Gates To Hell
Many cities across the country were reporting dense fog situations, but the communication ended there. Many of us assumed it was just a weather issue, but nobody knew that a virus was spreading. Though technically I am not sure if it was even a virus. Word began to spread through social media from people within the cities. Warnings were issued, and videos were published and taken down within hours. That didn’t stop the widespread concern, and the media for some reason was not interested in explaining.
That is why it was of no surprise when the sirens screamed across my city. The blaring horns echoed through the cracks in every wall, the panic had people racing in every direction, and computer made voices told us to remain calm. “All civilians must report to the evacuation site of their district,” the monotone voice explained to us. You district wasn’t where you lived, the district was where you are at in the moment. Those in the suburbs were going one place, while those of us in the main city were forced to go to another. A parameter of agents ensured we followed directions and anyone attempting to run was tackled to the ground and put to sleep.
“Why are they quarantining us?” “Is it the fog?!” people were yelling questions to the agents, worried about what will come next…. And they had every right to.
The situation wasn’t scary men in military uniforms coming down and pushing us. It was more along the lines of “just go, and we will sort it out later.” There was no urgency on their behalf. So most of us followed, we went to our evacuation site. Ours was at the edge of the city. They had put up these massive walls with two main gates at the front. They were prepping it as people were walking, but they somehow pushed the walls up fast.
I looked out over the waves of people, many with worried faces, other simply lost in the air they breathe, but I noticed one of the agents walking in the opposite direction. He seemed to be in a hurry, not looking back, yet focused on not being caught. These agents wore full uniforms complete with a helmet and mask so they all appeared emotionless, but this agent had my interest due to his body language. I squeezed my way through the crowd, excusing myself for every person I pushed and every foot I stepped on before I reached him.
“Sir!” I yelled at him, he kept his head down and kept walking at a fast pace so I played catch up. Finally I was able to reach out and grab his shoulder, this seemed to have startled him more than anything as he quickly turned and nearly pointed his weapon at me. “What are you doing?! Get back in line!” He mumbled under his helmet, but he was hesitant to say it.
“No something is going on, why are you leaving?” I addressed him, he looked around before answering me. “If you are quiet and can shadow me, we can both survive. Otherwise get in line,” he grabbed my hands and pulled them behind me as if he were to arrest me.
“What is going on?” I slightly struggled with his grasp, he let go to readjust assuring that I wasn’t actually being held captive. “Those agents are not real. They are not human.” He said this and it took a few moments to comprehend the statement before I replied, “not human?”
Just as he was about to respond to me there was a loud alarm that went off as the gates to the evacuation site began to open. Agents followed the gates with guns drawn in the hands, not allowing anyone in the front to pass by. The crowd pushed up against the front lines wavering to get in, but the line was holding up.
“We must go, come on!” The agent yelled at me as he darted in the other direction, but I hesitated. I watched where he ran off too, but I looked back and that’s when I saw it. The agents threw out canisters of smoke, the fog that many videos showcased was spraying out of the canisters. Then the agents open fired in the crowd, and when the crowd began to run the other way the other agents opened their mags. Some civilians were captured, screaming in horror as they were being dragged into what was now a camp.
It wasn’t too late for me, I ran the other direction, to where I thought the agent ran and caught up to him as he was climbing into a van. “What was that? What just happened?” I wanted answers before I climb into a van with the enemy.
“They were not killing them, they were poisoning them. If you saw people being captured, they were immune and will be test subjects. Those agents were not human, at least not entirely.” But how did he know, I had more questions that needed immediate answers. “I’m a spy for the US Military, get in with me and I’ll ensure your safety, but I’m not going to wait around,” he explained.
It turns out the government knew of the gates and they were trying to counter act them. The government refers to them as the “gates to hell,” but since the enemies had control of communications the threat was only where they wanted it to be.
We had woken up to a dense fog across the city. Buildings and cars barely visible through the smoke, but unlike your typical clouds this was more like floating smoke. It would bounce off walls and you can see people inhale it as if the smoke were a parasite racing to get into your lungs. Drug stores sold out of masks within minutes as the frenzy began to turn into panic, people were scared.
Cashiers ran for cover after locking their doors, but nothing could stop random objects from shattering many windows before store gates could close. Ordinary humans were becoming monsters seeking gallons of water and masks, or anything they could turn into a filtration system. The real panic didn’t set in until the first people started to collapse on the ground. We couldn’t tell if they were dead before ambulances swept in and started cleaning the bodies from the streets.
The screams are scars in my mind. I couldn’t tell if the screams were of horror or if they were due to pain and agony, but I couldn’t help the curious thoughts of when my time would come. I have been breathing the air for hours now, but when a person collapsed near me I became selfish. Instead of helping them to their feet, I reached down and slid the mask off their face only to slip it on my own. Within minutes I was pushed aside as rescue workers rushed over to pick up the person.
