By Zachary M.
BANG! BANG! SCREECH! ZOOM! ZOOM! Here they come! The getaway car flew down the street like a bullet with cops bearing down on it! However, this was not as much of a spectacle as you would think. Chases like this were becoming more and more common in Fly City. Crime rates had skyrocketed since the death of Thunder-Fly, the city’s superhero. He was appalled that anybody would try to destroy such a wonderful place as Fly City. There was, and still is, nobody to argue with the super-hero.
Fly City is a glorious place. It is mainly contained in three extremely large and forgotten garbage dumpsters in one of the many alleyways of New York City. Inside these garbage bins, we (the big, slow ones, according to them) find plain old garbage. If only we could learn to see! Inside these containers for trash, there are office buildings, restaurants, houses, apartment complexes, and much more. Believe it or not, as you might have noticed, they even have streets and cars. Fly City is the dream of any fly, except one.
This particular fly’s name is Jeff Repus, and he doesn’t care for hardly anything, or anybody. He usually wanders down the crowded sidewalks sulkily, not really caring about the beautiful lights and noises of a busy city at night. Yet today was different. Today he had gotten a promotion to the job any fly would love to have. Jeff was now a Food Gatherer! It sounds wimpy, but you know what it is. Yes, these flies go out into the world to collect food for their city. Presently, Jeff is on his way to the F.G. Jetpack Center. He rounds the corner, and he’s there! He proceeds, hesitating slightly. The anxiety welling up inside him was getting hard to contain. He halted, staring at the large building. The building stared back. It’s ominous figure made Jeff cower; yet slowly, gathering his last scraps of courage, he marched on. Finally, after much turmoil, he made it through the door. Instantly his new coach, Sam German, greeted him.
“Ah, here’s the rookie! I’m your coach, Sam German, but you can just call me Sam,” he said in a gruff, yet friendly voice.
“Let’s get started. Follow me!”
“O-ok-Kay,” stammered Jeff nervously.
He was led to a small room sort of like the kind in the doctor’s office where you are measured, weighed, and all sorts of other nonsense, except this room only had one scale. Jeff was told to stand straight up under it. Jeff was tall (half an inch according to humans) but lanky. He was beginning to wonder if there would be anymore boring tests before he could get his jetpack. Coincidentally, Sam told Jeff to leave right as he thought about that. They walked down more boring hallways together, and Jeff was only kept awake by having to walk what seemed like a human meter. Then, they turned a corner and walked slower down a hall the likes of which Jeff hadn’t seen before. There were uncountable numbers of trophies, which made the whole hall glow in its greatness.
Then, unconsciously, Jeff blurted out, “What is it?”
It was a stupid question, and he knew it. He was just too awestruck to hold it in. Surprisingly, Coach Sam understood.
“All the rookies ask that question Jeff; all of them,” he answered, “These are all the city’s most famous Food Gatherers. This is the Hall of Fame.”
Jeff had never seen anything so wonderful in his life. All the greatest titles like Frank the Fancy Flyer, Stephen the Steak Stealer, Clyde the Collector, then Thunder-Fly?
“I didn’t know Thunder-Fly was part of the F.G!” Jeff exclaimed.
“Oh yeah! I remember Thunder-Fly! I was his coach.” Sam proudly stated.
“That’s amazing!” said Jeff.
“Ah, here we are: The Jetpack Room. Sorry it took so long to get here, I got lost. No matter how many years you’ve been a coach, you always get lost in the Jetpack Building,” Coach Sam explained. Sam led Jeff to a rack of jetpacks.
“Just one question Coach, why do we need jetpacks when we have wings?”
“I have no idea Jeff, that’s just how things go. We can’t fly without jetpacks. This one should be about your size, if you didn’t grow a millimeter when I got lost.” He handed Jeff the jetpack and showed him how to strap it on. It felt like it weighed a kilogram and a half.
“Now follow me to the Training Sector,” then, looking back at how much Jeff was struggling, Sam added, “Don’t worry, it’s only next door.”
Jeff hobbled along as he followed Coach Sam, who apparently had just said the Training Sector was next door to motivate him. He halted momentarily, to catch his breath, then struggled onward. Suddenly, Sam halted and entered a door to the right. They walked into a gigantic room that had practically no ceiling, with platforms placed here and there with food on them.
