Captain Turbonium




Henry moved his grocery cart to the next dumpster in the alley.

Most other trashpickers that he knew worked residential dumpsters. Even though it occasionally meant being chased off by building security he prefered industrial buildings, probably because he believed that they threw away things of himself.

He had a degree in materials science from Paragon State, not that it had become anything but a burden, and then just an irrelevant fact. Right from school he joined the Primemat refinery on the east edge of the city. And for over a dozen years he became more and more expert in the particular processes and products that the plant produced. He knew them better than anybody and with that, he thought, came security. But there was a hostile takeover, and the land values of the Primemat urban location, combined with increasingly troublesome relationships with the surrounding community over noise, pollution, etc. made it the obvious choice for dismantling and sale. His knowledge about processes and materials outside the specific ones at that plant had atrophied, and lesser jobs proclaimed him 'overqualified'. But the fact also was he had lost the desire to ever be so completely dedicated to a company again, and that must have come across in the interviews. Eventually the simple duration of his unemployment became a red flag. The corporate disposal of Henry Ingram was complete, along with the disposal of his friends (whom he all knew from the company anyway) and his family (who had too many problems of their own to really care about his unstoppable decline to oblivion).

So, a piece of corporate refuse, he subsisted on corporate refuse, It was a straightforward existence. He survived. He developed a hard and quick wit that helped. He thought little of the past or future.

In the bottom ot this dumster was a strange green viscous liquid, unlike anything he had seen before. He grabbed a glass jar and a stick from his grocery cart and scooped up a half-full jar of it. He lookes at it wonderingly, with an open mind about what it might be for. Suddenly he had a strange sensation, as if the liquid had been waiting for someone to do just that. It was as if the liquid was reacting to him on a level completely outside of chemistry. He suddenly had an awareness of gravity pulling on him as a distinct presence that he could touch and manipulate. He imagined that he was twisting the gravity acting on him.

Someone at the end of the alley would have seen a homeless man spinning wildly as he was spit out of a dumpster like it found him distastefull. Except he hever hit the ground.

With much more care he began to explore the capabilities of this 'psychotropic energy-bending goo'. Soon he found that he could also sense the energy acting on other things nearby and twist them too, resulting in levitating. He could also take all of the heat from the setting sun that was landing nearby and direct it onto himself, making himself toasty warm before realizind that he was standing in a ring of frost-covered ground. He did not really know how much and what kind of energies he could deflect, but practice seemed to be helping quickly. Flight, seemed the most fun immediate use of this goo. by controling the direction which he twisted gravity he could raise, lower, turn, accellerate, decellerate, and move laterally in any direction. He slammed into the walls of the alley a couple of times before he got used to controling his momentum in a mostly frictionless space. Soon he was ready to try a fast horizontal flight out of the alley.

High pitched screeches sounded from his right. He had startled a pair of young women who had just left the building and were walking to the subway station together for safety. It was not a nice part of town.

"Ummm, sorry girls, didn't mean to startle you like that."

"Heyyy....are you really a superhero in disguise?"

It made as more sense that reality. "Yes, working undercover, please don't be scared."

The young women approached, more friendly. "Which hero are you?"

He said "Hey I'm the Psychotropic Energy Bending Goo Man!"

"Nah, come on, really! Who are you?"

Well since that was obviously not a satisfactory answer he thought for another. The color of the goo reminded him of a Volkswagen Beetle advertisement from some months ago. "Turbonium, Captain Turbonium".

That was evidently more to their liking, for even though they obviously had never heard of Captain Turbonium they squeaked in delight. "So who do you fight against?"

"Well I'll tell you what really pisses me are greedy-*** corporate sumbiches who screw people over for a few bucks"

"You bet!" the girls exclaimed "We could sure tell you some things about this hellhole of a company!"

"Hey" one girl said. "Can you show me some of your special powers"

Slowly he levitated her about three feet off of the ground and then slowly rotated her horizontally, then vertically, then in a roll before setting her back down on her feet, giggling and disoriented.

The other girl took a step closer. "Can you do that with two?"

"Don't know, never tried it." was out of his mouth before he noticed that there was something strange about her tone and demeanor. Was that sexual interest? It had been so long he was completely unsure. "Well, I do not own a bed." he said, which was in fact the truth.

One of the two girls had her own apartment, and to there they took him. After washing and shaving his 'costume' off he showed that he could indeed do it with two, and even three if they stayed in close contact, and could do it many times in many different ways.

It would be common, even corny, to say that such a sexual escapade would make one feel like a new man. In this case though it was completely true. The dumster-searching failed process engineer Henry Ingram was tossed away like a smelly piece of unwanted refuse. He was Turbonium now. And as he literally floated in bliss with two lovely women clinging to him he said to himself "Turbonium my lad, you will never unwillingly sleep alone again."

And yes, the next morning they did tell him some things about that company, and he did do something about it, although that is for another episode......


If it helps you imagine this character my vision is that if they made a move of him they would cast George Carlin.

I really liked the fact that this origin story was compact yet had a lot of theme, parellels and forshadowing in it.

I eventually generated him and played him in beta. The specs were pretty easy, gravity control and kinetics with flight as the first power pool. Harder to duplicate was the attitude. Turbonium is all about getting in bed with the ladies and dishing it back to the greedy corporate types. Really roleplaying him would have most likely gotten me banned for sexual harrassment.