Setting The Stage For An Unknown Plan (For Now)
An audio version read by me can be heard here: https://audiomack.com/roses311sublime/song/15135514
- In tribute to media that tells an extended story by releasing smaller bits of it at a time (for example, newspaper comic strips including The Amazing Spider-Man, Mark Trail, and The Phantom, and publications like Shonen Jump that deliver manga chapters before full volumes are published), I would like to try my hand at telling a story by releasing small parts of it on a daily basis (I will try to be that frequent). Besides being an interesting story telling tactic, I am hoping to get more practice at writing fiction by doing this. I hope you enjoy!
This story takes place in the same world that these tales are unfolding in: https://theprose.com/book/3184/the-ultimate-hero-network-a-short-story-collection
Although these Characters will ultimately not be the main focus of this tale, they will kick the story off, so introductions are in order:
Hugh is an alien that looks very human. He cleansed his home planet from evil, and he came to the Earth to do the same. He uses a dark helmet that covers his body with armor that increases his strength and gives him access to futuristic weapons that appear by thought. When Hugh was 16, he captured a dangerous criminal named Gull (this original adventure of Hugh can be read here: https://theprose.com/post/389825/the-pit ). Now 30 years old, Hugh has spent the past 14 years building a worldwide network of heroes powered by the same helmet technology as himself. Hugh has even created an alternate world called the Reflection Dimension, a safe place to keep the most dangerous criminals. The inhabitants of the Reflection Dimension all have food, shelter, and digital entertainment needs supplied, and their only means of escape is to pass a test to show that they have truly given up their evil ways. If they are able to do this, they are also cleared of all criminal charges (The first tale of the Reflection Dimension can be read here: https://theprose.com/post/382631/redemption-in-another-dimension ).
Originally Prince Lenny Overature of the country of Prosperity, Lenny was next in line to become the king. However, his true desire was to join his idol Hugh’s hero network. King Overature allowed him to apply for Hugh’s team, while secretly contacting Hugh requesting that his application be declined. Hugh appeared to Lenny shortly after and began interviewing him for the opportunity to become a new recruit. This turned out to be a trick, as this Hugh was really the king’s trusted advisor Bill. Bill stole Lenny’s features, leaving Lenny’s body as a dark silhouette. Plotting to pose as Lenny and become king, Bill’s plans were foiled when Hugh’s associate Mirk came on the scene and sent Bill to the Reflection Dimension, assuming that Bill would return reformed. This did not go according to plan, and Lenny vowed revenge on Hugh and his organization, taking the name Leftover. Leftover plans to build his own team that will eliminate Hugh’s group, and do what he feels will be a better job in being heroes. Leftover’s latest machinations include tricking the world into thinking he is back to normal, being crowned king of Prosperity, and recently obtaining a modded helmet from Hugh’s organization, with Hugh having no memory of this gift. (Leftover’s origin story can be read here: https://theprose.com/post/403057/the-prince-s-year-end-goals-destiny-beyond-the-throne )
Deep underground in the king’s castle in the country of Prosperity, the king that was nothing more than a silhouette stood. Taking the name Leftover, he was plotting to destroy the global hero organization his former idol Hugh was overseeing. The going was slow, but Leftover had already gained some powerful allies that were currently standing before him. He had CCC (Customer Character Creator), a man that chose a bizarre look for himself, but had the ability to customize anyone’s look for an hour at a time. He had a giant orc that possessed hypnosis power that went by the name Hypnorc. And his most recent recruit was Doctor Sic, an expert with toxins. With these characters on his side, Leftover’s plans of destroying Hugh’s team and taking over as the essential hero team were off to a good start.
“Gentleman, your efforts are commendable and appreciated.” Leftover told his allies in his signature voice of nobility and maliciousness. “Thanks to CCC, one of our supporters is currently posing as the old me on the throne, convincing this country that everything is normal. Hypnorc’s powers have my dear old dad, the former king who still wields a lot of influence, under our control. And Doctor Sic can whip up a mean poison for our enemies when needed. Yes, we are looking good, but we still need to grow our organization if we are to destroy Hugh’s worldwide one. Do any of you have some fresh suggestions on how we can do that?”
Doctor Sic walked forward and grinned. “Yes Leftover, I have an idea. And it is a doozy....”
To be continued....
