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Superhero Separation, Chapter 1: The Troubles Begin
Welcome to Superhero Separation, a story of divorce, with superheroes. I definitely recommend this story for those in their teens, and possibly going through a divorce yourself. I will warn you, it isn’t pretty. The Incredibles or The Fantastic Four this isn’t.
If you missed a chapter, you might want to catch up here.
This Cast of Characters might help you if you get lost:
Particle Man: The leader of the Champion Quartet, he is the wife of Daydream Believer and father of Material Girl and Kodachrome. His power is over molecules, and can sense all of the molecules all around him. He can also teleport himself, other people, and things. He and his wife are separating.
Daydream Believer: The wife of Particle Man, and mother of Material Girl and Kodachrome. She has the power to see into other people’s daydreams. She also can make people daydream, thus making them not function properly.
Material Girl: Daughter of Particle Man and Daydream Believer, and brother to Kodachrome. She had the power to tear down any type of materials and reconstruct them into whatever she desires.
Kodachrome: Son of Particle Man and Daydream Believer, and sister to Material Girl. He has the power to change the color of anything. He can “color” the air to make illusions, or color himself so that he camouflages.
Dad says it’s good to keep a journal.
When I asked him why, he said: “A superhero carries the weight of the world on his shoulders”. Then Mom walked in the room and he smiled and said “or her shoulders”.
I then asked how can that be, since not all superheroes have super-strength. Our family doesn’t have any.
He laughed. I was eight back then, and I hadn’t ever heard that saying about “weight of the world on shoulders” before. I’ve since learned in school about some man named Atlas who actually had the world on his shoulders. They named that world book after him.
Dad told me that a superhero bears a big yoke. I thought he was talking about an egg. Dad then laughed again, and told me that the words are not spelled the same. He tried to use words like burden or load to describe it. I still didn’t get it, but he didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t. He told me that it would be something that I would understand someday, that every person has to have someone that he can talk to. He thought that it would be easy for me to write in a journal, as my power to change the colors of anything can make the words appear on the pages faster than I could do with a pen or pencil.
I really miss my Dad. I am not certain where he is now, and Katrina and I are still trying to figure out how it happened to us.
I’m pretty sure that it happened after my 13th birthday. I remember that Dad wasn’t home for dinner, and I asked Mom what was happening. She said that there was a gang war, and the police would need his help to intervene. Whenever Dad or Mom were not for dinner, it was usually because they were both on some mission.
Sometimes we get to go on the mission with them. Sometimes Mom, Dad, or the agency say it is too dangerous, and we would have to stay home. We never liked that, but I have been on missions that have been pretty scary.
When Dad was not there for dinner on that one night, I saw that Mom was looking sad. I thought she was worried about Dad. There have been many times where Dad wasn’t here when he should have been. Dad always showed up, and said something like there was a robbery or something that he had to stop, and everything was fine. It usually ended up like that. Mom always told us not to worry, but I think she was telling herself that.
When Mom tells us that Dad isn’t coming home for dinner, I don’t like it, but I always look forward to hearing about it from Dad when he gets back. If I am still awake when he arrives, he then tells me about it like a bedtime story. I’m too old for bedtime stories, but I still like hearing about it.
That one night, Dad didn’t come home and it was very late. I turned on the television to see if there was anything about it. There were no special bulletins or anything about the gang war, and Mom made us both go to bed before the 11 o’clock news. The next day, I was told Dad got back really late, and had left early in the morning.
I am old enough to read the newspaper, and didn’t see anything about the supergang war that Mom had talked about. She asked me “what supergang war?” I told her the one that Dad had to miss dinner for, and she then told me that Dad was still working on it. It was covert work, and he would be back for dinner.
He wasn’t back the next day, but he then showed up the day after that. I hadn’t seen him in days and wanted to talk to him, but he said that he was tired and needed rest. He said that he would tell me all about the past few days at dinner.
He then slept in the guest room that doesn’t get used much, and Mom didn’t wake him up until after dinner. When he was eating, I pushed my chair up close to him, and wanted to hear all about his adventures while eating my ice cream.
He told me what happened, how the Healers were looking for new members. It was the first time I had ever heard their name since they tried to quarantine the city from the “diseases of the outside”. That was the day when the Surgeon and all his henchmen sealed the city in a bubble of really hard plastic. That was quite a day, and they agency had to call the whole Champion Quartet to stop them, and we did.
I wanted to hear about who wanted to be one of the new Healers, and what kind of powers they had. Dad told me that he was able to bust up the meeting quite easily. I wanted him to tell me more, because he usually tells the story so it is exciting. He said that he was still pretty tired, and wanted to eat alone with Mom. He told me that we would meet me at power practice later on.
