Writing about Movies, TV, Comics & Toys. Critically and creatively.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Reserve, Part 1

This is the first part of a short story I wrote for my creative writing class last semester. I first envisioned it as a comic series, but wrote it as a short story just to get the story itself down on paper. I hope you all like it.

The Reserve

Part 1
“Aspire rather to be a hero
than merely appear one.”
Baltasar Gracian

Did you know a Boeing 777 is the first airplane ever designed by a computer? And that they can reach speeds of 575 MPH while holding up to 47,890 gallons of fuel? These are just some of the things that the news reported on frequently after it happened, as of now though it hasn’t yet, but it will soon.

  I stared out the window of the precinct and looked at the skyline of Olive City. The number of airplanes to clouds in the sky was probably four to one, something that I guess you have to just be okay with when you move into as big a city as this. Olive tower caught my eye on this particular day, the tallest building in this country, and here it was looking right back at me just a few blocks away. A fellow officer entered the room and told me the suspect was ready, I followed him to the interrogation room.
           Another one of the low lives of the Clown gang, a bunch of strung out meth heads with a knack for modifying their own weapons to be even more deadly. We’ve brought him in because he’s a major suspect in the murder of two young girls, they were killed by shotgun blasts to the chest, and based on the genius of forensics we deduced it to have been a sawed off shotgun. This creep was picked up a few blocks from the murder in an alley, a sawed off shotgun thrown in a nearby dumpster.
           I sit down and stare at him; he looks at his shoes ignoring me. He’s just a kid, probably no older than 22 and his life is already ruined by this gang. His clown makeup is pretty much smeared off and dried to his face from spending the night in a cell. I asked him what he knew about the murders. He doesn’t reply, I ask him if he owns a modified shotgun and if he realizes owning such a weapon is a federal offense. Nothing comes out of his mouth, he doesn’t even move. The other officer hands me the folder, I open it and take the photos of the dead girls out and put them on the table; I asked him if these girls look familiar. This time he looks up, he picks up the photo and starts to laugh. I don’t have time to deal with this and leave the interrogation room.
           My partner informs me an hour later they let the clown go because there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him for the murder. I sigh because I knew it would happen, and because I know what’s going to happen tonight now that he’s back on the streets.
           My name is Richard Plank, I’m a Detective for the Olive City Police Department, and I am a superhero. At night I put on my mask and outfit and everyone knows me by my vigilante name, The Hood. I see a lot of people I know are guilty get to walk away free in my day job, which is why I started my night job so I could make sure they knew they weren’t above the law. I’ve worn this black cowl so long that I don’t even feel the weight of it on my shoulders anymore; it has become a part of me. The actual hood itself is something I still struggle with, it cuts off the peripheral vision to a degree, and on those warm nights really makes you sweat.
           There are six of us total in Olive City. We all have different costumes, areas of patrol and expertise. Sometimes we work together, but I do my best work when I am by myself, and right now I’m about to bring a world of hurt down on the clown psycho from earlier today.
           I spot him down in an alley next to a garbage can fire; two more gang members are with him. They remain still for a while, talking, laughing, drinking, then they notice the girl walking by herself pass the alley exit. I follow their movements on the roof tops. They grab her, the boy I’m after pulls out a switchblade, and before they know it I’m on the ground with them. I swing my chain into the face of one of the other gang members it knocks him to the ground, skull fracture and possibly internal bleeding on the brain. The other one holding the girl lets her go and tries to reach for his gun. I swing my arm sideways and it makes contact with the side of his face and as he falls the other side of his face hits the brick wall, concussion for sure. I pull out my signature weapon as my target finally realizes what just happened. I hold the two and half foot club in my right hand, and flick my wrist, the tips of the club extend to six feet and now the strung out mime realizes he can’t win. I leave them all in a pile at the opening of the alley.

