March 25, 2012
This is the world we live in now. The greatest champions of our time shut away from the public and forgotten. But I haven’t forgotten, no I remember every act they ever did. The days have made me older and weaker, if some of the old crew could see me now. After the heroes left the world to protect itself, the military took over the government and now the law is final. This was not what those champions wanted for this world. It only worsened with the development of weapons and the power that led to the corruption of the government. The people looked to the skies and said help us. None answered because they were gone. The Bullet didn’t speed up and stop the fascists, the Red Queen didn’t blast anyone away, Stretch didn’t save anyone when the bridge was bombed, Mr. Invincible didn’t shield anyone from the bullets that were fired, The Black Hornet didn’t arrive and multiply himself to match the army that they had ,and the Nightmare, where was he? He was sitting alone, doing nothing as the world turned to dust. I can’t believe I just let it happen. This damn country never knew who we were, still don’t, but Robert believed we were getting old and I guess at the time I thought we did all we could for the city. We were wrong.
Suddenly a voice I heard shouting from an alley for help and I felt like I should do something. Then like a sucker punch to the jewels, it hit me. I’m not the Nightmare anymore I can’t help anyone. I hung up my gas mask ten years ago along with everything I believed in. But, but I couldn’t just let it happen….could I? I decided to do something and quickly ran down the alleyway. A girl was laying in a trash pile while three men surrounded her, one could see from the look in their eyes they did not have good intentions on their minds. I wasn’t as fit as I was twelve years ago, but I had to do something.
“Hey punks! Pick on someone your own size!” I said raising my fists.
“This don’t concern you old man! Why don’t you walk away before you get yourself in some trouble” One of the punks said.
“I like trouble” I said looking at the young men.
One of the young men swung at me, I ducked and punched him in the gut. The other two decided to attack together. Big mistake! Griping both their throats I choke slammed them on the ground. The adrenalin I felt at that moment passed quickly as I felt sharp pains in my chest and fell to my knees. This was it wasn’t it? This was what a heart attack felt like. The woman got up just in time for the police to arrive and see this old man griping his chest, surrounded by young men on the ground. Of course the cops arrive late as ever. I watched as the cops savagely beat the men who were already down on the ground and took the woman away. Even we didn’t beat someone anymore then they had to be.
“Hey Geezer are you ok?” One of our “fine” men in uniform asked me as I got up.
“I’m fine officer” I said as I walked past them.
“Move along sir” He said as I walked down the street.
I decided to walk to Robert’s house and see if the Black Hornet was interested in talking politics. I was the only one of the Guild to know everyone’s identity. They don’t know I have this knowledge and believe their identities to be safe now that they are out of public eye. Now look at what it’s got us. Robert told the rest of the team who he was because he trusted us. I admired that in him. I saw his apartment and slowly walked inside of the complex and up the three stories to his floor. I started walking towards his apartment when I saw the door was opened. I opened the door and was startled to see there were signs of a struggle.
“Robert! Robert?! Are you there?” I shouted as I looked around the room.
I was shocked to see his belt was against the wall with a blade through it. He was trying to use it. My stomach twisted as my mind went to the worst of scenes. And just as I turned the corner into his bedroom I saw him. His body covered in blood and his costume was right next to him. I felt my body go numb. Robert was dead and someone wanted his body to be seen next to his suit. My train of thought was stopped by a beeping noise coming from behind me. As I turned around I saw the bomb that the killer or killers had left. Without thought I picked up Roberts body and ran out of his apartment. As I reached the second floor the explosion went off and people began running out of their apartments and running into me. I don’t blame them. Panic is the greatest and most dangerous effect that the human body can feel. It makes us unpredictable. As I reached outside I saw emergency services arriving and lowered Roberts body to the ground. I ran down the alleyways to avoid any question or worse accusation from the authorities. Somebody did this to him and even worse knew he was The Black Hornet. I couldn’t think about this now I just wanted to get home.
When I got home, the door was opened. I cautiously stepped inside. Breathing heavily I walked into the hallway and looked at all the damage that was done. There was no bomb in sight for the moment and that calmed me down. I looked into the living room and saw it was in worse shape than the rest of the house. Was this coincidence? I picked up a cigar and lit it. Of course it had to be I kept my identity safer than anyone of the guild. This must have been one of those random break-ins, and not some sort of assassination attempt. Suddenly I heard something, the sound was faint but I quickly ducked as an assassin’s knife sped past me and hit my old picture. Two assassins appeared in front of me. The one with the knives was apparently the Robin Hood whose knife was now in my pictures face. I would hope acting ignorant would avoid trouble.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my home? Please just take whatever you want!” I said trying to sound as helpless as possible.
“Cut the crap Nightmare. We know who you are!” One of the assassins said.
Fear gripped my body. How did they know who I was? This wasn’t a coincidence at all. Someone killed Robert because he was a hero and now they were after me. Acting the fool wouldn’t help me here.
“So, are you two responsible for Hornet?” I asked as I looked at both men, inspecting them.
“Does it matter? You will be joining him soon!” The other said as he pulled out his gun.
The one with the gun was apparently cocky and inexperienced from the way he stepped closer; wanting to kill me at point blank range; while the knife guy was more experienced he didn’t seem to be in control of his actions and would act impulsively. This could be gathered from his attempt to kill me soon. Or I could be wrong and my sixth sense has finally deceived me. I knew I wasn’t wrong.
Stepping closer to me was his last mistake. I grabbed his arm and punched him in the face. The pistol fell to the ground and let off a round. In a panic his partner threw a knife at me. That was the second mistake. I pulled the man in front of me to block the knife. It was a kill shot all right. It hit him right in the head. As his body grew limp I quickly picked up his gun. Hoping my heart wouldn’t give out like it almost did earlier today. I shot the knife wielding assailant in the leg and he dropped his knife. I ran over to him as he put something in his mouth.
“Don’t you swallow it you bastard!” I said as I grabbed his neck.
