Chapter 8: A Legion Of Heroes
"Who are you?" I demand now speaking for the first time since this strange conversation began.
"I am Marcus Walters, Formally Dr Marcus Walters "but I guess you can call me Patient zero or if you like… just M… I'm still working on the codename."
"Whatever…" I dismissed his codenames, I wasn't here to make friends, but get answers "what do you want with me?"
"Well…that's a little bit of a long story, but first…" he quirked his head with an insulted look, "your welcome"
"For what?" I demanded.
M or whatever he called himself then explained, "Your sisters and your positive side in that tortured jumble of your mind? I'm the one who got them to you in the deepest, darkest parts of your psyche. I used my telepathy, but even that proved hard…you have some kind of building immunity to mind manipulation kiddo"
"So…" I said getting the pieces together from what he was saying, "That was you who did that in the darkness, brought those projections in when I needed them, and that was your voice I heard back there... telling me to fight my darkness!"
"Ever the detective knight" Marcus nodded, "you mind if I call you knight?"
He took my silence as an answer.
"Well what I mean to say is you and I. we are the first of a group of humans, a new offshoot of human genetic mutation that is slowly coming into the gene pool of the world's population. These new humans or Meta humans for a better sounding term…that's what I call them… they show increased stamina, endurance and intelligence, but one thing that stands out among them all…are varied differentiable, but extraordinary abilities inherent in what makes them all…meta human" Marcus said saying words that would make anyone who wasn't like me who had actual powers go "HUH?"
"You're talking about superpowers…other super humans?" I asked concerned, "like me and Dorian?"
I figured since he knew my name, and had helped me…then he had known about everything…including the brain of crime.
"Not exactly, every meta human's power is different. There is a gene inside you, me and all other Meta humans, active and dormant that possesses the mutagenic ability to take outside forces or external forces that would prove either fatal or stressful biologically harmful for the owner of a meta gene, and catalyze that irritant into something the body can use, while changing the D.N.A upon its activation… therefore changing the Post human into a meta human…and granting the meta human powers inherent to the catalyst source. You and Dorian's Meta powers were both gained from the same source, a mutagenic chemical with traces of dark matter in it, which allowed both of you to gain control over shadows and energy from a dark matter hyperspace dimension, the negatively charged Plane of existence existing beside ours which is the positively charged Plane of existence…but you knew that already. You call it the shadow realm. But unlike Dorian who got his powers temporarily through consumption of the liquid miasmic mutagen. You didn't, your blood was mutated by the mutagen in a big chemical bath on the streets in that accident"
"So why did I have different control?" I wondered to myself.
"because your genes were different, just like how they were differently activated" M…Marcus, I'll just call him Marcus…"yeah…that's better sounding", Marcus said…obviously reading my mind again.
"You just read anyone's mind?" I asked angrily, it was like I couldn't keep anything from this guy.
"Sorry, forgive me. I'm kind of like you, learning through trial and error"
"Not me…it's been mostly error" I muttered.
"Thing is, both you and Dorian. Your genes were activated before you were both mutated by the chemical, otherwise if they weren't active, the mutagen would have killed you like a potent acid" Marcus explained.
I thought about that for a second, and then asked "then if our genes were dormant what turned them on, the mutagen?"
"No…no." Marcus hung his head; I could see the shame on his face. Before he could answer I cut him to the quick.
"You?!" I asked.
"To my great regret yes. But believe me, it was a pure accident of science…" he said, looking away from me out at the city, "I stumbled upon the gene, I was tasked by the secret government outfit I worked for to find out what possible good or harm it could do to humans. I had found the gene in about a good 32% of the world's population with a machine I built…" he heard me guffaw in disbelief, that many more of people like me? How many were active now? He continued, "I built a machine that would activate the gene in a test subject, I a controlled environment, EVERYTHING WAS CONTROLLED!" Marcus then sighed, "But I guess it was foolish arrogance to think I could control such a reaction needed to wake up the gene. There was an explosion in the Nevada test lab I worked at in the mountains…"
"That unexplained nuclear plant explosion?" I inquired, not as harsh as I might have thought I would have, but I read this man's expressions, his voice tones…he was a man trying to make up for a mistake…and as I could tell with my detective skills, mend some kind of pain, or loss.
Kind of like me.
Marcus nodded, "lives were lost, and lives were changed, particularly my own that horrible night of fire and death. I had the gene, the machine had worked. Horribly, yes, but it worked!"
"I found myself forever changed. I had found my body had turned into this form you see before you now, my voice box damaged by the explosion. I couldn't speak for weeks, but then I made a discovery that astounded me…I could talk, using my mind. More powers followed, and after many encounters, and experiences…I came to Las Vegas, and found out how much damage I had done to the worlds safety"
"Meta humans?" I inquired, starting to get concerned with were his story was going.
