Matthew's secret is leaking out and new ideas and suggestions points him down a new path
Chapter Six - A Birth
Matthew abruptly stopped hovering and almost let go of the bed. He put the bed back and turned toward Misty.
"Misty, you're here. Why are you here? Is anyone else with you? Let me explain." The words came out rapidly as Matthew tried to drape a blanket over his new clothes, without much luck.
"Is that you? Do you have make-up on? How did you get so big? Assuming that you are who you state you are, tell me what happened on my 16th birthday."
"Misty, it's me, Dad. I didn't know you were coming so soon. I. . I don't know how to answer your questions." Matthew blurted.
"Just answer the question, only my Dad could answer my question."
"Um, your 16th birthday? Oh, I remember! You were so nervous about going to get your driver's permit, you went into the wrong office. Instead of the Motor Vehicle Center, you went into a National Guard office and told them you wanted to apply. Once they started talking, you realized you were in the wrong office and left without a word."
"My Dad is the only person who knows. I didn't tell anyone else," Misty explained. "What happened to you? Have they experimented with new drugs on you? Did they transfer your consciousness into a new body?"
"No, nothing like that. Sit down, honey, before you fall over. You are shaking and your pulse is going a mile a minute."
"You need to tell me everything. Now. Joe never told me you changed. Did you even tell him? Wait, how do you know what my pulse is?"
"Well, I can hear your pulse from here, your pulse is very loud."
"No, it's not. I can't hear my pulse and it's my pulse. You are starting to creep me out, dad!"
"I'm sorry, Misty. I don't mean to. I guess I am shocked at what I can do. I am going to change back into my hospital gown. I will be in the bathroom changing." Matthew proceeded to the bathroom and began changing as quickly as possible. When he came out, Misty gasped.
"How, how did you change so quickly? Are your green clothes underneath the gowns? You went in not even a couple of seconds ago! I need to sit down."
"You are sitting. What do you mean I went in a couple of seconds ago?" Before he continued, he remember when he got in bed before the nurse came in. Everything around him was in slow motion. Was stopping time a power he possessed? No, there is no way he could do something like that. There must be a logical answer. He needed time to think.
"Misty, I honestly do not know what is happening to me. I don't know what happened after I saw the lights and mist. I passed out when I hit the tree."
"What kind of lights and mist did you see? Describe them."
"Well, the lights were like beams of light, but they were multicolored. I saw yellow, green, and blue. They didn't appear to be anything else, just lights."
"What about the mist you saw?" Misty asked.
"Well, the mist looked like mist, but lighter, not in color, but consistency. I am sure the mist didn't appear to be water. Have you seen the pictures of what sound waves would look like, assuming you could see them? They are kind of like sound waves, but there was no sound. When the mist got to me, I was flung backward into the air before I hit the tree."
"In case you were hurled into a tree, why aren't you in bed with a cast on or something?"
"As I earlier advised you, I don't know what is happening to me. Also, did you notice I am walking upright, with no cane, and standing on both feet?"
"No. Oh my gosh, Dad, your leg is better! Did they operate on your leg?"
"They didn't say they did and there are no scars or stitches. Besides, on the account they would have operated, they would have told me."
"Be honest with me; how are you feeling?" asked Misty.
"I feel better than I ever felt. Even when I was in my prime, I never felt this good," he answered.
They heard a knock on the door and Mike came in. "I am here to get you ready for the MRI." He noticed Misty for the first time: "Hello, my name is Mike, I am Matthews's nurse."
"Hello. I am his daughter, Misty. Can you tell me what happened to my Dad? He has changed.
"The MRI and blood work will answer your questions."
"Why more blood work?"
"They need to do a blood make-up to see how everything is, on the premise we can draw the blood" Mike answered.
"What did you mean, 'on the premise we can draw the blood'? I don't understand". Misty asked.
