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New Town, New Beginnings


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Monday, December 19, 2016

1:35 am


"Ladies and gentlemen," began the slightly garbled voice over the speakers, "we'll be beginning our descent to Jordan International Airport in just a few minutes.  Please stow your trays and bring your seat to the upright position."


Kwame yawned and stretched before proceeding to follow the instructions. First, he put the tray before him away.  Then he reached over and pulled the empty chair to his left up.  The late night flight from O'Hare airport in Chicago to Jordan International in Freedom city was practically empty.  Kwame took a moment to look around at the other passengers. 


Looks like there's only six others here in business class with me.  A little more than I would have expected on such a late flight.  I wonder why they're going to Freedom.  Kwame gave a wide smile at the woman sitting in the same aisle when their eyes met.  The gesture was quickly ignored as she turned away to fiddle with her belongings.  That one must be a lawyer.  With a briefcase like that, she must be a pretty good one. Still, there's no reason why she should be so rude.  It was just a smile.


"Damn it!" The exclamation drew Kwame's attention.  He turned around to get a better look at the man four rows behind him.  From the awkward position, Kwame figured the guy was some big honcho of a mid-sized company.  The gray business suit and his pushy attitude towards the flight attendants were big  indicators that his guess was correct.  One of the flight attendants hurried passed Kwame to deal with the man.  She was one of the older attendants on the flight.  Kwame smiled inwardly as he remembered the private conversation they had earlier during the flight.  I'm going to have to get her number.  Maybe she'll be willing to show me around the city.  Perhaps even stay a night or two.  If we had more room, I'm sure I could convince Jenny to try some more interesting positions.


"I said I bring me another bottle of wine!  I don't care that we're about to land.  I've paid good money for this flight!"  Kwame frowned as the man began berating Jenny.  She spoke in a softer voice in an attempt to calm the man but it didn't seem to be working.  The man began swinging his arm about causing the attendant to flinch in fear.  


Kwame grabbed a magazine from the chair pocket, unbuckled his belt, and proceeded to move over towards them.  Jenny caught his approach in the corner of her eye and shook her head slightly as if to get him to return to his seat.  Kwame ignored the gesture and stopped next to her.  He then dropped the magazine into the man's lap and smiled.  "Excuse me, but I thought I'd bring over some reading material for you."


The man looked up at Kwame's muscular frame and frowned.  "What the hell are you talking about?" he asked as he lifted up the magazine to look at the front cover.  His eyes widened slightly as he recognized Kwame's face on the cover.  "Yeah, that's me.  They call me Hammer when I'm in the ring.  That was before I became a meta.  If you keep up with this noise, you'll get a chance to learn first hand why I decided to keep the name."  Kwame reached down for the magazine and flexed.  The color quickly drained from the man's face as he watched the muscle seem to grow larger than any normal human's would. 


"Now, if you'd be so kind as to apologize to Jenny here, I'll let you prepare for our landing.  We wouldn't want you getting hurt before we land now, would we?"  The man shook his head quickly.  "I'm sorry," he said in a subdued voice as he hastily stowed his tray and straighten his chair.  Jenny simply nodded and gave Kwame a thankful look.


Kwame returned the nod, took back his magazine, and returned to his chair.  I think I'm going to like it here.


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9:45 am


Kwame opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling for a short moment as he mentally went over the various things he had to do today.  He had already overslept and he knew he would have to shorten his usual morning workout just to make sure that he could finish his other tasks.  A small smile crossed his lips and he heard Jenny's soft breathing beside him. 


Kwame quietly slipped from the bed and rubbed his bald head, a habit he had ever since his powers had appear and the hair had fallen out.  Though he didn't mind the look, he had usually worn his hair cut very low, it still took him a while to get over the change.  He stood up and looked at himself in the mirror.  The changes to his body were very pronounced since he wore only a pair of boxing briefs.  Even if he were fully clothed, it would have done little to hide his chiseled physique.  Kwame ran his hand over his abs and smiled.  He always had kept his body in good condition; it was a prerequisite of being a professional wrestler.  Only those wrestlers that had kept their body in great shape managed to continue wrestling passed their prime.  At thirty-five, Kwame was well passed that prime.  Now, after the change, muscles that were slowly losing the definition of young, had regained their youthful vigor.  Though his muscles were in exquisite shape, he still could see the various imperfections that showed his age in his milk chocolate colored skin.  I see that scar from when I was six hadn't gone away.  Nor has that scar right above my knee.  I thought all metas got all those marks removed when they got their powers.  Maybe it's the method.  If I had tried one of those established power brokers, I would have perfect skin.


Kwame turned, got down on the floor, and began his daily morning exercise.  Since the change, he knew the routine needed to be adjusted.  His newfound strength ensured that the sit-ups and push-ups would do little in the way of strengthen him, but Kwame was a person of habit.  I'll have to ask Mr. Norman about a gym where I can work out.  Since he's the head honcho of the Ultimate Wrestling League, I'm sure he'll be able to point me in the right direction.   That meeting's at three in the afternoon so I've got time to do some sightseeing of the city.


