Superman 2099 #2
Writer: Lierson Morais
EICs: Ryan May and Lierson Morais
"Cold" That's the first word that comes out of me once I become the S.T.E.E.L.
My name is J.C. Abernathy and I was a simple engineer at Lexcorp. Working for one if it's big shots, Jordan Cochrane. Fixing the S.T.E.E.L. unit so they could patrol the streets. Or whatever. After all, I am not paid to wonder. Or I wasn't. Until that invasion, and my link to Neron device, which probably transported my mind to the engine.
God, how will I fit in society looking like a robot? I mean, robots exist
almost peacefully in Metropolis, Gotham, Chicago, Opal and other places. But
they are considered 'inferior creatures' just like black people used to be
some centuries ago. And I don't want that, specially because I was already an
outsider before. I never had a serious relationship. Shock, I hadn't even have
sex yet! I am a 24-year old virgin, and it looks like I will stay that way.
Where am I? I started to wonder and look around. It was a place unlike
anything I've seen before. It was a teeny-tiny room with no furniture, just a table. I suppose mice must live here too. Well, time to check out my conditions; I can access some weapons, I probably have enhanced senses, because how would I...I mean,the S.T.E.E.L. unit, prevent crimes if it does not know where they are? Suddenly I hear some voices. I was probably captured. The same guys who wanted the S.T.E.E.L. unit caught it and left behind my blood and flesh body. They didn't know my mental meatware was transfered to the unit. Lemme hear 'em...
"I can't believe it, Syrene! You were beaten by a mere human! And a fat one!"
I didn't recognize this voice. And I had no idea who the shock was Syrene. But
it's obvious they were talking about me.
"What could I do? He was very clever in using that device! He bested us all! But when that explosion occurred and the dust settled in, he disappeared and left behind the machine. So we took it." That voice was from the blonde girl with super-strength! And they didn't see my body around! What happened? I was... disintegrated? Erased from existence? Shock, I have no clue at all. I must get out of here. Perhaps if I...
KABRANCH! Wow! Just one punch and the wall fell down! I am shocking strong! But they will be here in a matter of minutes, maybe even seconds. I hesitated to escape and Syrene just flung herself at me, grabbing me. It was the first time a girl could actually hugged me, since I was a big ball of fat. But she started to crunch me. I searched every weapon I, the machine, could have.
Found one: a little 1900 volt charge. Syrene felt it and dropped me at the same
second. I turned on the optics device and threw a laser bolt at her. She
didn't even get hurt, but she felt the impact, still dizzy from the
electric charge. Very good, because now I have to escape. I checked my energy
reservation, and my bootjets didn't have enough energy to take me very far. But it was better than staying here and being dismanteled. No, thanks.
Man, that charge and the blast almost killed my energy reservation . But I flew
anyway . When I looked behind, I saw a dizzy Syrene trying to get up and a
white-haired guy cursing me. So long, baby! But what now...?
INTERLUDE 1: Three hours later.
If Jordan Cochrane is a big kahuna at Lexcorp, Craven is the bigger. He is
the CEO of LexCorp, the person with the most power of that-said megacorp. He is above Cochrane, Salmon (the patriarch of the Church of Interest, one of the many religion points, along with the almost ridiculous Order of Saint Dumas), Celeris (ruler of Markovia) and Feron, regent of Trauma. And now Craven is not happy. No, siree, he was in some room with his minion, Syrene. He wanted his own hero to give fake hope to the people of Metropolis, and ruin the repuations of the new popping-up heroes who took a stance against the megacorporations in the process. He wanted to fool and control the Supercult, the religious zealots of the 20th Century Man of Steel, Superman. He wanted to know more about all the outlaws he had heard about. The Outsiders. Batman. Superboy. The hunter Fitzgerald. But now his plans bit the dust because the S.T.E.E.L. unit from Lexcorp got activated and ran away. And some one will pay dearly for it.
"I submit myself to any kind of punishment, Mr. Craven." Syrene said. Craven
turned to her, touched her face and smiled.
"My dear Syrene, there's not to worry about..." His hand started to move until it reached her hair, where he pulled it up violently and screams: "...BECAUSE PUNISHMENT IS TOO GOOD FOR YOU! YOU DESERVE TORTURE AND DEATH!" Syrene drops a tear and started crying, scared. She is about to die. And that is what happens. Craven holds her back against her head, twisting her neck until it snapped. He presses a button, murmuring, " ...stupid witch. You weren't good enough." Craven's secretary answers: "Yes, Mr. Craven?"
"Get Vaughn here. It's time to call the DEO. Oh, and bring in a janitor too. He has garbage to clean up."
