Vigilante: Based on a True Story

The Spawn

Better Than You
Aug 10, 2002
Reaction score
…Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven…
…Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight…
…Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine…

I collapsed to the floor on my chest noiselessly and gradually as the mental tally finally hit its end mark of one thousand push ups. I quickly rolled over onto my back and placed the palms of my hand over my collar bones on the floor and performed an anemic kip up, landing on my feet. My arms now felt like strands of spaghetti and my shoulders tingled as I awaited my father to announce the “pathetic” time which had elapsed since the first push up.

“One minute and forty-five seconds…”

Twenty seconds better than yesterday.

“…Pathetic.” My father said as he placed the stopwatch atop his mantel piece.


“Son…” He walked over to me and crossed his arms, “…When I was eight years old, I did one thousand pushups in fifty seconds. Now, I don’t expect you to be me…but I do expect you to be your fathers’ son.”

He turned around slowly and looked over his shoulder.

“And that role entitles you to excellence…” He walked back over to the mantel piece and uncrossed his arms. I heaved a silent sigh and prepared to go at it again as he reached for the stopwatch.

Based on a True Story​

…One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven
…One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight
…One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine
…Two Thousand.​

I glanced at the time on the stopwatch which lay on the floor beneath me. Sixty seconds. Ten years later and I finally understood what excellence meant. I went down as if I were going for one last pushup and instead pressed off of the floor with the palms of my hands sending me into an erect standing position. There I stood…alone in a chamber located within a gigantic bomb shelter built below my basement in the late 50’s.

It was no longer just a pantry of expired food and obsolete medical supplies. I waltzed out of the chamber and into the heart of the bomb shelter. To my left were three supercomputers connected to a plasma display 1/4th the size that of an IMAX Screen. To my right were the medical chamber and several air ventilation systems. Behind me was the gymnasium/training facility and forensics. To the northeast was a gigantic hole I had began digging months ago when I first found out how to get into the shelter. At the time I called it “excavation”. With the help of a map, I had been able to manipulate the tunnel I had been burrowing throughout the town in a beneficial course.

The passageway was big enough to fit any “toys” my gadget maker produced that went or were mobile. Via the passageway I could get to pretty much anywhere from the shelter in half the time and vice versa. Speaking of “toys”, to the southeast was the contraption chamber where over two thousand contrivances were kept not counting weapons like swords and bo staffs.

I had made my way to the spiral staircase in the upper right corner of the refuge and began my flight up their 15 steps. Each step was inscribed with a piece from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.​

I opened the door after reaching the top of the stair case and closed it behind me. I was now in the basement making sure no trace of the doors existence was presentable. The door had no handle, it opened by applying 1 PSI to the upper left corner and 2 PSI to the center of the door at the exact same time by way of the fists. No more, no less. I made my way upstairs to the kitchen where my mom was cooking. From the smell of green onions, maple syrup, Soya sauce, sake and boneless chicken I could tell she was making Yakitori. It’s Japanese. All she needed was wooden spears and—

“—Brian, pass me the sugar please.” She asked as she pulled several shish kabob sticks from their plastics baggies.

I walked over to the nearest pantry and grabbed a bag of sugar and laid it down on the counter next to her and went back to close the pantry door.

“Thanks—” she had turned her elbow and knocked over the open bag of sugar.

On instinct, I grabbed a measuring cup from the cupboard farthest from me and caught what very little sugar fell out of the bag and grabbed the bag itself before it, and all of its contents, fell to the floor. Seven milliseconds.

“Oops! Clumsy me…” She went back to her shish kabob sticks as I placed the bag in a safer place and dumped the tiny grains of sugar within the measuring cup into the sink.

For some odd reason, I felt she had knocked the bag over on purpose.

“So, what were you doing downstairs this time?” She asked as she began sliding the chicken onto the shish kabob sticks.

“Nothing really...just trying to find some of the toy cars I used to play with as a kid…” They were in the attic, not the basement. I knew this. She knew this.

