Patreon LogoYour support makes Blue Moon possible (Patreon)

The Life of Valor (Grave x Kat)

Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#1
Scott Young shielded his eyes as the blaring sun came through the open window. His head was still cloudy and his vision swimming, but he could just barely make out a shape standing at the foot of his bed. After his vision cleared a moment, he saw that it was a nurse filling out a chart. That let him know that he was in a hospital, but where that hospital was remained a mystery.
"Where am I?" he managed to croak out.
The nurse turned to him and regarded him with a smile.

"Well, it's good to see that you're awake. You've been sleeping for two days."
"That doesn't answer my question."
"You're in the medical wing of The Shadowgreen Institute, Mr. Young," the nurse replied patiently, "and you may not be familiar with it, but it is familiar with you."
In preparation for his battle with the Grymwar, Scott had battled with over a hundred of his fellow students during his time here, and they had always ended with his opponent being sent here. He guessed it was his turn to pay a visit, maybe as some sort of karma.

His thoughts were interrupted as Yvette Duchet, the Director of Shadowgreen, came striding into the room. She was dressed in her characteristic all-black, from her stylish heels to her leather jacket, but the black shades that she usually wore were off to reveal bright blue eyes that took in all around her.
"Welcome back to the land of the living, Scott."
Scott sat up, wincing as his body disagreed with that move. Yvette sat at the end of the bed and regarded him with a neutral stare.
"Do you remember what happened?"

Scott closed his eyes and thought back on how it all began. He had once been a regular teenager from Detroit, but the day he decided to protect a little girl from a drive-by shooting was the day his life changed forever. An alien race known as the Kasha had been searching for a noble being that could wield the power of the Voltari, another alien race native to Planet Kasha. Seeing Scott's heroic actions, they protected him by imbuing him with the soul of a Voltari and allowing its impenetrable armor to manifest itself on his right arm. When the danger had cleared, they explained what had happened, but warned that their gift came with a terrible price. The Voltari Soul was the ultimate weapon of the Kasha, but their age-old enemies, the violent and dangerous Grymwar, would come to Earth to either seize it or destroy it.

This danger could not be ignored, and Scott would have to master his new power if there was to be any hope of repelling the Grymwar. He was sent to a special school for metahumans in Nice, France called the Shadowgreen Institute, where they taught him about his power. To assist his learning, the Kasha linked him to cosmic beings that would teach him their combat abilities. One was a former human hero turned God of Fire named Alan Arnan, and the other was a Buddhist Bodhisattva named Chiang Kaishu. Years of training by several talented metahumans and battles with his classmates gave Scott and his Voltari Soul, who he named Valor, the power to face the Grymwar. When that day came, it was absolute chaos.

Scott's training had allowed him to manifest Valor several times, but Dulzak's Cutting Magic made it possible for him to shear the armor off and leave him vulnerable. Having exhausted his supply of manifestations, Scott was forced to attempt a dangerous and forbidden new manifestation. His right arm was nearly destroyed and he nearly bled to death, but he finally managed to find a strong enough connection with Valor to manifest the Forbidden Tenth Fist. This gave him access to a powerful new attack, the Shining Fist of Valor, which he used to utterly obliterate Dulzak. In the aftermath, news agencies scrambled to get pictures and video of the superhero that had repelled an alien invasion. Someone shoving a microphone in his face and asking him questions was the last thing he remembered.

Scott turned to Ms. Duchet.
"How did I end up here?"
"After you collapsed on live TV, you were rushed to a local hospital. I personally flew to the US and took you into custody after the doctors there said you were stable. It's not that I don't trust American doctors, it's just that Shadowgreen is better equipped to deal with the 'unique' conditions of metahumans."
"Thanks," Scott replied, not really knowing what else to say.

Yvette nodded.
"Well, it's the least we could do for the "Protector of the Earth", as some newspapers are calling you. Now, you should rest. You'll probably be discharged as soon as you get your strength up."
Scott nodded and laid back down. The Director and the Nurse left the room to tend to other matters, and all was quiet.

