If Jack had been a lesser man, he would have already taken shelter from the incoming storm. If he’d been a smarter man, he’d have already prepared excuses for what they would say. But he was neither of these things, and so he’d sat at the kitchen table and waited for his parents to come home, and waited for them to give him a punishment for what he’d done.
The footsteps sounding up the porch stairs weren’t preceded by the sound of a car pulling into the driveway, as it had been before he’d become a super. Jack turned towards the door to find both of his parents walking through the door, slightly wet from the rain. They paid no mind to their son sitting at the table; instead, they walked straight to the living room, caught up in whatever they were discussing.
Their voices were lowered, but Jack could still hear snippets of their conversation from his seat in the kitchen.
He walked into the room and cleared his throat. Their conversation stopped abruptly and they both turned to look at him.
“I got into a fight today.”
His dad looked puzzled by the comment and his mom nodded her head.
“I heard,” his mom tried to look angry, but failed. “You took on a tank in the lunchroom.”
“Did you win?” his dad asked immediately afterwards, earning himself a glare from his wife.
“We were broken up before the fight could be decided. But I think he would have beaten me,” Jack added as an afterthought.
They just stood looking at each other for a few seconds after he finished speaking. Parents and son, caught up in an awkward silence.
“Well, I should get started on my work,” his dad cleared his throat, breaking the silence.
“And I have to go… grade schoolwork,” added his mom as both parents walked out of the living room.
“But… aren’t you guys mad at all?” If the Dean was really mad about the fight, then why weren’t they?
“Mad about what? Getting into fights is what being a super is all about,” his dad looked over his shoulder to answer.
“But…” Jack trailed off when he realized he was arguing for a punishment. If they weren’t going to care, then he wasn’t going to either, he decided. He didn’t have any homework because he did it all in detention, so he found himself a bit bored. But he could always tinker with his armor, after seeing how it held up in the fight today.
Jack headed down to his workshop, already thinking about what he could do to his armor. He’d have to start from scratch, make a new design, perhaps not even a suit! Perhaps just keep the helmet and a utility belt, and add some gadgets. The largest it might get will be exoskeleton design, well, maybe a little more covering than an exoskeleton. Jack pushed the doors of his workshop open and took off his suit with a bit of difficulty. The arm hadn’t been able to retract fully, and getting his arm out of it took some time. He set the suit on a rack over in the corner, and set about taking out the gadgets he’d set in. The anti-gravity device, the static generator, the portal gun; all of them came out. The rest of the suit was set aside for future use. In other words, Jack was too lazy to move it to the large trash pile behind the shed.
This time, Jack was going to take the slow approach and draw everything out. Literally. He taped down a large piece of drafting paper and drew a rough sketch of a person on it, life size. The helmet was next, and he drew it on. Gloves, boots, battery pack and a utility belt, all were drawn on.
For the more specific details, Jack used a smaller sheet of paper. He drew out the helmets circuitry, the visors display and all things related to the helmet on one sheet. The gloves and the boots would – hopefully – utilize a version of the anti-gravity device. The utility belt was easy to draw, but figuring out a material that would be the right combination of flexible and tough would be hard.
But defense was a big problem here, with most of his body being exposed to attacks, and him not having much natural protection. A force field, maybe? Just slightly offset from his body? Jack wasn’t sure how he’d make that one work and made a note to look into known force field generators, if any existed.
The sketch laid on the table and looking at it, Jack could imagine himself wearing it. Going around, saving people, stopping the villain; a smile crept on to his face as he thought about it. Oh, yes, he thought. This suit will be fun.