By: Michael Moore
"Aw, come on!" the hero moaned as he stared at
the large pile of rubble that was once an Independence
Port warehouse. "You guys called me all the way out
here just to get me to lift a few rafters? Doesn't
your company provide things like oh, let's see,
One of the construction workers shook his head.
"I'm sorry, but the boss wants this done cheap, and
you're the cheapest moving equipment we could find."
"So I'm equipment now? You 'citizens' need to
learn that heroes don't need to solve all your
problems for you." the hero barked.
"But you're still going to do it, right?"
He groaned, but nodded his head. He needed the
rent money because business had been slow at his
off-hero-time shop. Nobody appreciated good antiques
As the hero, Tectonix, concentrated and created a
large stone suit of armor around himself, the two
construction workers walked to a nearby crate and
began taking their lunch break. Tec pushed the pieces
of concrete, wood, and steel into seperate piles for
cleanup to take care of.
As he got closer to the center of the pile, it
slowly became warmer inside his rock armor. Sweating
badly, he stilled pushed the rubble around and
resolved himself to learning how to create of
temperature resistance armor.
"That'll be the main support beam there." one of
the workers shouted to Tec as he tried to move a
seemingly whole piece of rafter. "That's probably how
the place went down. 'S still in one piece see, so it
fell before the rest of it"
'Whatever.' Tec thought, and tried once again to
lift the beam. When he did, he thought he heard a
mumbled, "Thanks, bro." But he couldn't recall
exactly what happened afterwards. A huge ball of
flame erupted from underneath the beam, throwing it,
Tec, and the surrounding debris flying in a huge
cirle. The two construction workers were later found
with their faces burned off and without their wallets.
"Sixty one, sixty two, sixty three, sixty four,"
Scarlet Armstrong counted as she went pushed herself
up from the ground. Her all time record for push ups
was two hundred and twelve, a record she intended to
break. "Eighty four, eighty five, eighty six," Her
counting was cut off by the sudden and unexpected
presence of a looming darkness.
Rolling her eyes, she stood up and faced Reaper.
He hadn't changed at all since they had first met,
four months ago, he was still completely black except
for the red triangle on his chest and his glowing red
eyes. Still six feet exactly, still a hundred pounds
heavy. He never changed.
But Scarlet had, quite a lot actually. When the
two had first met, she had worn black tights with deep
blue boots and a blue mask over her eyes. Now, she
had taken a slightly different approach. She wore a
purple, slightly loose suit, with blue gloves and
boots, but without a matching mask. But she still had
her signature brilliantly red hair.
"So, what do you want now, Reaper?" she asked,
crossing her arms. This guy never showed up without a
business proposition, and he always got straight to
the point whether who he was talking to wanted to make
small talk or not.
He kept well to tradition. "Ferguson's found his
plans, at last. The Clockwork lost them, you already
know, because the Vahzilok stole them. The Skulls
killed the Vahzilok, who then in turn had them stolen
by some Crey grunts. You in? Or do I have to find
someone else to come?"
Scarlet smiled. Out of all the missions Reaper
had taken her on, she had always accepted the chance
to hunt for Ferguson's plans. The old doctor had been
a lot of help when her hand had been rendered useless
while fighting a group of Clockwork. The electric
blast had fried the neurons in her left hand, which
Ferguson had regrown and replaced.
"No way. I'm in. But we should get some inside
help from the Family to get us a way in." she replied,
taking out her cell phone and flipping it open.
"You have a contact inside the family? That's
unexpected." Reaper, as he always could, showed
surprise with only his eyes and voice.
"His name's Johnny No Thumbs, or at least that's
what he class himself. I've met him. They really did
cut off his thumbs, too." she said as she dialed the
number with practiced ease.
"It's still a little ridiculous calling yourself
Johnny No Thumbs. That makes no sense. And he's
supposed to be a member to the Family? And how's he
supposed to get us into Crey Industries?"
Scarlet held up her hand, gesturing for Reaper to
keep quiet. "Yes, Johnny? Yeah, it's Scarlet.
