Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back from the Dead #9

When he was thirteen, the boy who would one day become known as the Biker asked a classmate why he was such an outcast, and this other boy was basically an outcast, too, and the classmate said that it was because he didn’t conform.  The boy knew why he didn’t conform, and it was mostly because his parents couldn’t afford to let him, and that was basically when he realized that it didn’t really matter, and that even if it could sometimes make him miserable, that’s exactly what he wanted to be, an outcast.

That made a number of things difficult, not the least because he was an outcast among outcasts, too, and so could not even count on a fringe element to support him when he fell, which was often, but eventually, it all paid off, and he became exactly what he wanted to become.  But he soon discovered that even that wouldn’t be the end of it.

It was the realization that superheroes weren’t just superheroes but part of their own hierarchy that really bothered him, out of everything else.  It didn’t make any sense to him, that it wasn’t simply being a superhero that was enough, the will and the ability to do the good that others were incapable of, that there were artificial rules that superheroes were expected to follow, not for the benefit of it, but rather to appease other superheroes.

Superheroes with egos.  Who would’ve thought?

Not the Biker, but luckily, along the way of his life’s journey, he’d developed an ability to ignore small hiccups like this.  It might be assumed that, with a name like the Biker, he represented an almost supernatural version of the biker cliché, but the truth was, he didn’t, and he did at the same time.  He was more Zen than that.  He was a loner, always had been and always would be.

That’s why he was the first one to walk away from the Witch Doctor’s alliance.  Even though he was basically the reason it existed in the first place, he decided he wanted nothing to do with it.  And he wanted was what he’d always wanted, the ability to be himself.

Ellen Encanto actually took it as a betrayal, took it personally, and all he wanted to do was reassure her that it wasn’t, that he never meant to hurt her, and that in truth, he was madly in love with her, and it had nothing to do with seeing her naked or accepting or rejecting her ambitions, but that he knew a kindred spirit when he saw one and that what he really wanted to do was help her, and when he figured that out, that’s when he knew he had to walk away, because it was not his place to do any such thing, not unless she wanted it herself.  He was not on this earth to cause pain, only alleviate it.

That’s what he wished everyone understood, especially his fellows in the superhero community, and why he wanted more badly than he’d ever admit to anyone to stick around the alliance, to be the one who saw it succeed, but to do so would violate everything he believed in, and that was something he couldn’t do, the one thing he could never do.

He’d made plenty of mistakes in his life, but mistakes are things that happen by accident, or otherwise they aren’t mistakes.  If he willfully made one, then it wasn’t a mistake but rather a regret, and he didn’t believe in those.

If he didn’t have everything he wanted then that was a fact and as close to a regret as he came, because he wanted so badly to remain at the side of the Witch Doctor.  He was one of the few people who called her Ellen, and fewer still who knew her as Jane, in fact the only one who called her that.  She had many names; he only had one, and maybe that was another reason to put some distance between them, for now.

Because he still hoped that he could have it both ways, because that’s what everyone wanted, the mistake and flaw in the construct of society.  The Biker was a loner for a reason.  He stood apart, even though he wished he didn’t have to.  Just a few changes, so minor yet so cataclysmic…

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