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Author's note: This story takes a different route into the world of superheroes and super villains, by telling it from the villain's point of view.
Love didn't know why she was at the party. Maybe it was because her friends told her that it was fun, or maybe because her boyfriend, Josh, was there. Either way, none of them could be found. Love just wanted to get away from it all, so she went to the roof. There, she looked up at the stars. Just then, a single star appeared, and of course, she had to make a wish. At the time, she was thinking about Josh. He had been acting weird lately, and the party was the first social outing he had gone to in months.
She wished that there was someone out there that understood her, and wouldn't treat her like a piece of meat. She closed her eyes, and made her wish. Suddenly, something amazing happened. There was a flash of light, and in front of her, there stood a boy dressed in tattered green robes. Love looked into his deep green eyes, and he fell to the ground, out cold. Josh then appeared behind her, staring at the the strange boy.
"What just happened?" he asked Love.
"I don't know," she replied back. They both looked up, and it was starting to rain. ", but we better get him inside, fast."
So the couple each grabbed an end, and took their mysterious visitor into the violent ruckus of a party. It was surprising that the deafening music didn't wake him up. As they pushed, shoved, and yelled through the crowds, the Boy didn't turn many heads. Eventually, Love and Josh had to set him down, so they kicked the snogging couple off the couch. They both knew that the event of randomly teleported teenagers was pretty serious. The party was over.
As the captain of the football team, and the host of the party, Josh made an announcement, which quickly cleared the large apartment. Attention soon turned back to the Boy. This was the first time they both got a chance to observe him. Everything he was wearing was green, and completely beat up or shredded.
He had a ring of twigs on his head, which seemed to be the remnants of a crown that Mother Nature would wear. The rags on his back looked like they used to be a long cape. Small metal leaves adorned the armor around his torso, all the way down to the bottom of his boots. A gleaming sword hung by his side, which was the only thing the Boy had that was untouched. "Viridi" was engraved into the handle, which of course was also green. Even though the Boy looked to be no older than either of them, a permanent scowl was etched into his face, even when he slept.
After many unsuccessful attempts to wake him up, Love asked a very good question. "So, what should we do next?"
"Well I can't look after him." Josh shrugged. "I have to clean up this place, and my parents are going to be home tomorrow morning. I also don't want to explain why there would be a strange boy in my room. Can he stay with you, since your mom's gone?"
Love nodded. "I guess I could make something up when she gets back. He could even take Drake's old room."
Josh looked down at the Boy and sighed. "I better get him a change of clothes. I probably have some old ones that should fit him." After they got him into his normal clothes, Love drove him back to her place, and hauled him into Drake's bed. Then all there was to do was wait.
When he woke up, he thought that he had been captured. Then, after looking at the posters on the walls, he knew that he wasn't in captivity. He thought that all of the posters were strange. All the peoples' features didn't match up. For example, one girl had black hair and blue eyes. She was barely even dressed. What was that all about?
Unfortunately, that wasn't the weirdest thing about the room. He recognized it because of his father's descriptions from the stories of the time before, on War. It was one of the Givers' many advanced technologies. With these devices, they did everything from speaking the native language, to giving the People their powers. Cautiously, the Boy walked up and touched the television screen. Nothing happened. Then, he tried speaking to it like they did. Again, nothing happened.
He sighed. Now he thought that he might as well figure out what was going on. As quietly as he could, he stuck his neck outside. When he did, he saw a girl with long blonde hair, and blue eyes, typing away on a computer. He saw something hanging on the wall, in the pink room across from his. Love, that must have been her name. Without noticing it, the Boy said it out loud.
At the mention of her name, the Girl turned in his direction. When she saw that he was finally awake, she smiled, and momentarily went back to typing. Love waved him over, and reluctantly the Boy listened. After pointing at the screen, she typed something into the box and pressed enter. The Boy was taken slightly aback when he saw the language of the Givers in the other box. It was a question. A simple one at that. "What's your name?" to be exact. She picked up the computer and placed it in front of him. Slowly, he typed out his answer.
At seeing his reply, Love gave a satisfactory "Hmph". His name was Viridi. It was Latin for Green. It was a long day for her, and she was tired. She checked the time on the bottom of the screen, and it was getting really late. She explained to Viridi that she was going to bed, but he was welcome to use the computer to answer any questions he wanted, maybe even learn a little more English, and that's just what he did.
In the morning, Love found the Boy still sitting in the same spot, typing away on the computer. Something seemed a little strange, and she figured it out relatively quick. Last night, Viridi was hunting and pecking on the keyboard, but now he must have been typing at close to one hundred words per minute.
"Bonum mane." She greeted him "Good morning" in Latin.
"Good morning to you, as well." He replied without even a trace of an accent.
Love thought that it was safe to speak since he just learned his first English words only eight hours ago. "How much did you learn last night?"
Viridi stood up, and closed the computer. "I believe that I'm pretty much fluent by now. Also, I made a bit of money in the stock market while you were sleeping, I hope that you don't mind."
Obviously, Love was surprised. "How much did you make?"
"Five hundred thousand American dollars. Is that good? By the way, what would you like for breakfast?" Before the Boy could finish his final question, the Girl dropped to the floor, out cold.
When she woke up, Love found a peculiar meal laid out before her. There was a peanut butter, jelly, and sausage breakfast sandwich, a pancake filled omelet, and a bowl of syrup covered Froot Loops.
