Previously on Blessed Inversion SWAT…
Having awoken in St. Taliesin’s Hospital, Steven is greeted by the sight of his son Gabriel. After a visit from Doctor Khonshu, he’s relieved of the Khonshu Band. Compacting on this, Elle arrives and engages in a heated argument with him. Steven barely manages to maintain custody of Gabriel when he’s visited by a third party. A mysterious psychic Inversion named Haze. Haze claims to be working with Biohazard and offers him a deal. If Steven kills Pheromaster when he makes his big move in the near future he’d erase memory of his identity from Biohazard and the rest of his gang. With no choice and protecting his family at the forefront of his mind, Steven agrees to the deal…
-RajTEK Head of Security. Recovering
-Steven’s son. self-sufficient rookie hero
I wait until morning to go AMA* and leave the hospital. It’s still tough to move around but nothing I can’t push through. Least that’s what I keep telling myself. My main concern was making sure I didn’t leave Gabe alone again. I didn’t have my car with me so we just get a cab home.
*Against Medical Advice
“Need me for anything dad?” Gabe asks me fully prepared to act as a home nurse.
“I’m fine Gabe.” I sit down on the couch and try to relax. “Did you have anything to do at school today?”
“No, even if I did I’m not leaving you alone so soon.” he remained dedicated to helping me recover to a fault.
“Fine, you get to take off today but you’re going back in tomorrow.”
“Okay.” he replied. “Did you need me for anything?”
“Nah, I’ll be fine.” I answer. “Gabe.” I call before he can leave.
“Yeah?” he responds.
“Sit down, we gotta have a talk.”
“Is something wrong?” his face full of worry as he sat next to me.
“Nah, I just have to come clean about something to you. If I learned anything, it’s that lies have done enough damage to all of us.” I take a breath because of what I’m about to say. “I’m an Inversion. Have been for years.”
“R-really?” he seemed more intrigued than scared or concerned.
“Yeah, but that’s not all. I’m also a vigilante. After I come home from RajTEK and make sure you’re safe I head out and do what I do best. Taking down criminals. I’ve been trying to protect you by not telling you, but I realize it was being selfish. I’ve been lucky so far but I might not always be.” I lay my cards on the table. I had planned on never telling my family about being SWAT-Spider. But between nearly getting killed by Fabiana and getting tortured for two days I at least had to come clean to Gabe. How would him not knowing where I’m disappearing to at night protect him in any way? I wait for Gabe to give me a response before I continue.
“You’re an Inversion?” he asked me. I’m not sure if he noticed the rest of what I said.
“Yeah.” I reply summoning Guardian Aranea to my side. First time I tried fully summoning it and it went smoothly. Gabe doesn’t say a word. He just raises his hand and it starts vibrating like a chainsaw. “You’re…” he nods. “For how long?”
“Since last week.”
That must’ve been what was bothering him*…Never would’ve guessed. “What can you do?” I had to know more.
“Um, super speed is my main thing. But it makes it hard to focus sometimes. I think I can heal a little too. I cut myself a few times and it healed in like a minute. There’s one other thing but I’m not ready to talk about it yet…”
“That’s fine.” I rub my chin in thought not trying to press further.
“How long were you an Inversion?” he asked leaning forward.
“Since I was 15.”
“Really?” his eyes widen in shock.
“Yeah, had a lot of time with Guardian Aranea.” I began, glancing at Guardian Aranea who hovered over us. “I was still living in Ireland with my family when I got it and some other abilities. I was scared at first. Inversions didn’t have a name yet and we were so rare when you did hear about one it just sounded insane. So I hid it and practiced on my own. When I figured out I could do this…” I merge with Guardian Aranea to show Gabe my costume, or at least a variant of it that altered the spare clothes I wore. “Something wrong?” Gabe froze when he saw me as SWAT-Spider.
“N-nothing.” he shakes his head.
I don’t question it, return to normal, and continue my story. “Not gonna lie, I didn’t even wait a full month before I started being a vigilante at night. It was rough, but us Kessler’s are a tough lot. I patrolled Belfast until I was 18 when I came to Silver Springs. When I was 21 I managed to get into a SWAT team.”
“Did you stop being a hero?” Gabe asked. My story had his undivided attention.
“Nah, I tried to keep it separate from my work life. But sometimes life has other plans.”
I still remember it clearly; it was December 14 years ago. We were still in the midst of a string of blizzards. This was the fourth that week. But our job didn’t wait for the weather to clear up. At the time Silver Plains wasn’t so safe, there was a lot of drug trafficking being done by a gang calling themselves the Silver Sentinels. We’d been raiding their warehouses for some time but tonight we were finally going to shut them down for good. We had a team of six, myself included, ready to go in while snipers kept us covered. More or less anyway, the blizzard made them more a formality than anything. Simpson set up the breaching charge and our fearless leader Liefeld was waiting to give the signal. It was the same formation as always. I’d lead with Vasquez behind me, Liefeld and Simpson cover the left, while Kavner and Sudarso took the right. There were a dozen Silver Sentinels inside and our plan was to breach, spread out, and trap them on the opposite side of the building. With the blizzard going on the exits near them were useless and would force them towards us. Along the way, we could use the large steel containers inside to provide us with cover. My Danger Sense was always going off at times like this but tonight it wasn’t letting up for a second.
