Carl began to tell the story of his life after he discovered his powers. He first started experiencing strange occurrences during the summer of 1982. What he described was similar to what Neil had experienced in the first couple days that his ability manifested itself. He talked about objects falling over as he was reaching for them, things being thrown about his room after waking up from a nightmare, and breaking things when he was angry. He was 22 at the time, and still living with his parents. They convinced him to see a psychiatrist.
Finally, during a therapy session, Carl got fed up with being told it was all in his head and sent all the books on the bookshelf flying across the room. The psychiatrist was terrified, and refused to see him anymore afterwards. One day, a few weeks after he stopped seeing his psychiatrist, men in suits came to his door and ‘persuaded’ Carl to come with them. They said they were just going to ask him a few questions.
Carl spent the next two years as their prisoner. They tried to test the limits of his power, and also tried to help him control it. They would hook him up to machines and try to monitor his brain activity to locate the source of his power. Their goal was ultimately to turn him into a weapon. Carl’s abilities weren’t quite like Neil’s. He never gained full control over it. It happened on its own whenever he got emotional.
They tried repeatedly to ‘help’ Carl gain control over his abilities, but it was no use. Finally, they decided to take a different approach. They tortured him until he was filled with so much hatred that he was constantly in an elevated emotional state.
They had professional interrogators slice every sensitive part of his skin open with a knife. They squeezed every pressure point on his body that caused him unimaginable agony. They used every trick in the book to make him hurt in ways that wouldn’t leave any lasting injuries or broken bones.
This continued for months. Whenever he was able to demonstrate his ability, they just increased the level of pain. It worked, but not like they planned.
They pushed him too far one day.
Finally, he had enough. His rage manifested into an unbelievable surge of energy. Carl killed everyone in the testing facility, over two dozen people, and leveled the building in one violent outburst.
The facility was housed in the basement of an abandoned middle school. Residents in a nearby neighborhood heard what sounded like an explosion, and the police came to investigate. They found Carl surrounded in a heap of rubble, still screaming at the top of his lungs for the pain to stop.
Carl was brought to the hospital, but he slipped into a state of psychosis. He was unresponsive for over a year. He responded to basic stimuli like food and water, but didn’t speak a word the entire time. He abruptly snapped back into reality one night.
The nurses at the psychiatric hospital heard him screaming during the dead of night, the same way he did when he was found after the incident. It took a few minutes for him to calm down once he realized that he was no longer in the testing facility.
He was released a few weeks after he regained his sanity. The medical staff determined that there was nothing wrong with him, mentally. Carl said that his abilities had never manifested again ever since he woke up at the hospital. Whatever it was in his mind that had spontaneously turned on in 1982 had turned itself off three years later.
From that point on, Carl had spent his life trying to find other people like him. He created support groups for psychics, wrote articles in newspapers and magazines, and searched any records he could find for information, but he never found anyone in all of his years of searching. Everyone he had ever spoken to was unable to demonstrate their ‘abilities’ in front of him. Some tried to trick him by performing illusions, but Carl saw through those.
He created his blog in 2005 to try to expand his search. It turned into a community full of attention seekers and scam artists, all too stubborn to admit that they were all lying to each other. Carl said he received dozens of emails a day from people trying to find some way to turn their hoaxed abilities into fame or fortune. When he read Neil’s email, it didn’t give off the impression of a liar. Something about Neil’s letter convinced Carl that he was a man genuinely seeking to understand what was happening to him. That was the only reason he agreed to meet him in person.
Neil stood silent for several minutes after Carl finished his story. Everything he described sounded so real. He was either an incredible liar, or he was telling the truth. Neil could see in his eyes that he had no intentions of doing any kind of harm to Neil. He was there to listen to his story, and do anything he could to help him if possible.
Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall's first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.
Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.
In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.
What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn't take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.
Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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