By _Vex_ 9 Comments
This isn’t how I wanted things. I never had any desire for something so heinous to come from my role. I understood the responsibility I was undertaking and the legacy I was appointed to uphold.
I recognized the risks and accepted my duties of the mantle without question.
Hundreds, maybe even thousands of people that didn’t deserve pain would feel untold agony from the effects of my actions. All for the greater good…. This…. This is too much however. Even for me.
One week ago
The damp cave howled in a low deep tone. The combination of below normal air pressure and multi-tunnel system made the wind sound like an old man exhaling his final breath. The cool breeze from the Blüdhaven Bay brushed against the stubble of a weary figure. His trained and battle hardened physique stood against a glass vault as his azure eyes washed over its contents. His subtle reflection had nearly obscured the ebony armored apparatus that had been propped on the opposite side of the glass while dust had concealed the etched emblem, overemphasizing its stagnation.
The man leaned down to the lengthy Doberman sitting at his knees. A small smile crept on his face as he brushed behind the canine’s ears, calming him down. Duke did well to distract the hermit from his own thoughts that often plagued his psyche. Although they couldn’t talk to each other through spoken word, they held a bond that eased his troubled mind.
“Everyone is gone, Duke. The men and women we knew are either passed or lost. All we have is each other, Boy. The world doesn’t need him anymore. Not in this world of metahumans and gods.”
He walked back to the center of his dim cavern, leaving behind the clear glass tomb that held the legend he once was, while Duke had trailed closely behind him. His paws pattered against the concrete floor while the solitarian grasped the shoulder of his leather seat and placed himself down. He wasn’t elderly, but his mind knew things far beyond his age and his eyes were weary of the things he had seen…. But his heart was still burning for the times that had gone by.
“17 year old Caucasian female with jet black hair reported missing in your area.”
The computer had been voicing crimes and incidents that he would normally respond to, but he either lacked the desire to intervene, or someone with much more biological capabilities and fame would offer their help before he could. He was only 38, but he was archaic when compared to others.
“Someone else will investigate.”
He murmured to Duke in false assurance. The Doberman’s ears laxed in what seemed like disappointment. The careless man paid no attention, but instead stood up and walked towards an old green army cot that had been set up nearby.
His home above ground was in ruins as his identity of a politician and philanthropist was just as dead. Reported missing and even deceased, no one would come looking for him. The remains of his public residence were more like a mausoleum and his possessions were artifacts for treasure hunters to collect and say,
“Look here! Look at what I’ve stolen! A piece from the millennial man’s home! I wonder how much I can get for it?”
He groaned wistfully as he rolled over to his side, closing his lids and letting his fatigue take over.
The next day
“Loud screams have been recorded from the security cameras in your area."
The man was once again seated in front of the same computer; going through the motions he had been so accustomed to. Everyday was exactly the same. The report from yesterday however, kept tugging at the back of his mind. Pulling his attention in it’s own direction.
“Someone else will get it, Duke.”
The Doberman, sitting in his same spot as usual, growled louder this time. Standing on all fours and utilizing his teeth to tug at the hermit’s pant leg.
He replied without acknowledging the dog any further or even offering a gesture, but the dog refused to relent. He kept gnawing at the cloth and pulling harder. He would no longer let the man lay in his own depression. The man isolated from society wanted to fight him off or push him away, but he couldn’t. His consciousness was finally ensnaring him.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
The man adorned in the once dusty apparel of the night, had gritted his teeth in harsh regret. Clenching his hands into fists he hunched over the gurney, tears falling from his face and onto the blood stained sheets.
The lifeless whisper came once again from the hospital bed. The 17 year old that had lain there and sluggishly rolled her head to the man sobbing above her. The sheets soaked with her own sanguine fluid covered almost everything from her neck down. Almost everything, except for the surgically cut square in your chest that once held a heart. Knives and torture tools used by the now escaped assailant were tossed carelessly along the floor.
If only I had answered the call. If only I wasn’t wrapped up within my depression.
She whispered it once more before her eyes closed for the final time. Leaving the Man, the myth, alone once more.
He replied to the girl. He removed the kevlar woven glove and held her lifeless hands in his. He squeezed his eyes hard, gathering his composure…. but he couldn’t. He howled in mixed anger and sadness. He failed her as he had failed many people, but not anymore. He could no longer run from what he was and had always destined to be. Alexander would remain dead....