By: Charles Frempong-Longdon
The scared body of a war torn man sat himself firmly on the cold wooden chair out looking a collection of stern glares. His name was Asher James Banks and he was an “Uncanny” man. He was tall around 6’5 in height with the large muscular build of a linebacker. His dark brown hair slid to a perfect swagger and laid upon his head in a magnificent manner. His prominent American jaw brought instant attention to his face, which like most of his features was in perfect condition.
A.J wore a dark charcoal suit with a thin red tie and a white dress shirt, to his left a man with a grayish goatee and a young blond woman sat comfortably admiring the confidence of their colleague. To his right three other men sat each of them with a different degree of confidence. The first man was a tanner version of A.J eccentrically dressed in a pink checkered blazer and white slacks, he smiled with glee as a camera flashed.
The next man in line was much shorter then the others almost boyish in appearance, he sat slightly annoyed in a light gray suit. Finally a long lanky man with a beak of a nose occupied the end; his bony hands shook violently as noise began to clutter the room. The large room was a court room. It was filled to the brim with rabid photographers and skeptical viewers.
A large grouping of judges and National officials faced the panel of “Uncanny” men with glares of distrust. Asher cleared his throat and looked over to his shaking companion.
“Hey Gerald calm down everything is gonna be alright.”
The boyish looking man gave him a slight scowl.
“Damnit Asher do you honestly think this is how I want to spend my Saturday?”
Asher chuckled and opened his mouth to protest but was soon cut off by the blaring voice of the prosecution.
“Fifty-nine counts of arson, twenty counts of vandalism, ten counts of grand theft auto, three counts of disorderly conduct, and one count of fraud. All the evidence we have received today leads us to believe the defendant is a public abomination! Take for example the date of September 24, 1986…our defendant Captain Bomber refuses a military order which leads to the death of an entire troop of brave American men. The crimes of The Crimson Comet, The Iron Eagle, and Argent Butler are even more extensive and in my opinion disruptive towards American life.”
“Bullshit!” the eccentrically dressed man yelped.
He stood from his set raising his toned arm in remonstration.
“I spent half my life protecting the American way while you assholes sit here and bitch about the property damage!”
“Mr. Comet you’re out of order!” the judge yelled.
The eccentric man slammed his large fist against the thick table.
“Just you wait asshole! Years from now you’re gonna regret putting us through this bullshit!”
The judge laughed. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Twenty Years Ago
August 21, 1990, The Banks Estate, Manhattan, NY
“Good evening my fellow citizens… I stand before you today, speaking on behalf of the entire United States. A republic in which I have witnessed the greatest images of peace and democracy…a land of outstanding bystanders and even more remarkable volunteers.
I am extremely displeased to announce to you, my faithful public, that today at exactly 4:00 am Pacific Time the U.S.S Liberty Bell was shot down over Pakistan…after hours of reviewing final radio feeds…we the United States Government are sad to inform you that at 8:00 am on August the 21st sixty two men were killed by the enemy forces of Pakistan.
The U.S.S Liberty Bell began patrolling the sky above Pakistan on August the 16th of this year. We informed the Palestinian government that we had no intentions of engaging them in any act of warfare. At 3:47 am Pacific Time U.S radio operators received a distress call from Captain Eugene Mayo from aboard the Liberty Bell…the brave men and women aboard the 2 ton airship fought courageously for 10 minutes.
After which their engines began to fail…my fellow Americans…we have witnessed today an unforgivable act of defiance toward the American people. We as citizens have an unshakable duty to support our country…that is why I ask for your support in entering the United States of America into War to fight against the tyranny of the new communist republic.
From today onward we will break all ties with President Krazar and the Liberated Republic of Russia, and engage the new Soviet Union in war…As a country we can not trust officials like Mr. Krazar and other world diplomats that conspire with the Palestinian forces in order to eliminate the American way.
The United States military is currently taking actions to reengage Mr. Krazar…in combat and in rivalry as a world power…We as a people…of the proud and the brave…can not let the forces of a villainous Pakistan strike fear into our hearts! We must never let them take our hope…our spirit…our love for our country…communism, fascism, racism! All are words of hate, which we the American People have rejected!
