Six shadows move through the empty streets of the city. Darkness cloaks them as their feet bring them towards their mission. It was still more night than morning in this city of cold stone.
The pounding of feet slows as the group nears the school’s gates. The gleaming red letters of the sign illuminate the area with its message: ‘Acheron Academy’. The group move as one to stand in the unholy glow of the sign, looking ethereal dressed in all black and masked by different animal’s faces. The tallest of the boys wearing a Jaguar mask turns to address his companions.
“Gator and I will continue on as planned. You guys watch the perimeter.”
The pair moved silently in the darkness of the empty school. Hurrying through the inky black corridors, they soon find themselves at the door. The door which would change everything and make them legends.
A pair of shaking hands on a lockpick are pushed aside impatiently by a pair of steadier ones. As the hands worked dexterously a voice spoke into both their ears as if another was standing next to them.
“Perimeters secure, how’s it going up there Jove and Andy?”
The boy working to open the door sighed and spoke into the channel that Vergil had created especially for this mission, “I told you to use our code-names, Sparrow.”
Silence reigned through a few heartbeats until Sparrow sheepishly replied, “Sorry Jaguar.”
Jove shook his head as he continued working on getting the door open. Amateurs. If anyone was listening in he would be in serious trouble, he thought as he ran a hand through dirty blond shoulder length hair. However, all those dusty consequences were swept away by the broom of excitement that hit him as he felt the click of the lock opening.
Andy looked at him with eyes wide from a primordial mix of excitement and fear. Jove gave him a reassuring nod and pushed open the door. An impish grin lit up his face as he gazed down upon the ancient looking school computer.
“Friends, this is no small thing we have done here.”
Jove stands facing five other boys, a manic gleam in his eye and the neon red of the sign of his school ‘Acheron Academy’ shining behind his back.
“Today, we give hope to the bullied. Strength to the weak. Like Robin Hood of Nottingham stole from the rich to give to the poor, we gift laughter to those who are bankrupt of it. Let the name of the Sleazy Boys ring forth from this, our greatest ass-chievement that now shines upon our city.”
With a press of a button, Jove signaled to Virgil to begin the program. When it had finished, the sign read ‘Asseron Assademy’, with a smaller line underneath reading ‘Keep it Sleazy’.
Jove smiled as he watched his friends cheer and dance in the red light. Andy had been a new recruit but he had done well. Kronos had taken so much from each of them so it was nice to be able to give them this, however insignificant or childish it may seem to the sheep.
Feeling the inspiration that comes from accomplishment, confidence flooded Jove’s body so that his voice seemed louder, “We call ourselves Sleazy because we do not prescribe to their morals. They look down on us because we use words that they do not like.” Jove is spitting each individual word out with disgust towards Kronos as the boys in front of him eat it up, “We have different ideas so they call us dirty, vulgar, filthy little-”
“Dead men?” Rasped a voice from behind him.
The faces of his previously cheerful friends looked behind him in horror as a hand gripped his shoulder painfully. He could feel his throat drop to his stomach as he slowly turned to look at the ugly face of Matt, the school guard. His face was horribly disproportioned with a smashed in nose with a set of bushy eyebrows set over black beady eyes that flicked about quickly in that flabby face.
Matt slowly lit up a cigarette with a shit-eating grin on his face. As he took a long drag he rasped, “Well what’s what then boys? Hope I didn’t miss the party.” Tobacco smoke filled all the boys nostrils as he purposefully blew it in there direction and a few started coughing; they had all never been exposed to tobacco before.
Jove was filled with more anger than fear as he said, “Do you know how bad those are for our environment?” Then, with a reckless abandon he snatched the white stick out of Matt’s mouth and stomped on it.
The smile was replaced by a frown as the man leaned in until he was ugly nose to nose with Jove. He smelt like stale smoke and liquor as he raised a large bushy eyebrow. The effect would have been comic if Jove hadn’t been so terrified. “That was my last ciggie boy” He growled dangerously. “Are you going to pay the five pounds of silver that a new pack’s gonna cost me?”
“I would rather shove that silver-”
A swift punch to the stomach left Jove gasping for air
Matt gave him a truly evil grin that promised pain.
So Jove laughed in his face.
Face contorting into a hideous rage, the ugly school guard pressed his fingers in and out of the shape of a fist 3 times. A buzzing filled the air as his fist glowed in an unholy halo of sparks.
Fear replaced the anger in Jove as he watched the fist wearily. A punch by a set of stun knuckles like that would at the very least knock him out but worst case could cause his heart to explode. He had seen the videos of the old-Earth riots.
Eyeing down Matt and speaking in what he hoped was a calm voice despite his panic, Jove said wearily, “Come on, Matt ol’ buddy… We don’t need to go through all that. Just take me in like a good boy and let my friends go.”
“Noble little Jove. Gonna save your friends and insult me in the same breath? Not this time boy-o.” Letting the o-swing in the air, he swung his fist into Jove’s stomach and Jove wanted nothing more than to scream as the world erupted into a volcano of pain but couldn’t as the world turned to black.