The Liberators - Issue #1: Saving Face

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

The Liberators - Issue #1: Saving Face

Orion Maximum Security Prison, Peloponnese, Greece

The World Security Agent sat down at the table across from the man in the orange jumpsuit, his hands and legs manacled to the chair bolted to the floor. The agent gave the man a casual glance, before trying to hide his discomfort at the fact that his prisoner had no face. It was like looking at a blank slate with vaguely human features hidden beneath the skin; dim pits where the eyes should be, slight ridges for the nose and ears and a ripple for the mouth.

“This is Agent Farrell of the World Security Agency interviewing Prisoner #02737 AKA the Face about his involvement in the attempted coup in Costa Sangre on the 11th of October this year.”

“Attempted Coup?” The Face snorted, “Excuse me I was running the country for two and a half weeks and I did a better job then both the previous dictators ever did.”

“Yes I’ll admit that there was a brief spike in the civil rights, one that coincided with your arrival, but because of the World Security Agency’s agreement with the Black Prince it will be stripped from all records” Agent Farrell stated. “And please can you be…less creepy. It’s a bit unnerving talking to you like this.”

“Is this better?” The Face asked as his features transformed to display wild eyes staring mercilessly at Farrell above a regal nose and a cruel smile flanked by pointed almost elfin ears. “I was masquerading as the Black Prince when the Liberty Legion arrested me so it seems fitting.”

“Yes that’s better. As you have been told the Security Council is trying you for War Crimes against the State of Costa Sangre.” Farrell stated. “We need a testimony from you about the events that led to your arrest.”

“War Crimes Jesus.” The Face swore, “Listen guy I’m not a bad man, sure I’m a con artist and a thief but I’m not a tyrant like the guy I replaced. I know the system is rigged against guys like me but how can the Black Prince get away with being an egotistical toss-pot?”

“Then tell me your story Mr. Face.” Farrell suggested, “Tell me everything, convince me you had good intentions and maybe the Security Council will act in your favour.”

“You want everything?” The Face asked.

“From the beginning.” Agent Farrell muttered as the Face clicked his neck and softened his facial features. “Well it began like this…” He started before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.

“I didn’t always look like I did nor was I always a criminal.” The Face explained, “I had a job, a car, an apartment in downtown Seattle but most importantly I had an eye for beauty. I worked as a free lance photographer; landscapes mostly but I could capture the most wonderful moments and immortalize them forever.”

“So what happened?” Farrell asked, “How did you turn into what you are now?”

“I had finally got my big break. Scenic Monthly wanted shots of the Cascades and were willing to pay a lot for the image that captured the majesty of the mountains. I knew just where to go, went far off the beaten track and waited for that one moment where the sun strikes the hills just right, took the shot and left confident that my life was about to change.” The Face sighed, “If only I had waited a day or two to take the photo I would still have my house, my job and my own face. You see I got back to the car-park only to find a welcoming committee waiting for me, three big guys just squatting by my Pontiac and all of them working for the Wolf.”

“The Wolf?” Farrell asked, “Am I right in assuming that’s the same Wolf who at one time controlled all the organised crime from San Francisco to Vancouver?”

“You got it; this was back in his heyday when nobody could touch him. His guys had been digging and had noticed my car. Concerned that I had seen something incriminating they took me home and held me face first in a tub of developing fluid, right in my own dark room. When I awoke I looked in the mirror to see nothing, my face destroyed. My life was over and that was my reason to head to the Wolf’s Casino in Vegas, my first mistake but not the one that would cost me most of all This was back when the Shadow War was still raging and the Wolf had taken advantage of that; he had agreed with the Liberty Legion to keep crime under control until the Shadow King was defeated while secretly feeding the Dark Lord himself information about his enemies.” The Face stated.

“And that was the day when you were first arrested.” Farrell guessed, “Records show that you carried a 9mm into the Casino and tried to kill the Wolf. You were stopped by Dr. Sanctuary of the Liberty Legion am I correct.”

“Mostly Farrell.” The Face answered as he opened his eyes, “Except that 9mm was a replica, I planned to scare the Wolf; maybe get some reparations, a stupid plan considering who he was. At any other time I would have been the victim, got some sympathy but not then. It was off to Columbus Maximum Security for me. After my incarceration was over I realised I could become anyone I wanted and that was the mistake that cost me. I could have been rich, been famous but all I could think about was getting even with the Wolf, with the Liberty Legion and all the guys who had used my condition against me in prison. And as the Talmud says; the best revenge is living well, exactly what the money skimmed from all those responsible for my fall contributed to.”

