A normal guy gets a cool superpower.
Chapter Description: Intro.
Dan Reese, a man in his middle thirties looked up just as a boom sound echoed overhead then several more booming sounds could be heard.
Looking up he saw only smoke and fire at first. As his eyes focused on something it was still falling from the sky leaving a trail of smoke and burning like hell as it fell.
At first he thought the worse had happen and nuclear bombs were dropping then he recalled youtube videos of that Russian meteorite coming down.
Then Dan heard a new sound that cut through the echoing boom. The strange whistling sound that sent cold shivers up his spine and he recalled too late why it did.
He had buddies who had enlisted in the army and they had talked about their days in the service.
Dan moved toward the house just in time as a large basketball shape chunk of meteorite rock from hitting him, but the blast from the sheer impact hitting his front yard blew him into his house just as he turned the knob to his front door.
Dan went flying through the air and went sliding down the hallway as his front door rocked forward then slammed shut.
Dan only knew darkness after that. Dan awoke feeling okay and he slowly got up. He was covered in dirt and his hallway was the same. Outside he could hear sirens of every kind going off.
From medical vehicles, police cars, fire trucks and even an air raid siren. There was a faint ringing in his own ears, but it was a whisper now.
Dan looked out the window first expecting hordes of zombies or an alien invasion. What he saw was nearly chaos.
“Holy Shit! ” Dan said and saw something like a war zone.
Houses and cars were on fire and the streets was crowded with people in various uniforms.
Dan couldn’t recall when he had gone outside, but he guessed only half of an hour had passed since he was nearly killed himself.
From what he could see there were craters in people’s yards and some in the street. He had the ill luck in getting the first rock in his front yard.
Dan heard his cell phone ringing and going to check it saw there were several missed call messages on it. Some of them were from his mother while the others were from his younger sister.
Dan used the call back feature and heard his mother’s voice on the other end.
“Thank God you are alright. ” His mother’s voice said after hearing his greetings.
“Yeah, mom I’m good. One did land in my yard and made a mess, but I was lucky. ” Dan said decided not to tell her just how close it came to hitting him.
“You haven’t changed have you? ” His mom asked then he heard a clicking sound followed by beeps.
“My clothes are dirty, but I will change into clean clothes. ” Dan answered back confused by her concern if he was wearing clean clothes or not.
Then the phone beeped a final time and the line went dead. Dan looked at his phone and saw that phone now displayed the message No Service.
Dan checked the bars and saw the word Busy over the four bars.
“Too many damn people on the cell phone network. ” Dan said aloud and saw the lights flicker over head just a little bit.
“Lucky, I guess we still have power. Any water I want to drink it would be better if I boil it first. ” Dan said if making plans in his head.
Dan rubbed his chin and was surprise to find it smooth. He hadn’t shaved in the past few days and the hairless feel under his finger tips felt very odd.
Scared he might have been exposed to radiation or something like it he made his way to the bathroom mirror over the sink.
Nothing seemed out of place, but there was no doubt in him not having any facial hair.
‘It must have been some type of electrical discharge. ’ Dan thought then found it weird that only his face had been affected so far.
Vowing to himself he check back every hour or less just to be sure.
Dan did the thing that most people would have done next in this kind of situation.
Turning on the TV he found nothing but news stories on every channel. The rolling text on the bottom did confirmed that a meteorite shower had made landfall across the entire united states. With some of it hitting Canada and Mexico.
A map flashed onto the screen showing the effected areas and Dan saw a wide oval with darker parts in the mid west. The widespread damage was impressive.
Dan flipped through the channels to see Denver was left nearly in ruins. Five sky scapers were tumbled overed like those child’s building blocks and from the high angle he could tell it was a news helicopter catching the images.
People were digging through the falling concrete as they were looking anyone who might be trapped inside.
Dan felt his heart go out to those people and briefly remembered what 9/11 had been like.
More channel surfing and Dan considered himself pretty lucky only to get knocked off his feet. Then he found himself himself looking at some TV show with a girl flying through the air. She appeared to be carrying someone in her arms and Dan switched off the TV in disgust.
“Who would play some super hero movie in middle of all this? ” Dan asked and failed to see the words Live at the bottom of the screen.
‘Well, at least I feel great. ’ Dan thought and thinking about it should have been very odd.
‘Shouldn’t I have bruises and cuts on my me from being knocked off my ass. ’ Dan thought and decided another check in the mirror.
The face he saw wasn’t exactly him, but more youthful if years had been taken off his age.
‘What the hell? ’ Dan asked himself and looked closer at himself. He looked nearly ten years younger now. He wasted an hour or so on watching the TV while the world outside appeared to be in chaos. He thought it would be best to stay inside and not get in the way of trained professionals.
