Super Powered Problem



Time to read

15 min

When super-powered people started appearing five years ago, everyone expected them to fulfill a norm of a hero and a villain, but it didn’t quite work like that.

Being a true hero meant being selfless, and helping everyone equally without any gain. Also, it meant exposing yourself and your family to constant danger. There was no one truly invincible yet, yes, there were some bulletproof people or some that could regenerate deadly wounds but even they could be killed and their loved ones were not bulletproof. In the beginning, there was a guy that could repel bullets, and survive jumps from insane heights, Sensation was his name if I remember correctly. One day he rushed into a burning building to save a dog, a log fell on him and he cooked to death. He was amongst the most popular heroes at the time and the news of his death broke all around the world. That really sobered up a lot of super-powered people.

On the other hand, no one truly wanted to be a villain, there were no people that insane that they wanted to destroy the planet or rule the whole world. Yes, there were some people labeled as villains that “ruled” some smaller cities, but they were no different than your standard crime lords.

A lot of people abused their abilities to gain wealth and fame and that’s all they ever wanted. Some of them even broke into Hollywood, you could do wonders with powered people and their abilities in front or behind the cameras.

When the first “surge” happened, where mostly all powered people got their powers, my friends and I were celebrating my son’s first birthday. Eight of us got powers, four of my friends, three of my wife’s friends, and my cousin. We gathered once again seven days later when we all came to terms with our powers and decided we wouldn’t use them to fight crime, make crime or get the public attention on us. Some of us used our powers discretely to make some easy money but that was it. We wanted to protect our wives, husbands, children, parents, and the rest of the people we cared about. We knew the government would eventually try to do something or some deranged group of people would come after us with a righteous goal in their mind.

And we were somewhat right, the cults formed worshiping super-powered people, some of them even pretended to be their gods. The hate groups were formed that were “protecting” humans against these demons or aliens, or whatever their mantra was, super-powered people.

And the governments were losing their battle for power all over the globe, it was hard to control and contain these powered individuals, and the government hated not being in control.

So that’s why we gathered again in my backyard five years later to watch the Presidents speech tonight.

The barbeque was fired, beers were cooled, kids were entertained and the show was about to come online. The president stepped on the podium in front of the White House and rearranged his papers on live tv. She was a good actor, she knew how to make people listen and how to make them care about the unimportant and forget the important things happening in and outside of our country.

The speech started slowly as always, but there was something there we it could be seen in her eyes, rarely was she this unfocused, and then she said it.

“I believe our country and the world would be a lot safer without the super-powered people, so that’s why from tomorrow every super-powered person will have to be registered in our database. They will all have to check in once a month and they will all have to do the mandatory psychological tests once every three months as well as give us their blood samples so we can further understand their powers. If you know of a super-powered person that has not registered yet, the lines will be open where you will able to call in for 24 hours a day“ The chatter broke on the live tv and the president tried to control the crowd, she wasn’t finished with her speech.

We all looked at each with worried expressions on our faces, not many people knew we had powers, but there were some who knew and some who suspected, this was not good news.

And then it happened on live tv the white house was engulfed in flames, explosions and people screaming could be heard but the live feed didn’t stop.

There was a figure walking out of the flaming building, I knew cocky that walk, it was Inferno, this country’s Voted hero of 2028. He came close and his glowing red eyes were now clearly visible on the tv. He walked toward the President that was frozen in shock and terror and his words echoed across the millions of tv around the world.

“Is that so?” His voice was calm but threatening.

We all looked at each other once again and we all knew what it meant, we were idle for far too long, but we trained all the time, we prepared hoping this moment would never come, but it did.

“It’s time,” Marcus said and we all nodded.

The next few days were pure chaos, Inferno call up a few more of his friends, so-called heroes, and set up a camp in the ruins of the White House.

Protests broke all around the Country, people demanding Inferno’s head, and the other way around, his huge following, which he amassed on social media proclaimed him a true American Hero and wanted the president’s head.

What Inferno did was wrong on so many levels and he proved President’s fears were somewhat real, one super-powered individual getting pushed over the edge could do so much damage in such a short amount of time. Dozens of people were killed in his attack on the White House and hundreds were injured.

We took these few days to move our families to secure locations around the country until this all blows over. We had purchased numerous remote houses and ranches over the years that we now used to hide them and we chose one of them for our base of operations.