He shook his head, "no, just one. And a very powerful one at that. Very charismatic, wide variety of kinetic powers…all controlled through his mind. He calls himself Meta master"
"Calls himself?" I asked, now feeling a little fear, "you mean he's still alive?"
"You were lucky shadow knight…." He turned to look at me, "you won your battle…mine ended in a draw. I couldn't stop him…just drive him away. But I made sure the damage wasn't too great before I left the city…and not before I wiped the minds of everyone who had seen the battle"
"You…wiped their minds?" I asked with narrow eyes.
"I had no choice knight…" Marcus said curtly, "the worlds not ready for us yet. If news of a superhuman fight at Las Vegas had broken out. There would be panic," he chuckled sarcastically "heck…they might label us all as the biggest threat to humanity, the newest "terrorists" hiding in their country, among them. Anyone with a power, who used it for anything, good or bad would be hunted down and persecuted. I figured as long as the secret to the Meta gene and the Meta gene activator stayed mine alone to know…that wouldn't happen and it would stay one of those unsolved mysteries. That it would be the best thing for all of us for me to be the one and only super hero…and him the only super villain. I wished on the wrong thing Kagae. I had opened the genetic genie out of the bottle…and it wasn't ever going to go away!"
"Your activator, it activated my gene?" I asked him curious.
"Not just yours" Marcus corrected, putting a hand to his head in frustration at himself.
I paused, taking this all in…not completely sure I liked what he was selling…or him at all for that matter.
But he seemed to be a guy who was trying to atone for what he had accidentally unleashed on an already paranoid and frightened world.
After a while of thinking I asked him, "how many?"
"The radiation from the blast covered all of the U.S.A and southern Canada. Anyone with those genes in that damage area would have had their genes activated. The estimated Meta gene in the U.S alone was over 1023 people." He answered me.
I just turned around and looked for a wall to lean against; my legs had just turned to jelly.
I had just finished fighting ONE Meta human villain, how many in that number presented to me would use if for ill intentions their powers when they received them?
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked him.
"Because the world needs a way to fight the coming future, Meta master is a powerful Meta who believes that Meta humans are destined to rule over this world… all under his OWN rule of course. He doesn't have any pleasant ideas for the futures of the humans who don't have powers. To make sure that there is not a future of a conquered world waiting for us all instead of what we all dream we can find ourselves in instead…a future without fear. I have begun to make a team to oppose him." Marcus said, telling me his plan… "You were the third one I found Knight who decided to use his powers for good. I know there will be others out there who won't, and they will either be with Meta master or on their own. I can't fight him alone, that's why I need help. I need your help as well, but I won't force you to join my team… the decision is yours"
I turn away from Marcus, my mind going over what I had just been told.
So Dorian was one of the world's early supervillian's, the first one…was out there planning god knows what for Metahumans and normal humans in some kind of… I don't know… crazy plot for world domination.
I chuckle to myself, when did the world become just like a comic book?
I pause, oh yeah…because a group of scientists, Marcus included were screwing around with genes and radiation…and didn't think something like this could happen.
They always toy with things, and when something like this happens they get all shocked and surprised.
But this Meta master, he sounded worse than the brain of crime had been… much worse.
At least Dorian wasn't killing people in some kind of Genocidal level genetic Supremacy type mania.
I after a while of thinking it over, I turn and look at Marcus.
"What kind of villain, or monster is he?" I demanded suspiciously, "what's his connection to you BESIDES being in the same blast that gave you your powers?"
Marcus then heaved a sigh of what seemed to be in grief, "it's complicated"
I chuckled, whether he told me or not was irreverent…. Being the detective I was, I would figure it all out eventually. He couldn't stop me from finding out.
And he knew that!
I then ask my next question, before giving my final answer "what can he do? What does he want to do to normal people?"
"You don't want to know" Marcus barely had time to react before I leapt foreword, grabbed him by the neck, holding him steady and withdrawing my right glove… got ready to search his memories. Tired of this "hush, Hush" crap!
"I do, and I will know everything!" I growl and I place my hand to the side of his head.
He wasn't immune to my powers, so it wasn't hard to get in his mind and see his memories through my Memory Empathy touch ability.
I saw his battle with Meta master in Las Vegas.
I saw when he first confronted Meta Master before coming to find other meta humans… when Meta master outlined his plan to replace Non-super powered humanity with Meta humans, all under his "glorious" rule. Like any other tyrant I had heard off, his vision of a world were Meta humans ruled under his reign and Normal humans were the minority of the world, and used as slaves, sport and…
I skip past that vision and do not write about what else he planned to use humans as, and I soon see the last vision of memory that I needed to answer my question.
I see Marcus's connection to his nemesis.
And I understand why he doesn't want to talk about it, who on earth would?
