Chapter 10: Rules of being a hero
“The day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire and had radioactive waste dumped into my eyes. To make matters worse, my mutant ability to control weather activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation.”
~ Wade Wilson (Deadpool)
When the self-proclaimed Inferno sent a blast of fire at Oliver, I took action.
I grabbed for the nearest thing to throw, a table, and threw it in the path of Inferno’s fire. Instead of hitting the intended target, Oliver, the fire hit the table.
Too bad that action brought all the attention in the room to the one who threw the object.
“I was wondering if White Lightning was going to let you show up.” Inferno taunted.
Of course the villain knew White Lightning had a sidekick before anyone else did. Why do the villains of the story always know everything before it happens?
“It’s two against one, Inferno.” Oliver taunted back.
Inferno smiled. “Yes, but it’s one powerful super against two heroes busy saving the citizens.”
He sent a blast of fire up to the rafters, directly above where a circle of hostages were huddling, including my mother and father. I immediately rushed over, not caring that I was leaving myself open for attack. I immersed myself in the middle of the crowd and lifted my arms. The rafters fell and I held them up.
The crowd just stared at me in shock until I shouted at them to go, because I might’ve been strong, but I was afraid I might still drop the heavy object in my hands.
The hostages moved out from under the rafter I was holding and I was able to let it down. It was still burning partly, so I took the nearest tablecloth and patted the fire out. The hostages that had been under the rafters were sneaking out the side door Oliver and I had sneaked through, so I turned to see if Oliver needed help.
He was playing cat and mouse with Inferno, both of them sending out streams of electricity or fire at each other while ducking behind objects or pillars.
I’m pretty sure I was the only who noticed the damage it was doing to the building.
I headed to the nearest pillar that had been hit. It looked like it had been the fire, because the plywood was burned and the metal skeleton melted. I knew it was close to falling over from the imbalance of weight holding the ceiling up, so pushed it the opposite direction. The pillar creaked, but didn’t fall on me. When I stepped back, it was a bit crooked, but not in danger of falling anymore.
I then proceeded to grab the rafters that had fallen before. They weren’t as hard to lift as I remembered, probably because they weren’t on fire and lives were no longer at stake if I couldn’t lift it. I spun and took aim at Inferno, who had Oliver cornered against a window.
The rafters hit Inferno straight in the back, hopefully damaging a body part. I don’t normally wish others pain, but if it stopped him from attacking us, I would love Inferno to have as many broken bones and bruises as possible.
Plus, an injured super usually has more trouble using their powers.
Inferno had been knocked down by the force of the rafters. He got up and snarled at me before charging. I turned to run before I realized that I was a super now and I was very strong. I could probably block this guy’s attack if I had to.
Well, I thought that until he consumed himself in fire.
It was too late to flee as he tackled me to the ground. I was covered in the stifling heat of the fire coming off of his body. I was sweating in seconds, and then that sweat was being evaporated just as quickly by his flames. The extra strength of my super suit protected me against the bulk of the flames, but I could still feel the heat and I was pretty sure my boots would melt if I couldn’t wrestle him off of me.
It took more time to disentangle Inferno from my limbs, to which he was desperately hanging onto. As soon as I was able to, though, I kicked him across the room and away from me.
I breathed in the sweet relief of real air and tried to cough out the feeling of smoke in my throat. If he had been on me for even a second more I felt like my suit would’ve finally given and I would be wearing a pile of smoldering ash.
The first time I try saving the world and I get attacked by a crazy person with flame powers.
I got up with Oliver’s help and faced Inferno again, who was just rising from the wreckage of tables and chairs I’d thrown him into.
Oliver sent a blast of electricity at Inferno, which he surprisingly was able to dodge as he sent his own fire blast at Oliver.
I sped over to the side of the room, where many decorative poles lined the wall. I silently thanked the idiotic designer who thought poles where a great design as I pulled one off the wall. I got the feeling that it should’ve been much heavier than it felt to me, which suited my purposes perfectly.
I ran back to where Oliver and Inferno were fighting. Oliver had cornered Inferno against a pillar, which was exactly what I needed. I approached from behind Inferno and as Oliver landed a blast that actually hit Inferno, causing him to catapult back into the pillar, I took the pole around Inferno and bent it until it wrapped around the pillar. I then bent the ends together, so there was no way he was getting out.
