Modern day hero in the early 1900's in another world
|Prince George British Columbia Modern day
The moon peaked out from behind the dark clouds, illuminating the street. Silvery beams danced across the metallic paint on the kevlar armor. Determined eyes followed the criminal's movements.
"It's over, Ragland, give yourself up," he shouted while raising his hand. He focused imagining the energy flowing down his arm and into the specialized pistols. They may have looked like chrome nerf guns, but they allowed him to fire electrical bolts long range.
Ragland responded by drawing a gun firing blindly behind him. Deafening gunshots filled the dingy alleyway, forcing the masked man to dive behind a dumpster. Ragland had acquired armor-piercing rounds earlier that day. Silverbolt had never been so happy to own a police scanner.
"I thought after the cops blamed you for my escape, you would take your ball and go home, Silverbolt," Ragland said. The gun went off three more times. Silverbolt hugged the wall as the slugs tore through the dumpster, leaving three smoking holes.
"Since when do I listen to the police?"
Silverbolt ran through his list of options, Ragland had anywhere from six to ten shots left. He estimated there were about fifty feet between him and his target. Rushing him would end in death, and the dumpster stopped armor-piercing rounds the same way tracing paper held water. He wished there was a magical way out of this mess.
The reflection of a neon sign in a puddle caught the hero's attention. It had rained the night before, an overcast day, prevented the murky rainwater from evaporating. A trickle of liquid ran down the alley and under Ragland's foot.
He took a few breaths to calm his heart and nerves. He let the energy flow from his hands into the trickle of water. Electricity danced along the trail into Ragland's foot. His teeth clenched as his body stiffened up. The gun slipped from his hand, clattering to the ground.
Silverbolt released the energy and vaulted over the dumpster at breakneck speed, drawing a lightning pistol again. He swore as Ragland recovered far more quickly than he anticipated, and bolted into an abandoned building.
Silverbolt retrieved the Desert Eagle fifty caliber and tucked into a pocket lined with rubber. He cautiously entered the building, the smell of mildew and rotting wood hung in the air. Several barrels had been charred most likely from vagrants trying to keep warm at night.
He flicked the tactical flashlight on and scanned the area carefully. Ragland didn't have powers but had a genius intellect, and was an escape artist before he turned serial killer. He was not someone to be underestimated in any fashion.
Every burned out smelly room was empty. Silverbolt was thorough with his search. As an escape artist Ragland was adept at dislocating his extremities allowing him to fit in confined spaces average people couldn't. Silverbolt was about to give up when saw he saw a light coming from under a door.
He crept noiselessly, keeping his eyes peeled for guards. Next to the door was an air duct missing a cover. Ragland preferred this method of entry. There was no way Silverbolt was going to fit in the air duct, leaving the door as his only option.
An attempt to tear the metal door off its hinges failed, and thick cement prevented him from going through the wall. Someone had spent a lot of money trying to keep people out. How were they getting in? The door had no visible locks or ports for magnetic stripes. Silverbolt couldn't see any cameras, eliminating remote control.
The beam of light moved along the wall, illuminating the extensive damage done to it. A poster from the fifties was the only thing untouched. Silverbolt felt a genuine revulsion towards it. A woman was holding on to a coffee pot smiling, "Husband pleasing coffee," it said in italic script.
Silverbolt removed the picture and discovered a keypad. Above it was a retinal scanner. "Please don't be booby-trapped," he said. He lowered a charged fist and overloaded the circuits.
The door clicked and swung open on its own. The beam of the flashlight couldn't penetrate the darkness. Silverbolt decided he would give Ragland a chance to come out on his own.
"Ragland, if you are in there, come out. There is no place to run anymore," Silverbolt shouted, taking a few more steps towards the door. In the comics, heroes would rush into the area to win the day. In real life, this was a stupid idea.