I then get an idea of what will happen if Meta master isn't stopped soon, and I refused to let that happen.
I let Marcus go, who lets out a gasp of air as he had been chocking when I grabbed him.
I turn and walk out onto the clock towers balcony, away from Marcus.
"What did you do that for?" demanded a perplex Marcus.
"You read my mind and know everything about me, I wanted to return the favor… besides" I say looking out at the city, "I'd rather know what I'm getting into before I join any "team", risking my life to fight your father!"
Marcus was surprised for a second then he deduced what I had done to him, "you saw my memories?"
"Yeah… your Father should be your problem to solve on your own. But… you are right, you need help. I saw what he wants, what he plans to do from reading your memories. And I also know what it's like to lose family… and Meta master; he's a threat to my family…everyone's family. His future…I refuse to let it happen." I then turn to look at Marcus, "so I'm in"
"A simple yes would have sufficed…" Marcus chuckled, "but I'm glad you decided to join my team."
"Just one question…" I asked, eyes narrowed "what would you have done if I had decided NOT to join you?"
"go to find the next metahuman that I can sense, and promise to not get you involved in the fight ahead of us both… and I would have understood your refusal" Marcus answered, "I give my word of honor"
"That's what a knight thinks about…" I said, my smile hidden behind my mask "Honor"
I look down at the recovering city, and ponder on a thought.
"When do you plan to begin? Where do you plan to meet?" I ask.
"I have others I need to find first" Marcus said nodding, understanding my reasoning behind my question, "then we'll meet at my family's home…I believe you know the location from my memories… on the first of July"
"What about the others, what's keeping Meta master from getting to them? Getting them to see things his way?" I inquired.
"He doesn't have the technology I have to find other Meta humans whose genes have been activated; he's also more concerned with his plans to go find the others." Marcus responded.
"But others will come. When we've stopped Meta master, what about them? What about us. My powers alone grow strong with training, I'm not even sure if there is a limit to my power…I'm not even sure I can learn to master that much power if that be the case."
"All power has a limit Kagae. And don't worry about learning to control your powers. I am still trying to learn how to master a few of my own…and I'm not sure what I am capable of doing at my peak level either. Neither are the ones I found sure either. That's another part of my plan, not to just make the world's first superhero team… but also to train and grow them to use their powers to their fullest potentials, and also to find and train other Meta humans that require or want to learn how to control their various powers… in safety from the world's paranoia. We can help each other learn to use our abilities. You are a self-taught Meta human in most of your abilities, but trust me… you have much to learn…why must you learn it all alone?" Marcus explained.
"Well…" I shook my head, "I'm not sure about being in some kind of trail by error self-help, superhero team group… but with Meta master's threat… I don't see any choice. My family is normal, and… I…"
"I know, you love them very much. You'd do anything for them" Marcus said understandingly, "if you want to back out, I will understand. You have a lot to lose"
"No… I'm still in!" I say firmly, glaring out at the city as the sun begins to come up, "but… there are things I have to do before I join you and the others in L.A"
"What are you going to do?" asked Marcus with a raised eyebrow in curiosity.
"Get a cover story" I answered.
"Good luck… by the way…" he began to leave, the he paused "you know, I may be wishing for much. But I hope some time I might earn the right, and the honor of being called "friend" by you Kagae. Because believe it or not Kishi, I am one."
He began to take off, flying under his own mental power away from the tower.
I didn't look back as he flew away, but then, still not turning to face him… I called out to my future ally.
"Hold it!" I called out.
Marcus paused in midair and looked over his shoulder at me confused, "what is it?"
"One: don't call me Kagae. Keep that to yourself. And don't tell the others that either. My secret identity is my right to disclose if I choose to, and I choose not to…not to any team. Call me shadow knight" I lay down my rule requirements for joining this team he was forming.
"Okay…" Marcus nodded politely.
"Two: I won't be preached too… I have my rules, my code…" I continue, "If I'm approached with a situation where I will have to make a difficult choice, I will make a decision based on the basis of my beliefs and morals. On What I believe is right because I know that sometimes you have to do whatever's necessary sometimes to get the job done. But I will never take a life unless I have to, like I did with the brain of crime"
"Okay…" Marcus nodded.
"Three:" I smirk slyly, "get a proper code name, you're going to be the leader after all. I'm no team leader!"
"I was actually putting that name out as fun…" Marcus laughed, "I actually decided to call myself M- Leader"
"I would assume that the M would stand for Mystery leader?" I asked sarcastically.
"Meta human" M-leader corrected me, "It seems appropriate to me"
"That's your choice Psychic, not mine" I say sarcastically, "could get a better name friend"
Amazed I had said that for a second, M-leader, like a little brother coming up with a good comeback to the sarcastic line I had thrown at him replied back.
