Scenes from a Changing World 3

Wren sat on his bed, laptop open on his lap. He stared at it for a few full minutes before starting to type into the search bar. He stopped, hesitated for a moment, then opened an anonymous browser and started again. He browsed briefly before finding what he was looking for.

Advice for new metahumans

You don’t have to register

This is incredibly important, and it’s something people get wrong a lot. Despite what a lot of people think, you don’t actually have to register. It is recommended, but not mandatory. You can still even use your powers recreationally. Committing crimes (even minor ones like speeding) without registering has higher penalties, akin to committing a crime with an unregistered firearm, and it is illegal to make a profit off your abilities without registering first.

You don’t have to tell anyone

This is a tough one, though it kind of builds on the last point. Being a metahuman is a permanent aspect of who you are, but it’s deeply personal. Interestingly, we have good numbers for how many people are metahumans but never open up about it. Have you ever noticed that the metahuman community has a much higher rate of openly LGBTQ people than the general public? (Or, you know, the other way around). If you assume that someone who’s open about their sexuality is more likely to also be open about being a metahuman (and vice versa), you can compare the proportions of metahumans in the LGBTQ population to the proportion of all metahumans in the entire population. A census study a few years ago did just that and found that nearly 60% of metahumans haven’t “come out of the closet,” at least to the public. We’re a bigger community than you think.

You don’t have to be a superhero

You don’t have to be a villain either, not that I’d ever advocate that. The vast majority aren’t either. Consider the possibility similarly to working in other law enforcement jobs– if you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in being a police officer, there’s no need to force yourself into that career path. Plus, it’s much more profitable to get a job where you can use your abilities to excel. As a metahuman, you have one of the best bargaining chips in the job market: a completely unique skill. But…

You don’t have to let it define you

A lot of metahumans start to feel that their ability doesn’t fit who they are, or that it’s some kind of message about who they should be. It took me a long time to figure out that this just isn’t true. If your ability would be great for gardening, but you hate plants, there’s no point in forcing yourself to do something you don’t like. Just do what you enjoy and let your abilities to make your life more interesting.

Up until now this post has been about dismissing some myths associated with being a metahuman, but here I’m going to change the tone this last one.

You have to accept it

It may be uncomfortable, but this is a part of who you are. You can’t change it, you can’t turn it off, and you definitely can’t get rid of it. Try to imagine how you might use your ability in your daily life. Try to imagine how you might use it at work. Be creative, experiment, flex it a bit. You might be surprised what you discover. I know I was.

Wren leaned back against the wall, deep in thought. He still hadn’t internalized the fact that he was a metahuman. His parents had been… less than subtle about their opinions of the demographic, and he suspected that at least his dad was a member of the metahuman hate group that had a presence in his hometown, Homo Purum. They had stoked the natural jealousy almost all normal people had towards metahumans into something dark and bitter. He himself had only broken out of it when he learned that Kevin was a metahuman. It had been even more shocking than learning Kevin was gay the year before.

He gently placed his laptop on his desk and walked over to the dresser. In what had previously been the shorts drawer (the shorts had been packed away under his bed when the weather had gotten colder), he’d stashed his experiments so far. The first, a rain jacket that made its wearer invisible, passively, and with seemingly no energy requirement. That alone, he suddenly realized, he could sell for an astronomical sum of money if he wanted to.

Among the others were a mug that would teleport straight downwards the moment there was nothing supporting it and a pocket calculator that could now be bent completely in half and still function. Less useful, certainly, but still interesting. So far all he knew was that for each other metahuman he touched, he could “enchant” one object, but there didn’t seem to be a limit to how many he could have. Thinking about it now, he wasn’t sure when he’d started thinking of it as magic, but it seemed right.

And then it hit him. He might have the most useful ability he’d ever heard of. Maybe not the most powerful, but all he had to do if he wanted to be invincible is get a morphsuit and shake hands with Bulwark. He could turn invisible. If he figured out how to move the enchantments around, he might be able to teleport. Every metahuman he came into contact with could expand his collection.

And he was at the school with the highest concentration of metahumans in the country.

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1 Response to Scenes from a Changing World 3

  1. Oops, this one didn’t go up as scheduled. Sorry about that, but also kinda glad, ’cause I got to do a few last minute tweaks.

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