After about three simulations, I could tell that he was getting better. But better wasn't good enough. He needed to be perfect. Flawless. Impeccable. He needed to be him. But as much as I want that, it'll never happen. That's why we needed to be a team. With Jay and me alone, we can't do everything by ourselves, no matter how strong, fast, or tough we are. Jay was bent over, huffing and puffing, exhausted. His clothes were in rags from all the training. My costume, however, was so skintight and tough that it still looks brand new. He looked at me while gasping for air. "Yeah, I know." I said. "But we need people to be able to tell us apart." He slowly rose up and stared at me harder. "No, Jay! Not yet. Trust me. When you realize your potential, that's when you have my permission to get your own costume. Until then, nope." I walked past him and patted his shoulder. I went over to the computer and began typing in this sequence that allows me to transform from superhero Zax to mild mannered Jason. Nothing too big, a gray pantsuit. Like any other mild manner hero. He raised an eyebrow at me. "It's eight a.m." I told him. "Which means that I have to go to work. Tracy and Brutus are out because they don't have powers anymore. Where? I have no idea, but I'll hear them when they are in trouble. You, however, have to stay here because you do and you will get into trouble.
He raised an eyebrow in skepticism. "I thought your job was being a superhero."
"Please. That's more like a hobby. My job, my real job, is a detective for the Chicago Police Department." I grabbed my coat and headed out to the cave entrance that was also an exit. I heard Jay's footsteps behind me. "What?"
"Just a few things. I mean, where will I eat, where can I find where I can eat, and isn't that cheating?"
"The kitchen. It's wherever you want it to be. Just say 'I'm hungry for' and pick whatever food of your choice. I'll explain that later. And yes, it is cheating, but who cares? It's how I get shit done. I'll see you later." As the ground below me slowly began to rise, I couldn't help but hope that he'll be okay. I mean, he is the future of this dimension. I was in an abandoned parking lot that, to the naked eye, looked like an abandoned building. I have a thing for abandoned things because I was abandoned. Twice. Regardless of what events that transpired in my wake, I am here and I am a hero. Now, it's time to do hero things. I stepped out the front entrance of the abandoned "building" and blended in with the crowd. As I headed for the police department, I couldn't help but think about Duke. It cannot be just because he's doing this for Arcana. There has to be something more. But Duke has always known to be a bit stubborn and he's sort of a dick. Why can't he see what I see in these people? Beneath all of the lies, deceit, murder, hatred, violence, and many, many, many other flaws, they're good people. Decent people. I have met a few that I do not want to get hurt. As I headed up the steps, I was greeted by a familiar face. "Hey, how's it going, Jason?" Mark Harper greeted me.
"Same as always. Crooks to put away, donuts to eat." He laughed at that cliché joke. Not all cops eat donuts. I entered and it was busy. Fellow cop members and detectives were quickly scurrying across the floors like they injected coffee into their bloodstreams. I smiled. It's always like this. As I headed towards my desk, greeting each and every person there, even the bad guys, I met up with my partner. She sat in her chair, filling out a report on the guy we busted yesterday morning. She knew my secret.
"There." She said as she pressed that last key. "After four hours of work, I am done."
"Four hours?!" I exclaimed. "Jesus Christ!" She looked up and her face lit up like the star on top of a Christmas tree. "You seem happy to see me." She stood up and folded her arms. "What?"
"Where were you these last four hours? As I recall, it was you who caught the thug." Hold on. I have to describe her. She was this tall, blonde, and beautiful girl. Practically a supermodel, minus the "super" part. But I'll be more specific. She was five foot ten, perfect body (36-24-36), long, blonde hair that blows ever so gracefully in the wind, and she was smart and deadly. I'm superpowered, but I wouldn't fight her.
"As I recall," I lowered my voice so only she could hear. "I was the one that had to stop a huge forest fire in the tropical rain forest on the other side of the planet." She grabbed my tie and pulled me in closer.
"You're so lucky!" She said with a smile. "I wish I was like you! Going supersonic speeds in less than seconds! Being able to lift mountains with your bare fingers!" Terrified, I covered her hand with my mouth and took her in the bathroom stall. She was still talking though. I took my hand off of her mouth. "You're amazing!" She's a little bit of a fan girl about me. Luckily, no one heard her.
