View Full Version : The Radicals - a superhero story
04-14-2006, 10:44 AM
[This is a little something I did as a kid, so check it out and tell me what you think.]
Above the Earth, two beings hovered, protected by a golden globe of energy. They were humanoid in form, a man and a woman, with elfin looks, and were garbed in flowing robes decorated with eldritch and alien patterns.
The woman spoke. "Earth. Much has changed since last we were here, Andrus. Will they remember the old ways?"
The man looked thoughtful. "I just hope they remember the better ways, Alera. As of yet, we are uncertain." He paused. "It is time to deliver the Gift."
"Very well," said Alera, as she and Andrus stood facing each other. "Let the ritual begin."
Spreading their arms apart, Andrus and Alera bowed their head in concentration...
In the medium-size town of Greenwood, the teenagers were attending Remington High School, named after the man who built the original school, Arthur Remington. Inside, the classes were taking effect.
Beverly Chandler stood up to grace her music class, headed by Mrs. Bevena. She showed no emotion to them other than a distant cordiality, as was her custom. Her father, Adam Chandler, had taught her never to show emotion when speaking to her inferiors; "It makes you look weak," he said. His legal maneuvers couldn't keep her out of the "school for commoners"; the nearest private school was in another state. So here she was, in an entire classroom full of inferiors, all of whom she hated to the core of her soul. Not that she would ever show it, of course; they were all beneath her contempt anyway, so why sink down to their level?
Beverly placed the violin to her chin and stroked it with the bow. She played for what felt like hours, but she knew rationally and logically to be only three minutes. As Beverly courtsied to her audience, Mrs. Bevena smiled. "That was lovely, Beverly."
"Thank you Mrs. Bevena," said Beverly simply. Her silver blonde-haired and fair-featured head bowed to her music teacher, the one person in the room she saw as something approaching an equal. Mrs. Bevena was obviously an admirer of superior artisty.
Then Mrs. Bevena turned to her next student. "Jim Jameson, it's your turn to perform a musical composition."
Jim Jameson, a lanky yet relatively athletic young blond boy, stood up. "So, tell me, Jim," said Mrs. Bevena, "is your composition drums? Guitar? Or the harmonica perhaps?"
"All of the above and then some," grinned Jim. He wheeled out the bass drum from its place on the wall, and took out a guitar and a harmonica from his bookbag. Then, stepping on the drum pedal with an easy, regular motion, he began strumming on the guitar and started singing. During the middle of the song, he then took out the harmonica and twanged on it no-handedly!
Mrs. Bevena watched, impressed, with Jim's musical aptitude. Who knew the boy could be so versatile?
Sheila Henderson watched Jim with a look of admiration. Handsome, smart, charming personality, and so talented!
Beverly watched unamused. So this was what the peasants called "rock music". She was unimpressed with its crudity.
Another art form was being practiced in Mrs. Oba's class. "Now, class, if you remember, the class assignment was to learn a tradition from a different culture from around the world, art form, greeting, or whatever." For example, one of the students, Charlie Walker, went into traditional samurai sword moves from Japan, using a foam rubber toy sword. He sat back down, wishing something would happen in this one-horse town.
Next up was Kashmira Raschim, a girl of indeterminate ethnicity; while her name, dark hair, and swarthy skin suggested that she was of Middle Eastern descent, her features were Asian. She stood up.
"Before I begin this dance," she said, "I don't want anyone getting the wrong ideas. The dance I'm about to perform is an important part of the culture and religion from which my ancestors came. It is not about being sexual or anything like that."
With that in mind, Kashmira took off her caftan. Underneath, the young woman wore a costume out of the Arabian Nights. She then pressed the PLAY button on her tape recorder and began the dance. Mrs. Oba looked a little stunned, the females of the class watched in contemplation, though some frowned with distaste, the boys, while smiling with admiration of Kashmira's physique, were restrained. (They'd obviously been listening to the "getting the wrong ideas" part.)
Charlie Walker sat, bored. While interesting, Kashmira wasn't doing anything too worth noticing.
Mike McMahon sat in biology class, preparing to dissect a frog. He was what one might call a stereotypical nerd: wore glasses, more into science than athletics, wore his pants too high, did well in biology.
Suddenly, he heard a noise. He turned and saw Vance Renfrew stabbing at his frog like a madman.
"Die, froggie, die!" grinned Vance as he sliced his frog into a bloody mess while the rest of the class watched. "Diieee, froggiee, diiieee!"
Then, Mr. Cutterson walked up to Vance. "Mr. Renfrew," he said angrily, "are you going to behave?" Mr. Cutterson often called students "Mr." followed by their last name, every time they disrupted class or displeased him.
Vance looked up at the teacher, frowning. "What if I don't?" he demanded. "I've been waiting to cut something ever since I joined this class!"
"You're supposed to be scientifically discerning the locations of that frog's organs," said Mr. Cutterson. "Not performing Aztec ritual sacrifices on it! Now go to the principal's office."
Vance blew a razzberry, but got out of his seat with obvious reluctance. As he left, he flashed Mr. Cutterson the finger and said threateningly, "I'll be back!"
"Out!" commanded Cutterson sharply.
Mike gulped. Vance had never been the violent type before, but that had been before they'd given him a scalpel. Come to think of it, wasn't that what they said about homicidal maniacs before they snapped? "He was always such a quiet man." There were popular school rumors about Vance killing his parents. Come to think of it, his parents never showed up at PTA meetings or school open-houses. And Vance was always talking about the latest horror movie he'd seen...
"Step aside, pipsqueak," snarled Brian Benson as he elbowed aside Dexter Poindexter in the doorway to science class. Brian was your typical bully; bigger, stronger, meaner, and dumber than anyone else. He had a growth spurt as a kid, and was about six feet tall; he also had a tendency for obesity. Altogether, he looked like a cross between a sumo wrestler and a gorilla.
Dexter, on the other hand, was a class clown. He had a nose like Woody Woodpecker, and a chin like Batman's nemesis the Joker, as well as a shock of red hair. He looked somewhat like a cartoon character come to life, with a personality to match, always playing practical jokes. (And we mean practical; he only played them on people he felt deserved to be tricked, out of a slightly screwy sense of justice.)
For example, while Brian was pushing him out of the way, Dexter nimbly grabbed the bully's belt buckle and unhooked it.
"What the hell?" cursed Brian as his pants fell down in front of the whole class. Dexter made it to his seat, as the entire class laughed.
"Brian, go to the principal's office," said Mrs. Tasady, the science teacher. Brian grumbled, pulled his pants up, and walked off. The class laughed even louder at Brian's defeat and humiliation.
