Tales from the Lonesome October: A-Man

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C. Syphrett
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Tales from the Lonesome October: A-Man

Post by C. Syphrett » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:57 pm

Tales from the Lonesome October: The Story of the Awesome Astonishing Amazing A-Man 1

The patrons of the Lonesome October quieted as the disheveled man in a green hoodie and sweat pants took the stage. He rubbed his mustache as he seemed to be collecting his thoughts. He sipped from his glass as he looked over the audience with watery eyes.

"Thanks for coming out to Story Night." He looked over the crowd again. "This is a story about a hero meeting his opposite number...

Andrew Austin Axemore had green hair he dyed brown, green eyes that he hid with contacts so they were blue, and fair skin that he tried to keep away from the sun. He had a medical condition that caused him to have a split life.

Andrew worked for the Highland Garage and Towing Service. He fixed the cars pulled in with his uncanny skill with machinery. His coworkers marveled at his speed. He worked hours into the night after everyone else had gone home.

He did that to make up for the times that he couldn't get to work on time.

Those times were when his other side had to come to the surface and do things that were off the scale. His employer, Map Highland, understood that you had to take cover in a destructive battle in the middle of town.

Since Andrew caused the destruction, he didn't want to admit that to his pudgy boss.

Andrew had gained his powers when a gamma irradiated spider had descended from outer space and implanted a green star in his brain one night while he was driving outside of Citytown. It had told him to keep the visit a secret to prevent problems with the alien powers to be.

Andrew had no problems with that but realized that he would have to dye his hair and get contacts for his eyes. The power leaked and turned both into a shade of glowing green that resembled the ocean off of Jamaica.

Andrew's new ability made him a better mechanic than he had ever been before. There was nothing he couldn't fix thanks to the green fire that enhanced him to the level of a god.

His enemies rose to challenge him from the depths of space. They all seemed intent on destroying him with their powers and weapons and taking the green fire in his head. One stood out from all of the rest.

The M-Man had stepped to the front of Andrew's rogue gallery. He had tried to commit multiple murders, thefts, and acts of random destruction. A rumor spread that his powers came from the blood of babies.

Every time the two met, the villain would try to inflict as much damage as possible to everything around him. It filled Andrew with dread when the monster invariably returned to Earth.

Their latest battle took place in winter. The trees had lost their leaves long ago. Lights were up to celebrate good cheer and peace. People rushed around to pick up gifts, or carry on business as usual when the people around them were getting in the way.

The M-Man arrived in a jet of fire. The crowds scattered from his exhaust as he smashed several storefronts. His black skin quickly lost the heat of atmospheric entry as he grinned at his potential victims as they ran from him.

The fear was the best part.

Black tentacles stabbed out from his body as he walked forward like a tree deciding to change spots in the yard. He sucked the blood from his victims in a second. The life liquid went to his internal engine. That added on another layer of thick dermis to his shell.

Policemen arrived. They opened fire with their hand weapons. He struck back with his limbs of death. He mowed them down before they had a chance to flee. Their blood added on another inch of height and girth.

The M-Man laughed. Trees and bushes close by caught fire. He looked around. He saw clots of people fleeing for the lot exits. They would add to his engine of destruction.

The ultimate weapon had been hidden on this backwater full of fuel. He planned to have it before anyone else found it. Nothing could stop him from that.

And he was going to have fun along the way while he looked for it.

The M-Man headed for the panicking humans trying to flee from it in their vehicles. He smashed in windows with his malleable limbs. Then he drained them as they tried to escape. Their cries were music to its nonexistent ears.

He scanned the air. The weapon glowed in the distance. He started marching toward it so he could claim it.

He could have flown, but enjoyed the pain and misery it was causing too much to do that.

The alien war machine paused as it wondered how else could it make these primitive tool users fear it. Maybe some channeled energy from its engine would do the trick. Setting things on fire tended to make the less advanced run even more in its opinion.

The many eyes that covered the circumference of its nubbin head glowed as the engine channeled some of its stolen energy to the nerves behind the bumps. They began to glow as the power built up in them.

Beams of light cut through the local buildings and land vehicles. Explosions marked the fuel burning off at a higher temperature than it normally had to suffer.

That was better. It lent excitement to the proceedings.

Maybe an attack on a flying vehicle would stir up some more fun for it.

A green fire attracted its attention. Someone had already discovered the ultimate weapon. They approached with it.

The M-Man smiled again. This was going faster than he thought it would. He could hardly believe his good fortune.

