My Secret Identity
© by Ryan Bartlett
Idrid Crow never liked Robin Fixx. He thought the boy was cocky and arrogant. The other Watchers praised him left and right, it was no wonder the boy thought he was top dog. Crow evaluated the Robin's telepathic ability and was pleased when he hadn't manifested any competence with the gift. The other Watchers were so disappointed. Their golden boy wasn't as perfect as they thought.
Crow hadn't set out to become a villain, in fact he'd begun life as an honorable man. He was the third son of an Irish lord who raised him with a sense of duty and taught him the value of serving his fellow man. When his gifts began to manifest themselves, shortly after his 16th birthday, he knew he'd be recruited by the Watchers. It had been his lifelong goal to join the order and he'd never been prouder than the first time he stepped foot on the Wall.
His transformation occurred slowly. In the beginning he approached his duties with vigor but the more he saw, the more he began to feel the Watchers were fighting a lost cause. Crow came to believe at his most basic level, man was inherently evil. There was no amount of good the Watchers could do that would change human nature. He came to realize what the world needed wasn't a nanny state where powerful men and women protected the week from the strong. What the world needed was a ruler with an iron fist to weed out the weak and manage the strong. His ideas were considered sacrilege and he was eventually stripped of his membership in the order.
It didn't matter, the damage was done. In his last year on the Wall, Crow began stealing equipment and information for his own use. He knew it was only a matter of time before his so called brothers forced him out so he set up his own operation to counter their efforts. Earth needed a strong hand and with his own army of repatriates he would become the iron fist of the new world order.
He'd been reading about Robin Fixx all week. While he was no longer able to track the movements of the Watcher's repatriates, he could still read. The Boy Wonder's exploits were widely publicized by Seattle and national media outlets. In Crows time they were simply historical documents. New stories appeared in the historic records with every appearance the Boy Wonder made in his time. Crow read about the boy and a sly smile crept across his face as he fantasized of crushing him.
Crows repatriates would be coming online any time now. He monitored the historical records for tales of their daring villainy and knew their time was at hand. His repatriates were far different from those selected by his erstwhile comrades. While the Watchers sought out young men and women in excellent physical health, perfect specimens who would wield godlike powers for the benefit of all humanity, Crow sought the lowest of the low. He collected murderers, rapists, thieves, those without conscience or mercy. He didn't train them to use their powers for good; he trained them to wreak havoc on their time period.
He never gave them too much power either. Crow didn't need a bunch of godlike teens to do his bidding. He needed an army of thugs skilled just enough to distract the Watchers and do enough damage to maintain the status quo in his time while he worked to overthrow the World Council. He'd been reading Robin Fixx's tales of glory. Fixx was the first of the Watcher's repatriates to awaken. He and his team were invested as the Wardens of the West. Crows plan was to destroy the boy before his teammates woke and leave them leaderless and floundering.
Only that morning Crow had returned two gang bangers he'd abducted from inner city Seattle. They were the leaders of rival gangs and would have been happy to cut Crows throat if given the chance. That is until they heard his offer. He used the incredible powers of his telepathic mind to convince them they could rule their city with his help. He would show them how to unlock their minds, he would endow them with incredible powers and all they had to do was murder one teenaged boy. It was hard to figure out which was sicker, Crows desire to murder a child or his repatriates eagerness to carry out the plan.
Idrid Crow continued to read his historical documents with giddy anticipation. It was only a matter of time before he read a headline regarding the demise of the Boy Wonder. He'd never liked Robin Fixx and he was pleased the boy would be the first to fall, the first of many to prop up his throne.
Bobby could have argued with Spence and left him safely at the hospital but the truth of the matter was he was worried about his boyfriend. Bobby knew first hand that his powers could be dangerous. He didn't have the ability Spencer had manifested, didn't know how to control it and didn't know how he could learn to control it. Bobby had been trained in the use of his powers by the Watcher's. Bits and pieces of his memory continued to return to him and while he continued to practice with his powers, he felt he had a strong understanding from which to operate from. Spencer had none of that and it scared Bobby.
They rode their bikes out to the airport and once they arrived, they mixed into the crowd gathered around the police lines. It was just like that day at the bank, thought Bobby. He paced nervously while he waited for the police to act and picked up bits of conversation from the onlookers in order to determine what he might be up against once he got inside the terminal.
"He had a gun. He just started shooting everyone," one woman wept as she shared her account with a policeman.
