Chapter 1: The Sound of Music

"You're sending him out on this job by himself?!" The red-haired woman asked incredulously.

"We've went over this already, Vision." Her superior replied. He was a black man, aged in his forties but built like someone 2 decades his junior. "It's absolutely necessary that he perform his missions solo. For the - "

"Safety of your soldiers and the safety of the secrecy of this entire organization. Yes, I've heard it before. But even if he's a power, for God's sake, he's still just a kid!"

Karl Liddell sighed, rubbing his forehead in exasperation. "Do I need to tell you again why this boy is not to be accompanied by anyone?"

"I get that he has these sound manipulation abilities. But honestly, that doesn't sound that powerful…" Vision offhandedly remarked. "At least, not powerful enough that he's allowed to do things like this on his own! He's going into the mansion of Victori de Anatout, the man the press has taken to calling the biggest arms dealer in the world!"

Liddell scoffed. "It's all hype. There's at least three dealers bigger than - "

"That's not the point! There's a reason he's called that. The man probably has more guns in that mansion than the entire U.S. army, and you have the arrogance to think one kid with the power to yell really loud can stand up to that?"

It was then that the general realized where this problem lied. She'd been misled. "Well, there's two things wrong with that last statement."

This caught Vision off guard. She'd expected to get her head chewed off for that arrogance comment. "What?"

"Well, first, I never said anything about the power to yell really loud. I specifically kept it vague and said sound manipulation. That applies to more than his voice. And second…it's not arrogance that's stopping me from sending anyone else with him. You thought I was just blowing smoke when I said it was for the safety of my soldiers. This boy is extraordinarily powerful, but his power is not selective. It will hit, and destroy, anything in the immediate vicinity except for Matthew himself."

"It?" Vision then asked. She was intrigued at this point.

"The sound waves. He can amplify the sound waves from anything that creates sound. And not just boom box or car stereo amplify, I'm talking creating sonic booms by snapping his fingers. From the tests done, we think he has the potential to reach the destructive output of a nuclear bomb even with just a sound as loud as a car crash to work with."

The redhead was rendered speechless. This was definitely not what she had in mind when she thought of sound powers.

"I see you've finally gotten my point. The kid goes in alone. Speaking of which…" Liddell switched on the intercom. "…Security, get Matthew Bowin in here now please. There's someone he needs to meet." A click followed; he'd switched it back off. Within minutes, there was a knock at the door.

"It's open." Liddell said. As the door opened, a large man in a blue security uniform escorted a boy, no older than 14 into the room. He had long black hair and tanned skin, and wore a black jacket and blue jeans. His black sneakers had a slightly worn look to them. The boy looked over at the woman, then over to Liddell. He spoke with a voice that had long been drained of any childlike innocence. "Is she who I'm supposed to be meeting?" He asked.

The general nodded. "Her name is Tanya, though she goes by Vision."

For the first time, Matthew showed some sort of emotion besides total indifference. An eyebrow raised in slight amusement. "She's got a codename? You never gave us codenames…"

"I didn't give her one either. When she heard what exactly this job was all about, she decided to read comic books for research, she called it. She seemed to like the idea of having a codename that fit with her power."

"Oh, cool, so can I be called Amp? Or how about So-"

"You'll be called Matthew Bowin." Liddell cut him off. "Or if that's too much, then just Matthew. You know what, I'm feeling generous; I'll go as low as Matt." Karl replied with a cruel smirk. He enjoyed shooting down the boy's hopes.

"So why's she get one and I can't?!"

"Because she's important and you're expendable."

"I'm ex…Fine, whatever." The childlike enthusiasm that he showed just a moment ago was completely gone again. He cast a look at Vision that she could have sworn had a slight edge of contempt in it. "So what kind of vision does she have anyway? X-ray, night vision, what?"

"She…" Vision piped up. "…has all of the above. X-ray, night, thermal, telescopic and microscopic vision. Plus I may have a couple I haven't discovered yet." She finished with a smile. The woman was obviously proud of her ability.

"And she'll be going with you tomorrow." Liddell said.

"You mean you're actually trusting my control of my power enough to send me in with help?" Matt asked.

