Previously on Blessed Inversion Golden Age…
Henry “Hal” Sharp, a receptionist for Gunma Inc., awakens his power of Cryokinesis while saving a woman from being run over. After a rough first day he regains his composure and trains to use them. Now he intends to use his new powers to become a superhero…
Henry “Hal” Sharp
-Superhero in training. Cryokinetic
-Gunma Inc. CEO, college friend
-Gunma Inc. receptionist. Also a friend
As much as Hal enjoyed his first day as a superhero, he came to a realization. He still hasn’t returned to Gunma Inc. since his powers first appeared. The thought didn’t immediately come to him but he knew he’d need to return eventually. If anything just so he had money for him and his roommate to continue living. But how could he? He couldn’t go out in his makeshift costume or as a walking ice statue. But sometimes the best option is the easiest and simplest one. Putting on his usual Gunma Inc. uniform he returns to his job and acts like nothing happened.
“Hey Darcy, do you have the schedule?” Hal asks nonchalantly trying to ignore the stares and whispers.
“Henry?” she says confused. “You’re…”
“Sorry I was gone the last few weeks. It’s been a little crazy. Hope you guys aren’t too mad.”
“We thought you were-” Darcy blurts out loudly before shifting to a whisper when she realizes she was drawing even more attention. “We thought you were dead Henry. I was calling you like crazy. Why didn’t you ever respond?”
“My phone broke. Well, it froze and then it broke when I tried to unfreeze it. I had the whole figure out how to return to normal thing to deal with. Then I had to figure out how to see more than just heat signatures. That one was tough to do. I missed seeing actual shapes instead of orangish blobs.”
“I know how that is.”
“Really?!” Hal asks pleasantly surprised. Darcy just covers her face with her hand.
“I was being sarcastic Henry.”
“Oh…” he responds disheartened. “Hey, think they’ll mind if I check in on Ro’?”
“Yes! Just wait here, don’t do anything, and don’t touch or freeze anything.” she orders leaping from her seat and rushing to the elevator.
“That went well.” Hal thinks to himself while waiting for her return. He could see people staring at him as they passed by. He was used to getting stares and dirty looks. He never liked it but he wasn’t surprised. Especially after what happened. He was the first Inversion who is, or more likely was, on their staff. It was likely none of them had seen one in person let alone use their power. Most of their work was being done on samples sent to them rather than a live subject. “Hi.” he waves with a smile at a passing lab tech and their assistant. Both turn their focus and continue as if he wasn’t there. “I’m beginning to regret coming back here…” he says under his breath. After 5 minutes of waiting, Hal notices a pair of security guards enter the room and stand off to the side. All they did was stand there and wait. “Aaaaaaaany second now Darcy…”
Tired of waiting and getting stared at, Hal takes matters into his own hands. He leaves Gunma Inc. and walks around the block until he reaches the back of the building. If she wouldn’t come down to him he’d go up to her. Placing his hand on the ground he makes an ice tower beneath his feet. It doesn’t take long before he reaches the top floor where Rowena sat at her desk. Wholly unaware that he had even returned in the first place.
Unsure if she’d hear him through the glass, Hal knocks on the glass first but gets no response. It takes two more strings of knocking to get her attention. “Can I come in?” he waves. Rowena just turns back around slowly and resumes her work. “Ice to see you too Ro’.”
“Ugh.” she groans at his pun.
“Are you gonna keep giving me the cold shoulder? Or do I have to wait for hell to freeze over before you let me in?”
“For the love of god I will let you in if you don’t make any more puns.” Rowena stands up and opens the window to let Hal in.
“You’re pretty cool when you wanna be Ro’.” Hal chuckles. “Sorry, last one I swear.” he apologizes seeing her ready to punch him.
“What are you doing here Hal?”
“Well, I came here to feel awkward and get dirty looks from my old friends mostly. Thought I’d come up here myself so you could give me the same look too. Hal crosses his arms sarcastically.
“People aren’t going to just forget the huge scene you made.”
“I was just trying to save a girl from getting run over. Sorry instead of getting run over I made a huge ice pillar in the road without even knowing I could. I mean what woulda happened if I stayed? Are there even laws for people like me yet?”
“You are always so much trouble.” Rowena rubs her temple and sits down.
“At least this time it wasn’t all my fault. Plus it happened because I was saving someone. Thought you guys would consider me a hero for that.” Hal leans forward and looks into Rowena’s eyes only for her to look away. “Look, I didn’t come here to chew you out or anything. I just want to know if I still have a job.”
“I’m sorry Hal. But even if you had come back before now I couldn’t. What would people think?” she asks with a heavy weight on her chest.
“My what a tall, dark, and handsome man they have sitting at the front desk with the glorious smile. I wonder if I can get his number? Or maybe just, they have an Inversion as the receptionist? Looks like they’re catching up to RajTEK.” his words struck a nerve although she’d never admit it.
“Hal…” her voice was apologetic and face full of guilt. His expression showed he knew what she was going to say. “We’ve been friends for a while but I can’t. People are still scared of your kind even with RajTEK. If I gave you back your job and they found out you’re an Inversion-”
“I’d be a potential PR disaster and scare away business. Needs of the many right? If you gave me a job it’d just put everybody at risk in the process.”
“I’m really sorry.”
“It’s fine, I figured this would happen. Just take care okay?” With a final wave, Hal steps out the window and back onto his ice platform.
“Wait…” Rowena sighs. “I can’t hire you for your old job but what if I gave you an extended paid vacation? At least until you can get back on your feet?”
“I’ll take it. I don’t really have a choice anyway.”
“I wish things could’ve been different.” she apologizes.
“Before you go can I ask you something? What have you been doing all this time?”
“Learning to control my power mostly.” he replies stepping back inside. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone just by being there ya know? Oh, and I started superheroing.”
“What?” she asks dumbfounded.
“It is exactly like it sounds. I put on a passable disguise, went outside, and started helping people. Well…firefighters mostly. I have like no idea how to find crime without a siren blaring. I’ll figure that out when I get my suit and a name. I’m thinking Freeze.” he says proudly.
“That’s a dumb name.”
“You’re a dumb name!”
“Was that really the best you could come up with?”
“Sorry, it just came out. I really like the name.”
“What happens if a cop says to freeze?”
“I’ll laugh at the pun.”
“Oh my god…You’re really going to risk wasting time and risking lives…to enjoy a pun?”
“Jeez, you make it sound so bad that way. What did you have in mind then?” he asks insulted.
“Cryon? Like cryokinesis.”
“Too sciency for my tastes.”
“Black Ice?” Hal raises a finger in opposition but hesitates to speak.
“I really don’t like how easy it is but I really like the wordplay.” he begrudgingly admits.
“How about you get your suit first then we come up with a name?”
“Fine, I guess that works.”
“Take care of yourself Hal.”
“Always do Ro’.” Hal returns to his ice platform for real this time and looks back at Rowena. “I know your hands are tied but thanks.” With his financial future secured and a new partner of sorts, Hal leaves Gunma Inc. He hated having to lose his old job and old friends but he could see some of Rowena’s decision. He could accept all but one. “Yeah, I’m just gonna stick with Freeze.”