Author: Jack Daniels
The mutant known as The Magnificent Iron Tower was musing one day. He was imagining a world where there were no super-heroes, no super-villains, nothing which would make any single individual particularly special over another. All of humanity living, prospering, dying, killing. Laughing, he supposed that if such a world existed they would still look to super-heroes within their own imaginations. Imagine all the interesting stories they would come up with for these idols to encounter. In his experience, the life of a super-hero was a lot more monotonous than it seemed. It was just like any other job, except with higher risks, and much greater responsibility. It was with this in mind that he leaped off a wrecked skyscraper in Boomtown into a crowd of Outcasts below.
The Outcasts for him were a fun group really. A gang on the brink of being super-powered but lacking organization and ability to really make anything more of themselves than thieves and vandals. In fact, for fun he liked to take his more powerful form during free-fall. Just for kicks he said. Other heroes may shake their heads, or laugh along with him, but to him he was just as much playing around as other flying heroes are when they catch themselves bare inches from impact. Ahh the impact, his favorite part, was just coming up.
The Iron Tower is known as a particularly daring and powerful mutant hero. Born with the innate ability to manipulate his body into nearly impenetrable organic steel (labeled a Colossus type to some) he was potentially invulnerable. These powers were what made him seek to be a hero, to reach his limits and always be on adventure. The job of course got dreary from time to time, but it was always fun to charge headlong into a gang of would-be evildoers who, try as they might, couldn’t hurt him. It was this risk-taking attitude which earned him a degree of respect with other heroes, even though they knew it didn’t stem from a desire to do good as much as a desire to see how far he could go. Nevertheless, he’d saved their skins many a time, and often enough to ram home; they had been there to save his too.
Back to the point, the Iron Tower slammed into the ground below him, the shockwave and debris from the impact knocking back his foes. He did enjoy Boomtown for the level of damage he was actually allowed to inflict in this wasteland. The stunned Outcasts, disoriented, peered into the gloom to see, well, a gigantic figure. The word Tower did indeed fit. They soon learned about the Iron. A punch here, a jab there, a slamming haymaker to one poor Shocker knocked through the air in pun for his flying, and a flinch from the impact of a boulder coming from a Brick. He decided that if he were to fight these weaker mobs, he would give them the benefit of thinking they were in a fair fight. This would have been much easier to do were he not famous. Risk taking did make the name bigger in the headlines.
Once all was quiet aside from the background noise of what was once Baumton, Iron Tower signaled Paragon Security to take yet another gang into custody. And that was when he heard the unmistakable cry for help. It wasn’t just any cry for help, but one by a fellow hero. First grumbling at the prospect of babysitting yet another Security Level 11 back to the gate, his moral stature came out first to aid another in need. Quickly leaping over to here he heard the call, he was shocked to see a desperate battle of some heroes who counted as close friends against truly daunting foes. He saw Delirium, a scrapper fighting desperately to knock down just one overpowering foe with a flurry of attacks. He saw Neon Angel, green hair flowing as she attempted to support Delirium in his rather difficult task, at the same time dodging incoming attacks.
It was at this moment that his auto-teleport fizzed and died. The tool basic to every heros arsenal had just failed, and understanding came to him into just how desperate this battle was. At the same time he feared just how powerful these enemies were, to put Rikti-based technology effectively out of business. With only the concern for his friends in his mind now he leapt into the fray, smashing straight into the mysterious enemy Delirium had been beating on. It was then that he found that towers could be topped. A huge machine-like.. well… ‘thing’ faced him. He couldn’t tell whether it was a human in a suit or robotic. Regardless it really put the T in towering and I in Iron. Not about to be cheated out of his personal space, he sent his own hits into the frame along with Deliriums. He, like Delirium earlier, was just as surprised to find the damage he caused to the armor disappear within moments. With no better option than to hit as hard and fast as possible to hopefully inflict enough damage within a short time, possibly to cumulatively defeat this monstrous creation, he continued to hammer at it. With short breaths he asked the others as to how they’d gotten here. They were merely patrolling in Boomtown to discover these mysteries dragging a fallen hero out from the sewers. As their auto-teleports failed they were sucked into combat and have had pretty much no other option than to stick it out and hope for the best.
Registering the new threat, the villain(?) focused its attacks upon Iron Tower to gauge his strengths and weaknesses. The impact of immensely powerful weaponry on his metal body took all his endurance to withstand as he pushed himself to keep attacking. However, it was a sudden move from one of the things arms which slammed into him like a bullet train which sent him flailing through the air. Disoriented as he waited to hit the ground, the only thing on his mind was how this was just a less enjoyable version of those loveable impacts with the ground. He was, of course very surprised to notice himself no longer moving in the air. One would think that in a city of heroes and villains one would get used to unusual things happening, but you could suppose that in his life of falling rather stylishly, not actually falling in itself could be shocking. Desperately looking around to see if that thing had somehow trapped him for a harsher fate, he then saw that a mysterious other hero had emerged from hiding to catch him in mid air. There was a strange understanding between the two, not one known between fellow heroes, nor friends, nor capable enemies. Something of more cosmic stratas was at work here. This was how Iron Tower knew the strangers plan, and this was how Foreshadow knew this large fellow approved.
With all the force he could muster, Foreshadow launched Iron Tower back into the fray, fist first, right into what Foreshadow’s perceptions had judged to be the pseudo-nerve center of the thing. Combine a powerful method of propulsion with a virtually invulnerable object becomes a very dangerous projectile. Shattering the armor plate and slamming into the nerve center and effectively disabling it from harming his friends, they all discovered that it was neither truly machine nor human, but cyborg. Its human brain encased within the armor died outside of its neuro-gel and the machine armor slumped to the ground. Iron Tower, Delirium and Neon Angel looked at each other with fear and confusion in their eyes, but had no words. Foreshadow landed amongst them, to tell them that they all were just at the tip of the iceberg, and that the answers they sought lay in following him. In good sense and well deserved fear for their lives, Neon Angel and Delirium stayed. Iron Tower knew innately that his connection with this stranger would no doubt play a part in the struggle to come.