It was too late, he started foaming at the mouth and within seconds he was dead. Someone was out to kill me and I wasn’t going to let them do it without putting up a fight. Nightmare would have to return. Running upstairs I broke the floorboard I hid my suit under. The gas mask looked as if it had been waiting for me. It shone in the moonlight and was ready to be worn. My revolver and gas pellets were just as welcoming. I knew I couldn’t stay living here and that I had to disappear. Looking in the mirror I saw the angry man and his mask reunited after ten years. Age had done a number on me. I wouldn’t let them think I was easy pickings even if I was old. I let the gas run on my stove and waited outside. The funeral for Robert would be in a few days and I would be there ready to say goodbye. I lit a fuse I had led out of my house. It went up in flames and I walked away from my quite life into the darkness of the world.
The funeral was small, but I recognised the guild members at glance. The rain was adding to the sadness of the atmosphere and the priests melancholy sermons. As they left I looked at his grave and waited for everyone to be gone before I started. I began talking to my friend remembering all the old talks we had.
“So I guess you know now huh? I was Nightmare. Then again I bet you knew all along didn’t you. You just wanted me to say it. The Smug smartass you are, you wanted the satisfaction of me admitting I was a hero and you knew that all along. Ya got your wish I guess.” laughing softly as if he was actually here I looked down at my feet.
“Remember how we used to always save each other’s butts when we were in deep. I guess I kind of let you down on that deal huh? Last time I checked we were pretty even in the score” I said as I looked at the tombstone, I bowed my head to look at what was written on the bottom.
All of a sudden a bullet grazed my shoulder. A young woman was holding a gun behind me and started shooting. I ducked behind the grave and shot back at her.
“Die you son of a bitch!” She screamed as the bullets hit the tombstone.
Pulling out my gun I stood up and fired at her while she was reloading. She hit the ground before firing another shot. Looking at the grave I felt like a coward hiding behind it.
“Even in death you want to win huh? Ok you won. Happy?” I said as I saw the words written on his grave.
“The Power of One man can help the many” it said.
I started running toward the meeting place, they would be there later and then I would have answers.
They arrived in the quarry one by one. I knew who each one of them was, but they had no idea who the strangers next to them were. As they got closer I put the last of my suit on, my mask. I stood up and turned on one of the lights. William Humphreys, Scarlet Robinson, Scot Rosenberg, and Patrick Hopkins were all here and I was going to get some answers from each one of them. They all looked at each other and I turned on the next light to illuminate my position.
“Looks like we all have arrived.” I announced as they looked up to me.
“Whose there?” Scott said from below.
“It s the Nightmare!” Scarlet said as she looked up in shock.
“What’s he want?” William said as he stepped closer.
“You step any closer William and I will shoot you. Or is that what you want?” I said as he stopped in his tracks.
“How do you know His name?” Scott said as he stared at me with a nervous look in his eyes.
William got closer to me. I loaded my gun and shot William in the chest. They all grew quite as he hit the ground.
“Why did you kill him?!!” Scarlet asked me as her face showed anger and disappointment.
“That was an exploding round if it had killed him his torso would be in pieces. Isn’t that right Mr. Invincible?”I said as I saw William get up from the ground.
“How long have you known?”He said getting up.
“Longer than I’ve known about the rest of you.” I said as I looked at each of them.
“William Humphreys aka Mr. Invincible, Scarlet Robinson, formerly Scarlet Turner, AKA The Red Queen, Patrick Hopkins aka The Bullet, And Scott Rosenberg Aka Stretch.” I said smiling at each one of them.
“What do you want Nightmare?” Scott said as he saw no point in defending it.
“Three days ago Robert Kinsley Aka The Black Hornet was murdered by assassins and then they tried to kill me. They either underestimated me and sent run of the mill armatures or something else is going on here. I think we are all in danger. I don’t want to see anyone else murdered.” I said as I looked at my former comrades.
“No. Nightmare, there is no way I’m returning to being a hero. I have a family now I’m a mother damn it. Did you even consider that they don’t know who we are?” Scarlet said as her hands grew red.
“Who doesn’t know Scarlet? The murderers or your Family?” I snapped at her, and she grew silent.
“We have new lives now Nightmare. It’s not the same as it once was. The world has changed and we have too. Robert’s death was a tragedy, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to put my suit back on and fight whoever’s doing this!” Patrick said as he walked towards the car.
“I’m giving all of you a week to decide on this offer; otherwise I’m doing this alone. If you all come to your senses meet me at this location. I’ll be here every night at midnight for one hour, expecting one of you to show. Of course I’m just being optimistic.” I said as they all looked at me.
“Goodbye Nightmare” Patrick said as he got into his car.
“I want nothing to do with you” William said as he walked towards his car.
Scarlet not saying anything got into her SUV and drove away.
Scott just looked at me and walked off.
I hoped for their sakes that this one time, I was just wrong about everything and old age had gotten to me. Oh how I hoped.
March 25, 2012
It was late when I got home and Andrew was working late again. "Working late" is his way of saying I’m going out to cheat on you with my secretary. I always acted naive about him coming home late smelling of perfume, and lipstick on his collar. But the problem at the moment wasn’t his cheating; it was that I couldn’t get Nightmare's words out of my head. Was he right? Would they be coming after my family and me? Or was his old age finally catching up to him? I didn’t know. All I knew was that Helen was asleep and I needed a coffee. Walking down the hallway I looked at the pictures of my family, as they lead me into the kitchen. I looked at the coffee maker on the counter and the cold coffee in it. Sighing I was about to turn on the pot to heat up the coffee when I paused. I looked at my hands and remembered the old days when I used her powers for anything I wanted. Now it was all a secret. I began to reminisce about the first day I joined the guild of justice.
I was seventeen and began learning how to control the powers I had. We all met each other in the city centre and began fighting. Stretch wrapped himself around the army of doppelgangers that the Black Hornet had formed with his technology, in an attempt to stop them from growing larger. At that moment I was shooting red energy at Mr. Invincible in an attempt to hurt him, it was a futile attempt though. The fight broke out because we didn’t know who each other were and back then people could trust very little costumed individuals. As a result we assumed that each of us was a super villain and didn’t want to wait to see what was going to happen if we let our guard down. The fighting stopped when a smoke pellet hit the ground and exploded. We all stopped and looked to where it came from. It was the Nightmare standing on a fire escape, looking down at us aiming his gun. He said we all looked foolish and revealed that each of us was a superhero and not a villain. That day we all agreed to become a team, a team that would protect the people of this fine city and country if need be, to make the result of a better place for everyone. I think of that day now as I turn thirty-seven and wonder what if we stopped the military uprising? Would the country be in the bad situation it is in?
