Authors: Darrell Pitt
Teen Superheroes Book Three:
The Battle for Earth
Copyright 2012 Darrell Pitt
Published at Smashwords
Find out more about Darrell at his website:
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To Rob Ashe
Here’s what’s happened so far.
We’re a bunch of teenage superheroes. Sounds strange? You should try being us. We were the victims of an experiment carried out by a secret organisation known only as The Agency. Our memories were wiped and we were given amazing powers – and new identities.
My name is Axel. I can control air. I can use it to help me fly, or I can create shields to protect me from a hail of bullets, or I can create a tornado. I’m American, but as to exactly where I was from – well, don’t ask because I don’t know. That’s what happens when someone wipes your memory.
Chad is from Norway. He has the ability to create – and manipulate – fire and ice. He’s also a pain in the – well, you can guess. He’s a friend, but the kind of friend you want to lock in a closet sometimes so you can watch television in peace.
His sister’s name is Ebony. She can transmute one substance into another. She’s quieter than her brother, but I think she’s gained a lot of confidence in a short time. You can’t stay quiet for long when you deal with super villains and monsters on a daily basis.
Then there’s Brodie. She’s my girlfriend. Mostly. Sometimes she wants to hit me over the head, but love does strange things to you. Originally from Australia, she has the strength and agility of three grown men as well as being a master of martial arts.
The youngest member of our team is Dan. He can manipulate metals – and sometimes even minds. He’s from China. He likes to think of himself as being like Luke Skywalker, but he’s probably a little more like Yoda.
Don’t tell him I said that.
That leaves Ferdy. He’s a genius in addition to being immensely strong. He’s also autistic, so he’s a little hard to understand sometimes. Still, he’s one of us. He’s part of our family so if you mess with him, you mess with all of us.
Let me set the record straight on a couple of things. We don’t have superhero names or wear crazy outfits. We’re currently living at the Las Vegas compound of The Agency. The organisation is headed up by a race of aliens known as the Bakari. The head of our branch is named Twenty-Two.
Yes, that’s his name.
One day we want to find our families – if we have families – and we want our memories back.
Is that too much to ask?
This is my lucky day
, Brian Hendrix thought.
He had only been sitting at the bar of The Purple Monkey for an hour when a beautiful, unattached woman walked through the door into the dark interior. She positioned herself at the corner of the bar and gazed at him once before ordering a drink and turning her attention to the television above the counter.
He shot a single look in her direction.
That glance told him two things. The first was that she was astonishingly attractive. Slim physique. Black, raven hair. Green eyes. A real stunner. His second thought was that she was out of his league.
out of his league.
He turned his attention to the mirror behind the bar. Behind the assorted bottles of liqueurs and spirits, he caught a glimpse of himself and saw a man, fifty years old, twenty pounds overweight and balding. He focused on the bald spot. He was
balding. The top of his head would be completely hairless by the time he turned fifty-five. Probably sooner.
Still, some women found bald men attractive. Look at Bruce Willis.
Glancing sideways, he realised the woman’s eyes were again directed straight at him. He diverted his attention to the television positioned above the bar.
She must be a hooker
, he thought.
Of course. She would be pleasant and accommodating and probably interested in a fancy and furious fling – but money would have to change hands. Brian self-consciously stroked his wedding ring. Elizabeth was everything a perfect wife could be. Faithful. Supportive. Loving. She had given him two sons. Both fine young men.
As for himself…
While he had been a good provider, he had not always been the ideal husband. Not that there had been a new woman in every town. Far from it. There had been no more than three or four other women over the years. Well, certainly no more than a dozen.
“Wow,” the woman said. “Check that out.”
Brian almost dropped his glass. He had been looking at the television without focusing. Now he watched the screen as an enormous metal monster – some sort of robot – picked up a car and threw it across a street. The footage was being broadcast live. A line of text ran across the bottom of the screen.
Giant Robot Runs Rampant in Las Vegas. Two confirmed dead. Dozens injured.
Six months ago he would have thought the television was tuned to the Disney Channel, but the world was a different place now.
, Brian thought.
The whole world’s become a freak show.
Most people refused to believe that mods existed – even with television coverage and appearances on Ellen and other talk shows – until they witnessed a mod for themselves. For a long time Brian had quietly been one of the conspiracy theorists who suspected that mods were some sort of government-inspired delusion. That was until he spent a week in New York and saw a man flying across the Brooklyn Bridge.
With no plane.
Brian had found himself looking for a jet pack or wires when suddenly the small figure started shooting bolts of lightning from his fingers. Through sheer luck, Brian had survived the experience. A man standing next to him had not been so lucky. One of the lightning bolts struck him and turned him to charcoal. As Brian dove for cover behind a car he found himself shaking and crying all at once. It was true.
They were real.
Half an hour later another flying man in tights had taken out Lightning Man. The papers described the duo as a super villain and a superhero, but Brian knew them as something else.
“Freaks,” he said. “Goddamn freaks of nature.”
He had not meant to say the words aloud, but he found the woman nodding her head enthusiastically at him.
