“Want to tell me why I had to leave work in the middle of the day?” Steve Eastman glared at his stepson as the boy slammed the car door shut and buckled his seatbelt, something Steve insisted on since the boy left his car seat behind.
“Sorry, dad. Juan was talking crap and I lost my temper. But, don’t worry I didn’t use my powers.” Max Eastman said. Deep inside Steve couldn’t be happier about Max’s violence, however, he knew the boy’s father wouldn’t appreciate it. Steve promised he would raise the boy as best he could. He smiled to himself proud of the fact that Max could talk to him openly.
“What was he talking about that got to you?” Max asked. He turned left, deciding to take the long way home to give Max a chance to explain.
“You,” Max said. “He was bragging that his dad was KingBlaze, but said my dad is just a nobody with no powers,” Max shrugged. “I got mad.” Steven chuckled.
“Anyone can claim KingBlaze is their dad, it’s not like he’s around anymore to disprove anything. Everyone knows you’re adopted, you should start saying KingBlaze was your dad, you’ve got firepower like him. Does Juan have any powers?”
“He can clone himself,” Max said.
“See? That’s not even close. I’ll bet more people will believe you than him.” Steve said.
“Doesn’t matter, I don’t need to start rumors. I’m proud of who my dad is,” Max said. He punched Steve lightly in the arm. Steve made a quick decision and pulled into an empty parking lot.
“What if it wasn’t a rumor?” Steve asked. Max stared at him with a confused look on his face.
“Huh? How so?” he asked.
“You really are KingBlaze’s son. He had no other family, so here you are.” Steve stared at his stepson, trying to gauge Max’s emotions. He could not make out any of the boy’s feelings.
“I need to think. I’ll see you at home later,” Max said. He opened the car door and stepped out of the car. He flew away on heated air currents while Steve watched. After waiting several minutes to be sure Max would not return Steve drove home. Steve waited for Max in the living room when the boy arrived. He walked by Steve, giving him a pat on the back as he passed.
“Love you, dad. Just need some time to get used to this new information. But, I’m still to call you my dad.
BlazeKing was a great hero, but I have no connection to him.” Max hugged Steve, then disappeared to his bedroom. The next day Max reassured Steve again on his way out to school. “Don’t worry dad, you won’t have to come to the school today. No matter what Juan or anyone else says.” He hugged Steve again, then walked out to the bus stop.
Midway through the day Max sat in math class trying to stay awake when the building shook. A loud ruckus tore through the school, and most of the kids in Max’s room started to scream. After a few seconds the side wall of Max’s classroom disappeared, and a cloud of dust rolled in through the large hole. As it cleared it revealed a tall, thin man wearing all black standing on the teacher’s desk.
“I’m here for KingBlaze’s son. Hand him over and no one gets hurt,” the man in black said. A sudden commotion caught the man’s attention and he faced a corner in time to see some students push a short dark haired kid forward.
“Go get him, Juan!” one of the students said.
“Yeah! Juan Million!” another student cheered. The boy stared at the man in black, his body trembled. Two copies of him stepped out of his body, one in each direction. They walked to the side leaving behind other copies until the intruder faced 5 copies of the boy. They charged at him, but the man in black dissipated into black smoke, then appeared behind the main Juan. He knocked the boy out with a quick smack to the back of his head.
“That loser isn’t who I’m looking for,” the man said. His eyes scanned the room slowly as he looked at everyone’s face. Finally, he stopped while looking at Max Eastman. The man pointed at Max. “You. You’re KingBlaze’s son, I can see his flame burning in you.” He crooked a finger at the boy, urging him closer. Unsure of what else to do, Max stepped forward.
“Spread the news folks,” the man in black raised his arms high to address the cowering students. “KingShadow is out of retirement.” Max stopped in front of the man in black. The villain dropped his hands onto Max’s shoulder. “And now, no one can stop me.” Kingshadow formed a black ball in his right hand while holding Max still with his left hand. He intended to ram the ball of dark energy into the boy’s face, but Max flinched. He released a burst of fire in KingShadow’s face. The man in black staggered back, yelling.
“NOOOO! TOOOO STRONGg!” He fell to the floor but continued to claw and stumble his way towards the exit. “I’m retiring again,” he said. His body dissipated into black smoke and vanished on the wind. The students rushed Max and lifted him on their shoulders to cheer. He felt a vibration in his pocket while the crowd bounced him up and down. He managed to pull his phone out and saw a text from his dad.
“News says KingShadow showed up at your school! Are you okay??” it said. Max laughed and replied.
“Yeah he was here, but I kicked his ass! He’s getting old.” Max replied. Then he added another line. “He’s so old he really thinks I don’t know he raised me for 15 years. Love you, dad.”