by Dan Swanson
Excerpt from The SuperYou Player’s Handbook:
Adamant, the Abhorrent Android
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, two space-traveling species met and immediately began waging war on each other. It turned into a battle to extinction, as neither side could gain a decisive advantage, and neither side was willing to surrender. Finally, one side developed a doomsday weapon: a human-shaped android of tremendous power, whose only goal was to defeat the enemy.
This terrible artificial being became known as Adamant, who was invulnerable, massively strong, incredibly fast, and able to fly and survive in just about any environment, perhaps even the center of a sun. His creators built in a single weakness: exposure to the rare element Auronite would cause him pain and eventually destroy him. Adamant’s own destructive actions revealed another weakness, but the enemy was unable to exploit it.
Adamant convinced his masters to set a trap for the enemy. In a solar system midway between the homeworlds of both enemies, they massed their forces, supposedly under a cloak of secrecy. The enemy realized that massive forces were being deployed, and began a matching weapons build-up of their own. Adamant’s side then withdrew their forces, and Adamant flew into the system at super-speed. Flying into the sun, he dropped a bomb of his own design. The other side launched their most powerful weapons against him, and thousands of enemy missiles plunged into the sun as well. The resulting explosions drove the sun to become a supernova.
The blast was millions of times more powerful than Adamant’s side had expected. The powerful energy released by the supernova crossed space and induced novas in all the surrounding stars within one-hundred light years, totally wiping out both races. The electromagnetic pulse severely damaged Adamant, and he was thrown into deep space by the explosion. He drifted for millions of years, crossing the void between galaxies.
Eventually Adamant drifted into the Milky Way Galaxy, where he came under the influence of the sun’s gravity. By happenstance, when he crossed Earth’s orbit, he was captured by our planet’s gravity. He crashed to Earth in a cornfield in Kansas.
Over the millions of years Adamant had drifted, his self-repair function had restored much of the damage. All his mechanical functions worked correctly, but his artificial intelligence remained damaged. As a result, Adamant is much less intelligent than he was originally.
Default Powers: Ultra-Strength (3 points); Super-Durability (2 points); Super-Speed (2 points); Flight (3 points).
Additional Power Points: Pick any combination of powers and power levels from the tables that add up to 4 points.
Additional Powers This Game: You have 1 point added to durability to raise it to Ultra level, and 1 point added to speed to raise it to Ultra level, along with 2 points for Super-Vision (X-Ray, Infrared).
Default Weaknesses: Low Intelligence; Vulnerability to Auronite; Vulnerability to Electromagnetic Pulses.
Specific Weaknesses This Game: Auronite (Gold).
Tom Atomic roared out of the water as if he were an ICBM launched from a nuclear submarine. The return to normal pressure let him move again, and he could finally dismiss that small shred of claustrophobia that had been lurking in the back of his mind. Being under five miles of water and unable to move was more than a little scary.
Arching his back, he flew in a loop, and was racing horizontally a few yards over the waves when Adamant the Abhorrent Android emerged in front of him. The timing was tricky, and instead of slamming his shoulder solidly into the villain’s midsection, Atomic hit him behind the knees. The effect was gratifying nonetheless, as Adamant spun through the air like one of those fancy Twizzlers that Tomas loved so much at Fourth of July fireworks.
Tom Atomic raced up next to the tumbling villain and hammered a punch to his jaw as he rolled by. But he got too close, and an instant later, Adamant’s hand lashed out and grabbed his ankle. Tomas screamed in pain as he felt the bones in the ankle rubbing together. His costume and force-field would protect him if a tank ran over his ankle, but if he couldn’t break the villain’s grip in a hurry, he might never walk again.
With all his strength, Tomas desperately kicked Adamant in the jaw with his other foot, knocking him backward. Tomas felt as if his foot was being torn off, and then the abhorrent android’s grip came loose, and Adamant fell away. Almost instantly, twin beams of pure force flashed out of Adamant’s eyes to strike Tom Atomic in the chest, and now Tom was the one tumbling backward through the sky.
Curling into a ball, Tom Atomic turned up the gravity for a couple of seconds, then dropped into the ocean, which quickly halted his tumble. The impact jarred his ankle, and he screamed again, while part of his mind prayed that Adamant wouldn’t be able to hear him. As he straightened out, another lance of pain flashed up his leg, and he fought to remain conscious. Something in the ankle was broken, and he needed to immobilize it before he could resume the battle.
The armor cloth in his battle-suit was normally as flexible as cotton, but it became absolutely rigid under stress. Tomas Thomas carefully adjusted his force-field in the area around the ankle to stress the armor cloth. It hurt like hell, and he came very close to passing out, but he knew that if he did, he would likely never wake up. He spun slowly around, and the pain was bad, but not nearly as bad as before. As long as the battle remained in the air or the ocean, and he didn’t have to walk, he could continue to operate.
