Tag: old

#12 Aging Woman

| November 12, 2013 | 0 Comments


#28 Moses Five

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

Moses Five

Moses Five

Once upon a time, everyone had heard of the fearless space bandit and freedom fighter Moses Five. His attacks to stop the villainous Vesper Geist from taking over the galaxy, and his expeditions to the edge of known space to conduct raids on the insectoid Spiddyocks were legendary. Sure, he flouted the law, but it was all for the best, and he was the hero people needed.

Finally, with a temporary dispensation from the Consortium of Free Systems, he participated on the decisive attack that defeated Vesper. Before they landed, she contacted Moses privately, and made him an offer of immortality if he merely held back behind Consortium forces. Moses Five bowed to no one, but especially not his oldest enemy, and he refused. He and the Consortium defeated Geist’s forces, but the woman herself disappeared. “Some sort of chronal anomaly” was the scientists’ best explanation. Shortly after that, Moses Five began having visions of his much older self in the future, and oddly enough, suddenly remembered having had them all of his life.

150 years later: the Consortium has expanded beyond the galaxy, and Moses Five is still out at the edges of it, in Outer Harappa, mostly in the Res Extensa, a bar run by humanoid hairless cats. When not lost in a fog of intoxicants and deja vu, he makes his money on this outlaw planet as an all-around fixer and low-rent “knuckle-duster”, hiring his skills out to the highest bidder. Bitter and broken-down, he dreams of his younger days, before a newly stable Consortium decided it no longer had a political incentive to tolerate popular bandits who would challenge its authority. Few remember his legend now, and some days he regrets not taking Vesper Geist up on her offer. But he hasn’t chosen to spend his last days in this forsaken rock on a whim – out at the edges of settled space, there are more chronal anomalies than elsewhere, and time tends to slip out of joint. When the nearby dying stars’ flare activity is high, his dreams of youth become far more vivid…

(Note: the idea of splitting the story between young and old bandit came from this post on Project Rooftop, where two guys submitted versions of the X-Men character Corsair, and Joel Priddy commented that it’d be cool to see a story split between the two submission. Four and a half years later, I haven’t forgotten that idea, and since I hadn’t seen anyone do something like it, I decided to put something together. I hadn’t seen that post since then until I went to find it today, and the similarities and differences between my versions and their much-better-drawn versions is interesting to me.)

#14 – Jumping Jack

| November 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

Jackie Caulder has been a hero since he was 15.

And that was about 40 years ago!

Let’s rewind and try to start from the beginning.

It was the 70’s. Free Love Syndrome had pretty much come and gone and had been quickly replaced by the Disco Fever. Jackie, barely 14 then, was already a big shot at school, as he was being heralded as the most promising quarterback his coach had ever seen. His parents, both blue collar workers who could barely make ends meet every month, were already counting with the countless athletic scholarships that would surely come their son’s way once high school was over. All Jackie knew was that this meant a free ride all through middle school and high school, respect and admiration from his peers, getting to third base by the second date with every single cheerleader he asked for a date, and the guarantee that he would never get a “No” regardless of who he asked.

This all came to a screeching halt during a school trip to the Wagner Institute of Particle Research, were a good humored prank from Jackie caused half of the research equipment to explode, bathing him in all sorts of radiation. He woke up six months later in a hospital bed, feeling weaker than he’d ever felt. He had gone from being a well toned kid to a scrawny, sickly shelf of his former self. He was informed that all the radiation had caused damage to his muscles and organs and that he would need from several years of physical rehabilitation to regain his physical condition. And just like that, Jackie Caulder’s future had been completely derailed.

The Wagner Institute agreed to pay for his hospital bills, but there was still the money for the physical therapy, which Jackie’s parents simply did not have. They attempted to sue the Institute and the school, but only ended up with even more bills to pay and, in the end, he was never able to go to any therapy sessions and just had to adjust to his new life as a weakling. This, however, turned out to be a turning point in Jackie’s life. It was after returning to school in his new condition that he realized that for most of his life he had been a complete bully and a jerk to everyone he’d ever met. He had harassed and taunted his teachers, shielding himself under the coach and his value as a football star. He had bullied many of his classmates, using his strength and the support of his teammates. He had even forced some of the girls he’d gone out with into dating him in the first place, only to treat them like trash after the fact. It was no surprise no one was sparing him any sympathy now that he was the one going through a rough time. By the time he got his head around how much of an asshole he had been, he was actually surprised he wasn’t getting more beatings than he was already getting every day.

It was this realization, coupled with remembering that it was his macho posing while bullying one of his classmates that caused the accident at the Wagner Institute, that made Jackie realize he needed to change and become a better person. Not for the sake of others, since his entire school hated him, but for himself. It was around this time that the true effects of all the radiation his body absorbed manifested itself. Somehow, it had altered his molecular structure, giving him the ability to teleport. He knew this could not all be a coincidence. This long and complicated chain of events had somehow been pre-ordained. Everything that had happened, he somehow knew, was meant to put him on this path. To teach him the humility necessary to take this gift he’d received and not abuse it, but instead help people through it.

Jackie knew from the first moment this wouldn’t be a walk in the park. He would not only have to learn how to properly use his powers, but he would also need to regain the physical condition he’d lost during the accident. The latter part he managed with the help of Ol’ Moxy Lincoln. Moxy owned the local gym and had been a boxer during his youth. When the kid came asking to join in and willing to clean and help in the gym in order to pay for his membership, he recognized something in him. He’d worked with tons of kids off the streets, trying to help them get a second chance in life, teaching them discipline through boxing. The thing they and Jackie shared was they were all looking for the same thing: Redemption. He worked day and night, leaving his sweat and blood in that gym. His old body was gone, so he had to learn to work with his new body, its strengths and limitations.