"Oh so it's worse that like what you were originally going to call yourself… originally?" he asked smartly, "what was it again… oh yeah the Shadow Stalker?"
"Hey…!" I turn to face him, "That doesn't leave this…. Tower!?" to my surprise he was gone.
I'm taken back for a second and then my super hearing hears a small sonic boom overhead… and I barely get a glimpse of the mystery Meta human, my future teammate and one of my closest meta human friends, M-leader (seriously?) fly off, using some kind of psychic ability to fly.
Looking back now, that decision to join that team would lead to many changes, many hardships that changed me into the man I am today as I write these memoirs. I have a lot to thank M-leader for. If not for him I wouldn't have gained control over all my powers before I came back here, I wouldn't have been prepared for what awaited me in lunar when I returned from what would be known as the heroes legion project. And to my everlasting gratefulness to my friend, If not for him asking me to join his superhero team… I wouldn't have met her…. The love of my life. The most beautiful girl in the world.
But that's for another entry in the future.
In the present time back then I shook my head, wondering what I had gotten myself into.
"Oh you are just good at getting your neck into deep trouble, now aren't you Kagae!" I chastise myself.
Then I take a few breaths and decide to get to work.
I had to go deal with the possibility of a gang war erupting due to Dorian's death.
I had to make sure the council stayed good their promise to "improve" and I quote "the city's law enforcement to ensure its future protection" and if not…well…I can be very persuasive.
Those fat cats would do what they should have done, one way or the other.
Then the other one, forgive me for having to do it my family, but I had to do it… the other one was make a good cover story for where I was during the crisis… then a good cover in order to get to California… even if I had to hypnotize my family into believing it.
Which unfortunately I was forced to have to do just that very thing. In order to get to California and to make them believe my excuse in order to not make them worry about me.
I couldn't just vanish after all!
So thinking over and planning my strategy, I leapt from the clock tower and vanished into the shadow realm as the very first rays of sunlight began illuminating the recovering city.
The National Guard hadn't made it to the city hall yet, as a matter of fact the streets surrounding the city hall were deserted.
No one was out on the streets at all, save for just one man… me, eyeing the city hall.
I looked at the place with contempt… most of what had happened these three days had been done by the people in that building, with their heavy pockets.
I figured they would do barely anything to handle the crime problem in the city now really, because the situation would be down to normal again.
Just your regular street thugs would be what roamed the streets.
But I knew better than that.
I had enough of the city council and their indifferent arrogance.
They were going to make improvements to this city's crime fighting prowess or else!
I grinned, eyes flashing red… "Let's see how they feel when they see that the one who saved the city from a crisis of their creating knows their deep dark secrets, and has had it up to here with their arrogance hurting the city."
I then saw where the council was holed up in the building, in the grand council room.
I grinned, and then put my plan into place.
I then transformed into the mass of shadows, and flew through the air toward the window of the grand council room.
I slammed into the grand council room window, shattering it and like a specter I emerged into the room.
My dark shadow engulfing the room in darkness, while the council looked around in fear and surprise as the room became swallowed by an unnatural darkness.
"THE LIGHTS, THEY'VE BEEN…SWALLOED!" the council woman screamed in fear.
Then suddenly they heard a dark laughing, similar to their departed Partner Dorian finch who of which the crowd knew to be the brain of crime who had tried to usurp them in a massive rioting by way of one of his weapons that they had financially backed with no idea what he wanted to do with it.
But no, this one wasn't an insane laugh; it was a dark, vengeful laugh.
Soon from the dark room by where the window had been destroyed, two big Red eyes formed, engulfing the terrified corrupt council in their red glow.
"City council… you've manipulated well. You've manipulated the law to serve only your interests. You've manipulated the people into thinking you have their best interests in mind. Your manipulations into the criminal underworld almost cost the whole city its very innocent lives that live in it. I know you are planning on making it so the act to improve the cities inadequate crime fighting prowess is never fully passed because the danger has "passed", when it has not. So I place this warning. Let the act pass, and cease you illegal manipulations. Because if by the time I return to Lunar and find you've still made things worse… I won't rest until I have defeated every one of you, like I did the monster you all created by supplying him money. THE SHADOW KNIGHT KEEPS HIS PROMISES!"
My mass of shadows exited the room through the same hole in the glass window I had made while entering.
The grand council of lunar was in shock at what they had seen.
The grand council man was the first to set the record, "all right, someone knows we had a hand in Dorian's arms manufacturing to the criminals of lunar, for small percentages of the pay… that much is certain. I suggest we counter this by giving the filthy rabble of lunar what they want. Better crime fighting, although it doesn't mean we can't use this to our advantage… after all; well still own the city and the police force. We can't be intimidated by cheap parlor tricks completely, and we have more than enough money to deal with vigilantes… legally and illegally. Money talks, and no one in lunar has more money and influence than the council. Let's play the cards in our new nemesis favor, and then show him what happens when he gets royally flushed… what do you say gentlemen, ladies?"
