Scorch: Devastation is the second in a ten-issue series by Telos, chronicling a battle between Scorch and White Sphere.

Chapter One

The bright morning sun peeped over the hills, emitting golden rays of light. Scorch was already out of bed and on the streets, discretely making his way across town to the home of a wealthy bank manager - his client wanted him to kill the manager and rob the bank, then deliver the money to his client. For this Scorch would receive $150000 into his account, as well as much money as he could fit in his pockets from the bank heist.

Almost a week had passed since his victory against Spook, who was probably in hospital. Scorch hoped he would not get chased by squads of police like he did last time he claimed a bounty.

As he strode over a hill, Scorch sighted what he momentarily believed to be a real UFO, but he quickly realized that it was too close and too small to be one of them. As what ever it was drew nearer, Scorch could see that it was a male between fifteen and thirty, hovering several meters above Scorch's head. The floating man spoke.

"Are you Scorch? The mass murderer and criminal-for-hire?" asked the person.

"Who wants to know?" Scorch replied with a sneer.

"I am White Sphere, hero of Chicago and the USA. I fight to protect the citizens against crime and villainy, and I demand to know if you are Scorch!"

"Well, let me tell you a secret..." spoke Scorch in a soft, deadly voice. "...I am Scorch!"

As he said this, flame spouted from his gloved hands, surging towards White Sphere. But with a wave of his hand, White Sphere created a semi-transparent, spherical force field that protected him from the deadly barrage.

Scorch cursed and unleashed another orange blast of fiery heat, but once again, White Sphere easily protected himself with a force field.

Chapter Two

Scorch was about to launch another jet of flame, but before he could, his booted feet suddenly left the ground - White Sphere was altering gravity!

Scorch had sometimes wished he could fly, but now that he was hovering several feet above the ground he began to feel nauseous. White Sphere landed gracefully, gently lowering himself onto the emerald green grass.

Scorch struggled to get down, but White Sphere simply smiled and Scorch went up further towards the sky. He was at least five meters off the ground now, if not more. Angrily, Scorch hurled a ball of sizzling flame at White Sphere.

White Sphere created another force field around himself, and the fireball harmlessly smashed against it. Scorch grew desperate, reaching out to a nearby tree branch in an attempt to pull himself back to the ground.

However, White Sphere released his gravitational hold and Scorch fell five and a half meters to land painfully on his back.

"Scorch, you must pay for your crimes. I am handing you over to the authorities for murder, theft, attempted murder, and armed robbery!" White Sphere declared.

"I'd like to see you try!" retorted Scorch with a snarl.

There was a blinding flash of orange light as torrents of flame hit White Sphere's force field in a roar of heat. Scorch's nostrils flared and he gritted his sharp teeth and kept at his relentless fiery assault.

But White Sphere's force field easily withstood the blaze, completely shielding White Sphere from the intense heat.

"Are you sure you're going your hardest, Scorch? Your attacks have been pretty easy to block." White Sphere said from inside the force field.

"You dare to insult me?!" Scorch screamed.

"Yes, I dare!"

"Aargh!" Scorch cried out in anger.

More deadly heat emitted from Scorch's hands, and the battle continued.

Chapter Three

Scorch attacked viciously, whirling bursts of flame exploding from his gloved hands. He called upon his full power, unleashing incredible amounts of heat upon White Sphere, burning the green grass all around him to lifeless, barren ash.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with fire?" White Sphere said with a mischievous grin.

"Shut up!" yelled Scorch.

Smoke, dust and flame wafted through the air, and Scorch continued to barrage his opponent with jets of flame and fireballs.

"You can't keep this up forever!" yelled Scorch.

"In case you haven't noticed, hothead, neither can you!" responded White Sphere.

Scorch bared his teeth and sent blue ribbons of fire arcing from his fists. White Sphere began to have trouble holding it all back, as it was draining his energy to keep the force field up. White Sphere, desperate for a respite, momentarily let down his force field and soared upwards.

"Think fast!" yelled Scorch, throwing a ball of searing yellow flame at him.