"Well, what do you think?" said the now even stranger boy. He was seated at the opposite side of the table, with no food in front of him. How could he be asleep for an entire day, and not even be a little hungry? Finally, the Girl had to ask.
"Where are you from again?" She asked as politely as she could.
"I thought that you would know. You are a Giver after all."
Love was confused. "A what?"
"A Giver. That's what my father called your people."
"I still don't understand."
Viridi sighed. "Never mind. Could you just tell me where I am, please?"
"We're in Imperial City."
"Which is where, exactly?"
"Florida...?" The Boy shook his head.
"The United States of America?" Viridi just shrugged. "North America?" Now there was just a blank look on his face. "Earth?"
This time he got up out of his chair, and walked to the other end of the kitchen, all without breaking his stare at the floor. This girl had no idea what he was talking about. No answers. It all just didn't make sense. Thousands of questions bubbled inside his head, and not a single answer. He didn't like that. Not one bit.
"Wow, so you're an alien?" Love almost laughed in excitement.
"I guess so, and who names a planet after the ground when its mostly covered in water? That's just stupid." This was the first time anger arose in his voice. It was even starting to worry him, but the new emotion quickly washed it away.
"Sorry, I'm not in charge of who made the name."
"THEN WHO IS?!" The Boy turned, and his hand fled to his face to cover the silent tear streaming down it. Another hand arrived on his shoulder, and Viridi turned to find Love behind him, not frightened, but curious. "I'm sorry," He apologized. "Its just that this wasn't a very good time for this to happen."
"Do you want to talk about it?" This was the first time that he was asked if he wanted to speak, instead if he was listening.
"Okay, but you may need to sit down." They both returned to the table, and the mysterious visitor began reciting the history for the first time.
"War. That's the name of my planet, translated to English anyways. We call it that because that's all that has been going on since nearly the beginning of our recorded history. It wasn't always that way, though. Everything changed when the Givers came. Before, our people were all one, with no distinguishable differences. Just like the People, the land of War was the same. Even the temperature was the same from place to place. The Givers didn't like that, so they began to make everything the way it was on their home-world. First, they separated the land, and people into different continents. Each continent then received a different gift. The first continent was totally barren. No water, no trees. Because of this, they received great wealth. The Givers wanted to see who had money, and who didn't, so their eyes were changed gold. The second continent was mostly freshwater, so they gained the ability to breathe underwater. Again, they wanted to see who had which gift, so their eyes were left light blue. The third continent, mine, was densely forested, so we were given chlorophyl blood, to gain energy from the sun. Then the Givers changed our eyes green, to represent our blood. The last section didn't like what the Givers were doing. Before their land could be changed they killed "The Invaders". Their blood stained the last section's eyes red. This made them furious, so they took their victims' advanced weaponry, and destroyed everything else. Red then vowed to return the planet back to the way it was before the Givers came, and exterminate any humanoids against them. Of course, none of the continents would join the people who murdered their gods. Shortly after Red's proclamation, they destroyed Gold, and took both their land and money. In an effort to stop Red, we joined forces with Blue. Unfortunately, it didn't help. They were wiped out within a few weeks, thanks to the enemy's torpedoes. Then there was only Red and Green, and we've been fighting for the fate of War for over a millennia now." Viridi paused, and pointed to the torn green fabric in the corner of the room. "Those robes over there? They were for my crowning ceremony. My name means "leader" to my people, but I only got to live out my name for a few minutes before I was taken. I could have ended my continent's suffering. The fight was coming to an end. Red had surrounded us, but that was a part of my father's final strategy. After I was crowned, I was about to order the mission that would stop this once and for all, and restore the planet to the Givers' vision. Only my father and I knew what it was." After a long pause, he asked the question that had been on his mind since he woke up. "Can you take me back?"
Love couldn't look him in the eye. "No." As the word came out, she was starting to cry.
He knew that he couldn't, but he had to ask anyway. "Can anyone?"
This time, The Girl put her hands over his. "No."
The Boy sighed. "So what now? Do I get a job? What do I do? How do I blend in?"
"We'll figure it all out, but in the mean time, you can stay with me." He could see the lightbulb go on inside her head as she wiped the tears from her eyes and grinned. "One more thing, how old are you?"
"In Earth years, I calculated that I'm just a little over seventeen years old. Why?"
Love gave him a larger smile, and a hug, then began to type.
"So you don't eat?" Was the last question of Love's painfully long interview with the alien king.
"Or sleep." The Boy completed.
"Okay, this might be a little hard to explain to people, but at least you'll have a lot of time to do homework." The Girl then remembered how he became fluent in another planet's language over night, and made half a million dollars while making breakfast. All while she was either sleeping or passed out. She looked back up at the super genius and caught herself. "Well, maybe just time to your thoughts, then."
When Love's mother returned, she let the Boy do all of the talking. He started off by telling her that he was some distant relative, who's parents sent him to spend his senior year in the city. While he was there, he said, they wanted him to get a job, and all expenses, including room and board, were covered. Thanks to his earlier encounter with the stock market, they really were. Somehow she believed him.
As celebration, Love took Viridi shopping. Like a little boy forced to pick out school clothes, he hated it, and was complaining within minutes. It got even worse when he had to go try on clothes.
"This is so degrading!" The Boy yelled as he walked out of the stall.
