"... This is Jack Hanover.
I am writing this journal to document the life of DarkFlood.
It has been six months since I returned from Afghanistan with Doc Randolph. Back then, I was known by a different name. More on that later...
Since, I have taken up residence in New York City and the identity of the masked vigilante, DarkFlood. The decision did not come easy, and for which I shall chronicle the first six months of this new life carefully for you now, to better understand my entries later.
Before I go any further, or waste anymore time there are a few key things I must cover. The first is that I will not be able to do this forever. For whatever reason I possess this anomaly inside of me, and so I owe fate for this gift, and use it to protect the community from the killers and thieves.
But a time will come when my powers and advantages will no longer be unique to this earth. According to prophecy, after the days of Two Suns...Every living thing on the planet will unwillingly fall victim to a blast wave from a far off exploding star. The particles in the blast wave will kill no one, but alter everyone's entity; advancing us all into a new superior species.
This is the story of Earth's first Super Human.
In a time when they still aren't considered real. And the nostalgia of a caped crusader watching over and protecting the good and innocent people has not been wasted on a desensitized youth.
Six months I have spent training and jumping off rooftops, but at first I could not even get out of bed in the morning...
...Six Months Ago...
The room was dark, but he was not blind. A bandaged cast covered his face, along with the rest of his body. He had not moved from this spot in bed for days. His bones were shattered and his skin was nearly burnt off. But the heart beat monitor next to him was showing excellent vitals. He could not go to the hospital. He would have to give them a name. They might find him. Here, they could not find him. No ties or affiliations in his entire life led back to New York City. No matter, he could no longer use his original name. And Dr. Randolph told him the last time he visited, "to use this time of solitude to start figuring out the minor details of your new life."
So there he sat, alone in an empty apartment. He tried to look out the windows. Maybe he was atop one of those tall city skyscrapers. It must have been too far into the night, for he could not see enough out the window to come to a decision. Randolph was right, his only choice might be to just grind out the answers to those lingering questions he's been avoiding, like, "What is your new name going to be?" and, "What will you do for work?" But what he really wanted to ask himself was, "How can I get my wife back?"
He would need a common name, like John Smith, but not as obvious. The name Jack came to mind. Jack tried his new name out on himself. He didn't mind it. 'Well that wasn't hard', he thought. Now he needed a good last name to go by. He thought about his fallen troops in the Hindu Kush. Gibson, Alvarez, Faulkner, or Hawkins were all good candidates for a name. No, they all could potential draw government attention to him. They would be expecting him to do something rational like that. Jack had to be irrational right now. He had to be random, unbiased, untraceable.
He spent the next few minutes thinking of different people he knew to use by adapting or ruling out. He did like Jack. And was comfortable calling himself Jack. He tried thinking of random iconic words for last names, "Jack Kennedy....Jack Daniels....Jack Madison....Jack Columbus...." He considered Jack Columbus for a second, it didn't sound half bad. Somewhat contrived, but original, a name he's never really heard before. ..."Jack Columbus"... he thought to himself, alone, stuck in the cast.
The next morning he was woken up by the door unlocking. Only, one other person had a key. Dr. Randolph walked through the doors. He was in his street clothes carrying a large white paper bag. After he took out the antibiotics and pain killers, Dr. Randolph began to talk, "I got you a social security card and birth certificate," he told him, "Your new birthday is March 22, 1981, which means you'll be turning 30 this March."
Dr. Randolph brought the birth certificate over to where he could see it. "And as for your name," Dr. Randolph continued, "I went with..." He read it on the paper the same exact time Randolph said it aloud, "John Hanover." Randolph paused and waited for a reaction. "I got it from...a map...believe it or not," the good Doctor had himself a laugh, "could have thrown a dart at it really, and I changed the lettering in it by removing an 'N'" He organized the pills, "It's virtually impossible to track back to you."
Dr. Randolph watched as he looked up and said through the mask of bandages, "I was already set on Jack."
Randolph laughed again and replied, "You can still be Jack."
Jack said it to himself over and over again quietly as Dr. Randolph began to administer his meds and change his bandages.
"...John Hanover...Jack...Jack Hanover...Jack...Hanover..."
"Jack Hanover," Dr. Randolph knighted him, "just another working class man in the largest city in America." He pulled the leg casts off as he dissembled the body portion of it. He leaned Jack over as he pulled off the back. "Am I hurting you?"
"I'm fine, Doc" Jack said with a tensed voice. The cast slid off his back too quick and Jack slipped off the bed. Dr. Randolph scrambled and could only catch the piece of cast he was removing, he looked at it closely. Black skin and charred blood layered it. Scar tissue that must have healed onto the bandages. Dr. Randolph had just ripped off the new skin his patient had spent the last week reforming. He looked down to give Jack a hand. But he was already on his hands and feet trying to stand up.
"I'm healed" announced Jack as he pulled the rest of the cast and bandages off. To both their surprise, all the wounds, breaks, and burns were gone. He looked like his old self again. But he knew that meant nothing.
"How can this be?" begged Dr. Randolph.
Jack knew, but wondered if he should tell Randolph. He already was in too deep, having saved him from Fitzsimons. If he did not tell him now, with the proof before his eyes, his doctor and only friend would think he's insane. So Jack told Randolph about the Storm Harvester and the Divine Catalyst, he told him about the plant, and Fitzsimons. Afterward, Jack would wait silently and gauge Randolph's response.
"That's why I found you being held in the air by two lightning bolts?"
"That's right, Doc."
Jack walked over to the window to finally see where he was in the great New York City. He stood by the giant pane glass window and looked down. They were not more than two stories above the ground. This apartment was inside a tiny two story building, surrounded by other lackluster apartment buildings with unrecognizable shops; all of which surrounded by giant skyscrapers.
"Where are we?" Jack asked Randolph.
Jack put his hand on the glass, it felt cold on his palm. The thrill of being okay overwhelmed him. He rubbed his hands together and looked at his face through the reflection in the window. He was half expecting to come out of all this with a new deformed face. But he looked uncannily the same; short soldier-issued length jet black hair, dark complexion, and worn down eyes. This was the face of Philip Dresden, not Jack Hanover. He could change all the names and people in his life, but could he truly run away from the ghosts of his past?