The origin story for my OC superhero Overload.
|My name used to be Colin. But I left that name behind a long time ago. You may not like my story. But it’s one I have to tell nonetheless.
I had just graduated highschool. I was going to go to college in the fall, but I wanted to spend my summer exploring.
On that fateful day, a group of friends and I were in Kansas City. We had been there to see the Liberty Memorial and the WW1 museum there. But what we ended up getting was a cruel twist of fate.
My friends and I were walking through the streets, deciding to see the sites before going to the museum. We stumbled upon a scene none of us were expecting.
Iron Man and Thor were having an argument with Hulk. If I had to guess, the green guy had gone on a rampage recently, and the other two were trying to calm him down. But I could tell that he was under control, and that a fight wasn’t going to break out between them.
Suddenly, an explosion went off in one of the nearby buildings. The three superheros sprung into action. Hulk went to keep the building from collapsing, while Iron Man and Thor rescued the civilians trapped inside.
Now, I’ve always looked up to the superheros, and tried my best to act like them. So, while Iron Man and Thor rescued civilians from inside the building, I helped to herd the crowd outside away from danger.
I know that Iron Man saw me. In the middle of the whole thing, he flew over to me and said, “Keep up the good work. But lead the people further away.” I did as he asked.
They managed to evacuate all the civilians from the building, and I led most of them away. But the building was threatening to fall over. But with the combined strength of Iron Man, Hulk and Thor, they managed to get the building secure enough. But they missed one detail.
On top of the roof was one of Kansas City’s icons, the Western Auto sign. And it was falling. And the three superheros were too busy with the building to notice.
There was still one civilian in danger. If I hadn’t acted, she would most likely have been crushed by the sign. But I had managed to push her out of the way in time. But I was not out of the way. And then everything went dark.
When I came too, I was stuck under the sign, and in the worst pain I’d ever been in. I realized that I couldn’t feel my right arm. When I realized that the sign had landed right by my shoulder, I felt nauseous, and blacked out again.
Then, I was on a jet with the three Avengers. I felt terrible. I looked at my left arm, the one I could still feel. It was scratched terribly. I almost looked at my right arm, but I stopped once I realized that whatever I would find, I wouldn’t like it. Iron Man saw that I was awake. He walked over to me and lifted his face plate. “Just hold on,” he said to me. “I’m going to help you out the best that I can.” Then I blacked out again.
When I woke up next, it was much later. I wasn’t in as much pain. I looked at my left arm. The scratches were mostly gone. There were some stitches for some of the worse injuries, but otherwise, it was as if the accident had never happened. Although I did notice that on my wrist I had a new metal bracelet.
I moaned and grabbed my head. It was about fifteen seconds before I realized that I had done that with my right hand. I looked at it. It was not at all what I had been expecting. My arm was metal.
“Oh, great,” I said. “I’ve been made into another Winter Soldier, haven’t I?”
“Thankfully, you haven't,” said a familiar voice. I sat up and saw Tony Stark sitting at the other side of the room. “That was my handywork, not Hydra’s.”
“What happened to my arm?” I asked.
“You had thirty tons of steel land on it. You should be thankful it was your arm and not your head.”
“But why you?” I asked. “Why would you be the one who did this, rather than a hospital?”
“Because you have potential,” said Tony. “While everyone around you was panicking, you led them all to safety. You have the potential of being a hero, kid. Maybe even of joining the Avengers someday. If you had been taken to a hospital, they would have just cut off your arm. But like this, now you have the chance to actually make a change. You may still be able to become a true hero. With some training, of course.”
I soon learned that even though I now had a robotic arm, I was nothing like the Winter Soldier. From What I’ve been able to learn, the Winter Soldier’s arm is just an arm. A super strong arm, sure, but just a simple arm nevertheless. But my arm, the arm that Tony Stark had made, that was much different.
The main difference is that my hand could change into something else. I found that out the first time I tried to write with my new arm. After I accidentally snapped the seventh pencil in half, I got angry, and accidentally blasted the desk with my arm. Somehow, Tony had constructed my new arm so that I had a built-in blaster. I also found that somewhere in the arm is a knife that I think is made of Vibranium, which I can easily call to my hand.
I would later learn that my robot arm wasn't the only upgrade Stark had given me. He'd implanted cybernetics into my regular arm, which made me about as strong as Captain America.
