Sky of Fire:
David McFarland

Sky Burn didn’t want to do it, but it might be his
only choice. His medical teleporter was busted by
sharp-shooting gunfire, extremely accurate and a
skilled shot Ryan had to comment.
Sky Burn’s vision was narrowing as pain coursed
through him, with the last of his strength, rose his
fist, curled back his fingers and sent his palm into
the Malta Gunslingers throat, sending him to the
ground. The hero hoped his adversary was living
while he sent him to the Ziggurat with his arresting
device. Just before he made the choice, his gun had
been stripped of him. If his medi-porter had been
useful, he would have been in the hospital by now.
His teammates had been sent to the hospital already.
Just as they were off, Sky Burn’s own teleporter had
been damaged and the Malta had ambushed him. In the
dank lab, a gunslinger, a sapper, and a Tactical
Operations Commander swarmed him. To make matters
worse, Ryan Tanter had already been weak. He had just
been creeping back to a safer place when the patrol
had spotted him and began their assault.
As Sky Burn fell into a sleep on the cold laboratory
floor, he worried about the lawsuit that would
probably follow.

“-will probably wake up soon. I don’t think anyone
should visit him right now.” Ryan opened his eyes,
and murmured something, just as a door closed. “Well
Mr. Tanter. You seem to be recovering rather quickly.
Your file says here that you were injured in… a
super-powered related accident. It also says a few
heroes named… uh… Chillbain,” That figures, Ryan
thought, still partially dazed, “uh… one just said you
would know her if just referred to as ‘Dance,’” Oh,
‘When I Dance’. I still don’t know how she came up
with that name, Ryan commented to himself, “,
Kamikaze, and Fiery Ice.” The doctor finished.
“How long have I been here?”
“Only a day or so. I still don’t believe that you
recovered so quickly. You wouldn’t happen to be a
hero would you?” Ryan’s eyes were somewhat wide at
“Oh that’s nonsense. If you were I wouldn’t be
allowed to disclose or even write about the matter.
Laws these days you know. Quite restricting really.”
“Yes. I suppose that’s so.” Ryan calmed down a
“Ha, I guess it would be easier to just assume you
have friends who are heroes. Perhaps one of them
healed you a little.” Fat chance on that. I wish one
of my friends could heal, his thoughts went on.
“Yeah, I do have super-powered friends.” No need for
Ryan to tell the doctor that he himself was a hero.
“Mr. Tanter, you did have a few guests.”
“Really? Ryan tried to sit up, only to be stopped be
restraints holding his arms, along with an
excruciating pain in his stomach. His right arm was
held up, so he put down his left on top of the white
Ryan finally realized that he was on a bed in a
hospital. He had the window side; he could be joyful
for that. “Who were they?”
“Oh, they were the heroes that brought you in. In
full uniform, too. The nurses had a fit with the one
holding a sword.”
“Let them in if they are still here.”
“Mr. Tanter you’re not in a condition too-”
“Please, just let them in.”
“Very well.”
Ryan silently wished that he didn’t have such bad
luck. He was constantly in trouble. Hero after hero
after hero passed mission after mission with relative
ease. Not Ryan. He was on his third medi-port and
fifth communications unit. He was, suprisingly
enough, only on his first medical device.
“Buddy!” A man with black hair rushed in. He wore
black loose clothing with red flames and a katana at
his side. Kamikaze gave Ryan a pat on the back, which
Ryan wondered how he achieved it, which kept his
thoughts away from the pain it caused.
Two more heroes walked in from behind the curtain
that separated the two beds. Chillbain gave him a
look that said, “Again?” He walked to his side and
gave him a high-five. “So man, you didn’t wait for
“Nah. I didn’t think you guys would be back. I
waited, what? Fifteen seconds after you guys
medi-ported?” He watched as a girl hero showed
herself. She was attractive, but Ryan didn’t feel
anything toward her; she was a friend. ‘When I
Dance,’ was inhabited by a Warshade, a former Nictus
who returned the to side of good.
“So slugger, get any good Malta while we were gone?”
“Yea. Might’a killed one.”
“Killed?!” Chillbain was in his face. “Again?”
“That Gunslinger was asking for it.” Ryan stared
blankly in his face.
“Oh really? Ryan, this will be another lawsuit.”
“If they press charges.” Sky Burn had killed before.
He only did it when necessary. In war it was
necessary. To save his life so he could save others
it was necessary.
From across the curtain he heard a voice. “Don’t
sweat it. If it was self-defense no one will stand up
for the Malta.” The white dividing curtain was drawn
back to reveal the other person in the room. “Don’t
worry, I’m a hero.”
“Oh really?” Chillbain was a little angry with the
man, “And why do you think its your-” The ice hero
stopped himself. “Sorry. I’m on edge.”
“Forget it.” The man looked older, in his mid to
late thirties.
“So, how did you get hurt?” Sky Burn questioned.
“Robbery of a supermarket. I got shot out of
uniform. I was just walking in the frozen foods isle
and next thing I know gunshots are going off and it
feels like something bit me. Turns out it was a heavy
sniper round. Some Outcasts decided to make their own
pistols with .50 cal rounds.”
“Ouch.” A female voice said. Two women came in. They
immediately noticed Sky Burn in his condition and
pushed Chillbain to the floor to get to their fallen
“Crud, girls! What was that for?” Nathan said as he
got up, but was ignored.
“Oh, baby are you ok?” Ryan’s girlfriend held his
“I’m ok BB.” BB was his nickname for her, short for
Burning Barriers, her hero name.
The other new arrival, called Fiery Ice as her hero
name, was draped in white and gold robe-like apparel.
It tapered out at her wrists and ankles, but was tight
around her legs and torso. Fiery Ice belonged to
another Super-group, but had become like a sister to
Sky Burn. Her callsign suggested that she be endowed
with Fire and Ice powers. Indeed, she did have ice
control, but the “Fiery” part was more of her
personality. While she didn’t use it much because it
was relatively tiring, she could project force fields.
The five visiting heroes chatted with Ryan for
several minutes before being ushered out by a forceful
young nurse.
“You shouldn’t have visitors in your condition.” She
said. “It’s time for your dinner.” She started to
try to spoon-feed him but he stopped her.
“I feel fine. I can feed myself.”
“Not in your condition. The doctor says you are very
hurt, and that means you are to be taken care of.”
Lady, how bad do I look? I heal what, one hundred
times faster than a normal person? “I can feed
myself.” Charisma was something that Ryan Tanter
didn’t possess in large quantity. After twenty
minutes of arguing he gave in. He looked over at the
other hero in the bed next to him who was laughing
quietly at him.

