Red X Japan Ch01 Man of Steel

Red X Japan

Ch01 Man of Steel

Readers beware. Red X Japan contains violence, sexual content and other crap that some readers may find offensive. Discretion is advised.

Red X, Johnny Rancid and other characters are property of their respective creators and DC comics and have only been modified by Human X to fit the story. This is a work of fiction and any resemblance these characters or situations have to anyone in your own life are purely coincidental…maybe.

Oscura City. It's a place full of monsters, criminals and disaster. But all these things are not uncommon in this world. Because of the small size and relative obscurity of this city it remains without a resident super hero. It's name means the city of darkness. It is a place where the justice of the world is obsolete. The jails are revolving doors where the worst of criminals can spend the night before their caring rich parents bale them out. It is an infection. A decrepit form of society where the weak succumb to the strong and the worth of man is its lowest. Only in a city like this can a mad man be take the place of a hero.

Since the fall of the Depraved in December things have been looking up for this city. Anthony Romulus and his group have long since scared off most of the Depraved members who where still loyal to Crispin's memory and now the city is left without a criminal mastermind. Of course, all that really does is leave a vacancy open. WIthout the Depraved leading Oscura's criminal underworld the low level criminal groups are fighting for their late masters position. Oscura is now a battlefield for a gang war. Luckily, none of these gangs are able to use Xenothium, the driving force that was behind the Depraved's actions and the source of Crispin's power. In comparison to the fear of super powered druggies randomly attacking people at their own discretion this controllable chaos is welcomed by the citizens of the city.

---

By the way, I haven't introduced myself. My name is Paul and I will be the narrator for Red X Japan. You may not remember me but I was in the last chapter of red X Oscura. If you do remember me thank you very much. In the last chapter I had almost escaped from this series of underground chasms I've been trapped in and returned to the surface world so that I could reunite with my long lost love and deliver some important items I have found. But do to some circumstances the exit was sealed and I've been wandering around down here ever since. I was able to survive by finding this storage house down here that was full of food and supplies. I'm just about to eat now but suddenly the room begins to shake and I dive out just before the roof collapses on me. I am happy to be alive until I realize that all that food is now buried underneath the rubble…Will someone please find me.

---

The snow in Oscura has already melted away, leaving a crisp and cool Spring feeling in the middle of January. The uncharacteristic weather puts the people at ease after the harsh Winter that had just past. The high schools have all let out by now and two young girls walk leisurely home, not wanting to let the weather go to waste.

"So, you like, want to go shopping today?" One of the girls asks the other. "I don't want to go home right away. The weathers too nice."

"Sorry." The one in front apologizes as she moves the brunette hair hanging over her face. "I have training after this."

"You're always doing that stuff." The girl behind grumbles and pulls her cellphone out of her pocket. "Your instructor must be like, really hot for you to keep doing that every day."

"He's just a freeloading jerk." The girl in front sighs.

As the girls walk down the street several men surround them on all sides. One of the men steps forward, a knife in his hand. "Hey there ladies."

The girl in the back moves in closer to the one in the front. She shakes as her hand reaches out and grabs onto her friend.

"Good girls know not to come to Dusk Street on their own." The man with the knife walks closer. He looks both the girls up and down as he circles in like a shark. "There are bad people out here."

"Maybe you should let us escort you young ladies home." One of the other men tells them as all of them start taking out weapons.

"Please don't hurt us." The girl behind her friend trembles but the friend takes the others hand off her arm.

"We wont hurt you." The man walks in closer so he's standing less than an arms length away. "We're just concerned for your wellbeing. That's all."

---

Several frightened waitresses whisper and watch a terrified coworker standing beside a flying barrage of food. Her whole body shakes as a boot slams onto the table.

"OY OY OY OY!" The man at the table yells at the waitress through bits of metal pairings. "You call dis horse p*ss coffee? And where the 'ell is my f**king steak? I ordered it like, five minutes ago."

