Too Many Heroes
Too Many Heroes
An Offer He Could Refuse
“That won’t be necessary.” Lyssa announced as she was coming to.
“Excuse me?” Carl was confused. He wasn’t sure whether to listen to me or the woman who was apparently their hostage.
“Well, let’s think about this. You’ve figured me out. I’m a leech. What possible difference is rope going to make?”
I didn’t like whatever authority I might’ve had being challenged. I’m also not a fan of people making me look stupid. This woman was making me feel worthless and doing all this with simply her looks. “Carl, the rope.”
“You’re not the brightest are you? I only seek information; I’m not exactly what you’d label a ‘fighter’.” She gestured at her tight-fitting blue dress that cut off at the knees. The six-inch heel on her shoes didn’t exactly scream ‘badass’ but this lady was good. “Feeling inadequate, Artie? Scrambling for answers as to what you should do now? I know it all seems a bit confusing but it will all make sense very soon.” That wry smile caught my attention. She was starting to piss me off.
“Carl, how long does it take to get some rope?” I looked back to see that Carl hadn’t moved. The extraterrestrial just stood there looking at Lyssa and then back at me.
“I agree with her, Arthur. What good will tying her up do?”
“For fuck’s sake, now you’re questioning me?” I turned to Elijah, where hopefully, I’d get some assistance with the situation.
“I don’t know Art, she doesn’t exactly require subduing. Unless, of course, you take her to the bedroom.” Elijah couldn’t help but chuckle at his own joke.
“Fuck, boys…” My frustration was taking over. I didn’t know why, I never wanted to be a leader or in charge of anything. I’m a nobody, but maybe with the deaths of two of the most beloved superheroes I was hoping to pick up the slack.
“Listen, Shatterproof, is it? How long have you been a Lesser? All your life? Am I correct? You’ve always wanted to be more, you’ve always wanted what Excalibur and Dextratos had. Now, let me ask you. How would you like to take their place? Become the hero you’ve always dreamed of being. You, Eli, and your little shiny friend over there can take the reins.” The woman was persuasive. Or was it just her captivating hazel eyes that made me think she was persuasive. Was I even listening?
“No, I…I don’t want this.”
“Arthur, ever since I met you, we’ve talked about being something more. Pub-hopping and brawls with other Lessers isn’t exactly the “high-life” I came here hoping for. You are a great human being Arthur Moore, but this is our chance to move up.” Carl had never been so upfront. Or so eloquent. He was right. We always discussed moving up; we just never knew how to do it. But taking advantage of death to become heroes wasn’t the path I wanted to take. Not just deaths, murders. Have we all forgotten that these men were murdered?
“Wait. This is wrong. Carl, we’re not just ‘moving up the ladder’, these men were murdered and no one seems to care. I want to be a hero, but this isn’t how I want to get there.” My head fell, confused as to what was going on. Lyssa was giving me the chance of a lifetime and I was letting it slide.
Lyssa shook her head in vague disappointment. “That’s too bad, Mr. Moore.”
The warehouse we utilized as a home began to tremble. It used to store lumber and beams for construction. When it went under, no one noticed that we’d turned it into our domicile. The concrete walls were shaking violently; my head was on a swivel looking for an answer to the rumblings going on. And then it stopped. Once my bearings were in place I looked to Lyssa on the couch. She hadn’t moved or changed her expression. She wore that shit-eating grin proudly.
“Is this your doing?”
I had no time to think. What I figured for a nuclear bomb dropped through the roof and put me twenty feet into the ground. While the dust was clearing I saw the massive shadow of the man standing over me.
“I was willing to let you live as a team member, to join our ranks. Just as well, we needed a patsy.” Dressed in all-black with a matching cape flowing behind him, the gold eight-sided star wasn’t anything I remembered.
“Oh, hey Landon. Was that necessary?” I may not break that easily, but God dammit that hurt.
He grabbed me by the collar on my jacket and pulled me close. “You should’ve joined me.”
“Joined you? You’re a bloody pedophile. And a queer one at that.” Zenith slammed my face into the wall behind us repeatedly. Finally, blood began to trickle from nose. Blood? I can’t remember the last time I bled. Kneeling and patting my face for any other issue, I was grabbed again and tossed across the warehouse. Carl started after Zenith.
“I don’t think so, freak.” Zenith caught Carl with a golden ray that emitted from his right arm. Elijah just stood next to Lyssa, who remained undaunted by the situation. So much for any assistance. Landon was walking toward me, ferocity in his eyes. This was a side of Zenith I was unfamiliar with. “See, here’s the problem. I fucked up. I know I fucked up and I tried to fix it. But no. Excalibur and Dextratos stood on their pedestals and wouldn’t absolve me of any past indiscretions. Do you understand now? It’s my turn at the top. It was very simple really. There were just too many heroes.”