Too Many Heroes – Chapter 4: Showing all the Cards

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Comics, Runaway Writings
Tags: , , , , ,

Too Many Heroes

Chapter Four:

Showing all the Cards

by Arch

 

The chatter in the Null & Void was insufferable.  As with any place where drinking and music are meshed together, it was infuriating.

“Who the hell was that buffoon?”

“Hah, that was the ‘Sparkling Butterfly’ or ‘Razzle-something’.  You want me to kill him?”

Landon Trellix was an aspiring hero.  He very capably carried the physique and the stature of any of the “A-listers”.  Sadly, his reputation as a boy-chaser kept him from the top of the heap, so he was stuck with me as my accomplice, (or minion, take your pick).  I’d met him on the computer venting about his inability to step out of the shadow of the Excalibur’s of the world.  His exploits were indeed heroic, but one grotesque image of him with a minor downgraded his rank to “B-villain” lackey status.  The long, flowing blonde hair past his broad shoulders made him look like a modern day Prince Valiant.  The black shirt that clung to his massive chest and biceps gave the impression that he worked out every minute of every day.  Everyone knew he’d never stepped foot in a gym, let alone pick up a weight.  It was his powers that made men shudder in fear.  It wasn’t hard to decipher why he had been dubbed, “Zenith”.  The man was the pinnacle of physical perfection but clearly came with a flawed mentality.

“It’s of no consequence.  If you want to take a stab at it, what do I care?”  I intoned with slight frustration.

“He was with your pal Artie when “Flashy-pants” went down.” Landon’s stare was trying to tell me something.

“You don’t say?  Well then, I guess we’ll just have to take care of him too.  I didn’t realize our boy Artie could get out of his own way and actually acquire friends.”

“I don’t think that…thing…really knows it has a choice.  It just kind of follows him around like a puppy.”  Mr. Trellix was incapable of saying anything without that little smirk, but I learned to move past it.

Another round of drinks was dropped in front of the four of us.  Dinosaur face and Fire Eel jumped right in, wasting no time in an effort to get inebriated.  As I downed my glass of vodka tonic I noticed the checkered paint on my face smudged and misplaced.  My dirty, black hair disheveled and unruly in front of my eyes.  I couldn’t help but smile as I looked at the man that was, and saw the man I was about to become.

“Are the Cleaners ready?”  I asked Landon while staring at my reflection.

“They’re on the roof.”  They all stared at me as to what I was going to do next.

I put down the glass and leveled my face to the table, looked at the four of my allies with the greatest of pleasure.

“Then we are ready to leave the lower-ranks and ascend to the next-level.  Our days of mixing it up with rank-and-file cops and drunken heroes-in-training are over.  Jason Wylde is dead.  It’s time we introduced the world to Wyldecard.”

**********

Carl and I finally stumbled outside a little after two to find a dark and vacant parking lot in front of us.  Apparently aliens have the scientific capacity to create temporal scanners and interplanetary communicators, but have no tolerance for the drink.  Not three steps outside before Carl showed me his insides.

“That oughta help, mate.  The ol’ puke and rally.  You should be ready for a few more rounds, eh?”  I put his scrawny, misshapen arm over my shoulder and attempted to drag him toward the bus stop, but we didn’t make it very far before we heard the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.  Carl, half-blitzed, looked at me as if he had no comprehension of what was going on.  We turned around to see the roof of the Null and Void packed with the arachnid-esque features of the Cleaners.

“Well this is fuckin lovely.”  I blurted in anticipation of an attack from above, but they didn’t budge.  They just stood on the top of the roof as if staring a hole through our hearts.

“What should we do?”  Carl attempted to sober up and stand on his own but was immediately back in my arms as he stumbled for solid footing.

“Um, do they talk?  Should I say something?”  Elijah was trying to put on a brave face, but the steam was rising under those thick-rimmed glasses.

“Fuck if I know.  Jesus, ok, let’s…um.”  I put Carl’s weight solely on Elijah and started toward the bar once more.

“Um, ok, um…Hello?”  My question went unanswered as the black figures stood motionless and unwavering.

“Um, do you need to speak with us?  We have nothing to hide.”

The door swung open with Rex and Fire Eel leading out Landon and Wylde.  They stopped about twenty feet in front of us.

Wylde paused, looked up and behind him to the roof.  A slight smile began across his face as he turned back to face us.

“Are we interrupting?  It looks as though you were in the middle of an interrogation.”

“We don’t know anything, we didn’t kill Excalibur.”

The smile on Wylde’s face grew wider.  Again he looked back up to the roof.

From behind the Cleaners came a large dark figure.  Clad in his trademark gold and charcoal vest, white undershirt and black cargo pants.  His ebony skin, bald head and glowing eyes left no room for confusion.

Wylde was giddy with pleasure as he announced, “Boys, I believe you’ve heard of Dextratos.”

 

 

Catch up with Too Many Heroes and more great stories below

Too Many Heroes – Chapter One: Didn’t See That One Coming…: http://t.co/s7xwOAu

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