Tales of the
“Come on, old man, you can do this,” he thought
to himself. He asked himself for the millionth time what the hell
he was doing, still doing this at more than sixty-years of age. The
answer, he knew, was always the same: This was literally all he had
The small, armored man stood on the ledge of an office
building, five stories up. His red and white armor encased his entire
body, from his boots to his full faced helmet Two large antenna raised
off the sides of the helm like spiked ears, transmitting data into
the system of implants wet-wired throughout his entire body. He was,
in essence, a living circuit board, which had led to the nurses in
the hospital where he had been awakened dubbing him Sir Kit.
was his first memory, waking up in the hospital, lost, surrounded
by doctors and police. Dr. Ward had talked to him, asked who he was,
where he was from, but he didn’t have any answers. He still didn’t.
Everything in the approximated twelve years of his life prior to that
had been wiped out by the Crey scientists who had surgically fitted
his implants. They had been trying to engineer superheroes, and implant
false memories to control the subjects. Either they had not been able
to implant the memories in him, or the memories hadn’t taken, but
either way, they had wiped everything prior to that clean from his
Standing there, on the ledge of the building, watching the stars
above, occasional clouds blocking them from view, he thought back
on those who had become his family since He had been taken in by Emily
Pinay, who had spent several years as a healer known simply as Lady
Emily until she retired and returned to medical school. She had picked
up on the research of her grandfather, who had died being rescued
from the same lab as himself. Now a grandmother herself, she spent
her days working in a hospital, continuing to save lives.
also known as the Incomparable I Doctor, the surgeon who helped save
his life when he was saved from the Crey lab, had known Emily and
her grandfather for years and moved in with the young woman and became
her legal guardian. He had taken the young boy with no memories in
as well. That had all been almost fifty-years ago. Dr. Ward had died
quietly in his sleep several years ago.
Most of the people he had
known were gone now. Aaron, known as PhoenixHawk to most, had died
at the hands of a super-demon summoned by the Circle of Thorns. That
group had long since dissipated, but of their remnants, the strongest
had survived, and become the NightCasters. It was members of this
group that he had followed to this office building. Four of the spell
casters had run into the building only moments after a young woman
had walked in alone. There was no security in the building, and the
woman’s screams could be heard already from his perch outside
joints ached, as they did most days. He watched and waited, knowing
the villains would come out of the building soon with their prize.
At least the implants didn’t hurt anymore. It had been fifteen years
after he had been saved before Emily had found a breakthrough that
had let her adjust the implant in his head and rid him of the constant
pain that filled his body around every implant. He absently touched
a gloved hand to his left shoulder, where his armor had been penetrated
once by a Freakshow blade, and the bullet of another Freak had found
the crack, embedding itself just inside his rotator cuff. That joint,
more than most, ached often.
He sighed, wishing his team of old was
here. PhoenixHawk had been a natural leader, organizing the Onami
Strike Force into a seamless unit. Thauma Guard had lasted several
years after PhoenixHawk fell, but had never let go of the grief she
felt at his loss, the only man she had ever let herself love. N0VA
1 had followed the footsteps of her cousin Shakti, and moved away
to raise a family, as had Ginger Blaze and her husband, Khazm. Kwang
Ghe, the fighter, had fallen late in life, the Malta Group taking
him down. Shadow Pain had disappeared some years later, one day just
vanishing from sight. Rumors flew about that she lived in the wind,
and that she still brought Pain to the villains of the world when
that wind blew through the shadows in which they hid.
I miss you guys.
past fifty years had seen a vast drop in the crime that had run rampant
after the Rikti War. The slow progress against the criminals finally
pushed them back far enough that order had been restored. The Hero
Corps had been basically disbanded. The government had found ways
to predict in pregnancy if an un-born child would have the genes that
had for years manifested as super powers, and the parents were given
the opportunity to have that gene inhibited through advanced gene-therapy.
The children of those who chose not to, were sent to special schools
where their talents would be understood and cultivated. Their lives
would be spent in training and dedicated to serving the community.
It was a hard life, one that many of the children grew to resent,
and eventually gave up. Sir Kit helped to train those that stuck with
the program, keeping the ideals of honor and discipline that the Onami
had been formed on alive.
Somewhere, throughout Paragon City, what
used to be called the City of Heroes, were two others doing the same
thing as he was, patrolling the night, watching for the remnants of
those who had once terrorized the world.
Four of those exited the
building now, carrying a struggling woman, bound and gagged. One of
the spell casters raised his hands and spoke aloud, a red nimbus surrounding
him. In front of him a portal appeared in thin air, shimmering red
in the night As the villains moved towards it, Sir Kit dropped to
the ground in front of them
“That’s far enough,” he said. “Release
Another of the casters raised a jewel in his hand, and beam
of orange light lanced out, striking Sir Kit in the chest. His armor
dispersed much of the blast, but it left a smoking burn mark, and
staggered him back a step.
Too slow to dodge anymore, old man?
regained himself and threw a ball of electricity into the middle of
the four, which exploded into a thousand arcs, dancing over the villains
bodies. As they all staggered in the arcs, he moved forward and raised
his hands to the sides, a stronger field of electricity arcing around
him, driving into the Night Casters. Frazzled, looking frayed, two
of the villains dropped to their knees. Sir Kit reached out and blasted
the standing two with arcs from his outstretched fists. One of the
two that had fallen got to his feet and made a dash for the portal.
Sir Kit caught him in a Tesla Cage, the ball of electricity holding
the Caster in place. It took only one more blast to drop the criminal.
Two more strikes later, all four had been subdued.
The entire fight
had only lasted a minute, but Sir Kit’s heart pounded in his chest
He could feel sweat running down his face inside his helmet, despite
the airflow system built into it.
It’s just not as easy as it used
He pulled back his right glove and pushed a button on an implant
in his right forearm. The communications system built into his systems
flared to life, the image of a uniformed woman appeared in the left
corner of his visor.
“Sir Kit, Number 08523445, needs a wagon to pick
up four Night Casters. My beacon marks my location.”
The woman’s voice filled his ears. “A wagon will be there shortly.”
Gently, he removed the woman’s gag and bonds.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
The woman was wide-eyed, but seemed to be maintaining her control.
“Yes, thanks to you.”
He told her no thanks was necessary, and warned
her against walking around at night alone, even in today’s world.
The police van came by and collected the Night Casters within two
minutes. None had regained consciousness or put up a struggle. The
officers thanked him for his help, and drove away.
He sighed again,
and looked around. There we no people about on the streets, he was
Looking toward the stars, he took flight, into the blackness
above the city. Alone. Remembering the days when his battles had been
done with a group of friends, his family, when he hadn’t looked around
at the end of the night, and wondered where all of his friends had
His joints ached.