Powerless (working title)
First Love and Greatest Failure
The Failure of the Hero
The Hero's Failure
The Hero of His Own Failure
The Nobility of Failure
You don't love someone because they're perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they're not.
PROLOGUE: Ones Own Worse Enemy.
Above the city. His city. The lone protector stands on top of a skyscraper. He clings onto his only friend, Bruce, a motionless, speechless, gargoyle. He crouches besides Bruce, holding onto his shoulders as a friend. “Ah, sometimes it nice to get away up here sometimes, clears up the cobwebs, eh Bruce.”
The gargoyle remains silent, his mouth permanently open in a smile with his wicked tongue out. The lone protector watches the night scene past before. Taking a breath of fresh air. Suddenly he hears a sound. He scans the area. He sees a dark shadow creeping behind the alleyway.
“Ah ha! Bruce,” He looks up at the gargoyle to bid him farewell, “Looks like it won't be a slow night after all.” As he leaps from the skyscraper he turns to look back at his stone friend, “Keep smiling old buddy.” He effortlessly catches onto a fire escape. He hears a mocking laugh. He stops and listens. It grows louder, he looks around and notices the whole alley appears to be growing darker. His whole spine goes cold and he shivers. The laughter echoes throughout the alleyway. He shuts his eyes, closes his fists so tight he draws blood.
“Be careful what you wish for...ha ha ha... You asked for motivation and here it is. You are weak, puny. A hallow shell that can no longer contain me.”
He feels the burning in his legs. An eternal flame that acts as his constant reminder of his one mistake. He Lowers down onto one knee, embracing the alley wall for support. His whole body tightens, fighting the urge to shutdown. The rain, I just need the rain, he thinks to himself. The rain acts as his companion, his aide. It cools his body, especially his forever flame engulfed leg. The rain also helps clams him, relaxes him. His mind grows clearer in the rain. Again this dark creature laughs. He bangs the alley walls hard. The side of fists completely shatter on impact.
“That'll leave a mark, ha ha ha. Let me in control. I know you can feel me crying out through your leg. Do you want to suffer!? Do you like it! Is that what she was for you? You willingly let her abuse you like that, so you could take the pain, take her pain away. So weak and pathetic. Unleash me! And I'll show you a true man, Hell I'll even show all those girls you like, just exactly what kind of a man you could be.”
The lone protector cringes at his sick jokes, “Its disgusting to even think that such a part of me even exist!”
“Ha ha ha! You are still a man aren't you!? Its just human nature. Human curiosity. Its why you tend every now and then to go to certain sites. Hell, even she showed you a few of them! You use to watch them together.”
“Those are private moments! It was our way of being intimate without actually being that way physical! I'm still a gentleman and I still have my morals! Its why I've never drank or done any form of drugs or smoking!” He fights through the pain, he's on his feet again, slamming his once shatter hands onto the concrete pavement. Whatever was left of his hands, is now a messy mixture of flesh, bone and blood.
“That's the spirit! Fight through the pain! Don't wholly! Become the man you were meant to be.”
Like a mad demon, The lone protector climbs the walls, digging his bare nails into the brick wall. Climbing higher and higher. His eyes wild with determination, his nostrils flared open, his teeth clenched. His ears breaking through the deafening thunder. His body screams in agony, but he fights, ignoring it. His forehead pouring with sweat to cool his overheating body. He finally reaches the top of a skyscraper he looks across another rooftop, he doesn't even pause to catch his breath. He sprints forward, leaping like a lion, literary flying through the air. The rain begins to pour down on his chest, like a baptism. He's born again. Landing on his feet. He looks out once again at the city. His City. It belongs to him. People whisper about him, criminals afraid. Gangs driven out. It is once again a city of hope. How fitting that it no longer needs him, he no longer yearns for it. He looks over at his motionless friend, he looks down at his hands and back at Bruce, He smiles wickedly.
