Jordan ran over to the hole and looked down. “Ryan, are you okay?”
Ryan’s voice came back very panicked. “No, I’m not alright! I’m made of stone! What did you do to me?”
“Well, I can’t be entirely certain, but if I’m right, then my chemical compound would have made you indestructible, so that may be why it turned you into stone. Can you still move?”
Ryan moved his arms around and then stood up. “Yeah, I can still move. You made me indestructible? This could be pretty cool, actually.”
“It’s entirely possible. Come back up here, I’ll run a few tests on you and then we may know a little bit more about what happened to you.” Ryan walked out of the room and went upstairs and back into the science lab.
Ryan’s body turned back to normal and the hole in the floor suddenly filled with concrete again. Ryan stared at his arms for a second, and then at the filled hole. “What is going on here?”
Jordan looked at where the hole had been and then back at Ryan. “I don’t know, but I’m going to do my best to figure that out. Open up your mouth.” When Ryan complied, Jordan stuck a thermometer in his mouth. After two minutes he pulled it out and examined it. He scribbled some notes onto his note pad. “Body temperature is normal. Can you hold onto this syringe for me while I go to get a beaker to store a sample of your blood?”
Ryan accepted the syringe from Jordan. “I hate needles.” The glass of the syringe disappeared and Ryan’s body turned into glass. The needle pinged when it dropped to the ground. “Um Jordan, I think that we have a problem.”
Jordan turned around and looked at Ryan. “Now you’re made out of glass? What is going on here?” Ryan’s body turned back to normal and the glass tube of the syringe reformed in Ryan’s hand. “It would appear that your body is absorbing the materials that it touches and reconfiguring your body’s makeup to be the material that it absorbed. Very interesting, very interesting indeed.” Jordan took a wooden stick and began to poke different parts of Ryan’s body. “Hmm, maybe it has to be exposed skin.” Jordan poked Ryan’s face, his arms, and then finally his hand, and the stick disappeared while Ryan’s body turned into wood.
“Ok, so now we know that your hand is the only part of your body that has the ability to absorb the materials.” Jordan scribbled some more notes and Ryan’s body turned back to normal. Jordan took the syringe from Ryan and set it on the counter. He grabbed a new syringe and stuck it in Ryan’s arm and took a blood sample. “I’m going to study this; you try not to go around touching anything for a while. I’ll hopefully have some answers soon.” Jordan walked away holding a syringe of Ryan’s blood in his hand.
Ryan sat down and wrapped his arms around his knees, trying to be careful not to touch anything. Two hours later Jordan emerged from a lab room. “Well, I have discovered something. The chemical compound that was inside of the machine is not the one that I made. It must be the one that you were making before you started to help me. Now this is important, do you remember what you put into that test tube and how much you put in?”.
Ryan’s face scrunched up in concentration. “Um, no, I was just putting in whatever looked cool. I really don’t know what I put in there. Can you fix me?”
Jordan held up his hands and sighed. “I don’t know, Ryan. There wasn’t really anything conclusive to find out from your blood samples, and without the formula for the chemical that you made, I won’t have anything to go off of. I do have some possible good news however. Come over here and pick up the fabric that I was going to do my test on.”
Ryan walked across the room and picked the cloth up. “What’s so special about this cloth?”
Jordan smiled a knowing smile. “Notice anything strange? Like how you aren’t turning into fabric?”
Ryan’s eyes went wide with surprise. “What’s up with this? I thought I turned into whatever I touched!”
“Well I did some tests with the machine before I actually started using it. It seems that whatever compound is shot out of this gun, the ray has the opposite effect on whatever substance is behind it. So in essence since whatever you touch you become, that fabric is completely immune to any kind of change. Therefore that is the one thing that you can touch that you won’t become. I can make you some gloves out of this fabric, so that you can go back to living somewhat normally. The only problem is that you will pretty much have to wear them all the time. Also over the next couple of days I’ll need you to come here whenever you aren’t busy. I still need to try and run as many tests on you as I can, and you need to try to gain control over this ability that you have gained.”
“Gloves? Man, I can only think about what the guys will say at school when they see my new look. Tomorrow is Sunday, so I have that off. But I have football practice after class on Monday.”
“Okay, I’ll make those gloves for you quick, and then we can go back to the dorm for the night, and then work on getting you some control over these new abilities of yours.” Jordan picked up the fabric and started walking away. “Just try to not touch anything with your hands until we have this figured out a little more, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. Man, how did this happen to me? I’ll bet that God that Kari is always talking about did this to me. If he’s even real.” Ryan sat down with his back to the wall, crossed his arms across his chest, and leaned his head back, and before too long, he was sleeping.