All around, the members renewed their haughtiness and composed themselves with a nodding agreement.
"now… if you'll excuse me, I have to place a hide charm on the back room so that when the national guard gets here they won't find out about our… err… secrets. I will see you all in a bit, I have to reflect on this mystery that has been presented to us by way of or strange visitor" the grand council man bid adieu to his council.
When they the council had voiced their approval to the grand councilman. He went up the stairs to his room, and while there entered a secret compartment behind his bookshelf leading to a room filled with books about Wicca, sorcery and spells. All around the walls was pictures of murals of ancient medieval times showing various people, witches and wizards being fought by, and devoured by a monstrous demon.
A demon called the witch feeder.
He then looked at a prophesised mural from a castle in France somewhere and some when at the end of the renascence done by Davinci during his tours of France.
It depicted the pictured portrayal of the witch feeder demon, and also of it engaging a shadowy knight with the angels of darkness and light watching over the knight and guiding him during the battle on the mural.
"so… the one who is the one who will not be witch born, and controls the shadows is found here on earth and not in the realm… interesting," he looked at the picture of the Witch feeder being sealed away by the original council of magic thousands of years ago, "through my meager magic abilities I saw that wretched girl of that human whore and that blood traitor Ducard accidentally unseal the demon… and now he's here on earth, somewhere... biding his time. But now I don't have to worry..." he said looking at the pages of newspaper showing the rare two photo-shoots of the shadow knight during the riots, "and on some levels I still do have to worry" he sighed contemplating on how much of a pain his new adversary could be.
TWELVE HOURS LATTER….
RED DEATH/ CONQUISIDORS TERRITORY BORDER
Madame RED stood at the boundary between her territory and the conquisidors territory, the railroad tracks leading into the harbour… with an army of RED DEATH gang members behind her.
She took a big whiff on her Russian cigar, as she awaited the arrival of the second largest gang in lunar city and its leader to show up here at the meeting place they had both designated.
She thought about the brain of crime, and how that Kosak had gassed her and her gang into participation in a mass riot.
She wanted nothing more than revenge on the brain of crime, and if the conquisidors when they get here and Alcee Romero, leader of the conquisidors saw things her way, together they two gangs would unite and fight the brain and then… hopefully without a war, divide up the brains empire.
When that was done she would hunt down the night skulls gang until the last man for their involvement in the gassing of herself and the gang.
A convoy of trucks suddenly appeared from behind the warehouse, and followed down the tracks to where the RED DEATH gang was waiting.
The trucks came to a stop on the other side of the tracks, and from out of them emerged Alcee Romero and his conquisidors.
Wearing his normal attire, while also armed with his shotgun in case things with this meeting went south, Alcee Romero walked toward the tracks to meet with Madame RED.
"I see the riots spared your good looks Madame RED" Alcee Romero said smirking.
"we were lucky to get away before the army and S.L.E.E.T found out we had been in the riots" Madame RED said, "we would have been placed on the most wanted list as well"
"What do you want?" demanded Alcee Romero.
Madame RED gritted her teeth, she hated rudeness… but this was business, so she held her tongue on her anger at Alcee's rudeness.
"The brain tricked us all, he nearly got us all killed. I think it's time we killed the freak…" she began.
"We?" inquired Alcee Romero.
"Yes that's what I said, "We"… the RED DEATH and The Conquisidors, the two gangs left in the city… united they are more than a match for the brain. Especially since I know who he is" Madame RED said stating her offer.
"Everyone knows who he is…who he was now" Alcee Romero said lighting up his cigarette, "it was Dorian finch, they found him in the ruins of his business tower. Since the destruction of that tower and all the gas vanishing because of it the military did some digging… in the destruction area. They found a large distribution system built into the building and a vat that used to contain something… at least that's what my informant told me… whatever was in that container had been vaporized by the blast or seeped into the soil bellow the tower therefore becoming lost forever. And Dorian finch… he was found wearing the mask of the brain of crime. So therefore if he is dead… there is a massive gap that needs to be filled"
"Then we can propose to the latter of my proposition…I'm not interested in a war. But other gangs small or big in this city will be interested in taking Dorian's spot. If our gangs formed an alliance, a truce, we could be able to keep them all in line… interested?"
Alcee took a whiff of his cigarette, knowing what was coming next she gave her men the signal to get ready.
Alcee Romero then brought out two fingers, "one: you and your gang killed twenty of my best men, and you didn't look like you were under any influence when you did it. Two: I've always fancied myself better than any gang leader in this city, so I want Dorian's former position as kingpin of crime and Three: its bad business doing business with a soviet union commie wanabe group like yours… oh yeah, and Four…"
He drew his pistol, so did his men who drew their own.