Tom Atomic rocketed back into the air some thirty yards away from the spot where he’d splashed down. As he’d half-expected, Adamant was already hovering over his entry point, and he was looking the wrong direction. Tom Atomic turned up the volume of his external sound system. “HEY! ATOM ANT! OVER HERE!”
Adamant spun and screamed, then charged right through a gout of plasma flame from Tom Atomic’s blaster. Well, the lava hadn’t slowed him down, either, and then he slammed into Tom’s stomach with both fists. Tom doubled over, retching, and the villain was driving him backward.
Tomas forced both his hands downward onto Adamant’s back and discharged a high-current capacitor. Adamant twitched and slowed his headlong rush somewhat, but seemed otherwise unaffected. It was enough, but just barely. Tom Atomic rolled left and tumbled free. The two came to a hover and turned to face each other.
Tom Atomic had a broken ankle, and he knew he would have massive bruises on his chest and stomach, while Adamant appeared untouched. Two of Atomic’s most powerful weapons, the plasma-blaster and the electrical discharge, had produced virtually no effect. Adamant could do this for years, but Tom Atomic knew that he couldn’t withstand many more attacks. Sooner or later, Adamant would get deliver the shot that ended this fight — and probably also Tom Atomic’s life.
Firing another blast of plasma, Tom Atomic dived for the water again. Adamant didn’t seem to have enhanced senses, and Tomas could probably hide from him underwater, but if he did, the abhorrent android might decide to look elsewhere for his fun. So Tom Atomic blasted out of the water again, this time using his gravity-controller to pull a plume of water after him. The water sizzled into steam when it touched the still ultra-hot body of the villain, momentarily blinding him. Guided by radar, Tom Atomic blasted around in another outside loop and finally struck the villain squarely, with both fists to his massive head. Adamant rocked backward, and Tom Atomic flashed by, and again got blasted by the villain’s force-beam vision.
He was instantly thrown another half-mile into the air, and he was pretty sure he felt a rib or two crack. This wasn’t what you would call one of his better showings. Adamant circled once and jetted toward him, again seemingly undamaged. Tom used his external sound system to blast Adamant with over five-hundred decibels of chaotic noise, the amplified sounds of train wrecks and bomb explosions, mixed in with screams of terror and traffic jams.
Finally, something seemed to be having some effect. Adamant slapped his hands to his head, covering his ears, but continued to fly toward Tom Atomic at top speed. Tom moved out of the way, and once again got blasted by Adamant’s force-vision. This was getting tedious. Adamant’s next approach was punctuated by short, jerky movements left and right, up and down, making a very difficult target. With each jink and juke, Adamant was closing.
Once again, Adamant blasted Tom Atomic with his force-vision. This time Atomic was ready, and he reshaped his force-field to deflect the blast rather than blocking it, totally negating the beam’s effect. But this time, Adamant followed the blasts at top speed, smashed into the hero with his shoulder, and wrapped both arms around him. He stopped moving, and began to squeeze.
“Puny human! I’ll squash you like a bug!” His grip tightened. Tomas had one trick left, an electromagnetic pulse. But he would have to put every erg of power from his battle-suit into it, and it would probably burn out his electronics, including his force-field. If he tried, and the pulse didn’t shut Adamant down, Tomas would be defenseless, but then again, his force-field was going to fail shortly, anyway.
He knew it couldn’t possibly work. Adamant wasn’t really an android, but a human in a costume. Still, he couldn’t possibly have the powers and memories of a fictional super-villain, either. Who knew how magic worked? And besides, what other choice did he have? He slammed his cupped hands onto Adamant’s ears, and when that had no effect, he channeled the entire power of his battle-suit through the new electromagnetic pulse projector in the palms of his gloves, producing a momentary massive overload.
The discharge was incredible. He could feel the current even through the heavy insulation of his armor cloth battle-suit. Tom Atomic’s muscles clenched in one gigantic spasm, and his grip tightened momentarily, and for a brief instant, Adamant felt as if his head might be crushed. And then the projector burned out as it delivered an incredibly intense blast: a high-powered electromagnetic pulse aimed directly into the android’s head. Now Adamant jerked and twisted with muscular spasms, and Tom Atomic felt several ribs break, and then Adamant stopped moving. Tomas was barely conscious himself, but he struggled weakly, trying to free himself.
“Boy, that sure looks like it must have hurt!” he heard a cheery voice in front of him. “Need a hand?”
Tom Atomic painfully raised his head and was thrilled to see Master Man grinning at him, Aquon the Terror of the Seas hanging unconscious over his shoulder. He just grunted when he tried to speak.
“Nice job, by the way!” Master Man said, clapping his hands and offering congratulations.
That actually drew a reaction.
“How long have you been hanging there like a vulture?” Tom Atomic had intended to shout, but it was barely a weak whisper. “Never mind. Can you get us all… back to New… York? I… need…” His eyes closed, and his voice dropped even further. “…a rest.” And then he passed out.