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Heroes in the D-Lane

By Ryebread All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Humor

Chapter 1

The sun rises on the city of Maple Falls, brushing away sleep with the warmth of its morning rays. Gently but surely, its light suffuses the landscape. It flows through the streets, scales the buildings, and capers from rooftop to rooftop, all to wake a dozing populace for the work of a new day.

However, one soul is already roused. As the sun sweeps its gaze across the rooftops, it comes upon one lone figure. Resplendent in advanced power armour, sunlight bounces off the golden metal and sets off an explosion of brilliance.

The Golden Hopper: Champion of Justice. With a vigilant eye, he surveyed the city before him. Though new to the area, this hero is eager to begin making a difference and using his power for the people before him.

The Golden Hopper: Defender of the Innocent. With one foot on the parapet, he stands with his head held high. He knows his mission is true, and the excitement welling in him is making his heart beat fast and true. Once he meets his partner, a stalwart ally in the battle against the forces of villainy, he can truly embark on his journey to right wrongs and make a difference.

Metal softly scrapes against metal as he clenches a fist, and he thrusts it upward towards the sky, letting his gauntlet stand tall as a challenge to adversity and as a promise to the city. Whatever may come, one hero will never falter: The Golden Hopper!

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the diverse population of extraordinary individuals (now collectively known as super-humans) increased exponentially. Due to the success and high profile of the Paragons, the world's first internationally-recognized global peacekeeping group, there was a stark increase in events (both intentional and accidental) endowing superhuman abilities onto individuals.

At the turn of the century, a population that once numbered 70 is estimated to be now 700,000, not counting the undeclared and the unregistered. In order to prevent potential accidents and abuse, as well as to avoid a backlash from a fearful public, a number of governments fast-tracked a superhuman registration and sponsorship program.

With advice and assistance from the Paragons, those early programs were eventually merged together and evolved into the Paragon Growth Act. That program led to the normalization of the superhuman, and has given us a world where 'Superhero' is a comforting household term and a caped figure in the sky is now a daily event.

-Excerpt from The Super Era: How Our Heroes are Born

The Golden Hopper: Stalwart and Resilient! Whatever trials may, and whatever hardships may ensue; this hero will ever stand tall. An hour’s wait is nothing, and the summer heat is barely inconveniencing! Being slowly cooked inside a sealed suit of armour without proper hydration is… potentially life-threatening, but is also most assuredly something a triumphant hero can endure. So long as he is charged with his noble mission, he will never give up the fight!

Out of sight, behind the hero, a soft rustling could be heard.

The Golden Hopper: Ever Vigilant! With a flourish, he spun to face this new arrival with heroic dignity. In front of him, a lone pigeon cooed. It looked up at the armoured figure in front of him, unimpressed with his noble posture and reflective countenance, and then resumed its daily routine of bobbing its head erratically and pecking the ground.

The Golden Hopper is actually getting a little tired. Finally, he let his shoulders sag and sat down on the parapet.

This wasn’t starting well at all, or even starting at all. He should be on patrol by now, side-by-side and back-to-back with a staunch ally, triumphing over villainy and saving the day.

But how is that going to happen if that staunch ally never shows? Golden Hopper turned to the pigeon, hoping slightly that a wild creature’s primal instincts may offer some insight into his current predicament. The pigeon abruptly swivelled its head, staring the gold-armoured hero straight in the eye and wordlessly delivering his simple ethos:


The Golden Hopper would not be able to use this. Sighing, his shoulders sagged lower, and he rested his arms on his legs. Is this it? No climatic battles? No death-defying feats? This wasn't a dramatic tear-jerking end to inspire future heroics; this was an ignoble non-starter of an adventure, another unnoticeable blip in the teeming river of history, a joke with zero words, a… a… wait.

A realization strikes and he suddenly jerked to his feet, only to cause himself to wince in pain as flesh meets sun-heated armour. With more caution, he reached to his side for a nondescript black backpack. With one hand, he unzipped it, reached in, and pulled out a thin sheet of paper: the introduction letter. He skimmed past the welcome message, the disclaimers and the form-letter congratulations, jumping straight to the printed details at the end where both his name and his assigned partner’s lay. More importantly, it also held their contact details and addresses.

Of course! You don’t become a hero by sitting around passively. If the path to heroism is not before you, then you go to it! Take action! Seize the day!

He made his decision and, with resolve, he leapt to his feet. Then, after a second short session of wincing, the Golden Hopper carefully walked towards the stairs. Life is always full of unexpected happenings, and a hero must always know how to get past them. If anything, something equally unexpected must have happened to his comrade-in-arms to delay him so, and even now, he must be wrestling valiantly for his very survival!

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