The Streamliner
rating: +18+x

Night had fallen over the smoke-stained streets of Chicago, casting the Windy City into darkness. Despite the late hour, a yellow taxicab pulled up to the front of an apartment complex.

"Well, here we are, sir." The man driving the taxi said. "It's later than my customers usually arrive, but I won't pry." The driver laughed and looked to the rear of the cab. The man in the back nodded his head and, reaching into his white coat, pulled out a pile of paper money which he handed to the driver. As he opened the door and left, the taxi driver could not shake the suspicious feeling that he recognized the strange man from somewhere. He watched, but the man only gave a small wave and walked towards the complex. The taxi driver started driving away, little suspecting that his companion had been in truth the Streamliner, Chicago's pataphysical superhero and legendary defender of justice.

The Streamliner stepped into the overly bright interior of the apartment complex. Then, using his reality bending ability, he went to his room, switched into his white super suit and reached the roof of the complex. Because of his pataphysical ability to compress narratives, the Streamliner could, in a single line, do things that would take regular men entire scenes to complete. The Streamliner paused for a moment atop the building, letting the cool night air and the thick, cloying scent of the city below wash over him. It was nothing more than a brief respite though, as the Streamliner knew that soon he would have to continue his nightly crusade against the forces of injustice and evil that threatened his beloved city. The Streamliner stepped forward and found some criminals to do battle with.

The Streamliner found them in the middle of a dark alley, two bald white men with ugly tattoos accosting a black man. Both of them had pistols.

"I don't have it." The black man said. One of the thugs struck him across the brow with a pistol; the Streamliner flinched as the man fell.

"Look." The villain said "Either you give us your wallet or…"

"Someone's coming." The two criminals hastily spun around (almost dropping their guns in the process) to face the Streamliner who was walking down the alley towards them. The only light was coming from behind him so they could only see his outline and a faint shine from the mask of his helmet.

"Who are you?" One mugger asked, seeming nervous.

"Don't shoot him yet." The other yelled, brandishing his gun in a way that implied a poor grasp of firearm safety. "Stay back." The Streamliner said nothing in response but continued closing in on them.

"I said stay back." When their attempts to intimidate the Streamliner failed, the muggers gave him one more second then opened fire. The Streamliner caught the bullets. The criminals stopped in surprise when they saw the Streamliner not dying. The Streamliner held his arms out in front of him, opened his fists and let the two bullets drop to the sidewalk. They bounced off the concrete with a clinking noise before flying away into the darkness. The miscreants stood in shock, before their eyes widened as realization began to creep in.

"What are you?" One of them asked "Are you some kind of super…" The Streamliner knocked them both unconscious. With the criminals dealt with, the Streamliner turned to help the black man stand to his feet.

"Thank you." The man muttered. The Streamliner supported him and helped him stand up. Knowing he needed to get the man medical attention fast, the Streamliner brought him to the nearest hospital. He took the man to the front door and saw that (likely because of his reality bending), already people in the interior of the hospital were rushing out to help. When they arrived, they only found one curious man standing on the concrete sidewalk. The Streamliner had disappeared as mysteriously as he had arrived.

Inside the hospital, the man's injuries were checked and his wounds were stitched shut. Soon afterwards, one of the nurses walked out of the operation room. As soon as she was free of her fellow doctors and nurses, she ducked into the nearest available storage closet and took out a black cellphone. She put through a call over a discrete channel and brought the phone up to her ear as ominous sounding music began to play in the background.

"You were right, he came back." She whispered, "I only saw him for a moment, but I would recognize him anywhere."

"Excellent." A voice from the other end boomed. "Keep us updated."

Far away in a massive concrete building, the man she had talked to placed his phone down.

"The Streamliner has been located." He said in a voice that resounded throughout the massive room. At this the other men and women seated around the table in front of him broke out into applause. One of them pressed a button on the table and muttered under his breath. "Send him in." They waited in eager anticipation for several minutes before, at the other side of the chamber, a click was heard and a hidden door in the wall slid open. Beyond it a figure stood cloaked in darkness so that nothing more than his outline and his bright blue eyes were visible.

"You wished to see me?" the mysterious figure asked.

"Yes, we have a new assignment for you. We have located SCP-4455 and need you to return him to the Foundation's control." The Foundation! The secret organization which conspires to keep all Wonder hidden from the inhabitants of the world were the very foe who now had their eyes set on the White-Clad Crusader. He had once been a prisoner of theirs, but had escaped under mysterious circumstances. The figure cloaked in darkness laughed.

"Yes, the Streamliner! He is a mighty warrior, but…" There was the sound of a sword being drawn in the gloom. "So am I."

"Can you do this?"

"I can. It will be a hard fight, one of the hardest I will ever undertake, but I will bring him back to you." The man nodded and the figure disappeared further into the shadows.

Back in Chicago, the Streamliner was still on the hunt for more people who required his aid. Using his anomalous power to skip the effort of actually going out and looking, the Streamliner found a man wearing a ski mask attempting to pick the lock of an apartment door. The man cursed under his breath as he struggled to get the lock open and the Streamliner silently approached from behind. He dropped the wire tool he was holding and reached down to pick it up. Before he could, the Streamliner grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him back. He screamed and spun around reaching for a gun he had at his side, but the Streamliner looked him in the eye and told him the error of his ways The Streamliner explained how a life of crime was not the right way to live and doomed to bring misery in the end. He also explained how it was never too late for someone to change their ways, no matter what they had done. After the Streamliner finished, the man sat down on the ground, tears streaming down his face.

