Below the thick black clouds of a thunderstorm, under the relentless showers, amidst the lightning and the roaring skies, a hero was born. A courageous personage that would go on to explore the universe, travel the vastest of distances and learn the ways of countless other species; He would go on to defeat the enemies of our allies, end the malaise of a thousand different peoples and uncover the secrets of reality. To think it happened during a boring night, on an unremarkable Tuesday, inside a house much like your own…
The longcase clock struck nine and its peal echoed through the stairwell and into Clark’s bedroom. The lightning from the storm projected the shadows from the tree outside into the carpeted floor and light-blue walls. The darkness danced and flickered along with the roaring thunder of the clouds. Clark curled himself up into a ball and watched the terrifying spectacle from beneath a protective layer of covers. The towel that hung from his chair seemed to laugh at him and the miniature monster-truck on his shelf seemed to rev its engines. All in preparation for a cataclysmic and coordinated attack against Duke and him. Clark grabbed the edge of his bed and peeked over it. On the floor next to him, Duke remained half asleep on his dog-sized bed and only opened his eyes when a particularly loud thunder reached him.
“Aren’t you scared Duke?”
Duke opened his eyes at the sound of his voice and looked at him from below. Unflinching, unafraid.
“I guess not…” Clark petted Dukes fluffy head and crawled back under the covers. If Duke was not afraid then there was nothing to fear; If Duke could sleep through the night then he could too. Clark closed his eyes and tried to blank his mind from all the creatures he imagined in his room.
A ripping thunder shook the windows in the bedroom and the lightning lit up every surface inside. The glowing jagged form of electricity became imprinted into Clark’s eyes as he watched it strike the ground not too far from his house. An intense jolt of adrenaline rushed through his bloodstream and Clark jumped out of his bed screaming.
He ran through the long hallway and rushed into his parent’s bedroom, “Mom!”
Clark’s mother sat up in her bed with an instinctive rapid movement.
“Wha? What is it? What’s wrong Clark?”
“Mom, I’m scared.”
Duke arrived at the scene with a slow pace, still half-asleep.
“Oh honey… Come here,” she signalled the spot next to her on the bed and Clark spent no time hesitating before jumping up beside her, “What happened?”
“The lightning’s scary, it’s like there’s monsters in my room.”
She took his head in her arms and moved her hands through his hair.
“But you know there’s no monsters right?”
“I guess so…”
The pair stood silent for a moment and they listened to the sound of the rain striking the roof above them. Duke walked to their feet and laid down next to them.
“What about Duke? Was he scared?”
“No… he’s fearless.”
“Yeah, you know why? Because he knows there’s nothing to fear. Next time you’re afraid of monsters in the dark, take Duke with you and go check it out. You’ll see it won’t be anything more than a shadow, or a noise from the wood. You’ll see…”
“But what if there is a monster?” Clark insisted.
“You know that baseball helmet your uncle got you?”
“Well, it’s not just a baseball helmet. It’s also a helmet for space adventurers! Do you want to be a space adventurer?”
“So when you want to know what some noise is, or something you think is scary, put the helmet on. You’ll be Commander Clark, and take Duke with you, he’s Fearless.”
Clark smiled, “He’s Fearless?”
“Yep, now go on to your room, you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Clark hopped off the bed and walked together with Duke into his room. A menacing darkness greeted him, the sound of thunder roared at him, the void beneath his bed called to him. He grabbed the baseball helmet from his bedside table and put it on and watched as his room began the transformation.
The soft carpet of his room began to harden below his feet and dust began to rise into the air. The roof above him turned to an emerald green sky and he saw the purple lightning strike the mountains of the alien planet. The void beneath his bed swirled and imploded into a black hole. A gleaming lake-sized spaceship appeared behind him. ‘Star Reacher’, it read on its side.
“I am Commander Clarke, and this is my faithful companion Fearless-Galactic,” Clarke’s deep voice resonated through the open valleys of the distant world, “Your time of terror is over, this is the beginning of your end.”
A shadow in the distance fled his sight and hid behind a large stone.
“Yes hide! Run back to the depths from which you came! It will do you no good. I will be one step behind you. I will hunt you into the last corner of the universe and the last sight your pitiful eyes will see will be my laser gun and Fearless-Galactic’s sharp teeth.”
He took a step forward in his space suit, and his companion followed him into the unknown world before them. A team was forged, and a legend born; And it was in that instant that Commander Clarke and the monstrous Fearless-Galactic began their mission to bring peace back to the galaxy. A mission that would lead them to the greatest space adventures humanity has ever known.
Clarke looked at the green horizon of the alien planet. A myriad twinkling lights rose from the ground and sped off into the atmosphere leaving behind a trail of fire and smoke. The monsters had fled, scurried out in their escape pods.
“Come on Fearless! Let’s go get ’em!” the pair walked steadfast to the Star Reacher and made their way inside, intent on giving chase to the evils that escaped that world. The engines ignited and the ground exploded behind them as the ship accelerated and disappeared among the stars.