All, that is, except for Ernest Williams, the class "goth". He never laughed about anything; in fact, his face was a constant mask of doom, as if there was no respite for him in an uncaring universe.
As Kashmira Raschim was leaving the social studies class, Cindy Miller walked up to her. "I saw your dance today, Kash," she said. "I'd like to learn how to do a dance like that. It'd be a great opportunity to show off my body."
Kashmira became slightly annoyed. "Weren't you in the class?" she asked. "And didn't I explain that it wasn't to be sexy?"
"So?" asked Cindy in a what's-your-point? sort of voice.
"It's a form of art," said Kashmira. "Nothing more, nothing less."
Kashmira pursed her lips and blew. She put very wide strides between herself and Cindy.
She was stopped by Vance, who had chosen to wander the campus rather than report to the principal's office. "I heard what you two were discussing," he said. "Pisses you off, don't it?"
"I wouldn't use those words, but it does anger me slightly," admitted Kashmira.
Then Vance said something that frightened her. "Don't you just wanna kill people like that?"
"That's a horrible thing to say!" said Kashmira. "It'd be murder!"
"Yeah, yeah, murder under the law, I know," said Vance. "But supposing it weren't illegal, would you do it?"
"No," said Kashmira firmly. "It would be wrong."
"But why?" asked Vance. "It wouldn't be illegal, so why's it still wrong?"
"It just is," said Kashmira angrily. "I have to be going now."
Then they both heard a voice. "C'mon, man, get down from there."
It was the voice of Carlos Domingo, the Hispanic boy from the computer lab. Carlos thought of himself as a cyber-punk, though all the girls in school used the term "cyber-hunk" in referring to him. And not without reason, either; his ethnic good looks were complemented by a decently athletic frame. He was talking to Ernest, who was standing on the roof of the school.
"C'mon down before you hurt yourself," said Carlos.
"That's precisely what I want to do," said Ernest.
To be continued...
01-01-2007, 11:58 PM
"What?" shouted Kashmira. "Are you crazy?!"
"I'd be even crazier not to," said Ernie.
"Life is sacred," Kashmira argued.
"Don't talk to me about life," said Ernie.
Brian, Dexter, and Mike all showed up. "Gonna jump, Ernie?" asked Brian with a snicker. "One less butt-waste."
"C'mon and jump, Ernie!" shouted Vance.
"Don't jump, Ernie!" Carlos yelled.
Cindy Miller chose that time to show up. "What's going on?" she asked.
"Ernie's trying to commit suicide," said Carlos.
"We've got to stop him!" added Kashmira.
"The goth?" Cindy asked. "He seems like a loser anyway. Go on and jump, Ernie!"
"No! Don't jump!" Kashmira argued. Just then, Beverly, Jim, and Sheila showed up.
"What's happening?" asked Jim.
"Has anyone seen Dexter?" Mike asked.
Dexter had gone into the building, climbed up the stairs, and was now on the roof to talk Ernie into abandoning suicide.
He could hear the others on the ground: Brian, Cindy, and Charlie, and Vance were all chanting for Eddie to jump, Beverly not saying anything, and everyone else saying not to jump.
"Hey, Ern, how's it going?" asked Dexter in his best "happy face".
"Ern" jerked with a start. He turned to face Dexter. "What are you doing up here?!" he wanted to know.
"I asked first," said Dexter. "What's so bad you gotta kill yourself for?"
"Were you paying attention in science class?" Ernie asked. "About how black holes are made?"
"Sure, from collapsed stars," said Dexter. "So?"
"That's going to happen to our sun someday," said Ernie. "If it doesn't go nova first."
"Oh, come on," said Dexter. "That's not gonna happen for a million years, at least!"
"But it is going to happen," insisted Ernie. "And when it does, all life on this planet's gonna go with it...if it hasn't already been destroyed by toxic waste, pollution, or war. And speaking of the environment, have you noticed that we human beings don't have any natural enemies, except for other human beings? Natural selection and evolution have pushed us to the top of the ladder, so to speak. That's why we're killing off all the endangered and extinct species, and why we're feeding on each other, with our crime and war and violence. A lot of people will tell you that nature is about balances and cycles. It's not; it's about entropy and downward cycles. So if we all kill ourselves today, it'll just be going along with nature."
"You're a real barrel of laughs today," muttered Dexter sarcastically. Then he looked up. "Hmmm, maybe I'm wrong. The sun looks like it's burning out already."
"Huh?" grunted Ernie, looking upward. Off in the distance, small yet bright enough to see, was a speck of light. "That's not the sun," he said as the speck grew larger.
"Well, whatever it is," said Dexter, "it looks like it's heading right for us!" He grabbed Ernie and jumped out of the way, as whatever-it-was landed on the roof.
When five seconds had passed without an explosion, Dexter opened his eyes. Ernie was already staring at the glowing object. It looked like a golden globe of light about the size of a basketball.
"You stay put, Ern," said Dexter. "I'm gonna call the gang." He went to the edge of the roof and looked down. Apparently, the others had already seen it, judging from their confused looks. "Hey, guys!" he yelled. "Come up to the roof! I think it's a meteor!"
Within minutes, everyone was on the roof. Ernie was kneeling closely to the object.
"Careful, Ernie," said Mike. "It could be radioactive."
"I wanted to die anyway," said Ernie, "remember?"
"I still think life is sacred," insisted Kashmira. She was trying to pull Ernie away.
"We should tell Principal Covington about this," suggested Jim.
"I called a teacher to get him while we were telling him not to jump," said Mike.
Vance turned to Brian. "Yer lunch money says the meteor explodes in his face."
"I ain't got no lunch money," said Brian. "Tell ya what, though: if the explosion kills him, and not either of us, I'll starve instead'a fightin' you."
"Doesn't seem like a meteor to me," said Mike. He was crouched over the globe, giving it a scientific-looking once-over. "It's like some kind of solid energy..." He touched it.
Which turned out to be a stupid thing to do, as the glow increased in brilliance. "Oh, crap!" shouted Mike. "It's gonna BLOW!"
Which it did.
To be continued...
02-03-2007, 04:33 PM
"The glow seems to be fading, doctor. I think they're regaining consciousness."
"Good. I'll explain everything the best that I can."
Mike was the first to open his eyes. "Huh, wha? What's going on?"
"Where are we?" asked Jim, also awakening.
One by one, they woke to find themselves in what looked like a hospital room. An attractive redheaded female doctor greeted them. "You're in Remington Hospital. I'm Dr. Elizabeth Sanger."
