The "Origins" Saga: The New Recruit

Hope smiled as she played with her friends. Most of the children were younger than her, but in a place like Recluse City, you are always thankful for the small amounts of companionship you can find.

Hope had been in the Orphanage for the last three years. Before then, she had been a very normal child. She had grown up in Paragon City hearing all about the amazing feats of Statesman and the Freedom Phalanx. Unfortunately, that all ended just before the War, when all of the Heroes fought against the forces of Lord Recluse. Lord Recluse had conquered or formed alliances with the other Villain Organizations in Paragon City, and the forces of Lord Recluse had been the only Villain Organization left before the War began. For one year, Hope's life was became a nightmare; her family would move once a city fell to Recluse’s forces to a city farther from the war zone, only to for that city to fall to Recluse’s forces, and Hope’s family would move once more. At the end of that awful year, Hope’s parents were killed during the siege of a city, leaving her a ward of Recluse’s New Empire. Hope was then shifted from Orphanage to Orphanage for two years, until she was eventually wound up in an Orphanage back in Paragon City, which had just fallen several weeks before her arrival. Paragon City, which had been re-named "Recluse City", was a historical landmark; it was the city where the "Great Lord Recluse" had began his new Empire. Of course, by this time Lord Recluse was overseeing his troops in the front. The War wasn't over yet; though Lord Recluse had conquered the United States (now renamed "The Empire of Recluse"), he had his sights set on the rest of the world, and was currently working on his conquest of Europe. Hope wasn’t aware, nor did she care for what was happening on the front lines; only 18 years old, she had reluctantly learned to adapt to her new life, and the only thing that saved her sanity were the friendships that she made with the other orphans she met. Most of them were like her, children who had lost her parents in the War, and that was enough of a similarity for them to bond, despite all other differences they may have had.

Hope sighed, observing the sad state of her new home. to present day situations. The "playground" that the orphanage had was no more than a sandlot filled with broken glass and a single rusty swing that was incapable of being used. The Orphanage itself was no luxury either, as vermin and disease were commonplace. As much as Recluse City was "historical", Recluse held a special hatred for it at the same time, so the city received by far the lowest funding in the entire Empire.

"Owwww!" One of the children cried, grabbing his foot. His shoes had ripped and his foot had been cut on a piece of broken glass.

"Nurse Hope! Nurse Hope!" The other children cried, running over to Hope. Hope smiled as the children shouted her nickname. She was the oldest of all of the children at this orphanage, and as such the other children looked up to her. This wasn't the first time one of the children in an orphanage had been injured, and she had taken it upon herself as she traveled from orphanage to orphanage to learn what little she could about medicine and first-aid to be an unofficial "Nurse", helping whatever children she could. The "real" Nurse at this Orphanage knew even less than Hope did, and when the Nurse had found out this fact, she just let Hope do her job for her while she still got paid. She even gave hope the Orphanage's First-Aid Kit.

Hope looked at the wound. "It'll be alright." She smiled, taking out her Kit. "Let me see the wound."

"Ow! It hurts!" The boy cried in pain, but did as Hope asked. Hope looked at the wound and took out some antiseptic spray from her Kit.

"This is going to sting for just a second, OK?" Hope said gently, looking into the boy’s eyes while she aimed the spray at his wound.

At that moment, Hope was overcome with a feeling, a feeling she never had before. Closing her eyes, she grabbed dropped the antiseptic spray and grabbed the boy’s foot with both hands, concentrated on the wound. As she held the boy’s foot, the wound began to heal itself, a green glow coming from Hope’s hands as the wound closed itself and the skin healed over it. Hope opened her eyes and looked at the now-perfect foot.

What just happened? Hope thought as the children cheered, the boy thanking Hope and joining in the cheers.

The owner of the Orphanage, who had been watching the event from his office window, immediately went to his phone. "Recluse Internal Security? We've got a problem..."

"We've got one!" Luck yelled happily as she pointed at the monitor of Team Legacy’s Power Detector.

Luck was wearing a red tank top with red leather pants and blue leather boots. She had on blue satin gloves and had a slightly torn blue cape. Her long black hair bounced up and down as she jumped in joy, and her eyes beaming with happiness behind her small, red mask. Like all of the members of Team Legacy, she was 18 years old.

"We don't have a lot of time, Luck! Where is it?" Gabriel asked, looking over the monitor.

Gabriel was wearing a skin-tight blue shirt with long blue pants and red metal boots, his outfit complete with red metal gloves. His short, curly brown hair stood still as he looked at the computer, his mask-less face displaying obvious urgency.

"It looks like the Orphanage! We have to hurry!" Faith yelled.

Faith was wearing a blue, flowing satin top, as well as satin blue bottom pants. She also wore red stiletto boots and long, red leather gloves. Her long blonde hair flowed around her face and blue mask as she looked her teammates urgently.

"If Recluse finds out about this, that Hero’s as good as dead. Let’s hurry." Michael said as he grabbed his blue and red battle helmet.