“They’re most likely next to those old vases I used to buy…keep looking, I’m sure you’ll find them honey…”

“Yeah…” I slowly backed out into the living room and made my way over to the caller I.D. High Tech Toys had called twenty minutes earlier. In other words, Nick, my gadget maker, had finished his latest project.
its based on a true story yet someone did 1,000 pushups in 50 seconds? sounds kinda far-fetch but yet a cool story.
Yes, believe it or not..true story. There are going to be A LOT of flashbacks...and if you're willing enough, you'll decipher the year and era this all takes place. Couldn't be too far back with air systems and supercomputers present.

Then again, those have been around for awhile...and not so super as they are today.

The pushups will be covered later on.

As you can assume by now, the whole "biography" is done, I'm just posting certain intervals at certain times.
Two years ago.

I was fifteen and Nick was twelve. At the time, we were complete and total strangers…that was until Brett, a fellow skateboarder, brought me to his house along with him for some information on paintball guns. We stood on the porch and rang the doorbell, seconds later, his dad yelled from the top floor “Garage!” So, that’s where Brett and I went, to the garage.

The place was littered with tools. Blow torches, every single type of screw driver known to man, anything, you name it. All around were unfinished projects like potato launchers and modified amplifiers. But Brett wasn’t here for any of that, he was here to discuss paintball guns with someone three years younger than him.

As the younger taught the older, I walked about the garage eyeing water guns that shot out Clorox with iron fillings in them and potato launcher rail guns. He had the mind of an erudite and the body of a boy. Sure, I could have spent hours attaining the same mentality as him, but why bother when I could pay for it? I listened to a part of their conversation and accessed the branch of my psyche which pertained to their topic.

“Personally, I don’t like the Rebel 02…” After said access was finalized, those were the words which came from my mouth. Competently and fluidly.

Nick and Brett paused. They thought I knew nothing about paintball guns. And I didn’t.

“What? Why not?” Nick crossed his arms.

“Yeah…why not?” Brett joined in unsurely. He too, crossed his arms.

Time to access.

“Where can I start?” I laughed pompously for a more realistic affect, “The architecture of the gun itself is flawed…sacrificing the proficiency of the wielder. It can’t handle nitrogen; most of the new barrels don’t fit on it, and the aluminum uni-regulator is a problem. Don’t get me started on the—” I paused for approximately one millisecond, in truth, there was nothing for me to get started on, and that pause would have ignited something subconsciously in one of them to interfere in my rambling.

“You have a point...” Nick said nodding his head, better off with a Spyder Victor…”

“I agree.” I said crossing my arms. Nick looked as though he had just been through a seminar.

“So…’Brian’ was it? What do you know about potato launchers?”

Time to access.

Present day.

After taking a 2 minute walk through the tunnel I spoke of earlier, I came to a wooden barrier. I tapped on it lightly, and then loudly. A few moments later, the barrier was pulled away, and I waltzed into the room in which it had not allowed me access. Nick’s garage. He pushed the bookshelf back into place.

“I’ll never understand how you got it to come up to my garage…” Nick said to himself as he walked past something covered in black tarp and over to his radio. He turned it on to K-Rock and the room was filled with music.

“Where’d you get the amplifiers?” I asked. I already knew the answer.

“It was garbage day yesterday…people toss out the stupidest things…” He laughed lightly and pointed over his shoulder to a table holding three lawn mower engines.

“Ahem.” I coughed into my hand.

“Oh yeah….yeah…” He walked quickly over to the tarp and pulled it off without theatrical execution. He had finally revealed his two month old project to me—Shadow.

“This isn’t your ordinary go kart my friend…” he tossed the tarp to the side. “First of all, it has the heart of a beast…a 200 horsepower jet engine…I could have done 500, but the whole thing would have fallen apart at 200 mph. BUT, but…the max you CAN do is 190 mph, and that’s WITHOUT the nitrous system I installed…both of them.” He pointed to two clear containers on both sides of the kart enclosing a midnight blue liquid.

