Do you ever have one of those days where you think life just isn't going your way? Well, for me, in particular, I've always had that feeling. I had no one think that I would amount to anything, no one to help me, no one to confide in. I always dreamed that if I had the power, then one day I would steal a little back from the world. Needless to say, that wish came true when Genesis came about. After all, who was ever there for me, right? Though this night was a little special. Word on the street says that some paranoid guy keeps a little bit of his money stash at his company building. And the rumor was true. For many guys, they'd probably spend weeks of planning, but for me specifically, it was a rhythm.
In a couple of minutes, I was on my way to make a daring escape with a duffel bag of money until suddenly I heard the presence of others. I turn around to see three men, Wildfire, Armory, and a dragon man.
"End of the line," Wildfire said aggressively.
Before I could turn around, I felt the impact of a fist, and when my senses returned to me, I saw the Wildfire who was covered in a fiery aura with his fist embedded through my chest. I decided to give up with my disguise and pull all of my clothes inward to reveal myself. The speedster looked particularly shocked, but that's to be expected when you look like a man made out of light blue slime. I took advantage of his surprise as I pulled himself into me and then proceeded to fling myself across the room, turning him into a ragdoll. I throw him towards Armory. However, he rolled away just in time to fire an entire magazine from his pistol at me! Pieces of me dropped from me in puddles as the pain was blinding. I, however, pulled through and then pushed the guy in a wall and slammed him into the ground. The dragon man was starting to approach, but I wrapped myself around his head. We engaged in a brief struggle, but before he fell, his overpowering strength pulls me off him and snap me to the ground. Before I could regain myself, Wildfire hit me over and over again until my duffel bag was in his hand and my lower half had turned into a puddle with my clothes ripped from me.
The pain was blinding to say the least. It felt like I was sinking into the floor by some force. No, not yet, I still have time! I summoned up my will and touched the puddle enough to reform myself and take the parts of me on Wildfire arm and throw him aside as I took the duffel bag and jump out of the window! Before the dragon man could catch up to me, I stuck myself to the side of the wall slipping through his claws and also making myself slippery to further evade Wildfire's blurringly speed. I then dropped towards the ground with Wildfire jumping off the surrounding buildings to catch me but using my powers I gave up the duffel bag so that I may carry the money to the sewer drain.
After I made my escape, I spent the next hour breathing from exhaustion as pieces of me bubbles and popped. Hi, my name is Matthew Straits, and I'm dying in a world gone mad. But to of my present, you got to know the past right? A couple of months before Genesis, I was desperate. I had exhausted all my resources, and I wanted to start making real money. So I became a runner for the Philadelphia Greek Mob. It was good and fun work, and I knew that I could make a future, but I was so sick of being at the bottom for so long that I wanted a little cut of the top. I started skimming a little bit of the payoffs and filling them with counterfeit bills from this guy I knew.
Guess it was only a matter of time before I got caught. Betrayal from my very accomplice who got off scot-free with his half, however, was unexpected. Those rival gang bastards tortured me for days, but in a way, I didn't bear much ill will, after all, it was in a way my fault for trying to be a wolf in a cockroach's skin. I am pretty sure I punished myself more than the people doing it.
I didn't know how long the torture was, but I knew how it ended , a shot of the head. And all I could think of was how I wanted no, needed a new start. I spent those last few seconds begging for a new beginning. And in hindsight, I guess I did get that new start. Next thing I knew I felt spread out and loose. I didn't feel any of my bones, blood, or intestines. I spent hours freaking out wondering what happened to my regular body until in a couple of seconds my body morphed to human shape. I looked towards my inadequate killer, but I could tell he was dead, but I found my body to be a more startling miracle.
It took time, but this slime body was just what I had wished for. In the end, I took advantage of my new form. I stole back from the world in the form of minor trinkets and went into hiding in fear of what horrors the new dark ages created. Still, though I felt confident and honestly revitalized considering, I was nearly murdered. I never felt tired beyond my circadian rhythm, hunger, or thrust was also a thing of the past as well. My boring old life had finally vanished away. In my free time, all I could do was practice my abilities in secret and occasionally take a peek in the dangerous outside world.
It seemed too good to be true and turned out it was. At first, they started in the form of small tremors and shakes. But then over the months, they grew more in frequency and pain. With each new tremor, I felt myself dissolve as the chill of death turned my metaphorical hair stark white. With each passing minute, I grew more and more fearful, and with my new life at stake, I hatched a plan.
