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Tale's Comics Presents!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Teller, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    This story was okayed by Firebrand and hey, even though it's PG-15 for now, I even got JX Valentine to okay it as well! Hello, everybody! This story, and any future chapters included in this thread, is inspired by Firebrand's story, The Amazing Hawlucha Man! So, you should totally go check that out when you can, because this story takes place in the same continuity, same setting, and uses some of the same characters (c'mon, you know what a "fanfiction" is by now, right?). Everything's amazing and you should totally read everything. Like I said, PG-15, and this is due to a high body count, cursing, and just general terrorism, ya know? So there's that. Let me know how I did! This is probably one of the longest entries I've posted on here, and I'm really proud of it! Anyway, enjoy the show!

    The Daedalus Proclamation

    I looked down Bradley Avenue and took in a deep breath through my nose. So nostalgic. Casey’s Chili Dogs wafted through the air, the smell of greasy fast food from a long-established diner filling my senses with glee. A scent only a native Avenbrooker would recognize. The dusk sky brought about all those flickering street lights down Bradley. The fourth on the right and the seventh on the left were about to go out permanently. The traffic lights turned green at only the most inappropriate of times, causing the usual late afternoon traffic. People walked along the sidewalks, faces glued to their phones, refusing to make eye contact with one another, only using their voices to talk to someone on their phone. Everything was so…familiar to me, so routine. It was comforting, really. As I walked north of Bradley, I reached into my coat pocket and pressed a button on a device, and Casey’s Chili Dogs blew up spectacularly. A message had to be sent.

    Later that day, in a completely different part of town, I was caught thinking to myself again. There isn’t enough room in this town for two vigilantes. Sure, it was fun playing the villain to the Ronin for a little while, doing a couple bank heists here, a couple kidnappings there. You know, small stuff. Mr. Anti-Hero was a fun little playmate, a good way to pass the time. He didn’t play like you’d think. He would use excessive force, take the law into his own hands, and f*ck with authority, sort of like that mysterious Crobatman I heard that operates on the other side of the country. I liked that. Makes it way less predictable.

    But now…now he’s gone and inspired people. People less fun than he is. People who are more interested in playing by the rules and being too goody-goody for their own good. People who are willing to try to stop me, make my life more miserable. People…like this newly christened “Amazing Hawlucha Man.” Word on the street is that the Soothsayer was stopped by a brand new superhero, one who fights with his muscles rather than his gadgets, someone who fights with their Pokémon hidden out of sight until the time is right, and someone who is quite chummy with the Eleventh. Another cog in the machine that I freed myself from a long time ago. Was he artificially created by the police force, painted to look like a freelancer vigilante while completely enveloped by their payroll? Was he just more of a sidekick who thinks he can play in the big leagues? Well, either way, I don’t feel like playing multiplayer in this co-op the Ronin and I are engaged in. I will be DAMNED if this city falls prey to a “new age of superheroes!” I need to nip this problem in the bud now before it starts to spread uncontrollably. If I leave this “Hawlucha Man” be, he’ll just start to inspire more and more young, fledgling superkids, and pretty soon it will be impossible to make a buck around here. I need to kill this f*cker now, spread the message: “If you try to be a hero in this city, you’re going to wind up dead.” Hawlucha Man will be the perfect example to set.

    I needed to step up my game. Kids’ stuff won’t be enough anymore. If this new hero wants to be a real hero, he’s going to need to go up against a real villain. Fortunately, I had weapons galore in storage, courtesy of some ill-gained measures (sorry, St. Maria’s Orphanage!) and help from like-minded fellows. Though I had used them sparingly before in my play dates with the Ronin, I figured now was the time to dig deep into the weapons closet and pull out all my tricks and traps. One or two poison pellets weren’t going to cut it this time around. I rather liked the explosion I caused earlier, and I had a surplus of explosive weaponry at hand, so I decided to mold myself into a mad bomber of sorts.

    I stopped. Would it be wise to fashion myself after one type of supervillain? Would it hinder my plans to restrict myself to one type of attack? Perhaps being a more versatile villain was in order.

    No, the bigger picture here needs to be accounted for. This boy focused only on his wrestler theme, and the Ronin, fun as he is, has a theme he plays to as well. Others would invariably stick to a shtick as well, along with all the supervillains running about. If I want my message spread loud and clear, I needed to become a character as well. This story doesn’t conclude satisfactory with a perfect, all-powerful villain lazily winning. Now if only I had a tailor…

    Later that night, as I admired my new suit, I immediately began to notice microscopic flaws in the design. Such is the price to pay for being a perfectionist. I did not ask to be a perfectionist though. When one’s dancing partner is the Ronin, one is demanded to become a perfectionist. The red was not quite the shade I had asked for, though I suppose if I was to operate at night, no one would notice the difference (and if they did, well, they’d be dead long before word would get to anybody important). The mini-television continued to broadcast the news.

    “…explosion on Bradley Avenue earlier this afternoon at Casey’s Chili Dogs, a renowned staple of Avenbrooke. Multiple casualties have been confirmed, with seventeen in critical condition and ten dead. Authorities confirmed that they had found five Voltorbs scattered around the restaurant, alongside with bits of scrap metal that forensics determined was not normally found in the restaurant.”

    “Please…I did what you asked…” said the tailor, trembling on the floor.

    “BE QUIET!” I yelled back. “You did not do everything that I asked. There are so many design flaws in this suit, that I should just kill you right now.”

    He flinched, curling himself up tightly, instinctually, tears rolling down his face.

    “But the suit is otherwise in working condition, and I’m in a good mood today. After all, I just got myself some new threads.”

    I walked over to him and leaned down.

    “So I’m going to let you live, provided you don’t tell anybody of what you did today. Think you can do that, old man?”

    Despite my chipper words, there was no smile on my face. Always fun to throw them off their game.

    He nodded furiously. I thought his head would fall off. Save me the trouble.

    “Good. Then I’ll be going, and YOU…should probably find a new region to live in.”

    I took my suit and casually walked out the store. Almost immediately, I stepped in some Furfrou sh*t. I froze, looked down, confirmed my suspicions, and looked back at the store. The tailor had seen everything, eyes wide open.

    “Voltorb…” I shouted.

    One of my Pokémon rolled down the stairs of the store, the one I had placed up there earlier in the day before making a “surprise visit.”