"What happened?" asked Mike.
"From what we can tell," said Dr. Sanger, "you were in some sort of suspended animation. You've been out for six hours."
"Oh, yeah," said Cindy, "it all comes back to me now." Then she got angry. "Eddie, you asshole! You set off that bomb, or whatever! Now we're all hospitalized, and it's all your fault!"
"Nobody's been injured," said Dr. Sanger. "Now calm down."
"When can we go home?"
"Has my father been notified?"
"How long are we gonna be here?"
"Do you guys serve tapioca pudding?"
"One at a time," said Dr. Sanger. "Your families have been informed of what's happened. In fact, there's probably a news report about it right now. I couldn't reach your family, Mr. Renfrew."
"I'm an orphan," explained Vance casually.
"You're being kept under observation," Dr. Sanger continued. "As soon as we know there's nothing wrong with you, your parents, guardians or whatever will pick you up."
"But what if there is something wrong?" Sheila asked.
"Yeah, what if we got some space disease or something?" asked Charlie.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," said Dr. Sanger. She looked a little nervous, though. "Meanwhile, perhaps you'd like to watch some TV."
She turned on a TV set. A news report came on, showing footage of Remington High.
"...reporting to you live from Remington High," said a female reporter, "where a suicide attempt has taken a bizarre twist."
While Dr. Sanger tried, at first with curiosity and then with frustration, to find a TV station that wasn't showing a news flash about the peculiar events that had landed the teens in the hospital, Vance got very pissed at Ernie. "Dammit, Ern! This is all your fault! If you hadn't -- "
Suddenly, he stared. His arm ended not in an accusing finger, but in a sharp steel blade aimed at Ernie.
Curious, Vance turned the blade toward himself. The blade turned back into a normal hand. "How'd it do that?" he asked.
Thinking about the change seemed to re-trigger it. This time it was a hand-shaped series of claws. "Hey, doc," Vance yelled, "look at this."
Dr. Sanger started again. "What in God's name -- ?"
Vance flashed his hand for all to see. Once again it became the blade, and then a buzz-saw. "Kinda kick-ass, really," he mused with a smirk.
"If I'm not hallucinating," said Mike, "we may all experience similar mutations. Of course, how similar may depend on various factors, like cellular makeup and specific DNA and -- "
"Shut up, four-eyes!" yelled Brian, waving his fist. "Nobody needs to hear that crap!"
Then he looked down at his fist. "Hey...my skin. It looks all gray and hard and stuff."
"Almost like...rock," Mike noted.
"This is gonna be an adventure," said Jim in a cynical tone.
Green Lantern wannabe
02-03-2007, 08:33 PM
The reader must identify with your characters, such that the reader must know what the character is thinking. So, for example, in your second post, you had
"What?" shouted Kashmira. "Are you crazy?!"
"I'd be even crazier not to," said Ernie.
"Life is sacred," Kashmira argued.
You may want to tell the reader what either Kashmira OR Ernie (not both) were thinking and feeling. If you chose to tell the story from Kashmira's point of view (POV), you may want to write
"What? Are you crazy?!" Kashmira shouted. She had known Ernie for years, and she knew he was capable of doing stupid things, but she didn't know he was suicidal.
"I'd be even crazier not to," said Ernie.
"Life is sacred," Kashmira argued, hoping that he could still see reason.
The text, which I have highlighted, tell the reader what Kashmira is thinking and so can identify with her. But the reader should only know what Kashmira is thinking, ie, know her POV, and NOT know what both Kashmira and Ernie are thinking, at least, not at the same time. If you want to tell the story from both heros' POV, then you will need a scene break, but I should warn you that this is very tricky, and you will need to know how to do it properly. I suggest you start by telling the story from one person's POV only, as in, the story of that person as he goes through life. Then, when you are more familiar with the craft of storytelling, you can try doing so from two or more POV's.
02-23-2007, 10:43 PM
Over the next few days, the teens noticed increasingly strange things happening to their bodies.
"Every day I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger," Mike noticed.
"I've noticed," said Dr. Sanger. "Your body's neuromuscular system seems to be developing a series of nerve clusters similar to the electroreceptors of electric eels."
"Cool," grinned Mike.
Carlos was looking at his reflection in his right arm. His skin had recently become metallic. "I'm starting to look like a robot," he complained. "And lately I've been feeling like one, too. I've been storing a lot of information, remembering a lot. And if we were still in school, my math grades would go through the roof."
"Why did the looney eat dead skunks?" asked Dexter.
"Because the live ones squeal when you stick a fork in them!"
Carlos frowned. "That's disgusting."
"Well, at least that proves you're capable of emotions," said Dexter.
Sheila was watching her favorite soap opera, As the Worm Turns, on the television. A man and a woman were arguing.
"But, Todd, why won't you marry me?" asked the tear-stricken woman.
"Because I was after your money, Laura!" said the handsome but cruel Todd. "Only it's not yours anymore, is it? It belongs to that witch, Alexandra, now! Now that she's in charge of your father's business, I'm leaving you!"
Sheila was even more grief-stricken that Laura. "That...that heartless brute!" she sobbed. As the tears streamed down her face, her body instantly transformed to water. Although she maintained her normal shape, held together by water cohesion, her watery body soaked the bed, bringing new meaning to the term "bed-wetting".
When she realized what she was doing, she transformed back into flesh and blood. Then she saw Dr. Sanger staring at her. "The next time you do that," informed the doctor, "I want a medical exam."
"I...I'm not sure I can oblige, doc," said Sheila. "I think the change was triggered by my sorrow for Laura."
"I wonder what effect other emotional states will have," said Dr. Sanger.
"It's my skin, doc," said Dexter. "It feels really weird."
"Well," asked Dr. Sanger, "let's take a look at it, shall we?" She rubbed Dexter's cheek. "Does it hurt when I do this?"
"It feels like you're making a face swirlie," giggled Dexter. Sure enough, when Dr. Sanger withdrew her hand, she saw a swirl on Dexter's cheek!
Curious. Dr. Sanger poked Dexter's face. Her fingers made deep depressions in his cheeks and forehead.
"Wow, cool!" grinned Dexter. "I've got a face like Play-DohTM!" He proceeded to mold his face into the visages of cartoon characters like Porky the Pig and Popeye the Sailor.
"Is it just your face," asked Dr. Sanger, "or all over?"
"All over," replied Dexter.
"Let's see what a blood test says," said Dr. Sanger after a brief pause.
