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Aberrant RPG - The Hands of an Angry God

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<h1 align="center">The Hands of an Angry God</h1>

<h2><a href="mailto:ezrael@altavista.com">Written by Matt Rossi</a></h2>
<hr>

My name is Marc Gabriel Rossmore, and I'm not human.

I'm really not. I was human, or at least I thought I was. I walked around on the streets, ignored by the majority of the 'madding throng' that passed me. (By the way, it is 'madding' and not 'maddening' as some think. Common mistake. I used to make it all the time, till one of my ex-girlfriends ripped me a new one over it.) Then, while on my way to a class I was taking up in Boston, a psychotic bitch with a chunk of tissue in her brain that let her control fire and a desire to prove herself superior to 'monkeys' nuked me, and I died.

I got better, though.

Mainly because I grew an apple-sized mass of flesh inside my brain.

Now, let me ask you, what makes a man human? I couldn't really answer that if I wanted to. Is it the intangibles, like the existence of the soul? Or is it the stuff anthropologists would tell you about, like tool use and the like?

Because I've read over 300 books on the subject in the past two months, and I've got to tell you, in none of them does it say that the essence of humanity is the ability to fly at supersonic speeds or survive being hit with a shell fired from a tank without a scratch or melt metal with a glance.

I can do those things now.

So the UN can say what it wants. Caestus Pax (Can't he just call himself Shelby? What's so bad about being named Shelby? Sure, it's a bit geeky sounding, but suddenly having a name in Latin is pretentious.) can say that we're all human together until monkeys fly out of his ass.

He's wrong.

Take it from me.

I'm not Teragen, however. I hate those fuckers. Here's why: I'm not human, but I was. And my humanity was taken from me by a red-hot psycho with purifying urges who believed that, as a nova, she had the right to do whatever she wanted.

When I was human, I had hopes and dreams and fears. I still do.

And in the name of those hopes and dreams and fears, I killed someone tonight.

Don't worry, though. He wasn't human either.

Let me tell you about it, the way it happened.

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"Honey, are you eating enough? You look like you've lost weight." I looked down at my mother, who I have always been taller than. Now, however, I'm a full foot taller than I was, so I ended up staring almost directly down at her. I could see the individual strands of her hair, once raven black and now going almost clear with age like individual strands of Eufiber. If I wanted to, I could have looked at her brain through her skull, but there's not much point to it.

In the apartment I grew up in, it's still 1987. It probably won't change much for decades to come. No Op-Net, no Project Utopia or N! Prime or anything else that smacks too much of 2008 and reality. To my mother, I'm little Marc come home from a day at LaSalle Academy, discontented and vaguely disapproving.

"Mom, I don't eat anymore."

"What, never?" She stopped hugging me long enough to crank her head back and stare at me with concern in her watery brown eyes. My face reflected in their wet surface in miniature, and before I realized it I zoomed in and looked at my walleyed reflection, the red light barely coming out from behind my irises. "How don't you eat? Everybody eats!"

"Not me. Not in months." I brushed a hair away from her face gently, seeing shock and fear mixing on her face and knowing that some of it was fear for me...and some of it wasn't. The whole apartment seemed so tiny, so dingy...if I even gave it a minuscule effort, I could see every crack and pit and scrape in the paint, every speck of mold, and the large brass crucifix hanging over the old television...and so I chose not to see anything at all.

She hugged me again. I let her. It was comforting.

Eventually she stopped.

"Marc, you'll stop by more often?"

"When I can, mom. I'm awful busy." That wasn't a lie. I was busy. Self-imposed, but still. In the half-hour I'd taken to visit with her, my decision to take time to see my mother had allowed fifteen people to die within my perception.

Could I have saved all of them? No.

Twelve.

I could have saved twelve. So Marcez Klinmahrsk of 112 Benefit Street, sorry about your uncle Paleck. I was letting my mother fuss over me. Selfish as it sounds, it was more important to me than saving him.

