Heroes Legion Academy: Season 1: Episode 1: Genesis
Chapter 1: A Strange Storm.
My story begins in a place and time not so far away, and not so long ago.
Yet so much has occurred since the beginning of my story and up to this very point in time that it almost seems like it had happened in a whole other lifetime…and in some sense that is exactly what had happened.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Let's start again.
What I am about to tell you all is real, every word of it is true.
And a lot of it will sound outlandish, and that is okay, because it is outlandish…but it did happen regardless of its chances of happening in real life.
So please bear with me, because what I am writing must be taken seriously, because these are the events that changed my life forever.
And I owe it to my friends to have their story known and be told by the only person here in this world who can tell it.
Okay…where to begin?
I guess from the very beginning would be the best place to start.
For the past few decades, super powered beings (yes you the reader read that correctly) had been only a minor occurrence since the incident with the Devastator.
A bioweapon fitted with a device which had drained the field of mutagenic energy known as "M-Radiation" (the source of all superpowers in a select group called "metahumans", unleashed by a device called the Meta-Gene Activator years ago) dry to the point of non-existence.
Many people had thought that the so called "Metahumans Problem" had been solved when the incident had been dealt with…little did they know was that this was only postponing things.
The M-Ray crystals, natural batteries that contained the mutagenic energy, were not the only source of M-Radiation in the world.
Metahumans were not going to be in the low numbers or a rare occurrence forever, they would eventually return.
And it was during such an event that my story starts off, in a small Californian town…late at night.
In the middle of the last month of summer.
Well…actually, this isn't really where MY story starts off.
That comes later.
It all started with Ghost.
She was the third one of my eventual friends to be affected by the storm.
Ah yes, the storm.
The M-Ray lightning storm.
No one could explain it at the time.
But when it appeared over Ghost's house, it changed her…and in turn began to change the world around her and all of us in ways we could never have imagined.
That was the night that she got her powers, during the summer month that the age of superheroes returned…as well as the nasty baggage that such an age usually brought with it hand in hand wherever it went.
Sunnydale, California: August 20th 2044: 2:00 AM
Katherine "Kat" Mardon was a teenager of 16 years of age who was enjoying the last few weeks of summer before going off to High School for her first year.
She had long brown hair like her mother, Delia Mardon, but she had the blue eyes of her father.
As she slept in her bed, she was dreaming about the friends she had made in Junior High, and wondering about what awaited her in High School.
High School was a completely different place.
She had to admit she was a bit scared, but she was also a bit excited as well.
This excitement had kept her up most of the night thinking about it, and worrying about the things she had to prepare herself for before she finally drifted off to sleep.
At least she had until a series of bright flashes coming from outside her window woke her up from her slumber.
For a second she thought she was still dreaming and in her dream she was being assaulted by Paparazzi or something.
It wouldn't be the strangest dream she had ever had.
Last week she had dreamt she was living the life of a Las Vegas showgirl, and her audience was a bunch of living vegetables….literally.
That was the last time she ever would have Cheetos and her dad's broccoli casserole before bed again.
But as she started to shake the sleep off, she started to notice that she wasn't dreaming.
The "Paparazzi camera" flashes were actually happening in her room before her eyes.
She noticed that these "paparazzi" camera flashes were coming from outside.
So she got up and looked out her window to see what was causing all these strange flashes of light.
She was surprised by what she saw outside her window.
Outside, the sky was violent with storm clouds and lightning.
Sure she had seen her share of lightning storms, California sometimes got some once in a blue moon, but nothing like this.
Most storms usually always came with rain and wind.
There was no trace of either that outside as far as she could see.
There was no rain pelting itself against her window, and there was no wind blowing against the trees of her parents orange orchard outside past the backyard.
And even stranger, the lightning was all coming out from a single point, the middle of the storm.
But to add more to her curiosity, was her wondering where all the thunder that should be accompanying all this lightning was?
That was when things got even stranger.
In the center of where the lightning was streaking out to the ground within the storm, an eerie blue glow began to emit out from that section of the strange lightning storm.
It got brighter, and brighter…until Kate had to squint her eyes to be able to look out her window.
She could have sworn that just before the bright blue colored glow vanished away from within the strange lightning storm entirely. A single bolt, or maybe even a beam of energy or something of that manner shot out from the center of the glowing spot in the storm and struck somewhere in the middle of the town square a fair distance away from where her house was located.
