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Silvered Thunders


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Some weeks saw the Emissary taking up more focused patrols through the city than others. He liked to make himself an active presence in the West End, it was pleasing to him to take in the sheer, widely diverse cultures that clustered within it. By the same token, that enjoyment gave him something of a protective impulse of the area, and he kept an eye out for the crime that too often plagued it, warding against the more malign influences of the organizations based in the nearby Greenbank that saw the West End as fertile ground for recruits and victims alike.

He had made his way through much of the city already, and the late afternoon found him sitting on one of the taller apartment buildings, his legs dangling over the edge. If patrols like these were something of a luxury as far as his ambassadorial duties, then today was a double indulgence. He had contacted Captain Wonder about joining him on patrol, hoping to see the hero eased into the city's rhythm of superheroics, and really, to have them do something productive instead of just the Emissary pestering him with various questions. Oh, he was still going to pester him with various questions, he just wanted them to do something productive at the same time.

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For his part, Fred Fawcett has enjoyed a lovely macrobiotic lunch of bean dip, couscous, and the other Arabic food he can only get in decent quantities at the West End. At a vigorous 78, the exercise and food are what keep him going on days like today. Busy with the afternoon paper, it's not until he looks up and actually catches a glimpse of a silver figure on the roof that he remembers what he's supposed to do today. Ah, ghaban! He pays his bill and carefully wanders down the street into a convienient alley, checking his surroundings carefully before speaking his magic word. With a flash of light and noise, a bolt of divine solar plasma transforms the frail figure of an old man into the captain of the sun and stars.

He takes to the air as if he was born there, gold and white cape fluttering behind him in the breeze, and heads straight for the last place he saw Emissary.

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He slid up to his feet on catching Captain Wonder's approach out of the corner of his eye, did a last minute check and tug of his costume into neat arrangement, and waved cheerfully when the Captain came into full view.

"Good afternoon! I'm pleased you were able to make it."

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"I wouldn't have missed this for the world," says Wonder with a smile. "It's been a long time since I've shared the sky with anyone. Where do you like to make your rounds?" He's a little embarassed at the lie, but he hides it well. After all, it's not really a lie, it's just...a sign of aging. And he doesn't have that problem when he's Captain Wonder, anyway.

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"I find that the worst of what slinks in from Greenbank waits to do so until cover of evening, and so usually I start at the opposite end of the district and make my way over as I circle the streets."

He pauses.

"And also, there is a very lovely pastry shop along the way of doing so, but that is something of an ocassional side benefit."

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"The worst scum always comes out at night," agrees Wonder without a trace of hesitation. The knowledge that Emissary eats is a novelty, but the Captain is polite enough not to actually bring it up. "At least you don't see as much supernatural riffraff as you used to. Did Envoy ever tell you about that Nazi vampire we tangled with in Europe?"

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A delighted sort of interest shines in his eyes at the Captain's words.

"In fact he did not, much of our time was spent in orientation towards my wider purpose, it left less time for such tales than I would have liked. I would love to hear it though."

He began to hover upwards as he spoke.

"As we set forwards, mind you."

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Once they're in the air, Wonder tells Emissary the story of the wicked Count Orloff, the Nazi vampire who bedeviled the Liberty League for years. "Bowman, the original, mind you, finally put him down with a wooden arrow through the heart." Wonder narrates and flies with the practice of a man used to both. "Those were simpler times. Nowadays, everyone would probably want to redeem the tragic monster, or some malarkey like that." He shoots a look at Emissary, thinking back over his earlier words. "So he didn't tell you much about the old days? About the League?"

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His expression seemed thoughtful as he replied.

"I would suppose to say, I certainly have a belief in rehabilitation, but, it could only occur after.. ahm.."

His gaze went distant and off into the horizon for a moment as he considered the story of the vampire.

