My name is Jason Scott and this is my city: Arcadia, Massachusetts. My parents, Melinda and Jeremy Scott were famous politicians here in Arcadia. My father was a Senator, and my mother was running for Mayor. Until tragedy struck. My father made a lot of enemies on his path to become Senator. He started out as a Mayor and made major reforms to the city, purging corruption from the Police Department and dramatically lowering crime, but at great risk to himself.
He pissed off the Giovanni Crime Family who made several attempts on his life before they too, were brought to heel. Crime was at an all-time low and my mother sought to keep his policies going, but it wasn’t to be. On a trip back home from Washington DC, a sniper killed my father in broad daylight. I was only eleven. The city threw a parade for their beloved Mayor and Senator and they all bore witness to his assassination. I was there too, in the crowd with our family friend, Michael Williams’ daughter, Kassandra Williams who was sixteen at the time. And my mother...held him in her arms, sobbing as he bled out and eventually died.
The incident left its mark on the entire city, on my mother worst of all. Having watched dad die in her arms scarred her to the point where she ended up in Arcadia Hills Psychiatric Ward. That left me alone, but fortunately, Michael Williams adopted me. The Self-Made Billionaire of Williams Enterprises, he and his company were world renowned for advancements in common appliances, medical, genetic, and military, supplying our soldiers with top-of-the-line gear.
It wasn’t until I was fourteen that he let me in on his family’s secret...
For one-hundred-fifty years, Arcadia has been defended by a guardian that the people named “ArchAngel.” The first ArchAngel was Samuel Williams who first appeared in 1866. He saw injustice and corruption all around him in the young, then town. So he took it upon himself to fight back. For his good deeds, the people donned him the name “ArchAngel” and the name stuck ever since.
And so a legacy was born, the mantle of ArchAngel passing from Father to Son for generations, until forty years ago, when ArchAngel mysteriously disappeared...he was to become ArchAngel after his father retired, but he was a pacifist, himself detesting violence. Instead, he built himself up from nothing and became one of the world’s leading humanitarians. In a way, he continued the ArchAngel legacy, albeit in much more peaceful. And so he offered me the chance to become the next ArchAngel, not having a son of his own.
After what happened to my father and how quickly the city descended back into darkness, I knew what I had to do; to honor my father’s memory, I had to become the next ArchAngel.
* * * * *
6 years later...
ArchAngel stood on top of a building in the dead of night, looking out over the bustling city below. He had jet black hair and wore black body armor, gloves boots and shoulder pads, trimmed white and illuminated with white lights around the shoulders, gloves, legs, boots and chest. But the most obvious feature was the glowing, white symbol on his chest; a sword with six angelic wings behind it. He hid his face behind a black and white visor with a communicator and built in.
He grinned as the audio link built into his visor began playing nu metal music, and dived off the top of the building, spreading his arms out wide. A glider activated, stylized as a pair of angelic wings as he flew over the city below him.
“ArchAngel, we have reports of a jewel heist on Bank Street. It’s the Giovannis again,” came Kassandra’s, a.k.a ‘Cherub’, voice over the comm link. ArchAngel snorted in amusement. The Giovanni Crime Family came back with a vengeance after his father died and now controlled a huge swath of the city. But fortunately, ArchAngel had put a sizable dent in their organization in the two years since he’d made his return to Arcadia.
“Seriously? When is Giovanni going to learn? Ah well, here we go again; lesson number three-hundred forty five,” ArchAngel replied with a cocky smirk. He heard a laugh on the other end of his comm link, which came from David James, a.k.a Seraphim.
“What, do you actually keep count of how many times you-”
“Yup. It’s fun to keep tally on how many times you put the same dumbasses down,” ArchAngel interrupted with a laugh, gliding down to the street below, just a short distance away from the jewelry store that was being robbed.
David was hand picked, like Kassandra, for his advanced computer skills and was part of their little team that Jason himself had dubbed “Elysian.” The angel theme seemed appropriate, given his vigilante identity.
In reality, the team was much larger; he was the only field operative, and Cherub and Seraphim worked from a hidden location underneath Arcadia’s Williams Enterprises building. But the team also had its own forensic team, weapon developers, experts, various trainers, and informants all over the city.
As ArchAngel, he possessed a wide variety of skills himself; several different martial arts, hacking, sabotage, escapology and advanced acrobatics. Thus the reason for the trainers, to keep his skills sharp. But Jason had another edge over most of his enemies. As part of “Project ArchAngel” a top secret project known only to Michael Williams and the team, Jason had undergone gene manipulation; it increased his vision, enhanced reflexes and strength, and superior agility.
