Issue 1 Into a Larger World: Part 1
"Looks like its snake eyes for you." The dice on the floor exploded, sending the two thugs flying back into a brick wall.
"Okay, so maybe it was actually a six and a three, but I've always wanted to say that! And while I'm at it, "˜you can't handle the truth!'" He punctuated the line perfectly with a punch to the face of one of the other three who were trying to escape the gas station with their cash before Chicago's new, not to mention the only one outside of comic books and movies, super hero showed up and ruined it. "Trying" is the key word there.
"And how could I forget my other favorite? "˜You're out of order! This whole courtroom is out of order!'" The other two were definitely out of order after a quick back flip behind one of them led to him tossing him casually with one hand into the other, knocking both unconscious.
Man, these dudes aren't very creative. "Hey we want some money. Let's go rob a gas station!" They could've at least picked something more interesting. Is it too much to ask for thugs with some creative vision?
The police arrived on the scene, a few minutes late as usual, and found a nice little gift in the doorway.
"That "˜Guardian' vigilante is doing our job again. And we missed him, again," remarked Officer Lee.
"What's wrong with that? He stops them real quick. There's no need for high speed chases or any of that now. He keeps everyone safer," Lee's partner Officer Moore said.
"He answers to no one. We have all these procedures that we have to go through before we even pull someone over for speeding. He just comes in and beats people up on sight," Lee retorted.
My ears are burnin'. I can't believe someone actually thinks what I do could be a BAD thing. Oh well, can't please everyone, and I need to go meet Kate across town at her house"¦ or make that, tower. This is the kind of time I wish I would've bought that grappling hook on EBay. I mean, it even works perfectly with the dark costume, the mask, even the black trench coat. Oh well, maybe next time"¦
"Hey, Lance! Just couldn't resist coming back to "The tower of dull corporate people in suits who talk about investments in their spare time?" asked Kate sarcastically.
"We really need to shorten up that name, don't we?" Lance asked casually.
"Yeah, definitely. It's weird though, we're in a 100 floor tower full of people"¦ and we come down to the basketball court in the basement. And it's totally empty." Kate gestured around the entire basement, which was added when her father wanted a place for her to train for basketball, without putting her in "danger" around the city. She usually went to parks that were supposed to be dangerous, anyways though.
"Story of our lives, right? That's why we don't exactly hang with Ricky and Jean, or their little crowd of people who worship walking stereotypes like them," Lance shot back.
I mean really, star quarterback of the football team, and a cheerleader, never heard of a couple like that before.
"Also why we're way better basketball players," Kate said as she knocked down a three.
"Well that's true. You could say I'm a little more of a secret though," Lance remarked as he answered her three.
And that's with trying to avoid using my powers when I play.
"Well, you'd easily be our school's best player, if you had the time. Obviously, your family comes first." The tone in her voice began to soften. "Since you have to work to help out with paying those medical bills, though. Too bad your dad wouldn't accept my dad's money to pay them off."
Not to mention the time I spend punching thugs' faces in.
"Yeah, well he's a really proud dude. And we're paying it off right now, between my part-time job and his two jobs. You know that I appreciate the offer though," he said in an attempt to deflect attention from the subject.
"I'm your best friend, Lance. Have been forever. I know everything about you," she said with a smile.
I wish there wasn't that one exception to that.
"Not sure why you sound so proud to say that. Pride of a stalker?" Lance joked.
"Oh, now you're just asking for me to beat you in a game of one-on-one." He had clearly gotten her competitive streak going.
"Is that a challenge? Let's go!"
"Can you ever take anything seriously?" SciTech scientist Edward Wilson chastised his co-worker.
The co-worker, Justin Reynolds, replied, "How do you survive working on this boring stuff without making jokes? I'm just serious enough to keep making a good living for my family. That's all that matters, really."
"You ALWAYS talk about your family," complained Wilson.
"You'll understand when you get married someday and have kids," explained Reynolds.
"They'd only slow down my research," growled Wilson.
"Then I really suggest you never have kids. You'd make a terrible father with that attitude." Reynolds said, trying to avoid laughing at the thought of Wilson's children. "Well, the suit prototype is done, anyways. Congratulations, you definitely were the driving force here in working on it. Why don't you do the honor of taking the first test run?"
Wilson smiled for probably the first time in a long time. "Yes, good idea." He put on the suit, and blasted a hole right through the wall, with its lasers embedded in the gloves. "Thank you for helping me finish the suit, but I have places to go, and people to exact vengeance on."
