A Forgotten Death

Captain Crash was tied to a chair in a what looked like a featureless concrete room. He opened his eyes, but his left was swollen shut. His mouth was filled with blood, and when he spit, he could see that at least two teeth flew out in it.
Above him was a single hanging lamp, casting a pale greyish green light over him. It made the blood turn almost black. He could smell an awful mix of sulfur and blood in the air, mixed with cigarettes and perfume. Oranges and vanilla. That meant one thing.
The Secretary had found him.
He tried to break free from his bonds, but they were heavy steel bolted to the chair and to the ground. He could move his hands and feet, but nothing else. His eye wandered the room, trying to take in any extra detail, something that could tell him where he was—if he could figure that out, maybe he could get out of here alive. His chest was compressed. He could barely breathe. That meant no screams.
The chair rose from the ground, and spun 180 degrees. There was a door, a heavy steel thing with no knob.
And there were no windows he could break. This would be a tough job, even for a seasoned hero like Crash.
“Did you think it would be that easy, Captain Anders?” A voice asked from the corner. “You’d just report to the facility and think I wouldn’t notice?”
She was standing over a table, resting her hands in a bucket. The jacket of her impeccably tailored powder blue pantsuit was resting on a chair. Her sleeves were rolled up, and she was wearing a pair of wooden vambraces, covered in intricately carved inlays, filled with rubies and gold. She was holding her hands in a bucket of ice. It sloshed around as she flexed her fingers. “I’m nowhere near as strong as I used to be, I gotta tell ya. This happens more and more now.”
“Madam Secretary, I’m an officer in the United States Military, and an official Post-Human Operator,” he said through broken teeth and swollen lips. “You’re not gonna get away with this.”
She lifted her hands from the bucket, and toweled them off. Moving with an inhuman quickness, she was on him, and her fist met his jaw. Everything went white for a moment, and then he returned to the world. Her fists and the vambraces were glowing in eerie red and gold hues.
“Captain, you’re the first person to leave the facility that the Vice President was able to read.” In the corner he stood, stock still and towering, eyes glowing purple. “He got something from you. Nothing definite—impressions, really.”
“But we got something from you. Oh boy, we got something from you.” The VP’s eyes glowed brighter and Crash could feel him digging into his head.
“Well, Mr. Vice President, let’s see them!”
Crash felt his world convulse. A sound like sheet metal wobbling filled his head, and then the cell around him faded into blackness. A new world began to snap into place. The images were blurry and ragged, drained of nearly all their color. “We think they might have tried to wipe your memories when you left, but your abilities necessitate a stronger bone structure and a muscle mass than can withstand your own power, so whatever they did, it didn’t take—not all the way. You’ve got a thick skull and a fatter brain. Makes it tough to really get in there.”
It was a large containment unit. The General was standing next to him, and on Crash’s other side, a 8 foot tall beast that walked like a man. He wore a uniform that suggested elite military, but in his heart, he knew this was a real life alien.It was filled with a luminescent green fluid. Wires ran through it, connecting to a body, completely still in the fluid. “Entros,” one of them said. “—of some kind. We’re still—fig—ossibly mean.”
“Yes. —In gods. ——Must be close—“
And behind them was a door.
The memory ended, and Crash was back in the real world.
The Secretary bent over to look Crash in the eye. “They’re hiding something, and you lived to tell about it. I couldn’t let that slide.”
The VP nodded. “This is a good start to an investigation, son. You’ve tipped us off to something big.”
“Unfortunately, we can’t let you live. We have to deal with these issues discreetly, and a Post-Human is far too great a liability to keep around.”
“Why?”
“It’s been twenty years, son. The United States has struggled for two decades to restore truly powerful superheroes to its ranks. You know better than most. You fought the top when after everyone died. Even today, we live in the shadow of Fort Conger. Starfall destroyed everything, and we’re picking up the pieces. We wanted new heroes. A way to truly push us forward, and you know.” Another jaw blow. “Or know enough. We’ll get what we need and stop,”
Visions again. They were so intangible. They resisted any kind of touch. The buildings were made of wisps of silk, then the world disappears into a silk, as far as the eye could see. Crash could see the office, its fabric form billowing away in the unusually strong winds today.
“Give me a second longer.” The VP thought, and then nodded.
Nodding to the VP, his eyes glowed more intensely once again, and Crash’s restraints were removed. “It may not be the greatest way to go, but a decorated soldier such as yourself deserves to die on your feet.”
Making the most of it, Crash let out the loudest scream he possibly could. The VP fell to the ground, unconscious, while the Secretary kept her footing, even with the concrete cracking and breaking around her.
She delivered a flurry of punches to his face, and he did his best to block them, but she was too fast. His defenses were breaking and she was getting through, battering his cheeks and jaw. A final punch landed square in his nose, reducing it to a red ruin, and body blow seemed to collapse his stomach.
He fell to his knees, unable to breathe. The scream subsided. He couldn’t see anything. His arms felt limp and cold. The only feeling was the presence of the Secretary, looming over him.
“That was a fine showing, Captain, but I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve dealt with sonic abilities.” She put her hand on his forehead, and he could feel her hand beginning to close.
He attempted to speak, but nothing came out but blood and wheezing. He noticed he was beginning to cry.
“I’m sorry soldier, but your service to this country is at an end.” She closed her fist and Captain Crash’s skull cracked and splintered, stabbing fragments into his brain. It was at that point he lost consciousness and ceased to be.
Grey matter curled around her fingers, and she opened her head, letting the ruined corpse slump to the ground. “Fucking shame to lose him. You awake, Aaron?”
The VP rolled over, rubbing his head. He got to his hands and knees and vomited. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Good, ‘cause we have some work to do.”

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