Rated T for Teen
March 1984: Rooters Headquarters. Location Classified
"When did you graduate from The Plumber Academy?"
"Two months ago."
The leader of The Rooters, Hector Sirvantis, looked over Devin's files. The nineteen year old British Plumber tapped his foot as he glanced about the room. Dimly lit, almost bare except for the desk, chairs, and file cabinet on the left side, it reflected the Spartan values of the black ops team.
"Born December fifth 1964, in London, England. Mother was a teenager from the East End, father unknown. Grew up in children's homes and boarding schools. Expressed interest in space from early age and was talented in math and science. Became aware of the Plumbers after an alien attack on your school when you were fifteen. Accepted to the Plumber's Academy at age seventeen. One of the brightest in your class, exceptionally skilled at weapons handling and piloting. And now, you are here."
Proctor Sirvantis set down the files.
"We have been looking for a man like you Mr. Levin. You are exactly what this team needs. A good, loyal soldier."
June 1984: Rooters Headquarters. Location Classified
He lay on the examining table. A nurse hovered over him. A pair of hands put sensor monitors on his face. From the corner of his eye, he saw Proctor Sirvantis enter the room.
"This will really give me powers Doc?" Devin asked him.
"You will become the greatest soldier the universe has ever seen," Sirvantis told him. He reached over to the cart and grabbed a syringe and filled it.
"This may hurt a little," he warned.
"Should we give him anesthesia?" The nurse asked Sirvantis.
"No," Sirvantis said. "I want him to feel every single moment of it."
Sirvantis lowered the syringe into Devin's arm. At first he only felt a little prick, but then Sirvantis pushed down on the plunger. Devin let out a scream. It felt like hot lava had been injected into his veins. It surged throughout his body, burning everything in its path. He felt as if bones had been burnt into a crisp, his insides condensed to a puddle that sloshed around his rib cage and stomach...
He violently thrashed on the table.
"Hold him down!"
His eyes rolled back into his head. He choked, feeling his throat close up and his lungs constrict. It was killing him. He knew it. This poison was killing him….
And then he awoke with a jolt.
He still was on the table. His body was not on fire; it was back to its normal temperature. He was calm, refreshed, like he had woken up from a good night's sleep.
He slowly sat up, fearing that he would become dizzy. He didn't.
"Are you ok?"
"I am," Devin exclaimed. "I feel great!."
Sirvantis grinned. It was the first time Devin had seen him smile. It didn't suit the head of The Rooters at all. It stretched too wide and his teeth were crooked. It almost seemed threatening.
"Good. I want you to take this wire in your hand."
A gloved hand held out a wire to Devin. It was steaming and sparks of electricity sizzled at the ends. He didn't think. He grabbed it.
He felt the electricity flow into his skin.
It wasn't like the fire from earlier. It didn't burn. It ran its course like a river throughout his veins. His muscles tensed up, his heart beat started to pick up pace. His breaths came out in gasps, but not because he couldn't breath. His eyes widened; an unexplainable bliss washed over him. He felt strong. He felt more alive than ever. He felt powerful
"Hold out your hand."
Devin did so. A burst of flames emerged. Devin let out a shrill laugh. He aimed it at the wall which caught on fire. He rocked back and forth, manically cackling at the top of his lungs.
Mastering these powers came easily to him. He was a quick learner and quick to adapt. All he needed was one touch. From electrical sockets, light bulbs, wires, even lightening powered him up. His fingers tingled as he took down his targets, shooting volts at energy in the form of flames, lassos, and bullets.
It felt good. Energy felt so good. It filled him up more than a banquet full of his favorite foods ever could. Made him more alert than the deepest sleep. Made him stronger than the strictest workout in the universe. Gave him thrill more pleasurable than any orgasm could ever bring him too. It was everything needed to survive handed to him in one flowing current.
And so he spent hours going through all sources of electricity in his apartment. No appliance or lightbulb was spared. And the more he drained, the higher he got. The lights flickered and blacked- out, blisters and burns covered his hands, smoke filled the air, but he didn't care. He wanted more. He needed more.