I looked to my left and looked to my right. Smiling, I lifted the pot up and put the bottom of it on my hand. I let the energy flow through my body and suddenly my hand illuminated and the coffee began to boil. After ten years of retirement I still got it. Pouring the coffee into the cup I began sipping it. The sad thing was that heating that pot of coffee was the height of excitement I have had in a long time. The coffee tasted stale in my mouth, but I didn’t care. It seemed fitting for me to be sucking on stale coffee, after the day I’ve had. Nightmare was still in my head, how I could even consider going back to being a hero. I’m a mother now and married to someone. Granted that someone is a pencil neck, cheating, vain, piece of slime that would sooner turn me in to the cops for being a vigilante than lay next to me in bed. Leaning against the kitchen counter I looked out the open window at the moonlight. Wondering if I was kidding myself about trying to live a normal life, I stared at the pale moon in the sky. Then as I let my mind wonder, something struck me. I didn’t open this window.
Quickly I ran to Helens room, hoping that they hadn’t got to her before I did. My heart was racing as I got closer and closer to her room. I prayed that she would be in bed asleep and I was only being paranoid. I slowly opened the door and saw my daughters sleeping shape in the bed. Breathing in relief I leaned against the door and I began to laugh a little.
“I must be going out of my mind” I said as I took another look at my daughter
I walked over to her and put my hand on her shoulder. The quilt was covering her whole body so I decided to talk to her hoping she wouldn’t wake up.
“Honey I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I can’t escape the life I had before I met your farther. But if we are lucky maybe his genes were more dominant than mine and you will have a normal life. It’s not like I asked for this, but at the same time I am grateful for it.” I said as I put my hand on her shoulder and rolled her over.
To my shock it wasn’t my daughter in the bed, it was a mannequin with a wig. As I stood up in shock, I felt hands around my neck. Their grip began to tighten around my throat, I felt my body reacting the only way it could. It lit up like a fire cracker. My cloths burned off my body and my attacker stepped back. I dropped to the ground naked but ready to fight off this son of a bitch. He struck at me and missed. Apparently he wasn’t very familiar with choking someone who could turn their whole body into a red fiery torch. It wasn’t long before I had him backed into a corner.
“Where is my daughter?!!?!” I said screaming at him, my whole body a raging red flame.
“She’s strapped to the bomb in the garage” He said smiling, then foam started erupting from his mouth.
I ran to the garage and saw my little girl strapped to the bomb. She wasn’t screaming but she was breathing. They drugged her. I ran over to her and saw the bomb was ticking away. Untying my daughter and putting her on the ground I picked up the bomb.
Running outside with it I looked for somewhere to get rid of it. I quickly saw the sea and began running towards it. The sand felt strange between my toes as I ran naked on the beach. I was almost there when I felt a sharp object pierce my leg. I tripped and saw the bomb skid only to the edge of the ocean. If it blows up now I’m going to go with it. As this thought crossed my mind a women’s high heal landed in front of my eyes. Looking up I saw a woman around ten years younger than me with blades in her hand.
“So this is my target. Big deal what can you do? I would have preferred the yellow gas mask dude. Well let’s get this over with shall we?” She said as she lifted her knifes up.
I quickly blasted her back with a fire bolt. Getting up off the ground, I gripped my wound and burned it shut to stop the bleeding. I screamed in agony but ran towards the bomb. Picking it up, I threw it as hard as I could into the ocean. As I let go of the bomb I was pounced on by the mysterious assailant. My body hit the sand on the beach hard as the woman mounted me like a wild animal.
“You have fight in you! I love that crap!!” She kissed me as she finished her sentence.
“I do love to give my victims a kiss before dying.” She said as she lifted the knife up.
“I'll see you in hell” I screamed as my whole body turned into flame and set her on fire.
She began screaming and running around. I added to the flame by shooting more bolts at her. She wasn’t dead but she wasn’t going to get up anytime soon.
“Who sent you?” I asked the burned woman.
“You think he would let me live if I told you?” She said as she started to laugh
She pulled out a knife and before I could stop her had slit her own throat. I decided to run back to Helen only to find her farther, holding her staring at me. Walking slowly over to them I didn’t know what I was going to say. Then again, I think he would be more interested in the fact that his wife was naked on the beach.
“What are you Scarlet?” Andrew said as if he cared.
“A super hero. I’m a damn superhero Andrew. Or at least I was before I met you.” I said to my husband and daughter rather proudly.
“You’re a……Super hero?” He said sounding like an idiot.
“Yes. Now get Helen out of here and hide for a while. The drugs they used on her will wear off in about 4 hours. Go to your girlfriend’s house or something.” I said as I walked past him.
“What the hell are you gonna do? What if I tell someone who you are?! Then what hmm?” He shouted trying to sound threatening.
“I’m going to go avenge a friend and keep my daughter safe. And if you tell anyone about who I am, these people will find you. Kill you, your girlfriend and our daughter. And it will be your entire fault.” I said to my coward of a husband
“The divorce will be settled after this is over.” I said digging up the box I buried years ago.
“Scarlet, I’m sorry I hurt you.” He said as he walked towards the car.
Putting on the outfit I felt like a burden had been taken off my chest as the car drove away. The mask felt as perfect as it did ten years ago and fit like a glove. I had no time to waste Nightmare was right and he was waiting I just hope the others find out this fact before it’s too late
March 25, 2012
As I stepped into the High-School I wondered how the laws of the world had changed within the last ten years. First the heroes left, then the army took over, then the police force let the power go to their head and this resulted in a police state. I'm sure that I could have done something if I had tried. But then again what was the point? Would it have made a difference? Could one man change anything? I constantly plagued myself with these questions. I lifted the morning paper to read what the headlines were. I nearly spat the coffee in my mouth out in shock as I read the headline:
It depicted how that there have been sighting of vigilantes in the last two days. Vigilantes that seemed to resemble the Nightmare and the Red Queen were seen saving some children from a burning building. As I read the report I thought about the old days. Being a hero wasn’t easy but we had a good system. Every time a villain committed crimes too serious to just be considered crazy or to be put to death, they were put in cryogenic suspension. To this day many of the villains we put away are still frozen and hopefully it will stay that way. I stopped reading my paper as my students slowly came into class, talking amongst themselves about who is dating who, who made the team, who lost weight, all the typical teenage crap. I sighed and started the lecture.
