The Defender in Green makes a deal
Chapter 14 - Deals
He had a little bit of time before he needed to panic, even though he was getting closer to the ground.
After a bit more time elapsed, he decided now would be a good time to stop. He focused on hovering again by slowing his descent. It seemed to work because the ground wasn't getting any closer and he was going up. He quickly thought about holding still and just floating. Finally, it worked. He guessed he must be very specific about what he wanted to do.
Well, now that he got that under control, how was he going to get home? He couldn't fly there, land, and casually enter the garage. He knew he didn't have the control needed to fly home and into the garage. He decided to cross that bridge when he got there.
He needed to get his bearings on where exactly he was. He discovered that if looked down, it would be like looking at a road map. That was easy. He would have to get much closer to see the detailed information. Getting too close would result in people seeing him and he didn't want that.
Oh! He remembered his power of invisibility. He could even land and then walk home and no one would see him or know he was there. He focused on not being there, waved his hand in front of him, and didn't see anything. Perfect. Now to descend, land, and go home.
He tried to focus on going straight down but wasn't sure he was accomplishing that. As he looked down, he was grateful he had been assigned as a Paratrooper during the war as the height didn't bother him.
When he got within five hundred feet of the ground, he saw that he was coming down only a block away from the robbery scene. The police, paramedics, and news stations were all still there. He didn't see any of the robbery suspects or the hostages, which was good.
He kept floating down, away from the police and the crowd. As he landed, he made sure he was still invisible. Good, he was. Now to run home.
After he had an uneventful non-super run home, he got into the garage and shut the door. He focused on being seen. He looked at his hand and arm and saw he could see them. "That was pretty easy," thought Matthew. He went into the house and into the living room. Cindy was still there alone watching the news.
"That was cool grandpa! You held a big bomb and it exploded and you just looked at it and smiled. Did it tickle?"
"I didn't know I smiled. No, it didn't tickle. Has your mom been out here?"
"No she and Becca are still sleeping. You better change your clothes before mom does wake up. She doesn't like dirty clothes.
At this, Matthew looked down at his shirt and jacket and saw the tattered remanents. He couldn't go out shopping and didn't want the clothes delivered to Misty's house. How would he get some more?
He remembers the delivery man from the hospital. He digs through his pockets and searches for the card he gave him and finds it. He pulls it out and searches it for the name. Jim Brown. He grabs his phone and calls him.
"This is Jim, how can I help you?"
"Mr. Brown, I am not sure if you remember me, but I am the man you brought clothes to while I was in the hospital."
"Hey, I remember you! You are all over the news yesterday and today. Great save at the bank. Are you doing something else now? What is it?"
"No, I need your assistance. My current clothes were damaged by the bomb and I need more. COuld you bring me any?"
"Hey, no problemo. Let me get back to the store and check what we have. Do you need pants, a shirt, and a coat? Anything else?"
"Yeah, Give me as many as you can. Make them the same color. Green if you can. Get the name of the manufacturer and I will order them from them directly. Oh, nothing in yellow. It doesn't agree with me. Any questions?"
"Where do I bring them? To your secret lair?"
'No. Call me when you got them and we will arrange a pickup. OK?"
"Got it. Call when ready."
"Thanks, got to go." Matthew hung up the phone.
After hanging up, Matthew called Joe. When Joe answered the phone, Matthew began to talk. "Hey, Joe. I got home ok, I turned invisible and ran all the way. Anything new on the news?"
"Plenty. All the local stations have been playing their feed of what happened today and their take on the new superhero. One channel got an interview with one of the hostages. All they talked about was the big grey hero who saved them all. She stated you would disappear and reappear in front of some of the gunmen. She stated you placed your hand up against their chest and they would fly backward like they were blown away by a hurricane force wind or hit by a big truck. She also said that she never got a good look at your face so the police couldn't get a rendering of you," Joe continued, "one station has gone so far as stating they will get an interview with you before anyone else."
"Oh, which station is that? Our own channel twelve with Polly what's-her-name?"
"No, she is too busy trying to discover your alter ego, if there is one. There is one station that had a story that you are from a hospital. Genetically enhanced human. She doesn't mention the hospital's name, but has hinted it is in town."
"Did you catch her name? I might need to do undercover work or long-range listening."