Reynolds was caught off-guard by this, but quickly gathered his composure to jump out of the way of a laser blast and escape into the elevator.
Wilson left the lab saying, "Now the hunters become the hunted."
Issue 2 Into a Larger World Part 2
I totally hope there are no major crimes today. But it's the first day of school. I'm real busy today. Of course, it'll be the biggest day for crime in the last decade then. Just the way the world works.
"You ready to go now?" Lance asked Kate as she finally stepped through the doorway and onto the sidewalk.
"Well, I had to do my hair today, or else people wouldn't get that dumb first impression they always get of us. If I just walked to school with you, and my hair was a mess, who would get the wrong idea and think we're dating?" Kate asked jokingly as they started to walk towards North Central High.
"Good point. Need to keep up that streak each of us have going of not having dates," Lance answered.
"Yeah, well what'd you expect with immature high school kids?" Kate said, laughing.
"You're totally right. You ready for the first day of senior year?"
"Oh, of course, especially since we can mess with our junior friend then."
"And YOU'RE talking about immature high school kids!" Lance joked as they reached Colt's house.
"You know, his life seems so over the top happy that I'm almost surprised his house doesn't shoot out puppies and bunnies"¦"
""¦With lollipops in their mouths," Lance finished the sentence for her.
Colt walked out of his house, after saying good-bye to both his parents, and greeted his friends, in his usual thick Alabama accent. "Hey, did you both see the last news report about the Guardian? I've been going all over the internet, looking for footage of him fighting, but I can't find anything. He's doing a real good job keeping a secret identity, that's for sure."
And I want to keep it that way.
Lance and Kate both looked at each other, and then said at the same time, "You read WAY too many comic books."
"Are you trying to tell me that you both don't care that there's a super hero running around, fighting crime?" Colt responded to their dismissal of the subject.
Kate looked down for a split second, and then responded, "Well, of course I'm happy someone's stopping crimes. Crime has definitely been a real problem in my"¦ or really our lives," she said as she looked over to Lance.
Lance attempted to comfort her, by putting his hand on her shoulder and saying, "Yeah, at least someone's doing something about it now. I know it doesn't make up for the past, but it's better than nothing, at least."
Wish I could've done something back then, though. That's the kicker, right? You only get the power to do something after it's too late, right? Can at least make sure other people don't go through the same thing.
As the three friends arrived at the school, Colt asked, "So what classes do you two have first?"
Lance and Kate both responded, "English with Reynolds."
Colt laughed and said, "You two are way too similar. Well I'm on my way to Biomechanical Engineering."
Kate turned to Lance, "He's way too smart. How do they even have a class like that in a high school?"
Lance just shook his head as they headed to Mr. Reynolds' classroom.
I've heard this Reynolds is a real cool teacher. Does things totally different. The desks are set up in a circle and he's wearing a Derrick Rose jersey"¦ Guess I heard right.
Lance just looked at Kate, and it was obvious she was thinking the same thing. "Well, this should be"¦ interesting."
Mr. Reynolds finally addressed the class, "So this is Honors English 12. I'm Jack Reynolds, and you'll be stuck in my classroom for the next semester. And yes, you will have assigned seats"¦ for the first term. I want you to actually meet new people. I know it's a crazy idea, but I don't want you to just split off into your little groups."
Great, so now I'll get stuck with either some loser who wants to talk about his rock collection, or some "popular" kid who thinks he's too cool to talk to anyone who isn't a walking, talking example of what's wrong with teenagers.
Reynolds continued, "This seating chart on the board is just for the first term though, so you get to split off into your little groups for second term! Yeah, I know you just can't contain your excitement. It's okay. You can start screaming in joy now."
Lance headed over to his seat, and was relieved that at least he was wrong at first.
"Hey, I'm Melissa. How're you doing?" said the red-headed girl seated next to Lance.
"Well, it's the first day of school, so I think you can guess. Oh, I'm Lance, by the way, Lance Sharpe."
Melissa smiled and said, "Well then, looking Sharpe today Lance! Oh, that was a really bad joke. Sorry about that! Umm... I'm not making a very good first impression, am I? Not that you aren't looking sharp, actually! It's just not something you say when you first meet someone, you know?"
Wow, I'm totally not used to this. What usually happens is a girl starts talking to me, sees Kate coming and runs for cover. Well, I guess she hasn't met Kate yet, but I've never met a girl who was so"¦ awkwardly forward about liking me.
Towards the back of the room, Kate wasn't having such a good time. "Shut up, Zack."