    “…Self-Destruct.”

    “VOLTORB!”

    Before the man had even the time to scream, the whole store was engulfed in an explosion, all the windows blown out (along with brick and mortar), and a roaring fire started right up. I’m sure the fabrics in the store would help keep those flames going for a long time.

    I thought it was funny. I was going to kill him anyway.

    By the next day, although the police should’ve figured that the two explosion incidents were connected by now, I needed to make sure Hawlucha Man knew that this would keep happening until he found me. I stood atop a tall building, overlooking Milton Boulevard. It was in the middle of the afternoon, where traffic would be at its highest. Normally I don’t intentionally go for murders, and certainly by doing this I was risking the Ronin coming after me when I wanted this to be a private waltz between Hawlucha Man and I, but this was the fastest way. I was on a time budget. Just earlier today I had heard news of a new hero operating over in Ridgewood. They called her Cavalier.

    Goodbye, simpletons. It was nothing personal. Well, not against you, anyway. I pushed a button on my control device which transmitted a frequency wave out to all my planted Voltorbs and Electrodes along the buildings lining up Milton, and…hey, did you ever see that one scene at the end of Fight Club where they hold hands?

    Oh, I hope that my time and place card survives the fire.

    So it’s late that night, and I swear that this Solitaire game is rigged to always be in its own favor. No way a simple game like this could yield a 15% win rate! Of course, it didn’t help that I was wearing latex gloves, making it harder for the phone’s touch screen to register my finger movements. No, I wasn’t using my OWN phone. I was using a burner phone, purchased just for this specific purpose. Nothing on my person could identify me in case I needed to flee and leave anything behind. Like I said, no more games.

    I had arrived much earlier at the Firebrand smelting plant than I expected Hawlucha Man to arrive so that I could inspect every last square inch of this place. There would be no surprises on my end, and I could better plant all my Pokémon in places he could not anticipate. To account for him possibly using his Hawlucha to scout the place out ahead of time, I brought a Xatu with me, hid it someplace inconspicuous, and told it to read the minds of any Pokémon that wanders into the building and report back to me when it does. A bunch of Joltik were scattered around the outside of the building, becoming my eyes and ears. A device in my helmet would produce and receive a different frequency wave unique to the Joltik, enabling me to see what they see, albeit in a form of something that looked like heat-vision on my end. This whole building was mine. Not even Arceus Himself could breach it!

    The front doors to the building busted open. Xatu didn’t warn me of a Hawlucha attack, so it must’ve just been him. I checked the phone’s watch. Right on time. Hmpf, at least he knows how to be punctual.

    “Nice digs you got here, Mad Bomber,” he shouted to no one. “Do all the stairs have wheelchair ramps installed on them, too?”

    Arceus was he grating, a sniveling little sh*tstain who thought he could match the likes of the Ronin. I almost felt like setting off Voltrob #42 underneath his feet right away and not have to hear his voice again, but thankfully, my more sadistic side wanted to personally squeeze every last drop out of his throat, the same way I’m sure he does to all the boys he entertains. I decided to make myself known, but not present just yet.

    “Boy,” I replied back, putting on my best “old man” impressions, “back in my day, if we wanted to go up a flight of steps, we’d just destroy the floor that we’re on and had the floor above us come to us!”

    I was a floor above where he was, eyeing him from behind cover. Various Joltik confirmed that he was there, though I doubt that he was the kind of person to have a Pokémon use an illusion of himself in his place. Where was his Hawlucha? Either the boy was underestimating me, thinking me to be a beginner-level supervillain, or his Hawlucha wasn’t on site yet. Perhaps waiting in one of the surrounding buildings?

    “The Eleventh told me about your love letter, old man. Addressed to me and not even that cryptic? You know, I prefer my dates to have a little bit of intelligence to them.”

    “You’re not even pretending to take this seriously!” I found myself shouting before the act registered in my head.

    He turned his head my way, following my voice. Sh*t, I had gotten too invested. Forgot why I was doing all of this. Oh well, time for some theatrics, to get him to think I play by a set of rules. I jumped down to meet him.

    “So sorry for that, but you do have to admit, when you go parading around dressed like THAT…” I said, gesturing to his ridiculous outfit.

    “Says the man dressed like poor man’s Master Chief.”

    Not knowing who he was talking about, I admitted that my costume design was intentionally a bit cartoony. A full body black onesie with (again, slightly off-colored) red highlights down the sides, with black army boots with a steel toe covering, and light body armor covering most of my body, latex gloves on, and a high tech helmet that I had slowly evolved over the many years I have been personally intimate with illegality. Around my waist was a utility belt, lined with explosives of all kinds and empty Poké Balls (brightly colored to draw his attention to them, making him subconsciously think that all of my Pokémon were on me and not yet released).

    “So tell me why you called me all the way here and why I should care before I start beating your ***, Mad Bomber,” he said, assuming some fighting stance.

    I took out one of the Poké Balls, enlarged it, and held it up to his face.

    “Little boy, if you were ever going to make it out alive tonight, you could’ve told everyone at your little peewee superheroes club that Daedalus is coming for them.”

    Time to monologue, get him to think that he can interrupt me mid-speech by drawing out that Hawlucha of his, so I can blast it out of the sky.

    “I’d ask you if you knew your Greek mythology, boy, but something tells me you spent most of your school years reading comic books and watching TV. You, and all your little superhero friends who think they can just spring up at any time and compete in the big leagues alongside the Ronin, you are all flying too close to the sun, boy. And I, Daedalus, am here to warn you all not to fly too close, and yet, one of you needs to fall in order to be made an example of. And lucky you, I picked you!”

    I stepped closer to him. He didn’t step away. Cute.

    “Let me take a wild guess as to why you don’t want us to ‘fly too close to the sun,’" he said. “Was it because then it’d lead to capturing all you psychos and sociopaths far easier than it’s ever been before?”

    “That’s a good beginner’s bravado quip, boy. But it also highlights why we’re both here tonight. You see, it was fun when it was just me and the Ronin, playing cops and robbers. Everyone had their roles and they played them perfectly. But now…now he’s gone and inspired YOU kids to become shabby superheroes, a mockery of what I fight, like you don’t even take our roles seriously anymore. Now anyone thinks that they can be a hero. Now anyone thinks that they have what it takes to stop me. And quite frankly, boy, it’s really starting to piss me off. So I have to nip this New Age, hippie, everyone-is-special problem in the bud, and that means taking you out.”