"Quit whining and turn around for me." Love said as she examined. This was almost a dream for her. Going shopping with seemingly unlimited money, while giving a boy a much needed makeover. From time to time, she needed to be reminded that she wasn't in heaven. Viridi quickly provided the reminder with his repining.
"Do humans always have to go and look for new clothes that they like, try them on, pay, then go to twenty other stores and do it over and over again? I mean, I used to have people just make me clothes, and every time, they would be perfect."
"Yes! Now shush, and try these on. They're called skinny jeans. I think they will look good on you."
"How are my legs supposed to fit in these! This seems like a very effective torture method." His protest was broken when Love simply pointed to the open stall behind him. As he went back into his torture chamber, he uttered one last sob. "I miss my robes. They were so roomy."
An our or two later, they were finally finished. The only thing left was to pay. The Boy carried the mountain of clothes to the register, while the Girl looked at some clothes that she liked. The young cashier leaned past the large stack, and asked: "Will this be all today?"
"Yea." He made his way over to a nearby chair, dragged it over to the small desk, and sat down. While the ten thousand articles of clothing were being rung up, the young girl, and Viridi began to chat.
"So I haven't seen you around here before. Do you go to school here?"
"No, I just moved." The Boy observed that the cashier was around his age, and thought it would be a good opportunity to see what was in store for him. "What school do you go to?"
"North Imperial High. You?"
That name rung a bell. That was the school him and Love would be attending, in just a couple of weeks. "No way, that's the same one I'm going to." Just then, the Girl walked up. Bless the Givers, no more clothes, the Boy thought.
"Veronica, no way! I didn't know you worked here!" And just like that, the conversation was handed off to her, and continued for a couple of minutes after everything was rung up and bagged.
As they turned to finally leave, Veronica reminded them about the one thing they forgot to cover. "Wait, I didn't catch your name."
"Viridi..." He glanced over, and found his new last name. "...Motorola"
"Oo Is that Italian."
He gave a short laugh. "Not exactly."
After they left, and were no longer within earshot of anyone important, Love expressed her concern.
"Crap, I forgot about your name. It'll attract too much attention."
"What's wrong with the one I just gave?"
"Your name's too foreign, and the last name "Motorola" combined with the money, people are going to think your parents own the phone company or something." There was a short pause, because the Boy was never sure when she was done talking, then finally he spoke.
"I've got it. Erik. Then I can just take your last name."
"Why Erik? And why do you want my last name?"
"Well in Nordic, Erik means leader, and you can just tell people that your mom had a mid-life crisis, and adopted me. That would explain why we live together, and it wouldn't be weird."
"Okay, I like it. Erik, it is then."
While the Boy was ringing up his new clothes, Love called Josh. It was probably good for him to hang out with a guy so he didn't go on a killer rampage. When he showed up, they all went to eat. Meanwhile, she told him all of the important details about the former king, and used her puppy dog eyes to persuade him to let Erik into his group of friends, initiation free.
"Erik, it's time for you to see the fun side of Earth, instead of the girly one. Personally, I'm surprised that you even survived three hours of clothes shopping. Now, my friend, I am going to introduce you to the world of video games."
It only took a free trial to get him addicted, after that, they got him everything he needed, and more. A console with a ridiculous amount of storage, five of the coolest controllers the store had, every decent video game there was, a headset, and of course the GameChair. When the Boy first tried it, he almost peed himself because he thought that he was actually being shot at.
When his closet was filled, and room decked out, there was nothing that could have proven that Erik Sumner was not just your average teenager, much less and alien king from a war torn planet. As night came, and there was no one left to talk to, he made his way over to the mirror across from his bed. He almost didn't recognize the person looking back at him.
He used to be Green, who would soon rule everything, now he was Erik Sumner, a high school senior. He sat down in the brand new GameChair, which drowned out most thoughts, but one. Everything he once loved was now dead.
On the first day, Erik tried not to stand out, which was hard. He remembered what Love told him. "Don't say anything unless someone asks you a direct question. Try to seem friendly. It's alright to get some questions wrong on purpose." All of it was very difficult for him. He was used to being the center of attention. Actually, he kind of liked being everyone's top priority.
In order to survive, organisms need to adapt to their surroundings, and that's just what he did. For the first few periods he did what the Girl told him by the letter. He even nodded, and took notes like he wasn't already an expert at what the "teacher" was already saying.
As soon as the bell rang, he had to stop himself from sprinting out the door. "No," he thought. "I can't draw attention to myself." So, he fast walked down the hallway, not nearly quick enough. Erik made his way down to the cafeteria, got a water, and headed outside. He then made his way over to Love and Josh's table. As he was sitting down, the big guy next to him, shoved him to the ground.
When he did, the football player shouted "The nerd table's over there!"
Love and Josh immediately rushed to his aid. "What the heck man? He's cool." Josh stood up and defended the alien king. Meanwhile, Love was comforting him. "Are you okay?"
When he figured out his mistake, he walked over the the kid he just shoved on the ground, and offered his hand. "My bad dude. Can I buy you something else?
Before Erik could answer, Love did it for him. "No, we're good. You've done enough." At hearing this, the football player looked down at his watch, mumbled something about being late for a make-up test, and was off. The Boy then got to his feet, and took his place at the table.
"I'm sorry Erik, he does that to people all the time, but I'm sure it won't happen again. Right?" she said, looking at Josh.
"Yea, right. I'll straighten him out later."
