Thursday, December 3, 2015


I am officially taking hotfoot off the site, and migrating it over here

Cheers blogger, we had a good run.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Origins 15: Zach

The folder was filled with papers detailing the defenses, manpower, and structural weaknesses. I skimmed through the it, and saw nothing that could even touch me. The strongest thing they had was an anti durability rifle or two, but those were incredibly easy to dodge. I put the papers back down, and cleared my throat. "So what is this? Extraction? Smash and grab?" Jason smiled, and placed a small black disk in the desk. "The files I prepared for you are very good, but they neglect to state one very important thing. Where the base is located. The entire thing in a pocket dimension. Some geek type super got a bit too big for his boots and tried to create an entire universe. He failed, and just created a block of empty ground about the size of a city block. He went crazy, committed suicide, and EZ 'acquired' the portal. It gave them perfect privacy for a lair and an impenetrable defense. Except, for two tiny details. The tech guy was a fan of backups, and I am a fan of double checking. Not only do we have a second portal, he left us this," he said holding up the disc. "It's a dimensional destabilizer. If activated in any pocket dimension, anything or anyone inside will be dumped into the real world. What you're going to do, is bring down almost all of EZ's muscle in one blow. I want you to go in, and plant this somewhere inconspicuous. I put a cloak on it, so no one should see it, but if anyone bumps into it, than the jig is up. After you plant this rob the place. Make a big show of it. Break down walls, throw some goons around, smash windows and take anything that isn't nailed down. After that, do that scary deep slo mo voice and vibrate your whole body like the other speedsters and threaten to come back in one week. Tell them to bring all their valuables, and if they don't there will be hell to pay. Then leave. They won't bring their valuables of course. Instead they willbring their biggest baddest guys. In a weeks time, they'll all arrive and the destabilizer will go off, dumping them directly in front of the Neslon Concert Hall. Incidentally, a week from today a ceromony will be held there for the heroes of our region. Every single cape on the west coast will be in that hall, in costume." 

Oooooh. Nice. 

"Got it?"

"Yep. I'm ready to go. Just got to put my costume on." 

The suit was behind me, crumpled up in my backpack. Flexing my powers, I slowed time and slid myself into the thing. I had to take my shoes off, but the bottom of my feet were protected by extra padding. I adjusted the mask so I could've through the lenses, and let the world speed up. Jason stared at me, blinking. "Did you just change in front of me?" I stuttered, "Uh uh no, I'm wearing my clothes under it, I just had to take my shoes off becau-"

"I was joking." He handed me a massive burlap bag with a metal device taped to it. "This is what my geeks like to call the Santa Sack. The metal box is an anti gravity device, and it makes anything in the bag almost weightless. Put all the stuff you steal in here. I'll add anything you bring back to your pay, which is at base, 1,350 dollars. Understand?"

"Yessir," I smiled. The Asian man opened a door, and we walked through it into a normal looking office room that was completely empty except for a massive purple portal. Unlike most portals it wasn't just a two dimensional hole in the air you could look through. The portal was a whirling three dimensional mass of red, with a pitch black center. It looked like a hurricane on one of those  3D weather simulations flipped on its side. I turned to Jason. "Is it supposed to look like this?" He waved his hand, dismissing me. "It's fine. Interdimensional travel needs a bit more juice than normal portals, expectially if it's moved from its original location. Now get in the damn thing." I gulped, and charged through the whirling mass at top speed.


I floated through a dark tunnel of black, surrounded by a starry sky. The Stars twinkled as they changed color. I don't know how long I was in the portal, but after a while things began to get strange. Once in a while, a section of the stars would be blotted about, by something... Massive. I tried to get a glimpse of the things, but they were too far away. Maybe it was just a figment of my imagination, I wondered, as I reached the end of the tunnel. It deposited me in a damp corridor that smelled of copper, and once I was sure that I was safe, I began to recharge my powers. The power dampener in my head was partially deactivated, but it still managed to hamper my powers. It was like a dam, keeping my full strength in. I could only let out enough to last thirty seconds at my peak, and it took ten seconds to recharge it. Thirty seconds may sound like almost no time at all, but at Mach Eleven, you can accomplish a lot in half a minute. My power restored, I sprinted through a door next to me, punching through it like it was wet paper. On the other side I could see a few goons sitting around a foldable table playing cards. I took their wallets and guns from the table before letting out a small scream in their direction. The shockwave wasn't fast enough to be fatal, but it would seriously hurt in the morning. I searched the rest of the room, found that it was empty, and ran through the wall into the next one. I repeated this process until I found a door that was labeled in a ton of different languages. I searched through the like fifty back nameplates until I found the one in English. It read Danger! Armory!

Oh hell yes, I thought as I tried to open the door. It was locked, so I opened it with a key I looted from one of the mooks I robbed. Inside I could see a very blonde man wearing a white tux. He blinked. Wait, that means he moved. I could see him move. He moved. This guy was fast. He cleared his throat, and spoke with a David tenet style  accent. "Hello! You must be a new recruit! I'm Gamma by the way. May I ask why you were running around and screaming at an ungodly speed?" I smirked under the mask. 
"The names Hotfoot," I said as I slammed a right cross into his annoyingly shiny cheek."Don't mind me. I'll be taking your watch along with a few other things."  Gamma wiped the blood from his face and grinned. "Straight to the point! Not one for the quips are ya? I can dig it."

"I can quip with the best of them Captain Bleach." I lashed out with my right again but he sidestepped the blow. His grin widened, and giant blades of energy crackled to life around his arms like oversized light sabers.  I groaned. "Ok, then. We're doing that." I flung a ball bearing at him, but it went wide and he charged swinging his right saber at my head. I ducked under the crackling triangle hit him in the ribs at over eight thousand miles per hour, sending him sliding back across the room. That meant he was a type one speedster. Type ones survive the insane speeds they move at by somehow manipulating the laws of physics, or ignoring them entirely. Type twos were simply as strong and as tough as most bricks. Type threes, like me, appeared to have super speed, or used some other power that allowed them to simulate the power. This was good news for me since type ones generally survived blows by being faster than them, which in my case he wasn't. My punches hurt a little more than they normally would, but his would probably hit just as hard. Logically I would easily take this fight, but a speedster controlling laser swords logically shouldn't happen either. 

He charged again, and I backed away from him narrowly avoiding the flashing white blades scything through the air in front of me Gamma began to scream as he slashed away. "That HURT!" I flung another ball bearing at him, and it passed through one of the blades and hit his shoulder as a red hot marble. He screamed in rage and pain, before pointing both blades at me. I smirked and began to say "Did that hurt to-" but he caught me off by firing the blades off at me. 


