Review this story
“Dead and Buried…”
Crown Memorial Hospital – Kings Row 5:22 PM
A young mother clutched the hand of her eight year old
son kneeling beside his hospital bed, tears streaming down her face. The
horrific sight of her only child, tubes sticking out of every orifice, left her
near total mental breakdown. Her husband stood by her forcing back his tears
unable to comprehend how something like this could have happened. They blamed
themselves, their parenting, praying to God for one more chance to make things right.
But the damage had been done. Adolescent curiosity had become fatal and only a
miracle could change the course of the inevitable.
Two hours ago, little Billy Horn and his friends had
come upon a man who promised them more fun then they could possibly imagine.
For twenty dollars stolen from a cigar box in his father’s sock drawer the man
had sold them a baggy of white powder that was promised to be the ride of their
lives. Being the bravest Billy took the first snort and ended his young life
The boy’s doctor, his face drawn and forlorn, could
barely speak the words he was about to say. The parents rose to their feet
hoping that their prayers had been answered but by the look on the doctor’s
face they knew the worst was about to come.
“We’ve done everything we can at this point. He is in a
deep coma,” the doctor explained swallowing the knot in his throat. “The toxins
in his blood stream are just too potent. Just too much for his little body to
take. I don’t believe he will survive the night.”
The boy’s mother collapsed into her husband’s arms.
“There must be something more we can do,” the father
“I wish there was,” the doctor explained regretfully.
“All we can do now is pray.”
The doctor turned and left the room.
“Please God,” the father pleaded staring up at the
ceiling the tears streaming down his face. “Help us please.”
The cry of parents fell on deaf ears; this was out of
God’s hands now. But the silent cries of the boy, his life slowly fading from
his fragile human frame, fell upon the one who could bring justice. Helplessly
he lay paralyzed watching his young life fade, unable to fight the effects of
the poisoned narcotics against his fragile flesh and bone. His soul cried out
screaming for someone, anyone, to help him. He was trapped between the world of
the living and the world of the dead. His screams went unheard within the
commotion of the hospital, unheard by his parents, the doctors, or the police
who questioned his friends in the waiting room. But his cries were heard by one
who lived in both the world of the living and the world of the dead.
High above the city on the ledge of
a skyscraper, a figure hid in the shadows of the setting sun blanketing the
city in a shroud of darkness. Nightfall was the time where the cover of
darkness could hide his hideous form from those he had vowed to protect. The
sight of his ghoulish appearance was nothing short of the spawn of nightmares.
A walking corpse destined to serve the cause of justice and enact vengeance
upon those who prayed upon the weak. He is the Zombie Avenger and those who
victimized the innocent had come to know his fear.
The Zombie Avenger looked down upon the citizens of the
concrete jungle he had come to call home, the metropolis of Skyway City.
His vision saw beyond the limits of distance and lighting. His pale lifeless
eyes peered down upon his flock studying them with absolute resolve. A young
woman and her child caught his attention. He watched them with the intensity of
a predatory bird watching its prey. The two steadily maneuvered through the
crowded side walks oblivious to the chaos of the moving traffic or the
direction of their route, which led them in the opposite direction of the other
pedestrians as if a salmon trying to swim up stream. The young mother pulled
upon her child as if late for an engagement. She stepped from the curb ignoring
the change of the traffic signal and the pleas of her child who had not missed
the color change. A bus barreled toward the two as they continued onto the
crosswalk against the flow of traffic.
The Zombie Avenger’s eyes widened as he leapt from his
perch down toward the street. The bus driver panicked and stomp on the brakes
but his feeble attempt to stop the heavy vehicle was useless. The young mother
gasped in horror seeing the bus speeding toward her, its brakes squealing
defiantly, unable to stop in time. In a flash, the mother and her child were
lifted off their feet moved from the path of the bus just moments before
impact. The Zombie Avenger gently lowered the mother and her child from his
grasp. The mother’s heart pounded in her chest and tears poured down her face
realizing that she and her daughter had just escaped death. She turned to her
savior clutching him around his chest then pulled back to look into the eyes of
her hero. The young mother’s eyes widened in horror at the sight of the corpse
crusader. A terrifying scream rang from her lips as she clutched her daughter
and began to run away. The Zombie Avenger reached out to let her know that he
was there to help her but his useless gesture went unnoticed. The onlookers too
stared at the undead hero in disgusted horror, a reaction he had come to be all
too familiar with. The darkness surrounded him and as quickly as he appeared,
the Zombie Avenger was gone.
The Zombie Avenger appeared again from the shadows in a
trash littered alleyway and screamed with rage. His labored voice tore against
his decayed vocal cords sending two homeless men fleeing in terror. His rage
enveloped him and his powers smashed trash cans and turned over dumpsters. The
hero pounded his fists into the walls sending chunks of brick flying. His
decomposed face twisted into a revolting expression of complete hatred. There
was a time when he was praised for his heroics, saving lives as the Hooded
Avenger until his body and soul were manipulated by the hands of an evil Voodoo
Shaman and changed his life forever. Exhausted, he collapsed to his knees. The
intensity of his rage turned to sorrow as he remembered what once was. He
sobbed into his hands but there were no tears. The Zombie Avenger was again
reminded of his cursed form. He looked upon his hands and clenched them into
fists feeling his rage rise up in him again. But suddenly his mind was filled
with a vision, the sight of a young boy lying in a hospital bed. The boy’s
agony became his and a power resolve began to come over the Zombie Avenger. He
rose to his feet and became empowered by the call of the innocent. The undead
hero’s pale, lifeless eyes stared past the realm of time and space into the
very soul of the fallen victim. The crackle of his bones snapped beneath his
dead flesh and his lips curled back from his exposed teeth. The living darkness
enveloped around the decayed corpse of the Zombie Avenger. This innocent had
been manipulated and betrayed by the hand of evil. Those who dared to pray on
the weak would face the vessel of vengeance. The undead hero’s rage faded and
his desire to avenge the innocent became renewed. Evil would pay the price for
Steel Pier – Independence
Port 10:34 PM
Meanwhile in a hidden warehouse off
the docks of Independence
Port, Vincent “Fingers”
Scarpizi stuffed his pinky finger into a baggy of white powder and brought it
to his tongue. His face distorted and he spit the bitter taste from his mouth
and spun his head in disgust.
“What the &%#$ do you call this?!”
“The whole shipment has been tainted boss,” the shaken
crony explained. “We been try’n to cut it but the stuffs just wasted.”
“Wasted!” Scarpizi exploded grabbing the crony by his
shirt collar and pulling him into his face. “I’ll lose thousands for this!”
“Boss, I’m sorry,” the crony stuttered. “We been try’n
to off load it but the stuffs poison. People could die.”
Scarpizi laughed letting go of the crony’s collar,
“People you say. People don’t snort this stuff, animals use this stuff. Drop
the price on the street, get rid of all of it and get me my profit.”
“You got it boss,” the crony swallowed the lump in his
throat feeling a cold chill run down his spine.
“You better or Boss Pazzo will not only have my head
but yours too,” the boss spat threateningly.
Scarpizi smoothed out the thugs collar than swatted at
a fly that had landed on his forehead, “Skuzzy warehouses cramp my style. I
should be drinking champagne in the loft with the other goombas.”
A second then a third buzzing fly began to encircle his
head then a dozen more until within moments a swarm had engulfed the warehouse
sending the Mob cronies and drug workers into a frenzy. The swarming insects
completely encompassed the room as if appearing out of the thin air. The
panicked thugs reached for their guns and began spraying the room towards the
blinding storm of swarming insects. Bullets whizzed through the air popping
windows and drug equipment sending up plumes of white. Scarpizi jumped for
cover as many of the thugs and drug workers collapsed falling victim to the
frenzied hail of friendly fire.
“Stop shooting you stupid mooks! There just a buncha
Scarpizi batted haplessly at the buzzing swarm to no
avail, but no sooner did he make the reference to the harmless insects that his
eyes began to widen in disbelief at what unfolded before him.
The massing swarm began to turn in on itself sending a
foreboding darkness through the warehouse. Scarpizi’s lip trembled feeling an
overwhelming fear come over him reverting him to almost a childlike state. The
mass of buzzing flies began to form the shape of a figure that moved forward
upon the trembling drug dealer. From within the mass of insects the face of
death revealed itself and lurched forward pulling Scarpizi from off his feet in
a powerful grip. Scarpizi screamed in terror his eyes wide with fright staring
down into the face of the Zombie Avenger. The corpse crusader stared, almost
through him, with his pale lifeless eyes. His mouth twisted into a furious
growl pulling his lips farther back from his decayed teeth.
“You deceive children and pollute their bodies with
your poison,” the Zombie Avenger snarled in his strained voice.
“Zombie Avenger!!!” Scarpizi pleaded. “Please don’t
“I am the hand of vengeance,” the undead hero
proclaimed. “I have come for justice on behalf of those you have victimized
with your deceit. You poison children with your evil, leave parents
heartbroken, families in ruin, and lives in turmoil. You will suffer for your
crimes against the innocent.”
“It’s not my fault,” Scarpizi cried soiling himself.
“I’ll make it right. I’ll make everything better.”
“Can you give the life back to the youth from which you
stole?” the Zombie Avenger demanded. “Now you see for the first time what fear
you cast upon the innocent. It is time for your evil to face justice for
vengeance demands retribution.”
“I’m just a middle man,” Scarpizi tried to shift the
blame. “Alfonzo Pazzo is the one you want. I answer to him; he’s the one in
charge, he’s the boss of the Family.”
