Chapter 1: Unaware


The bell rang as Lukas and Cole walked through the front door of Turtle gas.  As they walked along the wall to reach the drink coolers Lukas looked back at Cole and sighed. “Sometimes I wish work was challenging.” Neither of them noticed the hooded figure on the other side of the glass wall walking toward the entrance. 

“How do you expect people to keep up with you? Like, in any realistic sense.” Cole asked as glanced over at a young couple who were giggling to themselves as they looked through the different candies in the next aisle.  

“Yeah, I guess,” Lukas said as he opened up one of the coolers and pulled out an orange-colored drink, Catapult, the leading sports drink in the United States. “But, just once I would like to feel like people are trying to keep up. What good is super strength if you don’t get to use it?”

Cole raised his eyebrow as he grabbed a red Catapult and looked at Lukas, who was holding open the cooler door. “You know you shouldn’t be lifting more than fifty pounds right?” Cole said sarcastically as the door dinged again. 

Lukas smirked as he let the cooler door close. “I know,” he said as they heard the first gunshot. Lukas and Cole looked at each other as they both sifted through the magnetic polarity fields of the gas station.  They found it at the same time and Lukas locked the hammer in place while Cole welded the trigger in place. With that, they both turned around to see a young Latino boy standing next to the register and pointing it at them. 

“Get in the corner and no one gets hurt!” the robber said as he motioned to the corner before turning around and pointing the gun at the cashier. “Put the drawer on the counter and open the safe under the counter!” He yelled as the couple in the store ran past Lukas and Cole into the corner of the gas station. The robber then turned around as he stuffed the contents of the drawer into his pockets and flashed the gun at Lukas and Cole again. “I said get in the corner!”

Lukas calmly laughed as he started walking toward the robber. Lukas flicked his hand in front of him and the gun launched itself at the door frame.  “Those things are dangerous. Someone could get hurt if you point them in the wrong direction.” He paused as he looked at the robber's wrist and smiled. “Hey, that is a nice watch you have there. Unfortunately for you, it is made out of stainless steel.” Lukas then flicked his hand again as the robber’s hand was now forcibly thrown toward the doorframe.  There was a loud pop as the robber yelled out in pain.  The watch came to a rest against the iron of the door frame as the robber tried to pull his hand from the watch. 

Cole laughed as he watched the robber struggle. “What is your name kid?” He asked as he walked up to him and started to remove the money from his pockets. 

“Why do you care?” he snarled back at Cole.

“Well, I want to know who our first is. There will probably be media coverage of this so we won’t be able to keep our normal lives after this.” Cole said as he removed the last of the money from his pockets. 


“Huh, interesting. Don’t think I have ever met someone with that name before.” Cole then walked back to the counter and started placing the money back into the drawer. 

Lukas then walked up to Dierdre and looked him in the eye. “How old are you?” 


“It is a shame this is how our paths crossed then.” Lukas then slowly lifted his hand and tried to gently backhand Dierdre. Dierdre's head snapped to the side as he was knocked unconscious. Lukas then turned and looked at the couple in the back corner. “Do this poor boy a favor and call 911. I fear that might have been too hard.” Lukas then walked up to the counter and placed his drink next to Cole’s. 

The cashier was waving his hands back and forth motioning no as he said. “You two don’t need to pay.” 

Lukas looked at the short middle-aged man and smiled as he noticed the cashier's small belly shaking while he looked at his name tag. “Lautaro, we are going to pay and you are not going to mention anything about this.” Lukas then pulled his wallet out of his pocket and pulled out a ten-dollar bill and handed it over. 

“Ok,” Lautaro said as he marveled at the size of Lukas’s hand. Lukas laughed gently as he noticed Lautaro staring. Lukas stood six feet and six inches tall.  He had large and powerful hands and his body seemed to be perfectly sculpted. 

“I guess he thinks that I am the leader,” Lukas said as he picked up his drink and turned to leave. Cole rolled his eyes as he grabbed his drinks and the change from Lautaro before following Lukas out the door. Cole was four inches shorter than Lukas and had much more of a human physique.  He was also five years older than Lukas at twenty-seven.  If you looked at the two of them you would have no idea they were brothers. Lukas was more cheerful and had beautiful golden hair that he kept on the short side. Cole on the other hand always seemed to be uncaring about the world around him and he had a full brown beard to match his hair. 

As they reached Lukas’s blazing orange truck Lukas looked back at Cole and smiled. “It was a good thing that we were there to save the day.” 

