Novablast is too busy for much of a love life—he works for a living and spends his nights patrolling Riverton. When he meets the new hero, Ursa, he’s surprised how quickly he starts falling for the rough stranger. As they start to explore their budding attraction, the villain who killed Ursa’s father appears and threatens to end their new found happiness. Even with the help of friends, can their love blaze hot enough to survive an attack that puts the very Earth at risk?
Fire roared up hot enough that everyone, including Novablast, moved backward. The warehouse was a total loss. The hero worked alongside the fire fighters to prevent the inferno from jumping to the surrounding buildings. He spun a spiral of flames from his hands, trying to set up a blazing barrier so fire he controlled would be between the burning warehouse and the outside. He flew around the building as the firemen soaked the other buildings. It took all of his concentration to keep the fire under control. The high winds buffeting the area weren’t helping. If the fire jumped to the drought-dried field half a block away, it would be uncontrollable.
As the red-clad hero ascended to a height from which he could survey his flaming walls, the building between him and the field exploded. Several firemen flew backward from the force of the blast. Novablast flew down to scoop up two who failed to move fast enough and were suddenly surrounded by fire from the two blazes. The hero strained to get the two men in their heavy equipment airborne.
“Thanks, Novablast!” one of the men shouted as he set them down next to the fire truck.
“Just doing a hero’s duty.” Novablast did his best to never overshadow the firemen; they were as much heroes as he was, if not more. They didn’t have superpowers to fall back on when things got hot; they were just normal everyday humans.
“Novablast!” Fire Chief Anderson called to him.
“Yeah, Chief.” He flew closer to the fire chief so he could hear the man over the fire’s roar.
“Any idea what is going on here? Have you spotted anything from the air?” Anderson asked, whipping at the sweat trickling down his forehead.
Novablast shook his head. “I was paying attention to this fire. I didn’t see anybody head over to the new one.”
“Isn’t there anything more you can do?” the chief settled his hat back on his bald head.
“I wish I could. My powers only work on my own fires. If I could get my flames to merge with the fires from the buildings, I could put them out. I almost had it with my wall of fire before the explosion.”
A woman’s scream cut off their discussion. Novablast looked up. Someone was silhouetted by the fire on top of the latest building to go up in flames.
“Be right back, Chief,” he said as he launched into the air.
The fire engulfed the building so quickly it looked like it either was spreading chemically or had metahuman help. Novablast sped toward the spot where the woman stood on a tiny section of unburned roof, looking in terror at the flames coming toward her. Novablast swooped down to grab her. He nearly had his arms on her when a dark form leaped through the flames and grabbed the woman.
“I’ve got you, ma’am!” a deep voice called out as the form and woman went over the edge of the building.
Novablast changed course, hoping to catch the two before they hit the pavement two stories below. The dark form had the woman in his large arms and twisted like a cat in midair, trying to get his feet under them. They fell faster than Novablast could catch up to them. He could only hope the dark clad hero was strong enough to survive the impact.
Seconds later large boots connected with the pavement, powerful legs absorbed the impact and the hero stood upright with the rescued woman in his arms. “Wahoo!” he whooped before setting her on the ground.
Firefighters rushed to them, taking the woman by the hand and leading her toward a nearby ambulance. Novablast landed in front of the hero. Below the dark mask, a heavy five o-clock shadow bristled. A big grin showed a set of perfect teeth.
“Good job.” He offered his hand to the dark hero.
“Wow, Novablast. This is so cool.” The dark hero shook Novablast’s hand so enthusiastically Novablast winced. “Oh, sorry about that. I’m Ursa.”
“So, Ursa, have you seen anything around that would explain the fires?” Novablast rubbed his stinging hand.
“There were some guys heading off toward the waterfront in what looked like hazmat suits. I was chasing them when I heard the scream. Rescuing people is more important, right?” More than a little uncertainty colored his voice. It caused Novablast to wonder how long Ursa had been a hero. Just because he’d never heard of the guy didn’t mean he hadn’t been around, it just meant he stayed out of the news, which could be a good thing for a hero to do.
“Right. Tell you what, see if you can track them down while I get these fires under control.” Novablast rose back up into the sky.
Ursa saluted him. “Right!” Then he vanished into the darkness as quickly as he’d appeared.