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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 16 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 0
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Chapter 16: I SEE A  BLACK SUN RISIN' That Means The End of Times is Niiiiigh
Dedicated to Adam West and my Aunt Cheryl
Helpful notes:
Italicized= breaking the fourth wall
Bank gothic= meanwhile
Lightning letters = mysterious guy sits on a throne of pure thunder
Other fonts and colors mean people besides ZAPMAN
Hullo! I'm the Snarky British Narrator Voice and I'll be narrating all subsequent chapters of The Phenomenal ZAPMAN. Anyway a quick recap! Last time: Dark ZAPMAN has faded into Mark's subconscious with the promise that he'll be back if Mark represses himself too much....  Meanwhile in his not-so-secret base, Hitler is planning something diabolical with the help of a dossier known as PROJECT BLACK SÜN, but first, turn your attention to the past.....
TENOCHTITLAN  AUGUST 13TH, 1521 A.D. , THE FALL OF THE AZTEC EMPIRE.....
A large bat-like creature decorated in armor and ornate jewelry of turquoise and jade swoops down to land on the steps of the Templo Mayor....
"Knock Knock anyone home? I guess I'll let myself in" The bat creature pokes his head into the entrance of the temple and blinks all 10 of his eyes. As if in answer lightning flashes, and Tlaloc appears with a little miniature rain cloud following him overhead. "Camazotz", Tlaloc whispers the name with a certain venom, usually reserved for people with names like Steve. "Why have you come to attack my home? Surely the others in the Mayan Pantheon didn't approve of this?" Camazotz sneers, "No, they don't know about this. This is the day you fall before the might of Camazotz!" Tlaloc laughs, "You allied yourself with the Spanish? You're just as much a savage to them as I am Camazotz. Hahahahahahaha.... It won't be long until they cast you aside...."
Camazotz is visibly angry now and his face is flushed bright red, veins bulging in his neck. "Mark my words Thunder God, I won't rest until the Aztecs are nothing but a hushed rumor, snuffed out like a candle and then gone without a trace. For lack of a better metaphor.... you see this heart? You and Quetzalcoatl and the other gods are this heart", Camazotz snatches the still-beating of an innocent villager and lifts it high toward the sun. "You are this heart that I hold in my claws and then.....", Camazotz crushes the heart and then eats it. "Poof. Gone, like you never even existed. Good luck trying to save yourselves. Without a people to pray to, your powers will wane and then wither away. Please try understand..... I'm doing what's best for the Mayans to prosper.... even if it means others have to perish. Good-bye Rainmaker, may our paths never cross again because if they do, I will be ready."
Camazotz flaps his wings and flies, emitting a deep, throaty cackle that sounded like he didn't know how to control his vocal chords. Sometime after Camazotz leaves, Tlaloc travels to his sacred domain of Tlalocan to converse with the other thunder gods. Tlaloc tries to reason with the other thunder gods, but they don't listen to his pleas to work together as a group. "All along ever since 3200 B.C. each of us have chosen a champion from one specific family that we all agreed upon, but we did not train them and the chosen champion only got a fraction of the powers of one thunder god of one pantheon. This will not be enough to combat the evils of the world and..."
Tlaloc gets cut off by Set, animal-headed thunder god for the ancient Egyptians. "Why should we believe what you? It's obvious we won't last. We are relics of a forgotten age and the Spanish who attacked you know it. Eventually we will fade away as this new God takes over everything we can't-" Zeus slams his fist down with a mighty thud, startling even the mighty Thor and demon-faced Raijin.
"ENOUGH! I knew that one day we all wouldn't last so i picked a successor with which to rule over everything and everyone with fairness and justice. We are old and people no longer believe in us as they once did, but there is a way for all of us to last. We already have the family we have favored to carry on our legacy. We must give them ALL of our powers and seal ourselves away so that we can give them guidance when they need it. If we create a power source for our champion to harness, we will have purpose again in a world we no longer recognize and we will be able to keep our domains defended." After much debate, the other gods agreed to create one uniform champion with which to protect the world.
And so..... the Bolt Force, a magical extradimensional source of energy which houses every thunder god in existence and the memories and personalities of each member of the Numera family was born! It wasn't easy, but Zeus and the others were able to trace back distant ancestors from 3200 B.C. Even though the champion would have the memories and guidance of others, he would need a way write down his experiences and techniques for the next champion to obtain. The Book of Lightning was created as a way to store this information so that the champion wouldn't be rendered insane due to information overload. In later times, the book would be used as a way to house the lore of the different monsters, gods and artifacts the champions have encountered over the years.
This has continued until the present day with the current champion being Mark Numera. The champion of the thunder gods has gone by many names but the one people are most likely to remember is ZAPMAN, first thought up as a secret identity by Charles Numera in 1920. Sorry if this sounds incredibly boring, but that's just the way it is in this line of work, narrating and whatnot. Oh? You forgot I was here? How incredibly rude! No matter, just sit back as our hero experiences the most severe case of "Christmas in July" he's ever experienced.....
Greenwood July 5th, 9:45 P.M. Greenwood Park, where Lapman is freezing people whole with his Freeze ray. One unlucky chap got his tongue stuck to a telephone pole for 4 hours....
Commissioner Laxly fills Mark in on the details of the last few hours. "ZAPMAN, thank goodness you're here!  This madman in a santa suit keeps freezing people willy-nilly! If I were a younger man, I would take him on myself! I would've called you sooner but we've been having some trouble getting through to you."  ZAPMAN reassures the commissioner, "It's ok. I've been through some rough stuff but I finally feel at peace with myself. You could say I feel "whole" again, wink wink. Now it's time for me to do what I do best: Annoy people with my terrible jokes."
"Hey Herbert, I know you're an ice person but it doesn't give you the right to freeze people! Giving me the cold shoulder, eh? How Rudolph of you. Herbert? Herbert?! Talk to me buddy, say something." ZAPMAN shakes Lapman gently, only to have Lapman grip Mark with an icy hand. A cold chill runs down Mark's spine as Lapman opens his eyes: a vacant, icy blue stare in what were otherwise empty sockets, a cold blue light emanating from Herbert's eyeballs.
"You look like Herbert, but you're definitely not Herbert. What have you done with him?" "Herbert" answers in reply, "You are correct, masked small child I am not Herbert. I am Thrym, King of the Hrimpusar. This pathetic speck was easy to manipulate. All he wanted was a friend and I was able to give that to him. Not long after I took over his body and now you are too late. My army will be here any second and Midgard will be doomed."
Herbert opens his mouth and a blue wisp leaves his mouth, leaving Herbert passed out and slumped on the ground. Ymir stands next to him looking at ZAPMAN with the same cold eyes as when he possessed Herbert. "Hi, you probably can't see because I'm so small, but why exactly do you want to doom Midgard? Also you speak really good English for some reason" ZAPMAN lights his hand in a shroud of lightning as a beacon for Thrym to see him. Thrym bends down and peers at ZAPMAN, like a scientist looking at an ant under a microscope.
"Oh! You're down there, I didn't see you. You are really  really tiny. Well, small tiny person, this is one of your powers. You can translate all languages. As for why I'm angry, I guess I have time to explain it to you. A long, long time ago I was really smitten with Freya, Queen of the Aesir so I did what any sane person would do. I stole Mjolnir and demanded that I marry Freya in exchange for the return of Thor's beloved magic hammer. As the trade was struck I got ready to marry Freya. Only it wasn't Freya under the veil.... it was Thor! Now I've come to claim my revenge.
"Wait wait wait wait wait... Hold the front door.... You? and He? If I had some coffee, this is where I would spit it out. That is a poor excuse to destroy the Earth. I mean even if it is kind of the ultimate embarrassment. I mean come on can't we just chat about this?" ZAPMAN looks up at Thrym who is on the verge of turning beet red despite the fact he has blue skin. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! My fury will not be denied. Enough talk, my army is here and victory will be swift." Thrym thumps his chest, "Quickly my brothers! Come through the portal!" A beam of light strikes the ground and suddenly Thor is standing triumphantly over the bodies of an army of Frost Giants, grinning from ear to ear like a child on Christmas morning. "Thrym! It is time to end this. I may not have powers but I can still slaughter you."
Thor charges at Thrym and knocks him off balance with a mighty heave. "The mighty Thor is powerless? I don't believe it for a second! You can still fight little God. Which means I can still kill you." Thrym struggles to pick himself back off from the ground but Thor is hammering at his abdomen landing blow after blow.  "Stupid Thor hahahaha your blows mean nothing to me." Thrym's laughter has a hollow echo to it that serves to enrage Thor even more.
ARGH! Thor grabs Thrym by the hair and rips his head off with his bare hands. "There! A trophy for you to gaze at during the night when you sleep." Thor lifts Thrym's head and tosses it at ZAPMAN, "What the- Ew ew ew ew ew! Get it away from me! What the heck is wrong with you?! We don't go around beheading people! It's not cool! This comic is something that should be enjoyable by everybody. What would children think?"
Thor simply smiles, showing his teeth with a twinkle and winking, "They'll think I'm the most beloved hero in all the nine realms and an excellent role model?" ZAPMAN glares at Thor, "No, this is not what a hero does, he doesn't go around showing his enemies' heads as a form of entertainment. Kids are scared of that stuff. It'll make them have nightmares. Just, just- Why? Why would you do that? I can't even right now. To be completely honest if I wasn't so disgusted right now I'd fanboy over you so hard. Ok deep breaths deep breath....."
After ten minutes of hyperventilating and lecturing Thor, ZAPMAN takes his mouth out of his paper bag, his eyes twinkling. "I can't believe you saved me like that! That was so awesome! And horrible! And awesome! I thought you'd be blonder. Or that you'd have little pointy wings. I am digging the scruffy beard though; it makes you like a barbarian. Red hair is a good look on you. Thor holds up a hand and chuckles, "Reports of my appearance seems to be greatly exaggerated ho ho ho. Little pointy wings do not benefit a warrior in the midst of battle? Why would I even have them? These are so truly stupefying questions."
Just then, Warg and Phenex swoop down ready for action, "Hey, long time no see Mark... Wait a minute, I thought you were dead for five years. Most people think you've dead for five years. Including me.    ZAPMAN replies, " Alan, it really is good to see you, you pain in the butt. You too Danny", Warg (Alan) punches Mark in the arm and Phenex (Danny) gives a curt little bow, "I know I called you guys for backup but Thor just showed up out of nowhere and took them all on before I was even done talking with the head Frost Giant.
I knew you guys would be disappointed but hey that's life. It's time to get Bolt Force back together. I know I've got powers now that I never knew I had like duplicating myself and calling upon the memories and powers of Thunder Gods and muscles upon muscles and yadda yadda blah blah, but I can't do everything myself. It's time to get the band back together waddaya say?", ZAPMAN asks. ZAPMAN holds his hand out "I will follow you to the ends of the Earth", Phenex says, placing his hand on top of Mark's.  "Oh! Oh! and... Yule Lord this is directly to you especially...... you can't brutally kill people. No killing".
Warg gives a hrmph and then begrudgingly places his hand on top of Danny's, " Um... It's Warg now. I've changed my name for like the billionth time. Oh what the hell..... You ever tell anyone this I will slit your throat with my claws while you're sleeping, but... I miss you guys. Besides, what else am I going to do with my weekends and Friday nights?" Alan retorts. "Aw yeah boy! Bolt Force is back baby! Whoo! Ok Thor, One last question: If I have the powers of Thor, does that mean I can lift Mjolnir?....."
Elsewhere on the other side of town, Hitler (You blokes have forgotten about him too haven... TCHA?!) enters a secret room in his hideout. "Aaaah.... My pile of gold! I love you more than anything in the world. You're like my babies! I'll groom you when you're old enough to share in my new world order." Hitler is interrupted by a knock on the door. "What do you WANT?!", Hitler screams. "My deepest apologies, but I just thought you would like to know that Thrym has failed in his attempt to freeze the world. Someone stopped him sir." The unnamed man is quivering in his boots, beads of sweat running down his face. Hitler grabs a gold bar and shows the unnamed man the bar like he would an expense and exotic piece of food.
"Good for him. What do I care? See this gold? I stole it from the Incans and the Aztecs and the Mayans. This gold makes me a very rich man. I don't need to worry about such trivial things as who stopped whom. If this man comes after me I will be ready. You forget, fool..... GERMAN SCIENCE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD!"  The unnamed soldier shakily raises his hand, "Sir, If I may.... is German science really the best in the world?" In response to the question, Hitler is baffled. "What?! We have time travel, jetpacks, a bionic dinosaur, and a fro-yo machine! How is that not amazing? Fro-yo is delicious! You need to watch yourself boy, you will not get the chance to talk back to me again"
The unnamed soldier turns to leave as Hitler points his finger outward, "Thank you, sir, this won't happen again I swear it." The soldier can feel tears beginning to flood his eyes as he takes a step towards the doorway. BANG! The soldier falls to the floor and Hitler steps over his body. Hitler blows away the smoke from his metallic hand, " Another miracle of our science, hidden gun fingers. Yes, little soldier, this most certainly will not happen again HAHAHAHAHAHA" Hitler cackles with his gold bar still clutched tightly to where his heart would have been if he still had one.
Greenwood August 21 12:05 A.N. Hitler's Laundromat Not-So Secret Base and Fortress......
Camazotz awakens from his slumber. How long has it been since he had last been asleep? It didn't feel like very long.... Camazotz struggles to get himself out of the strange golden sarcophagus he finds himself in before eventually busting through the strange material with his razor sharp teeth. "That's better, but where am I?"
Camazotz looks around at the facility which had unknowingly been his home for the past 64 years. His stomach growls an unearthly gurgle, it was hungry for the good stuff darn it and it wanted something now. Driven by his desire to satisfy his hunger and his lust for blood, Camazotz zeros in on his target, a young man named Gunter (jolly good name that Gunter). Gunter fails to notice Camazotz swooping behind him, claws outstretched as he destroys all available sources of light. Gunter squints into the darkness trying to see if there was anything watching him.
Two eyes peer back at him, before more eyes slowly open resulting in what looks like a mass of eyes all over a face hidden in shadow. "Hey, who's there? I'm warning you, I know Tai Chi- AAAAAAAH!" Camazotz lunges at Gunter, holding him tightly in his claws. Gunter keeps screaming, desperate to get away from whatever this ungodly creature was. "Hush little child, rest knowing that you will soon reunite with your family in Xibalba and that you have personally served as sustenance for Camazotz, god of Death." Camazotz bites Gunter's head clean off and sucks on his blood for what seems like an eternity to regain his strength. Camazotz smacks his lips as if pondering something, "That was most..... exquisite. Shame about your head though. We could've used it in the ball-courts back in Chichen Itza.
Camazotz is flying through the halls of Hitler's NSSB (Not So Secret Base) when advanced UV raygun turrets knock him to the ground. Within seconds a weakened Camazotz is blinded and captured. Contained in a mesh of steel wiring, plasma, and solar panels which directly transfer energy from the sun, he is brought to Hitler's quarters. "Now, now, gentlemen, no need to be rude. After all we can't have our potential business partner barbequed.... now can we? Release Camazotz and please..... do be gentle about it he has very sensitive skin." Hitler snaps his fingers and three guards release Camazotz from his bindings with what look like ordinary X-ACTO knives.  
"So.... I see my reputation precedes me with you humans. That is most excellent. Now about this business deal?" Camazotz flashes a smile that showcases his many rows of sharp teeth. "Yes, the business deal! Where are my manners? Please make yourself at home. You do not know me but I know of you: Camazotz, feared king of the Vampires and Mayan God of Death. Once the king of the vampires from every culture in the world, you are king no longer.
My name is Adolf and my intelligence reports of a solar eclipse happening today. Now legend has it that this particular eclipse has the ability to grant vampires the ability to survive while in direct sunlight. Your weakness would become your greatest strength. Once that happens you and I can take over the world.  We have until 4:48 P.M. to gather our respective armies and make all the necessary preparations but-"
Camazotz looks at Hitler with his head cocked. "Adolf, I know what is at stake for me and my kind, but what's in it for you? What do you hope to gain out of all of this? Respect? Power?" Hitler barks out a laugh, "I do not need respect. You don't make a name for yourself out of respect. This is my chance to remake the world in my own image. A world of Fire, Blood, and Brimstone. A world where I achieve the ultimate gift: everlasting life, the ability to live forever. A world ruled by total fear." Camazotz nods his head. "I suppose you can't go wrong with fear. Fear is a powerful weapon indeed. I think that we will get along famously, you and I" Oh, why don't you guys just get the secret handshake bit over with already?! This feels like the most twisted version of a bromance in recorded history!
It had been one month since ZAPMAN saw Thor fight Thrym and he was not prepared to fight the Armies of the Night. Far from it- he was brushing up on his knowledge of the Book of Lightning. I remember when I first got this thing. My dad had just died, but there was this package with the words "For you to open when you're ready to learn. I'll think you'll be phenomenal at this.- Love Dad". I was too hurt to open it, so I saved the package for when I thought I was ready.
Unfortunately, I died before I had a chance to look at it to see what was inside. My powers had always operated with a failsafe in order to keep from going full on nuclear lightning mode. A way that was safer everyone, something I could handle. I didn't get that choice though because the thing I was up was something so great, it gobbled up history and spit it back out into something unrecognizable. I tried to fix what I could but it was too much pressure for one person to handle.
So history changed for better or worse and it's all my fault. I wasn't ready for the power and I sure wasn't responsible enough with it. I'm not sure how much has changed from the five years ago I remember. Being unconscious might have something to do with it. I remember Dad had powers similar to mine and was the ZAPMAN before me, but in the original timeline that was it.
All of these other ZAPMEN were members of my family on different realities and different times. There wasn't any Thunder Gods to worry about or whether or not Amanda is still alive or that my dark side wants to see me dead if I don't do what he says. In many ways for all the things that have become goofier in my life, a lot of them have become deadly. So I need to be ready for whatever comes. I have to stop worrying about the past.
I know I messed up but I paid the price for it. The Council of Thunder stripped me of my powers for a whole five years- hopefully there was one in the first timeline- I've got to stop thinking of this as a timeline. This is a different reality. I unmade and remade everything I know. That's got to be the scariest thing about all this.
Before I was human. I was just good ol' Mark Numera in a suit with little lightning bolts and  those stupid brass knuckles I loved so much. I had to take them out after a week because I kept stabbing people with them on accident. Let's just say that gangboss named Mr. Eyepatch? He runs the Outlaws and he's not too happy that I made him into Mr. Eyepatch. Again, I sent him a formal apology letter and some chocolate but I mean, what do you do when you accidently poke someone's eye out and now they're after you?
