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Ataraxidermist t1_jealb7y wrote

"I see the world," said Andrea, "and it doesn't break under my gaze."

Her existence could be summed up with a single word: restraint. Andrea had a peculiar gift, her consciousness begeted matter. Wherever she focused, atoms reorganized to suit the product of her imagination, of which she had a lot.

Alas, the result only stood for as long as she looked at it. A shift in attention, and reality caught up to correct the breach of its law.

Towers of grass and hand-shaped altars growing like trees in fields turning to dust as fast as they came to be.

And people. If Andrea forgot, her imagination renewed them for a minute, before death claimed them.

She could create, but only for a moment. What was left after was entropy and destruction

Except today, much to Liliane's chagrin, who was currently in the process of having her lower body turning into a slab of concrete. Her team was mostly a goner. Johnny was a statue of organic gold feeding verdoyant flowers. Esme had melted and became a pool of magma surrounded by a murder of singing ravens. They sang the beauty of creation, their words like worms which wriggled under Liliane's skin, entering her thoughts.


Liliane willed her fears back. Her lower body was a goner, she could still survive if she was fast. Weapons had been a bust, shooting bubbles and breaking into their base components. The supernatural help they had hired fled the moment they realized the target was closer to God than any of them.

All this due to a strong batch of hallucigenic mushrooms.

Hers wouldn't be the first team to fail at stopping a superhuman being gone mad. It might well be the last.

Andrea saw the world in singing colors, a world of ever changing brightness, and the real world followed suit.

And once done, the whole planet would turn to dust.

"Andrea!" Liliane shouted, "please, restrain yourself!"

"Not anymore," Andrea laughed, her hair an animated bundle of flaming snakes, flowing in mesmerizing rythme to a wind that was not there, "for the first time I am free. No more fearing for you or them."

"You're killing us all!"

"No, I am making you beautiful."

Liliane felt the concrete creeping into her lungs, stiffening her joints. The area under Andrea's will was expending, she felt it in the earth beneath her, an influence reaching to the Earth's core.

"What's your aim?" Asked Liliane in a curiously calm tone.

The dissonant serenity slowed Andrea's mad re-creation as she listened with more intention.

"To make you into shining beings, so beautiful I cannot harm you in any way. So I can finally let go."

"We're nothing, just matter that will soon turn to dust. You're so much more, you should fly among the stars."

"To me, you are all made of stars." Andrea whispered.

Liliane started to coalesce, her skin turning white hot in places, pain only kept in check because Andrea had decided so.

"But what if I don't feel like I am a star? What if I feel I'm not becoming closer to one?"

"How would you know?" Andrea's hair had a gravity of its own. This was no figure of speech, between the strands of hair Liliane could see a new world gestating. Only her mouth moved, melting concrete had grown over her eyes, she could only trust the sound.

"I don't. But have you ever looked at the stars up close?"

The creeping concrete ceased its growth, the earth held its breath.

"I'm not asking for much," Liliane continued, "just that you make sure the... template is right."

And just like that, Andrea was gone. Flying higher and higher, breaching the atmosphere and reaching a space devoid of colors.

By the time she would have a good look on a star, the drug bender would be over.

Her influence left with her. The absurdities that were Liliane's former colleagues turned to dust, she felt the same fate befalling her.

At least earth and humanity had another chance to grow on its own.

That's not so bad, Liliane thought, before the last of her turned to dust.


puromento t1_jeal1ql wrote

Take it easy there big guy... Yeah, you are a bit taller than normal today.

They gave you this mushroom too soon, huh? Still haven't worked out all the bugs with it? There there, we'll get it out of your system shortly. Yeah, we have the head of the nation on the phone right now, and she would like to see you soon. Says she's making you a cake right now actually.

You'd like to change your suit first? Well which one? You have a variety of nice ones, and some unique animal ones too.

Alright Mario, take a deep breath. This is gonna hurt a bit, but we need to make sure you lose the fire flower and mushroom. Worst case scenario, we have some green mushrooms right here. Now just close your eyes and...


SwanFP t1_jeb9xi6 wrote

“Not one more step! Another step and the floor is lava! Can’t walk on lava can you?” Mr Matter screamed at us through a purple mist.

