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William's Valiance (Story)

William Valence

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*Way back when, Sonic Resonance was a set that had graphics that could injure individuals susceptible to seizures. So I stopped playing my Ill/Son Controller, and made this story to kill him off. When the set was fixed to not be harmful to other players I modified this story to this iteration to reincorporate him back to my roster's shared world*


Oh so often a story is easy to understand. It has a neat little beginning, middle, and end. However, very little of William Valance’s life has been easy. Most of his story is a scatter shot of the vastness of time. What might have seemed, at the time, the end of an amazing hero’s story, is truly just the beginning.

It started on a nice day, just after the end of the first Rikti war. Paragon City, everywhere for that matter, was rebuilding. Heroes were attempting to keep a safe city, but the least of society was busy trying to capitalize on the situation. Individuals have always tried to blame the heroes of Paragon City for some issue or another, and often these heroes are brought to the court. Targets of unwarranted, irresponsible, and wrongful civil suits.

This is where our intrepid hero enters the narrative. William Valance has always worked in the court of law to defend those who defend. Refusing payment, he worked pro-bono. A protector of protectors, he was often the only thing standing between a crippling lawsuit and a person invulnerable to bullets. With the Rikti war, the number of cases he was responsible for skyrocketed.

Tired, he walked down the steps of the courtroom. The end of his day, he was going to eat and get some much needed sleep. The best laid plans of course, as the ground shook he noticed two Freakshow members harassing a young woman. He assumed the tremor was their doing, but decided to deal with the matter at hand, ignoring his phone for the moment. It was an incredibly easy fight.

“Why are you hitting yourself, Freaks?” the words had power, and it took all of three seconds before the freaks were flailing on the ground crying out in imagined agony. He gestured for the woman to leave, while checking his phone. A message from an old friend from WWII, a Warshade called Moonshatter, containing only one word. William took off like a man possessed.



“We don’t know he’s free?! How can you say that with a straight face?” The longbow rep was fuming at a man that Will could only assume was a Midnighter.

“The wards are strong” the Midnighter managed to get out, but he was quickly stopped by another presence. The Statesman moved forward to address the room, his experience showed as he was a calming force in a room filled with panic.

“They are strong or were strong, it doesn’t matter. Rularuu’s aspects are tearing through the city. We need to prepare a counter offense, and the sooner we’re all on the same page the more of the city will be left when we get them sealed away”

William made his way through the various checkpoints of the Forward base, the ground shaking the entire time. He followed the group from their previous position to a more formal meeting area, more appropriate for a proper briefing.

As he looked around he saw very few people he knew, and he could count the number of people in the group he trusted on one hand. With fingers left over. It was an unsettling situation, but when he reached the briefing room, he was all business. Video of Rularuu’s aspects littered the room.

“Uh, Moonshatter was the one to fill me in on the situation, where is he?” Will noted Statesman’s near wince at the mention of Moonshatter. He knew the two had issues, but he didn’t realize it was that bad.

Sister Psyche was the one to respond, “He’s not in any condition to help with a situation of this level. Evacuating the civilians during the war left him incredibly weak.”

His heart sunk a little bit and with Statesman’s reaction to the mere mention of Moonshatter, his list of trust dropped by one. This was not looking to be a promising day.

He took his seat as the leaders of some of the most well know Super Groups took theirs. Will couldn’t help but wonder; what in God’s name am I doing in the midst of these great people?

Snapped out of his self doubt, the briefing was started with the Midnighter speaking, “Ladies and Gentleman, Rularuu is breaking free from his imprisonment. As we speak, his various aspects are targeting mystic leylines throughout the City. Their goal is to disrupt the magical energies of our dimension enough for Rularuu himself to tear through and enter Paragon City.”

“Our plan is simple but difficult, each team with take a leyline with the objective of disrupting the attacking aspect’s form. If successful the aspects will be forced back to the Shadow shard, and Rularuu stays where he is. Our contingency, should Rularuu be freed before we can stop him, is to have the assigned Midnighter rep in each team to restore the leyline, and rebuild the anchors that imprisoned Rularuu”

Will was impressed with Statesman’s ability to end the previous disagreement, and get people focused as the Longbow rep barked, “You’ve got your orders people, go knock’em down!”