That was some good times.... Now I'm not sure what I am. I mean I guess I'm energy in the shape of Mark Numera in a suit, I guess? I'm glad to hear my dad's voice though. He's there to help me out they all are.... all 161 ZAPMEN before me. I mean yeah it helps to have guys like Indra and Thor and Zeus and Taranis and Jupiter and Shango and Raijin etc etc etc, but at the end of the day...... Family is what will help you survive when you get lost and you don't know what to do.
Thumbing through the pages to see if he had missed anything, Mark came across an entry by Asim Numera circa 832 A.D. titled QUZAH. QUZAH: Ancient Thunder God of my people. Not much known about him except that he had an artifact known as Qaws Quzah, or Bow of Quzah. A magical bow that can shoot rainbows as arrows. Perfect for destroying nasty ghouls or Djinns.
"Wait a minute, this feels like something Indra would do! Man, thunder gods and their rainbow bows. Go figure." In a clap of thunder Indra appears riding his elephant Airavata. "Hey there little Numera! I heard my name and thought you summoned me to do something awesome! Who are we kidding everything I do is awesome.... and yes, Quzah is secretly my brother. Technically you're not really supposed to have brother thunder gods do different pathenons but Zeus and Jupiter did it, Tlaloc and Chaac did it, why can't I? Anyway I come bearing sweet sweet gifts.
I hope you have a place to store these because here we go. First, Quzah's Bow, not as cool as mine but it'll do. Second, my other bow the Indraastra, which can fire an endless storm of arrows. Third, the Vasavi Shakti, a magical dart that hones in on anything. Fourth, the Anjalika Astra, honestly I'm not sure what this one does.  
Fifth, my Vajra, basically my version of the classic throwable thunderbolt.  I promise the thunderbolt thing is coincedental, don't blame me. Lots of thunder gods have throwable thunderbolts. The more the merrier, right? Anyway, sixth weapon is the mighty Visoshana!" Indra beams, "So, what did you think of my gifts?"
Mark replies, "Well to be honest I think they're cool but Visoshana? The drying weapon? What do I do with it. Is it like a towel. Do I use oxiclean on it and soak up all messes? Like Scrubbing Bubbles or something?" Indra laughs, "The Visoshana is awesome, you'll see." Mark gazes at the Indraasta before wondering out loud, "The Indraastra, where have I heard that before? Maybe it was Naruto?" Indra is puzzled, "I wish I could help you with that but what's Naruto?" Indra leaves just as quickly as he was conjured, once again leaving Mark alone to study the Book of Lightning.
"Mark, are you ok? Are you asleep?" Mark blinks, "Huh? Oh, it's you Tlaloc. No, I wasn't asleep, I guess I just stared off into space for too long. What's up?" Tlaloc turns torwards Mark, "This is a matter of grave importance. Long ago I clashed with a god from another pantheon. Camazotz, the Mayan god of Death."
ZAPMAN snickers, "I'm sorry, but did you just say tater tots? Am I fighting Tater Tots the death god? And how come you aren't speaking like a California hipster surfer dude? Must be pretty serious." Tlaloc bares his fangs, "Focus Mark Numera! He is almost solely responsible for the defeat and eradication of my people. You have no idea how that makes me feel."
Tlaloc takes his mask off, revealing his true face. "I almost lost my brother Chaac to that monster....." Susanoo is accidently summoned and sheepishly bursts into Tlaloc's conversation with ZAPMAN. "Hey, Tlaloc buddy I didn't recognize you there. Oh no he's hot"" Susanoo thinks to himself. Susanoo clears he's throat awkwardly. *cough cough "So, now that I'm here, ZAPMAN, I wanted to tell you that Raijin wanted me to show off his pet Raiju. I figured the little guy could help you on missions. Would you look at the time I need to go check on my hat collection. Yeah that's a good excuse." Susanoo disappears just as quickly as he came, hiding his face with his hat.
A bluish-white wolf springs up and knocks ZAPMAN flat onto his back before taking the shape of a dog, fox, cat, and weasel?.  "Oh cool, another little guy to add to my collection. Thanks Susanoo and tell Raijin that he needs to being so shy! Let's see..... now I've got a snake, an elephant, a thunderbird, and a wolf-dog-fox-cat-weasel... thing. Oh joy. They could start their own ZAP-PET series. I like the gifts really I do, but it's a lot of responsibility on one person." ZAPMAN picks himself off the ground and continues speaking with Tlaloc. "Well, If they're too much to handle just remember that you can rely on the Tlaloque for help." Tlaloc says. Tlaloc snaps his fingers and four figures who look like miniature versions of Tlaloc appear out of thin air.
"Do you need your shoes shined?" one asks. "How about some grapes to snack on if you get hungry?" another says. The last two unable to think of anything to do, bow their heads, "We live to serve you." Mark raises his eyebrows, "Thanks for the offer but I'm not really comfortable with that. Also..... No way. You never told me I had my own personal army of thunder elves! Why didn't you tell me that? I mean this feels like something you should tell me. They could've helped me with my homework and making food." Tlaloc retorts, "They're not a crutch. They like helping way too much and this tends to get problematic. They're not elves either. They're my personal helpers. Besides, you could easily duplicate yourself, but yes they are nice to have around when things get tough Now...." Tlaloc tries to finish what he was saying but ZAPMAN doesn't give him a chance to. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dad. I get it. No bright light, don't get them wet and never feed them after midnight. That being said..... I think they're ready to help kick this Tater Tots guy's butt." ZAPMAN says indignantly.
Inside Hitler's NSSB Camazotz and the Society of Vampires are holding a secret meeting..... Dracula is very worried for his friend ZAPMAN's safety.....
"So.... You're saying that this solar eclipse it can take away our weakness to sunlight? I mean that sounds great and all but I mean is it worth it? I mean you're trusting Hitler. He's a maniac. Are you seriously considering this.?" Dracula asks Camazotz. Camazotz replies, "Are you having a change of heart. You of all people? You once commanded thousands to kill in your name. Why have you changed now.
You are Dracul, son of the Dragon, feared by all who dare to speak your name!" Dracula nervously slouches his back, "Well, maybe I don't want to be feared anymore. I did some horrible things as Dracula and I'm told that I did even worse in my past life. Maybe I'm lucky that I don't remember the life before I became a creature of the night. Maybe I don't want to be a monster anymore!" Dracula turns his back on the society and flies out of the room in his bat form (which is too adorable to take seriously I might add).
Camazotz takes his stand at the podium used by the members raising his mug that says "World's best Grandpa". "So, what say you members of the society? What to do with DRACULA?!" Camazotz half-asks, half-yells the question. "Traitorrrrrrrrr..... Rip hisssss throat out." Count Orlok hisses his answer like he's forgotten how to speak. His yellow eyes, shriveled face, rat-like teeth and black trench coat almost make him look like a a deformed circus freak.
Next came the reply of Soucouyant, the vampiric fireball hag. "I say we burn him in endless fire!" she cackles. The Flame Creatures of Cthuga and the Fire Vampires of Fthaggua murmur their agreement with the fire hag. The Cihuateteo offer a different solution. "Flay the skin from his bones with a thousand obsidian knives." Camazotz shakes his head and it's back to square one. One of the Star Vampires, M'Thothlagarar, quivers excitedly in his seat looking like he might wet his seat. "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! I know I don't have arms but if I did, I'd be raising 'em! Why..... don't we eat him?! That would solve all of our problems!" Everyone audibly groans and Camazotz does what would appear to be a face palm if he had actual fingers instead of claws.
Greenwood City 4:43 P.M. It is now five minutes before the fated solar eclipse.......
ZAPMAN is standing at the front door of Hitler's Not So Secret Base, the Laundromat to Clean Your Nifty Things. "Secret Base Laundromat? Does this guy take me for a sucker? Of course someone wouldn't make their secret base a laundromat..... which is exactly why this Tater Tots would totally make a secret base here! It'd be the perfect cover because no one would stupid enough to think he was here." ZAPMAN enters the laundromat, "Oh Lucy! I'm home! That's weird it looks like no one's here....." Whoops! It looks like ZAPMAN's discovered a secret button inside a Shakespeare statue that leads to the real secret base. "Oh! Cool.... There's little poles to slide down on. Is it bad that it makes me feel like a fireman a little?" ZAPMAN slides down, unaware that he's about to meet someone with a very fault memory and a very personal grudge against him.
"Good..... You're here.... I've waited a long time to meet you..... MR. PIZZA DELIVERY GUY!" Camazotz ushers ZAPMAN closer with his claw. "What? I'm not the pizza delivery guy.... My name's ZAPMAN and I'm here to put an end to your doomsday plot. Which I might add sounds like something from The 7 Golden Vampires. Don't tell me you secretly know kung fu? Did Dracula teach you? You know what? I don' really care enough to find out your answer."
Camazotz's face registers a flicker of recognition. "Wait, ZAPMAN? Why does that name sound familiar? Yes..... You made me miss my pay-per-view luchador match! You want to know how I got these scars?!" Camazotz screams at ZAPMAN. "Not particularly no...." ZAPMAN shoots back. "Well I'll tell you...." Camazotz continues unabated by ZAPMAN's lack of interest. "It was 1952 and I was watching my pay-per-view luchador matches and you came in and messed my face up! I couldn't get any good channels after that." Camazotz is panting heavily with rage. "Wow you look really worked up there. Would it help if I said I didn't do it?" ZAPMAN asks. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Camazotz roars at ZAPMAN, flecks of spittle smear across ZAPMAN's mask and cover his hair with globs of spit. "Ugh! This will take forever to clean out. Alright ugly it's clear talking you to death won't work so let's dance."
All of the sudden, Hitler strolls up like a model on the runaway from a secret back passage. "I couldn't have said it better myself, Herr ZAPMAN. I have also waited to seek my vengeance. You singlehandedly cost me WORLD WAR II!" Hitler fires a torpedo from the back compartment on his robotic arm, narrowly missing ZAPMAN by inches. "Whoa! Listen whatever the others did, I'm sure we can work something out." Hitler and Camazotz continue to move towards ZAPMAN. "Others? As far I'm concerned, there's only one ZAPMAN..... and that's you poor boy. I doubt you can beat us both by yourself" Hitler laughs, undoubtedly sure of his total and complete victory.
ZAPMAN smirks, "You're right. I can't beat you both by myself. I can see you guys brought your army. Luckily for you, I made this a fair fight." ZAPMAN materializes a walkie talkie. "Alright Captain Ryan, Let 'em have it!" Captain Ryan and his men open fire upon Camazotz and Hitler with their jets, the sky becomes swarmed as plane after plane is shot down by each side, desperate to win over the other.
Camazotz takes to the sky with his wings and Hitler follows suit, his mechanical body forms a large jetpack for him to use so that he can fly. "Stupid Jetpack Hitler" ZAPMAN mutters under his breath. ZAPMAN scans the horizon and sees the two escaping into a heavily guarded airship. This wouldn't be a problem for our hero as he could just phase inside. However, just as he was about to, Stardust the Super Wizard of all people showed up and put a hand on his shoulder. "Fear not ZAPMAN...... For you are now in the power of STARDUST!"
"Captain Ryan!" ZAPMAN whispers, "Why did you bring Stardust here? His idea of justice is a bit more flexible than my own. One time he turned members of the Fifth Column into Popsicles and fed them to rats with men's heads. I heard another time he stranded gangsters on an alien planet full of gold only for the gangsters to discover that they couldn't handle the planet's gravity.
Perhaps the scariest thing Stardust's ever done make a guy's head so huge that it swallows the rest of his body. That isn't the worst part though. He chucks the giant into space where it's picked up by this headless "Head-hunter" thing, which then proceeds to swallow the giant head into its own flesh. Stardust is more than a little unhinged, so you have to be really sure about this or people could die." Captain Ryan answers back with a thumbs up.
"Stardust, you don't need to come along if you don't want to" ZAPMAN says. "Oh but I do want to go. I know a thing or two about people not trusting you ZAPMAN. I know you do too. I'm here to prove that I've changed. I'm not the same person I was all those years ago back in the 30s and 40s. Now C'mon, we've got an evil dictator to punch in the face." ZAPMAN and Stardust start picking up speed on their way to Hitler's Airship.
"Pass me a bagel, Atilla. I've never had one and I'm curious to see what they taste like." Stalin says. Atilla passes Stalin a bagel and puts cream cheese on it. "It's quite delicious with this dairy substance on it." Stalin slowly chews the bagel when ZAPMAN and Stardust phase their molecules to gain access to the inside of the airship. "Stalin, Atilla, Genghis, Napoleon, Hitler, jeez. That's a lot of dead people. What are you guys doing here?" ZAPMAN asks. "Eating a bagel. What does it look like?" came Stalin's swift answer.
"No, what are you guys doing here? Like why are you not dead?!" ZAPMAN restates his question. "Oh! Isn't it obvious? We sold our souls for power." Stalin says cheerfully. "And I suppose Rasputin is going to show up too right?" On cue, Rasputin bumbles through music box in hand. "How long were you standing there just waiting for me to speak your name?" ZAPMAN asks. Instead of answering Rasputin puts on music with his boombox and starts breaking dancing. "Ra ra Rasputin Russia's greatest love machine." ZAPMAN switches off the music with his powers.
"No, not cool we're not going through with this Rasputin. No dancing to your own theme song. There there buddy you'll get your chance next time." Attila puts a comforting shoulder on Rasputin's arm. Rasputin pouts and sulks away, slipping his hood over his head. "What's so wrong with dancing? Mother always said I had horrible taste in friends. She never would've let me dance either. You don't deserve my sweet dance moves."  Rasputin moonwalks out of the room and into another hallway.
"So, ZAPMAN where were we? I'm so sorry about Rasputin. He can be quite moody as a side effect of his multiple assassination attempts." Hitler apologizes goes to kick him in what appears to be the groin. "What?" Hitler says clearly shocked. "I know I know. It's wrong to kick someone in the privates, but you don't have any. What you do have is an off-button. Which is conveniently located right where those private bits should be." ZAPMAN triumphantly states matter-of-factly. "No...... this isn't possible!" Hitler doubles over. "I don't know what should make more upset. The fact that you get taken down so easily or the fact that your precious "German Science" is far enough behind to actually have an off switch." ZAPMAN chuckles.
"Hey ho, let's go. Hey ho, let's go. Hey ho, let's go. Hey ho, let's go." With Hitler taken care of, ZAPMAN suspends the rest of the men on board the airship in mid-air. "They're forming in straight line. They're going through a tight wind. The kids are losing their minds. The Blitzkrieg Bop." ZAPMAN sees Captain Ryan and Stardust trying and failing to subdue Camazotz.
ZAPMAN fires a blast of electricity which stuns Camazotz long enough for Stardust to trap him with his anti-mobilizing ray. "Good work ZAPMAN, thanks for having my back. Now let's round up the others. We've got a job to do" Stardust says. One by one ZAPMAN and Stardust start to file people into jail cells. "You think a jail cell is big enough to hold all of us? I was so CLOSE! You haven't seen the last of me! NO PRISON CAN HOLD ME!" Hitler screams in deranged rage. "Where you're going, I should hope so considering there's lots of room. The moment's gone now. You and Camazotz won't be able to achieve immortality because the eclipse is over." ZAPMAN shoves Hitler into a personal holding cell to where he can't move and puts a muzzle on Camazotz in order to prevent him from lashing out.
"Stardust.... I just want to say I was wrong about you. I'm glad to fight by your side." ZAPMAN smiles and offers his hand for a handshake. Stardust gladly shakes Mark's hand vigorously. "No, it's ok. It's just good to be back. Who knows? Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Speaking of new tricks, I've got something I need to show you. I was looking into Hitler's secret base and I found a few people you might like to meet." Stardust and ZAPMAN teleport to what remains of Hitler's secret base. Inside they're greeted by Frankenstein's Monster, Nikolai Tesla, and what appears to be a werewolf and a bionic t-rex.
"Hello there Monsieur, my name is Jerry Stephon and this werewolf here is named Larry. We've been trapped here for a very long time. It's thanks to you that we're able to be free again." The T-rex sticks his good arm out and ZAPMAN shakily extends his own hand before the awkward handshake surprisingly devolves into a fist bump.
"You can talk? But you're a dinosaur. Albeit with bionic parts, but you're still a dinosaur. And you're talking with a French accent. I think I might faint. And Nikolai Tesla! You're my hero!" ZAPMAN starts to gush over how amazing Nikolai Tesla is. "Sir, it's an honor to meet you. I think this is quite literally the best day of my life." Tesla places a hand on Mark's shoulder. "Young Numera, I've spent decades researching the Bolt Force and what it can do. But never before have I seen someone use the Bolt Force's true potential as you have. Truly phenomenal. We have much to discuss you and I, much to discuss indeed..."
Two hours later......
"Hey Mom, I know I graduated college a month ago but I've been thinking. I don't think I want to write stories about ZAPMAN anymore. Or fix cars. So I quit my job at the Daily Volt and my part-time position at Mullets, Motors, and Moshpits. I've applied to be a computer programmer. I just wanted you to know I start tomorrow.
I've got some new roommates so my apartment may feel cramped, bye." Mark leaves a voice mail for his mom filling her in on his recent life events outside of his life as ZAPMAN. Frankenstein's monster, or Frank for short comes up and gives Mark a big bear hug. "Thank you for letting Frank and his friends stay here. Frank likes it here. It's warm and sunny but not too hot. Frank hate fire." Dracula, Tesla, Larry, and Jerry each say their respective thank yous.
"You guys needed a home and I'm more than happy to share. I just hope we don't see Tater Tots, Nos-festering-wound or Space Pirate Captain Orlok anytime soon. I've had enough of vampire fighting for one day." ZAPMAN sheepishly chuckles, "No offense Drac." "None taken Mark. You know what Camazotz said to me before we left? He said that he felt betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Well, just because he turned Orlok and Orlok turned me, that doesn't make us family. As far as I'm concerned, you're my family now." Now it's Dracula's turn to be on the receiving end of Frank's hugs. "Ooh C'mere little vampire, group hug!" Frank stretches out his arms and squashes everyone in a tight hug.
Hi again, Snarky British Narrator here and I would just like to say that this my friends, is how you end a chapter on a heart-warming note. Sadly, I wish I could end the chapter here but dark forces are at work elsewhere........
"Rasputin! Why have you summoned me? You have good news I hope." A shadowy man wreathed in fire appears. Rasputin gets onto his knees and bows, "No my Lord, please forgive me. Hitler has failed in his objective. I called you in hopes of forgiveness." Rasputin continues to grovel at the man's feet.
"Get up off the ground Rasputin. You'll live for another day...... if you bring me Mark Numera. He's cheated death once and he has to pay for it. His soul is worth quite a pretty penny. Oh... and take Anton with you. Do not fail me Rasputin or ZAPMAN will be the least of your worries" The man in flame chuckles gleefully at the prospect of Rasputin's anguish over this decision.
"No, please my lord. Anyone but ANTON I hate that guy. He doesn't like cats. What kind of freak doesn't like cats?! Please.... I beg of you El Chamuco!" Rasputin clutches at the man's robes and his hands catch fire. "Oh, I do love it when you beg but enough is enough. I own you Razzy remember? So you'll do whatever I say. You're not in a position to argue with me." The man in flame creates a portal and vanishes in a ring of fire.
Looks like Rasputin is up to no good. It looks like he's made a deal with the prince of darkness himself El Chamuco, ruler of the demons. How will ZAPMAN get out of this one and what does Old Nick want with our hero? Tune into Chapter 17: House of the Rising Sun to find out! Even though I'm technically snarky and British I have a soft spot for the 4th of July. So happy belated 4th of July everyone!