“Pity that you realize the error of your ways so late
in the game,” the Zombie Avenger hissed. “You will suffer for your lack of
“Please, I don’t want to die!” Scarpizi plead. “I can
take you to him! I can show you who’s to blame!”
The Zombie Avenger lifted Scarpizi off of the ground
with one hand by his throat displaying the undead hero’s inhuman strength. The
corpse crusader collected a handful of the poisoned narcotic into his hand and
held it up in his grasp.
“Prepare to taste your poison so that you know the pain
that you have inflicted upon the guiltless.”
As the Zombie Avenger drove his hand toward Scarpizi’s
gaping mouth, it was stopped in mid motion. The Zombie Avenger turned to see
the red, white, and blue clad hero “Capital Man” holding the undead hero’s arm
firmly in his grasp.
“We can take it from here dead man,” Capital Man stated
in a firm tone keeping his hold on the corpse crusaders arm. “The authorities
are on the way.”
The Zombie Avenger’s face twisted angrily, “You dare
interfere with vengeance?”
The corpse crusader pulled forward with his inhuman
strength hurling the patriotic hero across the warehouse sending him crashing
through a stack of wooden crates. Scarpizi pulled from the Zombie Avenger’s
grasp and sprinted for the door. From the rafters, an arrow pierced Scarpizi’s
suit jacket through the shoulder and slammed him into the wall just before he
was able to escape through the door way. Another arrow pinned his arm against
the same wall and then another pinned his leg trapping him and preventing his escape.
The beautiful “Ebony Bow” pulled another arrow from her
quiver and stood from high above in the warehouse rafters.
“Give it up, Scarpizi,” the dark skinned heroine
proclaimed. “You are under arrest!”
The Zombie Avenger snarled at the sight of the
intrusive heroes watching her jump from the rafters in front of him.
“It’s good to see you too, Z,” Ebony Bow greeted with a
smile then turned to see Capital Man emerging from the rubble of the fallen
crates. He brushed the scraps of wood from his uniform and smiled as if he had
been told not to underestimate the undead hero. “Nice work with my partner
there. We are only here to help.”
“Partner? Since when do you partner with the likes of
him?” the Zombie Avenger questioned remembering that it was he and Ebony Bow
who had once championed evil doers side by side.
“What? Am I supposed to wait for you to finish
wallowing in self pity before I can fight crime again? You’ve been gone a long
time, Z. A girl can’t wait forever,” Ebony Bow stated as Capital Man’s towering
muscular form came to her side and placed his hand on her shoulder.
The Zombie Avenger’s eyes could not turn from the sight
of Capital Man’s hand on her shoulder. If his dead heart still beat, he
believed it would have stopped at that moment and crumbled like broken
“We have been tracking this group of drug runners for
weeks,” Ebony Bow explained. “Their tainted drugs have resulted in the deaths
of more than a dozen people city wide. They are calling the stuff ‘Devil’s
Dust’ on the street. The police didn’t have any leads and frankly neither did
we till I saw your transmitter stirring.”
The Zombie Avenger looked down at the small transmitter
attached to the inner portion of his hood and grimaced again at the beautiful
“Most of the victims were junkies and vagrants, way out
of your spectrum of victims. But that little boy over in Kings Row, I knew you
would be out for blood.”
“So you used me?” the Zombie Avenger spat looking at
Capital Man then back at Ebony Bow. “I don’t need either of your help. The drug
dealer is mine, revenge must be satisfied.”
The Zombie Avenger began to move forward and Capital
Man raised his gloved hand to impede his path.
“We’ve done this dance before,” the Zombie Avenger
snarled in his agonizing tone. “Best quit while you are ahead.”
“Scarpizi will be handed over to the proper
authorities, Z,” Ebony Bow interrupted. “You are not judge, jury, and
“There is a price to pay,” the corpse crusader
“And we will see that he pays it. We must obey the
laws,” Capital Man declared.
“Man’s laws, the laws of the livings,” the Zombie
Avenger spat. “I am the justice for the dead.”
The Zombie Avenger became consumed by the shadows
and disappeared into the darkness, “I will not allow you to interfere again.
You have been forewarned.”
“Wait! You don’t understand!” Ebony Bow pleaded unable
to keep him from leaving.
“It is no use,” Capital Man insisted. “There is no
convincing someone like that.”
“You don’t know him like I do,” Ebony Bow stated.
“I don’t think he even knows himself,” Capital Man
“You don’t remember who he used to be, you don’t
understand what he has been through.”
“Does he?” Capital Man protested.
Ebony Bow stared into the shadows wondering the same
The Zombie Avenger trudged through
the defecated waters of the sewers. Rats and roaches crawled across the dank
floor. The stench of excrement hung heavily in the air. It was a place of
disgust, a place of waste and refuge. The only place a walking corpse could
find piece from the living world that feared him. It was also his home. His
thoughts were consumed with the sight of Ebony Bow and her new “friend”. Anger
tore at the very fiber of his being. He looked down at his decayed reflection
in the rippling water. The revolting picture stared back at him, taunting him.
His hands thrashed at the image and he roared with rage cursing the ones who
had made him this way. But it was not those who were cursed but he himself who
was cursed into his undead husk. Cursed to walk the earth as one of the undead,
answering the call of the victimized, and seeking out those who dared to prey
upon the weak. He wanted more. He wanted what was once alive. He wanted to be
David Fallen again, the Hooded Avenger. The undead hero began to remember the
past, back to days when he was cheered by the citizen’s of Boomtown. It seemed
so long ago, a life time ago. He wanted those days back so badly. He wanted to
be whole again, to feel beyond his overwhelming emotions. To feel Ebony Bow in
his arms as living flesh and blood. The undead hero had once known love in the
living flesh. He had been happy, but that seemed so long ago among memories
that felt as if they weren’t his anymore. His memories were faded glimpses of a
former life, a life that he wanted to embrace once again and leave behind this
zombie corpse. He would have that life again no matter what the price. To be
among the living world, to have what he once was and he knew there was a way to
make those desires a reality.
Royal Overlook – Steel
Canyon 4:45 PM
Within the lavish mansion of crime
lord Alfonzo Pazzo, the enraged Mafioso pounded his fists against his elaborate
oak desk surrounded by his loyal lieutenants.
“Contaminated or not, the loss of that shipment has
cost me millions,” the crime boss ranted. “That loss is coming from your
pockets, from the mouths of your family.”
Alfonzo Pazzo stood pointing his finger at his men,
“Someone is going to pay for this!”
“It was those frick’n capes, boss,” a thickly build
lieutenant stated. “Always putting their nose where it don’t belong.”
“Those spandex clad do-gooders have cost me more than I
can bear,” Pazzo declared. “I want my money back and I want it yesterday. Get
The crime lord’s lieutenants stood silently for a
moment until Pazzo’s eyes widened with disgust, “GET ON IT!!!”
Paragon University Science Department - Steel Canyon
Professor Eric Topffer sat within Paragon University’s research lab peering
through the intricate lens of a telescope. It was late and his student aids had
gone home for the day leaving him alone to work on his research. Suddenly and
eerie feeling came over him along with a stifling smell that aggravated his gag
reflex. The Professor looked up from the microscope and turned toward the
darkness where his eyes widened with fright and he leapt from off of his stood.
Prof. Topffer clutched his chest taking a deep breath
recognizing the dark figure in the shadows, “I thought I asked you never to do
that. You know you aren’t the most pleasant sight to be sneaking up on
The Zombie Avenger emerged from the darkness lowering
his head, “I apologize…it is only my nature.”
“Despite my reaction,” the professor smiled, “It is
always good to see you, friend. What may I ask is the reason for your visit?”
“The solution I gave you…,” the undead hero hesitated
feeling ashamed for asking and cashing in on the honorable man’s favor. “Have
you had any success with it?”
“Yes, the cell regeneration formula from Stern
Pharmaceuticals,” the professor had been given the formula months ago in a
small aerosol applicator after an attempt to manipulate the corpse crusader was
made by the late Simon Stern. “Remarkable technology, simply remarkable. It is
a shame that the company could not continue with its application of this
formula to the world. It could have changed the lives of millions.”
“I am familiar with its potential and its effects
but have you been able to increase its capabilities to affect dead tissue?” the
Zombie Avenger questioned impatiently.
The professor hesitated seeing the impatience in the
undead hero he had never seen before, “Yes, I was able to extend its effects
but I could not develop the solution to affect dead tissue permanently. I
haven’t tested the substance so its stability is questionable.”
“I’m willing to try it regardless of the tests,” the
Zombie Avenger insisted.
Professor Topffer bit his lower lip and took a seat
back on his stool, “Is everything alright with you? I don’t usually pry and it
isn’t my place but have you considered the possible repercussions. Before you
became one of the undead, you committed yourself to protecting the innocent as
the Hooded Avenger. After the Rikti Attack, fate endowed you with these new
powers and abilities far beyond that of a mortal. This change in your physical
form may change your powers and rob what fate has given you…these gifts.”
“Gifts? Fate has not blessed me with gifts professor,
this is a curse. To walk the earth as one of the undead answering the calls of
the fallen. I have been cursed to exist in this dead shell for long enough. I
didn’t come here to be psychoanalyzed, professor,” the corpse crusader stated.
“You asked how you could repay me for saving your families life and I am here
to cash in that debt.”
“All I am saying is that at some point, even in the
living, you chose to put your life on the line to protect people, to be a hero.
Have you forgotten why you became a crime fighter…why you became the Hooded
Avenger in the first place?”
