Currently on hiatus. Will resume in July, or sooner.

Current story updates:

Current story interludes/Side stories:
Every other Saturday

Other pieces:
Every other Saturday (Saturdays I don't run the Interludes/Side Stories)

During certain periods updates may come more often; at other times updates may come less often. This schedule is my hoped-for goal.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Supers: Part One

This is a story that I wrote after reading the rules for a superhero RPG. It really reminded me of all the cool things that come with superheroes, but also made me think of the flaws with superheroes.
When a superhero has a power they should have one power. Nobody likes the Superman because you van't beat him, except with your fists, which is stupid. So, I thought about how a superpower would likely work, and this was the result.
I may write more of this later, but right now I don't have the inspiration to do so. I just want to get back to my Bionicle RPG. Sigh. I'll also post up what I know about this world, including statistics for the two Super teams, rundowns of the powers and backstories of the characters, and stuff like that.
This whole thing is actually a pseudo flashback sequence of the main character's teacher. Its complicated.
Anyways, the characters in this are not the Marvel superheroes; they are fanboys who named themselves after the Marvel superheroes. Please do not sue me.

“Hulk, cover the main entrance. Thor, get to the top of a nearby building. You see anything moving, you blast it.
“Quicksilver, Widow, you cover the back.”
Everyone but Amy began to move “But what about you Al- Cap? What are you doing?”
The others stopped and looked at the man in the red white and blue.
“I am going in through the roof. My shield will block the bullets and anything else that they throw at me. And, if they see you four attacking from the outside maybe they’ll be distracted enough to let me save the family”
A SWAT member chimed in from just outside their group “The Royal family. Don’t forget that. You blighters screw this up, and we will ban every Super from Britain forever”
Cap turned to the man and nodded, his face grave “I know that Corporal. We will take this seriously, as seriously as we always take our work”
As the SWAT captain moved off Quicksilver blurred over to Alfred “But Cap, we’ve never gone up against a villain team before”
Hulk turned and looked back at the two of them “There was Lex and Bane”
Quicksilver glared back at him “Bane and Lex weren’t really a team, and there were only two of them”
“We should have brought Namor” Thor was muttering “I could have used a spotter with his skills”
“We’ve been over this before” Cap was getting angry now “Namor would be a liability. We all agreed. What would he do, wait here? He also isn’t good at public relations”
“Yah, but we bring your girlfriend on every single one of these things!” Thor was getting angry “She isn’t Super, but we bring her. Namor at least has some abilities. All she has is a warm willing body for the Cap here to-”
Thor didn’t get to finish his sentence as Hulk grabbed him, and squeezed the air out.
“We have been over this before. We need a female member and no female Super wants to join. Black Widow didn’t have any powers in the comics either. She wears her Kevlar, has lots of training with firearms, and can beat any of us in a fistfight. She is the most qualified of all of us to be a superhero if we lost our powers.
“Namor on the other hand is a bit unstable at the best of times and likely to get the Royal family killed with his impatience. Now, Cap has a good plan, so get your ass to a sniper nest and stun anything that comes out of the building. And apologize to both Alfred and Amy”
Thor looked around, and grimaced “This is not making us look good for the cameras… Fine. I’m sorry Amy and Alfred for saying those mean things. But I think that we should include Namor next time”
“Agreed” Cap nodded and Thor marched off to find a sniper nest “Thanks Hulk. I owe you one”
“You owe me nothing Cap. Now get in there and stop those Villains”
Cap smiled and ran off to begin getting to the top of Buckingham Palace.