“Where’d you get the engine?” I asked looking at the cockpit of the kart.

“And airfield in Virginia, I know a pilot…” he paused for a moment, “…cockpit? Titanium. The whole thing is titanium…down to the last screw.” He pointed to the tires, “there’s even traces of titanium in those…my dad had the rubber specialized and everything at his job.”

“Where does he work again?” I could have figured this out within the hour.

“Beats me…but I didn’t tell him what they were for…so don’t worry…”

“Anything else I should know about?”

He laughed lightly and grabbed a 5-subject notebook off the table. Every single page was filled.

“Here are all the notes I took in an organized fashion…they tell you how to use everything.” He handed me the Five Star Notebook and patted it on the cover.

“Should take me nine minutes…” I placed the book in one of my inner pockets besides several folders and secured it, “ the mean time, get this thing to my hideaway via the tunnel…” I made my way for the door.

“Where are you going?”

“To speak with another one of my crime fighting associates.”

Two years ago.

I had known Armando for quite some time. His reputation was thus: the greatest hacker in Linden, and the neighboring cities. As long as he was first, I could accept second. I had known for about four years or so, but this was the first time we had a computer class together; C++ with Ms. Rance.

“All your program has to do is print out: “Hello World”. Got it kids?” She explained this as she took a seat in the back of the room and watched as we typed our programs.

Obviously, Armando and I finished first. He began…recovering…administrative passwords and I started writing source code for another program that wasn’t apart of the curriculum.

“Echelon Ex”.
Basically, the program kept profiles or records on the individuals saved into its alterable library. Said records could be updated or altered, never deleted. That’s what I set out for it to do anyway…

Armando’s eyes wandered from his time elapsing decrypter and onto my screen.

“Dude…” He fixed his glasses and examined my code, “…this is totally stalker.”

We both paused for a moment.

“I’m in…” He gradually took my seat and I voluntarily gave it to him.

Present day.

I leaned back on the guard rail on Armando’s porch and crossed my arms. Judging by the position of the sun, it was now 7 PM. Armando came idly downstairs in his pajamas with a huge bowl of cereal. His glasses were somewhere in that bowl.

“Brian…morning…” He fished his glasses out of the bowl and put them on his head.

“My friend, it’s…” I glanced at my watch, “…7:01…”

He paused.

“Like I said, good morning.”


He paused.

“Come on in…”

We made our way to the second floor of his two family house and into his room. Just by looking at his computer you could tell it was state of the art. On his bed lay hundreds of computer diskettes and over two dozen compact disks. There was a Bruce Lee poster on the wall, and a $20 katana from China Town on the floor. He had video game systems and a DVD player along with VCR’s connected to one television. His black box reigned supreme; allowing him access to over nine hundred channels across the globe for free.

He was watching Batman.

“So, what have you got for me today?” He slid into his office chair and tapped in his twenty-six character password with one hand and placed his bowl of cereal on the side.

“Twenty-two more profiles, several of them are basically edits and updates to preexisting ones…not that much revising of Echelon Ex is required…” I went into my inner pocket and pulled out several folders, “…not much at all…” I tossed the folders on his keyboard.

“I’ll have it all done before you get back to your bat cave…you know the drill, edit the stalker program here, and it’ll update at your house.” He laughed lightly.

“Echelon…Ex…” I sighed.

“Yes, the intelligence gathering network…I know…” he typed and he typed while the folders blocked his vision of the keys, “…Speaking of which, we should invest in more cameras…”

“If you’d like me to lower your pay along with Nicks…” I made my way for the door, “…so be it.”

He spun around…rather quickly.

“Forget the cameras…”

“I thought so.”
I came in through the front door of my house one minute after I had left Armando’s house. He lived five blocks away. Still, sixty seconds seemed pretty quick, even to me. People say that my walk is actually speed walking…that being said, you can imagine how fast I run. I closed the door behind me and made my way straight for the kitchen.

