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And Angels Did Appear.


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Circa Spring 2004

 

     Paragon City High School in Steel Canyon was abuzz with anticipation over graduation. Banners hung in the hallways congratulating graduates, windows were open in the classroom, allowing the warm spring air heavy with the scent of lilac to filter throughout the school. Students were ebullient and eager to begin, in most cases their summer vacation but for a lucky cohort it was time to start a new chapter in their lives. Even the teachers and staff were a little more relaxed than usual, knowing that they had completed their task for the school year. The staff room was filled from floor to ceiling with quiet talk about summer plans.

 

     A bespectacled, handsome, youngish looking man with burnt red hair pulled back into a pony-tail makes his way slowly down the hallway, threading his way through the throng of students moving from class to class between periods. With his sharp, corn-flower blue button down shirt, beige khakis and brown patent-leather shoes tied neatly in a bow he may not be wearing a sign that says "Teacher" but he sure is wearing the uniform. Frequently delayed by students thanking him for his class, wishing him well or otherwise chatting him up his progress is glacial. Hugs, fist-bumps, shoulder taps and handshakes are the order of the day on this, the last week of the school year for what seems to be a favourite teacher.

 

     Fergus McRae finally ends up at his destination, the teacher's lounge. His bare hand registering the cool metal of the handle as he presses down and shoulders the door open. "Fergus!" comes the call from across the lounge. "Howdy, Walter! How's that pool comin' along, then?" Walter Niewendyke, looking every inch the science teacher with his pocket protector loaded with pens and tape around the bridge of his glasses, places his paper coffee cup on the table and stands to greet his friend amid the gathering of other teachers, most of whom are absorbed with a sheet cake provided to celebrate the birthday of one of the admin staff. Fergus shakes his friend's hand and they sit down together, the former drumming his fingertips on the wooden table.

 

     After a brief moment the smile slides from Walter's face. "Not so good, buddy... it seems Sheila wants a divorce." Fergus is stunned "I... I'm so sorry, mate. Was there any warnin' at'all?" he drawls in his Scottish brogue, an accent he could never seem to lose. "No, man... I mean... maybe?" Walter pushes his glasses up his nose "But, I mean... you know me, I'm mostly socially clueless. Apparently so bad that I can't even pick up on signals from my own wife." Fergus taps his friend's wrist with his palm, attempting in vain to comfort his friend. "May I share with ye a wee spot o'wisdom from me own mum, Walter?" Walter looks up at his friend, tears in the corner of his eyes behind those thick glasses. "I'm all ears, pal." The Scot nods "Here it is..."

 

     "EVERYBODY FREEZE!! HANDS UP!!" There is immediate bedlam in the staff room as what is clearly a Malta agent wielding a strange, long weapon stands in the doorway. Behind him the hallways are a scene of absolute chaos as panicking students are being rounded up by men and women in dark blue uniforms, body armour and positively dripping with advanced weaponry. The agent in the doorway of the staff room fires a burst of three rounds, the second two end up in the wall opposite him but the first takes out the sheet cake, splattering Mallory Wise and Jessica Johnson with Costco's finest confection.

 

     Without pomp or ceremony the agent stands to the side of the door, waving his weapon towards the opening to the hallway. The teachers and staff in the room shuffle out with their hands over their head, eyes wide with fear and more than a few cheeks stained with tears of absolute terror. As they join the shuffling mass of students Fergus McRae realizes they're all being taken to the gym, the only room in the building that could conceivably contain every person in the school at once. He's aware of the sounds around him, the sobbing and weeping, the pleading for mercy, the cries of terror and pain as someone is occasionally kicked or knocked down in the mayhem.

 

     Before long the masses are gathered in the gym where the commanding officer struts about, coordinating his subordinates. The students are lined up in rows, on their knees while two dozen Malta agents line the wall, facing inwards with guns raised.

 

     "Hello, all!" Cries the lead Malta agent. "My name is Maroon-834 and I am in command of these soldiers. The soldiers are in command of you. That means I'm in charge." There is a brief pause "Here's how this is gonna go! I will... " There is a buzzing sound in Fergus' ears, he can't concentrate for a moment "... at which point you will be given... " more buzzing "... is that clear?" Silence in the gym as nobody utters a sound. Maroon-834 raises his sidearm and puts three rounds in the ceiling. Screams and cries of fear and terror echo in every corner "I SAID IS THAT CLEAR?!". There is whimpering and nods of assent in reply.

