Paradox – Chapter 1

Argentina – 1958

“Heinrich! Heinrich! Wo bist Du?” yelled a woman in a sundress from the front porch of her home, her hair and makeup perfect despite the blistering heat and humidity common in the jungle.

“I am here, mother. What is wrong?” Heinrich Himmel replied in perfect High German as he jogged down the dirt path towards his home. Although he was fluent in English, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish, the community preferred the language of their native land when speaking in public. Not all of the transplants wanted to learn the language of the lesser people. This land was only a temporary reprieve until they could return to the Fatherland and reclaim it from the Untermenschen.

“Your father never came home last night. Go to the laboratory and find him. Tell him that I’m not waiting any longer and unless he wants his breakfast cold and alone, he’d better come home now.”

When his mother put his hands on her hips to emphasize her unhappiness, Heinrich knew that father was in trouble. The council demanded results from all the money and effort they had put in the project, but so far, the experiments had been fruitless. Father was coming home later and later, and seldom ate with his family. Heinrich knew father was under pressure, but mother would not put up with his absence for very long. Even at ten, he recognized the lustful looks at his mother by the younger, single men in the village. She was the most beautiful woman here and the perfect female Aryan.

Heinrich jogged the two miles to the laboratory, making the run in less than eight minutes. Since his tenth birthday, his body was now Verbessert, as his father called it, Enhanced. He was stronger than the strongest man in the village and faster. Father said his abilities were far greater than anything ever seen in the world and that one day, he would lead the Aryan nation and establish an unstoppable fourth Reich.

As he approached the gate, Heinrich smiled at the gate guard, a teenage boy that recently fled occupied Germany with his family and made it to the village in the jungle. The guard held out his hand while gripping his MP-40 submachinegun with the other.

“Halt, Heinrich,” the guard said as the boy slowed down. “Are you coming to see the big show too?”

“No,” Heinrich said shaking his head. “Father didn’t come home and now mother is furious. She sent me to fetch him.”

The guard laughed. “I’m afraid you mother will have stay angry for a little while longer. They say your father has a big announcement and everyone, including the council members, are on their way here now. He won’t be coming home for some time, I’m sure. But you should be there when he announces his discovery, Heinrich. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you.”

“Thank you,” Heinrich said walking in and heading towards his Father’s labs.

Although he did not know what father had been working on, Heinrich beamed with family pride. Finally the others would recognize father for the genius he was. He was the project leader in the Fatherland before the Allied army forced his team of scientists to move halfway across the world and because of his skills in the laboratory, the Fatherland had an enhanced son that would lead the most-powerful army ever to exist. Even the American atomic bomb would be nothing against his Enhanced soldiers.

“Father? Father?” Heinrich called as he opened the door to the main laboratory. He watched several of father’s assistants run through the door seconds before he opened it, so he must be here..

A tall man with thinning blond hair and sky blue eyes turned around.

“Heinrich!” said his father kneeling down to hug his son.

“Klaus,” one of the scientist said to Heinrich’s father, “the council will be here any moment.”

Klaus glanced over to the man as Heinrich hugged him. “We’ll be ready but I want to show my son what we’ve been struggling to accomplish since the Great War.”

“Father,” Heinrich said stepping away, “why didn’t you come home? Mother is very angry with you right now.”

Klaus patted his son on the back as he stood up. “I think your mother will understand when we tell her the news. We’ve done it, son. One of the specimens has evolved.”

The boy jumped up in excitement. His father had mentioned that his project Evolution would change the course of human history and take them home to Germany.

“Really? Who?”

Klaus pointed through the viewing glass into the laboratory where a boy, wearing only a simple loincloth, was strapped to the table. He appeared dazed and sluggish but was trying to grab the straps holding him down.

“Who is he?” Heinrich asked curious. The specimen was probably not much older than him.

“His name is Enrique. He’s a lot like you, son, an Enhanced child, but he can fly like a bird. When his power emerged a few months ago, his family thought he was possessed by the devil and asked the local Catholic priest to do an exorcism. Of course that foolishness failed but we heard the rumors and my team was able to acquire him after we persuaded the family to give him up.”

“How did he get his powers?” Heinrich asked as he approached the glass, watching a team of the biggest guards struggle to hold down the specimen as a scientist tried to inject a needle. The boy was strong and required four men to simply straighten his arm. “These people didn’t fight for the Allies.”

Klaus watched the struggle but did not show any signs of concern. “From what we learned, the boy’s father was an American, probably a former soldier, that came to Argentina to hunt the local wildlife. Him mother was a prostitute from Buenos Aires before she returned back to her village pregnant with him.

“He’s so dark-skinned. It seems disgusting that he was given the gift you designed for our people.”

“It’s perfect, Heinrich. The specimen survived the evolution process and now possesses a level of power we have never seen. He will be the finest warrior in your army.”

“I can’t wait…,” Heinrich started as the glass shattered and green blast of energy exploded through the building. The glass shards sliced through his father’s lab coat creating dozens of bloody lacerations, but bounced harmlessly off Heinrich.

Outside the room, the staff and visitors hastily raced to the exit, but Heinrich did not move, staring at the inside of the laboratory now with only one occupant in it. The scientists and guards with the specimen were no longer there, only black ash fluttering in the wind. The boy glanced at Heinrich before looking up at the large hole in the metal roof created from the blast.

“Heinrich, stop him!” his father demanded as he watched his life’s work rise off the ground.

Father called him a Metal Elementalist, the most powerful of his kind. Heinrich reached out with his power and commanded the metal roof and support structure to stretch and fuse itself in the hole. He manipulated the atomic structure making it stronger than any metal known to humankind.

It did not matter. The Hispanic boy, now flying towards the roof, released a powerful blast of plasma that disintegrated the sealed hole and melting the metal around it. The boy rocketed away into the morning sky leaving a green ion trail behind him.