People say that you don't truly value something it's gone. Those words never rang truer until the day my world ended. Hello, my name is Derek Lewis and I was visiting home for my parents on New Year's. I was like a hometown hero they used to call me 'Blazer" on the football field. So there I was eating with my parents while we watched Zenith after years of waiting activated on the TV. I was mainly joking about my football season. My mom was a social worker and my dad a pediatrician, but sports were not their strong suits. They listened nonetheless. Then when we all gathered around as we saw zenith appear on the TV. It was a large antenna with multiple conduits running through it. It was about to come online.
"5, 4, 3, 2, 1!"
Then nothing happened for a minute. I could hear the reporter wondering what was going on. The camera turns around to see Zenith rush with golden energy. A weird warbling sound took place, and the newsfeed cuts off along with the power to the house. We wondered what was happening until a golden wave filled the room and knocked us down. That was Genesis. The minute my world ended — the instant where my parents were killed.
It took me at least a month to give them a proper funeral. Even then it was small and cheap. I was the only one there. I understood it perfectly. My parents were merely one of many casualties in the event now known as Genesis. Days later the death toll was around least 1.5 billion. Entire towns were gone. However, all I could do was think of one question. Why? Why them and not me? I think about a lot now that I finished college with nothing to do, I always wanted to be a part of the NFL, but with my new predicament, I didn't have much of choice. Just last week I had gotten a job as a fitness trainer to keep the mortgage up.
It's been about five months A.G. (After Genesis) since it's happened. My days mostly consisted of just going to work, not cleaning someone's clock and sleeping. I usually try to keep my head low to the ground. Let's say that due to my condition I required a lot of fuel. I try to visit various restaurants to try and mix up my palette. Not that I need to get much exercise anymore. So there I was eating a sirloin at my 4th pub when I saw a truly disgusting sight. Six men all in douchey clothes cornered this woman at the side of the pub. Their leader looked like he was about to start something that wasn't precisely PG-13. Some other guy with blonde hair was about to step up, but I decided to handle it and get up first. I talked with the leader of the douches.
"Hey ever heard ever heard of personal space?"
The leader turned around and responded.
"This girl is ours. Why don't you get yourself your piece of ass before we break yours?"
"Funny I was about to the same thing to you. Only it's more along the lines of getting the hell off her or else I shatter of your asses back to Jersey."
The leader then grew a smug smile and walked towards me.
"Buddy you have no idea who you're messing with. Boys, let's give this little hero a show."
Their leader then suddenly had his muscles expand and grow until he was three times his original size. Two guys formed weapons made of energy. Another had his eyes glow with power while another suddenly grew spikes on his hands. Five months ago this all would've been strange, but now this is the new status quo. You see shortly after Genesis nearly half of the population became something never before seen. The first few days we called them freaks. Now the official term is Helixes: A name for any living thing that went through "special changes" in Genesis. Naturally, this new development has been making this crazy situation even crazier. Philly has now been turned into a cesspool of crime and corruption. Ever still I start drinking my soda while the douches continue.
"You pissing your pants yet scrub?"
"God do you ever shut up."
"That does it!"
In a couple of seconds, all of the douches were flung across the pub and groaning in complete agony. While all of that happened, I officially finished my drink. With the girl saved I quickly end my meal and ran into the alley away from everyone before "they" could come. Helixes have made a quite the splash on society. As a way to bring order to the chaos, a large group of humans started calling themselves Purifiers. Some people view it as their "right" to contain Helixes that are a bit loud. And considering I'm one I try to be as covert as possible. Cause as far as I know I'm the strongest Helix in the world. From what I've learned so far I can run ridiculously fast without any problems and heat is very important for said powers. Plus I'm way stronger than the average person now. Then again there is nothing ordinary has a whole new meaning. I managed to get home and rest quickly.
It took all I had not to slam my hand through the wall. All this power and people can't think of anything better to do than mess with chicks? God, sometimes I don't understand why. They can go off the wall all they want, but I need to neuter myself to walk to the store. After everything we've been through we're still trying to destroy ourselves! Then my hands shook with anticipation and then an idea formed in my mind. I never did this before, but I knew I needed to do it. I decided to wear a tracksuit and I ran out of my house as fast as possible. The world became blurred. I continued to run until flames started to appear across my body that soon trail off. They surprisingly didn't hurt as I ran faster. I saw Philly's most magnificent monuments in half an hour and see the sunset on the top of the tallest tower I could find. It felt euphoric just letting to go of my problems even for a little bit. In a couple of minutes, I return home in no time. When I'm there, I see a man is waiting for me. It was the same guy from the pub, but here I got a better look at him. He was a relatively tall, middle-aged man with blonde hair and grey eyes. He looked familiar like I've seen him from somewhere but didn't know where.