I stand here speaking on behalf of the greatest country on earth. A beacon of light in this corrupt world…the United States of America is confident in our effort; we hope that the combined force of the “Silver Bullet” and the Crimson Comet can help end this war as quickly as possible. With the combined forces of our American superheroes we hope to bring justice to the Middle East.
My fellow Americans I promise you…that with every thing that makes me an American…I will see to it that this war is successful. I will see to it that the lives of the brave men and women of the U.S military are cared for in the most respectable way possible. I ask only of you…the citizens of the greatest country on the planet…that you be brave…and that you support your troops. Thank you and goodnight.”
A tall muscular man sat quietly staring at his large television. His dark eyes stood immobilized in his head staring blankly at the dim light in the dark room. His name was Asher Jameson Banks and he was a superhero. His dark room was lined with ancient memorabilia from the sixties and old news paper clippings. The dim aura shot through the paper like shards of glass scattering beams of light across the dark room. He sighed; A.J Banks was a member of a dying breed. Uncanny men did not exist anymore.
Surrounding him was a grouping of leather chairs and books scattered across the wooden floor. To his right a large statue of an eagle towered above a pile of documents as it glared scarily in the dark room. In the center of it all he sat on a leather recliner, his feet up and his head resting comfortably on a pillow. The white pillow had one large stain in the center of it that resembled the letter A and on the sides a thin red lining could be seen outlining the pillow.
He had the complication of a war-torn man, but he couldn’t have been a day over 20. His brown hair was cut neatly like a politician, his beard shaved rugged, and his brown eyes fixed firmly on the screen. His vision was firmly fixed on the aggravating image in front of him. The warm smell of bourbon oozed from his pores and strangled the room in a dizzy state of disillusion. To the unknowing eye Asher was not by any means a true hero. He drank, he swore, and he hated government. Yet somehow above it all the rugged man loved his country.
Asher burbled and brooded until; finally his fester was interrupted by a phone call, the shrill hiss of the ring echoing in his ear.
“Argent…Argent phone! Damnit!”
He called once more for the unknown figure, and then arose from his seat in a fuss. He jogged lightly and picked up the phone. It sat on a large mahogany table right in front of a large staircase that led to A.J’s bedroom. Behind the table was the front door which was mysteriously open a crack.
“A.J Banks speaking, may I ask who this is?”
He patiently waited as the other end of the phone stayed silent. He sighed and began to hang the phone up but a faint voice stopped him.
“Hello Captain Bomber how are you this evening?”
Asher pulled away from the receiver thinking rapidly as he did so, a heavy wave of anxiety crashed over him.
“Excuse me?” A.J replied loudly into the phone, his forehead began to sweat.
“This is the Banks estate correct?” The faint voice asked calmly.
A.J frowned to himself and thought, his eyes narrowed and become glassy. He moved back from the table in which the phone was held and scratched his thick hair with his large hand. A.J began searching the large room for any visitors, but his efforts were useless.
“Yes, that is correct, but I can assure this Captain Bomber fellow doesn’t live here.” A.J retorted sharply.
“Mr. Bomber may we please skip the cat and mouse game.”
A.J paused, thinking carefully about his next reply. He raised an eyebrow as he began to make up a lie to the speaker.
“Sir, I’m telling you once more this is the residence of Dr. A.J Banks…you may have heard of me through that, but I am in no way a superhero…just a regular guy doing my job.” A.J recited smoothly.
“It’s not very often that you find a doctor with bullet proof windows.”
The hair on A.J’s neck stood up in a violent rush he scanned the room again and saw a crack in one of his windows. He snarled and began blaring into the phone.
“Listen you, I’m telling you I don’t know who the hell your talking about!”
A.J was now bubbling with fury his skin turned hot as his blood rose. A.J brought his large fist down instantly crushing the wooden table, sending sharp splinters of wood flying.
“Mr. Bomber sir, we aren’t contacting you to make threats. I will admit calling you at your residency was slightly irresponsible, but my employer has a business preposition for you. As for the bullet in your window it was just a means of testing your senses.”
“Who do you work for?” A.J yelled into the phone.
He stood breathing heavily as he awaited a reply from the other side of the phone. His fist was now made of wood like the table had just touched. After a few moments the rest of his skin blended into wood.
“That’s not important. What is important is that we come to an understanding on your interest towards this business venture.” The faint voice said snottily.
“Alright, I get it you know who I am! The answer is no!”
