Mar 26, 2019 4:23 AM
Jonathan in the Whateleyverse
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The first thing Jonathan feels is the feeling of suddenly falling into a hole that was not there before.

The second thing Jonathan feels is a cosh to the back of the head.

The third thing, or things, Jonathan feels are the straps binding his wrists to the table. There's also the sound of heavy footsteps clicking back and forth, and a woman with a thick German accent talking to herself.

"-completely free of magical influences, to see if that helps with the N-dimensional spatioregulation necessary to fully integrate the template. This will not help directly with the ultimate goal, of course, but the cleaner I can get the base process, the more information I will have when it comes time to augment myself."

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Jonathan has precisely zero life experience preparing him for this type of situation! He yanks at the restraints, more in surprise at what is attached to his body than in an escape attempt, and looks around.

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"Subject has regained consciousness. Commencing."

The speaker is... apparently a woman. She's easily twice Jonathan's height, with gleaming paper-white... skin, for want of a better word, and pure black eyes, and six long, double-elbowed arms evenly spaced along her thorax. Each of these arms has a clawed hand which manipulates a lever or a button on a machine about the size of a refrigerator, entirely covered in input mechanisms with no user interface.

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— what is it's straight out of the movies but this is real but that's impossible but it's there but what, do you think you've been kidnapped by criminal improv science fiction theater enthusiasts? But anyway they know he's awake what to do what to do

This thought process manifests as him saying "Uh…"

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The one-woman horrorshow doesn't feel the need to dignify this with a response.

"Initializing metagenetic insertion treatment. This may sting a bit."

It does not "sting" so much as "burn". It burns a lot. It might be the worst pain Jonathan's ever felt, depending on how unfortunate Jonathan has been up to this point.

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No comparisons only screaming.

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She rolls her eyes, not that he can tell. “Subject displays human-typical pain tolerance.”

The burning is over in a few minutes. “Congratulations,” she says. “You are now a metahuman. But you are not yet complete.

She throws another switch. The feeling this time is not burning; indeed, there is no English word for the sensation he feels. It could be called “soul-stretching.”

It is less painful than the burning. It is still excruciating. 

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He is definitely not going to be inventing new vocabulary right now.

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She grins wider and wider as the pain grows more intense. It reaches a peak, then abruptly stops; she nods firmly, then pulls a pair of goggles over her eyes. She peers at him and frowns. “Again?

She shakes her head. “The peculiar commonalities of the BIT are irrelevant. You are now more than you were. How do you feel?”

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This question deserves a withering look, but the available biological resources mean that his reply is more along the lines of a hoarse "aaaaaaaagh."

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She shakes her head disapprovingly. “No scientific spirit in these abductees. Let’s get-”

An alarm sounds. One of her hands pulls at her hair in frustration. “How am I supposed to work with these distractions! I need to conduct additional tests, decant a targeted amnestic, and dump you in a back alley, and some Scheißkerl has just invaded my laboratory?!”

She presses a button, and Jonathan’s restraints pop free. She then picks him up bodily and carries him over to what looks like a supply closet. “Do not do anything stupid, please, I have more tests to run after I kill this idiot.” Then she tosses him in the closet and locks the door.

Weirdly, the impact with the concrete floor doesn’t hurt very much. It feels like hitting a gym mat, or something. 

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Ow.

Now that he's had a moment free of people kidnapping, complaining about, and hurting him —

Secret mutant mad scientists??? This would be so cool except for the part where he's the test subject victim. And there aren't any superheroes to defeat them unless they're secret too.

Well, time to look around this closet for any convenient escape supplies. Whether or not the emergency is just a fake scenario.

He gets up, noting the odd new feeling of his body. No claws or glowing, though.

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The supply closet contains: supplies! There's a box of lightbulbs, notably, and a box of staples, and an old-fashioned mop and bucket, and a broom, and a couple of reams of paper. It's not clear what kind of building this was.