"Hello there Derek, my name is Phil Thomas Tippie, and I need your help."
The name suddenly ran true. Eight months ago I heard about this guy who managed to kill some terrorist leader overseas on a mission.
"Why do you need my help? What is this?"
"Don't be scared besides we both know you have all the power in the situation. I'm guessing what you did that pub was only a taste of what you could do."
"Look please I don't want any trouble I want to live a normal life. I haven't done anything that anyone with any actual goddamn balls would've done. I don't want any Purifiers thinking I'm some freak for being who I am."
"Calm down I'm not reporting you to anyone I was about to do the same thing. I'm unarmed and if you don't believe me pat me down yourself. All I'm asking from you is a little of your time and patience. And if you are still antsy then there are some handcuffs in the glove box you can put on me after I drive you to where we need to go."
He was right on all accounts. On the one hand, he could just be lying, but I was confident I could take him and a couple of people on if he tried anything. I decided to join him reluctantly, but I made sure to stay on alert. We slowly make out a way to an abandoned factory where Phil put his hands on a wall that reveals a panel. The panel then starts to scan his entire body. Another hidden doorway opens to reveal a staircase. We walked down there until it begins to a grand set of hallways. We walked until we entered a control room filled with monitors and computers. I was astounded.
"What is this place?"
"It's an abandoned underground bunker made by an ... ex-paranoid rich man. I prefer to call it the Trophy Case. He was a good friend."
I turned around to see a short, middle-aged Asian American in glasses. She was wearing grown out black hair while wearing jeans and a shirt. I instantly recognized her and my entire body flares up in rage. I blitz her into a wall with a hand on her throat! This woman was responsible for everything! The Helixes, the deaths, the deserted cities! For you see her name was Chelsea Danvers: a creator of Zenith and Genesis, slaughterer of millions! I turned to Phil who about to move but I interjected.
"Don't even move!"
"You're right; we can't do anything to stop you, so please hear the woman out before you do something that you might regret."
"Timothy and Cassandra Lewis! My parents were watching your invention with excitement. We thought you were supposed to save humanity not doom it, "Chelsea responded.
" Genesis was a complete accident. I didn't mean for any of this to happen."
"So you're saying that parents died because of an accident! That over a billion souls lost their lives because of some over complication that could be fixed easily! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you right here right now?"
"There is none; nothing is stopping you for taking your revenge right here right now. I deserve to die a new gruesome death for everyone I dealt out to others. There isn't a single reason why I shouldn't have blown my brains out, or make a noose, or slit my wrist months ago. Not a day goes by where I'm not haunted by what I did. All I ever wanted to do was save this world, and even now I'm doing that. That's why I need people like you people better than me. Champions that will help bring order to a world in need of heroes. So make your choice Derek. Kill me and leave or help me to fight."
Rage seethed into my very being. I wanted Chelsea to burn, to get revenge, to make sure my parent's death didn't fuel my fire everywhere I went. However, as I looked into her eyes, I didn't see a madman or a coward. I saw a broken woman with the weight of every innocent soul on her back. I let her go too emotional to process it all and I quickly recognized that I was crying. I thought it would be better to feel like everything else: to have a scapegoat for my rage. But now nothing was keeping me from facing the truth we all must bear now. A simple mistake killed my parents. Nothing was ever going to change that. Nothing will ever change that. Could I really do anything in this brave new world? Could I really save someone from ending up like me? I think it over and with the memory of my parents hanging over me I decided that I least had to try my damn best. After all, what do I have to lose? I turned to Chelsea and said.
"Okay, I'll help you. I'll be your champion."
The next two weeks were fast-paced. Chelsea said she tracked my location through facial recognition and had so far done little things like making the Trophy Case and even coming up with the name of Helixes. She also recruited Phil for our small group. Over the last couple of days, Phil has been pushing my limits and also explaining how I can further use them. One time Chelsea sent me a particular text, and I rushed over. I will admit it was indeed unique. On the table, I saw a suit. It was a full bodysuit with black on the hands, forearms, and boots. The black ceases at the thighs with dark red at the bottom with a light red from the waist up. It finally ended with a flame symbol in the center and a full body mask with red contacts. It was good, but I had to ask one question.
"You want me to fight Helixes in spandex?"
Chelsea responded, "I want you to fight crime and corruption of this Philly in a suit that monitors your vitals and hide your identity while in spandex. By the way, I think it's important you have a codename."
I thought about it honestly but judging from my personality, I thought of something that would work perfectly.
And just like that, I was running across Philly at a breakneck and like before I gazed upon the sunset from the same building. As I saw the sun sink to the ground for once, I felt pure excitement. Cause after so long there was going to be a light in this world gone mad.