The Zombie Avenger seemed to pause searching his
memories but he could not find the answer to that simple question.
“The debt, professor,” the Zombie Avenger insisted
frustrated by the empty pieces of his memory.
The professor began to say something else but
remembered the great deed paid to him by the avenger more than seven years ago.
Prof. Topffer was heading home with his wife and young daughter from a late
night baseball game between the Boomtown Bombers and the Steel Canyon Stars. He
had just finished loading his daughter into their vehicle when two armed gunmen
carjacked him taking his wife and daughter hostage. Prof. Topffer tried to
fight off the ruthless criminals but he was pistol wiped then shot in the
shoulder, left bleeding on the street as his vehicle raced away. The valiant
Hooded Avenger heard the good professor’s pleas for help and came to the
rescue. The courageous hero saved Professor Topffer’s wife and daughter from
harm. Professor Topffer told the Hooded Avenger that if he ever needed
anything, there was no price too large. Professor Topffer owed the Zombie
Avenger and as promised he would repay the debt he owed.
“I apologize, my friend. I don’t mean to question you,”
the professor stated. “The effects of the solution should last a little longer
than a few months. I was unable to replicate the formula; therefore you will
have to take good care of this new tissue until I can create more of the
“With your determination I don’t think you will have
too much trouble,” the Avenger insisted.
Professor Topffer led the undead hero to a glassed
chamber where he motioned for him to proceed inside. The professor connected to
canister of the cell regeneration solution to a nozzle and took a seat at a
computer terminal to operate the system. The Zombie Avenger removed his
tattered hero’s garb and stepped into the chamber catching a glimpse of his
horrid reflection in the glass, which he hoped would be for the last
The professor sealed the doors and tapped in the
sequence code into the computer terminal, “Are you ready?”
“Do it professor,” the undead hero ordered.
Professor Topffer typed in the last few keys of the
sequence code and the chamber became enveloped in a caustic fog of green gas
that covered the corpse crusader adhering to every inch of his body. The
cell regeneration serum seared his skin as if it was on fire and for the first
time since the living he felt pain, actual physical pain. But as painful as the
experience was, it filled the undead hero with renewed vigor. He felt alive.
The Zombie Avenger looked at the decayed skin on his hands watching as it
slowly turned into a pleasant pink. He felt his face feeling his hands against
the renewed flesh. The rest of his body transformed as well. The dead flesh
lived again and in his eyes, so did he. The gas in the chamber cleared, the
doors parted and the rehabilitated hero stepped out into the open air feeling
the cold air upon his flesh.
Professor Topffer’s eyes widened in disbelief, “It
worked! I knew the formula was precise but I didn’t believe it would actually
“You did well, professor. The Zombie is no more.”
The professor’s excitement dimmed as he heard those
words ‘The Zombie is no more’. It seemed a shame, he thought to himself. The
Zombie did so much good.
The once Zombie Avenger picked up his ragged costume
from the floor holding it up to the light. The dull green and purple seemed out
of place, the symbol of the skeletal hand all wrong.
“I don’t think I will need this anymore,” he stated.
“Maybe something in blue and yellow?” the professor
“Exactly. Is your wife still the best seamstress in
The professor smiled, “You’re damn right she is!”
First National Bank of Paragon – Steel Canyon 9:58 AM
It was a busy Monday morning as
usual for the largest financial institute in the great vertical city. The line
to the cashiers was long and the gentle hum of the customers filled the lobby.
Through the front door, a heavy set security guard from Paragon Armored Car
carried two heavy canvas bags of cash followed by another armed guard. The
heavy set guard smiled at the bank manager as he proceeded toward the vault.
The second guard, carrying a long black Remington shotgun, stood by the front
doors watching for anything out of the ordinary. The guard winked at pretty
blond cashier then stepped forward from the door cradling the shotgun in his
arms. The cashier smiled then went pale. Her eyes seemed to glaze over as she
looked past him giving the guard an unsettling feeling in his stomach. The
guard turned his head back toward the front door just in time to see the butt
of an automatic rifle connect with his face. The guard’s nose exploded with a
gush of blood sending him riling to the floor. The gentle hum of the bank
erupted in automatic gunfire as three masked armed robbers spilled into the
“Everybody get on the #@%&ing ground or I’ll spill
more blood on the marble!” one of the robbers shouted in a gruff and menacing
The first security guard dropped the canvas bags of
money and reached for the revolver holstered on his hip. Another robber raised
his automatic rifle and sighted in on the guard. The end of the automatic rifle
exploded in a fiery hail of bullets striking the guard’s body until it lay
motionless on the floor. The patrons and employees screamed at the sight and
the growing pool of blood that began to form around his lifeless body. The
robbers worked quickly and efficiently taking the canvas bags of money and
filling others with cash from the vault. The heavy tow of money was carried out
to the street where the armored car awaited. The driver’s lifeless body lay
just outside the door; his blank expression stared up into the sky.
“Get in!” another masked robber ordered from behind the
wheel of the armored car. “Damn pigs will be here any minute.”
“Screw the pigs!” another robber taunted. “We got
enough loot here to buy of the f#ck’n cops!”
The others laughed and piled into the armored car, two
in the front and two in the back. The driver stomped on the gas and pulled the
armored car into the street off to a quick and easy get away. Suddenly the
armored car slammed on its brakes just before leaving the bank lot.
“What the #@%& , Frankie!” the passenger screamed.
“Let’s get the #@%& outta Dodge!”
The passenger turned to look ahead of them to where the
driver had focused his attention.
In the brilliant sun light the patriotic hero Capital
Man strode down the street making a bee line directly toward them. His rippling
muscles flexed and his piercing eyes shot at them with an intensity unmatched
by a normal man.
“You fellas going somewhere?” Capital Man questioned
“God damned capes!” the passenger protested. “Drive
right through that tight wearing spook!”
“I got something better for him,” the driver snarled.
“I came prepared for these bozos.”
The driver pulled out a long cylindrical device from
under the seat and stepped out of the armored car. He placed the shoulder
mounted device and sighted it in, “Let’s see if you’re faster than a speeding
Capital Man’s eyes widened at the sight of the shoulder
fired rocket and braced himself for the impact knowing that he would not be
able to get out of the way in time and could not afford for the rocket to hit
any innocent bystanders behind him. The weapon erupted with a roar as the
rocket raced from the tube on a collision course with the red, white, and blue
hero. The rocket slammed into Capital Man’s chest sending him careening
backward into a parked moving van and imbedding him into the steel frame.
The masked robber laughed aloud, “Nice catch Captain
America! Better luck next time!”
The robber jumped back into the armored car, squealing
the tires, and raced off down the street.
From high above a neighboring
skyscraper, Ebony Bow sighted in her bow and released and released an arrow at
the speeding armored car. The arrow, with pinpointed accuracy, impacted the
back right tire of the armored car. The arrow harmlessly splintered like a swig
against the bullet proof tire.
“Damn!” Ebony Bow protested pulling another arrow
from her quiver and affixing an armor piercing head to the tip.
She drew back on her bow again, but released the
tension realizing that the armored car had sped out of range. She began to
affix her grapple to pursue the fleeing robbers when something in the distance
caught her eye, a blur of yellow and blue swinging from high above. It was a
figure coming down from the sky in pursuit of the armored car caped in yellow
in a blue suit. Her eyes widened at the sight.
“It couldn’t be?” she gasped.
The armored car sped through the
city streets without regard for citizens in its path. The heavy vehicle smashed
against civilian motor cars and crashed through police barricades. The armed
robbers laughed in gleeful delight at their mayhem and the nearly ten million
dollars in cash that was held safely in the belly of the steel beast. Police
officers opened fire on the speeding vehicle that deflected the harmless rounds
like classroom spit wads. The robbers cheered again laughing at the pointless
endeavor to stop them until the heavy thump of something on the roof of the car
caught their attention. The noise was ignored but heard again.
“Someone’s up there!” the passenger announced.
“Not for the long,” the driver objected and began
pulling the steering wheel to the left and right in a jarring breakneck
The armored car smashed into parked cars along the
sides of the road and sent debris and sparks flying in every direction. The
driver took a hard right turn at the next street sending the armor car up on
two wheels then crashing back down on all four. The raucous maneuvers had the
robbers in the back of the armored car sliding from end to end in a pile of
“That should have done it!” the driver stated. “No body
could hang on through that.”
But before he could finish his words of triumph, the
windshield was draped in yellow completely obscuring his vision. The driver
panicked again swinging the steering wheel back and forth, but the yellow
draping wouldn’t move.
“Get out there and get that son of a bitch!” the driver
ordered the passenger who produced a handgun from his pocket and rolled down
The passenger began climbing out of the window when
suddenly he was sucked through the opening as if caught by a vacuum. His body
flushed through the window with a defiant scream and then he was gone. The
driver gasped as two yellow boots swung into the cab of the armored car
connecting with the his chin, sending him against the door window with a crash,
and out cold. The yellow and blue clad hero pulled his cape from the
windshields view and wrestled the armored car to a stop. Police cars surrounded
the armored car and officers exited their vehicles with their guns drawn. The
driver’s door flew open and the driver spilled from the car into a heap on the
pavement. The officers gazed in amazement as the costumed hero emerged from the
armored car’s cab pulling the unconscious driver up to his knees.
“You’ll find another down the street in shackles; there
are two more in the back. You’ll find the money is all accounted for,” the hero
“The Hooded Avenger?!” one officer gasped. “But you’re
The Hooded Avenger looked up from underneath his yellow
shroud with a handsome smile, “Not anymore. I’m BACK!!!”
