Sorry for the massive delay, folks. Like I said, workin' on another project and I'm easily distracted (my rage at Avengers Arena has sparked venting writing). Still, I want to give you something, just to show that I haven't abandoned this thing. Here's a vignette that's more appropriate for the last month, but it's been kicking around in my head for a while. Consider it a side story/back story thing.
Everyone remembers where they were that day. I was right there. At ground zero. Over a hundred floors up, doing my best to rescue as many people as I could.
In the year 1999, Godzilla destroyed the first World Trade Center tower, dropping it on the space demon King Ghidorah. An acceptable loss. Now the actions a few men threatened to bring the last tower down. Why, at the time I didn’t know nor care. I had only one primary objective. Keep the building standing.
I am strong—ridiculously strong. When I focus myself and my chi, I can lift more than even my father could at his prime. One of the support beams had given out. Buckling under the heat of the flames. There was no choice, no other option. If I was to save as many people as I could, I had to make sure the last tower remained standing.
So I held it up.
My muscled quivered with exertion. For someone as strong as I am, this is a rare event, and it brought tempest-like fear to my stomach. I could feel my hands burning. Hear and smell my own flesh sizzling against the red hot metal. Being able to see into the infrared and beyond ultraviolet spectrum sounds like a blessing at first, but here and now, amid those intense flames, it left me blind. All I could do was hold it up. I didn’t have a costume on. There was no time. I had to save as many as I could.
I remember calling out to him, “Cap! Tell me you’re making progress.”
“As much as can be made,” I heard his voice over the com. Damn things still worked despite the heat. I thanked Biko for the design afterwards. It didn’t stop her tears, “You holding up?”
“Ha. Ha.” I smiled. Cap could always keep moral up, even in the darkest of times. He cared about everyone he worked with. Everyone loves Cap. Everyone loved Cap. Steve Rogers. Captain America. He was truly the greatest hero I've ever known. This was the day he died.
I watched him die. Unable to do a thing.
He was lower in the tower than I was, leading people down the stairs as best he could, clearing debris and getting as many people out as he could. We were the only super heroes close enough to the scene to get in—maybe the only ones fool hearty enough to do it. I can get away with it. Very few things can harm me. And Cap? He’s just one brave son of a bitch. Unthawed in the 1960s and still kicking around. I never realized until he was gone how old he’d gotten. Not in his body, but in his eyes. He was tired.
Maybe I could have saved him if I realized it sooner.
“How long do you think you can manage?” he asked me. He always cared about everyone under his command.
“I’ll manage as long as I have to!” I told him. Even though he was floors away, I could feel his disapproving glare. “Another hour. Tops. Then this place is going down.”
“Are you sure you want to—”
“Cap, I know I can survive this. It’s gonna hurt like hell, but I’ll manage—“Damn those words. Those were the last words I got out before I heard it. Another support beam starting to give out.
“Oh God,” terror crept up my voice, “Cap—another beam is giving out! I can hear it!”
I dug down and focused my sight to the x-ray spectrum. I could see the shadows of the metal starting to bend and twist.
“The buildings going down any moment now! I--I can't stop it! Steve! Get out of here! I know you can—“
“We both know that’s not true,” he told me calmly, “We both knew this was probably a one way trip for me.”
“Eiko. It’s been an honor.” I could see him salute me. I could see him and the others. Everyone.
I screamed again as the floor collapsed beneath me. But I couldn’t un-focus my eyes. Damn them. Damn my eyes. I saw them all. The people. Crushed. Stabbed. Eviscerated. Mutilated. Smashed and finally rendered unto ash. I watched them all die. I watched him die.
I survived. But part of me wished I didn’t.
I don’t remember being pulled out. I was awake, my eyes refocused to close, but all I can remember as the smells and sounds. The burning. The creaming and my own horse voice crying out in the darkness as the building's remains surrounded me. I remember waking in the Hospital days later. I remember the nation in mourning. Aside from Steve, over a thousand had died. They say that with out the two of us, the death toll would have been more than twice that. They gave me medals. I couldn’t stop crying for days.
Then someone claimed responsibility for it. They tried to keep the news away from me. But I found out anyway. I don’t remember what happened in the next few days. It’s a blur of red in my mind. Stories from Afghanistan speak only of a monster, something called Shaiitan al Ahmar
. The Red Devil. The monster is said to have torn the country apart in its search for the ones behind the attack. It was discriminate, but terrible in its wrath to all who stood in its way.
All I know is that I regained my senses in Pakistan. From there, I made my way to India and arranged transport back home. There, I learned that the ones who brought about the destruction of that day were scattered to the winds, their leaders and organizers assumed dead. Assumed because of the amount of destruction wrought. Because there were no bodies to confirm it. Only the jabbering testimony of men frightened to madness.
I don’t know what I did. I don’t know if it could happen again. So I lost myself in fantasy. Fantasy of what I failed to be—a true Super Hero.
I pray I never find my way back out.
ISARMA: Daikaiju Coordinator
: Just Add RadiationJustice League
- Molly Hayes
: Respect Hats or Freakin' Else!BrowncoatSupernatural Taisen
- "[This Story] is essentially "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?" Followed by explosions."
Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.
"God! Are you so bored that you enjoy seeing us humans suffer?! Why can't you let this poor man live happily with his son! What kind of God are you, crushing us like ants?!" - Kyoami, Ran