The energy beam/lightning bolt once it had struck the ground seemed to suddenly explode, and transform itself into a sphere of transparent energy…that was colored the same color as the glow that had come from that section of the storm that the energy beam/lightning bolt had come from.
This sphere grew and grew in size, and that was when Kate Mardon realised that the sphere was growing in size…because it was a shockwave of energy or something.
She quickly turned around and attempted to run out of her room to try and warn her parents about the shockwave that was coming straight for their house.
It was a pointless effort I know, but when a person is frightened, rational thinking is the last thing that is on that person's mind.
Sound travels faster than light, and energy travels faster than both apparently because that wave of blue energy washed over the house the second she put her right leg over her bedside to run for the door.
Kate Mardon was knocked off her feet by the energy of the shockwave, and suddenly she felt like her whole body was on fire.
She tripped off her bed, her right foot snagging her bedsheet, taking it with her as she fell down off her bed.
To Kate Mardon's surprise, instead of landing on her floor, she kept on falling.
For a brief moment she stopped failing, and she felt something grab her hair.
She screamed in pain as she fell again and whatever it was that had grabbed her hair yanked it, and the next thing she knew she had landed upon something hard.
"Ouch!" she said, since she had landed on her face.
"Kate?" it was her father.
"I'm down here!" she called to her father, "wherever 'here' is that is…"
She pushed herself up off the ground until she was sitting right up on the ground.
She soon realised once her eyes adjusted to the darkness that she was now in the living room.
How was it that she was now in the living room?
She had fallen from her bed, she should have landed on her bedroom floor, not the floor of the living room.
The only way she could have ended up here after falling from her bed was if that bedroom floor didn't exist there in the middle of her room where she had fallen, because the living room was in fact beneath her bedroom.
But she had seen the bedroom floor clear as day when the bluish green energy wave engulfed her house.
It had lit up her room as bright as the like the lights of the Alien Spaceship from that "Independence Day" film.
So what the heck had happened?
She soon heard the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs not too far from where she lay on the floor of the living room in her pink pajamas.
She saw her father come down the stairs with her mother right behind her, he quickly turned on the lights of the living room with the nearby light switch.
"Kate?" her mother asked bewildered, "What are you doing down here?"
"I…." Kate said equally bewildered, "I don't know mom….I fell from my bed, and….i fell downstairs somehow."
"What happened to your hair?" her father asked concerned.
"My hair?" Kate repeated in confusion, "What are you…?"
She stopped when she realised that half of her long brown hair was missing from the rest of her head.
"We felt the house shake, we thought it was an earthquake so we went to get you…" her mother explained, "But you were nowhere to be found in your room."
"It wasn't an earthquake mom…" Kate said, still confused as to where half her hair had gone as well as to how she had ended up in the living room that was above her room without even using the stairs, "It was some kind of lightning storm. It washed over our house, and…somehow I fell into the living room. I think…I think I fell THROUGH the floor."
"Oh honey, I think you might have just simply just sleepwalked again. I told you not to worry about high school so much, I would interfere with your sleep cycle" her mother said in a motherly tone.
"Uh…Margery…." Her father said, looking up at the ceiling with a dull look of surprise on his face "I don't think she's being silly at all. Look."
Her mother looked up at the ceiling, and her mouth dropped open in surprise as a result of what she saw.
Kate Mardon in turn looked up at the ceiling to see what it was that had freaked her parents out so much that they were now staring up at the ceiling like the head of Elvis was jetting out from the ceiling or something.
She soon joined her parents in the "Dumbstruck look" department when she saw what her parents were looking at up on the ceiling above her.
There in the area above where she sat on the living room floor, her top bedroom sheet that her foot had caught and taken with her when she had fallen was jetting halfway out of the ceiling, along with the section of her hair that was missing from the rest of her hair.
What….HOW the heck where those two items jetting out from the ceiling above where she now lay?
"Honey!" her mother said grabbing her father by the shoulders, "Her hands!"
Kate Mardon looked down at her hands, and noticed to her shock and fear that they were suddenly fading from sight, along with her feet…and she couldn't see this, but her head also vanished as well.
She didn't know this yet, but she had just became invisible.
As he parents looked on at the state their daughter was now in with utter disbelief, their now invisible daughter looked up at them both.
They couldn't see the fear in her eyes, but they could hear it in her voice.
"What's happening to me?!" she cried in terror at her suddenly having "faded" before her and her parents eyes, desperately hoping her parents had the answer or could help her somehow.
Her mother then turned to her father, "Call him. Call him now" she said, "He said to call him if we needed him for our daughter if something like this happened. Call him."
