Chapter 1- Meet James Cavanaugh
Somewhere in Afghanistan
James’ Point of View:
I’ve been in this room for hours and each minute was making me lose even more hope than the last. The light was bright one moment and dim in the next. My chair was wobbling and on a clean steel table sat a glass of water that I haven’t touched. All I could do was stare at the two-way mirror across the side of the room. Behind that glass were several men who were about to determine my fate.
I saw through their tricks; they adjusted the lighting to loosen my focus, messed with my chair to keep me uncomfortable, and they hope that I drink the water so I'd have to beg them to use the bathroom. The cops from Gotham and New York used the same tactics on my uncle; it didn’t work on him and it certainly won’t work on me.
They were hoping my story would change but it didn’t, I stood my ground and replied with the truth; I can only hope that saves me. I could tell that they didn’t believe me and I understand why. To be honest, I wouldn’t have believed myself if I wasn’t there to see it happen. I still picture their faces in my mind: Wu, Hayden, Walt, Redding, Schaefer, and of course, Sergeant Taylor. They were the closest thing I had to an actual family and now they were dead. These men have already made up their minds, the only question that remained was: Where do they send me now?
Suddenly someone new entered the room; he was tall African American male with a stern face. He appeared to be about 45 years old with slight greying in his hair and his stubble. His most noticeable features were the scars on his neck and hands. It looked like someone once tried to garrote him, and judging by his physique I doubt that person was still able to talk about it. His eyes had an exhausted look and his disposition read that he was in no mood to waste any time.
“Lance Corporal James Cavanaugh?” He asked.
“Yes Sir!” I replied.
“Due to the recent circumstances, The United States Government feels that your services would be better utilized in the Department of Extranormal Operations.”
“Wait--that doesn’t make any sense” I said, “I still have two months left on my tour, and I don’t remember signing anything with the DEO!”
“Well that’s why I brought these documents,” he said, pointing at the folder being held in his right hand. “All you have to do is sign the papers to start your transfer.” He explained.
“But I don’t want to leave the Corps!” I protested.
He sighed, placing his fingers on the bridge of his nose. “Look kid, the Marine Corps doesn’t care if you want to leave, it wants you to leave. So please just sign these papers so we can both get on with our lives.”
I finally understood what was happening to me. Staff Sergeant Winters didn’t believe my story but he also knew he didn’t have enough evidence to dishonorably discharge me. All he did know was that I was a metahuman and I’ve had a flawless record up until last night. Rather than trying to put me in a cell he threw me into an agency that was looking for expendable metas.
“What happens if I don’t sign?” I asked.
“You face a tribunal, you’ll probably evade conviction, but your reputation will be ruined and no marine will ever trust you again.” He said sincerely.
I sighed, briefly weighing my options “Gotta pen?”
“Of course," he replied.
After I signed the forms I handed them back to this man.
“Welcome to the DEO! I’ll be your handler.” He exclaimed joyfully.
Before we exited the hallway I asked “So what do I call you?”
“Charlie Brown...or Agent Brown if you prefer”, he said.
“Seriously?” I sighed, struggling not to facepalm. It was looking to be a long flight home.