Scott...
Scott opened his eyes and found himself in a dark room with the only illumination being the spectral presence of Valor. The Voltari appeared as he had in life, an armored worm about the size of a tennis shoe and about a foot in length. Scott smiled, relieved to see his close friend.
Valor, we did it.
Yes, and there are those who wish to offer us congratulations.

Another form appeared, this time in the form of the Empress of Kasha. She was humanoid in appearance with bright red hair like dreadlocks, and her dotted skin and tail were the only things that prevented her from being mistaken for a human.
Scott and Valor, all of Kasha rejoices at your victory. Earth is saved from the threat of the Grymwar, and perhaps in time, both of our planets will be rid of them.
The Empress vanished, and Alan and Chiang appeared in her place. They had adjusted their appearance to their previous forms as regular humans, and they smiled at them with pride.

We knew you guys wouldn't let us down. The Grymwar have been set back considerably, and their like may not be seen again for many years. There are new threats on the horizon, but Earth is in the safe hands of The Man of Valor.
Alan vanished, and Chiang made a hand gesture that implied 'meditation', a mark of his Buddhist identity.
Walk always in the light.
Chiang vanished, and a blinding light obscured Scott's vision.

When he was next awake, the sun was starting to descend into evening. He felt like his normal self, and stepped out of bed with ease. He looked at his headboard and saw that Director Duchet had already filled out his discharge papers. Scott picked them up and headed out of the medical wing, following the hallway back to the regular school. When he stepped out, he was greeted by three familiar, but not completely welcomed, faces.
"What are you guys doing here?"

The people he was talking to were three metahumans that had once been his enemies. One named Richard Baker, who went by the nickname Rocky, had been in his graduating class and could encase his body in stone. His younger brother Nick, who called himself Shell-Shock, could fire energy blasts. Their friend Michael, who called himself Sandstorm, had the ability to control sand. Scott had battled with and defeated all three, and though they had not been a problem lately, he was not entirely ready to bury the hatchet. Rocky shuffled his foot a bit, and then stepped forward.

"Look, Scott, we want to apologize for how we treated you in the past. You helped us see how the way we acted was wrong, and we just want to make peace. We've both graduated, and I'm not planning to stay here for too much longer, but before I left, I wanted to square things with you."
Scott looked at each of them, and he got the feeling that they were sincere in their desire to be friends. With everything that had happened, he guessed that the past was not really important anymore.
"All right, we're cool."

He shook hands with each of them, and they began telling him about what the television had shown. A brave camera crew had caught his final blow against Dulzak, and there were several shots of the Grymwar as definitive proof of alien life. The international media was buzzing about him, and Scott wasn't sure he was real comfortable with the sudden fame. After conversing with them a while, he excused himself to go to his room. It was here that he began to pack his things to leave out of Shadowgreen. It was time for him to go to New York City and make a regular life for himself.

It was fortunate that he had big enough suitcases that he could fit all he had in two of them. He walked out of his room where he had lived for years, looking back only once to say a silent goodbye. As he headed for the elevator to the ground floor, he passed by the training room where he had spent uncountable hours in training with Alan and Chiang. As he rode the elevator down, memories flooded through his head, and it dawned on him that he was really going to miss this place. Scott stepped out of the elevator and left the building, heading for the exit gate. Departing students would be offered a ride to the local airport or bus station if they desired, but after two days in bed, Scott was ready for a long walk.

The scenery of France was nice, and he began to feel a sense of tranquility that he had not felt in a long time. There was no longer an apocalyptic threat to prepare for, and it seemed like a big weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He was free now to do as he pleased, and a big smile crossed his face. When he reached the airport, he bought a ticket from a ticket lady who was trying to keep it together around him. The ticket was for a nonstop flight to New York City, which was exactly what he wanted right now. As he boarded the plane and got settled in, he let out a big sigh of relief and thought about what he was going to do to support himself while he pursued a quieter, normal life.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#2
Jessica Allan was a 24 year old beauty. She grew up most of her life in a small town in Maine but decided she didn't want to spend her whole life on the farm, which is where she'd grown up. So, at the age of 22 she had saved up a good portion of money from her job at the grocery store down the street, since living with her parents on the farm she didn't have to pay for food or shelter and only had to pay for gas to go places, and she was off to New York City! She arrived in August and bought a small apartment. After a few weeks she finally found a job as the front desk lady at a multi-purpose office building. She had worked there ever since.

