Author Topic: The Human Torch  (Read 405 times)

Johnny Storm

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The Human Torch
« on: February 05, 2012, 05:32:14 PM »
Preparations

New York City
Two weeks ago...


"Johnny, you don't even know where this Rhydin is..." Sue Storm, Johnny's older and much wiser sister argued after re-reading the mysterious letter of invitation her younger brother had received from an equally mysterious courier, along with his reply, for the umpteenth time. "Meeting girls is not a good reason for wanting to join this group," she continued, unsurprised and with obvious disapproval.

Johnny rolled his eyes at his sister's reaction, though he had expected as much. At least, he was saying good-bye this time and not just going off on his own without any explanation.  "Suse, they need heroes, and I'm a hero," he pointed out, matter of factly, not meaning to boast, though it certainly seemed that way.

In truth, they were both heroes, in one way or another, and part of a team that had been dubbed The Fantastic Four, but for some reason, he was the only one of the four who had received an invitation, which pleased Johnny to no end, but worried his overly-protective older sister.

It was Sue's turn to roll her eyes in irritation. As older sister, it was her job to take care of her younger brother, especially since their parents had died. Even as a full-grown adult, Johnny had a bad habit of getting himself into trouble and needed someone to look after him, or so she thought. "How do you know it's not a trap?" she asked, pointing out the obvious. It was no secret they had enemies, people who would do anything for a chance to exploit or destroy them, and being the youngest, she felt her brother was the most vulnerable of the four, despite his abilities.

Johnny's expression softened when he realized his sister was really worried, and he smiled. Not the charming, debonair smile of a playboy trying to impress a woman he found attractive, but the warm, caring smile of a brother who, despite his sarcastic sense of humor, truly cared about her and knew without being told how she felt about him. "Sue, don't worry. I'll be okay. It's not like I'm going away forever. It's just another adventure."

"That's exactly what worries me," she replied, frowning worriedly. They'd already had enough adventure to last a lifetime, and Johnny was only twenty-five. She wasn't ready to lose him yet, like they'd lost their mother and father.

Not one for elaborate displays of emotion, Johnny pulled his sister in for a brief hug and kissed her on the forehead. "I'll be fine. I promise."

She was still frowning when he let go of her, and she gave him that same worried look. "Don't make promises you can't keep, Johnny."

"Who me? Never." He smirked. "Hey, maybe we should have a farewell party. In honor of, you know, me. Or a parade. Yeah, a parade with confetti and everything. Oh, we could have a float with me surrounded by supermodels and waving to the crowd. How do you like my parade wave?" He demonstrated, raising a hand, curling it slightly, and moving it slowly to and fro, like he'd seen people do time and again at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Sue heaved a sigh and rolled her eyes yet again. "You're impossible, you know that?"

He grinned back. "I know. That's what makes me so special." Besides the fact that he could fly at supersonic speeds and immerse himself in fire, not to mention other talents and abilities he thought too numerous to mention and not all of the superhuman variety.

"You're special, all right," a gruff voice resounded behind them, and Johnny turned to find a large man who looked like a living rock just entering the room. His name was Ben Grimm, otherwise known as The Thing, and despite their constant bickering, he and Johnny were, in fact, good friends. "Short bus special. Where you off to now, kid? Got a fire to put out in some hottie's panties somewhere?"

"No," Sue replied, frowning at them both. "He's accepting the invitation to join some group calling themselves The Avengers in some place called Rhydin."

"Avengers, huh?" Ben echoed, scoffing. "Ain't that name already been taken?" he asked, scratching his head, but not really scratching his head. It was just out of habit.

"Not in this universe," another voice chimed in as the group's so-called leader - a man named Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic - joined them. "You've been reading too many comic books, Ben."

"Yeah, well, guy's gotta do something with his spare time. Which I have too much of, by the way," Ben replied, glumly.

"Maybe you should get a girlfriend," Johnny suggested. "I hear Lady Liberty is looking for a companion. You gotta admit. She is kinda hot... for a statue. I think it's the toga. What do you think?"

"Listen, smart mouth... You want I should rearrange your face?" Ben warned, shaking a rock-filled fist at the youngest of the foursome.

"I've been doing some research," Reed continued, ignoring the bickering of the other two. "It's kind of interesting."

"Oh, no," Johnny muttered, rolling his eyes at Ben and affecting a snore at what he knew was going to be a long-winded lecture on something that was more than likely way over their heads.

Sue was frowning her almost constant disapproval at both of them. "Layman's terms, Reed, for the children."

Reed blinked out of his thoughts and arched both brows at the trio, failing to understand why they were always so confused by what seemed perfectly logical to him. "All right. I'll dumb it down for you. Basically, this Rhydin exists at the center of the known universe and in near proximity to a gateway known as the Nexus. From the Nexus, you can access any destination in Time or Space."

