"The Sensational Night Shadow in… A Hoedown In The Old West"
Created by The Spectacular SpiderDom
In the city of Seattle, Washington, 2035…
"Why won't this part cooperate with me?"
Bertram Van Cyrus: reformed supervillain, worked on a brand new invention inside of his secret lair: Street Dawg Munchies: the abandoned restaurant that he successfully transformed into his laboratory.
Typing on the computer, he found experimenting with a new program he'd been working on for quite some time. He hasn't told anyone, especially Night Shadow, about this new invention because he wanted to keep it a secret. He was incredibly passionate about this invention and prayed that it may come in use one day; however, he'd be more passionate if he could get it to work.
He continued typing before he came to a sudden stop, pushing himself back away from the computer for a few moments. Cracking his fingers, he wiped his sweaty forehead and pulled up a small microphone beside him. "Let's see if this works."
Gently tapping the microphone, he plugged it into the computer and did the same with a speaker. In the process, he heard a slightly loud ringing noise that irritated his ears. Covering his right ear with one hand, he finally stopped the annoying noise before everything went quiet.
"Here we go," he said, leaning close to the microphone and pressing a button. "Hannah… Hannah, come in. This is Bertram Van Cyrus. Can you hear me, Hannah?"
There was no answer.
"Repeat, Hannah, this is Bertram Van Cyrus. Can you hear me, Hannah?"
Again, there was no answer.
"Not this again," Bertram rolled his eyes. He prepared to do one final test before he heard a female voice with a British accent come from inside his computer. But the voice was muffled and was overshadowed by static.
"….Hello?... D-Doctor Van Cyrus?"
"Hannah, can you hear me?" Bertram asked excitingly. "Did I finally get you working."
"D-Doctor… there has been a secur... security… br-bre-bre…"
The voice suddenly disappeared and the computer itself turned off. The microphone and the speaker disconnected. Frustrated, Bertram unplugged them both and set his computer into reboot mode. He was greeted to a green screen and a yellow loading bar, which was at 15% completion. Leaning back in his chair, he rubbed his eyes and moaned.
"Don't worry, Hannah, I know we can get through this together," he smiled. "Once you're finished, you'll be able to help Night Shadow and his friends out on the toughest missions possible… well, if I can have the balls to tell them who I really am, of course… I don't want to keep living under the alias of Dr. Don'tBig for the rest of my life, I want to tell the other heroes who I am. The only people that know who I really am are Bloodhound and Night Shadow, and I feel bad I forced the latter to keep me a secret from his friends… but that will soon change once you're completed, right, Hannah?"
There was no answer.
Bertram sighed. "It's gonna be a long night."
"Bertram Van Cyrus."
A strange, ominous, robotic voice filled the room and the lights began to flicker. They switched on and off until the whole room went black. All of Bertram's electronics blacked out and they revealed a strange symbol.
His computers were black, and they had a red-letter A wrapped in a spiral of the same color.
"What the hell?" the scientist gulped, as he whipped out his laser/goo blaster. He had it taped to the bottom of his chair. Shining the flashlight on his goggles, he scanned the laboratory for anything suspicious. "Who's there!? Show yourself!"
"I have to admit," the voice continued. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again, but once you showed yourself during that serpent invasion, I realized that sometimes you need to expect the unexpected."
Bertram raised an eyebrow. "What do you want?"
"I'm on a quest. A quest to find all of the people who wronged me nine years ago. They called me weak… spineless… a man who could never have the nerve to fend for himself. Well, I've got a news flash for you, Cyrus…"
A shadowy figure that stood a foot taller than Bertram loomed behind his enemy.
Sweating, Bertram turned around and shot a laser at it.
But at the last second, a robotic hand with a fingerless black glove blocked the blast.
Bertram gasped, as the figure revealed who he was. "…the old me is long gone."
"Son of a bitch, I really hate paperwork," Atticus Moonstone: father of The Shadow of Seattle, rolled his eyes. Forced to work part of the night shift, he had to file paperwork following a recent attack from both Ketchup King and Mustard Queen. The two of them attempted to demolish a fast food joint that attempted to open up next to their brand-new building. He rubbed hand sanitizer on his palms and picked up his pen, filling out the other parts of the report.
