Something New

I sit down at the table, studying every one of the attendees one by one. To an extent, we clash, but I can’t help but feel that if we just try, we could work together well.

“I was meaning to ask, in the interest of getting to know each other better, how each of you got your powers.” I say. “I was born with an identical extra copy of one chromosome; it interacts with the rest of my genome in ways which I doubt science can yet explain.”

“And you know this how?” Saxon asks.

“I wrote a computer program and messed around in the genetics lab. A few people I know are going into molecular biology and genetics, it wasn’t that hard.”

“Were you speaking Greek? Because I’m not sure I heard you correctly,” Rebecca says.

“She’s a genius. Lit-er-al-ly,” Audrey interrupts. I sigh.

“Audrey, really. You taught me everything I know about programming,”

“And you learned it all in under three months,” Audrey replied. I sighed.

“Moving on,” I said deliberately, “how did everyone else get their powers?”

“You already know,” Audrey said.

“Everyone else doesn’t,” I pointed out. Audrey sighed. I pushed my hot chocolate toward her. It was caramel–her favorite. She gave me a pointed look at the obvious bribe, but acquiesced anyway.

“Mom was a mad scientist,” she recounted with relish. “Her family died in a fire. It started as looking for better ways to ensure people’s safety in fires and ended with trying to make it possible for people to control fire and stop them as soon as they begin.”

“She really was,” I put in. “I’ve had a look at her notes. They’re indecipherable, even to me. I can’t understand half the physics, and I’m not even sure what some of those formulae mentioned are. It’s as if she was referencing from some other world, where the laws of physics are entirely different from Earth’s.” Saxon shifts slightly in her chair. It’s hard to tell whether it’s just that she was uncomfortable in the chair, or if it’s something else. “She did think she had it, at last. She tested it on herself and couldn’t seem to get any result–whatever she came up with only seems to work pre-puberty.”

“So she did the logical thing and tried it out on her daughter,” Starlight says, sarcastically.

“But how did you get the technopath powers, then?” Rebecca asks. Audrey shrugs.

“I think it’s a completely unintended side effect. From what I can deduce, the drug seemed to be in two parts, one that would encourage the development of superpowers, the other to induce the desired powers. There was probably a short span of time after she developed pyrokinesis when the first drug, the mutagen, was still active, and outside influences caused her to develop technopathy. The other possibility is that she already had the potential. Her father was, after all, among the premier software designers in the world. The drug took that and did something bizarre with it.”

“If your theory is correct,” Starlight says, “those drugs could be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Potentially, anyone could develop any superpower, it would be very easy to abuse…”

If,” I say, “there’s someone out there who could re-create Audrey’s mother’s work.”

“Trust me, there probably is,” Starlight says. “Where are those notes now?”

“In a box in my closet,” I say, deadpan.

“For safe-keeping,” Audrey explains.

“Do you always finish each other’s sentences like that?” Rebecca wants to know.

“Sometimes,” Audrey says, grinning. I sigh.

“What about you, Rebecca?”

“I was born with mine, I think. They just started showing up, one day.”

“And Saxon?”

“Born with them,” she says shortly. Again, I get the strange feeling that she’s not saying something, but she has a right to her privacy, so I don’t pry.

“Starlight?”

“The origin of my powers, like my name, is my own affair.  I would tell someone if I trusted them.  Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing if I am safe to trust you.” That is complex, but not unexpected. I put my hand down on the table.

“Right. I’m not asking anyone to… start using her powers in a way she doesn’t already… This is to help us stay undercover, to help us adjust to our powers. I’m not sure if any one–apart from Starlight, that is–of us has it in us to actually be a superhero. I was hoping that Starlight could help us adjust to our powers… maybe show us how to control them better… or suggest how to use them constructively.” I can tell, without using my telepathy, that Starlight’s thoughts on my powers are keep out of people’s heads.

At least it’s a start. (I hope.)

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24 thoughts on “Something New

  1. writefury June 17, 2015 / 11:06 AM

    Nice to know the origins and everything. 🙂 I like explained superpowers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • writefury June 17, 2015 / 6:28 PM

        Yours was very interesting. Where’d you get the science for that? 😛 (I mean that in an impressed way)
        Oh, we’re you going to put up the book tour thing?