"I believe it is Erin Bogle. How are you going to go under cover? Paint yourself brown with a green head and go as a tree?"
"No, being invisible. She will never know I am there."
"Put a hold on that, Matt. We need to determine if she has anything first Speaking of hospitals, I just thought of Wood Plaza Hospital, where you were admitted and turned into your current persona. Why haven't they attempted to contact you or tell the press about you?
"That's a good question. I don't know. Maybe they think someone there will get blamed for what happened? Or I would report them to the Medical Board. I guess I don't know. I could contact the doctor who was working on me and get information from him."
"That's if he would talk with you. It is worth checking out. We first need to think of a way to do it unnoticed. Maybe go there at night and check around? Let's just sit tight on this one. Oh, I contacted someone I know who is going to get you some more clothes. I told him they were for an old boxer I knew. He's a big guy. He is retired now, but I still talk with him now and then. Hopefully, he can come through."
"I contacted someone too. He knows about me and has helped me before. He is gonna call and then we will meet someplace far away from here."
"Let's hope he doesn't betray that trust."
"Yeah, I agree." He hears Misty and Becca talking and getting up. "I need to go, Joe. Misty is up and I need to make sure she is sitting down before I tell her about today."
"I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now. Talk to you later."
As Misty and Becca came into the living room, Matthew had a blanket held up against his chest, covering the torn and shredded shirt and coat. "Have a seat Misty, I was just cleaning yp and folding this blanket. With it still held against him, he sat down at the opposite end of the couch from Misty.
"Mom, grandpa stopped a bomb from hurting people."
"You did what? Stopped a bomb from going off? Who did you stop a bomb from going off? You could have been hurt. Why didn't you wake me up? Were you hurt? Did anyone see you? Why was there a bomb?"
"Just wait. I can answer all of these questions. Just relax," Matthew drops the blanket without thinking, "first, no one . . "
"What happened to your shirt and jacket? Most of it is missing! Did the criminals do that?"
"Of course not. That is from when I was holding the bomb against my stomach, chest, and arms as it went off."
"You what? You held a bomb when it went off? You could've been killed. Was anyone hurt? Why did you do that? Couldn't you have left it alone and ran away?"
"No. Many people would have died. I guess my military experience kicked in and I took the hit. No, I wasn't hurt at all. I barely felt the heat where I held the bomb. After the bomb went off, I left. The police seemed to have everything under control at that time. It looked like the gunmen had shot a teller because he was on the floor. Why, did I go there and help? Because without me there, many people could have been killed. I have seen enough killing in my lifetime. I don't want to see it anymore."
"Grandpa smiled after the bomb went off," offered Cindy.
Ignoring Cindy, "I'm sorry, dad. I didn't realize you felt this way. Mom always told me that you regretted it when you were unable to be in the military anymore due to all your injuries. She told me you were an excellent soldier with a conscious, both you and uncle Joe. I am sorry if I over-reacted."
"You didn't, I did. These old bones missed out on many years of being able to help people besides your mother. I don't regret one second of being with her. She is my Soul Mate. I would've done anything for her."
"She knew that dad. She told me that one day toward the end. She loved you a lot."
"And I loved her. Enough sad talk, let's watch the news to see what else I can do today."
Joe called again, this time about something totally new. "Hey, Matt. I have a question. Do you have force beams coming from your eyes?"
"Force what? Beams? What, like headlights?"
"No. Something like a laser beam or fire? I figured since your eyes glow, there may be something in there that could do that."
"I have no idea at all. I know I can see very far away. No=t sure if there is and force beams in there. I could try, I need to go someplace to try it. If I do, I don't want Misty or her neighbors to lose their house. Have any suggestion where I can do try without onlookers?"
"Well, remember our old training base about ten miles out of town? It's been closed for the last five years. There are no guards or watchmen as all the military equipment has been removed. On the weekends, It is a popular hangout for the older teens."
"Joe, how on earth do you get all this information? You know everything."
"Well, I don't sit around all just watching Soap Operas. I have made a lot of connections over the years and learned many things. One such piece of information is regarding the military base. You interested?"
"Sure. I would like to try all my abilities more. Become more familiar and accustomed to using them. When do you want to meet? It's three o'clock in the afternoon. Say in an hour?"