Doctor Sic’s Plot: Pirating The Pirate
An audio version read by me can be heard here: https://audiomack.com/roses311sublime/song/15135559
“All right Doctor Sic, you have my attention.” Leftover replied. “What is your doozy of a plan?”
“Well, do you remember the time that I temporarily infected a cat with a toxin, and the two heroes it bit started vomiting kitty litter?” Doctor Sic asked.
Leftover started laughing hysterically. Once he regained his composure, he responded (the situation Leftover is losing it over can be read about here: https://theprose.com/post/404631/a-sickening-plot ).
“Yes, now that was a doozy! So what do you have in mind now Doc?”
“There are reports of a new hero that apparently is dressed like a pirate.” Doctor Sic said informatively. “Despite his silly appearance, I hear he is quite fast, strong, and has a sword that can cut through anything. There has even been footage of him deflecting laser blasts and bullets with the sword. Best of all, he does not appear to be affiliated with Hugh’s hero network.”
“What do you have in mind for this pirate fellow?” Leftover asked.
“I have a new toxin that will affect the victim’s judgement, and make them only want to do evil things.” Doctor Sic explained. “I say we infect him, get him to kill off some of Hugh’s stooges, then cure him and trick him into joining our group.”
Although he was only a featureless silhouette, Leftover was smiling wide.
“Sounds good Doc, please proceed with your plan.”
To be continued....
A Nice Pirate Walks Into A Bank....
"FILL IT UP, LET'S GO!" A man whose face was hidden by a ski mask shouted, holding out a reusable grocery bag and pointing a gun at the bank teller. "I am not a very patient man, and I could do something drastic if you don't move this along!"
"Y-Yes sir." Janet stammered, running to get money to put into the bag. There was no one else at the bank yet, and no other customers were there either. Her only option was to cooperate with the robber.
Janet grabbed stacks of bills and frantically stuffed them into the grocery bag. Once she gave the robber all she was able to carry, she went back to look for more.
"Those bills you are giving me better not be single digits, or you better believe I'll be back!" The robber threatened. "And I won't be as patient either!"
Just then another man walked into the bank. The man was dressed like a pirate, and he had a sword drawn.
"Give the young lady back the money." The man dressed like a pirate told the robber. "It isn't nice to take things that aren't yours, after all."
"Who are you weirdo?" The robber asked in a menacing tone. "And did you not get the memo that it is Valentine season, not Halloween?"
"You can call me The Pirate, and I am in season all year." The Pirate answered. "And who are you calling a weirdo? Who robs a bank with a grocery bag?"
"A PIRATE?" Janet shrieked. "Are you going to rob me too?"
"No, I'm not that kind of pirate. I'm the good guy, I swear!"
"IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND OF WEIRDO YOU ARE, YOU'RE DEAD!" The robber screamed, pulling his gun and firing several shots at The Pirate....
To be continued....
A New Antagonist
The robber fired several shots at The Pirate, ready to put down what he felt was an annoying road block to his bank heist. The Pirate answered by swinging his sword and blocking each bullet, sending them harmlessly falling onto the pristine floor.
"Impossible! How did you do that?" The robber asked in shock.
"Trade secret." The Pirate replied triumphantly. "Did you want to give this one more shot?"
The robber hollered angrily and charged at The Pirate. The Pirate greeted the robber's approach with an uppercut to the chin, knocking him to the floor. The robber laid unconscious, his bottom half sticking up. The Pirate looked at Janet, whose jaw had dropped to the floor from this whole scene.
"He shouldn't be waking up anytime soon." The Pirate said reassuringly. "That was a nice grocery bag he was using to hold the stolen funds - if I were you I would keep that. Otherwise, I suggest calling the Police to get him out of your hair."
"Thank you so much!" A relieved Janet replied. "You are so amazing!"
"No worries, happy to be of service." The Pirate responded. With a successful rescue under his belt, he was getting ready to walk out the door, until a green parrot flew in and landed on his shoulder.
"Well hello there friend." The Pirate said, laughing at his unexpected visitor. "Guess a buddy like you completes the whole pirate motif, yes?"
Before The Pirate could marvel further at this development, the parrot revealed razor sharp teeth and bit into The Pirate's shoulder. The Pirate fell to the floor in pain as the parrot flew away, laughing over his apparent victory.
