G. Brett Williams #8 – The Wilde Card

| November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

The world after the first World War was a strange place full of political upheaval, vast social change and major technological advancement. It was an Earth reshuffled, a brave new world full of wealth, opportunity, progression. And that was just what people could see happening. Only a handful of the world’s most powerful and influential people were aware of the secrets that lay beneath the surface. For every advancement in technology, there were twenty advancements in fringe and super-science, things that were deeply classified or highly sought after. For every change in the social or political landscape, there were dark, smoke-filled rooms where men pulled strings and made puppets of those we thought most powerful. It was a dangerous and unknown future and many governments decided that they needed new ways of thinking, new methods of dealing with the problems that would blossom from the world’s great leap forward. Deep within the halls of British government, one such program was created and the world’s first “hero” was born.

The program, cleverly referred to as the Wilde Card Program was enacted by the British government as a means of defending their empire from the threats that they so desperately tried to keep out of the Sunday papers. They culled all the various branches of their armed forces until they found the soldier with the perfect combination of intelligence, physicality, individuality and patriotic zeal, then they turned him into a living weapon. That soldier was Samuel Wilde, but he became more commonly known by his codename, The Wilde Card. Samuel Wilde became Britain’s greatest champion, but it was something of a thankless job. He was always expected to do as he was told, to follow orders without question, and sometimes those orders weren’t very heroic. His handlers were always quick to remind him how important he was to the cause, but they never let him forget that he was basically a commodity, not a person. The life of secrecy began to take its toll on Samuel, though he never let it show to the people responsible for sending him on his missions.

The only person in Samuel’s life that he truly cared for was Madeline Greene. Greene was a female spy, a codebreaker in the employ of the British government. Samuel had liaised with her on various missions and the two had developed an attraction. Their love wasn’t necessarily forbidden, simply because the government didn’t think that Samuel was capable of something as deep and committed as love. To his handlers, Samuel ever finding something that he found more valuable than his service to the Empire was unlikely. They didn’t calculate that he would fall in love. Did they think he would be entirely asexual? Not at all. But they didn’t expect that he’d ever become interested enough in a woman to put his service to the military in jeopardy. They were wrong.

While Samuel battled many foes throughout his time as the Wilde Card, none was more terrifying than Master Midnight. Midnight was a particularly gruesome foe who combined the powers of conjuring and dark magic with his knowledge of science. His goals were never entirely clear but his results were impossible to ignore. He cut a swathe across the world, collecting artifacts, merging science and magic, and sowing the seeds of terror. Samuel pursued him all over the globe and their battles were titanic, to say the least. Despite the horror he faced though, Samuel could always come back to Madeline. Until Midnight found out about her. He kidnapped and used Madeline to finally gain the leverage he needed to defeat Samuel once and for all.

The government informed Samuel that Madeline Greene wasn’t worth the potential risk to their investment. The mission was deemed too dangerous to undertake so Samuel was ordered to cut her loose. For the first time in his life, he didn’t follow orders. Instead, he snuck away from his handlers and went rogue, deciding that Madeline was more important to him than anything else in the world. Of course, that’s exactly what Midnight wanted. Still, even with him expecting Samuel to come, Midnight was caught off guard by the man. The two battled back and forth with neither being able to gain the advantage. When Midnight saw that things were lost, saw that Samuel would not quit, even if it meant both of them would die, he decided to cut his losses. He cast a spell against Madeline, whom he still had restrained, that killed her in an instant. Then he used Samuel’s rage and his grief as distraction enough to escape. In his retreat, he lit the building they were in on fire, insuring that Samuel would be too preoccupied to follow him. His plan worked better than he’d expected. Samuel Wilde perished in that fire.

At least, that’s what the official report said. Samuel Wilde and Madeline Greene were listed as Killed In Action and Master Midnight was considered at large. He never surfaced again after that day, so the threat was considered handled. The Wilde Carde Program was shut down and Samuel Wilde was buried as a soldier of the empire. But rumour circulated throughout the government that the official report was anything but accurate. There were certain people who believed that Samuel Wilde faked his own death, that perhaps he and Madeline Greene had both escaped a fiery death. Some people took it even further, theorizing that the body found burned to death in the remains of the building was actually Master Midnight’s, not Samuel Wilde’s. ┬áRegardless of the truth, the government’s official position was that Samuel Wilde was dead. They wouldn’t revisit the idea of a super spy program for a few years and once they did, the program, and the world, would have changed significantly.

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Category: 2011, Superhero, Uncategorized

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