    He still hasn’t launched a move yet, nor called his Hawlucha. Is he waiting for me to make the first move? Gauge what I’m capable of? Study my tactics? Fine. He won’t be alive long enough to come to any sort of conclusion. And besides, I’ve gone toe-to-toe with the Ronin multiple times, and he doesn’t exactly go easy on his opponents.

    “You call me ‘boy’ one more time and I’ll beat you black and red,” he said, readying his stance. “I’m the amazing Hawlucha Man!”

    “Ready to dance, boy?!”

    I dramatically threw the Poké Ball at him and yelled “Golem, use Explosion!” As expected, his eyes followed the ball and I ran straight at him. I threw a punch right at his face, but he noticed at the last second and blocked with his arms. Damn, he has good reflexes. I threw a second, weaker jab at his side and it connected, managing to make him flinch for just a moment before he used his hands to push me back. The Poké Ball clanked onto the ground, opening up to reveal nothing inside.

    “You fight dirty, Mad Bomber,”

    “And you fight like a Wobbuffet, boy.”

    I rushed back up to him and tried using a flurry of punches all around his body, rapidly twisting myself around his body to launch an attack there. His fists couldn’t cover himself everywhere, all at once. Every fist he thought he caught would just twist right out of it like a greased up Ekans. And even his arms that had blocked all the attacks are sure to get sore soon. When his arms parted themselves enough that I could launch a headbutt through, his came first, sending the both of us back. Though that HAD to hurt him somewhat, I was more concerned with all the technologies I put into that helmet. A brief analysis showed everything working operably, so I quickly scanned to find the brat.

    Suddenly, I felt a sharp, powerful kick in my back, sending me several feet forward and onto my face. How was he that quick? I looked around the area again.

    “Where arrrrrrrrre you, boy?” I said/sang, not finding him. And then I said in a much lower, quieter voice, “Execute: Voltorb: 13.”

    Suddenly the thirteenth Voltorb I had hidden in one of the rafters above us exploded. All the shocks build into my suit meant that I would be relatively unharmed, but the boy…

    “You’ll take this whole place down upon yourself if you keep acting like this!”

    “I have plenty of Barriers set up so that you can’t leave, and the police can’t enter. Execute: Voltorb: 89.”

    An explosion could be heard on one of the much higher floors than we were on.

    “STOP THIS!”

    “Fight me without that bird of yours! Show me your own true strength and I will show you mine!

    “Fine then!”

    He dropped down from where he was hiding.

    “I WILL stop you and save the day, because I’m….Hawlucha Man!”

    “Just dead drop already!”

    We ran at each other and threw punches and kicks. If I threw a straight punch, he would counter with a grab. If he used a kick, I would sweep below it and counter with jabs across the abdomen. However much padding was in each of our suits, it certainly wasn’t doing enough to block all the pain.

    I laughed.

    “What’s so funny, Mad Bomber?” he said, between labored breaths.

    “Hah…if I had used those moves against the Ronin, I’d be dead now. And yet, here I’m standing. I guess that makes all you guys, and especially you, boy, irrelevant, obsolete.”

    There was an explosion above us. Some of the previous explosion must’ve made some of the machines here explode on their own. This place was going to collapse soon.

    He was getting tired. Probably wasn’t used to a foe that can stand more than a couple punches from some boy in a luchador’s outfit. I turned to him and walked coolly towards his still-living body, thinking which explosive I was going to shove down his throat.

    “Don’t tell me you’re giving up already, boy! It’s time for our encore dance!

    Xatu gave me a warning that Hawlucha was approaching. Just then, Hawlucha crashed through the highest ceiling and landed perfectly next to his master.

    “Lucha!”

    What good that did, Xatu. Remind me never to use one again. And as for Hawlucha…

    “Go, Electrode!”

    I summoned, from one of the actually functioning Poké Balls I had on me, my most powerful Electrode.

    Hawlucha charged towards it without orders.

    “Electrode, Plan: Beta!”

    Hawlucha launched a punch at Electrode quick as lightning, but Electrode was quick as light. He was already on the other side of the room, charging up for a maelstrom of electrical attacks. This would also have less of an impact on me due to the electric-resistant fabric I had woven into the clothing.

    I scanned for the boy with my Joltiks but couldn’t find him. I saw his fists first. Then I felt his fists on my stomach. Then finally, as I was brought down to my knees, I felt his fists slam into the side of my head. I looked up and saw Hawlucha punch Electrode with such ferocity that it KOed in one hit. Looks like the plans are down the toilet for today, but like any good villain, I’ve always got a trump card up my sleeve.

    “I’m taking you to early retirement,” he said, huffing between his words.

    “Strange…” I said back, barely containing the smile on my face. “I was thinking the same thing about you…”

    “What you do…”

    “EXECUTE: ALL!”

    I laughed between gasping in pain as I looked upon his face to see the terror of being inside a building that’s about to explode, with his partner no less. My suit would render me alive, though with a few months of recovery, but he would most certainly be dead. One explosion would fling me outside, worse for wear, but nothing would save him.



    …what was going on? Was my helmet not working? Why weren’t all my Pokémon exploding?!

    “Looks like we got here just in time,” came a new voice.

    I looked over to see an older man walk into the building with a Houndoom. He surveyed the scene.

    “Captain Anderson! What are you doing here?” said the boy.

    “Saving your ***, it would seem.”

    “But the exploding Pokémon…”

    “Sir, we’ve neutralized all the hidden Voltorbs and Electrodes in the vicinity!” said another new voice.

    In walked yet another man, younger.

    “Detective Reyes! You got roped into this, too?”

    The good captain walked over to me and brought my hands behind me and cuffed me with…were those fuzzy Liepard print cuffs?

    “Good to see the Eleventh is finding this all as hilarious as the boy does,” I spat.

    “He’s not a boy, you know. He’s the amazing Hawlucha Man. Now then, you should know this by now. You have the right to remain silent. Every-”

    “Why don’t you be a good boy and tell me how one of the worst police departments in this city can defuse 100 bombs in a minute?”

    A Wooper walked underneath him.