On Monday, Ryan walked down the hall to his first class, nervously looking up and down the hallway, his hands stuffed into his pockets. Maybe he could get lucky and make it until practice that night before anyone noticed his gloves, and then he could just explain it as being a new pair of gloves for football. Yeah, the guys would buy that, might even get everyone on the team to go out and buy some gloves of their own. Ryan might even end up starting a new trend.
His hopes were shattered when he felt a hand descend on his shoulder however. He turned to see the smiling face of Stew. “Hey Ryan, where have you been? No one has heard anything from you since after the game on Saturday. Boy, you missed one heck of an after party at Kevin’s.”
Ryan gave a weak smile back. “Yeah, it was a great game, I can only imagine how great the party was. I was in the chem lab, helping Jordan out with a project.”
Stew frowned. “That nerd again? Come on man. When are you going to figure out that these are the best years of your life, and you need to spend as much time partying as you can, and as little studying as possible?”
Ryan pulled his hand out of his pocket and gave Stew a little bit of a shove. “Jordan has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and I’m not going to bail on him. Besides, I seem to remember that he has helped you study for some of your tests too.”
Stew looked down at the floor. “Sorry man, you know I didn’t mean it. As far as nerds go, Jordan is pretty cool. Why don’t you bring him to a party next time, instead of him dragging you to his lab?”
Ryan turned when he heard James’ laugh echo down the hallway. “Nice gloves Ryan, where’d you get those, and why didn’t you just leave them there?”
Stew’s face broke into another smile. “Gloves, what gloves?”
Ryan threw his hand back into his pocket and started stammering. “Wh-what these? I got these for, um, for football!”
James kept laughing and threw his arm around Ryan’s shoulder. “I know that as a linebacker, you tend to deal with some hard hits so you may have knocked some brain cells loose, but seriously, does this look like a football field to you dude?”
Ryan scuffed his foot on the floor. He knew that the guys were going to give him a hard time about the gloves. Why did it have to be his hands that got affected by Jordan’s experiment? Why couldn’t it have been his feet? No one was going to see his feet! His mind raced, and finally he came up with an excuse. “I’m breaking them in. Don’t want them to be too stiff on the practice field do I? I might miss some catches.”
Stew looked at James for a moment, and then back at Ryan. “I can buy that they’re for football, but that story is pretty weak man. I’d work on that if I was you. I have to get to economics class. See you later, gloved wonder!” Stew and James started laughing and walking down the hall the opposite direction that Ryan was heading.
“That went about as horribly as I expected it to. Hopefully the rest of the day goes better than that did.’ Ryan started walking down the hall with his hands stuffed back inside of his pockets to his first class, Roman History. The rest of the school day, however, went just like his encounter with Stew and James.
Three o’clock finally rolled around and Ryan jogged out onto the practice field. Ryan was feeling much better at this time, because he wouldn’t be the only one wearing gloves. A lot of the other players wore gloves on the field, and people might comment on why he was wearing gloves, but it shouldn’t be too unusual.
The team went through warm up drills as usual, but they seemed easier to Ryan today. He felt a new strength flowing through his body, making him more agile and hard-hitting than normal. As expected, several players and a couple of coaches questioned Ryan on his new gloves, but they all seemed to accept them. Then came Ryan’s favorite part of practice, the scrimmage, where they put their defense up against the opponents mock offense, to learn what kind of plays to expect from which formations.
Ryan lined up in his middle linebacker position, and watched the ball in the hands of the center. His hands twitched as he waited for the snap, balancing on his toes, ready to spring forward and plow through the offensive line. The quarterback shouted “Hut!” and the ball snapped into his waiting hands. The quarterback dropped back three steps, planted and prepared to throw, when a look of sheer terror crossed his face as Ryan flung aside the center and left guard effortlessly and kept coming for him. The quarterback pulled the ball down under his arm and started running across the field, his eyes scanning the field for an open receiver.
He didn’t make it more than seven steps when Ryan met up with him, and crashed into him. Ryan and the quarterback flew five feet through the air before they hit the ground, an audible gasp was heard from the quarterback when Ryan landed on top of him. The coach blew the whistle and ran up to the two of them. “Ryan! Get off of Steve! Steve, are you hurt son?”
Steve took deep gasps, trying to catch his breath again, and tried to communicate with the coach. Failing that, he pointed at his arm, which was bent at an odd angle. “Someone get Steve to the hospital, I think he broke an arm.” He pointed at Ryan. “You, I want to talk to. Coach Ryner, get someone in for Ryan and Steve, and run that play again.”
