Monday, May 16, 2011

No. 23: Visor

Previously in Secret Identity #12...
Visor hurriedly began removing pieces of the charred, collapsed building to retrieve the bodies that were still trapped in the burning wreckage.

“Visor! What’s going on?” a fireman shouted.

“I don’t know. This is the second building today to spontaneously combust. If you guys have any ideas, let me know,” Visor shouted back, pulling a charred body from the rubble.

“It is the end of your planet and it is the salvation of your planet,” a booming voice said from above. “Soon, this planet will be the perfect utopia…” a man suddenly appeared in the sky. “And you can either join me or perish.”

“Who? Who are you?” Visor shouted at the man who was dressed in black from head to toe except for a flame red design that started at the collarbone and went down the chest to his waist.

“I am your new leader. I am your salvation. I am your new God!”

Chapter One
“Salvation?” Visor blurted out. “You just killed nearly all the people in this club! Who the devil are you?”

“I am Solaris. I was once the sun to a highly civilized culture. I watched as they and their technology advanced and I watched as that same technology made everyone lazy and lethargic and I watched them all die and their civilization crumble to dust. I vowed that would never happen to another world. I broke free of my gravitational prison, condensed my energy into a humanoid figure and began searching. It was only by chance I stumbled across Earth. I’ve watched it and determined that it needs to be saved from itself.”

“So you’re responsible for these fires and explosions?” Visor asked.

“Not just here. All over Earth. I have also began molding parts of Earth to fit a more...unified civilization.”

Visor flew up to meet Solaris face to face. “Unified? Earth is just fine the way it is. It doesn’t need saving,” Visor angrily said. Visor raised his fist to prepare to strike. “I can’t let you…What? My hand went right through you!”

“I am pure solar energy. You cannot hurt me and you cannot destroy me,” Solaris reached over and grabbed Visor’s face with his fingertips. Visor’s skin burned and sizzled with the touch.

“Aaarrgh!: Visor fell to the ground.

“Now, I must continue on my work,” Solaris began to fly off.

Visor wobbly stood up and leapt after Solaris. “You’re not going anywhere!”

“You have the power and abilities to be a great second-in-command. Too bad your emotions cloud your judgment,” and without looking back, Solaris combusted the air around Visor, setting him on fire. Visor screamed in pain and crashed hard into the rubble of the club. “Farewell. We shall meet again on New Earth.”

Chapter Two
Over the course of two weeks, Solaris had been seen in every corner of the globe upgrading and changing the planet. Every house and hovel he saw he changed into a shining beacon of prosperity. Some countries welcomed him while others opposed him. Those who did oppose him were wiped out.

Visor flew as fast as he could to wherever Solaris was at any particular time but couldn’t catch up. He was always two steps behind.

Solaris appeared in the middle of a war-torn Middle Eastern country and changed the ruins of their makeshift marketplace into a shining chrome complex with an expansive park extended in the middle. The war didn’t stop—only intensified. Within moments the chrome was laid to rubble and the park was aflame. Then Visor arrived.

He stared angrily at both factions. “I don’t agree with what Solaris is doing but he offered you paradise and within thirty minutes, you laid waste to it.” Visor quickly flew and took all of their weapons and placed them in a pile. His electricity crackled from his hand and soon the artillery was dust, blowing in the wind.

A small rock hit Visor in the head.

Visor turned and saw that a small boy had thrown it. He looked surprised at the young boy but then glowered at the people, who were beginning to pick up rocks themselves. “You all are beyond help,” Visor said and flew away.

Back in Centropolis, Solaris was modifying the poverty-stricken suburb of Freeman when Visor arrived. Most of Freeman had already been changed into beautiful gold or chrome structures. The people living in Freeman were cheering ecstatically until Visor flew in and slammed into Solaris.

“Hey, man! What are you doing?” shouted one man.

“Change it back, Solaris! Change it all back!” Visor shouted.

“Why? These people were living in squalor. I replaced their dilapidated hovels with a structure far superior,” Solaris said.

“It’s not your actions, it’s your motive. You are not this planet’s god,” Visor said. “You don’t have the right to manipulate the lives of billions!”