I sidestepped, barely avoiding the blades, and lost my balance. As I sturughled to regain my footing, I was hit in the ear by an enraged Brit. He followed it up with a painful uppercut to my chin. I tasted blood in my mouth, and tried to spit it out forgetting that I was wearing a mask. The blood and spit mixture splattered back over over my lower face, covering it in sickly warm, slimy, and sticky fluid. Ewwwwwww, I thought as Gamma reignited his arm blades and stabbed at my chest. Idodged his blow, which stabbed through the Woden cabinet igniting it. I took another shot at him, and my punch cracked something. It didn't slow him down. I frantically back stepped, sidestepped and ducked under the flurry of bows he sent my way until I felt myself back into a cold metal wall. Gamma laughed maniacally. "Nowhere to run kiddo!" He laughed more as he drove the blade into my chest.

Huh I thought. Is this what getting stabbed feels like? It doesn't hurt much. Yea the suit feels a little hot, but I thought you know, it would hurt more than a punch at least. Oh wait. The heat shielding. Gammas eyes widened as my fist lashed out, breaking his perfect fucking nose. He stumbled backwards, turning the blades off. "That's a pretty nice pair of pajamas you have. Looks like I can't burn it. That's fine. I like brawls just as much as the next guy." He wiped the blood from his face with a handkerchief, and tackled me through a stack of weapons. I landed on my back, dazed and dizzy from the impact. He got up to his knees, and punched me in the face. As if that didn't hurt enough, it crashed my head into the floor which sent a sharp pain shattering throughout my skull. 

He followed it up with a second, which hurt even more than the first, and a third that continued the trend. He tried to go do fourth, but I caught the fist with my left, and hit him with a jab with my right. I grinned, my lips already swelling. "That all you got?" I grabbed his platinum hair, and brought my knee into his nose, destroying the already crushed organ. He fired a blast of energy into my eyes, which the suit absorbed, but the white hot light blinded me. I shook my head as hard as I could, attempting to clear out my vision, but something hard and cold crashed into the side of my head, and I saw even more stars. It hit my leg next, bring me to my knees. He hit me three times before my vision returned. When it did, I saw him swinging a boxy looking gun in a brutal swing to my ribs. Burning pain spread throughout my chest, and I could feel tears on my cheeks as I grabbed the gun from him and crushed this side of his knee with it. He fell to my level, and I started wailing on his head with the gun until he stopped moving, just as my well of power began to run dry.

The world sped up, and I was greeted with a deafening chorus of sonic booms and explosions as the consequences of our fight caught up with the real world. I hit the ground, covering the back of my head with my hands to protect against glass shards which sprayed all over my back. Once the storm subsided, I shook the debris of my back, and began to load up the Santa Sack with weapons and ammo while recharging my power. After I filled the sac up, I turned to leave, and found myself standing face to face with two suits of armor that looked straight out of TRON. I knew what these were. A few years back the geek type superhero Phalanx designed a few sets of armour for police officers. They utilized a sort of celestial energies that most type one speedsters get their powers from to give the wearers super speed, along with the toughness, strength, and weaponry most powered armours bring to the table. Supposedly they were really rare, and dangerous. So, I did the sensible thing. I ran the fuck away. They sprinted after me, crashing through plaster and metal alike. One of them was gaining on me, so I swung the Santa Sack like a club. The bag hit him like an oversized blackjack and he was sent flying. Frantically, I searched for a hiding spot. I couldn't fight these guys without charging up first, and I needed time, which I knew they wouldn't give me. Finally I saw a heavily armored door that was slightly ajar. I bolted through it, and slammed the door shut, locking the thirty padlocks in an instant. I fell to the floor and released my grip on time, breathing heavily. Just then, I heard a cough, followed by a weakened voice.

"You don't sound like Gamma. Who are you?"

I looked up to the source of the voice and nearly threw up. In front of me, was a teenager strapped to a table, covered in burn marks, bruises, and cuts. At least, the healthy parts were. One leg was almost entirely scab tissue, and his hand, oh my god his hand. It was like a burnt hamburger falling off a kebab. The worst part was that his eyes, his eyes were... Gone. Ripped out. Red and black caverns in his face glistening under the white fluorescent lights. He spoke again. "Who. Are. You. You guys know I'm not going to crack, and you can't afford telepathy strong enough to break me." The second he finished talking, the door began to creak , as if something on the other side were trying to push it open. "My name is uh, Hotfoot. I'm not with these guys. I'm robbing them. Who are you?" He laughed. "I go by Maximum. I'm a cape who got a little bit unlucky. Could you lend me a hand? No pun intended." 

"Uh sure. Can you stand?" I unfastened his bonds, and helped him to the ground.

"I'm fine. Now, I know you have guns in that bag. Hand me the biggest one you can find, and help me turn this table into cover. From the sounds of it, we might have to fight our way out. What are we facing?" The door caved in a little bit more. I helped flip the table on its side, and turned to Maximum. "Wait, how can you tell I have a bag, and that I have guns in it?" He tapped his forehead. "My br-teammate installed sonar in my head that would kick in if I was blinded. He probably designed it for dark rooms or flash bangs and nothing this intense, but it works." I handed him a massive boxy weapon that glowed green and had nasty looking spikes all over it. He grabbed it with his good hand and crouched behind the table, using it as support for the huge weapon. "Two speedster suits, I forget their actual names. They probably got reinforcements though. You ready?" He looked at me with his creepy (lack of?) eyes and smirked. I nodded and turned back to the door. 

"Okay then. I'm taking that as a yes. I'm opening the door in 




Monday, November 16, 2015

Origins 14: Zach

 The blonde girl from the other day stood in front of my door and blocked all attempts to gain entry. She refused to budge, even when I said the magic word. I stopped trying to push past her, crossed my arms, and stared at her, returning her frown. She was wearing a ratty white sweatshirt and jeans. Her strawberry blond hair was tied up in a ponytail, which really highlighted how round her face was. Her frown only made it worse. Not that she was ugly, it just kinda stuck out. She had big eyes, which looked kinda wierd on that volleyball of a head. She recrossed her arms, and blew a strand of her hair out of her round face, twisted into an even deeper frown. 
"Explain everything. Now."
Fuck fuck fuck. Improvise Zach.

"I can't. Classified." 

"I've never heard of a hero with your powers in Roosevelt City, yet here you are. Also, if you're a hero, why do you work at Comcast?"

"I'm a um, transfer from the philly team, and secret identity duh." 

"New heroes in town are announced publicly, to avoid the public and police confusing them for a villain. I haven't heard anything about you."

Ok, I thought. I got this. 

"Can we go inside for a second? What I'm about to say next is pretty incriminating, and I wouldn't tell you at all, except I'm afraid you'll tell the authorities and blow my cover."  

She nodded and followed me in. I motioned for her to shut the door behind us, which she did, and sat down. 

