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Right Time, Wrong Place
By: T.W.


A man sat on the street of an alley, his head leaned against the wall. He was in a state of half asleep half awake. Something nudged him in the ribs, not gently. He opened his eyes to see a man wielding a baseball bat raised high to strike.

This new figure wore the leather jacket and beat-up pants and shirt of many of the thugs in Paragon City. On his face he wore the top half of a human skull.

“You’re on Skull territory, get up or you’re a dead man” he threatened. The movement of the real bottom jaw and the stiffness of the top jaw with teeth, looked like an odd overbite and made the man stifle a laugh.

The man put up a hand, palm out, as if to say “hold on a second”, and used the other to help him up. Before he had moved several bolts of white electricity shot out of his open hand, lifting the Skull off the ground, throwing him in an unconscious heap across the alley.

Voltech stood up from the alley street; he looked with pity upon the unconscious Skull and walked away. It had been almost two months since the collapse of the Dark Leader’s underground temple. Voltech’s hair was long, a little passed shoulder length. His face was clean shaven but dirty and almost unrecognizable. He wore fingerless gloves a white T-shirt and black cargo pants.

He passed several people crowded around a mall displaying TV’s on the outside window. On the TV was the Paragon City News Network, with the usual message. “….Kings Row business district is being rebuilt after the collapse a few months ago,” spoke the anchorwoman with her jerky head movements to make her look both cunning and clever, or some one with an odd twitch. “Again, Statesman wants to remind the citizens and loyal heroes of Paragon City to be on the look out for destructive heroes such as this character.”

The TV showed Voltech without his glasses standing in the middle of the destroyed temple and surrounding buildings, the darkness in the temple still swarming around him, a look of hatred still on his face. Statesman appeared on screen, “its heroes like this Voltech that give Paragon City a bad name. We are a City of Heroes. Heroes should be trust worthy, loyal….” He started repeating the hero be-attitudes. Suddenly all the TV’s had exploded and the people scattered, no one noticing the electricity around Voltech’s fingers.

‘A bad name’ that was funny. Had he been the one to destroy the temple after the Dark Master’s attacking, they’d be pinning a medal to his costume. As he entered another alley he noticed Skulls ducking behind dumpsters and hiding behind buildings, dragging their girlfriends along. The temple did have more lasting effects on him, for example, most Skulls who recognized him left him alone, getting out of sight and range as quick as possible.

That was another thing, he thought, “range”; he had been losing it. His blasts were stronger than ever but dissipated at short range. Also his rage, he didn’t have to fight it. It was a natural thing. He dealt with his few attackers quickly and quietly, inflicting as much damage as possible but never tormenting or killing unless it was forced upon him. He fought with a fury that grew consistently as a fight lasted.

A Skull jumped out of the alley he had just passed. Voltech turned around to the barrel of a gun inches from his face, behind him not 3 feet back was a wall. “Any last words Voltech?” said the prideful Skull.

If he was farther away Voltech would have gambled with his invincibility that all heroes have, but a bullet between the eyes at point-blank might prove more than he could handle. The Skull squeezed the trigger; Voltech jerked his head to the left.

Everything went in slow-motion except for him. The shell sprung out of the gun twirling slowly in the air, the bullet left the chamber almost visible. As this was happening Voltech had moved away from the point, spun around to get behind the Skull. The Skull reacted before he could get fully behind him, turning around gun still at shoulder height.

As he almost completed a full turn around, Voltech hit him in the chest with a charged punch. The Skull flew back cracking the stone wall behind him. Voltech looked at his hands, he had never moved that fast before.

Voltech heard the sound of a super-speedster running down the alley. Voltech barely had finished hiding when Shadow Pain of the Onami pulled up and examined Voltech’s victim, next to her landed N0VA 1 also of the Onami.

“Here’s another victim of electricity,” said Shadow pointing to the electric burns on his chest.

“Volt must have hit him hard,” said Nova looking at the crater in the wall.

