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Kozmic Fixit: A Character Creation Story

 

I knew that day was going to be special, different, and historical even, but the thousands of man-hours leading up to that day had made the drive to the remote desert site as routine, almost normal, almost. The first indication that today was indeed different was just outside of the parking lot. The lot was designed to hold 500 plus cars and today it had to have at least that many, not including the dozens of TV vans and Semis parked in the Arizona desert around the paved parking lot. Cars of every sort from good old boy pickups complete with gun racks to the stretch limos of the rich and important.

            I pulled my white 73 VW Beetle into my covered assigned parking place, and headed towards the employee gate, totally bypassing the small but noisy protesting crowd at the Main gate, being covered by dozens of TV cameras from around the world. A well meaning but uneducated (perhaps under-educated) crowd was protesting today's big test.

"Good Morning, Mr. Fixit Koz," said, James Stevens, the Employee Gate head guard. As I walked through the scanners and detectors, that looked for any illegal or illicit materials, that I might be trying to sneak into the site. "Quite the show today", he said gesturing to the main gate and the TVs covering the protestors, and including the grand stand where the podium was setup for the bigwigs to give their speeches.

"Good Morning, Jim, Yes it is, but then again today is the BIG day," I replied.

Jim had called me both my nicknames in the same breath. My name is Richard Kozlowski, and I am the Senior Nuclear Engineer and Project manager on Project Safe Power.  I had a reputation around the facility as being able to fix anything. Hence the nickname Fixit, and face it, it is easier to say Koz then saying Kozlowski all the time.

What was the BIG day? It was the first "commercial" test of the worlds first Bio-Genetically controlled Nuclear Fusion Reactor.  If this worked it would take the biggest dangers of nuclear power and make them a thing of the past, primarily that of Human error.  At the same time it would provide an almost limitless supply of cheap electricity. The world's electric energy crisis would be 80% solved.

Unfortunately there were those that felt threatened by this. Hence, the need for the security checks in order to access the facility. Some days I wish I had known how threatened. Then again, the life I lead now has its own rewards, but I digress.

The reactor control room looked like a scene from a modern Sci-Fi film, with TV monitors and touch screen pads, with a variety of lights all showing the status of this valve or that pipe. Currently all the lights showed green. The powering up process was to take place at 9am, (that’s High Noon, Paragon City Time.) At 8:45 I took one last stroll through the plant circling around the huge core of the reactor room, when I heard a noise.

No one should have been in this area, especially at this time. I saw movement in the shadows, and headed over to that area. One of the junction boxes was open and the biogenetic wires were hanging out, many looked black and dead while others were taped together in down and dirty splice job.  I heard a hatch opening, and my heart stopped for a moment. There were only 2 "hatches" in this area of the complex and they were both for accessing the central core of the reactor.  I rushed over to the outer open hatch and saw a man with a large backpack was getting ready to open the inner hatch. In the distance the loudspeaker indicated that there were less then 5 minutes to the start of the test.  I dove at him and tried to stop him from getting the inner door open. I realized that he had overridden the alert system and that if it hadn’t been for my last walk through no one would have known any different. We continued to struggle over the last hatch as the timer counted down.

The bomber, managed to get his backpack off and the hatch opened while I vainly tried to stop him. I fervently wished I was larger then my little 5'11" and weighed more then 150 pounds as the bad guy clearly had me both the size and weight categories. 

The back of my mind heard the 10-second countdown begin and I redoubled my efforts to stop him. He successfully threw his backpack into the core room and I blindly leapt after it to throw it back. I grabbed the bag and heaved it towards the access hatch as the bad guy started to close the door. My aim was just off and it bounced off the edge of the hatch as the count down hit 0. My world exploded into a large blast of white and green light, the brightness grew past the level of extreme and I passed out.

I awoke several days later, hungry and in the hospital.  I got out of bed and a nurse came looked up at me, gasped, and ran from the room. I ambled over to the bathroom and took a look in the mirror.

 Looking back at me was a strange but familiar face. The first thing I noticed was my skin color. I was grey, not pink, not black, not yellow, nor red, but grey, honest to goodness battleship grey.  My green eyes stared back at me and I felt absolutely fine, better then good even. No aches, no pains, I felt I was ready to run a marathon. Then I looked at my self closer. I was a lot bigger and had muscles where I didn’t know that there were any. Officially I weigh 450 pounds and am now 6'6" tall.

In walked Jonathan St. John Smythe from SERAPH and the rest as they say is history.






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