Dan did one final check on his body for scars while he changed his clothes. The scar from a broken foot back in 1997 was gone. In fact he hadn’t noticed that his right foot appeared normal now.
He searched out other scars he collected during his childhood and discovered all of them were gone now.
The hiking accident scar on his left hand had vanished and the dirt bike one near his right knee was absent.
Dan checked his cell phone again and this time got No network signal then he went to the land line to find it dead.
“Okay, maybe I will just go to the hospital and get checked out. ” Dan said quietly to himself expecting a long wait and gathered his car keys up along with his wallet. He took a photograph of himself as well to show any doctor so they could see the change in his appearance for themselves.
By now the national guard and army had taken over in directing traffic and Dan was surprise to see the streets were open to cars.
Thankfully Dan lived close to a few local hospitals and after sitting in traffic for nearly thirty minutes which should have been a ten minute drive he arrived to find the lobby of Saint Mary’s Hospital crowded with nurses and orderies moving in every direction.
Since he wasn’t injured or appeared to be in bad shape he was directed to wait in the Café area which had been turned into a make shift waiting room.
An announcement over the intercom advised people seeking burn treatment should go to the Saint Annie’s Hospital across the street.
Oddly enough Dan passed a stone statue of a man sitting in a chair. It was so life like he thought someone was in costume, but noticing no movement he guessed some practical joker placed it there.
Then Dan heard a man scream and felt a wave of heat that blew over his face.
Looking for the source of the fire he saw a man sweating heavily and stripping off his clothes. He was down to his boxers and the air around him was shimmering.
Screams and panic voices came next as people moved away from the man.
“Oh God! It’s hurts! ” The man screamed then started to smoke from his skin.
A nurse called out “We got another one. Everybody stand back! ” then the man burst into flames scorching the ceiling and the water sprinklers kicked in, but only in the Café area.
When Dan wiped his eyes clear of water he saw the man was gone with only a pile of ash and blacken bones to show where he had knelt. Even over the shower of water he could smell the horrible scent that was something like roast pig.
The shock at seeing a man combust into flames then die faded quickly.
“Nurse!, what just happen? ” Dan asked catching the arm of the woman who called out the warning. Seeing his confusion she guessed quickly why he was asking.
“It’s the rocks that fell. It is affecting some people. Not everyone, but he is the sixth person this morning I have seen die. There was a woman before him and she turned into water then she went down the floor drain. I have no idea if she is dead or alive now. ” The nurse answered looking lost, but still determined to do her job.
“Nurse, I think I’m affected too. This is me. ” Dan said pulling out the picture of himself and showing it to the nurse.
She glanced at it and then up at his youthful face.
“You look younger. ” The nurse said not asking a question, but making a simple statement.
“Yes and my old scars are gone. ” Dan said glad someone believed him.
“Your not the first person we had today. There was a young girl who came in about an hour ago with the same story. ” The nurse said then caught the arm of a passing orderly and told him something Dan couldn’t hear over the noise of people leaving the café area.
Dan was escorted by the orderly to an elevator where they rode up to the top floor. From the elevator he was led into the maternal wing after passing through a few security doors. Now he could see he was in the children’s rooms of the hospital. Up here it was quiet and seemed more calmer compared to what was happening downstairs.
“In here. We have a doctor making the rounds to each room. Just fill out this pad. ” The orderly said and handed him a clipboard with normal hospital paper work on it.
When the door open Dan was greeted by the sight of a girl about 16 years old wearing baggy clothes and looking scared as hell.
Seeing he wasn’t the doctor she turned to look at the orderly and before she could speak the orderly said the doctor would be along soon.
Dan took a seat as far away from the girl so she didn’t feel threaten by him and started in on filling out the paper work.
Dan didn’t even mind the TV in the top corner as the news was covering as much they could.
“God, this is so fucked up. ” The girl spoke and Dan looked up to see a man on the TV screen wielding what appeared to be lighten bolts in his hands.
As Dan watched he saw part of a ruined building lift up on the screen and the people trapped under it were scramble out to safety. The guy was flying over them and when the camera zoom on his face Dan saw the guy wore one of those lite up glasses so brightly lit now that it made it hard to see the details on his face even in full day light.
The blueish white light seemed to make any camera focused to close on his face blur and Dan guessed he was doing it on purpose so no one could clearly see his face.
“Is that for real? ” Dan asked out loud and remembered the woman early on his TV at home flying while carrying someone in her arms.
