It's time to vote on CCC #70, and the challenge this time was to create an OC Celebrity Superhero- one whose true identity was known to the public. We've got some long reads this time, so let me not bore you with an equally long intro.
|Voting rules are simple:|
|Batkevin74 - Mark Metcalf|
The audience applauded, and a clips tape played of the best bits of his stunning performance in the Marvel action film. Jessica’s co-presenter, Margot Robbie took her turn. “Jeffrey Dean Morgan in I Am Stalin!”
The applause was louder for the stunning performance as Russia’s 20th Century despot/hero which had already won him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award. Jeffrey waved and blew kisses when the camera landed on him; his friend Paul Rudd launching across the table to pretend kiss him on the mouth.
“Mark Metcalf in The Chronicle Of Washington!” Jessica said as the clips tape played for the young actor from California who was on his way to super stardom in this film about Pierre Charles L'Enfant who designed the American capital. Mark smiled and waved.
“Harvey Keitel in Broken Promises!” Margot announced as the room erupted. Harvey had become the oldest nominee at age 81 and if he won would also become the oldest winner and his first Academy Award after a long career.
“Chovek Kematian in The Transit of Venus!” Jessica said as they showed the tall and handsome actor from Latvia siting next to his fiancée former porn actress Kylie Page. He cheers’d his glass and smiled. The orchestra began their drumroll to quiet the audience and cue the presenters. The camera showed the quartet of nominees on the big screen eagerly and tentatively awaiting the announcement.
“And the Oscar goes to…” Jessica said as she fumbled the envelope to Margot.
“Don’t do a Beatty,” Margot joked as she opened it. They both looked at it, then each other and then straight down the barrel of camera number one and said in unison.
“JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN!”
Mark and Chovek posed for a gaggle of paparazzi. “It’s an honour just to be nominated,” Mark said to the throng of questions.
“Would’ve preferred to win, pay check is an instant twenty,” Chovek muttered. “It’s why Howard dropped out of Iron Man.”
“True,” Mark waved them off. “Okay that’s enough, thank you. Go bug someone else. So, what’s up next for you?”
“Off to Prague for a six-month shoot, some musketeer’s thing,” Chovek nodded across the room at Taylor Lautner. “I’m taking points over pay check.”
Chovek patted him on the shoulder and smiled. “I didn’t ask.”
Mark scowled as watched the tall Latvian mingled with the other stars of the Hollywood galaxy. Chovek fitted in nicely in the vapid world of show business, Mark was still adjusting. At heart he was still the kid from Crescent City who’d put on shows for the families at the marina, and movie making was just like that when the producers, personal assistants, executive producers, sponsors, paparazzi, and agents were removed. He sighed and put on his Hollywood smile as another photographer flittered past.
“Tough luck kid,” Harvey Keitel slapped him on the shoulder and shook his hand as only old school men can do. “I liked your film.”
“Thanks Mr Keitel.”
Harvey looked at him. “Mark, I’m Harvey. Mr Keitel is my father and he passed away long before you were born.”
“Harvey,” Mark smiled and pumped the handshake. “Broken Promises was amazing.”
“I’m just edited well,” Harvey joked. “Enjoy yo…hold on. You? Take a photo of us two losers. Got it?”
The pair smiled, genuine smiles before Harvey moved on to another famous huddle. Mark glanced at his watch and headed for the exit. He dodged a waving Jim Carrey arm who was telling some fanciful story that had Ben Stiller in stitches and sidestepped around a very messy Sharon Stone.
“Are you leaving Mr Metcalf?” asked one of the security.
“Yeah, early start tom…”
“This way,” He interrupted as he escorted him to a side door and a waiting fleet of Prius’. “One of these shall take you back to where you are staying.”
Mark got into the back of the green one at the start of the line, the driver shut the door and asked, “Where too?”
“The Jeremy West, 8490 West Suns…”
“Got it!” The driver said, and they were off. The radio was playing some pleasant jazz, Mark rested his head on the tinted window looking at the chaos that was an awards show.
“So, did you win?” The driver asked, and Mark held up his hands. “Unlucky. What was your film?”
“The Chronicle Of Washington.”
“Never heard of it. Was it any good?”
“I liked it.” Mark joked.
The driver grunted something and swerved the Prius around a stationary car. “Isn’t the Washington Chronicle a newspaper?”
Mark shrugged. “The Washington Post is a newspaper, don’t think the Chronicle is, but don’t know.”
“Is that the one with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep?”
“No, I wasn’t in that one. That’s The Post.”
“Oh…. what is going on here?” The car stopped behind a large white truck emblazoned with medical waste warnings with its hazard lights on. “What’s this fool doing?”
The driver indicated and went around, straight into the path of an oncoming petrol tanker. The resulting explosion sent a mushroom cloud of flames and smoke into the air, shattering windows for blocks around. Mark screamed as the fire engulfed him.
Mark stood up, shaken, dazed. He wobbled to his feet and noticed he was inside the inferno, yet somehow wasn’t being burnt to death. “What the ^%$#?”
He stepped out of the wreckage confused. He felt different. Slowly he walked out of the flames to the cheers and the amazement of the gathered crowd and firefighters. Cameras and cell phones recorded the whole thing including the fact he was stark naked. A firefighter quickly covered him in a thermal blanket.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“I didn’t win an Academy Award?” Mark blurted out as he promptly passed out.
Mark opened his eyes to a room full of people, none he recognised. “Um hi?”
“Hello Mr Metcalf,” said a man in a dark suit and aviator glasses. “My name is Agent Cooper from the Department of Homeland Security. We’ve got some questions for you?”
“Am I in trouble or something?”
“No, but we’re all rather curious on how you’re alive,” Cooper replied. “Also, that the doctors here haven’t been able to penetrate your skin with a needle nor scalpel.”
Mark touched his skin, pulling up a piece and watching it snap back like it normally would. “Is this some Ashton Kutcher prank? Because…”
“No Mr Metcalf, this isn’t a joke. It seems somehow from the accident you’ve developed powers.”
Mark smiled. “Like Superman. Ha ha ha good one. This really is joke.”
“We’d like to take you to a secure facility and run some tests,” Cooper said.
“Am I under arrest?”
“No, we’d merely like to…”
“Can I go? Because if you’re not arresting me and I feel fine, I’m going to go because I’ve got a script to read for a TV show I’m in.” Mark swung his legs out of bed and stood up. “Where are my clothes?”
“They were burnt up in the explosion,” Agent Cooper replied. “Now Mr Metcalf…”
“Could you call me Mark, Mr Metcalf is my dad,” Mark smiled to himself as he used Harvey’s joke. “Look I’d just like to go home, please.”
The Agent touched his earpiece. “Sorry Mr Metcalf, but you’re going to have to come with us.”
Mark stood up. “No.”
“Mark Metcalf, we are detaining you under Section DP-7 of the…”
Mark ignored him and headed for the door. Three men grabbed a hold of him, Mark stopped. “Get your hands off me, please.”
“Stop resisting!” The ordered as the strained to move him, Mark just watched them bemused why these three burly men couldn’t move him. Mark flexed and shook his arm and sent the trio flying into the wall with a huge crunch.
“Oh wow!” Mark gasped.
Agent Cooper drew a gun. “On your knees, Mark!”
