Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secret Identity #1.3

A knock erupted from the office door of Barney Renauld's detective agency. Barney had fallen asleep with his head on the desk and it took him awhile to realize where he was and to lift his head and straighten his back. The person knocked again and Barney coughed.

"I'm coming. Just a second," Barney went as fast as he could to the door and unlocked it then turned the knob to open it. "Yes?"

"Barney Renauld?" the man asked. The man was tall with a shaved head and dark sunglasses. He was wearing a suit that fit him perfectly and looked like it cost a lot. His hands were clasped in front of him with a manila envelope in one hand.


"A package for you. From Mayor Nolan," the man handed the envelope to Barney and immediately turned around and walked away.

"Mayor...?" Barney tore open the envelope and pulled out a stack of pictures. He looked at the pictures of the dead woman lying on the floor. "Mrs. Crispin..." he stammered.

Jess and Alexis slowly backed away from Ripper as Alexis took multiple pictures of the monster. They stumbled on the bodies lying on the tunnel floor and were running out of room to back away to.

"If you'd stop taking pictures, we'd probably have a better chance of escaping this death hole," Jess said.

"What good is all this danger if I can't get amazing pictures?"

"What good are amazing pictures if you're dead?"

"Point taken," Alexis said, putting the camera down and actually looking at the monster. "What do we do now?"

"Cower in fear?"

Suddenly, everything was bathed in a blue light. "Don't worry. You're safe now," said Kismet as she flashed in the tunnel and held Ripper back.

Alexis raised her camera and began taking pictures of Kismet pulling Ripper out of the tunnel. "I am so going to get a bonus."

"How is everything coming with the subject?" Cal Nolan asked as he entered the Metahuman laboratory. The lab was a subsidiary of NolanMark Industries but was disguised as a lab to study diseases and cures.

"Everything is ready except for there a problem with his eyes," said one of the technicians.

"What problem?" Nolan asked.

"His eyes are sensitive to solar light. We could keep him incubated to see if the problem wears off or replace his eyes but that could take several months for the new eyes to become adjusted."

"Any other options? We need to get him out into the streets," Nolan said.

"We've been working," spoke one of the other technicians off to the side, "on a pair of glasses he could wear that could protect his eyes. If you want, Mayor Nolan, we could try them out."

"Yes, do it! If this works we can eliminate the police presence in this city. Who needs police officers when you have an army of superheroes to protect the city?" Nolan smiled.

One of the technicians grabbed the visor out of a sterile safe while another began draining the tube the genetically-created man was in. When the liquid was drained, the tube was opened and a couple technicians grabbed a hold of the man and helped him down. The other technician quickly put the visor on the man's face and the technicians steadied him. He was dressed in a skin-tight blue and black uniform with a small yellow triangle on the left side of his chest, the triangle was the proposed replacement logo for the Centropolis Police. After a couple minutes, the man was standing tall and looking around the room.

"Where...?" he began but stopped.

Nolan approached him with a big smile and open arms. "You are in a laboratory. Can you see all right? I heard you were having problems with lights," Nolan clapped the man on the shoulder.

"Yes. I can see just fine. What's going on?"

"You are the first in an experiment to create an army of superheroes. If all goes well with you, more will be created and you will be the premiere crime fighting force in this city," Nolan said, leading the man to the other side of the lab.

"Why? That can be dangerous. You would put an entire city--an entire world--at risk with superpowered beings?" the man asked, looking out over the city and seeing something in the distance.

Nolan was taken aback by the man's comment. He thought of something to say but couldn't think of anything. "I...I would have complete control over them."

"You don't have complete control over me," the man said.

Nolan turned toward the technicians. "Back in the tube. He's not ready yet!"

"No!" the man grabbed Nolan by the throat and threw him across the lab. "I am my own person. I can be a hero without your help. You or any of your cronies come near me and I will kill you all!"

The man shattered the window and flew out into the city and toward what he was looking at. As he arrived he noticed and electric blue woman and a hideous brown monster fighting near a hole in the street. Sirens could be heard in the distance but the woman needed help now. The man flew down and clocked Ripper across the chin, knocking him to his back.

"Thank you," said Kismet, panting. "Where did you come from?"

"Does it matter? I'm just here to help you," the man said.

"Who are you?" Kismet asked, using her powers to keep Ripper pushed down to the ground.

The man gave a confused look then touched his glasses. "Visor," he said, hoping he didn't sound like an idiot.

"Visor," Kismet repeated. "Cool name."

"What is this creature?" Visor asked as he noticed Alexis and Jess standing nearby, Alexis holding her camera up and taking multiple pictures.

"We don't know. He's been responsible for several kidnapping and murders though. He's been dubbed The Ripper," Alexis explained, taking close-up pictures of Visor who seemed confused by the act.

"He's getting back up!" Kismet screamed. "You ready, Visor?"

"This'll be easy," Visor smirked. Ripper stood back up but Visor punched him, sending him back to the ground.

"The cops are coming so they can take over after we get this thing knocked out!" Kismet flashed over to Ripper and punched him.

Visor and Kismet pummeled Ripper until they were sure he wasn't moving anymore. Then backed away from the body, lying beaten in the alley. The police finally arrived and began questioning everyone from Kismet to Visor to Alexis and Jess. Meanwhile, great lengths were taken to make sure Ripper wouldn't escape. After everything had calmed down, Alexis and Jess began walking back to where Alexis had parked her car.

"So did you get good pictures?" Jess asked.

"Absolutely. I'm gonna have a job for a long time. Plus getting pictures of Kismet and that Visor guy just sweetened the pot. Thank you for coming with me. We'll have to hang out more," Alexis said.

"We should, just without the murderous monsters," Jess smiled.

"Just what the hell do you think you are doing?" Barney shouted as he threw open the door to Cal Nolan's office.

"Whatever do you mean?" Cal asked, sitting calmly in his chair.

"Those photos you sent over to my office. Of Alexandria Crispin. You murdered her instead of owning up to having an affair, you wretched piece of slime!"

"Those are some pretty daring accusations, Mr. Renauld," Cal said calmly. "What proof do you have of any of that?"

"I have pictures of you and Alexandria together."

"Really?" Cal acted surprised. "Then her husband must have found out and...killed her himself."

Barney was taken aback. "I see what you're doing. It's not going to work. I am going to bring you down no matter what the cost."

"I look forward to it," Cal smiled and waved for his now-present security guards to follow Barney out of the building.

"Visor looked so amazing!" Jess said to Andy as she read the morning paper with Alexis' story and pictures. "You could so easily do that, Andy."

"I don't want to be a hero. People won't respond to me. Everyone will want to hurt me. I'm the only one of my kind in the world and I have no idea where these powers came from."

"That's not true. More people would accept you than you think. You just got to give them a chance. Please, Andy. You were made for much more than sitting on your ass talking to old people over the phone."

"Jess, you been hounding me over becoming a hero since I told you I had these powers and I'm getting sick of it. Please, quit bringing it up and leave me alone!" Andy yelled and stormed off to his room, slamming the door.

Jess sat on the couch, holding the paper and sighed.

Next Week
A grocer goes missing and Barney wants to find out what happened; Nolan hires a super powered gun man to hunt down and kill Visor; Mike confronts his father and learns why he wasn't hired.