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The Captain and the Commander (1 Viewer)

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MadMickyG

Senior Member
Start of my super hero style story. Apologies if it's not exactly considered fantasy or sci-fi fiction, but to me, it's not just fiction. Feel free to move or delete it if you feel it's in the wrong thread. Enjoy the start.

The Captain and the Commander

As the reporter moved about, trying to get herself in the best position before she went live, she kept looking behind her at the enormous crowd. She would shift left a few steps, checking with the cameraman, then shuffle back one or two steps, getting as close as she could to the throng of people that milled about.

“Do we have it in the background?” she asked her cameraman, nodding her head in the direction of the large, multi-domed building. He nodded his head affirmatively.

“Make sure you can see one of the screens,” she said, “in case they play any footage before the funeral starts.” She adjusted her press badge, making sure the ‘Cabran Network News’ logo was facing the front. There was no way she wanted to blow this massive story. If she covered this funeral properly, she could easily make anchor-woman. She went motionless as a voice spoke to her through her earpiece. She listened carefully to the updated instructions she was given.

“Really?” she shouted excitedly. “That’s fucking brilliant! Let’s go.” She motioned for her cameraman to follow her. She ran like an Olympic athlete, sidestepping people and jumping over obstacles. Her cameraman moved a lot slower, falling further and further behind. She looked over her shoulder, slowing down so he could catch up.

“Hurry up,” she said in a panicked voice, “I don’t want to lose our spot!” When she thought he was close enough, she took off again. Grunting, the cameraman chased after her, falling behind once more. Once she reached the great steps leading up to the building, blocked off by barriers, two of the many police officers on the other side stepped forward. Many of the gathered crowd turned to see what was happening.

“Amity Martin, Cabran Network News!” she blurted, flashing her press badge. “I’m allowed up.” One of the officers spoke in to the handset on his shoulder. Amity bounced up and down on the spot, watching anxiously as the officer waited for a response from his radio. Amity heard her cameraman arrive, panting like an overheated dog.

“Geez Phil, “Amity moaned, “took you long enough.” Phil rolled his eyes, too exhausted to say anything. He sucked in huge gulps of air as the pair watched the officer that had radioed. A radio crackled, the office tilted his head to listen to the response. Amity strained to here, but could not make out what was said.

“You’re both cleared,” the officer said, motioning Amity and Phil through the barricade. Phil groaned as Amity shot up the steps, her tiny legs somehow taking three at a time. He’d never seen her move so quickly. He caught up to her at the large steel doors leading into the building. He peeked around the door frame, being one of millions of people who’d never seen inside before. There were other reporters and camera crew, all peaking inside as well. Phil estimated there were three or four hundred chairs at the front near the stage that held the Captain’s coffin. He caught glimpses of Secret Service agents moving about. There were police officers and soldiers also, all doing their own checks of the mounted video cameras scattered around the hall. Phil couldn’t help himself, trying to get closer for a better look inside when a strong hand grabbed him. He jumped, thinking perhaps a Secret Service agent had a hold of him. He turned, surprised to find Amity, having scoped out the best place to stand, had grabbed his arm.

“Will you stop gawking and get over here!” she barked, pulling him toward her with surprising strength, indicating where he should stand with the camera. When he lifted his camera to test the shot, he found could cover both Amity and the main path through the door. Security personal suddenly poured out of the building, scattering amongst the reporters. They brought their fancy toys, scanning bodies and equipment, including Amity’s microphone and Phil’s camera. Phil was reminded of a swarm of locusts as they moved from cluster to cluster, until everyone and everything was cleared. They pushed all the gathered reporters behind the red-carpet style barricades, but Phil and Amity did not need to be moved. Phil could see why Amity had already chosen this spot she would report from. They were as close as they could physically get to the guests that would arrive shortly. Well within striking distance to ask questions of some of the highest-profile people on the planet. Amity preened herself like a cat, adjusting her hair and makeup as she continually glanced around, wanting to be ready for when those high-profile guests started arriving.

“Amity,” Phil said, sounding a little distant.

“What?” she asked, annoyed he was interrupting her during her preparation.

“Amity,” he repeated.

“What!” she snapped a little too loudly. She glanced left and right, expecting to see someone important, but she only saw the same people. She was wondering why Phil was saying her name when a hand touched her chin, lifting her head up so she was looking at the sky.

“Oh,” she said softly, staring up at the blue figure, flying toward them. The figure stopped suddenly, hanging in mid-air, before floating slowly to the ground. The Commander landed at the top of the steps, looking out at the gathered crowd. He waved to them, causing an eruption of applause.

“Make…” Amity started, but Phil cut her off.

“Already filming,” he said. He had recorded all of it, from the Commander’s arrival in the air to his landing less than ten metres from where they stood, waving at the crowd. Phil followed the Commander, never letting the costumed hero out of shot. All the reporters around him were frozen, having never been this close to the one of the greatest superheroes in the world before. Despite their initial shock, every camera jumped up, focusing on the Commander as he waved to the crowd. Phil knew he’d been the only one to capture his arrival. When the Commander spun around and headed toward the collection of reporters, Phil was expecting a barrage of questions to be thrown his way. But every reporter, including Amity, stood silent as a statue. Phil was surprised they were letting such an amazing opportunity pass them by. As the Commander strolled past them, about to enter his headquarters to prepare for the funeral, Phil could feel the most incredible opportunity of his life slipping from his grip.

“Commander!” he called out. The Commander stopped, turning his head to see who had called his name. He smiled disarmingly, as he started towards Amity and Phil.

“Yes?” he asked, his smooth voice sending shivers up Amity’s spine. He walked right up to her, towering over her. Phil could see she was a little intimidated by this impressive figure before her. Suddenly, something snapped and she was herself again.

“Firstly Commander,” she said, lifting the microphone up, “condolences on the loss of your brother. The world truly loved the Captain.” Phil thought he saw the Commander’s mouth twitch at mention of the Captain. But it was momentary, gone as quick as it appeared.

“Thank you,” the Commander said, nodding towards the camera. “It warms my heart to know everyone is here to help me remember and celebrate my little brother.”

“Will there be an explanation today of how your brother died?” Amity asked. She was hoping for an exclusive, desperately wanting the Commander to tell her how the Captain had died. As far as Amity knew, there had been no official cause of death. The Commander put his face in his hands, as if to gather his thoughts. He ran his hands over his head, as though he was running them through his hair. Amity could only imagine what colour hair the Commander had, or how he wore it whenever he wasn’t being a superhero. Nobody had ever seen him without his hair covered by the half-mask he wore. She gazed up, wondering what colour his eyes were behind the white lenses in his mask.

“I will be explaining how my brother passed during the eulogy Miss Martin,” the Commander sighed. “I will be glad to put all those ugly rumours to rest.” A security guard came out, touching the Commander on the arm. The Commander turned, nodding his head at the guard.

“Victor, please escort Miss Martin and her companion to the greeting section,” the Commander said to the guard, “they wouldn’t want to miss today’s proceedings.” The Commander bowed slightly to Amity, then turned and headed inside. There were daggers in the eyes of every other reporter as the guard moved the red ribbon to allow Amity and Phil inside. They were escorted to an area just inside the door. More guards came, using electronic devices to scan each of them and their equipment.

“Seriously?” Phil asked as his camera was taken from his hands once more. “Careful!” he called out in alarm as the security guard almost dropped the camera. Phil knew that footage from earlier would get him out of the field and in to a van. Just like Amity, he wanted to move up. He’d had enough of running around, chasing reporters like her. The camera footage he’d recorded would guarantee him that comfortable van with all the latest technology to play with. When everything was cleared, the camera was returned to him. The guards moved away. Phil got the feeling they were looking for something else to scan. He watched Amity adjusted her outfit. He could see she was a tad outraged at how the guards had partially man-handled her while she was being scanned. Phil couldn’t help but smile.

The pair waited inside for a while, watching and recording some of the security guards and organisers move about, preparing for the funeral. They watched as the coffin was brought out on stage, covered by a white sheet. Time passed slowly as they waited for something to happen. They were watching two guards roll out a piece of red carpet, when a voice startled them.

