The Exobytes. Had it been under any other circumstances, you would probably think they were the cause to the destruction of human civilization as we know it. But when you heard about why the Exobytes were necessary, you might think we had little choice in the matter.
Some day, into the future, Brainiac had successfully tricked the heroes and villains of earth into slaughtering each other, allowing him to digitize the planet without resistance. In a last, desperate bid for survival, the genius super villain, Lex Luthor stole a sample of Brainiac's very own technology and released it into the past.
The Exobytes, microscopic robots that harvested the abilities of all the heroes and villains from earth were released into the atmosphere, where they had been reprogrammed to inject these powers into human hosts. Within a matter of weeks, we went from only having a few hundred super powered beings, to several millions! Some decided to begin preparing for Brainiac's future invasion, becoming heroes of peace and justice. Others believed this new gift paved the way to the next stage of human evolution, and began to use their powers for personal gain. New heroes and villains emerge practically every day, and while we may currently have the numbers to contest with Brainiac's robotic armada, the question is will we have the cooperation necessary to put those numbers to good use.
The Justice League and the Secret Society of Super Villains still remain as the prominent super groups of good and evil in the world, but with so many new arrivals emerging, smaller factions have begun to pop up, allying themselves with the big guys, while still remaining independent.
Magic, Technology, and the Meta Human Gene, the three origins from which the Exobytes bestow super powers into their subjects.
Technology, through the power of intellect and creativity, these subjects utilize gadgets and machinery to accomplish their goals. Having no actual super powers, they rely on a vast arsenal to always come prepared for the situation.
Meta Human Gene, either through mutations, or alien DNA. Meta Humans have their powers coded into their very DNA structure. Relying on biological super powers to get the job done, they are perhaps the most common form of a real super powered hero or villain.
Magic, it is still unknown how Brainiac managed to harvest the supernatural power of the cosmos with his Exobytes. Those who were targeted by magical Exobytes gain the power to tamper with the laws of reality, using their mystic arts to consort with higher planes of existence. Exceedingly powerful, to be sure, and that is why they must learn to control their powers responsibly, or risk causing even further catastrophe.
But our story is not about the more seasoned veteran heroes and villains who have learned to harness their powers correctly. No, that would be rather boring, now wouldn't it? Far better to focus on newbies, those who are still in store for surprises and tricks as they learn the true limits of their capabilities. Now its time for our story to begin.
Our story begins, as most origin stories do, with an underdog of sorts. Meet James Rales, a young boy of 15 and a social outcast. James was perhaps the last person you'd expect to see out on the streets in spandex fighting crime and spouting off witty one liners.
He was a weakling, weighing in at only a mere 96 lbs, and virtually blind without his glasses as everything further away than 12 inches from his face was blurred and distorted to his vision. His chestnut colored hair grew down to the middle of his ears, and his sky blue eyes were magnified when wearing his glasses. He was only 5'0 tall, being undersized for someone who was supposed to be midway through puberty.
The alarm clock sounded in his room, rousing him from sleep, as he rolled over and switched it off, sittig up in bed and groaning. He tended to sleep in just his underwear lately, with summer beginning to settle in and the nights warming up. It was monday, the start of another school week
And to make matters worse... there was Dane Vrokel, or as he preferred to call himself now, Top Dog. Dane had already been his school bully, but last week, he received a bite from one of the Exobytes, bestowing him with meta human abilities. Needless to say, he spared no hesitation in showing off his abilities to impress the girls around campus, as well as enhance his bullying. No more was he simply stuffing James into a school locker. He was now stuffing him inside lockers, and stacking them on top of other lockers!
Oh how he wished he had gotten some Exobyte powers of his own. Even if for just one day, to teach Dane a lesson. Why was he still in public school, anyways? James though he heard something about a school specifically dedicated to Meta Human students having opened up a few weeks ago.
Rolling out of bed and proceeding to get dressed, he pulled on a simple pair of denim shorts, a white T-shirt, and his blue and white sneakers. Grabbing his glasses off the bed, he headed down to grab some breakfast before it was time to leave.
His parents had to work early, so they were usually gone by the time the sun was coming up, but James had become mature enough to take care of himself without a baby sitter. Besides, it was only for an hour or two before he had to leave, anyways, and his dad got about an hour before school was out. Arriving in the kitchen to see that breakfast had already been made for him, some pancakes and sausage, he quickly set about filling himself up.
