|Rainbow Raider: SVI
||[Jun. 26th, 2008|05:35 am]
Hail the Rogues!
Over at Comixfan (hey, I work there, I gotta pimp it sometime), we occasionally have Superhero/Supervillain Idol games, in which we play a character and write up fanfic-y entries in response to prompts. I actually won the very first Idol game some years back (playing my boy Pyro), but skipped the next two. This year I decided to enter SVI as Rainbow Raider, mostly to end my absolutely crippling writer’s block…also, I thought it’d be funny to play Raider. Anyway, this time I made it to the Final Four, but was eliminated a few days ago.
Since these are like mini-fanfics, I thought I’d post them here now that I’m out of the game. There’s not much Raider fanfic on the net! There are also a few other Rogues cameos; Trickster appears in one, and Heat Wave is in four. Mick and Roy never really had much contact in canon, but I figured he was the only one with the patience for Roy’s emo behaviour, so I made them buddies :]
Profanity is mostly bleeped out, because I knew Comixfan’s swear filters would asterisk it out anyway. So I usually wrote it as asterisks. However, there are a few gay jokes and I apologize if anyone is offended; I thought long and hard about using them, and decided it would be bowdlerizing if the characters in question didn’t use them. The people who crack the jokes are assholes who are bullying Raider, and you know that kind of person is going to pick on the rainbow costume :P
Let me know what you think!
The first two rounds were just preliminaries we could do for practice if we wanted, and didn’t count towards elimination or voting. I needed the practice, trust me.
In this round, we had to describe how our character would run for governor of New York (this was during the Spitzer scandal).
“This is almost too easy…” Roy G. Bivolo says to himself with glee, barely resisting the temptation to rub his hands together. “At least it is for someone of my power...”
“Sir, you’re scheduled to go onstage in two minutes,” says one of his advisors, and Roy nods as he straightens his tie and does some last-minute fixing of his hair.
“Let me help you with that,” suggests another aide, reaching for the pin on his jacket, and Roy nearly slaps her hand away.
“Don’t touch it!” he yelps, both angry and agitated. The aide slinks away, suitably chastened, and Roy carefully adjusts the pin to make sure it’s undamaged. “No harm done, ha ha…” he says nervously. His staff looks at him curiously, which annoys him. “Don’t you have better things to do?” he demands, and they all hurry off. With that, he walks out of his dressing room and stands at the wings of the stage, waiting for his cue.
“…and our final candidate for the debate, Roy G. Bivolo!”
Broad fake politician smile on his face, Roy strides onstage, going to stand at his assigned podium. Glancing over at his two opponents, he grins at them. Oh, if only they knew! He ignores the smattering of boos from the crowd, for he knows the peons won’t be booing much longer. They will love him.
As the debate’s moderator speaks and sets up the opening question, Roy presses a button on his ‘watch’. This activates the devices planted on his opponents’ podiums, tiny modified versions of his famed goggles. He has set them to emit low-level rays that engender hate and anger, so the people in the crowd will instinctively dislike the other candidates on a subconscious level. The crowd won’t try to literally tear the unfortunate men apart, but there’s no way they’ll be voting for them, and they’ll tell their acquaintances not to vote for them either. And then Roy presses another button on his watch, activating a beam from the pin on his jacket, which will force the crowd to love him. He’ll be the most popular candidate in no time, regardless of how he does in this debate or any other.
Roy smiles broadly as he begins to answer his first question. This will be a cakewalk straight to the governor’s mansion.
Here we had to describe our character’s relationship with their underling(s).
It’s Monday morning, and the doorbell rings on schedule. I answer it.
“Good morning, Hugo,” I say to the visitor, and he nods.
“Hiya boss. How’s tricks?” he asks, walking in casually and flopping himself down on the couch.
“Not bad,” I reply. “I’ll need you to organize my things, pick out my clothes…the usual.”
Hugo is my minion. I don’t need him for a lot of things, so he only comes over twice a week, but due to my…difficulties…he’s invaluable for certain tasks. For instance, I get him to select my clothes for the week --- I’ve learned through many years of painful trial and error that a colour-blind man cannot pick outfits that don’t clash. It wouldn’t really bother me…except people laugh. I hate it when they laugh.
Also, he helps me with my art supplies. Obviously I can read what the paint tubes say just fine, but I can’t mix them properly. And it’s just easier to have him set things up for me, put the colours on the palette --- what else are minions for?
“Don’t forget to organize my paints, Hugo!”
“Yeah, boss. I'll sort `em for you. No problem.”
Hugo busies himself with my clothes, co-ordinating my outfits and putting them in the drawers marked for each day of the week. A good system, if I do say so myself. In the meantime, I head to my studio --- I have to get ready for this week’s art gallery gala opening! Two of my paintings will be featured alongside the (inferior) work of other local artists.
Half an hour later, the Trickster walks in through my window on those obnoxious jet shoes of his.
“Hey Roy, Cold asked me to talk to you, and…”
“What?” I ask, annoyed by the bemused look on his face. He’s holding a hand over his mouth to stifle a giggle. I hate that.
“Is this supposed to be an artistic statement, Roy? No one piece of clothing matches another?”
“What are you talking about? Hugo picked out all my clothes for me.”
“A green shirt, purple pants, one blue sock and one red sock? Dude…either he’s as colour-blind as you are, or you’ve been scammed.”
This must be one Trickster’s pranks! He’ll regret this! But still…
“Hugo’s trustworthy. I get him to organize all my paints,” I retort, pointing to my latest masterpiece, a forest landscape. Trickster just shakes his head, snickering.
“Roy…neon-pink trees and a yellow sky don’t make a lot of sense. The guy’s messing with you.” He pauses. “Say, Roy, your eye’s twitching.”
Furious and humiliated, I storm out of my studio in search of Hugo, who turns out to be smoking in my kitchen.
“You’ve been lying! None of these colours match at all! Why’d you do this to me?!” I demand angrily, and he shrugs.
“You shoulda given me that raise I asked for,” he snorts.
That was deeply unpleasant…but at least Hugo won’t easily find another job since he was sent stumbling out the front door. He may find it difficult to trick people now that I’ve burned out his retinas.
This was the beginning of the official rounds.
Here we had to describe the point at which our character decided to go down his evil path of becoming a villain. By the way, Dr Bates is named after Raider’s creator, Cary Bates.
