The story so far:
Sitting up in my bed, I waited three seconds with my hand over my alarm clock well I looked at the wall at the other end of my tiny room. Just as the clock started to ring, I slapped my hand down on it. Slipping out of bed, I got dressed. After taking a leak, I looked at myself in the mirror like every other morning. Shaggy, dark-brown hair, dull grey-blue eyes, small mouth, distant looking face, and messy clothes. I sighed then looked away from my pitiful reflection. Moving into the living room, I went over to the small fridge stuck in the corner of the room, near the front door of this miserable apartment and gabbed two slices of bread and the jug of milk. I finished the milk in one gulp, then I buttered the bread and started wolfing it down. I missed having tea and a bagel during the mornings. With another sigh, I opened the front door and left for work.
Work was at a bookstore across the street. I was lucky to get two customers a day... then again I might have gotten more if I didn't smell all the time, if only I had the money for deodorant at the least, or maybe if the shower worked...? Just what has happened to me? I wondered. Another daily ritual of mine for every time I stepped out onto the street and saw the old store across from me.
Originally I was a middle-classed kid in a small town with a few friends and little to worry about. That changed when I graduated. Before, I had drifted through school doing the bare minimum with no plans for the future. I started to feel the pressure when I got out of school. Thankfully though my parents let me stay with them... right up until the accident. On my nineteenth birthday I watched as my entire family and some friends get burned to a crisp.
They had planned a surprise party for me, though I didn't deserve it. Well they setup one of my friends took me out for a drive. When we got back, the house was on fire. Apparently something was wrong with the gas stove and then someone went and flicked on their lighter and the house exploded. After that... well I wasn't fit to be out and about. It took three years before I spoke again.
Once I was well enough to go back out into the world, I went to the place I hated most, the city. The place where everyone keeps to themselves. Even after I got better and left town, I still ended up with a steel wall around me that caused me to push away any friends I had -that didn't die- and prevented me from making new ones.
I truly stood alone with nothing to turn too but all the disappointments in my live. There wasn't a day that went by without me thinking about going to the roof of my apartment and taking a one time only flying lesson everyone fails. For some reason I never do it though, I just continue going on with this big waist of time the world calls life as if I'm waiting for the right moment to fly away from it all.
Getting into the bookstore, I flipped the sign on the door from closed to open, then started to do a bit of organizing. Once I was bored of that I sat down at the desk and flipped on the old computer and checked my emails even though I only ever get junk mail. Strangely enough I would check one or two of them for fun just to see what it was going on about.
Looking through all the junk I found one that sounded a little different. Instead of saying something to get you interested for the topic, It simply says “Unlimited”
Unlimited what? I thought to myself. Clicking the email, I opened it and started reading. What it said was:
Hello Dilton Daily, I'm offering you, for free, the power to make your world a better place... and make you smile again. What you have to do to get this power is simple. Read out loud the line below then concentrate on a character from a book or a movie with an ability people in reality don't have.
Right... could that sound anymore lame? How is that supposed to give me power? I questioned to myself.
For a moment I sat looking at the message, then thought Well... it couldn't hurt to check it out... it's not like I have anything better to do. So I scrolled down until I came across the line. Reading it over in my head, it appeared to be complete gibberish, but I shrugged it off and began practising the words. Once I thought I had it right I said out loud and all together “Ddniel ethotnn cioemdm ii cti sus unlimited!” suddenly I felt an odd flow of energy within me come to life. The feeling was unexplainable. It wasn't cold, or worm, it didn't feel good, or bad, it just seemed to be a constant flow of energy with no apparent source or end.
Wide eyed and nervous, I decided to follow through with what the message said and started concentrating on a fictional character. The first one to come to mind was Superman. As I concentrated on him I felt unearthly strength and power fill me. I found it hard to maintain the concentration though so I could also feel the power flickering. Still I tried harder and started to try and use Superman's x-ray vision. To my utter joy, it worked!
Through the far left corner of the store, I could see a man walking along the sidewalk then go right passed. I also saw he was carrying a gun under his jacket. He didn't appear to be a cop though.
The man turned down the alley beside the shop were another man had been standing. The two started talking which quickly turned into a fight, then the first man pulled his gun and shot the other. The gun shot was loud and everyone nearby couldn't help but reacted.
