The Marvelous- Chapter 3
Written by Bodhi Ouellette
"...I was given that chance to write about their lives; the lives of a superhero. At this point in time, most of the more well known superheroes had their identities revealed to the world, the most well known of them being that genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark- copyright Tony Stark himself- also known as everyone's favorite red and yellow tin can Iron Man. Or maybe the most patriotic man and an American hero of all time Steven Rogers, wearing the colors of the American flag as Captain America. We may know their names, but we may not have known them, as a person, as an individual in their private or public lives. Of course, there was a major risk in doing this article about these superheroes, and that was to not reveal everything about their personal lives. But that is why a challenge is fun. It gave me a bit to work with, to tell the world…" the phone ranged yet again, which was quickly getting on Grant's nerves. He hated being distracted or interrupted when he was writing. He grabbed his phone and looked at who was calling him. It was Robbie. He picked the call up. "Mr. Robertson?" said Grant.
"Grant," Robbie's voice muttered out through the phone. "Please tell me you're ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why do you ask?"
"To see if you we're all right, that's all. It's crazy over here, Grant. We're all rushing to get these stories out under heavy emotions."
"I can imagine."
"We're all struggling to comprehend what's happened, Grant. Myself included. My god, I… I can't believe they're all gone."
"I know, Robbie."
"Especially with Peter. I knew him well, Grant. I've known him since he was just a teen. And now… he's dead. Just like the other heroes."
Grant couldn't think of anything as a respond to after that sentence, so he tried to quickly move on to another subject. "Have you heard what the cops are doing?"
"No, what is it?"
"They're putting a mandatory curfew on everyone in the city. Nobody is allowed outside for a few hours, until they can get some experts to examine what that orb in the sky is doing now."
"Damn. Hope it's not a long one."
"I hope so, too. But we'll just have to wait and see."
"Indeed. Alright, I need you to take care of yourself, Grant, till this is all over."
"You too, Robbie. See ya."
"Bye, Grant." He placed the phone down yet again, and he continued on with his work. "Now, then, if I can try to not have any more distractions," he said to himself. He went back to his work.
"…But that is why a challenge is fun. It gave me a bit to work with, to tell the world what these people are like, in the most vague way possible. So I spent more than a year forming these reports on these heroes. The first one I started with was Captain America..."
The Daily Bugle:
"So let me get this straight," Robbie said to an anxious Grant, who looked like he was a five year old opening his presents on Christmas Day. "You want to tell this story in a semi-episodic, weekly story that we would publish?"
"Why not?" said Grant. "It would bring in readers to read the papers on a weekly, if not daily basis. It'll certainly be better than writing just one article all at once, and it's certainly an ambitious idea. So, what do you think? Do I have the ok from you?"
"Hm… it does sound more appealing to do it this way. Plus everything else you've just said. All right, I'll allow it. I expect our first part in by Monday, Grant."
"You've got it, Joe."
"And I actually want it in on time."
"I can guarantee that. Well, I have to head off, see you on Monday, Joe!" Grant said as he left his office and went off to start his first part of his story.
Grant arrived yet again at the Avengers Tower to meet up with his first superhero he's interviewing: Steven Rogers AKA Captain America. Grant waited by the first floor entrance, leaning on a wall beside the elevator. To pass the time till Steve came down, Grant had a little notebook out, writing some notes on ideas for stories. So far, his list included dystopian setting, Clint Eastwood esc hero, crazy Shyamalan twist, and magic. Half of these ideas came out of Grant's rear though, and the other half were just meant to be jokes, but Grant was surprisingly finding a story somewhere in these four ideas he wrote down. Whether they'll amount to anything will be the challenge. The elevator opened beside him, and Steve Rogers came out in gym clothes, and carrying a bag with him.
"Morning, Grant," Steve said to Grant.
"Hey Steve," Grant greeted back. "So, what's our schedule for today?"
"Well, I usually start my day off by working out," clarified Steve. "Shall we make our way there?"