"Okay, but what does that mean?" Johnny asked, still a little confused.

"It means, Jonathan," Reed began, with all earnestness, "that from the Nexus portal, you can travel to or from any destination that your little heart desires in the blink of an eye."

"Any destination?" Johnny repeated, blue eyes wide, his imagination running wild.

"Well, within reason," Reed replied. "I wouldn't go mucking around with the past, if I were you."

"Back to the Future," Ben warned quietly, bumping the kid with a stony elbow. "You might erase yourself."

Johnny nodded his head, his mind still whirling with the possibilities.

"Johnny," Sue interrupted, knowing her brother better than any of them and knowing where his mind was more than likely leading him - to grand adventures, not unlike those of James Bond, where he was the hero who saved the day and won the girl. "Don't do anything stupid, okay? Do whatever it is they want you to do and come home. All in once piece. Please?"

Once again, Johnny smiled in hopes of reassuring his sister. Grand adventures? Him? Never. Well, maybe one or two.  "Be home before you know it, Susie-Q."

"So, how's he gonna get there, smart guy?" Ben piped in, turning his attention back to their leader, once again.

"Oh, well... There are instructions in the letter on how to open a portal. Piece of cake really. All we have to do is..."

Ben held up a hand. "Save it. I already had a nap." He didn't need to know the details. All he needed to know was that Richards could get the kid there and safely. He'd never admit it, but he cared about the youngest member of the team as if he was family.  That's sort of what they were, after all, or what they had become. A family of freaks, maybe, but a family nonetheless.

"Okay, so, when do I leave?" Johnny asked, full of anticipation and excitement for his next great adventure.

"Two weeks, give or take," Reed replied. He wanted enough time to make sure he got the calculations right. If he was off by just the tiniest fraction, the kid could be lost forever with no way home.

"Two weeks?!" the siblings exclaimed in unison. Johnny thought it was too long, and Sue too short. They glanced at each other, almost knowing the other's thoughts.

"Gives me enough time to say good-bye, I guess," Johnny said, sighing dramatically while making a mental list of girls he needed to call before he left, starting in alphabetical order with a girl named Allie. He might need to get out his Little Black Book (AKA LBB) for this one.

"You'll be back, like a bad penny.  They always come back," Ben quipped, hoping he was right.

"You know, I've never understood that saying. The hell is a bad penny anyway?" Johnny replied.

"If you don't get it, I'm not explaining it to you," said Ben, not wanting to admit that he didn't really understand what it meant either. It just sounded good.

"I'm worth a lot more than a penny. I'm priceless," Johnny grinned back at the man and gave him a playful shove. "Someday, I'm gonna have my face on Time Magazine. Jonathan Lowell Spencer Storm," he said, fanning his hand through the air, as if reading a headline, "Man of the Year. Now, that's priceless."

"Person of the Year," Sue corrected quietly, slightly annoyed at her brother's over-inflated ego and obviously chauvinistic attitude.

Ben snorted in derision. "Gotta become a man first, kid."

Johnny turned to administer the proper retort, which involved something about his companion having a problem with a certain part of his anatomy despite being constantly hard as rock, but Sue muffled any attempt with a hand across his mouth.

"Enough," she scolded. "If you're serious about this, then we've got work to do." She turned from her brother to address the team as a whole, hands on hips, looking very much like the mother hen of the group. "Well," she started, "don't just stand there. Get to work!" She narrowed her eyes as Reed and Ben left, one in quiet contemplation of the laws of physics, while the other grumbled to himself at being scolded like a child.

Alone with her brother once again, she turned to face him, reaching upwards to lay her hands on his shoulders, that worried expression back on her face. She reminded him of his mother, what little recollection he still had of her. "I hope you know what you're doing, Johnny. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."

Johnny offered that reassuring smile once again. "I'll be fine, Suse. Cross my heart and hope to..." He started to draw an X across his chest, but she stopped him with a look.

"Don't say it. Just..." She frowned again. Though they weren't saying good-bye just yet, she was having trouble fighting back the tears. "Just come home safely, okay?"

"Will do, Sis." He wrapped his arms around her in a rare hug. "I promise."

She hugged him back, knowing there was nothing she could do to talk him out of it, once his mind was set. All she could do was trust he knew what he was doing and hope he'd keep his promise. It was little comfort, but she had no choice. In two weeks' time, she'd have no choice but to say goodbye. She just hoped it wouldn't be forever.
__________

((Author's Note: Just a brief note, this particular incarnation of Johnny Storm is loosely based on the films and some of the comic book character's history. However, as the comics tend to be extremely complex, I will be taking some artistic liberties with the character, so in essence, this will be something of an alternate version of Johnny Storm. I will try to stay as true as possible to the original character concept, but will more than likely deviate from it somewhat. Please forgive any inaccuracies and deviations, which are, in my opinion, necessary in order to bring this character to Rhydin. Thanks for understanding and for reading!))

