Sins of the Father : Memories
by Michael Bennett
The skirmish had been relatively bloodless. A few pushy fraternity members had uncovered the man's rather unfortunate gift from Mother Nature - the ability to absorb energy from things he touched. This same gift had ended up nearly freezing the student's arm, which led to the ugly bout of fisticuffs, on the subway of all places. Placing his dark tinted glasses back over his eyes, framing the pair of black irises, Gary Davis stepped over the still twitching body of the man who had found out he could discharge that same energy, even in different forms, such as the electrifying bolt that had put the twitching man in his current state. As the car rolled to a stop, Gary gave a last glance to the other frat boys and passengers, standing well over on the other end of the train, wearing looks of horror and terror, and almost stepped out onto the subway platform, when an insignia on the immobilized man's sleeve caught his eye. Kneeling to inspect it, he traced the red cross, bearing the letters 'FOH', and was recalling what that was, when something drove the memory full into his mind, in the form of the paper wad bouncing off his head. "Leave him alone, Freak!" shouted one of still standing students. "Yeah, you better get back and hide under Xavier's skirts while you still can!" added the second student, as he sensed the local public opinion shifting to favor their viewpoint, given the circumstances. Frowning, more so from the insignia on the man's shirt and its meaning, rather than the crowd, now suddenly brazen enough to jeer crude comments of all sorts at the mutant, he stepped through the doors, sliding shut just as he passed, carrying the students and now-hostile crowd off into the bowels of New York City.
Knowing he had seen the logo before, the insignia of the Friends of Humanity or something, he hurried home, intent on doing some research into the organization. Clicking on the TV as he walked in, snapping off a infrared burst at the remote sensor, long ago having learned to toy with such emissions, he turned on his computer, firing up his web browser, tapping in the name in a few search engines, hunting down some information on them. Listening to the late news with only half an ear, he almost missed the voice of the esteemed Senator Kelly. " Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow humans, the mutant epidemic is now rising up against us like a swelling tide! Just an hour ago, a young man, a student of our own New York State University, was savagely attacked, practically electrocuted by a mutant, believed to be local to the area. I have brought with me, who I thank for coming on such short notice, a man who has what I think are great insights on how to control these dangerous creatures." Paying only a brief glance to the monitor initially, he quickly did a double take, the face of the man making his blood run cold, long before the news station put the man's name on the screen - Ken Davis, F.O.H. supporter.
Ken Davis was enthusiastically hollering cheers at his son, racing down the football field like a shot out of a gun, leaving his pursuers far behind. This had been an incredible season for this little league team, with the pairing of Gary as wide receiver, and the quarterback, Clint Barton, later to be known as Hawkeye of the Avengers, the team had been unstoppable. But now, the last game of the season, the star players were outdoing themselves. Gary seemed to be covered in grease today, everyone who grabbed him quickly let go, falling to the ground, and then complained to their coach how their arms were freezing. Little whiners.
As Gary went dashing into the end zone, Samantha Davis quickly got up, and hurried down to the field, intent on giving her son a great big hug and telling him how proud of him she was. Gary's teammates were all slapping him on the back in congratulations, caught up in the ecstasy of victory after a long season. As he saw her, he predictably looked mortified, knowing full well why his mother was here, but obligingly planned on enduring it. Bending down and wrapping her arms around her only son tightly, she started to tell him how well he had done, but the words stuck in her throat, as an icy chill pierced deeply into her skin. A pair of horrified eyes locked onto the oddly black eyes of her son, only to ice over a moment later. She tugged in vain on her arms, trying to pull away from her son, but they could not bend, the explanation revealing itself as her skin split in places, spilling a red icy slush - her blood! Her arms were freezing solid! Tugging in panic now, she fell into an even deeper level of terror, now noting she could not move, like her nerves had vanished. Fate dealt her a kind end though, as her bioelectrical impulses slipped from her into her son, ceasing activity in her brain, sending her eternally into oblivion.
Fate, however, was not so kind to Gary. Frightened beyond any sense of reason, as he pushed frantically at his mother, desperately trying to shove away the frozen corpse of his mother. Success came only when Samantha's frozen limbs broke as he shoved with all his might, sending him sprawling on the grass, the helmet he had been carrying rolling to a stop a few feet away from him. Panic seized control of his mind, and eyes open wide, he hurriedly scooted away from the horrific mess, finally rising and racing off the field, fleeing in vain from his fears, from himself even, from what he was.
People still on the field, while shocked, glanced to where Ken Davis had been standing, wondering if he would go after his son, but only saw his back as he walked back to his car, getting in, swearing to himself that he never had a son, driving off into the growing dusk.
Gary was brought back from his memories as the man who had been his father began to speak. "Brothers and sisters of humanity, these mutants represent a potential serious threat to our well-being. My own wife was viciously killed by one of these aberrations, even though she had done nothing to him. I'm sure many of you have suffered at the hands of these pompous freaks who believe themselves to be the evolved successors of humanity. We must push for our legislators to enact protective measures for those of us who have to live in fear of the mutants who seek to harm us, like the one who attacked the young man tonight. Mutants with power of this magnitude need to be registered, and kept under close watch in the care of our friends on the island of Genosha! We don't have to let the tragedy that occurred tonight to repeat itself! This young man is in critical condition right now, and will likely spend the next several months trying to relearn to use his legs! Are we going to allow this sort of thing to happen every time a mutant decides to loose his temper? I need you all to help me push for these measures, we desperately need them *now*!" He paused, holding up a piece of paper. "I have here the names of several suspected mutants, and starting tomorrow, we have authority to begin rounding up these mutants for questioning. This is only a small step in the right direction though, and I hope it is followed by several more!" Stepping away from the podium, he returned the floor to Senator Kelly, who starts into another rambling speech. Gary clicked the TV off as he had turned it on, not interested in hearing the bifocaled man harp on the dangers of mutants again. Frowning thoughtfully, he pondered his course of action based on these new events, namely the reappearance of his father, after 14 years since that day.
Deciding after roughly half an hour's deliberation, he rose, changing into his prowling attire, the black cotton jumpsuit, coupled with the black leather boots. Finally, draping the black hooded cloak over his shoulders, he leaves his suburban house, levitating himself into the air, dematerializing into energy, zipping into the city, intent on having a 'meeting' with his father.
Rounding up mutants for questioning was what the officials had termed it, though arrest might suit the picture more. Squads of men armed with semi-automatic MP5 rifles, wearing kevlar armor, and carrying gas grenades and flashbangs, they were virtual SWAT teams. Complete with their armored barricade-clearing vehicle, they were like a juggernaut, though with less efficiency than Cain Marko would have, as the mutants they were attempting to round up were marginally effective at holding the soldiers at bay for short whiles before being overwhelmed. The supervising officer was too busy thrusting his chest out at his men rounding up these mutants to note the black-cloaked figure alight on an adjacent building.
Gary crouched on his lofty perch, scowling down at the brutality, as a married pair of low-level telepaths were savagely hustled into a paddywagon, while their children were hauled off screaming to some special facility. Narrowing his eyes, Gary turned his attention on the armored vehicle, deciding it would serve as a sufficient distraction. Focusing thermal energy on the walls of the gas tank, the metal began to glow red, rising to temperatures well above the flashpoint of the fuel stored there, the resulting explosion hurling the tank into the air, flipping it onto his back. A salvo of staccato lightning bolts sent several members of the brute squad sprawling on the pavement, allowing their latest victims to run free. The remaining members who managed to trace the discharges to their owner and return fire were largely dismayed to see their bullets collect in a cloudlike magnetic field, only to invert themselves to face the way the came from, and then hurl back to the triggermen at high velocities, promptly ending their lives.
The remaining squad members were fleeing in panic by then, terrified of the seemingly unassailable vigilante, disappearing down side streets and back alleys. Gary then phased himself into energy, quickly transporting himself down to the street, making a beeline for the commanding officer of the 'roundup' squad. Appearing abruptly in front of the terror-stricken man, he quickly grabbed the front of his shirt, pinning him against the wall, snarling into his face "Where is Ken Davis?!" The officer managed to stammer out "I-I d-don't know!" The hooded face twisted into a scowl, at the same time increasing the man's body temperature to dangerous levels, his blood starting to boil. Drawing on the age old cliché he snarled into the man's face "Really? Then perhaps I can help you remember!" Latching onto the man's watch with a magnetic field, Gary hurled him through the air, pouncing on him again and shoving him into the wall once more, demanding "WHERE IS HE?" The officer stammered out an address of a mansion in one of the more venerable suburbs of New York, claiming it to be the local HQ of the Friends of Humanity. Clamping his bare hand about the man's throat, he drained enough synaptic activity from the man to ensure he would be unconscious for at least a week. Dropping the man's body to the ground like a sack of flour, he hoisted himself airborne again, screaming across the sky at speeds nearing that of light towards the facility the man had mentioned.