"Blood test?" said Dexter, his face twisting into an exaggerated expression of fear. "Needles? Me? Ixnay, doc! Now way! Not me, nuh-uh!" And he clamped both hands to the sides of the bed, where they stayed while Dr. Sanger forcefully carried the rest of him to the blood lab. "Non! Nein, ist verboten!"
When the needle finally penetrated Dexter's flesh, a strange thing happened: he deflated like a flat tire! Dr. Sanger was so shocked, she released Dexter, causing him to snap back like a rubber band. Once back in bed, the deflated Dexter reached up and produced a tire pump from nowhere. He reinflated himself with the tire pump until his body reached balloon-like proportions. Finally, he released the pump, and then rocketed out of the room as the air escaped. Landing in the street, he assumed pancake-flatness.
"You okay, man?" asked a bystander. "Say something!"
"Okay, how about 'Walla Walla, Washington?" asked Dexter. He kissed the man, then bounced out of there as if pogo-propelled.
The next one to show signs of a mutation was Jim. Dr. Sanger noticed a strange, high-pitched humming as she came near him. "What's that noise?" she wondered.
What noise? asked Jim -- and jerked when he realized he hadn't opened his mouth. Am I telepathic or something? he asked in the same odd vibrating tone.
"I think your mutation is causing you to emanate vibrations somehow," said Dr. Sanger. "That's how you're able to 'speak' without moving your lips -- because all sound is, is vibration."
Cool, smiled Jim. As he concentrated, the vibrations changed in pitch, volume and frequency. Hmmm, I wonder if I can make music with this? he thought with a grin.
"There's something I want to know, doctor," said Kashmira. "Why haven't I changed yet? All the others are changing radically, and I -- "
"I'm trying to figure that out now, Kashmira," said Dr. Sanger. "We have a lot of tests to set up first. Don't worry, the sooner we know whether or not you're all right, the sooner you can leave."
"I am not sure I can wait that long!" said Kashmira. "I wish I were home with my family right now!"
Immediately, the world around Kashmira disappeared. When it returned, she was standing out on her house's lawn with her father Mustapha, her mother Karida, her little sister Ishtar, and their pet kitten Pasha.
Of course, Kashmira was not expecting this to happen; moreover, she was still wearing her hospital clothes.
Kashmira let out a high-pitched scream. "Bring me back!"
Immediately her family lawn disappeared, replaced by the room she had left. Kashmira fainted in a chair.
Kashmira lay in a CAT scanner. "All right, Kashmira," said Dr. Sanger, "now I want you to wish for something."
"All right," said Kashmira. "I wish I had my pet kitten, Pasha."
As Dr, Sanger watched the screen, it lit up with a blinding light. Dr. Sanger had to cover her eyes.
A soft meowing came from the CAT scanner. Kashmira slid out, holding a tiny Persian kitten. "There, there," she cooed. "It's all right, little Pasha."
While Kashmira cuddled her cute pet, Dr. Sanger programmed the computer to do a slow-motion replay. Part of Kashmira's brain suddenly flared to life, glowing with a strange energy. Then, lines of glowing energy surged toward Kashmira's brain, like the header stroke of a lightning bolt attracting ions from the nearby target. After that, the whole screen was filled with that blinding light.
But what does that mean? wondered Dr. Sanger. It's...it's as if she were altering reality, distorting the physical laws.
As if she were performing...magic! But that was something out of a fairy tale!
02-23-2007, 10:44 PM
Beverly looked down at her body. Curiously, it was starting to look like solid ice. It even felt cold.
Dr. Sanger took the thermometer from Beverly's mouth. "This can't be right. According to this, your body temperature is only thirty-eight degrees Farenheit."
"And getting lower, Doctor," said Beverly, calmly. Surprisingly, even for her, her voice held not a trace of emotion. Nor did Beverly feel particularly emotional; this change would have been distressing for someone else, perhaps, but for her it seemed perfectly natural.
Brian Benson was growing into a hulking creature, with incredible strength. As he leaned against the metal side of his bed, it crumpled in his grip like tinfoil. Brian, shocked at first, began to laugh, and laugh, and laugh...
"Quiet!" yelled everyone. "We're trying to sleep!"
Brian stopped, embarrassed. Then he looked down at himself. Whatever he was turning into was hard and rocklike.
Vance tried transforming his hands. This time, his whole body transformed. Looking down at his reflection in his metallic hand, he noticed that his face looked like a cross between a skull and a hockey mask, while the rest of his head resembled Freddy Krueger. He then looked down at himself. His hospital gown was gone, replaced by a blood-stained T-shirt, a black leather jacket, brown pants, and black boots.
Vance concentrated again. "What else can I turn into?" he wondered. His body became covered with hair; his nails lengthened. Then his face projected forward, his ears stretched to points, and his body took a slightly hunched posture, rather like a bear standing upright. His feet became like the paws of a dog, or --
Or a wolf! was Vance's next thought. I'm a freakin' werewolf!
Again Vance transformed, this time into a thing dressed in black with a rodent-like face. This is what a vampire looks like? wondered Vance. Geez, I was expectin' something more along the lines of...
He morphed again, this time into a form similar to his normal shape. The new Vance was clad in fancy eighteenth-century clothes, with a long black cape. "Yep," grinned Vance, flashing pearly-white, sharp teeth, "this is more like it."
"Ah, well," he said, "the sun'll be up any moment soon, and I don't wanna be a vampire when that happens. So -- " And he transformed back into his normal form.
Cindy Miller rose out of bed. She stretched...and stretched, and stretched, and s t r e t c h e d , until her arms were thirty feet long! In her shock, Cindy retracted them. "Holy jeez!" she exclaimed. "What the hell was that?!"
As she rose upward, her back flexed out like a cobra's hood. Slowly, with serpentine grace, she slithered out of bed. As she took tentative steps to the door and back, her hips swayed from side to side like a cobra, giving new meaning to the term "snake-hips".
"S-say, having thes-se new curves-s could be fun," said Cindy, after a moment's contemplation. Then, "Hey, what's-s wrong with my vois-ce? I -- I'm hiss-sing like a...a s-snake!"
She stuck out her tongue. It was forked, like that of a snake. She realized that her snake-tongue could taste the antiseptics in the room. Yuch, she thought to herself. This place doesn't taste as clean as it looks.
Gingerly, she touched the two canines of her mouth with her tongue. Yep, just as she thought: long, sharp, and possibly venomous. Yep, I'm definitely gonna be dangerous to mess with.
"Hey, Cindy, go back to bed," said Dexter. "I'm trying to sleep!"
"Go jump in a lake," said Cindy as she shot Dexter a hard look.