I was overcome with the smell of coffee as I stepped into the staff room. Most of the teachers were sitting down either eating or talking about whatever the day’s topic was. Sometimes it was the students and other times what was happening in their own lives. I found that the topic of the day was the Vigilantes return and how they made the authorities look like idiots. This description brought a smile to my face as for a split second I thought of what would it be like to go back to being a hero. That moment quickly passed as Ms. Simmons, the school principle, came over to me. Ms. Simmons and I had been close for some years before my accident and as of late have rekindled our old acquaintance. She was an attractive woman for her age but did not allow her body to hold any authority when it came to her cold, serous and strong willed image.
"Mr. Rosenberg. I wanted to ask you something. Do you have any free time this evening to have a discussion with me?" She said as I felt like there was a fist in my throat.
"Um. Yes Ms. Simmons I do have some free time. May I ask what this initials?" I tried to hold back my nervous feelings as I talked.
"Good. I’d like to see you in my office after school if that suits you fine." She said without any hesitation in her voice. This could mean anything from your fired to we found a better teacher.
"That is fine" I said as she slowly walked away leaving me with a look of confusion and fear on my face.
I waited outside the office of my employer as she stepped out with a suitcase. She had her hair down which was a seldom act for her. She preferred to look as professional as possible when she was working but was a little too casual when it came to her life outside school.
“Are you free Friday night Lawrence?" Melinda said in a more cheerful voice.
“I prefer Scott you know that Mel" I said looking at my boss and friend.
"And yes I am. Why?" I said feeling my stomach twist in ways id never be able to do with my powers.
Blushing she said "I've been thinking. Would you have dinner with me?"
"Like a date?" I said sounding like one of my students.
"Kinda" she said smiling at me.
"I'd love to. How’s Lorenzo’s sound?" I said becoming more confident in my appearance.
"Amazing. Pick me up at nine. You know where I live don’t you?" she said as I nodded to agree with her.
With that said we went our separate ways and I felt like I could do anything in the world.
On the drive home I thought of how it seemed like everything in my world was going right. There was nothing that could go wrong today that would ruin it for me. I pulled up to my apartment complex and saw that none was at the front desk. I didn’t pass much thought about it and just walked to the elevator to my room. There was a cold wind in the air. It made my skin stiffen, the only down side to having a body that’s able to expand like plastic is you stiffen up around winter. Smiling I stepped out of the elevator and into the hallway. Somehow it had gotten colder as I got closer to my room. When I opened the door it was as if the skin on my back was as thick as bark. I looked around and heard movement in the room. Someone was here in the room. I stretched my eyes out of my head and searched around the room. All of a sudden one of my eyes was stepped on by a big foot. I screamed in agony as I felt the pain surge through my body. Had my body not been elastic one of my eyes might have been punctured liked a water balloon.
"Well looky here what I found." A voice said from the other room
A huge man with a tank on his back walked towards me from the room where he must have stepped on my eye. I screamed further as my eye retracted into my skull.
"So you’re Mr. Stretch. Gotta say it’s an honour to be killing ya. See I’m ya number one fan." He said as sprayed me with the tanks contents.
My body was overcome with cold and became as stiff as wood. He punched me across the room and laughed as I hit the ground. I couldn’t move. This was perhaps the most terrifying moment of my lift. Taking the tank off, he stepped closer to me and wrapped his hands around my neck.
"I’m going to snap ya like a toothpick" He said in a deadpan sort of way.
As I felt his grip tighten I suddenly felt a warm sensation run up my body. His body was giving off heat, minor heat but enough for me to move. I lifted my hand and threw a punch. It didn’t do much to him but it did give me just enough room to let me knock him to the ground with a swift kick in the jewels. I found that he was using a liquid nitrogen spray to freeze the room. I quickly threw it out the window as he recuperated and got to his feet. He got up and charged towards me once again. He threw me down the hall with great force. Despite his intimidating stature he wasn’t very strong or smart and as a result only managed to land me two doors down. This was his biggest mistake, and my advantage. As I landed down the hall my body began to warm up. It was nowhere near as cold here as it was in my apartment. I stretched my arms out and punched him across the face. He didn’t know what hit him, until it hit him again and again.
"Well here since you’re my biggest fan. Let’s see if u knows what I’m going to do now." Spinning him around in a circle I threw him at the wall.
I stretched my arms over to him and begin to wrap him around in my arms. I squeezed his body tighter and tighter as my fists punched him repeatedly across his face. Then with all my strength I catapulted him into one of my neighbour’s rooms. As I walked over to him he began to laugh as his mouth began foaming. He had poisoned himself. What made this much more troubling was that not only did he know who I was, but Nightmare was right. Unlocking my safe I took out my suit and went to meet my former comrades.
March 25, 2012
For those who dont know I have updated the heroe's attire because prior to the new items that were added I had very little to work with. I will say this that I am actually very happy to be returning to this story as I always felt that it was one of my more interesting pieces. However, due to writers block it was shelved for a year and I had been working on an update for some time now. Thanks to all those who waited. I will also take this chance to thank Nobody who had won my contest Interpretation of My characters with his versions of Nightmare and The Red Queen.
So without further ado I will present the latest part of Heros Of out Time. The Bullet
I slammed my hand down on the alarm clock hard to stop the blasted beeping. The resulting factor being a sore hand and a broken alarm clock. Sixth one this month. The stinging sensation of the pain soon relinquished into mild discomfort as I shook my hand back and forth. I sat up in my bed and was met with the sunshine glaring into my eyes as if I had done wrong by it in the past. With a sigh I grabbed my pain medication from the table and popped the cap off. If I didn't take two of these little pills every day I wouldn't be able to walk straight. Running that fast as a young man comes with a price and that price is no kinder than the police that patrol the streets. My ligaments are thinner than the latest model of the week. It was fun though. Dashing at the speed of a bullet from point A to point B like it was nothing. Kids asking for my autograph and hanging on my every word. Not like now. Not like now at all. Then again maybe I am only remembering the good times of being the Bullet. There were perhaps more bad times than good times back then. One specific bad time was when Nightmare forced me out on patrol the day my mother died. Asshole.