All he had to do was kill the green human and fly home. On the other hand, he was having so much fun, he could kill the green human and stay for a while.

He might exterminate the humans until he had his fill of their blood.

That might give him maximum size if he worked at it long enough. How many humans were there for him to drain?

There might be enough that he could gain as much mass as a mountain with beams that could cut through anything smaller than a planet. He could almost forego the weapon for that much food.

Gluttony was good but he wanted something to control his being effortlessly.

The green fire became a human wrapped in the glow of the weapon.

"As the champion of Citytown, I order you to cease and desist." The floating human pointed a digit at the M-Man to its amusement. "Return to your planet of origin."

"No." The M-Man laughed. "I like it here. It's a pastry bar for me."

"A pastry bar?" The weapon user frowned at the alien.

"That's right." Black tentacles struck.

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Re: Tales from the Lonesome October: A-Man

Post by C. Syphrett » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:58 pm

Andy Axelmore danced away from the metal appendages. He fired his green flame from his mouth as he flew in a circle. He hated the monsters that came to Earth. Maybe he should leave the planet for somewhere else.

They all seemed to be looking for the thing in his head.

His enemy shrugged off melted metal skin from the blast as it struck out again. One of the tentacles blasted the Green Gazer into the roof of the nearby shopping center. He went through to the merchandise floor in a coat of emerald flame.

Andy picked himself up, letting the green flame rebuild the damage from the impacts. That had hurt. He looked up through the hole. He needed to get that thing away from people. Looking around showed him a lot of flat bodies from where it had attacked before he arrived.

That thing used people for food like a milk shake. If it got to a really populated area of town, he would be hard pressed to contain it.

The flame built up as he leaped into the air. He needed to get the thing in a place where no one was around. Then he could wear it out with some calculated maneuvers.

Andy gauged the mass of the thing as he flew at it. He would have to get big himself if he wanted to lift it out of the parking lot.

He expanded under the power of the green flame in his brain. He felt strength pour into his muscles as his power burned through his veins.

"That is a good trick." The black mass blinked hundreds of eyes in amazement. "I had not thought the green star would allow that."

"Time for you to go home." Andy opened his mouth. Green flame sliced out in a thunderous roar. The tentacles lashed around at the melting of its body.

He grabbed one of the tentacles and pulled on it as he headed straight up. If he could get it out of Citytown, he could cut loose and kill the thing in a second.

"Take this, human." Thousands of limbs wrapped around Andy. They began to squeeze against his aura. He concentrated against the pain of being crushed. He still had to get the thing out of the city.

They broke into space. The green flame pointed to the moon. That was Andy's favorite place to have battles against the alien marauders.

He needed to break the grip on him before he was crushed. He aimed for a crater on the dark side of the moon and headed in at full speed.

Maybe smashing into rock would open its grip. He doubted that the impact itself would do anything. The alien had already survived reentry to Earth without any means to fly.

Andy shrank to normal size when he was close enough to hitting the moon. He sped through a gap that had appeared as the tentacles tried to adjust to his new size. He flew clear and left a trail of green light behind him to mark his passing.

A cloud of dust sprang from where the metal mass of death smashed against the lunar surface. Ripples of shifting ground followed for a brief second. Then everything slowly returned to normal.

The thing started trying to pull itself together to plan how it was going to deal with its flying foe.

Andy blasted it with his dragon breath as he flew around it. The fire seemed to be the only thing that hurt it. He supposed the green fire in his skull burned brighter than crashing into the atmosphere.

Why hadn't it burned his brain out by now? He had been using the flame constantly for the last two years.

Maybe his brain had burned out without him noticing it.

Andy stopped blasting when he saw his enemy employing a new tactic. He tried to backpedal to escape. He went down, buried by ugly aliens.

"I'm going to rip you apart." The alien spoke through many mouths, vibrating radio waves. "Then I will return to the pastry bar and eat my fill."

"Eat this." A giant green fist slammed the many aliens into the air to float to a landing a distance away. "You messed with the wrong guy."

"You can't stop me." The aliens all raised spiked hands. "Defeat is inevitable."

"Is that what you think?" Andy focused his vision on his enemy. "You can never beat me. You don't have the manpower for it."

The alien split again and again until it was the size of a man. Each waved spiky limbs around to show they were ready to fight.

Andy smiled. He opened his mouth and swept his green flame across the crowd. Explosions rewarded his efforts.

He frowned as more of the aliens sprang up from the debris from the ones he had blown apart. The engines were weak points but the bodies had some way to heal up from devastating attacks.