Over the last month, I robbed the city blind to secure enough power for phase 2 of my "glorious" plan. I've spent hours online searching up on the leading scientists devoted to Helix research, and I managed to find one. Throughout Genesis, Philly has become a bed of controversy when it comes to Helixes with many branches of the scientific community trying to make a petition for helix research. One of these scientists geneticist called Dominic Beck. If I can get to him, then maybe I can ask him to find a cure for my condition before it was too late. It's not like I had a choice anyway. I kept myself constantly busy, so I didn't notice my ticking clock. But I think that sadly just went right around to remembering why I was so desperate to escape.
I grew up in an orphanage; I never got the pleasure to meet the people who didn't want me initially. And every day for an hour at a time I would pray to god that I would find a nice family. Years of waiting, and by 13, I was in a foster family. They were nice to me at the start, but the cracks seeped. I was nothing but a charity case for my high-class family. A walking talking ad used to spout out the "kindness" they showed me. And every time I rebelled they would assert themselves over me constantly talking of my powerlessness.
"You can do nothing because you come from nothing."
They treated me like some show dog, and eventually, I got tired of it, and when I turned 18, I left them without a second thought. And it was at that moment I stopped praying to the man upstairs. After all, it's not like it seemed he ever looked on my side. I was the one that always seemed to manage, always seemed to survive. I always made it because of my will, resourcefulness and most of all, a hell of a lot of dumb luck. And I hope that I had just enough of it for one last venture.
Despite my low stature, I always had a knack for digging up dirt. I consider it a skill that I've refined, and eventually, I was able to find Dominic's location in a week. It was mostly automated security, but it was still completely worthless from my rhythm. Through leftover thumbprints, turning fingers into keys and slipping through barriers, I was an unstoppable force. And when Dominic Beck opened his eyes in anxiety, I already was in the middle of putting him back in his slumber.
I brought Dominic to Philly's Linfield Industrial Park. Next time Dominic wakes up, I decided to show my best foot forward by giving him hundreds of dollars of snacks from a corner store I was passing by. I also gave him a change of clothes, deodorant and body spray as I didn't want him to work in his underwear. When he finally woke up, I was just about recovering from feeling the warming sensation of having my arm bubble off. Still, I endured the pain and greeted him politely.
"Um, hi Mr. Beck, my name is Matthew Straits now I know being zip-cuffed to a chair by a guy who looks like he's from an 80's horror movie can be very stressful. May I interest you in a little snack to calm the nerves?"
"I guess this was going to happen eventually, right? I don't care whoever you are or what you want from me. All your going to be is another tale of mindless violence, and I will not help you hurt others."
"I'm not trying to make a statement Mr. Beck, all I'm trying to do is survive in this cruel world of ours. I'm dying Mr.Beck, every day I'm worried that every time I sleep, I will wake up to my body boiling into nothing. My cells are degrading fast, and if anyone could cure me, it's you."
Dominic fought back with questions of his own, "So what is your endgame here exactly? I don't have the supplies or people necessary to help you? And even then what makes you think I can solve your condition in such a time?"
"True but I can get more supplies and more people. I can-"
"Also do you honestly think that the Purifiers and those Champions won't come in and save me?"
"I know, but if you would just listen."
"Also what make you think I wouldn't end up accidentally killing you to-?"
"I don't know!"I scream out while slamming my boiling fist to the ground!
"I don't know what I'm going to do. I know whatever time I have left is short, but I've been trying to distract myself from my condition. I know this plan is flawed as all hell, but I'm desperate. So please, I'm begging you asking you to help, just this once."
"Then why didn't you reach out to someone and devote your body to study? You would be perfect for our Helix experiments. We've only gotten a few volunteers so you would fit right in."
"Yeah but I also know that you've been trying to push for that for months now and haven't gotten any real progress. The world was a dangerous, fear-filled place even before superpowers. By the time you get those Helix labs up running, I could be long dead. So tell me Mr.Beck in what ideal world do you think I can come out on top beside the next one. Because in all honesty, I don't want to die. I want to live in this world gone mad."
In my vulnerable state, I decided to uncuff him and offer him a drink.
"I'm sorry for what I've done. I don't want to be alone for once."
