Avatar of Bounce
  • Last Seen: 11 days ago
  • Old Guild Username: Bounce
  • Joined: 9 yrs ago
  • Posts: 864 (0.25 / day)
  • VMs: 0
  • Username history
    1. Bounce 9 yrs ago


User has no status, yet


User has no bio, yet

Most Recent Posts

In Titans 2 mos ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Approaching the Von Karman Line
[ obligatory post theme ]

The Earth fell away beneath their feet.

They were far above the clouds. The blue sky seemingly dissolved away to reveal the familiar expanse of stars as the pair of blue-clad figures began to approach man's own definition of outer space.

"Ekto ra'ay nei lyat moiya," the larger of the two uttered, speaking in a language that was now dead throughout the galaxy. Rendered to just a handful or so of native speakers.

Or not so native, as the case may be. After all, while the Matrix had been operational on Krypton prior to his mission to Earth, the human homeworld was the only one that Kal-El knew. He'd grown up speaking in the human tongue.

It made moments such as this one important for sharing those traditions that may have otherwise died with Krypton. "Ra lyat nei hra tuk," the child-like figure answered, supplying a response that would encourage the conversation to continue.

"Hra sunro..." the man began, trailing off as he seemed to struggle for the right word. Or how to use it in the phrase he wanted to say. "...ra io'akoznecikal nya..." he began, but stopped himself.

"That's not right, is it?" the Superman asked, looking at the impish computer.

"It is not," the Matrix replied, in its usual matter-of-fact manner. A slight head tilt marked a moment where the alien machine seemed to anticipate the need for some positive reinforcement. "However your use of the future tense demonstrated marked improvement," the hologram of the Kryptonian youth supplied.

Unfiltered bursts of the sun's radiation washed over them, as the pair began to emerge from out of the planet's shadow. The hologram of the child flickered away, revealing an amorphous form that seemed to turn to pure gold as its sunstone was pushed outward to collect the energy.

Even while the likeness of the boy had vanished, the voice continued. "I believe that you were attempting to use the human phrase, I will return shortly. However, in our language, you cannot use a statement of fact to describe a possibility. You would state it as an intention."

"My intent is to return shortly," Superman mused aloud, rubbing his chin as he mulled over how to re-phrase that in Kryptonian. Finally, he said, "Sunro nei akoznecikal hra?"

A hologram of a hand appeared, extending one thumb upward in the human gesture of approval."I will, of course, maintain your affairs here until you return," the disembodied voice of the floating solar panel remarked. "I believe that Clark Kent has an interview scheduled today."

"Oh, right, the new county commissioner," the man uttered, revealing the fact that he'd lost track of his own appointments. Looking over at the golden panel, Kal-El said, "Have Jimmy looked it over before you submit the article."

The hologram of the hand flickered again, replaced by an image of a question mark. "You do not believe that my abilities are adequate?"

"Adequate, yes," the Superman stated, holding up one finger as he continued, "But your Kryptonian is better than your English prose."

Drifting further away, the man prepared to take his leave. "Check on Ma for me, too," the Last Son said, before he gave a wave and said, "Back in a bit."

And then he left.

The sunstone panel continued to orbit the planet, reviewing the available articles by award-winning journalists. Lucy Morgan. Jack Reed. Lois Lane.

Its use of grammatical structure was flawless, despite the human English language having many inconsistencies. Obviously, there was a nuance to good writing that was missing from the Matrix's assembled data set. "Noted," the Matrix responded, to no one at that point, as it was now alone.

The solar panel shifted, becoming a blob of purple and gold as it suddenly dropped back toward the planet below. Compressing itself into a ball, the small form sailed through the atmosphere like a comet toward the North American eastern seaboard.

As the ball dropped into the clouds, its shape expanded out into a roughly humanoid figure as the hologram of the boy reappeared to conceal the alien construct.

His course and trajectory ought to put him in Metropolis in precisely eighteen minutes. He was elevating his altitude to avoid any traffic from JFK or LaGuardia, when he registered an electromagnetic disturbance.

Several electromagnetic disturbances.

Cloaking himself, the Matrix vanished from view as he descended sharply to circle back and investigate.

What he found appeared to be a feminine alien being accosted by large figures that could have walked out of Lucasfilm's Creature Shop.

Dropping the cloak, the blue figure with its red cape inserted itself between the alien woman and the approaching figures.

"Demolition of buildings in this area is generally inadvisable."

There were quite a number of assailants.

And a number of bystanders at risk. The Matrix was trying to come up with a solution for addressing the multitude of situations with an efficient solution, but this seemed a problem that would benefit from some additional hands.
With apologies, I'm going to need to step back from this.

Between retiring, trying to get the new house together, and otherwise trying to keep my head just an inch above bankruptcy I simply don't have the energy for posting.

I wish that I did, because I think I had a great arc in mind for Teth.

And because I don't want to post this twice, I'm just going to tag @Retired.

“And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” part III | ► | Post Theme

“First, you will know fear. Then, you will know pain. And then you will die.”

Pausing in the entryway, Sivana turned back.

The man and the boy locked eyes, neither looking away as an uncomfortable silence blanketed the room.

Finally,” Sivana uttered, at last breaking the ice.

Taking a step back inside, the man adopted a smug look as he spoke. “So, what I understand you to say is that the scepter is a real object – or, at least, it was.”

Looking away from the boy, the man broke the contest of wills – clearly believing his to be superior – as he paced for a moment, before he turned back to declare, “And, just as the legends detail, it was an object of true power.

Dudley looked from Sivana to Teth, as though waiting for the boy to tell the man that he was mistaken.

