Unwanted Power

Unwanted Power

        “Mr. Henry,” Agent Seventy-one said, slamming a thick folder on the table in front of him, “Do you know what this is?” He stared past her smiling at something over her shoulder. She glanced back then waved a hand in front of his eyes. “Mr. Henry can you hear me?”

        He laughed and shook his head, “Man, Elmer Fudd didn’t stand a chance!”

        “Mr. Henry!” yelled Agent Seventy-One, “What have I told you about watching cartoons in the debriefing room!”

        He shrugged, “Beats me, I’m usually listening to the radio while you talk during debriefings.”

        She rubbed her eyes and sat heavily in the chair across the table from him, “You know I can’t understand why, with powers like yours, are you so inclined not to use them.”

        “Pfft, like some child agent would ever understand, what are you like seventeen?” Mr. Henry scoffed.

        Agent Seventy-one raised an eyebrow at him, “Seriously? I’m thirty, not all of us are immortal like you Mr. Henry.”

        “Hey, this is not my fault!” he said pointing at his face, “You think I like being seventy and looking like I’m in my late twenties? It’s a fight every time I try to get a senior citizen’s discount.”

        “What the hell is wrong with you?” she said with honest disbelief on her, to which he just shrugged and grinned. Steering the conversation back on track she asked “Now do you know what this folder contains?”

        Mr. Henry nodded “Are those my snack receipts from this year?”

        Agent Seventy-one blushed slightly, “Ahem, no, those no longer fit in a single folder, we had to move them to a cabinet… nevermind; No, this is the damage claims from the incident in New Zealand.”

        “So?” he replied, “I wasn’t even there.”

        “That’s my point!” she countered, “You could have single-handedly prevented any property damage, or injury, simply by using your powers to kill those monsters. Heck with your level of power you could have fried them from here.”

        “Yeeaaaaaaah,” he said drawing the word out, “that’s never going to happen. Do you know what I did before your organization forcibly recruited me?”

        “Um, actually no.” she admitted.

        “I worked at a pet store. I got to play with animals all day long and never had to worry about using my powers for anything at all. Do you know why I didn’t want to use them?” he asked but continued before she could answer, “It’s because people like you were more interested in feeling safe rather than building a future.”

        “That’s not true!” she protested, “Commander Valor has brought us peace and built a future we can be proud of!”

        Mr. Henry laughed, “What kind of idiot are you? Commander Valor doesn’t care about you or anyone for that manner. That psycho has manipulated the system and is slowly weaselling his way to the top. When he finally gets what he wants he’ll start playing defensively and use his position to strip your freedoms one by one.”

        Agent Seventy-one recoiled slightly at the unexpectedly serious reaction from him. “Well fine, you’re the most powerful being in the planet, why don’t you go and stop him?”

        “Like I’ve told you and your predecessors, because it’s not my job. Solve your own problems.” Mr. Henry leaned back and stared off into space again.

        For a moment her face turned a violent purple, but just before she decided to pummel him to a pulp with the folder, the rage evaporated and she signed. “You know, my mom used to say that the only reason bad guys win is because too many good people do nothing. If you truly think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, then maybe use that God-like power to do something about it.”

        “No Scooby you dummy, why are you going in the closet? That’s the first place he’ll look!” Mr. Henry yelled at thin air.

        “Whatever!” spat Agent Seventy-one, “Lucky for you, some of us still care.” and with that she slammed the door behind her as she stormed away.

***

Three months later, Tammy Rosedael (aka Agent Seventy-one) died in the line of duty, crushed by debris sent flying as Captain Valor battled some giant bird loosed on a city by a mad genius. The day after it was announced, Mr. Henry vanished from the facility, never to be seen again. At least, not under that name.

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