I stayed with the Avengers for three weeks. I wasn't a part of the team, not yet, anyway. I was simply getting used to my new arm and my new life.
After the end of those three weeks, I decided to leave. I wanted to try and be a hero. But New York had enough superheroes already.
But before I left, Stark pulled me aside and said, "I want to show you something before you leave." He pulled out a key card and waved it over the metal bracelet. My robot arm started emitting a hologram. It was settings for it. "Press this button," he said.
When I pressed the button, my robot arm changed. Within seconds, it looked like a normal arm.
"Woah, that's cool," I said.
"Come on," said Tony, "everything I make is cool."
"Even Ultron?" I asked.
"That's not nice," he said. "Anyway, like this, your arm will look normal. You can keep a secret identity. Keep in mind, of course, that this is still in the experimental stage. There's a chance that it may look normal again without you asking it. You also need to take this." He handed me the key card. "This is the only way to open the settings for that arm. And just swipe over the bracelet again to turn it off."
I swiped and turned off the hologram. "There are some other features that I've built into that arm, but I'll let you find them out for yourself. There's one feature that I'll show you now, though, is this. Press this button, then that button." I did, then something popped open on the arm. "Built-in USB port. And now, stick this into there. That flash drive holds a letter of recommendation from me, which should be able to get you any job you like. You also have enough money for you to buy a house and a new car. Enough for you to make a new life for yourself."
"Mr. Stark," I asked, "why are you doing all this for me?"
"You have the heart of a hero, kid. But, if I'm being truly honest, it's because I feel guilty about not being able to save you. I couldn't save you back then, so the least I can do is give you a new chance at life." He sighed, then said, "So, kid, where are you planning on going?"
"I don't know yet," I replied. "I'm thinking of going back home to Indianapolis, but I'm not sure."
"Well, kid, wherever you end up, I hope you're happy." He stuck out his right hand, said, "You know, probably better if we do the other one," and stuck out his left hand instead. We shook, and then I left to start my new life.
I bought a car before leaving New York. I decided to try and drive back home. It took me two days to get there. I decided to stay in a hotel, before possibly going to my parents' house. I didn't know if I could face my family after all that time.
As it turned out, I couldn't. I had driven up to their house and had been about to knock on their door. But something in my mind prevented me from doing that. I ended up walking away from their house, and I also left the city.
I had no idea where I was going. I just drove. Around five in the evening, I rode into Kansas City. The city that had changed my life.
I stayed in a hotel, intending to only stay for a night. But fate can have a twisted sense of humor.
For whatever reason, I decided that night to just go for a walk. It was actually pretty nice. It was a fairly cool night. The skyline, while not as impressive as New York's, was still impressive in its own right. Though there was one piece of the skyline that I felt was missing. While I walked, I figured out what was missing. They hadn't put the Western Auto sign back up yet.
It was when I was walking past that construction that it happened. As I saw what remained of the crashed sign strewn across the street, I felt a phantom pain in my right arm. As I turned to look at my arm, I saw something else. I saw two figures shove a third one into an alley.
I had to do something to help them. I ran over there as fast as I could. In a darkened spot, I turned my arm so that it looked like metal again. I also put on a mask that one of the construction workers had left behind, and my sunglasses. One other "upgrade" Tony Stark had given me: improved night vision. I walked over to the alley I had seen the three people go into.
At the mouth of the alley, I heard a male voice say, "We told you that you didn't want to take such a tone with us."
"Please, stop!" said a woman's voice.
"Why should we stop?" said a third voice, another man. "You were disrespectful to us earlier."
"How about I show you some disrespect?" I said, walking into the alley. There were six people in that alley, including myself. There were three thugs, and two people on the ground, one man and one woman.
"You already have," said the third thug. "This is a private matter. Marco, why don't you show our new friend here what we do to strangers who stick their noses where they don't belong."
"You got it, boss," said Marco. He walked over to me cracking his knuckles. Then he started to punch me.
I had done some training with Captain America before I had left, and I was more than capable of taking a punch. But Marco was stronger than I expected. His first punch knocked me backwards, which caught me off guard.
But I was still prepared for the second one. As he was about to throw said second punch, I caught it with my robot arm. "What the?" he asked. I twisted his arm and heard his wrist and elbow pop. Marco cried in pain. Then I punched him in the stomach with my left arm, knocking the wind out of him. Marco collapsed to the floor, groaning.