"I'm deep undercover. I'm working for the government in a sting operation to bag some of the worst villians in the city. If you repeat this to anyone, I will die, you will die, your family will die, and probably a large amount of our neighbors will go down too. Can I trust you, or will I have to get you mind wiped?"

"You can trust me. Uh, sir."  I faked a laugh, and said, "No need for the formalities. Zach will do fine." I held my hand out, and she shook it. "Jessica." I looked at her confused for second before she uncomfortably laughed in an annoyingly high pitch and said, "My name. It's Jessica." Shit that was awkward. I returned her laugh and eked out an apology for my idiocy, which she accepted with another high pitched laugh. I winced, which she thankfully didn't notice. "Also I'm sorry. I lied about Eric. I can't arrest him now since I'm undercover. I did leave an anonymous tip though. I guess we'll hope for the best, and they'll find something incriminating." They wouldn't, since I didn't leave that tip, but she couldn't find out right? She sighed, "I understand. I just have one request." Uh oh, I thought. No good has EVER come from that sentence. She giggled, and splurted out "Showmeyourpowers."

"What?" I'm fast, but that was crazy. 

"Sorry. Show me your powers. After that I'll leave you alone." In panicked, and did what I do best. Lied. 

"Sorry I can't. They're uh, really draining. I'll show you sometime next week. Maybe Monday. I'm busy till then."

"Fine." She turned and slammed the door behind her. Once I was sure she had left I grabbed a Coke from my mini-fridge and collapsed onto my ratty couch. That was close. A week in, and my supervillian career nearly ended. I don't know how long I sat on the couch stressing over what could have gone wrong, but I woke up that morning slumped over on the couch, staring at a half empty bottle on the floor. I groaned, and forced myself to my feet. My cheap watch said it was 9:35, Sunday morning. That gave me about two hours to get ready for the psych evaluation.

I collapsed back on the couch and took a swig of the Coke. It was soflat and warm that it tasted like pure syrup. Still better than the only other beverages I had, dirty tap water or booze.

 My shower water was cold again, so I settled for a quickie followed by forty minutes of shivering on the toilet seat wrapped up in every towel I own swearing an eternal blood fued on my neighbors and landlord. After that pitiful display, I brushed my teeth with that useless stuff that says it whitens, but really only tastes like shit, and debated shaving. My razor was more weapon than grooming tool, and whenever I tried to use it, I looked like an army of murderous gerbils had attacked my face.

Fuck it I thought. Have to look professional. In preparation I put on enough shaving cream to make me look like a demented Santa Claus, and went to work. I managed to get about a quarter of my five o'clock shadow before what felt like sand paper ripped of a section of my skin. " YOU MOTHERFUCKER!" I shouted as I chucked the razor as hard as I could, embedding the soft plastic in my bathroom wall. I was a fucking super villain. Why did it have to hurt so much? 

A Few Hours Later

So their I was. Sitting there in one of those therapist chairs I hated, with a face half covered in stubble and a tissue taped to my cheek. Cursing myself I thought, Seriously Zach, how could you have forgotten to buy band aids? 

"Ahem." Jason cleared his throat. "Could you please answer the question?"

"Sorry, I was just a bit confused. You want to know my what?"

"Your ambition. Like, what you want to do. Your endgame."

"I uh, dunno. Make a lot of money and retire to a mansion in the mountains?"

He looked to a small Asian man who stood to his left, who nodded. Every time he asked a question the man either nodded or shook his head. I assumed he was a mind reader from the way he glared at me when I thought gross thoughts on purpose. After every question he would either shake his head or nod, and it seemed to affect the amount Jason wrote on his papers. I noticed he shook his head whenever a question about my family came up. Apparently "Fine. I don't know when I'm going to see them next, and I don't care," was a lie. Or he was a shitty lie detector. I contemplated for a moment, and decided that he was a shitty lie detector. He glared, and I thought of the most inappropriate thing I could think of. He stifled a gag, then glared at me harder, causing me to laugh. Jason whipped his head around to look at me and quickly attempted to cover it up with a cough. He stared at me for a second, shook his head then continued.

"Ok good. You don't know how many times I've had to turn people away for wanting to avenge their father, or take over the world. Honestly, it's like half the metahumans in the world have some ridiculous scheme, and are just using this organization as a springboard for their own personal lives. I only accept the money type like you, or those God awfully annoying "I'm going to be the best" types. They end up being the hardest workers, and are fairly easy to predict." He shuffled through a few papers, before smiling in relief. "Final question." 

"Finally!" The ordeal was over! I had been answering his questions for over an hour.

"What would you die for?" 

Who asks that kind of question?

"Taco and Tequila Tuesday at South of the Border. I would never allow myself to stand by and let that beautiful night of cheap booze and great food."

"Seriously please."

"No dude, the tacos are actually pretty good." 

The Asian man began to nod but Jason whipped his head around and gave him the evil eye, cutting it short. 

"Another joke, Mr Browne, and this interview will be over."

"Don't tempt me," I muttered. "That's a tough question. I guess probably for my friends or people who are really close to me. Or if a ton of people are gonna die. At least I like to think I would. We never really know what we'll do until it happens, really." The Asian man shrugged, and Jason made a check mark on his last paper. "Alright. That's about it." He hit a button on the left side of his chestnut desk and spoke into it saying "Katie, could you come in here with the mission files?" The desk beeped, and he sat back in his chair expectantly. 

After a few moments, an attractive blonde woman wearing a pink polo shirt that was WAY to small for her. I know we were gangsters, and a lot of us wore colorful costumes but really. We had to have at least some workplace standards.

 I decided to complain to HR, but then laughed at myself. Super villain HR. How would that go?

Führer, can you at least recognize that DOOMman, as a Jewish male, is slightly offended by your remarks. It's perfectly understandable for him to complain to your overlord about racial comments when all you do is make speeches about racial purity. Now, now, I get that you have a right to cleanse and speak your mind, we are Americans after all, but please keep the political views at home, ok?

I snorted again, which no one noticed, thankfully. Jason thanked the woman, who I saw had Katy on her name tag and handed a Manila folder to me. "In here is your first mission. Read up on it well, because robbing an EZ compound is no easy task."

Origins 13: Harry

Harry knew something was wrong from the start. No one was guarding the outdoors, and Drakks info sounded iffy. Why would one of the most valuable formulas in the world be held here, in a lightly guarded warehouse, instead of like, anywhere else? There was some merit to the idea that EZ were idiots, which was a hypothesis supported by past evidence, but no one was that stupid. He continued to mull the idea over, while looking back the lights of Roosevelt City. 