I dropped the pills and got up out of bed. Grunting as I got up from the bed, I wished the pills would kick in sooner. I looked in the mirror at the flabby man staring back. How did I get from the speeding bullet to a grey haired flabby old divorced man with weak legs? Then again, there was some good to my life these days. Slowly I walked over to my closet to get my clothes for the day.
Before I had the chance to open it there was a knock on my front door. I grabbed my robe and walked out of my room towards the front door. The hallway was full of pictures of me and my co-workers, there were none of my ex-wife or children as I found that raised too many questions in company.
"I AM COMING!" I shouted as the impatient visitor continued to knock. I opened the door to something that caused my stomach to twist and anger to rise in my body.
My daughter of 16 and son of 10 stood with my ex wife at my doorstep. I prayed that this was all some kind of medication induced nightmare.
"Um…Hi guys. What’s going-" before I could even finish my daughter walked by me sporting a mini-skirt and t-shirt that almost made me want to vomit. It read "Naughty all the time". I knew what that meant, but I really wish I didn’t.
"Hello Patrick…Forget again?" My ex said in her condescending tone.
"As a matter of fact I didn't, I just have a lot on my mind these days Maxine." I lied as she handed me her little care package for Alex and Selena. She did this every time I had to look after the kids. As if I would forget that Alex is diabetic or that Selena is….becoming a woman. Oh how I hated to think about that.
"Try not to get them killed Patrick." Maxine said worrying I was going to have some kind of Cocaine party.
"Screw you Maxine. Their safe here."I said trying to stay as quiet as possible for the kid’s sake.
"I hope so…BYE KIDS" Maxine said to the kids turning from queen bitch to loving mommy instantly.
"Bye mommy” Alex said to his mother as Selena stayed silent.
I closed the door as Maxine walked away and was left with my two kids. This was going to be a long ass day. I prayed that the Eliminator would break out of his cryo-shell and somehow hunt me down to put me out of my misery. I walked into the living room where my kids were currently fighting over the remote.
"I WANNA WATCH 15 AND RICH!!" Selena shouted at Alex.
"NOOO ROBOT DOME!!" Alex shouted as they both pulled at the remote.
"KIDS!!!" I shouted and they stared at me.
"Have you…had breakfast yet?" I asked not sure what I wanted to talk with them about.
"I had a smoothie" Selena said as she snatched the remote from Alex's hand.
"DAAAAAAAD!" Alex shouted.
"Look! I'm going to get ready for work right now. So….don’t move." I said ignoring Alex's cry.
An hour later, I was dressed in a shirt and tie and shaved. It was only then that I decided to face the little monsters that were my children. I saw Alex in the kitchen playing a video game his mother must have got him. Selena was in the living room and seeing as I had to be at work soon I thought I should at least ask her to babysit for a few minutes. I walked towards the living room, but stopped as I heard her talking on the phone to someone.
"Yeah…Yeah…Oh common I am not that pretty….Look I can't meet today….Because I'm at my dads…I wish he was as cool as her…No he’s some Art dealer or something…Well maybe we can meet up later..No I'm not gonna play your games Josh." She said as she laughed a little and hung up.
Oh great. She has a boyfriend. This is all I need. First Nightmare goes on a rant about all the former members of the Guild of Justice being in danger, then I get a strange phone call from someone crying and asking me what it’s all about, now I find out my little girl is going out with some guy. My god this day could not get any worse.
I walked into the room and sat beside her. I have no idea how to do this kind of talk. I mean my dad didn't even have this talk with me I kinda just found out by my own, but hell if I'm gonna let her do that!
"Um…Selena…" I said to her not sure how to continue.
"Dad…what do you want?" She asked me confused at what the hell I was doing.
"When a man and a woman…Eh…love each other a lot-"
"DAD! Don't you dare! I don't want to hear this!!" She shouted interrupting me.
"But it’s important for you to know!" I said as she got up to leave.
"I know all this stuff and don't want to hear you tell me any of this crap please!!" She said as she looked down to me.
"Fine. Look I need you to babysit your brother. I need to get to work." I said to her as a look of pure disgust came across her face.
"Fine…" She said smiling. I knew that smile too well. It was the I am going to do something I'm not supposed to smile. But what could I do? I had to get to work.
"I love you honey" I said in a cliché T.V movie style dad way.
"Whatever Dad" She said as she left the room.
Work was quiet. None had come in to look at these paintings at all today and honestly I think I was about to kill myself out of boredom. Suddenly the door opened and a face from my past entered the studio. I rose from my chair and walked towards the man formally known as Mr. Invincible.
"Hello William." I said smiling towards the indestructible man.
"Patrick!"William said as we shared a handshake.
"I didn't know you worked here" William said as he pulled away his hand.
"For the last 5 years." I said in confidence to my old comrade.
I then realised that he was in far better shape than I was. This made me feel a little jealous of him. Stupid genetics. Fastest man in the world is in worse shape than the indestructible man. There was some irony to the situation but I couldn't see it.
"Got any recommendations?" William asked.
"For what?" I asked looking at William with some confusion.
"Paintings." William asked smiling at me.
"Oh over here." I said leading him to some of my favourite pictures.
"Maybe we can get a drink after." William offered me as we walked towards the paintings.
"Um…I don't know" I said remembering my kids at home.
"Common…When is the next time we are gonna be able to hang out?" William asked making a good point with a hint of melancholy in his voice.
"Ya talked me into it" I said admitting defeat.
We left for the bar after I sold him the paintings. There, he ordered two scotches and we began to drink and talk about old times.
"Remember Captain Pain. Guy who believed he was as invincible as me." William said reminding me of that old villain.
"Oh yeah. What happened to him?" I asked while drinking my scotch.
"He wanted to prove it once and for all and jumped off a building." William said as they both began to laugh loudly.
"Oh we are going to Hell Will." I said wiping a tear from my eye.
"Yeah we will be in the laughing corner." William said passing me a smile.
"Ever think about going back out there?" I asked Will causing him to change his facial expression.
"No…Why?" he asked looking at me with a strange look.
"Just thinking about some stuff." I said trying to cover my tracks.
"You’re not really considering Nightmares ridiculous offer? Are you?!" William said as he downed the last of his drink and ordered two more.
