Happy Memorial Day, folks!
Hope you’re having a good weekend and doing fun things. 🙂
The story I’m sharing today actually isn’t super on-topic, but I have a drawing that sort of goes with that and the drawing is on topic. So there.
Plus, it centers around Charles and Dallas, who are both wonderful, upstanding American citizens so it fits that way, right? XD
Anyway. Drawing first. Dallas and his soldier brother, Lucas.
And the story, I’ve wanted to write for a while. Which involves the first time Charles/Amazing Man met Dallas Knight, his sidekick.
It was quite fun to write. Hope you all enjoy!
I’d told Angela not to be worried more times than I could count before I left. But if I was being honest, I was pretty nervous myself.
I rubbed my hands together and stuck them in my pockets, still walking down the hall and following the SPI agent Friday. This was the day I’d get briefed in about the whole Hero Project. What that would involve for my life from this point onward.
I didn’t look the part of how anxious I was about all this. I honestly wasn’t able to eat my breakfast.
What’s it going to be like? Being a superhero?
On one hand, I’d be saving people. Possibly even more than I was saving by being a doctor. And I was incredibly excited about that.
But then on the flip side . . . being in the public eye like that . . .
What would my kids think of me? Could I still keep my faith and stay a good man under that much public pressure?
Not to mention I was a little . . . concerned about the fact that they’d mentioned giving me a superhero name and costume. I appreciated superheroes as much as the next man, but it was a little different perspective when you actually have the possibility of wearing tights yourself.
Agent Friday opened a door going into another room and we both stepped through. It was a high-ceilinged room, with one wall being entirely taken up by a window. A few grey leather chairs sat in the middle of the floor around a coffee table. A fake fire flickered in a fireplace screen across from them.
I looked around, taking in all the details around me. It was a lot nicer than the small offices of the main SPI buildings I’d had meetings in so far. If this was the Hero Project building, maybe it would be nicer working here than I thought.
“This is where I’m being briefed, then?”
Friday gave a single nod. “You and the sidekick. You’ll both be filled in on the details of the program from this point forward.”
I raised my eyebrows in surprise and turned around to face him again. “The . . . sidekick?”
“Last minute addition.” Friday smiled. “It was really only a suggestion that we didn’t think would go through. And we couldn’t find sidekicks for the majority of the other Heroes in the rest of the states. But . . .” he shrugged slightly. “We found one to work with you.”
Yet more mixed feelings flashed through my mind.
I wouldn’t be alone in this. It might not be quite so bad.
But then . . .
If they were looking for traditional hero material, that was good. But traditional sidekick material . . . tended to be . . . rather . . .
I ran through a short list of the movie and comic book sidekicks I could think of. At least three quarters of them were . . . to put it bluntly, annoying. The comic relief with the bad jokes. The one to humorously mess things up and come up with odd nicknames for the hero. The disrespectful contrast to the respectful hero.
I could save people. And I could be patient. But dealing with a sidekick . . . would certainly make my job more taxing.
The concern about this fact must have showed on my face because Agent Friday chuckled. He shook his head, opening the door again to slip out. “Don’t worry, Fernsby. I think you’ll like him.”
And he was gone.
I blew out my breath and looked around the room again. God, help your will be done in this endeavor. Give me strength.
I walked over and sat in one of the chairs. I couldn’t stay sitting for more than a minute though. Too nervous. I couldn’t stop one of my legs from bouncing when I was trying to sit still.
I pushed back to my feet and walked over to the window. It was a nice view of the mountains from here at least. I rested my knuckles against the glass, sticking my other hand in my pocket and watching the scenery and the birds flying by.
Then behind me, I heard the door open again.
I brought my hand down and turned my head to look.
Agent Friday was opening the door and letting someone enter ahead of him. It was a young man. A . . . very young man, by the looks of it. His hair was neatly parted to one side and combed down, but stuck up in a few spots from curls. He wore clean jeans and a button-down white shirt. His posture was unusually good for anyone around his age. His expression was mainly neutral, but I saw him swallow nervously.
