HP: 1 Condition: New Guy
John sat in the small, dingy alcove of his Toronto apartment, ignoring the loud calls of voices outside and below, and the incessant arguments over the network TV stations. “Toronto Is Under Attack,” “Bering Strait Frozen Solid - Soldiers On the March,” “Crime Rates Rising,” “Riots in Victoria,” “UN Conference in Sweden to Discuss Nuclear Options,” etc etc. The headlines began to look the same after they had been playing for years. Sighing, John moused over the little window on the dusty computer screen in front of him, closing the tab with the story he had been writing, a little piece about the unethical and unjust implications of a nuclear bombardment of Washington, District of Joker.
He grasped about for a connector wire. Finding it, he plugged it into the computer, and messed about with the other device. An old radio: beat up, dusty, paint scratched, and speakers crackle. He pulled up the antenna, and set it at the right angle, and tuned the dials. There was the usual metallic whine as he did so, tuning into and out of different wavelengths and frequencies as the indicator moved and rotated around the options. He eventually found the one he wanted, then flicked a switch on the radio’s side, and the radio went silent. Instead, the laptop speakers began to growl with a low crackle, and a voice sounded through.
It was an old voice, one that strangely brought John calm. Deep, firm, caring. It talked about things that John was only beginning to understand, yet seemed to always know in his heart. As the voice spoke, John moved to double check his windows were bolted, the blinds drawn, all three deadbolts on his door in place. He collapsed on the tattered old mattress, putting his hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. The paint was starting to flake. It wasn’t a very nice color, a gaudy beige or somesuch. But that color was covered by several clippings of newspapers, cut out and spread over the ceiling with bits of tape and pins. Lines were drawn, and the papers had been written on in pen, lines underlined, passages circled, writing in the margins, the occasional highlighter.
The voice eventually came to it’s conclusion. Something along the lines of “We Are The World’s Last Hope.” Then the sound of static filled the room, and John closed his eyes. A flash of light, and the scream of voices, a tumble of motion as things spun all about, crying helplessly, a crash through the green and the break of glass all over. Lost of red began to cloud vision, and the memory was gone.
John sighed, getting up, hitting a couple buttons on the computer to stop the static, and moved to the blinds of his small apartment. A quick brush of the old sheets revealed the world outside; fear and desperation on the rise, people moving scared, as the tall looming buildings began to appear grimy and decadent. No one moved with purpose, they moved with fear. This city was beginning to look a lot like Gotham apparently used to decades ago. Now, every city in the USJ looked like Gotham, and it was spreading.
Scratching at his belly, John drew the curtains close, and walked to the closet. Opening the door, he pushed the hangars aside, and pulled from it a suit of black and dull green. And then he was gone.
Archon soared across the skies, the ripple of wind surging about him. Clouds danced below, as he knew gravity gave him little bounds. Opening his arms wide, Archon closed his eyes, imagining he was like a plane, and did a spiral as he soared high above the white fluffy clouds.
A laugh, and he was surging through the skies again, the roar of air at his back, the thrill of flight.
God he loved to fly.
But, as all things must, he had to come down. He spotted the towers from far off enough. Archon imagined they must once have been sparkling and breathtaking. Now, they were grimy, worn, dilapidated. Welcome to Metropolis, once a Shining Star, now just another facet of the Joker States.
The building was easy enough to find. One didn’t need to be able to see through walls to notice the gathering of people outside one of the larger complexes of the city. LexCorp.
Archon had mixed feelings about LexCorp. He had memories, yes, but he also had his suspicions. Things were still going well for the company, even after the Fall of the League, and the company had done some good for the world. But… Archon had to wonder what it’s goals really were. He couldn’t say. Just that the gathering was there, and he wanted to attend.
He needed to attend. Archon didn’t know why, just a gut feeling that he was needed. He couldn’t quite place it.
A ripple in the air, and the paragon zoomed through the skies, and came to a landing several blocks away from the building. He glanced about, making sure no one was about, before he suddenly blurred. The blur moved quickly, racing along the sidewalks, avoiding people and things, newspapers and other small detritus wafting in his wake, as he ran.
Archon liked to run. Who didn’t? There’s a reason why kids always run around, which adults seem to forget. Running is fun. And Archon was faster than most.
Finding himself approaching LexCorp, the world seeming slow to him, Archon moved in place, slowing suddenly. To the others, it would appear as he just appeared from a blur, and he took in the view. The massive corporation entrance looked like the front of a miniature fortress, something Archon guessed was not accidental. He glanced away from the surroundings to take in the strange new people gathered. One was a man in a battered suit, a bit like Archon’s own, save the difference in design. The man’s face was weathered, not wrinkled, but the lines were there, greys in his hair. His eyes were calm, kind, and worried. And his voice was the voice from the radio. The “S” emblazoned on his chest was helpful too.
He was a man of the past: Superman. One of the greatest heroes, head of the Justice League, and he had been brought low.
Archon stepped back a couple feet as the motorcycle roared to a stop, and the woman leaped off it to hug the man in blue. It seemed like they were old friends. Archon wondered about that. Was she one of the League? He had thought Superman was the only one left.
Then another one walked up, this one in dark black and blue. Another middle aged person. He wondered if this was also a reunion for these people. Heroes of yore... He figured it was some relief that there were heroes left from that time who could help end the madness.
But, Archon still felt out of depth here, now. So he hung back, waiting, unsure of himself. Man, this was first day of highschool all over again.