Read The Superhero's Son (Book 1): The Superhero's Test Online

Authors: Lucas Flint

Tags: #Superheroes | Supervillains

The Superhero's Son (Book 1): The Superhero's Test (7 page)

I nodded. “Yeah. Let's do it.”

Dad nodded, but then hesitated before saying, “Kevin, I just want to let you know that I am here to help you if anything goes wrong. I doubt anything will—at least as long as I am here watching your vitals—but I just want you to know that in case you are afraid.”

I wasn't very afraid. Just worried that the Detection helmet might somehow fry my brains or maybe turn me into some kind of a zombie, although it was just a minor worry.

So I said, “It's fine, Dad. I know. Just start it. These straps are getting uncomfortable.”

Dad nodded again and then turned and pressed a button on the keyboard.

Immediately, I felt the Detection helmet tighten around my head. It didn't hurt, but it was uncomfortable. It felt like there was a giant plunger on my head and it was getting tighter and tighter. I would have reached up to take it off if my arms hadn't been strapped down.

But it really wasn't all that bad at the moment. I thought all of Dad's warnings were ridiculous. I was still conscious and didn't feel even slightly disoriented.

Then, without warning, my world started spinning around me. I closed my eyes, but it didn't help, because now I felt sick to my stomach. My entire body shook and shuddered, like the earth was shaking. I felt something scanning the top of my head, the top of my brain even. It almost felt like a giant hand was rubbing its fingers on my brain, which made me gasp.

“Kevin, are you all right?” said Dad, who I couldn't see due to the fact that I had closed my eyes. “Kevin, can you hear me?”

“I can,” I said, but my voice was shaky. “Is it done yet?”

“Not yet,” said Dad. “Just a couple more minutes and the scan of your brain waves should be complete.”

A few more minutes? I didn't think I could tolerate even a few more seconds. I tried to say that to Dad, but my jaw started aching. It felt like a giant hand had wrapped around my head and was slowly crushing it between its humongous fingers.

“Just hold on a little while longer …” said Dad. “Almost done … almost …”

A sharp spike of pain was the last straw. I pulled hard at the straps holding me down and ripped them off with my super strength. Then I ripped the straps off my helmet and threw it at the other wall with a yell.

The helmet flew through the air and crashed into the wall, but it was the only thing I saw before I put my face in my hands. My head was still dizzy and I still felt sick to my stomach. My brain didn't hurt as much anymore—in fact, the pain went away as soon as I removed the helmet—but I didn't trust myself to get up and walk just yet.

Then I heard Dad run up to me and I looked up to see Dad standing above me. I couldn't see his facial expression due to his helmet, but I guessed he didn't look happy.

“Kevin, why did you throw that helmet at the wall?” said Dad. His tone was as level as always, but I knew that if I said the wrong thing, I'd regret it.

But I was also annoyed, because he seemed to be treating that helmet better than me, so I said, without caring about my sharp tone, “I threw it at the wall because it was getting me dizzy and it hurt. I felt like I was going to throw up.”

Dad's hands shook, but he just shook his head and said, “You should have told me how you felt. I could have then turned off the machine and let you rest until you felt better. The process doesn't need to be done in one sitting. It can be spread out over a period of time, although its accuracy decreases by two percent due to the change in brave waves from day to day.”

“I couldn't speak,” I said. I rubbed my jaw, which didn't hurt anymore, but which didn't feel good, either. “You should have been paying better attention.”

“I didn't know you couldn't speak,” said Dad. “That's unusual. It must have interacted with your body in a unique way.”

“Do I look like I care?” I said in annoyance. “I thought I was going to die.”

“You were never in any real danger,” said Dad. “I've used this same machine on many people in the past without any negative consequences.” He glanced at the helmet, which lay on the other side of the basement. “That will cost a lot of money to fix.”

“That's what you care about?” I said. “What about my health?”

“Do you feel like you need to go to the doctor?” said Dad, looking at me again.

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “But—”

“Then I see nothing to be worried about,” said Dad, interrupting me before I could finish speaking. “But if you want, you can go back to your room and rest while I analyze what data I managed to get from your brain before you broke the Detector.”

