Author's Note: This story is a follow-up to the original Kick-Ass comic. Since the film adaptation had a significantly different set of story elements, we can call this the Comicverse. This story contains Violence, Profanity and all of the other things that make life bearable for some of us. Please review after you've read. I accept all forms of criticism with an open mind.
You might be interested to know that every hopeful career of every impressionable teenager that ever watched C.S.I. or Cold Case would be crushed the moment they understood what blood smelled like. Not a papercut or a scrape or even the dirty wounds anyone that tries to ride their bike on gravel is destined to experience. The wounds with the dirt and grime so deeply laced into the torn skin that the future's salves and creams are replaced with nightmares of perscription antibiotics, amputations and infectious diseases.
You might also be interested to know that the pint you gave at the office or at school for that free concert ticket cannot help some people. The doctors call it Exsanguination. Common people call it bleeding out. Sometimes, you've lost too much blood.
You might also be interested to know that sometimes you lose enough blood to stop living, but not enough to die.
My feud with the dryer continues, and after ten minutes plucking every last fiber from the lint trap, my sweater is still damp. There's nothing better to wear, and it's not damp enough to show, but it only reminds me of how cold it can feel in November. The real chill comes from thinking about the winter right around the corner.
In any class before 2008, there was a chalkboard, and a teacher and sometimes even a filmstrip or a boring, badly-acted educational video. In this new decade, there's the same Dell computer you saw a commercial for two years ago and a password made up of your initials. Six in the class figure out the Admin's use of the same password scheme the first day, and two weeks later, they've finished six courses in under 10 minutes each. Mensa would be proud, but the ultimatum issued on the bulletin board threatens a deeper search if someone doesn't confess.
This system was created because someone decided that teachers were high-strung enough having to put up with the alarmingly high generations of failures once, and someone else decided that if everyone could not be smart, we all had to be led by the hand through an educational system that once had clout.
With 5 weeks left, I'm behind. People assume because you spend a lot of time on your computer, you must be kin to the machines. They never consider that it's cheaper to download your favorite game than to buy it for a console that never works right with a controller you buy fresh batteries for every two days.
I minimize the window and dig out a sheet of fresh notebook paper. Pen against line, in my dignified chicken scratch, creating rough edges to mask the fact that I have never been one to stay inside of the proverbial or literal lines.
Someone sees my amateur artwork and presses a palm down on the corner of the paper, sliding it away from my pen. I shrink back into my work while he turns it over and states, "People still talk about this one, huh? They're a dime a dozen these days, aren't they?"
He sets the paper back down at my elbow, and I let it fall to the floor. Some days, I can't wait to get back into the suit that generates Ad Revenue on Youtube, countless misspelled potential memes on UrbanDictionary, or the source of most of my sketches when I'm supposed to be working towards a degree in Psychology.
When I was in the seventh grade, I wanted to take German. "Take Spanish." My father insisted. "Nobody in this country knows German unless their head is shaved. There's Hispanics everywhere. Who do you think built this apartment building?"
Stereotypes are not lost on the weary. For someone that has seen what people are and what they're capable of, it's a compensation.
Patrolls and stuff tonight, Laser Man tweets. The interwebs demand bad grammar. Sleep tonight. Saving lives tomorrow, Reaper tells the world. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to subscribe to these people, but clicking YES on the emails seemed like a good idea at the time. It goes on and on every night, and it seems that I miss everything worthwhile when I sleep.
Red Mist. Last active on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Usenet... 07/09/09. A blog was sketched on the former two pages that final day, promising revenge and loss to the SAD and ALONE Kick-Ass, he promised. Christopher Genovese doesn't have a Myspace, a Facebook, a Twitter or Usenet account. His shining achievement on the internet is a fossilized Youtube page from 2006 that features a Poison music video and a few pixelated clips of old Justice League episodes. His password is Chris123. I rid the world of the museum piece and feel a bit better.
Does he know who Kick-Ass is? If he did, I would probably be less concerned with whatever he's planning. The internet community at large still wonders why the hate. Word around the campfire allows them relief in piecing their own story together from countless gossips about a feud between heroes, villains, lovers or something in between.
John Genovese was one of 34 bodies they pulled from what was left of the Penthouse that night. After the fire stopped burning and the fire department tore down what had once been an ornate ceiling with a chandelier outside of the elevator, the forensics people had a mess to deal with. The cadavers were rotting by the time the scene was declared safe. A 9mm round had shattered his testicles. A meat cleaver had been imbedded four inches horizontally into his skull. Men in every department laughed and joked about the dead scumbags, chiding their peers that accepted wintergreen oil for their nostrils before entering the scene and swapping lies about how much pussy their were getting while they bagged and tagged every person the world wouldn't miss. The smell of blood would never come out.
