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The Boys - Let Me Show You A True Hero!

I became Homelander at the start of his Career and let me tell ya! Being a hero is not worth all this troubl- “Thank you so much for saving me from that big bad monster! Mr. Homelander!” The adorable kids from the orphanage he just saved, thanked him. … Ok. Maybe it was worth being a hero.

Writing_Shirou · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
17 Chs

Chapter 8

Yes people, I also post on webnovel and other sites for those of you wondering. Anyway, here's another chapter! Comment if you want more!___________Chapter 8

 

Stan Edgar observed the people in the conference room, all of them waiting for him to speak.

 

A room full of expectant gazes was a common scene to the man who had climbed up the corporate ladder through blood and cold calculations. He scanned the room once again, his eyes like piercing lasers, cutting across the ambient tension. His face was without emotion, unreadable. It was almost amusing to see them hang onto his every word.

 

"Thank you all for being here today," Stan began, his voice gruff yet smooth, like whiskey on rocks. His eyes fell on Rebecca, the head of the digital marketing department. She was a bright young woman with an edge of fierceness that he admired… and apparently a close friend of Homelander.

 

"Rebecca," he nodded towards her, "Your team's proposal for next quarter's advertising initiative is impressive. I particularly enjoyed the innovative approach to media engagement."

 

The sighs of relief and murmurs of appreciation were audible around the room as Rebecca gave a small nod in acknowledgment. Stan Edgar wasn't known for doling out praises just for the sake of it.

 

"Speaking of which, how is our number one hero doing? You are in charge of all his social media, correct?"

 

Rebecca, a little startled by the sudden attention, cleared her throat before responding. "Yes, Mr. Edgar. His social media engagement has seen a significant increase in the past month. Fans are really responding well to our newest initiatives."

 

Stan's smirk deepened at her response, and he leaned back in his chair, intertwining his fingers on his stomach.

 

"Good, good," he murmured, letting the word roll off in the room.

 

The air was thick as everyone waited for Stan to speak again. He didn't keep them waiting long.

 

"But that's not what I was asking about Mrs. Butcher," Stan continued his tone suddenly sober, "I was not referring to his popularity or the public's reaction. What I want to know is how he is doing personally, and his mental state. The 'man' behind the hero."

 

A hush fell over the crowded room. The faces turned towards Rebecca once again, this time with a new element of suspense that had been missing before. She swallowed visibly, taken aback by the unexpected direction of Stan's questioning. She looked down momentarily at her notes as if they could offer some support.

 

"Mr. Edgar," she began slowly, choosing her words carefully, "I-I don't know what you-"

 

Before she could finish her sentence, Stan raised his hand up stopping her mid-sentence.

 

"No need to get defensive, Mrs. Butcher," Stan's voice was quiet, yet it echoed in the chilling silence of the room. His gaze still locked on Rebecca, he continued, "I know you're not a therapist or his personal confidante. I'm merely asking for observations."

 

Stan wasn't a man to ask questions without an underlying motive. And this sudden interest in Homelander's mental well-being was far from casual curiosity.

 

Rebecca took a deep breath, her hand trembling slightly as she picked up a glass of water. Taking a sip, she cleared her throat once again,

 

"He seems fine, Mr. Edgar." Her voice had an undertone of uneasiness. "He is functioning perfectly despite his lack of sleep, no unusual behavior."

 

"However…" she paused, "He has been saying that the voices are getting louder."

 

"Louder?" Stan repeated the word as if tasting it for the first time. He studied Rebecca for a moment before his eyes swept across the room again, landing on a blonde-haired woman who refused to meet his eyes.

 

"That's quite interesting," Stan noted, he turned to his assistant sitting by his side.

 

"Make a note of that." Then he addressed the room at large again, "Is there anything else that has caught anyone's attention?"