        Liked by 1 person

      • erinkenobi2893 June 17, 2015 / 6:38 PM

        I actually came up with two of those explanations–the reason why Audrey has technopathy as well as pyrokinesis, and my own. (And I was thinking about Down’s Syndrome, which people think is caused by an extra partial or full copy of a chromosome, and was wondering, what if Down Syndrome is only one possibility for those who have an extra copy of a chromosome? I think quite a bit about the mechanics of my science. Well-thought-out science fiction is the best.)
        Oh. Dang it. I may have to delay it. I forgot about it and I’m actually doing a whole overhaul of my room, as ordered by my mother, so I wasn’t on the computer at all today. 😦 I’ll have to put it up when I can, I guess 😦 I will get it done. Eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

      • writefury June 17, 2015 / 6:57 PM

        That’s really interesting…. *is suddenly re-interested in science*
        YES. Well thought out stories are pure gold. 🙂
        Okay, that’s totally fine. Know I now I’m not the only one who forgets about blog-obligations. 😛 Another person is posting theirs on the 21st… do you want to put yours up then?

        Liked by 1 person

      • erinkenobi2893 June 17, 2015 / 10:05 PM

        Never a bad thing. 😉 I was so entranced by Doctor Who that I created a whole slate of Who-inspired aliens, such as the Alonsia–called “Sirens” by humans, because they can “enchant” people with their voices. They’re limited shapeshifters–they can actually change the shape of their voice boxes, like you can tune a guitar, in order to imitate others’ voices–and they can create concussive sounds that are physically damaging to people and can shatter inanimate objects. Though they don’t often do it, they have special muscles that allow them to spread out their rib cage in order to expand their lungs dramatically–which comes in handy if you’re passing through a toxic atmosphere. Also the Ralosians, who have small, delicate feathers covering most of their bodies and whose neurotransmitters and brain chemistry are entirely different from those of humans–unsurprising, since they have an entirely different approach to emotion. A human scientist wonders if they can find a cure for diseases which are marked by a chemical imbalance in the brain if they study Ralosians enough. (They refer to humans as “Telosian”, because that’s the name they gave their “sister planet”, which was so similar to their own, as far as they could tell, and regard humans as their relatives. Family is everything to the Ralosians, and blood bonds don’t really matter so much as long as you care for someone. If you care for them, take care of them, they’re your family. They don’t ever have abusive relationships there, for that reason.)
        Sounds good. Maybe I’ll actually be able to do that. :-/ I am so sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • writefury June 19, 2015 / 12:18 PM

        Wow. That is a very well thought out creature. Cool! 🙂
        Alright! Can’t wait to see it!
        Oh, and on the Horatio Hornblower front: Archie is dead and my heart is in shreds. 😥

        Like

      • erinkenobi2893 June 20, 2015 / 7:53 AM

        *sigh* I’ve just got to work on it….
        And the way he died, too. 😦 Unfortunately I can’t find it again, but someone wrote a fanfic where Horatio told someone in Archie’s family the truth of what had happened and that Archie wasn’t a mutineer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • writefury June 20, 2015 / 10:35 AM

        I know! We were all twitching in our seats going “No. Archie, don’t die! Don’t die!”
        Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. 😥
        That would be awesome if that happened, though kind of sad all over again…

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      • erinkenobi2893 June 20, 2015 / 2:10 PM

        *cries*
        Yeah… It was written as a “missing scene.” It might have even been written and then deleted. :-/ I wish we had heard about it, if it was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • writefury June 20, 2015 / 6:34 PM

        And our hearts would be shattered into even more pieces. It’s one of my brothers’ 8th birthday today and for a present, my 10 year old brother dressed up as Archie. He used my old coat and we made a yarn ponytail. Couldn’t quite get the lopsided smile down though. 😉

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      • erinkenobi2893 June 20, 2015 / 8:48 PM

        *waves hand* All fandoms do that. I just spent nearly fifteen minutes solid crying over Rose Tyler this morning. And then had a migraine this evening and thought that I was six years old, in the TARDIS and that the Doctor was taking care of me. WEIRD. Also totally NOT my fault. Blame Iris. She got me started on it.
        *sends your little brother a big hug for his birthday and your other little brother a hug for dressing up awesome like that* 😀

        Like

      • writefury June 20, 2015 / 11:04 PM

        All fandoms? Man, I’m not sure I can take much more… 😛
        That must have been a little weird. Haha, yep. I’ll blame Iris. And then I’ll blame you for starting me on Hornblower. 😉 (blame you in a good way)
        It was pretty awesome. 🙂 A great birthday present in my opinion. I was telling my 10 year old brother he needed to make his smile a little more crooked for the part and he got frustrated and said he just needed to borrow my smile. (I’m a little infamous for my lopsided grin :P)

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      • erinkenobi2893 June 21, 2015 / 7:47 AM

        Well, I spent hours crying over Obi-Wan after I was spoiled on the end of Revenge of the Sith. He’s all alone in the world, and he thinks he’s killed the man he raised!!!
        I want to snuggle him and shower him with hugs… 😛 (Oh boy… a while back, I took a multi-fandom “which-character-are-you-most-like” quiz, and on the “Doctor Who” section I got the Doctor. Which is pretty crazy, but I make really weird faces sometimes, so it’s probably true.)

