Aiden went up the stairs of the building, eventually reaching his door. He found his dad sound asleep on the couch, whistling in the air like a draught. His face was covered by bits of paper, an opened bottle of scotch lay next to him on the table. It didn’t take him long to discover that the bits of paper were more rent notices.
He went over to his room and brought over the spare blanket for his dad, as rough as his day had been, it couldn't be worse than what his dad was going through, so for now he let him sleep.
“We’re gonna get through this, Dad. I promise.” he whispered to himself.
Pouring a glass of water, he took off his hoodie and jumped onto his bed, logging into his laptop. Trying to block Alison’s little tantrum out of his mind, he began searching frantically for anything to do with Omnipotence.
As Aiden had expected, it didn’t exactly have a Wikipedia or a Facebook page, so that made his search a little less straightforward and a lot clearer as to why no one else had heard about this serum.
Scrolling through some posts, he found a dieting program of the same name, one particularly embarrassing YouTube video featuring a boy band before finally came across a website writing about something called ’Omnipotence: The All Power’. Seeing it was the closest thing he could find, he clicked on it.
Nothing. It just showed up with the same ‘blocked’ page that came when you tried to access illegal downloads on a Sky connection. Then Aiden had a sudden thought.
He quickly took the crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket and spread it out on his bed. He saw the following scribbled down on it.
Property of Q. Lloyd.
Well, that didn’t help, but Aiden typed it into the search engine as fast as he could. Within an instant, this actually shut down his browser, forming one of those ‘The browser has decided to close’ messages.
Feeling more frazzled, Aiden tried typing it into the address bar after opening the browser again, and he was met with an amateur looking black and white website that looked like it was designed by a year three who failed ICT class.
A short blog entry followed, the passage read.
A new form of program that will change the way we view everything, our world, our species and even our abilities, the Omnipotence serum will unlock secrets that even you couldn’t imagine. Designed to improve the body on a molecular level, this will enhance the way you perform any form of task, whether it be taking out the rubbish to the bins, to running a marathon, and even eliminating the need for cars, buses and other transport that is only destroying our environment. It is the first step towards building a new and better world, and my god, this will be a revolution like no other could imagine. All it takes to know the secret is one click.
Professor Quentin Lloyd.
It was the closest Aiden had to finding out what had changed him. There was an option to contact the author of the blog, which provided only his email address. Aiden copied it and started typing.
Dear Mr Lloyd
I think I might have found some remains of your serum out here in London, do you know of the side effects this can cause if it comes in contact with a human?
After he’d sent it, he patiently waited, staring at the screen for what felt like forever. A pop up danced onto his screen, startling his eyes.
Are you available to video chat? We have a lot to discuss.
Professor Quentin Lloyd.
Aiden immediately was taken aback, the idea of a video call felt strange and somewhat off-putting, but if it was the only way he could get answers, he had to take it on. What was the worst that could happen? After hitting the video chat option, he was greeted by a blur of a man with shoulder length black hair and a fringe hanging over his spectacles, and a stare that made him look like the most intelligent man in the world.
Aiden stammered, stumbling in his speech. “Um…are you Quentin Lloyd?”
“The one and only. And you are?”
He spoke in a clear Scottish accent, it almost felt soothing, but it didn’t stop Aiden’s heart rate accelerating. “I think I came into contact with your serum a few days ago.”
Aiden raised his eyebrow as tension rose in his head. “Why?”
He took his glasses off and sighed heavily. “Because if you had been in contact with it, you would be dead. The serum’s not completely finished, and even if it was, my notes were destroyed in a lab accident. I wouldn’t know how to make more of this if I tried. It was a once in a lifetime chance; I spent nights upon nights creating the formulas for this serum and any remains of it were tossed. I may be smart, but a miracle worker, I am not. What good is something like that if you can only use it once?”
“Well, I’m not dead.” Aiden said.
“I can see that, so what makes you different? Who are you?”
Aiden looked around for a moment, rubbing his hands frantically, frightened of the outcome. “Okay, I’m gonna show you something, but promise not to freak out?”
Quentin laughed. “I’ve seen so many things in my time, son, I assure you, nothing you do can surprise me”
Aiden took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and with a surge of energy flowing through his arm, his hands started emitting a neon blue glow like before, it was crackling and making a bit of noise. He immediately closed his hand, stopping it. “Yeah, ever seen anything like that?”
Quentin looked closer into the camera with his eyes wide open, looking astounded. “Fascinating, it looks like I was right”
“It does work, the serum, it’s working. It’s changed you, how did you come across this?”
Aiden’s heart began to calm down. “It was in an old warehouse out by London. You should know, didn’t you put it there?”
“God if I know, son. There’s people all around the world who would kill for this kind of product.”
“So how did it get there?” Aiden asked.
“Who knows? The point is, you are the first successful test subject of the serum”
Aiden felt like he should be over the moon right now, but instead, knowing he was the first successful subject, he felt more scared for the subjects that weren’t successful.
“What happened to the other subjects?” Aiden asked, fearfully.