    “Cute, huh? Part ground as to be immune to electric attacks, no matter how powerful, and a handy Damp ability that prevents exploding things from exploding. Also small enough to transport en masse and replace all those Joltik you littered everywhere.”

    Anderson tried to remove my mask, but that just set off the security measure, which meant that HE was facing a painful amount of volts. Not enough to kill him, but enough to dissuade him from trying that again.

    “A magician never gives up ALL his secrets,” I said.

    “Take him to the truck and head straight for Tarta Penitentiary!” Anderson said.

    My whole plan…so thoroughly ruined. I gave that boy the thrashing of his life, and he only won because of police intervention. The police! The Ronin would never cooperate with the police. They should be putting both him AND the boy in that car alongside me! How is vigilante justice any different from mine?!

    As they loaded me into the car, I turned my head and looked at a bruised and battered boy hero and flashed my most winning smile (though I later came to realize he couldn't see it due to the helmet).

    “I SO look forward to our next last dance, boy. Remember the Daedalus Proclamation!”

    Reyes closed the door on me and soon we were off.

    It was even later that night that the alarms kept blaring and I wished I knew where they were originating from. I took the dead guard’s severed hand and pressed it up against the hand lock, keeping my eyes wide open for any guards who thought they could be heroes tonight. The machine read “my” hand and the door to the cell opened. A woman sat up in bed and peered at me, perhaps recognizing me from one of my many waltzes with the Ronin.

    “Get up, Soothsayer. We’ve got work to do.”
     
  2. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Oh hey, look who finally got around to finishing something. Sorry, it's been a busy couple of months. This entry's shorter than I'd have liked, but it'll do. Also, still in the process of swapping out betas, so there might be a couple hiccups here and there. The twins are more based on the Dee Dees from Batman Beyond, but their suits are more based on Kamen Rider and Iron Man. The chapter is n because who knows where in the timeline it takes place. Maybe next time I'll start writing on the actual ongoing plot of The Amazing Hawlucha Man and the war with the seven sins! Have fun reading!

    Chapter n: Attack of the Twins

    Alex leapt down from the building’s outer railings and onto street level and quickly ducked into a doorway. There was no way to find out where Hierro was without alerting his pursuers as to his location. He needed to assess his situation.

    “Are we playing hide and seek, my love?” said Lunamise, flittering just above his location.

    “I will find you first, my love,” continued Solbeat, flying past Lunamise.

    Alex couldn’t believe the situation he was in. Solbeat and Lunamise were a pair of creepy twins (were there any other kind?) who walked to the beat of their own drum. They were guns for hire, providing their services to both hero and villain alike, virtually never acting on their own. For some bizarre reason known only to them, they decided to craft themselves after both Solrock and Lunatone and Volbeat and Illumise, constructing their power suits to resemble both sets of Pokémon in a mishmash of designs only a young child would create. A patchwork of bug and rock motifs were seemingly stitched together at random, with some of the parts of the suit literally only for show. It’s probably for the best then, at least for them, that they were remarkable fighters.

    “You should stop this needless fighting, Hawlucha Man, and join us,” said Lunamise.

    “We would be so happy as the world’s greatest fighting couple,” said Solbeat.

    Aaaand the twins both developed a crush on Alex after he bested them in battle. He couldn’t quite tell if they wanted him to date them both simultaneously, or if one would cut down the other to have him all to themselves. Either way, it was creepy and annoying and he wanted nothing to do with either of them. Regardless of how he felt, when he heard whispers on the grapevine that the two were acting out as a villain’s muscles again, he felt responsible for taking them in. Because of the twins’ lack of enthusiasm towards enacting any plans of their own, they were considered low threats to just about everyone, meaning most masked vigilantes didn’t even bother trying to apprehend them whenever they were playing villain for the day. Thus, Alex put it upon himself to try to arrest them before they did any serious damage.

    “I found you!” yelled Lunamise, having spotted Alex. “Our prize is a kiss!”

    “Haw!”

    Hierro descended from the sky with a kick prepared for Lunamise. She quickly dodged out of the way, forcing Hierro to make emergency adjustments as he hit the pavement. Alex took the time to dart out of the doorway and into someplace more open. Naturally, he immediately bumped into Solbeat.

    “There you are, my little bird and muscles!”

    Solbeat made to grab him, but Alex nimbly jumped back and avoided his grasp. Hierro flew past them. Or rather, he was flung with incredible force by Lunamise past them.

    “Hawlucha!” Alex said, making care to not say Hierro’s real name out loud.

    Solbeat took the opportunity to sucker punch Alex. Alex was only just able to continue defending himself after that.

    “It’s so much more fun when it’s just you!” Solbeat said.

    Alex heard a buzzing sound coming from behind, and turned to block Lunamise’s attack.

    “We’ll have you all to myself!” she said.

    This was followed quickly by Alex having to defend himself from both sides, as Lunamise and Solbeat attacked him from front and back, perfectly coordinating their strikes with one another without a word spoken. If Alex dodged a fist to the head, he wound up getting a kick to the side. If he caught a leg aimed at his stomach, he’d get a fist to the head. Though he was deflecting most of the attacks and the padding in his suit was absorbing most of the impact, he was still feeling the pain and was unable to launch any sort of counter-offense of his own.

    “It’s okay if you don’t say ‘yes’ now…” started Solbeat.

    “…we’ll just beat you unconscious and take you with me back home!” finished Lunamise.

    “Haw!” came Hierro, launching himself back into the fray.

    Hierro landed a kick on Solbeat, sending him back several feet, but otherwise looking like he felt nothing. He gained a ferocious look in his eyes and a devilish grin on his face as he flew back at Hierro.

    With more focus able to be spent on Lunamise, Alex decided to start probing her for info.

    “So who are you working for this time?” he said, landing a punch on a vulnerable part of her suit.

    “Haha! The highest bidder was none other than Sir Sloth, my love! What a wonderful man he is. What a wonderful stack of money he gave us.”

    “You’d be able to spend more of that money if you were making it doing good deeds for the heroes of this city.”

    “And miss out on half the fun? You silly bird-boy!”

    Despite their propensity for doing good, the twins never seemed to have the morality compass to stick with it for very long, making it impossible to reach them with words. Alex always felt a twinge of sadness whenever he reminded himself of this fact. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t consider himself a true hero if he ever gave up on them and didn’t remind them of alternative ways every time he faced off with them.

