In the streets of New York, a young teen by the name of Mark Warren made his way through the cold city streets at night, making his way home from school. He had black hair with blue eyes, wearing a black collared shirt with matching pants. “Sigh, another stressful day at school...sometimes I wonder why Mr. Furgerson bothers giving us so much math homework! It’s not like we can’t just teach ourselves!”
As he made his way down the dark breezy sidewalk of the big city, he noticed a trail of green ooze spilled out in the middle of a dark alley between two brick buildings, the smell hit Mark like a strong sour vinegar. He held back the urge to vomit, covering his mouth before stepping closer to see the source of the spilled substance.
As the young boy took a step into the alley, he felt the soil beneath his feet collapse under him as he fell into an underground tunnel. “Tsk, damn it! Just my luck!” The tunnel was dark with only the city lights from above illuminating small parts of the tunnel. Mark gripped his right arm in pain from landing on it as he took a deep breath before pulling out his smartphone which luckily hadn’t been damaged from the fall.
The teen turned on the flashlight, only to see layers of spider webs covering the walls around him. A chill ran down his spine at the sight of it. “These webs...they’re far bigger than any mere spider could make” A shiver of fear washed over him as he looked up towards the tunnel’s ceiling, he attempted to escape by jumping right for the hole he had fallen through, only for it to be too high to reach.
(Shit, shit, shit! Seems I'll have to find another way out if I want to escape before whatever made those webs finds me!) Holding his breath, Mark slowly ventured forward through the tunnel, still using the flash on his phone to guide him through.
He looked down at the dirt, noticing a trail of toxic waste that seemed to lead further through the tunnels as if something had been dragging toxic waste across the ground. Mark could feel himself walking slower as if something was weighing him down. With another deep breath, he walked past the layers of webs before him, every now and again getting stuck to one of them before managing to pull his hand off.
Just as the teen made it past the webbing blocking his path, a scream caught in his throat as he spotted the source of the toxic waste. There before him were dozens of black spiders, about three times the size of a tarantula and in the center of them all…was a massive spider that was even bigger than him. They were all feeding off barrels of toxic waste.
The sight of so many large spiders caused Mark to have a slight panic attack, his heart began to beat rapidly in his chest as if he were having a heart palpitations. That’s when the queen turned and looked him in the eye. It’s many red eyes staring at him as it’s fangs twitched, as if to order her children to attack.
To Mark’s horror, the legion of arachnids scurried towards him, causing him to run back the way he came. As the moonlight shined through the hole he had fallen through, he felt a fierce surge of pain in his leg as spiders began to bite into his pants, digging into his flesh. That’s when a latter fell through the hole, allowing Mark to quickly climb out back to the street.
He Dove out of the hole, only to see a figure dressed in a black jacket wearing a blood-red mask aiming a pistol towards the opening. He quickly fired at the dozens of creatures before pulling out a molotov, lighting it with a lighter before tossing it into the tunnel below. Mark laid on the sidewalk still thriving with pain as flames erupted from the tunnel with screams from the arachnids echoing from within as many came crawling out ablaze.
“There, looks like that’ll clean out the infestation” The masked man commented In a deep serious tone. That’s when the spider queen burst out of the flames, landing in front of them. Mark’s eyes grew wide in fear while his rescuer stood his ground aiming his pistol towards the large creature. “Hmph, seems you’re the only bastard left”
That’s when the colossal spider let out a hissing sound, spitting a thick layer of webbing right for the mercenary. His left hand wielding the gun was covered in a thick and sticky layer of webs, keeping him from using his firearm. “Heh, you really think I wasn’t prepared for something like this? You aren’t the 1st giant monster I've delt with. Quickly reaching into his pocket, the masked assailant pulled out small bombs the size of marbles.
Advancing right for the horrific creature, the man side-flipped into the air, tossing the small balls into the spider's mouth. Mark watched them start going off in it’s mouth with smoke filling the creature’s mouth as well as the area around it.
“Good, that should buy me enough time to free my hand from it’s damn webbing” Focusing his gaze on his wrapped-up hand, red laser beams fired from his mask’s eyes burning through the thick tissue until his hand was free. “Heh, it’s over you horrific bastard”
With the smoke clearing, the mercenary spotted the mutated creature, firing three shots to the monster’s skull as purple blood gushed from it’s wounds. “W-whoa” Mark commented in amazement before losing consciousness...
CHAPTER 1 Birth Of A Hero
With the spiders finally dead, the masked stranger picked up the boy before taking him home, setting him by the front door of his house in a small neighborhood leaving before anyone saw him...