Ignatius, better known now as the super villain Bad Boy turned and smiled at Mastermind.
“You know what their plan is?”
Of course The voice echoed inside Bad Boy’s head. Mastermind had really sharpened his powers since working with the Doomleague. The Normal and the Speed one will watch the back of the building. The strong one will watch the front. The lightning one will hide somewhere and stun anything that exits the building. The SWAT teams will retrieve anyone who is stunned.
“And what of their leader? What of…” here Ignatius stopped to snicker at the Super’s trie use of comic book heroes to provide their aliases “...Cap?”
‘Cap’ is going to somehow get to the top of the Palace and enter through the vents. He plans to work his way down to our level and then signal the others to begin an assault on the entrances. He hopes that the focused assault on the gates will draw our forces away from the family so that he may get in and shield them from harm before we notice.
“Excellent work Mastermind! I knew it was a good idea to bring you into this team and keep you quiet until now. Now that we know their plan we can thwart it” He rubbed his together gleefully and then straightened up. “How does my pointed beard and handlebar mustache look Zombie?”
The half destroyed man of muscle and bone looked at Bad Boy with dead-looking eyes.
“You know how you look you simpering fool. You look like the villain from an old cartoon”
“I know!” Bad Boy laughed “Isn’t perfect? They get to be their cliched heroes from cartoons and so I will play the part of the quintessential villain”
He looked around at his gathering of Supers.
The tall gaunt Fixer, who could mutate the body of others at will making them heal or deform as he chose.
The pudgy Thrasher, who went everywhere on a floating disk and rarely moved under his own power. Bad Boy was surprised that Thrasher wasn’t far fatter by now than he already was; maybe his telekinesis used more energy than other Super’s powers.
Zombie, the man who could never die but couldn’t heal the wounds he suffered, not even with Fixer’s help.
Mastermind, the telepath who could read minds, communicate with others over vast distances, and confuse the senses.
And himself, Bad Boy, the infinitely charismatic leader of the team. he was proud of himself and his ability to make anyone do anything he wanted with only an arch of his eyebrow and a few words.
He was proud of his team too.
And there huddled in the corner was the Royal Family of Britain, under guard by a few of Fixer’s ‘dogs’ great beasts that resembled overgrown wolves but were smart enough to follow orders. They were also 100% loyal, unlike the rifle toting goons in the corners of the room.
They were loyal only to the coin that paid them.
And, of course, to Mastermind for as long a she concentrated. They had all been broken already and he could now assume control at any time.
Yes, Bad Boy was proud of his team.
“Mastermind, get some of the goons down to the front and back doors. Fixer, I want you and the rest of your dogs down there too. If they send any non-Supers, turn them into Drakes.
“Zombie, follow them. If they get past the goons and the dogs I want you to be there to stop them from getting any further. Make sure that they don’t get to Fixer.
“Thrasher, Mastermind, and I will stay up here while I make my broadcast. Mastermind, I want you to hide yourself from their senses, and stand with the Royal family. Make sure that they won’t give you away.
“Thrasher, you are door guard. If you have to pull the entire hallway down on their heads to stop them, then so be it. We don’t need Buckingham palace to be intact to get our ransom.
“If anything gets out of hand, tell Mastermind, then pull back to this room. Thrasher will, as a last resort, rip it out of the wall and fly us all to safety within it.
“Now, chop chop, get to your positions! The longer we give them to prepare the harder it will be to get a stinking massive ransom!”

Cap finished climbing the building and peaked over the edge of the roof.
Three of the terrorists crouched behind cover by the doors in.
Now, he could get in using his shields and knock them flat, but they might have time to sound the alarm…
“Thor, this is Cap, do you copy?”
“Thor here Cap. Sorry about earlier”
“We’ll worry about that later. For now, I want you to hit the guards by the stairs as soon as you get in position. No need to worry about dosage; if you kill them you kill them and we’ve been given carte blanche”
“I’m in position now, but will try to take them out without fatality”
Cap looked back up in time to see a bolt of electricity shoot from a nearby tower and envelop the top of the stairs.
No sooner had he seen it then he hauled himself over the edge and hurtled towards the entrance as fast as he could, shields up.
He dived down at the bodies, and felt for a pulse.
“All three are alive; nice work Thor”
“We’ll send a team up to get them” The SWAT captain.
“You do that Corporal. I’m going deeper in. Remember, don’t send any of your men in; they may mutate like the grounds staff”
Cap shuddered to recall the hideous scaly beasts. Like mini T-rex’s Quicksilver had said. Then they had begun to breathe fire.
He pushed all that aside and began to make his way into Buckingham.

