Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DCU: The Society - Chapter 06

Kelvin Institute for Inquiry at Star City - After the train wreck, 1921

Ted Grant whistled and spun around on the ball of his foot. He had never been on a college campus before, with his background and history, he had always assumed it was not in the cards for him. There were beautiful girls everywhere. A smirk came across his face and he nudged Al Pratt with his arm.

"So this is where you go to school, huh?" Ted asked. He laughed and shook his head. "This place is crazy. Look at all the girls. Isn't this one of the top schools in the country?"

"It's currently considered the top school in the world," Al answered.

It was warm and the sun was out, so everyone not in class was sitting on the grass or under a tree. Over on a field by the biology department, a football game was going on. Everything was so bright and happy, that Ted was a little uncomfortable by it. He was used to the gray and brown slums that he lived in. Even though both experiences were in the same city, they seemed worlds apart. Beneath his smile and cheer, there was a sadness buried deep within him. Ted Grant knew that this was a life that he could never have.

"Interesting," Ted said. "A lot of girls. A lot of everything in this very fine establishment. I don't know much, Al, but it looks like a five star college to me."

Al laughed.

"You can't lie to me!" someone shouted as they came out of the building that housed the archaeology department. Al and Ted turned and saw him storming away, flailing his arms about and mumbling to himself. He looked young, in his mid-twenties but his face was so darkened with anger that it looked twisted and bent. When he passed Al and Ted on the walkway, he stopped, looked at them and pointed his finger at Al. "I am not crazy," the man said.

"Sure thing, pal," Ted said.

"They're lying to me," the man continued. "They're lying to me."

The man stormed off and left the campus. Ted and Al just watched him walk away with an incredulous look on their faces. Al shook his head and Ted burst out laughing. "Is this everyday for you?" he asked.

"No," Al said. "I wonder who that is."

On cue, Terry Curtis walked up to Ted and Al. "His name is Kent Nelson," Curtis said. "His father was a professor of ancient history here at Kelvin. His father died while on expedition in Kahndaq. Kent believes that the university is hiding something about his father's death. The poor soul, completely undone by grief."

Ted looked over at Curtis with a raised eyebrow. "You are?"

"Terry Curtis, top student here at Kelvin."

Curtis extended his hand and Ted politely shook it. There was something about Curtis that he didn't like, so his grip was just a little bit tighter than usual. "I'm Ted Grant, friend of Al."

Terry Curtis smirked. "Yes. Al the Prat as we like to call him. All in good fun, of course."

Ted tightened his grip even more. Curtis' smirk disappeared and a look of strain replaced it. He managed to yank his hand away from Ted's vice like grip. Ted folded his arms over his chest and smirked at Curtis. "All in good fun, of course."

Curtis quickly changed the subject. "Al, are you going to the social this weekend? I hear it is going to be a good bit of fun."

"I'm still getting ready for classes to begin," Al said. "I don't know, maybe."

"I have some good news," Curtis said. "I have an invitation to tour S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City. It seems only natural that they would want the top student in the world's top college as part of their team. I'll see if I can put in a good word for you. Mary James was, quite impressed when I showed her the letter of invitation."

Al glared at Terry Curtis which only caused him to grin back. "Good for you," Al said through his teeth.

"Everything is going my way," Curtis bragged. "I feel as though I hardly deserve it."

"Maybe you don't," Ted replied.

Curtis shot a glare at Ted Grant but quickly backed away from Ted's wild and intimidating presence. "Perhaps I'll see you two around," Curtis said before scurrying off.

"I don't like him," Ted said after Curtis had left. "I just want to knock his lights out."

Al sighed. "You and me both. I have to get to my dorm, I'll see you back at Morgan's tomorrow, right?"

"Of course," Ted said.

The two shook hands and parted ways. Ted Grant went to go workout, while Al Pratt made his way back to his dorm room. When he got there, there was an envelope waiting for him in his mailbox. He took it inside his dorm room and plopped down on his bed. The envelope was addressed to him and had a return address of S.T.A.R. Labs, Central City. Al ripped open the envelope and pulled out the letter. It was an invitation to tour S.T.A.R. Labs, signed by Jay Garrick himself.

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