Logic Puzzle: A, WB, DC, and Marvel own just about everything in here. B, I am not WB or DC or Marvel. If A and B are true then C, I don’t own, must also be true.
Title: Being a Hero
Rating: Ranges from Pg-13 to a few borderline NC-17 moments.
Pairings: In the end it’ll be Richie/Virgil. We may take a few twists and turns to get there though.
Warnings: Be prepared for violence, language, pain, angst, sex (of the slash and het nature) and just general chaos.
Notes: Umm...I torment the ones I love?
Summary: Everything before the Second Bang only scratches the surface of what made Static the hero he is. Graduation’s close, Dakota is falling apart, new meta-humans are showing up, and that’s just the easy stuff.
If you’ve made it this far into the story then you know everything that happened the first few years I was Static. The Big Bang, my big fights, Ebon and Hotstreak, Richie becoming Gear, meeting the League, and the Second Bang as caused by the two idiots I mentioned above.
You also know that this is just the beginning, scratching the surface of my ‘illustrious hero’ career. If everything I’d done had happened before I got out of high school I’d be a pretty pathetic hero, don’t you think? There’s a lot left to say, a lot of heroes I hadn’t met yet who passed along their own unique form of knowledge. I had to go through a lot before I became Static, one of the Four, Hero of New Dakota, and member of the JLA. Most of it is embarrassing, tedious, and I’d personally rather forget it.
You’d be shocked how far from glamorous getting thrown into buildings, doused with water, diving in dumpsters, and learning how to sew your own stitches can be. It amazes me that people ever swooned over Static because by the time I got around to saving them I was dirty, sweaty, and rank. I guess by the time people really started swooning they knew who I was and were willing to overlook it.
But, like I said, I wasn’t always an important hero, even after meeting the League and all that good stuff. I was still a kid and even calling me a local hero was shaky; my reputation extended through about half of Dakota and when things got quiet after the Second Bang that may have been pushing it. So, yeah, I wasn’t always the kind of hero people cheered for and immediately felt relieved to see.
First I had to be Static, semi-hero of a city that was falling apart fast, with his one partner fighting against something not even my powers could change. I had to leave Dakota, be a Titan, make nice with two of my greatest enemies, be part of the JLI, hit a few alternate dimensions, die once or three times, and survive a few Earth Changing Crises. All while trying to get out of college, get a decent job, and not completely lose my damn mind.
Nothing major in the grand scheme of things, and no different than every other spandex wearing person out there. On that note, I’d like to take this time to point out that it’s not actually ‘spandex’, it’s unstable molecules. I’m not sure what the difference is look- wise but there’s this guy in New York, Reed Richards, who will hurt me if I don’t point that out.
After the Second Bang things were quiet in Dakota, on the super-powered crime front. Gangs were cropping up all over, people were moving out by the dozens, and it wasn’t nearly as nice a place as when I’d been a kid. I hated it and, more than that, I knew my father hated it. He’d dedicated his whole life to stopping Dakota’s kids from falling into the sort of lives most of them were pursuing, but while the police had been chasing down Bang Babies the normal criminals had run loose, gathered numbers, and were now a serious force to be reckoned with.
A force Static couldn’t really do anything about. Sure, I could take their guns and stick them to the sides of buildings and Gear could bind them with the Zap Caps to wait for the cops, but it wasn’t really our thing. There was some trouble about what we did, using our powers on normal humans and interfering with the work the police were supposed to be doing. We had to back off, unless things got really ugly, for the sake of the police not dragging us in and trying to force the newest cure on us.
It didn’t sit well with the two of us but at the same time it gave me time to focus on just being Virgil for a while. Before I knew it was nearly summer time and we were almost at the end of our senior year. I had a girlfriend in Daisy, good grades, and a scholarship to Star City College waiting for me. We just had to get past a few end of the unit tests, finals, prom, and graduation. We were adults, eighteen and looking forward to the rest of our lives.
At least I was looking forward to the rest of my life. Richie was just looking forward to getting the hell out of his parents house and the hell away from me, but I was too caught up to see it.
Richie says, if not for what happened that one day in mid-May, I’d still have my head up my ass. I’m inclined to disagree because everything that happened was no more hinged on Entropy than on my sister Sharon. I would have seen it eventually.
He called himself Entropy when we caught up with him. You could almost see Richie’s eyes light up at the prospect of an intelligent opponent and I would have laughed had it not made me so wary. Idiots with power were easier to put down than smart guys with power, because the smart guys not only used their power better, they sought out weaknesses in those they fought.
Entropy, who we‘d later come to know as Jacob Nash, had been stealing from the supermarket, of all possible places. We wouldn’t have bothered with him except that his powers were literally throwing everything to hell. The security systems just failed the moment he crossed the threshold of the store, from the cameras frying to the alarm shorting out.
More than that, the security guards just couldn’t get a proper shot off. They must have emptied six guns at him and every bullet fell to the side, somehow managing to miss him every time. It was impossible for one person to be that lucky.
Rich picked up his signal with Backpack while we were heading home from school and naturally we went to investigate. We caught him walking towards the docks, looking utterly unconcerned.
He was about Richie’s height, with light brown skin and dirty blond hair. And I don’t mean dirty as in dark; I mean dirty as in greasy and unwashed. His eyes were brown-green, wild and, looking back on it, absolutely terrified. I should have known he wasn’t the usual the moment I saw him. His jeans were dirty, ripped and holey, and he was wearing about four shirts, starting with a dingy wife beater and ending with a faded plaid jacket. His sneakers were ratty and, like the rest, had a few holes here and there.
You’d think after things with ‘Frost I’d have learned a little something, right? Maybe to not just attack on sight, but to consider things first? Actually take a look at my opponent and realize, maybe, that he wasn’t running off with cash but food. I would like to say I was a lot more hotheaded then and less prone to using my brain but that would imply I’m better now.