The coach and Ryan walked off of the field and the coach fixed Ryan with an angry look. “Listen, Ryan, I appreciate the effort and excitement that you are showing today, but you know that we don’t go full speed in practice. You plowed through Doug and Tim as if they weren’t there, and then you may have broken Steve’s arm! I know he’s only our third string quarterback, but still!”
Ryan held up his hands. “I’m sorry coach Dawson, I’m not sure what is going on. I felt like I put less effort in than normal, but I guess I must just be extra pumped today.”
Coach Dawson snorted. “Well, I sure wish you had been that pumped when we lost to Pacior. Listen, don’t let it happen again, but I think you are going to be on the sidelines watching practice for tonight. Now get over there!” Coach Dawson jogged back over to the sideline and blew his whistle. “We’re not getting the penetration we need! Josh had all day to throw that ball! Run it again!”
Ryan made his way over to the side lines and watched the defense practice. After practice he made his way to the locker room with the rest of the players, and Kevin, Stew, and James came up around him. Kevin punched Ryan’s shoulder. “Dude, what was your deal today? Does Steve owe you money or something?”
Ryan hung his head. “I don’t know, I just felt extra pumped today, and kind of lost control of myself.”
Stew patted Ryan on the back. “Don’t feel so bad buddy, but try and hold some of that in for when we play West Dister this weekend.”
James wrapped his arm around Ryan’s neck. “You guys know what it was, don’t you. It’s totally the new gloves Ryan’s sporting. They have given him super strength!” James started posing like a bodybuilder and flexing his arms.
Ryan laughed and pushed James. James was sent sprawling to the ground. He lay there stunned for a second and then jumped up and got into Ryan’s face. “You want to go? Is that it? What is your problem man?”
Ryan stared at James in shock. “James, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push you that hard!”
Stew pushed Ryan and James apart. “Listen man, I don’t know if you are taking steroids, or some other performance enhancer, but you need to get this stuff figured out before you hurt someone worse than you did Steve. Let’s get out of here, guys, before Ryan sends us to the hospital too.”
Ryan held out his hand as Stew, James, and Kevin jogged away from him toward the locker room. “No guys, I’m sorry!” Ryan stood on the sidewalk and looked down at his feet. “What is happening to me?”
The door to the lab burst open and Ryan walked in, his backpack hanging over his shoulder and his leather jacket clutched in one hand. “Jordan! What is happening to me! I put Steve in the hospital!”
Jordan looked up from his microscope and at the clock and then at Ryan. “You’re here earlier than I expected. Did you say you put Steve in the hospital? What happened?”
“I hit him too hard in practice, I guess. I may have broken his arm! I feel like I’m stronger than I have ever been before. What is going on Jordan?”
Jordan put his hands together. “Hmm, I’m not sure, Ryan, but we can sure run some tests to try and figure it out. Let’s go to the gym, and we can do some physical tests.” Jordan picked up his laptop and put it into this laptop case, and walked out of the lab with Ryan. It was a five minute walk across campus to the gym, and Ryan and Jordan talked while they crossed it.
Jordan smiled. “So I have some exciting news. You know that test I was performing before we got distracted by your… accident on Saturday?”
Ryan shrugged. “I think so, you were trying to make indestructible fabric, right?”
Jordan nodded his head. “Yes, well I tried again today, and this time it worked! Nothing I have done to it so far has managed to even cause it to start to frazzel apart! I’ve poured acids on it, took scissors and knives to it, and tried to burn it over a bunsen burner! I’m taking it down to the firing range tomorrow at the police department to see if it’s bullet proof too, but I’m pretty sure that this qualifies as a success.”
“That’s awesome! Once the scientific community finds out about this you’re sure to be famous and get whatever internship you could want! Way to go, buddy.” Ryan gave Jordan’s shoulder a little punch and sent him sprawling. Jordan looked at Ryan confused and Ryan looked down at the sidewalk. He held his hand out and helped Jordan back up to his feet. “See what I mean about being stronger than before? Sorry about that.”
“It looks like you have a lot of work to do for getting your strength under control. And we can start working on that right now.” Jordan pushed the doors to the gym open and followed Ryan in. ‘You go ahead and get changed, and I’ll start setting up the tests.”
Ryan walked into the locker room, and Jordan walked into the weight room and pulled his laptop out. Ryan walked up to his locker and spun the combination on the the lock. It popped open and Ryan opened up his locker. He pulled out his white shorts and a white tank top. He looked at them for a moment, his mind lost in thought. What is happening to me? Am I turning into some kind of out of control monster? Am I going to end up having to go live on a mountain alone so that I can make sure I don’t hurt anyone? Ryan changed and walked out of the locker room. He walked into the weight room and found Jordan typing on his laptop.