"How many more pages is this?" Atticus asked, as he flipped through more than twenty pages of text. "Twenty-six pages!? That's some bullshit! All Marlon and Clementine did was just shoot condiments at a new restaurant, it's not like they committed genocide or something! God, if I really wanted it, I could electrocute those two with a freakin' taser."
"Took the words right out of my mouth."
Atticus glanced up and saw the beautiful complexion of his wife, Darla Prescott: Captain of Team Feral Strike and Mason's step-mother. She leaned against the door and approached her husband. She sat on his lap and kissed his cheek.
"Any chance you could help me fill out half of these pages?" Atticus chuckled.
"Not a chance," Darla chuckled, kissing her husband again. "You were in that case, not me."
"Unfortunately. I'm getting sick of the Grimes siblings."
"Likewise. But look on the bright side, they're not as dangerous as-"
The lights inside of the office suddenly blacked out. The only light source was through the moon that shined through the window. Atticus and Darla jumped as soon as the blackout started, wondering what could have caused it. The latter whipped out her gun and placed a hand on a cybernetic dagger with a red blade. She twirled it around and slowly approached the door.
"It's probably that faulty generator again," Atticus moaned. "I keep telling Phil to fix that damn thing."
"No… it's not the generator," Darla answered.
Growing nervous, Atticus slowly got up from his chair. "Then… what is it?"
Peeking her head out the door, the Russian officer checked for any activity before she heard the roar of a shotgun. A bullet blasted from the hallway and shattered the window on the door, nearly blowing the captain's head off. Darla ducked down and Atticus leaped back. Without hesitation, the former rolled out into the narrow hallway and opened fire.
She shot a barrage of five bullets before she realized that nothing was there. The flashlight at the bottom of her gun showed nothing but a trash can and a set of doors in the distance. Raising an eyebrow, she investigated the area carefully and slowly.
"Seattle Police Department," she snarled. "Either get your ass out here or I'll find you myself!"
Atticus screamed from behind and Darla quickly glanced over her shoulder. "Atticus!?"
She rushed back inside the office and saw that her husband wasn't there.
"Atticus!?" she exclaimed. "Whoever's out there better come out or I swear to God, you're going to be sorry you ever f*cked with me! Do you hear me!? You're f*cking with the wrong family!?"
A shadowy figure snuck up behind her and…
While a sinister force lurked on the other side, device overload occurred at Alyssa and Lyra's apartment in the Morrison Hotel. Lyra Song: Frosty Beetle was using her phone to look up reference images for a dress design, Steven Adara: Pyro Lad was in the middle of typing his book, and Alyssa Cordelia: Monsoon Gal was in the middle of a critique with her art class. Not only did she have face-to-face classes in the day, but she had online classes at night. She didn't like the fact that it started at 6:00 PM and ended at 9:45 PM, but she didn't bother complaining to the Board of Education.
On her screen, there were more than eleven windows with peoples' faces on them, and she looked at a student's 2D Design piece. The assignment was to craft a picture out of various materials that were made of paper products: newspapers, cardboard, card stock, color aid paper, etc. Alyssa adjusted her glasses and listened to the student talk about his work.
"So, what I did was that I took clippings from different newspapers and I made my dream house. Obviously, this isn't drawn to scale, but you know. I made some little characters out of cardboard and I made a little road out of some card stock," the female student explained. "Pretty cool, huh?"
"How long did it take you to make this?" Alyssa inquired. "This looks really good."
"Please, call me Alyssa."
"Oh, sorry, Prof-ahem! Alyssa. My bad. So, it took me around four days to do this. I was using small scissors and a couple of X-acto knives to make precise cuts. Then, I used-"
Suddenly, a tired Sarah curled up on Alyssa's shoulder and slept right on top of her. Alyssa smiled and rubbed the child's head.
Alvin, who was just as exhausted as his sister, approached his aunt and asked a question. "Lyra, can I have some crack?"
Alyssa, Steven, Sarah, and the former's class stopped what they were doing. What did she just say?
Both elemental benders slowly turned their heads towards Sarah.
Lyra looked at her friends with a blushed look on her face. "Alvin… that's… that's…"
"What did he just ask you?" Steven asked.
"Did that kid just ask for crack?" said a kid on the monitor.
"Um, Professor Cordelia. Is there something you're not telling us?"
"Yo, ask him if he can share some."
