Short story from Mike Zone

Twilight of the Superhumans

No one expected this. Kid in a gasmask helping an old lady across the street, even though the crosswalk is in excellent working condition and traffic doesn’t really exist anymore under this big green radioactive dome, shielding The Metropolis, the pillar of the Steel-Kingdom, held and dominated by the House of Steel, founded by the first man of tomorrow Steelman and fully established by marriage with the Amazonian demi-goddess Madame Miracle, though now it’s King and Queen Steel and we are all damned on this entire planet.

Under the dome, we’ll either die from cancer and other forms of radiation sickness or meet a brutal end in an unnecessarily operatic war of reluctant superhumans and egocentric mad gods.
The old lady never got a chance to cross the street, as a hulking behemoth of tumors once a Gamma-ray scientist landed into the center of the street. Skull faced, contorted super-strong beast howling at King Steel, wispy white hair in a black and red leotard, silver steel S in the center holding a pristine white cape into place, yet you could see he was yellow with cancer, the years of storing energy like a battery but dying of radiation poison this new god yearned for victory at any cost.

He condemned himself to essential death in what was a superhuman arms race. Create new soldiers to usher in a militaristic peace into the world since the great fragmentation between the various fractions of The Alliance. The Peacekeepers would make a comeback and despite the membership not consisting of the original seven champions of justice, everything would be fine and orderly or King Steel believed with cancer eating his brain.

The incredible Brute raised himself up and being a mass of terminal disease with just as much rage and insanity as the levitating being above grabbed the only speeding truck on the road and threw it at the bane of his current existence, showering radioactive isotopes upon the ground, through fissures made by gamma saturated grasps of fury.
 Kid in the gasmask pushed the old lady out of the way but it wasn’t enough as she was struck across the eyes going blind and swallowing another whole and kid in the mask referred to as Robin-Jay by his ailing mother who may have hinted around that his father was once a vigilante sidekick, not that it mattered as a gold chain with an archaic religious significance dangled from the boy’s neck.

King Steel incinerated the automotive projectile with laser vision and gasped as he saw the young lad’s golden talisman. Gold. Another weakness in conjunction with radiation. It was a slow agonizing death this poison but gold like the kryptonite of fiction weakened him like a man of steel from another time.
He looked down at the kid in the gasmask and something caused his spine to shiver for the first time in decades.
	“Son, stay back. We need to be united…God is coming and it’s not a good thing.”
The cancerous mass lunged at his floating nemesis and just like the truck out of sheer impatience from years fighting and fear of the figure below, King Steel melted Brute right on the spot, leaving a charred twisted skeleton not much different than a Dali painting among the broken street.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, isolated from the East Coast of the radioactive dome had trouble of their own. The Masters of Marvels fully assembled with an army to crack open the dome and take what they needed from the House of Steel to fully win this war. It wasn’t too long ago when the various superhero teams of: The Peacekeepers, Fearless Five, Justice Guard and Supremacy Squad had decided to officially disband and rebrand themselves as one unit…THE ALLIANCE to rid the world of evil doers by any means necessary…even the numerous bands of mutants had set aside their differences alongside many of mentally scarred street vigilantes. However Dr. Universe sat upon his high throne stationed above the roundtable to ensure everyone was equal beneath his vast superior power and knowledge, serving as a force of guidance more than anything instead of being just another demi-god like a certain extraterrestrial with his humanoid resemblance who dared call himself “king.”

An armor encased master with a bionic heart wrapped in a mystical purple cloak wearing a spectrum of rings adhering to all the colors of a rainbow, it was a hard won battle against Atlantis but the war was far from over, he once foresaw that in his sidekick Jimmy Jett’s magic eight-ball glasses, even after they defeated the House of Steel, the Mutates who had left Earth to terraform Mars and renamed it Planet Z after the Z-gene which bestowed their powers would return with much greater force, which ultimately formed an alliance on a nigh omnipotent level.

What could be considered as God was coming which spelled the end of everything they originally fought for. There would be another mass extinction on a planetary level rendering the existence of battle between good versus evil quite meaningless and the good doctor and his illuminated colleagues couldn’t manage that which is why he sent the bat-shit crazy one to finally execute that cancer ridden warped alien who started out as just a good old Michigan farm boy only to find out he was “gifted” with a power from beyond the stratosphere. The Alliance was never meant to hold and usher in a utopia like they wanted and eventually they dismantled it from so much in fighting after the execution of the villains, then the toppling of sinister global regimes and finally just usurping these small minded yet narcissistically engineered societies which only further plagued the human condition and the eco-system itself.

The Atlanteans of course had something to say as did the Amazons who after their pantheon was taken out make a hasty alliance via marriage with the House of Steel spawning demonic descendants which would have Steelman’s powers yet none of his weaknesses though those abilities would be diminished the genes from the mother would make up for it and this concerned council which consisted of the best and brightest of superhumans who were more human than human with the exception of the designated executioner Knight Shadow, the typical rich boy scenario only it was more sexual for him…a trip to see Dracula, wetting himself over a blood sucking scene with something that wasn’t urine, embarrassed socialite parents rushing out of the theatre to be gunned down by political protesters screaming “Eat the rich!”

