“I see an AH on your outfit. So what superhero name are you using?” asked a curious Mother Earth.
“It dates from a time when I thought I had the most kick ass power. That was before the testing phase began. I have since been humbled. And I found the name was not original, too.”
“What was your name?”
“Is that the power of cold? Surely it must be from absolute zero, the science term for the lowest temperature possible.”
“Yes. This is my cold gun and notice that it is attached by a hose to my backpack. With this I thought I could cool things super quickly. But you see I am stuck at the lowest setting for my gun.”
“Yes, well what can you do on this lowest setting? Surely there is some hope for your power.”
“Well this is a giant warehouse room with nothing that looks flammable behind me, so perhaps I can demonstrate.”
“You certainly can.”
“I have your permission then in case anything goes wrong?”
“Look at this cup of water. If you had a real finger here I would ask you to dip it in and see that the water is at room temperature. I’m sticking my finger in and it is a comfortable temperature. Now I’ll go back 10 feet and shoot my gun at it on its lowest setting.”
Would be Absolute Hero did exactly as he said and shot the gun. There was a cracking sound almost instantly from the cup and it almost immediately looked different.
“It’s all ice now,” he said walking up to the cup and then dumping the ice onto the floor. It stayed cup shape. It was indeed ice.
“But look,” said would be Absolute Hero. “Behind me heated up so much that when I throw the ice back there it becomes water again.” He threw the ice by itself and it arced up and then down creating a splash on the floor.
“So your invention creates more heat than cold?” asked Mother Earth.
“Yes, that’s its downfall. Though I am pleasantly surprised that I didn’t burn anything behind me. I guess nothing behind me was flammable.”
“Welcome to the laws of Thermodynamics,” said Mother Earth. “Every air conditioner or fridge creates more heat than it cools.”
“Wha? I didn’t know that.”
“You must use your powers outdoors and just make sure there is nothing flammable behind you. Then you might be able to turn up the strength of your power.”
“Hmmm. That’s right. I did all of my testing indoors. That’s how I was maintaining secrecy before finally unleashing my secret on the world. But it gets so hot that I think grass would burn and asphalt would melt.”
“I’ve been playing around in US government computer systems and I have found a top secret mechanical exoskeleton with wings. I believe it could make you fly and let all that heat escape to the open air. Plus the wings beating would fan the heat away from you resulting in you being able to use even higher settings. Plus flying’s not a bad bonus.”
“You’d really give me the exoskeleton or at least plans so I could try it? I’m in.”
“I so hope testing is successful,” said Mother Earth. “I imagine you as a super fireman who could put out hotspots in roaring fires, keep heat away from explosive materials and fly to rescue people who previously had to jump from flaming buildings. I’d be all in if it wasn’t for the name. I might have a fix.”
“Also in thermodynamics we’re told that absolute zero is impossible to reach. So how about Near Absolute Hero?”
“It’s a bit awkward. Still, I could tell everyone I was a nerd but that might not scare the criminal element.”
“Think fires. If you’re working alongside firemen you could be near their absolute herodom. And I would like you to work with other superheros so you could be near their absolute herodom, too. It’s settled.”
“I don’t know.”
“If you want the wings it’s settled.”
“You are a hard bargainer.”
“Plus you could say your modesty prevents you from referring to yourself as an absolute hero.”
“Er – okay. I really want to fly!”