Two months later she looked up and smiled as a man came in whom had showed up about a month after she did. "Morning Scott." She said, handing him the sign-in sheet that was necessary of anyone working in the building. "How was your weekend?" She asked as she looked up at him.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#3
After Scott had arrived in New York City, he had turned his mind toward looking for a career. He wanted to do something that would make a positive difference in people's lives, but he did not want a high stress job like working in the medical field or for a police department. He finally settled on the job of private investigator, and got his license in a short time. He had managed to secure the floor of a multipurpose building for him to work out of, and Valor Investigations was born. As he walked into the building, the pretty secretary named Jessica gave him a greeting.
"My weekend was good, Jessica, thanks for asking."

Over the short time he had been working here, the two had become casual acquaintances. She was one of the only people he knew who did not know about his special power, and that made it easy to start with her using a clean slate. He politely broke off conversation and headed for the elevator, pressing the button for floor ten. When he got off of the elevator, he went into his office to sort through his case files. Since his business was so new, he had not had too many cases at first, but he had cleared the ones given to him except for one that he was hung up on because a particular subject was out of the country. His case load was pretty free, so it was good timing when he heard a knock on his door.

The young woman who entered was a petite blonde wearing a chaste dress and fashionable boots. The look on her face was neutral, but something about the way she entered troubled him. He had seen a few different emotions from clients when they entered his office, ranging from polite courteousness to anger, but this woman's mood was different. The mood coming off of her was fear.
"Please have a seat, miss?" Scott said as he stood up to pull the chair out for her. She nodded and sat down with her hands in her lap.

Scott took a seat behind his desk.
"So, what brings you to Valor Investigations?"
The young woman looked uncertain for a moment, gathered her resolve, and looked at him.
"Mr. Young, my name is Valerie Harper. I came to you, because...well, because..."
She trailed off until Scott obliged her to continue.

"...Because I think I'm being followed."
Scott nodded in understanding. He had tackled these kind of peeping tom cases before, and sometimes it brought him into the company of another PI who was following the wishes of his own client.
"Do you know who it is that's following you?"
"No," Valerie said with a shake of her head, "that's why I'm so frightened."
"Do you have any enemies?"

"No."
"Any jilted ex-boyfriends or an ex-spouse with an ax to grind?"
"No, I've never even had a boyfriend," she said kind of shyly.
"Do you have any kind of job stress or stress in your personal life that could spill over into this kind of thing?"
"No, I live a pretty quiet life. I go to work and come home most days, and on weekends I just lounge around the house."

"What kind of work is it that you do, Ms. Harper?"
"I actually work in this building on the sixteenth floor. I'm a fitness and yoga instructor."
"Have you ever had a client that acted suspiciously or left you on bad terms?"
"No. Sometimes a client tries to ask me out for coffee or a movie, but I always turn them down, and I've never had something like that affect my professional life."

"Can I get the names and addresses of the clients that have asked you out?"
"You don't think one of them is behind it, do you?" she asked nervously.
"It's just a formality. In these kinds of cases, it pays to look at everyone."
"I have their files in my office upstairs. I can get it for you."

"That would be swell. For now, I would like to get your name, address, preferred phone number, and email address. I need at least two ways to get in contact with you should I find out anything."
Valerie nodded and wrote out all of the information on a sheet of paper, information that would later be put into Scott's e-files.
"Is there anything else I should know before we talk about payment?"
Valerie thought about it a minute and then shook her head.

"Very well. My fee is $100 a day plus expenses. Expenses include food and gas, and may include travel expenses. I do all that I can to save my clients money and find out the truth, but you never know where a case might lead. I also need you to sign this release form absolving me of any responsibility for any legal or other problems that may result from my investigation."
Valerie read over the form and then signed it.