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Chapter 15: THE RETURN OF DARK ZAPMAN
ZAPMAN is flying through the air tightly clutching a civilian, named Frank, who almost fell off a building. As he is carrying Frank a thought strikes him, a dark and evil thought that ZAPMAN would never have considered: I say  we DROP HIM and see how fast he HITS THE GROUND "What? Why would I do that?" ZAPMAN thinks. You know you want to. Just loosen your grip....... finger by finger, hehehehehe . Almost as if in a trance, ZAPMAN grips Frank unsteadily releasing his fingers from him slowly one by one just as the mysterious voice had said until he was no longer holding Frank.

Frank screamed in sheer terror as he plummeted to the ground, sure of his swift and empty death. ZAPMAN snaps out of his funk long enough to rescue Frank from certain doom an inch from the ground. "Frank, Oh my gosh! I don't know what came over me! Here let me dust you off." ZAPMAN picks Frank up after he falls down and dusts him off but Frank scooches away like a cockroach. "Get away from me you Freak! An' Screw You!”, Frank gives ZAPMAN the middle finger and limps off into the direction of one of Greenwood’s electromagnetic subways…...
A little while later it begins to rain as ZAPMAN is on the trail of the latest of painting robberies within the last few days. His latest findings take him to the Kirby Frazetta and Ross Ditko Museum of Art. Sneaking into the back of the building, Mark surveys the room: Men and women dressed in pinstripe and zoot suits start stuffing several paintings into burlap sacks. 3 guys with Thompson submachine guns, 4 ladies with what looks to me like Kalashnikovs, 2 burly-looking thugs with 12-gage pump action shotguns, and a guy with..... a knife? Seriously? I really like my odds right about now.