    Lunamise threw a flurry of punches, forcing Alex to stop talking and start defending against every blow. She laughed like a giddy schoolgirl the entire time.

    “Isn’t this sweet? We’re dancing to our favorite tune!” she said.

    Without thinking, Alex kicked her in the leg, forcing her off balance, giving him enough time to sucker punch her in the stomach. She gasped, winded. The twins’ armor was tough, but not that tough. A blow to the back of the head and she was out.

    Hierro blew past them again. It just wasn’t his day.

    “You shouldn’t be so rough on my sister, lover. You might accidentally hurt her,” Solbeat said, without a lick of sarcasm in his voice.

    “You’re both going back to jail,” Alex replied, too tired to be making any snarky quips at the moment.

    “Jail’s no fun! You can’t be free like this in jail!” Solbeat shouted, and then came shooting for Alex at high speeds.

    Alex had no time to react as Solbeat plowed into him, scooping him up and shooting up straight into the sky. Alex tried one or two punches before realizing his situation. True, he could break free and glide to somewhere safe, but that wouldn’t stop Solbeat from capturing him again, and Solbeat’s rocket boots were much faster that his gliding suit. Furthermore, he couldn’t risk Solbeat ripping his gliding suit, even accidentally, and causing a much more painful outcome.

    ‘If I let him take me back to their hideout,’ he thought, ‘Lunamise will be sure to follow when she gets up, but Hierro could trail HER, and then we can both break out.’

    Just then, a large rock struck Solbeat’s backpack, damaging it and disabling his wings. His grip on Alex loosened and Alex took the opportunity to push himself away and glide downwards.

    ‘Okay, maybe not.’

    He looked around and saw Hierro on a nearby rooftop, armed with another large rock. Alex grinned. He knew teaching Hierro Fling would be a wise investment. Alex landed on a rooftop near and opposite to the one Hierro was on, and was immediately greeted with the landing of Solbeat as well.

    “When sister and I bring you back to our love nest, we’ll barbeque your little pet birdie as well. There’s only room for three of us.”

    “Hawl!”

    Hierro leapt from one rooftop to the next and was then standing next to Alex, going into a fighting pose. Alex did the same.

    “Sorry, we’re kind of a packaged deal.”

    Solbeat only gave a half-grin before hovering a foot in the air, then launched at the duo, pulling back for a lethal punch. During the fraction of a second that he was within striking range, Alex suddenly did the splits and punched the air in front of him, which was soon going to be Solbeat’s stomach, whilst Hierro jumped up and performed a High Jump Kick at Solbeat’s head. Solbeat’s visor-less helmet would render it nonlethal, and Hierro wouldn’t use enough power to make it lethal anyways, but it would be enough to render the twin unconscious. The attacks hit and Solbeat was soon lying motionless on the ground, with Alex and Hierro panting heavily. Neither liked going up against the twins.

    “Okay...” Alex said between heavy breaths, “you go down and grab Lunamise...and I’ll drag Solbeat to the elevator…and meet you down there.”

    Hierro turned his head and gave Alex an incredulous look for a bird, squawked something that most likely wasn’t friendly, and fluttered over to Solbeat’s body, picked him up, and walked towards the elevator.

    “Seriously?!” he huffed. “Fine…I’ll see you…down there.”

    With that, he groaned and planned on how to quickly get down from a five story building from the outside and track down Lunamise’s body AND where the nearest convenience store is because he was suddenly very thirsty and the nearest hidden stash of bottled water was fifteen miles away. And he swore that if any supervillain or punk decided to interrupt him on the way there, he was just going to throw the twins’ bodies at them and leave it all for the police to deal with.
     
  3. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Welcome back to the next thrilling issue of Tale's Comics Presents! This time around, I'm doing the ole "evil version of the hero" trope. It's called Chapter X because who knows where in the timeline it fits in. Heroes by Firebrand, villains by me, like always. Anyways, enjoy!

    Chapter X: Mirror Match


    It was a windy night in Avenbrooke, the result of a quick increase in temperature after a very cold day. Perfect for trying out a new flight suit for Alex, have Hierro stretch his wings and practice his own flying moves, and for the two of them to practice their aerial combination techniques. Alex also wanted to see if he could beat his record of how long he could stay in the air before having to touch the ground. Doing so would be the perfect way to identify whether the new suit was worth wearing into the battlefield or not.


    “Okay, Hierro, here’s the plan,” Alex said, waving a hand towards a general direction. “We jump from here, scale the Wexler building next door, leap from there, and with the momentum gained from a running start, we should be able to glide from there to 2nd Street, all without having to touch the ground. That’s a good three block increase in distance compared to the previous suit. I think we can do it this time. You ready, partner?”


    Hierro of course had no doubt that he could glide effortlessly to the destination point, so long as all his feathers had been sufficiently preened beforehand to his upmost satisfaction, but he had a small doubt lingering in his head that a heavy human such as Alex in a skintight suit would be able to pull off such a stunt. Nevertheless, he knew that his partner needed some positive encouragement from time to time, so he gave an affirmative caw and readied himself for some training.


    “That’s what I like to hear. Okay, let’s go.”


    ‘Please don’t let there be a robbery, please don’t let there be a robbery, please don’t let there be a robbery,’ he thought to himself. He couldn’t afford to waste this golden opportunity to try out his new suit in prime conditions, just to go beat up some lowlife, pea-brained thugs.


    The pair backed up to the other end of the roof, and on the count of three, they bolted towards the Wexler building, leapt from the rooftop they were on, glided towards the building, pulled off a rolling landing and, before even coming to a stop, scaled the building, first from using a ladder to get up to a higher floor, then by scaling the outside of the building, using the window ledges as secure grips. They reached the rooftop of the Wexler building, one of the tallest ones in the area, ran across, and leaped off. Hierro spread his wings and repositioned his body accordingly, and Alex activated the flaps on his suit, resulting in a somewhat similar process. Of course, Hierro could flap his wings and actually fly, so getting to the destination without hitting the ground was no problem for him, whereas Alex had no such tricks up his sleeve. He would simply have to make the most out of each foot he had in the sky.