“And we are going live in, action”
Bad Boy turned towards the cameraman and steepled his fingers.
“Hello Britain. And, I am presuming, rest of the world. I am Bad Boy and we are coming to you live from the heart of Buckingham palace where terrorists have struck, holding the Royal family hostage”
He smiled wolfishly.
“What I have not mentioned yet is that we are the terrorists. And we are Super.
“Now, some you may have known that already, but let me introduce some of us to you. I am Bad Boy. I am in charge of our merry band of Supervillains. Ooh, doesn’t that sound good? Supervillain. A word to make little children cry.
“Now, where was I? Ah yes, the Royal family”
He watched as the camera panned across, taking in the signs of the battle before settling on the small group of the Royal family and Mastermind under guard by the ‘dogs’.
As the camera swung back to him he continued.
“Now, those beasts guarding them are what we call ‘Dogs’. They were created by my associate who made the murderous beasts you saw earlier. Those we call Drakes.
“If anyone comes onto the grounds, we will transform them into one of those monsters. Or maybe even into something worse. Fixer does so love to experiment.
“Now, our demands are simple. We require ten billion euros worth of cash, to be delivered to the front gates of the palace within a day. If we are disappointed we will kill as many family members as we are billion euros short. Then, we shall leave the rest, and travel to a different country. We shall then do the same there.
“And you know what the really great thing is? There is nothing you can do to stop us.
“You have been warned Britain. You have one day. And might I remind the other countries that it is in their best interests to contribute or else we shall go to you and demand another 10 billion”
The blinking transmission light turned off, and Bad Boy sat back in his seat.
“An inspiring performance if I do say so myself” Thrasher smiled as he edged his disk forwards “I think that we be getting our ten billion”
“No Thrasher, not until we kill these ‘Avengers’ and show the world the bodies of the Supers that have tried to stop us. Then we shall get our ten billion”
The two laughed as the royals cowered in terror and their message winged its way across the globe, bringing terror with it wherever it went.

“Cap, Cap, you gotta hear this. They’ve identified themselves”
“Whoa, whoa Namor?” What are you doing on the channel?”
“They are broadcasting Cap. They are broadcasting and have a horrible message. They’ve given a deadline. You have 24 hours”
“Well, thats fine. I intend to have this done within one”
The line went silent for a moment and Cap crept forwards another few feet, his sidearm at the ready and his ‘America Shield’ held out in front of him.
“Cap, I should be there. I could help”
“Well, its too late now Namor”
“Yes, I know that. But let me go collect more heroes at least! Bring them in on this initiative, bring the whole Super community together on this and shut these bastards down for good”
“No. This is an Avengers op”
“But what if it gets out of hand? We have never taken on a team of Supervillains before. And, you are one member short”
“Look, Namor, I gotta go. I getting close to the hostages now and I need the line to be silent. Just, sit tight and monitor things will you?”
“No, Cap, wait-”
Cap cut the line, then opened the one to the Avengers present.
“Its time. Go on a ten count starting on my mark. Mark”

“You ready Amy?” Quicksilver adjusted his boots and loosened his guns in their holsters.
“How many times do I have to tell you its Widow when we are active?” She looked at him, then nodded after checking her guns “Yes, I am ready”
“Good” Quicksilver bounced on his heels, ready to be going “Lets do this”

“Hulk smash, Hulk bash, Hulk crash. Stupid stereotypes. I am smart. I can think. I’m not some mindless beast hell bent on destruction. But, because they call me Hulk everyone assumes I’m an idiot.
“I have a PhD you know” he shouted the palace ahead of him.
“And it doesn’t stand for pound head down…”

Thor stood atop the building and stared down at the palace. Things were too easy. Something was not right…
The count was going on his watch and in a few seconds they would start their assault. Why did he have the feeling that those drakes were going to be the death of them all?
Those Drakes…the ones that the Normals had become seconds after the attack.
The ones that the one Super on the premises had not turned into.
The ones that all the Normals had turned into…
“Amy!” he breathed, and opened a channel.

“One. Go go go” Cap stood, and took a few steps down the corridor.
He turned the corner, and fell back under a hail of gunfire.
“Damn” He looked around. There was no other way to get past “We do this the hard way then”
He waved his arm and threw up a wall of force in the middle of the corridor.
He stepped out, and this time didn’t duck away from the gunfire. The bullets all bounced off his wall.
He counted three shooters, all men in ski masks with semi-automatics. He raised his gun to the force wall, opened a small hole, and shot all three.
He dropped the wall and ran on.

Black Widow and Quicksilver started forwards as the count reached zero when Thor’s voice came over the radio.
“Widow, get back! Retreat! Stop for gods sake!”
She did, and took a step back at the urgency in his voice “What is it?”
“You’re a Normal. What happened to those gardeners will happen to you too. Just, back away from the Palace, provide cover fire for Quicksilver. He can get in and take out the one who’s making all these beasts, then you go”
“Ok, roger that” She looked at Quicksilver.
“Its ok. I can handle these guys. You just stay back and shoot em all dead for me”
She nodded and retreated another few steps before picking up the sniper rifle that the SWAT team had lent her.