Scott took the form and put it in a file in his cabinet.
"Okay, Miss Harper, you're good to go. I'll begin my investigation immediately. Let's start by getting the files on your clients upstairs."
Valerie nodded and got up. The two walked to the elevator and began heading for the sixteenth floor.

Once they were on the sixteenth floor, he followed her through the studio and into her office. Valerie produced a key and unlocked the filing cabinet where she kept her documents. She produced a stack of five files and handed them to him.
"These are all files of men that have hit on you?"
Valerie nodded.
"Wow, you're quite popular."

She blushed a bit and turned away to lock up the filling cabinet. Scott walked with her to the elevator and stopped it on his floor.
"Well, Ms. Harper, I'll get started on your case right away. You have a good day."
"Thanks. You, too."

Scott stepped off the elevator and he heard it close behind him as he headed for his office. He put the files on his desk and sat down before pulling the top one and beginning to read it. It was a fairly standard file, and nothing really jumped out at him about the guy. Reading through all the other files was pretty much the same story, although she attracted a diverse crowd of professions into her studio, from white-collar guys to construction workers. After reading the files, there was no obvious suspect, and he leaned back in his chair.
Did you get any vibes off of those guys, Valor?

Nothing unusual.
Valor had a sixth sense about him where he could read the hearts of individuals. It was a valuable trait that helped ward off deception, but even his keen senses could be fooled or come up empty, sometimes.
What about Valerie? Anything strike you as strange about her?
No, all indications were that she was being perfectly honest.

Scott nodded.
"So we're on the same page, then."
Yes. It appears our only recourse is to do surveillance on these men and see if they are up to anything suspicious.
"With five guys, that won't be easy."
Nevertheless, Scott got up to head out, but stopped when he heard the elevator open again on his floor.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#4
The elevator doors opened and Jessica stepped out, looking over as she saw Scott was in the process of leaving his office. "Hey, I was just coming to talk to you." She said, walking over to him. "I came to see if you wanted to grab some lunch, I never see you in the cafe downstairs and figured it must get pretty lonely having lunch in your office by yourself every day." She walked over to him and smiled. "Plus, we haven't really gotten a chance to talk even though we see each other every day, so what do you say? Lunch?"
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#5
Scott looked over as he saw Jessica come through the elevator and come to his office. The two had not been able to talk much because his work took up most of his time, but he liked her. She was sweet and sunny and always made his mornings nice. She had a cute New England accent which contrasted with his origins in Detroit. Aside from that, she was a very attractive young woman, and one who had thus far followed the pattern and being around him but not really part of his life. With the invasion of the Grymwar repulsed, maybe it was time to change that.

"Oh, Jessica. It's nice to see you."
She invited him to lunch, and his first instinct was to decline because he had a case to work. However, the look on her face said that this might hurt her feelings, and having lunch with her couldn't delay his case by much.
"Yeah, that sounds great."
He walked with her to the elevator and pressed the button for the bottom floor.

Jessica had not been wrong about him eating lunch in his office. It was a habit that he ate while reviewing his unresolved cases, always keeping an eye out for anything strange. He guessed that he would be classified as a workaholic, since he didn't do much else, but his time at Shadowgreen had conditioned him this way and it would take a while to work out of that. He could not recall a time when he had even stepped into the workplace cafe. Maybe this lunch would be just the thing to help him loosen up a bit.
"So, where did you want to eat lunch?"
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#6
Jessica smiled brightly as he accepted her offer and nodded. "Great." She said happily as she walked with him to the elevator. She shrugged as he asked where she wanted to eat. "We could eat at the cafe or any of the nearby restaurants. I invited you, so you pick." She said, smiling at him before she turned to watch the numbers on elevator screen drop one by one, humming softly.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#7
Scott nodded as she asked him to pick.
"Well, I've never been to the cafe, so let's go there."
After the elevator opened, he walked with her to the cafe across the way, which had a sign next to it announcing the daily specials. When he stepped inside, he was actually impressed with what he saw. The walls were painted a subtle red, the lighting was nice, and it was nicely air-conditioned. It almost looked like a fine dining restaurant.

