This is the first issue in Volume 1 of A Long Road to Fortune. It is titled Third World.
It was the middle of the day and the port city of Acapulco was in the face of disaster. The dead replaced the living as the residents of the city and the buildings that once stood tall were mostly collapsed on the ground below, broken and reduced to ruins. There was no sight of any survivors. There were just cars and the dead. The dead were wandering aimlessly around the city, waiting for their next meal to show up.
Some weeks earlier.
In the municipality of Tecpan de Galeana, a group of friends were seen drinking juice together on some benches in the town's square, which they call the zocalo. There were a total of 6 older looking teenagers, 3 of which were male and 3 of which were female.
"This is still my favorite juice in the entire planet" exclaimed one of the boys. The boy was short, thin, and had a full head of dark brown hair. His name was Fausto. He was as relaxed as anyone could be on such a nice day. "I mean, sure, the juice you can get at OXXO comes from large companies that know what they're doing but nothing beats the urban taste." said Fausto.
"Yeah, I guess you're right about that." replied another boy. This boy was easily the tallest of the group, with a height of 6 feet even. He was thin but muscular. Not muscular like a body builder, but muscular like a physically fit young man for his age. This boy's name was Ashton. "It's good. Everyone loves it." said Ashton, with a sad look in his face.
"Hey, you have had that same look all day. Please, cheer up or tell us what the problem is!" replied one of the girls. This girl had a long head of jet black hair that was as smooth as silk. She was about Fausto's height but much thinner. Her name was Liza.
"It's just that, my parents decided to extend their vacation. I miss them, you know? I really wish I hadn't stayed in town to study for the physics competition." said Ashton.
"You made the right choice there. Placing high in that competition will help you get into a great college!" replied another girl. This girl was taller than Liza and Fausto but not as thin as they were. Her long curly brown hair was what people knew her for. This girl's name was Yvette.
"I think you're missing the point Yvette. My parents are so caught up on work that they are barely around. I thought this vacation of theirs was only going to last a week. Now it's turned into a month. I'll be lucky if they come back by the time I graduate!" replied Ashton, with an uneasy tone in his voice.
"Cry baby. Just relax, you have us. We can keep you company until they get back." replied the third girl. This girl was the shortest member of the group but what she lacked in height, she made up in spunk. You could say she was the most immature member of the group. Her nickname was Mimi. She didn't like to give our her real name. "I will keep teasing until you cheer up. Don't make me have to make you cry!"
"Alright alright. I'll cheer up. Peer pressure strikes again..." exclaimed Ashton sarcastically.
"Oh boo-hoo" replied Mimi.
"Guys, can you hear that?" said the last of the friends, Lucas. Lucas was what most people would call "a hardcore soccer fan". He had the body physique and the agility to keep playing soccer for days on end. "Sounds like gunshots..."
"Those ARE gunshots! We have to get out of here!" exclaimed Ashton, clearly serious.
Over in the distance, the group could see the police and the cartel members going at it in a classic shootout.
"There goes the 7 month record" said Yvette. "And in such a nice day too..." replied Liza.
"Here's what I'm thinking. The street behind the church. We can make it there, come on!" said Ashton as he and his friends made their way to said street.
"I can't believe it! We're going to make it!" exclaimed Lucas. "And they didn't even see us!" replied Liza, who was just as relieved as Lucas, if not more. The group made their way to the alley, only to discover more members of the Costa Grande Cartel waiting to attack.
"La Reforma, quick!" said Ashton. "We can beat them!"
The group was shot at but they were out of the gunmen's range to get a clear shot. Two men were sent after the group.
"Ashton, the alley next to the pharmacy, it leads back to the main avenue!" said Yvette, as the group kept moving. "What are we waiting for then!" replied Ashton.
The group made it to the alley. The men were still in pursuit of them but the friends had enough time to hop the fence and be home free. "Guys, I'll help you all up" said Ashton. The rest of the friends nodded and started going over the fence one by one. Eventually, only Liza and Ashton remained and Ashton gave Liza a boost up. "Hurry Ashton!" Liza exclaimed.
Ashton was on his way up the fence when he was pulled down by the two men from the cartel.
"Hey, look who it is! The infamous Ashton! What an honor." said one of the two men.
"What do you want? Money? Fortune? Your wives to love you again? Because I can give you all but the latter." replied Ashton.
"Damn, you're cocky. How about you show some respect for the men holding the knives? replied the men
"Well, when you put it that way, I have no choice but to try and respect you." said Ashton sarcastically.
"People like you are what make the world interesting. If all people were good, where would the fun be? That is where you and me come in, kid. We are what makes the world fun" replied one of the two men.
"I'm not like that anymore!" replied Ashton, angrily.
"Yeah, right." replied one of the men. "Now, we have a message to send to you" The two men proceeded to stab Ashton in the stomach. Ashton fell back after being stabbed six times.
"Don Tucan sends his regards" said the two men as they left the scene of the crime.
Ashton passed out as sirens were heard.
An unknown number of days later, at the hospital, Ashton was being wheeled out by a woman. This woman was his aunt, Patricia Leon. The hopsital was in flames. Patricia had a duffel bag full of medical supplies with her as she wheeled Ashton out of the hospital. The streets were infested with the dead, all wanting to get a piece of Ashton and Patricia. As Patricia got closer and closer to Ashton's house, she was bit in the arm by one of the dead, and just a block away too. "Go back to hell!" yelled Patricia as she blew the dead man's brains out with a shot from her revolver. After making it inside the house, Patricia laid Ashton down on his parents bed and left the room, crying.
Days later, Ashton was finally waking up. "Ugh. Where am I? Am I, back home? said Ashton, clearly confused. Ashton turned his iPhone on an checked the date and time. Upon doing so, Ashton quickly came to one conclusion. "Oh no, I am way late for school!"
- Although released a whole year later, this issue is chronologically preceded by the Banshee character special.
- The title of the issue refers to Mexico, the country in which the story takes place. As such, Mexico is considered a third world country.
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