The others seem confused. I just admitted who my father was. The look on everyone's face is pure shock. Ultrasound just stares at me.
"I had no idea..." he states.
He didn't know it was that deep. The worst of the looks, however, is from White Frost. He just looks at the round. His eyes are staring at it trying to find meaning in all of this. I wish I could give it to him. I know this is a shocker to all of them.
"Detain him," Sunbeam states with this anger thrusting from his lips.
The others don't know what to do. They look at White Frost. I can see he's struggling with this.
"Detain him," Sunbeam orders again.
No one moves.
That's when Sunbeam takes it upon himself to make a move towards me. All I see is fire at first but as soon as the fire starts it's immediately quelled. I notice who is doing it. White Frost is the one who managed to disable Sunbeam's attack. He does it so quickly without even trying.
"You aren't in charge anymore," White Frost states.
"Excuse me?" Sunbeam asks.
"You aren't in charge anymore. I believe him. I believe everything Cam is saying. And I'm going to tell everyone..."
"Yes, I would. And I have. You are to leave Metropolis in shame. Power Up, would you mind sending the notification to all heroes far and wide letting them know what my father did. Letting them know exactly the kind of man Sunbeam is."
Sunbeam looks desperate. He looks like he's going to attack White Frost then and there.
"I dare you," Power Up states, standing next to White Frost and threatening the old leader of the Host of Heroes.
Sunbeam thinks twice about it.
"He won't. He's a coward. He always has been," Frost states slowly.
Frost is right. Looking at Sunbeam I have a feeling he knows Frost has become more powerful than him. Twice now he has stopped Sunbeam's attack without much effort. Not to mention the abilities of the rest of us standing in support of Frost. Sunbeam's facial expression says it without speaking. Just at that moment, I watch as Sunbeam leaves the room without saying another word.
An entire weight lifts off my shoulders knowing that Frost finally believes me. I turn to him. I walk over to him ready to touch him. My hands slip between his fingers.
And that's when he pushes me away.
"Maybe it's best you leave too," Frost states.
Frost stares at the ground at that moment. He just stares and looks away. He looks hurt. He looks betrayed. I had told him about his father but I had also been very honest about myself as well. I can see that he's upset about it all. It's written all over his face.
He's disgusted with me.
I turn at that moment and walk out.
I get to my room and start packing. Tears are rolling down my eyes. They are silent. All these emotions are coming to me. I don't know where I'm going to go. I don't have any money and I don't feel comfortable going back home.
It takes just about 5 minutes for someone to come to my door. A part of me is hoping that it's Frost but I should know better. It's actually Ultrasound at the door.
"You're really leaving," Ultrasound states.
His voice is low and sad.
"He wants me gone."
"He's just emotional right now," Ultrasound states, "Power Up is trying to talk to him right now to make him rethink his decision."
"Maybe it's for the best," I argue shrugging my shoulders, "Truth is I came in here knowing who my father was and knowing who I was."
"Did you ever mean us harm?"
"No of course not, I love you guys."
"Then you shouldn't have to leave because of this," Ultrasound argues, "We all have secrets. We all have pasts. I should have been more understanding with you. I should have come to you and had that conversation myself. I just had no idea it was something...like this.."
"Now that you know the truth do you look at me any different?"
Ultrasound stares at me for a second.
"No. You're the same friend that I've always known."
I smile at the thought of it, reaching over and giving Ultrasound a hug. I had to admit. I was going to miss these guys. I had to admit it.
"I wished Frost felt the same..." is all I have to say.
I grab my bag and start walking out of this room. All I can think about was how a mess this all turned out. So much for being a hero. So much for trying to save people. So much for not having to be exactly like my father and finding my own route.
As I make a few steps into the hallway I hear something that takes up all my attention. It's some sort of alarm. The alarm blasts through the hallways.
"What's happening?" I ask.
Ultrasound looks just as confused as me, "I'm not sure..."
The alarms are getting louder and louder. I'm starting to panic. I run down the hallway chasing after Ultrasound. My heart is racing by the time we get to the main hall. I see White Frost and Power Up are in the main hall. They are already suited up.
"What's happening?" Ultrasound asks.
"He's here," White Frost states.
"Who?" I ask.
In the distance, we can hear a thrusting on the huge ceiling length doors of the grand entrance to the Hall of Heroes. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! It sounds like someone is taking a goddam hammer to the door. Each hit puts a bigger dent in the front door. I know better than to think my father is using a weapon though. No, he's not. He's using nothing more than his fists.
