My name is Derek Lewis and I live in a world gone mad. Many people would think my situation would be relatively lucky. I mean who wouldn't want super strength? No more hitting gym right. Wrong. During the start of Genesis, I had accidentally broken dishes, remotes, phones and everything in between. To give you a little taste of my life imagines this scène. Imagine if you were in school and forced to sit on a desk. You're antsy, you want to run, and you want to go outside. However, you know if you do you'll get in trouble. Imagine if you take one walk you could accidentally end up in Paris. Imagine if everything you interact with is made of wet paper. That is my everyday life ladies and gentlemen, and you wonder why I'm so angry.
Anyways I was there on the couch watching a match between the Philadelphia Phillies battle against the New York Yankees on a beautiful Sunday afternoon May 21th A.G. It was almost the end of the 9th inning with the 2 teams neck and neck. I was eating my 11th Philly cheesesteak watching with intense interest. I watched Maikel Franco come up to bat. He readied his bat and waited for an upcoming ball. 1st throw, swing, and a miss, 2nd throw, miss. I was practically on the edge of my seat with remote in hand. That was when my bliss came to an end as my tension causes my remote to crack and break. At nearly the same time I heard a specific ringtone on my phone. I completely dreaded what was about to come next.
For you see dear readers I have the hardest job in the world. A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the creator of the world we now call Genesis to become a champion of the world and fight against super powered people like me. Right now I'm the only Helix that's a member of this little group. By day a handsome fitness trainer by night a spandex wearing speedster named Wildfire. Now, whenever she needs me she sends a specific ringtone on my phone and I come running. I rushed over to see what she sent.
"The alarm of the Bank of the United of States activated for 3 seconds. It may be nothing but still, check out. Preferably in your "work" outfit."
Annoyed that I was missing my game I grabbed my phone and sprint out of the house in my suit. A flaming aura soon forms around me as I blaze a trail straight to the bank. I force myself inside the back entrance. The next few moments were a bit of a blur. My suit comes with an online nav so I'm good at directions. Over time, however, when I'm running fast enough I get a bit of tunnel vision. It's like looking at point A and point B but not the line between them. When I managed to finally slowdown I see that nearly 2 -dozen men flung across the bank with one guy shaking in his boots. I decide to add a little flare to my first official outing. In seconds I had a created a little tapestry as I held the man at the edge of the top floor and I deepened my voice.
"Tell me who you're working for or else I will tear your ass like how the Phillies are presumably doing to the Yankee's."
"Um never mind. Anyways your boss?"
"I'm not telling you crap. No snitches in the family."
He meant the Philadelphia crime family. I knew they were starting to gain more guts after Genesis started. Still, I smiled underneath the mask and leaned him over the edge. He saw what I had made. Across the floor, I had carved out the word Wildfire into the floor with it still burning in the aftermath of my masterpiece.
"Tell your crime family the message. These streets have a new sheriff in town."
I then ran him down to ground level and threw him outside of the glass doors. I called 911 and quickly left. By the time I managed to get home in time to notice that the Phillies lost the game by one point. Damn it! Plus one of the things that I broke upon was my VCR do double damn it. In response to this crushing revelation, I was about to just drown my sours in a little bud light. I couldn't even enjoy that as the parental units texted me on my phone again.
"Get over to TC (Trophy Case) now!"
There was also a mad emoji to convey the seriousness. I sighed and ran towards the Trophy Case. Apparently, it used to be some underground post-apocalyptic bunker from a paranoid rich guy. So technically the former crackpot was right. Anyway as I run in I saw both Philip and Chelsea both of had their arms crossed with a sour look that would make grumpy cat jealous if he were still alive I hadn't check.
"What the hell were you thinking," Phil said.
"I was thinking that I had just prevented the mafia from stealing millions. Also, last time I checked I'm only one who signed up for your little clubhouse here. You should be thanking me."