"I-I-I-I'm sorry." The waitress tries to keep from making eye contact with him. "We'll need some more time to-"

The man slams his boot against the table again. "Wait? Is that whot you're asken me ta do? Do you 'ave any idea who I am? I'm Punk Rocket you blinkin' tart! Everyone 'ere knows what I could do ta this place. Now if I tell ya I want a bloody steak then what will you do?"

"I'll get you a steak." Her legs start to give out but she keeps standing despite her fear.

"Tha's right." He leans back and tosses a bowl of noodles over his shoulder. "Because I'm the strongest. Nottin' can beat me."

"H-Here it is." One of the other waitresses runs out with a steak ready for Punk Rocket.

"Let me take that." Another man's hand reaches out and takes the plate.

"I can kick any sod who dares to mess wit me an' don' you forget it." Rocket doesn't notice since he's so wrapped up in bragging about himself. "Now where's ma bloody steak?"

"Over here." The man behind him waves without looking back. "Tastes good."

"You little punk!" Rocket grabs the man behind him by the shoulder. A look of absolute terror completely takes over his face when he sees him. "Oh bloody hell."

---

Back in Dusk Street.

"You're think you can run away? We're the Depraved you know." One of the men surrounding the young girls sticks his face up close and grins. "You know, you're not half bad looking. Maybe I should keep this one for myself."

"Disgusting." The girl in front mutters and drops her school bag on the ground.

"What was that?" The man raises his hand to his ear pretending not to hear her.

"I said that your breath is disgusting. And when was the last time you showered you grotty little sh*t stain." The girl snaps at him her eyes blazing like blue fire. "And what the hell's with that hair stye? Do you think this is the nineteen eighties? People like you are why rich people look down on the lower class. You have no sense of style or anything in the looks department but you strut around like you're invincible. You may as well just get used to the fact that the only reason you're doing something as stupid as stalking a couple of high school girls, as cute as we are, is because no girl would ever look at you if she had the choice so you have to resort to what I have to assume is some sort of gang bang attempt. You even went as far as to use the name of a dead organization. Everyone knows the Depraved is done. Even if you aren't faking you're just one of the remnants of an organization that didn't amount to anything."

"You little b*tch!" He goes to stab her but she steps to the side and grabs his now outstretched arm. She brings her elbow down into the man's elbow, making him drop his knife before she knees him in the stomach. All of the man's followers watch in awe.

"You b*tches think you can take on the beautiful fighter Charlotte Sullivan and live?" Charlotte calls out to them. "I'll kick all your a*ses!"

"Kill her!" One of the men calls out and they all charge her at once.

"Twelves men in total. This should take about three seconds." Charlotte takes position and gets ready to attack. She lowers herself on her left leg, pushing the right out in front of her. Her right hand is outstretched forwards and her left remains by her chest. "Bangong Fang She!"

---

Punk Rocket is tossed out the door of the restaurant. He tries to crawl off but is picked up by his head.

"Come on Johnny-boy." He claps his hands together and pleads for his life. "I'm sorry I tossed the bowl on ya 'ead. It was a total accident."

"You keep busting up my favourite restaurants Rocket, and I'll make sure you have a real accident." Johnny sets him on the ground and turns to go back inside.

Rocket grabs a gun from his jacket and goes to shoot Johnny in the back of the head. johnny turns back around and crushes the gun underneath the force if his hand before Rocket can fire a single bullet.

"I'll be goin' now." Rocket drops the ruined gun and runs for his life.

"Freaking moron." Johnny scratches his head and grumbles.

"Um-excuse me." Johnny turns around and has a plate of food shoved into his chest. "This is for saving me-I mean us!"

"Uh, no problem." Johnny takes the food.

"Thank you so much." The waitress tells him and walks back inside, unable to look at his face.

"Sweet." Johnny starts inhaling the food off the plate. "Free grub."

---

Charlotte stands in the middle of a group of unconscious bodies. She breathes in and abandons her stance. "Hell yeah! That's what you get ya pansies!"

"Charlotte, that was amazing." Her friend cheers for her.

"I know." Charlotte crosses her arms. "I'm made of awesome."

"But I thought you said it would only take three second. That was almost twenty."

