– OCTO-BOY: Octo-Boy’s First Day part 2 by J. Vandersteen
Octo-Boy swings from building to building, using his tentacles. He thinks, My mom… In the hospital. It’s what I’ve always been afraid of!
He lands on top of the Bay City General Hospital. He lowers himself down, using his tentacle to drop from story to story, grabbing the latches with each story.
When he is down he changes to Matt Tatum behind a dumpster, walking into the hospital in his usual teenage form. He checks with the reception desk.
“Ms. Tatum is in intensive care. Room 225,” the woman at the desk says. Matt hurries off.
He walks into the hospital room where his mother is lying in bed, tubes attached to her arms and nose.
“Mom! What happened?” Matt asks as he steps in.
“Matt… Good to see you,” she says in a weak voice. “When I apprehended that bank robber suddenly a Hummer appeared with armed men. They shot at us and while we were lying on the concrete, bleeding, they freed the bank robber. I was one of the lucky ones… I’m still alive, most of the cops died.”
“This work you do… It’s so dangerous,” Matt said.
“Most of the time it’s not, you know that. It just seems criminals seem to get more vicious every day.”
“How are you now? What do the doctors say?”
“I’ll live. They want to remove a bullet from my side, though. I hate surgery.”
“I figure everybody does. What about those men in the Hummer? Any clue who they were and where they went?”
“Don’t worry about that, it’s top priority to track them down,” a voice said.
A black man with a crewcut and a goatee walks in. He is wearing an expensive suit.
“Agent Johnson! Good to see you,” Matt greets the man..
“Likewise. Wish it was under better circumstances, kid. As I said though, we will be doing everything to get the people who shot your mom. Rumor is that there’s a particular hardcore group of criminals setting up shop in Bay City. Word on the street is they call themselves the Raiders.”
“I hope you will be careful,” Marcia Tatum says. “They shot us without hesitation.”
“Don’t worry about me, you know I’m the toughest agent in town. Well, after you of course, Marcia.”
The doctor and two nurses walk in. “It’s time to get Agent Tatum to surgery, folks. Time for you to leave.”
Matt grabs Marcia’s hand and squeezes it. “Take care, mom. I love you.”
Matt and Johnson walk out the room.
“Be sure to pray for your mom,” Johnson tells Matt.
“I will,” he promises.
“Need a ride somewhere?” Johnson asks. “It’s getting late already and I don’t want to have you wandering the streets. How did you get here anyway?”
“Err… I took a bus.”
“Ah, of course. Let me drop you off at your place.”
They get in Johnson’s car and drive off.
“Do you think mom will be okay?” Matt asks the agent.
“Sure. She’s tough and the doctors are really good. She will be okay. Don’t worry about it, get some sleep so you can visit your mom tomorrow again.”
The police radio in Johnson’s car sounds, “All units, we discovered the Hummer we were looking for. All units proceed to the corner of Miller and Romita Street.”
“Crap, I gotta answer this,” Johnson says and slaps his siren on the roof of the car.
He guns the engine and speeds off.
Police cars have surrounded the Hummer. Cops have their weapons out, pointing at the car.
Johnson stops the car a few feet from the other ones. He tells Matt, “Stay in the car. You’ll be safe there.”
“Sure,” Matt says and thinks, Deja-vu all over.
Johnson pulls his gun and walks to the other cops. “What’s the situation?”
“A patrol car spotted the Hummer, just standing there in the middle of the street, abandoned,” a cop informs Johnson. “There’s some CSI guys on the way. We were told for the FBI to show up before we investigated the car.”
“Well, the FBI is here. I’m going to have a look. Cover me,” Johnson says and walks to the Hummer.
Matt sees him go. He thinks, I don’t see any bad guys, but still… I don’t trust it. I don’t want him to get hurt like mom did. I’ve got these strange powers now… If I can help Agent Johnson I have to. I can slip out of the car and change into Octo-Boy…
Johnson and two cops are standing close to the Hummer. Johnson looks inside. Nobody. He looks closer and then notices what seems to be a timebomb on the front seat. The clock is ticking.
“Everybody, GO! GO! There’s a bomb in there!” Johnson yells.
Octo-Boy jumps over the patrol cars, then he jumps to the Hummer. His tentacles smash the window and grab the bomb.
“Stand back, I’ve been known to have one hell of a throwing arm,” the hero says. He throws the bomb up, high in the sky where it explodes.
That was a good combination of football training and superpowered tentacles, Octo-Boy thinks.
“Wow! You saved us! You’re that Octo-Boy Marica talked about!” Johnson says.
“That’s me,” Octo-Boy says.
Johnson points at the T-shirt he’s wearing. It says BAY CITY HIGH. “You’re actually still in high school?”
“Err… No I borrowed this,” Octo-Boy says, thinking, I don’t want anyone to know I’m Matt before I figured out what’s happened to me. Maybe I should be wearing a costume like Godling and the others if I keep playing the hero.
“Well, thanks for the help I guess,” Johnson says. “Although I’m not sure what my thoughts are on having a monstrous vigilante in my city. I don’t want this place to turn into a beehive of superpowered fights like New Troy.”
“Monstrous?” Octo-Boy repeats.
“Just be warned, I appreciate what you did, but stay within the law.”
“Sure. Why did you think the bomb was in that Hummer? Just cleaning up evidence or were they trying to make some more cop victims?”
Johnson frowns. “You seem to know a bit more about this than you should. Where do you get your information?”
“Errr… The internet of course,” Octo-Boy says and thinks, I really need to get to get the hang of this secret identity stuff better.
“Uh-huh,” Johnson says. “I don’t know about their reasons but we’re going to turn that Hummer inside out for clues and get these guys off the streets.”
“Sounds like a plan. Gotta go now!” Octo-Boy says and jumps over the patrol cars again, fleeing the scene. He thinks, I have to hurry up and get back in the car.
Seconds later Matt is back in the car. Johnson gets in the car and tells Matt, “I think I will have to call you a cab. I’ll be needed here some longer.”
“Sure,” Matt says. “What was that explosion?”
“These Raiders are even crazier than we thought it seems. I mean, setting off bombs in the middle of the city. And talk about crazy… I just met that Octo-Boy your mom told me about. Freaky looking guy. He seemed intent on doing good, though.”
I sure am, Matt thinks. I’ve got the power now to protect my mom and her friends and I will be using it!
TO BE CONTINUED