My Secret Identity
© by Ryan Bartlett
Whenever Robin Fixx was upset he had a tendency to disappear. It wasn't really a cause for concern. After all, Jared always knew where to find him. In the center of the massive space station known as The Wall, there was an equally massive arboretum rivaled only by Central Park in New York City. Robin Fixx could often be found curled up against an evergreen in a section of the arboretum that Jared assumed reminded the boy of his northwestern home.
The boy was 11 years old now and after spending a year in a gestation tube while the Watchers modified his DNA, he'd begun to develop his special abilities. Super strength and speed came easy but more advanced skills like flight, telepathy and heat vision had to be developed over time. Robin Fixx's aptitude for flight and heat vision was off the charts but despite the best efforts of the Watchers, he'd yet to show any ability with the gifts of the mind. Idrid Crow supervised mental development for all of the repatriates and not for the first time Robin Fixx had run away from his latest session with the training master.
After a brief hike through the arboretum Jared found the boy as expected, nestled against a pine tree with his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped tightly around them. Jared approached him and took a seat next to the little ball of sadness when he heard the boy sniffling.
"Why are you crying?" Jared asked sympathetically. He cared deeply for the children he was responsible for and never liked to see any of them upset.
"Why does Mr. Crow have to be so mean?" Robin sniffled.
"What's he done now?" Jared rolled his eyes. Though he respected Idrid Crow's abilities he thought his fellow Watcher was ill suited to working with children. He seemed to take particular pleasure in tormenting little Robin.
"He says I'm talentless and he forces me to remember all of these bad things and I can't make him stop," Robin rambled.
Jared knew Robin Fixx wasn't responding well to Crow's training and the training master was getting ready to pull the plug and focus on areas where the boy would excel. This was however the first time he'd heard of Crow making him remember "bad things."
"Bad things, Robin Fixx?"
"Like when you took me away and when my parents would fight and when my dog died and stuff about Spencer…"
"Ok, ok," said Jared, reaching over and rubbing the boy's back soothingly. "I understand."
In the training Crow subjected the repatriates to he would often invade their minds and those with telepathic skills could attempt to repel him. Those who didn't have telepathic gifts could be trained to close their minds to the invasion but it sounded like Crow was using Robin's strong negative memories to disrupt his concentration. This angered Jared who felt guilty enough about snatching the children from their families to undergo training. He didn't think any of them would benefit from what he considered to be abuse.
"So why does he have to be so mean?" Robin repeated.
"I don't know Robin Fixx but rest assured that I will bring this up at the next council meeting. The point, however, is moot. You've undergone your last training session with Idrid Crow."
"Really?" said Robin excitedly.
"Idrid Crow is correct in his assertion you are ungifted telepathically. There is no point in subjecting you to further training in an area where you will continue to fail. Now is the time to concentrate on the gifts you do show an aptitude for," Jared explained.
"But what about the mental stuff? What if some telepath tries to hurt me?"
"You will be trained to protect yourself from their assaults."
"But Mr. Crow said…"
"Idrid Crow isn't the only person aboard this station who can teach you to protect the inner recesses of your mind. I have a treat for you Robin Fixx," Jared smiled and held out his hand.
Robin grabbed his hand and let Jared pull him to his feet. He held the hand a little longer drawing comfort from the gesture. For the last year Jared Crane had been both mother and father to the repatriates in his charge and while there were occasional resentments stemming from their abduction, most of the children came to him for comfort when they needed it.
During the first year of training the repatriates rarely left their gestation tubes. Their DNA was modified to accommodate their growing abilities and at age 11, they were released so the Watchers could evaluate their potential. The Watchers knew each repatriate would develop different gifts and once their evaluation was complete they would be put into teams where their gifts would complement each other.
Jared Crane put his arm around Robin's shoulder and together they left the arboretum. After a short walk across the space station they entered the dormitory area and came to a room containing two sets of bunk beds, four desks, four dressers, two small boys and one small girl. The boys were rolling around on the floor grunting and straining as they wrestled while the girl sat on her bunk with her back to the wall reading a book.
"What is the meaning of this?" said Jared, his eyes on the two boys.
"Boy's," said the girl, rolling her eyes.
"Ahem," said Jared.
The two boys stopped their wrestling match, stood up and dusted off their uniforms. They giggled as they greeted their training master, "Hi Jared."
"What on earth were you two doing?"
"Just seeing who's strongest," said the taller of the two boys.
"Who's he?" said the shorter boy, when he noticed the small blond at Jared's side.
"Jason Wallace, Jeremy Gardner, Jenna Clinton, meet Robin Fixx. The four of you are to be teammates for the duration of your training," said Jared. He gave Robin a gentle nudge toward the two boys. He'd noticed Robin had a tendency towards shyness which would have to be corrected if he was to become the leader the Watchers hoped he'd be.