  I think the superheroes of Olive City do more good for her than harm as some critics wish to think. They are symbols for our people, symbols that they don’t need to be afraid to go out at night. They’re symbols that Olive City is a good place with good people, even though vigilantism is still illegal.
I always knew the Hood has his own special brand of justice, and that was one reason I felt like it was easy for me to write articles about him for the paper. The other reason it was easy was because we had worked together before. My real name is Susan Attenborough, reporter for the Olive City Tribune, and like The Hood sometimes I put on my tights and go hunting for bad guys. They call me Dart. You can guess why, I use arrows and I’m fast.
           The Hood and I worked together only a few times, but I still feel like it gives me the edge on writing about him over some of the other people here. We were a part of the now defunct “The Reserve”, a culmination of masked avengers in Olive City. There was only ever a need for us a few times, and the reason usually being that there was a super villain around. Of course The Reserve was only temporary, hence the name, but it was almost unnecessary because of one member in particular. Everyone calls him the Ultimatian, that being because no one knows his true identity, how he got his powers and when he first came around there was speculation of him being not of this planet, hence the portmanteau labeling of “The Ultimate Martian”.
           There’s almost nothing this guy can’t do, he can fly, he’s really strong, damn near indestructible too; he made The Reserve nearly useless, except that some of us had things he didn’t have: intellect, a connection with humanity, and some of us happen to be very clever. One thing I could never stand about the Ultimatian was his overwhelming shit doesn’t stink attitude and fake nice guy persona. His goody two shoes act was nothing compared to the good old boy in the Reserve, Saber.
           Saber is the nice guy of the bunch. He saves cats from trees, helps grannies across the street, and gives lectures to schools on why drugs are bad. Fighting crime is something he does, but not if he has to, he does all of this for the good press and the PR. The one thing about him that always surprised me was that time he got shot; he didn’t even act like it was a big deal. I was more worried about it than he was, I mean I’m just a journalist what do I know about gunshot wounds? He kept his cool though and patched up his own wounds, Hood wasn’t impressed though, I distinctly remember him saying,
Hit in the stomach? Congrats Nancy you’ve earned your first merit badge. Get set on fire, run over and stabbed a couple more times then we’ll talk about getting you a sash too.

           The other two heroes are our only racially diverse of the six, Bolt Cutter and Hetia. Bolt Cutter dispenses justice like Hood, but to the extreme. If Hood finds you, he might beat you to a pulp but if it’s Bolt Cutter that’s after you he might take a couple of your fingers off just so you remember not to do it again. He’s quite violent in case you couldn’t guess; I wouldn’t worry too much about running into him if I were you though his territory is the ghetto of Olive City….the BAD part of the ghetto. Hetia is from the Middle East, when he was a kid his parents sold him into a traveling circus because of his extra set of fully functional arms. In the circus he specialized in juggling and sword swallowing, you can guess how he fights crime.
           All in all I think the heroes of Olive City important, but in recent years our touch with the public has slipped. People don’t respect us like they used to, especially not Hood and Bolt Cutter. About a year ago a kid died when he and his friends were playing Reserve and he jumped out of their apartment window because he was the Ultimatian. The only one of us that isn’t completely tarnished by people is Saber, fucking pretty boy.

 Coffee really helps after those nights of criminal beating. My partner enters the room with a stupid grin on his face:
Hood took out your boy.
Yeah I heard.
How you can’t be a fan of his style of justice is beyond me Plank.
I like the handcuffs and fingerprints myself.
Even if you don’t like it, you have to admit that it works.

Damn right it works.
          The sound came rushing into our ears like a soul that found the exit to hell, faster than you can imagine something can move and louder than if all of Olive City screamed at once. My partner looked at me, we ran into the hall and everyone else had confused looks on their faces. Someone finally shouted to look out the window, so we did. We saw Olive Tower in flames, with a hole the size of half a football field in the center of it. People started screaming, someone turned on the TV, a few people left to go evacuate people from the tower. I stared at the flaming hole; I looked into it and knew there was a problem coming to Olive City that neither The Hood nor The Reserve could fix.

           The news reports were already on before we could even get to the TV. A plane had hit Olive Tower; there were no suspects at the time, no groups were claiming responsibility, countless innocent people were dead inside the building, the plane and on the ground, but most of all, where were Olive City’s Heroes to protect her?

           Saber was giving a speech to the local 4
th graders on the importance of not talking to strangers when it happened. He was in the middle of an analogy comparing strangers to a dog you don’t know and how you wouldn’t touch a dog you didn’t know would you? They all heard the noise and Saber ran out of the auditorium into the streets to see what happened. He looked up at the smoke pouring out of the hole in Olive Tower. Everyone around him was running away from it, they were scared and they needed to reach safety. Saber knew there was something else to be done, there were still people in there that needed help.
Dodging the people and running as fast as he could Saber ran to the burning building.

           As I watched the TV of the attack being repeated over and over again, they told us facts that we might not know. The FBI didn’t begin to record annual terrorism records until the 1970s. From 1981 to 2000, there were a total of 9,179 international terrorist attacks. The next fact I knew, The Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
                      Saber had a hard time getting into the building with the amount of people that were trying to get out. He just kept repeating it to himself, I have to do something, I have to help someone. He disappeared into the blackness of the building and the overwhelming stream of people trying to exit. Olive City has had her fair share of evil doers and crime. She’s survived it all. She’s emerged stronger every time. This time I think she’s been pushed too far. A body half burned falls to the ground with a wet thud and bounces before resting on the concrete. I don’t know if she’ll ever be the same.


  1. cool story and organization. format is very interesting

  2. Nice! Looking forward to the next installment!