Suddenly, Lyra started laughing. Her purple-black hair hung over her face, as she grabbed her nephew and held him close. She wiped her teary eye and slapped her kneecap.
"I'm so sorry," Lyra kept laughing. "I can explain this. So, I've been buying a lot of those cheese puffs lately, and one of my favorite flavors is one called Spicy Cheddar Jalapeno, so I've been eating them so much that I started calling them my crack. It's supposed to be an inside joke between Alvin and me, ha-ha. I'm so sorry, guys."
"No, seriously," Alvin said. "I'm craving the munchies."
Lyra kept laughing along with her nephew. Steven and Alyssa shared an appalled glance before the latter facepalmed.
She was dying of embarrassment. "Why don't we continue some other time, Class? If you haven't done this assignment, you now have an extra week to do it. To some of you that did it, great job! I'll send an email regarding the next project. Good night, everyone."
She automatically pressed the Leave Meeting button and closed her laptop.
"Look on the bright side," Steven said. "At least he didn't ask for heroin."
Alyssa couldn't help but laugh at his comment.
So did Lyra. Alvin didn't understand the joke.
The water bender continued her laughter before she suddenly stopped. She found herself distracted by Steven's appearance; he still wore his scarf over his face, which hid a hideous scar she noticed weeks ago. Remembering the time that Ketchup King and Mustard Queen attacked Seattle, she recalled seeing Pyro Lad remove his red scarf and revealing his scar. She had no idea where he got it from, but she wondered why he hid for so long.
Hopefully, tonight would be the night she got an answer.
"Can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Sure, what is it?"
"When we were fighting against Ketchup King and Mustard Queen a while back… you took off your scarf and showed us your face. That was the first time I've seen the lower part of your face in years."
"Has it been that long?"
"I guess… I need to ask you about that scar. Where did you get it? How come you were hiding it?"
Steven stopped typing and paused for a quick moment.
"Uncle Steven has a scar?" Alvin gasped. "That's awesome!"
"Alvin, why don't you take your sister and head to bed?" Lyra kindly said to him.
"But, Aunt Lyra. I want-"
"You're not getting crack. Not this late at night."
"Come on, you're so boring-"
The lights went out in the apartment. The only sources of it came from the moonlight that shined through the kitchen window, and the glow from Steven's computer. The creative writing teacher closed his computer and looked around the environment.
"Power outage?" he questioned.
"No," Alyssa answered worryingly. "It's something else… I can sense something's wrong."
Tundra: an artic-fox demon that sat on Lyra's shoulder, came out, and sniffed the air. As the water bender said, something was wrong. Lyra jumped up from her seat and grabbed both Alvin and Sarah, holding them tight.
Sarah woke up when she realized she wasn't sleeping on top of Alyssa. "Aunt Lyra, what's going on?"
"Are we in danger?" Alvin inquired.
"No, no, I think we're going to be okay," Lyra nodded nervously.
"Don't worry, little one," the same voice that haunted Bertram Van Cyrus spoke loudly and creepily. "I won't harm you and your brother. It's the adults that I really want."
Steven recognized who that was and jumped up from the couch. "Where ever the f*ck you are, you better brace yourself for-"
Being hit on the pressure point on his shoulder, Steven moaned in agony and fell on top of the wooden table, breaking it in half. He closed his eyes and fell unconscious.
"Steven!?" Alyssa shouted. She was about to throw a punch at the shadowy figure in front of her, but he blocked her blow and tapped the pressure point on her arm. She winched in pain before she was smacked across the jaw. She fell over the chair and landed on her side.
"Aunt Alyssa!" all three of the Songs shouted.
Lyra placed her kids down and cracked her fingers. Tundra growled, as Lyra shot waves of ice and snow at the figure. The creature lurked around the apartment and crawled onto the ceiling, evading every move she made. But suddenly, he was hit by a snowball to the head. He landed on the ground and Lyra kicked him across the face.
Landing three more punches, Lyra formed giant fists of ice and smashed the figure into the ground.
"You've gotten stronger, Lyra Song," the robot snarled. He tripped Lyra off her feet and pinned her down. "But you'll never be as fast as me."
He knocked the cryokinetic unconscious.
"Aunt Lyra!" Sarah exclaimed, she started to cry.
"Get away from my aunt, you jerk head!" Alvin snarled.