"I'll go see if I can find that number on my phone, hopefully it's still there after I upgraded it from my last IPhone. Stay calm honey, panicking will only make it worse!" her father said, turning around and running as fast as he could up the stairs to the master bedroom.
"Don't be afraid honey" her mother said, cautiously approaching her daughter who was now invisible "it's going to be all right…we're going to get you some help. We know a man. He helped your father and me before, he can help you as well."
New York City, Heroes Legion Mansion: August 20th 2044: 2:00 AM
Silicon was awoken from his sleep by the sound of a phone going off in the room next to his bedroom.
He grumbled as he forced himself to wake up to answer the phone since he knew that the buildings other occupant, M-Leader, couldn't exactly answer the phone himself.
Telepathic powers did not allow one to be able to converse with the person on the other end of the phone, no matter how comic books sometimes presented that kind of stuff, real life superpowers did not have that luxury.
He knew he shouldn't have, but he at that moment felt jealousy towards his old departed friend Shadow Knight at this moment.
"Kagae" he said to himself, referring to his old friend and teammate The Shadow Knight while trying to wake his wife Techne as she lay in the bed beside him sleeping like a log, "There are times I wish I had your sleep cycle, well...most of the working force of America would want your sleep cycle, but that's beside the point!"
He fumbled around on the cabinet beside his bed with his hands in the dark, once again envying his departed friend Shadow Knight's powers (the ability to see in the dark) before he found his phone.
"Hello…?" he said into his phone half-awake once he had pressed the call receive button and pressed it against his left ear.
"Hello? Is this the Zander Grayman Institute for Wayward and Disadvantaged Teens?" a familiar male voice asked from the other end of the phone.
"Who is this?" Silicon asked, no one had ever called this place that name in quite a while, and the only ones who knew about this number were the ones who knew about the Mansion being the Headquarters of the Heroes Legion.
"It's Paul, Paul Mardon. Your probably don't remember me but…"
"Oh right, Paul Mardon" Silicon said in recognition, "the guy who could phase through solid objects who married the girl with the invisibility power. You two were one of the groups of new Metahumans that Meta-master created for his army in New York City that split away and joined the good side…and retired in California after the Devastator Incident left you both powerless. What are you doing calling this place at this time of the night, is something wrong?"
"It's our daughter. Kate." Paul Mardon answered, "Somethings happened, and I think you and your old man had better get down here right away."
"Why?" Silicon asked.
"Because she just phased through the floor and is now invisible and freaking out. She isn't turning visible. We could really use M-Leader's help." Paul Mardon answered.
"She's just done WHAT?!" Silicon exclaimed in surprise, "That's impossible. There's no M-Radiation levels left in California to induce mutagenesis in any form in an adolescent meta-gene bearer. We've checked. And we've been keeping an eye on any possible appearances of M-Radiation hotpots or M-Gene signatures with Heroes Links: One in the USA and other places around the world ever since and have repeatedly found nothing in California in all that time. Your daughter couldn't possibly have done that without exposure to activate Mutagenesis in her M-Genes."
"I know. But something happened here. She said that there was a lightning storm right outside the house before she fell through the floor" Paul Mardon interrupted sharply, "She said it gave off a weird blue glow…now if I remember correctly anything that glowed blue always gave meta humans powers, because it was usually M-Radiation related right?"
"A lightning storm?" Silicon asked in surprise realization.
"She said it caused some kind of energy wave to wash over the town and the house, it shook the whole house, I don't know what it was but it made me and Margery's skin feel all tingly…and the only time we ever felt that kind of tingly was when our bodies were absorbing M-Radiation or when our powers were activated by the MGA. Whatever it was, it didn't re-activate our powers, but obviously it might or must have activated Kate's."
"Did this "Lightning storm" look weird? Did she say anything about it that sounded weird?" Silicon asked, "Like, no rain or wind or thunder, but lots of lightning?"
"Yeah…why?" Paul Mardon asked.
"It's the same storm…" Silicon said in realization.
"What?" Paul Mardon had heard the liquid metal metahuman's remark over the phone.
"Never mind Paul. I'll go get M-Leader, we'll be there in two hours. Just try and keep her calm and in the house until we get there." Silicon advised.
"She's already locked herself up in her room, I don't think she plans on going anywhere until we fix this…or give her answers" Paul Mardon pointed out, "How are we going to fix this?"
"I don't know, depends on what you mean by "Fix" now doesn't it?" Silicon answered.