He didn’t.

Instead, the boy’s reaction was oddly stoic. In his eyes, he saw not some dude in a suit, but himself. The words being thrown out so arrogantly echoing his own from centuries before.

It was just that sentiment that Sivana seemed to capitalize on. “Power enough that you fear it!” the man asserted, stepping closer to the boy.

Teth said nothing. Because there was nothing he had to say that Sivana was going to want to hear.

Reaching into his jacket, Sivana produced a check, which he pushed into Dudley’s hands as if tipping the butler. As he made his way back to the entry, the man said “Thank you for your cooperation, but spare me your superstition, your majesty.

It was only after the door had closed behind him that Dudley seemed to remember how to speak. “My God, I have no idea what we’re talking about, but tell me you destroyed that thing,” the old man remarked.

Again, Teth said nothing.

Coming around, the old man sat across from the boy. “Who even made it?”

“I know only who gave it to me,” the boy answered, his eyes coming up to meet Dudley’s briefly, before he stood from the chair with a frustrated sigh.

“It doesn’t matter, Shazam would have...”

He stopped there.


The boy turned back, hesitating in an odd instance of uncertainty. Something the old man couldn’t recall seeing in the confident youth before.

“Five thousand years, you’d think I would have thought about this before now,” the boy remarked cryptically. His eyes moved around the room, before they found Dudley again as he confessed, “Now, I find I don’t think I ever asked the right questions.”

He and Shazam had never talked.

Their relationship had never been one of cordial interaction. He was the guardian of the Rock of Eternity and Teth was his champion.

The Wizard was the task master. And him? His was not to ask why, but merely to do or die.

Unfortunately, as he’d learned, Teth was bad at either. Which had always complicated the relationship with the Wizard.

“And now I can’t ask him.”

| The Rock of Eternity

“How’s your sanskrit?”

Dudley looked up.

He’d been here before, but each time it was like awakening from a bad dream. His knees and back no longer hurt. When he looked down at his hands, they were no longer pockmarked with age. His midsection was considerably less round, again the fit physique he’d boasted in his prime.

In his reflection, he saw every version of himself, as if shadows overlaid with shadows. A child. A teen. A young man. A hero.

The spectre of his age loomed behind him. A dark page in a book he didn’t want to turn to. A chapter he was afraid to read.

All his wants. The sum of all his fears.

His voice caught in his throat as he tried to speak. “You must be joking,” the man uttered, at last able to tear himself away from everything he was processing.

A book was thrown his way. Catching it, the man opened it to find a script he had never seen before. “What even is this?” he asked, looking over at the boy.

Or, more aptly, at Teth-Adam.

And all the many forms of Teth-Adam.

Like Dudley, one form stood out from the others. It was as unfamiliar as it was recognizable. The same boy, his head shaved. His body shackled, heavy chains weighing him down. Dried blood and scars marking out lines carved into his skin from a lash.

The Big Guy was there as well. Like with Dudley’s aged self, the massive demigod figure loomed over the boy like a menacing phantom – the embodiment of arrogance and pride.

Glancing back from where he was sorting through a stack of tomes, the duality of boy and man answered simply, “That’s aramaic.”

Might as well be Greek to him.

Tossing the book aside, Dudley ran a hand through his hair – and was shocked at the realization he had a full head of hair again.

“Are you looking for a clue about the scepter of Ra?” the man asked. “Why didn’t you just ask the doctor guy?”

“Whatever he thinks he knows, he’s wrong,” Teth, or the Teths, answered.

Dudley gave a shrug, glancing around the enigmatic structure. He’d never been able to make sense out of just what this was. A cave? A castle? A temple?

“...and, I hope it no longer exists,” he heard the Teths utter softly.

The red-garbed figure of the Captain Marvel of the late 70s turned to regard the strange figure. “You really are afraid, aren’t you?”

“I meant what I told the doctor,” the Teths offered simply, glancing through another book before finally looking up to add, “Every word.”

First you will know fear, then pain, then... something, something death. All that?”

Discarding the book he’d been reading, the blurred form of both child-slave and god-king moved toward another shelf containing scrolls and materials leftover from the Council of Wizards.

“You use the word death to describe a concept of finality - which you ascribe as mortality,” the Teths stated, as he – or they – began to sort through the materials. As he held out one scroll, he noted, “In part, those concepts give people comfort. People say that death is what gives life meaning. But there are some horrors that exist which defy those mental constructs that man has made for his own sanity.”

Folding the scroll in his hands, the odd pair of overlapping shadows seemed to be thinking aloud as he commented, “The Old Man would have destroyed the scepter of Ra. Unless he couldn’t.”

Dudley wasn’t sure that he followed.

Actually, scratch that. He was certain he didn’t follow. “Couldn’t? Or wouldn’t?”

The demigod and the slave each turned to give the man a wan smile. “I’m not the Old Man’s biggest fan, but in this I can say with certainty that he’d have blasted that thing to oblivion and back if he could have.”

“You’re saying this thing’s unbreakable?”

Extending one hand, the pair of Teth’s made a gesture that prompted a scroll to suddenly unfurl and fly up in front of the man.

As he looked at it, the text seemed to come alive and transform into something legible to him. As he started to read, Teth explained, “The Council of Wizards wielded power and dominion over the Earth. If Shazam couldn’t destroy it then whatever the scepter is, it’s not of this world.”

Dudley tried to comprehend what he was reading, then just shook his head. This was too foreign for him. He needed to come at this from a different angle.

“Who gave you the scepter?”

The pair of Teth’s didn’t answer.

That was telling in itself. “I’m starting to think we’re in more trouble than I can imagine,” Dudley uttered candidly.

