Keepers of the UniversebySamuelx©
My name is Franklin Saint-Mars. Just your average, everyday, six-foot-one and 170-pound, brown-skinned and ruggedly handsome Haitian-American stud muffin. My friends call me the Chocolate Speedster. This right here is a special story I've got to share with you. It involves how I outsmarted the deadliest of enemies and made a name for myself in the circles of power around the world. It's been fun, really. I just wish they'd lose the habit of trying to kill me.
First things first, though. There is more to the world than you people know. Seriously. You live in a world filled with modern wonders. Computers. Cell phones. Cars. Trains. Airplanes. Credit cards. GPS navigators. Logical and secular reasoning have replaced mysticism and superstition. Within a few decades, religion itself shall be a thing of the past. That's all fine and good, but just because you don't believe in something doesn't mean it's not real. Take me for example. I am a Half-Breed. The offspring of a non-human entity and a mortal person. My mother, Genevieve Saint-Mars is a normal lady. A professor of African-American Literature at Boston College in Massachusetts. My father Koru, on the other hand, is something else entirely. He's one of the ancient Gods. Thousands of years ago, he was worshiped by the Zatu tribe of Central Africa.
In the modern world, my dad works as a Senior Vice President of Original Programming for the Southeastern Massachusetts News Corporation. A six-foot-three, lean and dark-skinned black gentleman in his early fifties. Usually dressed in a sharp Brooks Brothers suit. None of the people he works with have any inkling that he's one of the ancient gods who ruled the world when the race of man was still young. He's immortal, and wields vast powers the likes of which you can't imagine. To me, he's just dad. He never married my mother because gods are forbidden to marry mortals and vice versa but he always loved us and took care of us. When I graduated high school, he offered to pay for my college education. I can't tell you how happy that made me.
Being the offspring of an ancient deity and a mortal woman has its perks. I can do things no ordinary person can. I can run at amazing speeds. Seriously. I can travel from downtown Boston, Massachusetts, to Greenwich, Connecticut in less than two minutes. When I really push myself, I can move faster than the eye can see. I am much stronger than an average man my size ought to be. I can lift exactly seven and a half times my own weight. Not quite superhuman strength the way Hollywood movies and comic book writers envision it but close enough. And last but not leash, I can't get hurt. Seriously. Bullets. Flames. A speeding car slamming into me. None of these things can hurt me. I guess I'm invulnerable. The doctors discovered that I was invulnerable when one of them tried to 'modify' a part of me I would prefer remains untouched by the likes of them. Anyhow, they couldn't cut me simply because my skin can't break. I'm all natural from head to toe. To shave or cut my hair, I have to pluck them out myself. Don't even ask me about how it makes me look. Invulnerability sounds like a good deal until you consider certain ramifications.
I'm far from invincible. You see, there are all kinds of things that walk this world. Fallen angels. Demons. Werewolves. Vampires. Monsters. Pagan gods. They're all living among us. Do you think the gods and goddesses of pagan mythologies simply left this world ages ago when their worshipers stopped paying attention to them? Nope. For the most part they're still around. Posing as ordinary men and women. Living among us. You've probably seen many non-humans and immortals and just didn't know it. Don't feel bad. It happens to the best of us. Myself, I've seen things which scared me shitless.
The other day, I was hanging out with my friends Barbara Fleurimond and her brother Jackson when we saw something which changed our lives forever. I've known Barbara and Jackson ever since we were brats at Brockton Community High School in the City of Champions. Running around the school buildings while dodging hallway monitors. Strangely enough, we were all a little more than human. And we sensed that about each other. Not that you'd know it to look at us. Barbara is just your normal, everyday five-foot-ten, chocolate-skinned, voluptuous and absolutely gorgeous Haitian-American mama. The gal is booty-licious too, folks. Not that she'd ever let me hit that. She just doesn't see me that way. We're both in the Criminal Justice program at UMass-Boston and so far, my chances of getting her are still slim at best.
Of course, things might go a little better for me if she wasn't always with her brother Jackson. Jack, as I call him, is a five-foot-nine, somewhat chubby, dark-skinned Haitian-American guy with the kind of glasses that would make Steve Urkel proud. He's a civil engineering student at Northeastern University. And he's gay. Doesn't bother me. To each his own, know what I mean? I've known the guy since we were young and he's like a brother to me. I just wish he would stop cock blocking every time I try to make a move on his sister. Jackson Fleurimond is a shape-shifter. He can make himself look like any human being he touches. He can't transform himself into an animal, or a plant. He also can't become an inanimate object. But he can make himself look like virtually anyone he's ever met. It's eerie.
When Jackson's abilities manifested themselves, I must say we were all freaked out. His ability is a power I'd love to have. Seriously. I wish I could make myself look like Tyson Beckford or Denzel, then I'd go to a club and bag all the honeys I could handle. You know females love celebrities. Yeah, Jackson's power is mad cool. Too bad the frigging geek is too much of a straight-laced goody-two-shoes to really use it. Ugh. He gets on my nerves because of that, and many other reasons. His sister Barbara's power absolutely astounded us when it first manifested itself. Barbara can fly, folks. She can leap into the sky and effortlessly glide like a hummingbird. Now, that's one power I'd love to have. If I could fly, it would be pretty neat. I could go anywhere and do anything. As a speedster, I can get to a lot of places really fast. But it's not flying, you know?