"When we attempted to reinsert the IVs earlier, we could not penetrate the skin. We tried multiple times with different needles with the same results. We even tried taking his blood sugars; however, we came across the same results, we couldn't break the skin."
"Were the needles sharp?
"We checked out all the needles used. We tried using different needles. Nothing changed." Mike answered.
"Dad, that must have been painful with all the attempts," Misty asked.
"I didn't feel much of anything, a slight pressure where they were trying. When they attempted to take my blood sugar, I didn't feel anything."
The room was silent as everyone was thinking. Matthew thought about leaving the hospital. Sneak out. Of course, being 7'5" has its drawbacks. Also, he didn't think being the color grey with pointy ears would be helpful. An idea came to him. He would have to let Misty know after the MRI.
"Misty, are you going to wait for me after the MRI is complete?"
"Yes, I am. I want to ask you more questions when you get back. Oh, here is your cell phone. I already activated the phone for you, it's ready to go."
"Great and thank you. I could never figure out how to navigate those things."
Two hospital aids came in to get Matthew with a big gurney. He laid down and covered up to his neck. He fluffed the pillows to cover most of his head and ears. "I'm ready."
The two aids wheeled him through the hall to the elevator. Once in, they pushed the button for the floor with the MRI. When they got into the elevator, someone else got in with them. She looked at the aides and Matthew. Her eyes widened when she saw his face up close. She didn't say anything but Matthew could tell she wanted to scream or flee. When the elevator doors opened, she quickly got out.
When they arrived at the MRI room, the technicians got him on the MRI's sliding table and got him in the right position. After this, they advised him not to move while the MRI was operating. After getting him situated and covered up, one aide asked Matthew if he wanted to listen to music while in the MRI because the music helps mask the noise and gives him something to listen to. After Matthew agree, the aide asked what kind of music he would like to listen to.
"I like classical music. Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, or whatever else is in that category."
"Not a problem."
They advised Matthew of what he needed to do and what was going to happen. They asked if he had any questions. He stated he didn't.
"The MRI tube will be tight because of your size, but you should fit. In case there is any problem while you are in there, push the button in your hand. The MRI will stop and slide you out". The aide provided Matthew with the button and went to a different room to begin the MRI. Matthew began to enter the MRI tube.
While in, Matthew began thinking about what all has happened to him. His thoughts kept going back to the lights and mist in the park. This is where it all began, he believed. There wasn't any lightning because the sky was clear. He didn't remember anyone close to him, so no one could have attacked him or put drugs into him. He wondered if he hallucinated the lights and mist? He quickly discarded the thought. The memory was too real for it not to be real. Matthew began to stretch his imagination. Maybe a ghost or spirit gave him these powers. That would explain the mist, but not the lights. He remembered the "window". It's there the lights and mist came from. He was sure about that.
So, where did the window come from? The window appeared as he was walking in the park. He replayed what he remembered and knew the window was real. He focused on the window. Was there a frame, and was anyone standing near the window? What was in the background? When he thought of the background, he remembered seeing something red-orange with the colorful statues, when the beam of lights hit him. He began to put the pieces together. A widow from someplace with a red-orange sky with a colorful statue opened a window to allow three colors of light to come out with a mist following, or whatever was coming toward him. The window abruptly closed with the lights and mist slamming into him, and then he passed out.
Matthew bow believed in where he received these powers from and the change which took place with his body. Why did the window appear? Where did it come from? And why him.
After an hour, Matthew was brought out of the tube and out in the open, he stretched his arms and sat up.
One aide came up to him and began to discuss the MRI. "Sorry, the MRI took so long. There was trouble calibrating the MRI because nothing was showing. After re-calibrating, we did see an image, however, the image was darker than the image should be. We did another re-calibration to get a better picture, but nothing helped. We will have the doctor examine this to determine what to do. Maybe he will decide to do a Computed Tomography ("CT") scan or x-ray. For now, we will send you back to your room.
After getting back to his room without any patients or visitors seeing him, he saw Misty still waiting while looking out the window.