Chapter 1: A New Hope
A new night. A full moon. Illuminating the night sky. A new city. Population said to be around 180,000. Three months. He's been in this new city which is perfect. Named after a great discover, Its the birthplace of a cola inventor, namesake for the awards of excellence in radio and television, quite of bit of athletes, including his favorite pitcher was born in this city, that Brillo head whom was first runner-up in American Idol, the year it started, and even a former playmate/Baywatch Babe. Murders and robberies, including burglary and motor vehicle theft exceed the national average. Drugs is slowly rising. His inner self, can't help but laugh at this cities motto: What Progress Has Preserved. Still it was better then living in a place nicked name, Surf City.
***(Gets choppy, well fix this to fit better)
They have been wandering for days in the rich lushes green jungles of Central America. Despair was mocking them in their faces. This small band of two men and one woman, Jessica, their leader was seeking in hopes for the radical leader of a small group of vigilantes for a special report she was working. Reports were that he was ousted and unmasked. Thus, he fled the country. She wanted to know the truth. No, she had to know the truth.
A few months back, she was walking home from work. It was a nice evening, a cool September breeze. She was warm and snuggly in her favorite long green pea coat. Suddenly she heard a twisted giggle. She stopped and looked around, “Hello?” She called out.
What was a silent long distance footstep quicken its pace. She sped her pace as well. Telling herself it’s just some drunk slugging around probably begging for change. Turning a sharp corner, she bumps into a small man. They both grunt. “Sorry.” She mutters.
The giggle reappears, louder. She looks into wild bloodshot eyes. The small man’s smile is twisted and derange. Her eyes widen in horror. She turns to run, but the small man grabs her by the arm, jerking her to face him. A knife magically appears in his eyes. No idea where he had it concealed, if he did in the first place.
“No, please, no!” She wails in disbelief. This is a nightmare. I just fell asleep at work again. He’ll stab me, I’ll feel a weird sharp pain in my back and wake. Just like any other dream. This felt, just seemed all too real. The whiskey so strong emitting from every pore of his body, she gags. She wants to screams, her brain frozen in disbelief.
“You’re the pretty news lady aren’t you?” giggling his sick laugh.
Jessica squeezes her eyes shut, silent tears streaming. She hears a loud cracking noise, he grunts loudly. She hears another husky patting. To afraid, she leaves her eyes shut. She hears a very husky voice, obviously trying to disguise it.
“Its vile scum like you, trying to take away peoples happiness is the reason I breathe.”
Eighty seconds, that fast. She feels a radiated heat, a deep breathing.
“Are you okay?”
To scared, she keeps them closed.
“Please the streets aren’t safe tonight. Is there someone you can call, go nearby?”
Her lips begin to tremble. She holds herself tight, crouching, still not opening her eyes.
“I swear its okay. I took care of him. Miss please, are you okay? Do you need to be taken somewhere? Do you have a car?”
Jerking her head, she shakes it as a no. He signs, “Okay, listen. There’s a restaurant of sorts, not far. Is it okay if we stop over there? They have a phone that you can use. Strange though…” He trails.
For the first time she makes a new expression. She frowns at the word strange and trailing. She suddenly snaps back to reality. Her obsession for always knowing everything always took over her entire entity.
“Yes…?” She asks.
There was smudginess in his voice now, “Ah, so you aren’t mute. I was afraid I was going to have to take you by the hand and lead you home.”
She shakes herself, “Why strange? Why did you trail off?” She opens her eyes to see a young man, no older than her, wearing a black mask, a grey and black jacket, with the dickies tag It was a common jacket that a lot people wore in this town.
Cocking his head to the side his eyes are filled wonder, “A strange person indeed. You were just attacked,” He jerks his head indicating over to the now indispose man, “Struck with temporary dumbness. Yet say the word strange and she wakens with curiosity, strange indeed.”
“Can you just.” She stops abruptly, frustrated, “Look what did you mean by strange, the first time.”
He cocks his head to the left, eyes crinkle, indicting he is smiling, examining her, “A curious one you are. Well in any case, if one must know. I was merely pointing out that in today’s society, especially more among the female population. It’s a rare thing not to see a woman without a phone glued to her ears.”
“Oh.” That was it, she thought. “Why are you teasing me, aren’t you suppose to be my savior?”
Chuckling, his eyes become warm, “My dear lady, I apologize. I meant no offense. I was merely pointing out the obvious.” He stops to look around, remembering where he is. “Come, its best to leave here.”