Anyhow, the three of us were hanging out in Boston one Friday night. Chilling in Boston Common. It was early March of 2009 and I for one couldn't wait for Spring Break. This year, I wanted to go to Atlanta. In case you didn't know, black men and black women from colleges and universities around the United States go to Atlanta for Spring Break. For a black college student, Atlanta is our Mecca. It is to us what Cancun and Aspen are to white college students. I wish I could talk Jackson and Barbara into coming with me. Unfortunately, I don't see them doing that. They both plan on going to Hawaii. I've been to Hawaii. It's okay. But as a black person over there, I stick out like a sore thumb. I really love Atlanta. It's immortalized in movies and books as a stronghold of black power in America. How could any self-respecting black college student choose tutu-wearing Hawaiians over the sheer beauty of the city of Atlanta itself?
Barbara, Jackson and I were strolling through Boston Common when suddenly we sensed something. Of course, the humans walking through the park didn't sense anything. Humans are so limited it's not even funny. If you are like us, you're used to sensing all kinds of things. We can sense a fellow Half-Breed whether he or she is the half-human offspring of a Pagan god, the pup of a werewolf, the suckling of a vampire, the spawn of a monster or whatever. And they can sense us. What we sensed was something else altogether. A maelstrom of malevolence. And it was centered around a tall, beautiful black woman who stood in the middle of a crowd. She was over six feet tall and eerily good-looking, clad in a black leather duster over a black shirt, black leather pants and black cowgirl boots. Hot damn. Who was this hot mama and would she like to spank me?
Barbara, Jackson and I froze as we watched the tall young black woman stalking toward us. Even after all we'd seen, we knew she was something else. Out of the ordinary even for us. The woman's name was Kaliza. And she was definitely not of this Earth. You see, there are beings out there with more power than even the gods. They're known as the Elementals. A long time ago, the gods of the ancient world united to ride the universe of the Elementals. You see, the Elementals were immortal, and nearly all-powerful, but they were also highly destructive. And now they were back.
The Elemental woman stared at us coldly, then gazed at the world balefully. Without a word being spoken, she stopped time. My companions and I stared at her, awestruck. Smiling, Kaliza the Elemental unleashed barrage after barrage of lightning at us. I leapt into it, to shield Barbara and Jackson. The lightning struck me, and I fell. In spite of my invulnerability, it didn't exactly feel good. Not an experience I cared to repeat. Kaliza seemed surprised that I wasn't dead. I got up, grinned, and asked her if that was all she got. Miffed at my words, she leapt into the sky and began raining down lightning bolts at my friends and I.
Jackson morphed into a really tall, large guy who would make Shaq look like a short person and hurled large rocks at Kaliza. The Elemental blasted the rocks into smithereens. Jackson wisely ran for cover. But not Barbara. She's not the type to run away from a fight. Taking to the air, she went to confront Kaliza the Elemental on her own territory. Watching these two super-women square off in the sky, I worried for Barbara's safety. In spite of her flight powers, she was just as vulnerable as any human.
Barbara flew in circles around Kaliza, dodging the Elemental's lightning while drawing her away from Jackson and I. A wise tactic, but still a dangerous one. I couldn't let her face that thing alone. So I came up with a plan. I asked Jackson to morph into the strongest guy he knew, and to toss me into the air. He did just that. He hurled me into the sky like a baseball, and I soared under a power which definitely wasn't my own. And slammed into Kaliza the Elemental with enough force to send her plummeting toward the ground. We both crashed on the pavement. I was unhurt, of course. Which is more than I could say for the Elemental. Oh, she wasn't dead. But she was unconscious. Barbara landed, and asked me if I was crazy. Clearly, she didn't approve of my desperate tactic. I couldn't let her get fried by the divine witch. Smiling, she thanked me. Jackson patted my shoulder, and complemented me on my fast thinking. The three of us stood over the unconscious Elemental, debating what to do with her. Time was still frozen, and that was a problem.
That's when my father appeared. The god Koru himself, dressed in a dark gray Armani suit. Barbara and Jackson gasped as they saw him. They'd met my father before, and knew he wasn't human but they had never seen him in his full divine glory. Dad smiled at them, and thanked us for our efforts. I stared at him, stunned. He knew we were in danger and didn't intervene? Dad apologized, and told me he had been ordered to stay clear of the battle. This was one we had to fight on our own.
In vivid detail, he explained the situation to us. The Elementals were being freed by some unknown force. The ancient enemies of the Pagan gods had returned. And this time, they threatened not only the Realm of the Gods but also the World of Man. Ordinary men and women living on Earth wouldn't be spared by the Elementals. Dad told me we were Earth's only hope. The offspring of humanity and inhumanity would fight to save the world. Thus it was ordained. I stared at my companions. Like me, they were stunned. And had lots of questions. Dad told us he'd answer all our questions in time.
Standing over Kaliza the Elemental, he waved his hand and she disappeared in a blast of light. Rubbing his hands together, my father smiled. Then he nodded, and time resumed its flow. All around us, people went from freeze-frame to actual life. They resumed walking and talking as if nothing had happened. My dad vanished a moment later. Jackson, Barbara and I stared at each other. Wow. We couldn't fathom it back then but our lives were about to be changed. We had just become planet Earth's only line of defense in supernatural warfare. And we were all college freshmen. And how was your day?