The First One
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – April 20th 2141~
I’m about to change the world. Science fiction will be reality, fantasy will be a text book. This is all posterity in recording my brilliance, in that I hope one day I’ll wake up, look out my window, and see people soaring through the air unaided! Or blasting forces of energy from their body, I’m not entirely certain but I am hopeful. Maybe I should publish a book about my discovery when I retire? Bah, people would shock themselves into deliria to know I retired. After this I should begin designing super suits, and a code name database. Recruitment comes after! Oh right, who I am.
Franklin Foss; Doctor of many things, namely genetics. I have a few other masters but most of that layers in lots of rejected thesis papers about super powers. That’s what I’ve spent the better part of my life on: chasing super powers. I’d much prefer to call them affinities, since the concept of affinity makes much more sense to me. Either way, who cares – I’m close.
Not to get into the gritty details of phenotypes and genotypes as of now I’ve mostly forgotten the glossary on those through all these long days, and restless nights. Nope, from here I’m really just putting one foot in front of the other. Trying to ignore all my professor’s advice, and their anger flavoured tremulation towards my apparent disregard for ethics. It’s science, I’m not going to apologize. Yet, at least.
From one year as a child to yesterday during afternoon breakfast, I’ve enjoyed the imaginary landscapes of possibility when it comes to comic books. Oh, note to self, pick up more cereal, the uh, sugary kind. Reading comics shows an imaginary world in which exceptionally interesting people can achieve the impossible – some due to a mutation of their genetic makeup. Now, it’s crude, certainly, but all ingenious, and entertaining things usually are by nature – crude... er, simple. Which brings me to my childhood dream. The reason I chased this future self of mine through the rigors of testing!
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – November 12th 2142~
Mistakes kept toppling my research, testing, reports. I started recording this just to get the facts out – the results. Because people only care about the results. The notes and math jam themselves into servers in my lab as well as the rest of my house. Well, mistakes added up, lead me to discover that one of my ideas came through. Affinities are now officially real. You’re welcome, world.
That idea in short was similar to many concepts of electrical engineering, genetics, and the nature of storms; their build up and follow through and eventual discharge. Now, water has made this so much easier. Namely, conductivity, transmission, and absorption by the body, and of course that baths exist. Those are essential.
I honestly can’t recall how it happened. Something about DNA’s ability to hold massive amounts of data and water being... everywhere. Guess it was also a matter of utilizing the function of new form of blank cells since those behave spectacularly well in a host environment.
All of that sounds like mush I bet, no matter, at some point while playing recklessly with different schools of science I’ve given myself the affinity of manipulating small currents of electricity. I’ve electrocuted myself, again, and again, and again, and again. Again, until my body forms a sort of rapport to that small current bouncing around. As soon as there is a consistency it’ll become easier to do in larger doses.
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – October 4th 2143~
I’ve given myself massive burns – electrical burns. All over my left arm, healing nicely but I couldn’t risk going to the doctors. This is secret. Also, I’ll look like an idiot. To other people, I mean.
Getting closer, which feels refreshing. These past months have been agony. From small nickel based battery voltages to batteries that run larger structures, the next step is to be able to control those values on a whim. To, in short, become a battery. And to hopefully stop burning myself during the charge’s exit.
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – April 19th 2144~
It’s been, well isn’t that nice – a day before the anniversary of my discovery.
From what I can gather so far, the skin’s natural electrical current resistance varies, measured in ohms. However, what I’ve done is lower my skin’s resistances but allowed it to increase with such a factor allowing me to, in a way, control how much of a certain charge bypasses my skin.
Invariably allowing me some form of affinity that I’m beginning to understand. In short, my body can finally hold electrical currents by lowering and increasing internal and external resistances. Sort of how objects ride on the tops of waves at sea. Now, no more burns! I still itch, though.
Those sensations of waves must be my body drying then moisturizing itself that’s making me feel, I don’t know how to put this, but, nauseous?
Nauseous is also how I feel when I continue to get knocks at my door from some moron pretending to understand my work – he’s read my papers, and I have no idea how he even found them. Ah, I wanted to ignore this but it’s been going on for months. There’s half a mind in me to zap him.
Ah, ouch, I think, yea that might happen time to time; pulling a muscle. Maybe a current tried jumping off the track. No, that wasn’t a very nice feeling. I need to make a mental note to figure a way I can patch that in a future booster. Note to self, zap the annoying door man.
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – June 3rd 2144~
They’ve somehow found a way into my server; it has to be that very tall man that’s been especially pushy lately. I fear he desires my work. Not to mention an offshoot of the government being interested. Where have people finding my old papers? And why now of all times would they suddenly show intrigue! Something bigger is leering at me from afar, I can feel it.