"Are you ok Pirate?" Janet asked in a worried tone. "Pirate? Pirate?"
To be continued....
“Pirate, are you ok?” Janet asked with concern, rushing to the hero’s side. His shoulder had a decent gash from the parrot’s sharp teeth, but it didn’t appear to be bleeding.
“I’m doing just fine, never better.” The Pirate said, sounding more serious than before. A twisted smile was now on his face as well.
“Are you sure I can’t help you?” Janet asked, still worried. “Maybe we should get your wound looked at by a doctor?”
“I SAID I’M FINE!” The Pirate snarled at Janet. The smile then returned to his face. “I changed my mind though. I want the grocery bag after all. And I want all the cash that was in it, plus any more you can stuff in.”
“WHAT?” Janet shrieked, shocked at the change in this once heroic character. “I thought you weren’t an evil pirate! You even said so yourself!”
“Last time I checked, evil people lie.” The Pirate mocked. “Pack the bag up, then you better come with me too. The only thing better than money is a beautiful prisoner.”
“Ok, I will get more money, just don’t hurt me please.” Janet pleaded.
She distanced herself from The Pirate by using a trip to the safe as a ploy. When she felt the time was right, Janet made a dark helmet appear in her hand. Janet put the helmet on and within a moment her body was covered in armor. Before The Pirate could react to this surprising turn of events, Janet ran towards him and introduced him to this new side of her with a jump kick to the chest. The force of the attack sent The Pirate flying out the door, his flight stopped by a crash into a brick candle store building across the street. Janet walked towards The Pirate, now holding a sword in her hand.
“I have to confess, I actually know quite a bit about you, Pirate.” Janet said with a confidence that she previously wasn’t showing. “I know you aren’t actually an evil pirate. You saved me before, and now it’s my turn.”
To be continued....
Janet vs The Pirate: Swordmasters Clash
The Pirate pulled himself back up, and looked at the fully armored Janet curiously.
“That dark helmet and that body armor.... you’re in Hugh’s network, aren’t you?” The Pirate asked.
“That’s right.” Janet responded, standing in a battle pose with her sword ready. “I was working undercover at the bank in an effort to catch that robber. He had been quite elusive until today. I was going to comply with his demands, then armor up and track him down. You saved me the trouble of having to follow those steps, but it would seem my work isn’t done after all.”
“You are so right.” The Pirate said, a twisted smile returning to his face. “This side of you is a lot more fun than the helpless damsel in distress act you were playing in the bank.”
“Well, she’s gone now, you are looking at the real me.” Janet replied. “And I’m not looking at the real you. All the tales I have heard about you have been stories of your heroic deeds. If we have to fight for me to bring back the true Pirate, then so be it!”
The Pirate drew his sword, and charged at Janet. Janet blocked his attack with her own sword, and the two began their duel. Janet and The Pirate clashed swords, dueling so fiercely that they had traveled several miles away from the bank and the candle store.
“You’re quite the swordswoman, but you’ll never win this.” The Pirate said tauntingly. “My pirate form enhances my skills with a sword.”
“You aren’t the only one with enhanced abilities.” Janet shot back. She backflipped a few feet away, then lit her sword up into a laser sword. She then charged at The Pirate with her powered up blade. The Pirate quickly blocked her attack with his own sword, which appeared unaffected by Janet’s strike.
“What?” Janet responded in shock. “My laser sword didn’t break your weapon?”
To be continued....
The Stronger Sword (And Wielder)
Janet looked on in shock as her laser sword was stopped by The Pirate’s seemingly normal sword. How powerful was this weapon that a laser couldn’t destroy it?
“This isn’t a normal sword.” The Pirate responded matter of factly. “This sword can cut through just about anything. Consider yourself lucky that your weapon is on par with mine. Not that it will matter in the end....”
Shaking off her surprise, Janet jumped back, then began clashing swords with The Pirate again. She decided that their weapons being equal was fine. She would just have to win by being the better duelist.
After ten minutes of clashing swords with neither The Pirate or Janet gaining the upper hand, both fighters backflipped several yards away from each other. It was unspoken, but both planned on charging forward and seeing who would deliver a stronger strike.
Weapons ready, Janet and The Pirate raced towards each other, both emitting screams befitting the great warriors that they were. Once in range, the two swords struck together as hard as Janet and The Pirate could muster. This time, one sword shattered from the impact.
