Authors: Percival Constantine
Tags: #superhero teams, #superhero, #action, #science fiction, #sci-fi, #superheroes, #adventure
Fearing potential repercussions from the international community, the new President ordered Vanguard disbanded following the defeat of the Red Fist. In their place is a new organization: Cerberus, a global peace-keeping agency designed to monitor the specials. With no purpose left, the remnants of Vanguard have returned to their normal lives.
But old habits—and enemies—die hard. The world still faces grave dangers from human and special alike. And lurking in the shadows is a threat greater than any they have encountered—one that spans time and space!
THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
By Percival Constantine
BEFORE YOU START...
Just go to
to get your free stories!
#5.5 - EXECUTIVE DECISION
The man known as Chronos stood amongst the ashes and rubble of New York’s Times Square. Once upon a time, this intersection was a constant bustle of life—brightly illuminated, with the sounds of traffic and thousands crossing through the streets.
Now darkness permeated the area, the massive screens displaying propaganda and ash and rubble replacing the people and cars that once populated the area. And hovering in the skies above were massive alien warships.
Chronos stared through his silver visor and bent his arm up to his face. A hologram displaying the current date projected from his gauntlet. He’d already checked it numerous times but still couldn’t believe his eyes.
“The invasion has come far too early,” said Chronos’ companion, the sleek, silver robot called the Progenitor.
“But why?” asked Chronos. “What brought the Kotharians here ahead of schedule?”
“Chronos, my sensors are detecting hostiles!”
Chronos’ own armor alerted him as well. He held out his arm and a small baton extended from his gauntlet and into his waiting hand. Once he gripped it, the baton telescoped into a long staff with a glowing point on the end.
A small, two-man Kotharian craft descended from the air, streaking towards them. Chronos took aim with his staff and fired an energy blast from the glowing tip. The ship curved to the side to evade and from the turret beneath its body, fired its own energy blasts. Chronos held up his free hand, an orb of orange energy surrounding him and shielding him from the blast.
The Progenitor rose in the air and unleashed azure blasts from his eyes and hands at their attacker. The Kotharian ship turned to the new threat and the Progenitor flew, the Kotharian pursuing him.
The robot flew higher and faster, shooting between the destroyed buildings. The Kotharian ship was surprisingly agile, keeping pace with every single one of his maneuvers. The Progenitor even tried flying through the destroyed floors of the building, too small for the ship to follow.
But much to his surprise, he found the ship waiting for him as he came out the other end. Its turrets spun, releasing a flurry of shots. The Progenitor rocketed up through the floors, the craft rising to follow him.
The Progenitor crashed through the ceiling and azure auras circled his clenched fists, his eyes burning brightly. The Progenitor launched himself down to the rising ship, his fists held out in front of him. He plowed into the Kotharian attacker, the ship exploding in the night sky.
Chronos jumped into the air, components from his leg armor sliding down and forming a circular platform beneath his feet. The platform hovered in the air and took Chronos towards the explosion caused by his companion. Chronos lowered the platform to the wreckage of the Kotharian ship and watched, not sure what to expect.
A gleaming, silver hand burst through the rubble and the Progenitor pulled himself out. Chronos breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank the maker. Scared the hell outta me.”
“There will be reinforcements. We must travel back earlier in the timestream, discover when the invasion occurred.”
Chronos gave a nod. “Yeah, let’s get outta here.” He bent his arm in front of him, a holographic keyboard and display appearing above the gauntlet. Chronos entered some commands and on the display was a date selector. He changed it to the appropriate date and tried to activate the portal.
But nothing happened.
“Uhh…we’ve got a problem…”
“Yes, I know. I’m detecting more hostiles approaching.”
“No, not that!” said Chronos. “The suit’s not responding! I can’t activate the portal!”
“We are trapped?” asked the Progenitor.
Chronos looked up at his companion and gave a solemn nod. “Yeah…looks like…”
“Very well.” The Progenitor rose up in the air, his body glowing brightly, drawing the attention of the approaching Kotharian vessels.
“What are you doing?” asked Chronos.
“Providing you with an opportunity to escape,” said the Progenitor.
“What? What about you?”
