An Unlikely Hero – Interlude 1
Me and Cody played well in to the evening. Mostly on Zombie Ninja Storm 2. Personally I’ve always preferred the first one, better story line, but Cody said the second had a better multiplayer mode. Eventually, he had to go. Dinner with his mom and dad; I was left alone in my room again with the astronaut food stuff which I couldn’t eat. I didn’t have to wait long though for my next visitor because the airlock opened soon after Cody left. I was expecting it to be the doctor coming in for another blood sample since I hadn’t seen him since just before lunch; I reckoned I was overdue for another nanobot count. But it wasn’t the doctor, it was dad.
I’d never been so happy to see him in my life and I threw myself across the room into his arms. It took me a while to realise that he wasn’t wearing a suit, we held each other for several minutes. I hate to admit it, but I cried, I think we both did. Dad told me that I was going to be alright, that it was safe for me to leave now since they knew the nanobots weren’t going to infect anyone else. I think that’s when I first realised just how scared everyone must’ve been. They must’ve been worried that I was going to unleash some terrible nanotech plague on the world or something. Part of me wondered what would have happened if there had been a danger. Would I have ever got out of that room? I think we’ve all seen the movies where there’s some dangerous virus about to wipe out all human life, and what the government tends to do those situations. Another part of me wondered if I would even have been allowed to live. But I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind, no way was I gonna let myself worry about that stuff now.
Dad had brought me some clothes he’d had brought up from the house. I was glad to get out of that hospital issued set of PJs and into something more human. Looking like a regular thirteen-year-old kid again and not some patient with a terminal illness, we left the medical centre. Walking down the corridors I got my first look outside. It was night time and there was full moon. We were over the ocean, hovering about a couple of thousand feet above the water. On the horizon I could see the lights of a city. I didn’t need dad to tell me it was Key West, our home town. I thought about making some joke about being able to see our house from here, but I couldn’t. It was just starting to hit me; I was on board Sentinel, the pride of the United Nations Overwatch. I’d seen pictures of it; watched documentaries and even built a model of it (getting superglue all over my desk). But here I was, actually standing on it. Dad pulled me away from the railing, saying we didn’t want to be late.
We had dinner that night with Uncle John, Aunt Susan and Cody. I’m not a great lover of Mexican food, that’s more Cody’s thing but I would have eaten fried rattlesnake if it meant I could have real food at a table with real people to talk to. Four days cooped up in that room meant I was kinda starved for any real human contact.
After dinner, Uncle John took me to one side as dad helped Aunt Susan with the dishes. I asked him if it was true what Cody had said, that I’d actually died. If looks could kill, then the one he gave his son could’ve killed a supervillain stone dead. That look was all I needed to know that Cody had been telling the truth. To be honest, I was kinda angry that I had to hear it from my annoying cousin. Everyone was treating me like a kid when it came to talking about it. I mean c’mon, I’m thirteen-years-old, I’m not a baby anymore. I just got shot seventeen times and pumped full of alien nanotech, I think I deserve a little respect.
But you know what really ticked me off? Those men hadn’t killed me for something I’d done or something my dad had done. I’d been shot to make a point to someone else, that they were serious about their threat towards Cody. I used to think having the world’s greatest superhero as an uncle was pretty cool, even if I couldn’t tell anyone about it. Now I was wondering just how dangerous it was having him as an uncle. Then I wondered how much Uncle John had told Cody about the death threat, I don’t know if I’d be as cocky as him if I knew that someone had gunned down him and said that I was next.
That night I couldn’t sleep, there was too much going on in my head and I had headache. What no one realised at the time, including me, was that the nanobots had gone beyond just fixing the bullet wounds. They had started to change me in other ways. The signs were already there, if you knew where to look, but so far the changes had been subtle. Over the coming weeks though, my life was going to get interesting. Chinese curse interesting.