Dawn City 12:34pm Kinal Highschool
Drew watched on as Edd and his goons walk towards the thin boy at the end of the school park. They had made the poor kid their target for the day.
Kinal High was a big school, to put it bluntly. With over 15% of students in Dawn City attending the multi-million-dollar museum project that had somehow ended up a school. It had a very wide assortment of groups of all types or gangs if you really wanted to spare your words gangs.
Now how could a city famed for being the capital of hero’s possibly have crime?
Well simple really.
Lots of freaking metahumans.
It was unavoidable when almost one out of ten of people manifest. It was true that out of that tenth possible half would never gain more than a few mutations or even a decent power but it mattered little when some nobody smuck could lift ten times his body weight and crush you like a saltine cracker.
It was simply impossible for the heroes to deal with all the crime so they stuck to dealing with Villains who could deal more damage than just rob a convenience store cause they had finger guns that actually worked.
Of course if on patrol they would deal with any problems they found but it just a drop in the bucket if one were, to be honest.
So if you really wanted to be safe either be rich and live in a more heavily patrolled area, or make those around fear the thought of even messing with you.
Unfortunately Kinal High was the school for the unwanted and poor, and Drew had to go there because it ‘built character’ as his foster father Altas loved to put it.
At least he was thankful that Lia got accepted into that prestigious all-girls school closer to the center of Dawn City. Only 15 minutes from their home while Drew had to take two buses and walk 10 minutes just to barely avoid being late.
He huffed in annoyance as his focus returned to reality.
Edd and his boys were part of Edds’s older brother’s gang, the sad truth that even 16-year-olds were good enough for them, desperate to have enough members to try and intimidate those around their territory.
‘What were they called again? The Banditos? Ah yes, I think that’s what it was.’ Glad that his brain had retained the information he watched on as Edd slammed the poor kid’s bag down into the ground.
“Lenny, Lenny, amigo. You got the money I asked for? Just 30 bucks, and don’t tell me you’re not good for it. I know your mom makes that every time she shakes her ass on screen. I’ve seen the live shows so don’t be shy, heck maybe I’ll use this money to have her do something for me on cam? Actually, that’s a great idea. It’s like a free show every day like this.” Edd and his boys laughed at Lenny while kicking around his backpack.
Lennys face glowed read, neither denying nor refusing the 16-year-olds claims.
“Ha, the punk knows we’re telling the truth. So tell me, Lenny, you ever get bored and just...you know...watch her yourself?” High off his ego, Edd's words grew move vile by the second as Drew continued to watch from a distance though he could feel his restraint growing thin. He couldn’t interfere yet, not until things got physical.
Or until one of Lia’s birdies were forced to move on with their group. Which seeing as they were approaching the gate for the park would be soon.
Lenny said something too soft to catch from where he sat but it seemed to rile up Edd as his neck turned red from anger.
“What you say to me you little shit, come on speak louder so everyone can hear you!” Edd was now shouting letting everyone in the immediate area know that he was about to do something.
It was just before his shout though that the only one of Lia’s watchers left with a group, whatever subconscious trigger to keep Drew out of trouble not happening.
‘Finally, some action.’ Drew felt the stress he’d been building up, start to ease. Not that it did much, even with all the medicine and exercise he did his body was only just barely as healthy as someone who took long walks.
“FUCK YOU EDD.” Lenny had snapped the insults to him something he could endure but as they said some humans were prone to retaliate when pushed into a corner, and with the both insane and disgusting suggestion Edd had made towards him.
“That's it bitch I hope you like the taste of teeth cause that’s what you’ll be having for lunch today. Mark, Joe, grab the little fucker.”
The fear was easy to spot for everyone witnessing the beat down, but it was something they weren’t going to stick their noses in. Something like this happened all over the school multiple times a day.
Still to those with a more trained eye like Drew defiance could also be seen. An emotion Drew very much liked seeing in others.
Edd was winding up his fist when a tap on his shoulder stopped him.
“Now who the fucks wants the next bea….” Artic eye’s colder than a winter storm gazed back at him.
“Sup, Edd. How the family?” With as much cheer as he could manage Drew gave his greetings.
“YOU!” Edd screamed like a pig to the slaughter falling backward and crawling as far away as he could from Drew.
“Wow there friend, you look like you’ve seen a ghost, everything all right?” Kind words aplenty to the outside observer Drew just looked like a handsome yet pale young man voicing his concerns, but on the inside Drew was sneering at the pathetic display.
