Enter The Alchemist (Featuring Albatross)
By: Omair Ahmed Khan
Sirens wail. Police cars parade the streets of Karachi. Each car had received a call from H.Q about a bank robbery in the area. There were no hostages in the bank, But, there was a bomb. One that was powerful enough to destroy not only the bank but also the apartment building next to it. At the moment the police had no knowledge of the bomb.
It was late at night when the event occurred. An eagle flying over the scene over looked everything. The eagle flew majestically into the bank and rested upon the corner of the wall. Looking down at the scene taking place in the bank.
‘There’s a lot of police cars outside.’ Said one of the robbers looking out the glass doors. ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ he asked.
There were fifteen people involved in the robbery. This was excluding the man in charge.
‘It will work! Give it time.’ The leader said.
‘But Missionary sir, look….’ The man was about to say before he was halted by a raise of the leaders hand.
‘We may be out matched but we have a weapon far greater than them.’ The leader said pointing a gun at the bomb which was set to blow in exactly 25 minutes.
‘Once this bomb blows we’ll have escaped and we’ll have left out mark on the streets of Karachi.’ Saying this the leader grinned and began to laugh. The eagle had seen enough as he began to fly away into the moonlight.
Minutes pass as the media team reaches the scene.
‘You can’t come through here. Don’t you understand that it’s dangerous!’ shouted the Police man at the female newscaster.
‘Don’t you understand that if I don’t catch this on film I could lose my job.’ Shouted the female newscaster at the Policeman. She walked up and asked the camera man to begin the broadcast. As she prepared for the broadcast the camera man began to count down the time for it to begin. Five, four, three, two, one…..
‘Good evening, this is Fatima Arshad from On-the-Dot news. Behind me is where a robbery is underway. Sources tell us that the man behind the robbery is in fact none other than the terrorist war-lord Faisal Khan, better known over the world as the Missionary. There have been reports that no hostages are involved in this robbery. Police have requested the assistance of Karachi hero Abaltross who up to this point has been unreachable. The question in every-ones minds right now is: Who will save us now.‘
Unbeknownst to Fatima, help was on it’s way. A group of super powered vigilantes were on their was to assist the Police in their attempt to save the bank.
One of the heroes had a body made out of many molten rocks. He wasn’t always in this state. He could change back to his human form when ever he willed. He had the ability to fly and also to shoot molten rocks from any part of his body. To his team mates he was knows as Meteorain.
Another hero assumed the shape of an eagle. He was in fact the same eagle who was in the back. This hero was a human shape shifter. He was known as Shifter.
The third hero like the others, wore a costume. He possessed the power to produce flames. He could fly but could not cover his body in flames. He was known as Heat-Wave.
The last hero was the leader of the group. She kept her body’s skin frozen like ice. She had the power to produce ice from her hands. Her mode of travel was to glide on an ice path she produces which would turn to water as she glided over it. She was known as Permafrost.
The four heroes together were the first super-hero team of Pakistan. They all flew together and landed out side the bank. The eagle had transformed back into his human form. Fatima Arshad rushed towards them is the hopes of getting an interview with the heroes.
‘Excuse me, I’m Fatima Arshad from On-The-Dot news. Can you tell me who you are?’ She asked but the heroes didn’t respond. They continued to walk forward towards the bank. The heroes knew better than to get involved with the media. They often twist the words of the interviewee and give them a bad image.
Fatima wasn’t about to give up so easily. She was going to get her interview one way or the other.
The heroes moved into the bank and saw that the bank was filled with thugs.
‘In the name of the law I as you all to stop this and surrender.’ said Permafrost. The thugs laughed.
‘You think you costumed freaks are going to stop us?’ One of the thugs asked.
Permafrost laughed as she lifter her hand and froze all fifteen of the thugs.
‘That was easy.’ She said with a smirk
‘If you thought that was easy let’s see how you deal with me, The Missionary.’ The leader of the thugs laughed. He pulled out his machine gun and started shooting at the four heroes. Permafrost created a wall of ice using her powers to try and block the bullets.
Meanwhile, Shifter turned into an eagle and flew above the array of bullets. Once the ice had shattered Meteorain tossed a molten rock at the missionary. The missionary dodged the rock and started to shoot Heat-Wave. The eagle flew behind Missionary, transformed back into his human form and punched Missionary in the back of his head. Missionary turned around and punched Shifter, but, it didn’t hurt that much.
‘Do you think you can stop me?’ Missionary said just before he was struck on his head by another hero. The blow resulted in Missionary becoming unconscious.
‘If they can’t I can.’ Said the hero. This hero was the famous Karachi hero Abaltross.
‘Good job Albatross, We were beginning to think you weren’t coming.’ Permafrost said.
‘I was a bit caught up in all the traffic, Who’d we catch?’ Albatross asked.
‘We finally did it. We caught Missionary now the war on terrorism can stop.’ Heat-Wave said. Abaltross lowered his head in disappointment.
‘He’s not the real Missionary, The fight was just too easy. It’s another fake.’ Albatross said. No one seemed to care that he was a fake. Shifter however was deep in though.
‘What’s wrong shifter?’ Permafrost asked.
‘I can’t help but think I’m forgetting something….’ Then it hit him. The bomb!