Hulk flexed his muscles, and charged forwards. Nothing like the Hulk of Marvel comics, he was short, kinda pudgy, and from Bangladesh. But, his powers were a dead match for Hulks. He just didn’t need to be angry even.
He hit the doors with his shoulder and they flew off their hinges, taking a few of the ‘dogs’ with them.
He immediately came under fire from the terrorists with rifles, and one even hit him with a grenade.
He ignored them, and focused on stopping the dogs from tearing him apart. Some were as big as he was, and their teeth were like swords.
Picking one up, he swung it round into another as a third leapt at him from the side.
Ducking, he helped it sail over him with a well placed shove.
He danced backwards as another grenade exploded in front of him.
Again, it wouldn’t hurt, but he couldn’t afford to be blinded.
Then, the dogs were on him again.
As two lunge at him from the left where he has thrown them he charged towards the shooters.
With the dogs spinning, trying to change the direction of their leap he vaulted the desk, grabbed the shooter by the shirt, and swung him at the other dog that had leapt over him.
While it was disoriented he grabbed the desk and brought it down on its back with a sickening cracking crunching noise.
It yelped, and its hind legs stopped moving. Hulk turned away to deal with the other shooters and it lunged, closing its jaws around his arm.
With a roar of pain Hulk ripped the thing off and tossed it into the next sniper nest, and threw himself backwards as the other two dogs leapt at him.
He scrambled backwards, and hit something with his hand. Glancing down he saw it was a box of the grenades they had been throwing at him.
He picked two up and pulled the pins as the dogs leapt at him again, bowling him over.
He held them at bay, one hand at each of their necks as they slavered and drooled acid spit onto his face.
That burned.
The seconds ticked by, one, two, three, holding the dogs at bay, and then the grenades, one in each hand, exploded with flashes of light and noise.
He rolled away, pushing the headless dogs off of him, and turned towards the back of the room.
He could see the remaining terrorists beating a limping retreat back towards a tall gaunt man in a lab coat.
The man’s face was mostly in shadow but Hulk could see him smile evilly as he pointed at the three soldiers.
They fell to their knees screaming, and began to grow, growing larger, fur sprouting from their bodies, their clothes ripping, their hands turning into paws.
Hulk sighed. This was going to be a long fight.

Thor stood atop the building. He was not useful up here. Not as useful as he could be down there.
The army had other snipers. True, they couldn’t knock people out with their bullets, but he should be in there helping some of the others.
He heated a cushion of air, and leapt off the building. Updrafts lowered him safely to the top of Buckingham Palace.
Taking a quick look around he ran for the stairs heading down into the building.

Cap advanced down the hallways, bodies behind him.
His shield is raised, as is the wall, pressing down the hallway ahead of him.
Another two riflemen jump out and fire, only to have their guns explode in their hands, the barrels blocked by force.
Cap shot them.
“This is not working Corporal. There are too many shooters. They somehow knew I was coming. They also seem to know where I am going to be next”
“Well then get out of there”
“No; if we back out now then they will kill the Royals. I want you to make a distraction”
“What? How?”
“I don’t know, but do something. Cap Out”
He stepped around the corner, and saw a pudgy man in a floating desk chair.
“You here to stop me?”
The man smiled and looked him over.
“Are you here to save the Royals?”
“You can’t stop me you know”
“Why? Because I am fat? Because you are a hero and I am a villain? Because I am going to tell you ‘Cap’ that that is not how this is going to play out.
“When you grow up in a world that looks at you and tells you that you are wrong, no matter what you do, when the world tells you that what you are is not good enough, then do you know what happens? You grow hard on the inside. Everything that is good inside you shrivels up and dies.
“When you look at me you see a fat man. You see someone who is weak, someone who can’t control their hunger, their instincts, their base urges. You see someone who is below you.
“Do you know what I see? I see someone who has not yet come into their own. I see someone who is afraid to be who they are. I see someone who is a person a living breathing person, not a thing.
“When you saw me you told yourself that I was a villain, that that is why you will win in the end. But, it was people like you who made me who I am today. And, in the end that is why I will win. Because I am stronger. Because I was forged in the fires of your loathing, and came out pure.
“And because this isn’t a fairy tale or a comic book. Villains don’t always lose.
“So, I will give you a choice, ‘Cap’. You can turn around and walk past the bodies of the men and women you have killed, people whose only crime was needing to feed their families, whose only crime was listening to someone who gave them hope for a better future.
“So turn your self-righteous ass around and walk back down that corridor and tell me what you see. Did those people need to die? Or is this all so that you can play out the fantasy of being a ‘hero’?”
He stopped, and seemed to sag, as if exhausted “And I don’t want to kill another person today. So don’t make me”
Cap stared at this man, this overweight man slumped in a hovering desk chair.
He stared at this man with the long loud words.
And he turned and ran.