"I know I've seen you somewhere before though. What's your last name?" Zack asked.
"Jackson, so now I bet you know where," Kate said as she rolled her eyes.
"Oh! You must be Donald Jackson's daughter! So you have so much money then! I wish I had that much money! I bet your life is perfect then. I know they say money can't buy happiness, but that's not true. You probably think all of us, worrying about making enough money, are just specks of dust to you, right? I mean, come on, when you have that kind of money, you're like invincible. You can do whatever you want. Cops look the other way. I wish my life was like yours. And---"
"You know, I'm glad we're in the back of the room." Kate suddenly said.
Zack asked, with a confused look, "Why?"
"No one will notice when I do this!" Kate laughed as she punched Zack in the face, and he fell to the ground, probably more from the shock than the hit.
"What just happened back there?" asked a somewhat surprised Reynolds.
Zack got up off the ground and tried to explain, "Well I was just talking to Kate about how she has so much money that her life must be perfect and I wish my life was like hers and everything."
The response from Reynolds was simple, "Oh, so you deserved it."
Kate flipped a lock of her blonde hair, and just said, "I'll try not to punch him if the principal's watching or something, I guess, but that's all I can really promise."
"Fair enough, that's all I really ask. I don't exactly want to get fired." said Reynolds as Zack looked almost scared at the thought of the rest of this term.
Nice. He definitely deserved it. Well, actually I hate that word. What he really did was earn it. Of course, if they COULD switch lives, that would be a way tougher punishment for him.
Lance gave Kate a look that she knew meant, "I get it."
Melissa noticed it and had to ask about it. "So how do you know her?"
Lance gave the standard response, "She's my best friend. She has been forever really. Of course, everyone thinks we must date or something, but we don't."
Melissa looked relieved at that news, and even gave a little sigh to signify that.
Well, I get the feeling I'll have one more thing to juggle in my schedule now. Already have my friends, school, my job, and fighting crime. Let's just make it more complicated by dating! Always a good idea"¦
The phone rang twice and then the woman dressed in black, head to toe, complete with a mask, answered. "What is it?"
"I have a job for you, Venus. One that should be up to your standards for once," was the response over the phone.
"Good, I trust you know my usual rate applies," she said as she took her sword out of its sheath.
"Yes, of course. I've even taken the liberty to send you all the information we have on your target, which I've acquired from some of my"¦ subordinates who have failed to defeat him."
"How did you know where to send it?" Venus responded in a surprised tone.
"I'm The Boss. I know everything that goes on in MY city."
Issue 3 Into a Larger World Part 3
"I'm an award winning scientist, yet I still must resort to using a simple search engine to find the ones I need to exact my vengeance on," muttered a very annoyed Edward Wilson. He already had a list of the addresses of 10 people. "And now for some target practice." He starting unleashing laser blasts at statues he had set up around room. Each blast blew the head off of a statue. "I think I'm ready for the real thing now."
So Dad's working right now. Big shocker there. At least it gives me a chance to get into costume and slip out of the apartment easily. Glad I'm not working today, since I got another "job" to do. You know, the unpaid job where I get shot at all the time.
Lance jumped out the window and climbed up to the roof with a quick series of jumps back and forth between the walls of the apartment building and the building a few feet from it.
Yeah, totally stole Samus' thunder there.
Lance started to head towards the middle of the city, leaping rooftops, until he heard something whizzing through the air behind him.
That's just NOT happening.
He turned and caught the arrow with one hand, and snapped it in two. "Ok, now who uses arrows nowadays? Seriously?! Who do you think you are? A certain Avenger who never gets enough credit or something? This isn't a comic book here!"
Venus leaped over to the rooftop Lance was on and responded, "I'm just someone who was hired to do a job. And it'll be over real soon."
Lance just smirked and responded, "Whatever, you do realize you're totally dressed like a ninja, right? What happened? Get rejected by the Foot Clan when you applied?"
Come on. You know you want to attack first.
Venus tossed three throwing stars in a spread pattern towards Lance, who casually leapt 5 feet off the ground to avoid them.
"That might work on your average Joe, but you're going to need a lot more than that for me," Lance goaded. He then raced towards her and dodged her high kick with a quick duck, and swept his leg underneath her, tripping her, and knocking her to the floor.
Venus quickly recovered and did a back flip to get some distance, and pulled out her sword.
