My name is Captain Noble. I am a superhero, working for the US Government. This is an excerpt from my journal.
YEAR 11, DAY 81
I don’t know if I will have a chance to record anything else in this journal, so I’m taking some time to do so now. I’d forgotten to make an entry before the onset of our current mission, but after chasing the mysterious and powerful Fata Morgana through a number of interdimensional portals and harsh environments, we’ve finally entered a world that has provided us with a brief respite. Furthermore, this planet – unlike the dark asteroid we’d been transported from just moments ago, as well as the dim world before that – was bathed in natural light from a nearby star. Hence, my partner Shuttershock is finally able to soak in some energy and recharge. And if we are going to survive our next encounter with Fata Morgana, I will need him at his best, as I’ve found the witch to be much less effective in close quarter combat. However, getting close to her is impossible without Shuttershock’s light projection ability. Truly, bringing us to this bright world could prove to be our adversary’s downfall.
Fata Morgana has the ability to create illusions of all shapes and sizes. She can also create doors to other dimensions and places in the universe. Additionally, she can emit mystical energy blasts from her hands and she also has the ability to fly. She possesses limited telepathic powers as well.
Speaking of our adversary and our current predicament, I honestly don’t know how we even got here. It seemed like just moments ago that Shuttershock and I had returned to D.C. to debrief with our superiors regarding our pursuit of Ramses Hondo and the Trials of Harmony at the Genunken Temple, when I informed them of Hosho‘s warning. They were hard-pressed to believe us, but stranger things had happened recently which were ultimately proven, so they took our word for it.
At that point, I told our superiors what the new terms were, regarding my building a team. No longer would bureaucracy, biased data or agendas determine who was selected. I told them I alone am in charge of forming a team. I choose who will be on the frontline with me, defending our planet from whatever it is that may possibly be coming to bring our extinction.
Predictably, they yelled, and argued, and debated, until finally I put my foot down once and for all. I told them, they were free to sit in dark rooms and strategize the deployment of troops around the world, as the US maneuvered for land, oil, gold and resources; but that my job – my burden – was to save that very world from threats no amount of human ingenuity and strength could hope to defeat. And thus, the formation of my team would NOT be contingent on the involvement of the US government. They knew I was right, and finally conceded to my preferences and demands.
I held a steely and determined resolve on my face, but inside I was actually doing a little happy dance! The opportunity to build an elite team of heroes had me giddy. I was imagining all of the possibilities, and envisioning all of the good we could do… then suddenly another vision appeared that immediately changed my mood. This was a vision that everyone in Washington DC could see – it was a vision of a massive city floating in the sky!
Sirens sounded, cell phones buzzed and communication devices chirped like crazy, as dozens of reports were coming in regarding the phenomena. I was hoping it was the result of some elaborately staged prank, or a magician attempting to make a name for themselves, but once we pulled it up on the digital-relay screen on the far side of the War Room, my worst fears were confirmed. It was indeed Fata Moragana.
Our files on Fata Morgana are very limited, but what we do know is, she was born in New Orleans, and as a child discovered she had the power to create illusions. At first, her illusions were harmless, but one day as a teenager she discovered that when she created illusions of doors, those doors would actually lead to places – other realms, alternate realities, dangerous dimensions and more. In the following years she would travel to these strange worlds, which, again, seemed harmless at first. But then we learned that every time she went through one of these doors, she would return with more and more mystical powers and spells.
Tracking her was nearly impossible, as I had never wanted to take the risk of following her through one of her doors. Furthermore, her illusions had become infinitely more complicated in recent times. She was no longer just creating doors; she was now creating structures with multiple mystical doors, like houses and castles. And then, of course, was her most recent illusion hanging over Washington DC – a city in the sky.
Shuttershock and I had flown out to engage, and came to face to face with the villainous witch. Though many of our previous encounters had ended in her defeat, she seemed more confident than ever on this occasion. And she had every right to be, as the city behind her must have had at least a thousand doors. I told her to shut the illusion down immediately. She refused, however, and then told me that shutting down the illusion would be very dangerous for the US spies she was holding hostage. That’s right – she had kidnapped a number of our top operatives and hidden them inside the magical doors of her city in the sky. It was pure and simple – she was holding them hostage and wanted a ransom.
I was quick to remind her that the US does NOT negotiate with terrorists and that we wouldn’t be giving her a single dime. She retorted it wasn’t money she was after, but something much greater and much more powerful. She then told me that throughout her travels to other dimensions she’d seen and learned a lot of very interesting things, including the knowledge that the US government was hiding some very important information concerning the safety of the world.
I told her she sounded like a second-grader, reminding her that all governments had secrets. And that in most cases, the public’s ignorance of certain things was necessary for national and global security. She informed me these particular secrets were unbeknownst to even the vast majority of our own officials. She continued, saying there had been a small number of men and women, who had been trusted with knowledge of the existence of some very powerful elements. These men and women had been spread throughout the Earth, laying low and posing as spies.
However, Fata Morgana had spent the last couple of years hunting them down, and was now holding them hostage. Apparently she had been attempting to extract information about the “powerful elements,” but had failed. She then discovered the existence of Cosmo Cortez, my teenage telepathic friend whose help I’d asked for, in order to successfully interrogate the war criminal Attrition regarding the potential whereabouts of the mastermind super villain Ramses Hondo. And now she wanted me to hand over Cosmo, so she could use his abilities to read the minds of the secret agents. If I failed to comply, she would unleash the hordes of monstrous creatures she’d come across over her years of traveling from dimension to dimension.
