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Nick Bradford's Backstory

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Nick Bradford's Backstory

Post by General Bravo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:58 pm

Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
Spoiler:

Nick Bradford was born in upstate New York, within a suburb. The life he led was one of relative normalcy. He went to school and got good grades, he had an active social life, he did some athletics, and, after all that, usually had time for a little gaming. All in all, life was good. So good that when the first long term effects of the Resonance Cascade began to manifest, he barely paid attention, hearing only vague reports about flashing lights and strange, impossible creatures. He didn't have any reason to think anything of it. That is, not until it all came to his doorstep.

9:00 pm, March 3rd, 200-:
Nick was at a frat party with a bunch of his friends.  Suddenly, there was banging on the doors. The music stopped, and everyone looked at the door when suddenly it broke down and horrifying monsters broke through. Nick really never had a chance to see just what they were, but they moved fast and had a terrible scream. They almost looked human. Nick wasn't about to stop and watch, and ran out as quickly as possible. Despite all the screaming and sounds of the monsters clawing and killing his friends, Nick would not stop running. He couldn't.

Nick finally made it back to his apartment and locked the door as quick as he could. He turned on the local news and finally got a clear picture of what the things that attacked earlier were. While neither he nor the news station knew what to call them, they were what we now call fast zombies. The news report showed them attacking across town with their slower brethren, and the police being hard pressed to stop their advance. Nick had heard enough and knew he had to get out of there. He called his girlfriend and told her to meet him near the police station. He then decided that with the things that were running around out there, he would need something to defend himself. With the rest of the apartment largely abandoned by this point, Nick was able to get into the maintenance room. All Nick had available to him forced him to be in a closer range with the creatures than he wanted to be, but he eventually settled on a crowbar and left the apartments with it.

11:30 pm, March 3rd, 200-:
Nick made it to the police station, negotiating his way through multiple barricades. He saw, however, that it was abandoned. Fortunately, none of the things from earlier seemed to be there. He saw familiar headlights drive up and waved. The car pulled up and Nick's girlfriend came out, running towards him. Nick started to run toward her but saw something that looked almost like some sort of crab walking around. Before he had a chance to warn her, it had jumped on her and clamped on, knocking her over. Nick pulled out his crowbar and ran at her, and that's when he saw just how clamped on it was. He tried to pull it off, but it would not budge, and every time he did so, the screams were louder. Nick then swung the crowbar high, then brought it down hard on the crab thing. It went limp, but so did its host. Nick tried to get some response from her, but soon realized she was dead. Nick could barely regain his composure and let out a yell of combined sadness and rage. His yell was so loud that it got a response from what sounded like the fast zombies from earlier. Nick knew he couldn't stick around for long, but decided to check the police station for survivors first, bringing an empty backpack with him to carry whatever supplies he might find.

12:20 am, March 4th, 200-:
The place was a mess. Desks had been overturned and broken, chairs thrown against walls, slashed walls, and several clawed bodies of officers. Nick could barely stand the smell or sight, but knew he would likely face the same fate trying to fight these things with just a crowbar. He reached the armory but found nothing left but 2 9mm pistols and an MP5, with precious little ammo remaining for them. Nick double checked to make sure the safeties were on and the chambers were empty. He had a fairly easy time with the 9mms, but the MP5 proved more difficult, so he decided he would just carry it out. Next, he searched for first aid supplies. He found a few small kits and threw them in his pack as well. Then, he heard the sound of the fast zombies again, much closer this time. Nick decided he had overstayed his welcome and booked it back to his car. He started it up and gunned it for the highway.

2:15 am, March 4th, 200-:
Nick had been going nonstop since 9:00 on the previous night. He knew he would have to stop soon. Fortunately, he found a rest station that had been converted into a refugee station with fences for barricades and a ragtag group of defenders composed of police officers, gun-carrying citizens, and an advance National Guard team. When he reached the checkpoint, he left his weapons in the car and made mention of them as he was escorted inside. While the police officer who brought him in was suspicious at first, he eventually relented on the grounds that they needed anyone and anything they could get, knowing what was out there. Nick's car was brought inside the perimeter and Nick was given a cot to sleep in for the night.

8:30 am, March 4th, 200-:
Nick woke up to a panic. He heard people screaming, buzzing, and a roaring sound he hadn't heard before. He got outside and saw what a swarm of huge bugs seemingly led by a monstrous bug the size of a tank. The ragtag defense force was getting destroyed by these things, and Nick knew he stood no better chance. He got to his car, started it up as quick as he could, and sped off just before 3 of the bug things could reach him.

Chapter 2: Unforeseen Consequences
Spoiler:
May 14th, 200-:
It has been months since Nick's first encounter with Earth's menace. Since then, he has gotten skilled at using the weapons he found back then, and has become quite adept at killing the headcrab zombies, possibly due to a conscious or unconscious wish for revenge, Nick didn't know or care. His aim was helped by the fact that the vast majority of the zombies were really slow-moving. He had been on the road doing whatever it took to keep his car and himself going. He hadn't run into too many people in the meantime, as what had happened in his town had been happening around the world, and national governments and militaries began herding any survivors towards more easily protected cities. However, between the sheer numbers of otherworldly creatures being reported and the fact that even larger creatures had appeared, some appearing to have armor and biomechanical guns, from what few reports he had the chance to see, he strongly doubted that the cities would be all that easily defensible. What Nick had no idea of was that these creatures were a combination of Xen lifeforms and the remnants of the Nihilanth's army, brought to Earth by Portal Storms. What was still to come was far worse.