“Brian?” I could my mothers voice from her bedroom in the back.

“Yes mom?” I stopped dead in my tracks.

“I left some Yakitori in the microwave for you!”

I paused.

“Thanks…Mom…” I continued my walk towards the kitchen.

As soon as I had entered, I opened the microwave door, grabbed the plate of Yakitori and made my way through the basement door. I made my way down the dark steps, a light from the moon shone in from another door which led to the driveway, I past this door and went into the basement.

I set the plate on the floor and applied the PSI required to grant me access to the shelter below. The door popped back and slid to the right behind the wall. I grabbed the plate and made my way down the spiral steps of Ecclesiastes as the door snapped back into place and slid back into place.
I made my way through the darkness, set the table on computer console, and my into the attire chamber.

Seconds later, I had returned into the heart of the shelter and clapped my hands. A rush of power and electricity could be heard flowing throughout the shelter as the ceiling lights lit up. One hundred and three track lights…I would add a new one to the fray every once in a while…I was aiming for six hundred and sixty-six lights.

Light began pouring through the floor where I had outdoor accent light’s built in courtesy of Nick…the numeral amount of those were of no relevance to me.

I was now clad in black and making my way towards a tarp covered object which sat in front of the gigantic hole I had mentioned earlier.

One year ago.

The sun shown brightly over the black tarp covered object as it lay in the middle of an empty park. Based on the shape and size, I assumed it was a mannequin. I also assumed that Nick had known that mannequins had already been invented. He led me over to the object and pulled off the tarp.

It was what was on the mannequin that was meant to grab my attention.

“You can throw out the jumpsuit my friend…” he tossed the tarp onto the grass and commenced the tour of the mannequins’ attire starting from the feet.

“Steel-toed climbing boots with rubber soles…so you don’t make a sound when you walk,” he pulled the left shoe off of the mannequins feet and pointed to the rubber sole, “…fitted in the rubber is a pop out throwing knife that emits a synthetic mixture of hydrogen and hydrocarbon gases produced by destructive distillation of bituminous coal or peat when the ends of the knives are snapped off…” He pulled the throwing knife out of its confinement within the rubber sole and snapped the tip off of the handle. Red sparks poured out of a hole which was now exposed.

“Illuminating gas…” I grinned slightly.

“Exactly…” He tossed the blade to the side and made his way to the actual uniform, “…it’s a wet suit with the six-pack built in. That’s two less than you’ve got, but an eight pack is a rare breed nowadays…” he tapped the chest of the suit, “…the whole thing is made of a thin neoprene which provides some degree of thermal protection, and lined with a nylon fabric to reinforce it and make it easier to put on and take off. It also contains spandex in addition to the neoprene allowing the suit to stretch,” He pulled on the six pack showing its elasticity, “This counteracts neoprene's tendency to shrink with age and also allows the wearer, you, to grow slightly without making the suit uncomfortable…”

I was on the brink of speechlessness.

“On to the mask…”

At these words, I looked at the mask and rose and eyebrow.

“The whole thing’s black and has no eye holes…or a mouth piece…how am I going to see or breath?”

He pulled the mask off of the mannequin.

“The mask is a close-fitting, variously elastic garment made of a translucent material…” H played around with the mask.

“So it’s a stocking basically?” I raised another eye brow.

“A very, very black stalking that looks nothing like a C-rate thug would wear while robbing a corner store.”


On both ears of the mannequin were ear pieces that had lines running down somewhere into the suit.

“One ear piece is connected to me and Armando, while the other one is connected to police broadcasts…the tuner is in the wetsuit somewhere…” He placed the mask back on the mannequins head and took off its trench coat.

“The coat, just like everything else is made of poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide,” he showed it off to me and made his way to the edge of the coat, “the whole bottom is weighted so you can use it for offense as well as defense. He turned the coat inside out, revealing dozens of hidden and inner pockets, “You can put pretty much anything in these pockets…smoke bombs, stun guns, Playboy’s…ANYTHING.”

