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The Role-Playing League - Season I - IC Thread


Medicated man of vice
Jan 17, 2006
Reaction score

A group of criminals are about to rob a bank. They've planned long and hard. It will be a daring heist. The youngest member of the group, Mikey, is having second thoughts. Unfrontunately, his apprehension has come too late. You must tell the story of the heist from beginning to end. There are no superhumans here. Just everyday heroes and villains... the guilty and the innocent... and one man whose actions will either redeem or condemn him.

Each team must satisfy two of the following four conditions in their telling of the story...

  • One of Mikey's accomplices is severely wounded. He is told to leave any injured parties behind. Does he do as he is told, or is he willing to risk his own life for another?
  • One of the customers in the bank at the time of the heist recognizes Mikey. They know eachother from somewhere. Mikey realizes that this person could incriminate him. How does he handle this problem?
  • At some point during the heist, police surround the bank, effectively sealing all known exits. How do Mikey and his accomplices deal with this?
  • Unbeknownst to the criminals, one of the customers in the bank at the time of the heist is a plainclothes cop. What, if anything, does he do to diffuse the situation? How does this relate to Mikey?

Eddie Brock Jr., Blacklight, Harlekin, Spidey's Super-Fan, Mr. Marko, TheCorpulent1​

No! No! This can’t be happening! It can’t! Mikey Robertson freezes in place as he hears the click of the gun behind him. His hands are shaking. One of the hands holds a gun and both covered in blood. He’s terrified out of his mind. He never wanted to do this. He didn’t!

But a man is dead, and now all of Mikey’s dreams and desires don’t matter anymore.

* * *​

“Well, what do you say, fellas?” Danny asked, looking around the room. Gathered there were the best robbers in the state of Wisconsin. You had Tommy “Two-Touch” Drake, named for his extraordinary skill with security; he was said to be able to disable any system with just two commands. There was Dax “Rembrandt” Brown, renowned for his love of the Dutch painter and his great agility. Of course, you couldn’t pull off a heist without inviting Jackie Bravo: with two counts of murder on his name, nobody felt he needed a nickname. Last, and most likely least, was Mikey “The Virgin” Robertson. He had never pulled off a successful heist.

They had been gathered by Danny “Ocean” Tanner, who had gotten his nickname from the popular movie. If a heist went down anywhere in the state, you could bet your money that Danny was behind it. This was his most daring plan to date: To rob the U.S. Bank in Milwaukee. You might be wondering: Why is this a big deal? The U.S. Bank is housed in the U.S. Bank Center; the tallest building in the entire state. It not only houses the Bank, but a law firm and investment firm as well, along with being the office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Security isn’t lax.

Suffice it to say, this job would not be easy, and Danny had actually planned to pull it off in broad daylight. By his idea, they would be able to escape in the hustle and bustle of the people in the Center. The operation would be subtle, no masks, and it would be controlled. No injured, no dead, and the police would not arrive on the scene until long after they had gone. As Danny had laid it out, the plan was certain to be a success, and this team of robbers would pull of the heist of well… the year at least.

The thought enticed Jackie Bravo immediately, and he confirmed his joining the group with a grunt. Rembrandt was more interested in the Milwaukee Art Museum, but nonetheless complied. Two-Touch took two long drags from his cigarette, his hands shaking uncontrollably, before he replied that he would be in as well. All eyes turned to Mikey afterwards, who looked hesitantly towards the others.

“I… I don’t know,” he said, cautiously.
“What don’t you know?!” Jackie Bravo’s right eye twitched as he spoke. Mikey found it both funny and frightening at the same time.
“I’m not sure… with the risks. Broad daylight and all…”

He looked to his fellow robbers for help. Two-Touch looked away, as did Rembrandt and Danny. Jackie Bravo was staring at him directly, the veins above his eyes throbbing. Slowly, Jackie stood up and made his way over to Mikey, who was now sitting terrified in his seat. Jackie Bravo was crazy, everybody knew that. Jackie smiled, as he took his cigarette and held it near Mikey’s face.

“You weaselling out, virgin?”
“I… I…” the cigarette came eerily close.
“Are you?”
“No… no… I guess not,” Mikey replied, defeated.

Jackie put the cigarette back in his mouth and took a drag. Standing before Mikey, he towered over him.

“Good, because I would’ve killed you if you had.”

* * *​

Jackie’s words reverberated through Mikey’s mind as he looked at the body before him. Tears were streaming down Mikey’s face. The man in front of him was dead, and for what? To earn some money? To finally prove he could pull of a heist? So his girlfriend wouldn’t think he was a loser? That he could support them and their unborn baby? Was that it? Was that why he had robbed the U.S. Bank of Milwaukee, seen a man killed to do it?

No, it had been greed. And fear.

Definitely fear.

* * *​

“He’s intense, huh?” Two-Touch said, referring to Jackie. Mikey could only nod, still scared out of his wits about what had just happened. Jackie had pulled aside Danny for some extra planning, leaving Mickey alone with Rembrandt and Two-Touch in the lavishly decorated living room. Obviously Danny had pulled off a few good heists: Why would he want to go for another one?

“Why are you guys in this?” Mikey finally asked, looking at Two-Touch and Rembrandt.

The two exchanged looks before both responding:

“The money.”
“But I’ve heard about you. You’re the best robbers in the state. You’re practically rolling in money! Why would you want more?”
“Buying art doesn’t come cheap.”
“Neither does all of the computer tech I need to break into security.”

Mikey didn’t know what to say.

* * *​

“You guys ready?” Danny asked, looking over the crew. They had gathered in a bar just opposite of the Bank. It was the perfect place to iron out the last details, and it’d serve as a rendezvous point later. The robbers of one of the biggest banks in the state would be expected to run. Run far. Instead, this team of robbers would just enjoy a coffee across the street after the heist.

The others nodded and they stood up in unison. Jackie would go into the bank first, followed by Rembrandt. Two-Touch would be infiltrating the security center, using one of his myriad fake uniforms. Danny would come in later, with Mikey coming in last. Two-Touch would distract security at Danny’s signal, which was a coughing fit. It would be noticed on camera, but would not be out of the ordinary.

As Mikey entered the bank, he noted the stations of his accomplices. Danny was in line. Rembrandt was using one of the teller machines. Jackie pretended to be waiting for someone. Mikey was expected to stand in the line parallel to Danny. While Mikey would be making a withdrawal, Danny would be holding up his own cashier, and pass along the money to Mikey, who would be standing next to him. It would seem like an ordinary withdrawal, the disabled security systems making sure that the cashier wouldn’t able to notify the police.

* * *​

“How did Danny come to be so good, anyway?” Mikey asked, the question not really intended to be answered by anyone. As he posed the question though, Danny and Jackie returned, and a smile played on Danny’s lips.

“I’m an ordinary Joe, Mikey,” Danny said, pointing out his facial features “You wouldn’t recognize me in a line-up if you tried. I’ve got one of those faces.” He continued to smile as he took five glasses and filled them with champagne. He handed a glass to each of the robbers and they lifted them in unison.

“To the greatest heist of 2007.”

* * *​

“****,” Mikey mumbled under his breath as he suddenly saw his landlord in the line adjacent to him. There were just two people between him and Danny. Mikey furiously hoped he would not recognize him. In fact, at that moment, Mikey wished he was invisible and he scrunched his face, inwardly chanting: “Don’t see me. Don’t see me. Don’t see me.”

And the landlord didn’t, the line moving along steadily.

Their moment was coming up. Both he and Danny had just one person in front of them. However, the lady in front of Mikey was fumbling with her purse and Danny reached the cashier first. Mikey could scream! Danny was taking his sweet time talking to the cashier, but they’d have to pull off the heist soon or all would be lost.

Thank God! The lady was finally done, and Mikey moved up in the line.

* * *​

“Honey?” she asked, coming into the kitchen.
“Think you could go to the store on the corner. I need my fix.”

Mikey, sitting at the table, looked at his girlfriend incredulously.

“I thought you’d stop smoking.”
“You know… with little Ben on the way.”
“Smoking is bad for the baby.”
“Pfeh. I wish the little thing would die all ready. Save us a lot of trouble.”

Mikey looked at his girlfriend in shock. He only now noted the dilated pupils, the long-sleeved shirt and the odd walk. She wouldn’t have, he thought. Immediately, Mikey sprang up and grabbed her fiercely by her right arm, lifting the sleeve to confirm what he had feared. She had fresh needle marks on her upper right arm. Heroine.

She pushed him away, angrily.

“Get away from me you pervert! I’m six months all ready!”
“Pervert? Pervert?! You’re shooting up with our baby in your stomach?!”
“She likes it.”
“She?! She ‘likes’ it?!”
“**** you.”
“What did you say?”
“**** you!” she repeated and moved backwards, out of the kitchen “I’ll get Dean to get me some cigs. You little pig!”
“Dean’s not your boyfriend!” Mikey replied angrily as he stormed after her, pulling her back by the arm.
“Get away from me, you piece of ****.”
“**** you, go and get ‘your fix’,” he replied as he pushed her away, to the door.
“Yeah? Well **** you!”
“**** you too!”

The door slammed closed behind her as she left the house.

“****ing ****.”

* * *​

Danny went into a coughing fit as planned. Mikey told his cashier to withdraw about a hundred dollars from his account and then faked concern at the coughing man beside him. During the fit, Danny pulled out his gun, pointing it at the woman behind the counter.

“I want twenty-five thousand dollars.”

That meant five thou for each of the robbers.

Mikey smiled as Danny received the money from the cashier.

This was actually going to work!

“Yo, Mikey!”

Oh, no.


Danny gave Mikey a deadly stare. ‘Deal with this’, his eyes screamed. Mikey turned away, hoping that the man would simply think he had mistaken him for another. It didn’t work. The landlord broke out of the line and approached Mikey, slapping him on the shoulders.

“I knew it was you, you little rat. You still owe me rent.”
“I’m sorry Mr. ---”


Mikey looked in shock as his landlord keeled over and dropped into his arms. People screamed as Mikey felt the fresh blood pouring onto his hands. He let the man drop and he could see Jackie Bravo standing nearby, the smoke coming from the gun in his hand. The next thing Mikey knew, Danny and Jackie were making a break for it, running out of the bank with whatever money they had. Jackie had dropped the gun on the floor.

Mikey’s knees buckled from shock and he fell to the floor next to the man. The landlord was coughing up blood, trying to stay alive. It was a battle he wouldn’t be able to win. The bank was in chaos as Mikey, shaken to the core, took the gun and looked at the dead man before him. This had all gone horribly wrong.


And it had just gotten worse.

* * *​

Things didn’t feel right. Joe Smith had had twenty years on the force, and something in the air told him that something wasn’t right at the bank. There was a man, waiting for someone, that sent a shiver down Joe’s spine. He knew him from somewhere, but he couldn’t tell from where. There was another man, at the teller, taking just a little bit too long to take out his money.

And then there were the two yahoo’s that acted like they didn’t know each other.

Maybe it was his mind playing tricks on him, but maybe he was right. His gut instinct hadn’t failed him yet, and he cautiously moved his hand inside his vest. If push came to shove, he could have his gun out in a second. Whatever happened, experience would allow him to deal with the situation.


Joe Smith looked in shock as a shot was fired and a man fell over, the bullet penetrating his lungs. He’d be dead within seconds. Smith pulled his gun immediately, but the chaos that ensued did not give him a chance to get a good look at the perp. As the crowd cleared, he could see one of the suspicious characters, a gun in his hand, beside the victim.

“Freeze!” Joe yelled.

* * *​

“Put the gun down!” the cop yelled.

As he stared into the cop’s eyes, all Mikey could think about was the things he would never be able to do. To see his son grow up, much less to see him be born. To see her and tell her that it was all okay. That he never meant any of it. That he would love her to the last of days, be it with him or Dean or anyone else. All he cared about was her and their child. The product of their one good moment together.

He’d never get to—


Ever played with dominoes?

You set them up in an incredibly elaborate pattern, maybe a smiley face, or a series of curving, winding lines. Simply tap the one on the end and the entire set-up, the sum of all of your work, falls to the ground. You can only hope that all of the dominoes are aligned correctly; and if one of them isn't, then all of the dominoes you stacked before it, or all the dominoes that could have fallen after it don't matter.

Because that, single, lone domino will have ruined the chain, and wasted your time.

Ever make a house of cards?

Hours of meticulous balancing, planning, and placement to create a unique structure. But, with one gust of wind or minute shift in the floor beneath the cards, and it all comes to pieces.

One wrong domino? That's human error; a lack of observation or preparation. When a house of cards tumbles, though, that's a twist of fate.

This story is about a man who ensured that every domino was in place, every twist of fate planned for. In his criminality, he was brilliant. In his intellect, ruthless. He was a man who was going to get ahead, no matter what it took.

No matter who had to pay.

No matter who had to suffer.

- - -

The Day Before The Robbery...
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

"Tomorrow, we drill through here." The leader of the small band of criminals said, pointing to a blueprint . "Pull ourselves up through the tile floor in the closet behind the tellers."

In his face, the man was unremarkable. He had a pale complexion, and dull, gray eyes that neither hinted at a particularly criminal mentality nor an overly compassionate personality. Physically, the man was in surprisingly good shape. He was muscular and strong. His hair, ratty and thin, was a shade of dirty blond. His accent was heavily American and monotonous. For a man of only thirty years old, Michael "Mikey" Sullivan had grown all too accustomed to not getting what he wanted, and it showed.

Today, though.

Today would be his glory-day.

His phone rang and Mikey answered it, diverting his attention from the blueprints in front of him and his band of cohorts.

- - -

Two Days After The Robbery...
3 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 2
New York, New York

"Now, ma'am. I know this is going to be hard for you." Police Detective Robert O'Leary said, passing the woman in front of him a cup of hot coffee. "But we, the police that is, need you to try to remember everything you can about two days ago."

O'Leary's eyes showed sympathy towards the woman. She had just witnessed a gruesome, bloody robbery, after all. She was allowed to be a little rattled; and, as much as he didn't like to push or force her to remember, he had to know exactly what happened at First National Bank two days earlier.

She took a deep breath, and began recalling the events of the day.

"I remember I was at the teller's desk." She said. "That teller had such a kind smile, I remember. And she was so very beautiful. It was about ten-thirty at night. I had to make a withdrawal, you see. If I didn't, I wouldn't be able to leave my house the next day to go Christmas shopping."

The detective nodded and let a sympathetic smile show on his face.

He couldn't show any impatience. If he did, the woman before him might grow agitated or worried.

If there was anything his twenty years on the force had taught him, it was to allow the witness to tell the story at their own pace. With a comfortable pace come memories, with memories come clues, with clues come evidence, and with evidence there came a conviction.

"I was filling out my slip when I heard a pop, like on the TV when someone fires a grappling hook. I felt something warm hit my forehead and figured that she sneezed. When I looked up to bless her, I saw that she was bleeding from her mouth and, when I rubbed my forehead, blood was on my hands. Her body slumped down onto the counter and that's when I fainted."

The last few sentences of her story are almost inaudible as the woman breaks down and cries.

O'Leary squirms in his seat and eventually rises to his feet slowly.

He pats the woman on the shoulder and leaves the questioning room with his partner waiting anxiously outside the door.

"We got anything?" His partner asks.

"Nothing." the detective says, almost infuriated. "Let her go."

"Dammit..." He mutters under his breath.

- - -

The Day Before the Robbery...
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

"Hello?" Mikey says, answering his cell phone.

"I'm in position." The voice on the other end of the line says.

"Outside the target?"
Michael asked, grinning.

"Yes." The voice says coldly, not sharing the zeal of his employer.

"Excellent. Call me with the information tomorrow."
Michael says, hanging the phone up abruptly.

"Good new, gentlemen. Our plan is coming together."
Sullivan said, turning to the group of five mercenaries behind him.

All of the men were older than him, with the typical appearance of a criminal. Tattoos, tank-tops, and shaved heads.

After the words slipped so easily off of his tongue, Michael Sullivan felt a twinge of guilt. He didn't know why. He had wanted this since he was a boy.

"So, there's nothing that can stop the plan?" One of the thugs asked.

With this question, the guilt was gone. Not because Mikey didn't feel it anymore, but because he knew that there was nothing he could do to stop his plan. For weeks, he had orchestrated this robbery, and nothing was going to stop him.

- - -

Two Months After The Robbery...
9 AM
Riker's Island Correctional Facility
New York, New York

A thin sheet of glass separates Mikey Sullivan and another man as they hold telephones to their ears, having a conversation.

"Dammit, Mike... Why do you do this to me?" The man asks.

"You know why." Mikey says, leaning his head against the glass, showing no emotion whatsoever.

"But wh-" The man asks again.

"You. Know. Why." Mikey says, almost angry.

A guard steps behind Mikey and puts his hand on Mikey's shoulder.

"Visiting time is over. Time to go." The guard says, escorting Mikey away as the other man watches, his hand pressed to the glass.

- - -

The Day Before the Robbery...
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

"Nope." Mikey says, answering the man's question. "Nothing can stop it."

"Can we go over the plan one more time?" The thug asks.

Mikey nods, glad that his employees intend to do their jobs properly.

"Tonight, we sleep."
Michael says, planning the following day almost to the minute. "Tomorrow, I get a call from your colleague who is watching the target. We then proceed to pick up the necessary supplies during the day. At 10:30 tomorrow night, we enter the bank."

The eyes of the men widened, eager to earn more than their share of wealth.

In an attempt to calm them, Mikey muttered:
"Remember, boys. This isn't about the money. There are far greater things at stake."

- - -

One Month Before The Robbery...
4 PM
Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu, Hawaii

A Puerto Rican man with chiseled features and a slight goatee was leaning back in an airline seat as his plane pulled into the airport of Hawaii's capital. The flight from New York had been almost twenty hours, and he was glad to finally be at his destination. He had had a wonderful rest on the journey, and was pleasantly lying with his sunglasses on when the captain's voice woke him from his nap.

"Ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to welcome you to Hawaii, and, on behalf of American Airlines, I'd like to thank you for flying with us. We know you have many choices when you choose your airline service and we'd like to thank you for choosing American. We hope you choose us next time you need to go to Hawaii, Alaska, or anywhere in any of our 50 great states. Once again, thank you, and welcome to Honolulu."

The Puerto Rican stood up quickly and left the plane. He didn't have any bags, simply because he planned to stay in Hawaii for a very long time, as much as a month.

He stepped onto an escalator in the airport and looked for the limo driver who would be holding his name on a sign.

In a few moments, he found the driver and approached him with a smile on his face.

The Puerto Rican extended his hand and grinned. The driver's handshake was firm, and his accent intriguing.

"Welcome to Hawaii, Mr. Michael Sullivan." The driver said.

The Puerto Rican smiled to himself, pleased that the first part of Mikey Sullivan's crazy plan had actually worked.

- - -

Part II
- - -

The Day Before the Robbery...
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

"Alright, men. Time to go to sleep." Mikey said, gesturing for each man to go to his room in the Warehouse. "We've got work to do tomorrow."

Mikey headed to his room and got into bed.

Late into his sleep, Mikey heard a knock on his door.

"Mr. S?" The thug knocking at the door said.

Mikey rolls over in his bed, trying to sleep.

"Mr. S!" The thug said again, hammering at the door even louder.

"WHAT?" Mikey screamed, now agitated

The thug entered Mikey's room, ringing his hands.

"I want out..." He said, his voice shaking.

Mikey sighed.

"You want out?" Mike asked, disappointed.

The thug nodded vigorously.

"Fine." Mikey said, sitting up. "Go downstairs to the kitchen. We'll talk about this there. I'll pay you, you can go. I trust that you'll say nothing."

The thug quickly left the room and Mikey heard him rush down the stairs to the lower level.

Mikey got out of bed and put on his jeans. He put his pistol in the back of his pants and pulled his loose t-shirt over the butt of the gun.

He left his room and started knocking on every door in the warehouse.

"Get up." He said at each door. "We need to talk downstairs."

- - -

Four Days After The Robbery...
7 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 1
New York, New York

Police Detective Robert O'Leary was sitting across from one of the witnesses to the robbery.

O'Leary stared at the man in front of him for a moment.

The two were in stark contrast to one another.

O'Leary was a well-to-do white cop from Long Island. He had bright orange hair that curled as it grew away from his scalp.