“All I ever wanted to do was paint.”
“Yes, Roy, you’ve told me that.”
“Sorry, Doc, but it’s true. I put my heart and soul into my paintings, and people just laughed at them. They said they looked weird, because the colours were all off. They said I should stop, that I should find another hobby. As if painting was just a hobby! It was my life, my gift!”
“I realize that, Roy, but that still doesn’t explain why you became a costumed criminal…a ‘supervillain’. I’m here to understand you, to help make you well, so you never feel the need to go back into crime again.”
Roy sighs. Nobody understands. He doesn’t know why he bothers talking to the prison psychiatrists; all they want to do is ‘cure’ him, but never really help him. People have called him crazy, and just about every unflattering name in the book. “Colour-blind spastic” was one memorable insult. “Stupid-stupid” from another troglodyte. They never appreciated his gift, nor his pain.
“Listen, Doc. You’re a smart, bookish guy; maybe you can get it. Everyone thinks boys should grow up to be great athletes, playing football and other mindless games, but I wanted to paint. The other kids beat me up endlessly and called me a sissy. I could have borne that if those same inferiors had at least appreciated my work, but they mocked it! They mocked it, and they jeered at me! I was different, and you know what happens to people who are different.”
“Yes…” Dr. Bates says uneasily. Having grown up a bit nerdy, he can perhaps see something of himself in the odd supervillain.
“Why can’t I see colour, Doc? What’d I ever do to deserve this fate?” Roy suddenly asks, his tone turning pleading and with more than a hint of melodrama. He looks depressed, staring at the floor.
“I suppose it’s a quirk of genetics,” the psychiatrist suggests. “You didn’t do anything.”
“Maybe. Maybe. But if they’re going to taunt me, I don’t have to take it lying down. I have power now,” Roy muses, his tone growing more agitated and aggressive. Dr. Bates writes quickly about it in his notebook.
“Let them laugh. I defeated the Flash! If that doesn’t teach them to respect me…well, maybe a laser through the head will!”
“Roy, please calm down.”
“Who are you to tell me to calm down? I’m the Rainbow Raider! Maybe you laugh at me behind my back…but you sure as hell aren’t going to laugh at me to my face anymore!”
Roy suddenly jumps to his feet, looking both proud and angry, and Dr. Bates presses a small button behind his desk. Very quickly, two burly men enter the office and grab the recalcitrant prisoner.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?! Let go of me! I’m the Rainb--“
“We’ll take him back to his cell, Dr. Bates,” one of the orderlies assures the psychiatrist, who nods. “C’mon, Bivolo,” the other says to the struggling prisoner, who can no longer be heard due to the firm hand held over his mouth.
“I’ll see you again next week, Roy,” the doctor calls out. He then goes back to writing in his files, soon to visit with the next inmate.
In this round, we had to describe how our character deals with failure and why he keeps going. I decided to give Raider an LJ :]
Success! January 16
Tags | crime
Mood | pleased
I had a great outing today! Went to the art museum and stole some paintings. Okay, the Flash managed to recover them, and he gave me a concussion, but I got away and he probably feels really bad about that. Ha ha.
Posting from the prison library February 5
Tags | setbacks
Mood | hopeful
I'm in prison again, sigh. Stupid Flash, he only got me because I tripped. But that won't happen again! Next time, I'll come out on top, and boy will he be sorry.
Idea! February 22
Tags | crime, plans
Mood | optimistic
Have a really great plan for the future -- I'm going to diversify further. No longer just art thefts and art-related crimes -- robbery might be right up my alley. It works for the other Rogues, at least.
My day March 1
Tags | crime
Mood | accomplished
Things went good today. I robbed an armored car, and was doing really well. The guards all started fighting each other when I used my Anger beam on them, which was pretty funny. Then one of them (accidentally!) shot me in the leg when he was threatening the others, so I had to take off before I bled to death. Left the money behind, oh well. Can't win 'em all!
Today’s scheme March 28
Tags | crime
Mood | hopeful
Triumph! Today I robbed a bank, and I didn't get injured!! Unfortunately Mirror Master came by and stole all my money before I could get it home, but I know I succeeded and that's what counts. I'll show him who's boss next time, and then he'll give it all back.
Soon I’ll be in the papers… April 15
Tags | crime, plans
Mood | contemplative
I've perfected my Chromacolor Prism machine, and will be going ahead with Operation Color Hostage next week. We'll see if the people of Central City are willing to pay to get their colors restored...but I suspect they'll pony up.
Bummer April 19
Tags | setbacks, crime
Mood | stressed
Sigh. Flash destroyed my machine and threw me in jail. I'll have to think about this.
Aha! May 23
Tags | crime, plans
Mood | artistic
A new idea! I could also get into art forgery! Why didn't I think of it earlier?!?
Hmph May 30
Tags | setbacks, plans
Mood | disappointed
So it turns out art forgery is really hard when you can't see the colors properly. Hmm.
Today’s events June 6
Tags | crime
Mood | okay
Another bank robbery today, and this one didn't go so well. Flash and Green Lantern happened to be right outside, and they wrecked my plans pretty quickly. But it would have gone better if not for that bad luck, so it probably won't happen again. Buck up, Roy, you'll get it next time!
Why?!? June 26
Tags | setbacks
Mood | aggravated
Aaargh! I know I'd win if those damn heroes weren't always CHEATING!!
Today’s thought July 7
Tags | setbacks, plans, crime
Mood | hopeful
I think maybe I should stick to art thefts after all. There are probably fewer heroes hanging around museums than banks…also, the other Rogues don’t seem interested in art, so they probably wouldn’t steal it from me.
Resolved! August 2
Tags | setbacks
Mood | grumpy
In prison again. No more crime for me, I’ve had it. Just going to paint for the rest of my life -- it’s what I’m good at. I’m tired of getting beaten and humiliated.
I’m ready! September 15
Tags | plans, crime
Mood | optimistic
Heh, I was so emo last month. Well, forget that, because I have plans to get on top and show everyone how tough I can be. The Flash is going to be sorry he didn’t take me more seriously. Watch out, world, the Rainbow Raider’s back!!
Here we had to show our character dealing with a captured adversary (but it couldn’t be our arch-enemy), and how he punished or exacted revenge upon them. I decided to bring back Hugo-the-minion from the preliminary rounds…he really amused me for some reason.