"Wow, when you said cafe, I didn't expect this."
A waiter came to show them to their table, and handed out menus before getting drink orders. Scott ordered a water for himself, since he wasn't wanting to make it a very long lunch. He looked over the menu and saw what he wanted. While he waited for Jessica to settle on what she wanted, he decided to make conversation. He put down the menu and folded his hands.

"So, I couldn't help but notice that you have a subtle New England accent. What state are you from up there?"
He took a sip of his water and thought about how strange it was that, after everything he had been through, he would be sitting in a cafe having lunch like a regular person. It was relaxation time, something he was not used to allowing himself. So far, it had been a couple months and he had not had to call upon the power of Valor. By the same token that that was good, he also hoped that he didn't get rusty.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#8
Jessica nodded as he chose to go to the cafe and she led him to it when they got off the elevator. She smiled at the impressed look on his face when he saw the cafe, chuckling softly and shrugging. "One of the businesses here is a restaurant, people who work in the building get a discount so it's about the same price as going to Applebee's, but the food is better." She said with a smile as they were led to the table and she sat down, ordering a water as well before looking over the menu and settling on her usual. She looked up at him at his question and chuckled, setting her menu down. "You noticed? I thought I had grown out of it." She said and smiled. "I'm from a small town in Maine, a town which pretty much holds the same population as this street probably does right now." She said with a chuckle and looked at him. "How about you? Where do you originate from?"
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#9
Scott chuckled.
"You almost have, but it's still faintly there."
She then asked him where he was from.
"I'm originally from Detroit, Michigan. I spent a handful of years in Nice, France, and when I returned to the States, I settled here in the Big Apple."
The waiter returned, and he ordered the cheeseburger platter.
"So, how long have you been in New York?"
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#10
Jessica smiled as she nodded, hearing him talk about where he's been. When the waiter came she ordered the chicken ceasar salad. "Actually I only arrive a little bit more than a month before you did."
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#11
Scott nodded.
"Oh, I see."
The two chatted politely until the food was brought. The lunch was actually delightful, as he found Jessica an easy person to talk to. Once they were done eating, the waiter brought the check.
"Here you go, sir, and may I just say, thank you for your service."

Scott nodded, knowing that he was referring to the alien attack in New York, but in this context, he could just as easily be thanking him for his patronage.
"How about we split the check?"
He took out his wallet and pulled half the check amount out. He realized that she had invited him, but he felt bad making her pay for the whole meal, even if it was a reasonable price for what they had ordered.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#12
Jessica chuckled and snagged the check away from him, shaking her head. "Nuh uh, I dragged you out of your office to come here, I'm paying, no arguments." She said with a giggle then clipped her debit card to the check tray and gave it to the waiter.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#13
Scott chuckled.
"Well, if you insist."
The waiter used her debit card to complete the transaction and then brought it back to her with a receipt.
"Have a nice day, and thank you for your patronage."
Scott nodded and stood up, walking with Jessica to the door. Once they were back in the lobby, he turned to her.

"Well, thank you for an enjoyable lunch. I'll see you later."
He turned and walked out the door, carrying his case file under his arm. When he got into his car, a Ford Taurus, he examined the file and the list of possible suspects. As before, none really jumped out at him, but he was going to do surveillance on them, just in case. He started the car and exited the parking lot. After adjusting the mirror, he headed for the address of the first suspect.

