[WP] At the age of 18 everyone receives a superpower. You've had an unsettling and terrifying feeling about yours since you were able to talk. Today is your 18th birthday and your fear turns out to be true.
[WP] In the future, prisons no longer exist. Instead, prisoners are miniaturised and sent into an inescapable, smaller replica of our world, so they cannot cause damage in the real world. One day, a special agent is sent into this 'hub' world, in search of an especially dangerous prisoner...
[WP] Your father is forcing you to marry someone you have never met. The night before your wedding you tie your sheets together and make your escape through the window. Half way down you make eye contact with someone doing the exact same thing a few windows over.
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Happy Thursday, writing friends!
What happens when the lights go out? What happens when the whole world is dark? Do you look up and see the stars and galaxies or do you quiver under your bed in fear of what lurks there? Are we inspired to do the things we never dared to do in front of others? Do we follow our survival instincts we never knew we had?
I can’t wait to see what y’all do with this theme. I’m hoping for some really creepy stuff!!! Happy writing <3
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In a world where everyone has superpowers, having no power is a terrible thing.
It only happens once every several generations, and always alerts the curiosity of the whole world. In the past, the birth of a null, as they were now known, had heralded a period of great turmoil. They were the source of superstition and ritual, so it was no surprise that people tried to kill or control them as soon as they heard about them.
Today, things had become marginally more civilised…but only marginally. There was nowhere for a null to turn for help; they were so rare that they didn’t factor into anyone’s thoughts even remotely. That is, until I was born.
The hospital where I was delivered hadn’t bothered to check for manacytes in my blood. Why would they? It was only when my parents took me in for further tests when I was a child and hadn’t manifested yet, and even then only after a veritable battery of tests had been done beforehand that the doctors suggested they test for manacyte deficiency. They had their work cut out convincing my parents it was the right thing to do. Who would want a null for a child? “You’ll always be our baby, no matter what” they’d said.
The test results proved them wrong.
The minute they saw what I was, they changed their tune. “It must be a mistake…did they make a mistake with the babies in the hospital?”. They were cold to me from then on, and didn’t need much convincing when the doctors offered to keep me in the facility for more tests. They needed even less convincing when the authorities asked them to sign me over to them for permanent guardianship.
The last I heard of them, my father had divorced my mother on the grounds that she had been unfaithful, while she maintained vehemently that she had never broken her vows.
That was all I remembered of warmth, of family. From then on it was a world of cold and loneliness. I knew they hadn’t meant it at the time, but I still held on to my memories of my parents from before my diagnosis. It helped me get through the daily barrage of tests and exercises they made me do. The physical tests were easy to get used to, after a while. I could distract myself from the pain eventually. The psychological tests were what I abhorred most.
I didn’t know much about myself, but I knew I was a psychopath. I had once overheard one of them saying “well of course there’s psychopathic tendencies here. What do you expect when all we do is prod and poke it like cattle? Christ, George, it doesn’t know what human warmth even is!”
Today was different.
I wasn’t woken up by the guard that would take me to my morning intravenous ration. I didn’t know how I knew it, but I had woken up early, and the moon was out. I just knew it was. I sat up straight on the edge of my bed, looking down at my hands. I found them profoundly fascinating for some reason. And I felt…different. As I held my hands up to my face, I noticed the dim red glow of the surveillance drone. The guard would be here any minute.
He was a Newtonian; he could affect one of the forces around him. His speciality was Gravity. He had used it to slam me into walls or contort me into all manner of twisted shapes when I had done something to displease him.
As I heard his footsteps getting closer and louder, I felt something I hadn’t felt before. Confidence.
He slammed the door open and held out his hand, ready to twist me back into bed. It was then that I did something I hadn’t done in a long time; I spoke. As I felt him take his stance, ready to use his powers on me, something in me urged me to scream.
If he was startled by my sudden verbalisations, he didn’t show it. He twisted his fingers, ready to throw me against the wall. I closed my eyes and braced myself for impact.
I opened my eyes to a look of utter bewilderment on his face. I heard his superior chime in on his comms device. “What’s taking so long? Get on with it”. He shook his head, a look of determination replacing his bewildered expression, and took his stance again.
He hadn’t figured it out yet, but I had. I started walking over to him, smiling. The look of confusion turned to terror as he noticed me pacing towards him.
“I’ve studied the tapes over and over again. Why yes, I do have a theory as to what happened. Do you know how long we’ve been calling them “nulls”? No? Neither does anyone else, which means the word is at least as old as the English language. All this time we thought it referred to the fact that they didn’t have any powers, George. No manacytes in the blood. But it’s more than that. They can nullify the powers of others, George. That’s where the term comes from. Someone, long ago, discovered this fact about them and it was lost through the ages…no doubt the countless wars fought in their name had something to do with it. That’s what happened with the guards and the scientists that were cut down during the escape. They simply didn’t know how to react to not having something they took for granted all their lives. Imagine being in their position, George. It’s like suddenly losing a limb! Proceed with caution. We don’t know the full extent of this ability to nullify. Be careful!”
In a world where everyone has superpowers, having no power is a terrible thing.
EDIT 1: Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my story, and to provide feedback or comment on this thread. It's spurred me on to think about this world more and I'm really excited to write more! Reddit gold, that's very generous, thank you!
EDIT 2: Here is a link to the original WP. I've since deleted my reply to the thread as I've posted it here.
EDIT 3: I've been working on expanding this story. Jumping off this comment I made earlier, here is the story about the brother of a Von Neumann based on one of my earlier stories (I mean to change some of the details to keep with the theme of the universe). I want to use their story as a vehicle to convey how the social and political structure works in a world with super-powered beings. I also mean to provide greater coverage on how the powers work, specifically in terms to limitations around their use.
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