ZAPMAN crawls up the ceiling and throws kama at the power switch located at the top of the roof, knocking out the power for the whole building.  He then takes care of the first individual by stringing him up with his Kusarigama, wrapping the man in the kusarigama's chains and then tying them together with the sickle part of the weapon, like a big Christmas bow. "Shh...... just be quiet you make a nice bow. ZAPMAN silently knocks the man's temple into the wall, rendering him unconscious.  One by one, the other robbers fall: a swift kick to the groin, head-butting an iron door, getting a pig-back ride and then subsequently getting stuck to the ceiling, a chandelier falls on top of someone, it's a wonder that no one heard the others until they too had come face to face with ZAPMAN and his deadly crime-fighting weapon.

That is until two idiots got so spooked, that they actually shot each other trying to see if ZAPMAN was near them. No one in the room stood a chance. When the lights finally came back on, the only person left was Mack the Knife. Nobody especially liked Mack the Knife because he kept to himself and took up woodcarving as a hobby. He claimed that it was to keep his temper in check and no one dared argue.

If someone did talk back about Mack, he'd teach that chump a lesson he'd never forget.... by taking him to woodshop class. No one knew what went on in woodshop class and no one wanted to find out. Mack looked around, Giovanni would never let him live this down! All of his best men, were either knocked unconscious (Cannoli, Gia, Rachel, Olivia, Susie, Bobby, and Frankie) or lying in a pool of each other's blood. (Tony and Darrin)."ZAPMAN! I know you're here somewhere! Show yourself you yellow-bellied coward. I'm gonna show you, that you don't mess with the Pinstripes!", Kyle bellows at the top of his lungs.

ZAPMAN leaps down from his perch above, ready for anything. "I'm going to mess you up," Mack pauses before adding, "But Good!" Mack runs towards our hero, signature knife in hand and thrusts it into ZAPMAN's eye. Or, at least, where his eye would be if he wasn't wearing a mask. ZAPMAN, with a calm, almost bored, expression plucks the knife out of his eye, blood seeping from the hole that was already starting to heal itself.

ZAPMAN simply smiles his poop-eating grin smile and shatters the knife in one hand, a crazed look in his eye. "You don't honestly expect it to be this easy do you? You just do your little knife trick and suddenly I'm on the floor screaming in pain over how much pain I'm in? Using the word pain twice was intentional because I'm fine and you my friend, are SOL seven ways from Sunday. Gotta admit you gave me a real eyesore, so why don't you just give up and I promise I won't break you in half? Now, I need some information, do you think you can give it to me?", ZAPMAN asks.

Mack: "Whatever you want to know, I tell just please..."

ZAPMAN: "There's a cooperative henchman. Where's your boss holed up in?"

Mack: "Who? Uh, Giovanni? I don't know I-"

ZAPMAN: "You're lying. I can tell because of your brainwaves."

ZAPMAN grabs Mack by the neck and starts squeezing.

ZAPMAN: "Where is Giovanni?"

Mack: "Please... you're hurting me. Stop.... you're going to kill me.

Just get it over with already.... You know you want to kill him, after all.... what measure is a mook? No one cares for him, they'll be glad when you kill him, it isn't that hard. Just let yourself go.....