He still couldn't believe that this massive, New Hampshire sized landmass off the coast of California was manmade. It really put his "genius" inventions to shame didn't it? "Hey Max," Harry said over the communicator. "How's it going?" No answer. "Max?" Silence. "Maaaaaaax." Nothing. "MAX! ANSWER GODDAMNIT!" He didn't. Harry activated the teleporter built into the drone and teleported fifty feet closer to the ground, activating his propulsion engines in the shoes, which rocketed him to the ground at supersonic speeds. The Phalanx drone smashed through the roof and the second floor, before sticking the landing on the concrete of the main storage area. He flipped on the speakers and shouted "MAXIMUM!" 

The only reply was his echo.  He began to shout again, but a but of lightning crashed against the drones force field, illuminating the cavernous, dark, wet, and empty warehouse for the briefest of moments revealing five men and six women standing in a circle around him. Shields are at 98% the HUD read. Harry flipped the night vision switch and hit the loudspeaker, " Where. Is. Maximum." 

A few of the people laughed. A massive man, who appeared to be more demon than human stopped laughing just long enough to say, " I thought at least three Paragons would be here. It's just this guy? No one else?"

Harry narrowed his eyes. This was a setup from the beginning. "No one else."

"Well I guess I can tell you since your not gonna be able to do anything about it. Gamma has him."

Meg Stone, a.k.a. Amygdala, woke up in a cold sweat. She was having a peaceful dream, when the most powerful wave of emotion she had ever witnessed seeped through the walls of her mind. It was red, red like anger, or rage, but those words couldn't describe it. The black of fear mixed with dark green disgust and grey failure floated in the sea of red, like little spots on a Dalmatian of emotion. It felt like the raw hate for life she felt when an animal was eaten by a predator, except billions of times stronger. 

A slaughterhouse would have been a mere drop in the ocean that was this red. It drowned out the usual chatter she heard coming from her teammates, covering the world in a dark blood red that made life itself seem like an unforgivable sin. She frantically probed out with her mind attempting to find the source of the red, and to her surprise it was coming from a few rooms down. Harry's room. Meg jumped out of bed, and kicked open the door to find Harry plugged into the neural interface that allowed him to control the Phalanx drones, a dark black sun in the red void that was his room. < HARRY>  she shouted mentally. <WHATS GOING ON?> 

His words, wreathed in dark, so dark, almost brown red came through as a deafening roar, even though he only was whispering. <Gamma took Max. Call for a search.> 

Meg, now exuding a similar aura of red nodded, and mentally contacted every super in the city.

His hand trembling with white hot rage, Harry hit the communication button connecting him with his superiors. He left the loudspeakers on so the men and women around him could hear. 

"Phalanx reporting in. Maximum is MIA, most likely captured by the EZ assassin Gamma. Activate the Phalanx operation, and give the unmanned armor full permission to do whatever is necessary to rescue Maximum. I will stay here to investigate the ten corpses I see strewn across the warehouse."

Harry looked around, struggling to control himself and formulate a plan.  His brother was probably gone forever now, but he'd be damned if it made him dumb. His Phalanx drones was designed to fight gangs of supers, and this one didn't seem like anything special. The drone was incredibly versatile, and was listed as a Class 6 threat, which meant he could comfortably take out a team of fifteen Class Fives, each of them able to decimate the better part of an army. He was confident his current load out of a teleporter, hard light, projecter, shield, laser and force beams, and a few hellfire misses could take them.

The villians looked around at each-other nervously.

"Did he say corpses?" 

"Is he going to..." 

Harry interrupted them.

"Yes. Ten of you.  I'll leave one alive, on the condition that they tell me where my bro-t-teammate is."

A black man with a German accent stepped forward. 

"You're bluffing. You can't kill us all intentionally. That's illegal. Besides you couldn't even take us."

Harry responded by creating a portal in front of the drone's fist that opened behind the head of man who had just spoken, and launching a full force haymaker through it. The blow connected with a sick crunching noise and launched the villain across the floor, landing at the drones feet. A glistening trail of blood was left behind him. Harry activated the hard light projector, creating a giant sky blue blade around his right arm and stabbed it through the fallen man's back, killing him instantly. He withdrew his blade, but not fast enough to avoid a woman with short blond hair and a manlike face flying through the air at him, fists extended.

She crashed through a hard light projection he created and tackled the drone with the force of a high speed train, cracking his shields visibly. Armor shields are at 65% the HUD chirped. Harry grunted in pain, the neural feedback system translating damage in the suit into pain he could feel, than covered her ears with his palms and fired anti tank grade lasers through her skull. 

She died instantly. Her friends attacked, not even giving him time to push for the limp body off of the drones chest. The man leading the charge had grown several yards in height and width, and was shrugging off every palm blast Harry sent his way. Alright then, Harry thought. Time to bring out the big guns. The "T" shape in the front of his Spartan helmet glowed an even brighter shade of red, before launching a massive force beam able to punch a battleship in half directly into his chest, sending him flying backwards and bowling through his allies. It still wasn't enough. 

The tide of villians reached him, and he felt his shield steadily deplete from the barrage of punches, energy beam, fire and electricity they were sending his way. In a few seconds he would be overwhelmed. Good thing he wasn't there anymore. In a flash of purple he disappeared, and reappeared right behind a green haired woman who was firing electricity wreathed plasma blasts. She never even saw who snapped her neck. Harry raised his palms and began firing indiscriminately into the backs of the crowd of supervillians before him, killing what looked to be two. Harry prepared to fire his force blast again, but a titanic fist smashed into him from behind, sending him flying over the villians heads and nearly emptying his shield reserves. The blue field surrounding his armor was more crack than energy now.  When he landed, he came face to face with a man clad in incredibly over complicated black armor wielding an impossibly huge war hammer. 

The armored man slammed the hammer down onto the drone, shattering the shield and forever teaching Harry how it felt to be in the receiving end of whack a mole. He forced the hammer off of him with a blast of hard light, and swung a right cross as hard as he could, his fist crushing the man's helmet. Instead of flying backward or losing his head like he should of, the man only fell backwards. His armor must weigh tons, Harry thought, as he curb stomped the man repeatedly. After the man's neck was suitably crushed, Harry turned around to face the rest of the villians, and picked up the massive war hammer left by its now dead owner. The remaing five stood twenty feet from him, the giant and demon man shielding a wounded woman with white hair. Harry smirked and beckoned to them with his free hand.

"Come get some."

A screaming blond man charged, firing red lasers out of his hands, eyes, and mouth, but he was splattered like a bug against the windshield of the car sized hammer Harry swung, roaring in his blind rage. Panting, he looked up and saw the giant standing a few yards in front of him, steam coming out of his open mouth. Harry swung the hammer with both hands in a devastating swing amped by his propulsion boots, but the giant caught it with one hand. He laughed and crushed the massive bloodstained hammer like a giant tin can.