“You impressed me earlier,” a voice spoke close behind them. Phil jumped and Amity squealed. They both turned to see the Commander standing there.

“My apologies,” the Commander laughed softly, “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” Amity smiled, holding her hand on her chest, her heart thumping loudly within.

“I’m sorry,” Amity apologised, “we were so caught up watching everything being prepared, we didn’t notice you.”

“I hope this is okay,” the Commander said, indicating for them both to move up next to him. “As I said, you impressed me. I thought nobody was going to say anything. When you called out, I was glad.”

“Thank you,” Amity blushed, her elbow quietly nudging Phil in a strange thank you.

“Everyone is arriving,” the Commander said, turning to look out the main doors. Amity could see the jealous reporters outside. Past them, were a large security contingent, made up of Secret Service, military and Cabran police officers. Further out, behind the blockade at the base of the stairs, were the everyday people. Amity was confused, not seeing who the Commander was referring to. The reporters out the front all turned, cameras lifting to capture someone’s arrival. She could hear questions being called out to whoever had just arrived, but she could not understand what was being asked. The voice in Amity’s earpiece spoke a few words, having been quiet for some time. Amity smiled as she received some very exciting news. She nudged Phil, indicating he should get ready. Phil realised who was coming through the door when four Secret Service agents walked in, scanning the area. Phil pointed his camera toward Amity, with a side profile of the Commander just behind her. He counted her in, pointing to her when they went live.

“Thanks Brian. I’m standing just inside the famous headquarters of the Captain and the Commander, invited in personally by the Commander himself, who you can see just behind me.” As if on cue, the Commander turned and waved toward the camera. Amity fought hard to contain her smile.

“The Commander is here to personally greet the honoured guests for today. As we can see, the President of the United States has just arrived.” Phil panned his camera around just as the President walked in. The contingent of security walked over to where the Commander was waiting. Phil couldn’t believe his luck as he filmed the Commander shaking hands with the President of the United States of America. Amity was able to ask both men a couple of questions before the President was whisked off, the Secret Service agents surrounding him like a shield. Next to come through was the Russian President. Amity listened to the Commander talk to the Russian leader, conversing in the President’s native language. They shared a laughed just before he moved on also, his security details just as impressive as the U.S presidents. This procedure repeated itself for the next thirty-eight minutes. Phil kept checking his camera indicator, making sure he had enough footage to cover everybody and anybody important. After all the presidents and prime ministers, or their representatives, had passed through, members of the U.N. stopped to speak with the Commander. Amity was impressed how cordial the Commander was with every representative, speak to them in their native language. From her research, Amity knew many of the countries here today had received help from the Captain and the Commander at some point during the last few years. After them came various celebrities, including the entire cast of the ‘Captain and Commander’ movie. It was clear to both Amity and Phil, by the interaction between the Commander and the actors, they had grown close during the making of the movie. Both brothers had been on hand as consultants during the movie production. Amity was looking forward to its release at the end of the year.

“Thanks everyone,” the Commander said sorrowfully, as the movie cast offered their collective condolences for his loss before heading to their seats. Following them were the Cabran Mayor, along with many other city officials. Amity was only young when the brothers had first arrived, looking for a place to set up their base of operations. She vaguely remembered the Mayor at the time had turned them down. But they had foiled a bank robbery the day they were due to leave. Amity’s mother had clapped her hands in joy when the young men appeared on television with the Mayor, having had a miraculous change of heart. That was the day Cabran claimed the heroes as their own. The noticeboard at Amity’s house had been covered in their exploits from then on. It was one of the things that made Amity want to be a reporter.

“Amity?” the Commander asked.

“Oh, sorry,” she stammered, a little embarrassed he caught her daydreaming.

“I have six more people coming you might want to see. I’ve invited them on behalf of my brother. But I need to go and get ready.” The Commander bowed his head at Amity, while flicking a salute in Phil’s direction. He walked off, toward the right of the stage. Amity heard a commotion behind her. Both she and Phil turned together. They saw a large bench that had been set up. There were ten heavily armed prison guards marching in six women, each woman in orange coveralls. The women were all wearing inhibitor-cuffs. Phil adjusted his camera, getting a close-up of the guards and their weapons first, then the six women. Both knew the women that were being seated on the bench, as did everyone else in the room. Amity and Phil seemed to be the only ones that knew they were there. Amity motioned for Phil to turn the camera around.

“The Commander has left us, to prepare for the sad duty of saying goodbye to his brother. But we have just seen the arrival of six women we all know. As you can see behind me, they are heavily guarded, each with a pair of power dampening inhibitor-cuffs on.” Phil took a wide shot of the group of women, before zooming in closer, singling out each face.
“First person we see,” Amity started, speaking in a low tone, as though she didn’t want the women to hear her talking about them, “is Atomicayla. This blonde woman is a living atomic battery. She is the only person sitting here that has actually recorded as having taken a life, if our sources are correct.” Phil zoomed the camera in on Atomicayla’s face for a moment. He’d read somewhere her blasts, as well as her touch, could melt the skin from your flesh. He shivered at the thought.

“Next to her, we can see Lava Lisa,” Amity continued, tapping Phil on the shoulder softly to indicate he should point the camera at Lava Lisa. The camera couldn’t quite capture the fiery red hair on the woman. Phil was surprised her hair could still glow like the molten earth that erupted from her super-heated hands while wearing the inhibitor-cuffs.

“This woman can throw magma,” Amity stated, “whose temperature has been measured at over eleven hundred degrees. Not someone that should be walking around amongst everyday people.”
Phil shifted the camera, stopping on the next woman on the bench. He knew her well. He had seen her round face, auburn hair and bright green eyes. He knew she did not look dangerous. But anyone who’d watched the news had seen how good she was.

“Bruisella,” Amity said, “the strongest woman in the world. She was described by the Captain as the strongest person in the world, a title she happily claims. Her battles with hero and villain alike have been well documented. Although there is no recorded footage, she is credited with being the only person to defeat the Block in physical combat. A fact the Block himself has confirmed.” Phil had seen the Block once, when he was in Australia recording a royal visit. The man was an eight-foot wall of muscle. Phil had been disappointed when he found out the battle between Bruisella and the Block had been off camera. Her subsequent fight with the Captain, however, had been. Phil even bought the official DVD, watching it over and over. The ending of the video flashed before his eyes now, an image of the Captain and Bruisella holding hands as they talked about their fight. The Captain so impressed with Bruisella, had asked her out after their battle. This was when the Captain’s pattern of dating and rehabilitating villains began, as far as Phil could recall. Bruisella had been the first.
A nudge from Amity snapped Phil back to the now. He moved his camera along, stopping on the woman sitting next to Bruisella, Electracey. She was quite short, Phil noted, having to lower the camera significantly to focus on her face.

“The first recorded instance of Electracey,” Amity recalled, “took place a few years ago. She had somehow knocked out one thousand four hundred people and over two thousand electronic devices in a one kilometre radius. Security footage from the centre where reportedly she lost control of her powers was not recoverable. There were many witnesses to the incident however. According to official testing, the five-foot blonde you see now has the power to generate enough electricity to destroy the building we currently stand in, not to mention this entire city, if she got angry or scared enough. I for one, am glad she is wearing those inhibitor-cuffs.” Phil nodded his head in agreement.
Phil moved his camera without being prompted this time, stopping on the woman on the bench.

“What can I say about Nanomi?” Amity asked, causing Phil to move his camera to the young Asian woman. “She is not super-powered like the other women. She is the daughter of a Yakuza mother and Russian mob father. She claims to have left Japan to escape the gangster life that both parents offered her. According to Interpol, she had an accident while stealing nanotechnology. This has left her with billions of the tiny robots coursing throughout her body. As many viewers now know, she can manipulate these ‘bots, allowing her to reshape her hands and feet in to razor sharp blades. As an accomplished gymnast, this makes her truly lethal. A living ninja star. One of our sources in Japan told us she actually left Japan because she slaughtered a gathering of high level Tadashi clan members.”