As they lifted her she dropped her purse and the water in her hands. I searched the purse looking for a name to say thank you to, and found her ID. Stacy Welling. My current hero … that is if it wasn’t too late for me. I looked up to see where they were taking her. She laid there, belly down on a stretcher, not very comfortably either. The workers were in a panic, let alone a hurry, and didn’t have time to properly lay her down on her back, but then I saw it. Her eyes opened, at first they looked normal, and she looked alive.
I chased them, “wait!” I screamed racing to give her mask back. I can’t be the reason she dies, not today. Then it happened her eyes turned a deep red, her neck twisted in an odd way, and she tried to press herself up. This frightened the rescue workers carrying her so they dropped her to the street. Her head bashed into the ground with enough force to make my own feel the pain. One of the paramedics reach down and grabbed a gun.
The blasts of the bullets as they travelled to their destination embedded in the asphalt beneath Stacy’s blood soaked body is something I won’t forget. The paramedics kicked her a few times, almost as if they were checking if she were a dead animal before they picked her back up and carried her off. Only one paramedic would turn to look at me. Was he waiting for me to be next?
Shadow Uprising is a science fiction comic book series written by Tribe Comics’ Dustin Spino. Shadow, the main hero in the series, will take on many enemies across the universe while battling emotional decisions along the way. Devastating alien life forms, big weapons, and lots of fun fill the pages of every Shadow: Uprising title.
Set in a universe terrified by an ever growing onslaught of aliens that many units refer to as “Exusian” troops. These aliens are beasts of all sizes, some walk like humans, others are critters that will tear through people for food. Exusian troops have taken over many planets and destroyed them, the most recent short coming being a planet named “Astron.”
The planet is where Syndicate is from, he is a futuristic soldier that put together a syndication group that set out to protect the planet, and create a final stand. They failed. The planet was devastated and chaos engulfed around them. Just as Syndicate was about to accept defeat Shadow and his team arrived, giving him a second hope.
Syndicate decided to team up with Shadow and his team to head to Earth, to protect the beautiful planet from the devastation that was Astron, but they are too late. Greed overcame several government powers, an event titled “The Awakening” had already taken place on Mars, alerting Exusian troops across the universe. Little did Shadow know that he was actually part of the awakening, and an experiment that came from the tests. He himself was a beacon.
The two teams seek to alert the world, but who would believe such an event is about to take place? Not many. To make matters worse, government experimentation had found a way to create duplicate Shadow projects and they set out to make Shadow look like a bad guy. The dark secret can’t leak out in the wake of new found superheroes. Shadow experiment begin killing innocent people, turning people against Shadow and his team, creating an Uprising between two separate sides. What will happen in a world destined to be destroyed both internally and externally?
Shadow: Uprising is a comic book and novel series by Tribe Studio Comics written by Dustin Spino. Original created art drawn by Scott Shehi. Artist Victor Rodriguez. Colors by Joe Flores. Shadow’s first appearance is in Tribal Stories #6.
Copyright © 2016 by Tribe Studio Comics.
Two heroes stricken by the honor of becoming heroes to the world, and yet we have a person that has embraced every ounce of the change. Sheffler wasn’t much growing up. He was pushed aside, the quick joke, never taken seriously, but he had two best friends in Shadow and Cypress. He met them on a bus to camp one summer and never broke the bond. Sheffler often times stepped in to help Shadow when he caused trouble, using his size to overcome anyone trying to stand their ground.
This is why when his two best pals joined the military, he showed an interest in doing it as well, but he never made it. Turns out quick jokes and being a body guard wasn’t what they needed at the time, so he was sent home, but he never let the bond break between friends. He constantly kept in contact and when The Awakening happened he became worried. He tracked his friends down and broke into a facility to get them free.
Little did he know that he was putting on a show and the scientists really liked it. They admired his size and strength and sought to enhance it. They captured him, experimented, and thought they had failed so they shipped him off to another planet. He was to become food for alien scum, but his two best friends broke him free.
Cypress utilizing her new powers kept him alive, and Shadow injected his own blood into Sheffler as a new hope. Sheffler began to grow, his muscles were outrageous in size, and he started to internally glow blue like Shadow. He now has the power of strength, the ability to protect his two best friends, and become part of their team like he had always dreamed. He can save the world and that was the greatest feeling ever!
Powers: Super strength, ability to use guns normally utilized only on vehicles, healing but not as fast as Shadow, and can deflect small ammunition with his muscles.
Real Name: Sheppard
Related Characters: Shadow, Cypress
Syndicate is one person that represents an entire world. Syndicate was found on the planet Shadow and Cypress were sent to, at first he was their enemy, but now he is their only hope of existence.
Syndicate utilized advanced technology as weapons and defense. His suit is made of futuristic metals mined from his planet. The helmet filters the air, needed due to the chemicals released by alien invaders. This is why he initially thought Shadow and his team were enemies, they were able to breath without filtration. The rest of the suit hides compact weapons with the power of a huge arsenal, and advanced communication including holographic transmission.
