Prologue Part 1: Something Strange is coming to Korman
Dean Susanna Victors was trying (and failing) to hide her annoyance at being called. It was 6:30 in the morning, not particularly early for someone who was once a Hero, but early nonetheless. Yet, she had received a call a mere half hour ago that ‘something’s come up’ and that she had to arrive at this small… She hesitated to call it an office. It was a bland concrete 10’x10’x10’ cube with three chairs. She was currently seated in the left one of the two that were next to each other with the third facing them but a small bit away. As the minute hand on her watch just edged into 6:31 a thunderclap filled the room along with a yellow spark of electricity, and suddenly a 5’ tall bald man in a suit appeared in the centre of the room. “About time someone showed up. So what is so damned important that the Dean of an HCP that is about to start its first term of the year with new freshmen had to be summoned by the mysterious Company?”
The man took the seat to her right before commenting. “We are aware that this is a busy time for you Dean Victors, so we shall keep this brief. As you no doubt know, students can no longer be allowed into the HCP due to how near the term is, barring the intervention of the Dean under extenuating circumstances.” At this, he pulled out a thick folder and handed it to her. Printed on the front in big red letters was ‘DEUS 01-A’. “We believe these circumstances are extenuating enough such that intervention is recommended. I suggest you only read the summary on the first page to begin with, as there is too much in there for you to hope to read the full file right now and still have time to do anything for the rest of the day.”
She arched one eyebrow at him. “Is that really the reason?”
He merely stared at her with a neutral expression, giving nothing away, and added, “There is also a very real chance that what you read in the summary might dissuade you from finding out the full details about this boy and what happened to him.”
Giving him a puzzled expression, she opened the file and read the summary on the first page. By the time she was finished her hands were clenched in anger and her eyes were filled with tears. She turned again to the bald man, who now wore a sad expression in his otherwise blank brown eyes. “Is this true? Could it even be possible that people would do that?”
“I’m afraid it is, but after everything that has happened, he wants to be a Hero instead of trying to live a normal life. Will you talk with him?”
She nodded. The man raised his left hand, and dematerialized and rematerialized it in a mere second, causing a second thunderclap and yellow spark. This time, what happened next was that the door to her left opened. And out stepped a giant. Susanna was tall, coming in at just above 6’ 2”, but this man was taller. So tall, had had to duck slightly to get through the 6’ 10” doorway. He had to be at least 7’ tall, possibly more. He had startlingly pale skin, and was wearing a white short sleeved shirt and light brown pants. Every visible part of his skin had scars of some neat and ordered kind running over it, and they were perfectly symmetrical on either side of his body. He had a long scar that started under his sleeves and ended just above his elbow. He had a circular scar on the outside of said elbow. He had a similar straight scar running from just past his elbow to his hand, where it ended just before the knuckled but branched out to either side, such that it look like someone had cut a really long ‘T’ into his arm. This was mirrored on both arms. On his face, also mirrored, was a scar going from just above his eyebrow and curving around the outside and heading straight down his face, connecting with its mirror duplicate and heading straight up to just below his lip. There seemed to be the tips of more scars just above the collar. The boy was very skinny, but worst of all were the two similarities between himself and her. Like herself, the boy’s hair was off colour, and almost seemed to glow and shimmer, though while hers was long and light blue, his was short and a very pale white. He also had eyes that were wrong, for want of a better term. Like hers, they were a pure block colour; no pupils, no irises, no whites. Just the colour, though while hers were a darker blue than her hair, his were golden. He sat in the third chair. She found herself speaking first, “What’s your name young man.”
He smiled nervously and said, “I don’t technically have one, but what is now my given name is on the front of the file you are holding. Please, call me Deus Ohwona.”
Puzzled, she asked, “Deus Ohwona?”
“I was part of the ‘Deus’ grouping of subjects. I was subject zero-one of that group, and I was in Block A. Without a name of my own anymore, I chose to take the designation they gave me as my name, changing ‘01-A’ into ‘Ohwona’. O. One. A.”
“I guess that does make some degree of sense.”
“Thanks, I think. Now please tell me, am I in to Korman.” His eyes would have seemed pleading were it not for the fact that they were pure gold in colour.
She paused for a second and thought, before smiling and replying. “I think you’re gonna have a good four years in my HCP Mr Ohwona. Now, let me give you some advice on hiding the eyes from others.”
Prologue Part 2: The townhouse
Mark Hooper stretched as he finished unloading the last of his possessions into the garage of the house both himself and a grand total of three other students would be sharing for the term. He was short at only 5’ 2” in height, and with short black hair and red eyes. Thus far, every damn person he’d met had been taller than himself. He just hoped, as he walked out of the garage and to the front door, that his dorm-mates would be, at the very least, close to him in height. As he entered and found himself in the common area, he quickly discovered this was only the case for one of the two girls that had beat him here. The one closer to him in height was about two inches taller, Asian, and had curly black hair that was only slightly longer than his own. She also had green eyes, and a faint scar below her right eye. The taller girl was several inches taller though still a good few below 6’, was Caucasian, and had long blonde hair and hazel eyes. Both were sitting on the couches and turned to smile at him as he entered.