For his part, Teth seemed to incline his head in agreement. “It’s always a friend who hates you the most,” the pair remarked coldly. Then, after a pause, said, “His name was Ahk-Ton.”

“He was your friend?”

“He was my priest,” the pair of Teths answered.

That caught Dudley by surprise, if only because he’d never thought of the boy as being particularly religious.

...excepting, of course, that historically he’d actually been worshipped as a god.

“An exceptionally long-lived one, but I didn’t see it at the time,” the Teths mused dryly. There was a profound sadness that connected the two, the slave and the god. “He played my ego like a finely tuned harp.”

Now it was Dudley’s turn to say nothing, because he had no idea what he could – what he should – have said.

The boy moved on, arriving at a table that he’d seemed to reserve for last. As he started flipping through a leather-bound tome, he seemed to struggle for the first time at Dudley had seen.

Peering around the shadow of the Big Guy, Dudley noted, “That doesn’t look like sanskrit.”

“It’s a form of Canaanite,” the Teths answered.

“Can you read it?”

“Once, maybe. I’m not sure I remember it,” the Teths answered cryptically.

It was the first time that the Old Man could recall the boy suggesting that there was a language he didn’t speak.

“This was the language of my tribe.”

The twin shadows reached out, two fingers gently touching the page as though in an effort to reach and touch a part of their past that had been forgotten.

Then the two looked up. An odd question formed as he asked, “Why did he know it?”

“Who?” Dudley asked, trying to follow. “The Wizard you spoke of?”

“This appears to have been a journal... diary of sorts,” the Teths remarked, flipping forward one page and then back two as he tried to decipher their meaning. “It’s the only thing I’ve found that might have a first-hand account of what happened at Kahndaq, but I can barely read this.”

“But you were at Kahndaq,” Dudley remarked.

“I wasn’t exactly thinking straight in those years,” the pair of shadows answered flatly. “And Shazam laid my ass out, so I was unconscious for whatever happened between him and Ahk-Ton.”
Similar to Web, I've written and re-written my next post about three times and I'm not satisfied with it.

I may skip the intro and try going straight into my first story to see if that helps. I hate handwaving the worldbuilding, but I am just stuck at present.
Between working on the house and doing the job hunt, I'm behind but should have a Toro post up today or tomorrow at the latest.

“And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” part II | | Post Theme

“My name is Sivana,” the man stated.

Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.”

The Dude-in-a-Suit couldn’t have made less of an impression with the pair. Still balancing the stacked laundry baskets atop his head, the young-looking Teth merely continued to regard the man with a mixture of apathy and disdain.

For his part, Dudley seemed to take the more diplomatic approach. “Look, Mister Siva…”

Doctor, Dude-in-a-Suit corrected the retired hero swiftly.

It prompted the boy’s eyes to narrow slightly. “I get the sense that’s not a medical degree,” Teth remarked, not bothering to mask the irritation in his voice.

The Dude-in-a-Suit just gave a slight nod in acknowledgement of the boy’s observation. “I have an... interest in certain antiquities,” the man supplied cryptically.

If it was possible, the man was very quickly approaching the limit of Teth’s patience. Which was not a long runway to start with.

“What’s that got to do with us?” Dudley asked, ever the oblivious Boy Scout.

“You? Nothing,” Dude-in-a-Suit answered, summarily dismissing the current Captain Marvel and focusing his attention instead on the former.

“However, I imagine you’re much more familiar with the history I’m researching,” Sivana added, looking directly at the boy as he spoke.

The child’s eyes pulsed with an ominous glow, as a distant roll of thunder echoed overhead.

For the second time, Dudley took a step to insert himself between the pair. Either out of some misplaced sense of protecting Teth, or else because he could imagine the boy turning the Dude-in-a-Suit into a scorch mark on the sidewalk. “What makes you believe that?”

Producing a smartphone, Sivana casually replied, “TikTok.”

“Yo, what up, it’s your boy, SuperFam19, and I’m here in Happy Harbor at a coin laundromat on a tip that sometimes Captain Marvel comes in here to, you know, wash his drawers or whatever, and so we’re gonna... oh, shit, yo. It’s him. It’s totally him.”

As the video began to play on the screen, Teth merely rolled his eyes.

Startled, Dudley tried his question again. “Well, yeah, but what’s that got to do with...”

“Keep watching.”

“Oh, shit, you’re that kid from the YouTube vid. The one where you and Captain Marvel were fighting that giant robot in Fawcett. Dude, are you like his sidekick? OH, FU--

The video then went sideways. Literally, as if the camera or the one holding it had been thrown through the air. Flashes of light and the sound of something like an explosion could be heard, before Teth’s face briefly entered the frame.

“...I ruled Kahndaq you f*cking plebeian piece of...”

Sivana ended it there, tucking his phone away as he deadpanned, “Rocket science.”

Dudley just blinked. “Well, yes, that did happen,” the Captain Marvel remarked, glaring down at the boy behind him.

For his part, Teth just looked away as if ignoring the whole thing.

“Look, Mister-- Doctor,” Dudley began, stammering over the man’s titles a moment before he said, “Just so we’re clear, we paid for that phone he destroyed.”

-tch- Teth uttered, a click of his tongue capturing the irritation as it was his turn to glare at the old man.

It was clear Sivana wasn’t here for any of that. “I want to ask you about Kahndaq,” the man remarked flatly.

The ominous glow returned to the boy’s eyes, as his glare shifted from the old man to the Dude-in-a-Suit.

After an icy silence, the boy finally answered, “Hard pass.”

