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Twins in Death: Chapter One – Part Five

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter One: The Ballad of Captain Scourge

 

 

 

March 10th, 2002

12:08 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo arrived in Time Square just as Tommy did, and they noticed each other almost immediately. Thomas Gunner was about five foot ten and dressed in a royal blue suit. With the suit he also wore a blue fedora, which covered his blue eyes from the sun. If someone was looking to form a description of Tommy, you could do worse than to combine Archie Goodwin with Sam Spade; or possibly Nick Charles.

 

            You might even remark that he looked a great deal like the sometimes masked adventurer from the thirties who shared the same name. If you didn’t know certain facts, you might think his resemblance was positively uncanny. The fact that he still to this day wore the same royal blue suit that the same figure wore all those years ago should have been a tip that something was up, but it was amazing how few people noticed it.

 

            He waved to The Weirdo as he walked into the war zone that Times Square had become. The area was littered with shattered glass and pieces of advertisements. The street looked worse than it did after New Years Eve. The Weirdo’s gray trench coat and fedora made him fairly easy to find, particularly since he usually wore them with whatever outfit he happened to have on. Of course finding The Weirdo was particularly easy for Tommy, as he always knew where The Weirdo was.

 

            Tommy had driven The Weirdo’s car which was a midnight blue sedan that looked very much like a cross between a nineteen thirty one Packard and a Ferrari. It was also the most protected thing in the square at the moment. It was for this reason that Tommy was reluctant to get out of the car. The sedan had a certain magic about it, like it had attained sentience though some arcane process. The car would protect you, it would save you if you needed saving. If you left the safety of the car though, it couldn’t do anything for you.

 

            Time Square is never empty, but it was emptyish at the moment. The two streets that made most of what is really a sort of sliced off triangle had cars and people, but they were running and the cars were driving through very fast. The Weirdo often thought that the average New Yorker had all the preservation instincts of a lemming. Though he knew that to be a misnomer, as lemmings don’t actually commit suicide and the Disney movie where they are shown killing themselves was faked.

 

            Still a metaphor is kind of killed if you explain the truth behind people’s prejudices.

 

            The Weirdo looked at the flailing ball of lightning that was blasting overhead. The ball of lightning had caused a sort of surging wind that instead of blowing down on them, caused air to be pulled up towards it. Bits of paper flew into the air until they flew out of the eddies of air and spiraled back down to the street.

 

            People banged into The Weirdo in their rush to get to and from their appointments that were apparently more important than their lives, which showed how rushed they were. New Yorkers bump into each other, this is a fact, but they don’t bump a certain class of person. The Weirdo belonged to the class of people you don’t bump, along with hobos, drunks, and Mafioso. Of course because of his actions, there was no mafia left in New York, so it kind of made him feel like a bum or hobo.

 

            Nevertheless, they were banging into him in their panic. They ran to and fro, keeping their eyes up toward the sky and nearly being killed by the cars, whose drivers also had their heads looking towards the sky. Toward the figure who was at the center of the long fingers of lightning that bolted all about them.

 

            Two police helicopters where trying to threaten the figure, their lights shining uselessly at him in an attempt to distract his attention.  There were people on bullhorns trying to tell him to surrender. He simply blasted at the helicopters and sent them spiraling for a moment. The pilots managed to regain control, though one got a runner caught on a building’s railing and took the railing along with it. Fires were breaking out all over the place and the man in the boiling rage of electricity was dashing back and forth blasting emergency vehicles as they came to try and help the situation.

 

            No one was dead though, and only a few people got more than a nasty shock from the maelstrom of rage above. The person above was angry, and wanted to hurt people, but he wasn’t murderous. He might hurt people quite badly and he might kill someone on accident, but that wasn’t his plan. He was just lashing out like a wounded animal. He had no plan, just a wish to be top dog for a while.

 

            The Weirdo looked at the situation and came to a conclusion- someone had to do something.  He waited for a moment for someone to leap into the air and do something.  He continued to wait because he didn’t want some superhero to claim he was horning in on their turf. He was a crime fighter, not a super hero. This person with the lightning and the nearly shooting down helicopters was clearly a super villain. The Weirdo would have gone so far as to pull out his contract, which stated he was only to tangle with insane immortals and the mob. He didn’t have a contract though, and thus nothing to point to. He wondered if there was a Superhero union manual that he could point to. There could be union rules here.

           

            He thought suddenly of an old castle in Paris. It was a museum now, but it had been a castle. He had visited the place when it was still being used as a castle, and had been there when it was a museum. The Weirdo had done an awful lot of time traveling during the near seventy years he was gone, and this place suddenly came to mind. It was an inexplicable thought, but there it was. He found that he could make a map of the place in his head during both its castle and museum days. He compared the differences between the two and came to conclusion that the reason this place was suddenly in his mind was because that was one place where he would rather be than here.