ZAPMAN: "No.... not you again, what do you want from me?!"
ZAPMAN releases Mack from his grip and Mack falls to the ground choking and gasping for air.
"You're crazier than I thought!" Mack grabs one of the shotguns and pulls the trigger, blowing ZAPMAN's head clean off. ZAPMAN's head reforms without a scratch, the muscles and bones slowly forming together until finally ZAPMAN's head appeared again a few seconds later. After seeing this, Mack has definitely lost whatever composure he has left. "What the F#$% are you?! What's happened to the real ZAPMAN, he would never try to kill people! Screw this I'm outta here!" Mack runs off, leaving ZAPMAN alone.

Sitting on a rooftop in the pouring rain, ZAPMAN holds his head in his hands, his mind reeling over what just happened. "I lost control.... I can't do that again." ZAPMAN stares into a puddle but he doesn't see his reflection instead he sees a costume similar to his own but with the colors reversed. Better yet, you lost control and part of you LIKED it. "There's that voice again.... but who?" "Oh come on, you should've guessed this by now, Marky boy. It's your old pal, Dark ZAPMAN! SUUUUUUUR-PRIIIIIIISE!"  A bolt of black lightning strikes the sky and Dark ZAPMAN stands before his opposite.  "Just think of me like this..... I'm everything you are, everything you aren't, and everything you WANT TO BE  A dark chuckle escapes from the twisted counterpart's lips.... "I know what you're going to say Mark-o, you'll be all like, but Dark ZAPMAN? GAAAAAAASP! Didn't I destroy you five years ago?! And you did..... kinda .

Y'see, five years ago, you and I did the whole good vs evil final showdown thing  and you locked me away in some alien vault I've already forgotten the name of a million times over. You and that wretched Rokk. So time passes and you end up dying. I should feel elated! Instead, I feel screwed over because you unknowingly warped reality as we know it. You almost erased me from existence... needless to say I was freaking PISSED. It took me 5 whole years to piece myself together from the fragments that were left, fragments which were imbedded in you all this time. When you got rid of that love ray energy last chapter , you unknowingly released me. Thanks for that B.T. dubs

I can't be the only one that's changed because of your reckless actions. I wonder who else has changed? Do they look any different? Which makes me wonder.... what do you think I am this time?
An alien parasite? A genetically engineered clone of you hell-bent on becoming better than you? Or just some guy in costume where you know that if you made those same mistakes you would be no better than him? I'm here to set the record straight Mark Numera, I'm not some alternate reality version of you where everything's all backwards and everyone's evil...... I'm your shadow. C'mon you studied psychology.

Your deepest darkest desires mixed with the parts you keep hidden from everyone else. Except some parts you know don't come from you. Rather, I'm like a soup that's stewed a little toooo long and as a result all that's left is all that NEGATIVITY. All the anger and rage and greed and envy and all the general nastiness, but amplified a bajillion times over. Why am I doing this? Why am I torturing you? It's simple Mark-y and best explained in song form, 'cause I figure if you can do it........... Why the Hell can't I? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Hit it girls!,

Dark ZAPMAN fires a blast of black lightning and suddenly he's dressed in a mirror of ZAPMAN's own "dapper suit" (a yellow jacket, yellow buttoned shirt, a yellow bowtie with a sideways black lightning bolt, yellow dress-pants, yellow tap-shoes with black laces, a yellow top-hat with black band and finished over with a yellow cane with a black handle tip). is surrounded by Can-Can Girls. " Ugh! I should've seen this coming. Can I just say something? Ok here goes, Ha! Looks like SOMEBODY'S been taking too many lessons from Bill Cipher of all people.", ZAPMAN laughs so hard tears come out of his eyes. Dark ZAPMAN shoots him a death glare, "Shut up ASSHOLE, I worked very hard on this and you're not going to ruin my moment, now pay attention this is important!"
Dark ZAPMAN slams his cane down and begins a spotlight clicking on and centering on Dark ZAPMAN, "I've posed for pictures with Iv'ry Soap, I've petted stray dogs and shied clear of dope. My smile is brilliant, my glance is tender. But I'm noted most for my unspoiled gender.  I've been made Miss Rheingold, though I never touch beer, And I'm the person to whom they say, "You're sweet, My Dear."

The only etchings I've seen have been behind glass, And the closest I've been to a bar is at ballet class. Prim and proper, the girl who's never been cased, I'm tired of being pure and not chased. Like something that seeks it's level, I wanna go to the devil. I wanna be evil, I wanna spit tacks. I wanna be evil and cheat at jacks.

I wanna be wicked, I wanna tell lies. I wanna be mean, and throw mud pies. I want to wake up, in the morniiiing with that... dark brown taste.  I want to see some dissipation in my face. I wanna be evil, I wanna be mad.  But more than that, I wanna be baaad.

I wanna be evil, and trump an ace. Just to seeeee, my partner's face. I wanna be naaaaasty, I wanna be cruel. I wanna be daring, I wanna shoot pooool. And in the theateeeeeer, I want to, change my seat. Just so I can step on everybody's feet. I wanna be evil, I wanna hurt flies.

I wanna sing songs, like the guy who criiii-iiii-iiiies. I wanna be horrid, I wanna drink booze. And whatever I've got, I'm eager to looooooose. I wanna be evil, little eeeeevil me. Just as mean and evil as I can beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Ha-cha-cha!"

"So.... what you're like evil just for the sake of being evil. Don't you enjoy anything in life?"
"Well, there was One  thing that brought me joy...... I'll never forget Kitty Girl. She was good to you.... that's why she had to go. So I figured I'd kill her to the theme song of something that no one would suspect to be a murder song, the theme song of Happy Days. Y'know the one that goes "Sunday, Monday, Happy Days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days, Thursday, Friday, Happy Days, the weekend comes, my cycle hums, I come runnin' home to yooou" Anyway, I killed her and took her place.

After you two broke up that wasn't a clone you were dating all those years ago..... that was ME. Oh yes, that's right..... "I know a thing or two about her, I know she'll only make you cryyyyyy.... She'll let you walk the street beside but when she wants she'll pass you byyyyyy... Everbody she's lookin' good and the lady knows it's understood, Strutter.." I guess it would make matters worse if I told you it was me who got your dad killed wouldn't it? HehehehehooohooohooohoooHAHAHHAHAHAHA You should see the look on your face right now! You look absolutely DEVASTATED! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-URK!
ZAPMAN grabs Dark ZAPMAN and summons a lightning bolt to strike them, teleporting the two men away from anyone who could spy on them fighting. Just then, Father Amelio entered St. Lightning Church, went into the room opposite of ZAPMAN, and switched the record on his record player. Soon, music filled every nook and cranny of the church. ZAPMAN teleports them onto the top of a chapel and they crash down through stained glass both of them still holding onto each other.

"You saw me crying in the chaaaaaapel..... The tears I shed were tears of joy."
Dark ZAPMAN: "A church.... hehehehe, out of all places...... how pitifully fitting, because  this is where I take you over completely as you get consumed by emotions. All that's going to be left of you is an empty husk. I'll drain you dry and your powers will be mine. I'll reshape the world in my own image.
ZAPMAN: "Good... I wouldn't want to live in a world made to look like someone so ugly."
ZAPMAN punches Dark ZAPMAN in the jaw with enough force to shatter it. Dark ZAPMAN just cracks it back in place with a sickening SNAP.

"I know the meaning of contentment, Now I'm happy with the looooord. (ooooh ooh ooh.)
ZAPMAN: You're a really sick freak you know"
Dark ZAPMAN: You know that flattery gets you.... NOWHERE!
Dark ZAPMAN wraps Mark in tendrils of black lightning, leaving him unable to escape.

"Just a plain and simple chaaaapel, where humble people go to pray.... I pray to the Lord, that I'll grow stronger (aaaah aah aah) As I live from day to day (aah aah aaaaaah)."
ZAPMAN kicks Dark ZAPMAN in the shin, momentarily stunning him and giving him enough time to escape.

"I've searched (I've searched) and I've searched (I've searched) but I couldn't find.... no way on Earth to gain peace of mind.... "

Dark ZAPMAN rips a cross from the wall and impales Mark, SHINK! straight through the chest. Mark can't catch his breath in time, HISSSSS! and stumbles clutching tightly to Dark ZAPMAN. Blood spatters Dark ZAPMAN's costume (his normal costume, not the tux, don't touch the tux).where Mark touched him a handprint outlined in red.

"Now I'm happy in the chaaaapel, (chaapeeeel) where people are of one accord (one accord), Yes, we gather in the chapel, just to sing and praise the lord."

Dark ZAPMAN: I bet you HATE me right now, I took everything from you.
ZAPMAN: On the -ARGH- contrary, I don't hate you. I took a look inside your twisted mind and came to the conclusion that even someone as awful as you has feelings. Besides, I could never hate something that's a part of me I also know that stuff you said about killing Kitty Girl is a lie. True, you took her place but you didn't kill her. You loved her almost as I did, but I've moved on. The only people you've killed were a hotdog guy who didn't give you relish and five inmates who were already on death row.....

"You'll search (you'll) and you'll search (you'll search) but you'll never find (never find) no way on earth to gain peace of mind"
Dark ZAPMAN: Y- you mean that, you big dodo head?
ZAPMAN: "Of course, you did tons of bad stuff but all you wanted was attention. You didn't want to be shut out so you went to the extreme. It's true I have difficulty expressing myself emotionally, but if I need to cry, I should cry. I shouldn't hold it in and blame you for stuff like Dad's death and Kitty Girl disappearing. I mean you might be evil but you wouldn't want that, you just want to teach me a lesson.

ZAPMAN lifts the cross from his chest and pulls causing the cross to fall with a thud.
Dark ZAPMAN: F-f-f-final lesson, Marky boy. I know you want to save everybody you're a people pleaser, you've got the power to do so too, but that's wrong. Sure, you could bring people back to life but what would that solve? It'd raise more questions instead of finally put answers to rest. Do it for me..... Do it for.... ACK! Wait! Wait, wait, wait, wait waaaaait! Not dead. One last thing, You can't please everybody, no matter how hard you try
ZAPMAN: "Whatever you did, I forgive you. I need to accept the darkness and move on from all of that tension I've holding inside.
Dark ZAPMAN: "Don't forget.... you hold it in and I'll be back to cause some havoc hahahaha"
Mark hugs Dark ZAPMAN who disappear in a blinding flash of lightning, presumably to take residence back in Mark's psyche.
"Take your troubles to the chaaaaaaapel (chaaaaaaaaaapeeeeeeeeelllllll), get down on your knees and praaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy (knees and praaaaaay), then your burden will be liiiiiiiighter (aah aaaah aah aaaaaaah) and you'll surely fiiiiiind the waaaaaaaaaaaaaay (and you'll surely find the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay)."
ZAPMAN is now left by himself. his knees weak, ZAPMAN falls to ground sobbing hysterically hitching his breath and choking between gasps of air. Eventually able to compose himself, Mark gets on his knees and clasps his hands together, "Hey God? It's me, Mark...... We've got an awful lot of catching up to do....."