“Woah,” Phil said a little too loudly, catching a whiff of the last woman on the bench. Amity looked sidelong at him, letting him know he should be silent. But the smell from the woman at the end was quite strong, making Phil feel queasy. He already knew who she was. That bright green hair, the pasty yellow-green complexion of her skin. And those eyes, those pitch-black eyes. Phil always thought it looked like her pupils had exploded. Even through his camera, Phil had a hard time looking in to those empty eyes. The problem was, you could never tell which way she was looking. She might even be looking at him right now. Phil swallowed hard, hoping she wasn’t looking at him right now.

“At the end of the bench,” Amity spoke quietly, “is Venomina. The six-foot tall, former model, is now registered as the most toxic living thing on the planet. Yes folks, she’s as dangerous as she looks. She was discovered hiding alone in the woods, where she’d been for years. Her hideout in the forest was a black spot, a place devoid of any living organism, animal or vegetable. The Captain had been nearby the day she she’d had enough, deciding to venture out. If he had not been in the area investigating a rise in hospital admittance, Venomina may have killed hundreds of people. She had already been poisoning the river that fed in to Clove Springs dam. She bumped in to the Captain while stealing food from a supermarket. We all thank the Captain for that one. And if you remember, the photo of Venomina crying in the Captain’s arms after he’d captured her, had won the Sony World Photography competition that same year. I think we’re all glad when she was finally locked up. As you can see, they still have Venomina wearing gloves, even though she has the inhibitor-cuffs on. The rumour was she asked for them herself. Whether she did or didn’t, we are all just glad she is wearing them.”

“Step away,” one of the guards said forcefully, feeling Amity and Phil were closer than they needed to be to the special guests. Amity grunted indignantly, but still complied with the guards request. She motioned for Phil to change position, so she could be in the shot, with the six women behind her.

“One has to wonder why these women are here? The Commander told me exclusively earlier, he invited them on behalf of the Captain. But this reporter wonders why? We all know the Captain dated each of these women, attempting to turn their lives around. ‘To set them on a better path’ he was quoted saying. But they sit here now, bound and guarded. Do they truly care? Do they feel his loss like the rest of us? If we could get closer, we could ask them. But for safety, we have been pushed back.” Phil changed the camera focus, zooming on each of the women’s faces again. He realised they were all sitting slightly hunched. They did indeed look sorrowful.

“By the looks on their faces,” Amity continued talking, seeing Phil zoom the camera on them, “perhaps they are each mourning him in their own way. We can almost feel sorry for them, having lost the only person who believed in them. The Captain the only one that thought these women could be more than villains, more than the trouble they proved themselves to be. We know he visited them in prison, checking on their treatment. Even though he was the one that put them there, after they turned on him.” Amity heard a voice in her earpiece. She smiled, motioning for Phil to point the camera at her.

“I have just received word,” she said, returning to her serious reporter face, “that the funeral is about to begin. I will remain here to cover the reactions of the audience after the funeral has finished, to see how, as a city, a nation and as a species, we mourn the loss of such a loved and cherished hero.” Amity’s smiled returned once the camera feed was down.

“Pulitzer?” she laughed quietly, looking at Phil as he lowered the camera finally.

“Hope so,” Phil shrugged. The pair moved toward the back of the chairs, to join those that were standing at the back of the chairs. Their job done for the moment, the stood and watched as the Commander could be seen walking up on to the stage. Phil took a quick look around at all the cameras set up. They were feeding out to every news station now, including their own. He looked over at the stage, seeing the white blanket that covered the coffin sliding backwards. Phil, Amity and the rest of the audience sighed, as the removal of the white sheet revealed open coffin, the Captain inside. There was a large picture behind it of the Captain. Amity recalled seeing the same picture on the cover of a magazine a few years ago. It showed the Captain with a big smile, his gigantic hands both giving the thumbs up. His hands! Amity had always wondered about those massive hands, way out of proportion to the rest of his body.
Amity watched as the Commander, slowly walked across the stage, stopping for a moment to place his hand on his brother in the coffin. He appeared to wipe tears away as he leant down and kissed the Captain on the forehead, before he walked over to the dais. Amity wiped her own tears away, moved by how much the Commander must be hurting, yet still showed such courage. Phil and Amity waited, watching the Commander take breaths to compose himself.

The Commander scanned the large gathering. He had to admit, even he was impressed at the turnout for his brother’s funeral. Although he kept his face calm, he was revelling in the moment. They were all here to see him. To listen to him. Not his brother, but him. He lifted the bottom part of his mask and wiped a tear. Of course, they were here to mourn his brother as well. But for the next hour or so, they would be focussed totally on him and his words. He took another deep breath, then started.
 
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Gold Bearer

Senior Member
Did the commander kill the captain? :)

‘Kinetic Punch’ Nice. All punches are kinetic but it sounds cool.


"Captains passing." Captain's passing.

"masks’ communication links."
mask's communication links.

"The Commanders other ability"
The Commander's other ability

"Sitting next to her was little Electracey. A tiny little brunette" Id leave out the second little.


Definitely needs to be split into more paragraphs to be read easier. Maybe they didn't copy over properly.
 

Ptolemy

Senior Member
Before I review or critique anything, you're going to need to break the wall of text. Use the enter key and put some blank lines between paragraphs.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
On the page, it was in double line spacing. I set it to 1.5 line spacing.

And I went through so many times to edit and fix those issues. Still there are ones I missed.
Was told by some professional authors I should get it edited by a company. One lady I spoke to said it cost her $4000 to get it done. :0
I'm lucky if I have $40 at the moment, let alone $4000.
Will edit it to try and space it better.
 

Ptolemy

Senior Member
I just need some simple enter keystrokes to be able to read it, I haven't even been able to judge it yet.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
Split it in to 4 sections. Hope it's easier to read now. This is only 1914 words of 15000.

And I know every punch is kinetic, but when you get to the next sections, you will see why it's specifically a 'Kinetic Punch'!

NOTE: I added an avatar to my profile. The Captain is on the left, the Commander on the right.

I have visually created each of the main characters in the story, including the 6 women. But I wont show any of them until the whole story is done.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
Split it in to 4 sections. Hope it's easier to read now. This is only 1914 words of 15000.

And I know every punch is kinetic, but when you get to the next sections, you will see why it's specifically a 'Kinetic Punch'!
 

Jay Greenstein

Senior Member
In general, this is unreadable. The problem is that there are no paragraphs, just a monolithic block of text, dense and foreboding. Lose your place and you can't find it. You need to master the techniques of paragraphing.

But contributing to that, this isn't a story, it's presented as a report. The reader doesn't care that there are two billboards, and where they're mounted. The crowds, the place, and the rest is visual detail a viewer would see in an instant. Instead, you list what they would see, were they there. But that is not at all like making the reader see it. So to begin with you're trying to use visual techniques in a medium that doesn't reproduce pictures. And that can't work.

Story happens, it's not talked about. But in this all we have is an invisible someone, whose voice we can't hear, talking about lots of things for which the reader has no context. Look at the opening as a reader will. You come to line one knowing the entire story. The reader knows only what the words you chose suggest to them, based on their background, not yours.
It was a sad day for the proud city of Cabran.
We don't yet know where we are in time and space. The city name tells us nothing useful since it's not real. We don't know what's going on. So what kind of sadness is meant? No way to tell. It could be the day the shit factory exploded, or that someone beloved dies. It could also be because someone inept was elected. Why it's sad matters a lot more than the fact that it was sad because without knowing there's no context. And it matters not at all that you explain soon, because you cannot retroactively remove the problem.
It was sad for the country and the rest of the world as well of course, but the greatest loss would be felt in Cabran and its population.
"Of course?" Given that the reader doesn't know the cause of the sadness, there can be no "of course" for them. So this line is literally meaningless. You're placing effect, the sadness, before the reason for the sadness, and in the real world, that's impossible.

You mentioned having it edited. Don't. The problems can't be fixed by editing. The problem is that this isn't a story. It's a transcription of you, talking about the character, as an overview. When you read, the words are filled with emotion, and the story comes alive. But only you can hear your voice. Your reader hears only the emotion inherent to the wording and the punctuation. Added to that, you already know the story, so for you, as you read, every line points to ideas, images, and more, in your mind. And as a result, the story lives each time you read it. But pity the reader. For them, every line points to ideas, images, and more, in your mind. But you're not there to explain when it's read.

