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A VISION UNHEEDED
Kirk Haussman lay on his bed, his mind in a
tumultuous spin; his homecoming had been ruined by a gigantic
argument between his parents and his sister over her new
boyfriend. What made him more unsettled was the feeling of
impending doom that seemed to permeate everything.
For as long as he could remember, he had
visions. No, he reminded himself. These weren’t true
visions. They were more like really strong hunches or an
overactive intuition. He no more had the capability of seeing the
future than Statesman did of not being a paragon of virtue.
He closed his eyes and sighed deeply; he knew sleep
would come, but he needed to banish the dread from his mind. He
thought of his math class at Missouri State; almost instinctively, he
yawned. Few things in his life were as boring as that.
But, came a small voice, there was that test you took.
Immediately reawakened, Kirk’s mind went back
to the unit in probability. The teacher had placed 20 envelopes
on a table, and had told the class each envelope contained either a
blue strip of paper or a yellow one. The class was to guess what
each envelope contained. While most of the class had
guessed in the 50 percent range for accuracy, Kirk had baffled
everyone, including the professor, by getting 18 of the 20 envelopes
Kirk sighed, now finding himself wondering what it
all meant. He knew his intuition was rarely wrong, but
didn’t know why. Why it could warn him of avoiding a
certain road for traffic but not something of greater importance, like
if he was in danger, mystified him. Kirk stared at the ceiling,
In the adjacent room, he could hear the muffled
conversation of his sister. She was talking to someone,
presumably on the phone, since he could only hear her voice.
Maybe she was talking to a friend, or maybe the mystery boyfriend his
parents only identified as “Viper.” Just the
name of the guy gave Kirk an uneasy feeling, and he had said so.
His sister retaliated by screaming at the three of them and stormed
Outside, he could hear thunder rumbling. The low
wail of sirens could be heard, although the weatherman had said nothing
of storms that night.
Uneasy by this sudden change in weather, Kirk jumped
out of bed and went to his bedroom window. The sky seemed to have
a reddish glow to it in different spots. The color seemed to
intensify, then fade. He noticed that the source of the glow was
coming closer to their house.
Run, he heard the voice in his head say.
Just then, he felt a sharp pain wrack his
head. Kirk cried out loudly and clutch his temples. A loud
roaring could be heard, and Kirk could just make out the sound of
his parents running around frantically, trying to get Kirsten to come
down to the basement for safety.
His parents burst into his room, and Kirk found
himself run through with an agony he had never felt before; he felt as
if he was being simultaneously run through and torn apart. His
scream seemed to be coming from the absolute depths of his soul.
Then the world went red.
He woke up in a triage. A nurse gave him a
cursory glance and disappeared. She returned with a doctor.
“You’re very lucky,” he said.
“Where’s my family?” Kirk asked in a raspy voice.
The doctor paused, which told the young man all he
needed to know. Closing his eyes as the doctor tried to explain
to him what had happened over the past couple of days, Kirk suddenly
envisioned a nurse in the unit dropping a tray and making a lot of
noise in the process. Almost on cue, the scene replayed itself
just as he saw it in his mind.
“…Otherwise, you’re just fine,” the doctor concluded.
“Would you like a TV brought to
you?” asked the nurse. “It might make it easier
Kirk nodded. He needed to know what was going on; he needed to know where his family was.
The nurse wheeled a small television in front of him and turned it on.
“…of course, Statesman denies any
allegations he was doing anything inappropriate with the mystery blonde
woman, seen here.” The screen showed a blurry picture of a
voluptuous woman leaving the famed superhero’s office.
“Again, he cites the delay in aid to Paragon City to other
factors.” The image changed to that of a reporter, whose
smarmy grin seemed to revel in the implication of Statesman being
caught with his pants down, literally or otherwise.
Kirk changed channels. Each newscast covered
different aspects of the alien attack, and he quickly got the sense of
what had happened. He looked down at the bed, trying to take it
Another vision came unbidden into his mind; a
warning siren was going to go off. When the siren went off for
real, Kirk felt his skin crawl. Whatever had happened to him in
the attack, he was forever changed.
“Do you have an ability that makes you more than human?” came a voice from the television.
Kirk looked up. Staring back at him on the
screen was Statesman. “If you do,” he said in a
commanding, almost hypnotic voice, “Then we need you here in
Kirk stole a glance at the medical staff. They
were involved with other patients who appeared to be faring worse than
he was. Quietly, he peeled the sensor pads off of himself and
rose from his bed. If he wanted answers, then Paragon City was
the place to find them.
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