Johnny Storm

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Re: The Human Torch
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 04:18:15 PM »
Making Contact

New York City
Present day...


Sue Storm was pacing the floor, waiting for word from her brother. Something, anything to let them know he'd made it to Rhydin safely and was okay. She chewed at a thumbnail and glanced over at Reed, who was, as always, tinkering with some gadget or other.  She idly wondered if he'd be more interested in her if she was made of springs and gears instead of human flesh. Or metahuman flesh. Whichever.

"Gonna wear a hole in the floor if you keep pacing like that," Ben Grimm muttered a warning, as he entered the lab. "Any word yet?"

"No," Sue replied, "and I'm worried."

"Eh, you worry too much. Kid'll be fine. Always is, ain't he?" Ben continued, not wanting to admit that Johnny's silence worried him, too.

Reed had come up with some kind of contraption that was supposed to allow communication between them, but so far, it wasn't working. Either that or something bad had happened to Johnny or to the device and he couldn't send a message. Had to be the latter. Ben refused to think it might be the former.  "He knows how to take care of himself," he continued, hoping to assuage Sue's worries, if not his own.

"That's the thing. He really doesn't," she pointed out. "He never has. He acts first and thinks later."

"Not always a bad thing," Ben countered. "Thinking too much isn't good either. Gives you a headache." Ben tapped his rocky head with an equally finger to make his point.

"If I can just manage to get a bead on his DNA, I can at least find out if he made it there all right," Reed was muttering while still fiddling with some contraption or other. Something with a lot of dials and lights and buttons.

Though not stupid by any means, it was all Russian to Ben. He was a pilot, not a scientist. "Why don't you just send one of us there to check on him?" he interjected, slightly annoyed with having to suggest what he found to be the obvious solution to the problem.

Reed pulled himself away from his tinkering and straightened, looking over at his friend with a look that betrayed his own worries. "Because we can't risk losing another team member if something goes wrong."

"Team member?" Sue repeated. "Johnny isn't just a team member. He's my brother!"

"I know he's your brother," Reed replied. "But he's also a valuable member of this team."

"The Fantastic Three just don't have the same ring to it," Ben remarked, offhandedly.

Sue rolled her eyes at her husband, ignoring the flippant remark from Ben. "Oh, please. You do nothing but complain about him. Admit it, Reed. You were happy to see him go!"

Reed looked completely taken aback by his wife's accusation. "Happy? I wasn't happy. Johnny wanted to go. I just helped him. We all did." He glanced over at Ben with a look that said, A little help here.

Ben shrugged. "You did seem kinda happy to see him go."

"Because he needs this!" Reed exclaimed, looking between them, completely at a loss to understand why they weren't getting it. "He needs to grow up and being on his own for a while will help him do that."

"You're the one that needs to grow up, Reed Richards!" Sue retorted, poking a finger into her husband's chest. "I don't care what it takes, but you find my brother and make sure he's okay. Got it?"

Reed only nodded his head, looking a little shell-shocked by his wife's overly-emotional reaction to what amounted to her brother's radio silence. He was pretty sure Johnny had made it to Rhydin safely, but somehow he needed to figure out a way to reassure her of that fact before he ended up in the doghouse. He reached for her, to draw her close and brush a kiss against her forehead. "Don't worry so much. I'm sure he's fine."

Sue pulled away, looking up at Reed with tears in her eyes. "You better hope he is, Reed, or I'm holding you responsible." And with that said, she stormed out of the room before she had a complete emotional breakdown.

"Women," Ben remarked, after she'd left. "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em."

"You're telling me," Reed agreed, turning back to his equipment.  "I swear she worries more about him than about me."

Ben chuckled. "Cause he's prettier." He sobered at the scathing look from Reed. "Blood is thicker than water. He's her kid brother, and she's been taking care of him a long time."

"Yeah, I know," Reed admitted. Ben wasn't telling him anything he didn't know already. He was worried about Johnny, too, but unlike Sue, he was confident her brother had made it to his destination safely.  What had happened after he'd gotten there was what worried him. "Give me a hand with this, Ben. Maybe between us we can get this thing working and find out what happened to him."

"And if we can't?" Ben asked, already spinning a few worst case scenarios in his head.

"Then we go to Plan B," Reed replied.

"Which is?"

"I don't know yet," Reed said, frowning. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Ben let the subject drop. Reed was the brains of the team, and Ben was confident he'd figure out a solution one way or another. They didn't have much choice really. There would be no living with Sue until they determined whether or not her brother was safe.