He stood up slightly confused. He didn’t have his orders. Looking around he found Sister Psyche, but before he could ask anything she piped up. Her solemn tone reinforced the idea in his mind that this was not going to be a good day.

“William, good, I needed to speak with you”


“I don’t want to die…I don’t…I’m not ready” The pain in his voice was palpable. He couldn’t imagine the possibility of death. William Valence had been alive for a long time, before WWI at the least. He didn’t know where he came from, he wasn’t magic, he had no mutation and when he first appeared science and technology were limited to discovering things like penicillin and building bicycles. All he knew was, he existed and now he might not. He was terrified.

“You know why we have to ask you to do this. I know you’re scared, we all are, but we need you to do this.” Manticore’s voice was almost pleading “No one wants you to die, no one wants to die themselves, but this is dangerous and we all know it’s a possibility for any of us”

“You might die, I will die!” Will was yelling at the pair. He always hated Manticore, he knew his heart was in the right place, but he couldn’t stand a person that smart believing it was ok to go as far a he was willing to go, because he believed he was right. He didn’t see him as any better than the might makes right villains who litter the Isles. Money, however, seems to afford a certain level of control over people’s perspective. Today…today he just happened to be right.

Will took a deep breath before addressing the two “You’re both right, I’m sorry.”

Sister Psyche’s voice was calm, but she was visibly shaking “Don’t apologize, it’s a terrible situation no one blames you for being scared, or angry, but if Rularuu goes free he will beeline for the teams trying to imprison him. They wouldn’t make it. We need you, your illusions; we need you to distract him if he gets free.”

“How likely is it that he’ll get out?”

“Almost certain,” Sister Psyche motioned to the monitors in the room showing each fight, some just starting, others that have been raging for a while. None showed any sign of a quick win. A few seemed to be losing battles with very little chance of victory. “We know where Rularuu will enter the city. It’s the place where the magics will be most disrupted soonest. As powerful as he is, we expect him to go for a quick return instead of waiting and trying to surprise us with a return location.”

“I’ve got a helicopter on standby that will take you to the location; Shalice will stay here, coordinate the teams, and keep you updated. I’m praying for a miracle I really am.” Manticore put a hand on William’s shoulder and accompanied him to the helicopter.

As he got into the helicopter, will looked back to Manticore “I have a feeling today is gonna suck for me, but that just might mean I’m the miracle you’re hoping for”

With a nod Manticore closed the helicopter door, and Will was off.


“This is Task force Resonance…We’re not going to make it in time…We don’t, we don’t…It’s taking too long, he’s not going down in time. Prepare for contingency”

“Task force Clarity reporting a similar situation, requesting mission order clarification, how are we supposed to defend against Rularuu himself? This Fragment is tearing us apart!”

“Task force Mach reporting in…I think it’s happening this aspect is falling back! Requesting the same clarification, how are we defending anchors from Rularuu?”

“This is Statesman and Task force Sonar…The Rularuu aspects are moving to the return point, they will be absorbed into Rularuu…they will not be a concern.”

“Task force Mach again, I’m not concerned about the aspects! We were surviving them, how are we going to survive Rularuu!”

“Affirmative on that, Task force Resonance requesting information on how to prepare for Rularuu”

“This is Sister Psyche, the diversionary team has reached the return point. Rularuu is already back. All Task forces should focus on preparing the anchors and imprisonment asap!”

“Diversion team? There was only one other person available for the mission, what orifice did you pull a team from, and why didn’t they help prevent him from breaking free?!”

“One other person, five task forces of eight with Psyche and Manticore leading support and coordination efforts, who’s the extra?”

“That lawyer William Valence, which task force was he assigned to?”

“Not Resonance”

“Not Mach”

“This is Statesman, knock it off! Cut the chatter and get to work”

“Oh God…Oh God no. HE’S THE DIVERSION TEAM! Are you out of your mind, one person can not stand up to Rularuu!”

