Childhood's End

1.08 - Super-Friends

Who needs enemies?

Prologue

Coolant dispersed from the tubes as the hoses disconnected themselves. Servos whirred as the metal arm reached inside and pulled out one small vial. Behind reinforced glass stood several men, one of whom was working the controls to the mechanical arm. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he carefully moved the precious payload to its container.

“Be careful,” said the man standing behind, overshadowing. “That vial’s worth more than what you’ll ever make, so you can guess how I’d feel if you dropped it.”

Not even taking his eyes off of the metal arm, the man gently laid the vial in its bedding of custom foam before letting go of the controls. Once that was done, a panel opened in the wall, and the box, foam, and vial came sliding out. Stepping out of the shadows, Maximillian Mars retrieved the vial and held it gently.

“Gentlemen,” he began. “We’ve just made history. This vial contains one of our most powerful designs. I have no doubt that many a small army will pay through the nose for it.”

A group of men came walking, two of them carrying a large box between them as they walked down the plank to the truck.

“Boss wants this package delivered to the Vault as soon as possible. We don’t stop for nothin’.”

The other heavily armed men all nodded in agreement as they climbed into the truck. Pulling out of the parking lot, the truck sped down the road, intent on its goal.

Two blocks down, though, they ran into trouble in the form of the Knights of Neumond fighting off against Death Magnetic. The battle had halted all traffic, making it impossible to get through.

“Gah!” screamed the driver. “How’re we supposed to get to the Vault with this crap going on?” His question was answered as his truck suddenly lifted into the air. The would-be security guards realized that their trip was going badly as they saw Death Magnetic’s outstretched hand guiding the heavily metal truck into the air, before attempting to swing it at Push. As the truck flew through the air, the men tumbled in the truck head over heel, and straps that had been considered tight enough for a drive came loose, causing the cargo to fly out the back of the truck before it was caught by All-American Man.

Inside an apartment right on the edge of the fight stood a young man watching the battle rage on. He especially paid attention to Push. Loathing and hating boiled up inside of him as he saw the hero fighting.

That should’ve been me. It should’ve been me.

He saw the truck flying through the air to be caught by All-American Man, as he figured that it would be. However, he was surprised when a large metal box landed in his living room through the other window. His eyes widened as the box’s custom made locks had been disabled by Death Magnetic’s powers, causing it to open.

Pushing the lid aside, the young man looked down as a voice whispered in the back of his head.

Destiny is finally fair.

Summary

The Knights of Neumond, arrive at the scene of a plane about to crash. Push, acting quickly, catches the plane in the air, pulling it to a stop and holding it in the sky.

Suddenly, he is knocked aside by a fast moving object slamming into him. The plane drops only to be caught by a strange new hero. This hero, wearing what appears to be a last-minute attempt at a Superman costume, easily carries the plane down to land it safely on the ground. He tears the side of the plane off and tosses it aside, endangering several window seat passengers.

The media, instantly intrigued by this real-life Superman, totally ignore the Knights, focusing on him instead. He goes on to give a speak that is point-for-point the story of the man of steel, even calling himself Kalel. The city eats it up, all claims of his falsehood being overridden by people’s desire to see Superman. The knights return to the Cave to get away from this obvious fraud, but he is on every channel. He has been going around the city saving people, but doing so in a sloppy manner that puts people at risk.

After watching the TV for a while, the team is amazed when this Man of Steel comes crashing through the roof! He throws himself into a heroic pose and blatantly offers the heroes to join him as some sort of “Justice League” as if it is his decision to make. The group is less than receptive to this idea, and Kalel is confused by their unwillingness to join him, for some reason deliberately avoiding Push in any way. Looking confused and angry, he takes off again, leaving another hole that the Cave needs to fix.

After some time, Gadget Girl is able to analyze Kalel’s DNA and discovers that he is not actually a Stormer. He seems to have had his DNA altered to specifically become a Superman. The change is not permanent, however, and he will lose his powers in about a week. No one on the team seems upset by this knowledge. They debate whether it would be a good idea to even let him have that week, seeing as his exploits put as many people at risk as they save.

Gadget Girl is selected as the “bait” since Kalel seems to have a thing for her. She not outside a minute when he flies by and grabs her. He takes her in a flying “date” over the skyline of Neumond. It seems to go well, until Gadget Girl turns down his offer of becoming his Lois Lane. In a fit of anger, he drops her and flies off, for some reason thinking that it is all Push’s fault. Gadget Girl is saved by Raven, who takes her back to the Cave, where the group decides that Kalel needs to be taken down.

The group goes to visit Mars Industries, where Maximillion tells them that the chemical that changed Kalel was made by his company. He helps Gadget Girl to make a ray gun that would disrupt his solar charged powers. With this ace in the hole, the group may be able to defeat Kalel.

When the group takes their positions on a rooftop for the battle, they are surprised when Kalel shows up before they are ready. The group, with Gadget Girl hiding out of sight with the ray gun Kalel, focusing only on Push, almost completely ignores the rest of the group. Push, using his power over gravity, holds the superman down where the rest of the group can hit him.

After everyone helps to wear down Kalel, All-American Man grabs him and tries to hold him in place so Gadget Girl can get a shot off with the ray gun. Though the giant is blown away, about 2 miles away, his actions still allow Gadget Girl to get a shot at Kalel. He goes down and the rest of the team is able to hold him until the Mars can arrive with a cell that will hold him until his powers go away.

Heroes in attendance:
All-American Man
Gadget Girl
Lilith Riddle A.K.A. Raven
Push
Spirit Wolf
Stealth

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JeffreyJohnson

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