Mark looked at him. “No, I’m going home.”
Cooper pulled the trigger. The sound in the combined space was deafening. Mark looked quizzically at the bullet he’d caught in his fingers like a bug then flattened it like it was plasticine. Everyone was aghast at what had happened.
“This is amazing!” Mark exclaimed as he dropped the flat metal onto the floor. “I’ve got to tell my mom. I’m going to go now, okay?”
Agent Cooper silently nodded, and Mark wandered out of the room.
Mark looked at the horde that enveloped his parents’ house in Crescent City. Police had formed a line with barricades around the house as the media and hundreds of onlookers blocked the street.
“Are you okay?” Mrs Metcalf sounded worried.
“I’m fine, this is all just a little bit crazy, huh?”
“Did you win? I fell asleep before your category was announced and then the accident and you were all over the news…”
“Mom, I’m fine, never felt better. No, Jeffrey won. Okay, I’m never going to get through these people. I’ve got this burner phone, so I lost all my numbers, could you call my agent Gupta Zardari for me and tell him I’m alive and okay.”
“He’s here if you want to…”
“MARK!” Gupta yelled down the phone. “WHERE ARE YOU? WHAT’S GOING?”
“I’m down the road, trying to work out how to get inside.”
“I WILL FIX THIS! STAY RIGHT THERE.”
Mark stepped out of the ambulance dressed as an EMT and walked into the house to be hugged by his mother, father, sister and agent. “Did I not tell you that would work!” said Gupta happily. “If it could work for Orson Welles it could work for you.”
“That was pretty cool hiring and ambulance to get me in,” Mark said. “But…”
“But nothing!” Gupta snapped. “Now talk to your family! I will deal with these vultures.” And he headed out to do battle with the sea of journalists.
“You okay?” Mr Metcalf asked.
“Fine, just a bit embarrassed the entire world’s seen my junk y’know,” Mark said. “It’s beyond surreal.”
“So, you like Superman?” Amber his sister asked. “Can you fly? Shoot lasers?”
“I haven’t had a chance to test out what I can do, but I did catch a bullet in my hands,” Mark shrugged. “I just don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
“You’ll need a cape,” Mrs Metcalf joked. “And something to eat.”
“Can you read minds?” Amber asked hesitantly.
“Yes, yours is blank.” Mark laughed. “I’m still me I just, I don’t know, I’m really strong and some guys from the government tried to arrest me at the hospital but I just walked out because they couldn’t stop m…”
The was a knock on the door. Mr Metcalf went to investigate and was back in seconds as three heavily armed police officers frog marched him into the lounge room. Gupta was detained by another and twelve officers poured into the room guns drawn. Mrs Metcalf and Amber screamed, and Mark protectively stood in front of them.
“Get off my dad!” Mark snapped at them. “I’m warning you!”
Agent Cooper entered the house. “Mark, you need to come with us.”
“Because you’re in extreme danger and a danger to others.”
“I don’t understand.”
Agent Cooper took of his glasses. “Mark, people out there are thinking you’re a god or something.”
“But I’m not!”
“Mark, you survived a massive explosion unharmed that killed nine people. Your skin is seemingly impervious, and I watched you catch a god dam bullet in your hand that I fired at you! That’s pretty god like. The longer you’re in the public view the more damage you’re going to cause. And fighting us won’t help you.”
“Let my dad go!” Mark demanded. “And Gupta!”
The officers released them both. “We did something for you, now you do something for us.” Cooper said. “To be honest I don’t really understand this myself but please, we need to get you out of the public eye.”
“Are you kidding?” Gupta piped up. “As Mark Metcalf’s agent and also his lawyer, accountant, confidante and friend, this is best publicity for him EVER! We need to capitalise on this; talk shows, press conferences, lunch with the President.”
“I don’t like the President.” Mark stated. “I voted for the other guy.”
“Mark, we can use this! Also, you’ve done nothing illegal except possibly resisting arrest but that we can get a judged to commute to community service.” Gupta rambled away. “Mark is an Academy Award nominated actor who is now the biggest news story on the planet and YOU want to put him in a box. I say no.”
Mark looked at his parents. “Well?”
Agent Cooper groaned. “This is not up for discussion! Mark, you need to come with us.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want too son,” Mr Metcalf said.
Mark looked at the agent. “Please leave my family alone.”
Agent Cooper paused, listening to instructions via his earpiece. “Please reconfirm…. I understand. Arrest the family!” Cooper ordered, and the officers pounced. Mark grabbed one by the collar and threw him across the room, out the window and into the crowd of journalists. He pushed Agent Cooper backwards that he flew into and through the wall into the garage. Like a blur Mark pummelled the officers into submission and within seconds they were all out and his family safe.
“That was amazing!” Amber gasped at her big brother’s actions.
Mark picked up their guns and crushed them all into a large ball before walking outside. Gupta quickly followed him. The horde of ravenous news hounds surged as Mark came out onto the landing, the sound of cameras and shouting of questions was cacophonous. Mark turned to Gupta.
“Block your ears, this may be a bit loud.”
Gupta did as he was told and Mark out his fingers in his mouth and whistled. It was like so loud that it hurt and instantly silenced the crowd. Mark smiled and waved.
“Hi. My names Mark Metcalf and I got super powers. Any questions?”
|Time_Phantom - The Impossible Man|
The Impossible Man
Howard Leach had always had these powers. As far as he knew hew was the only one. He was always stronger and faster than everyone. Howard’s senses were always heightened to the point he had a general impression of his surroundings that wasn’t normal. Gun fire only bruised him, fire had the same effect as being wrapped in a blanket and soaring through the air and landing without harm was as natural as running. Howard Leach grew up knowing he was different, knowing he had to protect that secret and that he had a responsibility to act when others could not. That was why he was a hero. The Impossible Man he was called.
As Howard Leach looked at the audience in front of him, the two hosts and cameras he was kind of proud of the fact that this wasn’t as intimidating as he had thought. So, it wasn’t the being on tv or being streamed online. Off to the side of the stage were the crew all giving the impression of working, but their eyes were just as focused on him as the audience.
Men in suits with ear pieces and guns on their hips like movie secret agents were mixed in with the audience. The “g-men”, Howard called them. A police officer was posted on the emergency exit and outside of the building were multiple officers blocked access to the building.
“I just have to ask,” Jimmy Clark of the morning talk show Clark &amp; Kent asked as if he didn’t have all his questions screened and edited by and army of government suits before he agreed to even be on the show. “Why, `The Impossible Man’? It’s kind of…”
“As lame as `Clark &amp; Kent’?” Howard laughed as Jimmy feigned hesitation, “My best friend when she saw me get hit by a car and just push it away was like, “Dude, that’s impossible man!”
“Then she started following me around. Putting videos of me doing what I do online and collecting that good YouTube ad revenue.” Howard explained as he looked back to the side of the stage at a pregnant woman dressed in black sweat pants and a white tee shirt gave him the finger and mouthed, “screw you” with a smile on her face. “Yeah. She was a total creep and the channel name became my super hero name.”
“Billions of views and dozens of police reports later you became a national sensation.” Kent Fallon, the other host said on the other side of the desk. “But you didn’t get international news until after The Battle of Englewood. When it was uncovered that police were selling weapons to organized crime figures in the city with the Mayors knowledge.”