10:00 am, May 16th, 200-:
Nick had found an abandoned house with a generator the night before and decided to hold up there for a little while. He powered on the generator to see if he could catch some news reports. The first channel he turned was a live report of large, red-orange holes opening up in the sky around the world. As he watched the report, he suddenly saw some kind of biomechanical gunship exit one of the holes and start shooting wildly. Many others followed, as well as carrier ships carrying large, 3 legged war machines. Among the cities currently under attack were London, Tokyo, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Atlanta, and Washington DC. Much as Nick now began to doubt the continuing survival of the human race, he decided his best chance laid with whatever protection the military were able to provide. The nearest unassailed city was New York City. Nick got in his car and gunned it as fast as possible.

12:30 pm, May 16th, 200-:
Nick finally made it through the traffic to the military perimeter around New York City, where it was apparent they were massing for a counteroffensive. He drove up to a booth, where a 2nd lieutenant asked what he had on him. Nick was not about to lie in this situation, and told the man he had been carrying weapons to survive the onslaught of monsters. The lieutenant accepted his explanation, but then said that he would have to forfeit his weapons to the war effort if he wasn't planning on aiding in the coming fight. Nick decided to turn over his weapons, but wondered to himself just how desperate the situation was that the military needed literally anyone they could get.

1:00 pm, September 13th, 200-:
New York City radio stated that the US military's last major strike capacity on the East Coast had now been deployed to engage the enemy force massing a few miles off in New Jersey.

1:45 pm, May 16th, 200-:
The report came that this force had been utterly annihilated. War machines moving on three legs could be seen firing beams all across the area where the line was reported to have been.

2:00 pm, May 16th, 200-:
The entire military perimeter surrounding New York City was visibly either burning or actively being leveled. The tripods and gunships engaged in most of the destruction.

2:30 pm, May 16th, 200-:
Local radio announced that a former head of some company called Black Mesa would be meeting with commanding units of the invading force for negotiation.

3:30 pm, May 16th, 200-:
War machines and soldiers of the unknown invading force began moving with impunity through the city streets. Their advance guard started killing everyone outside who attempted to resist in any way and started capturing everyone outside who didn't

4:00 pm, May 16th, 200-:
A man calling himself Dr. Breen was apparently on air with every remaining media outlet in the world. He announced Earth's surrender and new joining with a force called the "Universal Union." As this was being announced, Nick saw one of the 3-legged war machines destroy the Statue of Liberty with its beam.

Chapter 3: City 18
Spoiler:

2016:
It has been [unknown] years since humanity was defeated by the Combine. Nick Bradford had originally been sent to [REDACTED] but got relocated to City 18. Nick didn't exactly want to get relocated, and in his frustration, he got rash, running around when Civil Protection wasn't looking and finally receiving a noncompliance verdict for refusing to apply in an inspection. During his time locked up in the City 18 Nexus, Nick realized continuing down this path would lead to him facing the same fate that the military did so many years ago, or worse. He came to the hopeful conclusion that perhaps the Combine would be a bit more lenient on humanity if humanity was a bit more compliant, possibly even granting them a world to live on that wasn't completely destroyed. Even as he thought this, he thought it was ridiculous, but when the alternative was death, even impossible hope is better than nothing.

After he was released, he came to be close friends with a Civil Worker's Union member, Matthew St. George. The two came to be very close friends. Nick started finding contraband and reporting it to local Civil Protection units, and eventually earned loyalist status. This loyalist status certainly helped reverse whatever negative record Nick had, which was good as they were starting to crack down harder than they had been. Then, one day, there was a necrotic outbreak. Nick and Matt helped a woman named Katie Glahd, who had been slashed at by one of the necrotics. After the outbreak was cleared by the CCA, Nick and Katie got close. Very close. One could call it love. But one day Matt told Nick he was planning on signing up for the CCA to better do his part for the city. Nick got it into his head that he, too, should join up. When he told Katie, she protested, but eventually relented, crying and pleading for him to remember her. While Nick was moved by this, he didn't let it stop him.

While Matt's application was rejected on account of his asthma, Nick's was accepted. Nick was given one more brief time to say goodbye to his friends, and once again left Katie in tears. He would not see her again for a long time.

Nick was accepted as CCA-C18-CORE-RCT.13175 and began his training. He passed stunstick training and excelled at the 9mm range. However, as he was taken through detainment, he vomited in his mask upon seeing the torture room, covered as it was in dried blood. To make matters worse, he forgot to salute when he saw Sector going by. Finally, he failed the written test, getting only some of the radio codes right. Upon review, Nick was ordered to return his armor and weapons and exit the Nexus.

Nick's idea about proving worth to the Combine came into question after that. He decided he would go and find Katie, figuring that was the least he could do. However, try as he might, he couldn't find her. He couldn't find his friend either. To top it off, Nick's brother, whom Nick had long assumed was dead, had entered City 18, and had found out about Nick's activities. While the note left wasn't entirely clear as to who it came from, Nick knew his brother's style. He began to fear for his life, as it was clear Andrew hated the Combine, and while he had surely learned to hide this, Nick had a feeling Andrew would not restrain himself if he found him.

Despite this fear, Nick continued reporting contraband as well as anti-citizen activity on the catwalks, occasionally with his reports leading to successful arrests. Nick questioned whether or not he was doing the right thing. He had continued to question this when he was confronted by a rebel. The rebel knocked him out and hauled him into District 6.

