Posts Tagged ‘Gunsmith’

I’d only been with the Oklahoma City Nation Heroes Network and I’d already noticed that there were glaring issues with the entire team, from the juniors to the seniors.  Me, Derek and Maxine had been thrown into the juniors to recuperate the numbers they had lost and all we did was get our asses whooped and cause property damage.

I guess another cause was the fact that not only is the Junior group lacking, but so is the Senior group.

My evidence?  It was Gunsmith.

He lacked in every quality a leader required, let alone the leader of a team of superheroes.

He wasn’t charismatic, he wasn’t confident and worst of all;  he wasn’t strong.

I felt a pang of pity for they guy as I saw him in his suit, his stringbean arms polishing a rifle far too complex a fragile for use in a fight.

“I see,”  he said to Event Horizon who had just finished explaining the situation.  “You do know risks are involved.  I wouldn’t want to have to deal with anything too troubling.”

Event Horizon was firm in her response.  “I understand, sir.”

“Very well then,”  he said.  “Let’s start with this.  Okay?”

The three of us nodded.

“Good.  You should know that your powers fit the same state.  They are incontinent.  There is however, a second effect.  You should be able to leave a space where your power will have its effects linger,”  said Gunsmith, gesturing as his rifle sat on his lap and he held a greased up cloth in his left hand.  “This is your ‘active’.”

Nobody said a thing as gunsmith took a small pause, a resumed his lecture.

“I’ll give you one important detail you must not forget;  wherever you crate a space with your active will be permanent.  Only you can dispel your own active space.  Otherwise, it’ll be there even after you die.”

“Really?  How would my power work?”  asked Maxine.

Gunsmith gave it some thought.  “You are probably thinking about how your powers don’t work via proximity, right?”

“Yeah,”  replied Maxine.  “I’m not sure if I can do what you are asking.”

Gunsmith looked at me.  “How about we have Ryan try first, then?  He won’t do too much damage if he messes up, and his ability has easily observable effects.”

I shrugged.  “Okay. I’ll go first,”  I said.

Gunsmith stood up, placing his rifle and polishing cloth on the chair.  “Good,”  he said, smiling.  He took several small steps towards me.

“Event Horizon, use your power on my gun.”

She complied.  Event Horizon placed out a hand and stood still. then she took a step back, and Gunsmith’s rifle flew off the chair in the direction she stepped.  Telekinesis?  No, it still obeyed gravity.

“You should explain for the new recruits,”  said Gunsmith when she was finished with her display.

“It’s not telekinesis,”  began Event Horizon.  “It’s more accurate to call it telestasis.  Anything or anyone I focus on will no longer be able to gain any distance from me.  I’ve also got a few minor enhancements to my balance and stuff so I don’t get dragged around instead.”

“I see.”  said Derek.

Gunsmith looked at me.  “Reach your arms out.”

I did so, slowly.

“Think about your powers.  What do you feel when they are working?”

I thought about it.  I thought about being with everyone at the mall, I thought about how ignorant I am of the world of superheroes.  I thought about when the Hunting Party came.  I felt safe with my power.  Not truly safe, but safe as I could be.  I imagined myself as something that supported Maxine when her powers affected Ricky.  I imagined being with Derek, and how he rarely leaves my side now.  I thought about Ellen.

I could feel it.

“I feel it.  I feel like everyone is safer,”  I said.  “Everyone but me.  I don’t feel safe at all. I feel angry.”

Gunsmith waited a few seconds.  “Good,”  he said.  “Focus it on the space between your hands.”

I did so, and after several seconds, I could feel it.  My power.  I stooped and it stayed there, completely invisible and intangible, but there all the same.  I waved an arm through it.  It stayed.

“I did it, sir.”

“Good,”  he said.  “Can you move it?  Try thinking about your power and tugging at it, or something.”

He wasn’t working off a script.  This was him mostly bullshitting me from what he does know, and trying to see what works.  Whatever, as long as it helps.  I stuck my hand in and moved it about, thinking about the mall, thinking about Ellen.  I could feel it move between my fingers, like floating imaginary jelly.

I pulled on it and I could sense it’s form change.  Letting go, it stayed as I left it.  I tried again with a quick, simple sweep through it, moving it to the movements of my arm.  It felt like I left claw marks on reality.

“Yeah, I can move it.”

“Now try getting rid of it, Ryan.”

No hints this time.  He doesn’t know how.  I guess that means that anyone who can create spaces like this haven’t removed them, but claim they can?  Or maybe they haven’t documented it well?  I’m unsure.

“I don’t thi-”  I stopped.  This wasn’t about me.  This was about Maxine and Derek.  Maybe I should think of taking it all back?

I put my hand in my space.  I thought about my powers, but this time I thought about not having them. I thought about where I would be right now.  Today, I’d be with Derek, Micheal, Ellen, Maxine and Ricky.  We’d all have fun, not having a single worry about this world we’ve been dragged into.

The space I created was gone.  I looked around, Derek was still normal, behind me at the edge of my range.  I did it, I did it easily.

“Yeah, it’s gone now.”

Gunsmith smiled.  “Okay, I guess that was a good demonstration,”  he said.  I glanced at Derek and she looked nervously at him. Maxine was the same.

“Honestly, I’m not sure how your powers would work. maybe you’d create an area where people are forgotten, or everyone has your powers.  Maybe your space has it’s own memories separated from outside the space, giving anyone amnesia while inside.  You’ll figure it out sooner or later.  The important thing is that Ryan can help fix anything you or Derek do, be it accidental or not.  Your mistakes aren’t unsolvable, so don’t panic or worry.  I’m sure you’ll help each other.”

