Ryan looked at Jordan skeptically and laughed as the group of girls jogged past them again. They looked at Ryan intrigued as if they wanted to be let in on the joke, but when Ryan offered no answers, they turned and kept on jogging. “A superhero? You want me to put on a pair of tights, start wearing my underwear on the outside, and run around saving the day? Nice joke.”
Jordan looked back at the jogging girls, and then a quick look around to make sure no one else was listening. He moved his head closer to Ryan’s and continued in a whisper, “Why not? You turn into any substance you touch, you are super strong and fast now, sounds like a superhero to me. Think about it, you could do a lot of good with your abilities.”
Ryan replied in a whisper. “I turn into whatever I touch, but I have no control over how long I stay that substance. I’m still just as vulnerable to a knife or bullet as anyone else.”
Jordan smiled at Ryan. “Ah, but we are going to work on developing control over your transformations, and I did just so happen to invent unbreakable cloth. I could make you a costume out of it…”
Ryan waved his arms in disagreement. “Nope, no way, sorry. If I’m even going to entertain this superhero idea, I am drawing the line at wearing a stupid costume.”
“Would you rather everyone know who you are? Then the bad guys will be able to track down your loved ones and use them against you, attack you while you are at home or school, or maybe be captured by the government to have experiments performed on you? A costume is a great idea!”
Ryan gave Jordan a terrified look. “Did you just hear anything that you just said? What part of that would make me want to be a superhero Jordan?”
“Ryan, I believe that you were given these powers for a reason. You should try and do good with them.”
The group of girls ran by again and Becky broke off from the group and came over to Ryan and Jordan. “Hey, what are you guys whispering about?”
Jordan’s eyes started darting nervously and sweat formed on his forehead. “Um, that is, ah, we were talking about…”
Ryan interrupted Jordan’s stammering. “Jordan was just telling me how fine your behind looks in those shorts. Are they new?”
Becky blushed. “No, I’ve had them for a while. Maybe you and I will have to get dinner sometime too, Jordan.” She winked at him before jogging off to try and get back to her group.
Jordan watched her jog away and looked incredulously at Ryan. “Did you just get me a date? How did you just get me a date?”
Ryan patted Jordan on the arm. “Indeed I did my friend, and it wasn’t very hard. Compliment a girl and she starts to take notice of you. Plus nerdy is the new thing that girls are into. I keep telling you, this isn’t high school anymore, give them a chance and girls will like you.”
Jordan shook his head. “We don’t need to be thinking about this right now. We can talk more privately in my lab and you need to start working on getting control over your powers.”
Ryan took one last look around the gym, his eyes lingering on the jogging girls before sighing. “Too bad, the scenery here is so much better than it is in your lab. Let me go get changed.”
Ryan walked into the locker room and changed back into his street clothes. Being a superhero could be fun, and Ryan would be able to help people, but he didn’t have control over his abilities. If he went out there now, he could end up getting himself or someone else hurt, or worse yet, killed. No, he didn’t want to be a hero now, but maybe someday Someday, after he had control over his abilities, he could step out as the city’s new hero. Ryan closed his locker and headed out by Jordan. The two headed out of the gym and back towards Jordan’s lab.
Ryan walked with his hands in his pockets, still not completely comfortable with being seen with the gloves on. “So what kind of control tests do you have in mind for me?”
Jordan smiled and responded. “Well, while you were in football practice today I chose a variety of substances for you to try turning into, and work on seeing if there is a way for you to control when you absorb something, and when you release it. Those are the two big ones.”
“What kind of substances?”
Jordan smirked. “That’s for me to know, and you to find out.”
Ryan frowned. “Come on, you aren’t going to pull that on me, are you?”
Jordan shrugged. “Just some common substances, the kinds of things you might run into in everyday life. Eventually I want to see if you can absorb more unstable substances, like water and fire, but I think you should gain some control over your abilities before we try anything like that.” Ryan and Jordan walked up the stairs that lead to the Science building on campus. They walked down the hall to the Chemistry lab, their footsteps echoing through the halls.
Jordan fiddled in his pockets for a few seconds and pulled out a key. He unlocked the door to the lab and opened the door. The two of them entered the room and Ryan saw a pile of random things sitting on Jordan’s workspace. Jordan walked over to his workspace and picked up a piece of granite. “Go ahead and take your gloves off and we’ll get started, Ryan.”
Ryan pulled off his gloves and held out his hand. Jordan put the rock into Ryan’s hand and the rock disappeared, and Ryan’s body, starting with his hands hardened and turned to stone with all the different mineral patterns usually found in granite. “We already know that I can do this one Jordan. What was the point of this?”
