.  The new movie As Above, So Below is the most recent horror movie out there.  It takes place in Paris, and has its style set as a found footage film.  Compared to other found footage films, it does not suffer, however, it does lack some of the major qualities such as not relying too much on jump scares and add in there own horrific effect that others such as Paranormal Activity and Chronicle have.  The grandparent of all found footage films, The Blair Witch Project has managed to rival the new film in terms of fright.


   As Above, So Below is based on an archaeologist set out on finishing up her father’s work.  The storyline is explained thoroughly enough to get the point across, although some details might be overlooked and could mess up the plot for anyone, really, one missed detail and you could be lost the entire movie.  This movie does pack a punch as a horror movie, and adds more to it being a found footage film.  The scares take their time to get to you and it all depends on whether or not you are willing to sit through the first forty-five minutes waiting for a jump scare.  This new fright movie justifies the horror of being enclosed in tight spaces and even scares audiences more that the fact that there is no easy way out.  That being said, there are no easy ways out to see this movie thoughtfully.


The Blair Witch Project is considered an underdog in the horror movie genre.  The budget for the movie was incredibly small, yet it fascinated audiences of its time.  The movie came out roughly a decade and a half ago and still manages to terrify audiences that come across it, especially with its incredibly convincing scene with actress Heather Donahue, making us think again, is this move real?  The movie takes place in Maryland where several college students investigate the disturbances of folklore.  During their time, they enter a forest in search of the ghost entity known as the Blair Witch.  Although this classic set the standard for most found footage films, this movie still took a while for any actual scares to take place.  Unlike As Above, So Below, the story invests in overall creepiness and the insanity that consumes the human mind.


In the most recent film, archaeologist Scarlett investigates one of her father’s cases which revolved around Paris, France.  His case involved discovering a treasure that can create unlimited riches and an everlasting life.  This treasure was located somewhere beneath the grounds of Paris in the catacombs.  Brilliant setup, except for the fact that the main character cannot wear anything other than an off-shoulder top and fail to tell the others she’s bringing into this trip that there’s a possibility of DEATH.  However, it’s all in the name of uncovering your dead father’s truth about his last case and archaeology at the risk of your friend’s lives!