"You put ten men in the ER. You caused hundreds of dollars in property damage. You carve your name on the ground. People are thinking they are going to be terrified of you."
"I taught the family a lesson: to back off!" I said defending myself. "I struck them so that they wouldn't hit back."
Chelsea jumped in, "You're not supposed to be a gangster. You're supposed to be a hero. You can move 500 mph and lift 5 tons, and we still don't know the limit of that. There is always going that small percentage that hates and fears you. This was your first appearance, and you blew it. The Purifiers are going to have a field day with you. They'll use you as a way to further their antihelix campaign. You're not a person when you put on the mask. You're a symbol. If you're in with us you have to understand were in it for the long game."
I remembered all those talks with my parents about how I was to keep up with my appearance. It always frustrated me that we live in a world where being black automatically makes people assume. As much as I hated to admit both of them were right. Phi like a sergeant focused on the current mission and how I could improve while Chelsea like some mother focused on the future. Together I can see how they were both natural leaders in a sense.
"I'm sorry I'll try to look for your guidance in the future."
I left still a little steamed from the game, and I fell asleep. On Monday I decided to some of my great power for more productive purposes. Chelsea soon discovered after my testing that when I run my body forms a sort of "heat shield." The heat shield is why my clothes don't get destroyed when I run as soon as I heard that I've been using them a lot for my chores. In only 30 minutes I mow my lawn with a knife, take out the trash, dishwasher and more. By the time I finished, I had consumed five smoothies and made my way to my job. Remember when I mentioned that the whole class metaphor for my life. Training doesn't make it any better. From 6: to 5 I work at "Super Hella Beefy" where I meet people from all walks of life.
"The obsessive mom, the old man that doesn't believe in a smartphone and that racist woman that tries way too hard to get to know me "son," I swear if it weren't for my metabolism I would try to get blackout drunk every single day right after. When I was waiting for my next set of demons, I looked on the TV. On the news, a middle-aged man was talking about "wildfires" exploits. I recognized him instantly. His name was Thomas Davidson. He was a brigadier general that lost his family during Genesis. Now he was a founder and spokesperson for the Purifiers. His power of persuasion was passionately palpable. Luckily I had subtitles to listen to his latest speech.
"It is obvious that this violent vandalism was a message sent to the crime in Philly that a new element has entered the fray. I knew it was an eventuality, but it seems we have to accept it we are now dealing with organized Helix crime, which is why it is imperative that we start trying to implement more anti Helix measures. I've talked with many different people, and they agree that a Purifier task force that works within the law would do phenomenal good. It would certainly stop our citizens from being scared of a genuine and unpredictable threat. We have recourses. All we need now is the workforce and people willing to help. "
I quickly changed the channel; I couldn't listen to any more dribble. Chelsea was right. Thomas was right; he used me as a scapegoat. Just like the world treated her like one. It felt like they were trying to cage me like an animal and I hated that. He was using peoples against every Helix, even the good ones. Well, I'm going to show him. I'll clean up all the crime in a week and shoved it all over his face! Oh, yeah and save people I guess. So to prove him wrong, I went to the Trophy Case intent on showing the Purifiers wrong. In costume, I arrived with blazing resolve with Chelsea. She said that she effectively lived in the Trophy Case in fear of what the world might do to her if she went out. The great hero Phil was an accountant. As I ran in, I quickly went to business.
"Please tell me there is someone out there to punch."
Chelsea looked as if she was expecting this. She decided to put a surprising amount of attitude.
"So what you think I'm some wizard? You think that I can push a button and boom crime shows up?"
Then suddenly I heard a ringing. Chelsea sheepishly answered and sighed.
"There is a report of a shootout in the Delaware Bay. Probably some shootout."
In minutes I ran over there only to see a warehouse that was full of dead bodies with only one man still alive. At first, it was jarring. I never saw so much carnage. Again, I saw the man in front of me and nanoseconds I had him in my grip. I lifted him above with one hand. He was a Cuban man in a black shirt and gray pants. He looked at me with a cocky grin.
