In a world swirling with chaos of the unexplainable phenomena of magic, of cutting edge and dangerous technology, and of sinister villains, there was a perpetual spark of hope and light:
Beacons of selflessness and bravery, never swaying, always unflinching in their perfect ideals and actions.
Of course, that part was complete bullshit. But, hey, it was a nice thought.
Genji Shimada wasn't quite sure what had prompted him to become a superhero. Maybe it was his desire to help people. Maybe it was wanting to make the world a better place. Maybe it was his desire to show off.
Maybe, as Fareeha had suggested the night that Genji insisted he wanted his supersuit to be neon green, it was because he had watched too many episodes of Super Sentai as a kid.
That certainly would explain his choice of hero name.
No matter what had first prompted his desire to be a superhero, Genji, or, as most of the general populace knew him, Sentai, found himself standing on the roof of a building, gazing upon the streets of Horizon City. Blinking lights filled the blackened streets, street lights casting shadows upon corners and roads. Cars filled the air with the smell of gasoline and the sound of horns, while zealous pedestrians boldly jaywalked across streets without so much as a sideways glance.
Horizon City was, perhaps, the epitome of the clash between heroes and villains. For every do gooder, there was a villain standing in the shadows, ready to fight. Heroes came and went, as common as the numerous attacks that happened nearly every night.
Except for this night, apparently.
After another ten minutes of standing and watching, Genji finally gave into his legs and sat down.
Really, Sentai had come all the way out tonight, and the villains couldn't even be bothered to show up?
Maybe I should just go home, Genji thought. I might actually get to sleep tonight before 3 AM.
As soon as Genji had even begun to consider taking a break, an explosion ricocheted through the air.
For fuck's sake.
Sentai readied himself, pulling backwards before pushing off, towards the noise. From rooftop to rooftop he leapt, his white scarf flapping wildly in the wind.
Of course, based on the noise, it couldn’t be anyone but the Junkers.
The Junkers were an infamous duo of robbers and arsonists who, despite their loud equipment and overall lack of subtlety, had managed to evade capture from heroes and law enforcement alike for the past two years. There was a long held debate over which of the two men, the tall and twig-like man with hair that seemed to be perpetually on fire known as Junkrat, or the silent, masked shirtless man known as Roadhog, was the leader. Most people cited Junkrat, as he issued most of the commands, but others argued that Roadhog did all the actual work and kept Junkrat in line.
Sentai jumped from the apartment building rooftop down to the street below at the entrance of the bank, landing (in his opinion) a perfect superhero pose. Junkrat stood cackling at the remains of the entrance, one hand holding a patchwork of machinery vaguely resembling a grenade launcher, and in the other, a stack of brandless, plastic-wrapped lollipops that could only ever be found at dentist offices and banks.
It was times like these that Genji wished the mask didn’t completely obscure his face, so Junkrat could see the look of utter disappointment and confusion on his face.
Sentai flicked his arm, shurikens loading into his suit’s forearm. Junkrat’s bulging eyes jerked over to Sentai, where he began to cackle maniacally. “Finally! I was wondering when one of you lot would show up!”
Genji shifted into his usual battle stance, pointing his free arm at Junkrat. “Junkers! Turn yourselves in or you will be arrested for…” Genji paused his superhero speech. “Okay, seriously? You broke into a bank and you’re not even stealing anything valuable?”
Junkrat shrugged, grinning from ear to ear. “What do we need money for?”
“I stay up for this shit, you know!” Genji protested.
“Well so do we! We’re the reason you heroes have jobs, you know!” Junkrat snapped back. He shook his head. “You really should be thankful for us. Ain’t that right, Roadie?”
Sentai’s attention snapped to the lumbering, gas mask-wearing, shirtless figure standing in the rubbles of the bank’s entrance. Roadhog grunted, presumably in agreement. In both of Roadhog’s large hands he held a comically small box.
“We don’t get paid for this.” Genji mumbled.
Junkrat blinked. “Then why the hell do you even bother?”
“Okay, you know what! Enough talking - you two stop doing… whatever this is and turn yourselves in - or else!” Sentai yelled.
Junkrat let out a short, barking laugh, before stopping abruptly. “Oh! Oh, you were serious! Oh, that’s funny.” Junkrat wiped an invisible tear from his eye, placing his hands on his hips. “Well, I’m bored.” He turned to Roadhog. “Light ‘em up, Roadie!”