That sounds perfect. I can spend a little more time with Misty and the girls before I leave. Let's meet by the old military bunker."
"OK. See you in about an hour." Joe said as he hung up.
Matthew spent time with Misty and the girls playing Chutes and Ladders and Mouse Trap. Misty would Chutes and Ladders and Cindy creamed everyone winning Mouse Trap. When it was three fifty-five, Matthew left. "After opening the garage door, he turned invisible and flew to his meeting with Joe. Instead of flying way up in the sky, he flew above the tree line, mostly following the road.
When he got there, he saw Joe's van. Joe had the van remodeled inside so he could drive his scooter in through the back and into the diver position.
When Matt was landing, he made sure Joe knew he was landing so as to not startle him.
"Heads up Joe. Coming in for a landing." Matthew turn visible that last ten yards before he landed. Joe watched in wonder.
"I can never get tired of seeing you do that. Say, after we get done, I have a favor to ask you."
"Sure. Ask now if you want," Matthew replied.
"It'll wait. So let's see if you have anything super about your eyes, besides zoom focus," Joe began, "I got here early and set some paper targets at the end of the ramp here. See if you can hit them with your eye power."
Matthew turned and saw the pages with targets. He didn't know how to go about this. Does he just focus like with his super vision? He attempted to look and the target and will his eyes to shoot forth their beams. When nothing happened, he tried closing one eye and trying again. Nothing happened. Maybe he was trying hard enough. He opened his eye, and looked closely at the target, picture beams coming from his eyes, destroying the target. He imagines seeing the beams come forth.
After nothing happened, he noticed his vision was different. He could see more clearly and defined. He felt as if he could think more clearly. He turned to Joe to tell him what he was feeling.
"As he turned toward Joe, he saw Joe about fall off his scooter, "Holy crap, Matt. What did you do?"
"Nothing, weren't you watching" Matthew began to voice his thoughts when Joe interrupted.
"Matt, just don't panic. We'll figure this out. Just relax."
"Joe, I don't understand why you are acting this way. If you're upset about me not being able to hit the target, It's ok. I'll practice. Just stop staring at me."
"Matt, you have a third eye on your forehead. Come here and look on my scooter's mirror/"
Matthew goes over and reluctantly looks into the mirror. He falls backward and scoots away from Joe and the mirror.
"What the heck is that? I never had another eye before. All I did was focus on firing a beam from my eyes. I did not, repeat did not want a freaking third eye. What else? A tale?"
"Wait, wait a minute. Maybe that eye is here for a reason. Can you see further?
Matthew focuses his eye on a distant mountain. It became crystal clear. However, it was the same distance as he had before. "No, I can't see further or clearer than I could do before."
"OK, let's try this again. Focus on the wall and target. Picture all three eyes shooting out a green ray."
Matthew took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He then looked at the target and began to think about hitting the target with a beam. He tilted his head forward a little bit and closed his eyeds while he readied his focus again. Before he could do anything else, a very powerful green beam shot out and hit the target. It not only burnt the target to ashes, but the beam also traveled through the solid concrete back and into the hill beyond. Matthew opened the other two eyes and the beam turned off.
"That's what I was talking about!" cried Joe. "That was bloody marvelous. Did you see how far it went? Great job! Let's try some more tests."
"Didn't you see how I did that? I have a third eye or something. I closed my two eyes and a third eye opened. You need to watch my face, the front part when I do this." Matthew excitedly stated. Joe moved to the front side of Matthew so her could see his eyes.
"Ok, I am ready."
Matthew turned again to look at a target, He closed his regular eyes and an extra eye opened where. previously one hadn't been. He could still see the target clearly, along with everything else. He turn to joe and asked, "What do you see? Is it a third eye? What color is it?"
Before Joe could answer, Matthew looked and the targets and focused on two at a time. He willed the energy bolt to come out and one very bright green beam came out and divided into two and hit both targets. He opened his other two eyes and felt the power dissipate and no longer be there.
"With your third eye open, it looked exactly like your other two, but bigger. It was very bright, almost hard to look at because it was so bright. When you fired it, a beam of pure energy came out of the third eye and blasted two targets. The color of the beam was a bright green. How did you manage that? Incredible."
