Theives Guild Miniseries: Phase #2

"See Bobby, Walker Inc is the future of Oceanus. Maybe someday the world-"

"Yeah dad, so you keep telling me-"

"-and one day-"

"-it'll be mine... yeah, I know," Rob rolled his eyes.

"But you don't know," he turned around from the edge of the roof. His eyes flashed with trickery, "it wont be yours, not unless you can prove yourself to me-"

"-but you said I'd have a job there when I turn 16!"

"Oh you'll have a job. Once you've been interviewed and shown you can do it. There are no shortcuts in life lad. You have to work hard to get anywhere, I won't have a slouch for a son, especially not if he has his sights set on the big job-"

"-that's so-"

"-unfair?" his dad laughed mirthlessly, then stood high and businesslike before him, "life is unfair, how many times do I have to tell you?" he winked, one side of his mouth turned up, "but maybe you're beginning to see. You can't trust anybody but yourself. Once you finally understand that you'll go far, you'll go really far," his dad turned away, something akin to pain fell across his face but Rob couldn't see his expression now.

"How do you figure that out dad? I don't... understand," Rob looked at his hands and frowned.

"Dependencies are a sign of weakness in my world. When you can stand on your own two feet, when you are utterly alone, standing above and beyond the rest of the world. Well that's when you can only rely on yourself. Because you have to try harder to prove to yourself and to everyone else that you're something." He turned around suddenly, a mad glint in his eyes, "It's like in your comics. The world seeks to bring Phantom Glare down. Because he is different, because he decided to go further than any human has done before. Even when he is saving their lives he is hated for forcing himself outside the boundaries of society." George clamped his hand around Robs shoulder, "I can only teach you, guide you so far... you can be so much more than you are. You can go further than I or anybody else in this godforsaken world. One day you will reach a cliff edge, and I will be standing by your side, but only you can step off the cliff and go further..."

Rob shook his head. He had never been anything above mediocre. He had failed at everything he had ever done. There was nothing akin to a future for him. His dad had seen to that. In his stomach he felt a great emptiness, a breathlessness and he had to clutch his stomach to stop from falling.

"You feel it don't you. This is the first step. I've slipped the rug from the feet of your world. You don't know your place any more, everything has darkened to the point of despair. You once clutched at amibtions, ideals to find meaning but suddenly none of that matters. What are you? You're nothing."

Tears came to robs eyes, he felt angry, ashamed. He fought to keep them back, to keep his dignity.

"Don't fight the feeling, embrace it. This world isn't about grouping together under rainbows with false ideals and a hopeful future. It's about anguish, there is suffering everywhere, we are alone, even if we don't see it," he could see the tears in his own fathers eyes, "and in a world of distrust, where everyone seeks only their own gain, we have to cast those thoughts away. Shed the constrictions of society, don't shrink into nothingness, be your own God!"

***

She would be safe, that's all that matters, and I would be able to have peace. Death was the only way I could have peace, and at least I went doing something meaningful. At lease my death would ensure her safety. Rob braced himself for the inevitable pain that would come from the explosion, he was ready to embrace death.

"Sorry dad, guess I couldn't become a God. Gods don't die. Looks like I failed your advice. But I never wanted to be a God in the first place. So death works just fine for me."

"You're right Bobby," his eyes shot open, then he regretted it. There was a flash of blinding white light that lingered for a shortwhile before it dimmed. He was in his parents house, "God's certainly don't die, which is why you're not dead."

"What?" he tried to move but he was completely frozen on the couch. His dad was sat on the chair. "What the hell's going on?"

"I have no idea!" he laughed, his eyes alight. There were tears there too. His face cracked into a smile that he had rarely ever seen. Then it faded as he looked at Robs body.

"Are you a ghost? Am I really dead then?"

"Am I a ghost?" he half laughed, half sobbed. "I should be asking you."

Rob wanted to frown but couldn't. Then something seemed to click in his dad's mind and the man shook his head and put it in his hands.

"That's the same position they found your body in."

"What are you talking about, what the hell is going on!"

"Son you died... in the year 2012..." This didn't make sense. One minute he was hurling himself into an enemy base, blasting it to pieces in an eruption that should have killed him, and the next he was here, in his old house with his dad telling him he had already died...

George stood up and moved over to Rob. He knelt down and Rob felt a hand clutch his own. More tears fell down his George's face.

"I never got to tell you how much I loved you. How proud I was of you. But I guess second chances can happen. So I'll tell you now before I lose you again. I do love you."

Wait the watch. The watch had the ability to stop time, but it had been broken... what if it had somehow moved him to another time period. Maybe his power could do that. Shift to different Universes or something. There was a fading beeping sound. Suddenly a small dim flash of red. It was the watch-

Pain like nothing he'd ever felt before took control of him. He screamed in such agony. He felt his fathers grip tighten. It was everywhere, and it was too much.With an effort he looked down at his body. Almost everywhere was burned, his skin blackened, his clothes torn or stuck to his body. Shock numbed him, he began to shiver with fear and a strange overwhelming urge. With even more effort, he turned his head to his father who was heaving with massive sobs.

"What do I do?" George asked through the painful stabs in his heart.

"D-d-d-dad," Robs eyes felt wide, "I-I-I'm s-scared-d" his teeth chattered and rattle in his head.

"N-no Bobby, you'll be OK, everything will be ok, just stay with me, ok?" George tried to sound reassuring but his voice broke with emotion.

It was like an earthquake,  "I-I f-f-f-feel c-c-cold d-dad," his throat was constricted, somehow tears fell down his face.

"No, no, no no! Don't leave me!" George's face crumpled, "don't leave me again son!" but already he could see that Rob was fading. An old scab in his heart burst open, a relentless tirade of tears fell down his face. He felt angry and so very sad.

At that moment, his mom came into the room. Shock flashed for a second before grief took over. She screamed hoarsely and rushed over to George's side, grabbing Rob's other hand.

"I-I'm s-sorry," He muttered weakly. Fear fell over his face then. his parents felt their legs buckle.

"Rob p-please stay..." his father begged, don't go again!"

"I d-d-don't w-want to d-d-d-die," Terror forced his face into a horrific mask. George leant over him, pulling him into a hug. He couldn't feel the warm, even the tingling sensation was fading, "E-everyth-things g-going d-d-dark," blackness collected around his eyes even though they were still wide open. The shaking suddenly stopped and a warmth filled him. Everything went dark. He felt serenity.

George froze, just as Rob did. His mouth hung open in shock as his son lay dead on the couch. Ellen screamed in agony and fell to her knees in tears.

Suddenly, Robs body flashed and disappeared.

The End

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