"Thanks, Streamliner." He said. "I promise I'll turn my life around." The Streamliner took the man's hand and helped him to his feet. He wiped his eyes as the Streamliner led him out of the hallway.

"I wasn't always like this." The former criminal continued, nostalgia creeping into his voice. "I used to be a good kid, but then…" As they approached the police station, they heard a noise which made them jump. The Streamliner turned around and at the corner of his vision he saw something moving towards them down the near abandoned streets.

"Streamliner?" The Streamliner moved him inside the station and then turned to face whatever danger lurked in the unseen parts of the city. Fearing what may happen if a fight started so close to civilians, the Streamliner went to the roof of a nearby building, giving him a better vantage point.

Up there, the night was as dark as it had been when he first arrived at the apartment complex. The Streamliner walked towards the edge of the building and looks down. The streets below him were empty except for a few cars slowly driving down the late trash-spewn streets. The Streamliner glanced over his shoulder as well, but saw nothing except for a few scattered newspapers blowing in the wind. It was unusually quiet, as if the night itself was waiting in anticipation. He leaned against a piece of machinery and let himself rest for a few moments… and heard the sound of footsteps behind him.

"Ah yes." The Streamliner heard a voice from behind him that sent a chill down his spine. "We meet again, Streamliner." It was a voice the Streamliner recognized from the time when he was imprisoned by the Foundation, the voice of a living legend. The Streamliner's blood ran cold as he realized who was after him. Darkblade. He was the Foundation's most powerful warrior, a near undefeated swordsman of inhuman skill. The Foundation must have been truly desperate to recapture the Streamliner if they had sent him. The swordsman stood at the opposite edge of the rooftop, the Streamliner hadn't noticed his arrival. The wind blew Darkblade's long flowing white hair and his hand rested on the hilt of the fabled weapon he took his namesake from.

"It was difficult to track you down Streamliner." Darkblade said as he sized up the white-clad superhero. "You hid well after you had escaped from the Foundation, but," Darkblade smiled. "I knew you couldn't keep it up forever."

The Streamliner did not turn around. He continued looking across the Chicago skyline where no stars were visible. He could see the crescent moon rising in the far distance, little more than a white smear against the black.

"The Foundation asked me to recapture you. Being that I am always keen for another chance to test my skills with my chosen weapon I accepted." Darkblade drew his black sword from its sheath and held it in his hands. He turned it in his grip, admiring the way it made the light glitter, then pointed it towards the Streamliner. Moonlight reflected off the blade's dark sheen and wisps of water started to form around the swordsman. The Streamliner clenched and unclenched his fists. Under his helmet he began to sweat.

"You remind me of myself actually." A hint of sadness crept into Darkblade's voice as he spoke. ''We both know we have gone too far from our happy younger days to ever return to them. All that waits for us is violence and conflict until the hour of our deaths." The Streamliner's skin crawled, how had Darkblade known about his stereotypical tragic past? To the Streamliner's great surprise he saw Darkblade wipe a single immaculate tear from his eye.

"It's almost a shame that we must oppose each other, but I cannot break my oath to aid the Foundation for the good of the universe. Now, I give you the opportunity to surrender before I am forced to fight you and take you back to the Foundation by force." The Streamliner said nothing.

"So be it, friend." Darkblade entered a sword fighting stance. "I've heard you are this world's strongest anomaly. Try not to disappoint me." Now, the Streamliner turned to face Darkblade. Darkblade yelled a warcry and ran forward. He raised his mighty blade while summoning a shell of water to repel the Streamliner's attacks then jumped into the air, raising his sword high above him. Thinking fast, the Streamliner defeated Darkblade.

Darkblade collapsed to his knees, the broken pieces of his katana lying in front of him. He gasped for air, blood leaking from his mouth and placed a hand on the ground to steady himself.

"It's true!" He said, shock and amazement apparent in his voice. "You are the strongest!"

Without a word, the Streamliner turned around and begins walking away from his conquered foe. As he left, the world itself seemed to disappear. Everything started to fade to black until there was only a blank void. This lasted only for a moment before two words appeared in the darkness. The Streamliner. They slowly floated up into the aether and beneath it names appeared.

Dr. Wondertainment clicked the projector off and stepped away from the screen. A massive smile beamed from her face.

"So what do you think?" She asked in an exceedingly cheery tone of voice. The investors sitting at a table across from her could only stare in horror and wish they had called out of work that morning.

"So… you want us to start making films now?" One of them asked.

"We've done candy, video games, pets, morally ambiguous human experiments and now this?" Another investor, the only female executive in the room other than Dr. Wondertainment herself, asked. "Seems like a stretch."

"Yes!" Wondertainment said, her grin becoming manic. "Think about it. We make this film; it becomes a hit and then boom! Wondertainment Cinematic Universe. An entire new market will be open for us."

The investors glanced in each other's directions and exchanged a few wide-eyed looks of terror.

"I fear it would dilute our brand too much." One of them said.

"We'd need to hire too many new people for this to work. The risk would be too high." Another added.

"How will we even get the Streamliner's permission to use his image in the film?"

"With all due respect Isabel, your screenplay is awful."

"Did you make this by yourself?"

"The Foundation will never allow this in theaters."

"There's no way the Streamliner could actually beat Darkblade."

Dr. Wondertainment sighed and shook her head.

"Okay." She continued. "Think of it this way…" It was going to be a long meeting.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License