It is hard to picture Travis as an innocent tyke abandoned in the battlefield years ago during the war outbreak of December 2033. Adopted, raised and trained among mercenaries in their underground command posts, Travis proved to be an elite feared for his deadly speed in the field, and now leads the squad into combat. Save your pity for this once orphaned young lad, because you can be sure he won't give you any.

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Travis was an orphan that was found and brought up as a child by the mercenaries. The story will hint at him being a clone that either escaped or was discarded by the Cloners. We'll show how he was naturally gifted with weapons, as he takes out people using smoke grenades. There will also be a scene which will intersect with one of the other characters.

Chapter 1

Adam sat quietly in his chair. In front of him was his war desk with maps and marks and all the complicated things that battle strategies are made of. It has been only a little over three months since he became the leader of this mercenary camp and it still felt a bit weird.
Everything had been a bit weird since the incident.
Taking over Darren, his mentor and former leader of the mercenaries (until he decided to double-cross everyone), was no easy task but what was harder was winning the trust and respect of his fellow mercenaries all over again.
And then there were the bombs.
Several nuclear warheads had hit major citys and the entire world was in shambles. It was a small miracle that he managed to get most of the mercenaries into bunkers in time. Now, he will have to start the rebuilding process.
Adam looked over to the doorway and saw one of his scouts reporting.
"We have updates, sir. It seems that it wasn't a unit like we previously thought. It's, um, more like just one person, sir."
He handed Adam a report paper. It had been a few weeks since these incidents popped up in the North Sector near their camp. At first he didn't give it much thought but as the number of incidents increased along with the dead, he sent a few patrols to investigate.
Three of the patrols never returned and one managed to get back, speaking about green smoke and invisible units which tried to take them out. Now, they're reporting that it was in fact just one unit who has been taking out the patrols.
One person.
"Your orders, sir?"
He'd better check it out.

Chapter 2

Some miles north from the mercenaries camp was John. He'd been with the mercenary group for nearly a decade now. He was a keen follower of Darren but he never saw the double-cross coming. He was still a bit unsure how he felt about the new leader Adam.

It was the lack of an eye that was a bit startling to him.
He was with his second-in-command guy Chung. The two of them were very, very cautiously creeping through the ruins. He was sure by now that the rest of his squad who wandered deeper into the ruins weren't having a sit-down chit-chat inside, making some tea. He was damn sure the thuds he heard were the sound of their big, rugged bodies hitting the floor.
Those were three big, rugged bodies and from the earlier reports, it was just one enemy unit lurking in there. John wasn't a small man nor was he an inexperienced one. But this particular situation was a bit uneasy for him. And he doesn't like feeling uneasy on a mission.
He looked over at Chung and got a nervous shrug. He exhaled and slowly stepped into the deeper ruins, his rifle aimed and ready. Chung followed. After his eyes got used to the dark, John saw the ruins more clearly. It appeared it was a factory of some sort before. There were some tubes and broken glass specimen chambers and...
He stepped on something bulky.
He looked down and shone the light from his rifle to see the body of one of his men. He shone his light around and saw other bodies on the floor. A slight gasp escaped from Chung but he composed himself before John could give him a stern look.
Something hit Chung on the head. It didn't hurt that much, thanks to his helmet, but the object fell with a clang at his feet. He looked down to see as green smoke came fuming up. He started foaming at the mouth. John was screaming at him but it was too late.
Another clang was heard around John's feet as he watched a small shadowy figure jump on Chung. John turned and legged it, knowing well that he would not stand a chance in here alone. Something hit him in the legs and he fell, losing his rifle. He heard another clang right next to him and green smoke started fuming out. His throat started choking up, but before he passed out, he saw the mask, dark and sinister, coming at him through the smoke.

Chapter 3

Adam led his men through the jungle and came to the edge of the ruins. He remembered vaguely the last time he was here, a little over three months back. It seemed like that was a lifetime ago. That was over and done with, and he needed to focus on the mission at hand.

They came to the makeshift camp left behind by John's patrol. Everything seemed normal, except that there were signs that they left in a hurry. No one was attacked here for sure. There was no doubt they went deeper into the factory ruins.
As Adam and his men went inside, just a few steps in, he saw something on the floor. He approached cautiously and found it to be the body of John. He noticed the foam at the mouth and realized what had occurred. What troubled him more was how the head was bludgeoned with a blunt object. It seemed like it wasn't a single hit as well.
It wasn't going to work for them like this.
He ordered his men to go back to camp. They slowly backed away and left the ruins. Adam noticed a slight movement somewhere in the dark deeper in the ruins but acted as if he didn't see a thing. He already had a plan.

Chapter 4

Night fell and Adam made his men ready the equipment. He had somehow figured out what they were up against but how that came about, he was still in doubt. It's a wild, abnormal world these days, so anything can happen. He hoped this would be a smooth operation.

They went into the ruins and as soon as they've passed the body of John, a few canisters came flying at them. They hit some of his men and fell to the ground, clanging loudly. Adam was in the front and he saw a small figure jump onto him, holding a steel pipe.
He quickly grabbed the figure by the throat and lifted it up. The figure swung the pipe at Adam, hitting him on the shoulder. Some of Adam's men came over to help him subdue the small figure, which was wiggling violently by then.
Outside of the ruins, the silence of the night was broken as Adam and his team dragged the struggling small figure out. Cleared from the poisonous smoke, they all took off their gas masks and night-vision goggles. And they saw the small figure clearly.
It was a young boy. Fiesty as a honey badger and raging like a trapped wolverine. Adam took off the boy's gas mask, which seemed a bit too big for a boy that size and examined him. There was a dog tag around the boy's neck with the name Travis on it.
"That's not your name, is it boy?" Adam asked.
He only got an angry look back.
"Shall we take him out, sir?"
"No, he's only a boy, and he was scared."
"But he killed a lot of our men, sir!"
"We can turn him into a weapon for us. Trust me, he's going to be a useful mercenary."
Some of his men mumbled and grunted.
"Tie him up for the journey back and secure the area. Also, collect all the dead bodies for a proper burial."
By the break of dawn, there was a respectful burial for the fallen men. The boy had to take part as well, locked in chains.

Chapter 5

6 months later.

Adam watched as a few young recruits train in the grounds. There was a duel going on. Nothing lethal but it means a lot, respect wise, if you win duels in the camp. There were two boys going at it. One was significantly larger than the other. But that didn't seem to matter.
The smaller one was faster. Way, way faster. And more vicious and precise as well. Within a few moves, he was on the back of the larger boy and choking him out. A moment or two later, the larger boy fell to his knees and tapped out.
"Well done, Travis!" Adam shouted.
The boy looked back at him.
"Could be faster though." Adam added with a smile.
The boy smiled back and helped the larger boy up. Then they went off with the other boys to do more training. Adam stayed back, looking on as the boys left.
He named him Travis, even though he was sure the dog tag was someone else's. The boy probably found shelter in the factory ruins during or after the bombs. Either way, he was extremely lucky. He seemed to have found the poison canisters in the factory as well and used them to protect himself from others. He was scared, that's all. He was a scared boy in a bad world. And now, he seemed to have found himself a home.