It’s a fairly average evening, and after a few hours of painting, Roy hits the sack to sleep. However, he ends up lying awake for a while, thinking about his latest masterpiece. Should there be trees in the foreground, or should they all remain in the background? This is Serious Business for a Serious Artist.
Then he hears a loud creaking noise, one that shouldn’t be. Sitting up in bed, he presses a specially-rigged button on his nightstand, and the room is flooded with incredibly intense white light. An intruder yells in pain and falls to his knees, covering his eyes.
“I think your mistake, Hugo, was trying to sneak up on me in the dark,” Roy says mildly, pacing back and forth in the small room that serves as his technological lab. “I have a lot of light at my disposal.”
“Shut the **** up, you,” his former employee spits. The unfortunate man has found himself trussed up on a table, and he’s not happy about it.
“But I have to know…how’d you get your sight back?”
“It came back after a few months!” Hugo yells angrily. “No thanks to you, jerk! You left me blind!”
“After you betrayed me and made me a laughingstock!” Roy growls, remembering how humiliated he’d felt by wearing completely mismatched clothes and being taken for a fool. “I trusted you!” In his rage, he smashes some nearby equipment to pieces. “Damn, I was still working on that…”
“It don’t matter,” Hugo snarls. “I’m gonna get you for what you did. Stupid colour-blind asshole.”
“I don’t think so,” Roy notes with a smile, one that is progressively becoming more nasty. “I’ve got a human subject here, one who’s promised to cause trouble. One who probably won’t be missed. I’ve been wanting to try out some of my new colour tech on a live human subject!”
“Yeah, you go ahead,” says Hugo defiantly. “I’m not scared of you.” Despite his bravado, he’s starting to sweat a bit. He’d been counting on killing his ex-boss quickly and easily, not thinking he’d run into any trouble.
Roy rummages through a small safe in the lab, whistling cheerfully as he pulls out what he was looking for and assembles it on the table. His captive eyes the device nervously.
“This little number produces a beam of intense light that begins cellular destruction, and causes the human body to disintegrate within minutes,” Roy helpfully tells him. “At least, I think it will. I haven’t tested it on a person yet. You’re going to be the first, Hugo.”
“You know my name was never Hugo, dammit, it’s Derek!!” his captive shouts in frustration and fear.
“I like the name Hugo,” Roy replies calmly as he readies the device. “It suits you better. Now shush.”
Aiming the experimental gadget at his victim’s chest, the Rainbow Raider presses a button and the room is suffused with a dark green glow. Hugo-Derek lets out a yelp of fear or pain, and Roy drops the device as it suddenly surges with electricity and gives him a moderate shock.
“Ow! Hell!” Roy curses, shaking his injured hand. His prototype lies broken on the floor, and he scowls. Well, at least he can still observe his test subject to see how well it worked.
Hugo-Derek is laughing, which is unexpected, to say the least. Roy groans, because even though the disintegration effect was supposed to take several minutes, he doubts the victim should be laughing.
“Well, you lucked out, Hugo,” Roy says glumly. “I’ll have to figure out what to do with you; maybe test another experiment.”
But Hugo keeps laughing, and he’s sounding increasingly manic. The confused supervillain watches with fascination as the man howls with unceasing wild cackles, gasping for breath and quite hysterical.
“Oy,” Roy mumbles uncomfortably after this has gone on for ten minutes. “I think I drove him nuts.”
Later that afternoon, the staff at Central City’s largest hospital are surprised to discover an incoherent John Doe abandoned outside the ER. Most curiously, he cannot seem to stop laughing.
In this round, we had to describe how our character views their nemesis/arch-enemy. My grandmother had just died when I wrote this, and it ended up being more broody and depressed than I probably would have done at another time.
“I hate the Flash! I hate him!” Roy Bivolo declares with the kind of consuming rage only an artistic temperament can muster. “Freakin’ Wally West, he ruins my life!”
“Haven’t you only met him twice?” Heat Wave asks with some confusion, and Roy seems to deflate somewhat.
“Well…yes. But he’s the only Flash we have now, so…”
“That’s not very impressive. I don’t think anyone’s gonna take you seriously,” Heat Wave notes honestly. “Least of all the Flash.”
“Well, how can I get myself taken seriously?!” Roy mutters with frustration. “West’s a jerk. At least Barry Allen treated me with respect.”
“Barry was a good guy,” Heat Wave agrees. “I hung out at his place once.”
“I wanted to show him up and outsmart him! Wanted to prove I was better than everyone’s beloved Flash! And…I guess I wanted him to respect me,” Roy confesses with a slightly guilty expression. “With West…I just want to punch him in the face.”
His companion nods. “I guess I can agree with that. Though Wally’s not as bad as you say.”
“I don’t really know what to do with myself now that Allen’s dead,” Roy says with more than a hint of desperation. This is something that’s been bothering him for quite a while now, but he hadn’t had the nerve to mention it to anyone. At least Mick seems like a sympathetic audience --- and one who probably knows exactly what he’s talking about. “Petty crime, grand schemes, hanging it up entirely? I’ve been spinning my wheels, not sure what to do. I tried to sell my memoirs, but….nobody was interested.”
“I hear ya. I don’t know what to tell you, buddy.”
“It’s like a whole different era now,” Roy says sadly, shaking his head. “I didn’t know how good I used to have it. Imagine if I actually had killed Allen--! I would have been responsible for screwing myself.”
“Barry was something special, all right. We won’t see his likes again,” Mick replies with a similarly somber expression. “I kinda miss him.”
“And now…” Roy says absent-mindedly, drumming his fingers on his chin. “What now?”
Heat Wave wishes he had an answer for his comrade, but he doesn’t. All he does is shrug, and pats him on the back supportively. What else can he do?
In this round, we had to describe our character’s stay in prison (but not escape at the end).
“This place sucks,” Roy mutters unhappily in the Slab’s rec room, hunched over his paper and crayons. They’re the only art supplies prison officials will allow him to keep, and he guards them fiercely.
“You suck,” says a passing inmate wittily, and Roy rolls his eyes heavenward.
“Oh god, this is no place for an artist,” he declares melodramatically to his tablemate. “The people here are idiots, and I need to paint something before I go insane!”
“Hey man, it’s not our fault you escaped with…what did the guard say? ‘Invisibility paint’. That’s why they won’t let you have paints,” the other man notes unsympathetically, and goes back to his game of solitaire.
Sullenly, Roy doesn’t reply, but starts doodling again with his crayons. He is carefully drawing the Flash on his knees, begging (with accompanying speech balloon) for mercy from a stern-looking and victorious Rainbow Raider. It’s so much fun to draw such a scene that Roy actually forgets his troubles for a few moments. That is, until several huge men approach him.
“Hey look, it’s the Gay Raider!” one of the biggest man’s lackeys snickers.
“Whatcha drawin’, Ass Raider?” One of the inmates snatches away the picture before Roy can protect it. “Aww, isn’t that cute? He’s drawin’ the Flash about to give him head!”
“Shut up!” Roy growls. “I defeated the Flash, and he’s pleading for mercy! Just like he will when I get out of here!”
“You going to defeat him with rainbows?” one asks sneeringly, and they all start laughing, even the other inmates in the room who had previously been minding their own business. A few prisoners overhear the commotion from outside, and peer in the doorway to see what the fuss is about.
Roy sits silently at the table, stewing with rage. He is accustomed to being tormented in prison, but that doesn’t mean he likes it. Grimly ignoring the men, he goes back to drawing, pretending he can’t hear them laugh.
“Ha ha! On the outside, you pretend to be a big supervillain, but in here, you’re just one of us,” one of them taunts. “And we all know you like to dress in pretty colours.”
More laughter. The ringleader crosses his arms and looks smug. “You’re the Flash’s bitch!”
Roy is not a large man, but he does have a temper. In an instant, he jumps from his seat and lunges at the instigator, delivering a series of punches at the man’s face. Startled, his opponent lurches backwards and yells in pain. After a few moments of indecision, his lackeys join in the fight, trying to pound on Roy for attacking their boss. But he does not give up, and hits and kicks at them all as best he can. He is still fighting when the guards rush in and pull the prisoners apart.
“I’ll kill you!” the infuriated boss screams at Roy, who spits blood out of his mouth at him and glares defiantly. His nose is broken, lip split open, and both his eyes will soon have blackened, but he doesn’t care.
“Who started this?!” one of the guards demands, and a shocked bystander points at Roy.
“It was Bivolo!”
“All right, Bivolo, it’s solitary for you,” grunts the highest-ranking guard, and several start to drag him away. But Roy manages to turn his head back and grimace at his enemy.
“Don’t mess with me,” Roy mouths at him, and then he’s pulled out of the room.
Playing off the last round, here we had to have our character escape prison somehow.
Bored in his tiny solitary cell, Roy restlessly paces back and forth. He was thrown in the cooler for starting a fight last week, and is now close to having a mental breakdown.
“Gotta get out, gotta get out…” he mutters repeatedly as he paces. The concrete walls are covered in faint scratchings, the result of him using a small rock to ‘sketch’. He needs to get his creative urges out somehow, and desperately wants something to do. He has even drawn in the dust with a finger.
“Gotta get out, gotta get out…”
“Shut your hole, Bivolo,” a guard retorts from the other side of the steel door. “You got another week in there, courtesy of the warden.”
When the incessant muttering doesn’t stop, the irritated guard puts his face right up to the small barred opening in the cell door. “I said shut it!”
“I have to get out of here!” Roy cries out, staring at the hostile face. Then the face suddenly changes; the guard’s expression becomes blank.
“You have…to get out…of here…” the guard repeats in a monotone. Slowly, he unlocks the door, and lets it swing open as Roy watches in puzzlement. He almost runs for this strange freedom, but something convinces him that it might be a trick.
“Can I go?” he asks hesitantly, hanging back and watching the guard carefully.
“You…can…go…” the guard drones, his eyes blankly gazing off into nothing. Roy is not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so he hurries past the guard, wondering what the hell just happened. As he leaves the solitary cell block, another guard notices the loose prisoner and points his gun at him; Roy puts up his hands in surrender, but is frantic at the possibility of his escape being ended so soon.
“I need to get out!” he shouts in frustration, and the second guard is afflicted by the same symptoms as the first. He even drops his gun.
“You need…to get out…”
Picking up the fallen gun, Roy runs for the next door leading to freedom, now with a pretty good idea of what’s going on. His ability to control people’s emotions --- usually done with the aid of his goggles --- seems to have become inborn, but perhaps only usable in conjunction with his own strong emotions.
My Chromacolor Prism did give me that power for a little while, he thinks to himself as he runs. Maybe it lasted longer than I thought.
Now he consciously uses his ability every time he encounters a guard or someone who might be an obstacle to escape, summoning up all the stress and rage he’s felt since being imprisoned to control them. And the stolen gun also helps to force people to do what he says. Everyone just stands aside as he makes his way out, or even actively helps him, depending on what he tells them to do. His confidence has returned, and when he finally takes his first steps of freedom outside the prison, he is jubilant and proud. It feels great to take those first breaths of fresh air.
“The Rainbow Raider is back!” he declares triumphantly as he sprints away from the jail. It shouldn’t be too hard to steal a car and find a hideout, and soon he’ll be back to his old tricks…
That’s when he trips and sprains his ankle.
In this round, we had to kill one of the above: Optimus Prime, Gambit, or Goku (because the guy running the game has a grudge against them). I chose Optimus, because he was the only one I thought Raider might realistically kill.
"Hey, did you hear the news?" Heat Wave blurted into the phone one day, awakening Roy from a much-needed nap. He'd been staying up watching monster movies on late-night TV. "Giant alien robots have invaded the Earth! We have to do something!"
"But we're villains," Roy pointed out, and his friend snorted at him.
"So what? It's our planet they want to take over...if you want to let them stomp all over us, go ahead, but I'm gonna help fight them."
Heat Wave hung up in a huff, and Roy pondered the matter for a few minutes.
"I guess he's right...I really don't want to end up on an operating table somewhere, getting an anal probe. I should help."
It didn't take long for him to suit up and head outside, looking for signs of evil alien robots. There didn't seem to be any around, but there was a crowd gathered outside a downtown TV store, watching a news broadcast about the invasion.
"...calling himself 'Megatron', and has demanded half the planet's energy resources by noon tomorrow, or he'll start destroying major cities," the news anchor said breathlessly, and the crowd gasped in fear and horror.