Kwame moved over to the bed and gently shook Jenny away.  "Hey, think you're up for some sightseeing today?  I've got some time before my meeting."  Jenny blinked as she stretched lazily in the bed.  She smiled up at Kwame and nodded.  "Good.  We can grab some breakfast as well.  But first," he said as he easily lifted Jenny with one arm, "come join me in the shower.  No need to waste water."  Kwame smile widen mischievously as he proceeded to carry her to the shower.



Edited by MBCE
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11:15 am



Kwame saw the waiter moving towards their table and he waved him down.  "Hey, can I get another plate of flapjacks?  Oh, and another cup of coffee."  Kwame took the remaining morsel of food  from his plate and stuffed it into his face.  Jenny, sitting across from him giggled at the sight.


"You sure do eat a lot," she said as she took a sip of her coffee.  She looked down at the five empty plates stacked in front of Kwame and shook her head.  "Where do you put it all?  There doesn't seem to be a bit of fat on you!"


Kwame looked down and the empty plates and smiled sheepishly.  "It takes a lot of fuel to keep me in top shape.  I've always had a good appetite but it seems to have gone into overdrive once my abilities manifested."  Kwame lifted his right arm and flexed, showing the largeness of his bicep.  "I'm hoping I'll be able to advance to the top tier in the League."


Jenny reached out and lightly stroked the muscle.  "I'm sure you will.  Have you decided what name you're going to use in the ring, Kwame?"


Kwame noted a pair of young boys a few tables away talking heatedly amongst themselves.  He could just make out enough of the conversation to realize that they were debating his identity.  He smiled at the boys which surprised them.   "Well, I was thinking about that on the flight here from Chicago. I figure why change.  Hammer did me well enough in the normal wrestling world, it will do me well here.  Besides, keeping the name means I have access to a ready made fan base."  


Jenny put her cup down and looked deeply into Kwame's eyes.  "True.  I guess Hammer would be a good name for someone in the Ultimate Wrestling League."


The Ultimate Wrestling League or UWL as it was more commonly known, was still relatively new to Freedom City.  Kwame had only learned of its existence a few years ago.  He was intrigued by the notion that people of power would continue the sport of wrestling.  So many people looked down on the sport believing that it was all staged.  For the most part, there was a script for the matches and some of the drama outside of the ring was also planned down tot he wire, but no plan survived engagement.  Kwame was sure that the matches were just as staged with the UWL, but there was something about seeing super-powered opponents facing each other as to be thrilling.  Soon, he would get his chance to show off just what he could do.


The waiter arrived with a tall order of pancakes for Kwame.  He deftly placed the platter down while refilling Kwame's cup.  He picked up the empty platters and smiled.  "If you need anything else, just give me a holler."


Kwame returned the smile.  "I'll be sure to do that, Stan."


Jenny stood up.  "I'll be back.  I've got to use the restroom."  Kwame watched as Jenny walked to the restrooms in the back of the restaurant.  Her path took her passed the entrance so Kwame got a good look at the six men, armed with machine pistols, rushing into the restaurant.


The first man in raised his weapon and fired off a volley of bullets into the air.  "This is a stick up!  Don't nobody move!"


Kwame slowly put his cup of coffee down.  Looks like I'll be making my debut sooner than I thought.

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Kwame watched as the men began to spread throughout the restaurant. One stayed by the entrance, a second went towards the restrooms, a third began moving behind the counter.  Two more began walking from table to table, gathering wallets and jewelry from the diners.  The leader remained near the center of the room, overseeing the men's movements.  


Kwame took a moment to size up the leader. What's wrong with these clowns?  Don't they know they're in Freedom City?  Only a fool would try to rob a place in the middle of a city full of supers. 


"Five minutes!" the leader called out.


Kwame shook his head in disbelief before standing up.  "Hey, you!  Sit down!" called the leader as he noted Kwame.   He pointed his machine gun at Kwame.


"Look, fellas," Kwame said as he slowly raised his arms in a non threatening way.  "Why don't you guys stop all this nonsense and head hold.  It's almost Christmas.  Continue like this and you'll get on Santa's naughty list."


"Trying to be hero is going to get you killed!  Now sit down!" returned the thug.


"Or what?  You going to shot me?" Kwame asked.

"Yeah, I am," the thug replied as he pulled back the trigger and unleashed a bullet.  The bullet easily found its mark and Kwame gave a short cry of pain before falling to the ground.

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Just as the gun went off, Jenny was being led back into the main area.  She screamed as she saw Kwame drop motionless to the ground.  The thug who had been forcing her forward , pushed Jenny into a booth.  "Shut your trap or you'll end up like your boyfriend."


The leader gestured at the man behind the counter.  "Go empty out his pockets," he said.  "It's not like he'll need his money any longer!"


The goon nodded and moved quickly over to Kwame.  Just when he was a few steps away, Kwame reached out at the man's leg only to grasp air.  "Damn!  I thought you were closer!" Kwame said as he stood up.


The thugs all stared, dumbfounded to see a supposedly dead man come back to life.  Their surprise only lasted a moment as the nearest man shouted, "He's a super!" before five of the men fired at Kwame.  Only one bullet managed to find Kwame and it was unable to cause any damage.


Kwame looked down at the two holes in his shirt and frowned.  "I liked this shirt!  Looks like you boys have just volunteered to be my first attempt at being a hero."  Kwame cracked his neck and smiled with an evil glint in his eyes.  "Time to knock some sense inta ya -- Hammer style!"

Edited by MBCE
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