Then came the rain of questions. "Who are you?" "Where are you from?" "How do you like the city?' etc. He even got an invitation to the prom, which he sorrowfully had to decline. Aside from the first day, nothing was out of the ordinary at school. Talk about him being the newly adopted brother of the most popular girl in school quickly faded as juicier gossip arose to the surface.
Erik thought that life on Earth couldn't get more simple. His daily routine was to go to school, hang out with Josh and Love, and then play video games while Imperial City slept. On weekends, he would hang out with Love. They would go to the mall, and occasionally the movies. Josh was mysteriously absent during these times, but no one seemed to notice, or miss him. Not wanting to create new attention towards himself, he simply didn't mention it.
A couple days went by and he noticed that he had been showing up hours late for school, with make up covered scars and bruises. When he finally confronted him on it, he said that he got them during football practice. Of course, the alien king didn't believe the clear lie, but dismissed it anyways.
He was going to find out what Josh was up to sooner or later, and he was going to join him.
It wan't long until a new "superhero" showed up in the local newspapers. He called himself Typhoon. He caught petty thieves by spinning them inside miniature tornadoes until they all begged him to let them go.The following week, he stopped a bank robbery by almost drowning the would-be robbers with the water from the nearby fountain. Each time, he flew away from the scene the flames that shot out from his feet.
Erik knew that it was time to confront Josh before he got hurt. Later that night, he chose to play the newest Batman game so he could spark up a conversation. To his luck, everything went as plan. Just as the end of the co-op campaign was around the corner. He decided to ask the crucial question.
"Dude, what's your favorite superhero?" he said as he knocked out yet another opponent.
"Probably The Bat, at this point."
"I said superhero. He has to have powers. The only thing Batman has is money for super high tech gadgets."
"I don't know, Spider-man. He's cool."
"What about that Typhoon guy? He looks pretty cool."
"Nah, not really. I think it's all just a fake. I mean control over wind, water, and fire. What's the story behind that?
"I wouldn't say its fake. Have you seen the videos? Experts say that there's no sign of it being CGI."
"Well maybe the newspapers hired some big movie guy to do all the work for them? That would improve their sales, and their believability."
"Yea, that's probably it." The Boy gave up the argument. There was no way he could make him blow his cover. There was only one way for him to find out who he really was, and he had just the idea.
Finding the suit was the easy part. Walking around with it underneath his clothes was an entirely different story. It was itchy, hot, sweaty, just completely uncomfortable. Erik was beginning to think that the super part of being a hero was having the ability to fight crime while wearing spandex.
When he got the call from Josh canceling for the movie, the Boy ditched also. He then waited outside of his apartment for him to start his patrol, and began to follow him. Erik noticed the police scanner in Josh's pocket. He wore his earbuds, so it looked like he was just listening to an mp3.
After an hour of walking around the city, Viridi was staring to regret is his decision. Just as he was about to turn back and go home, his target put one hand on his ear, and dashed into the subway. Erik ran after him, and not long after, he saw Typhoon crash into the window of the moving train.
The Boy then quickly pulled on his mask, tore off his clothes, and dashed after him. The wheels inside the Brain's head moved on hyperdrive. He calculated the speed of the train, its length, the distance from the platform, and finally his trajectory, all in a split second. The super genius leaped with all his might, and landed on the back of the last car. He peered inside, and saw a single gunman holding the passengers hostage. His weapon of choice was a standard AR. This would be a piece of cake.
He waited until he paced by the back window, and then the Brain started his assault. He blasted through the window, taking him by surprise, and in one fluid motion, disarmed him, and sent him to the floor.
"Stay quiet until I get back." He told the passengers.
"Who are you?" One of them whispered.
"I think he's Typhoon. The one from the papers."
"No," He laughed. "I'm The Brain."
One car, and one man at a time, he silently took control of the train. The alien king made his way to the control room, at the front of the train. There he found two gunmen on the ground, a broken control panel, and a confused superhero monkeying with the wires underneath.Before Josh could spin him out of the window, Erik explained himself in his rehearsed superhero voice.
"Relax, I'm the Brain, and I'm here to help." He said as he cautiously approached his fellow hero."
"Good, it's about time I got backup."
"So let me guess. Bad guys hijacked a train, jammed the controls, and we have stop it before we hit the explosives, conveniently located at he busiest station in the city at rush hour?"
"Dude, you're good."
"It's what I do. I can fix the controls. While I do, you can fly against the train. That should slow us down enough to buy me some extra time.
Josh followed the plan, but they were running out of space, and time. Imperial Station was in sight, and was approaching rapidly.
"Brain! We're running out of room! How's it going back there?" Typhoon shouted over screeching of the train.
"I'm almost there! Done!" Then out of nowhere, a man came rushing at the new hero with a knife.
"Brain, watch out!"
Heeding the warning, he turned and shot the charging gunman with his modified wristwatch. Quickly afterward, he threw the emergency brake switch. The train finally began to slow down, but the station was dangerously close. The explosives were visible, but the people only seemed to be conscious of the superhero who appeared to be single handedly slowing down the giant hunk of metal.
"Out of the way! We're not going to make it!"
"We will!" Erik shouted back. "We have to!"
The explosives armed, and they were only a hundred feet away from setting them off. 80 feet. 60 feet. 40 feet. 20 feet. 10 feet. 5. The train finally came to a stop. The two superheroes let out a cry of victory, before flying over the crowd, and out of the station.
