Ryan pushed the door of his dorm open, and walked inside with half-opened eyes. He had stayed up all night searching for the robot, but he couldn’t find any trace of it. He had two hours before his first class started, and he wanted to spend that time in his bed. He walked past Jordan’s room and found him snoring in front of his computer with his headphones on. That explained why he hadn’t answered when Ryan last checked in on him.
Ryan continued down the hall to his room and pushed the door open, but before he could get into bed, he heard a knock at the front door. He groaned, gave his bed one last longing glance, and started back down the hall. Ryan pulled the front door open, and he groaned again.
A woman rushed through the door and wrapped Ryan up in a great big hug. “Hi sweetie! How are you doing this morning?”
Ryan struggled to get out of the woman’s embrace, but finally gave up and just hugged her back. “I’m doing well, Mom. What brings you and Dad here this morning, without calling to let me know first?”
His father pulled his mother off of Ryan and glared at Ryan. “I heard that you decided to quit football. We both know that football is the only reason that you are going to college, and the only reason you even got into college. I’m not trying to say that you are dumb, but why are you throwing away the only thing you are good at?”
Ryan glared back at his Dad. “Just because that’s the only thing you ever cared about that I am good at doesn’t mean that it is the only thing I’m good at. I’m keeping my grades up with some help from Jordan.”
His dad nodded his head. “Uh-huh. If you get back into football, the NFL is a real possibility for a career for you after school. I know that scouts have been out to some of your games. What do you plan to do with your education that you are so interested in getting?”
Ryan looked down at the ground. “I don’t know yet, but I’ll figure it out.”
Ryan’s Mom looked at Ryan with a sympathetic look. “Of course you will, sweetie. You can do anything you put your mind to. Your father is right though; you really do have a lot of talent for football. We just wanted to make sure that you had thought this through and had a good backup plan.”
Ryan shrugged. “Football was getting in the way of school. I needed more time to study and I’ve been thinking about getting a job.”
Ryan’s dad’s face turned red. “A job? You don’t have enough time for school because of football, and you think getting a job is going to free up your time? What do you need a job for anyway? Between your football scholarships, which you can kiss goodbye if you continue with this course of action, and the money your mother and I give you, you don’t need any money. You don’t need a job, you need to get back on the football team. Today.”
Ryan blushed. “I need the extra money to take my girlfriend out on dates.”
Ryan’s mom squealed. “Ooh! My little Ry-ry has a girlfriend! Is it that Kari girl you are always talking about? When do I get to meet her?”
Ryan’s dad narrowed his eyes and glared at Ryan. “A woman? That’s the reason you quit football? Did this girlfriend of yours tell you to quit football? If she did, then she’s not the right girl for you.”
Ryan sighed. “No, its not Kari. Her name is Becky, and she wants me to rejoin football almost as bad as you do, Dad.”
Ryan’s dad smiled. “She’s a smart girl; I like her already. You should listen to her and rejoin the football team. It would make a lot of people happy if you did, son.”
Ryan threw his hands up in the air and turned away. “I can’t rejoin the football team! My last day of practice I sent someone to the hospital. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else getting hurt.”
Ryan’s dad snorted. “That’s what this is all about? You’re scared of hurting someone? It’s part of the game, boy. You should know that by now. Those boys all know that there’s a chance of them getting hurt, they all signed up for it. Now grow a pair and get back onto that team!”
Jordan walked out of his room yawning with a groggy look on his face. “What’s all the shouting about?”
Ryan’s dad looked up at Jordan and pointed a finger at him. “It was you, wasn’t it? You convinced Ryan to quit the football team!”
Jordan’s eyes opened wide. “What?”
Ryan turned and growled back at his dad. “Jordan had nothing to do with it. This was my decision, and I’m not going to change my mind about it.”
Ryan’s dad looked Ryan in the eyes. “Yes, you are. Because if you don’t, You won’t get anymore help from us with school. If you want to throw away your life, then you can figure out how to pay for everything on your own.” Ryan’s dad turned and walked out of the dorm room.
Ryan’s mom watched his dad walk out into the hall and sighed. “I’ll talk with him later and we’ll get this all figured out, but it might help if you at least had a different plan, sweetie. Have fun at school!” Ryan’s mom headed out into the hall after her husband.
Ryan sighed and closed the door. Jordan blinked confusedly a few times, and looked at Ryan. “What just happened here?”
“My parents found out I quit football and they weren’t too pleased with it. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I should just rejoin the football team.”
Jordan looked at Ryan with skepticism. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? With your super strength, who knows how hard you can hit now.”
Ryan yawned. “I’ve learned to control my strength and abilities pretty well. It would make a lot of people happy if I did rejoin the team.”