"It works much like everything else I do. I just focus on what I want to happen and it does, eventually. Everything has its own quirks. I bet once I get used to the powers, they won't require intense thought. I will be able to activate any one of them at any time."
"So far, I see one problem with your force vision." joe announced.
"What's that?" asked Matthew.
"What happens if you use your force vision on a person?"
"I am not following you. I would stop them, of course:
"Try using your force bean again, but very lightly. Like a nudge for bad guys to move back."
"Easy. Just watch."
Matthew again faced the targets. There was one left. He bent his head forward slightly. His third eye opened. He focused on the last target and willed a gentle push backward. His third eye discharged and blew the target back with a hole through the center
"I didn't put that much effort into this. I just thought about moving it back. Not ripping through it as it did." Matthew observed.
"That's what I thought would happen after seeing your first blast. If you needed to get inside, say a vault or smash away boulders, you could use this power blast. You shouldn't ever use this on a normal person."
Matthew added, "You're right. I can't use this on people. It would be best to use it on an emergency basis for opening vaults or smashing walls or things like that."
"Let's go to the next tests. We are going to see how strong you really are and your invulnerability."
"Good, after the bomb incident, I have wondered about my strength and invulnerability."
"Well, we know you are invulnerable to at least bomb blasts. Let's knock down that old tower over there. Go to the side of the building and lift up as much as you can. Try to lift it out of the ground."
Matthew went over to the edge of the old radar tower and looked for someplace to grab. He kept walking around the building until he found a part of the base that was already exposed. He bent down and saw where the edge of the tower met the earth. He scooped away some of the dirt so he could see the edge better. After scooping out the dirt. he put his hands underneath the base of the tower and lifted.
Joe was watching what Mattew was doing as he walked around the tower. When Matthew went around to the other side, Joe couldn't see him because his scooter wasn't very good at off-road driving. As he waited for him to show up from the other side, Joe thought about Matthews's offer to heal his missing leg. His thoughts were interrupted by Mattew's grunt.
The tower and slab of concrete had been around for nearly one hundred years. Even though no wars or uprisings occurred in this part of the country, the base and tower were built to last the worst events. When Matthew grabbed the base and began to lift, the tower stayed together. As he lifted the base, he kept moving inward so the bottom of the base was above his head. He kept walking inward while the base was being lifted. When he thought he had gone halfway, he stopped, turned around so his back was to the stone floor above him, and faced the way he came, he placed his back against the bottom of the floor and began to stand up.
Joe was watching the tower from the outside. He noticed the tower move slightly one way and then the other as Matthew was digging it out from underneath. When the tower stopped rocking, he wondered what was going on. He then saw the tower shift down on the side Matthew was last seen. Then the tower began to rise.
Matthew had placed his back underneath so he could stand up, raising the tower as he stood. Soon as he was standing fully erect, he moved his hands against the ceiling and pushed.
Joe saw the tower rise, base and all. He noticed it was slowly rising off of the ground. It wobbled a couple of times but stayed steady otherwise.
Underneath, Matthew felt he could extend his arms all the way up, but did not think the old tower would stay together. He also thought about floating up with the build, but that would do the same thing to the foundation. Either way, he knew he could do more. He began bringing the tower back down and placing it where it was.
When the tower reached five feet off the ground, Joe could see Matthew standing almost erect. He wondered if Matthew had exerted all his strength or if the building was collapsing. Either way, it was being placed back in its resting spot.
Matthew soon came walking from around the building. He was covered with dirt and debris from being under the ground.
"So, how'd I do?"
"Pretty darn good," answered Joe, "I was surprised the old tower held together. You had it about five to six feet off the ground when you stopped. Very impressive. How did it feel using your super strength?"
"Felt great. I knew I could have pushed more, but the building wouldn't have held together. I feel like I could do a lot more. Too bad they don't have any tanks here I could smash."
"How long can you hold your breath? I think a swim is in order."
"Are you saying I need a bath?" Matthew joked, Yes, let's go for a swim. Are you coming?"
"We'll take my boat to the middle of the lake and you and go explore the bottom." I'll meet you on the lake. Make sure you are invisible."
"Right, see you there." Matthew then began to float upward and then disappeared.