That didn’t mean, however, that he didn’t need to train. He’d been training since he was fourteen and his training continued even to this day. Unfortunately, he lacked the patience for...other skills, such as detective work, forensics, and of course, building his own tech. He knew how it worked, he just didn’t have the patience to build it himself. That, his team and his adoptive father often told him, was his greatest weakness; his impatience. And it had indeed gotten him into trouble a number of times in the past.
“Alright, game time,” ArchAngel said with a grin, queuing up a nu metal song. As the song’s beat started, his grin widened and he approached the thugs, drawing a pair of dual hand guns. ArchAngel never killed, but he did use a variety of different types of ammunition; rubber, wax, plastic, electric, all to disable opponents instead of kill. His predecessors killed, but he decided it was time for ArchAngel to take a new, less lethal approach, to show that he was better than his enemies.
“You Giovanni goons never learn, do you?” ArchAngel called, raining gunfire on them. Armed with electric bullets, the guns acted as tasers, knocking the men in the get away car out cold. He stopped beside the car, blowing on the barrel of one of the guns.
“Nighty nighty,” he said with a chuckle of amusement, tossing a mini-arc grenade into the car and frying the engines. He turned toward the building and made his way inside, holstering the guns at his sides and drawing a sword from his back with a black hilt, designed similarly to his armor with electric blue lights decorating it. The sword’s edge was blunted, making it non-lethal but good for disabling foes. After all, what was an ArchAngel without a sword?
“Hey, any of you seen a pack of losers come in here? Oh wait, there you are!” ArchAngel taunted, catching the men’s attention. There was at least a dozen of them, armed with assault rifles and baseball bats.
“It’s ArchAngel!” one of the men shouted. Another pointed a gun at him and opened fire.
“Kill him!” The men rained gun fire on his position and ArchAngel laughed, ducking out of the way. He dug through a pouch on his black and blue-lit utility belt and pulled free a hand full of tiny black and blue orbs, tossing them over the counter. At the sound of an explosion, he dived over the counter; cryo-grenades had frozen three of the men in place. He drew a gun and fired a volley of bullets at three other men, more electric rounds, tasing them. Two more came at him with baseball bats, which he blocked and deflected with his sword. Pressing a button on the hilt, the sword flared up with red flames, torching the baseball bats and the thugs dropped the bats as the went alight, looking at the flaming sword in fear.
“This is the part where you run. Like a bitch,” ArchAngel said with a wicked grin. The men turned and fled and the remaining four, armed with assault rifles, opened fire once more. ArchAngel sighed and dived out of the way again. His armor was bullet proof, sure, but getting shot was still unpleasant.
“You ladies and your guns! How rude! That’s no way to greet someone! Now this it how you greet someone!” ArchAngel called from behind a wall, opening his gauntlet and pulling up a holoscreen.
“Alright Remiel, time to get to work!” ArchAngel called. Remiel was an on board VI program he created to do his hacking for him and, naturally, named after the ArchAngel Remiel.
“Right away sir,” Remiel replied. A few moments later, the alarm sounded, signaling the cops. He could have done that earlier, sure, but then where was the gun in that? When the gunfire stopped, ArchAngel leaped around the corner, drawing his sword again.
The men were panicked when the alarm went off, and turned just in time to see ArchAngel’s attack. ArchAngel disarmed the first man, them flipped over his head, using it as a stepping stone to fly higher into the air. The other three men gaped at the man practically soaring above them before pointing their guns back on him. ArchAngel grinned widely, pulling another grenade from his belt and tossing it to the floor below; a flash bang.
The men shouted as they were blinded by the light, and ArchAngel took them out while they were blinded.
“And three-hundred-forty six. Maybe we should just go after Giovanni himself next,” ArchAngel said with a cocky smirk, strutting out of the building.
“Don’t get Arrogant,” came his adoptive father’s voice over the comm. Link. ArchAngel snorted in amusement, firing a grappling line from one of his gauntlets and soaring up to the skyline above.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Over confidence, bloated egos, yadda yadda yadda! Look, You have nothing to worry about! Nobody in this city is a match for my mad skills!” ArchAngel said with a laugh.
“Ugh, you keep talking like that and your head will get to big to fit through the door,” Cherub teased. ArchAngel laughed and dived off the building again, gliding off into the night.
* * * * *
Jason woke to lances of light piercing his bedroom window. He groaned and reluctantly pulled himself out of bed, running his hands through his auburn hair and glancing around the room with one blue, and one green eye. Heterochromia; he kind of liked it himself and he'd gotten a few compliments about it too. He’d taken to applying temporary black dye to his hair to further conceal his identity as ArchAngel. Red hair wasn’t exactly a common trait in Arcadia.
