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Trouble in Titan City; Episode 1

by Michael

Chapter 1.

The night started out like any other in Titan City, the sun set, rush hour came and went and then the night life of the city cranked it's self up. A regular part of the city's evening events was of course crime and to combat this crime, the police. However not all crime is created equally and likewise the people who commit it and defend against it aren't equal either. On this particular night, one individual who goes only by the name of Jack Hammer or Jack to the few henchmen who can get away with calling him that, was pulling a job at a warehouse near the docks. This particular villain one which could be loosely described as "super", fore he possessed well above average strength in a toned, compact form, had a penchant for high tech heists. Tonight he was pilfering some experimental equipment from Singularity Labs, a local technology development firm.

Unfortunately for him, while the heist was going quite well, it had not gone unnoticed. As luck would have it, one of the city's few super heroes happened to be in the area and spotted the beams from the portable lights the thieves were using. Usually Jack would never have made such a gross miscalculation in his plans, however the nature of the crate they were stealing required a light source to identify which ones to take and which to leave. It was this double twist of fate that led Arc, a hero blessed with the power of super speed, directly to the group of thugs and their high powered leader. Bolting strait into action, Arc dropped out of his hyper speed just long enough to deliver a cheesy one-liner and then accelerated back out of sight.

"Sorry boys, those boxes aren't yours, but the police have some nice barred ones they wouldn't mind you having." the spandex clad speedster stated before vanishing. A gust of wind belied his movements as he zigzagged through the warehouse and smashed a fist, elbow or knee into each of the henchmen he could get his hands on. Jack meanwhile cursed under his breath and reacted immediately to try and avoid assault by the super sonic hero. Bolting out the back way and heading for the docks where his boat was waiting, Jack carried with him two of the crates they were stealing and tossed them into the craft where a third had already been loaded. While Arc mopped the floor with his henchmen, Jack Hammer revved his boat's engines and cruised out into the harbor.

"Oh man! You've got to be kidding me." Arc grumbled as he heard the sound of the escaping speed boat. Although he was faster then just about anything on land, his power did not extend to water and the hero was forced to let the leader get away. At least though it was only with a fraction of his prize and at the cost of all of his toadies that Jack got away, meaning that the streets would at least be somewhat safer. Still annoyed though that he'd missed getting the bad guy, Arc rounded up all of the thugs one by one and tied them all to a lamp post outside the building before alerting the police. While most heroes would have bowed out graciously at that point and left the police to simply find the henchmen, Arc stuck around for the cameras. In spite of all of his good deeds, the hero had one huge failing and that was his ego. He was so fast that no one could touch him and it had gotten to his head. So bad was it that he didn't bother with a secret identity any more, people knew who he was and where he lived. The only saving grace was that he had no family for villains to exploit.

Jack however was quite cunning in spite of his strength. While the super strong tended to think with their muscles, Jack used his brain as well and had a plan. He'd turn that smug look of self satisfaction on Arc's face upside-down and use the hero's own vanity to do it. Oh yes, as he cruised across the bay and watched the news on a portable TV, he could see the plan coming together. Soon Arc would just be a memory to the city and both the three crates he'd managed to get his hands on and the speedy man's own arrogance would help Jack to do it.

Chapter 2.

"Hammer industries how my I help you?" came the reply over the phone from a pleasant female's voice.

"Uh yes, I just received a letter in the mail from your company. I…" Arc stated into the phone while sitting on the terrace of his penthouse apartment.

"May I ask who is calling sir?" the secretary interrupted.

"Oh, this is Arc, the super hero, perhaps you've heard of me, I was on the new last…"

"Oh yes, mister Arc, I'll put you right through to mister Hammer." She broke in again. There was a click on the line, then a few moments silence and finally another click.

"Hammer industries, Hammer speaking, what can I do for you?" a gruff, male voice answered the line.

"Uh yes, mister Hammer… I just received a piece of mail from you offering a spokesman job…" Arc started but was again interrupted.

"Ah yes, Arc, the hero. Indeed, we send that out, yes. I was hoping I could talk you into becoming our new spokesman for our line of sports cars. My marketing people told me we needed something fast and sexy to run along side the car and I thought cheetahs and tigers are so over rated. Then you came up in conversation and bam, best idea ever to come out of my marketing crew." Hammer replied, making sure to lay on a thick helping of ego stroking verbiage.

"Oh, well it's not often I get asked by big companies to do that work." Arc replied, lying through his teeth. He'd been in at least two men's magazines and on television more then any other hero in the world, granted most of them tried to avoid the cameras.