He awoke the next day in his bed as if the whole thing had been a dream. His room was big with a bed against the wall, a black quilt and red pillows, a red-carpet floor along with a writing desk on the opposite end of the room under a flatscreen tv. The walls were black with a window looking out on the street from the 2nd floor.
“Ugh, what happened?” As he rubbed his head, that's when he remembered getting attacked by the spiders yesterday. Mark sprung out of bed running to the bathroom connected to his room before pulling up his pants to look where he was bitten. To his surprise, all that was there was a red mark. “What? But...I could have sworn I was bitten several times by those mutated spiders”
As he started at the mere rash on his heel, his mother called out to him: “Mark! Hurry up and get ready for school or you’ll be late!” She said in a motherly tone.
“Yes mom, I was just about to get in the shower!” Dropping his old school clothes, he hopped in the shower. The steam-filled water washed over his body as he closed his eyes letting the shower rain down on him, he found hot showers relaxing as well as a great way to wake himself up in the early morning.
Mark then dried himself as fast as he could with a black towel before pulling clothes out from his closet. He put on a black collared shirt and pants before making his way down the carped stairs towards the kitchen. Unlike upstairs, the 1st floor had wooden floors with the living room right by the front door and the kitchen to the left of the stairs.
The young teen sat at the black kitchen table as his mother placed a bowl of cereal in front of him. His mother had long dark-red hair with green eyes dressed in a black business suit with red high heels. Her name was Mary Warren, she was a single mother with Mark’s father gone since he was five. Though she struggled to find a new partner, that never stopped her from caring for Mark, he meant the world to her, she would do anything to see him happy.
“Thanks for breakfast mom, you didn’t need to make me anything, I could’ve just got something at school” She smiled taking his plate before answering: “Don’t worry about it sweetie, just hurry to school before you’re late” Mark nodded before grabbing his black bookbag from his chair, racing outside as he ran down the sidewalk up the slanted hill towards school.
He pulled out his phone still running to check the time. (7:15 A.M. Hmph, maybe it was a good idea mom gave me something to eat, at this right I wouldn’t have time to even eat in the cafeteria) As he finally reached the top of the hill, he could see the school in the distance. He went to Maple Valley high school, your typical large school with a large soccer/football field on the right side of it with a decent size lot out front for cars and buses.
Making his way through the parking lot, he reached the red doors of the school where he raced down the school hallways. The floors were white tiled floors with blue lockers. Mark once more looked at his phone seeing as it was 7:25 A.M. “Looks like I made it five minutes before the bell” He stopped in front of room 102 which was his classroom. Unlike most schools, students were assigned one teacher for the mandatory classes while electives still had different teachers for each class. This was because of the shortage of teachers and even substitutes
He sat in the front row in the middle so he could focus more on the teacher as well as see the board more clearly. Each class was your typical white tiled floor with a whiteboard and the teachers' desk to the side of the room. The other students poured through the door just as the bell rang with their teacher walking in behind them as he shut the door.
“Welcome students, my name is Mr. Hendrix and I'll be your teacher for this semester. I hope you will all respect me, otherwise this will be a hard year for us all” Mark looked at his teacher, he was a tall skinny man with brown hair, hazel eyes wearing a white suit and tie and khaki pants, your casual teacher uniform.
“Now then, your 1st class for today will be math, I'm sure many of you aren’t happy to hear that, especially so early in the morning, but sadly I don’t make the schedule. Let’s just hurry and get a start on some problems so we can finish it quickly. If I’m to be honest with you all, I don’t like math myself, but with the shortage of teachers, we have no choice but to teach all we can to you all”
A Few Hours Later...
The day seemed to go by relatively quick, though it did feel dull without anyone to talk to. Mark didn’t have anyone in his class to talk to, he was hoping lunch was a great way to try to make friends while he could. After grabbing a plate of food, he scanned the cafeteria for a place to sit when he finally spotted a table that only had about four people sitting together.
Mark walked over to them. “Hey, mind if I sit with you guys, I kinda don’t have a place to sit” The four teens looked at each other before one of them said: “Only if you like comics and meta-humans, at this table we talk a lot about comics here” The young blonde teen pulled out a manga from his back showing it to him. “Like this one here, I know it’s manga not comic but anyway, this is “reincarnated as the ultimate adventurer” It’s one of my favorites written by my favorite manga author”
Mark nodded sitting beside the four of them. The one with the comic had blonde hair with green eyes dressed in a red shirt and blue jeans while the others had black hair with blue eyes, brown hair with green eyes and red hair with green eyes all wearing different color collared shirts. “By the way, my name is Chris, I'm basically the leader of the group, the other three are; Danny, Josh and Sam”
For the rest of the lunch period his new friend showed him all the many kinds of comics and manga they read until the bell rang to return to class...