"A rather astronomically lengthy number of life sentences, even for the undead. Who I would suppose at that, and especially in wartime, operate under different battle considerations as is. It is sorrowful though, he could have used his immortality to be a living record of the sweep and shift of human history and culture and bear the wisdom of that knowledge to others, instead of squandering it how you describe him as having done. I think that such a service would be invaluable to mankind's development. To help overcome an unfortunate tendency to disregard history's teachings. I think that is one of the finer things my own society can offer, if they can but emerge more fully."

He blinked as he halted himself from trailing off any further on that very wistful tangent before it entirely overtook him.

"But you were asking as to my knowledge of such times. My father shared with me what he could when time allowed for my questions, and when he could include it as part of my lessons besides. On history, on heroism, on how to be of help in this world, as part of coaxing out wisdom from the gathered consciousness that birthed mine. But there were many lessons to be learned, and much preparation to be done, and only so much time to do it in. I know a fair bit as to the shape of the League, about those within and associated with it, and of the time in which it formed, but much of the specific legendry of it eludes me, I must say."

Something caught his attention as he looked down and grinned.

"There is actually a child's cat stuck in a tree. How uncommon."

He then frowned immediately.

"I take no pleasure in that cat's fear and anxiety, I assure you! I just enjoy the rarer moments of a more benign sort of assisstance rendered."

He was about to angle downwards, and following his gaze, there was a parkette below, complete with brightly coloured jungle gym that children hurled themselves along back and forth, a small sandbox where toddlers dumped castles out from buckets, and a small boy wailing for Mr Whiskers to come down, loud enough to drown out the small orange cat's own scared yowling. It did at least look like the cat had large enough whiskers to merit the name.

"Do you wish to take this up yourself?"

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Wonder looks down at the crying cat and child, a look of pity on his face. "Poor kid. Sure thing." He drops down to the level of the treetops, and decides to indulge a little flair for the dramatic. "Fear not, my lad! I'll save Mr. Whiskers!" he calls down to the boy before dipping down into the trees to reach for the little orange cat. "Be ready to catch him if he jumps down!" he calls up to Emissary, with the air of a man who's done this particular difficult task before.

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The Emissary lands down at the foot of the tree, looking up and waiting, while Captain Wonder finds the cat desperate enough for hope of rescue to leap right up into his arms.

Meanwhile, children throughout the playground have all dropped what they were doing to rush over at the sight of the two heroes, outright gaping.

The Emissary, of course, gives them a cheerful little wave.

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"Good kitty, good kitty..." Captain Wonder pets the cat, glad that invulnerable skin helps discourage those needle-sharp claws from sinking into his arm. An alarmed cat is an armed cat, as the kids say. With the kitten in his arms, Wonder descends down to ground level to hand Mr. Whiskers over to his owner, gently disengaging the frightened cat from his sleeve.

"You take good care of that cat, son!" He smiles at the boy. "Remember, when you've got a pet, you've gotta watch him as good as your mama does." His accent does seem thicker around little kids.

"Wow!" replies the little boy, hugging his cat tight as it climbs up onto his shoulders. "Thank you, Captain Thunder!" He smiles at Emissary too, obviously a well-brought up fellow.

Wonder blinks, a visible sigh in the shape of his shoulders, before he bends down and grins at the boy in a downright grandfatherly fashion. "I gotta a secret for ya. I know I look a lot like that other guy, but my real name is Captain Wonder. I was a superhero when your grampa was a little boy!" He seems to have a way with little kids, and the boy does not look displeased at the correction.

"I'm gonna go tell my momma Captain Wonder and Emissree saved Mr. Whiskers!"

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The Emissary chuckles just a little at the scene.

"I suppose at least it is something that that young Bolt fellow is not famous as well."

He then feels a bit of a tug on his cape from the tiny hands of one of the more daring children, he blinks and turns to look, crouching down to face a young girl, talking to him a bit above a whisper.

"What's it like to fly?"

The Emissary pauses, taking up that usual thoughtful look of his, and seems on the verge of saying something, but instead gently lifts the girl up to piggyback onto his shoulders before speaking.

