The student news site of Bullitt East High School.


The student news site of Bullitt East High School.


The student news site of Bullitt East High School.



A Prequel to “The Flame Warriors”
Hunter Adams

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” a police officer said aloud to himself in his empty office. He stood facing one of his walls that had a large bulletin board covered in many scraps of paper being illuminated by a large standing spotlight that was roughly the same height as the officer. The spotlight was the only source of light in the room as it cast dark shadows of the man on the walls and floor around him. The officer was the average height for a man around six foot tall with blue eyes. He had a surprisingly nice chiseled face for a man who had been in the force for over a decade now. This was more apparent being shown in the gray hairs sprinkled throughout his short brown hair. The man’s name was James Brown, and he had been tasked by an outside source to investigate the strange murders of the Martin family.

He had been on the case for nearly a month now and still only came up with one clue that did nothing but place a codename on the mysterious killer, “Mortis”. He had discovered the name by scrambling the letters carved out of the backs of the three dead family members. Each member had two letters cut out of them, and after some time Officer Brown realized that they were cut out of the family members in the same order as they had been killed. The first being Emily Martin, the daughter of the family, having “Mo” carved out of her back, and the last being Arthur Martin, the father, having “is”.

Officer Brown, along with the majority of the public, believed that the killer was obviously one of the two sole remaining descendants of the Martin bloodline, Peter and Charles Martin. Charles was the biological son of Arthur and Maggie, while Peter had been adopted. Many believe that Peter did this because he was left out of the will of William Martin, Arthur’s father who tragically passed away in his home from an unknown family illness. His death had never been made public until after he had been buried outside of the family mansion due to the impact he left on the community and his family’s name. He was a very wealthy man who had done many great things for the public, including the birth of the Martin Foundation, an adoption center he created that guaranteed a home for every child, even if they never did find a family.

This is where the confusion began due to the fact it made no sense for Peter, the adopted family member, to be excluded by the man who made lives better for orphans all around. This confusion is what led many to believe that Peter felt the same confusion and took it out in a lethal way. The only problem was that there was zero evidence against him as he and Charles had both been out of the country on a business trip for the Institution, a government agency put together to legally allow for the involvement of super beings in everyday life.

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Nothing made sense. All of the little bits of information only created more holes of confusion that would be filled with information, only to create even more confusing plot holes. It had cursed Officer Brown’s mind for so long he no longer had the ability to sleep and solely relied on sleep supplements to keep his body from dying to exhaustion. This didn’t help much though as his mental health was still faltering from spending every waking moment on this case. He hoped doing this would help him with his own grief revolving around the death of his wife two years back. She had tragically died in an unexpected car accident caused by a drunk driver. He hadn’t taken the news of this well as he began to become more aggressive with people he ticketed. This eventually resulted in his temporary leave of absence from the force after he brutally beat a man for hospitalizing a family after hitting them with his car on his way home intoxicated from the bar. Fortunately for the family, they made a full recovery, but not so fortunate for the man as Officer Brown left him permanently disabled in his right leg, which he sued him for and won.

“Dad? Are you in here?” a young boy as he creaked open the office door letting more light pool into the room, bringing Officer Brown back to reality.

“Hm? Oh yes…” Officer Brown said as he turned to look at his son. He was only around ten years old with brown hair that resembled his father’s when he was younger, and blue eyes. Officer Brown really loved his son and hated the fact that he wasn’t always there for him, but he knew he needed to. Tommy hadn’t taken the loss of his mother that well and was only able to stay positive because he saw that his father was doing better than he had, but that was a lie because Officer Brown had only put on a front of being fine so his son didn’t worry.

“Hi dad! How was work?” Tommy asked as he ran up and hugged his father.

“Eh…it was work,” Officer Brown chuckled as he hugged his son back, “How did you get here? I thought you were at your friend’s house.”

“Mr. Johnson brought me,” Tommy said, “He said he wanted to talk to you.”

“Is that so? Where is he?” Officer Brown asked.

“Downstairs,” Tommy said as he looked over at the bulletin board, “Is this the ‘special thing’ you’ve been working on?”

“Yes but it’s confidential so I can tell you anything about it,” Officer Brown said as he escorted his son away from the board and to his desk where his coat was laid, “Come on. It’s late and you’re probably starving!”

