Spirals of Fate: Chapter Four (Shadows of the Future) – Part One

Spirals of Fate is a serialized
work of fiction centering on the intellectual property of City of Heroes and
City of Villains. Chapter One centered on two villains, Vincent and Mara, and
their breakout from the Zigg, a prison used to house those with super powers.
They met another villain named Mosaic and the three headed for Arachnos flyers
and freedom. Chapter 2 explored the perspective of the young heroes called to
defend their city from the rising tide of crime.

In Chapter 3 Part 1, Mosaic,
Vincent and Mara arrive at an Arachnos-held area only to encounter violence from
other prisoners. In Chapter 3 Vincent, Mara and Mosaic arrive at the Arachnos
base and are drawn into the web of villainy.


Spirals of Fate: Chapter Four
(Shadows of the Future) – Part One

By Michael Lafferty and Matthew
Eberle

Snowman had to
fight the urge to grab his hair in both hands and begin pulling it out. Then he
realized he didn’t have any hair and what he really wanted to do was grab the
hair of the youthful superhero standing in front of him and begin pulling his hair
out. But he knew that would be stepping over the limits, something he was
addressing with his ‘teammate’ at that very moment.

The massive man took a deep
breath and tried counting slowly to ten. “Ok, let’s go over this again,” he said
in a strained voice. “We were fighting those five Blood Brothers …“

“Yeah, we were,” Charger
interrupted quickly. “They were trying to boost that old Saturn when we saw
them.”

Snowman glared at the young
man beside him and decided that maybe pacing was a good idea. He took several
purposeful steps away before his heavy boots made a crystalline crunch. Paul’s
eyes slowly close and he took another deep breath. “And we decided to stop
them,” Snowman continued. “That I understand. We had three of them either out
cold or disabled quickly …“

“Those punches of yours sure
do some damage, don’t they?” Charger said with a grin. “Look, if you want to see
the footage my armor recorded we can go find a TV or something and hook it up.”

“No, that’s Ok,” Snowman
said stiffly. He listened to the heavy rumble as the tow truck began pulling out
of the parking lot. There was a tinkling sound as some more glass fell onto the
concrete and shattered as the car it was pulling bounced off the slight curb
separating the lot from the street. “So we were containing the situation.
Everything was under control.”

“No,” Charger said heatedly.
“One of those punks pulled out a gun!”

“I’m bulletproof, Charger!”
Snowman snapped. “For that matter, so are you in that armor. Right?”


“But Lumiare isn’t!” He was
pointing one finger straight at the woman who was quietly conversing with the
police officers who had arrived on the scene a few minutes ago. Snowman glanced
over at their teammate. The two police officers were trying to hide behind her
slim figure, watching the argument between the two heroes with varying degrees
of concern. “The punk was aiming at her instead of you or me,” Charger
continued. “That’s why I let him have it with a wide-angle beam from my
gauntlets. If he got off a round I wanted to have at least some chance to hit
the bullet. Maybe knock it off course or something.”

“A wide-angle beam?? You
realize that the ‘wide-angle beam’ totaled the very same property we were trying
to protect?” the look on his face was a mild anger coupled with disbelief at the
callousness destruction.

“It was either the car or my
partner …” Charger stated forcefully. “… and excuse me, but I chose my partner!”

He turned his
back and strolled purposely over to the police officers to give his input into
their report, leaving Snowman standing there, again looking for something to
crunch or pull out.

Lumiare could see the
disgruntled and somewhat frustrated look on Snowman’s face and wandered over,
knowing full well that she might get an earful of rant. She was right.

“I can’t work with that
young kid …”

“Paul, he’s almost the same
age as you are.”

“… he is a glory-hound, just
out for himself, not the team …”

“He was doing what he
thought best – as in watching both our backs.”

“… with no respect or
concept of the abilities of others …”

“What’s the real problem
here, Paul?”

“… I mean, how do you expect
me to do my job when everything that comes close gets knocked to kingdom-come by
his beams! …”

“Ah, so that is what is
bothering you.”

“… how am I supposed to do
my job when …”

“But I thought you were
fundamentally opposed to inflicting violence on others.”

The rant stopped
mid-thought. Snowman turned to alternately look shocked and then glare at
Lumiare.

“I am,” he protested.

“Then why be upset when
Charger does something that allows you to NOT use your physical strength and
saves you from projecting violence,” Lumiare asked.

Snowman opened his mouth,
then closed it, then repeated the process – several times.

“Is that your
fish-out-of-water impersonation?” Lumiare inquired, “or your
man-without-rebuttal emote?”

… to
be continued
In Chapter 4, Part 2 Mara, Vincent and Mosaic prepare for the bank job.

 

This is a fictional story is
based on the intellectual property of City of Heroes and City of Villains. That
property was used as a backdrop for this story with the permission of both Ncsoft and Cryptic Studios. While this story uses that world as a backdrop, it
is not meant to reflect either gameplay or storylines with the massively
multiplayer online world. Some of the images used with Spirals of Fate have been
taken from the game and modified to suit the illustrative purposes of this
story. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.