Suddenly, cartoon-like swirls appeared in Dexter's eyes, and he jumped out of bed and ran down the hall. They found him in the surgeon's washbasin, the closest thing around (both figuratively and geographically) to a lake.
Did I do that? wondered Cindy. But I thought the hypnotic ability of snakes was just a myth!
"All right, Charlie," said Dr. Sanger, "now it's time for your physical. I think I'll start with you running in place."
"Okay, doc," said Charlie. He started with a simple jog, then broke into a run. Then something weird began to happen. He started running faster, and faster, until the only thing the doctor could see was a blur.
"Whoa!" shouted Dr. Sanger. Charlie slowed down. "Did I just imagine that?"
"I was wondering if it was a trick of the light that the world seemed blurry, doc," said Charlie. "I guess the answer to both our questions is 'no'."
"Hmmm," said Dr. Sanger, putting a finger to her chin. "I'll need to run a few more tests." She led Charlie into a roomful of exercise equipment.
"Get on the treadmill," she ordered. "I'm going to time you."
Charlie obeyed, and the doctor attached something to his ear. "This is to measure your heart rate. Now, go."
Charlie started running. At first, it was what might be considered a normal rate for humans; then it became more like the normal rate for a cheetah. Then Charlie's body became increasingly blurry, as did the treadmill.
"Whoa! Stop! Hold on!" shouted Dr. Sanger. But the blur continued; Charlie was going too fast to hear. Dr. Sanger hit the blur where the "STOP" button had been. Then she drew back her hand. The friction had burned her finger.
But the result was what she had expected: the treadmill stopped in its tracks, sending Charlie flying. The heart rate instrument had been torn off the machine by the intense speed.
Dr. Sanger stared at the now-sparking treadmill. The intense friction had set the gears ablaze; the treading surface had partly caught fire. But the most amazing thing was the speedometer; in the past thirty seconds, Charlie had traveled at the staggering rate of one thousand miles per hour!
Ernest Williams was the last to be studied by the doctor. "The news isn't just shocking, Ernest, it's downright horrifying! You've no respiration, no vital signs whatsoever, and your insides are being decomposed! In other words...you're dead!"
"Dead?" asked Ernest. He was already starting to look cadaverous. "But why am I walking around?"
"I don't know why or how," said Dr. Sanger. "Perhaps if we looked under the X-rays..."
Big mistake. Decomposing flesh is extremely sensitive to X-rays, as both doctor and undead patient discovered. First, Ernest's flesh blackened under exposure to the rays; then it caught fire. The blazing Ernest thrashed about wildly. When Dr. Sanger grabbed an extinguisher and put out the fire, she discovered that she had also blown off bits of Ernest's flesh.
Ernest returned to the Dr.'s lab. He was literally reduced to skin and bones. "Well, Doc," he said in a slightly cracked voice, "a couple of days ago I wished I was dead. Guess I got my wish, huh?"
He laughed hysterically, pitched his head forward -- and then his eyes fell out of their sockets! And that's when he screamed, and screamed, and screamed...
03-07-2007, 05:34 PM
By the third day, Mike was an extremely muscular he-man (though his face remained the same), with electrical nerve bundles surging throughout his muscles.
Carlos looked completely robot-like, with an impressive amount of metallic cables running through his joints.
Dexter had become a living cartoon, with a silly face, round body, pipe-cleaner arms and legs, and large, clown-like hands and feet.
Jim Jameson had learned how to completely control his sound-based abilities.
Kashmira mastered her reality-warping powers.
Beverly had changed completely into a living statue of ice, with vast power over ice and cold.
Brian had transformed into an eight-foot-tall, sixteen-hundred-pound hulk of rock.
Cindy had mastered her snake powers.
Charlie learned that he could travel at twenty miles a second.
Vance learned that he could change into any type of horror-movie monster he wanted.
Ernie had rotted completely into a skeleton.
Most importantly, they had learned how to turn their powers "off"! (Except for Ernest, for whom living decomposition had proved most sanity-shredding; Brian, who didn't seem to want his powers off; and Beverly, to whom the thought of reverting simply had not occurred.)
"Isn't it kinda weird, how these mutations match our personalities?" asked Mike. "I mean, I used to envy all those jocks in school, and now I'm stronger than any jock could ever be! Also, I was a science geek, so it's not much wonder that I should have a reasonably scientific basis for my powers."
"I know what you mean," said Jim. "I'm a musician and break-dancer, kind of a Michael Jackson wanna-be,* and now I've got all these sonic abilities and I'm super-agile."
"And my powers seem to be emotionally related," said Sheila, "and I'm an emotional person."
Jim went on. "Carlos is the school cyber-punk, Dexter's the comedian, and Kashmira -- why do you think you have your powers, Kash? You religious or something?"
"Well," started Kashmira, "I hesitate to call it religion, but I have a deeply felt set of philosophical beliefs. And in my ancestors' culture, people used to believe in spirits called jinn."**
"You mean, like genies?" asked Jim.
"That's the Americanization of it," Kashmira nodded.
Mike looked over the rest of the group. Cindy had been the school tramp, the seductress, and the snake had been held as a tempter in old legends. Beverly had always been cold and aloof, so it was no wonder that she had been turned into an ice creature. Brian had been dumb as a rock, of course, always muscling others around, so again, it was no wonder he'd turned into a big, rocky creature. Charlie was addicted to adrenaline, and bored easily, so he had speed powers, and could run as fast as he pleased for the adrenaline rush. Ernest had been cynical, angst-ridden, and nihilistic, according to Dexter, so he disintegrated both physically and mentally into a skeleton. And Vance -- he didn't even want to know about Vance's personality.
"I don't think it was a meteor we got irradiated by," said Mike. "Our changes match our original personalities too much for it to be a mere coincidence. Maybe it was some kinda machine from an alien civilization that blew up in our faces."
"Alien?" asked Jim. "You mean, like, from outer space?"
"Duh," said Carlos. "It did come from the sky."
"Maybe it was magic," said Kashmira.
"I admit, it was scientifically advanced enough to seem like magic," said Mike.
"Not seem like, Mike," said Kashmira. "Was."
"Oh, come on, Kash!" said Mike. "There's no such thing!"
"There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy," said Kashmira.
"Isn't that from one of Shakespeare's plays?" asked Jim.
"It still applies," said Kashmira.
*This story was written back in the late '80s/'90s, can you tell? :D
**If I'm offending any Muslims or anything out there, I'm really sorry.
"I've updated your medical history," announced Dr. Sanger. "None of you seem to be suffering any ill effects, except maybe for Ernest, and it looks like you all get a clean bill of health -- as clean as your new bodies are about to get, anyway.