    Coming up on 6th Street…onto 4th Street…3rd Street…


    The built-in communicator that was nestled in Alex’s ear buzzed to life. This meant only one of two things: either some other superhero needed his help, or the police did.


    “Hawlucha Man, can you hear me? It’s Commissioner Paygne. Are you hearing me, over.”


    It would take another fifteen seconds to reach 2nd Street. If Alex responded to the commissioner, he would have to break formation in order to activate the communicator and lose whatever altitude he had left, essentially failing the run. Damn it, and he was so close to besting his high score. But he couldn’t just ignore the commissioner for another fifteen seconds, especially if his excuse was only going to be “I was playing around.” People who end up getting jobs as commissioners, they’re good at picking up on lies, and Alex knew no lie he could say would get by Paygne. He broke formation, landed on a nearby rooftop, and tapped his ear, activating the communicator.


    “I’m here, Commissioner Paygne. What’s up?”


    “What’s up is that I was hoping one of our city’s defenders wouldn’t be using such juvenile language as ‘what’s up?’. Are we really leaving our city’s safety to a bunch of Millennials in costumes?”


    So the commissioner wasn’t totally warmed up to Hawlucha Man, or really any of the other costumed people roaming the fair streets of Avenbrooke.


    “Sorry, what’s the situation?” Alex replied.


    “There’s been a robbery…” Paygne began.


    ‘Of course there was,’ thought Alex.


    “…at the Centennial National Bank.”


    “Which one?”


    It was one of those chain franchise banks. There were probably ten in the neighborhood itself.


    “…all of them, it seems.”


    ‘…the f uck?’


    “Apparently, the Eleventh only got wind of the robberies when the last location was being robbed. Of course, this means it wasn’t a simultaneous act across all locations. And for all the locations of one specific name bank to be robbed on the same night, the odds of them all being robbed by different individuals is extremely low.”


    “How could all the locations be robbed in one night by one person and not have anybody tip off the Eleventh about it until the very end?”


    “My men who arrived on the scene after the robberies had taken place tell me that everyone who tried to put a stop to it were all knocked out. Men and Pokémon alike. All the alert systems had been disabled as well.”


    Alex thought good and hard about the seemingly implausibility of this whole stupid situation. Possibly a psychic, using psychic Pokémon, or someone with supernatural speed. Having their activities be tipped off at the very end could either be a stroke of luck or the villain intentionally calling out their attacks, a show of “Look what I did!” Then Alex’s intelligent side decided to make itself known and raised an interesting question.


    “Commissioner, it sounds like all the robberies that were going to be committed by this person have already been done. I’m no detective or bloodhound myself, and you’ve certainly got someone with a cape who is on speed dial, so why call me to begin with? I can keep my eyes open for anyone suspicious looking, but it would take forever to comb every part of the city looking for just one man.”


    There was a short pause on the line before the commissioner spoke.


    “There’s actually a very good reason why I called you tonight to speak about this. Tell me if this sounds familiar: eyewitnesses say that the perpetrator was a tall, young man, obviously muscular, wearing some kind of flight suit, using stun batons and martial arts (the same brand of martial arts you do, to be exact) to fight people one on one in acrobatic displays…and used a Hawlucha during the attacks.”


    ‘What the f uck?!’



    “What?! Are you saying that you think it was me who committed all those crimes?”


    “You are a prime suspect, for sure. The surest I’ve ever been. That’s why I’m letting you turn yourself in now, no fuss, no muss. Otherwise, I’m going to have to order my men to forcefully take you into custody, and with you currently being perched on the old Jeeper factory off 3rd Street, that means they’ll all be cranky for having to drive so far out of the way just to pick up a squirt like you. Make it easy for yourself, kid. Give up now.”


    Alex looked around him but couldn’t find any indication that he was surrounded by armed men. It was either a bluff, or the police were actually doing their damn job for once.


    “You know, spending the night looking for this mysterious man is starting to look more and more appealing by the second, commissioner.”


    No response. And then an Electro Ball flew at them from the other end of the street. Alex and Hierro instinctually bolted to the side, avoided the brunt of the attack, but the aftershock could still be felt. Alex took cover behind a massive air vent block, whereas Hierro, who flung himself in the opposite direction, hid himself behind a doorway leading to a lower floor. Both dared not to peak around their cover to see if they could spot their enemy, but there were also no more attacks being flung their way.


    ‘A warning shot to let us know they’re being serious?’ Alex wondered.


    Neither could hear any voices, and neither wanted to wait around to see if their enemy would continue to assault them with potentially deadly electricity. Alex and Hierro looked at each other. Alex jerked his head to the opposite end of the rooftop. Hierro nodded. There wasn’t much time. With any luck, the police force hadn’t completely surrounded the building yet, and they could sneak out the back before giving their enemy any time to think. It would be harder for the Eleventh to catch them if they were to disappear into the density of the city, staying high on the rooftops. They would only have to worry about Pokémon at that point. The duo ran towards the end of the building and jumped.


    Minutes later, they had a good sense that they were in the clear. It seemed that their tax dollars were not being spent towards a better police force after all, as no one was behind the building as well as in front of it. When they reached the second building, they had heard another attack go off, but it was focused on where they had been hiding. Alex, for one, felt pretty ashamed at how inept the Eleventh was being. Hierro, however, mainly felt more humility from being loosely associated with the Pokémon on the Eleventh’s force. Surely they could have sensed him and Alex making a quick exit using one of their superior senses. The two landed on Building #6,000,000,001 in this city to catch their breath.


    “Okay…so…now the Eleventh are after us,” Alex said, helpfully stating the rather obvious to Hierro, just in case he, as his partner in crime, did not know that already. “And for a crime we didn’t commit. And there was some creepy imposter going around doing all this.”


    It took him a while to process all this s hit. Of course in Avenbrooke this happens. He really shouldn’t be surprised that this kind of thing hasn’t happened to him yet. To be fair, he is starting to become somewhat well known around the block. He figured finding this identity thief would be the next thing on the agenda. Simply waiting for people to wizen up, for the identify thief to mess up, and for him to reveal that he isn’t the same Hawlucha Man that Alex Alvarez is, wasn’t an option. He looked back at Hierro, who was rearranging any feathers that might have been knocked out of place during the escape.


    “So, any idea where this imposter might be?”