If it wasn’t for Ellen, I’d agree with his speech.

 

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I stood there side by side with Latency and Unperson.  They are still known to me as Derek and Maxine.  Ricky – or Plural as he is now calling himself – is in the New York Juniors team along with Micheal, who rechristened himself Beacon.  Ellen was taken from us, the only casualty of the attack on Norfolk.

We were waiting, overhearing Gunsmith talk into the camera.

“…e here at the NHN will finally introduce the three new members to the Oklahoma City’s very own National Heroes Network Junior Group!  Unperson, Latency and Ryan!”

We walked onto the stage from the left.  Both I and Unperson were heavily armored.  Unperson’s mask was a face-plate covering her eyes but still giving her sight.  The Goggles she wore earlier worked by making her see through an instant camera feed.  It wasn’t efficient, but the technical guy behind it made an improved version for her.

I wore clothing suspiciously similar to riot gear.  It was painted white, to my approval.  The facemask was clear as I didn’t feel the need to hide my face.  They all knew who I was anyway.

Derek was the only one of us not adorned with bullet proofing of any sort.  I guess he felt he didn’t need it, due to his ability to not get shot.  As much as his bravery entertained me, watching him go out in a silver morph suit was rather embarrassing.  Seriously, what the fuck.

It was a small press release, mainly to justify the sudden growth of the Oklahoma City Juniors.  They are now seven members on this team, making out group the fifth largest NHN Junior Group in the USA.  Unperson and I waved.

The crowd was justifiably nervous.  When people are asked about Incontinents, they don’t think about potential superheroes.

They think of Biohazard, who turned his hometown into a desolate wasteland where even rocks are rotting away.  They think of Japan, a country that was turned into a jungle state where every animal has sentience.  President Inugami is currently trying to reapply Japan for the UN at the moment, but he’s having issues. Apparently there is new legislation about UN memberships, and ‘nations who have undergone severe demographic, military and/or governmental restructuring due to the influence of superpowers are no longer allowed access to the UN’.  I can see why, with all the Kingmaker states and the one or two islands run my maniacs with hypnotism and god knows what else.  They think about Nightmare.

I decided to finally break the silence.  “Hello, I’m Ryan.  The girl to my left is Unperson,”  I said, gesturing.  “And the person to my right is Latency.”

“We’ll ask any questions the best we can as members of the NHN Junior Group first, and as individuals second,” I finished, stepping back.

The first hand shot up, a petite girl.  I pointed to her and she immediately looked at her question on the notepad.  “Why are you called Ryan?”

“It’s my name,”  I said.  “You know me anyway,”  A second person raised their hand once I was done with her, and I pointed at them.

“Do you think you’ll be a good addition to the Oklahoma team?”

This was a question we were all prepared for.  A big thing that recently has been making the rounds is the idea of team synergy.  We’d been told about our companions from Gunsmith;  Pivot, Event Horizon, Stacker and Maxwell.  We also were told about the current Oklahoma situation.

Unperson answered this question.  “Yes.  Both us and the NHN believe we are capable and suited to working in Oklahoma city with the current team situated there.”

Gunsmith walked up and gestured us off before any more questions occurred. It was time to meet the Oklahoma Juniors.

 

***

 

“So you three are the new guys, huh?”  asked a green hooded figure in the Junior Group living quarters.  It looked less like a dormitory and more like a storage closet, with boxes everywhere.  Me, Unperson and Latency were standing at the door with our luggage;  some clothes and toiletries.

A blue skinned figure  walked out from where I assumed the toilets were, wearing a bathrobe.  “Quiet, Stacker,”  he said.

“I’m Maxwell, nice to meet you.”  he stuck out a hand and it tuned to normal, surprising him slightly.  He took a step back, reeling his hand away.

“Sorry,”  I shrugged.  “Can’t really turn it off.”

“It’s okay, I’m almost in the same boat.”

Latency walked out of my radius and turned to his glitchy, lagging self.  Stacker raised an eyebrow.

“Shit, you guys really are Incontinents,”  he smirked.

“And?” asked Unperson.  Latency Blinked into a glare at Stacker.

“Never seen one apart from Maxwell, but he’s not like you guys.”

“Not ‘like us’ how?”  I asked.  I was having my patience wear thin and having my curiosity piqued at the same time.

“Well, for a start, Maxwell is a hero along the lines of ‘Internally Incontinent’ which means his powers don’t really affect others.  His skin tuns blue, but he has other powers,”  began Stacker.  “Most thinking types are also like that, Powers are always working, but they don’t affect others like yours do unless they act on it.”

“I see,”  I said.  I’ve been cursing my lack of knowledge in super-culture for a while.  Hell, I feel like I’m going to be cursing a lack of knowledge in everything for years to come.

“Well, looks like the newbies are here,”  said a young girl as she walked in from behind.  She held out a hand to me.  “I’m Pivot.”

“Ryan,” I responded.

“Huh?  No alias?”  she cocked her head.

“It’s not like I can hide my identity,”  I smiled at her, shaking her hand.

“I see.”

She sat down on one of the several couches scattered around the room.  Maxwell had already went to his room to dry off.  Latency and Unperson both looked for their rooms to change.

The alarms blared just as Unperson found her room.

“A metahuman robbery at West Bank is being conducted by the north side rioters. NHN Juniors Group has been assigned to deal with the threat.”

Pivot ran to her room to get her stuff.  Maxwell walked out of his, and whom I could only guess was Event Horizon walked out of hers.

“Okay newbies,”  said Event Horizon.  “Time to shine.”

 

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