Jordan stood in the midst of the crowd standing in front of Crystal’s Jewelry Store smiling at Ryan in his superhero costume. Jordan pointed at Ryan. “Look everyone, it’s the Super Morpher!”
Ryan glared at Jordan, but his glare turned into a smile. “That’s right, I’m the Super Morpher, and I’m here to protect this business!” Ryan turned and jumped through the broken window and shouted at the man in a trench coat stuffing necklaces, bracelets, rings and jewels into a sack, “Stop thief!”
The man turned and faced Ryan, and Ryan got his first good look at him. It wasn’t a man, but a robot with the shape of one. It looked like a stick figure made out of wires, pistons, tubes, and motors, and one camera on the top of what would have been its neck. A gattling gun hung down from its shoulder, and it shifted up its back and mounted to its shoulder so that the gun was aimed at Ryan. The barrels started rotating before a hail of bullets fired into Ryan’s stomach. The crowd watched on with a mix of gasps and screams, and several people dropped to the ground in fear of the bullets.
Ryan cried out and took two steps back, both of his hands clutching his stomach. Jordan watched Ryan with concern on his face. Ryan stood up straight and bullets fell to the ground off of his stomach. Ryan held on to one of the bullets in his fist, took in a deep breath through clenched teeth, absorbed the bullet, and turned into lead.
Ryan winced in pain. The cloth may be indestructible, but those bullets still hurt and I’m pretty sure they’re going to leave bruises. The robot tilted its head and looked at Ryan with curiosity. The gatling gun on its shoulder began to spin again, but Ryan darted across the short distance between him and the robot before it had time to fire again. Ryan grabbed the gatling gun with one of his leaden fists and crushed the camera that made up the robot’s head with the other. The gatling gun started firing and Ryan pulled it to the side, away from the crowd. Bullets pelted the wall, shattering glass and sending plaster flying through the room. Ryan ripped the gatling gun off of its shoulder and threw it to the ground. Ryan grabbed the robot and ripped off its limbs and dropped them onto the floor of the store.
Ryan turned back toward the crowd, walked over to the window, and raised his hands in triumph over his head. A crumpled bullet fell from his hand and his body turned back to normal. “I am the Super Morpher, and I am here to protect this city!” The crowd started cheering and a siren was heard in the background. Ryan jumped out through the window and started posing for the crowd as two police officers pushed their way to the front.
They drew their guns and aimed them at Ryan “Raise your hands above your head, and get down on the ground!”
Ryan put his hands over his head. “There has been some kind of mistake officer! I’m the one that stopped this robbery!”
The police officer pulled back the hammer on his gun. “We’ll figure that out later. Get down on the ground!” Ryan dropped down onto the ground and placed his hand onto the ground. One of the police officers walked over toward Ryan and pulled a pair of handcuffs from behind his back. Ryan absorbed some of the concrete and jumped back onto his feet after his body changed, and ran toward the alley. The police officer with his gun pointed at Ryan fired a shot at Ryan’s retreating form into his calf. Ryan stumbled as the bullet bounced off of his calf, but he continued running.
The police officers chased into the alley after Ryan, but stopped and looked on when Ryan jumped up and grabbed onto a second floor fire escape. The fire escape groaned under Ryan’s weight as he climbed up onto the fire escape and continued to climb up it. One of the officers said to the other. “I’m going up after him, you go around to the front of the building to cut him off, and call for back up.” The police officer jumped and grabbed onto the hanging ladder on the fire escape, and once the ladder came down began to climb it.
The other police officer ran around to the front of the building while holding his radio up to his mouth. “We have a suspect fleeing the scene of a robbery and are requesting back up. We are next to Crystals Jewelry Store on Zelma!” Members of the crowd surrounded the police officer. “Stand back folks, this is an official police matter!”
One of the members of the crowd shouted out, “But he’s innocent! He stopped the robot that was robbing the store!” Other members of the crowd shouted their agreement.
