At the dawn of our world's imminent demise humanity did as it had always done, it looked to the heavens. No God, no deity, no grand architect came down to save us from the calamity. Instead we chose to become the architects of our own survival. We gathered the great minds of our generation, and they put their heads together to bring forth our final hope. Day and night men and women from all over the world joined together for one purpose. All spare resources were gathered and used for parts. The pinnacle of man's technological advancement took the form of the largest structure to ever be built. A city to carry us across the stars. Large enough to house one billion of our planets most eligible people. The city was constructed as a large cylinder, that once launched would rotate as it hurled through space, the centrifugal force acting like our world's gravity. It's sole purpose to carry us on a one hundred year journey across the universe, to reach another planet, one to call home. The promised land, Valhalla. Inside the cylinder was a smaller floating city, one that would house the leaders of this expedition, a place for the best of our kind to watch over us, Asgard. And so Asgard and it's inhabitants were given control over our fate, and we took to the stars. The space-faring mega-city that would be our home for the next century also had a name. We called it Midgard. God Inside The Machine The skies above Huvec were brightly illuminated, the city's horizon arcing in the distance and eventually rising so high that it had reached the sky and then came back down. It was an interesting sensation, knowing that when you looked to the sky, the people who lived there were the ones looking up at you. And in the centre, floating proudly in the centre of it all, the illuminated sector known as Asgard. The lights were currently a soft blue, representing the moonlight of a world no living person on Midgard had ever witnessed. I had been 108 years since they had left their home planet, the ones who had began this voyage were long gone, with only their children to take on the task of finding Valhalla. The mission had taken 8 years longer than anticipated, but that could only mean that they were close to finding their new home. It may be tomorrow, or maybe in a year or two, but there was no doubt that this generation would be the one to discover the promised land. The streets in Huvec were quiet at night. The industrial sector housed factories, warehouses, office buildings and the like. There were no residencies here, and so at night it was almost deserted. However footsteps echoed through the night, tapping rapidly along the road, along with sharp and frantic breathing. The man was running, running for his life. The man was dressed in a white three-piece suit with a black shirt and a white tie, His dark brown hair was dishevelled and and soaked with sweat. He turned a corner and disappeared down a dark alleyway, He came to a fence and stopped. He took the silver briefcase he was carrying and hurled it over, before scaling the fence and dropping to the other side. He grabbed the briefcase and carried on out of the other side of the alley. He crossed the street and down the side of an empy warehouse building. He found an unlocked door and let himself inside. The warehouse was large and full of crate after crate of Guzzlr energy drink. He hurriedly walked through the maze of crates, trying to find somewhere hidden. Eventually he found a tucked away little corner, and he knelt down. He took the briefcase and looked it over. Inscribed across the front of it was a serial code and two words. 228-AP Apex Valkyrie He slid the briefcase in between two crates of the vile, mass produced energy drinks. He vowed that this was just a temporary measure. Carrying this was too dangerous right now. He would come back to collect it in the early morning, before any of the workers arrived at the factory. He knew it was careless, but he had precious few options right now. With a final glance at the case's resting place he ran back the way he came and exited the warehouse. He sprinted down the street a few blocks, and as he got further away he slowed to a walk. As he caught his breath he looked over his shoulder to see if he had been followed. Nothing was behind him. For a fleeting moment he allowed himself to think that he had gotten away with it. He had managed to get away safely. However as he turned back around to face front, his heart sank. Standing a few yards down the path in front of him was another man, dressed in a slate military uniform with three gold stars on either shoulder. The man was a little younger than him and had shoulder length silver hair and a rather effeminate face. "Good evening, Hodur." The young officer said to him, a cruel smirk spread across his face. "Out for a stroll?" "Hmph!" Hodur replied, facing his foe with a stern look. "Forgive me, Baldur, I have no time for pleasantries." "Well that's no fun." Baldur replied. "In that case...I suppose you best return what you have taken. If you cooperate ODIN might let you live. It won't be a very glamorous life, but you will live." "What does it matter when we're all on our way to the gallows anyway?" Hodur asked. "I see LOKI have been filling your head with nonsense." Baldur replied, shaking his head. "They are tricksters, Hodur. You are a fool to believe their propaganda. They are terrorists...their words bring only chaos." "I'll take chaos over being herded into the slaughterhouse like cattle!" Hodur yelled, suddenly striding forwards. As he moved his suit shimmered in the evening light, rippling before changing altogether. The suit transformed into a brilliant white armour, with a visored helmet, and a large broadsword materialised in his hand. "Come then! I'll show you a quick death!" "Haha!" Baldur laughed, "How old is that one? I didn't think they were still in production!" "An Aesir is only as good as the one who wears it!" Hodur replied as he stormed forward again, holding his sword high. "Perhaps...but I am a man of awe, Hodur. Witness my power..." Baldur said, his grin fading. "...Ragnarok!" Suddenly the path in front of Hodur was engulfed in a bright, burning orange glow, and he felt his existence fall away like a wet cake. His armour shattered like glass and he fell to his knees. In his last moments he thought of the briefcase. Whoever found Apex Valkyrie, that person had the fate of the world on their shoulders. --- --- "It is said that the Kamishizen Bakufu secretly ruled over Japan from as early as the Feudal Era, and there existence was not common knowledge until the early 21st Century when there organisation was uncovered after a massive-" "Boooring!" the 19 year old girl with long blue hair switched the television off as she lay across her old sofa in just a pair of grey pants and a white vest. A half eaten bowl of cereal sat at her side, which she began to scarf down again without the distracting sound of the TV to drown out her horrible slurping. As she finished the bowl she burped loudly and placed the bowl on the floor beside her couch. "Why is it always ancient history shows on at this time in the morning? she asked herself as she got up. She went into her bedroom and threw off her clothes, going into the ajoining bathroom and getting into the shower. Afterwards she dried herself off and put on a muddy green set of overalls that were too big for her. She tied her hair into a ponytail and examined herself in the mirror. Her most striking feature was her piercing, yellow eyes. She smirked at herself and then pulled on a baseball gap with her employers logo emblazoned on the front: Guzzlr. Outside her apartment the streets were filthy and had fallen into disrepair. It was the same all over the Ostheim district. To the other districts it was considered a slum, but to her it was home. Her name was Mephis Ragnor, an orphan who had spent her entire life in this district. Growing up she hadn't had many opportunities, but she at least had a job. She had been working in the Guzzlr factory in Huvec for a few months now. She made her way to the monorail station in Ostheim, a run down old station that was derelict and almost looked abandoned if it hadn't been for the working vending machines. She swiped her employee I.D down the side of one of the vending machines and it dropped a free can of Guzzlr energy drink, one of the few perks of her job. She cracked open the can and guzzled down its contents, as was expected of a drink with such a name. When she finished it she crushed the can in her hand and tossed it on the ground, just as a monorail train slowed and stopped in front of her. The doors hissed open, but nobody got off. Nobody ever came to Ostheim if they could help it. She got on the train and sat on a free seat next to a young men dressed in a black jacket with a fur-lined hood, and a pair of flashy, orange shades on his head. They didn't speak, but she did notice the bracelet on his wrist, a thin band along it was inscribed with the following: "All is lost when the Trickster Gods are looked upon to show us the truth" Weirdoooo, Mephis thought to herself as the train began moving again. It had been a pretty sucky, boring morning. Maybe something interesting would happen later. Yeah, sure. Nothing interesting ever happened to her.