Dominic looked at my sad, pathetic self, and after a while, he agreed. For hours we sat and talked and drank in solidarity about life and love. And even with my ticking clock at least I was finally not alone.
I don't know how much time had passed, but in his drunken state Dominic proposed a solution.
"Maybe I could like to freeze you."
"Hahaha, you want me to be a popsicle?"
"C' mon man I'm serious think about it. Slow the cells slow the deterioration and vice versa. Until I can find a fix for your problem."
I then realized the truth in his words and celebrated the almost miraculous solution. I danced a little bit despite the pain. I turned around to thank my possible savior only to see him gone. I looked around the old factory, but while there I avoid a barrage of lighting! Before I could make a counter, I got hit with a barrage of bullets that tear me apart! My body hissed and sizzled into a puddle. Over and over I again, I cursed myself for even daring to think I would get a break in my life.
Abandoned, used, tortured, dying all those thoughts swirled around me. I was sick of being the world's bitch! Every cell to my body bent to my will to make a swirling monster! With my sight readjusted I looked to Armory with a smoking rifle, and before they could react I stretched my hand in a devastating punch and then grabbed him to morph myself into a tightening noose around his neck! I was never a killer, but I might make the exception for him. Blackout appeared from the shadows with her hands coursing with electricity.
With my newfound speed, I can sink into the floor while still retaining the noose before the blast made contact. I then tried to throw him at Blackout who dodged Armory's flailing body. However, shockingly enough in respond Blackout unleashed a shining light that blinded me long enough to find that the ceiling above collapsed beneath me!
I sort myself out of the rubble soon enough and realize that a hole in the wall was made and went through to greet my opponents. Using the rubble from before I flung it at the so-called Champions who were running away in seeming retreat with Alchemist and Blackout were carrying Armory out. However, Alchemist stepped in coated in blue lighting that dissolves all of the rubble into thin air. Still, it was the opening needed to finish this fight finally.
But before I could make my move a sudden blur whisked by me and I felt an absence of myself. I looked around to see that frighteningly Wildfire held a piece of me inside of a simple water bottle that Alchemist then touched to turn it into stone. Fear clasped my metaphorical throat as this process continued in the form of the cyclone until the next thing I know I had been completely captured.
My destabilizing body bubbles by my anger as I knew that my time was all up. I would lament until the Reaper swung his scythe, but I remember what I told Dominic.
"I didn't want to be alone for once."
I wanted to take one of them out with my final swing! I pulled everything I have to break through my cage in a vortex of fury as I aimed myself at Armory! Even still, the world wouldn't have that for me as Alchemist jumped in with her body funneling blue lighting. As soon as my momentum filled body collided with the aura, it shuddered and repelled back. Uncontrollably my body twisted, contorted painfully as the lighting trailed off me as well. In one final push, I was reverted to my human form, still screaming. But I stopped in place when I realized that my feet had become stone I stood there. And in the end, with nothing I could do all I did was make peace.
"Good riddance, cruel world," I thought.
I dived into a slumber so deep that I would never wake up. At least making peace for the time, I had rather than the time I gave up. This was the end of my story in a world gone mad. Or so I thought, as next thing I know a large jolt excites my cells so much that my body snaps into equilibrium with a sharp face-first fall. I And with it I felt a sensation I almost became unfamiliar: an arm touching the ground. I realized quickly that my arm had once again returned to me. I marveled at my old self and looked down towards to see that truly everything had returned and then saw a tall Caucasian man with stark white hair with smidges of blonde dressed in a gray shirt and long khakis. He was muttering to himself, talking about transmutation, stabilized cells and stimulants. It all clicks into place, as I said.
"What did you do to me?"
"I turned you into what you were always meant to be."
"Because I need people like you to accomplish my goal."
"But what do you want for you and me?"
"To change this brand new world and if you follow my associates and me, I can make it so that you can be a part of that change as well."
At that offer parts of my body suddenly change back into my old slimy form. I processed the swirling prospects that my third choice showcased, but all came to 2 things that seemed most apparent: Payback and allies. And those were two things that I desperately needed right now. Because I was tired of just surviving instead of thriving and hey freaks of a feather an all that right? I know more underdogs are just like me out there in their rock bottoms. So I am more than happy to prove to all those scumbags out there just how wrong they were in ever looking down on me. I forced myself to turn my lower body and right hand into slime as I laid out my hand at the mysterious figure.
"Where do I sign up?"