Shifter ran transformed into an eagle and carried the bomb up to the sky. There were only fifteen seconds left before the bomb exploded. Shifter soared high into the air as the timer ticked, with three seconds left shifter tossed the bomb into the air and dived back towards the ground.
Once the bomb exploded it omitted a blast which was strong and long ranged. Shifter just missed the impact by a tail feather. Shifter reached the ground just managing to to land on his feet.
‘You know, Heat-Wave or Meteorain could have taken out the bomb with less hassle.’ Permafrost exclaimed.
‘I’m sorry, but there wasn’t time.’ Shifter said out of breath.
‘Well, I’ll turn this guy in. You four check the rest of the bank.’ said Albatross as he took the fake missionary out to the police. The heroes were about to leave the bank until the glass doors all of a sudden began to shine and turned to stone.
‘What?!’ Heat-wave exclaimed as sounds of clapping filled the air.
‘Good work, dear heroes.’ said the clapping man as he walked into the room. The man wore a red cloak and a ring on his finger.
‘Who are you?!’ asked Permafrost assuming a battle stance.
‘Me? I’m known by many names, but, you can call me Zaro the Alchemist.’ The man said as he took a bow. Heat-Wave laughed.
‘Weren’t you in that movie, the mark of…, The mask of….., the legend of…., I can’t remember.’ Heat-Wave said.
‘Fools.’ Zaro said as he stomped his foot to the ground and produced a vertical pillar from the ground to attack the heroes. All four heroes managed to avoid the pillar by jumping out of the way.
‘I don’t care who you are, But you’re about to be dead!’ Meteorain said as he shot a flaming rock in Zaro’s direction. Zaro quickly reacted by slamming his palms to the ground and creating a wall of rock in the path of the blast.
‘You really think that’s going to stop me! I’m an Alchemist! I can take any element and change it to whatever I want!’ Zaro said as he clapped both his hands to the ground to create a cage to trap the heroes in. Before the cage top was created Shifter transformed into an eagle and flew out of the top.
‘Don’t think I forgot about you.’ Zaro said as he clutched his hand into a fist and began to condense the oxygen in the air around Shifter.
‘You really are a fool. I have the Merchant’s cloak and the Sage’s stone. How do you think I can perform alchemy in the first place.’ Zaro said releasing the force of his hand as he watched Shifter fall to the ground. Before shifter could reach the ground he turned back into a human and then into a wolf.
‘What!? I thought You could only turn into an eagle!’ Zaro exclaimed as the wolf attacked him. The wolf then turned back into his human form.
‘I can transform into three different animals.’ Shifter said. As Shifter finished speaking Permafrost had frozen the cage handles while Meteorain tossed a molten rock to break the cage. The four heroes now surrounded Zaro. Zaro slammed both his palms to the ground to create a boundary around himself.
Permafrost and Heat-Wave used their powers on opposite sides of the boundary. Zaro began to understand what the heroes were planning. The strength of the boundary was beginning to weaken greatly.
‘Now Meteorain!’ Heat-Wave shouted. Meteorain tossed a molten rock at the boundary to shatter like glass.
‘No!’ Zaro said as he held his hand out and began to moisten the air around the heroes and used his alchemy to entrap the heroes in an orb of water.
‘Now you’ll die!’ Zaro said. Shifter transformed yet again, this time, he transformed into something else, a shark. Shifter jumped out of the orb, tackled Zaro then turned into a wolf. Shifter then put his paw on Zaro’s neck as a mark of Zaro’s defeat.
Back on the outside, Zaro was bound in hand cuffs as the heroes watched his get into the police car. Zaro stopped and turned to the heroes.
‘You know, I’ll escape eventually. We are destined to fight each other forever.’ Zaro said as he got into the car. The heroes completely disregarded his statement and were instantly surrounded by reporters and T.V newscasters.
Several minutes later at the house of Zainab Iqbal (Better known as Permafrost), our heroes rested in their human forms.
‘Nothing like a nice cold shower.’ Said Zainab as she walked into the living room drying her hair with a towel.
‘I’d really like a nice hot shower right now.’ Zanaibs’ brother Ali Iqbal (Better known as Heat-Wave) said.
‘I don’t know about you guys, but I’d really like a swim in the pool.’ Said Nauman Alam (Also known as Shifter).
‘I don’t Need a shower or a swim. I have a molten body so all impurities are cleaned off me. That sorta explains a lot about me.’ Laughed Usman Khalid (Better known as Meteorain) as he got up from the couch to turn the T.V on as the news came on.
‘This is Fatima Arshad from On-the-Dot news. I have just returned from an exclusive interview with the four heroes of Karachi who captured the criminal known as Zaro the Alchemist. They also stopped the bank robbery which occurred earlier today. These heroes are known by the names of Permafrost, Meteorain, Shifter and Heat-Wave….The people have decided to call them the Karachites!….‘ Fatima said.
Ali gave everyone glasses and Zainab used her powers to cool the drinks in the glasses.
‘To the Karachites!’ Ali said raising his glass to the air.
‘To the Karachites!’ Everyone mimicked. Little did they know the broadcast was still going on. They didn’t even listen to it.
‘….In other news, The police car carrying Zaro the Alchemist was destroyed. The police officers are fine but Zaro is no where to be found. Hopefully The Karachites will get to it on time. This is Fatima Arshad signing off, Have a nice day.‘