All he did was break a few bones when Edd tried this same schick on his at the start of the year.
Lenny watched from the side Edd’s goons having left the thin highschooler alone now that it looked like their boss would need some support.
“Edd what’s wrong, it’s just a scrawny punk, look he looks like the wind could blow him away.” Mark voice his opinion which Joe agreed with.
“Plus you got the thing now! No one at the school can hurt you remember?”
Realization dawned on Edd’s face. Which quickly grew into a cruel smile.
“That’s right, that’s right, sorry I thought it was someone else. Still, this punk thinks he can interfere with our work, does he?”
‘Interesting development?’ Drew was hoping for a fight but something odd was happening.
Edd dug into his pockets pulling out a small plastic bag with two tablets, and Drew was quite certain they weren’t Tylenol.
Before anyone could respond or do anything Edd swallowed not one, but both of the pills.
“EDD! They said just one at a time!” Joe yelled in fear before turning to look at Mark,
The two just booked it out of there running as though they’d seen a monster.
Looking back at Edd Drew could now understand why.
“Bio Artificer pills huh, well I did want some action can’t blame anyone but myself for this.” Drew nodded solemnly to himself while Edd’s flesh expanded and bulged.
It was evidently a much weaker version of the popular Man-Beast combat pill. The skin not even growing the additional hair that was one of the most notable features.
Still, Edd had taken two giving him the powers of at least F-Teir Bruiser.
“Welp are you gonna keep staring at the floor or are you going to let me break all your bones again.” Taunting his foe Drew watched as Edd’s focus returned.
“RAHHHHH.” He screamed, hatred filling his smoldering bloodshot eyes.
“Great now you went and made yourself even more stupid. Bet you can’t even do addition at this….”
Another rage fill below echoed out throughout the park and the fight began.
Like bull seeing red Edd charged straight at Drew, the only semblance of intelligence in his attack being to reach out and try to grab him.
Taking a stance, Drew easily evade the charge, the drug while increasing the user’s overall strength and the physical defense did little for speed, in fact, it was likely it hindered it as most of the muscle growth happened in the upper body.
Drew stuck with his palm at Edds’s arm, the angle being perfect for shattering someone’s elbow but all he got was a frustrated howl and a bruised palm.
He continued to dance around the raging Edd doing his best to keep his movements to a minimum as he weaved in and out landing strikes at joints, toes, and even occasionally Edds groin.
He was unable to land any hits on Edds’s head as the beast seemed to be quicker to react when he got close, forcing Drew to abandon such attacks instead of focusing on doing as much damage as possible which seemed to be working. Unfortunately, he wasn’t sure if that was the drug wearing off and causing the expected side effects or his own attack.
With a well-placed strike on the elbow he had been hitting for the last minute, he finally heard the satisfying crack as Edds’s right arm dropped uselessly to his side.
A roar more monster than human escaped Edds’s lips as with an unexpected burst of speed he barreled into Drew sending the boy flying into a picnic basket that had been abandoned as their fight began.
“Tuna?” Dazed and confused on a pile of food Drew tried to make sense of his surroundings before immediately regaining his awareness.
“Damn, a broken rib and at least multiple fractures on my left arm. Lia is gonna kill me.” For the first time in the fight, Drew felt a tingle of dread although not towards the surprisingly absent beast? Forcing himself back to his feet Drew found the answer to his question.
Lenny was throwing random pieces of junk at Edd while running away.
“Huh, he probably just saved my life,” Drew mumbled to himself.
‘Welp, I still got a job to do.’ Ignoring the aches and pains Drew took a quick puff from his inhaler to push away the encroaching asthma attack before breaking into a full-on sprint.
Keeping his body low to the ground he picked up as much speed as he could, which was thankfully possible due to the distance Lenny had led Edd away.
“Edd! Heads up!” The beast turned around to just barely catch a human missile launch from the ground foot up and directly crash into his solar plexus, ending the fight for the both of them as the sweet relief of subconsciousness took them from the world of pain they had both just entered.
Ring, ring, ring ring ring ring.
“Five more minutes Lia, the dream was just getting good…” Drew absently spoke.
“That’s your phone.” A nervous voice responded from the side, dragging him from his dreams.
With open eyes, he looked around and saw that he was in the nurse’s office.
“Oh, it doesn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would?” An understatement to be honest as Drew was quite confidant that the attack would have broken his foot.
“The police came, as well as a Super. Their sidekick was a Healer so she patched the two of you off before taking Edd into custody.”