The man in front of him, Jamal Hynes. Was a black man from Harlem. His hair was black and stayed straight. Hynes had a criminal record which made O'Leary hesitant to so much as talk to the man, but at this point, the Detective had nothing to go on.

"You said you have some information for me?" O'Leary asked, almost impatient already.

"I do." Jamal said happily. "The guy who robbed the bank? The bad guy? I recognized him. I know his face."

- - -

The Day Before the Robbery...
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

"You want out." Mikey said, having gathered his group of men in the kitchen.

"Yes, sir."

Every man in the group around Mikey was older than him. They had experience with crime, they knew what crime felt like.

Mikey didn't.

He needed to show them that he was in control.

They left when he told them to go, not when they decided it was time to.

"Fine." Mikey said, angrily. "Turn around."

"Sir?" The thug asked, confused.

"Turn. Around." Mikey said, placing a hand on the small of his back.

The man listened and turned his back to Sullivan.

"You want out." Mike said. "You want out. You want out, you want out, you want out." Mikey said, wrapping his fingers around the gun.

He pulled it from his back and took aim at the thug's shoulder. He pulled the trigger once and blood flew from the front of the thug's chest. He fell forward, and his face landed on electrified stove burner, leaving a gruesome, circular burn mark on his face. Blood seeped into the burners and onto the tile floor until the man's body finally slumped backwards onto the ground.

"You're out."
Mikey said, wiping the tip of his gun with his shirt.

His companion had been severely wounded, but he wasn't dead. Mikey would leave him behind, here, at the warehouse.

He stared at the gang of experience, awe-stricken criminals.

"Let this be a lesson to you boys. You are no longer under my employ when I tell you you are no longer under my employ. This is not your choice. If you want to be rewarded, and reap the benefits of our work, all you have to do is be patient and do your jobs tomorrow. Tomorrow is when all of this will come together."

He wiped some spit from his bottom lip.

"Clean this up and get back to bed." He said, ascending the stairs.

- - -

The Day Of the Robbery...
9 AM
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan poured himself a mug of coffee and watched the morning television show.

"Today, Wall Street is looking very good folks, with the release of the highly anticipated VisionX by Sulliva-" The anchor said, as Mikey changed the television station.

"The VisionX will modernize and revolutionize our world." Another anchor said, "It's going into every computer, every mobile phone, and every Mp3 player. It has broken company barriers by having contracts with both Sony and Nintendo, Macintosh and Windows, and Nokia and Motorola. Because of all of these incredible contracts, it is estimated that the company will earn another 4.8 billion dollars annually. This will only add to wealth of the company's founder and sole-proprietor."

Mikey raised his eyebrows, amazed at the advances in technology that were coming so rapidly in this day and age.

His cell phone rang, and in a split second he answered it.

"The target is active." The operative said.

"Good. You'll send me pictures?"
Michael asked, happily.

"Yes. They'll be sent to your e-mail address in moments." The man says, hanging up.

A few seconds later, the e-mail icon on Mikey's computer bounces, and reveals that he has a new message.

When he opens the message, he smiles, and looks at the images sent to him by the man waiting outside the target.

- - -

Six Weeks Before The Robbery...
11 AM
The Verizon Wireless Store in Times' Square
New York

"So, is there any way I can join the lines on a phone?"
Mikey Sullivan asked the saleswoman in the Verizon store.

She looked at the plan of charts she had in front of her.

"If you buy two phones now, we can activate them with the same number, so you can leave one phone in your car and another one in your apartment. That way, you won't have to think about if you have your phone."

He nodded.

"Let's do that." He said.

After about 20 minutes, Sullivan exited the store with a small, red and white bag, inside of which were two new phones.

A Puerto Rican man walked along the block and stood next to Sullivan.

Sullivan took one of the phones out of the bag and handed it to the Puerto Rican.

"When they call looking for me," He muttered, "We'll both answer. Set your microphone to mute. They'll hear me, but trace you. As far as the police will be concerned, I'll be in Hawaii when I suddenly receive their disturbing call."

- - -

The Day Of the Robbery...
6 PM
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan inspected the items he had purchased over the course of the day. It had taken hours, but he had found every item in the outfit that the man in the pictures sent to him by his informant was wearing.

"Did you really have that guy sit outside someone's house for hours just so you could find out what he was wearing?" One of the cronies asked.

"Appearances can be deceiving."
Michael said, simply, answering the thug's question.

Mikey put the shopping bag into another, larger sports bag along with guns, silencers, extra rounds, and a change of clothes.

He took out his cellular phone and called the thug in the getaway car.

After a few rings, the thug answered.

"Yeah, boss?" He asked.

"Is the getaway car in position?" Michael Sullivan asked.


"Good." Sullivan said, hanging up.

He glanced at the men around him.

"Let's go rob a bank."
He said, throwing the bag over his shoulder.

- - -

Twenty Years Before The Robbery...
8 PM
A House in Scenic Long Island
Stony Brooke, Long Island, New York

Two boys sit next to each other, one is playing with a toy car while the other one watches.

"Vroom!" The boy says, happily.

"Let me play!" A ten year old Mikey Sullivan says.

"No!" The other boy says.

Mikey pouted, angrily glaring at the other boy.

"Samuel, let your brother play." Their mother said.

The other boy gave Mikey the toy car, and watched as his brother had fun.

Mikey said, rubbing it in his brother's face.

"One day I'm going to have enough money to buy a hundred cars!" Mikey's brother said. "And you won't be allowed to use any of them!"

Little did they know, that in only twenty years, they'd be separated by a piece of glass in a prison.

- - -

The Day Of the Robbery...
9 PM
Underneath the First National Bank
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan watched as his gang of thugs drilled into the floor beneath the closet in the bank. After three hours of trudging through the sewers, Mikey was amazed that his group of criminals had made it this far.

Slowly, but surely, light crept into the sewer from within the bank.

After another half hour of waiting, there was finally a hole cut in the floor of the bank's closet.

The criminals beneath the floor, pushed the cube of tile up into the closet.

"Put this up there." Mikey whispered, passing the bag up to his fellow robbers.

He heaved himself up into the closet, along with the back and started taking his clothes off. In a few mere minutes, he had changed into the outfit that the man was wearing this morning.

He loaded his gun and attached the silencer.

Instructing the other men to do the same, they began to wait for 10:30 to roll around.

- - -

Four Days After The Robbery...
7 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 1
New York, New York

Police Detective Robert O'Leary's eyes widened after hearing what Jamal had to say.

"You saw him? Do you recognize him?" O'Leary asked, anxious.

Finally, after four days of late nights, and tedious effort, he had finally caught this bastard.

"Of course I did!" Jamal said quickly.

"Could you recognize him in a lineup?"


"You're positive?"

"He wrapped his hand around my collar and punched me in the jaw. His face was only inches away from mine. I could tell you what he had eaten for lunch. I know this man. I can even tell you his name."

Detective O'Leary's eyes widened and he felt his heart beat grow faster.

- - -
Part III
The Day Of the Robbery...
10:30 PM
Underneath the First National Bank
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan eased the door of the closet open and stepped out into the Bank.

He saw one teller at the counter, the only employee present.

Filling out a check or slip, Mikey couldn't be sure, there was an old lady.

Behind the old lady, still picking up papers and filling in information, was a black man.

Mikey raised the silenced pistol he held in his hand and fired one shot at the teller's back.

The shot made a sound similar to that of a grappling hook or piston in television shows and movies.

Blood sprouted out of the teller's mouth and landed on the old woman's forehead.

The woman look up, and rubbed her forehead, seeing that it was blood.

The teller collapsed forward and slammed her head on the marble counter.

The old woman, in her panic, fainted and fell onto the old, worn carpet.

Holstering his pistol, Mikey seized his opportunity and leaped over the counter.

He sprinted for the black man and tackled him. The man's eyes widened, as if he was sure he knew Mikey from somewhere. Mikey smiled slightly. If nobody recognized him, his entire plan would fail. Wrapping a palm around the man's white t-shirt, Mikey made sure that the man got a good, long look into his eyes before knocking the man out.

"Boss. The security cameras." One of the thugs mentioned.

"Leave them. We need the cameras to capture my face." Mikey Sullivan said, glaring at one of them. "Empty the drawers. No cash from the vault, just petty stuff."

- - -

Four Days After The Robbery...
7 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 1
New York, New York

"Who was it?" O'Leary asked, amazed.

"You'll be as surprised as me." Jamal said, tugging at his jeans.
"It was Samuel Sullivan. The guy who invented Sullivan industries and that VisionX thing."

"Why would he rob a bank? What's more... why would he just take the petty cash?"

"I dunno, that's what I thought too. Then I figure it's thrill seeking... he probably wants to see what he can get away with."

Detective O'Leary stood up and opened the door for Jamal and looked at him.

"Sir, you've been invaluable to our investigation. And, on behalf of New York, I'd like to personally thank you. You're free to go, but I'd just like to tell you that you will probably be asked to testify against Mr. Sullivan."

Jamal nodded and left the examination room.

O'Leary collapsed into his seat, amazed that Sam Sullivan, one of the richest men in the world, would rob a bank.
- - -

The Day Of the Robbery...
11 PM
Underneath the First National Bank
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan and his group of criminals stepped out of the bank with incredible authority. Across the street, a silver Jeep was waiting for them, with a getaway driver.

Mikey opened the trunk of the car and changed into his spare set of clothes quickly.

"Let's get some fast food." He said.

The driver nodded and took them to the closest McDonalds. The group ordered a few burgers and drove to the garbage can made for drive-thru customers.

There, Mikey disposed of the clothes he had worn during the bank robbery.

"Good. Back to the warehouse."

- - -

Four Days After The Robbery...
9 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 1
New York, New York

Detective Robert O'Leary stood up and headed to the main office of the Police Station.

He stepped into his sergeant's office.

"Sarge, we've got the Perp on the bank robbery."

"No ****!" The man said, amazed.

"Yeah, it's Sam Sullivan. The billionaire.

"You sure?"

"We got an eyewitness and surveillance."

The Sergeant leaned forward and started typing on his computer.

"He's got a twin brother. Call him up, see where he is, and let him know what's going on. Then, bring him in. We'll need a warrant, but I can get that within the half hour."

"You take care of the warrant, I'll call the twin." O'Leary said, stepping out of the office.

He sat down with a technician.

"Will you be able to trace the call?" He asked.

"You give me one minute and thirty seconds, I can tell you where this guy is."

"Good." Robert O'Leary said, picking up the phone and dialing the listed cell phone number of Michael "Mikey" Sullivan.

- - -

Four Days After the Robbery...
9 PM
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan had waited for this for years.

The day he finally got the best of his know-it-all, selfish, no-good twin brother Samuel.

Samuel had started Sullivan industries just under ten years ago, when the relationship between the brothers was still lukewarm at best.

As such, Mikey was next in line to take the reigns of the sole-proprietorship should anything happen to Samuel.



Or arrest.

In each case, Mikey would get the company. A company which was worth over 1.2 trillion dollars, bigger than Microsoft, and gave all of its profits to him.

Four days had passed since the robbery, and he anxiously awaited the call from the police that would undoubtedly come.

His phone rang, and Mikey answered it slowly.

"Hello?" He asked.
- - -

Four Days After The Robbery...
9 PM
Precinct 12, District 2, Examination Room 1
New York, New York

Detective Robert O'Leary heard Michael Sullivan's voice and quickly got to his feet. He pointed at the technician anxiously, signaling for him to start tracing the call.

"Eh, Sir. Hello. Is this Michael Sullivan?"

"Yes, it is." The voice on the other line said slowly. "Who is this?"

"My name is Robert O'Leary, I'm a detective with the twelfth precinct of the New York police department. How are you this evening?"

"I'm fine, how are you?"

"I'm tired, it's been a long week. I'd just like to ask you a few questions if that's alright with you." The detective said trying to take as much time as possible.

"No problem, sir."

"Thank you very much. I'm just curious, when was the last time you spoke to your brother?"

The man on the other end of the line sighed.

"Probably about a year and half ago. Why? Is he in trouble?"

"We believe your brother may be involved with a bank robbery that took place roughly 96 hours ago. If I may ask, where are you currently, sir?"

"My god, that's awful. I'm actually enjoying an extended stay in Hawaii right now."

An awkward silence passed between the two until Sullivan spoke up.

"I'll come back to the city right now. I'll leave tonight. I should be there by tomorrow afternoon."
Sullivan said, hanging up.

O'Leary, too, hung up, and looked at the technician.

"Where is he?" O'Leary asked.

"Honolulu." The technician said.

O'Leary fell into his desk-chair.

That did it.

Samuel Sullivan had robbed a bank.

But why? It didn't make sense.

He was a billionaire.

His brother, though, was barely getting by.

Samuel didn't have the motive, Mikey did.

Something didn't sit right with Detective Robert O'Leary.
- - -

Four Days After the Robbery...
9 PM
Pier 9, Dock Four, Warehouse 912-C
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan pressed the mute button on his phone and listened as the detective hung up.

"Did they trace it to Hawaii?" He asked.

"Si." The Puerto Rican said.

With that, Mikey Sullivan hung up the phone.

- - -

Two Months After The Robbery...
9 AM
Riker's Island Correctional Facility
New York, New York

Mikey Sullivan sat down in front of the sheet of glass in the prison visiting facility.

On the other side of the glass, he watched as his twin brother was escorted to the phone in a bright orange jump suit.

"Hello Sam." Michael Sullivan said, into the receiver.

"I can't believe you." Sam said, clenching his fists on the other side of the glass.

"I was given the controlling shares today of the Sullivan Corporation." Mikey said, ignoring his brother.

"You've ruined me." Sam said, almost in tears. "I'm your brother. You killed people, stole from a bank, and corrupted our family. And why? All to get to me?"

"I want you to know that when you get out in the next thirty to forty years, brother, I'll be here for you. Waiting for you to take your place at my side."

"Dammit, Mike... Why do you do this to me?" The man asks.

"You know why." Mikey says, leaning his head against the glass, showing no emotion whatsoever.

"But wh-" The man asks again.

"You. Know. Why." Mikey says, almost angry.

A guard steps behind Mikey and puts his hand on Mikey's shoulder.

"Visiting time is over. Time to go." The guard says, escorting Mikey away as his brother watches, his hand pressed to the glass, longing to be freed from prison.

- - -

A Year And A Half After The Robbery...
7:45 AM
Precinct 12, District 2
New York, New York

Detective Robert O'Leary had spent countless nights staying awake, looking for any evidence that the wrong man had gone to prison for the "Sullivan Robbery" as the press dubbed it.

He didn't like his choices.

Either a billionaire had robbed a bank for thrills, or a man who was barely able to get by committed the perfect crime.

Bother were unlikely.

For the fourth day in a week, O'Leary had sat awake for the whole night, pouring over hours of footage.

On this particular morning, he was watching footage from the Sullivan Corporation's lobby.

He watched as Samuel Sullivan walked through his office.

"What am I missing?" O'Leary asked himself.

His eyes glanced quickly down at the shoes Sullivan was wearing.

Black, leather, with tassels.

"Wait a..." O'Leary said, opening the footage of the bank robbery.

He paused the footage and stared at the perpetrator's feet.



No tassels.

Shoes were by no means grounds to overturn a conviction, but O'Leary had to speak to Sullivan.

He left the office immediately, heading straight for the street.

He hailed a cab and was at the Sullivan Corporation's headquarters in minutes.

Heading straight to the top floor, O'Leary walked right past Sullivan's secretary.

"Sir, you can't go in th-"

With a flash of his badge, she sat down and was silent as the Detective burst through the door.

Mikey Sullivan was leaning back in his chair, watching the world go by outside of his windows.

The massive, mahogany door slammed closed behind Detective Robert O'Leary.

Slowly, Sullivan turned around and came face to face with the Detective across the massive office.

A moment of silence passed between them before O'Leary spoke.

"I think we need to have a conversation."
He growled, staring directly into Michael "Mikey" Sullivan's eye.

- - -
Ever played with dominoes?

You set them up in an incredibly elaborate pattern, maybe a smiley face, or a series of curving, winding lines. Simply tap the one on the end and the entire set-up, the sum of all of your work, falls to the ground. You can only hope that all of the dominoes are aligned correctly; and if one of them isn't, then all of the dominoes you stacked before it, or all the dominoes that could have fallen after it don't matter.

Because that, single, lone domino will have ruined the chain, and wasted your time.

Ever make a house of cards?

Hours of meticulous balancing, planning, and placement to create a unique structure. But, with one gust of wind or minute shift in the floor beneath the cards, and it all comes to pieces.

One wrong domino? That's human error; a lack of observation or preparation. When a house of cards tumbles, though, that's a twist of fate.

This story was about Michael "Mikey" Sullivan. A man who ensured that every domino was in place, every twist of fate planned for. In his criminality, he was brilliant. In his intellect, ruthless. He was a man who was going to get ahead, no matter what it took.

He ensured the police would think he was in another place.

He ensured that he had his brother's clothes.

He ensured that he would take from his brother what his brother had been so unwilling to share.

He had his glory-day.

No matter who had to pay.

No matter who had to suffer.

Even if it was his very own brother.

The End
apprentice and pals PRESENTS
AN edward james brock junior PRODUCTION

"Ok, let's run it one more time," Gregory Monticello orders. He's a commanding leader, and he organized this whole heist. As leader of the Epsilon Beta Iota fraternity, what he says goes. His frat brothers don't know it, but Greg isn't doing this for fun. Greg has a hefty gambling debt to pay. "I'm Mr. Gamma."

"F***ing ridiculous," Clifton Farmswell responds grumpily. Cliff is second-in-command of the EBI frat. It's a known fact that Cliff and Greg don't get along, and Cliff has been gunning for Greg's spot all year. Like Greg, Cliff has a hidden agenda. He'd never tell, but his sister was diagnosed with leukemia. Cliff is intending to use his share of the stolen money to pay for her medical bills. The only problem is, Cliff wants it all, and he's willing to kill to get it.

"Just f***ing say it, Cliff."

"I'm Mr. Delta,"
he replies dryly while rolling his eyes.

"I'm Mr. Iota," Robert Carmichael states enthusiastically. Bobby would follow Greg into the fires of Hell, and no one cuts him any slack for it.

Cliff snaps wittily, "If you want to suck Greg's dick, just say it, Bobby."

"Shut the Hell up, Cliff. I'll kill you,"
Bobby responds angrily. Bobby was a pledge last year, and he's trying to prove that he's worth something. He's also a little trigger-happy, so putting a pistol in his hands was not Greg's smartest move.

"Mr. Omega reporting in," William Newberry says lazily. Will is actually a Freshman, but he bypassed the pledge stage due to his connections. Y'see, Will's older brother used to be the leader of EBI before he graduated. So everyone expects Will to follow in his shoes. Greg is slightly intimidated by this, even though Will is only a Freshman.

Then, there's Michael Verner. Mikey, like Will, is a Freshman. But Mikey has no connections. He's a pledge, and everyone else in the group rags on him because of it. Mikey doesn't like that he agreed to come along, but he felt he had to do it. Primarily, Mikey wants the support of his peers. But on a different level, Mikey got into a rough spot in high school which resulted in a heroin addiction. Mikey wishes he could stop, but it's just not possible. Other than drug use, this will be the first time that Mikey ever broke the law.

"Well, new kid?" Greg asks condescendingly.

Mikey can feel the sweat start to bead as he sheepishly replies, "I'm Mr. Alpha."

"That's right. A for *******," Bobby says aloud. He earns a few snickers from Greg. Cliff and Will, however, are silent. Cliff hates Bobby, and thus will never laugh at his jokes. And Will is probably the nicest guy, all around, of the bunch. I mean, Mikey has a good heart and all, but Will is so charismatic that his niceness shows.

"Alright, all of you shut the f*** up now," Greg barks. "You know what to do. And from now on, we only refer to each other by our codenames. Got it?"

Everyone nods - except Cliff, who merely shrugs.

"If things get rough, every man for himself. I gave you all pistols for a reason - f***ing use them."

The group splits up and enters the bank separately. As soon as Mikey gets in there, he begins to regret coming along. His eyes are instantly drawn to a familiar face.

"Oh s***," he mutters to himself.

Greg, seeing the fear in his eyes, walks over. "What the Hell's wrong, *****?"

"That girl at the counter, she's my ex-girlfriend," Mikey explains while motioning to Rebecca Stevens.

Greg grits his teeth. This was an unfortunate miscalculation. "Did she see you?"