Ebony Bow helped Capital Man to the
scene of the apprehension. The patriotic hero’s titanium exo-skeleton had
protected him from the blast of the missile but the impact had left him in a
daze. Ebony’s eyes widened at a sight she could hardly believe. The Hooded
Avenger, the hero who had saved her life more than five years ago, the hero who
had compelled her to become a costumed crime fighter, stood posing for
television cameras and being interviewed by reporters for the day’s biggest
story. The confident hero smiled handsomely gloating about his dramatic
apprehension as the reporters ate up his daring tale like a pack of ravenous
dogs. The hero stood with his hands on his hips sticking his chest. He glowed
with confidence. Ebony could hardly believe what she was seeing. The Hooded
Avenger had indeed returned but he was unlike the hero she had remembered. The
hero she knew never posed for cameras or basked in the glory of a victory. It
was the same Hooded Avenger but this was a different personality that she had
not seen before.
The Hooded Avenger watched as Ebony Bow and Capital Man
approached and excused himself from the reporters.
“So? What do you think?” the Hooded Avenger questioned
with outstretched arms. “It’s the new me, well, the old me…whatever, I’m back!”
“As I see,” Ebony Bow looked him up and down. “What
happened? Where is the Zombie?”
“The Zombie is…for lack of a better term, dead and
buried,” the Hooded Avenger announced. “It’s the dawn of a new day.”
“I don’t understand. How is this possible?” Ebony Bow
questioned looking at the vibrant flesh that had replaced the dead decaying
“It was your father’s cell regeneration formula,” he
informed. “I had a friend develop it to last longer on dead tissue. I feel
alive. It’s amazing!”
The Hooded Avenger lifted Ebony Bow into the air and
spun her around, “Now I can be the man that the Zombie could never be for you.
We can be together, you and me!”
Ebony Bow pulled from his grasp, “Wait, hold on. We
need to talk about this.”
The Hooded Avenger looked back to the crowd of
reporters, “We will I promise, but I have to go. CNN is here, they want an
exclusive on the return of the Hooded Avenger!”
The hero turned and raced off toward the mass of
reporters and flashing cameras.
“He’s quite the glory hound,” Capital Man observed.
“Was he always this self absorbed?”
“No,” Ebony Bow sighed. “Something’s wrong.”
“Well, he sure is happy.”
“Maybe too happy,” Ebony Bow stated watching the hero
with a keen eye.
For the next week, the Hooded
Avenger’s exploits dominated the headlines. “Twelve children saved from death
at day care center fire”, “Returned Hero rescues twenty five after disgruntled
employee takes hostages at gun point”, “Woman saved from thirty story fall”,
and “Crime down 35% in a week, thanks to the Hooded Avenger”. Posters of the
Hooded Avenger littered the billboards of Paragon City and every magazine and
newspaper in town depicted a picture of the handsome hero. There were even
street venders on every corner selling t-shirts of the hero and rumors of a
live action movie were the biggest talk of the entertainment circuit.
Royal Overlook – Steel Canyon 9:58 AM
In the mansion of crime family Mafioso, Alfonzo Pazzo,
a television set reported the day’s events.
“Paragon Police released today that last Tuesday’s
armed robbery of the First National Bank in Steel Canyon was orchestrated by
members of the Pazzo Crime Family. Officials have also implicated the
Pazzo Family in the deaths of more than twenty people in connection with
tainted street drugs, to include an eight year old Kings Row boy, and the death
toll is still rising. A police task force in connection with local heroes has
vowed to locate the origination of these drugs and stop their distribution
before more deaths can be attributed. This news caster is confidant with heroes
like the Hooded Avenger on the prowl, the Pazzo Family or whoever is
responsible for these poison narcotics don’t stand a chance. For Channel 4 ‘On
the Spot’, I’m Mercy Stevens.”
Alfonzo Pazzo leapt from his chair behind his ornate
desk, a nickel plated .45 caliber revolver in his outstretched hand. He plugged
five rounds of ammunition into the TV screen while a collection of his lieutenants
watched wondering who would be the recipient of the remaining two. The TV
exploded with a pop, fire and smoke spilling from the picture tube. The crime
boss slammed the handgun down on the desk and snarled through grit teeth.
Alfonzo Pazzo wasn’t a big man; short in stature, slim, with a thick head of
graying hair, a broad chin, and bushy eyebrows. His dark grey suit fit him like
a glove and gold bracelets could be seen from beneath his cuff. He moved around
from behind his desk like a shark encircling his prey. His finger wagged with
frustration and his lips curled to the side in a sneer.
“These God damned do-gooders!” he ranted in his raspy
voice. “These tight wearing buffoons in their capes with their masks! I have
had it with the lot of them. They’ve gone to far this time, cost me millions!
I’m not going to take it any more.”
He paced between his men making sure to make eye
contact with each and every one of them.
“There’s a new one of these poster boys each week!” he
continued in his tirade. “Statesman, Amazing-Man, Flames Master,
American-Knight, Kris Kaos, some damn fool Egyptian statute that walks around
calling himself a God, and now this pathetic Hooded Avenger! I have had it up
to my eyeballs with these caped monkeys. The Family has been here longer than
all of them! Before the Malta, before the Counsel, before those cloak wearing
Thorns, before the damned Invasion, and before these do-gooders came around
stick’n there noses were they don’t belong. They’ve gone too far this time, the
lot of’em. We’re gonna make these pigs squeal. No one gets in the way of this
Family, NO ONE!”
“But what’re we supposed to do, boss?” one of the
lieutenants question. “They got super powers and stuff.”
Boss Pazzo spun back to his desk and snatched his
revolver sticking it in the questioning lieutenants face, “What do we do you
say? We do what we always do…we get ruthless!”
He fired the two remaining bullets into the ceiling
sending his lieutenants cowering, “I want those drugs in every shopping mall,
in every fast food joint, in ice cream shops, on playgrounds, and every
classroom in Paragon. I want this city swimming in poison until those damn
do-gooders can't go two feet without running into a body. Put it out on the
street that those drugs are warehoused at Dock 52 in Independence Port, make
sure everybody knows. When those caped idiots show their pretty little faces
we’ll have a present for ‘em. We’ll show them just how ruthless we are. No body
messes with the Family, not unless their looking to be fit for a toe tag.”
The lieutenants licked their lips in anticipation,
motivated by their mentor’s words.
“Get a move on boys,” Alfonzo Pazzo snarled with a
wicked smirk. “We got work to do.”
The Gish - Kings Row 4:18 PM
A beat up Chevy roared around a busy street corner
sending pedestrians scattering to avoid being struck. A band of marked patrol
cars followed close behind, red and blue lights flashing, and their sirens
blaring. Two thugs from the notorious gang known as the “Skulls” recklessly
fled in the stolen car without regard for anyone’s safety.
“Give it some more gas!” one Skull told the other.
“I got my foot to the floor,” the other replied
angrily. “This piece of $%!* ain’t got no balls!”
“If those pigs find what out we got in here we’ll be in
the Zigg for sure!”
“I can’t go to prison,” one stated. “I ain’t got the
stomach for prison!”
“Then stomp on the #@%&ing gas before those rollers
got us pinned!”
The old Chevy screamed down the street, smoke beginning
to pour from the rear exhaust. It barreled down the street reaching speeds of
80 MPH. The Skulls maneuvered the vehicle through traffic twisting and turning,
smashing into the sides of innocent drivers, through red traffic lights, and
with total disregard for human life. The police knew if these unruly felons
were not stopped innocent lives could be lost. A block ahead, an officer laid
down a spike strip to cripple the fleeing GTA’s tires and hopefully end the
careless pursuit. The Chevy sped over the spike strip puncturing three of the
four tires and sending chunks of rubber and asphalt into the air. The stolen
car continued forward its bare rims digging into the black top shooting sparks
in its wake. The desperate criminal became more determined to get away, high on
adrenaline and fear.
The Hooded Avenger watched the pursuit from above
waiting for the right dramatic moment to strike. A crew of reporters had heard
the perilous pursuit over the police band and responded ahead of the chase to
get footage for the evening news. The courageous hero leapt from above dropping
on top of the stolen car. The Skulls panicked pulling the vehicle to the left
and right tossing the shrouded crusader from side to side. The speeding vehicle
passed by the reporters as the Hooded Avenger winked and smiled for his adoring
fans. The hero tucked his legs holding on to the sides then smashed his fist
into the windshield spider webbing the glass. The Skulls pulled out their hand
guns and began peppering the roof of the car with a spray of bullets. The
hero’s grip slipped nearly sending him over the edge of the car. The Hooded
Avenger dodged the rounds then tightened his grip on the sides of the car
planning his next move.
The distraction left the felons vulnerable to what
awaited ahead. Capital Man planted his feet and braced his shoulder watching
the speeding Chevy race toward him at nearly 100 MPH. The fleeing GTA smashed
into the titanium hero like a brick wall stopping the vehicle dead in its
tracks. The Hooded Avenger flew forward rolling to a stop. He grimaced at the
sight of the intruding hero thinking he had the situation perfectly under
control. The Skulls jumped from the vehicle, amazingly unharmed. Ebony Bow
sighted in her trust bow and fired a net arrow trapping the two reckless thugs
and preventing their escape.
Capital Man wiped the car debris from his patriotic
uniform totally untouched by the awesome collision. He watched as the Hooded
Avenger stomped towards him with furious expression on his face.
The Hooded Avenger pushed the red, white, and blue
hero’s shoulder, “I was doing just fine until you came along!”