Listen, me and a friend've got to get something from
the Countess. Yeah, it's important. No, I've never
seen his face. No, I don't know if he's a Kheldian or
a Nictus. Well how am I supposed to know? Yes, he
does have glowing eyes, but. Yes, but. No, actually,
he can't fly. Yes, he can. No, he's never been a
Reaper took the phone from Scarlet's hand, which
usually would've held whatever was in it very well.
"Yes, is this Johnny No Thumbs? Yes, I'm Reaper.
What's with your name? No, I don't want to finish the
conversation, I want you to get me into Crey
Industries. I don't care, just do it. No, you can't.
No, but I'll rip your hands off instead. How does
that sound? Thank you very much, Mister Thumbs."
Reaper closed the phone and handed it back to Scarlet.
"What was that about?" she asked.
"He's going to send in our resumes to the
employee office. I hope you like working for the
Countess for about a week." and he teleported out of
"What would you two gentlemen want with me?" a
voice said from the darkness. The men in question,
one rather large and muscular with a shaven head, the
other a small, weaker man with sleek black hair.
"Let me introduce ourselves. I am Kent Mason,
and this is my partner, Andrew Riddle. We're here to
help you." the little one, Kent, said.
There was a silence from the darkness of the
abandoned room. Whoever was there probably wasn't
even considering their proposition. The two men
backed away slowly, knowing full well how dangerous
this man was.
"What exactly are you going to help me with?" the
voice replied as they almost got to the door.
Kent cleared his throat and stepped forward,
straightening his tie out of habit. "We're former
members of the Family. Since our dismemberment, we've
put our talents to use in finding, capturing, or
"So? I've been in the same profession for more
than two decades. Believe me, you're small time."
"Maybe so, but we know who you're after, and
we're after him, too. The Reaper. And our employers
have given us something that can take him down."
As Kent finished his sentence, a small white
figure emerged from the darkness, almost completely
covered in some form of rags, only his deep brown eyes
and the bridge of his nose showing. The months had
done little to change the White Hellion, other than
his bosses thinking that he was dead. His costume was
now in rags, torn almost to pieces from his fight
against Reaper and Scarlet.
"I'm listening." he said and crossed his legs as
he sat on the floor. Drew grinned, but he was always
grinning from some strange thought of his.
"Here's what we've come up with so far," Kent
started, with the Hellion listening to every detail, a
pale hunger growing in his eyes.
The secretary lowered her glasses and stared at
the new applicant. Miss Carmen Armstron had been an
effective member of several past establishments,
always serving as extremely good securtiy.
The whole interview, Carmen had been trying not
to grit her teeth, looking back on the situation.
Reaper had appeared before her with a well ironed work
suit, something that she detested. Then, he had
revealed that he wouldn't be gunning for another
position in Crey Lab 2 for some strange reason. Now
here she was, wearing a perfectly comfortable, but
tacky, blue secretary suit just like the woman in
front of her while her partner was off doing
"Well, you sure seem to have the qualifications
necessary to be employed, but why would you wear a
suit if you're going to be applying for securtiy
detail?" the secretary asked.
"I try to make a good first impression. If I
have to meet someone, then I'll dress accordingly, you
know." Carmen replied.
The secretary didn't looked convinced, but didn't
say any more about it. She merely stood up, shook
Carmen's hand, and pointed her to the evaluation room.
Supposedly, this would test whether or not she had
the skills to cope with Crey's slight 'hero problem.'
The hallway to the evaluation room was pretty
bland, just grey steel with some windows placed here
and there. The doors were like the ones you'd see in
a sci-fi film. Big, metal doors parted down the
middle that made a small swish sound when they opened
and closed. When she stepped through the doors labled
'Employee Evaluation', there was no swish.
Before she knew what had happened, a large
muscled man pulled her into the disguised storage
room. She tried to struggle, even used her super
strength to kick the man in his shins, but he didn't
let go, keeping one hand over her mouth as another man
stepped from beside the door.
"Nighty, night, sweet birdie." the big one said
as the shorter man placed a gas mask over Carmen's
mouth which let loose a wave of a sleeping solution.
She was unconcious in less than a minute, wishing that
she had heard the swish instead.