Costumes and masks to hide our identities were made a long time ago, but we put another failsafe in place. Marcus’s, his code name Illusionist, powers offered us the ability to alter the way we look, not by much he couldn’t do wonders, but we all looked a little bit different. Different hair colors and facial lines, slightly shorter or taller, some looked bulkier some skinner, different eye colors, etc. It was really hard, almost impossible, to hide your identity these days with everyone holding phones with cameras in their hands, various face recognition software, and people following you back home or lair with their drones, so if you lost your mask for even a second it was over. Sometimes just a pure picture of someone’s eyes was enough and the next morning your identity would be posted on one of the sites.

We also took this time to go over our roles, and fighting tactics and to establish boundaries on how far we would go in order to achieve our goals. We were ready to go to DC and deal with the Inferno problem.

Cassandra would be our transport to dc. Her powers resembled a magic caster, and she was still discovering the ways to use them one of them was the ability to draw a circle on the ground that would teleport anyone standing in it to a new location. We teleported a few blocks away from the White House and scouted the terrain around it.

Inferno has put several super-powered guards all over the yard. We could recognize only a few rests of them were unknown to us, but he assumed they all had powers.

We hyped ourselves up, did one more check, and teleported ourselves in front of the White House. The guards looked dumbfounded and started scrambling with their walkie-talkies in order to inform Inferno of the situation. Only the one we knew by the name Rapid stepped up to us.

“Who the fuck are you?” He said looking between the eight of us.

“Get the Inferno out here, now!” Marcus said trying to sound intimidating.

“Here, here.” Inferno’s voice came behind Rapid, “Answer the man’s question, who the hell are you know?”

“What you did was wrong and you need to answer for it,” Cassandra added.

“And who am I supposed to answer to, you?” He said looking at her. “What can you and your fancy costumes do about it.”

“We can stop you by force or you can just surrender,” Marcus said.

He didn’t like it. Inferno had a huge ego, he couldn’t be told anything and you just couldn’t reason with him. In his mind, he was always right and his side was the right side. He was charismatic and could swindle a thirsty man over the river and that’s how he amassed his huge following.

His eyes started glowing red slowly and he rose his hands spewing fire in our direction. We had trust in Cassandra, we practiced this a million times, but still, this was a real-life situation, one error and we were gone, but Cassandra was on her best and she managed to make a repelling shield out of the thing air that reflected the fire back towards them. The fire weakened on the way back but was still dangerous and while Inferno was immune his friends weren’t. They jumped out of the way some in time, some got burned.

He was shocked, he was used to his fire clearing everything in front of him. He took a step back and then attacked again. Cassandra repealed once again but this time fire was stronger, some broke thru breaking her shield in the process. We jumped to the sides and started the counter-attack.

Marcus used his illusions to double our numbers in their eyes and I took to the skies.

Rapid made his way towards Cassandra who was still gathering her breath, but Diana saw it time and sent an electric shockwave thru the air and ground that knocked him down immodestly.

I didn’t want to risk an all-out fight and as we didn’t know how many people they had and also they had the experience of this situation on their side so I grabbed Ray with me in the air. We flew high and then I let gravity take us down. Ray had superhuman strength and durability but moves rather slowly, but coming from the air like this he was a tactical nuke. He soared right towards the Inferno and managed to hit him in perfect time knocking him down as well.

By now the yard is filled with dozens of his followers both super-powered and human. Without wanting to risk hurting more people, I grabbed Inferno by his collar and flew him several feet up. They all looked in shock.

“Stand down,” I said. “This is over!”

We all looked between each other, luckily no one was injured, few scrapes here and there.

“What now?” Were the words that echoed in our comms.

“New team of heroes arises.”

“Heroes or the villain, who are they.”

“Villain organization takes down Inferno on the White House ground.”

“Was the President right? These new heroes might prove her point.”

These were just some of the news articles that appeared the next morning. The media pushed their agenda, they wanted clicks, ads, and easy money. We didn’t care for any of that, we would prove ourselves to the people by doing the right things, but only to the people, the government, and other heroes could think what they want about us.

We freed the President in our assault on the White House, but she was in too much shock to speak much at the time and we gave her the means to contact us if she wanted to speak in person and discuss the new law for super-powered people she wanted to push.