The gun shot made me loose focus and my sight went back to normal. I quickly went outside and over too the alley to find the man with the gun running away. As I watched I concentrated on Superman again. This time I used the heat vision to melt the mans shoes to the ground. Once that was done I used Superman's speed next to get up behind the man before he could turn and try to shoot me. After getting in close I let go of my concentration and knock the man over, then got down and pinned him so he couldn't get away. A moment later a real police officer quickly came around the corner to arrest the man. The officer thanked me for the help, but then asked about the melted shoes. I simply shrugged and said “Haven't the foggiest idea, sir.”
He eyed me for a moment, then said “Alright, fine.” and let me go.
With a sigh of relief, I made my way back into the shop. Just as I was about to sit back down, I realized I had a headache. The headache quickly turned into a migraine which got bad enough that I lost my strength and fell to the floor. At some point I passed out from the pain and all went dark.
I woke up in a hospital bed the next morning. When the doctor came by, he explained that the migraine was caused by mental stress. It obviously had to be from the amount of concentration I put into using my new found ability. Now that I knew how it worked and how it affects me I decided I needed to find an easier way to use my power.
Once I was released I started trying to think of possibilities, but I came up short. By the time I made it back to my apartment I gave up on thinking about it for the time being. Instead I started to wonder how I got to the hospital when the only other person who works at the bookstore only comes by once a week for about an hour to make sure we hadn't been robbed and I was still there, and she wasn't due for another four days.
I got my answer the next morning when I went to check my email at work. I got another message titled “Unlimited” this time the message said:
Great work stopping that murderer the other day! I didn't think you would become such a hero so fast. You'll be happy to know that the man shot will also survive to see another day.
I want to apologize for not warning you of the risk of concentrating too hard for too long, but I think the best way to learn is through experience.
If you're looking for an easier way to focus without straining yourself, I suggest writing down the name of the character on your skin. Make sure that you write it where the ability takes place. In the case of heat vision writing “Superman” on your eyelids or drawn the symbol instead, that works to, and it's easier to do. If the ability takes place through out the body, just write it on your chest. Once you do that, all you have to do is focus your energy on that spot. This way requires a lot less concentration then the way you did it the first time, trust me.
Also, because I know you're wondering. I was the one who brought you to the hospital. I wasn't about to let you suffer in pain on the floor like that. What kind of person would that make me?
I'll be expecting great things from you Dilton. I'll see you around, okay babe?
I stared at the message for about five minutes feeling weirded out by it, but what really got me was this person called me “babe”. Who the hell would be calling me “babe”?! I questioned myself. It took some time to get past that part and consider what was really important. Who ever this person was, they were watching me. Knowing that fact worried me and, without meaning to, I started to glance about the room and look to the windows. It didn't take long for me to give up on trying to figure out where they were watching though... I only ended up searching all the bookshelves for hidden cameras and watch the people on the streets to see if they looked like they were watching the place.
After I settled down, I grabbed a pen and went to the mirror in the bathroom. I did my best at drawing the Superman logo onto my left eyelid and when it was done, I started to focus on it well looking around to try and see through walls again. It worked! And it was quiet a lot easier then last time like the person told me.
When I was done with work I came up with a brilliant idea to make some more money so that maybe I could have a shower or get some deodorant like I desperately needed. I wrote “The Flash” on my chest then locking the shop up and left for the scrap yard on the east side of the city. In there I could find tons of random materials.
First though I had to ask permission to go through the stuff and use it, so I asked the owner of the yard. Though a little grumpy, he allowed it. I wondered through the yard for twenty minutes before settling down and picking some metal up.
With that, I took the pen out again and wrote the name Edward Elric -a character from a foreign graphic novel called “Fullmetal Alchemist”- on my hands. This particular character could use alchemy to instantly transmute say... coal into gold. He could also change the shapes of things as well like his metal arm, he often gave it a blade when he found himself in a life or death fight. All he had to do was clap his hands together as if to pray then touch whatever object.
Once I finished writing I concentrated, touched my hands together, then with my right hand, touched the pile of scrap metal. The metal appeared to instantly liquefy, but instead of becoming puddle on the ground it changed into a toy race car. Laughing to myself I thought This is so cool! I continued to do this for the rest of the day, then I brought all the cars back to my apartment and got out my long forgotten painting kit and got to work. Good thing I was a halfway decent painter.