    Hierro looked back at Alex. Alex, for his part, couldn’t quite discern what look Hierro was giving him, but knew that it wasn’t one that was pointing at where the imposter was. He sighed.


    “Okay, fine, we’ll find him the old-fashioned way.”


    And so they figured out a good route to glide on, which would allow them to scope out vast parts of the city without being seen in as little time as possible. The duo then grappled onto the next nearest building, ready for a long night of searching for a clear needle in a black haystack.


    They got as far as that same building before being pricked with a clear needle.


    “So I see you’ve enjoyed all my handiwork,” boomed a confident voice.


    Alex and Hierro spun sharply to meet the unknown voice. There, standing on top of a billboard, was a man silhouetted by the full moon (and the billboard’s lights; it honestly would’ve been more impressive if the moon was massively larger like it always is in comics or cartoons). A smaller Pokémon jumped down from up high to stand next to him.


    “Oh look, it’s my biggest fan,” Alex said, his mouth running before his brain could warn him.


    The dark and mysterious (on intention) duo jumped down and Alex and Hierro could better see them. The man matched Commissioner Paygne’s description pretty well. He was certainly around Alex’s age, the same build, and had with him a Hawlucha, which seemed to be around the same age as Hierro. A big noticeable difference between this man and Alex, however, was the fact that this man’s color scheme was black, purple, and red, to match his “shiny” Hawlucha. There were other subtler differences- the eye holes on the mask were cut to look more menacing, the claws on the gloves, the five o’clock shadow and what appeared to be a small scar on the left cheek. All in all, he looked to be like an evil twin version of Hawlucha Man. The Hawlucha itself seemed more ferocious than Hierro normally looked, like it’s ended a few lives before.


    “I did it all for you, Hawlucha Man,” the man replied, with a tinge of sarcasm in his voice. “So how did you find my little display of affection? Pretty amazing, huh? Not everyone can plow through ten banks in one night without the aid of any fancy schmancy superpowers. I even told Acero here to only use punches and kicks when dealing with bystanders, to give it that authentic feel.”


    “Why pick me to impersonate? Why even impersonate at all? Keep in mind that I’m still going to kick your ass whether you answer or not, but you might as well answer now while you can still breathe without wincing.”


    “I think it’s pretty obvious, don’t you, Hawlucha Man? You, who fights for this city’s safety, who defends her when the police cannot, who, by the way, fights outside the law without a badge. You, who does whatever he wants because the men with power just so happen to agree with his ideals. As long as the little pet does what the big men in charge thinks is right, or keeps them in power, then they have no problem allowing him to keep doing what he’s doing, turning their faces away when someone comes along and points out how hypocritical they’re being. Well guess what, big boy? If you can do it, then so can I.


    “Sure, there are a few little differences here and there, but the way I see it, what I’m doing ain’t so different from what you’re doing. I protect my city, the city of villains! The city of men and women who aren’t willing to just lie down and bow their heads to anyone. Who aren’t afraid to take what’s theirs. I defend those who are too weak to defend themselves against people like you, who can’t afford Pokémon to defend themselves against heroes with powers or an army of Pokémon at their command, or even a single, trained, bird. I openly admit to operating outside the law, to getting things done without waiting for a lawful committee to approve of my actions, and I’m proud of it! And the powerful men who think me a barking little pet? Oh, I’m sure they agree with my ideals, 100% percent. Or else, they would’ve put a bullet through my head by now. I’m no fool. I got no powers, and they do. I know how disposable I seem to them.”


    The rambling man assumed a fighting stance.


    “So about that ass kicking. Only one Hawlucha Man is gonna get their ass handed to him and left for the police to find. Turns out, it ain’t gonna be this Hawlucha Man.”


    Alex assumed his own fighting position.


    “You can’t just call yourself ‘Hawlucha Man’ dressed like that, especially since I’m the only Hawlucha Man around here. Your new supervillain name is Bob.”


    The two circled each other, sizing each other up, each Hawlucha doing a smaller version next to them.


    “Not as catchy. Perhaps, instead, once you’re in prison for life, the inmates will rename you Susie.”


    “Okay, fight time is now.”


    Alex launched the first offensive, closing the gap between the two men and tried to sucker punch the villain, but the man blocked the attack easily, grabbed Alex by the back of the neck, and threw him away like he was a Frisbee. The man laughed.


    “I dress up like you, fight like you, convince everyone in town that I AM you, and you think I wouldn’t study exactly how you fight and how to counter every trick you have?”


    Alex fought to catch his breath and stood up.


    “Nah, you look FAR too stupid to be capable of that sort of planning.”


    This time, the man came charging at Alex. Just as he was about to strike, his Hawlucha screeched, drawing Alex’s attention away from the incoming fist and towards a potential attack from a very deadly bird. The plan worked, and Alex got a face full of (in)justice fist for his troubles. The pain was astounding, but it wasn’t anything Alex hadn’t experienced before. Therefore, when the next punch came, he was more than ready to block it, delivering a karate chop to the man’s abdomen with his free hand before kicking him away.


    “You fight dirty for a ‘superhero,’ Bob,” he said.


    “It’s not ‘Bob.’ I’m the amazing Hawlucha Man, and you’re about to be my b itch!”


    The two continued to spar, the both of them equally matched. Hierro started to battle Acero, but it seemed that Acero knew just as much about how Hierro fights as the imposter did with Alex. Neither side was giving an inch. Scratches, punches, and kicks were thrown about rapidly, connecting and missing and grazing. Neither side seemed to be giving in to using elemental attacks or other standard Pokémon moves, but that could change at a moment’s notice. Though Hierro certainly preferred using human-inspired fighting moves against his opponents, he was definitely capable of performing standard Pokémon attacks like High Jump Kick, Flying Press, and Sky Drop. He was considering using them.


    After Alex and Hierro got knocked back again, they looked to each other for suggestions.


    “New strategy,” Alex said, brandishing his escrima sticks.


    “Nothing ‘new’ about it,” said the man, taking out his shock batons.


    Alex attacked the man with an impressive volley of strikes, but the man was true to his word, and blocks them all effortlessly, managing a few blows himself. If Hierro tried to butt in, Acero would intervene. Neither Alex nor Hierro wanted this to become a war of attrition (one they could easily lose, if this were to keep up), but they couldn’t just run away. Their pride as defenders of this city wouldn’t let them.