"Trust hell. She's not gonna be in there with you. You heard the telescopic vision part, didn't you? She'll be miles away, watching what's going on and keeping in radio contact with you."

The boy was silent for a while. "…I can control my power, you know. You don't need -"

"We're not having this discussion Matthew. You're going in alone."

"Fine, fine. Are we done here? I'm getting hungry."

"Yes, you can leave. Just be ready for tomorrow."

Matthew Bowin left the room without another word. He didn't attempt to close the door quietly on the way out either. Liddell turned back to Vision. "You should go too, you need to be rested up for tomorrow."

"It's not like I'm gonna be doing anything but giving him visual cover. He's the one doing all the work."

"You sound bitter. You realize that while your power is not suited for offensive measures, there's no power more useful in a support capacity, don't you?"

The woman still didn't like the idea of sending a teenager into a mansion full of armed men by himself, while the two of them watched from a distance. She was smart enough to realize, though, that she would get nowhere by arguing with the general. It seemed like he knew when she'd mentally conceded.

"Good girl." Liddell said, in a softer voice than usual. "Now go get some rest."

Vision nodded. "Yes, father."

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It was a nice morning, Matthew noted, as he stood at the gate to the military compound he'd called home for as long as he could remember. Looking around him, he noticed that the guard escorting him had his back turned. Glancing back in the other direction, he saw a wide dirt road and then nothing but forest. "If I had my power right now, it'd be easy." He sighed.

"What was that?" The guard gruffly asked.

"Nothing. What's taking them so long? I'm tired of waiting."

"I don't give a damn what you're tired of. Now shut up before I shoot you."

"You ain't gonna shoot me. Not while I'm one of Liddell's top projects at this place while you're just a rent-a-cop." Matt smugly retorted, which got him a gun butt to the stomach for his troubles. The impact doubled him over.

"Now listen to me, you little shit. You must've forgotten that you don't have your fancy ability right now to protect you. No matter what happened to me afterward, if I were to shoot you right now you'd be dead. Simple as that. Now do you want to -" The guard's words were cut off by a timely throat clearing. Both he and Matthew looked up to see the general and Vision standing there. They had matching looks of annoyance on their faces. The guard straightened up immediately. "Good morning, sir!"

"What exactly is going on here? Why is Bowin clutching his stomach?" Liddell asked.

"The boy was disrespecting me sir, so I was forced to act."

"Is this true?" The general directed the question at Matthew. The boy scoffed.

"Don't act like you'd take my side whether it was true or not. You're gonna believe him whether I say it's true or not, so just drop the niceties in front of your golden girl over there."

There was no visible response on Karl Liddell's face to this. Vision, however, balked. As if he knew she was about to say something, Liddell held his arm out, signaling her to remain quiet. "It doesn't matter now anyway. Rodgers, get back inside. I'll deal with you when we get back." He told the guard. Nodding in response, Rodgers headed back into the facility. "You two, let's go." Not waiting for a response, the general turned and began walking up the dirt path.

Matthew purposely walked slowly, as usual, though he didn't expect Vision to hang back as well.

"Can I help you with something?" He asked her.

"Why do you hate my father so much?"

"What makes you think I hate him?" Matthew replied sarcastically, kicking a stray rock off into the bushes.

"Oh please, don't even try to act coy. Answer the question."

"Fine, okay. He's a bastard. Simple answer."

"That's not really giving me a reason, you know."

"I don't owe you any reason. Why do you care if I hate him anyway? It's not like you're ever gonna see me again unless he gives me another job." Matt spat venomously.

"He said he was gonna punish that guard when he got back, didn't he?" Tanya attempted.

"Yeah, but not for hitting me. He's getting punished for potentially injuring me right before I had a mission. Your father doesn't give a damn about my life as anything but a tool of his."

Tanya went silent for a few seconds, before coming back with a different topic.

"Were you serious when you said you could control your power?" She whispered to him.

Matthew looked at her for a moment before answering. "Yeah, why?"

"I wanna see it."

His eyes widened at this for two different reasons. He decided to address the first, because he was starting to understand the second already. "Why do you want to see it?"

"Cause my father seems to be wary of your power moreso than the others I've seen him talk about. That must mean you're pretty strong."