 

            He waited for that someone to do something, a superhero of some variety. Maybe a mutant with metal claws coming from his knuckles, or a kid who sticks to walls would do. Maybe a fellow dressed up like a flying rodent or something, he’d even settle for a blind lawyer if he had to. It would take a while for a blind lawyer to get here, so he should be patient.

 

            The problem with waiting for a hero to show up was that so often, they didn’t. You waited for someone to do something and no one did. The heroes had all pretty much vanished in the late fifties. They had come back during the eighties, but most of them had died or left the game by the mid nineties. There were a few costumed heroes who tried to fight crime, but many of them were as localized in their neighborhoods as the street gangs. The heavy hitters that had come back were mostly working the international circuit or possibly off fighting in one of those secret alien wars that Jack had mentioned once or twice. There had been a few who appeared for a short time since The Weirdo’s return, but they mostly lived in other cities.  New York had once been the center of Super Heroics, and it was starting again, but it wasn’t ready for this guy yet. He thought that in another year they probably wouldn’t be able to turn a corner without seeing protectors in tights. Right now though, there weren’t any heroes. Still, someone had to do something pretty soon. He began to strongly suspect that the someone was him, and possibly Tommy.

 

            “Omega’s taking his damn sweet time, isn’t he?” The Weirdo asked aloud.

 

            “Omega’s in Siam.”

 

            “Is he?”

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “Ah, shitmonkeys.” The Weirdo said walking towards the car.

 

            He opened the trunk of the sedan and drew out two Thompson submachine guns. The antiques were the preferred weapon for these two when it came to automatic fire. Others might have their MP 5’s, their TEC 9s and their eight hundred rounds per minute, but not these two. They liked the slow rhythm the Thompson’s offered as well as a forty five round which was larger than most submachine guns were willing to fire these days. Also the slower speed meant they didn’t rip right through people and into the person behind them. Besides, there was a maximum of about eighty bullets in the MP5. You’d be done shooting before you even could tell if you’d gotten the bugger.

 

            “We gonna try and gun him down?” Tommy asked, a little incredulously.

 

            “Not really.” The Weirdo said as he slid the drum magazine into place. “I mean it’s a place to start but I think it’s going to come to more than that. These should get his attention though.”

 

            “Oh, good.” Tommy said. “I was afraid you had a plan or something.”

 

            “Gimme time.” The Weirdo said. “I haven’t dealt with someone shooting lightning from their fingers before. Immortals yes, lightning, no.”

 

            The two men ran out from the alley they were standing in and moved into the street. Captain Scourge was sweeping low to the ground and causing explosions of glass from the windows. As Captain Scourge flew over them, they aimed and fired their machine guns. The distinctive slow clack, clack, clack of the submachine guns made all those who weren’t already watching with amazement stop and watch. This included Captain Scourge, who stopped flying and hung in the air, his ball of electricity sending the bullets flying away before they could get near him due to the change in his electromagnetic field.

 

            They stopped firing once it was obvious that they had his attention, but they had no idea what to do after that though. He hung in the air for a moment and then lowered to the ground. They saw how thin he was, how very young he looked. He might not have been more than fifteen or so. The young man looked at them with astonishment as he came towards them. The Weirdo could see a single red spot on the boy’s forehead with a white center, the pimple looked ready to burst at any moment.

 

            “You’re The Weirdo.” He said.

 

            “Yeah.” The Weirdo said, the gun still held tightly in both hands, ready to come up and fire.

 

            “I attracted The Weirdo.” He said. “I really am a super villain then.”

 

            He smiled wide and put his fists on his hips, threw his head back and laughed. The Weirdo and Tommy stood, mouths agape, they had no idea what to do with him. What does one do with a person who actually puts their fists on their hips and throws back their head to laugh? Not only that, but this was just a kid. A super powered kid, but a kid nonetheless. They looked at him, as he laughed and Tommy blinked. He took in the lighting bolt shirt, the flowing pants, and of course the cape.

 

            “Boy been shopping at International Male or something.”

 

            “Weak joke.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Best I could do under the circumstances.”

 

            “I know who you are.” The young man said. “And now you’ll know me!” He flew into the air and screamed with joy.

 

            “What the riotous fuck is going on?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “I am Captain Scourge!” He said firing lightning bolts from his hands and causing the glass in the building above them to explode and shower them with bits of safety glass. Bits of glass bounced as they hit the ground and broke into even smaller pieces than they had before.

 

            “Let’s try shooting him again.” Tommy said.

 

            “No good.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Please?”

 

            “Sorry.”

 

            “We could run away and hide under the bed until the world makes sense again.”

 

            There was a pause. During this pause The Weirdo actually considered this option, which was not an odd thing. He considered all options Tommy gave him with equal gravity. There was certain attractiveness to the idea of going to hide under the bed until the world made sense. The problem was that The Weirdo suspected that if they were prepared to wait till the world made sense they might never come out again.