"He came out of nowhere. I don't know how he got past the metal detectors," said a wounded TSA agent.
"He's crazy, just crazy," said a father who held his crying daughter.
"What are we going to do?" Spencer communicated telepathically.
"We aren't going to do anything. I'm going in alone," Bobby replied.
"But I can help you. If I get close enough, maybe I can read his mind or something."
"No, it's too dangerous. We don't know where you got this power or how to use it. What if you opened your mind to him and he hurt you?"
"I'll stay undercover…"
"Spence, no. I'm practically indestructible and I'm scared to go in there. This isn't TV. Haven't you been listening? People are dead in there," Bobby chastised him.
"I just want to help."
"I know Spence and we'll find a way but right now, the best thing you can do is stay out here and give me one less thing to worry about when I get in there."
"Ok. You're right. I'm sorry."
"I love you," Bobby smiled.
Spencer didn't respond verbally or telepathically. He flashed Bobby a smile of his own. It sent the message loud and clear, "I love you too."
Bobby took his backpack and quickly found a place to change. As he stood between a fire truck and the parking garage he couldn't help but think he needed a new costume, something he could wear under his clothes. He just knew that if he kept up this routine it would only be a matter of time until someone snapped a picture of him in his barrowed Robin mask and underwear. He shook off the thought as a burst of gunfire erupted from the terminal. He had work to do.
Robbie Matthews was Idrid Crowes first repatriate to awaken and one of the most unstable. A paranoid schizophrenic with a rap sheet full of arrests related to going off his meds, Matthews was a ticking time bomb. The fuse was lit the day before when he'd run out of chlorpromazine and the voices in his head quickly took over. The voices were sure the world was out to get him and Robbie listened all too closely. That morning he'd stabbed a neighbor to death and stole an AK-47 assault rifle from the dead man's closet. He'd taken a cab to the airport, paid his fair and casually walked into the main concourse where he proceeded to mow down anything that moved. By the time police arrived, the airports drop off area had been sealed off by airport security and anyone who could get out of the terminal had fled for their lives.
While the police set up a perimeter outside the terminal, Matthews went from body to body firing a round into their heads least they get up and hurt him. SWAT officers tried getting close to the building in order to plan their assault but if anyone actually got close enough to see what was happening inside, they invited a hail of bullets from the madman.
When Bobby finished changing into his costume, he flew over the crowd and landed on the terminal's roof. A wave of cheers broke out when he was spotted. The Boy Wonder was here now. Everything was going to be ok. Bobby wished he shared their confidence. Despite his powers he was afraid. He'd only been up against a gun wielding suspect once and while the gun shot hadn't even punctured his skin it hurt like hell. That bank robber had been an idiot who shot him out of fear. The man he was going up against now was a heavily armed lunatic who had already killed countless innocent men and women.
When another burst of gunfire erupted from the terminal building and Bobby saw a policeman who had gotten to close take a round in the leg, he forced his fears aside. He forced his fear into a tiny ball and swallowed it, hoping he'd be able to keep it down long enough to subdue the suspect and hopefully save some lives. He found a skylight and knelt beside it. He couldn't see Matthews but he knew where he was from the direction of the gunfire. Bobby used his heat vision to shatter the glass and dropped 40 feet to the terminal floor.
"Drop the weapon," Bobby commanded as he rose to his feet.
Matthews rounded on him and fired a long sweeping arch in his direction. Bobby ducked and rolled to his right, taking cover behind a concrete pillar.
"I have a very bad headache!" Matthews shouted.
"Put the gun down and we can talk about it," said Bobby. He took a chance and peered around his pillar but only drew more gunfire.
"You want to take me away! Lock me up!"
"I just want to help you."
"You want to kill me!"
"That's not true. I don't kill people!" Bobby replied.
"I know he's lying, stop telling me what to do," Matthews shouted at the voices controlling his actions.
"I don't lie. Put the gun down and I'll help you."
"Shut up!" Matthews shouted and fired another burst.
"Listen, I'm not going away and you can't kill me."
"Wanna bet?" Matthews giggled.
The giggling infuriated Bobby. There were dead people present. Matthews victims were spread around them and though Bobby hadn't seen one up close yet, he knew they were there and knew he had to avenge them. He stood up and confidently moved from behind his pillar.
"You think this is funny huh?"
"I see him, I see him," said Matthew's as he brought his weapon up. He fired again and a series of bullets struck Bobby in the chest knocking him off his feet and knocking the wind out of him.