“I said cut the chatter! The faster we work, the less he has to distract. If you’re worried about how long he’ll survive; SHUT UP, HURRY UP, AND GET DONE!”


“With lots of places to run to…and if she had to die tryin’…she had one little promise she was gonna keep”, The irony was not lost on him, but Will marveled at how much better he felt with a good song stuck in his head.

He walked toward the fearsome god. It was a terrifying thing to see, but he had a job to do. It was an immediate realization, Rularuu was interested. If he was forced to guess, Will believed he just wanted to crush the plans of those who thought they could defeat him; but who could claim to understand such a being.

It was like the world was crushing him, the focus of the monstrous deity crashing down on him, the sounds of the city were nothing and it was Rularuu who broke the silence.

“One person, one insignificant being, is that all you could muster to save your world?”

“Not at all, there’s way more than just me. I’m just the only one available to play with you right now”

“Is that so? They believe one worm like you is enough to hold me off? I could destroy you without effort on my way to crush whatever allies you think you have.”

William laughed, time to push things a bit, “You haven’t yet, and I know why…”

“…You’re weak…” The words had power, they echoed through the deafening silence of Paragon City’s terror. Reaching the Shadow god, the illusion took and the tremendous being buckled at the legs, his surprise could be felt in the air.

William dropped to the ground in exhaustion, his whole body in pain. He couldn’t imagine the effort it took to use one of his bread and butter illusions on Rularuu.

Rularuu regained his composure in moments, “A flash of power, but it is nothing compared to me. What would you do now, despair?”

“I don’t need to do anything,” Will stood up dusting himself off, “The earth itself see’s your threat, the earth itself is against you!”

The ground shook as earthen pillars closed in on Rularuu in a serpentine path. A terrible crash was averted with Rularuu’s laugh shattering the illusion.

“I’m a devourer of worlds; did you truly believe I would be concerned if one of them decided to fight back, did you believe none of them have before? You are not grand enough to stand before me”

Taking the mask of his costume, a mask he wore proudly as a hero since WWII, he responded “No, but you are…”


Sitting at the edge of the bridge in Independence Port, William watched as the ships were loaded. Destined for the British war effort, he looked over to see his friend Atlas standing and watching with him. The giant of a man, gentle as he was massive, spoke up; breaking the silence.

“Do you think we should be doing more? With the war I mean, are we helping enough? Their homes, they’re…they’re dying. Will is it ok that we’re just sending them stuff, shouldn’t we be fighting with them?”

William sighed “Nobody should be fighting, but they are. I fought in the last war; I can’t begin to think about sending that many people to die again.”

The despair in Atlas’ voice seemed out of place for a man so large, “Do you think it hurts, dying? So many people, I hate to think about how much pain that is.”

“Sometimes, sometimes not. I know some soldiers were specifically ordered to use less effective ammunition, making the victim die slower and with a great deal of pain, to demoralize the enemy. God I can’t believe I’m saying this, but fear for the day when we have to kill quickly because we’ve grown accustomed to people dying in agony.”

“War is a distur…” Atlas was interrupted by the sound of an exploding ship. The pair watched in horror as the ports were overrun by soldiers, bullets cracked, and explosions burst.

William leapt to his feet “It looks like lesser men have made the decision for us! What’s the plan?”

“Run. You need to let the city know we’ve been invaded. I’ll hold them off, you go get help.”

“You can’t hold off an army by yourself! We can take them on together; a bystander will call the police.”

“Stop! We don’t have time; this isn’t the type of fight for you. They’re too far spread, they won’t hear your voice; they’ll just shoot you. Go get help.”

“I’ll be back soon, I swear!” William was in a dead sprint heading for the nearest building, the nearest phone, “Don’t die while I’m gone! Hell, don’t die after that either.”

Atlas turned to stare down the army. It was a whisper of determination “Live or die, their invasion stops here”

It was disturbing. A moment before, William was facing down a mad god. A devourer of worlds, intent on making Earth just one of many destroyed. Now he faced the ghost of a Memory. A long dead friend who in Will’s mind’s eye was the same stone Behemoth holding the world on his shoulders outside city hall.

He couldn’t let himself be distracted, if he didn’t play this right, the Illusion wouldn’t take.