"And you'd trust me with them, even though he told you I couldn't control them?" Surprised couldn't even begin to describe how he felt.

"Well, they're your powers, so you would be the one to know whether you could control them or not. And I don't think you'd try to kill me, so….Will you show me?"

Now Matthew felt bad for leading her on. "I….can't anyway."

"Why not?"

"No, I mean I really, physically can't. The inhibitor your father injected in all the powers at the facility is in effect. He won't turn it off till we get to this mansion."

"Inhibitor? What are you - "

"Ok, you two, we're here!" Came the loud voice of the general. The two kids rushed forward to see what awaited them. Liddell pointed a few yards forward. There was a black gate in front of a large white mansion. It was the biggest house Matthew had ever seen.

"Matthew, there's going to be a truck pulling up to that gate soon. The gate's gonna open and you're going to get inside with it. From then, you're to find de Anatout. We'd prefer it if he were alive for questioning but if he resists, do not let him think you need him alive. Dead is acceptable as well."

"Yeah, yeah got it. Can you turn my power on now?"

"Not a chance. Not until we're safely at our destination." Handing Matthew a small earphone radio, he watched as the boy clipped it on his ear. "That's how Vision will be covering you. She'll inform you of any threats that you can't see. Is all that understood?"

"Yeah."

"Good, get yourself hidden and wait for that truck."

"What'll happen if I miss it, or they spot me before you give me my powers back?" Matt asked, already knowing the answer to the second one.

"If you miss it, you fail the mission and get no points. It's your responsibility to stay alive until I turn off your inhibitor. Now you're wasting time, that truck could be almost here."

"Alright, alright. Go then."

"Good luck Matthew." Came the soft voice of Vision. She seemed to not want to look at her father after saying it.

"…..Thanks."

With that, the pair got into the waiting jeep and drove off. Matthew looked around and decided he'd use the ample foliage around them. It seemed like it was made to be hidden in. Finding a nice spot close enough to the gate so that he wouldn't have to run far to sneak in with the truck, Matthew Bowin waited for his moment.

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The jeep had stopped about 3 miles away up on a hill. The general stood near the hood and looked down the hill, back toward the Chateau de Anatout. Vision stood next to him, looking in the same direction. The difference between the two was that she could see the events taking place at the mansion so clearly it was like she was down there with Matthew.

"The truck's there." Vision said to her father.

"Good. Has Matthew gotten in with it?"

"Yeah, I can see him."

Liddell reached back in the driver's side window, pulled a remote control off the seat and pressed a button.

"Now we watch."

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The familiar tingle in the back of his head signified the return of Matthew's ability, and the first real smile of the week appeared on the boy's face. He had himself hidden behind the side wall of the mansion as the truck's occupants entered the house. After they were all inside, he strolled back out and stood in front of the door. Running his right hand along it for a few seconds, he pulled back and just held out his hand. Pressing his thumb and middle finger together, he snapped his fingers. Almost instantly, a sonic blast tore through Matthew's surroundings, splintering the door and yanking everyone off their feet. Anything that wasn't anchored down, including the truck, was sent flying through the air. He then nonchalantly entered the house.

The men inside weren't dead, though they were knocked severely off-balance but the blast. That was rectified by Matthew's second snap. The chandelier was destroyed, ceramic vases were shattered, and bodies were forced into the wall at lethal speeds. All 15 armed guards stationed in that main room were killed without even getting a chance to get off a shot.

The boy then closed his eyes and started to whistle.

"What are you -" Vision started to ask.

"Shhh."

Outlines of the surrounding area started to show themselves to him. He could see the room almost as clearly as if his eyes were opened. Though the added perk of this was that he could "see" his blind spots as well. There was an armed guard behind the door to the kitchen. He looked like he was holding an M4 at eye level, ready to shoot as soon as he walked into the room. Looking around on the ground, Matthew spotted a shard of ceramic from one of the shattered vases. He picked it up and threw it into the kitchen. It hit the wall directly adjacent from the guard and the sound from that hit the gun first, forcing it back into the guard's face, completely smashing his nose. The wave hit the man as well, sending his whole body across the kitchen. His head hit the sharp edge of a cabinet.

"My aim's better than I thought." The boy boasted.

