[CONTEST] Revengers #1

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 21 08:48:49 PDT 2009

                                 Revengers #1


  Captain Amazing got impatient.  "Doctor, please," he said, "just tell me what's wrong with my son."
  Doctor Steven Philips furrowed his brow.  "I don't know what you mean.  He's perfectly healthy."
  "Then why doesn't he have superpowers?  My father had superpowers.  His father had superpowers."
  Doctor Philips sighed.  "Your son is a perfectly healthy teenaged boy.  He's perfectly normal."
  Captain Amazing shook his head.  "I'm sorry but in this case perfect and normal are a contradiction in terms."
  "Is this your cat?"
  Doctor Philips worked in a clinic out of his own home and his cat had wandered into his workspace.  John, Captain Amazing's son, had found him.
  "Yes, that's Candy."
  "She's cute.  Com'on, Candy, jump up on the table."  The cat jumped up onto the table.  "Now lie down."  The cat lied down.
  "Please, doctor..."
  "Wait."  Doctor Philips stood up.  "How did you do that?"
  "Do what?" John asked.
  "You're talking to my cat."
  "And he's doing what you tell him to."
  "So my cat doesn't like strangers.  He usually just runs away."
  "I know.  He told me."
  "He told you?"
  John nodded.  "Yeah.  Sort of.  It was something in the way he meowed.  But I told him it was okay.  I told him I was a friend."
  Doctor Philips nodded and turned back to speak to the boy's father.  "I'm going to give you a number of a specialist in Pepperton.  A Doctor Carlos Javier."
  "A specialist?"
  "In psychic ability."
  "Psychic?  You mean like mind reading and stuff?"
  Doctor Philips nodded.  "Your son can talk to my cat.  That's a special ability.  It could just be the tip of the iceburg."
  Captain Amazing considered the possibilities.  "How soon can I get an appointment."
  Doctor Philips sighed.  "I tell you what: I'll call.  He's an old friend of mine.  Maybe he can fit you in sometime next week."

  A few days alter, Captain Amazing and his son met Doctor Javier at his clinic in Pepperton.  Doctor Javier sat down with John and gently probed his mind.
  "Well, Doc?"
  "Nothing.  I don't sense any psychic ability."
  "But he was able to talk to Doctor Philips's cat."
  "Really?"  Doctor Javier nodded.  "Alright then, we need to go find a cat then.  There's a pet store round the corner.  Let's go there."

  Upon arriving at the pet store, John felt a sudden trepidation.  "They're not happy here," he said.
  "Wow," Captain Amazing said sarcastically.  "Even I could tell that from all the barking and meowing."
  "It's how dogs and cats communicate," John explained.  "You can understand a lot more if you just listen."
  "Is it only dogs and cats you can talk to?" Doctor Javier asked.  "Besides humans I mean."
  "I don't know," John said.  "I don't even know why you're making a big deal about this.  It's like I said, you just have to listen to them."
  "How much can you get from them?" Doctor Javier asked.
  "I don't know," John said.  "It depends on how much they have to say."
  Doctor Javier nodded.  "Alright.  Let's go to the zoo.  We'll see what else you can do."

  The three of them got into a tazi and went to the local zoo.  Doctor Javier took the two of them to the monkey cages.
  "Okay, John, are you getting anything?"
  "Not much, really.  That monkey is hungry: that's why he's jumpimg up and down and screaming.  And that other monkey is horny and that's why HE is jumping up and down and screaming."
  "So you're definitely not picking up any thoughts then from any of the animals: you're just able to understand their vocalisations."
  "So how are you able to communicate back to them?"
  John shrugged his shoulders.  "It's all in your tone of voice.  If you can understand them then you can make them understand you."
  Doctor Javier sighed.  He turned to speak to Captain Amazing.  "I'm sorry but my initial observation still stands: your son does not have psychic powers.  He's just extremely intuitive."
  "Damn!" Captain Amazing swore.  Grimacing, he turned and took a swing at a lamppost.  The lamppost bent in half; the light flickered for a moment before turning off.
  "Captain Amazing, you just broke that lamppost."
  Captain Amazing sighed.  "Have them send a bill to Stony Tark."
  "This isn't helping."
  Captain Amazing sighed.  "What would you have me do?  My father was a superhero.  His father was a superhero."
  Doctor Javier sighed.  "Not everybody becomes a superhero.  Not even people with powers.  Some people just want to lead a normal life."
  "Normal," Captain Amazing spat as though it were some kind of epithet.
  "Yes, Captain Amazing, normal people living normal lives.  It's what most people want.  Maybe you should let your son decide what sort of life he wants to lead."
  Captain Amazing nodded.  "Alright.  Fine.  Normality.  We'll give it a try."  He blinked, grimaced and shook his head.  It would take him a while to get used to the idea of his sn being normal.

  Years later, during a sesson of the Pepperton State Supreme Court, Prosecuter Cliff Murdock was questioning his chief witness.
  "I understand, Mister Jones, that your dog, Rover, was a witness to this murder."
  "He was," John told him.
  "And did your dog identify who the killer was?"
  "Objection, your honour!" the defense council said, standing up.  "Even of we were to accept the testimony of a dog, this is hearsay evidence."
  "Would the defense prefer it if we put Rover on the stand?"
  "Your honour, I move to dismiss!"
  "Your honour, Mister John Jones is recognized for his ability to comminicate with animals, especially animals that he is familiar with.  Now, the defense knows full well that we cannot question the dog directly.  This is clearly a case where the witness is unable to speak for himself.  Mister Jones is merely acting as an interpreter."
  The judge nodded.  "I'll allow it."
  "Thank you, your honour.  Now, Mister Jones, I'll ask again, did your dog identify who the killer was?"
  "Yes, he did."
  "And is the killer in this room?"
  "Yes, he is."
  "Can you point to him?"
  John pointed to the defendent.
  "Let the record show that Mister Jones pointed to the defendent, Mister Christopher Walker.  No further questions."
  The defense had their turn drilling John as a witness but John stood his ground firmly: he told them how he had always been able to understand animals and how after years of having Rover he was able to have extended conversations and how Rover was, indeed, able to identify Christopher Walker as the killer.  The defense tried to argue once more that this was all nonsense but the judge continued to allow it.
  Finally, the cross examination was over and John was ordered to go back to his seat.  There, in the audience, sat Captain Amazing in his civilian identity.  He got up to shake his son's hand.
  John shook his head.  "That's a bad idea, Dad," he whispered.  "You give me a firm handshake and you'll crush my hand."
  "How about a hug then?"
  "Okay.  But be gentle."
  Captain Amazing gently embraced his son.  "I'm so proud of you today."
  John shrugged his shoulders.  "I just did what I had to do."
  "You're a hero today."
  "Not really.  Rover's the hero.  I just told them what he told me."
  Captain Amazing sighed.  "I'm sorry."
  "What for?"
  "For not believing in you.  For thinking that your ability to talk to animals was useless."
  John laughed.  "Dad, you just have to listen."
  Captain Amazing shook his head.  "Don't get started again with that."

                                 THE END



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