You live in a world where people are granted superpowers, however you have to mentally solve a math problem to be able to use it, and the effect of it scales with difficulty. You have the power of instant teleportation, but are not good at math. One day, you appear to have cheated the system. [Link to post]
“Zero.” I said aloud and focused on the number in my mind. When I opened my mouth to speak the word I stood on top of the Eiffel Tower. When I finished speaking I stood in my room, in Texas, just like I practiced. I stood in the center of a giant zero I painted on the floor of my room.
“One.” I said, to practice the rounds again. I appeared in my local grocery store, staring at the sign that said “Aisle 1”. It was working, I was getting better and faster. “One Hundred” I said, then appeared at the Eiffel Tower again. I spoke “Zero” to go home.
It happened accidentally. I don’t know if anyone else knew it was possible, but I was not planning to share my secret. I was raised on math, but I never took to it. Numbers were hard for me to work with. They’re too definite, too constrained.
“Math is Power.” I remembered my first grade teacher saying that on my first day of school. I’d heard it before. I’d heard it every day since, but my first grade teacher is the one that really gave me the secret. Math fuels powers, and the better the math, the better the powers.
“The focus required to do complex mathematical computations in your own mind is what fuels the abilities you’ll one day earn. If you choose, of course. Many people choose not to have, or even use their abilities. Some people just don’t like math.” She explained.
I hated math, but I wanted powers. I vowed I would find a way to make it work. Focus was the key, not math. She had said so herself, even if she did not know it. My parents took me to get an Ability for my 12th birthday. They could not afford designer powers, so they went the “natural” route. I was injected with a blue glowing serum, and whatever ability my body decided it wanted would happen. I got teleportation. In theory, not a bad power. High level teleporters could do the math to move mountains to another continent. In my head I could add two to two, to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night without stubbing my toe.
The night I graduated high school I was out partying with some friends. One of them had the power to scramble minds. It was like a drug, so naturally we added drugs. I was high and my turn came up.
“You sure you want to do this? Last time we tried you couldn’t do math for a month,” Charlotte asked me. If it were just her, I would have backeded out. But with the crowd of people gathered around, I lost my nerve to chicken out. I grabbed the joint and inhaled deeply while staring at her hazel eyes. I held my breath and nodded at her. Her eyes flashed blue.
I saw stars, I saw the universe. I saw God. He appeared and told me I was just a zero. Later I heard that one of the jocks was trying, poorly, to bully me. Calling me a “zero”. One of the ultimate insults in a math based society. Zero meant I was too stupid to use my powers, I couldn’t count above zero. Everyone just kind of shoved him off to the side while I sat there dazed for a second. I focused on the number zero while I thought about myself. I thought about my home and realized I missed my bed. My elevated state somehow connected my bed as point zero.
I woke up at home the next day, tucked in safely. My phone was plugged in, and I checked the messages.
[You disappeared, but I sent some teleporters out to look for you. Dave said he found you at your house, and set you up comfortably. It’s awesome that you managed to do math, but warn us next time – Charlotte]
I texted her back and told her my head was fuzzy, but I was fine. I said thanks, and asked her to thank Dave for me with a dinner gift card or something. I spent the day in bed trying to piece things together. I knew I did not do any math. I just focused on the number, 0. Focus was the key. That day June became my Day Zero. I painted a giant on the floor of my room and stared at it. I burned it into my mind then walked to the kitchen, and focused on the zero in my room. I focused on it so much I felt like I was staring at it. Then, I was staring at it.