He swung the coat back onto the mannequin and pulled off the gloves.

“The gloves are also made of resilient leather Kevlar…the knuckles have pouches inside the glove filled with a bit of steel to add to your punches. Each fingertip is coated with urushiol from the Toxicodendron vernix growing my backyard. Severe skin redness, itching, swelling, and blisters follow direct or indirect contact…that means, in a fight, you’ll have somewhat of an upper hand…and since your whole body is covered, you won’t have to worry about—”

“Get rid of it…” I placed my hands in my pockets, “…I want my enemies at their peak when they face my judgment. Replace it with something more creative…I’m sure you of all people can do that.”

“Acknowledged…” he tossed the gloves over into a creek which ran through the park and the town that was a few meters ahead of us.

Let’s discuss this creek seeing as it is a pretty vital part to my occupation’s efficacy. Throughout the city of Linden ran a creek which went at least 30 feet below street level. Most of it was coated so to speak with cement and ended or began its run at New Jersey’s capital city. When it rained, the creek would collect massive amounts of water and send it to treatment plants miles away for cleaning.

Access to the stream could be found mainly in parks, such as the one Nick and I were in at the moment. Towards the back of the park behind a torn down fence was a steep slope which went into the graffiti covered creek. Some parks had ladders for Public Works to use also.

And, you may have guessed it by now…I used the creek for mobility throughout the city via my bike or on foot. I could even get into my shelter using sewer holes on the walls of the creek. Unfortunately, a go kart wouldn’t be able to fit in one of these holes.

Anyway…he tossed the gloves over into a creek which ran through the park and the town that was a few meters ahead of us.

“I’ve got an idea,” He smiled discreetly.

“Is there anything else?” I looked over my shoulder as a mother and two of her children were making their way into the far end of the park.

“I’d like for you to train while wearing all of this…the weighted down trench coat will feel weird if you don’t…” He pulled three M-80’s out of his pocket and slid them into the inner pockets of the trench coat, “Ahem?”

I took a step back and executed a spinning back kick to the chest of the mannequin sending it into the creek. I paused, as I always do with a spinning back kick, and slowly lowered my leg. Nick and I turned around for the exit as the explosion went off. On the way out of the park, Nick handed one of the kid’s a toy car.

“You know…90% of that suit is still intact…most likely…” Nick said as we hopped onto our bikes.

“…then what was the whole “hiding evidence” thing for with that M-80???”

“I thought the explosion would look cool.”
Present day.

There I stood in the luminosity of dark domain in the ensemble previously detailed. I paused and looked to me left, in front of the gigantic hole stood the go kart I had been introduced to hours earlier. I grabbed the plate of Yakitori and made my way for the go kart.

Twenty minutes later I was sitting atop the roof of City Hall eating the aforementioned Yakitori with 1/3 of my mask lifted up revealing my mouth. There was no need for utensils, all the meat was on the stick. And there was no bone. When I finished, I placed the plate with the sticks upon it by my side and leaned forward looking over the busy street of North Wood Avenue. Nothing.

I sighed.

I pulled my mask down completely and listened to the police scanner:

Nothing here.

Quiet as hell in my region.

Sunnyside is….well, you know…

Obviously nothing was going on in Sunnyside…that’s where the rich folks lived.

Except for me.

It was 9:30 PM now, and CVS was closing. I watched below as a cop car made its way alongside City Hall and for the police parking lot. City Hall was pretty much served as the police station as well.

Great place for a vigilante to hang around, right?

“Brian? Brian?” A voice came from my ear piece.

“Yes Nick?” I answered grudgingly.

“If you’re not busy, I saw several kids walk into the park across the street from me with some…‘vandalism utensils’…” I could hear him crunching cereal between his teeth. Most likely globular.

