Getting a jolt
Getting a joltDisclaimer: None of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Leslie Willis, more commonly known as Livewire, one of the several sworn enemies of Superman, was usually described as possessing a lively, an electric, or even an unpleasant personality, but it could be roughly agreed that she wasn’t the kind of a villain to have long and gloomy re-flections of her life, but every once in a while, she did.
Unexpectedly – or perhaps not – such periods in Livewire’s life happened on her anniversary, on the date when she stopped being just a plain Leslie Willis and became a super-villainess.
Admittedly now, Leslie Willis had been never just a plain Jane; instead, she had been a radio host... in a manner of speaking. The job may not have been the most glamorous or the most pres-tigious one, but Leslie, surprisingly, had liked it. Surprisingly, because most of the time she never remembered that part of her life, but when she did...
It all started, naturally, on the first anniversary of her transformation. Livewire intended to celebrate this transformation almost as a joke, to remember fondly the past and reflect how better her present was. Sadly, once she tried to do so, she was unable to do so, not really – and certainly not convincingly, a fact that was rather displeasing for her.
Therefore, Leslie tried to forget and just go on being Livewire. For a while, it worked – there were ups and downs, but then the anniversary came once more, and once more, and once more. Regularly, like clockwork, the anniversaries came and went, and every time Livewire would find herself “powered down”, rather drunk, and also alone – not such a big difference from Leslie, put otherwise. That realization would usually start a current of anger in Livewire’s belly and she would proceed to rampage through her neighbourhood (usually her native city of Metropolis), until Superman (or someone else, but usually Superman) would stop her... and things would get back to normal, by Livewire’s standards, at any rate.
All of that, however, would begin tomorrow, and today Livewire or Leslie Willis – merely felt depressed, and was already on her way to getting drunk and waking up tomorrow with a very hung-over head. Speaking of heads – high above hers thunder rumbled, implying that a big rain-storm was on her way.
Livewire hated water: it shorted-out her electric powers, made her feel vulnerable and weak – yet another flaw in her supposedly new, improved and impressive way of life... not that she would be willing to admit it without some very heavy prodding at the very least. Now, however, in privacy, she was more loose-lipped.
“I really, sometimes I really hate my life,” she muttered morosely. “I really, sometimes I just wish that something would happen-“
And then something did happen. A wave of warm white light enveloped her, and a voice that was somehow both young and motherly, spoke into her ears:
“Are you ready to be strong?”
Livewire was feeling quite lost – this wasn’t the usual buzz she got when she got drunk, this was something new, something better, perhaps much better, and so, to keep it, she answered immedi-ately, with an emphatic:
The next moment her body felt... charged. But it wasn’t quite the same charge as when she got powered-up by electricity: this power felt fuller, more wholesome, and frankly, it was different. Livewire’s electricity was usually acquired from some external source: she merely accumulated and stored it, just as a battery would, and just as a battery, after a while her store would run dry, unless she recharged herself. But this power seemed to come from within herself, it seemed to have began in her heart and spread out until it saturated her entire being – and then it stopped. But frankly, Livewire didn’t mind that – though this new power of hers seemed to be somewhat more limited than electricity, it was hers, not borrowed and accumulated from someplace else... and, moreover, it felt good!
Smiling, Livewire opened her eyes and caught her reflection in the mirror – not only it felt good, it also seemed to do wonders to her health, as her fledging alcohol-fuelled headache was gone, and she herself felt bigger, stronger, more aware of – of electricity.
Ever since her accident, of course, Livewire had a certain way of knowing where electric currents were, but now, now, she knew and felt it more clear than before – not just in the man-made conduits in the walls, but in the very natural storm clouds outside, storm clouds that were about to rain!
Before the change, Livewire hated rain, as she did with most bodies of water – it stole her pow-ers, it made her weak, but now, now, she stepped outside and following her feeling of the gather-ing lightning, she called out to it with her powers both old and new. The storm clouds replied with a monstrous thunderbolt that crashed down right before Livewire and gingerly, using both of her powers, Livewire grasped it, ignoring the rain drops that fell around and on her. The half-expected short-circuiting did not occur; instead, Livewire found herself holding a powerful, yet malleable tool – a spear, a whip, a spiked chain, a Morningstar... her face lit-up with a wicked delight.
“Well, well,” she smiled carefully, looking in the direction of Metropolis’s most prominent newspaper company. “I think it’s time to take my new abilities for a test drive!” With a twitch of leg muscles she was up into the air; with a twitch of her powers she was airborne on electric currents – and water possessed no danger to her anymore. And so, smiling and cackling, Livewire was off, ready to confront the Man of Steel