"Um, hi," said Robin.
"Robin's a wussy's name," said Jason.
"Jason Wallace…" Jared began to admonish him.
"I know. He's the only one that calls me that," said the boy, nodding his head at Jared. "Well, him and my mom. My friends call me Bobby."
"Cool. It's nice to meet you Bobby," Jeremy smiled.
"Are you strong too?" asked Jason.
"Uh, well, yeah," Bobby nodded.
"Cool," said Jeremy. He grabbed Bobby's collar and soon the three boys were rolling around on the ground, snarling like a litter of playful puppies, each trying to prove he was the alpha dog.
"Right, well, I'll just leave you to it," said Jared.
"Boy's," Jenna rolled her eyes.
Jared shot her a wink and then left the teammates to get acquainted.
Bobby hit it off with the boys immediately. Jeremy and Jason were very cute with their brown hair and green eyes, they immediately made Bobby think of his best friend Spencer and the thought made him feel at ease. The boys spent hours wrestling, running and chattering excitedly about the prospect of learning to fly. Jenna sat quietly, read her book and evaluated her new teammates.
They were all silly little boys as she saw them, pitting their abilities against each other while she took note of the equality of their gifts. None of them was going to emerge the victor, they were too evenly matched. The blond one called Robin was the first to reach the same realization and panting, stretched out on his bunk to catch his breath. When he recovered from his play he rolled on his side, propped himself up on his elbow and turned his attention to Jenna.
"Reading, you know, books? I assume you've heard of them?" said Jenna rather haughtily.
"Sure, I love to read," Bobby smiled, unfazed by Jenna's snotty reply. "Don't you want to play with us?"
"I don't play," Jenna rolled her eyes. Even before coming to the Wall she'd been a serious girl. She didn't have time for dolls and tea parties and she certainly didn't have time to wrestle with boys.
"Well what do you do?" asked Jason, taking a break from trying to pin Jeremy to the ground.
"At the moment I'm trying to read," said Jenna, annoyed.
"Are you strong too?" asked Jeremy.
"No," Jenna muttered. Super strength was not one of her gifts.
"Then what can you do?" Jason pushed.
"Other things," said Jenna. She wasn't in the mood to talk just then.
"Like what?" said Bobby, she had him curious now.
"Well, let's just say one of us has to be the brains of this operation," Jenna smirked.
"Whatever," Jason rolled his eyes. "She probably can't do anything. Come on guys, let's go grab some dinner."
Bobby shrugged his shoulders and followed the other boys to the cafeteria. If Jenna wasn't in the mood to hang out with them he didn't feel they should force their company on her. When the boys reached the cafeteria they found dozens of other repatriates there, also grouped into teams of four. While Jeremy and Jason chatted with the other teams and compared abilities, Bobby ate quietly. He was still concerned about protecting his mind from telepathic assaults. They hurt worse than any physical booboo he'd ever had and he wanted to know how he was supposed to prevent them from happening when he didn't have any telepathic powers. He wondered what Jared had meant when he said there were other people who could help him learn to protect his mind and why he hadn't elaborated. He got his answer that night.
At lights out, Bobby and Jeremy went into the locker room/bathroom to put on their pajamas. Both boys were a little shy and didn't want Jenna to see them in their underpants. When they came back to their room, Jason, who wasn't the least bit shy, was strutting around in his briefs while getting ready for bed. Bobby climbed into his bunk and couldn't help but stare at Jason's little butt and the way it wiggled in his tight fitting undies. He started to feel a tingling sensation in his penis when he heard a giggle.
His head snapped up and swiveled around the room looking for the source of the laughter but Jason was oblivious, Jeremy was lying on his side, facing the wall and Jenna had her nose back in her book.
"You like him huh?"
Bobby heard the girls voice in his head and knew his mind had just been read. "You're a telepath?"
"Yes. Didn't Jared tell you we were grouped together to complement each other's abilities? None of you boys can do what I can do," Jenna smiled smugly into the pages of her book.
Suddenly Bobby was scared. She'd read his mind. He'd been staring at Jason's butt and she'd read his mind! She had to know what he was thinking, what he felt about…boys. He was getting on so well with Jason and Jeremy. It felt so good to have friends again and to play. Now all Jenna would have to do is reveal his secret and the boys might not like him so much anymore.
Jenna had read his thoughts and she thought it was terribly funny that the quiet blond was so intrigued by Jason's bottom but when she looked at his face as he came to the realization he was busted, she took pity on him.
"Don't worry, our little secret," she winked.
"You really won't say anything?"
"No. That would be a pretty crummy thing to do, especially to a teammate."