“Oh, yeah. You were doing great,” Capital Man stated
sarcastically. “You’d have been a blue and yellow stain on the asphalt if I hadn’t
come along. Besides, I wasn’t concerned with you. It’s almost rush hour and
those fools were on a collision course with death. There were innocent lives to
“I had it under control!” Hooded Avenger shouted. “If I
needed your help I would have asked for it!”
“What? Did I steal the headlines from you,” Capital Man
teased. “Don’t worry, there will be another big save for you and then you can
get your exclusive with Michael Williams for Dateline!”
Hooded Avenger ground his teeth and pulled back his
fist to strike.
Ebony Bow stepped between the two heroes pushing them
both back, “Enough already! We are all on the same team here!”
“Tell that to your boyfriend,” Hooded Avenger spat.
“You are out of line!” Ebony yelled back betting in the
Before she could say another word, a police officer at
the trunk of the car alerted them to what he had found inside.
Ebony Bow walked to the rear of the car and her eyes
widened in surprise. The trunk was filled with bundles of the Pazzo’s poisoned
narcotics. She picked up one of the bundles finding another layer of the
packaged narcotics underneath.
“Look how much is here,” she gasped. “This is getting
out of control.”
Capital Man joined her side, “Pazzo must be getting
desperate handing this garbage over to simple street thugs to distribute. It
seems like the more drugs we seize off the street the more show up.”
Hooded Avenger stared into the trunk with a questioning
expression on his face, “I thought we took care of all of this. The warehouse
last week…there was so much there.”
“While you have been making headlines, we have been
continuing to get these drugs off the street,” Ebony Bow explained annoyingly.
“There have been at least another ten deaths since that warehouse bust. If you
hadn’t been hogging all the big saves and getting your name in the papers you
could have been helping us get this stuff off the street. It just keeps
flooding in and we can’t get a firm connection to Pazzo to make an arrest.”
“I didn’t know,” the Hooded Avenger gasped. “Ten more
deaths, how could that be?”
Ebony Bow was about to say something else when she
heard the officer get a report over his radio that made him pale.
“What is it?” she questioned.
“The death toll just shot up by eight, but this time…”
the officer paused unable to clear the lump in his throat. “It’s tragic…two
blocks up. You better head over there. We’ll clean up this mess and get these
The three heroes raced up the street to a residential
neighborhood where police and medical vehicles lined a house on the end of the
street. Mothers and fathers hugged each other in tears grieving the worst. The
looks on the responding officers’ faces couldn’t begin to explain what had
happened here but the sight of multiple body bags being carried from inside the
residence told them that whatever it was it was bad, really bad.
Ebony Bow approached the police captain managing the
scene, “What happened here?”
The captain’s face was drawn and sullen, “Eight girls,
ages 14 to 15, were having a sleep over here. One of them was about to turn
sweet sixteen. I guess they decided to experiment; one of them brought some
Devil’s Dust to the party. They weren’t found in time, we lost them all. They were
all good girls, curious is all. It’s a tragedy. This drug problem is turning
into a catastrophe.”
Ebony Bow gasped fighting the tears and Capital Man
hung his head in shame.
The Hooded Avenger looked as if he had gone numb; his
eyes stared at the seemingly endless parade of body bags streaming from the
residence. The cries of the parents was almost deafening in his ears. His head
felt like it was spinning.
“How could this have happened? How is this possible?”
the Hooded Avenger stammered in disbelief.
“It’s happening all over Paragon City,” the police
captain explained. “Five young college frat boys were found OD’d at a party in
Steel Canyon. Two of them died, the other three are in intensive care at St Can
Medical Center. They don’t look like they are going to pull through and if they
do; they’ll have serious brain damage. It’s become an epidemic. Most of the
junkies have wizened up that Devil’s Dust is a killer. But there are those who
are just too curious, or like these girls, looking for a cheep thrill and
paying the consequences.”
“All of this has been going on all along?” the Hooded
Avenger questioned. “Why hasn’t the public been warned? Why isn’t this all over
“The press covers what they want to cover,” the captain
stated. “The big stories are the ones that draw in the viewers. It’s all about
the ratings. A kid dying from an accidental overdose isn’t glamorous. It’s not
like we have Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and that pop sings daughter sprawled
out here. These are just some average girls here.”
The Hooded Avenger felt as though he was falling apart,
“This is my fault.”
Ebony Bow was angry with his recent behavior but saw
that her old friend was taking things too far, “It’s not your fault. There are
people out there responsible for putting these drugs on the street. We’ll find
“No,” the Hooded Avenger’s eyes narrow and his teeth
grit, “The dead…I should have heard the dead. The souls of the innocent, their
voices, I can’t hear their voices! I could have put an end to this. Look how
far it has come! I did nothing but put more lives in danger. I should have
heard their cries…the call of the victims…the demand for justice, for
Ebony Bow placed a hand on her friends shoulder seeing
that he was tearing himself apart, “You aren’t him anymore. You’re not the one
to hear those cries anymore. You have changed. You said he was dead and
“Dead and buried?” the Hooded Avenger questioned
seeming almost childlike, in a daze.
“Yes,” she repeated. “Dead and buried. The Zombie is no
The Hooded Avenger’s teeth clenched, his fist balled,
and his brow furrowed in anger, “Well I’m not dead. The ones who did this will
pay for what they have done. There is blood on their hands and those innocents
The Hooded Avenger began to push past Ebony Bow and
Capital Man, but Ebony grabbed his shoulder, “The task force will handle the
situation. We don’t need a vigilante.”
The Hooded Avenger pulled her hand from his shoulder,
“Then the task force better find them before I do.”
Seven Gates “DJ’s Tavern” – Brickstown 10:27
The Hooded Avenger took to the
streets in a rage. His mind flooded with guilt. He blamed himself above all
others, his ignorance, his selfishness was to blame. Professor Topffer had
warned him but he failed to heed his words. The voices of the dead had once
anointed him as their protector, their avenger. But those voices had silenced,
abandoned by their champion. Now, innocents were dead and many more would die
if something was not done. The Hooded Avenger shook down local street thugs and
hit family hang outs in a pursuit of answers to why these innocents had to die.
The desperate hero vowed to end the epidemic of poisoned drugs that filled the
street, no matter what the cost.
The doors to DJ’s Tavern flew open and in the bars
doorway stood the Hooded Avenger. DJ’s Tavern a known hang out for Family thugs
became quiet at the sight of the hero. Only the jukebox could be heard in the
background. The bartender pointed toward the door with a scowl on his face.
“No capes allowed!” the bartender ordered. “Can’t you
read the sign? We don’t want your kind in here.”
“Sign?” the Hooded Avenger questioned tearing the sign
from the door and wadding it into a ball. “I don’t see any sign.”
The Hooded Avenger walked into the bar keenly eyeing
each of the patrons sizing them up for the impeding
“I’m looking for Ricky Pazzo,” the Hooded Avenger
stated referring to Alfonzo Pazzo’s nephew who handled much of the king pin’s
“Piss off, hero,” a patron stated taking a swig of his
beer then standing from his bar stool.
Other patrons stepped forward either holding beer
bottles or pool sticks, ready for a brawl.
“My beef is with Pazzo,” the Hooded Avenger stated.
“There is no reason for any of you to get hurt.”
The bar filled with laughter, “We’re Pazzo’s boys. That
means the only one getting hurt around here is you.”
Laughter filled the bar again, “Aren’t you the pretty
boy on the news grinning like an idiot for the cameras?”
“I’m not grinning now am I?” the Hooded Avenger kept
moving forward as Pazzo’s boys began to close in as well. “If Ricky Pazzo was a
man he would show his face.”
“I’m right here,” a voice answered from the back of the
bar from a young man who chalked his cue stick and began to rack a ball on a
billiard table. “Mop the floor with that punk’s cape and toss him out in the
Pazzo’s boys grinned and cracked their knuckles ready
“Have it your way,” Hooded Avenger sneered. “When I’m
done with these fools, you’re next.”
The thugs rushed upon the hero only
to be met with hard punches with swift precision. The Hooded Avenger wasted no
time blooding noses and breaking bones. The bodies of Pazzo’s boys soon
littered the floor. Ricky Pazzo swung his stick around like a staff as the
Hooded Avenger approached, “I said you would be next!”
Pazzo swung the stick toward the hero’s head, which was
quickly ducked. The Hooded Avenger swept Pazzo’s feet out from under him
dropping him to the floor and knocking the wind out of him. Pazzo was drug back
up to his feet where the Hooded Avenger clubbed him in the gut and tossed him
across the pool table. The angered hero lifted up the young Mafioso’s nephew
and carried him up into the air by his neck. Ricky Pazzo choked and gagged
fighting helplessly against the Hooded Avenger’s enraged strength.
“Always the hard way with you pathetic tough guys,” the
Hooded Avenger spat.
“Whata you want?” Pazzo gagged.
“The drugs,” the Hooded Avenger stated. “Where is your
uncle keeping those poisoned drugs?!”
“I can’t tell you,” Pazzo choked painfully, his face
turning red. “They’ll kill me.”
The Hooded Avenger lifted Ricky higher tightening his
grip, “You better worry about me right now. I’ll kill you!”
“Ok, ok,” Ricky gave in. “I’ll tell, lemme down.”
The Hooded Avenger dropped the young man giving him a
moment to rub his sore throat but then pushed him against the wall gripping his
neck again, “I’m running out of patience!”
“Ok, alright,” Ricky pleaded. “They're being
housed in Indy Port. Dock 52 in Steel Pier. The drugs are there. All of them,
but you’ll never get in there. It’s guarded like Fort Knox. You’ll die trying!”
