1965-03-02 - What Happened in Ghana
Summary: Kwabena was sent by his father to investigate abnormal and unsanctioned military activity in the Afram Plains of Ghana.
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March 02, 1965

Somewhere in the Afram Plains, Ghana

Wetlands, foliage, dusty earth. It was the perfect place to conceal an operation like this. Many of the villages in the region had been long since forgotten by the Republic; in fact, countless people still referred to their land as the Gold Coast, entirely unaware of the turmoil that took place. What they did remember were the guns, the knives, the bloodshed and famine.

Kwabena was born in one of the more fortunate villages. Akua had wanted it that way; she felt that Kwame's influence in Accra would be dangerous for them. He thinks of them as he travels to the location given to him by his father; Kwame wasn't sure if Kwabena would find anything there or not, and the last five potential locations had turned out to be nothing. He was fond of his father, but the bitterness toward what his mother had turned into… that was deep. She'd have been better off in one of these dirty villages than with a needle in her arm.

As it turned out, the sixth location surprised him. The huts here were not in disrepair. The people looked healthy, with irrigated gardens and wheeled carts, but the heavy tracks weren't made by those carts. Those were military grade transports, a suspicion proved by merely hiding in the trees to wait for one of them to trundle by, spitting exhaust into the clean air.

He waited until nightfall, watching carefully as the stars and the moon traversed the night sky. The backpack carrying his supplies was hidden beneath a thick bush, and once he guessed they were well past midnight, he followed those tire treads to find something that certainly did not belong.

A bunker.

It wasn't difficult for Kwabena to force the door, for he'd come to understand at least one aspect of his mutant powers quite well. Quietly he crept into the bunker, noting nothing that stood out of place (beyond the fact that a military bunker didn't belong at the center of a village like this). Crates, some marked in dialects he didn't know, others he could read; some marked RATIONS, others with AMMO and REPAIRS. There were soldiers asleep in their bunks, an empty mess hall, an officer's room that was empty.

There was, however, an elevator, clearly leading somewhere underground.

Not wanting to risk using the lift, Kwabena broke into a maintenance door and simply dropped into the shaft. Drops like this never killed him, anyway, and his landing was a silent as the smoke he transformed into. What he found underground though… he did not expect.

The machinery was crude. Some of it suggested more advanced technology, like he had seen in the West, but much of it was crudely paired together with rotting cables, old switches and rusting levers. A thick glass window with a webwork of metal lattice showed a darkened room beyond, but he certainly recognized the radiation warning labels upon the window and the thick lead door leading into the darkened chamber.

Voices prompted him to hide. Some of the words he couldn't decipher, but others were similar to his native tongue.

We will increase the dosage this time, to 300 milligrams. Then we will flood them with 2,000 rads.

That is beyond the lethal dose.

If it changes more of them, we will be paid with more money. We won't have to worry about the others talking.


And profitable. Bring them in.

From his hiding place, Kwabena saw the officer and his men entering from a room he'd not been able to investigate. They had guns drawn, and were wearing radiation suits. One by one they shuffled the prisoners in… he counted thirty of them before losing track. They were sent into the chamber, which was now lit by portable lamps. Some of them were crying, many of them injured. Men, women, children. All of them African, and anyone who resisted met the end of a rifle with brutal sounds of flesh and bone in agony.

One by one, the people were forced to take injections in the backs of their necks. Kwabena thought of doing something to stop this nonsense, but no, he had to see just what it was they were doing. One man, clearly a scientist of some sort, instructed the soldiers to put their helmets on. Then he began twisting dials and pushing levers, causing a rumble to fill the bunker.

The noise grew until Kwabena could practically feel it vibrating the air. Then there came a blinding flash of light from the room, prompting him to turn away and cover his face. The screams… they were muted, but soon the light faded and he peered out to see just what had happened.

Most of the bodies were slumped over, charred to the bone, mouths open in final cries of terror and pain. Two, only two had survived; one was a hulking man whose muscles and skin were being stretched by sudden, rapid growth. The other, a woman, had arcs of electrical energy lashing out from her arms, shoulders, eyes. They were confused, still in pain, but Kwabena… he was fixated on the corpses.

Everything went red. With a vicious growl, he emerged from his hiding place and went to work on the soldiers, dismantling them with visceral carnage. Killing was certainly on the table, and their guns only served to shred his clothing. However, the violence triggered the oversized hulk of a man to rage, and he began thumping on the glass, trying to get out.

Looking back, Kwabena would come to regret not that he killed those soldiers, but that he did so with such rage, for it gave the officer and his scientist a chance to escape. This would not be his fate, however, for eventually, the hulking mutant busted through the glass and came at Kwabena with mad fury.

The fight was short lived, but not because of Kwabena or his foe's mutant abilities; no, the fight came to a quick end when the mutant bumped into a dial, causing the reactor to charge again. Only this time, when it fired, the radiation was blown right out into the control room.

It was the last thing Kwabena remembered before everything… everything became blinding light and searing agony.

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