As the school day finally ended, Mark packed up, making his way back down the long-slanted hill towards his house as it grew dark. Just then, a sudden force shoved him to the ground as his bookbag was swiped from him. “Hey, get back here with that! Shit, I have many expensive textbooks in there, I can’t afford to buy more!”
Pushing himself back to his feet, he spotted the mugger dressed in a black mask wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. Mark knew the smart thing to do would be to call the police, but rather than do that, he chased after the thief, quickly gaining on his target with adrenaline pumping through his body. He took deep breaths to keep from wearing out too fast as he got within just a few feet of the running figure.
As the masked criminal took an abrupt turn to the left, he realized he had ended up in a dead-end alley with nothing but a brick wall blocking his path. “Shit” He turned around to see Mark blocking his path, breathing heavily out of breath.
“G-give me my bag back unless you want me to take it back by force” Mark bluffed he knew he wasn’t strong enough to fight the man in a one-on-one fight but had to do something to get his stuff back.
“Tsssk! Fine! Here take it!” Gripping one strap with his barehand, the masked assailant threw the heavy bag right for Warren full force. The teen put his arms up in response as he was knocked to the ground by the filled bag. Landing on his back with his bag on top of him, he watched as his thief took off past him into the night.
Mark thought about going after him but knew it wouldn’t do any good. He decided to just head home before another mugger decided to show up. He carried the bookbag with one strap over his shoulder with the other broken from it getting tossed at him. As he walked inside, he dropped the heavy bag on the floor with a thud before making his way upstairs.
As he collapsed onto the bed, he passed out almost immediately, falling into a deep slumber...As he slept, he began to have nightmares of the tunnel filled with spiders. The dream felt so real as he laid inside the tunnel as dozens of spiders began biting him from all over, digging into his flesh as blood ran down his body.
That’s when he awoke in a cold sweat letting out a cry of terror. Almost immediately after screaming, his mom barged through the door holding a kitchen knife. “Mark! Are you ok!? You let out a scream and I was worried something happened!”
Slowly calming down, Mark wiped sweat from his face responding: “Sorry mom, I'm fine...just a nightmare. I should be fine in a few minutes once I've had time to calm down”She nodded before going back to bed. Mark laid in bed still covered in sweat wearing just his pants...
The next day Mark rushed to school, only to see one of his new friends being bullied by one of the other students. It was Chris holding his bookbag as the tall older student spilled all of his manga and comics out of his bag in front of everyone at the entrance of the school. Many of the nearby students began to laugh at him when Mark intervened.
“Enough, Chris hasn’t done anything to deserve this...just back off or you’ll be sorry” Mark looked at the bully before him, Mark was about 5’10 while the student was 6’1 more built than him with red hair and green eyes.
“Hehe, you really think you have the balls to take me on? Well then...let’s do this” The bully put his fists up preparing to fight, throwing a punch right for Mark’s face, only for the teen to dodge it in a quick reaction. The surrounding students watched with shocked reactions at the sight of such an average-looking student dodging the tall buff assailant.
“Tssk, that was luck!” Once more he threw a punch head-on, only for Warren to evade the strike, sending a fierce blow to the bully’s abdomen, causing him to stagger several feet across the lot, landing on his back. Many gasped at the sight while others cheered for the winner. Mark looked at his fist, confused about how he had managed to pull off such a feat.
“Wow Mark, you beat him with such ease, have you taken defensive classes before!?” Chris questioned curiously. Mark shook his head picking up all of his friend’s comics responding: “No, this was actually the 1st real fight I've ever been in”
Chris looked at his bag before looking back up, only to find his friend was gone...
Mark stood in the alley before the scorched hole he had fallen through days ago. He leaned against the wall with his arms crossed looking down at the dark hole. With a frown he jumped down into the hole before anyone noticed, landing in the tunnel. The place was covered in burns and ashes of the spiders who hadn’t escaped the tunnel.
Walking through the tunnel his mind was racing. “Something’s changed about me hasn’t it? That green goo, it was toxic waste and those spiders that bit me must’ve infected me with it. But...I should be dead right? Meta-humans don’t exist...at least...that’s what I've been told. What about those spiders though? They were mutated to massive size instead of dying”
He stopped in front of the tunnel’s walls and looked down at his hand, slowly clinching it into a fist, sending a blow right to it as the walls around him began to crumble as the tunnel began to shake preparing to collapse on itself. As he began to realize what was happening to him, he raced back to the hole as before, this time jumping with all his strength. Unlike the 1st time, he leapt out of the hall, nearly five feet above the street before landing back on the sidewalk.