Some of us can, I thought. But we better not broach that subject in his current state.

I’m The Intervener.

It’s not a good name. I know that. The name doesn’t matter. Only the process. I know the process because I’ve been there and spent my life learning it. Now I needed to make Mr Matter learn it, too.

Moonlight made its way through the broken windows lining the walls. I raised my hands, showing that we would yield. “Matter, we’re not here to hurt you. I’m sorry if it seems that way.”

“It seems like you want me dead. Seems like you all hate me!”

The others around me looked nervously at one another. Crystal Ball spoke up, “Mr. Matter, we don’t hate you. Not at all.” She stepped forward, “if you could see what I see, you could reflect on all the good you’ve done.”

“The good? I don’t do any good.” The mist fell around him, growing thicker. “I’ve hurt people! I’ve just hurt all of you.” Purple haze turned into a green smoke, covering the concrete floor of an abandoned steel mill.

I needed him to see that this wasn’t his fault. “Matter, you didn’t create the storm in Austin. In fact, you’re the one who helped rebuild after Tidal Wave disappeared.”

“But I could have stopped him years ago! Their blood is on my hands!” Matter screamed, tears in his eyes.

The old equipment started to come to life. A blast furnace cried from within. Where iron and oxygen would once mix, a fungus rapidly grew, with screams coming from their caps.

This was going to get out of hand if he didn’t come down. “Dimitri, listen to me.” We didn’t need alter egos here. This was a place where the ego should have been left at the door. “You are not responsible for the pain caused by someone else. You can’t control everyone. Even if you can control the very atoms we are made of, you do not have control.”

“I.. I know that. But I need to.”

“But you can’t. Especially not like this. Dimitri, look around you.” I motioned to a furnace behind him. A hot, bubbling mess released noxious fumes into the air. This wasn’t metallurgy, it was decay. “If you can’t stop that,” I pointed to the source of the stench, “can you at least let us help?”

Mr. Matter, no, it’s Dimitri right now, looked to the furnace. Feeling ashamed, he lowered his panicked gaze. “Okay, I- you can help.”

“Will," I asked, "can you calm that down?” Will, better known to the rest of the world as The Voice, spoke like an aural massage.

The smooth baritone of his Texan drawl called through the noise of this once deserted factory “Why don’t you calm down with the bubbling?” He didn’t speak to Dimitri, but to the roiling metal in that great cauldron. No sooner did he end his question, did the bubbling calm.

We stood in silence for a few moments. Dimitri’s anger had stopped but his confusion and tears were still coming. “Why did you come here?” He asked the three of us.

He needed honesty. “It’s two-fold. One, because we were asked to by The Committee, but-” he cut me off.

“So I’m just another civilian to save?!” His insecurity in the moment paved a way for his anger to come back.

“No, Dimitri.” I kept calm. If I matched his tone, he wouldn’t see what he needed to see. “One, because we were asked to. Two, because we care about you.Even with all of this… all of the lashing out, we still deeply care about you.” The emphasis was my own. I didn’t know how Crystal and Will felt about him, but this was the man who I had known for 10 years. 5 years as a team in SeaTac and 5 years keeping in touch through mutual friends and the occasional meet-and-greet with the press.

I continued, “We care about you. But we also need you to care. And take better care of yourself. This wasn’t the first time you lashed out, D. I don’t know what you expect to find by trying every manner of escape but there is no running from the demons that are following you. You can only confront them. But you don’t have to confront them alone. You can talk to us. You can talk to me.” I paused, holding back tears that started to form. “Think about what we went through in Tacoma. I would not be here today if not for you. So, will you let me be there for you? When you need it?”

“I… I don’t know. You don’t understand, Josef. It’s not just me. It’s not just the lives lost. It’s the whole damned system. What part do I play in all of this? How can I live with myself if I stand by and do nothing about it? Do I just stay quiet? Do I ignore the thoughts that are pressing in my head, calling me to change everything?” His anger was gone now. This was bargaining.

