Handing Over The Reins

By @theBandit

The water dripped from the huge frame of Antonio Rodriquez Martinez as he wiped the steam from the mirror revealing his reflection.

“Antonio Rodriquez Martinez” the big man said to the man in the mirror. “Who are you?” The figure hadn’t gone by that name since junior high. Since before he assumed the identify of Full-bore and became the most prominent Super Hero in Mexico. That was so long ago. The face before him now seemed as alien as the two most recent additions to the Defenders of the Southern Cross.

“Sorry ‘The NEW Defenders of the Southern Cross’” he grumbled as he leaned in closer to the mirror to examine his face. When did he get so old? Poking at his face, the skin sunk beneath his finger. There was a time when his face was taught, but now the age lines had begun streaking across his face like a highway road map.

Dipping his head to examine his thick crop of hair, he saw the all too common grey streaks that had at some point taken up residence and refused to leave no matter how hard he tried. And was that the beginning of a bald spot? Letting out a sigh he instinctively reached up for his bottle hair dye. However, instead of the bottle, his fingers came to rest on what felt like crumbs. On closer examination, they were indeed biscuit crumbs. Crumbs of what appeared to be the remnants of Tim Tams. Letting out another sigh, he covered his face with his huge hands, sliding them down his face as if to rub all his worries from his mind.

Of course it didn’t make him feel any better.

“There was a time when I could crack skulls and eat Taco’s for days on end with only a few hours sleep. But now…I have to work much harder to stay in shape, let alone improve my skills.”

Pulling down his lower eyelid, he squeezed out a few drops of an eye wash solution. His eyes were still red from the lack of sleep, yet he would be using the cover that a metal splinter from Infernal’s axe had lodged in his eye during their battle last night and it was still a little irritated.

Blinking away the excess solution he thought “Maybe it’s just all these young new faces I see around the base which is making me feel this way?”

It was good to see the base getting back into full swing. A few months back, a number of the Heroes that had made the Defender’s of the Southern Cross a Legend amongst the other Super Groups in Paragon had gone into semi retirement. Following that, the group had fallen on tough times and much of the high tech gear had been repossessed to fund the ongoing essential services and functions (such as gas, electricity and water). But with the influx of new blood, the influence is flowing again. Still, he couldn’t help but feel that he was entering into his twilight years and it wouldn’t be long before he joined the likes of those Legendary Heroes that had pathed the way for the future generation of Defenders.

“Maybe it is time for these new kids to take up the reins. Let the new blood like Terra Australis, The Kookaburra, Min Min, Malakite take the Defenders into the next decade. They may be rookies, but we all were at one stage. Maybe its time I hung up my mask and concentrated on my Ministerial responsibilities?” he said to the man in the mirror. As usual, there was no response.

“You were once the most prominent Super Hero in Mexico. You became a minister in the Mexican government and later the ambassador to Paragon City. What happened?” His anger getting the better of him, he lashed out. The mirror shattered into a thousand pieces.

Looking at the shattered mirror which covered the floor, he saw his shattered reflection looking back at him. “Damn!” he thought. That’s another 7 years bad luck.

At that moment a low rumbling growl left the big man’s stomach. “I know.” he said to the empty room. “Time for a Taco.”

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