“I see.” Agent Farrell stated, “And is that why you decided to form a mercenary gang and attempt to take control of Costa Sangre?”

“As I mentioned earlier the system is set up against guys like me.” The Face replied, “Yet there are guys who make it. I remember the Black Prince when he was just another megalomaniac locked away by the Liberty Legion, First Response, Teen Society or whatever super jerks were around. Now he has a country, sits on a stockpile of doomsday weapons and despite his past has immunity to do what he wants.”

“And you decided that was unfair?” Farrell asked.

“Not just me.” The Face replied, “And I will admit that at first it was just a joke at the Prince’s expense; that guys like me could do a better job then he did but then it became a question. Could a guy like me carry it off? And then one drunken night down at the bar round the corner from my apartment I stumbled onto the answer; and that was ‘Yes. Dam straight I could’ and from then on I was hell bent on taking what should have been mine.”

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ImpurestCheese

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#1  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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TheManInTheShoe

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@impurestcheese: As I said before I really enjoyed this. I really like The Face.

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cbishop

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#3  Edited By cbishop

Very nice! Great original work, and even well edited! Nice job, I'Cheese!

As a side note: that name, "The Face," must be a popular one. It's been used by several comic companies, and I think has its roots in public domain. It's a name that has been on my character list for years- pretty much exactly the same as yours, but of course with a different origin. (I have yet to use my version in anything outside of an initial scene I wrote when I came up with the name...if I can find it somewhere, I'll post it and tag you in it.)

This story is way fun. I love that being dipped in the developer somehow gave him his powers. Add an atomic or magical element to that developer fluid, and you've got yourself a classic Golden Age origin there. :)

Added to my FF Long Box. :)

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@cbishop: Thanks for reading. I originally was going with Blank Slate but thought The Face was a better name. As for the origin of 'the Face' it's a little more complicated then he's letting on.

@themanintheshoe: Thanks for the comment.

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houseofmystery

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A very nice opening to a mystery I'm looking forward to see unfold! The Face seems like he's got the quintessential old school comic book origin and it works for the universe you've teased so far in this chapter. Is this a brand new work or is it tied to other stories you've written?

To be fair and balanced, I enjoyed it, but the dialogue was a bit stiff, it didn't flow as naturally as I would have liked, and there were some punctuation errors that drew me out of the story, but all in all, a new universe, a new adventure, and I'll keep my eye out for the next instalment. Thanks for sharing!

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cbishop

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@impurestcheese: I figured it had to be. Also, "Blank Slate" wouldn't be so far off from "The Blank," which is a blank-faced Dick Tracy villain. ...It's hard to find good names that aren't taken in comics. ;)

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@cbishop: Yep, hopefully the other anti heros/villains whatever they are will have names that are just as good as 'The Face'.

@houseofmystery: Thanks, will look into freeing up the dialogue a bit, usually I don't have a problem with it. All this is brand new, no connections to Marvel, DC, PSOC etc.

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4donkeyjohnson

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@impurestcheese: I liked this a question, were you watching Anchorman or The Hangover recently, as the names automatically conjured up Will Ferrell as Agent Farrell, Zack Gal-(insert rest of long name) as Wolf and Ben Stiller as The Face! Story is good, but that's what I had in my mind as I read this

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@4donkeyjohnson: Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Eh no I've never watched those films. Seriously this is one of those rare cases of actual coincidence, convergent writing. For actual human names I use a random name generator and of the five surnames I got I liked Farell the best.

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dngn4774

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@impurestcheese: I like it, but it feels like you're trying to force too much content at once with the dialogue. Check you're sentence flow again, there needs to be more balance between when the agent speaks and the Face answers. Repeating brief statements with full paragraphs is a sign that the conversation is being led. You should make agent Farrell more skeptical, remind yourself that he's dealing with a criminal who can easily mislead the investigation to soothe any ulterior motives, so their relationship should be uneasy, perhaps even hostile.

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@dngn4774: Okay thanks for the input. Will address this when I write part 2.

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cbishop

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#14  Edited By cbishop

@impurestcheese: I was getting nervous that I had deleted all traces of it, but I found my story! I'll post it later, when I'm home. Too many distractions to get it done properly right now.

EDIT: Actually, there are some other scenes that go with it, so I'm going to tweak them a little bit, and post them all. I'll let you know when I post the scene for my version of The Face. :)

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@cbishop: Cool. I'm eagerly awaiting reading it

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