“I’ll take me chances,” the Hooded Avenger released the
young man and went for the door. He couldn’t waste any more time.
Ricky Pazzo waited for the Hooded Avenger to leave the
bar and for the doors to close behind him. He reached for his cell phone from
his pocket, flipped it open, and dialed a number.
“It’s Ricky,” he stated into the phone rubbing his
throat but forming a subtle smile. “The fish took the bait, Uncle Al. He’s on
his way now.”
Ricky closed his phone and looked around the room at
his boys who lay scattered, moaning, and trying to get back to their feet, “Now
you get yours hero. Time to even the score.”
Steel Pier “Dock 52” – Independence Port 11:14 PM
The Hooded Avenger crept through the darkness, using
the shadows for concealment, moving toward the largest warehouse on Dock 52.
The hero kept him self weary of Pazzo’s guards watching the alleged drug
storage facility, but to his surprise there was no one. He continued to believe
that maybe Pazzo had taken the guards off of the front of the building to avoid
suspicion. What better way to identify a location of importance but to have it
surrounded by security. The hero approached the warehouse and tore the chain
and padlock from the door giving him access. He carefully proceeded into the
dark warehouse dimly lit by the moonlight that flooded in from the upper
windows. The warehouse was filled with storage crates nearly from floor to
“This has got to be the place,” he thought to himself.
“I’ve hit the mother load.”
The Hooded Avenger lost sight of the fact that the
warehouse seemed to be void of any of Pazzo’s men. There wasn’t a single guard
in sight, no movement, not a single sound. He bashed open one of the crates to
confirm his suspicious. The hero’s eyes widened in disbelief, the crate was
empty. Frustrated, the Hooded Avenger broke open another crate, then another,
until splinters of wood scattered the floor, but all of the crates were empty.
His mind raced with confusion, had he been so blind by his rage that he had
walked into a trap. His head began to spin and his knees felt week.
“What has become of me?” he questioned feeling foolish
The Hooded Avenger’s puzzlement clouded his thoughts and
his senses, not hearing the multiple footsteps coming up from behind him. As he
turned, the heavy end of bat struck him squarely in the face with enough force
to nearly take his head off. The hero collapsed to the ground in a heap. Before
he could react he was surrounded by an uncountable number of Pazzo’s men who
kicked and stomped his battled body. He struggled against them but there were
too many. Before he knew it he was completely overwhelmed by the angry thugs.
He opened his eyes when they stopped kicking alerted by
a presence that appeared from the shadows. Alfonzo Pazzo carefully walked
forward a gloating smile on his weathered face.
“You foolish heroes with your blind devotion,” Pazzo
laughed, his voice echoing in the warehouse. “How easily you fall for the
simplest of traps.”
The mob boss squatted down peering over the beaten
hero’s body. He lightly slapped at the Hooded Avenger’s cheek and smiled,
“There aren’t any cameras to pose for here.”
Pazzo’s goons laughed in a chorus. The Mafioso stood
and motioned for his thugs to carry the limp body over to a collection of
crates where they laid his body holding down his arms and legs.
“Too many times have you capes stuck your nose into my
affairs! Costing me millions and putting my business in jeopardy. You think you
can push Alfonzo Pazzo around? Put me outta business?” Pazzo spat. “I got news
for you champion. I ain’t gonna lie down and take it no more. If its war you
costumed do-gooders want, then its war you get. Consider yourself lucky. You’re
the first casualty in the conflict. Don’t you worry about a thing. It will be
quick, but hardly painless.”
Alfonzo Pazzo sneered and snapped his fingers as two of
his goons walked forward with chainsaws in their hands and plastic aprons over
their dark suits. The Hooded Avenger peered through his swollen eyes at the two
men then at Pazzo who grinned with devilish delight.
“Don’t do this?” the Hooded Avenger pleaded. “It’s
those drugs they are killing people. They must get off the street.”
“Oh, it’s the drugs?” Pazzo nodded. “If people are
stupid enough to pay for them then who am I to stand in their way? So a few
kids get killed so I can turn a buck. Who cares! If their parents did a better
job they’d be safe at home watching cartoons or something. I don’t give a rat’s
ass who uses those drugs as long as I get a lil coin in my pocket…fugget about
“You will pay for what you have done,” the Hooded
Avenger stated trying helplessly to pull from the vise like grip of Pazzo’s thugs.
“And who’s gonna make me pay? You?” Pazzo laughed. “I
don’t think so.”
Alfonzo Pazzo motioned for his boys to come forward
starting up their chainsaws and bringing them down upon the Hooded Avenger’s
pinned body. The Hooded Avenger’s eyes darted from side to side and he pulled
against Pazzo’s thugs with all of his remaining strength. The Hooded Avenger’s
defiant screams echoed through the warehouse but were quickly drowned out by
the sound of the chainsaws sawing through flesh and bone. The horrid sound
caused Pazzo’s men to look away in disgust, but Alfonzo Pazzo looked on in
sheer delight. A devilish expression washed over his face as he watched his men
dismember the hero in torturous fashion. A fiendish laugh exploded from his
lips adding to the squeal of the chainsaws.
Several hours had past and the screams had silenced.
The warehouse was once again abandoned. Ebony Bow and Capital Man slowly
entered the warehouse after following leads that had led them to Steel Pier.
The Hooded Avenger had set out alone to take on the Pazzo Family and hadn’t
been heard from since. Ebony Bow inspected the inside of the warehouse past the
broken security chain to empty storage crates that littered the floor. She had
a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. With no sign of the Hooded Avenger the
uneasy feeling was becoming worse.
“Maybe he was never here,” Capital Man suggested.
“The word on the street was that the drugs were being
housed here,” Ebony stated. “It wasn’t any secret, it is almost like Pazzo
wanted people to know, like he wanted heroes to know.”
“Like it was a set up?” Capital Man determined. “A
“That is what I am afraid of,” the heroine worried.
“And Hoody walked right into it. He wasn’t thinking right. I’m worried about
Capital Man rounded a stack of crates where he found
remnants of torn blue and yellow cloth but no signs of the Hooded Avenger,
“Here, he called out.”
Ebony Bow rushed to his side where her hand clasped
over her mouth in shock, “What did they do to him?”
She knew something bad had happened here and feared the
“I’m afraid your friend may have gotten in way over his
head,” Capital Man observed seeing more than just the fragments of Hooded
Avenger’s costume when he activated his infrared vision.
“We have to find him!” Ebony Bow stated.
“The tracking device you planted on him,” Capital Man
Ebony Bow pulled the transmitter from a compartment in
her belt and turned on the device. Her eyes widened with relief, “I’ve got a
signal! I hope it isn’t too late!”
Gaimon Woods – Perez Park 11:14 PM
Ebony Bow and Capital Man followed her transmitter deep
into the dark woods of Perez Park. The darkness was unsettling but the desire
to find their lost friend was overwhelming. The beautiful young heroine studied
the transmitter following its signal into a clearing beneath the tall trees
that canopied much of the massive park. She shined her flashlight across the
open field seeing no trace of the missing Avenger. Capital Man activated his
scanning vision and examined the clearing as well coming across an area where a
mound of fresh topsoil appeared out of place. Dozens of heavy footprints
littered the area around the mound and disrupted the precipitation that had
begun to form on the surrounding grass. The scene was indicative of a place
where something had recently been buried and with the transmitter indicating
that the Hooded Avenger was here he could only come to one conclusion.
“Over here Ebony,” Capital Man stated reluctantly.
Ebony Bow approached and looked down at the fresh soil
her eyes wide.
“They buried him?” she presumed. “We’ve got to get at
The young heroine dropped to her knees and began pawing
at the mound of dirt pulling handfuls soil to the sides, “Help me!” she
Capital Man looked at his clean red leather gloves and
frowned, “Who’s going to cover my cleaning bill? This is pointless. It has been
hours. If he is underneath there then he’s done for.”
“Don’t say that!” she screamed continuing to dig away
at the dirt with her bare hands. “There still could be time. Get down here and
Capital Man dropped his shoulders then sunk to his
knees digging into the mound of dirt as directed. The two dug about three
feet down until they felt something hard, cleared away the dirt, and found a
plastic bag bound with a knot. They dug around the bundle and pulled it to the
surface. The plastic bag was heavy, large, and bulky but did not have the shape
of a body but of something in multiple pieces. Ebony Bow tore open the bag
reeling in shock at her discovery. The smell was stifling, revolting, and
she almost vomited. The bag was filled with pieces of limbs, torso, and a
severed head. The skin on the dismembered body was gray and decayed, maggots
slowly making their way over the corpse. The face she recognized immediately,
its lips pulled back baring its teeth and its pale eyes staring unresponsively.
Ebony Bow shrieked and fell into Capital Man’s arms.
“What have they done to him?” she sobbed. “Cut him up,
buried him, like an animal.”
Capital Man was also in shock, “This is excessive even
Ebony Bow regained her composure, “We’ll take him and
properly bury him. Then we’ll go after Pazzo and his thugs. We’ll make him pay
A groan from the plastic back of body parts made them
jump as they heard a familiar, strained, and agonizing voice, “Pazzo is mine!”
Ebony slowly crept forward peering into the back where
she saw the severed head looking out in a ghastly undead stare, “Are you still
alive?” She questioned as if maybe she had only heard the voice in her head
though Capital Man’s astonished look told her otherwise.
The severed head blinked causing the young heroine to
almost jump out of her skin.