The police officer crossed his arms. “If he is innocent, then why is he running away? The police will sort out who is guilty and who is innocent once we have this man in custody.” A chunk of concrete fell onto the sidewalk in front of the building and a shadow passed over the police officers head, and he looked up in time to see Ryan land on the roof of the building across the street. He disappeared from view for a few seconds and then popped back up and started running across the rooftop. “How did he…? That roof has to be at least thirty feet away.”
The police officers partner shouted down from the rooftop breathlessly, “He’s getting away, we need to go after him!”
The other police officer pointed at Ryan’s retreating form. “Did you see what he just did? How are we supposed to keep up with someone that can do that? These people are saying that he prevented the robbery, maybe we should check the crime scene out for evidence instead.”
The other police officer looked up and watched Ryan jump onto yet another rooftop and continue running. “You have a point, detain some members of the crowd as witnesses and I’ll be down to interview them with you. Tell the officers that were coming as backup the direction that he was heading. He has to come down eventually.”
Ryan jumped from one rooftop to another and looked behind him to see if anyone was still chasing him. The police hadn’t be able to follow him, and he started to laugh out of relief. He had jumped over thirty feet across the street to escape from the police officer, but his laugh turned into a groan when the pain in his leg reminded him that it hadn’t been a clean landing. He pressed the button on the side of his watch and said, “Activate transformation.” His suit glowed brightly for a second, and then was replaced with his normal clothes. He crossed the roof and opened the door that led down into the apartment building he was on top of, and walked out the entrance and onto the street. A police car drove past with its lights flashing, scanning the streets and the rooftops.
Ryan walked down the street to the closest bus stop, attempting to look as unsuspicious as possible. He arrived just as the bus was pulling up, got onto the bus and sat down with a sigh. He rolled his pants leg up and looked at the spot on his calf where the bullet had hit him and saw cuts in a pattern that looked like a spiderweb of cracks you would find in concrete if you dropped something heavy on it. He rolled his pants leg down carefully and leaned back onto the seat. He didn’t want to know what his stomach was going to look like with the bruises from getting shot. That was one suggestion he had for Jordan, putting more padding on it to absorb the impact.
A smile crossed Ryan’s face when he overheard two girls talking in the seat behind him. “I hear he calls himself the Super Morpher, and that he’s not human! He was shot by a robot and later by the police without getting harmed!”
“Well I heard that he can fly, and that’s how he got away from the police.”
Ryan smiled as he listened to what these girls had to say about the new superhero that had showed up in town, very little of it was true. By the time the bus stopped at campus, the Super Morpher was an alien from another planet, with dreamy brown eyes and a tail, and he had come here to find a wife. Ryan got off of the bus and walked over to his dorm thinking that Jordan might be back. He wasn’t, so Ryan put Whirlwind of Blades Part Three: The Legend into his movie player and got comfortable on the couch.
Jordan shook Ryan awake four hours later. “Wake up, Ryan. That was awesome! How did it feel to save the day?”
Ryan sat up and looked at the clock. “Jordan? Why are you getting back so late?”
Jordan smiled. “I was one of the lucky ones interviewed by the police. I think they’re convinced that you were a hero there to stop the robbery, and that if they come looking for you, it’ll only be to thank you. So, how did it feel to the Super Morpher?”
Ryan frowned. “Thanks for reminding me. I thought I told you that I didn’t want to be called the Super Morpher. What was up with naming me like that?”
Jordan shrugged. “You said you were going to leave it up to the people, and I’m a part of the people. Now stop ignoring the important question, how did it feel to save the day?”
“It felt great, except for the times when I got shot. We’re going to need to add some padding or something to the suit to make getting shot hurt less.”
Jordan frowned, “That’s right, in all the excitement I forgot you had gotten shot. Are you okay?”
“I’m feeling fine actually, but you should check out where I got shot on my calf when I was made of concrete.” Ryan pulled up his pants leg.
Jordan looked down at Ryan’s calf. “What’s wrong with your calf? It looks fine to me.”
Ryan looked down at his calf in surprise “It’s healed! When I looked at it on the bus ride back here it was all cut up in a spiderwebbed pattern. I wonder…” Ryan pulled his shirt up and looked at his stomach where he had been shot and saw perfectly healthy skin. “I should have a huge bruise on my stomach, what is going on?”
