Chapter 2: Operation: Salvation
Days later Frank was brought to a five storey warehouse along the docks. From the outside the building looked so old and it seemed as it would collapse anytime soon. As they entered everything inside was different, Frank could not believe his eyes. “You seemed surprised mister Miller” said a well built military officer who approached him. “Hello, I am Captain Erick Harrison, please follow me and let me show you around” the captain said.
“You see it may look like an ordinary warehouse from the outside but this is a high-tech facility. As you can see we have lots of monitors around set up for observing the whole city. Oh yes the operation shall start city-wide first and if it is successful we shall go state wide then the whole country. Upstairs is where you will be staying, don’t worry the rooms upstairs are let’s just say cozy enough” Erick said. Frank could not believe what he was seeing, he thought that the whole plan was just a joke but now he could really see how serious they were.
They walked towards the far end of the floor and enter a room, a long table was set up and there were four people inside and only one he could recognize. “Frank, come in have a seat and meet the team” the senator said. Frank sat down and looked around, he saw an attractive woman with glasses seated beside a thin man on a wheelchair, across them was another attractive lady with blonde hair who was staring at him.
“Now that the team is complete I think we should start, but first let me introduce you to your team members. Everyone, this is Frank Miller and he will be our super hero” the senator said and lady with blond hair started laughing. “I can imagine what his super name would be…FAT MAN!” she said and she continued laughing. “Jennifer, don’t be rude to Frank. Jennifer here will be your handler, in layman’s terms she will be your body guard of sorts” the senator said. Jennifer shook her head and looked away, “Now the other lady here is Doctor Yehleen Pratt, she is a criminal psychologist and the man beside her is our resident genius as he would like to be called, John Mark Morris” the senator added. “Hey you can call me JM or Brainiac if you like” John said. Frank just smiled at the two and nodded his head.
“And the last member of the team I’m sure you have met, Captain Erick Harrison, he will be your trainer and point man during operations if ever they are needed. The heads of the police department and all government agencies will be at our disposal, all our operations. The police chief could not be here with us today but he is likewise a member of this team” the old man said. Frank looked surprised and reacted, “What do you mean trainer? What do you mean operations if needed?” he asked. “Yes about that, you will just be a poster boy; you will not be in actual operations. You shall only appear after the operation is done, to appear to the media perhaps” the senator explained.
“Hey! That was not part of the deal! Remember what you promised me!” Frank stated. “Now now relax let me explain first. Ladies and gentlemen this secret operation shall be called Operation Salvation. Frank here will be made to look like the hero but in actual situations there will be operatives doing the real works citywide. Once a major crime has been prevented or stopped that is the only time you have to show up in order for the people to know that you exist” the senator explained.
“Focus your attention on the screen, this is interesting because Frank the people already know about you” the senator added. He turned on the screen and a new report was being played.
“Superhero sighting, yes you heard me right. We have obtained video evidence that there might be a real superhero living within our city. Take a look at the first video; this was taken by an eyewitness last week using her phone. Two robbers stole a bag and out of nowhere a man came flying down from the sky to stop them” the reporter said as everyone watched the video on the screen.
“Hey! That is not what happened!” Frank reacted but the senator signaled him to be quiet.
“Another video from a grocery surveillance camera showed the same man stopping a robber, take a look at this video as the hero was shot twice on the chest but he was still able to throw the suspect at a far distance. We do not have a clear picture of the hero’s face but this is enough evidence to prove that one does really exist. Let me ask you how many people can fly? How many people cannot be harmed by gun shots? Sounds like a fantasy but you have seen the evidence ladies and gentlemen. This is Sarah Kelly reporting for TNX New live”
The screen was turned off and the senator stood in front, “There you have it, this has been shown over and over again and the people of the city do believe that a superhero does exist already and that hero is you Frank” the senator said.
“But that is not what happened!” Frank shouted. “Yes I know, we did some editing on the videos before we gave it to the media. Don’t worry about eyewitnesses they have been well compensated to keep their mouths shut. So in short Frank you are now a certified superhero of the city” the old man added.
“Geez, you sure have fooled a lot of people that’s for sure. Anyway what’s with this training stuff if I don’t even get to see any action?” Frank inquired. “Yes, about that, well you see this operation will require the superhero to be all around the city at the same time. We know that is not possible so we assembled a team of fifty cops to be you” the senator said. “To be me? I get it, they will be scattered around and wait for crimes to happen, and so tell me then what if a crime happens at the same time and the media is there at both times? Two superheroes?” Frank said.
“We already thought of that scenario that is why each of your clones will have a partner, communications will be very important. The job of the people in this office shall assess which crime should be given attention to by our hero, oh of course we will stop both crimes but we have to choose only one where our hero appears. It’s the same if three or more happen at the same time, the more sensational the crime that is where the hero will be but rest assured all crimes shall be stopped” the old man said.
Frank nodded and took a deep breath. “So tell me why do I have to train?” he asked. “Because you’re fat” Jennifer replied. “What the heck is that? Can’t a fat man be a hero? Do you really have to be that discriminating?” Frank reacted and he slammed the table. Jennifer turned away and played with her pen. “Now listen Frank, it’s not that we are discriminating you being fat. It’s just that you cannot expect us to make fifty clones of you fat, they are officers and their bodies are let’s say lean, so instead of bulking them up let’s just sacrifice you and you trim down a little” the captain explained.
“In short your fat” Jennifer quipped and Frank bowed his head. “Hey don’t worry even though your fat you are still cute” Yehleen said and John stared at her. “Oh my hubby is jealous, don’t worry John you are the only one I love even though you are crippled” she added as she embraced him. “So for a month you will be with me, I’m going to trim you down boy and teach you some skills that maybe useful, you never know when you are already famous people might attack you” Erick said.
“Who the hell would try and kill themselves by jumping from the second floor, that is pathetic” Jennifer suddenly said. “Jennifer shut up!” the senator ordered. “Only a dumbass would do that” she added. “Jennifer I am warning you! Dumbass you say? Frank has a degree in Electronics and mechanical engineering, he has a master’s degree in information technology and probably even if we combine your IQ and my IQ it still would not match his so be careful with the words you use” the senator scolded her.
“Wow, so I can’t use Brainiac anymore, that sucks” John said. “Ah before we dismiss what uniform would you prefer Frank?” Erick asked. Frank sat back and shrugged his shoulders, “well make it look normal, normal clothes maybe, jeans and a shirt will do, let them wear a black jacket and a black cap since I’m sure there will problems with facial recognition. This project of yours may be on the fantasy side but in order for the people to accept this here more he should be just a normal person like them” he replied and Yehleen nodded her head in agreement.
“Okay then, see you all in a month. Jennifer stay behind we need to talk” the senator said.
Frank walked out quickly with his head bowed but Yehleen and John caught up with him. “Hey Frank don’t mind Jennifer, she is really a nice person but she has issues” Yehleen said. “No its okay, she was just being honest” he said. “Hey Frank, if you don’t mind me asking why do you want to…you know…die?” John asked and Frank stopped and looked them. “John try imagining losing Yehleen for reasons you don’t know, what would you feel?” he said. John looked at Yehleen and remained silent, “Sorry but I have to go now, see you soon” Frank said as he and the Captain left for training camp.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 2: Operation: Salvation