Previously on Blessed Inversion Golden Age…
Hal Sharp, now the superhero known as Black Ice, has helped save RajTEK from an attack by several dangerous Inversions. Leaving on good terms with both the RajTEK staff and the SPPD, Hal returns home after receiving medical attention at St. Taliesin’s Hospital…
Henry “Hal” Sharp/Black Ice
-Superhero. Cryokinetic, proud of himself
Inhibitor Geokinetic. Hates rock’n’roll
Inhibitor Speedster. Gotta go fast
“Today was a good day.” Hal thought to himself as he skates into the backyard of his house. “Stopped two gangs, saved a building full of people, got the cops to like me, and even got the hole in my stomach looked out. Knew having a costume would make everything way easier.” Hal reaches the back door and prepares to open it only to realize he has no key. “Shit…” In his excitement to test out his costume, he never realized he didn’t bring a spare set of keys with him. Having no alternative, he freezes the window to the first-floor bathroom, breaks it, and climbs in. Taking care to enter as quietly as possible. “Mission, sneak into my own house is a success!” he boasts to himself proudly. Removing his bandana mask, freezing up the hole he made, and looking at himself in the mirror. The burn on his cheek still stung when he rubbed it but it was an improvement on earlier. The next thing he does is look at his now damaged costume. “Glad I bought three of these.” Hal thinks aloud.
Hal throws his gloves aside and removes his costume before sitting down on the living room couch. Upon turning on the television he’s disheartened to not see himself on the news. He always thought at times like this the news would just magically be on what he wanted. Maybe next time he thought when he hears keys at the front door. His roommate, Jey Connors, had returned. He was an Asian male that was two years younger than Hal and five below Rowena. His short black hair was barely longer than Hal’s fade and he wore black pants and a white shirt with the shape of a crescent moon made out of a fox. The logo for Team Moon Fox, the pro-gaming team he was a member of. Their game of choice was Guardian Corps, a popular PC shooter that involved teams of 8 fighting over a variety of objectives. Jey primarily played one of the support roles for the team.
“Hey, Jey.” Hal salutes before crossing his legs.
“Hey, Hal.” Jey says back putting his keys on top of a nearby shelf. “Why are you naked?”
“Why aren’t you? Bet you didn’t think about that one huh?”
“I just got in.”
“Pfft, that’s not an excuse. How’d your thingie go?”
“It was okay. I still don’t like Julie though. She loves to bark orders then gets mad whenever anything goes wrong. Or goes how she asked but not how she wanted.” he sighs sitting next to Hal. “What happened to you?” he finally notices the bandages on Hal’s stomach he didn’t notice from the doorway.
“Got shot with a laser today. Also regular shot at today. Did stop a guy who breathed poison though.”
“Is that why you aren’t wearing anything? I knew your costume would be form fitting but I figured you’d have some room.” as both partner and roommate, Jey was well aware that Hal was an Inversion and his plans to be a superhero since he first discovered his powers. Though with his job he was often busy and didn’t know the full scope of it all.
“I wanted it to be a surprise but I didn’t expect you to get home so soon.” Hal laments. “Well, if I knew you were gonna be back early I’d probably do this anyway.” he mutters to himself.
“Can I see it?” Jey asks when Hal reaches behind the couch and shows him the costume. “Jeez, did you need me to fix it?”
“Nah, I was smart and ordered three at once. I figured if it worked right the first time I wouldn’t have to worry awhile.”
“Where are the pockets?”
“There are none.”
“Then how did you get back inside?”
“Well…” Hal drags out the word trying to think of an excuse.
“You broke another window didn’t you?”
“I may have broken another window yes. I’m sorry okay, I just got really excited.” Hal apologizes pushing Jey back and forth all the while.
“Just bring spare clothes next time. Or at least something with your keys. We can’t afford to keep making new windows and your ice windows suck.”
“Next time I break a window I’ll just leave a big hole if you don’t like my work.”
“Sorry. Sorry, so when are you going out again?” Jey asks turning to give Hal his full attention.
“I was thinking about going out again tonight.”
“Seriously?” Jeys eyebrows furl at the idea.
“I mean it sucked and was really scary but it was kinda awesome. I mean I actually saved people and stopped two gangs today. Not just help put out fires. I promise I’ll at least rest first.”
“Fine, just make sure you bring keys with you this time?”