“Yah, c’mon he can’t be far we should find him soon.” Shadow Pain took off as did N0VA.

Voltech dropped from his hiding place. So the Onami was looking for him to, he had not been to the base since the collapse. They probably wanted to talk to him and ask pestering questions as he sat strapped to a chair with a bright light in his eyes. He had to get away from here, far away from here.

An eighteen-wheeler proved as a useful mode of transportation, Voltech hopped on top using electricity to stick himself to the top of the truck and enjoyed the ride.

~~~~

He pulled up to the worst fate imaginable, a country bar. The sound of the music was like a funeral song for Voltech. He accepted his fate and walked up to it. He entered, it was worse then he thought it was….Clean! His first thought was to walk up to the bar, but thought better. It was possible that his picture was on more then just the Paragon City News. He took a table a ways away.

He looked at the bar again, this time he saw something that made him glad he hadn’t gone to the bar. Dancing on the bar surrounded by a bunch of other men was a beautiful blonde; flirtatious but with no one in particular.

At once Voltech thought of the horrible situation he would have been in had she drawn attention to him at the bar. Every eye would be on him as soon as she recognized his TV picture.

As if reading his thoughts, she dismissed herself from the other men and danced her way to his table and sat on top of it. She wore tight blue jeans, a tank top and a cowboy hat. She began to strike up a conversation. “You seem as if you’re not enjoying yourself.” She said to Voltech her head was tilted down and several strands of her blonde hair fell in front of her face, very seductive.

“You seem to be enjoying yourself to much,” Voltech said sourly, the blonde backed up, eyes wide with shock. “Sorry, it’s just I…..” he searched for words, “do you watch any TV?”

“Barely any,” she said shaking her head, Voltech stiffened less. “What’s your name?”

Voltech scratched his chin for a second, “V, just call me V. I’m not from around here.”

The woman laughed eyeing his clothes and appearance, “I would have to agree with you there. So what brings you here anyways?”

Before he could answer a large trucker came up and asked, “This man bothering you miss?” Voltech shot him a warning glance, but she only said.

“No he’s fine,” the man left swaying slightly. The blonde sighed silently, “You know, they are not really concerned for me, but afraid of my partner.”

“Partner?” Voltech asked looking around, “Exactly who is your partner and what are you partners in.”

“Well he hardly ever comes in. he should be-” that’s as far as she got. The windows on either side of the bar door exploded inward. A painful cry went out from everyone who got hit by the shining missiles of glass.

Voltech and the blonde had ducked under the table and were not visible by the crossbow Warriors that were entering threw the broken windows. Suddenly the door exploded off its hinges, skidding across the floor to the opposite side of the bar.

In came an almost fully armored Warrior, he held a long sword which he casually plucked out of the floor boards as he walked to a point in the bar. Behind him entered 6 warriors holding torches and several dozen more holding different weapons.e excepted his fate and walked up to it.Hhhhda

Voltech looked at the blonde who didn’t have the expression of fear he had expected, but one of fierce determination. “I know you probably want to beat the crap out of these guys” Voltech whispered to her, “but please, I don’t want to have to worry about you, stay here.”

The lead torch men had made a circle around the middle of the bar. The leader kicked out of the circle a severely injured man on the floor and stopped in the middle of the circle. With one gauntleted hand he plucked up a floor board then another, then another.

Voltech, still under the table, analyzed the situation, and gave a rough estimate of how many enemies there were, he concluded how fun this was going to be. He placed both feet on the legs of a chair and aimed.

The leader reached down into the hole he made in the floor and grabbed a small chest. The chest glowed with a dark blue light and had runes all over the metal frame. Suddenly a chair came skidding across the floor and knocked the leader’s feet out from under him.

Voltech jumped out from under the table, electricity flowing from his hands. He landed in the middle of a large cluster of armed Warriors. He was so surrounded that the crossbows on the outer circle couldn’t get a good enough shot and he was able to deal in hand to hand.