Dad's tone didn't change at all as he spoke. He almost sounded like a robot, especially with the voice distortion created by his helmet. I always knew Dad rarely showed emotion or got upset about anything, but now it annoyed me a lot.

“All right,” I said. I stood up from the chair, but almost fell before catching myself, still slightly dizzy from the effects of the helmet. “Ow.”

“Can you make it to your room without help?” said Dad.

I nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”

Dad nodded as well and then turned and walked over to the helmet, while I made my way to the stairs. I was looking forward to taking a nap, but that didn't stop me from feeling angry at Dad for acting like my pain was no big deal.

Chapter Six

 

A
fter lunch, Dad and I returned to the basement. I didn't really want to, even though I wasn't feeling bad, but Dad assured me that I would not need to sit in the Detector again and that I would likely not need to go through something that uncomfortable and painful again. He also said that he wanted to show me the thing that he had ordered for me, which he had still told me nothing about. I wondered if it was another Detector or something.

But when I returned to the basement, I saw that the Detector was nowhere in sight. Instead, there was a single table with that same briefcase I noticed before, the one with the NHA logo on it. Dad stood beside the table, his tablet in his hand, swiping across its surface every now and then.

“Dad, what are you looking at?” I asked as I stopped in front of the table.

“The data that the Detector got from your brain waves before you broke it,” said Dad, his helmeted face focused on the tablet in his hands. “It took my computers a few hours to analyze the data and put it in meaningful terms, which is why we took a lunch break.”

I leaned toward Dad in excitement. “Does that mean you know what my powers are now?”

“Yes,” said Dad, nodding. “According to this, you have super strength, super speed, flight, and perfect memory. A very similar power set to Omega Man's, aside from the perfect memory.”

“Perfect memory?” I said. “I can't even remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Are you sure that's right?”

“As I said, the Detector isn't perfectly accurate, so it might be wrong,” said Dad. “But until we receive practical evidence contradicting it, I am going to train you on the assumption that this is your power set.”

I thought that was silly, but hey, Dad was the veteran superhero here and I wasn't. Besides, I liked the idea of flight and super speed, because being able to fly anywhere would be awesome.

“So I have flight?” I said. “Hold on. Let me try it now.”

I jumped into the air, but then fell right back down without so much as hovering. Dad didn't look impressed by my failed attempt.

“Flight is a difficult power to master, so don't be discouraged if you can't get it right away,” said Dad. “Besides, I'd rather you not fly through the ceiling and force me to spend more money renovating this house than I already have.”

I guess Dad was right. I could already sort of control my super strength, but flight just didn't come to me at all.

“All right,” I said. “But when we get to the practical training parts, I want to learn flight first.”

“Actually, we're going to start with teaching you how to control what you already know,” said Dad, “but regardless, before we can start the practical part of your training, you will need the proper equipment in order to ensure that you do not suffer any ill consequences of your powers.”

“Proper equipment?” I repeated. I shuddered. “Do you mean, like, another Detector or something?”

“No,” said Dad, shaking his head. He looked up from the tablet. “I mean you will need a super suit, a costume, if you will, designed especially for your body and powers. Your normal clothes are not ideal for any sort of superheroics, regardless of what you do.”

I looked down at my clothes. I was wearing a black t-shirt and shorts today. “Well, I guess you're right. All of the other supers have their own costumes, but where am I going to get one of those myself?”

“You don't need to worry about that, because I've already got one for you right here,” said Dad.

He placed the tablet on the table and then opened the red suitcase with the NHA logo on it. Inside the suitcase was a folded suit, but I didn't really see much of it until Dad pulled the suit out of the suitcase and held it up for me to see.

It was full body spandex, completely black, except for the red stripes that ran down the body. It even had a mask already attached to it, which had an open top for my hair and a place for my chin to jut out. It also had a set of goggles over the eyes, which looked kind of lame to me, but they didn't look removable.

“Whoa,” I said, looking the suit up and down. “What is it?”