"Did you see the car with the flat tire?" Matthew asked.
What car, I don't see any cars. Wait, I do see them. They are clear over there. I can't make them out. Where was the car with the flat?
"Next to the white building."
"I see a white building but the cars are too far away to even distinguish them, except by color. Wait, you can see that far away in detail or vague?"
"It was like I was looking across the street. I watched the morning traffic from here."
"Dad, do you know what this means? You have super sight. It's incredible! What else haven't you told me?"
"Let me think. You saw me float. I think I could fly were I outside. I can lift and carry heavy objects, though the bed wasn't heavy. I have super speed though I am not sure how fast I am going. I think I have super hearing, but I am not sure."
"What do you mean, you're not sure?" Misty asked.
"When you got here, you were very upset seeing me at first. I thought I heard your heart beating faster." Matthew confessed.
"You heard my heartbeat? Try listening more. Try to listen to the nurses talking."
He concentrated and all of a sudden he heard everything; nurses, patients, doctors, the ventilation system, clocks ticking, and the elevator moving. He tried covering his ears with his hands that just muffled the sounds. He tried to "turn the noise off" but couldn't.
Misty asked, "What's wrong Dad?"
He replied loudly, "To much noise. Why are you yelling? I am hearing everything in the hospital, I think!"
"Try to shut the noise out. Listen to something quiet. I know, focus on my heartbeat." Misty whispered.
Matthew turned and looked at his daughter. He concentrated on her. Soon all the noises stopped and he heard the soft heartbeat of his daughter.
In his speaking voice, he advised, "You did a great job. Well, you helped me to get all the noises to fade away. I can hear your heartbeat and you're not shouting. Thank you."
"I never shouted, I think your hearing was picking everything up from a distance and my voice sounded like I was yelling. Did all the noise hurt your hearing/"
"No, I don't think so. Everything is gone except talking with you."
"Great! Well, that answered my question about your hearing. What about bulletproof?
Matthew thought for a minute and remembered, "I am impenetrable. Remember the needles not going in me, I think I can resist more than needles. Are you carrying the pocket knife I gave you three years ago?"
"Let me look. It's been so long ago since I cleaned my purse out," Misty observed, "Ah, here's the knife." She handed the knife over to her Dad.
Matthew opened the knife and proceed to run the knife down his arm. The blade just indented his skin. He used the pointed end of the blade and tried to penetrate his skin. In both attempts, Matthew felt nothing except a small sensation something was trying to cut his skin.
Misty, almost shouting, observed, "You didn't tell me you were going to cut yourself. You could have cut yourself, Dad."
"No, I knew this would happen. I also think supposing I was to push harder, your blade would break."
"Let's not try. I thought of another ability you might have. You stated that after you woke up from being unconscious, you haven't slept or even feel tired. How long ago did you wake up?"
"Oh, about 30 hours ago. Why"
"Why do you think you're not tired?"
"I am not sure what you're getting at. I think I am running on adrenaline. I will probably sleep pretty good tonight."
"I think you have a super constitution. You don't get tired, you feel great, and you seem to be able to do all these tests with no problem." She added, "You're like a super-being."
"The man who brought my new clothes voiced something like this. I didn't pay much attention until I lifted the bed and carried it across the room. Like when you came in.
There was a knock on the door. Matthew climbed back in bed and laid down, "Come in," he called.
"Hello, Matt," Mike stated as he came into the room. He was wearing a surgical mask. "I hope you and your daughter had a nice talk. I just heard from Dr. Schmitt. Because he does not know the root cause of your transformation, he is placing you in quarantine. I am sorry, but will have to leave," he told Misty.
"Quarantine? You are putting him in quarantine because the doctor can't find anything wrong with my Dad? The doctor is nuts. My Dad is perfectly fine. There is no reason for him going to quarantine. Get your stuff Dad and change, I taking you home," Misty asserted.
