Sunday, September 4, 2016
Incredible Comics #9
The consensus was that Alfred Humphrey’s mother was a whore on drugs and his father, probably one of his mother’s customers, was a drunk resulting in the mentally impaired Alfred eighteen-years ago. He was a friendly boy who was very docile and didn’t know his own strength. While Alfred was a good-natured kid, he did have a temper when he felt an injustice and had thrown tantrums bad enough to break furniture and injure an orderly.
Two days before Alfred was to be sent to the Hoyt Asylum, Lucius Goebel and Conrad came into North Shunga and personally choose Alfred to be part of an experiment. Thrilled that Alfred would no longer be a ward of the state, the Asylum happily signed the paperwork and soon Alfred was off to Genesee Labs.
For years, Alfred went through a series of tests designed to harness his strength and increase it. He also endured numerous intrusions into his brain to look at his synapses and his responses to various stimuli. He would be trained to be a soldier but only a soldier when under control of someone else. Alfred would be the first in a new line of defense. Children and adults abandoned by humanity would have a new purpose. But then the government learned what was happening and quickly nixed the plan. Lucius, however, kept Alfred at Genesee, continuing the tests while keeping him sedated in case he would ever need him. Lucius didn’t know when or why he would ever need Alfred but he liked knowing he would be available.
Time Man was the only thing the city could talk about for days after the warehouse collapse and the discovery of the orphans. While everyone knew Time Man existed, this was the first time clear photos and an interview of the hero were obtained. Harold had forced Time Man to come out of the shadows and into the light and he loved the inspiration that he gave the community. It was difficult for Harold to work and be Time Man at the same time and the balancing act made him tired.
There was one person unhappy with the public show that Time Man was now a part of. Alderman Lucius Goebel kept close tabs on Time Man and wanted to know where he got his powers.
“We have so little information on him,” Lucius sighed to Conrad. “We need to get rid of him.”
“Why, sir? He’s making the city safer.”
“He gives people hope. When people have hope, you have no power over them,” Lucius thought for a moment. “Get Genesee Labs, I have an idea.”
Alfred slammed his way down the street creating small craters with his feet and overturning cars, even throwing a couple into the buildings. He was outfitted in a suit to protect him, a mace to use for attacks along with his fists, and a shock collar around his head that gave his brain little pricks to keep his rage up. After rampaging through almost a block of the city, police cars surrounded the area and Time Man soon arrived.
Time Man landed a few feet in front of Alfred. “Hold on there,” he began. “What’s the meaning of all this?”
Alfred swung his mace and hit Time Man in the jaw sending him yards away down the block and drawing first blood. “Get Time Man!” Alfred screamed.
“I guess he can’t be reasoned with,” Time Man rubbed his jaw and chin. He got back up and cautiously approached Alfred. “I don’t want to hurt you. Who are you? What’s your name? Why do you have to ‘get’ me?”
Time Man was ready for the mace this time and dodged the attack. Alfred stumbled forward, nearly falling. Time Man punched Alfred, but lightly, only sending him stumbling to the ground. Alfred regained his composure and quickly got back up, throwing a fist toward Time Man. “Get Time Man! Bad man! Killer!” he screamed.
“What?” Time Man asked, dodging the punches and mace.
“Bad man!” Alfred screamed again, swinging down his mace and embedding it in the street, getting it stuck.
“I don’t even know you. What’s going on?” Time Man tried to reason. He noticed the headband that Alfred was wearing and saw it briefly spark causing Alfred to scream and pull the mace violently from the street and swung it around his head, yelling. “It’s the headband,” Time Man said outloud but to himself.
Time Man made a couple motions on his sundial and time stopped. Time Man reached over and grasped the headband, pulling on it. It slowly detached from Alfred’s head, sparking and jolting. It broke into several pieces and the sparks stopped. Time Man crushed the remaining pieces in his hands and unfroze time.
Alfred fell hard to the ground, not moving and barely breathing. “Call an ambulance,” Time Man shouted. Medics and police quickly arrived at the scene and soon Alfred was being whisked away.
“That madman clearly was after Time Man and Time Man alone,” Lucius announced over the radio waves that evening. “If Time Man wasn’t around, that man wouldn’t have had a reason to nearly destroy an entire city block. Time Man needs to be held accountable. He needs to answer to someone in charge, not just to himself. I call on every police officer and citizen out there that if they see Time Man, to arrest him and bring him in so he can answer a few questions.”
Harold, at home, sat in his favorite chair and listened to the radio broadcast. When Lucius stopped talking and began answering questions, he turned off the radio. “What do you think about Time Man?” Ellie asked.
“I have no issue with him,” Harold said. “I think he’s doing a lot of good.”
“I do too. The neighborhood seems brighter with him. I do wish we knew more about him though.”
Harold looked at his wife. “We will someday,” he said, he wanted to tell her but chickened out and picked up his newspaper.
“Oh,” Ellie moaned. “Harold?”
“I think the baby is coming…”
“Alfred is back at Genesee?” Lucius asked.
“Yes, sir,” Conrad answered. “He’s been sedated and will be resting up for quite awhile. He’s had quite the day.”
“He has and the experiment worked. I am positive I will be utilizing Alfred in the future. For his reward, make sure he is treated like a king in the lab.”
“Will do, sir.”