He walked into the total darkness and threw the pizza box he was carrying onto the table he knew by heart was to his right.
You have to be harder on them Andy. Lester might decide that you are no longer interesting. He might find you boring and decide to take your place.
“Oh, now you show up. I was beginning to think you’re finally left me alone. Now shut the fuck up again.”
“I don’t think that’s the proper way to address someone.”
Andy jumped back and hit the light switch.
There were two people in his apartment that he didn’t invite, nor left there earlier. One of them was an older guy with a badge and the other…
Joaquin buffed up his chest.
“That’s right bitch.”
“You’re a fucking super. You are Hero Two.”
The cop stood up from Andy’s busted up couch.
“Let’s be easy on the name calling and the title giving. I’m Detective Frank Massey.”
Andy clapped his hands in excitement.
“Holy shit! I can’t believe it’s you two. I’ve been looking for you for months.”
“We know. It was high time we met. I was told you came to the precinct with information about the robberies.”
Andy pulled a chair and sat down.
“Yeah, to tell you Joaquin was a superhuman and that other guy too.”
“Yeah, that’s his name. He was Hero One in my list.”
“Where do you know these things from, Andy? That’s your name right?”
Andy stood up and showed them the computer with the SuperHub opened and running in full.
“That’s what I do. I research people like you Joaquin.”
Joaquin pulled back a step.
Andy laughed at his naivety.
“Because you are fucking legends man. You are the future!”
“What does this hub of yours do?”
Andy took the mouse in hand and clicked a few images and videos.
“It collects data on supers around the city. We’re working to extend the network to other towns and states, but it isn’t very easy to find trustworthy people.”
“I don’t get it.” Joaquin protested.
“I sent my people, my network out and they track down strange activity throughout the city. They filmed it, take pictures and hack into hospitals and no offense, police departments to find out information on the super. I even have you in the system. Here, look.”
Andy brought up Joaquin’s profile. It was insufficient, but he had plenty of details.
“Whoa man this is some crazy stalker shit.”
“You have an impervious skin, yeah?”
“You know it! I’m invisible!”
“Invincible you mean?” Andy quirked an eyebrow.
“Same shit man.”
“What do you gain from all that?” Massey asked.
“We want the world to know there are heroes out there, people that don’t even know how special they are. We share some of these videos through social media to try and prepare people for what’s coming.”
A chat message popped up on screen.
‘xXvisionXx: Nate, you gotta watch this man, this shit is bad.’
Andy clicked the message and responded.
‘NaterMageddon1: What is it?’
‘xXvisionXx: Just play it! NOW’
Andy clicked on the shared link. It was a broadcast from Q-13 running with the message “EXCLUSIVE” and then another message “SUPERHUMANS AMONG US: ARE THEY A THREAT?”
“This is live,” Massey noted.
Dr. Jacob Globe’s face appeared on the screen. He wore a serious mask and went a few seconds silent before addressing the audience.
“My friends, as the days go by, and the mayoral elections are soon to decide the fate of this city and our society, I find it difficult to withstand the truth about what is happening in the very city we all seek to protect and better. Over the last month, we have worked on our collective and individual problems and have sought solutions for these problems. We have spoken much about the people of this city who make it a place I am proud to work hard for, individuals who are heroes. But today is not about such people. Today is not about tolerance. Today is not about forgiveness, nor compassion, nor love. Today is about a war that is happening in this city.”
“I spent many hours in blind fear of the truth, but now I say – no more. I say so because what man makes a promise to protect his people, but fears to do so and cowers instead? I will not be that man, and I will not hide the danger that has arisen above us from you any longer. In these very crucial days, I want, to be honest with you and speak with clarity, with eyes wide open.”
Dr. Globe’s speech continued.
“You have seen and read news about people with extraordinary abilities. Vigilantes others have deemed as ‘supers’. We have all witnessed even with our own eyes such incredible phenomena, but we have neglected a truth beyond the astonishment, and that truth is that those people are what is poisoning this city. They are murderers, crooks, thieves, rapists, sociopaths who by some folly of nature exhibit extraordinary capabilities, which soon will weight upon us with their terrifying power. I will not let that happen and let these people turn the good citizens into pawns that fear to tread the streets.”
Globe’s eyes sparkled with ill intention, with some deep fury and fake righteousness. But for the common viewer, he was a brave man, a hero. Andy bit his lip knowing how this speech will arouse the public in his support.
Stupid lemmings, Andy thought while Globe’s voice drummed from the screen.
“Our leaders, our politicians have kept vital information away from you. They have corrupted the media, and they have shown you a false hope and false excitement about these ‘supers’. Today I will show you the real face of today’s fake superheroes.”
The screen split in two, and the top half showed clips of supers destroying cars, trashing stores, throwing people in the air, breaking the street with their fists, spitting acid. The videos showed people scared, screaming, running. They showed the fear Andy was trying to eradicate. Even worst – they showed the supers no one had been able to film, the underground ones, the bad ones.
“I have been working on a cure for these people for many years, but alas, I have not found one. I ask for your forgiveness for keeping this from you for this long. Again today I will ask even more of you. With a heavy hand on my heart, I urge you all to step with me into this battle and fight to keep our streets safe, our homes, our children from these monsters. Thank you all, my friends, and fellow citizens.”
Next: Queen of Ash