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A Day in the Life
Sitting next to Natalia, Gerald, and Horacio in 4th period History, I actually pondered what Dr. Doback was saying for the first time in a while. Today’s lesson was on WWII. To be more specific, the lesson was about Steve Rogers, a soldier more commonly known as Captain America to the general public.
In 1941, the American government created a formula known only as Super Solider Serum and turned Rogers into well, a super soldier. He was trained for a short period of time in Area 51 and was released to the war in November of that year. He ended up causing serious havoc in the war. D-Day, Midway, and Stalingrad. Rogers was in every one of those battles. Auschwitz? Rogers helped to smuggle at least 2,000 Jews from the confines of the Nazi concentration camp. To my race, Rogers is a hero. Statues of the man line our streets. Music halls and stadiums are named after him. The largest honor of all though, is the team that protects our race, the Avengers. In 1969, Rogers created this team to protect the human race.
The Setaf’s have continued to sponsor and fund this team since then. They feature the brightest, strongest, and most innovative heroes and inventions of the time. As of now, the likes of Hawk girl, Mega Man, Thor, Aqua man, Optimus Prime, Daredevil, and Green Arrow have joined the league’s ranks. Most children’s dreams involve the Avengers.
I, however, have much more sensible dreams. Finishing college, marrying, and having children. Gaining a high-paying job, working hard, and retiring to somewhere nice. Maybe Florida, although that would never be allowed.
When the war had ended, before Rogers created the Avengers, the Axis Powers became furious with the U.S. for creating Rogers. The UN met for the first time, undercover, in a civilian’s house in London. They decided that the Serum was against the law and would not be tolerated. The Serum was to be extracted from Rogers and boiled in a secure factory in Versailles. However, the extraction process was harder than first imagined and Rogers was sentenced to the Death Penalty. To avoid future mishaps, the entire “super” community was exiled to Sitnalta, a 70-mile by 100-mile stretch of land in Antarctica. Like I said before, Florida is definitely out of the question.
Sitnalta is a beautiful city, all things considered. We have made due with what we have been given. The Setaf’s police, clean, govern, and protect the town. The Setafs are basically washed up former Avengers. There are five 7 members, which I think is supposed to represent the all powerful number or something, but who knows? Currently, the members include, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, James Logan, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, John Stewart, and Wally West. You would probably know them as Spiderman, the Hulk, Wolverine, Batman, Iron Man, the Green Lantern, and the Flash. Frankly, I feel like the Setaf’s are kind of a cult. They all hang around with their apprentices and do yoga and stuff to “harness their power”. When really big stuff comes up, like the European Invasion in 2005, the Setafs help the Avengers and all h*ll breaks loose. The yoga pays off in fights, but it’s still pretty weird.
Besides the Setafs, Sitnalta actually has some pretty cool features. For instance, the Citamoteah, which acts as a heating system since we live in a huge chunk of ice. It involves some really tough, science and engineering. The Yarmwiss, or Yarm for short, is a technological database. It acts as an information database, library, security system, map, TV, and just about anything else you could imagine. A Yarm is installed in each house in Sitnalta. Tony Stark’s Jarvis system was the model for the Yarm.
The inventor of these systems, Tinsey Terbal, is almost as big a hero as Steve Rogers. His alias, Albert Einstein, was a genius in the 1930s and 40s in America. When Rogers was executed and the supers were punished, people accused Terbal of having mind powers. They threw him into prison for years and eventually sent him to Sitnalta. Here, he built and engineered his two greatest inventions, the Citamoteah and the Yarmwiss. He died during the European Invasion I mentioned earlier.
As Dr. Doback finished his presentation, Natalia and I started talking.
“Hey Dev, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, just thinking…,” I said.
“About what?” Natalia asked.
“How unjust the world was to us,” I muttered.
“Why do you think that?”
“It’s just… We didn’t deserve this. Rogers wasn’t even a true hero. He was blessed with the powers not cursed with them. It’s the American government that should be punished not the supers. They’re the ones who broke the rules of war and hurt their relations with Europe. We were just mere puppets in a much greater game. We minded our own business, lived in small communities, and were still punished in the end.”
“But you love America Devin! And you love Sitnalta!”
“Yes Natalia, I do, but I truly would like to live to see the day when the harmony between humans and supers is recreated.”
“I understand, baby.”
Gosh darn, I love Natalia so much. She has shoulder length blonde hair, beautiful, aqua eyes, long slender legs and a semi muscular body. Her powers are biological manipulation and animation.