The tall girl spoke first, “Finally, I was beginning to wonder if either of our remaining dorm-mates would show. I’m Eliza Rhodes, pleased to meet you.”
He nodded in return and smiled as well, “Mark Hooper, and it’s good to meet you too, now who’s the pretty lady I can actually look in the eyes?”
Said ‘pretty lady’ now blushed a tad, “I’m Mῐn Chén, and I hope my eyes are all you’re looking at.”
Mark sat in one of the chairs and was about to reply when they all heard the door open and their fourth dorm-mate walked in. And they all stopped and stared.
He was incredibly pale, and his short, very pale white, hair did not hide that fact at all. He had neat scars running along his arms and face, and was wearing a pair of mirrored sunglasses while carrying a white cane in his right hand. As the boy turned and closed the door behind him, all three of his dorm-mates suddenly had the same thought, “Shit, he’s blind.”
All of a sudden, the boy let out a laugh, short and sweet, that quickly turned into more of a giggle. He turned towards his now confused-looking dorm-mates, “I can see why you’d all think that, but I’m not actually blind.”
They were stunned for a second, before Mῐn replied, “You’re a telepath?”
He smiled, “Close. Reading people’s minds is only one of the things my ability lets me do.”
He now leaned his cane against the wall before entering fully and sitting in one of the other chairs.
Eliza was apparently the first to fully recover. “I’m Eliza Rhodes. The guy’s Mark Hooper, and shorty number 2 is Mῐn Chén. You are?”
“I’m Deus Ohwona, it’s nice to meet you.”
This, once again, threw the three Supers. What sort of a name was ‘Deus Ohwona’ meant to be? It was only after having their respective thoughts that they remembered they weren’t quite as private to one particular Super in the room, and mentally kicked themselves as a result. Deus on the other hand, merely smiled, saying nothing and showing no signs of anger at the thoughts of his dorm-mates.
“Why do you wear those sunglasses and carry a white cane if you aren’t blind?” asked Mῐn tentatively. The last thing she wanted was to annoy someone by being an insensitive bitch.
“It’s quite simple really. As you’ve all no doubt noticed, I have some off-colour features about me. The skin isn’t one of them, so that’ll be changing in the weeks and months to come, but my hair is quite odd. I can, however, explain that away as either a wig or hair dye, even accounting for the glowing and shimmering. My eyes however, they are nowhere near as easy to explain away to someone outside of the HCP.” As he said that last part, Deus dutifully removed his sunglasses and gave his dorm-mates full view of his golden orbs. As expected, they were all quite surprised, and more than one of them gasped.
“Wait, why carry a cane then? I mean, the glasses I understand, but why the cane?” asked Mark.
“Also simple. If I end up in a fight outside of the HCP, for any reason whatsoever, that last thing I need is to fight bare handed, as that would result in a high chance of getting the sunglasses knocked from my face and revealing my eyes. Using the cane provides me with something to use as a weapon which doesn’t look too out of place, and leads to a common misconception that I am indeed blind.” The others were surprised at the level of thought he put into his attire.
After a few seconds, Eliza spoke up again, “Well now that we’re all both better acquainted and have ceased grilling our dorm-mate, why don’t we discuss power?” This provoked smiles from the other three.
“Why don’t you go first Eliza?” said Mῐn.
Eliza smiled, “Very well then. I believe the term for my power is ‘shifter’. Basically, I become a bird-woman.”
Mark let out a low whistle, “Not bad. Not bad at all. I suppose I’ll go next then. I can summon copies of myself.”
“Fully independent, or perhaps illusions?” asked Mῐn.
“Neither, I have complete control over all of them without sacrificing control of myself. Plus I can make them bigger or smaller than myself.”
“A hive mind. Nice. I believe it’s your turn Mῐn?” said Deus.
Smiling, she replied, “I’m a material manipulator. And the material I manipulate is leather. And you Deus?”
He seemed to think it over for a couple of seconds, before replying, “If memory serves there still isn’t an official term for my power yet, though it does have an unofficial nickname. Those few people who have encountered my power before, which, by the way, is only shared with one other person on the planet who I have no blood relation to, tend to refer to it as ‘omnipotence’.”
There was silence for a few minutes as that sank in. “You mean… You can do anything?”
“Not quite. I’m just not restricted to one ability with multiple parts. I have, as you know, telepathy and, by extension, telekinesis. I also have material manipulation of most materials and flight, among others. There is one downside to my power though. Each of my individual abilities is less powerful than they would be if they were my only ability. For example, if I only had an Advanced Mind, I would have greater skill at reading minds and my telekinesis would be more powerful. As it is, they’re still strong, just not as much as they could have been.”
Silence once again held dominance over the room, before Eliza broke it. “Well now that we’ve determined who holds the award for ‘Most Bad-Ass Power Ever’, I say we try and figure out what to do with the rest of our day, seeing as orientation is tomorrow. All in favour?”
There was a resounding chorus of agreements at that.
Welcome to The Experiment! I’m planning on posting to this story as often as physically possible, with a desired gap of around 1 week between posts. Sometimes these uploads will happen later, however, as I have a lot of work to do outside of writing this story, but I will try to get you new stuff ASAP. Enjoy!