The RED DEATH gang drew their own guns, as did Madame RED and aimed at the Conquisidors.
A Mexican standoff had begun; the very first shot from either side would set the stage for the gang war Dorian had threatened me with.
"I don't like commies" Alcee Romero grinned deviously, "what would you think I would possibly join forces with you against"
"You shoot and its war" Madame RED threatened.
"Fine… then the city will belong to the conquisidors" Alcee Romero spat, "our namesake conquered and with much bloodshed…why should things be any different"
Suddenly both sides heard an eerie laughter that seemed to be coming from all around them.
The two gangs drew their attention from one another and then instead focussed on finding the intruder to this meeting.
"Who's there?" called Madame RED.
"Show yourself coward!" demanded Alcee Romero, waving his gun in the direction the laughter seemed to be coming from.
Suddenly a chilling voice emanated from all around them, "the one who killed the brain of crime, here to make a proposition!"
Suddenly from the shadows all around them came flashes of light, and from out of those flashes flew strange bullets.
Like ducks in a shooting gallery, the gang members and the gang leaders were struck by the strange bullets, and encased in a strange crystal cocoon.
They all struggled to get free, but found out soon that they couldn't.
They all watched as like something out of a horror movie the shadows around them came to live and slithered along the floor, forming a shape in the center of the room, a shape of a man in a strange costume…but see through, like a ghost.
A living shadow.
The living shadow eyed all of them, "the offer is this, you, all of you never launch any gang war… no matter the circumstances… I've already gotten this offer "accepted" by all gangs in this city… you two are the only ones left now"
"We don't take orders from you!" spat Alcee Romero.
The spit went straight through the living shadow, like a ghost.
The spectre didn't seem to notice or care, it was enjoying the look of terror on the gang's faces at what they had just seen… then it looked at all of them one at a time, its eyes glowing unnaturally with red light, the spectre looked at all of them…ending with the two gang leaders last.
"I wasn't asking…" the spectre said angrily, "I'm telling you!"
Once the spectre had looked into the eyes of Madame RED and Alcee Romero, and all their men, he suddenly vanished as if he hadn't been there at all.
As a matter of fact, when the spectre had vanished… no one present remembered the presence of the ghost like being who had trapped them, or that they had been trapped by it… or that they had been ready to kill each other.
The miasmic cocoons that had once held the two gangs had vanished with the memory of the living shadow.
Madame RED then spoke as if nothing had happened, "so we have a deal, a truce. We own this section, you own that section? No war"
Alcee Romero gave thought about it, then shook Madame RED's hand, saying "just this one time commie, but if you cross me or my men the deal is off"
"You should know by now I honor agreements" Madame Red said smirking, "Kosak"
Unbeknown to either of the two gangs, up in the rafters of the warehouse, looking out on this meeting of criminal scum, was the shadow knight.
"Now that's how you make an offer they can't refuse" the shadow knight chuckled.
He knew he had told himself never to manipulate minds, but now he knew that sometimes one has to do things he doesn't have to do to keep things from getting out of hand.
So he did this to every gang in the city, so Dorian's gang war contingency wouldn't happen.
Besides he told himself… there's been enough bloodshed, the cops will be ready for them now that the council is willing to make changes…now… or else.
Now he had to go and make his alibi for his true identity's disappearance, first he had to get to the M.A.S.H unit.
M.A.S.H UNIT, RESEDENTIALS
After I dropped my shadow knight costume away in the secret hiding place in the grave house, I reappeared in the shadows under an Army jeep and unseen by anyone in the busy M.A.S.H unit, I stealthily snuck into the nearest M.A.S.H tent, and I looked around making sure no one was noticing. I charged my finger nails with my dark energy and cut my cheek and bruised my body in various places to make it look like I had just escaped a vicious mugging.
With my disguise in place, and knowing my healing factor would heal, I quickly broke into the vacant tent, I began raiding the unit of bandages, and began wrapping the surgical bandages around my self-inflicted wounds and as I expected it my wounds healed… but not before they gave an impressionable blood stain on the bandages… confirming my disguises Alibi.
Suddenly I heard a sound behind me, and found myself looking at a female doctor who had caught me in the act.
"What are you doing?" she demanded, seeing me raiding the medical supplies.
Knowing I had to act fast before she brought the army in here, I activated my hypnosis.
She didn't have that strong of a will to fight unfortunately for an army doctor.
"My name is Kagae Kishi…" I said silently as I worked my spell, "you are treating my wounds, and are going to tell my family that I have been found, alive and well…and they should come and pick me up. Now… come and finish your work please… these "wounds" hurt"
She blinked, becoming conscious again, but my instructions playing in her head, and she helped finish the fake dressing in had been making.