Silverbolts heart was pounding in his head, and he felt a bead of sweat running down the middle of his forehead. Dark areas like this one were perfect for ambushes, shotgun traps, and IED's. He knelt and waved his hand around, with no wires or fishing line. He took two steps into the darkened area.
He breathed a sigh of relief and looked back to the doorway. Unseen hands slammed the door shut, with a thundering bang, leaving the hero alone with his imagination in the dark. The door didn't have a handle on it. Silverbolt guessed it was an escape route, but for who?
As he started walking, several things stood out. His feet made no noise despite the ground being hard. His flashlight only illuminated an area two feet in front of him. Still, if someone made the passage, it had to lead somewhere. There was little choice but to move forward.
"Silverbolt, come join us. We are waiting here in the dark. You can live forever," the melodic voices said, taunting him. They kept repeating the same phrases over and over. It was enough to drive someone crazy.
The hairs on his neck stood up, unseen hands brush against the kevlar, sending his heart into overdrive, "I am going to kill the Ragland when I find him. This place sucks."
"Ragland is here already, come find him. We would love to watch," The voices taunted. As if to prove he was with them, Raglands screams of agony bounced around him.
"You can keep him. I am just going to stay on the path, thank you," He replied in a shaky voice.
Silverbolt pulled out the smartphone and pressed the Bluetooth button, "Bluetooth connected," came from the speakers on his belt.
"Bluetooth connected?" the voices asked.
He looked through his songs and chose to play some gangster rap, "Chew on that assholes."
The music strengthened his resolve, and the voices fell silent. He started to move faster, enjoying his small victory. Silverbolts victory was short-lived as a multitude of rotting grasping hands emerged from the darkness pawing at him. His heart threatened to pop out of his chest from the shock. His feet were just micrometers from being off the path.
He carefully watched the hands their reach only extended so far and stopped a foot away from him. They had him dead to rights, what was stopping them? He rose to his feet and pressed pause on the music.
"I have to come willingly, don't I? You can't take me unless I step off this path. The hands were a dick move, by the way," He said. "At least the worst is over."
The worst was not over. Whatever lived in the darkness was far from finished with Silverbolt. He continued walking on the hardened path and pressed play on the music. Just as he started to relax again, his light found feet, that didn't belong to him.
The light moved up the legs revealing the face of Victoria Palmer. It was a face the hero had never forgotten. The olive-colored skin and exotic green eyes, and the bullet wound in her chest.
"Why couldn't you save me? Didn't I deserve to live? Didn't my life matter?" Victoria walked backward, asking the same questions over and over again.
A small needle of guilt turned into a sharpened dagger, "You were already dying. I tried Victoria, I honest to god tried. I go over it every night before I close my eyes. I had to choose between you and your class. The kids win every time."
"Tell that to my family, tell that to my friends, tell that to my co-workers," Victoria's said, her rage-filled tone driving the guilt further into his psyche.
"Stop, I can't..." Silverbolt said, tears streaming down his face behind the mask. He was on his hands and knees, praying for forgiveness.
"Then join me. I can forgive you if you join me, Silverbolt. We can be happy in the dark," Victoria whispered, while she caressed the mask.
It was another trick to lure him off the path. He managed to get the telescoping baton out of its sheath. The jagged light illuminated Victoria's face, which was now slowly rotting away. He pressed the baton against Victoria's wound.
"YOU WILL FEAR THE THUNDER AND FLASH OF SILVERBOLT," he cried out in frustration. The shade of Victoria shrieked in anguish and then vanished.
He was panting, sweating heavily, and his nose was leaking like a faucet. He lifted the mask and wiped the tears from his eyes, "I am going to kill Ragland, find a way to resurrect him, and then kill him again."
The voices were mocking him now, "He's with us, come find him, you belong here Silverbolt. Victoria misses you."
A pinhole of light appeared in the distance, Silverbolt had never been so relieved in his life. He ran toward it using every ounce of energy he had. The pinhole got bigger and bigger until it was big enough for him to run through. Silverbolt tightly closed his eyes as he jumped into the brightly lit area.