“Atlas! Stand tall buddy, we’ve got a fight on our hands!” Will looked over his shoulder, and as he said the words a monstrous form emerged from behind a building. “Rularuu’s here! We can’t let him hurt innocent people!”

“Not possible, no. I’m Rularuu!” As he said the words, Will showed no signs of concern. This was part of the process. Rularuu looked to the glass of the neighboring building and saw Atlas’ form. “Am I going mad? Why would I think I’m…” Trailing off, he faced the image of Rularuu. Though an illusion, his face was etched with a legitimate determination.

With a mighty swing, the false Atlas engaged the illusion with quick but disappointing results.

“I can’t even hurt him! Will, what should I do?”

“We can’t beat him Atlas; Rularuu is too powerful. All we can do right now is distract him. Just don’t die before the others are ready.” William began to choke up, an act not lost on Rularuu. The memories of Atlas’ death were getting in the way of the illusion

“What’s wrong Will?” The words were terrifying to those who were paying attention to the fight, a mixture of Rularuu and Atlas’ voices.

Not skipping a beat, it was an almost miraculous save, “We’re going to both be dead, this is Rularuu, and he’s going to make sure we’re both dead by the end of this fight Atlas.” Pushing the Illusion harder, with equal determination, Will echoed the last words he heard from his friend, “Live or die, his invasion ends here”

Wiping his face, he brushed aside tear shed for a friend long dead. He brushed aside the memories that pained him, and brought forth the good memories of fighting alongside a true hero. He brushed away blood, dripping from his nose. Not nearly enough to pay for the sin of bringing back the memory of someone who died to save innocents, just to die again.

His only comfort was knowing that there would be more blood to follow.

Sister Psyche watched in a confusing mixture of horror and amazement. William Valence was succeeding, he was holding off Rularuu. Her repulsion needed to be suppressed, she was finding it difficult to watch the legendary hero Atlas being brutalized by the illusion of Rularuu, but she realized what was going on.

“How’s he doing Shalice?” Manticore, speaking with a great deal of concern, he walked up hoping for good news. There were no cameras watching Will’s fight with Rularuu, the only way to see what was going on was for Sister Psyche to open her mind and show him what she was seeing.

“He’s doing it; he’s actually holding him off.” The astonishment in her voice gave Manticore some hope.

“So he might pull it off, this is actually happening?” He looked to the various screens, and checked the progress of the various task forces, “We might want to update the other teams; they’re tending to casualties and could use a morale boost”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Will’s holding him off, but he’s dying. Maintaining the illusion is putting too much stress on his body. Justin, Rularuu is dying too.”

“I need to see what’s going on there; I need you to show me!” Manticore felt a familiar feeling. As Sister Psyche entered his mind, the images of the battlefield flooded in. He could see Atlas, an unmistakable figure. There he was battered and bruised on the ground, the illusion of Rularuu looming over him.

William on his hands and knees panting in much the same way as the false Atlas, however Will was not battered and beaten, instead he was bleeding. The blood payment for the outrageous sin of a mere man defying a god, the sin of stirring memories of long dead heroes that deserved their peace, his blood was his payment.

Anywhere his life could escape from him it did. His eyes, ears, his mouth and his nose; he was even sweating blood through his skin. He wasn’t going to be able to keep on living let alone maintaining his illusion. And a powerful illusion it was. Perfectly targeted, Manticore could see why Rularuu was dying.

“He’s killing himself, Rularuu that is.” He looked at Sister Psyche in disbelief, “He thinks he’s fighting himself, and he sees himself as the most powerful being there is, he’s using his own power to kill himself. He’s knows that Atlas wouldn’t stand against him and live. He thinks he’s Atlas…” Devolving for a moment to rambling, Manticore quickly came back to reality with a startling thought.

“He’s going to die too soon”

On the ground he couldn’t catch his breath. William could feel his life escaping from every part of his body. He wondered to himself for a moment, was he trying to escape from this fight, or was something pulling it from him?

