Sunday, January 14, 2018

Time Man #1

“Take him dead or alive men!” the lieutenant shouted and the other officers began charging into the apartment building.

On the sixth floor, Butch Matson was cowering in a corner with a gun watching the door to the apartment he was in. “I didn’t do it!” he shouted. “I didn’t do it,” he said softly and put the muzzle of the gun underneath his jaw. He closed his eyes and waited for the police to burst in. He heard the feet on the stairs , quick movements outside the door and the splintering of wood and the door swinging open against the wall then he heard silence. He slowly opened his eyes and saw the police standing still--frozen.

Time Man stood just off to the side in his blue and yellow uniform. “Come on. Get up. I’ll get you out of here.”

Butch got up and Time Man grabbed him and they went out the window. As soon as they were away from the building, Time Man restored time. “You saved my life.”

“Police shouldn’t be acting like that.” Time Man said.

“Especially toward an innocent person,” Butch said. “They think that I killed that old landlord and his family but I didn’t. Neither did Melissa Stasi, the woman in jail for the murder.”

“Who is the murderer?”

“Julia Stack, she’s a singer at the club that’s in the building the landlord owned. He was going to raise the rent so the club was going to close. She was just made headliner--the club closing would mean her having to start all over. She killed the landlord and framed Melissa and me.”

“I’m going to drop you off at the Golden City Herald,” Time Man said. “Gail Porter is a reporter there. Tell her everything. I’m going to find Ms. Stack.”

“She is probably at the HiLow Club rehearsing,” Butch said as Time Man landed on a narrow balcony at the Golden City Herald building.

He softly tapped on the window and Gail Porter opened the blinds. “Time Man, what are you doing?” she asked as she opened the window to let them in.

“This is Butch Matson. He has some information on the Melissa Stasi murder. I’m gonna go check it out but I thought you’d be good at writing the story,” Time Man said.

“What? Sure. Well, Mr. Matson, let me grab my notebook,” Gail ran to her desk.

Time Man flew back out to the HiLow Club. When he went in, it was nearly empty. There was a drunk at the bar and the bartender and a couple wait staff milling about. “Time Man?” the bartender asked, seeing the brightly dressed, caped man in the club.

“Julia Stack? Is she here?”

“In the back, probably her dressing room. Through the stage back there,” the bartender pointed.

Time Man went behind the stage and found a dressing room with Julia Stack’s on the door. He tried the door but it was locked. He knocked lightly and heard a shuffling behind the door. The door unlocked and a woman opened the door. “Julia Stack?”

“Yes. What’s the meaning of this?”

“You’re the one that killed that landlord and you framed two innocent people.”

“Mm. I don’t know how you found out but let’s talk about this,” Julia said.

“I spoke with Butch Matson,” Time Man said. “He told me everything and he’s telling a reporter and the police now.”

“And you just believed him?” Julia laughed.

“Why would he lie? He has nothing to lose and nothing to gain. But you…” Time Man lightly shrugged and pointed. “You have everything to lose.”

“I should’ve known I couldn’t get away with this,” Julia said. She suddenly pulled a gun out from behind her and pointed it at Time Man. “I know I can’t kill you but I make sure I go out on my terms.”

Julia pointed the gun at her temple. Time Man quickly went for his wrist sundial. Time slowed and stopped making it possible for Time Man to walk over and take the gun from her hand. He restored time and she realized that she no longer had the gun.

“Come on, the police are here,” Time Man said, hearing the faint sounds of police sirens. The two of them left the club. Police were waiting along with Gail and Butch. “Here’s Julia Stack. She’ll confess, Officer,” Time Man said.

“Thanks, Time Man,” the officer said and cuffed Julia.

“Thanks, Time Man,” Butch said again.

“No problem, Butch,” Time Man smiled.

“Time Man,” another officer ran up to the three of them. “We have a report of a robot robbed a bank a few blocks from here.”

Time Man and Gail looked at each other. “You want to come with?”

“A robot robbing a bank? Of course I want to see this,” Gail said.

Time Man picked up Gail and they flew the few blocks to the bank reported to be robbed. Time Man landed and he and Gail carefully went into the bank. A robot was robbing the bank. It had smashed through a wall and ripped the vault open and was currently tearing through the money although it looked like it was just doing mindless destruction. Time Man walked over and threw a punch at the robot. The robot easily took the punch and backhanded Time Man as hard as it could causing Time Man to fly across the bank and through a wall. Time Man came back in and barreled his way back to the robot.

“Gonna have to use a bit more strength to stop this thing,” he said before slamming into the robot sending both of them through a counter and into an office. The robot grabbed Time Man by the throat and threw him back across the bank, through a couple of pillars and into a wall. “Everyone needs to get out. This building isn’t going to last much longer,” Time Man snarled as he stood back up.

The few people in the bank and Gail left the bank. Police had arrived and were keeping a perimeter around the bank. The robot easily took the next several punches that Time Man threw at it. “You can’t stop me, Time Man,” the robot suddenly spoke. “I may be in jail now but my presence in this city and your life will always be there.”

“Lucius,” Time Man whispered, recognizing the voice.

The floor above them collapsed and within seconds, the rest of the bank building fell to the ground. The rubble was silent and unmoving for several minutes. As time went on, people carefully got closer, worried about Time Man and if the robot was stopped. The robot came shooting through the bricks and metal and wood holding Time Man’s tattered cape, cackling. He took off into the sky and disappeared.

A few seconds later, Time Man clawed his way out of the destruction. “Time Man,” Gail exclaimed and ran to him. “Are you okay?”

He coughed. “Yeah, I think I’ll be fine. That robot was a threat from Lucius Goebel,” Time Man said.

“But he’s in jail,” Gail said.

“I know but it was his voice coming from that robot. He may be in jail but he’s still going to find a way to control this city,” Time Man said.

The robot landed on a rooftop docking bay at Genesee Labs. The robot walked down to one of the labs and handed the tattered cape to Conrad. “So Time Man isn’t as strong as we all thought he was,” he said quizzically. “Now, all we need is to know who he is and he should be easily defeated.” Conrad shook out the cape and brought it with him into another room.