From Chapter 1:
He decides he wants to go to one of his favorite restaurants in the area, but then is compelled not to turn on that street. He feels like he is to keep driving because he knows he is supposed to be somewhere else. He drives on to a different restaurant. He is not sure why he is there because this was not the one he had in mind for dinner tonight. As he pulls into a parking space, he knows that this is where he is to be. He does not see anyone in sight, but somehow knows he is to walk towards this restaurant. It is still light out and he is wearing his sunglasses. But there is a chill in the air so he puts on his light trench coat. As he walks towards the front entrance of the restaurant, he comes across two guys outside and they are in a heated discussion. As he nears, they are not even noticing his presence. They are fighting about who is going to pay the bill. The one guy on the left starts shouting that he paid the bill last time. The guy on the right says that they should just split the bills each time so they don’t have to fight about who paid it last time, or if one has paid more than the other.
Matt comes closer and these two guys are beginning to get louder. The restaurant manager peeks his head out of the door and tells them that if they continue to fight, they are no longer welcome to come inside his restaurant because others want to eat peacefully. That does not deter them. They are embattled in a fight and one lightly shoves the other on his shoulder, wanting to make his point. The restaurant manager comes out again and tells them to go somewhere else because they are now not welcome to come inside. The arguing continues yet they do not seem to notice Matt coming towards them. He feels his powers becoming stronger, his presence seeming larger and his eyes intensifying. He knows that his appearance becomes powerful and his perception is clearer. Matt says to himself “Captain Character is on the move.”
He stands much taller than these young men, and he is not sure if he is naturally taller or if as Captain Character he becomes taller, but it does not matter. He moves towards them but they are not aware of him coming towards them. Their heated battle continues. Finally, Matt is close to them and says “May I help you? You seem to have a problem.” They both freeze and stare into his face. They both seem mesmerized by his sunglasses, or is it his eyes? Whatever it is, they sure have stopped fighting and changed their focus to Captain Character.
Matt knows that his trench coat has a presence too. It is not just a coat, but is somehow part of the power that emanates from Captain Character. He feels like it is flowing too, but there is not a wind blowing. He stands tall and feels like someone with power. He is not just Matt Meleg at this moment in time. He has come to an understanding that when Captain Character emerges, he flows in the powers and abilities of a superhero. He looks down, and yes, his left index finger is glowing green. He does not try to hide it, but uses it. He points his glowing left index finger towards these young men and when they see it, they are startled. One of them finally is able to get a few words out. He says “You are Captain Character. You DO exist.” Matt knows his eyes are fixated on these boys, and they are totally captivated by him. Matt is also surprised by the fact that one of the boys knows who he is. He also knows that no one around them has any sense that anything is going on. The restaurant manager does not come out again. In fact, Matt and these two young men are only focused on each other. They are in a world all their own.
Matt then speaks. “Would one of you like to explain the problem that you are both having?” They still seem frozen, but then one of them finally speaks up. “We were having trouble decided which one of us was supposed to pay for dinner.” Matt says “It sure seemed like more than that was going on. Please explain further.” He is not sure why they are willing to go on explaining like they do, since he is not only a stranger, but someone who is not a normal stranger. Maybe it is because one of them seemed to know who he is. He wonders about that too. The other young man speaks up and says “I paid last time when we went out to dinner and as a student, I do not have the money to do it again. He said we should just split the bill, but then I am paying more because I will have paid for last time and part of it this time. You know, I do not have that kind of money.” Matt listens and then speaks up when he is finished.