The Extraordinary Origin of Powerburst




Note: This origin story is rather detailed and in depth. It was first posted on the pre-release boards before the wipe. The prologue is in two parts, setting up the story, with the real action beginning in Chapter 1. I filled the prologue with a scientific theme and human interaction to keep it interesting until Ch.1. Hope you enjoy it.

Fear of Power

Prologue pt.1

“What are you doing?”


“What are you doing?”

“Oh. Isn’t this incredible? It spins!”

“Yeah, umm, we already know that, that was found out like two years ago.”

“Well, yeah, but it never ceases to be just amazing.”

“Nick, you are just too easily impressed.”

Nick Sullivan had always been that way. As a matter of fact, that’s what got him into science, his boundless curiosity, an interesting contrast to the trademarked cynicism of his younger research partner, Drexel Jones.

At 28 years Nick would’ve easily been the youngest scientist on base if Drex didn’t have him beat by about another 4 years.

“This is by far the strangest thing we’ve ever examined,” Nick said, marveling at the multi-faceted blue orb before him as it spun on one of its points.

“It’s reacting to the laser somehow,” remarked Nick.

“Duh,” Drex snidely replied, looking on as a thin, moderately powered laser was beaming down from the ceiling, acting as the axis for the orb’s spin on the lab table.

Nick and Drex are rather bright scientists, perhaps Drex had more potential but it was Nick that had the most drive, the most dedication, the most desire to unlock the secrets of any puzzle laid before him.

“But how? And why?” Nick wondered.

“Well, you’re not gonna find out the answers by asking it,” stated Drex.

“I know. In fact, I have quite a number of tests I want to perform starting tomorrow,” Nick said with noticeable excitement in his voice. “It seems to respond in different ways to various forms of concentrated energy. With radio waves, it hums. With microwaves, it oscillates. With infrared or heat, it rocks. With light…”

“…it spins,” Drex finished.

“Right, and at different speeds for different wavelengths, or colors,” Nick continued, “I hear this thing was found amidst the debris of a strange ship that was tracked crashing down in Alaska, amongst other items.”

Nick suddenly went back to studying the orb. He was extremely curious to know what was inside it, to find out what made it tick. He pondered over its design, its twenty hexagonal plates, composed of some unknown substance, faceted together in the shape of a jagged sphere. The deep blue metallic surface shimmered and nearly entranced Nick as he examined it.

“That’s enough of that,” Drex said as he snatched the orb from Nick’s gaze and, with one hand, started flicking it up in the air a few times. “Y’know, I bet we could play a nice game of mini-basketball with this thing. All we’d need is one of those hoops and I guess some cushioning on the floor,” Drex joked.

“Hey!” Nick exclaimed, “I was looking at that. For God’s sake, stop playing around with it like that. You’ll…”

“…what? Break it?” Drex interjected, “C’mon, you know that won’t happen. This thing’s been put through enough stress testing to know that it ain’t gonna break just from being dropped.” As Drex was speaking, Nick made a few attempts to snatch back the orb, only to be thwarted by his partner’s quick hands.

Nick, realizing that Drex was right, responded, “Okay, tell you what. If you can get to the wall behind me by getting past me, within 10 seconds, you can keep it for now. If not then I get it back.”

Nick and Drex grinned slyly at each other and Drex accepted, “Alright Big Man. Show me what you got.” Drex took a starting stance and asked, “What are we playing here basketball or football-style?”

“Football-style” Nick replied.

“Weeellll, we are in a competitive mood today, aren’t we?” Drex jibed, somewhat surprised at Nick’s choice.

“I’m gonna need to back up for a running start in that case,” said Drex, as he jogged to the other side of the lab. Drex knew he was a bit too small to barrel through his opponent, so on his approach, with the orb tucked tightly in his arm, he attempted to juke Nick to one side and dash past on the other. However Nick, being somewhat quick-footed himself, was not fooled and latched onto Drex, one arm around his waist and the other pulling his knee inward and back, dropping the wily young scientist to the ground, while trying to break his fall on the hard floor as best he could.

Nick then clasped his hands around the orb and attempted to wrestle it away from his fallen adversary. “Looks like I just took you down a peg or two, you cocky son of a..., whoa?!” his blusterous words were cut short by a sensation he never felt before emanating from the alien artifact. A strange energetic wave shot through him, giving him goosebumps and causing his hair to stand on end.

