Roaring of helicopter blades and the screaming whine of police sirens filled the air. The din of mayhem in the streets, shrieks of terror and the rumbling of collapsing buildings. Once every few moments a massive explosion and emission of light would fill the streets and the roar of clattering glass and rubble would echo through the city.
A reporter raised her voice to holler into the mic, the beat of the blades overhead so loud she was barely audible. Her report of the scene was as follows. "In an emergency broadcast we bring you live feed of the scene in Times Square. The Splatterer, formerly known as Captain Explosion has come out of hiding for the first time in four years! The mayhem here is truly horrible!"
First responders desperately tried to set up barriers and rescue people from the rubble. The ringing of their ears from the explosions sound deafened them to what was about to come. A hand raises and falls, an explosion rocks the street and a messy splatter spreads across the concrete walls and broken glass.
"Oh god he's just killed the rescuers, oh god!" The reporter was visibly dilled with dread as the figure stepped through the settling smoke. His hunched forward posture and drooling mouth, his thick black hair and tattered clothes. Like a modern day Frankenstein's monster, a devil set loose in the world by men playing God.
Atop the diner, unbeknownst to the normal patrons, is a pair of reinforced chairs and a table. Seated in one of the chairs is a tall man, many would be surprised to see him here. It was the hero known as General Freedom. A large mug of coffee sat between his hands, his mask and cowl off, his hair ruffled by the slight breeze.
"Well . . ." said the small, wizened man who sat across from the hero.
"Look Marco . . ."
"No, you look. Steve, I have known you a hell'uva long while. I remember when your sorry ass was about to ring the bell and quit Bud/s training. I also saw the grit and fire that fills you. You didn't quit." Marco, a smallish man, flinty-eyed and hard as granite, sipped some of the strong coffee and spoke again. His voice low, "Look if you want to hang it up, stop being a hero, fine. But do it because it's your choice."
Steve said nothing as he sipped his own, massive cup of coffee. He had contemplated the end of his career, had figured with the rise of the new generation of heroes, he'd retire.
"I have a place out in Montana, a nice spread about 1,000 acres and several hundred head of cattle. I figured I could take up ranching."
Marco pursed his lips, saying nothing.
After a minute he said, "What the hell do you know about cattle ranching?"
Steve grinned, "Nothing."
Marco was about to say something when the door to the roof opened with a bang. Carmelita, Marco's oldest daughter rushed out, her cell phone blaring. The expression on her face forced both men to sit straighter as she approached.
"Daddy, Steve, you need to hear this." She jimmied the phone and replayed the news broadcast.
When it finished both men sat in silence, shared a glance. As he stood, Steve pulled his mask on, and his body began to glow a bluish color.
"I guess your ranching days will have to wait?" Marco deadpanned as General Freedom launched himself skyward. Looking at his daughter, he nodded toward the large mug, "Let's go. I have a feeling we'll be closing early tonight."
It wasn't far, but far enough that Steve would not be able to save those caught in the fiery blast.
When he finally arrived, General Freedom stared at the carnage below him. Debris and twisted remnants of first responder’s vehicles lay strew in an arc. He stared at the crater that lay beneath him, Steve felt a tightness in his throat. The clouds of smoke and dust obscured his vision, they denied a clear view of the man responsible for this.
General Freedom drifted lower, as he did he grimaced. Before him was the crumbled remains of a police cruiser. The black and white paint job unrecognizable on the hunk of compressed metal. Only the mournful wail of the siren told him what it was. The thick dust filled his mouth. The stench of death filled his nose. All thoughts of retirement had faded, now he focused on what he had to do., he had to stop The Splatterer.
Daniel had been stalking Kelly Marston for some time now, her power to shoot out bone spikes was intriguing, he had often wondered how much fun it would be to play with them, to conjure spikes and blades as often as one blinks. She was a relatively accomplished hero publicly, and even privately, but he saw her for what she truly was. A monster, a villain, and she needed to be stopped.
She spent a lot of time around her heroic friends, even worked with a couple in their secret identities, and he could even recognize most of them. He wagered he could probably take them all, but in the process they’d call out to someone bigger, someone he wouldn’t be able to handle, so he waited for her to separate herself, and followed her all the way up to the roof.
Kelly Marston, aka Spearhead. Daniel said with his telepathy, broadcasting himself into her mind. Alarmed she turned quickly, and horror painted her face as she saw Daniel’s blood coated armor.
“Y-you’re Lieutenant Hurley, wait! Stop! You were a hero!” Kelly said, she backed up close, right up to the railing; she had dropped her cigarette down onto the streets below.
“Remember who you are! We fought together! Whatever this is you can fight it!” Kelly continued to plead as she shifted her arms slowly, and then suddenly shot out a spike from her forearm.
Daniel dodged to the side slightly and caught the spike; he let out a low laugh before he rushed into Spearheads face, grabbed her by the neck, and stuck her spike through her chest. His laugh began to increase in volume as he repeatedly stabbed her with her own spike, a fresh coating of blood painted his body again. Daniel began to reach for his knife before he stopped himself, too late, she had already died. He threw her body over the railing and began to walk off, but something stopped him.
A voice coming from slightly underneath him, distressed, panicked, it was an emergency news report playing off Spearheads dropped phone. Whether it was due to his old heroic spirit, or his new state he couldn’t tell, but he quickly reached for it.
And Daniel saw his newest target, The Splatterer, he couldn’t remember if Captain Explosion was a hero before or after his time, but it didn’t matter. He was a monster, a terrible villain, and he needed to be stopped. Daniel’s mouth widened into a smile underneath his helmet, he then broke into a sprint and jumped off the roof, and he continued to repeat until he got closer to Times Square. He smelt it long before he actually saw it, the smoke clouds and screams permeating the area drew his attention, even on the edge of the event Daniel could feel the fear growing. It was enticing; to gain The Splatterer’s powers would be…
Evvie’s wings beat powerfully against the air as she soared towards the skies over the city, her keen purple eyes picking up the glittering buildings on the horizon, a curl of smoke rising above them. She happened to have been patrolling the skies nearby when she heard the commotion lighting up her phone. It took her over 100 years to finally cave in and buy one and another month to figure out how to use it, but was glad that she had. Every second counted in an emergency. She didn’t bother answering the phone, seeing the text messages being good enough to inform her what was going on and where she should be. Besides, if she had answered, the intense wind would drown out anything she was trying to say. For now she just needed to focus on flying.
Her wings pushed to the limit as she continued forward. On the downside they would be very tired by the time she would arrive, but the rest of her body was raring to go. She would just have to make due as she always did. Ahead of her she spotted another figure rapidly approaching the scene at a rate quicker than her. She would arrive around 30 seconds after he did. As she drew closer she breathed fire onto her amulet, becoming a sparkling flame in the sky as her body was enveloped within dragon styled armor.
With that she would attempt to land feet first onto the head of the villain responsible for this mess should he be standing out in the open when she arrived.