"Did your ex f***ing see you?!"
Greg demands to know as he grabs Mikey's collar. Immediately after doing so, Greg lets go - realizing that he can't draw attention to himself.

"Yeah...I think so," Mikey admits. He's so nervous that he doesn't know what to say.

"Yes or no, Alpha? I need a definite answer!"

"Yes...yes! She did!"
Mikey responds anxiously.

Greg nods silently. Reaching into his pocket, Greg wraps his hand around the handle of his gun. "Stay here, Alpha. I'll handle this."

"Wait! Are you going to kill her?"
Mikey asks incredulously.

"You have a better idea?"

Mikey pauses. What could he do? Sure, he hated Rebecca. But she didn't deserve to die - not like this. And he couldn't be responsible for having her killed today. Thinking fast, Mikey blurts out, "Let me try something."

Greg stands motionless for a moment. He considers all the possibilities. If the b**** ratted Mikey out, they were all done. That ***** Freshman would crack when interrogated, and he'd give all the names. Nonetheless, Greg releases his grip on his gun and takes his hand out of his pocket. He'll let the Freshman try it his way.

Greg watches as Mikey walks over to Rebecca. Mikey says something, Rebecca says something back. Next thing you know, the two of them are throwing foul words at one another. Neither of their voices raises enough to cause a scene, but it's clear by their body language that they're fighting. After a relatively short time, Rebecca storms off. Greg watches as she stomps out of the bank. When he turns back, Mikey is standing there - waiting for approval. "You're lucky this time."

Greg walks away, and Mikey feels quite proud of himself. He managed to solve the problem in a nonviolent way. Minutes pass, but they feel like hours to Mikey. Finally, Mikey gets the signal from Will that everyone's ready.

"Down on the f***ing ground!" Greg commands as he fires a warning shot into the air. The sound of the gun resonates through the marble walls and floor of the bank, and the place erupts into hysteria. Mikey watches as Bobby stands guard at the door. "Delta, do your thing!"

Cliff walks up to the receptionist nearest to the vault and places the gun to her head. "My friends and I want all the money in the safe," he explains calmly. The receptionist tries to subtly press the silent alarm. Cliff picks up on it, however. "Shouldn't have been a hero," he states as he pulls the trigger. Blood and brain matter are splattered against the wall. Mikey hates to watch the carnage, but he's part of this now. "Omega, let's get the s*** and leave."

Will nods as he hops the counter. Grabbing the next receptionist by her hair, he forces her to the vault door. "Open it," he orders. The receptionist is in tears, but she reluctantly agrees. "Go get it, Delta."

Cliff disappears into the vault, but he soon comes back with bags of money. After several trips, he states, "That's all of it."

Greg comes over and inspects the money. Mikey slowly makes his way over to the other guys. Bobby stands by the doors - his gun trained on anyone trying to make a run for it. "Good work, Delta and Omega."

"Glad you think so,"
Cliff states blandly. Before anyone can respond, Cliff raises his gun and shoots Greg in the chest. "Your time is up, Mr. Gamma. Delta is in charge now."

Mikey instinctively runs over to help Greg. As Mikey is examining the wound, another shot is fired. The bullet whizzes past Mikey's head. Mikey turns around to see Cliff holding a smoking gun.

"Don't try it, Alpha. I won't miss my next shot."

Although he hates himself for doing it, Mikey backs away from his fallen leader. Even after all the s*** Mikey endured because of Greg, he still doesn't want to see the guy die.

"You're f***ing slime," Will hisses. The anger is evident on your face.

"Frankly, Omega...I don't give a s*** what you think of me," Cliff admits. "But you will f***ing listen to me...or you'll end up like Gamma."

Bobby shouts. "THE F***ING COPS ARE HERE!"

Cliff rolls his eyes. Mikey is amazed at how bored Cliff appears to be at all of this. "Take care of it, Iota."

Bobby reluctantly nods. Pulling out his pistol, Bobby waltzes through the bank's front doors. Mikey, Cliff, and Will watch in horror as Bobby tries to take on all the cops at once. Bobby lasts a surprisingly long amount of time before the cops mow him down.

"Holy s***," Mikey whispers to himself.

"Ok...status update: Gamma and Iota are down."

Mikey looks at Will. He is completely pale. Will sinks down to the ground, gun in hand. "I'm a f***-up. I can't face my brother now."

"You're not a f***-up."

"S***, man. I can't face my friends after this,"
Will continues, seemingly ignoring Mikey's comment. Mikey and Cliff are frozen in terror as Will lifts his own gun to his head. Without another word, Will takes his own life.

"What the f***, man?!"

"Ok...now Gamma, Iota, and Omega are down," Cliff states emotionlessly.

Mikey can't handle it anymore. He didn't want to do this in the first place, and now he just watched three of his 'friends' die. Mikey wants out. "Let's just turn ourselves in," Mikey suggests.

"Not going to happen, Alpha," Cliff responds as he raises his pistol. "I knew you were a f***ing *****...and now you're a liability. I can't go to jail because of your big f***ing mouth, Alpha."

Mikey slams his eyes shut, awaiting what seems like his inevitable end. Mikey flinches when he hears the gunshot, but after a second he realizes that he's not dead. Mikey opens his eyes to see that a police officer shot Cliff.

"Get on the ground," the cop barks. Mikey obliges instantly. "Are you a hostage?"

Mikey thinks long and hard before responding. If he lies, there's a possibility that he could walk away from this situation. Maybe they'll believe him. Maybe he can go live a normal life...


"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one at this time, one will be provided for you..."

One Last Job

"Its just one more job, Mikey. After this we'll be home free."

Kaci Campbell and Mikey Walters sat in a small 1985 Honda Civic CRX outside a the Roadhouse Bar and Grill, small bar in Lethbridge, Alberta. It had been a long night of clubbing, and Mikey and Kaci were now contemplating the job ahead of them.

"I know, Kaci, but it doesn't seem right." The life of a criminal was starting to get to him. "I can only fight my conscience for so long."

"What are you gonna do? Tell TJ you're out? You know too much, he'd knock you for sure." TJ Quinton, the leader of the small band of bank-robbers that called themselves the Elements, was a large man known for his short temper and unforgiving attitude.

Mikey sighed. "I guess you're right."

Kaci grabbed Mikey's hand and squeezed it gently. "Don't worry. After this we can retire. Between the five of us we'll be home free. We can get that little cabin up in Jasper and spend the rest of our lives together in the mountains." She kissed him gently on the lips.

Mikey turned his gaze out the window at the cold winter air. "I hope you're right, Kace."


Mick Marshall woke up to the soft touch of his wife's hand on his face. A gentle kiss dragged across his lips. "Good morning, honey."

Mick sat up to see his six year old son, Blake, on the foot of his bed, holding a small tray with a glass of orange juice and a large plate of waffles. "Happy Birthday, Daddy!"

He smiled. "Thanks, little man!" He took the tray from his son.

"You didn't need to do this you know." Mick kissed his wife again as Blake nestled his way under the covers.

His wife, Wendy, pulled out a small rectangular box from the bed-side table. "I know, but I wanted to." She handed it to her husband. "Happy Birthday."

Mick ripped open the paper to find a beautiful watch. "Oh honey, its wonderful!"

"I helped Mommy pick it out!" Blake grabbed the glass of orange juice and sipped slightly from it, then placed it back on the tray. "Sorry, Daddy, I was thirsty."

Mick smiled at patted his son on the back. "No problem. You can have my birthday juice anyday!"

Mick Marshall was a local police officer, father of one, and according to his wife, husband of the year. Everything was just as he'd always dreamed.

Wendy got off the bed and slipped on some shoes. "Well, you boys enjoy your breakfast. I'm off to do some errands, and when I get back, we're going to have to celebrate."

Mick looked up. "Well, why don't we all go? Then we can stop by Wal-Mart and pick up some sleds. Its finally gotten snowy around here, and it'd be a shame to waster it. Its not everyday I get my own birthday off."

Blake jumped out of the bed, jumping up and down. "Yay! I'll go get my snowsuit on!" He bolted out of the room.

Wendy turned back to her husband. "Later tonight, the two of us will be doing a little private celebration of our own."


"Alright, ladies, listen up. We've got 24 hours until our time." TJ and the rest of the Elements gathered around the table, discussing the events to follow. "Weevil, how are techs looking?"

Weevil, a small young man in his late teens pushed up his glasses as he spoke. "Things are looking good. Police scramblers are already in place, which should eliminate any communication with the bank and the outside world."

It always amazed Mikey how smart Weevil really was. It almost seemed unnatural how good he was at electronics. He had developed all the technology for the operation, including weaponry, communication diffusers, and explosives.

"Wonderful." He turned to the rest of the team. "So, let's review the plan. At 1500 hours tomorrow, we enter the ATB on Mayor Magrath Drive and demand the vault to be emptied." He turned to a black muscular man sitting on his left hand. "Showtime, we're going to need you on crowd control on this one. Make sure we don't have any heroes on this one. We don't need a repeat of the fiasco in Edmonton three weeks ago."

"Got it, boss."

"Wrench, how is transportation?"

Wrench, another younger member of the group, responded in a deep raspy voice. "Good. I reinforced the inner walls of the van with a bullet proof material, and got an oil change."

Mikey looked over at him. "An oil change?"

Wrench shrugged. "What?"

"Alright, let's get one thing straight guys. This is a fool-proof mission. Anyone gets gunned down and they get left behind. So don't f*** up."

Mikey looked at Kaci. He still didn't want to to it. He had seen his life nearly be thrown away several times, yet he was risking it again. This was the list time, for her. He was done after this. Under the table, Kaci squeezed his hand and smiled at him.

"Things will work out, Mikey. Just keep on your game and will be in that cabin in no time."


"I cannot believe the lines at this bank."

Mick Marshall and his wife Wendy stood in line at the Alberta Treasury Bank, their son Blake sleeping in Wendy's arms. "Mick, I'm just going to take Blake to the car. I'll wait for you out there."

Mick kissed his wife on the cheek lightly. "Okay. I'll be out as soon as I can."


This was stupid. What was Mikey doing?

Wrench pulled the can in front of the bank, Weevil sitting in the passenger seat. "Alright, ladies, here's your stop."

TJ turned to his crew. "Let's roll. Remember, in and out. No f*** ups."


Showtime turned to his teammates, a large grin spread across his face. "It's showtime."


"Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to invite you all to remain calm!" TJ waved his large rifle in the air. "Believe it or not, but you are in the middle of a bank robbery! Do not be alarmed, and don't bother calling 911. We've already set up signal scramblers, rendering your cellphones useless."

Showtime raised his arms, revealing two large uzis. "We're ain't here to hurt nobody, so just form a small group over there and we'll be in and out in no time.

Meanwhile, TJ, Mikey and Kaci walked up to the tills.

"We want all the money. Now." Kaci waved her gun in the teller's face. "And don't go pressing that little button. The last thing we need is your cold corpse on the ground."

The teller nervously fumbled with the cash in the till. "Here, take it."

Mikey scowled at her. "Not the money in the till, you b****. Take us to the vault."

The teller trembled a bit, unsure of what to do.

TJ aimed the gun at her. "You gonna hesitate? Huh?!" He aimed his gun at her knee, firing three times. The woman fell to the ground in anguish. "Remember your hesitation when you're on crutches, b****." He turned to the teller next to her. "YOU! Take us to the vault or you'll get one in the head!" He turned to Mikey and Kaci. "Stay here and keep watch."


Mick stared at the large, black man in front of him. He held a large rifle in his hand, and a sickening grin on his face. "Fun s***, huh?"

Mick had to do something. He looked down at his cellphone. No signal. Damn. He'd need another way to communicate with the police. If he could get to the emergency button under the till, they would be here in a matter of minutes.

Mick knelt down as if he was going to tie his shoe.

"HEY YOU! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN?!" The black man suddenly became very loud and aggressive.

Mick stayed on the ground. "I'm just tying my shoe. Relax." He slowly unfastened a small pistol from his ankle and slipped it into his sleeve. "See, no harm done." Suddenly, he pulled it out and fired two shots, one in each of the man's knees, sending him crashing to the floor.

"AHHHH! F***!" Mick ran up to the man, and kicked him hard in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.

Suddenly, a young woman turned at him, aiming both her uzis at her. "SHOWTIME!! You'll pay for that motherf***er!"

Mick quickly grabbed both uzis from the black man and aimed them at her. "Don't make any moves you'll regret."


Mikey turned around to find Kaci and a man in a grey hoodie aiming the guns at each other. "Oh s***." He aimed his uzis at the man as well. "Don't f*** with us, pal! We ain't here for you, we're here for the money."

The man aimed one of the guns at Mikey, leaving the other on Kaci. "Well, you picked the wrong day then, pal. I'm Officer Mick Marshall from Local Law Enforcement, and I'm afraid you f***ed with the wrong guy."

"Bulls***!" Kaci began to walk towards Officer Marshall angrily. "You think you can f*** with us? DO YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN BLOODY WELL F*** WITH US?!"

Calmly, Officer Marshall raised his gun to Kaci's chest. "Calm down, young lady. You're already in enough trouble as it is. We'd hate to see-"


Officer Marshall and Kaci both dropped collapsed to their knees. Marshall held his stomach, while Kaci laid on the floor, her chest bleeding badly.


Mick held his stomach as it bled. He hadn't meant to shoot the girl. He had shot her in the chest when he'd felt the pain.

"NO!" The man ran up to the girl and held her. "Kaci! No!"

Mick held up his gun again. "Listen, pal. Just put the gun away and surrender yourself. Nobody else needs to get hurt here."

The man would not pull his eyes away from Kaci. "I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry."

Kaci looked up at the man, fear in her eyes. "Mikey..."

Suddenly, the group's leader emerged from the back of the bank. "Aw s***." He held up his gun and fired it several times as a warning. "Let's roll, Mikey! We've gotta get the hell out of here!!"


This couldn't be happening. Not now. This was supposed to be his last job. "We can't leave them. I'm not leaving her!"

TJ yelled loudly at Mikey. "Get the f*** off the ground! You knew the plan! Any f*** ups and you get left behind!"

Officer Marshall whispered to Mikey. "You're going to prison you know. If you bring this to an end I'll make sure you get a fair trial with a good lawyer. I can do that you know."

Mikey turned to him, not making a noise, then turned to Kaci for a moment. He turned back to Marshall. "And her?"

"Same thing."

"HEY YOU!!!" TJ unloaded three rounds into the cop's chest, knocking him back onto the floor in a pool of blood. "Let's go, Mikey."

Mikey stood up. "I'm not leaving without her."

TJ smirked, then aimed his gun at Mikey. "Fine, more money for me." He fired his run at Mikey, sending him to the ground in pain as his leg gave out. TJ ran out of the door, a duffel bag over each shoulder full of money.


"Get the hell out of here!" TJ slammed the door shut in the van as they sped off.

Weevil looked over at TJ. "What happened to the others? Mikey? Kaci? Showtime?"

TJ sighed. "Somebody wanted to be a saint."

Wrench looked back. "Are they dead?"

"Just drive, dammit. Mission accomplished."



"Hey, Mikey, you've got a visitor."

Mikey stood up and to find Mick Marshall at his cell. "Hey Mikey."

"Hey, Mick."

"We got TJ Quinton, Mike. The money too."

Mikey nodded slightly. "Where did you find him?"

"A small place out of Ottawa. We also managed to apprehend Rob Poirier and Matt Byrd."

"Wrench and Weevil."

"Yeah. They're all being charged with armed robbery, assault, and a dozen other related charges." He looked down for a moment, then back up at Mikey. "I want to thank you, Mikey. If it wasn't for you, we would have never found them."

Mikey shrugged. "Its the least I can do to make up for my crimes."

"I've let the judge know, and I'm suggesting an early parole."

"Thanks, Mick." He looked his chest. "It still amazes me how lucky you are."

"Passed both lungs and my heart, tearing only through muscle." He looked at his watch. "I've gotta run. I just wanted to thank you." He held out a small rectangular box through the bars. "Happy Birthday, Mikey."

Mikey opened up the gift to find a silver watch. "Thanks, Mick."

"My wife gave me the day of the robbery. I wanted you to have it." With that, turned and walked away, leaving Mikey alone in his cell.

There wasn't a day he didn't wish he could take it back. A day he could convince Kaci to not do it.

Soon, Kaci would be out of the hospital and rehabilitation and she would be joining him. Hopefully, one day they would be able to get that cabin in Jasper. He would do everything he could to reach that.

He stared down at the watch. Now all he had was time.

So there we were, running down Main St. with our AK-47's blasting away at the cops trying to get us, looking for our ride.


"Mole! Where's the f***ing van!?!"

:"Give me a minute, I just need one more minute, dude. I need one more minute to hack into the mainframe. I'm in Friendster! They f***ing re-routed me into Friendster! I need a minute...":



Hi. I'm writing this to show you what not to do when you take part in a heist. Because you know when you see the movie "Heat", you're all like "I wanna do that!". To start off, I'm Mikey. I'm that guy that on every crew there's always that guy on the team that was a last minute replacement. He's not one of the original gang, but one of the guys vouches for him and says "No no dude trust me this guys cool, he's solid and he's cool" but he's not cool is he? That's me.


30 minutes ago...

So it was just me, right? And my pals Jack, Greg and Hardy. I was lagging behind and tagging along so that the big guys could get it done.

"So she's like 'All guys want is sex.' and I was like 'Okay. Finish blowing me and we'll talk about this..... later.'"

^ That's Greg. The funny guy. He's hilarious. Everyone started laughing hysterically.

"Okay.... that's a lie...I said it because it was funny. But seriously she's like 'Al men want is sex' and I said 'Nay... there are other things guys want more than sex. We're just a little embarrassed to admit them, but I'm putting it out in the universe, so you can respect us for who we are as men, for example any guy here more than sex. If they had the choice of sex or this one other thing, any guy here would rather be part of a heist!' and here I am."

"Oh yeah. Well I'm here to get rich and kick some f***in' a**. But what about this guy?"

^ That's Hardy. The BAMF of the group. He's the utter definition of "Woot Pwnage".

"Who? Mikey? He's down. He doesn't got any doubts, right Mikey?"


^ Then there's Jack. He's the leader. We've been friends for years. He's the guy that vouches for me to join the team.

"Guys, were here. Everyone remember what to do?"

"Yeah. We're good."

"Let's kill these bi**hes..."



Screaming and running around, the civilians stopped and jumped down to the floor. Then Hardy and Jack jumped over the counter to the vault, and put our mini bomb on the lock.

"Freeze! Put down your weapons!"

Damn. It was a cop. Way to put a cramp in our plans.

"I said drop them."



A bullet from Jack's gun went right through the cops shoulder, before the explosive blew off the lock to the vault.


So I took the oppurtunity of Jack and Hardy getting the money to talk to Greg since I was freaking out.

"Greg! Jack just shot a cop! He shot a cop!"

"Calm down, Mikey. He'll be fine, and what do I care? He gave me a parking ticket last week." Then he turned to the limping cop. "I didn't know it was a fire lane, a**hole." Then he turned back to me. "You see? What a *****e!"

Then Jack and Hardy came out with a sack of money.

"How much?"

"Two mill."

So we left after that and found two things:

1. A bunch of cops.

and 2. No f***ing van!



We were all running away from the cops still, with Jack and Hardy, farther ahead of me and Greg.

"Where's that van, Max?"

:"It's on the way. Should be there in a few.":

"Good. Tha--"

"AHH! OW S**T! F**K!"

Then I see Greg, down on the ground, so I went over to go help him.

"Forget him, Mikey! Let's go! He's dead weight now!"

Ignoring Jack, I helped Greg get back up. He got shot right in the back of the leg.

"How you feelin'?"

"It stings, but it still makes me feel kinda cool."

Trying to comfort his situation, I thought I'd play along.

"Damn right. Chicks'll be f***ing you more than Napster f***s musicians."

"No no no." He murmurs looking down.


"Bleeding from the leg. WHERE'S THE VAN!?!?!"

"Right there!"

Then an armored, silver van comes and stops right in front of Jack and Hardy, myself and Greg rushing over. Our last crew guy, Fred was driving, and signaling us in.


Then the four of us all filed in the van and sped off towards California....


That's how you do a heist right.