And it's intimidating. Seeing White Frost and Power Up all in their uniforms ready to take him on just really makes me afraid.
"He's not himself," I warn White Frost, "She is controlling him. The Chimera. She's out there. She has to be. She looks like Motions but it's really something else entirely."
"We'll deal with it," Frost states, "Ultrasound go suit up."
Ultrasound doesn't hesitate to turn and run off.
"Let me help you," I tell Frost.
"No...you need to get out of here. You aren't a member of this team anymore," Frost states.
Power Up looks over at Frost, "Frost maybe we should listen to Cam. He could have betrayed us a million times like Motions did. He didn't though..."
"I'm in charge," Frost reminds us.
I look at Frost. I'm pissed because he's being so stubborn. He's clearly the new leader of the Hall of Heroes now. He clearly has a reason to be pissed. It's his decision but at the same time, I can't leave him at a time like this. I can't leave him to fight off my father alone.
"No," I respond.
I throw down my bag and right there in front of everyone I start taking off my clothes. Frost betrays his own hardass when he sees Power Up ogling me when I get completely naked in the middle of the Hall of Heroes and take my spandex out of my bag. Frost literally stands in front of me to block Power Up's view of me and honestly I know at that moment he isn't just over me. There is no way in hell.
He grabs me, helping me quickly put on my outfit all the while pissed off that I'm naked in the first place, "What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm going to help."
"I told you---"
"I don't care what you told me," I state, "I'm a member of this team. When I took that vow, I meant it. I meant it with all my heart. I'm not going to abandon you in your time of need."
Frost stares at the ground. He's being stubborn but I know he is hearing me. I can tell his head and his heart is battling at this moment. I'm just concerned about what side I was on. Was I on his head's side or his heart's side?
He nods, "Yeah. But you listen to everything I say."
"You're the leader."
I reach over and put my hand on his shoulder. I'm so close to Frost right now. Him giving in shows that he does care about me somewhat. Right now he's letting me touch him. I want to lean over right at this moment. I want to kiss him. I think he would let me too. It's as though me just being as close as I am right now to him is making him finally give in. If just by a little bit.
Just a little is all I needed.
"Guys. He's coming through!"
Ultrasound has returned and he's returned to realizing that something is definitely going down in the Hall. The look on his face says that he's very concerned.
The entire door breaks down! It shatters into a million pieces at that moment. My heart is racing when the loud steps of my father walk into the room. His trench coat capes around him. Right behind him, I see Motions. Motions quickly grab my father's face. He looks my father in the eye. He whispers something to my father. At that moment it feels like my father is nothing more than a puppet.
"We only want the Hall. Leave here and you can have it," he states.
I step forward. My heart is racing.
"Dad...they know everything. They know who I am. They also know who Motions is. You are the one who is unaware. He wants the hall to destroy Materias once and for all. That's why he wants it. That's what this has to do with..."
"Ma...Ma---terias..." my father states.
His voice has all this pain in it. I wanted him to fight off the compelling of the Chimera. I wanted him to fight against the hypnosis. It's useless though. I watch the Chimera whisper something again to my father and I just feel ridiculous. I hate it.
My father takes a step forward after the Chimera whispers something to him. He seems angrier now than ever. He is pissed.
"Step aside son. This has to be done."
"He's a traitor," Motions states, "Look at him. It's too late. We still have Tristan. Tristan can take up your mantle."
"Choose your side, son," my father states.
This wasn't working. It was pointless.
"I choose to be a hero," I respond.
It's everything I've always wanted to tell them. I look over at Frost and the others. If they ever doubted me before I knew that doubt was gone.
Frost offers me his hand. I feel his fingers allowing me to touch them this time. This time he wants me with him. This time he means it.
"We do this together," Frost states.
I smile at him. Every part of me wants to. I don't realize how angry this makes my father though. In the next few seconds, my father comes charging forward. No one expects it. No one expects him to hit Frost so hard that he is thrust out of my arms and flung to the other side of the room like a play toy. The only thing that remains is my father's powerful fist at that point.
"You piece of shit!" Power Up states.
I watch as my father and Power Up go head to head the next moment. They charge at each other like wild rams in the wild. They collide and it seems almost like the impact causes everyone to shuffle backward.
Ultrasound stops me, breaking my fall. Together we look to see whose come out of the collision. Sure enough, it's my father.
Power Up is laid out on the ground, completely motionless.
"Is that all you guys have?" my father asks.
"Not even close..."