 Harry tried to back away and build a hard light wall, but the giant kicked through the blue shield as if it were paper and punted Harry through the roof. Harry cursed. The internal gyroscope and hard light projecter had been crushed by the kick, which from the looks of it, caved the armor's chest plates in. This was all his fault. He got his brother killed, and now he was going to let them get away with it.


He was Harry Sullivan. He did not fail, and now, he did not have mercy. 

Harry shook the tears out of his eyes and created a portal behind him that led directly back to the hole he flew out of, turning his movement away from the fight into speed he could use as an attack. He blasted the giant man with his force beam, and boosted by his boots and the fall, the drone punched through the man's giant head, splattering brain, bone, and blood all over the warehouse, now lit by assorted fires caused by both him and the EZ villians he fought. Harry pulled himself from the blood soaked crater he landed in and fired a missle at two villains who were standing close to the corpse behind him, drowning one in napalm. The other leapt from the flames only to be met with a force blast that took her head off. That left the demon and the girl.

 He turned to them and began limping toward them, favoring the hip that wasn't crushed by the giant's kick. The demon backed away, stuttering, "Y-Y-your a monster!"

Harry laughed. It was cold, without a trace of mirth, or even life for that matter.

"Monster? You want to talk monsters?"

Harry boosted forward and shoulder checked the demon into the ground, shattering the concrete even more. The demon hit back when they landed, tearing half of the suits face off. He tried breathing fire, but the flames just washed over the blood soaked beseker on top of him. 

"You didn't just condem a man to die."

He head butted the demon, breaking off one of his horns and denting the already destroyed helmet. 

"You gave him to sadistic FUCK who gets off on torture!"

Harry tried to punch the demon again, but the wild punch was caught by the ma, who crushed the fist.

"You took him away from me. HE WAS ALL I HAD LEFT!" 

The demon ripped off the arm, and kicked Harry off of him. He tried to use the arm as a club to beat Harry with, but Harry caught it and wrenched the limb out of his hands, before striking the demon in the face hard enough to draw blood. 


Harry slammed it into the demon again, breaking his nose and forcing him to his knees.


Harry swung it as hard as he could, bringing the demon to the floor.


He swung again. CRACK


And again. CRUNCH



Harry turned his attention away from the demon-like corpse and toward the pixieish white haired girl who was frantically limping away. She picked up the pace when she saw the blood soaked death machine striding purposefully toward her, but she tripped and fell. Harry picked her up by the throat and whispered "Where. Is. My. Brother?" She screamed. "I don't know! I honestly don't know. They implanted a thousand false memories into me. I can't give you the answer, please. Just let me live."
Harry fought the urge to throttle the girl and put her down. "Listen close and listen well," he growled, "you were knocked unconscious by an explosion, and I found you. You have no idea how and why your friends died. You say anything to the contrary, and I swear to god your death will be painful."

She nodded, with tears in her big eyes. He turned to walk away, but she said, "Wait, Maximum is your brother?" 

Shit, Harry thought. He whipped around, picked the girl up and snapped her neck with his remaining hand. 

Her body fell, lifeless. And with her so did his anger. His baby brother Max, the bright eyed boy he knew was gone. He would never marry, never have kids, and never get that drivers license he kept putting off. His dreams were gone, and so was him. Max was gone, and it was Harry's fault. Max was dead, and no amount of corpses could change that. He fell to his knees and a wail of rage, grief and guilt escaped his lips, followed by muffled sobs and the sound of him hitting the drones head against the floor over, and over, and over desperately trying to make the pain go away. 

It didn't work.

Half an hour later, Harry composed himself, set the suit to self destruct to wipe away all the evidence, and called dispatch. 

"Suit compromised. Had to self destruct. Area secure."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Origins 12: Max

I was lead through a portal at gunpoint into a dark and coppery smelling corridor. The second the portal closed, someone behind me kicked my legs out from under me, and pressed the barrel of his rifle to the back of my neck. "Take the guns off your arms slowly. Make one dumb move and I'll blow your head off," he commanded. I did as he asked, and he congratulated me on my job well done  with a kick to my side. The suit stopped most of the blow, but I could feel his steel toed boots dig into my ribs. He definitely wasn't a vanilla human. Great, I thought to myself. The chances of my escape have dropped even further. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I heard the mouselike man call out "Gamma! I need a wee bit of help cracking a can open. C'mere," and in a blinding blur of white light my worse fears were realized.

 In front of me, stood an unrealistically tall and thin man in a white suit with a green tie. He had platinum blonde hair, a Robert Downey Jr. mustache, and his eyes were a brilliant white. It was THAT Gamma. The evil speedster who could control lasers one. The Sadistic Brit. EZ enforcer. Torturer and mass killer. He had gone up against our resident speedster, Relativity, multiple times, and due to their near identical powers every single fight ended in a draw. He raised his right index finger, smiled, and white light formed into a blade around it. He knelt next to me, and used the blade to cut through my armor like a hot knife though butter. Once my helmet was off, something hard and cold smashed into the back of my head and I lost consciousness. 

When I awoke, I was strapped down on a white operating table. The room was all completely clean and of course, all white. In front of me stood Gamma, the rodent-like man a few feet behind him on his cell phone. I immediately tried to play possum, but it was too late. Gamma smiled, than instantly appeared an inch from my face leaving a white blur behind him. 

"Good Morning Max," he purred. I forced myself to look him in the eye. 

"H-how do you know my name?"  He grinned again. 

"My associate here is a telepath. Don't worry, he can only read the surface parts of someone's brain, so all of your secrets are safe. You also need not worry about any mental damage either, for all he can put in someone's brain are false memories, for example, a memory of the files being stored in a heavily guarded warehouse instead of here, in a certain dragon man I've heard you met. Only with their consent, of course. Implanting memories in unwilling subjects is...messy. Anyways, your mind will remain as clean and pristine as the day you were born. In regards to your body however, I cannot promise a thing. It all hinges on whether you be a good guest or not. Can you be a good guest little Maximum?"  

I nodded as if to agree, but I knew he was lying. I wasn't getting out of this alive. If I was lucky my death would be quick. I really didn't know how about that. I felt too young, I thought, but then again kids die all the time right?  At least I accomplished something with my life. I never got to go to the Caribbean, which stunk. Dying a virgin sucked a lot too. If only I got more than a year over the legal age. I could have done away with the secret identity thing altogether and live as a Superhero Playboy like my brother. Poor Harry. He's gonna blame himself. I wish I could tell him it wasn't his mistake. I just got unlucky that's all. I wondered if my identity would be made public, or if my body would even be found. I really hoped there was an afterlife. Then again, oblivion would be better than hell. Oh god, it would suck if hell was real. Wait, wasn't Jack Fate magic? Didn't he summon demons? Yeah, The Prince did too. I should have asked Ja-

"Hellooooooooo! Anybody home? Don't tell me you've gone mad already? We've barely even started!" 

