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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Shattered by the Truth"
This poem is spillover from the July 16, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter1944. It also fills the "WILD CARD: Breaking Up" square in my 2-1-19 Platonic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Berettaflies thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  Read onward with its sequel, "The Bravest and Most Lucid Thing."

Warning: This poem contains emotional abuse and heartache -- all hurt, no comfort.


"Shattered by the Truth"

[Saturday, April 5, 2014]

Limestrike had put it off
as long as he could, but
it just kept eating at him.

What had happened with
the berettaflies was awful, and
Levinbolt's friends were offering
gigs that made him feel uneasy --
especially the one in Australia.

When he finally spoke up,
it went about as badly as
he had expected it to go.

"What do you mean you're
leaving?" Tanger screamed.

Limestrike rolled another T-shirt
and stuffed it into his backpack.
"What I said. I'm leaving."

"You can't just leave us,"
Levinbolt protested.
"We need you!"

"Leave him alone,"
Blastwave said. "If he
doesn't want to be in
the group anymore, it's
better for everyone if
we just let him go."

"Thank you." Limestrike
wedged his shoes into
the last remaining space
inside his backpack.

"But you're crying,"
Tanger said. "You can't
mean it if you're crying
over the idea of leaving us."

Limestrike touched his face.
His fingers came away wet.

"I’m not crying because of you;
you’re not worth it," he said in
a rough voice. "I’m crying because
my delusion of who you were was
shattered by the truth of who you are."

"Well, fine then," Tanger snapped.
"Don't come crying to me when
you can't find any more gigs."

"I won't." Limestrike zipped
his backpack and slung it
over his shoulder. "Goodbye."

* * *

Notes:

Limestrike (Knut Atkinson) -- He has tawny-fair skin, brown eyes, and grass-green hair gelled into a short mohawk. His heritage includes British, German, Mongolian, and Norse. He was a sickly child growing up, so he missed a lot of school. Combined with a learning disability, that undermined his education. He barely scraped by with a GED. Kraken tried to recruit him, but he found them too creepy. Instead Limestrike put some serious effort into finding a "real superhero group" and joined the Spectrum. He is not very comfortable with the collateral damage that they tend to do, but has mostly convinced himself that they do more good than harm.
Limestrike serves as the enforcer for the Spectrum. He excels at capturing and holding people, because he can disable them quickly. Instead of working on the front line of a fight, he hangs back and watches for his teammates to set up a good shot for him. Limestrike shoots a green beam that drains lifeforce from his target, which he can use to power his regenerative ability. He's not strong enough to kill with it, but at maximum force he can put someone into a coma for a few days. He prefers not to because he's always afraid that someday one of them won't wake up, and he doesn't want to kill anyone. So usually he just uses it at stun level, so they come around after a few minutes to a few hours. There's a lot of wasted energy, too; for every two power levels that he drains, he only gets one of them to use. Once Limestrike has tapped into someone's energy, he can track that person in a crowd by following the signature of their lifeforce.
Origin: His childhood illness ended at puberty when he developed the ability to drain lifeforce from other people and use it to boost his own health. He had a very difficult time learning how to control it, so he missed the second year of junior high and first two years of high school.
Uniform: Black dexflan jumpsuit with a green capery cape. Off duty, he favors dark colors and simple clothes, often just jeans and a t-shirt in black or dark blue. He likes shiny jewelry, though, and owns a number of gold rope necklaces. He admires facial piercings, but hasn't mustered the guts to get any yet.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Enforcer, Good (+2) Gentle, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Teamwork
Poor (-2) Not Too Bright
Powers: Good (+2) Vitality Drain (Spin-Off Stunt: Energy Tracking), Average (0) Green Hair, Average (0) Regeneration
Motivation: To contain the bad guys so they can't hurt anyone else.

See Limestrike's capsule wardrobe for warm weather, unpacked and packed.

* * *

"I’m not crying because of you; you’re not worth it. I’m crying because my delusion of who you were was shattered by the truth of who you are."
Steve Maraboli

March 24, 2014 -- Members of the Spectrum crack open a mad science lab belonging to Stylet and release the berettaflies into Easy City, Louisiana.

"Consequential Decisions"
Story Date: Day 1 - Day 7
Summary: Tanger finds out that SPOON doesn't want the Spectrum around anymore.
Characters: Tanger, Blastwave, Levinbolt, Limestrike

Week 2, Day 13
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Limestrike breaks away from the Spectrum.

"Like a Shag on a Rock" 12-2-15 (fishbowl spillover)
Follows "Consequential Decisions"
Author: Ysabetwordsmith
Story Date:
(probably Week 3)

(These links are harsh.)
Moral injury occurs when someone transgresses their own and/or society's expectations of decent behavior. Although often mentioned in regard to military service, it can happen in a wide range of areas. Sometimes spiritual communities can help with moral repair. Read about the clinical indications and mental treatment. There are actually two paths for recovery from moral injury: adjust your moral framework (if you have gained greater understanding that enlightens useful changes) or adjust your behavior (if you fell short of parameters you wish to keep). Limestrike has decided that the Spectrum does not meet his standards for a superhero team and so he must part company with them. I could not find instructions on self-care for healing moral injuries. However, the basics overlap strongly with advice for becoming a moral, ethical, or generally good person. It may help to develop a personal code of ethics, or if you already have one, revisit it and update if necessary.

Leaving a group of friends can be difficult. Know the signs when it's time to do this, and how to do it responsibly.

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