"Lead the way," told Grant. Steve led himself out the front lobby, as Grant followed him out onto the streets of New York City. "I'm kind of surprised you go somewhere else to work out," commented Grant. "I would think you Avengers members had your own training room."
"We do," answered Steve. "But sometimes, the training center gets a bit boring… until the next update Tony or Bruce or any of the other Avengers may have installed. Plus, it's good to spend some time out of the tower and into the city. Interact with the people."
"I see…" stated Grant, writing these tidbits on his notepad. "So, you grew up here, right?"
"I did, son," said Steve. "I remembered roaming around the dirtier and more browner Manhattan like it was yesterday. I also remember struggling to grasp this new Manhattan after I came back into the present. Even being here for years now, I still have a hard time comprehending the changes. Which is another reason why I come out here as much as I can; to connect myself more with the people and the world that I've been tossed into."
"Even after all these years, you still feel that way?"
"I do. Crazy, isn't it?"
"Well, considering the fact you've been fighting aliens, super powered terrorists, gods, and so much more, you would think that maybe the world around you has finally caught up to you."
"It's a mystery even to me, son. Which is why this has been a good thing for me."
"Hey, uh, where is this gym you're going to exactly? We've passed by three blocks already."
"And we've got another twenty blocks to go."
"Oh, pipe down, it'll be good for you, Grant. Get the cardio working into you."
"Fine… wow, I can't believe I've been told off by Captain America himself."
"I've been known for doing that. Especially at Tony."
"I can imagine."
Twenty-two more blocks later, Steve and Grant have finally arrived at the gym. It was a big gym, with a display of gym equipment arranged all the way to the very back of the building, and most of the stations taken up by loyal customers of the gym. There is also a station focused on gymnastics and acrobatics. Steve heads straight for the gymnastics stations, Grant following behind him. He took a seat on one of his benches as he watched Steve put his bag aside. Steve pulled a few items out of the bag, and then approached one of the Ring Frames set up. He put on some grips and then spread some chalk on his hands. Steve leaped up, grabbing the pole without any assistance. He twirled, twisted, and circled all around the Horizontal Bar. Grant watched, but was quickly losing interest. In fact, he already felt disinterested with whatever Steve would be doing at the gym. He yawned, as he continued to watch, and continuously looked down at his note, in hopes that he might find something.
Near the end of their time at the Gym, Steve had just finished his final station working his upper biceps. He returned back to Grant, still staring down at his notes. He wiped off some sweat with his towel and then picked up his bag. "I'm done," he said to Grant. "Let's go get some lunch."
Ivan's Deli Shop:
Steve and Grant were now in line to purchase some lunch at this shop Steve almost always goes to whenever he has the chance to. Their deli sandwiches have been praised as being the best sandwiches in New York City. They moved up the line, as they are the next customers to order. "Hey, Steve," the worker said. "How's it been? Haven't seen you here in a while."
"Well, saving the world can take up a lot of your personal time," replied Steve. "I've got a buddy with me today, name's Grant. He's a journalist."
"So he's following you around? You planning your biography?"
"No, this is on a more bigger scale."
"Well in that case, what would you and your buddy like?"
"I'll have my usual: pastrami on rye," ordered Cap.
"I'll have a turkey bacon club, please," said Grant.
"Mayonnaise or honey mustard?" the worker asked Grant for what kind of dressing he wants.
The two paid their sandwiches and went over to sit down beside the wall. Grant pulled out his notepad, looking dissatisfied in the process. Steve came back with a small cup of coffee in his hands. He looked at Grant, while Grant's attention was on his notes. "You don't seem to be happy," commented Steve.
"I'm not, sorry to say," replied Grant. "It's just… I'm looking through these notes that I've made during the gym. And there aren't a lot. We're already at lunchtime, and I haven't gotten anything that would seem even remotely interesting to make into an article. Guess that's what I get for going into this assignment expecting more 'awesomeness' going on with you guys."