Quentin stopped for a moment and took off his glasses, wiping some sweat from his brow, it was clear that the serum hadn’t been so kind to others.
“They died. Horrible, agonizing deaths. People in the industry said I could have been the next Edison or Einstein if this ended up breaking through, it was what I was most passionate about. I wanted to get this serum right, maybe save a few lives, and improve the lives of people who I thought deserved it but instead, the serum rejected them, and those other subjects, well, they are no longer with us”
Those words stung Aiden’s heart. He felt a rush to his gut and numbness in his mind. “So why am I different?”
“Well, did you do anything that the others might not have done?” Lloyd asked.
“I can remember having cuts when I stumbled onto it, maybe it entered my bloodstream?”
“Shouldn’t have made a difference, all of the previous subjects were injected with it and died within days, is there anything else you did you could shed light on?”
Aiden’s mind wondered, trying to remember that night. He remembered the searing pain of the glass, the thud of the solid concrete floor, the faulty light switch. Light, that was it.
“The warehouse I was in had no light in it, and I kinda got a bit of a shock from some kind of fuse box. Must have been an exposed wire. Next thing I remember I woke up in my friends bed.”
Quentin took a look around his environment and put his glasses back on. “Of course, how could I not have seen that before?”
Aiden’s lip began quivering. “Mr Lloyd. Am I going to die?”
“No. If you were it would have happened after a few hours. What I think happened is the electrolysis upon the serum entering your body must have sped up the reaction. It was the missing piece of the puzzle I got. Now if it was an exposed wire to a light switch, I can’t expect the voltage to have been too high, but if it knocked you unconscious, then I think I need to get back to my lab, find out some things.”
“Professor, there’s other things I can do, it’s weird, I shouldn’t be able to do them, did you know this serum could practically give someone superpowers?”
Quentin looked straight at Aiden with studying eyes. “The serum was designed to improve the molecular structure of the body so that it responds quicker, I guess in your case, it might have sped up some other stuff. Not only can you store more energy than a regular person, but you can expel it in ways no one else can.”
“Well, I nearly got shot today, but the bullet just stopped when it hit me.”
“Ahh, well that’s easily explained, you know how when you put your hand on something hot, and the body knows this, so it automatically jerks your hand away from the pain?”
Aiden’s eyes darted around. “Yeah?”
“Well it’s a similar concept, your brain seems to have detected it was going to feel pain, so in an event to stop you from it, the cells in your body might have formed a type of shield, if you like, to stop that bullet from entering your body. The fact it was hot might have added to this”
Aiden’s face beamed. What he was hearing was like something out of a comic book, he pinched himself repeatedly, and was glad he never woke up. “I could also hover, leap and move faster, is that normal? Well, obviously it isn’t, but for your serum, is that normal?”
Quentin’s face glowed. “Yes, that’s one of the things I envisioned. When we run, we are manipulating kinetic energy to go fast, your body has just improved that, and I guess that’s why you could run faster. Regarding the hovering, any normal human can defy gravity by jumping, but the average human only lasts about two seconds in the air, your body’s now improved so that it can do it for longer, although, I wouldn’t try jumping off buildings just yet.”
“It seems to work better whenever I have energy”
“That’s the idea, the energy stored in your body is used for activities like the ones you described, but the serum has now advanced your body’s ability to hold that energy. If I’m right, you can store up to ten times the amount of energy a normal human can have, and if you practice and get good at it, you might just get better.”
“There’s one more thing”
Quentin’s ears suddenly perked up. “What’s that?”
Aiden took a deep breath. “Do you think emotions can toy with this, like, affect the ability in some way?”
Quentin’s smile sank. “Well, if you’re angry normally, you punch harder and you’re a lot more aggressive. Your body knows this, that’s why the reactions are often sped up, I’m guessing the emotion you felt was anger.”
Aiden tried to crack a smile. “It’s that easy to guess, is it?”
“I won’t bore you with the details, but it felt like I couldn’t control myself, it was almost like it was controlling me. My eyes changed colour, the glow you saw on my hand was red, what does that mean?”
“Well, I don’t exactly know what it means scientifically, but normally I would say don’t use your powers when you’re angry.”
“This doesn’t have a side effect of me turning into a green rage monster does it?”
Quentin Lloyd laughed, and it sounded like he hadn’t in a long time. “No, not as far as I know, but for now I’d suggest testing yourself, practice and see how far you can achieve with these gifts, but don’t use it when you’re angry, the results could be unpredictable.”
“Thanks Professor, I will.”
Quentin rubbed his hair back and looked straight into the camera. “Now, I have a question for you.”
A chill went up Aiden’s spine. “What?”
“Who are you? Where do you come from?”
Aiden sighed and rubbed his face. “My name is Aiden.”
“You got a last name, Aiden?”
“Malcolm. Does that mean anything to you?”
Quentin smiled. “No, nothing at all. Keep in touch, Aiden Malcolm. I’ll be seeing you soon.”
He disappeared from Aiden’s computer screen as if he was never there. Aiden took a deep breath and immediately shut off his laptop and lay back into his bed. He had some of the answers he was looking for, but somehow had more questions, and not about his powers.