It's not easy being a superhero... Okay let me clarify: It's not easy being a bottom of the totem pole superhero. I'm definitely better than everyday people that get licensed and just fight crime on weekends, maybe once or twice a month. Those people are pathetic, the reserves of the heroing community. But unfortunately I'm not a big name like Plasmoidus or The Key of Franklin, so it's not like sponsors are busting my door down. And I'm considered too much of a loose canon for the Assembly of Power, so for the most part I'm funding this all out of my own pocket. Honestly I don't see how Batman does it, he must have saved a billionaire's life or something. I have a Paypal accepting donations but that usually barely covers the utility bill. Then again I do have a substantial electric bill, recharging my hammer. I keep threatening to install solar panels but they'd clash with the motif. Still all in all I'm pretty happy with where NikoLightning is. Sure I have to do the occasional mall opening, but it's better than my days doing birthday parties. In between I usually temp, that's actually how it all started, a boring day helping a patent office scan their records. I may have taken some Tesla files to lunch to read and not come back, but that's for the origins story.
Day job temping, night foiling jewelry robberies. Occasionally I spend my nights as a security guard and days foiling bank robberies just to change things up, but those are rare occasions usually driven by monetary concerns. I'm not a big fan of change, but as a superhero it's not good to get stuck in a rut of just doing patrols. If you want upward mobility you need to take out supervillains. That's where I usually have problems. You never know who's able to take a 1.21 jig-o-face-slam without flinching. I mean you got your earth elementals, your terrakinetics, your shield mages, other electric based fighters, or occasionally just some nut with a high threshold for pain. But I do my best, and always check Google, or at least Saphrae. He helps me fabricate batteries for my suit when they break, but he's also pretty good at finding information online. I keep telling him he should go Oracle, but he doesn't listen. My suit is state of the art... for 1905, but by that point people paid little attention to Tesla. Wireless electricity, poly-phase batteries, impulse controls, and the funny thing is his assistant suit research was scrapped because he was supposed to be building a weapon. They were fools, it doesn't take Luigi Galvani to point out how much damage you can do by electrocuting somebodies organs. But I'm not supposed to do that. With the high chance that a robbery was fueled by necessity it's "bad press for The Assembly to have a hero out there making widows and orphans." Always the same letter, year after year it's "We regret to inform you..."
All I needed was a big break, then it's no more day job, and weekends off. Also the medical and dental were bound to be better than my VA benefits. Not that those were bad, it's just I hear the AoP Medical does cybernetic implants and alien gene therapy. All I needed was a big name villain, pulling a crime near me. But not just any villain, they can't be to fit. Also a lower threshold for pain would help. And if he were plotting for Mole-man dominance, I'd have the perfect opportunity to market my own whack a mole game. Problem is in the Pacific Northwest most villains tended to be hippies. And while they made a satisfying crunch sound when hit, the media tends to paint their crusade as misguided but morally right.
I have had some big breaks, but most of those were team efforts where a filled a small but very pivotal role. Just be sure to ask Chesterwick about the Renegade Roanokes and their plot to sink New England. Or Steve about our fight against Squarepeg Roundhole and his army of nailmen. No the story I'm going to tell you about is all my own. No help from anyone, except Saphrae but he got the designs for a rechargeable battery with a power output that would put a nuclear reactor to shame, and all he did was build me one.
It was a dark and stormy night. I know that's as tired as a cliché can get, but in this case it was very true. I was hanging out on a mountain top trying to grab a lightning bolt or two. With a suit capable of sending electricity 52.55 miles, you need a lot of juice to keep it charged. It's a waste by the way, the farther you send the bolt, the less aim you get over it. Unless I've planted my hammer on it. Anyways, so I was up there in the mountains trying to egg on a ripe looking cloud when the sky seemed to catch fire. Having never seen such a thing I bravely screamed like a castrato and ran for cover. Peaking out from the ultra-safe half rotted log I saw the cloud cover suddenly break as a large object came plummeting through it. Regain my composure I crept closer to the edge very quietly lest the alien vessel should hear me. From the bluff I saw the craft land in a forest down in the valley, eschewing the open, and quite frankly invitingly level field nearby. This was my first clue that something wasn't right.
As dark as it was I couldn't get a clear view of the craft, and unfortunately I was wearing my stormtracker goggles and lightning safety tophat, so I'd have to hike it down there if I wanted to see it better. While deciding if I wanted to see it better I checked for cell signal, zero bars. As remote as this location was I'd be lucky if I could muster the assistance of a helpful Sasquatch, and I don't think I need to tell you how selfish they are. Throwing caution to the wind and praying for some Martian teens that borrowed dads craft for a joyride (rather than the drunken college Martians looking for a friendly probing), I decided to investigate.
My boots would absorb most of the impact and convert the remaining momentum into pain, but they were too loud so I took the scenic path. Half an hour later I was edging through the trees, expecting to see the landing site behind each one. It took me a while to find it but when I did I realized frisky Martians would be the least of my worries. The vehicle was fairly nondescript, a uniquely alien trait, but still recognizable. There was no doubt that this was a Neptutian craft, as theoretically were the occupants, as there were few being that could pilot a vessel designed by creatures with prehensile cytoplasm. But that didn't make sense, they were all killed. It was all over the news, huge battle, tons of death, honor and glory. Mextli killed their hierarchy, collapsing the neural infrastructure or something like that. This was clearly too big of a job for me, I had to go tell somebody.
The sound of an energy weapon charging is unmistakeable.