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Imperium: The dream

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32 year old Orson Ryan had just sat up in his rather cushy bed and automaticaly turned his head towards a window directly to his left, expecting to see a bright San Francisco dawn. Instead, he was met with the dull light cast by sunlight reflecting off the waters on the surface. It was 2003 and the grand underwater city of Imperium was under construction, but was progressing rapidly. Orson's new employer, Simon Nelis, had chosen to build the city about 30 miles off Miami, Florida. The very center of Imperium had been built already and workers were expanding off that. Right now, the city took up about 10 square miles of ocean floor. Imperium was going to be something great, Orson just knew it.

He got out of bed and dressed before heading down the staircase of his vast undwerwater apartment. He turned into the kitchen and saw that his wife Arya was already eating breakfast. She smiled at him and said "You're late." As she pushed a plate of bacon and eggs in his direction. Orson ate and thought about his day. He had a meeting with Mr. Nelis at 1:00 and it was about 11:00 AM right now and Orson would have to get a move on, as the fledging Imperium Metro could be unreliable at times with all the construction. He finished his breakfast and got ready for the morning. Arya had a meeting with a group of architects at 2:30, but she didn't have to hurry. Orson kissed her and hurried down to the Metro system that was about 80% complete. He joined several utility workers and a few security personnel, all of whom greeted him with a hearty "Mr. Ryan!" Orson has become well known in the city and Mr. Nelis made it very clear that he was a big-wig around here.

The tube shapped Metro train truddled to a stop. The Metro system used a system of tight, glass tunnels which were supposed to cut down on friction. Orson took a seat and gazed out the window of the city sprawling across the ocean floor. Several "Surfacescrapers" stood, half completed, in the backround. Orson could slightly make out flashes of welding equipment and mini submarines ferrying materials around. The third stop was the recently completed Sentenial district, the city government district. Orson brushed past the bussling figures of workmen, politicians, bussiness men, and U.S government figures, including what looked like a few FBI agents. He took the elevator up to Mr. Nelis's office, which was at the top of the Government Tower, where all city actions took place. He was rung up into his office. Orson entered his lavish office, covered in paintings and Persian rugs.

He saw Nelis leaning over a blueprint for some sort of mall, making little annotations here and there. Orson walked up to him. Nelis looked up. "Mr. Ryan! Glad to see you. Sit please, we need to talk about some urgent matters." Orson took a seat. "What is it, sir?" he asked. Nelis looked straight into his eyes. "Mr. Ryan, what if you could have the most fantastic powers any man could possibly imagine, AND more? What price would you pay for something like this?" Orson thought for a moment, wondering what this little question had to do with Imperium.

"Well, sir, that's pretty mind boggling, but I'm sure quite a sum." he responded. Nelis smiled and reached into a desk drawer. "Wrong. What if I told you that amazing abilites could be available at any mans fingertips? Imposssible? I can proudly say, no."

Orson looked at him in confusion, wondering where he was going with this.

"Come look at this." Nelis said, reaching into a desk drawer and withdrawing a sealed glass test tube. He broke the seal and placed its contents out onto a metal tray he produced from underneath his desk.

Orson looked closely at it. "Is that... sea slug?" He asked in bewilderment. "Mr. Ryan, this isn't an ordinary sea slug. This slug was found almost 200 miles from the coast of Iceland, near the ruins of the city that inspired my dream... Rapture!. This slug naturally produces ADAM, a genetic chemical that can alter the DNA traits of any organism! Can you possibly imagine what it can possibly do for us all?"

Orson was awestruck at what Nelis was saying. "This little sea slug..." he said, motioning to the creature squirming around in the tray "Can change the way we exist?" he asked. "Mr. Ryan." Nelis began with a massive grin on his face. "That is just the beginning."

Orson still had his doubts. "But wait. Didn't Rapture... kinda... DIE because of this ADAM stuff?" he asked. "Well, Mr. Ryan, I can assure you we are not taking this lightly. As we speak, my scientists are modifying it into a more stable, refined form with the ability to be mass produced with just a little raw materials. We call it Eleckta!" Nelis could hardly contain his entusiasm, and Orson knew it.


Orson ate his dinner of steak and mushrooms looking out into the twilight of the sea. It was very dark at night and Nelis apparently doesn't like the concept of lights with an output of 20 watts or more. Orson would have to bring that up next council meeting. In the coming weeks, the Metro was fully operational and a few surrounding distrcits were completed, including Adelphi Plaza, a large mall-type area, Sapphire Heights, a low to upper middle class residential area, The Imperium Stock Exchange, and a football stadium, planned to host Imperium's own team, which was yet to be conceived. People were starting to move to Imperium and its "Official" opening took place on July 26th, 2003. Over 4,000 people had flooded the city in the first three weeks. Orson had soon found that his work was cut out for him. Spikes in arrests resulted in hurried laws passed restricting weapons and such in the city. Nelis wanted Eleckta to be introduced in the city within a year or so, he wanted to see first how the city could get off its feet.


Imperium was coming along quite nicely and certainly became one of the centers of media attention in the next few weeks. News crews around the world were eager to grab a piece of the news surrounding the ambitious project. Various celebrities also flocked there, hopeing to jump on the hype and promote themeselves among the new residents. Orson and his fellow security team- all 200 of them- were being overwhelmed in a city with over 4,700 residents in the first 3 months. The residential lots were being bought out by the hundreds, and very soon there would be almost no space left for any new residents. So, Nelis had to bar any new residents from arrving in Imperium for the remainder of the year. He just needed time to churn out some apartments. Lots of 'em. Thus began the mass construction of thousands of square feet worth of living space in a few short weeks. Imperium was growing faster than anyone, even Nelis, could have predicted. And to top it all off, Arya told Orson on August 2nd that she was pregnant. Wow, that was a kick in the head alright.


Orson walked into Nelis's office in the mid afternoon of June 9th. Nelis smiled. "Hello, Mr. Ryan. How's Arya doing?" Orson shook his hand as a sign of mediocrity. "Eh. She's been feeling a bit under the weather the whole week. I'm having her visit a doctor in Asclepius Pavilion. What do you need to ask me, sir?"

Nelis stood up and grabbed a vial of Eleckta. "You remember this, Mr. Ryan." Orson nodded. "Of course, sir." Nelis smirked. "My science teacher always told me evolution can't occur in individuals. Hmph, we're gonna prove her wrong 3 days from now. Mr. Ryan, I want YOU to demonstrate the great power of Eleckta and what it can do for us a species. In 3 days time, I will hold a small demonstration in the theater of the Stingray Casino. You will have to show to everyone in attendence the power of Eleckta. Don't screw it up. Please. Now, follow me down to the labs. We need to give you a few injections of Eleckta and show you how its done."

3 days later...

Nelis stood at a podium before a group of forty or so journalists, scientists, and photographers, who were all snapping away on their cameras merrily. "And now my friends, here is the future. This is Eleckta. Now, Mr. Orson Ryan, my chief of security will take it from here. Nelis walked off the stage and nodded at Orson. Orson walked out onto the stage, flatned the tie of his suit, and waved at the crowd, as they applauded, he scanned for Arya's shiny red hair and her gleaming green eyes, but couldn't find them. Orson frowned a bit. He walked up to a small plate elevated on a metal platform and snapped his fingers. Immediatly, the oil in the plate ignited into a small fire, as planned. A large gasp emminated from the crowd, some stood up to get a better look. He grinned and waved his right hand at another plate near him, which contained water. It formed into a bubble which Orson manipulated to collide into the fire he was holding up, resulting in a hissssssss of steam. The crowd was intrigued and were whispering to each other, taking notes and many pictures. Now, time to break out the big guns. Orson clenched both hands and crossed his arms over his chest and closed his eyes. He then turned invisible.

About 15 cries of "WHAT?" rang threw the crowd, who looked mind blown. Orson reappeared on the other side of the stage, smiling. Now, two security personnel ran out onto stage, in full combat dress and with the bullet proof vests now stamped with the Imperium seal: A blue shield with a simple silver "I" in the middle. They carried M4 carbines with live ammo. Nelis looked at the crowd. "I suggest you all cover your ears right now." The crowds needed no further coaxing. They clasped their ears and waited. The two men readied their carbines and Orson held up his right arm in front of his face. Immediatly, a blue, semi circle of energy sprug around his arm and covered his whole body. The men fired at Orson. The bullets hit the energy shiled around his arm, flatening harmlessly upon impact and leaving a rippling effect like rocks landing in a still pond on the shield. Orson had to brace himself, as the bullets from the guns hit the shield with some force. They fired off all 60 rounds of ammo and orson let the shield dissipate. He put up his hand and clenched a fist. The M4s in the guards hands immediatly flew out of their hands and onto the floor.

After all this was done, Orson bowed and walked out of sight and watched as Nelis got swarmed by reporters and scientists, all shouting questions about Eleckta. The number one question on everyone's lips was "When will Eleckta be released on the market?" To this, Nelis smiled and said "Tomorrow!" The crowd claped and cheered. Orson grinned and walked out of the theater to go home.

Later that night, Orson layed in bed, looking up at the rays of moonlight streaming down from a skylight in the ceiling. As he started to drift off to sleep, Arya joined him. "How was todays demonstration?" she asked quietly. Orson looked at her. "It was good I guess. Nelis said he was going to release the first samples of Eleckta onto the market tomorrow." Arya sighed. "I hope this stuff won't have any bad effects on the city." Orson smiled at her. "Oh, I'm sure it won't. The lab geeks tested it enough. I even got the stuff running through my veins already." Arya seemed satisfied with this answer. She moved a little closer to him and lightly put and arm over his body before falling asleep. Orson didn't sleep for a while. He stared up at the skylight and wondered about the changes Eleckta would bring. He was sure it would be for the better. He had full confidence in Nelis. Change was coming soon and Imperium would soon be the worlds greatest city.


But, he was wrong.

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