Together, they flew high over Imperial City, and out of sight of the station. Shortly after, they landed on a nearby rooftop.
"Whooooo!" Typhoon screamed. "I can't believe we did it! I have a few questions, though." he said as he turned his attention back to the Brain.
"What is your power again? Because I am seriously jealous."
"Haven't you figured it out yet? I think Love did the second time we met." he teased.
At the mention of Love's name, the look in the first superhero's eyes changed, and by the second hero's last sentence, the first was holding the second in the air by the collar.
"Don't you dare threaten my girlfriend!"
Erik then realized the tone of his voice must have caused the confusion, and began to mend the fragile conversation. "Relax, man. I would never do anything to Love. Besides, I'm the one who should be angry at you. I still can't believe you wouldn't recognize your best friend, even if he is wearing spandex.
"Oh dude, I just remembered something. Did you play the game I hacked into yet?"
"God, it is you! How long have you known?"
"Since you made the front page. I knew you were up to something before, but it was then when I became sure."
"Dang, dude. What is your power? Super-genius?"
"Yea, kinda." he let out with a shrug.
"But you took out most of the bad guys."
"I've been watching some Ultimate Fighting, along with some basic martial arts training videos."
"And you picked everything up from there?!" The Brain nodded. "Holy crap, I really am jealous. Okay," he said, finally starting to get a grip on himself. "Rule number one, no more killing, and definitely no more guns."
"Deal, but how about just a tranquilizer gun? I have to neutralize people somehow." Josh nodded.
"Okay, now rule number two. We both get new suits, because yours is atrocious."
"As is yours. Deal. Rule number three, neither of us will tell Love. We cant risk her safety, and Im pretty sure we both want to avoid the earful we would get if we told her."
"Deal, anything else you want to add?" Erik finished.
"Nope, I'm good. Let's go back to my place. Take my hand."
"Hey, if you're going to drag me over the city like your damsel in distress, we're going to my place." Typhoon gave him a look, and the Brain remembered rule number three.
"If you want to hold on to my feet, and get burnt to a crisp, be my guest."
He gave a loud sigh. "Fine." Reluctantly, the emasculated hero took his fellow super's hand, and they flew back to the safety of an average teenager's room.
Together, the dynamic duo faced crime throughout the city, and came out victorious. With Typhoon's incredible mastery of the elements, and Brain's superior strategy, and cunning, there was nothing that the pair couldn't do.
First, the two tackled the streets. Within a week, the number of stolen cars was reduced to almost zero, some vehicles were even returned to their rightful owners.
Next, every ally was crystal clean. Muggings, and rapes were nonexistent. Criminals were starting to quake with fear, afraid that their misdeeds were almost a guarantee of a beating, and a prison sentence.
For their tremendous work, the mayor offered them medals, and the key to the city. Unfortunately, they couldn't accept. The first hero wanted to send a message to the public that crime still hasn't stopped, so neither will they.
That was a lie of course, because they still had their social images to uphold. Parties, football games, dates, and Josh's grades still took up most of their time.
Love's boyfriend was as busy as ever. They barely had time to themselves, even without a secret crime fighting ego to take care of. The truth was that The Girl felt like she didn't even have a boyfriend anymore. She hung out with Erik more than she did Josh. She would never break up with him because of that, though. She was sure that everything could be fixed if she just got a second alone to tell him how she felt about his schedule. The trouble was that moment was literally that, a moment.
She wished so much that the only time he would look into her eyes wasn't when he said goodbye. What she was glad for, though was that one of her wishes came true. The Boy was always there for her. He listened. Not just that, he understood. Most of all, he would never spill her secrets like her 'friends' would. That quality, though, is what she should have been more afraid of.
The Brain thought that fighting crime was easy, too easy. There was just no challenge there for him. Even as he was disarming a gunman's suicide bomb vest, he found himself completely bored. He wondered if that's the way all superheroes really are in the comics.
Was Superman actually yawning when there was no kryptonite around? Did Spider-Man break down and play video games after college classes? Could Batman have taken a nap while Arkham Asylum was filled? Brain didn't have a clue. Maybe after he polished Imperial City into a utopia, he would just move on to the city, but how long would it be before he did the same there, and was back to his current position?
So, as any respectable hero would do, he turned to comic books. After a couple issues of every decent franchise he'd heard of, he knew what was missing.
Batman had the Joker. Superman had Lex Luther. Spider-Man had Green Goblin. Typhoon and Brain needed a super villain. Someone who would put the city in peril, but would be thwarted easily by the superior heroes.
Even superheroes should be careful what they wish for.
The day the world began to end, seemed very normal at first. Sure, the world had now become a real life comic book, but otherwise, very uneventful. Love, Josh, and Erik had all graduated high school, and began their adult lives. Josh had gotten a full scholarship to Imperial State for football, and Love, one for academics. Erik, on the other hand, had no need for college. All the money he needed came from some late night investments, and nothing else. Life rolled on. Typhoon and Brain still hammered crime into submission by night, and the crime rate continued to be at an all time low. That still wouldn't help what was about to come.
In the middle of the workday, a star shined in the sky. The light started to grow brighter, and larger. Soon a large hole replaced the sun, and an enormous ship flew through it. This caught the attention of the world's largest city in a heartbeat. Forty million eyes were trained on the hovering object that just decided to appear. That is just what they wanted. Who, you may ask? Red.