With that, Teth merely turned and walked away.

“I’m willing to pay for information.”

The boy wanted to keep going, but he could already hear Dudley saying that they could use the money. Any money.

...and he’d be right.

“Enough to reimburse a few more phones at the very least,” Sivana added, as the boy came to a stop.

The boy didn’t look back as he offered simply, “Do what you like.”

Continuing onward, whether Sivana followed or not was of no consequence to him. Though, when it became clear that the Dude-in-a-Suit was following, the boy said, “It’s BYOB though. Old geezer stocks the ‘fridge with RC Cola. Can’t even afford Coke or Pepsi.”

“I happen to like RC Cola!”

“No one likes RC Cola!”

| 10 minutes later

“Do you prefer to walk? I imagine with your powers that you could have transported us here in the...”

“My gifts are not a parlor trick for your amusement,” the boy answered, his eyes adopting the otherworldly glow as his presence seemed to suddenly fill the room, swiftly silencing the man.

“Nor are they to be taken lightly,” the child-like entity warned, even as he and Dudley welcomed the stranger into their home. Or, at least, what passed as such.

“...including by me.”

Sivana took a moment to regain his cold composure. “Forgive me. On the street, I might have mistaken you for a child,” the man remarked evenly.

“We are, each of us, children in the eyes of someone,” Teth noted in kind.

Sivana seemed to be sizing him up.

“You really are him, aren’t you?” the man uttered after a moment.

Teth’s patience had hit capacity. He rolled his eyes in naked disdain of the man’s awe. “If you didn’t already believe as much, you wouldn’t be here,” the boy snapped.

If Sivana waste his own time, so be it.

His time? Now that was different.

Holding out his arms, the boy hopped back onto a sofa that had definitely seen better days. “So, Mister Doctor, what did you think was going to happen next? For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings.

Sivana’s head inclined, clearly surprised by the boy’s words. Not just the words, but the phrasing. “Shakespeare?” the man remarked, though it was more of a question than an observation. Then, grasping for straws, guessed, “King Lear?”

“Richard the Second, Act Three, scene two,” the boy supplied flatly. Then recited, How some have been deposed, some slain in war. Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed.”

“A message,” Sivana observed, dropping down into a chair across from the boy. Then, leaning forward, asked, “Or a warning?”

“That depends on you,” Teth answered cryptically, before adding, “Consider your question carefully.

Sivana just gave a nod, relaxing as he lounged back in the chair. “I’ve been funding an expedition in the southern Sinai peninsula,” the man announced. Then paused a moment as he started to ask, “You’re…”

“I’m familiar,” the boy answered shortly, interrupting the man.

“They think they may have found the temple of... well, that is to say, your temple.”

The boy’s jaw clenched, grinding his teeth as his eyes pulsed with the same otherworldly glow as before.

Retrieving his phone, Sivana began swiping at his screen. “I’ve found a clue in a tablet fragment that I believe may point to the resting place for an artifact from the era of your rule,” the man stated, extending the phone out for Teth to take and inspect.

On the screen was an image of a stone chunk. Some Egyptian writing visible on it, even from where Teth sat.

He didn’t reach to take the offered phone.

“Kahndaq was a utopia of science and magic,” Teth said, keeping his attention on the little man trying to cast a long shadow before him. “There could be thousands of artifacts, some small, some powerful.”

Sivana merely shrugged. “The scepter of Ra,” the man name-dropped casually, returning the phone to his pocket.

A loud clap of thunder echoed outside the mountain.

“Legends say it was forged for your divine ascension,” Sivana continued. Then, looking the boy in the eye, added, “But not by whom.”

Teth was careful not to give any outward reaction. “A gift, I think,” the boy answered. A calculated statement. Then, unconvincingly, said, “I don’t remember.”

Sivana sat back again, clearly evaluating the boy.

“Unfortunate,” the man remarked, giving a click of his tongue before he leaned forward again. “Perhaps you could elaborate on the qualities of this baton? The legends make it quite... fantastic.”

The greed. The lust for power. It dripped from every word. It radiated from the man’s very pores. Grasping at straws, chasing greatness, never satisfied with what he had.

The longer the boy looked into Thaddeus Sivana’s eyes, the closer he glimpsed his own reflection in them.

The boy’s jaw tensed, as he drew a deep breath. Taking a moment to collect his own composure, least he do something Sivana might regret.

“As I said, I don’t recall,” Teth offered when he spoke again.

“I see,” Sivana remarked, not bothering to mask his disappointment.

After a moment of silence between them, the Dude-in-a-Suit stood. “Well, I imagine that should be all,” Sivana supplied, smoothing the front of his suit coat as he started toward the entry.

“You came all this way just to ask about a stick?” Dudley remarked, having watched the entire exchange while nursing a cold RC Cola.

And somehow still missed the actual discussion entirely.

“Yes,” Sivana answered simply, regarding the fat hero for a scant moment before he turned and glared down at the boy. “But I’ve no intention of being lied to, by ancient gods or their regrets.”

“Doctor Sivana.”

The man had taken perhaps three steps when Teth spoke again.

He didn’t look up as he spoke. “There are things that exist which were created in error. Mistakes that cannot be undone,” the boy warned ominously. “Should you go looking for the scepter of Ra, three things will happen. First, you will know fear. Then, you will know pain.”

Finally, Teth turned his head up as he finished the thought.

“And then you will die.”
A day late and a peso short, but Toro is posted.

For the love of God, someone give this kid a hug.
The Xavier Institute

Westchester, New York | Issue 1.03: Anne [ Previous / Next ] | Post Theme

“Your transcripts arrived from your school.”

