Monday, December 22, 2014

The Union Cross Reboot: Part 1 - Sacrifices

The following is an outline that retells the story of the first installment of the Union Cross series. The goal was to create a simplified, grounded version of the story that better reflects my current state of mind as it relates to God, demons, miracles, and brain science.

The story opens up with Walker, the prophet with yellow eyes and brown dreads, receiving a vision about upcoming events.

David Johnson is an inner city kid who struggles with anger issues and severe headaches. He is trying to turn over a new leaf after spending six months in jail. He was charged with assault after severely injuring four of the seven kids who tried to jump him after school. His grandfather attempts to get David transferred into Foxxburgh-Wellington Academy, a private school that combines martial arts and academics. It's too expensive and David's grades are too low for a scholarship. The school will allow David a chance to be admitted if he can defeat its best student, George Dean, in an exhibition match. David loses the match by technicality, but impresses the school enough to earn admittance. David, however, who never wanted to attend the school to begin with, decides to think it over. 

Meanwhile, George Dean is completely humiliated, having been beaten within an inch of defeat by a 'nobody' from the inner city slums. George's father, president of the wealthiest weapons design and private security firm, viciously berates him for his performs as well. That night, while George sleeps, he is approached in his dreams by a demon who promises to help George restore his reputation, gain his father's approval, and exact revenge on David Johnson if he agrees to let him in his heart. George agrees.

In one of several attempts to woo David Johnson into transferring, The Foxxburgh-Wellington Academy has arranged for him compete in a Combat Arts Invitational Tournament; the grand prize is $10,000. David decides to compete, and does very well until the semifinals. George Dean uses his demonic power to kill David's opponent, just as David was striking him, making it appear as though David has just killed his opponent. This is an incredibly devastating moment for David Johnson. George Dean also uses his power to influence the audience's behavior and reaction. And as the accusations fly, his anger begins to well up. The police arrive on the scene to arrest him. At this point, David's fear and anger finally take over and David attacks the police. His hands begin to glow orange, and his fists burn his attackers. One of the officer's affected by George's demonic powers pulls out his gun and shoots. Just before the bullet reaches impact, Walker suddenly appears, grabs David by the waist, then they both disappear.

The next moment, David and Walker are in the woods. Walker has teleported them both there. David, confused and still angry, attacks Walker. Walker easily subdues him, knocking him unconscious.  David wakes up in a type of infirmary, where he meets Walker and Dr. Michelle Roman.

Walker apologizes for knocking him out, then explains himself. Walker is an agent of a CORE, an organization that seeks out and destroys demons. Walker had been following him for months. Dr. Roman, a CORE neuroscientist, explains that David's headaches, natural combat skills, and his burning fists come from something called the "M-Verse."  

The M-Verse, known in neuroscience as Miraversadine, is a neurotransmitter that is activated by faith-related thoughts and emotions. When released, it triggers superhuman abilities. The neurotransmitter is found in two parts of the brain: the Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Amygdala. The Anterior Cingulate Cortex, or the ACC, is the part of the brain that deals with decision-making, self-control, and discipline. When the M-Verse is active in the ACC, it represents a positive brain reaction, giving you control over your powers. The Amygdala is the part of the brain that deals with fear, panic, and aggression. When the M-Verse is active in the Amygdala, it represents a negative brain reaction, giving the powers control over you. Dr. Roman explains that David's outburst at the tournament was a result of Miraversadine flooding his Amygdala. 

Walker explains how all the miracles in biblical times are a result of the M-Verse. The strength of Samson, the precognition of the prophets, even the miracles of Jesus himself were all made possible through Miravesadine. This means that we can all have access to the same power.

When David asks about his headaches, Roman and Walker explain that it's a result of him subconsciously suppressing the commands that the Miraversadine is trying to send to his body. This is happening because David has been trying to avoid the way he feels about God, instead of facing it. CORE agents are trained to use M-Verse in the correct way, and use those powers to battle demonic forces.

Roman explains what has happened to George Dean. If a higher amount of Miraversadine is released into the Amygdala, a person's powers can manifest as an inner demon, an independent collections of desires existing within the brain. The only way David can clear his name is to unlock his M-Verse powers completely, confront George Dean and free him from the demon's hold.

David doesn't want to be involved with any of it, and wonders why Walker or another CORE agent can't take George Dean down. Walker explained that he tried to engage George's mind, but the demon's hold is too strong. George can only be stopped by David because he is the source of George's pain. There is a chance the demon's hold on George would soften, if George confronts this pain. There is also a chance that the demon's powers increases.

David decides to stay at CORE headquarters and train. However, when George threatens David's grandfather, David leaves before he is finished training to face off against George Dean, who is now donning an armored suit prototype called the DeanMachine, created by Dean Enterprises.

David Johnson appeals to George that he can be free of the demon's hold on him. George ultimately refuses. The battle is intense. David wins and saves his grandfather. George is presumed dead.

David, cleared of all charges, decides not to attend Foxxburgh-Wellington. Instead, he chooses East Central High School, where his presence can have a better impact. George, however, is not dead. He has survived.