"Well, we all do it. We expect more in a situation that we anticipate, and sometimes it'll fall short on those expectations."
"Yeah, I guess… but what exactly am I suppose to do with this? I don't think I can make an article and expect people to be interested about how Captain America goes to the gym and does gym stuff."
"You'd be surprised. There are some people out there who probably would want to know how I do, as you said 'gym stuff'"
"How would you know about that-"
"We've had plenty of fans who are, let's just say… are obsessive about us."
"Urgh, this is not helping me, though. This day needs some excitement. Some action! Some ass kicking while chewing bubble gum! Pow zap boom wow! Get what I'm saying?"
"I get what you're saying. Only problem is that one; it'd partially ruin your whole point of this story, and two; it's too dangerous for you to go with us into missions."
"Couldn't there be some way you can let me tag along? Like putting me in one of Iron Man's suits, or having someone protect me throughout the mission? Or put me in a glass hamster bowl?"
"Right now, the answer is no. We're not risking your life."
"Fine," Grant said irritatingly.
"We'll take as long as we can to find something you can use in your article."
"But how?" Grant asked
"Ask me anything."
"Alright then, uhm… what's it like being an Avenger?"
"It's incredible," Steve answered. "Traveling across continent after continent, galaxy upon galaxy, universe within universe, you really get to learn and experience a lot. But it's no easy task to do. You're a superhero to fight the battles that no one else can. To be a symbol that anyone can look up to and be inspired by. And right now, being an Avenger is what inspires me, because it inspires everyone else. I'm happier than I've ever been in my life to be honest. What about you and your friends?"
"Nothing much, same old same old. My friend Kelly's working as a nurse, Mark's an accountant, and Brian's a detective working at NYPD. Because we've all got time consuming jobs we try to get together every week at least once."
"It's good to keep in touch with your friends. I know I still do."
"You mean you have friends that aren't Avengers?"
"Of course. Granted, almost all of them have passed away, but I still keep in touch with the friends that are still alive and their families."
One of the workers called them up to get their orders. Steve told Grant that he'd get the sandwiches for them. However, when Steve came back, a customer, wearing sunglasses, dressed in a sweater and jeans and had a French like moustache, sitting across from them swiped his leg across Steve's ankles, tripping him. Steve fell onto the floor, dropping the sandwiches in the process. The man who tripped him got up and sat right on Steve's back pinning him onto the floor, while Grant and the rest of the people inside watched helplessly. The man who attacked Steve then lifted up his head and spoke into his ear. "Bonjour, monsieur," he said to him.
Steve instantly recognized that voice. "Batroc?" Steve said back to him. "I thought you we're imprisoned at the Raft."
"Not anymore I am!" said Batroc as he picked Steve up and threw him into a wall. Customers began to evacuate the shop, all except for Grant, who made any attempt he could to stay inside to see the action firsthand. Batroc bounced off the walls, attacking Steve head on with a kick into his stomach. When he attempted to do it again, Steve grabbed Batroc's leg and slammed him into a wall. While Batroc was incapacitated, Steve dug into his bag, and grabbed out a metal wristband with a red orb on the outside. When he slid it onto his arm, it turned on, and a translucent shield resembling Cap's vibranium shield materialized. Batroc made another attempt to attack, but Steve blocked the attack with his shield. When Batroc attacked again, Steve knocked him to the floor and pinned him down. "Stand down, Batroc!" ordered Steve. "You're little assault on me has failed!"
"Oh, but the fight is not over yet, est-il? It'll be over once one of us is unconscious!" Batroc then punched Steve in the knee, and then got back up and gave a powerful kick to Steve, which chucks him right through the window and into the streets, knocking him into someone's car, denting the two drivers seats side doors. Batroc leaped out of the broken window and jumped in front of Steve. However, Steve swung his shield across Batroc's body. Batroc fell and hit his head hard onto the sidewalk, making a cut into his forehead. He quickly jumped back up onto his feet however, ready to fight again. Steve made the first move, charging right at Batroc head-on, using his shield to try to swing at Batroc's head. Batroc dodged that attack, which left Steve opened for Batroc to grab Steve's throat and started choking him. He slammed him onto the ground, and got on top of Steve, trapping him. Steve struggled to get out of Batroc's hold of him, but he just continued to squeeze his throat tighter and tighter.
