Oh man, what a week for The Negative Man series to return to a computer screen near you. In the Summer Indie Book Awards, the flagship title in the series, City of Chaos, is in first place in the sci-fi category. Yep, first place – how epic is that? The contest goes through Sept 11th, so feel free to help me out and vote at this link.
Also, if you’d like to read City of Chaos, go back a few days and you’ll see a post entitled something along the lines of the “easy chapter guide.” Hop on that page and enjoy every single chapter from the comforts of The Penalty Box.
Now back to the main event. We pick up the story at the end of Stormfall, so if you haven’t read that yet, major spoilers are coming. Our new lead character for this twenty issue event is none of than Heather Adams and she’ll lead us up to the beginning of the next book, Legen- wait, we’re not ready to give that information up yet!
So without further yapping from your friendly author, I bring you…
Issue #1 – Liberation Day
A year ago was the day I lost everything. The people of Pacific Station refer to it as Liberation Day, the day that The Morning Lynx defeated The Negative Man on the CW Poseidon. Rumors were he either died from the effects of the Stormfall or he was being held prisoner in Black Lagoon; either way Jericho was no longer the stable influence in my life. Without him, I had no reason to keep on living.
The feelings of pain inside soon hardened and turned to stone. All that was left for me to do was take my revenge against him – The Dark Lion’s son. I knew who he was, yet he had no idea who I was or what I was even capable of. Knowing I had the advantage, I hid in the shadows, waiting for the prime moment to strike.
Earlier in the day, the city had a huge celebration at the site. I was tempted to create a bloody massacre, to blow up every single person that came out to revel in Jericho’s defeat, maybe even death. It was all at the tip of my fingers when I stopped – he wouldn’t want me to do it. Jericho preached restraint, he wanted a better place.
So I stayed, sitting close enough to see people walk by, but far enough away that the pain of seeing the final battleground wouldn’t overwhelm me. As day turned to night and I became the only person left, I still sat. A year of questions, uncertainty, and anger buried me to this spot. Then I noticed two more people – they too seemed to not want to be noticed.
As they walked a bit closer, I recognized the mountain of a man in Father Reigart. He texted me daily, hoping that I would come in to see him and that we would talk about things. I thanked him for trying, but soon I ignored his messages. He faithfully sent me one every day, just like today. He asked me if I was going to be here.
The other man he was with, I didn’t know personally, but in the aftermath of discovering Titan’s true identity, I knew him as the comic bookstore owner. His wife, Diana, was a super with colossal power. She couldn’t control it though and the police department took advantage of her. He looked just as angry as I was.
“What are we doing here, Mike? I have no reason to see where my wife died.”
“We do, Kim. This is where the villain redeemed himself and did his best to save Diana. The Morning Lynx has confided in me so.”
Kim broke down, crying. It was hard to watch. “He came into the shop that night and I told him what needed to be done. Her death is on my hands.”
Father Reigart tried to comfort him. “You tried to give her peace in a world that wouldn’t allow it. You did everything you could.”
It took a few minutes, but Kim settled down. “I’m still angry you know; angry about so much. I almost understand why The Negative Man did what he did.”
“Jericho was a complicated man. There was good inside, even if he failed to see it.”
It was my turn for my eye’s to begin watering. Hearing Father Reigart talk about him, it was almost like having him back. Part of me wanted to run over to him and ask where he was, was he really dead? Yet I stayed where I was, not wanting anyone to know what had become of me.
“Is it true he died, Mike?”
Reigart seemed tack aback by the question and tried to cover it up with a cough. “Why do you care, Kim? I don’t see how his fate affects you.”
“If he survived, one day I’d like the chance to thank him. Like I said, I now understand his motivations.”
Father Reigart didn’t want to answer. I found myself waiting with bated breath, he knew information that I wanted. The silence was deafening. Then, “He’s unconscious in Black Lagoon’s hospital. The doctors aren’t sure if he’ll ever wake up.”
Cold – from the center of my body and it spread out to everywhere. A fate worse than death. “No.”
Neither man heard me, not that I cared. Hearing that Jericho was in such a state renewed the fury inside me. His body would not be put on display as a trophy. Getting up and walking away quickly, I needed to put together a plan to break him out. “You’re coming home, Jericho.”
You can find The Negative Man saga over on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston