Max and Jackson slowly walked through the damp morning air as the sun took its place in the sky. They had dropped Abby off at a friend’s house and drove far outside of town to a lone field.
The tension between them slowly fell away as the father and son felt at ease with one another once again.
“Ready to hear the rest, Son?”, Jackson asked.
Max was still a little uneasy about all this. He already found out he’s a being from another planet with superhuman abilities, what more was there to learn? But he needed to know everything.
“Yeah, Dad… I’m Ready.”
August, Twenty Years Ago
Eve gently wiped away the tears from her cheeks and gave Celeste a friendly smile.
“Celeste, why do your enemies want to kill your son?”
Celeste took a deep breath to regain her composure a little bit and replied, “As I said before, every Tymorrean is born with two special abilities. Some of these abilities bear...more weight and responsibility than others. My husband’s invulnerability is one of them.”
The couple listened intently as things slowly started to make more sense.
Celeste continued, “My husband’s family has always carried Invulnerability and it is a dominant ability that always passes onto the next generation of our bloodline, including my son. On Tymorre, my husband was a great and noble leader just as his ancestors were. When we came to Earth, it was hoped that he would lead us as we lived quietly among all of you in peace.”
A sad gaze filled Celeste’s eyes and her voice became softer.
“But shortly before we were all to leave Tymorre, my husband was targeted by the enemy and attacked. He went missing and was never found in time to leave with us for Earth. I do not know what has become of him.”
She then looked down at her young infant, who looked back at her and smiled. She felt the bittersweet pain of what could never be.
“I, along with the rest of my people, do know that my husband lives on through our son. He can still grow up to be the leader that my people desperately need now more than ever. If the enemy discovers that my son is still alive, then they will stop at nothing to kill him to make sure he can never be that leader.”
Jackson was seeing everything more clearly now. “So you believe that your son will be the safest by living with us, as a human...Because if he stays with your people, then the enemy may find out about him”, he surmised.
“Precisely”, Celeste replied. “But I also believe it is not only best for my son’s safety, but also for his character. I have really come to admire the values so many humans believe in. But I especially admire your capacity for hope; and that is something my son cannot receive from our war-wearied people.”
Eve interlaced her fingers with her husband’s and he gently gave her hand a reaffirming squeeze as they braced themselves for the leap they were about to take.
Celeste continued, “I hope that someday, my son will be reunited with his people and save this world from suffering the same fate as Tymorre.”
“How do you feel, Son?”, Jackson asked after the few minutes of silence that followed the end of his story.
Max slowly nodded his head as he took this all in. He actually didn’t feel as shocked and overwhelmed as he did nearly a week ago when he heard the first part of this story. It was like he started becoming accustomed to learning strange and bizarre things about himself.
“I’m actually okay”, he replied. “But let me see if I have this all right: I’m a being from another planet. I have superhuman abilities that I inherited from my biological parents. A group of evil aliens want to kill me, while others are waiting for me to lead them against this force and save the whole world?”
Jackson couldn’t help but chuckle a little, “Well, you don’t make it sound very fun, but yeah that’s the gist of it”.
Jackson then continued on a more serious tone, “But son, there’s something important I need you to know.”
Max stopped walking and faced his father to listen.
“Another reason why I decided not to tell you about your heritage...was because I didn’t want you to feel like you have to go off and be this big hero for a group of people you know nothing about. There are people out there who are expecting a lot from you, but don’t feel like you have to take on this huge responsibility. You need to make that decision yourself.”
Jackson reached up and firmly placed his hands on Max’s strong shoulders while looking him gently in the eye.
“A great leader becomes who he is by first making that decision all on his own - not because he gave into the pressure of others around him. It’s part of being a man, Max.”
Max looks back at his father and gives him a small smile, “Thanks Dad. I’ll remember that.”
Jackson smiled back at his son and pulled him close for a tight embrace.
“Just know Max, that I’ll support you no matter what decision you make.”
Max smiled and slowly let go of his dad. He paused for a moment then curiously asked, “So there are others out there, who are just like me?”
“I believe so.”
Max pondered something.
“So if there’s really an intergalactic war going on here, then why haven’t we heard anything about it? How do you hide something like that?”
Jackson started walking again and Max followed suite.
“That’s something I’ve wondered myself, Max. But if you think about it, this is an alien race we’re talking about. They may fight their wars in ways you and I have never heard of.”