"So, what are you all going to do with your new powers, anyway?"
Jim looked at the others. Then he shrugged stupidly and said, "Become superheroes, I guess."
"Why do you think that, Jim?"
Dramatic music began to play as Jim went into his speech. "Because we now possess abilities beyond those of mortal men! And we have the power to make a difference in the world, the power to improve on the human condition! And with such great power, must come great responsibility!"
Everyone stared at him as if he'd gone whacko. As the music died down, Jim shrugged. "Okay, so I read it in a Spider-Man comic. Doesn't mean it's not true."
"So what are our superhero code-names gonna be?" asked Sheila.
"I think I'll call myself...Jammer!" said Jim. "The name fits, because I can really jam!"
"I'll call myself the Emoter," said Sheila. "It fits what I do."
"I'm the resident cyber-punk," said Carlos, as he transformed into his robotic mode. "So that's what I'll call myself -- CyberPunk!"
"What do we name the team powerhouse?" asked Jammer, pointing at Mike.
"You just said it yourself, Jim," said Mike, "and I think the name fits! The word 'powerhouse' has two meanings: one, a really strong guy, and two, an electrical generator!" He transformed into his musclebound electrical giant form. "And since I'm both, Powerhouse is what I'll call myself!"
"Try and guess who I'll be!" said Dexter, as he began to morph his face into caricatures of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig.
"You're a human cartoon," said Sheila.
"Not to mention a looney-toon," said Brian insultingly.
"Yep-yep!" said Toon. "That's me -- Toon!" He grew a face that looked a lot like Disney's Goofy.
"And you, Kashmira?" asked Mike.
"Since you ask," said Kashmira, "since I now have the wish-granting, reality-changing powers of a jinn, a creature from folklore, I suppose it's only fitting that I have a name to match. I shall be -- Scheherazade."
"You all see me as an 'ice princess'," said Beverly, betraying no emotion in her voice. "I shall simply make the term literal." So saying, she transformed into her ice form, then conjured a royal gown out of ice and snow.
Brian grinned. "I'm Rockhard!"
"And I'll be Creepshow!" added Vance, transforming into his idea of a vampire.
"I am the one who shall bring death," moaned Ernie. "I shall be...the Grim Reaper."
"Oh-kaayyy," said Jim uncertainly. Ernie was getting weirder and weirder.
"Hnnphh," said Cindy. "Me, I think I'll call mys-self S-Snakebite. It s-seems-s right."
"Gimme a sec," said Charlie. He zoomed around the room a couple of times, then stopped. "Whoah," he said, grinning. "What a [i]rush!"
"Then Rush is what we'll call you," said Jim. "Now, since none of us are dressed in super-costumes, Scheherazade, do the honors."
Immediately, Kashmira concentrated. No longer needing to say the words, "I wish...", she transformed into yellow, glowing mist, which reformed into a voluptuous young woman in a slightly skimpier, more diaphanous version of the belly-dancer costume she'd worn the day this all started.
The new Scheherazade aimed her magic hands at the others. Powerhouse's hospital gown became a skintight costume with a capital letter "P" on chest, ending in a lightning bolt.
Jammer's new costume was a skintight silver-and-blue metallic costume, with elbow-length black leather gloves, silver knee-high boots, a metallic jacket that looked like it was made out of mirrors, and mirror-shaded glasses. On the chest portion was a letter "J" stylized to resemble a musical note.
The Emoter's costume was relatively simple, an exercise-style leotard with pants, with yellow boots and gloves, and a yellow cape.
CyberPunk's hospital gown had somehow been absorbed into his transformation, so the magic didn't affect him.
Toon's costume was a simple shirt and pair of pants with suspenders, while he wore four-fingered clown gloves and oversized shoes. On the chest was a picture of a screw driven into a baseball. (Get it? Screw-ball?)
The Ice Princess was already wearing a "costume", and was unaffected.
Rockhard now wore a stony version of his regular clothes, a jacket, T-shirt, jeans, and shoes.
Creepshow was already wearing his "vampire" costume.
The Reaper wore a "skintight" black costume (meaning that it was drawn over his skeleton), with a hooded cape. A perfect costume for the Grim Reaper, it even came with its own scythe.
A green, skintight bodysuit with a scaly pattern clung lovingly to Snakebite's extra-curvaceous body, and she wore gloves and boots that appeared to be made from snakeskin leather. Her hair had turned green, and was fashioned to resemble a cobra's hood.
Rush wore a red-and-blue costume that resembled a skier's uniform, with goggle-like eyepieces.
"Now that we have finished transforming," said Jammer, "we need a group name."
"Whatever it is we decide to call our team," said CyberPunk, "I figure it'll be a radical name!"
"That's it!" said Jammer. "We'll call ourselves the Radicals! Now, let's go out and make the world safe for mankind!"
"No," said the Ice Princess.
Green Lantern wannabe
03-10-2007, 11:08 PM
A bit better, but, IMHO, you still need to tell the story from someone's point of view (POV). In your last post, you seem to do so from Mike's POV, so I would suggest rewriting it to emphasize that quite a bit more.
I'm not sure if my comments are right on, but take them for what they're worth.
03-20-2007, 05:26 PM
"Whaddya mean, 'no'?" demanded Jammer.
"Why should we serve mankind," said the Ice Princess, "when it should be the other way around? We are beyond mere mortals now. We are gods, and it is our destiny to rule!"
"Are you crazy?!" said the Emoter.
"Quite the opposite," said the Ice Princess. "We are obviously the next step on the evolutionary ladder, and to us, mankind is the lower animal! We shall not simply rule them, we shall own them like sheep and cattle!"
"But that's insane!" argued Scheherazade. "That is evil!"
"It is destiny," said the Ice Princess. "And those who are foolish enough to argue otherwise must be weeded out. Who will join me?"
"Heh," grinned Rockhard. "I'll throw my chips in! Now that I'm Rockhard, I'm stronger than any pipsqueak human!"
The Grim Reaper looked at the Radicals. "Will you allow me to spread the gift of death?"
"You mean -- let you kill people?" said Scheherazade. "You're insane! I'll revoke your scythe!" She pointed her finger at the Grim Reaper's scythe, making it disappear.
"I shall go where I am needed, then," said the Grim Reaper, walking over to the Ice Princess's side.
"Me too!" said Creepshow, turning into his slasher form. "Anyone who won't let me kill is stupid! I just wanna feel a little blood flow! Taste some human flesh! Draw some blood!"
"Jeez," said Mike. "He really is a homicidal maniac."