Shaking herself as well, she becomes all too aware of her surroundings as well. He offers her his hand. She takes it and follows him down the alleyway to a nearby hole in the wall Mexican joint. He turns to look at her, “Are you hungry? This place is quite good actually. Best carne asada burrito in town.”
She pats her tummy like a child smiles, “You really are a strange one.” He teases. She simply smiles in return. He walks over to the window, “One carne asada burrito.”
She frowns, “Just the one?”
“I still have a long night head of me. Leon here owns the place. I know him very well. For reasons I can't discuss, but once your done, Leon will car a cab for you. Free of charge...well on your part, at least.” He makes to leave.
Jessica grabs him tight, “Don't I get to say thank you at least. I mean come on! You save me and ditch me with some guy.”
He gets close to her face, Jessica blushes and looks away, nervous. Before she can glance back up, he's climbing up a nearby fire escape. “ Hey you jerk!” She sighs.
A quick swooshing noise, wakes her up from her daze. The other two men become fearful. A sly chuckling can be heard. “Who's there?!” Jessica calls out. They a hear a strange yet familiar somehow chanting song from the distances getting closer and closer.
“Asante sana, squash banana, we we nugu, mi mi apana .”
Jessica squeezes her brows together, listening intensely. “Is that...”
“Asante sana, squash banana, we we nugu, mi mi apana”
“...It is! Its Rafiki chant!” Jessica shouts in excitement.
The man in the shadows chuckles, “Asante sana, squash banana, we we nugu, mi mi apana.” He appears from the tree. Still hidden in the shadow of the branches. One of the two men pulls out a gun. The shadow throws his arms over his face, “Away put your weapons. I mean you no harm.” He peeks from his arms, “I am wondering, why are you hear?”
Jessica jumps in front of the man with the gun and lowers his weapon. She looks at the shadow and smiles, “Yoda.” she says under breath and rolls hers, if he wants to play, she thinks, “I'm looking for someone.”
“Looking? Found someone you have, I would say. Hmm?” He chuckles.
Jessica rolling her eyes, “Right.”
“Help you, I can. Yes. Hmm.”
Jessica sighs, knowing she can break her character, “I don't think so.”
The two men at her eyes widen. “Wha-.” He's cut out, by Jessica, she raised her arm to him.
She continues, “I'm looking for a great warrior.”
The Shadows gets up close from the branch. “Ah. Great warrior. War does not make one great.”
Jessica taps her in the over green field, “Are we done, unless you like to pretend, that your going through are nonexistent food.”
The shadow crouches and screw his face as if to think, “Also there's three, unless they can both act like Art-too.” He swings from the branches and down to greet them. “Hiya!” he's wearing a mask, faded blue jeans, and a beat up looking jacket that use a good washing.
“Its been a while. I missed you.” She runs to hug him, he dodges her as she trips on past him, “Hey!”
“Sorry you must have me confused with someone else.” He cocks his head to look at her.
She knows better, his mannerism is all but to familiar, “Your English is quite good for someone who is a native.”
“Oh, but I'm not a native.” His eyes crinkle. “Lots of people come to these parts of town, just not to far we have a white American working in a soda factory, claims to be some sort of doctor on the run, but don't make him ang-”
“Angry, we wouldn't like him when he's angry.” Jessica finished for him. “Is the good doctor's name Bruce or David?”
“Well Bruce can be confused with another.” He muses.
“And is this other Bruce, a cape crusader?”Jessica tease.
“Wow, you think someones identity would be kept a secret, I mean its not like he's just taking off glasses.”
Jessica forehead starts to throb in annoyance, “Okay stop! Serious no more Star Wars or comics! Okay?” She shuts her eyes. Knowing he loves to play games, but not now, not when she came so far.
He shuts his eyes, taking a deep breath and sighs, “Come here, closer.” Jessica opens her eyes and sees him staring warmly into her eyes. She slowly walks closer to him, he leans into her ear and whispers, “ Asante sana, squash banana, we we nugu, mi mi apana” and chuckles.
“Ugh!” She shouts and slaps him hard in the face, She gasps, “Oh my- I'm s-so sorry! Are you okay?” She flinches back in horror, as if prepared to be hit back.