As he took his plate to the dining room, however, he heard a knock at the door. Looking towards the clock, he saw it was only 6:30, still another hour before the bus would arrive. Curiosly, he set his plate down and approached the door.
"Who is it?" He called, and at first there was no answer, but then, an envelope was shoved through the mail slot, and James could hear foot steps as someone walked away from the porch. Confused, he opened the door just in time to see a car with tinted windows shutting its door before starting up and driving away.
Turning back to the envelope, he read the address on it. To James Rales, with no return address on it. He opened it up and began reading the folded note that was inside, his eyes going wide in surprise as he voiced the note out loud.
"Dear James Rales. It has come to my attention that Dane Vrokel has been mistreating you over the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I admit that I am the one who gave him his powers in the first place. I did not expect him to be this disrespectful with them." He read, his head tilting. Who was this mysterious visitor who would give super powers to a school bully?
"Normally, I would bring him in and correct my mistake with his gifts. But I've been hearing tales of your affiliation with him in the past, and I think we can come to a better arrangement. If you are willing, come to my lab within the week, and I can give you the powers necessary to show that mutt some proper respect for authority. The directions are located on the back of this letter." James finished reading and was perplexed. There was no signature on the note, just a mysterious invitation. Checking on the back, he read the address.
"Wyvern Genetics Foundation, elevator floor code 2-3-3-5. Code changes every Monday, don't wait too long."
He tried to remember where he heard that name before, and then it came back to him. Wyvern Genetics was a company that believed they could enhance humanity's ability to adapt to the environment through cross species hybridization. It made sense now how Dane could have gotten his animalistic abilities. But if that was the correct place, then it was no doubt they would try to make him a hybrid too. Did he really want his DNA altered like that just to get revenge?
He sighed, he had all week to decide. He went back to finish his breakfast and brush his teeth before it was time to leave.
Meanwhile, in the car through the tinted windows, a scheme was going on. A man dressed in a blue and green suit sat in the back seat, his arms over the head rests as he smiled. The man's skin was covered in scales that matched his suit color, blue across his backside and upper face, with green on his underside and lower face. Growing from his back were a pair of cybernetic wings that had been grafted onto his body. He was a very large man. He would have stood at almost 8 feet tall, with hulking muscles at 383 lbs. He took up almost the entire back seat, but luckily, it was large enough for just one other person sitting across from him.
"You've done quite well, Dane. Pressuring the weaklings at your school." The well dressed man said, "I need to test the full effects of my genetic hybridization procedure. Anyone can gain survival capabilities from such an experiment if they're already in good health. I need to see what effect it has on the bottom rung of the human food chain before I call it a success." He continued on.
Sitting across from him, was Dane Vrokel. He had been transformed into a hybrid of boy and canine. A great dane, to match his name, his body covered in a creamy orange coat of fur. Although only 16 years of age, he stood almost 6 feet tall at full height, and his muscle structure had expanded in mass, reaching a size of 170 lbs. Dane was stripped down to only a pair of tight, spandex briefs and a metallic collar with pink, glowing lights snapped around his neck.
"Y-you tricked... me...!" Dane tried to gasp out, as the man inspected his finger nails for dirt. "You pr-promised..." He struggled to say, but was cut off.
"Promised you what?" The man asked, disbelief rising in his voice, "That I would give you free super powers? Yes, I suppose I did, but did you actually think I would just send you on your way afterward?" The anger clearly evident in his voice now. "No, I'm not that charitable, and I doubt you're that stupid. Power always comes with a price, and my price happens to be indentured servitude to me." He explained.
The collar around Dane's neck was not simply for show, it was a specially designed slave collar, using sedatives and drugs to place the wearer into a hypnotic state. Dane had been forced to obey any commands the man before him ordered. Even when the collar was removed in public, the commands he gave were planted as hypnotic suggestions into Dane's mind, fulfilling them subconsciously without even knowing he was being compelled.
"Now listen up, my pet." The man said, Dane's body going rigid as the collar forced him to obey, "I want that boy in my lab as soon as possible. You are going to torment him today until you push him to a breaking point. I want him to storm into my lab without thinking straight and freely offer himself over to me. You will do this, or I will leave that collar on you for the rest of your life, a prisoner trapped within your own body as your mind is pumped full of drugs to the point you lose all sense of identity." He gave his order before the car pulled up next to an alleyway and stopped.
"Now get dressed, you have school to attend." The man ordered, tossing some school clothes towards the helpless boy before removing his collar and shoving him outside into the alley. The car began to pull away as Dane began slipping on his pants.