The robotic shadow beamed his eyes upward and sneered at the two kids. He jumped up and slowly approached them. His boots clanged across the floor.
"Thanks for helping me do this, Mason, but don't you have to go to Sydney's show?"
"I don't. She has off today, so I can stay here for a bit."
Mason Moonstone: The Sensational Night Shadow, and his partner/boss, Nelson Pines: Robot looking to redeem himself, were in the middle of undoing the latter's past mistakes. Nelson's slept with a lot of people, cheated on them, and wronged them in high school, so he wanted to make up for his mistakes by apologizing to all of them. Of course, some easily forgave him whereas others told him to go to hell.
Currently, the two were working on apologizing to someone by the name of Carol Blanc: the sister to Mason's high school bully, Virginia Blanc.
"Here she is," Nelson scrolled down on his computer, looking at Carol's social media profile. He navigated through the posts and noticed one thing about her. "Wow, she takes a lot of good selfies."
"That's because they all have filters on them," Mason chuckled.
"True. Hey, look! She posted an Avatar!"
"You don't know about Facebook Avatars? People build them and post them on here for the sake of getting more anonymous friends and likes."
"Oh, so it's basically a marketing tool?"
Mason and Nelson looked at the Avatar and saw that it was a white-skinned girl with blonde hair, a turquoise shirt, blue eyes, and a pair of purple pants. They shared a glance and looked at her profile picture. There, they noticed that Carol herself looked different. She had turquoise hair, a cybernetic right eye, a right arm, and a left leg made of metal, but she wore the same attire as her cartoon counterpart.
"Wow, the resemblance is incredible," Mason snickered sarcastically.
"Hey, I never said the Avatars were a good marketing tool. Okay, where's the message board?" Nelson moved his mouse to the right corner of the page, clicking on a tap that read Messenger. He typed Carol's name in and loaded a document that allowed him to message her. "Okay… what should I say?"
"Just say the same stuff you said to the others."
"Yeah, but I want to say something different. Unlike other people, Carol was one of those folks that treated me with kindness. She took me out on dates, we saw movies together, we did everything. If only I hadn't been such a pervert and cheated on her."
"Hey, you want to redeem yourself, yes?"
"After apologizing to Chad during our high school reunion, yes."
"Then, write what you feel. Here, let me help you start," Mason cleared his throat. "Dear, Carol. My name is Nelson Pines. You probably remember me from Treedome High School. We briefly dated for a while before I made a mistake."
Nelson wrote down what his partner said, repeating it to himself.
"I've come here to apologize for leaving you and cheating on you with someone else. At first, I thought I was doing the right thing when really, I wasn't. I made a mistake and I wish to atone for it. I'm not expecting total forgiveness from you, but if there is a way we can talk about how I can repair my mistake; I would love to talk about it. Signed, Nelson Pines."
"Signed, Nelson Pines," the robot repeated the sentence and sent the message. "There, let's hope she reads it and she'll get back to-"
The lights went out in the entire studio.
Luckily, Nelson's eyes doubled as flashlights, and Mason could see in the dark. Both of them shared a glance, but Nelson's flashlight eyes blinded Mason.
"Oops, sorry, Mason."
"What the hell happened?"
"This better not be the electric company. I paid the god damn bill yesterday-"
A machete came out of the blue and diagonally sliced Nelson's upper body in half. The robot's eyes went white, as he fell to the ground. His lower half dropped to the floor and the robot shut down completely. Mason gasped and slid downward, holding his partner in his arms.
"You bring death to all who follow you, Night Shadow,"
The figure lifted his blade and attempted to end Mason's life, but the superhero blocked the blow with his dark tentacles and punched the man's chest. He sent flying across the studio and crashed into a set of supplies.
Mason leaped upward and squatted down into a battle position. Once he watched the figure get back up, he lunged forward and snarled as loud as a lion. He jumped on top of the shadowy figure and began throwing nothing but punches and heavy blows, making sure he paid for heartlessly dismantling his boss. Blow after blow, Mason planned to tear the mechanical being apart, but he was suddenly kicked in the chest and shot in the face by a laser blast.
Rolling across the floor, Mason jumped back up but was pinned down by the robotic figure's boot. Mason attempted to break free when all of sudden…
…he was knocked unconscious.