“I promise I will try. Trust me, everything will be cool.”
“You weren’t even trying that time.”
“Yeah, but I got to annoy you so I count it as a win.”
Several hours later when the sun has already begun to set, Hal dons his spare costume and sets out for the night. He skates by his usual routes but with two gangs taken down and RajTEK still under repair, there wasn’t any crime to be found. It was nice to see but it made Black Ice feel somewhat out of place. He was ready for action that wasn’t there. Eventually, he decides to move to the rooftops and wait till he saw something.
“Boooooooooooooored.” Black Ice whines after minutes pass. He stands up and yawns while stretching. “Guess not every night can be full of crime.” Returning to the streets below. He casually skates around the block one final time before returning home. His skating comes to a stop when an unruly drunk is ejected from a bar, landing on him. “The hell man?!” Black Ice blurts out hopping to his feet. He was never a huge fan of the Colours Bar. Having a person literally thrown at him just added to the list. “I’m all fine with you guys kicking people out but at least watch where you’re-” Before Black Ice can finish his complaining the bouncer draws and fires his gun at him. As with earlier in the day, his ice instinctively forming to protect him saves him from an early death. “First you throw a guy at me then you shoot me? Dick move.”
“Don’t care.” the bouncer replies firing once more at Black Ice who freezes the bullet midflight. Leaving a trail connecting it to the gun and the trapping him in place.
“Care now?” Black Ice crosses his arm and raises an eyebrow. Not that it could be seen under his mask. “Mind telling me why you were shooting at me.”
“If I didn’t talk for your boss SWAT why would I talk for you cupcake?”
“Uh huh…no idea who that is or what your deal is but this screams villain hideout. So I’m gonna go punch and or freeze your friends now.” Black Ice enters the largely empty bar. Only a bartender and several bouncers remained. “Five on one? That seems fair.” he jokes to himself as he readies for a fight that doesn’t come. “This is the part where you guys file at me one-by-one to fight me.”
“Hal?” the bartender asks Black Ice having heard his all too familiar voice.
“Dan?” Black Ice asks turning his attention to him. Daniel Preston was his name, he had short blond hair with clear blue eyes. He had a well-maintained beard and a somewhat thin frame. But his expressions were always his most noticeable trait. Even when he seemed calm or happy something always felt off about him.
“What are you doing here Ha-” he asks before being cut off.
“Black Ice, my name is Black Ice. And you might want to take cover. Don’t know if you know but your friends are dicks and probably super evil.”
“Yeah, why else would they shoot me at first sight after throwing someone at me?”
“Maybe it’s because you’re dressed like a vigilante. Don’t gotta be a genius to know you’re working with SWAT-Spider. Figured he’d hit us himself though.”
“Shit…” Black Ice mutters under his breath. “I’m gonna be nice since we have history. Turn yourself in and we don’t have to fight.” Before Black Ice can even wait for a response, Dan raises his hand and releases a stream of electricity that sends him flying out the front door and rolling into the street. His nerves aflame, he tries to get back to his feet but his body doesn’t react as it should. Struggling to make the simplest motion. By the time Black Ice makes it to his knees, Dan has already walked casually outside to meet him.
“Did your boss really think you could just waltz in here and cause trouble? That the big boss man wouldn’t notice?” Dan leers down on Black Ice before kicking him in the side and back to the floor. His eyes sparking with electricity. “You were anyone else, I’d be having a field day right now. But I got a soft spot for ya still.” he lifts Black Ice up by the straps on his bandana-mask so they see eye to eye. “Tell me who and where your boss is and I’ll pretend you never crossed me at my bar.” Black Ice chuckles in response to his bargain.
“At first I was thinking I jumped the gun. But you just made my job easier.” Black Ice points his index finger at the ground. “Rebound Shot.” he whispers, firing an ice orb from his fingertip that bounces off the floor and hits Dan under his chin causing him to stumble back onto the floor. “You always were a dick.”
“You sack of shit!” Dan’s face was surging with rage as he fires another stream of electricity that Black Ice blocks with a wall of ice. “What’s wrong bitch? Afraid to fight me like a man?!”
“Nah, I just have better ways to deal with ya.” Black Ice replies. He stomps his right foot and traps Dan in a pillar of ice with only his face exposed. He then lowers the ice wall and approaches. “You really never did know how to chill.”