Miss Anne was their teacher.

...and also their guidance counselor? To be honest, Toro was rather confused about this. But, this definitely wasn’t a normal school.

The boy sat across from the woman’s desk, his feet dangling as they didn’t quite reach the floor. The hoodie was flipped over his head, his eyes focused on the floor in front of his chair.. The classroom was empty, save for the two of them.

Toro had actually never been in a school this small. There were only a handful of desks in the room. His usual schools had varied between twenty or thirty kids in a room.

“Your math and science scores are good,” the woman continued, turning her attention to the laptop that was in front of her. When she’d looked back over at the dark haired boy, she remarked, “I was surprised English and Spanish seem to be where you struggle.”

The boy just continued to stare down at the floor.

“You don’t like reading, do you?”

The question prompted him to raise his head just slightly. “Like... a book?” he asked meekly, his eyes only briefly meeting hers before darting off to the side again. “I guess I never thought about it.”

“Do you like Harry Potter?”

As though startled by the question, the boy looked up. His head went back, the confusion plain on his face as he answered with a question. “Like, wizards and stuff?” Now she had his full attention. Sitting up a little straighter, he looked back at her as he hesitantly answered, Ajá, I guess..?”

Pushing the sleeves of her blouse back along her forearms, the woman leaned forward as she pressed the topic. “Did you ever read any of the books?”

“I saw the movie,” the boy answered.

“Which one?” the woman countered wryly.

The boy just blinked. “¿Cómo?” he uttered innocently.

Flashing a genuine smile, the woman leaned back and then reached down to open a lower drawer in her desk. A moment later, she slid a book across the desk. The title read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “You can start with this, then,” she stated evenly.

“Eh!?” the boy uttered, staring dumbfounded at the task.

That was a lot of book. "¿Seria?" he asked, looking up at the woman, but she’d already turned her attention back to the laptop screen.

Finally, the boy took the book in his hands. As he sat back in the chair, eyes downcast on the cover, a quiet voice asked, “Is this really a school?”

Pausing her typing, the woman turned her attention back to the boy. “What else would it be?”

Pulling his legs up into the chair, the boy sat cross-legged as he seemed to hunch down, as though trying to make himself as small as possible. “I dunno...”

“Tomás, will you look at me?”

Reaching up with both hands, the boy pulled the hoodie over his head tighter. “A prison?”

The woman cocked her head to one side, at first unsure she’d heard him. “Why would you be in prison?” she asked patiently.

The child across from her didn’t respond.

Stepping out from around her desk, the woman dropped to a knee next to his chair, leaning down so that she was peering up into the hoodie. “Tomás, why would you be in prison?” she repeated in a firm, but calm voice.

The boy shifted uncomfortably atop the seat, pressing his face against the cover of the book to keep from looking at the woman.

“‘Cuz I set things on fire,” a whisper answered finally.

“Tomás, look at me.”

It hadn’t been a request.

Sheepishly, the boy raised his head up. Tears were starting to run down his face, a mixture of fear and confusion is his eyes when he finally glanced up from the floor to meet the woman’s eyes.

“You’re not in trouble,” the woman stated, reaching out to lay a hand on his arm and give it a squeeze. “This school’s here to help you learn. About math. About English. And about how or why you’re able to set things on fire. And then, from there, we can work with you so that you’ll only do it when you want to.”

The boy shifted uncomfortably in his seat, looking back down.

Rearing back up, the woman stepped back behind the desk. “Its okay to be scared, but just like studying for a test, with a little work you can control your powers,” she offered, dropping back into her seat. “They’re actually quite incredible. We thought you just had the ability to manipulate fire, or maybe just immunity to it. Creating fire is quite a complex process.

Peeking up through the hood, a myriad of different emotions seemed to be playing out behind the boy’s frightened eyes. After a moment, he simply asked, ¿Qué?

Tapping in a few notes into the boy’s file, the woman remarked, “Because you have to be generating not only the fuel for the process, but also the means of its ignition. And that’s just for the combustion.”

The boy just blinked. “Oh,” he answered simply.

No, he hadn’t followed anything she’d just said.

“The only individual that comes to mind with a power like yours is the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four,” the teacher offered, closing the laptop and then folding her arms down on the desk as she turned her attention back to the boy to ask, “That’s cool, isn’t it?”

Instead of answered, the boy’s attention seemed to land on her forearm.

“What’s FoH mean?”

Quickly, the woman used her other hand to push the sleeve of her blouse up over the gothic cross artwork on her arm. “That tattoos are a mistake,” she answered cryptically. Then, deflected the question by deadpanning, “Do you have any?”

“¿Qué?” the boy uttered, at last starting to relax and sit normally in the chair. “I’m twelve!” he answered flatly, a slightly giggle escaping.

“There is one thing,” the woman noted, gesturing at the boy. Or, rather, at the hoodie he was wearing. “Each time you ignite, what you’re wearing ignites as well.”

Si,the boy answered, blushing faintly as his eyes darted away again. He'd already burned through three sets of clothes that they'd given him.

Des was starting to become adept at using a fire extinguisher.

The worst had been when they'd been in the cafeteria, and Toro had been trying to hold onto the charred remains of his clothing. Standing in the middle of the school with only extinguishing foam covering his bare butt. Or the rest of him.

“That’s one way of avoiding doing laundry, but I don’t recommend it,” the woman offered in the same wry tone of voice. Then, she added, “We can make you some clothing that won’t burn up when you ignite, but we’ll need to run some tests to measure the temperature at which you burn so we make sure its safe for you to wear.”

“Tests,” the boy echoed, confused. Inclining his head, he asked, “Like, a quiz?”

