He turned off the television, 11 hours of it had been enough for the day. His cane was leaning on the arm of his oversized chair. He grabbed it, and painfully rose to his feet. 'Why do I even get out of bed, if this is how I'm spending every day?' he thought as he hobbled back to his bedroom, past a mantle that supported no pictures of family, no trophies, only his purple heart and a medal of valor. “Only thing I've ever been good at is getting hurt,” he mumbles to himself, the pain in the right side of his hip pulsing. “Nothing to even show for it.”
“MOVE MOVE MOVE!!” The sergeant was screaming. The platoon had been trudging through the dense jungle, struggling just to get through the vines and foliage, when the enemy ambushed. “GET SOME COVER!” Bullets filled the air like a swarm of locusts, waiting to pierce the skin.
Danny dived behind the trunk of one of the large jungle trees. He raised his rifle, firing back. The sergeant rallied his men, forcing the enemy to flee into the depths of this wooden hell. Danny rose from his position. “Are they gone Sarge?”
“Stay sharp private, bastards aren't known for being this easy.” The sergeant motioned for his platoon to move on. They kept their heads up, watching for the enemy force to return. Eyes scanned the thick jungle, but one spot went entirely unnoticed: the ground beneath them, a mistake that would not go unpunished in this harsh land. In front of Danny, a corporal with his eyes on the undergrowth a few yards away put his foot down, triggering a click.
The corporal heard the sound, and as is natural among those who have just stepped on a landmine, he began to panic. “Keep it together Corporal,” the sergeant said with a rare calming tone.
“Reeds, can you take care of it?” Danny stepped up. “Make it quick,” the sergeant continued, “we can't afford to stay here for very long.”
Danny knelt by the shaking corporal. “Try not to move too much, you take enough pressure off these things and they'll blow.” Danny was doing his best to stay calm himself, but he knew the severity of his situation. 'Mines, I hate mines,' he thought.
He dug into the ground by the corporal's feet, revealing the homemade explosive. “Sergeant, you need to get everyone back. I'll do what I can, but there's no telling with the ones they just throw together. Everyone needs to be away from this when he steps off.”
The sergeant took his men back as the private removed a plate of metal from the mine's side, exposing its innards. The firing mechanism was held in place by the corporal's weight, holding back the explosive charge.
“Damn,” the private said. “Sarge, there's no way I'm disarming this thing without blowing it.” The sergeant swore heavily, asking the private if he had any ideas between the obscenities spewing from his mouth.
Danny looked around him, and noticed a heavy rock a few feet away. “Stay there,” he told the corporal as he grabbed the large stone. “Listen to me closely. I'm going to put my hand on the mine, right by your foot. When I tell you, you will step off, and retreat back to the sergeant. Copy?” The corporal quivered. “I said, COPY?”
“Y-y-yes,” the corporal finally gasped out.
“Alright,” the private said, putting his hand on the mine and leaning his weight into it, watching to make sure the firing mechanism stayed put. “Get back now,” he let out with a heavy breath.
The corporal lifted his foot, and then quickly scampered back to the other troops. Danny placed the stone on the top plate of the mine, and slowly removed his hand, his eyes never leaving the the small metal rod that stood between him being able to walk away, or being dragged by his sergeant away from a crater in the jungle.
His hand tentatively left the metal plate, and he grinned at the lack of a boom. 'Got it,' he thought, as he took a few paces back. “GOT IT!” he called to his sergeant.
He turned, took another couple of steps, and then the grin quickly left his face. *click*
25 years after his discharge from the armed forces, and Danny Reeds found himself running down a punk matching the description of a suspect in an officer involved drive-by. His target had been running from him for two blocks when he turned a corner in an attempt to lose the officer.
Danny kept up the chase, his gun in one hand, his radio in the other. “Officer in pursuit, corner of 33rd and Euclid, suspect is armed and dangerous.”
Rounding the corner, he saw the fleeing suspect duck into an alleyway. 'That's a dead end,' Danny thought, 'got him here.'
He stopped at the edge of the alley, and shouted “James Meirrow! You're under arrest!” He poked his head around the corner of the alley, “Show me your hands!”
Danny ducked out of the way just in time. A bullet flew where his head had just been. He crouched, and entered the alley with his gun raised, quickly taking cover behind a dumpster before returning fire. A shot connected with the punk's shoulder, causing him to drop his weapon as he fell to the ground.