“Yeah, some people got super powers and stuff. That guy there is calling himself Voltage. He is kind of like Static Shock, but he is white. ” The girl said and looked at Dan if he was slow.
Dan noticed for the first time she was holding a cell phone in her hands. Judging from her fingers he guessed she was checking the internet for more news. Unlike his own cell phone provider network hers was still working.
“Any word on someone getting younger? ” Dan asked curiously and saw the girl look up in surprise. She hadn’t heard about him unlike he did about her.
“You too? ” The girl asked and looked more at ease now someone shared her unique condition.
“Yeah, I’m supposed to be 35 years old, but I look like I’m barely old enough to drink now. ” Dan said and wondered if he looked any younger now. From the poor reflection from the shiny wall guard he could see it was taking longer for him to get younger.
“I was twenty one a few hours ago and I know I look about fourteen years old now. Funny you seemed to be regressing faster then I am. I’m Susie by the way. ” Susie said figuring it was safe to introduce herself to this stranger.
“Dan. ” Dan replied back and looked back at the screen up in the corner. He figured the TV was there to play cartoons so younger children wouldn’t be so scared by the doctor or the room in general.
“Oh, to think I liked that Brad Pitt movie. Now I’m living this Benjamin Button shit I’m having serious second thoughts on my movie favorites. ” Susie said next and sniffed a little. Dan could tell she was just as scared as he was. Then she went on.
“According to the chat forums I found online they are calling people with our power or condition Age Changers. Anyone with a power is a Special. I don’t know how much is bullshit or truth, but according to some stories its sometimes fatal then there are those who claim by eating or drinking a certain type of food will reverse the effect. Mind you there are some real assholes online spreading lies as much of those trying to get the truth out there. ” Susie explained and Dan thought about it before speaking.
“Well, it sort of makes sense. I read comic books and every superhero or villain always has a weakness. I suppose every disease has a cure so maybe there is hope for us yet. ” Dan said and saw Susie really didn’t have the same hope as he did.
The door opened just then and a doctor wearing very friendly looking scrubs with cartoon animals came in and looked at Susie first then looked over at Dan with a mild curious look.
“Mr. Reese, is it? The nurse informed me that your getting younger as well? ” The doctor asked and made himself sound pretty serious.
“Yeah, Doc. It was about three hours ago when a space rock nearly took my head off. ” Dan said and handed him the clipboard with the filled in paper work. He included a picture of himself as an older man so there was no doubt.
Then Dan asked how the doctor knew his last name and he pointed to the shirt Dan had put on. It was an old work shirt from a previous job he had and there was his name sewn in large print.
“Interesting. ” The doctor said and compared notes between the two clipboards.
“Doctor, is there any word on curing us? ” Susie asked and she put her arms around herself if she was very cold.
“Young lady, Miss. I have to be honest with you. We are still trying to figure out how the hell this is happening to you. The government is being oddly quiet about it and will only say that staying calm is the best measure. After what I seen so far today I wouldn’t be surprise if a UFO landed on the roof of this hospital. For now all I can do is give you two a room with beds divided by a curtain in the children’s wing. I will have the nurses check on you twice an hour and if needed we will bring you new clothes or a new bed when you get too small for a standard bed. You can trust me when I say your not the only cases I have heard of so far. We have been staying in touch in the chat rooms and our private phone lines with other hospitals. Cases like yours have usually halted somewhere in early childhood or infancy so far. We will contact your families so they can come as soon as possible. ” The doctor said and before Susie could asked another question or start crying the doctor’s cell phone beeped loudly.
He looked at it then he read the message and sighed. Dan was thinking about all those people out there who didn’t make it. There would be empty piles of clothes or something like a human fetus on the ground gasping for air.
“We will have to finish our talk later. A boy with dragon wings has just landed on the heli-pad with his injured mother in his arms. ” The doctor said and was gone from the room before Dan fully understood what he had said.
A few minutes later a nurse came into the room and without moving her lips spoke to them.
Dan realized a few seconds later she had used her mind instead of her mouth.
“Yes, I’m telepathic. Strange sense I never believe there was ever such a thing. The universe little joke on me. ” The nurse said still not uttering a single word, but judging from Susie’s face she was hearing the same voice in her head as well.
Susie and Dan followed her into a room clearly meant for children, but said nothing, but took to the beds. Being a gentleman Dan took the bed furthest away from the tiny bathroom. As promised there was a curtain divider for privacy.
“If you need anything just press that button next to your bed. Thinking really loud won’t work with me. I seemed to have a very limited range. ” The nurse said speaking directly into his head and he got the impression she giggled a little in her thoughts.
Dan felt a little better seeing someone was embracing their new found power like a gift.
