A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:
Hello readers! This is a new story I'm working on about a OC super hero. I love heroes and figured it was time to be a bit original and make my own. Now, I know that's risky business in the fanfiction universe so please be assured that in my stories about Nightblaze I fully intend on introducing other DC characters. Speaking of DC comics, I don't own them! In this story you will meet plenty of original characters, but all the classics aren't mine! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story and please let me know what you think!
Chapter 1 is big on character development, so enjoy!
NIGHTBLAZE: The Purification Initiative
THE DINNER PARTY
It was a peaceful evening in the suburbs of Wellington, a small town that was just south of Crimson City. The majority of the who's whos of this prosperous city along with many other wealthy and powerful businessmen of all the largest companies in the US were spending their Friday night at a dinner party in the largest mansion in Wellington, owned by multi-billionaire Derek Widener. Twenty-Eight year old Mr. Widener was hosting a major party at his residence which fulfilled many purposes. Many notable Crimson City police officers, fire fighters, and hospital workers were receiving honors for their jobs being done exceedingly well. Also, at this party the press was holding a conference to interview the youngest man to earn the rank as Peoples magazine number 1 most influential person, Derek Widener. Finally, during his interview and time with Crimson City's most notorious reporters, Derek planned on releasing information on his company's greatest project yet, The Purification Initiative. The large ball room of the Widener mansion was overflowing with people wearing their best clothing and having a wonderful time.
Among the crowd, Zach Davis entered the scene relatively late and found his way to the bar to order a drink. He observed all of the gentlemen and ladies, dance, talk about the latest gossip, and do their best to make it look like they enjoyed all the great splendor and luxury of life. It wasn't often that Zach found himself at such high end parties, as one of Crimson City's finest fire fighters. As he looked around the room full of pomp and privilege Zach considered himself lucky to not have to endure such scenes often. Zach's thoughts were interrupted as his eyes fell upon the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life.
Her body was slender and perfect in all the right angles. She had long dark brown hair that was being worn up in a very fancy way that obviously took hours to prepare. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean and due to her half Asian and half Caucasian ethnicity, her skin was a rich mocha tint. (The kind of shade that many people spend hours killing skin cells at tanning beds trying to obtain.) She wore a sparkling red dress that was long enough to not appear distasteful, but short enough to allow men's minds to begin to wonder. She wore an expensive necklace of real pearls and on her hands wore no rings. Zach could not help but smile as he stared at this woman who was walking towards him almost like a dignified goddess. Her name was Amanda Cho-ming and Zach knew her well. For the past ten years, and up until a few months ago, this beautiful woman was Zach's girlfriend. The two had grown up in Wellington together, and had been friends since high school where Zach first fell in love with Amanda.
As his ex-girlfriend approach Zach quickly looked into his wine glass to make sure he looked as good as he could. He ran his hand through his yellowish blonde hair that was spiked up with styling gel to make sure it was perfect. He did his best to make his shiny blue eyes sparkle, because he knew that was always Amanda's favorite of his feature. He fixed his bowtie to make it fit with the rest of his rented tuxedo. Finally when she got to a distance where he had to acknowledge Amanda's presence, Zach stopped primping and spoke to her.
"Great party, eh?" the thin, medium sized man spoke with a small degree of nervousness in his voice. Zach and Amanda did not end their relationship on the best terms and because of their long and complex history, it was very difficult to remain friends.
"Here is a face that I would have never expected to be here." Amanda replied with a warm smile. Her voice was soft as if she was a seraph but portrayed the woman's confidence.
Zach shrugged as he raised his glass of wine. "The places our jobs take us, right?"
Amanda raised her eyebrow, looked around to make sure nobody was listening to their conversation, and then moved in closer to Zach. "Of course this raises the question, which job are we talking about?"
"I'm being honored as one of the three firemen that were on duty during the Greil Tower Fire." Zach replied.
"Oh yes!" Amanda replied as she recalled the story, "I sit next to the girl that wrote the article at the Crimson Crusade. A sixty-two story building, burned completely to the ground due to a gas leak, and thanks to the fire fighters there were no casualties. They were very lucky to have you there for that one, Zach."
"You know how it is." Zach smiled, "I don't really ever have to worry about burning when I go to the beach. I have a strong tolerance for that kind of stuff."