Rick is a mutant in a world where mutants are outlawed. They are feared, hated, and locked away if their identities are revealed. Because of this, Rick keeps his power a secret. His power? Super-speed.
One day, while taking a walk with his fiancee, Rick sees a building engulfed in flame. Emergency crews are hard at work, but Rick knows they cannot possibly free everyone in time. Is he willing to risk everything... his life, his freedom, the woman he loves... in order to try to save these people?

Each team must satisfy two of the following four conditions in their telling of the story...

  • Rick is not the only one on the scene who has a mutant power. Someone else does too... Who are they? What is their power? And how do they use it?

  • One of the people trapped in the building is very important to Rick. What is their relationship?

  • Rick's fiancee must make an important choice that could either save or imperil the man she loves. What are her options and which does she choose?

  • The entire incident is being filmed, which increases Rick's chances of getting caught. How does he deal with this development?
Apprentice, Kaboom, Mistress Gluon, Syn (Mercenary), Catman_prb, ElectroFlare

Monday, December 17th, 11:59pm​
Hand in hand they walked, grateful for the fact that they had each other.

"There are times when I still can't believe this is real. This is like a fairy tale that has come true." Ellen said and stepped in front of Rick.

"Trust me. It's real, every second of it." Rick smiled and embraced her.

"The wedding will be beautiful." He whispered into her ear and she smiled in response. They had dreamed of the wedding day for years.

"I have never been so hap-OH MY GOD!" Ellen shout and pulled away. Rick turned instantly and alert as the hairs stood up on the back of his neck.

Flames, crackling, burning, and smoke all poured out of the schoolhouse.

"NO!" Rick shouted. Fire trucks blew by, police sirens screamed and slammed to a halt just outside of the building.

"They can't save them all...they can't..." Rick muttered. Ellen looked at him.

"They will do their best. We can't do anything to help." Ellen said in a sad, yet reassuring way. She didn't want him to get upset. Rick was the kind of man that would take risks for anyone. He would be the one to leap on top of a grenade to save his friends lives.

What Ellen didn't know was the internal battle going on inside Rick's mind.

Mutants were freaks, less then human. Outlawed. Sometimes they were even euthanized. This led to most mutants hiding themselves, some committing suicide, but most lived a lie. Rick was one of those that lived a lie.

"Ellen. I'm so sorry." Rick said and kissed her on the lips. What she didn't know is that this may have been the last time he ever would kiss her.

"Rick...what's going on?" Ellen asked.

"I love you." Rick said and took off. Ellen could not follow the blur of his movements. Her eyes were merely human, and they could not follow the unbelievably swift movements of her husband to be.

"No...Rick...you...you...you can't be a mutant...no..." Ellen fell to her knees and cryed. "I loved you..."

Rick did not hear his loved one's astonishment, but he knew it was there, and he pushed it into the back of his head.

He was a blur that navigated quickly through the police blockades and into the building. He deftly avoided running into the fire men and rescue workers, leaping over fallen debris with the greatest of ease.

"What the hell was that?" A fireman yelled to his partner.

"Worry about it later! Get her out of here John!" His partner yelled and pointed at a little girl. She had to be eight years old, and was covered with tears.

A second later the blur picked her up and she was gone.

"That thing is killing them!" John yelled.

"Or maybe he's helping!" His partner yelled and grabbed another child.

Rick knew he had to keep moving. He couldn't let anyone see his face. If he slowed for a second they would see him and identify him as a mutant. As he dropped the girl off by the paramedics, he could see their shocked faces. The police reached for their guns, but by the time they fingered the handles, Rick was gone into the building again.


"Mutants are not human...they are freaks...my Rick...a freak..." Ellen looked towards the police. They were calling for cameras, video cameras, cell phones, anything that could be used to identify the mutant.

"I should tell them who Rick is...he is a mutant...but...he is Rick..." Ellen grasped her hair and nearly tore it out. "If I tell them...Rick will die. Like all mutants...but can I do that to the one I love..."


Rick ran through the building as no one could. He reached to pick up another child, but before he could another mutant phased through the floor.

In shock, Rick stopped.

"What do you think you're doing? Get the others out!" The mutant yelled. He was sickly thin with scraggly red hair that grew in patches. "Go! I can't save them all!" He yelled and carried the child through the wall.

Rick shook his head and ran to another child and brought him to the paramedics.

"Everyone out! The building is going to collapse!" John yelled.

Rick ignored him and picked up the last child. He only need a second, and a second to him was like an hour.

However, he didn't have that second. A beam cracked and landed on Rick's back. The child began to scream even harder.

"I've got her." The other mutant said and stepped out of the debris without so much as lifting a single piece. He carried her to the ambulances.

Alone in the burning building, Rick tried to stand under the beam, but he could not. His gift was speed, not strength.

"STAY WHERE YOU ARE MUTANTS!" The voice of a police officer yelled through the smoke. The authority in his voice was unmistakeable.

The other mutant appeared next to him.

"We have to get out of here." He grabbed Rick and pulled him out from under the beam. "Use your speed. Go that way." He pointed.

Rick nodded and picked him up. For a second, he turned to where he had left Ellen.

His choice to save the children had condemned his life. He ran in the direction the mutant had pointed.

"Damn. They're gone." The police yelled and kicked some debris.

"Officers...I have some information for you..." A nervous, scared voice said from behind them.

"Who are you?" They asked.

"My name is Ellen...I know who that mutant was..."
[blackout]The Symbiotes Present: [/blackout]

"Abominations of Society"
Part I

My name is Richard Noble. I was born in Sarchborough, New Jersey. I went to High School there, had my first kiss here, hell I even went to College there. You could say it’s because I don’t like change, but that’s not how I feel.

When I was a kid, I always remember my mom telling me I was special. Every parent tells their kids that. It’s a boost that always helps you when you’re down. And it helped me just as much as the next kid. But one day, I found out it was more true than anyone could have thought.

As a child, I remember always playing in my backyard. I’d kick my soccer ball, or chase my pet terrier around the yard, running as fast as I could. My mom would watch me through the window in the kitchen as she cleaned the dishes. I remember sometimes I would fall and hurt myself; she’d run outside with a warm washcloth. She’s gently wipe the cut or bruise, and hold me close, telling me everything would be alright. She always knew what to do to calm me down. But neither of us was ready for what would happen on that one day.

It was a warm spring afternoon. I remember how green the grass was, and how colorful the flowers were. I was playing with my dog Zoom just like I normally would. I picked up his ball, and held it high in the air. His tail wagged as he barked at me to throw it. I smiled, and threw his ball across the yard as hard as I could. I remember how surprised I was at the distance it went.

Zoom finally caught up to the ball on the other side of the yard barking in joy as he grasped it in his mouth. Suddenly, I heard a loud noise coming from the shrubs at the far end of the yard, near the woods behind out house. Zoom stopped, and immediately went to investigate. I watched as he surveyed the bush carefully, his nose held high in the air. In an instant, a large stray dog jumped from the bush, it’s mouth foaming a white bubbling drool.

“Zoom!” I yelled in panic. “Zoom!” I stood still, calling his name, begging him to return to me. Zoom wasn’t intimated easily. He began barking at the dog as loud as he could. The large dog began to growl low and ferociously. Zoom jumped at the dog in, what I guess, was an attempt to scare it off. Unfortunately, his attempt only angered the dog. I remember watching in fear as that large dog pounced on Zoom. Its arms began clawing at his body, and its massive mouth began to snap at my best friend. I heard my dog yell out in a loud yipe, and suddenly, something inside me snapped. My fear went away, and I felt a rage build inside me. I ran at the dog as fast as I could, screaming at the top of my lungs.

As my feet pounded against the grass, I suddenly felt a force stronger than anything I’d ever felt before. In a split second, I was on top of the ferocious dog. Without even thinking, my fists began throwing punches as hard as I could. The dog ran off quickly, heading back into the bushes. I fell to my knees, my whole body trembling and shaking. But, to my surprise, I wasn’t shaking in fear, I was moving fast. Faster than I’d seen anyone move in my life. My mom ran out of the house screaming to me. “Ricky!” She yelled. “Ricky!”

I stayed there on the ground, staring at her helplessly. She soon got to me, and fell to her knees. She picked me up, and held me close, calming me quickly. My arms stopped shaking, and my whole body soon relaxed. I remember hearing her crying loudly. I heard her mumbling something to herself as she cried, but it didn’t make any sense to me then. She kept repeating, “No…I won’t let them take you. I won’t let them kill you. You’re special. That’s not a crime. Oh God don’t let them kill my baby.”

I grabbed her tightly as I began to cry. “Mommy.” I cried. “Zoom’s hurt! Please save him! Please!” She turned to our dog, and I stared at him from my mom’s arms as she continued mumbling the same phrase to herself over and over. I looked at my dog, tears rushing down my face. He turned his head to me, a look of helplessness and pain showed in his eyes. He opened his mouth slowly, and his tongue began panting out his mouth. I looked at his tail, and watched it wag back and forth, as if he were happy to see me. He lied on his back in pain, as the open wounds from the dog dripped his red blood onto the green grass. I broke free from my mom’s arms, and ran to his side. I placed my hand on his head, and began to pet him softly. He looked up to me with a look of happiness and peace for only a moment. His eyes closed slowly, and his head moved back down and rested itself on the grass. I looked to his tail, and saw it lying still. I knew what had happened, and I looked back to my mom. She picked me up in her arms, and held me tightly.

“Mommy…Zoom’s…gone.” I said with a whimper. She held me close and whispered softly into my ear.

“Yes, honey.” She said in a worried voice. “Zoom’s gone.” She paused for a moment, her eyes staring at me blankly. “Honey, you have to promise mommy something.” I nodded in recognition, as I heard the seriousness of her tone. “Promise me, no matter what, you never run like that again.”

“Run like what, mommy?” I said with tears welling in my eyes.

”Never run that fast again! Ever! It’s not safe for you to do that. Just promise me you’ll never run like that again!” She stared at me as a tear ran down her face her lips quivering. I nodded slowly in recognition, and she hugged me tightly.

My dog Zoom died that day, on the lawn there in my yard. His death triggered something in me. An ability I didn’t understand until I was a teenager. Somehow, I was a mutant. I could run faster than anyone else on the planet. But instead of being labeled as special, mutants were seen as defects. Abnormalities to the perfection of our Utopian society. Ever since the Supreme Court case of Adam Grace vs. The state of California, mutants have been considered dangerous monstrosities. That case made the twenty-ninth Amendment to the constitution. “No citizen of the United States or any of its territories is to use their ability in public.” I remember my mom telling me one day that if anyone ever found out, I would be killed. I kept my curse a secret all my life, vowing I would never use it no matter what. But, as easy as that sounds, I soon discovered how difficult a secret it was to keep.

My life went on, and I soon graduated High School. I moved on and went to the state College only a few miles from my parent’s house. By this time, I had managed to get my ability under control. I no longer had spasms or outbursts of it randomly activating. Instead, I had taken control, and my secret was finally safe.

I’ve lived on campus for two years now. I made some new friends in those short years I’ve been there. Recently, I had been dating probably the best girl in the world. Sarah Falls. We had been having so much fun together; things were going great. We were truly in love. Our friends told us we were inseparable. They were right. We were. There was hardly a time we weren’t together. Even at our jobs, I would call her on her phone, just to hear the sound of her voice. It was a wonderful thing. As the time we spent together progressed, I had finally discovered something about our future. We were meant to be together forever, eternally in love. I knew it was time for us to take the next step.

About a month ago, I told her we were going to dinner. I was going to take her to the Cynthia Spruce restaurant. Incase you’ve never been, it’s a really fancy restaurant. Food’s not bad, but everything is highly over priced. My dad always says you’re paying for the atmosphere when you go to those places. He’s probably right.

Anyway, when Sarah and I got there, she was astounded by the place. She absolutely loved it. I’ll never forget her face. When we sat down to the table, I took the waiter aside and slipped him the ring. I told him to place it inside one of the rolls when he brings out the appetizer. The waiter gave me a wink and a smile as he patted me on the back.

The waiter took our order, and went off to the kitchen. Sarah asked me what I was talking to him about, and I told her I told him to make sure she got the best service this place had to offer. She smiled and made a cute little laugh, her hand covering her face. We talked as we waited for our drinks to come. I tried to keep the conversation on us. How long we’ve been together, all the moments we shared. My hands were shaking the whole time. What can I say? I was nervous. I mean, it’s not like you propose to a woman everyday!

After a while, I saw the waiter coming with our bread. Another waiter walked behind him holding an expensive bottle of wine in a large bowl filled with ice. This was it. The man put the wine to the side of the table, carefully placing the glasses in front of us. The other waiter gave me a smile, and placed the basket of bread in the center of the table. “Here you are.” He said with pride. I smiled at him, and watched as the two waiters went back into the kitchen. I quickly turned back, and stared at Sarah, She stared at me kindly, a caring loving look in her eyes.

“You know, I hear the bread here is spectacular.” I said to her, sweat running down my brow. She smiled at me, and told me, “Well then, if it’s on your recommendation, I’ll try it.” She spoke in a soft and caring tone. I’ll never forget that moment. She picked up the top roll, and grabbed her knife. She covered the tip of the knife with some whipped butter, and opened the roll. I remember watching her eyes grow wide as she dropped the knife loudly on the table.

”Oh…My…God….” She whispered. I got up from my chair, and moved to the side of hers. I knelt down on one knee, and grabbed her free hand in mine.

“Sarah Amber Falls,” I started, my voice sounding shaky. “Will you marry me?” I said with a stutter. She looked at the ring, and then back at me, her eyes welling up with tears.

“Yes.” She said as she began to cry in joy. “Yes I will.” I took a deep sigh of relief, and got up from the ground. I reached over to her, and hugged her gently. She laughed as the tears ran down her face, holding onto me tightly. I remember a tear coming to my eye, as we embraced. The other people there that night saw what happened, and began to clap for us. I pulled back, still holding onto her. I stared her in the eyes, tears still running down her face. “Today is the first day of the rest of our life.” I told her. “And I’ll never let anything happen to you.”

So after that night, we started planning for our wedding. Like most couples, she did made most of the choices, but it didn’t matter to me. All I cared about was her happiness. All I wanted to see was that smile on her face for the rest of her life. But somehow, I knew that that wouldn’t happen. Not so long as I had my secret. I knew we could never truly live together in happiness if I wasn’t completely honest. Everyone has doubts, and everyone gets cold feet. That’s all I thought that lingering doubt was. I just pushed the doubts out of my head, trying to overlook them as nothing. Everyone has a deep dark secret no one else knows. I thought this would be mine to keep forever. But looking back, I think that doubt was a warning sign. One that I wish I had taken notice of before.

A couple days ago, we were walking down Suthex Street. I held her hand in mine as we walked. She looked through all the windows of the shops as we made our way down the street, pointing and commentating on each item she saw. As we made our way further down the street, I heard the sounds of yells coming from one of the shops. Being my usual self, I walked faster, hoping to investigate. When we made it to the shop, Sarah pulled back on my arm. “What is it?” She asked. I looked back to her, and shrugged my shoulders.

Suddenly, two policemen walked out of the store, restraining a man in many handcuffs. I remember asking myself why one man would need so many restraints. The Policemen forced him out of the store, and over to their squad car. The man shouted and screamed as they shoved him into the back of the car. “You won’t kill me!” He yelled. “I’ve got my rights! I’m not a freak!”

“No you don’t!” One of the officers yelled into his ear. “You’re in violation of Amendment twenty-nine.”

“I have my rights!” The man yelled back. “I’m a human being!”

One of the policemen took the nightstick from his belt, and struck the man across the face. The officer smiled as he beat the man into submission. “Shut up ya mutie!” He yelled. Sarah and I watched in horror as the officer scourged the man there on the sidewalk, in front of everyone. Soon, the cuffed man went silent, and the officer put the club back on his belt. He lifted the man by his bloodied shirt, and threw him into the back seat of the car. “Won’t have any more problems from him.” He said with a laugh. The two policemen got into the car, and sped off down the road, their sirens blaring loudly.

I turned back to Sarah, a look of shock and horror on my face. I grabbed her hand tightly, and squeezed it in fear. My mom was right. I had always heard about the treatments of mutants, but I thought they were exaggerated. I remember how I doubted mankind could be so cruel to one another. But at that moment, as I witnessed the beating of that man there on the sidewalk, I realized that there were no lies, no exaggerations. All those stories were the truth. And that scared the hell out of me.

“Come on Sarah.” I remember saying to her softly. “We don’t need to see this.”

The next day, Sarah and I decided we needed a special trip together. Just a one-day excursion to do something fun together. Sarah brought up the idea that it could be fun to visit the Aquarium in Baltimore. Baltimore wasn’t too far from Sarchborough, just a few miles away. I agreed, and we got in the car and drove to the city.

When we got there, we parked our car in a large parking garage, one of the many there in Baltimore. After we parked the car, we got onto the streets, and began walking to the aquarium. As we walked down the streets, I kept hearing the sound of sirens in the distance. I was curious as to what the emergency was that so many sirens would be blaring. I didn’t give it much of a second thought, and continued walking with Sarah.

Soon, we were only a few blocks away from the aquarium. I remember smelling a strange odor in the air. The smell of soot and smoke. I looked into the sky, and saw a thick cloud of black smoke rising into the sky. A large red fire truck suddenly raced down the street in the direction of the smoke.

“Come on!” Sarah yelled to me. “Let’s check it out!” She began chasing after the fire truck, and I reluctantly followed. When we got to the scene, all I could think about was how horrific it was. Pillars of fire burned brightly from the shattered windows of the building. The dark smoke looked as if it were an extension of the fire. Bright orange embers flew through the air, and small explosions of flame could be heard from the street. The sirens of the rescue vehicles were louder than ever. Several ambulances there accompanied four to five different fire trucks. The paramedics stood by the stretchers, waiting nervously for victims to be rescued from the blaze.
"Abominations to Society"
Part II

I watched as firemen ran into the building wearing every piece of equipment they had. About a minute or two later, the fireman ran back outside, holding their hats tightly. One of the men pulled off his mask, and yelled to one of the men in the trucks.

“Get the civilians back!” He yelled. “It’s going to blow.” The fire chief walked over to the screaming fireman. He placed his arms on the man’s shoulders, trying to calm him down.

“What’s going on?” He asked. “Why aren’t you in there, Johnson?”

“The fire’s too big, sir! Building’s going to collapse any second.”

“How many people are inside?” He asked with a sad voice. The fireman lowered his head, staring at the ground.

“At least three. They’re trapped.”

The man’s words cut me deep. Three people, trapped in the blazing inferno with no way to save them. I turned to Sarah, a look of concern on my face. “I’ll be back.” I said to her calmly. “I have to do this.” Her mouth opened wide, as she stared at me with a look of fear.

“No!” She yelled at me. “You’re not a fireman! It’s not your job! You don’t know what the hell you’re doing! Don’t do this!” That was the first time we had ever disagreed. The first time she ever yelled at me like that. I knew she spoke the truth, but the firemen couldn’t get to the people trapped inside. With my ability, I could get in and out faster than anyone. I knew this was a risky situation. I mean, use my power in public? That’s a death sentence. But I didn’t care. I knew that if I walked down that street and turned my back on those people, I’d regret it the rest of my life. I would always feel the guilt tugging heavily on my soul, knowing their blood was on my hands. I couldn’t keep my ability a secret anymore.

They say everyman has a defining moment; an event that shows his character, and his true personality. I knew this was my time, my moment. I turned to Sarah, a look of sorrow and passion in my eyes. “I have to do this.” I said to her. “I love you.”

I began moving toward the building’s entrance. One of the firemen ran up to me, holding his hands high in the air.

“Get back!” He yelled to me. “You can’t go in there!”

“I have to.” I said to him as I positioned my body. I readied myself, and took off, running as fast as I could into the building. To the people outside, I would guess it looked as if I disappeared in the blink of an eye. I can only imagine what everyone who saw me thought. And I dread to think about what went through Sarah’s mind at that very moment. But all that didn’t matter to me then. All I could care about was saving those people, and getting all three out alive.

As soon as my feet touched down onto the floor of the building, I felt the intense heat on my skin. The flames were so bright, I could barely see. I ran through the floor, weaving around debris and small pockets of fire, trying to find the stairwell. As I looked around frantically, I suddenly heard the voice of someone calling out. I looked around just as debris from the upper floor collapsed, narrowly missing me.

