Hooked On Comics

This is a great day for comic book fans. My friend Austin is a huge DC Comics fan and he inspired me to write a DC fan fiction story. I never realized how hard comic fan fiction was until I tried writing this story, however, after countless hours (actually, I can count them, it took 3 days) working on this, I think I found an almost perfect balance of comic and novel. My story also takes place in the TV show, Young Justice, universe a few years after season 2. If you haven’t watched the show on Netflix yet and then start studying. If you’re unfamiliar with the super heroes then here you go:

 

 

A New Dawn:

Volt and Ash

            As the fans flooded out of the concert arena towards their cars to either go home or find a party to attend to drink more than they should, one group of college kids had other plans. “Alright, let’s get this show on the road,” rallied Austin. He’s one of those hipsters you wouldn’t know was a hipster until you listened to his Spotify playlist. He sported a red, star wars shirt with black shorts and a pair of red Chuck CONS. His friend in the black and blue sweatshirt, beanie, jeans and grey skater shoes looked more like a hipster. Which he was.

“Can we go get some food before we leave? Let’s go downtown and relax a bit.” Maze had never been to Phoenix before, so he wasn’t eager to leave without exploring a bit.

“Yea, I want food,” Bre chimed in. Every group has to have some feminine influence and she wasn’t quite it. She had the looks of an innocent, Asian woman, but was more of a guy than actual guys some times.

“It’s decided, time to get dinner,” Selene concluded. This strong willed Hispanic on the other hand was definitely a woman to be reckoned with. Bre and Maze cheered as the gang drove downtown.

Downtown Phoenix was hot. Unlike most places in Arizona, Phoenix had many tall buildings, making it much warmer than it should be. The area was full of college kids, drunks, and drunk college kids. Maze noticed one suspicious duo in black hoodies, but took it as a common thing. He was too hungry to care. Austin was watching news on the Justice League’s heroics on the pizzeria’s T.V. He was a total fanboy, especially when it came to the Flash. He idealized all speedsters, really. As the night continued with laughs and mouth stuffing, a commotion erupted across the street that gained the gang’s attention. “Hey, asshole, I’m talking to you!” Some frat guy was yelling at one of the black hoods from earlier. “The drugs you sold me, killed my buddy!” He grabbed one of them by the arm and ripped off their hood. The dealer turned out to be a girl. Her black hair flowed about her face as elegantly as a model. She brushed off the angered frat guy and continued to walk away. The other hood, however, confronted the guy. After he threw off the jacket, he punched the loud mouth so hard that he flew several feet through the crowd. The buffed up black man grew even bigger as people started to run in every and all directions.

The gang, like everyone else, realized they were near a Meta and decided to leave before the situation got worse. Suddenly a whistle was heard in the air and a bunch of goons in red and black gear carrying sonic blasters came out of alleys and manholes. “What the hell is happening,” yelled Selene. She was frantically running past people and masked weirdos while holding on to Austin’s hand.

“We should head back to the car,” Bre announced. Maze and the others were headed to the parking garage down the street when a group of masks surrounded them.

“Well, this is not good,” Maze said, “I’m pretty sure we didn’t pay for our pizzas. We’re gonna die because we dine and dashed.” He chuckled at his own joke. Bre looked at him like he was crazy.

“Really? Really, Maze?” The others had no response because they were too frightened by their situation. The masks were about to shoot when some of them levitated and were flown against a nearby wall while others were hit with electricity or beat up by a guy in jeans and a black superman t-shirt.

“You all need to get out of here now!” Superboy ordered. They nodded their heads and resumed their escape from the now increased chaos. Maze looked back at the destruction and saw Static Shock, Miss Martian, and Gear flying around while Nightwing, Blue Beetle, and Kid Flash were battling it out on the ground. Maze was so interested in what was happening that he ended up tripping over rubble from a damaged building.

“C’mon, bud, we need to get out of here pronto,” Austin said as he helped Maze up. Maze saw the drug dealer girl from earlier running on the other side of the street. She stared at him like he was the strangest thing she’s seen all day. She disappeared down an alley right before a huge explosion shook the ground. Austin and Maze watched the ground crumble before them. They tried to catch up to Bre and Selene, but the ground collapsed beneath them before they could and they both fell into the abyss.

“Oh man, I will never ask to explore this city ever again,” Maze moaned. He woke up to a nauseating stench and aching pains all over his body.