“It looks like you have an impressive healing ability along with everything else you got from that accident. I wonder if you have any other abilities that we don’t know about yet.”
Ryan nodded. “Me too. So what do we do next?”
Jordan looked at the clock. “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty hungry, so I’m going over to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Then we have some homework to work on. After that, I’m not sure. Go back to the lab and get some more practice?”
“Food sounds good right now, and today is pizza day! The best day of the week!” Jordan walked quickly over to the door and out into the hall. Ryan followed after him. “Hey, what’s the hurry?”
“It’s pizza day, and the rest of us were lucky to get any after the football team ate their fill. If we want to get any pizza we need to hurry.” Ryan jogged past Jordan out the door to the hall, and Jordan jogged after him, but he couldn’t keep up with Ryan. “Hey, wait up!”
Ryan kept on jogging, and shouted over his shoulder, “No way! At the speed that you jog we’ll never make it in time!”
Jordan stopped jogging, and said through deep breaths, “How about you give me a ride on your back then? It’ll be good strength training!”
Ryan turned around and jogged up to Jordan. “Hop on and hold on tight, I’m going at my max speed if this is a training exercise.”
Jordan climbed onto Ryan’s back and Ryan started sprinting across campus. Jordan gripped on tight and noticed all the people looking after them. “Ryan, you might want to slow down a little bit, people are looking at us strange.”
“They’re looking at us strange because of one guy giving another guy a piggy-back ride, so it’s no big deal. What’s important is getting some of that pizza!” Ryan continued to run across the campus, and finally let Jordan get down off of his back once he reached the doors to the dining hall, and hurried inside. Ryan and Jordan ran into the cafeteria and grabbed their food and found a table in the dining room.
Jordan put his plate down and realized that he had forgotten to grab a drink. He walked back to the cafeteria, and as he left, James, Stew, and Kevin walked over to Ryan. Stew sat down next to him and put his arm around Ryan’s shoulders. “Hey, Ryan, been missing you on the practice field. Where have you been?”
Ryan swallowed his bite of pizza and cleared his throat. “Hey, Stew, I’ve been kind of busy lately, and it wouldn’t make much sense for you to see me on the practice field, you know, since I quit the team.”
James shook his head. “That’s what the coach said, but we didn’t believe him. There’s no way that Ryan, every quarterback’s nightmare, would quit the football team. Football is the reason you are in college at all!”
Kevin nodded his head. “He’s right man, why did you quit the team anyway?”
Ryan looked down at his plate and shrugged. “I’ve been really busy with other things lately.”
James stared at Ryan. “You’ve been too busy for football? What have you been so busy with that you had to quit football? This isn’t about hurting Steve is it?”
Ryan felt hope rising up inside him that he may have found something to get him off the hook. “How did you know?”
Stew looked at Ryan in disgust. “Really? You hurt a guy on accident and you quit the team over it? Even Steve is back at practice! You used to be cool, Ryan, but you have been acting really weird lately.”
Ryan frowned. “I’ve been going through some stuff lately, that’s all. Once I get it all figured out I’ll come back to the team.”
Kevin smiled at Ryan. “Tell us about it man, we’re your friends, we want to help!”
James nodded his head. “Yeah, he’s right. Let us help you get back to the team faster.”
Ryan looked at each of his friends in turn. “Okay, but you have to promise that this will stay between us.” Each of his friends nodded before Ryan continued. “Okay, have you heard about that new guy in town, the Super Morpher?”
Jordan walked into the doorway and saw the group of guys sitting around Ryan. Stew answered, “I think I heard someone talking about him in line, he’s that guy that beat up a robot and ran away from the police, right?”
Kevin nodded. “Yeah, that’s right! He’s so cool!”
James looked at Ryan questioningly. “I’ve heard about him, but what does he have to do with you?”
Ryan smiled knowingly at the guys. “I just so happen to be…” Ryan noticed Jordan waving to get his attention and mouthing “no” to him.”The guy who is training him. Yeah, that’s right, I’m training the Super Morpher, teaching him all of his moves. It’s a very time-consuming job.”