 

There was a drawn-out silence, broken only by the soft hum of the air conditioning system. Stan Edgar's question hung in the air, the gravitas of his words seeping into every individual present in the room. Every head in the room turned this way and that as people silently exchanged glances, unsure of what to say.

 

"How about you, Ms. Stillwell?" He turned his focus on her, "You should know more than anyone else, you are his manager after all."

 

Madelyn Stillwell, the blonde-haired woman, stiffened visibly under Edgar's gaze. She was a woman who remained unfazed in the most stressful situations, but today, something about Edgar's tone made her falter.

 

"U-Unfortunately, h-he has been too busy for me to observe anything substantial, Mr. Edgar," Madelyn stuttered, she cleared her throat before continuing, "I do, however, have his stats prepared and we are at a record-breaking high of 98% since last year."

 

"I see," Stan nodded, his gaze remaining on Madelyn for a moment longer before he turned away.

 

"Impressive numbers indeed, Ms. Stillwell." His tone was devoid of any particular emotion, and it was impossible to say whether he was pleased or indifferent to the information.

 

A heavy silence filled the room again as Stan returned to his contemplative pose, fingers steepled on his stomach. He seemed to be pondering over something as he stared into the distance. Meanwhile, the other people in the room hardly dared to breathe, let alone speak.

 

Finally, Stan broke the silence. "Everyone please leave the room. I wish to speak with Ms. Stillwell alone. We will reconvene in thirty minutes."

 

Everyone stiffened at his abrupt command, but they didn't question him. Chairs scraped against the marble flooring as people hastily stood up, avoiding eye contact with Stan and Madelyn. The tension in the room was thick enough to be cut with a knife as one by one, they filed out of the door.

 

Some, like Rebecca, couldn't help but glance back at Madelyn, sympathy written clearly on their faces.

 

Once the room was cleared, Stan swiveled his chair to face Madelyn directly. His gaze was stony, Madelyn kept her eyes trained on her hands clutched in her lap, waiting for the doors to close behind the last person leaving.

 

"Ms. Stillwell," he began, his voice dropping several octaves lower than before, "You've always been an asset to our company."

 

It wasn't a compliment; it was a fact stated as plainly as black and white.

 

"Thank you," she responded automatically, attempting to smile but her lips twitched with nervousness.

 

"Mr. Edgar..." Madelyn began but stopped when she noticed his cold gaze locked onto her. She felt like a deer caught in headlights. The older man exuded an energy that made everyone around him feel small and insignificant.

 

"I think it's time we had a candid discussion about Homelander, Madelyn," Stan said, his voice ever so calm yet carrying an edge of danger that sent a shiver down her spine.

 

Music suddenly blared from a speaker hidden somewhere behind the grand bookshelves that lined the walls of the room, a haunting melody that seemed to echo the tension in the room. Mozart's Requiem reverberated around them, giving an eerie backdrop to their impending conversation.

 

"M-Mr. Edgar, I assure you that everything is under control," Madelyn rushed in, trying to ease the tension she could feel radiating from him.

 

"Is it?" The cold-blooded man asked rhetorically. "Because it doesn't seem that way, Ms. Stillwell. You said you haven't observed anything substantial. But isn't that part of your job?"

 

He leveled a steady gaze at her, his eyes boring into hers, making her fumble with words, "I... I mean to say... The statistics —"

 

"Are impressive," Stan cut her off, leaning back into his chair, "But I'm not particularly interested in those right now."

 

He paused for a moment and sighed heavily before continuing, "You see, Ms. Stillwell, impressive statistics are good for business. But they are not enough when the future of our corporation is at stake."

 

"I don't follow..." Madelyn's voice meekly trailed off, her brows knitted together in confusion.

 

Stan, however, did not elaborate on that remark. Instead, he leaned forward slightly, resting his elbows on the desk, and snaped his fingers. His assistant who was beside him acted accordingly and handed Madelyn a yellow envelope.

 

"What is this?" She asked as she grabbed hold of the unlabeled document, her eyes darting between Stan and the envelope.

