Challenge #01496-D035: Signal of DoomsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  3 years ago 

"You live in a world of superheroes and supervillains. Each person gets three marks, one on their right hand to indicate their future arch nemesis, one on their left hand to indicate their side kick/partner, and one on their chest to indicate their powers and insignia. Today your marks show up and they’re… Shocking, to say the least."
(same prompt but this time, all the symbols are identical. If you did that the first time, something else.) -- Gallifreya

Not everyone gets to be Super. It's only fair. If everyone was Super, then it would just be Normal. And we all know that Normal is boring. And we also know that Supers need someone to rescue. It kind-of works out that way, I guess. And -hey- we all want to be Super, one day.

I thought I'd missed out. Turns out I'm a Late Waker. Mine happened in the beginning of phys ed, changing for the lockers, and someone noticed that I had what looked like a photorealistic sun on my chest. This was the first and only time I got out of phys ed because of puberty fallout.

I was the first one to get that sigil, so they shoved me inside the Really Big Bunker so fast that I hardly had time to blink. I got to live in the Heavy Assessment Labs. Punching things, kicking things, screaming at things. It was great therapy, don't get me wrong, but nothing was happening. And then, when I had reached my maximum frustration point, I blew up.

Literally. Like actually-exploded, blew up.

I can tell you now that exploding hurts. Especially growing myself back again from the smoke. Do you have any idea how much it hurts to have new nerves? They always tell you to grow a brain, but god damn that's some agony, right there. The Bunker Mystics are trying to figure out how I remember everything once I "explosively discorporate" as they put it. I'm guessing whatever cosmic entity is using me as their entertainment figured everything would be easier if I had reincarnation memories that were just as good as living through it. Even when I'm smoky, I can eat real food. Both the Bunker Boffins and the mystics are both trying to figure that one out.

They're calling me "The Neutralizer". Because my explosions are just as powerful as matter and antimatter neutralising each other. Hardy har har, you big bunch of nerds. That sun on my chest was what my explosions look like from the outside. They stylized it for my super suit. As you can guess, it's the cheap kind of super-suit that's easily replaced at minimum expense.

Guess I'm lucky I'm not fighting in a bikini and a mini-cape like some heroes I know. Like that unlucky soul, Solar Flair. He fights his battles in a Mankini because he needs as much sun as his skin can get. And he's red all over because he's that mortified about it. Sooner or later, his confidence has got to match those magnificent abs...


They're figuring out where to put me. Obviously Ganymede is out. I'd blow that up with me. Space is out, too. When I explode, I need a source of food and things to rebuild my body with. Earth is right out, unless they want to keep me locked up in the Hard Labs for the rest of my life. The good news is that my detonations are not radioactive. And some smart-ass is trying to figure how to hook me up to a power grid.

Thanks, guy, but I'd very much rather not power the world by dying every couple of months. Thank you so very much.

Things got even more interesting when my right hand began to itch on the back. My ally sigil was turning up. Shocker - it was my sigil. Of course I'd have to rely on myself. I explode. Any partner at my side had better be either immortal or just as good at regenerating, or I'd kill them permanent-like.

The other shock came in a couple of weeks when my left hand was about to show me who my arch-nemesis was. I didn't want to believe it, but... it's my sigil, too.

I always figured I was my own worst enemy.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / putragin]

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