This used to be my city, back before he arrived, before the tyrant decided to turn it into some sick, twisted game for his own amusement. First I was a cop, doing my duty to defend her citizens just like a thousand others. Then I had the accident, and that changed everything. At first, it almost killed me. The uselessness of what I had become. I could barely even get out of bed on my own anymore. I was a wreck. A man with no hope and no desire to live anymore. I had fallen so far in such a short time, I never thought there would be a way to crawl back out. I was wrong though. There was a way, and it came in the form of a scientist and his experimental treatments. They said it would give me back the use of my legs, reverse the paralysis and let me have my life back. They were wrong too. It did so much more than that. Turned me into something far beyond what I had been, what anyone else ever could be. I couldn't go back to the force though, there was too big a risk of exposure. Instead, I enlisted the scientist, a man by the name of Dr Felix Rouse, and set my mind to protecting the city in a different way. I became a vigilante, the one thing my old cop self would have hated more than any other. Some punk with skills who thought he could do a better job protecting my city than I could, and now I was that punk. Except I was right. Crime hit an all-time low only a few months in, and it wasn't long before all I had to do was show up every now and then, remind them I was still there. That there was something out there more powerful and scary than the bad guys. Something that would protect the innocent and serve justice to those that the corrupt system spat back onto the street. I was their protector. The guardian angel that watched over them and fought back against the monsters in the dark. Then he arrived. Riding in through his portal with all the authority of a man who fancied himself a god. I held back at first, watching and waiting to see what he wanted, but when he started turning police and politicians and people to his side, then slaughtering the ones who dared to stand against him, I couldn't watch any longer. I challenged him. Called him out in front of every one of his new soldiers. He accepted, and we fought. I fought harder than I ever had in my life before, moved faster and hit harder, except that even with my superhuman abilities, there was nothing to hit. He toyed with me, avoiding everything I threw at him with no greater effort than it would take to fight a child. He made a point of humiliating me that day, taking the myth that everyone had either looked up to or been terrified of and turning it into nothing more threatening than a child. He could have won at any point, ended it with a single blow. Eventually he did, and I'm sure they danced over my corpse. But the worst part of it all? He brought me back. Like I was of so little concern to him that I could do nothing to interrupt his plans. No more threat than a single ant beneath the boot of a warrior. So now I leave him to his tower and do what I can on the streets of his new city. He doesn't care if I take down a few of his henchmen, send them to the hospital for a few weeks because the jails are always empty now. As long as I don't try and stop his beloved duels, he seems content to sit in his tower and let me do what I do best. Not that it ever makes any difference. But I have to try. I don't have it in me to stop being a protector and leave this city to its fate. My city. Not his. Not as long as I'm alive. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sirens blared as the few good cops left worked valiantly, yet fruitlessly, to stem the tidal wave of crime that had erupted in the wake of the tyrant's arrival and takeover. No one knew what he wanted or why he'd chosen this city, but ever since his offer had been broadcast the city was constantly plunged deeper and deeper into the abyss of lawlessness. The police that had joined the tyrant seemed only interested in protecting the Hub and making sure the duels were uninterrupted, while the politicians took advantage of the chaos to turn against the people they had been elected to serve. Some did it out of self-preservation, allying themselves with the most powerful entity around, while others took genuine pleasure in their new-found lack of checks and balances. The only thing holding the city together was fear. At first, it had been near-total anarchy, but once the metas began to arrive, the natives quickly learned that they were not in charge anymore. The only reason they were still willing to even leave their homes was that they would starve if they didn't. Anyone who didn't report for work wouldn't receive any rations, and while the new police force tried to at least protect the citizens from the metas, they did little to curb the crime of the city itself, and more often than not they were insufficient for the former task as well. It was a bad situation, and it was only going to get worse.