Truth Justice and the Gallifreyan Way
I Wear a Cape Now, Capes are Cool
Field after field streaked past him like they weren't really there. Sounds of cars and chattering people all blurred into one, creating a strange Doppler ringing in his ears. And every time he focused on a face in the town for just a moment, part of him just couldn't believe that he was moving so fast they couldn't see him. He was due to turn eighteen in less than a week. As he got close to his school, a stray thought flew through his mind; eighteen years old, and nothing, absolutely nothing I can't do.
Reality began to seep back in as he came to an abrupt stop behind the bikesheds. He'd worked out that this was the best place to come out of superspeed. Even when he arrived late for school, there were still people about. He looked at his watch. Home to school in thirteen seconds. And he wasn't even trying.
"Hey, Clark, you're late!" Clark spun around to see Pete standing behind him. He kicked himself for not having noticed anything earlier, and then he realised just how lucky he was; the one person who saw him was the one person he could trust. Pete walked over to his friend and patted him on the shoulder. "You're late for class".
"What happened? Anything you want to talk about?"
Clark let out a sigh as the two of them walked toward the school. "Just had a lot on my mind lately".
"No crime against that, pal. I guess superheroes are allowed to have lots on their mind". The two of them meandered through the school corridors to their first period class: history. Clark couldn't help thinking that the brisk walk with Pete to his classroom took several times longer than his journey to school. But after recent events, taking it slow was just what he wanted. And nothing was slower than Mrs Roberts' history classes. But as Pete opened the door, the chubby red face of Mrs Roberts wasn't what greeted them. Instead, their class was listening to a young man, perhaps in his mid twenties, wearing a beige jacket, dark trousers and a bowtie. But the strangest thing about him was his hair. It covered his head like a black mop, and even obscured some of his face. As the door opened, the two boys didn't have any time to stifle an apology before stranger shot them an almost unearthly smile, and spoke with a British accent. "And you must be Pete Ross and Clark Kent".
Pete took point. "Where's Mrs Roberts?"
"Ill at home or won the lottery. Something like that. I'm your new history teacher. Doctor John Smith". The two boys looked at each other and started to walk to their regular seats. But the teacher motioned to Clark to stop. Again the unearthly smile. "Clark Kent. You know, I've heard so much about you".
Clark was confused. "About me?"
"Of course. Kansas farm boy. Coolest farm boy in Kansas. And a name that sounds like a racehorse". Clark raised an eyebrow. "Can I sit down now, sir?"
Realising he'd been lost in thought, Dr Smith nodded. "Yes, of course. Sorry".
He smiled at Chloe as he walked past her to his seat next to Pete. She was clearly as bemused as he was by this new teacher, who began to pick up where he had presumably left off. He opened a textbook about Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World, and flicked through all the pages. As he did, he mumbled. "That's not right". Chloe shot Clark another confused grin as the teacher began to address the class. "So, according to your textbook, Christopher Columbus discovered America". He paused briefly. "This is not true, and I would really like to have a word with the person who wrote the textbook". Another pause. "If he wasn't dead". He cleared his throat. "It was actually a man named Leif Erikson, a Viking, who discovered America". He looked up at one of the boys who had his hand up. "Yes?"
"Didn't they name a phone after him?" Some of the students giggled. "And what's your name?" asked the teacher. The boy proudly told him who he was. "Jason Jones the Third".
"Well, Jason Jones the Third, I'd appreciate it if you left all the jokes to me. Now, does anyone know why Leif Erikson decided to travel west?"
Jason put his hand up again. Reluctantly, the teacher nodded to him. "To prove the earth wasn't flat?"
"No!" exclaimed the teacher. "He did it for a bet".
This time, Jason didn't even put his hand up. "Who with?"
"Me of course, Jason Jones the Third. I bet him a fleet of longboats that there wasn't a waterfall at the end of the world. Although he already had a fleet of longboats, so why he took the bet, I don't know". He looked up at the class, and was more than slightly disappointed not to see anyone laughing. He smiled, embarrassed, but he knew things were about to get worse; Jason had his hand up again. "Why do we have to do about Vikings? Can't we do something more exciting?"
"And what do you find exciting, Jason Jones the Third".
Jason took a breath. "Well", he paused for effect, "how about we do the American War of Independence. You know, the one we had with you Brits? And, hmmm, I wonder who won?"
Smith took one step forward. "Jason Jones the Third. If you make one more comment like that, you'll be through that door so fast, you'll believe a man can fly".