His age had me slightly worried. He was incredibly thin and looked to be about twelve, so clearly they hadn’t chosen him for his physical prowess.
I turned around slowly, scanning the both of them.
Agent Friday nodded to his charge. “This is Dallas Knight, your sidekick.” He smiled slightly at me, not coming through the doorway. “I’m going to get Director Mansley, if you two want to get to know each other really quick before then.”
The door closed again and I was left with the boy who was apparently to be my sidekick.
I looked him over again, thinking the combination of a Texas city and a medieval warrior for a name was a bit of an odd fit.
My brow furrowed up. I meant to say something else for my first words to him, but my concern came out of my mouth before I could help it.
“How old are you?”
Dallas had just started to stick out his hand and open his mouth when I spoke and he quickly dropped it, blinking at me. He swallowed again, clasping his hands behind his back. “I’m fifteen, sir. Almost sixteen.”
It took me a second to process that.
I didn’t realize for a few seconds that I was just staring at him. He was just so . . . so not what I was expecting . . .
“I’m small for my age, sir,” Dallas added helpfully, with a bit of hesitance in his voice, still keeping his hands clasped behind his back.
I couldn’t help a small laugh. “Well, I can see that.”
One side of Dallas’s mouth twitched in a somewhat nervous smile at my laugh. He stood there for another second before taking a step forward and holding out his right hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Fernley, sir. I hope I’m able to be of assistance as your sidekick.”
I barely bit back another laugh, just smiling as I took his hand and shook it. A surprisingly good grip from a small hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Mr. Knight.” I waited until we’d finished our handshake before speaking again. “And it’s Fernsby, actually. Not Fernley.”
Dallas paled, freezing in place like he’d just realized he’d done something worthy of execution.
“It’s not exactly a common name,” I added. “A very understandable mix-up.”
“I-I’m sorry, sir,” he stammered, twisting his hands together. “I must have misread it on the paper before I came in . . .”
I shook my head, putting up my hands. “It’s fine, Dallas. Honestly. Mix ups happen.”
His expression was still absolutely mortified. He looked up at the ceiling and let out a small breath, closing his eyes for a second like he could never forgive himself.
As embarrassing as this moment obviously was for him, part of the nervous feeling in my gut melted away and I hid a smile. I didn’t have anything to fear from any annoying sidekick making my job harder. If anything, I felt like I had more to look forward to now that I knew I was working with this young man.
I cleared my throat and spoke again, breaking the awkward silence. “So, how did you get into the program?”
Dallas met my gaze again, blinking once. He opened and closed his mouth. “I . . . don’t quite know. They said they were looking for model citizens and those willing to serve their country and I had shown interest in being an army medic and they . . .” He stopped and straightened his posture again, clearing his throat. “Sorry, sir. I mean to say it was probably my interest in the army that got me involved.”
This was incredible. Could they have chosen someone who less fit the annoying sidekick mold?
I nodded slowly. “I see. Well, I’m a doctor myself. Apparently I passed the bar for model citizen on their front as well. ” I smiled at him. “At least I see they succeeded on your front.”
Dallas frowned slightly, looking confused. “Sir?”
“I just think you’ll . . .” I gestured to him a little. “You’ll make a good hero, Mr. Knight.”
“S-sidekick, actually, sir.” His tone was still a little stiff and nervous, but I saw his shoulders lose a little of their tension. “You’re the one who’s going to be the hero.”
I put a hand on his shoulder. “That’s the thing with heroes and sidekicks. It’s a team effort. And I think we’ll make a good team.”
Dallas smiled just a little. “I should hope so, Mr. Fernsby.”
Yaaaay the dynamic duo is united. ❤ I actually have one more story in the queue of how they got their superpowers, but that’s a tale for another day.
Hope you all enjoyed reading, and have a good Memorial Day!