To be continued....
The End of the Duel: One Left Standing
The Pirate stared at his sword handle in shock, as this was all that was left of his weapon after Janet's laser sword decimated his blade.
"H-H-How did you do that?" The Pirate stammered. "My blade was unbreakable!"
"Apparently it could be broken." Janet replied calmly, her laser sword still drawn. "Are you ready to drop the evil act and be The Pirate that is known as a hero again?"
"NO!" The Pirate screamed, also answering with a roundhouse kick that sent Janet's laser sword flying into the air. The Pirate leaped up and claimed it, landing a few feet behind Janet.
Janet turned around to face The Pirate, who was now wielding her weapon.
"You should have finished me off when you had the chance!" The Pirate mocked, swinging the stolen weapon at Janet. Janet jumped back and dodged The Pirate's slash. The Pirate lost his balance after following through on his swing, falling face first onto the street, dropping the laser sword in the process. Janet reclaimed her blade and took a few steps back.
"As you just observed, my sword handles differently than your old blade. This fight is over Pirate." Janet said sympathetically. "I really don't think you're actually a villain, but this is the only way I can save you. I'm sorry."
Janet plunged her laser sword through The Pirate's back, striking his vitals and ending the duel.
To be continued....
Encounter In The Reflection Dimension
The Pirate woke up and checked his surroundings. He found himself in a field that seemed to have no end, no matter which way he looked. He looked up and saw a dark, starry sky. Feeling very disoriented and confused, he was both grateful and apprehensive when a figure in a silver helmet and yellow armor headed his way.
"Greetings." The figure said in a distorted, yet kind voice. "My name is Guide, and I have been expecting you."
"Where am I?" The Pirate asked, feeling lost. "Am I dead?"
"Before you arrived here, you had indeed died." Guide said. "But you were killed with an upgraded weapon designed by Hugh and his associate Tam. So although your body died, you did not stay dead. You and your body were transferred here to the Reflection Dimension, and you have been fully healed."
"Fully healed?" The Pirate asked. "The last thing I remember was a parrot with sharp teeth biting my shoulder, and nothing else. What else happened to me?"
"The bite from the parrot put a toxin in your body, and the toxin made you torment Hugh's associate Janet." Guide answered. "Janet suspected you were poisoned, and finished you off in order to send you here. Once you arrived and were fully healed, the toxin was completely removed from your system."
"Thank you, that's a good thing." The Pirate replied, relieved but still wanting information. "Is there a way for me to leave this place? I am worried that this parrot might bite someone else, and I need to track it down."
"I am going to turn this over to someone more suitable to explain the next steps." Guide replied. Guide held his hand up, and from his hand a holographic projection of a man appeared. The man was none other than the leader of the worldwide hero network.
"It is nice to meet you Pirate. I'm Hugh!"
To be continued....
A Discussion Among Heroes
"Wow, this is an honor sir!" The Pirate exclaimed. Although this wasn't technically an in person meeting, talking to a live projected hologram of the famous hero had The Pirate feeling star struck.
"The pleasure is all mine." Hugh replied in his standard upbeat tone. "I have heard much about your adventures as well, and it is nice to finally talk to the man behind them."
"So this place is called the Reflection Dimension?" The Pirate asked. "Can you tell me more about it, and how I can leave as well?"
"Certainly." Hugh answered. "This is a dimension I created to keep the most dangerous in. Anyone staying here has their own space in what appears to them as an endless field. All sustenance, shelter, and digital entertainment is provided to residents. Anyone sent here that was injured or initially killed by one of our weapons arrives fully restored to health. And if anyone repents and changes their ways, they just need to pass a test in order to return to the regular world. They will even return at the exact moment they left, losing no time or lifespan in the process. And I have made arrangements that anyone returning from this place receives no charges for previous crimes, although making up for past mistakes by helping to fix damages is encouraged."
"This truly is an amazing creation!" The Pirate exclaimed. "So if I pass a test I can return?"
"The test won't be necessary for you." Hugh said, smiling. "The crimes you committed were due to a toxin you were infected with. The toxin is no longer within you, so I know you already have good intentions upon your return. You may leave whenever you are ready. However, may I ask a favor first?"
To be continued...