Chapter Two

1569 Words
Chapter Two There was no way I could get up and dodge Robert's gun. My legs just didn't want to cooperate because they felt like broken sticks. But before Robert could pull the trigger, he was interrupted by the sound of glass shattering. Robert looked away, lowering the gun as he said, “What the hell—” before he ducked, causing a huge chunk of ice to fly over him. He raised his gun and fired back, but it didn't sound like he hit anyone, thankfully, because he started backing away out of my sight while still firing his gun. As a result, I couldn't see what was happening in the cafeteria, but I could hear the sounds. I heard gun shots go off, heard screams and shouts, heard large chunks of ice striking the floor and tables, and more glass shattering, probably more people coming in, but I didn't know if they were the Young Neos or SWAT. But it was becoming harder and harder to stay conscious. The pain was so overwhelming that I just couldn't handle it. I tried to stay awake long enough to hear the end of the fight, but I just couldn't do it. In seconds, I drifted off into unconsciousness. The last sound I heard was a familiar pop, but I was unable to remember where I heard it from before I fell into darkness. - “Please wake up, Kevin.” “Can you hear us, Kevin? Please open your eyes.” The two voices floated into my ears. They sounded kind of familiar, but I couldn't remember where I had heard them before. In fact, I wasn't even sure if they were even real. All I saw around me was darkness, which made me think I was in some kind of weird dream. I felt a soft mattress underneath me that was quite comfortable, much better than the plaster and wiring I had landed on in the cafeteria. But then, maybe it had all been a bad dream. My fight with Robert, Robert punching me through the cafeteria wall, Robert almost shooting me … yes, that was it. It was all just a bad dream, a nightmare, one that I was sure I was going to wake up from soon. I didn't even feel like I was in pain, though my muscles felt soft and stiff. Opening my eyes, however, was a different story. I had to crack them open bit by bit. It was like they had been sealed shut with glue, not helped by the bright lights around me that made me want to close them again. Eventually, however, I managed to open my eyes and see that I was lying on a soft bed with white sheets. I recognized it as the bed in the House's medical station, which made me feel relieved, because it meant that it had been a dream after all. Oddly, I wasn't in my costume, but that was okay because I was fine and everything seemed normal. Then I noticed two people sitting near my bed. It was my Dad—who was in his full Genius costume now, though he had removed his helmet—and my Mom, who was wearing her green dress and blue necklace. They were both looking at me intently, as if they were watching my every move, which was kind of creepy. “Mom? Dad?” I said. My mouth was dry and thirsty, but I seemed to have all my teeth, at least. “What are you guys doing here?” “Kevin?” said Mom. She leaned forward in her chair, worry in her eyes. “How do you feel? Any broken bones?” “Not that I can feel,” I said. I yawned. “I feel pretty good, actually.” Dad sighed in relief, while Mom gave me a quick but tight hug before sitting back down in her chair. “See, Ashley?” said Dad with a smile. “I told you that Healing Touch's power would heal him. There was no need to worry.” “I know, but I'm his mother,” said Mom. “I'm supposed to worry about him, even if he is under the care of another superhero.” At the mention of Healing Touch, who was the resident healer in the Neohero Alliance, I felt my heart sink, but I tried to keep my spirits up. “Why did Healing Touch heal me? What happened to me?” “You mean you don't remember?” said Dad in surprise. “I guess that's not surprising. It looked like you crashed headfirst into that wall. Must have messed with your memory.” My heart sank even further. “Tell me what happened. Maybe that will jog my memory.” “Well, according to Malcolm, Robert punched you through the cafeteria wall with one blow,” said Dad. “You went flying and crashed into the wall hard enough to break nearly every bone in your body. Even Healing Touch had a hard time healing you, because she usually doesn't deal with injuries that serious. You've been out cold for a day.” My heart hit the bottom of my stomach. “So you mean that all of that really happened, then.” “It did,” said Dad. “Did you think it was a dream or something?” I rubbed my forehead. “I don't know. I thought it was, but … well, how's Malcolm doing?” “He's fine,” said Dad. “Jumpy and scared last I saw, but he was not injured and he is