Gamma slapped me. It hurt, but the pain grounded me. It brought my thoughts back to earth. "Now I'm betting you've heard my reputation right?" 

I stared him in the eye, unblinking. The mouse-like man looked up from his phone. "My friend asked you a question," he growled, "Are you gon answer it?"

 I tried to spit at him, but my mouth was so dry that almost nothing came out, and the bit that did didn't even reach his feet. Gamma's smile faded, and an instant later he appeared next to me, a laser covered finger impaling the center of  my right hand. At first I didn't feel it, but nearly an instant later it hit me with its full force, and I screamed in agony, spewing every single obscenity in the book, and probably creating a few along the way. It felt like being stabbed, except every single bit of the blade was hotter than anything I'd ever felt before. "White hot burning pain" didn't even begin to describe it. My hand burst into flames, and it wasn't just my outer skin. The white fire spread through my muscles and bone as if they were kindling, but mercifully it stopped at the wrist. The worst part was that the blade felt like it was expanding after the flame had spread, incinerating the already burned flesh. I vaguely remember wondering why my nerves weren't dead yet, until I saw the telepath grunting, as if he were lifting something heavy. After almost five minutes of this Gamma began to twist the blade, wiggling it around the inside of my hand, turning the already ruined appendage into a nearly shredded hunk of charred meat, barely hanging on to the charcoal that used to be bones. 

I don't know how long this single act of retribution lasted, but by the time it was over I had fallen unconscious from the pain twice. Each time my host graciously woke me up by stabbing me in different parts of the hand. Even after Gamma withdrew the bland from the near charcoal falling off my forearm, and the fires died, the pain burned bearly as strong. I kept screaming, which seemed to annoy Gamma, who appeared in front of me and forced my mouth to close with both hands. "Shut up. If I hear you talk without being spoken to, I'll start cutting off toes," he growled, without a shred of the politeness he pretended to have just a few minutes ago. I forced my mouth shut, clenching my teeth together as hard as I could to try and alleviate some of the pain.

 "Now back to what I was saying, I have a reputation as a torturer. That is true. Some say I'm a very good torturer however, which is just plain false. I'm very good at inflicting pain of course, but pain isn't always what breaks a man. You are a fantastic example. I could cut you up all day, which would just make you resent me more, and less likely to talk. But, Christian here," he said pointing to the mouse-like man, "is special. He can get inside people's heads! Finding everything out, without even laying a finger on anybody! Fancy that! Thing is, that wretched bitch," he spat probably referring to Meg, "set up a couple a walls keeping him away from all the goodies. He can still see your surface mind, but it's more like looking through a window than kicking the door in and having a peek. That's where our teamwork comes in. He looks around till he finds some sort of pain your afraid of, I torture you till the answer were looking for bubbles up to the surface where Christain can see. Kapiche? Now I'm giving you one chance to avoid all this unpleasantness. Tell me every security code you know. The ones for your secret base, all your weapons systems, the database, communications, even your fucking lunch number. I want them all."

I bit down another scream as the pain stabbed at me again, and began to tell him what I knew.

"I don't have the codes on me for security reasons. All of them are changed every forty-eight hours, and the way you can find out new ones is by going to the pharmacy on Washington Ave. You go up to the cashier, say twelve three eighteen, ask for a little blue pill called viagra and use it to go fuck yourself you sadistic cousin fucking cunt." I spat on him again, this time hitting him square on the cheek. Gamma smirked, wiped the spit off of him with a handkerchief, knelt down to my left shin, and began cutting bits of flesh off.  

The torture lasted what must have been two days. After the first one, they stopped cutting and stabbing me, and started water boarding and sound torture. I'm still proud that the only two words I said during that period were fuck, and you. Exclusively in that order. When they took meal breaks, or went to bed I stayed up, working at my bonds with my good hand. I was making some real progress, but early in the morning of the third day Christian and Gamma walked into the room, holding nothing but an ice cream scoop.

"Good news Maxy! You're an incredibly tough nut to crack. Last night when we were brainstorming things to do to you, we came to the conclusion that nothing was going to work. We've cut, stabbed, burned, flayed, water boarded, hell, we blasted the meow mix song as loud as we could into your ear for hours, all while keeping your hand dunked in salt water. Christian said that you'd die before telling us anything, and I'm betting he's right. So, we were going to put a bullet in your head and dump you in the ocean, but that's kind of wasteful isn't it? Just then I had a great idea. Are you aware of the phrase 'Sending a message?'" He twirled the scoop in his hands, absentmindedly as I continued to free my hand, "I'm letting you go, but you've got to pay for your stay here. I'll go broke if I let people stay here for free! That's no way to run a hotel. I say, since you stayed two nights, I take two things." He held up the ice cream scoop, and touched the tip with a laser sheathed hand. I furiously wiggled my hand, and managed to get it halfway free. The scoop heated up, the grey metal turning bright orange in his hand. Oh my god, I thought as I freed my hand, He's going to- My train of thought was interrupted by the loss of sight in my left eye, followed by the worst pain I have ever experienced, including the last two days of torture. It was like had carved my eye ou- oh my god, I thought as I saw a bloody hunk of meat and ooze bubbling and boiling in the scoop. He did. He flicked his wrist, sending my boiling hot severed eyeball flying onto my face, which burned almost as badly as his knife. Gamma laughed at my screams and moved in for the other eye, this time moving at normal speed.

The last thing I ever saw was his crazed grin.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Origins 11: Max

It took me a few minutes to find and put on the lightly armored urban camo suit. It gave me no physical bonus, and only had two wrist mounted weapons, but a propulsion pack could be attached to the back, it could comfortably stop a few AK47 rounds, and it had top notch stealth systems. I put the helmet on, grabbed a pack off the wall and sprinted down the corridor leading to HQ's helipad. As I passed the rec room I saw Chúhúlain playing pool with Battle Scorpion. I waved to the six foot eight red headed madman who flashed a gleaming smile and shouted something back in his nigh incomprehensible accent.A few seconds later when I passed the pool, I heard a deafening voice in my head. <GOOD LUCK MAX!>

<Thanks Meg> I thought back. Meg, a.k.a. Amygdala was our resident telepath and telekinetic. She also was a kickass lawyer, single mom, and cook. Finally I reached the helipad where a Harry Drone awaited me. "Let's go" cracked over the radio. I hit the earpiece button and said "Affirmative, Harry. "

"It's Phalanx now that we're in costume."

"You're supposed to say over. Over."

"Shut up nerd. Over."

