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    The Atomic Punk




    Your Mummy is fan-damn-tastic!



    Thanks everybody and Torog, excellent use of tmesis. Also word of warning below is a long text post.

    Miguel Cardenas was born to two mexican immigrants. His parents owned a local hardware store and for the formative years of his life Miguel worked there as well. Then he graduated high school and left his home for college, the first of his family to do so. He wanted to become an engineer, hoping to use his intelligence to improve the world. One year passed and before another could pass, his father had his first heart attack. He was bed ridden and unable to work.

    Miguel knew that without someone to man the store the store and his parents livelihoods would fade into nothingness. He also knew his education was not cheap, adding to the withering of their funds that the shop’s closure would bring. So Miguel did what a good son did, he forwent his education and went back to his home to care after his parents and the shop. It was just to be a temporary measure until his father got better. His education was just going to be delayed, not ceased. But his father never fully recovered. He was stuck working at the store, his once open future now closed.

    A couple of years passed and the time, his father had another heart attack and passed. Miguel resigned himself to his new reality, it wasn’t the one he preferred, but it was the one he had . Miguel was on the path to becoming a bitter man, but someone stopped him dead in his tracks.

    Maria Tyler was the town’s new schoolteacher and her house needed some fixing upping so she went to the Cardenas’s. Miguel knew instantly that they were destined to be. He offered to help her fix her house and she accepted. Out of this help grew friendship and soon love. They were married after a year. Jesse came a couple of years later.

    The three of them were happy for a while, but hardships came soon in bunches. First his mother passed and then a big retail store moved into town, driving the Cardenas store out of business. Since Maria had stopped working to care for Jesse, they had only savings to tide them over. Maria tried to get her old job back and Miguel was furious at his own inability to provide for his family. If only he had been able to finish his schooling, if only his future hadn’t been plucked from him. He was powerless and angry.

    Then he discovered his gift. He could walk through walls and let objects pass through him like he was a ghost. He finally had some power to change his life. He put on a ski mask and got some funds to tide them over by phasing into a bank’s vault when nobody was looking. He finally had a way to provide for his family, a way for him to feel powerful again.

    So to provide for his family a life he knew they deserved, Miguel became Spectre, a ghostly thief. He told his family that he had found a job in the city nearby, a very well paying job that could explain the sudden bursts of money coming into the household, money that came from doing hired jobs or fencing various jewels. Miguel lived a dual life, by day, the loving father and husband and by night, the vicious and elusive thief.

    Years passed and now Jesse was a teenager. Miguel’s secret remained a secret and everyone was happy. They had money left over, they went on vacations, they were not living paycheck to paycheck. Things were looking up.

    Then Miguel forgot to hide his suit properly. His mask stuck out of his briefcase and Maria found it. At first, she didn’t know what it was, but then the news figured it out for her. The Spectre had just robbed a high tech lab, coinciding perfectly with Miguel’s sudden arrival home from a “business” trip. Her husband didn’t work for some firm in the city, he was a superpowered thief, a criminal. Her life, their happiness had been built on crime, on the suffering of others.

    She confronted Miguel and he tried to explain himself. He only did this because he loved them. He only wanted the best for them, for her. He had a skill, a skill he could use to help them. She believed him, but she still couldn’t live with it, with blood on her clothes and in the food she ate.

    Jesse had been listening to all of this unfold and he shared his mother’s objections. He rushed in, crying. His father had been feeding him a lie for as long as he could remember. The dad he knew was not the man he was. Jesse’s whole life was a lie, or at least predicated on one.

    The happiness the family knew was gone and in its stead was confusion and anger. They could not go back to the way it was and the future was uncertain. One thing was certain, however. Maria was not going to let her son live with a criminal. So after arguing for an hour, she grabbed her bags and started packing and sent Jesse to do the same. Miguel begged them to stay, on his knees by the time they made it to the door. He was speechless. His life was perfect 24 hours ago and now it was dead.

    A few weeks passed and with it left the stupor. Miguel had a family to get back. He stopped his thieving, to make Maria and Jesse see that he could change. He began to live on his very substantial savings. He also used said savings and his criminal contacts to try to locate his wife and son. But they were hidden too well and his search cost too much. It was either give up or acquire more funds, so he did the only thing that made sense, he became the Spectre again.

    Now Miguel spends his time solely as the Spectre, devoting his time between trying to find and reclaim his loved ones and stealing to pay for his search.



    Oooooh! CREEPY!



    Thanks and here is the rest of the Cardenas story.

