Tuesday, February 27, 2024

World's Worst Superhero Excerpt - Prologue

 What comes after THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA? Here's an amazing sneak peak.

Prologue - World's Worst Superhero

"Updates on the New Angeles Disaster will continue throughout the hour. The exact death toll is difficult to determine but is expected to be in the hundreds if not thousands. The perpetrator of this colossal evil has not been identified but the Foundation for World Harmony has released the statement to be on the lookout for self-styled superhero, Captain Treason--"

"That is not my name!" I said, holding my bowl of Captain Crunch in hand while wearing my bathrobe as well as fuzzy slippers.

The six-foot-tall television set was a weird mixture of the futuristic and retro with it having been the cutting edge of super technology in the Eighties and about the level of regular technology in the New Teens. The screen was flat and connected to the INTER-NET.

Wild, huh?

That was what most technology in the BunkerTM was like. The BunkerTM was a secret underground facility constructed by my father in preparation for the imminent war with THEM. Who was THEM? Unclear. They were simultaneously behind the Nazis, Soviet Union, United Governments, a secret cabal that ruled the United States, the Democrats, Republicans, and the people who produced cartoons staring mice.

The BunkerTM was a full-fledged military base with training facilities, labs, one hundred years of food stuffs for its projcted one thousand residents, and hardened steel corridors that could resist the invasion of anything but the strongest superheroes. I was notably one of about five residents, depending on whether you counted the robots, and was presently using the break room for the Praetorian Guard as my lounge. Overall, it wasn't the worst place on Earth to grow up but I had to admit I was annoyed by the House of Serpents logo on every single surface and object. Yes, we get it, this place belongs to the world's second most successful super-terrorist organization. We get it.

"Believed to be the depraved and deviant son of terrorist General Venom. We are legally barred from revealing his name but if this station had to speculate on his identity, then he is undoubtedly Jack Washington Junior, twenty-five year old graduate student from Palm Tree City."

The anchorman proceeded to pull up a security photo of me at the coffee house I'd been working at for the past few years. I had a bowl cut and porcelain white skin that had convinced many people I was trying for a Goth look. It was a choice image that somehow meant even if I'd wanted to be the most infamous new supervillain in the world, which I didn't, I would conjure fear in exactly no one. Yes, there was a reason that my Captain Patriot, not Captain Treason outfit, included a mask. I was, sadly, adorable.

Even pretty.

Dudes shouldn't be pretty.

Television had taught me that.

Ugh.

"Well, my career is over," I said, plopping myself in the large taped over leather chair that was the centerpiece of the break room that I’d modified into my own personal man cave.

A superhero's career lasted roughly as long as they were able to maintain their secret identity unless they were members of the Society of Superheroes. They could afford to live entirely in their identities as superheroes but it was also a choice to effectively any possibility of a normal life. I was not a member of the Society of Superheroes and had been intending to live a normal life. After all, I hadn't had any chance of doing so until now and was thinking it sounded pretty interesting as a change of pace.

But no.

That was doomed.

Even if I somehow managed to clear my name, which was a big if, I wasn't going to be able to fight crime in any meaningful capacity. Once you were "outed" as a superhero, your loved ones became targets and any house you lived was officially a disaster zone in the making. Just try and buy property in a neighborhood with kids. Money wasn't necessarily an issue, necessary, I still had all of Dad's stolen Nazi gold (yeah, that's a story there) but I didn't want to live in the BunkerTM for the rest of my life. I'd already spent my first twenty years here after all.

"Well, being as I am an enormous failure, I am going to watch some Captain Power and the Soldiers of Tomorrow. The TV show not the light gun game," I said, lifting up my enormous remote to turn on the hyper-advanced technology (of 1985) in my Super-VHS Player.

That was when an Eastern European woman's voice spoke over the intercom. "SERPENT COMMANDER, WE HAVE AN INTRUDER!"

"That's not my name either!" I said, putting aside my bowl of cereal. "I am Captain Patriot, Soldier for Truth, Justice, and mostly Western Hemiphere democracy!"

"INTRUDER! SCRAMBLE THE S.N.A.K.E BOTS! ASSEMBLE THE FRIGHTBIKERS! SERPENNNTTTS ASSEMBLE!" The Eastern European woman shouted in a deranged tone.

I sighed and got up and went into the break room kitchenette to pick up a laser bazooka. "The SNAKE Bots don't work anymore. They were hit by something called Y2K. As for the Frightbikers, they haven't been around since they got RICOed. It turns out that being associated with a terrorist organization out to conquer the world will get your assets seized."

"SERPENTS ASSSEMBBBLE!" The voice repeated.

"Yes, mother," I said, sighing.

The BunkerTM's AI, which I called Mother, was based on the brain patterns of the woman I was 97% percent sure was my biological mother: Doctor Ecaterina Hammerstein Von Bathory III AKA The Countess. She'd been one of the leaders of the House of Serpents in the Eighties and in some sort of love triangle with my father, General Venom, and the arms dealer Death Mask.

I had no idea how the situation with my mother had shaken up but when the House of Serpents had been destroyed by the civil wars of the late Nineties, she had chosen to skip town and leave both of her boyfriends behind. I didn't blame her even if that had left me to be raised the next couple of decades by my father in the BunkerTM.

It had been a fairly decent childhood even if my number of playmates had been fairly limited. My father's die hard fanatics had been fairly limited by the time of my birth and they'd gotten even smaller over the past twenty years. Also, none of them had been my age. Still, I had to wonder what my father had been hoping to accomplish, keeping me isolated here. Now I would never find out.

The alarms starting blaring with klaxons and spinning red lights as I expected either the Foundation for World Harmony or one of their sponsored superheroes. I was guilty of mass murder, at least according to the news broadcast, and I had no intention of killing law enforcement officers in order to avoid incarceration. Still, I would try to escape and had modified the still-working  laser bazookas to be non-lethal.

"I do not want to fight you, intruder!" I shouted, inadvertently giving away my position before I thought better of it. "This has all been a big misun--"

That was when one of the steel vault doors was knocked open like someone kicking open a door in a police show. The amount of super strength necessary for that was under Ultragod but above the Super Duper Splotch Man.

Crap.

"You! Demon!" the pink-haired woman was dressed in what could basically be described as a combat bikini, high heeled boots, and unnecessary belts said. She was carrying a flaming sword, baring her fangs, and had two leather bat wings sticking out of her shapely back.
Draculisa.

"Ah crap," I muttered, aiming the laser bazooka at her and firing.

The last from the cannon came out in a big blur burst that Draculisa proceeded to knock away with her flaming sword like she was a frigging Jedi. Weirdly, that reminded me that there were apparently prequels and sequels to Star Wars out there.

I had the world's largest VHS home media collection in the BunkerTM but it dropped off sharply after 89' so I really had to go out and see those. I mean, the Prequels were made by George Lucas, they had to be awesome, right?

"You will pay for betraying me, Captain Treason!" Draculisa shouted, coming right at me with the flaming weapon.

And I couldn't help but wonder how I got here...