“What was that like?” Fallon asked as the studio audience cheered. “It turned you into a superstar.”
“I didn’t know me getting my head kicked in was that exciting!” Howard joked despite how he felt about the most terrifying night of his life as the audience’s cheers died down. “Listen. All of that was an accident. I ran into some bad guys trying to make me a dead guy and they all just happened to have known each other.”
“Three hundred armed criminals with police help,” Jimmy Clark exclaimed, his over acting continued for the crowd. “Versus a skinny kid in a mask!”
Howard had already been a hero in Chicago for three years. For two years he was just learning how to use his powers and uploading video of him challenging gangs and other criminals in the inner city. He stumbled on a police sponsored arms deal with gangs which was part of a larger organized crime network. Soon his “costume”, at the time a ski mask, hoodie/ coat combination and jeans were on the news. Howard’s friend Viviana Reos and YouTube videographer was arrested and Howard was on the run. It all came to a head after he was cornered in a Chicago neighborhood that the police had cordoned off.
Then the shooting and explosions happened. Three hundred gang members, dirty cops and outside contractors had rushed the police barricade from outside. They were armed with weapons that were stolen from the police and did not discriminate in who they were targeting. So, for that whole night Howard fought through bullets, explosions and bodies.
“After that there was the press conference.” Fallon said, as he cleared his throat as if to announce he is about to speak. “Where the President acknowledged your abilities. Pardoned you and signed an executive order classifying your identity. There was even a memo deputizing you with the CPD.”
“That was just a year ago.” Jimmy Clark asked, “Last week you revealed your identity in another press conference. Why when you had presidential protection?”
“Yes.” Fallon continued. “You had the celebrity. Money from the YouTube videos. Your identity protected. Why sacrifice that?”
Howard remembered the conversation he had with the President. “You’re a good kid, Howie. But my time in office is coming to an end and you’re not a minor anymore. I’ve had to fight to keep your records classified. Once I’m gone you’ll need to protect yourself.” Howard had appreciated the words. The president won no friends with the burying of information of supposedly the only “super human” in the world. That angered many. The justification was he was a minor, had uncovered an organized crime organization inside of a major city’s police department and saved thousands of lives already during his short career.
Howard looked back Viviana who was practically bouncing with excitement looked on and waved this time instead of giving him another dose of the finger, “Some new priorities came up.”
That’s how it went for years. Television appearances, speeches and demonstrations. Viviana had a boy and was no longer his manager. An army of marketing professionals and lawyers replaced her in that capacity. All of them yes men. All of them more interested in filling up Howard’s schedule with activities to keep him busy and not doing hero work. That was deemed “too litigious and brand damaging”. Being a super hero had become too “problematic”.
But a bad neighborhood was always easy to find. There was a look. The look of being lived in and worn, like a home without anyone to care for it. People feared not having enough when so many wanted the same things without the means to get them. Unable to just leave and not really living, just surviving. So of course, that was encouraging to people who just wanted to take what little these people had already.
Howard got excited during these times he could sneak away and finally do the right thing. Because of his honorary deputy status being given authority by the president in an unheard-of move Howard Leach, the Impossible Man has jurisdiction in every city in the country. He even had his own dispatcher. “How’s that home invasion going, super hero?” When he did get to patrol it was so much easier now to get support from law enforcement in comparison to his previous “looking for trouble” approach.
The Impossible Man was in pursuit of a van speeding off from a house in one of these neighborhoods. Howard had spotted them leaving the home, he let them speed off for a few blocks and answered over his radio, “In pursuit. Call the police in five minutes. Probably less.”
Howard to this day didn’t really know how he got these abilities. One day he just could and he did not know why. But he took it as a responsibility to go and help people. “This won’t take long at all.”
Howard took off into a sprint! His strides were wide, the muscles in his legs exploded with power as he cut through the air. Howard’s eyes darted in every direction as he closed the gap between him and the cars swerving to avoid the van. The van was going close to sixty miles an hour. Much too slow for him. Cars were blurs of color that he danced around gracefully around as they got close. Howard’s awareness was perfect, he didn’t have to see to an obstacle to avoid it. Howard’s eyes would see the obstruction and his body just reacted.
The Van was in an arm’s reach and with a hard push as a foot hit the ground he launched himself several feet above the van and landed hard enough to dent the roof and cause the van to swerve. Howard jumped off as the van as it began to veer off the road, he landed in front of the van and as if punching through a thin sheet of paper his hand tore through the hood and inserted itself into the engine. Howard used the momentum as he lifted the van with one arm above his head and sent it crashing back down.
The sound of metal twisting and glass shattering roared in the air. Howard pulled his fist out of the hood of the van he had just crushed and approached the driver’s side window. Howard took a deep breath, the smell of oil and gun powder filled his nose, a crowd had started to form but with enough focus he could hear a hammer being pulled back on a pistol. Howard yanked the driver’s side door off its hinges as he watched the driver begin to raise his gun at the hero. His enhanced sight noted he would off slightly and would miss, Howard not wanting a stray bullet to hit an innocent stepped in front of the gun.
The gun burst, bullets found their target and hit Howard in his chest. His costume had bullet proof material sewn in, but not for him. Upon contact with his skin the rounds would just shatter or alter their trajectory slightly Howard had discovered that the shrapnel could hit a person early in his career. The materiel his costume only served to absorb more of the impact.
Howard tore the pistol out of the man’s hands, the gun crumpled like tissue as he balled the weapon up and threw it hard as if he were throwing a pitch at the driver’s head. The would-be robber’s head snapped back as he slumped forward over the steering wheel.
“Time?” Howard asked over his radio to his dispatcher.
The dispatcher began to answer, “One minute and fif—"
Howard didn’t pay attention to the abruptness of the call cutting out at first, “Uh, I got three guys? Send an ambulance because one of them definitely has a concussion.”
A crowd had formed around the scene. Civilians cheered, took pictures and surrounded the scene. Howard took it all in, since he had gone public with his identity there was no regular patrol or even meeting regular people outside of an organized event. He had become someone you saw on tv. Howard was not the hero that could be anyone anymore. Howard had become unapproachable.
The crowd had filled the street at this point, the surrounded him, reached out to touch him and take pictures. It was all still overwhelming. “This is cool everyone, but the police are on their way and while the bad guys are sleeping guys for now, we—”
For a moment he just let the moment take him. He laughed, shook hands and took selfies with fans. Howard spoke with them and signed autographs. Howard for a moment felt like the teenager with the crazy idea to be a super hero again. There was a hand on his forearm, the grip was tight as he turned to greet the fan a new sensation took him out of this enchantment. Howard winced in pain, a woman dressed in black and in sun dark sunglasses like the g-men that watch him had his arm clasped in her hand. His arm was crushed as if it were a newspaper roll, his hand went limp and she yanked him forward.
Howard tried to pull away, but this mysterious woman pulled him in by his waist and kept his body pressed against her. For all his strength he couldn’t break her grasp, she was strong, so strong that she had broken his bones. He was scared. The civilians let out a startled cry and then the air burst like a sonic boom. Howard’s head whipped back, the air got colder and as he looked down buildings got smaller as the shot into the air.