“Multiple things actually: this test will tell us if it was a one time thing that you turned into stone, and secondly, can you force yourself to change back? Try imagining your body as being flesh again.”
Ryan squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated, but nothing happened. He opened his eyes and shrugged. “I don’t think it worked.” When he shrugged his body changed back to normal and the stone dropped from the back of his hand and fell to the floor of his lab.
Jordan picked up the stone and set it back on his desk. He picked up a small, red, metallic toy car. “Not to worry, we have lots of different samples to try to give us a chance to figure this out. We’ll get there Ryan.” He placed the car into Ryan’s waiting hand.
Ryan’s body hardened once again and turned red metal. Ryan flexed his hands and moved around a bit. “This actually feels pretty good.”
Jordan smiled. “Just think, if you decide to do the whole superhero thing you could do this all the time. Let’s try something else, um, imagine the toy car being back in your hand again.”
Ryan closed his eyes and focused on having the toy car in his hand again. Ryan felt his body go through a transformation and turn back into flesh, and the toy car reformed in his hand. “Ryan, you did it!” Ryan opened his eyes, a huge smile forming on his face, and the car was absorbed once again. His smile turned into a frown.
Ryan sighed. “What is the point of figuring out how to change back at will if I’m just going to change right away again?”
“You didn’t change back right away. When you lost your focus, then you changed back. We are one step closer to getting this all figured out. That was the first time that the object reformed in your hand, which is where you visualized it. Try visualizing it on the ground next to you.”
Ryan closed his eyes and focused on the toy car being on the ground next to him. Once again his body changed back to normal and the toy car reformed on the ground next to him. Jordan walked over excitedly and picked it up. Ryan opened his eyes and smiled. “I think I’m starting to get the hang of this.”
“We’re definitely on a roll. Let’s keep going!” Jordan placed the toy car back on the desk and picked up a bouncy ball. “Time to give rubber a try. This time, let’s try and see if we can get you to not absorb it. Try focusing on the bouncy ball staying in your hand for as long as you can.” He placed the bouncy ball into Ryan’s hand.
Ryan closed his eyes and focused on the bouncy ball in his hand. The bouncy ball remained in Ryan’s hand as Jordan watched excitedly. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and started a stopwatch. Ryan managed to keep the ball in his hand for a while, but then he heard the clink of the clasp on the string of the flagpole hitting the flagpole, opened his eyes to see what it was, and absorbed the bouncy ball.
Ryan’s body turned into rubber and he sighed. Jordan smiled and excitedly said, “This is amazing! You managed not to absorb the ball for thirty seconds, Ryan. This means that you do have control over when you transform. We just need to work on improving it! Now we should work on figuring out how to keep you like this as long as you want. Why don’t you try focusing on your body being made of rubber? We can see if that works.”
Ryan closed his eyes and focused on this rubbery body. “Okay Jordan, let’s give this a try.” Ryan’s breathing became deep and even, and after three minutes had passed, he hadn’t turned back to normal yet.
Jordan smiled. “Excellent Ryan, you are really starting to get the hang of this transformation thing. I think we should try and have a little bit of fun with it.”
“A little bit of fun, what did you have in mind exactly?”
“Well, you are essentially a giant bouncy ball, so why don’t you try bouncing?”
A huge smile crossed Ryan’s face. “Ah, this could be so awesome!” Ryan jumped a little ways into the air and then came down and bounced higher into the air. Jordan clapped his hands and laughed as Ryan came down again, a smile on his face. He bent his knees as he neared the ground and when he hit, he pushed off and went even higher than before, rising up to eight feet off of the ground. Ryan started laughing and Jordan got a worried look on his face when he noticed that Ryan was only a couple of feet from the ceiling.
“Ryan, you should stop, you are getting kinda close to the…”
Ryan interrupted Jordan. “Dude, you worry too much! This is awesome, watch this one!” Ryan came down with his knees bent again, and hit the ground before pushing off and flying up and bouncing off of the ceiling. Ryan’s eyes went wide when this happened, and he gasped in shock. His body turned back to normal and the bouncy ball reformed and flew away from his fingertips, and his body crashed back towards the concrete floor. Ryan held out his hands to try and catch himself.
Ryan’s palms were the first thing to hit the floor, as soon as they touched, part of the floor disappeared, and Ryan’s body turned into hard, cold stone. He fell to the floor below the lab with a loud crash and a groan. Jordan ran to the edge of the hole and looked down at Ryan. “Ryan, are you okay?”