A frantic building operator of a neighboring tower had called in the blaze at 1:13am. At 1:25am, as the responding officials pounded on the door and prepared the battering ram, a security feed from the parking garage exterior caught the last glimpse of that familiar Mist Mobile as it turned out of the basement vehicle haven and casually sailed into the night, past the sirens and flashing red and blue lights. Nobody watched that feed, but somehow, a black and white security still of the blood-splattered Green and Purple duo had leaked, adding to the speculation that the official story of gang-related violence was no more believed by the police than it was by anyone else.
It's past 2am when I turn off my computer, but I cannot sleep. It's been almost a year since that day, and I begin my almost daily period of self-criticism and mirror gazing at this point, looking at scars that will never heal, letting fingertips touch pale spots of skin below scraggly blonde hair and feel stitches and metal underneath, the organic feel of bone is no longer a friend to my skull, but my mind is intact. I remember everything, and I don't want to. What's worse is I know that I can't stop.
While I lay on the bed and my father shuffles another package through the UPS mail room at his graveyard-shift job of underappreciated civil service, he pays no mind to the package on it's way to a certain Apartment #43, addressed to a certain M. Macready, the return address spot marked only with a familiar red symbol.
After a few hours of uneasy sleep, I get up with the sun and forage for a makeshift breakfast, determined to leave before my father arrives. My schedule puts me out the door today on time to catch my first class, but I dig into my ever-expanding bag of excuses and scrawl a note for the fridge. We have become 'one of those' families. The ones whose communication takes place in text messages and notes on the fridge. UrbanDictionary doesn't have a name for them yet, but I submitted FridgeNote Family last night.
It's almost 8am when I finally make my way onto the street. This time of the morning, the only people on the street are AM commuters or unemployed addicts, sliding out of their highs and unwilling to face the reality of the sun rising.
I have begun morning patrols since I finished the stitching on my new mask. The old one sits in a dusty corner under my bed I am still pestered daily to clean, torn down the left cheek, still held together with a scrap of dirty tape. The suit could not be entirely replaced after that Recession everyone keeps talking about reached the home front, and a new blue card that only seems to work on the 10th of every month appeared in Dad's wallet.
The utility belt was orange when I bought it, a convention piece that had the bonus of being made of real material instead of cheap plastic. I spray painted it the same color as the boots and gloves, grafting it onto the torn midsection of the suit. My dad knew that I hauled Mom's old sewing machine out from the things he refuses to throw away, but he didn't say anything. Maybe he thought it was my new coping device. I filled the pouches on the belt with anything I could acquire from a long list I wrote one late night, brainstorming through my favorite personal effects of Superheroes. The problem is thinking realistically, and thinking on a budget.
This is what I do. This is who I am, and what I have created. Once on Jay Leno, the high-collared writer of some new bestseller joked that many of the costumed vigilantes in the USA only needed an excuse to vent their mental, emotional and sexual frustrations on the world, and Kick-Ass gave them that.
Nobody shed a tear for the world that was left behind, and nobody ever would. There was no grand conspiracy, no Allegiance of Heroes and no secret hideout where the masks met and pumped their fists in the air about changing this or saving that. Everyone does what they feel they have to, and sometimes, one of us gets hurt.
There was a man later identified as Trent Shaw, age 28, who sold his soul to the tabloids and revealed himself as Kick-Ass. He was dismissed after the tabloids released a picture of him, and nobody was willing to believe that Kick-Ass could weigh 320 pounds.
There was Captain Justice, who carried a modified shotgun that launched homemade tear gas. After he was shot and tossed from the second story window of a tenement in the Bronx, his only satisfaction was that his alter ego, Richard Maynes, would finally be removed from the Sex Offender Registry.
The anti-vigilante groups got a lot of mileage out of that one, and Captain Justice would always be remembered as a 'fraud', and not for the people he had helped.
After all, redemption is only redemption if someone makes money off it in this world.
Richard Maynes was a convicted offender of Statutory Rape. Nobody seemed to mind that his 'victim' was the same woman that would give birth to his second child without him. His wife of 11 years. Aged 17 at the time of their forbidden consensual encounter. To the world, Captain Justice would be another lunatic.
This is the future meant for us. Ostracism, ridicule. Violence and death. Not always in the same order.
Sixty-two miles away, an 11-year-old girl with a scar on her cheek opens a package with a red symbol on the return address line.
The knife she retrieves from the kitchen has an all-too-familiar weight in her hand. Even after so many months in the 'normal' life society indoctrines us to lead, it is an extension of her body. The package is opened with the precision of a sober surgeon.
The first object in sight is a hairbrush, and it serves as a fitting projectile to shatter the living room mirror. The television isn't so easy. The stand weighs more than the modern LCD, but after a strong kick, it topples over. The overpriced flat-panel survives this, but the next blow is a stomp, directly through the front of the screen. The wall dividing the living room and the kitchen is dented as the coffee table is hauled up on one side and thrown across the room.
The rest of the living room suffers a similar fate. The rampage continues through the house, and when Mrs. Natalie Macready Shelton arrives home, the 11-year-old girl with a scar on her cheek is gone. The box is still on the floor in front of the sofa.
What was inside of the box is gone. Only destruction remains, a sign of her passing.
"Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him."