Several hours later, as the sun began to set, he had watched all of his suspects and none had behaved suspiciously. It seemed that his target was not among this group, which meant that his job had gotten tougher. Stranger-on-stranger crime was the hardest type to solve, and he would have to go back to the drawing board to run down a new lead. He turned his car around and began heading home. The following day, he would follow Valerie and see if he could spot her stalker. It was not the greatest of plans, but it was the only one he had.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#14
Jessica nodded to the waiter and wrote out his tip on the receipt and followed Scott back to the lobby. She smiled and nodded to him, going back to her desk as she had to stay until everyone had left the building. She hadn't been able to leave until it was already dark and she sighed. She lived only two blocks away from the building so most days she just walked to and from work, like she had today, looked like she'd have to walk home in the dark. Fun, fun. She was half way to her apartment when she saw a group of young drunks walking the other way, she tried to step to the side and avoid eye contact but they noticed her and stopped her. "Hey sexy business lady, wanna come play with us?" They started harrassing her and she tried to walk away but one of them grabbed her. She'd learned martial arts as a kid and spun around, giving the one who'd grabbed and a swift chop to the arm that held her's. He grunted in pain and let her go and soon she was fighting to get away from them, throwing kicks and punches were she could but since it was four on one, they managed to get behind her and grab her arms, pinning them behind her back with another crouched and held her legs to keep her from kicking. "You bitch..." The one who'd grabbed her growled and reached to rip off her suite.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#15
Scott was just turning right on an intersection when his headlights played across a woman being harassed by some punks. He took a look and saw that it was Jessica. She was trying to fight back, but she was outnumbered and quickly overpowered. He stopped his vehicle and jumped out, doing a brisk walk over to the scene. He reached out and chopped the thug who was holding her legs in the neck, watching him slide to the ground like a bag of wet sand. One thug went to approach him, but was swiftly dropped by a snap kick to the face.

The third thug came at him with his fist raised and threw a punch, which Scott stopped by blocking it with his right arm. He countered with a left punch, a right roundhouse kick to the ribs, and then a palm strike to the nose to knock him to the ground. The fourth thug let go of Jessica and drew out a gun, but it was knocked out of his hand by a swift kick from Scott. With the same leg, he came back fast as lightning and struck him across the jaw with his heel, knocking him out. The whole thing had taken seconds, and he had not broken a sweat. After the intense battles at the Shadowgreen Institute, these goons were cake.

He turned to Jessica and gently approached her.
"Hey, are you alright?"
He put his hand on her shoulder to comfort her and looked at her appearance. Her suit had been wrinkled in the scuffle and her heels were half off, but she didn't appear injured and her clothes weren't damaged. She was shaken up, but no worse than that, thankfully.
"I'm glad I came by when I did."
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#16
Jessica had dropped to her knees as the fighting took place, breathing heavily from the fear she'd felt and she looked up at Scott, nodding softly at his words and looked over at the goons and muttered. "Fucking bastards..." She took a deep breath and let it out slow to try and calm herself. "Yeah... I'm fine... thanks a lot." She said as she looked up at him. "How did you do all of that? There were four of them and you took them out like they were moving in slow motion..."
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#17
Scott was relieved that she was okay. She then asked him how he had handled them so easily, and he thought she might just faint if he told her the truth.
"Let's just say that I have had a lot of practice."
He went over to his Taurus and took a pair of gloves and a plastic Ziploc bag out of the glove compartment.
"We definitely shouldn't leave this with them," he said as he placed the gun in the bag and sealed it.
He turned to Jessica.

"You shouldn't be alone just yet. Come on and I'll give you a ride home."
He went back to his vehicle and put the gun and gloves in the glove compartment. He then held the door open for her so that she could get in. Once he was in the driver's seat, he put it in gear and began driving.
"So, where should I drop you off at?"
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#18
Jessica nodded as he picked up the gun and put it in the bag. She stood and said. "I should be fine... my apartment's just down the block..." She then sighed and nodded, climbing in the car and pointed at the tall apartment building ahead, it wasn't very fancy, in fact it was pretty well known that it was actually pretty bad living to have an apartment there.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#19
Scott looked at the building she pointed to.
"I see it."
He pulled ahead not very far and parked in front of the building.
"I'll wait until you get inside before I leave. I'll see you tomorrow."
He watched as she got out of the vehicle and headed inside.