"Well, it looks like I'd finally do what others couldn't!" proclaimed Batroc victoriously. "I will be known for killing the great monsieur Captain America! A bit anti-climatic however, but I'll take my chance right now-"
All of a sudden, Batroc felt an immense rush of pain in his head. This pain quickly incapacitated Batroc, as he fell over onto the ground unconscious. When Steve looked up to see who caused Batroc to go out, he saw Grant, with a wooden chair in his hands. He dropped the chair and helped Steve up off the sidewalk. "Thanks, Grant," said Steve. "You took Batroc out."
"And saved your life, right?"
"I'd be lying if I said yes. Batroc was going to need stronger hands to really choke me out. Besides, It wouldn't have worked either way. But you at least took him out, and for that, I thank you for it. I'll reconsider having you come along on some missions. You can clearly take care of yourself, and even help out too."
A few police vehicles pulled up towards where the Deil was, along with one ambulance truck and fire truck. Out from one of the police cars was Brian, who approached both Grant and Steve in shock. "Grant? What are you doing here?" asked Brian.
"Starting my whole blog, article… thingy," trailed Grant. "And let me tell you, Brian, I think I've got an interesting first part to it."
"Batroc attacked me in this shop," answered Steve. "The battle was short, but we took him out."
"We?" said Brian.
"Your friend Grant was the one who took him out."
"With a chair, no less," Grant added.
"And you couldn't help but destroy this place, is that right?"
"We'll pay for all of the damages, I assure you."
"And the ones who've been hurt? We've got a few people who ended up getting injured because of this."
"You can't save everyone, son. Trust me, we do our best to save everyone we can."
"Tell that to the ones who've lost loved ones during all of these alien invasions-"
"Knock it off, Brian," Grant intervened. "Be a little bit more respectful next time."
Brian didn't say anything. He went over to Batroc and put handcuffs on him. He then picked him up and brought him over to his car. Brian drove off with Batroc. Steve looked back at Grant. "What's his problem?" asked Steve.
"He loathes superheroes," answered Grant. "Reason being is you guys cause way too much destruction of public property. And a lot of people either get injured or die."
"I can't say I don't see why he dislikes us, but he needs to work on his manner."
"He's always been like that, unfortunately. When you've done something wrong, he chastises you till the day you die, and then some. Well, at least this battle's given me a story I can work on. Should have it done by tonight."
"I don't doubt you'll make a great story out of this."
"Well, you'll just have to wait a few days to read it. See how well it is. So, what about lunch?"
"This is New York City, son. There's dozens of other restaurants we can go to. And I've got a few in mind."
And that was the end of chapter 3 of The Marvelous! Sorry for the longer delay of this issue, I kinda had a bit of writer's block concerning this issue. And laziness. Also, been working on a side project of mine for my YouTube channel, which should hopefully be starting sometime in September. I'm not sure when the next issue for this will hit, but it probably won't be as long as it took for this issue to come out. Check out the DC Prime Fanfiction site that I write for in my profile, as well as checking out my FictionPress account, where I'll be doing some original stories that I hope to start soon, and YouTube account as well where I'll be making all kinds of videos! Hope you enjoyed this chapter! If you liked what you've read of this story so far, you can favorite and follow it, and also leave a comment too, that way I can know what you thought of it, and anything I should improve!
Also, I have a little bit of a quiz for you all (that I should've put in the first chapter but didn't); we have four characters, Grant (our protagonist) and his friends Kelly, Brian and Mark. All four of them are named after famous comic book writers. Some of them should be obvious, but when I introduce more characters, I plan on naming them off of comic book creators, so keep an eye out for them. Every chapter I'll remind you of any names you recognize.