Super Steve had trained for a lifetime, not to get stronger or becoming more proficient, rather the only power that he needed to grow was his power of restraint. His birth on another planet and subsequent forced relocation to Earth had manifested into some spectacular powers including super strength, speed, flight, and even laser vision. He was so strong and secure in his powers that he was not ashamed at all when it came to fighting villains in a cape and spandex.
Today is just another day of breaking up some neerdowells, when the scientific mob boss known as Donnie the Don aka Don-e-Don rises out of the top hatch of a tank, aims an unknown weapon at Super Steve, and fires.
Super Steve suffers from boredom and not just any boredom, with super powers comes super boredom. As he watches the spiraling beam leave the end of the barrel, he finally decides to take his power moderation from 0.1 to 0.15. Time slows down as he moves to pick up one civilian after another, moving them away from whatever blast radius this thing is going to have.
He empties all the rooms of the two buildings behind him and relocates the occupants a few blocks away. Maybe not all of them will have whip lash from this, he thinks as he sets the last civilian down.
Super Steve hustles back by power walking and takes his place in front of the incoming energy projectile. Well, I’ve gotta let them hit me some or they’ll just quit trying. He goes through several cheesy poses as if he were in a photo booth at the local mall, the settles on placing his foot on top of a gangster lying next to him and giving a thumbs up towards the camera-projectile.
Steve holds the grin for what he feels like was over an hour, waiting for the molasses projectile to reach him. He glances down to the gangster again and realizes that the criminal is scared, but it’s not of him.
Steve notices a purse clutched in his arm while extending the other to shield from danger. When he follows the man’s gaze, looking upward, he finds Cat Man descending from above in his flying squirrel suit. Steve tsks as he looks back down to the apparent purse snatchther that managed to earn the ire of one like Cat Man. “This is not your day, friend,” Steve says, then thumbs back up to the pouncing hero. “Do you have any idea how violent that guy is? You’d have been a lot better off if you only had to deal with–Oh Shit!” He exclaims remembering the molasses beam.
Steve reaches for Cat Man intending to shove him away as the honeyed-energy nudges the spandex covering his leaping calf.
Steve blinks and the world regains motion, but somehow seems to move faster than what should be possible. He looks down to see a giant hole in the sidewalk next to him and splattered blood from…someone, but he’s not sure who. “Geez, I hope that wasn’t–” he starts but is cut short as something strikes him in the back.
“Ow!” He yells turning back to find a thug more confused than he is. “What?…what the heck did you just hit me with?”
“Just,” the thug stammers, “just a rock, sir.”
I’ll show you a rock you little twerp, Steve thinks, charging.
But the thugs expression shifts into deeper confusion as Super Steve leans forward, beginning to move imperceptibly slow as he proceeds to make the first step forward.
“Am, I being punked?” the thug asks, turning to look for hidden cameras.
Not-so-Super Steve’s leg cramps and he straightens, tightens his butt, and grasps towards his hamstring. He begins putting fourth greater effort, hobbling towards the thug who just stands there, not sure what to do next. Steve swings his fist at him but his wrists flexes on the thug’s chin.
“Agh, what the hell man?” Steve complains, with drawing his now sprained wrist while continuing to nurse the knot in his leg muscle.
A boom happens, startling Steve as the thug suddenly turns into red confetti…or perhaps red beef stew. Steve wipes goblets of red something from his face. He chances a look behind him finding huge swaths of the nearby city wiped away, with his current street no longer recognizable.
There is blood, brick, trees, cars, an office desk, living room furniture, kitchen appliances, and a toilet…none of which is where it’s supposed to be.
“Steve,” calls a hushed whisper. Steve begins looking around, initially seeing nothing living except for a meowing cat that is sitting inside the toilet bowl for some reason.
“Steve!” he hears again and finally hobbles to a nearby embankment to find a naked man shivering and trying to cover himself.
“Hey–” Steve starts, then coughs and corrects himself. “Greetings citizens. It is not safe here so perhaps you should move along and go find some clothes.”
“It’s me,” the naked man replies. “Cat man.”
Steve is confused at first but finally catches on. “Right, right, citizen and I am the Easter Bunny. Now–“
“Steve, stop being a dumb ass,” Cat man says, raising his voice, buffering Steve and causing the few remaining nearby windows to shatter. “I can’t move,” Cat Man continues, whispering again. “You have no idea how hard it was for me to stop this close to you. Every other attempt was off by miles.”
Steve smiles and nods sympathetically. “That weapon must have switched our powers somehow,” Steve says, growing thoughtful.
“Well see if you can find it and get us out of this mess.”
Steve moves back towards the rubble as survivors and locals start coming around. After far too many hobbled steps, too much time sifting through dead ends, and expending his last nerve on a cat that can’t seem to shut up, Steve hobbles over and plucks the jingling cat out of the toilet. He looks at its collar to find a name tag: Mittens. If found, please return to Don-e-Don.
“Oh,” Steve says, making the connection. “Well that makes sense.” He chucks the cat as if bailing water from a boat.
A “rawrrreyerr,” ensues as the cat travels in a flailing arc to land on its feet and skimper away.
Steve shoves the toilet over and finds a white lab coat drenched in blood and the gray dust of brick mortar. A further search yields some electronic components. He pulls two larger parts from the pile, lifts them in the air, and brings them together to see the silhouette of an energy weapon.
“Well shit,” Steve complains tossing the components and storming off.