Danny moved in on the bleeding suspect. “Suspect in custody, Euclid Avenue-” He was cut off by the sound of a door being kicked open behind him. He spun around, his pistol readied, and was greeted by the bang of a pistol.
The shot hit him like a big league slugger, knocking Danny off his feet. The new thug screamed at James, “Get up man, we gotta get out of here before more cops show!”
The two were leaving the alley when Danny regained his composure. He got back to his feet, and stumbled after them. The two thugs were peeling out in a beat up car. Danny raised his 9mm, and while he steadied his arm to take a shot, was hit in the hip by a shot from the passenger seat.
He lowered himself into his bed, feeling the nagging pain of where the bullet had torn through his flesh, wrecking the bone beneath. 'A land mine couldn't take me out of commission, but a 9mm round makes me a cripple.' He turns off the lamp by on his nightstand, considers setting the alarm. 'What's the point? I have nothing to wake up for. Wasted my life protecting people, and I have nothing to show for it. What I wouldn't give to take it all back.'
Danny woke up the next morning, the sun's beams finally prying open his eyes. He swung his feet to the ground, walked to the bathroom for the usual morning first. He washed his hands, and walked to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.
'Water in tank, grounds in filter, brew button. Now, bagels, bagels...' He saw them on the marble counter, and set one in his toaster before going for his cream cheese. He opened the fridge, grabbed it-and dropped it immediately.
He stepped back, looked down. “Where the hell?” he said aloud, shocked to see his feet below him and no cane in his hand. He rushed to the bathroom, an experience that served to further freak him out, as he hadn't been able to rush anywhere in the last few years.
He looked into his bathroom mirror, blinked, splashed water in his face, and looked back. 'That's not me,' he thought. “That's not me,” again, but this time out loud. “The voice is mine, but...” He stepped back from the mirror, shocked at what he was seeing. Where he had seen a decrepit old man the day before now stood someone much younger.
He examined himself in the mirror. 'Where the hell did all this muscle come from? Where did all this hair come from?' No matter how hard he looked, how many deep breaths he took, Danny couldn't quite wrap his head around what he was seeing.
He ran back to his kitchen. 'That's different, haven't run since I was shot.'
On his table he found a folded piece of paper. He picked it up, and found a short note on the other side. 'Second chance. Use it well.' Danny had no idea what it meant. “I need a drink.”
Finding only an empty bottle of Vodka in his fridge, Danny decided a bar was his best bet. He walked out of his house, and was again surprised. The run down neighborhood he had lived in was replaced by nice lawns, white fences, and smooth driveways. “Where am I?” Danny said, wondering if the senility had finally got to him.
He plucked his keys from his pocket, and looked to where he had last parked his old, beaten up truck-or, now, his new Jag. 'When did I get a Jaguar?' He was puzzled for a moment, but then decided the appearance of a nice car in his driveway was not the strangest thing that had happened to him on that day. He got in, received yet another nice surprise when he saw his rather nice looking house, and then realized he had no idea where the bar was. 'Screw it, got a full tank, a very full feeling wallet. may as well drive until I find one.'
He managed to make his way into the nearby town. 'Where is the bar around here?'
He drove around for a little while, looking for a place to help clear his mind. He eventually conceded the fact that he had no idea where to even look in this new town, and stopped at a bank.
He got out of his Jag, went to the door, and had yet another surprise in his day. A man with a hockey mask was inside, his gloved hands holding a gun and a duffel bag. Danny could hear the man yelling from inside, and stepped behind a wall. He instinctively reached for a pistol, and finding it to not be at his side, instead grabbed the phone from his pocket. He dialed 911.
“1st federal bank on W Central Ave, armed robbery in progress... No, I'm not in danger... 10 minutes? What?”
“THAT'S NOT ALL OF IT!!” Danny could hear the armed man inside. He peeked in, and saw him grab a woman and hold the gun to her head. 'Walk away,' he thought to himself, feeling a phantom pain in his hip. 'Look at yourself, you can't do it again. When has helping anyone ever been good for you?' He pulled himself together, his course now clear in his head.
Where did that come from?
Enhanced Strength: Ultimate (rank 4)
And against his better judgement, entered the bank.
The man with the gun turned to him. “Easy buddy,” Danny said. He motioned to the woman being held at gunpoint. “Just let go of her.”
“Shut up! Don't tell me what to do!” The man was jittery, ready to do something stupid.
“Hey, let's just do a quick trade. How about I come over there-”
“NO! Stay right there!”
'This guy is really high strung,' Danny thought. I startle him, and this could get ugly.