It was doing the same thing he did when under attack.

How could he beat it?

He had to find some way to contain the thing and put it somewhere it couldn't harm anybody.

How could he do that? It was already showing itself immune to everything he had thrown at it. What could kill him? That's what he had to use against it.

He hadn't tried to fly into the sun. He wasn't sure he could survive that. Could the mystery alien live through something that hot and crushing?

Andy decided he had to find out. It might be his only chance to get rid of the pain in the neck.

Tossing someone into a nuclear furnace had once seemed like overkill. Now it seemed like the perfect solution to his problem.

He wondered what the next problem would bring?

A multitude of metal fists told him he should still work on his current troubles. The cracking of bone was replaced by searing light as the green flame repaired him in an instant. He grabbed his nearest enemy and punched out his heart.

Andy felt better with that one punch, but his wounded enemy simply picked up the pieces and crammed them back in its chest.

The A-Man took three seconds to ponder his tactical situation again as he fended off multiple high speed blows. His green flame helped with shields while he used his enhanced arms to block other things.

He needed to overwhelm his enemy and put them in a bottle they couldn't escape. How could he do that?

Maybe the moon could help him with that.

Andy struck the ground. Dust covered the battlefield. He ran his green flame over the cloud, transforming it. The changed dust hit the crowd of alien death dealers and stuck like a giant spider web.

He smiled as the alien tried to break free from his trap. Now all he had to do was get rid of it. He hoped the sun was hot enough to do the job.

Andy grabbed the web and took off in a trail of flame. His enhanced muscles carried the tons easily. He paused when he felt the first pull of gravity on him. He didn't dare go any closer.

He didn't know if his flame could take the heat and crushing gravity of the sun. That would be risking too much for what he wanted to do.

The A-Man spun the web of sand around and then he released. The sun did the rest with its inexorable pull.

That should take care of that.

Aliens sprouted from the web. They stretched out in a living chain to grab at him before they traveled too far toward the sun.

Andy tried to fly out of reach to escape his enemy. He hadn't planned that. Tentacles reached out to grab him by the arms.

He blasted the metal limb to break the grip. He shifted his gaze to focus on the expanding cloud of enemies. He had to encourage them to their doom.

Andy grew one of his fists into a giant hammer. He swung from outside of the pull of the sun's gravity. The invader tried to spread out to cushion the blow and keep from being sent deeper in the solar grip.

It might have caught the solar wind to stop its fall.

The Green Gazer punched a hole through the middle of the sail, folding it in the process.

The aliens tried to spread out to form a sail he couldn't punch through. That seemed to slow its fall. It laughed. Soon it would be out of the gravity well and headed back to Earth.

Andy aimed for the asteroid belt. He grabbed the biggest rock he could carry in his jazzed up form. He headed back to where the alien spread like some weird flower in space. He flung the asteroid into it like a pitcher for the Yankees. The planetlet hit and kept going, dragging the monster with it. They both vanished in a splash of the solar ocean.

"The pastry bar is closed."

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Re: Tales from the Lonesome October: A-Man

Post by C. Syphrett » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Andy Axelmore returned to Citytown on a flash of green light. He still had things to do before he vanished back into his ordinary life again.

The first thing he had to do was help round up the dead bodies. He could do that easily with his speed and power. He was stymied by the authorities having to photograph the scene to explain what had happened to the general public.

He grabbed one of the cameras and took pictures of the scene with his super speed. He changed cards on the run as he photographed everything. He handed the photos over to the government investigators for their review.

Then he marked out a space and began clearing the flattened bodies out of the building first. The men on the scene could handle the ones on the outside while he worked. A tent was set up for reception, tagging and bagging for transport to a morgue for notification of the family.

That was something he was glad he didn't have to do. Hundreds of families would be told that their loved ones had been killed by a rampaging monster. He was glad he didn't have to be the one telling them what had happened.

Just imagining the conversation was making his stomach rebel at the thought of it.

When Andy was done carefully laying out the bags of bones for the doctors, he started repairing the damage with his green flame power. He started with the building itself where the alien had crashed into it.

His green flame made the debris dance backward to fit together as good as it had before the monster had blasted through the ceiling. Everywhere he looked, things moved on their own accord. It wasn't much, but at least he had saved the place from being condemned.

He didn't know if it would save the businesses in the place. People might avoid the place due to what had happened.