“So...it’s true...the toxic waste, mixed with the spider’s DNA must’ve given me some kind of super-human abilities. Heh, I sound like I'm going crazy, but that jump just now...there’s no way I could go from being trapped inside, to being capable of jumping out with ease. Only one way to find out”
As it began to rain down upon New York, a figure stood on the roof of a building as flashes of lighting revealed his black and purple tights with a gray hooded cape. The figure’s torso and pants were black while their boots and gloves were purple. The man’s cape blew in the wind as the rain poured down.
Looking down at the city, he watched the cars pass by when he heard an abrupt alarm ring out in the distance. With a deep breath, he leapt from the roof, diving across the sky before rolling onto the store across the street. The figure moved across the rooftops before finding the source of the alarm, a Jewlery store had been broken into, the large window smashed with a black car waiting outside.
“Hmph, so this is the true test whether I've become a meta-human or it’s all just my imagination”
Meanwhile inside the store a group of criminals dressed in black were filling their bags with Jewlery while one of them kept their gun aimed at the female cashier who had her hands up in fear. That’s when Mark dove through the shattered window standing before them.
“Stop right there! I’m going to need you four to drop your guns and get on the floor until the police arrive” The group began to laugh as their boss turned and aimed his gun towards the masked figure. Their boss was unmasked with green eyes and brown hair. “Just who are you? Some kind of freak that gets kicks out of dressing up as some kind of hero?”
Mark just stood there silently, carefully watching each thugs movements. “Hmph, whatever, even if you are just some weird bastard, anyone trying to stop me is going to get a bullet through the head!” Without warning the assailant fired several shots at the masked hero, only for Mark to evade each projectile.
“Tsssk! That was luck you little bastard!” His target pulled the trigger, only to realize he was out of bullets. Given an opening, Mark dove right for their boss, grabbing him by the face as he slammed him to the ground with just one hand.
The three remaining goons dropped their guns in fear before running out into the rain, only for three police cars to pull up in front of the shop, keeping them from running. One officer stepped out aiming his gun towards them. “ON THE GROUND NOW!” With no option, the masked men got down on their knees with their hands behind their head.
While the men were being arrested, Mark quickly dove out of the window. Two police officers opened fire at him, only to miss...
Mark soon made his way home, changing back into his school clothes in an alley near his house before walking through the front door drenched in rain. His mother was waiting for him as she ran over hugging him. “Mark! Where were you!? I was so worried about you!”
“I’m alright mom, just got lost in the rain so I thought about waiting it out, but it never lightened up so finally decided to walk in the rain”
“Why not call me to pick you up!?” He showed her his phone. “It was dead, I think I had forgotten to charge it this morning I'm sorry mom, I'll make sure to charge it tonight. Making his way upstairs, Mark dropped his bag collapsing onto the bed out of breath. “Sigh, these powers sure are great, but I really need to get in shape to boost my stamina, so I don’t get worn-out as fast”
As he plugged in his phone, he passed out...
He woke to realize it was finally Saturday. Sunlight shined through his window as he slowly sat up looking over at his bookbag. He knew the path of a hero was dangerous but was better than being another average student going through the cycles set for him by others.
As days went by, Mrk used his free time to exercise and strengthen his body to the point his body was now fit with a sixpack. He could move his body much easier as well as take on thugs without tiring out as easily anymore. One night he had told his mom he was going for a walk but really was going out to patrol the city like he usually did.
He looked down towards the city from the side of a skyscraper with one hand gripping the smooth glass service. Recently Mark had realized, like a spider, he could climb walls as well. He used this to his advantage, patrolling from high points of New York to get better views of the area. That’s when he heard an explosion in the distance. Even with his enhanced hearing it was faint but still recognizable.
Warren sky-dived from the building, falling fast before landing on a light post. A strange smell filled the air, meaning whatever that explosion was could be emitting gas. Mark jumped from the streetlight, focusing on the strong smell before noticing purple smoke coming from a small laboratory.
As he scouted from a nearby roof, a large black armored vehicle drove up on the scene. On the side read: “M.H.C.A: Meta-Human Containment Agency” This caught Mark by surprise. (Containment agency? Why would they need to have an entire agency to contain meta-humans? Could there actually be more people with abilities than just me?”
That’s when a group of men dressed in black high-tech suits got out of the vehicle making their way through the entrance as purple gas continued to flow outside. (Was that explosion caused by a meta-human? Or was it just some accident?)