“Now, you pretty much know what to do, but I have to instruct you on how to do it properly, or something might go fatally wrong.” The rest of the day was spent practicing taking off and landing on platforms. Jeff was taught how to store food without being tempted to eat it, and other things like dodging fly swatters. At the end of the day, Coach Sam approached Jeff with a grin.
“You’re a natural kid! Absolutely terrific! Say, you wouldn’t mind going on your first run tomorrow would you?”
“Sure!” replied Jeff.
“Great! Meet me at F.G. Headquarters at three o’ clock in the afternoon!”
“See you then!”
Jeff went back to the Jetpack Room and put his jetpack away, he would have a professional one tomorrow. He went back to the front office and signed out. Then he went home, a much happier fly.
The next morning, Jeff got up early, even though his first run wasn’t until three. He ran around his small apartment, getting himself ready. Flies have very many tasks to complete before they do anything. They are very jumpy when it comes to important, or non-important things. They have these worry spasms, and they check for the strangest ailments like ‘Is this limb working correctly?’ and other ridiculous things like that. However, some of it actually is sensible. They also groom themselves so that they appear attractive. If you were associated with the F.G, you are expected to look attractive. So now poor Jeff had to worry about looks. He straightened all his hairs, shined his eyes, and straightened his wings. Then he locked up his apartment and set out for F.G. Headquarters.
While walking through the crowded streets, he saw many good-looking women eyeing him, but he paid no heed to them. He was going to be late! Finally, at two forty five, he made it. Coach Sam was ready and waiting. He began to give Jeff some last words before he went out into the world, but time was running short, and they parted. For some reason, deep down inside him, Jeff had the strangest sensation they wouldn’t see each other again. Even though it had only been a day, he already felt that Sam was his best friend. He strapped on his jetpack, got a signal, and took off from the room, and from the only world he knew.
What a place! This new world was absolutely wonderful! He tried to keep straight and fly toward the designated target, but the sights were awesome! He soared over the thousands of people and their families. Then there was the food! Jeff had never seen this much food in his life! There were hotdogs the size of yachts, popcorn as big as a car, and ice cream cones as big as a house! The whole place was Fly City times ten! Suddenly, Jeff heard a buzzing sound; it was his comlink. He picked it up and pressed the talk button.
“Agent Repus here.”
“Agent Repus, you are approaching target, begin decent,” his monitor crackled back.
“Roger that. Repus over and out.”
Jeff began to fly lower, eyeing the place where he was assigned to gather food. It was a human laboratory, and it was said that huge amounts of food could be found in places like these. Whether it was true or not, it was his target. Jeff landed stealthily in a small patch of grass by the iron door. Now he had to wait for an opportunity to enter. He took out his comlink and called back to Fly City.
“Repus to base. Do you copy?”
“We hear you loud and clear Repus; what is it?”
“I’ve landed at the target and am seeking entry.”
“Good work Repus. Keep us updated. Over and out.”
Click! Jeff returned the comlink to its pocket just as a human walked toward the door with big booming footsteps. Beep! The door creaked upward. Jeff went for it! Clang! He was in! He looked down the metal hallway and saw many passages. His comlink was out of his pocket in an instant.
“Repus to base. I’m in! Where do I head from the main hallway?”
Static issued from the comlink. Jeff tried again.
“Repus to base. Come in base! Dang it! Where are they?”
Disgusted, Jeff put his comlink away and brought forth his food detector. It also seemed useless.
“The metal building must be interfering with most of my instruments!” Jeff realized.
He decided to wing it and hope to find food. He ignited his jetpack and soared down the hallway. He went down many passages that only ended up with more corridors and a few rooms. After flying for a while, Jeff decided to enter one of these rooms. He chose one that had a strange yellow sign that said DANGER. Jeff couldn’t read human, so don’t blame him for choosing this door. It could have said FOOD instead. He landed near the door and looked for a crack under the steel door, but there wasn’t one. Instead, he found a vent in the wall that he crawled into. It was dark and dusty inside the vent, so he got out his flashlight. However, the eerie shadows it made were just as bad or worse than the dark itself. Eventually, he found the end that entered the room with the yellow sign. There was a strange looking human man in a white coat inside. He was looking in a huge microscope, the biggest one Jeff had ever seen. The man was also wearing a strange mask that made him look like an alien. Jeff had heard about gas masks, and as a matter of fact he had a smaller version in his equipment. He was still debating whether he should put it on or not.
