Friday, March 4, 2016

Superhero Bar Stories: The Most Disgusting Power

Okay, I have to admit, that's pretty good. So not only could she summon and control slugs, but her outfit was just a bodysuit covered in them? Ew. What? No, of course I'm not conceding. Dressed In Slugs is gross, but I think I've got it beat. You see, I once knew a guy...

All right. You know what an elementalist is, don't you? One of those people who can move or reshape one particular kind of substance? Yes, like the kid who can shape fire. Or Earthlord -- remember him? He could move rocks around just by thinking about it, bring statues to life, all that sort of thing. He wasn't that hard to capture, but the office had the devil's own time finding somewhere to keep him locked up. Yeah.

Well, this guy... He was one of those. And he wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be a hero real bad. And he had the disposition for it, too -- the right mix of caution and decisiveness, enough empathy not to be a dick about his power, enough idealism to want to do things right but enough cynicism to make him hard to fool. If he'd had a slightly different power, he could have been a Big Name.

But he was an elementalist. And his element was... shit. Manure. Feces. Excrement. Dung.

He wasn't a summoner. A lot of elementalists are, but he wasn't. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse, though.

But like a lot of elementalists, he could do things with his particular element that would put a standard telekinetic to shame. He could move people's crap around inside their bowels. If he had time to do it carefully, he could give people diarrhea or constipation. Or course, if he wasn't careful, well... we're talking ruptured intestines, internal bleeding, and good odds of colostomy bags for the survivors.

It was effective as all hell, but nobody took him seriously. Well, I mean... hell, a few of us did. The ones that knew him took him seriously. Several of us went out of our way to have his back. He was that kind of guy. He was really good. But his power just wasn't the kind of thing that Metahuman Monthly writes fawning articles about. It wasn't the kind that people admire, and it didn't seem to matter how many sacrifices he made for the greater good.

That wasn't what finally stopped him, though. That wasn't what made him give it up. Like I said, he had just the right mix of idealism and cynicism.

No, what got him out of the business was this one incident. It was a home invasion, he happened to be in the area, and burglar turned around at just the wrong moment and got the drop on him with a pistol. And the first shot missed -- pure luck -- but the second one wasn't going to. So my friend, he... made the guy explode. He took everything he could get a hold on, every bit of stool in the guy's digestive tract, and pulled it out through his belly. There was no second gunshot; the perp died instantly. But apparently it was the goriest, most disgusting scene that anybody had seen in years.

So he quit. Went off, got a completely different kind of license, and started working as a bartender. Runs a nice, discreet little hole-in-the-wall bar, and a lot of his clientele are heroes or former heroes -- and those of us that knew him, well, we make a special point of coming around on a regular basis. He should have been great -- he was great -- but he came up with the wrong kind of power.

Yes, that's him behind the bar. Don't stare. And don't laugh, or I'll break your face and throw you out of this place myself. You want to know why I drink here? Him. You want to know why everybody behaves themselves here? Because of him. This is his place, and don't you ever doubt that he earned it.

But that's the most disgusting power I've ever encountered. And if I'm not mistaken, that means you get to buy the next round. And when Joey's taking your order, you show him some respect.

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