He pulls into the driveway of his family home, putting his car in park and taking the keys out of the ignition. Checking the rear-view mirror his body tenses. Two all black suvs with tinted windows sit parked across the street. His father wouldn’t would he? He thinks. Slowly he slides out of his car, his heart beating out of his chest. He slips his keys into his jacket pocket ready for a quick getaway. He walks up the rock lined driveway and peers into the big brick house. The curtains are all shut tight he notices. That should have been a bigger sign than the suspicious cars. His father was very adamant that if the sun was out, the curtains were open and the lights were off. He and his brother would always get into trouble for “Wasting electricity” if they weren’t careful.
He slips the key into the lock turning it until he hears the click. The door creaks open as he presses his weight against it, making the hairs on the back of his neck raise. All of the lights are on and the house is unsettlingly quiet. He shuffles to the family room against his best judgement.
Two men in all black suits stand with their back turned, facing his father. They seem to be engaged in a conversation pertaining to him. “We promise he’ll come back in one piece.” The first man says, unconvincing. The second one coughs into his hand trying to mask a laugh.
Steelheart backs up, his eyes trained on the scene unfolding in front of him. One step. Two step. The floorboard creaks. He doesn’t know whether to run or hide.
“Paul” His father’s booming voice bellows from the room, alerting the men in black. They swivel to face him, the sneers on their faces only growing.
“Dad” He returns. He stands up straighter, ready for a fight.
“We wanted to talk to you about your plans for after high school. I know you didn’t get into the college you wanted to, but these men have an even better offer for you.” His dad looks a little worried that he’s not buying the lie. He’s not. “Come sit down. Boys, tell ’em about it.” His dad grins.
Steelheart walks into the room and sits facing his father, avoiding the looks of the men, and clenching his fists.
“So we have uh, a sort of camp,” he stutters trying to find the right words to use. “Its filled with people of” he grimaces, “Your kind.”
It’s definitely a trap, He thought. He had heard rumors about people like him getting tested on. Good or bad, anybody with a special strength or power was wanted by the government. He had only voiced his concerns to his father when he began noticing little changes. He had never thought his dad would tell anybody else.
“What are you getting out of it then?” Steelheart spit the words out at his father, not ready for the answer.
“You know we’ve been having money troubles son.” His father looked down in shame, his hands clasped tight together, his knuckles pure white. “and they’ve been telling me about what people like you do. Murder, steal, you have no regard for anyone else. I won’t support it. I can’t love someone like that.” His voice breaks on the last syllable.
“You of all people!” Steelheart yells, standing up in an instant. Hes leaving and they cant stop him, He thinks.
“Wait!” His dad pleads.
Steelheart puts a hand up to silence him. His father’s body instantly turns to steel, locked in a permanent expression of horror. He raises his hands to the other men without thinking, their guns pointed at him, he repeats the action. He looks at his hands in shock and back to his father.
“You deserve this. Turning in your own son.” Steelheart takes one last look at his father and flees the scene. He can’t trust anyone, he thinks, his body filled with wrath.