21 ‘Scary Man’ 2

My first hero duty happened in shortly after that, apparently some crazy religious group were holding young supers hostage and were going to kill them as blasphemers to their religion, some new deviation from Christianity focused on the extermination of supers. We arrived on the scene to see a house surrounded with police cars tapped off. A man who appeared to be in charge of the situation walked forward to great us. “Ahh good some hero’s, alright we have the situation contained, but they’ve started executing, about three so far. Their throwing the bodies out the windows. We can’t go in or they’ll kill the rest at once. You’ve got five minutes before we cut our losses and storm the place. There’s no chance of negotiation.” He looked visibly distressed over the situation. Phantom strode forward and the team naturally followed. “Alright team any suggestions?” He turned to us and we all froze. There was a group “uhh…” and Phantom looked disappointed. “I’m desperate now, we need to somehow get either the terrorists all neutralized or safely remove the hostages.” I spitball a bit, I looked around in hopeless despair and saw a woman looking directly at me she was backing away slowly completely terrified. I could see her lips muttering something. “Demon, demon, demon.” Once she was safely farther away she turned and ran. “What if I pretend to be a demon and scare them shitless.” Once the words were out of my mouth I realized how stupid it was. Phantom followed my view. “Did she just run away in fear from just looking at you?” I nodded. After a few moments of silence. “Good enough, do you need anything or can you just go straight in?” I turned to him in shock they evaluated. Fuck it let’s do it. “I’ll need your power.” I removed my glove and held out my hand. Phantom slowly put his hand forward. I grabbed it and dark tendrils of smoke lowly covered him I was extremely careful with his power slowly mimicking each part and ability. I remember when I filled out my form to join the program, I listed my power as ‘copy others power to weaker extent.’ I’d lied, I don’t trust easily, I can mimic and even change a power when I copy it to perfection. I didn’t change Phantoms though it was perfect for what I needed, I just made a few alterations to suit my need, color texture and area primarily. I then took a deep breath and strode towards the house. I didn’t look back but I heard the body hit the ground. Show time.

I peeked out the window to see a shadow move across the street, no not a shadow a man made of shadows. Fear rushed through me a super was coming, the devil was about to enter. I turned and bolted down the stairs. Preacher Fletcher was standing there knife at the throat of one of the little freaks. “Father sir, a monster approaches.” He looked up in grim determination. He effortlessly slit the freaks throat and the cold imitation of a human hit the ground dead. I swallowed such evil gone, Preacher Fletcher was a saint.

I strode in a haze of shadowy smoke to the door then pushed the smoke cleanly beneath it and beyond, after a second or so when I felt enough build up to move into a passed forward into the house. I looked through the smoke that I’d changed to appear as shadows. I sent out my mind reading abilities to read the minds of all those who were in the room. I got names backgrounds and a sick broken perspective on the world. One I seamlessly became part of. “Greetings gents, and gals. I be here to claim the debt of lives you have created.” I stepped forward up to the one closest to me moving as fast as possible then stopping face to face with them. A women average looking but with scars on her face beaten. I grabbed her throat and crushed her windpipe. Killing her. She dropped like a rock. First person I ever killed, probably not going to be the last. I turned to the rest of the room frozen in fear and horror. I laugh a deep sick sound. “Tell me preacher what do you think I am?” They all turned to an old man in his late fifties, bald, fat and ugly with a sick look of rage on his face. “Your one of those freaks, monsters a-a super.” He spat it out like a dirty word. I laugh. “Tell me preacher since when did super have so many powers?” I raised two stone men out of the ground behind two of the people there, hand them decapitate them brutally ripping of their heads. They fell also to the ground. Three down. I look over to see another body lying dead on the ground by the preacher, a little girl, probably only five or six. I then hand the stone men bow and summoned up all the rest as well. Ten strong bowing down to me. There were three more people in the room. “Well Preacher, four were killed, three lives have been repaid. I’ll allow you to decide who pays the last debt, will you sacrifice yourself and allow the other two to live, or send one of these two of till their deaths, either way I will still kill you, but at least you can decide how your story ends.” With incredible speed and accuracy the preacher threw a long sturdy blade directly at my heart. I allowed it to hit me the snap cleanly in to against the armored clothing. Shock flooded his face, as well as his two followers. “Take them pleas, let me live.” He fell to his knee’s crying, he then curled up into a small ball and cried more loudly. I turned to the two standing. “So tell me did either of you kill someone today.” They shook their heads, I scanned them and found they were telling the truth. “Alright tell me have you hurt or killed any powered or super in the past?” Again they shook their heads. One was lying. I nodded my head towards my stone men. One walked calmly forward towards a tall thin man in his late thirties. “Please no, no she doesn’t count, I swear.” I growled a deep primal sound more animal than man. “You raped and beat a young women to death, how does that not count?” Before he could answer my stone man killed him. Quick, too quick. I turned to the last person standing, he was closest to me. two feet away. “So, you never killed or hurt anyone, but you believe in this evil as much as the rest. Tell me do you wish to seek redemption for your actions?” The boy my age but short, thin and malnourished. Nodded. “Can you accept or at least learn to understand, that powereds and supers a human beings just like you. They a people who are protection of God’s eternal covenant along with the rest of us. Can you accept that Christianity is about forgiveness and not holding a grudge, about accepting your fellow man as your equal and treat all with respect and compassion.” He nodded, tears streaking down his face. I was really pulling out all my religious knowledge here. “Alright then, do you know the story of the unmerciful servant, he was shown forgiveness but failed to show forgiveness to others and was punished. Do you think you can NOT copy his actions. Right now I am forgiving you, you will pass on forgiveness to others. You will do what I ask when I ask, be it attend community events for supers in need or menial tasks. I will decide your fate and I alone. When we leave here you will follow me directly.” He nodded. I then lead him calmly upstairs as my stone men killed the preacher and then disappeared. “Where are the supers?” The boy lead me down the hallway to a room that was locked, he removed a key from around his neck and unlocked it. Inside were eleven small children tied to the wall with thick ropes. “Tell me does this not seem wrong to you?” The boy looked at me. “It, I… They were just animals a minute ago, but now, I don’t know. My entire life is a sham a lie, I followed a mad man and became a mad man myself. Please forgive me.” I raised an eyebrow poetic. I could tell he really wanted to be forgiven, no he needed to be forgiven, the guilt was killing him on the inside. “A few pretty words won’t take away the pain you helped cause, but I can tell you really want to be forgiven, that is the first step. And that’s the most important one.” I pulled the blade from my walking stick and easily cut the ropes on all the captives. They were so bad of they could barely walk. I summoned up ten stone warriors and they puck up most and then I had the boy carry the last one, the youngest a mean toddler at about three or so. The boy looked uncomfortable. I put a light hand on his shoulder. “We all must carry our own cross.” The boy nodded and straightened up, grim determination on his face. I lead them all out of the house me first.

Chapter 20
22 'Carrying a Cross'

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