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#1 Posted by TommytheHitman (6554 posts) - - Show Bio

Link to the previous issue.

The Keeper Chronicles by Philip Solomon

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Note: The following is the first part of an interview with the subject, the later parts shall be revealed in proceeding chapters.

Chapter 1 - Conclusion

Riker's Island is a colder place than I imagined, the heavy walls that surround the place seem to loom over it like gravestones. There's a dark sense of foreboding as I find myself lead through the prison's halls and a silence seems to have overtaken the inmates, one that I'm told has been around ever since the island's latest superhuman resident was brought here just a short time ago.

The guard, a man by the name of Broxton doesn't say much as we approach the entrance to Cell Block M. He simply lets the prison's electronic cameras scan over him for any confidential items before nodding at me to do the same. I'm reminded about the almost omniscient security of airport terminals, only those don't fill me with the sense of fear and paranoia that Rikers' security does.

Within Cell Block M lies the prison's super powered population, most of whom are fitted with power dampening collars and metal cells suited towards their specific needs. The man I'm here to see however lacks any superhuman abilities, yet despite this two guards wearing mechanized battle armor stand posted outside his cell door. Within the cell its occupant lies clamped to the wall, his arms, legs and most of his head covered in metal bindings designed to completely restrict movement. Were there any other person in those restraints it would be called 'inhumane' but considering that the one wearing them is Keeper those restraints shall be considered justified.

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"Hello Mister Barrows. My name is Philip Solomon, do you remember me?"

(Unintelligible noises)

"I... I'm sorry?"

"Keeper."

"Pardon?"

"You will call me 'Keeper'."

"Ah. Very well then. 'Keeper' do you-"

"Yes Solomon, I do remember you. I remember your voice mainly, the whiny noise of it over the phone still makes my head ache. Yet while I remember your voice the details of your visit escape me, so go on boy. Explain why you're here."

"I'm constructing an interview book about your exploits. Creating a sort of history of your affairs."

"Are you? And how's that going so far?"

"Currently I've interviewed a chunk of the superhero community as well as various other people you've encountered."

"You must have met some interesting characters then. Did you speak to Dynasty? Or the Atomic Raider? What about the almighty Bucket Man?"

"Most of them, yes."

"What did they say?"

(There is a notable pause).

"They all basically told me you're a murdering psychopath."

(He laughs).

"Of course they did. They're superheroes, childish bigots in costumes who can't stand the slightest hint of change. If they come across a problem they can't solve by punching they'll just call in more superheroes until the problem's smashed to bits."

"What would you call yourself then?"

(There is a notable pause).

"A martyr. Now, Solomon I'm going to ask you a question. You may answer it in any way you want but I'll know if you're lying. Why are you writing this book?"

"I... I think there's a good chunk of people who'd like to know more about you."

"Really? So it's about sharing knowledge and not actually about the profits such a book would bring?"

(There is a notable pause).

"It can obviously be about both. It's just obvious that writing a non-fiction novella about 'the world's greatest super villain' would draw a good amount of money into the bank of an otherwise struggling writer."

"I..."

"Sorry if I've distracted you. Would you like me to talk about grown men in tights?"

"How... how dare you! I-"

"The first time I fought the Dynasty was the time when I first realized just how far I'd come since I started my career. In the time before that 1990 summer most of my conflicts with the Earth's superhero population had been relatively small. A fight here, a battle there, nothing too chaotic. The closest they'd actually come to organizing an attack on me was when Spark and Knightguard ran into me while on patrol, so seeing this newly formed team targeting me helped show not only how far I'd come but how serious the heroes were taking me.

They managed to take me off guard having learned my location from a henchman back when I briefly used them. Following that they wound up teleporting to an old meat packing plant I'd been using as a base. It was lucky I'd been wearing my armor as just a minute earlier I'd been wearing normal clothing and wouldn't have stood a chance. That's why afterward I never took it off again."

(He pauses and glances down at the bright orange prison uniform he's currently wearing).

"Well until now anyway. There had been a sound like an explosion, more than likely the sound barrier being broken and in a matter of seconds the lab assistant I'd been peacefully talking to about the wonders of biology had been thrown across the room by a crackling ball of electricity... and the merest second after that? A dozen lighting quick punches had struck me in the chest and blackened my skin.

There was a flash of blue light from the room's window before a beam of electromagnetic energy sent me tumbling backwards... and when I looked up I saw the four of them. Back then there was Forever Man, Spark, the Ram... and that one who dresses in black and never seems to do anything."

"Mysteryman."

"Yes. Him. I'd faced most of them before, Ram especially, they all had the scars to prove it. Yet this time was different, not only had they come to face me together but they'd come prepared. Forever Man had begged his ancestors for the power to defeat me, Spark had mastered the art of speed fighting and Ram... Ram had come wearing a large robotic suit that almost rivaled my own.

So the first time I saw Dynasty, Solomon? The first time I saw those who would become the Dynasty was one of the last days I remember feeling fear."

(There is a notable pause).

"Your next question?"

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Bio:

Arnold Barrows, better known to the world as Keeper, is responsible for the deaths of over 217 people. Having operated since the 1980s Arnold has come into conflict with the majority of the Earth's superheroes, clashed with the military on numerous occasions and shows no signs of stopping. Despite currently being locked within the superhuman block of Rikers Island, many wonder whether they've truly seen the last of the world's greatest super villain.

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#2 Posted by TommytheHitman (6554 posts) - - Show Bio
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