“Where are we and where are my glasses?” Austin asked disoriented. He stumbled over rubble and sewer water until he hit a wall. Maze found his glasses in the river of sludge and wiped it clean before handing it to Austin. With his vision clearer, Austin assessed the situation quite nicely. “Fuck.” He looked to the hole they fell down from and said, “Guess we aren’t going back through there.”

“Nope, we definitely are not. We should go down the tunnel until we find another manhole to climb out of,” Maze proclaimed as he shook the sewer water off of his jacket. Austin swiped pebbles out of his dirty blonde buzz cut when his phone rang.

“Hey, Selene,” he answered. “Yea, we’re both fine. We’re about to find another manhole to climb out of. No, I don’t see any.” Maze just leaned against a grey, bricked wall while he waited for Austin to finish. He checked his phone and found it dead. “Yea, babe, we’ll meet you at the parking garage. Fifth floor, got it. Ok see ya later. Love-” the phone ended the call and turned off. He looked at Maze who was eagerly waiting for a response. “We’re going to meet them at the parking garage.” Maze just nodded. “I hope they’ll get there safely.”

“One of them is a short Asian, lesbian and the other is a Mexican with mace around her neck. I think they’re better off than us,” Maze reassured him.

“Help! Help us!” A voice cried out from down the tunnel. Austin and Maze ran toward the screams. The duo came across a woman trying to lift a huge boulder. She saw the duo approach her and pleaded, “Please, please help me get my husband out from underneath this rock!”

“Of course we’ll help you ma’am,” Austin pronounced without a moment’s hesitation. Maze joined him in trying to lift the stone off of the man’s legs to no avail. They could lift it up, but not enough to get the rock off completely.

“You all need some help?” A twenty-something guy came out of the shadows offering to lend a hand. He had long black hair tied up in a knot and was wearing a black bandana. The effort of the three boys was just enough for the woman to pull her husband out from danger.

“Thank you so much, I am in your debt,” the husband moaned.

“Yes, thank you all for your help,” the wife added.

“No worries, ma’am, it was the least we could do,” Austin smiled.

“Yea, we were just doing what was right,” Maze chimed in. He and Austin continued to head through the sewers to what they hoped was the direction of the parking garage to meet up with the girls while the married couple went a different way. “Hey, where’d the Native American kid go?” Austin shrugged. At some point in that encounter, the stranger had disappeared. Maze was hoping he was alright, but soon had more to worry about.

“It seems I have two new guinea pigs for the boss to play with.” A man dressed in baggy clothes approached from the direction the duo just left. He looked like he just finished taking a nap in a back alley. Austin and Maze looked at each other and started running. The mystery man’s arm drooped to the ground and turned green. He then threw it down the tunnel grabbing Maze’s back.

“What the heck is this?!” Maze freaked. He was being pulled back toward the slime man, who was all too happy with his catch of the day.

“Look at this little piggy. You’ll do well in my master’s experiments,” slimy had the breath of a stray dog.

“Hey, I don’t know what you’ve heard, but I am not free. I need cash up front,” Maze retaliated.

“Don’t worry, bud, I got you,” Austin announced as he grabbed a huge rock and threw it at the assailant’s face. He screamed out, putting his face in his hands. Maze caught up with Austin and they continued running. Austin was clotheslined by the black bouncer from earlier. Maze tried to pick him up, but he was out cold.

“Great,” Maze announced, “Like Mr. Slime Man wasn’t enough, I have to deal with the black Mr. Clean.” He was then tagged with another slime arm and was slammed into the ceiling.

“How do you like that, punk?” The baggy man slammed Maze into the ground and was going to do it again until his partner stopped him.

“Sludge, calm down, they’re still of use to us.”

“Brick, do you always have to ruin my fun?”

“Boss’s orders, you know how he gets when we damage his goods.” Brick picked up Austin, who was still passed out, and Maze and carried them down a secret tunnel entrance behind a fake wall.

The metas traveled down into a room in the tunnels with cages full of handcuffed civilians. The kids were about to be put into a cage when Brick screamed out and let go of the two.

“We’re not late to the party, are we?” Asked Static Shock. He, Gear, and the other heroes from earlier were blocking the entrance to the room. Maze and Austin stumbled over to corner of the room with a few extinguished campfires that the bad guys used when watching over the prisoners.