When Joe gets to the middle of the lake in his motored dinghy, he drops his anchor and begins to fish. He soon feels the wieth of another person. "About time you got here. I hate fishing alone."
"How can you be fishing when you didn't bait the hook?" Matthew asked.
"I hate worms, can't see lures, and never touched Stink Bait." Besides, I don't like the smell or taste of fish."
"Then why do you come out here to fish?"
"Fishing helps me learn skills in patience," Joe replied.
"Well, can't argue that. I am beginning to smell. I am going down. Wish me luck." Matthew got out of the boat and into the water.
The first thing Matthew saw was it was dark and murky. He wished his vision was more sensitive to light. He felt something happening to his eyes, and all of a sudden the water was much more clear and bright. He then began to swim downward.
When he was young, he enjoyed swimming. He felt like he was flying, almost weightless. He loved the times he and his friends would go swimming in the lakes and ponds around his hometown. That is also how he met his wife. While remembering his youth, he reached the bottom. He saw rocks, mud, sand, plants, and garbage on the bottom. He could never understand why people who want to be on the water or swim would throw their garbage into the same water.
He began to swim around the bottom to see what he could find. He saw fishing poles, tires, a small dinghy, lots of rocks, a body, fish in stringers that held the fish after being caught. . .A Body? Matthew swam back to the body. It was weighted down by three large pieces of concrete. He carefully ripped the cords apart that were holding the body down, gathered the body, and swan to the nearest shore. He placed the body onto the shore and swam back down to check for other objects that may have been with that person. He saw bones and fragments, bits of clothing, and what looked like jewelry. He placed them by the body on shore and went to get Joe.
"I can't tell how old these remains are. They may have been there for months," Joe observed, "I am pretty sure this was a female. I will call the Police, you disappear."
Soon the Police arrived and began questioning Joe. "How did you come across this body?"
"I was fishing and saw some birds over here eating on something. As I got near, I could see what it was and called you. I didn't disrupt the body."
"We appreciate that. Did you notice anything else when you observed the body? Any type of weapon?"
"No. What you see is what I saw. Can I go? I gave the other officer my personal information in case you need to contact me."
"I saw that you did, thank you. As of right now, I think we are done with talking to you. Please be aware, that if we have any further questions, we will contact you."
"Not a problem. More than happy to help."
As Joe was driving, he was talking to the invisible Matthew in the back seat.
Matt, how upset would you be if I left and moved out west
"I guess a new start." Joe quickly changed the subject, "What else did you find down there? Under the water?"
"Besides the body? Nothing else but fish and junk."
"Oh, by the way, you were down there for about forty-five minutes without coming up for air."
Later in the afternoon, Matthew got a call from Jim Brown, his contact from the clothing store, regarding the clothes he wanted. "Hello, Jim. How can I help you?"
"Hey, I got those clothes you wanted. I managed to get four of everything like you requested."
"That's great. Let's meet tonight. Do you know that old farmhouse on East fourteenth?"
"Sure, that's a great place to kick back and have a few without the police knowing about it. What time?
"Oh, how about ten o'clock?"
"Sounds good. I'll make I'm not followed.
"Thanks see you then,"
Later that night, Matthew landed near the area. He was early so he could see if Jim would come alone. He found a good place to meet him. It had three roads connected to it so it would be easy to get out in a hurry, had trees and ground covering so it would be difficult for people to see them, and had a fire pit that would give them light.
With Matthew's increased vision, he did not need extra light to collect wood and other debris to start the fire that would provide enough light for the two of them to see. Matthew used his third eye to light the fire.
He did not have long to wait. He soon heard a car coming up the road. He turned invisible and waited to see who it was. When the car arrived, Jim got out, went to the trunk, and pulled out a very large bundle. He left his car on with his car stereo playing country music. He came over to the fire pit, looked around, then sat on one of the logs around the fire pit to wait. After Matthew thought he had given enough time, he appeared ten feet in front of Jim.
"Hello, Jim. Thanks for bringing the clothes."
"Woah! You scared me by just popping up like that. Cool super power. Do you have any other new ones? Oh, here are your clothes. No one at work caught me buying all the biggest items. Your receipt is in the bag. Your bank save is all the talk at work. I'm, like, dudes I've met him in person. I'm his go-to guy for clothes." He places his hands up, palms toward the Defender in Green, "But, hey, I kept quiet about you. No one knows but me. Be careful, the news station posted a reward for anyone who can get a good picture of you. Don't worry, I didn't bring my camera.