Max nodded in agreement, “And they’re also trying to stay hidden from humans. Right?”
“Yeah, from what I understand.”
Max remained silent as he thought over all these different pieces of the puzzle that was suddenly his own life. He had no idea what choices he needed to make in the near future, but he did know one thing. He needed to start learning how to control his abilities.
“Dad”, Max started hesitantly, “There was something else I didn’t share with you the other day.”
They stopped walking and Jackson turned around towards Max.
“Yeah? What is it?”
“The other night, during the call about the fire at the factory, when that ceiling came down I think I became...invisible. The problem is, I have no idea how to control it.”
Jackson grinned and clapped Max firmly on the shoulder.
“Well, we’ll just have to figure that out then. Won’t we?”
August, Twenty Years Ago
Celeste was sitting in the dimly-lit room by herself with a bulky video camera in front of her. This was the hardest decision she’s ever had to make, but she knew it was the right one. Both for her son and her people. Her son would be safe, but he would also be loved. She knew that after being raised by the Trentons, he would grow up to be a very good and courageous man someday. Just like his father.
She took a deep breath, then lifted her shaky hand to turn the camera on and looked into the lens.
Celeste was quietly walking back towards the living room, where the young couple was with her son. She stopped when she heard them conversing with one another and couldn’t help but listen in.
Eve was smiling down at the happy cooing baby in her arms, while Jackson carried a worried expression on his face.
“Do you think we’re making the right decision, Hon?”, he asked.
She beamed at him.
“I’ve never been so sure of anything else my whole life, Jack.” She gently reached out and put her hand on his cheek. “Besides marrying you of course!” She looks back down at the infant she’s holding. “I’ve always had faith that the right child would come to us someday; and he has. This little boy is meant for something great, and he’s been entrusted to us to love and protect.”
Jackson smiled and relaxed, putting his arm around his wife while gazing down at their new baby boy.
Celeste smiled in the background, undetected, as a single tear ran down her cheek. Her decision was reaffirmed by what she just saw between this loving husband and wife.
The couple suddenly heard their door quickly open and shut. Jackson got up to go investigate but only found a videotape sitting by the front door, with Celeste no where in sight.
Celeste was down at the end of the street where the Trentons lived. She took one more look at the home where she had just left her child, knowing that she would never see him again.
“Goodbye, my son”, she whispered into the thick night air before vanishing from sight.
After his father and sister went to bed, Max went down into the basement of their house where there was an old TV with a VCR set up. He sat in front of it with the videotape in his hands. He finally felt ready to watch it.
He slowly put it into the VCR and sat back. The face of his mother - the mother who birthed him and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect him - filled the screen. He was immediately taken aback by how beautiful she was. She smiled gently, as if she knew exactly when he would be watching this some day. There was something tragic about her eyes as she gazed back at him through the screen. She then started to speak with a soft, whispery voice:
“My son, this is the day that we must part ways. But know that I will always be watching over you. I have no doubt within my heart, that you will be very much loved and cared for in this home. And that one day, you will grow into a great man who truly knows what is right and what is wrong. My son, you were born with a very special gift. And I hope that one day, you will use that gift for good and achieve the great things you were meant for. I believe in you. Do not ever give into the doubts in your heart. No matter what path you take, you will always be my son and I will always love you, Oden.”
The screen then went to static as the tape reached its’ end.
Max sat there in peaceful silence as he took in the emotions he felt from seeing and hearing his biological mother for the first time.
Everything suddenly became very real to him. The abilities, the fact that he came from another world, and the silent war that was occurring around him between his people without any notice. This woman who was his mother, was real. The anguish she felt in leaving her child behind, was real. This threat that had brought her here, was real. And it was still out there somewhere.
Max now has a side to him he can never deny for the rest of his life. His Tymorrean side.
Kreios looked across at the three youth who were standing before him. The mission they had spent years preparing for, was about to begin.
“It has been twenty years now. I have no doubt that Oden’s abilities have started to show themselves”, he spoke with a smooth and aged voice.
“When do we leave?”, asked one of the youth - a young woman with long blonde hair.
“Are all three of us going?”, asked another young woman, who had short cornsilk hair that gracefully framed her face.
“No”, Kreios replied and then turned to the oldest of the youth; a man with dark hair and a lean build. “You will go alone. I believe it will be best if only one of you goes.”
The young man simply nodded in reply.
“Bring Oden back to us”, Kreios finished.