"Holy crap! I gotta stop them!" Roy exclaimed, raising his fist dramatically.
"Who the hell are you?" somebody demanded, and Roy struck a heroic pose.
"I'm the Rainbow Raider!"
"The Rainbow Raider! Central City's greatest criminal! Flash's greatest enemy!" he retorted, and several people laughed.
"You don't look like Captain Cold," the first guy complained, and Roy stormed away in disgust.
When I've taken down some alien robots, those people will all respect and fear me, he thought angrily to himself. Maybe even hold a parade for me like they do for the Flash. Jerks...
He didn't use his portable flyer very often, but this was definitely an important occasion. Since the aliens didn't seem to be in Central City, he used the flyer to cover more ground and scout from the air. And eventually, he did spot something; giant robots often find it difficult to hide, particularly when they're foolishly not using their more secretive vehicle modes. Roy landed the flyer and approached them as stealthily as was possible, given his brightly-coloured uniform. The robots were standing around an oil refinery, and they were surprised when a gaudy-looking human confronted them.
"Aliens! You'll never conquer the Earth!" the human screamed, and fired a laser at them. It scorched the paint of one robot, but didn't penetrate his armour at all.
"Greetings, human," the largest robot said in a genial tone. "I am Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. You have nothing to fear from us."
"Bull****! You threatened to blow up our cities!" the human shouted, a bit perturbed that his laser didn't do more damage. This required a different approach.
"That was Megatron, one of the Decepticons," the robot corrected him. "They seek to conquer or destroy the Earth for its resources, but we Autobots are dedicated to stopping them."
"Why should I believe you?!" the human demanded, and Optimus had to admit to himself that perhaps the creature had a point.
"Well, we haven't stomped on you," another robot grumbled, and the human freaked out.
Oh my god, they're going to stomp on me!! Roy thought to himself in a panic, and did the only thing he could think of: he activated a switch on his visor and made himself invisible by bending the light around him. He then ran behind a building to figure out what he was going to do next.
"Where'd he go?" one of the Autobots wondered, but several others were tracking him with infrared vision.
"I see him," another noted. "He's not much of a threat. We shouldn't get distracted from watching for the 'Cons."
The other Autobots agreed, and they went back to their defensive positions around the refinery. Sources of fuel and energy were likely to be attacked first by the Decepticons, as that was all they were really interested in. The robots ceased being concerned about the nearby human.
Okay, I don't think my emotion rays are going to affect them, and the laser didn't seem to hurt them, Roy thought desperately to himself, wishing he'd brought the other Rogues or some superheroes with him. This situation wasn't exactly right up his alley. However, he wanted that crowd of idiots in Central City to respect him, and wanted to play hero by defeating the invaders. So he had to go through with it.
But I might be able to bring them down indirectly...hmmm....
Sweating, heart pounding, he walked towards the robots again. He was still invisible, which was probably the only reason he had the courage to attempt it.
"H-hey robots --- catch."
A red laser beam shot out of his visor and hit one of the oil silos next to Optimus Prime, exploding as the beam punched right through it.
"Great Cybertron--!" Optimus exclaimed as the fireball engulfed him. Half a dozen Autobots called out his name in horror, and rushed to his side as Roy ran like hell in the other direction. Celebration could wait until he was out of range. One angry Autobot thought to find the human responsible, but his infrared vision was useless with all the fire and chaos around him. And most of the robots were busy trying to put out the fire before the entire refinery went up, as well as attempting to rescue their leader.
"Prime..." one whispered as he beheld the charred body of the greatest Autobot. Optimus was still alive, but weak and fading fast.
"Pr-protect the Earth..." Optimus ordered with his remaining strength. "The humans are simply...afraid..."
With that, the light went out in his optics, and the Autobots mourned. They had lost their beloved leader.
A short distance away from the smoldering refinery, Roy was on top of the world. He had destroyed the biggest of the evil robots, and without anyone's help! He was a hero. The other Rogues and the citizens of Central City would respect him. Women would be falling over each other to date him. He had kicked ass!
Unfortunately, he didn't quite realize that he'd just killed the greatest obstacle to Decepticon dominion. He would come to regret that.
This round was called “Pet the dog”, after the old TV cliché which shows that the villain isn’t a completely bad person because of one good trait. We had to depict what makes our character somewhat sympathetic.
“Okay, who remembers what I said about the successive layers of paint?” Roy asked his class, and a young girl put up her hand.
“That each additional layer should be oilier than the one below it, or the painting will crack when you’re done,” she said confidently, and he smiled at her.
“That’s right! It’s very important to keep that in mind as you work. Now, it’s time for everyone to get started, and I’ll be around to help if you run into trouble,” he instructed, and his pupils went to work at their easels. Some sketched the basics of what they planned to paint, while others prepped the canvas surface. And Roy slowly walked around the room, observing what they were doing and offering suggestions.
It was no secret that the one thing he loved most in the world was painting. He’d been doing it since childhood, and was very good at it, though his colour blindness tended to make life difficult. But another thing he liked to do was share the gift with others, teaching other people to paint. And sometimes (when he wasn’t in prison, of course) he volunteered to teach oil painting techniques at the Central City community centre. There, underprivileged citizens and other interested people could learn from a skilled artist…who didn’t tell anyone he was also a supervillain, of course.
“Mr Bivolo, I’m having trouble thinning my paints,” a frustrated boy grumbled, and Roy helped him thin them with turpentine.
“Mr Bivolo! What do you think of the perspective in this picture?” one woman asked, and Roy offered suggestions for how to improve it.
“Hey Mr Bivolo, which shade of red do you think would work better?” another student asked, and Roy had to decline the question. Instead, he asked some of the other students to give opinions, and gently suggested that any artistic interpretation was valid.
The class lasted three hours, and when time was up, he had his students set their work in another room to dry. They had the option of touching up their paintings at the next class, or leaving them as is. Regardless of what they chose, he was very proud of their work, and quite touched when some of the students thanked him as they departed.
Doing some last-minute cleanup before turning out the lights, he was suddenly startled by a red blur that ran past him.
“Flash!” he exclaimed, quite alarmed. Naturally, he assumed his nemesis was there to beat him up or arrest him. “I didn’t do anything!”
“I know,” the Flash said, coming to a halt in front of him. “I was just watching. I have to say, Raider, I never knew you could be so serious…and so good at something.”
