This is your future and your present. There are some things you may find familiar, other things that you may find strange. America still exists, and it is mostly the same as it has been for many years. Things have changed from the events that you, the people of the early 21st century, are witnessing now. You speak of the Iraq War...in this future, the Iraq War is far in the past, and remembered only as one of the many "Sand Wars" that raged in the Middle East. You speak of liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, war hawks and peace doves...in this future, the lines have been erased and redrawn too many times.
Times have changed...and yet, they are about to change again. This is the world of the Hidden.
"I hope this is worth it," the man in the suit growled. "It's time for me to go to dinner, and if it takes any longer, I'm going to be ten minutes late. I have a reputation to keep up, and you had better remember that. If you want any sort of support at all..."
"Shut your fat face, Senator," hissed the figure in the hoodie. "Do you want soldiers or not?"
"If you want me to support the Legatus Program, you have to show me why. I will not simply take promises made by a stupid punk like you."
The hooded figure paused, and the man in the suit could barely detect a sneer on the shadowed face beneath. "I'm putting up with your crap because I get told to. You wanna see something? Then watch closely."
And then, as he spoke the last words, the teenager stepped back, hiding in the darkness. Except that...there was nothing to see. The Senator would have been able to see at least something, should have been able to see something...but there was nothing. All that could be seen was the slimy alley, its walls coated in rain and gunk. The Senator stepped forward, slowly, wincing as his black, polished shoes splashed in an iridescent puddle of water and oil.
Oil...an old part of the city. Those people who still use oil regularly...
Oil had once been more common, before the Sand Wars. Humankind had been lucky, discovering new energy sources before the wars annihilated over half of the Middle East's supply of oil. Yet one of many ways that the human race had lucked out in the first half of the Mid-21st Century.
"Right behind you, fatso," came the messenger's arrogant voice.
The Senator wheeled on his heel, nearly slipping and falling, and faced the voice—the hooded kid had reappeared there. He laughed. "So, is that enough for you? Ever thought about how useful an invisible man could be? Legatus is going to give it to your army, and much more. So, are you going to shut up and support Legatus?"
The suit's mouth was wide open. He slowly nodded, and turned to leave. The punk's laugh chased after him.
"What, scared of a little kid like me?"
"Congratulations, Johnson," the Chief said, glancing at the man before him. "Another successful arms bust. Those toughs just keep getting cockier and cockier. I'm glad we've got such an exceptional man on our force."
"It's not that I'm exceptional," replied Troy Johnson, as he shifted uncomfortably in his stance. "There's nothing different about me, I'm just like everyone else. I just got lucky again."
The Chief snorted. "Thirty years in the police force, and I've never seen anyone with such a streak of luck as you claim to have. You've got something going, Johnson. I oughta send you up to Interpol, but I guess I'm being selfish. Which means you get to keep working in the Apple."
"Like I said, I got lucky. I wasn't even the one who did the bust. That was Lindsey."
"Corporal Lindsey wouldn't have gotten anywhere without your investigation and setup. It was amazing...you followed them...almost as if they couldn't see you, as if you were invisible."
"Invisible? That's a crazy idea."
"Well yes, of course. But the point is, you did a good job. I commend you for it. And keep your eyes open...I'll make sure you get a reward for all of this."