Bobby panted for breathe and felt his chest. The bullets had bounced off but he knew he'd have a mass of bruises from where they'd struck.
"Ready to give up yet?" Bobby panted. He hoped knowing he was still alive would give Matthews pause.
"Hey, you can't do that! You're cheating!"
"Give it up already."
"You're supposed to be dead. I shoot you and you die!"
"Sorry to disappoint you," said Bobby, as he rose to his feet.
"Dirty cheat," Matthews spat and took aim. This time when he pulled the trigger it clicked on an empty chamber.
Bobby knew this was the window he needed to make his move. Matthews ejected the rifles spent magazine and as he reached for another, Bobby melted the weapon into molten slag on the floor. He strode triumphantly towards Matthews and then he saw him, the body of a little boy still clutching his mother's hand staring at him from cold dead eyes. Bobby had never seen a corpse before and the sight was overwhelming. He doubled over and retched his guts out.
While Bobby was throwing up Matthews laughed harder.
"Now you've done it," Matthews giggled.
Bobby spit the foul taste from his mouth and focused on Matthews, "You're going down."
Matthews laughed again and waved his arm as if he was swatting at a fly. Before Bobby could figure out what was going on, he was slammed into the wall. The impact knocked the wind out of him again and as he got up on his hands and knees, he saw Matthews kick at the air and then Bobby tumbled backwards down the aisle.
"Oh my God, you're a telekinetic," Bobby groaned.
Matthews laughed manically and slammed Bobby against another wall. He enjoyed watching the blond boy twitch and squirm like a puppet on broken strings. Bobby didn't know what to do. He'd never encountered a telekinetic though he was sure Jared Crane must have trained him for a situation like this, he couldn't come up with any helpful memories. If he couldn't physically get to Matthews then his super strength was useless, the only option left would be to use his heat vision but that would mean killing him. Monster though the suspect might be, Bobby wasn't prepared to take a life. He didn't want to damage his soul like Matthews had damaged his own. Taking a life felt wrong. He didn't know what to do and his mind cried out for help.
Out in the parking area, Spencer stood among the survivors and spectators. He flinched at the sound of every gunshot and though he knew bullets couldn't hurt Bobby, he knew something was wrong. It was taking too long. Spencer had seen Bobby take a shotgun blast to the chest at close range and get up to disarm the suspect, why was he taking so long with the shooter in the airport terminal?
When Spencer thought he couldn't stand still for one more second, the hair on the back of his neck stood up and he heard a faint voice in the back of his head. The voice was so low it seemed like it was calling to him from across a vast expanse, screaming to be heard. He closed his eyes and focused and there it was, "help me."
Spencer knew it had to be Bobby. He didn't know where his new found ability had come from but he was sure it was a gift he was supposed to use to help and protect his boyfriend. Bobby didn't have telepathic powers. Spencer thought he'd developed an ability to supplement Bobby's and now was the time to prove it. It took him a moment to figure out a plan and another to find some way to hide his face. In the end, he ran towards the terminal wearing a paper bag over his head with holes torn open to see through. Now he knew how Bobby must have felt fighting crime dressed as Tommy the Timberwolf…stupid.
"You, stop!" shouted a policeman, but Spencer kept running.
He knew he should be afraid but he felt strangely calm. He was running into a building where an armed suspect had The Boy Wonder crying out for help with only the untested, untrained power of his mind to protect him. It must have been adrenaline. He'd heard stories about mother's being able to lift cars in order to save their babies, his new found courage must have been the same kind of thing. When Spencer got into the terminal, he ducked behind a cement pillar like Bobby had. He saw Bobby lying on the ground, his body moving erratically as if some unseen force were kicking him in the ribs.
"What's happening?" said Spencer, linking his mind to Bobby's.
Bobby's eyes shot open and he spotted Spencer with that bag over his head.
"Spencer no! You've got to get out before he sees you!"
"What's he doing to you?"
"He's a telekinetic!"
"Go, get out now! Save yourself!"
"I'm not leaving you."
"Spence, please," Bobby pleaded as he absorbed another assault to the ribs.
Spencer had tears in his eyes. He loved Bobby more than life itself and he couldn't bear to see him in pain. He wasn't about to leave him, he had to help him. Just then Matthews let out another maniacal laugh. Spencer peered around the pillar and when his eyes met the mad man's, it was like picking a lock to his brain.
"Leave him alone!"
