[personal profile] lifeofalimabean
My first brush with a superhero- was when I was ten.

TR100 was an experimental artificial intelligence. It was twice the size of a man, fifty times the power of a tank. It was the most terrifying super weapon to ever go rogue- that was what the news feed told us. It was an unfeeling robot, ready to blow up the world at any moment. That’s what I was told. They called it Thunder, after the sound it made when it soared across the sky.
Fifteen years ago, we were all terrified of what it would do to us.

It was before regular contact with hostile aliens, or benevolent ones for that matter. The global space program had met two other races before, both who preferred to be left alone. We maintained diplomatic contact, but a project like Star Station was a distant dream.

Then a hole opened in the sky, and ships came pouring through.

We took to the stars to fight them, badly outclassed, just trying to keep them away from Earth. It was chaos, nothing less. They ignored us like flies on a rhino- it was soon clear they were warring with each other, and we were caught in the crossfire.

I was separated from my parents as the evacuation of Mod City began- they were at home, I was at school. We knew they were coming ten minutes before they arrived, and that was all the time we had to follow the drills and start our predetermined routes out of the city. They were herding us into buses as the sky went black. I started shaking, and as it was my turn to step into the bus, the first explosion went off in the distance. Over downtown. Where my house was. My parents’ faces flashed in front of me, and I bolted. Teachers gave chase, trying to drag me back, but all I could think was they were going to take me away, and if I didn't get home, I’d never see my parents again.

We didn't hear the thunder in the sky because our ears were skill ringing from the explosion.
We did see the silver streak of TR100, shooting over the atmosphere, and straight through the hull of a black, angular ship.

My teachers took advantage of my shock to drag me back to the buses.

Even the evacuation routes were jammed- for obvious reasons. We were sitting ducks for falling debris- most of the danger was from the low orbit explosions. The earth shook. Smoke and fire fell from the sky, the world seemed like it was ending.

We were almost into the tunnels when a chunk of burning building slammed into the freeway behind us. The bus lurched forward as it fractured and slammed into the back of us- we curled into our seats for protection as the glass in the windows shattered inward.

The tires screamed as Mr. Pullman tried to drive forward, but the bus just lurched in place- the back tires were spinning uselessly. Another explosion went off above us, and as he ushered us off the bus to run for the tunnels, it was hard to see through the fire and smoke.

We could see another chunk of steel and fire plummeting from the sky- some lost control and bolted- some froze with fear, staring upwards at death flying downwards.

Thunder rolled as it came for us, and then- it stopped.

TR100 shone like gold against the fire and smoke as it lifted the hunk of steel upwards, shooting through the atmosphere.

After that I don’t remember much. The teachers got us into the tunnel. We continued to the mountains outside of the city, spent the rest of the day in bunkers.

It was a day before we could leave, but at the end of the day, I saw my parents.

A week later, the ships were gone. TR100 fought with inhuman strength alongside the military- not to destroy the ships, but to protect citizens from the fallout. Like it did that day over Mod City.

I like to think we would have welcomed it as a hero when the conflict ended. When we closed the hole the ships were coming through. TR100 didn't see that day. They made a statue out of its remains, and honored it as one of the heroes of the war.

Anyone can be a hero. Anyone can be a good person. That’s what I believed.



June 2013

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