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Power has its Cost (Short Story)


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I've been wanting to get a roleplay character going on this server for a while now, as i've always loved City of Heroes.  Here's a little introductory short story I wrote for my new Hero Roleplay Character, the Umbral Prowler.


Liam was tired, and more so than usual.  Having to rush home as quick as he did had drained what remaining energy he had left.  He put all his weight up against the slightly-warped wooden door to get it to click shut, then engaged both the chain and deadbolt; his own footsteps echoing from the near-bare walls and scratched wooden floor.


It was another day that he had to call earlier than normal, and while he was used to having to end his outings often before he'd like, tonight was especially irritating.  Dinner was wonderful.  The movie was good.  The person he was with was cute… it seemed like the perfect evening. 


"First time in a while that you go out, and the ending is likely going to be what?  Another blocked cell number, probably.  That's if they don't call the police on you after you acted as weird as you did."


His bathroom medicine cabinet was opened, and he threw back a few pills for his building headache and continued muscle aches, "A choice between using your powers to help someone, and having some time to enjoy to yourself without letting the hairy clawed hand around your ankle hold you back…"


Tossing his jeans and shirt to the bed, he'd reach for a simple, more casual set of clothing to wear, slipping them on.  There, he stood for a few moments, more thoughts racing through his head than were fathomable, before he reached out and punched the wall with a single, solid yell, a crack running up the drywall after he did so.


Catching himself, he pulled his hand back, reaching out to rub at his slowly healing, bleeding knuckles.  His head quietly lowered, and he let out a soft sigh, slipping his eyes shut.


"You wanted this, Liam," he told himself, "A few years ago, it was all you could think about, and now you have to live with the consequences.  Power has its cost."


It was something that Liam knew well, even if he had taken the notion of it for granted before.  He wasn't always this way.  Hell, the concept of acting with hopes of helping people was an impossibility standing next to the titans that ran around the City and helped its citizens.  Many of them had been born to be heroes.  He wasn't.  He was created.  He was unnatural.


The thought left him in quiet reflection once again.


Stepping into the small kitchen, he'd take a rag to wrap around his injured knuckles, but pause just short of doing so.  The back of his hand had become covered in soft, denser hair, and it had brought his heart to leap into his chest in surprise.  He had to fight the urge to panic, closing his eyes one more time and taking a slow set of calming breaths.


"Like a song playing on repeat.  You put yourself in a no-winning position.  You get upset that things play out the way they do.  Then this happens… Even after you had it under control on the way home after it flared up while you were out."


Forgetting about the cloth, he'd lean up against the countertop and steady himself.  A breath went in, a breath went out.  His accelerating heartbeat pounded in his ears…


"Just like every other time before.  Breathe… calm…"


The heat in his blood was felt to cool just a little bit, and it brought him to open his eyes with a hopeful sigh of relief.  When he saw that his fingernails had darkened and pointed, all pretense of success was thrown out the window, and he bolted toward the closet that he had set up in his bedroom.


Throwing the door shut and locking the deadbolt he had installed on it.  Turning around, he felt an involuntary cry rip from his lungs, and a painful crack echo from his bones, sending him sailing atop the clothes that he had laid on his bed only moments before. 


He gripped his head, focusing, or trying to.  Control of his form was gone, but control of his mind was not.    Calling to mind memories of who he was, and how he changed as a person after all these years was at the forefront of his fixation right now… but it felt near impossible.  His body was on fire.  His mind was lit with agony.  All he could feel now was his old self disappearing, and his new self coming to the surface once again.


Indeed, power has its cost… and Liam once again found himself lost to its toll.

Edited by ZJ
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  • 3 weeks later

Not a bad short story.
I take it that your character is some kind of werewolf?
It seems like he is at odds with himself, wanting power to help those in need but once he gained the power he regrets it because he has very little control over it.

Or he simply just hasn't learned to control it.

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