Roadhog gave a thumbs up with one hand. With a start, Sentai realized that the mysterious box he was holding, in fact, had a giant red button on it.
Which could, of course, only mean good things. Sentai dashed towards Roadhog, launching three of his shurikens towards him.
The volley of projectiles knocked away the detonator from Roadhog’s hands as it clattered to the debris-stained floor. Genji raced towards it, reaching one hand out. Before he could grab it, a flurry of explosions ignited in front of him.
Junkrat, still atop his pile of debris, stood behind Genji. “Not so fast!”
Genji groaned internally. He reloaded his shurikens and flung them behind him, hoping to distract Junkrat. Sentai heard a loud crunch beneath his feet as he began his second dash, and looked down to see a tangled pile of wires and devices underfoot.
Junkrat let out another gleeful cackle as Sentai hurriedly kneeled down to pull at the wires. Shit, shit, shit.
“Good luck with that, mate!” Junkrat lifted out his palm, where Roadhog handed him the detonator. With a dramatic flourish, Junkrat bowed, and placed one dirt-stained finger on the button.
Fire ripped through the air, sending Sentai flying backwards from the sheer force. Heat enveloped every inch of his body.
Genji braced for impact, curling himself into a ball.
Fareeha and Angela are going to be so mad at me.
Impact never came.
A man dressed in a bright green, long sleeved shirt, and yellow backpack-like object pulsating with a steady beat stared at him. Genji looked down to see blue prosthetic legs with skates. A lime green, translucent visor covered the majority of his face, though Genji could see him look down at him and the outline of his expression.
Soundwave. Genji’s eyes widened in surprise.
Soundwave was one of the most famous heroes in the entirety of Horizon City - known for his charming smile,amiable personality, and undeterred sense of good. Generally, he was just a really great guy.
Soundwave had appeared suddenly to fight back against Vishkar, which he had revealed to be not just a harmless construction company, but actually employing sinister supervillains and plans for destroying the city.
He was also Genji’s long time celebrity crush, but that part wasn’t relevant.
“Hey, Sentai, are you okay? Can you walk?” Soundwave asked.
Genji’s brain rocketed through mental gymnastics. Soundwave knows who I am. I am in Soundwave’s arms.
The sound of an explosion rocketed right next to the two.
As if someone had flicked a light switch, Genji was rudely awakened back to reality. Pull yourself together, Genji! This isn’t the time to be mooning over your idol!
Sentai hastily jumped out of Soundwave’s arms. “I’m fine!” He stammered, his voice jumping up at least eight octaves.
Soundwave smiled in relief, and the sight of it made Sentai’s heart skip a beat. Soundwave turned to face the source of the explosion and readied himself.
“Let’s go!” He turned to Sentai and flashed a thumbs up before jumping up to the wall and skating across it, leaving behind a trail of bright green light from his skates. Sentai dashed after him, readying his shurikens again.
The Junkers had somehow managed to make an even bigger mess of the bank. The back door’s hinges had been blown clean off, revealing a (thankfully small) group of workers huddled in the back.
Soundwave landed on the floor from the wall, his skates clattering against the tile floor. With a flourish, Soundwave pulled the sound blaster from his belt in a quick flourish, shooting a blast of green light across the room and hit Junkrat in the chest. The second they reached his chest Junkrat flew back into the wall, leaving a comically perfect outline of his form in the ruined wall.
Junkrat peeled himself off the wall, pointing at Soundwave with a crooked scowl as he lay kneeling on the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, Sentai noticed Roadhog’s lumbering form fling a large, rusty hook towards Soundwave.
In a single swift motion, Sentai unsheathed the sword on the back of his suit, dashing towards Soundwave, and struck the approaching hook back towards Roadhog, as if he were particularly skilled tennis player and also the tennis balls are weapons, Fareeha had described the feature as once.
“I’ll take care of Roadhog - you get the civilians out!” Sentai yelled at Soundwave, who gave a quick thumbs up before racing towards the side of the wall.
Soundwave’s skates flashed as he slid across the walls, jumping over indents and areas where it had been broken with ease. A trail of flashing green light followed Soundwave as he traveled behind the Junkers and to the hostages.
Roadhog moved to throw his hook at Soundwave, but Sentai flung his shurikens, all three landing in Roadhog’s massive gauntlet. Sentai darted across the room, dodging the rusty scraps of metal that burst from Roadhouse’s gun.
