Enjoy a Special Sneak Preview of the upcoming Superhero Drama...
A New Series Written By Jim Yelton
Featuring Artwork by Steve Newton
Alarm buzzers sounded and red emergency lights flashed along the instrument panel. The passenger jet’s pilot did what he could to stabilize the aircraft while his co-pilot began speaking over the radio.
“This is Oceanic Flight 616. We are two hundred miles due east of Miami on a course heading of two-seven-zero. We have lost power and are unable to restart our engines,” he said into his headset, “Our altitude is twenty four thousand feet and we are descending fast. Repeating...this is Oceanic...”
A small explosion rocked the cabin and they could see flames whipping along the wing outside the starboard windows.
In the passenger cabin, another jolt of turbulence startled the already panic stricken travelers. The flight attendants made their way up and down the aisle to comfort their charges and make sure everyone was following the emergency procedures.
One businessman near the front told his seat mate across the aisle, “This is why I always read the safety instructions. As much as I fly, the odds were bound to catch up to me.”
An elderly couple several rows back were holding hands and whispering to each other…a woman was trying to use her cell phone to leave a message with one last goodbye to her family…newlyweds on their honeymoon were crying and sharing one last kiss.
In the midst of the turmoil and sadness, a little girl kept struggling to look out one of the windows while her mother was trying to squirm her into an inflatable life jacket.
“But, Mom...I saw something out there. Right before the engine caught on fire,” the curious girl argued.
Her frustrated mother closed the window shade and said, “You probably just saw whatever caused the fire or a piece of the wing flying off. For Pete's sakes, Alyssa, you need to pay attention. The captain said we need to be ready when he tries to land on the water.”
Undeterred, Alyssa reopened the shade and pointed out the window, “It wasn’t a piece of the wing or an explosion. I saw something out there coming flying toward us.”
From the seat behind them, another passenger stuck his head up.
“I saw something, too,” he said, “It might have just been a bird.”
“Or another plane,” an elderly woman offered from across the aisle.
Alyssa’s Mother furrowed her brow and shot the others a “You’re-not-helping” look of disapproval before turning back to her daughter.
“Just close the window and follow the attendant’s instructions,” Mother demanded.
“But, Mom...what if...?” Alyssa half-heartedly started.
The man behind them leaned forward and pointed out their window.
“Look!” he shouted.
Alyssa’s mouth grew into a Cheshire grin and she said, “It's him. I told you.”
A passing flight attendant, craning her neck to join other passengers looking out another window, cheered, “It’s Golden Defender!”
They watched a flash of gold and white speed past the plane and the crowd’s mood instantly changed from despair to hope. Their Hero had arrived to save the day.
Outside of the plane, the World’s Greatest Hero, Golden Defender, slowed his flight near the cockpit windows and nodded to the pilot and co-pilot before speeding up again and flying to the nose of the plane.
The co-pilot began to update the ground, “Control, you’re not going to believe this. Golden Defender just arrived. I think we’re going to be Ok.”
He smiled at the pilot and the two exchanged a look of relief just as another explosion shook the aircraft.
The pilot glanced back to the control panel and said, “We just lost number two. Defender got here just in time.”
“Doesn’t he always?” the co-pilot asked rhetorically.
Back in the passenger cabin, the passengers and flight attendants were all trying to look out any available window to catch a glimpse of their savior. Those who could not squeeze close enough to a window were cheering and hugging each other. Passengers with a better view watched Golden Defender settle underneath the nose of the jet and then reverse his course, slamming into the fuselage with a thud before his massive strength started to pull the plane from its fatal descent.
The hero needed all of his power to change the jet’s course. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear the passengers cheering him on. Just the plane’s engines fighting to keep them airborne, the wind whipping around him, and his own breathing getting a bit more labored. He focused his concentration and used his enhanced hearing to find out what the flight crew was up to.
He heard the pilot say, “We’re leveling off. This is the captain speaking. We are leveling off. However, until we land safely, we need everyone to remain calm and in the emergency position. Everything is in the hands of Golden Defender...”
Golden Defender started to struggle slightly in his bid to slow down the plane. The strain became evident on his face and he began to dig his fingers into the fuselage as if it were aluminum foil, not steel. Turbulence caused him to lose his grip and the jet lurched as he slipped from its nose and fell past the wing before getting a grip on the tail section.
The tail rudder broke apart and the hero had to refocus his effort on flying back up to the nose section. As he swooshed past them, he noticed the worried passengers looking out various windows as he sped toward the front of the plane.
A shudder ran through the cabin as the passengers felt the impact of Defender taking control of the plane again.
“He'll save us...”
“I can't believe it's really him...”
“Did you get a picture of him, Jimmy?”
Golden Defender started to make another attempt at slowing the plane safely. Sweat began to break out on his brow as he clenched the jet with all of the strength he could muster. It wasn't enough and the jet continued to free fall. Defender struggled to tighten his grip and, under the sound of the wind rushing around him, he could hear another sound...the sound of his heart beating...faster and faster as a strange sensation set in...a sensation he had never felt before…Panic. Something was wrong and he felt powerless to stop it.
The nose of the jet crumbled under his hold and the mighty hero began to fall helplessly away from the jet. Defender saw one of the jet’s wings break apart as he started spinning out of control in a free fall. He reached out one last time to summon whatever power he had left…trying to fly before succumbing to the reality that for… whatever reason… his powers were gone. His eyelids fluttered as he fought against the coming unconsciousness. However, he was powerless against that as well and the last image he saw before passing out was the huge explosion filling the sky…