"Well, regardless of your natural gifts and abilities." Amanda said as she raised her glass and gently hit it on Zach's, "Congratulations on another successful accolade on the Hero front. I'm proud of you, Mr. Davis! And how is Eric doing these days? I'm sure you two are still always in constant contact with each other. I hope he has found a life outside aiding you in your…other job opportunities."
"Oh you know Eric, always geeky as usual. I think he's out tonight at some Halo convention. Him and his games, I don't see much of him lately." Zach lied as he tried to veer the conversation to another direction. When it came to Zach's other "job opportunities" he knew that they directly influenced Amanda's decision to break up with him and keep the conversation as far away as possible from that topic. Zach's eyes temporarily left Amanda as he noticed Derek Widener walking around from group to group charming each person with business banter. Zach pointed at the billionaire and spoke. "And there he is, the man of the hour. Derek Widener, I swear he looks the exact same as in high school. I would have never guessed that he would become as successful as he is now. He always rode on daddy's coat-tails and it hasn't been till recently that he's appeared on just about every front page of every media source that's in print or on the web."
"Do I detect a hint of jealousy from one of Crimson City's finest?" Amanda responded sarcastically, "That's right, now that I remember it you and Derek used to hate each other growing up. I'll admit he was a bit of a pompous bully in high school. You better watch it, hero-boy, or he and his friends may come and steal your lunch money again! Now if you excuse me, I have to go do MY job."
"So that's why you're here." Zach rolled his eyes as he was a little irritated that Amanda remembered how Derek used to torment Zach in high school. "To get the big story for the Crimson Crusade. Amanda Cho-Ming, Crimson City's rising voice of the people. I've been reading all your stuff since you moved into the city. So you're here to get the big scoop on this guy eh? That explains why you got all dolled up and took a page out of "How to look like a seductive Greek Goddess."
"The places our job takes us, right?" Amanda said with a playful sigh as she took a deep breath, put on a very attractive smile, and began moving towards the billionaire.
Zach mirrored Amanda's sigh as his eyes lingered on her body as she walked away. The past few months of his life had been the hardest he had ever lived. Since Zach had met Amanda he held true to the belief that behind every good man was an even better woman. For him, Amanda was that woman. With her out of his life, despite the façade he put on as he lived life, Zach had never felt more empty.
Zach stared at his ex-girlfriend talking to the billionaire media-proclaimed boy-genius. As he stared at Derek's short black hair, his jet black eyes, and pale white skin, a fiery distasteful feeling radiated through him. Derek wore all black, and his silk shirt was obviously more expensive than everything Zach wore that night combined. Looking at the man of the night, Zach remembered every reason why he used to hate Derek Widener. Watching the two talk, seeing Amanda give a gentle chuckle as Derek gently put his hand on her arm, and witnessing the good time that was being had a few feet from him was too much for Zach to bear. In one drink Zach finished his wine, placed his glass on the bar and walked over to join the two.
Derek looked at Zach, tilted his head as he acted like he was remembering who this person was, and finally spoke slowly. "I know you don't I? Wait, didn't we go to high school together?"
"Derek, you remember Zach Davis, don't you?" Amanda said, as she turned and gave Zach one of those fake smiles that suggested You need to get away from here because I don't want you around. "I believe you guys played soccer together right? We were all in the same graduating class."
"Of course!" Derek play acted as if finally placed Zach in his mind. "Were you on the soccer team? You must have been second or third string, I don't remember seeing you on the field to much. Of course, it's hard to recall really because when I think back I can really just recall all the times when I scored the winning goal."
Amanda laughed as she playfully slapped Derek on the chest. Zach felt a little part of him die inside as he witnessed this. "You were always our star scorer at Wellington High! If I remember correctly you were a little heart breaker too? It was always so ridiculous how many girls talked about Derek Widener the hot captain of our soccer team in the bathroom."
Derek chuckled as he smiled and looked down at his drink for a moment. As his laughter subsided the young billionaire spoke. "Yeah, I suppose I was a bit of a playboy back in the day. But as I get older, I must confess I'm looking for something a bit more serious. You know, something more real. I know I don't have to tell you two about the benefits of that kind of relationship. It was always in the stars that Zach Davis and Amanda Cho-Ming were destined together. So, are you guys married, or when is that happening?"
There was a moment of awkward silence, but Amanda being the one better with words broke the tension. "Well, we actually broke up a while ago. Zach and I had a good run, but ultimately we're going in two different directions. You know what they say, you can't live in high school forever. Of course, I don't have to tell you that Derek. In high school you were the snobby kid whose daddy bought him everything, look at you now…People's number one most important person, what an honor! What can you tell me about this new project that Widener Corporation is embarking on? You guys have kept it so secretive, and the mystery is just killing me!"