Charlotte drops her confident look and starts to feel a little down. "It would have taken him three seconds."

---

"So this is connected to the palatine tonsil." A gentle smile graces the eyes of six female med students as they listen to a dark haired man explain the contents of a text book to them as if it where a graceful work of literature written by a famous poet.

"So that's why we use this when dealing with that kind of illness?" One of the med students pushes in closer to the man who returns her attention with a warm gaze.

"That's exactly right." He places a finger gently against her throat and motions upwards. "That will cause relief in this area as the medicine works through these parts of the throat. It help to clear the area as well."

"I-I see." The med student trembles as she tries to stop herself from drooling.

"Um, Mr.Arkham." Another student on the other side pulls on his sleeve.

"It's just Alex." He turns back to her and stares into her eyes for a moment before returning to her textbook.

Her heart beats like a bull ramming against her chest. "Which part's the palatine tonsil again?"

Alex motions her to look into his eyes. "It's this part."

His lips rub against her and his tongue parts her mouth. The girl moans as his tongue shows her the palatine tonsil.

"Awww. No fare." One of the other students whines. "Why is it just her?"

"Lucky…." Another one slumps back in her chair.

The kiss breaks and the girl breaths heavily as her eyes slowly reopen.

"So, can you remember that part now?" Alex asks her.

"Yes." She wipes her drool from her lower lip and writes what she just learned down in her notebook.

"Can we study breast related illnesses next?" One of the girls asks.

"Sure we ca-" The door to the library bursts open as Charlotte storm in through the door.

"There you are." She grabs Alex by the collar and nearly lifts him off his chair. "You where supposed to train me today after I got home from school three hours ago!"

"Do you know this girl Alex?" One of the med students asks him with a look in her eyes like her heart had just been torn out of her chest.

"I've never seen her before in my life." Alex lies flat out, earning him a head smack against the table.

"Alex is my martial arts teacher." Charlotte tells them. "And he's late for a lesson so if it's alright with you I'll be dragging his worthless butt home."

As Alex is dragged out of the library by his collar he waves goodbye to the med students. "Same time next week everyone."

---

Alex dodges under a quick swing of a bamboo sword.

"Skipping out on training to flirt with college girls!?" Charlotte swings at Alex with a hurricanes force. He swerves in between the deadly strikes without batting an eye. "What kind of teacher are you!?"

"I wasn't flirting. I was seducing." Alex corrects her. "The distinction should be obvious. Did I mention your hair look really pretty? Good call on going back to your natural colour."

"Don't try to talk your way out of this!" Charlotte brings her sword down on Alex and he has to block the attack with his own sword in order to keep himself from getting a bad scar. "I don't care about your sorted pervert lifestyle! Im paying you for martial arts lessons so you're going to teach me martial arts or else! And by the way, why are we doing kendo!? I thought you where going to teacher me the Bangong Fang She!"

Alex chuckles at her. "I'm not teaching you that."

Charlotte's next attack hits its mark and bops Alex on the head, knocking him on his butt.

"That hurt." Alex rubs his head and pouts. "How am I gonna snag the hotties if I get a scar?"

"You'll live." Charlotte stabs her sword against the ground. "So, why wont you teach me the full Bangong Fang She. Wasn't that what you started teaching me before?"

"That was a different thing all together. Yao Duo Shuang Tou She Qiangdao (Bite of the Multi-Headed Snake Bandit) is only one technique which is a result of learning Bangong Fang She. It is the lowest form of Bangong Fang She and is only meant as a way of taking down multiple targets in a short amount of time. I'm impressed that you where able to master it to this degree in the time you have, but learning the entire Bangong Fang She is something you cannot learn from me."

"Then who should I learn it from?" Charlotte asks. "You're the only person who knows the freaking thing."

"I'm not the only one." Alex tells her. "I had to learn it from somewhere. But it's not like having that person teach you would be any different. You're just not capable of mastering any of the three great animals."

"Well, excuse me for not being a freakishly gifted mega genius." Charlotte pouts. "But I was able to make it this far and you said that a person would have to be a genius to master even the basics of one of the animals."