"Well I'm sure we'll be able to work out something mutually profitable. My secretary has all of the details if you accept the offer. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly." Hammer replied and switched Arc back to the secretary.

Over the next fifteen minutes to two conversed and although Arc was feigning disinterest he eventually accepted the offer and took down the information. The shoot had been scheduled for the next day surprisingly and at another warehouse which was apparently being used by Hammer Industries as a set. There was a banner on the front of the building and a few cars outside as well as a red sports car half covered by a drop cloth parked outside. Arc arrived on foot as usual, seeming to just pop in out of nowhere and walked into the parking lot at a normal pace. He was greeted by two very sharply dressed women and escorted to a changing room to slip into the shorts he was to wear on the shoot.

Coming out of the changing room, Arc met the two ladies again, but strangely no one else. He didn't think anything of it, the attention of two such women looking over his half nude body was enough to keep his mind and ego occupied. They led him out to the back of the factory where there were several lights set up and three very large machines on tripods that looked like overgrown movie cameras.

"Heh, little big for cameras eh? What's the matter, Hammer cheaping out on the good ones?" Arc joked as the walked to a pillar the lights and cameras seemed to be angled around.

"Not quite. Big cameras are required for high speed photography. Stand here now. Director wants to get some establishing shots." One of the women said in a distinctly Russian accent.

"Ok, but I'm not seeing any director." Arc replied and leaned up against the pillar.

"He will be here shortly. Was detained in traffic. Not everyone is as fast as you, you know." the Russian replied and headed towards the camera in the middle. Her silent counterpart meanwhile went over to a control box and switched on the lights then moved to another that apparently controlled the other two cameras as there were thick cables running from them to the box.

When it sounded as if the cameras were running, Arc took a stereotypical heroic pose to further feed his own ego. Placing his hands on his hips, he puffed out his chest and flexed his abs while looking off into the distance.

The silent woman simply shook her head and looked back to her work, prompting Arc to think that perhaps she didn't swing his way, after all, who wouldn't be attracted to his god like physique. The Russian though seemed somewhat more willing to placate his ego as she flipped a few switches on the camera and looked up at him with a smile.

"Very nice mister Arc, could you pose flexing both arms please. Director wanted me to get an idea of how much contrast there would be." she stated, further feeding the man's swollen head.

"Heh, sure thing." Arc replied and brought his arms up into a flexing pose. He looked directly at the camera this time and instead of wearing a stoic visage, had an arrogant smirk plastered across his face.

"Hey ladies, this a car commercial or an underwear ad?" he asked while holding the pose. However before he could get a reply, there was a sudden and violent tugging at both of his arms. It was as if a pair of invisible hands had grabbed hold of Arc's forearms and wrenched them out to the sides.

"No, it's bondage show." the Russian replied with a sly grin and then tapped another control on the "Camera". At once Arc was dragged back to the pillar behind him and his arms pushed flat against the yellow painted beam by the invisible hands that had seized him.

"Arrrr…. What are you doing?" he yelled but received no answer. Instead a familiar, gruff voice boomed out from one of the cargo containers stacked behind the camera's to keep anyone from seeing into the shooting area.

"Oh you'll find that out soon enough. In the mean time, get comfortable, you're going to be here for a while." the voice stated as Jack stepped into view on top of the center container. "Is he ready?" the man asked. Arc meanwhile could only glare up at the other man, his arms were stuck fast and unless they could be freed, his powers were useless.

"The pressers are functioning normally, he isn't going anywhere. He's all yours darling." the Russian replied and started to walk off with her silent companion.

"Excellent work Ursa, I will see you back at the base." Jack replied and leapt down from the container. The man was dressed only in a pair of white shorts and a grey tank top which he immediately pulled up and stretched behind his head.

Jack looked at his prize with contempt and Arc stared back with a look of utter astonishment. He couldn't believe he'd been so thoroughly fooled. "So, you're Hammer. How could I have been so stupid?" he asked rhetorically.

"Easily, you are stupid. This plan was so transparent that a third grader wouldn't have fallen for it. I can't believe you never connected Hammer industries and my name. Just shows you deserve what I'm about to do to you." Jack replied.

"Oh yeah? And what's that scrum bag?" Arc retorted.

Jack laughed and faked being stabbed, stumbling back holding his chest. "Your words cut me to the quiche sir. How could you?!" he chuckled and was thoroughly enjoying himself while Arc stood helpless before him. "But back to business. You think you're the hottest thing in town, no one can touch you? Well you're wrong. I'm going to touch you and I'm going to make it hurt. We're going to start with that body your so keen to flash around. Once you're begging for mercy we'll see where I take things next." Jack continued in a menacing tone.

