Rising Stars 1/2 Synopsis
The year is 1983. The place is Pederson, Illinois. The 113 Specials who were in utero at the time of an unexplained flash have entered their teenage years. They remain in their hometown of Pederson alongside the slightly older and younger children who do not share their amazing powers.
In a classroom filled with Normal children, a teacher lectures about the Bill of Rights. She is discussing whether the first ten Amendments were merely an afterthought.
Nearby, a classroom of Specials learn about flying. The instructor tells them what they have learned about the power. It neutralizes gravity and pulls them forward rather than pushing from behind.
The teacher of the Normals asks for questions. Edward Claiborne announces that flew around his room yesterday.
The scientists have always believed that the flash only affected the children who were in utero. The possibility of Edward having powers has serious implications. David Paulson, the government official in charge of the Specials, arrives from Washington D.C. within three hours and convenes an emergency meeting. Paulson challenges Dr. William Welles to explain Edward's claim and reconcile it with Welles' report, which stated that the powers were a non-repeating phenomenon that only affected the 113 identified children.
Welles says he can't account for Edward until he examines him and notes that Edward's claim hasn't been verified yet. Edward's mother is enraged and demands to know if Welles is calling her son a liar. Welles responds that children sometimes exaggerate for attention. Mrs. Claiborne continues to support her son's honesty but admits that she didn't witness him flying herself, although she did hear the thump of an alleged landing.
Paulson is more concerned with the fact that Edward wasn't conceived until nearly a year after the flash. He forces Welles to admit that if Edward does have powers then they might be contagious. Paulson orders Pederson quarantined until the conclusion of the doctor's examination. He also orders Edward to be moved in with the Specials. Welles objects, saying that Edward could be hurt because the Specials aren't used to interacting with Normals. However, Paulson refuses to change his orders.
In an examination room, Dr. Welles asks Edward to fly for him. Edward says he can't. He flew yesterday, and he woke up floating in the air today, but those are the only two episodes he has experienced. He can't control when the power comes or goes. Edward also claims to have intermittent enhanced hearing and telekinetic powers, but he can't control when these powers come or go either.
Welles begins an intimidating physical by taking a large blood sample, hoping that Edward will confess that he has no powers upon realizing that the life of a Special isn't as glamorous as he thinks. However, Edward makes it through the physical without changing his story.
In school with the Specials, Edward witnesses an altercation between Jerry Montrose and another student. Jerry, with his pyro power fully activated, accuses another student of stealing a Number One issue of a comic book. An alert is called, and adults in protective gear arrive to break up the fight. After the fight, Matthew Bright asks Edward if he is OK.
Matthew asks Edward what he's doing there since he isn't one of the Specials. Matthew reveals that the Specials can sense each other. They've tried to tell the adults, but they never listen. Matthew can't sense the force in Edward. He warns him that he could get hurt. Edward maintains that he is Special and promises that he can take care of himself.
The next day, a friend of Edward's named Cynthia Fitzgerald comes to see Dr. Welles. She tells him something that leads him to search Edward's room. Mrs. Clairborne isn't pleased, but Welles points out that the Supreme Court has given him authority to do this without a warrant. He finds a journal under Edward's bed.
In his journal, Edward laments that his mother pays no attention to him since his father died. He also reveals that bullies harass him at school. Edward writes that if he was special, the bullies wouldn't pick on him and his mother would talk to him again. Cynthia would like him, and he could tell her that he liked her too. He writes, "So tomorrow, I'm going to become special."
Dr. Welles confronts Edward with the evidence of his deception. Edward apologizes to his mother, but she is upset because he embarrassed her and because he wrote things in his journal that hurt her. Edward says he didn't want to hurt anyone. He just wanted to be special. He wanted people to like him.
Later, Edward sits on the curb. Other teenagers along the street taunt him about his stunt. Cynthia calls to him from across the street and begins walking to him. She invites him to go have ice cream with her. Edward is quite pleasantly surprised.
Suddenly, a truck barrels down the street, it's driver shouting that the brakes are out. It is heading directly for Cynthia. Edward leaps into the street and pushes Cynthia to safety. The truck hits Edward and kills him.
All of the Specials attend Edward's funeral. Dr. Welles writes in his journal that everyone is special. He never had the chance to teach Edward this, but he hopes he can teach this lesson to the Specials.
Cynthia leaves a rose on Edward's tombstone, which reads "Dearly Missed". For what he did, Edward will always be special.