 

     "Wait, please, just wait!" Walter cries from his kneeling position "They're just children! They don't - " Whatever he was about to say goes unheard as the butt of a rifle caves his head in. Fergus stares at his friend, now dead, the back of his head entirely crushed by the force of the blow. Even almost 20 years later he still doesn't remember what happened next. All he knows is that everything went burnt orange, then white, then... nothing.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

     A smartly dressed man with a fresh haircut sits behind a desk. "Hello, welcome to your six o'clock news here on KPTV, I'm Robbie Simons and with me as always is Claire Simons, no relation." He says with a wink to the camera. "Yes, thank you, Robbie." Says the pristinely coiffed co-anchor "Well, there sure was a dust-up at Paragon City High School in Steel Canyon today, wasn't there, Robbie?" "There sure was Claire" Says the man as he faces the camera.

 

     "The Steel Canyon based High School was besieged this afternoon by a large group of heavily armed Malta agents. Their goal was unclear, but they did take all staff and students hostage and force them into the gym. While their demands remain unclear at this time, please be aware that this is a developing story. With more we have Katie Griffin on scene, live with eye-witness account and footage of the aftermath. Katie?"

 

     A beautiful young blonde woman with a sharp yellow blazer fills the screen. Behind her is what's left of the high school. "Thank you, Robbie. I'm here on the scene of Paragon City's most recent meta-human terrorist attack and as you can see behind me - " the camera zooms past her shoulder to the school. "The entire roof of the gymnasium has been ripped away with heavy scorch marks and even a few spot fires left." The camera does indeed show steel girders, warped and twisted as they are with strangely dark, burnt orange flames alight of them, like ghastly candles in the cool Spring evening.

 

     "While the school has been heavily damaged and many vehicles in the surrounding parking lot were damaged or destroyed by the falling debris and, frankly, general fallout of the incident it appears that there are very few civilian injuries. One teacher was killed with what is reported to be blunt force trauma and another appears to have gone missing, but no students were harmed in any way. However, that's not to say that there were no casualties, the Malta agents themselves have all been declared deceased at scene. Due to the graphic nature of their condition we cannot show you these images, but they all appear to have been burnt to death at extremely high heat and extremely close range."

 

     "Wow, Katie. What can you tell us about the Malta's goal or purpose?" Asks Claire, so professionally that one might think that she wasn't, in fact reading from a prompter.

 

     "Well, Claire, at this time we have very little information about that. We have reached out to the Freedom Phalanx to see if they can offer any insight but as of this time there has been no reply back. I do have an eye-witness account of what transpired, however." The camera shifts over to include a rather dowdy looking older woman, horn-rimmed glasses askew, the once neat hair bun now disheveled and askew. "This is Mallory Wise, a drama teacher here at Paragon City High School and she has agreed to tell us what she saw, Mallory?"

 

     "Well... " Mallory begins shakily "It's... somewhat hard to say. We were gathered up in the Gymnasium. Walter - " she breaks a moment, a soft sob escaping "Walter..." she continued, her voice tight "Cried out about harming the children and... and they... they just killed him." The distraught woman wipes her nose with an actual cloth handkerchief before continuing "And then there was a flash of red and, like... a kind of burnt orange and then there was this man, floating in the air. At least I think it was a man, but he was on fire - " She rushes to explain, pulling the microphone back towards her "But it wasn't regular fire, you could feel it differently. It was hotter and almost... hungry! It was like if you turned regular fire up. It was the way I would imagine Hellfire would feel, but the man was alive and making choices." The words are tumbling out now "He... it moved with a kind of speed I've never seen before, he didn't even stop or slow down he just changed direction, setting on fire agent after agent until finally there was an enormous explosion and the rest of the agents were just... charred and smoking and the Hellfire man was gone."