BOOM! A small explosion erupted from where the human was working! The explosion sent many fumes soaring through the air as well as debris. Jeff was glad he wasn’t down there, or he would’ve gotten the full blast of those fumes.
“Wait a second!” Jeff realized, “This is an exhaust vent! I have to get out of here!”
Things were happening too quickly for Jeff to put his gas mask on. All he could worry about was escaping the vent before the fumes caught him! Suddenly, Jeff tripped over his bulky suit! Instantly the fumes pounced on him like some great jungle cat!
“Augh! Can’t see… They’re killing me! NO!” screamed Jeff in desperation.
Everything was spinning. Darkness was coming.
“I don’t want to! I don’t… want… to die!”
This is how Jeff Repus died, and became something great.
“Ugh, where am I?” croaked Jeff, “Am I dead?”
Then, a wave of memories flooded into his head, reminding him of the incident.
“FUMES! They’re coming! I’m just not dead yet. Why am I not dead?” Jeff shouted into space.
He ranted on like this for half an hour. Then, Jeff finally decided to get a grip and take stock of his surroundings. He was still inside the vent. Jeff got up and walked out onto its edge. He ignited his jetpack and took off. Unfortunately, as soon as he reached the height where he could have touched the ceiling, his jetpack cut out!
“Oh great!” muttered Jeff as he plummeted to the ground.
He closed his eyes and braced for impact, but it didn’t come. Jeff managed to pry apart his panicked fingers and take a peek at what happened. He was flying. He closed his eyes again and rubbed at them a few times. Jeff again took a look. He was still flying! This was amazing! He was flying without a jetpack! His wings had become strong enough to carry his weight! The fumes hadn’t killed him. They had enhanced his strength! Jeff landed and flexed his muscles. He was shocked. He had never seen any fly with muscles so large! This was too good to be true! He had to get back to Fly City! Jeff took off all his equipment and took to the air again. He was as free or freer than a bird!
Back at F.G. Headquarters, everyone was in a panic since they had lost contact with Jeff. So you can imagine the shock they suffered when Jeff came strolling through the doors with a smile on his face.
“Jeff Repus, you worried half of us half to death! You could’ve been swatter-bait! How dare you come in here with a smile on your face!” said Coach Sam with badly concealed happiness.
“I’m back, but whenever I go on another mission, I think I’ll equip myself,” said Jeff.
“Why?” asked a baffled Sam.
“Let me tell you the whole story.”
So Jeff told Coach about all his adventures with dysfunctional equipment, except the part about his enhanced strength. When he finished, Sam said,
“Well I’ll be. That’s one heck of a story!”
“I’ve got to go now sir, if you don’t mind,” stated Jeff.
“Of course you can go. You’ve had a big day. I’ll call you next time you get an assignment.”
Jeff left the building with high spirits and began the long walk home. Suddenly, about halfway home, Jeff noticed an odd looking fly breaking into a general store. Jeff quickly hid himself and waited for the fly to come out. The thief appeared a few minutes later with a bag of money and goods. Jeff watched him go. It wasn’t his problem directly was it? Then, the burglar pulled out a gun as a police fly walked by, and he fired! BANG! The noise echoed off the walls of the empty street. When the burglar turned into the alley, Jeff ran for the policefly.
“NO!” screamed Jeff.
It was his only friend, Jason. Jason tried to say something, but death beat him to it. Jeff bowed his head and began to weep. Then, he fumed. How could anyone do something like this? Jeff knew what he had to do. He ran forward and took off. Pursuit was on! He spotted the burglar running through the backstreets. Jeff sped forward slightly, and then dove. He landed directly on his target, knocking him out cold. Jeff trudged back to the general store dragging the thief and gave back the stuff. He walked over to the spot where tragedy had occurred and lifted his friend’s body. Last, he picked up the robber, took him to the police, and then took Jason to the graveyard, where he buried him.
Jeff flew up to the top of a building to think. Should this be his secret life? Should he be like Thunder-Fly? No, he should be like Jeff Repus, which meant not Thunder-Fly Jr, but Superfly. This was the start of a legacy that few people know of. This was the start of Superfly.