I remember the fear I felt at that moment. My heart was beating so fast it seemed to hurt. I took a deep breath of air, trying to calm myself down. As I inhaled, I felt my lungs fill with the thick smoke. I began coughing profusely as I tried to get a clean breath of air. I remember feeling pain as the embers burned the interior of my lungs. I soon got control of myself, and began moving blindly through the rooms.

Somehow, I still don’t know how, I stumbled upon the stairwell. I remember the feeling of joy I felt when I made it. I looked up the flights of stairs, and smiled. “Thank God.” I said with pride. I ran up the stairs to the fourth floor. I knew if the building could collapse at any second, the people there would need my help first.

As I exited the stairwell, I stumbled into one of the rooms clumsily. Luckily for me, it was the right room. I found an older man lying unconsciously underneath a wooden truss, wedged between the beam and the floor. I ran over to the man, and grabbed the beam tightly. I pulled as hard as I could, trying to release the man from his trap. As I struggled to raise the beam, the man came to. He stared at me in disbelief as his body tensioned.

“You the angel of life or death, kid?” He said with a stern tone.

“Life,” I said as sweat ran down my forehead, dripping to the ground. “Provided you help me lift this thing off of you." The man smiled, and put his hands firmly under the beam. He pushed up with all his energy as I pulled back as hard as I could. The beam suddenly lifted, and the man rolled out from underneath it. I ran to his side, and picked him up, throwing his arm around my shoulder. We walked to the exit, I remember trying to get the man to move faster. We soon reached the hallway, and I yelled out.

“Anyone there!” I yelled.

“Listen, kid.” The man said to me with a cough. “No one’s going to get to us.”

“I wasn’t trapped here with the fire.” I said to him, still listening for a cry of desperation. “I came in here to get you out.”

“Damn…” The man said to me softly. “You a hero or a fool?” I remembered making a deep sigh. I didn’t know which I was. On one hand, I was being a hero trying to save the people from their imminent deaths, but on the other, I was a fool for revealing my secret.

“Both.” I said to him with frustration. “No one else is here.” I told him commandingly. “Come on.”

A wave of energy came over me as I found strength inside me I’d never felt before. I picked the man up in my arms, throwing him over my shoulder like a bag. I ran to the stairwell speedily, my feet pounding hard on the floor. As I entered the stairwell, a large explosion erupted from one of the rooms. The force of the explosion knocked me down the stairs a bit, saving me from the flames that quickly filtered into the top of the staircase.

“That was lucky.” I remember whispering to myself. I looked up the stairs a bit and watched as the roof collapsed. Pieces of wood and brick fell to the floor as pillars of fire shot up and out of the building. “Time is short.” I mumbled. I let the man down onto the stairs, and held his arm tightly. “Can you walk?” I asked him.

”I think so.” He responded as he moved his legs.

“Good, stay here.”

“Boy, I won’t let you leave me here and-“ Before he could finish his sentence, I ran down the stairs and into the third floor. As I entered the broken doorway, I ran headstrong into a sea of fire. I felt the flames burn away my clothes, and sear my skin. I remember yelling in pain as I searched the rooms on the floor. I remember thinking about my power. If I had developed it instead of shunning it, I may have been better prepared for this situation. But it made little difference to me. Within a few moments, I exited the floor, and ran back to the man in the stairwell. I stopped in front of him, and leaned on my knees, coughing violently. My shirt was nothing more than a ragged piece of clothing, and my skin was charred and scorched. The man stared at me in shock, a look of confusion on his face.

“H-How did you…” He started.

“I’m not normal.” I said with a cough. “I…I’m a mutant.” The man stayed quiet as I continued to cough. After a few moments of silence, I looked up to him with a look of shame. To my surprise, the man smiled at me.

“Too bad it’s not advanced healing, huh?” He chuckled.

“You don’t think I’m a freak? An abomination? A menace?” I asked as another small explosion of flames shot from the third floor.

“Kid, you saved my life. The way I see it, no menacewould ever save anyone.” I smiled after I heard that. First time in my whole life I had heard anyone besides my mother say something nice about mutants. I’ll never forget that man. The look of acceptance on his face. All I could think about was, Why can’t all people have that outlook?

The sound of more debris falling from the ceiling shook me out of my mind, and back into the moment.

“Second floor!” I yelled to the man.

“You go! Hurry!” He said to me with concern in his voice. “I’ll meet you down the stairs, kid. Go!”

I raced down the stairs and onto the second floor. As I ran, I felt the intense pain of the burns take their toll. I felt the skin ripping and tearing from the intense movement of my body. I knew at that moment if I did make it out alive, there would be no escape.

Even still, fate was still on my side it seemed. The second floor had minimal fire, and I was sure to take advantage of the situation. I ran down the hall, peering into each room as I searched for the last two people. “Hello!” I called. “Can anyone hear me?” To my surprise, I suddenly heard a voice from the last room.

“Help! In here!” The voice called. I quickly entered the room, approaching the people inside. I came across a woman holding her child in her arms. They leaned up against a wall, huddled in the corner of the room. I looked over to the window of the room, and saw large pieces of broken floor intensely burning by the only exit. I held out my hand to the woman with a smile on my face.

“Come on!” I said. “I’m here to save you!” The woman looked up to me with a hopeful expression, and got to her feet. I picked her up in my arms, her child resting in the mother’s arms. “Let’s get out of here.” I said to them with a calm and assured tone. I activated my ability, and ran out of the room quickly. It took barely thirty-second to get back to the stairwell. I ran down it with caution, and met up with the man at the bottom. I slowed my body, and came to an abrupt halt in front of him.

“Got them!” I yelled to him.

“Great work, kid!” He said with a cough.

“You…you’re a mutant?” The woman asked me in confusion.

“Let’s talk about this when we get out.” I said trying to dodge the question. I carried the woman and her child out of the stairwell, and onto the first floor. I could hear the loud sirens of the fire trucks and the yells of the firemen from outside. “Almost.” I whispered to myself.

I began walking through the area, being mindful of the pockets of flame and burning debris. Suddenly, a piece of debris fell in front of me. The debris fell in the middle of the only opening in the flames, blocking our only escape route. I put the woman down carefully, and stared at the debris. The flames seemed to dance, as if to taunt me. Assuring me my sacrifice was for nothing.

I stared at the burning pieces of wood with a frown. All I could think about was getting the people out of the building, and this last obstacle was the only thing that prevented me from doing so. I slowly reached out my arm to the pieces of burning wood, concentrating as hard as I could. The man yelled loudly, getting my attention.

“What are you doing, kid!” He exclaimed.

“I’m getting us out of here!” I called back. I closed my eyes as my arm tensed, my muscles flexing and straining as pushed as hard as I could on the wood. I felt the flames engulf my hand, burning away at my skin. The pain intensified the harder I pushed. All my veins bulged through my skin as I pushed. Suddenly, just as I felt as if I could take no more, the pile of debris fell back, toppling over onto the ground. A wide smile came across my face as I turned back to the group of survivors.

“Come on!” I yelled as I picked the woman back up into my arms. “We’re getting out alive!”

I ran as fast as I could out of the building, every muscle in my body ripping in pain as I exerted myself to my maximum. I shot out of the building’s entrance with tremendous speed. I ran to the sidewalk, my body emitting smooth gray smoke from my seared flesh. I put the woman and her child down safely on the sidewalk. I looked at them for only a second, making sure they were fine. I quickly ran back inside the building, back into the living hell. Without stopping, I picked up the man, throwing him on my back. I turned around, and ran out of the building for the last time.

Just as my feet stepped over the threshold of the building, a final explosion shot out from the building’s roof. The shockwave knocked me to the asphalt. The man fell off my back, and rolled onto the ground. I laid flat on my back, and watched as the building crumbled to pieces, imploding in on itself. The burning frame soon faded away as the fire consumed the outline. I let out a sigh of relief, and rested my head on the ground.
"Abominations to Society"
Part III

I felt my arms and legs throbbing in pain, as the deep burns on my skin turned my body numb. Suddenly, I was surrounded by police officers. They grabbed my arms, and forced me to my feet. Just as I stood, they forced my hands behind my back, and hand cuffed me. They held my arms tightly, restraining me from any movement. I yelled out in pain as the handcuffs abrasively rubbed up against the burns on my hands. The officers smiled as they delighted in my agony.

“Keep it down, mutie!” One of the shouted in my ear. “You should be happy.” He said with an evil grin. “You’re on TV.” The officer grabbed the top of my head, and turned it do I stared straight at a news van. I watched as a woman in a suit holding a microphone ran up to me, her cameraman staying close behind.

“I’m Susan Linden, and I’m here with the man you just saw running out of the burning building at speeds that would be impossible for us normal people.” The woman shoved her microphone in my face as the cameraman walked closer to me. “So, mutant. How does it feel to show your powers in public? Was it the rush you thought it would be?”

“W-What are you t-talking about?” I stammered in pain. “I ran in there to…s-save people.” The woman laughed at me, and put the microphone back to her face.

“There you have it, folks. It’s everything he thought it would be. Now, don’t panic. He won’t be walking the streets tonight. He’s been apprehended by the authorities, and will soon be put on trial for violation of the twenty ninth amendment.”

“What!” I yelled in rage as the police officers held me back. “I saved those people!” I yelled. “I saved them!” The news reporter ignored my cries, and walked back to the sidewalk with her cameraman. The policemen behind me snickered as I continued to yell.

“Shut up, freak!” One of the said, punching me in my side. I fell limp in pain, and stumbled to the ground. One of the officers grabbed me by my arm, and pulled me back to my feet. “Come on!” He said. They began walking me to a police car. As they forced me to the car, I heard the yells of the man from the fire.

“Don’t take him away, you bastards!” He yelled. “He’s a damned hero! You hear me! A hero!”

“He saved me!” The woman with the child yells. “He saved my baby! He saved us! Don’t let them take him away! He’s a good man! A hero!” I turned around to the people, trying with all my might to resist the officers. I watched as the woman and the man from the fire ran to the reporter, forcing their way in front of the camera as they pleaded for my release. A smile came to my face, as I watched them fighting for my freedom. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice yell my name. I turned and saw Sarah staring at me, a look of confusion and disappointment on her face.

“Sarah?” I whispered. The Policemen walked me over to her as she stood behind the yellow tape on the sidewalk.

“You know this man?” One of the officers asked her.

“Sarah!” I said as tears came to my eyes. “Sarah, please help me! Please!” I said, pleading for her compassion.

“Do you know this man?” The officer asked again. Sarah stared at me as her eyes began to fill with tears.

“Yes,” She began, her voice trailing off. “I know him.”

“Tell them, Sarah!” I begged. “Tell them who I am!” A look of hope came to my face as I stared into her eyes. She opened her mouth as she began to speak, and suddenly, my hope was destroyed with the next and last thing I would ever hear her say.

“He’s a mutant.”

“What!” I screamed, my heart crushed. “Sarah, no! Tell them I’m your fiancée! Tell them you love me!” The policemen pulled me back, tugging at my burns and scorched skin.

“Come on, freak!” They said with hate.

“Sarah! No! Sarah! Please!” I remember yelling as tears fell from my eyes. “Sarah!”

The police officers hauled me off into a police car, and they drove me to the state penitentiary. There, they took fingerprints and blood samples. They soon ID’d me as Rick Noble, twenty-three year old college student from Sarchburough. They threw me into a secluded room, and there I stayed the night. I sat there on the cold floor, my skin burning with pain from the untreated burns. I stared at the walls there, thinking to myself. Thinking about my life, about the fire, but mostly about Sarah. How could she betray me like that? I thought. I didn’t sleep the whole night. Instead, I stayed awake, asking myself the same question over and over again. Why?

It’s been several days since the incident. I’ve done nothing but sit in this room quietly, watching my burns blister and praying to God that this pain ends. I’ve had no food, no water, and no contact with anyone. Not my family, not the people in charge here, not the inmates. I’ve sat here, staring at the wall, replaying this whole event in my mind, over and over. This must be the hundredth time I’ve told this story to myself. Starting with who I am, and ending with where I am now.

Suddenly, I hear the sound of the locks on the door releasing. The door slowly opens, and I stare at two security men dressed in blue walk into my cell.

“Come on, Richard.” One of them says, cracking his knuckles loudly, trying to intimidate me. “It’s time.” The two men walk over to me, smiles wide on their faces. I know why they are here, and I know what comes next. All the stories were true, all the myths confirmed. There is no place for mutants in this society. We are the abnormality, the problem, the solution. If only the normal people could see us for what we really are. See who we really are. We are not the monsters, the menaces, they are. I realize that now.

All my life, every moment has led up to that one day at the fire. That was my defining moment. Every lesson I learned, every story told to me, every choice I’ve made all led up to that one day. I was at a crossroads, a chance where my life would go two completely different paths. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t hide. All I could do was make a choice. I made that choice, I chose my path. Now I have to deal with the consequences of that decision. Was it worth it? Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right choice? Those questions are no longer my concern. The choice has been made, there’s no going back.

The men grab me and lift me to my feet. They drag me through the cell, and out of the door. As I exit the room, I see a man waiting for me at the end of the hall. He holds a rifle proudly in his hands as the men drag me down the hallway toward him. The man smiles and clicks the cartridge into the rifle. I close my eyes, waiting for my story to soon come to a close. As I shut my eyes tightly, my mind drifts back to my memories, back to the times of the past.

My name is Richard Noble, and I was born in Sarchborough, New Jersey.
Rebecca Davies sat down on the thin wooden, looking out at the balding man in priests robes, who had a bible clasped in his hands. The funeral was outside, which was unusual in England. Then again Richard had always liked certain parts of American culture. He called them stylish, before giving her a roguish wink, which made her knees tremble. He had always been able to do that, and he was the only man that ever had or she had ever wanted to. As the few other members of the mourning party sat in the chairs, the vicar began his preaching.

“Richard Mayhew was a man afflicted…he was a man cursed with something unnatural that made him hideous in the eyes of good. For what it was worth he tried to be a good person, but the inherent evil within him eventually prevailed when he was the culprit of an arson attack on a building in –“

“SHUT UP!” Rebecca screamed standing up. The vicar looked at her with astonishment in his eyes.

“Richard Mayhew was a good man, a damn sight better than any who criticise him. He never stopped trying to help people, and he never hurt anyone. I’ve known him since we were kids, and he was always laughing, always up to something that would make me laugh. I knew I loved him ever since I knew what love was. I define what love is by what I felt for him. You make him sound like something that isn’t human, but your wrong. He was the most human thing in this world, more human than you or me, and he died to save people. He died doing what was right. He never lied to me. The second I told him that I loved him, he explained everything to me. How he was different to me, how he could move really fast. And that’s it isn’t it? That’s what makes him bad to you. Being able to run quickly? How pathetic is that? Anyway, I chose to be with him, even though he always feared that I wouldn’t be safe. Do any of you remember what happened that summer day on Daisy Lane? I do…”

Richard walked down the street with Rebecca hanging on his arm, laughing like a crazy thing. She was always so beautiful in the summer, the way the sunlight reflected in her glasses, and her hair fell in curls around her shoulders. He’d made her his fiancée on a day like this, many months ago. In a few days time she would be is wife and they would be happy together, forever. Nothing could ever stop them now.

They were going to visit Rebecca’s parents, who approved deeply of Richard. They always said that he spent so much time around their house in his youth, that he was as good as a son to them. Richard had always disliked his mother, the way she threw things at him and called him a freak when he dodged them. Rebecca’s parents were never like that. He had even told them he was a mutant. They said they didn’t care as long as he made Rebecca happy.

As they strolled along Daisy Lane, which was spray-painted over to be called Dick Lane in a stroke of imaginative genius, towards the Davies apartment block they smelt smoke in the air. They broke into a run, and turned the corner. The apartment block was on fire, a towering inferno, a blot in the clean sky. A crowd had gathered to watch the proceedings, as crowds did, and were being held back by police.

Leaving Rebecca on her own, Richard ran towards the nearest policeman.

“Mate, what’s going on?” he shouted above the racket of the crowd.

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you sir,” the policeman said stonily. Suddenly a look of recognition crossed his face.

“Richard? Richard Mayhew? Christ man! It’s me, Chris Kale! You remember me from GCSE Chemistry right?”

“Oh yeah! How you doing Chris?” Richard said, while all that was going through his head was I have no idea who you are; I have no idea who you are.

“I’m good man. How’s Becky?” he asked with interest in his voice. Then it clicked. Chris Kale, the guy Richard had beaten up for touching Rebecca where she didn’t want to be touched.

“It’s Rebecca actually. Her folks are in the apartment. What’s going on?” he said, trying to keep the steel out of his voice. Chris looked at him sideways, before leaning forwards.

“Apparently it’s a mutant extremist. He says that he’ll kill everyone in the building if the government don’t repeal the Anti-Mutant laws,”

“What? They’ll never do that. That’s crazy,” he said, as he thought of his soon-to-be parents in law.

“I know. They’ve sent in the Armed Response Unit, so it doesn’t look good. I’d get back to Rebecca and get ready to comfort her, if her folks are inside,” he said, before turning and smacking a particularly pushy member of the crowd with his baton. When he looked back Richard was gone.

He was running, faster than he had ever dared run in the days that the mutant laws had been more relaxed. He leapt obstacles, and made his way into the towering inferno. As soon as he stepped through the door, his lungs filled with smoke. He ran up the stairs to the Davies apartment. As he broke down the door, he saw a man there with flaming red hair.

“Who the hell are you?” Richard said.

“Your liberator fellow mutant,” he said with a grin.

“**** off,” Richard said, leaping forwards and punching him hard and fast in the nose. The mutant stepped back, affronted. Richard raced into the Davies apartment, grabbed the old pair without them saying a word, and ran back out of the building.

“Save them Richard,” Mr Davies coughed from the floor. Richard went back inside the building and raced around the different apartments, grabbing people and pulling them out of the place. Eventually he raced down the staircase with a small baby in his arms. A ball of fire hit the staircase and sent him flying head over heels. The mutant stood over him, a menacing look on his face.

“How can you sympathise with humanity, when all they do is hurt?” he asked quizzically.

“When everyone I have ever loved is human,” he said, before leaping up and knocking the mutant extremist over, and pummelling his face with super-speed punches. As blood started to pour from the mans face, Richard heard footsteps on the staircase. He turned and a policeman with a rifle stood there, looking at him.

Richard put his hands up, and stood slowly.

“It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. Then the policeman fired, and the shots thudded into his chest one after the other. He expected the pain to stop, but it didn’t, the policeman walking towards him as he fired. As Richard Mayhew gasped for breath, the policeman put a bullet through his brain.

“Richard Mayhew was a good man. Richard Mayhew was the better man. Richard Mayhew was a mutant, and he used his power to help those who were in danger. I loved him for what he was; a funny guy who made me smile. I accepted him. I suggest you try to accept people who are different to you. You may get a pleasant surprise,” Rebecca Davies said. No matter what her name was, she thought of herself as Rebecca Mayhew, now and forever, in loving memory of a man who had died for no good reason.
Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Click.

"Hello, you've reached the voicemail of Rick James, bitch! Leave a message after the tone,' the voicemail answered the telephone. Obviously a comedic one, as one guy said Rick, the intended recipient, and James, apparently a roommate or something? And used ***** together. Either way, the caller sighed and shook his worn, gray haired head as he didn't get it.

'Hello, Ri-' click, and quickly after, 'There's NO way in hell you're calling me... What the hell do you want?' Rick picked up the phone after hearing the voice answering on his voicemail, his tone rushed, and fairly aggrivated.

'Listen, before you go off the handle... I've been...thinking lately, and I know things haven't been great between us-'


'Yeah...Just let me finish. Anyways, like I said, I know things haven't always been great between us, and it's been mostly my fault-'

'I'd say.'

'Will you please let me finish?' The called waiting a few seconds, being met by silence, and continued, 'I know it's been my fault, and... I know I don't really deserve it, but... Well... You see... I'll just say it straight out. I wanna get to know you again before I have no time left. Now I know that I treated you like crap in the past, and like I said, I don't deserve it. But... It would at least mean an awful lot to your mother if you and I could at least attempt to reconnect and all...'

The phone was silent for a few dozen seconds, and the father, thinking Rick just hung up on him, began to put up the phone.

'Fine...' Rick said, his voice obviously upset still, but somewhat sympathetic, 'Yeah... Alright. So...like what?' The same rash and aggrivation from earlier.