“Not... exactly.
| The Great Pyramid | April 9, 2012

Dudley Do-Right was what we call in the business... a wanna be.

All right, so that wasn’t actually his name. That was Dudley H. motherf*cking Batson. And, yes, that was absolutely how it was pronounced. Emphasis on the motherf*cker.

Born in the 1950s, this son of a bitch grew up reading comics and adventures of the heroes of the Second World War and it inspired him to go off to war to do his part for king and country when the U.S. decided to stick its nose (and the middle finger) to a South Asia country named Vietnam.

...well, Americans don’t have a king, that’s kind of their whole schtick, but whatever.

What do Americans fight for anyway? For Constitution and country?

Anyway, this jackass got himself blown up by something and wound up getting actual superpowers of a sort. I mean, he’s a two-out-of-five at best, but he can leap tall buildings in a single bound, that kind of shit. So what does he do? Well, being the original, inventive, and thoughtful chap that he is, he decides to take my name. And my look. Red suit, gold lightning bolt, white cape, the whole nine yards.

I really should have trademarked that shit.

“Little help here?”

Oh, and if I hadn’t mentioned it yet, Captain Motherf*cker was also getting his ass handed to him at present.

That was actually the second highlight of today.

Sitting cross-legged in mid-air, the young boy hovered over the battle unfolding below. It was a little too cliche for his taste – alien warlord descending from the mysteries of the cosmos, declares himself humanity’s new god, and proceeds to build his temple.

Which, in this case, apparently involved taking the Great Pyramid of Giza apart, brick by brick.

The simplicity of it all made the boy wonder why he’d never thought to do this.

The Egyptian military was clearly outclassed. They were just throwing money up into the air and letting it burn with the artillery they were firing at this point.

Then there was the name-dropper. Getting bounced around like a pinball, then flopping around the desert floor like a fish pulled from the Nile.

Shifting the sandwich he was cradling, the boy licked the sauce from his fingers. Which, by the way, little falafel cart outside of Cairo. F*cking amazing. “What are you doing?” the youth asked callously, speaking down at the haggard, aged figure of yesterday’s hero. “Because you’re not doing it very well.”

Breathing heavy, the blue-eyed man pushed himself up from the ground. He’d been knocked down time and time again for the past four decades. Now, aging into his sixties, Dudley Batson wasn’t as marvelous as he’d been in his prime. But he still managed to get back to his feet.

“You’re one of the Titan kids, right?” the man managed, between ragged gulps for breath. His age was showing, even with his abilities. Dudley Batson might have been able to outrun a locomotive, but he wasn’t outrunning the passage of time. Sweat ran down his face, as he spared a glance back up at the boy. “At least I’m doing something.”

Bits of fried chickpea mash flew from the boy’s lips, as the bloated old goat drew a genuine laugh from the impish figure.

Was the old man glaring at him?

“Oh. Oh, you’re serious,” the boy realized aloud. As he leaned in to take another bite, he paused a moment to add, “I’m just here to watch, Old Man.”

The boy bit into the sandwich, chewing as he watched the so-called Captain Marvel make another futile attempt at flailing about, before he made a successful faceplant into failure. Giving a shrug, the boy just savored his food as he inclined his head toward their new alien overlord du jour. “Might offer him a hand, in fact.”

As the sandwich disappeared, the boy balled up the wrapper it had been sold in as he mused aloud. “Is it a him, you think? Gender in the context of extraterrestrial life can be difficult to...”

“These monuments are priceless to all mankind!”

The irritation he felt was seen in the twitch in his left eye. A loud crack of thunder cracked overhead, even though no clouds were present. “Don’t speak to me of the pyramids. I was here when they were built,” the boy snapped. As the wrapper crumpled in his fist, a tendril of smoke and the crackle of electricity rose from the child’s hand as ashes and dust trailed into the wind. “Do you have any idea how many slaves died so that you can take selfies and marvel at the wonder of Egyptian engineering?

Dudley managed to get back to his feet, yet again.

Except this time, he stumbled. Sinking down onto one knee, the old man labored for breath and felt the strength starting to leave him. And the pain start to catch up to him.

Finally, the old man turned his head up to the boy, then looked over at the pyramid. “...while these pyramids stand, the stories of those slaves can still be told,” the old man stated, peering back up at the boy seated in the air. “When they’re gone, who will speak for them then?”

The child’s jaw tensed, his teeth grinding as the old man’s words really pissed him off.

The large, alien figure brought its fist down to crush the red-garbed hero once and for all.

Dudley just bowed his head and waited for the blow to come.

When it seemed to take longer than he’d expected, the old man just blinked as he opened his eyes and looked up.

The boy was standing there, one hand raised overhead as he stopped the giant’s attack. A well-worn, blue t-shirt rippled in the breeze along the lanky frame. A faded S-shield still visible on the front even after having been washed to within an inch of its fabric life.

No, he wasn’t a fan. It had been on sale at Goodwill for two bucks.

At first startled, the alien’s reaction was instead one of amusement. “Oh, what is this?” the Goliath-esque being uttered, withdrawing its arm as it sized up the petite form that now stood in defiance of the glorious rule of...

...of whatever the alien had said its name was.

Yes, there had been a whole thing about this. The usual speeches, villain monologues. Teth had gone to get his sandwich during most of it and hadn’t been listening to any of it even when he’d come back.

“You brought your sidekick?”

A roll of thunder cracked overhead, as the boy’s visceral reaction was immediate. His lips curled back as his eyes glared up at the figure who was trying to intimidate by making himself larger than life.

