Title: The Outlaw: Origins
Author: Alan Janney
Author: Alan Janney
Publication Date: February 26th, 2016
Category/Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Superheroes
A masked vigilante stalks the streets of downtown Los Angeles, disrupting crime and rescuing movie starlets. After being spotted on security cameras and thrust into the national spotlight, he is pursued by both the media and powerful new enemies. Little does the world know the Outlaw is just High School junior Chase Jackson wearing a mask and wondering why his body is suddenly…extraordinary.
The story continues in Book Two of the Outlaw Series. 'Infected'.
Prologue of Outlaw, Book One
Los Angeles Times. March 1st. 2018.
“My Night with the Outlaw.” By Teresa Triplett.
The man in the mask is late.
And then he is here without warning and, despite myself, I gasp. I am forbidden to
disclose the location of our rendezvous, but it is dark, it is the middle of the night, and I’m
Superheroes are, of course, fake. They do not exist in our reality outside of a movie
screen. I am skeptical and even offended by the growing legend surrounding the Outlaw.
It’s ludicrous. However, even if he is a fraud, it’s still the story of the year, maybe even of
the decade. Although that doesn’t explain why I’m so scared I can barely breathe.
I don’t know why he agreed to meet me, this man the entire world wants to
interview. In fact, I never even asked him and perhaps that is why I was chosen, when ranks
of more celebrated and prestigious reporters have already been rebuffed. The Editor-inChief
of the Times is holding the front page, waiting on this story you’re reading, even
though I’m not a writer for the paper; I am a television reporter, but the Outlaw wanted the
story out immediately. I’m trembling now as we regard each other in silence. I’ve already
decided that I won’t ask him, ‘Why me?’
I can feel him more than I can see him. Witnesses claim he is a big man, and that
doesn’t do him justice. He takes up the whole sky. CNN aired an Outlaw special and their
experts were able to measure him using various photographs, so I know he’s not as immense
as the naked-eye perceives.
“Hello,” I say, timidly, pathetically. He nods in reply, and it is at this moment I
realize how woefully unprepared I am. In my defense, the Outlaw only gave me an hour’s
notice but I cannot think of a single thing to say. As the silence between us lengthens and
the conversational burden on me increases, I relent and betray myself. “So why me?”
He shrugs and he says, “I don’t know that many reporters.”
He knows me? We’ll be pouring over that tidbit for weeks because his identity is
still a mystery. But you know this, and if you’re like the rest of us then you don’t even have
an educated guess.
His voice is deep. Darth Vadar deep, although I can tell he’s masking his voice
somehow. His words are slow and the vowels are elongated, and the mask falsifies it even
further. Oh yes. He’s wearing the infamous mask that covers his mouth and holds his hair
back from his furious eyes. Like every other eye-witness, I’m struck by the eyes. His gaze
is hard to return and I find myself fidgeting.
I make a few more feeble attempts at small talk, trying to gauge his reactions (of
which there are none), and then I wonder how Natalie North has maintained a relationship
with this stoic dark mystery man. Not only has she withstood his unnerving stare and
imposing presence but according to the stories she has fallen for him and vise-versa, making
them the most unlikely couple and hottest gossip column topic…ever. Beauty and the beast.
Of course it could be a publicity stunt, and rumors persist that there’s another girl in his life.
A real girl, and a real relationship beyond the mask. I imagine that topic’s off-limits tonight.
“I have to ask a question which will sound absurd even to my ears. Are you able to
do things physically that I can’t? That no one else can?”
He doesn’t answer, but I can tell he’s turning the question over in his mind.
“Like a super hero?” I press further.
“No,” he scoffs. “There’s no such thing. In fact, I’m sick.”
“Very. Possibly fatal.”
“Fatal?” I repeat stupidly, incredulously. “How…from what?”
“That’s not why I’m here,” he says. He growls his words and he waves my question
away with his hand.
“Then why?” I ask.
“I need you to pass along a message. To everyone.”