He looked to the ground, counting the drips as they fell from his face. Everything was going black

“William! You’re not done yet. William, we need more time!” Sister Psyche’s voice brought him back, but not fully. Everything was blurry, and he couldn’t muster the strength to stand.

“It’s time for me to go; I don’t have anything else in me. I’m done, I’m dying, I don’t even think I have moments let alone the minutes you need. Goodbye, I’m really sorry I couldn’t be strong. I think that’s just who I am, you know, the type that runs away.”

Poking at his mind, Sister Psyche wouldn’t let him rest. “We need you, you can still be strong. We need you to live just a little longer!”

“I…please, please just let me die”… “We need you Will, stand up”… “I can’t, let me go, I’m too weak!”

Back and forth Sister Psyche and William Valance were both in tears, begging. Both at once.

“I’m sorry”

An invasion the likes that Shalice never believed she would do. Connected to as many Psychics as Manticore could wrangle in the short time they realized Will was about to go, she did something unthinkable.

As his vision once again faded, William saw in his minds eye images rushing in. He was connected to the minds of as many people as Sister Psyche could manage. Millions, hundreds of millions he couldn’t tell. He saw birthday parties, first steps, marriages, birth, and deaths. Celebration and tragedy; he saw life. He could feel their terror, and hear them beg him to stand. She felt it was a truly terrible thing to do, but it forced William to face the consequences of his weakness. See everyone that would die if he couldn't get to his feet.

Sister Psyche couldn’t tell if he was asking her, but she didn’t have the ability to respond. All her focus was on maintaining the connections she made to his mind. The various Task forces encourage William, begged him to continue, but he made up his mind well before that.

“Does it hurt, dying?” He was asking Atlas, but he didn’t care if anyone knew, he didn’t expect an answer. That made it all the more shocking when he got a response. He’d never know if it was the voice of a friend trying to help him, or an illusion he made to ease his mind, “Yes, it hurts a great deal, but let me tell you this; it hurts a whole lot less then knowing you couldn’t keep the people you care about safe. Die proudly, and die with purpose.”

“Atlas get up! We still have work to do, get up!” He yelled at the image of the Titanic legend.

“Leg me go, let me die” The words were almost an echo of Williams pleading, but William knew what to do.

“You’re going to die friend. I’m sorry but you have to stand up.” The words had power, but not the power that made Rularuu believe he was Atlas. Instead it was the power of a friend helping another do something that needed to be done. William had love for his friend and at this time that love radiated to his enemy. “Stand up, Stand up and keep fighting. Fight until you die, and fight after if you must, just keep fighting.”

Turing his attention to the connections in his mind, he went to communicate through them. Speaking rather than thought, his words had power, the power of a person desperately trying to mend what might not be within his reach to do so.

“Thanks for making me better than I could be, thanks for making me live up to the image I tried to hide behind, and please try and forget this horrendous tragedy.”

Manticore and Sister Psyche looked at William for the first time since he stood up. His eyes were glossed over and blood was dripping down his face, on his face was a loose smile. He had passed on a while ago, his desire to meet the heroism of his friend his pure strength of will, that was all that allowed him to reach beyond death and hold out those last few moments to do what needed doing. Still standing he maintained the illusion long enough for the task forces to finish their jobs.

Banished once again, there was no trace of Rularuu left. And as the desperate battle for their very existence came to a close, the greatest heroes of Paragon city found themselves wondering what they were doing. Shutting down the forward base, they felt little need to check the tapes; even the mysterious death of the Enigmatic William Valance, found in a pool of his own blood, found in the middle of a street. Even that was not enough for them to question recent events.

Too busy with repairing the city, the Lawyer’s funeral was sparse in attendance. A few non-essential coworkers from his office, his friends Moonshatter and Trueshooter, but there was one truly notable attendee. With little understanding of why she was compelled to attend his funeral, Sister Psyche was just having an odd week. Blackouts, stress from the war, and a death that she couldn’t explain why it affected her so much.

Listening to the Eulogy, her mind wandered. She couldn’t help but think, with all the tragedy and dealth, how much better it made her day to have a good song stuck in her head. Admittedly it had been stuck in her head since the blackouts, but it did provide some comfort.

“She was…an American girl”

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