It was an evening like any other in Rail City, which means an incredible amount of crimes were going on. One such crime was a bank robbery on the corner of Blank and Generic Street. Our fearless hero was on the scene in record time.
When the Captain arrived, he found three raccoons robbing a bank. No kidding, they were really raccoons--not just burglars with bandit masks. Raccoons! Anything in Rail City is possible, of course. The raccoons were serial bank robbers blowing into town from another city. They had never met the Captain before, or even heard of him, for the Captain was not yet known nationally, so they didn't think twice when he confronted them.
"Bring it on, spandex," one of the raccoons said. It wasn't a particularly clever thing to say, nor was it wholly accurate. The Captain's suit was not made of spandex.
The Captain laughed. He always laughed, because he's--of course--slightly insane, but at least still our hero.
The raccoons drew their guns, because raccoons robbing banks--of course--have guns.
The two vertical, ruby orbs on the Captain's chest glowed.
A peculiar type of distorted wave radiated from the Captain out. There was a strange whir, and then some other sound between a whir and a sploosh, and when the bullets hit the center of the wave, they vanished.
The raccoons fired again.
The bullets vanished again.
The Captain smiled, lifted his chin slightly up, cocked it to the left. "Enough," he said. "You do not belong here. You never have." He waved an open-palmed hand at the raccoon robbers. They felt a sickening tug in their gut as their feet lifted off the ground. Then the Captain closed his palm into a fist. The top of the raccoons' heads started to disappear, and at the same time, their feet. The tugging in their gut intensified until there was no longer a gut to tug. And then, they simply vanished, like the power on an old television set going out.
The Captain picked up the money bags and brought them back into the bank.
That was the end of raccoons in Rail City.
The winds whistle down the valley of aging stone and rusting steel. A little boy pedals his bike home. It's about ten past midnight. No one wonders why a child is out alone this late. No one worries.
Every few minutes he lifts his left hand from the handlebars to take a lick at an ice cream cone that is sharing the grip in his fingers. It doesn't appear to melt, and if it does, it does so rather slowly. He's only a few blocks away, and it isn't long before he hops up the steps to his house's front door. He walks inside, but not before he gently rests his bike on the wall just outside the door.
"You're home," his mom says with no concern in her voice, even though it's past midnight. "What have you been up to?"
"I saw that guy kill three men today."
"Oh, that's nice sweetie." It's been a long a day, and his mom's concentration is directed more at finishing the chores for the day than her own son.
"They didn't have any way to defend themselves. They threw rocks at him!" The boy flails his arms around in dramatic, wide hand gestures, trying to act out the evening's scene of events.
"Oh, that's nice sweetie." She washes a plate, and then keeps scrubbing at another dish.
"No, I really don't think it is," he says, hanging his head. "I saw three men die!"
His mom pats him gently on his head, and then kisses him. "What a wild imagination you have there," she says as sweetly as possible.
The boy goes up to his room and gets ready for bed. He thinks for a little while. He knows he's seen that man before; his dark jumpsuit that covered every part of his body except the lower part of his face, his round ruby goggles, and the ruby orbs on his chest.
People talk about him on the news. They call him something. Some name. Terrible, or something like that. It bothers the boy. Three people gone, just like that. He wonders where they went, and he hopes they really aren't dead, unless the place they went is worse than death; in which case, he then hopes they're dead. It seems kind, somehow.
Then the boy gently shuts his eyes, and drifts to sleep. He dreams of masks and capes and superpowers, and in his dreams, the people with masks and capes and powers are called heroes. Superheroes. Superheroes...in his dreams, the boy thinks that sounds nice. People who could protect other people. In Rail City, that would be awfully nice.
Downstairs, the boy's mom is almost finished washing dishes after a long day working at Edie's Diner. In the other room, there are muffled voices. They talk about an incident at the local bank. They say that the man who calls himself 'Captain Midnight' was spotted again, killing three men who were freshly starting their graveyard shift at the bank. They say that the Captain is a terrorist, a wildcard. They say that sometimes he would save people, but other times, harm them. They warn the people of Rail City to be on their guard, to notify the authorities as soon as the Captain is spotted.
The boy's mom finishes washing dishes after a long day working at Edie's Diner. She turns off the TV she has on for white noise, and then heads upstairs for bed, dreading the grind that begins at the crack of dawn.
When the boy wakes up the next day, he has a great idea. He goes down stairs, fixes himself a bowl of cereal, and then grabs some paper and a pencil his mom must have left on the coffee table. In one hand, he sips on a spoon of milk, and fructose, fake-corn loops; in the other hand, he pens his great idea. At the top of his paper, it reads: "The Adventures of Captain 12AM : Raccoons Robbing Rail City."
Under the words, the boy doodles a cover page, and then signs it, "Stanley." And then he begins to write...
"When the Captain arrived, he found three raccoons robbing the bank. No kidding, they were really raccoons--not just burglars with bandit masks. Raccoons! Anything in Rail City is possible, of course..."