Jordan looked up from his laptop and smiled at Ryan. “Its very convenient for me that you jocks leave all this information lying around like this. It will give me a good baseline to see how much you have changed as a result of the accident.”
Ryan looked up at wall that Jordan was indicating and saw his test results from the beginning of the football season. “Max bench weight: 340 pounds, Squats: 455, best time in 40 meter dash: 4.9 seconds, and 39 inches in the vertical jump. Well, we have our base line. Time to test and see how much you have improved in those areas. I’ll put 340 pounds on the bench for you and we’ll see if that is still your max.”
Ryan looked at Jordan skeptically. “No offense buddy, but that’s my max, meaning I can lift it once, and I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that without a bigger guy here to spot me. If I get in trouble, I need someone that can help me rack the weight back up.”
“You said you have been feeling stronger than normal today, right? Well here’s your opportunity to prove it. Besides, I’m not quite as helpless as I appear, so go ahead and get under the weight.” Ryan hesitantly lay down on the bench and prepared to lift up the weight.
Ryan put his hands up on the bar, and readied himself to lift it. He glanced at Jordan one last time. “Go ahead, what are you scared of?”
Ryan lifted up on the weight, and it rose up over Ryan’s chest. A look of surprise crossed Ryan’s face. “You put 340 pounds on this thing? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I put 340 pounds on it. Why, what’s wrong?”
Ryan began lowering and raising the weight easily. “Because this feels like nothing.” Ryan racked the weight. “Throw another hundred pounds on. Let’s see just how much stronger I am.”
Jordan smiled. “Now you’re getting into it.” Jordan put the weight onto the bar. “Okay, you should be good to go.”
Ryan lifted the bar up and began to raise and lower the bar, with a slight degree of difficulty, but still fairly easily. Ryan raised and lowered the weight ten times and then racked it up. “Why don’t you add another 50 pounds to each side?” Jordan walked over to the weight racks and picked up two twenty five pound plates and slid them on to the right side, and then did the same for the left side.
“Are you sure you want to do this Ryan? This is 540 pounds you are about to try to lift.”
Ryan relaxed his shoulders and flexed his fingers. “You are the one that said I should find out my new max. This is how I’m going to do it.” Ryan lifted the weight up and lowered it to his chest. He pushed the weight back up slowly, his face tightening up in effort. He did this three more times, his last time he really struggled, but he was able to rack the weight back up. Ryan sat up and started breathing heavily.
“According to my calculations your new max is 572 pounds! How are you feeling, buddy?”
“Are you kidding me? I just benched 540 pounds three times! I feel great! What is the next test we’re going to work on?”
Jordan typed a few numbers into his laptop. “Next test is to see how much you can squat. You want to start out at 455, or a higher weight?”
“Are you kidding me? We have to start with at least 600 pounds! There is no way that I can bench more than I can squat!” Ryan walked over to one of the racks and picked up a back belt and started fastening it.
Jordan looked at Ryan nervously. “I’m glad that you are excited and all, but are you sure you want to make that big of a leap without even trying it out first?”
Ryan walked up and patted Jordan on the shoulder. “Worse case scenario buddy, I won’t even be able to pick the weight up. If you don’t want to put the weight on, I’ll just do it myself.”
Jordan sighed. “Alright, lets give it a try.” Jordan started adding weight to the bar. Ryan situated himself underneath the bar, and prepared to lift it. “Okay, that’s 600 pounds. Go ahead and give it a try.”
Ryan pushed up on the weight, and it lifted up. Ryan squatted down and then stood back up. He repeated the exercise a few times and then racked it up. Jordan looked at Ryan expectantly. “How was it? do you want to put more weight on?”
Ryan smiled. “It was heavy, I’ll give you that, but I think I can easily do another 50 pounds. So go ahead and throw 40 on each side.”
Jordan loaded up the bar with more weight and Ryan prepared to lift it again. He lifted the weight up, and grunted from the exertion. He went down into a squat, and then slowly raised back up. He did this three more times before he racked it again. “Okay Jordan, what do your calculations say about that?”
Jordan started tapping his fingers together. “So you did four reps, at 680 pounds, carry the seven, and I believe that gives you a max of 742 pounds! You are such a beast, Ryan!”
Ryan threw both of his arms up into the air. “I am, aren’t I?” He dropped his head down and stared at the ground. “No wonder I hurt Steve. I’m in a whole different league than those guys now.”
