Brawn: A Hero is Born

By Corwin

Somewhere in space, a long time ago.

The planet had once been a paradise. It supported life with lush jungles and seas teaming with creatures. That changed when its star became unstable, stripping the planet of its thin gaseous atmosphere. As the star's core got hotter, its envelope expanded toward the planet. Rock and metal melted and fused, bombarded by streams of particles from space. When the star finally exploded, waves of gravity ripped the planet apart, sending metalic rock fragments into deep space.

Most of the fragments drifted aimlesses. Others were destroyed by stars, sucked into black holes or lost. One, however, found its way into our solar system, where it was rocked and buffeted by asteroids and coments, finally to be captured by the gravity of the third planet.


Adam sat by his camp fire. The first twenty-nine years of his life hadn't been easy. He had never found his way. He was a below average student in school, and had failed to excel at anything. He didn't go to college, and had drifted through life supporting himself with a myriad of low paying jobs that he had trouble keeping.

He liked the desert. It was quiet and still, mostly, and he felt centered there. Adam's mind could drift and no one would care. No one would bother him. He had his favorite spot where he had camped many times. During the day, he could see the mountains in the distance. It was miles from the road, and no one would disturb him as he stared at stars. Tonight was such a night. Adam had started a small fire and cooked his dog and beans. Now, he lay on the firm ground staring at the stars. He felt at peace.

The roar startled him, and he felt the earth shake as the sky lit up around him. A bomb! No, an earth quake! Dust flew toward Adam and he covered his eyes to protect them. Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The only change was the fire about a mile away. Did a plane crash? He ran toward it, whether to help or out of curiousity he would never know.

It took him less than 10 minutes to run the mile. As he got close, he could see the depression in the ground. It glowed an eerie red. The air seemed hot, but now his curiousity had gotten the best of him. Adam peered into the hole and saw the boulder. It was smoking, and smelled of sulfur and ionized metal. He felt dizzy and his chest felt tight. That's all he remembered before he fell into the pit.

Adam's next memories were of burning bright light. It scorched into his hurting head even before he opened his eyes. When he did open them, he saw the blue sky of daytime as the midday sun shown down on him. He moved his arms to feel the ground around him, only to feel ripped cloth. He sat up and saw that the cloth was the remains of his clothing. His pants had split at the legs, and clung tight to his waist. His shirt was destroyed. When he looked down at his body, he didn't recognize it. It wasn't his own.

The legs he saw were thick and powerful. The calves were rounded diamonds, and as he moved his foot, he saw them split into two distinct thick heads. The knees were hidden by mounds of muscle. Thick quads with deep valleys and massive hamstrings. The legs were as thick as a man's waist. The remains of the jeans were now packed tight with this foreign body. The crotch bulged high, and looked as though a pairs socks had been stuffed into it. The fabric tapered over the flesh and fit it like a second skin. The waist of the jeans was now lose, and Adam could see distinct cobblestones down the center of the stomach, and the sides were striated shields of hard muscle. Adam couldn't see the entire stomach as his view was blocked by two hemi-spheres covering the chest. He moved his hand to feel them, and realized that the pecs were so thick to hide the width of his hand beneath them. He touched them, and felt his hand on his chest, tactile confirmation that this muscle-bound body was actually him. He looked to his arm and saw a leg-thick appendage with rippling muscle. His forearms looked like Popeye's and rippled as he flexed his fingers.

Adam stood up. He thought he was taller. "What the fuck?" The voice that asked it was deep and echoed power. "What happened to me?" He closed his eyes and shook his head, trying to wake from this dream. It was no dream. He moved his hands over his body, feeling its marble hardness and marvelling in his new strength. As his hands moved over his stomach, it was as if they surfed on waves as his now rock-hard stomach forced his hand up and down over ripped muscle. He moved his hands to his pecs, tracing his nipple that now pointed down. He grabbed his pec and squeezed, feeling the thick, dense muscle. His old body had been soft and weak. He liked this change, whatever caused it.

About 10 yards from where Adam stood, he noticed a golden rock. It was about 6 feet across and generally round in shape. Adam walked toward it, feeling his muscular thighs rub against each other with every step. As he approached, he felt stronger. His legs pushed harder into each other. His chest swelled larger, and his thick arms were pushed farther from his side by his expanding back. He heard his pants rip more, unable to contain his growing mass. Adam stopped. He slowly backed away. His body remained hulkingly large, but he felt weaker. He stopped and approached the boulder. He felt the power return. Adam approached within inchest of the rock. He towered over it.

He bent down and lifted the rock with a single hand. It was like lifting a marshmallow. He tossed it in the air. As if flew high, Adam felt weaker, but as it fell, he felt stronger. He caught it easily. He continued to toss it up and down as a plan formed in his mind.

Adam now realized he had power. This rock was the source, and although it felt light to him, he knew it must weigh tons. Whatever was going on, he wanted to keep it for himself.

He caught himself staring at distant mountains. They seemed to be getting closer, though he wasn't moving. He saw trees and animals as if they were next to him, but they were miles away. He saw the trees that formed the tree line, and then the pebbles of a rock slide along a face of pure granite. Adam snapped out of it, and the mountains appeared in the distance again.

Adam turned toward the road, and concentrated. He saw the cars, then inside them. A woman lighting a cigarette. A man talking on a cell phone. Two small children fighting. He turned again and stared in the general direction of the city. He saw the buildings, then inside. Two people having sex on a water bed. A man drinking coffee. Two people talking.

"... my hard earned money and what do I get from you? Nothing!" "Fuck you dickwad. I do all the work around here and..." He heard the people. Adam pulled back.