“Team, free the civilians!” Nightwing was barking orders while fighting off some of the masked men from earlier. Sludge, rushed to a large canister near one of the cages and released a green gas that spread throughout the entire tunnel system. Everyone started to get weak except for the masked guys and Brick and Sludge.

“What is this stuff?” Superboy asked.

“I think it’s some kind of neurotoxin designed to disable our powers,” Gear explained. The heroes tried to continue the fight, but were losing fast. Static tried to blast Brick by absorbing electricity, but the giant man grabbed him and threw him across the room before he could finish.

“Watch out!” Maze shouted as he pushed Austin away from him before Static collided with him. The collision caused Static to discharge the electricity he had been building up and electrocuted himself and Maze. Austin, on the other hand, fell into one of the fire pits and became covered in hot ash. He yelled at the pain, but soon realized that it wore off. He couldn’t feel the soot burning his skin anymore. He figured it was because he was too tired and turned his attention to Maze.

“Hey, bud,” he forced himself to speak, “are you…alright?” Austin’s eyes felt as heavy as elephants, however, he would not let himself pass out without confirmation that his friend was still alive. “Maze…stay with…me.” The gas got to him and knocked him out. One by one the young heroes fell and were surrounded by the metas.

Maze, Austin, and all the heroes were locked up in the cages with the thirty or so civilians. Maze woke up for a short period to listen to his captors talk about their plans for them. “The boss will be here in a few hours to retrieve the test subjects,” announced the bouncer. Him, Eddie, and another man Maze had never seen before were standing at the entrance. He tried to make out what Sludge was saying, but he dozed off again. The only thing he heard was slimy mention “The Chosen.”

As Austin slept, his body started to burn. Smoke was secreting from his body into the air. His hands burnt his cuffs off and started to burn Maze’s hands. In retaliation, Maze’s body sparked with blue electricity. Being shocked with increasing voltages and slowly being cooked caused them both to snap into consciousness. “Hey, why’d you shock me, man?” Austin looked at Maze with disbelief for Maze was now surrounded by electricity. “What happened to you, bud?”

“What are you talking about? What is going on with you?” Maze stared as Austin’s body was shrouded in smoke and embers.  They looked at each other and at themselves and back at each other to only respond with, “whoa.” Austin responded with an elongated,

“Shit. What happened to us?” Austin tossed a ball made of smoke back and forth in his hands. Maze found that they weren’t the only two in the cage. Static Shock, Gear, and Nightwing were also unconscious, except they had strange black collars around their necks. Maze surveyed the room and found the rest of the heroes in other cages with the same collars. It wasn’t until Austin waved for his hand for his friend’s attention that he realized that Austin was the only one not wearing cuffs.

“How’d you get your cuffs off?” Austin just shook his head and said,

“I don’t know.” They found his melted cuffs on the ground, which gave Maze an idea.

“We gotta get free, so we can free the heroes and rescue the civilians,” Maze explained, but Austin was too busy awing at the fact that he was sitting right next to his childhood heroes. Austin always dreamed of meeting the Justice League and their sidekicks. He owned so many comics and watched every news report on their actions. The fact that he didn’t pass out from excitement at that time was amazing. “Hey, focus. We need to get out of here before those metas comeback.” Austin looked back at his friend and replied,

“You do know that we are metas now, too, right?” Maze looked at him like he just asked a stupid question.

“No, that was not to my knowledge,” Maze said sarcastically. “Will you please melt these cuffs off of me?”

“Oh yea, right, sorry,” Austin just chuckled at the remark. “So what’s your plan, bud?”

“My plan is to free Nightwing and the rest and let them come up with a plan to get everyone out.” Maze massaged his wrists and observed the collar on Static’s neck.

“What? That’s all you have?” Austin couldn’t help but laugh.

“Like you got something better.” Maze gave the collar a jolt and nothing happened. He tried again with more power, popping it right off. “Groovy smoothies. While I do this, you melt the lock on the cage.”

“Sure thing.” Austin melted it with ease. Maze tried to wake up Nightwing after he got the collars off while Austin went to the other cages to free everyone else. He had to carefully melt the collars off of the other heroes.

“Who are you and what’s going on?” Nightwing didn’t respond well to Maze’s wake up call. Austin was glad he wasn’t taking the heat and continued the mission. “You have five seconds to answer my questions before I force you to.”