“Yes I am! Can we get a pizza?” Tommy asked as the two walked together out of the office.

“Depends, what kind of crust do you want?” Officer Brown asked as they took the stairs down to the lobby.

“Stuffed!” Tommy cheered.

“That’s my boy! We’ll pick it up after we’re done here,” Officer Brown said as they entered the lobby and caught a glimpse of a tall muscular man in a slick black suit, “Here take the keys and get the car started. I’ll be out in just one sec.”

“Okay! Bye Mr. Johnson!” Tommy said as he waved to the muscular man before heading out the door.

“How’s the investigation going?” the muscular man, Mr. Johnson, asked Officer Brown.

“Follow me,” Officer Brown ushered to him as he entered an empty meeting room.

Once inside, Officer Brown locked the door then turned to Mr. Johnson and addressed him. “It’s killing me.”

“That bad, huh?” Mr. Johnson asked. He was sitting in one of the spinny chairs at the desk in the middle of the room and looked very out of place in it because of his size. His shoulders were very broad and seemed to stretch the suit’s seams to their extent.

“Yes! Not a single new piece of evidence or clue that gives me any idea who Mortis is or why he killed one of the most beloved families in our community!” Officer Brown ranted as he paced the floor in front of Mr. Johnson.

“I see,” Mr. Johnson said as he stroked his bushy black and gray beard that connected to his thick hair that swept to the side.

“What are you thinking?” Officer Brown asked as he looked at Mr. Johnson, “You only stroke your beard when you’ve got something you want to say.”

Mr. Johnson sat in silence for a moment as he contemplated telling Officer Brown what was on his mind. “I want to bring in some outside help.”

“Joel, you know why we can’t bring in anyone else from the force. This case is very sensitive and isn’t given to just anyone. I barely was even allowed to take it up by the force until you got a written recommendation from the governor,” Officer Brown said.

“That’s why I want to bring in some people from outside the force,” Mr. Johnson said.

“You’ve lost me.”

“Listen, I have three extremely qualified heroes back at the Institute. They’ve shot up through the ranks with ease and earned the title of being called heroes. We don’t even need a letter of recommendation from the governor this time. They’re a part of my District at the Institute, which by law, allows me the clearance to recommend them for cases personally. I just want to ensure that they’re with someone in the force that I can trust.”

“Just because you’re the President of District 20 doesn’t mean that you have the ability to just force your heroes into these police investigations. It’s too dangerous.”

“Maybe for normal people, but these three are different. They’re gifted with extreme power. They can handle this, trust me! They’ll be a great help to you.”

“You know how I am. I don’t like working with others, especially people I don’t know.”

“But you do know them, James.”

“Don’t tell me…”

“I want you to work with my boys. They’re really strong and extremely smart. I bet you guys can get this knocked out in no time!”

“You’re just okay with sending your kids out into this line of work? It’s dangerous, even for them. I don’t care if they have powers because what are they going to do if it turns out that Peter is Mortis? He has powers himself, and need I remind you how powerful he is with his powers? He gave you a run for your money once.”

“Yeah, once, when I was younger and more negligent with my powers. Plus I was going easy on him.”

“I don’t know, this just doesn’t seem right.”

“Please James. You remember how we were when we were their age. How stubborn we had been with the world. We weren’t as strong as they are, yet we did things ten times more dangerous! Just give them the chance to prove themselves!”

This hit deep with Officer Brown as he remembered all the memories he shared with Mr. Johnson when they both were teens working for the Institution. They were so careless and reckless about everything. Nothing for them to ever worry about except when the next time would be for them to be allowed out on a mission. They lived for the thrill and excitement of being heroes. So much had changed since those days.

“Alright…I’ll accept this offer. But if it ever gets too dangerous for them or they can’t handle it, I will excuse them from the case so they don’t get hurt. That’s my only condition,” Officer Brown told Mr. Johnson.

“Deal.” Mr. Johnson said as he shook Officer Brown’s hand, then turned to open the door, “Come on.”

“I can’t. Tommy’s waiting in the car for me so we can get a pizza,” Officer Brown said.

“We’ll get one on the way,” Mr. Johnson said as he grabbed the door handle.

“Where are we going?” Officer Brown asked as Mr. Johnson opened the door.

“Going to get your team!”

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