He was The Rooters' best kept secret. The one who took the enemies by surprise. He delivered the final blows. And he knocked them down, shocking them and shocking them until they couldn't move. And then they were carried away, by the leg or collar. Alive or dead, it didn't matter. Those bastards were nothing. They were scum. The lowest scum of the universe.
He was a hero. He was a god. He was invincible
April 1986: Plumbers Headquarters. Bellwood California
"Magister Tennyson," Devin approached the older Plumber and extended his hand.
Max Tennyson took it in a firm grasp. They shook.
"Welcome," Magister Tennyson said. "It's been long since I had a partner to work with. Not since '73."
"I won't disappoint you sir," Devin said.
"So you've spent time with The Rooters," Max said. "What made you decide to transfer? I heard that working with them is a once in a life time experience."
"You are to report back to us every month," Sirvantis told him. "We are only allowing you to branch out because we recognize that the other Plumbers could benefit from our work. Remember boy, a Rooter never leaves his team. Once you join, you are a member for life. Our missions come first before the other units."
"Yes sir," Devin saluted.
"Sometimes you just need to broaden your horizons," Devin answered.
"So you're an Osmosian?" Max asked him.
"Sir? Why am I listed as 'Osmosian' here?" Devin glanced over his Plumber files.
"It is easier to pass off your skills as an alien identity," Sirvantis said. "There are so many extraterrestrial species that no one will give you a second thought. And it helps that you were a nobody in the first place. Don't you want to have a new start Agent Levin?"
"Yes. That's why I joined The Plumbers. But there's no reason to cover up who I am. I'm human. I always was and always will be. You don't need to change that.
"Agent Levin you do not understand. We need to keep it a secret."
"I get that you don't want the other Plumbers to know about the tests just yet, but that doesn't mean you can change my life story!" Devin objected.
"You are not human," Sirvantis curtly hissed. "You are Osmosian, a humanoid species from Osmos Five. Your family perished in the Osmosian Civil War and you fled to earth at a young age. This is your story and this is what you will tell your commanding officer. And if you do not comply you will face consequences. Do you understand?
Yes sir," Devin said with a hint of fear
"Yeah," Devin nervously smiled. "I don't remember life on Osmos. I came to the UK when I was five."
"Was it the war?" Max asked.
"Yeah," Devin's voice drifted off.
The warning shot had been fired. It echoed off the walls of the corridor. The thief sprinted, clinging to the briefcase that contained the stolen bomb. Max and Devin were in pursuit.
"You are to drop the weapon and surrender!" Max shouted at the figure ahead.
"Leave this to me!" Devin exclaimed. He took off his gloves and grabbed onto his laser gun. He dropped it, a trail of energy forming from his hand. He threw his arm back, zapping the energy right into the thief's back. The thief fell.
Devin's hand was shaking. Colors flashed before his eyes. Everything except the target was a blur. For a second all noises were blocked out except for the crackle of electricity in his veins.
Kill him! Kill him! A low ominous voice whispered in his ear.
The thief stirred, trying to sit up. But Devin pounced. He slammed the thief to the ground, his palm squeezing the thief's face. The thief let out a scream. And Devin's hands kept on shocking, his nails clawing at the skin, his fists sending punches to the head. And the thief continued to scream; the shrieks getting higher and higher until Devin could not hear them anymore.
"Devin that's enough!"
Max Tennyson had yanked him away; strong arms holding him back. And Devin yelled, elbowed at Max's arms, wanting to finish his job. Wanting to make his prey suffer...
And then it was like he woke up.
Devin inhaled so quickly that he nearly choked. He went limp and did not struggle anymore. A team of medics had surrounded the body and had lifted it on a stretcher. It was covered in burns to the point where it was unrecognizable.
The horror and guilt tided him over. He stared down at his hands: pale, bruised, and covered in blood. He started to sob.
May 1988: Los Angeles California.
"Couldn't pay the electrical bill again?"
Devin and his girlfriend Caroline were standing in the hallway. No matter how many times she switched the light on and off, it wouldn't turn on.
