Since escaping two death traps from Dr. Malevo and battling Spurgo the Conquestor, a 700 foot robot turned psychotic monster, things really started to get strange. I was met by a group called The Ultimate Collective who told me that they made me Paragon the Ultimate man and not my science and electronics. They also told me that I was unworthy and sent out Mary Lu, the Ultimate Woman to replace me. She turned evil. Since then, I escaped from the Ultimate Collective’s grasp, teamed up with Dr. Malevo, discovered that Tito and Tina, a couple of kids who helped me escape from Malevo’s clutches earlier were really my kids, found out that Mary Lu was the mother of my kids, sent Dr. Malevo to hell, sent Mary Lu to hell, found out they escaped with the help of Aaron Levitz, a writer for RAC Challenge, and then things started to get even weirder. A fight erupted between myself, all the other Ultimates, the Brussels Sprouts, their enemy, the Belgian Waffle and it all happened on a world called Brussels where everyone has superpowers. Finally, an attack from a 3rd grade gym teacher erupted after I had been put in a trance. The weirdest part off it all is that this all happened because of some cosmic superball that is supposed to be responsible for my superpowers. None of this makes sense… Wait a minute, yes it does. If I can just focus myself and concentrate… Come on, I’ve done it before…”
Suddenly, things get blurry, then pure white, then dark, then white again, and finally blurry again.
“Paragon, wake up,” a female voice is heard by Paragon. Then with realization, the identity of the voice enters his head.
“Myrna,” Paragon struggles to say, “Then it was all a dream”
“You’ve been laying here next to the stadium since Spurgo nailed you with a backhand. We’re all looking for you. Luckily, I found you first.”
“What’s going on?” Paragon asks as he finally regains his senses.
“Those Ultimate kids are trying to battle Spurgo but Spurgo is on a rampage. He’s destroying buildings. Please, Paragon, we need your help!”
“I’ll be there,” Paragon says as he rises to his knees, “Just give me a minute to think”.
As Myrna runs towards the action, Paragon goes over the very long and very intense dream he had; or was it a hallucination? He knows he’s had them in the past. At the beginning of his career, these dreams always helped them solve his missions due to hidden messages within the dream. “What was this dream trying to tell me?” He thinks. His photographic memory begins to go over every detail from the Ultimate Collective to the battle of the Brussels Sprouts vs. the Belgian Waffle to the Ultimate Woman. “Of course,” the Ultimate Man screams and races into action.
Meanwhile, the Ultimate Twins are standing on a rooftop attempting to come up with a way to stop Spurgo whose very footsteps put holes into the ground.
“What are we going to do, Tito,” The Ultimate Girl asks her brother.
“We’ve got to do something otherwise there won’t be any point of our being here. Perhaps if we… Tina watch out!!“
Spurgo reaches at the building the Ultimate Twins are standing on. Tito jumps out of the way but Tina is grasped in Spurgo’s grip.
Suddenly, Paragon leaps from a nearby building onto Spurgo’s back. “Go limp,” He yells towards Tina, “and let your brother catch you”.
At that point, Paragon manages to open a lid on the back of Spurgo’s head.
“Remove yourself, flee,” Spurgo screams, “or I will destroy you.”
Spurgo reaches behind to try to swat away Paragon. However, before he can, Paragon notices inside the lid that within all the circuits is a slot big enough for the Jaz Rswert that he has had on him the entire time.
“Time to call you quits, Tin Man,” Paragon yells as he fits in the Jaz Rswert and Spurgo stops moving. Paragon then leaps off of him towards Tito who is checking on the condition of his sister, Tina.
“What did you do?” asks Tito, “and when did you have time to come up with it? I thought you were in dreamland.”
“I was,” Paragon explains, “and the one consistent in my dream was the Jaz Rswert. I knew my dream was telling me that it was the key.”
Tito gives Paragon a weird look.
Paragon goes on, “Earlier today, Dr. Malevo had me trapped in a building set with explosives. He chose to let me out rather than blow me up along with the Jaz Rswert. The reason being that when he let that 700 foot monster loose, the Jaz Rswert had a fail-safe chip in it that would neutralize Spurgo in case he couldn’t be controlled. When you two showed up, Malevo was trying to take the chip from me. You two stopped him yet he was forced to let the robot loose now during the press conference even though he wasn’t sure if it was controllable.”
“Are you sure Malevo was behind that thing?” Tina asks.
“Certainly,” Paragon responds.
“Well, now what?” Tito asks.
“Now I know how to find Malevo and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Tito and Tina simply look at Paragon until Paragon finally turns to them, “Would you like to help me beat him?”
Tina smiles as Tito nods. Paragon begins to fly.
“We’ll do it together,” Paragon says as he then mutters under his breath, “son.”
“Tina,” Tito whispers to his sister, “Do we really have to go through with this? He saved your life for Christ’s sake”
“You know we do,” Tina replies and they set out to follow Paragon.
“Son??!?!” Tito questions with a confused look.
Jorge Steinhoofer enters an office building in Tampa Bay. He turns to a desk that is surrounded by trees on three sides. There is a window on each side just above the trees. Dr. Malevo is sitting behind that desk.
“I did my best, Master,” Steinhoofer pleads. “That monster was not controllable.”