Stew looked at Ryan in disgust. “You are such a liar. Here we are, your friends, trying to help you through a tough spot, and you can’t even tell us what’s bothering you. Whatever man, you don’t want to be part of the team, then don’t. Don’t expect us to hang around with you though. Let’s go guys.”
James shook his head in disgust. “You only wish you were as cool as the Super Morpher is, Ryan.”
Kevin looked sadly at Ryan. “Bye, Ryan.” He turned and followed after the others.
Jordan walked up to the table and sat down next to Ryan. “I can’t believe you almost told them. It’s your secret identity, Ryan, you can’t go around letting everyone else know who you are!”
Ryan frowned at Jordan. “You get to know, though. Why can’t I tell the rest of my friends?”
“Because, Ryan, the fewer people that know, the less likely your secret is to get out. Besides, those guys weren’t you friends if they were willing to just abandon you like that.”
Ryan pounded his fist down onto the table, drawing the attention of everyone in the dining room. Ryan chuckled and waved, and once everyone went back to their conversations, Ryan said is a whispered voice. “They were my friends. They were concerned about me, and when I had to lie to them, they decided to bail on me.”
Jordan shook his head, but said nothing. The two of them ate their supper in silence before they returned to their dorm room. The two started working on their homework together, and soon the two of them were laughing and joking together as if nothing had happened.
The next day at school Ryan noticed Kari sitting at a table in the library, taking notes on a book she was reading. Ryan checked his breath, and walked up to her. “Hey, Kari. What are you working on?”
Kari looked up from her book and smiled at Ryan. “Hi, Ryan. I’m taking some notes on chapter 3 of James for my Bible study tonight. Want to help me with it?”
Ryan shook his head. “Sorry, Kari, I don’t think I’d be much help with trying to interpret your fairy tales.”
Kari frowned. “Well, I can guess what you are here to ask me, and you should be able to figure out my answer from the one you just gave me.”
Panic crossed Ryan’s face. “Woah, woah, woah. I came over here to ask what you thought about that new guy in town, the Super Morpher. Have you heard about him yet?”
Kari smiled. “How could I not hear about him? He’s all anyone is talking about on campus. I heard that he stopped a robbery, so he must be a good guy, right?”
Ryan smiled back at her. “From what I’ve heard, he’s a good guy. I’ve heard that the robbery he stopped was being done by a robot with a gattling gun. He sounds pretty heroic to me; just the kind of guy that a girl would want to date, kind of like me. So what do you say Kari? Want to have dinner with me on Friday?”
Kari sighed. “That depends, do you want to come to Bible study with me tonight?”
Ryan frowned. “Are you still going on about that? I don’t have time to waste reading about some dead guy, that’s what school is for. How about instead of going to the Bible study, we go over to the planetarium? There’s a great pizza place right next to it and I’ve heard that the sky tonight is supposed to be almost as beautiful as you. Sounds like a good time, right?”
Kari closed her Bible, picked up her notebook and pushed her chair in. “I’m sorry Ryan, it sounds like a fun night, but I’ve already told you I’m not going to date anyone who isn’t a Christian.” Kari started to walk away, but Ryan grabbed her arm.
“Wait, we could just go as friends! It doesn’t have to be a date, I’ll even let you pay for the pizza if you want.”
Kari pulled her arm away. “Sorry, but I’m busy tonight, maybe some other time, Ryan.”
Ryan frowned as he watched walk away. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. he scrolled through his contacts until he found Becky’s number. He mumbled to himself, “You might not want to have any fun, Kari, but I bet I know someone who will.” He hit call and held the phone up to his head. “Hey, Becky, it’s Ryan. What are you doing tonight?”
Jordan walked through the front door of Mechanique Prosthetics and up to the receptionist counter. “Hello, Tyra. How are you today?”
Tyra looked up from her computer screen and smiled at Jordan. “I’m doing well, Jordan. You’re here a little early today, aren’t you?”
Jordan smiled. “I am, but I was hoping to get a chance to look in on what Dr. Mechanique is working on before I got started today. Do you think he would mind?”