"No…Well…I couldn't if I wanted to…" I said looking at my glass remembering my legs condition.
"Me neither…" William said as he received the two new glasses of scotch.
"Why?" I asked looking at William.
"I don't ask you about your problems. Please grant me that same luxury." He said as he downed his full glass of scotch.
"You’re right…sorry" I said as I drank the last of my first scotch and started on my other.
"It’s fine. Cheers" William said as he lifted his glass.
Our glasses rang as they bounced off each other and we continued drinking. After a few more drinks we decided to call it a day and parted ways. He walked down the street to his car and I to my own. It was strange being a little drunk this time of day but not unheard of for some people in this city. I had to get home before Alex burns the house down or something.
Coming home after a few drinks, I saw a car in my driveway. Slowly and a little tipsy I stepped out of the car and walked towards the front door. My medication started wearing off and I could feel my legs in intense pain with every step I took. I opened the door and waddled into the house.
My concentration was broken by my little girls screams. My eyes shot up and to the young man holding my daughter at knife point and my son tied up in the living room.
"Shut it!" The young man said as he stared at me.
"Please don't hurt me Josh." She begged.
"Shut up bitch! So you’re the guy I am supposed to kill huh?" He said as he licked her cheek.
"What do you want?" I asked fury filling my body.
"The Bullet." He said smiling as shock flooded the fury from my body.
"What are you talking about Josh?!" Selena asked looking at me tears rolling down her face.
"Selena quiet!" I shouted as I walked slowly towards the young man.
"Not another move Daddy dearest" He said pushing the knife closer to Selena's neck.
"Daddy…Help…" She said slowly begging me.
"Let her go…You want to kill me…I’ll let you. Just let my little girl go." I said as I fell to my knees and looked at him.
I groaned in pain as my knees hit the ground.
"You think I'm that stupid?" He said looking at me.
"Wanna hear something ya didn't know about your Daddy? He used to run around the city as a Superhero" He went on as I hoped he wouldn't notice me rising to my feet.
I dashed over and punched him in the face.
She ran to her brother and watched as I looked at her attacker. This little punk was gonna pay for what he did. I then realised why dashing to him at such a speed was a mistake. My legs gave away to pain and I could feel the bone rub against bone. This gave the little shit enough time to get up make a dash of his own. I felt it. The knife pierced my stomach causing me to see my own blood for the first time in years. I had two choices. Either let this guy kill me and do god knows what with my kids after or fight back.
I punched him in the stomach about twenty times. Apparently he didn't realise that I could move any part of my body at great speed. He backed away holding his stomach in great pain as I got up. Biting down on the pain I dashed behind him and elbowed him in the kidneys.
"You shouldn't have done that" I said as I twisted his arm.
"Wanna know the funniest thing?.." He said as I grabbed his knife and threw it across the room.
"Don't you dare say anything" I ordered as I twisted his arm harder and harder feeling the blood pour from my stomach.
"Your daughter-".-Bang-All of a sudden he shut up as my eyes widened with horror.
He fell to the ground with his hand on another knife. He must have been planning to stab me with it. But my mind quickly turned to the person who had saved mine and my children's lives. The Nightmare stood in my doorway. The Red Queen ran inside and comforted my children. Stretch than entered and observed the body.
"What are you guys doing here?" I asked looking at them.
"We followed you here" Nightmare responded in his usual dark tone.
"The bands getting back together. Wondering if you wanted to join us again….Bullet?" Stretch said as he looked up to me.
"Dad…You’re the Bullet?" Selena said looking at me with fear.
"Yes Honey…I am the Bullet." I said to my daughter.
"But I got something to tell you guys…"I said to my comrades.
March 25, 2012
Once again I would like to thank and congratulate Nobody on winning my contest with his group picture of the Guild Of Justice. I really Liked it and hope you all do to(At least those of you that read this post). Along with this Im gonna post my own little revamp of the Bullet.
[Left to rigth: Red Queen,The Bullet, Mr. Invincible, The Black Hornet, Stretch, The Nightmare]
My new version of The Bullet is below them. And Now the Final Member of the league of Justice William Humphreys.
I dropped the weights by my side and sat up. I wiped the sweat off my head and noticed the young women staring at me as well as some of the men. Was I that loud counting? I stood up and continued wiping the sweat off my body. I walked over to Marcy, who worked behind the desk of the gym.
"Hey there Old man" She said smiling at me.
"I dont like that Marcy" I said returning her young little smile.
"I know. Thats why I say it" She said leaning back on her chair.
She was wearing a pair of black yoga pants along with a white T-shirt that said Naughty all the time. I remembered in my youth a girl like this would be begging me for my number or a date. Rubbing my beard I looked across the room at some of the younger guys.
"You know…Some of these younger guys are pretty good. Make me look like a rookie." I said turning back to Marcy smiling.
"Oh please! Half the guys here would kill to have your physic at your age." Marcy said leaning in across the desk.
"Arent you sweet." I said blushing at the young woman.
"So what age do I look like?" I asked hoping I looked good for my age.
"42" She said smiling. Whether she meant it or not was irrellavent.
"Thanks" I said taking the compliment.
"No way are you older!" She said eager to hear my age.
"No lets leave it at that please.I dont want you to think Im old." I said laughing like I would to a date.
"Oh comon. I wont think less of you."She said smiling at me not letting up.
"Im gonna turn 50 tonight." I answered.
The big Five-Oh. I am amazed I made it this far. Then again, what was going to stop Mr.Invincible? I smiled to myself thinking of how redundant that name was. It meant I was incapable of being defeated, yet when Lenin Act was past I could do nothing about it. Of course I wasn't complaining. I was free of everything and anything from my old life.
"Your kidding me! We gotta celebrate!" Marcy said as she shuffled through what I assumed was her address book.
"Wait.You and me? Why?" I said confused at her sudden eagerness to celebrate my birthday.
"Im turning 28 tonight too. We should totally celebrate together." She said writing something down on a piece of paper.
Was this a date? Or was I imagining things? She handed me a piece of paper and smiled a particular smile I had not seen on a woman in some years.
"Are you sure you wanna…chill..with an old man like me?" I said looking at the number she had given me.
"Comon you dont look that old and Yes Im sure…just be yourself." she said smiling up at me.