Elsewhere at the Totally Not Hitler's Secret Base Laundromat, Hitler emerges from his chamber. Or rather Hitler's head. His body had long since been destroyed by the very occult energy he had hoped to harness to win World War II. Since those times he had kept hidden by blatantly revealing his secret base to others. No one had really expected the laundromat to be his secret base because it had a sign on the front. "Surprised to see me, gentlemen? Oh, and hello Stalin I see you came out of your cryogenic chamber. Yes, yes, I have just because I have an accent doesn't mean that it has to make words unpronounceable, let's move on. Now, what did you want to show me that would help with our conquest of the world?" Hitler's mechanically body gingerly plops down on a couch and sticks his feet up on a coffee-table while looking at secret files.  "Garbage, garbage, garbage, horrible, horrible, Ooh! what is this?" Hitler picks up the file and reads the top: Operation Black Sun. "Yes, this will do nicely, we just have to wake up Camazotz and soon..... the world will fall and a new one will rise up in its place!
What is Operation Black Sun? Who is Camazotz? Why does Hitler have such a stupid Secret Base? All of this will be revealed and more in...... I See a Black Sun Risin' That Means The End of Times is Niiiiiigh.....

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Chapter 14: LOVE POTION NO. 9
Friday.... a regular day for most folks but it's the one day that Doctor Heath plots something nefarious.... the rest of the time he just writes poetry and binge-watches Netflix.... It's also Cinco de Mayo! WHOOOHOOOO
He's already busy at work in his cell when ZAPMAN arrives....

"Ah! ZAPMAN, you're here early! What a surprise, and you brought me some toffee! Can't go wrong with toffee." Doctor Heath goes to go take a toffee bar but ZAPMAN yanks it away, "Cut to the chase Heath, we both know you have something up your sleeve, you always have something up your sleeve, especially on FRIDAY. "

Doctor Heath looks playfully dejected, "Ok ZAPMAN, you caught me. I've been planning this one since Valentine's Day because I was never able to get anyone to spend time with me so I thought wouldn't it be neat-o if I made something that would make people fall in love with me? But then I thought well, what if I made random people fall in love? So I did some experiments and let me tell you chap, they were not pretty. I mean a hamster and a dog? That's some icky territory over there that is. After a couple of days, I wanted to scrap the whole thing, but then I had a terrible (and by terrible I mean terrible for you) idea. What if I made  everyone fall in love with you?! It'd be my ultimate vengeance for my pride and dignity which you so heartlessly destroyed b-", ZAPMAN interrupts Heath with his own counterpoint

"Wait hold up, if you're saying that you have this, thingamajig you have to make everyone fall in love with me, wouldn't that mean you'd fall in love with me too UGH!" ZAPMAN makes a fake vomiting noise.

"Well, Mr. Green-in the-gills, I've already thought of that like the brilliant mad scientist I am. I've made myself immune via a surgical implant microchip. That reminds me, I owe Gladys the lunch lady ten bucks for helping me put it in. Oooh I can't wait any longer! I'm just going to show you! Behold and tremble  before the terrifying power of my-"

"You made a love gun?" ZAPMAN is dumbstruck, staring at a piece of machinery with a panel in the back that allowed for typed out commands. The device was adorned with little circular nozzles at the center of the slender beam filled with a pinkish glow. No doubt from an undisclosed source of power. "Say, uh, Heathbar, what powers this thing anyway? Wait- don't tell me, it's powered by your love for donuts, is that it? Or nachos?" ZAPMAN asks.
Heath: "Well if you must know it's powered by  uranium-32. Now hold still so I can fire it on you!
ZAPMAN jumps around dodging laser fire, singing to keep Heath's guard down.

ZAPMAN: "Love gun, Looove gun, LOVE GUUUUUUUUUN"

Heath: "Will you just sit still?!"

ZAPMAN: "Wise men say only fools rush in. But I can't help, falling in looooove with yooooou.  ZAPMAN shapeshifts into a version of Elvis' Jumpsuit and Pompadour complete with gold sun glasses, "Thank yew! Thank yew very much!"

ZAPMAN: "I was made for lovin' you baby, you were made for lovin me!

Heath "Stop it."

ZAPMAN "Make me you diabolical crazy man you" ZAPMAN flashes his trademark grin and jumps onto the celling and clings there (via electromagnetic attraction), being mere inches from being hit by Dr. Heath's machine.

ZAPMAN" Whoo! That was close, wouldn't you say so? Better luck next time dude, you'll get it."

Heath: Don't call me dude. I'm not a dude. I'm a well-respected and accomplished scientist who just so happens to specialize in things that most other people wouldn't dream of doing, thank  you very much." Heath gives a distinguished little huff at the of his sentence.

ZAPMAN: "Sure you are and what am I?"

ZAPMAN "Callin' Dr. Love, I got the cure you're thinkin' of. Callin' Dr. Loooooove!"  ZAPMAN shifts his form, this time into Space Man Ace Frehley complete with makeup, "I'm back in the New York Groove, man."

Heath: "Stop it! Stop it right now!"

ZAPMAN: "Aw! Did the big bad man get his feewings hurt? Do you want me to stop?"

Heath: "Yes, very much so." Doctor Heath bites his lip and looks to be on the verge of tears.

ZAPMAN: "But I'm psycho for your love" ZAPMAN starts dancing while continue to dodge laser fire.

ZAPMAN: "I'm just a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love."

ZAPMAN: "Do you love me, like do you really, really love me?"

ZAPMAN: "When you smile I see stars in the sky, when you smile I see sunrise. And I know what you want me to do. Oh, I've got hearts and flowers for you. This would be a good song for Cyclops A.K.A. Scott Summers if he wasn't such a major bummer Oh Jean, oh Jeeean, oh Jean, Ooooooh JEEEEEEAN!"  ZAPMAN shapeshifts yet again for a third time, transforming into Angus Young's schoolboy uniform and little cap, "Oooh! This feels so FREEING! I wonder what I could do with this thing on?!"

Heath: "Stop it right now! all that shapeshifting is making me sick!"
ZAPMAN: "If I stop, do you promise to love me tender?"

Heath: "That DOES IT, ya BUGGER! I got you now! MWAHAHAHAHA EEEEEVIL LAUGH!" Heath backs ZAPMAN into a corner.

ZAPMAN: "And I've... got breath mints for you to snack on because your breath smells rank." ZAPMAN jumps over the Love Ray Gun and leaps toward Doctor Heath, forcibly shoves breath mints down his throat.

Heath: "Ack ack! It's too much! Breath becoming.... mintier! Life flashing before my eyes!" In his flailing about, Doctor Heath accidently hits the self-destruct feature on his love ra- ahem, gun. Who would even put a self-destruct button right next to the fire button?!

Heath: "You fool! You'll destroy us all with your meddling!"

ZAPMAN: "You still can't just be a grownup and take responsibility for your own actions can you? OH NOES! This is horrible..... I've ran out of love-related MATERIAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!" ZAPMAN leaps to his feet and shoves Doctor Heath out of the way, shielding him from the blast as the Love Gun goes off with a loud KABOOOOOOOM!

"Note to self- *cough cough- use more sound effects in the comic book. Anyway, same time next week Heathbar? UUUUUUUH! ZAPMAN weakly holds his hand up before promptly falling down backward with a loud THUD!


ZAPMAN dusts himself off and picks Doctor Heath up by the collar.
Heath: You know, ZAPMAN, while I truly do appreciate you saving my life and all, really from the bottom of my heart, I have places to be so-"

ZAPMAN: "Start talking: What failsafe did you install in case that thing blew up?"

Heath: "What failsafe? Why would you accuse me of such a-" Doctor Heath starts spluttering but ZAPMAN cocks an eyebrow with his free hand on his hip. "Ok you caught me, I knew of your energy absorption abilities and I took advantage of them. Even if I couldn't land a hit on you, I knew you would unconsciously absorb the energy stored within my brilliant machine so now it's only a matter of time before this entire city comes looking for you now that you're a pheromone magnet. If you don't find a way to get rid of all that excess energy... you're going to be a walking time bomb. Or should I say, LOVE BOMB?! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA EEEEEEVIL LAU- woah!" ZAPMAN flings doctor heath and he lands safely in the back of a police car. ZAPMAN releases a huge beam of energy into the sky getting rid of the pheromones that had only seconds before been inhabiting his body.

ZAPMAN: " Whew! That was an easy enough fix. Good Evening, Captain Laxly. Long time no see!"

Captain Commissioner Laxly: "I know! Good to see you too ZAPMAN. It's actually Police Commissioner now. Hard to believe it's been five years seen I've seen you! You look.... taller, and did you do something with your hair? It smells.... nice.


ZAPMAN: "Ha ha yeah. I better be going now" ZAPMAN leaps onto a building and swiftly climbs it, then leaps onto another building. Jumping off of the rooftop of the second building, ZAPMAN swings off of a lamp-post and disappears off into the distance......

A black inky substance slithers its way into an alley, until it takes the form of ZAPMAN's costume, except the colors are inverted.  "Been a long time, never thought I'd ever see this hellhole ever again heh. Thanks again Marky boy. hehe You've really done me a solid. hehehehhaha The mysterious figure turns around almost as if he knows he's being watched.... What are you looking at? Yeah you at the computer screen. suddenly the view is shifted almost as if a camera gets knocked. The mysterious figure bends down toward the "camera", and tilts his head, I can SEE YOU!  hehhehe hahahaha- AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  An uncomfortable silence follows the man's uncontrollable fit of laughter.

Everything fades to black as the only sound left is his mocking laughter, a grim reminder of evil and the darkness yet to come.


Could this be the return of DARK ZAPMAN?! Find out what he wants..... Next Chapter of The PHENOMENAL ZAPMAN! I better get out of here before he finds me. Warning to those of the faint of heart: We're kicking things up to ELEVEN next chapter!

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Chapter 13: Star Spangled War Stories Part 3:  FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (AND MAYBE A TEENY TINY HYDROGEN BOMB, YOU'RE WELCOME)
"Hold it Mark, before we do this we have to set the mood, this was your Grandpa's favorite song" A.T. switches Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy out for another record and puts the needle on as Slim Gaillard expresses his undying love for potato chips: "Potato Chips, how my mouth just drips, Potato Chips, how my mouth just drips. Crunch, crunch, I don't want no lunch all I want is Potato Chips...."

