It was quite easy for Max to remember the last time he’s done something good for someone; he was the kindhearted boy of the barrio after all. He might have a strange ability that, if not handled carefully, could end up burning everything to a crisp, but he was responsible enough to use it for good and live as normal as possible while doing so. He was in his local futbol team, and even went to school like a normal teenager. Yet, the moment that made him a target of the D.E.O. was playing that futbol match. His team was in a tie, and the opposite team was getting very close to scoring. He was not going to let his team lose after how hard they worked, all the sweat and tears, they were not about to be in vain. Next thing he knew, he took the ball from the opposite team, and kicked the fiery soccer ball into the net, burning a hole through it. Everyone stared in awe, everyone slowly walked away from him in fear. It didn’t matter how much he tried to play it off, everyone there was either trying to leave unharmed, or excessively repeating Catholic rezos. A few policemen had him at gunpoint from far away, and some were trying to hold his mom back from running to him. After that, everything went black.
After that, she woke up in his room, yet… it was different. All he could see out his window was a piece of metal covering it. Was he in some type of… government, in-home quarantine? He got up and approached his door, slowly turning the doorknob. Instead of his corridor, he was met with a metallic hallway. Then he noticed, he wasn’t wearing his pajamas, nor his uniform. He was wearing a black, long-sleeved, onesie-like suit with yellow and orange accents. It seemed to be made to be aerodynamic and easy to move around it. He admired the way it hugged his body, but only until he heard footsteps approaching him from the hallway. He quickly shut the door as he tried to figure out how he was gonna defend himself from whoever was walking towards him.
The metallic footsteps began to creep closer, and he was lacking options. He heard them stop at his door, so he did what he could do best, and it was to set himself on fire.
“Uh… Maximiliano Rodriguez? Is that your name, kid?” A male voice called out to him.
At the sound of his name, he shut down his flames, then approached his door. “Who are you?” He asked cautiously.
“If I tell you who I am, will you come out? You’re already late…” The voice groaned.
“Sure.” Max mumbled.
“My name is Jespersen Sørensen, I guess you could call me Jasper or whatever you like. Ms. Kelly sent me to help you get to class. Now will you come out!?”
Max opened the door and looked at the blonde boy that was in front of the door. He looked like he was in middle school, but he sure didn’t dress like it. His entire outfit looked like he had some type of Viking aesthetic going on. He looked like he was prepared to go to war against the Swedish army. He was carrying the axe, had the fluffy warm sheep wool vest and the Scandinavian armor.
“Don’t ever say my whole name again, just call me Max…” Max mumbled to him.
Jasper sighed, “Noted, come on then Max, we have a long tour to get to.” he put down his axe and dragged it as he walked through the hallway. Max followed him awkwardly.
“Can I ask you something, how come you have a costume?” Max asked.
“Well, because I finished the Icarus exam. You’ll do that tomorrow, don’t worry about it today though.” Jasper ranted still dragging his axe.
“And why the Viking armor.” Max asked.
“Oh, because I received my power from Odin, who gave me this axe while in the middle of a snowstorm. So the Scandinavian armor is in representation of everything I am now.” Jasper responded.
“So… are you from up there? You know, the cold part of Europe?” Max continued.
“I’m from Denmark.” Jasper responded, a little hesitant to respond.
“Well, I’m from Mexico. I don’t really know how I can do what I do though…like how I got my powers and stuff.” Max ranted.
“What exactly is your power, Max?” Jasper asked, turning to him for the first time since they began walking.
Max’s entire body suddenly began to radiate heat, his skin looked like burning embers, and his hair suddenly became flames.
“Whoa! Careful with that fire, if anything happens, I would be useless in that situation.” Jasper exclaimed as his face was suddenly covered by what seemed to me an ice mask.
Max turned off his flames, “Sorry dude. I won’t do that.” He apologized.
“It’s alright, you didn’t know.” Jasper responded, shrugging the entire situation off. “Anyway, this entire hallway was just where the dorms are. Past this door we’re about to go through are the classrooms.” he added. Max nodded as Jasper opened one of the double doors. The hallway was no longer a slightly narrow metallic one, it was an opal black in which you could see your reflection.
“This first classroom is where they teach all Science related subjects. Like Biology, Chemistry, and so on.” Jasper explained with a monotone voice.
“Wait all subjects in one class?” Max repeated skeptically.
“Yeah, they just brainwash the information into your brain. It takes less time and you only have to do one exam ever just to see if it worked. It simply makes things easier for everyone. Oh, and every other school subject is taught like this.” Jasper informed him nonchalantly.
“Wow… um… I didn’t expect that…” Max mumbled. Jasper continued walking and Max followed right behind.
“The next three next to this class are Math, Literature and History. In the order I said them in.” Jasper explained.
“The rest are homerooms. Yours is at the end of the hallway. Luckly, well not so much, we’re in the same homeroom.” Jasper added.
“Oh, that’s nice!” Max exclaimed.
“No it isn’t. But it isn’t because I have some problem with you, no. It’s because this class is the only class without a single graduate. You see, they let you leave this place once the government no longer sees you as a ‘threat to the world’s stability’. And that can vary from those with the so-called ‘Superman Syndrome’ to The Goddess herself.” Jasper shivered.
“Wait, I’m gonna need you to explain two of those things.” Max blurted.
“The Superman Syndrome is what they call our desire to use our power to be some type of city hero. Which is why they call it Superman syndrome. They say that being a public figure with powers disrupts the world’s status quo, but let’s be honest, people need us.” Jasper ranted.
“And what about the ‘Goddess’?” Max asked.
“Oh her! It’s debatable whether she’s the Devil or some type of God, but she’s a being that is capable of everything. The only reason she’s here is because she wants to out of sheer boredom. Not because she can even be contained.” Jasper explained.
“Has… has she ever harmed anyone?” Max asked fearfully.
“She doesn’t get hostile unless you really provoke her.” Jasper responded. “But anyway, we’re her now, so I’m just gonna open the door, and I’ll let you walk in behind me so you don’t get the awkward stares.”
And before Max could say a single thing, Jasper opened the door.
His new life began here.