The couple had gone out to dinner earlier. He didn't want to go out and eat, but he had to do something to prove to her that he was still interested. He hardly touched the food he ordered. He wasn't hungry; he felt no need for food. He only ate once a day; energy did the rest for him. They had come back to his place for a drink.
"Yeah," he lied. His head hurt. He could feel his hand twitch, knowing that he needed to recharge. But he couldn't now. Not when his girlfriend was over. No one could know.
He staggered over to the kitchen. He got out two bottles of beer from the fridge, trying to ignore the urge to suck out the last remaining light source in the apartment. It blinded him, it made his heart pound, his mouth water.
Drain it! Drain it!
But he slammed the door shut and darted back to the living room.
The lights turned back on. The pangs came back stronger than ever. He needed energy. He needed it now But how could he drain without his girlfriend suspecting a thing?
His mind was blank at first. But then it came to him.
"Hey Care? Can we talk? There's something I need to tell you."
He took a seat on the couch beside her and handed her a bottle of beer.
"Sure? What is it?"
"You know about my job right?"
"Yeah. You're a plumber."
"I'm not just any plumber. I'm a part of this secret government backed organization called The Plumbers that fights aliens."
Caroline started to laugh.
"Are you already drunk?" She slapped her hand on her knees with her free hand. "Because it's not like you to say something like that!"
"No it's real. We--"
"That's a good one," she took a sip of beer. "That's a good one Dev!"
"I can prove it," he said. He reached over and grabbed the lamp on the table.
"Like what are you gonna do? Summon a UFO? Get your martian friends over? Phone--"
She let out a shriek, nearly dropping her bottle. Devin had absorbed the energy from the lightbulb and the electricity was steaming from his fingers. He rubbed them together, directing the energy to make a circle in the air. The flash of white light evaporated and he brought his hand down.
"S-so-- you're an alien?" She stuttered on her words as she gazed up at him in astonishment.
You are an Osmosian refugee. Your entire family was killed when a nuclear bomb wiped out your whole town. The refugee programs sent Osmosian children off the planet. The majority were sent to earth because it was most like Osmos
"Yeah," he lied with a grin.
August 1988: Rooters Headquarters. Location Classified
Devin was on the floor of the lab. He feverishly lay on his back, convulsing like he had a seizure. None of the scientists or medics rushed over to his side. They were all in the other room attending to the other test subject.
He was sick. Something was wrong. It had started not long after Sirvantis started the new round of tests. Or did it start before that? Two years ago? Three? From the first injection. He had no appetite. Everything made his stomach churn. He lost about twenty pounds. His skin was a deathly white and was so fragile that it could be pulled off of him. He couldn't sleep and spent nights pacing around his apartment. He saw things; devilish creatures parading before his eyes, a white light that stung his eyes. They whispered to him; making him do things that he would never consider in his right mind.
He heard an ear piercing scream from the other room. It was one of the other members of The Rooters. He also had been talked into joining the program. And now he was dying because the injections were just too much. He was younger than Devin, fresh out of the academy. Just a boy. A boy who had so much to live for, and now had his life ripped away from him because of this damned experiment.
It was going to kill his comrade. Then it would come for him. Devin couldn't lie to himself. If he didn't stop, he would die. Maybe he was dying right now.
Sirvantis entered the room. He removed his protective gloves, that dripped blood, and threw them in the garbage.
"Make it stop!" Devin screamed.
Sirvantis turned and glared at Devin.
"You should be grateful boy," he hissed.
"It's killing me!"
"I gave you opportunities! I turned you from nothing into something! And this is how you repay me?" Sirvantis' hand knocked over a beaker that sat on the counter. It crashed to the floor, the glass shattered and went flying. A shard cut against Devin's cheek.
"You killed him!" Devin howled. "You're killing me!"
Sirvantis glanced down at him in disgust. He exited the lab.
His body became numb. His vision was blurry. His mouth gaped open as he tried to gasp for air. He reached his arm out, trying to hang onto something. Anything.
It was then that the team of medics finally came to his aid. They surrounded him, hooking him to life support and lifted him to the stretcher. He was wheeled into the operating room. The last thing he could remember before the anesthesia kicked in was the bright light that hung above him.