Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Countdown, Issue #007

October 27, 2013 in Countdown Tags:

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Issue #007 – – – – – controlled by Rene Sawatzki – – – – – Credits 56

Countdown arrived back in Helix City some four days after he’d left with the biker gang.  He’d hoped that they would prove to be an avenue along which he could travel and had given it some time to find out, one way or the other, if that were the case.  There had been useful information to be had, but it quickly became clear that if he was to pursue his goal of discovering the truth behind the present reality, it would not be alongside Beard, Hell Bitch and the others.

It was raining as he checked into the motel just outside Madden Heights.  He had money now, thanks to the generosity of the gang, but he couldn’t squander it on the sort of prices to be found at establishments in his old hunting grounds.  He had to be frugal so that his time was available for investigation instead of having to find ways to stay dry and eat.

He pressed his face against the window, watching the rain drizzle lazily down the other side of the glass, seeing the distant flicker of neons in the city center through the grey haze of the miserable weather.  To be honest, he didn’t know where to go from here.  He’d asked the Lucky Sevens about Abnormals, about the power structures within the city, even about some of the heroes that he remembered from his own reality.  They clearly had no clue that the world which they were a part of was not the real one.  That it was some kind of elaborate charade.  Or was that even right?  After all, they had lived their whole lives in it.  It was every bit as real to them as his old reality was to him.

Turning to the TV, Countdown flicked the power on.  A news anchor filled the screen, his perfect smile and year-round tan both comforting and irritating in equal measures.  The report was something to do with a crime spree being carried out by a super-villain.  Countdown didn’t have time for this.  He wasn’t a normal hero now.  He was trying to fix the very fabric of the universe.  There was no time to get involved with the crimes being perpetrated by these shadow images.  He was about to turn away when Countdown caught the name of the criminal.  Got Gal.

Got Gal?

His mouth dropped open.  Countdown was familiar with the hero – she was prominent in the old version of Helix City and she had been among those fighting the Cosmic Disruption at the end.  Indeed, he’d specifically asked about her when talking with the Lucky Sevens and they had said they had never heard of her?  Yet here she was, at the top of the news on the main city channel.

“Police have refused to confirm that the villains have escaped and the official line is that the pursuit continues, but rumours spreading on social media suggest that the duo has made good their escape.  This new super crook, Got Gal, helped the infamous mass murdered Devastator escape before Captain Courage reached the scene.  We’re with Councilman Jessop now for a comment…”

Countdown ignored the politician and considered the implications of what he had heard.  Got Gal was a villainess now?  But she was being called “new.”  This made no sense.  If she was part of the new reality then certainly, she could be a villain – but she’d probably have been around for years.  Of course it wasn’t completely impossible that some twist of this new world had her powers emerge later, but he thought this didn’t feel right.  Countdown could only assume that she was a new arrival, just like him.  Which meant that also just like him she was not native to the new reality, but a visitor.  His attention was drawn back to the news as the hero Captain Courage appeared on the screen.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please do not be alarmed.  Villains come and villains go, but the forces of law and order will always prevail.”  The reporter, clearly in awe of the good captain, asked what his next move was.  “To catch these murderers, of course,” He said.  “Perhaps they were able to overpower the police, but I am not the police.  I am Captain Courage and I carry with me the strength and the decency of this good city and all the people who live here.  I will give the apprehension of Devastator and Got Gal my full attention and I will not rest until they pay for their heinous crimes.”

Countdown cocked an eyebrow.  Who the hell was this Captain Courage anyway?  He didn’t even exist in the old reality.  The only mention of him that Countdown had ever heard was in the relayed story told by Jay the Malleable Man during the Cosmic Disruption – and he was supposed to be dead.  He puzzled over this for a while, pondering whether it was possible for reality to be remade with pieces of yet a third reality?  He had no idea really, but it felt unlikely.  After all, if that were possible then this world should have been completely unfamiliar – loaded with bits and pieces of innumerable other possibilities.

No, Countdown felt that he was close to understanding something important here.  First, that Captain Courage should not exist in this world.  The fact that he did exist was important.  It was worth looking into very closely.  Second, that Got Gal was likely to be a transient factor, just like he was.  Which meant she may have information, or may be a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, that would lead him closer to putting things right.

This left Countdown with a daunting task ahead.  He had to track down two dangerous fugitives that were being hunted by the authorities – and he had to do it before Captain Courage found them.  Because he had a very strong hunch that if Captain Courage found them first – they wouldn’t survive the encounter.  Then again, if they were really deadly villains, or if Captain Courage found him – he may not survive the encounter either!

One Response to “Countdown, Issue #007”

  1. False Bill Says:

    So Countdown has not got anything of use from the lucky 7’s, do wonder why father time sent him there?

    Well at least you’ve got a lead now.


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