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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Intro to Education - Part 4

My name is Mercedes Whitman and I'm a hero on a foreign world. I am the daughter of two heroes, and was trapped on this Earth during an Event that sealed the way back home forever. They call me Black Sapphire when I’m out patrolling, and these are my Blogs.

Sapphire looked at the screen in amazement, “I have no idea who it could have been.”

Intro to Education Part 4 - The Graduate

“My name is Alejandro Raven and in a roundabout way I am your father, each and every one of you.  You see I was one of the Scientists who experimented on your parents and caused this genetic hybridization in all of you.  That is why you are here today.  I approached your parents and offered them restitution for my crimes and a chance to make up for my actions.  I would like to teach you here at the Raven Institute for the Academically Gifted.  Teach you how to harness your abilities for the greater good if you want, or how to wield them in a way as to allow you to hide in society as a normal person.  The choice is yours.”  The speech was always the same, Alejandro never varied in its recital, and it had become his mantra and drove him forward throughout his life after GeniCon.

“We sit before a massive forest.  The Ravenwood, named for myself of course.”  The crowd chuckled slightly.  “Actually for my father who came to this…land long ago in a different time, a time before Augments and Hybrids and the Super Heroes of this day and age.  He used his wealth to build this home for his mother while he searched for his family who were separated on the journey to these lands.  It was secluded from the world at large and she was able to live in luxury and peace.”

“This will be your home for the next four years and we will teach you everything you need to know to survive in the outside world.”

The Event

Another explosion ripped through the campus as Kristoff unleashed the next wave of attacks generated by his quantum singularity generators.  He cackled as they ran and scurried beneath him.

Vin slid to a stop and pulled out his ray gun and popped a fresh clip into the handle it buzzed to life and pinged green and ready to activate.  “We’re pinned down near the fountain.”

“Who are we?”  Lazerface asked over the communication units.

“Vin Maxwell, Donald Darwin and Christian Gotti.  I have eyes on Zachary and Jezebel near the courtyard.  This Kristoff guy and his orbs are tearing the place apart.”

“Confirmed, the WMD and IED are in route.  Superdude is telling us that we are being invaded on a massive scale from another universe, and that he is just one force hitting the Earth right now.  We have sightings of the Entity and three of his Scions attacking The Family over Neutron City.  I am also getting reports of some kind of fleet coming at us from deep space.”

“This shit is going to get worse before it gets better.”

“Your father Max is now in the field and moving up behind the target.”  Walters’s voice popped in over the unit.  “We’re five minutes out; hold your position until we arrive.”

“I don’t think we can do that sir.  The fountain is on fire and now we really need to move.”  Vin motioned to the others and pointed for a hasty retreat around the gazebo side of the courtyard.  “GO NOW!!” Steve watched in the HUD of his visor and stood back up from the remains of Joan’s body.  He took a deep breath and nodded to the rest of his squad.

“Okay let’s move out and give these kids some backup before they end up being the Final Generation.”

Sometime in the future…

A rather pale and somewhat sickly-looking potential student entered the queue behind me.  "Hey," he said. "Is this the line for admission to the superhero school, or whatever?"

He couldn't possibly serious.  Was it the multitude of capes, masks utility belts that gave it away?  Idiot.  I ignored him.

"Yeah.  Okay."

Jack Rabbit opened the door to the interview room.  "E.P.I.C.?  Come on in."

Jack Rabbit.  His suit was even more ridiculous than his name.  Supposedly his suit's design and the hardware contained within were all necessary to facilitate his power of super-speed.  I would have made it better and, more importantly, not look completely moronic.  I sat across the table from him. "It is an honor to meet you in the flesh, Mr. Rabbit," I lied.

He seemed to think my admiration genuine.  "Thanks.  So..." He looked through my file, no doubt in part compiled by the Dark Avenger.  It seemed a rather meager amount of paperwork.  That made me smile.  "...E.P.I.C.  What makes you think you'll make a good superhero?"

"Four things," I told him.  "Endurance.  My suit, which is of my own design, features  a kinetic dampening field.  It is invisible to the naked eye, and it is skin-tight.  It absorbs any potential physical damage thrown my way, from bullets to the occasional tossed eighteen-wheeler.  The material is impervious to flame and highly resistant to radiation, including most known forms of energy generation."

"What about - -"

"It is also resistant to extreme temperature, and regulates my body temperature.  It is adequately effective versus cold and ice attacks."

"Well, that's very --."

"Power.  My suit features next-generation propulsion technology.  I can fly.  The suit amplifies my own physical strength many, many times over, and in conjunction with state-of-the-art combat simulation software fed to me via a heads-up display, enhances my reflexes.  My visor emits an expanding energy blast that was created to rival the power of a star."

"...How is all that possible?  I don't see any generators or anything on your - -"

"Micro-technology.  Beyond that, I can't say much more, I'm afraid.  I'm sure, being a scientist yourself, you can honor some professional secrets among... equals."  I had a hard time saying that last part with a straight face.

"Actually, I think - -"

"Integrity.  Because what is power without an upstanding moral code?  Dangerous, of course.  A path to villainy.  I vow to use my technology in the name of good."

"Er... that's good."

"Cunning.  Because, as you have obviously by now ascertained, it took a brilliant mind to construct this suit.  Mine.  Moreover, I use my intellect to outsmart my adversaries.  Sometimes it takes more than a super-powered punch or an energy blast to defeat a foe.  I pride myself on the fact that I can think several steps ahead of my enemies, and, frankly, there are few out alive as intelligent as I am."

Jack Rabbit frowned.  "That's all very impressive, E.P.I.C.  But, honestly, I'm not convinced our school is a good fit for you.  You've got a heck of an ego, kid, and that can be a dangerous - -"

I produced my PDA and showed it to him.  "There. I believe this amount is adequate to cover the full four years of my tuition?  As you will note, I've estimated generously for cost inflation."

"Sign here, please.  Welcome to Super U.!"

Epilogue #1

Some time ago…

Walters stood quietly and watched the newest recruits train.  Every year the technology available to him to assist in his methods was stronger and more realistic to be of use in combat situations.  One student jumped out at him in skill and ability.  He pushed that group harder than the rest hoping that the leadership abilities would surface and take charge.

The group ran through the gauntlet and suddenly began to act as a unit, one forged in the heat of battle.  He smiled.  His legacy finally had a successor.

Epilogue #2

Sapphire closed the files and frowned.  She began to stand and turn away from the monitors when the entire bank of monitors light up.  They remained blank for a moment and then began to fill with small red dots; they continued to fill until the whole of the monitor wall made a large red number 5.

“What the hell?”  The 5 lasted for a few seconds and then shut off.  Sapphire frowned.

TBC in Stand Alone 7

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