Tales of Heroics and Villainry, Volume 4!

May 1, 2007

No one cared about the Doorman, and that was just the way he liked it.

He was a member in good standing of Vigilance, the premier superhero team in the world – but no children bought his action figures, no reporters covered his latest exploits, no fans wore shoddy imitations of his costume to clubs and conventions.

You see, though part of Vigilance, he didn’t engage in their brawls with supervillains, nor spend time hunting down wrongdoers and bringing them to justice. He served one purpose on the team, and it was that of a glorified chauffeur.

The Doorman’s power was a useful one – he could open a portal between two points, creating a gateway through which one could pass, instantly traveling halfway around the world in a single instant. Vigilance made good use of this, using him to move their members to and from their undersea stronghold. Wherever they were needed – whether to help stop a natural disaster or to stop a crazed villain’s rampage – the Doorman could get them in and out in the blink of an eye.

He stayed behind, of course. Ostensibly because he was a valuable resource, and not worth risking in a fist-fight; the other members of the team, though, all considered him a coward. A servant. A resource, and nothing more – not a hero like them.

He was ok with this. He knew he couldn’t live an ordinary life – he had to do something with his power to make the world better. But he really didn’t want anyone realizing he was easily the most powerful being on the planet.

Just imagine what his power could really do. If he actually ended up in danger, sure, he could just escape through one of his own portals – but he could just as easily stay and fight. How could an attack hit him when it would have to pass through a portal sending it away? How long could an enemy survive when he can open a portal between a river of molten lava and the center of their brain? How could an army fight him when he could simply drop them straight into the heart of the sun?

He was happy letting people think all he could open was door-sized portals that people had to voluntarily walk through. That he was limited to transferring people between wide open spaces. He didn’t want them to know what he could actually do, because he knew half of them would want to use him… and the other half want to kill him.

And as powerful as he was, even he had to sleep some time.

So he used his powers publicly to send heroes where they were needed, and felt that he was doing some degree of good. And as he gained greater control of his powers, he put them to good use elsewhere – mysteriously sending food and supplies to those who needed them. Depriving the unworthy of key items at precisely the right time. And eventually even trickier things – shifting arable land to the places without it. Sending rain to heal drought, warmth to heal cold, and letting life flourish where it would otherwise die.

He had to be careful – not just to do it without being noticed, but to do it without unbalancing the very planet. He had to teach himself to see the patterns in how the world worked, and to make sure that sending air from one place to another would not unleash a hurricane across the globe. But his powers gave him a level of understanding, a level of connection with space itself, and as long as he was careful, he was able to save the world a little bit more with every single day.

He was the Doorman, and he wasn’t a fancy superhero. Kids didn’t hang posters of him in their bedrooms, or play as him on the playground. He didn’t get talked about in the papers or on the news. He lived his life and did good deeds, and for him, that was enough. He didn’t hide his powers out of fear, but because he knew he simply couldn’t do as much good if people knew about them. He would end up tied up in politics and power battles, and he knew instinctively that would be a waste. He kept himself hidden away, and retreated farther and farther from the public, because of one simple reason – it was how he could help the most people.

For him, that was all that matter.

He was the most powerful hero alive, but that wasn’t what made him special. It was being the most selfless. The most generous. The most compassionate. The most human.

No one cared about the Doorman, and that was just the way he liked it.

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