 

"Open it, Ms. Stillwell," Stan prompted, watching her with a gaze as sharp as a hawk's. Madelyn nodded slowly, pulling out several sheets of paper stapled together at the corner. As she scanned the contents of the papers, her brows furrowed deeper, and her eyes widened in shock.

 

Her face drained of color, her hands clutching the papers so tightly that they crinkled under her grip. The documents were a detailed report of Homelander's crime statistics over the past few months, reports that had been kept from her intentionally. Each page is filled with crimes stopped by the superhero, some gruesome in detail.

 

"This...this can't be right," Madelyn stuttered, her brows furrowed as she flipped through the pages, her eyes skimming over the pages quickly as if trying to find an error.

 

She looked up to meet Stan's unfaltering gaze and swallowed hard.

 

"I assure you it is," Stan said calmly, leaning back in his chair again. His voice was devoid of any emotion, but his eyes held an unnerving intensity. "Homelander has taken out more than 45% of our assets, hero and villains alike, some of the top class product."

 

"He...he killed them?" Madelyn choked out, the words sticking in her throat as if they tasted bitter. Her eyes were wide with disbelief and fear.

 

"No." Stan's response was immediate and unflinching. "Merely taken out of commission, some of them likely to be hospitalized for more than a few months."

 

"And why wasn't I informed about this sooner?" Madelyn asked, her voice beginning to fill with agitation.

 

Stan remained impassive, looking at Madelyn with an almost bored expression. "Well, you said it yourself, Madelyn. You haven't observed anything substantial."

 

He watched as she tried to come up with a retort, but he cut her off before she could. "After all, you've been so busy managing Homelander's impressive statistics."

 

Madelyn's face reddened at his thinly veiled sarcasm, and she shut her mouth abruptly, gripping the papers tightly. She felt anger bubbling inside her but knew better than to let it show. Stan Edgar was not a man to be crossed.

 

"Mr. Edgar," she began again, trying to keep her voice steady and professional, "I assure you, had I known of these... incidents, I would have reported them immediately."

 

Stan gave a noncommittal shrug.

 

"Perhaps," he allowed, "but the fact remains that you didn't know. and that reflects badly on your management."

 

A silence fell over the room then as Madelyn grappled with the reality of what Stan was suggesting. He was questioning her competence as a manager.

 

"I-- I can fix this," she stammered after a while, her eyes darting up to meet Stan's unblinking gaze.

 

"Oh?" His voice was as cold as ice and just as unyielding. "That is kind of you to say, but I'm afraid the damage has already been done, there is no fixing this."

 

"But why?" Madelyn asked, her gaze never leaving the documents – the proof devastating. "Why would he do this?"

 

Stan sighed, running a hand through his thinning hair.

 

"That's the million-dollar question, isn't it, Ms. Stillwell?" he mused. He looked at her for a moment before continuing, "Maybe he's acting out, maybe he's developing a god complex…"

 

Stan's voice trailed off, his eyes fixed on a spot somewhere beyond Madelyn as if seeing an image only he could visualize.

 

"…is what I would like to say, but as we can all see that is highly unlikely."

 

Stillwell sat in silence, waiting for him to continue.

 

Stan seemed lost in thought for a moment as he drummed his fingers on the sleek mahogany desk, each tap echoing ominously in the quiet room. He looked up after a long minute and regarded Stillwell with a peculiar glint in his eyes.

 

"Flip to page 10."

 

Madelyn obeyed, her fingers trembling as they turned the pages. On reaching page 10, she was met with a full-page picture of Homelander. It had been taken on one of his mandatory medical checkups.

 

"Notice anything unusual?" Stan asked, cocking his head slightly to the side.

 

Madelyn squinted at the image, her heart pounding in her chest. Her eyes darted over the information, scrutinizing every detail. She knew she was meant to see something, something significant, but all she could find was...