Curious, Mark leapt from his vantage point, landing in front of the labs’ entrance. Quietly he followed the group of men inside, climbing up the white wall before carefully following on the ceiling. (Hmm, something doesn’t seem right about this) As he continued to follow them, down the corridor, he heard one of them say: “Victim spotted, proceed to contain subject and bring back to headquarters”
One of them picked up a man who was dressed in a lab coat, throwing them onto their shoulder before making their way back to the armored van. Mark was motionless as they passed, making sure not to make a sound to draw their attention. He waited as they put the unconscious scientist in the back before closing the doors and taking off.
Hearing the vehicle about to leave, Mark climbed out the doorway onto the roof, watching them dive away. “Sigh, I could be wrong about what’s going on here, but my gut tells me that this agency isn’t the protectors they claim to be. That man looked innocent and not even aware of what’s going on. I don’t know what they’re going to do to him, but I've read enough comics to know stuff like this to know it probably won’t end well”
Without thinking, Mark leapt from the roof, landing on the top of the moving vehicle with a loud bang. One of the suited men pulled out a semi-auto riffle, looking out the right-side window as he spotted the meta-human crouched on the roof of the car as it Spead through the streets.
“Boogie spotted, commencing termination” Without warning the agent opened fire on the masked hero. With his quick reaction, the teen darted his body out of the way when the armored vehicle abruptly lifted off the ground before landing back down, the sudden change caused the van to swerve out of control. Mark quickly jumped off the roof as the vehicle flipped over, lying in the middle of the road with the back doors flying open.
Mark was watching from a streetlight as the scientist jumped out of the van. He had black hair with green eyes. He took off down the road in the opposite direction of the van towards Mark. That’s when the four agents burst out of the van aiming laser-sight guns toward the escaping scientist.
“Halt! We need to contain Young before he can contaminate anyone else!” Meanwhile the chemist found a narrow alley and hid behind a large dumpster hoping he wouldn’t be found.
He could hear the group of men making their way through the streets scanning the area for movement. “He could’ve gotten far, we need to recapture him!” He looked down at his palms as the purple light began to build up around his body like purple smoke. He stood up, throwing his left palm forward, sending the dumpster sliding into the streets with his psychokinetic ability. Sparks flew beneath the metal object as it hit two armored men knocking them back.
(Looks like he has psychic powers, though he’s struggling against the group of men. Could he have gotten his powers from that strange purple gas?) Just then a purple aura outlined the young chemist’s body as he floated into the air. What’s happening!? How am I flying? Have I somehow gained the ability of psychokinesis!?
[Psychokinesis: The ability to move things with the mind]
The new super-human was filled with fear as he looked down upon the city from high above. Mark noticed one of the men aiming a sniper with a laser-sight right for the meta-human's abdomen. Without thinking, he leapt from the streetlight, running across the rooftops nearby before diving right for the armed agent, sending a fierce kick to the assailant's high-tech mask as it cracked with a few pieces falling to the ground. His target staggered back, firing a shot right for Young.
A red laser went past him, just missing his face by an inch. At that moment, Young found himself falling back towards the city, the purple glow gone once more. (Damn it, is this it...is this...where I die?) He closed his eyes waiting for the impact as he felt the force of the air brushing across his body, his velocity increasing.
As he was about to faceplant on the roof of an office building, Mark jumped onto the side of the building, running up the side before jumping as high as he could, catching the descending man before hitting the roof of the building. Warren laid on his back with small cracks under him while Young slowly stood up.
“T-thank you, sorry you had to save me. I didn’t mean to cause you trouble”
“Don’t worry about it, I feel saving you is better than letting those guys take you to their base. I’ve read enough comics to know how these situations end” The pair turned to see the squad aim towards them once more, that’s when a shot rang out from a nearby roof. Mark looked to see the masked man snipping from the roof, sending a bullet right through one of the middle agent’s helmets as they collapsed to the floor with blood dripping from his suit.
“Shots fired! Third hostile detected!” The man in red reloaded his gun as the agents searched the surroundings for their target. “Hmph” Pulling out a smoke bomb, he tossed it into the streets as smoke began filling the area obscuring the Containment agent’s view. Pressing the side of his mask, the vision switched to Thermal vision, giving away the squad’s heat signatures. “Heh, there you are” Aiming right for them, the red masked man fired off more shots, piercing right through the target’s skulls with ease from their confusion.
“Targets eliminated. Now to deal with the two meta-humans” Placing his sniper on his back, he jumped down onto the street walking over to the building where Mark and Young were standing. “You two, come down here, I dealt with the agents of the M.H.C.A. I can only help you escape from here if you come down here!”