The problem is simple, and fixable. During our school days we're never told that they're teaching us only nonfiction writing skills. Remember all the reports and essays you had to write? Nonfiction. Remember how much time your teachers spend on the elements of a scene, how to handle dialog and tags? I don't either, because they didn't. The goal of universal education is to provide industry with a pool of potential employees who have a set of general skills useful to them. And since writing fiction is a profession, its skills are learned later, the way any other profession is learned.

So though we're not aware of it, we leave our school days exactly as well prepared to write fiction as to perform root canal on a dentistry patient. Of course we know we're not dentists, but for unknown reasons, we assume that we are already trained writers.

Not good news, I know. But the problems you face aren't a matter of talent, or potential. It's that you're missing the tricks of the trade. And that is fixable. I won't kid you, it's not a matter of reading a few hints and turning out best sellers. Fiction is an entirely different way of approaching the act of writing. Your schooldays writing is author-based and meant to inform. Fiction is character-based and meant to entertain. Schooldays writing is fact-based. Fiction is emotion-based. So, different objective = different tools and techniques.

Not good news, I know. But whatever field we go into needs to be learned, practiced, and perfected. So doesn't it make sense to invest some time, and a bit of coin in acquiring our professional knowledge?

So hit the local library system's fiction writing department. It's a huge resource, and well worth the hours you'll spend there.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
This is only the first part, trying to set the scene. I understand what you are saying regarding meaning and interpretation by me as well as by the reader.

I will have to look at it with fresh eyes to change it. While typing, I'm getting some ideas.

But I will also look at reading up on techniques for improving it.

Thanks for the comments.

I do write emotionally. I think my issue is I'm trying to explain the scene to the reader descriptively. Something I never normally do, as it becomes tedious.
As for paragraphs, I need to renew my understanding of them. I understood paragraphs to be for new/change of scene in a story. But that may be the old school technique as you described.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
After reading up on starting a new paragraph, I have edited the first part of the story.

Please let me know if I have got the hang of paragraphs, or missed the point. :p

I want to get this story right, as it needs to be told. :)

Now I better hurry up, as its almost 7:10am and I might be late for work.
 

Jay Greenstein

Senior Member
Please let me know if I have got the hang of paragraphs, or missed the point.
It's dramatically better, boyth so far as readability and paragraphing. But you're still talking to the reader and explaining—telling when you should be showing. Problem is, that's a nonfiction technique. Your reader is seeking to be entertained, not informed. And nonfiction's goal is to inform.

To entertain the reader, they must be moved emotionally. and having a voice that has not a trace of emotion in it talk about how sad some fictional people are, makes them know, not feel. Look at the progression of the piece:

• We learn that someone called, "The Captain died, and that a funeral will be held later that day. Many people are upset. But: Do we know who he was? No. Do we know what made him likeable? No. Do we know anything that will bring context? Again no. So in this version, too, it's effect before cause. We know of the funeral before we know who he is, or care. Is there anything in the opening to make the reader care that he's dead? Given we don't know who he was, why he died, or why his death matters, What can a reader do but shrug?

• We learn that the funeral building has a big metal dome and that this unknown dead person had two adopted sons of unknown age and trade. More facts without context.

• We learn that someone called The Commander is standing quietly in the building where the funeral will take place. Who is he? No way to tell. Why is he there, we presume, to attend the funeral, but for all we know he's there to disrupt it.

• The Commander has trademarked his costume. Why? Dunno. To that point we've read about 350 words, and are on the second page, and we still don't know who our protagonist is. So while we have someone talking, there's no story.

• To the bottom of the post we've read 2137 words. We don't know who The Captain was or how he died. There's not been a word of dialog, and nothing has happened, so for all practical purposes, the story has yet to begin. But we're on the fifth standard manuscript page. Shouldn't something have happened by then?

People don't read to learn about detail. They don't want to learn about the people in the story. They want to live it. They want to be made to care. But you're doing just what you were taught to do in school, explaining the situation as a dispassionate external observer. You're being a camera that explains what it sees. But is someone strong? The reader will notice when, as part of the action, they display it. So you don't have to explain that they are strong. Can they fly? The reader will notice when they do, because it's necessary—or when they talk about it as part of a necessary conversation. That's interesting. Reading an essay on a character's background and abilities is as exciting and entertaining as any report, which is to say, not at all. When was the last time you sought a report or history book for entertainment?

I know you want this to work. I know your intent is for the reader to be fascinated by the story. But intent doesn't make it past the keyboard. And the skills we learned in school are not appropriate for the mission or the medium. So it's not a matter of fixing what you have, it's one of learning the tricks of the trade. They're not hard to find, and the cost, if you use the local library, can't be beat.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
Thanks Jay. I'm not giving up. I need to find the right balance for the start. There is plenty of action, dialogue and emotion once the Commander starts speaking, although I change some points from him actually talking to describing what he is alking about, as there is a lot of information that needs to be explained.

I will think on it, to see if there is a better way. And do more research about writing.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
I have updated the start of the story again. I'm keeping the original copy, but trying a different approach as well. It's also a bit longer now.

Will go through the next part as well, trying to personalise the story better, so people feel connected.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
“Welcome everyone. It’s truly inspiring to have so many people here today to honour my brother. If he could see you all here, he would feel so proud.” The Commander paused for a moment, letting his words sink in before he continued. He thanked the various presidents and prime ministers of each country for taking time out of their busy lives to attend such a small thing as his brother’s funeral. He welcomed and thanked all the attending actors, then all those seated in the hall. He greeted and thanked those that chose to stand at the back. He nodded at the six women at the back, almost undetectable to everyone else. The Commander then looked at the main camera at the front of the crowd.

“And to everyone outside,” he spoke, placing his right hand over his heart, “or where ever you are in the world, thank you. Your love and support has allowed me to stand here today, to talk about my brother.” The Commander paused again, seeming to take a few more breaths to steady himself.

He started talking again, about how as boys, both he and the Captain had a very rare illness that kept them indoors for most of their youth. Any kind of sickness or infection they were exposed to could prove fatal. Their parents had been quiet leaders in the field of human genetics, which they felt gave them the best chance at finding a cure. Or at least a temporary resolution that could boost the boys’ failing immune systems, prolonging their lives until a proper cure could be created.
After years of close calls, but ultimately failures, his parents finally thought they had it. They created four different formulas, each with the potential to cure the boys. The concern was none of them would be one hundred percent effective. There would also be some side effects, that could be fatal if the formulas didn’t correct the genetic error properly.

After the Captain and Commander almost died from catching a common cold (the Commander left out his inclusion in the drama), their parents made a tough call. Unable to decide which formula would be the best to use, they used all four at the same time. For the next few months, the boys were constantly knocking on deaths door. Whether it was luck, or the genetic alterations in their bodies, that door never opened. By the same time the following year, the boys had totally transformed, able to go outside and play, like normal boys did. That was when their powers began to manifest.

The Commander was constantly found floating a metre above his bed most nights while he was sleeping. After a little experimentation, they found he could fly.

The Captain did not realise he developed any kind of ability until their first family vacation. Their parents wanted to fully test their immune systems in a cold environment, as well as take a well-earned break. They took the whole family to the snow. After the boys proved they were truly free of their illness, they were allowed out by themselves to play in the snow. Their parents taking some time to relax. The Commander flew the Captain up to one of the higher snowboarding slopes, as the Captain had been practicing for weeks beforehand when they were told where they were going. The boys were each given a watch that monitored their vital signs, blood-oxygen levels, as well as some other body functions. While making his way down the slope on a snowboard, the Captain managed to collide with a few trees. He had severely overestimated his own snowboarding skills. After continually bouncing off trees like a pinball, the Captain became disorientated, mistaking a closed snow trail for the slope he had just been on. The Commander had already flown to the bottom of the slope to wait for his little brother. The Captain kept heading down hill, managing to collide with more trees along the way. He left the impression an avalanche had caused all the destruction. As his speed down the slopes slowed to a crawl, the Captain thought he would be okay.

