By Alberto Pupo
This is a day like any other except…it is not. They came from out of nowhere, strange, foul, looking creatures. I ran like a coward. As I ran, I could hear the screams of my friends and family, torn to pieces by these creatures. I had failed everyone. I was supposed to be a hero.
I was born with powers… I suited up in spandex every once in a while and went out to fight crime. I called myself the Caped Avenger. However, I am nothing more than a fool. I am well trained in five different types of combat, there are very few men or women who can match me pound for pound in strength. I felt invincible for a while as I had the admiration and adulation of an entire city. I was the scourge of organized everywhere; there was no racket to large that I could not damage, the police were in disbelief of my ability to fight crime, in fact, I was at one point single handedly responsible for lowering the city’s crime rate by ten percent! I was a hero.. however I am a fraud.
Two weeks ago there was stirring in the scientific community, about the potential landing of an extraterrestrial force. One of my friends a man by the name of Thomas Gladwell advised me that we are about to encounter extraterrestrial life however throughout the course of our conversation it is clear to me that my friend Thomas is quite nervous about this arrival. At the time, as I was brimming with confidence I told him not to worry that everything would be ok. I assured him that things would be handled by the Caped Avenger (naturally I never disclosed that I am the Cape Avenger). The assurance made Thomas feel better… which is why two weeks later when he is surrounded by a horde of horrifying looking tentacle freaks, who were tearing him limb from limb, he never saw his death coming. The images of my friend being completely disemboweled by these creatures have left my mind full of terrifying vision that my psyche refuses to shake. I feel like a coward… Here Ia am the Caped Avenger, the only one truly capable of stopping them, and in humanity’s hour of need I am fleeing the city to save my skin because I am now faced to confront my mortality, and it is utterly horrifying, I don’t want to die… Yes, I may be a hero and may have faced death, but I have never faced anything that is out of the realm of this world. They all call my name… and I just keep on running until I reach the city limits. I look back as the city burns to a cinder, as the creatures continue to kill its citizens one by one and I walk off into the sunset.
The night is terribly cold, and I move around tossing and turning, waking up every five minutes. Why am I still in costume? I am not worthy to wear the cape anymore. I look at the desolation around me and wonder how did I allow all of this to happen? I look at the glow emanating from hands… I have the ability to make laser blasts shoot out of my hands, and I can forge them into a weapon, but here I sit in complete fear of the invaders from above. I hear a coming vehicle approaching; it seems to be a police car of sorts which stops right in front of me. Two officers step out of the vehicle guns drawn.
“ Hands in the air you are under arrest!”
I raise my hands up not knowing what to do, why am I being arrested? I am the Cape Avenger I have helped them so often, is it because I let their city perish? But if the city is gone why are the police arresting me? I ponder these questions as the car heads back into the city, as they take me and they book me. As I sit in my jail cell a coward.
“The poor kid.. just how many doses did he take?”
The officer questions a middle-aged man dressed in a lab coat, he has a sad look on his face as he cannot believe the news… ever sine he heard the news that his lab assistant Ron had been arrested he knows he needs to clarify it.
“ Well officer is not how many doses, but how long this has been going on for… you see… this was all a mistake… Three weeks ago he volunteered for a research project of mine… I developed a pill called Active nine… a powerful hallucinogen.. which makes one believe things.”
Now the questioning officer is puzzled, what is the doctor talking about? There is no such thing as Ativa Nine.
“Ativa Nine? The doctor I never have…”
His voice trailed off, and now the scientist looks him in the eyes, he is a bit half crazed but still rational.
“Like I said this highly experimental… it makes one think they are a hero… and in this case for the last three weeks, my poor lab assistant has been living a different life… He fancies himself a hero called the Caped Avenger.”