Neil heard his name in the distance, but his eyes were closed. He didn’t know where this sound was coming from.
“Hitchens, wake up! They’re coming!”
Neil realized his eyes were closed because he was asleep. He opened them to find a figure over him, shaking his shoulder to wake him up. As his vision cleared, he could clearly see that the figure was a man who was wearing an Army uniform with a Kevlar helmet and protective vest. He could also see that he was not in his bedroom anymore. He didn’t know where he was, but he sensed the urgency in the man’s voice, and knew that they needed him.
He got out of bed and found himself fully clothed in a uniform as well. He did not have a vest or helmet, but he somehow knew that it did not matter. They were not necessary.
“Get up there Hitchens! We need you now!”
The man looked familiar. Neil saw his nametape. ‘Steele’, the name of the Professor of Military Science in his ROTC program. That explained why the man looked familiar.
However, this man did not have the black oak leaf of a Lieutenant Colonel on his chest. In its place was a single star.
Neil ran outside of the mud hut he was sleeping in and found himself in an unfamiliar part of the world. He was not in Michigan. This was not his college town. The ground was covered in sandy dirt and rocks. The buildings around him were all made of mud or wood. He saw tan tents, generators, and giant four wheeled vehicles that he didn’t recognize.
As his drowsiness faded, he began to recall the facts. He was somewhere in the desert in Afghanistan, and he was on a Forward Operating Base. Of course; this was his life now. Upon further reflection, the thought of being at a college seemed silly. It had been weeks since he was at college.
He knew what the General woke him for. He had a job to do. It was a job that only he could do. He searched for the tower near his mud shelter that would give him vantage over the entire area surrounding the FOB. He didn’t search with his eyes. He didn’t need to. He searched with his mind. The whole FOB was his. His body and the base and everything inside of it were tools at his disposal.
The tower was a short distance away. He climbed to the top and saw what the General was concerned about. Off in the distance, a little over 3 km away, were dozens of trucks and busses filled with people. The vehicles were headed towards the southern wall of the FOB. Rather, they would have been, except there wasn’t a southern wall anymore. It had just been blown up minutes before Neil had awoken. In its place was a smoking pile of rubble.
The men in the trucks were carrying weapons. They were coming to break through the wall and try to overrun the FOB. With that many people, there was no doubt that they would be able to inflict heavy casualties. Neil wasn’t worried about that, though. He knew they would never even get close. That was why Neil was there – to stop them.
Neil closed his eyes. He did not need them. He felt all around him. He could feel all of the beating hearts, all of the ancient stone and sand, and all of the dust particles in the air around him. He pushed his mind outwards to the south. He felt the snakes, the spiders, the scorpions, the struggling plant life, and finally the men in the trucks.
They were his now. He could do anything he wanted with them. He knew there was only one thing that he wanted them to do. He wanted them to die. There were many ways to make them die. He decided it would be quick. These men were not evil, they were just misguided. They were defending their homeland against perceived aggressors. Neil was not concerned with the politics of war. He was only concerned with doing the job he was sent there to do, because he was the only one who could do it.
Neil felt for the stem connecting the brain and the spine in each of these men. He held his open hand in front of his face and imagined the sensation of closing his fist around a Styrofoam cup. That’s all it would take to finish his job so he could go back to sleep. Neil closed his fist. The trucks in the distance slowed to a halt. His job was done.
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
More details about the author
Connect with Brandon Overall on Facebook