Junkrat stumbled to his feet and blasted a trio of cherry bombs towards Sentai. As Sentai rushed to avoid the explosives, Roadhog hurled his hook and clamped it around Sentai’s body. He was unceremoniously pulled across the room and smashed onto the ground. Roadhog guffawed through the mask, and Sentai collapsed, completely out of breath.
Sentai could see Soundwave ushering the crowd of panicked civilians to the exit, his skates now glowing with a soothing yellow light. Genji’s sore limbs seemed to melt away, filling him with a rush of energy.
A not unfamiliar voice in the back of Genji’s brain whispered, “Go.”
“Ryujin no ken okurae!”Sentai reached for his back and pulled from its hilt his prized possession, his sword. Genji had found Ryu Ichimonji late one night exploring the many basements and rooms of Shimada Castle (while drunk, though he’d never admit it). He had discovered (accidentally smashed through a wall) the blade hidden inside a secret room, along with an explanation of what it was.
Genji hadn’t really understood what was the big deal at the time, but he had passed out next to the sword and woke up the next morning completely perplexed as to where the hell he was. The sword was so old that Genji couldn’t find any mention of it in any of the Shimada family records, despite the illustrious history written beside the blade.
Oh, also a strange presence had established itself in Genji’s brain - permanently. If Genji hadn’t been quite so hungover the morning he met this voice, he probably would have screamed. The voice had introduced itself in shifting tongues that Genji somehow parsed as being an ancient Shimada spirit living in the dragon. It rarely spoke or commentated on Genji’s train of thought - something he was grateful for - and nearly always spoke when Genji was patrolling or in a fight.
The whole thing honestly sounded like complete bullshit, but, hey, magic was real and superheroes were too, and Genji was more than a little dazed so, what the hell, okay, I guess this is a thing now.
Genji had done the reasonable thing when one discovers a powerful ancient heirloom that granted the wielder strength, super speed, and a weird ancient dragon mentor, and had gone directly to the two smartest people he knew and demanded they make him a superhero suit.
Despite the overall lack of planning, things had been going surprisingly well for Sentai’s superhero career.
Sentai swung his blade, glowing with luminescent green light, down through Junkrat’s defenses. The remaining Junker howled in anger and collapsed to the floor alongside Roadhog with an inelegant thwack!
“Fantastic technique!” Sentai finished, striking a pose. A crowd of reporters had found their way into scene, and the bright lights and shuttering of cameras had filled the air. Soundwave skated over to Sentai, and gave him a bright smile.
“Nice work, Sentai. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Soundwave stuck a gloved hand out, and oh my god they have little pads on them like frogs -
Sentai somehow managed to reach back out and shake Soundwave’s hand through his starstruck state, accompanied by the cacophony of clicks and questions.
Soundwave turned to the crowd and gave an easy smile. Warmth rushed through Genji, and he was at least 50% sure it wasn’t because of Soundwave’s superpower.
“Everyone, I’m sure you have questions, and I’d be glad to answer them.” Soundwave addressed the crowd. Through his translucent visor, Soundwave winked at Sentai.
Quick, say something cool. What’s a good one liner?
“Yeah, we cooked them!”
What the fuck is wrong with you.
Soundwave snorted. “You head back, I can take care of the PR.”
Sentai, too afraid of what his apparently malfunctioning brain would come up with next, simply gave a thumbs up as a response and backed away, rocketing up the building sides.
On the rooftop, he turned around and struck another pose. Hey, one of these is gonna be tomorrow’s cover picture.
Obscured from the security guards that roamed Shimada Castle, besides the towering cherry trees, Genji began to peel off his armor and suit. His feet were surrounded by a dusting of cherry blossoms on the ground. Behind the tree was a gym back, which he pulled out from its hiding spot and zipped it open. He stashed his uniform inside of his bag, carefully tucking the neon green sleeves so they didn’t stick out (he’d had a close call with Hanzo around October the previous year, but had managed to pass it off as a costume party.)
Thankfully, the security guards weren’t fazed by Genji returning home at 4am with numerous bruises and a grin on his face, as always. Still, Genji had had difficulty stopping the way his heart skipped a beat when he passed them, and he thanked they never asked questions.
Genji collapsed into his bed, chucking the bag of gear underneath his desk amongst the piles of discarded wrappers and papers. Fareeha would probably have a fit if she ever saw the way her precious tech was treated, but it had proved an effective means of disguise.
Genij rubbed his eyes, heavy with exhaustion. Still drenched in sweat and dressed in his undershirt, he began to drift off, and hoped nobody would notice the bruises tomorrow morning.