"Thanks," Bobby breathed a sigh of relief.
"They're kinda cute for a pair of Cretans."
Bobby was so struck by the remark he laughed out loud.
"What's so funny?" asked Jason, still in his undies, bent over his footlocker.
"Nothing," Bobby chuckled as Jenna shot him a wink.
Back in his bed in Tacoma, Bobby woke from his dream with a start. "Of course, Jenna!"
Bobby had known all along that his teammates were nearby. He'd been thinking about Jason, Jeremy and Jenna off and on since his dream about their assault on Victoria. He suspected they were like him, their memories blocked and slowly opening up as they manifested their abilities in the present timeline. Now it made sense. He couldn't help Spencer learn how to use his abilities but Jenna could!
The dream brought more memories to the forefront of his consciousness. Jenna had taught Bobby, Jason and Jeremy how to protect themselves from people with gifts like her own. She could teach Spencer to use his powers just as she'd taught her fellow Wardens of the West to shut telepaths out.
Bobby had been so upset the day before. He was afraid he'd placed Spencer in mortal danger by exposing him to his DNA and allowing these new abilities to manifest in his boyfriend. Now he felt sure this was the way things were supposed to be. Together Bobby and Spencer would find the other Wardens and then the five of them would be unstoppable. Bobby raced to the shower and dressed quickly. He couldn't wait to get to Spencer's house and share the great news.
Bobby ran down stairs and was almost out the door when his mom grabbed his shirttail and pulled him gently back.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?"
"Gotta get to Spencer's," said Bobby.
"Honey, it's not even 8 o'clock yet. Why don't you have breakfast with me and daddy first?"
He wanted to say no. He wanted to race to Spencer's house as quickly as his genetically enhanced legs would carry him but his dad had been busy all week and they hadn't seen much of each other. Bobby looked at his watch to confirm the early hour for himself and then followed his mom into the dining room.
"Hey champ," Patrick Fixx smiled when Bobby joined him at the table.
"Hi dad," Bobby smiled back.
"Sorry I've been so busy this week. Things have been crazy at the office."
"It's ok, I've been busy with Spencer."
"Did you see the news last night?"
"About that guy at the airport?"
"That's the one."
"Yeah, that guy is crazy," said Bobby, speaking from firsthand experience.
"Would it impress you to know that your old man is prosecuting his case?" Patrick smiled. Bobby had never really taken any interest in Patrick's career at the district attorney's office. He hoped his son might be proud of the fact his father was being given such a high profile assignment. Like any father, Patrick loved his son with all his heart and wanted Bobby to be proud of him.
"Dad, are you serious?"
"Arraignment's this afternoon."
"Oh my God, you've gotta be really careful!"
"Relax, he'll be in cuffs the whole time and there will be plenty of sheriff's deputies there," said Patrick. He was perplexed by Bobby's reaction. He prosecuted violent offenders every day and Bobby had never expressed concern about it. Of course, Patrick didn't know about Robbie Matthews "special" ability.
"Just promise you'll be careful?"
"Sure kiddo," Patrick patted him on the hand.
Bobby was annoyed. He'd been concerned about Spencer and just when that situation seemed to be under control his dad dropped this bomb on him. Bobby didn't know what would happen in that courtroom and the last place he wanted his father was anywhere near Robbie Matthews. He was still excited about his dream though and once his parents left for work, he grabbed his backpack and made a break for Spencer's. He figured he and his boyfriend could spend the day downtown with the police scanner so he'd be close to the courthouse just in case the services of the Boy Wonder were needed.
When Bobby reached the McCoy's house, he bounded up the back stairs and burst into Spencer's studio to find it completely empty. He looked at his watch, it was still early and he figured Spencer must be in the main house having breakfast with his family. He grabbed the police scanner from Spencer's nightstand, put it in his backpack with the Boy Wonder's costume and trotted back downstairs.
The McCoy's treated Bobby like a second son and were used to him letting himself in the back door. When he opened the slider and slipped into the kitchen he was stunned to find Mrs. McCoy on her knees crying, a huge bruise across her cheek.
"Mrs. McCoy, what happened?" Bobby exclaimed as he raced to her side.
"Oh Bobby, they took him, they took Spencer," she cried as she put her arms around him and drenched his shoulder with her tears.
"Wait, who took him?"
"Two men. They kicked in the front door and dragged him out. They were in a van. He's gone," she sobbed.
Bobby's blood boiled. He'd been angry when he met Jed Garrison atop the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, this was 1,ooo times worse. Spencer was everything to him. He loved Spencer with all his heart. No one, NO ONE, fucked with Spencer on his watch.
"Tell me everything you can about the van," said Bobby, as he pulled the Boy Wonder's mask from his backpack.