Paragon City University

From the Story Arc: The Lecture

Previous Story in the Arc: Depths by Rack (Monday, June 11, 2007)

Next Story in the Arc: Oranbega by Rack (Tuesday, July 24, 2007)

(posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007)

Comrade Hero stood at the podium, gazing up at the rows of heroes who filled the ranks of the lecture hall. It was strange to think that that many of them weren’t old enough to drive, enlist in the Armed Forces, marry or vote. But they were old enough to be registered as heroes. He wondered how many of them would survive to be granted the high level Security Clearance to war zones like Recluse’s Victory, Eden and the Rikti Crash Site. His own niece was barely in her twenties, yet she had seen as much action and combat as any veteran Paragon Police Department officer.

Comrade Hero was silent as gripped the sides of the podium and thought about the comrades he had fought alongside and had lost over the brief few years he had been a registered hero. And he was twice the age of most of the people in the attendance tonight. He could read the expectation in the faces of the heroes who looked at him with subdued awe, and sense the fear and respect generated by the reputation that preceded a hero of his standing.

Still, Comrade Hero was one of many who had battled across Paragon City, explored and fought in otherworldly dimension, and championed the cause of justice and freedom in the most adverse of conditions. And once he had been like these young heroes.

Comrade Hero smiled, his red eyes flaring as he looked up at the audience.

“Thank you all for attending this evening.”

Comrade Hero glanced over and nodded to Guidance Counselor Jones who had taken a seat on stage.

“And thank you Guidance Counselor Jones for giving me the opportunity to speak to you all here at the Paragon City University.”

“My name, like many of your own, is classified.”

That comment drew a handful of nervous laughs from the audience.

“But most people call me Comrade Hero.”

“I am not a scientist, or a doctor. I have no qualifications in the fields of metahuman research or mutant genetics. The two things I do have in common with you is this.”

“I am a mutant, and I am a hero.”