This is going to hurt. No two ways about it. Super-strength or not, I’m about to get squashed like a pancake. We’re about to find out just how invulnerable I really am. The hard way.
It was pretty epic. One for the record books. I solidified the lava blast with my icy breath, stopped its trajectory here in the Badlands by sheer brute force, and slowed its descent to something short of catastrophic.
But none of that changes the fact that, in the next few seconds, there’s going to be another giant crater in the earth, and one Wonderboy covered in debris at the center. The only thing to fear is fear itself. I’m not afraid. I’m not sure I remember how to be afraid.
They say that your life passes before your eyes at times like this, but I’m not seeing anything all that coherent. My internal narrator is not Morgan Freeman waxing eloquent about sacrifice and heroism. It’s Roddy Piper screaming that he won’t be denied, vein pulsing in the forehead and spittle hitting the camera.
I scream out loud now, loud enough that I think I feel something burst in my throat. It doesn’t help. My legs are buried to the calves in the rock below.
I want to just stop resisting and let it flatten me, but I know that my resistance can save the lives of millions, that each mile per hour I can knock off the speed of impact narrows the field of damage. So, I keep pushing, even as I feel myself sink to the thighs, to the chest. Even as muscles tear and bones break.
I turn my face upward, hoping for one last glimpse of sky, but the rock is all I see. My doom edging ever nearer until there is, at last, nothing at all.
Maybe I can die, after all.