 

            He looked around for the other heroes, but of course they still hadn’t shown. He was not going to take away some young superhero’s chance to take down this super villain. He was very much in favor of a new glut of costumed heroes. Every time one of them beat up a street punk, it was one less for him to take care of. The problem was, no heroes made themselves known, and he felt he knew why. He looked around and thought that perhaps they had met the hero and they were them.

 

            “No, I think we’ve got to deal with this.” The Weirdo said finally.

 

            “Shit.” Tommy grumbled.

 

            “Sorry man.”

 

            “It’s okay.” Tommy said.

 

            “Jack where the hell are you?” The Weirdo asked into the small pen like device.

 

            “Target International Male boy about twenty feet up?”

 

            “That joke has already been made.” The Weirdo said testily into the microphone.

 

            The bolt of blue hit Captain Scourge like a genetically enhanced alien wearing a thin but incredibly powerful suit of armor that was built form parts of the ship that brought him to this planet. It seemed a lot more accurate than a ton of bricks, okay? Jack Uniton was known the world over as The Paladin, an armor wearing superhero who had been part of England’s hero project.

 

            Jack’s body flew through the air with such force and struck the young man with such power that he forced him down to the ground before Captain Scourge knew what had hit him. Jack had begun to roll as they hit the pavement, shielding the young man from the impact. He didn’t want to kill him after all, just stop him and he had no idea what the guy could take.

 

            The Weirdo ran towards the two of them as Captain Scourge swung a fist into Jack’s solar plexus. The fist itself offered no damage but it was tipped with a bolt of lightning which was powerful enough to throw Jack ten feet into the air and give Captain Scourge a momentary look and feel of an anime character using their recognized attack. Jack sailed into the air and spiraled around to catch himself before he struck the ground.

 

            “Yeah!” Captain Scourge flew into the air and pumped his fist, wildly excited. “I just flattened The Paladin out!”

 

            “Oh… we are going to fight now.” Jack said pulling the helmet off and spitting out a mouthful of blood.

 

            For an alien, Jack Uniton looked incredibly like the perfect image of the Aryan male. His physique was perfection itself; his blue eyes and blonde hair were clean and well placed. He acted much like a properly raised English gentleman, which isn’t so odd as he had spent most of his life there, but then that explanation will come later. He struck the chest of his suit, and cracked his knuckles, sliding the helmet back on quickly.

 

            “Not yet Jack.” The Weirdo said.

 

            Tommy Gunner was leaning back and watching the young man spiral and loop through the air and was picking up information from his mind. Tommy being one of the world’s foremost mind readers was still having a tough time reading the disorganized thoughts. Mind reading isn’t the simple thing people think it is. Few people think in the organized way most of us like to think they do. If we had to read our own minds, we’d find they’re pretty disorganized places really. He was trying to find a place where he could strike the boy’s mind but the damn kid wouldn’t sit still. His mind was a swirling excited mass of jelly.

 

            Jack flew into the air again and hit the youth like a linebacker might if they could fly and had the strength of twenty men. Or at least that was the plan, what actually happened was he got near the kid but then a lot of electricity ran into his body and seemed to give him one big body spasm, and he tumbled to the earth. It wasn’t the pain the bothered him, it was the moment of paralysis that bothered him.

           

            This would be a time, in a comic book or a movie, that The Weirdo would likely make a quip or some sort of comment. Comic book heroes and movie stars have an amazing ability to have a conversation while fighting. Unfortunately if you’re really fighting, conversation doesn’t come that easily, and thus The Weirdo didn’t say anything as Captain Scourge spun through the air in joy.

           

            “I took out The Paladin!” Captain Scourge yelled as he spiraled into the air, lighting leaping off his body in careless bolts.

 

            He seemed to have no regard for what he was doing and was only blasting the birds out the air by accident. The electricity though, strung itself out, looking for something to kill. It lapped up the small souls and sucked them into the boy who was growing progressively stronger.

 

            The Weirdo watched him spiral and jump and then he himself flew into the air. The Weirdo didn’t have any armor, or fancy alien DNA to help him fly, so his movement in the air was a little erratic, thus that made him incredibly hard for Captain Scourge to blast. The purple white blasts zipped past inches away from The Weirdo who was spiraling and weaving through the air because unless he was traveling at great speed, a straight line was neigh impossible for him. He’d never gotten that good at flight, and he found it incredibly difficult as well as overly tiring, but he could manage it from time to time.

           

            The upshot was that The Weirdo was about three feet away before Captain Scourge could get a good bead on our hero, and by that time The Weirdo kicked him in the head, which provided a satisfyingly loud crack. Captain Scourge’s head spun and the thin rubber band on his mask snapped. The Weirdo’s foot had caught the mask and yanked it away when he hit the young villain. There was nothing particularly special about the face under the mask. It wasn’t remarkable in any way really. The Weirdo then came in suddenly with a fist in the stomach and a knee in the face. This was followed by another sharp kick and everything went black for the young man known as Captain Scourge.

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

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April 8, 2012 - Posted by | Fiction | , ,

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