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Falling Sky
Endings and Beginnings

City of Heroes fiction

By Eli J. Litzelman

    Carl Withart sat back in his seat and looked out the school bus’s window.  He had been sent to detention again today and he knew his mom would not like it.  Sighing, he glanced around.  None of the kids sat around him and he was happy about that.  He was considered an outsider and he approved of it.  The bus stopped and he and several other people stood up.  Grabbing his bag, he walked outside and the door shut behind him.  Carl walked off to the right while the others stayed in a close cluster behind him.  Sneering, he turned into an alley; the others gave him a weird look but continued down the street.  He climbed on a dumpster and reached for a window ledge.  He pulled himself up and balanced there.  Concentrating, he breathed slowly to focus himself.  He crouched and leapt to the other side of the alley.  Just catching the window ledge, he pulled himself up and sized up the next one above him; it would be a challenge.  He figured maybe if he jumped high enough he could reach it.  He jumped.  His fingers grazed the edge of it but he was not high enough.  As he fell, his feet missed the ledge below him but he was barely able grab it with his hands.  He pulled his head above the protuberance and the window opened.  His mom stuck her head out.

    “Did you get sent to detention today?”

    Carl sighed and replied simply, “Yea.”

    She shook her head.  “I figured as much.  Come on in.”  She then turned around and walked off.

    Carl climbed through the window and shut it behind himself.  As he walked through the living room, he saw his little sister’s cradle.  He walked over to her and studied her light green eyes.  He sighed heavily.  She looked so peacefully ignorant and blissful, he had to smile.  Her eyes suddenly looked up at him and she giggled.  She reached to the edge of the cradle and grabbed his finger.  Waving her prize around above her, she giggled again.  Carl gave a little half grin and shook his head.  Turning around, he repositioned his bag on his shoulder and moved for the stairs.

    Reaching his room, he dropped his bag to the ground and fell back onto his unmade bed with a loud crash.  He rubbed his eyes and yawned.  He was home.  Shutting his eyes, he breathed in the stuffy air he only knew as the scent of heaven.  Finally satisfied, he gathered enough motivation to sit up and unzip the top of his bag.  Inside was a pair of glasses.  All over the spectacles were wires that stretched here and there.  Putting the glasses on, he tapped the side of them.  Nothing happened.  He frowned and removed them from his face.  Turning them around in his hands, he examined all the connections.  He then began to tinker with the little chip in the back.  Furrowing his eyebrows, he concentrated on all the transmitters.  He could not find anything wrong.  Rubbing his chin, he thought of all the possibilities.  He then, reluctantly, tried them back on and tapped on the side.  To his surprise, the screen flickered and turned green.  He smiled.  Looking out of the window, the glasses unexpectedly shut off.  Sneering, he threw them to the ground and turned his attention back to the window.  Large red dots covered the skies.  He watched as a news helicopter steered off course into one and disappeared.  “Whatever,” he thought. “Some hero will take care of it.”  Turning back to his room, he yawned.

    From down the stairs, Carl’s mom yelled, “Carl…”

    “Yea, mom.  I know.  Big red suction cups are all over the sky.  Blah, blah, blah.  Maybe dad will freeze them over with ice so everyone will shut up.”

    “Son, they’re evacuating the city.  I think this is serious.”

    “Ok, fine.  I’ll pack and be right down.”


    “I'm moving. I'm moving.”  Carl grabbed a few things and stuffed them into his backpack.  Shouldering it, he turned out the door and walked down the stairs.  He headed to the kitchen to find his mother throwing canned goods into a bag.  “We leaving, Mom?”

    “We’re not going anywhere without your father.  He’ll be here as soon as he can.”


    The door slammed and Icy Fu Master stepped into the house. “Anyone home?”

    His wife called back, “Yes, of course.  We were beginning to think you weren’t coming.”

    “I'm here now.  Let’s go!”  Suddenly from behind him, the wall was pulled out and the pressure yanked him off his feet.  He threw himself back upright and turned around.  A portal shimmered with energy and alien invaders were pouring out.  Encasing his body in ice and producing an ice sword, he stepped forward and tore through the creatures from outer space.  As he began to advance on the intruders, he felt a sharp bolt of pain in his head and sagged to his knees.

    His wife, Joan, came around the corner and was caught in the chest by a blast of energy.  She flew off her feet and crashed into the ground. Wincing, she took in her last breath and died. 

    Unexpectedly, a tall green figure stepped out of the portal and spread his hands.  All of the aliens flew from the ground and smashed into the surrounding walls.  As some of them began to stand up, he threw his hands up and they smashed into the ceiling before flying back down into the ground.  Turning his head to and fro to determine if any of the invaders were still alive, he then focused his attention on the slowly regenerating father and son.  “Are you guys alright?”

    Mike spoke first.  “Yes, thanks to you.” 

    “I’ve spent the last month or something being tested by this scum,” he said as he kicked one of the aliens.  “It was just a minute or so ago that I regained full consciousness and discovered my… unique powers and appearance.”

    Carl looked up from the tattered remains of his mother and spoke softly.  “Where’s my sister?”

    The newcomer spoke up.  “I think I saw a cradle come flying through the portal when it opened.  She’s out of our help now.”

    Icy Fu Master bowed his head and whipped a tear from his eye.  Straightening himself, he said, “Well, I'm sure glad you showed up.  I'm sure this city is going to need all the help we can give it.”

    “From the looks of it, I’d say your right.”

    “Then son, you stay hidden and safe because I'm going to give this city a show it’s never seen before.”  He turned to the door and leapt into the air with the stranger just behind him.

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