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Aberrant RPG - A Letter to Lisa- Mega-Stamina Dynamo


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Dear Lisa,

Mom thought it would be a good idea for me to write to you. I know we’ve never really been close (I’m sorry, ten years is a pretty big separation for sibs) but please know I’ve always loved you and some of the stuff moms been telling me have me a little worried.

Yeah, I’m a nova (duh!) and yeah I guess according to the docs that gives you a better chance than normal of being one too but with all that crap on the ‘net going in your head mom thought a source of data a little closer to home might help too.

First off, eruptions aren’t all heroic (Fireman), intriguing (Lotus Infinite) or creepy-gross (Graveyard Jill). You got a lot like me. Car-accident. Not something that makes for great re-enactments. And trust me, I’m not the odd-duck in the group. Some folks get down-right shy when they have to explain the stupid shit that ended up with them hitting the genetic jackpot. I’ve heard some pretty embarrassing stories.

Second, not all novas are those flashy bastards you see on N! News or Lives of the Erupted and Awesome. You know why you never see me in those programs? Because my job is pretty kind of boring. I’m what we call a Steel-Armani. I play bodyguard for the wealthy types that think they need a node to stand between them and danger. Yeah, Devries has given me some pretty darn good training but those Secret Service guys you see around the President make me look like an amateur when it comes to the skillz. But in my defense a Secret Service-agent brother wouldn’t have been able to get you front-row tickets to Patty Meltdown. So…yay me.

And I guess the big thing is this; the node can make changes to your life you can’t ever undo. Yeah, they can be awesome. It’s been a year and half since I’ve had so much as a sniffle, headache (yay adenocilin) or even a sore-muscle. Yeah, I’m twenty-three but trust me, even young guys are supposed to have bad days. And I’m strong enough to chuck a car the length of a football field (I actually have that on my resume!). I get that in this world that is pretty awesome and I completely get why you’ve gone even more around the nova-love bend than most girls your age (Oh, I’ve met Skew, take down his posters, he’s actually kind of a dick.) But there are more sides to the coin than the shiny one.

Six months ago the company doc told me the “good news”. I’m not aging anymore. At least not at a rate they can detect. He had this big old grin on his face when he told me what he thought was the awesome news; I can expect to live, especially since I don’t do the dangerous boom-work, at least a thousand years. You’d think he was telling me that this horrid disease I was dying from was now cured. But c’mon, getting older isn’t a disease. It’s something we all do. Well, what you all do I guess. I love you, I love mom. I love Uncle Todd, Aunt Kate, Jane and Jimmy. You all are my family. I mean yeah, I know that I always knew that Mom would get older and eventually pass, but I’d have you, I’d have the rest of the family. But now I get to look at the stone cold fact that before a tenth of my life is up every single person I grew up with, knowing and loving, and their kids, will all be gone. I’ll meet new people, I’ll love them too and then they’re gonna die. And I’m gonna just keep being me.

Remember when I graduated and Mom took us to DC to celebrate? How much we thought the Smithsonian was awesome with all that stuff in it? How mom gave that great talk about the Constitution that had all the folks in the display area just spellbound (Don’t ever think all history profs are as cool as Mom)? You couldn’t even wrap your head around the idea that the piece of paper in front of us was over two-hundred years old. That was so ancient! Hell, I had trouble with it too. I’m going to live at least five times that long. I don’t know how to even begin to wrap my head around it. And while the world moves on, when folks age and things change I’ll stay the same.

Let me tell you a quick story. Here at Devries we have trainers, agents and assistants of all types. And ninety-nine percent of the time they’re baselines, just regular folks. But they do most of the real work keeping the place running. So I’m with this vet Steel-Armani guy, you might have heard of him, he goes by the name Bulwark. Big dude, he’s protected some HUGE names and he’s got Secret Service level skills. Nice dude to. Helps me out, gives me encouragement. But we’re getting an assignment from our agent, Marty Thu, good guy, hard worker. Halfway through giving us the briefing he gives a big ol wince and has to lean over, holding his back. Seems he yanked some muscles doing yard-work and he gives us a little story about it. Bulwark happens to catch my eye while Marty is bent over and he rolls his eyes. Marty is right there, in some serious freaking pain and Bulwark has zero empathy. None. And he’s not a bad guy! He’s not some Terat in disguise nutbum. But he’s where I’m gonna be in, oh, I don’t know how long. He hasn’t had any sort of discomfort like Marty was experiencing, not in over eight years. He’s forgotten. And I’m kind of forgetting too.

Our good times, our pleasures and our joys are often if not defined, then brought into greater definition by our bad times and pains. Folks who work their asses off to be healthy, to be strong and enduring, they get a lot of pleasure out of how they’ve molded themselves into paragons of physicality. When someone comes home after a hard day’s work, grimy with dust and sweat and they sit down on the couch and feel the oncoming waves of relaxation they’re able to better appreciate that slow, oncoming sense of tranquility because they’ve earned it. And their bodies let them know they’ve earned it. I haven’t been tired. I’ve partied and I’ve had beautiful days relaxing on some tropical beach but I’ve noticed that I don’t FEEL any better, at least physically doing that then I do standing stock still behind some celebrataunt signing copies of her “How to be Born Rich and Beautiful” book for six hours.

I’ve done stress tests and stamina tests and durability tests with the docs I don’t know how many times and they say I’m amazing. Upper ten percent when it comes to stamina and the ability to take a shot. I’m even really damn strong. But last week when I spent eight hours doing squats, running and otherwise getting put through the “wringer” when it was all over I didn’t have a sense of accomplishment. You know how tired you were after your soccer team beat those snotty uptown brats? You ran your heart out and left everything out on the field. Mom and I were really impressed. You had this look of total satisfaction when the whistle blew. You’d given it your all, everything you had and you go the reward of winning because you and your team had earned it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl eat as much as you did at dinner that night. But again, you’d earned it. Hell, you even wore that nasty bruise you got with a sense of pride. Think about that day, think about how you felt. And realize I can’t feel like that anymore.

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