“How many?” I grabbed the Yakitori sticks and placed them in one of my many trench coat pockets and tossed the plate blindly over the side of the building. I heard it land in a trash bin one hundred feet on a street corner.

“Three…a little under the age of seventeen, all taller than you,” He was slurping his milk now. Low fat.

I hopped over a small alleyway which separated City Hall from the police parking edifice and landed in a crouched position. I ducked and rolled behind one of the vehicles as a police car left the area.

“Hello…?” Nick bellowed silently.

“They’ll be taken care of within the next eight minutes. You go to sleep.” I came from out behind the vehicle and made my way down the cement slope which lead to the lower levels of the parking lot. The whole time I thought about routes I could take in which the public wouldn’t be able to see me about the city.

Bingo. Found it. I stopped at a massive dumpster, hoisted up the rubber flap and hopped in; the flap slammed down silently.


Moments later, the side of the long end of the dumpster fell forward creating a ramp. Lights went on, and the whole lot glowed as I rode my go kart out of one of Nick’s deceitful contraptions at a snail's pace. I turned to the right, aiming the nose towards the slope which led to the lowest level of the lot. I revved the engine and checked the gauges carefully. My trench coat stayed in place via another one of Nick’s partition ideas.

I hit the gas.

Seconds later I had edited the lot and was on the streets. I made a left onto North Wood Avenue and stayed along the side of cars to keep surreptitious while out in the open. I made a right on to Nick’s street and turned off my lights as I parked the kart in his drive way.

His parents were at a party and wouldn’t mind. The house was pitch black…Nick didn’t go to sleep until around 1 AM. I looked up the drive way and towards the garage, the lights were on.


I made my way for the park.

“Dude! **** waiting for Halloween!” This came from the mouth of the chubby one as he began to unfurl his roll of toilet paper.

“Man, wait till we start…EVERY day will be Halloween!” Said the tall, lanky one.

“Guys, lets just get started already!” This seemed to be the leader…the jock.

I had had enough watching. It was time to intervene. I kept my balance atop a very slim branch in a tree overlooking them perfectly. I had decided how I was going to go about this…stealthily. I slowly pulled off my jacket as they prepared their…what did Nick say?

Vandalism utensils.

I pulled the three Yakitori sticks from their highly confined pockets and slid them up my sleeve then tossed my jacket moments later into the crowd of hooligans below. I was aiming for the chubby one.


“AHHHHH! AHHHHH!” The fairly large trench coat had landed upon the chubby one.

“Dude, what the ****?” The jock tossed his spray paint can to the side to assist the befuddled boy who was running about.

Tall and lanky pointed and laughed. He then froze. And stopped laughing.

The jock had pulled the coat off chubby and eyed it affectionately.

“Dude, is this Gucci?” He looked up at tall and lanky, “what’s with you?”


A slight gust of air swept past the two of them.

I say two, because I had taken away the third.

The jock spun around, “Eric? Eric? Fatty? Where are you?”

“He’s gone…” I sat atop a fairly large tool shed, which housed playground equipment, shrouded in darkness. Although I was busy creating the scene, I knew what had gone on the whole time.

“Who…who are you?” The jock threw my coat…right at me unintentionally. I grabbed it and quickly put it on. His frozen friend could see me, yet was too astounded to say anything.

“What’d you do to Tim?” The jock asked too many questions.

“I activated several pressure points alongside his spine…” I answered and tossed the Yakitori sticks on the ground besides the jocks feet. Not that he would understand what I used them for…although I had just told him.

I jumped off of the shed and darted across the sky towards the monkey bars and then to the tree I had found refuge in earlier. The jocks eyes had followed me, and then lost track midway with my movement. He grabbed the can of spray paint off of the ground and aimed it into the sky.

“I—I’ll blind you—!” At that moment, a blade in the shape of a ‘V’ had sliced through the can, discharging green paint into the eyes of the jock, “AAAHHHAHHHHHH!!!”

I should have aimed for something else.

