Leo Origins

Leo Origins: Part I

“Get up, Leo! Dammit, get up, you little brat!”

I groaned and sat up. My head hurt… “I don’t feel good, sister…”

My eyes adjusted to the light and I realized everything around me was a mess. It looked like someone had messed up the place like I did with my Legos sometimes. My sister was kneeling over me, her glowing sword in hand. Why was she crying? “Thank God,” she said, hugging me tight.  “Come on, we got to move. He might still be around.”

I was confused, but obeyed. Sister always knew best and I was just ten so I knew better than to talk back right now.

She led me out of the messed-up building – what had happened to it? – and into the streets. There were no people, but a few cars and buildings around us looked like they had been cut in half with a pair of giant scissors. My sister must have done that. But why?

“Where’s mom and dad?” I asked her. She didn’t respond, only pulling me along the road and towards a waiting man in a white and red outfit. A hero?

“Take him, Dakota,” she told the man. He nodded and took my hand. As he did, I felt my headache go away. “Could you save them?”

The suited man, who I realized was much bigger than dad even, shook his head. “I’m sorry, Leona, I just… they were too far gone. Not even my power could do anything. I’m sorry…”

My sister shook her head. “I’ll be fine, I… I need to find Carter and make him pay.” She looked at me. “Leo, stay with Dakota. He will keep you safe.”

I was smart enough to know she wasn’t telling me something. Nor would she. It was only later that I learned a criminal named Harold Lee Carter had attacked the bank me and my parents had been at, killing everyone inside and stealing the money. Dad had used his ability to teleport me into the next building just before Carter had blown up the bank and my sister had arrived just a little bit later.

After that, she and Dakota – her fiancé at the time – had taken me in. My powers developed a year later and I decided I would become a hero. I wouldn’t just be a hero, though. I would be the best hero. I would stop all of the villains, the bullies, and anyone else who threatened or killed the defenseless. I would become a beacon of justice.

Nothing could stop me.

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Vicky Origins 1.2

Daughter of a Hero: Part 2

Randall Marsh

I parked the truck and got out, prompting my daughter, Vicky, to do the same. I opened the cover on the bed and pulled out the three quarter staves, the stun guns, the flash grenades, and all of the other tools of the trade I had brought.

“Pick out everything you think you need.”

“Yes, Father.”

We both equipped ourselves. I loaded up my utility belt with the grenades and other tools, then grabbed a quarterstaff and walked off to the large field we had drove to. It was actually a place the police of Knoxville used on occasion to teach their K-9 Units and sometimes run drills for various things. Others rented the area out as well, but those were all cleared through the KPD. I had sole access to this area for the next five hours, though I doubted I needed that long. Being Lasher, a local ‘hero,’ had its advantages.

I looked back at Vicky. She was moving to her own side, far away from me. Good, she was keeping in mind my range. But…

I sighed. I didn’t want her to follow in my footsteps. Her power had developed early, though, and she had grandiose ideas of saving people. She was always a gentle soul so I had thought I might be able to break her of the desire by forcing her to train day in and day out, pushing her to the limit. Vicky managed to meet my demands, however. She knew if she wanted to stop, it would mean I would not support her as a hero. After all, if she was going to risk her life, I was going to make certain she had the highest chances of survival.

So she had persevered.

And now she was going to be heading to Ravenhold, the greatest hero academy in the world made by the Raven himself. So today I would be testing my daughter to see how far she’s come. I had the ambulance on speed dial, just in case.

“Are you ready?” I shouted across the field. The wind blew slightly from the north. Interesting.

“Yes, sir!” She shouted back.

“Begin!”

I pulled my stun gun and shot in her direction, not expecting to hit her at this range, then broke into a sprint towards her. My range was thirty yards and eighteen inches, plus or minus a half inch. I had to cross only-

The luminescent form of Vicky’s soul – Oversoul, she called it – appeared to my side and swung. I grabbed the fist and tossed the form to the side. It was an odd feeling, like pulling something through water more than lifting someone, but it vanished once in the air and reappeared to my other side. Good, she wasn’t wasting time summoning it behind me and risking me closing the gap before it could hit me, nor putting it in my path to face the full impact of an attack from my quarterstaff or fist. But…

I smacked Oversoul with my quarterstaff, and ran past it. “Why are you holding back!?”