"What's happened to me?" he heard himself say aloud. "Fuck. Who cares! This is wild." Adam smiled and turned toward the mountain. He held the rock in his arms and began to run. He pushed with his powerful legs and covered a mile in one step. He pushed harder and saw the ground rush below him. The earth shook as he landed. He forced himself forward as if his powerful legs were moving the entire planet. Anyone looking wouldn't have noticed Adam, he passed by so fast. In less than a second he had scaled high onto the mountain and stood before a sheet of solid granite.

"I could get to like this," he muttered as he put the golden boulder on the ground. "Now, let's see just how strong these are." Adam flexed his bicep and rubbed his hand over it's high peak, testing its hardness. He placed his hand on the mountain and pushed lightly. The granite cracked at his touch. He pulled back, then flicked a finger at it. Rock shot everywhere as a hole 2 feet deep appeared where his finger had touched the mountain. Adam grinned. "This is too easy," he said as he made a fist and punched the mountain.

Adam's fist made contact with millenia-old rock. Minerals that had been created by the power of the planet, forged by volcanic heat and pressed up by the movement of tectonic plates and that hhad withstood storms, flood and time now faced the muscle of Adam's punch. These eons of natural abuse could not prepare the mountain for the power of Adam's arm. Rock atomized at the touch of Adam's unstoppable fist. Concussive force ripped through the mountain, shattering and pulverizing the mountain. Satellite images recorded a "seismic or volcanic event" on what had been thought to be an geologically inactive area. Rock flew from the mountain, disrupted by Adam's single punch. The muscle-driven kinetic force reverberated in the earch, causing windows to rattle in cities hundreds of miles away. Adam stood at the epicenter of the eruption he had caused, unharmed and relishing the unimaginable power at his command.

When the dust cleared, Adam stared into a newly formed cave that snaked into the mountain. "Not bad for one punch." Adam flexed his bicep, admiring its size. He put his face to it, smelling his skin and kissing the powerful bicep. "Glad I pulled that punch, or I might have taken the whole mountain down!" Adam grinned. "Heh, it's nice but this is way too much power for anyone." He picked up the golden boulder and carried it into his cave.

"It should be safe in here. Don't want anyone to discover it by accident," he said to himself. "And while that was fun, I think the world isn't ready for a man with the power to blow the earth apart with a single punch." Adam held the boulder in his hands. He looked at it, and began to see its structure. He noticed an area where there were microscopic cracks, as if this boulder had been hit and began to shatter. He moved his hands to that section and flexed, twisting the boulder and shattering off a small section. "That ought to be enough." He placed the big section on the ground.

Adam took the smaller rock, noticed where the micro-fissures were, and continued to break off pieces. Using just his powerful grip, he took one of the larger rocks and began forming it. It molded to his power as if it were clay. Adam's bicep flexed, his tricep contracted into a massive horseshoe and his forearms pumped as he turned the godlike power of the rock back into itself, and the rock obeyed. Muscle demanded that rock become sphere, and sphere become sheet. Adam molded each rock shred, transforming mineral into body armor and jewellery. He wrapped a 2 inch wide around his arm, flexing his massive bicep and bending the metal around it. When it was long enough to wrap around his arm, he rubbed his fingers quickly over the ends, fusing them together. The metal outlined his thick deltoids, horseshoe tris and bulging bis. "That's one," Adam said. He did the same to his other arms, golden armbands outlining powerful biceps. He formed others into a rope necklace that hugged his bull neck.

He made four rings, two and a half inches in diameter. Adam smiled, and thought of how he'd look. He'd seen men dressed in leather -- chaps, harnesses, codpieces. It has always turned him on, but he never thought he looked as good as they did. Adam bounced his pecs. Now he did. "These will make an awesome harness," he said, placing the rings on the ground.

Next, Adam forged a nearly square sheet from the rock. In his mind, he wondered how hard this strange metal was. To his powerful fingers, it was silly putty. With the power of his fingers, the metal conformed to his will and the shape he desired. When he had the sheet, he placed it to his crotch and pressed. The metal bent into a perfect codpiece, shaped to his substantial bulge. He placed the codpiece on the ground.

Next, Adam formed a rock into a thick wire. He pulled and tensed the wire, shaping it and warping it into the outline of Oakley frames. "Now all I need is the lenses," he thought as he put the sunglass frames on his face.

Lastly, Adam formed the remaining stones into a chain. He wrapped the chain around his calf twice, making sure it was long enough. "These will look good on a pair of boots, I think." Satisfied, he picked up his creations. He looked at the massive chunk of rock that remained. He felt a bit of sorrow as he began to walk away.

As he moved, he felt himself getting weaker, though most of his incredible physique remained. He could tell that no longer would a single punch destroy a continent. As he stepped out of the cave, he looked back one last time. A part of him wanted the limitless strength back, but he shook his head. He still had the power of a superman, probably more. He didn't need to be a god -- a super-superman would do.

He looked up. Several hundred feet above the entrance to the cave there were some boulders. He knelt, feeling the power in his legs. In a burst of energy, his legs straightened and his calves snapped his feet, launching him up like a human rocket. In a single leap, Adam jumped to the boulders. He walked over to the biggest. With a flick of his finger, he propelled it forward. Gravity did the rest. Rock and pebble fell to the cave entrance, blocking it from everyone. Well, almost everyone. Adam knew that the strength and power that he retained was more than enough to move the rocks should he need, or want, to move them.

He looked at the formed metal that he held. He needed a leathersmith

to craft the garments that would make his new uniform complete. He knew just the man. Adam lept off the mountain and began to run to the City. •

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