Finally, I’d had enough of her threats – it was time for action. And this time, I couldn’t just fight her off and send her packing; instead, I would have to actually follow her into her maze of magical doors in order to save the men and women she’d kidnapped. And with that, Shuttershock and I attacked! Despite her mystical powers, she was quickly overwhelmed by our combined efforts. However, Fata Morgana’s true power, of course, lies in her sorcery. And it wasn’t long before we were forced to chase her through a number of portals!
She first took us to what seemed like an asteroid, and attempted to use the turbulent atmosphere to her advantage, but Shutterstock and I were able to steady ourselves and regain the upper hand. She then fled through another portal that landed us in a pitch black dimension. Again, Fata used the environment against us, but Shuttershock used his power to illuminate our surroundings, leading us into another successful engagement against her. We followed, as she fled through yet another portal.
We seemed to be gaining ground on the wicked witch, and looked to be on the verge of capturing her and forcing her to reveal the whereabouts of the kidnapped spies. However, the expenditure of energy was beginning to take its toll on my partner, and it was getting to the point that he would need to absorb some light and replenish his reserves if he was going to continue.
So it was fortunate that Fata’s latest portal had dropped us in our current location, which, as I mentioned, benefited from the natural light of a nearby star. At first I wondered if she was purposely trying to lose, as it had to be apparent to her that Shuttershock’s powers were greatly dependent on his ability to soak up light. However, it became immediately apparent why she had brought us here…
It was the horde of monstrous creatures awaiting us. They were like huge, massive, mutated bears; razor-sharp teeth, long claws and thick, powerful tails. They were nearly seven feet tall when standing on their hind legs and they must weigh a ton each! Fata hovered nearby and cackled, as the creatures closed in around us. She then gave the command for them to attack. And attack they did! The ferocity with which they came at us was incredible, but after my encounter with Lady Paige, and our epic battles with Hosho’s Zhibdean triplets, Genko, Dairyu and Dainin, smashing through these creatures was actually a piece of cake. Shuttershock and I wiped out the first wave in no time. But then, there was a second wave, and a third wave! Additionally, Fata herself continued to lob attacks at us as well. So yes, we were winning, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit we were growing weary.
The waves of creatures kept coming, and soon, they were finding their mark! I was scratched, clawed and bitten several times in succession, and forced to go on the defensive. Shuttershock, for his part, held his own, but even at this point he could hardly recharge fast enough between volleys. We were not outmatched, but we were clearly, and hilariously, outnumbered! Fata now hovered nearby and watched. I wondered for a moment why she didn’t teleport herself elsewhere – surely, with us distracted by her monsters, she’d be able to continue with her extortion scheme. I began to speculate that perhaps there was a limitation in her powers. That appears to be the case with the hyper-beings I know who have such an ability. For example, the book ninja Cliché can only teleport between Earth and Sir Vellichor’s Grand Library, or within it. Meanwhile, the senior citizen super villain RC Allen can only go between places on Earth. Maybe Fata can only use a certain number of teleportation doors in succession, before she has to recharge herself. I was determined to find and exploit her weakness. But that would have to wait, for the creatures were still relentlessly trying to rip us to shreds.
I decided in that moment to stop holding back, powered up, and proceeded to unleash the full power of my Noble-fists! Before long, Shuttershock and I had destroyed the giant creatures. This did not sit well with Fata, and she promised that our battle was far from over, before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
And that brings us to the present.
I’m sitting here with Shuttershock, both of us bruised, battered and bloodied, stranded on a foreign and dangerous world, waiting to see what challenge lies around the corner. Whatever it is, one thing is certain: I will not let Fata Morgana escape! I’ve spent the last year enduring a great deal of failures – I’ve been unable to apprehend Ramses Hondo; the villainous mastermind Fiasco got the better of me; I was nearly powerless against the living mummy Sarcophagus and his zombie attack on Platinum City; Sir Vellichor remains a constant, and dangerous threat; and even after arresting the war criminal Attrition, she had managed to escape. Not to mention the beautiful agent Shefali Chisisi, who seduced me, before leading me into a trap in which I discovered she was one of Ramses’ mercenaries.
This losing streak has to stop! In fact, I…. Oh crap! More monsters are coming! They’re much bigger, and much faster than what we’ve already encountered. I can feel the thunder of their footsteps; the sky’s getting dark because of the massive flock of flying monsters ascending on us! We’re surrounded! Ahhhh!!!
I’ve just been hit from behind and Shuttershock is struggling to release himself from the grasp of one of the monsters… I’m starting to fear we may not make it… And if that’s to be the case, I must say something… Find the hostages Fata has taken and learn the secrets they are keeping, for I fear this powerful element she speaks of may have a great deal to do with the dire warning from the Zhibdean Master Hosho! And I implore you to please, heed his words, and create a force that can truly and effectively counteract the unknown dangers that potentially, and more than likely await humanity and the rest of the Universe.
It has been my honor to serve as America’s Hero of Heroes. This is Shane Williamson; Codename: Captain Noble, signing….