Jordan patted Ryan on the back. “It’s okay, you didn’t do this on purpose. You might want to quit football, though. I think you could end up hurting a lot of people. Let’s go run a speed test. Get it? Run a speed test?”
Ryan grinned at Jordan. “You are such a goof. Don’t quit your science career to go into comedy. I don’t think you will do nearly as well. So you want to test what my new 40 meter dash time is?”
“Yes, let’s go out to the track quick.” Jordan led the way out to the indoor track. The track circled the room and several people were jogging around the track with their music players strapped to their arms. Two orange cones were set up about 40 meters apart on the track. Jordan walked over to one of the cones, but Ryan stayed behind, his eyes lingering on a pack of girls that were jogging by.
Ryan raised his hand as they jogged past him. “Looking good ladies, keep it up!” The girls giggled and waved at Ryan.
One of the girls called out, “Ryan, come jog with us!”
Ryan started to move toward the pack of jogging girls until Jordan called out, “Hey, Ryan, are we going to do this test or not? Get over by the orange cone!”
Ryan changed directions and headed toward the cones. “Sorry ladies, maybe later!” Ryan got over to the cone, and then dropped down into a sprinter’s stance.
Jordan raised his hand up. “Ready, get set, go!” Jordan dropped his hand and hit the start button on his phone. Ryan started running, and quickly built up to full speed and ran past Jordan and the second cone. Jordan hit the button on his phone a second time, and his eyes opened wide. “I know that this isn’t accurate, but wow Ryan, you just ran a 3.7 40 yard dash!”
Ryan walked up to Jordan. “What? That has to be a mistake! It’s not possible to get a 3.7.”
Jordan gave gave Ryan a sly grin. “It’s not possible to do a lot of things that you can do now. We have one more test I want to work on before we go back to the lab and work on your focus. Ready for the vertical leap?”
“I am, but let me go get a drink of water quick.” Ryan jogged over to the water fountain while Jordan went and set up for the vertical jump. A girl walked up to Ryan.
“Hi Ryan, want to go and get something to eat with me once you get done with your tests?”
Ryan stood up quick, with water dripping from his chin. the girl giggled and Ryan lifted his hand up wiped his face off with the back of his hand. “Hi Becky, I’d love to go out with you, but I think Jordan and I will be working on his tests for a while. Maybe I could get your number and we can do this some other time?”
Becky giggled and put her hands behind her back. “Sure, here you go. See you around Ryan.” Becky handed Ryan a slip of paper with her number on it and jogged off to where her friends were still jogging, and they started excitedly whispering.
Ryan walked over to Jordan while typing Becky’s number into his phone. Jordan gave Ryan a dirty look. “I thought that Kari was the only girl for you.”
Ryan shrugged. “Yeah, she’s the only girl I want to date, but while she’s still resisting me, I can still have fun with other girls. Besides, Becky just wants to grab some dinner. What’s the harm in going to have dinner with a friend?”
“Whatever, man. All I know is I hope you don’t end up destroying the small chance you have with Kari over this. Are you ready to jump?”
“Are you ready for me to jump?
Jordan climbed up a ladder set up next to a measuring tape going up to ten feet. “First go ahead and stand up against the wall and reach up as high as you can.” Ryan stood next to the wall and reached up. “Okay, you reached up to 6’11”. Go ahead and jump whenever you’re ready, Ryan.” Ryan crouched down and then jumped up and reached as high as he could and slapped the wall above what Jordan had stretched out. Jordan’s eyes went wide. “Um, let me go ahead and get this a little higher, and then you can try jumping again.”
Jordan stretched the tape up to thirteen feet. “Okay, that should be enough. Go ahead and try again.” Ryan crouched down and leapt up again, this time slapping the tape. “Wow Ryan, you jumped up to 12’11”! That’s a six foot jump! This is amazing, let me go and put all of this data into my computer.” Jordan went and typed the rest of the data that he had gathered from his tests, and his eyes went wide.
“This is mind-boggling Ryan! Your strength has increased over fifty percent! I definitely think that you should quit football until you can learn to manage your strength better. You don’t want to hurt anyone else.
Ryan started at Jordan skeptically. “Quit football? That’s one of the only things I’m good at! If I can’t do football, what else should I do?”
Jordan smiled at Ryan. “Have you ever considered being a superhero? You certainly have the powers for it now.”
I hope you all enjoyed this part of the Super Morpher, if you did, be sure to check out more of what I wrote, which you can find a link to here, https://ejborchardt.wordpress.com/index/. Follow me on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/EJBorchardt?ref=aymt_homepage_panel, and check out my Twitter page @EJBorchardt for more random facts about these stories!