“My role in this is over, now it is up to you to prevent the invasion. Repair the chronal emitter and return to the past!”
The Kotharians closed in and the Progenitor flew off into the night. The ships followed him, ignoring Chronos on the ground.
“Damn!” he cursed. He wanted nothing more than to go after them, to help fight off those Kotharians. But Chronos knew that the Progenitor was right. This was their last ditch effort to save humanity and something had clearly gone wrong. Now, Chronos’ only choice was to continue with the mission. Repair the suit and go back further, discover what changed to bring about the invasion so soon.
Colonel Leonard Thorne looked out the window of the limousine as it passed by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Repair crews were working around the clock to rebuild the White House following its destruction at the hands of the terrorist organization called the Red Fist and their leader, a man known to the world as only the Khagan.
Thorne hit the button on the armrest, the tinted window rising up. He sighed and rubbed his eyes with thumb and index finger. The entire purpose of the Vanguard project was to prevent atrocities like this, an atrocity that took not only the life of President Curtis Hayworth, but his entire staff.
manage to stop the Khagan before he caused any further damage, though. And it was that fact Thorne had pinned his hopes on to keep the program alive. Dennis Lawson, former Speaker of the House and now the new President, had made it very clear how little he approved of Hayworth’s decision to fund Vanguard in secret.
The limousine came to a stop in front of the Capitol Building and the driver emerged, walking around to the back of the car. He opened the door for the Colonel, who stepped out and straightened his military dress uniform. Thorne took a deep breath and walked up the steps to the Capitol. A man waited for him past the security checkpoint, and he flashed Thorne a fake smile.
Joseph Ramsey, Secretary of Defense in the Hayworth administration and now, the Lawson administration. He was the only member of Hayworth’s cabinet who wasn’t in the White House at the time of the Khagan’s attack. Although both he and Thorne knew it was no coincidence.
“Colonel, good to see you again.” Ramsey held out his hand and Thorne grunted before shaking it.
“Mr. Secretary.” Thorne tightened his grip around Ramsey’s hand and pulled him close, then whispered in his ear. “I can’t prove it, but once I’m able to, you’re going down for treason, you sonnuva bitch.”
If Ramsey felt the least bit rattled by Thorne’s remark, he certainly didn’t show it. Instead he kept the smile plastered on his face and whispered back, “Maintain your composure, Leo. You’re about to sit down to a meeting with the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Wouldn’t want you to be rattled during it.”
“Leo is what my friends call me.” Thorne released his grip. “To traitorous bastards like you, it’s Colonel Thorne.”
Ramsey scoffed and turned, walking down the corridor with Thorne keeping pace beside him.
“I’m curious about something. Just how much did the Khagan pay you to betray your country?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Colonel. Everything I do is in the best interests of this once-great nation.”
“If you have any grievances with me, then you’re welcome to bring them up in the meeting. But given your stunning lack of proof, not to mention your current standing with everyone we’re about to meet with, I doubt you’ll get very far.” Ramsey stopped in front of a closed door and knocked a few times. “Remember, Colonel—it’s
neck the noose is tightening around, not mine.”
Thorne kept his steel eyes locked on Ramsey’s, twitching his silver mustache. “For now.”
The door opened and Ramsey gestured. “After you.”
“Oh no, I insist,” said Thorne, gesturing himself. “After
Ramsey smirked. “You see? We
be civil about this.”
Thorne followed Ramsey inside the room where thirteen United States Senators sat around a table. And an additional man Thorne hadn’t expected to see here. “Mr. President?”
President Dennis Lawson rose from his seat and approached. “Surprised, Colonel?”
“To be honest, yes.”
“Don’t be, this concerns a very serious issue to our nation’s security.” Lawson offered his hand to an open chair at the end of the table. “Please.”
Thorne took his seat and the President and Ramsey took theirs. “Before we begin, I’d like to just go on the record as saying that I understand the concern over President Hayworth’s decision to authorize the Vanguard project. But that being said, I still believe it was a good decision. Our presence allowed us to prevent several threats from becoming far greater incidents.”
“Is that so, Colonel?” asked Senator Sara Bosley. “Because some of us believe that the destruction of the White House and the slaughter of the President, his cabinet, and Vice-President would qualify as a severe incident.”