“These morons just don’t want to go down!” Chillbain
screamed at the top of his lungs.
“No joke.” A katana sliced into a Crey employed
Paragon Protector who went down fast. Knife Edge
whipped around and struck a Crey Protected with the
pummel of his sword, knocking off his helmet. Another
swift blow to the neck knocked him out. The cloaked
hero spun his blade around himself catching several
weaker Crey security personnel by surprise. When he
stopped his spinning he saw the previously hit Paragon
Protector rise with a green glow around him. “Great.”
As the said foe rose his hands above his hands with a
red energy, it was caught off-guard by an ice sword
and went to the ground again.
“Thanks Chill…” Knife Edge speech slowed as he
noticed that Chillbain was dealing with a Crey Voltaic
Tank. He looked back to see a large ice-cube like
human-shaped figure.
“For what?”
“Never mind. Thanks Fiery.” The ice “pets” known
commonly as “Jack Frosts” were often summoned by
heroes with a high degree in ice control.
“No problem.” Fiery Ice responded.
Knife Edge looked at the Paragon Protected who
started to get up once more, but when kicked in the
head fell into unconsciousness.
A Crey Cryo Tank lunged at Knife Edge but was struck

down by another katana.
“Watch it Knife.” Kamikaze said, then struck the Cryo
Tank with the flat of his blade.
Chillbain hovered over. “Well. That’s the last of
this group. Let’s move on.”

“Ok, this should be the last door.” Fiery Ice said as
she motioned for one of her Jack Frosts to open it.
As soon as the door opened the team went under fire.
Three Paragon protectors lunged at them while a fourth
stood back and blasted from behind.
“Get down!” Kamikaze and Knife Edge lunged

