Plague of the Black Heart

Archetype Prime

We were both riveted to the television.  The headline at the bottom of the screen confirming our worst fears.  Our planet’s protector and the most powerful hero on earth was dead.

My wife and I stared in abject horror, hoping this was like the last time.  Praying that he would rise from the water and reinstate the hope that had seemed all but lost before he arrived over thirty years earlier.

He was a mediator of conflicts before they became wars.

He was the cohesive agent that aided in the forming of the first planetary governing body.

He was the ideal that we all strived to emulate when structured religion became too corrupt for even the most pious.

To put it simply he was our God.

The world was on the edge of its proverbial seat; wishing, hoping, praying, willing him to rise like he’d done so many times before.  The reporters would not pull away from the scene.  No station would dare put up an advertisement for fear that the product would forever be associated to the death of Archetype Prime.

My wife and I blindly reached for each other’s hand, seeking some sort of reassurance or maybe comfort in our vigil, when there was a knock at our door.

“Grab that please honey?” Candace asked in a soft disconnected voice.

I slowly pulled myself up from where we were sitting on the couch and untangled my hand from hers.  I was attempting to keep one eye on the television and another on the path to the front door when the shot on the screen changed.  Instantly distracted, I stumbled over the corner of the couch and ended up catching myself on the door frame leading from the living room to the front hall before ploughing into the floor.  Once reoriented, I realized that they had just changed from one camera angle to another.

The second knock on the door was more urgent, even authoritative.

I edged my way to the door and moved the blind back to get a quick look before I opened up.  Two men in dark suits stared back at me, their hands clasped solemnly in front of them.

I slowly opened the door and poked my head out.

“We need you to come with us please, sir.” the one on the left stated before I could even say hello.

“Who are you?” I asked reflexively, “I can’t and I’m not going anywhere right now.”

“Sir,” the one on the right said patiently, “there has been an accident.  We need you to come with us immediately.  It’s your father.”

I looked at him skeptically, unsure whether I should accept his words for truth or whether I should slam the door in his face and go call the police.  Something about the pain in his eyes, both of their eyes, had me believing.

“What happened  I just spoke to him yesterday, everything was fine.”

“There’s been an incident, sir.” The one on the left said cautiously, looking over to his partner for reassurance.

His partner finished his thought.

“Your father is gone, sir.  Archetype Prime is dead and we need you to take his place.”

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