"The only reason you got this far is because of my awesome teaching skills and the amplifications you give yourself with that battle armour."

Charlotte looks down at the skin tight nano armour around her arms and legs. They look like black socks and gloves but are really Metalla laced nanoscopic machines like the ones used in my older Red X costume before Charlotte remade it with a downgrade to increase my speed and reaction time. They are supposed to act as an under-armour for her gauntlets when she acts as Kitten but since they look like regular black fabric they work as inconspicuous shields for everyday life.

"Those things are designed as muscle enhancers. That's the only reason you can reach the level of speed needed to achieve a state near that of Bangong Fang She. But that state is nothing compared to the original." Alex blocks one of Charlottes attacks and pushes her off balance, making her fall back on her butt. "So is the physical strain of using them."

Charlotte punches the padded ground with the side of her fist as she gets up, her temper getting the better of her for a moment. "Yeah. I've felt the numbness in my legs after using Yoh Duo Shuang Ta…The snake bandit attack."

"Yao Duo Shuang Tou She Qiangdao." Alex sets his sword against the wall and grabs his water bottle off the seat of a bench press. "Imagine using that attack at a much higher level. The world blurs around you so you can't see a thing. Your legs feel like they're going to break underneath the strain like your body weighs a ton every time your foot hits the floor, only to become weightless. You feel the wind hit your face like a metal beam and for that single moment your lungs fill with air like they're going to explode."

"That sucks." Charlotte sneaks around behind Alex and lifts her sword up into the air.

"It's like your body is falling apart." Charlotte swings the sword down but Alex turns out of the way and pulls the sword further, tugging Charlotte onto one leg. She hops forward, trying to stay up before she falls and smacks her nose off the wall. "And that's just the first half second."

"Half second?" Charlotte asks.

"The first step is to enter the Bangong Fang She. I nearly jumped off a mountain the first time. Then you try to learn to exit it on command and after that you try increasing your time. It's the same with Snake Bandit."

"But the full thing makes you move like the Flash."

"The Flash is faster. Bangong Fang She pushes me to the limit of human speed but its a martial art move, not a magic trick and you don't get the protective aura keeping him from feeling the negative side effects."

"So you do have limits." Charlotte sneers at Alex as he bends down and helps her back on her feet.

"I'm only human."

---

Later that night, a heavily armoured car drives across the newly renovated overpass just outside of Oscura city limits. The original overpass was damaged from the shockwaves caused by Crispin's final attack. The shockwaves caused minor damage in several parts of Oscura. The repair work made good time in coming to completion but was still unfinished.

A worker holds out his hand, signalling for the armoured car to stop. The worker walks up to the car.

"Working late?" The worker asks the men in the car.

"Late night delivery." The men tell him.

"Must be something expensive to be guarded like this."

"Just waste material from Lex Corp."

"Is it toxic?" The construction worker leans in.

"You're safe. It would take something as strong as Superman to break through this armoured car."

"Seems like a lot of security."

"You never know with Lex Corp."

"Yeah. About that." The worker grabs the side of the car door. "I've got some friends in Lex Corp and they never said anything about a shipment tonight."

The men in the car reach for their guns as the workers hand crushes the car door.

"As for my friends in the Metropolis police department. They say that there is supposed to be a prisoner transport done today."

The worker grabs the first mans hand and crushes it along with his gun. The second one fires but despite the bullets perching the workers skin it bounces off his skull.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Have you not figured it out yet?" The worker grabs his forehead and rips the skin from three quarters of his own face revealing glimmering metal.

"Metallo!" The second guard fires again and again.

"There are some brains in that meaty little head." Metallo reaches out and grabs the guard by the cheeks. "Why don't we have a look at them."

The first guard tries to wrestle Metallo's hands off of the second. Metallo swats the first man so hard that his jaw flies out of the window. With that distraction out of the way he returns to crushing the second man's head.

---

Metallo wipes the blood and brains from his hands onto the dead man's shirts and looks to the man who's jaw he had ripped off, lifting him up by the collar. He rips the door off the back of the armoured truck. Purple gas seeps from the open car as Metallo leers into the darkness. He steps into the car.