“Why does this planet’s people force one another to live in horrid conditions? Why do people who do nothing but act like another person in front of a camera make millions of dollars while a little girl 2,000 miles away starves to death?” Solaris questioned. And Visor paused. “Idiots who can swing at a ball with a club or write a popular series of novels or drive a car make millions while other people barely survive. Why is that, Visor?”

Visor was silent. “I…I don’t know. Unfortunately we live in a world where if you are successful you are rewarded. I don’t always agree with it either but we’ve accepted it. We may not think it’s fair but…”

“Fair,” Solaris waved. “Under my rule, things would be fair. Those that don’t obey will be eradicated. I guarantee it.”

“No.” Visor flew slowly over to Solaris. “We don’t need someone to rule over with an iron fist. We need several someones to rule fairly and honestly. In theory, Solaris, I agree with you but in reality, you’re just another nut.”

“Then you leave me no choice,” Solaris sighed.

Suddenly a huge ball of energy encompassed Visor, sizzling with heat and crackling with energy. The ball began getting smaller and smaller until it exploded in fury.

And Visor was no more.

Chapter Three
Visor awoke on the ground. A group of people were standing over him. A man with gray hair and a beard stood closer to him than the others.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” the man said and extended his hand to help Visor up.

“What happened? Where am I?” Visor asked, standing up.

“More than likely you opposed Solaris,” the man said. “That’s how we all wound up here.”

“Solaris!” Visor growled. “Where is here?

“It’s another universe. A kind of pocket universe created by Solaris. We are just a fraction of our original size but other than that we are all perfectly healthy,” the man said. “I am Professor Tolos Bertron.”

“I need to stop Solaris. How do I get out of here?” Visor asked.

“You can’t. We’ve tried,” Bertron said.

“What is Solaris? He gave me a story about being a sun and watching a nearby planet destroy it but I’m starting to think he was lying,” Visor said.

“A half-lie. Solaris was a sun--a living sun that watched over the planet Emitron. One day he got bored and decided to leave. He wiped out all life on Emitron and left. He then went to another planet, remade it in his image, made it perfect and became that planet’s sun, watching over it until he got bored again, wiped out the planet and left. Solaris went to the next planet and did the same thing,” Bertron said. “Solaris has been doing this for over a million years.”

“He has to be stopped,” Visor said.

“We have developed a way to stop him but not a way to get out of the universe--safely anyway,” Bertron said. “Follow me. I’ll take you to our lab.”

The lab was slightly bare. Bertron picked up a small black diamond and held it up between his fingers. “This is an obsidian diamond. Press this against Solaris’ chest and his energy will be absorbed into it and he will be trapped.”

“You said you came up with a way to get out of the pocket universe?” asked Visor.

“Yes but it’s very unsafe. A volunteer was torn in half and we haven’t been able to fix it to make the journey safe.”

“Let me go.”

Within minutes, Visor was ready to go and Professor Bertron turned on the machine. “I hope this works,” he said. “This might hurt. Really hurt. Godspeed, Visor.”

Energy crackled around Visor and the machine. Visor began fading in and out but somewhere else Visor was thrashing around in a limbo, screaming in pain. Visor felt like his insides were in boiling water and his skin felt like it was being poked by billions of needles.

Then everything went dark.

And then light again.

Visor stood up. He was back in Centropolis, whose transformation was almost complete. Visor opened his hand and saw that he still held the obsidian diamond. He looked up and saw Solaris off in the distance. Visor leapt up and flew off after him.

Chapter Four
Visor flew fast, raised his fist and hit Solaris as hard as he could. “Murderer!” he screamed.

“How did you escape?” Solaris yelled.

“There were some good people in that pocket universe. They helped me get out and they gave me something to stop you.”

“Really? Remind me after you fail to destroy that universe,” Solaris said.

“No. No more destroying,” Visor slammed the diamond onto Solaris’ chest.

Solaris became paralyzed and all his energy and his form began absorbing into the diamond. Solaris screamed in pain but couldn’t do anything and soon he was nothing but a memory.

Visor stood in the sky staring at the diamond which didn’t look different. Without Solaris, everything began reverting back to it’s original form. Visor looked out over Centropolis and smiled. He felt like he had earned becoming a hero and felt comfortable in the city for the first time in his life. He then took off across the sky. People following him with their eyes quickly lost him in the sun.