“Well, my friend and I were running away from the bad guys when we fell into the sewers, got captured by the bad guys, you guys tried to save us, green mist went everywhere, made everyone go to sleep, woke up in cages, Austin and I, Austin’s over there,” Maze pointed to one of the cages behind Nightwing and Austin waved at them, “we found out we suddenly had powers, now we’re trying to save everyone before the bad guys come back, and that was more than five seconds.” Nightwing observed the room while taking in Maze’s report. He wasn’t sure who the kids were, but he knew that his first priority was to rescue the civilians.

“Ok, Maze, right? You and your friend are going to help us get all these people to the surface and then we’ll talk more about who you two are.” Nightwing observed the hallway and addressed his comrades. “All right team. We need to find a way out of here and get these people to safety. Kid Flash, run reconnaissance around the area and find a way out. Superboy, use you’re heat vision and tell me where our captors went. Miss Martian, assess the situation on the surface.” Austin and Maze stood and watched as Kid Flash disappeared for less than three seconds and returned with knowledge of a tunnel that lead straight to the surface. Superboy stared at the walls and reported that most of the goons were in one giant room next door. Nightwing thanked Miss Martian even though she never came back and told everyone that backup had arrived. After a moment, Nightwing motioned his head toward the two new metas and the other heroes gave them a once over as if they were two new kids who had joined their class. “Ok team, you know what to do, let’s get out of here.”

Austin and Maze walked near the back of the crowd of frightened citizens. “Was it just me or were those guys communicating silently?” Maze whispered to Austin while looking around at the superheroes who kept glancing at them.

Austin whispered back, “Martians have the ability to psychically link people’s minds in order to hear each other’s thoughts. What do you think they’re gonna do to us after we escape?”

“I have no idea, but I don’t want to stick around to find out. We should just sneak away and find Bre and Selene.”

“Works for me, I’d rather not be interrogated for something we don’t know anything about.” Austin took his phone out of his pocket and found it dead still. He hasn’t heard from Selene in hours and was getting worried.

“You mean how we got these powers, right?” Maze made his fingers spark. “I think it had something to do with that green mist, but I’m not sure what it did to us, specifically.” Maze searched and didn’t see Nightwing, he guessed that he was doing some other mission. The duo were too wrapped up in their own heads to realize that they were traveling through a tunnel with a slow incline. Maze saw a glimpse of movement in the shadows, but didn’t know where it came from. He closed his eyes to try and remember if he saw one of the bad guys from earlier, but what he found was not what he expected. Instead of seeing nothing while his eyes were closed, he could see electric waves coming off everyone around him that resembled sparky silhouettes. There was one figure he saw, that he couldn’t see with his eyes open. He whispered to Austin, “Could you conjure up one of those smoke balls for me?”

“Yea, why?” He formed a small smoke ball in his hands so none of the civilians would see it.

“There’s someone following us, so when I say so, throw that thing in the direction I point to, alright?” His friend nodded in agreement. When the group reached the surface, they found themselves in the middle of an abandoned warehouse. All the civilians walked out onto the downtown area of the city that wasn’t horribly destroyed. As soon as they reached the top, Maze spotted the invisible figure, with his electric waves, about to fire a gun at Gear. “Do it now!” He pointed at the figure and Austin hit him right in the face with smoke. The figure became visible and had gained the attention of all the heroes in the warehouse.

“I got him,” Blue Beetle pronounced as he bound the Meta dressed in all black to the ground with what looked like a large, blue staple. At that moment, screams were heard on the street. The group found a swarm of masked goons terrorizing the area once again and the duo were wrapped up in the heat of a massive showdown.

“We should help them, Maze?” Austin knew that the plan was to run, but had a strong urge to do the right thing. Maze shrugged and said,

“I guess we fight.” He started blasting mask after mask with electricity. Austin blinded numerous guys so that they wouldn’t shoot them both. It worked for a while, however, there were too many masks and the duo kept getting knock down by sonic blasts.

“There’s way too many of these guys!” Austin grabbed a bike chain and started using it as a fiery whip. He got so annoyed and angry that smoke and embers engulfed his body. He was fighting from so many directions that he started turning into smoke and popping up at various places around the battlefield. Maze looked in astonishment and took action.

“Ok then, it’s my turn.” He put his hood on and exploded with electricity. He blasted the sonic guns and made them explode in the bad guys’ faces. He was full of so much electricity, he zipped around like he was on a sugar high. After two minutes of non-stop fighting, the two showed signs of exhaustion. A string of goo would have hit Maze in the back had he not had his eyes closed at the time in order to predict oncoming attacks and jumped out of the way.