Michael's wore a blue and red metal super suit that covered his entire body, from his neck down to his toes. His short, straight black hair and sharp eyes disappeared underneath his battle helmet as prepared himself for battle.

For the next few hours, Hope went thought her usual daily routine as if in a daze. She kept on thinking about what had happened earlier, and tried to understand just HOW she could have healed her friend. She was still thinking this as the owner of the orphanage announced that everyone would be going to bed earlier that day. He didn't give a reason. The Orphanage had a LARGE single bedroom that was filled with bunkbeds, which served as the room where all of the orphans slept.

The first night Hope had arrived at this orphanage, one of the girls in the orphanage had approached Hope during the night; the girl had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t want to go alone. Hope happily helped her, and since then Hope would often get similar requests from the other children at the orphanage. Sometimes they were thirsty, sometimes they were scared of "the Recluse Monster" getting them in there beds; whatever the reason, Hope would always make sure they were okay. Since she was the oldest one at the Orphanage, she felt responsible for their well-being. This night, she had just helped one such child to sleep when she heard the front door of the orphanage open. Peeking out the bedroom looking down the long hallway that led to the front door, Hope’s blood ran cold. Four of Recluse’s lowest-ranked soldiers, known as Exterminators, were talking with the owner of the orphanage.

"Is the child here?" One of the Exterminators asked, his sword glistening in the small moonlight.

"Yes, I had the children put to bed early. She’s a Hero, I’m sure of it. So..." The owner smiled. "Do I get a reward?"

The Exterminators looked at him. There were 5 altogether, all armed with swords, and Hope knew that this meant they were Recluse Exterminator Swords (there were several different Exterminator types, all identifiable by whatever weapon they wielded).

"Yes, you do deserve a reward." The Exterminator said coldly, and Hope heard the unmistakable swipe of a sword, and then a choking sound. "For not telling us about this SOONER." In the dim light, Hope could make out the owner's head fall off of his body and onto the barewood floor.

"Oh my God..." Hope whispered, clamping her hand over her mouth. One of the Exterminators turned to her.

"Who's there?" The Exterminator demanded, walking down the hall. Hope quickly ran back into the bedroom.

"EVERYONE GET UP!!! RUN, RECLUSE IS HERE!" She yelled. Immediately, every child began running around and screaming. Doing her best to organize the chaos, Hope headed for the fire exit of the orphanage. Getting the door open, Hope looked back into the room... and saw a horrible, unforgettable sight.

The Exterminators were swinging their swords, swiping through the children with ease. Since the Exterminators didn’t know which child was the Hero, they were taking no chances. The children began shout and cry as they realized their friends were being killed right before their eyes. Hope herself saw a head fly off in one direction, and another orphan screamed in pain as her left arm was cut off. With another swipe, the girl ceased screaming.

"EVERYONE, FOLLOW ME!!!" Hope yelled desperately, tears in her eyes, and she helped the closest 6 orphans escape through the fire exit, following after them. The Exterminators, now finished with everyone in the orphanage, turned to see the escaping children..

"Don’t let any of them escape!" One of the Exterminators yelled, pointing his blood-drenched sword at the escaping orphans. Hope and the others ran quickly, but the Exterminators were much faster than they were. Hoped watched in horror as the children fell to the Exterminators one by one, and soon only Hope and one other orphan was still alive and running from their heartless attackers. Her mind racing, her heart pounding, Hope tripped and fell to the dirt ground. Trying to recover, she looked over her shoulder... and saw that the five Exterminators had caught up to her, the one in front raising his sword...

"Don't hurt Nurse Hope!" A voice rang out, and Hope turned to see the boy whose foot she had healed earlier jump on her body.

"No... DON'T!" Hope yelled in utter terror, but it was too late...

The Exterminator in front of the others grabbed the boy by the neck and raised him in the air; a moment later, he was dead.

"There is no room for Heroes in Recluse’s Empire!" The Exterminator yelled as he dropped the boy’s body, raising his sword. Hope closed her eyes, waiting for the end... instead, the Exterminator’s body was engulfed in an Energy Blast.

"What?!" The other four Exterminators looked in the direction of the blast, and the one closest to the dead Exterminator was greeted with a blue and red metal fist that went right through his skull, killing him.

"HAAAA!" Gabriel yelled in anger, kicking another Exterminator in the stomach, felling him. He then used the sword of one of the dead Exterminators to kill the Exterminator he had felled.

"You MONSTERS!" Luck yelled, concentrating on one of the Exterminators. The Exterminators held his head and screamed in pain; soon, his brain functions stopped altogether, and he fell dead.

"Why you sons of-" The last Exterminator began, but Luck fired another blast of energy at the Exterminator, vaporizing him.

Hope looked at the Heroes, becoming light-headed at all of the events that had just occurred. "I... I thought..." Her mind floated back to the picture of Statesman she saw in her local newspaper all those years ago. " were dead..." She then fainted.

"Hey, Hope!" One of the orphans called out to her. Finding herself back on the playground, Hope watched the children play happily together. Then...