He grabbed his emerald covered eyes and dropped down to his knees.

“I—I can’t see! Tim! Eric! Help me!” The jock searched the ground with his hands as Tim looked down at him in shock and awe; Eric was tied up underneath the picnic table. That took care of all thr—MOVE.

I sprang from out of the tree and tumbled down the slide twenty feet below, a bullet had grazed my shoulder. Nick said there were three, turns out there were four. I landed in a pile of leaves and searched for my thoughts. Then I heard the cocking of the hammer.

“What the **** are you supposed to be?” The fourth one stood over me with a revolver in his hand, “What’d you do to my boys?” Six feet approximately, two hundred and ninety pounds. I’d say this was the first time he’s fired a gun…despite his hitting my shoulder.

Why exactly am I still sitting here? It wasn’t even a wounding shot…he hit my shoulder.

He had grazed my shoulder.
Ten years ago.

At the age of eight, you’re susceptible to a lot of diseases, including pneumonia. No matter how many times my father had put me through this training routine, I wouldn’t get so much as a runny nose.

Lincoln Park, the largest park in New Jersey.

It was winter, which meant the extremely large lake was frozen solid. As a matter of fact, it meant all three extremely large lakes were frozen. Two of the three were being used by parents and their children for ice skating. That left the largest one to my father and I…and I don’t mean for ice skating.

The two of us stood atop the ice, katanas in hand. We both wore tight fitting sleeveless sweaters, jeans and steel tipped boots. No matter how many times my father had put me through this training routine, I was unable to keep perfect balance.

“In confrontation, there are three obstacles you must prevail over…your adversary, your personal weaknesses and your environment,” my father paused and watched as I kept a feeble stance on the ice, “…Stand. Still.”

In an instant I had gained a solid foothold on the frozen landscape.

“Good…you know the rules…first one off their feet for three seconds loses.”

I’ve never won.


My father swung for my head and in response I performed a split which was executed at a rate 5x more than normal due to the ice. Less than a second later, he was swinging at my chest; I deflected the strike with my own blade while gaining an erect position. I tripped backwards as he slashed at me several times in what appeared to be the blink of an eye.

The tip of his blade barely missed me each time.

The greatest weapon in my arsenal besides my mind is my feet. I’ve never been quite grand at swords and staffs…extensions of the body. I could win wars using only my legs if I had to, hands in pockets.

With that in mind, I tossed my katana into the air, and for the first time in a long time, my father was distracted.

I kicked his sword out of his hand as his eyes laid on mines and followed up with a round house kick to his head. He blocked it with his forearm and followed up with a roundhouse kick to my head. I bent back inconceivably and avoided his whole leg. A timer clicked in my head and on instinct I put my right hand out grabbing my sword.

My father had just finished completing his roundhouse kick and had swiveled around just in time for my blade to cut through his shoulder.

We both paused, my eyes on the ground, his eyes on the ground.

A droplet of his blood stained the white frozen water and mist began to emit from the tiny puddle of scarlet.

I began to get back on track and analyzed the situation. I had scarred my adversary and gotten over the obstacle known as my environment. My adversary, who, might I add is the most deadliest person on the face of the earth paused after the aforementioned scarring. He did not lose, as the rules state otherwise, so why would he pause?

To purposely point out my personal weakness.

My mind clicked back into play and I cartwheeled to the—I don’t know—right? My father’s sword has penetrated the thick ice and caused an explosion of frost and ice. I landed the cartwheel and slid a few feet. I twirled my katana once then twice to give it momentum…I was eight, and not as strong as my father.

I continued twirling it as he walked towards me, a grin on his face. He swung at me and I deflected it with so much force that his katana had slid to the side and gotten wedged into the crack he had created moments earlier.

I very quick look of surprise ran across his face, I side kicked him square in the abdomen and sent him sliding a few feet of his back.