Nick woke up in a building he did not recognize with a shotgun pointed directly at him. It took him a second to recognize the shotgun's owner; Katie Glahd. Nick panicked, as Katie was clearly significantly angry with him. After a battery of angry questions, Nick decided enough was enough and resigned himself to death, deciding the world wasn't worth living in anyway. Katie was about to kill him but hesitated and eventually broke down. Nick's fear lifted and he comforted her. Upon talking to her, he found out that his friend, Matthew St. George, had been executed by the Combine since the last time he saw him. While Nick was not stirred to outright engagement, his anger with the Combine, the same anger he had felt at the end of the Seven Hour War, rose. He stayed with Katie in District 6 for a while, with Katie seemingly trying to urge him off the loyalist path and onto an alternative one.

Nick and Katie finally went to sleep in an empty, abandoned warehouse deep in D6. When he woke up, he was somehow back in his room in citizen housing. Nick had no idea what happened or how he got back. Had he been dreaming it all? Nick really didn't get a chance to ponder this the order for that particular housing block to relocate had come down. A group of citizens and Civil Protection units were to be transferred to City 45 for reasons unknown. Nick rushed out of his room to make the train, losing virtually everything he had at that point, not knowing why the relocation was occurring or what had happened to Katie.

Chapter 4: City 45
Spoiler:
Nick arrived in City 45, still wondering what was going on. He exited the train station and tried to find his way around the area. He was easily able to figure out where the city's slums and Nexus were, and after some time of finding his way around, he got himself a room. He stayed there for a while, then slept for what felt like a day. When he got up, he felt refreshed and went for a walk. While on a walk, he ran into a woman named Katarina Gloria. They talked for a time, and the two became friends. She eventually took him to her apartment, where she handed him a 9mm and a radio, never explaining how or where she got them. Nick knew there could be consequences, but decided to take them anyway, being careful to keep them as hidden as possible.

While this was going on, Nick noticed that the CCA of City 45, bolstered by units transferred from City 18, had become even stricter and were showing more force than they had in City 18, with units on patrol almost at all times and guards usually posted at all hardpoints. Because of this, Nick grew concerned for Katie, wherever she was. Then, one day, he was talking with Katarina when she brought up that she heard something happened while everyone was being transferred. She told Nick that Civil Protection had pursued her and cut her off near the train station, and that rather than face Combine punishment, Katie decided to kill herself. Upon hearing this, Nick was broken. He tried to internalize as much of it as possible until he returned to his room, where he cried and cried. Then, he remembered something. He pulled out the 9mm, checked it to make sure it was loaded, and he aimed it, put his finger on the trigger, and....

Nick paused and then pulled his finger away. This wasn't what Katie and Matt would've wanted, he decided. He put his 9mm away and tried to figure out a way to escape the city or link up with the resistance. With the former a virtual impossibility, Nick decided on the latter only to find the slums entrance heavily protected. That, along with rumors that the resistance was becoming increasingly hostile to outsiders, virtually ruined his plan. He decided he would hang out with Katarina, but on his way he saw a list of wanted anti-citizens that had clearly been posted recently. It had Katie's name on it.

Nick was happy but at the same time pissed at Katarina for lying to him. He kept his composure as he asked her to come up to his room to discuss things, but once they were there, the composure was gone. Nick demanded to know why Katarina had lied to him, and no explanation satisfied him. His anger built to a peak and he finally slapped her hard with the back of his hand. After that, he had a slight bit of remorse, and yelled at her that he didn't want to see her again. She stayed at his door crying for a time, but she eventually left. That was the last Nick saw of Katarina.

Nick was unsure what to make of the fact that Katie was still alive. While he was thinking about this, a man walked up to him and told Nick to follow. Nick did, not asking where they were going until he got close to the train station. When the two were close, a unit started following them. The man urged Nick to follow and ran inside. Nick followed, and the CP started sprinting after them. The man led Nick to the path that led to the old subway tunnels, where his rebel accomplice was waiting. The unit opened fire on them on sight, and the man who had led Nick donned a rebel uniform and returned a few shots before forcing Nick down into the tunnels.

Nick was pushed through the tunnels at gunpoint for a time before they all stopped at a small fire. It was there that the man who had brought Nick down finally made mention of why he was there. He told Nick he had been sent by Katie to get him out of the city. While Nick was happy about this, the man proceeded to say that he loved Katie as well. He then loaded a magnum and pointed it at Nick, asking why he should let him live. Nick thought for a minute but was unable to think up a good response. Resigned to death once again, Nick moved forward. After telling the man about how his loyalist reports likely led to several deaths and stating his regret, Nick moved closer and rested his head on the magnum's end, urging the man to do it. The man pulled back the hammer on the magnum, but ultimately pulled it back, to Nick's surprise. The man and his friend then kept moving through the tunnel with Nick at gunpoint, finally releasing him at the stairs that led to the slums. The man who had led Nick in was clearly having second thoughts, so Nick left as quick as he could.

Nick looked around and went into an abandoned apartment to look around for someone who could help him find who he was looking for, as well as any supplies. While in there, he ran into Katie. The two looked at each other for a moment, then embraced. They both talked about how glad they were to see each other for a time, then Katie guided Nick through the slums, showing him around. They eventually stopped at an abandoned factory, where Katie told him to wait for her, then left. He sat and waited, but eventually fell asleep.

Nick woke up suddenly to the sound of citywide alerts, and realized he was back in his apartment, and was dragged out by a CP who had been pounding on his door. For some reason, all citizens and Civil Protection units relocated to City 45 were now being forced to go back to City 18. Nick moved to the train and got on with many other citizens, all the while wondering if Katie would make it as well.

Chapter 5: Return to City 18
Spoiler:
Nick exited the train, returning to familiar territory, but wondering why the relocation occurred and what happened to Katie. Nick went up to the CAH, picked out a room, and sat thinking. He didn't have much time to think, however, as someone was knocking at his door. It didn't sound like a CP. He asked who it was, but the person refused to answer, so he opened the door. It was Katie.