"So I'm guessing you are the punk-ass who messed with my guys?"
"Yeah, and you better tell me what the hell happened here before my punk-ass beats your to Delaware."
"Hmph, I can tell just from looking at you. You have no idea how the rules work. Allow me to teach you."
"Derek let him go now," said Chelsea with urgency.
Purple electricity swelled within his body. I realized in my haste how stupid I was. This man was alone but killed all these people. His shirt was filled with bullet holes, and his pants had fresh blood. Still, I didn't react fast enough before he had twisted his legs around me and put me in a hold. However, I quickly spun around and flung him into a wall. He crumpled, but he still got up. He grabbed a crate and threw it as fast as possible. I naturally deflected but he somehow jumped at least 10 feet into the air. I intercepted him and threw him into one of the steel beams holding the place up. As I walked over to see if he was breathing, he propelled himself up with a kick aimed at my face. It took me a bit more effort to dodge it; he was getting faster. The fight was growing bothersome, so I slammed my fist against his abdomen. I didn't stop until I create a small crater with him in it. I was a little proud of myself until I heard purple lighting that erupted across the room. It sparked across the room again and again until it condensed into a single entity.
"Thanks for the boost buddy. Aha, I never felt this powerful before! With this, the 40 thieves, bloody tubs, all of them don't stand a chance now!"
I was about to blitz him, but he surprisingly reacted to what I was doing by stomping the ground. The sheer force of the stomp brought me upwards for so that he caught me in mid-air. His jump lifted us 40ft and threw me down creating a crater. My bones felt like an internal earthquake. Terrifyingly my target dropped with creeping horror, as with a jolt I'm barely able to avoid his boots slam back down to earth. Sadly the sheer shockwave made me black out. Everything faded to black.
I wake with five guns to my face. It took me a while to hear as my head was still ringing.
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."
I see a host of police cars with the police on all sides of me. I realize that freak was still out there. For once I try to solve things without my fist.
"Look this is all a misunderstanding I swear. I'm going to get the guy who did this."
" Sorry nut job but as far as I know you murdered 22 people. You're not leaving."
"Okay, fine but let the record show that I tried."
I ran away from the crime scene. However, I still heard the slow motion sound of gunfire. When I get back to the Trophy Case, I fell the slight bruising of bullet wounds. They didn't pierce my skin, but they bruised. I guess I'm not faster than a speeding bullet. Chelsea was there with an intrigued look.
"No, I'm fine thanks for asking, "I sarcastically say.
"You should be fine. Your increased metabolism should heal all of that in a couple of hours. However, this guy you fought is way more interesting. I think he somehow absorbed the kinetic energy that you released. He then transferred that energy across his body to enhance all of his physical capabilities. He quite literally rebounded off of everything you gave him." Her look of intrigue grew.
"Okay, how do I beat him?"
"With the amount of kinetic energy you gave him? I doubt you could. His metabolism is too fast to drug, and I doubt his skin is too tough for a taser would work. Give me some time to work on something."
I headed home and angrily slept on my pillow. When I awoke, I saw another tabloid of Wildfire being bumped up to public enemy number 1. My anger however just wasn't there. I got a text on my phone that Phil wanted to meet me. Reluctantly after another hell day at work, I went to Phil and as he greeted me in a café.
"I saw the news this morning. I half expected you to shove a camera down someone's throat. "
"I thought about it but knowing me I would find some way to screw it up," I said apathetically
"Are you okay?"
"No, I'm not. It's just that I messed everything up. I nearly killed those men, and I flopped my first fight in the field now every news outlet in Northeast America thinks I'm a monster. And the Purifiers are eating all up so that they can further their campaign. Not to mention that freak is still out there and is going to take out any rivals they can find. Let's face it. My ass is screwed nine ways to Australia."