Chapter 3.

With the hero firmly held in place and helpless to stop him, Jack set about punishing the arrogant do-gooder, using no less then the full capacity of his super human strength. Starting off to destroy the muscles and humiliate Arc first, rather then going for easy shots at the solar plexus, Jack hammered his fists into Arc's middle stomach. Each punch impacted on or just above the navel, pummeling the poor hero's defensive muscles. Arc strained to keep his abdominals tight but every punch felt just like this villain's name, a jackhammer. It only took two dozen or so of the super powered punches for arc's toned musculature to give up and Jack's fists to start sinking into his guts with every blow. Supported as he was by the pillar, Arc's body had nowhere to go and was forced to absorb the full force of every punch.

"Mmm, lovely, getting lice and soft now. Guess we're about to find out what your guts really are made out of." Jack joked and launched an uppercut into Arc's solar plexus.

The beaten man's reply was only a resounding "Uhhhh!" as his lungs were emptied of their contents. He gasped immediately to try and refill them, but Jack wasn't about to let him. As soon as Arc's chest started to rise, Jack plunged his fist so deep into Arc's gut that it crashed up against the young man's spine and brought him nearly to the point of throwing up.

Jack didn't remove his fist though and kept it planted in Arc's guts, feeding the already growing pain that was surging through his innards. The throbbing ache and sheer pressure in his stomach caused the young man to gag, his mouth wide open as he tried to get a fresh breath of air. Jack enjoyed the look on Arc's face and indeed the whole aura of pain he was giving off so much that he refused to let it end with just one punch. Pulling his fist out of arc's guts, he gave the hero a few moments to try to breath and then introduced his other.

"Huuuuuhhhhh!...." Arc gasped out as Jack's fist plunged through his guts and again threatened to crush his back bone. Jack's fist stayed put again and Arc found it impossible to even breath. The aching in his stomach and chest had completely seized up his diaphragm and he hung practically lifeless against the pillar as his fission started to darken. Jack though picked up on this and pulled his fist out of Arc's stomach before the young man could completely pass out on him.

"Ah ah ah, no sleep for you. It's still play time." he taunted and gave the helpless egomaniac a slap right between the legs to wake him up. Arc jolted from the blow and truly wanted to cry. The pain in his guts was like nothing he'd ever felt and that slap was almost as big an ego crusher as having his body slowly destroyed by this fiend. All he could do to resist it though was grit his teeth and try to deal with the pain Jack was putting him through.

Another fist pounded into Arc's gut furrowed by the sharp gasp of lost air. A second fist, again Arc gasped and tried feebly to flex what was left his abs but there was no response from his wrecked defenses. Jack's fist plowed into his stomach again, bringing the urge to throw up to a new high, to much so that Arc swallowed again and again to try and keep it down. Jack though was watching his prize like a hawk, taking in every grunt, every flinch, everything and he picked up on what Arc was feeling and decided to take that particular discomfort away, by forcing it out of him.

Launching a ferocious uppercut with his left fist, Jack dug his blow in right under the ribs on Arc's left side and blasted the base of the man's stomach. Arc's eyes instantly went wide as gorge rocketed up his esophagus. Jack smacked the hero's head to the side so he wouldn't get vomited on and plowed his left fist into Arc's stomach a second time as the young man lost his lunch. He would have gagged and gasped for a few minutes had Jack given him time, but the villain wasn't going to play nice. As some as Arc's stomach contents had been emptied out onto the floor, Jack hammered another fist into Arc's middle, planting it against his spine again. The throbbing in the hero's guts and lack of air where again threatening to cast him from consciousness but moments before that would have happened Jack pulled his fist out. With there being no danger of Arc throwing up a second time, Jack took his punishment to the young man's upper gut and cranked up the power even more.

An absolutely brutal series of uppercuts crashed into Arc's midsection, all landing in or just under the solar plexus. The hero likely would have passed out from the sheer lack of oxygen by now except that the force of the blows was enough to compress his chest and get some air flowing in his lungs. The shock of having his guts so violated did the rest of the work needed to keep Arc awake. For about the next fifteen minutes all that sounded in the area was the dull thuds of Jack's fists meeting Arc's useless abs and the weak grunts and gasps the defeated hero elicited in response. Somewhere along the way blackness had crept into Arc's vision and he went completely limp, saved from further torment, at least for the moment by unconsciousness.