The Color of Heroism Pt 1
- Substitute Legionnaires
The Color of Heroism
Whether it be in the All-Consuming Flames of Bergren IX, the
Deep Embrace of Awkwiss III, or a simple patch of damp ground on the
planet Earth, since the first sentient being drew its last breath,
the final resting place has been a sacred and solemn site. On
occasion, an even more sacred locale has been set aside, reserved
for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Shanghalla is one
There is no record as to who set the first monument on this
lonely asteroid. Since that time, however, manytoo manymore
memorials have joined the first. From the vastness of space, when
first approaching this hallowed rock, one can't help but compare it
to a field, covered not in grass, but stone.
People visit such places for a variety of reasons. Some come to
relive happier times with the fallen, while others return to pay
tribute on the anniversary of the hero's death. For some, these are
places of solitude where they can find a fleeting moment of peace
amidst a hectic lifetime. And then, there are those who come simply
to talk, knowing a reply will not be given, but still speaking
thoughts meant for no one else's ears.
One such visitor was Ulu Vakk of the planet Lupra. A member of
the Legion of Substitute Heroes, Ulu had gone by the name Color Kid
for many years. Like the other members of the group, Ulu's goal was
to become a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but his powers
were determined to be of little use to the Legion. Joining the Subs
willingly, Ulu never gave up hope that he would one day shown his
usefulness. Through cooperation over the years, the Subs were
beginning to gain the respect of some of the Legion. Unfortunately,
this respect rarely translated into an offer of membership.
Over the years, Ulu paid many visits to Shanghalla to visit the
monuments of the Legion's fallen members. He told them of his
aspirations, of his missions, and of his life in general.
Even though he admired all of the heroes memorialized here, for
reasons he couldn't explain, it was at the statue of Ferro Lad that
he seemed to feel the most comfortable when speaking. Today was no
"We've recently gained a few new members in the Subs," he said,
shoving his hands into the pockets of his light jacket. "They're
pretty nice, and they've got heart."
An explosion rocked the asteroid, throwing Ulu off balance. He
managed to twist his body enough so that his shoulder took the brunt
of his collision with Ferro Lad's monument.
Ignoring his pain, the young Lupran climbed to his feet. The
only thing on Shanghalla that could explode was the shuttle that
brought him here. Keeping to the shadows of the memorials, he headed
back toward where it, and the pilot, had been waiting for him. From
what he felt of the explosion's force, he held little hope of
finding the pilot alive.
He stopped at the edge of the monuments, in the shadow of a
statue of a Thanagarian female. Her outstretched wings reminded him
of angels that many terrans once placed on the graves of their
deceased loved ones.
From the shadows, Ulu saw a sight that shook him to his very
coreone of the universe's most notorious groups gathered near the
smoking hull of the shuttle. The first, and most dominating, figure
of the group that he noticed was the Emerald Empress. Bathed in the
green light of the Emerald Eye of Ekron, she was still among the
universe's most beautiful females. She stood beside a large man
wielding an axe; it was the man known to law enforcers as The
Persuader. As he watched from his hiding place, he saw the half-man,
half-robot Tharok, and Mano, whose features were obscured by a
protective globe worn on his head, join the other two. The final
member of the group caught Ulu by surprise; it was the 25-foot tall
creature known only as Validus.
His first thought was how could this creature even be here.
Most of the Legion's closest allies knew the circumstances behind
the disappearance of the first Validus. It had even been rumored
that the second Validus was a product of a similar situation, but
this third Validus was a complete mystery to the young man. He hoped
that some enemy hadn't found a way to revisit the tragedy upon the
As he joined the others, the light of the burning shuttle cast
an eerie, yellow glow over the monster.
The young man couldn't begin to guess their reasons for coming
here, but based on the actions shortly after their arrival, he knew
they couldn't be good.
Ulu also knew that any of them, with the possible exception of
Validus, would soon realize that lone shuttle occupied by a waiting
pilot meant that someone else was here. His heart felt like it
dropped into his boot when he realized that they would soon begin to
hunt him down. Sticking to the shadows, the Lupran began to put as
much distance between the Fatal Five and himself as possible.
- Never mind that last post -- I found chapter 4. Nice job. I really enjoyed this issue of the LSH. Good stuff that reminds me of those early days of Shooter and co.
I can't wait for the second part and to discover who our villain is.
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