“Your super suit,” said Dad simply. “It was the thing that I ordered for you, remember? I got it for you because you need it for your training.”

“Wait, you can buy super suits?” I said, looking up at Dad in surprise. “Like on Amazon or something?”

“Not quite,” said Dad, shaking his head. “I ordered it from the NHA. They design super suits for their members to wear. I'm technically not a member anymore, but because I am one of the Founders, they allowed me to buy a custom suit for you.”

“So can anyone buy a custom suit?” I said. “Including non-members?”

“No,” said Dad. “The NHA only offers super suits for their members. It's one of the perks of being an NHA member. You simply give them your size, width, and powers and they design a suit for you based on those specifications. As a result, each suit is unique, because a neohero who can set his body on fire will need a suit different from a neohero who can fly.”

“Cool,” I said. “But how did you order a custom suit without knowing my full powers?”

“I ordered a generic suit that can accommodate a variety of different powers,” said Dad. “If we discover any new powers during your training, we can have this suit upgraded.”

“Awesome,” I said. “Can I put it on now?”

“Sure,” said Dad. “But first, let me show you something.”

Dad put the suit down on the table and then pulled something else out of the suitcase. It looked like one of those smart watches that Mr. Martin, one of my teachers back in my New York school, wore, except slightly larger. It was also silvery and shiny, like it had been polished to a sheen.

“What is it?” I said. “A smart watch? Those things are stupid.”

“It's not a smart watch, although it looks like one,” said Dad. “Watch.”

Dad placed the smart watch on the super suit and then pressed a small, almost unnoticeable button on its side. The smart watch's screen flipped open and the super suit was sucked into it like a vacuum cleaner. In seconds, the full-sized super suit had been pulled completely inside the watch, which then closed shut and looked like it had not just absorbed a suit several times its size.

I blinked and looked at Dad. “Uh, I don't remember Mr. Martin's smart watch being able to do that.”

“Because, like I said, it is not a smart watch,” said Dad. “It only looks like one so it doesn't attract unnecessary attention to its wearer, which in this case is you.”

“If it's not a smart watch, then what
is
it?” I said, staring at the device with uncertainty.

“Strictly speaking, it is a portable dimensional portal,” said Dad. “But it's official name is the suit-up watch. It is standard wear for many neoheroes.”

“What does it do, exactly?” I said. “And will I be able to get my super suit back or did it eat it?”

“The suit-up watch is a way for you to carry your super suit around without drawing attention to yourself,” said Dad. “The basic idea is that, when you are not wearing your suit, it is stored in a pocket dimension that this watch is connected to. To access your suit, all you need to do is press the button on the side of the screen and the watch will shoot out your suit, which will then cover your whole body without you having to do a thing.”

“Really?” I said. “But how does it connect to a pocket dimension?”

“It's far too complicated to explain here and you wouldn't understand it even if I explained it,” said Dad, waving off my question. “Let's just say that it involves quantum mechanics and leave it at that.”

“Did you make this?” I said, looking at the watch again, which I wasn't sure I wanted to touch because I was now worried that it might suck me into another dimension if I wasn't careful.

“Of course,” said Dad. “I designed most of the tech used by the NHA. Like most of my inventions, the suit-up watch has undergone many different incarnations. This is the latest, newest, and, in my opinion, best.”

“Can I try it?” I said, looking at Dad again. “Do I need to do anything first to use it or—?”

“No,” said Dad. “Just strap it on your wrist like any other watch, press the button, and the watch will do the rest.”

“Okay,” I said.

I grabbed the watch, which felt incredibly light, even though it held my super suit in it. Well, actually, it had stored my suit in some pocket dimension, so I guess my suit technically wasn't actually
in
it, but whatever. As long as it worked, I didn't care how it worked.

Once I strapped the watch on my right wrist, I pressed the button that Dad had pressed to suck my suit into the watch.

Then the screen flipped open and my super suit shot out. But rather than go flying all over the place, it leaped at me like some kind of wild animal and clung to my body. It rapidly covered my chest, arms, legs, and head. It felt like some kind of living creature was crawling all over me, which felt disgusting.

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