Life is full of mysteries. Such as where do your socks go when you put them in the dryer? Or why is the sky blue? But the one no one has answered is where do Super Heroes go after they retire?
A lot of them don’t retire. That’s the sad truth. Many die fighting their sworn enemies. Though they usually take said enemy with them. However, those that do decide to retire either return to their mansion, or the go to the RHH (Retired Heroes Home).
Boasting over 50 rooms to choose from, the RHH is here to fit your needs. Just give us a call, or visit us, either online or in person. Get a tour of our luxury suites, or if that’s a bit dramatic, the shared rooming with old pals. If you wish, you can still practice your skills in our gym/training facility. A nearby lake provides both swimming and canoing/kyacking/other boating fun. Come and visit today, or call us on our toll free number 1-800-(Number hidden)-34
Everyone here has agreed, the RHH is Super!
Retired Heroes Home #001: New Arrival
Nathaniel Jacobs, aka ‘The Crimson Flame’, dropped his suitcase. Right on the busboy’s foot. “Sorry about that,” he said, though the words and voice didn’t quite match up. The busboy smiled.
“Not a problem, Mr. Flame. Not a problem at all.” The boy picked up the case and followed Nathaniel inside. “Name’s Cameron Cook, sir. We’re pleased to have you here, with us, at the RHH.”
“Yeah, and I’m so glad to be here,” Nathaniel replied, his voice as sarcastic as he could make it.
“Can I show you to your room?” Cameron asked.
“Been there, done that. I’m bunking with Mr. Marvelous, or Phil as they call him now.” Phil had been one of his best friends, back in the day. Nathaniel’s mind wandered back to it, but he quickly snapped back to the present. He was 69 years old, and everyone believed that the old fire was dying out.
Cameron followed the new RH through the halls. He was glad that the Crimson Flame wasn’t one of the huge heroes like Gravitator, or El Zorro. With those heroes, entire trucks had been brought in with all their junk. Old trophies, keys to cities, et cetera. Personally, Cameron didn’t care for the glory. He just had wanted to be a Super Hero so badly.
When he had found out his power, three years ago, at the age of seventeen, he had been elated. But then he found the extent of his power. Cameron could make flowers grow. That simple. He couldn’t make them grow anywhere, and couldn’t grow them so large that they could wrap around a person. He could just make them grow at an accelerated pace. That was what brought him to this place, the RHH. He had hoped that if he couldn’t be a Hero, he could at least help them out a bit.
Nathaniel wanted to curse. But the boy behind him seemed hardly old enough to watch a PG-13 movie, so he restrained himself. The place was nothing like his hideout in the Andes, where he had watched over the world with the Last Defense. But that team had broken up a long time ago, and for the last decade or so, he had been working out of a penthouse in Seattle. Quite a change from what he was used to.
But this is how he was going to live for the rest of his life. In a smelly old hotel filled to the brim with senile old Super Heroes. It could be worse, he supposed. He could have died in his last battle, the one with the Judge and Jury. He had barely made it out of there alive, and when he had recovered, the quacks at the SHH (Super Hero Hospital) said that he shouldn’t do any more hero work again. Shows what they knew, he thought.
He stopped off at his room, #25. He pulled open his door, and loud music blasted out. Clamping his hands over his ears, he pushed into the room. Instantly the music stopped. “Crimson Flame!” came a voice from the bed across the room.
“Mr. Marvelous,” Nathaniel said, grinning. It began to feel a little bit more comfortable. The busboy, Cameron, put the suitcase on the ground. “How’ve you been, Phil?”
“I’ve felt better, but right now, I’m Maaarvelous!” Phil said, using his old catchphrase. He jumped out of the bed. His legs didn’t work so well anymore, but that wasn’t a problem with Ole’ Marvelous. He could just float above the floor. “And what about you, Nate?”
“Still burning as bright as ever.”
“I’ll leave you two to catch up,’ Cameron said, turning to leave.
“Wait a second boy,” Phil said, his face lighting up with a huge grin. “Do you mind bringing the rest of the Last Defense up here? They ought to see that Nate is comin’ home!” Cameron smiled and nodded, leaving the room at last.