END OF INTERLUDE.
I traveled until Centennial Park. My batteries are almost over. Soon I will
collapse. I better stop here...
"Help ! Help!"
"Hahhahahahahahahahah!" Shock! My hearing is too enhanced, I can hear some screams and laughs. Some one must be in danger. It's over there. In a tunnel? I never thought it was a tunnel, in Centennial Park.
I enter. It's dark. I use my eyes to enlight the place. Using some kind of supervision, I see a lot of homeless people and four morons, three men and a girl, wearing superhero-y outfits. But the homeless are scared, and the morons are laughing. Well, their joy won't last. Let's take a look.
One of the four wears a mask that doesn't cover his blonde hair, and his blue
costume has tiny stripes everywhere . The cute girl has only a fire-like trace
in her body, and from the face to her breasts, she is red, except for the black
hair. The rest of her body is orange. Other one is a huge behemoth, all in
brown, with huge hands. And the other one is all green, holding an anchor and
wearing a thong. They started to brag, "Run, you useless pests, run, you are no
match for the Elementals!!" Elementals, huh? Let's take care of them.
I yelled, "Hey! Leave those poor homeless people alone!" They turned around and saw me. The big guy started to laugh.
"A lame robot against our power, Waterpool? He must be out of nuts in the noggin!"
The green guy with the anchor replies, "Indeed, Landlord, our power alone shall be enough to smash this creature." Then the blue blond guy starts to take charge as leader.
"Get ready, Elementals. So speaks Windmill! Let's take this robot down. Hellfire! Burn!"
The red girl throws a great deal of flame and I barely dodged it. The heat is
amazing and my energy is almost at zero. Then, without any mental command, my
'mouth' opens and throws liquid nitrogen. Out of nowhere. Just like a blow. I
freeze the flames.Then I punch it and shrapnels fly everywhere, hitting the
Elementals. Wounded, Waterpool leaps to hit me with the anchor. A simple blast
cripples him, ripping his hands off. Landlord then grabs me and starts to
smash me. I use the last piece of energy and I blow. The explosion also
cripples Landlord and Windmill faints. Then I turned it off. I lost too much energy. Good night.
"Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?"
"Yes, I can hear you..." and right in this moment I wake up. A cute kid is next to me while I am connected to some electric energy source. The kid sees me turning on again and says, "Hello..." I reply.
"Hello. Thanks for connecting me. Who are you?" A 40-year-old guy, looking to be the kid's father, takes it away: "Hello. We are the Spitz, and we live here. My name is Walter, my daughter here is Barbara, my son Karl, my wife Louise and my parents, Jon and Judith." He points to lots of people.
"We are connecting you with a light source we got. It's not much, but it may help you. And I said thanks for helping us. You must have been sent as a sign by the ultimate super-hero of old...Superman. What is your name?"
"My name is..." For an instant I almost considered telling them my name was 'J.C.', but they wouldn't understand why a robot got a human name. So I said, "STEEL-One."
Walter helps me to get up and says, "Superman never left his followers
behind. You were sent here by his divine hand." I see. They seem to belong
to the Supercult. I never believed any of this scrap. For me, Superman and Co. were as dead as Hitler, Einstein or Bill Clinton. But all those morons believe Superman will be back one day to save them. I try to keep up with the conversation.
"So what is this Superman about?"
"What? You don't know about world's greatest hero from the Heroic Age? How could you not, if you are his sucessor?"
Sucessor? Oh no, they think I am some kind of Messiah. But they are homeless. They needed a spark of hope, someone to help them fight for their freedom, otherwise they will crash hard. Then Walter asks Karl to bring 'that'. He comes half a minute later with a cape and a symbol. An 'S' symbol. Louise puts it on me. They all said, "Now, you look like Superman."
Louise says, "Come here." They show me the Superman statue. It's an awe-inspiring vision, indeed.
Walter started to talk like he was preaching, "Superman was the
most-loved, most respected and the greatest hero Earth had ever known. He
always fought for truth, justice and the American way. A man revered by ordinary people, presidents, superheroes, super-villains, and even other aliens. Some speculate that he left the Earth because of a fight with the tyrant sun, Solaris. Other said he died by the hands of Gog. Yet, others talk about how he passed the mantle to his protege, Superboy, and then retired. Though his final fate is still a mystery to us, his influence and strength of character will stay forever and will never die. Proof is the robot among us. Amen."
Then, I realized. I was the possessor of the legacy of Superman. I should
bring hope to the less favored, because no one else can. Amen.
NEXT: The DEO does their moves, Craven vs. Cochrane and Supes 2099 makes a
presence. Be there!