1952: BOSQUE VERDE, the Home of famous luchador and superhero, Francisco  Carlos Numera, otherwise more famously known as ZAPMAN: EL LUCHADOR DEL RELÁMPAGO!
ZAPMAN is currently stopping an armored truck getaway....
"Come on out and I'll go easy on you guys. Wait! Don't drive away! You're really not making this easy on me!" ZAPMAN runs after the truck at blazing speed and suddenly stops in front of the truck. Not expecting him to suddenly stop, the truck driver slams on the brake and Francisco sticks his laced boot out and stomps hard onto a part of the engine hood, flipping the car over and sending it somersaulting into a large field of grass.

Francisco goes to inspect what the occupants of the armored car might have stolen when as he opens the door he is greeted by sound of laser gun fire! With no time to think, ZAPMAN rips off the steel doors from the back of the truck and moves upwards to the front of the vehicle, using the steel doors as shields from the laser fire. "HAHAHAHAHA Yes keep firing it won't help I'll take you ALL ON! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" Francisco's laughter rings out, meant to strike fear into the hearts of the criminal showing them that he wouldn't back down because he didn't feel fear or pain. Sure enough, that did the trick and one by one the armored truck assailants surrender their weapons at ZAPMAN's feet, saying "Please don't hurt us!" while being hauled off to jail.

A boy of about ten years old comes up to ZAPMAN excitedly showing him a picture that he had taken of ZAPMAN during one of his wrestling matches with other luchadors. "Could you sign this please ZAPMAN? My name's Enrique and I'm your biggest fan!" At that, ZAPMAN breaks into a broad grin, "Why, of course my little amigo, I didn't know I had a fan, let alone my biggest one!" After signing Enrique's photo, Francisco lifts him onto his shoulders and gives him a piggyback ride all over town, stopping for ice cream. After all, how can you argue with your el más grande admirador?

"So is it true ZAPMAN, that you got your powers from the Hydrogen bomb they detonated earlier this year?" Enrique asks, hoping to get some juicy details. ZAPMAN just chuckles, "Well that's one part of it Enrique. You see, I was visiting my family for Dia De Los Muertos and I got attacked by a vicious cult who planned to sacrifice me to Tlaloc, the Aztec god of lightning and thunder. However, it did not go as planned and Tlaloc himself came down and punished the cult by killing everyone in the room except for me. He told me that I was worthy of his power and he struck me with lightning in the shape of a snake and I passed out when its fangs sunk into me.

I awoke hours later, unsure of where I was when I heard a loud explosion.... I was in the epicenter of that bomb and no one knew. Fortunately, I found out I had the power of flight and fly I did, all the way home like a bird's internal migration. It felt effortless and natural and also a little disturbing but I enjoyed it very much... for a time. My family was struggling financially so I sought a way to support them, but what could I do that made use of my special talents? That's when I discovered that there were local Lucha Libre tournaments! I could easily win money doing something I actually enjoyed because Lucha Libre is a hobby of mine. Of course, that was over 2 months ago so I haven't had much practice. Say, how would you like to be my sidekick?!" Enrique looks stupefied and then slowly it dawns on him, "Really? De Verdad? You want me to be your sidekick?! This is everything I've ever dreamed of!"
Later, when Enrique gets his own costume....
ZAPMAN and Enrique shake hands commemorating their status as superhero and sidekick as they get their picture taken by many photographers and the Daily Volt is busy printing out their latest headliner "ZAPMAN AND SPARKY: Newest Duo to Take on Crime!"

In the ten years that follow, no one could have suspected how popular ZAPMAN would become. Instead of just being known in the city of Greenwood, his exploits became known all over the world, translated into dozens of languages. ZAPMANMANIA shook the world with ZAPMAN Comics, ZAPMAN Novels, ZAPMAN Action Figures, ZAPMAN Movies, Film Serials, Mugs, CDs, Limited Edition Bendy Straws, Plates, Halloween Costumes.... but the fame had a price. Everyone saw Francisco not as a professional Wrestler but a sell-out, not as a Superhero but a panderer to the crowds. No one took him seriously and he wasn't able to find any other work because everyone wanted to take advantage of him for autographs, backstage passes, secret tours of his home. He was tired of it, tired of being a celebrity and longed for a life where he could just save people for once instead of being paraded around like some circus animal. He just wanted to make a difference with his powers but somehow someone had got the right to use his name for products and suddenly he was on everything from popcorn wrappers to dish soap and sponges.

Francisco thought back to Enrique as tears stung his eyes. He would be about twenty now.... if he had lived to see it. Many people told ZAPMAN that Enrique's death was not his fault, but it was, it had to be. Because ZAPMAN took him on as his apprentice fully knowing that they both might get killed, and he let Enrique be his sidekick anyway. Enrique should have been able to go to high school, get married, but now? None of that was possible. If ZAPMAN had just been a little faster... his death could have been prevented.  

It was 1958 and Enrique had been ZAPMAN's sidekick for 6 years when Atomik, one of ZAPMAN's most dangerous enemies because he could shoot atomic blasts, melt people's faces off, and bend steel in his bare hands. What ZAPMAN didn't know is that when they met that day, Atomik could detonate people without even touching them... and as his final vengeance.... he imploded Enrique from the inside...
Luckily ZAPMAN was able to get Enrique away from the general population and prevented anyone else's death. Francisco thought to himself over and over, "What if?". But there was no what if and there never would be because there was no way ZAPMAN could've known....

At the funeral Francisco hired Chuck Berry to play Johnny B. Goode as a tribute to his fallen friend. But as he looked at what was left of his friend, a charred body, devoid of hair, and missing a leg and a couple of fingers? Well, that was the final straw.... no more ZAPMAN. Francisco had hung up the cowl ever since that day, finding work as a local mechanic named "Biff". Fixing up people's cars proved relaxing enough to the point where Francisco was able to take his mind off of Enrique "Sparky" Balcázar for the time being. He still could not bring himself to accept Sparky's death and would not for several years to come.

So there Francisco was, in 1962, in a bar drinking his troubles away to the song "Tequila" by the Champs (which is kind of ironic because he can't get drunk), when in walks JFK! Kennedy says he has a special assignment for ZAPMAN in case things get worse with the Soviet Union and JFK needs a way to keep the tensions low. Someone who can go behind the scenes and prevent things from escalating too quickly. How could Francisco say no?

For the next couple of months, he trained to the song Misirlou by Dick Dale. Francisco practiced until he was able to shoot tiny beams of lightning that could slice through metal like laser beams. He practiced until his arms felt like they were going to fall off because he was carrying 3 sets of 20 ton bags on both shoulders. Francisco timed himself running from Greenwood all the way to New York: 4.2 seconds.  He would have to do better if he was going to be able to stop whatever was coming, strength, precision, and speed wouldn't be enough. Francisco would have to be stealthy, maybe even make up a new power. Was that even possible?

Eventually the time came that Kennedy had need of him. The Cuban Missile Crisis had begun and the Soviet Union was aiming its sights on the U.S. from the missiles it had planted in Cuba. So Francisco set off Cuba taking to the skies humming "I'm coming home baby now" by Mel Torme (the most spy-like song he could think of). "The kids these days are interested in some sort of Solar fellow or Spider guy or something. I'm more of an afterthought. Maybe this will help me be a real héroe again."

ZAPMAN lands on a nearby beach in Cuba and begins trying to persuade generals to move away from the blockade.....
"Excuse me? I need you all to turn your boats around! You're getting too close to the naval barrier President Kennedy has around the United States! nothing I do is getting through to them!" ZAPMAN isn't able to persuade them so he turns to other tactics. Concentrating hard, ZAPMAN focuses his attention on one of the captains aboard the boat he was shouting at. "What the- I can read his thoughts. I know what he's thinking! Talk about science fiction level stuff. I wonder... if I can read his mind.... can i control it? Here goes...."

Hiding in a bush, ZAPMAN secretly snaps his fingers and the Captain is under his control via his. Using the Captain as a mouthpiece, ZAPMAN relays his "orders". "Stand back men, this guy is a dangerous superhero! He's liable to fry us without so much as a look 'cause of his lightning eyes! Oh, and he has one of the most dangerous abilities known to man! Uh, telekinesis that increases on a ten-hour radius, yeah that's it. Every ten hours his telekinesis grows stronger! When he first used it, it started out small but now he can lift our missiles and send them back at us and move mountains and, uh all sorts of crazy physics-defying stuff! We all better just turn these ships around or that President of theirs is sure to send him after us! Quickly now! We don't want to get decimated do we?!" The Captain screams in desperation like a little girl while everyone else sheepishly replies no sir and begins turning their boats around.

Afterwards, Francisco is awarded special recognition for his part in the Cuban Missile Crisis and is able to return to his old life with his confidence as a superhero restored, with Kennedy promising to help him get back on his feet in whatever way possible. Francisco later went on to win several heavyweight championships in Lucha Libre and found the superhero team Bolt Force before his retirement in 1974 to help take care of his 5-year old son Nathaniel Numera in 1974. He had left quite a mark on the world when he passed away at the age of 45, having been personally responsible for the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the defeat of giant kaijus like Todoroki and his successful campaign to highlight the dangerous consequences of nuclear weapons and their effect on the environment using Enrique as an example and living proof of their destructive capability. That isn't to say that nuclear power didn't have benefits, but it was clear that after the death of Francisco Carlos Numera, the Atomic Age was at an end and the Dark Age was beginning......

Atomic Thunderbolt finishes his story....
"So what did you think of my story Mark? Pretty exciting stuff, huh?" Atomic Thunderbolt says through mouthfuls of his banana split, suddenly ravenously hungry. Probably because he spoke so much. "I enjoyed the story, it was a little sad though. Poor Enrique...." Mark lowers his head as he thinks what Enrique would've been like had he have lived to the present day. "Well I thought my story was better." Captain Future pipes up, adding in his 2¢. Pyroman slumps his shoulders and smiles apologetically, "Wish I had a story to tell you Mark, but I didn't write any down." They all laugh and finish eating their banana splits while playing Bingo before ZAPMAN has to leave to go check on Doctor Heath to make sure he was still in his jail cell....

Meanwhile at the  Greenwood City St. Jupiter Super Villain Rehabilitation, Treatment and Reform Center...
"Yes, I'm still in my jail cell you brainless boob! It's where I've been ever since you brought me here! Honestly, the nerve of you sometimes is BEYOND MY UNDERSTANDING!" Doctor Heath sighs and begins again, "I'm sorry ZAPMAN, Old Boy, I just need to get a grip on things, you know? Some rest and peace and quiet will do me good don't you think? I'm glad we had time to talk." "Yeah, listen don't do anything dangerous and I'll take you to the movies.", ZAPMAN says. Just have to make sure they restrain you. Aaah it feels good to break the 4th wall again after not doing it for so long. Sort of like stretching after a long nap. ZAPMAN exits through the door of the facility after saying goodbye to Heath and his psychologist, the nurses, and various other staff that work in the GCSJSVRTRC. "The FOOOOOOOL hehehehe!" Dr. Heath rubs his hands together, "He doesn't know my Love Ray is almost complete!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA EEEEEEEEEEEVIL LAUGH! Ooh! that was a bit too much even for me."

