“It’s the only way to honor their names. The only way to show the world what he truly is. This is not about you. It is about them and the many other innocents who died because of these abominations. He, and everyone like him, is a disgrace to the human race. Everyone won’t see that now, but they will…they will.
“You must bring terror to him and those alike before there is peace. And NOW is the time to do it. They will call you a killer, a monster, but if it is to save the future of humanity, so be it.
“Now, get out of the car, and do it.”
The man did not recognize the face he talked to. The eyes were glossy and red with a face so tight, it was bound to implode any minute. So, he closed the mirror in his visor and pushed it back into the roof of the car. The man left his soul at home. He grabbed a bloody piece of paper from the dash, folded it and shoved it in the pocket of a thick vest that hid under his jacket. The pocket over where his heart used to be.
Out of the car and around the back of it, he opened the trunk, grabbed a black ski-mask and put it on his head. The boxes of ammo and duffle bag full of handguns were pushed aside for the rifle in the corner. With just the one weapon, he trotted up the steps of the bank and pulled the ski-mask over his face.
The doors were pushed open, the guard in the front knocked out with an elbow and the second guard beside the row of banking booths had his gun and holster shot clean off his belt before he could get a hand on it. Then, the ceiling was shot up.
“Everyone on the floor, NOW!” The four customers in line dropped, as well as the three employees behind the desks. But the old guard was stubborn, looking back at his gun on the floor. That old-timer had a look in his eyes, that hero-look. So, the man shot bullets around his feet. So accurately, he made a perfect U. “Don’t even think about it, old man.”
The guard marveled at the bullet pattern and forgot all about his gun. He raised his arms and dropped to his stomach.
The man didn’t want to hurt anyone, other than the unconscious security guard with the broken nose. As far as he was concerned, these were innocent, hard-working, everyday people.
With everyone down on the ground, and the tellers hiding, he marched to the back of the lobby where there were no doors and no windows. Where everyone and everything were in front of him. He peeked over at the teller’s desk and saw a light underneath blinking. So, he took a deep breath, got into an aggressive stance and aimed the rifle at the window.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, wait—
“What is this?” One of the customers in line lifted his head. A teenager. A skater.
“Shut-up and get your head down,” the man said.
“This your first bank robbery, dude? Aren’t you gonna ask for the money?”
“I said shut-up.” The man pointed the rifle at the teen’s backpack lying in front of him and put two holes in it. Books flew everywhere, papers too, a bong broke into pieces, a spray-paint can went rolling near the unconscious guard at the front door and holey underwear landed in front of a young lady. Holes not from the bullet.
“Dude, what the fu—” The teen started to get up until he saw the rifle pointed at him.
“If you say another word, kid. I’m taking your left ear lobe.”
The kid swallowed and returned to the floor.
The man went back to his stance.
More waiting and awkward silence.
“The police are coming,” a brave teller screamed from her hiding place.
The man dropped his aim to investigate who spoke, but a second later the bank windows shattered. The Mighty Titan came soaring in with all his charm, grace and power. From neck to boot, the hero wore an all blue suit with a white ‘MT’ emblazoned on his chest. The white cape flapped behind him, even with no wind.
The teenager hopped to his feet and laughed. “Ahhh, you’re in trouble now. Titan is here to kick your a—”
The man shot a single bullet to stop the kids taunting and laughing and talking, and the teenager lost his left ear lobe. Now, the kid was wailing, but back on the ground as he was ordered before.
The Mighty Titan saw the kid holding his bloody ear, rolling around on the ground and thought he was shot in the head. So, he flew toward the gunman with a speed that no one saw in motion. His fist tightened and led the attack, his cape owned the air, his body perfectly horizontal… this would be an easy victory for the city’s hero.
When the Mighty fist from Titan impacted the man’s chest, it unleashed a steel rope that wrapped around the hero three times over and immobilized him. The Mighty Titan’s head crashed into the wall of the bank lobby and the steel cord burned through his suit and his skin.
The man approached the injured hero with his rifle as every one of the customers, and employees fled the bank in a panic. The Man stood over the powerless, helpless savior of the city and pulled the bloody paper out of the pocket of his vest.
And for the first time, The Mighty Titan appeared human. He looked at the bloody paper and saw a drawing of a stick figure family. One figure labeled ‘me’, another labeled ‘mommy’ and the other labeled ‘daddy’.
“See, I was on my way back to the states when I heard of this big battle between the great Mighty Titan and the Mad Scorpion. I read about the Mad Scorpion. An evil man, yeah. Even a monster… that, I agree with, but he was a man. Had no superpowers or abilities or whatever you want to call it. But you! You filthy freak…used your laser eyes and your fire balls and brought two goddamn skyscrapers down just to catch the son of a bitch. Killing thousands of innocent people. Including my wife and five-year-old son.” The man stopped when he saw The Mighty Titan struggling to respond. “What’s that?”
“I am sorry for your loss, but they were casualties of war, my friend.”
“War? What do you know of war?”
“The war against evil.”
“That wasn’t war. That was genocide. I know war, Titan. And your league of superhero friends will know it too. There’s a storm coming, a purge of supernatural freaks. Starting with you.” The Man pointed the rifle at the hero’s chest and killed him. He returned the bloody picture to his vest and walked away.
As police sirens blared in the distance, he picked up the spray can by the door and tagged the walls. ‘I am The Terror’