Using the bottom of the ship as a giant television, they broadcasted their message. "People of Imperial City." They began. "There is no need to fear. We are here for one reason, and one alone. When we get what we want, we will leave. If not," The devilish figure snapped his fingers, and panels of the ship moved aside to reveal massive bombs, that could wipe out the population center in a matter of minutes. ",well I think you know what will happen." The panels shifted back to their appropriate places, hiding the hideous doom that waited underneath. "All we want is a single person. We know him as Bogdala, but you may know him as "The Brain"." he laughed as he said the ridiculous name. "Bring him to us within twenty-four hours, and we will leave in peace. If anyone tries to leave the city, we will stop them, if your government interferes in any way, we will also stop them. Please do the smart thing, and exchange one life for twenty million, but the choice is still yours."
Their plan was sweet, and simple. The only logical decision was to give up, but that wasn't the way Erik was. He was a ruler, a leader, a general, a soldier. He knew he could stop them. There always was a chink in Red's armor. It was just a matter of finding it.
The Boy had to talk to Josh. Two brains are better than one. There was one problem. Typhoon was probably thinking the same thing, but Red would probably be monitoring the entire city by now. A flaming figure rushing to his rooftop would be suicide. All phones would be tapped, along with all security cameras. What other way was there to contact one another? The Brain and Typhoon knew. They did it every night.
The two superheroes both turned on their gaming consoles, put in the Typhoon and Brain video game, and entered a match.
"Who are these guys, and why do they want you?"
"Do you remember me talking about my home planet, and the homicidal maniacs that destroyed it? They vowed to destroy all Green. Well, I'm the Green, and they won't stop until they kill me."
"Then what can we do? It's not like we can fight back."
"Yes we can, we just have to meet, and I will tell you how."
"How are we going to meet? They're watching everything."
"Did you know that there's a new superhero in Fortune City?"
With his new mask, Erik walked over to Josh's house. He knew that the moment he was spotted, Red would deploy a ground party to pick him up. No such party came. As he arrived, Love came out to greet him.
"Erik! Oh my God, its so nice to see you again. I love the mask by the way. Laser, isn't it? He's so cool." she closed the door behind him. "Josh is in his room. The whole country is freaking out."
Typhoon sat in his gaming chair, eyes locked on the alien king. "So how do we defeat them?"
The Brain took in a large breath. "Let's see. There is a one way force field around their ship, and even when that's down, the hull is thirty feet of solid steel. Their targeting system can intercept about one hundred and fifty missiles per second. If we do manage to get one into the armory, our best shot, all of the bombs have a remote dud safety."
"Well that's comforting, thanks." Retorted the discouraged hero.
"Hey, you didn't let me finish. They still need air. There are tiny vents that open when inside a survivable atmosphere. Take that away, and they are done."
"I hate to break this to you, but I can't create a vacuum."
''No, you don't get it." Love angrily shot at him. "They can't breathe if they're underwater."
"Exactly, we'll drown them."
"You just said that we can't get past their force fields. How will we get them into the ocean?"
"The funny thing is about force field generators, they don't work underwater, but only if they stay submerged. About bringing them to the ocean, you will bring the ocean to them."
"How am I..." he caught himself. "Dude, that's gonna suck. I can move that much water, but going to take some serious concentration."
"That's where I came in. Red will send soldiers after you. I will distract, and then kill them."
"Woah, dude. You're forgetting rule number one."
"Just like you forgot rule number three? I remember us agreeing on not putting Love in harm's way by bringing her into this. Plus, they won't stop until I, and everyone who opposes them are dead. It's us or them, I don't think the choice is too difficult."
Something was wrong. The couple was quieter than usual. Also, they usually sat close together, if not on top of one another. Currently, they were on opposite sides of the room.
"You two broke up, didn't you?" The Girl let out a large sigh, and wiped her eyes.
"We were fighting before the ship appeared."
"That's the reason why I had to tell her. She thought that I was cheating on her, so I showed her our suits. I'm sorry."
"You two have a bigger problem here." she changed the subject. "Let's just figure things out one at a time."
After a long pause, Erik realized that they were wasting precious time. "She's right, we have a job to do. Now, let's get dressed.
The city was focused on the giant ship, as the clock ticked, and the sun fell into the bay. As night took it's grip, the city was silent, but didn't sleep. They were waiting for their twin saviors to rescue them once more. Then, a familiar sound filled the air, the sound of something roaring through the night. They flew to the heart of the metropolis, directly underneath the massive vessel. At their arrival, the screen flickered to life again.
The warmongering menace smiled at them. He and Viridi exchanged words in the native tongue, for the conversation was meant for them, and them alone. "So, I assume you will not die quietly, judging on your entrance."
"You've grown smarter since I left."
The Red laughed. "Green has always been the biggest fools on the planet. Do you really think we would have stormed your puny continent if we didn't know about your strategy, or the temporal rift? It was all anticipated in our plans. Everything down to your little proof of bravery, but I'll make you a deal. Come with us willingly, and we will grant you a quick, painless death."
This time, it was The Brain who laughed. "Red was also the most dreadful liars on the planet, but I'll make you another deal. Leave now, and I won't kill all of you. I might even let you keep control of War, but judging by the ground force drop pods, you're not going to let that happen, are you?"
"Enough of this pointless diplomacy! I look forward to spitting on your cold, mangled body."