“Yeah, hopefully, this story becomes some conspiracy story like the vanishing construction worker,” Cole said as he walked to the passenger side of the truck and got in. 

Lukas hopped into the driver's seat and smiled. “Do you think we will take over its spot on the counter between “Nathaniel William’s Wild Wilderness” and the evangelical catalogs or on the bottom shelf with the typical sasquatch and wendigo conspiracies?”

“Nah, we are top shelfers for sure,” Cole said as he leaned back into the seat and closed his eyes. 

“Yeah, those wings on this week's catalog are actually really cool. I wonder who did the art for them.” Lukas said as he started the truck and began to back out. 

“Probably some computer program,” Cole said as he smirked. 

“Nah, no way. They were too good to be done by a computer. It had to be a real artist.” Lukas said.

As they turned to leave the gas station they saw the lights of a police cruiser crest the hill leading into town. Lukas turned to leave town and breathed a sigh of relief. 

Inside Lukas’s mind, a much weaker and frail version of him existed. He was locked in a small empty room with only one door on the side wall. He watched the world pass him by as he tried to find energy from the smiles of people around him. “At least I could be someone’s hero,” he muttered as he looked at the transparent wall in front of him. He could hardly move most days and what they had to do had sapped most of the strength he had been building over the past week. His head drooped as he started to lean.  The colors in the walls of the room had completely faded to grey and he needed other people’s joy to smile and charge. 

As they drove home Cole looked over at Lukas and slowly opened his eyes as he asked, “So, can you pick it up?” 

“Taco,” Lukas said as Cole rolled his eyes and exhaled. “The forklift? Yeah, I was able to pick it up and bench it.”

“Did anyone see you do it?”

“No, and like I said I feel like nothing is a challenge. Nine thousand pounds should be challenging, but it was really only a warm-up at most.” Lukas said as he noticed more flashing lights in front of them. They appeared to be about two miles away and approaching them fast. “What is that?”

“Feels like about thirteen guns with two being fired right now and I would say about four cars all traveling roughly the same speed,” Cole said as he looked over at Lukas. “I think they robbed a bank or jeweler because I am getting gold and silver.” 

“You want to hit the brakes on the cops?” Lukas said as the cars approached them. 

“I already am and locked up the guns while I was at it as well.” 

As they approached the distance between the getaway vehicle and the cops grew larger and larger until the cops were almost at a crawl as the getaway vehicle neared Lukas and Cole. The criminals were frantically pulling guns from the car and trying to fire them until they noticed the cops had fallen back so much. The two that had been firing stared back confused as to why the cops had suddenly decided to fall back. Just then as they passed Lukas’s truck the car was sucked to the concrete and came to a complete stop.  The two gunmen were thrown forward and into the roadway. The one on the driver's side slid across the concrete for fifty yards before coming to a complete stop while the passenger-side gunman hit the road and bounce down and into the ditch. The driver of the car smashed his head into the windshield and smashed it from the inside. 

Lukas and Cole continued on down the road and when they were about a mile away Lukas released the car from the concrete. “Two in one day? What is going on?” Cole said as he closed his eyes again and leaned his head back as they continued driving. “Looks like you are getting your wish of being a superhero.”

Lukas looked over at Cole and smirked. “We aren’t superheroes until we face a supervillain. Those were just low-level criminals.” 

“Are you trying to spawn a supervillain? That is the last thing that I want to deal with.” Cole reached down and grabbed his drink from the center counsel and took a drink without tilting his head up. 

“Hey, have you ever noticed the world around you slow down when you use your strength?” Lukas asked suddenly as he looked at the road in front of him. “Like the truck feels like it is barely moving for me right now and it feels like running would be faster.” 

“That is because running would be faster, but otherwise no. I have never had time to slow down for me when I use my strength. I am not out here picking up forklifts.” Cole said as he laughed to himself. 

Lukas was curled up in a ball and had his head buried in his arms. “I know they were dangerous, but please don’t let them die.”

That night in the Sioux Center hospital Deirdre was sedated due to a skull fracture and brain hemorrhaging. At the nurse's station they couldn’t help, but gossip about him. The hallways were dark as it was after hours and there were several patients sleeping. 

“I am so happy you pulled jailer duty tonight, Kim. I don’t think I could handle all that drama surrounding him.”

“What do you mean by that, Kevin?” Kim asked.  Kim was a newer nurse in the hospital and had only been there for about six months. She had short brown, curly hair and wore large round glasses. 