Lance just sighed and said, "You know, you might be pretty good at this whole ninja thing. Maybe the best. I wouldn't really know, don't exactly see too many ninjas running around Chicago." She dashed towards him with her sword, but Lance just caught it with both hands. "But you're out of your league here." He began to charge the sword with energy, and then just threw it up into the air, taking it out of her hands, and causing it to explode in mid-air. One hard punch to the face ended the fight, knocking her unconscious.
Ninjas in Chicago?! What's next? Supervillains? Aliens? White Sox fans? Ok, don't get carried away. This'll always be a Cubs town.
"AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" came a very high pitched scream from off into the distance.
And now back to our regularly scheduled chaos. I can come back later to make sure she doesn't get away. But, that was a REALLY high pitched scream. Like, my ears are totally ringing now. Not sure I'll ever recover from that.
Lance heard someone yelling as he raced towards the source of the scream. "I can get revenge on two of my enemies at once, now!" exclaimed Wilson, in his yellow and green suit, complete with the helmet on top, which he could see through with a visor. "Thomas Smith, who tormented me all those years in school! You and your friends all made fun of me, just because you were jealous of my genius! And Alyssa Gustafson, now Smith, I guess. You led me on all those years, and now you're with him!"
Now this dude's being way too dramatic. Especially since he could've just killed them instead of making some long-winded speech. But then he'd lose his supervillian club discount card, I guess.
"What are you talking about? I don't even know who you are!" screamed Alyssa.
"My name is Edward Wilson, from North Central High!" Wilson seemed very annoyed that they didn't even remember him.
Lance finally reached the deranged Wilson just in time to mock him. "So, basically you're some nerd who got picked on one too many times in high school and snapped? My first super villain, and this is all it is? I'm kind of disappointed. I was hoping for maybe a private investigator who got a procedure to make him more powerful than me, or something, and then went crazy."
Wilson seemed shocked by the appearance of Lance. "How did you find me?"
"I just followed the super high pitched scream."
Smith looked embarrassed. "Sorry about that."
Wow, the big, like 250 pound dude is the one with the huge scream. Now that, you don't see every day.
"You will not interfere! They must pay for what they've done to me!" Wilson was obviously losing it now, if he hadn't already.
"Anyone ever tell you that you'd be a good fit for a musical or something? You're totally over dramatic about everything. Hey, I could be your agent! I'll get you onto Broadway, dude!" Lance joked, as he dodged the first blast from Wilson's laser gauntlets.
Now, I know this loser's a total nerd. So he's probably played way too many video games, which means his aim might actually be good. But there's no way he even knows how to win an actual fight in close quarters.
Lance pulled a few dice out of his trench coat pocket, charged them, and threw them towards Wilson's face.
The flash distracted him, now let's finish this.
Lance closed in on Wilson quickly, and delivered a quick blow to the side of the head.
Wilson laughed and said, "This suit also increases my strength and agility to superhuman levels. You can't defeat me this way!" Wilson attempted to punch Lance, who blocked it with his forearm, and then sent a quick elbow into Wilson's gut.
"Your suit might be tough, but inside it, you're just some nerd who couldn't stand up to the bullies. You don't know what to do now. You've never had a fight like this before. You've always run from them, your whole life." Lance proved that by sending a kick towards Wilson's hip to knock him off balance, and then grabbed him by the arm, and threw him into a brick wall nearby.
And that's the end of that.
"Thank you so much!" exclaimed Alyssa.
"Yeah, that was so cool to see! I mean, I feel bad about picking on the kid when I was younger and everything, though. I was young and immature back then, but I think this is a little ridiculous to want to kill me over it," said Smith, finally recovering his composure.
"Well, I wouldn't worry about it too much. He definitely had a few screws loose. I mean, seriously, who in their right mind would wear Packers colors in Chicago? But I see cops coming, and that's usually my exit cue, since they have that pesky little question about my name. Hate that one." Lance quickly returned to the rooftop he had left Venus on.
And of course, she's gone. How much do you want to bet she'll come back, way tougher than last time? Oh wait this isn't a comic book. Man, didn't even make up a name for my first super villain! Powernerd? Packer Laser Dude? Shocker? Oh ,wait, they might have to have a little court battle for that name. I'm not good with clever names, I guess. Maybe someone else will think of something. I'll just stick to what I do best.
Into a Larger World:
Part 1:Right above this
Part 2:Still right above this
Part 3:Seriously, if you can't find it, get help
Shadows of the Past:
Threat Beyond the Horizon:
Initiation as a Target:
Out of the Shadows:
Shades of Grey:
The Best Laid Plans: