|A Brand New Legacy
Author: magicmumu PM
As Superman decides to hang up his cape, he is on the lookout for someone to replace him. Full summary on prologue. Posted to see if people want the whole story, otherwise I will just post it in my journal. Not my best work.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Crime - Chapters: 8 - Words: 10,769 - Reviews: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 02-19-12 - Published: 01-30-12 - id: 7788951
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 7- Freaks
As promised, Brandon had been released the next morning at around 8 AM. Amber was surprised when the brunette man wanted to go directly to school for his 10 AM class. Brandon knew deep down that it would've been a bad idea, but he couldn't just stay home. Amber didn't argue, as she couldn't not say that she wouldn't do the same thing under the circumstances. She could sense that Brandon was drawing away from her somewhat, but she hoped that in time he would see how much she cared for him and would allow her to be there for him. All Amber could do was drop him off at the campus, call out 'I love you, have a nice day' and then drive back to the house so that she could get herself ready for work by noon.
Brandon could feel a couple of stares as he entered the main classroom where he spent so much time goofing off with Ray or studying for tests with Lance. For a couple of minutes as he sat looking through his last essay on benzine fires and the procedures for containing them, Brandon felt as if it was a normal day, and that his friends were just late. When one of his well meaning classmates offered him condolences, the illusion was shattered. His friends were dead, and people now looked at him and spoke to him with sympathy and pity. Poor Brandon, who lost his friends. How sad, now he's all alone.
Professor Garret squeezed his shoulder on his way to the front of the room. Brandon was tempted to shrug him off, but he didn't move. His back stiffened, and when he felt the back of his neck twinge, he remembered that he had just gotten out of the hospital and he didn't want to go back in a hurry. He made himself space out during the moment of silence for his friends, and then he pretended that Ray and Lance were just abscent that day just so that he could get through class. He didn't catch anyone's eye, didn't pair up with anyone for the assignment, didn't respond to anything anyone said. And he got away with it. He got to be a dick simply because his friends were gone and no one knew what to say to him, anyway. They soon learned to leave him alone, and that suited Brandon just fine.
After the first half of class, Brandon sat against the cement wall not too far away from the building his classes were held. He took in a deep breath as images of the arsonist entered his mind, as well as the heartless words he'd said as they had all morning so far. A small group of younger (which wasn't realy saying much considering the fact that Brandon was 24 years old and a majority of the students in his class were younger than him) boys walked to a spot not too far away from him and began to joke around and talk loudly, disrupting the man's only bit of solitude until the next half of class started up again. "Hey, you guys hear about The Arsonist?" one of the boys asked. He stood tall and lanky with a white and green striped shirt, tanned brown pants, and black and white sneakers. His blonde hair flopped to the front and he often had to tilt his head back or to the side in order to keep it out of his eyes momentarily.
"What, that 'e's dead?" another boy asked. He stood quite a bit shorter with black hair which had a white stripe along the side, black skull shirt, large black pants with the same amount of rips and chains along the thighs and knees, black fingernail polish, and large black clunky boots. The only thing on the boy that wasn't black was the rainbow beaded bracelet he wore.
"Yeah, I thought that guy would've been caught by Superman or something, not die in his own fire," the blonde boy said, jerking his head backwards so that his bangs flipped out of his eyes. "So lame."
"You ever think that maybe he was right?"
"Whattaya mean?" the blonde boy asked.
"Well, you know about the freaks. Not like Superman, I guess. I know you're kinda gay for 'im and all-"
"You're the bi guy. Leave me out if it-"
The kid all in black shrugged. "Anyway, yeah. There are so many freaks in this city- thanks to Lex Luthor and his mutant making warehouses- that I sorta want to see everything burn."
Brandon, who was already irritated because his silent moment was wrecked, stood up when he heard this. "Do you really believe that?" he asked. It was then that both boys, as well as a redhead boy about the same hight as Brandon who had stayed silent all this time so far, seemed to notice that he was even there.
"What's it to you?" the blackened boy asked with a small sneer.
"You speak as if that arsonist was some sorta hero," Brandon replied, not answering the boy's question. "People died in those fires. That guy was crazy!"
"Yeah, well, if you ask me, that guy, crazy or not, did us all a favor."
"By killing innocent people and firefighters?"
"By killing off the freaks. The superpowered freaks. They deserve to die," the boy corrected snidely.
Brandon's jaw had been tight for the first half of the conversation, but when the boy said this, he thought about Amber and now Mehkenzie with their powers, and he lost it. He took a step forward. "Why you-" The brunette man grabbed the boy by the front of his skull shirt. There was a gasp and Brandon watched almost helplessly as the dark haired boy was lifted off of the ground, his feet kicking at the firefighter who couldn't feel it. He had only meant to to bring the punk into him as he chewed him out a little bit, which would have been just as inappropriate, but his anger made him strong. Brandon's eyes widened, and he dropped the boy, who landed on his feet and staggered backwards to his friends.
"Wh-What the hell, man!" he screamed. "You're one of those freaks, too?"
"No, I-" Brandon got out in his confusion. He took a couple of steps backwards himself, and then turned and ran, the fear on the boy's face still in his mind as his feet hit the sidewalk with each step. He made it completely off of the school campus, and he turned to go towards his home. He didn't think to call home first to have Amber come pick him up. He just needed to get away.
Suddenly, Brandon felt that twinge on the back of his neck, just before a burn flowed through his body. Brandon felt it the most in his arms and legs. Just when he was about to slow down in his running, everything went blurry, from the green of the trees that lined the houses, to the grey of the sidewalk. All he could see was his shoes and even they seemed a little out of focus. He felt something thump against the toe of his shoe, and Brandon tripped. 'The bigger you are, the harder you fall,' he thought to himself somewhat bitterly as he went down hard. He looked at his hands, but instead of scrapes and cuts that should have come from a fall like his, Brandon saw bits of gravel imbedded in his hands, which he simply rubbed together to get rid of them. When he got up to run again, he realized that in those ten or twenty seconds at a fast speed, he'd gone over three miles, and his house was only another ten blocks away. Brandon continued his run, telling himself that this was just too weird and that he must have still been a little messed up from that day before.
Brandon rushed through the door with shaking hands and quivering insides. "Amber?" he called as soon as he heard movement in another room. There were feet, and Brandon looked down the hall just in time to see Mehkenzie peeking out playfully from the doorway of her room.
"Hi," she said with a grin.
"C'mere, Mack," Brandon said. The little girl ran towards him and Brandon picked her up, meeting the usual resistance in his arms, which meant that his added strength was gone. He wasn't sure if he was happy or upset by this. Mehkenzie gave him a kiss on the nose, and Brandon could smell the sweetened smell of milk from her Fruitloops.
The door opened in his and Amber's bedroom, and Brandon saw his girlfriend emerge with a look of concern on her face. "Brandon, what are you doing home? Is everything alright?" she asked as she toweled off her hair, now dark due to dampness.
Brandon linked his hands under Mehkenzie's bottom as the girl stuck her ring and middle fingers into her mouth, and he wasn't sure just what to say. Amber joined the two people in her life as the towel came completely off of her head. She could see how scared Brandon looked. "I don't know what just happened," Brandon admitted. He made other noises from the back of his throat that were supposed to somehow become words, but otherwise nothing else came out. Amber put a hand on Brandon's shoulder and this made him stop and take a deep breath.
"I don't understand. What happened?" Amber asked.
Brandon spoke again, but quickly. The only words that could be understood were 'Goth', 'Strength' and 'Superman'. Brandon finally stopped speaking for a second, took in another deep breath, and said, "You wouldn't believe me." Amber gave him a 'Look' and he shrugged. "Well, maybe you would," he mumbled, "but its so weird." He started from the beginning, recounting the way he felt in class and the boys who ruined his solitary moment, to the words spoken and what he'd done, even the speedy way in which he'd gotten home. "So you know what happened to me?" Brandon asked. He was close to hysterics now. "I mean, are these some messed up side effects of some pain meds or something?"
Amber shook her head. "You didn't get any medication while you were there."
"I should be weakened after leaving the hospital, not stronger right away, and definately not like that," Brandon said. Amber thought for a second. "They didn't prick me with any needles, did they?"
"No. Nothing would break the skin," Amber responded.
"What are you thinking?" Amber asked when she saw the strange look in his eye.
"I don't know," Brandon admitted, but part of him allowed one thought to enter his mind, even as the rest of him wanted to stay rational and tried to push it away. "What if," he started to say, but then dismissed it again.
Finally, as if to read his mind, Amber said, "Well, Superman was there yesterday, and something weird DID happen-"
"No," Brandon cut in, "He wouldn't, not for me."
"And why not?" Amber asked incredulously. "Why do you think that he wouldn't?"
"Look at me, Amber. He woudln't waste his powers and his time on someone like me. Does it look like I could put on that cape and fly around saving people?"
"I think," Amber said slowly, "that you could do anything." The look on her face showed that Amber really believed it, if nobody else did.
"What if I'm dangerous now?" Brandon asked softly, finally voicing the one thought that he didn't want to think as that boy's terrified face entered his mind again.
"You ask with a baby in your arms," Amber retorted. "This power doesn't mean that," Amber said forcefully. "If anything, this means that you are stronger now for when you save people in fires, if that is what you wanted to do with them." Brandon didn't speak for a long time, so Amber continued, "If its true, if what I think happened really did happen," she said carefully, "then that means you've got a lot to get used to. And I can help you if you want."
"If what you think happened really did happen, then it must have been because it was the only way to save me in the fire, since he couldn't get to me because something in the warehouse made him sick and pass out. This means that this power is temporary and therefore I've got nothing to get used to. I've just got to let it pass."
"Alright, true enough, but if its for keeps, then I can show you how I've gotten used to my powers and trained myself. In turn, you can help me train Mehkenzie to her powers when the time comes." Brandon slowly, reluctantly nodded to this, though he doubted Superman would give someone like him his powers 'for keeps'. Amber kissed him. "I've gotta get to work. Should I take Mehkenzie in to day care-?"
"No, I'm home now. I'll care for her."
"Alright," Amber said. She then went to the bathroom again, grabbing the damp towel on the way, and Brandon sat the little girl down. She protested to this, but calmed down again after Brandon put on the Backyardigans. As soon as Brandon sat down on the couch, she climbed into his lap and was content to watch her show.