'Well... I was thinking lunch sometime. You remember Bailey's Sandwiches on 9th?'


'Good. How about eleven in the morning next Saturday?'


'Well, how about one then?'

'Yeah, I guess.'

'Good then. Well.... See you then? Your mom says you've met someone, I'd like to meet her.' And the phone hung up right there.

Rick, a young twenty something in a red t-shirt, blue jeans, slicked back brown hair, and a fair complextion, sat there on his brown couch, phone clutched in hand, and chucked it across the room, crashing it over a picture. Another guy ran in, he wore a white button up shirt, black slacks, and had spiked bleach blonde hair with a fair complexion.

'Babe! Everything okay? What happened?' James asked, obviously concerned, and looking at the shattered picture of he and Rick at some party, and the phone on the floor behind the table the picture was on.

'It's my dad, he called and wants to reconnect after all these years. Probably wants a kidney or something.' Rick looked outside of the window, stress written all over his face, his arms propped up on the couch, and slouching back some.

'Don't talk like that, man. Your pop probably had some sort of ephiphany, and realized that you're actually worth getting to know and stuff, ya know?' James went over, and sat next to Rick, putting a hand on his knee.

'I dunno, man. I mean, the guy basically forced me out when he found out about my...thing... And he doesn't even KNOW about you. He knows I'm serious with someone, and planning on getting married, which basically means my mom forced him to get along with me so she can come to the wedding. But he thinks you're a girl, and I happen to know how he feels about guys like us.'

'Well, maybe he's changed in more than one way.' James laughed. 'Chances are he probably got over gays before he decided to even TRY mutants, hon.'

'Yeah, you got a point. Either way, I guess I'm meeting him Saturday. He invited you if you wanna go.'


Rick smiled some, and nodded, 'Awesome then. Thanks.'

'No problem.'


The week was indeed a long one with the upcoming events. Torture really, as Rick was pretty much dreading what was coming that Saturday, and the eventual rejection and public humiliation that was bound to come from his ass backwards father. The week was pretty much filled with cleaning, working, picking out some nice clothing, and preparing what Rick was going to say to his father and how to explain to James afterward that it wasn't his fault, and all that junk. Unfortunately, it didn't feel like he had enough time, because Saturday came far too quickly as far as Rick was concerned, and to him, it felt like he was about to face the beast in his lair. With a heavy sigh, he and James stepped out into the cold Boston air, Rick wearing the same getup, and James in a blue shirt and black slacks.

Thankfully, the sandwich shop was just a few blocks away, so there was no need for a car, which was REALLY good, given there was a massive amount of traffic build up.

'Funny, this sort of traffic isn't normal for this time of day.'

'Yeah...' Rick's words trailed as he suddenly saw why in a HUGE plume of smoke from a few more blocks away, more or less down the street from their initial destination.

'You wanna do it, don't ya?' James said with a distressed voice.

'Well... There's probably still people inside...'
'It's illegal though! You might get caught! And who KNOWS what they do with mutants when they catch them. They all get sent to prison, but we NEVER hear of them getting released.' James was slightly panicked.

'Heh, true. But you gotta remember, I'm way too fast for them. Faster than bullets, faster than cars, faster than their ******ed, beaurocratic minds can handle.' Rick proudly said, trying to boost confidence.

'Well, fine... I'll meet you at the shop. Just be quick, alright?' And James kissed Rick's cheek.

Beaming, Rick replied, 'You know it!' and seemingly dissapeared, leaving a whip of wind behind himself as he activated his secret mutant power: superspeed.

It was quick, he got to a four story building, up in blazes, and billowing in smoke. There were firefighters around seemingly having trouble getting up to the second floor, and of course, tons of standerby's. Rick cursed to himself, dreading the possibility of getting caught. Quick thinking fixed the problem, however, as he simply ripped off someone's shirt, fashioning it quickly into a face mask with holes and such from his keys, and blew right over the crowd and firefighter on the ladder and got inside. The heat was BEYOND intense in there, so he wanted to stay quick. He could hear, people crying out all over the office building, and went straight to work, rescuing about one or two people per room in a flash, but it seemed like for every one person he saved, two more would start crying out, and it was taking forever. He finally got down to the last few, and entered a room where he heard groaning and callings for help, but couldn't see anybody, and stood still looking around.

'Ungh!' A cry of effort as arms wrapped around Rick and took him to the ground. While the guy who tackled him was strong, Rick was able to get up, and got ready to take off, looking at his assailant, which made him freeze immediately.

'D..Dad? What are you doing here?' A confused and hurt Rick called out, looking at the man who was getting up. Though Rick was about to say more, or at least take off, he felt a sharp pain in his back, and spun around, looking at a man in heavy gear with a rifle pointed right at him, and in a flight of panic, started to run out of the room, only to tumble over as his vision started to swim.

'Quickly! Tie him down NOW!' called out a powerful, commanding voice. Even though Rick couldn't really see what was going on, as most things were in a blur of red and yellow and orange, he could feel himself being jerked around and forced to his knees, hearing tons of pounding footsteps enter the room. Straps being placed tightly around his ankles, knees, upper legs, arms, elbows and wrists, and being tied together with a collar around his neck, and felt two heavy pressures put to his temples. Quickly after though, his vision started to return.

'Ah, I see your metabolism lives up to our expectations.' The sound of the fire started to die down, and his vision focused to a man in a nice black work suit , slightly chunky, and combed over black hair, walking in front of him from the next room and down the stairs.

'Who the hell-'

'Unimportant. What IS important, is that we got you now.' The room shimmered, and faded to a normal room, with normal lighting, devoid of the heat, though the next room still looked ablaze. Rick stood there confused.

'Don't quite understand?' The man joked some, 'Not suprised. See, son, you're not the only mutant in the world, as you well know.' The man pulls on his collar, showing off a barcode and a red dot. 'I'm one too, marked and all that.' He puts his collar back, 'My ability is to create and sustain illusions by rearranging energy in all it's forms to my whims. I applied heat to you, and light to everybody else, to make sure this building looked like it was on fire. Everybody in this building worked for me. I mean, didn't you find it odd a business building was filled up on a Saturday? Or even find it weird you weren't being HURT by the flames? Geez.' The man laughed, and Rick sat there silently, pissed off, eyes darting between his father and this man. 'I guess a life of superspeed didn't leave you with much reason to develop some common sense, did it, Tex? Which is actually good for me, this this is how we found out about you in the first place. Neighbor across the street caught you a few times cleaning in your speedster state, and well... Being the good neighbor and citizen she was, let the authorities know. Not too smart about keeping a secret, are you? No, didn't think so.' He laughed. 'The best part was when she expressed concern, but we assured her you'd get the best treatment to fix you of your 'disease' and she was happy with that. Either way, our next step was to research you, and your family, to see if any more of you guys were 'x' gene active. Surveillance and all that jazz. Fortunately for your gene pool, nobody but you was affected with it, but we DID ask your father to get involved, given he has a history of mutant hate, and mixed in with his somewhat neglected back taxes we promised to forgive, it was a slam dunk.' The father looked shamed, and wouldn't face his scorning son.

'Can I go now?' The father rushed to ask.

'Crap, forgot you were there. Yeah, sure. And consider those tax debts cancelled, and that nice little rebate to come in, alright?' He shook the father's trembling hand, and watched him walk off. Only to watch him get stunned by a soldier who stepped out of the 'fire' and hit him with a needle, presumably, a knock out drug, or a euthanizing drug.

"Can't really let him get out, you know?' The official turned back to a now crying Rick with a sigh. 'Your father is a good citizen, and that's the problem... He might feel bad about helping in his own son's capture, and might just tell someone. And you know how rumors get..." He shakes his head, and regains focus. 'Either way, YOU get to help your great country, you know? As you well know, mutants are pretty much illegal, but UNnatural, government manufactured super soldiers are not. Now, I'm -pretty- sure you won't pass the psych exam, and volunteer for service, as you're sort of a flight risk, and didn't turn yourself in originally, but you're still of use. See, you're a marvel. Yeah, I create illusions, but you... YOU move at an accelerated rate and even heal at an accelerated rate, WITHOUT super aging. Usually, when we amp up metabolisms, they age to death within a few days. Obviously, we don't want that, and you're the answer. We're going to crack your DNA, and make a fleet of striking forces that can hit up any place, and take out the real enemies. So feel proud, because you're going to be the key in taking out terrorist cells, and problem enemies.' The official got up, and began to walk away. 'Oh, and don't worry. We're making sure James isn't going to be stood up over at the shop there, that would be just rude, wouldn't it? He won't miss you at all. Unfortunately, this whole neighborhood will be going down in flames, as we really WILL burn it, so we don't look suspicious when this building is still here when I let go of the illusion. Anyway, a father, meeting his son and husband-to-be will be burned to a crisp in a sandwich shop while trying to pull out innocent standerbys as the building collapses on them. A shame really. If it were up to me, I'd clone you guys, and say you were hit by cars, but cloning is WAAAAY too expensive.'

Rick started to try and thrash about, just struggling in place, as two soldiers grabbed hold of him, 'I'll kill you, you sick f-' rifle crack to the back of his head shut him up quick.

'Bag and tag. And let's get that fat tax ****** picked up and in the process of movement. For the target...just pick up some hobo or something.' And Rick's head was pulled back forcefully, and his world went black as what felt like burlap enveloped his face, and a cold metal collar clasped at the bottom, buzzing, and making him tired. Rick's thoughts began to swim, as his world faded to black.


In the style of 'It's A Wonderful Life'...
Players are asked to choose a pre-exisiting comic book character from any company or era. Your chosen character will be in the midst of a crushing depression and comtemplating suicide. At the very last moment, a supernatural messenger will appear and show your character what the world would be like had they never lived.

Each team must satisfy at least one of the following two conditions in their telling of the story...

  • The alternate reality must somehow involve at least one of your character's greatest rivals. Who they are and what role they will play is up to you.

  • The supernatural messenger must come in the form of someone who was once very special to your character. Who they are is up to you.
GL1, Oh Snap!, Karem-Knight, Cyrusbales, SenseiofCheese, Bkhedr

Thursday, December 27th, 7pm​
Silent Knight, Holy Knight
part 1

[FONT=&quot]It had been a long time since The Dark Knight had last stood in solitude here in the Cave. It was Christmas Eve, and still darkness stretched out in every direction like tentacles and enveloped his body as he solemnly stared out over the edge. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]There was no sound. Silence. Peace and quiet. And that hurt the most.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]There were no sounds of frantic activity or effortless acrobatics. No joyous laughter or painfully inappropriate jokes.


[FONT=&quot]Jason was gone.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„Master Bruce, you‘ve returned.“[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Alfred‘s voice echoed as a warming beam of light invaded the pitch black of the cave. He entered, stepping lightly down the stairs. Batman did not respond. He simply remained where he was, not even turning to acknowledge Alfred‘s prescence. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„I trust all went well with Nigma?“ the loyal butler asked. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„It was fine. I‘m fine.“ came a cold response.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]It hadn‘t been any easier on Alfred. Every day he had been lifted up by Jason‘s undying enthusiasm and near limitless joy. The boy had often told him how Bruce had saved him. From a life on the street, and certain death. But he had never realized that it was in fact he who saved Bruce. Or if he had realized it, he at least was never told. When Batman spiralled into darkness, Robin pulled him back into the light. When the Dark Knight lost all hope, the Boy Wonder showed him how to be hopeful. Jason was the light in Bruce‘s dark.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]But like most other things, the light had now been snuffed out by the Batman‘s work. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Alfred sighed as his eyes wandered down to Bruce‘s arm. The cloth had been tattered and blood poured from a large gash on the forearm. Instinctively, Alfred‘s hand softly reached out.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„You seem to be hurt, Master Bruce, let me –„ [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„I‘m fine. Just...Just go.“ Wayne interrupted, waving Alfred away.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Another sad sigh escaped Alfred‘s mouth as he looked back up at the menacing cowl of the bat. „Master Bruce, you must not blame yourself for Jason‘s death. The Jok-„ [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Again the butler was cut off, but this time not by Bruce Wayne. The Batman swung around and swatted Alfred‘s hand away. „I said I‘m FINE!“[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Alfred, knocked violently backwards, stumbled and stared shocked into the blank white eyes. Regaining his footing, Alfred adjusted his suit and shared a sympathetic look with Bruce.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„Don‘t let this consume you.“ he pleaded. Turning and silently walking towards the cave entrance, he stopped at the top of the staircase. „Master Dick called. He‘s worried about you. We both are.“[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]And once more, The Dark Knight was alone.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]No matter how hard I try. No matter what I do. I can‘t....I just can‘t...[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]His body trembling, rage and sorrow filling up every cell in his body as he was haunted by the faces of the people lost in his war. His teeth clenched, his eyes shut tight, his hands shaking with fury, Batman collapsed and let the anger take hold of him. The haunted scream echoes off the cave walls into the darkness. Batman‘s head falls into his hands as the feeling of Jason‘s lifeless body resting in his arms overcomes him and his mind is flooded with memories. [/FONT]





[FONT=&quot]„Oh, God, I‘m so sorry...I‘m so sorry Jason, please forgive me, I‘m so sorry....This wasn‘t supposed to happen....I...I can‘t..breathe...can‘t..“ [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A tightness grabs his chest as Batman begins clawing at his throat. Ripping off his cowl and hurling it over the edge, he once again lets out a horrifyingly tortured scream. Sweat pours down his face as his attempts to take deep breaths fail. His heart pounding, his head throbbing and every nerve in his body wailing in pain.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„...breathe..can‘t...can‘t do this anymore...I..I can‘t do this anymore.“ [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Crawling towards the edge, Batman stares down into the seemingly bottomless abyss. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I could finish it. A push and it would all be over. The constant pain. The suffering. The loss. I try to help but all I do is bring death to those around me. Batman has done more bad than good. And it‘s time to end it[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Suddenly a chill creeps up Batman‘s spine. Not paying it any attention, it‘s not until he realizes the air around him has grown colder and he can see his own breath that Batman jumps to his feet and turns around.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]„Bruce Wayne.“[/FONT]
Silent Knight, Holy Knight
part 2


[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„What are you doing here.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I have come for you.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]For a moment, Bruce is in shock. Confusion sets in as the silence between the two grows thicker, only to be broken by The Spectre.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I have come for YOU, not your soul.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bruce sneers at the Spirit of Vengeance. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„If you need something go to the League. I..just go, please, leave.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Bruce Wayne, you have suffered many a great loss. More than most. And you have lost hope, have you not?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„There is no hope to be had when everything around you dies because of you!“ [/FONT][FONT=&quot]he snaps back.

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Unfazed, The Spectre continues. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„You have done more good than many do in a lifetime. Prevented great evil. Yet you question your worth. Your place in this world.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Good? What a joke. There are literally hundreds of people who‘s deaths I could have prevented. Time and time again, I send murderers and rapists to prison, only to have them get out five minutes later and do it all over again . And now...my son is dead. My son is dead because of ME, and so are most of the people I ever cared about. Every breath I take is rightfully theirs. And every second I spend alive instead of them is NOT justice. Now it‘s only a matter of time before the few people left in my life get killed because of who I am. You know, they say the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results..“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Looking straight into the Spectres cold, dead eyes, Bruce lets the resignation slip into his voice. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„There is so much blood on my hands it feels like I‘m drowning. And I can‘t handle it anymore.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Batman is a curse on the world.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Silence once again fills the air. The two titans defiantly stare into each other‘s eyes, one broken, the other judging silently. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„SAY SOMETHING!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the Dark Knight finally shouts.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„You believe the world would have been better suited without Batman.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I know it.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Suddenly the earth seems to split open. The entire cave is flooded with light from above, as the ground below cracks with thunderous booms. As if held by an invisible force, Batman‘s hands shoot to his sides. In a Christ-like pose, his body begins to levitate.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The Spectre‘s cloaked being emits a blinding light, as he rises into the air.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman shouts, but his words seem to be drowned out.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Showing you.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] The Spectre speaks over the endless rumbles, his voice cracking the mountains and parting the seas. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Showing you a world without Batman.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blinding white fills Batman‘s senses as his body is lurched forwards at a dizzying speed. Wind rushes up and hits him in the face as the hold on his body begins to fade. Without warning the nothingness fades and he collides with cold, hard cement. Not even taking the time to grunt in pain, he jumps to his feet.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Spectre, where are w-„[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the question goes unanswered. As Batman regains his senses, he immediately recognizes the large wooden doors leading in to Wayne Manor.
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The Dark Knight looked around, taking everything in. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„But it‘s all the same.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„It is not.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Suddenly the thick wooden doors click and with a push begin to swing open. Emerging from the manor, a fragile-looking bald man smiles at the two cloaked men. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Ah, Master Bruce, you‘ve returned. I trust all went well with Nigma.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Alfred?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman whispers in disbelief. The old man in the doorway looked as if a stiff breeze would knock him over. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]But even though Batman and The Spectre, the two of them standing in the doorway being quite the sight, were placed mere inches away from the butler, Alfred stared right through them.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Hey, Alf!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman‘s heart skipped as the jovial voice from behind them was all-too familiar. Turning around, he came face to face with Bruce Wayne. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„That little nerd was a piece of cake. Nigma Investigations is now owned by WayneCorp.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Batman stood in disbelief, only moving when the young Wayne almost walked right into him. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„You need not worry. They can not see you, hear you nor touch you.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]"He...I look so much younger."[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman says, more to himself than the Spectre. Bruce Wayne walks past the invisible men standing in his doorway and laughs. Putting his hand on Alfred‘s hunched back, he loudly exclaims [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I am GOD!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Yes, quite so sir.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] The butler says weakly in feigned enthusiasm.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]With a deep thud the doors close. Left outside, Batman turns to the still Spectre. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I thought you said this was a world without me?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The Spectre remains still, his blank eyes fixed on the door. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„And it is. Batman never existed in this world. Bruce Wayne did.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Like a bolt of lightning, a thought emerges in Batman‘s mind. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Spectre, does that mean that my parents were never...“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] he asks, trying to hide his hope.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„They were not killed that night, no.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]For the first time in what seemed like a lifetime, ray of hope lights up in the Dark Knight‘s heart. He moves closer to the white skinned spirit, his heart beating wildly. Raising his hands to touch the Spectre, however, their surroundings begin to melt away without sound or warning. Before he can speak, Batman finds himself in a large room filled with trophies, statues and paintins whose worth could feed nations.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Immediately recognizing it as being the main sitting room inside Wayne Manor, Batman moves to a small desk of pictures he fails to remember. It doesn‘t take him long to realize why that is.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]From edge to edge, the small oak desk is filled with glorious, shining picture frames. And inside each of them, a picture of his family. His father, Thomas Wayne, holding a new-born Bruce in his arms. His mother, Martha, smiling a smile that could light the sun while she pushes a five-year old raven haired boy on a swing. As Batman‘s eyes swoop over the desk, taking in each picture, his heart fills with unbearable sorrow when he comes to a series of pictures he never took. A middle-aged Thomas and Martha Wayne smile and proudly embrace their son, a teenage Bruce, as he proudly lifts a golden trophy as high as he can. Another where an 18-year old Bruce lovingly embraces his grey-haired father in front of a sleek sportscar. And yet another, a picture of the Wayne family smiling underneath a glorious red banner decorated with the number 21.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The pain becomes too much for Batman, as he closes his eyes and furiously turns to the Spectre. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„So where are they? They weren‘t killed, they‘re still alive. I have to see them again, please.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Showing to change in emotion, the Spectres simply turns his head slowly and raises his gloved hand. Batman hadn‘t noticed the large television suspended on the wall, nor had he noticed himself sitting in a chair watching it. As the sound from the television grew higher, Batman moved closer. Bruce Wayne sat, somberly staring at the screen, on which a young woman was reading the news. From underneath the lavish chair, Wayne brought a bottle of alcohold up to his lips and took several massive gulps. Batman circled the chair, staring at himself. His attention was soon caught by the news program however, when he heard a name that caused his blood to boil and his head to ache.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]“..day marks the 5th anniversary of J-Day. On December 25th, five years ago, infamous serial killer Jack „The Joker“ Napier poisoned Gotham‘s water reservoir, causing the brutal deaths of over half the city‘s population, including the 'father' of Gotham City, renowned surgeon and philanthropist Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha. Jack Napier remains at large, and is considered extremely dangerous. In other news former District Att –„[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„NO!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman shouts in furious anger, turning to the Spectre and pointing at the screen. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„NO! That never happened! He was stopped, The Joker was stopped!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]As void of emotion as always, the Spectre responded coldly. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Batman stopped him. Batman saved the city.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]A wave of anger washed over the Dark Knight. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Don‘t you do this, don‘t you DO THIS!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Unfettered by the display of fury, the Spectre nods towards the now drunk Bruce Wayne. Batman looks back to see that Wayne had no stood up and was drunkenly stumbling over to a large bookcase. A bookcase that Batman knew was the hidden entrance to the Cave.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Three to right, four down.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman whispered to himself, as Bruce Wayne echoed in the exact same tone [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Three to the right,“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] he grunted, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Four down.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Wayne pulled the book out. But there was no low rumbling. No secret doorway unlocked. Batman looked on confused, searching for signs of some secret motion. He finally saw it in the hands of Bruce Wayne, who had opened the hollowed-out book and taken out a small bag of white substance. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Theeere we go, come to daddy.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] he said in a sing-song voice, opening the bag and flushing a small trail of the powder on to his hand and immediately snorting it.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Batman clenched his fists in disgust, as the Spectre spoke up. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Something dark was born inside of you when your parents were murdered. You owned the darkness within, bending it to your will and seeking justice. He...“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] The Spectre referred to Wayne who was now sitting on the floor, his voice carrying a hint of disdain, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„..let the darkness own him.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Where are we now?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Batman asked as the two found themselves in a small apartment, not even half the size of the Wayne‘s sitting room. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The apartment was cramped, a small television sitting on the floor and in front of it a man and a pregnant woman lay in each other‘s arms. There we not many pieces of furniture around them. They barely had what they needed to survive, Batman noted.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„It‘s okay, baby, mommy and daddy are here.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the woman spoke softly, her head tilted down. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Is she okay?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] asked the man, who now lifted his hand and set it down softly on the woman‘s stomach. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Yeah“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the woman smiled, her face filled with sorrow yet so much joy „..she‘s just kicking, that‘s all.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Honey.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the man said softly, and Batman looked at the Spectre. The spirit nodded slowly, and Batman took a few light steps towards the couple. „I know we don‘t have much. But I promise you, I‘ll take care of you two. No matter how hard it is, I will. Even if it kills me. I love you and the baby so much and I...I‘m gonna take care of you.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The man embraces the woman tightly as tears begin to stream down his face. The woman‘s arms reach around him and she whispers in his ear. „I know you will.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Moving back towards the Spectre, Batman tried to hide the tinge of sadness in his voice. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Why did you take me here? What is this?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The Spectre did not take his eyes off the couple as he answered. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Richard Grayson lost his family in much the same way you did. His family murdered by criminals, he was alone. No one took him in. No one tutored him. No one taught him what it is to be a hero. No one cared for him.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Suddenly the door to the apartment flies open with a loud bang and splinters fly in every direction. The apartment is filled with the screams of the couple as Batman instinctively reaches into his belt and pulls out a batarang. With one swift motion Batman flings it at the attacker, but it passes right through him. The Spectre speaks up again. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„You can not stop this. You are simply here to observe.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„I can‘t stop this but you can!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] he screamed back at the spirit of vengeance, who did not reply.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Looking back at the attacker‘s face, he-[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Oh God no...[/FONT][FONT=&quot]