His eyes squeeze in confusion, then they harden, understanding exactly when she responded like that, then soften. “You know very well I would never hurt you.”
“No-yeah. I know...” She stops, kicking herself, knowing how he'll respond now. She thinks fast, “Look-”
To late his mind is already racing, anger pulsing through him, He turns to the men. He reaches around his neck and tugs off a dog tag, and tosses it to them, “Hear take this, it'll grant you safe passage when my men find you.”
The two men nod dumbfound and beat their feet, “Please tell me it wasn't one of those two?”
“N-NO! no...It wasn't...” She hangs her head low both in shame and defeat. He was just as obsessive as she was. “It was a while ago, just some guy I knew during high school. I kinda had a thing for him...”She sighs and continues, “We met up, we actually dated..well hung out...there were signs, more like...well you know me, lost puppies and all that...” She stops to look at him. He looks away sighing a laugh, then looks at her to let her to continue.
“He was never abusive, not physical...until the end...Look its over now, okay. No harm done...”
“No harm done! He hit you!” He shakes with fury.
“Yes! Okay! Yes he hit me, and I loved him...or thought...whatever, I took it! Okay. He beat the hell out of me and I took it! Me!” She knew better to stop, but he pushed her and now she wanted to him below the belt. “You ran away! You left me! You. Left. Me. To fend for myself and I survived. See! Me! Here! Standing. Looking for your sorry butt! Why!? I don't know! Because of my obsession for the truth. Maybe I love you! I don't know! All I know, was that I had to find you and when I do!...” She calms, “And when I do...look at you, your a mess and you're still playing stupid mind games with me. To be honest you messed me up so much, I'll admit, that I don't if you are him. I don't care anymore. I never knew you. Just a man behind a stupid mask that played mind games with little girls...”
All he can do is stand there, hanging his head low. Suddenly reaches for her and crushes her against her chest. He gently rocks her in his arms. Cooing her. “I'm so sorry, my strange little creature. I'm sorry I left, I'm sorry I broke my promise to you-”
“Heh, Promise...You know I have a theory about promises. If no one is able to keep them where do they go since they're abandoned? Perhaps they simply wander around until someone makes the same promise and is able to keep it so that they are finally able to come true. Sad. There must be a lot of promises wandering around.”
“Heh” he sighs, “What those that are kept?” He asks.
“Well there are those who make promises and keep them, but the promises are so angry from wandering around, that the poor soul who finally makes them come true has it blow up in their face.”
“So promises are lies than. Nice. Guess I'll have to keep this and have blown up in my face.” He lets her go and starts to make his way to a tree.
“Where are you going?” She asks in a panic.
While climbing up a branch, he turns back to her, “If my strange little creature was hurt, than it is my duty to up hold the law I swore to protect. Don't worry, I should be gone no longer than three days. I more or less remember the jerkstores you told me about, is he the one whom name started with an 'S' or an 'J'?”
“You're serious!” She rushes the tree he is climbing.
“Oh, why not?”
“No, please...please stop. For me...” He lips begin to tremble.
With amazing skill he flips back down to her. He lefts her chin up, brushing his thumb against her lips. “Come I have a fire not far.” He escorts her along as she tightens her hold on him. He takes off his jacket and wraps it around her. “Won't you be cold?”
“I thought I remember mentioning something about a fire...hmm, My mind is far gone these days.”
She playfully swats him, “Jerk.” She sees the glow of a camped fire and large log. He helps her sits down and takes a seat next to her. “Thanks.” She raises her hand out to the fire. “No more games, promise?”
“Well, seeing how promises are lies, and the fact I'm teasing her again now. I have declared no promise, but I'll do my best not to be to...overbearing in my little games.”
She rolls her eyes, “Good enough, I guess. Why?”
He stares out to the fire, quiet, lost in a trance, thinking about the past. “Are you okay?” she asks.
“Oh I'm sorry, When you said why, I was trying to think of many whys. Why is the sky blue, Why did the chicken cross the road, Why two plus two equals five.” He looks at her warmly, his rich brown eyes melting into her green eyes. Her curly dark brown hair gently dances with the wind, he looks down and smirks to himself, her...no, his favorite purple shirt with the green jacket he found for her.