As we walked towards the assembly in the Steve Rogers Memorial Music Hall, I saw my friends Gerard, Horton, and Brooklyn huddled in a group of seats near the back. They flagged me over, and Natalia and I sat near them.
“Hey guys!” I said.
“Hey Pine,” they shouted. Pine was my nickname in my small circle of friends. It was short for my last name, Pineiro.
The normal setting for assemblies began to take place. We had arrived about 30 minutes early because we enjoyed the camaraderie in the Hall. The jazz band played a familiar piece, Smoke on the Water, and the cheer team was performing a dance to the song Let’s Get it Started by the Black Eyed Peas. The science geeks were setting up the 4th quarter PowerPoint.
“Devin Pineiro, please report to the front office immediately, Devin Pineiro to the front office immediately. Thank you!” the PA system crackled.
“Hey Pine, what’s that about?” Brooklyn asked.
“I don’t know. I’ll be back in a few guys,” I responded.
I made my way through the crowded row and exited the building. Why was I called to the office? I was a shy kid, never outgoing, loud, or very social. I had my small circle of friends and I was okay with that. I only spoke to teachers when asked and avoided professors unless completely necessary. I hadn’t been in trouble since 3rd grade, when I punched Derrick Rednalooz in the stomach because he teased me for liking Natalia. Turns out he was right about Natalia, and my permanent record paid the price.
As I entered Professor X’s office, he looked very stern and perturbed.
“What’s wrong Professor?” I asked.
“Sit down, my child,” he soothed. I immediately began thinking of the worst. Natalia? My mother? Brooklyn? Gerard? My adrenaline kicked into full power. Turns out I was correct.
“Your parents have been taken, Devin,” the professor said, his voice barely audible, drowned out by the jazz band and the cheer music.
“Taken?” I asked.
“Yes. The Avengers have already launched a pursuit force consisting of Optimus Prime, Thor, and Aqua man to follow the three suspects.”
“Who are they?” again me, asking too many questions.
“Well this won’t surprise you but one of them is Nipnik, your parent’s rival,” the Professor explained, his voice crackling through the sentence. Nipnik was my parent’s rival throughout grade school. In college he gained his powers and became even more hurtful towards them. His power is Replication. That is, he can reciprocate any individual’s powers in himself, as long as he possesses one of their body parts. Usually, he takes a finger nail or ear or something small, but for his important victims, he likes large prizes. Like I said, the guy is evil. In 1994, Nipnik and my father had a showdown on the campus of their college, Ollopa University. My father narrowly lost, and Nipnik, bent on torturing him, removed his left leg, permanently crippling him and taking his Duplication and Power Negation abilities. Since then, my father and mother have hated him with all their hearts.
“Who are the other suspects?” I beckoned.
“These two men were seen near the area of your house and were reported for suspicious behaviors. Their names are Tromedolv,” he gestured to the photo in his right hand, “and Mot Elddir,” he gestured to his left hand. “Thor is following Nipnik, Optimus is on Tromedolv, and Aqua is on Elddir,” he said.
“I can’t believe this has happened,” I whispered, dumbfounded.
“Neither can we Devin, but believe me, we are doing all that is in our power to stop it. We understand that your capabilities are slightly inadequa-“
“What? Inadequate?” I was yelling now. I haven’t said this yet, but I try not to think about it. I don’t actually have any powers. It’s disappointing to even think about it. My peers, family members, and teachers all look down on me for it. The doctors assume it has something to do with what Nipnik did to my father. I don’t care what it is, I just hate it.
“I’m sorry to upset you Devin, but it is the truth. You may feel an urgency for revenge or violence. This is common in young supers.”
“Listen old man. I don’t care what is common. I’m leaving. Now. My parents need me and I don’t care what the h*ll you think of my capabilities, I’m going.”
“Devin no-, “he said.
I left the room, immediately thinking of the materials I would need and the stops I would need to make. I needed the essentials. Freeze dried food packages, water, and clothing. I needed to visit Nibor, Yram Enaj, and Pocobor, who were all friends of my parents. Maybe they would have advice. First though, I needed to visit my friends.
“Guys!” I shouted.
“Pine!” they responded, equally as loud. I turned to Natalia.
“Nat, my parents have been taken. I don’t know where they are, but I am going to find them, no matter what it takes,” I said.
“I understand, baby. Just do what you need to. I’ll be here. I’ll always be here. But there is one thing. Can I at least come with you?” she pleaded.