"He can't leave if he is in quarantine. He could be contagious. Dr. Schmitt would like to have blood drawn from you because you have been with him for hours. Do you feel ill or have symptoms of fatigue or weakness?" Mike asked.
"I feel fine. This is not contagious or a disease. Dr. Schmitt wants to make Dad a guinea pig for his testing. You have no right to keep him here without his consent," Misty stated. "Dad, let's get out of here and go home."
"I can't stop you; however, the doctor may have the police come and bring him back. It's best if he stays,' Mike began. "I will inform the doctor of your plans."
After Mike left the room, Misty got up and went to the bathroom to get Matthews's clothes. "Put this on like when you took them off, fast like." We are leaving. They aren't going to test you because of what is happening. If they knew the truth, they would lock you up in a research facility."
Matthew got his clothes and went into the bathroom and changed. He was glad to get out of the hospital, even under these circumstances. When he came out, Misty was standing still, frozen in time. Matthew concentrated and time caught up with him.
Seeing her Dad seemingly pop out of thin air, startling her, "Geez, Dad, you scared the living daylights out of me. I don't think I will ever get used to that," Misty thought for a moment, then had an idea. "Dad, how long can you do that? The super-speed thing?"
"I don't know, it feels like I can do that all day if I had to. Why?"
"I am going to leave, go to my truck and park over by the white building. Once you see me there, using your super-speed, come to me. I will leave the door on your side so you can get in. I will make sure the nurses see me leaving alone."
"That's a great idea. Go now and I will watch you. Which car do you have today?" Matthew asked.
"I have the truck, there should be room for you in the backset if to sit cross-way. I'll see you in a couple of minutes. Be careful."
After Misty left, Matthew took his cell phone and placed it in his pants pocket. He then went to the window to watch for Misty to park by the white building. As he waited, he began to think about how he was going to leave. He knew he was fast, but how fast? He thought of opening his door just enough for him to not stop. He was about to go open the door, when he saw Misty parking. With his super sight, he saw her wave. He almost waved back, but he realized she can't see that far away.
When he got ready to run, he focused on running fast. He hoped that would get him into the running mode. He went to the door and pulled it open just enough to leave. He braced himself and ran. He was not sure if he was running at hyperspeed until he passed the Nurse's Station. They all were like statues, no one moved or talked. As he ran by, he saw Mike talking to another nurse. and then he was at the exit door. He opened the door and proceeded down the stairs.
After leaving the stairwell, he ran to the doors. when he got there, the electronic doors did not open. He ran past a couple more times until he realized he was moving too fast for the sensors to read his presence. On his third try, he saw a regular door and headed for it. He clicked the handle and then pushed. The door opened and then stayed open. Outside the hospital, he could run, and he did. Time seemed to go on for him, but everything was frozen in place. Cars, trucks, people, and even birds were frozen in mid-air. He happened to glance up and was surprised to see an aircraft frozen in the sky. By the time he reached Misty, He felt great. He was not tired or winded. He felt like he could run forever.
Misty had the truck door open when he got there. He noticed she had been waving when he left because her arm was out the window, frozen like everyone else. He concentrated on not running. In an instant, Misty was bringing her hand back into the car.
"I'm here," Matthew announced.
Misty jumped and screamed, "How did you get here so fast, I just started waving and figured you saw it so I stopped. That was like 2 seconds ago. Did you start before you saw me?"
"No, in fact, I waited a little bit getting to the door. Then I tried to figure out how I was going to get the automatic doors to sense my presence. They weren't opening, so I had to use a push door. I ran as fast as I could to get here. Like you, everything outside was frozen in place and there were no noises like you would normally hear. I even saw an airplane frozen in mid-air. Kind of creepy. I was waiting for it to fall out of the sky."
"Lay down back there, we need to leave. Thank goodness the windows are tinted., Misty explained. "I need to get you to our house. I will park in the garage so no one sees you getting out."
