Substance-G (Short Story)

The World Building Community released a prompt today asking if superheroes or super villains exist in the worlds we're writing. I think it's a pretty interesting idea, while my stories don't involve superheroes or villains I thought it would be a decent exercise to get involved in, and write something for.

Are superheroes and supervillains a part of your setting? Write a scene where a hero or villain is doing something unexpected and uncharacteristic. What has caused this shift for them?

I wasn't going to write one for this until I read that last line ^ "What has caused this shift for them?"

I'm going to have some fun with this, and just write and see what happens. I have no idea what this story will involve; I do know it'll have something to do with superheroes, so let's go.


"I call it, Substance-G." Dr. Bright said as he revealed a small vial of some green liquid. "Anyone who ingests this will be granted enhanced abilities!" He smiled, pleased with this new creation of his.

"That's it? It's that easy?" Reyn eyed the vial suspiciously. The doctor was one of his closest friends and confidants, he knew he could trust him. He's never led me astray before.

"What is it exactly?" Reyn asked as the doctor offered him the vial. Instinctively he took it into his hand for a closer inspection. "Why, it's power Reyn; sheer power in liquid form. If my calculations are correct, which they often are, it should work alongside the host, I.E, you; and enhance all of your own physical attributes." He laughed afterward, which settled down to a soft smirk. "What's with the laugh?"

The doctor started to cough and then turned to his desk. "Well, you know, you could do with some building up, you'd be the first to admit you aren't the toughest and you aren't exactly known for your intelligence." The doctor whispered, loud enough to be heard.


Reyn nodded for a moment while looking at the thick green gloop as it lazily latched to the glass, letting go to glob to the opposite side as he tilted the vial. "Hey, wait, I wouldn't be the first to admit that and what's my intelligence got to do with it?"

The doctor threw down a piece of paper and spun around, with eyes wide and a smile that shook Reyn to his core. "Everything." He stepped closer. "If I were to take this, theoretically, it would fuse itself to my strongest attribute, being my mind. But, you, well. I'd guess that you are stronger than you are smart, so in that regard, the concoction there should enhance your physical characteristics." The doctor extended a hand; waving it to try and hurry Reyn along. "Drink."

"Is it reversible?" The doctor shook his head. "We don't even know if it will have any effect."

Reyn couldn't argue with that. What's the worst that can happen? "Okay, this is for you Dr. Bright." "This is history in the making. Perhaps after this experiment, I'll be able to get my license back." The doctor said while Reyn was lifting the vial to his mouth.

He had already started tipping it before he made sense of what Dr. Bright had just said. The green liquid stuck to the glass, but it had started to roll. Finally reaching his lips as a wad of slime. It tasted strange; the kind of flavour that made his tongue writhe in pain; jumping to get away from the substance. It took all the strength he could muster to swallow the thing without gagging. It clung to his throat. Reyn almost coughed it back up before it went down fully. All he could concentrate on was the doctor's wide-eyed expression.

"Yes, drink it all. Drink my gloop." He whispered, at that point, Reyn had to look away as the doctor's face was starting to make his skin crawl.

It was gone, and he could almost feel it crash into his stomach; instantly his guts started to churn and he could feel bubbles erupt within him. "You lost your license!?" Reyn managed to say, trying to ignore what the substance was doing to his intestines. "Only temporarily, you will be my ticket back to the world of medicine and scientific research!"

He received a punch to the gut; the pain nearly winded him. Reyn bent over holding his stomach before looking up. "Is this normal?" Dr. Bright shrugged. "What does normal mean? Normal means nothing! Nothing about this world is normal, all those people who laughed at me and called me crazy, well look now. My superhuman counterpart will show you all how funny you were!" Dr. Bright started to rant and pace the lab.

Reyns stomach pain had become too much to bare, he closed his eyes to the world and the mad doctor's ravings; remaining conscious long enough to feel the impact against the ground.


"Reyn, are you awake?" He could hear the doctor's voice, and slowly he opened his eyes and could see the man standing over him, holding a measuring tape. "What happened?"

"You passed out, probably from the pain. How do you feel?" "Weird, my stomach." He whispered as he laid a hand on his belly. He was never fat, more than anything, he was slightly out of shape. Not anymore, based on the solid abs. He looked down and was shocked to see that his physique was different. Reyn laughed at that and sat up. "I look, good! I look like the sort of person who works out a few times a week."

The doctor had a disappointed look on his face. "My calculations were incorrect it seems. You're not superhuman, you're just slightly above average." "Above average!? This is amazing! What a creation!"

The doctor walked away sarcastically waving his hands in the air as if he was celebrating. "Yeah, woop-dy doo, I invented something that gets people in shape overnight. I didn't want that, I wanted a superhuman!" He gave out, as he shuffled through some of his research notes.

Reyn shimmied off the bed and stood. He jumped on the spot; he felt agile, light on his feet, and felt like going out to celebrate his new look.

"If I was to. No, that wouldn't work." The doctor muttered to himself. "Hey, I think you'll get reinstated with this product, I could see it on the shelves of stores all around Free Space." "No, it's only for humans; we don't know what the ramifications would be if a non-human was to take that. No, it'll stay under wraps for now, I don't want any government to get their hands on my work, they'll only ruin it."

"What was that you said before I passed out?" Dr. Bright just shook his head at that question. "No, that was nothing, just the manic musings of an excited old doctor."

Reyn didn't push the question, but something in the doctor's voice eluded to a wistful daydream; some offshoot fantasy that never came true.

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