The next day at school Mark didn't have any classes but went anyways. He walked into the room where the card game people hung out. Usually it was really loud with people playing different games like Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh, but today was not like that. Everyone was distracted while they played. Walked up to one of his friends, Greg.
"What's up with everyone?" Mark asked.
"Everyone is just freaking out over that Cudgel guy," Greg said holding cards.
"What is everyone saying?" Mark said sitting on a chair near Greg.
"Well, since we are all comic book nerds, we know our superheroes. So this, guy. First shows up at UOA then in public, means only one thing. One of the students is Cudgel," Greg said looking across the room.
"So why is everyone quiet then?" Mark continued to ask.
"Everyone is kinda expecting each other to be it. I swear I'm not him. I'm not dumb enough to take on that lie. Yet there are so guys in here that have said they are. I don't blame them. We all wanted to be superheroes at one point. Some still want to be. Evidence of Cudgel's appearance," Greg said trying to focus back on his game.
Mark decided to stop interrupting them and left the room. He wanted to know the Cudgel bug was spreading. He looked across the quad and saw Stephanie walking by herself. Mark ran to catch up with her.
"Sup Steph," Mark said smiling.
"Oh hey Mark. Sorry I'm a little distracted. I need to go home and pack. I leave for Botswana today. There is a fashion show showcasing South Africa and my scholarship is taking me there. I will be gone a week," she said keeping up the pace.
"So you are going to miss the championship game?" Mark asked.
"I had to make a choice. My hobby of cheerleading, and my dream job as a fashion designer. The worst part is, I'm going to miss all this news on this Cudgel guy," she said.
"Everyone keeps talking about him. He appears yesterday and is now on the front page of every newspaper," Mark said trying to seem confused.
"What can I say? High school never ends. Gossip spreads like wild fire. I'm just glad he stepped in yesterday," Stephanie smiled.
"He looks pretty epic. Maybe a little crazy to think he can take on so much. I can imagine that becoming a superhero wouldn't be easy," Mark laughed.
"Eh, he's hot. His fashion choice focuses a lot on his, muscles. You know. All that skin tight clothing," smirked Stephanie.
"I'm sorry female. I am heterosexual and don't notice that stuff. Us guys are excited that our fantasies have came true. Superheroes are real," Mark said staring at her.
"Well, stuff might get more dangerous now. When a superhero emerges, so do super villains who's goal is to kill the hero and reach the top," sighed Steph.
"Um, what time is your flight at?" Mark said trying to change the subject so he didn't have to be reminded of Juggler.
"In like an hour. I have to hurry," she said running away from him.
Mark yawned and pulled out his phone. He texted Ray saying that he was going to go home and get some sleep. When Mark got back to the apartment, he fell onto the couch and went right to sleep.
Ray woke Mark up at about 6 pm. Ray looked like he had a mixture of amazement and terror.
"Dude! Big news. There has been multiple fires set today and tonight. The most recent warehouse set on fire had CUDGEL burned into the roof. Looks like someone is calling you out dawg," Ray set putting on his headset.
Mark jumped up and took his outer clothes off revealing the Cudgel costume. He grabbed his ear piece and put his mask on with the goggles on top. He pulled out his sticks from his backpack.
"We got a pyro on our hands. I don't see how this can be bad at all," Cudgel said jumping out the window zipping away.
Cudgel climbed on to the top of the building next to the apartment complex. He ran across it and leaped off of it. At the last second he pulled out his cable stick and went to higher ground.
"I'm really getting the hang of how to use this cable stick," Cudgel said to Analog.
"You aren't doing anything too dangerous with them, are you?" Analog asked as Cudgel leaped off of a building shooting another zipline.
"Define dangerous," Cudgel laughed.
"Dude! As long as you aren't jumping off 30 story building," Analog sighed.
"No. I did that last night," Cudgel said as he did a back flip off a 6 story building, into a cable launch.
"This might be a really bad idea doing this. You are going into a possible fire hazard and you don't have any fire proof clothing or anything to put fires out. What is your plan?" Analog asked.
"Usual. Sneak takedown. It's very rare when they can see me coming," said Cudgel as he zipped over a warehouse.
Suddenly a ball off fire flies in front of his face making his finger slip off cable button. The cable went back into the stick as Cudgel fell and slammed on top of the roof of the warehouse.
"I'll get back to you later Log. I was sneak attacked," Cudgel said clicking off his ear piece as he stood up. "Ok arsonist. Come on out so I can kick your ass please."
"I prefer the name Lasair," said the man coming out of the shadows.
He spoke in a soft Irish accent. He wore red sunglasses. His hair was spiked and styled as fire. He wore an orange suit open enough to show a bunch of burn marks on his body. He had what looked like helium tanks on his back.
"Oh yeah? Well I'm Cudgel. Arayton's Savior," Cudgel said holding his sticks in fighting stance.
"I know. Everybody knows. For being a superhero, you are really outspoken," Lasair laughed.