"Ah, there's the investigative reporter coming out of you, Amanda." Derek said with a charming smile. "Well, I don't want to spoil my evening presentation for you right now. How about we table that conversation for perhaps dinner tomorrow evening? I can take you out this place in Crimson City that is absolutely divine, it's by far the fanciest restaurant on the West coast."
Zach felt like he was about to throw up. Amanda smiled and replied warmly, "That would be absolutely lovely. It's always nice to catch up with an old friend!"
Derek noticed Zach's obvious discomfort and gave him a charming, but very fake smile. "But let's forget what this night is really about. Honoring our heroes from the Greil Tower Incident! Speaking of which, I need to go back and make sure everything is squared away for our ceremony. But before I go, I can't miss the opportunity to shake the hand of one of Crimson City's finest!"
Derek stuck out his cold and white hand and Zach returned the gesture and shook his old nemesis's hand. Derek gave a nervous chuckle as Zach clenched the hand very tightly. "You certainly have warm, and almost hot hands!"
As Derek left Amanda turned her attention to Zach and gave him a glare that could freeze the sun. "Did you really have to come and catch up with your best bud Derek, here while I was trying to do my thing? Can you believe he thought we were engaged! Well, if you excuse me, I have to go meet some of the other significant people of the evening. Don't think I don't see what you're doing Zach!"
"Do you think that maybe we could…" Zach began to spoke, but Amanda cut his statement short.
"No, I don't. Let's call it how it is, Zach. I'm focused on my career. I have finally found something I love and that I'm good at. And you…well; we both know that you're one of the most career focused individuals in the world. As well you should, nobody can do what you do as well as you can! So let's be adults, and both do what we're here to do tonight without there being any drama or awkwardness."
Before Zach could even present a thought, Amanda walked off to go meet other important people at the dinner party. Zach turned to return to the bar but his trip was interrupted by his a familiar voice that came from his tiny Bluetooth earpiece that was so small that even the best eyes could easily miss it.
"Hey Zach, I hope this isn't a bad time but we got activity going on the East side of Crimson City. It's another one of the Adulium robberies, I figured you would want to know. Nothing's happened yet, but I picked up some interesting statements on cell phones we bugged that strongly suggest a deal is about to go south, people are in danger, and goods are about to be stolen."
"Eric you could not have chimed in my ear at a better time. " Zach whispered as he began walking towards the door. "I am heading out right now, and will make my way to Crimson East. You mind helping me with transportation?"
"Zach I told you before you left that you needed cab fare money for the way home too…" Eric sounded annoyed.
"Not that transportation." Zach replied, "Send me the XLR8."
"We haven't tested most the devices on the bike yet." Eric responded, "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Probably the best I've had all day." Zach spoke softly as he made his way out the door of the Widener mansion. "My watch is rigged so you can see where I'm at, send her my way ASAP. I need some serious speed, and I can't think of a better night to test the prototype out."
Zach took off his jacket and threw it in the backpack he had strategically placed in the bushes. Zach then quickly unbuttoned his shirt and threw it in the backpack. He wore a black synthetic metal T-shirt under his real clothing that had an emblem of a fireball on it. Zach turned to his right wrist and entered in a security code into his very high tech watch. A female computer's voice spoke from the watch. "NIGHTBLAZE OPERATION INITIATED. ACCESS APPROVED!"
Zach's shirt suddenly hardened into black metal armor with red streaks, and the sleeves extended to cover his arms and create black gloves with red highlights. At the same time, the armor extended downwards to cover his legs and feet in black plates that though were strong, were very light not impeding any kind of movement. Finally, Zach closed his eyes as he felt a synthetic black metal eye mask appearing over his face. As he now wore his fireproof clothlike metal suit, Zach took a deep breath and surrounded his body with flames, as he transformed into his true form. As the man opened his eyes, and the flames radiated through his body towards his head, Zach's hair went from a yellow gold to a bright fiery red.
Not long after transforming, a computer controlled aircraft flew over the hero and dropped black metal box that landed on one top of a bush. The plane quickly flew away into the night. Zach approached the box and pressed a button on the watch, causing the black metal to disappear leaving a sleek black and blue motorcycle whose speed was unparalleled by any other vehicle.
"Package delivered." Eric's voice was heard in Zach's ear. "Go get them Nightblaze."