They didn't have much time for a greeting, as there wasn't much time before Civil Protection sent a unit back to D6 to guard the entrance. They frantically ran for it and got past before anyone spotted them.

They kept moving until they entered a set of abandoned apartments. They stayed there for a little while, and Katie eventually fell asleep. Nick stayed up on watch, but soon nodded off as well.

Nick woke up later and found that, once again, Katie was gone. Nick had little idea what to do at that point. Despite having some idea where things were, he had heard that lately the rebels were getting increasingly hostile to those who were not one of them. Nick tried to keep his head down as much as he could.

Then one day, while he was out looking for Katie, and something to eat, Nick was spotted by a small group of rebels. Nick was scared at first, but somewhat surprised when they didn't aim their guns at him on the spot. Instead, one of them walked up and asked what he was doing back there. Nick explained that he was looking for Katie Glahd, and asked if she'd been seen. The person said no. The person then asked if Nick had any place to stay. Nick shook his head. The person broke from the group and took Nick to the Resistance Overlook, where she introduced herself as Erica Wittmann. Nick introduced himself and thanked her for the help. She gave him some food, and then left, telling him she'd be back from time to time with food.

Nick lived there for some time, with Erica stopping by from time to time to check on him. One day, Nick was out looking for supplies again when he ran into Erica. She took him over to an old abandoned warehouse, then made him swear never to tell anyone who was not of the resistance about it no matter what. Nick agreed and Erica took him inside. Nick was surprised at the relative elaborateness of the rebel headquarters. Nick looked around a little while Erica rummaged through supply cases and organized things. She came back with a box of 9mm ammo for the pistol Nick had told her he was carrying and then led him out.

Nick continued to live like this for some time, with refugees occasionally staying in the overlook and keeping him company. Erica eventually brought him an SMG to use in emergencies. He eventually did have to use it when a large group of zombies once again came through the slums.

One day, Nick was walking along when he ran into a man he did not recognize. He confronted him and asked what his business was. The man said he was looking for someone named Phantom. Nick had heard the name thrown around before, and decided to guide him around. As they walked, dead bodies of Overwatch soldiers started to appear. Terrified, the two started running, until they were finally stopped by a group of rebels. Nick soon found out that one of them was Phantom. Phantom took Nick and the other man and brought them into a garage of some sort. When asked, Nick told Phantom who he was and who had brought him back to D6. After some conversation, Phantom asked Nick if he was willing to join the resistance. After some thought, Nick answered "Yes."

Chapter 6: Resistance
Spoiler:

Nick's first days in the resistance were fairly uneventful. He remained in the Overlook for some time, with Erica still dropping by from time to time to bring him supplies.  From time to time, Katie returned, but she was around so fleetingly that Nick almost thought he was dreaming or delusional. It had been so long since she'd been around for any extended period of time, and he didn't know what to believe.

He watched as the resistance got more and more bold. Then, the day came for an assault on the city's Supression Field. Nick voiced his objection to Erica, but she continued with her plan and carried on anyway, leaving Nick behind to watch Sheena.

The attack was a success, bringing down the field for about a week, and the other rebels took advantage of the opportunity. During this time, Katie showed up again, and she and Nick took advantage as well. However, when he woke up, Katie wasn't there, so Nick once again thought that this was more hallucination on his part.

James Valen had been attracting attention from his attacks on the CCA, from robbing 05s to his grudge match with an EpU. Nick was aware of all this, and did not like the attention it brought upon D6. Nick brought this up with Valen, but he essentially called Nick a coward. Unwilling to waste his time, Nick did not attempt to argue, instead leaving and returning to his apartment by the D6 bridge entrance. Eventually, the firefights that had been occurring on the bridge led to Civil Protection pushing forward a small hardpoint and setting up turrets. Nick no longer considered himself safe in his apartment and moved out, occasionally staying in the overlook, the hideout, and the old bar.

Nick eventually found out that James fell in one last fight against the CCA. While he was not all that surprised, he was not particularly happy about it either. Nick was by no means best friends with James, but even Nick knew that James knew what he was doing when it came to fighting. It had been said that he fought an EpU hand-to-hand and lived. But this time, he had faced several high-ranking units as well as possibly Overwatch. Nick said little while the others grieved Valen's death. What had happened only reinforced in Nick's mind the need for restraint.

Then, he found out about Erica and Joe's base in the plaza. Nick really didn't know what to do. He tried to warn Erica against it, but she continued to talk about how it makes for good recon and possibly a launch point for further offensives. It seemed Nick would continue to be ignored, and he eventually decided not to push the issue and let Erica go to her hideout.

Soon after, he heard the beeping of a Combine scanner just outside the warehouse. Panicked, Nick backed into a corner. The machine floated near the building for a longer time then Nick thought it took just to scout something, and Nick frantically but quietly called Erica on the radio. Erica told him to stay put, which Nick did, but over time came to think maybe while he was being ignored, the Combine were closing in on the Resistance's hideout. Eventually, the scanner left, and Nick came out and looked around. He decided that perhaps the warehouse was no longer safe, but rather than seem like the one always in favor of running away, Nick quietly moved his main living quarters to the back room of an abandoned bar.

One day Nick was walking around by his old slums apartment looking for supplies. He finished looking through a dumpster when he heard something to his right. He looked and saw a DvL's uniform further down the ally. For all of a second they both froze, then Nick sprinted away as fast as he could, gunfire and the clatter of armor behind him. Nick ran in a loop toward where his old apartment used to be and eventually put his back against a corner near the bridge, hoping the CPs wouldn't look behind them when they inevitably came back that way. Soon, he heard their footsteps coming close. Nick pushed himself against the corner and held his breath as they went by. As soon as they had gotten behind their forward hardpoint, Nick got up and ran back into the slums, not stopping until he was at the Overlook, where he had an adrenaline crash and rested for a moment.

To Nick, this was still more confirmation of his worst fears. While the scanner was one thing, an armed patrol searching the slums was something entirely different. Nick knew this time people had to be warned, but he considered his likely reputation as the resident worrier and wondered if anyone would even listen.

Nick returned from a Resistance trip to the outlands a few days earlier
than the rest of the group did. He met up with Erica during a walk one
day, and met a new member recruited from the outlands, formerly from
City 17. They all went down to an old abandoned bar and started setting
it up as a hideout. Apparently what Nick had said regarding the
warehouse had stuck.

Later on, Nick was on another walk, and had just gotten through checking out the bridge when he was pulled into X-Ray's work place by Phantom. There he saw Erica injured and Jim Tenma helping X-Ray remove bullets from her leg. Phantom warned of pursuit, but Nick responded that he hadn't seen any. As if to answer him, the sounds of a chopper and Overwatch soldiers could be heard outside. Phantom tried to hold them off, but eventually the Combine moved for a breach. Nick helped keep them out, but it became clear that they would not be able to stay there for long. Nick was the first one out the door in a mad dash towards the abandoned bar deeper in the slums. He got to the catwalk, but found a strider was standing there as though waiting. Phantom resolved to distract it while the rest of the group pushed to the bar. Nick, and Jim got in, and X-Ray followed, bringing Erica and setting her on a table to continue work. Nick then tried to reach Phantom to get her to follow, but the strider knocked around wreckage from a downed chopper, and Nick was unable to make contact.

Nick stood ready while Jim and X-Ray worked to keep Erica alive. He was seriously concerned, continuing to hear the strider's noises along with those of manhacks and rollermines. The rollermines eventually moved through, but the manhacks and strider remained. Because of this, Nick was surprised that a bald man named Ryan Reeves made it through with an unloaded RPG, apparently dropped by a fallen OTA. Erica was recovering, and pointed out a few rockets were in the back. Ryan loaded up, and Nick got ready to hold off the manhacks to enable a clear line of sight. Ryan had an attitude that Nick didn't care for, but his first shot hit the strider head on, so Nick decided he would put up with it, for the moment. The manhacks kept moving for the door, and once or twice one even got in. Nick found himself fighting manhacks in the bar, a prospect he wasn't a fan of. Eventually, however, they stopped coming, and Ryan got off a few more shots at the strider, finally bringing it down.

Nick and Ryan moved up the stairs and worked together to push some wreckage out of the way and started looking around. Nick noticed something out of the corner of his eye, and on moving closer saw it was Phantom, stuck under a piece of tail rotor from the downed chopper. Nick moved the wreckage off, and found Phantom alive, but just barely. Nick brought her back down into the bar and placed her on the couch for X-Ray to deal with. It was then that Nick realized he had taken a shot somewhere along the line, as his stomach was bleeding. Not noticing it before due to adrenaline rush, he now keeled over and groaned with pain. X-Ray told Nick to handle hit himself. Ordinarily, Nick would complain about such a statement, but given Phantom's condition and Erica's slow recovery, Nick decided they needed a medic more than he did. Eventually, Erica was able to get up and support herself with the wall walking to the back room. She tossed Nick so stolen biogel and a roll of bandage before sitting down. Nick asked for tweezers but X-Ray told him to just pull it out with his fingers. There was no way around it, this one was gonna hurt.

Nick reached his fingers in the wound, causing him great pain, and on finally finding the bullet, he grabbed it and tossed it across the floor. Luckily, his wound did not begin bleeding any more than it had been, so he was able to apply the biogel and bandage at a slower pace. This pace was probably for the better, as the wound still hurt, with more of a throbbing, dull pain then before. While working on his own wound, Nick could hear Phantom's mask coming off in the bathroom shortly before the sounds of vomiting. As this was going on, the Combine began bombing the area, shaking the place up significantly. Fortunately, the bar seemed to be far enough underground to protect against most effects besides bits of the ceiling cracking and falling. Thankfully, after the bombing run, it seemed to be over. Nick and Phantom both went outside to make sure. The coast was in fact clear, and no one had died.

Back in the back room, Nick tried to emphasize that incidents like that day was what he was worried about, stating that by that point they were all lucky to be alive. He was acknowledged. Nick was also handed an AR2 by Erica, who said she didn't use it anymore. Phantom got it activated for his use and handed it back. As this was going on, they discussed whether or not to allow Ryan in for his help in taking out the strider. As they were discussing this, he walked right in, as if on cue. Fortunately, they had already more or less agreed to let him in. Initially he seemed uninterested, but upon being told he would get food, he accepted the offer to join. Once that was over with, Erica broke out the beer and insisted everyone drink it down. Nick had about 3 beers and then started getting flashbacks of the last time he had any significant amount of beers in quick succession. He hadn't drank this much in the outlands. Now he was remembering that night before. Everyone else was stumbling around, while Nick had his face against the wall, remembering. Eventually, through a combination of the stresses of the day and the alcohol, they all started to pass out, except Ryan, who hadn't drank. He left.

A few days after this, and after another Combine sweep through the slums, Nick scouted out Checkpoint B. Finding it to only be defended by a single unit at the time, he decided he would hastily ambush it in an effort to gain supplies and information. He tossed the flash grenade he had been saving into the checkpoint and waited, then charged out to face a disoriented HELIX-02. Nick leveled his AR2, and when the unit could see again, he realized nothing could be done. Nick told him to drop his weapons and face the wall, and the unit did so. Nick grabbed up the weapons and tied the unit, knocked him out, and dragged him deep into the slums.

The unit woke up to Nick once again holding an AR2. Nick first asked the unit what he knew of the resistance. The unit said that the resistance instilled fear on the innocent populace and caused the loss of innocent lives. After a brief argument as to just who was in fact instilling fear and killing innocents, Nick moved on, asking for the reason of the stepped up attacks of recent days. The unit stated that they were intended to kill the resistance members who were still clinging to the old ways. Finally, intent on setting a trap, Nick placed the barrel of his gun into the unit's face and demanded to know the next time a high command unit would be heading through the slums on a sweep. The unit did not answer, instead goading Nick to kill him. Nick instead kicked the unit's mask and knocked him out again.

Nick dragged the unit off to the subway and blocked off the exits before waking him up. Nick stated that he would not sink to the unit's level but also did not have to save him. The unit was confused, but Nick was not. As he left, he knew what would happen. He heard the sounds of hungry zombies moving in for the kill. A flatlining biosignal confirmed that they had done their job. Nick would be back to kill them later.

One day Nick entered the warehouse, where he met with Erica. She gave him a resistance officer pin, then told him it belonged to Joe, and that he had died from a tetanus infection, blocking any attempt to help. Nick tried to console Erica as best he could, and promised to help where needed.

Later, Nick was exiting the warehouse when he saw what looked like a female CP going by. He managed to sneak up behind her with his AR2 and catch her by surprise. She apparently realized he was there, but after some questioning, seeing her biosignal smashed, and realizing that she had yet to try to kill him, Nick realized that maybe the unit wasn't still with Civil Protection after all. She told him about some zombies over by the apartments, to which Nick readied his AR2. Nick and the rogue unit moved off to take them out.

Chapter 7: Fighting an Old Enemy
Spoiler:
One night, Nick was with a group of newer rebels, Ozzie, Rose, Jenny, and Wesley. Then, along came Overwatch. They all had a hard time holding off the assault, but the others managed to get away while Nick was still fending off 4 OTAs and taking out manhacks.

Everyone got chased down into the old subway tunnels. Nick, already bleeding from manhack wounds, took a round to the leg. He was barely able to stand when zombies started coming in hungry. He limped upstairs and out of the subway tunnel, only to pass out from blood loss.

He woke up in what was left of the warehouse, to the sounds of zombies trying to break in and the others fighting them off. It almost sounded like they were talking. This awakened Nick's old hatred of the things, causing him to, despite his tiredness, leap up with his shotgun and start blasting away, yelling obsceneties at the monsters. Eventually they stopped coming, and Nick led them down to the old bar. Fortified in an effort to hold off a Combine attack, he guessed it would be a good place to make a stand against the zombies as well.

They came in talking about killing, while Nick and the others fought them off. After a brief lull, Nick and Ozzie went upstairs to find bodies tied up with what almost looked like kidneys made into rope. As they were talking about this, another wave of zombies came. As they shambled into the bar, they said things about hanging Nick and the others. Nick yelled back at them while shooting, and eventually it was seeming like they were angry with him in particular.

The next wave came, and the others were worn out. Nick could only think of one obvious option. He charged out, daring the zombies to come after him. All the others could hear was the sound of gunshots, laughing, and yelling slowly being drowned out by the sound of zombies.

There were more out there than he thought. He had to run for it. Along the way, he ran into Storm. They fought their way into a building and barricaded the door. They moved upstairs, and as Storm built another barricade, Nick went back to bail out Ozzie, Rose, Jenny, and Wesely. They had gotten out of the bar but were boxed into an old store nearby. They could hear the sounds of yelling and gunshots getting closer. Then, after the last zombie went down, they saw it was Nick. A dying zombie made a threat that they would overrun C18 as they did C11. Nick shot it in response, then ran off after the sound of Storm's AR2.

Chapter 8: The End?
Spoiler:
An APEX and other units led a sweep through the slums. Erica, Nick, and most everyone else fell back to the warehouse to make a stand. They took on APEX, a HELIX DvL, and a couple of enlisted, and managed to push them back just as necrotics came up from the subways. The units fell back, and Erica urged everyone to the old bar.

Everyone got there, and Erica spread out all the loot. After she stepped out, headcrab shells started falling. Nick was on his last clip. Shortly after the shells stopped, the units came back, accompanied by an OTA. Nick burned through the last of his ammo and ran to the backroom. He hid there with Jenny and Markosolo until the OTA came. Jenny fired, trying to hold them off. The last person Nick ever saw was a soulless OTA and the last thing he saw was a round coming towards his face.

Chapter 9: Moving On
Spoiler:
Nick woke up on a couch in the bar, having been exhausted from the fight at the warehouse. The bar fight never actually happened, but the dream was realistic enough to concern Nick. He walked out to clear his thoughts.

Katie had been gone for a long time. Nick decided he had enough grieving her in City 45, and moved on, beginning to spend time with Rose, when the zombies gave him a break. Then one day, he found Rose down in the abandoned subway tunnels, speaking with a Helix 01. Nick and the unit saw each other and raised their guns. Neither would back down, despite Rose's insistence. Eventually, Nick spotted a zombie crawling behind the 01, and shot it. He then backed off. He intended to find out what had gone on there.

After a little while of fewer zombies, they started coming en masse. One day, after fighting some off, Nick was walking toward the apartments by the bridge when he heard vocoders. He stopped and readied his weapon. Suddenly, from behind him, what seemed like an android came up from behind him. Nick thought he was done for, but it told him that a serious zombie outbreak was coming that all able bodies were needed to help repel. Nick followed it aroud the corner and saw a Ghost DvL and C18's Sectorial Commander. Nick was obviously unsure, but Jenny and the others seemed to be going along with it, and with Erica nowhere in sight, Nick decided to try to take charge.

