Jordan groggily stared at his computer screen and suppressed a yawn. If he had anything to say about it, that was the last all nighter that he would be pulling for a long time. He reached for the cup of coffee sitting next to him, and accidently knocked the cup over. Coffee spilled out onto the lab floor and Jordan muttered a curse. He jumped down and picked the now empty cup up and sighed. Looks like he was going to have to go on another coffee run after he got done mopping the floor up.
Jordan looked up when the door of the lab opened up, and he smiled at Ryan. “Good, you’re here. I’ve been monitoring the police chatter ever since the robot showed up last night, and I haven’t heard any reports about any more attacks. I think you should still suit up and take a quick look around the city just to make sure it isn’t lying low somewhere, and then we should go and get some sleep.”
Ryan looked away and quietly said, “I’m not going out on patrol today.”
Jordan looked at Ryan suspiciously. “What do you mean? This robot is dangerous, we can’t let it hurt anyone else. That and I can’t wait to take it apart and see what makes this thing tick.”
Ryan sighed. “I’m done being the Super Morpher. I’ve decided to rejoin the football team.”
Jordan stood up and walked toward Ryan. “What? Ryan, we’ve talked about this. If you quit now people are going to get hurt, innocent people. The gangs and robots aren’t going to go away just because you quit, they’re going to get more aggressive trying to draw you out. They can’t rest safely while you are still alive, so they’re going to do everything they can to get you to face them.”
Ryan shook his head. “We don’t know that for sure. Maybe things will go back to normal once I quit. Besides, you just said that every lowlife and pickpocket in the city wants me dead. I’d be crazy if I wanted to continue living a life like that.”
“If you’re quitting because you’re afraid of getting hurt I can make you some better gear. With that and some more practice I’m sure you’ll have nothing to be afraid of.”
Ryan tightened his hand into a fist. “I’m not quitting because I’m afraid, I’m quitting because I have a chance to become a professional football player, to be the best that ever will be.”
“What? You are quitting protecting people to entertain them? What makes you think the pros would be interested in you after you took a break from playing?”
Ryan smiled. “Coach told me that there have been professional scouts asking about me at the games recently, and he’s even going to let me take my starting position back on the team. I was originally only quitting the team until I was able to get a handle on my powers so I wouldn’t hurt anyone, and I’ve done that.”
Jordan frowned at Ryan. “Isn’t using your powers in sports cheating? Like using steroids or something?”
Ryan shrugged. “Maybe, but I didn’t do this to myself on purpose, so it’s different. Think about though, Jordan. I’ll be making a crazy amount of money, probably be the best paid player in the league! I’ll be unstoppable with my strength and speed, and with my healing ability, I will never be benched because of an injury!”
Jordan shook his head and crossed his arms. “Don’t you think you’re being a little selfish? Giving this city hope and then snatching it away from them like this, just so you can make some money chasing a ball?”
Ryan growled, “What has this city ever done for me? I risk my life to protect the people and stop criminals, and it has sent its police after me!” He looked away ashamed and continued on more quietly, “Look, I didn’t come here to argue with you or ask you opinion, I just wanted you to know that I was quitting. It seems like more people want Ryan the football player than Ryan the Super Morpher.” Ryan undid the band of the watch that teleported his suit onto him, and set it down on a lab table before turning and walking out the lab.
Jordan walked over to the table and picked up the watch. Tears ran down his face and dripped onto the watch face, and Jordan reached up and wiped the tears away. “What is going to happen to this city?”
Ryan looked into a full length mirror that took up the entirety of one of the walls in the locker room, and he flexed. It had been a long time since he’d done this, not since before the accident, and he was impressed. He’d been muscular before, but this took it to a whole different level. He smiled to himself, no wonder Becky liked seeing him like this. He wondered how Kari would feel if posed for her like this.
Stew came up behind Ryan and clapped him on the back. “You looked amazing out there today, Ryan. Even better that you did before you quit. You going to keep posing or do you have time to tell some old friends your secret?”
Ryan smiled and turned around. “What do you mean? I kept up with my workouts, that’s all.”
James smiled and shook his head. “Kept up with your workouts? You were the first one to the ball carrier on almost every single play, there has to be more than just keeping up with your workouts. You went to some sort of secret football training camp, didn’t you? That’s why coach is letting you get your starting position back, right?”
Ryan nodded his head, “You got me. I was doing some top secret training while I was gone, and as you can see it paid off.”
Kevin eagerly stepped forward and looked hungrily at Ryan. “You have to tell us about it, where it was, what you did! Come on, we’re your friends and your teammates! Think of how much the entire team could benefit from this training! We’d win the championship for sure!”
Ryan frowned while he searched for an answer. He couldn’t tell his friends that he had gotten faster and stronger because of a lab accident, or that he had spent his time off as the Super Morpher. An idea came to him, and his frown became a smile. “It’s secret training for a reason, guys. I can’t tell you anything about it, it was something I agreed to when they gave it to me. It’s up to the coach if you get selected for the training, but it’s super intensive and expensive.”
Stew looked disappointedly at Ryan. “You can’t even give us a little bit of a clue?”
Ryan shrugged. “It involved a lot of running and jumping, and that’s all I’ll say.” The three boys groaned and turned to go. Ryan cleared his throat and said, “Did you boys hear that I finally got Kari to agree to go out with me?”
Stew gave Ryan a high five and shouted, “Yeah! I knew the old Ryan charm would get to her eventually!”
James fist bumped Ryan’s other hand and hooted, “Whoo-hoo! That’s what I’m talking about! Ryan is on the top whether it comes to football or the ladies! That’s my man!”
Kevin frowned. “I thought you were going out with Becky?”
Ryan frowned momentarily. “Things were moving too fast with her, can you believe that she wanted me to move in with her already?”
James chuckled, “Ha-ha, you chose a good time to get out! Chicks like that would have you ring shopping before you knew it, and then the fun times would be over!”
Ryan smiled and nodded his head. He felt like his life was finally back to where he wanted it. He definately had made the right decision when he gave up being the Super Morpher.
Ryan opened the door to the dorm that he shared with Jordan, and the sound of the news filled the room. “Bank robberies and reported muggings have risen twenty percent over the past week, with ten fatalities reported, and the Super Morpher is no where to be seen. The masked vigilante had helped to get these incidents down to an all time low before he just vanished. Speculations vary about his absence, ranging from alien abductions to his death. The entire city asks the question of where has the Super Morpher gone, and when will he return? This has been Samantha Quinton, hoping that the Super Morpher will return soon. Back to you Jim.”
Jordan turned off the television and looked at Ryan. “See? The city needs you.”
Ryan looked down at the floor. “I can’t go back to the life of the hero, I’m finally living the life that I want! I’m sure that someone else will step forward and fix all of this, why does it have to be me?”
Jordan growled, “You were given these powers for a reason! It wasn’t an accident, it was fate! Think about, it, what are the chances that you would accidently mix together a substance that would work so perfectly, and then have it shot out of that ray gun so that it would actually work? Someone has chosen you for this, Ryan, and you can’t just walk away from it.”
Ryan growled back at Jordan, “Watch me.” He continued down the hall to his room.
Jordan shouted after him, “If you won’t do something about these crimes, then I will!”
Ryan turned and pointed his finger at Jordan. “Don’t be foolish, you’ll only end up getting yourself hurt. You don’t have any powers, just a lot of good ideas. Leave this alone, Jordan, this isn’t our life anymore.” Ryan continued down the hall and slammed the door to his room shut.
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to 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.