A.J barked into the phone and began to hang it again.
“Helleva spot were in now isn’t it? You know with the Liberty Bell crashing like that…what if I told you there was a way to punish Pakistan without starting a war?” the faint voice said lustfully.
A.J paused, “…How?” He was highly suspicious.
“The organization we work for isn’t under United States supervision, we have the freedom to go wherever and do whatever we please.”
A.J turned to face the source of an alternate voice. The new voice was soft and smooth compared to the male tone. A.J felt a sensual vibe from it and his thoughts were confirmed when he found himself gazing into the eyes of a tan bare naked woman. He gulped slowly and set down the phone. A.J smiled as the tan woman giggled slightly and returned the favor. She lay naked sprawled on a leather sofa near his main door. The TV screen still glared from the living room. A loud infomercial had crept across the screen but A.J stayed focused on the marvelous woman.
“It seems as though I’ve acquired your full attention Captain.” The sensual woman purred.
“Haha very impressive miss?” A.J paused in his sentence.
The woman arose from the sofa and extended her small hand. It had a large scar stretching from her index knuckle to her wrist. She grinned as she noticed A.J’s sight path.
“Macy Dixon at your service…your every service.”
A.J chuckled softly to himself and walked closer to his seductive visitor.
“Keep talking, I just became very interested in this business venture.” A.J smiled.
The woman smiled back and touched his forehead with her finger. Suddenly he awoke. As his eyes shot open he gasped deeply realizing the vivid reality was just an illusion. He took one final violent gasp of air and grabbed at his now moist forehead. A.J shook wildly, a sharp chill creeping slowly up his spine. His pupils darted back and forth tracing the surroundings in the room. He found himself in a black suit in a bright white room. The room had no furniture besides two small white chairs. He sat in one and across from him sat the tan woman, who was now fully clothed. She grinned slightly and began to speak.
“Don’t worry we didn’t drug you. In fact you’re still in your mansion in Manhattan. My associates and I found it more appropriate for us to discuss our preposition in a suspended mental state…I hope that is fine with you.” The woman said with a smile.
“You want me to join some government organization and go attack Pakistan?” A.J asked dryly as he regained his composure.
“Not quite, but the idea is essentially the same.” The woman spoke with solid confidence.
“So if you not with the government then who the hell do you work for?” Bomber inquired.
“You ask a lot of questions for a human projectile I took you for the brains and no brawn type.” Macy joked.
“I went to Yale actually.”
Macy gave an unimpressed grin.
“Isn’t that cute? 4.0?”
“2.9…pretty extra ordinary for an alcoholic.” Bomber replied.
“You’re an alcoholic?”
“Ha, well I don’t know what else you can call it.” Bomber teased.
“From the looks of this whole situation, with the whole white room thing I’m guessing you’re like me?” A.J questioned with delight.
“I’m a thinker Bomber, from the looks of it you’re a frat boy in a man’s body.”
“How harsh of you.” Bomber retorted sarcastically.
“My apologies let me explain. My company is more life a freelance agency…while you work for the government we work for cliental.” Macy explained.
“So you want me to be a hero for hire? That’s what you do? You’re a hero for hire?” A.J bumbled loudly.
“Exactly, well done Frat Boy well done!” Macy squeaked.
“So you’re telling me people hire you to save the day and stuff like that? They just give you money to do “Legal” things? Or is this some kind of crime ring?”
“Do I look like a criminal to you?” Macy asked.
Bomber sighed and scratched his head.
“There has to be some kind of catch…have you guys already talked to the Crimson Comet about this?”
“The Comet is an egotistically jackass.” Macy spat.
Bomber raised a curious brow.
“What’s it going to be Bomber? Do you want apart of this? It could possibly be the best choice of you lifetime.
“No contract? No strings attached?” Bomber asked.
Macy arose from her chair and walked over to A.J she sat in the center of his lap and stroked his chin.
“I’m not one for boundaries.” She whispered seductively.
A.J smiled and gazed into Macy’s eyes she grinned back. In his mansion the body of A.J Banks lay grinning widely on a large sofa eyes shut firmly. Over the top of him stood a tall white haired man and the real Macy. She smiled down at his limp body.
“I like him he’s charming.” Macy whispered softly to the grey haired man.
The white haired man frowned and whispered.