Breaking through some thick brush, the Captain realised too late he had gone over the edge of a cliff. He dropped about fifty metres, crashing through the icy covering of a frozen river. The river’s strong current swept the Captain along swiftly, below the barrier of ice. From what the Captain could remember, it took him almost fifteen minutes to find a way out. After a furious search, the Commander finally found him. The Captain was walking beside the frozen river, following it back toward the resort they were staying at. The boys both laughed when the Commander told his brother that the resort was in the other direction. Although his clothes were almost frozen solid, the Captain did not feel cold at all.
When they finally arrived back at their cabin, their parents were totally shocked after the boys filled them in on what had happened. After checking the Captain over and examining his recorded vitals during the outing, the results showed nothing more than any normal physical activity. His pulse dropped a bit while he was under the water, plus a slight decrease in oxygen levels, but nothing life threatening. His parents were quite astonished, not to mention a little excited. The vacation finished early as they headed home. Follow up tests started as soon as they walked in the front door. Through some extremely dangerous trials, the conclusion was that the Captain was invincible.

A little over a year after that, the Commander discovered his ‘Kinetic Punch’. Apparently, a little jealous his older brother had developed another ability, the Captain participated in the same tests, hoping to develop a similar power. Although he did not gain that ‘Kinetic punch, the Captain’s hands did increase in size. There was a large sigh from some of the female audience members, both inside and outside, at that comment. Nobody saw the Commander roll his eyes.
He continued, with some difficulty, describing the day he and the Captain left the house, planning to push themselves to their limit. When they returned home, all battered and bruised, they found their house a smouldering mound of rubble. Everyone could see the Commander had difficulty talking about the terrible months that followed. The Commander spoke about how the brothers believed their parents were killed for the formulas they’d created, although it was never proven, even to this day. Despite their searching since, they still didn’t know what’d happened to their parents. It was less than a year later that other people with abilities started to appear, side effects of using altered versions of the formulas created by their parents. Some of the new powered people were friendly, using their abilities to help people. Sadly, the majority were just out for themselves. That was when the boys, now young adults, took on the mantle of “The Captain” and “The Commander”.

“I chose that name,” the Commander said, “as I made most of the decisions. Plus, it turns out a ‘Commander’ leads or controls military forces in battle. So, constantly ‘commanding’ my brother in battle meant I’d chosen my name well. I took an air-force insignia because I could fly. Now, can anyone guess how my brother got the name of Captain?” People started calling out different things, some were clever, some not so much.

“Very good guesses,” the Commander said, laughing, “but all wrong.” He looked around before continuing.

“As many people know, my brother wasn’t exactly a rocket scientist. When we were younger, my father nicknamed him Captain Obvious. You can guess why.” Many in the audience laughed, some looking again at the Captain's picture on the stage, remembering fondly some of the Captain's silliest interviews, that confirmed Captain Obvious would have been an apt nickname.

“As for the naval insignia brightly displayed on his chest,” the Commander continued, “I asked him why he chose that symbol. I swear to God, he looked at me with a straight face and said matter-of-factly that as he was the Captain, it should be the navy insignia for that rank. Why, I asked? Again, totally straight faced, he told me it was because he liked the ocean.” There was thunderous laughter and applause at the Commander’s comment. He was grinning, knowing how incredibly well this was going. The next part was tricky, explaining how his brother had died. After that, the Commander planned to finally reveal his true name, before dropping his biggest bombshell on the audience. He signaled the crowd to be quiet, so he could continue.

As the laughter finally stopped, the Commander looked over at his brother, laying in the dark wooden box, his arms crossed over his chest. The Commander could just make out his brother’s calm face from where he stood. He turned back to look out at the crowd and was about to speak, when a large bang was heard from the side of the stage. The security teams jumped, some bringing up weapons, others covering their high-profile charges with their own bodies. The noise was quickly identified as a door closing. A young man in a laboratory coat was running towards the stage, yelling something. The Commander, annoyed at the spotlight being taken from him, could not hear what was being shouted. The Commander could see the look on people’s faces as the man quickly passed by them. Some jaws dropped, while others raised their eyebrows in shock. The young man tripped on the last step of the stairs as he raced up on to the stage. He fell face first, his glasses flying off as he hit the stage floor. The tablet he was carrying flew from his hand, landing face down and skidding across the stage, sliding to a stop just near the Commander’s feet.

“Ladies and gentleman and distinguished guests,” the Commander said, smiling through gritted teeth at the interruption, “may I present our scientist and personal physician, Doctor Bernard Simmith. This brilliant young man took care of my brother and I for many years. He was always the hidden member of our team.” The Commander picked up the tablet, then floated the short distance to the man face down on the stage. His breathing was deep and laboured, as though he’d just run a marathon. He was feeling for his glasses as the Commander landed next to him. Once Bernard found and put his glasses back on, the Commander lifted him up. Nobody saw the power in the ‘helping hand’, as the Commander squeezed Bernard’s arm tighter.

“What’s so important, that you must run screaming through the hall during his funeral?” the Commander said menacingly, although nobody was close enough to hear. All they saw was the Commander smiling as he set Bernard on his feet.

“He’s not dead,” was all Bernard said through his gasping, wincing in pain as his arm was in the Commander’s vice-like grip.

“What?” the Commander asked, sure he'd misheard what Bernard said. The pressure in his grip released.

“Check the readout,” Bernard said motioning for the tablet in the Commander’s hand. The Commander pulled his hand back so the tablet was out of Bernard's reach. He flipped it around and looked at the screen. What he saw on the display sent shivers down his spine. There was a heartbeat. It showed a single, solitary pulse. The timeline showed a week between each beat, but it was there. It would be difficult for anyone to think his brother was still alive.

“No,” the Commander said, his face showing his disbelief.

“He’s alive,” Bernard said louder, enough for people at the front of the audience to hear.
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
“NO!” the Commander snorted loudly in disgust, slamming the tablet on the stage, smashing it to pieces. He glared at Bernard for a moment, before lifting him by the lab coat collar and hurling him in to the crowd.

“All my planning! Everything I did! To get here! To get to this point! All you had to do was die! But you couldn’t even do that!” The Commander was yelling now, his voice carrying easily throughout the large hall. Everyone heard him ranting. The audience started whispering to each other, shock and disgust on every face that looked at him. The Commander stomped around on the stage for a few moments, hands clenching and unclenching. He stopped, turning his head and seeing the looks on all the faces. For a moment, he had forgotten the hall was full of people. He marched over to the dais.

“WHAT!?” he yelled in to the microphone. “You were all so happy grovelling at his feet because he’d saved the day. If it wasn’t for me, he’d never have been anywhere to save anything! But you heaped your praise on him, loved him. Gave him all the glory, all the honour!” The Commander snatched the microphone, ripping it from its cradle as he smashed the dais apart with a powerful kick. Those in front of the dais threw their arms up as bits of wood flew toward them. Every security guard had their guns drawn and aimed at the Commander.

“Go ahead,” he taunted them, “see if you can shoot me. My powers have evolved like you wouldn’t believe. You think my brother is the only invincible one in the family?” The Commander dropped the microphone as he lifted slightly off the stage, before floating toward the security guards. Their guns followed him as he moved. Someone fired a shot, hitting the Commander in the chest. Proving the Commander's point, the bullet bounced off. The Commander winced a little as the bullet hit, but nobody seemed to notice, every pair of eyes in the room following the bullet as it dropped to the floor.

The Commander knew he was tougher than before, but he wasn’t completely invincible yet, not like the Captain had been. He just needed time.

“Now, to finish my brother off for good!” the Commander barked. He turned around, looking back over his shoulder briefly at the security guards, daring them to shoot him again. He laughed, knowing they were too scared to fire another shot. He floated up in to the air, until he almost touched the roof. He paused, taking in the image of his brother in the coffin. Sounds of movement drew his attention. The Commander looked up, snorting derisively as people scrambled for the exit.