There was something more erotic about his costume and implementation of extreme violence than brutal street justice, just ask his sidekick Squire…oh you can’t…Arachnakid had suffocated him within his own web of terror, in an effort to be more man, than kid so he could join the big league of superhuman killers and eventually get a seat at the king’s table.
Dr. Universe sighed as he stood to greet the rest of the incoming counsel, he wouldn’t tell them of hopelessness of the situation nor how it was completely useless to officially decimate not only Metropolis but to engage in battle against that which created them in the first place, but he would tell the story of the egg.

The herald soared the space-ways. A slender chrome being encased in a field of celestial upon a disk made of the matter as his skin and surrounded by the same field of fire. He had a name once and sometimes wondered if he had truly been born a man or what sort of inferior abomination from a backwater forsaken planet did, he hail from? 
He could barely remember the words to articulate, but remembered the number zero-zero, whatever that meant. There were fragments, one of a nihilistic shaven headed monk hellbent on proving the meaningless of existence by exterminating his sect with his forbidden lover whose name was Shal…and before the executioner’s laser axe could come down on upon their necks, RAI-SHI arrived…swirling series of electric storm clouds and obsidian armor. The dark seed of what really governed the various forces in distant and unknown galaxies.

The planet was ripped apart, as they were suspended in space as RAI-SHI shed the armor and implanted itself into what remained of the planet…a hovering quasar pumping egg containing the darkness of the blackhole, then reborn after shedding its original husk, it turned to Shal and Kul (was that his dead name?) who were remade as two chrome heralds to search out the eggs hidden on other planets so that RAI-SHI could prolong itself for millennia more without exhausting precious cosmic power or warfare which would have more than likely included weapons made of gold, the weakness of his race and there were offshoots upon other planets he knew of.

Kul soared alone as Shal panicked, dismayed by the fact she couldn’t breathe air, ripping her own chest open to expose her lungs in order to breathe. He saw her exposed torso about three hundred years ago as headed toward the Earth to herald it’s destruction and engage in combat with the inhabitants. 
RAI-SHI the machine god who created a series of techno-organic bodies in various planets incubated in these eggs, naturally it had enemies ergo its inhabitants were engineered to be hostile to defend the eggs from various invaders yet somehow there were obstacles such as a planet’s own eco system building its own series of defense mechanisms to subvert control from the artificial deity’s agenda.
Professor Z, sat in his levitating chair on largest built earthen tower erected onto Martian terrain. He communed with what could only be conceived as god and wept in silence as they went through a cycle of eternity experiencing the births, deaths, and rebirths of universes. He didn’t have to make amends for Weapon Zinn anymore and gladly shut down Pablo’s brain with his near limitless healing ability and plethora of adamantine bones which was a combination of diamond and platinum capable of scratching through any surface yet incapable of being rejected naturally by the human body. 

Adamantine like gold was still a weakness for RAI-SHI and Pablo also known as Raptor had too much of an independent streak.
Dr. Universe hovered above the Earth, tears streaming down his face knowing that this was the last time he would ever see it, conjuring a web of crisscrossing energy surrounded by a fleet of Copper-Giants (fully automated but operated by the original Copper Giant on Earth full of cancer and hiding down below King Steel’s utopia). The fabric of space and time ripped open, an unholy alliance was to be made as tenacles protruded and the albino emerald eyed Octo-King and Queen emerged.

Down below Knight Shadow, tumbled out of his armor, still clad in helmet and chainmail. His gauntlets grasped King Steel’s flowing white hair and forced plasma bursts into his ears which even though he was dying of cancer and severely weakened still only annoyed this far distant descendent of RAI-SHI. He tore from his world’s finest ally the symbiote which once belonged to another insect influenced hero, disintegrated with sun-vision, and tore the Mystic Hamsha Eye which clasped his attacker’s cloak together and crushed it beneath his cracking white boots.

“Without the manufactured symbiote and Hamsha, you’re nothing but bone and meat Wayne, how did you even conceive a plan of this pathetic magnitude would work?”
Knight Shadow tripped over himself and grasped a short golden sword. 
	“It wasn’t intended to work.”
King Steel boisterously laughed at the display of futile resilience.
	“I’m not going to launch myself at you, we’re not young and stupid anymore.”

Knight Shadow stood still with the sword at his side observing his once best friend turn rigid as his flesh and organs slide off his skeleton.
Kid in the gasmask stood over the corpse.
“Well, kid…what’s next?” He rasped.
Kid in the gasmask removed his mask, his skin shining brightly in the sun over the cracked radioactive dome.

	“The name’s Golden Boy, now melt me down into a colossal bullet and shoot me into the head of God.”

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