Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Adventures Of Oakheart, Issue #008

October 28, 2013 in Adventures Of Oakheart Tags:

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Issue #008 – – – – – controlled by Wayne Gildroy – – – – – Credits 82

“There’s no point pretending to be unconscious,” The Young Man said.  Oakheart had decided to do exactly that while he took time to assess his new situation.  He pondered whether it was worth giving it a shot anyway.  “It’s not,” the man said aloud.
“You know what I am thinking?” Oakheart asked.
“Sure,” the Man smiled.  “I’m Cortex.  I’m quite a powerful telepath, amongst other things.”
“And this is a penitentiary?  The Keep?”
“Yes,” Cortex nodded.  “The go-to prison for superhumans, high grade terrorists, political agitators and other exponential threats.”
“Why am I here?” Oakheart asked.
“I think you know the answer to that,” Cortex said.  “You went on a killing spree.  Murdered a helpless old woman.  Started a riot.”
“No, that is not…” Oakheart began to protest.
“I know.” Cortex grinned.  “I can see the whole thing laid out in your mind.  They wont believe you though.  It doesn’t suit them to believe you.  They don’t like powerful abnormals like you walking around, unlicensed and dangerous.  They need a reason to lock you up.  This is as good as any.”

Oakheart considered this.  He had no way of knowing if things were as they appeared.  For all he knew, this was an illusion and he was in a lab somewhere with tubes in and out of him.  Cortex sighed: “No chance of that.  You’re a brick.  They aren’t interested in bricks.  Even weird ones like you with the shapechanging and all that.  They already know everything they want to about your kind.  It’s the force projectors, the supernaturals and all the weird ones they are fascinated with.”
“And telepaths?” Oakheart asked.
Cortex nodded: “Sure.  Which is why I pretend that I’m just super strong.”
Cortex tapped his temple: “Clever.  That’s me.  And before you ask, no you won’t be passing on my secrets.  If I think that’s going to happen I’ll make you forget.”
Oakheart didn’t know if this was boast and bluster, or genuine, but decided to take the young man at face value.  For now.
“Why do I look human?”
“Instead of looking like a walking tree?” Cortex asked.
“Simple.  They’ve dampened your powers.  Look,” He indicated the metal band on Oakheart’s right ankle.  “That little device is cutting your abilities dramatically.  Since your tree form is a function of your abilities – and one that provides quite a drain at that – it faded very early on.  You still have powers, but not much.  Everything is watered down so that the guards can deal with you easily.”
“My tree form is who I am,” Oakheart said.  He could feel this power dampener draining his energy, but he could also feel something else.  Something deeper, that was not being drained at all.
“Sorry, buddy.  But that’s not the case.  I can see why you’d think it was, but actually it’s just a manifestation of your abnormal state.  Like all your other powers.  You may have come to think of yourself as Walking Vegetation, but in truth you’re as human as I am.  Just a very special type of human.”

“What happens next?” Oakheart asked.
“You get used to The Keep.  Because there’s no escaping it.  It’s been designed to deal with people like us.  I’m your cell mate, by the way.  You got lucky, believe me.  There are some really unpleasant and aggressive assholes in here.  My worst trait is that I snore.”
“I am very confused,” Oakheart said.  “My memories are unclear.  This last couple of days has been shocking and strange.”
“I can see that,” Cortex said.  “Your mind is totally weird.  There’s a period of a few weeks of blurry strangeness, like trying to read the mind of an unborn child.  Then nothing.  Then bits and pieces of images that don’t seem to fit anywhere.  I’ve never encountered anything like it.  Do you suffer from mental illness of some kind?”
“Not that I know of,” Oakheart said.
“I must admit, that’s not how it seems.  Though I’m no psychiatrist, this doesn’t feel damaged in that way.  Your memories are fractured along a point, like a fault line in the Earth.”
“I do not know why,” Oakheart admitted.
“I could take a deeper look,” Cortex said.  “But it’s not pleasant and you might feel, um, violated afterwards.  People do.  Probably best to just live with it.  After all, where’s the harm?  Life goes on, right?”
“I need to understand who I am.  What I am,” Oakheart said.  “And then I need to get out of here to put it right.”
“You seem confident that it is something that can be put right,” Cortex said.
“I am.”
“Either way, getting out isn’t on the cards my friend.  Being put in here is a one way trip.  There is no early release for good behaviour.”
“You are too quick to rush to such conclusions,” Oakheart told him.  As he spoke he reached inward and teased at the hidden strength that he could feel lurking beneath the surface.  Immediately, his skin thickened and turned to bark. His arm and leg muscles grew.  His physique filled out.
“Whoa!” Cortex said, moving back.  “How did you do that?  You have a power dampener on!  You can’t trigger powers!”
“These people here are not foolproof,” Oakheart smiled.  “You are a telepath and you have managed to convince them you are not.  It appears that they presume I am nothing more than a strong human who can change form.  But this is wrong.  I am more than that.  My powers run deeper.  As you can see.”

Cortex looked thoughtful.  “Okay.  You have a point.  Maybe you are more than just a brick?  But how does this help us?”
“The guards here are prepared for superhumans whose powers are diluted by these dampeners.  They are not prepared for those of us who can access greater levels of power.  I can feel a reservoir of power available to me.  I do not know why, but it is there.  So I think it will be possible to take this place by surprise.”
“Even if you were at full power, that’s not enough,” Cortex said earnestly.  “The police took you down before.  And they are nowhere near as tough as these guys.  You are just one person, it’s not enough.”
“I am not just one person,” Oakheart pointed one gnarly finger.  “You are another.  Together we have surprise on our side.  I am sure there must be a way we can use our abilities coupled with our ingenuity to our advantage.”
Cortex considered this, his brow furrowed.  Then: “You know something, partner?  You may just have a point.”

One Response to “Adventures Of Oakheart, Issue #008”

  1. False Bill Says:

    Jailhouse rock to come from Oakheart then?


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