"Who are you? We don't know you," said Matthews. The sudden appearance of a strange new voice in his head stopped him in his tracks. He stopped his assault on Bobby as he tried to process the new information.
Spencer saw this as an opportunity. Matthews must not have understood he was a telepath, if he thought Spencer was just another voice in his head, maybe he could get him to back down.
"I am God," said Spencer. "Your work here is done. I order you to stand down and surrender to the police."
"But you're the one that told me to do this!"
"And now I'm telling you to stop."
"No, you're trying to trick me."
While Matthews was distracted, Bobby caught his breath and got to his feet. Matthews had his back to him now as he fought the voices in his head. Bobby rounded a pillar and charged at Matthews only to have the mad gunman turn and use his powers to bounce Bobby off of him like a dodge ball. Spencer saw Bobby slam into the concrete wall hard enough to leave a dent.
"ENOUGH!" Spencer shouted. Every window in the terminal shattered as his voice reverberated off the walls. "Leave him alone!"
As if under the control of unseen hands, two of the massive concrete pillars supporting the roof slammed together, smashing Robbie Matthews between them.
"Holy shit," Spencer exclaimed. He didn't know how he'd done it but he was sure he was responsible for what had happened. He shook off his shock and ran to Bobby.
"Bobby, wake up," said Spencer, shaking his shoulder.
Bobby opened his eyes and grabbed Spencer, pulling him to the ground. "Where is he?"
"I think he's dead," said Spencer. The boys stood up, Bobby leaning on Spencer for support, and carefully walked over to the body. He should have been smashed to a pulp but while he was clearly injured, Mathews was still breathing. "What the hell is going on?"
"He's one of Idrid Crowes repatriates. One of the guys Jared warned me about," Bobby explained. "How did you…"
"I don't know," said Spencer.
"We need to get out of here."
"Can you fly?"
"Yeah, get on my back."
Bobby took off through the broken skylight and before long he was touching down in Spencer's back yard. They went up to the garage apartment and Bobby quickly stripped to his underwear, anxious to get out of the Boy Wonder's costume.
Bobby sat on the edge of Spencer's bed in his socks and boxer-briefs. His experience in the terminal had been traumatic. It was his first encounter with a fellow repatriate and if Spencer hadn't been there to help him, he didn't know what would have happened. For the first time since acquiring his powers his life felt fragile.
"What is happening?" Bobby sighed.
"I'm not sure but I think I have an idea," Spencer blushed. "You said the Watchers manipulated your DNA, right?"
"That's how Jared explained it to me."
"What if someone acquired abilities of their own by coming into contact with your DNA?"
"I guess it's possible but how would they get it?"
"Bobby, think about it, I've been in direct contact with your DNA twice."
"Where, how? When I was in the hospital?"
"Both times were in your bed."
"You don't think…"
"The time you came in my hand and then this afternoon."
"Oh my God."
"It's just a theory but it's the best I can come up with," said Spencer.
"But if it's from contact with my DNA wouldn't you acquire the same powers as me?"
"You said it yourself, everyone's different. Everyone acquires abilities suited to them. Maybe the chemical in your DNA reacted differently to my DNA?"
"Oh my God," said Bobby, then he hid his face in his hands and started to cry.
"Hey, what's the matter?" said Spencer. He took a seat next to Bobby and wrapped his arms around him.
"What have I done to you?"
"Done to me? Bobby, this is incredible. That whackjob could have killed you today but together we took him out. What if this was meant to be?"
"Look how dangerous it is. I don't know anything about your powers. I don't know how to help you control them."
"Well, we'll figure it out together."
Bobby kept crying. He couldn't help feeling that this was his fault, that he'd somehow infected Spencer with this condition. Spencer continued to hold him close and stroke his hair. He thought his new abilities were awesome. He'd just have to learn how to use them.
Jared Crane hadn't been exaggerating when he'd told Bobby that he'd been watching over him all his life. Crane had no children of his own, the boys and girls he'd trained were his family and he was as proud of them as any parent could be. While he couldn't read their minds across oceans of time, he was connected to them. He could sense their fears and concerns and for the most part he was able to deduce the problems. When he sensed a ripple of fear roll through Robin Fixx he concentrated all his thoughts on the boy. The word "Telepath," flashed through the centuries like a neon beacon.
Jared's first thought was Robin Fixx might have acquired a new power or had come in contact with someone who manifested an ability that frightened him. Either way, Jared knew the best way to ease the boy's fear was to unlock another memory for him.