Meanwhile, back at the hospital at the Nurses Station, there was quite a commotion happening.
"Did anyone hear that crash? It sounded like something fell off its hinges or was broken," questioned Nurse Jean.
"I'll go look and see." Mike offered." I am going to then stop and see how our mystery man is coming. Dr. Schmitt should be here soon and will want to talk with him again."
When Mike was walking down the hall, he did not see anything out of the ordinary until he came to the stairway. The door was ripped off its hinges and lying on the floor. He went to slide it out of the way until maintenance could arrive. When he went to move it, he found it weighed more than it looked. He had a difficult time, but he did manage to move it.
"Whoever did this was either very strong or had two people to help him. The camera recorded this. I will have to contact security and have them look at it to tell who did this," Mike said to himself.
On the first floor, the side door lay broken with glass everywhere. It, too, was broken off its hinges and lay on the sidewalk, preventing anyone from entering or exiting. Over by the automatic doors, people were baffled because the door was opening and shutting on its own.
When Misty was driving she was talking to her Dad. "Do you want other clothes besides what you are wearing? I can go shopping tomorrow at the Big and Tall store for you. I will need the sizes of what you are wearing, though, so I can get the right size."
Matthew replied," That would be good. I can't wear one outfit all the time. You will need to take my credit card. Oh, wait," Matthew he explained, "My new credit cards may be in my mailbox. I had requested expedited service in replacing them. You will need to go check. Sorry"
"No problem, Dad. I still have your key to the mailbox so it won't be a big deal. I will drop you off first then go. Wait, never mind. I will just go now and check. When I get home, the babysitter leaves. I am not sure how the kids will react to you without me there."
"I never thought of that. I certainly don't look like I used to. Maybe they'll think I am a scary monster. I wish this never happened." Matthew lamented.
Misty tried to comfort her Dad. "They won't think you are a monster. We'll tell them, , We'll tell them you had an operation to fix your leg and the surgeon accidentally changed everything."
"Maybe we shouldn't tell them I am their grandpa. I don't want them going to school or the playground to tell people their grandpa looks like a giant gray man," Matthew offered. "People will think there is something wrong with the kids. Worse, they'll think they are abused or something and they live in a fantasy world. Plus, I don't want to traumatize them."
"We'll play it by ear, then," she then added, "We are at your place. Sit tight while I go in and get your mail."
While she was gone, Matthew began thinking about how adults will treat him. If he wasn't gray and had pointed ears, people would assume he was a basketball or football player. He had an idea how to cover his ears: wear a stocking hat. That would cover the ears. He would have to tell Misty to pick it up tomorrow.
Misty got back in the truck and handed over the mail. There was a lot because it hadn't been picked up for four days. As he started looking through his mail, he discovered that both credit cards were there. He also sees his bank statement. He would have to look at that later. The rest of the mail could wait until he was at Misty's house.
"We're almost home, Dad, Stay put until I get in the garage."
As they pulled into the driveway, Misty opened the garage door via the remote. She carefully pulled in and then shut the door.
"Stay here until the babysitter leaves. I will come to get you," Misty added, "I also want to talk with the kids about you."
"OK. Not a problem, I will sit tight until you come and get me."
When Misty got out and went inside, Matthew got out of the truck and sat on the tailgate. He then took the credit card and called to activate them. He was fortunate the deed could be done without talking to anyone.
Matthew then decided to call Joe.
After three rings, Joe answered, "Hello this is Joe, who is this?"
"Hey Joe, it's Matthew."
"For cripes sake Matt, where have you been? I have been worried sick about you. Have you spoken with Misty?" She said she couldn't get a hold of you."
"Yes, she came to the hospital to see me. It almost knocked her out when she saw me. Can't blame her, I do look strange."
"Matt, you keep saying that. Were you disfigured while being mugged?"