“Put me back together,” the severed head ordered in a
voice that ran chills up her spine.
“Avenger?” she questioned again in disbelief.
“Take me to Professor Topffer at Paragon University,”
the severed head continued to order. “Put me back together.”
Ebony Bow carefully pulled the plastic bag together and
carried the limbs, now shifting grotesquely in the bag. She handed the bag to
Capital Man who took a hold of the bag as if it was cursed holding it out away
from his body.
“You heard him,” Ebony Bow stated in a quivering tone.
Paragon University – Steel Canyon 7:48 AM
Professor Topffer carefully gathered
his lesson plan from his briefcase and set it upon his desk in anticipation of
his eight o’clock class. The classroom was still empty and he treasured the
silence knowing soon that it would be filled with eager young students. He
turned to the chalk board and began writing out a list of formulas that he
would be discussing. He enjoyed the tedious construction of the complex number
and letter formulas, a true mathematician at heart. As he completed the theorem
of the final formula a revolting smell entered his nose. The smell was thick
and completely overwhelmed his senses, but he knew that smell and he knew it
well. The professor spun around to see two heroes standing covered in dirt and
mud. The male carried a large plastic bag and the female’s face was drawn and
“Sorry to interrupt you,” Ebony Bow stated seemingly
exhausted. “But he told us to see you.”
“He?” Professor Topffer questioned.
“Him,” she motioned to the plastic bag.
“Capital Man?” the professor seemed confused. “Do we
know each other?”
“No, sir,” Capital Man explained. “Him…in the bag.”
“In the bag?” Professor Topffer seemed more confused
and worried if he had two deranged heroes in this classroom.
“Yes?” Ebony Bow insisted. “Is there somewhere we can
go in private?”
Professor Topffer led the two heroes
to his laboratory where Capital Man spread out the contents of the plastic bag
onto an examination table. The multiple body parts began to twitch and move
uncontrollably. The professor jumped back unable to believe what he was seeing.
Slowly he recognized the dismembered limbs and stepped forward looking into the
eyes of his friend’s severed head.
“Put me back together,” the severed head demanded its
voice seemingly more strained than before.
The professor was speechless, “What happened to him?”
“Alfonzo Pazzo did this to him,” Ebony Bow explained.
“Fix me!” the severed head demanded angrily, “Put me
“Calm down, please,” the professor stated softly seeing
that the other parts of the dismembered body had begun to writhe as well.
The severed head growled and moaned is if in some kind
of uncontrollable suffering.
“What do we do?” Ebony Bow questioned with tears of
frustration filling her eyes.
The professor turned to his work table collecting some
high tension metal wire, scissors, and a thick needle.
“We sew him back together,” the professor explained.
“But I’ll need one of you to hold him while I stitch him up.”
Capital Man stepped back raising his hands, “I’ve had
enough excitement for one day. This is a little much for me.”
Ebony Bow hesitantly nodded her head holding back her
disgust, “Where do we begin?”
“We’ll start with the head,” the professor explained.
“Maybe he can command the other parts to calm down.”
“Let’s do it,” Ebony stated with a grimace on her face.
“And let’s hurry before I change my mind.”
After a number of painstaking hours, the
corpse lay on the examination table completely stitched together like some sort
of Frankenstein monster. The professor and the two heroes stood by waiting for
a response from the reconstructed cadaver. Slowly the corpse sat forward
looking at its arms and legs stitched with wire. It flexed its fingers and
turned its body to step down from the metal table. The corpse’s feet stepped
down to the floor and stood seeing that its body responded as it had
Ebony Bow looked at the corpse with concern placing her
head down to make eye contact, “Z? Are you there?”
The Zombie Avenger sat back down on the table running
his hands over the decayed skin on his face and through the remaining strands
of his broken hair, “I am here.”
Ebony Bow smiled hesitantly relieved that he was still
with them but was still in shock from the nights events.
“You did well,” the corpse crusader stated looking
again at the sutures that had pulled him back together. “Both of you.”
“You had us worried,” the professor explained. “What
“What happened?” the Zombie Avenger questioned himself.
“I lost my way.”
“Well you are back with us now,” Ebony Bow smiled.
“We’ll have you good as new in no time. The professor said he could start
working on that concoction to make your flesh new again. Get you back to your
“No,” the undead hero interrupted looking at his undead
flesh then to the reflection of his zombie face in a metal door. “This is who I
am, I understand that now. The Hooded Avenger died during the invasion of
Boomtown. Fate put me back in this body for a purpose, gave me these powers for
a reason. The Hooded Avenger is dead and buried. I am the Zombie Avenger and
there are innocents who need justice.”
The Zombie Avenger’s head tilted back as his mind was
flooded with visions of the dead. He could hear and feel the victims who cried
in pain trapped between the world of the living and the dead until their souls
could rest knowing that justice had been served. The innocents called upon
their champion to avenge the wrongs that had been committed against
“Pazzo will pay for what he has done with his poison,”
the Zombie Avenger proclaimed. “It is I who must bring him to justice. I
understand that now. I was wrong to indulge my selfish desires. I lost my way,
but I know my fate now. I know what must be done. I am the Zombie Avenger and
those who dare enact wrongs against the innocent will face vengeance.”
Professor Topffer pulled a tattered and torn purple and
green suit from the drawer of a cabinet and handed it to the corpse crusader,
“I saved it in hopes that I would see my old friend again.
“You warned me but I didn’t listen,” the undead hero
stated looking at his ragged costume.
“Water under the bridge, they always say,” Professor
The Zombie Avenger pulled on his uniform and pulled
down the hood to shadow his undead face. The darkness of his awesome powers
surrounded him and encompassed the room as he called upon the shadows. The
power of the darkness gave him back his strength and invigorated his undead
body. The living zombie called into the darkness to heed the cries of the
“The Zombie Avenger lives again!”
Royal Overlook – Steel Canyon 8:13 PM
Alfonzo Pazzo lifted a glass of champagne and puffed on
a fat cigar laughing with disturbing amusement. His lieutenants stood around
him in his luxurious study surrounded by hundreds of books and a marble
fireplace in the corner. The lieutenants lifted their glasses as well, a
triumphant display of victory.
“The war has begun and the first victory is ours,”
Pazzo celebrated as his men cheered. “The first of many. Who'd these capes
think they was messing with? This ain’t no Saturday morning cartoon. The
message has been sent. The Hooded Avenger begged for his life, he begged like a
“And squealed like a pig,” another added with a chorus
“We’ll have them all squealing like pigs,” Pazzo grinned
menacingly. “These capes is a dying breed. It’s our time now!”
“But what if these masks get organized, boss?” one of
the lieutenants asked. “With there powers and stuff we could be look’n at a lot
of trouble here. Seeing as we took one of there own, I don’t think they’s gonna
just lie down and roll over.”
The other lieutenants nodded with a touch of
concern in agreement.
“I don’t fear these tight wearing prema donnas,” Pazzo
spat. “With the money we’s raking in we’ll buy heroes to work for us. We’ll
form a treaty with the other groups of Paragon and stand against these fools.
We’ll overwhelm them with sheer numbers. The Tsoo, the Thorns, the Crey, Malta,
Counsel, Lost, Skulls, Hellions, Trolls, even the damn cops will side with us
after I control all organized crime in Paragon. We’ll give them high and mighty
punks something to fear. Its time these heroes started running scared, running
scared from me. I’ll show them the real meaning of fear!”
Pazzo’s face twisted into a maniacal grimace. His
laughter seemed to overpower the room, even unsettling his trusted cronies.
Suddenly, the room went completely black. The frightened men tensed and clung
to one another unable to see anything in the impossibly dark room. Pazzo pulled
a book of matches striking one of them against the red phosphorous and held the
lit cardboard stick out in front of him.
“Settle down you morons,” Pazzo scoffed. “Probably just
blew a fuse.”
Alfonzo Pazzo passed the match past his men looking at
the fearful expressions on their faces and frowned, “What’re you all afraid of
the dark now? You’re like a bunch of children.”
Pazzo continued to move past them with the lit match
until the light fell upon the grotesque face of the undead; peering
beneath a thick hood.
“Boo!” the face whispered blowing out the match and
sending Pazzo’s men screaming for the doors.
The terrified men pulled upon the heavy wood doors, but
they wouldn’t budge. Capital Man stood on the other side holding them closed
with his immovable strength.
“You can’t go before its time for cake,” Capital Man
smiled. “The party has just begun.”
Pazzo’s men pounded and clawed at the door
wanting anything but to stay in the blackened room with the horrifying sight
they had just witnessed. The fearful men pleaded to anyone on the other side of
the door to help them, to let them out, but there was no response.
Suddenly the lights came on and the men slowly turned
toward the figure in the middle of the room. The Zombie Avenger stood before them,
his decayed muscles tightened, his undead expression twisted into an agonizing
glare, and black tendrils rose from his body and surrounded his undead form.
Pazzo’s men’s eyes boggled and they trembled in fear at the sight of the corpse
crusader. His pungent stench encased the room, but fright over rid their senses
and masked their ability to know anything but the crippling fear.
“Kill him!” Alfonzo Pazzo ordered pulling his revolver
from beneath his suit coat as the others followed suit.
Gunfire filled the room. Pazzo’s thugs unloaded their
weapons into the Zombie Avenger sending countless bullets into the corpse
crusader’s undead husk. The Zombie Avenger absorbed each one the harmless
impacts without moving an inch.
The undead hero slowly inched forward, “You cannot kill
what is already dead. What is already dead cannot be killed.”