The atmosphere in the team was really good, we took down a heavy hitter without any casualties and further complications on our first real mission. We gave Inferno over to the new agency that dealt with super-powered problems as we didn’t have the means to hold him prisoner and we were the judge and executioner. We were not happy with this, they might do experiments on him or execute him without any trial, but if we took him in and somehow contained him with all this heat on super-powered people and us showing out of thin air one day it could escalate things even further.

We wanted to address the public today, so we informed the press that we would appear once again in front of the White House at 4 PM. Watching live recordings of DC on the television we could see hundreds of reporters and thousands of people already there hours before we were supposed to arrive.

We took the time before 4 PM to go over our speech once again, most of us were nervous with all the eyes on us, but it had to be done. Marcus and Cassandra would address the public as they were the calmest ones. I hated speaking in public it eat on my nerves and I would just end up saying a bunch of nonsense.

We teleported to the empty spot in front of the White House exactly at 4 and reporters swarmed us. Cassandra made an invisible barrier several feet around us that ordinary people couldn’t break. I took to the air hovering just above my teammates heads and gestured for them to calm down, it took a few minutes but eventually, they all calmed.

Marcus and Cassandra spoke for around 5 minutes about when we got our powers, where we were until now, why we showed just now, and so on. Once they stopped talking, a barrage of questions started.

Still hovering in the air I pointed to the female reporter with red hair in the front rows. She waited till the masses calmed and asked:

“What are your names and abilities?” She asked holding her phone camera in our direction.

“My name is the Illusionist, as the name itself suggests I can make illusions and alter what our opponents see, Marcus said and changed the color of his Silvery suit to reddish one and back.

We decided not to say the full extent of our powers to the public yet, it could come in handy to have a few extra things up our sleeves in fights that were inevitable now.

“My name is Crimson Guard,” Cassandra introduced herself next. “I can cast shield, barriers, and teleport in a matter of seconds.” She turned towards me and I shook the jitters away.

“I am The Scout,” I said my voice slightly cracking. “As you can see I can fly and I have above-average durability and strength.” I was being modest there, my strength and durability were on par even with Rays and by our calculations, he was one of the strongest super-powered individuals on the planet.

“You can Call me Colossal,” Ray said. “I have superhuman strength and durability and I am bullet-proof.

“I can manipulate electricity,” Diana spoke next. “And my code name is Shockwave.”

“I can enter people’s minds and assert some form of control over them,” Chris said, he hid a few of his abilities as well. “And I go by the name of Intrusion.”

“My name is Incognito,” Amanda said. “I can turn invisible and phase thru solid objects.”

“I have superhuman speed, I would say that I am the fastest man alive,” Brian said with a smile. “You can call me Blip.”

After we finished introducing ourselves reporters started bombarding us with questions once again, and we all tried to answer as many of them as we could. Right as we were about to leave a convoy of vehicles with sirens broke thru the crowd. The cars stopped and guards secured the perimeter pushing back the reporters and rowdy crowd. The president stepped out of the middle vehicle waving to the crowd and some cheers and boos erupted thru the crowd.

She came towards us and I lowered myself but still remained to hover in the air, now only a few inches from the ground, it made me feel superior.

She would make a show out of this, we were sure of it. She would use what Inferno has done to push her agenda, but also we could do the same with the fact that we reacted to it and saved her without any other casualties.

“Gentlemen, and Ladies,” She said looking each and every one of us directly in the eyes. “Nice show you have put on here.”

I’ve noticed a familiar face amongst her guards, a man that goes by the name Mist, a super-powered human that could cast purple mist that slowed anyone inside.

“I see that you have at least one super-powered individual amongst your guards,” I said to her bluntly.

“Who? The Mist?” She said looking back at him. “He willingly registered and offered his service the right way, are you ready to do the same? Or do you believe you are above the law?”

“What you are doing is not the law, it’s wrong in so many ways. We are not cattle to be registered or some psychopaths to be tested every once in a while.” I said my jitter of public speech now gone and replaced with anger towards her.

Before she could answer a huge explosion could be heard from a few blocks away. People started screaming and panic spread thru the crowd instantly.

We couldn’t teleport because we didn’t know from where exactly the explosion was heard, so I took to the air and Blip ran towards the explosion. He was the first to arrive at the scene of the crime and I followed shortly after.

There was a huge chunk of a building missing, rubble fell down on the street completely smashing several cars and people.

A man hovered in the air with his arms crossed and smoke coming out of his eyes.

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