In Teth’s experience, those who tried to cast the tallest of shadows were often the smallest of men.

“What are you? Twelve?” Alien-of-the-Week boomed, before making a dismissive gesture. “Go home little b...”

There had been no warning. Lightning came before the thunder. Only after the deafening clap had split the air had anyone realized what had happened. Whether it had come from the ground, the sky, or the boy himself – or a combination of all three – the force of the blast had been enough to lift the giant off his feet, throwing him back in the air.

When the smoke had cleared, the boy had been replaced by a much larger figure.

Arms outstretched, the black-garbed figure seemed to be waiting for the stunned alien to say something.

When he didn’t, the Champion did. “If I looked like this, would it make you feel better about getting your ass kicked?”

Laid flat on the desert floor, a smoking crater rose from the alien’s rock-like chest. The self-declared dictator of the Earth struggled to even sit up, as the black-garbed figure started walking slowly toward him. “I am Theo Ramses Teth-Adam. I have been called the thunder god,” the mysterious figure uttered, as the sky boomed overhead with each word.

Cracking the knuckles of either hand, the Champion then cracked his neck from side to side, as the alien was just starting to pick itself back up. “Spare the prayers for mercy,” the black-garbed figure warned, a wicked smile flashing on his face. “The gods will not be watching.”

Dudley had seen a lot of brutal fights in his time, but the raw savagery that was on display in the next moment made the old man sick to his stomach.

He was toying with the giant. Batting it around like a cat playing with a mouse, letting it run before pouncing. The alien’s blood, vomit, and tears spilled onto the Egyptian army – probably not an accident – as one of giant’s teeth missed Dudley’s head by mere inches.

Brought to its knees, the alien slumped forward. Defeated. Unable to even raise its head.

Raising himself overhead, the black-garbed figure stretched out his hands. Mystic symbols appeared at his fingertips, as he began to draw a rune in the air. “To the current of life we succumb, it’s judgment swift and final,” the Champion intoned, speaking life into the spell as a guillotine blade seemed to form in the air over the giant’s head. “It’s bite as cold as ste...”


A pair of glowing, smoldering eyes glared down at the red-garbed Marvel.

For a moment, Dudley felt as though he might be next.

Then the guillotine faded back to nothing. The mystic symbols faded, as the figure of the black-garbed man seemed to dissolve in ash that seemed to peel away to reveal the boy underneath.

Dudley and the boy just stared at one another.

One gripped with terror and the other anger.

It was the boy who looked away. “There. I saved the pyramids,” he offered coldly, before disappearing from view in another flash of lightning.

“And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place, part I” | ◄ | Post Theme

S U D S & S T U F F L A U N D R O M A T
| Happy Harbor, Rhode Island | Present Day

“Fifty years I’ve been doing this.”

The young boy had half a pop-tart hanging out of his mouth, using both hands to pull clothes from dryer and dumping them into a laundry basket. Reaching up to pull the half-eaten, untoasted pastry from his lips, the dark-haired youth looked up as he mockingly asked, “Washing your cape?”

A heavy sigh escaped the man as he straightened back up. Well, tried to straighten back up anyway. He was starting to have a slump to his posture. “Well, yes, but that’s not what I meant,” Dudley answered, shooting a glare over at the imp.

“I know what you meant,” the kid replied evenly, picking up the laundry basket and moving it over to a folding table near the old man. “I just missed the part where being a hero was a paying job.”

Holding up the remaining bit of pop-tart, the boy muttered “...in this century, anyway,” before popping the cheap meal into his mouth. As he chewed, he started pulling clothes from the basket and folding them.

A pair of large white boxers with fading hearts on them caught him by surprise, which turned to disgust as he realized the old man’s underwear had gotten mixed in with his clothes.

Chucking the unmentionables at the white-haired boy scout, the child’s eyes seemed to pulse with an otherworldly glow as he remarked, “If we had actual income, we wouldn’t be squatting in an old League safehouse.”

Folding a t-shirt in his hands, the boy turned back to what he was doing.

The god-king of Kahndaq and a man who’d saved countless millions over a fifty-one year career as Captain Marvel. Reduced to Goodwill donations and scraping quarters out of sofa cushions to do laundry.

“Cheap bastards could have at least put in a washer and dryer.”

Stacking the old man’s laundry basket on top of his own, the boy balanced both on the top of his head as the pair stepped out of the laundromat.

It was an unconscious thing, he didn’t even realize he was doing it.

In Ancient Egypt, males would balance the jars of water they’d drawn on their heads, whereas only girls sensibly carried them on their shoulders. He supposed it was a bit of a game, to show that you could do it and not have to make multiple trips back because you’d spilled your jar.

A hipster had recognized Dudley, delaying them for a selfie with the old man, but at least this time it didn’t descend into Dudley re-telling the time he stopped some ridiculous thing that called itself Mister Mind from controlling President Reagan. He liked to tell that one. Often. Too often.

“I’m just saying, there’s gotta be something we can do to bring in some extra cash,” the old man was lamenting, as the pair shuffled along the streets of Rhode Island, schlepping back toward the glorified ant hill that might as well have been called The Rock of Homeless Sons of Bitches.

“You’re on Social Security and your nation has a thing against child labor,” the boy deadpanned dryly, even as his own words rang hollow in his ears.

A slave at eight years old. Thrown into the lightless reaches of a mine. The only kindness his masters showed him were the lash and the words, dig well and live.

O wise king, god and liberator of the slaves... Why hadn’t he thought to end child labor?

“You could turn into the big guy if you wanted to,” Dudley quipped back, drawing the boy from his reverie.

“Excuse me.”