They walked out into the city and Nick saw fortifications that had never been there the last time he'd been to the plaza. The rebels and units stared at each other for a moment, then were divvied up among the fortifications to ready the defensive line. Then, they came. The horrors Nick had been fighting since  before the Combine had even come. Wave after wave of zombies came, facing a combined defense of Civil Protection units and Resistance fighters. Nick gunned down his fair share but they started overrunning the fortifications. Everyone was forced to retreat to the Nexus checkpoint, making a final stand against them. Then, after a last, massive wave of zombies, they stopped. They went out, cleaning up stragglers, and then the rebels and CCA went their separate ways once more.

Later on, Nick spotted Rose being brought into the Nexus by a Helix EpU. The UID was familiar. This was the 01 from the tunnels. Nick ran into Kelly Lusco and set up an ambush. Unfortunately, the EpU had already gone back into the Nexus, and Nick mostly fired at a door.

With Rose still under suspiscion, Nick took her and Kelly to the Nargodian, and called Jenny to meet them there as well. Nick began questioning Jenny about what she knew, when Erica walked in, asking to know what was going on. She didn't seem to like Nick's answer, but it turned out not to really be Erica. The next thing Nick knew, he viewed a man, wearing a blue suit and carrying a briefcase. Nick continued to reason with himself that it was a dream, but the man continued on as if his objections were irrelevant. He stated that there were greater issues than the Resistance versus the CCA, greater evils too. Kelly kept spouting off, and the man clearly grew irritated. She was thrown against the far wall, and died. The man then left. Nick went into shock, then passed out.

Nick was traumatized by this event, and for a long period of time, stayed secluded, hidden from everyone else.

However, Nick heard that Erica had gone missing. Not long after, so did Jenny. With Phantom showing up only infrequently, Nick found himself taking up an increased role in the City 18 resistance element. However, things were about to go bad.

Chapter 10: The Nightmare Returns
Spoiler:
The Combine had done something that managed to bring the antlions into the city. Nick had no idea what it was, but he kept hearing swarms of them pouring into the plaza and gunshots going off all the time. Eventually, things got out of hand, and the order was given that mandated relocation would be required for full sector supression. Nick did not want to have to deal with armies of Overwatch ordered to kill anything without a UU registered biosignal, and got what he could together to make a break for the outlands.

The zombies in the tunnels had not been  huge fans of the antlions encroaching on their turf, and had started rushing the plaza. When the antlions made their way into the deep part of D6, the screaming heralds of a shuffling horde was their response. The streets and alleys were filled with vicious, unrelenting fighting between the zombies and the antlions. Nick had never seen anything even close to it since before the war. Then one day he heard multiple Combine dropships undoubtedly flying in Overwatch and synth support. Nick knew he had to get out ASAP.

Punching a hole through the masses of fighting antlions and zombies would've been tough in a group, but alone it was nearly impossible. Nick's first attempts almost resulted in his death, and he had to figure out how to distract them long enough to get by.

His distraction started coming in the form of Overwatch pushing into the tunnels once more. Antlions kept fighting the zombies, but the zombies fell back to their tunnels to continue killing Overwatch as they had done before. Listening to the sounds of dying Overwatch, moaning zombies, and buzzing antlions, Nick made his way out of the city as quickly as he could. But where was everyone else?

Over scratchy radio chatter in an outlands outpost, Nick heard that some surviving members of the C18 resistance had made their way to City 45. No names were mentioned, but Nick figured he had to try. Over a long period of time, he found his way to City 45, helped at times by Outlands resistance groups, and narrowly escaping Overwatch patrols at others. Finally, he made it back to City 45.

Chapter 11: Return to City 45
Spoiler:
Nick made it into the slums of City 45 to find it relatively empty, save for the occasional zombie here and headcrab there. Little to nothing was left of the last resistance holdouts in the city. Nick spent some time trying to find out if anyone else had made it from City 18, and eventually ran into Stacey, Jim, and others. However, Erica was missing for some time. The resistance began to lose its cohesion, mostly staying in the slums, with everyone operating on their own. Nick began to revert to many of his pre-war tendencies, keeping in the back of his mind that the Combine could still come. But for a while, they didn't. It seemed they didn't know anyone was even back there.

Eventually Erica made a radio call and sent in a shipment of supplies, then disappeared again. The resistance went on leaderless. Phantom was around from time to time but never really did anything with the resistance. She and Stinger seemed to be doing their own thing, and the more Nick saw this, the more he started to think that the two rogues were becoming their own group, entirely separate and apart from Lambda. He knew someone had to lead, but he didn't have the self-confidence to take up the role himself. He didn't want all those lives on his hands. Instead, from time to time, he packed up his gear, put on his old loyalist armband, which he'd kept clean for this very reason, and started making trips out to the plaza, blending in as well as he could.

Fortunately, either his records from City 18 never got transferred, or there was nothing outstanding in them because when he applied to a Civil Protection unit after picking up trash, in a calculated gamble, the unit did not say or do anything indicating that Nick had any rebel activity on his record. Nick had now figured out an escape, just in case the worst should happen; that the Combine find out there was a resistance presence in City 45 again.

The Combine eventually did find out the resistance was back there, and a large, brutal attack they called "Operation Downfall" was launched. No rebels were killed, but the refugees who had dwelled there at the time were slaughtered, and the supply lines were cut. Things were hard. Well, not that hard for Nick. He ate headcrabs, disgusting the rest, but keeping himself nourished. He was eventually able to convince a few other people to try them, in an effort to ensure everyone would have something to eat at all times.

