Paragon the Ultimate Man was in trouble. Some people would consider themselves in trouble if they messed up at work or if they cheated on their wife and she found out. To Paragon being in a building that was about to blow him up with two innocent street punks wasn’t too bad. But, when the person behind the trap was his arch-enemy Doctor Malevo and the building was impossible to get out off; that could be considered trouble.
Above the triumphant cackling of Doctor Malevo, Paragon thought to himself. “I’ve got maybe thirty seconds left. Unless I suddenly get the ability to teleport, I’ve got to talk my way out of this.”
“So Doctor Malevo it seems you’ve fallen for my little trap, and I’ve fallen for your little trap, so what say we both forget about our traps and I walk out of here right now.”
“You think you can bluff me like a pathetic little street urchin. I know darn well you’ve set up no trap for me,” bellowed Doctor Malevo.
“Oh well, when you’re about to be blown to bits it as good a time as any to use your trump card,” thought The Ultimate Man.
“Yeah, then what’s in my hand, Doctor?”
Paragon held up his hand to reveal a tiny device—the Jas Rswert. “Go ahead blow me to smithereens, but your little Jas Rswert will go with it.”
“You dare to tempt me with my beloved. The one thing I cared for until you took it from me years ago.” And now, now, when I finally have you at my mercy, you wave it in my face. You pathetic fool.”
“We both know you would kill yourself to get this. Let me go, or we’ll see each other again in our next lives.”
“You win. Take the kids out of here. Walk away with your skin intact. Be gone from my cameras and speakers. I can’t bear to look at you any longer. Leave unharmed, for now“
As the doors opened once again the two punks and Paragon walked to safety, Paragon was left with his thoughts. That was reeeeeaaaaal close. Got to be more careful in the future, either that or learn to teleport.
The Time: 2 weeks later
It’s taken me two weeks to round up all those darn ray guns left by Doctor Malevo. In the chaos a dozen people were killed and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage. All because he wanted to set up a trap for me. Well, now he’s going to pay.
For the next 48 hours Paragon used every connection he had. He talked to every street punk, every alleged mob boss, and every dirty politician he knew of. It cost him a lot, but he found Doctor Malevo’s secret hideout. It was the old fruit warehouse outside of the city. Paragon got there as fast as he could in the Ultimate-Mobile. He crashed through the door in dramatic fashion to find:
Nothing. Just boxes of fruit. Paragon realized, with difficulty, he would have to wait to get some action. Or so he thought…
Doctor Malevo stepped out from his hiding place. “And so we meet face to face for the first time, disregarding our masks of course, Paragon.”
“This is your end,” threatened Paragon, “You’re going to jail.”
Paragon attempted to leap across the entire warehouse, something that normally would be like falling off a log for him, but instead he traveled only a few feet. In fact he was also feeling a bit dizzy. And his ankle was hurting because he landed on it badly. Then it dawned on him. He was powerless!
“Feeling okay Paragon? How’s it like to be powerless for the first time in years? If you’re wondering why, I’ll tell you. Of course you couldn’t stop me if you wanted to.”
Paragon was at this point almost unconscious.
“You see super-powers come from the lack of a substance, not the addition of them. All humans have the capacity for super-powers, but when they’re in contact with a certain substance, they are powerless. For almost all humans that substance is carbon. Since humans cannot rid themselves of carbon they are powerless. But you have a mutated power gene. For you, and others like you, it takes more complex substances to render you powerless. For you that substance is grapefruit. Luckily for you once grapefruit is in your vicinity once you will be immune of it. In other words you will only be powerless because of grapefruit once. Of course one chance is all I need.”
Doctor Malevo then pulled out a gun.
“Good-bye Paragon. Gunshots and grapefruits—That’s how you kill a super-hero!!!!!!!!”
Paragon then realized he was in trouble again.
Next issue: Chapter 3: Ducks and Delirium by Michael Kelly
First off, sorry for any spelling and punctuation errors, I had to write this pretty fast and didn’t have time to check it properly. Second I must say Henry Broaddus wrote a very good opening story (even if though he is a bastard :-)). Third, anyone who wants to retcon into non-existence the vulnerability to grapefruits part, feel free. (It was better than my other idea to turn Paragon into a radioactive grapefruit). Good luck to Michael Kelly who gets to continue the chaos next chapter.