“I never gave anyone permission to leave!” the Commander yelled. He pressed something on his belt. The next moment, the six female prisoners stood up, hurling their security detail in all directions. The inhibitor-cuffs they’d been wearing lay on the floor, disabled. The escaping mass halted as the only doorway was blocked by some of the most powerful women alive.

“My new underlings will keep you here while I deal with my brother.” The Commander looked down at the Captain once again, a snarl on his lips. He lifted his right hand, slowly closing his fingers, smiling menacingly as purple energy began pulsing from his tightly clenched fist.

“Allow me to show you my improved ‘Kinetic Punch’ little brother. Just a pity you aren’t awake to feel me kill you properly this time.” Diving with enormous speed, the Commander charged down, his glowing right fist leading the attack. Everyone watched as the Commander landed his strike squarely on the Captain's chest. As the stand, coffin and the stage collapsed under the assault, wood and dust filled the air as everything fell in to a heap. Wood fragments flew about, causing many of the onlookers to duck. Both the Captain and Commander were lost amongst the cloud of dust and splintered wood.

Without realising it, everyone in the room, including the women blocking the door, were transfixed on the dust cloud, holding their collective breath in anticipation as they waited to see the aftermath of the Commander’s powerful attack. As the dust finally settled and the air cleared, everyone exhaled, then gasped in disbelief. Eyes grew wide, pupils enlarged in shock, as everyone beheld the Commander, his glowing purple fist pressed against the Captain's crossed arms. But the Captain was standing, his crossed arms held away from his body, each arm glowing green with energy.

“Guess you weren’t the only one who’s powers evolved big brother,” the Captain said smiling. The Commander scowled, realising his finishing punch had failed. He darted quickly up in to the air.

“Doesn’t matter,” he snarled, “I know your weakness now. I can kill you whenever I want. Not to mention, I have all your ex’s working for me!” The Captain turned and looked at the faces of each woman in the doorway. They refused to look him in the eyes, including Bruisella.

“That’s because they never realised they’re better than you,” the Captain sighed as his broad shoulders sagged. “My plan was to show them a better life than the one they lived. I wanted them to realise how special they are. I just wish I’d stopped them from falling back to their old ways.”

“If I hadn’t pushed them,” the Commander sneered, “you’d have succeeded.” The Captain’s head snapped back, looking up at his brother.

“What do you mean ‘pushed’?” he frowned in confusion.

“Surely even you can figure this out, little brother. You couldn’t be that dumb.” The Captain’s eyes scrunched for a moment as he thought, then opened wide in disbelief.

“There we go!” the Commander exclaimed, “I was worried I’d have to explain it to you.”

“Then it’s not too late,” the Captain smiled hopefully. He looked wistfully at the six women. He could see traces of doubt on each of their faces, each one wondering if they were on the right side.

“Oh please,” the Commander laughed, “as if you’re actually going to win this battle. And if they know what’s good for them, they will help me take you down.” The Commander stared hard at the women, motioning for them to attack the Captain. They moved slowly at first, then with more purpose. As they left the doorway, the captive crowd smashed open the doors and ran out.

For a moment, the door was jammed up, too many bodies trying to squeeze through one space at the same time. They remained in that position for a few seconds, people pushing and pushing, trying to escape, the pressure building up with the bodies. When the dam burst, people flooded out in a massive wave of panic. By some miracle, nobody was crushed underfoot. The swarm of bodies raced down the long stairs, not stopping until everyone had melted in to large audience outside. Most stopped, feeling they were safe at this distance. They turned, joining in at watching the massive screen showing the live feed inside.

The ladies moved in, surrounding the Captain, raising their hands in fighting poses. The Captain looked at each one, smiling sadly at them.

“If this is your choice, I will not fight you, any of you. My quarrel is with my brother. If I win though, will you join me and continue what we started, together?” He saw them look at each other. He read their faces, as he could almost hear their minds ticking over, each one thinking about their choices.

“They don’t get a choice,” the Commander interrupted, before any of them said anything, “they only get orders. Now kill him! You don’t even realise you can.” The Commander dropped a metre or two, pointing at his brother. “You were his weakness, all of you. Your betrayal allowed me to kill him. Well, almost kill him.”

The women looked up at the Commander, then back at the Captain.

“He’s right,” the Captain confirmed, looking at each of them, a weak smile on his face. “You are my weakness. But it’s because I care very much for each of you. I needed you, more than any of you needed me.” The Captain’s shoulders slumped as he continued to speak. “I totally understand if you want to side with him.”

“Hold on a sec,” Atomicayla blurted, pointing an accusing finger at the Commander, “what the hell did you mean before when you said ‘Your betrayal’?”

“Yeah,” Lava Lisa said, “what betrayal? I never betrayed him.”

“I don’t think any of us did,” Bruisella growled as understanding lit up her face, before she turned and glared up at the Commander. “He set us all up! It wasn’t the Captain that crossed us, it was him!” She dropped her hands, walking toward the Captain, realising furiously, she’d let the Commander manipulate her. He’d manipulated all of them. Turned back to face the Commander defiantly, she placed one hand on the Captain’s shoulder, in support. He glanced sidelong at her, smiling. The Commander could see shadows of doubt lingering on the faces of the other five women.

“Correct,” the Commander said. “I gave you all what you thought you wanted, which pushed you all back to your old habits, your old ways. Then I made him think you betrayed him. Being the goody two-shoes he is, he went after each of you. That made you feel like he betrayed you. I recorded everything, news footage, all the newspaper clippings. Even the Twitter and Facebook comments. Then I just did some editing to make it look far worse than it actually was.”

“So everything I saw was fake?” the Captain blurted out, just coming to the same realisation Bruisella had moments ago. “You played me? And you destroyed their lives in the process!” The Commander couldn’t believe his brother figured it out so quickly.

“Indeed. Some photos and recorded conversations were real. I just exercised a little artistic license to make them appear worse.”

“Why? Why would you do that to me? To them?”

“To separate you,” the Commander laughed. “They were already damaged goods. They'd have gone back down the same road they knew, dragging you, and possibly me, with them. They needed to be put away, for both our sakes. But after what I saw, I realised they truly were your weakness.”

“What do you mean?” the Captain asked, still unable to comprehend what his brother was capable of.

“I first saw you get hurt,” the Commander started, pointing to Atomicayla, “when she left a burn on your arm during the fight when you two split up. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The mighty Captain, burnt! And the funniest thing, you didn’t even notice! Then, after you and Miss Lava Lisa had that huge public bust up, I saw her burn your shoulder. You never noticed that one either. The wounds never last long, but I know what I’d seen. You, injured, again! That’s when I realised your weakness, your love for others. Although, I think it’s more the loss of their love for you, that makes you vulnerable. I locked that information away. Then, I came in to your room one night to talk to you, but you were already asleep. Imagine my disgust when I find you floating above your bed exactly like I did. I realised your powers must be evolving, like mine. Even though my evolution started months before, I knew if you figured out you could fly before I became invulnerable like you; I’d be left behind. So, I needed time for my other new powers to fully develop, to become a super power unto myself. I knew once I reached the same level as you, I wouldn’t need you anymore. I knew the only way that would happen is if I took you out of the picture, permanently!”

“That’s why you robbed all those banks,” the Captain said, “using your clones. You made your own little gang of crooks to fight. You thwarted all the robberies to increase your positive public opinion!”
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
“That’s how it stared, yes. But I finally realised something, I didn’t have to be the hero.” The Commander grinned wickedly, remembering the power his clones felt forcefully holding people hostage during each bank robbery.

“When you stopped that last robbery,” he continued, “discovering my duplication power, I knew it was time to act. So, I left all that information I’d created out in the main lounge for you to find, before you could confront me. I knew how it would devastate you. I watched quietly, delighted as the look of betrayal on your face got pathetically worse. When you finally finished, with those ridiculous tears streaming down your face, I knew my moment had arrived. I slid the door to the lounge open as wide as possible. You were so caught up in your misery, you didn’t even know I was there. I floated back up the hallway, because I knew I needed to be at maximum speed for a chance at ending you. But, for the slightest moment, I hesitated. I thought maybe I shouldn’t go through with it. I almost stopped everything to come back and console you, like any normal big brother would.”