    Maria took Jesse from her husband, unable to live with his villainy. They went out of state to a largeish city with a new name and an unclear future. Maria “Carver” tried and succeeded in finding a job as a teacher at a high school. They now had a chance to start over.

    And then Jesse started falling through floors. He had inherited his father’s ability to walk through walls, but unlike his father, he could not control it, so he just fell through walls and floors. He had managed to reign in his abilities somewhat, but he needed help and his mother knew it. Then she heard of the Institute, a school for kids with powers, a place where they could learn and harness their capabilities.

    So Jesse went to the Institute. Since the school was a government facility, he could finally be Jesse Cardenas again. He did learn how to control his powers, but with these powers also came fears. He was afraid that he shared more in common with his dad. Jesse was frightened that villainy may run in his blood, surging inside him, waiting to burst its way out. This, along with his love of his father, caused him to hide his past from his fellow students and teachers. As much as he was angry at his dad and afraid at their similarities, he was still Dad and nothing could change that.

    His fears proved to be unfounded as he soon proved himself as a hero. He made friends and began to open up, a few of his closest friends knowing the truth. The whole school ended up finding out during the attack on the school. Spectre was in on it and was hired to steal something from the Institute’s vault. Miguel was shocked to find his son there and he was even more horrified when his teammates started getting violent. He and Jesse came at blows with the son desperately trying to stop the father. Unfortunately, Spectre was more skilled and ended up escaping with the loot.

    Jesse didn’t have time to wallow in defeat as he had to help save his friends from Jack. He was too late to save Jessica Fernandez, but he did manage to save Jacob Holden by placing his hand around Jack’s heart. He held him at a standstill long enough for him to be subdued. He saved countless lives and finally he had shrugged off his fears. He was a hero, through and through.

    His past was now in the open and he couldn’t hide it any more. He needed to help stop his father, once and forever. While his father did not hurt anyone in the attack and actually seemed to shy away from violence, he still was a part of the assault, a pawn in the murder of Jesse’s friends. Jesse hunted his father down by following BSH’s investigation of him. He then confronted his father and this time, he was not letting him go. He begged him to stop his crimes and turn himself in. He was a part of something horrible and he needed to pay for that. To everyone’s surprise, Miguel did just that. He felt guilty that he participated in an act that resulted in death and nearly could’ve killed his son. He had to atone for his crimes and he knew this was the only way to make it up to Jesse and to Maria. Miguel Cardenas was sent to a super prison and stayed in there ever since. He has reconciled with both his wife and his son who visit him regularly.

    Jesse had now cleared up his past and only had the future to look forward to. He graduated from the Institute and began studying to become a teacher, hoping to help others both in and out of a costume. While he did this, he took on his father’s name of the Spectre, hoping to turn something bad into a force for good.


    Jesse is now a teacher at the Institute, teaching young students and expanding their minds with the worlds of Shakespeare and Shelley. He is giving back to the school which helped him so much.



    Really cool effects there, Vamp.


    The Atomic Punk

    Great character development and continuity.



    I love the effects on Spectre, great character!



    Thanks, the Cardenas story has always been one of my favorites. As I am leaving for a vacation tomorrow, this will be my last character post for a week or so. In other words, character dump approaching.

    Axecutioner- Superstrong merc with an energy axe
    Timothy Addeus- Institute student with a magical soul sword


    Epic. That is the only word I can find to describe these. Epic.
    I really don’t get how many people there are that are this good!



    Thanks and here is another student, Cody Bishop.

    Cody has the ability to absorb energy and turn it into strength and durability. Cody came to the Institute hoping to learn how to use his powers to help others. He became quick friends with Jesse Cardenas and Bradley Cabrera as they were all part of the same subgroup. They fought valiantly with one another until a fateful day in the pacific.

    They were rescuing some mutants on some scientist’s private island and it had been a difficult day. Several classmates got wounded in the rescue and the villain had escaped. As they boarded everyone onto the plane, an alarm was heard. The scientist had activated his last ditch plan, a nuclear bomb in the middle of the island. It was only one minute until they were all dust. The plane wouldn’t be able to get far enough in time and all this effort would be for naught. But they had to try anyway so they got up in the air and preceded to fly away.

    They had done this in such a rush, that they did not notice Cody wasn’t on board. Ethan Torres used his helmet and saw him standing alone on the island. Cody had decided to sacrifice himself to save them. He could absorb the blast and hold it in for valuable seconds, enough for the plane to survive and just that. But he also knew that the blast would be too much for his body to hold and once overloaded, it would release again, killing him. This would be worth it, though, for at least his friends would survive.

