Authors: Lucas Flint
Tags: #young adult, #superheroes
But I had returned to the grave today to be alone. Mecha Knight had told me that I could take as much time off from the Young Neos as I needed in order to mourn Dad. I appreciated that, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I would ever return to superheroics after this.
As for Robert, he had also gotten a funeral here in Silvers, but it had been extremely small. His grandparents had been the only attendees; I didn’t even see any of his friends from school. And, of course, no one from Vision had shown up, which hardly surprised me, given that Robert hadn’t even really been a Visionist anyway.
But despite how much I hated Robert, I had to admit that I felt a little sorry for his tiny funeral. I wondered if he would have been different if his parents hadn’t been so crazy and evil. Had his parents been like mine, would he have become a superhero instead? Or was he always destined to become evil, no matter what?
I heard footsteps behind me, but didn’t look over my shoulder to see who it was. I just assumed it was the caretaker, at least until a hand rested on my shoulder and I saw that it was Mom. She was looking at me with concern in her green eyes, like she always did, but now she seemed even more concerned about me than usual.
“Hey, Mom,” I said. I looked back at the gravestone. “I didn’t hear you drive up.”
“That’s fine, Kevin,” said Mom. “I just came to see how you were doing. And to tell you that dinner will be ready in about an hour.”
I looked at Mom again. “Couldn’t you have just texted me that? Or is there something else you came here to tell me?”
Mom looked at Dad’s gravestone for a moment before she said, “I came here because I also wanted to see Ted’s grave again. I know I just saw it yesterday, but …”
“That’s fine, Mom,” I said. “You don’t need any justifications. I understand.”
“Thanks,” said Mom. Then she looked at me again. “What are your plans now? Are you going back to New York soon?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m still the leader of the Young Neos, so the others need me to lead them. But …”
“But what?” said Mom. “You can tell me. I’m listening.”
I dug at the dirt with the tip of my shoe. “I don’t know if I can do it. My powers are back, but one of the reasons I liked being a superhero is because Dad was always there to talk to me. He understood me and what I was going through and how I felt. I could always talk to him whenever I felt down or discouraged or confused.”
“Isn’t there anyone else in the NHA who could listen to you?” said Mom.
I shook my head. “No. Mecha Knight is too distant to really understand or care and the rest of the Leadership Council are too busy with their own things to take time out of their day to listen to my concerns or worries, as are the other members. And I know you’re here, Mom, but you aren’t a superhuman, so you don’t really understand it like Dad did.”
“Yes, I know,” said Mom. “So you are thinking about quitting superheroics because of that?”
“Not exactly, but yeah,” I said with a sigh. “Sometimes the pressures of fighting supervillains can be too much to handle. I have to hold it together for my team, but I always depended on Dad for help. Without Dad … I don’t know how I will handle it.”
“What about Triplet?” said Mom. “Or even Cadmus Smith?
I frowned. “Mom, Triplet is always on some case or another, while I don’t trust Cadmus Smith enough to make him my confident, assuming he’d even want to listen to me. But maybe I should quit; maybe I should just settle down and live a normal life, like what you and Dad wanted me to do all along.”
“Actually …” Mom hesitated, but then said, “I don’t want you to live a normal life. Not anymore, anyway.”
“What?” I said. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, Kevin, that I think you should be a superhero,” said Mom. She looked at Dad’s grave again. “You know how I used to be against superheroics ever since the death of Uncle Jake. The reason I didn’t approve of your superheroics was because I didn’t want you to suffer the same fate as him. I didn’t want to lose you. Or your father, for that matter.”
“But Dad was killed,” I said. “He was killed while fighting a supervillain. Doesn’t that prove that your worries were founded?”
Mom nodded. “Yes, but your father died saving you. Had he not helped you, Robert would still be alive today and he likely would have killed you. That’s different from being killed in cold blood by an enemy. I think that if you gave up now, then you would be throwing away Ted’s sacrifice.”
“You mean Dad also wanted me to be a superhero?” I said.
“I think so,” said Mom. “I know he was against it at first, but I saw his attitude toward your new career change. When he got home from the Summit and told me about what happened and what you did there, he sounded so, so proud of you, so proud of his son.”
“He never told me that,” I said.
“Ted had a bad habit of forgetting to tell others how he felt about them,” said Mom with a chuckle. “But believe me when I say that he saw the good work that you did and thought that your decision to become a superhero was a wise one. If you gave it up just because he died, that would be an insult to his memory.”
I thought about what Mom said and realized she was right, so I said, “Thanks, Mom. I think I’ll contact Mecha Knight when we get home and tell him I’ll be back in action on Monday. That’s how I’ll honor Dad’s memory, by returning to my duty as the leader of the Young Neos and as a superhero defending the country and the world from villains and threats of all shapes and sizes.”
Mom smiled, but then she looked like she had just remembered something and said, “Oh, Kevin? Before Ted died, he had asked me to tell you about something in the event he was killed. He said it was important for you to know about this, because you needed to know where he came from and why.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Mom, I’m pretty sure I know where Dad came from.”
“That’s not what he meant,” said Mom, shaking her head. “Do you remember, Kevin, how, back in that escape pod, I told you that I promised to your father that I wouldn’t tell you about his parents?”
“Yeah, I do,” I said. “Why?”
Mom took a deep breath and said, “Because now, I think, it is time for you to know about them. Ted asked me to tell you about them after he died, because he thought you needed to know. To know the truth about them … and where you can find them.”
I stood there, feeling shocked for a moment, before I said, “All right, then. I’m listening.”
The story continues in
The Superhero’s Origin
, which you can purchase
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About the Author
Lucas Flint is the pen name that Timothy L. Cerepaka writes superhero novels under. You can find out more by visiting his website