Whatever spare time he had, he used to hone his teleportation skills. He could only teleport as far as he could see, and the farthest he teleported the more it took a physical toll on him. This was also the same with whatever object he wanted to teleport along with him. The bigger the object, the more energy and concentration it took. With time and practice, it became easier, but teleporting in general was still a tiring exercise. So in order to more effectively used it, he learnt to do short and quick bursts of teleporting, or “jumps” as he called them, designed to make the best of his stamina as well as to confuse his enemies and make the best of his newfound fighting skills too.

The early years were definitely the worst years. Half the time, he didn’t know what he was doing. He kept screwing up, kept getting beaten by common thugs and thieves. But he started getting the hang of it. By the time he graduated high school, he’d managed to make a mark in his neighborhood and keeping it clean from crime, as well as winning a full academic scholarship for State University. He managed to graduate from college, start a career and maintain a couple of fleeting relationships even while expanding his territory and coming to the attention of various super criminals who would become fixtures in Jackie’s life.

Guys like Nightmare, Boss Blind Tiger, Fear & Loathing, Azucena, El Furioso and even more modern additions like Grill-Face, the Beaver, Dreaded Ninja

Now in his sixties, Jackie still does what he does best: Helping people. He’s a married man with two daughters: A little girl and a teenager. His family is fully aware of his life as a hero and accepts it as part of who he is. He’s even become a legend within the super hero community and a role model for all aspiring heroes.

Jackie Caulder has come a long way since his time as a jock and a bully. He’s done much to atone for it, yet after almost 40 years of putting his life in the line for others, he still feels he hasn’t done enough yet. And even though his joints ache and he should sleep more and his bell is starting to stick out of his costume, there is still much to do out there.

So Jack will keep jumping as long as Jack can jump.

Day 05 – Cupid

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

Not much is known about this old man other than the fact that people call him “Cupid”. He can be found wandering the streets of Grizelda’s home town giving love/romance advice to any who would hear it. Maximus is a big fan of his advice, especially since Cupid is one of the few people who will not so much as bat an eyelash at his demonic form. He is a very small side character in a large world, but very important.

#3 – Santamaría

| November 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

The small isle of Punta Blanca is a republic located about a thousand miles from continental Central America. It is nation with a rich history and culture that almost 99.99% of people who don’t live on Punta Blanca know nothing about.

No, unfortunately the best known fact about the small island is its infamous nickname: “Paraiso de Guerrillas”.

Guerrilla Paradise.

The name comes from the later days of the Cold War, where Punta Blanca became a focal point for the struggle between the CIA and the KGB, both organizations desperately trying to ally themselves with the local government and militia before the other could. This was mostly due to both strategic geographical advantage and the vastness of it’s natural resources. Since Punta Blanca was not fully colonized until the late 19th century, this meant that it’s mineral riches had gone pretty much untouched throughout the entire Spanish occupation, making it the richest so called third world country in the world.

However, Punta Blanca, and specially Punta Blanca’s president at the time, José Higuerón Padre, wanted nothing to do with either country and their petty struggles. Being a predominantly self-sufficient country with a ridiculously low importing rate there was nothing that either side could offer that would truly win them over. This was the point that negotiations turned sour. It’s rather unclear who took the initiative, whether the Yankees or the Russians, but either of them decided that if they could not have Punta Blanca, then no one would have it. The other side simply played along.

The island became the site of a bloody conflict between communist and capitalist “factions”, nothing more than actual american and soviet soldiers masquerading as local militias, which both Washington and the Kremlin used as excuses to pump even more armed forces into the area. The conflict lasted almost two years and caused enormous damage to both the country and its people. Many lost their lives due to this pointless struggle. Something would have to be done.

In April of 1974, president Higuerón passed a constitutional decree which was unanimously approved by the country’s senate, which officially instated the first ever Punta Blanca National Army. A staggering 75% of the male population of the country was immediately drafted and trained. Yet Higuerón and his people knew this wouldn’t be enough to free his country from the Cold War’s phantom.

Article Zero of the National Army Proclamation Act also officially instated “Project: Torch”, the first ever official super-soldier program since “Operation: Rule Britannia” in World War I.

But just like Rule Birtannia before it, the majority of Punta Blanca’s soldiers proved immune to the multiple chemical treatments employed by Project: Torch, with most soldiers only gaining minor muscular and reflex enhancements from the procedure.

However, through something scientist call a genetical probability of one in a million, a young soldier names John Duarte, the first ever successfully produced super-soldier in the world. The process provided Duarte with super strength, super speed, maximized reflexes, peak hand-to-eye coordination, and improvements to everyone of his senses. This coupled with extensive training from multiple mercenary organizations contracted by the Punta Blanca government for the purpose of both training and adding to the ranks of their army turned him into his countries top operative.

His codename comes from the local legends of the early settlers about a missionary who lived in the deep jungles of the island after fleeing the slaughter of his flock by the indians by throwing himself to the ocean and swimming for days. John Duarte gave way to Santamaría.

Almost 40 years later, Punta Blanca remains an autonomous nation, even more distrusting of other nations than before. Their army continues to grow and evolve, being now considered the top military power in all the world. Which mostly has to due with the man in the top chair of that army. Even in his late 60’s, Santamaría continues to be both an imposing presence and a skilled combatant. The process that gave him his power has somehow also allowed him to retain his mental and physical prowess even at such and advanced age.

His eyes remain forever vigilant on each and every border of his small nation, a grin on his lips and a glint on his eye, waiting for the next fool stupid enough to dare threaten
 his beloved country.