“Serious....w-...” She sighs, kicking herself for sounding so desperate, but she had to know the truth. “Why did you leave...why did you leave me...” She hated this, this feeling. She has no idea who this man was or why he seemed so protective of her. Was it love? Friendship or lack their of. Why was this man so willing to do everything and anything for her. He doesn't even know her name, to him, she is just his strange little creature. For her that was enough, that was always enough, she was happy and satisfy with being his one and only strange little creature. She wondered now, Do I belong to him or does he belong to me? Does he love me? Her mind races. She loved their little game, but it went everything against her nature for the truth.
“I didn't leave because of you, I left for you.” He was looking straight at the fire.
She shakes her head, “I don't understand!”
He still stares into the fire, “You make me happy...again.”
“And thats a bad thing?” Still confused, she leans closer to him.
“Yes-” He raises his hand to stop her, “You see, I don't want to be happy again, I can't be happy again...I just don't...”
“You don't what? Please?” She holds him against her.
“My heart...I already gave it away...it shatter...But, when I met you...it regrow, I don't want to shatter it again, the pain is to much...”
“You think I'll hurt you...?” She sounded her, as let go of him.
“No...its not that...I'm afraid...” He sighs in anger, he was open like this once, long ago. He doesn't open up anymore. Its why he created his new playful nature.
“Afraid of what? You hurting me?” She strokes her arm lightly.
“Please, that feels...right, See, can't you see. I'm afraid of something happening. Us getting close and having you taken away from me. Like...”
She starts to muse, “You were in love with someone once, and something happen that separated you two. It hurt you deeply. At night, before you sleep she is the last thought on your mind. You're lucky.
He's eyes become wild, he shakes, his voice cracks, “Lucky!”
Jessica becomes quieter, whispering, “You know the pain of love...I can only imagine. I'm sorry you lost her. This goes along-”
“Don't you dare! Don't you go into better to have love and lost than to not love at all!...She...She is...was...my world...she was perfect...” He cradles his body as best he can on the log. They both remain quiet, but just as he pushed her, she is now driven to push him back.
“If you love her so much than why don't you go after! Claim her! Claim your lotto ticket!”
His eyes on fire, “You think she some trophy! Some prize! You don't get it! She was never as little as some meaningless little paper that grants a material prize! She was my air! I'm lost without her! She was my half!” He throws himself up and paces around the fire like a lion.
Her voice small, “I-I'm sorry...”
He shuts his eyes, and cools down. Controlling his breathing. He slowly opens his eyes and looks at her with apologetic eyes, “No, don't apologize. I'm sorry...I just...This is why I prefer our little game, it keeps you at a distance...or at least I thought it did.” He laughs to himself, “Some job I did, look at us! We don't even know each other, and you came down two countries to find me! I don't want to hurt you! You are so refreshing to me. I don't want to betray your feelings...I don't...I want you to me my final thought before I rest...”He slumps back on the log in defeat.
She tries to comfort him again, “Is that so bad? I mean yes you're right, look at me! How sick am I! I came to a whole new country in search for a guy I don't even know! But I had to see you, talk to you, know the truth. I'm your strange little creature.”
He smiles weakly and sighs a laugh, “Yes, you are strange. Your lucky you found me.”
“Why is that?” she looks at him with a odd and playful look.
But his face remained serious and yet light at the same time, “Tonight was going to be the night I died.”
“I'm sorry, what?” Her eyes widen.
“I was going to jump off a cliff you see.”
He shrugs, “Sure, why not?”
She makes a face and sighs, “Can I tell you a secret?”
“I was gonna do that once...I stupid, young...middle school. The whole, I'm lonely and empty inside. You know that whole teenage no one loves me or understands me anguish thing. Then I tired cutting, feeling so numb you cut yourself to actually see and feel the physical pain. But I'm over it now. See! All better! I came to the realization that there is so much that I want to see and do. I also want to get into computer animation, sitting my butt down and making a novel. I got this one about werewolves, cool huh?”
“You're writing a novel about werewolves, yet you don't like horror movies? Strange little creature indeed.”
Jessica cocks her head, I've been meaning to ask, “Why the 'little'”?