“No, D. You don’t ignore it. But you can choose how you react. You can choose when to react. There is a time and place for the right action.” Will shot a skeptical look towards me, but I ignored it. “Everything that happens to you isn’t a choice. But how you react, that’s up to you.”

His eyes darted between Will and Crystal, then back to me. Calmly, “You’re right. It is up to me.”

Crystal’s hands shot forward as she spoke “Josef, something is wrong.” Her hands began to glow with a bright white light.

“Crystal, NO!” I screamed as a bright white light was reduced to a harmless blue glow. Her hands, now an icy blue, were frozen in the air as the rest of her body began to melt away from the glowing heat of the fire behind her.

Before Will could run to her, his feet sank into a floor made of tar. The air from around him had vanished. He existed in a shell of a vacuum, unable to make a whisper, nevermind the scream I could see him trying to release.

“Dimitri, please do not do this. We have to be better than this.”

“Josef, if you could see what I see then you would know. I don’t need an intervention. You do.” The fire from the puddle that was once Crystal Ball turned her to steam as it met with the tar, climbing up The Voice’s legs and into his airless mouth.

With a wave of his hand, the air between us shimmered and moved towards me. I braced myself for the end.

I remembered watching soft rains while sitting on the top of the Space Needle.

I remembered Dimitri and I, in our early twenties, bringing down what felt like a criminal empire.

I remembered Violet and our final days together…

The shimmering air hit me and moved around me. I closed my eyes.

Silence. Peace. Finally.

I opened my eyes and found myself standing on wet rock, soft tides coming in and out. The noise here was nothing compared to the busy sounds of machinery, humming with unnatural life back east.

I had never been here at night, but I still recognized this place. Point Defiance. And unless this was my own personal heaven, Dimitri transported me back to Washington.

I looked around for Crystal, Will, and Dimitri but it was just me and the moonlight. I knew the way out of the park, but didn’t move.

I failed my friend and I had to think of a way to make it right.


AlanharTheRiver t1_jece0i2 wrote

Seatac, Tacoma... hmm, then there's the space needle and Point Defiance, and definitive confirmation that our narrator is a Washingtonian. Nice, I like seeing my home state appear in stories.


Catanians t1_jeblc2j wrote

Post traumatic stress disorder happens to many on the front lines. Those that deal with horrors on a daily basis, those that defend us from threats foreign and domestic.

Usually once the case gets bad enough with a normal human we can just take away their weapons and sweep them under the rug. With supers, it's not so easy. They are too rare, too valuable to waste without deep consideration.

Mr Make It was once happy go lucky, a civilian favorite. Specializing with disaster relief over super villain threats, reinforcing falling buildings, conjuring water for forest fires. That sort of thing.

His last mission however, in saving a town on a mountain from a fire, had caused a landslide that had killed thousands. Unable to destroy matter he could only look on as civilian after civilian was pulled from the wreckage. He truly broke after seeing a brother and sister, no older than ten getting dug out arms still wrapped around one another.

His descent into self medication had started shortly afterwords. Our alarms blared warnings as yet again as he lost control, his mind making every stray thought real. His panic only making the creations more horrible and causing more devastation.

A call to his psychologist confirmed that this added strain on his psyche would result in more catastrophes just like this. With a sigh, the clean up agent assigned to Mr Make It hit his switch, the tracking device implanted in his neck during his introductory medical exam exploded severing Mr Make Its spinal cord. With the crisis averted, began the dreaded paper work. Report after report automatically cascaded onto his console. It was going to be a long night. He'd better call his wife and say he wouldn't make it home for dinner tonight.


TheReturned t1_jec6dgn wrote

A nondescript comm slate vibrated loudly on the wooden table accompanied by a klaxon like sound chosen during setup. It's owner, an F-tier supe that's simply known as the Cleaner pulled his attention away from the diorama he was working on.

He worked his jaw back and forth, debating whether or not to answer the call while glaring at the infernal device. It finally fell silent as if cowed by Cleaners stare alone, but he knew better, the caller would call back again. Several heartbeats passed and the device sprung to life again, the vibrations sending it dancing towards the edge. As if knowing it's own doom awaited it on the stone floor below, the slate paused at the edge of the table before vibrating itself over the edge.

