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Avenger Assembled

In My Dreams, I Fly

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Even with the sun up, it was a ridiculously easy matter for Jack to conceal himself against those few prying mortal eyes nearby. He was on the roof of a hangar near the extreme edge of Jordan International Airport, close by the edge of the property and deep in the heart of a little-used section that was the putative property of the national airline of Vietnam. Few people came out here, which made it perfect for his purposes. After a long, difficult couple of nights as Avenger and as himself, it was worth something to get away alone and embrace solitude. He'd fed that day, the blood of a stranger warm in his belly, and the blood in his system mixed with the darkness cast by the setting sun sent new energy coursing through his dead limbs.

I am a vampire, he thought contentedly as he rose to his feet, his footsteps nearly silent as he walked to the edge of the roof, the tarmac some three stories down. And I like it. Lacking the angst of Nightrage or the cowardice of those of his kind unwilling to face their true nature, Jack was content to bask in the knowledge of his immortality. He was earning that immortality now, every night, making up for the sins of his past and digging his way towards a better future. So why does Scarab bother me so much?

He stood at the edge of the roof, remembering the acid taste of the woman's blood between his lips. "She shouldn't trust me," Jack murmured aloud, finally, after long minutes of stillness. "I'm not to be trusted." Maybe telling her had been a mistake. Heru-Ra had spent so much time as a hero that perhaps it was difficult for the immortal champion to know what it was to be other than a man. I am not subject to human morality. He thought it, but despite his attempted assurances, he wasn't sure he believed it. It was easy to tell himself that now, when he was alone with himself and the night, the wind in his face. When he was with people, he felt like people. When he was with vampires, he felt like a vampire.

What am I? He stepped off the roof, his body collapsing into mist as the night took him. Jack rose higher and higher in the air as he soared above Freedom City, his nearly-invisible body of mist and smoke rippling in the air as the whole wonderful world of the city spread itself out before him. For a few glorious minutes there in the sky he was king of the night, an undead lord of creation floating high above a kingdom full of cattle placed there to serve his whims as a hero and feed his undead lusts.

And then the plane hit him. Jack had time to curse explosively as he was sucked into the jet's intake, the sensation certainly extremely disturbing for all that it was harmless, his misty body ejected out the rear of the engine in a few bizarre seconds, hurled away like so much exhaust as the slightly off-course Flight 430 made its way to a safe landing. Jack landed on his butt, shifting back to his regular self, as he just made out Captain Thunder guiding the plane towards its landing. The golden guardian of the skies hardly noticed the vampire on the ground, focused as he was on the plane, and maybe it was better that way.

Never a particularly egocentric guy, Jack permitted himself a hard laugh as he rose to his feet, dusting off his butt as he walked towards the fence. "Well, I guess that's humility for you." He laughed again. "Probably for the best that Melinda didn't see that." He'd tasted blood that night and survived going through a jet engine. He was right, he wasn't a man. But that didn't make him a god, either. "I'm a vampire." He walked through the chain-link fence and onto the street, a nearby scream from the airport hotel making him raise his head.

Whose work is never done! Dreams were for people who could sleep.

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