“Oh my god…” Dan groans.
“We both know it’ll be a cold day in hell before I stop making these jokes. And you asked for it this time.”
“What? I wasn’t saying that to you dumbass. I was saying it to her.”
“Huh?” Black Ice turns around to find Granite & Mach, two members of the Inhibitors, standing behind him. “Y-you’re the Inhibitors aren’t you?” he stammers excitedly.
“We are, and I’d like to talk to you Mr. Sharp.”
“Shh!” Black Ice tries to keep her quiet. “What good is a secret identity if you just blurt it out? Jeez…Anyway, I’m kinda busy now with bad guys.”
“Bad guys? His boss attacked us first! We were making sure he didn’t send his goon out to get us!” Dan defends. “You gotta believe me, Kath.”
“What should we do Granite?” Mach asks unsure of whose side to take.
“Seriously? But they attacked me first!”
“Are you Registered?” she asks politely.
“Registered?” Black Ice responds confused.
“Right now what you just did is illegal. Just unfreeze him and we’ll deal with him later. Right now, the Inhibitors are here to deal with you.”
“Ugh, fine…” Black Ice groans as he releases Dan who adjusts his vest and walks back inside with a dirty look. “I don’t like you guys very much anymore.” he pouts crossing his arms.
Granite tries to remain professional, creates a rock platform, and levitates the group into the air for privacy. Not letting them in on her personal connection to Dan. “Whatever Dan did, you’re right.”
“Let’s just say I’ve met him in the past and whatever you think he did wrong, he did. But right now, I have a job to do.”
“You’re here to arrest me aren’t you?”
“Not necessarily. I’ve heard you’ve been doing a lot of good on your own. But we can’t have an Inversion just running around in a costume doing what he wants. So, you need to register with us so you can keep doing what you’re doing and not get arrested for it.”
“That sounds suspect as hell. What if I don’t want people knowing who I am or that I’m an Inversion? Again, the secret identity is secret for a reason.”
“Oh, it’s nowhere near as bad as that. It’s kinda like an ID.” Mach interjects cheerfully.
“Exactly, you register with us. If you don’t know how to already use your powers properly you’ll train with us until you do. Then we give you a card that says you’ve proven you know how to properly use your powers and aren’t a threat to yourself or others. Nobody has to know you’re an Inversion and this will keep you or anyone else from being unjustly blamed.” Granite continues.
“Think about it, would you want someone unlicensed or untrained driving a car on a highway?” Mach adds on.
“No…I guess not.” Black Ice thinks for a moment. “If I agree to this then what? Do I have some paperwork to do or…?”
“I think you’ve proven yourself Mr. Black Ice during the incident at RajTEK*. So we can just start making your Inversion Registration Card when we return to the Cell.”
“What about if I don’t want to do this? What if I want to just remain free?”
“You can still use your powers, just not in a public setting. We find out you could get in trouble and without an IRC* you’ll have no type of protection by law. This is the first step in reforming the system to accommodate us all.”
*Inversion Registration Card
“Sure fine whatever.” Black Ice sighs. “Not like I have anything to lose. I can keep on superheroing right?”
“Once your IRC comes in yeah. But until then please, try not to do anything too flashy.”
“Wait, maybe we can ask him about that thing.” Mach nudges Granite.
“The guys you stopped at RajTEK have escaped. So please keep an eye out for them and if you find them? Contact us. Think of it as being a Reserve Inhibitor.”
“Sweet, I mean them getting loose like…hours after I put em away is pretty depressing. But hey, I’ll do my best as Reserve Inhibitor.” Black Ice salutes as Granite and Mach respond in kind.
“We’ll speak to you again soon Black Ice.” Granite smiles, returning the ground to normal and disappearing as Mach races off with her.
Later that night, Black Ice returns home. Climbing in through the same window he broke earlier, he walks up to the bedroom and collapses next to Jey without removing his suit.
“How’d it go?” Jey asks half awake.
“Guy got thrown at me, got shot at, then ran into Dan. He shoots lightning now apparently. Still a dick, and I’m helping the Inhibitors. Gonna get a neat ID card thingie soon. Oh and the guys I helped catch today already escaped.”
“Your ex is a dick.” Jey replies seemingly missing everything else Hal said.
“My ex is a dick.”
“Did you punch him?”
“Nah, next time.”