Where she lived definitely looked rundown. His job paid well so he lived in a decent part of the city, not fancy or upper crust, but nice enough. He was glad that he had come by when he did, as he would have hated for Jessica to have gotten hurt. He finished the drive home and put the gun in a desk drawer before locking it. He hadn't decided what he was going to do about it yet, and would deal with it tomorrow. He changed into some more comfortable clothes and sat down at his table to read over the case file again.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#20
Jessica nodded softly and smiled at him. "Thank you." She said before climbing out of the car and walking inside, turning to wave to him just as she walked through the door. She headed up to her drafty, scummy apartment and changed into her pjs and went to bed.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#21
After going over the case file, Scott had not seen anything he did not already know. Everyone on the client list of Valerie had been cleared, and going over the file had produced no new suspects. It seemed that his plan to follow Valerie and see if anyone else was would be the best course of action. He set the case file down and rubbed his tired eyes. Scott got up and headed for bed after giving teeth a good but quick brushing. As soon as his head hit the pillow, he was asleep.

During the night, he had a dream that was more like a memory from five years ago. He was fifteen years old and it was his second day at the Shadowgreen Institute. His first day had not been the best, as he was made fun of for not being a "true" metahuman, due to his powers coming from something besides himself. The worst of the lot was a boy named Nick, an ambitious new student who wanted to climb the ladder as quickly as possible. His nickname was Shell-Shock, and he could fire energy blasts from his body. It was only a matter of time before the two would clash.

Scott was walking down a hallway, headed for a place where he could quietly train. The Kasha had sent a message that he should meet with them in the evening, so he had some time to kill before then. Just as he was about to exit the door, he heard snickering laughter behind him. Scott whirled around to see Nick and two taller boys giving him malicious grins.
"Well, well, if it isn't Tin Can Man," Nick said in a mocking tone.
Scott clenched his fist, in no mood to put up with his crap right now.

"Well, Captain Smartmouth, it's not good to see you. What the hell do you want?"
The tallest boy stepped forward, getting close to Scott.
"For one thing, you're in the wrong section, New Blood. This hallway is for Median and Superior students only."
"I didn't see any signs saying that."

The older boy jabbed him in the chest with his index finger.
"You don't need any signs, it's tradition. Lower-ranking students stay away from higher-ranking students until they prove themselves. It's common sense."
"Yeah, whatever," Scott replied as he turned to walk away.
He didn't get far, as the older boy grabbed the back of his shirt and held fast.

"Now, hold on there. You and my brother Nick are going to settle your differences here and now."
Scott turned and glared at Nick as the older boy let go of his shirt.
"Let's get this over with, then. After I kick your ass, you're going to stop calling me Tin Can Man."
"We may be the same rank but don't get ahead of yourself," Nick replied, "You and I are not in the same league, poser."

Scott was led out the door to an empty field on the west side of the Institute, where students often went to settle their differences in combat. The oldest boy introduced himself as Richard, a Superior rank student and older brother of Nick. The next-oldest was Mike, a Median rank student and mutual friend of the brothers. Scott and Nick went to opposite sides of the field, ready to face off. Scott clenched his fist, and a bright yellow and white aura flared up as an earthquake started to occur around them. Within a matter of minutes, a black and gold gauntlet had appeared on Scott's right arm, a manifestation of his power.

Nick smirked.
"That won't do you any good, Scott. I've won already."
"We'll see, Shellhead."
"That's Shell-Shock!" he angrily called out as he fired blue energy blasts from his hands.
Scott dodged to the side and used his arm to ward off the blasts, closing the distance between himself and his opponent.

When he was close enough, he punched Nick across the face and followed it up with a series of blows. He finished with a straight from his arm of Valor that nearly broke his nose. Nick got to his feet, his face twisted in fury.
"Damn you! I won't hold back now!"
He turned his fist palm up and put it at his side, starting to charge up power.

Seeing that his opponent was going to use his strongest attack, Scott decided that he would do the same. He clenched his fist and his arm of Valor started to glow. As time went on, it threw off a rainbow of colors and became blindingly bright. Nick had charged up an energy ball the size of a basketball, and was soon ready to go.
"Shell Cannon!" he cried out as he aimed his fist at Scott and fired a powerful blast at him.
"Fist of Valor!" Scott cried as he went forward, spun around for momentum, and punched the blast as hard as he could.