Ryan moved to get up and slowly stood to his feet. He raised his arm up and gave Jordan the thumbs up sign. “I’m great. Really grateful for this whole absorbing what I touch thing. If I wasn’t made out of stone, that could have really hurt.”
“Why don’t you come back up here and we can keep trying different substances? Your focus is really improving Ryan.”
“Yeah, it still needs some work before I go out to fight crime, though.”
A sly smile crossed Jordan’s face. “So you have decided to do the whole superhero thing then. What made you change your mind?”
“I thought that these powers were wild and unpredictable, that I would end up just getting myself hurt, but I’m starting to see that I can get some control over them, and I think that I can do some real good with them too. Still not on board with the whole tights thing, and I need more practice before I hit the streets, but I’m ready to try at least.”
“Excellent. Tell you what, you come back up here, work on your control and I can start working on making you some gear for going out and fighting crime. Do you have any idea’s for names yet?”
“No, but I think I have some time before I have to worry about that. Why, did you have a name picked out?”
Jordan smiled down at Ryan. “Yeah, I think I have a pretty good one picked out for you. So, you transform into whatever you touch, and you are going to be a superhero, right? So what if you were called, the Super Morpher?”
Ryan stared back up at Jordan with a stony gaze. “That is a stupid-sounding name Jordan. Is that really the best that you have?”
Jordan shrugged. “I’m not as crazy about this one, but what about The Absorber?”
“That’s worse than the first one, dude.” Jordan opened his mouth to reply, but Ryan focused on the floor being whole again, and he turned back to normal and the hole in the floor filled in again. He walked back upstairs and into the lab. “I’ll come up with my own name, or maybe I’ll let the people name me.”
“Okay, if that’s what you want, but I still think you should consider Super Morpher. Anyway, you keep working on focus, I have lots of things for you to practice with over on the table, and I’ll work on some ideas for your gear.”
“Sounds like a plan. And forget about Super Morpher, it’s not happening.” Ryan walked over to the table and picked up a block of wood, and his body turned into wood. Jordan sat down at his computer and started typing away.
Jordan excitedly drew on his tablet, the design for a new device for Ryan slowly taking form, when his tablet made a ping, signaling that Jordan had received an message. Jordan opened his message:
“Dear Mr. Jordan Godard,
With the recent development of your invincible fabric, you have certainly been raised into the spotlight for every scientist in the region, myself included. I would like to meet with you and offer you an opportunity to intern with myself. I think that your’s is a brilliant mind that I could help to nurture, and working together we could bring the Zimdaran Empire into the future. I hope to hear back from you to set up a time and place for this meeting.
Dr. Timothy Mechanique”
Jordan threw his hands up into the air and shouted out, “Yes! This is awesome!”
Ryan ran into the room, his body made out of stone. “What is it Jordan?”
“I just got an offer to intern with Dr. Timothy Mechanique!”
Ryan ran across the room, turning back into human in the process, and gave Jordan a high five, forgetting to reign in his power in the process, and knocked Jordan over. “Sorry about that, but all right! Dr. Mechanique! Who is Dr. Mechanique?”
Jordan got up and dusted himself off, a huge smile on his face. “A local scientist that I have admired since I was seven! He’s the leading developer in prosthetic limbs, and, get this, he was so certain of his devices when he first started developing them, that he cut of his own right hand and replaced it with one of his prosthetics!”
“He cut off his own hand? The guy sounds like a nut job to me.”
Jordan looked at Ryan indignantly. “He’s not crazy, he’s brilliant! It takes real commitment to your science to be willing to take a leap of faith like that.”
Ryan hung his head. “Sorry Jordan, I’m really excited for you. Are you going to accept his offer?”
“Accept his offer? Oh, right! I have to message him back to let him know I’m interested.” Jordan picked up his tablet and started writing out his reply. “Of course I’m going to accept his offer. He’s brilliant, he’s local so I can work for him and go to school at the same time, and this will help to catapult my career forward!”
Jordan sent the message and then turned to look at Ryan. “So how is the practice coming?”
“I’m getting better at it. I’ve started doing some strenuous activities while transformed, like pushups and situps, and at first it was a struggle to maintain my transformation, but it’s starting to come along. I was up to fifty push-ups before I came in when I heard you shout. How is the inventing going?”
Jordan smiled and sat down on his computer chair. “I have come up with some very nice things that I think you will like.” Jordan hit a button on his tablet and a holographic projection of a silver suit with red gloves with the palms missing, black boots, and a blue cape. “Ta-da! I’ll make this suit for you out of indestructible fabric so that you will be protected and as a special feature, the palms will be exposed to you can still absorb things, pretty neat huh?”