“Alright, no big deal. How about you just point that at me and let her go. You need someone to point it at, I'm your guy.” The gun shifted targets.
“There we go. Now,” Danny motioned to the teller, “how about we go ahead and give the man what he needs.”
The teller started to put money on the table in front of her, a tense silence in the air. The man kept the gun trained on Danny as he funneled the cash into his bag, and made his way towards the door.
“There you go, nobody gets hurt, you just walk away,” Danny said. 'Too close. Glad that's done.'
The thought was a bit too soon. As he opened the door, the burglar heard a siren coming closer. “Who called the cops! Who the fuck did it!” The man was just a couple of feet from Danny, and he was waving the gun wildly.
“YOU!” He pointed the pistol at the teller. “It was you! You hit a panic button, didn't you?!”
Danny knew this was it. He lunged at the man, forcing the gun to the side-and snapping the man's arm. The gun fell out of his hand, but Danny's move wasn't finished yet. His shoulder had already dropped, and he shoved into the man, sending him flying into the drywall.
Danny finished giving his statement to the police. They had asked to see his license, standard procedure in Khazan, and it was the first time he had really looked at it. It bore the same face he had seen in the mirror, his name, and a date he was no longer able to be surprised at. October 17th, 1986. 'Only a little over 26. Sure, why not?' The most surprising thing to him now was his bank account. The only thing Danny could even think of it was 'Whoa.'
Danny hit a store on his way back to his house, picking up a fifth of whiskey to finally clear his mind. He got home, and after a few drinks, found himself extremely curious. He looked around his house. A kitchen full of stainless steel appliances, an entertainment room with a massive TV and various electronic systems, his bedroom with a smaller TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed, and finally a room filled with exercise equipment. A treadmill, various weights, and a few other nice pieces of equipment filled the room.
Danny walked over to the bench press. 'No frickin way.' The press was stacked with weights. A customized set had a ton on each end. 'I couldn't even get that off the bar. No way.'
Suspending his disbelief for a moment, he got into position under the bar. He put his hands around it, and-expecting the result to be rather unimpressive- pushed forward. The bar easily moved from its position. 'No. Frickin. Way.' Danny lowered it towards his chest, and then raised it back up. 1, 2, 3...
Where did all this energy come from?
Enhanced Endurance: Supreme (rank 3)
47, 48, 49, 50. He rested the bar back on the press and sat up. 'Wow. No sweat even.' He took a turn at most of the other pieces of equipment in the room.
He made a few lifts here and there, until he finally came to the treadmill. “Let's do this.” He hopped on, put the speed at 8 mph, and started running. After 20 minutes, he ramped the speed to 12, then 15, 20, 25... "Damn," he said aloud.
He checked his phone. 'Only 1 o'clock? Guess I could take this run to the street.'
He ran through the town he had visited earlier in the day, past it to a more run down area. Had his hearing been affected the same way his arms were, he would have heard the following conversation.
“Yo, that's him.”
“The one who snagged Lamar at the bank today?”
“Yeah bro. Heard he nearly killed him. Let's do our man justice.”
The two in the car tailed Danny home. Although he hadn't heard them, years of experience told him he was being followed. He got into his house, locked the door behind him, and pulled out his cell. 'Dead, great. Where would that charger be?'
He ran to the bedroom, looking for the an outlet filled by the charger. 'Where is it?' He opened his nightstands, nothing. He then checked the drawers under the TV. Just clothes. Nice clothes, but not too handy here.
He went to his closet, opened the shutter like doors, and looked inside. What he found wasn't at all what he was looking for, or what he expected, it was certainly something he could use.
The two from the car got to the door. One of them, a taller man, pounded on the wood. “YO! Open up!” he yelled.
“You two should really just turn around and go back to whatever hell hole you crawled out of,” Danny called back.
The tall man clutched a pistol in his hand, and slammed into the front door. The heavy oak held firm through the first hit. He tried again, and the door began to give. He took a step back, and with as much force as he could muster, he again slammed the door, this time breaking through.
Are these even mine?
Weapon Master: Superior (rank 2)
- Ranged Attack
The tall man had barely regained his footing when the slug hit him. His partner, seeing the tall man's chest burst open, stepped back from the door. “SHIT!” he yelled. He poked his head around the wooden frame, and his head popped like a watermelon.
“Great,” Danny said to himself, “that kind of gore takes forever to clean out.” He looked at the two bodies that now marked his doorway. The shots must have alerted a neighbor, as the sound of sirens was in the air and getting closer.