"Let me at him, Vic," said thug #1. "I can take him."
"No you can't," I told them. I picked up a metal rod, which I guess was from the fallen sign. "This is a piece of solid steel," I said. Then I bent the rod into a pretzel shape. "Unless you want me to do the same to you, I suggest you leave these two alone."
The two thugs got the message and ran, leaving Marco behind. I walked over to the two victims. "Are you two okay?" I asked. They nodded.
I heard police sirens from the entrance to the alley. "Freeze! KCPD!" A police officer stood at the entrance. I froze for less than a second before climbing up the fire escape of one of the buildings. The officer ran after me, but I managed to escape into the night.
I had made it back to the hotel without drawing too much attention. I intended to move on the next morning. I didn't want to stay in this city for too long.
But fate works its magic in strange ways. One day you might be saving a pair of people from being mugged, and the next you might be all over the news because the woman you saved was a reporter.
It was on all the local news channels, and it had made the front page of the local newspaper. The woman, whose name was Tiffany, was calling me, "the Arm," which I thought was ridiculous.
But all this attention was starting to change my mind. I decided to stay another night. Perhaps I could be a hero here. And it turned out, Kansas City needed a hero.
Vic, the gangster from the night before, was upset with me about Marco. By 3:00 that afternoon, the local news stations were airing a message from Vic to me, wanting to settle the score.
Our showdown was in Arrowhead Stadium. Besides Vic, his gang, and myself, the stadium was empty, or so I thought.
"You hurt Marco," said Vic, "my best friend. You're going to pay."
"You can't take me down," I said. "You aren't strong enough."
"Perhaps," said Vic, "but just look around. There are eight of us and only one of you. You can't take us all on, even with your new outfit."
"Let's see if you're right," I said.
I guess Marco had been the strongest member of the gang. I was able to take care of the first three thugs easily. The fourth one took a little longer because of how fast he was, but I still knocked him out. As I did so, however, I saw a bright flash of blue light.
Vic had shot a laser gun at me. Luckily, it hit the robot arm, and not anywhere else. But it still took me by surprise. I ran away from Vic, trying to put some distance between me and that gun. But it wasn't enough.
He shot at me again. I raised both my arms as a reflex. As it turns out, that was the best thing I could have done in that situation.
When I put my wrists together, the bracelet and my arm beeped. Suddenly, I had a shield the size and shape of Captain America's on my arm. Vic's laser hit the shield, and did no damage to it. Vic was as stunned as I was. We got over it fast.
He shot at me again, and I deflected it, hitting thug #5 in the foot. I smacked thug #6 with the shield, and he crumpled easily.
I tried to throw the shield at thug #7, but I found out that the shield was attached to the bracelet. So, there was still a difference between me and Cap.
I still managed to take out thug #7, and then it was just me and Vic. Vic kept trying to blast me, until he ran out of ammo. At that point, he knew it was over. But he wouldn't give up. He pulled out a knife and charged at me. He never got there. I had turned my hand into a blaster, and shot him in the shoulder. He fell to the ground. I had won.
I turned the blaster back into a hand. I realized that my mask had fallen off slightly during the fight. I stood up and was about to leave when a flash of light came from behind me. I turned to look. Tiffany, the reporter from the night before was holding her phone as a camera.
"I saw the whole thing," she told me. "You were great."
"I was just taking care of a gang," I told her.
"You could be the hero this city needs," she said.
"I'm no hero," I said. "Not yet anyway."
"The people feel a lot better knowing that The Arm is watching over them," she said.
"That's a stupid name," I told her, walking away.
"Well what do I call you?"
"Call me Overload."
Two figures sat in the shadows at the top of the stadium.
"I can see why you think he'd make a good hero," Captain America said to Iron Man.
"He always had the heart of a hero," said Iron Man. "He just needed the power to match. By the way, hope you don't mind that I gave him a shield like yours."
"Kid deserves it. And I get the feeling he'll need it soon."
Across the stadium, a dark figure sat alone, smiling to himself. "You two fools may think that he's got the heart of a hero as much as you like. But I know better. Enjoy this moment, Avengers. Because soon, this new "hero", Overload, will be the one who will destroy your team."