Snakebite looked at the others. "S-sorry, guys-s, but people have been s-seeing the s-snake as-s a creature of evil for s-so long, it'd be unrealis-stic of me to even try to be a hero, s-sins-ce nobody will acs-cept me as-s one." She smirked. "Bes-sides-s, I don't feel like helping people."
Rush said, "Hey, anywhere there's action!" He raced to the Ice Princess's side.
"And if you insist on seeing us as evil," said the Ice Princess, "then evil is what we shall be! And from this day forth, we secede from you, and call ourselves by an appropriately evil name: the Brat Pack!"
"Well, this is where we get in a fight," said Jammer.
"Not yet, Jammer," said Scheherazade. "There are too many people about. We must prevent the loss of innocent life." She concentrated, and then the world around the Radicals and Brat Pack changed.
They were now in an abandoned section of Greenwood. Many abandoned buildings, slated for demolition, surrounded them.
"Now?" asked Jammer.
"Now," said Scheherazade.
"Then let's do it," said Jammer.
Rockhard face Powerhouse. "Yer goin' down, ya fleshy pipsqueak!"
"I don't think so," said Powerhouse, surrounding himself with an electrical forcefield. Rockhard punched and pounded, but he couldn't break through!
"Now it's my turn!" said Powerhouse. He charged the air with static electricity. The electrical surges crackled through every piece of metal around Rockhard. As the pieces slammed into him, wrapping around him electromagnetically, Rockhard struggled and fumed.
"You can't stop me!" yelled the brute, breaking free of his electromagnetic prison.
"Tell me something I don't know," said Powerhouse as he sent an electromagnetic pulse through his feet. The result was like a rocket thruster, shooting Powerhouse over his rocky foe's head. Rockhard smashed into the inside of a building.
Sadly, the floor wasn't in any shape to take on sixteen hundred pounds. Rockhard plunged into the cellar, then the sewer system, then the earth's crust.
"See you later, Rock-for-brains," said Powerhouse.
Scheherazade stood before Snakebite, "You're going to jail, evil serpent!"
"Evil? Me?" asked Snakebite, eyes glowing. "You've got me wrong, S-Scheherez-sade. I'm not the megalomaniac the Is-ce Prins-cess-s s-seems-s to be. And I'm s-certainly not a murderer like the Reaper or Creeps-show."
She swayed back and forth as she spoke, moving like a hypnotist's pendulum. "I'll keep my crimes-s down to mere burglaries-s. Is-s that okay?"
"I..." said Scheherazade, confused; Snakebite's power was affecting her mind. Then she shook it off. "Wrong, selfish one! If you choose to do evil, it matters not the size -- it's still evil!"
"Damn," cursed Snakebite. "Ah, well..." Then, rearing back, she leaped forward like a cobra striking!
But Scheherazade transformed into mist, causing Snakebite to go through the mist, bang her head on a wall, and lose consciousness. As she blacked out, Scheherazade re-solidified above her. She'll need to go back to the hospital for that head-banging, thought the beautiful heroine. Meanwhile, I'll need to provide some power-proof manacles for her.
"Die! Die! Die!" yelled Creepshow, slicing at Toon with psychotic enthusiasm.
"No! No! No!" Toon yelled back, with equal enthusiasm. It sure was fun to annoy a slasher like Creepshow when his blades chopped you up, but you didn't bleed and immediately healed from injury.
"Rrrghhh!" growled the slashing madman, as he lunged at Toon.
From out of his pocket, Toon produced a banana peel. All he had to do was drop it and hope Creepshow landed on it.
He did. The killer was sent flying through the air, only to land on a piece of lumber. Though the wood punched through Creepshow's chest, it didn't kill him. It mostly made him even angrier, as he screamed, "I'll be back!" Then, he turned into a ghostly shape, and floated off into the distance.
Rush lunged at Jammer at seven-league speed. Jammer counterattacked at sonic speed. The resulting blur looked like multiple Rushes and Jammers, as they both executed kicks and punches.* Finally, Jammer hit Rush with a blast of sonic force, knocking the villain out cold.
*Yes, I now realize that this is PIS, and Jammer should have been clobbered. If only I'd known then...
"All right, Jammer!" grinned the Emoter. Then she saw the Grim Reaper leaping up at her with a piece of broken glass in his hand. "Prepare to receive the gift of death!" screamed the Reaper.
The horror of being attacked by a living skeleton caused Sheila's blood to turn cold as she screamed in terror. Then she looked down at herself, and saw that more than her blood had turned cold. She looked something like the Ice Princess!
Then she looked back up at the Reaper. He was literally frozen in place, sealed away in a chunk of ice, with a surprised expression on his skeletal face.
"Chill out," she grinned. "As the old Blue Oyster Cult song goes, I 'Don't Fear the Reaper'."
The Ice Princess went up against CyberPunk. "Will you join the Brat Pack?" she demanded.
"You gotta be kiddin', lady," snapped CyberPunk. "Unlike you, I don't get off on betraying the human race."
"Our kind is no longer even of the human race," said the Ice Princess. "So how can we betray something we're no longer a part of?"
"Don't play head games with me," said CyberPunk. "You know what your problem is? You need a little warmth -- like so!"
A flamethrower shot out from his hand and hit the Ice Princess. When the steam had evaporated, Beverly Chandler stood, wearing only a soaked hospital gown.
"This is not a permanent condition," she said clinically. "In a few moments, I'll simply reform another ice-body!"
"Lady, in a few minutes," said CyberPunk, turning into his normal form, "you'll be unconscious." And Carlos Domingo, also gown-clad, punched Beverly Chandler's lights out. (It may not be nice to hit a lady, but despite what he called her, Carlos didn't see Beverly as a lady.)
As the Radicals ended the fight, Jammer said, "Hey...you guys hear someone clapping?"
And someone was clapping; in fact, several people were clapping.
"I'm Erin Flanders, Newscast 19," explained a young woman dressed in a semi-casual suit. "We were doing a piece on the homeless problem, and couldn't help noticing what you guys were doing. So, what's going on?"
Jammer introduced his friends and their defeated foes. "We were going to go take them to police headquarters."
"Who are you guys, anyway?"
"Us?" said Jammer. "We're the Radicals!"
The heroes launched off to turn the Brat Pack over to the police.
03-20-2007, 09:19 PM
Andrus and Alera watched the events in a shining globe Alera held in her hands.
"They bear watching," said Andrus. "It will be interesting to see in which direction this experiment will lead."
"It will indeed, Andrus," smiled Alera.
And so they watched and waited...
Who are Andrus and Alera? What are they? And what is their connection with the Radicals and the Brat Pack? To Be Continued...