Phil looked at me solemnly. His eyes turned into something that could be replicated in years of conflict.
"I'm not going to pretend that I can relate to your situation. The world that I lived in died five months ago; however, I do have something similar. Shortly after I returned to my family, the news went crazy. I had killed an uprising dictator, and the media plagued me with questions. Some came to me with deals about cereals, ads and new medicines. They acted like I had torn through an entire army with my bare hands, that I was some grand hero. I wasn't though. Good men and women are far more worthy than I suffered so I could get to there. What I'm trying to say is that you need to slow down a bit. The media is a bunch of pricks. They'll distort anything you do to make the most drama. Don't worry about them and keep on going. People will then realize the good you've done."
Then like a bolt of lighting an idea formed in my mind. Slow down. Maybe I could potentially work on my little problem. Then conveniently my phone binged revealing that our Helix had started a ruckus at the same bank as before. I ran over, and in a minute and a half, I'm there. I look to see my target shooting himself with a gun still clad in purple lighting. I swear he was so bright that I could barely see. I rush him at top speed before he could cause more damage. However, he still had enough momentum to react, and he pushed himself off of me. When he lands, he realizes where I went: Delaware Canal State Park.
"I'm getting sick and tired of you zipping me around Philly."
"If you tired then try and catch me," I said mockingly.
His electricity formed causing the entire park to draw its attention to us seemingly, and he rushes towards me. However, I remained unmoving. Instead, I took in my surroundings. The rippling blades of grass, the night sky that twinkled with stars, even the creatures that crawled all over our landscape. The world slowed ever further until at the very last instant I avoided a punch so powerful the entire field is hit with a blustery gust of wind. As he stood there in disbelief, my theory was proven right. My tunnel vision was limiting my movements drastically. But maybe if I speed up my mind as well as my body. If I restrict my movements and focus on every little synapse, that weakness is gone. In frustration, my enemy screamed out and ran as fast as possible. He lunged straight at me the ground he once stood on crumbling under his power upon leaving the field, but I quickly managed to roll out of his hold. He digs his fingers straight into the dirt to steady himself. His rage made him even more dangerous as we decorated the trees in red and purple streaks shredding through most of them. I held the advantage in speed by only an inch. That soon proves to be disadvantageous when I had slipped for just an instant that my opponent takes in stride. After I get thrown into a lamppost and into the sidewalk I ask for help.
"Guys, got any ideas?"
"Keep avoiding him at all costs. Discombulate him and confuse him until he can't even keep up with you," Phil said.
"His body is still human. Isolate him and maybe knocking him unconscious could work. Also strangulation," Chelsea said.
An idea formed instantly. I go on the offense and take the broken lamppost and slap it into my adversary, shattering it completely upon impact. The blow sent him on a one way trip straight to the bottom of the river. I dove in as we struggled on and on until he had me in a headlock. My vision started to get blurry as his grip tightened. In pure desperation, I swam downward as fast as I can and in seconds my opponent, and I hit bottom with a boom. I finally lucked out as the hit knocked the wind out of him and I could physically see him gulp down water. I fire off dozens of hits to make sure he couldn't recover. In a couple of seconds, I laid over an unconscious criminal who was utterly drenched. In a couple of minutes, I had him in handcuffs and sent to the nearest police station with ample evidence and precautions to detain him. When I return to the case, I saw Chelsea and Phil with a beer in her hand.
"Looks like Rebound isn't going to cause any more trouble."
"You named him?"
"I named this team didn't I? Plus unlike you, I don't have work tomorrow."
" I can drink to that."
We partied for hours in celebration of our first Helix caught — the start of many I assume. I may have work tomorrow I may still be public number 1, but right now I want to enjoy this moment. After all l I know those times won't last forever. So I'll savor these good moments as long as they last. And when tomorrow came, people were reading out my letter across every news station talking about how Wildfire is here to stay for now and a long time,e.