"Why are setting buildings on fire? Very unusual crime for Arayton," Cudgel questioned him.
"When I was seven I lit a candle. My parents never knew. The candle wasn't handled and the house caught fire. I made it out with scars but my parents never made it out. So know I want everybody to fell the heat my parents once felt," Lasair said pointing out his scars.
"Stop this craziness before people get hurt," Cudgel said walking closer to Lasiar.
"Too late. You already are," Lasair said sliding his hand out of the sleeve.
His hands had on metal gauntlets. He snapped his fingers and a tiny flame started, like that of a lighter, started in his palm. He brought his fingers to it and dragged outward making it bigger till it fit his entire hand. Lasair raised his arm up and let his hand go as if it was a baseball. Cudgel jumped out of the way before it hit him.
"What the hell was that?" Cudgel yelled.
"Some heroes are born. While most villains are created. That is why I built these to burn some drumsticks," Lasair smirked.
"That is insane. You just go around burning people with your hands?" Cudgel said backing up.
"Oh. Yummy. I haven't had cooked chicken in weeks," Lasair laughed walking towards him, turning something on his wrist.
"I'm not scared. I'm here to make you," Cudgel said trying not sound scared.
"Not working so well. So far tonight I made you fall off your cable and slam into a roof. Then I almost set you on fire. You almost dived off the roof to escape. And you haven't done shit to me,"Lasair smiled.
Cudgel quickly charged at Lasair in a tackle motion. Lasair was taken off guard and slammed down. Cudgel stood up and aimed his ambian dart at Lasair. Lasair saw this and raised up his wrists. The dart bounced off the metal gauntlets. Lasair stood up and aimed his hands towards the ground. He clicked his wrist backwards and a liquid shot out of his palms. The liquid was soaking the entire roof. It finally clicked in Cudgel's head. That tank is full of lighter fluid. Cudgel jumped at Lasiar again. Lasair jumped out of the way and Cudgel slid into the liquid.
"I'm not going to fall for that two times. And now you also just saved me the time for the next part," Lasair said turning his wrist.
Lasair created another fireball and dropped it on the ground. The fire spread along the roof top following the liquid. Cudgel was freaking out. He was soaked in it. If the fire got close to him he would be cooked by the flames. Cudgel quickly grabbed for his sticks and jumped off the roof. He zipped away heading for the small fishing pond nearby. Cudgel zipped over a building and found a penthouse with a pool. He took off his goggles and ear piece before diving straight in. He got out of the pool and put is googles and ear piece on. He tapped it.
"We don't have an average pyro Analog. We got an advanced arsonist. He has these gauntlets attached to a tank on his back full of lighter fluid. He is a living lighter named Lasair," Cudgel said sitting on the side of the building.
"Ok. I just looked up Lasair. It is Irish for flame. Get home so we can talk about this new enemy," Analog said with a sigh.
Cudgel pushed his legs off and fell off the building and sprang into a zipline.
After ten minutes, Cudgel dove through the apartment window. He ripped his mask off and fell onto his spot on the couch.
"I wasn't gone that long tonight. But it was a terrible night," said Mark covering his face with his hand.
"So, now you have two supervillains and they both scare the shit out of you. Not doing that well dude," Ray said grabbing a beer and hanging one to Mark.
"Yeah. It's not like I can quit. I'm in to deep. If I stop, people will wonder where Cudgel went. They will also be screwed because so far all my enemies are extremely dangerous and terrifying," Mark said chugging his beer.
"Slow down bro. These might not be your only villains. You just started. More are sure to come. Think of Batman's Rogue Gallery," Ray said turning on the tv.
"Yeah, we have Joker and a backwards Mr. Freeze. Please tell me the next one is simple like Catwoman or Riddler. I need a break," Mark said hanging his head off the back of the couch.
"We start tonight with breaking news. Arayton is in flames. The self proclaimed Lasair has burned multiple building in one night. And Cudgel is nowhere insight. Last night he said he was Arayton's Savior. Well, if that's true where is he to save the people from the fires," the reporter said.
"Dammit. I have to go back out. I can't let them say that about Cudgel," Mark said standing up grabbing his mask.
"Not tonight man. You tried. Lasair won't be out much longer. His job was to just show Cudgel that he has the upper hand. You need recuperate and decided how you will beat him," Ray said grabbing Mark's arm.
"I know how to. Put the stuff from our fire extinguisher into the dart slot. I get close enough and empty into his tank. That will make it unable to spark. That is how we win," Mark said grabbing the fire extinguisher from under the sink.
"Ok. Grab a Monster while I work on this. Your body seems like it can collapse at any moment," Ray said standing up and grabbing the red stick and extinguisher.
Mark grabbed a Gatorade from the fridge instead. Ray went into his room and started make some noise. Mark walked back over to the tv. He called the news station's phone number after he blocked his number. He was put straight onto the show.
"Retract that. I was preparing to destroy him. I'm on my way," Mark said in a deeper, irritated voice.