When she was done, she called my family.
It took two hours, but soon my family came running in lead by an army soldier and my "doctor", my mother was the first to embrace me.
She had been fearful for my life.
Heck… they all had been afraid for my life.
I managed to work up the lie that I had been chased by the night skulls when the brain had been targeting my family during his siege of my father's business building. But I had managed to escape them, but got caught in the riots. Out of a small miracle I had only gotten these few wounds, by the time the riots had reached where I was in the city… they had just stopped.
I managed to get them to believe that, without using hypnosis.
I also to my surprise found that my cousin Jeremy had during the riots managed to rescue Sarah Harding, and now she was our housemaid.
I had to restrain a sly smile; I had fulfilled my promise to her… a home and a job.
Just didn't expect it to be mine.
But despite my gladness that my ruse had worked and that Sarah now had a home with us, I was downhearted at the fact I was going to have to mesmerize my family into believing the lie that I had been accepted into a private school in California, despite my expulsion.
But to you the read I will tell you this… I really didn't have to.
When I said I did… I lied.
When I woke the next morning, I found out via the T.V in my room that Dorian's body had been found in the rubble of his tower… his terrorist threat video where he had revealed himself to the world had reached congress and the internet… now the whole world knew he was the brain of crime… and also that a "well thought missile strike had ended his reign of terror".
And there were still talks about sightings of a super powered vigilante in lunar city, but these were dismissed by the media at large as hallucinations due to the fumes of the gas attack of lunar city.
I was glad that I was still an "Elvis" sighting, world wasn't ready for metahumans yet… I was sure of that.
But my gladness was replaced with sadness, for to join the fight against the worlds "true" first supervillian, I had to manipulate my family's minds to get them to believe my alibi… whatever it was.
I found myself a little surprise downstairs.
I heard my mother, father, and sister talking to someone in the common room.
To my surprise I saw them talking to M-leader!
It didn't take me long to figure out what was going on, why my family wasn't reacting to his strange appearance.
He was using his powers to make them see him as he once was, as a normal human with a normal appearance.
"I hope you like camomile Mr. Masters" My mother said offering M-leader some tea to M-leader who courteously received it, "we don't have any Herbal tea I'm afraid"
"that's okay Mrs. Kishi, I'm partial to both" M-leader thanked, taking a sip… then pretending that he didn't know I was standing by the entrance to the common room, turned and said "ahhh… this must be Kagae"
M-leader got up and shook my hand.
"Kagae, don't be rude" my mother scolded me, "thank him"
"Thank you Mr.…?" I asked.
"Masters. Marcus Masters" M-leader said, introducing his alias, "I'm the headmaster of a school in southern California, I'm here to ask you if you would apply for a scholarship there" he then winked at me.
I then got what he was saying, "play along"
"Well yeah… sure, I'd love that but… how, I was expelled in my previous school I haven't even finished junior high" I asked faking ignorance.
"Oh come now…" M-leader chuckled, "I'm sure we can accommodate you in that problem, especially since I owe you a debt of gratitude"
"What?" I asked, actually confused… not acting confused.
"You don't need modesty son" My father said smiling proudly at me, "we know everything"
"You do?" I asked afraid.
"Yes, Mr. Masters here told us all about it" Rachel said smiling at me, laughing at my shock.
"How you threw a rock at the people attacking me during the riots, and then lead them away from me so I could escape. I had come here to find you to see if you would like to join my school, I had no idea until yesterday that that boy who saved me was you. So I came here and gave your parents my thanks and now I give you mine… a chance to get your scholarship and chance for a future back… my school could use brave people like you young man. What do you say?"
I faked surprise, "I…I…" I looked at mom and dad, who nodded approvingly "I accept sir. When do you expect me there?"
"By the end of the summer, you can leave earlier than that to check out the grounds and what we have to offer if you want" M-leader sold.
Knowing my mysterious friend had set up my alibi for me so I wouldn't have to set it up by doing something I didn't want to do, I smiled "sounds like an idea, you hear that mom!" I ran up to her, ecstatic "I'm back in school; I'm going to get it all back!"
"You did it Kagae" my sister Rachel smiled.
I then broke from my parents and hugged her as well.
It was what I wanted to do, because really… they didn't know I was going to school… but I was also going into a world of metahumans, good and bad.
To a school that would help me train my powers, but also into a battle with a powerful supervillian as well.
But I knew it had to be done, and I knew in my heart…or at least I hoped so… that they would understand if we failed to stop him.
That I was trying to do the right thing, to keep them safe from Meta master and other super villains sure to come out of the woodwork of the Meta gene activators blast.
I knew I had to be ready for the eventuality that lunar soon would have supervillian's of its own soon, to be ready to fight.
