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Birth of Voltech
By: T.W.

Part 3

Mike’s powers opened many different worlds for him. Not only did he now have power, which he had been wishing since the Rikti attack. But now his fixing of technology went to a whole new level.

Mike began working for some extra money. He didn’t give up pick pocketing; such habits are hard to get rid of. Mike was stationed mostly in King’s Row, Steel Canyon and Skyway City. He stayed away from Atlas Park since so many heroes seemed to resign there.

Another thing Mike had because of his electrical power was fear. Hellions feared him. Skulls fought with him but knew enough to not go picking fights. Mike rarely ever fought to protect or save someone. As long as the gangs stayed out of his way he wouldn’t cause them trouble. The Hellions didn’t seem to catch on to that and he became widely known among them.

When he was working was when he fought mostly. Mainly in Skyway but also in the other areas, metal robots called “Clockwork” tried to rip apart pieces of electrical equipment. Mike got his biggest thrill from the Clockwork. Not only did they also use electrical power, so he learned a lot from watching them, but also they came in huge numbers, didn’t run, and brought very strong robots.

Mike’s pay was added to whenever the Clockwork attacked. And he had no objection about beating the things for money.

~~~~

Four years after his life of work and hard ground for a bed, Mike was walking across one of the roofs of King’s Row. The roof was his favorite place to go. He felt powerful as if looking down upon everything gave him rule over it.

One day, he thought, he would be one of the most powerful people out there. His electrical powers were coming along slowly, to slowly. He had previously connected the Rikti blast to his powers. His parents sacrifice seemed to be in vain, but it actually succeeded in a bigger picture. He was alive and would become a very powerful person.

A very, very powerful person.

A scream broke his train of thought. The glasses over his eyes locked on to the sound. Mike ran from roof to roof until he looked down upon the scene. Three Skulls were attempting to steal a purse. Two stood watch while the third struggled with the woman to retrieve the bag.

Robbery. The one thing Mike didn’t allow especially in places he pick pocketed for a living. If people get robbed forcefully they begin to protect themselves. Which was a bad thing for Mike.

“Hey!” he shouted from the roof. The Skulls turned to look up at him. The woman, retrieving her purse took this moment to quietly sneak away. Mike jumped from his five story perch. He landed crouching at the impact though not even hurt.

The Skull who was wrestling with the girl took out a knife. “Oh boy, a mask” He said cynically.

“No one takes from these people but me.” Mike said as the other two drew their weapons.

“Not a cape then.” Said the Skull behind the leader, he carried a machine gun pointed at Mike.

“No,” Mike said, “you’ll actually find me a lot harsher then any hero.” The third Skull attacked. This Skull wielded an ax and came at him with a powerful overhead chop. Mike moved close grabbing the wrist that held the ax.

Mike pulled, the Skull ran into his elbow. He pivoted hitting the Skull with an electrical punch. The Skull bent holding his stomach. Mike brought both fist over his head, letting the electricity share between them. They came down on the back of the Skull’s head. Snap! The Skulls neck cracked from the blow. He pitched over head bent at a funny angle. Dead.

The machine gun fired. Mike dropped, rolled and sprang up in front of the Skull. His palm hit the Skull’s chin as he sprang up from his roll. Disoriented from the attack the Skull was helpless. Mike finished him off with a close range electrical blast to his stomach.

The last Skull succeeded in piercing Mike’s leatherjacket with his blade. Mike turned quickly, wrenching the knife away as it stayed stuck into the jacket. Suddenly unarmed the Skull covered his face with both his hands. Mike brought his fist up for a final blow.

“Don’t kill me.” The Skull pleaded. Not knowing why, Mike held his attack. “Ill give you anything you want, money…anything” he was speaking fast, he realized his life was short unless he came up with something interesting. “Or…or…how ‘bout…….” An idea suddenly came to him. “I could make you a Skull. You’re obviously not a hero. Your powers could be priceless to us.”

Mike let the electricity around his fist dissipate. This could be the thing he was looking for. Starting as the most powerful Skull and working his way up. Seeing that what the Skull had said interested him, he continued. “You’d become an extremely powerful member to our gang. I bet even the Dark Ones will give you your own group of Skulls. What do you think?”

“Sounds good” Mike said, “but, try anything funny and I’ll make your last moments the longest and most painful.”

The Skull’s smile faded. His visible bottom jaw turned as white as the mask he was wearing. Clearly he thought he had gotten through to him and hadn’t expected being threatened. Quietly, with Mike behind him, the Skull led them to the Skulls hideout.

From the outside the place the Skull was leading looked like an old abandoned office building. Mike readied an electrical attack and considered taking out the Skull before he reached their destination.

The Skull didn’t notice Mike preparing his electrical attack. Instead he knocked on the door and traded some words with someone behind it. After a little while the door was opened and the Skull led him into the warehouse.

Conversation seemed to cease when Mike walked threw. Something about his appearance was recognizably different to people.

Made him look like a hero.

They walked threw densely populated rooms where strobe lights of various colors, and disco balls were the only source of illumination. Skull DJs played music that was heavy in bass and not much else.

All the Skulls talking and drinking with their friends and girlfriends stopped and watched Mike when he walked by. He pretended not to notice; though nothing would have pleased him more than to start electrocuting those who gave him nasty looks, but he was sorely outnumbered.

When the Skull brought him to a heavy door in a secluded corner of the largest room, he quickly turned around and fled into the crowd.

Mike was left standing in front of the door totally isolated. Before he could open it, the door swung open by itself. Having no other alternative Mike walked in.

He walked into a small office, which was made to look smaller by how dark it was. The light above his head did little to illuminate the room but enough to show the figure behind a desk on the other side.

He was merely an outline of darker shadow in the dark room. He spoke in a guttural voice which had as much bass as the music outside. “Mike, I presume.” He leaned forward causing the shadows to retreat as he came more into the dim light. “Don’t be surprised that I know you. I have powers beyond your imagination.”

More like your Skulls told you about me, Mike thought. Mike knew what he was trying to do. He wanted to make himself seem powerful, above Mike. But he knew who had the real power here.

He was wrong. The figure put up his hand and the darkness seemed to swirl and go into it. When the darkness was gone the room seemed a lot bigger and brighter than it had. “I am Lucius,” he said. “I am what is called a Dark Master, you will learn to respect me.”

 “Of course I will.” Mike muttered. The ‘Dark Master’ shot him an evil look.

“Let’s get down to business. Shall we?” he relaxed back into his leather chair. “You want to be a Skull. Don’t deny it; I know you do. But what makes you think your worth of such a place?”

Mike didn’t say anything, he let electrical currents wrap around his body. Since he wasn’t in complete control of his powers yet some of the electricity shot out at the light bulb causing it to glow brighter. Mike stopped before the thing exploded.

The Dark Master lifted both his eyebrows. He stood up and walked around the desk so he was face to face with Mike. “You will do,” he said, “Most assuredly you will do.” He offered his hand, Mike shook it. The Dark powers of Lucius wrapped around Mike’s hand. Mike stopped it by letting electricity go around his own hand.

“Welcome to the Skulls.” Lucius said. A twisted grin split his face.


TO PART 4 >




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