Finally, Erica did come back, started to remake supply lines, and reorganizing the resistance. She trained Nick on how to use an RPG, fulfilling a need for an explosives specialist. She also began making attacks on the plaza. These attacks drew a heavy wave of Overwatch counteroffensives that Nick did not want to be within a mile of. He hid in a dark tunnel behind some rubble and kept as low and quiet as possible until it was over.


Chapter 12: City 8
Spoiler:
One day, Nick heard something over the radio about a rogue APEX killing City 45's administrator. Unsure how to respond to the situation, he stayed hidden. He heard a loud explosion, but would not investigate until after the inevitable search team came. The team did come, led by the SeC and CmD, but did not seem to find who they were looking for.

Nick came out of hiding to find the the "Sanctuary", Stinger and Phantom's personal hideout, to be completely destroyed. Not long later, the announcement came that a mandatory move to City 8 was being forced by the local protection teams. Nick wasn't particularly looking to move to such an isolated location, but the Overwatch teams they sent into D6 immediately after the announcement changed his mind fairly quickly. He just barely managed to evade them, and stashed his gear all around as he made his way back to the plaza, barely arriving in time to form up with the main line of citizen transfers.

Nick arrived to a city lit up with Universal Union banners and propaganda. What was once Tokyo now appeared to Nick another broken city being consumed by the Combine. Nick was unsure who else had made it, but thought he saw Erica Wittmann out of the corner of his eye as he found his way to his new room. He set himself up and then got himself acquainted with the new city's layout. He ran into Rose Darion while doing so. He told her it was best that she keep her head down and act normal until another chance to transfer to another city became available.

A few days later, Nick overheard radio chatter that said Erica was dead. By this point in time, Nick's experiences had so altered his emotional health that he was barely able to feel grief, instead feeling more disappointed. He spotted Jenny Lanes, tactfully took her aside, and informed her. Jenny was visibly broken up, and it was clear to Nick the two were fairly close. What would happen with what remained of the resistance became unclear.

Nick was later pulled aside by Jenny and informed that Erica had snuck a small amount of supplies into the city, along with a note requesting they go to Jenny if Erica should die. Nick assumed an implication that Jenny would be the new leader of the resistance group. Jenny was unsure, but told Nick that there were remnants of a rebel hideout in the old underground tunnels. Nick began to try and form a new plan to endure.

However, he finally secured a transfer permit. He was going back to City 18.

Chapter 13: Back in City 18
Spoiler:
The death of everyone around him began to wear on Nick's sanity.  He began to think he was cursed to watch all around him die while he continued. The trend of that being the case since that night at the party was enough to convince him of the truth of his fears. When Katie Glahd appeared again, he could not believe she was real. He believed he was dreaming, and tried to wake up. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that if he died in his "dream", he could wake up. He handed his magnum to her, but she simply emptied it of ammo, so Nick ran all the way to a ledge and let himself fall off, but instead of waking up, he merely went unconscious.

Nick was in a blur for some time after that, and even after he regained consciousness, his memory of the period afterwards was impaired. All he remembered was that things weren't good, but they were passable, and he would be better off in the plaza in his current state, where going around without too much thought was preferred.

When he regained all of his faculties, City 18 had begun deploying small numbers of new units dressed in black suits with half trench coats and white masks that resembled those the Overwatch wore. They went around beating people and dragging them off for the most minor offenses. Nick decided to go back to laying low in D6 as opposed to laying low in the plaza.

But then, D6 was no better. The city's CmD was getting more and more daring, and increasingly ruthless. His offensives into the slums had killed the vast majority of those who were back there, with only Jenny, Lucy, Jim, and a few others still alive. Everyone knew they had to get out of City 18, but everyone had different ideas. Some wanted to go to City 17. Nick tried to talk them out of it, but they went anyway. Nick stayed behind, and killed time fending off zombies before returning to the plaza and figuring out what he had to do.

Chapter 14: A Desperate Effort
Spoiler:
Nick was able to secure a transfer permit to City 17. There, he hoped he would find at least a few of those who had gone. However, his first few days there yielded nothing except close calls with the local Civil Protection team. Nick did not want to be in the Combine capital of the world any longer than he had to be, but those whom he searched for just would not show themselves.

Finally, Nick came across a familiar face, Rose Darion. They moved inside an apparently abandoned theater, where Nick started trying to figure out where everyone else wound up. Nick was paranoid, though, and almost immediately elected to move to an alley behind some shops. There, Rose mentioned that she had seen Jenny, and mentioned a route into the restricted block. It was difficult to cross and relatively unsheltered, but Nick did not want to take the time to find another way as it would mean spending more time in City 17 than necessary. After some planning, some interpretation of Civil Protection patrol patterns, and a whole lot of convincing himself, Nick finally took the route.

TO BE CONTINUED


Last edited by General Bravo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:45 am; edited 2 times in total
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General Bravo
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Re: Nick Bradford's Backstory

Post by General Bravo on Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:00 pm

Chapter 13 complete, chapter 14 commencing.

_________________
RP Characters:
Citizen:
Steven Davis-Alive-Citizen, in main district of City 18
Civil Protection:
CCA-C18-CmD.08292-Alive-Searching for APEX, hunting down the last surviving City 18 resistance members, and wiping out everyone who gets in his way
Overwatch Transhuman Arm:
OTA-ECHO-SQL.27766-Alive-Preserving Nexus internal stabilization, assaulting anti-citizen hideouts
Resistance:
Nick Bradford-Unknown-Last seen in City 18
Enslaved Biotic:
Tuk'Zal-Unknown-Last seen in City 18

Founder of The Event Horizon
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