Both nodded and she was gone out the door. Dan wasn’t sure if it was the shock of the day so far or he was just tired. Another older nurse came in and took various blood and fluid samples then left as fast she came in.
He remembered sitting on the bed lying back just to close his eyes for a moment then he heard voices as he drifted back to awareness.
“Mom? ” Dan asked and opened his eyes to see his mother and younger sister there by his bed side. Dan then came fully awake at the sound of his voice. It was younger sounding if he lost a few more years while he slept.
“How old do I look? ” Dan asked and saw his mother had an uneasy smile.
“Well, your not my older brother anymore that’s for sure. ” Ellie spoke up and there was a commanding Shhh sound from their mother.
“Old enough to drive at least? ” Dan asked and got a little worried. He heard other people and could just see past the curtain divider a little to see that Susie’s parents had also arrived.
There was argument going on taking her home and Susie from her tone wanted to stay in hopes for a cure. What made him dread seeing her was how high pitch her voice was now. It was a child’s voice of protest. Her regression might have been slower then his at first, but now it was speeding up while his own slowed down.
“Sixteen or eighteen years old would be my guess. ” His mom answered and he saw the deep worry there on her face. Even Ellie’s face fell into a worried expression.
“Cheer up, Ellie. If this keeps up you have a baby brother soon. I heard the rumors most Age Changers stop de-aging near toddlerhood. ” Dan said and saw the slight shock on his mother’s face.
“Dan, you shouldn’t say such things. Maybe your stop getting younger any minute now. I don’t know if I can bear see you slowly becoming more helpless by the second. ” His mother scolded and Dan felt slightly guilty now like he did when he was a child. Worst when he thought how his father had died slowly wasting away on that hospital bed.
“Relax, mom he was just trying to cheer us up with a really bad joke. ” Ellie said and there was a long silence between them. Susie’s family finished their argument then he heard her parents leave without their daughter.
“Would you believe a man whisked us here? ” His mom asked then Ellie spoke again.
“He teleported us and the car right into the parking lot. Not all the people with powers are doing good, but considered the chaos going on out there. ” Ellie said and looked excited at this new dawn in human history.
“Maybe I have a super power too and don’t know it. ” Dan said and searched within his mind for something out of place or a new feeling of power. Nothing came to him and nothing happen.
“I need to talk to that doctor again. ” Dan’s mother said and left the room holding back tears. Seeing her children banter at each other like nothing was wrong had gotten to her. She knew from their past history it was the way they showed their love for each other.
“She will be alright. So many people dead or dying she just so happy you are still alive. ” Ellie said next once she was sure her mother was out of ear shot.
Dan spoke in a low voice with a very stern tone. “Ellie, I don’t want her here if it looks like my condition looks like it’s going to fatal. No mother should see her son die and what could be more fucked up in seeing him turn into a fetus. ”
Ellie looked back over her shoulder and then back at him with a firm nod.
“Fine, I will convince her somehow. Don’t think you can get rid of me that way. You were always there when I was sick and when dad died you were by his side. God, what are the odds at father and son wasting away to nothing? ” Ellie asked not expecting an answer, but merely frustrated at the world.
It wasn’t easy, but Ellie did it by convincing their mother that if the end was to come for Dan she would get her so they could say their goodbyes. Dan knew this to be a lie and Ellie would wait some short time after his death to tell her.
He pictured himself as a newborn slowly growing smaller until he couldn’t breathe because his lungs were too underdeveloped to support his body. Or maybe he would go into total organ failure and pass away peacefully while he slept.
Dan was glad that only Ellie was there by his side, but mom was close at hand since she had volunteered to help out. The hospital was full now and the Red Cross was setting up a triage tents outside in a grassy field normally kept for its view.
When Susie finally emerged from her side of the divided curtain Dan almost didn’t recognized her.
He guessed her age to eight or ten years old at the outside. She was no longer a young teenager, but a child now. Her breasts were gone and someone had dressed her in a hospital gown meant for children if the pink bunnies on it were any clue.
“Cute gown. Do you think they have one with race cars on it? ” Dan asked and saw her relax a little. Being so close as bedmates she must have heard everything said in the room.
“Very funny. I’m glad you are staying too. Did you hear my parents? Sure I want to be home if I’m dying, but I want to be here in case they find a cure or find the way to reverse this. ” Susie said and Dan knew she was blowing off steam so her anger would fade away.
“So Dan, are you going to introduce us? Or should I wait for your face book status update? ” Ellie asked and Susie smiled at her.
“Ellie, this is Susie and apparently she got the same fucked up condition I do, but hers is faster now. Susie, this is my baby sister. ” Dan said not missing a chance for a little joke. In a few hours he would be the baby of the family if his reverse aging kept going.
