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The Forgotten Hero, Part 4
Superhero Costumes
Posted:  29 Feb 2012 05:59   Last Edited By: Rick Jones
The metal door broke down with each swing of my fist. When it was weak enough, I removed it from its hinges and stepped into the old storage room. I cannot begin to describe how it felt to have my strength back. Now that I was being drugged anymore, I felt like I could lift a million pounds!

    I had stored my things in here decades ago. Of course I was foolish to believe they wouldn't have been tampered with by now. My suitcases of clothes, my passports, cash, it was all gone. The room was completely empty.

    I sighed and began to leave. I stopped when my eyes caught sight of a photograph lying facedown against the wall. I picked it up and looked at it. What I saw brought a tear to my eye. It had heavy wear on the edges and it was a wonder it was still in one piece.

Image by Jerod

    All of my old allies from World War II were present except my brother, Red Star, who was on a secret mission in Berlin at the time. I stared at the picture for a long moment. Red Tempest, Captain Freedom, and B29. They were all good friends. And they were all dead. Even if it was only an old photo, it felt good to look upon them again. In the years I had been locked away in the Siberian gulag, I spent all my time thinking about my past. As the years rolled by it became more difficult to see their faces in my mind. It brought me great sadness to think that I was alone, and my friends were long gone. All I had left to hold on to was the hope that my wife and brother still lived.

    The sound of footsteps alerted me to an incoming threat. I stuffed the photograph in my pocket and took off in a run. The sweat plastered my hair against my neck as I dashed down the alleyway and out of sight of the approaching officers.

    Word had gotten out that one notorious criminal who did not leave with the villainous sorcerer Captain Mysterious was running lose in the city. I had tried to convince them that I meant no harm, but when people are afraid they don't listen to reason. They have already convinced themselves that I am a danger to them.

    I needed a way back to America. I had to know if my wife Elizabeth was still alive. Judging by the advancements of technology, I would say that at least a few decades have past. It was clearly not 1970 anymore.

    "Halt!" I heard a voice cry out. I whirled around to face three men, each dressed in colorful tights.

    "I'm ordering you to surrender!" the one in the middle said. He was clearly the leader of the group, and judging by his muscle mass, he was also the most powerful of the three.

    "Who are you?" I yelled back.

    "I am Thunder Man, and these are Furemeister and Deutscher Sieger! We represent the European Division of the Superhuman Defense League! Now I'm warning you--come with us and this doesn't have to get ugly."

    And so the chase had come to an end. My freedom was short lived. I hung my head low as I began to walk towards them in surrender. Thunder Man seemed pleased that I was complying with his threat. Then a thought echoed through my mind. Back to prison. I clenched my teeth in a growl, and said, "No! I won't go back! I won't! You'll have to kill me first!" Too many years I spent rotting behind four gray walls, never to have the joy of having the light of the Sun shine on my face. I wasn't going to lose that again. Ever.

    I launched myself at him in a fury. With one punch, I knocked him on his back. I knew that victory would only come if I acted fast. I twisted and lashed out at Deutscher Sieger, and somehow managed to connect a blow before he could raise his shield. The man was sent soaring through the air until he crashed into a brick wall.

    Before I could strike at Furemeister, a wall of fire formed between us and singed my hand. Thunder Man plowed into me, knocking us both over. We exchanged blows for several seconds, and I realized the extent of his strength. He was powerful indeed. But he lacked my speed in battle. His fists struck home less often than mine did, and so I was quickly gaining the upper hand. My opponent was weakening.

    "Pull back, Dolph!" shouted Furemeister. "You need more power!"

    Thunder Man nodded and tried to retreat, but I wouldn't let him. I did not understand the meaning of the German's words, but knew that I could not let my enemy obtain more power than he already had. Before he had a chance to step away, I hammered him into unconsciousness.

    Furemeister reached forward and grabbed my arm. I shrieked with pain and I felt like my organs were on fire. I jerked away from his grasp, only to be clubbed on the head by Deutscher Sieger's shield.

    I awoke with my head spinning. I was in a large room, surrounded by eight costumed men, three of which being Thunder Man, Deutscher Sieger, and Furemeister.

    "Don't take me back," I said.

    "You are a criminal," Thunder Man replied. "You were there for a reason."
    "Yes. Because I loved my country."

    "I was born in Russia, but it is not my country. America is my home. I gave them my life. I defected many, many years ago, and when I made the mistake of returning to Russia because the American government asked me to, I was caught in a trap and locked away. That was in 1970. I don't even know what year it is now."

    They all stared at me suspiciously. 'What is your name?" Furemeister asked.

    "Alexi Erkenov. I have also gone by the name Comrade."

    "Comrade!?" exclaimed Thunder Man. "You can't be him! He's dead!"

    "I would expect the Russians to spread such a lie. Look at my face. Even through this long beard, can you not see it?" He took the photograph from his pocket and handed it to the superhero. "Look closely and tell me I am not Comrade."

    Thunder Man stared at in disbelief then looked up at me. "It truly is you. Comrade has returned!"
    "Now I must know," I began, "where is my brother, Red Star?"

    Thunder Man shook his head. "I'm sorry to say this, Comrade, but Red Star dropped off the radar decades ago. And it's 2012 now so it's been a while since there's been any activity from him. There's no record of his death, but then, there's no record of anything to do with him. I wish I could be more help."

     I nodded remorsefully.

    "What will you do now?" he asked.

    "I must return to the states. I would be grateful to you if you could provide me with transportation."

    "Of course. Anything. Are you going to look for Red Star there?"

    "I don't know where to look. But no, I'm going to the states because that's where my wife is. Like me, she has the benefit of slow aging, so I don't expect her to have changed much. I haven't seen her for over 40 years, and I won't waste another minute until I find her."
Posted:  29 Feb 2012 17:00
I'm going to the states because that's where my wife is. Like me, she has the benefit of slow aging

Slow aging would be so cool. Be so nice to workout full steam and not have injuries and creaky old bones and tendons all the time.
Posted:  01 Mar 2012 01:33   Last Edited By: jerod26
This is great! Awesome story so far. I appreciate the way you worked in the photograph I made. I'm sure he's shocked go from an old b/w photo to throwing down with modern heroes.

My only suggestion is to specificaly reference this occurs during Zandrexyn #__.

Couldn't resist making an image:

Posted:  01 Mar 2012 04:36   Last Edited By: Rick Jones
Cool art, Jerod! Now that the fight is over, Comrade needs to ask Thunder Man if he can borrow a razor.
Posted:  01 Mar 2012 15:04
Comrade has returned! Will he join the CoJ? Or after finding his wife return to Europe and join SDLE? Can't wait to see what you do with him Rick!
Posted:  03 Mar 2012 06:26
Comrade has returned! Will he join the CoJ? Or after finding his wife return to Europe and join SDLE?

Posted:  04 Mar 2012 22:58
I love that building. It makes cool looking headquarters.
Posted:  06 Mar 2012 15:44
Jerod's pic answers my question

Great artwork to go along with a great story

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