By: Michael Moore
"Are you sure that sending her by herself was a
smart idea? After all, you could easily have gone
with her." Dr. Arnold Ferguson said as he eyed some
strange cell beneath a microscope at his desk.
On the opposite wall of the blindingly white
laboratory, Reaper was waiting patiently for Ferguson
to finish his work. His attitude didn't change as he
spoke, but the tone was slightly different, "Of course
it wasn't, but you also know why I couldn't go if I
wanted to. Remember always, Doctor, you are probably
the only person who will ever see my face, and even
that is not without consequences."
Ferguson looked up from his work, and gazed
solemnly at the floor. "I've already told you, I'm
willing to accept whatever it was that I saw."
"Whatever it was? You know that's not good
enough. I saw it too, and you'll never forget it."
Ferguson sighed. "Well, could you at least tell
me why you're not on site to watch the operation?"
Reaper nodded and handed him a newspaper from
beside the door. "I saw something very disturbing
that makes me think the whole thing is a set up. Crey
had the plans before, but they're not so valuable to
risk a veritable war with the Skulls on."
As Reaper spoke, Ferguson was busy flipping
through the pages. Whatever caught this man's
attention wouldn't be a major article. "Let's see,
Statesman addresses first year of new hero enlistment,
Collosseum scandal leaves one hero dead, gas pipe
explodes in wrecked warehouse,"
"That's it." Reaper interupted.
Looking back to the article, Ferguson began
reading aloud. "Warehouse #17 in Independence Port
was recently found by Port officials in a completely
ruined state. It is believed to be the work of one or
more local gang fights, although it is possible a
struggle occured involving heroes as well."
"The Paragon Construction Commity (PCC) had
actually had the site prepared for demolition next
month, and considered whatever happened very
fortunate. However, without truly knowing how the
building fell into ruin, they took necessary
precautions by hiring a local hero to help check the
site. This proved to be a wise decision on their part
as a large gas pipe exploded, heavily damaging the
luckily armored hero but leaving the two supervisors
"Hold on," Ferguson stopped suddenly. "Warehouse
seventeen. Wasn't that where you and Scarlet fought
the, oh no." He turned ghastly white as realization
dawned on him. "I understand. You should get going."
"Ha ha ha! Good job, boys!" the White Hellion
laughed, clapping his hands as Drew and Kent entered
the apartment carrying one Scarlet Armstrong. "Let's
wake her up and show her her new home."
Kent nodded and withdrew the gas mask back out of
his pocket. He picked a white cylinder off of his
belt and inserted it into the mask, placing the mask
over Scarlet's nose and mouth. He pressed the button,
forcing a neuronic reaction gas into her lungs which
would make it to her brain an force it to wake up to
She awoke, coughing and sputtering, each hand
handcuffed to the opposite leg at the ankle. "Oh,
god, what happened?" she managed as she regained the
ability to speak. As she began gazing at her
surroundings, she noticed three things that didn't
belong, and one that shouldn't be alive.
"You!" she screamed. "Why aren't you dead? A
whole building fell onto you! There's no way you
could have moved it all from underneath!"
The White Hellion was quickly regaining his
maniacal manner after his four month imprisonment.
"Of course I couldn't. But you see, some big guy
moved just enough of the rubble around me so that I
could just, blast away. BOOM!" he cried as flames
erupted around his body, but different from the first
time. This fire seemed to absorb light and not emit
"You don't know what you're doing. Reaper's
going to find me, and when he does, you'll wish you'd
stayed under that roof!" Scarlet snarled. It was
unnerving, but ineffective against three of the
world's best assassins.
"We're countin' on it, girlie. When he does,
he'll wished that ol' Twelve Helm got to him first."
Drew said leaning down to meet her eye level. "We're
countin' on it."
March 21, 2004*
"Is it going to be ready soon?" the large, metal
armored man said from behind the technician. The tech
began sweating. The Twelve Helms weren't know for
their kindness, except Nine Helm.
"Answer me." the voice said again. It was
definitely not Nine Helm. As he turned around in his
chair, clumsly straightening his papers, his worst
fears were realized.
The man before him was wearing a helmet, the
signature of a Helm boss, and each of the Helms had a
certain number of points that signified what position
they held. This man had twelve points proping up
around his helmet, face completely hidden in the
blackness, with only a jagged shape as the indication
he had a face.
This man was once Harold Ferdinand, a German
child born into a wealthy family. Now, he was Halberd
Helm, more commonly known as Twelve Helm to his
"Well?" he began tapping his fingers on his
The technician swallowed once, and began
nervously, stammering often, "Well, sir, the project
will soon be complete, most likely within two weeks.
It is showing signs of physical forms, mostly
humanlike in origin, and if we put forth a doubled
effort, we can have the weapon ready in eight days."
He stared helplessly at Twelve Helm, awaiting the
swift punishment many of his friends had recieved from
the other Helms.
But it never came. "Very good. Take this pass
and show it to the attendant. Your pay has currently
been tripled. I will also take it upon myself to buy
you the latest model of any brand of sports boat you
want." Twelve Helm said, handing the technician what
looked like a credit card. He could barely believe
what was happening, the infamous head of HELM was
giving him a raise in person! It was unbelievable.
"Thank you, sir!" he said, taking the pass and
shaking his hand. As the technician left, Twelve Helm
pushed a button on the console he had been working at.
"Please bring in clone number one-six-seven for
technician five-eight-three. One-six-six is leaving
the building as we speak."
"Yes sir. Defrosting clone now." the answering
voice was cold, metallic, the voice of a man who knew
what his destiny would bring.
"Is this him?" Reaper asked, leaning over the
form of a large Eurasian man. The doctor nodded and
left Reaper to 'discuss' something with Tectonix.
Reaper pulled up a stool beside the injured hero,
clasping his hands together. "I know you're not dead.
I know you're not in a coma. Tell me what happened
at the warehouse."
Tectonix opened his eyes halfway and glared at
his only visitor. Without any real friends or family,
all he had time to do was sleep, something he
acclompished so far very well by pretending to be in a
coma. His voice was rougher than usual, mostly like
gravel. "Those lazy construction workers needed good,
cheap moving equipment. While I was moving one of the
rafters, somethings exploded, or so I've heard."
He stared out the window on his left, letting the
soothing sounds of the traffic below begin to lull him
back to sleep. But the little man wouldn't give up.
"What if I told you that something didn't
explode. Someone did." he replied, eagerly waiting
for Tec's reaction.
He managed to roll slightly over, ready to listen
to Reaper. "What do you mean, someone?"
"I had a battle with a crazy villain sometime
back. My friend Scarlet threw him into that rafter
you were picking up. I believe that's what exploded."
"That's impossible! No one can survive that long
without air, food, or water!"
"How long ago do you think it was I fought?
Well, you're right. But you see, he had fire powers."
"Pick out ten random heroes in this city and
point out those who don't."
Reaper smiled. "Good, you still have a sense of
humor. But, keep to business. If a coal is left dry
and warm, even after long periods, if exposed to
oxygen it can still ignite. I think this property
applies to the person I fought."
"It makes sense, I guess. But why are you
telling me this? I'm still half dead, no matter what
you say. I can barely move my eyes, and I can't fight
someone who can live forever."
"Of course you can't. But that's why I asked
Professor Quartz here to do you a favor."
A thin man stepped into the room, with very rocky
looking skin like Tec's. His voice was very similar
to Tec's too, but less rocky. "Hey, bro. Ready for
another go around?"