Cleaner snatched it well before it met it's untimely end. He stabbed the accept call button and merely grunted. Jordan, his handler from the supe agency was on the line. "Got a supe who can materialize matter with a thought took some psychedelics and, well, you know what that results in. No other supes can get close enough to knock him out. Delta city, 350 kicks to the west."

"On my way." Cleaner's gruff voice responded. Jordan had been Cleaner's handler for years at this point and knew how stoic the oft derided supe was. But they called Cleaner in for dirty jobs like these because the results spoke for themselves.

A short time later Cleaner stood at the edge of what appeared to be an abstract painting. The buildings were disproportionate and leaning in impossible directions. Colors shifted and danced before his very eyes, it was almost nauseating. Digging around in a pocket, Cleaner fished out the Comm slate, laboriously typing out a single word, "Clear?" and sending it to Jordan. The response was immediate, "negative. Civilians in the area, possibly supes, too."

Cleaner typed out and sent 'Ack', holding back a sigh of frustration. Witnesses meant that this was going to be more difficult than it should be. 'Penance' , he thought. 'Millenia of abusing my power, and I pay for it here.' The comm slate disappeared back into a pocket while he contemplated how to approach the problem.

While he worked the problem in his mind, a bony creature with impossibly misshapen wings flapped loudly overhead. Several meters outside the city the loud colors melted away, revealing a pigeon underneath. Freed from it's burden the pigeon found another gear and sped off in search of normalcy.

'Interesting. Once that bird escaped the area of effect the changes melted away. Maybe the powers have a range limit? Or is it an illusion? Either way, that gives me an idea.' Cleaner reached into his memory, trying to recall a particular ability he developed lifetimes ago, but never needed again.

Ah, there it was! A special vision to see through illusions. Cleaners eyes remained the same, they didn't glow or change. But now he could see the real city underneath the imagery. It wasn't an illusion, more of an overlay of strange matter that made the city appear as it did. Cleaner instinctively knew what to do. Instead of thinking about the problem, he instead focused his attention on finding the supe responsible for the mess, trusting his subconscious to keep the matter from affecting him.

Several blocks in he had to stop and let melting eyeballs cross in front of him. 'I've traveled through several universes, and never once did I experience reality as bizarre as this.' he mused silently to himself. A block before the trees lining the street were dancing to a tune no one could hear, some were coordinated while others appeared to dance to a different tune.

Jordan was right, though. There were civilians and supes caught up in the psychedelic effects. One persons legs grew comically large when extended forward as they walked, but shrunk back to normal as it passed under the person's body. A random c-tier sup was plastered as a stylized mime frantically trying to find a door to the invisible box they were locked inside of.

More blocks further defied description. A mix of fluffy substances mixed with demonic imagery painted the scene before him. Cleaner knew he was getting close, though his special vision he could see that the strange matter was seeping into the objects it covered. He called a temporal lens, an ability allowing him to pull on the fabric of space-time to see into the future or past.

He paused to speed time forward through the lense. What he saw dismayed him, if he didn't resolve the situation soon, everything affected by the strange matter would permanently morph into a sludge that would threaten the entire planet. If that happened, Cleaner could reverse it, but to do so he would stretch the fabric of space-time to the breaking point. He knew from experience that if that happened, this universe was doomed.

Dismissing the T-lense Cleaner hurried to find the affected sup. Laughter carried on peculiar winds reached his ears. The strange matter played havoc on the propagation of sound, adding another level of difficulty in locating it's source. Cleaner cycled his vision through many modes until he found one that showed brain activity of living creatures. 'I should have thought to use this sooner.' he chided himself.

There, third floor of a mixed use building was a chaotic signal. Now that he had a focus on the source, Cleaner could sense the strange matter materializing with every heartbeat of the supe, surging out in successive waves.

Cleaner looked around surreptitiously, but ultimately decided that no one was in their right minds due to the strange matter. He leapt into the air and flew directly for the supe, phasing through buildings for expediency. He stopped next to the supe, strange matter flowing around Cleaner like water around a rock.