“Why didn’t you?” the Captain asked painfully, hurt and sadness in his voice. The shoulders of the six ladies surrounding him dropped just a little, with each wanting to comfort him at that moment.

“A news report, on one of the monitors in the rear conference room, about you, not us, getting a commendation for last year’s earthquake relief.” The Commander’s grin turned to a scowl as he spoke.
“That made the choice for me. I was sick of living in your shadow! I rocketed down that hallway as fast as I could, my rage fuelling my power, my punch landing in the middle of your chest. I was so fast; you didn’t even see me coming! The rest, as they say, is history.”

“You’re my brother!” The Captain threw his hands up in frustration, unable to fully comprehend the Commander’s words.

“No!” the Commander growled defiantly, “I was your brother. Somehow, I’d become your chauffer. To the world, I was not the Commander, hero of the people. To them, I was just the Captain’s transport!” The Commander’s growled as he spoke, his anger pulsing from him in waves.

“You’ll always be my brother!the Captain cried, desperately hoping he could get through to the Commander, before everything turned south.

“I’m not your brother anymore,” the Commander barked furiously, thumping his chest with his fist, “I’m the Commander!” Bruisella could see the dubious frowns on the five women before her. Just like her, they were questioning the Commander’s sanity.

“You disappoint me the most, Bruisella.” The Commander shook his head disapprovingly. “I thought at least you’d be happy to finally take the title of the strongest person alive. As for you five, I give you your final warning. Take them out,” his glowing hand pointing at each of the five women, then motioning to the Captain and Bruisella, “or suffer my full wrath.” Bruisella smirked triumphantly, watching each nod woman their head to the others, before walking over to her side. Soon enough, they formed a circle around the Captain. Like a well-choreographed dance troupe, they turned simultaneously, raising their fists with atomic energy flaring, electricity sparking and jumping and heat levels rising. Six pairs of eyes staring defiantly at the Commander. The Captain did not miss the meaning of their circle around him, his chest puffing out proudly at the moral fibre the ladies just demonstrated.

“He knows who’s the strongest,” Bruisella winked, before tilting her head toward the Captain, her eyes never leaving the Commander. “Now, let me personally show you what he already knows.” She brought her own fists up, the muscles in her arms and shoulders bulging with power.

“So be it,” the Commander laughed, floating up and back, creating distance between himself and his seven opponents on the ground. “You get no mercy from me. Now, one more thing to do before I finish this farce and take my place as ruler of this world.” The Commander touched the small circle at the bottom of his chest insignia, activating a hidden button. The group on the floor watched as the Commander’s uniform changed from blue to black, as though a liquid seeped out from the insignia, staining the entire uniform. The insignia on his chest rippled, its colours changing also.

“Allow me to introduce you to the new, evolved me. I am now, the Black Commander.” The Captain, unable to contain himself, burst out laughing.

“What are you laughing at?” the Commander grunted angrily, confused at his brother’s reaction. There was nothing at all humorous about the situation.

“Seriously?” the Captain asked, trying to catch his breath. “You’ve been planning this for so long. And the best you came up with was Black Commander?”

“What’s wrong with Black Commander?” the Commander demanded, furious at his brother’s flippant remark.

“Well,” the Captain said, “you could have been something like ‘High Commander”, or even ‘Lord Commander’. Maybe even ‘Lord High Commander’. But you went for ‘Black Commander’. The problem there is, black doesn’t always mean bad. There are plenty of comic book heroes with black in their names.” He lifted his hands up, counting off on his fingers as he listed all the names he could remember.

“There’s Black Bolt, Black Canary, Black Cat, Black Crow and Black Lightning. Black Knight is another one. Marvel’s Black Panther. We have Black Tarantula, Black Tom, Black Widow and Blacklash. They are all heroes with black in their names. Now, when you look at the villains in comics, like Black Adam, Black Bird, Blackheart, Black Queen and Blackout, they’re all known villains. But they could just as easily be heroes. The names don’t specifically say which side they’re on. Not to mention they aren’t particularly scary either. But if you look at, say, the Dark Avengers, or Dark X-Men and Dark Beast, they all sounded seriously evil. Oh, there was a Dark Phoenix as well, I think. And let’s not forget one of DC comic’s biggest bad guys? The one that went toe to toe with Superman?” The Commander stared blankly at the Captain's question.

“You know, Darkseid!” As there was no recognition from the name, the Captain threw his hand up in slight frustration.

“Whatever! Not the point. But if you listen to all the names with ‘Dark’ in them, they strike fear in your heart. Not to mention, they sound totally bad-ass! How bad-ass is Black Commander, really? Just try saying ‘Dark Commander’? Ooh. Now I say it out loud, it sounds very scary! It’s even given me goose bumps. See?” The Captain lifted his arm to show the raised skin, forgetting the costume he wore totally covered his arms and hands.

“Well, if you could see my skin, you’d know I had them.” Out of the corner of his eye, the Captain could see Bruisella looking at him.

“What?” he asked, unable to read the expression on her face.
“You’re such a dork,” she said affectionately. The Captain smiled, shrugging his shoulders.

“You do realise little brother,” the Commander interrupted them, his tone denoting boredom, “that we don’t live in the comic book world. This is the real world.”

“Of course I know that,” the Captain said, shaking his head the Commander totally missed the point he was trying to make, “I just wanted to give you some reference material of why Dark Commander sounds so much better than Black Commander. Not that it matters. Once we beat you, you’ll be nothing more than an anecdote in history anyway.”

“I’ll be a what?” the Commander asked.

“You know, an anecdote. A short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.”
“I know what anecdote means,” the Commander barked angrily, “I’m just totally shocked that you know.”

“I guess more than just my powers evolved while I was hibernating,” the Captain replied, shrugging his shoulders slightly.

“Oh my god,” the Commander gasped, “’hibernating’? Seriously? You should have evolved like this a long time ago! It would’ve been nice to have an intelligent conversation with you. I am one hundred percent positive we wouldn’t be in the situation we find ourselves in today. It’s far too late now for me to turn back, of course. But I must say, I am impressed with your new vocabulary. But, as we all know, all good things must come to an end.”

“I don’t see how you can win ‘Dark Commander’,” the Captain said with a grin, emphasising the name as he spoke the words.

“You forget quickly ‘Captain Obvious,” the Commander retaliated in frustration, “my powers have evolved so much more than yours.” In the next few seconds, there was not one Commander, but seven.

“So have ours,” the six new Commanders said in unison. “We all have the same abilities and are more than a match for your pretty posse.”

“Ah, finally he admits it!” the Captain laughed, throwing his hands in the air, “even if it’s just through his clones. I’ve been telling you for years they were all pretty.” He did not see each of the women smile at his comment.

“You’ve mocked me for the last time! Now, your story ends, as does theirs.” The group of Dark Commanders spread out, circling the Captain and the ladies like a group of sharks about to start a feeding frenzy. The Captain knew he would be okay. Bruisella would be okay too, she was as tough as they come. But he wasn’t sure how well the others would handle his brother’s powerful punches, even from the less powerful copies. He looked at the six strong women that surrounded him protectively. The Captain still loved each of them, even before he knew their falls from grace were staged.

As the Commanders circled, their distance slowly decreasing, the Captain swore to himself he would save them all. He had too. If even one of them died, he would never forgive himself. He needed to take out his brother so the clones would disappear, or become useless. But in their swarming mass, he couldn’t tell which one was the original one. He had to figure out a way to get his real brother to show himself.

He felt the attack coming before he saw it. The Captain whipped his head around quickly as a Commander shot forward, glowing fist in front as he swooped in to attack anyone in his way. As the group reacted to the first attack, another Commander dove in, then another. Miraculously, no blows landed. The Commanders continued through to the opposite side, before rising back up to blend in with the others. This attack pattern repeated a few times. Bruisella was hit on the shoulder, but she was quick enough to land a blow on the attacking Commander’s leg as he passed by. He cursed her as he flew back up in to the circling group. Lava Lisa got knocked off her feet, the Commander laughing as he continued through to join back up with the others. She was quick to get to her feet, her hands starting to glow as her anger grew.