The screen shut off, and for a few minutes, nothing happened as the team flew off. During that time, Imperial City cheered, thinking that the invaders backed off. Love knew better. She heard that tone in Erik's voice once before, when she told him he could never return to War. It was the sound of anger, violence. They were about to be in for the fight of their lives.
"Typhoon, head for the harbor!" At the command, he flew in the given direction at full speed. The Brain glared behind him to catch the pods chasing them, and progressively getting closer. The beach was in sight now. Time to initiate phase two. "You're going to drop me, got it?"
"You heard me, do it on my mark." He calculated the speed, and the the inertia needed to land him in the water just off the beach. "Now!" Right on queue, the order was executed, and as predicted, the pods followed him into the water. That would hopefully buy Josh some time to get ready. The superhero pencil dived into the bay, and miraculously returned to the surface, unharmed. It was a different story, however, for the pods. Erik made the short swim, and set foot on the beach as soon as Typhoon touched down on the harbor.
They both took in large breaths. Brain began to run, and Josh began to pull. Pods were starting to land on the beach, as The Boy started his retreat into the skyline. Red was quick, and was soon back in sight. He dove into a man hole as they ran past. That would keep them busy until the battle was over, but the next wave would hunt him down.
Typhoon's fists were clenched, and going back and forth. He was now controlling the waves along the shore. They crashed over the beach, and were getting stronger and stronger. He was starting to break a sweat now, but could do so much more. He let his fingers fall to a ninety degree angle, and with all of his strength, he began to pull the water back. He let out a shout. The pain was almost unbearable, but he had to keep going.
The alien king hid in the tunnel as his pursuers picked up on his trail. There was complete silence. The Red soldier tread carefully, expecting a trap. He gripped his spear tight, ready to fire two lasers into his enemy's body. He would then bring him back to the ship, and let his leader take part in the rest of the fun.
The Brain drew his gun as the first soldier creeped closer. He was hugging the corner of a secondary tunnel. Red's spears were flawed around corners. As soon as the tip was in sight, he pushed it to the side with his left hand, and as his victim desperately shot, he delivered a round into his skull.
As anticipated, the mob of twenty-nine came running, and quickly found their comrade's body, but there was no sign of the Brain. In fact, he was hanging from the grate directly above them. As they made their way past him, he dropped to the floor. Now it was time to go on the offensive.
While creeping up behind his first victim, he snapped his neck like a twig. Without stopping, he picked up his spear and shot another in the back. He stabbed the next through the heart with it. One Red turned, and stabbed at him, but he pushed the weapon aside, and smashed his head against the wall with his free hand. He then ran through the confused crowd, which fired mindlessly at him. This took out ten of their own men. This left a mere fifteen, easy.
Erik ran back at them, and punched one's left shoulder. With him now facing his friend, he grabbed his spear, and plunged it into the soldier's neck. The Brain then delivered a firm kick to the shaft, knocking out the man with his own weapon. He then tripped another, and did a front flip, landing on his face. He stretched his arms out to the sides, as two men rushed toward him. They fell into his trap. When they were close enough together, he grabbed their heads, and smashed their skulls together.
Yet another Red ran at him, and The Boy simply sidestepped, and let him stab the soldier behind him. While he was still in shock, he round-house kicked him in the face. One man charged at him from behind. He turned, and flipped his spear into the air. The Brain grabbed it, and smashed the handle into the cement. He grabbed his enemy's head, and sent it into the spike.
Again, he ran past the dwindling group, but no one fired. Instead, one man sliced another, almost in two. This is when he pulled out two daggers, and stabbed two clean through the heart. The remaining four all nodded in agreement, and ran.
The Brain pulled his gun once more from it's holster, and fired ten shots. Six went to the wounded on the ground, the other four, he delivered into the backs of the fleeing cowards. His job was done. It was all up to Typhoon now.
All of the water that was around the harbor, was now behind it. He finally let go, and twisted his wrists upward. Now he had to push. The water rushed toward the city, taking out most of the harbor. Luckily, Josh caught himself in time, and leaped into the air. Flames erupted from his feet, allowing him to hover above the water.
As the ocean hit the beach once more, the superhero's stance changed. His left hand rose above his right, and his other had turned, palm upwards. Together they rose, as did the water into the air. The small lake of salt water soon surrounded the ship, and the first superhero began to drag it towards him. As it got closer, he saw the panelss shift beneath the water, and released it's deadly cargo. At this sight, he cleared all of the air from his lungs, and sucked in with all his might.
Even though the projectiles were a little over a mile away, they rushed toward him, powerless agains the three hundred mile per hour winds. They flew over his head, and were disarmed by the bay. Typhoon let out another yell as the ship made one last desperate pull against him. They attempted to escape their fate by turning their engines against the tiring hero. Unfortunately for them, their efforts were useless.
Josh couldn't lose. He had too much to live for, too much to save. His friends, his family, his city were counting on him. In one final heave of strength, he threw the spaceship into the sea. As the final bubbles surfaced, he knew they were all dead. The city was almost safe. Almost.
The first hero flew to the center of the city as they chanted his name.
"Typhoon! Typhoon! Typhoon! Typhoon!"
Then one thing hit him. Where was The Brain? As he floated back down to the ground, they saw that he wasn't smiling. He was worried. His thought slowly hit them as well, and they all fell silent. Where was he? He should have been there by now. Where was he?