The celebration of their first 'victory' in the war against mutantkind had been in full swing for well over an hour, as the news of the brute squad's rout had not reached the ears of the F.O.H. officials gathered. A man, proudly bearing the blood red logo of the Friends stood at a microphone, obviously planning on making a crowd-stirring speech, but never got the chance, as his first word was drowned out by the crash of the automobile tumbling through the ceiling, via an assisting magnetic field created by the black-cloaked Mr. Davis, who followed the car through the hole, looking very much so like the Angel of Death, wrathfully sending an electrical discharge surging through one particularly belligerent man intent on a little more than just removing him from the premises. Wasting no time, he stormed towards the raised stage, the crowd parting before him like the Red Sea had done for Moses. Easily locating Kenneth Davis, he stood quietly before him, the tumultuous emotion pouring off him almost palpable. Chillingly quiet, he makes a demand "I recommend you have everyone else leave for their safety, father.", spitting out the last word with disgust.
The attendees gasped collectively, shocked to hear this thing claim to be Kenneth Davis's son, yet the shock was lost on the recipient of Gary's spiteful demand, lost in an ocean of his own shock. Ken Davis knew those black irises, almost hidden beneath the hooded cloak, all too well from the worst day of his life, 14 years ago. As quietly as his son had spoken, but his voice shaking, lacking all of the confidence and determination that filled Gary's. "Please, leave us alone, I am mostly sure I will survive this conversation." As the majority of the attendees filed out of the meeting hall, while Ken fixed Gary with an accusing stare, Gary responding with a glare of his own. Ken's comrades naturally protested, how could he possibly be willing to be alone with this mutant?!, only to be interrupted by Gary, now quite angry, yelling "HE SAID LEAVE!!" A few diehard Friends waited until the last moment they felt they could, but finally bowed to their leader's request, exiting off to the sides of the stage.
The silence between them was deafening, until Gary broke the ice. "Do I need to ask why you are with the FOH?" The look on his father's face contorted with the pain of a memory long past, as he replied "You killed your mother, you freak of nature! It should be obvious why I am here."
Gary was silent, the words stinging him more than he had ever thought possible, and took a moment to gather his thoughts, before replying with a more quiet fury, emotion by far overpowering reason as the words fueled by the hurt and anger spilled from his mouth. "Well you certainly did not help matters any, abandoning me there, hundreds of miles away from home, after having to see my mother die like that right before my eyes, and furthermore, dad, before you go bashing mutants too much, just remember, you sired one." Ken started to interrupt, but Gary quickly cut him off, having saved this one for 14 years. "No, its time for you to listen to me, I've heard your anti-mutant rhetoric from Senator Kelly as he debated the matter endlessly with Dr. Grey and Professor Xavier, they aired the debates on CSPAN, I've seen them all. You died to me that day when you left me in Albany, and you mean almost nothing to me now. In that light, I shall give you this one warning. I ended your little witch hunt in New York City. If you ever try anything like that again, I will see to it your life ends that day. Do you copy that?"
Ken's eyes held Gary's steadily, nodding emotionlessly, having his own dark threat. "Then get this, freak, if I ever find you dabbling in my business again, you're dead. Do you copy that?" The two remaining Davises leveled icy glares at each other, both of them finally certain that their relationships were over. The younger Davis took one last glaring look, turning his back on his father, symbolic of the threats they had just exchanged, levitating himself back through the hole he had made just minutes ago, and though emotionally disturbed, feeling more complete as he soared back into the cool night air, having finally been able to shut the door on his past, to give it closure..
The elder Davis though, his face twisted in hatred, the same feelings he felt when Samantha died drudged back up from the mental tomb he had buried them in, the grief almost doubling him in half like a physical pain. Rising from his seat as the bewildered members of the Friends of Humanity began to trickle back into the auditorium, he began to walk back to his private quarters, irately refusing any assistance from his comrades. Locking the door behind him in his inner sanctum, he sat at his desk, picking up a photograph in a frame, which had been torn in half, the top half remained, the bottom half long missing, presumably being the part of the photo with Gary. The remaining scrap contained the smiling faces of a much younger Kenneth and Samantha Davis, and it represented much happier times, which seemed an impossibly far cry from the embittered man in his fifties seated at the desk, who leaned forward, cradling his head in his arms on the desk, the grief surging through his soul, until his blessed hatred reared its wonderful head, whispering the new objective into his thoughts - Gary must die.
Sitting back upright, the grief gone, a malicious smile creeping across his face, he reveled in the moment. That black-cloaked freak who had the audacity to claim to be his son was going to suffer, and then he was going to die.