“Awesome!” Exhilarated that he had gotten a fun fight out of the event without any injuries to show Drew pumped the air with his fist, just to get some of the excess energy out of his system.
“Not quite, Mr. Silver, you did shatter Mr. Lido’s Sternum almost killing him on the spot had the drug taken the brunt of the damage long enough for Rollers side kick Band-Aid to heal him.” Now normally this is where we’d hand you to the police for questioning but due to your Great Uncle, you’ll be let off with a warning.”
At the door to the infirmary stood a man in a trench coat the color of tree bark.
“Yeah, it’s one of the perks.” Increasing his guard against the unknown man who somehow knew who his uncle was. Even with a name like Silver, there would bound to be others with the same last name, due to Dawn Citys massive population of 35 million.
Heck, there were at least two other Silvers in the Kinal high in higher grades, not that they were related from what his uncle had told him.
“Well, I can at least tell you’ve been thoroughly trained in unarmed combat despite your sickly constitution. Very impressive I must say.”
“As much as I love being complimented how about we cut the chase and you tell me exactly what you want from me.”
The man in the coat laughed.
“Well if you really must know I’m a recruiter for the Young Guard.”
Drew couldn’t help but become astonished at the new piece of information.
The Young Guard was Heroes United 17 and under Super-Hero organization. Similar to The Stronghold’s own The Squires the main goal of the two sub-organizations was to help train young metahumans in a future of hero work, as well as a way to keep them away from the Supervillains clutches.
Still, the surprise was quickly washed away as his laughter started echoing out of the nurse’s office.
“Man you are not gonna like this but I have no powers despite me somehow beating a juice up goon might lead you to believe.”
“That's fine, as the son of the late Plasma, and Bulwark you have over a 100% chance of manifesting as you should have been conceived just as they both broke thirty mutations.
Drews's eyes grew cold.
“My parents aren’t dead, and sorry to disappoint but I don’t have the metagene needed to manifest in the first place.”
“What… theres no way…. Two metahumans with that many mutations, it’s impossible for you not to have it!” For the first time since the conversation started The man in the trench coat had lost his cool.
“Well, I’m sorry I was born defective. Now if that’s all can you leave me the hell alone?” Drew was done talking with the man. He hated bringing up his lacking genetics or his parents and this man had shown up and done both.
“Of course of course. You might not be able to become a Super but if you want I can recommend you to the police force, their always recruiting and their job is just as if not more important than the heroes.
“Yeah, yeah just go away already.” Nodding the man in the trench coat exited the room.
“What an asshole,” Drew mumbled before accidentally looking into the eyes hazel of the person that had been completely forgotten and or ignored during the last few minutes.
“Ah, can you keep quiet about this Lenny?” Lenny simply nodded furiously at him, tendrils of sweat visible as they fell down his face.
“Nice and thanks for the save back there. Would have been a meat paddy had you not distracted Edd.” Honest with his words he gave Lenny the praise he deserved.
“No, no, no, you the one who stopped them from breaking my teeth….. Thank you.” Looking down at his tightened hands Drew watched as tears streamed down the boy’s face.
“Come on pal don’t be like, it was a team effort. Team Drew and Lenny!” Drew got up from the bed and dropped an arm around Lenny as he waved as though on camera.
“Anyone with the balls to look at potential death in the face like that and still help someone out is someone worth befriending. From now on we are amigos!” Lenny shuddered. His tears growing in volume. The word amigo actually having a positive meaning compared to earlier.
“YES!” He spoke while wiping away the last bits of his tears.
For the next few minutes they chated about each other and exchanged phone numbers.
Ring, Ring, Ring Ring.
“Shouldn’t you get that?” Sniffled Lenny.
“Naw it’s my girlfriend,” Drew responded nonchalantly.
“Isn’t that even more of a reason to do so?” Lenny questioned nervously.
“Well, Lia’s little birds probably already informed her about everything already so I’m in trouble the moment I get home so I might as deal with it later.”
“Wow, your irresponsible.” The words flowing out of Lenny’s mouth before he could catch them. Drews relaxing attitude calming him down to in ways he’d never felt.
“Ah, sorry!!” He immediately responded.
“Don’t worry about it, amigo. You’re completely correct, but that doesn’t mean I have to listen hahaha.” Laughing with a bright smile on his face Drew felt like today might not have been as bad as it seemed.
“So wanna get a burger at Greasefires place? I got a friend who can get us some serious discounts!”
Lenny responded with a grumbling stomach
“I’ll take that as a yes!”
And with that, a beautiful friendship was born.