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Not the Villain

City of Heroes/City of Villains

A Novella of Fan Fiction By

Anthony Harte


            From afar, he positioned himself with his back toward the mornings’ rising sun. The life-giving orb was still below the horizon and signaled a new day and a new beginning. For him its rays threatened to pierce his heart and cast his soul in shadows of despair. From the rooftops, he watched his true love in the arms of another man and surprisingly felt colder than the slight chill in the morning. Struggling with his emotions, he tried to maintain a low steady pulse clamping down his feelings. The digital readout reflecting in his helmets visor measuring his pulse showed he struggled to maintain the calm demeanor he presented. In all honesty, he was shocked that he seemed okay with how the Fates treated him. What enraged him was that he did accept the circumstances so coolly and calmly. The anger he enclosed, saving the elemental fury for another time of his choosing. The torture of the moment was his doing, the price to pay for voyeurism.

Peering through the morning dusk he observed his soul mate lay her head on the chest of her real lover, probably content feeling the heat of his skin against hers. Longing to be with her, he shifted uneasily on the rooftop. Each breath he drew burned his lungs and sank into his gut like a lead weight. He witnessed her slip from the bed and dress in jeans and a t-shirt. She left the bedroom and in a couple of minutes emerged on the roof of the building. His heart leapt from his chest as she stared right at him.  Daring to hope for a chance at connecting with his true love, he felt her gaze upon him only to realize that she was blinded by the sun, and instead, looking through him. She was starting anew and already he was but a wraith caught at the break of day. For him she was a dream in the morning mist.

            Recognizing she was about to leap to the roof of the building he was standing on he clicked a button on his wristband of his uniform. Circuits bending light waves around his form closed completing his descent into obscurity in her life. Through her specially prepared magical enchantments, she leapt into the air. He marveled at the dark-skinned wingless angel recognizing her beauty exceeded that of any other avian creatures blessed to share the sky with her. She descended on the roof missing him by only a couple of feet. His greater perception of time slowed the event allowing him to steal more seconds. She bounded past him, and he reached out in hopes she would find him and take pity. Only then could his plunge into Hell be prevented. The heartbroken night sentinel fell into the darker depths of his psyche where those he had killed waited crying out for revenge and chasms of nothingness threaten to overwhelm him. Being lost without her light he watched the heroine bound from rooftop to rooftop to the highest building and land in a cat’s crouch.

The Rogue Isle Protector looked back at Aaron sleeping deeply in his love’s bed. His mind collapsed on that reality forcing his thoughts to duty… loyalty… strength… and honor. Discovering memories of his training days as a Rogue Isle Protector, he recalled saving weaker civilians from the villains in his own homeland, Longbow, Wyvern, and the like. Weighing his eternal heartbreak against better recollections of Arachnos, he found he had none. It was within this revelry he came up against the true darkness that engulfed him proving he took no joy out of life. If the Fates had been film editors, they had haphazardly cobbled his life together leaving illogical jumps of continuity in the frames. Their protagonist was made without a past. The gloom was blacker than the deepest darkest holes where the sun never fell. The abyss of emptiness seemed insurmountable now his true love had gone from him forever.

It was then, on a rooftop overlooking the bedroom of Thauma Guard, that Norman Salazar decided it was time to remember. It was time to find the missing pieces of time that plagued him since he joined the Rogue Isle Protectors. He leapt into the sky with his strength of a dragon toward the part of Paragon City known as Faultline. Before he met up with his protégé Protector Michael, the beginnings of a plan began to take shape in the crevasses of his fractured mind and broken heart. Swearing to claim the missing gaps in his memory, he readied himself to pay any cost whether it was the price of destiny or life eternal. For the first time, he wanted to wake up in the morning and not feel alone.


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