"I appreciate you keeping me a secret."
The Defender in Green goes to the bundle of clothes, removes the receipt, crumples it up, and throws it in the fire.
After bidding goodbye to Jim, he decided to fly back to Misty's house. As he was lifting off the ground, a spotlight lit him up. Then another and another. He was bathed in light from three sides. He was about to fly away until he saw Jim being held by the police. He stopped floating and descended to the ground. He was instantly surrounded.
"Underwood Police Department! Put your hands in the air and don't move!" One Police officer yelled. As three other officers approached with their guns drawn, Matthew just stood still. "Put your hands into the air, in the air now!" he shouted. Matthew complied knowing what was coming next. As the same officer came over to hand cuff him, he attempted to reach for Matthew's wrists. He couldn't reach them. Instead of waiting for the officer to tell him to lower his arms, he lowered them himself. He was then cuffed by the officer.
"Can I ask what I am being charged with?" Matthew asked, "I do know my rights. Why are you detaining the other gentleman? He didn't do anything against the law. I am sure you watched the whole transaction."
"You need to be quiet, sir. We will ask the questions."
"Then ask. I have another appointment to go to after this." He knew he didn't, but they didn't know.
"Sir, we've asked you to remain silent. You will be allowed to leave if Sargent McElroy says you're clear."
"Where is the Sargent? I want to speak with him immediately to find out why I am being held."
"Here he comes now."
Sargent Mark McElroy came walking over by himself. If they were worried about what The Defender in Green was going to do, they didn't act like it.
Sargent McElroy stopped a few feet from him and looking the Defender in Green over, stated, "You are big. Bigger in person, at least. I bet you are wondering why we are here?"
"The thought did cross my mind. Did you wire tap Mr. Brown's phone or coax him into it?"
"His employer called us after Mr. Brown purchased a large quantity of very large clothes. Seeing how your current outfit is in tatters due to the bomb, we put two and two together and followed him here. While you were talking, we surrounded you and waited."
"Well good job, I guess. Now that you got my attention, what is it you want?"
"We want you under our control. Now before you speak, hear me out. We don't want to control you. We merely want you to come and assist when we call. You don't have to show up for petty crimes; however, you showed great tactics and control today. We can use that in situations like this morning's robbery. No one was hurt, the criminals are behind bars, and most importantly, no laws were broken. We would provide you with a direct line to our Captain. He would be the only one who would contact you when your assistance is needed. Whoever you are staying with will not be contacted by us."
"What do you mean by that? Did you plan on using them as leverage?" He easily broke the cuffs and placed his hands by his side, making a fist. "I wouldn't like that. In fact, I would take that as a hostile maneuver by the Police and be forced to take tactical actions."
"Ex-military? I am too. I didn't fight in those wars to come back here and infringe on our own freedoms and I don't plan to start. You have my word you will not be harassed or contacted outside of the calls for assistance."
"What about the people I stay with or possible friends, like Mr. Brown? Will they be under surveillance? Will he be let go tonight, after we are done?"
"He was free to go now, and was encouraged to do so. As we do not know who you are, how can we know who your other friends are?"
"Will I need to make any non-criminal appearances, such as interviews or any other media appointments?"
"While you are certainly different, we do not plan on traipsing you around like a circus freak. Your privacy is most advantageous for us and you. Any other questions?
"Your phone will not track me?"
"No, it will not. If you know of anyone with tracking equipment experience, have them check the phone out. Or supply one of your own. We can supply you with the telephone number."
"I will take yours. One last thing, since you stopped my clothing distributor, who will I get needed clothes without attracting attention."
"Good point. Here are the clothes he brought tonight. We will supply whatever you require from now on. Just call the Captain and request what you need and we can leave them on our roof for you to pick up."
"Do I get a badge?"
"No. We will be working in tandem. You are not on the force. This way, you will not have to report to anyone. You're free to do what you have been doing, just answer the call when you are needed."
He then breaks the cuffs off his wrists and hands them back to the officer who placed them on his wrists, "these are yours, I believe", grabs his bundle of clothes, and flies away.