“I heard he was a real basket case,” Kevin said as he shrugged. “I heard that the guys that stopped him barely touched him.  The one only lightly tapped him and supposedly broke his skull.

“Knock it off. He was stopped by some bystanders and eyewitnesses are unreliable at best.” the last nurse, Cristin, said as she handed a file to Kim from behind the counter. “Can you go change out his IV bag and add a drip of the doctor’s prescriptions?”

“Anything to escape this conversation,” Kim said and she snatched up the file and started down the hallway toward Deirdre’s room. 

“Make sure to stay away from the bed. Don’t need that low life trying to grab a late-night snack.” Kevin said as he watched Kim walk down the hallway.

“You are going to need to speak to HR if you keep talking like that to the new ones,” Cristin said as she typed away at her computer. 

As Kim entered Deirdre’s room she walked to the opposite side of his bed and began changing out his IV bag.  She thought she heard something hit the floor and looked over to see that Deirdre was fidgeting in his bed. His eyes were still closed as she looked down at his handcuff and saw that it has turned almost pure white and was melting off his wrist. Deirdre then sat up and looked over at Kim. “Where am I?” he asked as her face went pale. 

Deirdre then swung his legs off the bed and sat on the edge as Kim began to pass out. Deirdre reached out and tried to catch Kim, but was only able to slow her fall as she fell to the floor.

“Hey, Kim!” Deirdre heard a voice call from the hall. “Is everything alright?” Deirdre got up and walked out into the hallway. He locked eyes with a male nurse that had started to walk down the hallways. The look in the man’s eyes scared Deirdre. What happened next was instinctual for Deirdre at the moment. “Hey!” The man called. At that same moment, bright red flames shot from Deirdre’s right arm and hand as he pointed it at the man. Suddenly a huge column of fire erupted and engulfed the hallway and the man standing in front of him.  The fire shot down the hallway and past the nurse's station. The sprinklers triggered as Deirdre lowered his arm and the flames calmed down. 

“Oh god! Kevin!” He heard a lady's voice yell out as he walked down the hall and stepped over the charred and smoldering body that had been Kevin.  He rounded the corner of the hallway to see an older lady leaning over the counter and trying to look down the hallway. As they locked eyes he could see the fear in her eyes. She fell back into her chair as he walked up to her. 

Deirdre needed to play this like he knew what he was doing. “Hello, darling, would you be able to call down the front desk and let them know that I will be discharging myself? I don’t want any trouble.” Cristin slowly nodded as she pointed to the elevator. “Thank you.” Deirdre then walked over and got in the elevator. 

As he rode the slow elevator down he looked down at his hand and felt a change in his body. He felt as if he was four inches taller and his body felt filled out and he noticed definition in his forearm and hand. He marveled at it as the elevator came to a gentle stop and the door slowly opened. Deirdre took a step out of the elevator and was immediately met by another nurse. She had long black hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. Deirdre was stunned at her beautiful caramel-colored skin and stunning eyes. 

“Don’t try to stop me,” He said as he took a step back.

“Cristin called and asked me to escort you out of the building,” the nurse said as she put her hand on her hip. “The name is Gala. Would you like to search through the lost and found for new clothes?”

“Where are my clothes?” Deirdre asked as his body relaxed a bit. 

“An evidence locker at the sheriff’s office. You won’t be getting them back anytime soon, even though it doesn’t look like they will fit you anymore. I was skimming your file earlier and I would say you are taller than 5’11 now.” Gala said as she motioned for Deirdre to follow her. 

She took him to a small closet and inside he found a couple of large boxes that had a various assortment of clothes in them. Deirdre was able to find sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a couple of t-shirts that fit him in the box. As he exited the closet wearing the new clothes Gala smiled at him. 

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Deirdre asked.

“Honestly, the situation calls for it. From Cristin’s tone, I could gather that something terrible happened and a call went out to the fire department. They should be here any second so you might want to leave out the back entrance.” 

“Lead the way,” Deirdre said as Gala started walking down the hallway toward the back of the hospital. As they reached a single door Gala waved her ID badge over a scanner and the door opened. Deirdre followed behind her and she opened up another door. Deirdre walked through the doorway as Gala held it open for him. He found himself on the backside of the hospital looking at a number of small houses. He turned back to Gala as she started to close the door. “Thank you,” he said as he smiled back at her. 

“If you want to thank me then do something with the life you live,” Gala said as she closed the door behind her. 

Check out my completed book Bosk of Finrad!

Leave a comment