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Literature / The Accidental Superheroine

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The Accidental Superheroine is a 2015 book written by Kris Carey and J.R. Rain, and published through Curiosity Quills Press, now the first book in the Quantum Superheroes series. It follows physicist Mira Verborgen, newly hired as an intern at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Shortly after arriving, she meets, and crushes upon, handsome fellow scientist Giancarlo Colombo. Unfortunately, not only does he have a girlfriend, but the two of them also get caught up in Dr. Orlov's attempt to give himself superpowers using the LHC, and they find themselves teleported hundreds of miles away, and invisible. As Mira struggles with her feelings for Giancarlo, and control over her new powers, she also faces attempts by local governments to capture and study Giancarlo and her, as well as Orlov's attempts to capture her to be the mother of his new superhuman race. It's followed by two sequels featuring Mira and Giancarlo further exploring their powers.

This book exhibits the following tropes:

  • Complete Immortality: One of the side effects of the transformation is that the empowered seem to be completely invulnerable to harm, no longer need food, drink, or air, and don't age. They do seem to feel pain, even when they're not being damaged, although Mira speculates that it might be psychosomatic.
  • Freak Lab Accident: It's uncertain as to how much of the event was accidental. Orlov claims to have planned it all out, but he also later reveals that he has no idea why it worked or how they unlock new abilities.
  • Invisibility: This seems to be the first stage of the powers, with those so imbued being completely invisible (including things that they've eaten, but not clothing) and unable to turn it off. The government forces trying to capture them utilize spray-cans and hoses of blue paint to place them. It's later hinted that their transformation also removes any smell to them unless they remember to do things like sweat.
  • Magical Particle Accelerator: The powers come about due to an "accident" with the CERN LHC. It turns out to have been engineered by Orlov, who has a partial understanding of what he was doing and what he has done.
  • Master of Your Domain: As they master their powers, the empowered find that they can manipulate every aspect of their bodies with extreme precision. This allows everything from invisibility to shapechanging.
  • Mundane Solution: Air fresheners. A chemical in Glade® air fresheners causes the empowered to lose control of their powers and start to go dormant.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Mira notes that forming pockets in her body feels like forming entirely different orifices, and particularly notes that a vibrating cellphone in one of those pockets is extremely distracting. Later, she envelops Giancarlo to help him escape and she notes that it's an incredibly intimate experience, better than sex. Lastly, one of the first things that most of the empowered seem to do is to immediately reshape themselves into a more sexualized form.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Mira and Giancarlo have no intent of losing their powers, but they also feel that they are not superior to humanity, simply different.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The chief limitation of their abilities is that they still have follow (most of) the laws of physics, so flight requires a massive wingspan and a relatively puny body, for example. As physicists, Mira and Giancarlo excel at coming up with modifications on the fly.
  • Rubber Man: This seems to be the primary ability of the empowered in the setting, being able to manipulate their bodies with extreme precision. This ranges from being able to form wings to being able to stretch into a film barely a molecule in thickness.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Orlov believes that his transformation is the next step in human evolution. He claims that he plans to share his powers with everyone, but Mira notes that he spends more time building up his power base than he does attempting to fix the machinery to give others powers.