From here, it was a clash of wills as much as techniques. Scott moved through the blast, but it was taking a toll on his arm. Bits and pieces started to chip off, until it seemed entirely off when he was only a foot away from Nick.
"How can he resist the Shell Cannon with just his bare arm?!" Richard asked in disbelief.
"This guy's not human," Mike said in agreement.
What neither one of them knew was that a tiny piece of the arm was still on the underside of Scott's wrist, and it allowed him to continue his struggle.

At last, he broke through, and his fist collided with Nick's jaw, unleashing the full power of the Fist of Valor. Nick was thrown back violently, bounced off of the ground a few times, and was buried an inch thick in a brick wall. The last piece of the arm fell off of Scott's arm, but he had a triumphant smile on his face.
"It was your turn to be shell-shocked, Nick," he said with a chuckle.
He straightened up and took a deep breath before turning and around and heading back for the main building. As he walked away, Richard and Mike headed over to pry Nick out of the wall, thinking that Scott had proven himself to be more determined and powerful than they imagined.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#22
Jessica slept through the night, dreaming about the times she'd beaten up any assholes who tried to mess with her, that's when her father took her to martial arts practice, after she almost put a boy in the emergency room. He'd said 'if you're going to defend yourself, at least learn how to not kill people.'
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#23
Scott woke up the next morning and got together. His plan for the day was set, so he was feeling motivated. As he passed by the desk with the gun, he decided that he would do something with it when he came home later. He got into his Taurus and drove to work, walking into the building to find Jessica at the counter. He decided to talk to her a moment and see how she was doing.
"Hey, Jessica, how are you?"

One thing about New York that had never changed was how dangerous it could be. The man who had taught him martial arts, Alan Arnan, prior to becoming the Fire God, had been a native of Manhattan, and told him some stories of crazy New York times. Unfortunately, it was even more dangerous for women, and he hated that she had almost been hurt. His sense of justice and need to protect others had been part of the reason he had become a P.I., while also being a superhero on the side. She seemed as well put together as ever, although he knew it had to affect her emotionally. He was almost tempted to take her hand and comfort her, but knew that wouldn't be a good idea for either one of them.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
4,127
Location
New England, U.S.
#24
Jessica looked up as Scott came in and smiled softly, not wanting to bother him with her problems she nodded. "I'm doing alright, how about you? You didn't work yourself through the night did you?" She asked with a chuckle.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,566
Location
Small Town, USA
#25
Scott was glad to hear that she was doing good.
"No, I crashed at a decent time. I'll see you later."
He headed for the elevator and took it to Valerie's studio. He checked the hours and saw that she did not close until the evening time. That meant he had a while to wait, so he went back to his office and organized some files that had been piling up on his desk.

At lunchtime, he dialed Valerie's number until she answered on the third ring.
"Hello?"
"Ms. Harper, this is Scott. I have an update on your case."
"What is it?"
"I was able to successfully rule out all of your clients as being your stalker."

"Well, that's a relief to know."
"Yes, but it means the case is that much harder. Stranger on stranger crime is the hardest kind to solve."
"Okay, so what are you going to do?"
"After you get off work tonight, I'm going to follow you home and see if anyone else is doing the same. It's the best lead I have right now."

"Okay, Mr. Young. In a way it will make me feel safer, knowing you're watching out for me."
"Alright, goodbye, Ms. Harper."
"Bye."
He hung up the phone and got up to head downstairs. He chatted a minute with Jessica before heading over to the cafe to get a sandwich to go.

Back in his office, he ate the sandwich and saw that he still had plenty of time left to wait. He headed back downstairs and approached Jessica.
"Hey, why don't you take a break and let's go for a walk? I need to stretch my legs and I'll bet you do, too."
The two had been friends for a little while but had not spent much time together. Lately there had been opportunities to change that, and he was taking them as they came.
 
Top Bottom