Part One: New Morpheus
by Peter Merz & James Eagan

The dawn slowly and gingerly pours out it’s light upon the inner-city of New Morpheus. The inner-city is full of strange architecture, towering Notre Dame-like cathedrals complete with the grotesque gargoyles. The dark, Gothic look to New Morpheus only adds to the shadow of fear that has blanketed so much of the United Sates since the great tragedy. The residents of New Morpheus live under martial law, now, and have for three years. Most of the churches, synagogues, mosques and what have you, have left the inner-city, pushed out by government interference. The cathedrals for the most part are nothing more than vacant buildings, albeit, some prefer to use the deserted buildings for a place to hang out or to carry out illegal activities.

As dawn turns into morning a group of young children exit the projects for a time of fun and laughter. They form a circle singing the ever reminiscent “Ring Around the Roses” but with a hip-hop twist. The children take turns rapping to different verses to their hip-hop remake of “Ring Around the Roses”. Just as they reach the climax of their song, with their voices both rousing and celebratory, a gunshot rings out, a child falls dead, bloody, and the sound of tires screeching and a speeding car pulling away is heard. For a moment there is nothing but total and complete silence. Then as comprehension as to what has just occurred sets in the rest of the children scream and run for cover.

Two teenagers rush to the fallen child. Amid the crying, frantically calling for help, the two teenagers look at each other in dismay. A darkened cloud looms overhead and a wind begins as if creation itself is groaning at the loss of human life.

One hour later at the Angels of Mercy Mission Playground, Moses and Ellen, the two teenagers who had rushed to help the boy killed by stray bullets, stare at each other for a moment or two. Moses starts to open his mouth but struggles for words. Finally he speaks.

“Well that wasn’t easy,” Moses says gravely.

“Don’t think it ever gets easy,” Ellen replies.

“This was my first funeral for a child,” Moses says slowly.

“My fifth. In a month. Welcome to the Inner-City,” she answers back.

“I feel like I’m being thrown into the fire.”

“Yeah. You got here right at a very active time. It’s good. We need you,” says Ellen reassuringly.

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