"What does that mean?" Paul Mardon asked incensed by Silicon's response.
"Oh come on Paul, you and I both know that if what you mean by "Fix" is to take away her powers, I'm sorry to say to you that that particular ship has long since sailed away old friend. And that ship was never 100% effective anyway. Whatever it is that has happened to your daughter if it is M-Gene related can't be fixed" Silicon pointed out, "once you go Metahuman, that's it, there is no going back. We know that more than anyone on the planet. The only thing we could do for her is bring her back here to New York to find out what she can do, how she can do it, and a way for her to control…"
"I don't care what you do, just help her!" Paul Mardon snapped, and then hung up on Silicon.
"Well that's exactly how I always like to end a conversation" Silicon said sarcastically, and then he stretched.
He was about to get up from the bed to go get M-Leader when he felt a female's hand grab him by the hand.
It was Techne, who while despite his best efforts, he had in fact awoken her from her sleep.
"Baby…" she asked concerned, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Go back to sleep honey, I just need to go talk to my father about something important that can't wait till morning." He said, rubbing her purple hair lovingly as he did.
She was tired enough that she soon went right back to sleep, trusting him for his word that it was nothing to worry about.
He then got up from bed and walked out of his and Techne's bedroom and down the hall until he reached the bedroom door to M-Leader's bedroom.
He quickly walked over and roused his adoptive father from his sleep by shaking him.
"Silicon?" M-Leader's telepathic voice said in a sleepy tone of voice as he awoke from his sleep as he lay next to his wife, Stephanie Walker "Do you have any idea how early it is? What's going on?"
"I'm sorry dad" Silicon apologized, "but this is important. That storm struck again, this time in California. Paul Mardon called, he said that the storm hit the area over his neighborhood, and apparently his daughter is exhibiting powers."
"What?" M-Leader asked, his surprise at being told this news.
"Apparently she phased through her bedroom floor into the living room and is now invisible" Silicon explained further.
M-Leader was speechless.
It had happened again.
Another storm, another new Metahuman.
This would make four since the first strange lightning storm appearance above Philadelphia a year ago which had forever changed the life of one of his newest students. That student was his first one to be exact, first one in a long time. He knew his parents from the days of the Heroes Legion and that was the other part of the reason he took him in and had been taking care of him since he had re-activated the Heroes Legion Academy program. He had first heard of Neil upon discovering that in Philadelphia that particular new student in an orphanage when he hit puberty and his powers activated…but that was another story.
The point was that Neil had said that the day his parents had died in that train accident, there was a strange lightning storm that caused the wreck.
Apparently that same storm struck the area in the rural areas of Philadelphia that the orphanage was located at, and that was when his powers activated.
M-Leader had thought it was a freak accident and that the storm might have been just a lightning storm, and what might have activated his M-Gene was being struck by the lightning bolt that struck the orphanage.
He didn't think it was M-Radiation related and speculated that the lightning strike might have simply forced his M-Gene to activate in order to survive the deadly lightning strike he had seen in the kid's memory.
He had seen it happen before, sometimes the M-Gene that was secretly active but not enough to cause mutagenesis would use whatever was causing the pre-metahumans body dangerous stress to cause mutagenesis and use the element or force that was causing the stress as a catalyst.
The "Stress and Secondary Mutation" factor.
He had enough evidence during the Heroes Legion years to prove that theory was viable.
Shadow Knight was exposed to the Mutagen that gave M-Gene bearers Shadow Powers, it forced Mutagenic in him and the mutagen became the catalyst for his powers.
An S.L.E.E.T soldier who unknowingly had the M-Gene fell to his death….and the stress if the fall and the approaching deadly landing caused his M-Gene to activate and use the small bit of M-Radiation he had absorbed as a catalyst…and gained the ability to levitate and fly.
Silicon was drenched in molten liquid metal, and this factor caused a secondary mutation in him in order to survive and gave him his liquid metal form ability.
Then a storm that was similar to the one Neil had described appeared over a small area of Jersey City.
One new Metahuman was created in that event, and it wasn't a friendly one.
In fact it was a street punk given lizard like abilities.
Apparently, he had had contact with a lizard that he had stolen from his high school science room to use in a prank before the storm.
The two students he had at the time (Neil, Jessie) proved him wrong about not being able to handle themselves when stowed away on the mission to investigate and find the Lizard boy against his wishes. They not only dealt with the Metahuman, but dealt with the creature who would become the third new student…Shadow.
M-Leader had hypothesized that the resulting "Gecko" it was another freak accident like Neil's.