'Beng able to manipulate life and living cells would help out here, I curse the fates for keeping that from me, especially now.' He considered his options, resigning himself to falling back on manipulating space-time itself. He wrapped the supe in a temporal field, separating him from this reality temporarily. Inside the field, Cleaner accelerated time so the psychedelics worked their way through the supes system. Only when the supes brain signals smoothed out did Cleaner return time to it's normal flow.

'And now I have a life out of synch with this reality. Bringing him back could be disastrous. Must do this carefully.' From the perspective of Cleaners reality, hours crawled by. No longer fed by the sup, the strangeness began dissipating from the edges. Finally Cleaner dropped the temporal field around the supe. Satisfied that the supe was synced properly, Cleaner left the apartment, speeding across the rooftops.

Alighting upon a tree branch, Cleaner once again fished out his Comm slate, pressing the icon for Jordan. "I'm going to need a bigger mop."


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Prestigious-Suit7882 t1_jeex08k wrote

Soooooo..... the whole world is on drugs now, but it's safe and has no addictive features? That doesn't sound to bad.


Takeyouonajourney9 t1_jecqh2p wrote

Just as the high hit.. a shadow loomed over our glorious city.

It was cylindrical and ginormous in proportion to the skyscrapers. There was a rounded edge.

What was it, it was hard to distinguish.

Damn it super Dave.. it was a giant dick..

Alt looked at me, ‘so uh what the fuck are we gonna do about that shit’?!???

‘Do you have your phone?’, ‘Yeah’.

‘Go blast super Dave with some Pizza commercials’.

Alt runs as fast as his legs can carry him, he expertly opens his browser and links onto a pizza commercial.. the giant dick slowly disappears.. pizza begins to fall from the sky..

Until.. a commercial pop up for Centaur World came on.

And that’s when all hell broke loose.


Pope-Francisco t1_jedgo3t wrote

The elevator door slowly opened revealing a lady with a suit. She walks out & looked around to find a bunch of people on the ground dozing off into space along with food, drinks, & blood covered the ground. She walked passed some naked bodies, some were missing limbs, some were dead. She made her way to the kitchen to find a robbed man chowing down on puffy marshmallow like arm attached to a dead women.

“Jesus Christ.” “Where?! Oh! Hello Liz! How are you doing this morning?” “It’s 3:50am.” “Really?? That’s odd, swore it was later.” The man began to tilt & a orange juice poured out from his mouth. “What did you do this time?” “What do you mean?” “Stop playing dumb, your excessive drug use is out of hand Star Mind.” “Just call me Dave man!” “Upper management is sick of your shit, either you get your act together for once or you’re done.” Dave then floats in the air, belly up & gets close to Liz. “What do you mean by done exactly? Are you gonna take me out?” “If necessary.” “Ha! Please, as if a mere human like you could kill me! Don’t get too cocky kid.” “I’m 6 years older than you.” “Whatever, just get out of my face.” Liz swings at Dave & knocks him to the ground. “The fuck? How much did those mushrooms mess me up? Whatever.” Dave then stood up to throw a vase at Liz, she grabbed it & threw it back. Dave then held out his hands & made a shield of snakes, blocking the vase. But, Liz suddenly appeared beside Dave & broke his leg with her heal. “Aaagh!” He fell again & Liz grabbed him by the hair & threw him into a wall. He cushioned himself with some pillows made out of thin air, but Liz then jumped at him. He quickly dodged her attack & flew away. “This bitch is crazy!” Liz ran after Dave as he flew to the elevator door, but before he could reach it she grabbed him. She grabbed his bad leg & slammed him to the ground. “Uuugh, fuck.” Once on the ground, she took her foot & snapped his left arm. “Agh!” And then crushed his right hand. “That was my jerking hand!” She kicked him in the face & turned him around. “What the fuck?! How am I losing to a C class like you?! I bet it’s because of those fucking drugs!” “No, your powers are perfectly fine, I’m just stronger.” Slap! “And the bosses like to make sure others don’t know.” She slapped Dave’s face back & forth with rapid speed, leaving scratches on his cheeks & eventually revealing his teeth. And with one final slap, his head was spun around. She dropped Dave & pulled out a phone. “…Yeah, it’s done… Let’s say it was Black Bolt this time.”