“How many of them are there here?” Nathaniel asked, sitting on his bed.
“With you here, there’s eight of us. Verity passed on last year, as you remember.”
“Yes, I was going to come for the funeral, but-” he was cut off by Phil.
“I didn’t mean dead, Nate. I mean she went home to her family in whatever star galaxy quadrant thing she lived in before.”
“Oh,” was Nathaniel’s reply. A loud pounding on the wall began, followed by a person’s shouts of anger.
“You keep it down in there. Some of us like the peace and quiet you know!”
“Is that…?” Nathaniel didn’t want to say who he thought it was, for fear of getting it wrong.
“Striker, yessir. And yes, we’re talking about the first Striker. The one who-”
“Would blast music out of his Strikermobile whenever he was going to apprehend criminals. Oh, the irony.”
They were quiet for a few seconds, then Phil spoke again. “Don’t worry, Crimson. You’ll get used to it here. It’s nice, and every so often, especially on Halloween, we get to catch all these nasty little boys who want to use our home as a target for eggs. Not quite Captain Infamy, but good fun nonetheless.”
“I wish I could believe that, Phil .I really do.” Suddenly, the door burst open.
“Crimson!” a voice boomed.
“Electrician! Wonder! Stardust! Namer! Sea Prince! Light Lord!” Nathaniel’s voice burst out as he recognized all his old teammates.
Electrician: Secret identity (SI) Scott Boyle. Powers: Ability to control anything electric.
Wonder: SI: Charles Briggs. Powers: Ability to fly, breath under water; enhanced strength.
Stardust: SI: Silvana Young. Powers: Flight, X-Ray vision, enhanced strength/speed under night sky.
Namer: SI: Alexander West. Powers: A command preceded by a person’s name must be obeyed.
Sea Prince: SI: Brian Silver. Powers: Breath under water, control any water/sea animals.
Light Lord: SI: John Evans. Powers: Able to warp light around him, making him invisible, direct light into opponents eyes, anything else that has to do with light.
“Great to see all of you!” Nathaniel said, hugging each one of them.
“And you,” Alexander said. The others echoed their agreement. the banging on the wall started again.
“Silence, you blasted young people!”
“I’m older than you, Striker!” Brian yelled, which quieted the old man for a few more seconds. The Last Defense looked around at each other.
“We’re all older than him,” Scott said, laughing. “He’s only 67. A mere baby compared to the rest of us.”
“Especially me,” the white haired Silvana said. “It took me 130 years before I finally quit. You all are just wimps, I guess.”
“We’re not aliens, that’s why,” John shot back, grinning.
“Better an alien then a man,” Silvana retorted, and everyone smiled, remembering the old days when John and Silvana would go at it for hours, if not days.
Charles smiled, leaning on his cane. “I’ve got be off. I’m on lunch today.” He hobbled off, his cane tapping all the while.
“Good old fashioned Charles cooking,” Nathaniel said dreaming of days when all the people gathered here would gather around the Last Defense breakfast bar, eating ‘Cook Chuck’s’ food.
“I have to admit, it’ll be nice to eat, then relax, maybe take a nap,”
“I was trying to take a nap, but then you all woke me up!” shouted the Striker.
“Oh, grow up!” was the reply by the all the Last Defense.
Lunch was delicious. It always was when Charlie cooked. Once again, Nathaniel was filled with good food, and surrounded by friends. Life felt very good.
Cameron always hung around him, which he felt was a bit strange, but at the same time, he understood. Back when he had just gained his power, the ability to control fire, he had followed the Unicorn around wherever he went.
“How many people are there here?” Nathaniel asked as they ate. It was Stardust who replied.
“Over fifty. But twenty-ish people are in their own area. They’re the ones that have all the money. El Zorro, the Hopper, even Grandman.”
Unable to help himself, John snickered. “Why would anyone give themselves a name like that? Grandman, it sounds like grand band, or grand stand, or grandma.”
“He’s old enough to be your grandpa, actually,” Brian drawled, leaning back in his chair. His energy was starting to deplete, and he was looking forward to the nap they had talked about earlier.
