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Rocket Man 5

Rocket Man 5 - Chapter 4: The Downward Spiral

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Chapter 4: The Downward Spiral

Terry sat alone in a conference room looking out the glass window at the growing crowd of people. He had been left here by Herbie, who had worn a carefully neutral expression. Everyone in in the facility seemed to know something He didn't. The window looked out into the main control room of the RMF headquarters, which looked just about exactly how he had pictured it as a kid. An enormous screen dominated the far wall with rows of people at computers facing it. The crowd that was gathering was no ordinary group, it was composed almost entirely of famous superheroes along with members of the foundation staff and board of directors. After a seeming eternity (or was it two), the super-gaggle made it's way into the conference room.

For the first time after being issued the identity disguising costume, Terry was not wearing it. When summoned by Herbie he was told he would not need it. He was, naturally concerned that this could mean he had failed the testing somehow, although He could not imagine how. Terry was almost certain he had passed each phase so far of the evaluation with flying colors. The image on the very large monitor was a split screen comparison of the familiar double helix of a DNA strand along with a scrolling list of text composed of the letters A, C, G, and T. Terry wondered if they had found some inherited defect that could mean a medical disqualification. That seemed very unlikely considering that as a Marine Aviator, He had been extensively tested for such conditions and had hundreds of flight hours of experience including dozens of hours on actual combat missions.

This should have been the greatest day of His life, alone in a room of superheroes and their hidden allies. The general grimness that was hanging in the air precluded any giddy fanboy excitement he should have felt. The faces of these members of America's major super teams were set with the kind of determination and caution they wore when facing an enemy. He noticed Heroes from various teams, including Alert(!) the leader of the Champions Club, who was as often referred to as captain Amazing. Beside him was Brawny Bill the strongest being in the universe. Bill was the smallest, weakest runt of his people in Dimension Q, which was as telling as the fact that he was also the smartest. With them was CC members Fastball, and Neptune, Who claimed to be the actual Roman sea-god. New York's Star Force was represented it's leader Mr. E one of the most intelligent humans around with his wife Mysteria, and their teammates Seer and Mystic. Unity, The team from California was represented by it's leader Gaia, her Daughter Arcanegel (Pronounced Arcane-gel) not yet an actual member of unity but a shoe-in for acceptance, in her form fitting Young Champions uniform. Impossible to miss was Flamer, self described as Flame-boyant, in his red spangly suit, who looked uncharacteristically cautious. Also from the Young Champions present were Morph and Barrier also in the close fitting black meta-weave catsuits of the YC. Several others trailed behind Julie as she entered, looking like she had just lost a friend. She did not meet Terry's eyes.

Herbie caused the entire back wall of the conference room to display the Comparison image from the larger room. "We took a sample of your DNA." He said addressing Terry. "To code into the security functions of the armor, as well as the buildings and network. Standard procedure is to also look for genetic defects, and to run a background check of sorts to see if the sample in question is one we have encountered before. Your sample raised a red flag."
"I'll say," Flamer chimed in and deflated under the glares of the other Heroes in the room. all but the YC members senior to him.

Terry couldn't imagine what the issue could be. He carefully asked, "What's the problem? Do I have some genetic defect?"

"No" Herbie said, looking carefully around the room. "It's just the opposite. You have no genetic defects at all." Terry's puzzled expression urged him to continue. Herbie paused still looking about the room for anyone else to chime in, greeted with awkward silence, he went on. "Your DNA is perfect."

"And that's ... bad?" Terry asked, confused.

"Well, yes" Herbie replied. "DNA is never perfect, not even in meta-active individuals. You have a set of genes that are perfectly aligned with all of the most desirable traits, and none of the least."

Terry tried not to repeat a question he had just asked.

Herbie explained, "We have been looking for this very pattern for some time now. We found a lab with samples of this sequence some years ago and were concerned that the designer had intent to use it to create a race of superior beings for purposes of conquest."

"You mean like The Ubermench?" Terry asked. then realization crashed home on him. His face fell to match the others in the room. He turned to the wall sized monitor in the room that displayed the slowly revolving diagram.

"Your DNA does not match any ethnic groups." Herbie said, "Not even at the point at which all humans are related. You are not genetically related to any human being ever born, Your DNA is designed specifically to conform to Aryan ideals, even to the point that it does not actually resemble the actual patterns of the Nordic race."

Terry looked at Julie who did not meet his eyes, staring instead at the floor in front of her. He was completely at a loss for what to do or say next.

She did look at him then and he could see that she was greatly hurt by this news. She had personally championed for him to the point that he was sure there would have been no testing of other candidates if it were up to her. He realized they had told him the mask would not be necessary for this meeting, and he now knew why.

"You can't put a Nazi super-weapon in a rocket suit can you?" He wondered, briefly what he would actually do with his life from here, no longer being in the Marines. "What happens now?" He asked no one in particular.

"We will need some time to decide." Julie answered. "I don't know if it's even safe to let you go, there might be some kind of mental programming built in to your genes to be somehow activated by outside controllers."

Terry reeled at the possibility of being a living puppet of fascist masters. "I agree." he said, mechanically. It would be best if he was watched by the heroes in this building. He did not even consider if there would be a possibility of ever leaving the custody of the RMF.

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Updated 10-08-2015 at 03:19 PM by Zavaraxis

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