My name is Timothy Tyler. Well, that's what my parents named me. Most people just call me Tim. Anyways, this is the story of how I became the greatest hero.


"TIMOTHY TYLER!"

They say that the blue whale is the loudest animal in the world, able to be heard over 500 miles away or something like that. Whoever said that never met my English teacher, Ms. Raleigh. According to school legends, she once shattered the windows in her classroom by screeching at a sophomore for sleeping in class. Do I believe it? Absolutely.

Now, it should be mentioned that I am not the best student. Instead of taking notes on the friendship between Huck and Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I'm doodling in my notebook. In my defense, Mark Twain himself wrote a warning against trying to analyze his books, so I'm respecting the wishes of the author. I don't think that's going to go over well with Ms. Raleigh.

"Drawing in class again." Ms. Raleigh looms over me, clucking her tongue lightly. "Principal's office."

"Aw, c'mon, Ms. Raleigh." I protest. "I don't think that's really-"

"NOW!" The English teacher from hell drowns out my arguments, and I'm forced to pack my bag and trudge along to Principal Bare's office.


Meanwhile, on the Moon

"Give it up, Rahl." The more humanoid of the two aliens commands. "You've got nowhere left to run."

"That's what you think, Ohr." The other hisses, clutching at the smoking stump of one of his four arms. Within the space of a few seconds however, the arm has grown back in its entirety, as though it had never been blown up. A jet of orange light bursts from each of the alien's fists, and his opponent cries out, pierced by a ray of deadly energy.

"No!" The alien Rahl had referred to as Ohr shouts in desperation as Rahl leaps with powerful legs, propelling himself free of the Moon's gravity and toward the blue-white planet overhead. Panting from the pain of the wound in his side, Ohr touches the buckle of his belt, a circular chunk of metal marked with a simple circle. "This is Starstrike Alpha Centauri-2.4, Kolen Ohr. I have been critically wounded by the criminal Awiz Rahl. He is currently en route to Sol-3. Requesting backup."

Silence.

"Repeat, this is Starstrike Alpha Centauri-2.4, Kolen Ohr. There is a dangerous criminal en route to Sol-3. Requesting backup."

Again, there is no response. Kolen Ohr curses in an alien language. The planet classified as Sol-3 does not engage in much interstellar travel, but there is still an officer of the Starstrike Corps assigned to the planet, a high ranking one no less. It's not impossible that Starstrike Sol-3 is elsewhere, patrolling another part of the vast cosmos, or reporting in at HQ. Perhaps she is preoccupied with another matter, and unable to take on Awiz Rahl. Either way, it falls to the injured Kolen Ohr to capture the criminal.

Holding tightly to the gaping wound in his midsection, Kolen Ohr gathers himself before rocketing toward the planet Sol-3. Within seconds, he's caught up with Awiz Rahl, who only has the propulsion from his powerful leg muscles carrying him across the interminable gap between Sol-3 and its moon.

Like most inhabited planets, Sol-3 has an atmosphere that extends several hundred miles above its surface. Such atmospheres tend to burn up objects approaching the planet's surface at high speeds, Kolen Ohr knows. So he tackles Awiz Rahl and increases his own flight speed to the absolute maximum.

The light and heat are searing and blinding, but still Kolen Ohr pushes. The creature that is twisting and writhing in his grasp is one of the most dangerous species in the universe, constantly regenerating from any damage done to it. Even as Rahl's flesh burns away, it is regrowing, though Ohr hopes that the friction of the atmosphere will destroy the criminal irreparably.

But the surface of the planet is quickly approaching. Oblong dwelling places come into view, vehicles that spew poisonous gas speeding along roads of black stone. Awiz Rahl is still alive and kicking, and Kolen Ohr will soon succumb to the wound that is slowly killing him. The fourth Starstrike of Alpha Centauri's second planet grits his teeth, knowing he has failed in his duty. He changes course slightly, aiming for an empty field. If he cannot kill Rahl, he might as well make his last stand far from civilians.


I've been suspended from school for three days. I'll be honest, I don't understand out of school suspension as a punishment. The guys who usually get in trouble to the point that the school needs to suspend them are the ones who don't want to be there. Like myself. I wish I could just drop out and go to art school. Sadly, I can't do that for another year, so until then, I'm stuck in the hell that is high school.

Grandpa isn't going to be happy. He's already had to come to school several times because I never pay attention, but this is a whole other level of trouble. That's really the only part of all this that I feel bad about. Grandpa's been through a lot, fighting in WWII and losing his son and daughter-in-law in a car accident. I hate being a nuisance, but I know what I want to do with my life. It's just that I can't actually go through with it until I'm sixteen.

As I'm walking down the street, feeling sorry for myself and resenting mandatory education though, a pinpoint of light streaks through the sky over head. Squinting, I can just about make out a humanoid shape. As I watch, the light lands in a park about half a mile away, sending up a cloud of dust.

What the hell? Clearly, that pinprick of light I saw was a superhero, but why here? My neighborhood is in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Occasionally, heroes like Legend or Black Jupiter fight villains in public, but those almost always take place in the cities. Residential areas like my home are usually the domain of the police.

The smart thing to do would be to run as far away as my legs could carry me before calling the police. But, as you've no doubt guessed by now, I'm kinda lacking in common sense. My curiosity got the better of me, and I jogged over to the plume of smoke rising from the impact site.

As I came closer, it quickly became clear to me that the figure I'd seen flying through the sky was not human. He had two arms and two legs, but that was where the similarity ended. Most of his body was covered in a silver and black suit, but his hands and large head were bright yellow.

The alien, for that's what he likely was, was not alone, however. There was another alien fighting him. This one though, looked more like an insect, with multiple sets of limbs and a shining black shell covering most of his body. At least, I think it was a he. You can never tell with an alien.

The bug-like alien swiveled its head around, transfixing me with bulging orange eyes. He screeched something in an unintelligible language, then raised his hand toward me, palm facing outward. I started to back away. That was never a good sign.

A ray of orange light blasted out from the alien's palm. If the other, more human-looking alien hadn't tackled him just before he fired off whatever that laser thingy was, I would've been toast.

"Run!" The alien in the silver and black suit shouts. This one knows English? I try to move, but my entire body's frozen, with fear or shock, I don't know.

The bug-like alien screeches again, and the alien who saved my life punches him in the eye. As his opponent reels in pain, the alien reaches to his waist and detaches a circular piece of metal. "Oversight! Initiate succession protocol! Authorization code 093741!"

Immediately, the chunk of metal streaks through the air toward me. I manage to get to my feet, but before I can run, it smacks me squarely in the lower abdomen. Instantly, bands of black metal encircle my waist, and clamp into a solid metal belt. A shimmer of light spreads along my body from the belt and I look down to see myself encased in the same black and silver suit as the alien's.