Roy looked at him warily, very distrustful of the man but seeing sincerity on his face. “Thanks. It’s a passion, and I love doing it.”
“Then it’s a shame you waste your talents on crime,” Flash noted as he ran out the way he’d came. “I’ll be watching you, Raider!”
Roy pondered the Flash’s words for a minute, then shrugged. “It’s a living,” he said nonchalantly, and turned out the lights.
This round was called “Kill the dog”, and we had to destroy the one thing the character loves. I was specifically told to ensure Raider could never paint again.
“Mr Bivolo? Can you hear me?” someone was asking through a haze of pain and drugs. Roy blinked at the bright lights shining in his face and groaned softly.
“Wh...where am I?” he asked weakly. He tried to sit up, but a person pushed him back down.
“Just lie still, sir, and we’ll take care of you,” the someone said, and he blacked out again.
It’s funny how something that changes your life so drastically can begin so simply. Roy woke up in the ICU, and discovered that his hands had been severed in a car accident. They’d been too badly crushed to re-attach, and he realized he faced a future without them --- no longer would he ever be truly independent, and no longer could he paint.
“No…” he whispered as he stared at the bandaged stumps. “This has to be a dream!”
He tried to get out of bed, but got tangled in all the wires of the monitoring equipment, triggering an alarm. Within moments, several nurses came running to force him back into bed.
“You need to rest, Mr Bivolo,” one said firmly, and he struggled in her arms.
“No, there’s been some kind of mistake!” he shouted desperately. “What happened to my hands, what did you butchers do to my hands?!”
“You had an accident, Mr Bivolo,” she told him soothingly. “But it’s all right now; you’re recovering. Just stay calm, and everything will be fine.”
“It won’t be fine --- I have no goddamn hands! How do you expect me to live without them?!”
He yelped in pain and surprise as somebody jabbed a needle into his arm, and quickly lost consciousness from the sedative.
By the next day, he’d been moved out of the ICU to his own private room, but his mood had not improved much. Although the nurses had turned on the TV for him --- he could no longer do it himself, of course --- he’d requested that they turn it off, and spent his time staring out the window.
“Time for lunch, Mr Bivolo,” the on-duty nurse told him kindly, putting a tray on the table next to him. She sat down to feed him, which he could also no longer do by himself.
“I’m not hungry.”
“You already skipped breakfast. You have to eat,” she said gently.
“I don’t want to.”
She looked sympathetic, but firm. “We’ll feed you intravenously if you refuse to eat. I’m sure you’d rather eat normally.”
“Do what you have to,” he said listlessly, and turned away from her to stare out the window again.
Roy’s depression did not lift, and after a few days, the doctors called in a hospital psychologist to talk to him.
“So I understand you’re a painter,” she began, having read his file. He slowly shifted his attention to her.
“Was a painter. See?” He held up his bandaged stumps.
“You don’t have to stop. There are people who paint in other ways, such as with their mouths or feet. And you’ll get prosthetic hands as soon as you’ve healed.”
“What’s the point? It’d look like crap. People gave me a hard time for just using the wrong colours, and I don’t want to deal with their snickering commentary or sad pity when they see some half-assed junk barfed onto a canvas. My technique was my strength, but I can no longer do that with any real skill. No, I won’t be painting anymore. That part of my life’s over now,” he said, staring straight ahead.
“Then what will you do?”
“Nothing. I can hardly be a ‘supervillain’ anymore, can I? I’d be the Amazing Cripplor, the not-so-scary disabled guy! ****, I can’t even activate my goggles now. I’m a joke.”
“You don’t have to feel this way, Roy. Many people with disabilities live very normal and fulfilling lives.”
“Yeah, well, not me. I might as well be dead.”
“I don’t doubt that you still have much to offer the world and your loved ones,” she said firmly.
“My loved ones? I’m an only child, my parents are dead, and after numerous stays in prison, my other relatives have little to do with me. Only one person’s come to visit me since I got here, and I told him to get lost. I doubt he’ll be back. No, I’ve been systematically destroying my life for some time now, and there’s not much a shrink can do about it,” he said bitterly. “So why don’t you get lost too?”
“If that’s the way you feel about it, Roy, I’ll leave you be for now. But I’ll come back to talk with you tomorrow. All right?”
Roy didn’t answer, and she left the room quietly. He lay in bed for a while, staring up at the ceiling, his own negative words echoing in his head. Failure. Cripple. Joke.
“What’s the point?” he finally said aloud, and slowly sat up in bed. He unhooked the IV bag from its pole so he could carry it with him and not set off any alarms for the nurses, and walked to the window. He was on the fifteenth floor, a sufficient distance above the street, ensuring he’d make a satisfying splatter when he hit it. Without hands, he had to struggle to push open the window with his elbows, and it took a while, but eventually he’d gotten it far enough that he could start squeezing through.
“Roy!!” came a startled voice behind him, and he turned. Heat Wave was back.
“Thought I told you to go away,” Roy grumbled, and continued squeezing through the window. Mick ran over and yanked him back inside.
“What are you doin’?! You trying to kill yourself?!” Mick demanded indignantly.
“Gee, you were always the smart one, Mick. Let me go. This is what I want, there’s nothing left for me.”
“Bull****! Don’t be such a dumbass. You’ve been through tough times, you’ll get through this too. I’ll help. So will the other guys, I’m sure of it. I came back to see you, didn’t I?”
“But I don’t want to get through it,” Roy said with tears in his eyes. “I just want this nightmare to be over. I want to paint again. Can you give me that?”
“…I can help. You can show me how to help you. I know it sucks, but it’s not the end of the world, man. You can still teach people, I know you like doing that.”
“It’s not the same!” Roy shouted at him. “I’m an artist who can no longer create…a man who has lost his soul! Death would be preferable to this! And none of you will ever understand!”
He got up and ran for the window again, but Mick easily tackled him, unfortunately knocking him to the floor. Roy howled in pain as his still-healing stumps collided with the hard surface, and then broke into loud sobs.
“I’m sorry…I’m sorry…” Mick repeated, close to tears himself, and held onto his friend as Roy let out all his rage and sorrow. It was all he could do --- all either of them could do, given the circumstances --- and the nurses found them like that when they came to check on the noise.
In this round, we had to depict our character winning (or getting a vision of winning). In other words, what’s the character’s ideal future?