“Do you feel that?” Nick inquired.

“What?” Drex responded.

The sensation was then gone as suddenly as it came and Nick gently pulled the orb away from a confused looking Drex and looked in awe at the object.

Drex then said, “I didn’t feel anyth…”

“What’s going on in here?!” an angry voice demanded in a somewhat hushed tone.

The two young men, still on the floor, looked up to see a man in his late 50’s, wearing a white lab coat and a rather stern expression on his face, standing at the door.

“Oh. Hi, Dr. Warfield,” Drex said in an innocent tone, “We were just…taking a little morale boosting break. You know what they say about all work and no play…”

“I’m sorry about this Dr. Warfield,” Nick apologized. “It was my idea to goof around. It won’t happen again.” Nick said, as he and Drex picked themselves up off the floor.

“Unacceptable,” said Warfield, “I will not have infantile antics by my so-called scientists performed around…and with…delicate equipment. I hope for your sakes the orb is undamaged.”

“It’s fine,” chimed Drex.

“I demand progress!” snapped Warfield “…and you have made none.”

“Well, we’re in a brainstorming phase right now…” Drex began.

“I don’t want to hear it!” Warfield shouted, cutting him off, “Having you two here due to the interference of this insufferable, ill-conceived Youngblood program is enough of an insult to the careers of long established scientists already, but to top it off with your immature attitudes and behavior and your lack of any kind of useful data to speak of is just too much to bear.”

The Youngblood program was originally developed to cultivate and utilize the creative resources of brilliant young men and women early in their scientific careers. The intent was to allow their fresh minds to theorize and experiment without the preconceived notions forged during a lifetime spent in the scientific community. The hope was that the work produced by their unfettered perspectives would take them in directions that their older counterparts would have never imagined. However, it would seem their current supervisors do not share in the vision of the program.

“Dr. Warfield, honestly, we are making progress,” a worried Nick stated, “We’ve outlined some exciting ideas about the directions we can take this thing into. If you’d just give us time to use our own techniques to explore all the possibilities this object might imply…”

“All the possibilities? You were told to focus your efforts on one possible application, and that is the extraction and channeling of the energies we suspect lie within,” scolded Warfield.

“Channeling,” stated Nick, “This is intended to be used as an…offensive weapon of some kind, isn’t it?”

“Likely, we are working for the military after all, young man,” answered Warfield, “Do you have some kind of problem with that?”

“Uhh, no, it’s just that there’s some evidence that, once fully understood, we could use this as some kind of clean reusable energy source. If we could reproduce these things they could someday power cities, space vehicles, nuclear subs…” rattled Nick, “To limit ourselves to only one option seems a bit…um...short-sighted.”

“That is not your call to make,” observed Warfield, “You will abide by the directives of your supervisors and that is it. Am I understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Nick responded.

“Good. Now clean up this lab. Your shift is almost done,” ordered Warfield.

“Oh, goody. Now we can go grab a beer. How ‘bout it Chester?” Drex asked insincerely.

Warfield sighed. “That's ‘Dr. Warfield’, to you; and most assuredly not. I’ve wasted enough time with you two. I simply must get back to my own work,” said Warfield.

“What are you working on, Dr. Warfield?” inquired Nick.

“That’s on a ‘need to know’ basis,” replied Warfield, “...and you don’t. Good night, gentlemen.” With that Warfield left, shutting the door behind him.”

“There’s something about that guy I like,” mocked Drex, “...I think it’s his shoes.”

“That did not help with gaining any respect from him,” sighed Nick, “We’ll never be taken as serious as the other scientists.”

“Who needs his respect?” questioned Drex, “He’s not the ultimate word on whether we work here or not, and you with your ‘yes, sir’. Y’know you’ve got a real fear of authority figures. You should stand up for what we believe in some more. I mean, you are the senior partner here.”

“I know,” Nick agreed, “It’s just that whenever I’m around someone with any kind of power over me, I sort of freeze up and I just want to make sure I please them. Y’know?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess,” said Drex.

“Daddy issues,” Drex followed with a grin.

That made Nick smile and lightened his mood.

“Now c’mon. Let’s get outta here.” requested Drex.

After the lab was cleaned, the orb was locked away in its special containment unit.

The two young scientists left the lab several minutes later, and the highly secure building, soon after. Blissfully unaware that this would be the last routine night of their top secret careers, for nothing is ever truly routine when you work at a place like Area 51.