I thought it would be easy and basic; another day, another bang baby taken down and locked up.
May 12th, 2003
Static smirked down at the young man staring up at him from the ground. He wasn’t particularly big, buff, or noticeably mutated. In fact he was pretty skinny and a touch on the short side.
This would be easy. He couldn’t see it being anything else. He’d have this done and still have time to go home and get ready to see Daisy later tonight. He circled the new bang baby once then called out to him, a little surprised that the usual trash talking and threatening hadn’t started. Had this been Ebon or Hotstreak he’d be on his third round of insults.
“So, you got a name or what?” He tilted his head as if he didn’t understand the question. “You know, something to call you by? Gear, I think we’ve got another bright one on our hands.”
“Hey, Static.” Gear was hovering a few feet away from him, a very thoughtful frown on his face. “I don’t think this is-”
“Entropy.” The guy said finally, blinking slowly. “You can call me Entropy.”
Whatever Gear had been about to say was lost as his eyes widened and the look on his face became similar to what he wore when building something new. Static hadn’t seen him that excited in a while. “Do you know what entropy is?”
Entropy laughed softly. It was a harsh rough noise, as if he hadn’t had a drink in weeks. Then he licked his lips, which were cracked to the point of bleeding. “Surprised?”
“It’s not often you meet a criminal who comes up with something so…unique.”
He blinked mildly. “It’s not unique. It’s just…true.”
“That’s nice.” Virgil said not particularly liking the almost friendly conversation the two were having. “Are we going to fight or discuss science?”
Almost in unison Gear and Entropy shrugged. Then the blond on the ground tilted his head to the side again, long greasy locks sliding into place.
“You could just let me go.”
“Yeah, that’ll happen.” Static rolled his eyes but still held back. He wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of attacking someone who wasn’t…posing a threat. Entropy rocked on his heels for a moment then sighed and dropped the bags.
“Keep ‘em. I don‘t want to fight.” And with that he turned and headed off down the street, as if he hadn’t just fried an entire supermarket only to leave his prize in the middle of the street. Static wasn’t sure if he should follow him or what. Gear, ever the curious one, headed for the bags he’d left.
He was a bang baby and he had caused a lot of damage but, as far as Static knew, no one was hurt and he hadn’t really taken anything. Still it was better to take him in so he could take a whiff of the new cure that had been whipped up. He felt kind of bad but still he flexed his power a bit and caused a few ‘spare’ pieces of metal to form a cage around Entropy. The bars crackled with electricity, least he try to use whatever his power was to escape.
As long as it wasn’t water based Static knew it would hold.
The blond blinked, clearly startled. Then, with a sad sort of smile he reached out and touched the metal. There was a rumble and Static felt a tug inside his chest. The bars of the cage wobbled and collapsed like so much scrape metal.
“Oh wow.” Gear murmured excitedly, momentarily distracted. “Fascinating.”
Static disagreed just a little bit and really wished Gear would stop doing the Mr. Spock impressions. He gathered his power again, deciding the direct approach was best. He was about to wrap Entropy with just simple electric bands when he felt something…wrong about his energy. He was familiar with the crackling electrical field that surrounded him, giving everyone who dared to touch him a small shock of static electricity no matter how he tried to control it, and it was…almost comforting in it’s familiarity.
But this was wrong. It was almost like the time with the sunspots, only it felt…wrong inside. Something inside of him twisted and it hurt and he couldn’t help but double over in pain.
“Static?” Gear’s slightly dazed voice then a muttered curse. He watched Gear throw a zap cap and fully expected whatever was happening to stop the moment Entropy was safely wrapped up. It didn’t happen. The zap cap just sat at his feet, innocent and unassuming.
Gear looked dumbstruck. Static was now on his knees and he could feel his field flickering in and out and he knew the minute it just went out he was headed for the ground. Hard.
Entropy stooped and picked up the apparently faulty ‘cap. He tossed it from hand to hand for a moment then, eyes still holding a deep sort of sadness, threw it. The coils extended, binding Gear and sending him pitching over.
Static felt his panic rise to full force because rather suddenly he was falling. The energy was pulsing out of him but instead of staying out he could felt his body reaching out and drawing it back in, like some kind of sick recharge loop, and it hurt. It was almost tearing at him, burning him from the inside.
Shit. Was he being electrocuted? Was that even possible?
He was pretty sure he should have hit the ground but arms wrapped around him. He blinked up at the Bang Baby who looked panicked. He wanted to push away but found that he couldn’t. Murky brown eyes were wide and staring, lips moving but only soft noises coming out. He imagined Gear was puzzling the whole thing out in his head, which meant that he’d be fine eventually.
If he didn’t pass out at first. The hot feeling inside of him grew worse,; like he literally had a fire burning away at his insides and that it was reaching out with tiny-clawed fingers and tearing at him, desperate to escape into the open air.
He realized suddenly that he wasn’t just sucking in his own energy. It was too much to just be his own. He could feel himself building up, too much all at once, a serious overload. Too…much. He felt as if he was going to explode…just…keep taking it in until the pressure built and he exploded into tiny little Virgil pieces all over the pavement.
His father was going to be so pissed off about this whole dying thing. The world was more white than anything, starting at the inside and working it’s way outwards, consuming his entire line of sight. It was bright and hazy all at once. Little black dots, wreathed in bright colors, danced in front of his eyes, taunting him.
Weird. Was this dying?
“Stop it!” The voice was distant and thick, as if someone was fighting to speak through something.
And then it stopped and he was gasping for air. The world went kind of gray for a moment, tilting wildly and all he could see was Gear‘s face, a mixture of relief and surprise, followed by panic once again. And then there was nothing.