That's why I joined the heroes' legion.
I left my family, assured that they were safe from harm.
And got on a plane two weeks later to go see Marcus's "school", looking back on that now… I laugh at the irony.
His ploy school, soon after our fight with Meta Master soon became just that, a school to train Metahumans, and we all of us, the heroes legion…were its first students.
"So…" I said to M-leader, who was using his powers on everyone on the plane to make us seem invisible to their minds eyes and not hear our conversation, "tell me about the ones you've found so far?"
M-leader showed me a picture of an African American boy a year younger than me with red hair, and a side photo showing him wearing some kind of high tech power armor.
"his name is Andrew Griffin, he is normal besides the fact he wears a power suit that only works for him and his genetic line alone now, I think you'll like him. He's kind of like you childhood friend Marty Osmond" M-leader profiled.
"Maybe, Maybe not" I said simply, I could tell he was a good person… but that still didn't make my loner status easy to shake.
"This is Atlanta" M-leader said showing me a photo of a fish/human hybrid of a teenage girl, "she's a warrior and former guardian of Atlantis, I did tell you it exists right?"
"Yes you did, and I understand why we must not talk about it. Her races Xenophobia of humans and vice versa correct? If she wasn't banished she probably wouldn't be up on the surface world, is she a metahuman?" I asked.
"Well actually their D.N.A is almost like ours meaning they might be an offshoot of humanity, but yes. Now she is proud and sometimes prone to temper…but she's got a good sense of justice and though she might not show it…a warm heart" M-leader finished.
"What woman warrior doesn't secretly?" I added smartly, I then saw the last photo in M-leader Dossier.
I will admit, I had to catch my breath.
Because never in my life had I ever seen anything that made me wonder if I was seeing a person, or an angel.
It was a picture of a teenage girl, my age, with black hair, green eyes, wearing a red, gothic looking dress, as well as two cross earrings, black lipstick and red finger nail polish. She had an hourglass figure and I felt my heart racing.
I…never ever felt that way around a girl before, and I was just looking at a photo!
"who…who is she?' I asked, trying to compose myself.
"Ahhh…" M-leader smiled slyly, "I see your eyes are attuned to the sight of miss Raven Ducard. She is a witch, a light magic witch. Apparently like most things good and bad, magic comes in two varieties light and dark. I just recently found her after the events in New Orleans; I believe you probably heard about it in the tabloids or something"
"I don't read tabloids" I said quickly.
"Now…she is an interesting case. She's a little shy around humans because where she comes from, magic users foreswore all ties with humanity after the Salem witch trials and have never crossed back into earth…until now, she is the first. She may be a bit shy, but she is consumed by a desire to right some wrong she did and get accepted by her new…well, sorority if you will" M-leader explained raven to me.
"Kind of like me" I replied.
"Yes… um, you can keep that picture if you like and the files on the rest of the team, I will give you until sundown to get ready when we land. You know the address. I will be there getting ready for the others, by sundown your powers should be fully re-integrated into your system. I'm looking forward to working with you knight" M-leader said impressed, "from my analysis on your meta genes in the blood sample you provided you have to potential to be a high level metahuman, imagine the good you could do"
"Or the evil I could do" I added solemnly.
"Which is a problem we will work on, if you're committed to the course" M-leader reminded me, "and at my home you can home up on books about chemicals, genetics, and cellular structures in order to get a way to understand your mutated blood in order to help your sister… I also have a super-computer with me as well if you need it for your research."
"Gotcha… just (yawning) wake me when we get there… I haven't gotten a full knack on that absorbing energy from the darkness, and I've been dosed two times in the past two days with an large dosage of liquid miasmic and I, me, number one, Uno senor… have instead of resting have been using the darkness to keep me fully charged of energy while it works through my system ,giving me new powers till it's done its course, I maybe someday might be able to stay awake both day and night with my powers I got sure… but, after what I've gone through in the past two days and being doused with that chemical three times now with no sufficient resting time to let the process complete itself,…. I'm dog tired! So hold off the metahuman stuff until we are there okay Marcus?" I said pulling my covers from my plane chair over my head to block the light.
M-leader laughed at himself for being outwitted by someone younger than him and who was still new with his powers, "I now know without a doubt knight, you will be destined to be one of the greatest heroes of all time"
"or one of the worst menaces of all time" I whispered bitterly, regarding my fear of eventual uncontrollable moments of evil that sometimes manifested when my powers increased or moments of moral choices occurred.
The evil shadow knight I had defeated represented what I would become if I went down that path.
All I knew was that my life was changing, and help or no help… I knew it would be me alone who would make the decision who I was going to be.
But currently, who am I now?
I am a watchful sentinel of the night.
The knight of the night.
Master of shadows….I am the shadow knight, bane of darknessTHE END
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