    “This isn’t working…” Alex said to Hierro.


    “Haw,” replied Hierro.


    “Take comfort in the fact that, in order for all this to work, I have to let you live,” said the man. “That’s more than what most of my targets get.”


    “Time for Attack Pattern: Rattata,” said Alex.


    Hierro nodded.


    Alex reached for a secret pocket in his costume and pulled out a tiny pellet, which he then proceeded to throw to the ground. Upon impact, a blinding light erupted, temporarily blinding the mysterious man and his Hawlucha. Alex and Hierro had the good sense to shield their eyes before the pellet went off, and used the momentary distraction to run away.


    “A cheap tactic for a cheap hero!” yelled the man.


    His taunt did not matter though, as Alex and Hierro were already gone and plotting their next move.


    “Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking,” Alex told Hierro in a whisper. “I’m thinking that we bank on this guy acting like a comic book villain and taking advantage of all those comic book movies we saw and using that knowledge against him.”


    Hierro looked at him confusedly. Alex sighed.


    “Look, he’s supposed to be like this ‘evil twin’ version of me who knows all my tricks, right? So how do superheroes defeat those kinds of villains in those movies? They change up their tactics, do things they don’t normally do, borrow some other superhero’s gimmick. Throw the villain off balance, keep him guessing, and eventually the hero comes out on top. And I know just the hero to rip off of…”


    “I hope you weren’t planning on a quick escape,” came the man.


    He had already regained his vision and was hunting them down. They only had a couple yards on him at best. Alex made his way towards a particular building for reasons only he knew, with Hierro hot on his heels and the man and Acero close behind. Suddenly, Alex darted sharply to the left whereas Hierro banked to the right. The imposter was just close enough to see the maneuver.


    “Acero! Chase down that pesky Hawlucha and take care of it. I don’t want any surprises when I corner my prey.”


    “Hawlucha!”


    The devilish duo split apart as well at the same spot. The man rounded the building, only to be grazed by a bullet. Then he felt a paralyzing sensation, like his muscles were locking up. This was probably because he had been paralyzed, by a paralyzing bullet no less. He plummeted down to the rooftop below, where Alex was standing, holding a golden gun.


    ‘Damn, I should be a better shot at this, what with all the grappling gun use I do,’ Alex thought to himself.


    The man got up to his feet, shaking off the paralysis.


    “The hell? What was that?” he said.


    “A present, courtesy of a secret stash from the Gunslinger,” Alex replied.


    Alex fired again, but the man dodged the bullet. Another shot fired, and the man took out his own staff and blocked it. He ducked behind a steel-plated crate before Alex could get another shot out. Alex held up a different gun and fired it off at the crate. The bullet hit the grate and it froze over completely.


    “F uck!” said the man.


    Alex fired the paralysis gun again and the crate shattered, but by then the man was already in the air, and coming towards Alex fast. Alex dodged out of the way and off the building, gliding upside-down and firing blindly at the man.


    “The real Hawlucha Man doesn’t fight like this!” yelled the man.


    “The real Hawlucha Man doesn’t rob ten banks and pins it on someone else!” countered Alex.


    The man kept dodging and blocking the paralyzing and freezing bullets, and closing the distance between him and Alex. Alex, for his part, kept moving from building to building, zigzagging all about, firing randomly, making it that much harder for the imposter to catch up to him. In short order, he abandoned the ice gun and used his free hand to use his grappling gun, so that he wouldn’t run out of buildings to run across and swing from. He couldn’t risk taking this fight to the streets. Inevitably, he ran out of bullets, and both of them knew it.


    “You should have known this little trick of yours wouldn’t work.”


    Alex grappled down to the rooftop of a convenience store, with the man following close behind.


    “There’s no use running away. I can do this all night. Can you? You’ve run out of tricks, Hawlucha Man. Time for this little scuffle to end.”


    The imposter sauntered over to Alex, staff in hand. Just then, a shot rang out, and in seconds, the man was completely encased in ice, sans his head.


    “Ahhhh!!! What’s happening?!”


    “You’re frozen solid, idiot.”


    “Who-?!”


    And then Hierro leapt into view, holding an ice gun.


    “Lucha!”


    “What?!”


    “You didn’t think the Gunslinger would leave only one stash hidden in the city, did you? That I would send my partner away if I didn’t think he could handle himself?”


    “Oh no, Acero!”


    “Probably frozen as well. Could be paralyzed, or knocked out.”


    “Rrrr…”


    “And if you look to the left, you’ll see scenic Avenbrooke PD, who I’m sure will gladly warm you up…when they get here. So I wouldn’t move a muscle. Just…chill out.”


    “…I think I’ll ignore orders and kill you just for that pun.”


    “So cold. Just trying to break the ice.”


    “Haw.”


    Alex could tell from Hierro’s tone that he was overextending the bit, so he quit with the ice puns.


    “See you never, Bob,” he said, walking away.


    “I’m not ‘Bob’! I’m Hawlucha Man!” the man yelled back.


    Alex figured that it wouldn’t be wise to stick around for the police to arrive. Yes, he could explain himself, but would he be given the chance before the force decided to open fire on him at first sight? At least when they did arrive, they would unmask the guy and use some sort of psychic Pokémon to figure out who he really is. The whole “identity crisis” thing would come to an end and Alex could go back to patrolling the city again. Until then, he guessed that he was forced to take a short break. Maybe catch up on some sleep.


    “Come on, Hierro. Let’s go home.”


    “Hawlucha.”


    ###


    One week later…



    It was a slow news day, so the biggest headline news for the 6:00 evening news station, KJHS 151, wasn’t exactly the most dire.


    ‘One week after his arrest, the man that robbed ten banks and tried to pin the blame on local vigilante Hawlucha Man, who social media has since dubbed “Antihawk,” has escaped prison. His personal Pokémon, a shiny Hawlucha named Acero, was also reported missing. Antihawk has no superpowers, but is still considered a dangerous threat. Citizens are advised not to engage in a fight with him. If you have seen this man, please call the Avenbrooke Criminal Spotting Hotline, 1-800-555-2274.



    ‘In other news, a local Lillipup was considered the hero today in New Yonk Pizzeria, by being the cutest little walk-in ever!’
     

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