 

"He's gotten stronger?"

 

"Indeed," Stan replied cryptically, his eyes never leaving her face. From the way he was studying her, it was as if he was trying to decipher her thoughts through her expressions. "His powers have increased exponentially over the past few months."

 

"But... how is that possible? I mean... he's already..."

 

"The most powerful person on this planet," Stan finished for her, an inscrutable expression on his face. "Yes, that's what we've all been led to believe."

 

His voice was barely above a whisper now, intimate and cold in the deathly silence of the room. He placed both of his hands flat on the desk before leaning forward.

 

"But you see, Ms. Stillwell," he continued, his gaze piercing into hers, "Homelander is not like us. He does not have limitations like we do. What we consider to be his peak strength may just be the beginning for him."

 

Madelyn stared at Stan in mute disbelief for a moment before she swallowed audibly and tried to compose herself. While she did this, Stan's assistant handed her a tablet with a video ready for her to watch.

 

"On this tablet," Stan gestured toward the device, "You'll find footage extracted from surveillance cameras that managed to catch him in action. It... sheds light on just how much Homelander has improved."

 

The video was barely a minute long but in those fifty-eight seconds, Madelyn watched in stunned silence as Homelander displayed feats of power beyond what she—or anyone else at Vought—had ever imagined.

 

"They say his speed has increased by a large margin compared to last month, his strength nearly doubling, and his laser vision becoming more potent, and what's more," Stan paused for a moment, seemingly to let the gravity of his words sink in, "he's started displaying new capabilities altogether. Swipe to the next video."

 

She looked at the next video and saw Homelander standing in the midst of a raging fire, completely unscathed. He took a deep breath before exhaling forcefully, a gust of chilling wind coming forth from his lips, the flames around him extinguishing instantly.

 

The fire was gone in seconds, leaving only an icy chill that seemed to seep through the screen directly into Madelyn.

 

"As you can see," he said, breaking the silence, "He's developed cryokinetic abilities - at least that's what our team of metahuman experts are calling it. He now has what our marketing department is calling super-breath, as lazy as that is."

 

"But...how?" She stuttered out, still shocked by what she was witnessing.

 

Stan shrugged again as if he were discussing something as mundane as the weather. "The experts say it's from all the stress he has been putting himself through saving people every day without so much as a single wink of sleep. Others say it's simply him growing to the full extent of his powers. Either way, we have a situation on our hands."

 

Unable to find words, Madelyn simply stared at the tablet, replaying the video over and over again.

 

"But," Stan continued, his gaze turning hard, "that's not the worst part."

 

Madelyn looked up from the tablet, her eyes wide. "What could possibly be worse than this?"

 

Without answering her, Stan motioned for his assistant once more. The man handed him a small remote control, which Stan accepted with a nod. He then pointed it at the large monitor on the wall across from them and clicked a button.

 

The monitor buzzed to life, the screen illuminating in a pulsing green hue, displaying footage from one of their hidden facilities. Through the grainy night vision and slowed-down footage, a figure could be seen moving within the shadows of the compound V production room and destroying everything in sight.

 

"This," Stan said grimly, gesturing at the screen. "This is what we need to worry about."

 

Stan paused the video on a frame where the figure looked directly into the camera, his entire face covered in a black mask. After unpausing the video, the image on the screen soon blurred as the camera was destroyed.

 

"Now I would say it could be anybody behind that mask, but we both know who it is. It was smart of him to wear a mask as it made this completely unusable if we were to show it to the public, no one would believe their beloved hero would do such a thing."

 

Madelyn's heart pounded in her chest like a trapped bird against a cage, her eyes widened as the implications of what Stan was saying sank in. She took a gasping breath, looking from the screen back to Stan. "You don't mean..."

 

Stan simply nodded; his face impassive. "I do. It appears that Homelander has turned against us."