Vicky came into my range and I attached a point on her rear and then on the ground behind her, knocking her to the ground. I didn’t let up, though. I placed point after point on her, locking her on the ground. Oversoul appeared a few times, but I weaved my way to Vicky’s side in no time. I could not actually use my power on Oversoul, for some reason, but it wasn’t an issue.

“This is weak for you, Vicky.”

She smiled up at me with determination and then I found myself looking at Oversoul on the ground instead of my daughter. When did…? I jerked to the side as a quarterstaff moved through the air, intent for my head. My staff swung unconsciously towards Vicky, who was now behind me, but something ripped it from my grasp. I placed a point on Vicky, sending her staff to hit her head, and moved away from Oversoul.

Vicky switched places with Oversoul again, standing ready for more.

“So, you can trade places instantly, now. Good work.”

She smiled. “It still takes a bit out of me, but yeah.”

I readied my staff and grabbed one of my grenades. “It seems to make my power ineffective, too. This will be useful going forward. But I’m still disappointed. I know you have more. There’s no one around, so give me all you have.”

Vicky nodded and I tossed my flashbang off to the side and lashed it to her. The grenade changed direction in the air and shot towards her. Oversoul appeared and caught the bomb. Both me and my daughter looked away and covered our ears as the bomb went off, but I had started running as well.

I opened my eyes and Vicky was close. My power reached out to her, locking her body up and nearly sending her to the ground before Oversoul took her place. I instinctively swung my quarterstaff behind me. It met resistance, making me turn and face my daughter and her Oversoul.

I could have just worn her out by forcing her to switch places with her phantom ally, but that would not be a real test. I needed to see more.

Nearly an hour later we sat in the tailgate of my truck, drinking beers and catching our breath – Vicky more than myself, of course. Still, I had seen a lot and I was confident she would be fine so long as she avoided confronting brick types and any mind control capes.

“You did good today,” I told her, finishing my beer.

Vicky took a swig of her own and gave me a soft smile. “Thanks, though I still didn’t win.”

Some people had criticized me when I let Vicky start drinking two years ago at the age of 14. It’s not like I wanted her to drink, but I needed to see how her powers react to alcohol. If her Oversoul started going out of control, we would need to fix it early. Drinking was an eventuality for any teenagers, after all. I didn’t want Ravenhold calling me saying she destroyed her dorm…

So, I often drank with her once a month. So far the only oddities was her Oversoul dancing in some… odd fashion… and when she passed out, it would carry her to her bed. The latter was useful, but I was slightly worried her power might try to cross the ocean.

“Powers are never stronger or weaker, Vicky. My power can be used at a distance without needing to make physical contact. It’s saved me many a time against opponents that have seemingly superior abilities.”

“Like with Killer King, right?”

Killer King – which was a stupid name – had been a small time villain who had near-unbreakable skin and some super strength. He had gotten away more than once until finally I placed points on his entire body, binding him to himself tighter than he could fight. It was a strain, but nothing I wasn’t able to handle.

“Yes, like with him.” I pulled another beer and popped the cap. “So, next week you head to Ravenhold.”

“Yeah…” She said. Vicky looked too much like her mother. It didn’t matter if she had been assigned male at birth – things like gender were meaningless outside of reproductive capabilities – Vicky was the spitting image of her mother, although her African heritage was less apparent. Maybe that was why I felt this coming loss more than I thought I would.

“Hide what you can of your abilities. Take care that no one knows what you can fully do. Especially the size alteration and that last stunt you pulled.”

“Why? Shouldn’t I try to practice those more and more?”

“Yes, but don’t let any of the teachers or students know. The less they know, the less your future enemies know. It gives you a trump card.” I still had another of my own that I was saving. “Being unpredictable makes the smart ones cautious and the idiots unaware.”

“Yes, father.”

“One last thing.” I stood up and looked at Vicky. She looked at me as well. “You’ve done well the last eight years. I think you’ll do fine as a hero.”

Soul Legacy: Part I

Vicky Arc I: Soul Legacy

Part I

“If the students attack you?”

“Escape, using my power to distract them, then contact my teacher.”

My father nodded. His eyes were on the road ahead, but his focus was on me. “What do you do if a villain attacks your dorm?”