"Hell, if you can see through walls, what do you need me for?" Vision grumbled.

Looking around again, Matthew noticed that none of the men he'd just killed were his target.

"Hmm. Well I suppose I should be glad I didn't kill him yet…" He noted. "Do you see him anywhere?" He decided to ask her.

She had been scanning the area regardless, though she didn't see him. "Let me try something else." Vision offered. In a flash, she began to look deeper, seeing through objects that were solid before. Still not seeing anything in the house, she was about to say something when she saw something in the corner of her eye. Snapping her head to that, she saw it.

"They're underground!" She all but yelled.

"You're right in my ear, Vision."

"Sorry, sorry. But de Anatout and two guards are underground and moving. If you go out the door, they seem to be heading off to your left, away from the street."

Dashing back out the door, Matthew looked in the direction she told him and frowned. "It's just more damn bushes."

"Well then, check behind the bushes. I'm telling you that's where they're headed."

It was more than bushes, to be exact. There seemed to be a grove of trees blocking the way. Spreading his arms out, Matthew swung forward with both arms and clapped his hands together. The sound amplification from that ripped the trees up out of the ground, roots and all, and sent them sailing. The dirt and soil was all kicked up as well and he started to cough. Snapping his fingers once again, the sound waves blew the dirt away. In front of him now was a helipad. Unfortunately for de Anatout, one of the flying trees had flew right into his getaway helicopter and it was now teetering on the edge of the cliff.

"Well, I'll be damned. Looks like you were right."

"Of course I was right, my name is Vision. They should be coming above ground any second now."

As if on cue, the three men emerged from an underground tunnel. Matthew wished he could have recorded the looks on their faces. He didn't have long before they turned their guns on him. They were handguns, obviously chosen over the heavier weaponry so they could move quickly through the underground tunnel

"No! They've got him!" Vision cried in fear.

"Calm down, they haven't got anyone." Liddell replied, completely calm.

"There's two men with guns pointed at him! They're probably gonna shoot him before he gets to make a sound!"

Liddell didn't reply.

Matthew was about as calm as the general was. There was a smirk on his face; a knowing smirk, like he knew something they didn't. Closing his eyes, he concentrated all his focus on sound. He heard the subtle disturbing of the wind when they trained their guns directly on him; they were going for a kill shot. That wasn't the sound he was waiting for though. No, that came next; when he heard their fingers touch the trigger. As soon as they pulled it and that first bullet clicked into the chamber, both men were rocketed backwards and over the side of the cliff, done in by the sounds of their own guns. Anatout was untouched however.

"You're gonna have to come with me, Mr. Anatout." Matthew said to him.

"Who are you? Wh-what do you want with me?" He stammered, hand fumbling on his waist.

"Who I am is of no concern to you. And for your sake, do not pull that gun. I'm begging you."

"I don't - "

"Don't lie to me either. Even if you weren't making it painfully obvious already, I could hear it."

"But there was no sound..."

"None that you could hear. I could hear every time the wind brushed against it. Now let's go."

"You still haven't t-t-told me what you wanted with me."

Having about enough of the questions, Matthew pushed his left hand in his pocket and walked over to de Anatout, pulling the gun from the man's waist with his right. Tossing it off to the side, he looked up at the much older man.

"You realize that even as you breathe, you're making noise? Noise that I can control? Now it's not a particularly loud noise, so I won't be doing much collateral damage, but it is a very personal sound. As the air passes your lips, there's a very distinct sound. It's even louder when a person's experiencing fear, as you seem to be right now. Now watch what I can do to you with just the sound of your breathing."

In that moment, de Anatout started to clutch his throat. His eyes began to bulge. Vision could tell instantly that the man couldn't breathe. She didn't get a chance to say anything though, because Matthew stopped what he was doing in the next few seconds. It surely felt like an eternity to the man on his knees now however.

"I used the tiny sound waves from your breathing to basically close your throat for a while. And now you're gasping for air all loudly. Imagine what I could do with that."

Anatout said nothing.

"That's what I thought. Now are you gonna come quietly?"

He nodded numbly.

"Good. Vision, tell your dad I'm all done here and I'm ready to be picked up."

End Chapter 1