Ryan covered his face with his hand. “Jordan, I told you I’m not going to wear a costume, especially not one as silly as that! If bad stuff is happening I won’t have time to switch into something like that. Where will I keep it? Do I have to carry it with me always? It’s just so impractical Jordan.”
Jordan gave Ryan a sly smile. “I agree, it is a serious problem that would make it very difficult for you to find opportunities to change if trouble should pop up on you. That’s why I invented this little beauty for you too.” Jordan swiped across the screen of his tablet and the hologram changed from the suit to a watch.
“You made me a watch? No offense Jordan, but I don’t think knowing the time will make it easier to change into a costume.”
“Ah, but that is where you would be incorrect sir. You see, this watch has a small teleportation feature similar to the one that the H employed back in the old glory days. You see, this watch has the ability to teleport your suit onto you instantly.”
Ryan was impressed by this display, and rubbed his chin as he admired it. “That would be really cool, but I’m still not wearing that costume.”
“Is it the costume itself, or is it the design? If it’s just the design I’ll change it to be however you like.”
“I’m not going to lie, the costume itself is fine, it’s just the colors you picked for it. Seriously, red and blue? If I’m going to wear a costume I at least want to look good and not goofy. Maybe if you changed it to to all silver, except for the gloves and the boots. Those can be black. And maybe the facemask can be black too, but no cape!”
“Okay, I can make those changes for you, no problem. Do you have any kind of symbol you want on your chest?”
“Symbol? Why would I want a symbol?”
“You know, to show the world who you are, the symbol will become a representation of who you are. Haven’t you ever seen any other superheroes? They all have some representation of who they are on their chest.”
Ryan shook his head. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to be the only superhero running around town, I think people will be able to remember who I am.”
“Fine, we’ll leave the emblem off for now, but think about it. I can always make a new suit for you later.”
Ryan smiled and rolled his eyes. “Right, we’ll think about it later. Do you have anything else to show me?”
“I’m working on creating something to carry around objects for you to absorb, but that’s a work in progress for the moment.” Jordan looked over at the clock. “It’s getting kind of late, so we’ll have to quit for the night.” Jordan’s tablet dinged again, and Jordan quickly opened up his new message and read over it. His eyes lit up excitedly. “I’m meeting Dr. Mechanique tomorrow after class! This is awesome!”
“That’s great, Jordan! After school tomorrow you can go and meet up with Dr. Mechanique and I can go to football practice, and we can meet up here afterward.”
“Ryan, I really think you should quit football until you learn to control your strength better. You could end up hurting someone on accident.”
Ryan looked down at the ground and sighed. “Yeah, I guess you are right. I don’t think coach will be too happy about this, though.”
“I don’t think the team will be too happy about it, but that’s a problem for tomorrow. We’d better go and get some sleep.”
Ryan smiled. “Sleep? Or maybe we could go and have a monster movie marathon! Just one or two movies, then sleep. We worked hard today.”
Jordan bit his lip as he powered down his tablet, and then he smiled. I guess it’s not that late, so one or two movies should be fine. Let’s do it.”
Jordan yawned as he sat in the coffee shop, H Drinks, a cup of coffee in his hand, and five empty ones scattered around the table. Jordan picked up the coffee cup and took a drink as he looked around the coffee shop for the tenth time in the last five minutes, looking for Dr. Mechanique and regretting his decision to stay up past sunrise watching movies. Jordan’s eyes started to sag, and his head slowly began to nod forward. Jordan felt a hand on his shoulder and he jumped upright, suddenly wide awake. He turned quickly to see who it was that had grabbed his shoulder, and in the process, spilled some of his coffee onto the shoe of the man standing behind him, whose right hand had been replaced with a prosthetic one. “I certainly hope that this isn’t what an average day looks like for you, otherwise I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist that you buy the coffee,” the man said with a grin. “I’m Dr. Timothy Mechanique, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Godard.”
Jordan leapt to his feet and held out his right hand. “Um, no, this isn’t normal for me. Um I mean, it’s an honor to meet you, Dr. Mechanique, I’m looking forward to working with you. Sorry for spilling coffee on you, sir.”
“It’s my fault for surprising you. I’m looking forward to working with you and learning more about the process that you used to arrive at your discovery. Would you care for another coffee?”
“No, I think I’ve had enough for today. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your working process as well. Could you tell me more about how you came up with your amazing prosthetics?”
Jordan and Dr. Mechanique spent the next two hours talking about science and discoveries, and yes, Jordan had another cup of coffee.
Jordan walked into his lab and was greeted by the sight of Ryan sitting in his computer chair, made of wood, and reading one of his text books. “Ryan, what are you doing?”