Today was the anniversary of his father’s death; it had been nine years now. He sighed heavily and pulled himself out of bed and dug through his dresser for a pair of boxers, faded ripped jeans, and a red t-shirt and black hoodie. Pulling on the clothing, he grabbed up his keys and made his way down stairs. He lived in a large, five bedroom house with his adoptive father and sister. They could have had a mansion, but Michael detested the idea, viewing mansions as disgusting wastes of space. Not that this house was small; each bedroom was the size of a small apartment.
Jason ducked into the kitchen for a quick breakfast and some coffee, grabbing a couple slices of toast and pouring some coffee into a thermos.
“Morning,” Jason said smoothly, making for the door.
“Hold it,” Michael called after him, sipping his coffee. Jason stopped in his tracks and turned back, quirking an eyebrow.
“Yes?” he asked.
“I think I’m going to go with you this year,” Michael said smoothly. Jason frowned a bit and asked “why? You’ve never come before.” Michael frowned now and gave a curt nod.
“I know. Your father was like a brother to me, growing up. I haven’t been able to go to that cemetery since the day he died. I think it’s time I paid him a visit,” Michael replied. Jason understood; he remembered seeing his father and Michael together, and thinking that if he hadn’t known otherwise, he would have thought the two of them were blood related. In fact, he used to call his adoptive father ’Uncle Mike’.
“Sure,” Jason replied smoothly, giving a shrug.
“Yeah, try to keep your eyes on the road today, instead of checking out every man and woman you pass on the way to the cemetery,” Kassandra teased, flashing him a smirk and winking at him. Jason blushed and frowned.
“It was one time! I was a horny teenage boy-”
“Not much has changed,” Kassandra interrupted. Jason snorted and laughed, flipping her off.
“Oh Kassandra, you;re the annoying older sister I never wanted,” he replied Jokingly.
“Fuck you too, Jason,” she shot back with a little laugh. Michael chuckled in amusement and kissed his daughter’s head, ruffling Jason’s hair.
“Alright, behave yourselves, children.”
Jason made his way out of the house and to his car, a blue 1968 Shelby gt500 with two white racing stripes; a gift for his 16th birthday and for passing Driver’s Ed. He hopped into the car, Michael beside him, the man seeming somewhat nervous. Jason glanced over at him and laughed.
“Dude, you nee to chill! I’m not that bad of a driver!” Jason said amusedly. Michael snorted and buckled himself up.
“Tell me that after you ride as a passenger to someone who drives just like you,” Michael replied, flashing a smirk. Jason chuckled ion amusement and flipped on the radio, turning on some nu metal before pulling out of the driveway. Michael fiddled with his radio and Jason feigned offense.
“Excuse me! You’re messing with my amazing tunes!” he said, but when Kansas’ ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ came on, he just nodded.
“Alright old man, so you actually do have decent taste in music!” He said with a smirk, earning a playfully jab from the man. The drive to the cemetery was quite, save for the music, and not very long, six minutes tops. The cemetery was a Williams’ family plot, where Jason’s father was buried as an honorary member of the Williams’ family. Jason sighed and hopped out of the car with Michael behind him, the old man’s joints popping in his old age.
“Wait for me, I’m not as young as I used to be,” the man called after him. Jason glanced back and called “yeah, I know. Must have been hard, getting around on a dinosaur!”
“Ha ha, very funny! You’ll be my age one day too, y’know,” Michael shot back with a laugh. Jason laughed in return as he and Michael made their way to his father’s grave. He knelt in front of it and brushed it off.
Beloved Mayor and Senator
“I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
“Hey dad,” Jason said softly, eyeing the headstone. His fingers brushed over the Kurt Cobain quote at the bottom; his father lived by those words, one of his most favorite quotes, and he was indeed hated by many, but loved by so many more.
“I wish you could see the work I’m doing now. I’m cleaning up the city you worked so hard to reform,” Jason said quietly, sitting cross-legged in front of the grave. He went on chatting for a few minutes about inconsequential things; he liked to think his father could still hear him somehow. All the while, Michael stood behind him, watching him.
“Well, I gotta go dad, bore ya later,” Jason said with a laugh, heading back for the car.. He glanced over at Michael and flashed a smile.
“Thanks for coming. Going to see mom next, you coming?” he asked. Michael opened his mouth to answer, but his phone rang and interrupted him. He frowned and answered it, Jason barely listening; he knew what it was. Work again.
“Sorry Jason, I’m needed down at Williams’ Enterprises,” Michael said evenly. Jason just shrugged and tossed him his keys.
“Sure, no big deal. Take the car, I can walk to the hospital. It’s not far.” Michael tossed the keys back and shook his head.
“No need,” he replied, placing another call.