I sighed. “Oh, god. That was harder than I thought it would be.”
Oliver chuckled. “That usually happens when your first save is like this.”
Inferno grinned at us sheepishly, and I wondered why, until I noticed that the pole around his waist was slowly melting down.
I tried to alert Oliver, but Inferno had already blasted me away with fire.
I groaned and rolled over from my new position on the ground. God, how were we supposed to beat a guy who could literally melt any imprisonment away?
I got up, but noticed my brand new super suit had indeed suffered from the encounter. His fire had finally broken through the durability of my suit. A black rimmed hole about half an inch wide showed skin on my chest.
Figures. I have the suit for a couple of hours and I already ruin it.
I looked around for something to throw at him, but the metal poles were on the other side of the room. The tables and chairs were mostly charred or crushed, and all of the decorations around me looked either too flimsy or too expensive to be projectiles at a fire demon.
I suddenly ducked as a streak of fire headed towards my head but instead hit the wall behind me. Inferno was smiling gleefully as he headed my way.
I looked over for Oliver, but it seemed like Inferno had blasted him to the other side of the ballroom, badly wounded it looked like.
“Oh, how I have waited for this moment.” Inferno taunted.
“What are you talking about?”
Inferno chuckled. “I guess you’ll never know, but that’s too bad. It would be fun to see your face as I beat you down one last time.”
I was confused. As far as I knew, this was my first time meeting Inferno. Either he was a bit crazy in the head or . . . wait, no. He was definitely crazy in the head.
“Umm, dude? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m new around here. I’ve never met you before.”
He chuckled again, something that was getting very annoying. “That’s what you think. Once I get rid of you, I’ll finally be free. Getting rid of that hero, White Lightning, for The Obstructer will be an added bonus. If only you could know who I am, but even I’m not stupid enough to reveal my identity to anyone – even a dying super. It’s time to die, sidekick.”
I smiled back. “That’s too bad, Inferno. I think you won’t be able to follow through with that threat just yet.”
Inferno was confused until a jet of electricity hit him directly in the back.
(Superhero rule #13 – Let the villain monologue because it gives you time to escape.)
Huh. Maybe I actually could use the superhero rules after all.
The second hit to the back finally took down Inferno. He fell to the ground, unconscious it seemed.
“I hit him with a lot of voltage. Hopefully it keeps him out until the officers from Alcatraz get here.” Oliver explained.
Ahh, yeah. Alcatraz, the one place every super never wanted to visit. Or any human for that matter. After supers started to show up, the feds readily realized that normal prisons couldn’t contain the superhuman criminals who ravaged our cities and towns. They decided to convert one of the most successful prisons in American history into the new super prison.
The walls were all lined with Merlonium. Merlonium was the only substance known to man that hurt every super, except those with extra fast healing abilities like Sonic or The Doctor. But it even wounded them for short amounts of time. No one knew why it hurt the supers, and all of them at that, but it did.
Each prison cell was also designed to contain all sorts of threats. Supers with abilities connected to heat got a freezing cell, and vice versa, just in case the Merlonium in the walls wasn’t enough. Supers who were extra dangerous were kept in the most protected ward.
Sometimes some of the inmates weren’t supers, but criminals either connected to supers or ones who had done deeds to horrendous that they just had to be kept in a higher security prison. Like Nemesis, who hadn’t even had powers and almost managed to destroy the country.
Oliver patted my back. “That was better than expected, you didn’t die the first time.”
I stared at him with a face full of exaggerated hurt. “You expected so little from me? I am the best super who ever lived.”
He scoffed and smiled. “Sure you are.”
I laughed and turned back to Inferno, to see how he was fairing, but recoiled when he was gone.
“Where did the crazy villain go?”
Oliver muttered a curse.
“Of course he gets away.”
I smiled. “Look at the bright side, no one died and I saved a couple lives. I’m feeling great. We can get this guy next time. Well, we’ll be much more prepared next time anyways.”
Oliver sighed. “I guess.” His face suddenly brightened. “At least now it’s time for you to learn the joys of an after save interview by the press.”
I soon learned what Oliver was complaining about. The media and press just ate up anything super related, good or bad. So, when we walked outside, about a cavalry of reporters and news trucks were waiting for us.
“Remember rule #35.” Oliver reminded me. “Always be nice to the press.”
That’s how I knew it was going to be a long night.