[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„WHERES YOUR MONEY!!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the enraged Richard Grayson shouted, sweat pouring down his pale and bruised face, a shotgun in his hand.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„PLEASE! We don‘t have any money!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]


[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Please, she‘s pregnant please don‘t hurt her!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] the man pleaded, as the woman screamed.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„DICK, NO!!“ [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Batman screamed as he lurched forward and threw himself at his ward. Despite his effort, the Dark Knight passed through him and crashed to the floor.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„SPECTRE! STOP THIS!!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman pleaded, but the spirit showed no sign of even having heard him.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Stop SCREAMING!“ [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Grayson shouted. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„STOP SCREAMING OR I‘ll KILL YOU!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The woman‘s screams pierced the air.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]



[/FONT][FONT=&quot]The woman‘s lifeless body fell to the floor, as the night was filled with her husband‘s screams of pain, and the apartment melted away.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„TAKE ME BACK!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Again nothingness surrounds them. White space as long as the eye can see . No sound. Nothing.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„No. You have seen all you needed to see there.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] The Spectre refused. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Without Batman, Richard Grayson turned to a life of crime. Murder. Rape. The people he killed tonight were not the first. Nor are they the last.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„How could you let that happen...Why didn't you do something!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„Do you now see the good you have done? The evils you have prevented?“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„STOP IT!“[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Batman shouts.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]„So you wish to see how this ends. Very well.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

Silent Knight, Holy Knight
part 3

[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
A warm home greets the two as the nothing melts into the night. Batman and The Spectre stand inside yet another apartment. But unlike the previous, this is a good home. The walls painted a welcoming color, a living room with soft furniture and an air of friendliness.

„The home of James Gordon“


„Yes. And his daughter, Barbara. Batgirl.“

Batman moves into the living room, a hint of panic starting to rise up inside of him. What was the Spectre going to show him this time?
As he walks between the chairs he spots numerous pictures hanging on the wall. Pictures of Gordon and Barbara, smiling, hugging, laughing. They look so happy.
Suddenly the silence is broken by soft sobs coming from the kitchen. Batman turns and looks at the Spectre, despise in his eyes. Walking slowly towards the kitchen door, it opens of it‘s own will. Batman steps inside, the sobs now growing louder. Entering the kitchen, he sees Commissioner James Gordon sitting alone, quietly sobbing into his hands. He looked as if he'd been a fight. His clothes were sweat-stained and his tie hung loosely around his neck. A steaming cup of coffie sat on the table in front of him, along with a large pile of cash.

„What is this...“

Without sound, the Spectre appears beside Batman. „James Gordon was one of the few honest members of the Gotham City Police Department. Joining forces with the Batman, he achieved his goal of ridding the department of corruption. Something he could not have done alone.“

Looking down at the man he admired, perhaps admired most of the people in his life, Batman felt sick to his stomach. „Barbara. What happens to Barbara?“ he asks, turning to the Spectre.

„Tell me.“ he insists.

„Barbara Gordon took after her father‘s strong sense of justice. Just as before, she dressed herself in a caped costume and believed she could help by fighting crime as a vigilante. With Batman‘s tutilage, she would become one of the greatest crimefighters ever known.“

„Tell. Me.“ Batman insists again, his voice shaking with anger.

The Spectre looks from Batman to Gordon. „Without Batman, Barbara Gordon was not prepared for what awaited her. She attempted to prevent a attack. To save an innocent woman from being brutalized. The attacker shot her in the spine and she bled out in an alley.“

„Oh, god...“ Batman whispered as his eyes shut tight and tears poured down his face.

„James Gordon had always believed that justice could be served. But the failure to apprehend his daughter‘s murderer changed that. Desperation breeds corruption.“

Batman looks back down at Jim Gordon, who still sat and counted money he had gained by going back on everything he believed in.

„James Gordon became the very thing he wished to eradicate. A corrupt policeman.“

„Don‘t you say that! Don‘t you DARE say that!“

„We are done here.“[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]„Do you see how Batman has saved so many lives from being lost? None of these people would have been better off without him.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

Batman puts his head in his hands as he tries with all his might to erase the images in his head. Dick pulling that trigger. Barbara dying alone in a cold alley. Jim drowning in his own despair. Finally, he snaps and erupts at the Spectre.

„What RIGHT did I have?! Who the HELL did I think I was, bringing these people into my crusade?! Barbara. Dick. Jason. They were CHILDREN! Who was I to take deny them the right to live out their lives?“

„Let‘s continue.“ the Spectre said, as once again the white melted away.

Batman and The Spectre appeared in the middle of a cold, wet road. The air was still, and not a single person was to be found.

„What happens here.“ Batman asked almost arbitrarily, but not expecting an answer.

„This is where Jason Todd will die.“[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] Stunned into silence, Batman stared at the Spectre. „What did you just say?“

„Jason Todd is going to die here tonight.“ The Spectre repeated coldly.

„Don‘t. Don‘t make me watch this.“ Batman demanded, a hint of the voice he would use if the Spectre were a mugger.

„You have to.“

Batman intended to object, but the sound of footsteps behind him cut him off. It was Jason. He didn‘t look. He couldn‘t.
As if reading his mind, the Spectre spoke. „Look.“

Batman opened his eyes and turned around. And even though he had tried to prepare himself, it still felt like a punch to the gut. There Jason stood, his hair as black as the night and his face reminding Batman of how he failed the person closest to him. „Oh, God...Jason.“
Instinctively he raised his hand towards Jason, who walked by, oblivious of the two men.

„Please. Spectre. Don‘t do this to him.“ Batman said, any hint of a threat leaving his voice, replaced by pleading.

„I am not. You are.“

It happened without warning. Screeching tires and busting glass echoed through the night. Batman screamed as the car slammed into Jason, his body thrown across the street. The car, a sleek red sportscar, swerved desperately and crashed into a nearby sign. WELCOME TO GOTHAM CITY.

Jason‘s body lay broken on the road, rain slamming down onto him. His leg twisted at an angle, his face bruised and cut, his blood mixing with the filthy water on the street.
Batman‘s eyes were fixed on Jason‘s body. The horrible feeling of failure that invaded his being the day of Jason‘s death at the hands of the Joker washed over him like rain, as the man in the car swung open the door.

„Oh god, oh god, oh god, holy **** oh god, oh god, Kid are you alright?“

The man in the sleek, red sportscar was Bruce Wayne.

„No. No that can‘t be. No.“ Batman tried to convince himself.


Bruce Wayne stumbled over the the child, a cut on his own forehead being the extent of his wounds. On his nose, specks of white powder.
Walking over to the body, Wayne fell to his knees beside the child. „Kid? Oh god...Kid?“

Snow began silently falling to the ground, the flakes dancing through the air before they crashed into the ground and faded away.
Putting the boys hands on his chest and scooping him off the street, Bruce Wayne held the dying Jason Todd in his arms.

„Jason Todd may have died, but you saved him. You gave him a life. You gave him hope. He left this life loved. Who do you think would miss the Jason Todd that Bruce Wayne hit with his car?“

Batman and the Spectre were now back in the Cave and the Dark Knight fell to his knees.

„As much as you might believe it, Batman did not bring death to these people. He brought life. Like he does to every innocent person he saves.“

Without speaking further, the Spectre turns and begins to walk to the edge of the cliff Batman had contemplated throwing himself off of.
Turning his head, Batman called after him. „And what now? You‘re just leaving?“

The Spectre stopped in his tracks, mere inches from the edge. „I came to you because you would have taken your own life had I not.“

„What makes you think I won‘t do it now?“

The Spectre stood silent. Finally he spoke, „You won‘t.“

„And what am I supposed to do with all of this? With my failure?!“ Batman screamed at the Spectre‘s back, getting to his feet.

„You use it, Bruce Wayne. You use it to make a better world.“

Taking a step forward, the Spectre walked off the edge and in a brilliant white flash that had Bruce covering his eyes, he was gone.

„SPECTRE!!!!“ his screams echoed.

And again, Batman was alone.

Walking over to the edge, he stared down into the dark that he so much wanted to fall into. Tilting his head lower, he looked for a long time at his own chest and the bat-emblem adorning it.
Batman turned and walked over towards the Computer. As the low hum that signaled it‘s spring to life began, a picture of Jason Todd in his Robin costume flashed onto the screen.

Batman was alone.

He closed his eyes and fought the despair. The pain.

The pain will NOT own me..

He opened his eyes and pressed a series of keys. When the person on the other end answered, he was silent for a moment. But he knew everything would be alright.

„Dick? It‘s Bruce.“

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Batman is not alone. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Merry Christmas, Jason.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]​

The Symbiotes - Cyrusbales

How do you kill a Ghost?

Kit Walker’s eyes stared back at himself through the reflection of his cutthroat razor. The darkness of the Skull Cave darkened his own image, as if distorting his own appearance into something more sinister.


A trembling hand that gripped the blade was not that of a hero, rather an old man who’s time had come and gone. Skin stretched tightly across now brittle bone, the gaunt face that had once stood up to injustice now lay sunken and aged, the only sign of the fire that once burned within settled in the glassy eyes that wet set deeply into the elderly man‘s features. Eyes that had seen things, great and wonderful things, distressing and heart-rending things.

For now the ghost no longer walked, the last of the bloodline, the final Phantom. His own indecision and mistakes leading to the demise of all that was precious, Diana, Heloise and young Kit. Who would face down the ways of piracy without the Phantom?

A shell of a man, barely able to stand on his own feet, let alone stand for ideals, only one option would serve justice, to leave this failed champion to rot in the blackness of the Bengali jungle. As the sharpness of the cutting-edge began to eat into his withered flesh, droplets of red slowly trickled down like tears, only to be halted by a familiar voice moments before a precious artery let forth it’s vital bounty.


Dropping the glistening knife-like blade at this voice, a weary head managed to lift upwards to gaze upon the unexplainable.


Rimmed in a subtle soft white luminescence, the image of Kit Walker the senior stared down at the suicidal old man. The burly muscles and full purple regalia that made up this tremendous sight truly signified what it meant to be the ghost who walks.

“Kit, is this how you fulfil the Oath of the Skull?”

Like an animal caught in the headlights, a response took a while to work it’s way from his dry throat.


“And it seems you’re in rather a hurry to join me son.”

“There’s nothing for me here.”

Bringing a ghostly hand to an authoritarian chin, a father’s disapproval is shrouded by a more important need.

“You are Kit Walker, you are one of the great Phantom’s.”

“The last Phantom Dad. Their dead, all of them.”

“Which is all the more reason why you shouldn’t let it end like this.”

Reaching down with a spectral palm, a father’s spirit grasps his son’s feeble hand, pulling his soul outwards, light spilling out and covering all until it’s subsidence found them at the water’s edge, although it was not as Kit remembered it.

Large wooden structures littered the beach, massive ships filled the once tranquil bay, all of which were flying a most horrific flag, that of the Singh Brotherhood. They were everything that the bloodline of Walker’s stood against, embodying greed, ferocity and injustice, and now it seemed they were unstoppable.

In the distance, the Bengali village that was very much like a home to him lay in ruins. Smouldering remains of the huts and simple houses the villagers had built were all that were left. It was clear they could not stand up to the cruelty of the pirates that Kit had spent his life fighting. And now they had murdered those which he considered family, their lives literally shattered and destroyed by greed and malice. This was the most horrific sight that could blight a Phantom’s eye.

“Dad….I don’t understand, what is this?”

“In all the years that the Phantom has walked the earth, there has been piracy and corruption. We have sought to end this, and of all those who have worn our mantle, none has helped our cause more than you Kit.”

“Then why are they here?”

“This is not what is, but what could have been.”

“Could of been?”

“Yes, if not for you.”

“But I’m too old now, what’s stopping them from turning this into a reality?”

“The ghost who walks has been fighting against piracy since the fifteen hundreds, the Phantom is more than just a man, his ideals and reputation will live on forever.”

“Eventually we’ll be forgotten father, we’re already a myth.”

“Don’t forget son, that there will always be those like us in the world to continue the fight.”

Visibly scorned, the time ravaged Kit Walker gazed with bitterness at his Dad’s sentiment.

“I’m not a child anymore, so don’t think me naïve, you and I both know that for every person like us, there’s several hundred to oppose us.”

“Why are you so content to dismiss your achievements? What can I show you in this world, so you can see what things would be like without you Kit?”


The ghost’s face sinks at his son’s request, knowing what he now has to let his offspring see. The sea breeze drifting in, swirling the beach’s sands around the pair of them, obscuring the view, only re-appearing in the unfamiliar urban streets of New York.

“Where are we dad?”

“This is where Diana would live if you were never born.”

“So she would of survived?”

“Yes Kit.”

“Take me to her….”

In an instant, the two generations of the Walker family were transported to the interior of a plush apartment building. The rare white leather that adorned the furniture was in pristine condition, as was the crystal chandelier that swayed gently overhead.

Through perfectly cleaned windows New York stretched out below, a city in the midst of development, rapidly becoming the pinnacle of civilisation. People at ground level looked like insects, even the tallest of buildings seemed to pale in comparison to this building which, Kit thought, must be of great importance and social standing.

Stirring him from his wonderment, the scent of exceptional French perfume took over his nostrils as if he’d strolled into the finest of Parisian Boutiques. The sight of what held this sway of senses was far more idyllic, draped in luxurious Arabic silks, locks of golden hair bounced lively with each step, seemingly in slow motion, each step the most graceful of ballet sequences.


“She can’t hear you, we’re only here to watch I’m afraid.”

Entranced by her, almost hypnotised he failed to hear his father’s words. She was more beautiful than he remembered. A vision. An angel. Diana.
More harrowing that the previous sight of Pirates in the jungle which he called home, was the sight of the man who’s lips greeted Diana’s, and who’s arms gave her warmth and shelter as Kit’s once did.


Trying to grasp her back from this stranger, his hands merely pass through them as if he wasn’t there.

“Stop them dad, what’s she doing?!”

“In a world without you, she married someone else.”

The sound of her playful laugh cuts through Kit’s seemingly ancient heart like a hot knife through butter.

“She looks……happy.”

Children’s giggles burst out from behind them both as the image of two small kids, a girl and boy, come into sight. Dressed as exquisitely as their parents, they fling tiny arms around the already cuddling couple.

“They all look happy.”

“In a world without you, she is just a normal wife and mother. She never had the chance to a part of something, never helped to make the world a better place.”

“So Diana is better off without me?”

“You helped so many people, hundreds, maybe even thousands, and Diana became a part of that.”

“And because of me she died.”

“Because of you, she truly lived.”

“Look at her Dad, THIS is living, not worrying about surviving till tomorrow.”

“Remember that you swore an Oath, the things you’ve done have meant that many people can have lives like this, without danger, and Diana helped that happen, she wouldn‘t want you die without the dignity you deserve.”

A cold shaking hand reached to the analytical forehead of Kit Walker. He was seeing so much, perhaps his father was right, but what difference did it make now he was an old man? Letting the bloodline die with honour rather than pity and shame didn’t seem to matter much anymore. In his world Diana was gone, their children were gone, he had nothing.

But what of the Bengali people? Pirates now lived on their sacred lands, and went unchallenged. There was no Phantom. The ghost who walked had kept them safe for centuries, they needed him, Kit owed them more than pathetic death of someone without ideals.

As these thoughts raced their way throughout the halls of his mind, the darkness of the Skull cave returned as arms weighed down, becoming heavier. The soul back in the shambling elderly body, staring poignantly at the shimmering razor lying in the dust between his feet.


There was no response other than a brief echo that was cut out by his own short coughing fit. He was old and tired, a once sharp intellect slowing down, combing over what he had seen and whether it was real.

Sliding off the legendary ring adorned with a skull and cradling it in a shaking palm, Kit knew his time was coming, soon he’d be with Diana and the kids. He didn’t need to end it himself as the years had caught up to him like the dawn sneaks up on the night.

Each breath deeper and longer, rasping within his frail lungs as his final inhalation grew ever nearer.

The eerie silence of the cave only broken by small approaching footsteps, that of a child’s, coming close and into view, a local youngster of the Bengali village. Eyes filled with wonderment and awe, edging closer to the living legend until gazing into his eyes.

“Ghost who walks.”

Struggling to squeeze out a few final words and movements, Kit was now aware of what must be.

Grasping the soft young hand, a cold metal sensation enters the child’s palm as he clenches the mythical Skull ring. Bringing the kid’s ear to his lips, the Phantom’s last words do his ancestors proud.

“I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms, and my sons and their sons shall follow me.”

A parting smile spreads across Kit’s age-worn face before he slips into the blackness of beyond.

How do you kill a ghost?

You can’t, for wherever there is piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, the ghost will walk, and evil shall fear The Phantom.
A Christmas

Merry Christmas

“We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New YEAR! Dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun duuun! Jingle Bells Jingle Bells! Jingle allllll the way! Oh what fun it is to ride on raiders’ horses’ slay HEY! Jingle Bells Jingle Bells. Eh screw it!”