"I have a deal if you would like to hear it." Metallo tosses the man he had nearly killed into the centre of the truck. "And I've brought a present to show my good will."

A voice reaches out from the darkness. Its breath is hoarse and heavy. "Corben. Why are you here?"

"I'll fill you in after you agree to work with me. I went through a lot to find you and I hope that we can have a mutually beneficial relationship."

"I'm listening. Just bring him here." The voice agrees. "Hurry."

"Gladly."

---

Oscura remains quiet for one day after Metallo's attack on the armoured car. The incident was kept secret from the public. Life in Oscura moves on its newly casual pace.

Charlotte leans against a wall by the refreshment table of an art gallery opening. She grudgingly chokes down a glass of punch and taps her foot against the floor. Her stunning appearance in a light blue mini dress and professionally done hair style contrast with her glaring eyes and painted scowl.

"That stupid jerk." She stomps her heel against the wall just lightly enough not to be noticed. "Where is he?"

Her ears perk up as an all too familiar sound reaches in.

"This one is Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach by Salvador Dali. He's well known for creating bizarre works of art in the surrealist style." A gentle voice guides a small group of young women through the collection of masterpieces. "He's been quoted saying "Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali"."

"You know a lot about art." One of the mesmerized moment smiles at the voices owner, caught like a fish in a net.

"I just feel drawn to surrealist artwork." The voices owner flashes a one million dollar smile with a shy glance. "Especially Dali's work. But the man himself is just as interesting as his works. He'd always say things which where almost as out there as his paintings."

"I've never really liked surrealist work." One of the women looks at the painting like she is starring at garbage. "There just a little too outragious for me."

"The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous." He turns his attention to her without any sign of displeasure, but instead a warmth and nearly glowing understanding. "Sometimes such extreme minds are hard to understand but just because we don't see the way they do doesn't mean we can't appreciate the merit in their work."

"I guess not." The woman can't hold back from smiling at the man's welcoming face as all of her objections melt away like ice in the face of the sun.

Behind a nearby doorway freshly painted nails dig into the paint of the walls as Charlotte grits her teeth. "Alex, you chauvinistic pig."

"Wow. Check out the babe." A couple of guys see Charlotte from a short distance. "Called her."

"No way, man." One of the guys pushes himself out in front of the other. "I saw her first."

Charlotte's nails nearly rip the wall apart. "I'm gonna kill him!"

"Uh…" The guys start to back off. "Never mind bro. Too crazy for my taste."

"Uh, yeah." The two run off. "I like my limbs attached."

Charlotte walks over to Alex and looks him in the eyes.

"Hey." Alex gives her a fake smile. "What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?" Charlotte imitates him as she grabs onto his collar. "I'll tell you what's wrong."

---

A few painful minutes later…

"You got exactly what was coming to you." Charlotte pouts by a refreshment table.

"But did you really have to throw that table at me?" Alex rubs his sore cheek.

"You left me alone. I felt like an idiot looking around for you. You're lucky you got off with that."

"If you'd have left me alone I would have gotten off a lot better with those hotties I was talking too."

"You're sick!" Charlotte shoves her purse into Alex's stomach and starts to storm off.

"Where are you going?" Alex calls after her. "You know, it's rude to wander off and leave people alone."

"I'm getting a drink!" She snaps back forgetting that they are standing next to a refreshment table.

Alex sighs and hooks the purse over his shoulder. He looks around the museum until his eyes settle on a large lumbering man in a cheap blue suit carrying a black purse. The man wanders over to the snack bar, bumping into a few people along the way. His humongous hands carefully grab a paper plate and some crackers from the snack table.

"Interesting." Alex thinks to himself as he quietly observes the giant's sausage sized fingers gracefully scoop some chocolate fondue from the fountain in the centre of the table. He grins as the man then knocks over a small pile of paper cups. The giant tries to pick up the cups but only makes a bigger mess as he fumbles with them.

"Need some help there?" Alex grabs a few of the cups up off the ground and neatly piles them back in their proper place.