“Your best was not good enough,” Malevo announces, “Besides ignoring my summons to abort the mission, you allowed yourself to be followed.”
“What? By who?” Steinhoofer looks all around.
“By me!” yells Paragon who enters through the door. “Your reign of terror is finally being put to rest, Malevo.”
Malevo laughs. “I do not think so.” Malevo hits a button under his desk and a transparent steel slides across the room separating himself from Paragon and Steinhoofer. Paragon cannot break it.
“You’ve been in this situation before, Paragon.” Malevo begins to get up. “This room will explode in 5 seconds and I will not be joining you.” Malevo presses another button and a tree moves to the left revealing a secret passageway. He continues, “You do not have the Jaz Rswert or anything else to bail you out.” The door slams shut behind Paragon.
“No!” comes a female cry from behind the trees underneath a now open window. In a matter of seconds, Tina drop-kicks Malevo as he falls on top of his desk. Tito hits the button underneath the desk causing the steel to slide open.
“It’s a good thing Paragon held us in reserve,” Tito announces.
“Now!” Tina yells as both Tito and Tina both run into Paragon pushing him and themselves through the door and out of the building. Paragon immediately presses a button on his belt which puts him and his two young partners into a forcefield. The building then explodes.
“Do you think he survived?” Tina asks.
“No, I don’t” says Paragon, “Damn, It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Listen, let’s go back to my place. We have some talking to do.”
The place is now Dirk’s penthouse in Tampa Bay. One of the nine he owns in the United States. Tito and Tina are sitting at the kitchen table. Dirk, now as the rest of them out of costume puts a cup of coffee for himself across the table from the twins.
“Damn,” Paragon says as he looks at his computers in the den. “So it wasn’t all a dream. According to my readouts, there really is a space ship coming to earth.
“How about a couple of beers?” Tito asks.
“Two root beers coming up,” Dirk says as he enters the kitchen. Tito and Tina look at each other and nod. Dirk starts shouting from the kitchen as he gets the drinks. “I don’t think you’ve both been honest with me yet!”
Paragon reenters the room, drops the drinks in front of the twins and sits down. “Now how about a little honesty!”
“I don’t think you’ll believe me,” Tina says.
“Try me!” Paragon slams his fist on the table.
“It’s time to tell him, Tina,” Tito says as he looks down at his drink.
“Fine,” Tina sighs. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Dirk takes a sip of his coffee as Tina begins. “We’re from the year 2055. We were sent back in time because 10 years from now, Dr. Malevo uses an invention called the enhancer drug. It allows people to reach their fullest potential. It makes strong men stronger and smart people even more brilliant.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Dirk asks as he takes another gulp of his coffee having no idea why he’s even listening to this.
“Because there was a drawback to this invention. It has a deterioration factor that effects the part of the body it originally enhanced. The people that used it to become smarter will become vegetables and the stronger people will become paralyzed.”
“Creators will lose their abilities to create, etc,” Tito continues, “unless Malevo issues a cure into the world’s water system every month. He did so only with the condition that he was named ruler of the United States.”
“Why doesn’t the U.S. cut its losses and stop using his enhancer drug and retaliate?”
“The chemical in the water,” Tina explains, “has an addictive tone to it. If it is not used, then anyone who experienced it will suffer withdrawal symptoms powerful enough to kill. Malevo killed off all the scientists in the country and he is currently at war with the rest of the world for domination.”
“His enhanced troops are winning, Dirk,” Tito says. “That’s why we came back in time to do what we did.”
“You came back in time to kill him!” Dirk yells. “That’s why you left him in that building to die! So you could complete your mission, to kill him?”
“We had to kill him.” Tina says. “We also have to kill the head of a company that first created that drug.” Tito and Tina simply look at Dirk. Dirk drops his coffee.
“You’re saying that my company invented the enhancer?”
“You invented it, Dirk.” Tito explains. “We have documented proof of that.”
“And how do you intend on killing me?”
“We have a pill,” Tina says as she pulls out a pill from her pocket and puts it on the table. “This pill has two effects. It will lower the iron in your blood causing the invulnerability power you gave yourself to die out. It will then attack your immune system and put you into an eternal sleep. In essence, it kills you. It will do all of this in minutes.”
Paragon grabs the edge of his seat. He now realizes that these two are not joking with him. “And do you really expect me to take this pill?”
Tina covers her face as if to cry. Tito looks down at Dirk’s coffee and says in a hurt voice, “You already did.”
Dirk then looks down at his half drunken coffee. Those were the last words he hears as everything in the room begins to spin. His sight starts to get blurry. Dirk suddenly wants to sleep.
And now, the torch is passed to Rob Rogers as he continues RAC challenge takes a new direction in a story titled: “The Truth that could have been anywhere else” in:
Next issue: Chapter 11: The Truth that could have been anywhere else by Rob Rogers
Message to all authors: I’m sorry if anyone is bothered that I turned the last bunch of chapters into a big dream. I felt that what was left to me was a lot of different ideas going in a lot of different directions and this seemed like the best way to clear it all up. Now we have a time travel story… or maybe not, that will be up to Rob and the rest of the authors of RAC Challenge.
It was a great idea Henry and it was a lot of fun to do. Thanks for letting me get involved.