It turned out – when I finally snapped and forced Mother to tell me – in the middle of a supervillain case that the entire community was pulled in on – that my father was 100% mortal, and she couldn’t handle the idea that her kid might be too. So she went to Olympus and asked Sarpedon, one of the demigod heroes, if he knew of anything I could have. Being a pretty nice guy overall, Sarpedon offered ten years of full-on phase-changing powers, with a two-year stretch at each end for acclimatization, as the best he could do.
Phase-changing essentially means I can turn any substance in any of the three states (liquid, gas, or solid) into any other of the states. I can do plasma-state, but only with liquids and gases. In other words? I can walk on water or through walls, stand on air, or drink a peanut-butter sandwich. And those are just the gimmicks. Handcuffs to restrain a crook? I’ll get a pair literally out of thin air. Sarpedon kept it tidy; I have to think out specifically what I want. So I have to say in words inside my head, I want the air in the form of a pair of handcuffs around this guy’s wrists to solidify, and remain solid until I choose otherwise. And it will. Believe me, when you’re falling off a building, you learn to think really fast.
So anyway, from when I was six, that was pretty fun. The powers are starting to fade now; I’ve lost the plasma controls, and I sometimes have to repeat myself or say it out loud before anything happens. I was Mother’s sidekick until she kicked me sideways out of her life. I’m still working in my kid persona, Little Marvel, with the green leggings and the high ponytail – cute and nonthreatening, until I get going – but as the powers fade I’m working less and less, so someday Little Marvel will just… poof, gone.
By the time I’m twenty the powers will be completely gone. I can cope with that too: I’ve been taking lessons in non-meta work from one of the best guys in the country, and I’m going to go live with my brother and his wife, who are both non-metas in the community. I’ve got a persona to use over in Foundry City, and I work that – Starlight – on and off, just to ease into it. I’ll fall on my feet. It’s that or die, for our sort.
Brother? Oh, yes. I met my father when I was sixteen. I was arresting him for robbing a jewelry store in Breakwater Bay, where I worked. And from there I met my half-brother Paul, and we get along fine. More about all that some other day.
Money’s not so much of an issue: Up to sixteen, there’s always welfare, and nowadays I have an uneasy Magwitch-and-Pip-type arrangement with my father. And I can usually get casual work with the police when I need it. Mother still works – real-world and hero stuff – and still doesn’t talk to me since I called an audible on a team project and the bad guys got away.
I have a name, but long training taught me never to reveal it. Old habits die hard.
Well. That’s me.