"Thanks a lot." The man readjusts his glasses and smiles kindly. It's like the sun is glowing behind his awkward expression. "Hard to catch these things once they start to get away on you."

"The mood doesn't help." Alex returns the smile with one of his own. "All these rich people really don't have anything better to do than look around some ordinary art gallery?"

"It can be a bit overwhelming. But it's better than a big news day around the Planet."

"The Planet?" Alex stops half way through picking up a cracker. "You mean the Daily Planet in Metropolis?"

"The one and only." The giant man holds out a friendly hand which makes Alex's hand look like a child's. "Clark Kent, reporter."

"Alex Arkham, prisoner. Right now I'm being held captive by a little ex-blonde dictator in heels."

"I was wondering about the prada." Clark points to the purse hanging off of Alex's arm. "I guess yours makes you hold her stuff too."

"Naw. I just like how the colour compliments my eyes." Alex grins and uses one of the cups to scoop out some chocolate from the fountain.

"Now that's genius." Clark laughs at the cup of chocolate. "I wish I thought of that."

"After spending a few lifetimes at these things you pick up some ideas. But I guess I don't have to tell the star reporter."

"I wouldn't call myself a star reporter. That's Lois." Clark rubs his neck awkwardly.

"Lois the ball and chain?" Alex asks through a mouthful of chocolate covered crackers but his smile switches to a smirk. "Wait, you mean Lois Lane? Lucky you."

"Well, yeah." Clark blushes.

"At least you're getting points for being here. I'm stuck with a short, bratty sound box who never shuts up." Alex sighs and leans against the table. "At least if I could write this off as a date I wouldn't totally be wasting my evening."

"Short, bratty sound box, huh?" Clark asks and points behind Alex. "She look anything like that?"

Alex slowly turns around, unwilling to see the hellish fate awaiting his turning head. Charlotte grinds her teeth together as she glares up at him. "Arkham…My ears don't seem to be working. What exactly where you saying just now?"

"I was saying that a short, bratty, flat chested, completely unattractive girl dragged me to this snore-fest and I would embraces sweet death if I WAS FORCED INTO A STRANGLE HOLD!" Half way through his sentence Charlotte forces him into a strangle hold and pins him on the ground.

"My ears are still not working! What did you say about that beautiful, kind and generous girl!?" Charlotte nearly snaps his arms.

"Clean the wax out woman!" Alex continues pushing her on. "I said you where a-Gyaaaah!"

"What the hell is going on?" Another brunette walks up and watches the carnage.

"Lois, this is Alex Arkham and, um…" Clark bends in toward Charlotte. "I'm sorry. I didn't get your name."

"Oh." Charlotte drops her violence and at an unnatural speed turns into a sweet young lady. "I'm Charlotte Sullivan. Please ignore what happened just a moment ago."

"Yes. Ignore the clear attempt at manslaughter. It happens every day." Alex gets up and rubs his aching arms.

"Wait a minute." Charlotte looks at the two more closely. "Are you Lois Lane?"

"Daily Planet's star reporter at your service." Lois wisps a pen and note pad out of her pocket and starts questioning Charlotte. "You said your name was Charlotte Sullivan. Of the Sullivan group? Your families company is Oscura's riches organization. What have you contributed to this museum?"

"Well, uh…" Charlotte freezes up but Alex steps in between her and Lois.

"Actually," Alex smiles. "The Sullivan group has been a big part of creating many wings of this museum and paid for several different galleries which contain works by artists such as-"

As Alex riddles off a list of Charlotte's families contributions Clark hands Charlotte a cup of chocolate and some crackers.

"So far you've been telling me a lot about the company contributions but not much about your personal role in the creation of this museum." Lois tries to stump Alex.

"That's because there isn't any." Alex lets the jab role off his shoulders. "Charlotte doesn't have very much of the Sullivan group's finances under her direct control. It's actually caught up in charitable branch organizations and several research groups involved in the development of renewable resources and medical developments. All of these things are out of her hands until she reaches a more appropriate age and graduates from high school. After that she can choose to take over the company or allow the share holders to continue running it."