When he opened his eyes, Silverbolt was in a dingy alleyway, teeming with rats. Metal garbage cans were overflowing with refuse. Silverbolt headed toward the street, upon hearing the nickering of horses. Streets composed of cobblestone lined with odd lamp posts. Buggies and horses clip-clopped along.
"What the hell is going on?"
He heard a whistle blast, "Hey, what are you doing out past curfew? Wait there so we can talk."
Silverbolt stood next to a lamp post and waited for the police officer to arrive. The lightning bolt down the middle of the mask glowed in the light. Silverbolt's ears caught the sound of handcuffs clicking.
"Turn around and put your hands behind your back," the officer shouted.
Silverbolt sighed, when would the police ever learn handcuffs couldn't hold him. He patiently waited to be handcuffed, "You are making a mistake."
The officer clicked the cuffs into place, "I think someone in a mask this late at night doesn't have anything better to do than cause trouble."
Silverbolt turned around and flexed. The cuffs snapped rather easily, and several links of chain clinked against the stone, "Listen..."
The officer had drawn his six-shooter and fired twice, the bullets hit the Kevlar and fell to the ground. It hurt like hell, but it was better than being dead. The officer was freaking out at this point, "What manner of demon are you? You may kill me, but you cannot have my soul..."
Silverbolt covered the officer's mouth with one hand and raised the mask with the other, "If I wanted you dead, you would be. Your weapons are useless, so don't bother using them. We are going to have a civil discussion, and exchange information, okay?"
The constable nodded gasping as he was released, "First tell me about yourself. Then I will tell you anything you want to know."
Silverbolt raised a fist crackling with energy, "Promise me you will keep my secret."
The constable rolled his eyes, "Fine, but it had better be good. I am constable Langstaff, by the way."
For the next ten minutes, Silverbolt explained where he was from and how he came to be in the city after dark. The officer was skeptical until he saw the Desert Eagle and the smartphone.
Langstaff squeezed the bridge of his nose, "To be clear, you are a superhuman named Silverbolt?"
"You came here through a strange door in pursuit of a serial killer named Erasmus Ragland?"
"This Erasmus Ragland is responsible for the recent string of murders over the last three weeks. You came here by accident in pursuit of him?"
"Yes," three weeks? How long had he been in that godforsaken tunnel? How did Ragland get ahead of him?
The constable nodded, "Are you law enforcement?"
"No, I am classified as a vigilante on my world. Were the other women pillars of the community?" Ragland was a creature of habit and liked high profile targets.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, one was a wealthy hotel owner. The second was a successful lawyer. I take it this Ragland hates women in power?"
"Yes, he does. The public body dumps are taunts," Silverbolt said feeling a little better about his situation, "His next target will be someone in the religious sector, it might be wise to tell your boss about it."
Langstaff had his notepad scribbling down the necessary information, "All of this is helpful...Are you paying attention?
"What is going on there?" Silverbolt asked. A woman was being attacked in the alley by four men. Her attackers had pointed ears, hooked noses, green skin, and pointy horns. One of them turned around, revealing stunted wings jutting out of his shirt.
"Stay here," The constable said, blowing his whistle. "Hey, I thought I told you, and your fellow imps I would throw away the key, the next time I caught you. Unhand the woman and leave."
Silverbolt ignored the officer and ran towards the imps. He outpaced the officer and slamming a horned head into the wall. He drew the batons, electrifying them, "Let the girl go and give up."
The larger of the remaining three released the girl and laughed, "I had no idea the police were getting so desperate..."
Monologues, Silverbolt hated them. He rushed the remaining three imps, shocking the weaker imps down first. The leader swung at him, Silverbolt batted the fist away, dropping to knees striking the imp three times in the ribs sending a small charge up the baton, with every hit.
The imp fell to the ground, and the constable was already lighting a roman candle to signal for help. The woman was cowering behind a dumpster. Silverbolt held out his hand.