One second, two seconds—

He placed the palms of his hands on the ice while sliding and pushed forcefully causing himself to spring backwards along with motion of the slide and land on his feet; he slid a few inches before stopping.

He looked at the damp cherry colored ice on his shoulder and then to the katana he had lost.

He had underestimated his adversary, disclaimed personal weaknesses and had been betrayed by the environment.

“Are we done with the warm-up?” He looked at me with cynical eyes as I caught my breath.


Bull. ****.
Present day.

Why exactly am I still sitting here? It wasn’t even a wounding shot…he hit my shoulder.

He had grazed my shoulder.

I kicked the revolver out of his hand and stay laid on the ground.

The two of us kept out spots in silence.

“Uh…I’ll let you go, if you…” He paused, “…we’re both weaponless now…dude…”

I laughed inside my mind.

“I am a weapon.”

The next day I sat through English thinking about those four words I had said to assailant before taking him out.

Do bad asses say things and do things for the sake of being bad ass? Did it all come naturally?

“…Brian?” Mr. McMahon was standing right in front of me.

Time to access.


“Correct…” he carried on with the rest of his lesson.

Next period, Java AP, Mr. Bastedo had given us some time to work with a new Java IDE.

“So…” Armando begun to say, “…you look like you’ve been held at gunpoint…” The two of us smiled at our computer screens.

“Most people, who look like they’ve been held at gunpoint, look like they’ve escaped from the morgue…” I paused, “…then again, ‘Brian’ died a long time ago…and in his place arose my alter ego…” I got up from my seat, grabbed my bag and binder and headed for the door as the bell rang.

Several periods later we had been called down for an impromptu scoliosis test. Two guys at a time in the room while the nurse checked their bare backs for scoliosis.

“Shirt…” the nurse said in a robotic voice as she prepared her utensils for the test. The second guy in the room stood in the corner waiting his turn. He kept his eye on me to compare physiques. All the guys did this, it was subconscious common knowledge.

I unbuttoned my plaid button up shirt…I always wore button ups...and tossed it to the side. I then slowly pulled off my under shirt and tossed it to the side with my button up shirt. The room became awkwardly silent as I waited the nurse to examine my back.

I was at the peak of human physical capacity and covered in scars. The nurse and my scoliosis test counterpart must have been in awe of both. I crossed my arms and looked to the ceiling.


“Um…yes…I’m, I’m…sorry…” She began the test, and obviously, I didn’t have scoliosis.

I grabbed my clothes and put them on as I walked out of the room, I could feel their eyes burning into my scars. In the hallway as I buttoned up my button up shirt, I past Pedro, the person you could consider the equivalent of my best friend.

“Scoliosis?” He said.

“Clean.” I answered.

We went our separate ways.

At the end of the day, I had finished all my homework in school and had got home in ten minutes. Last year, it took me twenty minutes to get home. My mother was a teacher and didn’t get back home until four. Right now, it was three. I tossed everything onto the couch and went straight to the computer.

Besides message boards and the like, the internet really didn’t have anything interesting on it…my cure for boredom was knowledge, and I had been to every educational site on the internet from the Anarchist Cookbook to Britannica. On AIM, I never really started conversations with people…as much as I wanted to. The only time I would, is when something vital required me to do so.

The front door opened and my mom had walked in with her school work in hand.

“Hi son…”

“Afternoon…” I replied.

She went straight to her room and closed the door.

The sound of a door opening came from my computer speakers as XSexyGoddessX signed on.

This screen name belonged to Nikkee…someone I had known since seventh grade, but had moved away the year later twice. Most of our conversations online lasted around 27 hours. Since she moved away, we hadn’t spoken much. But when she was here, we made most of our time together noteworthy.
DC comics' Azrael. He was trained from birth through a type of hypnosis called "The System".
Ah, yes...that religion thing. The latest issue I have of its mention is in one of the Batman comics from the Fugitive storyline where Bats fights Jean Paul (?) in the cave.
Is this based on a true story the same way that Fargo was based on a true story?

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