“How long do you think you can hold on?” one of the Commanders laughed.

“How are you going to defend them all?” asked another Commander.

“You’re on your own,” a third added.

“He’s right,” Atomicayla said, “we need to attack, now.”
 

MadMickyG

Senior Member
“But if the building comes down,” the Captain said, “some of you may not survive.”

“If we don’t go on the offensive,” Bruisella said, rotating her impacted shoulder, “it won’t matter.” She smacked a fist in to her palm, the sound echoing around the hall.

“Ooh,” a Commander laughed, “it’s about to get fun.”

“Oh, most definitely,” Bruisella grinned menacingly. “Let’s see if you can laugh with a broken jaw.” The girls, knowing it was time to strike back, advanced. The Captain knew he couldn’t stop them, so he watched, waiting to see if he could pick his brother out of the group of Commanders. Bruisella, as usual, led the assault by leaping in to the air. The flock of Commanders separated, just out of reach, as she passed between them. She landed, cracking the floorboards beneath her. Seemingly unbeknownst to her, a ‘Kinetic Punch’ aimed for her back.

“WATCH OUT!” Atomicayla yelled, sending a blast toward Bruisella to intercept the incoming Commander swooping on her. But Bruisella was no rookie in battle. Bruisella spun quickly to the right at the last moment, shifting weight slightly in her legs. Atomicayla’s blast missed both her and the attacking Commander, as he darted out of the way. There was a loud crack as Bruisella landed an uppercut squarely on the Commander’s jaw, his dodging the blast bringing him in range of her fists. The injured Commander flew up for a moment, as if he was escaping to join the others. But it was only momentum carrying him, his body crashed heavily back down to the floor. Venomina leapt on to him, grabbing his face with her hands. She leaned forward, as if to kiss him. He looked in to her black eyes, noticing her gloves were off. He managed a laugh as her toxic grip didn’t appear to have any effect on him at all. His laughter twisted in to a scream as his skin started turning an ugly, fetid green beneath her hands. Venomina’s eyes widened at the pain in the sound he made, snapping her hands back. She fell off him, pulling her hands tight in to her chest.

“MINA!” Nanomi screamed too late, as another Commander landed a ‘Kinetic Punch’ on the side of Venomina’s head. The blow sent her sideways, skidding across the floor, taking out many scattered chairs before she came to a complete stop. She did not move.

“NO!” the Captain yelled, taking one big leap to reach her side. He rolled her over gently, seeing her eyes were closed. He tenderly touched the large mark on the side of her head. His body sighed in relief as he noted she was still breathing. The Captain looked at the Commanders above him, his usually calm face showing his anger.

The Commander Venomina touched was still on the ground, the green skin where she’d touched him fading slowly to it’s usual tanned colour. But he was unconscious. The Captain jerked up, striding over stiffly and grabbed his brother’s clone by an arm and leg. Spinning on the spot, the Captain hurled the unconscious Commander toward the other side of the hall. The body flew across the room, landing heavily before it skidded along the floor, as Venomina had just done moments ago. The clone only stopped when he crashed in to the far wall. The Captain looked at the remaining Commanders with grim determination, wanting them to know he meant business.

“Impressive brother,” one of the Commanders said, “now we have both lost one.”

“I still like our odds,” said another Commander.

“And what can he do from down there?” asked a third. “What good is all your power if you can’t touch us? Like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum.”

“We can just pick you off until there’s nobody left standing but us,” one of the other Commanders laughed.

“We’re unbeatable,” another piped in. “Give up now and we’ll make it quick.”

“Never,” the Captain grunted, his eyes flicking from one Commander to the next, trying to determine which one was his actual brother. He still couldn’t tell. Suddenly, Bruisella landed on the back of one of the Commanders, wrapping her arms around his neck in a choke hold. Her legs wrapped around his waist, holding herself securely in place as she choked him. Her muscles bulged as she squeezed with all her strength. The Commander coughed, then shot straight up, smashing Bruisella in to the ceiling. Plaster and dust covered them, but she held on. He smashed against the roof again and again, creating a massive hole, exposing the metal beams that dented as he drove her repeatedly in to the roof. But Bruisella didn't let go. The Captain knew she wouldn't.

Another Commander circled around to help, but halted when he was hit in the side by large globs of molten earth. He brushed them off as they started to burn holes in his uniform. An atomic blast hit him square in the chest. The blast stunned him for a moment. He dropped to the ground, landing on one knee with a thud. As he stood up, Nanomi materialized out of nowhere in front of him. For a split second, he saw her amazing smile, before it warped into a malicious grin. She came at him like a spinning wheel, swinging her razor arms and legs. He raised his arms up, fending off the blows. For a moment, her strikes left no marks. But cuts started to appear in the black outfit, penetrating the armour-like material. As she kept up her onslaught, his skin showed through, bloodied cuts visible to any that had time to look. Her continuous attacks started biting deeper and deeper in to his flesh, drops of his blood hitting the floor. Nanomi was hit from behind, a glowing Commander fist striking her in the back. She flew forwards, arm and leg blades flailing uncontrollably in the air.

As though it was a signal, the remaining Commanders swarmed, attacking from all directions. The Captain charged in, throwing his own ‘Kinetic Punch’s’ left and right. Some connected, some did not. The Commanders would regroup quickly and return to swooping through the group like angry birds. Sometimes two or three punches would connect, sending the women flying around the room. But they gave just as good as they got.

Nanomi re-joined the fight, her eyes as cold as the metal she wielded, her face a mask of fierce determination. Her arm and leg blades were flying as she cartwheeled, flipped and twisted in the air. Each Commander bore wounds from her incessant attack. Their arms, legs and ribs showing deep cuts from her bladed limbs. It did not appear to worry them too much, but it showed the ladies the Commanders weren’t as indestructible as they claimed.

Atomicayla was blasting left and right, hitting a Commander with every second or third attack. It didn’t do much more than stun the Commanders, but this allowed the other ladies to get some good shots in. After a few hits, each Commander took longer to recover, as their limited invulnerability not enough to protect them.

Electracey fired electric bolts all over the place, but the Captain knew she was holding back, as usual. She could clear the entire room in one go, although it would probably kill everyone, including herself, if she lost control. She was knocked out seconds later, from a sneaky blindside attack. The Commander responsible laughed as he looped around, dropping down to finish her off. He raised his glowing fist for the final blow. The Captain dashed toward them, knowing he wouldn’t make it. As he hurried desperately towards the Commander, an unconscious Commander, with Bruisella still choking him, rained down on him from above. The three collapsed to the floor in a heap. Bruisella sprang to her feet quickly, dragging the conscious Commander out from his unconscious duplicate.
“Hello there,” she grinned, grabbing him firmly by his throat in one hand, while she casually kicked the unconscious Commander across the room so she took a moment to check on Electracey. Satisfied Electracey was okay, Bruisella turned her attention back to the Commander squirming in her grip. Her forearm flexed as she continued to squeeze, watching his eyes bulge as she crushed his throat. He tried to break her hold, raining kinetic blows on her. But with no real momentum to power them, his blows went unnoticed.

Brusella’s face lit up in delight as she raised her free hand, clenching her fist slowly, as she savoured the moment. Although she couldn’t see behind the Commander’s mask, the expression on the exposed part of his face showed terror.

Another Commander swooped in before Bruisella could finish him, hooking her raised arm. Instinctively, she let go of the Commander she was choking, cursing herself for taking too long. She turned her attention to the Commander that lifted her in to the air. Before she had a chance to act, the Commander used his flight momentum to spin like a top in the air, launching Bruisella toward the roof. She braced herself, ready for the impact. Before she reached the ceiling, she was double-hit from above and below by two Commanders simultaneously. She bounced off the roof, then tumbled over and over, creating a small crater on the floor where she landed. She was still for a moment, but stood up, slowly.

“If that’s the best you got,” she laughed, wiping a small trickle of blood from her lip, “you’re so screwed!” As she charged back in, she couldn't help but grin.
 
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