Nothing Gained (1-3-18)

At a certain age, all children are given a superpower of their choice. When it is your turn,
you ask for nothing. [Link to post.]

“Welcome! Uh…,” The case worker rifled through my file to find my name as I sat down in
the chair across the desk from her. “Roman … Candle?” A slight giggle escaped her blue
pastel lips. I nodded.

“Yeah, my parents think they have a sense of humor. I’m just glad I was born after my sister, Birthday.” She chuckled.

“Well, Roman. You’ve been sent to me because of your, odd request. You’ve requested nothing, is that right?” She gave me her best smile, to try and
put me at ease. I knew better. The evaluation began as soon as I stepped through the door.
I nodded casually.

“That’s right. My physical and intelligence scores are in the top 1% of the country. I’ve worked
very hard, and according to my scores I can ask for any power I want.” I’d learned from Birthday’s
mistakes. My sister coasted through school and when she chose her power, the bureau only
offered her physical abilities. She was destined for a life of manual labor. A higher rank unlocked
more skills and career options. The case worker nodded at me and shuffled the papers around to
bring up my aptitude scores.

“I see. Yes, you are certainly a hard worker. High school valedictorian at 9, and you’ve recently
graduated college with honors?” She moved to the next sheet. “Wow. Double major in physics
and philosophy. Extracurriculars include plenty of volunteer work, and you’ve got a recommendation
from Sergeant Mighty?” She smiled broadly as she glanced through the rest of the pages.
“You’re quite the impressive young man,” she said. I shrugged.

“My mom used to date him, and she made me put that in there.” They knew that already,
of course. She was testing my honesty. She nodded at my response, and I knew I passed that test.
Finally she put the file away and looked at me directly. Her eyes glowed purple. I breathed slowly,
calmly while she read my aura.

“What made you decide to make this specific request?” she asked. The purple glow faded from her
eyes leaving them the same light pink they were when I walked in.

“I didn’t even know it was an option until a conversation with the Sergeant one night. He said it
was hard to be special in a world where everyone was special. He went on to list the pros and cons
of various powers he’s dealt with while heading the police force. He mentioned some powers I
didn’t even know existed, it really made me think.”

“And after all that thinking, this was your answer? Nothing?” She asked. I nodded and gave her my
best smile. Unlike me, she fell for it. I saw a glimmer of a smile behind her eyes. I knew I’d have her
with my next comment.

“I’ve already proven I can contribute to society without powers.” I sat up straighter. She smiled and
stood up.

“You’re definitely an amazing young man. I see no reason not to grant you your request.” Her
voice became stern. “You’re very bright, so I’m sure you know this. However, as a formality I need
to remind you that this is a one time choice. If I approve this for you, you absolutely cannot change
your mind later. I can give you more time to consider your options, but once I approve a decision,
it’s permanent. Would you like more time?”

“No. This is my final decision. Nothing.” I stood up and smiled at her again. “I’ve given it a lot of
thought. I’m sure.” She reached her hand across the desk and handed me a golden coin. I
submitted the golden coin as my totem, along with the paperwork for my power. When I touched the
coin it began go glow a deep, dark purple. Almost black.

“Congratulations, Roman. You’re the first person to be approved for Nothing in 40 years. I have no
doubts you will use it for good!” She smiled as she walked around the desk to give me a congratulatory
hug. I enjoyed the warm embrace for a second. I was so happy, it was finally mine!  I whispered sweetly
into her ear while we hugged.

“You really should have some doubts.” She disappeared from my arms into a tiny black speck, and then
she blinked out of existence.

“Nothing can stop Nothing!” I laughed.

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