Why the hell am I singing? I know it’s Christmas and all but it’s not really my thing to sing, eh, it’s Christmas day, where can you wrong, as I swing along the buildings of Manhatten, I swear there must have been at least 10 kids who yelled out Santa Claus then go “aw what it’s that Spiderman guy!”. I mean sure I’m not really Santa but at least some gratitude once in a while wouldn’t hurt.

The again, it is New York.

As I get off my web line I hop onto a wall and check out the time from Times Square, crap 6:00, got to phone MJ, I crawl up onto a roof before someone sees me and starts swearing at me, jumping onto the roof I get my cell phone out and dial for home, it’s ringing ringing.

Woah! Blacked out there for a second, hmm, strange anyway the phone comes up,

“Hello you’ve reached the Parker residence, sorry we can’t take your call so please tell us what you need after the beep.”


The sound of my own voice makes me wonder, is my voice really like that? So when I try to come off as scary, my voice is just some high-pitched squeal? Anyway better leave the message.

“Hey MJ, listen I might be a bit late so I’ll be in about 15 minutes, thanks bye.”

I put the phone away and hide into my web cartridge; everyone keeps complaining that phones are getting to small. Well that’s good for me, means I can keep it encase of anything bad happens.

Of course, nothing bad does happen does it?

Why am I being sarcastic in thought?
Getting up I look round the city, 20 minutes to get home, man MJ is actually going to kill me this time, I jump off into Manhattan, swinging really loses it’s appeal after god knows how long, same with Manhattan, same buildings same sites every day.

A few minutes later:

Finally, home, the amount of times people have been trying to throw stuff at me or tell me to go Jersey is unbelievable, one guy even went, “We have enough superheroes!”, hey at least I keep the city safe.

I crawl into the apartment building window, no one can see me I close the door and take my mask off, heading into the living room.

“MJ? Aunt May?”

Lights are off, hmm, strange probably a surprise from Mary Jane. Oh crap! Please do not be a surprise party. I walk over there anyway for some stupid reason, I flick the lights on.

“Hey I’m home…………NO!”

NO! Oh Jesus No!

I jump straight towards Mary Jane, beaten and tied up, Oh please please be OK!

“Mary Jane!? MARY JANE!”

I feel my hands on her head, and check her pulse, NO! Tears start to appear from my eyes, I rip the ropes off, PLEASE PLEASE BE OKAY! Her dead body falls towards me and lands on me, I hold her, kneeling.


A notes lies below my feet, I put my wife’s body gently on the floor and check the letter.

P.S. Check the kitchen!

Norman! NORMAN! The bastard, I crunch the paper in my hands, and rush to the kitchen, leaping, NO! He just doesn’t stop! The tears get deep dropping like a waterfall, Aunt May!

In rage, I drop her body, dead. Same as Mary Jane, Same as his son, Harry! Same as Uncle Ben! Same as Gwen!


I lift the table in the air and it goes flying, I rush to put my mask and rest of my costume on, gloves, boots, everything. One word flashes through my mind, over and over again.


I jump out of the window, not caring about anything, only one location, Oscorp! I swing with all my rage, and sadness, I can’t let the bastard win again! I CAN’T! ARGHH! The entire city can hear my screams of rage and vendetta! No way am I letting him win again! I WON’T! Each web line represents the times I’ve failed to get that bastard out of my life, to stop trying to destroy me, make my like his son, Harry! Who he got killed just to get to me.

Never again, I see the building, their going to need to find an heir for Mr. Osbourne, I’m there, what was 10 minutes felt like 30 seconds, I crawl to the top with all my anger and reach it jumping into the window, breaking it.


“Hello, Peter! Like my gift? Here’s another one! HAHAHA!”

The glider, it comes to me in a second, I manage to duck under it for a, my spider sense aids me again, firing a webline at him I yank him off the glider, thud, on the floor, I grab him by the neck lifting him up in the air.

I scream pounding all my anger, everything he’s taken from he into his face, I can hear most of his bones breaking inside, then he uses his fire finger on me, and my mask burns, it burns, and hurts but I use my web to extinguish the fire, he punches me in the face, blood comes from my hose, he kicks me again in the chest.

Doesn’t hurt.

I throw my fist into the air and he goes flying another massive thud to the ground I punch him again throwing him all over his office with the webs flying him into all the walls, he gets out a pumpkin bomb.

“Take THIS!”

I jump out of the bomb’s distance and throw him into the coming fire, he goes flying again I get dragged along by fire into his like a bullet, grapping him by the neck with half his office blown to pieces, he tries to laugh with blood coming out his mouth.

“This. Ends. NOW!”


My grip tightens on his neck, the urge to just snap his neck or beat him to death increases, more and more each second, I can crush his windpipe and he would be dead, I can throw him off the building, but that healing factor. Ugh, this man, he’s taken everything from me. How can I still be forced to be a hero when I have no choice, tears form inside of my eyes, he killed my wife! My aunt! My family!

Slowly, I keep gripping his neck, I can hear him breathing, gasping for oxygen. For the first time for the time that I have known him, Norman Osbourne, is afraid, that grin that he’s had on his face for years, I’ve finally wiped it off of him.


He gasps for one last bit of breath, and then it’s gone, I drop his body, dead on the floor, most of the office is on fire, he’s obviously evacuated the building for wires to explode the place, I rush outside but a huge part of me wonders why I should, this should be my final resting place, but still part of me leaves, swinging into the night one last time.

I arrive consternate completely on the swinging and land on an isolated building somewhere in this city, dropping to my knees, defeated. Norman won, I tear my mask off, the tears hitting me yet again, I try to contain myself, but the pain is just to great.

The Most​
Wonderful Time​
Of the year.​
Act One:
A Reason to live.
Two funerals, on the same day, I kept the guest list short, only inviting friends and family, they’ve all heard that a serial killer came into the house and shot them, I asked for a closed coffin, I can’t bear to see their faces again, I even asked the priest not to let me stand up and say a speech, death doesn’t get any easier.

Mary Jane’s Aunt takes the stage; I just sit down quietly thinking of what went wrong, how could have I played the role for so long! Why did I wear that stupid costume, I could have saved, Gwen, I could have saved Mary Jane, I could have saved oh I could have saved so many people, more then I’ve “saved” anyway.

Christmas, this should have been the day I was eating with Aunt May and Mary Jane, but instead me and what’s left of my “family” are here. I look around, JJ, Robbie, Flash, some of MJ’s modelling friends. All here, together.

Finally, the priest ends the ceremony as there both buried together, Uncle Ben, Aunt May and Mary Jane. Everyone has gone, allowing me to mourn in peace, I give a heavy sigh, starring at the two most important people in my life, gone in a second. All because I couldn’t have stopped one petty burglar that one night, no matter how much I do, people I love will always suffer because of me, yes maybe Norman is dead. But that’s besides the point, why did I let that costumed freak become my life, I was never born to be Spiderman, I was Peter Parker, photographer and school teacher, now I’m a man with no reason to live. As I stare at the grass, unable to move, I feel a hand touch my shoulder.

“Hi, Peter.”

I look over, JJ, with a smile on his face, showing his sympathy side for once, “Hi, JJ.” I say, in a low tone he gives a small smile, “Listen if you want to take a few more, days off work go ahead, I’ll even send you the..” “I’m not coming back, please I just need to be alone.” He stops and pats me on the shoulder. “Sure.”

Starring at their coffins, I wonder what I’ll do with the rest of my life now, is there a point to me being the superhero that everyone crawls on? What’s the point, I have no purpose any more, the one thing I had was…them. The tears still don’t stop coming, god dam you Norman! GOD DAM YOU!

Killing him didn’t help, but still I’m glad he’s out of my life, but at what cost? He’s taken away everything from me, might as well have just killed me, I lay here in these gravesites, not ready to move, or leave. How can one man be put through so much, it’s unbearable, always bad luck for me, Parker curse. I never thought something like this would happen, again.

Did I ever have a choice? Uncle Ben died because I didn’t go out of my way to save people, Gwen died because I did. Same with Mary Jane and Aunt may, same with dozens of other people! I’m just one man! How can I go through all this? How can I be expected to rise above everything? I lay on the ground focusing on the grass of my wife and Aunt’s final resting place. The thought occurs to me, over and over.

I’m no hero.

I stand up, my legs tired, night time was morning when I was here, walking out of the cementer I go home, not to the site where they were killed, no, I’m going to my first true home, Queens, get the subway there. Like a normal person would, no web swinging, never again.

The walk to one of the subway stations, boring and tiring, I spend the whole trip looking down on the street, Manhattan doesn’t seem that spectacular anymore, hasn’t been in a while.

As I walk along I see a newspaper, Daily Bugle. Top headline;

Billionaire Norman Osborne, funeral today!

Sickens me, no one will miss him that man was pure evil, they all now know he was the Goblin for sure. Right now that doesn’t mean anything to me, nothing matters, nothing ever will again.

The Subway terminal, I wait in the line listening to a bunch of people argue over their place in the line, I keep quiet just wanting to go home, finally the bickering stops as I reach the token guy, saying the location and he gives me the ticket, I move out of their and go through the gates, walking to the terminal I wait patiently for the train, then I hear it coming from the tunnel, the long screeching noise and finally it arrives.

A bunch of people get on at once, all of a sudden I hear someone screaming, “Help! Help!” He’s being mugged, my heart beats, no one’s helping him I stare at the moment for a while, some guy pushes me forward “Hey Buddy move it!” Going forward into the subway and holding onto a pole, it drives off, as the journey goes forward, I think to myself, why was I hero? Villains are the only ones who win in this world, it’s cruel and black, no place for heroes who will only be shot down for being one, police men, soldiers, doctors, firemen, most of them wind up having their lives being destroyed because they chose to be a hero.

Why did I bother?

The train makes it to my stop and I leave, heading outside the station and slowly going home, I remember this neighbourhood so well, I remember coming back from here during high school, just coming to the neighbourhood after crime fighting just in time for bed.

Arriving home, I go up the stairs and turn the key, opening it and turning the lights on it reminds me of my life, right now. Empty.

I give out a heavy sigh and keeping myself from breaking into tears as I shut the door, landing on the floor I breakdown again, this has been happening every week.

“I couldn’t save you!”

The tears soak my hands, why, this is a world where good people suffer, and bad people get the last laugh. What am I supposed to do? How can this happen! I walk over to the kitchen, barely able to carry myself over there without falling, still, I manage and get an empty glass and open the tap water, drinking it gives me some air.

Finally sitting down, thinking to myself, the same thoughts over and over again, my name is Peter Parker, and I have nothing to live for, I used to have a wife and a loving aunt, now they were killed because I was Spiderman, and to get revenge I killed one of the world’s richest men, Norman Osbourne aka the Green Goblin.

The fact that they were murdered still fuels me, I drop the glass on the table, I know what I have to do now, I have no choice, walking slowly up stairs to Uncle Ben’s old room, he still has it there I know he does.

There, Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s old room, 4th pad on the left next to the wall, I walk slowly dropping to my knees and lifting the plank off the floor with ease and throwing it away, I pick up the object that Uncle Ben said “Only encase of emergency, a REAL emergency.” He never liked to use one, in fact he hated to use one, the mere sight of one of these disgusted him, I don’t know if he even remembered it beyond the day he bought it.

I hold it, tightly, this gun, I’ve dodged so many of these bullets it’s uncountable, clicking the hammer, checking the rounds. Six bullets, one will do the trick, Wait.

I put the gun into my mouth, closing my eyes, I shall be free, I will be free!

Holding the gun, very tightly almost biting it before I do the deed, then the feeling of air in my hands and a gun falling to the floor.
Coward’s way out, I stay kneeling, starring on the floor, there’s nothing left here, why don’t I just complete this task? Why bother with this “life” all the deaths in my life, most people don’t deal with this till there in their 80’s or 70’s. But no, I’m 30, what do I have now? Nothing. I stare into the mirror, then I see someone, I haven’t seen in a long long time.

“Hello Peter.”

I turn around, no it can’t be true…………..

“Uncle Ben!?”

The Most​
Wonderful time​
Of the year.​
Act Two:

“Yes Peter, it’s me.”

I get up, feeling something that I haven’t felt in years, joy! Leaping up into the air I embrace my Uncle, tightly, it’s been to long.

“Uncle Ben! I- I don’t know what to say!”

He smiles, starring at me, “Peter, you don’t have to say anything, haha, why would you?”. Tears enter my face, as I stare at him.

“God. I, I- I have so many things to say to you, wow, is it really you!”

“Yes it is me, flesh and blood.”

I smile, god, it feels like such a relief to finally see him again, the fact that I’ve managed so long without him is just amazing, oh my god. Everyday of my life has been driven over guilt over letting him die, why did, how could I have left the burglar do such a thing, oh man.

“Why are you here?”

I say, how can I ask that, still maybe I’m dead? Maybe it’s a near death experience, maybe oh I don’t know, please just answer me.

“Well Peter, we need to talk. You see, that night when I was shot, things turned for the worse for you, and me. Because well, I was killed, but the unbearable things that have been happening to you Peter, why did you put yourself through all that?”
“What do you mean, Uncle Ben?”

He sighs, trying to explain something to me, I wonder what’s going on, is this like It’s a Wonderful life? If so then I doubt that I’ll be as happy as Jimmy Stewart was, still he looks like he needs to tell me something.

“Come with me, Peter.”

He touches my shoulder, and soon I see it, it’s me, fifteen years old in my Spiderman costume getting into that locker room, getting out some money that I’ve just made, I stare in awe.

“Uncle Ben is this...?”

“Pete, watch.”

Starring, I feel the urge to knock my greedy and selfish self into sense, oh god, how could have I been so narrow-minded, NO! the Burglar, I can see him.


I yell from my mouth as I see him getting away with some money, oh please, just jump in the way, push him over, for god’s sake even trip him up! PLEASE! Please do that, for the sake of your life hood!



I hear myself mutter the same words as that cop, and seeing the smug bastard just smirking and saying, “thanks.” As he walks by into the elevator, soon he will kill and old man for nothing but a car.

“Uncle Ben I’m-“

“Shh, Peter there’s more!"

And then it’s all changed, Aunt May’s house, oh no!

“Any idea why this guy was killed?”

“Nah, seems like he was only here to pick up his son or something, last we heard he’s heading down south near the bridge to those warehouses!”

Two detectives stare at my Uncle’s dead body as I see my idiot of a younger self, stare in shock at what I’ve let happened, and running away to get revenge on the person who did murdered the man standing right next to me, my Uncle.

“Uncle Ben, I’m so Sorry!”

“Peter, it’s okay. I forgive you, the amount you’ve sacrificed for me, can’t undo that, but you have to understand.”

Sighing, he looks touches my shoulder, “Let’s go somewhere else.”. No! Thinking to myself, I remember this, Doc Ock was escaping a crime scene, with no other choice but to chase him I did so, god knows what I was doing that was so important.

Me and my Uncle stare as Ock escapes trying to brush me, Spiderman off with his arms, in the distance I can hear him say, “Get away from me! Wall crawler!”, I must have said something stupid to anger him, no! Captain Stacy, right there having a cup of coffee as he rests his cane on his hand, on looking the battle that’s disturbing Manhattan

There, I see the child starring, happily and clueless to what happening, where his child is, god knows, I rush towards him getting him to safely rushing, quickly.

“I have to stop it, maybe I can undo this!”

My Uncle stops me dead in my tracks, “No, Peter, it’s in the past now!”, I stare at my Uncle, wondering, then I realise, he’s right. The past is gone, I can only watch helplessly, Captain Stacy grows more and more concerned over the child merely on looking the fight.

“Very Well, wall crawler, let’s see how much of a hero you really ARE!”

Grabbing his tentacles onto that pile of bricks, closely to the child, I stare in awe, ready to jump but then THUD! Ock hits me in the face and escapes, my past self jumps only to realise it’s to late and he sees his girlfriend’s father die, heroically.

I can still remember the words he said to me, “Protect Gwen!”, I failed that, closing my eyes, WHY!

“Peter, I think you can guess where we have to go next!”

“No, Please! I can’t-“

NO! Oh god. The Bridge, The Goblin has Gwen at his arms, hovering across the bridge, talking to her, before he kills her by throwing her off the place, and making me, accidentally kill her! The monster, no, I can’t, Uncle Ben pleads with me not to go, I can safe them, all of them, I run towards Norman as my past self and him talk about Gwen’s fate!
No, I must not, with all my strength, I can undo this, I can finally undo this nightmare that’s plagued me for years, which that bogeyman made me relive again, maybe, YES! I will end it now, leaping into the air, giving a kick to Norman. ARGH!

Nothing, I fall to the bridge, I’m a- ghost in this, dimension, my Uncle arrives and puts his hand on my shoulder, the word please mutters it’s self over and over again.

Then, Norman throws her off, the final curtain, I pray for him, me, to undo this, but my hope is ended once I hear him yell out, “GWEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!”

I fall to my knees, breaking down yet again, how much can one man take! “Please, no more Uncle Ben! Please, this is to much to bear, please!”

Sighing, he looks at me, “I’m sorry Peter, but we must move on.” The nightmare still haunts me, night after night I prayed Mary Jane would never suffer the same fate as Gwen, that one nightmare was relived last week, and now I must relive all my suffering with the one man who I thought would not let me go through all this, this is a nightmare.

It takes me a moment to realise, one more time where we are, and this one is truly, tragic, Harry. I’ve been forced to relive this, the death of my best friend, the closest thing I had to a brother, dying, because of his father’s sick twisted way.

BOOM! His glider bursts out, saving me as Mary Jane stands in awe, thanking Harry, as I do weak, my best friend finally redeemed himself, but then he starts to struggle and soon dies. I couldn’t do anything; as of right now I’m powerless, powerless to save anyone.

In body and emotion, the tears keep coming; the one question keeps popping over and over again, how much can one man take? I get myself up, my Uncle giving me a small smile, lending me a hand; death really doesn’t get any easier.

“You know where we have to go, Peter.”

I nod, this event I really don’t want to, but I know must. This is obviously some sort of test for me, and I must complete it, no matter what coming here, the apartment, one week ago. I arrive home, remembering thinking it was like any other Christmas, and finding Mary Jane and Aunt May, beaten and killed, I close my eyes, screaming and breaking down, my Uncle sighing, I could see the tears in his eyes as he sees me, his nephew, physically strong, but now emotionally weak, kneeling and pounding my fists into the ground.


BOOM- Before I know it, there I am, Norman and mine final and short confrontation, my Uncle looks forward as the fight rages on, “You knew it was going to end up like this, Peter. You had no choice, some people aren’t meant to be heroes!”

After silence he finally ends it by talking to me, “Listen, Peter, you can look at it any other way, but…..this, it’s all you…….”


“It’s all your fault, Peter, I love you but, this is what happens when you try to do good, the world just won’t let people like you help it, there’s to much evil out there!”

Putting his hand on my shoulder, we’re back here, in Queens, the same room where he met me just a few minutes ago; I rise up, shaken by this ordeal, Uncle Ben gives me a very worried look, about to tell me something.

“Listen, Peter.”

I manage to pull myself together grabbing his shoulder for support, “Yeah?” Saying, his words just sinking in and now this next bunch of words coming towards me, please Uncle Ben. Hurry.

“You have to understand, Peter. This is the only way you can redeem yourself from what you’ve caused, what you have done!”

“What? What I’ve done!”

This is nothing more then shock, my own uncle, the man who I’ve looked up to, guilt ridden my self over for the last few years of my life, accuses me of causing all these death.

“Uncle Ben! I’ve spent most of my life! Fighting so that this would never happen again, so that people like me can be safe, yes this is a creul world. But a world none the less, and the world needs heroes! Uncle Ben!”

“Not everyone can be a hero Peter!”

Saying with a cold tone, then continuing his sentence, “I came here today, after I saw you put the gun away, look Peter, you’ve lost everyone, everything. All for nothing, you tried to save people, make their lives better. But looked what that cost you, your family, and your friends. They’re dead because of Spiderman, Peter. It was nothing but a costume; you have to believe me Peter!”

“The only way, you will be happy again, is if you take your own life, you don’t know how much you’ve suffered, please Peter you need a break, you deserve a rest. You can be back together, with Gwen, Mary Jane, your Aunt, me, everyone. Come on Peter, please, there’s nothing left for you in that world. Your self made debut to me and others is up, you can go free, Peter be free.”

“But you always said, with great power comes great responsibility!”

“Yes, I know Peter! But I didn’t know how much power you had!”

The thought hits me straight into the head; this man was not my Uncle.

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