“Nice to have you here. The young nurse is nice, but she is extremely busy I might need your help with more personal matters. If that is okay with you? ” Susie asked and Dan blushed only slightly.
“Yeah, I can imagine how often you might have to go the bathroom and that seat must be getting higher every time. ” Ellie said and looked over at Susie’s side of the room.
Dan looked as well and he noticed for the first time little paper cups normally used for pills, but left on a tray. Dan looked at Susie for an answer.
“Different drinks. I had tea, soda, orange juice and even coffee. Just before I lost my internet I read one lady reversed her aging by drinking tea. Mind you, there only few of us that can’t control our condition. I just hope it wasn’t some asshole jerking the rest of us around. ” Susie said next and looked uncertain if her crazy plan would work.
“Why the little paper cups? ” Ellie asked curiously.
“Well with so many people hurt and so many in need now they can’t spare much, but I managed to convince our nurse to let me give it a shot. I think she sees it as giving comfort to a dying person. ” Susie answered and looked slightly guilty.
“Maybe we should try that. ” Susie said and looked very thoughtful.
Dan could just imagine his sister going out and finding different stuff for him to sample.
It wasn’t long before Dan was doing the same experiment and no signs his regression was slowing or aging back to normal.
Since there wasn’t anything to do, but lie in bed and wait they all watched TV while Susie attempted to reach people by phone. The cell phone networks came and went.
Nurses came and went checking on everyone. Dan avoided looking at Susie every few minutes, but by the time the sun was setting she was reduce down to a small girl.
The nurse came in and with the curtain in place changed her gown to a smaller size then gave her padded underwear for accidents.
Her parents returned and for a while she was held by each of her parents then returned to her bed.
The talk that followed was Susie begging them not to return because she didn’t want them to see her die.
Barely half an hour after they left Susie entered toddlerhood for the second time in her life. Dan by this time had lost more years and appeared to be a boy of ten years or less. He remembered losing his chest hair including his lower parts and going to the bathroom more then three times in the last hour.
He stripped out of his boxers and pants by this time and wore his old work shirt like a night gown. He knew he look like a boy dressing up in this daddy’s shirt for fun. Perhaps just a boy pretending to be an adult for a little while.
The nurse returned with pursed lips at the sight of Susie sitting by Dan wearing a now over size gown. Perhaps it was the fact they had the same condition or simply she found comfort at Dan’s side that she wanted to be next to him.
Ellie had helped her up onto the bed and Dan guessed as long as she stayed in the room as a chaperone no one could have made a valid argument.
When the nurse got over her urge for a few choice words she announced it was time for more samples and changed into smaller clothing.
Susie surprised everyone by stripping naked and standing there on the bed with her back to Dan. Dan politely looked up at her face, but he had seen what had happen to her body. She was chubby now with baby fat and looked the perfect picture of youth and innocence as a toddler.
The older nurse had a shocked expression then seemed to calm down.
“I meant behind the curtain, young lady. ” The nurse said and went to work without a further word of protest.
Susie now wore was a diaper and nothing else because she refused everything else.
Dan happily accepted the plain children size blue hospital gown they had some left in stock.
“Fine. ” The nurse said and then mentioned if she got any younger she would be placed in the nursery area with the younger children no matter her mental age.
“Mean old battle axe. ” Ellie said after the nurse was long ways out of ear shot.
Now the final hour for Susie had come Dan couldn’t help, but look at the little toddler sitting next to him every few minutes.
The TV was getting boring now and he just wished they go back to movies or TV shows. Every channel was a news station and apparently the hospital cable stations were out. Dan suspected a few satellites had crashed down when the sky fell.
Dan did find the people with powers interesting whenever they appeared sometimes caught on the TV camera. One hero calling himself Jinn or perhaps someone misheard him because later on Dan learned his first name turned out to be Jim. The man Jim could turn himself into smoke then go into the ruins of falling buildings finding people trap deep inside. He would reappear thirty seconds later and directed rescue crews on where to dig.
Later on during a one and one interview he would describe it like swimming through air.
Susie was curled on Dan’s chest when her final regression happened. She turned out to be one of the lucky ones. At two years old her body finally stop shrinking as she got younger.
Ellie had tightened her diaper and by the time the nurse came back it was clear that Susie wasn’t going to die just yet.
“No arguments now, young lady. ” The nurse said and picked her up and Dan watched as a diapered clad Susie was taken out of the room.
Dan truly hope his own regression would stop soon because he now appeared to be no more then five years old himself.
End of Part 01