“Mount a defense, check for survivors, get to safety and then alert the teachers.”

“Good.” He had been drilling me for the last hour on contingency plans for various scenarios, though some of them seemed ridiculous. The last one especially. Who would attack a place the Raven had personally made? Knowing the legendary Legion member – as well as his predecessor – Ravenhold academy was probably one of the safest places you could be.

But my father was Lasher, a hero by trade. He had seen many things in his time. And as I grew older and came out to be both a transgender girl and a parahuman, he had become more and more defensive. He had already lost his wife to criminals, he made it clear he wasn’t going to lose me.

“I think I’ll be fine, dad,” I reassured him. To prove it, I called on my power, Oversoul, and manifested a small feminine figure in the air above my lap. It had no features to define, outside the shapely body of a woman, and was more of a silhouette of dull spectral light than anything but it was my soul given form. My soul was powerful “I can take care of anything that comes my way.”

He glanced over at me. “Can’t help it, Vicky.” We were getting close to the boats that would take us to Ravenhold now. “I want to make sure my daughter stays as safe as possible.” ​I let the words hang in the air, unwilling to say anything else.

​Ravenhold was much more spectacular than I had anticipated. My father had left me that morning, saying he was going to scout the area for any faces he might recognize. Whether they were friend or enemy, I didn’t know. He had stayed alive and successful by being smart, though. It had been a quick goodbye, but he had never been good at the whole ‘emotions’ thing anyway.

I approached the gate leading to the world-famous institute and saw a few figures I had seen on the bus. Some girl with wings, a guy with tattoos covering his arms and neck, a few aliens, a handful of those animal-hybrids, and many more I tried to memorize as I saw. At the entrance of the iron gates was a man whose costume was known even more than the school. The Raven, himself.

To say I was excited was an understatement.

He embodied everything my father believed in. That your mind was your most powerful weapon, not your powers or abilities. Only your mind controlled the outcome of the battle. His ability was seemingly weak: he could lash two things together, making them attract to each other and stick. However, he had managed to take down many villains like Fault and Killer King with that ability of his by how he used it.

Raven spoke and my thoughts stopped. I focused on the Legion Hero.

“Students,” he said in a loud, steady voice. “Let me welcome you to Ravenhold academy. I know you’ve come from far and wide to be here and the journey’s been long and tiring, so I won’t hold you for long. Each of you have been selected by the Legion,” he paused to look at everyone in the crowd, sweeping his gaze across the small sea of future heroes, “Because we think that you’re worthy, that you have the heart to be a hero, because you want to make the world a better place or because you needed a second chance to become better. Whatever the reason, Ravenhold welcomes you as its first-year class of two thousand sixteen. Over the next four years we’ll make heroes out of you. It’ll be hard, it’ll be dangerous, but I know you will persevere.” He smiled and took another sweeping gaze over us all. “And for those who truly shine – both in deed and character – there will be a place for you in the Legion.”

The Legion… I could become like that?

“When I call your name, you will go to your assigned guide.”

I blinked. They were calling names now. I was Victoria Marsh, so I would be later. I decided to put names with faces in the meantime. By the time my name was called and I was placed in my group, I had placed a few names with faces in my group.

There was the pregnant girl, Freyja, who I remembered was that German superhero’s daughter. I had seen her on TV for the funeral. Dad had apparently once met the second Valkyra and had high respects. Then there was a short white kid in baggy clothing named Ryland, a tall, green-haired one named Ivan, that tattoo-coated boy named Leopold, and a few more that were just as unique. It was only a fraction of the class, but I was already amazed at the diversity. Maybe I would find another girl like me, too.

I had been surprised at how adept Ravenhold was at handling trans students, so maybe there were a high number of them. The rest of my class continued the trend of diversity, as we got the winged girl I had seen earlier as well as a few others I was sure I would enjoy getting to know.

Our guide – an instructor named Valeria with glowing skin – led us to the dorm. Well, it was more like a massive house than a dorm. From what I knew, we would have to cook and clean for ourselves. I knew my way around the kitchen since my father had to patrol for long hours most days, but I hoped I wasn’t alone in that. Nothing worse than cooking for more than a dozen people.

‘I made it, dad,’ I thought as they let us loose. Time to get an idea of the layout of my new home and classmates.