"Would you hold your arms up and out please miss?"

She does so through her suprise, and then the pair of them are off, circling the playground a few times at an elevation just above it at a brisk enough speed, her arms reaching forwards in place of the Emissary's, helping to hold her in place as he is.

"In my experience, you should also start saying 'zoom!', I think it helps."

A firm nod, though his passenger of sorts is too busy laughing and whooping in delight to manage it.

"Hm, fair enough. Zoom!" says the Emissary with a smile, landing back with her soon after and setting her back on the ground as gently as before.

And with that, as though a dam holding them back had broke, the kids all begin to clamour and jump for their own rides to the Emissary and Captain both.


A helplessly apologetic look to Captain Wonder as they are more closely surrounded.

"Well.. we do have a while until sunset...?"

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"C'mon, little sprouts, ya gotta form a line!" Wonder obviously has some experience with kids, and he does his best to get them all lined up in a neat and orderly fashion for their times up in the air. Some of the kids are still calling him Captain Thunder, but at this point it doesn't seem to bother him. Some of them know his real name by now. He takes up two at a time, a kid under each arm, and with the casual ease of a man from another era flies alarmingly high with them before zipping back down.

"Forget patrolling for a while!" He calls to Emissary, "This is why the world needs heroes!"

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The Emissary was already laughing and enjoying himself, ferrying the children through the air as they took their turns and smiling happily to see their dazzled wonder at the act. His silver body shimmered in the afternoon sun as he sketched the ocassional light and graceful loop or spiral.

But eventually that sun did begin to dip towards the horizon, and while the Emissary's very polite cough and reminder that the children had school tomorrow met with a chorus of groans, they ran along home smiling all the same.

He sighed contentedly as he watched them go.

"On the isle.. in my home, it is more common, flight. Belts, everyday vehicles, the like. Enough that it is perhaps a bit taken for granted by some. To see the wonder and awe in their eyes.. it is rewarding. It is one of the many marvels I know will one day be theirs to own, and waiting out there for them is the sheer joy of newly achieving that, a potential of miracles humanity reaches ever more closely towards each day. One that I am here.. one that I hope to help guard and guide them towards."

He shakes his head.

"I do not mean to verge off into tangents of personal philosophy. Do you wish to continue on?"

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Wonder looks down at the milling crowd, the setting sun casting an orange glow on the gold trim of his uniform. "I remember the first time I ever heard of a superhero. I wasn't a lot older than some of those boys, and it..." He shakes his head. "It was all I wanted." He hesitates a moment, then adds, "That's where the name came from, Emissary. The power of wonder. But you didn't come along just to hear an old man talk about the past. Sure, let's go."

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He looks briefly embarassed at the last of the Captain's words, if only a little, rubbing the back of his head.

"Well.. actually... "

He trails off into a shrug and a good natured smile, taking aloft back into the sky overhead.

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Wonder is up in the sky with Emissary silently for several moments before he admits, "Getting old is a hard thing, Emissary. Even for a superhero." He looks down at the city below, feeling oddly maudlin in the company of the contemporary hero he likes the best. "It's a hard thing to be forgotten. But those kids down there will remember me, and you, and they'll try their best to be like us."

His faith in the situation sounds solid, and he turns to the Emissary with a challenging smile on his face. "I broke the sound barrier a month before the Red Eagle, you know, and six years before Yeager. How fast you flying these days?"

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He grins.

"Actually I have improved my flight time some in my training, not quite to that point without great strain, but certainly to a significant degree.."

He looked thoughtful.

"On average I would say, 500 miles per hour or thereabouts."

The sun finally dipped below the horizon as they flew, and soon the night sky glimmered with a field of stars. The Emissary's gaze as it drifted about seemed to catch on something, and he frowned lightly, beginning to arc downwards.

Anyone following his gaze would see a group of five men heading into a local bodega that looked to be closing up for the evening, a pair of them towering at equal height over the others, features obscured in long coats. At the sight of them, what was likely the store owner, an elderly man sweeping out the front, had pushed up his glasses nervously, and quickly scurried inside.