I suppose that 'You couldn't have known' is a great comfort to those people who discover the next day that a friendly old neighbor died while they were having sex or eating a meal or what have you. Humans can comfort themselves that way. I, unfortunately, can know.

Finally, my mother stopped hugging me, sniffled once, and smiled up at me. I wiped an errant streak of water away from her cheek with my thumb and smiled back.

"I gotta go, mom. Love you."

"You take care, okay? You don't run yourself ragged."

I walked to the window, looked back at my five foot two inch mother who now barely came up to the middle of my abdomen, and then stepped out into the air and floated for a moment. The brief halo of light that flared up around me was almost invisible, centered mostly around my eyes, and in the reflected light of the windows to both sides of me I could see a look of almost baffled awe in my mother.

But I'm not Jesus, nor was I meant to be. I'm not even an attendant lord, and I won't do. Not at all.

So I closed my eyes and flew away, slowly at first until I got above the Providence skyline.

I have no apartment of my own anymore. Well, strictly speaking I still have the place in Boston...since I erupted, I haven't spent ten seconds there. But without the need to eat or sleep much, I haven't had to. My checking account will be empty by next month, and then I'll need to either make money or move my stuff to my mom's place. Neither concerns me much; I could make money by whoring myself to DeVries (I'd make a rather nasty elite, even without combat training) or Project Utopia, or the Army...but I don't see the need.

Let my meager possessions go. They're nothing but tethers to a dead life. Once I cleared the Fleet/Citibank Tower, I looked around for a moment, and then I kicked it up a notch.

There was a sonic boom, but since I was the one moving faster than sound, I didn't hear it.

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Ten minutes later, I was over London.

I was just passing through. I had no idea of what was going to happen, and if I'd flown away from my mothers apartment an extra ten kph quicker in that first ten seconds before going supersonic, I'd have missed it entirely.

But because I was moving towards the sounds instead of away from them, I heard them. Quantum powers or not, physics would have let me miss the whole event if I'd just been going a bit quicker or had started a little earlier. (Since this kind of thing tends to happen to me...and other novas...I sometimes suspect our nodes of attracting us to each other. As if they know something we don't.)

It was like a repeating thunderclap. It happened, and happened again, and then again. The sky was bright blue, however, and the sun was ruddy on the western horizon, and I saw no reason for the sound.

So I looked harder.

There was a blur in the streets. For a second I though it was Ellis (remind me to tell you about Ellis sometime, or the rest of our little Scooby Gang) but he wasn't quite as fast, and he wasn't nearly as jittery.

And, as I watched, he decapitated the statue of Abraham Lincoln near Westminster Abbey and threw it at a bus at speeds that would make Honest Abe's noggin a terrific kinetic-kill missile.

I dove. I knew I couldn't go fast enough to intercept the head in the millisecond it was going to take to hit the bus, but I didn't have to. A blaze of heat erupted out of my eyes, like pure rage made visible, and in that microsecond the air between me and the head burst into flame.

A jet of molten bronze erupted from Abe's left jowl, shooting him up and over the bus and into the Thames. A couple of cars got sprayed, but it could have been worse.

I 'landed' six inches off of the ground and five feet in front of speed-boy. I went from 1500 kph to zero in one second. As you might expect, a shockwave of air blasted out all around me, rocking cars and buses and most importantly slamming into my buddy the running man like a wall.

He fell forward, legs off of the ground. I made sure my fist was waiting for him. I didn't know how much he could take, of course, so I didn't really put much into it. I figured his forward momentum would do plenty.

It did. His neck snapped like a rotten stair-step under a rhino's foot. Then he fell at my feet.

I was surprised. Not shocked or horrified, the way I would have been a few months earlier. Just surprised, and maybe

a little dismayed.

And then I heard a sound like a scream going through the Doppler effect. It started out as a high-pitched "Jona" and then began going deeper and sounding like "thhaaaaaaaa" and that's when I turned and saw them.