But ever since that time, in the past two weeks there had been news reports of similar lightning storms occurring in random area's throughout the country…so far there had been three sightings (Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans and now California) and in both instances…new metahumans had been somehow activated by the storm which then mysteriously dissipated soon after having its way.
At first they didn't believe the story, nor did they believe that a storm could give metahumans powers…or for that matter activate them like M-Ray crystals and the MGA could.
Since M-radiation was the catalyst in all mutagenesis mutations in Metahumans, then it was safe to assume at the time that the storm had some kind of link to M-radiation.
But those were always found in M-Ray Crystals, not in storms.
A M-Ray storm, it seemed rather outlandish and a bit hard to take seriously.
No one on the planet knew more about M-Radiation than M-Leader did.
M-Radiation just didn't come from lightning storms, so it might have been something else that was causing these M-Radiation spikes that looked like lightning storms recently.
Silicon's old M-Ray/M-Gene satellite put any doubt to its existence sure enough once they started investigating the first storm that appeared in the USA a few weeks ago after recruiting their first student in years in Philadelphia.
This time they had Heroes Links: One's satellites to thank for informing them of the actual existence of the M-Rays storm instead of its ground based long range M-Ray/M-Gene scanner.
Heroes Links: One's satellite link to the S.L.E.E.T satellite they had put into orbit long ago to increase its M-Gene/M-Ray scanner's range had detected a M-ray spike in Chicago, and the down looking view of the camera showed that it was in fact a lightning storm. And it vanished as soon as the spike hit critical mass for about 15 seconds, but as it did, it left traces of minute but effective pockets of M-Radiation left behind in the area's that the storm had hit.
Not the kind that would kill a normal person, but it was the kind that could activate a dormant M-Gene users M-gene and trigger mutagenesis, resulting in a Metahuman.
But so far there hadn't been much of anything springing out from the storms, usually just two or three metahumans and their powers all varied.
Even the Lizard boy with the climbing, leaping and sticky tongue and mildly corrosive venom spit was more of a nuisance level Metahuman than anything dangerous.
But despite the rather low expectancy rating of Metahuman "births" coming from the storm, the fact that these storms were causing new metahumans to be activated was enough to draw concern and alarm no matter how few these rather unnatural natural events occurred between appearances and how many new meta humans they made.
He and Silicon had no idea what was the cause of this "M-Radiation lightning storm" as they were calling it, but they knew that with every new Metahuman it was their job to investigate and help, especially since once upon a time ago they had been members of the world's first superhero team.
Metahumans were their responsibility.
M-Leader decided that the best thing to do was to put aside his concern and curiosity about another M-Ray storm appearing again in a different area of the USA, and to get down to California to see if he could help out an old acquaintances daughter.
"Go and fire up the 'Night Hawk' Silicon" M-Leader ordered, " I'll contact Agent Smith and have him try and contact General Arcane to let him know what's going on. I have a feeling that our little class of Metahumans might be about to grow by one more person."
"Why do I get the feeling that the storms are a sign that the age of superhuman both good and bad just came back or is starting to come back?" Silicon wondered.
"Because you might be right" M-Leader said in response.
"Should I awake the two other students and bring them with us?" Silicon asked.
"No, let them sleep" M-Leader said shaking his head, "They had a long day in the battle-zone, not to mention that incident with the lizard boy in Jersey City and Shadow in Chicago. They need the rest."
"What do you think is causing these storms?" Silicon asked.
"I don't know…" M-Leader said with a grave look on his face, looking out the window at the clear night sky outside the mansion, "But knowing my luck it might have either something to do with my experiment years ago…or perhaps it might have something to do with whatever "Genesis" is… or was before that lab was destroyed."
Silicon knew what M-Leader was talking about.
He had been there when they had stumbled upon "Project: Genesis".
Ah yes, "Genesis", a mystery that would have to be regaled about at a later time.
Right now he and M-Leader both had a frightened teenage girl in California that needed their help.
So once silicon had left the room in order to fire up the old Nighthawk Super plane down in the bunker beneath the mansion. M-Leader carefully got out of bed, kissed his sleeping wife on the cheek, and grabbed his cloak and put some pants on and then followed Silicon down to the Bunker where the Night Hawk and Silicon would be waiting for him.
Little did they both know, was that this visit to help the "ghost girl" would not go over as easy or as simply as they would have hoped.
Because just like in some of the other storms that had occurred already. The girl was not the only one who had been affected by the M-Ray storm in Sunnydale, California.