I wrote my address down on a piece of paper and handed it to her.
"In case I forget..Memory and all that…Heres where I live." I said laughing a little.
She took it and grinned back at me. I winked and walked away to get changed and go home.
I coughed heavily as I entered my apartment building. My phone rang as the receptionist waved to me. I answered in a raspy voice.
"Hello Mr.Humprheys?" The voice on the other line said.
"Speaking *COUGH!*" I said into the phone rubbing my chest.
"This is Dr.Phelps. Calling in regards to your condition.We are wondering if you would reconsider…."
"Look Doctor. I have made my decision. You said it yourself…there was minimal chance that it would work" I interrupted as I began getting uncomfortable at this mans request.
"Sir. Please reconsider. Without chemotherapy you will.."he continued before I cut him off again.
"I know!!DON'T YOU THINK I.."I stopped realising I was getting a lot of attention from my fellow tennant's.
Calming down I walked outside to continue the call. I felt my gut twist and turn as i pushed the phone back to my ear.
"Hello? Mr. Humprheys?" He said as I took a deep breath.
"Look I…I just want to be alone. Understand? I don't want to die in a hospital like my mother and father did. I would prefer to die on my terms." I said lying to my doctor as I hung up my phone.
Of course I wanted my life to be saved. Anyone that would say they were ready to die is a liar in my opinion. None can ever really be ready for death. There is too much uncertainty about what happens. I was raised by the nuns to believe that God would open his arms to me the day I died had I lived a good life, but as I got older more and more doubt's came to mind. However, like every other obstacle in my life I have decided to face this one head on and accept my faith. It was incredibly ironic. The indestructible man found dead, not by a bullet but by cancer. I cant be saved by anything in this world. Why make my body weak and yet stay invincible? I find the Idea trivial and a waste of my time.
(Due to a hospital appointment I will continue this when I am out and Well. I apologise for this)
March 25, 2012
I sat in my apartment and drank scotch, while listening to the songs of artists long since dead. Sometimes the alcohol would help me forget, and sometimes it just made things worse. Here I was "Justice's" Shield drinking away my sadness as I slowly died. This wasn’t going to be one of those times when the scotch would help. I sighed and turning off the music, I switched on the T.V to the news and left my living room to enter the kitchen. Marcy would be here later and I had to cook something. The news was loud in the background as I examined the ingredients.
"And so Marks the fourth day since Morpheus Crowley has been missing." The female voice said from the living room.
Mr Crowley was last seen leaving work a week ago by his co-workers at the Cryo-stasis prison where he is the head doctor." She continued as I began slicing vegetables.
"Along with the disappearance of Mr Crowley, Four prisoner cubes have also gone missing." This piece of information stopped me in my tracks.
Did she just say four prisoner cubes had gone missing? I ran into the living room and saw the picture of a balding man who looked like he was happiest when everyone around him was miserable. Turning up the volume on the T.V I waited hoping she was about to give more information on who was in the cryo-cubes.
"No information about the prisoners has yet to be released as to not cause hysteria amongst the people of our fine city. While there is no proof thus far that the two are connected. The police force are searching for anyone with information about these events" She said as I folded my arms and listened carefully to her voice.
"Returning to the top story of this evening. People are still claiming to have seen members of the former League of Superhero’s known as "Justice" around the city. The police have shunned these rumours saying they are nothing at all but wild stories." The women went on.
"But could this be the return of "Justice"?" She said raising her eyebrow to the camera.
"This has been your Six O clock news. I am Harmony Jones. Good Evening." The woman finished leaving me fearing the worst of the situation. Why would someone steal four prisoner cubes? It was not knowing who they belonged to that scared me the most. I quickly poured another glass of scotch when I heard a knock on the door.
"Who is it?" I said slowly approaching the door.
"Your date birthday boy!" Marcy said on the other side.
Marcy was smiling as she walked around my apartment but was far too early. She turned to face me and I noticed she was still in her trainer uniform.
"You’re early" I said smiling at her and approaching her.
"I couldn’t wait any longer." She said smiling at back at me.
"And…I got bad news. I can’t make it later tonight." She said wrapping her arms around my neck.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Surely you’re not that old…I’m going to kiss you" She said teasing me as she pressed her lips against mine.
Her lips tasted of cherry as she kissed me. I smiled as I ran my hands down her body and pulled her closer to me. I felt alive for the first time in a long time. She pulled away smiling at me as if she was very proud of my actions.
"Thank you…” She said softly in a beautiful whisper.
"For what?" I asked looking into her pretty hazel eyes.
"I know who you really are." She said smiling in a way that scared me.
"What?" I asked breaking away from her quickly. Worry taking over my body.
"I know your Mr Invincible" She said with a confused sad look on her face.
I felt my stomach twist again and I quickly retreated back to my glass of scotch. There was no civil way of saying how much trouble I was in if she was one of the people that nightmare talked about.
"Where did you come up with that accusation?" I said drinking down my glass of scotch.
"I know it’s you. Look…18 years ago. You kind of saved my life. I’ve had the biggest crush on you since." She said catching my attention.
"Not in the stalker way I mean. I have just always wanted to know you and…Wow I am not helping myself am I?" She said her confidence now gone and what remained was a fan girl.
"How do you know that I am THE Mr Invincible? What if we just look alike?" I asked her wondering if I could trust her at all.
"I am sure you’re him." She said sounding slightly doubtful.
"I should leave…" She said sounding like she was on the verge of tears.
"Wait Marcy….." I said stopping her.
I knew I was going to regret this but I suppose I owed it to her for that hell of a kiss. She turned back towards me with tears forming in her eyes.
"Here I owe you this" I said as I picked up the knife from the counter.
Poor girl was terrified at this action. She must have thought I was going to be a Patrick Bateman kind of guy when I picked up the knife. Putting the blade on my wrist I looked over at her.
"No…Please you don’t have to prove you’re not…” She shouted as I slashed the blade alone my wrist.
No blood on the blade or cut in my arm. She looked in shock at me as I put the blade back down. For the first time ever, I had revealed my identity to someone. It felt nice.
"You are him!" She shouted in excitement running towards me.
Leaping up on top of me, I fell back to the ground a twenty-eight year old on top of me furiously kissing me. If this was her method of assassination, I had to admit I enjoyed it.