The voice is White Frost. He has recovered. Before my father knows it he launches an attack. Ice particles come rocketing towards my father. They are stronger and faster than my father is prepared for. They push him back, melting to the ground and then freezing the ground beneath him so that my father slips and tumbles backward.
I don't think I've ever seen my father knocked down! The impact sends shivers through the hallway. Holy shit. It's clear now that White Frost definitely has been taking his preparation seriously.
"You piece of shit!" Motions states.
The walls on the hall begin to break and Motions sends long boulders falling towards White Frost. White Frost slips through almost skating through the floor. I know he can't keep it up though. Motions is pissed at Frost knocking my father down.
"Take care of Motions," I tell Ultrasound.
Ultrasound doesn't skip a beat. He runs forward sending a supersonic wave towards Motions that disables him. He does it long enough for me to run forward and get into my father's face as he starts standing up.
"Please stop this," I state, "Dad. That is not Motions."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"That is the Chimera. It's Lady Liberty."
"You listen to everything these heroes feed you."
"Dad it's not them. It's me..." I state, "I know this for a fact."
"Get out of my way!" my dad yells.
He tosses me out of the way at that moment. I know my father. If he really wanted to hurt me he could have. He just wanted me out of the way.
"Don't fucking touch him," White Frost screams.
Frost is trying to defend me. I hate it when I see him going back to my father. My father and him butt heads. He's not as strong as my father. That's clear. My father has the ability to change the density of his skin. He can make his skin feel hard as steel if he needed. So when he hits Frost in the face I'm scared he's going to break every bone in Frost's face. I'm wrong though. Frost coats himself just in time with ice. My father's fist hits the ice and bounces back.
"Now this is more like it," My father states, "You think you deserve to be there for my son. Show me."
The two begin boxing. No, better yet they are brawling in the middle of the floor. My heart is racing at that moment. It's a clash of Titans. I can barely take my eyes off of it.
That's when I hear Ultrasound, "CAM!"
I turn and notice Ultrasound pinned down by rubble. Down the hallway I notice Motions. He making a run for it. He's running for something.
Where the hell was he going?
That's when I realize it almost immediately. The Wall of Memories!
He was going after Materias.
I make a run for it. My feet chasing down Motions as we go down the main hallway. I make it to the Wall of Memories and realized all the lights have been cut off.
This has to be the work of the Chimera.
"Where are you?" I ask.
I get silence in return. My heart is racing. I'm angry. I'm scared. It's so dark in here. I have to put on a brave face. I'm not a little boy anymore.
I feel up against the walls making my way to where I believe Materias is. I turn back to confirm it is him. When I turn back I can see movement in the darkness. The Chimera is in the room. It's stalking me.
"FACE ME!" I demand.
"You wouldn't hurt your mother would you?" the voice states.
"I'll do much worse than hurt."
This thing. This creature was the absolute definition of evil. I hear laughter in the darkness. So much movement. That's when the creature comes out of the darkness. It's not Motions. It's not Mary. It's not even Lady Liberty.
The thing that walks towards me is the true Chimera. The mythical creature of old. I'd heard metahumans who didn't look like humans actually existed but they were so rare. This thing walking towards me this Chimera was stalking me as if I were prey. It circles around in the darkness. The lion head, the goat's body, and the serpent's tail. And then there were those eyes. Those eyes staring towards me.
"Kill yourself..." it tells me.
I feel the sounds echoing to every part of my body as it looks me in my eyes. The eyes of a lion daze me. The snake sways side to side.
Kill myself. I have to kill myself.
My mind just keeps going now. It keeps going over and over. Kill myself. I have to kill myself. I put my hands around my own throat. I start choking myself. I choke as hard as I can. I fall to the ground. I'm trying to stop myself but I just can't. I'm choking myself so hard that I feel myself losing consciousness slowly.
Just at that moment, I manage to desperately choke out.
"How could you? How could you ever call yourself my mother? You're nothing more than an animal."
That's exactly what the Chimera was.
Mythical or not. It was nothing more than an animal.
That's when I realize. Wait. I had the power to control animals.
I stare at the Chimera, ready at that moment to imprint on it. All of a sudden the room gets black. It's the same as it was the day that I imprinted the grasshopper. All I have to do is reach out. All I have to do is grab it. This creature.
It's so much bigger than anything I've ever imprinted before. But I do it.. I manage to grab it and all of a sudden I feel more powerful than I ever have before.
"Kill yourself," I state.
The Chimera doesn't understand what's going on. All of a sudden for the first time in its life it's not in control and there is panic written all over its eyes.
The Chimera destroys itself. I watch, glaring with my eyes those of a Chimera as it is using all these abilities to literally destroy itself from the inside out until there is nothing left.
