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Color Gangs Infinity Side-Story: Code-BACKLOG

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Author's Notes


This started out as a small project to flesh out my backstory for Color Gangs Infinity, but I figured it would be worth putting out there for the world to see, since it won't reveal very much.  Not much at all.  Well, some things but mostly things that won't be expanded upon until much later.  Just a preview of what to expect from CGI for the role-players and those reading along from the background.  This is the story of Robert Ceil, otherwise known as "Code," and his partner, the AI "BEY."




"ERASERs.  That's what they came to be called.  They were a cut above the rest of us in the City Security Sector--like Marines walking amongst Mall Cops.  Sure, we had a badge and a gun, but ERASERs had more authority than just that.  They operated on a higher system of judgment than us, able to act as Judge, Jury and Executioner in extreme cases...  sure, a little dodgy morally, but that never bothered me.  ERASERs were the only thing capable of upholding justice in a world where it was fast dying.
ERASERs are justice.  That is all I remember thinking back then."
--Robert Ceil, July 4th, 2XX4


Heat flashed across his face.  He gritted his teeth, beyond the protective helmet that hissed with air to try and compensate for the sudden rise in temperature.  Sweat still dripped down his forehead, soaking into the foam band around his face.  Through his Heads-Up-Display, all he could see was a tapestry of orange, yellow and red.
The building was on fire.
What had caused it?  Could have been anything.  A cigarette.  Faulty wiring.  Molotov ######tails were popular nowadays.  Did not matter to Robert Ceil.  Whatever the reason, it was below his paygrade to look into what caused the fire--all that mattered to him were the civilians trapped within the blaze.
"Get back!"  he shouted, planting both feet behind firmly on the ground before the door, smoke billowing out from its edges.  He took in a deep breath, raised an armored boot and struck hard in the center of the door--it clattered to the ground, the two children on the otherside shuddering at the clamour, as an imposing man dressed in head-to-toe black combat armor stepped into their burning bedroom, the word "CSESEC" painted across his chest in white.
But there was something else at play here.
The children were terrified.  And not by Ceil.
By the other towering figure in the room, smoke and brimstone pouring out from its body as it let out a wretched scream and agonized laugh--a burning man, though the figure did not wilt and did not die in the flames that clad to its body like armor.  "Where in the hell is my back-up?!"  Ceil demanded through his helmet, as the burning man turned a fiery hand towards the CSESEC soldier, pouring flames out from its palms.
Ceil put his arms up to defend, though it did little good--the flames hit the first layer of armor and the insides struggled to compensate for the change of temperature with a hiss of cool air, but it wouldn't be long before the armor gave way--the flames were strong, and showed no signs of relenting.
But the armor, and Ceil, in danger of being cooked alive within it, was the only thing standing between the burning man and the children.  He had to perservere and hope that HQ had some sort of plan.  Some sort of weapon to unleash on this flaming bastard.
And that was when he saw it--out of the corner of his eye--the gleam of a scope, glistening in the firelight.  A sniper, lining up a shot on the flaming madman as Ceil struggled to endure.  "Sky, this is Raptor.  I have your bogie in my sights."  a voice rang over the speakers of the helmet Ceil wore.  "Suggested action?"
Ceil had command.  If only for a few minutes, in this tiny bedroom in the blazing apartment complex, Ceil was in control of this situation.  His gray eyes poured over his surroundings, finally settling on a fire-extinguisher tucked in the corner, beyond a glass-barrier in the wall.  A standard convenience for most Apartments in The City.  Safety first, as they said--and this night, that very ideal would be Ceil and the children's saving grace.
"Painting you a waypoint on your HUD."  Ceil spoke, moving slow and deliberately, pressing a button on his left knuckle, a blue triangle appearing on his Heads-Up-Display, and on "Raptor's."  "When I give the word, unload a clip into the target at that point.  Leave the rest to me."
"Roger."  Raptor's voice rang in Ceil's ears.
Ceil took in a deep breath, and held it for a few seconds.  "Mark!"  he called, as bullets lanced through the air and tore into the madman's open palm--the flames stopped, as he gripped at his bleeding, burning appendage, screaming in more agony.  Raptor layed down suppressive fire, as Ceil moved as quickly as he could in the melting armored suit he wore, smashing a fist through the glass and snatching up the extinguisher, and turning on his heel to face his foe, pulling the trigger of his make-shift weapon as foam and fog began to pour out of the extinguisher's hose, clouding the burning man and the room.
The man's agonized screams continued, as the flames on his body were forced into submission, and slowly but surely, whatever force that was keeping the man alive began to wither away, finally draining completely, leaving the burning monster a crumbled shell of what it had been just seconds prior.
Ceil breathed a sigh of relief.  "Confirmed, bogie is down."  Raptor spoke through the speakers.  "Good work in there, Sky."
"Not a problem, Raptor.  Sweep the building with infrared and make sure I've got everyone out of this inferno."  he spoke, dousing himself with the cooling extinguisher, smothering the heat that had clung to his armor due to the burning man's attack.  Inside, the suit's temperature system was struggling to keep the temperature below 78 degrees in the suit.  He moved to the window Raptor had used to attack the burning man, and smashed out what was left of the glass, and moved back to the frightened children, kneeling before them.  "Come on, kids.  Let's get you to your families."
