Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Countdown, Issue #008

September 18, 2017 in Countdown

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Issue #008 – – – – – controlled by Rene Sawatzki – – – – – Credits 54

Countdown spent the next day trying to gather information.  His attempts to contact Old Father Time using the hourglass led to nothing.  As omnipotent powers go, he wasn’t the most responsive.  Then again, he was the only one Countdown had ever met, so there was no real mean to compare him against.

The local library didn’t prove very enlightening either.  He looked for books that classified Abnormals and talked about their history.  There were quite a few, but they weren’t really scholarly.  More like tabloid trash, released to capitalise on some event or new hero at different times.

He did manage to gather that Abnormals were classified in three groups; A, B and C.  A-Class were the big hitters, B-Class were your more “street level” heroes and C-Class had powers that were either useless, or just not powerful enough to be more than an amusement for most people.  There were also Subnormals, monstrous creatures whose appearance was too horrific for normal society.  These had existed in the former universe, Countdown thought, but this brave new world seemed vastly more intolerant of such things.

The trouble was, Countdown’s memory kept fading in and out.  He’d get glimpses of events and things from the previous universe, but then he’d struggle to recall the exact details.  Obviously some side-effect of whatever had been done to reality.

With little else in the way of leads, the hero eventually decided to go looking for Got-Gal.  He very much hoped she would not turn out to be one of the bad guys because just now he could use an ally, or at least somebody who knew more about what was going on.

The news footage said that Got Gal and The Devastator had escaped by crashing into the city sewers and then disappearing in the maze of old, damp tunnels.  Apparently they were being hunted by some Police organisation called Special Operations and Patrols.  Soap.  Huh, Countdown thought, couldn’t they have come up with something better than that?

On a whim, Countdown pulled on his normal clothes and took a walk down to site where they had entered the sewer.  The hold in the sidewalk was fenced off, “Warning” and “Danger” tape decorating the area.  A Police Car was parked nearly, two cops lounging against it as its lights flashed bright circuits in the early evening.  Countdown walked over.
“Hello,” he said, smiling at the cops.  “Is this the place where the supervillains escaped?”
One of the cops, a man with a portly stomach and a big moustache, nodded: “Yeah.  This is the place.  Why do you care?”
“Just interested,” Countdown told him.  “I saw it on the news.”
The other cop, a young lady with a sullen expression, muttered: “Not another gawker.”
“I’m sorry,” Countdown said.  “I didn’t mean to intrude.”
“No worries,” the fat cop laughed.  “Don’t worry about Officer Porter, she just doesn’t like doing nothing for hours.”
“Do you think you will catch them?” Countdown asked.
“Oh yeah,” the big cop nodded, “We always catch them.  Devastator, we’ll get him soon enough.  Guy like that, just can’t be quiet.  He’ll be smashing something up sooner or later and the minute he surfaces we’ll pick him up.  Well, not us,” the Cop clarified, “You know.  The heroes.  Captain Courage, probably, given his power level.”
“And the other one, what was her name?”
“Got-Gal,” Officer Porter chimed in.  “Some new villain, maybe working as a junior partner to Devastator?”
“Don’t you worry, Sir,” the big cop said with confidence, “We’ll get them all.”

Countdown walked away and slipped around the corner, where he withdrew and examined his special watch.  The hands were spinning again, but lazily this time, before coming together on the number three.  The hero moved the watch and the hands moved to.  Now they were on the number four.  Each time he moved the hands moved too.

Countdown smiled to himself.  He could see what was happening.  The watch was no longer acting like a timepiece.  Now it was acting like a compass.  However he turned it, those two hands continued to point the same way.  At last.  Some guidance.

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