“Catch you later, dad,” Jason called back to him, hopping into his car. He drove off to the psychiatric ward, stopping by a local coffee shop and picking up a couple of egg sandwiches. It was sort of a routine he had, visiting his mother in the morning and having breakfast with her.
He continued then to the ward, a really nice place, polished white building with a beautiful rose garden out front. He parked in the front and made his way inside.
“Hey, I’m here to see Melinda Scott. My name’s Jason Scott, I’m her son,” Jason said to the woman at the front desk. She smiled and clacked away at the keyboard.
“Sure, let me see...alright, go on through,” she said with a smile. Jason paused for a moment and flashed her a smirk.
“But, y’know...I happen to be single, so if you could just pass me your digits, maybe we could go out for coffee sometime, hmm?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows. She blushed and giggled a bit.
“That’s sweet, but I have a boyfriend,” she replied. Jason chuckled a bit and answered “well, then he’s a lucky man indeed.” Jason made his way down the hallway to the fourth room on the left, knocking on the door frame. His mother was sitting in a chair in front of the window, looking out blankly. When she heard the knocking, she glanced back at him and smiled. She’d made a lot of progress the last couple of years, and the doctors said she may even be able to leave soon.
“Hey mom, good morning,” Jason said smoothly, kissing his mother’s cheek and giving her a hug. She smiled widely, hugging him back and he placed the bag down on the little table in front of her, pulling up a chair. He dug through it and pulled out two cups of coffee and two egg sandwich.
“Nice hot cup of coffee and an egg sandwich! Enjoy!” he said cheerily, happily biting into his own sandwich. He watched her as she unwrapped her own and bit into it, making a contented ‘mmm’ sound. Jason had had the food here on a few occasions and frankly, it was not good.
“It’s so nice of you to come by so often, honey. I now I haven’t been the best mother-”
“Don’t. You don’t need to apologize mom, in fact, you can stop apologizing. I get it, you and dad were deeply in love. I can’t say I would have been any better off in...well...that situation,” Jason interrupted. His mother smiled at him and gently caressed his cheek.
“I’m so proud of you. And your father would be too, you’ve grown into such a fine young man,” she said. Jason smiled at the compliment and sipped his coffee.
“Now if only you’d stop chasing skirts like a hormonal teenage boy,” she joked. Jason nearly choked on his coffee.
“Kassandra?” he asked. His mother nodded.
“Kassandra.” Jason groaned and facepalmed.
“Ugh, that girl is more trouble than she’s worth,” he muttered, earning a laugh from his mother. There was another knock on the door frame and Jason looked up to see his mother’s favorite nurse, and he could definitely see why. He was a young man, about Jason’s age, well built with short, chocolate brown hair and green eyes, and holy crap is he fucking hot.
Jason hadn’t even heard him and his mother talk, too busy checking the guy out, which was pretty much what he did every time he visited.
“Jason?” His mother asked, snapping him out of his thoughts. Jason looked up with a ‘hmm?’. His mother rolled her eyes and he just grinned; she knew him too well, even despite being in this hospital for so long.
“Alright Mrs. Scott, I’ll see you again in three hours for your next round of meds,” the man said.
“Thank you, Lucas,” she said fondly, flashing him a smile. He smiled back and waved to Jason before retreating from the room. He mother playfully slapped his arm and asked “why don’t you ask that boy out, seeing as you’re so smitten with him?” Jason flushed crimson and spluttered nervously.
“What?! Are you kidding?! He’s way out of my league! Hot as hell though. The things I’d do-”
“Jason!” she scolded with a laugh, cutting him off.
“What?! He’s hot!”
“Ask him out,” she insisted. Jason snorted and said “finish your sandwich ma.” The two of them shared a laugh, finishing their meal and coffee. Jason would have loved to have stayed longer, but alas, it was not to be so. His phone went off, which reluctantly answered; a text from ‘Seraphim’, one word;
He sighed and pocketed the phone, getting to his feet and kissing his mother’s forehead.
“Sorry mom, gotta go. I’ll see you later, alright?” he said. His mother pulled him into a quick hug.
“Alright, take care sweetie!”
“You too ma!” he called back before making his way out of the building. Being ArchAngel was sometimes a pain in the ass; it made life somewhat difficult and having to hide an entire second identity from the people he cared about, sucked ass. But he couldn’t deny he enjoyed the hell out of it.
“so, lemme guess, Giovanni again?” Jason asked, discreetly slipping the small, hidden comm device into his ear as he hopped into his car.
“No, surprisingly not this time. Simple bank robbery,” Seraphim replied. Jason groaned in annoyance.
“Ugh, so boring. I wish something exciting would happen for a change!”
“Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.”