“I don’t see why he would. He’s down in his lab.”
“Thanks, Tyra.” Jordan walked further into the building, through the production factory and down the stairs to the laboratory. He walked through the laboratory; said his hellos to Drew, Stephanie, and Tristan, other scientists that Jordan worked with; and walked up to the door that led to Dr. Mechanique’s lab. Jordan knocked on the door and waited for a response.
After half a minute Jordan decided to try knocking again when a voice came from inside the lab, “Come in.” Jordan opened the door and walked inside. Dr. Mechanique looked up from his computer screen and smiled. “What are you doing here so early, Jordan? Your shift doesn’t start for another half an hour.”
Jordan swallowed. “I came in a little early this afternoon because I was hoping that I could take a look at what you were working on.”
Dr. Mechanique smiled. “Of course you can.” Dr. Mechanique tapped on his computer screen twice and a three dimensional image of a prosthetic hand appeared in the middle of the room. “This is our most advanced model on the market at the moment, and we’re always looking for ways to improve our products to help the people who need them live their life as normally as possible. The next big change I want to make to our prosthetics is to change the material they are made of. The material we use now is too heavy, but we haven’t been able to find any metals that are lightweight, non corrosive, and durable enough to handle everyday life.”
Jordan stared at the hologram for a moment, and then made eye contact with Dr. Mechanique. “Have you tried an alloy comprised of titanium and silver? I believe they have the properties that you are looking for.”
A thoughtful look crossed over Dr. Mechanique’s face. “Silver and titanium? Hmm, such an alloy has possibility, but I hadn’t considered it before. You know what would be perfect for it? That new formula that you used to make the cloth indestructible.”
Jordan frowned. “The tests I did on metal didn’t have the same effect. The metal actually became extremely brittle. It seems that the formula I made is only effective on cloth.”
Dr. Mechanique shook his head. “Of course, it couldn’t be that simple. Okay, I have a new assignment for you, Jordan. I want you to work on coming up with a list of possible alloys to use in our new prosthetics, and run some tests to see which one you think would work best. I want to see the results of your research by the end of the week.”
A huge smile crossed Jordan’s face. “Really? You would trust an intern with something like that? What about the other project you assigned to me?”
Dr. Mechanique smiled back at Jordan. “I can have one of the other interns look over the claims reports to try and find defects in our current model. I need to get a forward thinker like you involved in more important things, and make full use of that wonderful brain of yours while you are still interning with me.”
“I’ll do my best to not let you down, sir. I’m going to go start working on that list right away.”
Jordan started for the door, but Dr. Mechanique called after him. “I’ll send the list of alloys I have been researching to your workstation.” Jordan closed the door behind him, and Dr. Mechanique’s smile turned sinister. “That’s right, boy; go and make all of my plans possible.”
Ryan jumped from one rooftop to the one on the building next to it. “Have you found anything yet Jordan?”
Ryan heard a voice in his ear answer back, “No, I’ve been listening to the police scanner all evening, but I haven’t heard about anything besides routine traffic stops. At least the radio is working in your suit. How are the other modifications working out so far?”
“It’s a little harder to move with the extra padding that you added, but it’s barely noticeable. I think I’m going to call it a night. Nothing seems to be going on, and I have a date with Becky tonight.”
“I thought you said that Becky and you were just going to get some dinner as friends.”
“That’s all it was going to be at first, but I’m hoping that if Kari sees me dating other girls, she’ll get jealous and beg me to date her.”
Jordan sighed over the radio. “Or you could just try going with her to a Bible study. I’m not saying you should convert, but showing her you are at least willing to listen will be a step in the right direction.”
Ryan opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by a woman’s scream. Ryan looked down from the rooftop at the street, and saw the woman who had screamed. A man was standing in front of her with his hand stretched out and a knife in his other hand. “Hey, I have a robbery in progress at the corner of Fremont and Clark. I’m going to take the guy out, but you should let the police know they can come and pick him up.”
Ryan jumped off of the two story building and landed behind the thief. he touched the sidewalk when he landed, and absorbed the concrete. The thief grabbed the woman’s purse, turned and ran into Ryan. Ryan straightened up and smiled at the man. “I think you should go and get some other purse, that one doesn’t really go with your outfit.”