His eyes crinkle once again, “I'm referring to your butt. Its so flat and small.” He bellows a loud laugh.
She swats him, “Hey! Jerk! I like my butt! Its tight and firm! Thank you very much! And besides, who gives you the right to be checking out my butt!” She folds her arms.
His heart warms and beats, he leans closer to her, her body tightens, her heart beats faster. His entire body tells him to stop, his brain tries to floor all his past memories. He lefts his mask up to the start of nose. Exposing only his lips. She closes her eyes and leans in. He shallows hards and starts with a gentle peck. Then moves in for a more deeper connection. She opens her mouth up to him, her breath enters into him mouth. “I shouldn't...”
“Shh, please don't go noble on me now...” She locks her lips tight on him. Her soft, slender body press against his hard muscular body, he hikes her up on his lap, she yelps a giggles, and locks in on him again.
After a long moment of heated passion, they lay on the field, fingers tangled together, “What came about this? Your...er...night crusade?”
“Before I lived in your town...I was born and raised in California, A small town called Watsonville, population 44,000. The majority being Mexican, but I went to an all white school, well while I was at Aptos jr high, I saw movie called, Brotherhood of Justice.”
“It started Keanu Reeves and Kiefer Sutherland and it was filmed at what would be my future high school, Aptos High. Well anyways its about a guy who starts a group in high school to stop all the corruption. It really interest me, one I am a huge Batman fan and the idea of high school guys going out and doing pretty much what Batman does.”
“So I have a Dickies jacket that a lot of guys were wearing, not to easy to pinpoint me out. Plus I had just gotten into a webcomic called Megatokyo, and where selling a ninja hoodie with a ninja mask, so I would wear the mask, plus I have a small arsenal of a bamboo cane, kendo, and bokken. I started on my own in 8th grade. It wasn't until high school, I showed my friends the film. They got a kick out of it and played with the idea. I had to push them. They didn't buy into it, I only got two interested, so the three of us with out.”
“After high school, I got a job, Smith and Vandiver, A manufacturing company that specialized in bath and beauty products. A lot of the guys I worked with were my old gang member, heh.” He looked up to see Jessica's confused expression, “Yes, not very Batman of me. I joined a gang to keep myself safe and protected. Otherwise one was beaten up everyday until they joined a gang, lucky for me I choose the biggest most organized one. It helped me keep connected and keep tabs on anything going down. It wasn't until what now, 2006 when what would be my last crusade ended with me being stabbed.”
Jessica's eyes shot in terror, “You were stabbed!?”
“That's actually not the worse what has happen to me...” He lifts up his shirt and shows her his scar on his abdomen, she traces her fingers over the scar. “The guy hit a nerve that actually affects both the brain and leg. Every so often my right leg gets a shot of pain, though its only mental. When I'm under a lot of mental stress, it manifest itself into my right leg.” Jessica has a sick and worry look on her face, “Its alright, I was doing good until...well you know... Anyways, I should probably also mention that... I was raped...”
“No! You were what! Why! How?!” Jessica sits on her legs.
“When I started high school...My teacher was very prejudice...He saw me as a virus that was going to pollute his school and students...I surprised him with my school record and well with my speech, he wasn't expecting someone like to speech so well. He invited to his house, as a way to apologize, he fixed me a meal, I didn't know it at the time...he poisoned my drink...All I remember is him whispering my ear, that I had potential, that...I was dirty, and that only he could purify me with his own inner holiness...the rest is well, a forced blurred...”
Jessica shuts her eyes, in anger, disgust. Shaking violently with anger, “And yet...all this, all this pain...suffering...you still want to save the world, the people, happiness...I'm sorry, but everything you've been through...you have every right to snap and go into a killing spree.”
“I am a monster, I'm disgusting! Dirty!”
“No! Your not...you're so beautiful...don't you see, that makes you so much more beautiful than anything...you've overcome so much... you fought so hard...Why her...what made her so special to finally make you run away, give up and kill yourself?! What about me! Don't I want to make you stop your little crusade! Can't you see I'm worried about you to! That I'm better because I'm here! I came this far! For you!”
“You...You have saved me.”
Jessica stops and looks at him deeply.