The Warrior leader still clutched the chest, he watched as an ill-kept man with long hair, dressed in a white T-shirt and cargo pants, and completely out of the country bar scene attacked his Warriors. Everywhere he went Warrior after Warrior fell to his electrical punches. He weaved in and out dodging swinging swords and chopping axes.

The leader signaled to his men and everyone drew weapons and slowly began to overwhelm the lone hero. The Leader and six of his body guards, the one holding torches, had drawn weapons and were leaving the bar.

Slowly more and more Warriors kept crowding around Voltech. Several bolts from the crossbows stuck out in various places on his torso. Just when Voltech was being almost completely overwhelmed a man dressed in civilian clothes came threw one of the broken windows.

Taken completely by surprise the Warriors couldn’t react before the new player started fighting into the first line of Warriors holding crossbows. Equally surprising was the frail figure of the blonde who Voltech was talking to, knocking Warriors over tables and chairs with fists sparkling with energy.

Voltech admired the two contrasts; on his right was a heavy muscled man who didn’t even seem to be slightly worried that he looked like a walking pin cushion, dealing blows with shrouded fists that didn’t move his targets in the least. And in front of him was the beautiful, skinny blonde who avoided getting hurt as much as possible, knocking people across the bar.

Voltech captor’s eyes shifted to the new heroes. That half a second was all he needed, he ran from Warriors wading threw the others. Voltech didn’t deal in absolutes, what he knew he could do seemed boring, and what he never did before he saw as a challenge. And what he thought right now, he had never dared before.

He came close to the wall of the bar using the speed he used against the Skull. Not exactly super speed, but fast, really fast. He tore up the wall with traction to spare; he completed an arc up and down the wall gaining momentum.

He launched himself head first into the Warriors, fist spread on both sides. He was a human battering ram covered in electricity, traveling 20 miles an hour in a small area. He hit, hard, cutting through the Warriors like a hot knife threw butter.

He turned, slowing down coming up behind the dark wielder. “Excuse me” he murmured, planting his feet on the man’s back. Sensing what he was going to do the man stood up straight like spring board and launched Voltech into the air.

He came up, fists together, charging for a Thunder Slam. He landed in the midst of the remaining Warriors, not that there were many left at this point, and with a loud eruption of electricity they were thrown in every direction.

Everything was calm for a second, but only a second. One stirring Warrior grabbed a lighter, lit, and threw it across to the bar table where broken bottles of alcohol were scattered. In less time then a dry forest in California could, the whole bar was in flames. The fire was slowly creeping to several large kegs in the back room.

“Time to go” said the dark scrapper; he grabbed the blonde who was staring sadly at the burning bar. They all jumped out the windows at the same time, rolling down the slight hill the bar was on. They reached the bottom just as the whole place blew into a shower of splintered wood and burning ash.

“Well,” Voltech said, “that bar was more fun then I had ever hoped, even if it was country style.”

The large man gave a half smile and the blonde just stared with surprise.

~~~~

Voltech excused himself from the questioning police officers. He gave a full, edited report, about what had happened. He made it sound like they were the only civilian survivors of the explosion caused by the Warriors and several stick of dynamite. But as soon as he tried to mention Rikti war ships invisible over the bar causing the large eruption of thunder in the bar. They lost interest.

Voltech returned to Vindea and Wraith, laughing at his over exaggerated story to the cops. Volt had never heard Wraith say a word; Vindea was the one who introduced him.

“Wraith thinks you’re a good fighter,” Vindea said waving her hand towards the solitary man. “I think he wants you to meet this brother Myth.”

“You are to kind,” Volt said, “and I’m sure I would be equally impressed by Wraith’s kindness had he opened his mouth to speak.”

In the background Voltech saw Wraith pursing his lips as if trying to stop a smile or laugh. “Lead the way, maybe our mute friend will find his voice.” He said. Vindea started walking down the beat up road away from the crater that was the bar.



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