Syndicate and his team are experts at breaking into communications or air waves, and due to their world being miles ahead of ours they are capable of doing as they please with our technology.
Syndicate was just a boy when his world went to war. The Awakening is nothing new to him, he knows what comes next. The invasion. The death. The monsters. He watched it, he lived it, and he grew up with it. This is why he created the Syndication, a group of warriors from all aspects of life banning together to fend off the forsaken alien scum, but it’s too late and he knows it. His world is lost, the battle is lost, and the war is all but over.
That is until he comes across Shadow and his team, warriors of their own world, warriors that have a new approach. They have embraced the darkness, become one with it, and still fight to protect the innocent. A new hope arises with him, he joins forces and sets out to protect a world that has no idea what is about to happen. He will protect this world, or he will die trying.
Powers: No actual powers, instead he utilizes advanced technology to gain an edge. He can craft advanced weaponry and defense systems, he can also hack into communications and opens the ability to travel the galaxy.
Occupation: He likes to call himself a Space Marine.
First Appearance: Shadow Uprising #2
Real Name: Spencer
Related Characters: Shadow, Cypress, Sheffler
Cypress is the brains and magic to the team of Shadow. Might we say she is even the best female superhero of all time! Bragging aside Cypress takes illusions and mixes it with the ability to accomplish anything she sets her mind too. Some might say she is even the leader of the group.
Cypress holds a mystical power, or is it just her messing with our minds? Either way she is able to bring the world to life any way she wants all around you. If you want that world to be happy and free, well you better not make her mad!
Alyssa was a close friend of Ethan, and she even joined the military with him. However she decided to go a special ops route and was highly decorated for her ability to sneak into buildings and save hostages without a trace of how she did it. When The Awakening happened she was summoned to infiltrate a Russian Mars base, or that is what the soldiers were told. Things didn’t go as planned and Alyssa decided to veer from the mission, discovering all was not as it seemed.
After being discovered, agents were sent after her. She found a way to get back to Earth, but agents couldn’t let her be free, they couldn’t let their secrets become news headlines. They hunted her for months, they destroyed everything she loved, they ripped her apart without touching her.
While on the run Alyssa decided to go by the name Cypress to try and hide from the agents, but a mysterious man that went by the name “The Magic Man” offered to help. His assistance was more along the lines of drugs that he had stolen from a lab, and Cypress became a test subject. More bad things happened that Cypress refuses to acknowledge, but she now has a hatred of The Magic Man so strong that he is lucky to be alive, so she ran. Again. Alone.
That is until Ethan, battered and torn, found a way to communicate with her. She must find him, she must survive.
Once together, Ethan is captured while she knocked out, captured like an animal. She watches him struggle on an operating table, screaming, crying. She can’t take it, but the bars around her start to bend. Her hands begin to glow. The rage she has built up, it becomes a weapon. She takes the opportunity to utilize her new found power to get to Ethan, but a wall she cannot break separates them. She must ride along in the vessel, to a planet they do not know.
Powers: Illusions that come to life, ability to read minds and change decisions, her magic powers also allow her to bend molecules or press against thin air to do things like jump.
Occupation: Spec-Ops, listed as Defected
First Appearance: Tribal Stories #6
Real name: Alyssa
Related Characters: The Magic Man, Shadow, Sheffler, Syndicate, Armadillo X
Wherever you go, whatever you do, a shadow creeps behind you. Shadow may not have chosen to become a hero, but people sure do see him as one. In a world that isn’t very accepting to him, Shadow must defend human kind as an alien.
Ethan was in the military just before the awakening happened. The awakening, an event that took place on Mars, the day NASA requested military assistance. Ordinary troops were being trained to breathe in a breathless world, pods were being stricken, and countries had something new to fight over. That is until it all ended, and none of it existed…
Soldiers were waking from comas in agony, some were lucky and not waking at all, but Ethan was the perfect one. An experiment that had finally gone right. An experiment that knew he would become a weapon.
On this day Ethan became a shadow, a cold distant alien that was always lurking. Ethan had died, Shadow was born. Deep down he wants to end it, to stop the madness, but then the Eclipse happens. More shadows are being born, an endless rift of alien soldiers are being formed, and Shadow gains a glimpse of Syndication, aka Aliens not too happy that their bodies are being used to create weapons, aliens that have destroyed entire worlds.
Instead of watching the world burn he decides to team up with distant planetary soldiers to help ensure his own world doesn’t become like theirs. Will he keep this outlook even when the world he thrives to protect turns against him? Will his Uprising be enough to save them?
Powers : Alien symbiote that has a mind of its own, tentacles that can bite, quick healing, sword and acrobatic skills, and loves to play with guns.
Occupation: Ex-Military, listed as MIA
First Appearance: Tribal Stories #6
Real Name: Ethan
Related Characters: Cypress, Sheffler, Armadillo X