Roy grumbled to himself, and elbow-pressed the button next to his bed to summon the nurse. When she appeared, he put on his much-practiced sad face.
“Can I have some more pain meds? I really hurt.”
“Okay, Mr Bivolo, but we won’t be giving them to you for much longer. We don’t want you to become addicted.”
“Thank you,” he said with an angelic expression, and settled back down in bed as she injected the Demerol into his IV line. Ah, that felt nice…so nice…
“Hey! I’ve got hands!” Roy exclaims, looking down at his two perfect appendages.
“Of course, my Lord. Why wouldn’t you?” the man next to him inquires.
“And I can see in colour!! This is amazing!” Roy enthuses happily, doing a fist pump worthy of any PGA golfer. “I’ve got to start painting right away!”
“His Excellency wishes to paint!” barks the majordomo. All sorts of courtiers scurry about, quickly bringing a canvas, brushes, and paints, which they set in front of a delighted Roy. He immediately goes to work, painting what is possibly the greatest landscape portrait of his life. Everything is perfect: the brushstrokes, the perspective, and especially the colours. The delicate subtlety of those colours makes him want to weep with joy, having waited his whole life to see them.
“It looks beautiful, Roy,” purrs the scantily-clad young woman suddenly standing next to him.
“Yes…yes, it does…” he replies, very distracted as she wraps herself around him and starts licking his ear.
“You hussy! He’s mine!” another blonde in a bikini insists with anger, and Roy laughs heartily.
“Ladies, ladies…you can both have me!” he declares, and they giggle with coquettish excitement, each taking one of his arms.
“Oh Roy, you’re so handsome and so talented. Paint me next!”
“That will have to wait, madame,” the majordomo intones, walking up to them and bowing to his leader. “His Excellency has visitors.”
“Guys! What are you doing here?” Roy asks as the Rogues enter the throne room and kneel before him in a gesture of supplication.
“We’re really sorry we weren’t nicer to you,” Captain Cold says humbly. “We understand now that we should have accepted you.”
“And elected you our leader,” Mirror Master adds respectfully. “Truly, you are the greatest Rogue of all time!”
The other Rogues nod in agreement, gazing up with admiration at their hero.
“Thanks, guys,” Roy says magnanimously, motioning for them to rise. “Just for that, I’ll allow you to run Europe for me. But I’m a busy and important man…run along now!”
As his former comrades file out, he yawns and sits down on his throne, with five beautiful women gathered around him. Their eyes are only on him, of course.
“Where’s my foot-rest?” he demands, and a red blur comes running into the room, crouching on the ground before him.
“Forgive me, my Lord,” the Flash apologizes meekly, and Roy puts up his feet on his old enemy’s back. Very comfortable, and so appropriate. And he suddenly has a richly-flavoured Cuban cigar in his mouth.
“This is the life!” Roy grins joyfully, taking a puff on the cigar. The Flash coughs from the smoke, and everyone has a good laugh at the red-suited fool’s expense. Nothing could be more perfect.
“Where’s that porno music coming from?” one of the women asks, and Roy turns and winks at her.
In the real world, Roy abruptly opened his eyes and sat up in bed.
“Oh man…that was awesome.”
We were told to kill (or otherwise destroy) one of the other characters in the competition; I was assigned the Hood (Marvel/Avengers villain).
Dressed in a black trenchcoat, Roy coughs nervously as he walks into the jewellery store.
“Hello sir, may I help you?” the clerk asks politely, and Roy turns a bit pale. It’s now or never, time to get back up on the horse. And he desperately needs the money to pay his medical bills; those prosthetic hands didn’t come cheap.
“Y-yes. Give me all your cash,” he says in a low voice, trying to sound menacing, but unable to hide a slight quaver. “I’ll grab the jewels myself.”
“Oh God…” the clerk gasps, but remembers her training: give up the goods without a fight, and hopefully stay alive. She starts pulling money from the register and dumping it into the bag Roy tossed to her. He’s clumsily scooping up jewellery with his awkward new hands, and dropping it all into another bag. Things are going well.
“What the **** is going on here?” demands another voice from behind Roy, and he turns quickly. Some guy in a cloak is standing in the doorway, and he doesn’t look happy. “I came here to rob the place, and there’s some other ****head already doing it!”
“Yeah, well, I was here first,” Roy retorts, relieved that it’s just another crook, not a superhero. He turns his attention back to the jewels. “So beat it, kid.”
“I don’t think so,” the newcomer says, and cocks both his guns, which he points at Roy. “Gimme your stuff. It’s mine now.”
Roy slowly turns around again to face the intruder, hands up. He can only see part of the man’s face, the lower half, and the guy is smirking. The clerk is frozen in place, terrified by the presence of two criminals and two guns.
“Okay…” Roy says with resignation. He knows he’s not bulletproof. Silently, he delivers the bags of cash and jewels, smarting with humiliation at having his own robbery hijacked, and drops them at the thief’s feet.
“Heh, look at you,” the younger man grins as he picks up the bags. He can see the rainbow costume under the trenchcoat and the prosthetic hands. “What the hell do they call you? Handy? The Queer Cripple?”
“Nothing,” Roy mutters, staring resentfully at the ground.
“Well, thanks for the cash, man. Easiest ****ing robbery I’ve ever done. See you later, Handy!”
The man in the cloak waves and leaves, rising into the air as he exits the shop. And Roy suddenly snaps. He charges out of the store, running after his new enemy, and shoots a laser at him. The man yells in pain as the beam pierces his leg, and tumbles to the ground.
“You just made a big ****ing mistake, Handy!” he shouts, pulling out his guns, which he fires from his position on the ground. The shots go wild over Roy’s head, but now he knows this guy is serious. Fortunately, so is he. He uses a wide-angled puce beam to induce severe nausea in his victim, and the man empties the contents of his stomach all over the pavement.
“What…what did you do…” the hooded man demands, heaving. His vision is blurry, but he sees his foe approaching. Roy notices one of the guns on the ground, and kicks it away.
“I’ll do a lot worse if you don’t give me back my money. And an apology is needed, I think.”
“**** you!” The man takes a deep breath and disappears, and Roy looks all over the place to see where he went. Could he have teleported? But no, Roy hears a sick-sounding grunt and heave, so the guy is still nearby.