simultaneously. Knife Edges blade glanced across a
spine using Protectors weapons, keeping it away from
Fiery Ice, while Kamikaze’s katana stopped the two
Claw Protectors from slashing Chillbain to ribbons.
As a reflex, Chillbain summoned his ice sword and
joined the melee fight, as did Fiery Ice’s Jack
Frosts. Chillbain’s hand extended toward the energy
blasting Paragon Protector. The blue and yellow
suited figure ducked, but his arm nearly went numb
from the cold.
As it tried to warm the cold spot, ice formed up
around him, holding him still, courtesy of Fiery Ice.
Knife Edge slashed at the spine Protector, chipping
away at its projections of yellowish bone-like
material. He parried blow after blow until he saw his
opening and lunged, catching his enemy off-guard. A
huge red gash formed it his side, and then it
collapsed into a heap on the metallic floor. “One
down, three to go!” As soon the cloaked hero spoke
this, a blue energy blast sent him sprawling. “Fiery,
hold him!”
“I can’t get him!” She was about to erect a force
field around all of them when she felt a metal claw
strike her. Fortunately, it caught in her robe, and
she kicked the Protector away, but it soon was back on
its feet. As it rose its arm into the air to stab her
again, a curved sword emerged from its stomach,
dripping in warm red blood.
“Sorry. That one got away from me.” As it fell onto
the floor, Kamikaze withdrew his sword from its
stomach. “She will live.”
One Crey Protector and two Juggernauts clad in
silver-gray and red armor entered the fray.
Chillbain, leading the group, noticed the new arrivals
immediately. “Fall back behind the corner! Now!” It
was too late. His allies were already struggling to
get up from combined rocket, energy, and melee
attacks. Soon he joined them on the ground.
The Crey employees gathered over them. The Crey
Protector in gray armor motioned to the others. “Take
them away. See that they are dealt with.”
Chillbain saw hands close in near his face and
shoulders. He thought he heard something. Someone
was… screaming. Not a terror scream, but like a
scream meant to brace the screamer for a hit; a scream
of rage and attack
The hands flew away from his face as a figure smashed
into the Crey security personnel. Energy fists
impacted and struck down the Paragon Protectors. A
gun blast blew clean through the armor of one
Juggernaut; the butt of the gun hit the back of the
head of another which rattled his brain enough to make
him slip into unconsciousness.
“You!” A voice called out.
By this time the four heroes rose up to see Sky Burn
holding the Crey Protector up by his armor. He
flipped open the latches holding the oddly shaped,
burned helmet on. It hissed open as the suit
pressurized itself to its surroundings.
“You ordered my death! You told the Council and the
Malta to go after me!” Sky Burn said.
“The Freakshow too. All for a price of course.”
“You caused me a lot of trouble. Because of you I
almost got killed by the Malta group.”
“You caused Crey a lot more trouble by arresting the
Countess and Hopkins. It’s too bad the Malta didn’t
finish the job.” The man said.
Ryan punched him with his free hand as Chillbain
spoke. “I wouldn’t talk like that when you’re in a
pretty good position to get killed.”
“Shut up hero. You’re the real scum around here.”
“We aren’t the ones,” Sky Burn picked up, “who just
got defeated, now are we? Now. Talk.”
Knife Edge walked over to the armored man being held a
good six inches above the ground. “I’d do it if I
were in your position. And remember, I’m a hero.
This is Sky Burn. Remember? The guy who got accused
of killing three Council members. Just because the
court decided he didn’t mean do it doesn’t mean he
didn’t.” At this Ryan glared at Knife Edge. “He will
hit you as many times as it takes. And he can hold
you up there for as long as he wants to.”
“I issued the orders. I lead, or used to as of now,
the intelligence and the security divisions of Crey.
I was doing my job. You were a threat. I arranged
for information to be given to your contacts that
would lead you into Crey, Council, Freakshow, and
Malta facilities. Of course, I arranged the three
others to be well paid.”
“Maybe the judge will let you off easy since you
‘fessed up so quick.” Sky Burn threw him down and
sent him to the Ziggurat.
“How did you sneak up on them so quickly?” One of the
heroes asked Sky Burn.
“When I was in the hospital, I learned I could bend
light around myself and others to make me invisible.
Using my energy manipulation, I can also shift out of
normal space to make myself intangible. Since I
couldn’t reissue for a medical device, I thought it
would be useful.”
“One more question.”
“How did you know he was the one that issued the
orders for your death?”
“Lucky guess.”


“Well. That Gunslinger lived. I just got a call
from the Paragon PD. They told me to be more careful.”
“That’s good.” Nathan said.
“Catch.” Ryan threw him a soda and fell into the
couch. “That’s it for Crey being after me. Before I
rescued you guys, I got rid of some files about me
that caused their trying to kill me. They still know
I helped with the Countess and Hopkins, but they wont
be so eager to get me.”
“So. Whaddya wanna do now?”
“Well. We already burned everything we own that was
made by Crey and Crey offshoot companies.” Sky Burn
looked over at the trashcan that was filled with
“We could catch a movie. You could take your
“This late?” Ryan said as he turned his head around
to look at the clock on the wall. “Sure”
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