Written in roughly twenty minutes while impatiently waiting for City Of Heroes to finish installing its new patch. Haven't played yet, but the manual…it inspired me. -gestures grandly-


I never wanted to be a hero. If I were to tell you just how many times I've heard that opening line, your head would probably spin like a top. There's two kinds of people in Paragon--well, two types of heroes, anyways--those that dreamed of the life since they were tots with towels wrapped around their necks, and those like me. Those who never even considered heroism to be in the realm of possibility.

To be honest, I probably should have become a villain. Strategy and subterfuge have always been more my forte, but fate's never been in the habit of dealing me cards that I like.

The day I got the short end of the stick yet again was like any other in more ways than I'd like to think about. There was an electrical short that caused my digital alarm clock to go up in a shower of sparks, the coffee maker exploded, I was late for work...again and managed to get thumped on the head by a stray piece of concrete on my way to lunch.

Most people would have taken all these events into consideration, thrown them together in their heads and come to the conclusion that the day was shot to hell and probably cosmically cursed in some form or another.

I, as you will discover, am most decidedly not most people. I'm the optimistic type. Or...I was the optimistic type, until I found out that optimism does nothing but come back to bite me in the ass.

But let's cut to the chase, shall we? You want a story and I've got nothin' better to do with my time at the moment. I was outside this little delicatessen...the name escapes me, not that you care, of course, but on my way out, beef bomber still in hand, I got plowed down by a mammoth of a man in pink tights.

Now I've seen some pretty strange costumes in my time, but a pink tank takes the cake. And the icing. Hell, that takes the whole bakery. Wish I could say I thought the guy mixed his laundry incorrectly, but somehow I think that particular fashion choice was a preference, not an accident.

Either way, pinkie just happened to have some...doodad (gotta love all those whozits and whatsits floating around town just screaming "STEAL ME!"), which happened to collide with me when he did.

Lots of people get their superpowers through training...maybe mutation, technology...you know, the usual stuff; but as we've already covered, somebody up there dictates that I don't get to have any of the 'usual stuff'. No, I get the 'amusing for your friends to tell at parties to embarrass you' stuff.

Lucky me.

The doodad let out a squiggly purple aura that knocked me for a loop and I woke up feeling like I'd gone on a three day bender after a nice relaxing vacation inside a washing machine set on spin.

Pinkie wasn't amused when I lost my lunch on his shoes...but since he was being arrested by that point, I don't think it much matters. Besides, I had bigger things to worry about...

Like the fact I was bright green, for a start.

Call me old fashioned, but sudden pigment alterations tend to put me on a little on edge.

Which leads to my very first superhero lesson. If you have powers of unknown origin, it might be good to sit still for a few minutes until you figure out what they are and how they work.

Unfortunately, I've never really been one for much foresight, so I did what came naturally to me.

I panicked.

I also inadvertently blew up half a block that way because apparently, doodad plus squiggly purple aura plus green skinpsychokinetic powers.

I must've been sick on the day they covered that particular equation in algebra.

So, presented with this most perplexing chain of events, after the required moment--alright week and a half--of panic, I came to my senses.

Or lost them completely…not entirely sure on that one yet.

Either way, I decided that Paragon could always use another hero, so my illustrious career began.

Perhaps disastrous would be a better term to use to describe my first fumbling attempts at valor, but it just doesn't have the same poetic ring to it.

My first mission was…not worth mentioning. Seriously, I've done enough stupid stuff since the first one to make even that mortifying event seem small in comparison…but I started out flyin' solo, like we all do.

Got my ass handed to me pretty regularly as a result, too. But what did I know? I started out as an office worker, an engineer--the geek the jocks make fun of and the girls don't date--beneath the notice of everyone except my over attentive dumb-as-a-post boss. I was the mild mannered dork with a superhero identity, except unlike most guys in a cape, I didn't adopt the nerd persona to be a hero, the stiff was part of me long before the superpowers came along.

And you know somethin'? Green skin and psychokinetic powers aside, I'm still the same geek, I just have a more dangerous day job now.

Trust me, pal, if I could go back to workin' in an office pushin' pencils, I would. Hey, wouldn't you? I mean, what sounds better to a level headed fella like you; risking your neck day in and day out for people who don't appreciate it, or sitting at a desk--safe and sound--day in and day out for people who don't appreciate it?

Yeah, yeah…you look like you were one of those guys who ran around the house in his underpants as a kid, shoutin' about being Captain Supernova or whatever, so I don't expect you to understand. You want the hero's life but can't have it, I've got the hero's life but don't want it.

Irony's a bitch, yeah?

Anyways…we're getting off point. This is supposed to be my origin, right? Well, I think I covered everything, for the most part. Mild mannered engineer collides with purple squiggly aura, boom, superhero.

So now, I'm the Pessimist...and I make bad things happen…but you knew that already. After all, you're the unlucky shmuck who got stuck doin' an interview with Paragon's unluckiest for a droll human interest piece, aren't you?

Don't try denyin' it, I know bad luck when I see it.

Although, if I were you, I'd check on Annie Arky. Now there is a chick with problems. I'd enlighten you about the poor thing myself, but I think I see an impatient flash of pink outside and he doesn't look like he's going to wait around for me to finish my conference with a reporter before he tries to kick my ass.

Looks like things are about to get messy.

Well, thanks for the coffee, Mack, hope you got enough for your story and...you might want to think about keepin' your head down.


A/N: Finish. FINISH DOWNLOADING, DAMN YOU! I wrote a whole story while you were sitting there sluggishly working for---

Oh…audience…um…you're still here? Oops. Um…then, thanks for reading?

-goes back to cursing 56k modem-