“Let me guess. I owe you an explanation, right?” I said into the phone. I couldn’t believe Walter had wanted me to procure this kind of armour, but I found it even harder to believe that Isaac would just call up and offer me some.
“Kind of. I mean, I want to know what you did with your fists at the end of the tape, yeah, but other than that no. Oh, and be a little more careful next time. That was a Walsh warehouse, after all,” I could hear the grin behind his voice. He was a man of science, one of Harold Lucas’s old colleagues and a good friend to my family ever since I’d been a little kid. I’d even been lucky enough to work with him on a few things, from time to time. But, that’s what happens when you’re raised by a single father, who also happened to be the greatest scientific mind of his lifetime.
“Something called electrokinesis. I don’t think about it like a psychic ability as it’s typically defined as, it’s more of a superpower,” I could hear him scribbling down what I was saying, in a handwriting that was illegible to basically everyone but him.
“Harold, your father, he theorised that such a thing could be possible under certain circumstances, but human DNA was simply to fragile. He said it would cause what he called cellular hyper-combustion. A massive explosion similar to the theorised spontaneous human combustion, but much, much bigger,” Walter had mentioned something along those lines, but I had no idea what he was talking about. He had been second to my father after all.
“From what I’ve heard, this isn’t new. It’s likely that dad had some experience with Superhumans, the guy in charge up here likes to talk about old fights. He says he once fought a superhuman who could do something with kinetic energy. I don’t remember most of the details though,” Was I on speakerphone? It sounded like his phone was picking up a lot more than it should have.
“How long ago was this, oh and by the way, I know it’s those rebel guys. Don’t they call themselves Shade?” He was definitely grinning.
“Yeah, about nine years now, I think,” I wasn’t too sure, and I doubted Walter would give me a good number.
“So these powers, they have to have rules, right? Like, say, your laser eyes don’t work after a certain distance? Or you need physical contact to do your thing?” From what I knew, that was true for certain powers, but I hadn’t fully explored the limitations of mine. For all I knew, I could pull a lightning bolt out of a sunny blue sky if I wanted.
“Depends on the power. What does seem to be consistent is that your power cannot and will not hurt you. Basically, I’m immune to electricity. Sure, a static shock will still hurt, but if I was to be struck by lightning, the only things that would actually hurt me would be the heat and whatever force it impacted me with. I know a guy who can control water, so he can’t drown, if that makes things a little clearer,” But then again, that may also be dependent, our powers were simply shielding us in certain ways. What if someone could, say, create metal blades? Would their skin be indestructible, or would their own weapons simply pass through them? There really was no way to tell in what way someone could be protected by their own powers.
“That’s interesting. Now, how do you control it?” He asked. I quickly took a look at my clock, and realised it was half past midnight. What was he doing up so late in the lab?
“Initially, it was a series of commands. Arc from left hand towards target, with a certain strength. That sort of thing. Now, it’s basically subconscious. I just shoot when I want to shoot. I have a limit though, a self-imposed one. I can’t shoot anyone with any more force than is enough to knock them out. Technically, I could pump you full of enough electricity to stop your heart and fry your brain, but I won’t,” I said. He fumbled with his pen as I spoke. Obviously, I’d spooked him out.
“Just one more thing. I assume Ms Walsh is alright? She’d be part of the group you were with, right?” He said. That was something I wasn’t even allowed to trust Isaac with.
“Maybe you should put Rob on,” I said. Isaac dropped his pen, and it very audibly clattered. I guess he must’ve dropped it on the phone.
“Damn, Edward. You are perceptive,” Things suddenly became a lot quieter as Robert picked up the phone.
“Look Dad, oh that’s still going to take some getting used to,” I said, realising my choice of words.
“Too bloody right,” He laughed. He must’ve looked like an idiot to Fay and Isaac.
“She’s fine. We’re keeping her out of trouble for now. There’s something I want to know though, what’s your take on all of this?” I asked. He’d been a friend to my parents and Walter for as long as I could remember, and I probably held him in just a slightly higher regard than I held Walter. After all, he was my adoptive father.
“As long as Walter’s in control of you guys, I’m all good,” How the hell did he know that?
“So tomorrow, when you come to pick up the armour, who’s he sending with you?” He asked. He knew a lot more than he was going to let on, for now anyway.
“Riley Parkinson. I’m a little worried though, she’s still as nervous as ever,” I heard him scratch at his chin.
“Okay then. Walter doesn’t fully trust you with what he’s doing, not yet anyway. He’s going to keep a lot from you, and there are things he knows that you’re really going to want to. Tomorrow is a test. He wants to see how well you can protect his daughter, so if you succeed, you’ll earn his complete trust,” It was a little odd, hearing that he actually didn’t trust me, but it did make sense. Walter was the General in charge of a massive military operation that had been in the works for god knows how long, so to simply trust me after a good four years apart would be borderline idiotic.
“And you seem to know a lot too. Care to explain?” I asked, and Robert chuckled.
“Someday kid. But keep calling him Schmidt for now, I doubt anyone on that ship knows about his civilian identity other than you, Iris and the twins. So keep his secret for now,” With that, he hung up, and that annoying dial tone rang through my ears. I put my phone down, and checked my notes from earlier in my conversation with Isaac. I had the address and the details for collecting the armour, now all that was left to do was to get some sleep.
And sleep I did.