The pair were hesitant, but in the end descended down to the streets cautiously walking over to the gunmen. “Now then, allow me to tell you who I am...I go by Blood Striker, I'm a mercenary who’s job is to either rid the streets of corrupt trash like these agents, killers or anything that could be a threat to civilians”
“Whoa, so you’re like a hero!?” Mark exclaimed with excitement. Strike looked at him with a cold glare behind his mask. “Sigh, I'm no hero kid, I'm just doing what the police fail to. Heroes don’t kill...don’t torture. But if we’re going to get crime and corrupt bastards off these streets, you’re going to have to do things that normal heroes won’t. Anyway...I have a place you both can go, there’s a hidden base that will take in Meta-humans and keep you from getting captured by the containment agency. Those bastards see meta-humans as nothing more than freaks that could infect others. Their point of view is so deluded”
“So, where is this hidden base?” Young asked curiously. Strike glared at him. “If I told you, it wouldn’t be hidden now would it?” pulling out a small remote with many buttons, he pushed one as the sound of a speeding vehicle came blazing through the streets as a black muscle car Spead right for them as the two meta-humans flinched thinking they were going to be hit. That’s when it came to a halt with a sudden spin, stopping inches from Striker.
“Get in, it’s best we leave before more of those agents come. No doubt they’ve realized they’ve lost contact with their squad and are planning to send more” The car doors opened automatically as the pair got in the back with Striker pushing buttons above him as the doors closed and locked. They drove through the streets at 80 mph, dodging each and every car as they headed towards the outskirts of the city...
After about 20 minutes of speeding through New York, a radar popped up on the small screen of the car with a red dot flashing as an A.I voice alerted: “Warning, hostile approaching” Striker groaned turning the autopilot on, pulling out his snipper as he stuck his head out the window.
“W-what’s going on Striker?” One of the young boys asked growing more uneasy. The mercenary remained silent when a gunshot rang out from behind them, taking out his left side mirror. “Damn, I knew those bastards won’t let us just leave, they just had to make this harder on me”
Frustrated, Strike aimed his sniper towards the coming vehicle, seeing a M.H.C.A armored van catching up with them. “Tssk, let’s see how you bastards like this” Quick scoping his target, the mercenary headshot the driver of the van, causing them to spiral off the road, impacting a fire hydrant. “There, takes care of them for now”
With a sigh of relief, the masked man leaned back in his seat as the car made it’s way across a large red bridge, making it’s way out of New York City...
About an hour later, they reached a long dirt path near the center of the forest far from any nearby cites in a secluded area. “We finally made it, here is where you will stay for now. Just like the meta-human containment agency, most normal humans hate meta-humans like you both...either out of fear or just at the fact you’re different. I’m not one of you, but I know what it feels like to be cast out, hated by the world for something that was beyond our control. It’s best you both come to terms with being who you are, regardless of what others will say about you”
Mark and Young looked out their windows to see a large mansion sitting in the middle of a large field with the forest hiding it from all directions. “Wow, I've never seen a house that big before” Warren commented in amazement. “Oh I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Mark Warren what about you?” He introduced, holding his hand out to the scientist sitting beside him.
J-James Young, I'm a scientist or was a scientist until my serum exploded knocking me out and turning me into a meta or meta-human whichever term you want to use. After something like that, I doubt I'll be allowed back at the lab for a while” They shook hands before the car came to a stop before the large wooden mansion.
“This is as far as I'm willing to take you, the rest is up to the owner of this place. Though he and I don’t see eye to eye on things, he knows I'm willing to help gifted humans anyway I can”
“Thank you, hopefully we’ll see each other again” The purple-suited teen hoped. Striker let out a faint laugh. “If we meet again...I doubt it’ll be under good circumstances” The pair stepped out of the car as the masked man nodded to them before driving off back down the long dirt road until he was out of sight.
“Ah, you two must be new here, welcome to illumination academy” Mark and James turned towards the mansion to see a tall blonde man dressed in a black formal suit walking over to them. His irises glistened with golden light as he stood before them. “My name is Octavis Pierce, this mansion is a safe haven I made for those like you who are lost and have nowhere else to go. There are many students here for you both to meet, I'm sure you’ll fit right in. Please, allow me to give you a tour of our great academy”
With no other option the two nodded as the man made his way up the large stone steps through the wooden doors of the mansion. “Here we have the lobby, many students hang around here in their free time, at least...that’s when they’re not just up in their rooms” They looked around while still following Octavis, the floors were black tiled floors with wooden walls, a couch was on the right side of the room near a bookcase with a large staircase leading to the 2nd floor in the center of the room.