"I.. do not like the look of this. There have been some stories going around in this area that have disturbed. Hrm."

His gaze becomes entirely analytical.

"I am going to head into the store through the front. If you could sweep around come in through the back while I do so? If something untoward is going on, their attention will thus be drawn to me, giving you more options."

"And.. if this is simply a very misaimed hunch, we will instead perhaps buy many packs of gum. Or skittles."

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Like any hero formed in the fires of the 1940s, Captain Wonder enjoys beating up street thugs, especially when they threaten innocent shopkeepers. "I'm on it," he agrees, sounding more like a soldier than a hero for a moment. He's been in this situation more than once. He dives down low to the alley, where the steel fire door is happily unlocked even at this late hour, and carefully pushes his way inside the store.

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The Emissary has in the interim landed in the front of the store, striding forwards, pushing the door open, and essentially presenting himself to the room.

With Captain Wonder arriving nearly at the same time, both take in something a bit stranger than the usual convenience store hold up.

The owner is behind his counter, aged hands shakily levelling an old looking shotgun at the group, most of whom sneer and laugh, even as they do so behind their pet giants, each in a stance mirroring the other in an eerie, perfect unison, outstretched arms pointed at the shopkeeper, dead eyed stares focused down on him.

"What do you think that pea shooter's gonna do old man! These boys are hardcore hi tech Foundry! You people bring this on yourselves when you think you can get organized and do without us."

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Emissary takes in the situation quickly on entering the store, in motion as a silver blur even as the frown at the threats creases his lips. Knowing the potential for harm to come as a collateral to violence and to be taken as a hostage, he first grabs for the old man, gently as he can manage in such circumstances. He circles the arc of his flight so that it takes him back to the entrance through which the elderly shopkeep is, again as gently as possible, pushed on through, his silver body blocking the way for any other.

"Go and call the authorities please!"

He manages to stifle the bit of a wince at the likely incoming hail of weapons fire doing this bit of altruism has probably exposed him to.

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Fred has no idea what the Foundry is, but Captain Wonder carries the Wisdom of Imhotep. Dangerous thugs, powered by super-science. Why are super-scientists always evil? "Gentlemen! I'm afraid all we have for you are some fists!" With that he raises his balled fists and goes to work, falling on the thugs and their robotic friends like the wrath of Ra.

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Captain Wonder's onslaught seems unstoppable, his fist impacting into the first of the two strange looking thugs, with a sudden familliar clang that tells him he is striking metal, followed by the sound of crumpling as his arm tears clean through a robotic torso in a shower of sparks. The long heavy coat the goon had been wearing goes flying to reveal a far less human looking bronze chassis underneath, all shattered gears and circuits as the machine falls lifelessly to the ground with a crash, human like head and hands scattering off from the impact to reveal a concealed metallic skeletal head and blaster cannons for forearms.

The gang members stare in amazement, then default to a choice Captain Wonder has long never quite understood, they open fire, even as he bowls them over, bullets flattening uselessly on his body. One of them goes so far as to throw his emptied gun at the good Captain's head before going down.

The ferocity and power of Captain Wonder's assault skews his aim just a bit off on his final foe, and his fists hit less than dead on, the robot seeming to be able to roll with the force of the blow, the fake hand on the end of its arm melting into wax as the air charges with energy and a massive bolt of crimson energy flares out from its forearm... only to go flying well past the Captain, and scorch and bubble the tiled floor behind him.

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The Emissary catches the old man managing to run out for help from the corner of his eye, and so rejoins the fray, or what's left of it.

With little left to do, he simply cocks his fist back and times the rocketing of his arm forwards with the arc of his flight, a loud boom accompanying his punch forward and through the remaining robot, the pieces of it scattering across the floor as though dispersed by a shockwave.

And then he stops and looks around. And eyes a broom in the corner.

"I could sweep up the mess while you restrain the others?"

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