Howard pulled the woman’s arm from around him with great resistance from her. The buildings were indistinguishable this high in the air and they weren’t getting closer to the ground instead they were moving farther away from it. Howard’s face lit up as he realized what was happening, “How can you fly?”
Her eyes began to glow behind her sunglasses and the air around them warmed. She said, “You just aren’t that special anymore.”
A flash of orange light blinded him, he yanked back as hard as he could in anticipating an attack, the heat was as if he had stood too close to an oven while he opened it and he screamed! Howard felt his costume melting into his skin, he could smell something like burnt meat and the sensation he was falling. Howard could not see either. Everything was as if it were on fire. He could hear cries from terrified people, the wind tremble and more heat still. Then there was nothing.
Three days. It took three days for, Howards body to heal. He suffered burns over one hundred percent of his body. His skin and eyes had melted, when he was found his body was an unrecognizable charred mass. Howard lied in a hospital being observed by government doctors and agents. He spent every waking moment taking tests, answering questions watching the news. The government is calling the incident a gas explosion that destroyed several blocks. No footage of the attack survived and everyone at the scene had died in the fires.
Howard had no explanation on the woman. He didn’t even know how he got his powers and had no idea what to make of his attacker. She was just as strong as him, she could fly unlike him and very fast too. Then there were her eyes. The heat. Calling it heat vision made him groan in disgust, but it was the only way to explain it.
His girlfriend Viviana and their son sat with him in the hospital. Howard had not seen them since the fight and today was the first day he could see them. Their son had fallen asleep in his arms while Howard and Viviana caught up with each other while moving around the subject of his attack.
“Marketing team wanted my input on a line of toys the other day and I just couldn’t even!” Viviana rolling her eyes, “They wanted to roll an action figure of you with an obviously repainted batmobile and I was like, `the dude can’t even drive!’”
Howard sighed, “I know how to drive, Viv.”
His girlfriend laughed, “Yeah like ass, mister, “She cleared her voice and mimed his sarcastically, “Top speed of two hundred miles an hour… on foot! Believe the impossible!”
“That was your catch phrase.” Howard laughed as he remembered the days she recorded his patrols and put them on the internet. Before he was famous. “Faster than Usain Bolt! Stronger than a man on gamma powered roids and more agile than a drunk frat boy. That was, The Impossible Man! Like and subscribe!”
Viviana gave a playful shove that Howard rolled with as if she could move him, “That’s not how it went!”
“Might as well.” Howard teased, “You were the corniest teen in the world.”
“Says basically, spider man without the Uncle Ben.” Viviana mumbled under her breath.
Howard with his enhanced abilities heard that as if she had yelled it, but refrained from saying anything. Viviana since the beginning had treated him like a normal person since his powers manifested. In a world where he was the only person with powers, when even family treated him like a monster or everyone else saw a celebrity, Viviana always treated him like anybody else. The least he could do was act like a normal person for her without reminding her he had powers.
“So, are we not going to talk about getting fried by heat vision?” Viviana asked as she traced her fingers along his arm. Viviana saw him on the second day. When they discovered his still healing body in the morgue with the other casualties. They had her in the ambulance with him when they transported him to a hospital when it was discovered Howard’s body still functioned.
“Ugh!” Howard whined, “Don’t call it that. It’s so lame!”
“But it’s what you told the G-men you saw.” Viviana said. She clenched his hand and her voice lowered, “You almost died! I didn’t think that was even possible!”
“Neither did I.” Howard said. He held her hand back and looked in her eyes with a warm look that failed to reassure Viviana by the frown that had grown on her face. “It’s fine. I already talked to the men in black slacks. We’re gonna work on catching her.”
“Howard, they think after you hit the ground that she blasted everything within a few blocks.” Viviana whispered with her voice growing louder, “Double tap. This isn’t some freaking banger. She’s got powers and has a raging murder stiffy for you!”
“And unless more people with super powers show up I’m the only person who can stop her.” Howard said. Viviana climbed into the hospital bed with him and kissed him immediately. The couple shared a long kiss as she wrapped her arms tightly around him.
“Hey, dad?” Howard’s son had said when he awoke and pulled at his hospital gown. Howard broke from his kiss and beamed at his young son. The boy wasn’t his biological son. The kid had come from a previous relationship, Howard stepped in when the other guy had left the picture and claimed their child as his own. Viviana and Howard had avoided their obvious attraction for years until they finally got over themselves and got together.
“Hey bud—”, Howard cut himself off. There was a commotion. Yelling. The government agents monitoring his treatment were barking orders and the hospital staff were clearing the floor. Howard whipped his head forward at the wall. The ground rumbled, the building shook and then a loud crash, that hadn’t registered to anyone but him. Howard held on to Viviana and their son tight. The air began to heat up slightly like when he was attacked.
The wall in front of them had burst and with a brilliant flash the room was bathed in orange light. Howard had thrown himself off the bed with his family in his arms as the wall caved in. In a matter of a few seconds the whole room had been destroyed. Smoke choked the air and fire was everywhere. Howard’s son screamed and was crying loudly. Viviana wasn’t making a sound.
Howard was above them. He had shielded them with his back. Howard could feel the skin seared his back and flinched in pain as he tried to stifle a scream by biting his lip. He opened his eyes to his son screaming and struggling to get from out of his grip. Howard hadn’t fully processed what he was seeing and looked to his girlfriend beneath him. Howard let go and finally cried in despair.
Viviana’s clothes had half burnt off, any skin that was left was charred, the exposed bone had been blackened and her mouth hung open as if she had tried to scream and her face was frozen in the instant she died. Viviana’s now empty eye sockets seemed to look right into Howard and ask him why? Howard cried. He looked to his son and then up where the door to leave the room had been. There was an opening in the wall that had been blasted open with smoke billowing out of it.
“Close your eyes!” Howard yelled as he grabbed his son by the shirt and with a hard shove the boy slid through the whole in the wall, Howard hopped he could escape on his own as he rolled on his back. There she was. The female attacker from days ago hovered above him. The thick grey smoke concealed her slightly, but Howard could see her just fine.
“It’s amazing you didn’t die.” She said as she levitated inches above the hero. “I made sure I burned that crowd that gathered and I took out a few extra blocks to be sure.”
The woman turned toward where Howard throw the boy and her eyes began to glow, “It seems you can regenerate. Can the boy?”
Her eyes flashed and the next room exploded, air rushed in from outside and whipped up the flames. Howard’s muscles tensed as he pushed himself off the ground and slammed his fist into the woman’s chin. The force of his blow along with the jump sent them both crashing through the ceiling. They both had smashed through several floors to get to the roof of the hospital, Howard fell to the roof while the killer remained in the air.
“Get down here!” Howard roared as his horror had turned into rage, he dragged himself to his feet and ran in her direction. He felt the air heat up around him again, he jumped as hard as he could, the ground beneath his feet exploded and the force of the blast carried him to her faster.
Howard as he hurdled through the air toward her grabbed the side of the woman’s face as soon as he was close enough. Their bodies crashed as they plummeted toward the parking lot of the hospital. Howard drove a thumb inside of the assassin’s eye as he held her head in his hand.
“Why!” He screamed again and again. They smashed into the side of a car so hard it was nearly cut in half. The force at which they hit the ground was enough to flip over cars close to them and shatter the windows of several others.