I really hope this thing is legal. He looked at the weapon in his hands. A Mossberg 590A1 shotgun. I REALLY hope it's the only one in here.
It wasn't. Escorted by two officers, Danny found a .357, an M9, an M107, and a G36. Thankfully for Danny, every gun was legal, registered, and he was fully licensed to have them in his ownership. Everywhere. How the hell does someone even get a license to carry an assault rifle on them at all times? Whose idea was that?
He considered the fact that, in the last two days, he had been in two conflicts with armed aggressors. Maybe I'll keep the M9 on me...and the .357.
In a less upscale part of Khazan than Danny's new neighborhood, a large man was being told of the recent events.
“You say this same son of a bitch has killed 3 of my crew in 2 days?” he asked a nervous looking thug.
“Yeah Blast, he took out Lamar at the bank job, and then Ty and Rags at his house in Pandora Falls.”
“So we know where he lives? Good. We're taking care of this.” He laid out a plan to a room full of his underlings. “This mofo is going to find himself against the full force of the Spades.”
Danny parked his Jag outside the local grocery. In the last few days he had discovered his new strength, stamina, and arsenal. He had also discovered that his house was not too well stocked with food. Pizza and Chinese were beginning to get a bit tired, and Danny decided it was finally time to try out his grill.
He had just walked into the store, when he heard the loudest boom since a mine almost tore his face off. He turned to see a fireball on the single bridge entrance to the parking lot. What the hell?!
Rushing in from either side of the lot were thirty armed thugs, with a large man walking away from the explosion. Everyone in the store, with the exception of Danny, ran as far from the doors as possible. Danny flipped a soda machine to its side, took his M9 from its holster, and leveled it at the entrance. This week is weird.
The thugs funneled in through the doorway, and Danny was at first able to gun them down as they came. But a ten round clip can only go so far, and even with a quick switch to his .357, Danny soon found himself overwhelmed. A shot tore into his shoulder, then his throat, and finally into his chest.
Shit, that's it. Second chance. Use it well. Does getting shot dead in less than a week count?
No idea what that's from.
Regeneration: Supreme (rank 3)
How am I still thinking? And where's the blood? Danny examined his shirt, the bewildered look on his face matched by the thugs surrounding him. The bullet holes in shirt told him he hadn't been missed.
One of the thugs regained his composure, raised an Uzi, and unloaded on Danny. 20 rounds riddled his torso, but when the gun finally reached the end of its clip, Danny was none the worse for the damage. He looked around at the room full of startled thugs, and smirked.
“Well,” he said, “aren't you all screwed?”
Blast heard the screams of his men from outside. “HEY!! What the hell is going on in there?!” One of his minions being tossed into the lot past him answered his question. The limp figure was followed by Danny. He made eye contact with Blast.
“Who are you, and why did I just fight through a horde of morons just to see you out here?”
“Name's Blast. I'd ask you who you are, but dead men don't need names.”
With that, he let out a blast of energy that, upon connecting with Danny's chest, exploded like a stick of dynamite. “That was easy,” he said, turning to leave. He was a couple of steps away, when he was knocked back a few yards by a blow like he had never felt in his life. Blast rolled over, and looked up at the man who struck him.
“Name's Danny. Now get ready for the beating of a lifetime.” Blast fired again at Danny, who simply took the shot and kept coming forward.
“Fine,” Blast said, “let's do this the hard way.” Blast charged Danny, and with power that matched the now young man, dealt a harsh blow to his jaw. Danny was knocked backwards, but popped right back to his feet.
Well then, this is going to be interesting.
Soldier and a cop. I know this one.
Hand-To-Hand Fighting: Standard (rank 1)
Danny moved forward, avoiding another shot from Blast's hand to keep from slowing him down in closing the gap. He reached Blast, and put forward a solid one-two combo. Blast swung out with his left, but Danny ducked his head under the blow. Another beam of energy started in Blast's right hand, and Danny lifted the arm, pointing Blast's hand towards the sky. Holding the wrist in his left hand, Danny jammed his right palm under Blast's arm, just behind the elbow, straightening it out and snapping Blast's arm. His cry of pain fell on deaf ears, as Danny, still holding the wrist in his left, jammed his right elbow into Blast's throat. The thug fell down, coughing heavily as he struggled to breathe.
He looked up at Danny, and barely squeaked out ,“Mercy?”
Danny thought for a moment. A short moment. “Mercy?” Danny grabbed the aching throat of his opponent. “I don't think so.”