“I see my favorite guinea pigs have been affected by our drug. I guess the Meta gas was more effective than we had originally thought,” said Sludge as he walked down the wall of a nearby building.

“Yea and now that we have these abilities, we’re gonna kick your ass for all the crap you guys put us through.” Maze’s hands were wrapped in electricity ready to be fired.

“We can take him no problem,” Austin added as he swung his whip in circles. Maze shot several blasts at the slime man, but he kept stretching his body to dodge the attacks. Austin spread smoke all around him and Maze. Sludge stretched his gooey arms into the smoke cloud, hitting nothing. He got frustrated and jumped in only to find no one there. He was confined by a smoking chain from behind and couldn’t get free. “Now, Maze,” Austin ordered. Maze came out of the smoke and electrified the chain around Sludge. He then lifted the human sack of goo up and slammed him to the ground.

“You’ll regret this you freaks!” Sludge tried to slip out of the chain, but it was no use.

“He’s calling us freaks? Has he looked in a mirror, lately?” Maze then looked at his and Austin’s own clothes, which were torn and covered in stains from the dirt and sewer water, and decided it was still better than the walking booger’s look.

“I have no idea, let’s get going.” They decided they did enough and walked down a dark alleyway. “That was totally badass, bud. How’d you magnetize that guy?” Even though he was tired, Austin was still excited.

“I don’t know, I just thought about it and it happened. How’d you smoke dash before? That was awesome.” The only reason Maze didn’t pass out from exhaustion was because he still had a tiny bit of electricity fueling him.

“I don’t know, I was just trying to not get shot again. We should try calling Selene and find out where she and Bre went. Could you charge up my phone?” Maze stared at him dumbfounded.

“Did you just ask me to charge your phone? Now of all times?” Austin just shrugged as if he knew it was a longshot. “If I had the juice, sure, but I’m out. I probably would’ve had the energy if I wasn’t an asthmatic who just ran for his life for the past few hours, fell into the sewers, was man handled by a creepy conglomeration of goo, and just finished going super nova on a bunch of bad guys.”

Austin laughed and said, “Yea, you’ve got a point. We’ll figure out something when we get to the car, finally.”

The duo ran into a surprise when they reached the parking garage. “Dude, where’s your car?” Maze glared at Austin.

“I don’t know, did someone steal my car?” Austin started to freak out. “Not good, Maze, not good. If the car was stolen then where’d Selene and Bre go? We can’t contact them, we can’t get home without my car, we’re probably gonna be arrested by the Justice League for being persons of interest, and why aren’t you panicking with me?!”

Maze said nonchalantly, “Because you already took that role.”

“What?”

“You just claimed that role, so now I have to be the calm one, if we’re both panicking then we’ll be here forever, now I have to be the calm one to calm you down so we can figure out what to do next,” Maze said rapidly as he was panicking a little. He took a deep breathe. “Where are your car keys, maybe we’re on the wrong floor?” Austin checked his pockets and had an epiphany. Maze didn’t like what that meant. “What? What did you do?”

“I just remembered that Selene has my keys.” Maze glared at him again.

“Why the hell does Selene have your car keys?”

“Because she was going to drive back home.”

“So she and Bre have your car.”

“Yep. And we’re stuck here.”

“This day sucks.”

“Now what?” They both looked at the space where Austin’s car should’ve been.

“I have no idea.”

“Mind if we offer a suggestion?” The duo slowly turned around to find Superman, other members of the Justice League, and the younger heroes surrounding the garage floor. Austin and Maze raised their hands above their heads in unison.

“Nope. I think if you just point us to the nearest bus stop, we’ll be just fine.” Maze was speaking nervously while Austin was too shocked to contribute.

“This kid has jokes,” Green Arrow chuckled.

“We’re going to need you two to come with us for some questioning,” Superman interjected with sincerity.

“Didn’t you guys get our early Christmas present? The family sized Jell-O? Doesn’t he count as a get out of jail free card or something?”

“Sorry, son, that’s not how that works. Now I insist that you come along before we take you in by force.” Superman kept inching his way toward the duo.

“Ok then, we’ll go quietly. Can I ask just one question?” Maze desperately needed this question answered.

“Sure.”

Maze cleared his throat and asked, “Will there be food?”

End of Part 1

 

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