Howard unleashed a flurry of punches to the woman’s face and body. In his rage all he could do was remember the dying moments of the only friend he had left after getting his powers. With every blow he remembered the sound of his lovers skin and blood boiling as she was incinerated. The smell of her body cooking was still in his nose. He wished he never even had his powers. This fame. He wished his wasn’t alive not what everything worth living for was gone.
Howard hesitated. The assassin’s face was mangled, her jaw was dislocated and pointed in the wrong direction still held by pieces of skin, one of her eyes were gone and her head had indented in several spots. Howard had made her unrecognizable. Each breath she took, blood would gargle as she struggled to breathe. Her singled eye glared at him. Howard bowed his head and sighed as a flash of light and then overwhelming heat incinerated his right arm and the right side of his face.
Howard recoiled and howled in agony. The bones broken in her face began to loudly readjust and pop back to normal. She was healing quick. The killer kicked Howard away from her. He smashed into several cars before he was stopped by a wall. The parking lot erupted after that. The air darted in every direction and the ground trembled and broke.
“You may be wondering why I haven’t said much!” Howard heard her yell from somewhere above him. It hurt to move with his body while this beaten up. “Or used your name, Impossible Man.”
Howard took a step forward but faster than he could react a truck smashed into him and pinned him to the wall. “There’s that implication that you’re somehow special.”
Howard kept his head bowed. He could hear her walking toward him. He didn’t care. Not now. She was right in front of him and had put her hands around his throat. “When you aren’t. You’re a boy with too much power.”
“Off to your family now, hero.” She said without expression and her grip tightened around Howard’s neck.
Howard shuddered and with his one arm he grabbed the killer’s arm. “You don’t get to talk about them!” Howard growled as he squeezed her arm tight enough to snap it as if it were dried twigs like she had done to him days earlier. She didn’t respond to the pain and kept squeezing. Howard finally liked up at the woman’s still healing face, teeth bared and growling as he yanked the assassin’s arm off at the shoulder.
The assassin screamed and fell on her back. She fired her heat vision at the stump of where her arm had been to seal the wound and stop the bleeding. She scrambled to her feet and levitated. Howard had passed out on top of the hood of the car he remained pinned to. With one eye still healing she charged up another blast of her heat vision. A stream of energy blasted the hero in a fiery explosion, the car and the wall had been rendered into molten bits of debris. There was no body to see. There was no Impossible Man.
The government’s response was abrupt. The situation delivered in the wake of the Impossible Man’s death were quick to be manufactured. A freak meteor shower had hit a hospital and killed dozens of doctors and patients. Howard Leach, the hero known as the Impossible man had died saving civilians from the abnormal event. Astrologists, first responders and crisis actors as conspiracy theorists would call them came to give their stories. The president copied the information. The nation mourned, but not without suspicion.
Rumors of a cover up were rife. Cell phone video of a flying woman and the Impossible Man fighting were taken down and debunked as special effects artists exploiting a national tragedy. Or the fact that NASA recorded no large meteor shower capable of destroying a single hospital. These questions died down as pledges of sympathy and cooperation flooded the airwaves and the internet. Howard Leach’s funeral was watched by millions of people online and on TV. The questions became murmurs. “It wasn’t the time.” They said. It went away. Rumors persisted...
“Pockets on the ground!” A mugger said, to a hoodie wearing man inside of a Chicago corner store at night. The cashier had his hands raised and his face lit up with fear. The hooded customer between them didn’t move.
The hooded man put money on the counter and faced the mugger with a soda in hand. He wore a scarf that covered his face and sun glasses. The hooded man asked, “You just don’t have anything better to do, tonight do you?”
The mugger fired two rounds into the man’s chest. “How bad are you now wit a—” The mugger looked at the man. Two holes where he shot were there, but there was no blood. He looked down. The bullets were fragmented on the floor.
The hooded man twisted open his soda and let his scarf down, “Two-minute head start?”
The mugger began to tremble violently and dropped his pistol, as he turned to run out of the store. The hooded man took a sip of his soda and grabbed the gun. The man raised his scarf over his face and turned to the cashier. The cashier had no words. He was in awe of this hooded man. His face had been covered since he arrived. He had just gotten shot and it was the mugger who had run away scared. Who was this guy?
The man had put the gun he had taken and put it on the counter. The barrel of the weapon was crushed as if it were a wad of crushed tin foil. The man turned around and walked out of the store. As if nothing had happened, “Hey! Call the police, they’ll find that guy on the corner of 4th and Addison in about a minute.” The hooded man said before stepping out into the city.
|Stumpy49er - The Interview of Mr. Impressive|
The Interview of Mr. Impressive
Mr. Impressive walked into the room and smiled at the blonde reporter sitting at the table. She smiled back at the handsome, dark haired, caucasian man wearing a casual suit as he sat down in his chair.
“Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Mr. Impressive.” she said as she shook his hand. “Or perhaps I should call you Mister Majestic?”
“You can call me Max.” he replied.
“Yes, Maxwell Majestic,” she said as she turned on her recorder. “So why call yourself Mr. Impressive? Why not Mr. Majestic?”
“Pretty simple, really, Miss Book.” Maxwell answered with a smirk. “When I began my crime fighting career, I wanted to remain anonymous. Protect my secret identity.”
“Hard to protect your secret identity when you’re the CEO of Majestic Industries.”
“Wasn’t long until I decided to reveal my identity.” he said as he looked her deep in the eyes. His emerald eyes were stunning and it was hard for her to keep eye contact.
“After the Massacre at Rougaru Bay.” she said as she started to scribble notes, a distraction from his eyes. “You held a press conference. Why was it necessary then to reveal your identity then?”
“After seeing all those innocent werewolves slaughtered by Humble Brag, my emotions took over.” Maxwell’s eyes become intense with emotions. “I fought my former team mate until he ran off. Then I just decided to unmask myself in front of cameras.”
“You were crying.” she interjected.
“There are some who believe Humble Brag did the right thing. That werewolves are a danger to society.” she said. “What would you say to those people?”
“I’ve always fought for the downtrodden and persecuted in society. The werewolves of Rougaru Bay were no different.” he answered. “Furthermore, my old teammate Humble Brag has shown his true colors since that day. Turning to the life of a super villain. He will be brought to justice.”
“He truly is a despicable man.” she said. “As a master of disguise, he must be hard to find.”
“You’re talking to Mr. Impressive,” he said with a wink. “I’ll find him.”
“Well, we’re all thankful for that.” she smiled. “Now onto the real questions.”
Maxwell smiled. “Let’s hear it.”
“Tell us your origin story.”
A young Indian boy in rags runs through the streets.
“Mohamed Dharavi. Get out of my neighborhood.” A man yells at the boy.
Mohamed ignores him and keeps running. News has spread through the city that a rich, white man is in town. Dr. Quentin Majestic. Mohamed has heard many tales of this man and his family of adventurers.
He turns the corner and sees them. Dr. Majestic stands tall, with a beard and a fedora. By his side is his son, Johnny Majestic, with his dark hair, handsome face and mesmerizing emerald eyes, who’s playing with his famous dog, Desperado.