The fireball made contact, slamming into the hero's chest and igniting his outfit. White Sphere slapped at the flames, desperately trying to put them out. He fell out of the sky, crashing to the ground in a fiery heap. Scorch smirked as White Sphere rolled around, screaming.

White Sphere eventually succeeded and put out the tongues of fire lapping at his costume, and flew back into the air. He created three small whirling force fields in mid-air, and made a gesture as through throwing a large object.

The force fields whizzed through the air and smashed into Scorch's torso and head, knocking the wind from his lungs and blurring his vision for a moment.

"I've had enough of this!" Scorch yelled.

Scorch outstretched his hands - and the entire landscape ignited. Everything in sight (except Scorch and White Sphere) erupted in flames. The ground resembled a swimming pool filled with molten lava instead of chlorinated water.

"What have you done?!" screamed White Sphere.

Chapter Four

"I lit up everything within sight! I'd estimate at least a hundred people were just killed, maybe more!" taunted Scorch.

"You'll pay for that! I must protect the citizens of America from people like you!" White Sphere replied, shaking his head.

"You stupid fool! If you really want to help the people, then do us all a favor and drop dead!!!" Scorch screamed.

Scorch called upon his anger and released more lethal flames. Fire and smoke billowed through the air like an orange storm. The sun had been almost blocked out by the ash, and it only shone faintly through the dust and flame.

Scorch coughed violently, smoke filling his lungs. For a moment he stopped his fiery barrage, choking on ash. White Sphere let his force field down, and stared at the blackened landscape.

The tree that Scorch had tried to grab on to earlier had been reduced to smoldering red-hot coals, and all of the nearby bushes were now piles of charcoal. The grass had been burned off, leaving cracked and dry ground underneath. From the hill, White Sphere observed the nearby buildings. Most of them had collapsed and were now smoldering wrecks. Beneath one of them White Sphere was sure he could see a blackened skeleton. Other than Scorch and White Sphere, there was not a living thing in sight.

Scorch recovered from his coughing fit, and was once again ready to fight. His gloved hand lit up with a fireball, and before you could say "boom" he had flung it at White Sphere. White Sphere easily created a spherical force field that absorbed the blast, but Scorch was ready to fire another powerful jet of flame.

Then White Sphere had an excellent idea. If he could create a force field around Scorch just before he unleashed another stream of flame, Scorch would be trapped and blasted unconscious with his own powers!

Scorch released a burst of fire - just as White Sphere cocooned him in a force field! Scorch instantly passed out, the intense heat blowing him unconscious. Luckily, his costume was equipped with a relatively fire resistant layer of plastic-like material of his own design. This prevented him from dying, but Scorch was not protected from unconsciousness.

White Sphere allowed the force field to dissolve, leaving only Scorch's unconscious body. White Sphere picked him up and flew into the air in the direction of the police station.

Chapter Five

The officers at the police station were highly shocked yet slightly relieved when White Sphere brought the still-unconscious Scorch into custody. He was handcuffed, his helmet and costume were removed and replaced with prison clothes, and he was placed in a temporary cell under heavy guard.

After being congratulated numerous times, White Sphere declined the one million dollar reward for capturing Scorch, and flew back into the sky with a cheesy grin.

Meanwhile, Scorch was transferred to a prison was made of brick, with no bars and only an air vent in the ceiling - and this was protected by a thick metal grate. Flaking gray paint stretched across the entirety of the cell, including the floor and ceiling.

Scorch's bed was small, cheap and quite uncomfortable, with scratchy sheets and was the only piece of furniture in the entire room. A squad of heavily armed soldiers stood guard outside the locked metallic door, equipped with the most advanced weaponry available. Their various rapid-fire guns and heavy weapons were pointed at the door to Scorch's cramped cell.

The place smelled musty and damp, like an old cave, and the floor was coated in a thin layer of dust. And this barren cell was Scorch's home, until (and if) he managed to escape.

As Scorch sat waiting, jet-black hair gleaming like strands of pure darkness, he silently vowed vengeance. He vowed to destroy White Sphere, whatever the cost. But first he needed to escape, to get away from these pathetic troopers and back to the fresh air and open spaces of the real world.

Until then, he would just sit, planning, plotting, waiting.

Tomorrow he would break out.

The End