The boy just rolled his eyes, as young and old turned expecting to find another fan wanting a selfie with the great and glorious action hero of the 80s.

It was a middle aged dude in a suit, stepping onto the sidewalk from out of a limousine.

In unison, Teth and Dudley blinked. This was not the usual.

Neither was it for someone stopping them on the street to even notice the Mediterranean-looking boy accompanying Captain Whitebread, but Dude-in-a-Suit seemed solely focused on the boy with the two laundry baskets balanced atop his head.

“You’re Teth-Adam, correct?”

The boy’s eyes narrowed.

Whether conscious or not, Dudley took a step as if to insert himself between the stranger and the boy.

Unperturbed, the Dude-in-a-Suit just continued. Removing his sunglasses, the man folded those away into a pocket inside his suit coat as he casually asked, “Or do you prefer the name Theo Ramses?”

“I prefer people get to the point,” the boy uttered flatly.

“My name is Sivana,” the man stated.

Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.”

"Five thousand years ago, the world needed a hero. Instead, it got me."
Ancient Egyptian (Canaanite) | Earth’s Champion
Mount Justice | Rhode Island | USA

Thousands of years ago, the Council of Wizards protected the developing human societies from all manner of threats. Over the course of centuries, those battles took their toll on the Council, until Shazam was the last. It was only then that the man recalled the life he’d left behind, the family that he’d forgotten, and went in search of the tribe that he’d turned his back to many generations before. He discovered his people massacred, a single boy pulled from the fire to survive his family line, placed in shackles and cast into the turquoise mines of Ancient Egypt. When the spark of rebellion was ignited by the boy’s brash nature – courage or foolishness - he was to be executed, a child sacrifice to serve as a slave to the god Toth. The Wizard saved the boy from death, keeping their relation concealed as he allowed his powers to flow through the youth. Shazam’s purpose was to mold the boy into a proper champion who could protect humanity after him.

That was 5,000 years ago. Teth-Adam is still learning, and it’s been a rough road to get here.

Shazam gave the boy the power to overcome his demons. Instead, the child conquered his enemies. Leading a revolt, the city-state of Kahndaq in the ancient world was founded upon a turquoise mine as the slaves cast off their shackles and drove out their Egyptian masters. And, for a time, there existed a place of prosperity, knowledge, and peace that was unrivaled by any, a desert analog to the fabled Camelot. A classless society, where all men were free and equal to one another. But women were traded as property, not even second-class citizens. Order was maintained through a strict series of laws, with public executions carried out in the middle of each week. For hundreds of years, this jewel shone brighter than Egypt’s dynasties, until an usurper known as Ahk-Ton seized the throne of Kahndaq through an infernal pact known as the Crown of Sabbac. The Wizard Shazam intervened in the battle that unfolded, which laid waste to the palace and surrounding city. He broke Ahk-Ton’s crown and banished the demon Sabbac back to the flames of Hell, and then entombed Teth-Adam in the wreckage of his city to dwell over the choices that had ushered in the tragic rise and fall of Kahndaq.

That tomb was unearthed by a British archaeologist in 1928, but it wasn’t a boy who stumbled out of his prison – it was a young woman. Stripped of his (her) powers, Teth-Adam found that the only spell that he (she) was capable of casting was the name of Shazam. Adopting the identity of Mary Bromfield, he (she) would become a member of the Justice Society of America during the Allies European campaign in World War II. Unable to say the name Shazam, the red, gold, and white garbed hero became known as Captain Marvel, though the heroic actions of both herself and her companion Liberty Belle were often denigrated in comparison to their male counterparts - precisely the lesson about walking in the shoes of the oppressed that the Wizard had in mind for Teth.

At the end of the War, Teth/Mary was tasked to stop the atomic bombing of Japan. Refusing, Teth/Mary instead allowed the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to take place, as he/she believed it a strategically sound move on the part of the Allies. For this defiance, the Wizard summoned Teth-Adam to the Rock of Eternity, restoring him to his original form before casting him across the cosmos, to make his way back (literally and metaphorically) to being Earth’s champion.

Teth returned to find the world embroiled in war once again, this time from the sea as Atlantis invaded. With his youthful appearance, violent disposition, and brash manner, Teth-Adam clashed with the Justice League and instead found more of a kinship with the teenage titans that operated on the fringes of the League’s tolerance (or apathy, whichever may have been the case).

Today, he is a solitary figure who often sits atop Mount Justice and looks out over the world that has caused him so much grief. He’s supposed to be Earth’s champion. It’s a job he’s been training for since time immemorial, and he’s still got a lot to learn.

P L O T ( S ) & G O A L ( S )
P L O T ( S ) & G O A L ( S )
Drawing inspiration from Justice League Beyond’s interpretation as Billy, Shazam, Black Adam, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel being 5 separate identities sharing 1 body, this is a reinterpretation that pitches Teth-Adam singularly in those roles. Typically, I focus on Billy Batson but my vision often chafes against the modern retelling of his personality. In this instance, I merge the idea of “Asshole Batson” with Black Adam, probably not at all from having watched the movie recently and I think it makes for a more compelling and interesting character than either Billy or Teth-Adam by themselves.

I’ve worked out a connection with Static with @Retired owing to their shared “titans” history. Other characters of the period are also welcome to work in connections.

In terms of plots, the first story out the gate will be a return to Kahndaq in a Mummy-esque Indiana Jones style adventure, then some vignette style stories to allow for some collaboration if anyone desires before I jump into a second Temple of Doom styled story.

The Brendan Frasier and Harrison Ford are strong in this one.

© 2007-2023
BBCode Cheatsheet