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      • writefury June 21, 2015 / 10:59 AM

        Oh, man. That would be awful. 😦 I kind of go into denial when a favorite character dies. Just pretend it didn’t happen. Or make them a tribute in my writing. 😉
        Haha, that’s great! It would be even weirder if that was before you liked doctor who…
        I keep seeing my odd team out friendship between Jean and Cobalt everywhere. And I saw it in Horatio and Archie (the responsible, dutiful one and the optimistic, smiling one). What’s scary is, I have Cobalt the same wound Archie died from. I’m like “don’t worry, Archie. You won’t die this time!”

        Like

      • erinkenobi2893 June 21, 2015 / 8:25 PM

        I’m working on the promotional post with the review of your short stories. 🙂 I’m finding them simple and straightforward, and well-integrated. I really do enjoy them (it’s just that I read freaking Joyce and enjoy it. 😛 I prefer longer, slightly more involved stories, but that’s just personal preference.)
        YESSSSSS and he was only fifty-seven when he died, Qui-Gon was way older than that! I’m convinced that Obi-Wan’s apparent age was precipitated by grief, especially as we saw him in the Clone Wars without the beard and he looked maybe fifteen. *cries* Master Kenobi, you keep platonically breaking my heart.
        YES! THAT WAS BEFORE I GOT INTO DOCTOR WHO! 0_0 Not before I’d seen a few episodes, though. (I just want to give the Ninth Doctor a big hug and tell him it wasn’t his fault, I’m sure he did everything he could about whatever it is that’s haunting him. And then become a Force-ghost and haunt whichever of the Time Lords started the mess in the first place.) Anyway, so I saw a few episodes as reruns back in 2007, 2008ish, but was a bit weirded out by the series at first. I wasn’t much into sci-fi at the time, and hadn’t been exposed to much fantasy. I love it now, the way they tell their stories is just so addictive… ahem. Anyway, I pulled the Doctor on my personality test. Iris says that she thinks I could be a Time Lord, but she also thinks I was the tenth Muse before I got kicked off Olympus for being too good at my job, so I wouldn’t go too much on what she says. 😛
        IKR?! I see my friendships everywhere. There’s Winter and Elian (he’s her mentor, actually), and I see a lot of Winter in the way the Doctor treats some of his companions at times. Also, if Horatio ever had a protege, he’d totally be exactly like Winter with Elian. X-D And then there’s Connor and Alex (Alexandra, Alex for short.) He takes everything she says seriously. She’s a pretty funny person, a sweetie pie, and if you’re evil she’ll kick your posterior. He’s a deadly assassin who sometimes behaves more like a lost schoolboy (or Merlin. Or the Tenth Doctor, for that matter.) They’re like, archetype friendship. (I also ship Connor/Alex SO HARD.) Yeah, Obi-Wan and Siri are like that. Only their roles tend to meld a little more, and Obi-Wan is more solemn than Connor and sometimes just needs a bit of humor in his life. And THEN I have this steampunk post-apocalyptic story about a group of young women traveling across oceans in an airship with no one but each other for company. Insanity ensues. And there’s even a former military woman (Sciara, pronounced she-ara) to keep it from turning into, like, a permanent sleepover. X-P She can be a bit of a killjoy to the younger and/or less solemn/less-PTSD-suffering women, but she’d die to protect them.

        Like

      • coruscantbookshelf June 22, 2015 / 4:24 AM

        Three years is not ‘way older’. If that’s the case then I’m ‘way older’ than Iris.
        And if you think you cried over the spoilers for RotS wait until you get the real thing. (Fortunately there’s a cue added into the script at the absolute low point, to remind you to pause, take a deep breath, and then go on. You’ll know it when you see it.)
        Love it when people get into long, long conversations on this site… I can jump in anywhere, not just in the first couple replies.