He couldn't help that. Aliens attacked. They smashed things. He zoomed in and fought them off. Collateral damage was something he tried to avoid, but knew he couldn't. His speed was only good if he had a direction to move in.

He couldn't be everywhere to fight everything. His mind wouldn't allow that.

Andy flew around the shopping center to make sure everything had been fixed right. He moved out in the parking lot. Asphalt moved back in place. Lines repainted themselves. Cars moved back into parking slots and out of the way.

Andy landed with his red cape fluttering. He frowned at the repairs he had done. The only thing out of place was the ambulances taking the bodies to the morgue. The investigators walked the scene for any clues they had missed before the repair work had started.

Andy looked out toward Citytown. It all looked so normal now compared to moments ago. How many more space monsters would he have to rip apart before they stopped coming to get the green flame from him?

He would kill any threat to his people.

The first alien he had run into had taught him that.

Andy blasted into space. He had done what he could. It was up to others to pick up the pieces. He headed for the sun. He wanted to make sure the asteroid hadn't come out the other side with the alien intact.

This enemy had been the toughest he had ever faced. He wanted to make sure it was dead before he got back to his life.

He circled the sun just outside of the gravity well. He didn't see anything that looked like a black mass of metallic death machine.

It looked like his plan had worked. He knew it would. He headed back to Earth to assume his disguise.

The M-Man floated in space quite a ways away from the sun. He had survived at a diminished capacity. It would take some time for him to heal without raw materials. Most of his abilities were out of reach.

The asteroid had struck his joined body and sent it careening toward the nuclear furnace of Sol. He was going to die. He fired part of his body away like a seed from a mushroom.

It was the only way the M-Man could think to ensure its survival.

The seed had its memories and a small engine to get it going. That was the best he could do under the circumstances.

He had known the possessor of the green flame would be a worthy opponent but had still expected to win. He hadn't thought he would be the one clinging to survival.

The main body hit the sun, trying to use the asteroid as a shell for survival. Both burned away in a matter of minutes before they reached the core of the sun. He cut the transmission to the seed so it wouldn't feel the pain it had as gravity and nuclear reactions did their destruction on its body.

The new M-Man became aware as it drifted in space. Swift calculations told him he could still be pulled back into the sun because of gravity. He had to do something about that if he wanted to live.

He spread out his body and caught part of the solar wind. He aimed for the second planet. He could skim the atmosphere for things to make modifications to his body to make it spaceworthy again.

Then he would try a subtler approach. Trying brute force again was asking for more trouble now that he knew the owner of the green flame knew how to use the energy in the weapon.

He would have to think of a better way to get what it wanted.

Then it would eat all it wanted at the pastry bar. It could grow big enough to challenge other systems lords and take their extraordinary engines.

The galaxy would bow to its power.

"That's time." The bartender pointed to the clock on the wall. "It's closing time."

The man in the green hoodie nodded at the announcement.

"Thanks for listening to my story." He waved at the audience, finished his drink and headed for the front door.

"The hero has the same name as you do, Andy?" One of the audience members asked as he passed.

"I couldn't think of anything original." Andy brushed some of his brown hair away from his face. He smiled. "I have to go."

He paused at the door, looking at the others who were getting up to leave. He smiled again at something he had seen that had struck him as funny. He stepped outside the bar.

Andy walked away from the Lonesome October. He pulled up his green hood. Flame wrapped around him. His clothes became a red cape, purple and gray shirt and pants. His eyes spouted little columns of flame as he walked.

He looked up at the night sky. He blasted away from Gull City like a rocket. The world became a blue dot under him before it vanished from a lesser sight than what he possessed.

He breached the Oort Cloud and kept going into the galaxy beyond. He headed for a world he had adopted as his own out there on the other side of the galactic arm. It needed him more than Earth did.

He had erased his presence on Earth to cover the fact that he had ever existed there. No one on his new home knew where he was from. He kept it that way to stave off attacks to people who would be used as hostages if his connection to them became known.

His new world was more than capable of defending itself from the alien threats that wanted his green power for themselves. He was just another guy there.

He just couldn't cut the cord to his homeworld. It was like visiting your family on a holiday. So every now and then, he walked the city of his birth and listened to some stories from others. He wondered how many were as true as his.

He focused his attention on his new home. He poured on the speed. There were still things that needed his particular abilities to get the job done.

He broke into hyperspace as the Lonesome October closed its doors. He descended on his new home as the bartenders started cleaning after story night. He saved someone's life as they locked up for the night and headed for their cars in the lot.

Andy smiled.

The end.

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