Nothing but dust and sadness.
The room is destroyed. The clash of titans in the main room. Power Up and Ultrasound have been disabled. They lay on the ground too exhausted to fight. But then there is White Frost and my father. They are both shirtless at this point. They have fought themselves to the point that neither can barely stand.
"We can just call this a draw," White Frost starts off.
"I don't give up that easily."
"Dad...it's over," I state running in the room.
My father looks over at me.
"What are you talking about?"
"The Chimera is dead..." I state, "You need to know the truth. Look at me."
I run up to my father. I still have the power of the Chimera. And I show him everything. I remove all the hypnosis. I remove all the false provocation. I see everything my father saw. All these threats that the Chimera instilled in his head were there. Threats against me and Tristan. A feeling of revenge. As I look into his eyes I can finally see all the emotions that my father has been hiding. I finally see just how big his heart is.
And it's so big.
There is so much pain there. So much hurt.
"What are you doing to me?" my father asks.
Tears are rolling down his eyes. I've never seen something like this from my father before.
"I'm releasing you," I state, "You don't have to be a villain anymore dad. You don't have to feel any pain..."
"They are going to hurt you."
"I'm safe. I promise you," I tell him.
I wrap my hands around my father as he begins to release from years of mental manipulation. I can feel his body shivering. Everything he thought was real wasn't and it was taking some time for him to come to that understanding.
"I'll take good care of him," Frost states out of nowhere, "I'll never let anyone hurt him."
I look over at Frost. I smile because it's clear he believes me when I told him my father was under hypnosis. I can see that he's believing my father isn't the bad guy in this. My father for the first time buries himself in my arms and embraces me.
"They killed him though, Cam," he tells me.
"Yes, they killed him."
"No, they didn't."
The person who answers my father isn't me. My father lifts his head in confusion at that moment. He turns at that moment. When he turns he can see someone walking out at that moment.
A few steps at a time...but in every step a lifetime of love.
The person walks up to us. He stands there. He's cool, distant and fearless.
My father's whimpers his name..."Materias..."
"I can't believe we are at a wedding," Ultrasound says.
Two months have passed. The sound of celebration fills the air. The hall of heroes has never looked so regal. It's never been so amazing. It's never looked so homey. Heroes have come over from all around but at our table is the new Host of Heroes. The group of heroes that White Frost put together. They have so many powers, so many abilities. It's honestly quite beautiful.
"Wait so if both of your dads are getting married, does that make you two brothers?" Power Up asks.
I turn to White Frost. There is nervous laughter a little bit from him. It's a damn good question. I just pretend like Power Up didn't ask it though and turn to look down the aisle. There they were. My father and his lover, Materias.
They had finally gotten that perfect ending. They finally got the thing that they deserve. Right after getting married they get the first dance and then afterward we all get to dance. Almost immediately Frost offers me his hands.
"Of course you may," I respond with a smile.
I grab his hands and the two of us hit the floor, slow dancing up on each other's chest. I turn to my dad who notices we've joined him on the floor. He gives us a wink. I know that look. He's gained a lot of respect for Frost, especially when he wasn't able to completely dismantle him during the last fight.
"Who knew things would turn out like this?" Frost asks me.
"Oh did you?"
I nod, "Nah. I'm teasing. Things aren't perfect though. There are people who are mad that we pardoned my father for all the things he was done. They refuse to believe that the Chimera ever existed in the first place."
An uprising of metahumans who were angered about my father has started. Sunbeam just so happened to be the leader of those metahumans. We should have taken him out when we got the chance. They were demanding his head. Every day they grew stronger. Every day, the threat grew more real.
"No rest for the heroes..." he states, "Speaking of no rest...is that Tristan..."
I turn at that moment.
Sure enough, it was my brother. He was laying on the floor for some reason. We all run over to him. The music stops. My brother looks like he's in pain at that moment.
"What's wrong with you?" my father demands.
"I'm not sure," Tristan responds.
And that's when I notice exactly what is happening. His powers are awakening. One moment Tristan is a kid. The next moment he's a 6'3 grown ass man with muscles bigger than my father's. His clothes are ripped because they are too small to fit.
Frost was right. There was no rest for heroes.
Luckily there would be no shortage of us when we were needed either...
Please remember to donate to NIFTY. Also there is a new story on my website Number 666: Fallen. It's a story about angels on Earth that has a horror/thriller twist to it. Check it out on www.crushedcrown.com first few chapters are up. I'll post it to nifty as well soon