Posts Tagged ‘too many heroes’

“That won’t be necessary.”  Lyssa announced as she was coming to.

“Excuse me?”  Carl was confused.  He wasn’t sure whether to listen to me or the woman who was apparently our hostage.

“Well, let’s think about this.  You’ve figured me out.  I’m a leech.  What possible difference is rope going to make?”

I didn’t like whatever authority I might’ve had being challenged.  I’m also not a fan of people making me look stupid.  This woman was making me feel worthless and doing all this with simply her looks.  “Carl, the rope.”

“You’re not the brightest are you?  I only seek information; I’m not exactly what you’d label a ‘fighter’.”  She gestured at her tight-fitting blue dress that cut off at the knees.  The six-inch heel on her shoes didn’t exactly scream ‘badass’ but this lady was good.  “Feeling inadequate, Artie?  Scrambling for answers as to what you should do now?  I know it all seems a bit confusing but it will all make sense very soon.”  That wry smile caught my attention.  She was starting to piss me off.

“Carl, how long does it take to get some rope?”  I looked back to see that Carl hadn’t moved.  The extraterrestrial just stood there looking at Lyssa and then back at me.

“I agree with her, Arthur.  What good will tying her up do?”

“For fuck’s sake, now you’re questioning me?”  I turned to Elijah, where hopefully, I’d get some assistance with the situation.

“I don’t know Art, she doesn’t exactly require subduing.  Unless, of course, you take her to the bedroom.”  Elijah couldn’t help but chuckle at his own joke.

“Fuck, boys…”  My frustration was taking over.  I didn’t know why, I never wanted to be a leader or in charge of anything.  I’m a nobody, but maybe with the deaths of two of the most beloved superheroes I was hoping to pick up the slack.

“Listen, Shatterproof, is it?  How long have you been a Lesser?  All your life?  Am I correct?  You’ve always wanted to be more, you’ve always wanted what Excalibur and Dextratos had.  Now, let me ask you.  How would you like to take their place?  Become the hero you’ve always dreamed of being.  You, Eli, and your little shiny friend over there can take the reins.”  The woman was persuasive.  Or was it just her captivating hazel eyes that made me think she was persuasive.  Was I even listening?

“No, I…I don’t want this.”

“Arthur, ever since I met you, we’ve talked about being something more.  Pub-hopping and brawls with other Lessers isn’t exactly the “high-life” I came here hoping for.  You are a great human being Arthur Moore, but this is our chance to move up.”  Carl had never been so upfront.  Or so eloquent.  He was right.  We always discussed moving up; we just never knew how to do it.  But taking advantage of death to become heroes wasn’t the path I wanted to take.  Not just deaths, murders.  Have we all forgotten that these men were murdered?

“Wait.  This is wrong.  Carl, we’re not just ‘moving up the ladder’, these men were murdered and no one seems to care.  I want to be a hero, but this isn’t how I want to get there.”  My head fell, confused as to what was going on.  Lyssa was giving me the chance of a lifetime and I was letting it slide.

Lyssa shook her head in vague disappointment.  “That’s too bad, Mr. Moore.”

The warehouse we utilized as a home began to tremble.  It used to store lumber and beams for construction.  When it went under, no one noticed that we’d turned it into our domicile.  The concrete walls were shaking violently; my head was on a swivel looking for an answer to the rumblings going on.  And then it stopped.  Once my bearings were in place I looked to Lyssa on the couch.  She hadn’t moved or changed her expression.  She wore that shit-eating grin proudly.

“Is this your doing?”

I had no time to think.  What I figured for a nuclear bomb dropped through the roof and put me twenty feet into the ground.  While the dust was clearing I saw the massive shadow of the man standing over me.

“I was willing to let you live as a team member, to join our ranks.  Just as well, we needed a patsy.”  Dressed in all-black with a matching cape flowing behind him, the gold eight-sided star wasn’t anything I remembered.

“Oh, hey Landon.  Was that necessary?”  I may not break that easily, but God dammit that hurt.

He grabbed me by the collar on my jacket and pulled me close.  “You should’ve joined me.”

“Joined you?  You’re a bloody pedophile.  And a queer one at that.”  Zenith slammed my face into the wall behind us repeatedly.  Finally, blood began to trickle from nose.  Blood?  I can’t remember the last time I bled.  Kneeling and patting my face for any other issue, I was grabbed again and tossed across the warehouse.  Carl started after Zenith.

“I don’t think so, freak.”  Zenith caught Carl with a golden ray that emitted from his right arm.  Elijah just stood next to Lyssa, who remained undaunted by the situation.  So much for any assistance.  Landon was walking toward me, ferocity in his eyes.  This was a side of Zenith I was unfamiliar with.  “See, here’s the problem.  I fucked up.  I know I fucked up and I tried to fix it.  But no.  Excalibur and Dextratos stood on their pedestals and wouldn’t absolve me of any past indiscretions.  Do you understand now?  It’s my turn at the top.  It was very simple really.  There were just too many heroes.”

Go back to the beginning by clicking that rodent-thingy on this here blue thingy http://wp.me/p1EYy5-27 (is it not blue? ah, christ, this is embarrassing)

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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