I laughed and shot up into the sky, and over our floating fortress before speeding off into the night sky towards my target. It was a warehouse situated on the west coast of the island, and seemed really run down, until I activated my heat sensors and saw dozens of signatures patrolling inside and below the dark grey building.  I hit the radio switch and whispered "I'm going in. Over" The Phalanx drone next to me nodded before teleporting fifty feet up into the clouds in a flash of dark purple. I turned off the propulsion packs engines and glided onto the roof. I was tempted to ask Harry how wings only two feet long could keep me from falling to my death, but I was sure the answer would be 'Super Powers Baby!' I clicked a button on my thigh and the pack slided off me noiselessly, before the suit became almost indistinguishable from my surroundings. I casually walked up to the edge of the roof
 and swung off onto a fire escape. When I landed, I surveyed my surroundings and almost instantly saw an open window. Score! I slid through it, and found myself in a dark office, filled with cardboard boxes and scattered papers. I flicked on on the electromagnetic spectrum detector in the suit, attempting to find the flash drive. If Drakk had been telling the truth, which according to Meg he definitely had been, EZ was storing a file on how to create meta humans somewhere in this building. They most likely planned on selling it to Samjoko who was one of the most powerful villains in the world. He had already conquered all of east Asia, both Koreas, and nearly half of China. Ever since his defeat in 2003, he had been growing his meta human army, The Little Gods, in power. This formula would easily give him the manpower to attempt an invasion of Japan, and then to our our little man-made island Roosevelt City. I couldn't let that happen. I turned off the scanner just in time to see a red blob of heat on my thermals heading down the hallway into my little office. As quietly as I could I snuck behind the little bit of cover the open door provided, and put my finger on the trigger of the silenced HIGEPS on my left arm. The second he walked in, I sprang out, covered his mouth with my right arm, kicked the gun out of his hands and fired two shots directly inbetween his eyes. He started to fall to the ground, thrashing all over the place, but I caught him and lowered the guard slowly to the ground, and waited for the sedatives to kick in. After a full minute of muted screams and weak struggling he finally gave in. I dragged the body behind a desk, and covered it with cardboard boxes before moving on to the next room. Nothing. Then the next. Nothing. This went on, until every room on my floor was checked, and  about four unconscious bodies were creatively hidden in various places around the area. I didn't like it but my only option was to head downstairs into the main storage area. If it was anything like the warehouses I trained in there would be very little cover in too much open space. I waited in the stairwell for a nearby guard to pass out of sight, and snuck in, avoiding lights, and sticking behind crates whenever possible. When I was about halfway through the main room, a blinding light filled my vision, before the suit automatically filtered the extra light out. When my vision returned at least so what to normal, I found myself staring down the barrel of a giant spotlight, helmed by a small mouselike man wearing a brown suit. He was flanked by about twenty henchmmen, and two costumed ones who I presumed to be metas. One was almost seven feet tall and had somewhat shark like looks, with caucasian skin that had a slight grey tint, and a wide mouth filled with sharp teeth. The other was an asian woman with glowing neon eyes wearing a black leather suit with neon highlights. She grinned at me, and her hands erupted into you guessed it, the same shade of neon flame. "Well well well," went the man in the brown suit in a cockney accent. "Looks like a super fell for our trap!"

Oh shit.

I hit the communicator button on the side of my helmet and shouted "BACKUP, NOW!"

No response.

"Aww, is the little man calling for help? I'm afraid no one is going to hear your pitiful screams besides us Maximum. Now boys, load him into the van and let's get going. I think a few of our bosses would be pre-tty excited to have a chat with a member of the Paragons."

"Okey boss!" said a guard in a heavy Slavic accent. He smiled, then jogged toward me holding out a pair of handcuffs. I lifted my left arm and shot him in the face. The orange goo exploded all over him, and he convulsed before collapsing to the ground, screaming bloody murder. I shot him two more times in the back of the head, before finally kicking him in the temple, cutting off the screams and leaving the room deadly silent for a few seconds. Unfortunately it didn't last. The asian woman charged, but I sidestepped the flaming punch and caught her wrist before slamming my palm into her elbow, nearly breaking it in half. Instead of giving up like any sane person would at that point, she growled and swung at me again. I ducked under her wild swing, slammed my armored fist into her throat as hard as I could, and brought a knee into her ribs with enough force to crack them. I let go of her, and she crumpled like a marionette without its strings. Shark man stepped up to plate next, bull rushing me with his teeth bared.  I dodged to the left, and stomped on his knee as hard as I could. Unfortunately it didn't break as dramatically as it was supposed to, and only seemed to fracture a little bit. Shark Man must of had increased durability. Nothing I couldn't handle, however. Even after his injury Sharky managed to turn around to face me, balancing on his good leg. He roared, and I rewarded his effort by shooting him multiple times in the mouth, stuffing the cavern with orange goo. Judging by the noises he made it didn't tast good. I turned to face the rest of the henchman with my hands raised in a martial arts stance.
I smirked, and shouted "Who's next?"

They responded by pointing their guns at me.

I slowly raised my hands over my head.

Why couldn't they attack one at a time like fair henchmen?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Origins 10: Max

One Day Later:

"This is ridiculous Max. Your ribs were nearly sticking out your back yesterday, and now you want to go on a solo raid on EZ. Without your suit."

I sighed. Harry could be really stubborn sometimes. "You're making it out to be something bigger than it is." 

"No, I don't think I am. What if you run into someone you can't beat?"

"There's always a chance of that even if I have my suit."

"Yea, but it's a hell of a lot bigger chance without it! Why can't you just wait twelve hours for the suit to be fixed?"

"Because in five hours they're gonna find out we got Drakk to talk, and they're gonna move the info, which will be lost forever, at least until they sell it to god knows who. Trust me, if they sell it to who I'm thinking they're going to sell it to, we won't want to see the results"

"Ok, fair point. If they get away, Samjoko will probably get the formula, and his Little God Army will be an actual army, not just a single regiment. Why can't any of out other heroes, who aren't missing vital tools, do this job?"

"If we go in guns blazing, they will instantly transfer the files to another safe house and sprint the fuck off leaving us with only a few grunts to arrest. We need to be discreet since our fast guys like Power, Bellator, and Relativity are all currently busy, and we can't get them to speed in and steal the file before arresting them all. Chulúlain doesn't understand the concept of 'sneak', and as capable of a super Amygdala is, she isn't cleared for stealth missions. Battle Scorpion happens to be an eight foot tall laser shooting bug man, so I think some people might notice him, and I don't even have to say why your stealth drone is out of the question." 

A month ago the invisibility function failed directly in front of a seventy tonner named Bonebreaker and his small army of thugs on his private yacht. The suit is still on the bottom of the pacific, ripped into two pieces. He had a few backups, but Harry was not in a rush to use them.

"Fair point, but why can't we get the Moppers to raid the compound?"

"A Mopper operation in the middle of the city? Do you WANT an island wide panic?"