Not a word was said. No one made a sound. Then there was a heavy thumping noise. Very faint, almost inaudible. Thump, thump thump. Then he heard it again. Thump, thump thump. It was knocking. Erik's knocking.
"Brain!" he cried out, as he ran toward the sound. Some people moved to reveal a man hole cover. Josh twisted his hand upward, as if screwing in a lightbulb. The man hole cover flew into the air, as did a very disoriented superhero.
He was bloodied and bruised, and lay motionless on the ground. The first hero lifted his head into his hands. "Brain, are you alright? God, this is all my fault."
"No it isn't," he coughed. "but could you be a little more gentle next time? Not all of us have super strength."
"Dude, you scared the crap out of me. Now, get up. Some of these people think you might be dead."
Reluctantly, he got to his feet. The crowd cheered again, but his time they chanted a different name.
"Brain! Brain! Brain! Brain!"
Then, from far away, a shriek rang out. Everyone turned to see what it was. Slowly they moved out of the path of the last remaining Red soldiers. They approached the twin heroes.
When they got close enough, they casually made a circle around the two. The Red captain was the only one who dared to speak.
"You think that you have won?" he laughed. "You have not even come close. We still have a whole planet of people to sent here, and they will all be willing to give their lives to put an end to yours. In the words of your own people, you may have won the battle, but we will win the war. Kill them."
Upon hearing the kill order, Typhoon whispered one word into The Brain's ear.
The Brain fell to the ground just as the fiery explosion was unleashed. The soldiers were merely stunned, and it would only be moments until they were once again ready to fight. Erik pulled his gun while Josh shot fireballs from his hands.
The first hero took out six men still on the ground, and Erik took out three. He shot one in the foot as he tried to get up, and then gave him another round to a more deadly area. Josh did almost the same thing, and then pulled a soldier toward him. Only half a plea for his life was heard before he snapped his neck.
The Brain cartwheeled beside the enemy, and shot clean through two heads. He removed something from his belt, and threw it on the ground. Three Reds' feet caught fire, and he shot them as they panicked. Typhoon ripped a fire hydrant from the ground, and sent two of the enemy pinned against the wall. His partner, then grabbed a charging soldier's spear, spun around, and stabbed him straight through his body. The red stained tip fired two lasers, taking out another two soldiers.
Another man charged at Josh, who breathed fire into his face. As he lay on the ground, crippled with pain, he flung him at his fellow Red, killing him, and sending two back to the ground. He used the water from the fire hydrant to shoot them through the air. The Brain took two of his throwing knives, and flung them across the street, and into the faces of his last two men. The first hero touched the back of his hands together, and aimed them between his last two charging soldiers. He then swung his arms to the sides, and smashed both of them against the walls.
This left only one Red, the captain. Viridi grabbed him by the collar, with his gun underneath his chin.
"Any last words before I send you back to Hell?"
The captain laughed, and then spit in his face. "This is just the beginning."
As promised, Erik pulled the trigger, and the man fell to the ground.
Love was on the street watching the whole thing. As the last man was executed, she ran up to give The Boy a hug. Josh's back was turned, and his mind was still in combat mode. All he heard was running in his direction.
He turned and yelled. "Watch out!"
It was too late. The fireball hit The Girl, and took her off her feet. Erik ran to her aid, but Josh just stood there in shock. There was a hole through her torso, and a pool of blood began to appear around her. The Boy picked up her head, and cradled it in his arms as she began to slip away.
"Love, everything's going to be alright. You're going to get help, and get better. You'll be fine."
She smiled at him. "Don't worry. Erik always has a plan." She closed her eyes, and slipped away.
The second hero turned to the first. "YOU! YOU DID THIS!"
Not knowing what to do, Josh flew off as Viridi screamed.
Six months have passed since Love died. Nothing has been the same. I'm no longer The Brain. No one has heard from Josh, since that day. They figured that he somehow was killed when Red attacked, but I know better. He is off hiding somewhere, getting his courage back up to help Imperial City.
There is no help. There was none for Love. The only way I can help her, is reclaiming my place as king. At first I tried to fight the plague on this world by attacking the symptom, but now I know that is not the way. I must attack the entire disease, and then cure Earth. There is no such thing as freedom, no such thing as rights.
If you give people the tools to be free, they will only use them to harm others. Under my rule, everyone will be safe. No more violence, theft,murder, or war. Everyone will be happy. All people with powers of any kind will be eradicated. Its unfair for anyone to have such a powerful advantage over others.
People will have no more hard decisions to make, for I will make them for them. No more ethnic groups will exist, for in a few centuries, we will all be one people. Poverty will no longer exist, Everyone will have a job, and be paid with a single currency. Only one system will exist, none other will be known.
Since I've published my philosophy, hundreds of followers have joined, and I have provided refuge for them in my island fortress. It is here that they will train, learn, and find purity. They will earn their right to call themselves Green. My people will be reborn here, and will revolutionize the world.
More and more join each day, and with them, we become stronger. Green raid the city daily, taking money, and supplies from those to have to0 much, and we will invest it in good.
Unfortunately, the police do not see eye to eye with this revolution. They are working to bring us down from the inside, but I quickly weed out their spies, and dispose of them in a way that entertains my people.
The media does not call me by my proper name of "Green King". They chose a more playful name, that is a little more gruesome. It means 'evil' in Latin, or the language of the Givers. So what do they call me? Only one word, that sends shivers down Imperial City's spine. Malum.