"Thanks." I chuckled. "But you almost got me in trouble."
"What can they do to you though?" She replied. "Nothing!"
"Not entirely true. They can try and fight me which would start another war. Now, I have something for you to do."
"Back at the cave, I need you to take care of someone for me."
"Who is it? Is it another super villain?"
"No, he's... I'll explain later."
"Fine." She said with a frown. Whenever I asked her to do something for me, it's never anything dangerous. Care about her too much. "But you wouldn't need to be sneaking around like this if you were to go public with your appearance."
"That's not the point. I made this secret identity so I could keep the people I care about safe. I told you because I thought I could trust you."
"You can. It's just that you can do so much more if people knew who you were. I know about the war and everything, but people changed, Jason."
"They haven't changed enough." I replied as I left the stall. She followed after me and in came our captain, Arthur Seely. It was awkward for a moment.
"He just needed help with his zipper." I face palmed myself so hard; I could've created a shockwave that would've knocked everything and everyone over.
"Anyway," Arthur said awkwardly. "when you two are done fraternizing, come to the debriefing room." He left.
"I'm sorry." She apologized. "That was the first thing that popped in my head."
"It's fine. Let's head to the debriefing room." When we exited the bathroom, everyone was in the debriefing room, including the captain. I had asked one of them what was going on; they either shrugged or said "no". This is a detective agency and no one knows what the hell is going on. Great work, guys. Really. The captain stood in the front of the room.
"We have a situation here." The lights dimmed and the shades were closed. A projector powered on behind us and showed images of a familiar face. "This is Quentin Wade." Arthur went on. "About a year ago, he was admitted to the psychiatric ward for the satanic deaths of five year old Jamie and three year old James." Ah crap, I remember him. This cannot be good. "Inside that facility, he kept to himself and was in solitary confinement. However, there was a name he wrote in his own blood." A picture appeared. It was a name that he wrote in blood. My name. "But last night, there was a disturbance. Like an outer space EMP wave, knocking out all of our communications and satellites." Jay and his friends. This is not good! "And he escaped." Not good at all!! "But this was found prior to his escape." Another picture showed and it was a picture of me with words written across it. The words were, "One of us." I looked at Kelsey as she looked at me. We both knew what that meant. Hopefully, no one else did. "Jason, do you have any idea what this means?"
I shook my head. "I'm just as stumped as you are, captain. But I will get to the bottom of this." I stood to leave, but Arthur stopped me.
"Actually, Grey and Hunter will handle this case." I shot a dark look at Grey and Hunter. They were always his favorites. I mean, of course they are. They're his sons. Twins in fact. You can barely tell the difference between the two. Both have short, black hair. Both are white and tall. And both are just as cocky, annoying, and arrogant. They both shot approving looks at their father. "Everyone else, continue on with your business." The lights came back on and everyone started to disperse. Everyone except me, Kelsey, and Arthur. "You're still here." He said. "You have a problem with my decisions?" I gritted my teeth and breathed through my nose hard.
"No, sir." I said through my teeth as I headed out the door. Quentin Wade. I went to my desk and sat there with a straight face. A few minutes later, Hunter and Grey came over to my desk and they were smiling extremely hard. Like someone put Botox in both of their cheeks.
"I know that you're upset that our father didn't give you the case…" Hunter said.
"But we can assure you that we'll have this case under wraps in fourteen hours. Guaranteed." Grey finished.
I closed my eyes and turned my head. "You boys need anything?" I asked them. Hunter leaned closer to me.
"Do you have any idea why he called you out?"
"As I said before, I am just as stumped as you are." Hunter narrowed his eyes in suspicion and nodded. He and Grey walked away and Kelsey showed up. She could tell that I was upset. Obviously I was upset. Quentin Wade isn't just some normal guy. He isn't just some crazy, psychotic murderer. He's a power user, he knows my secret, and he's dangerous. "I have to find him before they do."
"Jason, you heard what the captain said. We have other matters to attend to." She tossed a folder on my desk. I grabbed it and opened it up.
"Hostage situation, courtesy of our friendly, neighborhood robber, Jackson."
"Jackson Steele? I put this guy away three times this week. Why is he still out there?"
"Apparently, he has friends in very high places."
"Of course." I sighed as I stood up. "Where to?"