back with his family, though the G-Men have sent some agents to protect his family in case Robert comes after him again.” “You mean Robert got away?” I said. Dad nodded. “Unfortunately, yes. Your friends broke into the cafeteria to stop him, even fought him, but he managed to escape through a portal.” “A portal?” I said. “Who made it?” “We don't know,” said Dad, “but based on the description of it that Blizzard gave to us, I suspect that it was made by Hopper. You remember him, right?” I nodded reluctantly. Hopper had been a member of the last incarnation of the Young Neos, the one that existed before my team. He had had the ability to open portals that could let him go wherever he wanted. He was also a member of the radical cult known as Vision and was crazy as all hell. “But why would Robert escape through a portal made by Hopper?” I said. I shuddered. “Did Robert convert to Visionism or something?” “We don't know, but it's possible,” said Dad. “We have no idea where Robert escaped to, but the G-Men are searching for him, as is the NHA.” Dad looked at me with a much more serious look now. “But what happened to you? How did Robert punch you through the cafeteria wall? Robert doesn't have any superpowers at all, much less the kind of super strength that you have.” I rubbed my forehead. “I don't know how he did it. All I remember doing is walking up to him, knocking the gun out of his hand, and grabbing him. But then he grabbed me and … I don't know, but it felt like he drained me or something.” “Drained you?” Dad repeated. “What do you mean? Did he draw blood from you?” I shook my head. “No. It was like … he grabbed my arm with his hands and somehow drained me of my energy. I felt so weak that I could barely stand.” “How do you feel now?” said Mom in a worried voice. “Do you feel sick?” “Just … tired,” I said. I leaned backed against my pillow. “Kind of like I just did a really intense workout session, but worse.” “Well, at least you are still alive,” said Mom. “We were worried that you wouldn't make it. You were out like a rock.” “I'm glad I made it, too,” I said. That was when I noticed Dad's expression. His eyes seemed to be focusing on something far away and his chin was resting on his fist, his lips curled downward in a frown. I recognized the expression. It was how Dad looked whenever he was thinking about something important. And his frown told me that whatever he was thinking about, he didn't like it. He didn't like it at all. “Dad, what are you thinking about?” I asked. “What's the problem?” Dad looked at me in surprise, like he had forgotten I was there. “What? Oh, I was just thinking about what you told me. About how Robert 'drained' you and your weakness.” “It probably doesn't mean anything,” I said, shaking my head. “Maybe I just need a few days of rest and then I'll be back in action.” “I am not so sure about that,” said Dad. An ominous feeling went down my back, but I tried to ignore it,. “What do you mean? I'm healed. It's not like I'm bleeding internally or whatever.” “Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about,” said Dad. He leaned toward me, a questioning look in his eyes. “Can you still use your powers?” “Um, yeah,” I said. “Why wouldn't I be able to? It's not like I forgot how to or anything.” “Are you absolutely sure?” said Dad. “Try to activate your super strength. Try to lift something.” “Ted,” said Mom, looking at Dad in horror. “Why are you asking him to exert himself when he clearly needs rest? He's been through a lot and needs to sleep. You heard what Healing Touch told us.” “No, Mom, it's all right,” I said. “Using my powers won't hurt me. You have nothing to worry about.” “But—” “It's fine, Ashley,” said Dad, putting a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. “I'm not asking Kevin to fight a supervillain. I just want to see something.” Deep down, I thought I knew what Dad wanted to see, but it was such a horrifying idea that I hoped it was untrue. I focused on activating my super strength, on gaining my power again, but I felt … nothing. Nothing at all. It was like someone had opened me up and drained me of every power I had. I looked at Dad again in panic. “Dad, I can't feel my super strength.” Mom gasped, but Dad didn't look surprised at all, although his frown became even more pronounced. “Yes, I suspected as much,” said Dad. “I wish to hell I was wrong, but it looks like my theory is correct.” “What is your theory?” I said, even though I had a feeling that I already knew what it was. Dad took off his glasses, rubbed them on his shirt, and then put them on and looked at me again. “Robert stole your powers.”
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