Ryan jumped and looked up from his book. A block of wood appeared and fell to the floor and Ryan turned back to normal. He closed the book and set it aside. “I’m working on keeping my focus while doing other things. I figured it I could get to the point where I wouldn’t turn back while reading one of my textbooks, I’d probably be ready for anything.”
Jordan nodded. “That’s a good idea, how’s that working out for you?”
Ryan sighed. “Not so good. I turn back after like two minutes. It probably doesn’t help that coach was pretty upset about me quitting the team. He’s so worried about me that he made an appointment for me with Mrs. Rhena for next Tuesday.”
“Mrs. Rhena, the school counselor?”
“Yeah, it should be tons of fun. Enough of that, though. How did your meeting go?”
Jordan smiled at Ryan. “It went great! Dr. Mechanique is going to be a lot of fun to work for! He started telling me about some of the projects he was going to have me work on, and I can’t wait to get to work on some more robotics! I’m going to be able to make so many cool new inventions to help you out!”
“Speaking of which: how soon do you think the equipment you were talking about last night will take to make?”
“I should be able to have it ready by this weekend if I focus on it. So, if you spend this week practicing control, you should be ready to go into your first fight next week.”
Ryan smiled. “I’d better get back to practicing then.”
The following Monday, Jordan and Ryan were sitting in their statistics class, a new watch wrapped around Ryan’s wrist. Ryan’s pencil bounced up and down off of his notebook as he stared at the whiteboard, the professors voice droning on and on. Ryan fought to stay awake, his eyes slowly closing and his head slowly leaning forward, and then his head would jerk back upright and his eyes would pop open. Jordan sat upright in his desk, quickly copying down the formulas the professor was writing on the board.
The door to the classroom burst open and a man wearing sunglasses, a white undershirt and a Hawaiian button up shirt, jean shorts, and flip-flops stood in the door. “I just heard that something is robbing Crystal’s jewelry store! Everyone is going to check it out!” He turned and ran down the hall.
“No running in the hall, Mr. Derrinson!” The professor shouted. He turned and looked at his students that were getting up from their desk and moving toward the door. “No, no sit down! I have fifteen minutes left! Sit down!” Realizing no one would heed his words, he shouted, “Read chapter 4 for tomorrow!”
Once they were in the hall, Jordan grabbed Ryan’s shoulder. “Ryan, wait.”
Ryan turned and looked at Jordan. “Why did you stop me? I know you enjoy that class, but we’d be the only ones left. Besides, don’t you want to go and see what the thing is?”
“Of course I do, but I think we should use this opportunity to introduce you to the world. Did you come up with a name yet?”
“No, maybe I’ll let the people name me. Anyway, how do I activate this watch thingy?” Ryan started fiddling with the watch on his wrist.
Jordan smacked Ryan’s hand. “Don’t change here! People could see! You want to have a secret identity, right?”
“Right. Of course. Let’s go onto the roof.” Ryan and Jordan walked through the school and up onto the roof. “Okay, now what do I do to get this to work?”
“Hold down the button on the side and say ‘activate transformation’ and the costume should replace your street clothes.”
Ryan pushed down the button on his watch and shouted out, “Activate transformation!” A blue glow enveloped Ryan’s body, and disappeared, leaving his silver and black costume on him. He smiled over at Jordan. “Wish me luck!” Ryan started running across the rooftop and once he reached the ledge he leapt off, over the alley below and onto the roof of the next building. He continued on like this across town toward the jewelry store.
Jordan turned and ran over to the door that led onto the roof and down into the school. He was looking forward to seeing Ryan in action. Jordan joined the throng of students moving out of the school and down the street and followed the crowd the three blocks to the jewelry store, stood on his tiptoes and looked through the broken window and saw a robot loading jewels into a sack, but he didn’t see Ryan anywhere. Someone in the crowd said, “Where are the police? Shouldn’t someone stop it?”
“I will stop this robbery!” a voice shouted out from on top of Crystal’s jewelry store. Everyone turned and looked up to see Ryan dressed in silver with black boots, black gloves, and a black face mask. Ryan jumped off of the building and did a flip as he fell through the air, and landed on his feet facing the crowd.
Someone in the crowd asked, “Who’s that?”
Jordan smiled and shouted out, “It’s the Super Morpher!”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, you can find the previous parts, as well as other stories I’m working on writing, here: https://ejborchardt.wordpress.com/index/ check out my facebook page for updates on the stories here: https://www.facebook.com/EJBorchardt?ref=aymt_homepage_panel, and follow me on Twitter for random facts about my stories here: @EJBorchardt.