I actually had some tricks with my powers that I wanted to show him. My ability to change the color of anything has really improved. It’s been about three years ago when I discovered that I could color the air. Since then, I have been concentrating on how to color the air to make illusions. It used to be I could only do these illusions that looked like the drawings I used to do as a kid, but now they are beginning to look like the real thing.
About a year ago, I figured out how to make them move. My Dad helped me with that one. He took me to an animation studio, and they showed me how cartoons are made. That was a really good day. Since then, I can make my illusions move by imagining them one frame at a time. They would look more real with sound, but I can’t do that.
The other day, I discovered how to make my illusions glow like light. I learned how to make a neon sign, and made one that said ParticleMan. It’s the same logo that is used in the Champion Quartet comic book.
I went to the power practice field ten minutes early, and it took me five minutes to make the sign. I get faster every time that I do it. I then practiced for the usual hour, but Dad never showed up.
I saw him before I went to bed. When I asked him why he didn’t show up at power practice, he just said sorry.
I then decided to show off the neon logos by putting one in front of him. He then got very angry, and told me about how the rules about not using powers in the house under a non-emergency situation. I have seen him angry before, but it wasn’t like he was before. He looked like he might try and hit me, or something. Dad doesn’t get angry often, and if he does, he usually talks to me later about it. He then went to bed.
It seemed like Dad was hardly ever home after that. Whenever we would ask about Dad coming home, Mom would say that he was working on stopping a major crime or something. I found it weird that Mom wasn’t there with him. She seemed to be home too early from her work.
One time I stayed up as late as I could, and I found that Dad didn’t get back until two in the morning. I did the same thing the next night and he didn’t get back until three.
Fortunately, we could still do patrols on the weekends. These were not as fun as they used to be. It used to be we would stop a mugging or a robbery. Of course, Dad would always teleport us home or just me if he feels the crime is not suitable for us to see. The agency has told us that a really bad crime like a homicide can only be viewed by us if we are eighteen. The agency says that they want to keep us away from any crimes where people get hurt, but I think crime always hurts people.
Of course, we all get called in whenever there is an unlicensed super-person on the loose. This has happened about five times. Generally, the adults will do the fighting, and we children sit it out like baseball players on a bench. There hasn’t been one of those big villains in a while. The last time was Massacre, who was so deadly we had to actually get help from one of our other greatest villains, the Surgeon, to stop him.
Since my Dad can teleport anyone or anything at will, he will transport us home if he thinks that “the situation is too dangerous”, so he says. He seems to be doing this every night we go patrolling. At first it was after the first hour, but now it seems to be after the first few minutes.
When we got home one night, Katrina complained to Mom, who was making dinner.
“Why doesn’t Daddy let us go on patrol with him anymore?”
It wasn’t the first time she asked this question. Mom told Katrina what we usually hear about how crimes are dangerous, and we are too young to try and stop some of them.
We had dinner, and we didn’t talk about why Dad wasn’t there. We never brought the subject up. I often tried to think about things that I could talk about. It used to be when Mom asked me what I learned in school, I would say something like: “I don’t know”. I now have a prepared answer for every night.
One time, we went out for dinner and a movie, and Dad didn’t come with us. Even though I should have had a good time, it just didn’t feel right. Mom seemed angry. I felt like she was going to yell at us if we did something wrong, even if it was only the smallest thing. I don’t even think Mom was really watching the movie.
Another time after dinner, Mom was cleaning the dishes, and she dropped a cutting board in the sink. It scared me at first, and I figure that she did it by accident. I actually think she did. She then picked it up and dropped it a second time, and then a third time. Not an accident anymore. She then continued to hit it until the cutting board split in two.
She then ran to the living room, and grabbed one of the pillows off the sofa. She then beat it, worse than I have ever seen her beat anything in her life. I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying, but it sound like she was swearing, and she was talking about Dad.
I started to cry. Katrina was up in her room, and I don’t know if she heard Mom.
Mom calmed down, and then walked up to me. I wanted her to hug me, but she didn’t. Instead, she told me: “Sometimes you have to hit the pillow.”
I’m sure she would expect me to say that I was sorry if I did that.
Katrina and I never talked about it or anything that Dad was doing. Then the agency came in and told us that our family would need to have some counseling appointments. I didn’t want to go to these, and I was also told that we would no longer be on patrol.
We had to go to the counseling office in our civilian clothes. The agency surrounded the place, and I was told that the counselor knew our identities and so we could tell her anything.
The problem is I didn’t want to tell her anything. On our first appointment, Katrina began to cry, and I didn’t like it one bit. I held back, and I didn’t cry.
I kept wondering how many criminals were getting away with bad crimes while we were stuck here.
Dad showed up for the counseling, but in all honesty, I had no idea where he went all the time. He wasn’t coming home to sleep, and the agency wouldn’t tell me where he was. I thought that it was part of our duty as superheroes to live in our headquarters. I suppose that since Dad can teleport anywhere he goes, he could live anywhere.
Then came the terrible day.