Jack of Many Trades

Writing Wednesday: Worst Case Scenario

Originally posted: 2013-01-24

This story is set in Epsilon, my superhero universe. It's a WIP while I try out a new character concept.

"What's the worst that can happen?"

People ask this question all the time, but they really don't want to know. If I had the choice, I wouldn't know either, but none of us get to pick our powers. I'm Class B, and my official power designation is clairmultiversal. I see alternate universes, sometimes in random flashes and sometimes, more frequently now, intentionally.

My mask name is Worst Case Scenario. It was a joke when I picked it. My job is to pick the best out of all the outcomes I can see and figure out what brings that outcome to pass. Tonight I'm working with a three-woman team in Phoenix, Arizona as they infiltrate a compound of right-wing anti-government extremists and rescue the Mexican immigrants they've taken hostage.

We know there's at least one rogue super in the compound, Minuteman. Intelligence suggests there's probably two more. We're hoping Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald will be well-matched. I've already eliminated almost all the outcomes where I watched them die; this is a good night.

They file in, undercover as supporters recruited at a rally, and Sapphire is muttering under her breath about racist assholes. I see the timeline where they hear her and hit my own mic.

"Em, if you can't calm her down, cover for her."

"Yeah, I hate 'em too," she says, a little too loud, but they must have bought it, because that timeline collapses and we're on to the next.

In the middle of the rally, I spot a future where Ruby, the quiet one with defensive powers, gets most of the hostages out. "Whatever you're thinking about, Ruby, go for it."

She sounds startled. "I was just going to go to the bathroom. I feel a little sick."

"Just go for it," I told her, shrugging even though she couldn't see it. She excused herself and squeezed her way to the hallway in search of a restroom.

The timeline grew stronger as she made her way down the hall, and when she tried to decide between two directions at a corner, it snapped into place.


"I was already doing that," she whispered and started down the almost-empty hall.