"I was never mugged, Joe," Matthew began, " I was walking through the park, making sure to stay on the path. When I went around that sharp corner, you know the one you like to increase the speed of your scooter, a strange light appeared off the ground, like a window was being opened. But there weren't any houses nearby, just trees. Anyway, I was looking at it when all of a sudden multi-colored lights came shooting out, followed by a mist-like wave, like a sound wave. Thing is, I could see it, After it shot out, I thought I saw a strange statue. Then the lights and mist hit me, hard."
Joe interrupted, "I wasn't a sound cannon. I have heard the military has machines that produce sounds. I don't know much more. Sorry."
"It's ok, joe. It is. Anyway, like I was saying, after they hit me, I flew back into a tree. The paramedic said my back was broken. At the hospital, it wasn't broken. Strange. Over the next three days, I changed. I have a new body,"
"How can you have a new body.? Joe asked.
"I'm getting to that. As I said, When I woke up yesterday, I was over seven feet in height and weigh 380 or close to that. My skin is gray and I have pointy ears."
"Matt, are you serious, or are you yanking my chain?" Joe began, "Is your leg still like it was, crippled?"
"I am being 100% honest with you. No, it is brand new. It feels and acts like normal. Along with this body, are you sitting down?"
"Yes, I am always sitting down. Get on with your story."
"Well, I now have superpowers. I can run very, very fast; I can see in the dark like it was day; I am super strong; I can hear everything, even a heartbeat; and I can fly or hoover. I haven't tried flying yet."
Joe was silent. That was never good.
When he spoke, he said, "I am not sure what to say. You never had done drugs or drink alcohol. You have never been one to exaggerate information, and you have always been honest with me, I think."
"Joe, I swear on our friendship everything I told you is true. Wait, let me take a picture of myself and send it to you," Matthew offered. He went about taking a selfie and sending it to Joe. "Did you receive it?"
"Yeah, I am opening it up right now," there was a pause before Joe got back on."
"Holy crap, Matthew, what happened to you. You look like a giant gray man who is gray. I never imagined you would look like this. You have new everything. Let me take a minute to process this."
"Sure, I am still processing this myself and it happened to me. I am still wrapping my head around the fact that I have superpowers. I feel powerful, like there is nothing I can't do. But I have no idea what and where to do it."
Joe was silent for a moment before he spoke, "When you described your powers, you called them 'Superpowers'. If they are superpowers, that would make you a super man, like the comic book, but real." Joe continued by saying, " You are a superhero. You need to embrace that and start doing what we did overseas: save lives and stop terror."
"I thought about that. But, I have no idea how to become one. Do I just go out in public doing good deeds?"
"Heavens no. Well, I mean by saving lives and taking on the criminals, you will be doing it. Start small. Muggers, thieves, or arsonists. Work your way up to saving a town or your country from terrorists abroad. There is no end to bad people who do bad things."
"I have seen superhero shows. A big problem they have is not having family, or friends, from being hurt or killed by the bad guys I am going after. I am putting Misty, Cindy, Becca, and you into dangerous situations."
"Who is going to know who your family or friends are? Excuse me, but you look like a Super Hero from a different planet. No one will have any idea you're human, that is if you are human anymore. To make sure no one knows you, you need a Super Hero name."
"You got to be kidding? I have no idea what name I can call myself.'
"How about Super Being from a different planet? Or Super Guy? What about Green Gamma? You are wearing all green clothes."
"No. I do like naming myself after my colors. Something like The Green Man, the Man in Green, how about the Green Vigilante?"
"None of those fit you. Some are also lame. Hmm. . I know: The Renegade in Green"
"Well, that is better than I came up with. But why Renegade? Doesn't that mean I am a traitor?"
"It also means rebel. You can prove you are just a Super Hero who wears green."
"How about Defender Man? Oh, I just had a thought, What about Defender in Green? It says what I am, a Defender and it also states my color."
"I like that," Joe confessed. "It is simple, easy to remember, and catchy."
"Great, The Defender in Green is born!"