Auditions II. Everest I

Hey, I’m Everest. Not the mountain, the density changer. You know, the one with the fangirls and the T-shirts? Okay, so almost every SVRA agent has those, but still. I’m the Justin Bieber of human tanks. Zeta told me to do this whole journal thing, telling who I am and how I got my powers. So I guess I should start at the beginning. I was born in New York City, but my parents wanted to get out, so we moved to CT when I was 8. I guess you’re also wondering how I got my super awesome superhero name. It’s so cool, I only could have gotten it after I got my powers, right? Well, I wish. I was a chubby little brat, and people used to say that I weighed as much as a mountain. So, Everest. Well, if they could see me now…
When I hit puberty in 9th grade, I noticed a lot of changes. My fat started to melt away, my voice deepened, my height shot up, and I started to get muscled. Then, a few months from the middle of my senior year, the school burnt down. It’s not really my place to tell you how Ja- Zeta got his powers, but that was when it happened. My powers came around the same time. I had been casually strolling away from the exploding building, (read: running as hard as I could) when I tripped. Yeah. My foot hit a rock and I fell. I barely got my hands up in time.
I thought I was safe, but when my hands hit the ground, there was something there! I slipped on the mysterious object, and rolled down a hill. When I landed, I groaned and tried to stand up. After I finally managed it, I heard a clink from near my feet. I looked down and saw the thing I had slipped on. It was a small, round blue stone. It wasn’t a jewel, not by any means. It was just solid blue. It looked a lot like a robin’s egg, actually. Still, I reached to pick it up, thinking it was interesting. I looked at it for a few minutes, then dropped it into my pocket. By this time, the fire trucks had arrived at the school, and I started jogging back to see if there was anything I could do to help. As I was running, I felt a sharp sting in my thigh, like that of a bee. I faltered, and clutched my hand to my leg, but the pain had faded by then, and I continued heading towards the school. It wasn’t until later that I realized the stone disappeared. I still have no idea what it was, just saying. But, a lot of people have asked me a lot of questions about it, and I’m guessing it’s important.

For the people who escaped the building in time, not much was changed. School was canceled for the next few weeks, obviously, but neither the town gym nor the roads were closed. So I did what I usually do when I have nothing else; I worked out. I did my weight sets, and had just gotten on the treadmill when I started throwing up. It was sudden and brutal. I got on the treadmill, then, Bam!, dizziness and vomit. I felt like the floor was bending beneath me. Of course, it was, but I was too out of it at that point to notice. I had gone from zero to sick so fast I didn’t even notice when I fell off the bike and through the floor. Through. As in, my unconscious, puke-covered body smashed through the floor. And the one under that. And the basement. When I finally came to, there were people shouting at me from the top of a three story hole. Once they figured out that I was a newly changed metahuman, not an incompetent super villain, they started trying to get me out of there. At that point, I hadn’t realized I was a density changer and I thought I was going to be stuck weighing as much as a mountain for the rest of my life. While the gym-goers and the police debated over how to get me out, some thoughtful passerby threw me some food, a change of clothes, and a can of febreze. I ate the food, put on the clothes, then accidentally shattered the can when I tried to use it. I won’t bore you with the details, but within a few minutes, my pit smelled worse than it had when there was just puke. I started praying I could just float out of the pit, remembering a recent mention of a density changer in the news who could achieve virtual flight. I’m not the most religious guy. I admit it. But, in those few moments, I closed my eyes and concentrated. It barely took a second of concentration, and I was lighter than a feather! I drifted up and out of the pit, and had drifted more than a mile before I realized I had no idea how to land.

Three weeks later.

The twenty-fifth. By then, not even the people who were there remembered the density changer in the pit. The school was repaired by government supers. People tend to work quickly when they can make stuff out of nowhere, fly, or actually are a speedster. I hate speedsters. Hate, hate, hate. They can’t do much to me, but they’re too quick to hit. They just run around and annoy me. Sorry if I’m rambling; I just hate speedsters. Right. Three weeks. Twenty fifth. I was walking around the neighborhood. It’s a nice one. Or at least, it used to be. You see, in normal times, back before a metahuman was ever seen outside of a comic book (or a Nietzsche book, as Zeta says, but I have no idea what a Nietzsche is), South Haven used to be a nice place. As in, very nice. Not a high crime rate at all. But ever since the SVRA started setting up super teams in the more impoverished areas, South Haven hasn’t been getting much positive attention. Since super villains aren’t
complete idiots, they started coming here. With the amount of literal super powers coming in, the brutal territory wars expanded into the whole of Connecticut. Lately, it’s been peaceful-ish, but word on the street is that there’s a new gang (or a religious cult, or something) in New York state that’s looking to get some prime SVRA-free real estate in the ol’ Nutmeg.

Wait. SVRA. I need to explain this. The SVRA is likely the greatest thing to come out of the United States Government. I realize that isn’t saying much, this being the same government that created the Indian Removal Act, but listen for a moment. Twenty-five days after the first super villain appeared, twenty-two after the first superheroes,
Congress signed the Super Villain Repression Agency bill. SVRA. It’s somewhat of a government department. I say somewhat, because it is funded partially by tax dollars. The other part is where it gets awesome. The SVRA gets by, supports its heroes and equipment and awesome bases, by taking advantage of human nature. By “taking advantage of human nature,” I mean it. The SVRA sells T-shirts. And action figures. And comic books. It’s called by some to be the fourth branch of US government. Others call it the only, because it’s like having Donald Trump, Stephen Hawking, and Oprah into one. That is, extremely rich, extremely smart, and able to command an army with a single word. But, I’m getting sidetracked. The SVRA funds itself through tax dollars and merchandising. It exists to set up teams all over the country. Each of these teams has a specific region. There’s a national team, a New York state team, and a New York City team, and so on all over the country. The teams are made up of metahumans who volunteer for the job. When the SVRA sets up a new team somewhere, they find a vigilante willing to head a team, and then they put up posters and set up a base. The posters give a phone number and direct metahumans to the police station. They send out an experienced advisor, usually an old hand from a different team, and the advisor helps the new team leader conduct interviews. When they have the team assembled, they cut off the interviews and start training the team. That involves how to deal with journalists and other criminals, costume designs, base maintenance, social skills, and how to make your fans adore you. The heroics of the team draw a fanbase, the fanbase pays money, the team becomes more and more successful. When a hero wants to retire, they can draw a pension by letting the SVRA publish a comic book about their lives. There are inter-team events held every so often, and an annual tournament. For most towns, it amounts to having a baseball team that flies and stops crime. Getting a team involves a huge boost for the local economy, as well as for town spirit. With all this in mind, imagine how excited I was when I saw an SVRA poster outside my favorite italian restaurant.

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