Friday, January 25, 2013

Quantum Dissolve: Chapter Four. (The man behind the mask)


January 13th.

"Once upon a time, there were a bunch of guys shooting each other with big guns...".


January 14th.

Dusty Irwin was born.


Harry Hembock was published.

Meanwhile, five year old Dusty Irwin read "Magic Secrets", and started to see through the veil of bullshit.


Six year old Dusty was ga-ga over his favorite comic book superheroes.
Including, Harry Hembock.

Inspired by what he saw, Dusty beat up his first bully.
Rescuing Kimber Allison in the process.


Seven year old Dusty wanted to be a detective.
He read all the Almanac Smith mysteries in one summer in preparation.

That school year, bit by bit, he cleaned up all the playground bullies.
Either through direct confrontation, or by finding dirt.

Dusty observed, teachers not only didn't seem to give a shit about stopping bullies, but weirdly seemed to approve of bullies, and there was a blatant double standard going on in rule enforcement.
As Dusty quickly discovered in the detention room.


Eight year old Dusty Irwin held as still as he could, and watched TV while his best friend's big sister applied green Halloween makeup to his face, and black circles around his eyes.

It was summertime.

They were going to play a little prank.

Dusty had spread, with Kimber Allison's help, a legend, to put the spook into some of the kids.
Particularly the bullies.
Now, it was time to bring the legend to life.


Nine year old Dusty Irwin, kid detective, now had several adventures under his belt.
Pirate treasure, haunted houses, Dusty was your guy.

The other kids thought he was great.
Except the bullies.
And the father of one particular bully.
Who had overreacted to "The Green Monster", and fired into the woods.
Killing his hunting partner, co-worker, and secret gay lover.
Whom, he proceeded to bury out in the swamp.
Said father of particular bully, of course, had powerful friends.


Dusty was ten years old.

On that day, his bus had broken down, and needed some sort of unspecified fixing by the driver.
Strange suspicious fixing.

He arrived two hours late.

Eight year old Kimber Allison ran out of the Elisa Jack elementary school, covered in (someone else's) blood, tears and snot streaking her face.

"They're all dead!! They're aaaalll deeaaaadd!!", she kept screaming.

Dusty, without thinking, scowled, and ran right in.
He waded into an abattoir that would haunt him forever.

Splattered heads, blown off limbs, eyeballs, teeth, blood spattered walls, a full chamber of horrors.
They were, indeed, all dead.

He grit his teeth, and forced himself onward.
"Policemen see it all the time, policemen see it all the time, policemen see it all the time", he chanted in his head.

He crept carefully, quietly,  room by room, until he'd cased almost the whole building,...the killer never presented himself.

Finally, he found a machine gun, lying carelessly in the middle of the floor.
He touched it.

Officers flooded in, screaming "don't fucking mooooove!!! Don't fucking mooooovee!!!!".

"Aw, shit", he grumbled.
Only he heard himself.

He was slammed to the floor harder than he ever had been, and was handcuffed.
He offered no resistance.

As he was dragged off to a paddy-wagon, Kimber bawled "noooo!! Dusty didn't do it!! Dusty didn't do iiiit!!"
He never saw her again.


Dusty was sent to juvie until he was old enough to stand trial.
Some villainous scumbag took him aside at one point, and hissed some speech at him that started with "listen, you little SHIT..", Dusty tuned him out from there.
This was obviously some representative of whomever had staged all of this.
Dusty made a mental note of his features, and ticks.
Someday, he was going to get the bastard.
He made him the first entry on his list.
The vague gist of the nasty little speech was to the effect that nothing he would ever do would matter.
"We'll see about that...", Dusty thought with a smirk.
He got open-handed blasted across the face for the smirk.


Dusty's parents were dead.
Apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dusty knew better.
He cried whenever it was safe to.
Which wasn't often.


Sixteen year old Dusty was tried as an adult, and sent to maximum security prison.
He added the phony bought-off judge to his list.

Over the next few years, he dodged many paid murder attempts.
The list kept growing.
And growing.
And growing.


One day, the judge who convicted him mysteriously died.
With him gone, his appeal magically went through.
He was released.
His trial was exposed as the travesty it was.
But, the damage was done.

Dusty got his GED, and became janitor at Elisa Jack.
Someone had to keep watch.

He also learned, the father of the particular bully, mayor now.
Already on the list.


August 5th.

Dusty saw a GQ article on real superheroes.
He printed it out, and kept it on him.
He didn't quite know why.


October 20th.
Dusty Irwin wandered through the grocery store, and then stopped dead in his tracks.

There was a display of Halloween masks, and one of them hypnotically grabbed his attention.


From Dusty Irwin's notes.

"I think the 21st century will be seen as the age of the superhero.
These twenty-something young men, they were ten when 9/11 happened.
Trauma in early childhood creates a hero.
This country had a mass one.
If super VILLAINS can be real, your Osama Bin Ladens, your Bernie Madoffs, then, as a simple act of the universe thermodynamically balancing itself, superHEROES must exist.
They just MUST.
This all of course comes along with the wave of films, and even...a superhero president. that is seen as such".

"I've got to get in on this".


January 14th

"If it doesn't matter...then I can do what I want anyway", Dusty grumbled.

He rolled over, and looked at the costume draped across the kitchen chair.

Black jeans, black workboots, black sweatshirt, black flak vest, black leather gloves, black fanny-pack full of toys, and...the mask.

"Yeah, fuck it, I'm doing it".

He nodded, rolled back over, and went back to sleep.

The Jade Shade he would be.

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