        Like

      • erinkenobi2893 June 22, 2015 / 11:50 AM

        There was a lot of confusion over Qui-Gon’s age… especially early on. I’m not entirely sure what his age was in canon, sorry. Also, I may have meant Dooku, who was in his eighties or nineties during “Attack of the Clones” and was still very active–albeit his style appeared more appropriate for his age…
        I think Obi-Wan had a much more athletic and energetic approach to Soresu than most. Barriss Offee (reputedly) and Luminara Unduli also used the style, but not in the same way (or, I would go so far as to say, to the same degree) as Obi-Wan used it. And that could be because both of them are women and are naturally going to take a different approach to athletics, but I still think that Obi-Wan is probably Luminara’s superior as far as sword play goes. (Ironically, I think that Obi-Wan actually alternated between Luminara and Cin Draillig to learn Soresu. Which would make sense, except that according to Wookiepedia, Luminara was only a year older than him. Wookiepedia’s timeline is whack-o in most cases, entirely flip-flopped in others. It’s almost like someone walked through and knocked everything off onto the floor and then it all got put back in the wrong order and with the dates off. Gah. According to Wookiepedia, Anakin Skywalker is only one year older than Barriss Offee, but given the events of the Clone Wars, I’m operating on the assumption that he was actually three to four years older than Barriss. OH NO… Barriss Offee, in the Clone Wars, turned to the Dark Side (yes, I am still in denial of this fact :’-( ) just one year before Anakin Skywalker, I believe. AND their respective masters were each 38 when their apprentice turned evil! It can’t be intentional but it’s a really creepy coincidence!)

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      • coruscantbookshelf June 22, 2015 / 4:04 PM

        I use tPM as my mark-point, mostly because nearly everybody’s alive then. And at that mark, Qui-Gon was sixty, Obi-Wan twenty-five, Xanatos had he lived would have been thirty-seven… I can go on.
        Yeah, I’d easily believe Anakin a year older than Barriss. Don’t forget he was training as a full Padawan when most kids his age wouldn’t be for another… oh, three or four years(!)

        Like

      • erinkenobi2893 June 23, 2015 / 10:47 AM

        Okay. Thanks.
        (Barriss, as portrayed in the Clone Wars and thus sort-of “canon” as proposed by Disney, couldn’t have been more than nineteen at the close of the Clone Wars and sixteen or seventeen when first introduced onscreen. As such, she’d be three to four years younger than Anakin. Ahsoka Tano is supposed to be fourteen at the commencement of the Clone Wars, but I prefer to go by the training timeline laid down by Jedi Apprentice and assume that she was twelve or so when she began to train under Anakin, making her fifteen or sixteen when she left the Jedi Order and in her thirties by the time Rebels comes around. Huh. I should put together a detailed timeline of events and ages somehow.)

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      • coruscantbookshelf June 23, 2015 / 5:04 PM

        JA doesn’t cover ‘Soka… the very last one is mid-Anakin.
        Died at Felucia courtesy of O66, age 21! One year younger than Anakin.
        And I have – well, the events that immediately impact my work. That said, half the Council, and Vokara, and Quinlan, and Ali-Alann, all have question-marks after their names – no reliable canonical figures.

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      • erinkenobi2893 June 24, 2015 / 1:07 PM

        Yeah, but Jedi Apprentice says Padawans begin training under a Master at, normally, twelve or thirteen. So I’m going by that. (She did look twelve to me at the beginning of the Clone Wars.)
        I’m going by the Clone Wars. I have to because of the *spoiler* idea I had for the ending… Also, because this story is a bit darker :-S So, Barriss dies at eighteen. I know they said she was knighted, and that’s the only way the ending of the Clone Wars TV series makes sense, otherwise we get the question where was Luminara?! and that makes Luminara sound like a horribly neglectful master. So I’m assuming Barriss was knighted (probably too early, which is part of the reason for what happened to her.)

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      • coruscantbookshelf June 24, 2015 / 5:08 PM

        “normally”, and thirteen was the upper limit – remember how stressy Obi-Wan got about that?
        I go by canon if there’s a dispute – but hey, if you’re running AU it doesn’t matter anyway, no?

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      • erinkenobi2893 June 24, 2015 / 10:19 PM

        Yes, I remember. (Siri was apprenticed at eleven.)
        Yeah. Also, it’s rather important to the plot… I guess I’ll email you for clearance first, because it’s kind of a weird idea.

        Like

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