There were three of them. One of them looked like some kind of cross between a woolly mammoth, a walrus, and a human being. He was twelve feet tall, with giant horns coming out of his forehead and skin like saggy gray hide, but glossy and coated with some kind of oily substance. Next to him was a skinny woman the color of the setting sun floating in the air with weird rainbow refractions swirling around her and up into a cloud of floating hair, and next to her was the one who was pointing at me. She was pretty unremarkable...Asian or maybe Hindi, with hair either dyed or novaed into a strange blue color like a sky just before sunrise.

What she was doing to me, however, was far from unremarkable. Now, I'm one of the fastest novas I know, on the ground or in the air. I was probably a good deal faster than the man at my feet, and of the novas I've met personally, only one was faster. But even as I kicked myself up into as high a gear as I could, I could feel myself slowing down and I could see the guy who looked like a menagerie speeding up as he charged me.

He rammed his fat oily fist into me, and even though it didn't really hurt much, the pure force was more than I was using to stay hovering in the street and I plowed backwards into the ground, seemingly moving at ten times the speed I expected.

As I dragged myself to my feet, walrus boy was all over me like a blur. Now, I hate to tap my reserves; I refused Rashoud Clinic training, where they talk about 'using your Quantum energies' and all that crap. But there was no way I was going to get my ass kicked by a man who looked like he'd gone into Jeff Goldblum's teleport booth with a hippo.

So I grabbed hold of the power that lives inside me, and I really kicked it into high gear, feeling raw molten violence burst into my nerves.

The world slowed down, and I sped up, sidestepping the hungry, hungry hippo-man and watching a little bit of the woman with the dark blue hair. She didn't seem to know I'd gotten myself around her melted taffy time bubble or whatever it was.

So I walked (to myself, it was walking, but I knew by the leaves hovering in the air that it was happening within a second) over to in front of her, and I slammed my fist down into the ground.

Sure that would at least throw her off her game, I walked over to my greasy pal, grabbed his ankle and wrenched him up off of his feet while letting myself slow down to levels where time was perceptible.

I admit that I did that for the satisfaction factor. I wanted to hear the explosion of the shockwave blasting cement and asphalt up from the road and into the bluehair's face. I wanted to see rhino man yelp as I cracked him like a whip and flung him straight up into the air.

More than anything else, however, I didn't want to pay attention to the woman on her knees sobbing and holding 'Jonathan' to herself, rocking back and forth. Sure, he'd been on a rampage. I didn't feel bad for him, and to be honest, I didn't feel bad for her either.

I just winced at the knowledge that I didn't feel bad.

The great purple-black beast bellyflopped into the Thames twelve seconds later, while bluehair lay on the ground stunned and supine. The sobbing woman didn't put up any kind of resistance.

She just cried.

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Found out when the cops came (and a couple of PU boys...not T2M, though, these guys didn't rate it) that they were wannabe Teragen trying to join some sect calling itself 'Nova Vigilance.' I have no idea what that's all about, and in all honesty I could only care less if it was possible for me to give myself a lobotomy.

I told the cops what had happened, backed up by several dozen witnesses who could fill in the fragmentary picture. The human pachyderm threatened me when they loaded his moxed-to-the-gills ass into the van, but I didn't bother to respond.

The worst part was when they dragged the weeping woman past me. She looked right at me with eyes that had no pupil or iris, just one vast green striated mass, eyes that looked wrong with water leaking from the corners.

"Why?"

I didn't answer for a moment.

"If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even swing. He broke his neck on my arm."

"It would have been better if you'd meant it." I saw the bewilderment and I even understood it. That time yesterday, she and her Jonathan were new gods walking the Earth, and now he was dead and she was alone, and I hadn't even meant to kill him.

Sure, he was a psychotic nutjob who would have killed a lot of people.

Doesn't make him any less dead, does it?

Doesn't make me any less his killer, even if I didn't mean to.

I lifted up into the air, colder inside than I had been, colder and less myself. The air stood still and I rushed through it, higher and higher, until the air was a thin blue- black band and I passed into vacuum.

Behind me, the planet kept shrinking.

You know, in that way it has of getting smaller and smaller.

Or is that just to me?

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