The Zombie Avenger leaned forward opening his mouth and
letting his jaw hang slack. A terrorizing moan passed his lips then a storm of
flies burst from his mouth. The flies swarmed over Pazzo’s thugs sending them
into a terrifying frenzy. The thugs collided into one another blinded by the
flurry of countless flies. A few of them fell to the floor rolling around in
terror. Then, as quickly as the swarm of flies had come upon them, they were
gone. The thugs battled with their sense of reality unable to understand what
was happening to them. One of the thugs thought he could still hear buzzing in
his ears and dug his finger into his lobe. He looked at his finger after
removing it from his ear and saw a maggot squirming across the tip. The
panicked thug quickly began wiping his hand on his pants when he began to feel
something moving in his hair. He hesitantly ran his hand through his hair
pulling out a handful of maggots that seemed to be appearing from every crack
and crease of his body. The other thugs experienced the same as the maggots
began to cover their bodies.
“Show me the real meaning of fear?” the Zombie Avenger
chastised repeating Pazzo’s threatening rant. “You don’t know what fear
The maggots subsided and the trembling thugs’ eyes
danced around the room then back at the Zombie Avenger who stood before them
taunting their fear.
“Get him!” Pazzo ordered pointing his finger at the corpse
crusader in wide eyed desperation.
The thugs assaulted upon the Zombie Avenger who pounded
his stone-like fists into the obedient lackeys. One by one, Pazzo’s men
fell at the Zombie Avenger’s feet. The thunderous sounds of impacted flesh and
breaking bones filled the study until there was only silence. Pazzo’s men lay
scattered across the ornate carpeting of the study and only Pazzo himself and
the Zombie Avenger remained standing. The notorious crime boss backed himself
against the door, turning to try to open them, then turned back raising his
hands in mercy.
“I’ll give you anything you want!” Pazzo screamed.
“Money, gold, women, anything in the world!”
“Anything?” the Zombie Avenger questioned stepping
Pazzo began to slide down to the floor, “Anything! I
will give you anything just don’t hurt me!”
“I want,” the undead hero stated slowly. “Your soul.”
Pazzo’s eyes enlarged as if about to pop from his skull
and his lip quivered in terror, “Please I beg of you!”
“Begging?” Zombie Avenger’s expression twisted. “How
many people have begged you for their lives? Begged you to spare them, to have
mercy? Where was mercy for their lives? Why should there be mercy to one as
cold and heartless as you? The devil has a special place for you in torment.
You will burn for the lives you have stolen. But first you will know fear, you
will know pain, agony, despair, sorrow, then you will know death.”
The Zombie Avenger raised his hand toward Alfonzo Pazzo
sending his dark powers upon the cowering crime boss. The fearful visions of
death filled his mind. The sounds of the children screaming in pain, crying for
mercy. The torment of a life cut short before its time, the defenselessness of
the youth whose bodies were poisoned by the tainted narcotics that he had
introduced to the streets. He could feel what the parents felt when they
discovered their children were dead. The overwhelming grief of losing a child
for senseless reasons. He could also feel the rage of the parents and the sense
of hopelessness that plagued them. The emotions cut him deeper than and
physical blade, devastating against his fragile psyche. Madness began to
overcome the once powerful crime lord. Tears filled his eyes and he buried his
face in his hands pleading for mercy, unable to take anymore of the
“Now you know suffering, now you now pain, now you know
fear,” the Zombie Avenger’s agonizing voice stated. “The innocents demand
justice Alfonzo Pazzo, and vengeance knows no mercy.”
The Zombie Avenger pulled Pazzo up from the floor and
carried him into the air. The undead hero’s powerful grip tightened around the
crime lord’s throat ready to squeeze the life from his pointless existence.
Pazzo gagged against the strangling hold but welcomed death over the visions of
the innocents he had wronged.
Suddenly, a quiet voice came forward from the darkness
placing a small hand on the Zombie Avenger’s arm to release his prisoner. The
spirit of young Billy Horn stood before the Zombie Avenger, a calm expression
on his kindhearted face. The undead hero couldn’t understand what he was
seeing. The young boy’s spirit looked upon the quivering crime lord who had
pulled his legs into a fetal position. He looked upon the old man with sad eyes
then turned to the Zombie Avenger.
“He doesn’t deserve to die,” little Billy stated
mournfully. “He’s a bad man, but death should not be his punishment.”
“But what he did to you?” the Zombie Avenger
questioned. “There must be vengeance.”
“He understands now,” Billy explained looking down at
the quivering Mafioso who once commanded his crime family with a cold hearted
resolve, but now shook like a child awaking from a nightmare.
“God should decide death, not us,” Billy stated with
inner warmth that overpowered his soul’s desire for vengeance. His soul could
rest easy now. “He won’t hurt any one ever again. He knows what he did was
Billy turned and walked back to the darkness pausing
momentarily to wave his hand and smile at the Zombie Avenger. The darkness
seemed to push away from Billy as he walked forward and a blinding light
surrounded him, and then he was gone.
Paragon Police Precinct 1 – Steel Canyon 2:15 PM
Ebony Bow and Capital Man carried the sobbing crime
boss Alfonso Pazzo into the police station. His body was limp, his eyes swollen
and red, and he still sobbed pleading that he was sorry over and over.
“I didn’t know,” Pazzo blubbered. “I’m so sorry…those
children…those people…what have I done?”
The officers took custody of the sniveling crime boss
and lead him toward the holding cells.
“I hope confession is good for the soul,” Capital Man
“I don’t think it matters,” Ebony Bow answered. “That
man has felt more suffering than most could feel in a dozen life times. That’s
the last we will ever hear of Alfonzo Pazzo.”
“Is it the last we’ve heard of the Zombie
Avenger?” Capital Man questioned.
“I don’t think so,” Ebony Bow smiled. “I think this is
only the beginning of the Zombie Avenger’s story.”
“I guess dead men do tell tales,” Capital Man smiled.
Horn Residence – Kings Row 5:29 PM
the sprawling city of Paragon,
the dead man watched the world with new eyes and a new purpose. The cries of
the fallen beckoned their champion. The undead hero would answer voices of the
dead and bring vengeance to the wronged. God help those who dared enact evil
upon the innocent. For fear has a name, punishment has a hand, revenge has
eyes, and vengeance has a voice…The Zombie Avenger Lives!!!
Catherine and William Horn sat clutching one another on
their living room couch. The room was quiet and sullen. A vase of wilted
flowers sat on a hutch from their son’s wake. A picture of little Billy Horn, a
grand smile on his precious face, sat on their coffee table with a candle
burning next to it. The grief still lingered like a fog. The seemingly endless
misery suffocated their lives. They hadn’t left the house since the funeral,
hadn’t stopped crying, and barely eaten since his body was wheeled to the
morgue. The grief and blame fell heavily on their shoulders wondering why God
had chosen to curse them in such a way. They couldn’t believe he was gone and couldn’t
image the trying days ahead of them without their beautiful little boy.
Catherine and William blamed themselves for their son’s death. Like a knife
twisting in their stomach, they questioned where their parenting had failed.
What could they have done to prevent such a tragedy? Why couldn’t they have
protected their son from the evils of the world?
William turned and looked again at the picture of his
little boy; he had sworn to be the father to him that he had never had. He
failed. William questioned his own sanity as he watched the candles flame seem
to dance in the still air of the cold dark house. The flame rose and fell,
swayed from side to side, grew dim then bright, as if it was dancing for him.
The reflection of the flame mirrored in Billy’s picture brightening his
features beyond the heavenly smile that crossed his angelic face.
“Why our Billy?” Catherine mumbled.
William rocked his shattered wife in his arms, “Shhhh…”
he whispered so softly.
“I miss him so much,” she sobbed.
“I know, dear,” William added over his quivering lower
lip. “I miss him too.”
William stared up toward the ceiling as if looking
beyond the pitched roof, through the clouds, and up toward the heavens. He
clenched his jaw trying ever so greatly to be strong, trying ever so greatly to
believe in God, or believe in anything at all.
The shadows of the room began to grow and surrounded
the mourning couple. The darkness became dense as if it had become something
tangible. Williams’s eyes widened as he watched the consuming shadows begin to
climb the walls and ceiling. Catherine began to notice what was happening as
well. Her hands gripped Williams’s shirt unable to form the words to describe
what she was seeing.
From within the darkness the figure appeared. His face
distorted in a torturous expression. He wore a drab green hood and tattered
purple tights with a skeletal hand print on the chest. His cape seemed to
gather about his legs like a death shroud. The darkness, the shadows, appeared
to be a part of this being; an enchantment from a nightmare standing before
them. The figure moved forward silently revealing more of its hideous
appearance. The figure seemed to delight in the couples fear as if drawing
strength from it and making their fear his own.
William and Catherine sat speechless clutching one
another unable to comprehend what was occurring.
The figures voice was agonizing, painful to the ears
and made their skin crawl, “Your son’s death, a tragedy, was not your fault.”
The couple sat breathless.
“Billy is a good boy with a good heart. He is safe and
loves you very much.”
“He is in good hands and will be well taken care of. He
will be waiting for you when it is your time to join him. He said to think of
him playing. He said not to cry but to smile and laugh. Billy wanted you to
know that you were good parents and he is sorry. He wants you to sing and laugh
again. He will always be with you. He is a good boy.”
The darkness crept away and the Zombie Avenger was
gone. Catherine and William embraced each other feeling as though a weight had
been lifted off of their shoulders. They thanked the nothingness and began to
believe again. One day they would smile and laugh again, and see their little
boy in a better place.