The city. All up and down the coastlines and inland on the crags, the dreaded monoliths to the empowering human race stand in cold and shadowy stillness. The gaping maws of the streets that criss-crossed the building plans of the concrete wastelands beckoned people from far and wide to congregate, get a job, get in line, spend your money, and watch your back. The human nature may be beautiful as a whole, but an ugly side exists. So it exists in the city. Crime rises, purses are held tighter, more sleepy security guards are hired, and more bars are put up over church windows. In these troubled times, people look to the skies for an answer. Someone or something to lead them from this accursed existence and show them the meaning of the word freedom....
Instead, they get a ticker tape parade. However, the parade is a celebration of triumph for the homecoming heroes. The Freedom Five, Pentopolis's top heroes, are being paraded down Main Street to celebrate the victory over the Malefactors, the sinister group of super villains that have plagued the city for years. The heroes, recently banded together, had fought the menaces for almost three years before just yesterday when Prometheus, the leader of the Malefactors, was defeated. Hoorah for the oncoming heroes, standing on their float! Hoorah for the heroes waving majestically to the crowd! Hoorah for the Freedom Five! Hoorah for Pentopolis! Hoorah! Hoorah!
The cry rang up all over the city. Vendors closed down for the day and held their sons up on their shoulders. Mothers cooed wailing infants as old men hooted at the baton twirlers. The band was bright and brassy in their crisp white uniforms and everywhere, the din was excruciatingly loud.
At least it was for Nightshade, dark hero of the Five and lead informant. His senses, keener and sharper than most people's, were pouring on the decibels from the screaming crowd. His sight, half consumed in the glaring mid morning sun, could barely discern the red haired woman next to him or her bright yellow and orange bodysuit for that matter. Scorcia, looked back at Nightshade and pondered whether or not he was hot in all the black fabric he was wrapped in. At least he uncovered his face for the event.
Mental Man brushed back a long black hair and adjusted his platinum eye mask. The lavender, green, and platinum spandex that surrounded his very masculine body was hot and itchy, but he managed to smile and wave anyway. The Paladin was having a tougher time in his shining silver armor. The Righteous Arm and the Holy Word, his sword and shield, leant up against his thigh as his sweating face was kept down and smiling shyly. The Avian, youngest and prettiest of the Five, stood behind them all so his mighty ten foot wingspan of feathery alabaster could stretch to its fullest. His toothy grin was a white as the robe he wore, and his hair was fair and golden like the tied rope at his waist. His sandals wrapped clear up to his thighs.
It was a grand celebration, but little did any of them know what awaited them. Although it was an ending, it was hardly the ending. This was the last time they would ever be commemorated in Pentopolis or anywhere else. This was the beginning of the end of the Freedom Five, for before they would disband a few years later, two would marry, one would disappear, one would go mad, and the last.....well, the last would die.
But before we discuss the ending, and since we already started at the middle, let me take a little while and talk about what brought our heroes, their heroes, and yes, even the villains to the point to where they are now. Yes, no one's story is ever complete as long as someone remembers them. The beginning however is absolute. No matter what happens, you cannot change the past. So let us go there and hope we can change the future.......