Doctor Heath's Love Ray? What is he planning? How will ZAPMAN stop him? How does it involve pickles?! It doesn't. We were just messing with you. Have a nice day.

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Chapter 13: Star Spangled War Stories Part 2: I Can Do This All Day
"Sorry for startling you like that. ZAPMAN, why don't you come inside? You must be soaking wet!" ZAPMAN heads inside with Captain Future. "The rain doesn't bother me much Captain Future- I mean Mr. Bryant- I mean Dr. Bryant- I mean Dr. Mr. Bryant. Ugh I'm sorry I guess I'm just a little out of it today."  Just then Atomic Thunderbolt's face perks up. "Well y'know what helps me after a tough day? Listening to good ol' tales of justice!-"

Captain Future interjects, "Oh no you don't WILLIAM, You went last time. It's my turn to tell young ZAPMAN here of his family's daring exploits." Atomic Thunderbolt's real name is William "Wily the Willy the Wharf Rat" Burns. "But Andyyyyy...." Atomic Thunderbolt looks at his longtime friend sullenly. "No buts William. You can go next though. Now, Mark this is a War Journal from your Great-Grandfather Charles Thaddeus Numera during World War II." Bryant gingerly hands Mark the journal, fearing that it would break if he used too much of his super strength.
The journal is black save gold trimmings on the title of the journal "Property of C.T. Numera". It didn't look like much but was filled with dozens of illustrations of things that would have made Flash Gordon blush. Guns and other various superweapons of all sizes, no doubt dismantled by the very hands that drew them. One of Charles' annotations caught Mark's eye: "Gee, that Sun Gun would've given America the worst summer tan!"  "What's this one about Mr. Bryant? Some kind of Sun Gun? Sounds kind of cool"

Mark hands the journal back to Captain Future who inspects it more closely. "Heeey! I remember this! This is when Charles and I first met. I hadn't known much about him so I was a little skeptical of this "ZAPMAN" who had supposedly gotten his powers via magic. Especially in the '40s magic was looked down as something that occultists or witches practice. But we needed all the men we could if we were going to win the war......
To set the mood he put on Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters, "He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago Way

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: March 1st 1941:
I got my powers on July 4th 1920 at age 15. It's now the year nineteen fourty-one. I've had my powers for some 21 odd years and I've still no clue as to how they work. On that day I was just some stupid teenager looking for something fun to do for the fourth of July.. Well I got more "fun" then I bargained for.

I entered the voodoo shop not sure what I'd find but then I got sucked up into some magic mishap involving some sort of stone and suddenly I'm a human lightning rod. What did that Swamp Queen call it? Bound to the soul of Shango.  He's some sort of Vodou god of lightning or something. She said that when I touched it I absorbed his powers (he had sealed them away in that stone, leaving him powerless to protect his people until someone "worthy" came along).

Any way you slice it human lightning rod or conduit of some foreign god, it lets me do things like turn invisible or phase through walls or charge guns with electrified bullets (they're not really bullets just electrical constructs I made to look like bullets, I would never take a life). Now flying? That would be a cool power. Seems to be one of the few I don't have. I can lift tanks and outrun cars but I can't fly?  Good Grief, gimme a break.

Still, with all the powers I do have , I  should be able to help America win if it ever does decide to go to war right? That's part of the reason why I'm signing up for the draft today, it's a chance to flex my powers. The other part? I get to make America look good and do my part in "Making the World Safe for Democracy" as Wilson would have put it. Never did like the guy but he did good work. Now Hoover? He was even worse. I lived through both and I have to say I'm all the stronger for it and so is America. We both rose through our hardships to become greater than we already were...

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 7th 1941:
Today Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. Countless lives were lost. Still wasn't as bad as September 1st 1939. Germany invaded Poland and actually succeeded. Still, I never expected the war to get so bad that the Axis would be able to gain an advantage on our home front. On Hawaii no less! I actually kind of liked Hawaii. I heard it's nice in the summer. More importantly, today is the day America goes to war. Things don't look good but hopefully I can do something about it. If not me then who? Someone's got to do what's necessary to make sure people all over the world are safe, and I'd go so far as to say I'm the star spangled man with a plan....

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 2:20 P.M.
It's been 14 days since the bombing of Pearl Harbor and already intel has come flying in about a dangerous superweapon called the Sun Gun. A weapon of mass power capable of frying the United States. So naturally Uncle Sam has developed a team capable of stopping the Sun Gun before it even gets built. People like me, Captain Future, Fantomah,  and Stardust the Super Wizard. A four-man (and woman) band capable of handling threats and righting wrongs too big for one person..... I'll get back to you on the name.

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 5:20 P.M.
It's now been 3 hours since we were briefed on the Sun Gun and I'm on my way to Berlin with three people I'm starting to come to know. Kind of scary but hey, I make friends easily. I instruct everyone to hold hands with each other and they look at me like I have a case of malaria. I think Fantomah wants to murder me in my sleep, I can't tell because when she does that skeleton-face thing it looks like her face is locked in a permanent grimace.

We hold hands and dive into the side of building, my molecular phasing is able getting us through the lasers and turrents that guard the facility we're currently in. The locals call it Sonne Fabrik, which in English means "Sun Factory". Kind of fitting considering scientists in here are building something that uses the sun, and a giant reflector machine in order to vaporize cities on a whim. I pitch a name for the group as the Four Comrades but I gave up as I realized there was already a group with that same name...... Oh well I guess.

We split up into groups of two as our paths diverge. Soon two SS officers are on our tail yelling things like " Stoppen Sie dumme Amerikaner!" I shoot them quickly with my ZAP-Gun using just enough electricity to stun them. Captain Future shares his thanks and clasps my shoulder firmly, a bond of brotherhood is beginning to form. The good captain has but a few precious moments before he returns the favor by flying up and sabotaging turrets that were hidden into a secret panel in the walls, ripping up the wall panel with his super strength. Wires crackle with sparks showing where a huge hole is left behind.... just big enough for us to slip through. I phase through the wall and sucker punch one of the yahoos guarding the main entrance to a vault.

Sensing that the vault is too thick for me to phase through without tripping at least a few alarms I ask for Captain Future's help to rip the door open. Together with a mighty, HEAVE! we're able to get the door open. At this point all we can do is watch in stunned silence as a creature of alien origin was hooked up to a machine I swear looked like something straight out of the movie serials. The creature looked weak and emancipated but did not look frail as was usually the custom. Various tubes were hooked into the creature's arms and yellow liquid was flowing out of the creature and into an even bigger tube which feed directly into the machine. "Please.... I can't do this anymore.... they're using me as a way to power their sun gun since my race Minotaur Solaris naturally produces and absorbs solar energy." Cap and I unhook the Minotaur who informs us his name is Asterion before collapsing from fatigue and weariness.

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 10:32 P.M.
I'm still coming to grips with Asterion being trapped in that vault, who knows how long those wacky Nazis kept him there? Of course, it's not the first time the government knew about aliens before we did. Heck, Stardust is an alien! You think that the higher-ups would tell you that you're dealing with a visitor from beyond the stars. Kind of makes sense considering his brutal torture methods. I mean turning some gangsters into popsicles and sending in other gangsters who were transformed into rats to go eat them?! It makes me sick to my stomach, but he's invulnerable to any physical damage and that's a good power to have... he's just got to work on his people skills. With any luck maybe Asterion will fare better.

This little adventure was fun and all but the war's far from over.

Duty calls,
C.T.

ZAPMAN closes the journal and sits for several seconds with his eyes closed. Captain Future pipes up, " When the media first found out about Stardust they twisted his story to their advantage, calling him a superhero whose "vast knowledge of interplanetary science has made him the most remarkable man that ever lived!"  Of course it's their words not mine. Heck, they called me an Avatar of Zeus! Can you believe it?!  That's how desperate people for a hero, a symbol to believe in!"  Captain Future shakes his head sullenly.

"Just be glad you didn't get stuck with a name that doesn't even describe your power! I mean PYROMAN?! UGH Like I've got fire shooting out of my hands?! I don't see any fire guys do you?!" Pyroman A.K.A. Dick Martin sits down on a seat next to Mark's to give his two cents. "Your great-grandpa there was a friend and mentor to all of us even if if it wasn't in the usual sense.

Of course I wasn't able to meet him until December '42 but my experience with him was rather startling. Within a year he had mastered his phasing ability to the point where he could make himself harder than granite or lighter than a sack of feathers. We still had no idea where he got his powers and to what extent he was capable of. We still don't even know with you Mark Numera. We've watched you grow up but then we remember good 'ol Charlie and it's like in some odd 75 years or so we all met him, his powers seem so much weaker than yours. He never was able to fly or lift objects with electrical telekinesis or shapeshift or absorb atomic energy or trans-mutating objects or see into the electromagnetic or teleport or whatever else it is you can do... Makes me wonder if things would have been different you had been around during World War II. So much suffering....."

Pyroman tries to speak again but is cut off by Atomic Thunderbolt in an attempt to lighten the mood, "Who's up for Banana Splits? They've got tiny little American Flags!" A.T. passes one to Mark and Pyroman while Captain Future declines. "Now are you ready to hear my story?"
Mark grins, "I can do this all day."
I know, I know, I don't own the name ZAPMAN... but I can still use it. My ultimate goal is to make him into a creative commons character that way I can still keep ZAPMAN/ Mark Numera but allow others to use him with my blessing. It means that he's still my character but everyone is able to use him. Just when you do send me a note or something I want to see what you have so I can give my two-cents.  I don't know how to do this to this but let's just say that he is and be done with it. (If anyone really does know how to create a CC character or you have any ideas for ZAPMAN.. lemme know in the comments.)
  • Listening to: Where is My Mind by the Pixies
  • Reading: The Monkey King's Amazing Adventure by Wu Cheng'en
  • Watching: Jojo Part 2/ Freakazoid/The Mask
  • Playing: Batman Arkham Knight/ Double Dragon IV/ Broforce
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Nothing

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:icondeadwarrior89:
DeadWarrior89 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2017
Thanks for the Fav!Fella Heart Kiss (Love) 
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DoctorFantastic Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2017
Cheers!
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Axel2396 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the fav :)
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Dazzle2099 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017
Well..... I can't draw but I do write. What do you have in mind? No one's ever asked before so this is kind of a new thing for me.
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monajenkins Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017  Student General Artist
Do you accept requests?!?
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:icondazzle2099:
Dazzle2099 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017
Whoops I thought I clicked reply but what do you have in mind? That being said I can't draw.
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monajenkins Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017  Student General Artist
Do you write poems?!?
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Dazzle2099 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017
Oooh I'm not that big on poems. I'm mean do you have anything else to request?
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monajenkins Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017  Student General Artist
Thank you very much for the fav!😊😁
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Cabbral Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2017  Professional General Artist
Hi! Thank you for the fav! :D
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