James Harper honestly loved his job. Being a protector was just ingrained so deeply within him that he had not the slightest idea where he'd be if not for law enforcement.
No, that wasn't entirely true. He knew exactly where he'd be, and he was there now.
Doing what he was born to do. Being a protector.
He walked a long, nearly endless corridor of gleaming white hallways.
Passing by men and women just as dedicated to performing a professional job of protection as the man in gold and blue whom they served under.
James, after years as a beat cop in Metropolis, one of the East Coast largest cities, and home to the world's greatest hero, no longer wore a shield, but instead carried one.
Inspired by Superman to reach for something greater than what he'd already achieved, James fashioned himself a costume and gave himself a name.
The Golden Guardian!
Then, like his hero, he took to the streets, doing what he could to provide safety for those who could not protect themselves.
Then, he died.
However, thanks to Cadmus, he had been giving a second chance, or at least somewhat.
Though the James Harper whom now wore the helm and shield may not have been the original; his heart was just as pure.
And to honor the name of the man he was cloned from, this Guardian swore that he too would die being a hero.
It was past midnight. Things had been relatively peaceful, save for a few attempted escapes by a few of the rowdier experiments.
To pass the time and to keep his sanity, James walked the facility in a whole.
From one end to the next, occasionally stopping to speak to whomever would listen.
Which, was everyone.
Perks of being the head of security.
"Those shoes aren't regulation son," Harper said to one of his charges. "But I won't squeal if you don't."
The young security man smiled in nervous appreciation. "Thank you sir." He said.
Giving the younger man a salute, James continued on his way, only stopping when he'd realized something was amiss.
"Hold on a bit soldier," said James as he turned in the man's direction walking over to stand directly in front of him. "I don't remember seeing you at roll call this morning."
"Oh, I'm new."
"Maybe so, but Westfield would have run it by me. He understands how meticulous I am about where I position my units. In fact, this is a restricted area to anyone not wearing a level twelve security badge. You're wearing a level nine."
The young man's eyes darted nervously from right to left, then, quickly transitioned into dark humor as the guise lifted, the holographic image giving way to the true identity of the mysterious soldier.
"Well, guess the jig is up," said the man in front of James. "Guardian, I'm Pike. I'll be robbing you this evening!"
James barely reacted in time as Pike kicked at him. Caught off guard by the young man's true appearance. No longer a young white male in cargo.
He was now a muscle bound giant in a grey and red ninja like body suit.
James raised the shield to his chest but was still sent flying through the air and eventually sliding across the smoothly tiled floor.
Climbing to his feet he charged in, swinging his golden weapon of war at the Giants face, only to have Pike parry the blow and follow up with an overhand right that literally struck gold as the mercenaries fist collided with the Guardians shimmering helmet.
"Not bad," said Guardian. "But now I'm pissed!"
"Ooh, I'm sooo scared!" Pike taunted.
Which only made James more determined to get his point across.
James became a blur of aggressive movement.
Switching from kicks, strikes, holds, and sweeps in the blink of an eye.
His shield proving to be an even bigger henderance for his would be assaulter.
Finding an opening, James sprang backwards tossing his shield straight into the air, distracting his foe long enough to provide him with a clean shot.
Channeling all his power into his right arm, James leaned back, pivoted forward with his hips and drew down.
He could feel Pikes nose explode as knuckles met cartelage, and, soon after, flesh met floor.
"Tough bastard ain't 'ya?" James asked the now unconscious costumed man lying at his feet.
He was barely able to stand at this point.
So James stood over his fallen enemy, (struggling as he did), trying to catch his breath so that he could radio for assistance with carrying his new collar to the nearest holding cell.
However before he could do so, James was shot from behind by a concentrated burst of energy that sent him flying forward, his already weakened body caused even more grief from the collision.
"Ugnh," James groaned.
Footsteps caught his attention as he fought the blackness trying to overcome him. He wanted to turn over on his back, get a view of his new attacker, but he hadn't the strength to do so on his own.
As if his thoughts were heard, James found himself being pushed on his back by a hard kick that flipped him up and over turtle shell style.
Looking up, first into bright lights and pearl white, his vision was soon overtaken by a new sight. The identity of his attacker.
"Barrage?" Asked James weakly. Blood pouring out of his mouth and ears. "Wha..?"
"At your service," replied the armored villain with a mocking bow. "Don't worry to much about it."
Barrage charged up another round and pointed the bore of his large right arm cannon point blank at James' face. "G'night sweet prince."
Then he fired.
To be continued.