Before we head up, that room just to the left of us is the kitchen where we try to all eat together and help everyone feel more comfortable with one another. He pointed to a doorway to the left of the lobby. “I was always told: if you never spend time with those around you, you can never hope to form the bonds you’ll need later in life. Those bonds will help you up in times of despair. Friends, hope, love...these are the only things one needs to keep on living”
Mark looked at James who also met his gaze before the two continued following the fellow meta-human up the red-carpet staircase. Making their way to the 2nd floor, they saw a large corridor spreading across the east and west part of the mansion. “As you can see, we have more than enough space for the both of you”
Just then a young boy came zipping down the hall at super-sonic speed before coming to a halt right in front of them. Mark was a little caught off guard but did his best to hide it. “Slow down there, speed-star, I know you like to run fast, but even with control over your ability, you never know when someone will step in your way at the wrong moment”
The young teen jogged in place at super-human speed in front of them, he had blonde hair, green eyes wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. “S-sorry headmaster, I just thought I'd go out and have a quick run before it got any darker” Octavis looked at him with a glare. “You know students aren’t allowed outside at this hour without me or a fellow teacher accompanying them”
“I-I know but I just want to let out all this power surging through me!” That’s when the headmaster got an idea. “Is that so? Then you three come with me, I have the perfect place for you all to make use of your powers” With the trio following close behind Octavis, they made their way back down the stairs.
Placing his hand upon the side of the staircase, a hidden door slid open, revealing a metal hallway leading underground. The door closed behind them with lights illuminating their way down into the basement. They looked around, finding themselves in some kind of underground lab. There were many scientific tools scattered around the large room with a few white tables around as well.
“I can tell by your expressions, not many are allowed down in the lab aside from myself and fellow teachers. However, there is something else down here that I allow few students to use so long as I'm here supervising them” Speed-star grew excited as they walked over to a high-tech steel door with a hand recognition scanner on the left of it. Once again placing his hand upon it, the door beeped before opening before them.
“Go ahead in, we’re going to see just how skilled you three are with your powers” Speed-star rushed in without hesitation while Mark and James slowly walked in, unsure about how well they could use their powers. As the door closed behind them, they found themselves in a large white steel circular room.
Meanwhile Octavis walked over to the right where there was a large one-way window looking into the room with a high-tech control board beneath the window. He turned on the mic announcing: “You are in what is called our UI training facility. Within that room were are capable of manifesting virtual things that seem just as real as if you were actually witnessing it. Allow us to begin with a test run”
Typing something in, he pushed enter and watched as the room changed into what looked like the middle of a blizzard. The three of them were caught off guard as a wave of snow and hail blew right past them. “What the hell!?” Mark cried out, putting his arms close to his face to hold back some of the blistering wind. “This is insane! How could mere holograms be this real!?” He looked over at James who wrapped his arms around himself struggling to stay warm.
Meanwhile Speed-Star seemed unaffected by the snow, darting through the thick snow with ease. Through his eyes, the snow fell as if in slow motion. Vibrating his body rapidly, the young meta-human was capable of maintaining a regulated body temperature even within subzero temperatures.
Just outside the V.R room, Octavis began quickly inputting commands into the control pad. “Hmmm, seems James and Mark have no resistance to low temperature unlike Speed-star who seems to be able to heat up his body just by vibrating his body...Then again, the boy was born with his capabilities while it seems the others aren’t used to using their powers all that much. The room within went from an endless blizzard to an empty city.
(Alright then, let’s see what they can do when faced with an active threat) Pierce said to himself as he turned a nob on the controls from zero to threat level one. Speed-Star came to halt as his surroundings warped around him as he stood in the middle of a deserted street when Containment agents suddenly began spawning around the city with four surrounding Speed-Star with guns drawn on him.
“Whoa, this room can even generate realistic enemies!? Amazing!” That’s when the squad began to open fire on the young speedster when the red lasers slowed down before coming to a halt all around him. “Heh, this should be easy”
Darting around the area, Speed-star went straight for the A.I generated enemies, striking each one with a punch at super-sonic speed. With each powerful impact, the holographic agents went staggering back in different directions before turning into pure code. “Easy, now to go find the other two”
Mark and James stood in front of a random cinema theater, confused about what was happening, that’s when a squad of M.H.C.A appeared around them. “Put your hands in the air inhuman freaks!” James raised his hands up in fear when Mark threw his left palm out in front of him as a spider web-like substance shot out from the center of his gloved hand.