Jordan shook his head. “What about the whole Super Morpher thing? Do you really think that you will be able to find time for school, football, Becky, and saving the city?”
Ryan held his head in his hands. “Ugh! Why does this all have to fall on me? Why can’t I just be normal again? The city seemed to do fine without me before!”
Jordan rested a hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “We talked about this before, Ryan. You stirred up the hornet’s nest. If you stop now, a lot of people are going to suffer because of it.”
Ryan shook his head. “I don’t want to think about this right now. What I do want is to try and get some sleep before I have to go to class.” Ryan walked past Jordan to his room.
Jordan watched him go, and sighed. He wished that he could do something to help Ryan out with his problems, something more than just making and repairing equipment for him. Jordan yawned again and followed after Ryan. Ryan was right about one thing, sleep did sound very good right then. But neither Ryan or Jordan were able to fall asleep. Ryan was trying to sort through everything in his life and determine what was the most important, and Jordan couldn’t stop trying to figure out how to help Ryan with his problem. When their alarm clocks went off, both of them groaned.
The man in the white suit sat in a chair sipping tea from a delicate porcelain cup. A man in a black suit kneeled in front of him on one knee, with his head bowed down. The man in the white suit placed the cup back onto his saucer and looked at the man kneeling before him. “He survived being hit by a rocket launcher? Were there any witnesses to confirm this?”
The kneeling man nodded his head. “Yes, a member of the Bleeding Hearts witnessed the entire incident. He was the only one that was able to escape.”
The man in white grunted. “I would have thought that Gregory would be smart enough to have sent more men after him than just seven. This Super Morpher did take on an entire gang by himself after all. I’m starting to question Gregory’s leadership skills. Perhaps it’s time for me to replace him.”
The kneeling man shook his head. “I don’t believe that to be necessary. Gregory passed the message of your reward on to the members of his gang, and they acted on their own.”
The man in white leaned back in his chair. “Very well, he retains his position on your recommendation. He is to triple what he gives to me as a tribute if he wants to remain in my good graces, however.” The man in white stood up and walked over to the window and looked out at the skyline of the city. “Make that double instead. This little failed venture of theirs did provide me with some valuable information.”
The man in black looked up. “Valuable information? What do you mean?”
The man in white turned and grinned at his companion. “Why, that the Super Morpher isn’t invincible of course.”
The man in black looked at the man in white in confusion. “What do you mean? Gregory didn’t report anything like that. He survived getting hit by a rocket after all.”
“He survived it because of that suit he’s wearing, I’m certain of it. He’s proven himself to be a person of incredible strength and agility based off of our earlier reports, but that rocket slowed him down enough to let one of Gregory’s men escape. I think that he is more or less a normal person under that costume of his. That’s why I want you to contact Lori Bollie.”
“Lori Bollie? The Wraith? What do you want her for?”
The man in white raised his eyebrow and frowned. “Have you forgotten your place already, questioning me like I was an equal?”
The man in black bowed his head and took in a deep breath. “Forgive me, Spider. I meant no disrespect. I was merely trying to understand the brilliance that has allowed a man such as yourself to rule this city.”
The Spider chuckled and shook his head. “Very good, Saul, very good. I want you to contact the Wraith because she has talents I wish to employ. If anyone will be able to find out the Super Morpher’s identity for me, it will be her. Once I have that, I can take on the man without the suit, and I like those odds considerably more.”
Saul nodded his head. “It will be as you have requested. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
The Spider grinned. “Yes, I want you to look into any scientists that may have been working with creating armored fabrics like the ones the Super Morpher wears. It might give us a lead to finding the Super Morpher.”
Saul rose to his feet. “I will put our best researchers on it right away, sir.”
Saul turned to walk away, but stopped when the Spider said, “Wait a second, Saul. How would you like a chance to test your mind against mine with a friendly little game of chess? It has been so long since I’ve had a challenge.”
Saul turned and looked at the Spider with careful consideration. “The same stakes as last time?”
A grin filled the Spider’s face. “Yes, of course. If you win, I will return your family to you. If you lose, another five years of service gets added on to your contract. I’ll even play with a handicap and start with one less pawn.”
Saul sat down in front of the chess board. “Fine, but I get to decide which pawn it is that you lose.”
The Spider sat down across from him. “Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge otherwise.”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more like it, come back on Monday when I will publish part one of chapter 8 of Beast Blades, come back tomorrow when I will have all of chapter 8 for you, and Sunday for an update video on what happened previously in chapter 7 of Beast Blades, and a glimpse of what is going to happen in chapter 8. Check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read. Have a great Fourth of July everyone!