"I see. So, until she can take control she's just along for the ride?" Lois asks.

"Pretty much." Alex smirks.

"I do more than you do." Charlotte mutters.

A few minutes of Alex dodging Lois' tough questions with sweet sounding half answers and an impenetrable armour of warm smiles and Clark decides to rip the two apart with the thought of a fruit punch break.

"Lois can really talk." Alex says with a slightly less pristine smile.

"So can Charlotte." Clark agrees.

"Did you let her talk about shoes or makeup?"

"Martial arts actually." Clark chuckles. "She said that you teach her."

"Just a bit of Taijiquan, Baguazhang and other Chinese stuff. I'm a bit of an asian fanatic."

---

Suddenly a loud explosion goes off between a few of the galleries near the centre of the museum. A bulky man in what looks like pimped out army gear climbs to the top of one of the sculptures so that the entire museum can see him. He holds up a megaphone and inhales deeply.

"Hey all you rich people! For too long you have kept the worlds wealth to yourself! For too long you have used your financial assets to fund these worthless pieces of unimaginative trash! And you even have the balls to call this crap art! Well I say no more! I say let this come to an end!" The man grabs a grenade from his utility belt and holds it up in the air. People start scrambling to the doors but they wont budge. "There's no escape! I've already locked all the exits! My name is Mad Stan! And I have stood by too long! There can only be one solution to the evil I see before me today."

Mad Stan grabs the pin of his grenade in between his teeth and pulls it out, tossing the grenade into a crowd of people. He laughs out as they run from it. "There is only one solution! Blow it all up!"

Charlotte looks at Alex who takes a step forward before stopping and reveals his true dark smile.

Charlotte moves in close so no one can hear. "What are you doing?"

Alex loosens up. "Getting some more punch."

"Hurry up and get rid of the grenade!" Charlotte grabs him by the sleeve, her eyes searching him for any sign of what he's thinking.

"Do grenades really take this long to go off?" Alex asks her as he shakes off her hand and pours himself a drink.

Charlotte eases off. "Well, no."

"And yes, this guy does sound like a complete moron but do you think his rage over this art thing seems like something he'd give his life for?" Alex swings an arm over her shoulder and uses one finger on the hand he's holding his drink with to point at Mad Stan. "See here and here. Also the way he's dressed. He's not a man ready to give his life away. Not for art. Maybe if his favourite football team looses or something."

"So, what's going to happen?" Charlotte presses him for more answers. "And what's the grenade?"

"It's not a grenade. It's a hand held bomb which has been made to look like a grenade. He doesn't want to die but it's nothing to him if someone else gets hurt. In other words he's just being a jerk." Alex pats Charlotte on the back and stands straight up again. "As for what happens that depends on whether my hunch is correct."

"What hunch?"

"Well, first of all our new friend ms.Lane is going to something incredibly stupid." Just as Alex says it Lois Lane was up to Mad Stan and starts yelling at him.

"Mad Stan. Lois Lane. Daily Planet. What would you say your motive is in doing all this?"

"And right on cue." Alex smirks and takes another drink.

"So, how is this good?" Charlotte panics. "She's gonna die."

"This punch is fantastic." Alex gets another cup.

Charlotte stomps on his foot to get his attention. "Focus!"

"Ever think of getting sharper heels?" Alex rubs his aching foot through the top of his shoe. "I think my toe might still be attached."

"Alex start talking."

"It all depends on wether my second theory happens to be true. The first being that Lois Lane is out of her bloody mind."

"What is your theory?" Charlotte looks back at Alex's grin getting wider with anticipation as the wind starts to pick up in a room with locked doors and windows.

"Where is Clark?"

---

Mad Stan has enough of Lois' questions and aims a gun at her. "Shut up! I've heard enough! It's time to blow it all up!"

"Just one more questio-" Lois tries to squeeze another line out of him but no luck.

"Just shut up spawn of the man!" He pulls the trigger. The gun fires but Lois doesn't fall. Instead she stands with a confident air as she looks up towards the sky.

"I would look behind you." Lois warns him.

