Marcus knew those scientists behind the glass would be unforgiving if he failed. Taking some deep breaths Marcus opened his eyes and looked at a book laid in front of him.
“Good afternoon Marcus. You may begin on page 320.”, said a cold, emotionless voice over the loudspeaker, “But remember-” Marcus cut the voice off muttering,
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t try to escape, don’t break anything, blah, blah, blah”. Marcus tried to throw as much contempt into that last word as possible. the signal for him to proceed, a beeping sound that echoed around the drab, concrete room sounded from above. With a resigned sigh Marcus reached forward and flipped the book open to page 320 as instructed. It read “The Tin Man laughed mockingly at the hero. ‘You are no match for my super hearing. I hear every move you make. You can’t defeat me!’”. As soon as he reached the period at the end of the line, Marcus’ eyes glowed with a green light.
“Alright Marcus, your task is to put on the provided blindfold, and tell us everything you hear.” commanded the voice. Marcus begrudgingly slipped the blindfold over his eyes, It was rough and scratchy on his face, and smelled faintly of dust. He listened carefully to his surroundings.
“I hear...the animal testing labs birds screeching..”, Marcus paused with a wince,
“And Dr. Latman, your fiance has just arrived. She’s making a ruckus by the front entrance.”. Marcus removed the blind fold and grinned as he heard a door open and close, followed by running footsteps down the hall.
“That was not necessary Marcus'', the cold voice reprimanded. Leaning his chair back onto two legs Marcus chuckled and replied
“Nah, but it was funny. Can I go now?”.
“Yes, you are excused. Go back to your room.”. Marcus rose, chair legs scraping across the concrete floor. The sound grated against Marcus’ eardrums. With a groan he started through the corridors he knew well. Marcus could remember this facility as far back as, well, forever. It was all he knew. As he reached his room he thought about how much he hated these people. They kept him locked up like a lab-rat, exploited his “abilities”, and kept him completely isolated. Marcus entered his room. No. His cell. He walked over to the mirror standing in the corner and examined his face. Skinny for his age, he had sharp cheekbones and dark close cropped brown hair. His normally light hazel eyes were still glowing a faint green. Just another side effect of his “powers”. Turning away, Marcus tried every night to remember his past, before he had been taken away and locked up, but could think of nothing. From behind him came a clunking sound.
“Ah lunch time! What disgusting food do we have today?” he said sarcastically.
“Very funny Marcus.” came a familiar voice from the door slot.
“Amy! I didn’t know you were on duty today!” Marcus exclaimed. Amy was a guard who was rather fond of Marcus. She was like a mother to him, always trying to slip extra goodies to him. She always made everything seem worthwhile for Marcus. Noticing a sad tone to her voice, Marcus took the offered lunch tray, and asked
“What’s wrong Amy? I know that voice.”. Amy took a moment to reply but finally said,
“I can’t watch anymore. Get yourself out of here” and with that she stalked off down the hall. Bewildered, Marcus sat down on his threadbare rug to eat. Pulling something from under his tray, he realized it was...a book?. All of a sudden it hit him. Amy was trying to break him out. Glancing at the cover quickly, shock ran through Marcus’ body. It was something he had never seen before. A comic book. About superheroes! This ought to have every superpower he could imagine. He lay down holding his head with his eyes closed. It was all so sudden. He imagined this moment so many times, over and over and over, fantasizing of his escape. But now that the time had come...could he do it? He heard shouting coming from the hall. Sitting upright he listened carefully and heard
“YOU GAVE HIM WHAT?! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! WE HAVE TO STOP HIM!”. It was now or never. Opening the comic book Marcus flipped through it, skimming over each page, feeling the smoothness of the pages in his hands. He felt the most power he had ever known, heat spreading through his arms. His eyes glowed a blinding white, and he knew. It was his time. As the door swung wide open he simply looked over and smiled an unnerving, dangerous smile. A short and balding man, with sweat shining off his face ran in panting,
“You’ve already read it haven’t you?”. It was the cold voice from the loudspeaker. As the anger rose so did Marcus, literally floating above the ground, as he rushed from the room knocking the man aside as he went. His eyes glowed a fiery red, and he directed his gaze to the nearest obstacle. It fell before him and he flew straight into a group of armed guards. Marcus spoke in a commanding voice, booming out
“I’m leaving. Try to stop me and I will bring this facility down around us all”. He raised an eyebrow and looked around.
“Well?”. In unison the guards dropped their weapons and fled. Carefully he looked around through the walls and found the exit. As he made his way out towards the exit doors, he saw Amy slumped at a desk. Realizing all she had done for him he made a beeline to her. Putting his hand on her shoulder he said
“C'mon. Let’s go.” With a smile she stood and followed him outside. Around them were lush green trees, warm tendrils of sunlight reaching from the treetops. Marcus took in the scene. Somewhere a stream was babbling quietly. Amy looked at him, and started walking, as they reveled in their new freedom.