Mohamed bursts towards them. He’s excited to meet these famous people. A hand reaches out and grabs him, stopping him in his tracts. He looks up to see the large figure of Colt Willis, Dr. Majestic's deadly bodyguard.
“Be careful, little slum dweller.” Colt said to Mohamed. “No one runs up to Dr. Majestic.”
Quentin looked at the commotion. “What is it, Colt?”
“Could be an assassin sent by your nemesis, Dr. Thuggee.” Colt replied. “I’ll search him, give him a good spanking and send him off.”
“Wait. I just wanted to say hello.” Mohamed said. “I’ve heard many stories of you, Dr. Majestic. And you as well, Mr. Willis. I am a fan of yours. And your son too. Johnny. He’s my age.”
Johnny looked at the young Indian boy and smiled. “What’s your name?” he asked.
“I am Mohamed Dharavi. I was named after the city I was born in. I am an orphan.”
Colt began searching Mohamed.
Dr. Majestic lit a cigar. “You say you’re an orphan? You speak English very well.”
“I’ve never known my parents.” Mohamed explained. “The orphanage I was raised in taught English.”
“How well do you know this city?” Johnny asked.
“I know it quite well.” Mohamed answered.
“Dad, we should take him with us. He can help guide us to the Temple of Djinn.”
Dr. Majestic scratched his beard as he thought about it.
Colt huffed. “Another orphan, Doc? You adopting gain?”
Johnny beamed at this. “Can we, dad? I want another brother. I miss Haruyama and Hakim, ever since they went back to their countries. I want Mohamed to be my brother.”
Mohamed was excited to hear these rich people wanted him as their own. He wasn’t sure how he felt about these other two unseen, adopted brothers but he sensed they had been treated well.
Either way it would be better than living on the streets.
Mohamed had been separated from his newly adopted brother, Johnny. He was scared. He had fallen into a deep, dark pit. He crawled on the dank ground, feeling his way along the pitch black caves. He had been down there for hours and he was in shock.
Suddenly he felt something different. Cold yet smooth and delicate. It had an odd shape to it. He picked it up and it started to feel warm inside. He held it close to his heart and began rubbing it as heat began to rise from it as it began to give off a lightness.
He had just noticed he was holding a golden lamp when the room burst into a beautiful blue and purple flame. Mohamed jumped back, still holding the lantern. It was as if he had been transported into another world. The night’s sky appeared above, the room was surrounded by tables of gold and jewels, treasure chests illuminated burgundy and gold lights. He heard the whispers of sultry women around him, giving him goosebumps as though their voices caressed him. A fat man jumped from the flames. Only he was no man. A demon with three eyes, tusks protruding from his mouth. His skin was violet and he had decorative rings all around his body.
“What are you?” Mohamed asked.
“I am the Djinn of the lamp you are holding.” the demon said before bowing. “You are my master. I grant you three wishes, master.”
Johnny ran through the tunnels calling out for Mohamed. Desperado ran up ahead of him sniffing for the Indian boys scent. Colt spoke over his two way radio. “Johnny. Johnny answer your radio.”
Johnny ignored him. He was worried for his new brother. They ran through a tunnel door that had torches on it’s side and a sign above reading Death To Invaders.
Avoiding various ancient traps was old hat for Johnny. Desperado came upon a wall with a door. Johnny ran up to it and tried opening it but it would not budge. Desperado whimpered and scratched at it.
Johnny got on his radio and spoke to Colt. “I think we’ve found Mohamed, Colt. Get down here, I need your muscles to open this door.”
Colt sighed back. “Boy won’t listen to a damn thing I say.” he said to himself before replying. “Alright, Johnny. I’ll find you.”
Johnny and Desperado waited.
Suddenly the door opened on its own. A purple and blue light glowed from within that door. Johnny hesitantly walked inside.
A young, handsome, caucasian boy with emerald eyes ran up to Johnny and hugged him.
“Johnny. Little brother. You found me.” the boy said, then looked into Johnny’s eyes. “It’s me, your older brother, Maxwell.”
“Max?” Johnny asked. “I was so scared. I thought you were gone.”
Desperado licked Maxwell’s hand and whimpered. The boy rubbed Desperado’s head. “Good boy, Desperado. You helped Johnny find me.”
Eventually Colt made his way down to the cave. He looked at the new boy.
“Maxwell? Glad we found you. Your dad was worried.”
“Wait. Are you telling me you were Mohamed?” Miss Book asked. “You used a genie’s wish to become Maxwell Majestic, heir to the Majestic fortune?”
“It might be hard to believe, Miss Book,” Maxwell stated. “But we live in an age where men who wear capes fly through the sky. Where a village of werewolves get slaughtered by former superheroes. Is it so hard to believe that a young Indian boy, adopted by a family of adventurers would stumble upon a genie in a lamp?”
“You were already adopted by the Majestics. Why wish yourself to be Johnny’s actual brother?” Miss Book asked. “Why would you change who you are? Your identity? Your race?”
“To answer your first question, Miss Book, if you remember, the Majestics had already adopted several other boys. Now don’t get me wrong, they lived good lives. Dr. Majestic made sure of that. But they were never truly his sons. They inherited some of his fortune, yes, but the majority went to his blood related sons.” Maxwell explained as he defended his past. “As for your other question. I know this is hard to understand but growing up as a poor, brown boy in the sixties is a harsh life. Changing my race was perhaps the single significant event in my life that made everything easier."
“Many of my readers will be insulted by that statement.” Book interjected.
“I’m sorry Miss Book but you have no idea how hard it is to be poor and dark skinned in this world. Especially here in the western world. I had been abused and neglected my whole life.” Maxwell continued. “As a boy I used to see posters of white movie stars. Bogart, Dean, Presley. I was jealous of them. Their lives seemed like a fantasy I would never achieve. Not until I found that lamp.”
"For a white man to say that. It's still insulting, Maxwell." Miss Book stated.
"I was a young boy," Maxwell explained. "This world is far crueler than many people understand. If I could do it differently, I'm not sure if I would. Perhaps but it's too late now. I can't wish myself back."
“So you wished to be Johnny’s actual brother.” Miss Book said as she shifted the subject. “You two were famous in your youth as teen adventurers. Eventually you had a falling out in the eighties. What happened?”
“I told him the truth.”
“He didn’t like that?” Miss Book asked. “Why?”
“We were already growing apart.” Maxwell explained. “Father was diagnosed with radiation poisoning and went into his frozen hibernation tank. He left me in charge of the fortune. At this point I had been outshining Johnny. Solving every mystery, leading every adventure we came across, defeating our arch villains singlehandedly. It was around this time I had started my career as the superhero Mr. Impressive. Meanwhile Johnny was settling down. He had been dating Colt’s daughter Jenny for awhile. Eventually, as you know, they were married in 84.”
“Of course. Colt was in his wheelchair by then.”
“Only man I know personally who survived a parachute not opening.”
“So your first wish was to become another person. What were your two other wishes?” Miss Book asked.
“My second wish was to be the perfect human specimen. Gave me my incredible strength, senses, durability, agility, healing and genius level intellect.”
“Well, aren’t I lucky? I’m a mere peon sitting next to the perfect specimen.” Miss Book joked. “So what was your third wish? To be able to be interviewed by a lowly reporter for the greatest newspaper in the world?”
Mr. Impressive smiled.