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – January 1st 2145~
Someone’s been siphoning my research. A military government collaboration on convict management, and rehabilitation has proposed an offer to test my findings on a wider range of people, but how they got my work is another thing. In any case, I feel compelled by both scientific progress, and childhood foolishness to comply. That, and obviously, less issues with ethics councils, including the law. Tempting, to say the least.
All to an end, some would say. Who would deny manifesting powers, is certainly a person wiser, or at least more cautious, than me. What worked for me might not work for others, and these convicts are volunteering to shorten their stay.
If they’re still asking me, now that I think of it, that must mean the most important parts of my discovery are still safe in my server. Now more than usual because of recent upgrades.
In other news, my progress is coming along nicely, I haven’t experienced a burn in a long while, also the amount I can store is more than I ever hoped to achieve. I can now discharge so much energy that I could over encumber all the west coast’s generators and backups and redundancies. Not only that, but I feel the energy in me, flowing, and dancing, and jumping. With some concentration, I can manipulate the very fabric of its function; simply burn, or stun, or mend, or to carry. I can change others by a thought, utilizing the energy I emit as a carrier signal with all the data necessary to effect change in another host. That was a surprise to a test rat.
So much talk of this has got me considering a codename. And the word that’s popped into my mind more than others is Discharge. The sound of which fits so many things.
I will carry through with the proposed project. Not sure of the details or name, however. All I’m aware of is that just under one hundred convicts have volunteered from over a dozen different holdings across the country.
~Audio Journal Entry for Dr. Franklin G. Foss – September 29th 2149~
Kind of regret not doing this earlier, as the inner child in me, that motivated me in this strange and possibly illicit endeavour, so very wanted his own super hero team. Not convicts obviously.
In any case, I guess I should end off this particular A.J.E by telling you that, yes, after many long hard years I’ve finally, me, Dr. Franklin G. Foss, have manipulated genetics in a way to elicit what can only be called a ’super power’ response. And, more importantly, manipulated myself to show immediate effect, instead of waiting for the misery of child rearing to see results in the change of my DNA.
~Audio Journal Entry for Franklin, A.K.A Discharge – May 10th 2150~
So many mistakes. People, innocent and good, injured or killed because of me. All I wanted was to change the world, and make an old, harmless dream of mine real. They got it, and... and, and I had to do horrible things to keep myself and others safe. After the military’s pet project, they wanted more. Split between the morality, the greed, some came after me. Even if I had to give powers to prison inmates – nonviolent, sure, volunteers who gave their time, possibly life to fulfill some decrepit power struggle, seems obvious now. I just wanted this to work. It’s been some months, though they’ve stretched out to lifetimes. This feels like just a beginning.
Details are, shady at best really, fuzzy in my memory, in my exhaustion. Oh, what has this all come to, this mess I’ve made? Because they created a project for their own desires they never considered what would happen if it succeeded. I never considered. Now there are almost a hundred people out in society, or near the end of their sentence. Manifesting powers under the nose of the government, military – ignoring, and hiding, and burning everything that points to them. This is the world we still live in, greed and corruption. Even silly dreams like mine. I wish I could take it all back, I’ve made monsters with no way-
Hold on, no. No, that’s not true, if I am responsible for potentially creating nearly a hundred horrible Affinities, then I shall also be responsible for creating selfless, and heroic Affinities. All I should do is find a group of people willing and wanting to make a positive change in the world. Explain to them who I am, everything. That way there’s no question as to what the right thing to do is; prepare in the case that those ex-con Affinities start terrorizing the city – or worse. Hm, I should use my natural ability to discern an honest person from a dishonest one, and thrust an affinity on them.
Wait, who’s that? Who’s there! I demand to know who’s entered my home! Who are you! You’re that man who wouldn’t stop asking for my research. Get out of my house! Don’t make me hurt you, you have no idea who you’re pissing off right now. Don’t touch those, those are sensitive! Get out, now!
“Take the doctor down, secure his research, knock him out if he struggles.”
“Sir! He’s one of those freaks! You were right!”
“Shoot him! Shoot him!”
“You bastards! No, my dreams were to-“
“He’s down, Mr. Greenshaw. Do you want us to destroy everything once we have what we need?”
“Obviously. It won’t do much to slow down the great Discharge. Come, there’s much work to be done. The world doesn’t change itself, Lola.”
Once awake from unconsciousness, listening to the length of his recorder, he begins clearing the mess of his lab. Greenshaw, and Lola had left it quite untidy with most of his paperwork, backups, and servers destroyed. The hours pass, thoughts settle in his mind from a rage to a numbing sense of failure.
That sense of failure persists into a desire of success as Franklin Foss flicks the recorder off. Standing in the middle of his now clean lab, he calms his electrical bouts of anger. Now that all he has left from his research, beyond the recorder, is a single cloud network, he suddenly feels himself filled with certainty, the desire to share his gift.