Black Widow lined up the next shot, and pulled the trigger. The man jerked backwards, his neck snapping, and the grenade fell from his fingers.
The others next to him scrambled to run, to get away, but the blast took them all.
That was the last of the
As she scanned the battle she saw Quicksilver run circles around the great dogs.
Every time one of them would lunge he would swerve away with a graceful fluidity. More often than not the dogs ended up lunging at each other.
The dogs were slowing, the bites and rakes of each other slowing them down, tiring them out. Quicksilver was going to beat them.
Then, there was motion in the shadows further in. Widow scanned, trying to get a better look, then recoiled in horror.
A man with no face, no flesh on his limbs, hideous burns and disfigurements everywhere stepped out.
He reached for the holster at his side and drew his pistol, and advanced on the battle.
Widow resolved to stop this horror before he got in too close to the battle for her to attack him.
She lined up a headshot, and squeezed the trigger. The rifle kicked in her hands, and the man’s head snapped backwards.
Then, he bent it forwards again, and looked for the source of the bullet that was now lodged in his skull.
When his eyes met hers Widow shuddered with fear. They were not the eyes of something living.
With ever increasing horror she emptied the cartridge into his chest, then another.
And then another.
And the monster would not die.
He stopped paying attention to her and continued his advance towards Quicksilver.
“Quicksilver, watch out!”

Quicksilver dodged, ducked, and landed another punch on the dog with the red eyes.
It didn’t appear to have any affect.
“Oh well. Back to letting em kill each other I guess” He spun, swerved, and rolled under a paw sweep.
Unfortunately that put him in range of another dog.
As it snapped its jaws at him he leapt upwards and landed on its nose.
He was about to run down its back when he saw the monster that was approaching him.
A man without flesh, without a face. His chest cavity looked to have been recently torn open and pulped, but the muscles were reknitting themselves even as Quicksilver watched.
“Quicksilver watch out!” his radio buzzed, jerking him back to reality.
He leapt forwards just as the dog threw its head back, trying to catch him in its mouth.
It missed.
“Oh lordy. How am I going to deal with a man that cannot die?”
Hmm, hmm. This was when his comics knowledge came in handy.
How did they deal with Wolverine?
Hmm. Don’t think they did.
He rolled down the dog’s back, lashing out with his fists the whole time.
When he reached the end he leapt and landed on the back of another one.
Ok, how did they beat Deadpool?
Oh. Oh!
Cut their oxygen supply.
“Widow, you’ll have to handle the dogs. I’m dealing with big dead and nasty over there”
He didn’t wait for the acknowledged, just jumped off the dog and began running.

Hulk smashed the last of the three dogs. His arms were covered in blood and he had several bites on his chest as well.
The acid was really burning, but he had no time to think about that now.
He stepped forwards, deeper into Buckingham.

Bad Boy stood in the center of the room, looked at the tv screens and smiled.
It was all chaos out there. His chaos.
Cap was fleeing, and fast.
Hulk was advancing into a trap.
Quicksilver was running towards his death.
Black Widow could not advance any further or else she would become one of them, and she was useless from where she was now.
And Thor was walking through the hallways towards the rapidly fleeing Cap.
A small frown there. Not expected. Not quite to plan.
But plans must be adapted!
He turned back to the cameraman “Time to shoot another feature”
He composed himself and looked into the camera.
“Hello again world. I thought that you would enjoy a little update.
“Behind me are the palace security feeds. I thought you would enjoy watching what your heros are doing.
“Look at Quicksilver and Black Widow. Those two cannot even stop my minions. How can they hope to stop my unkillable friend Zombie as well?”
He gestured towards the screen showing the red haired woman and the walking corpse.
“And Hulk? That brutal man who knows no fear? He is walking into a trap even as we speak. And look at him. The poor man is bleeding from many wounds. I doubt he will be able to survive the night.
“And what about Cap you may ask? Where is the hero of this team? The shining example, that paragon of humanity?
“He is running. My associate didn’t even have to do anything more than talk and the comic-book hero wannabe is running scared.
“Your heros are scattered world. So, let me give you another chance. You now have 12 hours to give us what we want. Or we will start killing royalty”
He turned away as the line was cut.
“Tell Zombie to pull back. He’s leaving Fixer wide open. He needs to get back in there and let the dogs deal with the heroes”
He stood in front of the screens and shook his head.
“We have too much invested to lose now”

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