They were reluctant--the burning man had traumatized them, and this stranger in black armor looked no less threatening.  He reached up to undue the clasps of his helmet, to find that they had been welded into place.  He grumbled, placing armored finger tips between the hinges of his helmet and applied as much force as the suit could muster, prying the helmet in-two, dropping it on the floor at his and the children's feet.
He was a young man just shy of thirty, with chocolate brown hair, and stormy, gray eyes.  His face bore a few scars, across the bridge of his nose and upon his chin, and his lower face was covered in stubble, but his features were gentle, and seemed to relax the children a bit.  They moved a bit closer, as he lifted them up into his arms, smiling, as he moved to the window.  "Hold on tight, and close your eyes."  he warned, waiting for the two to do so before taking the next step.
Well, leap was a more appropriate word.
He plunged from the seventh story of the apartment building, the legs of his armor measuring the distance and preparing the right amount of shock-absorption for the fall, to allow Ceil to survive it and the children to escape it uninjured.  He hit the concrete, sending up a ripple of smoke and rubble, forming a miniature crater in the street.
He placed the frightened children on the ground, as their parents swooped in, snatching them up, tears streaming down their faces, as Ceil turned towards the burning building.  Raptor would find no one else--Ceil had checked the building entirely, and all Raptor's check was, was a formality--something to put in the report to show the brass that everything was accounted for.
But that was when surprise came to the party.
"Sky, I've got movement--!"  Raptor started, startled for whatever reason.  "Something hot and fast moving your way!"  he shouted, shots ringing out across the empty streets.  The onlookers screamed as something began to materialize before Ceil who stood his ground, no HUD to guide him or protect him from the flames beginning to billow out of the form that was arriving before him--another burning man, the flames even more intense than the first, screaming in such agony that it pierced Ceil to his core, seeming to nail him into place, as the creature moved on him, arms outstretched.
Perhaps the helmet had blocked out most of the noise from the first.
Regardless, Ceil stood there, helpless, as the burning man fast approached.  He held a breath for longer than a few standard blinks, as the scene's sounds all blurred together into one, fading out into a great silence that roared louder than anything he had heard before.  He imagined if there were a feeling one got from staring Death himself in the face, it would be something like the one forming in the pit of his stomach, ancoring him to the spot where he stood, gray eyes full of the fire that was moving to consume him.
And then it came--not unlike Raptor's shining scope in his earlier encounter, but thousands of times less subtle--a blade, blue in color, and gridded like it were some sort of 3Dimensional render, jutted up from the burning man's midsection, as it let out one last horrid shriek, grasping at the thin, blue blade, as its wielder gave it a sharp and crisp turn.
The Burning Man was no more--embers scattered in its wake, and the echoing howl that had nailed Ceil to the ground echoed in the distance, before finally vanishing completely.
The armor that the slayer wore was something that Ceil had never laid eyes on before--it was blue rather than black, like the standard CSESEC Military Police gear.  Its helmet was, for lack of a better word, "pointier," the visor coming to a sharp point just below where the wearer's nose would have been.  The gridded slots in the helmet's sides reminded Ceil of the knights of the distant past that he had been told stories of as a child, and the sapphire energy sword that flickered and vanished in the knight's grip seemed to support this.
CSESEC used modernized weapons only, if they were allowed to carry weapons at all.  This was something new.  Something different.
Something glorious.

SUBJECT:  Tokyo-Town Emergency Response
TAGS:  Robert Ceil; ERASER
At 2000 hours, a fire broke out in lower Tokyo-Town that all efforts to quell seemed ineffective to say the least.  Logic scenarios seem to suggest that something within the blaze was keeping it from dying through some sort of supernatural ability similar to pyro-kinesis.  Threats have been since neautralized and fires have been put out.  Worth noting is that there were two bogies identified in this fire, presumably working together in order to maintain their attack.  While CSESEC is not calling this an act of terrorism just yet, I reserve my doubts as to how long that will last.  More and more of these unstable Fragments are ending up in the hands of civilians, and the results should be made clear.  It is believed that this, like the other incidents reported this month, is somehow connected to the Fragments and the extraordinary abilities that they imbue in ordinary citizens of The City.
Worth noting in this report are the actions of a certain CSESEC Operative by the name of Robert Ceil.  His heroic performance today saved not one but all lives that were endangered by the blaze, and nearly costed him his own in the process, if not for the timely intervention of one of E-Project's new toys.  I hope this is enough to push us through into more than just the testing phase of our little pet project...  but only time will tell.
As for Ceil, I believe we have just found a new recruit for the E-Project.
Time will tell whether he is up to the challenge or not.



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