(What do you all think? I was thinking of updating them for the post-9/11 era.)
05-26-2007, 10:47 PM
I liked it, like to see an update
07-23-2007, 09:57 PM
There are beings walking this world who have the powers of gods...powers that can be used for good or for ill. Because these powers make them so wildly different from ordinary mortals, they are dubbed "Radicals" by the media. (They would've gone for "mutants", but Marvel Comics sued. :D)
Few know where they come from or how they gained their fantastic abilities. Some believe that they are blessed by God or cursed by Satan; others believe they are a leap in man's evolutionary journey; still others blame ecological damage. One thing is certain: their destiny is only beginning...
Powerhouse: Michael McMahon became the "PR spokesman" for Radicals everywhere when he saved the White House from a nuclear missile. Despite parleying his new fame into a multimillion-dollar career, he's pragmatic, not greedy: being a superhero will require degrees in law, medicine, psychology, biology, physics...all that means college, which in turn means tuition fees.
I see Powerhouse as very much the "Superman" of the series, with fantastic strength, durability, flight, and various energy-related powers like the ability to hurl electrical blasts.
Sharizad: Sharizad al-Raschim (is that a realistic Arabic name?) is American-born, and gets very upset when accused of being a terrorist. She's very much a religious (or at least philosophical) person, and I want her powers to reflect that somehow.
Jam: Elijah "Jam" Jameson was born in a rough neighborhood that suffered from crime and violence, although he never took up a life of crime himself. One day he was mugged by a gang, and his powers activated, setting up a powerful vibratory wave that stunned his assailants. Realizing he was a Radical, Elijah experimented with his powers, and learned that he could generate and manipulate vibrations for a variety of effects. He also learned that his favorite effect was emanating music. He took a course in capoeira, which he figured would be a useful fighting skill for a musician-hero.
Slo-Mo: Trying to catch a bus, Leroy "Slo-Mo" Jones realized he had the power to slow time down, enabling him to move at (relative) superspeed. (This talent has made Leroy patient to the point of laziness: "Oh, crap! That crazy Radical's gonna kill everybody! I gotta stop him...right after I finish my coffee." :D)
07-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Ice Princess: Beverly Chandler was the daughter of billionaire CEO (and secret criminal mastermind) Michael Chandler. On a skiing trip in Switzerland, Beverly was kidnapped by terrorists who intended to ransom her. In a struggle with the terrorists, Beverly fell out of the helicopter and plunged into the snow. As a result, Beverly's Radical power to manifest as the ability to project and control cold, including the ability to create snow and ice by freezing ambient moisture. The shock of this power warped Beverly's mind, combining with her earlier "spoiled-brat" persona to turn her into a racist megalomaniac who believed that Radicals were gods destined to rule the planet.
Warp: Vincent Renoir was caught in a battle between two Radicals. Exposure to their energies caused him to develop his own abilities. Unfortunately, Vincent became convinced that the existence of superbeings meant that reality was not to be trusted and his fragile mind snapped, causing his power to manifest as the ability to warp reality. As grisly lesions manifested on concrete and tumorous growths covered the sky, Vincent screamed something about Martians while fireworks shot out of his head. "Defeating" Warp usually involves either talking him down, or taking advantages of certain "rules" he subconsciously sets up in the twisted realms he creates.
Michael Chandler: The father of Beverly Chandler/the Ice Princess, he lets his daughter indulge in her Hitler-esque schemes for world domination. The other local Radicals become too busy fighting her to interfere with his own criminal goals.
On the fence:
Rock: Rakim "Rock" Jamal Warner was a "gangsta" who got into a scrap with a rival gang. As he was outnumbered, cornered, and facing too many guns, all he could think was, "I'd really have to be made of rock to get out of this!" Like the answer to a wish, Rock found himself swelling to twice his normal size, covered with an invulnerable rock-like hide that deflected the bullets. To his glee, he was further blessed with unbelievable strength, which he used to destroy his would-be tormentors' car. No gang would mess with Rock's "crew" after that, fearing the indestructible monster's wrath. Now that he doesn't fear bullets, Rock is faced with a choice between leaving his gang and forging his own criminal empire.
Dr. Blood: Dr. Elisabeth Sang (the French word for "blood") was a hematologist working the night shift at a hospital. When lightning struck the hospital, it caused a freak accident which left Dr. Sang injured and bleeding to death. Her self-preservation instinct kicked in as her powers manifested, and she became a vampire-like creature that periodically needed fresh blood. Fortunately, she retains some measure of control, and hasn't killed anyone...yet.
Cyberpunk: Carlos Domingo's power activated during an MRI scan. Now able to control machines and computers, and coming from a poor background, he has become a digital-age Robin Hood, gouging the bank accounts of the wealthy. However, he is wont to claim, "Hey, I'm a thief, not a murderer!"
Slither: Bitten by a cobra she thought defanged, the belly dancer soon to be known as Slither found her body adapting to the venom. She grew toxic snakelike fangs, as well as the ability to psionically affect the hindbrains of animals, humans and even Radicals, effectively a crude form of hypnosis/mind control. Due to a combination of yoga and belly dance, Slither is quite flexible (a trait some mistakenly attribute as a Radical mutation).
The Shape: An astronaut and medical technician, "ugly duckling" Vanessa Spaulding was infected with an alien disease. As her cellular structure began to break down, Vanessa's Radical power activated, and after a few hours "hibernating" as a gelatinous mass, Vanessa awoke to see a beautiful, idealized version of herself in the mirror. She had somehow become a shapeshifter whose power ironically manifested in hideous, unearthly but useful forms. She parleyed this talent into a fortune, which she then spends on a career in culture jamming, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_jamming) commenting on society's standards of beauty.
07-24-2007, 04:46 PM
The Director: Another "mere human" like Michael Chandler, this villain commands vast resources. Strangely, the reason he's called the Director is because he works in Hollywood! He's part of an anti-Radical hate ring conspiring inside the entertainment industry. The group's motivation is that, with the existence of genuine superhumans, there will be less demand for fantasy/horror/sci-fi movies, TV shows, novels, etc., meaning that many will potentially be out of a job.
Jacob and Margaret McMahon: A lawyer and a cop respectively, and Powerhouse's proud parents. Margaret holds herself by rigid ethical standards, feeling that to do otherwise would betray every moral value she's tried to instill in Mike; that, combined with the fact that she's the mother of a multi-millionaire, makes her immune to bribes. Jacob is a little more flexible (ever meet a lawyer that wasn't?), but tries to do right by his kid.
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