By: Michael Moore
Gawain rubbed his temples and banged his head
slowly against the cool glass of the window. His life
had been turned upside down in only two minutes,
everything he knew was gone. He turned to face Doctor
"Are you sure that this is possible?" he asked.
Lee nodded. "The Circle of Thorns have been
known to practice dangerous magic, and there's a bit
more than just time travel that goes on around here.
You're lucky that we got you when we did, or else you
would probably be dead."
"Where's my armor then?" Gawain asked.
"Well, it's being analyzed in City Hall. A bunch
of the heroes and higher ups there will want to know
if you're a threat to the city." Lee replied.
"Nonsense! Now, please let me have my clothes
back and I'll gather it myself."
"I can't let you do that, sir. Even if you've
been fully healed, you have to stay here so that we
can make sure nothing else happen to you."
Gawain smiled and walked down the hall. "Then
you'll have to follow me while I retrieve my armor."
Lee groaned, but instead of going himself, he hit
the intercom button on Gawain's bed and asked the
nurse to bring his clothes up. He also asked for an
escort hero to bring Gawain to City Hall from Talos.
Gawain, now fully dressed in a white tunic and
brown pants (since he didn't own anything else)
stepped through the hospital doors and into the
sunlight, shielding his eyes to see all the cars and
heroes zooming by.
While he was busy admiring the marvels of the
modern world, he failed to notice the silvery form
watching him from the nearby bench. It was a tall,
slightly stocky figure, silvery and very high-tech for
"Excuse me? Are you the mission principal?" the
figure said in a drawling, buzzy voice. Gawain
started and stared at it.
"I suppose. But who would you be? I am Sir
The silver figure seemed to pause for a moment
and then, "Affirmative. Unit confirmed to be one
Gerald Gawain, escort mission principal. Confirming
request. I am Police Drone X8, of the Paragon City
Police Department Drone Defense Program. I have been
assigned to escort one humanoid Gerald Gawain to
Paragon City Hall."
"Drone, eh? I know drones only to be males of a
bee hive, but I've been gone for quite a while, it
seems. How well at fighting and protecting are you?
Because I can't do anything without my sword." Gawain
stated. He was intrigued by this being, which
apparently wasn't human. It made him wonder if he had
done anything to influence such a creation.
"I cannot give you my statistics, but I can
supply you with information about my past endeavors
and power layout." X8 replied.
Gawain waited for it to continue, but he realized
that this thing was waiting for an order. "Carry on."
The drone had to pause again to confirm this as an
order before it continued.
"I am currently registered as Version 0.82 in the
PCPD databanks. I have qualifications in energy
dispersion bubble, more commonly know as force fields,
and in chemical waste firing, known as radiation
Gawain nodded, "Well, I have no idea what either
of those are, so you were guranteed to help me from
the start. I just wanted to see if I could identify
what you were capable of."
"Then may we proceed? I am currently logged for
a patrol shift of Skyway City in two hours."
"Very well, lead the way." Gawain said and
stepped out X8's way. Once again, it paused but
quickly walked forward with its package in tow.
A more appropriate team had never been seen
travelling on foot. Neither of them spoke to the
other, and both of them just wanted the walk to end.
As the two approached the eastern Talos war wall, X8
only had to flash the stars and stripes shield on its
chest for the policemen guarding it to let them pass.
From there, it was only a quick jaunt through
Skyway City to Atlas Park, where Gawain would be able
to find his own way to City Hall. But, as all good
plans do, this one had a significant snag in it.
The small gang had crept quietly behind them for
some time when they decided that the travellers had to
pay a passing through fee. Their leader snickered,
and puched his fist into his free hand as the others
"Stand down, Trolls. If you back away now, none
of you will be harmed." X8 said calmly. Gawain,
although new to the time period, groaned. This wasn't
how he had taken care of nare-do-wells in his day.
"I don't think so, robo boy. We're just going to
have to dismatle ya and then hold pops here for some
nice fat ransom." the Troll leader snickered.
Gawain felt his teeth clench tightly. Surely, he
appeared old, but he wasn't even fifty yet! Forty
seven was as good an age as any to fight. "Now look
here," he began, "I've seen real trolls. And next to
you, they're actually quite handsome." He hadn't been
a trash talker, but it felt right for the moment.
"You're gonna pay for that." one of the Trolls
said, lunging forward and pulling a knife out of his
pocket. Gawain leaned backwards slightly, grabbed the
poor man by the knife arm, and flung him to the
It was now an all out battle. X8 conjured up a
small bubble around Gawain that began to grow slowly,
pushing back the Trolls who couldn't pop it. Because
he was in the bubble, Gawain could only watch as his
The robot clenched its fists, which began to glow
a seasick green. When he thrust his arm forward, like
a punch, the green glow shot off into the chest of
Troll he had been aiming at.
The thug moaned from the pavement, but quickly
got up again to continue the fight. Several of the
gang members tried to pop Gawain's force field, but
were unsuccessful and kept being pushed back. X8
continued firing low energy blasts into the remaining
Trolls, dropping only three.
In the end, X8 didn't have enough energy to fight
forever. He turned to Gawain, dispersed the bubble,
and said, "Run." and run they did. They didn't get
more than ten feet away from the oncoming Trolls
before three other heroes arrived on the scene, making
quick work of the gang members.
"Thank you," Gawain said, extending his hand to
the first hero, who was dressed in white with a cloth
mask covering his mouth and nose.
"Don't worry about it. If you ever need
anything, just call on The Art of War. Oh, I'm called
Ghost Hero, by the way. And these two are Camo State
and Bouldergast." Ghost Hero gestured to the others
who like like a soldier and a trucker, respectively.
X8 stepped forward, shook Ghost Hero's hand, and
then they were off again to City Hall.
Gawain strecthed in his armor. They crews at
City Hall had done a good job of cleaning it, but they
hadn't found anything unusual about it so they had
been forced to return it.
Now, he and X8 were at the hero registration
office, filling out a form. So far, the registraion
'officer' (as he called himself) had been fairly
please with Gawain's statistics. He was strong,
determined, and skilled.
"Now there's only one more thing we need to take
care of before you receive your security pass." he
said as he flipped through various forms. "What will
be your super hero name? Something that reflects
either how you dress or what your powers are. Be
"Perhaps you could be called Knight Sword." X8
But Gawain was too deep in thought to even
consider it. He thought back to his fight with the
Circle of Thorns mage. The mage had called him
something, and obviously knew him from this city.
Finally, he reached for the form the man was holding
and filled in his name.
"Well, what did you choose?" X8 asked as the man
typed in the information and handed Gawain his new
Gawain smiled, and tapped his armor. "I'm Iron
Clad." With that, he set out to see his first
contact, and his first step to fufilling his destiny.