“I had felt guilty about deceiving the Majestic's. I didn’t want anyone else to be the victims of deceit. My last wish was to have the ability to see through all illusions and deceptions.”
Miss Book's smile washed from her face.
“Excuse me?” she asked as she began to stand up. “Well I’m just a dull woman with nothing interesting going on. I’m just lucky everyone loves me.”
Mr. Impressive sprang from his chair and punched Miss Book in the face. She flew across the room. Her face fell off.
“I said I'd find you and bring you to justice, Humble Brag.”
Humble Brag stood up. “Why? Why did you agree to this interview? The people will find out your not really the heir to the Majestic fortune. Johnny might already know, but your adopted brothers..”
“They already know.” Maxwell said. “It’s time for the truth to come out. I will suffer the consequences that come to me. As will you.”
“Those werewolves were a danger to society. I didn’t want to kill them but the world needed it.” Humble Brag explained as he pulled out his Humble Gun. “I might be a monster but I’m the kind of monster this world needs.”
Mr. Impressive dodged to the left as Humble Brag fired the gun, he threw an Impressive Bolo around Humble Brag, which shocked him and knocked him out.
Mr. Impressive looked down at his former teammate.
“So am I.”
|Cbishop - The Top Ten Heroes of All Time|
With all the superhero news you need to know, here's Heroes Tonight! With your hosts Sawyer Picture, and Lotta Questionnés. With Chase Leeds in the field. And now, here's Sawyer Picture.
"Welcome to Heroes Tonight for February 18th, 2018, and you're watching HT in HD!" Sawyer declares with a gleaming smile. "I'm here with the lovely Lotta Questionnés," he adds, panning a hand to his left.
"Thanks, Sawyer," she acknowledges with a huge, equally gleaming smile.
"And tonight's top stories," Sawyer jumps back in. "Medea Darling, aka Freebird, is back in the news, and not everyone is happy about it. Find out why some are tagging the Winged Woman's social media pictures as 'Spread Eagle.' Hint: It's Playtime!"
"And speaking of wings, the high flying battle with the high powered lawyers has finally come to an end!" Lotta says in an enthusiastic accent as only a Latina can deliver. "Sports company Nike has won out over the goddess Nike! So how is she claiming Victory? Could it have anything to do with Victor Victorious? You bet it could! And only HT has the scoop!"
Sawyer follows with, "The Major Corporation and The Super Corporation have been in an epic merchandising melee for years! And the profits all go to support their corporate sponsored super teams! But what are those numbers really like? And does it get in the way of the heroes' jobs? We'll take you behind the scenes in our exclusive HT Extra!"
"And finally," says Lotta, "the Solid Gold Boy Band is back! Midas releases another new album from the label of the band's lead singer of the same name. But why is the 'Losing Your Touch' pop star and Touch of Gold Records finding a slight tarnish to their reputation over Midas Well?"
"We'll have all of that on this edition of Heroes Tonight," beamed Sawyer. "But first, who do you think are the top ten heroes of all time? That was the subject of last week's poll, and here to break down the answers for you are Chase Leeds and Lotta Questionnés. Lotta?"
Now standing on a different set next to a video screen, Lotta says, "Thanks, Sawyer. We asked the question, and you answered! We have tallied your votes for the Top Ten Heroes of All Time, and we even caught up with the heroes themselves at last night's Superhero Charity Gala to get them to answer the question too!" Lotta turns to the video screen, and the report on the Gala starts rolling.
"Coming in the tenth spot," starts Lotta, "is the Chilliad rap group, Cold Hard Cash. The ice powered Rime and Floe, along with their DJ, Cold Steel, have been cool ever since they got started in the rap game, and that's even without their powers! It probably doesn't hurt that when they got started, Rime was the voice of cartoon rap star Too Nice, aka the ice powered hero Toon Ice. With a huge fan following, Toon Ice made sure that neither Rime nor CHC have ever suffered a chilly reception with fans."
Video now showing Lotta with the rap group, she asks, "Who do you think is the greatest hero of all time?" before turning the microphone towards them.
Rime leans in to say, "Oh, without a doubt, it has to be the man that took Crayniac out!"
Floe leans against Rime's shoulder and says, "Mike Boom forever, baby! The only man I'd leave this one for! Whooo!"
"Hey!" laughs Rime.
"Doctor Boom for sure, yo," adds Cold Steel.
"At number nine," says Chase, "it's the daughter of pop star Midas and the Babe Magnet herself, Lodestar. Carrie Load, aka Load, Lode, California as one of the Statesmen, and Golden Dream- the Girl With the Golden Skin!" Her aliases flash beside her picture, each one stricken out in favor of the next one as Chase lists them. "Eventually shunning the limelight for a heavenly light, Miss Load joined a convent after several years as a superhero, and is now popularly known as Mother Lode or Motherlode, depending on where she's seen." Those names also flash onscreen. "She hurls the habit when her super self is needed, and always shows up to superhero charity functions. She's almost as much of a media darling as the Winged Woman herself! She'll definitely always be golden with us!"
In video for the Gala, Chase turns a microphone to Carrie, and asks, "Who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time? Jesus?" he jokes.
Not laughing at all, Carrie answers, "His powers are certainly documented, but he died for our sins; he was our savior, not a superhero."
Chase's smile falters momentarily.
"But to answer your main question," Carrie continues with a reassuring smile, "for the sacrifice he made- for the way he laid down his life for all of ours- I have to say Doctor Boom."
"God, I love her," says Lotta. "And speaking of the Winged Woman, Chase, at number eight, it's Medea Darling! She's been on a few different teams over the years- the latest being in service alongside Motherlode as the first Oregon! With the state motto of 'she flies with her own wings,' they'd have been a bunch of loony-birds not to name her as their representative in the Statesmen! Medea, aka Freebird, can't help but be in the spotlight when she sports a pair of natural white wings and knockout beauty that makes her look like an angel! And with an open-backed dress by Nick Etty to make room for her wings, she was certainly looking heavenly on the runway to the Superhero Charity Gala."
Standing beside Medea on the red carpet, Lotta gushes, "Medea, you are looking lovely as always, dah-ling! I love your dress!"
"Oh, thank you," Medea says cheerfully.
"Who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?" asks Lotta before turning the mic to Freebird.
"I wish I could say Cupid," she pouts, "because he's so darned cute!" She wrinkles her nose at the camera and gives a quick, playful growl. "But I have to say Michael."
"Michael Boom?" Lotta clarifies.
"Yes, of course," coos Medea. "He's keeping us all safe, even now. Hard not to love that," she says, blowing a kiss to the camera as she walks away.
"At number seven," says Chase, "it's Heavyweight! Truly the Champion of the World, on the Day of the Dragon Men, it was Heavyweight whose one-man assault on the Accord mothership finally brought them down- paving the way for Doctor Boom's defeat of the crazed computer mind known as Crayniac who had allied itself with the alien attackers. Heavyweight has pretty much dedicated himself to the rebuilding of Detroit, which was lost when the Accord ship came down. Still, he took time to come out for the Gala."
From offscreen of the video, Chase asks, "Who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?"
"That's not tough at all," answers Heavyweight. "Doctor Eight made a great sacrifice to give us final victory against the Accord. It may yet cost him his life. Who can be greater than that?" He smiles awkwardly as he walks away from the interview, continuing down the runway.