“I got a bad feeling about this Liefeld.” I voiced my concern. I couldn’t risk revealing my powers but I knew something was off about tonight.
“This is our best chance to take down the Silver Sentinels Kessler. We can’t pass it up.” he dismissed me and gave Simpson the countdown signal.
It was too late to stop it so I just did my job. The wall was breached and I made my move. I head in first with my assault rifle ready. Within seconds of our breach, I shout to go for cover as a blue beam pierces the air. I try to get Vasquez out of the way while I dodge but I’m only partly successful. The beam hits his arm and freezes it instantly. Before he could even react to the pain his arm shattered, thankfully the ice-covered his wound so he wouldn’t bleed out. It was our first time facing an Inversion and to make matters worse, they froze the breach we made to get inside. There was no way to retreat and we were outmatched.
“The hell was that?!” Liefeld had a tough time maintaining his cool. Not every day you get an Absolute Zero Beam shot at you.
“What do we do?!” Sudarso was always cool under pressure. But today was the one exception.
I knew how to get us out of the situation but it meant doing something I wasn’t ever prepared to do. “I have a plan Liefeld.”
“I’m all ears Kessler.” he shouted over the gunfire. The Silver Sentinels wanted to keep us pinned down for their secret weapon.
“Need you to trust me on this.” I say as I begin taking off my gloves and shoes. I hated the idea of revealing myself but we needed it to survive.
“What the hell are you doing Kessler?” he asked confused.
“Giving us an edge.” I summon Guardian Aranea over my SWAT uniform. The signature V design that covered my face now split into two extra branches that extended down my arms as well after reaching my neck. I leave the mouth open on my helmet so they can hear me unfiltered. “I’ll go for the cryokinetic, you guys cover me.” I reform the mouth on my helmet and begin to climb up steel containers we were hiding behind. I didn’t have time to worry about what they thought of me. We came to do a job and I’d make sure we all survived. When I reach the top I focus on my target. It was some poor kid from Bronze Plains in jeans and a hoodie, their skin was pale blue and part of their clothes was frozen. “Hey frosty!” I call out to get their attention. I’m rewarded by getting an Absolute Zero beam shot at me.
Now that I could see him, the ball was in my court. Even with the extra weight of my gear, it wasn’t hard to dodge his attacks while making my approach. I jump to an adjacent freight container when by squad gives me covering fire. There was still 11 non-Inversion Silver Sentinels to deal with.
“Let’s see if we can even the odds.” I thought to myself. I jump onto the ceiling and continue my run, dropping a stun grenade that was modified by Guardian Aranea along the way. When it explodes it sends out webs that cover four of the Silver Sentinels and pins them to the floors or wall. Without missing a beat I aim my assault rifle and fire at…you know, I never caught their name, but for the sake of the story, I’ll call them Frostbite. I aim at Frostbite and fire, I miss on purpose so when the bullets make an impact they release webs to cover them. It wouldn’t keep Frostbite stuck for long, but I didn’t need to be. I fire my webs at the wall behind them and pull myself in for a flying kick square in the chest. They were down for the count and without Frostbite to back them up, the remaining Silver Sentinels surrendered without much of a fight.
“What happened next?” Gabe asked interrupting my pause at nostalgia.
“I snuck out when I had a chance. Liefeld covered for me and all of them kept my secret. That was the night SWAT-Spider was born and for a few years, I stayed with the team using my powers when I needed to. But after you and Michael were born I quit and went to work at RajTEK. I’ve been working there and cleaning up the streets since.”
“Do you think I could be a hero like that too?” Gabe asked.
I can’t hide my grin at the thought. “You’re a Kessler, it’s in your blood to be a hero. I’ll have to train you some first though.”
“Seriously?!” he jumps up excitedly.
“Yeah, but only on three conditions. First, we only train after school or on your days off.”
“I can do that.” he agrees in a heartbeat.
“Second, you don’t leave during school to go heroing. I know it’s tempting with super speed but it doesn’t pay to be a vigilante. You need school to have an actual future.” I might be lenient enough to let him be a vigilante but there’s no way in hell I’m letting him be a Middle School drop out.
“Fine…” he groans less excited about my second condition.
“Last condition, you don’t do anything you can’t handle without me there with you. It sounds fun at first but criminals aren’t going to show mercy. They see you’re a kid they’ll think you’re an easy target and won’t hesitate to hurt you or worse.”
“Okay Dad, I’ll be careful. Shake on it?” he extends his hand.
I give Gabe a firm handshake to make it official. “Deal, SWAT-Kid.”
“Gross, I already have a way better name.”
“Yeah, Jetstream. So much cooler than that dad name.”
“If you say so Jetstream. Oh, and there is one last condition. Don’t tell your mother or Michael…Especially your mother…She’d kill both of us if they knew about this…”