“But Daniel,” mocked Director Lehrer, “it’s okay, Michael, you can call me Daniel, but Daniel, where was Atomic Power? The media said he stopped Blowtorch and Iron Curtain.”
Lehrer looked down at the unconscious Michael. “I’m glad you asked. You see, when Atomic Power arrives to a scene, everything changes. You should have seen him in action, he had gravitas like no other, even Judge couldn’t come close. He was the ultimate hero and weapon that everyone loved, at least, until he exploded and incinerated thousands of people.”
“But there was so much more to him than anyone knew,” Lehrer said as he sat down in the stool next to Michael’s bed, “he wasn’t even Enhanced, Michael, he was Evolved, just like you. I won’t bore you with the details, but his evolution was carefully planned by some of the greatest scientific minds…,” Daniel paused before breaking out in laughter, ” unlike you, you were just an accident like an oops baby. Once I’m done with you, your evolution will change the future of the world.”
Daniel grinned at Michael. “But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes, Atomic Power finally arrived on-scene…”
* * *
“Agent Lehrer,” said one of the officers, “they’re moving.”
“What?” Daniel said as he peeked over the wall. Iron Curtain had moved back to the vehicle that Blowtorch was reentering. They were going to try and make a run for it and Thomas had the only car not destroyed by Iron Curtain or firebombed by Blowtorch.
“This is Agent Lehrer,” yelled Daniel over the radio, “Suspects are starting to move in a white vehicle. Keep away from the vehicle. We don’t have anything that can stop them.”
As the vehicle started to move, Iron Curtain walked along the far side of it using the car and his partner as moving cover. Some officers tried to return fire but Iron Curtain was still strafing the area with bullets while Blowtorch ignited anything flammable with a hand out of the driver side window..
Daniel heard a jet overhead. Was the military getting involved? As the noise got closer, he could make out the familiar flaming green streaks in the sky. Atomic Power had arrived.
* * *
Atomic Power heard the radio traffic through his helmet, the signal beamed to him through commercial and military satellites. Rather than his gentle, soft approach to a hover a few feet above the ground, he power dived and slammed into the asphalt in front of a surprised Blowtorch who suddenly stopped the car.
“Hey pendejo,” Blowtorch said as he reverted to his native Spanish and stepped out of the car. “I was wondering when you were going to show up.” Atomic Power was a mystery. No one knew anything about him, much less heard him talk. Some were not even sure he was human. And he just made a huge hole in the street.
“Ponga sus manos donde las pueda ver!” shouted Atomic Power. Blowtorch cocked his head. Atomic Power spoke native Spanish, not Mexican but definitely South American.
“¿No Espanol? How about this, Blowtorch? Power down and keep your hands where I can see them. Now!” demanded Atomic Power. These two Enhanced had just destroyed an entire city block and killed at least a dozen people. He was not in the mood to be gentle with them.
“No can do, A P. I’m not going back to the hole.”
Atomic Power scanned the scene for threats as Blowtorch snarled at him. The fire elementalist was cocksure, but too weak to take him on by himself, so he must have reinforcement nearby. As Blowtorch took an aggressive step towards him, Atomic Power turned his head to brace for an attack.
“Now!” the elementalist yelled.
The hidden Iron Curtain swung the white getaway car like a bat, their signature move in cage fights. Blowtorch ducked under the car as it struck Atomic Power. The green Enhanced bounced several times off the street and crashed into an old photo booth turned locksmith in the strip mall parking lot. Several civilians and police officers crouched behind the booth for cover were covered in wood and metal panels.
“Please, stay here. I will handle them,” Atomic Power said without any sense of fear or doubt. The police officers cheered as they helped the others trapped under the wreckage to get free. Atomic Power stood up and flew back at Blowtorch.
“Kick their ass!” one of the police detectives shouted.
Atomic Power was fast, too fast for Blowtorch to hit with his powers before a green armored glove grabbed him by the throat. He was angry now, the green glow pulsing throughout his armored suit. Blowtorch felt his feet leave the ground.
“You are under arrest!” Atomic Power said definitively. These criminals were only delaying the inevitable now and risking everyone else in the process. But he was not ready yet to use deadly force on them unless they threatened a mundane.
An animal-like roar diverted Atomic Power’s attention as Iron Curtain charged to save his partner. Atomic Power dropped the near-unconscious Blowtorch to the ground and raised his hand. A bright beam of green energy struck the approaching tank and launched him backwards through the cinderblock wall to the side of the bank.
Iron Curtain had never felt anything like that kind of power before as the wind was knocked out of him. The wall was a mere inconvenience compared to the pressure and heat of the plasma beam. The stories were completely true about Atomic Power. He was beyond anyone else. Iron Curtain looked around in panic, hoping the dust and debris obscured Atomic Power’s view of him. He was in the alleyway next to the bank. There was nothing he could do against Atomic Power to save his partner but he could flee. He would escape and seek revenge on every LAPD officer he could find. Iron Curtain turned east and ran as fast as he could.