“What is he now? Like ninety something, right?”
“Yeah, I think he’s still in his nineties.”
The conversation continued on that train of though for several minutes, until Scott changed the subject. “What do you think of the kids who took our jobs?”
“Silversmith’s okay,” John said, referencing the man who could control metal. “But that other one, Google, isn’t it? He gives me the creeps.”
“Millionaire playboys do the stupidest things. Even if their I Q’s are high,” Silvana said.
Alex spoke up. “I trained Triton, so I totally agree with him. And Pyre’s okay as well.”
“You think they’ll be able to deal with the villains we had to? I mean the ones of that caliber,” Brian asked.
“I’m not sure,” Silvana replied. “They’re tough, but trying to fight someone like Captain Infamy, or the Destroyer. Even Night King was tough, and that was all about dreams.”
“Cameron, what are you muttering?” Nathaniel asked, staring at the twenty year old.
“Just the stats. Of the Villains, and Heroes.”
“What are my stats?” he asked.
“In your prime, the would be, let’s see, 50, 50, 20, 70. So a total of 190. Which is pretty good. Most people get somewhere around a hundred.”
“My stats?” John asked.
“40, 10, 90, 30. 170. As a team, you guys had above a thousand points in stats. Which is insane, even for the Justice League. And they had, like, fifteen members!”
“We’re the Last Defense. The just in case. But we were good at what we did.” That was Alexander for you. “Now, Cameron Miles Cook, get me a Coke.”
The boy got up and walked towards the kitchen.
“You’re not supposed to have soda,” Silvana chided, but Alexander just laughed.
“Please remain quiet for the next ten minutes, Silvana Alice Young.”
“Doesn’t work, buster,” Silvana said. “You can’t make me do that. Not in a million-” she fell silent.
“Seconds? Milliseconds? No, I suppose I can’t. But a million and one, now you’ll be quiet.”
“Alexander, you’re my new best friend,” John said, grinning. Silvana punched him in the shoulder, and he fell off his chair. “Now, make her stop moving,” John continued, getting up off the floor.
“Nothing doing,” Alexander replied, as Silvana pushed John down again. Everyone else at the table laughed, drawing the attention of all the other RHs.
“Come on,” Phil said, lifting off his chair. “We should get back to the room.” Smiling, Nathaniel followed his floating friend. A few Super Heroes met them as they walked out.
“Phil! How you been?” a tall man with a few specks of gray in his otherwise white hair asked.
“Been worse. Right now, I’m Maaarvelous! What about you, Theo?”
“Not bad, not bad. Who’s your friend?”
“Oh, right, Theo, meet Nathaniel Jacobson, otherwise known as-”
“The Crimson Flame! Yeah, I remember you! Man, I did not see that you were actually a school teacher! I though the Flame was Burnson Parks, that millionaire playboy.”
“I think he’s Google, actually,” Nathaniel replied, smiling.
“Right, anyway, we’re the Fearsome Foursome. If that means anything to you.”
“Of course it does!” Nathaniel replied. “You beat Scorpio, and the Grecians, right?”
“Right on both counts! And may I add, your work with the Last Defense was incredible. Absolutely. Almost better than Marvelous himself.”
“But you’re like me,” Phil said. “I’m Maaarvelous.”
“We know,” everyone chorused.
“Anyway, this is Jimmy,” gray hair, blue eyes, 5’ 9”, “Bart,” hair still silvery, slight goatee, brown eyes, 6’ 1” “And me own brother, Thad.” Same as Theo, white hair, taller than Bart, about 6’ 4”, blue eyes.
“Have a nice days, Foursome,” Phil said, continuing on.
Nathaniel followed closely. No one seemed to want to talk to them, which was fine by him. They made it back to the room and collapsed on the beds.
“It’s not home,” Nathaniel said, shaking his head. “But it will be. One day. I’m sure of it.”
Many of my stories come to me when I’m bored. This is no exception. I hope that it reminded you of the old days of comic books, when the heroes were actually heroic, when the villains could be redeemed, and when the plots were just plain fun.