The next day I went in search of a local shop that sold a little of everything. When I found one, I talked with the owner about selling the toy cars in his shop. He seemed unsure at first but when I showed him the cars he quickly changed his mood. He could hardly believe they were handmade but at closer inspection he could tell that they had to be. After we decided on a price for them and he paid me for the toys, he told me to come by anytime and he would be happy to sell whatever I bring in. I made a good buck doing this, so I thought it'd be best to keep it up. I could really become happy again like this!
* * *
A few months later I was finally living in a proper sized apartment and had a decent amount of income from making toys, ornaments, and occasionally jewellery depending on what I find. Along with the day job I did end up taking a liking to doing some crime fighting. It let me play with my powers and test how far I could go with them, I even learned to combine powers. By now, I was making the papers as well. Of course, I had a mask that covered the top half of my face and hair so I wouldn't be recognized. I liked to show off but I didn't care for the attention afterword as odd as that sounds. The papers had officially given me my hero name as well. I was known as Power Master. Kinda lame, but the people liked it and it got the point across. These day it feels like I'm walking on water... which I could actually do.
One day when I just got home from dropping off some new toys to Paul's Everything Shop, -the guy who sold my cars for me the first time- I went and checked my emails. To my shock I got an email titled “hey there Power Master”. I've been found out! I concluded feeling pitiful for slipping up even before opening the message. When I did finally check it, it read:
Hey there Dilton, no you didn't mess up and give your identity away, I've always know who you were because I've never stopped watching you since I gave you your magical ability ;)
I know I haven't been in contact, I'm sorry about that. Anyway now that you've chosen your path, and the right one at that, I want to congratulate you properly and tell you my reason for giving you powers... you might not be overly happy about the reason really, but you have the right to know.
We'll meet face to face this time as well. :) Lets meet outside your favourite local store at 12 tomorrow, okay babe? See you then!
“That was a shock if I ever had one!” I said to myself. “All right, tomorrow at noon in front of Paul's, sounds good.” I mumbled.
Moving away from my computer -nervous I'll find another heart attack on it- I started tidying the place up a little, then made myself lunch.
The next day, I fumbled around to turn my alarm clock off. After stretching a few times, yawning, and staring at the sealing I finally got out of bed. After a shower I put on some fresh clothes then tied my shaggy hair back into a ponytail. Going to the kitchen next I put a bagel into the toaster and brewed some tea. Adding I little milk in sugar to the tea and some cream cheese to the bagel, I went over to the table to enjoy breakfast with graphic novel. Finishing the last of my meal, I put the book down and went a head to wash the little bit of dishes. Going back to the bathroom I brushed my teeth quickly then wiped my mouth clean. Looking into the mirror I saw my eye gleam with happiness. Once I was back in the kitchen I renewed the symbols and names that I kept on all the time, like Edward Elrics on my hands, and the Superman one on my eye then I grabbed my mask and put it in my pocket. Stepping out, I made sure the door was closed properly and locked, then I was off.
I spent most of the morning wondering around and doing nothing in particular. I didn't really have anything I needed to do at the time... not until I discovered that a bank robbery was happening at the the moment from a police cruiser radio.
I turned my focus onto The Flash and bolted for the bank. At the same time I pulled my mask out and put it on. Reaching the bank I used Superman's x-ray vision to peer inside the building. Everyone was on the ground well the robbers collected the cash. One man appeared to be dead. Running over to the alleyway I added Kitty Pryde from the X-men -the girl who can walk through walls- to my chest and Spiderman's web to my left wrist. With that done I focused on Kitty and passed through the brick wall of the bank. Once I was inside I made my way to the robbers.
When I found them, I kept low around a corner and started putting focus on Edwards name well keeping focus on Kitty at the same time. Taping my hands together, I touch the ground with my right hand making large sword-like blades spring up from the floor and cut the mens guns in half. Now that that was done they started to panic and well they did I came out and shot them with Spiderman's web to tie them up quickly.