"What I want, Max, is for my brother not to get himself killed. Now, as your superior, I am telling you to take the day off, you suicidal idiot. I'll call one of the other teams. Maybe Action Heroes, or West Coast Justice, or I dunno maybe some seniors from the Meta Training Program could do it."

"Are you fucking serious? You'd pick one of those kids over me?"

"You're like a year older than the-" I waved my hand to cut him off.

"I'm not a street tier super. I'm THE street tier super. My power is literally being the best at things I train at, and trust me Harry, I train a-fuckin-lot. I'm a Class three even without the under suit I would be wearing. Do you fucking know what that means Harry?" He sighed.

"Yes I know what it means," I stared at him and motioned for him to continue. He sighed again. "You could fight evenly with a fully equipped swat team. Without stealth. You're still a very low three, Max, which you conviently forget every time we have an argument like this."

"Yea, but I'm going to be wearing the under suit aren't I?" Harry looked at me, then shifted his game downward before muttering what sounded like a naughty word under his breath."Fine. Put your suit on, and grab all the tools you need. We're going in twenty minutes."


"I'll be a few miles up watching you through the masks camera feed. If anything happens I'll be there in a few seconds. Please just don't do anything stupid that will get you killed in less than that." 

"I'll try. See you in a few big brudda!"

"On a second thought, I might just leave you to die." I blew him a kiss, and ran off to the Armory. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Origins 9: Zach

The tall man led us down a hallway lined with display cases. Inside them, I could see recreations of some of his most famous work. Chúchúlain's kilt and tunic, Amygdala's armored dress, the notoriously durable helmet of Chèvre, and in a massive case above the door at the end of the hallway we could see the gold and purple suit of Fortitude, the worlds greatest hero. This was the guy who kicked Samjoko through a mountain range, saving all of Western Asia. Power and Bellator, two of the strongest metahumans on earth, were his kids. He stalemated  Force in an arm wrestle, who previously had thrown a spaceship bigger than Mount Everest back into orbit. As of now he was off world, fighting against the Galactic Coalition's military on behalf of our only allies, The Fighting Ones. In short, guy was an all around badass. 

"I wonder if his dick itches in that thing."

Thanks Carlos. Way to ruin the moment.

"I mean it looks really tight, and there is no way he would ever scratch there if cameras could see him, or if he was around little ki-"

"Shut up Carlos. I don't want to be known as 'Those Guys who talked about Fortitude's dick in front of The Tailor.'"

Just then the door swung open and I could hear an older man, in a faint German accent clear his throat.

"I'm afraid it's a little too late to stop me from hearing those words,"

Oh shit oh shit oh shit

"But I can assure you that not only will this conversation not leave this room, all my costumes, and their codpieces, are the pinnacle of comfort and will NEVER itch. Now have a seat and explain your powers to me."

One thing you should know about me, I do not tell people the true limits and capabilities of my powers. It's just stupid. The less your enemies know about you the better. Sergei however was an exception. He had earned the reputation as one of the most trustworthy men in the world, and I doubted a little secret like my powers would give him cause to break his word. And so for the secind time in my life I sat down told someone everything.

"I'm a chronokinetic. I control time relative to me. This usually manifests as me speeding myself up to the point where my average jogging speed becomes less 11 miles per hour, and more Mach 11. Which is my limit, if you didn't know. The thing about my powers though is that I'm not actually moving really fast. I'm just kind of sped up. Physically I can only do what a normal person can do, only a lot faster."

"So no wall running or Jesus impersonations for you."

"Exactly. Also let's just say if I punched someone, to me I hit them at normal speed, so my hand doesn't shatter or anything. To them however, they just got hit by a object moving at ridiculous speeds that doesn't brake when it connects. So, splat. Same things goes in reverse. Bullets don't hurt, because to me they're barely moving. They still hurt to touch, because of how hot they are."

"So your suit needs to deal with extreme temperatures because your body cannot."

"Uh, yeah. I also can create shockwaves by speeding up the noises I make, or the wind I produce when moving."

"Does your power lend you any extra endurance?" 

"Um, not that I know of."

"Alright then. Excuse me for a moment while I make a few prototypes. Anything you specifically would like to add?"

"Could you add in little ball bearing dispensers on the sleeves? Like something I could use to fling them with? Like a tube on each side?"

"I can do that."

Sergei, in his wrinkled swearer and jeans, hurried off into a back room, muttering something about tensile strength, and the color blue.

For about ten minutes Carlos and I awkwardly sat, leafing through a few magazines we found on an end table. Apparently since I've been gone, Micheal Jackson died, Reality T.V. became a thing, and Kanye had became a douche.

This is proof the world needed me.

When he returned, four robots followed him. Each were wearing what I presumed to be the costume prototypes. Two of them had the classic spandex look, while the other two seemed more modern and military focused. 

Sergei walked up to me, bowed, many began to explain his work.

"All of these suits are armored, and can protect a user for ten seconds against a blowtorch, or liquid nitrogen. They are equipped with a revolutionary non mechanical exoskeleton-like device, which conserves energy and makes it easier to run while wearing. Even at my age I could run four six minute miles wearing it. All four suits are functionally the same, each with the same amount of protection, and cost."

I took a second look at the costumes, and immediately one caught my eye. It was dark blue, with black plates of armor accenting muscles I definitely did not have. It's mask had no features, except for two orange lenses that I assumed were for eye protection. The actual face part of the mask was dark blue, while everything under the jawline and behind the ear was black, which extended down to the neck. The mask seemed to end at the hairline, and above it was a startlingly good recreation of my hair. I asked Sergei about it, and he told me that he liked the free hair look, but it compromised teleprotection. So, he decided to make fake hair. I turned to Carlos and pointed at the suit.

"Carlos, I'm thinking that one, you like?"

"I'm not wearing it, so go ahead."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Go ahead."

"That doesn't sound like a go ahead."

"No no no. If you want to look like that, go ahead."  

I gave him my best death stare.

"Naw I'm kidding. It's good," he turned to Sergei, "How much do we owe ya?"

The Tailor cleared his throat. 
"Fifty thousand up front."

Carlos picked up the stolen shoebox and handed it to the tall man who had just left his spot by the door and now stood behind us. 

"I trust the right amount of money is in here. Otherwise I would have to inform the authorities about your shoplifting. They would certainly have some questions about why you were visiting me and how you got the money in the first place?"

I swallowed a bit and stared him in the eye. "It's there."

He smiled and snapped his fingers. One of the robots walked up to me and handed us a large red box emblazoned with a gold T in the center. "Good. Now, my assistant will show you out. Have a nice day."

We followed the tall man back down the hallway, and through the portal, which quickly disappeared once we left it. I turned to Carlos, and waved goodbye. 

"I gotta go back to my place, and uh, settle some things."

He waved back. "Peace!"

I sped home, only to find myself face to face with a very ticked off looking neighbor of mine.

Fuck me.