“No, Natalia, the journey will be long, frustrating, and worst of all, dangerous. I could never put you through something like that. But you can come with me to visit some friends of my parent’s,” I said.
“Who? Nibor?” she asked.
“Yes, and Yram and Pocobor,” I replied.
“Of course.” She reached for my hand. As she gripped it, I felt a strong sense of sadness. This might be the last time I ever saw her. Memories came rushing through my head.
Our first kiss, at the football game. Our first date, at Brooklyn’s party. The first time I told her I loved her was at my house, while we were making out. It took her a while, but she eventually replied in agreement. Besides these significant moments, many other things played like a video in my mind. Our picnic on the beach. The time when we saw The Hangover at the Cinemas. All of these things accumulated to the love I now felt for her. Leaving her behind was the hardest thing I ever did.
As we made our way down the block to my house, I pulled Natalia into my arms and kissed her. We stayed that way for about a minute. It was beautiful. Like a souvenir from home. To remind me of what once was and what could be. That is, if I ever made it back to Sitnalta.
In my room, I gathered only a few things, which I stored in my backpack. I packed a flashlight, thermos, canteen, and a change of clothes. I also brought a pistol for hunting purposes. With these materials in hand, I walked out the door. When I had made it to the end of my driveway, I glanced back longingly at what had been my house for my whole life. I also might never see this again.
Deciding not to dwell on the disadvantages to leaving, I made my way towards Nibor’s house. Nibor’s house is decorated amazingly. It is like a rainbow of colors on the outside, with black, gray, and white coating the inner walls. I’ve asked my parents many times to copy Nibor’s style but they never go along with it. They say black walls are too grim for the “ideals we support”. There are something’s about my parents I will never understand. They make it sound like I’m asking them if I can start a cult that will meet in our basement every Saturday evening to drink blood from decapitated skulls. All I’m asking for is a black wall!
Anyways, as I opened Nibor’s front door (which by the way, is neon pink), I was startled to see him anxiously staring through the window, as if expecting me.
“Devin, how do you do this afternoon?” he asked.
“Well, to tell you the truth, Nibor, I’m in a bit of a situation,” I explained.
“Hmm… What might this ‘situation’ be, boy?” he asked again.
“My parents have been taken hostage. There are three suspects,” I answered.
“Nipnik, Tromedolv, and Elddir?” he questioned.
“How did you-?” I asked, stunned.
“I spoke to Dr. Xavier,” he replied. “He told me what you said to him and how you acted. As your parent’s closest friend, I feel it is my duty to tell you that what you did is disrespectful and will not be tolerated. If you are to save your parents, you must learn to think and act as an adult. Childish young men cannot do one thing about harsh, evil old men like Elddir or Tromedolv,” he said.
“Yes sir,” I responded. I truly meant it. I was angry and in the heat of the moment when I yelled at the Professor. I would never do something like that normally.
“I understand you’re frustration Devin,” he said sadly.
“I know, Nibor, you always do…” I responded glumly.
“So I know you didn’t come here to get yelled at, Devin. What brings you to my residence?” he asked.
“I want to know who you think did it, and maybe give some insight as to why they may have done it,” I said.
“Well, all the signs point to Nipnik. He has been your parent’s enemy for such a long, long time. The only thing troubling me about putting the blame on him is the problem of what more he needs from your parents. He has crippled your father, and taken his powers already. And through this, he has made your mother weaker.”
“Perhaps he wants her powers?” I asked.
“I don’t think so, Devin,” he replied gravely. “Hers and your father’s powers were almost exactly the same. Franklin’s power of Self-Duplication mirrors your mother’s duplication of others. Kate’s power of Power Enabling mirrors your father’s Power Negation. Also, if Nipnik wanted these powers, he would have taken them on that same dreadful evening in which he took your father’s leg,” Nibor explained.
“Yes, I understand,” I said.
“Dev, Nibor has a point. Personally, I believe it was Tromedolv. He is probably bitter with your father for finding that piece of dirt on him while he was running for election on the Setafs. I wouldn’t forgive someone for that either,” Natalia said. Tromedolv is a bit of a fugitive in Sitnalta. He used to be a powerful man, both politically and power-wise. His powers of Telekinesis and Mind-Control played a major part in both of those strengths. However, at the peak of Tromedolv’s power, my father negated his powers and found a piece of information that shocked all of Sitnalta. When Tromedolv was younger, he was involved in serial domestic violence cases. My father found these things for no reason other than political disagreement and in one moment he destroyed all that Tromedolv had worked for.