"Burning up the countdown in our next slot is a true hottie," declares Lotta. "Girls want to be with him, and men... want to be with him! Fire powered Flambé- the self-proclaimed Flaming Homosexual- is coming out in number six!"
"Who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?" asks Lotta.
"I wish I could say Cupid, because he's just so darned cute!" Pausing for a second, he laughs, and says, "I'm kidding! I'm just kidding! I heard Medea say that! But seriously?" asks Flambé. "Call me," he mouths to the camera, then imitates Medea's nose wrinkle and growl, throwing in a quick cat-clawing motion. Laughing, he gets slightly more serious and says, "Who else? It has to be Doctor Boom! We're all pulling for you, Michael," he says to the camera, and blows a kiss as he walks away.
"Big Medea fan, that one," chuckles Chase. "We're moving into the Major Leagues now with the Blonde Bombshell! American Beauty comes in at number five, or as she was once known, Superblonde. That's right, you know her from her infamous debut at the Richmond Rotunda, where her fight with Supermodel had tragic consequences! Indicted for her role in the fight, Kay Oz paid her debt to society in service with the Major League. After that, she joined The Sponsors, and has thrived on the Super Corporation's team of superheroes. No stranger to charity, she is perhaps better known for her Razing the Rhinodome charity grudge match with Supermodel."
Video showing her in her trademark red costume with matching red derby, Chase asks her, "Who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?"
Kay's smile is a slight one, showing only at the corner of her mouth, and in the twinkle of her eye. "Well, it took awhile, but this chick is a close second," she says, fist-bumping Supermodel as she walks by on the runway.
Supermodel gives a silent, pretending-to-scream-in-excitement look as she waves to the camera on her way by.
"The greatest though? I have to tell you, I wasn't prepared for this life, and I'm in awe of all the great people I get to work with. Who stands out more right now though than Doctor Eight? I think he's the best among us," she says humbly, and continues down the runway.
Lotta comes in with, "From American Beauty to Greek Adonis, our number four- only number four?" she asks incredulously. "Our number four spot is held by the chiseled Archer of Love- Cupid! And mm-mm! How could he not make this list? I mean, just look at him! No way was I giving this interview to Chase," she says with a smile and a wink.
The video starts with Lotta putting a hand on the hero's firm bicep, and squeezing. "Cupid," says Lotta, "who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?"
As Lotta rubs his arm a little, Cupid laughs lightly, and in a charming voice, answers, "Well, Miss Questionnés..."
"Call me Lotta," she says lustily.
"Of course, Lotta. I'm sure a lot of your viewers would expect me to say me, but I'm not so shallow as some would like to believe." He nods seriously, and continues, "I'd have to say that it's Doctor Boom. What he did? It's amazing. Simply amazing." Smiling broadly, he adds, "And I loved his movie too!"
"At number three," says Lotta, "It's America's quickest sweetheart! Speediepie! Born Gail Eades, she went from running twelve second hundred yard dashes and twenty-five-point-three two hundred yard dashes to running the mile in ten seconds flat, and being the fist five time winner of the Speedster 500! She even served on The Sponsors for a brief time as Speedo. The Maiden of Motion has found the fastest route to all of our hearts, and we're glad to have her!"
On the runway, Lotta asks, "Speediepie, I have to know- how did you get your name? It's adorable!"
"Aw, thanks," says Gail. "My mom actually gave me that nickname. I ran in the United States Youth Games when I was in seventh grade, and she bought me a tee shirt and had Speediepie put on the back with those felt letters from back in the day," she laughs.
"Oh, my God!" shouts Lotta. "That's great!"
"Yeah," says the speedster, "My mom was always my biggest supporter."
"I just love you so much!" Lotta squeals. "So, who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?"
"Doctor Boom," says Gail. "No contest."
"At number two," Chase chimes in, "it's not a shock to anyone that it's the Man From the Future himself- Martin Americana, aka the Super-American! The founder of the Super Corporation, Super-American was the biggest influence on claiming responsibility for the destruction wrought during superhero fights with supervillains. It was his example that led the government to follow suit with the Major Corporation and Major League."
The video on the runway cuts in at, "Mister Americana, I have to ask: is Martin Americana really your real name?"
"No," answers Super-American. "Being from the future, I dare not reveal my real name. So I chose my name from the American marten, or Martes Americana." He shrugs. "It just seemed prudent to protect my true identity."
"With your unique perspective of being from the future, who do you think is the greatest superhero of all time?"
"I can't reveal what I know from the future," Martin says seriously. "But if we have to pick a greatest, we'd be hard pressed to pick a better man than Doctor Michael Boom. His dedication to the world, and his sacrifice in the face of great odds, should be an example to us all." He smiles warmly at Chase, and then at the camera, and continues down the runway.
"You heard the heroes," exclaimed Lotta. "Without fail, they all picked Doctor Boom as the greatest superhero of all time! So it comes as no surprise that you did as well! Number One our Top Ten Heroes of All Time is the one! The only! Doctor Michael Boom, aka Doctor Boom, aka Doctor Eight! Now, we obviously couldn't catch him on the runway, but here's why Doctor Eight is the Greatest Superhero of All Time!
"Michael Boom is a born genius- many believe he's the smartest man that's ever lived. So it's not surprising to learn that he has doctorates in multiple fields. It might be surprising to learn that he had earned most of them by the time he was twelve! So, the child prodigy was known as Doctor Boom from early on in his life.
"Wishing to make money for projects he wished to start to benefit humanity, Doctor Boom turned to acting as a way to make big money fast. Unfortunately for him, and maybe for us, the only movie he ever made- The Atomic Brother From Outer Space- flopped hard! Michael blamed himself for overthinking the role, and arguing the director into making changes that hurt the movie.
"Abandoning acting altogether, he turned to government work, where he was given plenty of money for his projects, and managed to make himself over into a superhero. The world didn't get to see the full extent of his brainpower until the Accord invasion, where the rogue artificial intelligence, Cray Z8, aka Crayniac, teamed with the aliens against its home planet.
"Able to jump from brain to brain, and posing the biggest threat, Doctor Boom set a trap, forcing Crayniac to jump into his own mind when Heavyweight took down the Accord ship. Unknown to Crayniac, Boom had stationed himself in a secret base in the Arctic Circle, away from machinery and any other humanity.
"There, an epic mental battle ensued, and Doctor Boom's consciousness merged with the artificial intelligence- perhaps irreversibly- and he became known as Doctor Eight. The Arctic Circle is now popularly known as the Eighth Circle, and is off limits to the rest of the world, enforced by the combined military might of the world's superpowers. There, Doctor Eight remains until Michael Boom can overcome the influence of Crayniac. And the world waits to see the outcome of the greatest sacrifice of the modern day world.
"Doctor Boom is truly the Greatest Superhero of All Time," finishes Lotta.
"And that's our Top Ten for Februrary 18th," says Sawyer. "After these messages, we'll be back with superhero birthdays, and the story on the controversy surrounding Midas' new album! Only here, on Heroes Tonight!"
|Remember: Votes due by March 4th, @11:59PM, US Eastern time.|
I'm glad you're here, and thanks for reading! -cb :^D