~ Follow my adventures as a super-hero cat and an eccentric food taster ~

Jun 6, 2010


CHAPTER 8: How I Came to Be a Super-Hero - Part Four ©

From that moment on I began working on my three superhero abilities. While flying had at first been quite a challenge, it began to become second nature to me, and so I continued honing my speed and my turning skills. I spent some time in the early evening and early morning, hoping that no-one would see the orange streak in the sky and wonder what it was.

My super-hearing and sight took some effort to work on. Up until I had discovered that I possessed them, seeing and hearing long distances had simply been an automatic ability. To fine-tune them further posed quite a challenge. Squinting was no help in seeing further away, and moving my ears did not extend my super-hearing.

Boss, the retired superhero cat and now instructor turned up early one evening as I finished my flying training.

"Congratulations," he said as he lighted onto the grass next to me. "You've been accepted into superhero training," the Siamese said. 

I smiled and performed a little somersault.

"Over the next few months you will be undergoing training at our secret facility," Boss said. "While you have made it to Stage One of our training, this does not guarantee you a place in our organisation."

My smile faded a little.

"Along with your training you will undergoing psychological testing to determine if you can handle the mental stresses that come with being a superhero."

I was sure there would be no problem. I am after all - me.

Boss looked at me and said, "Before we go, let me just ask you one question. How would you feel if your intervention caused the death of someone?"

The idea that I might accidentally kill someone made me feel instantly sick to my stomach. My brain felt like it was frozen in ice and I couldn't think.

The Siamese continued staring at me.

"How would you feel if you had to choose between saving one person while allowing another one to die?"

My mind remained blank. Shaking my head, I simply said, "I don't know. How can anyone know?"

"That is an acceptable answer," he said. "The fact is, we cannot know until we are in that situation. Making that choice is difficult for anyone."

"We'll be heading north for your training. You'll need to get there by 6.30 each evening and return home before dawn. The training is intense and at home you'll find you have little energy to do anything but sleep and eat. Fortunately as a cat, your family will not think anything is out of the ordinary."

"Follow me," Boss said as he flew straight up into the air.

Following him north, I enjoyed the feel of the cool evening air as it passed through my fur. My skin was tickled both by the cooler air and the excitement of my new adventure.

Waiting until I pulled in alongside him, Boss than began talking about the training.

"Depending upon both your natural abilities and your willingness to work hard, the training can take either several weeks or several months," he shouted.

In a couple of minutes we had flown over my home-town, and several other populated centres had passed beneath us. By my reckoning we had flown at least 200km.

We were now in a quite mountainous area and descended to a farmhouse nestled in the crater of a long-extinct volcano. A lone track led to it through a nearby valley.

Alighting near the old building, there was no-one in sight as we entered the front door. Inside, in the light of the lamp hanging in the doorway, I noted that the cobwebs and dust were quite thick, though there were some footprints in the dust on the floor. It was evident that no-one had lived here for some considerable time.

"Where is everyone?" I asked, feeling a little disappointed.

"Drink?" asked Boss, ignoring my question.

Jumping onto the sink, he waited with his paw poised above the handle of the tap.

"Sure," I said, moving a little closer.

As I reached him, Boss hit the tap with his paw.

There was a loud click and a whirr, and suddenly we were descending down a dark elevator shaft. A small light from the drawer on the sink illuminated our faces and I felt my stomach lurch with the motion of the elevator.

"Hold on," said Boss.

At that moment the lift came to a sudden stop and bright light streamed in from behind me as a door opened up.

"Wecome," said a deep voice. It was human.

I turned and my eyes took a few moments to adjust to the brightness.

"Welcome to your new home away from home," said the man.

I exited the lift, with Boss following behind.

"You can call me Clarke," said the well-built man.

Looking up at the human who I estimated was in his 60s, I smiled a little uncertainly.

"And no, I'm not superman," he said with a grin.

"Me either," I said.

Clarke laughed. I started as I realised that this human could understand my speech.

Looking around, I noted that the room was filled with computers, large screens, and about a dozen humans talked on head-phones, and worked at various tasks.

"This is our headquarters," Boss said, "And this is where all operatives in this part of the world receive their instructions and information. All rescues and emergencies are co-ordinated from here."

Clarke added, "There are several such headquarters throughout the world, located in sparsely populated regions. Our funding comes from grateful governments and philanthropic business-people. We invest money wisely to ensure that we can continue our work well into the future."

Standing in that large room, I let the sights and sounds wash over me. My ears and whiskers twitched and my eyes grew large in excitement.

"Ok," I said finally, "When do I start?"

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