Shooting a web in the hostile’s face, Mark had an idea. Grabbing his friend’s collar, he shot another web from his hand as it attached to the side of a building like glue. “Let’s hope my web is strong enough to hold us!” The meta-human cried out before using his superhuman strength to jump into the air, swinging through the realistic city with the agents firing at them.
“T-this is insane! I heard about Inhumans on the news a few times, but to think I'd accidently turn into one and join a whole community of them!” The young scientist commented in both amazement and fear. Just before Mark could reach the large office building in front of them, a beam of red energy disintegrated his web, causing them to fall towards the street.
Once more James let out cries of terror while Warren kept calm, shooing another web at a random part of the office building. Moments before they hit the street, they came to an abrupt stop, hanging just a few feet above the pavement thanks to Mark’s quick reaction.
The pair dropped to the street, only for the squad of agents to catch up with them once more. “Ugh, I'm new at this whole web shooting thing...best I can do is blind them by shooting web in their face, please tell me you know how to use your power in some way” He asked the scientist.
James shook his head with a frown, annoyed at himself. “I’m sorry, I haven’t had much time to adjust to all this...I'm not sure how long you’ve had your powers, but I still need time to-” Suddenly the entire squad opened fire on them once more. Mark prepared to use himself as a shield when a ray of yellow light came soaring through the streets off in the distance.
“Huh!?” Two of the agents turned towards the incoming projectile. When they both were struck across the face at immense speed, sending them smashing through the glass windows behind Mark and James.
Both watched in amazement as each agent were taken out with ease as they laid motionless on the floor with Speed Star standing before them. “Sigh, you both need to do better, that show was boring! You just ran away instead of fighting back! Rule one of being a hero: don’t hesitate. You hesitate, you’re dead. This room is set to the lowest threat level which means these meta-human containment agents are as dumb as an NPC in an easy video game. If you fought someone who took this seriously, no doubt you’d be either dead or captured!”
Just then the virtual city reverted back to it’s large white circular form. The door slit open as Octavius walked in. “Hmm, though things didn’t go as I had hoped...I was impressed with Warren’s capabilities, as well as his motivation to keep his friend safe no matter the cost. With some solo training, I know he’ll become a great hero. As for you James...I'm afraid you’ll need to either find a way to tap into your powers, or there won’t be anything I can do for you I'm afraid. Most inhumans gain there powers through intense situations, maybe just not this kind...I'll try to think of other ways to tap into your abilities, until then, just get some rest. Speed Star shall escort you to your room”
“Let’s go rookie try to keep up!” Moving rapidly in place the blonde teen smirked before darting out of the room, down the hall. “I guess I’ll see you later Mark, I’ll try to figure out how to use my powers so I don’t hold you back next time”
The scientist sighed walking down the hall leaving Octavius and Mark by the virtual reality room. Octavius placed his hand on the masked teen’s shoulder responding: “You did well today Mark, you’ve trained with your powers well aside from using your webs which I noticed was the 1st time you ever managed to use it…I am curious, how do you make your webs come out of your hands? In all my years at this school, I’ve never seen such a thing”
The arachnid inhuman slipped off his left glove reveling a small opening in the center of his palm. “The webs seem to come from an opening in my hands, though I’m not quite sure what’s creating the web-like fluid and probably don’t want to know where it’s being stored in my body”
The headmaster examined the boy’s hands closely with great fascination. “Interesting…being a scientist as well as headmaster of this school, I’ve always been fascinated by the many kinds of inhuman abilities of this world. Each are all unique in their own ways no matter how minor the power seems. Yours for example…I’ve never seen a spider-based ability before, and who knows what potential is just waiting within it. Though I don’t know much of Young’s abilities, the fact he was capable of creating a serum that granted him inhuman powers is both incredible while at the same time dangerous. If someone like the meta-human containment agency finds a way to replicate such a substance, they could have our own kind hunting us down just to capture or kill us as if we were wild animals. Sigh…one day I hope man and inhuman can live together without fighting or hate. Why is it they hate us you think Mark?”
“I-I’m not sure sir” Pierce folded his arms walking through the hall as the young boy followed close behind. “Could it be because we’re different? Man have hated those who are different or strange from the very beginning. Or maybe because they’re jealous, we have capabilities that they wish they had. A greed that infuriates them to hate us. Maybe it’s for control, they wish to seek control over the world by any means, even if innocent people are imprisoned or killed to achieve their goal… But who knows, no matter the answer, nothing can excuse those who kidnap and take the lives of innocent people, inhuman or not”
Merci pour la lecture!
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