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Paper cuts and broken glass! Nope, terrible plan. There are many terrible ideas available here. For lack of a suspiciously convenient weapon he doesn't know how to use, he will investigate these funny feelings he doesn't know how to use either. Concrete floors are weirdly gentle. His vision seemed to be working better looking around the room. He's in general feeling in really good shape, not even taking into account the recent suffering.

He picks up the mop and hefts it and swings it around, noting the ease with which he can control where it goes; not a single shelf has been whacked yet.

— after a minute there's something else. This funny feeling is in his grip on the mop handle; it's feeling less like something he's hanging on to and more a part of himself, and not just in the way holding a familiar tool is like that. He lets go and there's still something; it's like he feels the mop coming to rest against a shelf even though he's not touching it. And there's something about his hand…

Actually feeling silly for once, he makes like a Jedi and tries to pull the mop to his hand. It doesn't work, but it feels like it could have, like there was a twitch, that he hasn't got enough strength to do it. And his hand catches his attention again — he can feel the inside of it, not in the usual way but the structure of skin and muscle and fat and bone and blood —

There's a lot of stuff here. He takes the mop again, sits down on the floor, and sets to exploring it all, because it seems like the best chance of having any control of his situation. And being a superhero, that too.

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After a few minutes, there are muffled sounds of battle from outside the closet. Sounds of battle include: breaking glass, splintering wood, generic laser noises, and the distinctive sound of large amounts of fire.

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That sounds like it's time to do something.

He touches the doorknob and after a few seconds of — whatever you call this thing he's doing — the bolt retracts in exactly the way it's not supposed to from this side. He opens the door and walks out carrying a mop and a ream of paper.

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In that case, he will see the horrorshow scientist fighting a woman wearing what looks like red and white spandex, who is floating in the air and has fire swirling around her. Scientist-woman has a revolver in one of her hands, a retrofuturistic laser pistol in another, and various strange devices in the rest.

When she sees Jonathan emerge from the closet, she groans. "I locked that door specifically so that this would not happen! Please go back in there, I will deal with you momentarily."

Her opponent fires a beam of white-hot flame at her, which she absorbs into one of her devices. "Stop doing that!" the heroine whines. In response, the scientist shoots at her with the laser pistol, which she dodges handily.

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Perhaps it would help if her hand weapons were interfered with by slightly clumsy telekinetic grappling paper? It's stronger than paper ought to be, too.

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She observes Jonathan's newfound telekinetic powers, notes her lack of prepared counters for a telekine, and makes a snap decision.

"Fuck this for a lark," she says decisively. Then she crushes the object in her third right hand and vanishes in a flash of light.

The fire woman remains hovering. "Damn it! Uh, thanks for the help, kid. You did that thing with the paper, right?"

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"—uh, yeah. Hi."

He may be bouncing on his toes a bit. (He DEFEATED A SUPERVILLAIN. Er, helped.)

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"Are you, uh... new? To having powers? I'm just guessing based on the whole 'rescued from an evil Devisor's lair' thing, and also I haven't seen you around before. And also because you're a teenager."

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"Yep. I've got ten minutes of idea what I'm doing."

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She grins. "Cool! Welcome to being a superhero, then, it's neat. And important. After all, who'd stop Deathlist if we didn't have any superheroes? ...probably the army. But that'd suck."

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There's something off about this, but sadly he's no supergenius to figure it out entirely from available clues.

“Gonna want the primer, maybe starting with who's Deathlist and what's a deviser and what I ought to do or not do.”

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Being also not a supergenius, Fire Lady blinks and latches on to the most notable thing in that sentence.

"You don't know who Deathlist is? Are you, like, Amish or something - no, you haven't freaked out about having powers - but Deathlist is like, everybody knows about him. He's like Justin Bieber or Kim Jong-Un or somebody."

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“— I figured you were all secret for some reason. Never heard of a super-whicheversideofthelaw outside of the movies. And comics.”

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