The passage of time through faster-than-light travel would be a difficult thing to try and describe, even if a frame of reference existed. Usually, it didn’t. Ships traversed space through various means. Star gates. Warp gates. Whatever folded space
was supposed to mean. But people? People didn’t generally fly between galaxies on their own power.
Billy Batson had become the exception to the rule.
He usually closed his eyes. At that velocity, light really wasn’t a thing. That was the whole point of the faster than
part. There were glimpses
. Of what? Billy couldn’t have said. Color? Not any that formed the rainbow, that much was certain.
To be honest, he preferred when he was just a passenger. He could kick back on Friday and they could listen to the old Shadow radio dramas or watch replays of Casablanca like it was a movie theater.
You’d think in a galaxy where massive floating ships that traveled faster-than-light were a thing, that someone would have delivered a portable radio or something so that maybe you could listen to music or even the news. Anything to break up the loneliness of solitary space travel.
In silence, in moments between the ticking of the clock, the young Batson catapulted across the stars at speeds that defied the bounds of reality itself. Left with only his own thoughts, the half-remembered dreams that tripped across memories.
...so many memories.
O P E R A T I O N D R A G O O N
Marseilles, France | August 24, 1944
They’d been fighting non-stop for nearly two weeks now.
As Operation Overlord turned all German eyes to the northern part of France, the opportunity for new gains in the southern reaches of the French Riveria opened up with the fall of Rome. Now, they were working to liberate the ports. The U.S. Third Infantry Division was dug in at Cavalaire-sur-Mer and the French Army was making gains at Toulon.
That left Marseilles.
A shrill whistle cut through the air, before the impact of artillary sent dirt, timber, bits of the road flying through the air. The Panzerkampfwagen
IV was the workhorse of the German armored infantry. Twenty-five tonnes moving at twenty-five miles an hour. Two crew served machine guns. And a 75mm main gun that promised a bad time had by all.
The dark haired child darted in a zig-zag pattern through the streets. He had a drab olive green shirt that was the smallest size manufactured by the Army, and was still several sizes too big for him. Someone had pinned the silvery railroad tracks
of an Army captain’s rank insignia on him. He was, after all, called Captain
Marvel. Not Corporal Marvel or Major Marvel.
He was also currently flying through the air.
No, he couldn’t fly.
He didn’t think so, anyway.
Instead, propulsion for Air Billy was currently being supplied by the 18 pound artillery round
that hit him moving at about a thousand miles per hour
In rapid succession, Billy ripped through the front doors of the local church and then shot out the back of the chapel. He went about another five hundred feet through the air before he began tumbling along the ground until he slumped down into a smoldering pile that lay still for a moment.“Ow.”
Pushing himself up from the ground, a series of sparks seemed to arc along the boy’s frame. The smoldering of his clothes intensified, as flames started to emerge from the energies that seemed to radiate from the small figure.
Staggering up to his feet, the child took a moment in which to catch his breath. The back of his arm swiped across his face, using his sleeve to wipe his nose. Then, drawing a deep breath, he simply started in a jog forward.
The jog became a run.
The run became a sprint.
Spring from off the ground, the child seemed to take off like a rocket. Not flying, just a massive jump that cleared the top of the church in a single bound. Using the roof of the cathedral as a springboard, the boy pounced over the top of the city streets. Balling his fists together, Billy arced through the air as fiery energies enveloped his small frame. “PANZER PUNCH BUGGY!”
The boy’s shout cut through the air as he slammed his fist down atop the German tank. The tank seemed to crush like a soda can in the instant before the kinetic energy was unleashed in an explosion that ripped through the streets. Glass rained in a torrent of shrapnel as the windows were blown out in a six block radius.
When the dust cleared, the boy was barely managing to stand in the center of a crater where bits of the German tank littered around. Chest heaving, his clothing burned and torn to mere tatters that either clung or had melted down onto his skin, the child looked out and watched as the second wave of German infantry came into view through the smoke.
Using his sleeves to wipe his nose again, the boy spit onto the ground and uttered, “No take backs…”
The Andromeda Galaxy | Present Day
The boy’s eyes fluttered open.
Had he fallen asleep?
Stretching, a large yawn escaped him even as he glanced around. Just a lot of black. Well, a couple of stars here and there. But a lot of black.
Rotating around, it was a moment before Billy had oriented himself and managed to get his bearings. Assuming the Nega-Bands had done their thing and this was the place, then he’d assume that the planet that was underneath him was this Tolmeria place.
...or was he beneath it?
Geometry was really funky in space.
Whatever the case may have been, the boy pitched himself across the stellar medium. Arcs of fiery energy sparked and seemed to spread from his body as he cross through the radiation belts, where the solar winds were shifted by the planet’s magnetosphere. Friction added a red glow as he felt the upper atmosphere apply resistance to his path through the air. Before long, Billy was ducking from out of the clouds and finding himself tumbling through the air over an alien landscape.
No matter how long he lived, he’d never quite get used to this
A bright smile lit up his face, a bubbly laugh escaping from out of his lips. A mere thought and low boom
accompanied his passage through the sound barrier. He was sailing like a shooting star through the sky.
A hand came up to the link attached to the side of his head. “Captain’s log, stardate whatever point something.”
Why was he recording a captain’s log? He had no idea. They did this kind of thing on that television show. Plus, at this distance, it’d be at least a week before the closest Resistance patrols picked up his message. Hopefully he’d be back before then, but if not it made sense to at least let the folks back home that he’d arrived.
If anything, it was nice to actually have folks back home
who’d want to hear from him.
Something on the ground caused the boy to circle back. He found himself lingering over top of a crater. Something about it reminded him of one he’d seen before. A long time ago. “I’ve arrived on Tolmeria. Surface search isn’t turning up any signs of life yet, but there’s definitely been a battle or something here.”
Circling as he elevated himself in the air, Billy was confronted by what seemed a series of similar craters in the surface of the planet.“Maybe a couple of battles.”