 

     "Thank you, Ms. Wise. And there you have it, Robbie." Katie says, staring back at the camera now centered on her. "It would appear there is a new player on the block. It's only a matter of time until The Freedom Phalanx become involved, but one thing remains clear, and that is that despite the physical collateral damage, this 'Living Hellfire', whoever or whatever it may be saved a lot of lives today. Robbie?"

 

     "Thank you for that excellent reporting, Katie. And now we turn to Kevin with our daily sports report. Kevin?"

Edited by Living_Hellfire
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-The Legendary Living Hellfire

"The newest person in the room is always the most important person in the room"

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  • 4 weeks later

so i told Liv i want to write those events from the point of view of Living Fire Hazard, who not only has Fire Powers but also used to be one of his Students.
i got his ok so here it is

Catching Fire

 

Spring 2004

 

Lisa was dropped of by her father at the Paragon City High School in Steel Canyon „and remember what i told you about your powers“ he says to her. Lisa sighs and quotes her father a bit annoyed „don't use your power, they hurt us even if i don't see or feel it” her father smiles “allright, I love you have fun at school”, Lisa just waves a bit embarrassed by the public show of affection even though probably none of the other Students have heard him.
She makes her way inside the school, banners congratulating those students who would graduate where hanging everywhere, many of the Students she came across shared there plans for the summer or there future after graduating.
One of Lisas classmates waves at her “Lisa, Lisa, over here” Lisa runs over “hey Martin, whatsup?”. Martin gives her a friendly hug “Some of us want to go skate at the Mall this evening and celebrate the end of the school year, you coming to?”. Lisa frowns, she burned her board, she literally burned it, but that's not something she could say “I, kinda, need a new board, anyway did you see Mr. McRae I need to ask him something” another voice from behind them chimes in “haha, you still have a crush on our teacher” Lisa turns around “SHUT IT MARIE, ITS ABOUT OUR HOMEWORK FOR THE SUMMER BR…..” the conversation was cut short.


Suddenly students where running and screaming everywhere before heavy armed Soldiers in Malta Uniforms appeared around a Corner one of which yells at the students and shoots a couple of rounds in to the air “ALRIGHT YOU BRATS, YOU WILL DO WHAT WE TELL YOU AND THIS WILL BE OVER SOON”.

Students and Teachers, Janitorial staff and everyone who was at the school got slowly guided in to the Gym no one dared to run anymore. Lisa thought about using her powers but her parents made her promise to not use them and besides those guys are not candles, some school assignment she is nervous about or a skateboard, they have guns and she only has warmth.
Lisa sat between all the other Students in the Gym, hands behind her head, she wanted to ask “why us” but didn’t dare to ask, she still played with the thought of using her Powers, but what where they good for.
One of the Malta Agents spoke up, there leader, she didn’t really listen she was way to focused on her own bad day than to listen, he would probably just tell them he is the one in charge. “Did he just say his name is Maroon-5” Martin was sitting next to her and whispered in her ear which made her smile and calm a bit down, always the class clown even in a situation like this.
One of the Malta Agents must have heard it and walked up to them but the Science Teacher, Mr. Niewendyke, spoke up which was a lucky distraction from Martins bad timed joke “Wait, please, just wait!” he cried, Lisa had never seen one of her Teachers cry like that “They're just children! They don't…” his sentence cut short, he was knocked out cold with a riffle, Lisa couldn’t see it form her position but it sounded really bad.


What happened next would change her forever, there suddenly was this heat and fire, first she thought it was her doing but then she realized, it couldn’t be her, this fire was different, hotter than fire, hungrier than fire and angrier than fire. Then she saw it a human figure made up of this fire shooting the Malta agents with flames while flying around with grace and high speed.

Her eyes where fixated on that person that “Living Fire” no it was more than Fire, she would know, that person must be “Living magic-fire” or maybe even “Living Hellfire” what ever that fire was one thing was sure for her she wanted to be just like this person, rescuing everyone with a destructive force like fire, fire just like hers all be it much hotter.
It took 4 other Students to drag Lisa away from her spot when people where evacuating the scene and explosions happened, Lisa kept staring at the flying fire person until it disappeared, everyone assumed she was scarred and in shock but the truth is she was inspired.

Edited by jkwak
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back to the Zukunft

 

@Jkwak

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