 

The silence in the room was deafening as Madelyn tried to absorb this new and terrifying reality. Her hands clutched tightly on the edge of the desk, knuckles whitening under the strain. She felt her stomach churn with a sense of dread that she had never experienced before.

 

"But...why?" she stammered out finally. "Why would he do that? If he turned against us why not just destroy the entire building instead of one room?"

 

"That, Ms. Stillwell," Stan replied, leaning back in his chair and steepling his fingers, "is a simple question to answer, Homelander deliberately spared the rest of the building simply because it was still of use to him, not to mention there were still people in the building."

 

"But that doesn't make sense," Madelyn protested, her brows furrowing in confusion and apprehension. "Why would our facilities be useful to him? He has everything he needs. He's... he's Homelander."

 

Stan chuckled, a bitter, hollow sound that did nothing to alleviate the tension within the room.

 

"Indeed, Ms. Stillwell. Homelander is Homelander. That is precisely why our facilities remain invaluable to him," he replied cryptically.

 

Feeling increasingly frustrated, Madelyn decided to push for a more enlightening explanation. "Could you be more specific, Stan?"

 

Stan looked at her through narrowed eyes before sighing deeply.

 

"Right now, Homelander sees us as the lesser evil," Stan continued, his eyes never wavering from Madelyn's. "Even though he might despise the things we do, he understands that at this point in time, we are a necessity."

 

"He knows that his strength alone cannot solve all the problems of the world. That being said, he also realizes that our facilities, our resources, money, and our personnel are irreplaceable tools that can help him achieve his goals. After all, he is a hero through and through, always putting the needs of the people he protects above his own, which is the only reason why Vaught still stands."

 

Madelyn was silent for a while, her mind racing to comprehend what Stan was implying. Then realization dawned upon her like a bucket of ice-cold water. Her eyes flickered back to the screen where the footage of the masked Homelander wreaking havoc was frozen.

 

"You're suggesting...," she began slowly, her voice barely above a whisper, "Homelander... is planning to take over Vought?"

 

Stan nodded solemnly, his fingers rapping against the polished mahogany of the desk in an uneven rhythm—a clear sign of unease from a man who rarely showed any form of discomfort or distress.

 

"We believe so," Stan confirmed, a grim look in his eyes. "He's started making calculated moves—destroying what he dislikes, leaving untouched what he finds useful."

 

"Is there anything we can do?" She asked, knowing that if John took over it would mean a huge loss of profit knowing how he felt about money. "Can we negotiate with him? Convince him that we can work together?"

 

"We would have to give up too much control, too much power, and far too much money. No, the key to dealing with Homelander is not through negotiation," Stan continued, his gaze fixed on the still image of Homelander on the screen, "but through exploitation."

 

"Exploitation? Of Homelander?" Madelyn questioned, her voice incredulous. She had always viewed Homelander as an unstoppable force - invulnerable and beyond manipulation. In response, Stan merely nodded.

 

"In a way," he affirmed, his voice growing quiet. "Homelander may be physically invincible, but the man John possesses...vulnerabilities. It is fortunate really, that our godlike being has a glass heart."

 

"He has a conscience that gets the best of him," Stan said, leaning forward and placing his palms flat on the desk. "He values innocent life more than anything else in this world. That is his humanity and therein lies his true Achilles' heel. His desire to save people is part of who he is, and we can use that against him. "

 

Madelyn shook her head in disbelief. "And how do you propose to do that? He's not going to let us manipulate him so easily."

 

Stan responded without missing a beat, "We have to show him the cost of rebellion, Madelyn. The cost in human lives. Every time he steps out of line, every time he defies us, that defiance needs to have a lethal price tag. Not for him, but for the people he is trying so desperately to protect. That is why we planted bombs all around the city, after all, a hero like him would never risk the lives of innocents."

 

A wave of nausea passed through Madelyn as she registered Stan's words. His plan was ruthless, cold-hearted, and frankly terrifying.

 

The music filled the silence