"Hope! Nurse Hope!" The children screamed, and Hope found herself in the bedroom of the orphanage, the Exterminators killing all of the children. Upon killing the rest of the children, the Exterminators turned to Hope, but were then killed by the strangers in bright clothes.

"Hope! Nurse Hope!" Hope heard the voices of the children above her, and she lifted her head to see them flying above as angels. "Live on, Hope! We died so that you could live! Please, live on!" The orphans said, flying up to heaven. "Live on, Hope! Hope..."

With a start Hope woke up and raised herself to a sitting position. She was surprised to find herself in a bed, and looked around at an unfamiliar room. The four Heroes who had saved her were in the room too, and Hope looked around her new surroundings. The room was pretty empty, save for the bed she was in, an empty desk and bookshelf in the corner, and a single light fixture illuminating the window-less room. A door leading out of the room was open, and through the door Hope could see a larger room, one that had a large monitor that seemed to be showing a layout of Recluse City. The four Heroes crowded around Hope now that she was awake.

"Are you OK?" Gabriel asked, looking down at Hope.

"Who... are you?" Hope asked, looking at each of the Heroes.

"Probably the last Heroes left in the world." Michael sighed, shaking his head. "You're lucky, Recluse's goons would've-"

"How can you say that!" Hope lashed out, the memories of the incident fresh in her head. Tears forming in her eyes. "I lost... EVERYONE! They DIED because of me!" She yelled, then began to sob. Luck began to step forward, but Gabriel stopped her with a wave of his hand.

"Look..." Faith said, putting her hand on Hope's shoulder. "I know how you feel..."

"No you don't!" Hope yelled, knocking away Faith's hand. "You have no idea how it feels to lose EVERYTHING! You DON'T know how I feel!" Hope continued to cry.

"Yes, I do..." Faith said softly, stepping back. "We ALL do." Hope looked up, and the others nodded.

"Look, I know your friends wouldn't have wanted their sacrifices to be in vain." Faith said, looking into Hope’s eyes. "It’s OK to mourn; we all did, too. But know this; all of the Heroes that were able to stand against Lord Recluse are dead, and there are VERY few of us left. What Recluse’s minions did to you was HORRIBLE and EVIL. But you’re a Hero too, like it or not. Which is why we have to ask you to help us." Faith placed her hands on Hope’s shoulders. "Help us prevent Recluse from doing what he did to YOU to someone else; help us give people their lives back." Faith continued to look into Hope’s bloodshot eyes and tear-soaked face as tears formed in her own eyes. "The life he took from ALL of us." There was a silence in the room for several minutes, during which time no one moved.

"Let's leave her alone for awhile." Gabriel finally said, gesturing towards the door. "Hope, I know it’s asking a lot, but I’d like you to consider our offer while you grieve."

Hope looked up with her tear-streaked face at Gabriel, the image of the boy’s foot that she healed flashing in her face. "What happened at the orphanage..." She said slowly, the truth dawning on her. "They came because..." She began, then her voice trailed off.

"It’s not your fault. If you’re going to blame someone, blame Recluse." Gabriel said. He left the room quickly, followed by Luck and Michael. Faith, raising herself from the bed Hope was in, wiped away her tears and then left the room, closing the door behind her.

For what seemed like an eternity, Hope reflected on what happened and considered Gabriel’s offer. She thought of the other orphans, her friends, her power...

"Live on, Hope." She remembered her dream.

"Nurse Hope! Nurse Hope!" She remembered her nickname and smiled through her tears.

"Nurse Hope..." Hope laughed softly to herself. Slowly, she rose up off the bed. "I can never repay what you did for me." Hope wiped her tear-soaked face with her arm. "But... I can make sure what happened to you DOESN’T happen to ANYONE else. Ever."

The door to the room Hope was in opened, and the other Heroes turn to see Hope emerge. They were sitting around a large, round table in the center of the room, the hologram of an area of Recluse city coming from a machine at the center of the table.

They looked at Hope. Hope, looked back in silence. Finally, she nodded.

"Alright!" Luck said with glee, jumping up and down. "It's so great to have you on the team, Hope!" She leapt out of her seat and hugged Hope. Hope blushed slightly.

"We... uh..." Faith got up, a box in her hands. She handed it to Hope. "We kind some spare costumes in case we found some new Heroes than needed them... so..." She blushed as Hope opened the box. "I hope you like it."

Hope opened the box and looked at the outfit inside. Smiling, she quickly went back into the other room, stripped off her clothes, and tried her costume on.

Emerging from the room again, Hope blushed slightly as the others saw her in her outfit.

She was wearing a blue leather jacket over a red tank top. She wore a short red blouse that stopped just above her knees, as well as blue boots and blue gloves. Her long, brown hair flowed around her small, blue mask that only covered her eyes as she stood in front of her new teammates.

Gabriel rose up, smiling as he extended his had towards Hope. "Welcome to Team Legacy, Hope."
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The Pain of Team Legacy

By Unknown_Hero
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