The Road to Autopsy

I’m writing this because I really need to process my thoughts and feelings about being a superhero. It feels really bizarre to call myself that. I doubt I’ll write too many of these, but I think it’ll be good for me when I do. I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

I had a good childhood. I was born in Idaho to a young couple, Claire and Leonard Containe. We lived in the state until I was 3. My father became a bread truck driver in the town of John Day, Oregon, where my 9 siblings were born. My mother and father raised and educated us together, giving us a very stable, and supportive home environment. Both my parents are Christians and believed it was very important that we be taught and raised in their beliefs, something I am infinitely grateful for, as my relationship with Christ has been a sure foundation for me.

At the age of 14 I decided I wanted to be a police officer, after watching way too many crime movies, and at the age of 18 I enrolled in the Academy. After graduation, I wanted to have a broader, more comprehensive understanding of America, so sought to be stationed in a larger city. I took a position in Gulfport, Mississippi, a city of 71,000. Now, it wasn’t a huge town by any means but It was a big adjustment from John Day, and demanded much of me as an officer, a man, and a Christian. I was still stationed in the city when it was struck by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was during this crisis that I encountered my first superhero.

I was attempting to save a 13 year old boy trapped underneath a flipped car as the water level was rising. Despite all my efforts, the car would not move. The young mans’s legs were pinned and he was terrified. I prayed for God to save him as I strained against the vehicle. It was then that I heard a voice behind my shoulder say, “How about a hand, son?” I turned to see Captain America. I told him, quite shakily, that a boy was trapped and I could not free him on my own, to which he replied, that, together, we could. I think he wasn’t being entirely honest when he said that, because as we lifted the car, I had to exert no effort. The car was flipped and the boy scrambled out. As I hugged him and told him that we would get him somewhere safe, Captain America knelt beside me and asked the boy his name. The boy stuttered “Anthony,” to which Captain America replied, “Anthony, you are a very brave young man,” and clasped his hand. Anthony said, “But sir, I’m scared…I’m crying….I’ve lost my family. I don’t feel brave at all.” I remember what was said next like it was yesterday. Cap looked Anthony in the eye and said, in a serious, yet compassionate tone, “Son, a real man isn’t ashamed to cry and he shows true courage when, in spite of his fear, he continues on with the fight. I know you will keep fighting.” He then stood up, nodded to me, and ran towards the homes nearest the coast, where the worst and most dangerous flooding was occurring. I will remember that encounter as long as I live.

I remained in Gulfport for two more years before transferring to New York City. In retrospect, my reasons for doing so were foolish. I was tired of Mississippi’s humidity, I felt that I was not making a difference on the force (a lie I told myself, I now realize), and I wanted to live the life of a “big city cop.” New York City could offer it all. My transfer was accepted and I became an officer with Interpol. What followed were 3 years of substantial difficulty and change for me.

I became a much colder, harsher person after the breaking of my sister’s back. Isabel was 14 at the time and came to visit me. I had not seen her for three years and planned to give her a great Big Apple experience. We saw a Broadway show, went to Ellis Island, ate egg rolls in Chinatown, the works. On the fourth day of her visit, we were walking down a street, having just eaten lunch at an excellent Jewish deli. An explosion occurred fifty feet ahead of us, taking out the front of a law firm. A hooded figure ran out of the wreckage and up the street towards us. As I called for him to stop, a small sphere landed at my feet before exploding. I remember nothing after my head collided with the lamppost behind me. I came to as someone was feeling my neck for a pulse. A firefighter asked if I could move my limbs. I could and made to lift myself up. He told me to lie still and wait for an ambulance. It occurred to me that I could not see my sister. I was terrified and pushed his arm away, hauling myself up. I saw another firefighter kneeling beside my sister. I staggered over and saw a massive amount of blood covering her lower body. I am not entirely sure what happened over the next few hours, as my mind shut down. The clearest memory I have is of a paramedic telling me that Isabel’s back was broken. I was devastated. She lived, confined to a wheel chair. I can’t really describe the anger and guilt I felt at not being able to protect her. It consumed me.

I found out it was a criminal called Hobgoblin that was responsible for the explosions and my sister’s injury. What infuriated me most was that I could not harm him on my own or with my contacts in the force. I tried every way I knew. I went to very dangerous men, looking for a means to extract revenge. But I had no success. The more I focused and dwelt on my anger and hurt, the more I devolved as a person. I truly believe God’s grace is responsible for occurred next.

I was driving to Washington, D.C. for some training, stewing on how to kill Hobgoblin, when a large truck drove me off the road. It was deliberate and resulted in a horrific wreck. The last image I saw before falling unconsciousness was a tree trunk coming through my windshield. My next view was of a white, tiled ceiling. I raised my head to find that I was in a hospital. A nurse passing by my bed stopped and asked how I felt. I was surprised to find that I felt quite well; better in fact, than I could ever remember feeling. I did not hurt anywhere. I felt like my mind and body were processing information at a much quicker rate than ever before too. I asked the nurse where I was and what had happened to me. She replied that I was in Dublin, Ireland at a very prestigious medical clinic, specializing in reconstructive surgery. She motioned a doctor to come over, who introduced himself as Bernard Hendrick. He proceeded to explain that I was flown in on a private jet, barely alive. A man in a black mask told him to keep me alive, no matter the cost and that the organs and blood needed to keep me alive would be provided. After considerable effort and time, I was stabilized and began healing rapidly.

That was two weeks ago. The doctor said he had never seen such a recovery and that I was able to check out as soon as I wished. He told the nurse to bring my belongings. She returned with a set of clothes, a pair of shoes, a wallet, and a cellphone. I was quite confused. After getting dressed, I signed out of the hospital, with the receptionist telling me that all bills had been paid for. I proceeded to make several phone calls. Over the course of an hour, I found that I had been recorded dead on almost all official records. I called my Interpol captain and family to say that I was alive, in Ireland, and that I needed time to discover why this was the case. My family was over joyed and tearful and the captain instructed me to meet with two Dublin-based Interpol agents. I then called the one number pre-regestered in the phone, labeled “Information.” Thus began the next chapter of my life.

The Road to Autopsy

Marvel Superheroes JNHutch