Release Day Special! The Negative Man: Prelude to Chaos (Chapter 11)

We did it everyone! First and foremost, a happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate it. May your day be full of brats, beer, and Negative Man. Yep, Legends Can Die is officially out on the Kindle and the paperback version is available at most major retailers’ websites. This book is the culmination of a year of planning, writing, and putting together one of the coolest plots I think I’ve come up with. I really hope you enjoy it.

As the day goes on, the rest of Prelude to Chaos will pop up on the blog. We’re going to start here with Chapter 11 and keep coming back as we plow through to the finish!

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Chapter 11 –

Friday Night; Cieslik Residence

I followed Erin and his wife home. When they pulled into the driveway, she got out and went inside to check on the kids and babysitter. Erin, a bit drunk, stumbled out of the driver’s door and stretched out. This was my opportunity. I rushed forward and using my powers, subdued him. I dragged him to my car, loaded him into the trunk and left. Sorry Mrs. Cieslik, you’re about to become a widow.

I stopped driving once we got out to the secluded area known as Dungeon Cove. It was well outside the town and the rocky terrain made the cove almost inaccessible to regular old Joes. It was here where I dumped area and slapped him a few times, waking him up.

Erin didn’t fully realize what was happening right away, that is until he really saw who it was. “Jericho? What’re you doing, man?”

“We were friends. I tried to live a good and decent life and then I find out my one friend is working with those two crooked captains, Esposito and Pabon.”

He put his hands up. “Listen I can explain. They’re paying me a lot of money to steal Wonder-Tech prototypes.” He tried to stand up, but slipped on the wet rock. “I was going to warn you before it went off, give you time to leave.”

I honestly believed he was going to do that. Unfortunately, there was something he didn’t know about me. I grabbed my mask from my jacket and put it on. “Why would I want to leave the city I’ve chosen to reshape?”

“No…” Surprise always seemed to be the reaction. “Jericho dude, tell me you’re not The Negative Man.”

The time for charades was over. “Where are Pabon and Esposito? Tell me, because it’s only going to get worse if you don’t.”

He was trying to get away from me, but the rocks were just too damn slippery. “I don’t know! I was supposed to deliver the charger to them once Jenkins finished it. They were going to text me the address.”

Erin knew too much. I hated the idea that he had to die; it just was the way of the world. “Thanks for being a good friend. Maybe in the afterlife, if there is one, drinks can be on you.”

Like I did to Valiant, I was quick and efficient, not prolonging the suffering needlessly. When he was dead, I kicked his body into the water, letting Mother Nature do away with the evidence.


When I turned on the news the next morning, the top story was the abduction of local man, Erin Cieslik. Police Chief Harvey Grimes wasn’t all that positive, basically telling the viewing audience that this was probably going to end up being a homicide case. Granted, he was right, but man, he was a terrible interview.

I sat down with my bowl of cereal in hand and was getting ready to turn the television to the West Coast Sports Network when my door was rather rudely kicked in. The owner of said foot, Captain Channel Esposito, stormed in with his partner, Captain Joshua Pabon right behind him. Both men had assault rifles strapped to their backs, like they were getting ready for a war.

It was surreal to watch them calmly take seats in my living room, not even breaking character for the fact they just kicked in my door. “You’ve been drafted to support the army,” Esposito said calmly. “As such, the nature of this non-voluntary assignment is extremely classified.”

“We need you to deliver us the prototype that Erin Cieslik was supposed to get,” Pabon added in.

I played dumb. Giving away my hand in this situation wasn’t going to get me anywhere except for more dead bodies. “What in bloody hell are you talking about?”

Esposito smiled. “I told you Cieslik kept his mouth shut. Jericho here is in the dark.”

Pabon leaned in, “You’re familiar with the prototype charger that a man named Phil Jenkins is developing for your company, correct?” I was. “Erin was going to steal it for us, that way we could complete assembly for the plutonium core. This crooked town needs a nuclear cleansing.”

“Wait, so you two are the ones who bought the core from that super?” I knew all of this, but it was fun to watch them squirm a little. “Channel, not just a few days ago you were here telling me you weren’t involved.”

“A necessary lie to keep you off the path until we were ready.” He stood up, getting ready to launch his villain speech. I knew this move, as I had perfected it myself. “My wife was killed by one of these freaks. Supers… they are a blight to our society and the west coast, especially Pacific Station, embraces them. Well, no more. With that plutonium core, we’re going to make a mark that will act as a beacon to the rest of the nation.”

And people thought I (or rather The Negative Man) was extreme. “What about all the innocent people you’ll kill?”

“No one here is innocent. Go to an elementary school and the kids worship The Dark Lion. Not our soldiers, they worship a monster.”

I was going to get through with reason. The ideal plan would be to go along with this and find the core. “Obviously I have no choice, so when and where do I need to get this charger to you?”

Pabon pulled out a scrap piece of paper with an address written down on it. “Erin was going to make the delivery Tuesday night, once Jenkins ran his last field test. You’ll be expected to do the same.”

There was really nothing left to say. I took the paper and the two of them left. Before Channel completely disappeared from view, he added, “You’re a good man for accepting this mission. Sometimes you need to burn Rome to save it.”


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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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