Two can play at that game, he reminds himself, and uses his own tech to bend the light around him, rendering him invisible too. And that’s when he starts firing his lasers wildly, not really caring what they hit. A sign across the street tumbles to the ground, its supports sliced, holes are punched in buildings, and ---
“Aaaagh!” the cloaked man screams, suddenly becoming visible, and once again falling to the ground from his attempted aerial escape. He lands hard, gasping with pain and clutching at a hole in his abdomen.
“Jesus Christ!” the man groans. “Take it! Take the ****in’ money!”
Weakly, he holds out the two bags, and Roy smiles. He starts walking toward the downed man, and becomes visible again as he does so. “That’s better. I believe you owe me an apology, too.”
As Roy reaches down to take the bags, the man’s pained grimace turns into a sneer. “Yeah, I got yer apology right here.” With his other hand, he pulls the gun out of the cloak and fires, hitting Roy’s shoulder at close range.
Now it’s Roy’s turn to scream in pain, and he staggers backwards. “You son of a bitch!” he shouts at the hooded man, who’s laughing as best he can. Before the guy can squeeze off another shot, Roy kicks the gun out of his hand. Then he kicks him in the face, again and again. Suddenly he’s not even aware of where he is or what he’s doing, but he’s still kicking. The hooded man is everyone who’s ever laughed at him, everyone who’s ever taken advantage of him, everyone who’s ever ruined his plans. And now there’s blood and tissue and shreds of mystical cloak all over the place.
When Roy comes to his senses, the ruined remains of a young man in a demon’s garb lie before him, and it’s his turn to vomit.
“I didn’t…oh no…didn’t mean…”
He takes a terrified step back, but slips in the spreading pool of blood, and lands on top of the unrecognizable corpse. Sobs of fear and regret wrack his body, and he doesn’t get up again, not even when the police arrive to take him away.
In this round, we had to describe our character’s final battle with their nemesis. I didn’t exactly make it final (because two final battles in a row seemed a bit much), which may have cost me --- I was voted off.
“C’mon, man, run!”
“Oh God oh God oh God…” Roy frets as he hightails it from the city jail, his buddy Heat Wave at his side. Mick Rory freed him from his cell only moments earlier. “This is a mistake!”
“Do you wanna be put away for life?” Mick demands, panting as the two run at top speed. His fireproof costume is sweltering and not designed for jogging.
“Then hurry up!”
The duo is planning to hide out at a safehouse in one of the seedier areas of Keystone, though they expect every cop in the city to be looking for them. Murder isn’t exactly a new rap for one of the Rogues, but the brutality of Roy’s crime surely has the attention of the authorities. They were planning to send him to his first stint in Iron Heights after processing him at the city jail.
“Going somewhere, guys?” asks a new voice behind them, and both turn around with dismayed looks on their faces.
“The Flash!” Roy groans, and a speedy punch sends him flying. Fortunately he lands on his good shoulder, but the one that was shot two days ago is throbbing painfully.
“Put on your goggles!” Mick urges his buddy, firing his heat gun at the Flash. The flames are incredibly hot, but don’t bother his foe much, thanks to his handy friction shield. Wally West keeps running, and his fist connects viciously with Mick’s unprotected chin. Heat Wave is unconscious before he even collides with the wall.
“Right…” Roy mutters, clumsily putting on his eyewear with his prosthetic hands. He’s grateful Mick grabbed the goggles during the jailbreak, and that he bought him some time just now. Now he can deal with the Flash himself.
“I’m not going back to jail!” Roy shouts as he fires a laser at the ground in front of the Flash. It creates a huge pothole that he hopes his enemy will fall into, but West just runs around it. Knowing he can’t hope to outrun the speedster, Roy takes to the air on a solid rainbow, and then starts shooting various colour beams at him from his higher vantage point.
“I said I’d be watching you, Raider,” the Flash says as he dodges the attacks. “But I can’t believe you killed a man in cold blood. I thought you were better than that!”
“You and me both,” Roy mutters from his moving perch, still shooting at him.
“I saw the crime scene photos --- they were horrific. And a photo of you, drenched in that man’s blood. I’m taking you in, Raider, you really crossed the line!”
West runs up the side of a nearby building, intending to leap onto the flying rainbow, but makes the mistake of turning his attention away from his foe. It’s at that point that Roy hits him with a black beam, draining all the colour from his body.
“Hey…what?” the Flash asks in confusion, looking at his now colourless hands. He suddenly feels quite tired, as though he’s been running all day with a heavy weight tied around his neck.
“I sapped your energy,” Roy boasts, pleased at now having pulled this stunt on two different Flashes. “You’ll get it back eventually, in a few days or so. But I’m leaving now.” The rainbow begins to carry him away.
“Wait!” West urges from his position on the ground, and Roy stops to look at him. “You didn’t use deadly force on me. Why did you use it on him?”
Roy looks uncomfortable. “I don’t know. He made me angry.”
“The jewellery store clerk said there was a theft involved, right? He hijacked your robbery.”
The prosthetic hands clench into their best approximation of fists. “Yeah. And he shot me when I tried to get my stuff back. I was really pissed. So I…snapped, I guess.”
“Do you regret it?” the Flash asks carefully. Roy pauses several moments before speaking.
“…Yes. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t kill him. He deserved a beating for being an ass, but I never wanted to kill him.”
“You know, Raider, I understand that you’ve been having a rough time lately, what with you losing your hands and stuff. If you show remorse, I can put in a good word for you at your trial, and maybe get your sentence reduced.”
“And still spend twenty years in prison? No thanks,” Roy says bitterly. “Do you know what it’s like for me in there? Nothing but gay jokes and bullying from bigger prisoners. No, I won’t go.”
“Raider, be reasonable. I’m doing you a favour here.”
“You’re playing with my mind, that’s what you’re doing. Because you feel sorry for me. To hell with you.”
Roy scowls at the Flash with a withering glare, and then hits him with a yellow cowardice beam purely out of spite. Snickering at how West cowers fearfully on the ground, he gathers up Mick and prepares to leave.
“I meant what I said: I’m not going back to prison. I don’t wanna have to get violent to protect myself, but it’ll be up to you, Flash.”
Satisfied he’s gotten his message across, the rainbow carries Roy and Mick away to their safehouse, leaving behind a trembling and whimpering Flash.