Tom Sawyer, a.k.a. Impulse
Tom sat in the darkness with only the dim light of his computer screen glowing in front of him. The cursor flashing on the screen awaiting his input. He breathed deeply before setting fingers to keys.
It is hard to believe you even go by that name. But I guess when you don't know who you are, then you have to rely on someone to label you. Even if it was me.
I really don't know where to begin. You do not really know anything about me. I told you some things and other things were part of my cover. Now it is time for the whole story, so I guess I will start at the beginning.
I was born in Philadelphia on May 14, 1970. I was named Tom Edward Sawyer. Tom after my father, Thomas Elias, and Edward after my maternal grandfather. My father worked for the government for various branches and in various capacities. He ended up working for the State Department as an analyst. My mother, Margaret Morgan Sawyer, was a historian. She taught high school before I was born. After my birth, she took a job as a history textbook editor, so she could stay at home and take care of me.
I did okay in school but studying was never my favorite thing. I preferred sports. I played baseball, basketball and football during my high school days and was pretty good at them all. My father said that I could have been better, maybe even earned an athletic scholarship, if I had focused on only one sport. But I could never decide which one to concentrate on, so I kept playing all three.
After graduating from high school, I attended Drexel University. It is in Philadelphia, I guess I did not want to go too far from home. I majored in Mechanical Engineering and received a Bachelors of Science degree in 1991.
So what did I do with my new Mechanical Engineering degree?
I signed up with the Federal Security Service and no, not some support or research position, I asked for a posting to the Field Operations Division. I wanted to be on a Rapid Response Team. My father was less than pleased.
I finished training at Quantico and was posted to the FSS office in New York City. I worked there as a member of a Rapid Response Team for two years until I was reassigned to work as a liaison with Concord Technologies.
My team commander said that I got the posting because of my knowledge of the RRT equipment needs and my engineering background. But the scuttlebutt going around the field teams was that my father had pulled some strings to get me the assignment. My father never owned up to anything, but I think this was his way of getting back at me for joining the FSS.
My time at Concord Technologies was pretty routine except for two events that occurred on my watch, so to speak. The first was a portent of things to come and the second would forever change my life.
The first event occurred in January, 1995. Factor, a group of criminal paranormals, attacked the Concord Tech facility where I worked. Several of the researchers were hurt, a few of them quite badly, and the facility was leveled. It cost the company the FSS contract that had lead to my assignment with Concord.
But for some reason, my assignment at Concord did not end. It may have been more of my father's handiwork but I don't know for sure why I was left there. My new assignment was to review the manufacturing protocols used by Concord for the products it produced for Project: Panopticon.
My job went from routine to boring, until that fateful day.
The date was August 11, 1995, it was a Friday.
I was looking forward to the weekend as I was planning on catching a train down to Philadelphia and spending it with my mother, her birthday was on Tuesday and this was my only chance to celebrate with her as I had to be back at work on Monday.
The only thing on my schedule was some Durium and Kelesium armor tests at the cyclotron facility. Little did I know that Factor had planned a return engagement.
They attacked the cyclotron facility causing some of the power units to overload and blow up. I got caught in one of the blasts along with some members of the new Concord Technologies Security Force. I thought I was a goner. I remembered the explosion and initial burning sensation. I saw my skin glowing and remember thinking I was going to be burned to a cinder right before I passed out.
I was surprised to wake up in the FSS infirmary in New York City. The next few weeks of my life were a blur. Lots of tests and then even more tests, the end result was that I discovered I had the paranormal ability to manipulate electro-magnetic fields. But my only real ability besides being able to make compasses go wild and registering on airport metal detectors was that I could generate a low grade electro-magnetic protective field around myself.
I spent the next year in an FSS lab as a test subject, not a guinea pig, but a test subject. The research team found a way to use my ability to power a new battlesuit. After some basic testing of its systems, I was given the suit then was sent back to the Field Operations Division.
I spent the next six months working out with the suits at Quantico. I faced off against FBI SWAT teams, FSS RRTs and other paranormals as part my training. When my training was complete, I thought I would be assigned to a prisoner escort team but the higher ups had different plans for me. I was given the codename Shockwave and the assignment of acting as a freelance Radley-Gold chartered agent in Philadelphia.
It was during my time in Philadelphia that I was first contacted by Talon. Who or what is Talon? I really don't know, but he/they were always able to help me out when I could not get info through the regular FSS channels. The kicker was Talon never asked for anything in return and always seemed to know when I was in need of help.
It was nice to be back in my home town but I soon grew tired of the assignment. Not that I did not like helping people and stopping the "bad guys" but the fact that I was operating alone was getting to me. I had always been a team player and was having a hard time adjusting to be an "independent." Talon really helped me maintain my sanity during the Philadelphia assignment and kept telling me that better things were coming.
Then came the assignment that I was looking for, they wanted me to work with the Wardens. Sort of, you kind of know the story from here on, but I still need to tell it to complete the tale that I have started.
The higher ups were having some doubts about John Battle's reporting of the Wardens' activities and wanted me on the inside. I don't know if they were scared of John Battle since he had worked for the government for so long or if they were just trying to get him back into the government fold. It didn't really matter to me at the time, it was my chance to be part of a team, to be a part of the Wardens.
After joining the Wardens, some things that my control at the FSS was telling me didn't jibe with what I was seeing, so I decided to have a look behind the scenes, so to speak. After some investigation and with Talon's help, I realized that it was the FSS that was being less than honest with me and the public. So I decided it was in my best interest to resign and go on a vacation outside of the country. I turned in the Shockwave gear, actually I had a courier service deliver it to the FSS Western Region headquarters. Then I went to Alcatraz and "confessed" to you guys and turned over the data from my investigations of the retirement of the FSS Project: Avenger operatives, the fate of the Project: Avenger Missing Ten and "Dr. Moreau," the man I think is your creator.
Tom stared at the computer screen, the words just did not seem right. He clicked on the exit program icon. A message appeared on the screen, "Do you wish to save this document?" Tom clicked "No" and the word processing program closed.