The man yelled out a warcry and stabbed at Ryan in the chest with the knife, and the blade snapped off and fell to the sidewalk. Ryan reached up and grabbed his chin, as if in deep thought. “Although, I suppose that color does compliment your belt, but you at least have to go out and get some new shoes.”
The man’s eyes opened up wide. “What’s wrong with you?” He turned to run down an alley, and Ryan reached out and grabbed the man by the shoulder and pulled him back.
“I don’t think you really need to worry about it, though; Where you’re going, you won’t need any accessories.” Ryan punched the man in the face with a solid concrete fist, knocking the man out cold. Ryan turned back to normal, and the chunk of concrete he had absorbed reappeared on the sidewalk. Ryan picked up the purse and handed it back to the woman. “I hope he didn’t hurt you ma’am.”
The woman took the purse back from Ryan and started jumping up and down excitedly. “Oh my gosh, you’re him, aren’t you? The one that stopped that bank robbery yesterday, the Super Morpher!”
Ryan smiled at the woman. “Guilty as charged. This guy’s knocked out, and where he’s going, he won’t be able to hurt anyone.”
“This is so exciting! I can’t wait to tell all of my friends that the Super Morpher saved me!”
“Tell all of your friends that the Super Morpher is here to try and make the city a safer place for all of us.”
Sirens sounded in the distance, and Jordan’s voice came over the radio. “Time to go, Ryan; We don’t want a repeat of what happened yesterday.”
Ryan smiled once more at the woman. “If you will excuse me ma’am, I believe that the police will be here shortly to collect that one, and it would be for the best if I wasn’t here when they do.”
Ryan turned to start running for the alleyway, but the woman called out, “Wait, can I get a picture with you to show my friends.
Ryan hesitated, and bit his lip. Jordan came over the radio, “Ryan, you don’t have time for this, they’re only two blocks away!”
Ryan ran back over to the woman. “Okay, I have time for one quick photo.” Jordan grunted in frustration as the flash went off on the woman’s phone, and Ryan ran back into the alley, as the police car pulled up. Two officers stepped out of the car, one of them ran up to the woman and the other ran into the alley after Ryan.
The police officer that went up to the woman asked, “Are you alright, miss?”
The woman had a huge smile on her face. “Of course I’m alright! The Super Morpher saved me from that mugger! He didn’t show any fear at all, even when the mugger came at him with a knife.”
The police officer’s eyes opened wide. “The Super Morpher was here? Was that who just ran into the alley when we arrived?”
The woman looked longingly at the alley. “Yeah, it was. He’s such a stud.”
The police officer pulled out a notepad and a pencil. “Can you give me any details about him? Anything at all?”
The woman frowned at the police officer. “Why do you want to know about him?”
“Because he is a vigilante who has decided to take the law into his own hands, and I intend to see that he will be brought to justice.”
The woman laughed. “You think I’m going to help you catch the man that just saved me from a mugger? He was here when I needed him, where were you?”
“Ma’am, that sounds awfully close to aiding and abetting. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to try that again?”
The woman opened her mouth wide in shock, and then closed it and thought for a moment. “I didn’t see anything that would be helpful, officer. It all happened pretty fast, but I have a picture of him.”
“That would be useful. Can I see the picture?”
The woman worked on pulling the picture up on her phone while the police officer’s partner walked up. “He got away, lieutenant Jacobs. Went up to the rooftops like a darned squirrell. I’ve never seen anything like it..”
The woman handed her phone over to the police officer. “Here, that’s the picture I got of him, and that’s all I know.”
The police officer took the phone from the woman. “That’s alright, Tim. Why don’t you cuff this one and get him in the back of the car.” He gestured to the man lying on the ground. He looked at the picture of Ryan on the phone. “So this is the Super Morpher that everyone in the city is talking about.”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, you can find the previous parts, as well as other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination check out my facebook page for updates on the stories here: EJBorchardt, and follow me on Twitter for random facts about my stories here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.