She began fiddling at my clothes in some kind of an attempt to strip me clumsily. I laughed as she herself began stripping. This was by far the most romantic and funny experience I had ever had, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Suddenly a pop song started playing and Marcy stopped. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and put it to her ear.
"Hello?" She said into the phone.
"Busy?" I asked. She quickly put a finger to my lips.
"No! I’m a little busy right now!" She said blowing a kiss at me.
"Common…Have Pamela do it!" She said her expression changing from that of happiness to disappointment.
"Yes I want to keep my job" She said now angry with the caller.
"God damn it ….fine" She exclaimed hanging up.
Looking down at me her face darkened with sadness. A perfect moment ruined by some asshole on the other side of a phone.
"I have to go to work….Can we reschedule?" She said putting on a smile for me.
Feeling disappointed I smiled back at her. Running my hands over her legs I winked at her.
"Sure. When do you get off?" I said watching her as she got up off of me.
"I'll let you know" She said writing something down and handing it to me. I sat up and took it off her. It was her number.
"Call me" She said as she left my apartment, leaving me with a smile and a number.
After Marcy had cancelled our date, I decided to order some take out and listen to some Sam Cooke for the night. I had called twenty minutes after Marcy had left and ten minutes later I was still waiting around getting drunk on Scotch. Suddenly my phone rang and I answered it.
"Hello?” I said into the phone expecting the good doctor.
"Look outside your window" A static voice said.
"Who is this?" I asked sitting up in my leather seat.
"Are you a betting man?” The voice asked as I stood up.
"Who is this right now or I am hanging up!" I ordered looking around in an attempt to spot them.
"YOU HANG UP AND THAT GIRL YOU WERE WITH EARLIER TONIGHT DIES!" They shouted over the phone causing me to stop looking and obey their orders.
"What do you want?" I asked approaching the window.
"We want you to see what we have done. If you hear us out she will live." It said as I looked down at the people below.
Below there was flashes of red light and flames spreading below. Police blocked from a bright yellow shield that burned anyone who went near it. I recognised the shield and the blasts. The Red queen, Stretch, Nightmare, And Bullet were below and fighting Toxin and Warhawk! Stretch was on the outside of the shield and Nightmare was trying to find a way inside of it. The stolen convicts must have been former enemies of Justice! I felt fear run through my body for the first time in a long time.
"You see it…The last remnants of a lost age. The forgotten titans of this fine city.” The voice said as my hand shook.
"What do you want from me?" I asked as I stared down at my former comrades.
"I want nothing but I am offering you a job.” the voice said to my surprise.
"I am creating a group to get rid of these nuisances. But I could use another set of hands. You have a choice in front of you sir. I want you to put on your old costume and burn it while you wear it. Being Mr Invincible you won’t feel the pain many others feel.” It said as I continued to stare.
"Why burn it while I wear it?" I asked feeling as if all the pain in my life came to me at once.
"It’s a form of baptism my friend. Baptism By flame." It said proudly.
I walked towards my bed and opened the bottom of it and saw Mr Invincible staring back at me.
"What’s my other option?" I said as I took my old costume out of hiding.
"Well you could go down there and fight with your comrades. No harm would come to the girl as long as you never go near her again." It started before I interrupted.
"But you will hunt me down like a dog along with the other former members of Justice correct?" I asked as I slipped on my old tights.
They still fit like they used to. Putting on my bracers I awaited his answer.
"My dear boy…You can’t die. You have tried killing yourself in the past with no affect. Hunting you down would only add to my enjoyment. For you see unlike the rest of the team you can’t die, not even by your own hands. But you will witness all of their deaths one by one." I stopped as I fastened my belt around my wait.
He was right. I had tried to kill myself. When I found out I had cancer I wanted to end it all. A simple bullet through the brain to end it all. But nothing. The bullet either slid down my throat or dented in my skull. Tears began to form I’m my eyes as I put on my shirt. Standing up I walked towards my balcony.
"And that will be your punishment." He said as I felt a tear run down my cheek.
Looking at my mask I put it on and looked across to the opposite building.
"Yes perfect….Now grab the lighter I had placed on the table and light up." He said as I picked up the lighter.
Below I saw that my comrades were losing to the young villains. This of course was no surprise. Toxic was in his early thirties when we caught him and Warhawk was in his 20s. The people he once called allies were below losing to the people they put away so long ago. But how many more would die because of this? If I took this offer I could save more people than if I rejected it. But if I take the offer they die. I lit my arm on fire and heard a clapping from the phone. The fire spread from my arm all over my body. My comrades lay defeated on the ground below. All of them tired and bruised. Nightmare was right. We were being hunted down by some crazed man who knew who we were…..
…..And I hated being screwed with. Rolling over the balcony I fell at great speed towards the huge shield. The flames Making me the brightest thing in the sky and receiving a lot of attention from both the crowd and villains below. My entire body hit the shield with great force sliding through it and burning my body with the Toxic chemicals that made it so dangerous to anyone besides myself.
"Mr Invincible?!" Toxin said as he lowered the shield.
"Who let you out?" I asked angry with my decision.
I couldn’t have just let these idiots die could I? No…I guess I couldn’t.
"Oh my you have gotten old haven’t you? Hasn’t he Warhawk?" Toxin said as he got closer to me.
“Oh he has Toxin." Warhawk said as he landed.
"I won’t repeat myself.” I said as both men approached me from opposite ends.
"What’s that?" Toxin said raising his hand to his ear in a mocking fashion.
"Speak up old m-aCK!" He choked as I grabbed his throat.
Warhawk nervously fired all he had at me to save his friend. My grip tightened as I spun around and hit Warhawk with the burning toxic skin that coated Toxin. His weapons melted at the contact of Toxins body to his armour. He was now harmless and had nowhere to run.
"What the hell!?" He shouted as he stared in fear at me.
"You said none could touch you man!" He shouted as he backed away from me.
"Oh did he now? He’s right you know! Any normal person would die from touching him." I said as I squeezed his throat.
"But I AM NOT NORMAL AM I!" I said as I slammed Toxin to the ground.
The rest of the team got up and stared at me as Warhawk backed away in fear.
"I’m giving you this one chance. Run! Never come back. Never let me see you here again or else." I said and watched as the melted armoured man ran away.
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