A gust of wind blows through the locked museum as scarlet and azure blaze from the sky like fire raining down from heaven. The familiar symbol rests on his chest raining hope like sunlight on the hearts of the onlookers. His hand reaches out and drops the bullet meant for Lois' head. It bounces off of Mad Stan's stunned face.

"I hope I'm not interrupting." Superman floats down toward Mad Stan until he is eye to big red S level with him. "But maybe you should give it a rest before someone gets hurt."

"I threw a bomb." Mad Stan breaths deeply as he tries to work through.

"The grenade on the floor. I know." Superman nods. "But I'm afraid that wont do any good. I'll have tosses it into space by the time you can detonate it with that device in your pocket."

"Not that bomb you idiot!" Mad Stan laughs. "I have six more hidden around this museum!"

"I know. I found them."

"What? How did you-"

"Same way I know you have a detonator in your pocket. I could hear them." Superman plucks the little man up from on top of the statue and places him on the floor. "Now if you could just wait here for the police, they should be arriving any minute."

"No!" Mad Stan pulls a gun form his pocket and holds it up to Superman's chest.

"Now, I've been through this before." Superman tries to talk him out of this. "And it doesn't work. Regular bullets can't hurt me. They will only bounce off of my skin and hit you."

"If these where regular bullets-" Mad Stan pulls the trigger and a blast of green energy blows Superman against a wall. "-I might have been worried."

Superman gets up and brushes bits off wall off of his shoulders. "That wasn't Kryptonite but it did pack quite a punch. You know, you could be using that technology to do something good instead of terrorizing museums."

"Shut up!" Mad Stan fires again and this time Superman uses his arms to block it.

"Ultra high frequency sonic technology creating a wave of pure sonics in a solidified form." Not even Superman's suit is damaged. "Good but not good enough."

Before Mad Stan can fire another blast Superman melts the gun with his heat beams. Mad Stan drops the gun and tries to grab another weapon but realizes that all of his gadgets are gone. Superman holds them up in one hand so he can see.

"Looking for something?" Superman drops the weapons on the ground and grabs Mad Stan before he can run away. "I'm afraid no one received your message but you will have a long time to think about more peaceful ways to convey your opinions in prison."

In the crowd Charlotte moves in closer to Alex. "Looks like we didn't need your theory. Who knew Superman would be here."

"Superman was my theory." Alex watches the man of steel from in between the cheering people surrounding him. "And I think I figured out how I'm going to cure my recent boredom."

---

Deep underneath Oscura city our narrator lies curled up against a wall in a deep dark tunnel. Somebody please find me.

Preview Time!

Charlotte: "We're back! Yay!"

Johnny: "Who's back? I didn't even get any decent appearances in this chapter."

Mary: "It's the first chapter. We'll have more appearances later."

Johnny: "Why does it always have to be about you two?"

Alex: "Because I'm awesome and Charlotte's like a puppy that fallows me around."

Charlotte: "Because I'm cute?"

Alex: "No. Because you're a bit-"

Whack!

Alex: "Why do you hurt me?"

Charlotte: "Why do you think?"

Johnny: "Well, if I don't get to appear at least let me do the preview."

Romulus: "Next time on Red X Japan. The glasses come off and the man of steel flies again. But what is he doing in Oscura? The Depraved rise again under a new leader and a monster terrorizes the underworld. Uneasy alliances are formed and crushed, all in the next Red X Japan."

Johnny: "Line stealer."

Romulus: "At least you get to appear in the next chapter! I don't know if I'm ever going to show up again!"

El Dorado: "Oh cruel fate! Is this the end of my short yet beautiful career!?"

Alex: "At least we can take solace in the daft that it is not happening to me."

Romulus and El Dorado: "A lot of good that does us!"

Mary: "Can't you guys at least act your age? Seriously. See you next time everybody."

2 Comments
2 Comments
Posted by The Impersonator

Nice chapter! It's good to see Red X back.

Posted by tomdickharry1984

F#$%!NG #ELL! I only got half way, man it's long! So far so good, I shal read the rest when I gets a chance. Good so far, just massive though