    He braced himself and then a fire erupted around him. A fire white hot, hotter than anything he had ever felt. He burned for what seemed like eons and then it was over. He fell onto one knee and his body still burned. He could see his skin crackling with power, ready to burst. But his friends needed more time. So he held it in and it burned up his insides. He looked up with much effort and in the horizon, he saw the jet sailing away. He smiled one last time and then it was over.


    Cody’s death rocked the Institute. It was the first death they had experienced and it made them cautious of any future exploits. Eventually, when some students began sneaking out to help people, they decided it was time to reinstitute their hero program.

    Time passed and more students did pass, several during the attack upon the school. The students graduated and new students arrived. Jesse had come back as a teacher and other former students popped in every now and then. The alumni stayed in touch and often patrolled with one another.

    It was on one of these patrols that something extraordinary happened. Jesse Cardenas, Ethan Torres, and Bradley Cabrera were on patrol when they encountered a ghost. A man from their past was beating up some crooks. Cody bishop, their friend who sacrificed himself for them, was standing there above a goon.


    The three heroes were shocked to say the least. They were staring at a dead man. He appeared older and his hair and clothes were darker. He looked up, smiled, and retorted, “Hey guys, miss me?”

    They were speechless, but finally brad asked the question on all of their minds, “How the hell are you here?” Cody laughed, “funny you say that. You see, hell has everything to do about it. Now before I begin, I must ask you to keep this a secret, it is something I don’t want anyone else to know.” The group agreed to his terms and Cody told his tale.

    “After the second explosion, I was left in the crater of the island. My body was gone, charred inside and out. Despite this, I was happy. Before I went nuclear, I saw you guys safely away, so I knew my death had done its job. I wasn’t happy to die, but at least my death had meaning.

    Then a voice spoke to me, or rather I heard it inside my head. It asked me if I wanted to live. I tried to speak, but instead of words, blood just came out. It told me just to think my response, so I did. I answered it yes and it offered me a deal. It was a demon with no body. It needed a vessel but due to its demonic energies, it burned out most hosts in a couple of weeks. I was its best option. My power would keep my body alive and it could save my life. We eventually came to an agreement. In exchange for my life, he could use my body as his vessel. We would share my body. I would be in control certain nights and other times, he would take control.”

    Ethan spoke up, a little angry, “you made a deal with the devil?” Cody’s eyes darkened and began to glow and a wicked grin came upon his face. “Well, I’m not exactly the devil” Ethan raised his pistol at the demon and Cody shook his head, his eyes returning to normal.


    He spoke again, “Yes I did, and Ethan, put down the gun. Now guys, I didn’t do this without a few concessions. That agreement I mentioned earlier states that while it uses my body, it cannot harm innocents or cause innocents to come to harm. I also can watch what it does and step in to stop it if things go awry. It breaks this and it has to vacate my body.”

    Jesse spoke up, “It’s been years since then, why haven’t you tried to get rid of it and why haven’t you contacted us? We thought you were dead.”

    Cody’s eyes glowed again and it spoke, “You see, that’s the other part of our little deal. He tries to remove me and I get his body for good, and I can do whatever I want with it. So please, make him try to get rid of me.” It laughed and Cody regained control. “As for your second question, I was ashamed of what I had done. I made a deals it’s the devil, a deal which saved me, but I was afraid of what you guys would think about my choice. I had died a hero, and part of me wanted to remain that in your memories and not mar that with my decision to save my own skin.”

    Bradley offered some sympathy, “You did what you had to do and we have our old friend back. Wait, why did you come back?”
    Cody frowned, “It told me of a demonic threat at the Institute.”

    Jesse now asked, “Why would it tell you anything?”
    It took over again and responded the young hero’s question, “The demon in question isn’t what you’d call a friend. In fact, he’s tried to kill me several times. I want him gone and young Cody here wanted to see his old friends. It was a win-win, as it also is for you. A threat to your precious school is averted and an old friend comes back from the dead. Your welcome.” Cody came back and Jesse stated, “Fine, let’s do this!”



    Nice! Reading the bio was fun, such an interesting idea.



    Great story!



    Thanks and here is another student of the Institute.

    Laura Damian has the ability to heal herself and others with a magical green light. She is a bright person, and has remained so after witnessing so much pain. She nearly killed herself by saving so many people when villains attacked the Institute. She is an exemplar of goodness and kindness. She fought crime and assisted her fellow students as the hero Sprite.


    After the passage of years, she came back to the Institute and became its head of medicine. She cares after the students, healing various war wounds and other injuries that come from being a superpowered student.

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