"I am not going to hurt you. Please come out," Silverbolt would come to regret this decision. The purple streaked raven hair bounced off the woman's shoulders as she threw herself into his arms. She laid her head on his shoulder as her arms tightly held on to him.
"Her name is Constance Prescott. She runs an odd job depot a block from here. Perhaps you could take her home?" The constable asked.
Silverbolt was not in a position to argue with the man, "Sure, I would be more than happy to help."
"We could use a man like you. I could speak to my superiors on your behalf." Langstaff said sincerely.
"Come find me tomorrow. Hopefully, our friend here will have released me by then." He said, lifting her into his arms. "Could you give me directions?"
Five minutes later, he and Constance were well on their way to the Odd Job Depot. Silverbolt looked down at Constance. Her soulful brown eyes met his electric blues. For several moments they just stared at each other. Silverbolt couldn't look away. She looked away first and laid her head back on his shoulder.
Silverbolt tried several times to put her down, but she refused to let go. He felt her grip tighten with every attempt, "Constance, I know your night has been difficult, but at some point, I will have to put you down."
Constance looked up at him again with pleading eyes. They were glistening and on the verge of tears. Constance's face was impossible to ignore. His resolve held at first, but her face slowly chipped away at it. Bit by bit, her expression wore him down until he couldn't stand it anymore.
A growling noise escaped his throat, "You win for now. As long as I don't have to see that expression again."
The depot was a square building made of red brick. Constance unlocked the door and motioned him inside. Silverbolt looked at her and then back to the street. "I should go, other people might need my help."
Constance threw herself into his arms and hugged him tightly and kissed his mask on the cheek. She waved to him before closing the door. Silverbolt stared at the door, wondering if she was safe. He decided the best option was to patrol the neighborhood.
He found a slender alley and leaped from wall to wall until he was on the roof. He took a deep breath and looked around. In his haste to find Ragland, he had forgotten to ask where he was.
He jumped from rooftop to rooftop, looking for clues. Two moons in the sky meant he was not on earth. As he moved, he made a note of all the shop signs looking for common threads in their names. Luckily for him, he caught a conversation between two people.
"The Crypteria caught a few members of the Hell Hounds, a couple of streets over."
"It is nice to know they are keeping the streets of Rathmore safe."
Exhaustion began to creep over the masked hero. He needed a place to sleep for the night. He traversed the rooftops until he saw a temple, or was it a church?
Silverbolt studied the marble structure. Instead of a cross, a basin with three spirals was above the carved wooden doors. He tested them, wincing as the doors squeaked and squawked upon being opened.
"Hello, is anyone here?" he asked, listening to his voice bounce off the walls. The temple reminded him of a church with wooden pews and a pulpit at the front. He noticed the statue of the robed woman. He walked up to it. A thousand candles lit the room.
Silverbolt awkwardly shook the statues hand. He sat down and checked his specialized revolvers over, "I am Silverbolt. I don't know what your name is. I will call you Mary-Sue, it makes you seem more approachable to me. Yes, I do have a long history of talking to inanimate objects."
"Sorry if I am disturbing your temple. I need a place to stay for the night. Do you know how I wound up here in Rathmore? Better yet, how did Ragland get here before I did? If you have any women in your service, please protect them. Ragland will be looking to turn them into a statement," he said.
He paced in front of the statue, fiddling with the batons as he walked, "Your police force thanked me for helping them. Well, Langstaff did. Anyway, I want to catch Ragland. After that, you can do what you want with me. Is that cool?"
Silverbolt watched as the basin the statue held filled with water. It began to overflow a few minutes later. He walked around the statue looking for valves and pipes and found nothing. He took a few sips of the water. It was sweet and slaked his thirst.
He laid down on the wooden pews, "Make sure no one steals my stuff."
Silverbolt fell asleep almost immediately. His last thought was of capturing Ragland. He only hoped he would be able to stop him before he found his next victim.