“I used to feel safe,” she said. “But now…”
Brian nodded. He related his story to the woman, leaving out his ensuing fit of hysteria at the hospital.
“That must have been terrible,” the woman sympathised.
“Worst day of my life,” Brian said. “That poor man just burst into flame. Horrible.”
“My name is Morgan. Morgan Jones.”
She held out her hand. Brian shook it and introduced himself. “I’m in insurance.”
“That must be interesting,” Morgan said.
Now Brian knew the woman
to be a hooker. No one thought insurance was interesting. No one. Still, she seemed friendly enough. Now Brian started wondering how much she charged for female companionship. His family life seemed a long way away now.
“I’m not a hooker,” Morgan said. “In case that’s what you’re thinking.”
“Not at all.” Brian tried to look shocked. “The thought had not crossed my mind.”
“I just thought I’d come here for a quiet drink. My husband passed away recently.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It was cancer. Probably for the best…” She saw his puzzled expression. “I mean, the world’s gone crazy. What with all these flying people about…”
“I know what you mean.” Brian nodded vigorously. “There should be laws. The government’s gotta make them illegal. Shoot ‘em on sight.”
Brian started to put together the pieces of what Morgan had told him. Here she was, a beautiful woman grieving for her husband, probably feeling a little lonely, a little confused, probably seeking someone to talk to. Maybe wanting a little comforting –
“I have a bottle of rather good French Bordeaux back in my hotel room,” Morgan said. “Are you partial to red wine?”
At that moment Brian would have nodded enthusiastically if she had suggested drinking petrol. He gave the barman a good tip – making certain that Morgan saw the generous amount – and followed her outside.
“I’m staying at the Winstead Arms just up the street.” She pointed. “I don’t like the hotel knowing my business. Would you mind waiting a few minutes before you come up?”
“Not at all.”
She handed him a swipe key to her room and told him she was staying in room eleven-sixteen. She would be waiting for him. Brian watched the beautiful woman walk down the sidewalk away from him. If she hadn’t just handed him a card to her room, he would have thought she was dumping him. Of course, maybe it wasn’t the key to her room at all. Maybe it was just some old library card.
Brian counted off the minutes before starting down the street after her. He found the hotel without difficulty, marched briskly past the main desk and punched the elevator button without glancing over at reception. He made his way to the floor and stopped outside of the room. His hands shook as he swiped the card. The light above the panel turned green.
, he thought.
I knew it was my lucky day.
“Morgan?” he called.
“In the living room,” her voice responded.
Brian closed the door behind him and walked down a short corridor. The woman stood in the middle of the room. Now Brian noticed something very strange. The entire room was covered in plastic as if it were being painted. And it reminded him of something else. What was it?
Dexter. That freak serial killer always spread out plastic before he killed somebody.
“What –?” He stopped in his tracks.
“Did they see you down at reception?” she asked.
“Yes.” Brian’s heart was beating wildly, but now it was from trepidation. Still, this was a single, unarmed woman. There was no reason why he couldn’t safely extricate himself from this situation. “I spoke to them. They know –”
“You didn’t speak to them.” Morgan shook her head slowly. “You didn’t say anything to them at all, Brian. You were a good boy. Weren’t you?”
Brian tried to speak, but he found he could not open his mouth.
What the hell –?
His jaw would not move. Now he tried to run, but his legs would not work. It was as if they were plastered to the floor.
“Come over here,” Morgan said.
Against his will, he found himself walking across the plastic sheeting. He tried to scream, but he seemed to have completely lost control of his body. A sudden realisation struck him. This woman was some kind of mod.
She seemed to be able to read his mind. “My real name is Morgan Le Fay. You may have heard my name in conjunction with Arthurian legend. The ancients seemed to regard me as some kind of witch.” She shook her head and smiled sadly. “I’m too pretty to be a witch.”
Brian tried with all his might to scream.
“You’ll have to forgive me,” Morgan continued. “You see, I’ve eaten so many people over the centuries that there remains no joy in the consumption.”
Brian’s eyes opened with horror.
“Now the only joy remains in the preparation of the meal.” Morgan could have been talking about cooking lasagne for dinner. “Now, be a good boy and open your mouth.”
Brian felt his lips being forced apart.
“Wider,” Morgan instructed.
His mouth opened wider and still he could not make a sound.
“You have lovely lips,” Morgan said. She placed a forefinger against his bottom lip and for a single, entrancing second Brian was captured again by her beauty. But only for a second. For she then slid her slender hand into his mouth, formed a fist and punched it straight down his oesophagus.
Brian felt a shudder of immense agony as the interior of his throat was ripped apart and the bones in his neck shattered. His eyes started to roll up into his head.
“Oh, please no,” Morgan soothed. “Don’t die too quickly.”
But much to her disappointment, before she had torn off his arms and legs, before she had even begun to consume him, Brian Hendrix’s eyes stared into nothing and his heart had thudded to a shuddering halt.
“Disappointing,” Morgan said. “Not my lucky day at all.”