Once I had them all tied up, I turned to the hostages who were stunned by the amazing display and said “Well I'd say you're safe to go, so stop staring at me and get gone! You have people worried sick about you, you know?!” The people finally snapped out of it and started making a run for the doors. A few stopped to thank me, but before to many people tried too get in close I decided it was time to leave so I let myself slip through the floor with Ms. Pryde's ability. Checking the time I realized it was getting close to noon, so I focused for super-speed and hit the pavement.
Getting back over to Paul's Everything Shop, I spent the the next few minutes hanging around on the roof of the two story building, watching for my mystery person.
Some minutes later a girl around my age was dropped off by a taxi. I could tell she was a pretty cute girl with some sexy mixed in. Her hair was shoulder length and looked almost like gold well her eyes -I could just see- were a golden-green. You could also tell by her face and the way she moved, she was a little tomboyish.
I noticed the girl wasn't going into the shop, instead she stood outside. She was looking around and checking her watch every now and then. I started getting the idea it was her I was waiting for, so leaning over the edge of the short building, I called down to her by saying “Unlimited!” She quickly looked up. When she saw my face she smiled then disappeared in a puff of dark blue smoke. My eyebrows knitted together in confusion, then suddenly I heard another *poof* behind me. Spinning around I saw the same girl from below standing before me. She really was quite stunning, I could only hope her personality was just as good.
“Hey there babe.” she said with the sweetest smile.
“So it is you...”
“Yup. My names Ruby Loft. Sorry I never told you my name before even though I knew yours. It was just better that way, I couldn't have you come looking for me if you turned into the villain, right? So tell me, did you reach your goal? Did you get your happiness?” she asked as we shook hands.
“Mostly... I'm still missing something I so dearly want more then anything else.”
“Someone to share my happiness with.... So what was the reason for giving me this ability you wanted to tell me?”
“Right... My brother and I had a bet on whether you would be able to handle the power or if you would either die, go crazy, or just become someone we would have to kill... I lost the bet.”
“You gave me powers... for a bet?”
“Well... I also thought, if by some chance it turned out okay, it could be just what you needed to turn your life around... that you would benefit from it....”
“That doesn't make it right! You were still playing around with someones life! That isn't something you should do.”
“I know... I am sorry... I don't always think things through.”
“It doesn't matter now... but to think I'm a superhero because of a bet... that's kind lame....” I said. “So how did you get your powers in the first place?”
“I was born with them. Along with nine others. The nine others and myself are descendants of mage's who learned to pass their power through their bloodline. I was the next person born into the Loft bloodline so I was given the powers next. As I grew up I discovered many things I could do, I even learned that I can give an artificial copy of any power I have to other people if I wanted to. I gave you a power named Unlimited. It's the most powerful one I know.”
“So you can do other things besides using powers from characters?”
“Of course! I'm a mage not a human with one special gift!”
“I see.... well I just have one question for you, are you going to take my power away?”
“No! I would never. Even if I wanted to, I can't. Once I give someone a power it's theirs just as much as it is mine.”
“Perfect! In that case I think I hear some thugs I can catch.” I finished as I started to turn to leave.
“Wait!” I stopped and looked back to her. “I was just wondering... if you aren't busy... lets go watch a movie sometime?” I looked at her a little surprised. “As friends of course.” she quickly added.
“There is a movie I've been meaning to go watch anyway... Next Friday at five, meet me here again and we'll go.” I smiled.
“Really? Just like that?”
“I need to make friends sooner or later, if you're offering to hang out, might as well bite.” I now started to grin. “See you then!” I said, then hit the super-speed.
* * *
After that, Ruby and I started to get pretty close. Eventually I met her kid brother as well. He was your average person except he had knowledge of all the magics his sister could do and the history of the family. Him and I become close as well.
Three more months passed and I decided on something. I wanted Ruby to be the someone I share my happiness with, I wanted to be with her. Unfortunately... the world is a cruel place.
One morning when I got the paper I discovered there was another bank robbery. Five people died and the money stolen was burned in front of the bank for everyone to see. They also got a picture of the criminal responsible. To my horror, I saw Ruby standing there, crazy eyed and using her power to burn the money. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing! She could get a little rowdy, but I could never imagine her being a threat! She was too caring for something like that. Another thing that seemed off was how she left the area. When she wanted to really get moving she would use Nightcrawler's telliportaion. Instead, it was reported that the Ruby in the paper flew away. This was defiantly all wrong.